The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell

Date: 07/04/2004 
The Liberty Bell, sometimes called the Bell of the Revolution or Independence, has been a symbol of American patriotism for over 200 years, but it had a rough beginning.

Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning (PB) by Joe Crews

Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning (PB) by Joe Crews
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? The Liberty Bell, sometimes called the Bell of the Revolution or Independence, has been a symbol of American patriotism for over 200 years, but it had a rough beginning.

Originally cast in London in 1752 and weighing more than 2,000 pounds, the Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia in August, but cracked during it's first ringing. It was melted down in Philadelphia and recast to make a second bell in 1753. It was judged to have a poor tone, which was thought to be from too much copper; so it was melted down again the same year and recast to make the third and final bell.

This is the celebrated Liberty Bell that exists today, made mostly of copper and tin with small amounts of lead, zinc, arsenic, gold and silver. It hangs from what is believed to be its original yoke made from 200 pounds of American Elm; and when struck, it sounds the note of E flat.

It was rung on July 8, 1776 to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence proclaiming America's freedom. During the Revolutionary War, the bell was placed on a wagon and moved 60 miles west to Allentown and hidden in the floor boards of the Zion Reform Church to keep it from falling into British hands, where it would have, no doubt, been melted down to make cannons.

After the war, it was rung every July 4th until sometime around 1835 when it cracked again. No one knows exactly when the Liberty Bell cracked the second time. It's a mystery of history. Today, the 250 year old icon is a popular attraction in Philadelphia and only rung on special occasions.

Many people do not know the bell was first called the Liberty Bell, not by patriots of the Revolution, but by Abolitionists fighting slavery. They chose this name because of the Bible inscription on the bell from Leviticus 25, verse 10, and it reads, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof."

In retrospect, it was remarkably apt as a metaphor for our country that was literally split over slavery. Jesus said, "Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin" so how much does real liberty cost? 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: Hello listening friends, happy Independence Day. This is Bible Answers Live. We are so thankful that you have tuned in by design or God's providence. It's a live, interactive Bible program. You can just listen and see what you learn, or you can call in with any Bible question.

That number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That translates into 1-800-463-7297 and, of course, it's a toll-free call. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. Good evening Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Good evening, happy 4th of July Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: Amen, amen. Same to you, thank you!

Pastor Doug: We are so thankful for our freedom and this opportunity to share with our friends. We know that there may be an additional new audience that is out driving the American highways and byways, as well as friends who are listening around the world. We have people overseas who tune in.

So why don't you help us launch this program with prayer?

Pastor Dick: Let's do that. Father in heaven, we praise You and we thank You for Your grace, Your love, Your mercy, Your kindness to us Lord, and for the privilege of being able to come together to open God's Word and to search deeply into its truths. Lord, we pray that Your Holy Spirit will grant us the privilege of hearing and seeing and knowing the truth that is found in Jesus Christ. Speak to us tonight Lord. Give Pastor Doug wisdom and insight as we seek to answer questions, and speak to our listeners as well. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Dick: Fascinating amazing fact about the Liberty Bell, Pastor Doug. I've been there, I've seen it. I've looked at the cracks and it's just part of American history; but I did not know that it was actually more related to the Abolitionists than to the Revolution.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I was surprised to learn that as well. Of course, it was rung during the proclamation of the Declaration of Independence, but the name Liberty Bell really was a tag that was given to the bell by the Abolitionists.

Pastor Dick: A great price, though, a great price was paid to forge the Liberty Bell, and it reflects a great price.

Pastor Doug: That's right. In addition, of course, the most costly war that America fought was the Civil War, in terms of lives lost. We lost more in the Civil War than in World War I and II combined.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And that price of freedom was very expensive freedom, to free our nation from slavery; and, of course, the price that was paid to free the world from the slavery of sin, to provide that freedom, that liberty, was an extremely high price. Many people believe, because salvation is free for us, that means it was free. It was not free. It was very expensive liberty that was purchased.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: There is a special offer that we'd like to make available tonight that we, I think maybe only once in the last ten years, we've offered this book that talks about what a gift the plan of salvation really is; and what an expensive gift it was for God.

Pastor Dick: That's right. It's called, The High Cost of the Cross. It is a compelling view of our Savior. We can, by reading this book, discover why Jesus Christ had to die the second death to free us from the penalty of our sins. Talk a little bit about that, if you would Doug, just for a couple of minutes. What's the idea of the second death? Why did Jesus have to die the second death?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, everybody dies the first death. The Christian doesn't really worry about that because they go to sleep and they wake up with a new body.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: The second death is the death from which there is no resurrection of hope. It is the abysmal death of gloom and hopelessness; and Jesus on the cross, He faced that and tasted that for every man.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: You and I can't comprehend that. But the agony and the anguish of looking into an eternity of separation from God, Jesus, He was baptized in that. That's, of course, part of the high price that was paid. The physical sufferings were on top of that; and then just what is the most valuable thing, the gift or the Maker of the gift?

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: I mean, God made all things. The Creator died for the creation. What could be more valuable?

Pastor Dick: Right, right--and the relationship between Jesus Christ and His created beings, nothing more valuable than that.

Pastor Doug: It really blows our minds to think of that love.

Pastor Dick: The High Cost of the Cross. We want to make this available to anyone who will call our resource operators tonight at 1-800-835-6747, which puts you in touch with our resource operators. Ask for The High Cost of the Cross and we'll send it to you for free tonight.

You can also go to the Amazing Facts' website and probably download it there, or you'll find it there. So either the website at AmazingFacts.org, or call our resource operators, 1-800-835-6747. Pastor Doug, we take a couple of Internet questions before we go to the phones, so let's do that tonight.

This is an intriguing question. "When we die, at what age do our bodies live for eternity in heaven?"

Pastor Doug: That is a good question; in other words, when we're resurrected. Let's suppose grandma died at 99 years of age. Is she going to be resurrected with a 99-year old looking body? And if somebody died in their teens prematurely, are they raised as a teenager? The Bible isn't perfectly clear, except to know that we're going to be transformed. We'll have glorious bodies like Jesus' body. Now Jesus, of course, was 33 1/2 when He died.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: When He rose again it took awhile for them to resurrect Him, so there must have been something different. We will have glorified, perfect bodies. When a person dies, of course, 70, 80, 90, 100 years of age, they are raised with their knowledge and experience and character intact, but they will not have any of the defects of aging.

The wrinkles and any deformities that might come with aging, their bodies will be free of that. They may have a dignified look of experience, but it will be youthful.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So no one will look old; but yet, the young that are resurrected, my understanding is, it says in Malachi 4, "They shall go forth and grow up," so there is some growing that takes place. Even in the new earth among those who might be raised with, you know, if they died prematurely; or babies, young children, they're placed in their mother's arms.

They're probably not full-grown, six-feet bodies. They're probably going to grow up with their parents in heaven.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm, and our minds will be growing as well. Our intellect will be growing. We'll be learning.

Pastor Doug: That's right, ever learning.

Pastor Dick: Ever learning.

Pastor Doug: Yup

Pastor Dick: Praise the Lord! Okay, very good. Let's go to the second question. It says, "I've searched for quite some time, after having heard from numerous sources, that Noah pled with the people of the land to enter the ark with him. It is also said that after the door closed, the people came to the ark and said, 'Let us in.' I can't seem to find any verses that say this. What I've read seems to say that God intended the ark for Noah and his family alone. Is that true?"

Pastor Doug: Well, yes and no. I think God knew how many would respond; and He wanted a minimum to procreate after the flood. Of course, He took just what was needed of the animals to procreate after the flood. But I believe that there are Scriptures. First of all, let me just state for the record, there is nowhere in the Bible where it says Noah stood in the door of the ark and pleaded with the people to come in.

A lot of commentaries and even eloquent evangelists have probably painted that picture; but it does say in the Bible that God's Spirit did strive with them, - -

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: - - and then it implies that's through the preaching of Noah. Of course, that's Genesis chapter 6, verse 3 where God said, "My Spirit will not always strive with man." Then you read in 1st Peter chapter 3, where it says, "For Christ also suffered once for the sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit: By whom," by the Spirit in other words, "he went and preached to the spirits in prison; Who were formerly disobedient, when the divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah."

In other words, through this Spirit, God preached, through Noah, when the ark was being prepared; "while the ark was being prepared, in which few, that is, eight souls were saved." In other words, He wanted more, but only eight were saved because that's all that responded. So, we have reason to believe that He did preach and did invite, but it doesn't specifically say that.

Pastor Dick: Alright. We want to go to the phones. We want to invite you to call if you have a Bible-related question, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. That number will put you into the studios here, 1-800-463-7297, that's 1-800-GOD-SAYS. If you have a Bible-related question, we have about six lines open right now, so now would be the best time for you to call, and we'll do our best to get your questions on.

Pastor Doug, let's take our first caller for the night. We'll go to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We want to talk with Janet who is a first-time caller. Welcome Janet.

Janet: Hello

Pastor Dick: Hello

Janet: Hi Pastor Dick, hi Pastor Doug. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good evening. Happy 4th of July.

Janet: Happy 4th of July too. I have a question, and that's in the book of Genesis.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Janet: And it's Genesis 9, starting at verse 24. It says, "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." Then he goes on cursing Canaan, you know, telling him that he would be a servant unto Shem and also unto Japheth. My question is, why is it that he cursed Canaan, who was the son of Shem, instead of Ham, who had committed this crime against him?

Pastor Doug: Sometimes there's a quick overview of an event in the Bible and you have to read between the lines to fill in some of the details. Noah was drinking. He may have been stumbling around in his tent--naked--the Bible says.

Janet: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: You read the rest of the story, and it tells us that Shem and Japheth, they walked in backwards so they would not even look on their father's nakedness, out of respect, and covered him. He, at that time, maybe had fallen asleep in a drunken stupor, we don't know.

Janet: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But evidently, Ham came in and maybe went out to his son, Canaan, and they mocked their father and laughed at his drunken state.


Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So we can probably surmise there may have been some father-son involvement in making fun of Noah's drunken state. Others have read all kinds of strange things in this, but I think it was just very simply an example of disrespect for the father, in spite of the mistake that Noah made.

Janet: Oh okay, but why not Shem though, because he was the father. He was the one that went out and told his brothers that.

Pastor Doug: The Bible tells us that the behavior of the parents is often reproduced in the children by example.

Janet: Okay

Pastor Doug: And I made a mistake when I was just giving you the answer. I said Ham, and I meant Shem. I think Shem went in and saw him - -

Janet: No, it was, no - -

[Cross talking]

Pastor Doug: No, it was Ham.

Janet: It was Ham.

Pastor Dick: Yeah, you said it right.

Janet: Yeah. I said Shem. It was Ham. Yeah, he said it right.

Pastor Doug: Ham and Canaan were probably the father and son who were making fun of Noah.

Pastor Dick: It has been suggested that Canaan carried on the mocking that his father did for many years; and so it was he who perpetuated this sin through the generations and so the curse was upon him, rather than upon - -

Pastor Doug: His father, - -

Pastor Dick: - - his father.

Janet: Okay

Pastor Dick: Yeah

Pastor Doug: That makes good sense.

Janet: Okay, thank you. I have another quick question, is that okay?

Pastor Doug: If it's a short one.

Janet: I was reading--I think it's short--I was reading Psalm 105 and 106.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Janet: And 105, verse 23 says, "Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham." And 106, verse 22 says, "Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea," talking about what God did there. So is this saying in any way that the Egyptians are the descendants of Ham?

Pastor Doug: Well the original Egyptians are a completely different people than the ones who live there now, both by language and culture and a number of other ways. Those people are basically extinct and that happened shortly after the time of the Roman empire.

Janet: Okay

Pastor Doug: But probably, when the tribes dispersed, Janet, from the Tower of Babel, a number of the tribes or descendants of Ham went to that region. That's why the Bible writers call it the land of Ham.

Janet: Okay

Pastor Doug: Also, keep this in mind, you'll find many people in the Bible that had the same name, and it may not have been named after Ham, the son of Noah. It may have been named after a great-great grandson, who left the Tower of Babel, by the same name.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Janet: Okay


Pastor Doug: So we're not really sure.

Janet: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright?

Janet: Alrighty. Thank you very much.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Janet. We'll go to Sacramento, California next and listen to Haley's question. Haley is listening on KFIA. Hi Haley.

Haley: Hello

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Haley: My question, basically, I know in the Bible it says that the temple veil was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died on the cross, - -

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Haley: - - basically symbolizing that the sacrificial system, it has now been fulfilled and it should stop. But I also heard somewhere that maybe the furnishings, like the Ark and all the other furnishings of the temple, had been hidden before the Romans took over Jerusalem. So I'm wondering if the Ark wasn't even in there, had the sacrificial system already stopped before that?

Pastor Doug: Well the sacrificial system did go on up until the time of Jesus. Josephus tells us that and even Christ refers to that when He cast out the moneychangers. But the Ark, at that point, was no longer in the Holy of Holies. Evidently,--and some of this we need to speculate,--some commentators address this.

In the book Prophets and Kings the author addresses this, that Jeremiah, predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, he and some of the priests very likely hid the Ark in a cave somewhere very close to Jerusalem because they were surrounded by the Babylonians, who they knew were going to destroy and loot the temple, which they did.

But when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple, it mentions all the furniture, but it never mentions the Ark again. You never hear of the Ark again. We know it was there in the time of Jeremiah because the kings just prior to him talked about it. So, it's probably still hidden in a cave somewhere over there around Jerusalem.

At the time of Christ when the veil was torn, there was no Ark in there, but that room was a symbol of the Presence of God. I think there was also another metaphorical meaning by the fact that when Christ died on the cross and the veil was open, there was no Ark there anymore.

Pastor Dick: Um m

Haley: Ohhh, that's true.

Pastor Doug: So I hope that helps a little bit.

Haley: Yeah; yeah it does very much. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Haley. To Rutherford, New Jersey. Mike is a first-time caller, listening on WMCA. Welcome Mike.

Mike: Thank you very much. Pastor, I want to ask you something. Where in the Bible can I find the ceremonial laws given by Moses please?

Pastor Doug: The ceremonial laws?

Mike: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Well you can find a number of them in the book of Leviticus. That's why it's called Leviticus. A number of the Levitical laws are there; but even in Exodus, starting with--well you could start with the Ten Commandments. Right after the Ten Commandments are given - -

Mike: I'm not talking about - -

Pastor Doug: I know. You're not talking about the Ten Commandments, but I'm saying in Exodus 20, immediately on the end of the Ten Commandments he begins to talk about different civil and ceremonial laws. So you could read Exodus 21 and several chapters thereafter. A lot of them are repeated in Deuteronomy.

So there's a number of places you can find assemblies of some of the ceremonial, health and civil laws, okay?

Mike: Okay

Pastor Doug: Leviticus is the best place.

Mike: What chapter?

Pastor Doug: Well, Leviticus is like a mountain; and the middle of the book is chapter 16, where you find the Day of Atonement and all the laws around the Day of Atonement. So you start at the beginning of Leviticus. You work your way up the mountain. It takes you to the Day of Atonement, and you work your way down; but there are quite a few in the middle of Leviticus.

Mike: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Mike: Thank you

Pastor Doug: Alright, you're welcome.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Mike. Next, to Natalie in Newman Lake, Washington. Natalie, welcome to the program.

Natalie: Yes, thank you. Can you hear me fine?

Pastor Dick: Yes

Natalie: Oh thank you

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Natalie: My question is, is the Sabbath a salvation issue?

Pastor Doug: Do you mind, Natalie, if I try to answer your question first with a question?

Natalie: Sure

Pastor Doug: Do you believe that adultery is a salvation issue?

Natalie: I believe that our basis of salvation is by faith.

Pastor Doug: Alright. So my question,--and I think you can tell where I'm coming from,--the Sabbath is no more a salvation issue than any of the other Ten Commandments.

Natalie: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: But then, naturally, it begs the question, "Does God want us to keep the Ten Commandments?"

Natalie: Correct

Pastor Doug: And my answer would be, "The Lord wants us to keep the Sabbath the same way as the other Nine."

Natalie: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: So, what do you think of that?

Natalie: I think that's wonderful. I had that question just because I'm new in reading Scripture and learning the Bible; and am, kind of,--my husband and I, of course, agree on the same thing. We are in sync, but we used to go to church on Sunday and I grew up with the Ten Commandments. I hung them on the wall, but didn't really take them to heart until just a year or two ago. And so, we started looking at--and he comes from a long line of other thoughts and beliefs--so I started looking at the Sunday and the Saturday. I said, "We know that the Sabbath is Saturday," and I said, "we are to please, we're just suppose to please the Lord. He put these commandments into place. Why is it that we're trying to do every other Commandment to the best of our ability?" You know, you don't want to murder, say the Lord's name in vain, worship any other god; why is it that we aren't, you know, since we do go to church, worshiping on the Sabbath, just because we do - -

Pastor Doug: Well you're asking one of the most popular questions we get on this program, and it is a big issue in the Christian church. Those fundamental Christians that are wanting to kind of get back to the Word and really be doers of the Word, are having a real dilemma with this, because there's no question that God did not bless any other day but the seventh day.

While Jesus did important things on the first day and the sixth day and other days of the week, there's no substitute for the Sabbath that is commanded in Scripture. And so, if the Lord wrote it with His finger and spoke it with His voice, does He still want us to keep that one Commandment that begins with the word "Remember"? I'm inclined to think that God is the same, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Natalie: Correct

Pastor Doug: So, while there are ceremonial laws that were nailed to the cross, the Ten Commandments are not in that category. This is even what Billy Graham has taught for years.

Pastor Dick: Specifically in the New Testament, Natalie, there are eight places where Sunday is--or the first day--is mentioned specifically. In all eight of those instances, there is nothing about worshiping on that particular day. So we really have to take a look at, then, where does God point us to, to what time period does He give us for worship?

Natalie: Uh-huh

Pastor Dick: And Doug and I are of the opinion that the 24-hour time period, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, is the day that God points to as the day of worship that He created.

Natalie: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: You know, one of the things that really convinced me Natalie, and I want to hasten to add there are many millions of spiritual Christians that recognize, or believe, that the first day of the week is the Sabbath; and I will just say that I think they're misinformed.

They may be very sincere and there will be millions of them in heaven, but if they want to go by the Bible, the same day Jesus kept is the same day today.

One of the things that convinced me was when they went to bury Jesus after the crucifixion, it says that they did not even finish embalming His body--now these are His disciples--because they went home to keep the Sabbath, according to the Commandment. And that's actually recorded by the only Gentile writer of the Gospels, Luke.

Natalie: Ha!

Pastor Doug: So here he writes this 30 years later and he makes no comment that there was any other day.

Natalie: Right

Pastor Doug: We've got a book we'll send you on this for free, if you'd like.

Natalie: That would be wonderful. I would appreciate that. Well, I think you've answered all of my questions. It just, once again, came down to the Ten Commandments. Why is it that people argue so much in regards to having freedom in Christ and being able to worship on any day, and, um - -

Pastor Doug: You know, the question is I hear this all the time, and to me, it sounds like one of the most feeble rationalizations I've ever heard; because the arguments of people used to say, "We don't need to keep the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments." They would never use those arguments about the other nine Commandments.

Natalie: Exactly

Pastor Doug: And it is just so obviously inconsistent.

Natalie: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: We'll send you, for free if you'd like,--we have a book by Joe Crews, who wrote a classic called, Why God Said Remember.

Natalie: Okay

Pastor Doug: And you just ask for, Why God Said Remember, and we'll send that to you. If you like that, we've got more like it.

Natalie: Oh, that's wonderful

Pastor Doug: Are you able to get on the Internet?

Natalie: No. We don't have the Internet at this time.

Pastor Doug: Okay, that's fine, probably safer.

Pastor Dick: Then call this number, Natalie, that we've been giving out, 1-800-835-6747.

Natalie: Uh-huh

Pastor Dick: Call that number and ask for the book that Doug just mentioned to you and we'll send it to you tonight.

Pastor Doug: When God Said Remember

Pastor Dick: When God Said Remember

Natalie: Okay. I appreciate it very much. I read you book. You're very interesting and very wonderful.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you so much, and praise the Lord.

Natalie: Thank you

Pastor Doug: God bless Natalie.

Natalie: Bye bye

Pastor Doug: Natalie, thanks for the call. Pastor Doug, I don't think we have enough time to take another call before we are going to step back for a break. In fact, there's the music.

Pastor Doug: Yup. We didn't tell them to do that. He does that whether we tell him to or not. That's our clock.

Pastor Dick: [Laughs] It's that guy on the other side of the window over there.

Pastor Doug: That's right. Well we like to give our other affiliates a chance to identify their station, and it gives us a moment as we take a breath and come back. To remind you, do check out the Internet. We know that there are about 50% of American homes that are able to download a lot of this information from the website.

Matter of fact, that book we just mentioned to Natalie I believe is online for free. Why God Said Remember. You could look at it friends, download it, read it at your convenience; and we just wanted to simulate Bible truth. That's why we're here. It's AmazingFacts.org or AmazingFacts.com, or AmazingFacts.net, or AmazingFacts.tv.

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: It will take you to our website, and we hope that you'll take advantage of the broad spectrum. You could spend many days--and I'm not exaggerating--and never plumb the

depths of what's available through the branches of the Amazing Facts' website. You could also look at BibleUniversity.com and enter into blessing. We'll be back in just a few minutes.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We are back and we are live. Happy Independence Day; and if you have a Bible question, we do have one or two lines open. Give us a call, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's not because we're putting ourselves in the place of the Almighty, but we go to God's book, the Bible, 1-800-463-7297. I am Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt, and we want to take our first caller for this part of the program. From Patterson, New Jersey, Lowell is listening on WMCA. Lowell, welcome to the program.

Lowell: Yes, thank you. I have a simple question and one other simple question.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Let's take them one at a time.

Lowell: Okay. Now, when it comes to the Pick It, how do you feel about that, like playing the lottery?

Pastor Doug: Well, playing the lottery is sort of state-endorsed gambling; and so really, the question is gambling. You're paying money and hoping you're going to win something.

Lowell: Right

Pastor Doug: When it's all gambling, the higher the potential pot the lower your odds of winning. The chances, I've heard, of winning the lottery, you've actually got a better chance of getting struck by lightning. More people get struck by lightning every year in North America than win the lottery.

Lowell: Right

Pastor Doug: And so most people would get a lot richer a lot faster if they just take that, put it in the bank and let it compound interest.

Lowell: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: I think there's a moral problem with gambling, even though it's state-endorsed gambling. It's the idea of, first of all, getting rich quick without working. You can read in Proverbs 28:20, "He that makes haste to be rich will not be innocent." It's the idea of getting rich quick.

The other idea is gambling is a proven addiction for many people. It is something that people do get addicted to. Christians should not support, I believe, substances, products, behaviors that destroy others' lives because, by our example, we could be encouraging people to gamble and maybe leave their family destitute. So I don't think Christians should engage in it.

I've never bought a lottery ticket; and have no plans.

Lowell: Right. But see, there are Christians that have hit the lottery for money, you know? So how do you, like, do you feel that that was God that made the numbers come like that?

Pastor Doug: Not necessarily. It could be the devil. In other words, let's suppose there's a Christian who, because of poor judgment, buys a lottery ticket, and then wins; the devil could take advantage of that to make other Christians think it's okay and lower their standards.

Lowell: Right, but what force determines what numbers come out? That's basically what I'm asking.

Pastor Doug: Well you know, there are things in the devil's realm that the devil is obviously manipulating. I don't think God is playing the roulette wheel. I believe that the devil probably has primary influence in those things. It's all based around greed, isn't it?

Lowell: Right, but see, if you say it was the devil, then that would mean he could step outside of his spiritual existence and deal with something physical.

Pastor Doug: Oh well, the devil does that all the time.

Lowell: Right

Pastor Doug: The devil can do things physical. I mean, I could go through the Bible and cite many examples. Matter of fact, in the last days, much of the world is deceived by devils working miracles. When Satan can be transformed into an angel of light, 2nd Corinthians 11, and if the devil can have the magicians of Egypt counterfeit the miracles of Moses, then, obviously, he can meddle with our dimension.

Lowell: Okay, you answered that. One other simple question, do you believe in aliens?

Pastor Doug: Do I believe in aliens?

Lowell: Right

Pastor Doug: Well, fallen angels, if you were talking about people from other worlds, even the angels of God and fallen angels did originate in other worlds, so technically, they would be extra-terrestrial. They were not made on our planet. So do I believe there's life on other worlds? Yes, and I think the Bible teaches that.

Do I believe that they visit our planet and fool around? Only angels. Our planet has a disease called sin; and it's contagious, and I believe the only ones involved in dealing with the sin in this world are the hospital staff, and that would be Christ and His angels. So hope that helps a little Lowell.

Pastor Dick: Yeah, I don't think I would say that these rings in the cornfields are... [laughs]

Pastor Doug: [Chuckles] I don't think they're spaceships either.

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: They've already proven that's all a hoax.

Pastor Dick: Yeah, right, right. Okay. Let's take our next phone caller. We want to go to Columbus, Mississippi and talk with Margie who's on WDNX. Hi Margie.

Margie: Hello

Pastor Doug: Thanks for waiting. Your question?

Margie: Okay. Can you hear me?

Pastor Dick: We hear you, your question please?

Margie: Okay. My question is is that if you're a priest that, like for example, when Peter was talking to Jesus and Peter said, "I would never deny you," and Jesus told him, "You'll deny Me three times;" and if God knows every number of hairs on your head before you're born, how does it make a difference whether or not you believe in God if you're already predetermined on what your future and your life is going to be about?

Pastor Doug: If a mother sees her children running around a slippery pool, she can know that it's a matter of time before one of them falls, but she is not making them fall.

Margie: Okay

Pastor Doug: And in the same way, God, because He understands the cause and effect of everything, it doesn't mean that God is making everything happen but He knows what will happen. But He can predict it with perfect accuracy. So we do have a choice. God already knows whether I'm going to make it, but that doesn't mean that I have no choice.

If I am lost, I can't shake my fist at God and say, "I'm lost, and it's all Your fault," because God doesn't want anyone to be lost. The Bible says He is not willing that any should perish. In John 3:16, "Whosoever believes in him." Believing is a choice. You can choose to believe. So there's a number of Scriptures that bear out that we do have an opportunity.

Margie: Right

Pastor Doug: That's why the Lord, He pleads with us. Like Ezekiel 33:11, "Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; why will you die?" God is pleading with us. If we have no choice, then why does He ask us?

Margie: Gotcha

Pastor Doug: Does that make sense?

Margie: So He is basically observing one's behavior and seeing basically what's going to happen. So He knew enough about Peter to know that he would deny Him three times.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and it's even beyond that because God is all-knowing. He sees the future but He's not making it happen, see what I mean? A prophet can be shown the future, but they can't be blamed for it. People make choices, and God does, obviously, give us freedom of choice. That's what love is. We couldn't love God if we had no freedom of choice. Right?

Margie: Gotcha

Pastor Doug: If you're pre-programmed, you can love. Hope that helps a little Margie.

Margie: Gotcha. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright. God bless.

Margie: Alright, bye bye.

Pastor Dick: To Lynn, Massachusetts, Jimmy is on WROL. Jimmy, welcome.

Jimmy: Hi


Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for waiting.

Jimmy: Okay

Pastor Dick: And your question?

Jimmy: Yes. Who are the Two Witnesses of Revelation?

Pastor Doug: Good question. Revelation chapter 11 talks about Two Witnesses; and I believe, if I was to sum it up, it's the law and the prophets or the Old and New Testaments. And my reasons for that, sometimes you could say Moses and Elijah, you remember, for instance in Mark chapter 9, two people came to witness that Jesus was the Messiah. They came from the other world, from heaven.

Moses and Elijah came. Moses represents the law. Elijah represents the prophets. All through the Bible it talks about the law and the prophets, the law and the prophets. Last Scripture in the Old Testament, Jimmy, says, "Remember the law of Moses," this is Malachi chapter 4. "Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet." It's telling us to remember the Word of God.

The Two Witnesses that witness that Christ is who He is are the Word of God, the law and the prophets. The Bible speaks of it as a sword with two edges. It speaks in Revelation 11 of these two lamp stands, right?

Jimmy: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet." It talks about two olive trees; and those that hear the Word of God are like a tree planted by the rivers of water. So, there are all these symbols in here that point to the Word of God, is the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11.

Jimmy: I see.

Pastor Doug: When it says that they are slain and they lay in the street, this is something that happen to the Word of God about 200 years ago with the birth of atheism. You realize there was no atheist nation in the world until France a couple of hundred years ago?

Jimmy: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So I hope that helps a little bit. I'm giving you lots of information and pray that that will help with that question a little bit.

Pastor Dick: Sounded like a bunch of fireworks going off.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you can hear that; it's that or popcorn.

Pastor Dick: [Laughs] Thanks for the call Jimmy. Let's go next to Marietta, Ohio. We want to talk with Vicky who's listening on WHOP. Vicky, your question, welcome

Vicky: Hi Pastor Doug and Dick. I have a question on John 3:13. I'm doing a personal Bible study and I'd like to be able to witness to people on the state of the dead.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Vicky: And this is just a paraphrase, but, you know, "No man has ascended except Jesus." I'm wondering because of Enoch, and Elijah and Moses, and those that ascended with Jesus after He rose from the dead and went to His father. That verse concerns me on that question.

Pastor Doug: Well Jesus, first of all, is speaking in general terms. There was no human who had gone up to heaven and come back down again to tell how things were in heaven except Jesus. And Jesus came from the very presence of God's throne room. So even if you take somebody like Elijah, who I just referred to, that did appear to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, we don't believe that even Elijah had gone into the throne room of the Father.

Vicky: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: The Bible says, "No man has seen the Father except the Son, who has declared him." You know, of course, God became a man to reflect God to us. Even people who have been resurrected or ascended to heaven, they didn't do what Jesus did.

Vicky: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: I hope I'm hitting the nail that you're holding up for me.

Vicky: Yes. You've helped me. I just like to be able to--I mean, I want to do a Bible study on each and every one of the different doctrines in the Bible and, you know, to be able to talk to people about it, and this is one of the things that - -

Pastor Doug: Well let me give you another verse that may help. It's in John chapter 1, verse 18.

Vicky: 1:18, okay.

Pastor Doug: John 1:18; and the apostle John here is speaking. He says, "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, hath declared him." And so nobody has come from the bosom of the Father, the throne of God, to declare God. Nobody knows God the Father like God the Son. So this is what he's repeating in John chapter 3:13.

Vicky: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright?

Vicky: Alright. I thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Vicky. To San Diego, California, Yadi is listening on KPRZ. Welcome Yadi.

Yadi: Hi

Pastor Dick: And your question?

Yadi: My question is in regards to suicide. I grew up with the belief that suicide is one of the sins that is unforgiven by God; and I'd like to know what the Bible has to say about suicide?

Pastor Doug: Well first, Jesus tells us that there is one unpardonable sin, and that unpardonable sin is called blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It would have been very easy for the Lord to say, "The only sin that cannot be forgiven is suicide." It is true that there are people in the Bible who committed the unpardonable sin and then killed themselves, like Judas.

Yadi: Right

Pastor Doug: You have Balaam, who didn't kill himself, but he was slain after he did it; and then King Saul. But there may be cases of people who, like Samson,--first, let me back up. Generally speaking, people who commit suicide, it is not a good indication that they will be in the kingdom.

Yadi: Okay

Pastor Doug: But you cannot say that that is a blanket rule because there are a few exceptions.

Yadi: Okay

Pastor Doug: Sampson, technically, is a suicide. He took his own life. He really laid down his life to defeat God's enemies; but he took the action and he said, "Let me die." Then he push down the building on his enemies and himself.

Yadi: Right

Pastor Doug: He'll be in heaven because it tells us that in Hebrews chapter 11. He's named among the faithful.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: Matter of fact, the last act of his life to get the power to pull down the building came from God's Spirit.

Yadi: Okay

Pastor Doug: So how could he not be saved?

Yadi: Right

Pastor Doug: But, I actually did a funeral for a young lady who took some pills and wanted to commit suicide. Then after the pills began to take affect, she called 911 and said, "I don't want to die, I don't want to die." They took her to the hospital and they couldn't get the medication out of her in time and she did die; but you don't know whether she prayed or what happened. On her death certificate it'll say suicide, - -

Yadi: Right

Pastor Doug: - - but she may be forgiven. So we don't know. And there are, again, there are people who have committed suicide because of maybe pain that you and I can't understand; or some kind of a mental anxiety. The man who wrote the song--you ever heard of the hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"?

Yadi: No I have not.

Pastor Doug: That's a famous hymn. That hymn writer, who was a very godly man, he had terrible bouts of depression that may have been medical. He killed himself, and we still sing his song; so I hope to see him in heaven.

Yadi: Right

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Yadi: Well thank you.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps a little.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Yadi. Let's go next to Lodi, California. Carolyn is listening on KSTG. Carolyn, welcome.

Carolyn: Yes, hello Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi, thanks for calling.

Carolyn: I'm calling to ask you about the big bang theory. Is this biblical? Is it in the Bible?

Pastor Doug: The Bible does talk about a big bang theory. It's where God spoke, and BANG, it happened! But not the typical big bang theory that you hear about where they think that millions of years ago our universe, our cosmos, was formed with some massive explosion, and then a series of smaller explosions started our solar system, and things of that nature.

That, I believe, is really ridiculous, and let me tell you why. There is absolutely nothing in the scientific world that we can observe that demonstrates that an explosion produces organization in inter-working systems. Our world is filled with amazing--and that's what we always highlight on this program--the amazing facts.

Pastor Dick: Amazing facts.

Pastor Doug: Our world is filled with amazing examples of nature, and inter-working systems, and the way things even happen in our body, and history, and you name it. That organization and design cannot happen from the chaos of an explosion. An explosion never produces organization.

Carolyn: Okay

Pastor Doug: And so all the design and organization and the movement of the planets is just too phenomenal to believe that it could happen by things blowing up.

Carolyn: Okay

Pastor Doug: So it really is one of the most absurd teachings that there is.

Carolyn: Okay, well thank you. You answered that very well. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Carolyn. We'll go next to Bayville, New York and talk with Lee who's listening on WMCA. Hello Lee.

Lee: Hi, good evening.

Pastor Doug: Good evening.

Lee: My question is this, in Genesis 30, verses 37 through 39, it talks about Joseph and how he brings the goats to the water and cuts strips of wood and puts it in the water where they drink, and then they mate - -

Pastor Doug: You're talking about Jacob, not Joseph.

Lee: Yes Jacob, I'm sorry.

Pastor Doug: It's okay, go ahead.

Lee: And so then the goats were born speckled so that he would get them instead of his father-in-law.

Pastor Doug: Right, and you're wondering what in the world would peeling the bark off of saplings have to do with making goats give birth to speckled or striped, rather than solid color?

Lee: Yes. Sounds like hocus pocus.

Pastor Doug: Well it would appear that way, but there is no medical connection. Jacob is depending on the Lord to work a miracle of genetics for him; and he almost does this as a symbol of asking the goats to produce spotted or speckled, sort of as vindication for what his father-in-law was doing. His father-in-law was taking advantage of him.

Later when he meets with Laban, he doesn't say, "I prospered and my flocks grew because I knew this trick about peeling the bark off of saplings and putting them in front of the animals when they breed." He says God did it. So, really, there is no connection genetically that would cause this to happen.

Lee: Right

Pastor Doug: But it was almost something he did symbolically.

Lee: Okay

Pastor Doug: And it was his faith, ultimately.

Lee: Yes. Alright, well that puts a new light on it [laughs].

Pastor Doug: Alright, well I hope that helps because yeah, I don't think they're going to ever be able to find any kind of physiological connection between that ritual and how whether sheep are going to be born spotted, striped or speckled.

Pastor Dick: He just laid it out on the line and God did it.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Jacob gives God credit when he talks to Laban.

Pastor Dick: That's right, that's right.

Lee: Okay. Well thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright Lee, thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks Lee. To New York, we want to talk with Denise who is listening on WMCA. Welcome Denise.

Denise: Good evening.

Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick: Good evening.

Denise: My question has to do with what would - -

Pastor Doug: Get closer to your phone please. We can barely hear you.

Denise: My question has to do with whether Jesus was tortured on a stake, or crucified on a cross?

Pastor Doug: Good question. Of course, there are many places in the Bible, such as Luke 9:23, where Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow Me." And I think even in the original language, it's coming from the word "crus," which means "an intersection." It sounds like an intersection. "Crucifixion" comes from that language; and it implies the crossing of two things.

There are a few examples in Middle Eastern and Roman archeology where it appears some people were crucified simply by being tied to a tree with their hands over their head. They did it a variety of ways. Peter was crucified upside down. Sometimes they tied them. Sometimes they nailed them. The idea was to suspend them between heaven and earth.

Sometimes they crossed two trees and they put one arm on one rail and one on the leg on the other, like a big X, rather than a cross where the two ends were in the ground. So they weren't too particular about having a standard (unintelligible) method.

I know there are some churches that insist that Jesus died on a stake, but here's probably one of the best proof texts that I could offer, Denise. In the Gospel of John, I believe it's chapter 21, when Jesus was talking to Peter. He said, "When you are young, you dressed yourself and went where you wanted. But when you are old, another will gird you and you will stretch forth your hands."

In the original language, "stretch forth" means to either hold them out in front of you, or out by your sides, but not over your head. So Christ specifically told Peter he would stretch forth his hands; and He's talking about crucifixion. So, it was a cross.

Denise: Oh okay.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps.

Denise: Yeah, because I came across some words like the Greek "stauros" and "xylon," and it was like predicate nouns and nonsense that I don't understand; and I said I was getting all confused.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well don't let it confuse you because I think that it shouldn't be that complicated. I think the word you're looking at is "stauros."

Denise: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it's a pole or a cross. It could be either one. Hope that helps a little.

Denise: Oh, what matters is that He died for our sins, right?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Really that's the biggest issue--what would that have to do with our salvation or theology, whether it was a stake or a cross?

Denise: Yeah. Okay. I thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you.

Denise: Have a safe and happy holiday.

Pastor Doug: You too, thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thank you Denise. To Tri-Cities, Washington. Anthony is a first-time caller. Welcome to the program Anthony.

Anthony: Hi. I wanted to ask you a question, but I don't mean any harm; but I had another question so I'm going to change to the second one, because the first one was sort of, maybe a little bit illogical. Now on the cross Jesus said, I mean, it's written here in John.

Pastor Doug: Where are you? John where?

Anthony: Chapter 19 I believe. It says Jesus died on the cross, and then what happened was is they came and broke the two men's legs.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Anthony: And they say that Jesus was pierced in His side; and then it says "out forth came water and blood." Now can you tell me, I looked that water word up in the concordance and it said "sprinkling," like rain or a shower; so what in the world did they mention water coming out of a dead man for because, generally when people die, water don't come out, does it?

Pastor Doug: Well yes, it can. Your body, of course, is about 90% water, a human body. I think a jelly fish is 98%. But when you have a broken heart, I understand, the plasma or the water in your bloodstream can separate in the pericardium. When they pierced His side, it would pierce the pericardium.

He had already been on the cross long enough for that separation to take place, and two, distinct streams came out, blood and water. John is the only Gospel writer that draws a spiritual analogy from that, that we are, of course, born of the water and then cleansed by the blood. So, but what's your question? Could it happen medically? Yes.

Anthony: Yeah. I mean, was that a natural thing?

Pastor Doug: It is something that does happen. I've had doctors say that they have seen it first-hand. There are actually concordances and commentaries you could look at where they'll describe it better than I could. But yeah, it is a medical condition that occurs where a dead body, the blood and water can separate, especially if there's a ruptured heart--that's interesting, a ruptured heart can do that.

Anthony: Okay, alright then. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Anthony. Let's go to Dallas Texas. Linda is a first-time listener. Linda, your question please?

Linda: My question is I was listening to you all talk about the law and talk about the Sabbath, so I'm wondering why if the law was still the same, you hear Deuteronomy 22 and 5, but it's so different now. Everybody wants to say that it has been taken out of the law, or we're not living the law. So would you please answer that for me?

Pastor Doug: Let me read this for our friends Linda.

Linda: Okay

Pastor Doug: Deuteronomy 22:5, "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are an abomination to the LORD your God." First of all, this was one of the civil laws, and I believe it is still in effect. I do not believe that men and women should wear the same clothing.

I think there should be a distinction in the clothing, because, obviously, with the blurring of sexual identity in our culture, everyone's acting like it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. And everyone has accepted this; it's sort of a gay agenda that's being pushed.

Linda: Um-hmm


Pastor Doug: I believe that God intended for there to be a very clear distinction between men and women, - -

Linda: Right

Pastor Doug: - - in everything from the way they walk and talk, to the way they dress.

Linda: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: So I do believe that that's still a practice that Christians should follow.

Linda: Well I sure appreciate that answer because I'm thinking to myself, "I'm an older person," and I say, "Well, I believe that if God said anything it should be still practiced," but I see now women wear pants in our denomination. Every time you see them, everybody's got on pants. But I believe that- -

Pastor Doug: Well you know what the issue is, - -

Linda: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: - - pardon me Linda, I'm just trying to, before we run out of time, - -

Linda: Okay

Pastor Doug: - - the issue is, the ceremonial laws were the laws that had to do with the sacrificing of lambs in the sanctuary and the priesthood, they were nailed to the cross.

Linda: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: The other practical laws, like this about godly living, they're still in effect. So I hope that helps a little bit.

Linda: Okay, you did. Thank you all. Y'all have a good evening.

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Linda: Okay, bye bye.

Pastor Dick: Thank you. God bless you Linda.

Pastor Doug: Oh! I was rushing Linda to see if we could do one more, doesn't sound like it. Friends, before you change the dial, we're so thankful that you celebrated with us this Independence Day, and we hope that you'll take advantage of our offer, The High Cost of the Cross, what did our liberty really cost the Father when He sent His Son?

Also, please remember that we are a faith-based ministry. Every now and then we get a letter and people say, "How come we don't hear Bible Answers Live anymore in our area?" It's because we never heard from you. And so, if you've been blessed and if you want to keep this program on where you are now, just drop us a line. The address will be given in a moment, or even go to the Internet. You can donate online. It's so easy, friends, to keep the Word of God going out.

And again, we thank you for your support. We hope that you will have a very safe, and a happy Independence Day, and let's thank and praise God for the freedoms we enjoy, and do all we can to preserve them. God bless and God willing, see you next week.

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