Thirsting For the Water of Life

Date: 05/30/2004 
After the first day of fierce fighting in the Civil War battle of Fredericksburg, hundreds of northern union soldiers lay crying on the battlefield, wounded and bleeding.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? After the first day of fierce fighting in the Civil War battle of Fredericksburg, hundreds of northern union soldiers lay crying on the battlefield, wounded and bleeding. All through the night and most of the next day, artillery fire prevented their relief.

Yet all that time, their agonizing cries went up, "Water! water!" At last, however, a noble Southern soldier, a Sergeant, Richard Kirkland, rose above his love of life and told his General Kershaw, "I can't stand this any longer. Those poor souls have been out there praying and crying all night and all day and it's more than I can bare. I ask your permission, General, to go and give them water."

"But you know," said the General, "that as soon as you show yourself, the enemy will shoot you." "Yes, sir, I know," he answered, "but to carry a little comfort to those poor, dying men, I'm willing to run the risk." The General hesitated, but his heart was also touched with sympathy over the suffering soldiers.

"Kirkland, it's sending you to your death, but I cannot oppose such a motive as yours. I hope God will protect you. Go." So the brave soldier, furnished with a supply of water, stepped over the stone rampart and began his work of Christ-like mercy. Wondering eyes beheld him as he knelt by the nearest sufferer, tenderly raised his head, and held the refreshing cup to his parched lips.

Every soldier in the Union line understood the tenderness of what he was doing; and not a single shot was fired at the man in gray. For over an hour one after another of the crying, wounded and dying was given a refreshing drink, had his cramped or mangled limbs straightened, his head cushioned on his knapsack, and was covered with his coat or blanket as tenderly as though it was by his own mother.

So also in life's great battlefield where souls are crying and dying from the fearful effects of sin, they are thirsty for the water of life. Were there none to reach out to them the refreshing draft they so craved, except the One who stepped over the ramparts of heaven and came down to risk His all on the cross of Calvary to rescue them from their sins by giving to them the water of life everlasting life?

Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug: Hello listening friends. Welcome once again to another edition of Bible Answers Live. We're so thankful that you could tune in. Right now is a good time if you have any Bible question to pick up your phone and dial that toll-free number, and that's 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. I'm your host, Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick Devitt is away for the holiday, but with the help of our studio staff, we will try to fill in the vacancy. As our custom is, we like to begin with prayer in just a moment; but again, if you have a question related to the Bible, this is a live, interactive Bible study. We'll do our best to find the answers together. The number, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. Free phone call, 1-800-463-7297.

So let's launch this broadcast with a word of prayer. Father in heaven, we want to thank You for this opportunity that we have to come together by Your design and to be able to study the greatest Book in the world, the Bible. I pray that You will give us understanding. You've told us that if we search and we search with all of our hearts, we will find. Help us to find the answers of truth, knowing that the truth will set us free. And we pray this in Jesus' name.

Well friends, I hope that you were touched and inspired by the story that we just shared regarding the sacrificial love that this soldier felt for his enemy comrades, of all things, on the battlefield. It tells us something about the love that Jesus has for us. The Bible says there's a great battle raging between good and evil. "And while we were yet sinners," enemies of God, "Jesus came to give us that living water."

If you would like to know more about this gift of everlasting life that Jesus provides for everyone who believes, we have a free book that we'd like to offer you. It's a classic too. It's called, The Drummer Boy's Prayer, and it's a remarkable, miraculous story that actually takes place during the time of the Civil War.

Just call the toll-free number, it's a free gift. It's 1-800-835-6747 if you'd like to request The Drummer Boy's Prayer. One more time, get your pencil now, 1-800-835-6747 is the number for the gift. If you don't have this book, you need to ask for it because it will really inspire you; a true story from the Civil War. We thought that would be appropriate during the Memorial Day weekend.

We have a couple of Internet questions that we to share with you before we go to the phones. One of these, someone is asking about King Herod in the Bible. In Matthew chapter 2, verse 19 it states King Herod died; so Joseph and Mary could return to Israel. But then in Luke 23 it states that Jesus was brought before King Herod; and, of course, John the Baptist was executed by King Herod. "How could he be dead when Jesus was a baby and King Herod be judging John the Baptist and Jesus?"

Well the answer is there are actual several King Herod's. Think of "Herod" as a last name. The first was called Herod the Great, and he reigned for a number of years before the time of Christ when Jesus was a baby; and up until Christ was about three years old, he died--in about when Jesus was three or four, he died. Jesus came back then to the area of the Promised Land.

And then he had a son, Archelaus, Herod Archelaus, who also reigned over his territory. There were other sons, Herod Antipas, which is the one that was trying Jesus. There was Herod Antipas II, who was the one who imprisoned the apostle Peter. Herod Philip; and so this is why you see a number of Herod's in the Bible. They are Herod the Great and his sons and grandson that also bore that name.

Hope that helps a little bit. I remember first reading all these Herod's and I thought, "Well how could he come back? He died." But they all went by the same name. Then, of course, you've got Herodias, which was the wife of Herod Philip.

Then the next question that came in on the worldwide web, "I hope you can clear up something for me. It has to do with praying in public, more particularly, in a restaurant. One particular evening, we took our sister out to dinner. Before dinner, my husband and I motioned gesture to give thanks as we normally do. My sister interrupted us while we were in prayer, indicating that praying in public was inappropriate. Is there any Scripture anywhere in the Bible indicating this?"

Well friends, I don't think that a Christian should be ashamed of their faith; and I pray whenever I eat whether I'm in a restaurant or a picnic, or around our dinner table. I always thank God for my food. As much as the secular world resorts sometimes to making fools of themselves in public, I don't think that we should be hesitant to be fools for Christ, as Paul says, and let people know that we thank the Lord.

I've been in public places before and have seen a father and his children bow and thank God for their food, and it inspired me. It's encouraging to be a witness in that way. Now at the same time, depending on the occasion, you do not want to be a spectacle in the name of Christ. You know, you might be at some official gathering. You don't want to interrupt the whole meal and tell everyone that we need to stop and thank the Lord.

It might be a time to simply bow your head quietly yourself and thank the Lord for your food. But don't ever be ashamed of that. Jesus said, "Don't be ashamed of Me and I won't be ashamed of you. Confess Me, and I will confess you." So hopefully that helps. We still have a line or two available. Pick up the phone again, Bible questions, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, and that's 1-800-463-7297.

Now we're going to begin going to the telephones. Our first call has come in from Fort Worth, Texas. We're talking to Brett who's calling from Forth Worth, listening on the Internet. Welcome Brett, and your question please?

Brett: Hello Pastor Doug. First of all, I'd like to say I believe I'm talking to one of the 144,000 if my opinion counts.

Pastor Doug: Well I hope you're right, but I wouldn't count on it. But thanks so much for your confidence.

Brett: Okay. My question is from listening to your show for years now, I know that you believe this is the generation that will see the second coming. I was just wondering - I don't believe I've ever caught why you believe this. I know that everything is in place now, but I know that, according to the Bible, we've been in the end times for, what, about almost 300 years or so.

Pastor Doug: Well when you say the end of time, there are several ways to look at that. We are living in the last days, and have been ever since the church entered the last age of the church. You know in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, it has the seven ages of the church. Most scholars believe--the historic scholars believe--that we're living now in the Church of Laodicea and we meet that criteria.

But more precisely, there are a number of prophecies that are given, Brett, that you line them up; and it's not any one prophecy, but it's the confluence of many prophecies that leads me to believe. Probably one of the most prominent is where Jesus says in Matthew 24, verse 14, "The gospel of this kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end will come."

Brett: Right

Pastor Doug: Well we're living in an age, because of the Internet that you're using now going around the world, and satellite, and the media communications, and the way that publishing is, have you ever been to a modern press and you see the paper just absolutely flying off the press?

Brett: Correct

Pastor Doug: The Gospel, now, is going to all the world; and even in Communist countries where they try to censor the proclamation of the Gospel, they can't censor the Internet. Matter of fact, one of the busiest languages on the Internet now is becoming Chinese. It's going around the world.

So Jesus said, "The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness." He doesn't say the whole world will be converted or believe, but they'll have an opportunity. "Then the end will come," Jesus said. So I don't know how, with all the mass communications we have now, a Bible generation is 40 years, how can it go on much longer? So yes, it is my belief for that.

The prophet Daniel talks about, "...many will run to and fro, and knowledge will increase." When has knowledge increased more exponentially than this generation? So for these reasons and many others, I do think this is the generation.

Brett: Right. One of the things I believe that will happen is a cashless society, and we're well on the way to that; so, you know, it could happen.

Pastor Doug: Yes, yes; and a cashless society is not the mark of the beast. It will probably be used by the beast power to control buying and selling.

Brett: Correct, yeah. Right.

Pastor Doug: I remember the first time that they began to, at some of the markets and gas stations, buy their groceries with their credit card. I thought, "Ohps, here we go," and now you know, I'm doing it [chuckles]. Everybody's doing it. It has just become so convenient. People are even checking themselves out.

But, yeah - all these things are pointing in one direction; and Jesus is coming soon.

Brett: Amen. Okay, thanks a lot Doug. God bless you.

Pastor Doug: Thanks a lot. Hope that helps. By the way, for you and our listening friends, we have a study guide, "It's Headed Right For You." It's a study guide that deals with the prophecies of the second coming. If you'd like to request a free copy of that, just ask for one Brett, and anyone else; we'll send it to you, okay?

Brett: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Call that number, 1-800-835-6747. Now we're going to line number 4. We're going to talk to Keith on a cell phone, calling from Pleasanton, California, listening on KDIA. Welcome Keith.

Keith: Yes Pastor, my question is about 1st John 1:9. Is John talking to the saved or the unsaved? And I'd like to my answer over the air please?

Pastor Doug: Okay, 1st John 1:9. Let me turn there for our listening friends and I'll read that too you real quick. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." John is wondering is he speaking of his own experience?

Well, I think that when we first come to the Lord that He tells us that if we confess our sins, He's willing to forgive us. You can look in 1st John, chapter 2, verse 6, "He that says he abides in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked," and the promise is that if we confess our sins.

Now, in connection with that, it would be a willingness to repent of our sins. But if we repent and confess our sins, He is willing to cleanse us, not just from that sin, but from all unrighteousness because we can't remember every sin we've committed. That means we can come to Him with sincere hearts, wanting forgiveness, acknowledge we're sinners, a willingness to repent and turn from our sins, and we can have new life.

So, hopefully that helps a little bit Keith. With that, we're going to keep moving and talk to Bruce in Middletown, California, listening on KNDL. Welcome, Bruce, to the program.

Bruce: Thank you very much. What a beautiful mountaintop that radio station is on huh?

Pastor Doug: Yes it is.

Bruce: So I've got a question now. It's repeated I know at least four different places, but let me read three verses for you from three different prophets, okay?

Pastor Doug: Okay, as long as they're not long ones.

Bruce: Oh they're not. They're all one verse.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Bruce: Now Ezekiel 8:18 says, "Therefore I will act in fury: my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity: and though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear." Then Isaiah says in, uh, this would be 59:18, "According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; the coast lands he will fully repay." And 66:16 of Isaiah says, "For by fire and by his sword the LORD will judge all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many." Now, is this what He's going to use in judgment of the world, or is this confined to hell? I mean, it sounds when he says "the coast lands," there's no sea on the new earth in Revelation. But it sounds to me like this is the judgment He's planning for us; and the way things are going in the United States right now and around the world, I'm just saying is this the beginning, do you think, of a period that the prophets referred to when they were speaking of this?

Pastor Doug: Well the Bible does tell us that when Jesus comes, it's called the Great Day of the Lord, and it is a day of wrath. Joel, and other prophets, talk about preparing to meet God, and it being a fearful time. Jesus said in Matthew 24 all of the tribes of the earth will mourn and they will see Him.

And so the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of His coming; and so there is an element of His wrath when He comes at the beginning of the 1,000 years, where the wicked are going to be suffering under a great hail, and a great earthquake, and a number of other devastating natural disasters that are in connection with the second coming.

So there is a great judgment that comes; and those who have grieved away the Holy Spirit and their probation is closed, there is no hope for them.

Bruce: The coast lands? [Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well when he says the coast lands, yeah. First of all, keep in mind Bruce, that shouldn't shock you. The majority of the world either lives on a river or an ocean. There are a few people like Las Vegas that live out in the middle of the desert.

But the majority of the world's people do live on the coasts; I mean, you look at New York, and LA, San Francisco, Hong Kong, you just go down the line of the major cities. The others live on rivers. So I think that's one reason he uses that expression.

Bruce: In chapter 18 of the book of Revelation it says, "The ships at sea that mourn the disappearance of Babylon."

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and that, of course, is also a symbol of the great merchandising that's taking place. I hope that helps a little bit Bruce, but we appreciate your question. Talking next here to George, calling from Bronx, New York. "What does the Bible say about backsliding?" is your question. Is that correct?

George: Yes, hello Pastor Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Yes, welcome

George: How are you doing--oh yeah, my question is about backsliding. Like, you know, some people tell me different meanings about backsliding. It means that, you know, some people say that, if you backslide too much that you're no longer saved, or you lose your salvation. So I just want to see your definition about what does backsliding mean to the Christian?

Pastor Doug: Well first of all, if a Christian is in a state of backsliddeness, in other words, they've turned from the Lord and they're living for the world, the word "Christian" is really an oxymoron. A Christian is a follower of Christ. That's what that means. So someone who says they're a Christian and they're not following Christ because they're in a backslidden state, how can they really be saved?

That doesn't mean the Lord has given up on them. He'll continue to work to bring them to repentance; but if a Christian is in a backslidden state and they remain in that state and refuse to turn, what can the Lord do?

George: But I mean they will still be saved, right?

Pastor Doug: No. This is a common belief about once your saved, you can't be lost. That's not really a Bible teaching. If you look in Hosea chapter 11 and verse 7, it says, "And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none of them would exalt him."

He promises that He will heal their backsliding, but we need to be willing to repent of our sins.

George: Just one last question. I heard, like, some pastor say that those people who give the Lord a bad name that are saved, He has a certain way of taking them real quick. Is that true? Is that biblical?

Pastor Doug: That the Lord is going to try and take some quick because they're in a backslidden state?

George: Yeah. Some pastor told me that.

Pastor Doug: No. It's just very dangerous to live in that state realizing that God is merciful and He is long-suffering, but why would we want to wait? Because what happens is, people usually die the way they live and if we continue to live in a backslidden state, we'll probably die in a backslidden state. And that means die lost.

Let me give you an example. King Saul, in the Bible, was a good king when he started, spirit-filled. He began to serve the Lord, but he became proud. He backslid and there were a few times he repented, but he kept turning right back to his old ways. He finally died in a backslidden state. He killed himself after being wounded in a battle.

I don't expect to see him in the kingdom because he just continued to rebel. That's why the Bible says, "Today if you hear his voice, don't harden your heart." That's why Ezekiel says, "Turn ye, turn ye...why will you die?" and Ezekiel is talking to the church that has backslidden. So we need to turn from our backslidden condition, or die.

And then the promise is that if we do turn, He'll forgive us and we'll live, speaking of eternal life.

George: Oh okay. Thanks a lot.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

George: Alright, bye

Pastor Doug: Bye bye. Alright, with that we'll move right along here and talk to, let me see, Jay in Fort Worth, Texas, listening on 660 AM. Welcome Jay.

Jay: Hi, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Very well.

Jay: My question, really, is--I'm curious. Whenever I'm confronted in terms of discussing the Lord's life when He lived, there seems to be a big gap in Scripture concerning what we would call the youth period, the time from when He was 13 to the time He's 30. There's no account, in terms of history, in His life between that time, at least not that I'm aware of Scripturally. Is there anything outside of that that speaks to that, or why is there that gap?

Pastor Doug: Well, in the Bible it basically tells us that Jesus returned home and He was subject unto His parents; and that leads us to believe that Christ grew up with His family. It does tell us about what happened when He was 12 years old. Then it tells us when He began His ministry at 30. All we can do, in the absence of any more specifics from the Bible, we must believe that He grew up in the family, helping with the family as they typically do, and He was a regular man among men until He got to be 30.

Thirty was the age when a Jew could begin to serve as a priest. So Jesus knew and the Father knew that His teaching would not be respected until He reached that age where He could officially serve in that capacity as a rabbi or a priest, and He began His ministry. We know, the last time He's mentioned, at 12 years old He goes to the temple; and then it tells us that He went home and He was subject unto His parents.

Jay: Okay

Pastor Doug: So hopefully, that helps a little bit. You'll find all kinds of books out there that are doing wild speculation, Jay, that will say, "You know, He went to India and He learned from the gurus there," or, "He went to Saudi Arabia," or, "He went to the mystics in China." There are all kinds of books that fabricate what Jesus did during what they call "the quiet years."

But they're called "the quiet years" because He just lived as a young man. Matter of fact, during His ministry, I just thought of another verse in the Bible, it tells us that they knew who He was when He was in Nazareth. They said, "This is Joseph the carpenter's son."

Jay: What would you reference in terms of youth that would have that type of question? I mean, it's difficult for them to go and look and say, "You know, there's no reference that seems to focus towards me because that period of time just seems to be missing." Is there anything that's more applicable to something that you would minister to youth about?

Pastor Doug: If you look in Luke 2:49, after Jesus said, "Why did you seek me?" He's 12 years old, "I must be about my Father's business." Right there I tell young people, "Look at Jesus. He's in the temple, 12 years old, thinking about spiritual things, asking the religious leaders questions, answering questions, and saying, "My mission in life is to be about my Father's business." I'd say that's a great role model for young people.

Now you read on here, and it says, "He went down with them," Mary and Joseph, "and came to Nazareth and was subject unto them." And then it goes on to say, "Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature," I'm in verse 52 of Luke 2, "and in favor with God." So here He goes back to Nazareth, He's subject to His parents, and He grows up. He increases in wisdom and stature. That tells us where He was and what He was doing. He was growing up in Nazareth.

Jay: That's in Luke where? I'm sorry.

Pastor Doug: Luke chapter 2.

Jay: Luke chapter 2.

Pastor Doug: If you read verses 49 through 52, that's the end of the chapter.

Jay: Okay. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps.

Jay: Thank you

Pastor Doug: Thanks a lot Jay. Let's see if we can get another call in here before the break. Dennis, talking from Daytona Beach, Florida. And your question Dennis?

Dennis: Hey Pastor Doug. Thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Oh I'm sorry, not Daytona. Is it Dayton Beach?

Dennis: Daytona

Pastor Doug: Oh it is Daytona, okay.

Dennis: Daytona Beach, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Dennis: I had a question. In the New Testament Jesus picks 12 disciples - -

Pastor Doug: Yes

Dennis: - - and then, of course, Judas dies, and they choose Matthias to take his place - -

Pastor Doug: Yes

Dennis: - - and to keep the number at 12. And then Paul is raised up as an apostle.

Pastor Doug: Right

Dennis: Okay, so he is called in the New Testament, "the apostle to the Gentiles." The 12 were to Israel and Paul was raised up as the apostle to the Gentiles.

Pastor Doug: Right

Dennis: Okay. In all his writings to the Gentiles in the New Testament church, he doesn't give any instructions whatsoever about tithing to the Gentiles. The Jews had in depth teaching about tithing, and who to tithe to, and when to tithe, and the Levitical priesthood and the storehouse. The Gentiles had none of that. And so there are no instructions by Paul about who to tithe, or when to tithe, or how much to tithe, or--no instructions whatsoever about tithing to the Gentiles.

Pastor Doug: Would you allow me to respectfully disagree with you?

Dennis: Okay

Pastor Doug: I think that there are references to tithe in the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.

Dennis: Yes, right, correct.

Pastor Doug: You see, if we believe that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, as many do, Hebrews mentions tithe about five times; - -

Dennis: Correct

Pastor Doug: - - and he never says anything about it no longer being God's method. Now - -

Dennis: Well, I don't personally believe that Paul wrote Hebrews, but in his letters to the churches, to the Gentiles, Hebrews is still written to the Jews. But the letters to the churches, where Paul instructs the Gentiles, there are no instructions to the Gentiles. The Jews would, of course, understand tithing, so Hebrews - -

Pastor Doug: Well, do you want me to try to answer you?

Dennis: Yes sir.

Pastor Doug: Okay. I'll do my best.

Dennis: Okay

Pastor Doug: The principle for tithing is what? Wasn't it for the sustenance of the ministry? In the Old Testament it was the priesthood, right?

Dennis: The Levitical priesthood, correct.

Pastor Doug: Do God's ministers still need to be employed so they can do a full-time ministry as missionaries?

Dennis: Absolutely, yes. But Paul didn't instruct them to tithe to do that.

Pastor Doug: Well actually, I think in the New Testament it goes beyond tithe. The sacrifice in the New Testament, they were selling their possessions and their property and giving it all to the apostles. The tithe was almost the basement. Paul takes them to the ceiling.

Dennis: That was before--they were still in the early church. That was before Paul ever came on the scene.

Pastor Doug: You said one other thing, it's a minor point, but you said Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. - -

Dennis: Correct

Pastor Doug: - - Really, the first apostle to the Gentiles was Peter.

Dennis: Well he was the apostle--he went to Cornelius, but he was never called the apostle to the Gentiles; and none of the 12 joined Paul on his missionary journeys. So Paul - -

Pastor Doug: Well Paul does say a lot. In 1st Corinthians 16, he does say a lot about giving and the necessity of giving. Since you do not find anything that says that tithe is no longer in place, I think it's dangerous to assume something that goes back beyond the Levitical priesthood.

I mean, Abraham paid tithe; Jacob paid tithe, and these were God's followers and we are the seed of Abraham. We're a spiritual priesthood. I think that the principle of tithe is still needed. Actually, the New Testament Christians should go beyond that. I don't mean to be rude Dennis, but you can hear it's break time and we can't control that.

We have a lesson I'll send you for free. Call 1-800-835-6747, ask for our study guide on tithe and we'll be happy to send that to you. Listening friends, we're just going to take a break with some important announcements that we'd like you to hear; and we'll be back with more questions.


Pastor Doug: Welcome back listening friends. This is Doug Batchelor. Pastor Devitt is on vacation for the holiday weekend. We're so thankful you've tuned in to Bible Answers Live. If this is your first time finding the broadcast, this is, as you can tell from the title, a live, interactive Bible study that is going around the world by both radio and Internet.

If you have a Bible question as the lines free up, matter of fact, we have one free right now. Just call the toll-free number, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. We're going to talk now, going back to the phones, to Paul, who's calling from Redwood, California, listening on KDIA. Welcome Paul.

Paul: Hello Doug

Pastor Doug: Thanks for waiting.

Paul: Thank you for your ministry Pastor Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: And your question tonight?

Paul: Well actually, I had a question about the reference the gentleman made earlier about the 144,000.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Paul: What was, what is--because I've heard of that in relation to a cult that had a teaching on that. I was just curious as to what the Bible says.

Pastor Doug: Well, the two principle references to the 144,000 are found in Revelation chapter 7 and 14. It's easy to remember, just like 2 x 7, chapter 7 and 14. They're identified as what appears to be a select group who play a major role just prior to Jesus' second coming.

I'll be happy to send you a book I've written on that because we get that question a lot. It's an exciting study, and it's simply called, "The 144,000: Who Will Sing the Song?" But I'll give you a quick answer if you'd like.

Paul: Sure

Pastor Doug: When Jesus came the first time, for His first coming He especially trained 12 apostles who, principally, began by going to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. We just discussed that in our last question. For the second coming of Jesus, it appears that He is going to fill with His Spirit and especially train 12 x 12,000. So the 144,000 are something like your last-day apostles; and much of the world is notified and prepared for the second coming through their ministry.

Of course, the majority will not believe because the way is narrow and straight. But that's, in a nutshell, who the 144,000 are. And the reason it says "from the twelve tribes of Israel," that's talking about spiritual Israel because it's naming 10 of the tribes that were carried away captive before Jesus was even born; so they can't be literal people from Manasseh, and Zebulun, and Issachar, so forth. See what I'm saying?

Paul: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Even Peter writes--he says, "Unto the twelve tribes." They use that term metaphorically in the Bible. And Paul says, "If we are Christ's, we are Abraham's seed."

Paul: I have one other related question, if you don't mind.

Pastor Doug: If it's a quick one, yeah.

Paul: Okay, well it's just that I have friends that are involved in a cult. I won't say the name of it, but they have a teaching that the Bible states only a 144,000 people will enter heaven. And your answer on predestination earlier gave me a lot of hope that witnessing or discussing the Bible with them makes sense; because I've heard that people who are in those cults are not predestined to enter heaven. So my question is kind of a statement. It makes sense to discuss this rationally with them.

Pastor Doug: Oh absolutely. We just baptized a dear soul from the cult I think you're referring to that is a member of our church here in Sacramento. She just loves the Lord and has quite a testimony. But 25 years, she was mixed up in this group that thinks only 144,000 will be saved. Strange thing is, they've already gotten much more than that in their denomination.

Paul: Ah, yeah

Pastor Doug: You know, if you read even just in Revelation chapter 7, when you get to verse 9, it says not only are there 144,000, there is another great multitude who came out of the great tribulation arrayed in white robes. So beyond the 144,000, we think there's a great multitude that will be saved in the last days.

On Pentecost, not only were the 12 apostles in the upper room, there were 120 total. So beyond the 144,000, there's going to be another multitude that will be spirit-filled.

Paul: Oh praise God, thank you for your ministry.

Pastor Doug: Order the book. I think you'll enjoy it. It's free.

Paul: Okay I will.

Pastor Doug: After tonight we'll cut that price in half. So just call 1-800-835-6747. We'll give it to you for half of free!

Paul: You don't even have to--[laughs]. Okay, God bless you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Paul: Thank you

Pastor Doug: Take care Paul. Alright, talking now to Steve who's calling from San Diego, California, listening on KBRC, first-time caller. Welcome Steve.

Steve: Good evening

Pastor Doug: Good evening, your question?

Steve: Yes. Whatever happened to the Ark of the Covenant?

Pastor Doug: Well there's all kinds of speculation you'll find on the Internet and in the theater, but I'll tell you what the Bible tells us. It's probably buried in the vicinity of Jerusalem. It has probably been hidden, my guess is because I've been there a few times, in some cave (Jerusalem is honey-combed with ancient tombs and caves) and sealed and it has never been found.

Jeremiah the prophet clearly told, when Nebuchadnezzar had besieged Jerusalem, he told Zedekiah and the others the city will be taken, the temple will be burnt, and as it became clear that it was going to happen, it's believed that Jeremiah and some of the priests hid the Ark, which was the greatest national treasure in a cave somewhere that must have been within the city walls of Jerusalem, a very big object, heavy.

Steve: Yeah, because they did find the Dead Sea scrolls. That wouldn't be entirely impossible, would it?

Pastor Doug: Yeah - and the other reason is it lists in the Bible when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple and carried off the valuables, it never mentions the Ark. And when the children of Israel were allowed to come back and rebuild the temple, the king of Persia gave them back the articles of furniture. It lists them. It never mentions the Ark.

The last time we hear mention of the Ark was before the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, and it suddenly vanishes; and we must believe they knew what was going to happen to the temple. They hid it. And it's still hidden somewhere. It would probably be one of the greatest finds.

Steve: Because one of my friends had mentioned something about it being in the end times, something about the manna that's hidden inside the Ark.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know it mentions in Revelation chapter 11, verse 19 the Ark of God was seen in heaven.

Steve: Oh

Pastor Doug: Some have wondered the same way. They say, "Well what happened to the Garden of Eden?" And it's believed the Garden of Eden was somehow caught up to heaven before the flood, the same way the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven. Some have believed maybe the Ark was caught up to heaven before the temple was destroyed.

But I believe that the Ark on earth was a copy of the real throne of God in heaven. So when it says, Revelation 11:19, "I saw his ark," remember Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will have to pass away before my law passes away." That's because the original probably is in heaven. Did that make sense?

Steve: Yes it does. I just finished Revelation 6 so I haven't got that far yet.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, read 11:19. Matter of fact, the Ark appears just before the second coming because then it says there are thunders, lightnings, great hail, earthquake. All these things happen before the second coming.

Steve: And that's Revelation 11 what?

Pastor Doug: 19

Steve: Okay

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Steve: Thanks

Pastor Doug: Thanks a lot Steve. Oh, where are we going now? We're going to talk to--oh let me see, we've got Benjamin on line 2. You there Benjamin?

Benjamin: Yes Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: You're calling from New York, New York on WMCA. Welcome to the program. Your question?

Benjamin: God bless Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: God bless. How can we help you tonight?

Benjamin: Okay. My question is coming from Jeremiah chapter 10, verses 3 unto 5.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Benjamin: "For the customs of the people are futile: for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers, so that it will not topple. They are upright like a palm tree...." Now are they talking about the Christmas tree?

Pastor Doug: I don't think so. Now there may be people who decorate their Christmas trees with silver and gold and pray to them. If you look on here, it talks about idolatry and their worshiping these things.

Benjamin: Right

Pastor Doug: Keep in mind in the time of Jeremiah, they frequently went to the woods, they cut down trees, they then carved them into various gods, they overlaid them with silver and gold, they carried them about up and down the streets. And so I think this is a very clear reference to the common practice of making idols.

"They fasten it with nails and with hammers," not too many people do that with Christmas trees. They don't hammer their Christmas trees. Some people may worship their Christmas trees, but to be honest, I really think he's talking about idolatry.

Benjamin: Okay then

Pastor Doug: Alright?

Benjamin: Okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Benjamin: You too.

Pastor Doug: Now we're going to talk to Barney on WROL, Boston, Massachusetts. Thanks for your call Barney.

Barney: Thank you Pastor. I enjoy your ministry. This is my first time listening to you.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Barney: First time, yes.

Pastor Doug: Good, I'm glad you called.

Barney: So am I. I hope you can help me out. My question comes from Exodus chapter 4, verse 24.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Barney: Actually, I'm going to be reading from the Today's English Version because the King James is kind of confusing to me.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Barney: But it says, "At a camping place on the way to Egypt the Lord met Moses and tried to kill him." My question is, first, where is this coming from? And why was He trying to kill Moses?

Pastor Doug: Alright. That is a good question. We have that every now and then.

Barney: I'm sorry if it's a repeat.

Pastor Doug: No, no, no. A lot of these questions are repeats; but that's what we want, to educate people. They're some of the most common questions people have. I don't think we've had this in awhile, but we have had it before. It's a confusing subject because all of a sudden, it sounds like God is trying to kill Moses, and the Lord had just called Moses as His servant to go deliver the people. Why is He going to try and kill him?

Barney: Yes

Pastor Doug: First of all keep in mind, when it says the Lord tried to kill Moses, if God wants to do something, He does it. He doesn't swing and miss, you know what I mean?

Barney: Exactly

Pastor Doug: So it's a metaphor saying that the Lord was angry with Moses. There's a time later in the book of Numbers where Balaam was out of God's will and an angel with a drawn sword met him in the path as though he was going to slay him.

Barney: Yes

Pastor Doug: It was like a warning; and God is warning Moses and here's the reason. God had called Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt. If you read in Genesis 17, God made a covenant of circumcision with all the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Barney: Yes

Pastor Doug: Moses was probably circumcised as a baby because he lived with his family until he was three months old and they did that the eighth day. But Moses had two sons with Zipporah in the wilderness and he had not circumcised them.

Barney: Right, exactly.

Pastor Doug: So here was this national leader who is bringing his family to lead this people who have all been circumcised, and he's not practicing this basic covenant in his own family.

Barney: Ah, yeah.

Pastor Doug: So the Lord basically stood with a sword in the path and said, "Listen, I've called you, but you're neglecting this area of obedience." And probably--now I'm reading between the lines, I don't know--his wife probably was opposed to doing it. Maybe she thought it was barbaric. Maybe the boys didn't want to do it. And Moses was not exerting his authority as the priest of the family.

Barney: Yes

Pastor Doug: That's why Zipporah reluctantly does the circumcision and sort of throws it down at his feet and says, "You're a bloody man." So there may have been some family dispute over doing this; and finally God said, "Look, you're the leader. If you can't lead in your own family, how are you going to lead My people?"

Barney: Ahhh

Pastor Doug: This is what's probably going on behind the scenes in that story, based on the commentators I've read.

Barney: Ah, okay, because it just seems like it just comes out of the blue. I'm reading it, and it just comes out of the blue. I'm like, "Whoa!" [cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Yeah. It's just the headlines and we need a little more fine print. But hopefully, that fills it in for you and it makes more sense then.

Barney: It does. Thank you very much. God bless sir.

Pastor Doug: Okay, thanks a lot. Talking next to Tammy, calling on a cell phone, listening on KGTS from College Place. Welcome Tammy. You there? Tammy on line 10, can you hear me? You know, she was on a cell phone and she may have faded. I'm going to put her on hold and we're going to move along here to somebody else who has been waiting. We'll talk now to Lupe. Lupe is calling from Moses Lake, Washington.

Lupe: Yeah that's correct.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Lupe: I had these two young men come up to my house and they wanted to talk about Jesus. So I said, "Okay, sure." They were saying that when He died, He went to a spirit world, because they mentioned the word "Paradise" because I guess it's mentioned in the Bible in, I believe, Luke?

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Lupe: And so I asked them how do they get that, and they said the word "Paradise" means "spirit world." I looked it up in the concordance and it actually means--well it says that it's a park, or an eden, or a future happiness.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, "Paradise" doesn't mean "spirit world."

Lupe: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Let me tell you where this teaching comes from. It's a common misunderstanding. It is based, principally, on one passage of Scripture in 1st Peter chapter 3, verse 18. Let me read that for you okay Lupe?

Lupe: Okay

Pastor Doug: "For Christ also has suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit," now the subject of this is the Spirit, "By which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison." Now, some people are saying, "Oh so Jesus, when He died, He went somewhere and preached to spirits in prison." It doesn't say that.

"Which were sometimes disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, wherein a few, eight souls were saved by water." Now some people say, "So Jesus, when He died, went to preach to those spirits in prison who had died during the flood in the days of Noah." No, that's not what it's saying.

If you read in Genesis chapter 6, God says, "My spirit will not always strive with man...his days will be a hundred and twenty years." Then God calls Noah and for 120 years, through the Spirit, God strove with men. He preached to them, and that was the Spirit of Christ; the same Spirit that rose Him from the dead.

So when it says here in 1st Peter 3:18 that by this Spirit He preached to those spirits in prison, it means the people who are imprisoned by the devil by sin back in the Old Testament before the flood.

Lupe: Oh okay

Pastor Doug: The same Spirit that raised Jesus is the same Spirit that preached, through Noah, back in the days before the flood. It doesn't mean that: "Christ didn't really die on the cross but that He went to preach to people in prison." That's a dangerous doctrine because it gives people the idea that after they've died, they get another chance to be preached to and believe.

That goes against every other Bible teaching. "It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment." [Hebrews 9:27.] So this life is our time to choose the Lord. Once someone dies, their eternal destiny is sealed. Jesus said in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, "There is a great gulf fixed" and there's no crossing over after death. So whoever embraces that idea, it's a dangerous teaching.

Lupe: Oh, okay, yes. I'm going to be with them again next week.

Pastor Doug: Show them Genesis chapter 6, verse 3 where it tells that is the Spirit that raised Christ; that's the Spirit that preached before the days of Noah.

Lupe: Genesis chapter 6, verse 3

Pastor Doug: Tie that together with 1st Peter 3:18, okay?

Lupe: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you Lupe.

Lupe: Alright, God bless.

Pastor Doug: Now who do we have in line? We're trying to do this in sequence by who has been the most patient. Alright, let's see here, we're going to talk to Lydia, Yakima, Washington. Welcome Lydia.

Lydia: Hello

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for your patience.

Lydia: Oh, it's alright. I have a question about Genesis 1 and 26. It says, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."

Pastor Doug: Okay. You want me to explain it?

Lydia: Okay, does that mean there are other Gods?

Pastor Doug: No, but God is composed of three Persons. I don't want to over-simplify it, but think of "God" as a last name. In the Bible, it speaks of God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit; and yet, the Bible says there's one God. How can there be one God and three Persons?

Lydia: Yeah, that's what I'm tripping on.

Pastor Doug: Alright, don't trip. Let me tell you how that works.

Lydia: Oh okay. That's what I'm--okay, I'm sorry.

Pastor Doug: You mind my asking Lydia, are you married?

Lydia: Am I married? No.

Pastor Doug: You're not? Maybe someday huh?

Lydia: Maybe

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible says "a man will leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife, and they become one flesh." Now, did they stop being two different people?

Lydia: Yes

Pastor Doug: See, in the Bible, one not only means a number, it can mean unity. Jesus said to the Father in His prayer, Father, I pray that the 12 apostles can be one, even as We are One. So in the Bible when it says, "Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one," it means God is united. God the Father, Son and Spirit are perfectly united.

That's why God says, Let Us make man in Our image. That's God the Father, and God the Son and God the Spirit. It says the Spirit of God moved on the water, right? In Genesis 1?

Lydia: Okay, so it's all one God?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, think about this. It says here, "In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth," right?

Lydia: Yes

Pastor Doug: Then you go to the New Testament and, speaking of Jesus, it says all things were made by the Word; He was in the beginning with God. So here you've got Jesus--the Word, is with God--the Father, participating in creation back in the beginning. There must be more than One.

Lydia: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So I've got a book I'll send you for free if you'd like.

Lydia: Okay yeah. I want that book.

Pastor Doug: The price is right. It's called, The Trinity.

Lydia: Oh cool!

Pastor Doug: The Trinity, this is biblical, so you call the resource number we're giving out. That's 1-800-835-6747. You, and anybody listening, we're very generous. If you ask for that little book that we've written on the Trinity, we'll send it to you. It has all the supporting Scripture, okay? Thanks a lot Lydia, appreciate that.

Lydia: I didn't get the number.

Pastor Doug: It's 1-800-835-6747. We'll probably give it again before the program is over okay?

Lydia: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright. Now we're going to try Katrina again. Can you hear me Katrina?

Katrina: Yes I can.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Sorry we lost you before. And your question?

Katrina: When we get sick, is it a punishment for our sins?

Pastor Doug: It could be. Sometimes Jesus healed somebody and He said, "Go and sin no more lest, a worse thing come upon you." There are some things that we can do; certain sicknesses a person can get because of sin. There are certain sexual sins that people get because of promiscuity. There are other kinds of sickness because of alcohol that a person can get.

But not all sickness is because of sin. A lot of sickness in the world is because we're in a world filled with sin, with disease. My brother was born with a deadly disease. He didn't do anything to earn that, you know what I'm saying?

Katrina: Yeah

Pastor Doug: There are babies that are born sick. There are some innocent people that get sick. You know, what I think is funny, it's not funny, but, it's interesting that whenever your children get sick you always wonder who they caught it from so we can blame somebody. Well then, our kids end up getting other kids sick. I mean, you can't always choose these things and blame somebody. There's just disease in the world.

Common sense tells you some people get sick because of bad behavior, but not everybody. So it depends on the circumstances.

Katrina: Okay

Pastor Doug: So, you're asking me is sickness punishment for sin. Not always. Sometimes. Sometimes it's really we're just getting the results of what we've done. Got it?

Katrina: Yeah; yeah

Pastor Doug: Now in the Bible, the Bible tells about a man named Uriah, a king, who sinned and he got leprosy. Gehazi sinned, and he got leprosy. Miriam sinned, and she got leprosy. So there was sickness that came from sin. But then there's Naaman, who was a good man who got leprosy and he didn't do anything wrong, and the Lord healed him.

Elisha the prophet had a double portion of Elijah's spirit. He died of a sickness.

Katrina: Yeah

Pastor Doug: I hope that helps. I didn't mean to confuse the issue; but you waited a long time so I wanted to give you more than your money's worth.

Katrina: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright, hope that helps Katrina.

Katrina: Thank you

Pastor Doug: Thank you for your question. Let me see, who has been the most patient? Going to talk now to Bill from Little Rock, Arkansas. Bill, calling on a cell phone, are you there? Bill? Bill may have been waiting a long time. Bill, we're going to put you on hold also. I don't know why we don't have our--one more time, Bill? Little Rock? You there? Nope. Okay--put you on hold. We're going to next try Richie, New York, New York, WMCA. You there Richie?

Richie: Yes I'm here, God bless.

Pastor Doug: Thanks for waiting, and your question?

Richie: My question is I believe there are people in hell right now as we speak. I would like to know if Hades and Sheol are the same place? And Revelation chapter 20, verse 13, it says, "And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades delivered of the dead who were in them: and they were judged each according to his work." I would like to know if there are dead souls at the bottom of the sea as it says here in chapter 20, verse 13, or am I interpreting it wrong?

Pastor Doug: Well I think you may be interpreting it wrong. The word "hell" that translates "Hades" in Revelation 20:13 and in 20:14, is often translated the "grave." So it's saying, "The sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and the grave delivered up the dead that were in them: and every man is judged according to their works."

People are not being pulled out of hell fire to be judged, and then put back in hell fire. That wouldn't make sense, would it?

Richie: Um, no it wouldn't. They would be put out of hell into the lake of fire.

Pastor Doug: And there are people, of course, who have died in the sea, they drowned, and so that's all that's saying here. But I have a booklet I'll send you for free, if you'd like it Richie. All you've got to do is make a phone call. We'll send it to you.

Richie: Oh I would love to.

Pastor Doug: It's a booklet, it's called, "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?" and these verses that you mentioned are addressed in that booklet. It has a very interesting cover on it. "Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?" Okay?

Richie: Okay, alright. What's the number?

Pastor Doug: Call 1-800-835-6747. Keep your pencil handy. We'll keep giving you that number, okay?

Richie: Can I quickly say something else?

Pastor Doug: You know, we're almost out of time and I'm going to try and take one more call. Can you call us next week?

Richie: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thanks a lot, appreciate it.

Richie: Alright, God bless.

Pastor Doug: Going to talk next to line 8, Mel. We've got about three minutes, calling from Newark, Ohio, listening on WJHE. Welcome Mel.

Mel: Hey, how's it going?

Pastor Doug: Good, and your question tonight?

Mel: My question is this, and it has bugged me for years; since God created animals as well as humans, does that mean that animals, as well as humans, have souls?

Pastor Doug: Well, in a sense, yes. And the reason I say that is because not in the same sense as humans, but if you look in the book of Ecclesiastes, it talks about the souls of animals and beasts. The word "soul" typically means "life" in a case like that, - -

Mel: Means what?

Pastor Doug: - - "the breath of life"

Mel: Oh

Pastor Doug: And so, I think what you're asking is does an animal have the same intelligent spirit that humans have?

Mel: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: There's nothing in the Bible that teaches that animals have a soul that will be redeemed; because for one thing, animals never participated in the sin of man, right?

Mel: Right

Pastor Doug: We know there's animals in heaven. The Bible is very clear about that.

Mel: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But the Scriptures don't really tell us that animals repent, and are baptized, and believe. You don't have Christian animals and pagan animals, you know what I'm saying?

Mel: Right

Pastor Doug: It's a difficult question because I don't want to leave people with the idea that God doesn't love animals. Why else would Noah take animals on the ark to preserve them? God could have made a whole new batch.

Mel: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: At the same time, the plan of salvation is for man. Jesus said, "You are worth more than many sparrows. You are worth more than many sheep." He's very clear in the Bible that He values humans, as made in His own image, above every other creature on the planet. But then the Bible also says, "A righteous man regards the life of his beast." Christians should care for animals.

Mel: Right

Pastor Doug: And so, you have to balance these things out. The plan of salvation is not for our pets, it's for people. But at the same time, God loves animals, and we should care for them too. Hope that helps a little bit.

Mel: It does.

[Cross talk, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: They have life, they have intelligence, they don't really have spirits to be redeemed the way humans do.

Mel: That answers my question greatly. It has been bugging me for years.

Pastor Doug: Well Good! I'm glad that we could relieve that burden.

Mel: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Thanks for your question Mel. And listening friends, you can hear the music chasing us, but before it chases you to another frequency, I just want to remind you to keep this program in your prayers. You, maybe, have been listening for years. Hopefully you've been edified, instructed, occasionally inspired, educated. We're completely listener-supported.

People like you who are listening say, "Hey, you know, I'm going to help them stay on the air." Go to the Amazing Facts' website. Real simple, Amazing Facts dot just about anything; you'll find us; and Remember that Jesus is the Truth that sets you free.


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