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Stars in Prophecy

Date: 12/18/2011 
Did you know that if you hold out a grain of rice at arm's length on a clear night, the little spot that it covers will contain thousands of galaxies, and each galaxy with billions of stars? And did you know the...
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. Did you know that if you hold out a grain of rice at arm's length on a clear night, the little spot that it covers will contain thousands of galaxies, and each galaxy with billions of stars? And did you know the Bible says that God knows the exact number of all the stars, and their names? Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Batchelor: We're so glad that you are listening friends to Bible Answers Live. As you might gather from the title, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study. You're invited right now to call in with your Bible questions. This is a live broadcast, and if you have a question about the word of God, that's why we're here. That number one more time is 1-800-463-7297. That's 1-800-GOD SAYS. Get your pencil ready: 1-800-463-7297 to get your question on tonight's broadcast. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening friends and Pastor Doug. Let's begin the program with prayer. Father, once again we thank You that we have this opportunity to study Your word. We ask for Your special blessing upon this program. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be; and Lord, we ask that You guide us into a fuller and deeper understanding of Your will, as revealed in Scripture today. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Batchelor: Amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, it's always nice when you're out in the country. You and I have been up in the deserts in Nevada and there are no lights. You're far away from a town or a city, and you go outside of the tent, and you look up, and you see stars, and there are so many stars. And yet, when you think about the stars that we can't see, as you mention in your fact, it's mind-boggling how many stars are out there.

Pastor Batchelor: You know, they did an experiment with the Hubble telescope in 1996, a kind of a risky experiment where they said, "We're going to occupy the telescope 10 days and we're going to aim it at what looks like nothing." So they found a dark, empty patch near the Big Dipper and they aimed the telescope there for 10 days. It's expensive for them to monopolize the time of this very expensive piece of equipment for that long.

Opened the aperture, took in the light for 10 days, and they were astounded that they saw there, on the plate, 3,000 galaxies in this little, bitty spot about the size of a grain of rice--that what we would see if you held a grain of rice out at arm's length--3,000 galaxies. Well a few years later, they thought, "We've got to do this again." They upgraded the Hubble telescope and made some improvements.

In 2004, they did it now for 11 days, and they now saw 10,000 galaxies in this little, tiny, tiny, what we could think is a microscopic spot of the sky, over in the Orion field. And they call that the Ultra Deep Space Field picture. It's the furthest, most photographed, probably one of the most amazing photographs that have ever been taken. And 10,000 galaxies, in each of those galaxies are pinwheels filled with billions, not millions, billions of suns; and many of those suns have got planets around them. And you think, "That's just what we can see from our planet. What if we had a better, bigger telescope?"

They're building this James Webb telescope now. We think about how immense space is, and God left all of that. God became a man. God's Son came to our world, this little, bitty, blue speck revolving around this one, insignificant star in the Milky Way galaxy. He must really love these creatures that rebelled to do that, these creatures yet made in His image.

And when you think in the Bible about stars, God told Abraham, "Your descendants will be like the stars." That's a symbol, not only of the Jewish people, but the church, in a bigger sense, that they'd be numberless, or more than we'd number. And yet, you can read in Psalm 147:4, it says, "God counts the stars and He calls them all by name." I was sharing before the program I have five kids, and I get their names mixed up; and yet, God knows the name of every one of those zillions of stars!

One astronomer said there are approximately as many stars out in the universe as there are grains of sand in our planet. Just think about that for a minute, how BIG God must be to make all that, sustain all that, and know the names of all them. That's why Jesus said, "The sparrow doesn't fall without My knowing."

You know, there's a prophecy in Revelation that talks about stars. If you look in Revelation, chapter 12, it speaks about this woman who is standing on the moon, shining and clothed with the sun, and above her head she's got this garland, a crown of 12 stars hovering there. And many have wondered, "Who is that woman with that crown of stars?" She's not a movie star. We have a lesson, friends. If you'd like to understand what those stars represent--of course, we're at a time of year everyone's remembering when those wise men followed a star--and this woman with the stars, there's a connection. But we're not going to tell you. You've got to send for the free offer.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's a study guide entitled, "The Bride of Christ." "The Bride of Christ," and if you'd call our resource line, we'll send it to you for free. The number is 1-800-835-6747. Again, that's 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, "The Bride of Christ." If you have a Bible question, the number to call is 1-800-463-7297. That is our number here to the studio. That's 1-800-463-7297. Our first caller this evening is Sandy and she's calling from Illinois. Sandy, welcome to the program.

Sandy: Good evening Pastors. I was wondering if you could give me the biblical key of understanding the difference between when Stephen was stoned and he said, "Father forgive them," or "Don't lay this to their charge;" and contrast that with 2 Chronicles, chapter 24, verse 22. See the last part where it says, "He said The Lord look upon it, and require it."

Pastor Batchelor: Well, that's a good question. Alright, you said 2 Chronicles 24, what verse?

Sandy: 22, the last section of it.

Pastor Batchelor: Okay. Joash, the King, did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada, his father, had done to him, but he killed his son. And as he died, he said, "The Lord look on it and repay." Now this is an interesting verse because Jesus, when He wept over Jerusalem, He said all the blood of Abel unto Zachariah, the son--He says of Barachias, it's Zachariah the son of Jehoiada--that was slain between the porch and the altar, Jesus said that there would be a judgment that came on the nation of Israel. And when Zachariah prayed as he was being stoned to death, this son of Jehoiada, he said, "Lord, make a note of this and repay."

Now, you've got both in the Bible: you've got the martyrs and, is that Revelation 5, Pastor Ross, where the martyrs are under the altar saying, "Lord, avenge our blood!" and they're praying for vengeance. And through many of the Psalms--I'm reading through Psalms right now--and King David, sometimes he says, "Get even with my enemy" or "Treat my enemy."

The difference I see is that one is really talking about a judgment that would come on a nation; and Jesus said, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they do." Stephen said, "Do not lay this sin to their charge." I think they're thinking more about the individuals. What's interesting about that is one of the people at the cross of Christ, the soldier, he seems to be converted. He said, "Truly this was the Son of God." And then one of those who was at Stephen's execution, becomes an Apostle, Paul. So the prayer of Jesus and the prayer of Stephen, that God forgive those that are involved in the execution, those are prayers really for individuals.

The judgment that's being called on for the enemies of David and the enemies of Zachariah here, they're really talking about judging a nation for their injustice.

Sandy: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Batchelor: And, yeah, one more example pops into my mind is King Manasseh committed all kinds of atrocities, and God said He would not forgive the nation for the innocent blood, but He forgave Manasseh. It's kind of interesting. The individual was forgiven but the nation still paid for their injustice. Thanks, appreciate your question Sandy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. We've got Monica who is listening from New York on WDGM. Monica, welcome to the program.

Monica: Thank you for having my call, listening to my call. I've been praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit--

Pastor Batchelor: Monica, get a little closer to your phone if you could?

Monica: Okay.

Pastor Batchelor: That's better, thank you.

Monica: I've been praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit for a very long time. And I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, but I somehow still feel detached, or disconnected. And I don't have that feeling that I've been accepted to receive the Holy Spirit. I was just wondering were there some Scriptures that I could study or read, or, what is the feeling?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, there's a verse, Zechariah 10, verse 1, and it says, "Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain; and the Lord will make bright, flashing clouds. He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field." You know, the outpouring of the Spirit is sometimes referred to as the "latter rain." When God promised to send the Spirit when Jesus ascended, He said, "If I go, I will send the Comforter" and He has not retracted that promise; but He does say it's something we should ask for.

Now, when Christ talked about prayer in particular, He said, "If you've got a son and he's hungry and asks for a loaf of bread, will you give him a stone? If he asks for a fish, will you give him a serpent?" And Luke adds one more that Matthew leaves out. Luke says, "And if he asks for an egg, will you give him a scorpion?" And then Luke goes on to say, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"

Now that word "ask" there doesn't mean that you write a note and say, "Lord, please give me the Holy Spirit" and you've got it covered. It's really a searching for, a seeking after, with your whole heart. I'm just finishing a book I've been reading about the deeper, spiritual experiences of great Christians and how they were spirit-filled. You still there Monica?

Monica: I'm still here.

Pastor Batchelor: And the one common thing that it shares about these great men of faith, and women, all through history, and when they were filled with the Spirit, they got to the point where they were willing to do anything Jesus wanted them to do. They wanted nothing more than to be full of God. And when they wanted that with all of their heart, it's like Jesus said, "He that hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be filled." When you want it with all your heart, I believe to the extent you empty yourself, God will fill you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hum.

Monica: Okay. Alright. Well I will begin with reading Zechariah 10:1 and will continue to hunger and thirst with all my heart.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we also have a book, Monica, that I think you'd enjoy. It's entitled, "Life in the Spirit." It talks about the Holy Spirit. "Life in the Spirit." If you'd call our resource line, just ask for the book and we'll send it to you.

Pastor Batchelor: Free copy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book, "Life in the Spirit." That's 1-800-835-6747. We've got John, who is listening from Michigan. John, welcome to the program.

John: Hi Pastors.

Pastor Batchelor: Good evening. How can we help you John?

John: My problem is being very strict concerning the tithe. Now, my question is, do I have to tithe on the gross, or net?

Pastor Batchelor: Well I guess it depends if you want a gross blessing or a net blessing. But the idea is when we talk to people about your net paycheck and your gross paycheck, your net is what you're going to take home. Your gross is what you technically earned, but there are certain benefits that are taken out of that, whether it's social security, or medical program, or something else you may have with your employer; but those are all things that really belong to you. They're just being extracted. Even if it's taxes--because your taxes--you're paying an expense for your streets being paved and whatever else taxes go towards; the efficiency of politicians (laughs). So that's part of your earnings.

Now one little caveat there is, let's suppose that you're paying into social security, they're taking out social security from your paycheck. Someday, you're going to start getting your social security checks, and then you'd be technically paying tithe on it a second time. So I don't know that you'd really have to pay tithe on your social security money you set aside, and pay on it when you get it. It would be one or the other.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it's all so interesting. When you look in the book of Acts, when the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, they were so enthusiastic about getting the word out, sharing the Gospel, that for them, they weren't giving a tithe, they were selling everything they had. Brought and laid it at the Apostles' feet and said, "Use this for the proclamation of the Gospel." So the tithe principle is really the beginning. I think God wants us to abundantly give. Whatever He has blessed us with, give it to His cause, and He'll be able to use that to build up His Kingdom.

John: Okay, alright. Thank you very much Pastors.

Pastor Batchelor: Yup. And we do have a free lesson that talks about this principle.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's entitled, "In God We Trust." For anyone wanting to know more about what the Bible says about money and tithing, just call our resource line. That's 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, "In God We Trust." That number again is 1-800-835-6747. And the number to the studio if you have a Bible-related question is 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is Krista and she's calling from Ontario, Canada. Krista, welcome to the program.

Krista: Hi Pastor Doug. Thank you very much for having me on your show.

Pastor Batchelor: We're glad you called.

Krista: I am too, thank you. Pastor Doug, my question has to do with the role of women in the church, and their opportunities and limitations in serving in Elder-ship, as well as preaching.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes? Uh, you want me to--

Krista: Uh,

Pastor Batchelor: Go ahead. I'll let you finish framing this.

Krista: Oh. Basically, if you could expand on what is in accordance with God's word in regards to those issues?

Pastor Batchelor: Alright. Every believer of God is called to ministry, male and female, rich and poor, free and bond. Every believer is to participate in the Great Commission in sharing their faith. The area where the Bible shows a distinction, and I've looked at this for years, it's probably socially unacceptable but, biblically--and that's what I have to go by--biblically, I think it's pretty clear that men are called to be the servant leaders in their families, the priesthood among believers, as far as the ordinances, that a pastor would perform.

There's no example in the Bible of a woman serving in the capacity of a pastor, apostle, or a priest. There were women who served as judges; there were women who served as prophets; but you don't ever find a woman offering sacrifice. So that was sort of a pastoral role. And so a lot of the functions that a pastor might perform, a woman may have a gift of public speaking, a woman may have a gift of evangelism, there's no limit to what those gifts are. But all the way from what God said to Adam and Eve through the ministry of Christ and Paul in the New Testament, He does make a distinction that there is a role difference in that capacity.

We have a free book we can send you, or anyone that has a question on this, and it's called, "Women in Ministry", that goes through all the Scriptures on this subject in the Bible.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Call our resource line.

Krista: Yeah, that's very helpful. Thank you very much.

Pastor Batchelor: You're welcome.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is, 1-800-835-6747, and you can ask for the book, "God's Role for Women in Ministry" or just, "Women in Ministry." It's a book written by Pastor Doug, and we'll be happy to send that to you. 1-800-835-6747. We've got Jasmine, who is also listening from Ontario, Canada. Jasmine, welcome to the program. Jasmine, you're on the air.

Pastor Batchelor: Hi, welcome to Bible Answers Live.

Jasmine: Hi Pastor Doug. I have a question. It's like, we learned in school that--we didn't learn about apostles, we learned about people who follow Christ, which is a disciple.

Pastor Batchelor: Uh-huh

Jasmine: A disciple is a follower of Christ. That's what we learned. We learned that Peter, James, John, all of them, were disciples. Now, I am confused. Where did discipleship end, if it ended, and apostleship took over? Because there's a plaque that I also read where apostles are sent by the Holy Spirit (unintelligible) and they come in for power of attorney, but where did it end? Where is it? The disciples never ended? And where does apostleship start? I don't understand at all.

Pastor Batchelor: Alright. I'll do my best.

Jasmine: Okay, go ahead.

Pastor Batchelor: First of all, all of the apostles were disciples, but not all of the disciples were Apostles. Apostles really were the 12 leaders of the church that Jesus personally trained during that three-and-a-half year period. And Paul, for instance, he became an apostle because he personally saw Jesus. Jesus talked to him personally. He had that experience; but Mary Magdalene was a disciple. Cleopas was a disciple. You'll find a number of followers of Jesus that were not ordained as apostles.

So the apostles really had a different role of leadership and it talks about the different roles. It says first apostles, then prophets, and teachers, and so forth.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And every believer is called to be a disciple of Christ. We follow Jesus. And part of that--being a disciple--all believers are disciples, and yet there are different functions in ministry that God has gifted certain individuals; some with the ability to preach and teach, and others to minister to the needs of others. There's a variety of gifts that God has given.

One of those gifts, especially in the establishment of the early Christian church, was the gift of apostleship, which they were eye-witnesses. What a wonderful opportunity they had to walk and talk with Jesus, and see Him with their own eyes; a very special experience that those apostles had.

Pastor Batchelor: Yeah, so you'll find in 1st Corinthians for instance, chapter 12, it talks about the different gifts of the Spirit, and apostles were uniquely gifted for their work. First Corinthians 12:28, for instance, will say, "God has appointed these in the church, first apostles, second, prophets, third, teachers...." So it was really a lull in the church hierarchy that the Lord established. Hey, appreciate your question, and thank you for your call.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We've got Jeremy who's listening from Michigan. Jeremy, welcome to the program.

Jeremy: Thank you.

Pastor Batchelor: Hey, how can we help you tonight?

Jeremy: My question was, I've got a buddy who has a very different belief structure than I do and we love to get into these little debates. He brought up the idea of recycled stories in the Bible. This was something that I didn't have an answer to, and I was curious if I'd be able to get an, you know, an explanation from you perhaps, so I could talk to him later about it. But he brought up--and apparently it was true--that certain things in the Bible, for instance, the Ten Commandments were in the Egyptian book of the dead and the flood story was in Beowulf. There just seems to be a lot of stories in the Bible that have happened, or that have been told before in other religions and other beliefs. I'm just curious on what explanation should I give him for that?

Pastor Batchelor: Well I think that would be ratification for the Bible. Now keep in mind, when God gives Moses the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, that was not the first time that the Jewish nation had heard those laws. The law's predated. The Ten Commandments go way back before Mount Sinai. For instance--

Jeremy: How long ago?

Pastor Batchelor: Well Joseph, for instance, when Potiphar's wife tempted him to sin, it was referred to as adultery. When Cain wanted to kill his brother, God said it's a sin. Murder is obviously a sin. And the Sabbath goes back to creation, Genesis chapter 2, He blessed the seventh day. So yeah, I'm sure that the Ten Commandments of God were in the book of the dead. It's not because the Jews borrowed it from the Egyptians, but the Egyptians got them from the same source in the beginning.

When it came to the flood, that's ratification for the truth of the Bible. Not only might it be in Beowulf, but it's also in the Epic of Gilgamesh, talks about the flood--

Jeremy: Gilgamesh. I'm sorry. You're right. Yes.

Pastor Batchelor: Yeah well, that I knew more about. I didn't know the other. And well if the flood really happened, then why would we doubt that what Moses records in Genesis is not true? I doubt Moses got it from the Epic of Gilgamesh. They used to transmit stories back then orally. They had phenomenal memories. But they would transmit stories orally with great accuracy generation after generation. The story is true, that's why it's held by virtually all cultures talk about a flood.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well you know, if you look at any civilization today, in order to maintain peace and safety, at least some of the Ten Commandments are included in the laws of the land--at least one, you shouldn't steal. Just about any culture that you go to [cross talk]. So some of the principles of the Ten Commandments are common sense. It's needed to have a peaceful society.

But, I think what's particularly interesting is, you can go to various cultures across the world--some of the most remotest groups of people--and they have some kind of a flood story that has been passed down from generation; so that helps to validate what we read in the Bible.

Jeremy: Okay, and then I had another question. He brought up the fact that, and I say fact because, I'm sorry, this is something I did look in to, I'd just really like a good explanation for it so I can talk to him about it. But the fact that, things like rings, even Christmas, Christmas was formed around Yule, which is a pagan holiday, and a lot of the traditions were taken from that; and then, of course, the wedding ring, with it's pagan tradition. Why were so many traditions, especially from pagan belief, taken and used by Christianity?

Pastor Batchelor: Okay. That's a good question, and in case we run out of time before we get to the break Jeremy, we do have a book we can send you, and it's called, "Baptized Paganism." But very quickly, there are a number of cultural traditions that have sort have been adopted by, or morphed, that you find in Christianity that there's really no biblical command. There's no biblical command to remember Jesus' birthday.

But if you've got a cultural tradition, and it doesn't violate one of the Ten Commandments or principle of God--there's no Bible command about shaking hands, but we all do that. Well it's not breaking the command, it's just tradition, it's a culture; and so you're going to have all kinds of things. It is true that the holiday of Christmas predates Christ. The idea that the 25th of December was the first day in the northern hemisphere, when you notice, after the winter solstice, the days begin to get longer. So it was a big celebration among many cultures. They made a big deal about that because it was something they all observed in the heavens, that the days suddenly got longer, and they called it the rebirth of the sun.

And so since the Christians weren't exactly sure what the day of Christ's birthday was, gradually they said, "Well why celebrate the birth of the sun? Let's celebrate the birth of God's Son," and they started making the 25th of December that day in an effort to try to win some of the pagans over to join with the Christians. I'm not endorsing that one way or the other, but that's a pretty solid history of it.

The book is called, "Baptized Paganism" that we'll send you if you ask for it. You are listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, we're going to be coming up on a break here in just a few moments, but before we do, we'd like to let our listening friends know about an exciting event that's coming up in January. You and I will both be in Maryland for a special four-part series.

Pastor Batchelor: I think all of us know somebody that used to go to church, friend, family, child, that doesn't anymore. The vast majority of people who once professed Christ--they may have been baptized, walked with the Lord--particularly are not in church from week to week. And we're doing a special program called, Reclaim Your Faith. We're building a series of messages and testimonies around this program to help people rediscover their relationship with Jesus. We hope you tell your friends. If you know someone that's kind of drifted, send them to the website, it's called faithreclaimed.com, faithreclaimed.com. We're coming back. Stay where you are.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Batchelor: We're back listening friends, and for those that may have just joined us, this is Bible Answers Live. It's brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. If you want to know more about who Amazing Facts is and what we do, we've been around for 47 years now preaching the Gospel around the world, an evangelistic ministry. Just go to amazingfacts.com, .org, .net, .tv, or just Google it. I think we're at the top of the page there. You'll find out about the television programs, the videos, and the different publications, the Bible school, live evangelists, and all that we do. And here we're taking your Bible questions, so we're going to go back to the phones. I'm Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. If you have a Bible-related question, give us a call. The number is 1-800-463-7297. 1-800-463-7297. Pastor Doug, just before we take the next caller, just a reminder about that website you mentioned before the break: faithreclaimed.com. The program is called, Reclaim Your Faith. The website is, faithreclaimed.com. Take a look at the website, send it to a friend. Coming up just in, what, three or four weeks, we'll be there.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes, and I don't know if I ever mentioned before the break that this is going to be broadcast on television live. It'll be on Hope Channel, that means it will be on DirecTV. Anyone that has DirecTV around the country, invite your friends to come over for some cookies and juice or soup and say, "Hey, we just want you to enjoy this program." We're going to deal with the four reasons people often get discouraged and stop going to church.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's DirecTV channel 368, is the channel they'll be able to find the program on. Michael, calling from Orlando, Florida. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Yes, how are you doing? It's a pleasure talking to you guys today.

Pastor Batchelor: Likewise

Michael: I had a question about the 24 Elders in Revelation. You know, there are many speculations on who they could be. And after reading it, see that there were different cultures because it says, "in many tongues and many nations." So I just wanted to see what was your take on who the 24 Elders were.

Pastor Batchelor: Alright. And friends, for those who are listening, that's Revelation, chapter 5, you'll find it; in particular, you can look at chapter 5, verse 8. It talks about these 24 Elders around the throne. There have been two theories.

One theory is that the 24 Elders is composed of people who are in that special resurrection in Matthew 28, I think it's Matthew 28--when Jesus died and there was a great earthquake--many graves were open. Many of the saints that slept in the vicinity of Jerusalem came out of their graves, and after the resurrection of Christ, they appeared to many in the city. It's only mentioned by Matthew, but that would explain the special resurrection.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's Matthew 27, verse 52.

Pastor Batchelor: 27:52. And the other theory that I'm more inclined to agree with, it tells us that the Lord has unfallen leaders of worlds. We began the program by talking about the immensity of space, and I certainly believe that God has other creatures besides just here on planet earth. We know He's got angels, and cherubim, and seraphim. You read in Revelation and in the Bible it talks about God making many worlds through Christ, not just this world, and the unfallen worlds.

So, in the same way Adam was given dominion of this planet and, it says there's a meeting in Job where the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord. The meeting is not in heaven, it's somewhere not on earth either, and Satan comes to that meeting to represent the earth because he sort of kidnapped it from Adam. These 24 Elders can represent the ambassadors, or leaders, of these other unfallen worlds throughout the cosmos that God has made. And that's plausible too, because Satan comes to represent the earth, and they come representing their different quadrants of the galaxy.

So those are the two principle theories, Michael, about who those 24 Elders are. We do have a brand new book that just came out. I think the ink is dry. It's dealing with who are the sons of God. And that also talks about the 24 Elders, if you'd like a free copy. I think it'll be the first time we've offered it during the program.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, and you can ask for the book, Michael, "The Sons of God", or anyone listening. Again, 1-800-835-6747, and the book, "The Sons of God." We have Michael calling from Minnesota. Michael, welcome to the program.

Pastor Batchelor: Michael, another Michael, but this one is calling from, is it Michigan or Minnesota?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh, sorry, Michigan. Miley, Michigan.

Pastor Batchelor: And your question tonight?

Michael: How are you doing Pastor Batchelor?

Pastor Batchelor: Praise the Lord, better than I deserve.

Michael: Good, beautiful. Pastor Ross, I hope you're doing the same.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Doing well, thanks.

Michael: Real quick, okay. Kind of a deep one here, but I'm sure it will be simple for you guys. The understanding of the 1,000-year millennial reign, it makes complete sense to me spiritually, and intellectually, and biblically. Jesus will return, dead in Christ will rise, then the living will rise, a thousand years will be spent in heaven with the Lord before He returns. How do people that base their understanding on the 1,000-year millennial reign being on earth--where do they get that from? Why do they think that's going to happen? That's my main question tonight.

Pastor Batchelor: Well, when it says in Revelation 20, "They live and reign with Christ," people automatically think of reigning on earth with Christ. They think reigning, that means that you've got to be reigning over somebody, or who are you going to be boss of; and they

figure, "Well, we're going to be boss of the lost." But if you really think about that, do the righteous want to reign over the lost?

So, we don't inherit the earth until the end of the 1,000 years, because it says the wicked aren't even resurrected until the 1,000 years are finished, and that's Revelation 20 also. But Christ says, "I go to prepare a place for you." So Jesus has left the planet. He says, "In My Father's house are many mansions." There in the New Jerusalem in heaven, He is preparing these places. And He said, "I will come and receive you unto Myself" [emphasis added]. And it says that we are caught up to meet Him in the air, 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4.

It's really clear from Scripture. When Jesus comes back, we go up. So the living and reigning that we do with Him is not here. We are living and reigning and glorifying what He's done to save us among the angels and unfallen worlds.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Another important concept of reigning--the common thought is reigning over someone--but an important role of a king was that of judging. And according to Revelation chapter 20, it speaks of those with Christ in heaven for a thousand years involved in judging. So, in that sense, they're reigning. They are reviewing the record of the lost and involved in the judgment.

Pastor Batchelor: Yup. Judgment is committed unto the saints. Even Paul says, "What? Don't you know that you will judge angels?" And then, of course, the millennium cannot be here on earth where we're living and reigning because the Bible describes the condition of the earth after the second coming. Peter said the Lord comes as a thief, and the heavens are dissolved, and the elements melt with fervent heat, the earth, and the things in it, are burned up. It's Isaiah that says, "I'll make the earth utterly empty." In Jeremiah chapter 4 it says, "The cities are broken down by the presence of the Lord." So there's nothing we're going to want to reign over down here. It's absolute desolation during the 1,000 years.

When you start stacking the evidence, people usually see it, but when folks just sort of take a superficial look at the Bible, they jump to these conclusions and you hear all kinds of interesting theories. So I hope that helps a little, Michael. We do have a lesson. You may have studied it already, but we'll send it to you, or anyone that wants to understand the millennium. It's, "A Thousand Years of Peace."

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's called, "A Thousand Years of Peace." The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the study guide, "A Thousand Years of Peace." 1-800-835-6747. We have Fred, who is listening from Orlando, Florida. Fred, welcome to the program. Fred, you're on the air.

Fred: Hello

Pastor Batchelor: Hi Fred, welcome.

Fred: How are you doing?

Pastor Batchelor: Very well, how are you?

Fred: Good. I had a question from Job chapter 1 and verse 6. It says, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." So I want to know your opinion about the sons of God.

Pastor Batchelor: We're getting a lot of questions about space tonight, and we started with space, so it makes sense. You're asking a question we just alluded to in a former answer, you may have been able to hear it. We believe that these sons of God in the book of Job--and I think it's the same 24 Elders you find in Revelation--but I'm quite certain here, in the book of Job, that this is a meeting that does not take place on earth.

It's a meeting of God with some leadership representatives that He has there that is in heaven. It's obviously not on earth. It may not be in heaven, per se, but up, somewhere, because God asked the devil, "Well where did you come from?" And by virtue of the fact, he says, "I came from the earth." It means the meeting is not on earth.

And so in this celestial meeting, we believe these sons of God are the leaders of unfallen worlds that were present when the Lord created the world. It says, "all the sons of God shouted for joy," you read that later in the book of Job I believe . You, I think, would enjoy the free booklet that we just mentioned. I think the whole title is called, "Aliens, Angels, or Adopted? Who Are the Sons of God?" Aliens or adopted, because then, you've also got the sons of God in Genesis chapter 6; and people say, "Who are they?" - these sons of God that knew the daughters of men.

So it's a subject we need to understand or you get a lot of bizarre interpretations coming to the Bible. But we believe these were the leaders of some sort, of unfallen worlds. By the way, one more point: Adam is called the son of God in Luke chapter 3 because he was created. He was not pro-created. He wasn't born. He was created. He's the son of God. Jesus is a Son of God. Jesus was conceived by God. He's created, in a sense. These sons of God from other worlds, they're not born, they are created beings.

And even Lucifer--it says, "In the day you were created...." Lucifer wasn't born. There wasn't a mommy and a daddy Lucifer; and so that's another thing that separates these sons of God from the other creatures. We'll send you that book.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book, again, is entitled, "Who Are the Sons of God?" I think if you ask for that, they'll know which book you need. The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the book, "Who Are the Sons of God?" Johnathan is calling from San Diego. Johnathan, welcome to the program.

Johnathan: Thanks! Great to be on the broadcast again. Merry new years and happy Christmas or something like that. Sir Batchelor, one thing I greatly admire about you is you're an intellectually honest man of the cloth. And therefore, I'm interested in your take on this whole Tim Tebow phenomenon, particularly with respect to the fact that he's been, as you know, been crediting Jesus for his miraculous team's stream of victories over the last couple of months for the Broncos. At the occurrence of this disaster of a performance for his team today, don't you think, to be intellectually honest, he should at least, in the post-game press

conference, be criticizing Jesus and expressing his disappointment, if not downright blaming Him for all of their wars. Don't you think, to be intellectually honest?

Pastor Batchelor: (Laughs) Well you know, what this makes me think of is, my brother. He did not profess to be a Christian, but he was a very avid Dolphins fan. He lived in Florida. And when they got to the Superbowl years ago, he said, "Doug, will you please pray that the Dolphins win, because I've got a lot of money riding on this game (laughs). Matter of fact, I don't think they won that particular game. But you know, I'm not going to discount what the relationship of a person might be who prays before some sporting event, that they'll be victorious.

There have been some incredible things that have happened in sports history that looked like miracles, and you wonder if there was some divine intervention in those things. But then I question when you see two boxers kneel in their corner of the ring, and they cross themselves and they pray before they commence to try and bludgeon somebody else unconscious. You wonder can they really ask Jesus for help to knock another guy senseless.

People pray about all kinds of things, but I don't know that the Lord is especially preoccupied with sports. But, you know, there may be ways, with one team winning or another team loosing, that He humbles who He will and He exalts who He will; so there's a whole different aspect of that. But yeah, I don't think that God is really concerned with the sports statistics, as much as He is with our purity and holiness. Interesting question Johnathan. I don't know if I answered your question, but I appreciate it. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We've got Al who is listening from Brooklyn, New York. Al, welcome to the program.

Al: Oh, thank you for taking my call, and happy holy day coming up.

Pastor Batchelor: Likewise, and your question tonight?

Al: Before I ask the question, I just want to make a comment because there were a few more questions on the rapture. And you know, the Bible does say that the dead in Christ shall rise first.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes.

Al: I always wondered why they would rise first; and I found out that they have six feet more to go.

Pastor Batchelor and Pastor Jëan Ross: (laughing)

Al: That's actually beside the point. Anyway, just thought a little humor might be good uh--

Pastor Batchelor: I've never heard that one before.

Al: I don't know if you've ever heard that before.

Pastor Jëan Ross: No.

Pastor Batchelor: No, I appreciate it. I'm making notes here.

Al: The Bible also says that the Lord will come with thousands of His saints. You see, before He comes with the saints, He has to come for His saints.

Pastor Batchelor: Okay.

Al: Just a little comment. And then it says He will come with thousands of His saints, one of the Scriptures, I don't know if it's ten thousand of the saints, but it says the Lord is coming "with." So there will be a coming back to earth; and I believe the Scriptures prove it, when it says that the Lord gives rewards. Some will rule over one city, three cities, five cities, okay--

Pastor Batchelor: So summarize the question now.

Al: Okay. The question is, about tithing. You know, I'm a Jewish believer. I happen to be a Jewish pastor also; but you see, the Scripture taken from Malachi is the one that most preachers use. And see, that Scripture was given to the Israel nation--

Pastor Batchelor: Okay.

Al: but uh, those went against the Lord's commandment. And in the New Testament, saint Paul never mentions the tithe at all [crosstalk]

Pastor Batchelor: Alright, let me help you if I can. First of all, greetings. I'm also a Jewish pastor, believer.

Al: Super!

Pastor Batchelor: So uh, yes, my mother's name was Tarshish. You do find Jesus mentioning tithe in Matthew 23:23. Because all Christians are adopted into Israel, the Bible tells us, "If you are Christ's, then you're Abraham's seed;" and because the new covenant that Christians are saved under--we're saved by virtue of the new covenant, the new testament--the Bible says, "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel." So, unless there is a command in the New Testament that negates tithes, such as, you do have commands that negate circumcision. Paul says, "Circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing;" but Paul or none of the apostles ever say, "Don't worry about tithe anymore" or, "Stop paying tithe" or, "Tithe is not necessary." Nothing in the New Testament says that.

It tells us that ministers are still to be paid from the income. It says that the one who treads the ox and is not supposed to be muzzled if he treads the grain. In other words, Paul said, "There needs to be a mechanism to pay those that are involved in full-time ministry."

Al: That's not true with tithes, Pastor.

Pastor Batchelor: Well the tithe goes to the priest.

Al: Jesus spoke about the tithe because we were still under the law at that time. [Cross talk]

Pastor Batchelor: So do you think that Christians should give more or less than 10%?

Al: Oh much more.

[Cross talk]

Pastor Batchelor: Well, we're in agreement

Al: (Inaudible) sold all those houses and lands he gave. [Cross talk, inaudible]

Pastor Batchelor: Exactly right. But what I'm saying, as an elementary beginning, it's not inaccurate to teach the principle of tithe, because that would be a good starting point for someone who's not giving anything.

Al: Yeah, but why do these pastors say you're under a curse if you don't give? And that's ridiculous because Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. And most of these pastors, in order to raise money, they preach the tithe and put the people in bondage.

Pastor Batchelor: You're right that there are pastors that abuse these Scriptures. Absolutely right, especially some of the prosperity-peaching pastors. They always exploit these verses and abuse these verses. But I do believe that the principle of paying tithe is still in effect. And we have that lesson that we'd love to send you, Al. It's free. It's on the subject of, "In God We Trust?"

Pastor Jëan Ross: "In God We Trust?" talking about the Bible and money. To receive that lesson, the number is 1-800-835-6747. 1-800-835-6747. And again, in the New Testament we see tithing--that's grade school. As the Christian grows up and he's further educated in God's will, he's going to lay everything on the altar.

Pastor Batchelor: Alright. Hey, appreciate it Al, and do send for that book.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is Egbert, and he is calling from Miami, Florida. Egbert, welcome to the program.

Egbert: Good afternoon guys.

Pastor Batchelor: Good evening.

Egbert: Good evening. I've been listening to the program for quite awhile and I'm just amazed on the Bible questions that come in on your program. My question tonight is on, like, leprosy, in regards to what that means; in regards to leprosy as in modern times right now, what information in regards to spiritual leprosy that I could do more research on?

Pastor Batchelor: Good question. Yeah, leprosy in the Bible is analogous of sin, it's an analogy of sin. You have the story in the Bible where Naaman came to Elisha the prophet, this is in 2 Kings, chapter 5, and he washed in the Jordan seven times. And you look at the Jordan River, of course, it's where John baptized and it's where Jesus was baptized. It represents cleansing from sin. Naaman washed in the Jordan seven times; you've got that biblical number of seven, and he's cleansed from his leprosy.

A man came to Jesus full of leprosy and he said, "Lord, if you want to, You can make me clean." And Jesus said, "I will. Be clean." Miriam was cleansed of her leprosy by the Lord. Leprosy was a disease that affected the extremities and the sensitivity, and sometimes we become desensitized to sin. Cleansing from leprosy represents really a cleansing from sin. Hey, appreciate that question, Egbert. We have time for one more, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. We've got Mila who is listening from California, Antioch. Mila, welcome to the program. Mila, are you there?

Mila: Yes.

Pastor Batchelor: Hi Antioch, California. You're on the air.

Mila: Hi

Pastor Batchelor: Gotta turn your radio down though, or we'll be hearing everything in stereo.

Mila: Alright.

Pastor Batchelor: And your question? You've got about two minutes.

Mila: Okay. Real quickly, in Matthew 28, it says, "Go and make disciples, baptizing them...." The word "make," what does it mean biblically? What is the process in being baptized and becoming a disciple?

Pastor Batchelor: Good question. Matthew chapter 28, He tells us that all authority is given unto Him. You can read verses 18 through 20, and He says, "Go therefore, teach all nations, baptizing, teaching to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." And so, in making disciples, there's a very important process of teaching. Now, you got a doctrinal teaching, which is information, and then I believe that the church should also teach people, or disciple people, by example. That means you spend time with people, you demonstrate.

When Jesus came, He taught two ways: He made disciples by words, and He made disciples by example. Jesus demonstrated what it meant to be a Christian by His life, as well as His words. And so as we do the work of Christ, we're to go out and make disciples by teaching, that's verbal teaching; written teaching; and then we need to live the life and model what it means to be a Christian by our example.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a study guide, Mila, that I think you'd really enjoy. It's "Purity and Power." It talks about baptism and what it is to be a follower of Christ, why is

baptism necessary. We'd like to send that to you for free, if you'd call our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747, and just ask for the study guide, "Purity and Power."

Pastor Batchelor: You know friends, we're reaching that special time of the year that I'm actually going to take about a whole minute--and I almost never do this. We dedicate every ounce of this program to try and answer Bible questions and help people find Jesus, find the truth, because Jesus said that the truth will set you free, and find eternal life.

If you've been enjoying Bible Answers Live and if you've been listening--we know 99% of the people that listen to Christian radio listen, they get a blessing, they enjoy it--but very few actually do something tangible to help these programs stay on the air. The only way Amazing Facts is on the air anywhere is because people like you who are listening, are touched by the Holy Spirit and said, "You know, I don't want to just be a hearer, I want to be a doer, and I'm going to give something to keep this program on the air."

We would really appreciate, as you ponder your year-end giving, if you would remember Amazing Facts. We don't have any denomination or organization or corporation that subsidizes us. It's all done by people just like you. Would you become a friend of ours, and not only a listening friend, but a supporting friend, and make a donation this year? You can do it very easily. You just go to Amazing Facts. If you don't have a pencil handy because you're driving down the road, that's easy to remember. Make a mental note.

I'd like to help keep this program on the air for another year. Just go to Amazing Facts, and there's a place there where it says, "Contact Us" or "Donate Online." It's a very simple process, a very secure process, and we'd be so thankful if you'd help us keep this program on the air for another year.

And I want to thank all of you that have done that. God bless you, and we pray you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year. We'll be back, God willing, before next year. Remember, Jesus is the truth that sets you free.

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