Vultures

Vultures

Date: 06/20/2004 
Vultures have long been perceived as abominable creatures because of their repulsive feeding habits. But we're now beginning to better understand
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about a few amazing facts regarding vultures? Vultures have long been perceived as abominable creatures because of their repulsive feeding habits. But we're now beginning to better understand the important role these scavenging birds fulfill by cleaning up dead animals from our forests, fields and roads.

In fact, the Latin name for the turkey vulture is Catharsis Aura, which means "cleansing wind." It is true they eat dead carrion, but most people don't know 50% of a turkey vulture's diet consists of vegetation. On the other hand, the bearded vulture of the Himalaya eats primarily bones, swallowing some as long as 10 inches.

The vulture does its best to keep itself clean. Observations of them have shown that birds spend from two to three hours a day preening themselves. Also, they'll bathe in water whenever they can, submerse, shake and scrub for half an hour. Then they walk up and down on the bank and hold their wings out to the sun to dry.

Vultures can fly up to 200 miles a day; but they're also homebodies. Some families of vultures have been known to use the same roost for 100 years or more. For years, vultures have been classified as birds of prey, along with hawks, owls and eagles. But in 1994, due to DNA analysis and other studies on anatomy, physiology and behavior, the vulture has been reclassified and placed in the stork family.

Picture a vulture bringing the family baby! The largest flying bird on earth is a vulture, the Andean Condor, with a wingspan of over 12 feet. But the turkey vulture is probably the most graceful soaring bird in the world, reaching heights of 20,000 feet with almost no effort.

Turkey vultures also have an extraordinary sense of smell, having the largest olfactory system of all birds. They've also been known to smell carrion from over a mile away, which is very unique in the bird world. Most American vultures are voiceless birds. They can't speak, but they have very keen eyesight. And it's believed they're able to spot a three-foot carcass from four miles away in the open plains.

And when they find it, they'll circle above it to notify their friends so they can enjoy their abomination picnic together. In Matthew 24, Jesus said, "Wherever the carcass is there will the vultures be gathered together." In the same chapter, He also warns about the abomination of desolation. Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome again listening friends. We are very thankful that you have tuned in, either by design or providence, to another edition of Bible Answers Live. As you can gather from the title of this program, we are now engaged in an interactive, international Bible study. We'd love to have you participate by listening, or if you have a Bible question, pick up your phone right now.

Lots of lines are open and dial that toll-free number. It's 1-800-GOD-SAYS. The Bible is the bottom line in this program, the Word of God, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297, with any of your Bible questions; and also, we'll be giving out another number in a few moments for our resources. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: And my name is Dick Devitt. Good evening Pastor Doug. Welcome back.

Pastor Doug: Thank you. I enjoyed a quick visit to Minnesota this weekend to see some of our friends who watch the TV program there. We're going to do more to get the radio program on in Minnesota as well.

Pastor Dick: Praise the Lord, well we send our greetings to Minneapolis. But Pastor Doug, I was recently in Africa and had a chance to see those vultures over there. We want to talk about them in just a moment; but first, let's have a word of prayer before we start.

Pastor Doug: Let's do.

Pastor Dick: Heavenly Father, we thank You and we praise You for Your grace, and Your love, and Your mercy. We know, heavenly Father, that You have begun a good work; and You will continue it until the day You come and on into eternity. So Lord, we surrender our hearts and our thoughts to You, and we ask that Your Holy Spirit take command now. Give Pastor Doug grace and discernment as we seek to answer questions from the Bible, as we seek the truth. May we know You in a saving relationship. Thank You Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Dick: We saw these vultures doing their ritual mating dance, kind of floating in the air and flapping their wings. They're graceful when they're in the air. They're a beautiful bird when they're flying but they are an abomination. They are the ugliest things I've ever seen Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Pretty in the air from a distance but, uh, kind of gross on the ground.

Pastor Dick: I'll say, I'll say. And especially when they eat, they are an abomination. Now, but you have a spiritual application here.

Pastor Doug: Well, I was thinking of a couple of things. Of course, Jesus talks about the second coming when the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of His return; and He mentions wherever the carcass is, that's where the vultures are gathered. Then, of course, one of the last passages in the Bible speaks about the great feast of the birds. They do serve a purpose in cleaning up.

But the Bible also talks about them as being an abomination, as far as something that can be eaten. It makes us think about that other place in Matthew 24, where Jesus warns about the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet.

Pastor Dick: Amen, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: A lot of people have wondered about that. What is the abomination of desolation? I will just give a quick synopsis of that and then we have a free offer for anybody that wants to know more about that subject, the abomination of desolation.

Very quickly, Jesus said that, "When you see the abomination of desolation," this is Matthew 24, "When you see the abomination of desolation, those that be in Judea flee into the mountains."

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And then in Luke, speaking of it, He says, "When you see Jerusalem compassed with armies, let those that be in Jerusalem flee into the mountains." The abomination of desolation is two-fold. The first part of it was when the Roman power desolated the temple of God and destroyed Jerusalem.

Pastor Dick: A.D. 70

Pastor Doug: That's right, and that was, of course, God's people back then.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But there is going to be a second fulfillment where God's people are going to be surrounded and laws will be made to persecute God's people in these last days, when the beast power makes these laws, and we will need to flee for our lives. That's when Jesus said, "Don't even look back like Lot's wife."

Pastor Dick: Sure seems like we're pretty close to that Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Things are shaping up where you can see that unfolding very quickly.

Pastor Dick: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So they don't want to miss this free offer of the book by Gary Gibbs, our friend, The Abomination of Desolation.

Pastor Dick: That's right. We have not offered this recently that I can remember, but this is a book that you do want in your library folks. I want to encourage you to call our resource operators and ask for this. It's called, The Abomination of Desolation. As Pastor Doug said, it is written by our friend, Gary Gibbs.

Gary has been here and hosted this program on several occasions, so some of you are aware of who Gary is. The Abomination of Desolation will help you to understand this very important topic in the Bible. So please call 1-800-835-6747 and ask for The Abomination of Desolation. You can also go to the website at AmazingFacts.org and find a copy of it there.

Pastor Doug: Yup, that's right.

Pastor Dick: But either way, call the resource operators, or go to AmazingFacts.org. It's called, The Abomination of Desolation. Add this to your library. Pastor Doug, we go to the Internet for a couple of questions that come in during the week before we take a phone call, so let's take the first one for tonight. A very simple question, and yet, it's intriguing. "Did Mary have other children, and how old was she when Jesus was born?"

Pastor Doug: Well, we could only speculate how old she was when Jesus was born. The Bible doesn't give us an exact answer. But based on the average, back during the time of Jesus she may have been anywhere from 15 to 18. Usually by 18 the girls were married off and she was still a virgin, so that's a safe assumption.

Did she have other children? You know, we have strong reason to believe that the brothers and sisters spoken of in the Bible--the Bible tells us Jesus had four brothers--it names them. Then it says sisters; it does not name them, so there's at least two, maybe more, were very likely children that Joseph may have had from a former marriage.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: One reason we believe that--there are several reasons--is because at the cross, Jesus committed the care of His mother to the apostle John, - -

Pastor Dick: Yes, yes

Pastor Doug: - - rather than, naturally, one of His brothers. Secondly, it would have been difficult for the oldest. If Jesus was the firstborn, it would have been difficult for the oldest son of Joseph to leave the family business and become an itinerant preacher.

Pastor Dick: Um-Hmm

Pastor Doug: The younger sons could do that. That's why the younger of the prodigal sons left home, but the older stayed home. Esau stayed home, Jacob left, and it was often the case. Furthermore, we see that Jesus was the youngest as the types of Christ in the Bible always seem to be the youngest of the siblings.

You have, of course, Moses, and Joseph, and David, and they were all the younger. Solomon, son of David, was the youngest of David's sons. So there's multiple reasons why we believe that Jesus was probably Mary's only son; and the other brothers and sisters may have been half-brothers, half-sisters.

Pastor Dick: Okay. Second question that we have tonight deals with a passage that's found in 1st Corinthians chapter 15, verse 8. The question is--this person says--"I remember reading somewhere about Paul saying as how he was born out of due time and that he was one of the last to meet Jesus. Did the apostle Paul ever meet Jesus in person?" is the question.

Pastor Doug: Good question. Well, he did not meet Jesus in person, that we know of, during Christ's earthly ministry. When Jesus walked with the other 12, Paul may have seen Him at some episode of teaching or healing, but we don't know that. He did live, of course, during the time of Christ's earthly ministry because Paul was contemporaneous with Peter and the other apostles.

But we do know from Acts chapter 9 that Paul had a very vivid vision of Jesus when he was converted. We've all heard about the road to Damascus conversion experience.

Pastor Dick: Right, right

Pastor Doug: And then Christ appeared to Paul a number of other times, telling him that he would go to Rome and that he would die for Him; and so he had a number of visions where Jesus appeared. Paul said he was caught up to the third heaven, which is the dwelling place of God and saw unutterable things. So only in vision form do we have record that Paul saw Jesus.

Pastor Dick: He actually spoke to Jesus in the Damascus experience didn't he?

Pastor Doug: Yes, and Jesus spoke to him.

Pastor Dick: And Jesus spoke to him, right.

Pastor Doug: So, like I said, in His earthly, human body, no record of it; otherwise, yes He did.

Pastor Dick: Okay, very good. Well Pastor Doug, we still have about five telephone lines open so we want to encourage our listeners. If you have a Bible-related question, it would be a good time to call if you'd like to talk to Pastor Doug this evening about that Bible-related question, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297.

Call now, and we'll do our best to get you on in the next 45 minutes or so. Let's take our first caller for the evening Pastor Doug. We want to talk to DJ who is in Kansas City, Missouri, and he's on a cell phone. DJ, welcome to the program.

DJ: Thank you

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for calling. Your question?

DJ: Yes, I had a question about 2nd Corinthians chapter 5, verses 6 through 9. I was wanting to know what that meant?

Pastor Doug: 2nd Corinthians 5, verses 6 through 9. Let me go there real quick; and I like to always read it for our listeners.

DJ: Okay

Pastor Doug: "So we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, yes, well

pleased rather, to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to him."

Well, we are separated, DJ, from the Lord right now by a couple of things. Of course, Christ is with us, but we can't see Him physically because we're living in this carnal dimension of the world that we're in.

DJ: Okay

Pastor Doug: When someone dies, and of course, if they die saved, their next conscious thought is the resurrection and being in God's presence, correct?

DJ: Yes

Pastor Doug: So, for Paul and for others who have died in the faith, to be absent from the body, well their next conscious thought is to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and to be present with the Lord, even though the resurrection hasn't taken place yet because we live in this dimension of time that our world is governed by.

DJ: Okay

Pastor Doug: But for those who are sleeping in the Lord, they don't have that measurement of time. For them, it's a moment, a twinkling of an eye. But there's even more to this than that DJ. Paul talks a lot in the same books about being controlled by the flesh and the Spirit; actually, he says more this in Romans.

"To be absent from the body" means also not walking in the flesh. If you're not walking in the flesh, then you are walking in the Spirit and you are in God's presence and so there's another spiritual application there.

DJ: Right, okay

Pastor Doug: Does that help a little?

DJ: That helped a lot. I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Alright

DJ: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Doug: God bless

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call DJ. Let's go next to Portland, Oregon. Patricia is listening on the Internet. Welcome Patricia.

Patricia: Welcome Pastors. My question has to do with the Old Testament and why many Christians and non-Christians as well, particularly, are very much against the Old Testament and think that we don't have to adhere to it as much as we need to adhere to the New Testament, because with Christ's death it became obsolete?

Pastor Doug: You know, that is a big concern. I've been to churches before Patricia. I visit a variety of different churches from different denominational persuasions; and I've sat down in churches before where they actually supply the Bibles for the people, but all they'll have sometimes is a New Testament.

Patricia: Yes

Pastor Doug: And it's unfortunate, because if you buy a typical Bible, three-quarters of your Bible is what we would call the Old Testament; and 10% of everything Jesus said He was quoting the Old Testament. Now there are parts of the Old Testament that new covenant Christians were not obligated to observe. Those are the ceremonial laws that were nailed to the cross, but that is a very minute part of the Old Testament.

Of course in the Bible, when it says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable," well when Paul said that, there wasn't no New Testament, so what Scriptures was he talking about?

Patricia: Yeah, okay

Pastor Doug: Yeah. And then, of course, Jesus, when He rose from the dead in Luke chapter 24, and I think it starts with verse 13, He appears to the two disciples that are walking on the road to Emmaus. It says He expounds unto them in all the scriptures, beginning at Moses and all the prophets, and it even mentions the Psalms, "...he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

So Jesus preached about Himself from the Old Testament. So it is very unfortunate that some Christians believe that, while we don't need to keep circumcision and the ceremonial laws, that we are to throw out the baby with the bathwater; because the Old Testament, of course, is rich with biblical truth, and prophetic truth, and practical truth and you name it. So it's sad. You there?

Patricia: Yes I'm here. What can you tell somebody when they say these things? How can they understand that it's important too?

Pastor Doug: Well use Jesus as your Example and ask them what Bible Jesus read.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And the other thing you might ask them is, when Christ was tempted by the devil, what did He quote? All three times He resisted temptation by not quoting the New Testament, it wasn't written. He quoted the Old Testament. So, if it's powerful enough for Jesus to use against the devil, then I don't think we should neglect it.

Patricia: Okay

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Patricia: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you. Oh, one more thought Patricia, - -

Patricia: Yes?

Pastor Doug: - - the Word of God is called a sword with two edges.

Patricia: Right

Pastor Doug: That's the Old and New Testament. It's compared to two witnesses, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration; that's the Old and New Testament. The Word of God is the Law and the Prophets, both. We need both.

Patricia: Okay, thank you. Bye bye, thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thank you Patricia. To Pueblo, Colorado, Tess is listening on KTPT. Welcome Tess.

Tess: Yes Pastor Doug, my question comes from Matthew 10, verse 8, where Jesus tells His disciples to heal the sick and raise the dead. Why doesn't God's people have the same power today to raise the dead, or was this power given to the disciples only?

Pastor Doug: Well I believe that God wants us to have that power. I think that when the church returns to the condition of the early church, that the Spirit will return, and the gifts of the Spirit, and one of those gifts, of course, is the gift of healing.

Now, you and I know, Tess, that you'll find a variety of televangelists that will claim to have that gift, and they do sometimes supernatural, or superficial, I should say, healings in some of these public services; and, you know, you don't ever see any of this same quality of healings that Jesus talked about. You don't see people who are born blind that suddenly can see, or people who are covered with leprosy getting baby's skin; but they're usually very dubious healings.

But I believe that healing is available; and when the church repents and we return to the faith that was once delivered to the saints, the gifts of the Spirit will return.

Tess: So that means that someday that God's people would have the power to raise the dead as Jesus did and His disciples did?

Pastor Doug: I believe so. In the Old Testament, there was healing, there was raising of the dead. In the New Testament, there was healing and raising of the dead; and here's what Jesus said, "These works that I have done, greater things than this will you do because I go to the Father." So the times in history where you see a famine for the spiritual gifts, is usually because the church has drifted away from the Lord.

If we would turn back to God and seek Him and humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways, then He would pour out His Spirit again.

Tess: Okay. Well I was just wondering because it was kind of a difficult Scripture for me to figure out why it was done then but it's not done now; or whether it was just for the disciples and not us, or - -

Pastor Doug: Let me also throw this in Tess. It does still happen today.

Pastor Dick: Amen!

Pastor Doug: I know people who have been supernaturally healed. I believe I have been. I think Pastor Dick believes he has been.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And we've come from other countries; Pastor Dick has just come back from Africa where he had a remarkable experience where someone had a miraculous healing before your eyes. So it still happens today.

Tess: Yeah. Well it happened to me 30 years ago, you know. The Lord miraculously healed me of a habit I had instantly. But I was referring mainly to raising up the dead. I mean, you know, I was just wondering if that was a special gift given to the disciples, or if God's people someday will have the same power?

Pastor Doug: I think you'll see it happen again. I really do.

Tess: Alright, well thank you Pastor Doug. I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Tess: Bye

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Tess. Opens up another line Pastor Doug, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. If you have a Bible-related question, now is a good time to call. Let's go next to White Cross, New Jersey. Don is listening on WMCA. Don, welcome to the program.

Don: Thank you, thank you. It's a pleasure to talk to you.

Pastor Dick: Yes sir, your question?

Don: I had a question about what do you think the age of the earth is because I've heard some different people discuss that lately. I heard Dr. J. Vernon McGee who's deceased, but I heard one of his programs. He seems to think that it didn't really matter. He quoted a passage where Jesus said, "I am from everlasting to everlasting." And he said the earth could be 10,000,000 years old and it wouldn't matter because God has always been here. Then I heard Hank Hanegraaff say that he thought maybe the earth was older than, you know, you get out of Scripture. And then I heard John MacArthur say, "No, the earth has to be exactly working back because if that's wrong, other things could be wrong." I want to know what you think of that?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me just define your question a little more. First of all, I'm inclined to agree with John MacArthur that you need to go by what the Bible says. But when you ask how old the earth is, you're asking two questions. If you ask when did the creation take place, that would be about 6,000 years ago; and that's, I think, where John MacArthur puts it.

If you're asking how long has this void sphere been here, well we don't know that. When God came to this corner of the universe, it tells us that the earth was void and without form. And so, when Genesis begins by saying, "In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth," that's a sweeping statement.

That doesn't mean 6,000 years ago every star was made and every galaxy and all the cosmos. It's saying back in the beginning, God made everything; and then it goes to the creation of our world. It says when He came to our world, there was no light. He said, "Let there be light." It was without form and void. The planet could have been here for a billion years. I mean, just this orb - -

Don: That's a very interesting thing you just said because it's a two-part question then.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, but the creation of our world is 6,000 years old, if you go back to Adam, the animals, and so forth.

Don: I think the whole earth could have been here longer.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. See, you look out in space and there's lots of asteroids and planets that are void of life, and that may be what God came to when He came to this planet.

Don: Right, because when you look out into space, we have such telescopes today that you could look at something and it's so many light years away that by the time the light gets here, it's 25,000 years old.

Pastor Doug: That's right, but keep this in mind, - -

Don: We don't know if there's any life there, but there were physical structures in the universe 25,000 years ago.

Pastor Doug: Well just keep this in mind Don, now we're getting into some quantum thinking here. When God first made the world, if He made the first redwood tree, did it have tree rings?

Don: [Laughs] that's a good question.

Pastor Doug: Well now, I'll suppose that it did.

Don: Right

Pastor Doug: Suppose God made the first redwood tree. It may have had 5,000 rings in it, even though it was only a day old.

Don: Right

Pastor Doug: God can create a universe so that light is already reaching our world, even though He just made it, see what I'm saying?

Don: Yes, yes

Pastor Doug: He has that power. So I'm not discounting what you said, I'm just trying to broaden the possibilities. I hope that helps. Hey, we've got a book that deals with that. It's called, When Evolution Flunked the Science Test. If you'd like that, we'll send you a copy for free, okay Don?

Don: Yes, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Pastor Dick: Don, call our resource operators, or go to the website, AmazingFacts.org; or call 1-800-835-6747, When Evolution Flunked the Science Test. Call the number and ask for that and we'll send it out to you tonight. Let's go next to Kathleen in Santa Rosa, California. Kathleen, we have about three minutes before we take a break. How can we help you?

Kathleen: Hi, thank you for taking my call. I just wanted to ask how does one believe with all their heart, soul, mind and strength? I do realize that we all doubt, but just wanted to know how?

Pastor Doug: Well it's a combination of two things Kathleen. First of all, God wants us to have faith, but He's not asking us to have blind faith. In the Bible, He gives us so much evidence that His Word can be trusted that it makes it easier to trust Him with all of our heart in the areas that we don't understand.

It's something like, as you read the prophecies and you see how they all are so perfectly fulfilled, and the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus and His ministry, that when He comes, we're inclined to believe the other things the Bible says are dependable. And we can then have faith.

We can have reason to believe, as well as reason to believe the things we may not know. It's like when a child trusts their parents, they might jump out into empty space knowing that their father will catch them because he has always caught them before, you know what I'm saying?

Kathleen: Yeah

Pastor Doug: And so God gives us faith. Then there is the time where we've got to simply close our eyes and have an element of blind trust because He is God, the Creator. We are the creation.

Kathleen: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And you can choose to love Him. When God commands us to do something, that means that we must have a choice. How can you command somebody to do something they have no choice about?

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Kathleen: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: So we can choose to trust Him with all of our heart. That means when something is competing with that trust, we can say, "No. I'm going to trust God first."

Kathleen: Okay

Pastor Doug: See what I'm saying?

Kathleen: Yeah

Pastor Doug: If you read in Mark chapter 9, you can also pray. If you do have doubts, Mark 9, verse 24. There was a man who prayed that his son would be healed. He said, "Lord, if you can help my son?" And Jesus said, "If you believe, all things are possible." The man prayed, "Lord, help my unbelief." He said, "I believe, help my unbelief."

So if you do have a limited faith, then tell God that and ask Him to increase it. That's another thing you can do to magnify it. And then finally, Romans 10, verse 17, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The more you spend time in God's Word, the more your confidence in Him and His Word will grow, and your faith will grow.

There are a few practical ideas. I hope that helps a little.

Kathleen: Yes it does.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks a lot.

Kathleen: Thank you

Pastor Doug: God bless

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Kathleen. I don't think Kathleen is alone for her questions.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I've wondered that same thing - -

Pastor Dick: Sure, yeah.

Pastor Doug: - - when I had more faith. We're going to take a break friends. You hear the music crawling up behind us but that just simply gives our other stations a chance to identify themselves; and us a chance to remind you that there's a lot more to Amazing Facts than what you're hearing now.

This is the tip of the iceberg. But we have radio programs, television programs, a printing ministry, an evangelism missionary college, a team of live evangelists, programs around the world and a lot of Internet ministries, a college online. If you'd like to get your degree in understanding prophecy, you can get your apostle of prophecy degree by going to BibleUniversity.com, very easy address.

Also make sure and check out the Amazing Facts' website. You can watch our TV programs, listen to the radio programs and all of the wonderful things that are available through the Internet just by going to AmazingFacts.org. We'll be back in a few moments with more Bible questions.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome once again listening friends. If you have just joined us, we're halfway through our live Bible Answers Live program. If you have a Bible question, then you just pick up your phone and dial our number. As we complete calls it'll free up lines. That number is toll-free, and it's 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. I have always loved the name of this town. We're going to talk to this man right now. Vidar is calling us on a cell phone from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I don't know why, but I just love the name Coeur d'Alene. Hello Vidar.

Pastor Doug: First word sort of rolls off the tongue

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Vidar: Hi, how are you doing?

Pastor Dick: Doing fine. Welcome to the program.

Vidar: Well thank you.

Pastor Dick: How can we help you tonight?

Vidar: Well, I have a very intense, difficult concept. I know three minutes is not long enough but I'm going to squeeze it in the three minutes anyway. There's a concept of being in the Spirit; and what I understand this concept to mean, excuse the expression, astral projection. Throughout the Bible, Old and New Testament, it doesn't use the word astral projection but

whenever it says "in the Spirit", it talks about what you feel before you leave the body, and during, and afterward, which is exactly astral projection. The apostle Paul did it; Jesus did it; Ezekiel did it; John, he wrote the book of Revelation, did it; and on and on and on.

Pastor Doug: Well, now I think I've captured your concept. Could I interrupt real quick?

Vidar: Sure

Pastor Doug: And, pardon me, but in astral projection, the power is in the person to project themselves out; where, the way I read the Bible, Vidar, is when you are in the Spirit, God's Spirit comes to us. Jesus said, "I will send the Comforter to you." So it's not a choice that we have to project ourselves out.

We are opening ourselves up to Christ coming in through the Spirit, which is, I think, a different concept.

Vidar: Well, um, the apostle Paul, when he was talking about the sheet that came down with the animals in there and he didn't know what was clean and unclean - -

Pastor Doug: That's actually Peter, but go ahead.

Vidar: Oh, sorry.

Pastor Doug: It's alright.

Vidar: It was one of those guys. Well, he was talking about he did not know whether he was in the body or out of the body, and it was mentioned twice in the New Testament.

Pastor Doug: You're correct, Paul does say that; and then, of course, Peter had a vision in Acts 10 of the sheet and he wondered if it was real or if he was just dreaming things. And it is true that some of the prophets, Ezekiel, John and others, when they were in vision, they had a hard time, wondering, "Is this a vision, or is this really happening?" because the visions were so real.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But in all those cases you mentioned, they never chose to project themselves. God's Spirit came upon them when they had no idea it was going to happen.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Vidar: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So that's what I see is the difference between astral projection, or at least one of the differences, and being Spirit-filled.

Vidar: Yeah. When I confronted several different Bible organizations, I won't say their names or anything, but they said that I must have been led by the devil to come to this conclusion. But I've explained to them it's very clear to me. I've left my body many times and I know what it feels like. I know the whole thing, what it feels like before, during, and afterward. When I'm out of my body, I know what it feels like. And the Bible very clearly explains all this, what these guys went through; and for someone to tell me that, "No, you were not leaving your body. You must have been led wrong by the devil." It's like, "Well, who's right? The Bible or these preachers?"

Pastor Dick: Well Vidar, let me suggest something to you that I think, maybe, might add to your thinking on this.

Vidar: Okay

Pastor Dick: From a Christian perspective now, when you think about all the other religions of the world, all the other major religions of the world, and you think about Christianity, all the other major religions of the world have this idea that man has to work his way to God; somehow he has to get himself projected up to God.

He has to make himself better in order for God to accept him. But Christianity is the only religion in which God comes to man.

Vidar: Yeah

Pastor Dick: Do you see the difference?

Vidar: Yeah

Pastor Dick: And I think, from a Christian perspective, you need to add that to the mix of what you're trying to understand.

Pastor Doug: There's a thin line, Vidar. When I was into Eastern religions and I used to meditate to try to project myself into different animals and different spheres of understanding; and I would hope that I had that power and I never really did succeed. That was one of the goals of meditation.

But with Christianity it's different. I simply humble myself before God and say, "Lord, I'm yours." Then at His choice, the Spirit comes.

Pastor Dick: Exactly

Pastor Doug: You can't really schedule it. It's not something we do because God is a living Being and His Spirit is alive. It's not just "the force," know what I'm saying? It is a Person.

Pastor Dick: Yes

Vidar: I've seen God's Spirit in everything, in trees, in water, and rocks and everything. I feel Him in everything.

Pastor Doug: Well what you've just described is a little bit towards what they call Pantheism, - -

Vidar: Yeah

Pastor Doug: - - that God is in everything; but it is through God, the Bible says, that everything lives and moves and has its being. But God is an Individual and He does have a form, and He is a Person. You know, we've probably gobbled up our time on this; and I don't know if I've been of any use, but we appreciate your question and hope that helps a little bit Vidar.

Pastor Dick: Let's go next to Spokane, Washington. Doris is with us tonight. She's a first-time caller from Spokane. Doris, we want to welcome you to the program.

Doris: Thank you

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Doris: I'd like to know, I've read it--well I want to know whether it's in the Bible. I was a Sunday school teacher. I taught my little ones, "Jesus said, 'You'll know Me by the nail prints in My hands.'" Well, we had a doctor who also went to the church and he said, "No. Jesus could not be nailed to the cross with His hands. It had to be His wrists." And I'm sure I read it in a book that, "You'll know Me by the nail prints in My hands." I want to know am I wrong?

Pastor Doug: Well when Jesus rose from the dead, He did tell Thomas, "Behold My hands and My side", and He said, "Put your finger into the prints in My hands." There's no question about that. Then, of course, it says in Psalms they would pierce His hands and His feet. So the question is, some people argue that the human body cannot be held up by nails in the palms. That is a myth.

The one reason I know that's a myth, Pastor Dick, is in the Philippines they periodically, during Easter, they crucify someone alive.

Pastor Dick: Yes

Pastor Doug: They volunteer to do this.

Pastor Dick: Yes, yes

Doris: Okay

Pastor Doug: And the palms will definitely hold your body.

Pastor Dick: Right

Doris: Yes

Pastor Doug: So when they say it can't that's really not true.

Doris: Yup

Pastor Doug: But they did find, and I need to be fair, Doris; they have found a few cases of excavated remains that had been crucified and the nails went through the wrists.

Doris: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: So they know that they did it both ways; but it's not a problem because, according to Hebrew, your wrist is part of your hand; - -

Doris: Yeah

Pastor Doug: - - so you're talking about three inches of difference.

Doris: Yeah

Pastor Doug: You know what I'm saying?

Doris: Yeah

Pastor Doug: So you taught the children correctly. Don't you worry.

Doris: [Laughs] Well that's what I'm going to look for, is the nail prints in His hand. When I'm looking for them, that's what I'm looking for.

Pastor Dick: [Chuckles] Amen!

Pastor Doug: You won't have any problem finding them.

Doris: To me that's proof of it.

Pastor Doug: I promise you won't have any problem finding them when you get there.

Doris: Well I thank you, but it was something on my mind and I just had to know for sure--was I dreaming it when I was telling the little ones that one?

Pastor Doug: No. It's in the Gospel of John when Thomas didn't show up, his first appearing; he came back and Jesus said, "Behold My hands."

Doris: Yes

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Doris: Yes, and thank you very much. I feel so much better [chuckles]

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord

Pastor Dick: Praise the Lord

Doris: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: God bless

Doris: Thank you

Pastor Dick: To Hartford, Connecticut. Gary is listening on WMCA. Welcome Gary. Gary, are you there? Hello Gary?

Gary: Yes, hello

Pastor Dick: Your question please?

Gary: Yes. My question is about tithing.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Gary: And I understand that it goes back way before the Levitical laws, but some people have approached me and said that in the New Testament, there's no command to pay tithes. So can you help me with that?

Pastor Doug: Well that's inaccurate. If you read in Matthew 23, verse 23, He says, "You pay tithe of mint, anise and cumin," Jesus is speaking here - -

Gary: Right

Pastor Doug: "and you've neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice, mercy, and faith: these you ought to have done," in other words, you ought to do the justice, mercy, and faith, but listen to what Christ says, "without leaving the other undone."

Gary: Right

Pastor Doug: In other words, make sure you've got justice, mercy and faith, but don't neglect the tithe. So Christ said, "Do not leave the other undone" and then, of course, you just use common sense. In the New Testament, Paul talks about you don't muzzle the ox that treads out the grain. In other words, the ministry needs to be supported. Those who are laboring for souls need to be supported.

Well, what method do we support them? There's only one method given in the Bible, and that's the tithe method. Matter of fact Gary, tithe would be the minimum in the New Testament. If anything, the New Testament teaches much more than tithe.

Gary: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: The Bible says, "No man said that anything was his own." Not just 10%, but they sold their possessions and they brought them and laid them down at the disciples' feet. So, there was a lot more sacrifice than a tenth in the tithe; but if a Christian is resistant about giving even a tenth, you wonder about their commitment.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Gary: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Gary: Alright


Pastor Doug: I hope that helps.

Gary: Yes it does.

Pastor Doug: Thanks, oh by the way Gary, we've got a whole lesson on this. I keep forgetting we want to get these resources in your hands. You, and anybody who wants to know, we've got the lesson entitled, Worldwide Embezzlement Scandal. You know, we've got that other sermon book Pastor Dick we haven't offered, Thieves in the Church.

Pastor Dick: Thieves in the Church, Worldwide Embezzlement Scandal. If you'll call our resource operators, we'll make them both available to you tonight Gary.

Gary: Okay, thank you

Pastor Dick: Okay. Thanks for the call, or the website; also at the website, Worldwide Embezzlement Scandal, Thieves in the Church deal with the tithing issue, and much more about our pocketbooks.

Pastor Doug: Yup

Pastor Dick: Let's go next to Lindon, New Jersey. Eileen is listening on WMCA. Hello Eileen.

Eileen: Hello. What I would like to ask is where it says that judgment begins with the church? What, exactly, does it mean for the church?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me tell you, you find that in 1st Peter 4:17. He says, "Judgment begins with the house of God." We believe that Peter is quoting from something that happens in Ezekiel 9. Have you ever read that vision where it talks about these angels of judgment that go through the land of Israel and they, basically, execute everybody that does not have a mark on their forehead for sighing and crying for the sins.

In other words, those with the mark are saved in Ezekiel 9. We always think of the mark of the beast being the bad guy in the New Testament.

Eileen: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And then the angel says, "Begin at my sanctuary," this judgment begins at the sanctuary. Maybe you remember, Eileen, when Mary Magdalene, this woman was caught in adultery in the temple?

Eileen: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And in the temple Jesus said, "He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone."

Eileen: Uh-huh, yes

Pastor Doug: That was a type of judgment; and it began in the temple with the elders. So when the judgment begins, God is going to begin with those who have had opportunity to hear the Gospel--that would be the church--the house of God; and then eventually, the judgment will proceed onto those who knew less. "To whom much is given much is required." So He starts with the house of God.

Eileen: Oh, let me see, as long as we are the church, didn't we know about Christ?

Pastor Doug: I think what you're asking is, since we're Christians, we don't get judged. Is that what you're wondering?

Eileen: No, no. It still goes back to the question about us getting judged, but we know about Christ already. We accept Christ already.

Pastor Doug: Well--now that's the point, is, there are those who have claimed to be Christians, but they're not genuine; and they will be evaluated for their authenticity. That's why Jesus began preaching saying, "Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" They were very religious.

They were church members, but He said, "You're paying tithe to be seen; you're fasting to be seen; you're praying to be seen; it's all outward religion." That's why the Lord said, "Many will come saying, 'Lord, Lord'" and He'll say, "I don't know you." So this judgment begins with the house of God for those who claim to be genuine to see if it's--to demonstrate, I should say--whether they are.

We've got a lesson that we'll send you, Eileen, and it's simply called, Facing the Judge. We'll send it to you for free.

Pastor Dick: 1-800-835-6747, Eileen, is the resource number, and we'll send that out to you tonight. To Newport, Washington. Tricia is calling and listening to KTSL. Hi Tricia.

Tricia: Yes, my question is can you be assured of your salvation? I have a friend who believes in predestination. He believes that he can serve God faithfully his whole life and possibly not be in the kingdom because he has no control over that.

Pastor Doug: Well, I'm not sure, but you may be asking two questions. First of all, can a person have assurance of salvation?

Tricia: Yeah

Pastor Doug: The answer is yes! We can have assurance that, if we abide in Him, - -

Tricia: Right

Pastor Doug: - - that we have nothing to fear. The Bible says, "Whoever abides in him sinneth not" and Christ invites us to abide in Him. But then He goes on to say if we don't abide in Him, we won't bear fruit and we'll die, just like a vine. So if you're asking, the other question is once you're saved, is it possible to be lost? That's a different question.

Tricia: Well no, actually. My question is just what text can I give him to help him understand that he can be assured of his salvation, providing that he abides in Christ?

Pastor Doug: Well, of course, John 15, which I just quoted.

Tricia: Okay

Pastor Doug: Luke 12, verse 32, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Tricia: Luke 12:32

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Tricia: Okay

Pastor Doug: 1st John 2, verse 1, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." You read 1st john. It also says by this we know that we have everlasting life.

Pastor Dick: Right

Tricia: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: So there are a lot of promises in the Bible that help us understand we can have peace and assurance, but there are some conditions.

Tricia: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Tricia: Thanks

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you Tricia

Pastor Dick: Thank you Tricia. That little book, 1st John, is just loaded with the [cross talk, unintelligible]. Yeah, it is great, great assurance. To Orange County, California. Betty is a first-time caller. Betty, welcome, and your question please?

Betty: Oh hello. Hello Pastor Doug. I caught your program, Amazing Facts, on the TV today.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Betty: That's how I found out there was a call-in number.

Pastor Doug: Oh good. I'm glad you called tonight.

Betty: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Betty: It regards a passage in the Bible, I think St. Paul says, "For our weapons are not carnal, but spiritual as to the tearing down of strong holds."

Pastor Dick: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: Right

Betty: And I wanted to know what your opinion was? What type of non-carnal weapons do we have?

Pastor Doug: Well the verse you're quoting is 2nd Corinthians 10, verse 4, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal...." He gives more detail when he talks in Ephesians chapter 6 about the armor of God; and he mentions specifically the helmet, the sword, the shield. And then he gives their spiritual analogy, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth.

And there is a great place right there in Ephesians chapter 6 where he identifies the spiritual significance of this arsenal. You know, you've asked a question that leads me right in, Betty, to offering you a book I wrote called, The Armor of God. I'll send it to you for free if you want. It identifies what those weapons are.

Betty: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: Would you like that, free copy?

Betty: Yeah, that will be very nice.

Pastor Doug: Pastor Dick will give you a phone number and all you've got to do is call them. It's toll-free, and tell them that I promised to send it to you.

Betty: Okay

Pastor Dick: Alright Betty, thanks for the call.

Betty: Thank you

Pastor Dick: It's that same number I've been giving out, it's 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book on The Armor of God. We'll send it out to you tonight. Pastor Doug, let's go to Detroit, Michigan. Steve is listening on the Internet. Welcome Steve.

Steve: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Yes sir, your question please?

Steve: I'd like to know if it's scripturally correct to sue somebody?

Pastor Doug: Paul does speak about a brother bringing brother to law and what a shame that is, when two people who claim to love the same Lord and worship Jesus are taking each other to law before the pagans; and so he does specifically condemn that. First of all in, of course, Matthew 18 he says as far as we can, we should turn the other cheek.

Now there are cases, I believe, where you don't help a person--you want to do the loving thing--and sometimes, it's not the loving thing to give a person the idea that they can continue taking advantage of others, or to encourage them in that kind of prodigal behavior. But by all means, if it's another Christian to begin with, they ought to try to get Christian mediation.

Jesus said in Matthew 18, Go to your brother, take someone else with you, and appeal, as far as you can, using Christian mediation so you don't have to go before the pagan world and show to Christians. Now, you may be asking, "What about a Christian suing someone who's just out in the world?"

Steve: Yes, that would be right.

Pastor Doug: Always, the best thing to do is say, "What would Jesus do?" There may be circumstances where others will be harmed by your not taking some kind of legal recourse. So the loving thing may be to do is to make these people, or this organization, accountable. I am very cynical about the sue-happy society we live in where, you know, somebody gets bumped from behind and they sue for millions of dollars; or they find a little of hamburger in their veggie burrito and they sue Taco Bell for fabulous sums.

I mean, we have to admit, we are living in an age that has really violated the Tenth Commandment of covetousness.

Steve: I agree with you completely. In those cases, that would be ridiculous.

Pastor Doug: But there are times where you're asking for just recompense for some grievance, and I don't believe there's a moral problem; but if the Holy Spirit is telling you to turn the other cheek, then do it.

Steve: Okay. Well I need more prayer in it, but I really just tuned into your station. I couldn't resist calling.

Pastor Doug: Well, I hope it was some help.

Steve: Thank you

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Steve. To Knoxville, Tennessee. Uida is listening on WITA. Welcome to the program Uida.

Uida: Thank you

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Uida: My question for Pastor Doug is chapter 6 of Hebrews, verses 4, 5 and 6. I'm wondering if someone is in a backslidden condition, if they can repent and come back to the Lord? I don't understand these verses.

Pastor Doug: Well let me read these verses for the other friends who are listening.

Uida: Okay

Pastor Doug: Hebrews 6, verse 4, "For it is impossible for those who are once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and become partakers of the Holy Spirit, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, If they fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing since they crucify for themselves the Son of God, and put him to open shame."

Uida: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Here I think Paul is describing somebody who has embraced and tasted the very best that God has to offer, and turned away from it. What else is God going to offer after He has offered the best and they've rejected it? Those people, it is very difficult to reclaim them.

I just met somebody this weekend Pastor Dick, and I don't think Fred will mind my saying this. I met a friend, gave an incredible testimony of conversion about 10 years ago; and converted

from just--I'm talking about licking the dog, alcoholism, if you know what I mean by that. He was in the gutter. And he saw the light, came to the Lord, walked with the Lord for years, and then backslid - -

Pastor Dick: Um m m

Pastor Doug: - - and got back down in the gutter again. Well, I just saw him, and he's been clean and sober and he's back with the Lord. He said the chances, statistically, of somebody who is a hardcore alcoholic who has been recovered for years and falls back, getting back on their feet again becomes much more remote.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But it does happen. It does become more remote when somebody does walk with the Lord and turns away from every good gift of God, to renew them; but there are cases in the Bible where it does happen.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Uida: Well can a person (unintelligible) kind of backslidden condition if they die?

Pastor Doug: Oh, well, if a person dies backslidden, that's very unfortunate; but the Bible tells us that God can save us from our backsliding in the book of Jeremiah , where it says, "I'll heal your backslidings." So God can heal us from our backsliding, but we should not - -

Uida: If they repent, correct?

Pastor Doug: Exactly, yeah.

Uida: Okay. That's what I wanted to find out because I was told by a pastor that, even if someone had been saved and that they backslid, that they would still go to heaven, and I can't find that in my Bible.

Pastor Doug: No. That's, I think, a dangerous teaching. That's the "once saved, always saved" teaching.

Uida: Right

Pastor Doug: That is not in the Bible, - -

Uida: Okay

Pastor Doug: - - once you're saved, that you can't do anything to separate yourself from God, that is a very presumptuous teaching. The Bible is very clear that's not true.

Uida: Right, because in Revelation, when Jesus is talking to the churches, He keeps using this word "repent." "If you repent."

Pastor Doug: Yeah. He said, "Unless you repent, I'll remove your candlestick out of its place."

Uida: Right

Pastor Doug: It's very plain.

Uida: Okay, thanks

Pastor Doug: I hope that helps a little bit.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Uida. To Little Rock, Arkansas. Tammy is a first-time caller on KWLR. Tammy, we have a bout three minutes. What can we do for you?

Tammy: Yes. In Matthew 16, verse 19, talking about loosing and binding on earth. I just really wanted some clarification in terms of how to interpret that. I was having a discussion with a friend who felt like that verse justified the role of the priesthood.

Pastor Doug: Now which one was it again? Matthew 16?

Tammy: Verse 19, about giving Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

Pastor Doug: Yes. I should know this by heart. Matthew 16, verse 19. "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven: whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." The keys that God offers us are the keys of truth.

In giving these keys of truth, people are liberated from sin. He didn't just give those to one apostle. When He says, "I say to you that you are Peter," in the previous verse, verse 18, "on this rock I will build my church." The rock that Christ is speaking of is the declaration of Peter that Jesus was the Messiah.

Tammy: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And He says, "You are Peter." That word there in Greek is, I think, "petros" - and that means a little pebble. But He goes on to say, "on this petra," or "petras," which means a rock of immense proportions, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it," and to you I will give the keys.

And now He's still speaking to all the disciples, because if you read the context, they're all sitting there asking Jesus questions. He's not just telling Peter, "I'm going to give you the keys and you're the only one...." I mean, you think about it, Peter was the apostle of all the apostles that was, sometimes, the most unpredictable.

Tammy: Right

Pastor Doug: To trust the keys to everlasting life to one mortal would be really strange.

Tammy: Yeah, yes

Pastor Doug: You can also read in Revelation chapter 1. He says, "I am he that liveth," this is verse 18, "and was dead; behold, I am alive for evermore; and I have the keys of hell and death." And as we share the keys of truth Tammy, it releases people from their captivity to sin and death. Oh I hope that helps you a little bit.

Tammy: It definitely does. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: We're out of time for this broadcast. Thank you Tammy. And listening friends, if we did not get to your call, we hope you'll give us another chance next week. We try to take a few of them off the line.

Keep us in your prayers. We are entirely faith-based. Pastor Dick has been volunteering his time for - -

Pastor Dick: Almost 10 years.

Pastor Doug: Ten years now. Same thing with me. While I direct Amazing Facts, I take my Sundays and I come in here because we believe in getting the truth out; but we do have to pay for our radio time. So while we're doing what we can to keep the costs down, we have volunteers in the studio that are helping.

We do need your help to keep buying the time. If you've been edified, we would like to think that you would support us. So send us a note. Let us know you enjoy it. And, most of all, remember that Jesus is the Truth that sets you free.

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