Spiritually Illiterate Christians

Date: 09/25/2011 
John Cochran graduated from high school and from college. He even taught high school for 17 years – and was able to do this while somehow managing to hide the fact that he couldn’t read!
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. John Cochran graduated from high school and from college. He even taught high school for 17 years – and was able to do this while somehow managing to hide the fact that he couldn’t read! Stay with us, friend, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug: We do have lines open and if you have a bible question then the number you can call is 1-800-463-7207. For those who might be joining us for the first time, this is Bible Answers Live it’s a live international interactive Bible study and we invite your calls with your Bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, listening friends and Pastor Doug. Before we talk about your opening statement there about a gentleman who couldn’t read, let’s just start with a word of prayer. Father, once again we thank you that we have this time to gather together to study your word. We ask for your special blessing upon us be with those who are listening, for we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: When you hear about someone who was able to make it through elementary school and perhaps high school without reading, you think, wow, that was rather remarkable. But for somebody to make it all the way to teach high school and still not be able to read, that’s amazing! How could he do that?

Pastor Doug: I believe it 100%. Some of the teachers say that’s impossible. And of course, it was embarrassing to some of the college professors that someone could graduate from college and then finally confess, “I can’t read.” He freely admitted that he hid it.

But I did that I could read but I did very poorly. I dropped out of high school but when I wanted to get my general education diploma – I guess I’m making a confession now – I got the book that had all the questions you can get the book that has all the questions that might be on your GED and I have a good memory. So I just went through all of them and memorized what the answers were so when the test came, I just checked the place. I said, “I recognize that question I remember it was this answer,” I never really did any of the work that you’re supposed to do in ciphering some of these things and I got my diploma.

Now I guess it’s okay they’re not going to take away my college degree now that I admit that. But when I heard the story of John Cochran and how he was able, through manipulation and getting friends to help him do his homework and stealing test answers, and just a combination of dishonest things, trying to avoid what he thought would be impossible for him to learn to read. He just looked at the page and it was hieroglyphics to him he couldn’t read. but he developed all these mechanisms to try and get around it but he always wanted to understand what are these mysterious symbols on the page and how do you decipher them. and Finally, through persistence, he did learn to read when he was 48 years old. he got a tutor for about 14 months and developed a 12th grade reading level, ran successful businesses, wrote two books and became part of the president’s literacy commission.

It makes me think about a practical truth that there are a lot of people who go to church and they go through all the motions of being a Christian but they’ve never really read the Bible. They can tell you that David killed Goliath and that Daniel was in the lions’ den and that Zacchaeus was a short man who climbed a tree but if you really press them on having Bible answers for what they believe, they haven’t got the foggiest idea because they just don’t read the scriptures.

We have a verse in the Bible that tells us that: 1st Timothy 4:13 says “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” Give attention to reading and it tells us in the Bible to study the Word. It’s something every Christian ought to spend time doing every day speaking to god through prayer but then let God speak to you through His Word. and maybe you would like to get over your spiritual dyslexia, friends, or your spiritual illiteracy. We have a free book we’d like to send you it’s small, easy to read and it talks about how you can use this ultimate resource of the Bible.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And that’s exactly what the book is entitled: The Ultimate Resource, talking about the Word of God. If you’d like to receive this book, give us a call on our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747. you can request the book The Ultimate Resource and we’d be happy to send it to you absolutely free. And if you have a Bible-related question, we have a few lines still open. The number here to the studio is 1-800-463-7297. That’s 800-GOD-SAYS. Our first caller this evening is Marilee and she is listening on KIFA from Cameron Park, California. Marilee, welcome to the program.

Marilee: Thank you. I’m gonna let my husband ask, he had a question.

Marilee’s husband: My mother and I were baptized as Methodists. I made a conscious decision when “I was 13 years old and during the baptism I was sprinkled and I’ve had several people tell me that I’m not baptized. My thought is that when I see baptism where people are submerged, that’s also a symbol as well as being sprinkled is a symbol. So am I baptized or am I not?

Pastor Doug: Well, I don’t question your sincerity but if you want to follow what the Bible says is the biblical method of baptism, the very word “baptized” is “Baptiso” in Greek and it means “to immerse”. They used it in the cloth dyeing industry frequently the put clothes in these big vats of dye ant they would “baptiso”, they would push it under.

Baptism represents a new birth it represents a cleansing and then of course, Jesus when he was baptized, it says he went down into the Jordan River, he came up out of the river. When the Ethiopian was baptized by Phillip, it says he went down into the water and came out of the water.

the symbolism of being baptized is not fulfilled by sprinkling. Baptism also represents a death/burial and resurrection. I wouldn’t question your sincerity and I have no doubt there’ll be many people in heaven that probably were not baptized according to the Bible but if you want to follow the scriptures, and Jesus says unless you’re born of water and born of the spirit, you can’t enter the kingdom. It’s an important event. I’d want to do it the way Jesus did it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a book dealing with this subject that I think you’d find very interesting. It’s entitled Baptism: Is It Really Necessary? It gives you some of the biblical principles and builds on the past that Doug just shared. If you’d like to receive that book, give us a call on our resource line and we’ll send that right out to you. It’s 1-800-835-6747 ask for the book Baptism: Is It Really Necessary?

Pastor Doug: In addition to that, you can read something with us, study for free at the Amazing Facts Website and it’s called Power In Purity. And that goes into everything from the method of baptism to the history of baptism why has it changed in some places?

If I’m not mistaken, up until 1000 A.D., virtually all Christian denominations were baptizing by immersion. you’ll see the history there in that lesson. Power In Purity at the Amazing Facts website. Just look under the free lessons there. Thanks for your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Martin calling from Somerset, Kentucky. Martine, welcome to the program.

Martine: Hi, thank you.

John Ross: Hi.

Martine: I’ve got a question. ’ve heard some arguments against the Sabbath that Jesus appeared to people on the first day of the week and I was just wondering is there any significance that he shows the first day of the week to appear to people than on the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: I have no question or dispute that Jesus appeared to people after he rose on the first day of the week. To me that would be further evidence that Sunday is on the Sabbath. Christ appeared to people several days of the week. As a matter of fact, he appeared over a period of 40 days. Jesus did important things, very significant things on different days. He had the last supper on a Thursday night, he was crucified on Friday, he rested in the tomb through the Sabbath, he rose Sunday morning to continue his work for us as high priest.

So the idea that he rose Sunday that it somehow became a substitute Sabbath, it might sound poetic and spiritual but there’s not a verse in the Bible that says that’s how we should interpret the event. It’s just been sort of concocted that way.

So I always ask friends, and I’ve done it in large, live audiences I did it this month when I was in Dubai and I said please show me one verse in the Bible – and this is a live audience. I said, just raise your hand and I’ll point to you – produce one verse in the Bible where we are commanded to keep the first day as the Sabbath? And unless somebody’s real mixed up, there’s usually a very deafening silence. There isn’t a verse.

Yes, Jesus rose first day of the week and e appeared several days after that for the next 40 days. We do have a study guide that talks about Sunday in the New Testament.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right if you would call our resource line – I’ll give the number to you in just a minute but you can ask for the study guide entitled The Lost Day in History and it’ll tell you more about the Sabbath. The resource line is 1-800–835-6747 and ask for the study guide The Lost Day in History. That’s 1-800–835-6747. And also, we have a website dedicated to the subject of the Sabbath. It’s simple Sabbathtruth.com. You know pastor, what I like about this website is there are a number of resources here to study the subject for yourself, but there’s also a 7-part documentary series that they can watch right online that gives you the history of the Sabbath right from creation all the way through and how the Sabbath plays a significant Biblical teaching even today.

Pastor Doug: Very Good. And we have another book I just realized, and it may be at the Sabbathtruth website as well, if you wanted to read that right on time, Martine, and that would be Is Sunday Really Sacred? So a lot of resources, a lot of historical documentation as well as biblical support for these truths. I hope our friends will take us up on that and go to Sabbathtruth.com

Pastor Jëan Ross: If you have a Bible question, the number is 1-800-463-7297. We’ve got Gardner listening from Yonkers, New York. Gardner, welcome to the program.

Gardner: Yes for the past two years, I’ve been asking God that if He has a true church on earth, could He please show me it. And I came across a ministry that makes extraordinary claims and they have a worldwide ministry that reaches 300 million people. But some of the claims they make is that they’re the only ones doing God’s work on earth today. This particular person says on television that he is the only prophet in the world today that only new revelation is being told to him and that in Zachariah 12 – 14 the two anointed ones is talking specifically about him. My question to you, pastor Batchelor is, if you ever came across a person claiming these types of claims that has a worldwide ministry – and they do keep the Sabbath – what would you make of it?

Pastor Doug: Well, I would find it very suspect when a person says that they are the fulfillment of the two witnesses in Zachariah and in Revelation 11. If they say that God is only giving them divine revelation, even Jesus didn’t claim that. Jesus said that God speaks though others. When the disciples said forbid this person because he doesn’t go with is, Jesus said “forbid him not if he is speaking un my name.”

So to discount every other ministry and every other missionary in the world and tell everybody I am the only vehicle top salvation, that would automatically in my mind say that this fellow is not only wrong, I would think he’s evil.

Gardner: I have to ask you, have you ever heard of anyone making that claim before?

Pastor Doug: No, I don’t know who you’re talking about so I’m not speaking of anyone in particular.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I would almost bet that somebody making that claim will eventually come around to saying, “Well, if you’re going to support the work, you need to send your money to me. I’m the only organization…” It even gets more suspicious when somebody says I’m the only one that’s deserving of your financial help.

Pastor Doug: That’s what Jim Jones said.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Gardner: They have a tremendous body of written work and they have sent me over two years their writing of every book in the Bible and they have never asked for a dime.

Pastor Doug: Well, somebody’s sending money or somebody’s independently wealthy.

Gardner: Thank you for your answer, sir.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you. You know, we’re doing a study – a study and a book on this important subject of dealing with the church. The book is entitled The Search for the True Church. If you want to know biblical principles for finding Bible believing church, you can call and ask for the book The Search for the True Church. The number is 1-800-835-6747, that’s our resource line. You can ask for the book The Search for the True Church. You can also ask for the Amazing Facts study guide The Bride of Christ and we’ll send that out to you. Our next caller is Danny and he is listening from Cross Lake, Michigan. Danny, welcome to the program.

Danny: Thank you, pastor that’s Cross Lake, Minnesota.

John Ross: All right we’re glad you responded. We won’t make you move!

Danny: I got your book Are the Dead Really Dead and on the third question it says about the spirit and that you have to have a body made from dust and then God breathes the spirit in you and you become a soul. My question is when does that happen? I know when Adam was made, He made him out of dust right away and breathed into him and he became alive. But in a person who is gestated 9 months, when does that happen? Does that happen at his birth when he takes his first breath or does that happen at conception?

Pastor Doug: Well, I’m of the opinion that human life becomes sacred at the point of conception because there you have all the elements of who that person’s going to be the new original DNA that’s going to form and shape their life. In the Bible, when Bathsheba found out that she was pregnant with David’s child, she didn’t say “I’ve got a fetus or a growth” she said that “I’m with child.” And it was very early in her pregnancy.

So I believe that something miraculous -well, all life is miraculous but in particular at the point of conception. And even though the fetus is breathing, it’s just doing it through the mother,

Danny: Right…

Pastor Doug: So that breath of life is happening even right then.

Danny: Okay, well, that clears things up for me then and thank you very much for your answer, pastor I appreciate your program.

Pastor Doug: Thank you keep us in your prayers. God bless.

John Ross: We do have a website pastor Doug on that as well, entitled Truthaboutdeath.com for anyone wanting to learn more. There’s also a video on the website that you can watch entitled The Witch of the Endor.

Pastor Doug: there’s a lot of confusion out there. People want to know what is the soul, what is the spirit, what is that spirit that goes to God when something dies and how is that different from the soul and the body that website will answer that, Truthaboutdeath.com or Deathtruth.com, either one.

John Ross: Yes, either one will get you there. If you have a Bible question, the number to call is 800–463-7297. That’s 800-GOD-SAYS. We have Gil listening from New York. Gil, welcome to the program.

Gil: Oh, praise the Lord! Glad to speak to you guys. Good evening to both of y’all. God is alive and well and His Word is going to continue to work through your guys. and I’m grateful for what you do on the Radio. I’ll tell people on the trains about you guys. Even though I can’t see with my physical eyes, I just have a desire to tell people about the Lord.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you, Gil. And your question tonight?

Gil: And by the way, we’ve spoken before. My question is in Luke 19:10, Jesus says, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” And I just want to encourage people and also in John 10:10, Jesus says that “I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” I was wondering if you can make the connection between those two wonderful encouraging verses to give hope to…

Pastor Doug: “I have come that they might have life and life more abundantly?”

Gil: Yes.

Pastor Doug: In Luke where he says "I’vecome to seek and to save the lost..."

Gil: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well, step one is when we recognize we’re lost and we come to the shepherd. Then we start to experience that next verse which is the abundant life. But you can’t experience abundant life when a person is lost because then you’re spiritually dead. Another scripture says “He that has the son has life. He that hath not the son hath not life.” And I think that’s 1 John.

John Ross: Yes, it is.

Pastor Doug: So Gil, that would be the key to people and I appreciate you helping us do evangelism over the radio.

Gil: I love it because—

Pastor Doug: asking those loaded questions. That’s the idea.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do have a study guide. You know, this is important pastor we don’t want to rush through this. Probably one of the most important questions anyone can ask is what I must I do to be saved. That was the question asked of Peter on the Day of Pentecost.

And I know there are people listening to this program that have this same question in their mind: what must I do? We have a study guide that’ll tell you what you need to do in order to receive that abundant life that Jesus wants to give. If you call our resource line, we’ll send you a book for free. It’s entitled Three Steps to Heaven. Call 800- 8356747 and ask for the book Three Steps to Heaven and you’ll be able to find the answer. Of course, all of it is Bible-based but what must you do on order to be saved. The next caller is Ann and she is calling from Alabama. Ann, welcome to the program.

Ann: Yes, good evening. Thank you for taking my call and I do enjoy your program immensely. I’m just slightly confused about the crucifixion of Yeshua Jesus. Did Jesus become the replacement for the sacrificial lamb on Passover Eve?

Pastor Doug: Well, when Christ died or actually, when he said “It is finished” and died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom by some unseen hand. And when he was condemned in the trial, a high priest tore his clothes, which he was never supposed to do.

So you’ll see with the death of Christ and end came to the literal Jewish priesthood. The Bible tells us in Peter: ‘Now we are a nation of kings and priests,” believers. there was an end to the sacrificial system through the temple. Christ is now our Passover and our sacrifice.

John Ross: That verse, pastor Doug is 1 Corinthians 5:7 where the apostle Paul say “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”

Ann: What night was he crucified?

Pastor Doug: Excuse me?

Ann: Was he crucified on Passover or the Feast of Unleavened Bread? was it Wednesday or Thursday? I’m confused about that. Was it an exact replacement exactly on the night that the lamb should’ve been sacrificed?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Just to respond to that, Jesus ate the Passover meal one night early with his disciples. So when he died, that was the time when the priest in the temple was just about to sacrifice the Passover lamb and Jesus died in the afternoon. So Jesus knowing that he was the Passover, that he was the fulfillment of that, gathered together with his disciples Thursday and celebrated the meal.

And it was at that point that Jesus instituted the Lord’s supper or the Communion service and then the actual Passover, the time when the lamb was to be slain, that’s when Jesus died.

Pastor Doug: And of course, theoretically in the Bible, a day begins and ends at sundown. So if it was dark when Jesus ate with the disciples that would have been the 6th day.

Ann: But that would’ve been the Passover mean and not the last supper.

Pastor Doug: Well, it was at the last supper that Jesus, he did say “I’ve longed to eat this Passover with you.” I believe that’s the gospel of Luke so he called it a Passover. Keep in mind, they looked at the Passover as not one day the Passover was a 7-day celebration.

Ann: Right, right.

Pastor Doug: So it was a week. But this was a high Passover because when the Passover sacrifice coincided with the weekly Sabbath, they called it a high Sabbath. And that just happened to be, it was the perfect storm, so to speak, of dates when Jesus died on the cross because you had the intersection of the weekly Sabbath, the Passover Sabbath, the death of Christ and all of that was coinciding at the same time.

Ann: I see.

Pastor Doug: We appreciate your question, Ann and we do have a book called Feast Days and Sabbaths that talks a little bit about this.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800 – 8356747, that is the resource line. And Ann, you can ask for the book Feast Days and Sabbaths – or for anyone wanting to learn more about the subject. We’re going to see if we can get one more caller in before we take our break. we’ve got Mary, calling from Hanover, Pennsylvania. Mary, welcome to the program. We’ve got about two minutes.

Mary: Yes I would like to know real quick my daughter wants to get baptized but yet she agrees with the Ca…the doctrines and everything. But if she don’t read in the 18:44 or don’t understand at all, is it that that she can’t be properly be baptized into the church.

Pastor Doug: Well, having a clear understanding of biblical history is very important but I don’t even think it says in the baptismal vows that that’s a criteria for baptism. I would sure be more comfortable as a pastor if person understands what the history is, and we do seminars on the 7 ages of the church and those things. It’s great when people are taught. Jesus said “Go there for to teach all nations and baptize them”so it’s a great if a person is taught and they understand these things. But I don’t think technically, it can be held up as an obstacle to baptism in a general sense.

Mary: That’s what I mean. Because you’re baptized into Christ and of course, when you join a church, it doesn’t mean you have to understand everything before you’re baptized, right?

Pastor Dough: Well, there are some fundamentals you should understand.

John Ross: there are there are some basics that one needs to grasp but hopefully, even those who have been Christians for a number of years, hopefully they’re still learning they’re still studying, still getting into the Word and discovering new truths. there are some basic things that a person needs to understand. Jesus in the great commission told his disciples to go preach, baptize and make disciples. So there are some basics that one needs to understand. And depending upon the age of the person that is getting baptized and their ability to grasp and understand things, that will probably also come into play.

Pastor Doug: We appreciate your question, Mary. And by the way, Pastor Jëan Ross:, I don’t think I’ve told anybody since we started our broadcast tonight, I’m just back from the Middle East, United Arab Emirates and from Indonesia. And last week was really a very exciting time because I was invited to speak in what is the largest Christian church in Indonesia 120 churches came together and I tell, it was just a thrill to see 9,000 people there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I’ve seen pictures of you in the church preaching and that is a large crowd of people that were there.

Pastor Doug: we wish we could transplant that to Sacramento! It was a beautiful new facility. You know, a Muslim country and to be able to share Christ in that context and in that church was a real blessing.

John Ross: It’s exciting to see those who are open to spiritual things and Christianity, even in Muslim countries.

Pastor Doug: One thing that was a real thrill – I just want to say this – I want to send our greetings to our friends that are in the UAE. We went to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and Sharja and Indonesia and it was incredible. People there are listening to Bible Answers live on the internet and some are watching our programs through satellite television. so greetings, friends! you’re listening to Bible Answers live.

John Ross: Pastor, we’ve mentioned a few websites as we’ve made our way through the program. One of them is Truthaboutdeath.com. you know, there’s another one closely connected with the subject of death that Amazing Facts has just re-vamped and that’s entitled Helltruth.com, along with a real catchy video.

Pastor Doug: People might wonder but we’ve developed a series, a kind of a family of websites and they end with “truth”. Bibleprophecytruth.com, we’ve got one called Marytruth.com, we have Deathtruth.com, Sabbathtruth.com and Helltruth.com that’s just been totally revamped. And the reasons we make these websites is we get so many questions on this subject. people misunderstand the punishment of the wicked and the love of God, and how could a loving God torture people? This website addresses all that. New video – go to Helltruth.com…we’ll be right back.


Pastor Doug: Welcome, listening friends. You’re tuned in to Bible Answers Live and if you joined us along the way, this is a live international interactive Bible study and we do have a couple of lines still open. If you have a Bible question, give us a call. That number is 800- 4637297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is John Ross. Pastor Doug, let’s go straight to the phone lines. We have Dee, who is listening from New York – actually from New Jersey, it looks like. I don’t think she’s ready to get on air she’s still doing some typing. We will go to Robert in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Good evening, Pastor Jëan Ross: and pastor Doug. My question is about Mark 16, the gospel of Mark. Many manuscripts have a shorter version that ends at Mark 16 to 11, comes out from 16 to 20 but there are some ancient manuscripts that go to 16:8 and many scholars say that’s where it should end. They say that the lengthier versions are spurious. Who’s right on this? What is the truth about that?

Pastor Doug: There’s three principle manuscripts that folks draw their conclusions from. There’s one called the Textus Receptus. Now when we talk about these manuscripts, we’re just talking New Testament. The Old Testament manuscripts are very well established. There were hundreds if not thousands of Jewish manuscripts of the Old Testament. For the New Testament manuscripts, you’ve got the Sinaiticus, the Vaticanus and the Textus Receptus.

The Textus Receptus includes what we would find in most Bibles, the entirety of Mark chapter 16. Some of the critical scholars, they see things in Mark 16 where it talks about “You’ll drink a deadly thing and it won’t hurt you, you’ll take up serpents and they won’t bother you” and they say oh, that sounds kind of… too many miracles. So some of the critics have found that there are manuscripts that don’t contain that and they lean towards those manuscripts to try and get rid of those miracles. But there’s nothing in the other texts of the Bible that would discount them.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s seen by some scholars that they were so careful in copying these various manuscripts originally, many of them were letters and would be hand-copied. It would seem as though it would be easier for a portion of the manuscript to be lost or maybe a portion to be left out versus a portion to be added. So a number of scholars feel that even if some manuscripts don’t have these verses, it doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t in the original but perhaps in the copy that portion was left out.

Robert: But some of the earliest manuscripts contained it?

John Ross: Some of the earliest? Well, as far as they go. They’ve got manuscripts that date back all the way down to about the 2nd, 3rd century and some of early ones do have that and some of them don’t.

Pastor Doug: you know, what you have to keep in mind let’s suppose that we’ve got the 2nd or 3rd early manuscript has all of Mark. Does that mean that that’s less dependable than the earliest or could it be more dependable because it was copied from earlier manuscripts that we don’t have anymore? And as Pastor Jëan Ross: said, I think it’s a lot more likely with my Bible when it starts falling apart, it’s the outside that falls off. In our hymnals in our church, when they get worn, we start losing the songs in the front and the back. And to lose the end of a chapter in these primitive manuscripts is a lot more likely than someone manufacturing an end.

If you end Mark where some of the critics say you should end it, it’s very abrupt. So we believe it is credible and it fits with the style and the rest of Mark’s writing. That’s the other thing sometimes when people were trying to make things up, it didn’t fit the character and the style. So yep, I’d take the Textus Receptus and the Bible as a whole.

By the way, you start using some of these higher criticisms and folks that are dissecting the Bible, they also throw out the story of the woman caught in adultery where Jesus said “He that is without sin, let him throw the first stone.”

Robert: That’s true.

Pastor Doug: The whole story’s gone because it’s only in John chapter 8. So you’ll start finding your Bible’s full of holes if you go with these critics.

John Ross: Yeah. and if you look at this particular example, Mark 16, it would seem to me that the words of Jesus in particular would’ve been very carefully copied. These are the words of the Master and for some of that to be left out, it would only make sense that is would’ve been lost or a portion of the manuscript damaged versus somebody actually adding to what Jesus is saying.

Pastor Doug: By the way, we do have a book dealing with the ultimate authority talking about the Bible. It gives a little history about how it was compiled as well as the importance of studying it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is entitled The Ultimate Resource and if you would like to receive a free copy, give us a call on our resource line. That’s 800-835-6747. you can ask for the book The Ultimate Resource and we’ll be happy to send that out. If you have a bible question, the number to call is 800-463-7297 to get your question on the air. We have Rochelle who is listening from Brooklyn, New York. Rochelle, welcome to the program.

Rochelle: I called because I’m having a question in regards to Mark 12:27 where it says “He is not the God of the dead but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.” I want an explanation for that because that was raised as a question in a Bible study group.

Pastor Doug: When Jesus says he is not the God of the dead but the God of the living?

Rochelle: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Some might take this to mean….does that mean that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not really dead but they’re alive. Well, the way Jesus looks at it is whenever a believer dies he calls it “a sleep”. So when a person’s sleeping, are they dead or alive?

Rochelle: They’re asleep.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, I mean if your kids are sleeping in the bedroom, you feel perfectly comfortable that they’re going to wake up – they’re alive. When a believer dies, Jesus said, Our friend Lazarus is asleep.” Jesus looked upon Lazarus as still being alive in him. Because for God there’s no element of time. The fact that Lazarus was not resurrected at that moment, to Jesus he was alive because he knew he would be. he’s just sleeping. So the Lord doesn’t look at the death of His believers as an end or a termination it’s just a sleep. And that’s why Jesus said “I’m not the God of the dead but the living” because the resurrection…See, he’s talking to the Sadducees because they don’t believe in the resurrection.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That was the point I was going to make. One of the beliefs of the Sadducees was that there was no resurrection so they were kind of making of those who said they were, and they came to Jesus trying to trick him and they told him a story about a woman that had all of these husbands and who’s she going to be married to in the resurrection? Kind of making fun of the idea of the resurrection Jesus said God is the God of the living, not the dead. In other words, for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, if there was no resurrection, how could they receive the blessings that God wants to give them?

Pastor Doug: And why would everyone identify Jehovah as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Jesus is saying don’t say that he is the god of these people who are forever dead.

Rochelle: The person I was referring to that used this text was referring to the fact that when Jesus rose from the dead, there are other people that will awaken. So they’re saying that when people die, they just go directly to heaven.

Pastor Doug: That’s a common belief…

Rochelle: That nobody’s dead.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that’s a common belief but then why does it say in 1 Thessalonians 4: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth will awake when Jesus comes”? If they’re already awake then how can they wake up? And if Jesus is coming to raise the dead – Christ said “The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear his voice. they that have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, they that have done evil, the resurrection of damnation.” Daniel Chapter 12 says: “When Michael stands up, many that sleep in the dust of the earth will awake.” There’s just so many verses that talk about a day when the dead will be resurrected. They’ve got to be dead to be resurrected. So everybody just shoots up to glory with their glorified bodies without a resurrection then what is the point of the resurrection when Jesus comes? By the way, our website Deathtruth.com talks about this.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We also have a study guide entitled Are the Dead Really Dead?

Pastor Doug: So Rochelle, take a look at that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Give us a call it’s 800–835-6747 you can as for the study guide Are the Dead Really Dead? Pastor Doug, I’m going to read this question. We have a caller who’s asking and the question is: her husband just left. She’s wanting to know how can she remain faithful in prayer with her husband leaving.

Pastor Doug: Well, that is a struggle. I would think that this is best time of all to draw close to the Lord. Ultimately to every believer, Christ is a type of husband, man or woman. we’re joined to Christ through baptism and it’s like a marriage to Christ. It’s just a god time to strengthen that intimacy with the Lord through prayer. there’s a verse in Psalms that says: “When your mother and father forsake you, the Lord will take you up.” I think that would also be true if a spouse leaves just know the Lord will take you up.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. this is a time to trust in the Lord, spend time in His Word, spend time in prayer. even though it’s very difficult, it’s something that Christ is able to carry a person through. We have Frank who is calling from Orlando, Florida. Frank, welcome to the program.

Frank: Hello, pilgrims, how’re you doing?

Pastor Doug: doing well get real close, Frank, we can barely hear you.

Frank: Okay nice to talk to you gentlemen this evening.

Pastor Doug: Thank you likewise.

Frank: I’m interested in Revelation chapter 9, What are those locust or grasshopper things? Are they just demons or are they physical manifestations or are we yet to find out what they are?

Pastor Doug: Well, I can tell you what some of the historicist scholars believe. these are the scholars that believe in the historic interpretation of prophecy. They believe that they represented the Islamic or Muslim hordes that were coming to really chastise or to be a judgment against Christians that had drifted into idolatry. Am I getting that right, Pastor Jëan Ross:?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: They saw them as a plague that swept across Europe at that time. These people that are looking at Revelation from the historic view, Revelation is covering the time…John says in chapter 1: “The things that you see are going to begin to come to pass.” Revelation covers from the first coming of Jesus to the second coming. The first few visions of Revelation are divided in the 7 churches that covers the religious history from the first to the second coming of Jesus. You’ve got the 7 seals that covers sort of a political history from the first to the second coming and then you’ve got the 7 trumpets that covers something of a military history from the first to the second coming. And then revelation 15 and 16 got the 7 plagues and that’s really talking about just before the second coming. That’s a quick overview.

Frank: Well, the bottomless pit that they come out of was false religion, maybe.

Pastor Doug: Well, it is it’s talking about the abyss of Satan. That word for bottomless pit is “abussos”.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, they also sometimes identify that word in particular with the vast, desolate areas where the rise of militant Islam came. It’s sort of as a swarm of locusts from the desert and attacked various Christian nations and countries and spread out across North Africa up into Eastern Europe.

Frank: Uh-huh that’s the historical interpretation?

Pastor Doug: Yup there’s three main interpretations for Revelation. You’ve got what they call preterits that means “pre”. They think everything in Revelation was done being fulfilled by about 100 A.D. they think it’s all in the past. then you’ve got futurists and that would be in the left behind family people that think from Revelation 4 on, that’s all in the future. and then you get the historists and that’s what the great reformists were like Martin Luther and Wesley and Whitfield. they all believed that Revelation is covering the span of Christian history – and that’s what we believe. So that’s the historist view. you know, we do have some studies on Revelation that you can watch at the amazing Facts website. I just did a series called Walking Through Revelation and it’s a condensed version.

Pastor Jëan Ross: that’s at Amazingfacts.com or .org. By the way, pastor Doug, it might also be good to mention our Prophecytruth website.

Pastor Doug: Oh, yes!

Pastor Jëan Ross: there’s a number of video resources. Prophecytruth.com or .org just a wide variety of prophecy-based subjects that you can study.

Pastor Doug: It’s actually Bibleprophecytruth.com.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Sylvia and she is calling from Manhattan, New York.

Sylvia: Hi, Pastor Jëan Ross:, hello pastor Doug. Buenas Noches to you both.

Pastor Doug: Buenas Noches

Sylvia: Gentlemen, I have a question. I have a 16-year old son who just recently turns 17. He actually called your station when he was 14 and he had a question for you. Unfortunately, he got caught up with the wrong kids and he’s incarcerated. I went to visit him today and he still speaks about you and he said he was going to try to call you. He had a question and I wanted to see if maybe you can help me get an answer for when I see him next weekend. Like I said, he got caught up with the wrong crowd and there’s one crowd that doesn’t like that crowd and so forth. He says he doesn’t have a problem praying for himself, his family, the radio station and praying for all of the pastors and their families. He has a problem praying for people that are trying to hurt him, as he says. I wanted to know if there was a scripture that maybe you can read or…

Pastor Doug: It is hard but with the spirit of God… Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5: “Pray for those who despitefully use you persecute you.” I think it’s at the end of the Beatitudes’. If anybody knows how to do it, Christ when they were nailing him to the cross said, “Father, forgive them.” that verse is Matthew 5:44.

Sylvia: Okay…

Pastor Jëan Ross: And then again, it’s repeating in Luke 6:28 where Jesus said, “Bless them that curse you and pray for them that despitefully use you.”

Pastor Doug: “And persecute you” Jesus adds in Matthew. So it’s not easy but with the spirit of God… and we think that Jesus dies to save these people he loves them. Try to imagine what these people would be like if they were converted. Could you love them if they were converted? So start loving them as though they’re converted before they’re converted. That’s the only way I can deal with it.

Sylvia: He also said something really interesting as well. He said “I know the rain falls on the good as well as the bad, the sun shines on the good and the bad.” So I think he has kind of an idea but I just wanted to help him along because I don’t want him to lose his spirit while he’s in there.

Pastor Doug: Well, you’re on the right track. And you send him our regards.

Sylvia: I will, pastor.

Pastor Doug: Tell him when I was a young man, I had some extended visits in jail and God straightened me out so there’s hope.

Sylvia: Yeah, yeah, I know there is. you know, I always tell him that we can do anything with Christ.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Sylvia: Putting him first, we can do anything. I was really proud that he’s reading His Word. I did bring him a Bible so I’m really happy with that. and I do watch you, pastor Doug on channel 55 I’ve been doing it for years.

Pastor Doug: There’s a lot of people who while they’re in jail, it really brings them to their knees and they start reading the Word. And I know some friends that that’s all they had. They learned the Bible from cover to cover and it just transformed their lives. Let’s pray that this is how that time is used by God. Thanks for your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Diana who is listening in Placerville, California. Diana, welcome to the program.

Diana: Hello!

Pastor Doug: Hi!

Diana: My question was, you always hear about The Covenant and I was just wondering all about The Covenant. There’s the Old Covenant, New Covenant.

Pastor Doug: Well let me tell you, the New Covenant you find actually in the Old Testament. In Jeremiah 31:31 so it’s not hard to remember it’s like the days in a month. Jeremiah 31: 31. He says “Behold the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which my covenant they broke although I was a husband to them. But this shall be the covenant that I shall make with the house of Israel afar those days, says the lord. I will put My law in their inward parts and I will write it in their hearts and I will be their God and they will be My people.” So the new covenant is the same, that of the ten commandments that were in the old covenant – but now they’re written in the heart. And it’s through the spirit and love that we want to obey God.

Pastor Jëan Ross: In Deuteronomy, Moses is recounting to Israel the history of their wanderings in the wilderness. And he tells them that after the ten commandments were spoken by God, the children of Israel responded and said ‘everything that God has said, we’ll do.” And then God said to Moses: “All that they have said is good but O that there was a heart within them that they would fear and obey me.” So the problem with the old covenant was that it wasn’t in the heart. They relied upon their own strength to obey god. But the new covenant is where God writes His law upon the heart, where He puts His spirit within us and we’re able to keep those commandments not based on our own effort but rather, Christ living within us.

Diana: okay.

Pastor Doug: We have a book actually, that deals with the covenants and it’s called Why the Old Covenant Failed. We’ll be happy to send you a copy or you can read it, either one. you can call the resource line or you can read it at the Amazing Facts website.

Diana: Okay I get that on my…

Pastor Doug: You can get that on the internet. It’s called Why the Old Covenant Failed and it’s Amazingfacts.org, and look under the free library right at the top of the bar there on the right and it’ll give you a lot more information on that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The n umber to call for that free resource is 800–835-6746 and you can ask for the book why the Old Covenant Failed. We have got Jim who is listening. Jim, welcome to the program.

Jim: Thank you. the reason I’m calling isn’t so much a question but about five minutes ago, you had a lady that called and it sounded to me like her husband was leaving her and she wanted to know – the way I was getting it, why should she pray and should she continue to pray? I’m just calling to let her know that after 16 years of marriage many years ago, even as a born again believer, I left my wife for another and succumbed to the flesh. and even while I was away, she made calls to me and pleaded with me to come back and she continued to pray. I just didn’t… I said foul things to her, told her I was never coming back. She continued to pray and continued to pray and I praise the Lord to say that now that we have been back together and married 31 years now, and our faith in the Lord is stronger than it’s ever been our marriage is stronger. I’m telling this woman do not ever give up Praying.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Amen.

Jim: God is a wonderful God and a powerful God.

Pastor Doug: I appreciate you sharing that. I think the probably encouraged a lot of people. The power of prayer to transform hearts and sometimes even when you think it’s hopeless.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know the Bible says “Pray without ceasing.” I think for many, that’s don’t quit praying. Don’t give up keep pressing your petition to God.

Pastor Doug: Thank you for that Jim, appreciate it. Let’s see if we can get one or two more in before…

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Casey who’s listening from Tennessee. Casey, welcome to the program.

Casey: Hey guys first time caller, first time listener as a matter of fact. Just driving home I went today to my first ever “spirit-filled church” and just want to get the thoughts of you two on the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe that every Christian should strive to be baptized both in water and the spirit – we need both baptisms. But when churches and pastors say that the evidence that you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit is only that you speak in tongues, I’d have to say biblically, I would respectfully disagree with that. While Pastor Jëan Ross: and I believe in all the gifts of the Spirit, including the gift of tongues, the emphasis on speaking in tongues the way it’s done in some churches where it’s sort of a babbling incoherently, that’s not the gift of tongues in Acts chapter 2. The acts chapter 2 example, the people there understood what was being said because they said, “we’re hearing them magnify God in our native languages talking about the wonderful works of God.”

And the fruit of the Spirit is not tongues. The fruit of the Spirit is love joy, peace that Galatians 5:22. Before we run out of time, Casey, we have a book. We’ll send it to you for free or read it online and it’s called Understanding Tongues. I wrote it and I have worshipped with many charismatic friends and churches where they speak in tongues and they’ve talked about the evidence of speaking in tongues as the fruit of the Spirit.

I don’t fully agree with the way that’s being done today. It’s really a recent phenomenon – when I say recent, I mean in the last 100 years but in the previous 1800 – 1900 years of church history, that’s not how anyone interpreted those verses.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, if you’d like to receive that book the number is 800–835-6747 and be sure to ask for the book Understanding Tongues and we’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Pastor Doug: I could say a lot more on this but we’re going to see if we can squeeze in one more – oh, no more time. Don’t have time for another call. We’re going to hear the music not any time we don’t want to insult anyone. Thank you, Casey Listening friends, if we didn’t get to your call don’t give up on us. God willing, we’ll be back again next week and use the website between now and them. There are just gobs - I like that word – gobs and gobs, a plethora of stuff at the amazing Facts website to study. There’s audio you can listen to, video you can watch. You can also go to our TV channel which is simply amazingfacts.TV, 24-hour a day Christian programming including a lot of Bible answers being given. Most of all, we want you to know it’s all about Jesus. It’s the story of the One who is the truth that will set you free.

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