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Smoking

Date: 12/21/2003 
It has been discovered that there are several factories based in North America that are producing and selling weapons of mass destruction. In case you're wondering, I'm talking about the tobacco companies and the lethal habit of cigarette smoking.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? It has been discovered that there are several factories based in North America that are producing and selling weapons of mass destruction. In case you're wondering, I'm talking about the tobacco companies and the lethal habit of cigarette smoking. And the saddest part of this deadly and expensive international health hazard, it's easily preventable. Every year four million people die worldwide from smoking-related diseases. That's approximately one person every eight seconds. Every minute ten million cigarettes are sold worldwide. That's 15 billion cigarettes sold every day.

Smoking costs the United States over $150 billion each year in healthcare costs, including $81 billion in productivity losses, and over $75 billion in excess medical expenditures. Smoking is directly responsible for 87 percent of lung cancer and causes most cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Smoking is also a major factor in coronary heart disease and stroke; and has been linked to a variety of other health disorders, including infertility and peptic ulcers. Smoking and pregnancy accounts for an estimated 20 to 30 percent of low birth weight babies and some 10 percent of all infant deaths.

It's estimated that one out of every five teens between 13 and 15 smokes. Evidence also indicates that half of all the people who start smoking as adolescents will go on to smoke for 15 to 20 years. And tobacco companies continue to invest millions of dollars in effective advertising, encouraging young people to begin a life-long addiction to smoking.

Cigarettes contain at least 69 distinct, cancer-causing chemicals, one of which is hydrogen cyanide, which is found in mainstream and second-hand smoke and is extremely toxic. It was used in World War II as a genocidal agent; and reports have indicated it may have been used by Saddam Hussein against the Kurdish people in the 1980s.

Still, the tobacco companies in America continue to manufacture and use these weapons of mass destruction. The greatest irony is that the tobacco companies, like Philip Morris, pretend to discourage people from smoking on one hand, while they continue to profit from peddling their deadly poison on the other hand. They're very much talking from both sides of their mouth.

Jesus addressed this behavior when He said, "This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me" Matthew 15:7, 8. Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: If you go to your phone right now, friends, and pick it up, you have a great chance of getting on tonight's program. It's a free phone call. That number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297. We have phone lines open. In case you are just tuning in for the first time, this is Bible Answers Live.

It's a live, interactive Bible study that is going across the country and around the world. If you have any Bible-related question, then please pick up your phone and dial that toll-free number now, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: And my name is Dick Devitt; and Pastor Doug, it's good to see you again.

Pastor Doug: Good to have you back Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: Thank you

Pastor Doug: I know that you were taking a little breather last week, so to speak.

Pastor Dick: So to speak.

Pastor Doug: We're glad you're back!

Pastor Dick: I'm glad to be back too. We normally start the program with a word of prayer so why don't we do that?

Pastor Doug: Please do.

Pastor Dick: Father in heaven, again, we come to You with thanksgiving on our hearts and joy for the privilege of being able to come and use the airwaves and share the good news of Jesus Christ's plan of salvation. We ask, heavenly Father, that Your Holy Spirit would come and abide with us; that You would give us wisdom; that You would calm Pastor Doug and clear his mind and his heart of the things of this world, and give him understanding as we seek to open God's Word and share what You have for us tonight. We praise You and we thank You for the privilege Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Dick: Well, Merry Christmas.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, you too.

Pastor Dick: It was an interesting thing that you've presented. I notice in the paper the last few days that Muammar Gaddafi from Libya has decided to open up his weapons of mass destruction program and let us go in and inspect. But Philip Morris and all of the other fellows have kind of been dragging their heels about their weapons of mass destruction.

Pastor Doug: You know, if we heard about some terrorist group that was responsible for this many deaths every year, we would quickly send in the military. We'd send in the Marines and shut them down.

Pastor Dick: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: And when you consider how many millions of people die every year. Four million people die every year from smoking-related illnesses.

Pastor Dick: I'm not proud of it Pastor Doug, but I smoked for awhile and it has been almost 25 years since I gave up the habit.

Pastor Doug: I think you and I probably quit about the same time. I quit in 1979. I was a smoker, and I know it's tough. People get addicted to this weapon of mass destruction. It sort of becomes a phantom friend. It's there for the coffee in the morning, or just the good times and the bad. It becomes a habit that's physically and psychologically addictive.

Pastor Dick: I must confess that I'm personally a little bit offended by what I see on television these days, the commercials that are running trying to improve the image of some of these companies.

Pastor Doug: The tobacco companies are saying, "Don't start smoking. Make sure that you teach the young people about the dangers and all." And I'm thinking, "Why would you have smoking commercials about the danger of smoking, and still be selling it?"

Pastor Dick: Well they have to find a way to get their name in front of the people and they'll do it any way they can.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, it's sort of pathetic that the irony that they would make some feeble attempt to educate people about the dangers of smoking and then continue to peddle the poison is really bizarre.

Pastor Dick: Well now, Pastor Doug, where do you want to go with this on a spiritual basis?

Pastor Doug: Well, we could talk about hypocrisy. Jesus says a lot about that.

Pastor Dick: Yes

Pastor Doug: But I'd rather help people who are stuck as you and I were. Was it tough for you when you quit?

Pastor Dick: It was, it was.

Pastor Doug: And I, as well.

Pastor Dick: You know, I was driving down the freeway at 65 miles an hour and I burned a hole in a brand new suit that I had just bought. I was wearing it home to show it to my wife. I had never worn the suit before. I was literally going home to show the suit to my wife, and I burned a hole in the suit. And I took the cigarettes and the lighter and threw them out the window.

Pastor Doug: I'm glad you did that. While we don't condone littering, I'm so glad that you did that.

Pastor Dick: [Laughs] Amen brother, amen!

Pastor Doug: You know, it wasn't much different for me. It happened to me in my truck too. I had burnt holes in my clothes and seats, and - -

Pastor Dick: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: - - I've nearly wrecked my car before from smoking; but I was talking to the Lord, and I knew He wanted me to quit. And I said, "Lord, if You would get me a new pickup truck, I'll quit smoking."

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: And I heard the Lord say, "Doug, you would quit for a new truck, but you won't quit for Me?"

Pastor Dick: "...for Me," bargaining.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and that really convicted me and I threw out my cigarettes, and that has been 25 years.

Pastor Dick: Praise the Lord!

Pastor Doug: But some people might be struggling and we'd like to help them.

Pastor Dick: Amen, amen

Pastor Doug: We have a free offer we have never offered. I don't remember ever offering this book. It is a masterpiece. We've continued to print it and reprint it for about 25 years. Why don't you tell us about that?

Pastor Dick: This is a great resource. It's called, The Power of a Positive No, written by Joe Crews. As you said, it's a classic, really. It has been around a long time; and I hope that our listeners, anyone who either struggles with any kind of a habit, or if you have a family member or a friend who struggles with any kind of a habit at all, this book is a must!

It will help you. It doesn't have to be smoking. It could be anything that you want to get rid of. This book will be a very positive influence in your decisions toward giving up these habits. So please, call our resource operators and ask for, The Power of a Positive No. That number is 1-800-835-6747.

I really want you to have this book in your library. So call tonight and we'll send it out to you right away. The Power of a Positive No.

Pastor Doug, we go to the Internet before we take our first caller for the evening. We have a couple of questions tonight. They're a little bit related but the first one is, this person says, "I would like to know when Jesus comes back to get His church, what about the ones that are left? Will they have a second chance, and if not, why are some preachers preaching about it?"

Pastor Doug: Well I do think it's a very dangerous misunderstanding. There are certain Bible doctrines we may not understand that are not as critical or crucial as others. Misunderstanding the nature of how Jesus will come can be very dangerous. Keep in mind, friends, that when Christ came the first time, the church, which was the Jewish believers back then, the Jewish nation, misunderstood the nature of how the Messiah would come.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: And so when He came as a Lamb, they did not accept Him.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: They weren't ready. Now He's coming next time as a Lion, and people are saying He's coming like a Lamb. They think He's going to secretly rapture people away. And misunderstanding how can keep people from being prepared.

When He comes the Bible says, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night," when we're caught up to meet Him. And it says in that day, "The elements will melt with fervent heat, and the earth and the things that were in it will be burned up." That's 2nd Peter chapter 3, verses 9, 10 and 11.

Life is not going to go on. Some people believe the tribulation happens after the rapture and many Christians believe it happens before; and I'm among the ones who believe it happens before because I see that everywhere in the Bible.

Jesus said, "You will be hated of all nations for My name's sake.... He that endures to the end the same will be saved." The end of what? The end of the tribulation. So, there are many, many passages that support this. I think it's a dangerous doctrine to teach people, "If you're not ready for the rapture, you have to go through the tribulation, but you get another chance."

I've met people who have thought, "Well, I'll wait and see if my wife or husband disappears. They're believers; and if they do, then I'll get ready."

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Dangerous doctrine.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm.

Pastor Doug: We have a book on that they can order or read online called, Anything But Secret.

Pastor Dick: Okay

Pastor Doug: It talks about the Scriptures on this subject.

Pastor Dick: Again, the resource operators can make that available to you, or you can go to our website at AmazingFacts.org, or AmazingFacts.com, and ask for, Anything But Secret. It's an excellent little book. The second question, Pastor Doug, is, "What's the purpose of the one thousand-year reign and what happens after that?"

Pastor Doug: Well they're related. The one thousand-year reign, often referred to as the millennium, which simply means "milli annum", one thousand years in Latin, is a time when we live and reign with Christ. Of course, biblically, we're just now at about 6,000 years of Bible history. Six days you farm your land, the seventh day you let it rest. Six years the Jews would farm their land. The seventh year they would not farm it. They'd leave it fallow.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And for 6,000 years, Christ has been sowing the seed of the Gospel in this world. For that last 1,000 years, we live and reign with Him in glory. It's also a time to demonstrate. We're going to have a lot of questions to be asking the Lord during that time, and things to better understand; and it'll be a time for that.


It'll be time to rest from the burdens and warfare with the dragon in this life.

Pastor Dick: Well, and we'll probably be looking around and looking for, uh, - -

Pastor Doug: Loved ones.

Pastor Dick: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Reunites, yeah.

Pastor Dick: And want to know why they aren't there, or why somebody is there who we never thought we would see - -

Pastor Doug: - - we'd never thought we'd see, or ask some of the Bible characters some pointed questions.

Pastor Dick: Right, right

Pastor Doug: So it's going to be a time for a lot of answers; a time of judgment. We're going to be evaluating.

Pastor Dick: Okay, okay.

Pastor Doug: You know, we have a lesson on that. It's a big subject. They can ask for the lesson on, Coming Worldwide Blackout.

Pastor Dick: Okay, and then what happens after the one thousand years?

Pastor Doug: The Bible says that God will create a new heavens and a new earth, and the meek will inherit the earth. The New Jerusalem comes down.

Pastor Dick: Amen! Big subject, you're right, and there's lots of material. Those of you who are listening there's lots of material that you can get from the Amazing Facts' website about the end of time and the time of the end, if you will. So call our resource operators, 1-800-835-6747, or go to the Amazing Facts' website and just look up the information there [cross talk].

Pastor Doug: Under the Free Library.

Pastor Dick: The Free Library. You'll get a wealth of information about those subjects. Pastor Doug, are you ready to go to the phones tonight?

Pastor Doug: Let's try it.

Pastor Dick: Let's talk first with Richard in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Welcome Richard.

Richard: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for waiting, and your question?

Richard: My question is with reference to Hebrews 9:27, where it says, "It is appointed unto man to die, and then the judgment."

Pastor Doug: Yes

Richard: My question is what death does that refer to? If there are going to be people on earth who are still alive when Jesus returns, how does that verse refer to them?

Pastor Doug: Well it's not talking about the second death, because the Bible says after the second death, they get their reward. In other words, in Revelation 20, it tells you after the second death they're cast into the lake of fire. And so the judgment happens before reward. Does that make sense?

Richard: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So it's the first death that, for Christians, they go to sleep. For the wicked, they die until they're resurrected for their judgment. That's why the Bible speaks of two resurrections. Jesus said, "The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear his voice...they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life," that's called the first resurrection, "they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

Even in Daniel 12, he speaks of those two resurrections. In Revelation chapter 20, it says, "Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection." And so the second resurrection

is for the wicked; and then they are judged and cast into the lake of fire where they receive their reward.

Richard: So this verse is in reference to that?

Pastor Doug: This verse is in reference to the first death that we all die. After that death is the judgment.

Richard: Okay, so it is a physical death?

Pastor Doug: Yes. I think it's talking about the death that we see people die.

Richard: Right

Pastor Doug: One thing this verse does is it tells us that it's not reincarnation. You don't just keep coming back. You have one life of probation, you die, and then you're judged for that life.

Richard: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: This is, I think, the main essence of what Paul is saying here in this passage.

Richard: So, again, will there be people alive when Christ returns on earth?

Pastor Doug: Yes

Richard: Okay. So how does this verse refer to them?

Pastor Doug: Oh I see what you're saying, I'm sorry.

Richard: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Well Paul tells us that there are some who will be exceptions.

Richard: Okay

Pastor Doug: And generally speaking, 99.99999 percent of all people who have lived die.

Richard: Okay

Pastor Doug: There will be some who are alive and remain when the Lord comes, just as there are some rare exceptions in the Old Testament, where Elijah went to heaven in a fiery chariot and Enoch walked with God. But generally speaking, the rule is it's appointed unto man once to die, and then they are judged.

Richard: Right. Okay, terrific.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Richard: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Alright Richard, thanks for the call. With a related question, let's talk with Jeremy in Visalia, California, listening on KARM. Hello Jeremy.

Jeremy: Yes sir, how are you doing?

Pastor Dick: Doing fine, and what's your question tonight?

Jeremy: What kind of people are going to be on earth during the one thousand-year reign of Christ? Believers or unbelievers?

Pastor Doug: Your question, if you'll pardon me Jeremy, your question, I think, is based on a misguided premise. There are two views among the majority of Christians about where the millennium is spent.

One view is that the tribulation takes place before the second coming, and when the Lord comes down to rapture up the saints, the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of His coming. I'm quoting from Thessalonians now. And the righteous are caught up to meet the Lord in the air and they spend the thousand years with the Lord in heaven.

Then there's another group that believe life is still going on here on earth during the one thousand years. Now I don't know if you've got a Bible with you, but I'm going to read a verse for you that I just quoted a minute ago. It's in 2nd Peter chapter 3, verse 10: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." Alright, this is where the Lord comes to rapture the saints, right?

Jeremy: Right

Pastor Doug: "In which the heavens pass away with a great noise, and the elements melt with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it shall be burned up." Now, what's the condition of the earth when the Lord comes as a thief? Are people walking around, or is it burned up?

Jeremy: Seems like it's burned up.

Pastor Doug: Alright, now if you go to Jeremiah chapter 4, many people are unaware of this passage, Pastor Dick, Jeremiah chapter 4, verse 23. I want to read this to you. When you first read it, it may sound like it's talking about the beginning, but listen carefully. "I beheld, and, lo, the earth was without form, and void; and the heavens had no light." This is Jeremiah, not Genesis.

"I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of heaven were fled." That means they were there and they had flown away. "I beheld the fruitful place was a wilderness," notice, "and all the cities were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. For thus says the LORD, The whole land shall be desolate."

Now here, Jeremiah says, "I beheld the earth and it was without form and void, and all the cities are broken down, and there was no man." Now, he has got to be describing the condition of the world during the millennium because from Adam to the present day, there has been someone alive on earth, even if it was Noah, right?

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Jeremy: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So, you would also like the lesson we offered a moment ago on Coming Worldwide Blackout. It explains the condition of the world. We'll send it for free, anyone who's calling, Coming Worldwide Blackout. We'll send it to you for free Jeremy, and that, I think, will really help give you a lot more Scripture that we can share right now on the subject of the millennium.

Pastor Dick: Jeremy, if you have access to the Internet, go to AmazingFacts.org, and go to the lessons and you can get Coming Worldwide Blackout; or call our resource operators at 1-800-835-6747, and we'll send it to you. Just ask for Coming Worldwide Blackout, and we'll send it out to you. Either way, it'll help to clarify this question for you.

Let's go next to Washington and talk with Reona who's listening on KEEH. Hello Reona.

Reona: Hi

Pastor Doug: Hi, welcome.

Reona: My question is about Revelation 11. I understand in there that one day equals a year, and that the two olive trees and two lamp stands could symbol the Old Testament and New Testament. I'm still wondering about the Witnesses. Are they people that we should be looking for, or, what are they?

Pastor Doug: Good question. Now I'm going to turn your phone down a little Reona because it seems like we've got a short. We won't cut you off, but just so we can hear more clearly. In Revelation 11, it is talking about the Word of God. You're correct about the lamp stands representing the Word of God.

There are several symbols here that represent the Word of God. I believe the Two Witnesses are the Word of God.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Some refer to them as the law and the prophets. Some refer to them as Moses and Elijah, because Moses was the law giver, Elijah was the great prophet. Jesus said, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything be established." Sometimes it says the law and the prophets. Sometimes it says the law and the prophets and the psalms. So here you've got a symbol for the Word of God in these Two Witnesses.

It says that, "They will prophesy for one thousand, two hundred and threescore days," or 1,260 days, "clothed in sackcloth." We believe that this is describing a period of time during the Dark Ages, when reading the Bible was actually against the law, according to the church. During the Dark Ages, the church chained the Bibles to a few monasteries, and only the priests were allowed to read it, and it had to be in Latin.

And really, the Renaissance was when the Bible began to be printed in the language of the people, and that's when they came out of that. So, this, I think, is a prophecy describing that period of time.

Reona: Okay, so that already happened then?

Pastor Doug: Yes. I believe that's past tense.

Reona: Okay

Pastor Doug: Now, there are three examples. Keep in mind, 1,260 days is three and a half Bible years. In the Bible, they use 360 days for the year.

Reona: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: It talks in Revelation chapter 12 about 42 months; it's the same period of time that the woman fled into the wilderness, that's God's church.

Reona: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Elijah, in the Old Testament during a famine, three and a half years, no rain.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And Amos prophesies a famine for the Word of God in Amos chapter 8. So there's a lot of parallels for this.

Reona: Okay

Pastor Doug: If you go to the Amazing Facts study guide series, we have a study that deals specifically with this. Are you able to get on the Internet?

Reona: Yes

Pastor Doug: Just type in AmazingFacts.org and go to the library and you can start looking through those advanced prophecy lessons. We have one on the Two Witnesses, okay?

Reona: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Reona: Alright, thanks.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Reona. To New York, Larry is listening on WMCA. Welcome Larry.

Larry: Good evening

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Larry: Let me just take you off of speaker phone for a second please.

Pastor Doug: Okay, we don't mind.

Larry: Okay, that's probably better.

Pastor Dick: Yes

Larry: I wanted to ask you regarding apostle Paul's words at Romans 10:13, where he said whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. I wanted to ask you what name of what Lord was he referring to?

Pastor Doug: You know, I was all ready to answer the other part of that question. You threw me there. I thought you were going to ask what does it mean to call on the name of the Lord [chuckles]

Larry: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: What name of what Lord is he referring to?

Larry: Yeah, whose name is he referring to when he says call on - -

Pastor Doug: Well, Paul is talking about his Lord, the one that appeared to him in vision, obviously. He's talking about the Lord of the Bible.

Larry: Who is that? Who would that be?

Pastor Doug: Well that would be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and that would be the Son of God that appeared to him. He said, "I am Jesus." Remember when Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus?

Larry: So the name of the Lord he's referring to is Jesus Christ, is that correct?

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Larry: Well, that's not correct.

Pastor Doug: I wondered if you're asking a question to make a statement or if you're asking - -

Larry: The apostle Paul--I'm asking a question, are you interested in the truth?

Pastor Doug: Well I - -

Larry: The Bible tells us to worship God in spirit and in truth, and if you're interested in the truth, if that's the primary objective of your service of God, then you should be interested in the answer, because, Paul was quoting from Joel 2:32.

Pastor Doug: What do you think the name is?

Larry: Paul, the apostle Paul--it doesn't matter what I think. Paul was quoting from the Old Testament, from Joel 2:32, which Peter, also, quoted from. And Joel 2:32 says whoever calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved. That's the name that Paul is referring to.

Pastor Doug: I agree with that. I have no problem with that. I believe that is one of the names of God.

Larry: One of the names of God; well that's a deception because God says in Psalms 83:18, "that men may know that he whose name alone is Jehovah is the most high over all the earth."

Pastor Doug: Oh, now you are misinterpreting something because the Bible says the Lord has many names. First of all, it says His name shall be called--what is it, Isaiah 9:6?

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: "Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God." Jesus refers to Himself as the Alpha and the Omega. He is called the El Shaddai, Elohim. So if you try and take that verse to say that the only way we can address Him is by the term Jehovah, grant it, that is one of the ways that God identifies Himself, that's not the only one.

I've got an article I've written called, The Name of God. I sort of saw where you were going. Go online, look up the article, please read it, called, The Name of God; and I'd like to get your input after you read that Larry, I'm sincere. We appreciate it if people call and ask a question. Sometimes folks, Pastor Dick, like to use the program as a platform to make a statement, and that's, I think, an abuse of our time.

We're tying to help share the information we have here available. We're going to take a break listening friends. We do this at half-time during the broadcast in just a moment. Before we do take a break, I'd like to encourage you again to check out the Amazing Facts' website. That address again is AmazingFacts.org.

Also, if you are interested in, and this is a great idea for the beginning of the year. Friends, if you don't already have a personal devotional life where you are reading your Bible every day, every day in the Batchelor home, we read the Word of God. We pray with the children. I listen to the Bible every night when I go to sleep. I have my own personal Bible reading.

Do you have regular time eating that daily bread friends? You can do it online. There's a number of resources. You can read some of the devotional material we have at Amazing Facts. If you are involved in a Bible study group or a Bible class, then you owe it to yourself, go to the Amazing Facts' website and look under Free Library. We've got books and studies on a lot of the subjects that other people are afraid to touch.

And another thing, you could send us a Christmas gift. I'm not just thinking about a donation to keep us on the air. We'd like to hear amazing facts from you. And so if you have any amazing facts that you'd like to share, then send them to us and the address will be given.

Pastor Dick: We've been talking about that for a couple of months now Pastor Doug. How has that been going?

Pastor Doug: I've got a few. I shared one on Penguin someone sent me a couple weeks ago.

Pastor Dick: I remember that, I remember that.

Pastor Doug: And so I do appreciate them. People give me some very interesting amazing facts.

Pastor Dick: If any of you have an amazing fact that you'd like to share with us, write it down, 300 or 400 hundred words or less, - -

Pastor Doug: That would be perfect.

Pastor Dick: - - and send it to us, and we'll clean it up and prepare it and use it on the program. So please, let us have your amazing facts. Pastor Doug, tell us about the Book of Amazing Facts.

Pastor Doug: We have a book that's a compilation of all the amazing facts we use here on the program, plus some additional ones; and a lot of very interesting trivia that is a special gift. If you'll send an offering of any size to help keep us on the air, if you've been blessed through Amazing Facts, then in the coming year, 2004, help us keep going.

We'd like to even add some more stations. Any donation of any size, and we will send you a free copy. Is that a paradox for a "donation of any size, we'll send you a free copy" - -

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: - - "of our collection of the best amazing facts from the Amazing Facts' broadcast"?

Pastor Dick: We'll be right back folks. We've got a second half to go. We'll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back friends who are listening and for those who may have joined us along the way, this is Bible Answers Live. It is a live, interactive Bible study where you can participate by listening. Pray for us as we try to answer the live questions that come in. You can call in. It's a toll-free call; free phone call in North America, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. Pastor Doug, I have a little group of members at the church that I pastor who pray for us every week during the program.

Pastor Doug: Bless their hearts. I appreciate that, very encouraging [cross talking]

Pastor Dick: It is encouraging. It's good to know that they're there and praying for us. Let's go to Lexington, Kentucky. We want to talk with Chris who's listening on WJMM. Chris, welcome to the program.

Chris: Thank you

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Chris: I was wondering what the Bible says about women serving as pastors?

Pastor Doug: You know, that's a good question. We get that periodically. And I know there are good Christians out there that will respectfully disagree with me, but I need to stick to the Bible. I do not find an example in the Bible of a woman serving in the capacity of what you would call an elder or a pastor.

And I always like to resort to the example in the Bible of prophets. Now there are women who serve as prophets; and there are women who taught the Word of God, which is what prophets often do. Amram and Jochebed were the parents of three unique children, one of them was Moses. He's the youngest. Aaron, and them Miriam, the oldest, two boys and a girl. All three of them were prophets.

When you study it, Moses is called a prophet; Miriam is called a prophetess; and Aaron is called a prophet. But only the boys served in capacity as priests. The role of a pastor is more of a priestly role, in that he also administers the emblems of the Lord, the preaching leadership capacity. Even the phrase "pastor" comes from the word "shepherd" and it's a masculine term.

If I could see an example in the Bible where Jesus, or any of the leaders in the Bible, ordained a woman in a capacity as a priest, or if you can show me anywhere where a woman offered sacrifice in the Bible; but there is no example. It's always a patriarchal responsibility.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: And so I don't see women assuming that role biblically. I believe that men should be the priest leaders of their families, and the church is an extension of the family because it's the bride of Christ. Now Chris, I've got an article online that you can read, and it's called, "Unisex in Jesus?" where I go through the Bible and I make a case for this position. I'd invite you to read that - -

Chris: Okay

Pastor Doug: - - if you're able to go to the Amazing Facts' website.

Chris: Okay. Thanks a lot.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps you a little bit.

Chris: Okay, thank you

Pastor Doug: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Chris. Anyone else who would like a copy of that article, "Unisex in Jesus?" go to the website or call the operators at 1-800-835-6747 and read the article, and call us back.

Pastor Doug: Pastor Dick, let me say something real quick before we take another call. I know some of our listeners are not aware that Amazing Facts has a monthly magazine.

Pastor Dick: Oh yeah!

Pastor Doug: And we give everyone a free subscription if they ask for it. The article you referred to, it's not a book, it's an article in past magazines; but if they would like a free copy of the Amazing Facts' magazine, they just have to call and say they'd like to sign up. We'll send it to them for free for six months.

Pastor Dick: Please do.

Pastor Doug: And then they won't get a bill after that and so they don't have to worry about it [chuckles]

Pastor Dick [Laughs] Let's go to Tacoma, Washington. Reginald is on the Internet. Welcome Reginald.

Reginald: Hello, how are you doing?

Pastor Dick: Good

Reginald: Good. I just want to say I enjoy your program. It has been a blessing.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, and your question?

Reginald: My question is coming from Leviticus, I think it's chapter 8, dealing with the fat and the blood. I understand the clean meats in Leviticus chapter 11.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Reginald: But now, do the fat and the blood in Leviticus chapter 8, does that apply to us today?

Pastor Doug: We're led to believe it does, and the reason, Reginald, is when you go to Acts chapter 15 and the apostles are explaining to the Gentile believers that there are certain aspects of the Levitical laws that still apply, they did specifically mention not to eat anything strangled, or blood; and those were part and parcel of the laws that had to do with eating fat and blood. It went together.

So, I don't know why the blood would still be wrong and now the fat is okay. And you know what's interesting is, the first thing that a doctor will tell you to avoid, if you're having problems with heart disease, is animal products.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And the fat is the highest concentration of that problem. Today, everyone is hyper-cholesterol conscious. Well you don't get cholesterol from vegetables.

Pastor Dick: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: It's all from the animal fat. So God knew what He was talking about. The fat was to be burned on the altar.

Reginald: Um-hmm, okay

Pastor Doug: I think that there are good health reasons for that; and I think there are also good spiritual applications for it.

Reginald: Okay then. Alright, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks a lot.

Reginald: Alright

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Reginald.

Reginald: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Dick: To New York. Melendez is listening on WMCA. Welcome Melendez.

Melendez: Hi, thank you very much. I just have a question. I'd like to compare two Scripture verses. It's in 1st Samuel chapter 10, verse 1, and it talks about the vial of oil - -

Pastor Doug: The vial of oil, yes.

Melendez: The vial of oil that Samuel poured upon, uh - -

Pastor Doug: King Saul

Melendez: King Saul, exactly. And I'd like to know if there's a comparison with that verse with the verse in Revelation 16 where it talks about the wrath of God, the vial. Was that like a type of judgment that God had on His anointed, that God knew that he was going to be judged as king?

Pastor Doug: Well, the similarity would be that both the oil, which is a symbol of God's Spirit, is being poured on someone who is approved from a vial. A vial is like a vase, it's a vessel. That's what that means. Samuel is pouring that on the head of Saul because Saul was being blessed; and those who are being cursed are also having a vial, but not a vial of blessing, a vial of wrath.

Melendez: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And so there is a comparison there, but they're opposites, one is very good and one is very bad; and they're both being poured on one, the favored, one, the cursed.

Melendez: Wow!

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Melendez: Okay

Pastor Doug: So, there is a comparison I've never considered there, but they're really opposites.

Melendez: Okay. I just want to just say that I was wondering that maybe there's any other thing that I should know about the vial, you know, that you might want to share, as far as far as that goes.

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible tells us in 2nd Kings chapter 4 about a woman who brought a whole bunch of different vessels, that's the same thing as a vial, into her house. She poured from this vial of oil, and it filled all the ones that she brought into her house. If you bring empty vessels into your house, meaning people, who need God's Spirit and you study with them, God will pour the oil through you. That's the other lesson that comes to mind right now.

Melendez: Okay

Pastor Doug: God wants us to be vessels of blessing to others, okay?

Melendez: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless you.

Melendez: God bless you, thank you.

Pastor Dick: To Southampton, Pennsylvania. Charles is listening on the Internet. Welcome Charles.

Charles: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Your question please?

Charles: Yes, as a new Christian I seem to be greatly confused with all the various versions of the Bible that are out there. I find the King James to be very difficult for me to understand. Could you recommend a particular version that someone at my stage of learning could understand?

Pastor Doug: Yes. I'm happy to do that. Keep in mind now this is Doug's opinion speaking.

Charles: Sure

Pastor Doug: I can't give you a Bible answer for what the best Bible version is,

Charles: Sure Pastor.

Pastor Doug: All of the English translations come from three principle manuscripts. The Old Testament is in Hebrew and everybody has good, solid manuscripts for the Old Testament. But it's the New Testament that was in Greek and some in Aramaic that is different.

You've got what they call the Textus Receptus, the Vaticanus and the Sinaiticus manuscripts. I think the most dependable manuscript was what they call the Textus Receptus. That means "the received text." The King James comes from that. It's an accurate translation, but it is old English, it's archaic.

Charles: Right

Pastor Doug: When I preach I use the New King James Version. Another good version is the New American Standard Version.

Charles: Okay

Pastor Doug: I use a Bible program I've got on my desk here in front of me right now, and I use Quick Verse, which I'm very happy with; and I've probably got 10 or 11 different translations right here at my fingertips so I can compare as I'm studying on the radio. But for my personal reading, I enjoy the New King James and the New American Standard Version.

There are some Bible versions that are very easy reading, but they're paraphrased, so they're not the most accurate for deep theological study. That would be like the Living Bible. If you want to just get an overview of the story, you can go through the Living Bible; but when you start ferreting out different doctrines it's not as accurate, okay?

Charles: Alright, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, hope that helps. God bless. Hey, incidentally, one more thought Charles, we have a book that you can read at our website. It's called, The Faithful Witness. It's a book at Amazing Facts that you can read for free, and it's on Bible versions.

Charles: Oh great!

Pastor Doug: It will give a little history of them.

Charles: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, bye bye

Charles: Bye bye

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Charles, 1-800-835-6747 is the resource operators' number; or AmazingFacts.org, the website, for all the resources that we mention on the program. Pastor Doug, we want to go to Fullerton, California. Arturo is listening, a first-time caller. Welcome to the program.

Arturo: Thank you Pastor Doug. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Very good, how are you doing?

Arturo: Thank you. I really enjoy your program and the TV station.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you.

Arturo: I have a question in regards to 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 6 and 7.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Arturo: I would like to know who's holding back the things that's not going to happen until somebody they're holding back is taken out? I would like to know about those things. What is it referring to?

Pastor Doug: When you get to Revelation, it talks about four angels in chapter 7 holding back the four winds of strife.

Arturo: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And we believe this is a symbol for God, His Spirit, that are restraining. See, right now the Spirit of God even works with those who are wicked, that restrains them. Even the wicked have a conscience. But at some point, when God withdraws His Spirit, can you imagine how fully given over to the devil wicked people will be without the Holy Spirit to restrain them?

The world will seem like it's demon possessed at that time. Sometimes you wonder if we're far away from that. But right now, the Lord, I think, is holding back Satan and his forces; and you can read about that, where the angels are holding back the winds of strife in Revelation chapter 7.

Arturo: Okay, yeah

Pastor Doug: And, of course, then it tells us that "that wicked one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming." Someone asked about that tonight Pastor Dick. Hope that helps a little.

Arturo: Yes, it's really, really helpful. Can I ask you another question?

Pastor Doug: If it's a short one.

Arturo: Yes. I'm wondering about this Sabbath day and what should I do during the Sabbath? I mean, is it just complete rest, or can I do a purchase or something, like buying food?

Pastor Doug: Well, Jesus is our example. The Bible says that Jesus healed people; He taught people. You may go visit people, encourage people. Jesus spent time in nature on the Sabbath. The Bible does say in Nehemiah that it's not a day for our regular buying and selling.

The idea is to get that stuff out of the way so that you're not involved in merchandising and trying to go through the hectic Christmas shopping on the Sabbath day. But Jesus said the Sabbath is a day for doing good. Better to do good than evil. I've just finished a taped series on how to keep the Sabbath, a video taped series.

I didn't tell you that did I Pastor Dick?

Pastor Dick: No

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I think we just finished editing that. If you go to Amazing Facts you can order that Arturo. It's on how to keep the Sabbath.

Arturo: Okay

Pastor Doug: A lot of people ask that question.

Arturo: Okay, thank you

Pastor Doug: You ought to get a blessing out of it, alright.

Arturo: Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Arturo. Pastor Doug, let's talk next with Richard who is in Fresno, California listening on KARM. Welcome Richard.

Richard: Good evening

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Richard: I just want to tell you I enjoy your program. I've done the Bible study on the website. It's very, very good.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you. Thanks for the commercial!

Richard: Yeah. I encourage people to do that study. It's great. My question is in Genesis 49. It lists the 12 tribes of Israel.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Richard: In several other places in the Bible it also lists them; but I notice in Revelation 7, it again lists the 12 tribes and Dan is excluded. And I notice Manasseh is inserted. I just wondered what your take was on why Dan would not be included, when he was in Genesis, but not in Revelation?

Pastor Doug: Alright. You're correct, and actually, there are two that are not included. Ephraim is not included in Revelation 7.

Richard: Right

Pastor Doug: This is always a confusing question to answer because you need to explain the history. Jacob had 12 sons. They were initially the 12 tribes of Israel, - -

Richard: Right

Pastor Doug: - - but there was a problem. One of his sons, Joseph, was sold by his brothers and was separated from his father for probably 25 years. In the meantime, Joseph had two sons. When he finally did get reunited with his father, his father said, "Because you've been separated, I'm going to treat your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, like my sons."

Richard: Okay

Pastor Doug: So they became like two additional tribes in their father's place. But Levi ceased being a tribe; they became the priests for all the tribes. So what you have is 12 tribes; Ephraim and Manasseh took Joseph's place; and Levi became the priests for everyone else, otherwise there would have been 13. Are you with me?

Richard: Right

Pastor Doug: Okay. Just like in the boat on the Sea of Galilee; there were 13, Jesus and 12 apostles. At the Last Supper there was Jesus and 12 apostles, okay? Now, Dan, the word "Dan" means "Judgment." He is excluded because for the 144,000 judgment is passed. And Ephraim is left out because the Bible said, "Ephraim is joined to his idols: leave him alone."

So the names given in Revelation have a symbolic story. Now, really what I should do is just send you the book. I wrote a book called, "Who Are the 144,000?" where I explain everything I'm saying here in much more detail.

Richard: Great

Pastor Doug: It makes more sense than what I'm saying now.

Richard: Okay

Pastor Doug: But send for it, we'll send you that for free. It's, "Who Are the 144,000?"

Richard: Okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you Richard.

Richard: Okay

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Richard. Again, the website, AmazingFacts.org, or the resource operators, 1-800-835-6747, "Who Are the 144,000?" and we'll send it out to you tonight. Pastor Doug, another first-time caller is Michael in Centerville, Washington who's listening on KRLO. Welcome Michael.

Michael: Yes, good evening, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good, thanks for your call.

Michael: Thank you for taking it. I've been trying to cut through Revelation and a few other of the prophetic books in the Bible. I find the symbolism really confuses me.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Michael: And I was wondering if there was an encyclopedia of biblical symbolism out there somewhere?

Pastor Doug: Well you know, forgive me for being opportunistic, but lesson number two in the Amazing Facts' study guide series in the back panel has a list of Bible symbols. Now that is the Amazing Facts' Storacle lessons. What you have to do is you go to our Bible Universe website. It's the second lesson. It's called, Back to Jerusalem.

In the back of that lesson, we have a list of Bible symbols. For instance, a woman is a church; a sword is the Word of God; stars represent angels. Is that what you want?

Michael: Yeah, yeah

Pastor Doug: Yeah. We've got that key in the back of lesson number two. Go to BibleUniverse.com.

Michael: BibleUniverse.com

Pastor Doug: And you'll have to go through lesson number one to get to lesson two. It won't let you skip.

Michael: Oh okay

Pastor Dick: [Chuckles]

Pastor Doug: But it doesn't take too long.

Michael: Okay great.

Pastor Doug: Alright?

Michael: That's wonderful, thank you.

Pastor Doug: And that's the closest thing I can think of. You might find something else online.

Michael: Okay great.

Pastor Doug: God bless, good question.

Michael: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Michael. To Edgemont, Arkansas. James is a first-time caller. Welcome James.

James: Hi, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good, how about you?

James: Just fine.

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

James: Well, I don't really know how to word it. I'm curious about magicians and magic tricks.

Pastor Doug: Okay

James: I'm wondering if the Bible is clear on if that's okay, or if it's not? I know that the word "magician" has a different meaning than what I'm referring to, at least what I [cross talk]

Pastor Doug: You're talking about someone who uses sleight of hand and deception for entertainment?

James: Right, illusions, - -

Pastor Doug: Yeah

James: - - this type of thing.

Pastor Doug: Well, I will admit, and first of all, I'm not anybody's example in these things; I will admit that I'm always intrigued by how they do some of those things.

Pastor Dick: [Chuckles] yeah, me too.

Pastor Doug: I mean, everybody wants to know, "How did they do that?" But, in reality, I think that Christians should try to hold fast to that which is true. Paul says in Philippians, "Whatever things are true." I've got a boy who's in the Marines you know. Daniel just headed back off. He was in Iraq.

He's in Japan now; and he came back with one of these Saddam Hussein decks of cards and he was showing me all these tricks, and I thought, "How do you do that?" But you know, really, I think Christians should avoid deception and the sleight of hand. I've actually met people who are Christian magicians and it seems like an oxymoron to me.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: The Bible is clear enough. If you look in Deuteronomy 18, verses 11 and 12, it says, "...A charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. All that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD." Of course, these are folks who really were claiming to have supernatural power to do these things.

James: Right

Pastor Doug: The ones who are doing the Houdini tricks and they say right up front, "This is a trick," well, I wouldn't judge them as harshly; but I still think Christians should avoid being known for their deception.

James: Okay

Pastor Doug: See what I'm saying?

James: Uh-huh

Pastor Dick: I think there's room to comment on what Hollywood is doing these days. I mean we're bombarded from everything with Harry Potter to the Lord of the Rings, - -

Pastor Doug: Good point.

Pastor Dick: - - to Pirates of the Caribbean, to all of these other things that are coming out these days.

Pastor Doug: We have a new book by Steve Wohlberg called, The Hidden Dangers of Harry Potter.

Pastor Dick: Oh

Pastor Doug: You know our friend Steve.

Pastor Dick: Yes, I know Steve, um-hmm.

Pastor Doug: And he has just come out with his book. Matter of fact, I think he's getting it printed with Destiny books, Christian publisher. So if you want to know more about Harry Potter, that's the closest thing we have to the magic question James.

James: Yeah, well I'm down on Harry Potter already [laughs]

Pastor Dick: Alright [laughs]

James: One other short question. Are you going to be in Gentry, Arkansas next year?

Pastor Doug: You know, I've been there for a camp meeting before, but I--wait a second, is there a medical convention there?

James: This was just a church get together.

Pastor Doug: No, not that I know of. Forgive me for sounding so ignorant, but my secretary knows where I am. She tells me to go. But I don't know all the places I'm going next year. I am going to be on the East Coast for two or three occasions, but I don't remember being in Gentry.

James: Yeah

Pastor Dick: James, if it's Sunday, he's in Sacramento doing the radio program.

Pastor Doug: That's right [laughs]

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

James: Well I've heard you were going to be there next year, and I planned on being there to see you.

Pastor Doug: Well, it could be true. I'm going to a medical convention and that may be where it is. So I don't know.

James: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

James: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call James. Let's go next to Coeur D'alene, Idaho. Kim is listening on KEEH. Welcome Kim.

Kim: Hi Pastor, thanks for taking my call. I have a question about baptism.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Kim: My sister was baptized as a Mormon, and she's considering being baptized again. And it seems like there's a lot of people telling her to be baptized in the name of Jesus; and then there are people, you know, which the majority of people say to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. And, you know - -

Pastor Doug: Let me--I know where you're heading. Let me tell you what I think is the answer to that, and after I give you the answer, if you can get online, - -

Kim: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: - - go to the article, it's the magazine article called, The Name of God. I offered it to someone else tonight. I addressed this question. But very quickly, there are four examples, only four, in the Bible of what name to be baptized in. Matthew 28 says the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Kim: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Acts chapter 2:38 says, "Baptize in the name of Jesus Christ." Acts 16 says, "The name of the Lord Jesus."

Kim: Okay

Pastor Doug: Acts 10:48 says, "The name of the Lord." They're all different. And so obviously, for the Bible writers, the emphasis wasn't on articulating the name any specific way.

Kim: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: I have people who are a little concerned because most of this doctrine comes from our friends the apostolic Pentecostals. They're very big on what name to be baptized in. When I baptize people, I baptize them in the name of God the Father; and His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Pastor Doug: That covers the bases and everyone is happy. So if she's in doubt, do what Jesus said. He said, "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

Kim: Yeah. She was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but that was in the Mormon church.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, even though they're Mormons, they do some things right.

Kim: Yeah

Pastor Doug: I mean, they also baptize by immersion, right?

Kim: Right, and the people that are talking to her now, they're saying that the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost are just titles, and that's not right.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well that's [chuckles]

Kim: And then they're saying that all examples in the Bible show that it's in the name of Jesus, so - -

Pastor Doug: No. See? That's incorrect. I just quoted it to you.

Kim: Okay

Pastor Doug: It says baptize in the name of Jesus Christ; baptize in the name of the Lord Jesus; and baptize in the name of the Lord.

Kim: Okay

Pastor Doug: So take a look at my article, The Name of God, and if you could email that to your friend, it will help her, believe me.

Kim: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright?

Kim: Thank you. Alright, bye.

Pastor Doug: Thank you Kim.

Pastor Dick: Thanks, Kim, for the call. Let's go to Corryton, Tennessee and talk with Gary who's on the Internet. Gary, welcome to the program.

Gary: Yeah, thank you. I really enjoy your program, and it has been a blessing to me.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you.

Gary: My question concerns Jeremiah 10, verses 3 and 4.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Gary: And I guess my question is, I'm sure it wasn't called that back then, but are they talking about a Christmas tree?

Pastor Doug: Good question. The answer is no. Let me read this for my friends.

Gary: Okay

Pastor Doug: "For the customs of the people," this is Jeremiah 10:3, "are vain: one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with an ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, it doesn't move. They're upright like a palm tree, but they don't speak: they need to be carried about," now see, obviously, you don't carry a Christmas tree around.

People used to make idols out of wood and they would overlay the wood with gold. No idols were solid gold back then. It would be too heavy to carry. So they would take wood, they'd cut it out, they'd deck it with silver and gold, they'd make an idol out of it, and they'd carry it around and pray to it. It's not talking about a Christmas tree. It's talking about idolatry.

Gary: Okay

Pastor Doug: Now there are people, I'm sure, who could make idols out of their Christmas trees. I sure hope nobody is bowing to their Christmas tree. But if you have a flower arrangement in your house and you put apples under it, it's not that different from having a Christmas tree and putting presents under it. If someone is going to worship it, then that's a different issue.

Gary: Okay, that helps a lot because I think a cross reference or two referred to that very thing about sending their children out to cut a tree down, and then they would carve out of that.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, Habakkuk chapter 2, verse 18, okay?

Gary: Yeah

Pastor Doug: You look that up, it talks about the same thing. It's a graven, molten image, and they're just dumb idols. There are so many references to these dumb idols as cross references. Someone would like to build a case that these are Christmas trees; and I'd tell anybody, if you've got convictions you shouldn't have a Christmas tree, then don't have one. There's no Bible mandate you have to.

Someone might call you Scrooge. I've been called Scrooge, but that's up to you. There's no mandate that we have to celebrate these holidays. That's where you use Romans chapter 14, where it says, "One man regards one day above another: another man regards every day alike. Let everyone be persuaded in his own mind." Good question Gary. We've had that a couple of times before; and it's appropriate for the season right now.

Pastor Dick: Appropriate for the season, that's right. Pastor Doug, we're out of time.

Pastor Doug: I've got to run home and put some new presents under the tree!

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: [Chuckles]

Pastor Dick: The music is going to start any minute.

Pastor Doug: Friends, thank you for joining us. We would like to wish everybody a happy holiday.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Pastor Doug: It has been a pleasure serving God with you this year. I'd like to say for myself, and on behalf of our friends and engineers and volunteers in the studio, that one of the highlights of our week is studying the Word of God with you.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Pastor Doug: And I enjoy working with you so much Pastor Dick. It has been, what, six or seven years now?

Pastor Dick: No, eight.

Pastor Doug: More than that, eight years now. Time flies!

Pastor Dick: That's right--or nine years I think it is.

Pastor Doug: Huh?

Pastor Dick: Nine years I believe.

Pastor Doug: Nine years?

Pastor Dick: Yes, I think so.

Pastor Doug: Man, I'm impressed!

Pastor Dick: [Chuckles] Time flies when you're having fun.

Pastor Doug: That's right. Hey friends, we are faith-based. Keep in mind, it's the end of the year. Any gift you'd like to make is tax-deductible and much appreciated. And we are completely supported by love offerings. We don't have any denominations or wealthy corporate donors that keep this program going.

It's a lot of nickels and dimes of people just like you who say, "Hey, that program blesses me. I'd like to help them." We'd love to hear from you, but most of all, we want you to know it's all about Jesus Christ, the Truth that sets you free.

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Baptized Paganism (PB) by Dennis Crews

Baptized Paganism (PB) by Dennis Crews
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