The S.S. Sultana

The S.S. Sultana

Date: 06/05/2011 
The war was over and The S.S. Sultana was loaded with soldiers heading home. The ponderous ship was severely overloaded with soldiers, with recently liberated POWs anxious to see their families.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact? The war was over and The S.S. Sultana was loaded with soldiers heading home. The ponderous ship was severely overloaded with soldiers, with recently liberated POWs anxious to see their families. Even though the Sultana had a legal capacity to carry only 376, there were over 2000 troops, crew and civilians crammed on the sagging decks. With six times more passengers than she had been designed to carry, there was no room to sleep and barely room for standing. The vessel could scarcely have carried another human being.

To make matters worse the Sultana had been neglecting proper maintenance. These ominous factors all came together during the homeward journey. At two in the morning there was a terrific fiery explosion that sent hundreds of sleeping soldiers flying into the cold, rough water while destroying a good portion of the ship. Three men were blown clear off the ship with a big piece of the afterdeck under them. Deck and men landed in the water 75 feet from the doomed vessel.

For days men clung to the floating wreckage until rescue ships could be sent, most were not so fortunate. Hot coals scattered by the blast soon turned the remaining structure into a floating hellish inferno. Many had to choose between burning on the ship or drowning in the cold water. When it was over an estimated one thousand seven hundred of the original two thousand three hundred passengers perished and many of the others were badly wounded. In fact, more people died in the Sultana disaster than the infamous Titanic sinking.

The sinking of the Sultana might be listed as one of the greatest ocean disasters, except the Sultana never went to sea it sank in the Mississippi nine miles from Memphis and only one hundred and fifty yards from land. In fact, news of this terrible steamboat tragedy was relegated to the newspapers back pages. Why? It all had to do with timing. It was April 27, 1865. The War Between the States was just ending. The recent assassination of Abraham Lincoln and killing of John Wilkes Booth filled the papers. With more than 600 thousand dead the five year Civil War was by far America’s bloodiest. The nation surrounded by violence had become desensitized to death. Seventeen hundred more dead didn’t seem like front page news.

Could it happen again that we become numb to violence? Stay with us friends as Amazing Facts brings you more on this edition of “Bible Answers Live.”

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. This is a live, international, interactive Bible study. And we invite you to call in with your Bible questions looks like about fifty percent of our lines are still open and clear. So if call in now, good chance you’ll get your question on tonight’s broadcast.

If you have a Bible question call 1-800-463-7297. Get a pencil, I’ll tell you the quick acronym is 1-800-GOD-SAYS that will translate into 800-463-7297 and my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jean Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Good evening listening friends. Pastor Doug let’s begin the program with prayer, “Father, once again we thank You for this opportunity that we have to study your word. We do ask for You to be with us. Give us wisdom and understanding and guide us into a fuller and deeper understanding of Your word. For we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jean Ross: Pastor you opened the program by talking about a terrible disaster that hardly got any attention. Of course you spoke about the timing of this more than one thousand seven hundred lives lost and yet, there was so much other news to report. So much violence in the land at that point and time, that this terrible tragedy was hardly mentioned.

Pastor Doug: The close of the civil war and of course that was the bloodiest war for North America. They had frequent battles where tens of thousands died in a day. And the nation was numb with the violence and the carnage of the war not to mention the hundreds of thousands that died from disease, connected with malaria or the wounds from the war.

And so with the assassination of the President and the subsequent killing of the assassin the front pages were just one more disaster with one thousand seven hundred people. It seemed almost insignificant. So when people hear about the scope of the Sultana disaster, more people lost than the Titanic they’re surprised that it hasn’t had a more prominent role in history.

But, the key is that people had been so overexposed to violence, they sort of became numb to it and unfeeling. And, you know, that can happen again, you know, the Lord tells us in His word if you read right back there in the first book, Genesis chapter 6:11, “The earth was also corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence. So then God looked upon the earth and indeed it was corrupt for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth and God said to Noah, the end of all flesh has come before Me for the earth is filled with violence through them. And behold I will destroy the earth.” And of course He gave him the instructions for the ark. Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be”—and the days of Lot as well—“when the Son of man comes back.”

And conditions would be similar and we see so much violence today, not only are there wars in different parts of the world, but people are really being entertained by violence. That’s one thing they say brought around the fall of Rome is just the carnage in the Coliseum. We get the word carnival there was so much bloodshed for entertainment.

And if you look at the regular fair of the American TV program or video so much of it has to do with law and murder and violence and you know parents murdering their children. And the news is full of it! The danger of it is that loving humans can really cease to care and appreciate the value of a life. And the Gospel is all about saving people’s lives.

So we have a lesson, we have a study guide that we’re going to give away tonight Pastor Ross that talks about the days just before Noah and Lot and the days just before Jesus comes back. What that will look like.

Pastor Jean Ross: Pastor that—we have a book entitled “The Last Night on Earth” and it describes events connected with the second coming of Christ. We can see these signs being fulfilled all around us today.

If you would like to receive a free copy of this book, call us on our resource line. The number is 800-835-6747, that number, again is 800-835-6747 and ask for the book “The Last Night on Earth”. We’ll be happy to send that out. Alright we’re going to go to the phone lines we have Pete who is calling from Ohio. Pete, welcome to the program.

Pete: Thank you for accepting my call.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely, how can we help you tonight?

Pete: Is this Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Pete: Well, in the first chapter of Zephaniah there seems to be a prophecy here which I think very few people understand. When I read it, it seems to describe 911. 1 Zephaniah chapter 14: “The great day of the Lord is near and hastening fast, you know that sets the time period in our time. The sound of the Lord’s name is bitter the muddy men cry aloud there, the day of wrath is that day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet blast and battle cry against the high towers,” according to the King James Bible.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pete: Now to you does that sound like 911?

Pastor Doug: Well a lot of people because of 911 of course the World Trade Center was referred to as the twin towers. They saw this—you know people began to scour the Bible and they’d type in words and they’d do a search. Every city back in the days of Zephaniah and Israel all the fortified cities had watch towers. And people would fight from these towers.

You’ve probably seen castles with their towers where the archers would shoot and it gave a strategic advantage. And when the towers fell, Jesus even refers to towers falling in His day that killed eighteen men. When the towers fell, it meant the city fell. And so this is common language, I’d be careful not to—really there was a war back then, there was fire and there was smoke and trumpets blowing and so he’s describing what could have been a hundred battles, back in Biblical times and it actually was a clear day when 911 happened.

Pete: But, the 14th verse here it talks about the Great day of the Lord is near.

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe that.

Pete: In our day?

Pastor Doug: Yes in our day.

Pastor Ross: You know when you look at the Old Testament prophecies that speak about war and destruction. There were judgments that came upon Israel at various times. But, in these judgments we can see a foreshadowing of the final judgment that precedes the second coming of Christ and what happened here in the Old Testament can be viewed on a far smaller scale than what’s going to happen when Christ comes. These prophecies will have a dramatic fulfillment, I believe, once again as we begin to see these final things unfold.

Pastor Doug: The prophecies of Zephaniah, Joel, and Zachariah they’re often talking about not only some battles that came with the fall of Jerusalem, or other local battles, but they are looking toward the ultimate final Day of the Lord. And so I think there can be a dual prophecy here, Pete, so.

We are certainly living in the last days, no question about that. But, the Day of the Lord the ultimate Day of the Lord, the final Day of Judgment is nearby.

Pastor Ross: Alright, thank you for your call, Pete. Next caller is Jacob and he’s listening on the internet from Texas. Jacob, you’re on the air.

Jacob: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi and your question tonight?

Jacob: Hi and I first wanted to say that I appreciate Bible Answers Live and Amazing Facts Ministries and you’ve got Pastor John Ross on I ‘ve been to many of your meetings in Texas and I listen to Amazing Facts all the time.

Pastor Doug: Well bless your heart. Did you go to our meetings in Fort Worth a couple of years ago?

Jacob: The old five revives?

Pastor Doug: Well yes, there was that.

Jacob: And I’ve been to the Amazing Adventures, too.

Pastor Doug: Good. Well we appreciate that and your question Jacob?

Jacob: My question was in the last days will there be those who go through and they don’t submit to the Sunday law and they go through all these tribulation and all of that? And they think that they are saved, but they really aren’t saved and their heart wasn’t right and so that’s my question?

Pastor Doug: Yeah Jesus tells us in Matthew, oh is it, chapter 7, where he says and many will come to me in that day saying, “Lord, Lord and did we not prophesy in Your streets and did we not do many wonderful works?” And He’ll profess, “I never knew you who work iniquity.” So there’s no question that there will be many when the Lord comes who thought that they were saved, Christ talks about those who think they’re going to be saved and sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but instead they are in outer darkness and they’re shocked by this and they don’t have the wedding garment. And so we need to know we have a genuine relationship with the Lord and it’s not just hypocritical or superficial.

Jacob: Okay, I’ve heard that text many times, I never really thought of it in that way. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: You’re welcome, yeah and I was just typing in the verse I was thinking about is Matthew chapter 27: 21-22. “Not everyone that says to me Lord, Lord for many will come to me that day, saying Lord, Lord.” And He’ll declare He doesn’t know them.

Appreciate your question, Jacob and if you call that number we will send you that free offer that we’re making available tonight “The Last Night on Earth”.

Pastor Ross: To receive that call our resource line it is 1-800-835-6747 and you can ask for the book, “Last Day on Earth” and we’ll be happy to send that out.

We’ve got Robert listening on the internet from California. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Good evening gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Good evening.

Robert: My question is this I thought I heard a sermon online and the gentleman said that in the Bible throughout the Bible when they mention counting the people, like Jesus said 5000 people and so forth, it is never symbolic it is always a literal counting of people is that correct or is there some example where you can tell me where there’s a symbolic count?

Pastor Doug: Well, the numbers were real numbers, sometimes I think the disciples made an estimate for instance when Jesus said there is 5000 were men, not counting women and children. I don’t think they went around with a pencil and a paper and had everyone register and came to exactly 5000. I think 5000 was an educated guess of how many people were there those days. Now those numbers in the Bible also have an additional spiritual meaning, but they’re real numbers. And Jacob really did have twelve sons and Jesus did have twelve apostles, but the number twelve also has a spiritual meaning of the church.

Robert: Well the reason I’ m asking that is because when in Revelations when they speak about the 144,000, he was mentioning that is a literal number. Now are you of that opinion or do you think that is symbolic?

Pastor Doug: Well I don’t have a problem with it being literal let me put it that way. And here’s the reason Robert. When you look at the numbers in Revelation, all of the numbers have a real value to them. For instance when it says that there are twelve foundations to the New Jerusalem well scholars look at that and they have not reason not to believe that there are twelve because it lists twelve different minerals in the foundation.

So if we really believe as streets of gold and gates of pearl, why would we doubt that there are twelve different foundations and twelve fruits of life? So the 144,000 they are really like the last day apostles. It’s not 12,000 trying to reach Israel what are twelve times 12,000 reaching the world in the last days? There’s no problem with it being a real number.

You know the names in Revelation are often symbolic, but the numbers have real value. You know I have a book on the 144,000. I’ll send you a free copy if you like.

Robert: Sure.

Pastor Doug: And it goes into the reasoning for the number and the specific reason for it.

Pastor Ross: Let me give you that number to call Robert. That number is 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book, “Understanding the 144,000” and it is also called “Who Will Sing the Song?”

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pastor Ross: So ask for the book, “Who Will Sing the Song?” on understanding the 144,000 and we’ll be able to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug: Yeah I just want to make it clear if Robert is still listening that I don’t have a burden. I am not going to die on that mountain wondering if that number is literal or spiritual. When I read the Bible and other inspired literature I just I don’t want to spiritualize what God could mean literally and there is no reason not to accept literally.

So anyway that was it.

Pastor Ross: Alright, we have Veronica who is listening from Detroit, Michigan. Veronica, welcome to the program.

Veronica: Hi and thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Umm-hmm. Glad you’re there.

Veronica: My question comes from 1 Corinthians 11: where Paul is speaking to I guess the Corinthians and he says that every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered, dishonors her head. And I was wondering what that means and if that still applies today?

Pastor Doug: Well I believe the Scriptures quoted here are applicable cross time. Some things that they dealt with in the Bible were local traditions. And just to give you context of what’s happening. Paul says things to the Corinthians he doesn’t say to anybody else. The Corinthian Church was a very unique church that had some unique challenges. And a lot of the converts in the Corinthian Church were slaves from all over the Roman Empire that spoke different languages with different customs that came together and brought a lot of that into the church. And it took quite a bit of instruction for Paul to really help them understand the fundamentals of Biblical Christianity.

In Rome women who were prostitutes would often dress a certain way that would advertise that and some of were coming into the church looking like that. And Paul was saying you know they ought to manifest the local custom of propriety and humility with their hair. And it also represented a submission to the husband.

Pastor Ross: Yeah I think that’s the point that we can take from this there are different customs you know Pastor Doug, both of us has spent some time in the Orient, India and so on. And when you go to church there, you want to take your shoes off when you go inside of the building it’s a sign of respect.

Often you would have men covering their head in some cultures to show some sign of respect, but in our culture when a man goes into a church, he’ll remove his hat and that’s the sign of respect. So based upon their culture, Paul is admonishing them that in that culture there’d be respect when one enters into church and prays.

Pastor Doug: Now when you went to church in India last time I think you have been there since me, were the women still sitting in different places than men?

Pastor Ross: They do.

Pastor Doug: Do men typically cover their heads?

Pastor Ross: They do. Yeah they do and all their shoes all piled up at the door when you come in.

Pastor Doug: So when we go there, we follow their custom out of a sense of respect.

Veronica: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you’ve got to be careful what you do with your left hand in India because your right hand at a dinner if you reach with your left hand for food, you might get it slapped with a cane or something. I don’t know if it’s still that bad. It used to be that way.

So you want to respect the customs of what’s considered good taste and honorable. You know one other thing about this you want to be careful biblically because it says you don’t build a doctrine unless you’ve got two or three witnesses. In other words, you compare two or three Scriptures to build a case.

This is really the only passage when it talks about women covering their heads when they prophesy or pray and public. Certainly if anyone feels convicted of this, we have no burden to change their mind, but you want to be careful about building doctrine with one verse that could be misunderstood standing by itself.

Matter of fact later in this verse it uses the word tradition, doesn’t it? In 1 Corinthians chapter 11 it says, “If anyone wants to contest this, we have no other custom.” Is that’s what I am looking for. Ah, yeah, there it is in 1 Corinthians 11:17 “If any man seems to be contentious we have no custom neither does the church or God.” So the very fact that the word custom is used with this issue, tells you something.

Veronica: Okay that makes sense.

Pastor Doug: We always like to have a happy customer we appreciate that Veronica and you know we need to write a book on that we get that question about once a month.

Pastor Ross: We do. Now Pastor Doug you talking about the book you wrote talking about the woman in ministry, I don’t know if it deals with that?

Pastor Doug: Well some of the principles are there as a matter of fact we can recommend that to Veronica and send her a free copy.

Pastor Ross: Veronica, if you would you can call our resource line at 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book “Woman in Ministry” it was just published about a month ago. Is it a year? Okay and we’ll be happy to send that to you. That’s 1-800-835-6747.

We’ve got Gregory who is listening on WMCA from New York, New York, Gregory, welcome to the program.

Gregory: Good evening, thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Good evening.

Gregory: This is my question. Do angels have free will? And if they do, do they continue to act outside of God’s will as Satan did?

Pastor Doug: Well my first thought is that angels do have a free will. And you can look in Jude chapter—well there’s only 1 chapter--Jude 1:6. “The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He’s reserved everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the Great Day. So angels are going to punished. If angels have no free will, and God is going to punish them for making a bad decision, there would be a problem there because that would mean He is punishing them for doing something they had no choice in. Do you see what I’m saying?

Gregory: Yes.

Pastor Doug: So the angels were able to choose and one third of them chose to follow Lucifer and his rebellion, and two thirds remained loyal to God. So I do think angels have free choice and that’s why they’re accountable to be punished.

Gregory: Alright and if they have free will do you think they still trespass against God’s will or what?

Pastor Doug: Well the fallen angels they’re kind of in auto pilot of their rebellion, they have grieved away the Holy Spirit. Satan and the fallen angels have gone beyond redemption. They was a time probably when Lucifer when they first rebelled he may have found mercy of he had repented, but they have gone past that point.

The Bible says that Satan knows his time is short, they know they’re doomed. And whenever Jesus would cast out a devil the demons would say, “Have you come to judge us before the time?” They knew their time is coming. So, but the fallen angels are still constantly sinning and rebelling. The good ones I think are probably sealed in their decision.

Gregory: Well okay that’s more or less what I wanted to hear was that, I mean, I guess because of the sate of Satan and his hordes that they see that and as they say, that’s not the way to go.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I think they see what the result of Lucifer’s rebellion is and they decided they’re not going to make the same mistake exactly. You know I was looking to see if we had a book that dealt with the angels. We do have “The Rebellion of Lucifer” and that’s in our lesson on “Did God Make a Devil?” it tells about many of those dynamics. We’ll be happy Saurian to send you a free copy of that. Or Gregory, I’m sorry.

Pastor Ross: Gregory to receive that call our resource line, that’s 1-800-835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide “Did God Create the Devil” again that number is 1-800-835-6747.

We have Tracy who is calling from Vancouver, Washington, Tracy, welcome to the program.

Tracy: Hi, thank you, happy Sunday.

Pastor Doug: Hi how are you doing?

Tracy: Fine, thank you. My question is regarding Job. I know God has nothing to prove to Satan so why did He direct Satan to Job?

Pastor Doug: Well I think the one that ultimately went to Job was the devil. Who was asking for permission to harass him? God did hold Job for as Exhibit A: That it was possible for man to live a Godly life.

And the devil has always said God is unreasonable His laws are severe and exacting, arbitrary that no one can really obey it they’re impossible requests. You know the devil’s got all of these excuses for sin because he’s really making excuses for his own rebellion. Job living a Godly life was a thorn in the devil’s side.

And so when the devil claims the earth is his God was saying, “No Satan the earth is not all yours because I’ve got representatives down there. For instance Job, he lives for me, he doesn’t live for you.” Do you see what I’m saying? So the devil and the Lord are kind of contesting the world and human hearts.

Pastor Ross: You know an interesting thought about that story is to some degree God staked His reputation on Job. Satan was making certain accusations about God and saying well the reason Job is serving you is because you’ve done all of these good things for him and that’s the only reason he really loves you and serves you. And God said, “No, he serves me because he knows me.”

And you know God kind of staked His reputation on this man Job. Later Job realized what was at stake, but the whole, on-looking universe was looking at this controversy playing out between these accusations made by Satan and Job is the one proving God true. It’s just an incredible story.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. Does that help a little Tracy?

Tracy: Yeah, yeah it does. I guess I was more a little concerned about Job losing his children. I understand that the boils and the other things he went through and then when I read the part about him losing his children I just started wondering. Why he had to go through that?

Pastor Doug: Well in connection with that we could probably also recognize that this planet has been kidnapped by a fiend, a terrorist, the devil is a terrorist. He’s the arch fiend and there are good people who suffer all over the world because of what the wicked do. And this world, even Jesus said, the prince of this world, you know, referring to the devil, “The devil is going down with great wrath.” Now Job interceded and prayed for his children every day and we’d like to think that all of those children are going to be saved because of his intercession because of their father’s example they trusted. And so if Job’s children died saved, then he’ll see them again and he doesn’t really need to worry about them.

Pastor Ross: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: So yeah, I mean, I’ve often said that I know my kids are saved if God takes them early or if God takes them late. If you see them in heaven for eternity, what difference does it make? So you want them around on earth to keep you company. But, anyway we’re going to take a break. That music does not mean the program is over friends, it just means we’re going to kind of get our second wind, catch our breath and offer a chance for station identification.

Don’t go away we’ll be back in just a moment with more Bible questions, and get a pencil, right down Amazing Facts dot org, that’s our website.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We trust that there are some who may have picked up the program along the way and if you’re one of those this is Bible Answers Live. It’s a live interactive Bible study and you’re invited to call in with your Bible questions. I think I see one maybe two lines open. That number is 1-800-463-7297 and I’m still Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: And I’m still Jean Ross. Pastor Doug before we go back to the phone lines, you know there’s such an interesting Bible prophecy today with all of the things we have happening in the world today. We had a devastating tornado that went through Joplin, Missouri not, too, long ago. The earthquakes and just the strain of the…

Pastor Doug: We had tornadoes right here in Sacramento last week.

Pastor Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: I mean that never happens, friends, this is a live program as I speak and we are having February in June in Sacramento it has just been a very strange weather pattern around the world this year.

Pastor Ross: People are asking questions, “What does this mean?” Is this just part of the signs that the Bible gives for the near coming of Christ? We have a website dedicated to Bible prophecy and it’s an easy website to remember it is “Bible Prophecy Truth dot com”. “Bible Prophecy Truth dot com” Pastor Doug, I know that there’s a lot of Bible studies on this website, but there’s also video available.

Pastor Doug: They can watch video on a variety of subjects. Let me just name some of the topics that you can get either written or video-audio information on these subjects. 666, Bible Prophecy, Heaven is Real in Prophecy, the Seven Plagues, Armageddon, Death, Angels, Great Tribulation, Babylon, or I mentioned Seven Year Tribulation, New World Order, Left behind, I mean there’s just Mark of the Beast, all these subjects you can understand and they’re not as complicated as you think when you see them all woven together. Go to Bible Prophecy Truth, Bible Prophecy Truth and dot com dot org I think either one can take you there.

Pastor Ross: Alright let’s go to the phone lines then our next caller is Michael and he is calling from Michigan, Michael, you’re on the air.

Michael: Hi

Pastor Doug: Hi Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Yeah my question in heaven will we are able to eat like we do in earth? What do we eat so we don’t get sick like after awhile when we don’t eat? What will there be to eat in heaven?

Pastor Doug: Well let’s find out what the Bible says. I’m going to ask Pastor Ross to help me find one verse and that’s the one where it says we’ll plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them. I think that might be Isaiah 11?

Pastor Ross: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: And then in the New Jerusalem you can read in Revelation chapter 21 where it says we will eat from the tree of life. And I think it’s Revelation 22 as well, so. Here we’ve got a tree and we’re eating from the tree of life, you might also Michael in the Garden of Eden that was God’s original perfect plan, did Adam and Eve eat? And yeah they ate and they had wonderful bodies and we’ll have glorified bodies that will never perish.

Pastor Ross: The verse you’re referring to in Isaiah is Isaiah chapter 65 and it’s verse 21, and it says, “They shall build houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them” and it’s speaking about the New Earth.

Pastor Doug: So I believe we will be eating. And God made people with taste buds and we’ll have immortal bodies instead of these ones affected with sin that will live forever. But, yeah He gave us eyes and ears and mouths and tongues.

Pastor Ross: You know one of the promises that God gives, to those that overcome in Revelation chapter 2, He says, “To those who overcome, they shall eat of the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God.” So that’s one of the blessings for those who are saved for those who are in heaven they get to eat the fruit of the tree of life and that’s probably the most delicious fruit that we can ever eat, it comes from the tree of life.

Pastor Doug: You know and I think there was one more verse and it’s in Ezekiel and I don’t know if we’re going to look it up, but it said that all by the river, describing the river of life in heaven that he sees in heaven he says that the trees are for food. And so there are an abundance of trees that grow along this river, it says the leaves are for medicine and the trees are for food. So I think we will eat.

Pastor Ross: Okay, good call. Thanks for calling Michael.

Pastor Doug: By the way Michael we have a lesson on heaven “Is Heaven for Real”.

Pastor Ross: Yes Michael if you call our resource line 1-800-835-6747 you can ask for the study guide “Is Heaven for Real” that’s 1-800-835-6747. We’ve got Courtney who is calling from Florida listening to WACX. Courtney welcome to the program.

Courtney: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi and your question tonight?

Courtney: My question is Exodus 20 verse 4. This says, “Thou shall not make any graven image or likeness of anything that in the heaven above or of the earth or that is in the water or on the earth.” My point is why do some people why do some people before they go into church bow down to the Virgin Mary?

Pastor Doug: Well your question about the Bible verse Exodus 20 is one of the Ten Commandments. And it’s dealing with what they call idolatry. And it first of all, some people have confused this verse to mean, that if you have photograph of your grandma in your pocket that it is an image. Well if you are putting that photograph up on a mantle and burning a candle and praying to it, it probably is idolatry. But there is nothing wrong with having a facsimile of something, a pretty picture of a flower or you know your kid’s graduation picture. The issue is making an image and then the next verse 5: part of the commandment says, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.”

So People are praying to statues of Jesus or Mary or you know any of the supposed saints, now that is idolatry according to the Bible. We’re not supposed to pray to statues.

Courtney: I agree.

Pastor Doug: We’re to pray to the living God. And it is one of the areas where I think the dear Christians have compromised. Now if you are in Rome and some parts of the world, they pray to statues of Mary or Jesus or the saints. You go to some of the Russian or Greek Orthodox churches and they will have icons or paintings that they carry up their streets during their festivals and they pray to and burn candles before, but either one is it can be idolatry when we pray to any other kind of other god. Whether it is a golden calf which is certainly forbidden, or if it is a golden Jesus, we’re not supposed to pray to these.

Pastor Ross: You know we have a book dealing with this subject it is called “Baptized Paganism” it talks a little bit about how all of these symbols and images connect into Christendom. We’d be happy you send that to you Courtney if you’ll call our resource line it is 1-800-835-6747 and for anyone listening you can ask for “Baptized Paganism”. It’ll give you a lot of good historical information and also the Scriptures that point out the way God would want us to worship Him. Let’s see our next caller is Darrell and he is calling from Florida. Darrell, welcome to the program.

Darrell: Good evening Pastors, my question is in reference to Revelation chapter 9: verse 3. I was wondering who or what is the locust army?

Pastor Doug: Well, this is interesting because when you read in Revelation 9 and it talks about this army you almost need to jump back to the book of Joel. Joel talks about an army of locust that destroys the land of Israel. And you can read for instance in verse 4, “That which the palmer worm has left the locust has eaten and that which the locust has left, the canker worm has eaten” and it says, “that judgment that comes from these creatures”, but the scholars that take the historic view of prophecy see Revelation 9 dealing with Islam spreading across Europe and punishing the Christians that had slipped into apostasy. They saw them like an army of locust because as the marauding hordes of the Muhammadan and that’s what they call them, back then were sweeping across parts of central and Western Europe. They were just devouring the countryside’s, looting the cities and were seen as a scourge or a plague and so some have compared Revelation 9 to that judgment that came historically, to the church because of their apostasy. Is that your understanding?

Pastor Ross: You know it is interesting there was a eighth century Spanish monk by the name of Etuis he was one of the first Bible scholars to identify these locusts as representing just what you said, the rise of the Islamic movement. And their growth in the areas of North Africa and the Middle East all the way up into Western Europe.

Pastor Doug: There are three ways that people approach Revelation Darrell, you’ve got folks that are called prederists, and they think most of Revelation was fulfilled by the time the Apostle John died. So they thought it was all fulfilled with Nero and it’s all in the past prederists.

Then you’ve got the futurists and they think from Revelation 4 on that they sort of transport that into the future and they that everything from Revelation 4 or from when John hears a trumpet of the Lord that’s all in the future.

Then there are the historicists. It’s the third group they believe Revelation is covering a prophetic history of the church, from the first to the second coming. Now Pastor Ross and I are in the historic view point. So was Martin Luther and most of the reformers. So that’s the biggest group there, the ones who have a historic view of Revelation that it covers the panorama of history. Those that have that view believe Revelation 9 is pointing to Islam and the war with the church in Europe.

Darrell: Okay, now and the star that fell from heaven that would be Satan, right?

Pastor Doug: Some believe that that was Mohammed.

Darrell: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: Okay, so.

Darrell: Because you know in Luke chapter 10: verse 18.

Pastor Doug: Where it says, I saw Satan fall like lightening, is that the one you’re talking about?

Darrell: Yes, sir.

Pastor Doug: And keep in mind when it often talks about these pagan kingdoms it will also talk about the devil being behind Herod. So the dragon wanted to devour Jesus when He was born. Well he operated through the Roman power. You know the devil is identified as the king of Babylon. Well, his name was Nebuchadnezzar, but the devil was manipulating Nebuchadnezzar to persecute God’s people. So you often have the devil behind the scenes with world leaders to persecute God’s people.

Pastor Ross: Alright, let’s go to our next caller. We have Saurian who is listening from the Virgin Islands Saurian, welcome to the program.

Saurian: Hey, good night Pastors, how are you going?

Pastor Doug: Doing well and your question tonight?

Saurian: In 1 Samuel chapter 28 we see where the spirit of Samuel is brought up by this witch, and I want to know, but now honestly I don’t believe that was the spirit of Samuel because in Job we read that that they shall not be awakened.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, right.

Saurian: So I want to know the difference between a Bible story versus a Bible principle, and where do they come into play and when would one would say this is a story, this is what the Bible says? Because in a sense this is about the state of the dead.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Saurian: When do you have a Bible story, when do you have a Bible principle that is stated elsewhere within the Bible about what it says?

Pastor Doug: That is a very good question. We are getting some break up on your phone. So we’re going to bring your volume down. Sometimes in the Bible it will tell you what people there thought. It’s not saying what the truth is, it’s saying what they believe or what was their perception of what was happening as opposed to what have really been going on. I just was reading yesterday about the pool of Bethesda where it says that the people believe that this angel came down and troubled the water and whoever trampled in first was healed.

Well they crawl over people and stomp people and you don’t think really that angels are getting entertained by bubbling water and watching it get everybody into a fight to see who is going to be put in all these sick people fighting who can the one person who can be healed. Back then that was a common belief that John records it doesn’t mean that, that was what the angels were doing. It was their belief. It was the belief that Samuel, the prophet, King Saul believed that Samuel somehow had been aroused by this medium. Well, it wasn’t Samuel it was obviously an evil spirit because the devil does not have the power to resurrect.

Pastor Ross: You know there’s a verse in 1 Chronicles chapter 10: verse 13 where the story of Saul and his encounter with the witch of Endor it’s repeated and it’s summarized and it’s mentioned the verse, let me read it to you 1 Chronicles chapter 10: verse 13 it says, “So Saul died for his transgression which he had committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord which he kept not and for asking counsel of one that had the familiar spirit.” So there the Bible tells us that Saul did not communicate with the prophet Samuel, but it was a familiar spirit and even and evil spirit.

Pastor Doug: In Revelation 16 it says, too, that these are the spirits of devils that go forth to kings of the earth to deceive them. That sounds very much like what happened with Saul. Saul was a king of the earth that was deceived by an evil spirit and it masqueraded as Samuel.

And I believe it’s 1 Corinthians 11 where Paul said, do not be surprised the devil himself can appear as an angel of light. And so there sometimes the devil can masquerade as a prophet of light to deceive. So I think that’s a good question, but that’s pretty clear though that it was not Samuel the prophet.

Pastor Ross: You know, we have a study guide dealing with what happens to a person when he dies, it’s called “Are the Dead Really Dead?” and for anyone who would like to learn more about the subject, call us on our resource line, that’s 1-800-835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide, “Are the Dead Really Dead?” We also have a website Pastor Doug, called, Death Truth dot com.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Pastor Ross: I believe it even addresses this particular question.

Pastor Doug: Yes, it does.

Pastor Ross: About the Saul in Samuel Death Truth dot com.

Pastor Doug: I’m sorry did that help you with your question Saurian?

Saurian: Yes. Yes it did if I may just interject just one question?

Pastor Doug: Real quick because we’ve got several people lined up.

Saurian: Okay, in 1 Corinthians chapter 4 it goes to verse 14 and it says that God shall bring them with Him and it’s speaking about those that are asleep. Now if I am not mistaken, this should mean that, that’s Him bringing the dead after He has resurrected them back to heaven, not Him bringing them from heaven to earth with Him.

Pastor Doug: Correct, I think you are talking about 1 Thessalonians chapter4?

Saurian: Yes 1 Thessalonians chapter 4.

Pastor Doug: It’s saying that during the resurrection, that the first that go up are the dead in Christ. They rise they are then joined with the Lord with their glorified bodies. Then, we who are alive are caught up to meet them. So they are with the Lord when we get there. So that’s why it says they are with Him because by the time we get there they’re there.

Pastor Ross: You know it refers to the resurrection from God’s perspective God will bring those who are resurrected with Jesus back to Him in heaven.

Pastor Doug: Right, very good. Thank you we appreciate your question and let’s see if we can get a few more calls in here.

Pastor Ross: Okay, Frank who is calling from St Louis, Frank, welcome to the program.

Frank: Gentlemen love your show. I’ve called several times. I am a blind gardener, totally blind for five years now and I’ve been searching the word even though I tell you I am not very good at being blind. I don’t want to read Braille. I do want to know the word of God and you know at times I have been prophesied over to understand special things and God has really chosen me and blessed me to understand people going through different stages of blindness and to deal with the spirituality of God, Jesus and of the Holy Spirit.

And one of the things I wanted to make sure of you know, I’ve heard God’s voice. And He yelled at me one time when I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do. I wondered if you guys could tell us and your listening crowd have you ever heard God’s voice if you’ve ever messed up and He’s ever yelled at you? And then it tells in the end times that even some of the elect will be fooled when they say here is the Christ and there is the Christ. How will we know who the elect is per se?

You know I’m not schooled in much except for listening going to church all the time and hanging out with fellow prophets and what not to get you know the discerning word Of God and just loving God and a personal relationship you know.

Pastor Doug: Well let me take a crack at that. Okay Frank I appreciate your question, and yeah I’m sure that is a challenge. God has given you an ability to be able to hunger for His word in spite of your affliction. Regarding the second coming and being deceived for one thing the Lord tells us if anyone is walking around on the earth and saying that they are Jesus that’s a dead give a way that it’s a counterfeit because when Christ comes next, His feet don’t even touch the ground. We go up. We get caught up to meet Him in the air. And so anyone on the earth that’s claiming to be Christ, if we believe them then we’ll be deceived so if the elect study in the word, know that that is not true. And if you are not reading Braille it’s wonderful, how many audio programs that contain the word of God are available today and I’m sure you’re taking advantage of that. And I’m trying to remember the second part of Frank’s question. Well, I guess he was talking about…

Pastor Ross: About how do we know we are part of the elect and how can we avoid being deceived. Did you address that?

Pastor Doug: Yeah I did so being part of the elect are those Jesus says who are willing to do His will. If we’re surrendered to doing the will of God, not everyone that says Lord, Lord will be, but those that do the will of God. The will of God is best expressed in the law of God Psalms 40: verse 8 says, “Yes I love to do your will, your law is in my heart.” And so the law of God is the most perfect encapsulation of His will. Appreciate your question Frank and who do we have next Pastor Ross?

Pastor Ross: We have David who is listening on the internet from New Port, Oregon, David, welcome to the program.

David: Good evening gentlemen, how is it going?

Pastor Doug: Doing well.

David: Okay my question comes from Matthew 24:34 where what is meant when Jesus says, “This generation shall not pass until all things be fulfilled.”?

Pastor Doug: Oh, good question. First of all, the disciples begin in Matthew 24 asking Him kind of a three part question. When He tells them that the temple is going to be destroyed and there were massive stones in the temple this was the National building, the idea of that being destroyed the Jews were sure that was going to be the end of the world, his apostles thought. So they said when these things will be meaning the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. And what will be the sign of your coming, in the end of the world?

So He answers them in one sort of integrated answer when he said this generation won’t pass away until these things be fulfilled, literally speaking of a generation for a Jew was about 40 years. That’s why He made a generation wander 40 years until they died off because of their unbelief. From the time Christ made that prophecy which was about 30 A.D. it was 40 years in 70 A.D., one generation later that Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed. So within that generation and He may have even made that prophecy in 31 A.D., shortly before He died which means 39 years later, He said before this generation passes these things will happen, the temple was destroyed.

Now some have wondered well how do we apply that to the last days? Well, what would be the starting point if we were to measure a generation I think we need to be careful. Hal Lindsey did that back in the 1970’s, he wrote the book, “Late Great Planet Earth” he figured the formation of Israel was the starting point in 1948 that 1988 would be the end of the world. Well, we all know now those 30 years ago that that didn’t work. So I think we’ve got to be careful about how to float that last 40 year generation where to place it, I think we know it did apply to the destruction of the temple, I don’t know where I would take it now. Have you got any thoughts on that?

Pastor Ross: Well, you know, yeah, it’s difficult to come up with some kind of a date because you don’t know when the end is. And we don’t know what He meant imparticular. He’s going to mark that last stretch, but just by looking at the signs in the world, it seems to me if the Lord does not slow things down, which He could, I don’t know if we’re going to be around for 40 years. I mean, He could slow things down, but the way things are going I think we have already past that 40 year mark to the end at least beating towards the end.

Pastor Doug: Yes, Jesus said, “Except those days be shortened, no flesh will be saved.” And, you know, we have more information on signs of the second coming at our website Bible Prophecy Truth, David. And anyone listening, you really want to understand Bible prophecy because there are Bible prophecy lessons there that you can do online. You can order things there or you can watch them right there. They can direct you to a number of Bible studies and audio, Bible Prophecy Truth. And that I think will help.

Pastor Ross: Alright, let’s see if we can get a few more callers in we have Justin, who is listening in Roseville, California, Justin, welcome to the program.

Justin: Thanks guys, thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: You’re welcome and glad to have you.

Justin: Yeah, first time caller. I’m really new to the Bible and I was hoping that you could help me, I dig everything about the Bible so far and I was hoping you guys could help me build my confidence when it comes to that I’m literally reading God’s word. And the context where I mean that is, some of the stuff that I hear in the secular world and other people that don’t believe would be the negative points of things I hear come up is, that they don’t actually have original manuscripts or like the Old Testament isn’t the original. Those are copies and of it and I wondered if you have anything to say about that?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that’s a common Biblical myth that is often repeated because people often assume that because the Bible is an old book and because we are operating from translations, and from ancient manuscripts that it can’t be trusted or there’s variation. The manuscripts of the Bible are the most dependable accurate documents of ancient history in existence bar none. There’s more corroborating evidence for Old and New Testaments than just Old Testament. I’ve been to Israel and looked at the Dead Sea scrolls with a very dedicated guide who was still able to read some of the ancient book of Isaiah. It is identical to the book of Isaiah in our Bibles today.

Of course our Bibles are translated into English, but it’s an identical translation, it’s very accurate. New Testament document the New Testament basically was finished by 100 A.D. all of the documents were recognized by the early church fathers and many of them knew the apostle, John. And there is no question about the accuracy of 99 percent. People make a big issue about very small, scribble editorial issues that’s it’s just minute. The Bible is a very dependable document and you know best evidence Justin, is it changes lives, I was an atheist and I found a Bible in a cave and I was living in a cave and I started reading it and became a believer.

Pastor Ross: You know Justin we’ve got a book I think you’ll find very interesting it’s called, “The Ultimate Resource” written by Pastor Doug and it deals with the Bible and how you can trust the Bible. To receive it absolutely free just give us a call at 1-800-835-6747 again that number is 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book, “The Ultimate Resource” and we’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug: We will and friends this program is all about the Bible. That’s why it’s called, “Bible Answers Live”. And we make so many different Bible resources available not only do we have the book Pastor Ross just mentioned we’ve got a number of websites. The logo for Amazing Facts is an open Bible. So everything is about believing that the word of God is the word of God. If you have any questions about these things also, we’d invite you to go to the Amazing Facts website. It is sort of the central fielding grounds for a lot of Bible study material.

And you can watch all of our television programs there and by the way, Amazing Facts has a 24 hour TV station. You can watch that online or you can watch that on G19 anywhere in North America if you’ve got a view of the sky, you can watch Amazing Facts 24 hours a day with a number of other Christian channels. Just go to Amazing Facts dot org.

Interested in the television, Amazing Facts dot TV and if you just type in amazing facts I think we’re first on Google, Yahoo and search engines. And when you go there, click the button that says, contact us, and write us a personal note, we’d love to hear from you and we appreciate your support to keep these programs on the air. God bless until we study again together next week.

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