Date: 11/30/2003 
Earthquakes conjure up terrifying images of the ground rocking and rolling, as if moved from some diabolical forces from the abyss. Unlike tornadoes or hurricanes, earthquakes usually...
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Earthquakes conjure up terrifying images of the ground rocking and rolling, as if moved from some diabolical forces from the abyss. Unlike tornadoes or hurricanes, earthquakes usually strike without warning.

In North America when we hear the word "earthquake," we typically think of Los Angeles, San Francisco, or maybe Alaska; but there have even been some major earthquakes recorded in Boston; Charleston, South Carolina; and Long Island.

Surprisingly, some of the greatest potential for a powerful, North American earthquake is not on the Pacific or Atlantic Coast, but rather in the states around mid-America. The grand-daddy of great earthquakes occurred between 1811 and 1812 on the New Madrid Fault, halfway between St. Louis and Memphis beneath the Mississippi.

These earthquakes shook the entire United States affecting the topography of North America more than any other earthquake in recorded history. Judging from their affects they were of a magnitude of 8.0 or higher. They were felt over the entire United States continent east of the Rockies.

The shock was so massive large areas sank into the earth. New lakes were formed, 150,000 acres of forest were destroyed, and the Mississippi River ran backwards, permanently changing its course. Many houses at New Madrid were thrown down. One source notes houses, gardens and fields were swallowed up.

Fatalities and damage was low back then because the area was sparsely settled; but in the last 200 years, those same areas have become heavily populated. For years geologists have not wondered "if" there was going to be a big earthquake, but "when" it will hit. Scientists believe there is a significant probability for a major earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 or higher in the near future causing catastrophic loss of life and property damage in the billions.

For decades now several North American cities have been looking down the barrel of a loaded seismic canon, hoping for another day of grace. Jesus said just prior to His coming there will be earthquakes in different places. Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug: Hello listening friends. I'd like to welcome you once again to another edition of Bible Answers Live. We're so glad that you've tuned in. Whether by accident or design, you're here because God wants you to hear. If you'd like to participate in this international Bible study, we'd encourage it.

The number if you want to call in in North America is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That stands for 1-800-463-7297. Several lines are still open. If you have a Bible question, that's the number to dial, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. Pastor Doug, as we normally do let's start with a word of prayer.

Pastor Doug: Amen

Pastor Dick: Heavenly Father, we thank You and we praise You because You have loved us so much that You have sent Your Son Jesus to die on the cross. You've established this plan of salvation. And tonight Lord, You give us the privilege of being able to use the airwaves to open the Bible and share the Word of God. So we ask Your Holy Spirit to come tonight, be with us tonight Lord. Clear Pastor Doug's mind from the cares of this world and give him wisdom and insight as we seek to answer the questions from people who are calling from all over the world, Lord. We thank You and we praise You again. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Dick: Well Pastor Doug, earthquakes. That's a shaky subject.

Pastor Doug: Have you ever felt one?

Pastor Dick: Yes I have, yes.

Pastor Doug: Living in California, that's something almost everybody has felt - -

Pastor Dick: Yes

Pastor Doug: - - at one point or another.

Pastor Dick: That's right, that's right.

Pastor Doug: We don't have too many in Sacramento but we have felt the ground shake a little bit.

Pastor Dick: Well, we just went through a very heavy one about 20 years ago in the Oakland/San Francisco area that did a lot of damage.

Pastor Doug: That's right.

Pastor Dick: And it has caused all of us out here on the West Coast to be anticipating "the big one."

Pastor Doug: My aunt was in that earthquake that was down by Inglewood, Encino.

Pastor Dick: Yes, uh-huh

Pastor Doug: And you think about the comparison, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was probably a 7 on the Richter Scale.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: It just about leveled the city, partly from the fire; it has been a lot from the actual earthquake that came about 5:30 in the morning. But they're saying now if we have an earthquake of that magnitude, either in Los Angeles or in San Francisco, nothing we've had so far has been "the big one."

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: They have been comparatively small.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: The damage could be catastrophic to the economy, in the loss of life; and yet, then you read about this major earthquake that was in the center of the North American continent, over 8 on the Richter Scale, made the Mississippi run backwards, felt over the whole continent. You think about how that area has been developed.

I mean, this earthquake dates back to just after Lewis and Clark. There was nobody there, very few Native Americans.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: They were not living in sky-scrapers. What happens now if Chicago down to Memphis, St. Louis, is shaken like that? It just makes you tremble to think about it.

Pastor Dick: You know, one of the things that I think that we concern ourselves, or we should concern ourselves with, is that people who live in certain parts of the country are not aware that they face those dangers. People, for instance, in the Southeast, in the Florida area and the Texas area, are worried more about hurricanes than they are earthquakes.

People in the Midwest are more worried about tornadoes, or perhaps than that.

Pastor Doug: And this earthquake actually hit right in what they call Tornado Alley.

Pastor Dick: Right, right.

Pastor Doug: But, a few years ago, they had an earthquake in New York City that made the buildings sway and folks were shocked in Manhattan. They never dreamed that would be a concern. But Jesus said several times, "There will be earthquakes"; Matthew 24, He tells us in different places. One of the signs of the coming there will be earthquakes in different places.

Of course, there was an earthquake when Jesus came the first time; at His death the earth shook and even the graves opened. The Bible says when He returns again there is going to be another, amazing earthquake, such as not since men were upon the earth; and that's Revelation 16, verse 18, "so mighty an earthquake, and so great." And that one, also, may open up the graves for a different purpose.

Pastor Dick: I think you and I agree that that's "the big one" that - -

Pastor Doug: That's the last "big one."

Pastor Dick: That's the one we're looking for.

Pastor Doug: Yup. Hopefully, we'll be off the ground when that one starts to rock and roll.

Pastor Dick: Amen [Laughs]. That's right, amen!

Pastor Doug: But that's synonymous with our study guide for tonight - -

Pastor Dick: It is, that's right.

Pastor Doug: - - dealing with the subject of signs of the Lord's return.

Pastor Dick: That's right. How can we know how to recognize Christ's second coming? Is it soon? How do we know that? Well, we want to make this lesson study available to anyone who will call our resource operators tonight. The lesson study is called, It's Headed Straight Toward You and You Can't Outrun It.

If you would like to add this to your library of Bible studies, now is the time. You can have a clearer understanding of when Christ's second coming will be, not the date, but you can know that it is near.

Pastor Doug: Jesus said we'll know when it is near.

Pastor Dick: Exactly, exactly.

Pastor Doug: They'll really benefit from this study guide.

Pastor Dick: So please call our resource operators, 1-800-GOD-SAYS is the number to the studio, but 1-800-835-6747 is the number to the resource operators. They're standing by 24 hours a day. If you call them right now, ask for, It's Headed Straight Toward You; and tell them you're listening to Bible Answers Live and they'll send it out to you right away.

Pastor Doug: And we'll take 50% off the free price.

Pastor Dick: That's right, the phone call is free too.

Pastor Doug: [Chuckles]

Pastor Dick: Boy, such a deal! [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: Can't beat that.

Pastor Dick: Pastor Doug, Internet questions before we go to the phones.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Pastor Dick: Let's deal, first of all, with this question. This person is curious. It has dawned on them that, maybe, just maybe, the fish and other sea creatures were not destroyed in the flood. What does the Bible say? What do you think?

Pastor Doug: Well, the creatures that were put on the ark, Noah, obviously, didn't have aquariums bouncing around on the boat. The only creatures that needed a refuge were the air and land creatures that did not flourish in the water.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So the other sea creatures, we believe the majority of them survived. Now, the composition of the ocean radically changed from the flood. We believe that the water may have been fresh before the flood. The great upheaval of the flood exposed these massive salt deposits that are in the earth, bringing up the saline levels in the water, and some fish could not survive that.

It's interesting that there are fresh-water porpoises, there are fresh-water sharks; salmon born in the fresh water go to the salt water.

Pastor Dick: U m m, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So there's plenty of evidence in the modern world that many of these salt-water fish did well in fresh water. Some of them adjusted. Some species may have been rendered extinct at that time; but otherwise, we believe that the sea creatures stayed in the sea.

Pastor Dick: Okay, second question.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Pastor Dick: Ezekiel chapter 8, verse 16.

Pastor Doug: Let me read that and then I'll let you finish the question.

Pastor Dick: Okay

Pastor Doug: "So he brought me to the inner court of the LORD's house, and there, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they were worshiping the sun towards the east" [Ezekiel 8:16].

Pastor Dick: Okay, question. "Is not Jesus Christ returning from the east?"

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe He is. The Bible tells us that when Elijah saw the sign of the coming rain, it appeared as a small cloud about the size of a man's hand arising over the sea. I believe that there is going to be evidence coming that we will be able to see.

Many people believe that Jesus would be coming from the east; and that's not because I think the Lord is living in the Orient or something like that. I think it's because the earth rotates from west to east.

Pastor Dick: Oh, yeah

Pastor Doug: The sun rises in the east. So anything that's approaching that way would appear, maybe, to be coming from that direction. Now most cemeteries, if you've been to them, you notice they're laid out where people are facing the east.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: Some folks say that that dates back to sun worship. I'd like to think in Christian cemeteries it's because they think the Lord will be approaching from the east.

Pastor Dick: Right, and so when we raise from the dead, we'll be facing Jesus.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. There are many songs we've sung about from the eastern sky, speaking of the Lord coming.

Pastor Dick: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Keep in mind that sun worship, what they were doing here in the temple, is under the pretense of serving God. They were really worshiping the sun.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: That's completely different from what direction Jesus is coming. There's no contradiction here.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: No conflict.

Pastor Dick: Alright, very good. Well, let's go to the phones and start tonight with a cell phone call from Jeff in Walla Walla, Washington who's listening on KGTS. Jeff, welcome to the program.

Jeff: Hi

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for your call.

Jeff: Yeah, God bless you. My question is while I was doing some studying on the passage in Matthew 19:28, where Jesus tells the 12 apostles, "Thou shalt sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." And the only place in the Bible I can see where it fits in is between the Lord's second coming and the Lord's third coming; because after the Lord's third coming, or the White Throne Judgment, when all the dead are already going to be judged and we'll be in the new heavens and the new earth and the New Jerusalem, I think, from what I read, everything is going to be perfect. And there's not going to be any need for judgment. I was just calling in to see if Pastor Doug could give me some more insight or Scriptures.

Pastor Doug: Well now, there is evidence in Revelation when it talks about Revelation 21 and 22, about the New Jerusalem.

Jeff: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: It says that in the 12 gates were the names of the 12 apostles.

Jeff: Right

Pastor Doug: In the 12 foundations, verse 14--the 12 tribes were are in the gates; the 12 apostles are on the foundation stones. So there's evidence for that. Now you're wondering who are they judging?

Jeff: Yeah. Is there going to be judgment after the White Throne Judgment, or is everything going to be perfect in heaven, I mean, the New Jerusalem?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think what we need to do is put on a different concept of what judgment is. They are not going to be saying, "Guilty, innocent," pronouncing. The word "judgment" has a much broader sense in the Bible. Keep in mind, the judges of ancient Israel did not just sit on thrones saying, "Innocent, guilty," they also extolled God and His virtues.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Pastor Doug: They were the spiritual leaders. Remember the 12 judges in the Old Testament? In the book of Judges you read about some of them.

Jeff: Right

Pastor Doug: Samuel, Samson, Gideon, those are the judges of Israel. They weren't sitting in black robes pounding a gavel. They were supposed to be spiritual leaders; and so, in that sense, the 12 apostles will be flanking the Lord and extolling God, sharing thrones with Him. And I think this is what it's talking about.

So that would really take affect, I believe, after the New Jerusalem comes down.

Jeff: Alrighty.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Jeff: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps.

Jeff: Okay

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Pastor Dick: Jeff, thanks for the call, God bless. From the west coast, let's go to the far east to Newfoundland, Canada. We want to talk with Matthew who's listening on VOAR. Hello Matthew.

Matthew: How are you doing sir, this evening?

Pastor Doug: Good. Nice to have a call from the far east.

Matthew: My question is God obviously--does He hear the prayers? I've got a problem with praying. I pray to God, but I don't think He hears my prayers, and I've been told that it's an unrestrictive privilege. And if we're not baptized, some people have told me God doesn't hear your prayers. But now, I've got a problem with that because I think that God does not hear my prayers and I'm thinking I'm very unworthy. Is there any direction the Bible could help me on that?

Pastor Doug: Well first of all, when you pray in faith that makes a big difference. Keep in mind, Matthew, the Lord hears everything, doesn't He? God is aware of everything because He is God; so of course He hears your prayers.

Matthew: Yeah

Pastor Doug: But when we say, "Does God hear our prayers?" we're asking that two ways. We're not asking is He aware. He's aware of everything. He's God.

Matthew: He's aware, yes, most definitely.

Pastor Doug: But then hearing also means is He responding? Does He take personal note? And obviously, God hears every prayer, - -

Matthew: Yeah

Pastor Doug: - - but if you want your prayers answered, the Bible says that one of the criteria is that whoever comes to God must believe that He is, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Matthew: That's in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 6.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Matthew: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So, having faith, having your prayers mingled with faith is a very important element.

Matthew: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Now, there's a criteria for knowing that God will hear our prayers we can follow. For one thing, pray according to His will. The Bible says pray in faith. Another thing it says if we regard iniquity, in Psalms, He will not hear us. In other words, if we are clinging deliberately to cherished sin, you cannot give God your Christmas list.

You can always pray a prayer of repentance, even if you are struggling with sin, and He will always hear that. He'll always hear a prayer for deliverance and forgiveness and power from temptation. But we can't, you know, cite our Christmas list, so to speak, to God if we're living in rebellion.

Matthew: He doesn't hear the prayers of the wicked. The Bible is pretty specific on that.

Pastor Doug: That's what I'm talking about.

Matthew: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So, if you meet these criteria, then you can say, "Whatsoever things we ask, we receive of Him because we do those things that are pleasing in His site," and I'm quoting from 1st John.

Matthew: Yeah. I feel unworthy sometimes when I'm praying to God. I don't think He hears me in a sense. He hears me, but He's not really paying much attention to what I'm saying.

Pastor Doug: Oh keep in mind, God is so brilliant; and that's so an understatement! He is perfectly aware of everything you're thinking, let alone what you're saying.

Matthew: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: God is able to give you His undivided attention as though you're the only human in the world; and so don't let the devil cloud your thinking with this idea that God is not really tuned in. God is desperate to save you and He's very interested in your prayers. And one of the characteristics of prayer, keep in mind Matthew, is persistence.

We quoted Elijah a minute ago. He prayed seven times for the rain.

Matthew: Seven times, yeah.

Pastor Doug: And then it came. So don't give up when you pray okay?

Matthew: They say that prayer is the most powerful force.

Pastor Doug: It is. Prayer is the key in the hand of faith that unlocks heaven's storehouses, and He will do that for you too. We've got some books on prayer at our website that we'd recommend to Matthew. Just go to the free library, and we've got two or three on the subject of prayer.

Pastor Dick: It would be a good idea, Matthew, for you to go to the Amazing Facts' website. It's Just use the links there and find the books on prayer that Amazing Facts is offering. There is also a book entitled, Life in the Spirit, by Joe Crews. If you call our resource operators or go to the website, you can find that book on prayer also. It's called, Life in the Spirit.

The number of the resource operators is 1-800-835-6747. Pastor Doug, let's go to Glen Allen, California and talk with Bruce who's listening on KFIA. Hello Bruce.

Bruce: Hello, God bless you guys.

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for waiting.

Bruce: Thank you. I have a confusing issue. I read the Bible a lot, but now I see almost a contradiction. Now, I called in about 2nd Thessalonians chapter 1, verse 7, where God is talking about the trumpet sounds through Peter. And his breath becomes a flame that devours the whole earth and dries the seas in one translation; but the contradiction would be an all-consuming fire, the fire that Moses saw in the bush, did not burn the bush. And then, I always thought that Jesus would not return until no flesh would survive. It sounded to me like people in the world with their free will would start this fire. Could you explain it to me?

Pastor Doug: Well let me comment on something you said I think may be a false assumption, that Jesus would not return until no flesh would survive. Christ said, "Except those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved," and I think that's Matthew 24. But that is not saying that He would not come until no flesh would survive.

He's saying He's coming early deliberately because, otherwise, conditions would get that way. So that's a different issue; but I think I'm hearing you ask about the different kinds of fire that the Lord is going to devour people with.

Bruce: All-consuming fire is the way [cross talk, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: Alright well, when the Lord comes it tells us in 2nd Peter chapter 3, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night," this is verse 10, "in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

Now when the Lord comes, the coming of the Lord is going to consume this planet. The only thing that's going to survive is the people that He catches up to meet Him in the air. Behind Him will be left fire and destruction. And I don't know that the Lord is going to have a flame thrower, you know, that's going to be falling behind Him.

It's like we were talking at the beginning of the program. The San Francisco earthquake--most people didn't die from the earthquake, but from the fire, from all the broken gas lines and the fires that were sparked. I think the world is going to be in big conflagration because of the destruction of the second coming.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: There may be some volcanic fires and things of that nature too. The fire that comes down out of heaven at the end of the 1,000 years and falls on the wicked is different. That is the fire of Judgment, where every man is punished according to what he deserves. That's where it forms a lake of fire into which the wicked are cast.

So, I hope that clears that up a little bit. We do have a lesson, Bruce, on the subject of, "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?"

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And that lesson specifically deals with the concept of the lake of fire and how the wicked will be destroyed. I recommend it.

Pastor Dick: Bruce, 1-800-835-6747. Call the operators and they'll send it out, - -

Pastor Doug: "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?"

Pastor Dick: - - send it out for you tonight. "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?"

Pastor Doug: It's a funny cover too.

Pastor Dick: Okay. To Brooklyn, New York. Sulimon is listening on WCMA. Hello Sulimon.

Sulimon: Hello, how are you Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Fine, how are you doing?

Sulimon: Alright, I'm fine, thank God. I have a question. It's regarding Ishmael. Now in the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis, Abraham, he makes a prayer to God. He says, "O that Ishmael may live before thee!" God answers the prayer and says, "I have heard your prayers. I blessed him and I will multiply him exceedingly," and so forth. Now the question is, how is that promised fulfilled through the Ishmaelite side of the Abraham tree?

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe that the descendants of Ishmael did grow into a large nation.

Sulimon: Okay

Pastor Doug: Many of the Arabic people that you find in the Middle East today are descendants of Abraham and Ismael.

Sulimon: Um-hm, um-hm. Yeah, because He also mentioned that, you know, He's going to make Ishmael into a great nation, like He said to Abraham, "I'll make you into a great nation and I'll multiply your descendants," and so forth. And the same phrase He has used for

Ismael, "He will turn Ishmael into a great nation." Now what comes out from the progeny of Ishmael that makes Ishmael great? I mean, not just a multitude of people. I mean, the pagans were even more than the believers today.

Pastor Doug: It sounds like you're asking a question where you already know what your answer is.

Sulimon: Yeah, because I don't want to, you know, because I want to see if there's a basis for this in the Bible, because [cross talk] how much comes out from that lineage, nothing but the Qur’an from the desert of Arabia. But I wanted to have your take on it, you know, to see if there's a basis of that there in the Scriptures.

Pastor Doug: Well I believe that the difference that you find between the promises and prophecies that were made to Ishmael and those that were made to Isaac is, the prophecy was that through Abraham's seed, through Isaac, all the nations of the world would be blessed; and He did not make that statement to Ishmael.

Sulimon: You see, all the nations of the earth--all the families of the earth were to be blessed; and the Israelites is just one branch among the families of the earth.

Pastor Doug: No. You didn't let me finish, pardon me.

Sulimon: Okay, go ahead, go ahead.

Pastor Doug: When He said "all the nations of the earth would be blessed," it was through the line of Isaac that the Messiah came; and through the Messiah, all the nations of the world were blessed. That would be everybody.

Sulimon: Okay, now what - -

Pastor Doug: Every nation, every people, the Arabs, Muslims, everybody has been blessed by the teachings of Jesus.

Sulimon: Um-hmm. So what about, you know, the son of the covenant? I mean, Ismael was also a part of the covenant that was made to God by Abraham through circumcision. I mean, Isaac was not born yet and Ishmael was there, like 14 years of age. And he was also in the covenant, those who were to be blessed and those who were to be upright, and so forth. I understand Isaac's side. We accept that. The Muslims accept that side. We have no problem with the Israelites' side, but see, why is the Ishmaelite side so suppressed in the Bible?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that the record is given very clearly and it was fulfilled. God promised at the request of Abraham; he said, "O that Ishmael might live before thee!" and God said, "I will also make of him a great nation." Keep in mind, Sulimon, that back during this time, this was the infancy of many nations. A number of the patriarchs, their progeny did grow into great nations.

Sulimon: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And Ishmael was another case of that. I think you're trying to make a case that there was some cryptic meaning in this message that this prophecy of Abraham, that was foretelling that, through Ishmael, that Muhammad would come.

Sulimon: Right, because Abraham--no Abraham took Hagar and Ishmael and they settled in Paran, what is known as Makka today, and he grew up there. And the Bible says, "And the lad grew up in the presence of the Lord." He married over there and prophet Muhammad comes through his lineage [cross talk, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: Now you made a statement here. Let me call you on this. Where does the Bible say that Abraham took them to Mecca?

Sulimon: No, took them to Paran see?

Pastor Doug: Yes

Sulimon: Took them to Paran, and Makka, and however you call it, Paran. "Paran" means "mountains between Makka and Madina." The word "Paran" also means "those to whom migrated." And even historically if you look, Makka is included in the area of Paran, you know?

Pastor Doug: Well you know, I'm going to have to look that up because, I don't know Pastor Dick, maybe you have seen this before. I have never seen--of course, Abraham, and it's not a very happy thought, but Abraham divorced Hagar - -

Pastor Dick: Yes

Pastor Doug: - - at God's request, and he had to put her away. He gave her gifts and I'm sure it broke his heart, but there was too much fighting in the household. I think that the friction that began between Ishmael and Isaac way back at Abraham is still not alleviated. There's still friction between their descendants, which is tragic.

But, I didn't mean to cut you off Sulimon. You can tell we're having a break here. We're going to come back with more Bible questions. Listening friends, we always take a little breather here at halftime. We have some important announcements for you; gives the stations an opportunity to give their ID.

We want to remind you during this time to check out the Amazing Facts' website. If you run into any amazing facts, I'd love to have you email them to me. Some of the amazing facts that we share during the broadcast that we put into our book have come from listeners like you. And so, check out the Amazing Facts' website,

If you would like to go through the Bible University and get your degree as an apostle of prophecies. If you want to understand the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, just go to and you can log on. It's a free course and you can quadruple your understanding of biblical prophecies.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Pastor Doug: So take a look at that. We'll be back in just a few moments. I want you to tune in. Pastor Dick has some announcements.


Pastor Doug: Welcome once again listening friends. If you are among those who may have just tuned in or tuned in before we started the program, you've found your way to Bible Answers Live. We're glad you're listening. We hope you stay tuned.

We're taking live Bible questions from around the country; and friends, this is real, live radio because we often have no idea what the question is going to be until they're on the air, and we just trust the Lord to lead. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. We want to start this portion of the show with Janice in Orlando, Florida, who's a first-time caller listening on WTLN. Janice, welcome to the program.

Janice: Thank you

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Janice: My question is a two-fold question. My parents and I have had very elderly friends in their late 70's, early 80's with no hope of recovery or on dialysis machines; and they were very, very worn out, very tired of their illnesses. And they decided to just stop dialysis. Would this be considered a suicide?

Pastor Doug: Well, it could be. You know, that's one of those fine lines.

Janice: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: When you think about it, Samson is accused of being a suicide, but you have to keep in mind, they were going to execute Samson at the end of their festivities that day.

Janice: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: And he just beat them to it and tried to take down the house as he was doing it on his enemies.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: My father and others we know have had in their will that they were refusing life support in advance. They didn't want heroic efforts to be made to put them on breathing machines and things to just keep the body functioning.

Janice: Yes, uh-huh

Pastor Doug: Obviously, if I stopped eating long enough I'll die. So there's something I need to do to keep alive. If it happens to be medicine to stay alive, then take it. Now, there is a line when, you know, some people can take chemo and add a couple of weeks of very poor health and misery to their life; where without chemo, they could maybe die a little more peacefully.

That's one of those things you just have to pray that God will give you the grace to do, make those decisions. So that's what I'm saying. There's a fine line. If a person is starting to make heroic efforts to just, kind of, squeeze one more day out, but it's really one more day of misery, and they're ready to just lay down their sword and go to sleep, then I'm not going to fault them for that.

This is something they'll have to have peace with God about.

Janice: Okay. Well the second part of my question is, I'm bed-bound with multiple sclerosis. I have pain 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It doesn't let up and I'm almost blind. And I feel ready to give it up. And I can take medicine to prolong a life that I feel brings no peace, no joy, no nothing. Would I be committing suicide?

Pastor Doug: Well if you do something, if you take action that terminates your life, that would be suicide. Now, I heard you say something. I hope you don't mind, Janice, I'd like to address. Life is a gift, even though you may not be getting joy out of it. The purpose of your life, I can't explain what all the details would be, - -

Janice: Right

Pastor Doug: - - but God doesn't only bring us into existence so that we can derive pleasure or joy.

Janice: No.

Pastor Doug: One of the reasons is so that you could bring glory to Him; and it may be that you are able to bring glory to Him even through your trials. So, I'm sure there are days where you are on the verge of despair.

Janice: Yeah

Pastor Doug: But keep in mind that you need to trust God that, if you're alive, He has a purpose; and just say, "Lord, today help me fulfill Your purpose. If it means I need to praise You through my trials, then give me the grace and the strength to do that." The apostle Paul struggled with some vexing, physical ailment. We don't know exactly what it was.

Janice: Yeah

Pastor Doug: He prayed three times God would take it, and God said, "No. My strength is made perfect in weakness." And it could be that this disease is God's way making His strength perfect in you. Could we pray with you Janice?

Janice: Sure

Pastor Doug: Let's do that.

Janice: Okay

Pastor Doug: Father in heaven, we just want to come before You collectively, those listening, and to direct our prayers in Janice's direction; and others like her who are facing despair because of physical maladies, or maybe even terminal illness. I pray that You will give them the courage, physical strength and grace to know how they can best serve You with their life that remains, and looking forward to the new body where there is no more pain, and the new earth, the new life. And so, I pray that You'll grant her courage and peace, even though she may not have peace in her body; she can have that in her heart. We're asking this in Christ's name, amen.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Janice: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome Janice, and thank you for calling.

Janice: Okay, bye bye

Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick: Bye bye

Pastor Dick: Let's go next to Glen in New York who's listening on WMCA. Welcome Glen.

Glen: Oh good evening. My heart goes out to the last caller, - -

Pastor Doug: Yes

Glen: - - my prayers as well. I'm calling about something that I've been just thinking about for awhile. I haven't come to a concrete decision about it, but I'm beginning to think that God--you talked about the brilliance of God a little while back. I'm beginning to believe that God, truly, is sovereign over all. Well, when I think of the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation; and I think of the prophets; and I think of everything leading up to the exact timing of the birth of Jesus. And when I think that Mary had to be a virgin; that Mary had to be barren; and Joseph; and the three wise men; and just how everything had to line up perfectly with the plan of God. And then you see this--not only up to His birth but through His death--and even through the book of Revelation. So I'm beginning to believe more and more that, contrary to especially the non-believer, belief that they are in control of their own destinies. I'm beginning to believe more and more that the God who is aware of every sparrow falling to the ground is, somehow, some supernatural way, that He is in control - -

Pastor Dick: Amen! Glen?

Glen: Yeah?

Pastor Dick: Excuse me for interrupting, - -

Glen: Sure

Pastor Dick: - - but is there a question in this? Where are you going?

Glen: I wanted to get your opinion, you know, because I know what I'm saying is not a commonly held view, that God is in control, even above and beyond our so-called will.

Pastor Doug: Well - -

Glen: And I would just like to give you a Scripture and end on that. I'm calling to get your opinion about that sovereignty of God, to that degree.

Pastor Doug: Well, God is - -

Glen: Can I just give you the Scriptures first before you answer?

Pastor Doug: Okay, go ahead.

Glen: This is in--and I know it's hard to receive Scriptures out of the whole chapter--but in Romans the 9th chapter it says uh, "He said to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Pastor Doug: Alright. Do you want me to respond?

Glen: Yes

Pastor Doug: Okay. There is no question that God is all-powerful, and there's no question that God is all-knowing, but that does not mean that God is manipulating the people on the planet like puppets so that they have no freedom of choice. If that were true, that would mean that the whole plan of salvation was a big charade, and we were simply chess pieces that God was toying with.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But it's because Jesus became one of us, and He appeals to our will and our intellect and our reasoning, "Come now, and let us reason together," "Choose ye who you will serve," that we do have a choice. What I think confuses people, Glen, is that, because God knows all things and He can predict, some confuse that to mean He's making it all happen.

I've used that illustration before of a traffic helicopter that is watching an accident about to occur because of their vantage point. They're not making the accident occur. It's the choice of the drivers.

Glen: But did God plan and make the birth of Jesus happen and the subsequent plan of salvation, or was that just something God [Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Well, that relates to another passage in Romans that says that He is able to work all things together for good. It doesn't mean He makes all things happen. It means whatever happens, He is able to bring good out of that. For instance, the fact that Jesus had to flee into Egypt. God was able to work that for good.

He was able to work for good His growing up in Nazareth and a number of other factors in His life, but it doesn't negate our freedom of choice. He's delving into the deepest themes of theology, - -

Pastor Dick: That's right

Pastor Doug: - - predestination, and free choice.

Pastor Dick: Yeah...yeah, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Thank you Glen.

Pastor Dick: Appreciate the call Glen. Let's go next to Auburn, California. Ricardo is listening on KNDL. Welcome Ricardo. Are you there? Ricardo?

Pastor Doug: Ricardo has waited a long time. We may have lost him.

Pastor Dick: Yes, he has been waiting for awhile. Okay, let's go on to Buena Park, California. James is listening on KLRM. Welcome James. James?

James: Oh hi, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: You're on the air.

James: Oh thank you. How are you doing Doug Batchelor?

Pastor Doug: Good

James: Pastor Dick?

Pastor Dick: Yes sir

James: We have a question. I went to visit a church today and I wanted to find out, do pastors, are they the only ones that have authority to baptize a person, or can a friend baptize another friend without being a pastor? Because today, it was a mother, it was a parent, today, that baptized her child at church.

Pastor Doug: Was the parent a minister?

James: No. She was just a congregation member; and I wasn't sure about--I was thinking, "Hmmm...."

Pastor Doug: I spend a lot of time thinking about this and studying this, and I believe that the Great Commission while in general terms is meant for all believers, that Christ was probably speaking to the 12 because the Bible says that the 12 were gathered on the Mount of Olives as He ascended to heaven.

Those that are baptizing are bringing into the church people, and they must be authorized to evaluate those that are coming in for genuineness. John the Baptist evaluated those that were coming. He told the Pharisees, "You're a brood of vipers. Why are you coming?" The Bible tells us in the Gospel of John that Jesus didn't baptize, but His apostles, the disciples baptized.

James: Oh okay

Pastor Doug: For one thing, if the leaders in the church who are authorized are not baptizing and every member is sort of willy-nilly baptizing anyone that will slow down, we, after awhile, don't know who is and is not in the church, and it ceases to mean anything.

James: Right

Pastor Doug: There must be a screening process. So, it's like they say, "Membership means something." It has its privileges. And baptism is entrance to the church; and so it's something that is, I think, a commission given to the leadership. Now, the reason I worded it that way is because not only did the apostles baptize, it appears that the deacons baptized; at least Philip baptized the Ethiopian in Acts chapter 8.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So, that's the reason for that; and I am uncomfortable with the concept of anybody baptizing people into the church. It seems like it is a sacred rite.

James: Right

Pastor Doug: The other sacred rites are administered by leadership.

James: By leadership, oh okay. So that wasn't biblical then, it was just - -

Pastor Doug: Well I don't want to judge anyone, but it would have made me uncomfortable too.

James: Yes. Yeah, that's what I was trying to figure out you know?

Pastor Doug: I baptized one of my boys, but I'm a Pastor.

James: Right

Pastor Doug: So it's different.

James: Exactly. That's what I was trying to figure out. I wasn't sure exactly how it works, you know; is it a Bible passage somewhere where they got that from, because the pastor was there but he didn't baptize. But it was just a congregation member that baptized each other.

Pastor Doug: Jesus tells us that the church members need to recognize the authority, and there should be people who are authorized.

Pastor Dick: The apostle Paul when he created the churches appointed elders and left those responsibilities to the elders of the church.

Pastor Doug: Right, and they were the ones who, I think, would be screening those.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: That's why Paul said don't lay hands on any man too quickly.

Pastor Dick: Right, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Hopefully that helps a little James.

Pastor Dick: James, thanks for the call. Let's go to John in New York who is listening on WMCA. Welcome John.

John: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Good, thanks for your patience, and your question?

John: My question is what's the purpose of hell if we die out of Christ? Would we go to hell?

Pastor Doug: Well, yes. If a person dies in a lost condition, they're in what the Bible calls the second resurrection. Jesus speaks of it as the resurrection of damnation. They are raised and they are judged according to their deeds and cast into the lake of fire. That's what you call hell. Is that what you're talking about?

John: No. My question right now is that if you die right now, are you going to hell, because the Bible says hell was cast into the lake of fire. It's just hell is a holding place?

Pastor Doug: Okay, I see what you're saying. There's confusion. The word "hell" is used two ways in the Bible. Many times in the Bible the word "hell" simply means the "grave." Everybody who dies goes down into "Sheol." "Sheol," or "Tartarus," or "Gehenna" were translated "hell."

John: Oh

Pastor Doug: There's a fourth word that's translated hell, "Hades" from Greek. That was a place of punishment. But everybody goes down into the grave. The word "hell" is often translated "the grave." That's why it talks about "down to hell." Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that hell is down in a cavern somewhere in the earth. It's talking about the grave.

The other translation is the punishment of the wicked. So when it says in Revelation, "Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire," that translates, "Death and the grave were cast into the lake of fire."

John: Oh

Pastor Doug: There will be no more death, no more grave. "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" [1 Corinthians 15:55]

John: But do you remember Luke 14 when it says Lazarus and [cross talk, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that's Luke 16.

John: Excuse me?

Pastor Doug: That's Luke 16.

John: Yes, Luke 16, when it's concerning Lazarus and (unintelligible), when he died when he was still conscious of his surroundings, that he had five brothers remaining?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Keep in mind John, that's a parable. It's referred to as a parable, and all the language is parabolic language. So, it talks about the people in heaven and hell talking to each other. It talks about sending someone back. It talks about a drop of water. A drop of water would not cool someone who is burning in hell.

So the parable of the rich man and Lazarus really is not teaching us anything about the state of man at death. The purpose of that parable was to teach that if we do not believe Moses and the prophets, then we will not be persuaded though one should rise from the dead.

That was a message to the children of Israel in Christ's time, and to the church today, that if we're feasting on the Word of God while there are lost people around us starving, we may find that they're saved, and we've lost. That's all that parable means. We shouldn't be evaluating the nuances of the symbols.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: Okay?

John: Alright, thank you for your time.

Pastor Doug: I hope that helps a little, but thanks for your patience.

Pastor Dick: John, thanks for the call. Let's go to Elmhurst, New York. Walter is also listening on WMCA. Welcome Walter.

Walter: Good evening Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Another patient caller, and your question tonight?

Walter: Yes. My question is whatever I bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever I loosen on earth is loosen - -

Pastor Doug: Loosed in heaven, yes.

Walter: Yeah. What does that mean?

Pastor Doug: Shall I read the whole thing in its context from Matthew chapter 16, verse 19?

Walter: Yes, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And what Christ is saying just before that also helps [Matthew 16:16].

Walter: Okay

Pastor Doug: "Simon Peter said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus said, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." And He says, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." Now here He's talking about the declaration of Peter is the rock on which Jesus is going to build the church.

Walter: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: "...And I will give you the keys of the kingdom." He's not talking to Peter. He's talking to all of the disciples who were there in this dialog. And He's saying, "I am giving you the keys to the kingdom," meaning, "whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven." They had the freedom in delivering the Gospel to people to make any eternal difference; what they did on earth would be seen in heaven.

Evil spirits and habits that were bound on earth, would be bound for the world to come; and it was saying that those who were loosed from those things would be loosed in the world to come. What they did on earth would last for eternity, is all that Jesus is saying here.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Walter: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: You want to hear an interesting amazing fact since you've waited so long Walter?

Walter: Yes

Pastor Doug: Did you know that, of course, the Catholic church believes that Peter was given the keys to the kingdom? And there is a statue of St. Peter in the Vatican; and in the hand of St. Peter's statue are these keys. In March, his hand came up missing. Did you hear that Dick?

The hand had been repaired once before so it was attached with a metal rod, and they discovered one day that someone had stolen Peter's hand; so you can say the Vatican lost the keys to the kingdom!

Walter: Yeah [laughs]

Pastor Doug: But uh... [chuckles] that was an interesting fact I read in the news today. They may have found them since then. I read this in Reuters news agency from March so hopefully they've found the keys by now.

Walter: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But that's not what the keys were. God does not deliver the power of salvation to anyone mortal.

Walter: Uh-huh, uh-huh. I see.

Pastor Doug: Do you agree?

Walter: Yes

Pastor Doug: Okay. Thanks for your patience Walter. Hope that helps.

Walter: Thank you, yes.

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Walter. Let's go next to Queens, New York. Tia is listening on WMCA. Welcome Tia.

Tia: Hi, good evening sir

Pastor Dick: Good evening

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Tia: Very happy to be on your show. I listen to you guys all the time. I have a question regarding who Jesus is actually for? In Daniel we have the prophecy where Daniel says he

actually saw that all people, all nations, all tongues would bow to the Son of God. Then in Matthew and in Mark, we have the reference of the woman from Canaan who asked Jesus to see about her daughter - -

Pastor Doug: Yes

Tia: - - because she was vexed with the devil.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Tia: Then He called her a dog and said that He didn't come for the Gentiles but just for the Jews. I know that in the end, after His crucifixion and the apostles went out into the world and they preached eventually, I know that there's some controversy that some of the apostles still wanted to stick strictly to the Jews, - -

Pastor Doug: Right

Tia: - - while others branched off into, you know, letting the Gentiles in. But that is where I draw concern. Are we ultimately excluded, you know? I fear that we might be following in vain, in other words.

Pastor Doug: Who is the "we" that you fear is following in vain?

Tia: Those of us who are Christians but are not of Jewish lineage.

Pastor Doug: Okay, now I hear where you're going. Hey, well let me put your heart at ease. Jesus said, "Whosoever will." He said preach the Gospel to every creature. And the vision that God gave to Peter about the sheet with the unclean animals, - -

Tia: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: - - Peter said, "God has shown me not to call any man unclean." That's Acts chapter 10. So one of the things the Lord had to rattle and shake the apostles a little bit was to get out of this discriminatory preaching where they said, "We're just going to go the Jews."

In the passage where Jesus said to the Canaanite woman, "It's not good to take the children's bread and give it to the dogs," He was answering her the way the disciples expected religious leaders to answer Gentiles. But then Jesus did heal her daughter, and He said, "Great is your faith."

Tia: And is it also true that a lot of the other people, like for instance, Jairus, whose daughter, I think, also died, or his servant died.

Pastor Doug: Jairus' daughter died.

Tia: Okay, and also the woman from the well, Samarian - -

Pastor Doug: Samaritan

Tia: The Samaritan woman, these people were not Jews, were they?

Pastor Doug: No, well Jairus was a Jew, but the Samaritan woman was not a Jew; and Jesus, of course, revealed He was the Messiah to her.

Tia: Right

Pastor Doug: So, one of the things that was very clear is that the disciples--it took a couple of years, but the Lord convinced the disciples, the apostles, that they were to go everywhere. Matter of fact, by the time you get to--well let me back up. Acts chapter 1 Jesus said that they were to preach in sequence, Tia.

He said begin in Jerusalem, then Judea, then Samaria, then the uttermost parts of the earth. And as you read the book of Acts, that's exactly what they do. They start in Jerusalem, then they go into Judea, then they go to Samaria, then they go to the uttermost parts of the earth. So they followed this expanding pool, where they eventually went to everybody.

I've been to India where Thomas died; and he preached the Gospel there to the non-Jews in India.

Tia: Right

Pastor Doug: And Peter, of course, went to Rome; and Paul said he wanted to go to Spain, and - -

Tia: And I know that at some point in the book of Acts, Philip actually preached to an Ethiopian.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch who worked for Queen Candace.

Tia: Right

Pastor Doug: So the Gospel went to everyone. But there was some prejudice that they had to get out of when they first started, some nationalism; but hey, don't worry about it. The Gospel is suppose to go to "whosoever will." I hope that helps Tia. We're going to try and get one more call okay? Who's next Pastor Dick?

Pastor Dick: Brooklyn, New York. Rick is listening on WMCA. Rick, welcome to the program.

Rick: Hello

Pastor Doug: We've got about two minutes Rick. How can we help?

Rick: I'm going to try to make this very clear and as quick as possible. When I was a kid, when I was younger, my mother used to be told, she was constantly told that I had a work that God preferred--He wanted me to do. I had a calling on my life. In the last four years, I became very ill and they actually thought I was going to die. They had already resigned that. That was already made up in their minds, "Alright, he's not coming home anymore." And God brought me through this, so I know that He's very real because I've been through quite a few--many ordeals; but lately, I have not felt close. I pray. Sometimes it's almost like I don't get an answer. My mind is bringing me back to Psalms 46 at the 10th verse, which says, "Be still, and know that I am God."

Pastor Doug: Right

Rick: Am I looking too hard, or should I just do that, just be still and wait on Him? Because the Bible, it talks about patience a lot.

Pastor Doug: Well - -

Rick: And it also talks about faith.

Pastor Doug: You want to combine two principles, Rick. One is waiting on the Lord; but do what lies closest at hand with all of your might.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: I mean, God never calls on us to wait on Him by doing nothing.

Rick: I mean, I pray; well because of my illness I can't fast - -

Pastor Doug: Right

Rick: - - because it would be a detriment for me, you know. But I think that since I've gone through everything, as much as I've gone through, spiritually I feel like I've grown. I'm not where I want to be. I don't think any of us can honestly say that we're perfect. But sometimes it's like, almost like I don't hear anything.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know what? The Lord is there, even when you don't hear Him. That's why when Elijah ran to the wilderness, it says the Lord caused a mighty wind to pass and a fire and an earthquake, and then finally, God said He was in the still, small voice.

Pastor Dick: Right, amen

Pastor Doug: I hope you can still hear us Rick because the music--we can't hear you anymore. But hopefully, that will give you some encouragement, that God does have a plan for you. I think your mother was right. The Lord does have a calling for you. And friends, that's also true for each of you who are listening right now.

God has a plan for your life, and I can promise you it is a good plan. It is a big plan. And it's up to you to activate that plan by inviting Jesus into your heart. If you've not done that before,

I hope you do it tonight. He's only a prayer away. Invite Him in, and ask Him to take the steering wheel and He'll lead you to the kingdom.

Keep in mind, this is an entirely listener-supported ministry. If you've been blessed or encouraged, we'd love to hear from you. It doesn't hurt at all to mention at the year-end, we are non-profit and it's tax deductible.

Pastor Dick: Amen!

Pastor Doug: God bless you friends. We'd love to hear from you. Remember, Jesus is the Truth that sets you free!


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