Salamanders

Salamanders

Date: 02/01/2004 
Salamanders are timid, yet fascinating little animals. They look like lizards, but they are actually amphibians related to frogs and toads.

MIQ: Most Important Questions Answer Guide by Doug Batchelor

MIQ: Most Important Questions Answer Guide by Doug Batchelor
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Salamanders are timid, yet fascinating little animals. They look like lizards, but they are actually amphibians related to frogs and toads. There are about 320 species of salamander and newts found mainly in the northern hemisphere, all the way from sea level up to 13,000 feet.

The name "salamander" comes from the Greek word meaning "fire lizards." Ancient people linked salamanders to fire because they often saw them crawl out of logs that have been thrown into fires, leading people to believe that these animals could walk through fire.

Most salamanders are about four to six inches long but they can range from the smallest of about an inch and a half, to the giant Chinese salamander that grows up to six feet long and weighs 55 pounds. And some of these gentle creatures have long life spans. The hellbender salamanders are capable of living 25 years in their natural settings and some fire salamanders have survived as long as 50 years in captivity.

Salamanders are ear-less and deaf to all airborne sound. But they can sense vibrations from the ground. They have relatively good vision and keen sense of smell, but have little or no voice production. Most adult salamanders have sac-like lungs for breathing air, but they can also use their permeable skin as a source of a supplemental oxygen supply.

They eat mainly worms and insects that are caught with a long, sticky tongue. But among the many unique characteristics of salamanders is their ability to shed their tails if a predator threatens them. Once released, the tail twitches about on the ground to confuse the attacker, while the salamander slips away and later regenerates a new tail.

Jesus said it is better to cut off a hand or a foot, than going to hell with the whole body. Stay with us friends. We'll find out what that means as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome once again listening friends to another edition of Bible Answers Live. If you would like to participate in a live, interactive Bible study, then this is a program for you. We would like to believe that you found this either by design or providence, but we're glad your listening either way.

If you have any Bible question, give us a call. It's a free phone call, and that number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. Pastor Doug, it's good to see you again.

Pastor Doug: Good to be back. This is one of the exciting times in the week when we know the Lord has got an adventure planned with the Word of God.

Pastor Dick: Amen, amen!

Pastor Doug: Don't know what's planned, but we know that He will guide.

Pastor Dick: This is the biggest event happening in the United States today.

Pastor Doug: That's right. I'm sure there's nothing else that people are listening to [chuckles]

Pastor Dick: Right, nothing else going on [chuckles]. So let's pray because normally do.

Pastor Doug: Please do.

Pastor Dick: Father in heaven, we thank You and we praise You for Your love and Your grace, and for the privilege of coming aside and using the airwaves. Lord, we ask that Your Holy Spirit would calm us and help us to listen to Your voice as we seek to share the Word of God with our listeners, with our callers. May we hear from You tonight, Lord, and may You have Your will and Your way accomplished in our lives and in the lives of our friends who call. We thank You and we praise You Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Dick: Pastor Doug, it's an interesting little creature, the salamander. When I was in Africa there were lots and lots of geckos around, you know.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Pastor Dick: And over in Hawaii, there are lots of geckos too. These little lizard creatures are fascinating. They have these traits, like losing tails, and that sort of thing. But what did Jesus mean when He said better to cut off a hand than - -

Pastor Doug: Pluck out an eye or cut off a foot.

Pastor Dick: Pluck out an eye, or--right. What did He mean?

Pastor Doug: Well, for our friends who are listening, you can find that in Matthew 18, verses 8 and 9, where Jesus said, "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you."

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: "It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell." Well right there we find out that it's obviously a symbol, because if you have one eye and look at something, you still have one eye left. Obviously, this is a symbol. If you have a problem stealing with your right hand, you're cutting off your hand will not change your heart's desire to steal.

Pastor Dick: Right, right

Pastor Doug: The Lord is using this illustration because in the Bible, a hand represents your actions.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: An eye represents, of course, your discernment.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And a foot is your direction, your walk. There's something about our actions, our longing, our direction that is out of harmony with the Lord, no matter how painful that sacrifice might be, we need to cut it off. We probably heard stories of rabbits or racoons that might get a foot caught in one of those gruesome traps they used to have, the clamp-down traps, and they would gnaw off a foot to survive.

Pastor Dick: Well, I remember not too long ago hearing about the young man that was trapped on the mountain and cut his arm off.

Pastor Doug: The hiker in Utah, yes.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: He actually had to sever part of his arm in order to save his life. There are people who know they're involved in relationships, they've had a Christian upbringing, they know what's right and wrong, and they're involved, maybe, in a relationship where they really care for this person, but they know that the person is leading them away from God.

The Lord says better to cut it off, no matter how painful it might be. What good is it to go to hell with that person? There will be no satisfaction in that. You're better off going to heaven without them.

Pastor Dick: Really difficult, though, to change character traits, isn't it Doug?

Pastor Doug: It is. Well, without the Lord changing our hearts, we can't do that.

Pastor Dick: We can't do it ourselves.

Pastor Doug: But there are choices we can make to cut something off, or take something out of our life in order to save the whole. You know, periodically there are churches that have to deal with a member who is unconverted and dragging the whole body down and sometimes you have to deal with painful things like that for the health of the whole.

Pastor Dick: Discipline.

Pastor Doug: And it's like cancer. You don't want a band aid. You need to have it removed.

Pastor Dick: I think the apostle Paul talked about that too, didn't he, when he said he whipped himself, um, died to self and whipped himself - -

Pastor Doug: Whipped his body into submission he says.

Pastor Dick: Right, right

Pastor Doug: So, there are struggles involved in the Christian life, but it's better to make those struggles and be in the kingdom. God uses words like "we strive," "we war," "we wrestle." There is some effort involved in making those difficult surrenders, saying "yes" to God and "no" to the devil.

We have a free offer. If you're involved in one of those struggles, maybe it's a relationship, maybe it's a habit friends. God will give you power to know how to cut off that which is hurting you.

Pastor Dick: I can remember in my own life, Pastor Doug, struggling with habits that needed to be changed, and you did too.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Pastor Dick: And I think every person in the world who really tries to do any kind of self-evaluation recognizes that there are habits or character traits that need to be changed. This little book will help. We want to add it to the library of our friends, anyone who would like to have a copy of this little book. It's called, The Power of a Positive No.

Pastor Doug: That's sort of a play on words.

Pastor Dick: Isn't that?

Pastor Doug: It's a great book.

Pastor Dick: That is a great title. I like that, The Power of a Positive No. We want to make it available to anyone who will call our resource operators at 1-800-835-6747. Those operators are at our resource center and they're standing by to take your call. If you would like a copy of The Power of a Positive No, it is encouragement to help you boldly refuse anything that pollutes your mind, and/or your body. Please call and ask for, The Power of a Positive No.

Pastor Doug: That's it, positively.

Pastor Dick: Pastor Doug, Internet questions - -

Pastor Doug: Okay

Pastor Dick: - - we do every week. The first question, "Does Jesus mention anything in the Bible about John the Baptist after he was beheaded by Herod? Did Jesus grieve or tell anyone about His grief?"

Pastor Doug: Well, the closest we can come to is in Matthew 14. Of course, in Matthew 11, Jesus says a lot about John, but he was still alive in prison there.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: By Matthew 14 it tells us in verse 10 that John was beheaded in prison by King Herod. And then you read in the next few verses, it says, "When Jesus heard of it," verse 13, "he departed from there by ship into a solitary place, a desert apart." He needed to spend time along grieving. John was His cousin, and I'm sure that that's what He was doing. Eventually the crowd caught up with Him again.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And then, we might also consider, when Jesus was brought before King Herod and He was being tried by Herod, He wouldn't answer him a word. He did dialogue a little bit with Pilate because he didn't know what Herod did but Herod sinned against the greatest prophet that God had sent. Jesus had nothing else to say to him.

Pastor Dick: Yes, amen. Good point, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Something else to think of.

Pastor Dick: Great point, great point. Second question, "Could you clarify for us Luke 21, verses 31 and 32? Doesn't it say that He would return within their generation? What does this passage mean? Does it mean after the signs appear?"

Pastor Doug: In Luke 21 is a prophecy about signs regarding the second coming of Jesus. We can read in, well verse 29, He says, "Behold the fig tree, and all the trees When they now shoot forth," this is in Luke 21, verse 30 now, "you see and know of your own selves that summer is near at hand. So likewise, when you see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is near at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation will not pass away, till all be fulfilled."

I caught myself there. You know, I'm reading it in Luke, but I've memorized Matthew and I kept trying to substitute Matthew's language for Luke's. But it is the same message. In this passage, they've asked Jesus a few questions, one of them being when is the destruction of Jerusalem.

Pastor Dick: Um m

Pastor Doug: Remember? The Lord said there would be left one stone upon another in the temple.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: And a generation in Bible time is 40 years. We remember the generation that did not believe died in the wilderness and they wandered 40 years. Jesus made this prophecy about 30 A.D. Forty years later, in 70 A.D., the Romans destroyed the temple and the Jewish nation was scattered. So it was literally fulfilled, in that aspect.

But here in Luke, He says, "Behold the fig tree, and all the trees." Trees are symbols of nations. There are several parables in the Bible that illustrate this, everything from King Nebuchadnezzar's dream to some of the kings of Israel, told parables about trees representing nations. And it tells us we can look at the nations and see when the coming of the Lord is near.

I think the sign the Lord is telling us to look for is there would be a merging together of the nations, leading towards common worship.

Pastor Dick: Um m

Pastor Doug: That's what we read about in Revelation and I think we're seeing that all line up now. We've got study guides that will deal more with that, but that is enough to think about, probably. We can go to the phones.

Pastor Dick: Let's go to the phones. We want to take our first caller for the evening, who is calling us from Lexington, Kentucky. Joseph is on a cell phone and he's listening to WJMM. Hello Joseph.

Joseph: How are you doing? Good evening gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Thank you for your patience, and your question?

Joseph: My question is I've been waiting to see if anybody would call it in so I could listen to it, but I haven't got any results, so I thought, "I have to call."

Pastor Doug: Okay. Why don't you spell it out for us?

Joseph: Okay. Romans 8:29 and 30, about people that are predestined, - -

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Joseph: - - they are called.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Joseph: I don't understand it. It's in conflict with quite a few verses from John that if you believe you're saved, you get everlasting life. And here it's saying that if you're predestined, well, there would be no since of anybody ever calling on God because only the predestined will be chosen.

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that there's a misunderstanding of the word "predestined" there. We are all predestined to, - -

Joseph: All?

Pastor Doug: - - well let me explain what I'm saying. If we're talking about salvation here, the Lord is not willing that any should perish, correct?

Joseph: Yeah, right

Pastor Doug: And then Jesus in John 3:16, "Whosoever will...." - -

Joseph: Exactly

Pastor Doug: "Whosoever" is an open invitation.

Joseph: Right

Pastor Doug: And the word "predestined," I think it's confused to mean that God has selected a few - -

Joseph: Right. That's what it means to me.

Pastor Doug: - - Well, the ones He has selected are the ones who respond. Let me illustrate. There's a principle in the Bible that if we draw near to God, He draws near to us. So what has happened is the Lord has said, "I have called everybody. Many are called, few respond." That's what it means "... few are chosen."

Those that respond are chosen, and they are the ones who are predestined. But the idea that only a few have been predetermined by God to be saved, that teaching is out of harmony with the Bible.

This is one of the cases, Joseph, where when you translate from Greek or another language to English, you can't always, what they call transliterate, word for word because different countries think and structure sentences differently.

Joseph: There's a church here in town that, you know, they led me to believe that all of them there were predestined, their church. I told them, "I don't believe that." They said, "Well, all of us are predestined." I said, "Well...." I never did become a member of their church, but I don't believe in the way they think and this is the way they talk.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well there's a teaching that has come largely from Calvinism.

Joseph: Yeah

Pastor Doug: And while he was a great theologian, probably the one, real hiccup in his theology was the predestination, the concept that God has selected people in advance who He wants to save and the others He doesn't want to save. There are some other Scriptures that they based that on, but - -

Joseph: I've got some books from ministry. I got one - -

Pastor Doug: Yes we do. We've got an article. Can you get on the Internet where you are Joseph?

Joseph: No, I don't have a computer. I've got a lot of books from you already. One was, Difficult Bible Texts, and I went to really looking for that predestined. I couldn't find it [cross talk, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: Yeah, we can't put them all in one book, but there's an article that you can send for if you don't have the Internet. Just call Amazing Facts. Ask for a copy of the article, Heavenly Hostage sometimes I think it's called, Handcuffed to Heaven. It deals with this concept of "predestination" and "once saved, always saved."

And I think you'll find some benefit in that, some more Scriptural support. Thanks for your call.

Pastor Dick: Joseph, call our resource operators and ask for that article that's called, Heavenly Hostage. The number is 1-800-835-6747. It's called, Heavenly Hostage. Pastor Doug, next go next to Long Island, New York. Robert is on a cell phone listening on WMCA. Welcome Robert.

Robert: Good evening Pastor Doug, Pastor Dick.

Pastor Doug: Good evening. How can we help you tonight?

Robert: Okay, my question surrounds Leviticus 27, verse 31.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Robert: And based on my understanding of that passage, if at a last resort you're defer paying the tithe, - -

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Robert: - - but when you do you add, like, one-fifth?

Pastor Doug: Yes

Robert: Right. So could you speak on that a bit for awhile?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me read this for everybody. A lot of our friends are driving in vehicles right now. Leviticus 27, verse 30, "And all the tithe of the land, whether they are the seed of the land, or the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD."

Robert: Right

Pastor Doug: "And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he should add there unto the fifth part thereof" . Now let me explain. They used to pay tithe in grain, and fruit, and sheep. It was an agricultural community. Paper money didn't come around until long after while they probably did have it in China back then.

If a person said, "You know, I've got ten new sheep, ten lambs, but I don't want to give one of my lambs. I will give its value in money to the temple," then he would add another fifth to the value - -

Robert: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: - - because the priest would then have to take that money and buy lambs to eat because the priest actually ate from the storehouse the grain and the food that the people brought.

Robert: Okay

Pastor Doug: So it was a way to redeem. Now today, our tithe is all in money so we give dollar for dollar.

Robert: Right

Pastor Doug: But back then, when it was agricultural, if you didn't want to give a tenth of your grain, your apples or whatever your produce was, you'd redeem it by adding another fifth.

Robert: Okay. So it's okay, then, because of our financial situation, one is not able to pay tithe this week, but if when they do, they add a fifth. Is that really okay to do?

Pastor Doug: Well, based on what you're saying, I think that would be okay.

Robert: Oh okay. Yeah, I was just concerned about that.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. A lot of Christians pay a 15% tithe, not just 10%.

Robert: Right, right

Pastor Doug: The Bible principle is that you can't really out-give God and He will bless you.

Robert: Right. Yes. I've experienced that.

Pastor Doug: Well, I hope that helps a little bit. If you want more information on that, Robert, we also at our website have several books that deal with the tithe issue, and a lesson dealing with the Worldwide Embezzlement Scandal.

Pastor Dick: That's right. Robert, again, that phone number is 1-800-835-6747, and ask for Worldwide Embezzlement Scandal. It's a great book. You'll want to add it to your resource

library. Pastor Doug, let's go to Mexico. Jim is calling from Mexico. Welcome, Jim, to the program.

Jim: Hi. My question is what can I show my friends that believe that Jesus is a created being, even despite of all the Scripture I've shown them, that where Christ is divine? And that actually "Jehovah" means "God is Savior," which would include Christ, I would presume.

Pastor Doug: You know, before I even go to the answer, Jim, I would tell you, there's a little book I'll send you for free that I've written. It's called, The Trinity. Now I realize that is not specifically what you're asking, but I dedicated a large section of the book to dealing with the divinity of Jesus.

Jim: Okay

Pastor Doug: Let me quickly outline a few high points and, of course, on this program I can't give an exhaustive study. I'd take the whole hour on that.

Jim: Oh sure, I know, because there's a ton of them.

Pastor Doug: But very quickly, when you look at the characteristics of God, it says, "In the beginning God created...." Well, if you go to John chapter 1, it says "all things that were made were made by Jesus." So who was it that was way back there in the beginning that did the creating?

Jim: Well what they told me is that God, or Jehovah, created Christ and then Christ, then, created everything else.

Pastor Doug: But Jesus is called, "...from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God."

Jim: Right

Pastor Doug: The Bible tells us that He is the Alpha and the Omega. He says, "Before Abraham was, I am," in the Gospel of John, chapter 8 I believe. In that passage, He uses the same eternal phrase the word "I AM" means the "self-existent one." He wasn't created.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: In Hebrews it says "without beginning of days." It compares Him to Melchizedek. So if He is without beginning, how could He be created?

Jim: Right

Pastor Doug: And I could go on and on, but there's a lot of support in the New and the Old Testament. Jesus is called, "Unto us a child is born," Isaiah chapter 9:6, "...and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The everlasting Father."

Jim: Right

Pastor Doug: Well if He's everlasting, why does He - -

Jim: I showed them that one, and they didn't have an answer for it.

Pastor Doug: That's because you'd have to be wrong to answer it. It's very clear that Christ is eternal.

Jim: Right

Pastor Doug: So, you know, with some people, it doesn't matter how much evidence you present. They just can't afford to believe it and you may run into that, but send for the book. I have a lot more Scripture in the book on the Trinity, okay?

Jim: Great. Okay, I'll do that.

Pastor Doug: Thank you Jim.

Jim: Thank you much.

Pastor Dick: Goodnight Jim, thanks for the call. Let's go to Brooklyn, New York. Anita is listening on WMCA. Hi Anita.

Anita: Hi. God bless you, you and Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Thank you, and your question please?

Anita: My question is Mark 13 and 14, - -

Pastor Doug: Okay

Anita: - - when it speaks of the abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel the prophet.

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Anita: What, exactly, is the abomination of desolation?

Pastor Doug: Ohhh, good question. I haven't had that in awhile. And before I answer your question, you'll be glad to know we've got a book on that called, The Abomination of Desolation.

Anita: [Laughs] okay

Pastor Doug: When we hang up, you can call that number and say, "I'd like to get the Amazing Facts book on that." But very quickly, there is a clue when you compare Mark 13,

Luke 21, Matthew 24, Matthew says, "When you therefore see the abomination of desolation, ...those that be in Judaea flee into the hills."

Luke says, "When you see Jerusalem surrounded with armies, let those that be in Judaea flee into the hills." The Roman army desolated Jerusalem back in the time of Christ. That was the first abomination of desolation.

Anita: Okay

Pastor Doug: But the Roman power went through a change. Instead of Rome being ruled by Caesars, Rome is now ruled by a church, for practical purposes. And in the last days, instead of it being political armies, it will be religious persecution. When God's people begin to be hedged in with religious persecution, we may have to flee into the hills because Revelation says you won't be able to buy or sell unless you get the mark of the best.

Anita: Right

Pastor Doug: So what does that mean? Jesus said, "Don't even look back don't take anything out of your house. Do what Lot did and head for the hills." And God will feed us there the way He fed Elijah, and the way that He fed the children in the wilderness.

Anita: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright?

Anita: Yes

Pastor Doug: But read the book. I gave you a very quick overview.

Anita: Yes, yes. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless. Thank you Anita.

Pastor Dick: Anita, call that number that we've been giving, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book and we'll send it right out to you. Pastor Doug, to um, well let's go to Walla Walla, Washington next and talk with Jessie who's listening on KGTS. Hello Jessie.

Jessie: Hi, God bless you

Pastor Doug: God bless you

Jessie: Three short Scriptures in the Bible make it hard for me to believe that Elijah and Enoch were taken to heaven in the Old Testament, and I was hoping maybe you could make more sense of it for me.

Pastor Doug: Alright, tell me.

Jessie: The first Scripture is Colossians 1:18, which says, "Jesus is the firstborn from the dead that in all things he may have the preeminence." So if Jesus is the first born to go to heaven, how did Elijah and Enoch go to heaven before Him in the Old Testament?

Pastor Doug: Alright, give me the next one.

Jessie: And the second Scripture, it says, "It's appointed for man to die once, then the judgment," in Hebrews 9:27. So does Elijah and Enoch have to come back and die once, and everybody has to die one time according to this Scripture?

Pastor Doug: Alright now, let me address them one by one.

Jessie: Okay

Pastor Doug: In your first question from Colossians where it says "Jesus is the first begotten from the dead," the word "first" in Hebrew does not always mean in sequence. It often means in priority. Let me illustrate. We call Laura Bush the First Lady. That doesn't mean she was the first woman in North America. It's a position of priority, right?

Jessie: Right

Pastor Doug: Christ is, obviously, not the first one risen from the dead because didn't Jesus raise people from the dead?

Jessie: Yeah (unintelligible)

Pastor Doug: And in the Old Testament, Elijah and Elisha raised people from the dead. So it's not talking about sequentially who is the first one who has risen from the dead because Christ raised many people from the dead. He even sent out the apostles preaching, and we're lead to believe they were doing some messing up of funerals.

So that explains that. The word "first" there doesn't mean sequence, it means priority. He is the Greatest of those who have risen from the dead. And then when it says, "It is appointed unto man once to die," well, I still believe that's true because everybody who gets to heaven has to die spiritually.

Jessie: Right

Pastor Doug: Everybody must be born again, and in order to be born the second time, you must die. Of course, Christians may die physically also, but that's not the one that counts with the Lord. It's the being crucified with Christ that really counts then judgment, about whether that spiritual crucifixion was genuine or not.

Jessie: Did Jesus, His shedding His blood, have any bearing on whether or not anybody could get into heaven in order to, I guess, cleanse heaven and earth?

Pastor Doug: Nobody is going to be saved by anything except the virtue of Christ's blood. Now I know you're thinking, "How could they get to heaven in advance," - -

Jessie: Right

Pastor Doug: - - "if He had not died yet?" Well, that's not uncommon. I mean, many employers give advances on paychecks and many of us have taken advances. When you know something is forthcoming, there's no risk in doing in advance. God knows all things. Do you agree?

Jessie: Oh yeah

Pastor Doug: Even in the Old Testament before Jesus died there's prophecies about heaven and so God knew He would be victorious. So He gave advance payment to certain people, namely Elijah and Enoch and Moses, and, of course, you see them in heaven. Before Christ even died they appeared to Jesus.

Hey Jessie, we've got to take a break. I apologize if we didn't give you a thorough answer. I think we covered that question pretty well. But we appreciate your call. For our listening friends, we're just going to take a pause here, catch our breath. We do have some important announcements Pastor Dick will be sharing.

I want to remind you of a couple of things. First of all, if you haven't checked out the Amazing Facts' website, please go to AmazingFacts.org. You'll see something interesting there. We have a video of heaven. If you would really like to see something to inspire you, take a look at our video right there at the homepage, "Is Heaven For Real?"

Click on that, and then send the link to your friends. It will encourage them, and might even help enroll them in some Bible studies. Also, we get a lot of questions about the Sabbath subject. We have something called, SabbathTruth.com. Take a look and there will be information there for you. We'll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back listening friends. We are halfway through an exciting broadcast of Bible Answers Live. If you have any Bible questions, you can participate by calling in. We have a line or two available, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That number is an acronym for 1-800-463-7297. Give us a call. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. Our friend James is waiting, listening on WMCA in New York. Hello James. [Delay]

Pastor Doug: James, are you there?

James: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Hi, you better turn down your radio. I think I hear it in the background and it might confuse you. You're on the air.

James: Okay

Pastor Doug: And your question?

James: Yes, yes uh, praise the Lord Doug. Can you hear me?

Pastor Doug: Loud and clear.

James: Good, okay. What is the Battle of Armageddon?

Pastor Doug: Okay, very good. If you look in your Bible, in Revelation chapter 12, you'll see where it says in verse 17, "The dragon is wroth with the woman, and he goes to make war," notice that word, "he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

So, the Battle of Armageddon, unlike what some believe, is not a battle between China, and Russia, and Israel, and the U.S. or any of these political forces. One reason for the confusion, in the retirement speech of Douglas MacArthur, one of his famous speeches, he made a statement about, "We need to develop peace, or Armageddon will be at our door." And he said that in the context of World War II.

James: Right

Pastor Doug: So many people have mistakenly believed the Bible teaches that Armageddon is this big, third world war when in reality, Revelation teaches Armageddon is a war between those that serve the Lord and those that serve the beast. It's very cut and dry in the Bible.

James: Will that be the last war?

Pastor Doug: Yes, it is the last war. It's a spiritual war, it's not a political war.

James: So, what war that will be after Satan is loosed from his prison and he goes to gather all the armies of the earth to fight Christ? What war will that be?

Pastor Doug: That's a good point. I'm talking about the last war on our world before we enter eternity, is that battle in Revelation chapters 12 and 13.

James: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: When you get to Revelation 20, that is a battle that takes place after the 1,000 years, isn't it?

James: Yeah

Pastor Doug: It says, "...When the thousand years are finished," and, you're correct. There is another conflict then, but by that point, all the saved are saved, and all the lost are lost, and there's no changing teams.

James: Right

Pastor Doug: But that's not the Battle of Armageddon. That is the final battle before the judgment. It's Satan's sort of death throes just before the final judgment.

James: That is the battle called Gog and Magog?

Pastor Doug: Yes, that's the battle where Gog and Magog--they're symbolic, the enemies of God's people in the Old Testament, and so that title is incorporated.

James: Okay. So therefore, the Battle of Armageddon is not the battle where all the world is against Israel?

Pastor Doug: No.

James: I see, alright. You have a booklet on that?

Pastor Doug: I believe we do. If you call Amazing Facts and you ask for our book on the Battle of Armageddon, we'll send that off to you.

James: Oh okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

James: Bye bye

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call James 1-800-835-6747. Ivan in Queens is listening on WMCA. Welcome Ivan.

Ivan: Hello

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

Ivan: Hi, yeah, I had a question about race. I see the book of Genesis said that everybody came from Adam and Eve.

Pastor Doug: Right

Ivan: So how did we get these different races, like Mongoloid, and Caucasian, and Negroid, and, you know, the yellow race? How did they come about and over what period of time?

Pastor Doug: Well keep in mind, there's a myth that is built around some confusion that there are three races. There are three, major races, but there are many that are intermediary that link them all together. There are races of people that are sort of a combination of the Asian and African races.

There are races of people that are somewhat of a combination between the Asian and Caucasian. When you go down to Mexico and you have people there who had Indian blood that intermarried with European. You've got a whole race of people there that are a combination of the two.

And so this idea that there are three races is a myth and everyone likes to say red and yellow, black and white, and we accentuate the differences. But in reality, at the Tower of Babel in Genesis chapter 11, the people dispersed from there and they went off in clusters to different parts of the globe. Because many of them were isolated through many generations of intermarriage, they developed into races with more specific characteristics.

For instance, let me give you an example Ivan and I hate making this comparison but it's still a scientific fact, that all of the dogs that you see in the world today can interbreed. You can interbreed a chihuahua with a sheep dog or a Great Dane. They're all dogs, and they will breed. They might need some help but they will germinate.

The reason is they can trace all of their DNA back to an original species--it was probably something like a wolf or a husky--but look at the diversity that you find in the classes. And now there are whole classes of shepherd-like dogs and there are whole classes of terrier-like dogs, you know what I'm saying?

Ivan: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: But that's only because they isolated them and interbred them that they developed unique characteristics. So that's the same principles of genetics where you get the races. It all spread from the Tower of Babel.

Ivan: I see. So, you know, for example, somebody had explained to me once some time ago that Negroid people became black because they were closer to the equator and that's where their dark skin and their hair - -

Pastor Doug: Yeah well, I've heard that too. But if that is true, then why do Eskimos have the same color skin as Navajoes?

Ivan: I don't know.

Pastor Doug: See what I'm saying? You've got one group, you've got Eskimos that live up by the Arctic, and then you've got Central American Indians that live right on the equator, and they've got virtually the same skin tone. I mean, they'll tan the same way. And so, that's a myth.

It's just some people have more melanin in their skin than others and it's a genetic feature, okay?

Ivan: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: I hope that will help you a little bit, and we probably need to move on. Thanks Ivan for your call.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Ivan. Let's go to Westin, Oregon. Donna is listening on 88.5. Hello Donna.

Donna: Hi. My question--and I thank you guys for taking my call. Anyway, I want to know Matthew 34 and 35. I always thought - -

Pastor Doug: Matthew 34? There is no Matthew 34.

Donna: Matthew 10:34 and 35 I meant.

Pastor Doug: Okay, just checking, alright.

Donna: And I always thought Jesus was a peace-loving Man?

Pastor Doug: Well He is. Let me read this for our friends. Matthew 10:34, Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes will be they of his own house."

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and remember what the angel sang when he came to the world, "peace, and good will towards men." Jesus is man making peace with God but Jesus knew that as some took a position to accept Him, there would not necessarily be peace between man and man.

There will be those who do not choose to accept Jesus and those who serve God are always at enmity with those who do not. And if one member of the family accepts Christ and one does not, it is very hard for two to walk together, if they're not going the same direction.

Donna: Correct

Pastor Doug: So Christ was letting them know. When He said, "I send a sword," He doesn't mean that He came to inspire people to violence. He means that a sword divides and there would be division, because those who take a stand for Christ would find they don't fit into the world very well. Jesus said, "If they hated Me, they're going to hate you."

Donna: Okay

Pastor Dick: "The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword," and the Word of God will separate us from others who do not believe.

Donna: I thought it meant that He just caused strife in family.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that's the sad part, but you know, even in the Bible, you look at the division that happened in Joseph's family because Joseph was spirit-filled and his brothers were not. They sold him.

Donna: Okay, I understand it.

Pastor Doug: It makes me think about, who was it, Pizarro, who drew the line in the sand and said, "Go with me," and they had to step over the line in the sand, so to speak. He did it with his sword. Hope that helps a little Donna.

Donna: Alright, thanks.

Pastor Doug: Thank you very much.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Donna. To Mattawa, Washington. Amanda is listening on KGTS. Hi Amanda.

Amanda: Yes. I was wondering in the book of Esther--I'm reading my Bible through--and I was wondering I couldn't find the word "God" or "Jesus." I was wondering if they were in like the Hebrew or Greek?

Pastor Doug: No it's not. You don't specifically find the word "God" in the book of Esther, and there are a few reasons for that. First of all, you definitely see God in the book of Esther. I don't know if there's any book in the Bible where the providential hand of God is more vividly apparent than the book of Esther.

Amanda: Yeah

Pastor Doug: I mean, it is so incredible.

Amanda: Yeah

Pastor Doug: You read about Haman coming to the king to hang Mordecai, and the king can't sleep, and he's reading about how Mordecai saved his life that very night.

Amanda: Yeah

Pastor Doug: It's an incredible book. There is a Psalm, Psalm 137, where it says, "How will we sing the LORD's song in a strange land?" when they were carried off to Babylon. And some have wondered if the writer of Esther said, "God's name is sacred. We're not going to utter His name in a foreign land."

Amanda: Yeah, because that's always puzzled me, why I couldn't find it.

Pastor Doug: Well you're correct. God's name is not mentioned. I'll give you one more little amazing fact. Among all the Dead Sea Scrolls, virtually every book in the Old Testament was

found, in part or in whole, except the book of Esther. And they wonder if some of the Asines left it out because God's name wasn't in there.

Amanda: Yes

Pastor Doug: But hope that helps a little.

Amanda: Yeah, thank you

Pastor Doug: Okay Amanda, God bless.

Pastor Dick: Let's go to Illinois. Doran is listening. Welcome to the program Doran.

Doran: Hello Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: Yes, how are you doing?

Doran: Good. I was reading the book of Daniel chapter 10 and verse 3. It says, "I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth." What I was wondering here is what does the word "meat" mean and did Daniel drink wine, like, did he go against the Bible?

Pastor Doug: No. If you read in chapter 1 of Daniel, he refuses to eat the Babylonian food and wine, because the Babylonian cafeteria that the king was providing had unclean meat and alcoholic wine. Keep in mind, the word "wine" in the Bible simply means the juice of the grape. Sometimes it's fermented, sometimes it is not.

The word "grape juice" is a modern term. In most Bibles, when it says the word "wine," it can, sometimes mean grape juice. It can sometimes mean fermented. You read the context. Some examples of that would be in Isaiah where it says in chapter 65, "For as the fruit of wine is in the cluster," well the wine in the cluster is not yet fermented. That's Isaiah 65, verse 8. But it calls it "wine."

Doran: Oh okay

Pastor Doug: So, Daniel probably was not drinking fermented grape juice and the flesh he was eating was probably sheep, or goat, or cow or something that was clean, than unclean.

Doran: Oh okay, and did Daniel eat, like, clean meats?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I think he did.

Doran: Oh he did?

Pastor Doug: The reason he asked to only eat pulse in Daniel chapter 1 is because they were probably cooking all their clean meat and unclean meat in one big old stew there in Babylon.

Doran: Okay

Pastor Doug: There's nothing in the Bible that says he was a vegetarian.

Doran: Oh, because I thought that he was a vegetarian.

Pastor Doug: No. It doesn't say in the Bible he was. He just refused in chapter 1 to eat the food of Babylon, because it included unclean meat.

Doran: Okay

Pastor Doug: Not only that, I think they sacrificed their animals to pagan gods there in the palace.

Doran: Okay. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, good question, thanks.

Pastor Dick: Let's go next to Newfoundland. Ruth is listening on ZOAR. Hello Ruth.

Ruth: Hello

Pastor Doug: Hi

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Ruth: My question is found in Jeremiah chapter 3 and verse 14. It says, "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD for I am married unto you." Now, when one is saved or born again, whichever phrase you wish to use, and they backslide, when we come back to God, does He save us? Or do we just have a rededicated life to Him?

Pastor Doug: Well, let's look at the examples in the Bible.

Ruth: Okay

Pastor Doug: When Peter denied Jesus, - -

Ruth: Yes

Pastor Doug: - - he then realized the third time what he had done, and it says he went out and wept bitterly.

Ruth: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: When he repented, the Lord forgave him.

Ruth: Okay

Pastor Doug: Now keep in mind, Jesus did ask Peter three times, "Do you love Me?" "Do you love Me?" "Do you love Me?"

Ruth: Yes

Pastor Doug: He had to, basically, say he loved the Lord for every time he denied the Lord. So he went through a genuine repentance. But then, of course, who was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and does all the preaching, - -

Ruth: Yes

Pastor Doug: - - at least, the majority of it? Is Peter. So, when David sinned with Bathsheba that's major backsliding. He wept on his face for seven days. He repented, and God forgave him. And he then continued to write inspired, spirit-filled Psalms. Psalm 51, which is his repentance prayer, is one of them.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Ruth: Yes

Pastor Doug: So when we genuinely repent of our backsliding, we are perfectly forgiven, completely forgiven.

Ruth: Yes, I understand that. That's not really what I'm asking.

Pastor Doug: I'm sorry.

Ruth: I'm asking when we first come to the Lord, first time ever coming to God, it says that the blood is applied and our sins are forgiven, am I right?

Pastor Doug: Correct

Ruth: Okay. So when we backslide and we come back to God, does He apply the blood again? Or do we just have to rededicate our lives to Him and ask Him for forgiveness?

Pastor Doug: We apply the blood again. In other words, Jesus does not need to be crucified again.

Ruth: No, no--okay, yes.

Pastor Doug: But in the Old Testament when someone sinned and they accepted the Lord, they were forgiven. If they sinned again, they brought another sacrifice.

Ruth: Okay

Pastor Doug: So we must, again, apply the blood of His sacrifice.

Ruth: Okay

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Ruth: Well that's wonderful. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Thank you Ruth, appreciate your question. You've got a good name.

Ruth: [Chuckles]

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Ruth, God bless.

Ruth: Bye bye

Pastor Dick: Bye bye. To Sacramento, California. Precious is listening on KFIA. Hello Precious.

Precious: Hi, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good, and your question?

Precious: My question is what does the Bible say about a parent--I don't know if this one is the correct one--a parent's right to discipline their child or teenager concerning lying when the lying has been going on for awhile, and it has gotten into something that the parent has been teaching the child, bringing up the child in the admonition of the Lord, to keep them from doing that but yet, with today's society, it's so passive concerning discipline or there's borderline discipline that, you know, you let a child go and do what he wants, you know. It's like you're condoning what they're doing because you really can't put your foot down.

Pastor Doug: I know exactly where you're coming from. I have a whole litter of children and I understand some of the challenges. First of all, if it's not the parent's right to discipline, then whose right would it be? Obviously, it must be the parent's right.

Precious: Amen

Pastor Doug: One of the Ten Commandments, of course, says, "Honor your mother and father," and I believe that the government must respect the parental rights to discipline their children. At some point, your children get older, even while they're still at home, where you don't want to be resorting to corporal punishment. That's humiliating and it's just not appropriate.

I'll be honest with you Precious, I cannot improve on Jim Dobson's book on Dare to Discipline. He has some good principles there about when it is appropriate to use corporal punishment, other kinds of discipline, and that you don't discipline for unintentional mistakes. But it sounds like you're talking about deliberate - -

Precious: Premeditated.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, premeditated, deliberate deception, that is something that needs to be addressed. How old are these children we're talking about?

Precious: Fourteen but something that could put the young daughter in a position of making a drastic decision, you know, promiscuity, you know, which is part of it. It's like, I love my daughter with everything.

Pastor Doug: Well one of the things that you need to do is find some punishment that is commensurate, that is measured and appropriate for the offense, that will discourage the behavior. You administer that with love explain why you're doing it, what you're doing. I think, obviously, 14 is too old for corporal punishment but there needs to be some privileges removed, some grounding, those kinds of things.

And I recommend you read, Dare to Discipline, and ask that God will give you wisdom. But whatever you do, do it in love.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm. That's an excellent resource, Dare to Discipline, Pastor Doug. I have a litter too.

Pastor Doug: You'd understand.

Pastor Dick: Yeah I understand, that's right. Thanks for the call Precious. Let's go next to Linden, New York. Al is listening on WMCA. Hello Al.

Al: Hello, God bless both of you tonight. My question is in regards to Revelation chapter 6, verses 9 and 10, and I can read it real quick. "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" If the souls are resting, or sleeping, can you explain this, the meaning of it?

Pastor Doug: Well they are, but of course, I hope you know that this is an analogy, because it's horrifying to think that you've got righteous people - -

Al: Right

Pastor Doug: - - who have entered their reward that are moaning under an altar, imprisoned somehow. I mean, that doesn't seem like a desirable reward for anybody.

Al: Right

Pastor Doug: In Revelation, it uses a lot of imagery. For instance, if you look in Matthew 23, verse 35, - -

Al: Right

Pastor Doug: - - it says, "That upon all this generation might come the righteous blood shed from the blood of righteous Abel." Now you remember in Genesis where God says, "The blood," God was speaking to Cain who had killed Abel, "the blood of your brother cries to Me from the ground." Well those little blood cells weren't shouting from the dirt. It's a symbol of justice crying out for retribution, for vindication.

Al: Okay

Pastor Doug: And these souls under the altar are souls that are sleeping, but it's saying that they have lost their lives through persecution or martyrdom, and their lives are crying out for justice. But they're not consciously moaning. I mean, here you've got saved--what kind of reward would that be? See what I'm saying?

Al: Right, okay. Yeah.

Pastor Doug: So you see other images in the Bible where it talks about justice crying out.

Al: Okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: It's synonymous with that. Thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Al. Let's go next to Sacramento, California. Lelah is listening on KFIA. Hello Lelah.

Lelah: Good afternoon. My question is this. I've often wondered why Jesus is called the Son of David, when God said He was His only begotten Son?

Pastor Doug: Good question. The promise of the coming Messiah was given in degrees so that they would know where to look. First, we find out that He was to come through the line of Seth, then later it tells us He was to come through the line of Shem, then through the line of Abram.

Then it tells us through Isaac, not Ishmael Jacob, not Esau Judah, not the other eleven brothers. And then among the tribe of Judah, God last tells us through David. He never gives us anymore genetic indicators after David. So all of the Jews looked for a son of David to be the Messiah.

Then when you get to the New Testament and it says Mary and Joseph, who are both descendants of David, went to Bethlehem where David was from during the census. That is telling us, of course, Christ met the criteria of being a descendant of David.

So, you remember blind Bartimaeus in Mark chapter 10, he calls out to Jesus, "Son of David, have mercy on me, Son of David...." It was another term the Jews used for the Messiah, because they knew He was coming from the line of David, not the other tribes.

Lelah: Oh

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Lelah: Okay

Pastor Doug: And Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of man.

Lelah: Yes

Pastor Doug: Of course, He was the Son of God because He was not only God, He was man. He did become a human to save humans.

Lelah: Uh-huh, alright. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Appreciate it Lelah.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Lelah. To Orlando, Florida. Gloria is listening on WTLM. Hi Gloria.

Gloria: Hi Pastor Doug. I have a question. It's from John 5, reading about the impotent man at the pool.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Gloria: My question is, I don't know, if it was really an angel or it's just superstition, but an angel troubled the water?

Pastor Doug: Good question. Let me recite that for our friends, Gloria, who don't know the story.

Gloria: Thanks

Pastor Doug: In John chapter 5, it tells about a man that Jesus healed who was laying paralyzed by a pool where some bubbles stirred the water, and everybody clamored because they believed whoever got in first would be healed.

Gloria: Yes

Pastor Doug: Well we know that some people are healed by their faith, and it has nothing to do with an outside influence. Matter of fact, every time Jesus healed someone He said, "Your faith has made you whole."

Gloria: Yeah

Pastor Doug: It may have been bubbles that came up from the bottom of this spring. I've got some springs up in the hills and they bubble periodically. It may have been some devil that stirred the water. I don't think God's angels were playing with all those sick people and treating them like a game to see who could climb over who and get in the water first.

Gloria: Yes

Pastor Doug: So, my belief is that I think that it was probably some natural bubbling, and they had developed a superstition around it, and people were crawling in the water. And Jesus felt sorry for this man.

Gloria: Yes

Pastor Doug: The very fact that Jesus healed this man without him getting in the water is proof that Jesus didn't put a lot of stock in the superstition.

Gloria: Yes, yes. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, I appreciate that Gloria.

Gloria: Alright

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call. Let's go to Stratford, Connecticut. George is listening on WMCA. Hello George.

George: Yes, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good

Pastor Dick: George, we have about two minutes so, real quick.

George: Can I just ask a quick question? About the Scripture when Saul put the sword to the side when he took his life, - -

Pastor Doug: Yes

George: - - is there any biblical, like, once he was saved or he was called by God, now he took his life, could you give a comment, or, I mean, a briefing about that particular Scripture [cross talk]

Pastor Doug: I'll do my best. That's a good question. At the heart of your question is this issue: after a person is called by the Lord and saved, can they be lost? This is a big debate in the Christian church. I am of the opinion that we are always free, that we can choose another master after being saved.

Saul was called by the Lord, spirit-filled, but then he became proud, just like the devil was once saved, wasn't he?

George: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Lucifer was once an angel of light and because of pride, he was cast down. He was perfect. Same thing that happened to Lucifer happened to Saul because of pride. Judas was called by Jesus, but he, obviously, grieved away the Spirit. Christ said it would be better for him that he had not been born, than what he had done. So I believe he died lost.

So the question is, at the heart of the question, after we have walked in the Spirit of the Lord, can we be lost after we've been saved. If you read in Hebrews chapter 6, it says that we can be lost after we've been saved. Thank you for your question George. Pastor Dick, it goes by so fast.

Pastor Dick: It does.

Pastor Doug: Listening friends, check out Bible Universe. If you want to continue your Bible studies online, we have a lot of resources there. Just type in BibleUniverse.com. Also, make sure and check out the Amazing Facts' website.

We have a free library for all of you friends who are involved in any kind of Bible teaching, you are cheating yourself if you don't go to the Amazing Facts' free library and look at all the studies you can download on a variety of subjects. Till next week, Jesus is the Truth.

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