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The Truth About Israel's 144,000

Scripture: Revelation 7:1-8, Revelation 14:1-5
Who are the 144,000? Are they a literal group of people or a representative group? What the 12 apostles were at Christ's coming the 144,000 are at the second coming. They are not the only ones who will be saved but representatives.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Question and Answer: Karen Batchelor

KB—Question and Answer #1: Our first question: How can every eye see Jesus return when they are half--when half of the people are living on the other side of the earth?

DB: People assume that the scripture says every eye will see Him simultaneously. (Uhm) You know I can have a friend who can call me from California and say: boy there’s a beautiful mu—moon here, and I can look up and see the same moon they see. So if everybody in the world can see the moon, and if everybody in the world can see the sun, then everyone can see Jesus come. He’s coming from the east and He’s gonna circle the world.

You know if He was coming from the north where the axis is there could be a problem; but He’s coming at the rotation of the earth so everybody in the world will see Him. He will go around the planet, I suppose, and vacuum up the redeemed and then head on back to glory, amen? (Audience laughs)

KB: Amen. So you on the E--East Coast will get to see Him before we do on the West Coast.

DB: That depends on where He starts. (Audience laughs)

KB—Question and Answer #2: (Laughs) Okay. I go to church on the Sabbath but I missed the joyful worship of some Sunday churches. Is it wrong to go to both churches as long as I know the Sabbath is the only holy day?

DB: Well, I’m sorry you can’t have joyful worship on the Sabbath. (Uh) I--the Bible tells us that for those who keep the Sabbath, “I will cause them to ride upon the high places of the earth and feed them with the heritage of Jacob, their father,” Isaiah 58.

Sabbath should be a joyful time with the Lord. (Audience says “Amen”) (Uhm) But there--there is a very important question in here. When people first learn the Sabbath truth they have a lot of history and relationships that are interwoven in—maybe a fellowship. I got a call today from a pastor, I won’t even tell you what church cause I don’t want to embarrass him or cause him a problem. He said: Pastor Doug, I’ve been a pastor for years of this denomination; says: I’ve learned the truth from watching your programs and I’ve got a real struggle ahead of me cause I wanna share it with my flock; my denomination that employs me will very likely un-employ me—and there’s a lot of pastors like that--that (uh) are having struggles.

When you learn the truth (uh) there is no doubt a transition time, but you can’t serve two masters. (Uh) What often happens is—I find people when they accept Christianity they say: I’m gonna go back to my friends in the bar and I’m gonna tell ‘em what I’ve learned. Well, you can tell your friends but don’t do it in the bar (Audience laughs) because—especially people who’ve quit drinking.

And when you learn the truth as you attempt to teach your friends from your old fellowship there will be an effort to pull you back. And so you wanna put your roots down very thoroughly and wrap them around the rock before you start launching out; and so it’s very difficult to serve two masters that way.

KB: And also you need to try and get involved with the different church, the new church that you’re going to, and make new relationships. And I know that must be very difficult…but…

DB: If I told Mrs. Batchelor I got news for you we’re moving out of our house, after we’d get back to Sacramento, she’d be a little nervous, what do you think?

KB: Where are we moving to? (Laughs)

DB: That’s the—now what if I told her, what if I took her for a ride down the road and I took her to the nicest part of town and showed her a big mansion, this is not true, but what if? (Audience laughs) And then I said we’re moving out of our house, would she mind moving out of our house if she’s moving into a mansion? Would it be easier?

So whenever you transition you wanna make sure that you welcome people. It’s a lot easier for people to move into a home, (uh) to leave one home if they’ve got one to move in to. You’ve got a--Jesus said: “When your mother and father forsake you, the Lord will take you up.” And so they need new family.

KB: And (uh)…

DB: You wanna provide a new family.

KB: Our churches need to be receptive to inviting the new people that come in and make them family.

DB: That’s right.

(Sound effects starts and stops before DB speaks)

Sermon Questions: Douglas Batchelor

(Audience clapping)

The lesson is on the hundred and forty-four thousand. Now most of the information you’re gonna find on this unusual group is gonna come to you from Revelation chapter 7 and Revelation chapter (uh) 14. Now there is some other information.

When you think of the number one hundred and forty-four, how do you arrive at that number? It tells us that there are 12,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel. We’ve learned that numbers have a meaning. What does the number 12 represent? Woman in chapter 12 of Revelation, not that the chapter means anything, has 12 stars above her head. It’s a symbol for the leadership of God’s people. It’s a number that goes with the church—New Jerusalem, 12 foundations, 12 gates; tree of life—12 kinds of fruit 12 times a year; hey, you know that--that would mean a hundred and forty-four different kinds of fruit, isn’t that right?

If you look in I Chronicles chapter 27, you have to read the whole chapter so you can just jot this down, David had his army divided up where they would serve in segments of one month for 12 months—24,000 in one of these regiments that were always on call. Twelve times 24,000 is how much? Two hundred and eighty-eight thousand—half of that is a hundred and forty-four thousand; so it’s 24,000 once a month.

How many elders around the throne of God?—twenty-four: 12 for the Old Testament, 12 for the New. The hundred and forty-four thousand, I’m just gonna tell you straight off what they represent; the key is in the number about who they are.

How many apostles did Jesus pick?—(Audience answers “Twelve”) twelve. What tribes were they from? Most of them were from Judah, Matthew, Levi, probably from Levi, and Benjamin. Why not all 12 tribes? They were symbolically representing the 12 tribes but the 12 apostles were not literally from 12 different tribes.

When they picked the 12 spies in the book of Numbers chapter 13, there was one spy from each tribe. But by the time you get to Jesus ten of the tribes had been carried off by Assyria. They were intermarried with the Assyrians—they had very much lost their identity as distinct tribes. And to this day you would be very hard-pressed to find one pure-bred person from the tribe of Manasseh, Ephraim, s--Issachar, Zebulun, Nephthali, and so forth.

So when it talks about the 12,000 from the 12 tribes, are they literally 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh or Issachar, Zebulun, so forth? I just wanna stir up your pure minds before we get in to this.

So if you look in Revelation chapter 7 verse 1 here’s where they’re first introduced. “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of the earth that the wind should not blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.” We’ve learned that the earth represents the less populated regions of the world, the sea are the multitudes of people, and trees, in Bible symbols. What is the key for that code?

Trees represent nations. Nebuchadnezzar, chapter 4 of Daniel, Babylon was symbolized by a tree. And in the book of Kings one king talks to another king and he compares himself to Lebanon, a tree of Lebanon, cedar of Lebanon.

Jesus says in Matthew 24—actually in—I think Luke 21 says it better, “Behold, the fig tree and all the trees.” And fig tree was a type of Israel. Remember when Jesus c--cursed a fig tree cause it was fruitless?—trees represent nations.

So these winds of tribulation are not to blow upon the world, the people and the nations of the world, until something happens. Oh, by the way, the angels are just about to lose their grip, friends. Something has to happen before they let go, it’s happening before your eyes, this prophecy is being fulfilled in your hearing.

“Then I saw,” Revelation 7 verse 2 and 3, “another angel ascending from the east having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice saying do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” So here we have pictured these four angels holding back the four winds of strife until the servants of God have received this special sealing. And it goes on to say, “And I heard the number of those who were sealed one hundred and forty and four thousand from all the tribes of the children of Israel.”

Now we wanna know who are the hundred and forty-four thousand. Very simply—what the 12 apostles were at the time of Jesus’ first coming, the hundred and forty-four thousand are at the time of the second coming. Some worry—Doug, are you saying, does the Bible teach that only a hundred and forty-four thousand will be saved? Because you do the math 6 billion plus people in the world our o--our odds are going down, is that right?

No! You keep reading in that chapter it says, “There’s a great multitude which no man could number.” And so at the influence of the 12 apostles who were sealed with the Holy Spirit, through their ministry, a great multitude are converted at Pentecost when God pours out the Holy Spirit. They represented a type of leadership in the last days. These hundred and forty-four thousand are like your last-day apostles.

Are they literal Jews? You read in Romans chapter 2 verse 28 and 29, “For he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; nor is circumcision, that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not the letter.”

You remember Paul said if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed. All through His ministry, Jesus, John the Baptist, they tried to say do not think that because you’re children of Abraham you have any special privileges. God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (Uh) God is no respecter of persons. A--it--the Gentiles are grafted into the stalk of Israel and the literal Jews can be cut off if they don’t bear fruit. The bottom line is: are you abiding in the vine and are you bearing fruit, amen?

So the idea that God is just gonna preach the last day message through a special race of people is totally unbiblical. They are spiritual Israelites. Will there be some literal Israelites in there? I hope so. I hope I’m one. You know what I’m saying? Of course! But if you’re not a literal Jew by blood or from one of these tribes, are you excluded? No!

Matter of fact, I’ve been trying to emphasize that if you wanna get to heaven you’ve got to become a Jew because there is a new covenant made and the new covenant is only made with the house of Israel. And if you’re gonna be saved, we’re saved under the new covenant, am I right? You show me where in the Bible a salvation covenant is made with the Gentiles. We are grafted in; we become spiritual children of Abraham, amen?

So this hundred and forty-four, now here’s where it gets exciting. Each t--the list of names that you find in Revelation chapter 7, the list of Jacob’s sons are found many places in the Bible but this is the only place in the Bible you find the list with this order. Usually it starts with Reuben, the first born, and ends with Benjamin. This is a convoluted list.

The names of each of those boys that Rachel, Leah, Zilpa, and Bilha had mean something. You read in Genesis as they were born, every time one of the boys was born the mother made a statement. And those names have meaning. For instance, when Judah was born Leah said: I will praise the Lord. Now you look at the--the Hebrew translation of what the meaning of those names are; I’ll go through ‘em quickly with you, you can find this in the Bible or in a concordance.

Judah means I’ll praise the Lord; Reuben means He’s looked on me; Gad, given good fortune; Asher, Happy am I; Naphtali, my wrestling; Manasseh, making me to forget; Simeon, God hears me; Levi, attached or joined to me, or it could even be married; Issachar, purchased me; Zebulun, dwelling; Joseph, God will add to me; Benjamin, son of His right hand.

Now what happens if you line those names up and make a statement out of them in the order that they’re given? I’ve taken the liberty of adding the words in italics, very few. This is what it would say: I would praise the Lord, for He has looked on me, and granted good fortune, I am happy, because my wrestling, God is making me to forget, God hears me and is attached to me or married to me, He has purchased me a dwelling—didn’t Jesus say I’ve gone to prepare a place for you?—He purchased it with His blood, and He will add to me the Son of His right hand. (Audience says “Amen”)

It is the story of salvation encapsulated in the very names of the hundred and forty-four thousand, isn’t that wonderful?

It goes on to say they have a special name in their foreheads. Now we’ve learned that everybody in Revelation’s got something in the forehead, right? And (uh) Babylon’s got a paragraph in her forehead and the seal of God is in the forehead of the redeemed and the mark of the beast is in the forehand or the hand of those who are lost, and what does that mean?

Exodus 13:9, remember? We found that it’s a symbol for something that’s in the mind, in the heart, or in the hand. “It shall be a sign for you on your hand, a memorial between your eyes that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth.”

What is the seal of God? This is a little review in case you’ve missed it. Isaiah 8 verse 16. Course, the first part of the seal of God is the Holy Spirit—“Grieve not the Holy Spirit where with you are seals unto the day of redemption.” Isaiah 8:16. “Seal the law among My disciples.” The law of God is written in the hearts of God’s children. That’s how you know them.

Now if you go even a--a little deeper in the law of God there is one commandment that has the elements of a seal. Any official seal has at least three components: it’ll give you the--the title, the name of the ruler, the (uh) ter--territory—title, name, and territory, those three things.

In the middle of God’s law is where you find the seal. Notice in the fourth commandment, the last of the first table—the longest of the Ten Commandments, the one--the commandment that deals with the subject of worship. What is the big issue in the last days? Revelation, those who don’t worship the beast will be killed. Why aren’t they worshiping the beast?–cause they’re worshiping the creator instead. And it is the Sabbath that identifies the Creator. This is going to be written in the hearts and the minds of His people. The seal of God is going to go to the world and then the angels are going to release their grip.

The Lord thy God, in the Sabbath commandment it says, that’s His name—the Lord, thy God, Creator, heaven and earth. This is going to the world right now. People all over the world are hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit and saying you know I want to return to the faith that was once delivered to the saints. God--God’s people around the world are yearning for real Christianity. People are weary of all of the plastic, artificial, packaged Christianity that is an imitation, it is impotent Christianity. They want the Christianity that Jesus brought, amen? It’s biblical. We’re gonna talk about that tonight—the real thing.

More about the hundred and forty-four thousand; “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number.” So there’s many thousands, millions that are saved under the influence of this group; the same way thousands were saved under the influence of the12 apostles.

“I looked and behold, a lamb standing on Mount Zion and with Him a hundred and forty-four thousand having His father’s name written on their foreheads.” The Bible says, “These are the ones who are not defiled with women for they’re virgins.” Some people used to interpret this to mean that if you wanted to be one of the hundred and forty-four thousand you had to be celibate.

Have we learned that there are two kinds of women in Revelation? Babylon, what’s she called?—a “harlot,” she’s defiled, and her daughters are harlots. The hundred and forty-four thousand are not defiled with the false teachings of that institution of the false counterfeit religions. That’s all it means, they’re pure in that way—but even more than that.

You know I love the Bible story because it talks about someone named Mary Magdalene who had a bad reputation who Christ purified and made her for spiritual purposes a virgin because her sins were washed away. She had the privilege of being the first one to see Him after the resurrection. So the Lord’s sending us a message through all this.

It goes on to say, “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Of the humans on earth what group was it that followed Jesus wherever He went? Wasn’t it the apostles? It goes on to say, “These were redeemed among men being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” Isn’t it true that the apostles were the first ones to see Jesus when He rose in the upper room? They were the first ones with that hundred and twenty to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

And don’t forget in Acts chapter 1 God doesn’t pour out the Holy Spirit until they replaced the missing apostle. They only had 11. They get back to 12 again and then He pours out the Spirit. So that’s sending us a message, isn’t it? “They wear special robes”—that’s the robe of Christ’s righteousness that was washed with His blood.

And then it tells us there “without fault.” You know we’re--we’re like Christ, what did Pilate say about Jesus? “I find no fault in Him.” They’ve been following Jesus and they said: we can tell that they’ve been with Jesus. They are without guile. Remember when Jesus pointed to Nathaniel he said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed in whom there’s no guile.” Guile means deceit, dishonesty.

So all the little keys that you find about the hundred and forty-four thousand you can also find in the lives of the apostles—they are the last-day group of leaders that God is gonna use to spread the gospel around the world—says, “They follow the Lamb wherever He goes.”

Now very simply, friends, how many of you would like to be on that sea of glass with a palm in your hand worshiping Jesus when that day comes? Wouldn’t you wanna be there? If you want to follow the Lamb wherever He goes there then you must first follow the Lamb here now. You cannot start learning how to follow the Lamb then unless you first learn how to follow Him here now.

Our lesson tonight is dealing with what it really means to love and follow Jesus—how to be a Christian not only in word but in deed. We’re gonna talk about some of the practical things in Christianity. And you know what? We’re gonna talk about living a holy life—you almost never hear that preached by your generic version of multi-media Christianity these days—godly living, avoiding worldliness, do you wanna hear the truth about those things? Will you believe the Bible?

Amazing fact—I put it a little deeper in the program today. Have you heard about Joseph Lister? You know people in the medical profession they used Joseph Lister something like the ADBC dating method people do with Jesus’ birth and death, they say, “Before and after Lister”—because in the 1860’s when Joseph Lister lived hospitals had a horrible record for loss of life through infection.

I mean now you go to a hospital and they’re the epitome of sanitation, and sterilized instruments, and rubber gloves, and air ventilation, and things being scrubbed down, that it didn’t used to be that way. In the hospitals the doctors often went from one bloody patient to the next wearing a bloody apron wiping their hands on the apron spreading infection.

In England as many as 80 percent of the women that had their babies in the hospital died or contracted infections. Home births had much higher rate of success. A lot of people who’d go for some simple procedure were killed. You know during the civil war more people died from infection, from the operating instruments, than from wounds—than from they actually wounds themselves. And often if there was a wound they thought the only hope of this person is to just cut the limb off because if you try to operate everybody seems to get killed from the infection, they did not understand the sanitation.

Lister was a deeply religious man. He read in the Bible about how God prescribed quarantine. And after somebody touched something that was dead or unclean they were to wash and separate themselves. And that, plus the works of Lewis Pasteur, he was convinced that germs were spreading. So he instituted a clinic where they practiced sanitations; the doctors had to wear clean clothes, and he was nearly laughed out of the profession, they thought he was mad. But at his clinic people are surviving.

Gradually, America and England adopted His methods and--and it became the standard. A matter of fact, they say that if his technology had been discovered ten years earlier before the civil war one third of the deaths would have been prevented. Now do you know where “Listerine” comes from? It was named after Joseph Lister—cause of its antiseptic properties.

Gonna talk about a holy living and the reason for it is to save life. Amen? First, let’s get some foundations cause I always noticed people tuning in that may have missed some--some of the foundation.

DB—Sermon Question #1: Who is the author of scripture?

Answer? Luke 24 verse 27. Jesus, when He rose from the dead, it says, “Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Christ is the author of scripture and He’s also the subject of scripture. John 5:39. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life and these are they which testify of,” who?—“Me.”

Scripture really tells us about Jesus, that’s why Christ is called the “Word.” He is the Word incarnate. E--we don’t know what Jesus looked like but He changed the world not based on His visible charisma but on what He said. Jesus could hold crowds spellbound for hours; they’d forget to eat because of the potency of what He said. He is the Word, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

So when we share the Bible with you we are sharing Jesus. Revelation is not a revelation of the beast, I told you opening night, it’s not a revelation of the antichrist, or the plagues, or Armageddon—first verse, “The revelation of Jesus Christ,” He’s revealing Himself through these truths.

DB—Sermon Question #2: Number two. What is Jesus’ attitude towards the people of the earth?

Answer? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Now wait a second, Pastor Doug, I thought that the Bible taught that we are not to love the world, here it says God so loved the world. When we talk about the world there are two senses. In one sense we’re talking about worldliness—things that are carnal and evil. In the other sense when God says He loves the world He’s talking about the people in the world, the fallen race.

DB—Sermon Question #3: Number three. Why should we love Jesus?

Well, Bible tells us that we love Him because He first loved us. And when we look at His love for us it inspires us, our hearts reciprocate. (Uh) His goodness, the goodness of God leads us to repentance. When we see how good He is, when we see how much He loves us, it breaks our hearts. We love Him because He first loved us.

You know you cannot love God if you don’t know Him. You cannot know God unless you take time to know Him. The way that you fall in love with somebody is through communication. Karen and I did not propose the first day we met. There is a period of time where she talked to me and I talked to her. And you get to know the person you become attracted to who they are and everything about them and you develop a relationship through communication.

I’ll submit to you that some of the things I’m gonna share this evening are gonna be difficult. They will be especially difficult if you don’t love Jesus. A matter of fact, they may seem outright crazy but if you love Jesus and you see it in His word you’ll embrace it because it really is His message to us.

“While we were yet sinners,” Romans 5:8, “Christ died for us.” He loved us first and then the goodness of God leads us to repentance. We see how much He loves us and it breaks our hearts. He was willing to die for us while we were His enemies.

DB—Sermon Question #4: Number four. In what respects are a successful marriage and the Christian life similar?

Answer? Jesus said Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” I’m not--I’m not suggesting that we’re to order our spouses to obey our commandments because they love us. But for a marriage to be successful there needs to be love and trust. In our relationship with Jesus we serve Him because we love Him.

You know if (uh) in the middle of the night Karen nudges me and she says: Doug, I’m thirsty. There is a hidden message there. (Audience laughs) The message is: can you get me a drink of water? I might have been asleep or, I’m not saying she’s done this recently, but because I love her I will put aside my own comfort and convenience and get her a drink of water. See, when you love someone you serve. That needs to be the attitude in the Christian life.

DB—Sermon Question #5: Number five. What does Jesus say are the results of doing the things that please Him?

Answer? “These things I’ve spoken unto you,” that you might be miserable. (Audience laughs) What does it say there in John 15 verse 11? Why does Jesus share with us?—“that your joy,” might increase or “might be full.” He wants us to have an abundant life. The things that God restricts us from are to preserve our happiness—things that are sometimes identified in the Bible as do’s and don’ts.

And you know there is a--(uh) there’s a misconception. There’s a campaign to sabotage the truth from the devil. The devil is attempting to sabotage the truth. He makes it appear like anytime you talk about any scripture that has to do with behavior you are legalistic. Is obedience legalism? When you love the Lord don’t you wanna obey Him? And this is what the rules in the Bible are. This is w--what the--the guidelines of God’s words are for our happiness. He will withhold no good thing from those that walk uprightly, “that our joy might be full.”

DB—Sermon Question #6: Number six. Why does Jesus give us some of these specific principles for Christian living?

I remember a few years ago I was (uh) working on Navajo Mission-mission yard. I was out working in the garden raking, I forget what I was doing, and Daniel, who is now 25, was 4 years old. Got him a bicycle, said: stay out of the street. But the yard all around the house was dirt, street was paved. The problem was the street right in front of our house also happened to be a four-lane highway. Stay out of the street.

One day I looked up cause I heard cars honking and my heart froze cause I saw my little boy was out there doing figure eights in the middle of this four-lane road in the middle of the traffic; cars are slowing down, honking, going around him, nobody stopped and get him out of the road—they’re in too big a hurry.

And I ran to him as fast as I could. As soon as I could dodge the cars I got out in the middle of the road and he saw me coming, he looked worried—(Audience laughs) it doesn’t surprise you he’s in the Marines today, does it?

I grabbed him with one arm and I grabbed his bike with the other. As soon as I got back on to (uh) legal ground, I threw the bike so far I don’t know if we ever found it again. (Audience laughs) I took him in the house and knelt down and said: oh, Daniel, let’s pray. And I said: oh, thank you, Jesus, that Daniel is alive so I can spank him. (Audience laughs) And boy, he--he never got in the road again. (Audience still laughing)

Now here’s the question: why did I have that rule?—to restrict his freedom, to be legalistic, or to preserve him alive?—because I love him. Just before the program John said: Doug, I got a slide for you, you might use it tonight and here’s what he gave me. See this? John and I grew up in New York City, said: Doug, get this—cause when we were kids this wasn’t there. These are rules of conduct in the New York subway. A list of, oh I don’t know, dozen rules there on how you’re supposed to behave on the subway when you’re going home from work.

Now friends, help me. If New York City, three stories underground, has rules for behavior do you think God has rules for us to behave on our way home? And yet some people think you’re legalistic when you talk about the guidelines in the Bible for godly living. I don’t think the problem’s with the guidelines. I think the problem is with our carnal hearts—we don’t want anybody telling us what to do or what not to do.

And all of us like sheep have gone astray, why? We’ve turned everyone to his own way. We wanna do our own thing. Can’t trust our hearts—human heart is desperately wicked, who can know it?

Deuteronomy 6:24. “And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes for our good always that He might preserve us alive.” And again, I Peter 2:21, “For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example that you should follow in His steps.” What is a Christian? A Christian is a follower of Christ, amen?—following His example.

Now as you go through some of the principles of holy living for a Christian the bottom line you always wanna ask is: what would Jesus do?—not what does the church allow, cause I think the standard of Christ is higher than the standard of the average church. Jesus said, “There are things that are highly esteemed among man,” and He was talking to the church when He said this, “that are an abomination to God.” You cannot vote as a denomination or a congregation about what truth is; truth is truth it doesn’t change. (Audience says “Amen”)

And if you’re ever in doubt about what to do, do the safe thing, be more like Jesus. Don’t say “But everyone in my church is doing this and I realize Christ wouldn’t but everybody”—be like Jesus and you’ll be safe. (Audience says “Amen”)

DB—Sermon Question #7: Number seven. According to Jesus how should Christians relate to the evil of the world and worldliness?

Answer? “Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Now it’s being more specific, I mean God so loved the world, He died for it.

What kind of worldliness is John talking here about? “For all that’s in the world; the lust of the flesh,” now that would be more than just the sexual passion, it could be anything that has to do with physical; it could be a physical addiction, it could be food; “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes,” covetousness, materialism, “and the pride of life,” that’s where the devil fell, “is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is gonna pass away and the lust thereof but he that does the will of God will abide for,” how long? (Audience answers “forever”)

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life; you can’t name a sin that doesn’t fall into one of those three categories in one way or the other. How many temptations came to Jesus?—three, and He overcame in the same three areas where the devil tends to tempt us. We ask that--we need to ask the Lord to sever that umbilical cord form the world that we have from our old life because when you’re born again you don’t want that attachment anymore, right? You wanna breathe a new air.

DB—Sermon Question #8: Number eight. What urgent warning does God give us in His word regarding the world?

James 4:4. “Whosoever therefore will be the friend of the world is the enemy of God.” When you’re among God’s people there should be a distinct difference—the worldliness that you typically see in society should not be present, there should be holiness among God’s people, amen?

Now everyone is welcome and this is one of the problems. In the church’s effort to make everybody feel welcome in the church, instead of the church converting the world the world has slowly been converting the church. And so there needs to be a constant effort on the part of those who follow Christ not to look at the world but to keep their eyes on Christ because you become like what you behold. And He’s our example.

II Corinthians 6 verse 17. The Bible says, “Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you.” How can you come out of the world and be separate? I mean not too many of us can afford a trip on a space shuttle. How do you come out of the world?

You know they got this spider that lives, oh they got it in Asia, South America, it’s a spider that lives under water in a bubble. And it builds its nest and hatch its young and feeds under water. Every now and then it’s got to make a trip to the top, it collects bubbles on its legs; it brings it down to keep the air supply fresh. It survives below by obtaining air from above.

For a Christian the only way you and I can survive down here in this world is by capturing the air of God’s Spirit above and bringing it down to our domain and we must do this on a regular basis or we will become asphyxiated by the world—because we’re constantly being bombarded with the messages of the world. That must be counteracted with the truth of God’s word or the world will start setting the standards for you instead of the Bible. Not the world, but the word must be our guide.

“Do not be conformed to this world,” Romans chapter 12 verse 2, “but be transformed,” this is the new birth, “by the renewing of your mind.” Did you notice? It’s a renewing. We continually must renew our minds or the tentacles of worldliness will get into our thinking again and pervert our judgment. Therefore and (uh) what we--let me see here, “That we might prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God,” we must test and prove those things.

James 4 verse 7. “Therefore, submit to God, resist the devil,” is there effort in part of the Christian to resist the devil? Is it always easy? Can you resist the devil before you submit to God? Don’t forget, friends, if you’re struggling and resisting the devil, the first step is submitting to God. Get on your knees, give yourself to God afresh. Take up your cross.

You know the--the secret to living a victorious Christian life is a death. We take up our cross and we follow Christ and we are crucified with Christ. We bury the old nature. The Bible tells us in Romans chapter 6, “He that is dead is freed from sin.” I’ve never seen a dead person tempted. I have never--I’ve done a lot of funerals, I’ve heard people give testimonies at the funerals, I’ve never heard the corpse complain about anything that was said. They don’t feel slighted, they’re dead.

And if that old selfish, carnal nature is dead, then living a Christian life, Paul said, “I die daily,” he said, “it’s not I anymore Christ lives in me.” That’s what it means to be a born-again Christian. I’m not living for myself anymore. And as soon as someone starts to chafe under the teachings of Jesus in the Bible you have to wonder, ahh they’re not completely dead yet, that old nature is trying to gain the supremacy.

DB—Sermon Question #9: Number nine. Why do we need to guard our thoughts for instance?

II Corinthians 10 verse 5, “Bringing every thought into the captivity to the obedience of Christ.” And again, Proverbs 23 verse 7, “For as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” You are the sum total of what you think. What you think is who you are. Can our thoughts be influenced by the choices we make?

Sin generally begins with an attitude before you have the action. Jesus said adultery starts with an attitude before the action. And it is possible to think, to sin in our thinking. We need to ask the Lord to renew our minds. And once your mind is renewed by the Holy Spirit everything else begins to change. (Audience says “Amen”)

DB—Sermon Question #10: Number ten. What are some principles for Christian living?

Let’s be specific. Philippians chapter 4 verse 8, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,” very simply, “think on these things.” We need to be thinking about the things that are pure, and noble, and lovely, and holy, and good—and yet you know very well that we’re surrounded with a lot of things that don’t meet that criteria.

Now I’m not gonna leave any stone unturned tonight. I’ve got you here, I wanna be faithful, don’t want your blood on my hands. I’m gonna tell you the truth; you want me to tell you the truth, right?

Can the kind of music we listen to affect our thinking? (Audience answers “Yes”) Is there, hey let’s get a camera shot. I want an audience shot, (uh) show of hands. How many here would agree that there is some music that is--diabolical music a Christian shouldn’t listen to? Everybody agree with that? Ah, I just wondered. That’s—yeah, I thought--you all agree.

Now if I was to interview each one of you separately it would be amazing where you all draw the lines and how differently you draw those lines. We’re inclined to think that there’s a lot of evil music out there in the world, it’s of the devil. But God likes the music I like. Well, I’ll make a confession to you there’s some music that I like that I know it’s not holy music, it’s not good. It appeals to the carnal side of my nature I’ve got just like you.

And I see what it does to me and it doesn’t make me wanna be like Christ. It can put you in a melancholy mood, it can arouse the wrong thoughts in your mind—I’m not even talking about the words yet. I mean we should all, hopefully, know that if the song is saying: if loving you is wrong I don’t wanna be right, (Audience laughs) if you can’t be—love the one you’re with or live, what is--how is that go? Can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with? (Audience laughs) I mean can any Christian sing that in good conscience? I mean just some of the words, they’re really easy to decipher.

But the music is very powerful and that’s why the media goes to great expense when they have 15 or 30 seconds to advertise some product to pick the music that will put that repetitive message in your mind. And all of a sudden you’ll find yourself just you know, Pepsi’s the real thing, and you’re just doing it over and over again because, and you don’t even drink Pepsi but you keep singing that song, because music plants messages in your mind. And there’s a lot of music in the world that is diabolical that a Christian shouldn’t have anything to do with.

And I would hope that some of you know that (uh) a lot of this popular pop and rock music, all you gotta do is look at some of the proponents; the way they dress and act and their lives ought to tell you something.

Can the same tree bring forth sweet water and bitter? And some of these folks their lives are so convoluted I don’t know why anyone would listen to their music. But even beyond that it must meet the test of is it uplifting, does it make me wanna be like Jesus?

The Bible tells us in Psalms 40 verse 3, “He has put a new song in my mouth even praise unto our God.” So certainly, we know music that praises God is appropriate, amen? And again, Ephesians 5:19: “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns,” and what kinds of songs?—spiritual songs, songs that inspire your spirit to be like Christ, that encourage, that ennoble—“singing and making melody in your hearts unto the Lord.”

I love music. I grew up; my mother, self-taught, she could sing. My grandfather could sing. Any of you remember the Gong Show? My grandfather won on the Gong Show—(Audience laughs) takes a lot of guts to even go on the Gong Show—and he won, 65 years old, singing. He used to sing Vaudeville. My mother could sing, she taught us all play the guitar, play the piano, wrote songs, (uh) we grew up with music all around our family.

Some of the great music—my mother used to write for Broadway—and a lot of the great composers, Tony Award winners; were in our house writing with mom. And (uh) some of that music is thrilling music but then they ruined it with the words.

And then I’ve heard some of what is called Christian rock, where there will be some message— usually, it’s one short message they say over and over again. (Audience laughs) And then they put, in my opinion, worldly music to it. They say: we’re trying to create a bridge for the young people to come from the world into the church. Problem is the bridge goes both ways and people in the church develop an appetite for the music of the world. And (uh) that’s one of the dangers with the compromise.

Bible tells a story where King Saul was struggling with demonic depression and he called for David to strum on his harp; his electric harp—no, it doesn’t say that. (Audience laughs) And when David would play it says, “And when it came to pass when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul,” what that means is God allowed this evil spirit to come cause he had rejected the Lord, “that David took a harp and he played with his hand so Saul was refreshed and was well and the evil spirit departed from him.”

So we know that the power of good music can evict evil spirits. Would it stand a reason that there’s also a music that can invite them? And a lot of the music that you hear on the typical radio station—when I get into a rental car one of the first things I do is I--ther--there’s two or three Christian stations you can find almost anywhere in the country, and (uh) I surf among the radio stations and I try to preset my car radio for a couple of appropriate Christian stations so I can listen to sermons cause I wanna feed my soul all the time.

Sometimes I listen to preachers, they may not be of my faith, they got some good things to say, you eat the melon you spit out the seeds, right? (Audience laughs) And then you also want to (uh) you know listen to some music sometimes it might be soothing while you’re thinking. But just finding those stations you press scan and man, (Audience laughs) I tell you, you know some of ‘em, just for the two seconds it’s scanning the station—I look around in my car and I think I hope nobody heard me listening to that. (Audience laughs)

And you know for those of you who are thinking, right on, Brother Doug, you tell them about that evil rock and roll music. It’s of the devil, them hippies. (Audience laughs) Country music’s from the Lord, right? (Audience laughs) That’s what—yeah, there’s those out there.

But the country music, I hear that too, and it’s all kind’a pitiful you know—she left me and run off with him and--and cat’s pregnant, (Audience laughs) the crops are in, (Laughs) just yeah y--you know it’s so obvious just what does it do to your spirit?

Now if you’re wanting Pastor Doug to say this is good music and that’s a bad music, it’s a principle. What does it do? Does it arouse the lower nature or does it elevate you spiritually? And you know I can’t leave the subject of music without talking about dancing because so often the two go together.

Some are gonna ask, we usually get a question I’m surprised I haven’t had one yet. Pastor Doug, is there anything wrong with dancing? Not if you wanna dance like David danced—by himself before the ark, or if you want to dance like Miriam danced when they were liberated and they came out of the Red Sea and she and the women went and danced together. But the typical dancing that’s done in society today is not the men with the men, or the women with the women, unless you’re in San Francisco. (Audience laughs) I was born in California I can say that if I want to. (Audience still laughing)

But it’s--it’s typically very sexually suggestive, am I right? And what is the test for everything? What would Jesus do? Be honest, friends, can you see Jesus in the typical dance hall? And isn’t there usually drinking that goes on there, too? And the more they drink the dumber they dance? (Audience laughs) And they’re wiggling and gyrating specific parts of their anatomy that are calculated to arouse the opposite sex, am I right? (Audience says “Amen”)

Yeah, and if you were to tell them okay you can dance but men you have to dance by yourselves—they’d lose interest. A lot of the dancing that you see taking place, the majority of the dancing that you see taking place typically in America is like mating rituals, isn’t that right? Yeah, it’s exactly right.

Now I was gonna read a verse and I don’t see it in the screen, oh: “He that says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked.” What would Jesus do? That’s our test. I Peter chapter 1 verse 15. “But as He who called you is holy, so also be holy in all of your conduct.” Can you picture Jesus in that environment? Some are gonna say, well I dance for exercise. Okay, do it by yourself. And then I get questions; is it wrong for a husband and wife to dance together? No, just don’t let the kids see (Audience laughs) cause--just stay by yourselves.

Now (uh) I think that they--is the Bible our standard? (Audience answers “Yes”) The dance of victory, the Hebrew dance that you saw was typically, it was a folk dance; the closest equivalent we’ve got is like the American square dance, except even then you’ve got the men and the women. But in--in the Hebrew dance, go to Hebrew wedding, you’ll see the men dance together and the women dance together in an Orthodox wedding and it’s kind’a like a celebratory dance, it has nothing to do with the sexually suggestive, syncopated kind of stuff that is really diabolical.

“Lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes;” what about the materialism in our world? “He that makes haste to be rich shall not be innocent.” Proverbs 28 verse 20. Get rich quick. And so many are thinking that happiness consist in the abundance of things they possess. But what does Jesus say? That’s not what brings happiness, friends. Happiness comes from a love relationship with the Lord. The love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

I told you the night when I shared my testimony, when my father died his estate was worth about half a billion dollars and he died without a single family member present, and as far as I know, very unhappy, very empty. Money doesn’t bring happiness; and the idea in the world that if I could just go shopping one more time then I’d be happy.

Every now and then Nathan wants me to go to the store, we go to the toy store and he says: oh, Dad, if I could just have this transformer gizmo then I’d really be happy. (Audience laughs) It’s usually broken before 24 hours goes by.

II Thessalonians 3:10. “This, we command you that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” I am always grieved. There’s a pastor, when I see our church members getting caught up in this get-rich-quick schemes and usually the only one who gets rich is the person who sold you on the scheme. He’s got you out selling their soap or whatever their products have to be. And (uh) friends, you gotta be careful. So many--or they go gambling hoping to get their money.

DB—Sermon Question #11: Number 11. What clear cut list does Jesus give us that we could use as a guide for watching television?

Psalm 101 verse 3. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” They got all this reality television these days. It’s like people don’t have enough misery in their own lives they’ve got to buy in everyone else’s misery. (Audience laughs) Or they don’t think they have enough romance so they watch the Bachelorette and the Bachelor. There’s only one reality program like that you should watch it’s called, “The Pastor Batchelor.” (Audience laughs) (Audience clapping)

I’m sorry, huh. (Laughs) (People still clapping) I couldn’t let that one go. Isaiah 33 verse 15. “He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly; who stops his ears from hearing bloodshed and shuts his eyes from seeing evil”—that’s the criteria. Are we shutting our eyes from seeing evil or are we deliberately putting those things in our mind and thinking that we as Christians our spirits are immune. It just doesn’t work that way, friends. You cannot bathe in filth without getting dirty.

By the age of 18—I did this study, the average child in America will have seen 200,000 violent acts on television including 40,000 mur--murders according to Thomas Radecki, Research Director for the National Coalition on Television Violence. The average 2-11 year old watches up to 25 hours a week. So where do you think the principal information, the standards, the values, the morals are coming from? They’re coming from that one-eyed monster that most of us have. And if you can’t control your television better that you cut off a hand, a foot, pluck out an eye, even if it’s the one-eyed monster, than lose your soul.

Romans 1:32. “Who knowing the judgment of God that they that commit su--such things are worthy of death not only do the same but have pleasure in them that do them.” So there’s a lot of people who are entertained everyday on television they say: I would never commit adultery, I would never steal, I would never lie—but they participate vicariously in being entertained by those who are doing those things. And so it’s--they’re sinning by proxy is what they’re doing. And it’s an illusion, the devil’s got a lot of people thinking we’ll they’re not doing it they’re just enjoying watching other people do it.

Edward Gibbon in his book, “The Fall of the Roman Empire,” said how the people’s preoccupation with violent entertainment was one of the characteristics that (uh) precipitated the fall of Rome. And now America, something like the second Babylon, is following in the same footsteps—entertained, and the--the television sponsors know they got to keep pushing the envelope to get people to watch, am I right? “I made a covenant with my eyes then why I should I look upon a young woman,” Job said. Got to guard what we look at.

DB—Sermon Question #12: Number 12. What does the Bible say about those who make independent decisions?

And I don’t need the Lord to guide me I can do it on my own without input from Jesus’ word. “There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof are the ways of,” what?—“death.” “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes but he that hearkens unto counsel is wise.” And again, “He that trusts in his own heart is a,” what? (Audience answers “A fool”) Where should we get our information?—from our own feelings, our hearts, or the counsel of God’s word?

DB—Sermon Question #13: What solemn warning does Jesus give us in His word regarding our example and the influence of our lives?

“But whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believes in Me; it would have been better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he’d be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Our decisions that we make are going to influence others. And that’s one reason that we need to pray, that God will help us be a good example.

Again, “Let no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s away.” There might be some s--some things that I personally don’t have a conviction about but I avoid because I don’t want to cause anyone else to stumble. Out of love for my brother if it’s not necessary let it go. None of us lives unto himself. No man is an island. We need to follow Jesus because of our example as well.

DB—Sermon Question #14: Number 14. What are some of Jesus’ principles of conduct regarding clothing and jewelry?

(Laughs) Now I need to ask you one more time, friends, have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? (Audience laughs) How many of you want me to tell you the truth? In Revelation you’ve got two women—one represents Babylon and her daughters, the religion of the world, and one represents God’s church. They neither speak. We know who they are by what they wear. One is clothed with sun, moon, and stars—the light of God. The other one is clothed with worldly adornment—gold and purple and scarlet and pearls.

And that ought to tell you something right there. Can you tell something about what’s on the inside of a person based on what they put on the outside? Sometimes you can. The Bible says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, not with broidered hair,” that means weaving gold and chains in your hair, “or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” It’s not to be.

Now, when God says not, what is not mean? When He said you’re not to eat from that forbidden fruit does He mean not too much? Or did He say not. (Uh) You’ll notice, my wife and I, we don’t wear any jewelry. My brother gave me a gold Rolex watch, this is not it—this is 19 dollars Casio. (Audience laughs) It tells time just as well as the Rolex, did you know that?

A few years ago a bunch of televangelists got into trouble. And you know the media had a blast making fun of them, you know why? Because here they were begging for money and they’re ostentatious-dressed—of the--hands covered with rings and Rolex watches and the wives you know the story. I told Karen we need to get our platinum wigs on and false eyelashes. (Audience laughs) And--and it became a--a byword. Christians were mocked by the world because they said they’re claiming to follow Jesus and just look at ‘em, just look at ‘em. Someone wrote a song: “Would Jesus wear a Rolex?” to mock the Christians. “Not with gold, or pearls, or costly array.”

Again, whose adorning, I Peter chapter 3 verse 3: “Let it not be the outward adorning, the plaiting of a hair, the wearing of gold and putting on apparel, but let it be the hidden man of the heart even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which in the sight of God is of great price.” He’s saying don’t let it be on the outside, the gold should be on the inside. (Audience says “Amen”)

And it’s been my observation that the more gold a man and a woman has on the inside, the less need they feel for anything on the outside. We want to have the gold of God’s spirit. “Don’t you know your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit”? Where was the gold in God’s temple, outside or inside? It’s on the inside. That’s what gives us worth with God.

In the world we might wanna impress people with our worth by what’s on the outside but God says man looks on the outside I’m looking on the heart. Christians should be—they should dress clean, they should dress modest, and I think we should avoid all artificial ornamentation. It’s a question about making our brothers stumble, love for the Lord.

Few more scriptures, Isaiah chapter 3 verse 18. “In that day when the Lord takes away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, and the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the head bands, and the tablets, and the earrings.” I--any “amens” anywhere? (Audience says “Amen”) And (uh) nose jewels—few years ago that would not have been the situation in North America, I--of course, I saw a lot of that in India and other parts of the world, but now it’s not just the man either, is it?

Listen to what John Wesley said about this. I agree with him. “I exhort you to wear no gold or pearls or precious stones. I do not advise women (no men did it back then so he was just talking to the women. Now it’s for everybody, right?) to wear rings, earrings, or necklaces. It is true that these are little, very little things, therefore, they are not worth defending.”

How many times I heard someone say, Oh Pastor, it’s just a little thing. If it’s such a little thing then let it go. It’s not a little thing, is it?

“Therefore, give them up, let them drop, throw them away without another word, else a little evil,” he calls it, “may cause us much pain in the flesh, a little self-indulgence may hurt your soul.” Not the outward adorning—we’re gonna walk on that stuff when we get to the kingdom, amen? (Audience says “Amen”)

Now would we all agree you can go too far? (Audience laughs) Is it just me? (Audience laughs) Now I--look at you, you all went—trust me, that’s special effects. (Audience laughs) But doesn’t it bother you? Don--don’t you think that’s defiling to do that to a baby? How many would agree? Why? If it’s okay it’s okay.

You and I know that God made us with the right number of holes. (Audience laughs) And as soon as you see a perfect baby and someone starts to mutilate the baby it’s like what you do to a rose, you’re trying to hang paper, or what do you call it, safety pins off a petal, or something like that.

Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. If you saw somebody going up to God’s temple and taking a jack hammer to it and pounding holes in the holy marble—your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He gave you the right number of holes in the beginning you’re not supposed to add to that or diminish from it, right?

And you know the bottom line is whenever you’re in doubt—I know I’m not gonna stand before the Lord in the judgment, Jesus isn’t gonna say to me; Doug, I’d love to let you in but you didn’t wear enough jewelry. I’m not worried about it. It’s not a problem for me. I’m not boasting. I’m just saying it’s not an issue cause you don’t need it.

Oh, Pastor Doug, are you saying that anyone that wears jewelry is not going to heaven? No, not at all! There’ll be a lot of people in heaven that wear jewelry. But if I start to wear it I won’t be there because I know better and it makes people stumble. Some people don’t know where to draw the line so the best thing to do is don’t do it. (Audience says “Amen”)

Now what I’m teaching you is not new it’s very old but you don’t hear it anymore. And you know what the result is? As soon as you get a hole in the dam, the dam breaks and then pretty soon anything goes. Am I right? This is not special effects. Is it just me or has it gone crazy? That’s why Christians ought to just let it go.

Jesus said, Luke 16, “You are among those who justify yourselves before men but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among man is an abomination with God.” Two kinds of women, two kinds of churches—one that is clothed with light, does Jesus say wear the cross or to bear the cross? Does He say let your jewelries so shine before men or let your light shine before man? It should be the light on the inside, friends.

Oh, you know I’m running out of time for this. I got scriptures where God told Jacob and his family to take it off. He told the children of Israel—you know what they made the golden calf out of? They made it out of their earrings. They broke off—not just their daughters, they’re sons, and their daughters, they could do that. They made a little golden calf. You could pass the plate in the average church today you can make a whole buffalo, (Audience laughs) right?

DB—Sermon Question #15: Number 15. How do conduct and obedience relate to salvation?

We keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight because what?—because we love Him, because we wanna please Him. Whatever you do, whatever you eat whatever you drink, whatever you watch, whatever you listen to, whatever you wear, present your body a living sacrifice. You have been bought with a price.

The Bible says, “Be ye therefore holy for I Am holy.” That’s New Testament, you believe that? God is calling us to be holy. He wants us to reflect Him. We don’t just accept salvation and go the way of the world. Jesus wants us to be new creatures—old things are passed away all things are made new. Would you like to make Him, have Him make you (Background music starts) a new creature? Amen?

Do you love Him now, friends? What is the reason to obey Him?—because we love Him, because He first loved us.

Loving Lord, thank you for that love that transforms our hearts; make us new creatures, cut everything that ties us to this world that would prevent us from reflecting Jesus and from the joy and the abundant life that you came to give us. We pray that you’ll break every chain. Help us to lay aside every weight and fix our eyes on our Savior, in His name we ask, amen.

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Lessons from Job (5 Part Series)

Lessons from Job (5 Part Series)
God's Promises




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