Guarding Barren Ground

Guarding Barren Ground

Date: 09/21/2003 
Years ago in the Old Russian Empire, the ruling Czar, Nicholas the second, was strolling through his vast palace gardens when he came upon a lonely guard standing at attention in a secluded corner of the great meandering gardens. “What are you guarding?” asked the inquisitive ruler.

Life in the Spirit (PB) by Joe Crews

Life in the Spirit (PB) by Joe Crews
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Years ago in the Old Russian Empire, the ruling Czar, Nicholas the second, was strolling through his vast palace gardens when he came upon a lonely guard standing at attention in a secluded corner of the great meandering gardens. “What are you guarding?” asked the inquisitive ruler. “To tell you the truth oh great sovereign, I have no idea, but the Captain of the guard has ordered me to this post”, the sentry replied. Czar Nicholas then summoned the captain and made further inquiries as to what was being guarded. The Captain of the guard replied “Oh great sovereign, there are very clear, written regulations specifying that a guard is supposed to be assigned to that precise corner at all times. And this has always been done so as long as I can remember.” The curious Czar then ordered a search to find out why.

The palace archives finally yielded the answer. Years before, Catherine the Great had planted a special rose bush in that corner and she had firmly ordered a sentry to be posted there to guard it so nothing might disturb or damage it. Now 100 years later, even though the rose bush had died long before, sentries were still guarding the now barren corner of dirt even though no one knew why. Traditions of faith can be very beautiful experiences. They are useful in handing down valued ideals handed down by families and culture. However, we should be wise in what we spend our time guarding. Many religions zealously defend traditions and rituals even though they don’t know what they mean or where they came from, like guarding barren ground. Jesus clearly warned that if any tradition or custom clearly conflicts with a commandment of God it should be discarded. Stay with us friends and we are going to learn more as “Amazing Facts” brings you this edition of “Bible Answers Live”.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends, to another edition of “Bible Answers Live.” If you would like to participate in this live interactive Bible study program, then pick up your phone, and you can make that toll free call at 1-800-GOD-SAYS that translates into 1-800-463-7297. And right now at the infancy of the program is a good time to pick up your phone, if you would like to get your Bible question on the air. We invite Bible related questions and we will do our best to search the word of God together and find the answers. That number again is 1-800-GOD-SAYS that’s, 800-463-7297, and my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: And my name is Dick Devitt. We are live and looking to hear from you at 1-800-GOD-SAYS. Good evening Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Good evening to you Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: We normally start off with a word of prayer so let’s do that. Father in heaven we thank You and we praise You for Your love and Your grace. We thank You heavenly Father that You are using these airwaves to take the gospel, and sharing it with people all over the United States and Canada and around the world. And Heavenly Father we pray that Your Holy Spirit will speak clearly to Pastor Doug as we seek to share the truth and to know the truth that will set us free. Please Lord, may Your will and Your purpose be accomplished tonight. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Dick: Well Pastor Doug a fresh rose is a beautiful thing.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Dick: But, little patches of bare ground don’t reap fresh roses you have got to plant a rose there.

Pastor Doug: It is interesting some of the stories in history how people find themselves doing something and not questioning why. And here they were...I actually researched this today to try and determine if…you know when we share amazing facts with people, you run into all kinds of things on the internet and you want to know if it’s true or another urban legend. And I did the research and I found out that it is a true story. That for 100 years these soldiers were guarding a corner in a garden where there was nothing.

Pastor Dick: Amazing.

Pastor Doug: I guess for a few years it was a rose bush, but after Catherine died they let it go, and they continued to post a century there and they didn’t even know why.

Pastor Dick: That is amazing.

Pastor Doug: It makes me think of other traditions that people guard zealously, and there is really no good reason or Biblical reason. Jesus warned us very clearly that this was one of the problems when He came the first time. The church was very zealous about guarding their traditions even if it meant that they were breaking the commandments of God. A couple of examples would be Matthew Chapter 15:3 Jesus said, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (KJV) And again in verse 6 of the same Chapter “Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” (KJV) You can also read in Mark 7:7 & 8, “In vain they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men for the laid aside the commandment of God hold to a tradition.” And there are a number of traditions that people observe in the Christian world as well as other religions. Some folks don’t even know why or where they came from or what their purpose is.

Pastor Dick: Now we are not tying to say that all traditions are bad because we as a Christian community we keep the Lord’s Supper, we observe communion and...

Pastor Doug: There is nothing wrong with any tradition assuming that it has some value as far as cultural value. Thanksgiving is a tradition, but there is no Bible mandate for us here in North America to remember Thanksgiving. But, it is based on something that happened in history and there’s no conflict with Bible commands to set aside a day for thanks.

Pastor Dick: Pastors know of course, when they move to a new congregation and the first thing they run into is a well meaning soul who says we’ve never done it that way before. So tradition seems to be something that is highly regarded and guarded. Isn’t it?

Pastor Doug: That’s right. Well I remember I have been to churches where the tradition was that the Pastor stood behind the pulpit when he did his sermon. Well that has not been my practice and so it took people a while to shake out of that. But, those are minor things and there are some other things that are major. Folks put on your seat belts here because I’m going to share something with you that may shock you. You cannot find in the Bible a commandment to worship on the first day of the week which is commonly known as Sunday that is the day of the resurrection there is no question about that. But, there is no Bible command to keep it as the Sabbath that is a tradition that has come down through the centuries that happened long after the disciples died and Jesus had ascended to heaven.

Pastor Dick: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: People are shocked to discover that, and we have a special book in case you want more information on that. Now we will say more about it.

Pastor Dick: Let’s explore that a little bit and we want to make this available to anyone who would call our resource operators tonight. The book is called “Is Sunday Really Sacred?” If you will call and ask for this book, we will make it available to you this evening. Call our resource operators at 1-800-835-6747. Or if you have a special Bible question about the sacredness of Sunday or what is the true Sabbath or how do you know what the true Sabbath is and what does the Bible say about it? Call us here at the studios by dialing 1-800-GOD-SAYS or 1-800-463-7297. Let’s explore this question tonight along with your other Bible related questions.

Pastor Doug: Now I want to hasten to say that while we would suggest and invite people will question that there is no Bible command anywhere to keep the first day as the Sabbath. We are always told in the Bible to remember the seventh day. We don’t believe people are saved by keeping any commandment we are saved by grace. But, we know the Ten Commandments are there for those that are saved.

Pastor Dick: Right.

Pastor Doug: And if a person is going to be Biblical you would be hard pressed to find any commandment that tells us to worship…we should worship God I believe seven days a week. But, no commandment tells us to rest or gather or corporate worship on the first day of the week. Then people are shocked to discover…well we have done this for hundreds of years and we have been guarding this rose bush and we didn’t know why.

Pastor Dick: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: And it is not here anymore, and so people are amazed to learn that and if you look into history and very quickly I will just give you a summary. Probably about, three-four hundred years after Christ, Judaism fell into a state of disrepute. It was very unpopular in the Roman Empire. So Sabbath keeping on the seventh day was associated with Judaism, Christians we still worshiping on the seventh day and history is rife with examples of this. They were ostracized.

Pastor Dick: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: And in an effort to make the religion more popular the church gradually compromised from the seventh day to the first day. The Romans already had a festival on the first day and that is where we get the name “Sun” day it is the day of their supreme god the sun. And gradually the worship transferred they said in honor of the resurrection, they said we are going to worship on the first day of the week which is a beautiful statement, but it is not in the Bible. No where are we told to worship on the first day because of the resurrection, but it was a tradition that developed took hold and now you know it has been in effect for 1500 or 1800 years. When you mention that to people they feel it is sacrilegious that you would have the audacity to say we are not commanded to keep the first day holy.

Pastor Dick: So most of those people who were first called Christians at Antioch decided that they could avoid being identified with the Jews by keeping a different day and so they started worshipping on Sunday.

Pastor Doug: They began to distance themselves gradually and probably one of the most decisive things was when Constantine, the great Roman Emperor, he established Sunday as the day of worship throughout the realm in 321 A.D., and that really paved the way for it to become a Christian tradition.

Pastor Dick: Right.

Pastor Doug: And he was the first Roman Emperor who claimed conversion to Christianity and made it a legitimate religion in the Empire. And so it took off like gang busters after that.

Pastor Dick: For historical validity’s sake folks you really want to study this. There have been Doctoral theses and Master theses and books of all sorts written about it.

Pastor Doug: Just go online and type in the words Sabbath Sunday and you will find thousands of documents on this subject.

Pastor Dick: That’s right. And it is fascinating reading if you are a historical student of fact then you want to study that. Pastor Doug we want to welcome eight new radio stations to our network, so let’s do this very quickly. They are located in Pierre, South Dakota Clearwater Lake, Wisconsin Wauchula, Florida Tomahawk, Wisconsin Centralia, Missouri Aurora, Nebraska Siloam Springs, Arkansas and Days Creek, Oregon. They are all affiliates of Radio 74 USA and they have joined our network over the last few weeks. And we want to hear from those folks who are listening to us.

Pastor Doug: Praise the Lord.

Pastor Dick: So praise the Lord we take an email question or two each week so let’s do that quickly. My husband and I had a discussion of whether or not God was pro choice or pro life this lady writes. He thinks that God is pro life because God took the time to make man and not destroy him. I think God is pro choice because he gave us the tree of life to test us, and we failed God with our free will of choice, without choice we would be robots and that includes this issue as well. What does the Bible say to support either view?

Pastor Doug: Well typically the titles pro choice and pro life are dealing with the subject of abortion. There are issues in Christianity where people wonder if we are predestination--

Pastor Dick: Yes, it is Calvinistic.

Pastor Doug: --or the Wesleyan view that we are all free to choose, the freedom of choice.

Pastor Dick: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: Yet we subscribe to the view that God has created us with the freedom to choose.

Pastor Dick: Right.

Pastor Doug: The Bible says choose ye this day whosoever will. So God has given us a will. But, in the issue of abortion just because God has given us freedom of choice does not mean that it is the wrong choice to choose abortion.

Pastor Dick: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: Obviously human life is sacred. We cannot say that an unborn baby is not a sacred entity to God, because it is small or because it is not thinking in abstract complex thoughts as we are human life must be treated as sacred. The only place you can point to that human life begins is at conception. That is where you have the entire DNA and all of the genes that have co-mingled to create this new life. And that is a scared life that I believe should be respected. And so the Bible says because they were asking for some Bible evidence…you find in both the of David when he got into trouble with Bathsheba she didn’t say I am with fetus she said I am with child. And of course that was months before it was evident. When Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit the Bible tells us that when Mary and Elizabeth were visiting that John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb at the tidings of Mary and that is intelligence and consciousness. And so the Bible clearly teaches that unborn children are persons and they are not fetal tissue as some would have us believe.

Pastor Dick: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: And so I would say that the Bible teaches pro life, and that abortion is a serious mistake.

Pastor Dick: Well alright very good, let’s go to our second question. Is every believer in Jesus Christ guaranteed at least one spiritual gift?

Pastor Doug: Well there is not a Scripture that says everyone is guaranteed one gift, but it is implied when you read about the gifts of the spirit in 1st Corinthians it tells us that to one is given the gift of faith by the same spirit, and to another a gift of healing by the same spirit, and to another the gift of working. There are gifts to another and another and another and everyone gets something though it might be different. Nothing when it talks about spiritual implies that somebody gets no gift. Matter of fact it tells us to desire gifts plural. And of course you can read in Hebrews where it tells us God bearing in witness both with signs and wonders and diverse miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His will. And again Ephesians 4:8 he led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. So I believe everyone will get at least on gift and most people have several gifts of the Spirit and these are things that can be developed and added to as we walk with the Lord.

Pastor Dick: Amen. To the phones Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Pastor Dick: To Decatur, Alabama and we will talk with Charles first, Charles is listening to us on WOCG hello Charles welcome to the program.

Charles: Thank you.

Pastor Dick: And your question please.

Charles: My question is on Hebrews 10:26 & 27

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Charles: And it says, if we sin willfully after we have known truth and there is no more sacrifice for sin. But, the Bible says in the New Covenant that God will put His laws in our minds and write them in our hearts. Is there any sin we commit which is not willful?

Pastor Doug: Yes, I believe that there are attitudes of sin we might be unconscious of that may not be premeditated, but you have got a good point. So much of our sin is willful. When it says here in Hebrews 10:26, “If we sin willfully.” the word sin can be used as an act or a lifestyle. And here in Hebrews if I understand the Greek correctly it is saying if we live a life of sin willfully, in other words if we continue in sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth and after we learn something is true, if we then continue to violate our conscious deliberately then there is no more sacrifice. I mean obviously what is God going to do? If He says look I want to save you from your sins and He will forgive the past, but then He gives us power to be new creatures, if we say no “I’d still rather continue,” with my heroin and my drinking and my whatever…the adultery or whatever the problem might be how can God do anymore for us if we choose to continue to live in a life of sin? That is what this is saying.

Charles: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Charles: Yeah appreciate that.

Pastor Doug: I hope that helps you a little bit. Thank you.

Charles: Thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Charles and to Flagstaff, Arizona next Pastor Doug. Jeremy is listening to us on the World Wide Web. Hello Jeremy.

Jeremy: Hi. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Very good and thanks for your call.

Jeremy: Yes. I am blind and I’ve been blind since birth, and I want to know how do you know from the Bible if you are called into the ministry, and if I’m called what steps should I take?

Pastor Doug: Well first of all you will have evidence in your heart that you feel this burning desire to tell others about Christ. Paul said woe unto me if I preach not Christ. He felt this compulsion to let others know. The Bible tells us Jeremy that in the multitude of counselors there is safety. That will be confirmed through Godly counsel. When I went into the ministry I began with no official training and I felt this desire to tell everybody, and I wondered if it was just me and then people began to confirm that...unsolicited counsel they said, “Doug you should go into the ministry.” And I thought wow, I’m thinking about that and it’s strange that they would mention it. So and then the Lord will open doors providentially. As soon as Paul was converted he then looked for an opportunity to preach and then God gave him an opportunity. So you will have—these are just a few of the main criteria. You’ll feel the impression of the Spirit in your heart, Christian counsel and others will support that typically and then opportunity will present itself.

Jeremy: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Okay? God bless and we hope to hear how that turns out.

Jeremy: Okay.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Jeremy and to Virginia Beach, Virginia next. Felix is listening on WWVA welcome Felix.

Felix: How you doing Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Very good and your question?

Felix: Yes. My question was that after we are baptized we are created new creatures in Christ my question is are we still considered sinners, after we have accepted Christ?

Pastor Doug: Well you know that the way you worded that question s very important. You said are we still considered sinners? When we come to the Lord, Biblically church leaders addressed Christians as saints. They looked upon themselves as people that were holy because God had forgiven them. But yet the fact was that they knew that they were still all going through various stages of sanctification. After Peter was baptized and we believe that Peter and Andrew and the apostles were probably baptized by John the Baptist. Many of them met Jesus at John’s baptism and obviously that is what they were doing there. Did Peter and James and John still sin after their baptism?

Felix: Sure they did.

Pastor Doug: Well there is a record in the Bible that James and John tried to get the highest position and that is covetousness and pride. They lost their temper and wanted to call fire down from heaven and Jesus said they had an evil spirit when they did that. Peter of course denied Christ and was cursing. So that is not to justify sin, but it is clear that even after baptism while they were followers of Christ and while God may have looked upon them as His children adopted they still did stumble and fall.

Felix: So they were still sinners and they weren’t saints?

Pastor Doug: Well you know the way you are wording that question is what is very important. Let me ask you and I am going to answer the question with a question. Felix? [Telephone keypad punching numbers sounds] Felix, you still there? I think we have someone else trying to make a call from your phone. [Laughs out loud.] Uh, Felix you there?

Felix: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Alright let me answer your question with a question.

Felix: Okay.

Pastor Doug: When someone comes to the Lord and asks for forgiveness and they come just as they are, they come with their record of sin isn’t that right?

Felix: Say that again?

Pastor Doug: When someone comes to the Lord and they ask for forgiveness they come with their record of sin don’t they?

Felix: Right.

Pastor Doug: He accepts them and after He accepts them are they saints or sinners? He has forgiven all of their sins are they saints or sinners?

Felix: I would think they would be saints.

Pastor Doug: God looks at them as though they have the righteousness of His own son. Like when the prodigal son came home, the father put the best robe on him so he would look like a son. Now underneath the robe he wasn’t sanctified yet he was justified. So when we first come to the Lord as far as justification is concerned we are saints. As far as sanctification is concerned we may still act like sinners at times. But, I think as Christians there should be a decisive difference in their lives okay.

Felix: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps a little bit and we appreciate your question.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Felix. We are going to go next to Birmingham, England Pastor Doug. Mel is listening to us on the World Wide Web. Welcome Mel.

Mel: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi and your question tonight?

Mel: Yes, is there anything wrong with dancing? Because people normally quote the text in Psalms that say that David danced before the Lord.

Pastor Doug: Right actually that is not in Psalms, but you are correct the Bible does say that David danced before the Lord in 1st Samuel.

Mel: Alright.

Pastor Doug: Now if you dance like David there is obviously nothing wrong with it. But, keep in mind there’s another kind of dancing in the Bible where Salome danced before King Herod and that is when John the Baptist was executed.

Mel: Yes.

Pastor Doug: So the kind of dancing that is seductive and sexually suggestive would not be appropriate for Christians.

Mel: Okay.

Pastor Doug: If we are going to leap for joy…and the Bible says that David danced and leapt. He was literally jumping up and down more like a folk dance like they do in Israel.

Mel: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: That is completely different than the popular dancing that is done, that is very much like sexual aerobics. Do you know what I am saying?

Mel: Yes.

Pastor Doug: So that is where you have to draw the line.

Mel: Okay then thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call God bless. To Albuquerque, New Mexico to Charles who is listening on KSDA hello Charles.

Charles: Hello.

Pastor Dick: Hello and your question please?

Charles: Oh my question had to do with a lot of powerful denominations. Do you know what I am trying to say here?

Pastor Doug: Denominational churches?

Charles: Right. People coming out now with flowery Bibles and such, and not really having a basis of true knowledge. And basically working audiences with a lot of emotion and stuff it seems to work though people seem to fall for the calling.

Pastor Doug: Well now what is the question?

Charles: The question is whether it is Scriptural that probably in these last days—

Pastor Doug: Are you talking about revivals or being a part to a denominational church?

Charles: The revivals more so.

Pastor Doug: Well revival is very Biblical. I think it is important if you are going to have a revival that you have a place to bring people into. It is like if you are going to jump in the water and try to rescue someone to make sure that you have either a beach or a boat to bring them into. And to have a revival meeting and not cultivate the ground it is like planting seed allowing it to sprout and then not watering or weeding the crop. It just ends up dying so a lot of revivals I see taking place are done for fund raising and show for the dramatics of it, but not really to ground the souls that are making decisions. Now probably Billy Graham’s organization is the most ethical in this, because they put a lot of attention into making sure there is good pre work, and that people are making decisions and then following up to give them resources and get them rooted in the church. But, just to have a big hootenanny a Christian hootenanny for everyone to say wasn’t that a great revival without grounding them in a church, it just stirs people up emotionally and there is usually no fruit that follows.

Charles: Correct well that is kind of the sense I get.

Pastor Doug: Well we are on the same track Charles. It is nice meeting you and I appreciate your question.

Charles: Okay.

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Pastor Dick: Okay. Let’s go next to—we want to go to Wanton, New York and Dan is listening on WMCA welcome Dan to the program.

Dan: Hi I am a first time caller.

Pastor Doug: Okay well we have got about two minutes before our break Dan your question?

Dan: Okay my question has to do with some of the verses in Matthew’s Scriptures. There are some verses in there that seem contrary.

Pastor Doug: Which ones?

Dan: Matthew 5:42 says, “Give to them who ask you and from them who want to borrow from you do not turn away.” Then skipping down to 44 “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and then in Matthew 10:13 it says, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” I was just wondering Jesus teaches us to turn the other cheek when someone does wrong to us, and in Matthew 10 He is saying something else.

Pastor Doug: Right I think I can help you with that. There are three areas of law that may appear to conflict one is interpersonal law. In our interpersonal relationships we turn the other cheek and love each other. There is the church or ecclesiastical law. The way that a church might have to deal with an individual would be different. And that is what you find in Matthew 10 when He is sending out the apostles with a message they were to react to how the people responded to the message. Then you have got civil law. And that is where it says an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Those are civil laws and completely different than interpersonal laws. So I know that is why it might seem a little confusing. Friends we are getting ready to take a break and Pastor Dick is getting ready to share some announcements. But, this is not the end we are coming back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome once again listening friends to the second half of “Bible Answers Live: and we are very thankful that you have chosen to tune in and we know that some of you have just found your way here and others have been here the whole time. We have a few lines open if you would like to call in any Bible questions that is why we are here. We do our best to answer Bible questions. That toll free number 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That’s the letters for those of you who think in those terms and for those of you who are accounts it is 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. And we have a couple of people who have been holding for a while. Let’s go to the Bronx and talk with Glen listening to us on WMCA welcome Glen.

Glen: Good evening and hi.

Pastor Doug: Get close to your phone, I can barely.

Glen: Alright my question is. Yeah can you hear me better now?

Pastor Doug: That is better.

Glen: My question is why didn’t Paul more clearly mention the Sabbaths in the Epistles? As a matter of fact, he does say that one day man esteem one day above another. Let every man be convinced in his own heart regarding the special day.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Glen: Used for worship.

Pastor Doug: Well first of all, the Sabbath is mentioned quite a bit in the book of Acts. Half of the book of Acts is dealing with the ministry of Paul written by his companion Luke. And everywhere that it is mentioned it talks about Paul preaching on the Sabbath and keeping the Sabbath. It never says anything about them making some announcement that they no longer need to keep the fourth Commandment. The church did make specific announcements about saying they did not need to observe circumcision and they did not need to worry about the ceremonial laws. And I think that is what you find in Colossians 2 when it says don’t let anyone judge you regarding the Sabbath days that are shadows. Of course these were Jewish ceremonial Sabbaths that were annual Sabbaths.

Glen: There is no clear command though to keep it in the Epistles.

Pastor Doug: In the New Testament?

Glen: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well I think if you look in Hebrews Chapter 4 which we believe was written by Paul it says, “There remains therefore the keeping of the Sabbath for the people of God.”

Glen: Well my translation doesn’t say exactly that, but it says, “There remains a rest.” And I believe some people such as myself interpret that as a spiritual rest.

Pastor Doug: Well I believe we do have a spiritual rest and you have two aspects of law. You have the spirit of the law and the letter. The letter of the law says you shall not commit adultery. The Spirit of the law says don’t be thinking it in your heart. The letter of the law says don’t lie. The Spirit of the law says let your yeah be yeah and your nay be nay. And you know the letter of the law says don’t murder. The spirit of the law Jesus says is don’t be angry with your brother. The letter of the law says remember the Sabbath. The Spirit of the law says come unto Jesus for rest. But, in all those other cases that I just mentioned when you keep the Spirit of the law, you don’t break the letter you keep both. In other words, you can’t say I am keeping the Spirit of the law about adultery I am not thinking it, but I am committing it. Obviously when you keep the Spirit of the law you’d want to keep the letter.

Glen: Right. Well you know it seems to me that the Sabbath is an important issue. And one does have to make up their mind about it at some point. But, I just think that it would just be clearer if the Scriptures, clearer than it is.

Pastor Doug: Well let me give you one reason you may not see more about it. There are somethings that are not mentioned in the New Testament because they were so self-evident that they never became issues. For instance, the second Commandment of the Ten Commandments…and I want to reiterate here Glen that we are here at “Amazing Facts” we do not believe that anyone is saved by keeping any commandment. We are saved by grace and we obey God’s law because we love Him. Jesus said if you love me keep my commandments. But, the second commandment says do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Glen: Right.

Pastor Doug: And the Lord will not hold him guiltless that take His name in vain. You don’t find that anywhere in the New Testament. So are we safe in assuming now that it is okay now for Christians to use God’s name in vain?

Glen: Right.

Pastor Doug: I think that would be reckless and the reason you don’t find it in the New Testament is because you know it was such a common knowledge that it is never even challenged. And it never became an issue.

Glen: Right. Well this is something that I have kind of wrestled with for a number of years. I think I do believe in the Sabbath however I have believed that for new believers or New Testament believers they were kind of given a choice as to which day they wanted to serve the Lord on. So I’d appreciate your prayers for me on this issue.

Pastor Doug: We will do that, we will pray for you, and I know there are others that are in the same boat that you are in. And I appreciate your good spirit and your question.

Glen: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Glen.

Pastor Doug: And we might mention that we would be happy to send Glen that free resource that we have offered everybody tonight.

Pastor Dick: “Is Sunday Really Sacred?” Glen if you are still listening I hope you’ll call our resource operators at 1-800-835-6747 1-800-835 6747 and ask for the book “Is Sunday Really Sacred?” This book will show you every mention of Sunday in the New Testament. And it will help you to clarify the issue of the Sabbath Saturday versus the Sabbath Sunday if you will.

Pastor Doug: Yes. I mean it’s some of the history of what happened with the change.

Pastor Dick: Right. It is an excellent resource “Is Sunday Really Sacred?” Pastor Doug let’s go next to Brooklyn, New York to Salomon is listening on WMCA Salomon welcome.

Salomon: How are you, sir?

Pastor Doug: Very good.

Salomon: Alright and I have a question and it is what is the real and personal name of God? The name given by God Himself in the original form in the real sense?

Pastor Doug: Well it sounds like you might be asking a loaded question. Do you know the answer to your question?

Salomon: I am a Muslim, we call Him Allah when I speak to the Christian and I say you know in the Koran and in the gospel there in the Torah and His name was Allah. They are surprised or they disagree, or they just ignore that His name is Jehovah, and they thought His name was Yahuvah or His name is you know Jesus or something like that.

Pastor Doug: Well you are not…you know you are not that far off. Let me tell you from what I understand and Pastor Dick has studied this also the Hebrew and the Arabic really have the same root. The word is El in Hebrew and it is Al in Aramaic they came from the same word. And you know how language is over the years they make little shifts in pronunciation maybe different spellings slightly different and it is like when you say one, two, three in several languages it sounds very similar in the Latin languages, but they’re a little different.

Salomon: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: They all came from the same root, they sound very similar in the Latin languages, but they are a little different.

Salomon: Right. Like what did Jesus in His mother tongue in the Aramaic language when He walked the earth how did He address God what did He call Jesus? I mean what did He call God? Did He call Him Allah or La He or what did He do?

Pastor Doug: Well you know one of the most common words in the Bible used for God is simply El which is a short form of Elohim.

Salomon: Okay. Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: That is where you have the similarity to Allah. Elohim and Allah come from same root.

Salmon: Right.

Pastor Doug: Jesus addressed God as probably Yahweh or some derivative of that.

Salmon: But with Yahweh I have some problems because attached to it is the full letters and the Jews in the past did not know how to pronounce it.

Pastor Doug: How do you pronounce it?

Salomon: Yeah and then they put a warning to it and you know that His name is not to be pronounced. And over the centuries they forgot the name and now they have a symbolic as you that maybe it is Yahweh. Maybe Yahuvah, you know something to that effect.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Salomon: I see there is a small phrase in the New Testament where they say Eli Eli lama sabachthani so Eli Eli that is My God or My Lord, that is the same in Arabic. When we say Elohim meaning my God.

Pastor Doug: That was what I was telling you is that they come from the same root.

Salmon: Because I have some guys saying that Allah is a moon god something to that effect, that he is a pagan god.

Pastor Doug: I haven’t heard that before.

Salmon: I think his name is Robert Murray you know his book is going from ministry to ministry and they are picking up on that. And you know I am surprised when they say that Muslims don’t believe in—

Pastor Doug: Well, let me take you back a little bit Salomon and you already know this, but for our listeners’ sake the Arabic religion of Islam and the Hebrew religion...now keep in mind that Abraham was a Hebrew. He was not a Jew.

Salmon: Right.

Pastor Doug: The Jew comes from the tribe of Judah.

Salmon: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so if you go all the way back, the Islamic religion does spring from the same Hebrew roots of Abraham. The word Hebrew means one who crossed over and Abraham crossed over the Euphrates.

Salmon: Right.

Pastor Doug: That is where you get that term, and Abraham addressed God obviously by the Elohim that Moses used. And so that is why you have the similarities between the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac in that name for God. Now here is where I want to tell you something different. In the New Testament and in the Bible God does not identify Himself by one name. God is so big He uses many names to tell about different facets or dimensions of His character. He says His name is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Jesus said, I am the bread, I am the door, I am the way, I am the water, I am the shepherd, I am the ladder, I am the—He uses many different names because they tell us different things about His character.

Salmon: Yeah we have in the Islamic tradition to ninety-nine names for Allah, but we say the name Allah is the proper name, but the others are attributes like they are used--

Pastor Doug: Well then you understand exactly what I am saying.

Salmon: Well you know you added Jesus to the list, too, so you so we differ here in this respect that we say that Jesus is not God, but a prophet of God and a Messiah from God and a messenger of God, but not God. But, not Allah in human form you know. But, other than that you know Jesus said you seek to kill me and I am a man who heard from God. You know He was addressed as a prophet and He was identified as a prophet and he--

Pastor Doug: Yeah, but this is where there…this is a deep study and I would like to send you a book if you would like for free?

Salmon: Sure.

Pastor Doug: You see this is the difference between Islam and Christianity. The typical Christian believes that Jesus was more than a man. They believe that Jesus was God become man. And we believe that Christ taught that. I would like to send you a book for free and it is called “The Trinity is it Biblical?” and it is my book I just came out…I think it is my most recent book. But, if you call the number we will send you my book on the Trinity and I would like to hear what you think about it.

Salmon: Okay I will appreciate that and just one last quick comment. Can you quote something from the lips of Jesus as He is saying He is God without the Trinity? Not what other people said, but what He himself said you know.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well when Jesus said that they should worship Him in Matthew 28 and the Bible says that only God should be worshipped. And then again in John Chapter 1 it says, “All things were made by Him.” and the Bible says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth so if Christ says all things were made by Him. Now that starts to narrow down who He is.

Salmon: Yeah, but you see when I read that passage you know my understanding or more like our traditional understanding is the Aramaic is sagittal and the literal meaning is to prostrate and to honor. Since it is forbidden in Islam to worship anyone other than Allah, so we have to keep that –

Pastor Doug: Well when you get to the book—pardon me Salomon—when you get to Hebrews the Bible says He even the angels worship Him.

Salomon: Does that have to be understood in the same way as they honored Him you know?

Pastor Doug: Well I will tell you what, please do me a favor because I have taken a little more time than usual, read my book, it’s a small book. Take a look at it and I would like for you to call me and tell me what you think

Salomon: Well I appreciate that and thank you very much for your time. You have a nice day sir.

Pastor Dick: Salomon please call this phone number in order to get that book.

Salomon: Right and go ahead.

Pastor Dick: 1-800-835-6747.

Salomon: Okay. I have that, and thank you sir.

Pastor Dick: Alright, and thank you very much. God bless.

Salomon: Thank you, and bye-bye.

Pastor Doug: God bless, and you know I might also mention just in closing Pastor Dick that if Salomon is still listening I have got an article I wrote called the “Name of God”. He asked a lot about that and it is just called “The Name of God”. He might enjoy that.

Pastor Dick: Okay good so Salomon ask for “The Name of God” and “The Trinity” and we will send them both to you and we’d like to hear back from you after you have had a chance to read them. Let’s go to Boston and Alan is listening on WROL. Hello Alan.

Alan: Hi and good evening gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Good evening.

Alan: I have a question I am curious about. In the Bible do they mention anything about why the saints all the saints that their bodies have to be checked?

Pastor Doug: I don’t—say that another way because I don’t understand the question?

Alan: I am curious about saints and I am curious whether anything in the Bible mentions that the bodies of the saints have to be checked before they become saints?

Pastor Doug: Well your body you mean like you check a coat at a restaurant I’m not sure what you mean…checked? What?

Alan: Well I mean I have read articles and things on saints that they check the bod...that they are incorruptible or anything?

Pastor Doug: Oh let me tell you what...I think what you might be going to do there’s a law in the Old Testament that the Levitical priests could not have any—his body could not be marred. He was not to have any deformity if he was going to serve in the temple as a priest. And that is the only thing and there is nothing in the New Testament about that. And that is because the priests were types of Christ. And they were to be flawless in their features anyway.

Alan: Well okay that kind of answers my question then.

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Alan: But, I am so curious about it that I want to say thanks for handling it.

Pastor Doug: Well alright. God bless.

Pastor Dick: Alan thanks for the call.

Pastor Doug: Well you know, I just feel like I have given an inadequate answer here. I am looking up those Scriptures for him. Say something Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: Well--

Pastor Doug: Tell about our offer for the “Amazing Facts.”

Pastor Dick: Well yes we are making available tonight a book entitled “Is Sunday Really Sacred?” And anyone who would like to study the issue is--

Pastor Doug: I found it Leviticus 21:20, Alan if you want to know what that verse is about not having blemishes. 21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come to offer. Leviticus 21:21 that’s easy. Sorry.

Pastor Dick: Okay that is alright he can call our resource operators 1-800-835-6747

Pastor Doug: Our listeners have to multi task, and to listen to you and to listen to me.

Pastor Dick: (Laughing)

Pastor Doug: So you have to listen in stereo friends.

Pastor Dick: For any of the resources that we mention here on the program our resource operators stand by 24 hours a day. The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. Pastor Doug let’s go to WOCY in Oak Park, Michigan Eddie is a first time caller. Hello, Eddie.

Eddie: Hi, and how are you sir?

Pastor Doug: Very good.

Eddie: I was studying for the past three months I have been studying a little on Christianity and a little more on the Bible study. Now I have got a couple of friends who are Muslims and Muslims have their own Bible called the Koran which means the Muslim Bible.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Eddie: In their Bible each word word by word, comma by comma, if you turn to the same page it is exactly the same, each comma is there. If I turn to page 27 the same comma is there, the same letter is there. In the Holy Bible that I read which is a Christian Bible, I am reading through it right now. And each page I turn to there happens to be a different word or a different phrase where somebody is saying that…maybe not the same way as the first Bible that I have read. But, the point is that I have heard that there is a Bible called the Barbian, which is the first Bible that was ever written and I want to know if maybe I can get a copy of it? Or I wanted to know if maybe I was reading the wrong Bible or it is indicating the wrong reason or what is going on?

Pastor Doug: Well you are talking about an English translation of the Bible?

Eddie: English translation yes because I can--

Pastor Doug: Well the first English translation was Tyndale or Wycliffe and the King James is largely from the Wycliffe translation. The King James Bible is probably the first English Bible that was printed on a printing press or in any quantity.

Eddie: Okay. I am sorry to interrupt, but what language was the first Bible written?

Pastor Doug: Well the Scriptures come and were written over fifteen hundred years. See the Koran was not written until 700 hundred years after Christ. And of course it is all in one language because it happened in very short order. The Scriptures the books that comprise the Bible begin with Moses and end with the apostle John and it covers a period of fifteen hundred years. And so part of it is in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek depending upon what part of the world the writers were in and what the dominant languages were. And so if you want an original Bible…there is no original Bible written in those three languages because the Bible is a compilation of sacred books. The word Bible means Biblios or the book of books.

Eddie: Right. I have been studying three or four languages just for a meaning.

Pastor Doug: Well you mean three or four English translations. Is that what you mean like the King James, The New American Standard or something like that?

Eddie: Yes, and I just happen to come across a verse in this Bible and a verse in another Bible, and they are both not identical or at the least in terms of their meanings.

Pastor Doug: Well they are probably translated slightly different, but as I read from one English translation to the other, ninety-nine per cent of the meaning is the same. And here on my computer in front of me I have ten different English versions. But, if I were to go to verse to verse to verse you’d get bored because as I have compared them they are almost identical.

Eddie: But, they have the same meaning?

Pastor Doug: Yes, the meaning would be the same and whenever you translate from one language to the next you have a choice of words to use. And some chose different words to convey it. Some of them have slightly different meanings that are conveyed, but that is because they are translations.

Eddie: So if I believe in the Bible…let’s just say if I believe in one Bible and believe in another that they are both the same thing and I am not believing something wrong and I am not believing something else on the other hand?

Pastor Doug: Right you are not going to find any appreciable difference in teaching between any of the English translations. In the English translations they will all be teaching that we are sinners and that Jesus is the Savior and He wants us to live new lives and I could go on and on. The teachings of Christianity can be found accurately in virtually any translation.

Eddie: Okay, one more question real quick, I’m sorry to take up your time. To me, God and Jesus is I think of them both as one person. I wonder if that is a wrong opinion for me, or am I sinning if I am thinking of this?

Pastor Doug: Well the Bible teaches that they are two people that are one. Now what that means is the same way as a husband and wife and I am talking about the Father and Son now. The same way a husband and wife get married they become one flesh yet they are still two individuals. The Bible teaches that God the Father and God the Son are two people. Two people is not the word, but two individuals that are distinct and yet they are united. They are one and obviously when Christ was on earth and He was praying to His Father in heaven…He is not a ventriloquist and He is not schizophrenic and talking to Himself they are two separate entities. Do you see what I am saying?

Eddie: Right. So –

Pastor Doug: Hey you would enjoy that book I just offered on the Trinity okay? We’ll send that to you if you will ask for it.

Eddie: Okay thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright God bless.

Pastor Dick: Okay Eddie call our resource operators 1-800-835-6747 it’s an 800 number and it’s a free call, 800-835-6747 and ask for “The Trinity” and they will send it to you tonight. It will help you clarify your questions about who Jesus and the Father are. It would be an excellent resource for you. Pastor Doug let’s go next to Oak Grove, California and talk with Anthony who is listening on KFIA, hello Anthony.

Anthony: Yes, hello how are you folks?

Pastor Doug: Very good.

Anthony: Great and thanks for taking my call. I have a question on salvation. I have always believed that if we trust and whole heartedly believe in God that we would become saved. I unfortunately have been listening to a lot of the Christian radio stations and I have been getting some mixed messages about salvation, so I wanted to get a Biblical clarification.

Pastors Doug: How do you know that you are saved?

Anthony: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well if you go through the steps of redemption then you can have assurance. The Bible tells us that if we confess our sins but first of all come to Christ just like you are. And recognize that you are a sinner and know that sin is terminal and deadly, and we are in big trouble if we don’t turn from our sins, but we first come to Christ and He accepts us just like we are. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. He gives us a new heart and new desires so one way we have the evidence we are forgiven is that our desires and hearts are changed. I mean you still wrestle with old temptations, but you have got a new master on the throne. The Holy Spirit moves into your life and you begin to hear Him speak and guide. And that is the evidence of God working in our lives.

Anthony: Oh okay do you also think that individuals are predestined to be a saint?

Pastor Doug: God has predestined everybody to be saved. That means that the Lord is not willing that any should perish. But, many are called and few are chosen and what that means is few choose to respond to this invitation.

Anthony: So the offer is actually extended to everyone.

Pastor Doug: Yeah Jesus said that whosoever will...let him come. That’s everybody, let them come forever.

Anthony: So basically our will is what prevents us from coming to Him?

Pastor Doug: That is why we got into trouble because God gave us free will.

Anthony: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Otherwise we are all just puppets.

Anthony: Understood there. Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick I would like to thank you both for the reassurance and keep doing what you’re doing.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Pastor Dick: Alright and thanks for the call.

Anthony: Alright. Bye-bye now.

Pastor Doug: Let’s try to get one more in. We’ll go to Post Falls, Idaho and Ken is listening on KEEH and Ken we have about two minutes what can we help you with?

Ken: Hello.

Pastor Dick: Hi Ken what is your question? You are on the air and your question?

Ken: I am on the air? Oh yes I am a believer, and I belong to a church body that believes that when we take the Lord’s Supper we receive God’s true body and blood in and through the bread and wine. And I was wondering what this says in the original Greek or Aramaic and some churches just believe it’s a memorial and I just wondered, and want to know what you have to say?

Pastor Doug: Well of course Jesus took the bread and the wine…and you can read this in the gospels as well as 1st Corinthians 11.

Pastor Dick: Matthew 26:26

Pastor Doug: Now keep in mind Jesus when He instituted this ceremony is sitting there with His body and blood intact. He hands them the bread and the grape juice and says take this, because this is my body and this is my blood. It was obvious to everybody there when He instituted this it had to be a symbol, because otherwise He would have cut His wrists and carve a piece of His thigh and put it on the platter. But, He gave them bread and grape juice. And He said these are symbols obviously of His body and His blood. The Bible never endorses cannibalism and certainly if it is unclean to eat certain unclean animals it would be to eat human flesh. So when Jesus said unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood He was speaking in very clear Bible metaphors that we are to have the bread of life and the sanctified influence of His blood, but they are not literally the blood and the body of Jesus because when He instituted it, He was there in the flesh.

Pastor Dick: In the flesh.

Pastor Doug: And with His blood still in His veins.

Ken: It is hard to separate the metaphors from the actual when obviously He used a lot of analogies and metaphors like when He said I am the bread of life. It didn’t mean He was literally the bread.

Pastor Doug: Right He said I am the shepherd and I am the water and stuff like that. And we know that He is not H2O and that those are just symbols. Oh I am sorry, we hate doing that to you Ken, you can hear the clock is chasing us away. Listening friends, we hope that you have been blessed. We would like to encourage you to check out the “Amazing Facts” website where you can listen to this broadcast and others on Amazingfacts.org. Just keep in mind the main reason we do this is because we want you to know Jesus, who is the truth that sets you free.

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