City in Space

City in Space

Date: 02/05/2012 
Did you know that if you took all of the stones from the three great Egyptian pyramids at Giza, you could build a wall one foot wide and ten feet tall around the entire country of France? But that still would not be as big as...

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Pastor Batchelor: Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. Did you know that if you took all of the stones from the three great Egyptian pyramids at Giza, you could build a wall one foot wide and ten feet tall around the entire country of France? But that still would not be as big as the great wall of China. Did you know there's an even bigger wall spoken of in the Bible? Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Batchelor: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. We have dedicated the next 55 minutes to doing our best to answer any Bible questions you might have. If you'd like to call in tonight with your Bible questions, we are live. It's a free phone call; and that number is, 1-800-463-7297. While you're getting your pencil, I'll tell you the acronym, it's 1-800-GOD SAYS.

Now that you've got your pencil, 1-800-463-7297, and if you have a Bible question, give us a call now. You have an excellent chance of getting your question on tonight's live broadcast. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug. Let's begin the program with prayer. Father, once again we want to invite Your presence to be with us here in the studio and be with those who are listening wherever they might be. It is our desire to find truth in Your word, so please, Lord, guide us. For we ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Batchelor: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well Pastor Doug, you began by speaking about a wall. And then you mentioned in the Bible there is mentioned of a gigantic wall; well I'm kind of adding that part. I know where you're going with this.

Pastor Batchelor: Um-hum

Pastor Jëan Ross: A gigantic wall that makes any wall on earth right now seem tiny. What wall are you talking about?

Pastor Batchelor: Well in the Bible, you can read about the wall around the New Jerusalem. And if you turn to Revelation 21:17, that's where we find most of our information on this. And he said, "He measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel."

A cubit, of course, was the measure between the knuckles and the elbow. It's about 18 inches--is an estimate. But that means this wall was 213 feet high, or 144 cubits; but it was 1,500 miles around. And someone has calculated the wall of China was almost that big, but that's when you measure all these little branches that come off it.

Of course, not that much of it is intact now. We've been to the wall of China and climbed some of it, and that's just fantastic. But the walls around the New Jerusalem are about three times as high as anything we saw; and completely encompass it. It's about 375 miles on each side; and that's going to plop down when the Lord returns at the end of the 1,000 years in the area right now where you have the Mount of Olives in the land of Israel.

The City of God really is going to be there. The Bible tells us that God promised Abraham, "Your inheritance, your seed, will inherit this land." He said, "You look north and south, east and west, you're going to get this land." And so the boundaries of that City are going to completely encompass where all the territory of the promised land was.

So God is going to keep His promise. Maybe someone wants to know how to be in that world made new, and in that City, that has 12 beautiful foundations that look like a rainbow of all these dazzling minerals; and where the streets are gold. It's just hard for us to comprehend but it is very real.

And we have a study guide that talks about that. We're going to give anyone that wants to find out what the Bible really says about heaven.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have an Amazing Facts study guide dealing with the City that God is preparing for those that are going to be saved. The title of the study guide is, A Colossal City in Space. Again, A Colossal City in Space. If you'd call our resource line, which is 1-800-835-6747, you can ask for the study guide, A Colossal City in Space.

And if you have a Bible question, the number to call is 1-800-463-7297 to get your Bible question on the air this evening. That's 1-800-463-7297. Pastor Doug, we're ready to go to the phone lines.

Pastor Batchelor: You know, one thing we want to remind our friends before we go to the phone lines is we are streaming again tonight. And if someone wants the address, if they're able to access the Internet on their smart phone, their computer, their laptop, their iPad, go to live.amazingfacts.org, live.amazingfacts.org, and that's the streaming address. So you can take a peek and see what happens here in the studio. Now I'm ready, we can go to the phones.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, ready for the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is Mary, and she is calling from Fulton, Missouri. Mary, welcome to the program.

Mary: Hi

Pastor Batchelor: Hi

Mary: I'm wondering how long eternal, everlasting life will last, since the same words you used were in reference to hell-fire? I understand how someone could be destroyed by fire, never to be restored. And you've mentioned the verses about Sodom and Gomorrah and how that explains that really is forever and ever. But how do these words apply to the life we are promised?

Pastor Batchelor: Well, I think the key is the context in which you read them. Jesus makes it so clear that everlasting life is promised to the believer. When we want to know what does it mean when the wicked are burned with eternal fire, and of course, you just mentioned that, Mary, it'll talk about cities like Sodom and Gomorrah that are burnt with eternal fire. Well they're not still burning today.

The result of their fire was indeed eternal, and still is eternal. In other words, they were destroyed, everlasting destruction, burnt with an everlasting fire, and they are gone forever. Sodom and Gomorrah never have been, never will be rebuilt; and God says that's the fate of the wicked.

It's eternal death; and so it is an everlasting death. But the idea that they are feeling the flame forever is not taught in the Bible. So, everlasting does mean everlasting life and the context of that I think is clear.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the Bible tells us the wages of sin is death; and the opposite of eternal life is eternal death. Not eternal torment. There is hell-fire and the wicked will be consumed, but the eternal punishment is death, not punishing.

Pastor Batchelor: Sometimes it's referred to as an eternal separation from God; and it's called the blackness of darkness forever. But the idea that God is going to be torturing somebody, and you just think about what eternal means. If you go 15 bazillion years into the future, and the idea that they would be burning continually; I mean, here you've got some 15-year old kid that was old enough, so he's reached the age of accountability, but he didn't accept the Lord so he's lost.

And 15 bazillion years from now, he's burning, and he's just started--no matter how far you go, he's just started--and the idea that God would compare that to any form of justice. John 3:16 sums it up. Two choices: everlasting life or perish. So we do have a study guide, Mary, we'll be happy to send you on that. Our study guide is, Is the Devil In Charge of Hell?

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call for the study guide is, 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, Is the Devil In Charge of Hell? We also have a website dedicated to this subject, it's, helltruth.com, helltruth.com; a number of videos, Bible references, studies, helltruth.com. Alright, ready for our next caller. We have Glen who is listening from New York, New York. Glen, welcome to the program.

Glen: Good evening Pastors.

Pastor Batchelor: Good evening.

Glen: My question is has to do with, well the fact that, at Pentecost, there were 11 of Christ's disciples who were with him throughout His ministry. But we only have record say, from Peter, from John, from Matthew. And I was always curious as to why we have very little, if anything, with regards to what the others have recorded, say Thomas, for example?

Pastor Batchelor: Well that's a good question. There's a number of what they call apocryphal, or doubtful, dubious gospels; that many of them cropped up around the fifth century. And they believe they were manufactured by the church to try and make a point, usually supporting the church. But they didn't have the credentials of the Canon of Scripture that was really authorized by the fathers.

Not all of the Apostles had the gift; they had different gifts of the Spirit; not all of them had the gift of writing. Matter of fact, Peter, though he did write his letters, probably the Gospel of Mark is the Gospel of Peter that was more dictated by Peter to Mark, than his actually writing it himself.

Some of the Apostles were fishermen. Matthew was more educated, he was a tax collector. But not all of them necessarily wrote; or for whatever reason, God didn't see that what it was they wrote needed to be included in the sacred Canon. We do have a book that talks a little about the history of the Bible, Glen, we can send you. It's called, The Ultimate Resource. We'll send it to you for free, if you'll just call and ask.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is, 1-800-835-6747. It's 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, The Ultimate Resource. It's talking about the Bible. We'll be happy to send that to you. We have Jackie who is listening from San Diego, California. Jackie, welcome to the program.

Jackie: Thank you. I was interested in John 4:21.

Pastor Batchelor: Okay, let me take a look at that real quick. "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe me, the hour is coming, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor in at Jerusalem, worship the Father." This is when He's talking to the Samaritan woman at the well; and she was wondering what hour is that when Jesus said, "neither on this mountain."

When He said, "neither on this mountain," they're sitting at the foot of Mount Gerizim. The Samaritans believed the place to worship was Mount Gerizim. The Jews believed it was Mount Moriah or Mount Zion, same mountain. Everyone was wondering what mountain to worship on.

And I think Jesus was saying that when He died on the cross and the veil in the temple was ripped, the big focus for the Jewish nation was God's presence in the temple, it was destroyed, rebuild the temple; and then Christ said there won't be one stone left upon another here. The glory of the temple had departed, really, when Christ died, because the whole system of sacrifices that it pointed to was fulfilled by Christ.

A couple of things tore the weekend that Jesus died. The high priest tore his garments when he accused Jesus; and when Christ died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn. That's because now we have a new priesthood. Believers are part of that holy priesthood. And then we also have a new temple. Paul said, "What? Don't you know that you are the temple of God?"

God's people are living stones in that temple. And so Christ was saying the focus is not going to be does the world now worship on Mount Gerizim, or does it worship in Jerusalem? Christ said God is a spirit. We should worship Him in spirit and in truth. So the focus really went from a building on earth to the temple of God in heaven where Christ intercedes for us.

Jackie: Alright. Well thank you so much.

Pastor Batchelor: Appreciate that, yeah, good question. I think we do have a lesson that talks about the temple; and it would be, God Drew The Plans.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right, the study guide is, God Drew The Plans. And, Jackie, if you call our resource line, which is 1-800-835-6747, you can ask for the study guide, God Drew The Plans. It's talking all about the temple. Again, the number is 1-800-835-6747; ask for the study guide, God Drew The Plans.

And if you'd like to get your Bible question on the air, the number for our studio is, 1-800-463-7297. We have Loretta who is listening from Savannah, Tennessee. Loretta, welcome to the program.

Loretta: Yes, thank you very much Pastors. I appreciate your ministry. I've got a quick question. In the Bible, I believe in Thessalonians 1 or 2, I'm not sure, it talks about the angels coming when Christ returns. There was a question about angels and saints. Are the angels referred to saints as well?

Pastor Batchelor: Yeah, angels are sometimes referred to as saints. The word, "saint" means, "holy one." And so that's a place where you need to look at the context and find out who are the holy ones that it's talking about.

Loretta: Ohhh.

Pastor Batchelor: But I think Pastor Ross, you have a thought on that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Just with reference to the reference that you're thinking about, is Jude, verse 14. It says, "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men, also saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment." Is that the verse you're thinking about?

Pastor Batchelor: Well she was also talking about, I think 1st Thessalonians 4--

Loretta: Yeah, I thought it was one of the Thessalonians.

Pastor Batchelor: Yeah, when it talks about those that died--it talks about them being with Jesus when He comes; and that's because they have been caught up before the living are raised.

Loretta: Beforehand, okay.

Pastor Batchelor: In other words, first, it says the dead in Christ rise, and this is still at His coming, they rise first. Then, those who are alive and remain are transformed, given glorified bodies; we're caught up, and we meet them in the air because they've just risen. They're already there.

Loretta: I guess my understanding is that the saints comprised of those who were redeemed.

Pastor Batchelor: Well, the word, "saint" it means, "holy one"--

Loretta: Okay, holy one.

Pastor Batchelor: --and sometimes it talks about His saints and it's speaking of unfallen angels. Matter of fact, we have that new book that deals with who are the sons of God. It talks about the difference between the angels, and the people, and what it means by the saints. We have a book that's brand new off the press. I think the ink is just drying; and it addresses this subject and I think would be helpful.

Pastor Jëan Ross: If you'd call our resource line, we'll be happy to send that to you Loretta. If you'd call, 1-800-835-6747, you can ask for the book, Who Are The Sons of God? That's 1-800-835-6747. Our next caller is Scott and he is also listening from Tennessee. Scott, welcome to the program.

Scott: Good evening gentlemen.

Pastor Batchelor and Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening.

Scott: My wife is asking me two questions, and I'm not really sure how to answer them. I don't want to dig myself a hole, so I figured I'd ask somebody who knows more than I do. She stumbled across the verse that says, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." And she wants to know how we balance that against a Biblical "thus saith the Lord." And the second question, she's recently been reading in the New Testament about how the church seems to limit women’s roles in the church--a woman shall not teach a man, a woman shall have a covering over her head once she's in the sanctuary. I'd really like your thoughts on those two, if I should be so bold.

Pastor Batchelor: Alright. We'll take them one at a time Scott. The first one is dealing with capital punishment. Jesus said that if your brother or sister hits you, you can turn the other cheek, but that's really a social law. When it comes to a civil law, it's an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. The government needs to punish crime or crime gets completely out of hand.

In the Ten Commandments when it says, "Thou shalt not kill," it actually says more accurately, "Thou shalt not murder." In the New Testament, when Jesus quotes the Ten Commandments, He said, "You shall not murder." That's different from, of course, the government executing a person for taking human life. So yeah, you can find, I think, Biblical support for capital punishment for the most severe crimes. And there was even mercy in the Bible. If someone was guilty of manslaughter, if they killed someone by accident, they could find security or forgiveness by going to one of these cities of refuge, and there they would be tried. They might have to stay inside the city to be protected from the vengeance of relatives, but at least they were spared.

On your second question about women's roles, and you know, if I'm going to offer you a book, maybe I'll offer you this one. We have a book that's called, Women in Ministry, and it goes through all of the different Biblical references I think you talked about regarding women and their roles in ministry.

God has called every believer to be involved in ministry. You have women in the Bible that are serving as evangelists, prophets, judges; but where you find the distinction is there is no woman in the Bible who serves in the capacity of apostle, pastor, priest. It was only the men who officiated, or offered, sacrifice. And the Lord made a distinction back in the Garden of Eden.

When God said to Eve, He said, "And your desire shall be to your husband, and he will rule over you;" meaning that the man was to be the priest, servant leader, in the family. All the men were the patriarchs that offered sacrifice. And that transitions into the church. The church is really is an extension of the family.

So, the statements where it talks about women not speaking in church, it was really women were asking questions when their husbands were sitting there. It was kind of embarrassing. Paul said wait until they get home. It wasn't a mandate that a woman was never to speak in church, because you have Hannah--no, I'm sorry--well Hannah prayed in church.

But you've got Anna, when Jesus was dedicated as a baby in the temple, she was speaking there in church. Paul, Aquila, and Priscilla were giving Bible studies to Apollos together, and so it wasn't a mandate against women involved in ministry, or even a woman teaching a man.

Scott: It was more about her role as an official capacity in the church?

Pastor Batchelor: Yeah, and I think if you look, most of the statements that Paul makes are in 1st Corinthians. He makes some in Timothy. They had some specific problems that they were dealing with in a few churches where it seemed like some of the women were embarrassing their husbands by shouting across the room. Men and women didn't even always sit together in the Middle East.

And Paul was saying let them keep silence and ask their husbands when they get home, as opposed to disrupting the service. It wasn't a universal mandate, because there's nothing in the Old Testament that says a woman can't speak in church. So it would be a surprise if, after you get through all of the Old Testament and through the first 12 Apostles, then you get to Paul, and this new law crops up.

So he was really, I think, addressing a problem in some specific churches he was writing to. But, the main distinction is in women being ordained as pastors, or apostles, priests; you don't have that in the Bible. Please ask for the book, Women in Ministry. We'll be happy to send that to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747; and the book again, Women in Ministry. We have Victoria who is listening from Brentwood, California. Victoria, welcome to the program.

Victoria: Hi, thank you.

Pastor Batchelor: Good evening.

Victoria: Good evening. Okay. This is my first time calling and I'm also, kind of, new to study, so I hope I word this question correctly.

Pastor Batchelor: Don't be afraid. Go for it.

Victoria: Okay. I'm actually doing the study guide, I think it's the thousand years period. When all the righteous are in heaven, and the unrighteous that are now dead, and the dead that did not get resurrected because they weren't saved--

Pastor Batchelor: Right

Victoria: Um, they're here on the earth and Satan is with them and his demons, for, I guess for that 1,000 year period. And during that time, the righteous in heaven are judging, or doing the judgments?

Pastor Batchelor: Well it says they're living and reigning with the Lord; and what they're doing is, they're kind of, evaluating--they're not deciding who's saved and lost because that's decided really when the Lord comes. The saved go up and the lost don't.

Victoria: Right, that's what I thought, yeah.

Pastor Batchelor: But they're really investigating. The word, "judgment" is broader than we think. We always think of judgment as somebody slamming a gavel down on a bench and saying, "Guilty" or "Innocent." Judgment is also evaluating. They are evaluating some of the judgments of God and saying, "Why is this person in heaven?" or "Why is this person missing?"

And they're really understanding more of the mercy and the manifold judgments that God was involved in; and they're really affirming them. It says, "Don't you know that the saints will judge the world?" We're going to be looking over the judgments of God and really affirming them. We're not deciding who's saved and lost.

Victoria: Wow, okay. Yeah, because I was like, "That doesn't make sense you know." So, okay, now it does.

Pastor Batchelor: And then there's that phrase in Revelation at the end of this judgment, they declare, "True and righteous are Thy judgments." So they're looking at what God has done. Just one example would be, suppose that you're Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and the last thing you see is some guy named Paul, who's helping them execute you.

Then you get to heaven, and there's Paul. He's being carried around in a parade on the angels' shoulders. And you're going to your angel and saying, "What is this guy doing here? He was killing Christians!"

Victoria: Right.

Pastor Batchelor: And the angels will say, "Well come on over here to the archives. We'll take a look at the 3-D video that we've got--"

Victoria: Wow.

Pastor Batchelor: "and we'll see how Paul was..." you know I'm making that part up; but somehow, they'll be able to review the [judgment] books. It says, "The books will be open." I think the books in heaven are going to be better than our books.

Victoria: Yeah! Sounds very awesome.

Pastor Batchelor: Yeah! Hey we're glad you're studying. We hope you go through the whole series. You'll really be blessed.

Victoria: I feel like I have finally found truth, so thank you so much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Amen.

Pastor Batchelor: Well praise the Lord, appreciate your call Victoria.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you. Our next caller is Lisa and she is calling from Pennsylvania. Lisa, welcome to the program.

Lisa: Hello

Pastor Batchelor: Hi Lisa

Lisa: Yeah, I'd like you to explain Matthew 10:28 about Satan destroying both body and soul in hell.

Pastor Batchelor: Well it doesn't say Satan, necessarily, destroying body and soul--

Lisa: Or, I mean no, the Lord would--

[Cross talk]

Pastor Batchelor: Right. Let me read this for our friends.

Lisa: My problems is with body plus breath equals the soul.

Pastor Batchelor: Right.

Lisa: So how can God destroy body and soul? I don't understand.

Pastor Batchelor: Well the soul is the essence of who you are. It's a combination of the body, and the breath of life, and your personality. Your soul is also your character, who your person is. It says He'll destroy both soul and body. Sometimes I pray that the Lord will protect my kids in body and soul. And what that means is I want their bodies to be safe, but if their bodies are preserved and their souls aren't right, they're in trouble, meaning their mind, their characters.

And so, Jesus is saying the devil can, maybe, have someone torture your body, but if you commit your soul to God, your mind to God, the devil can't hurt you. Rather, fear Him, the Lord, who has both soul and body in His hands. And that's really what Jesus is saying. There's only so much the devil can do to your body, but he can't touch your soul.

If we commit ourselves into God's hands, the devil cannot make us sin. You don't sin so much with your body. It starts with your mind; and it's your mind that makes your body sin. So, does that make sense?

Lisa: Yes.

Pastor Batchelor: Okay. Hey, appreciate your calling in; and if you've not done it before, Lisa, you would enjoy the Amazing Facts study guides. You can just go to bibleuniverse.com and sign up for the Bible study guides. It's free!

Pastor Jëan Ross: We also have a website dedicated to the subject of what does the Bible say happens to people when they die. The website is simply, deathtruth.com, deathtruth.com. You'll find a number of Scripture, as well as some video that you can watch.

Well Pastor Doug, I see we have one minute left before the break; and then of course, we'll be taking some more questions. But instead of going to the phone lines, you and I just got back, oh probably about a month ago now, from out east where you did a four-part series, talking about reclaiming your faith.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes. By the way, there's a website where you can see those programs. They were broadcast live around the world. It's called, faithreclaimed.com, faithreclaimed.com. We dedicated these four presentations to a very important, pressing issue, and that is, people who were once Christians. Maybe they grew up in the church and they've drifted away.

So as opposed to evangelizing people out there that just have never heard, there's a lot of evangelism to be done among wandering sheep that are out there. And if you'd like to watch those programs, just go to the website. They're all posted now and you can view them; and then send the link to your friends. Once again it's, faithreclaimed.com. Well friends, you are listening to Bible Answers Live.

And Pastor Ross, just also before we go to the break, we want to remind people that so much of what we do can be seen at the Amazing Facts website. There's just a plethora of information there, a kaleidoscope, a blizzard.

And if you to amazingfacts.org, you're going to find there's video there; there's things to read; there are things to listen to; there are Bible studies; just all kinds of Christian resources designed to strengthen you and your personal walk with the Lord, and also for you to be a witness. You can take these things and share them with your friends.

A lot of studies, a lot of information all about the truth. And so if you go to amazingfacts.org, that's the mother ship. Don't go anywhere because we have more Bible questions. We see your calls coming in. We'll be back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Batchelor: We are back friends. You're listening to Bible Answers Live. And we know some of you maybe picked up along the way; you missed the opening of the program. Let me tell you what we're doing. We're taking your phone calls! If you have any question about the Christian life or the Bible, that's what this radio program is for.

We invite you to call in. We don't claim to have all the answers, but we've got our Bibles open in front of us; and we look forward to trying to study and find out what is truth together. The phone call, if you want to call in, is a free phone call. It's 1-800-GOD SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297. Keep your pencil or pen handy and make sure and write down Amazing Facts.

You want to find out who we are and what we do, we've been doing it for about 47 years. Go to amazingfacts.org. And don't forget we're streaming live on the Internet. That address is, live.amazingfacts.org. Live.amazingfacts.org if you want to take a peek in the studio. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. We're going to go straight to the phone lines. We have Charles who is listening from London, Ontario. Charles, you're on the air.

Charles: Hello, and thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Batchelor: Yes

Charles: Okay. My question is, I don't know whether this is in the New Testament--but Jesus said something about, "In the last days, many will come in My name." And He also said that to some of them He says, "I never knew you." And He also said something about if His heavenly Father didn't cut the days short, even the elect would be lost?

Pastor Batchelor: Yes

Charles: I was wondering if you can explain what that meant?

Pastor Batchelor: Well I think the verse you're talking about is Matthew 24:22?

Charles: That sounds right.

Pastor Batchelor: You want to read that Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure. It's actually found in both Matthew 24:22 and also in Mark 13, verse 20. And the verse says, "Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved: but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." And Jesus, of course, is talking about events that take place just prior to the coming of Christ.

Pastor Batchelor: Yeah, just at the very end of time, the Lord tells us that there's going to be plagues, and famines, and wars, and earthquakes in different places; and evidently, tsunamis, the sea and the waves roaring. There will be all kinds of various, serious problems; and if He did not come when He does come, when He did come, it would only be to resurrect all the dead, because there would be no one alive.

So He's going to come in time to catch some of the elect up, the saved up, so they won't die. There's going to be a translation, that means some are translated and some are resurrected. But if He waited too long, it would be all resurrection because everyone would die from the events in the world: the seven last plagues you read about in Revelation 15 and 16. So, I don't know, am I scratching where it itches Charles?

Charles: That sounds right. Now are we living in (inaudible) Pastors, are we living in these days now?

Pastor Batchelor: You know, when you read the headlines the day after 9/11 and look at that footage; or you read what happened when the tsunami hit in Indonesia; and then you see the apocalyptic images of the tsunami; and the earthquake in Japan, and then one in New Zealand, and then one in Chile; and the economic challenges.

You know, I don't know what it would take for us to think that, at least, we're in the precursor of those days; because it seems like something that should be happening once every millennium is happening every couple years now. We're having these tremendous, apocalyptic, natural disasters; and then the wickedness of man.

Charles: May I ask you, how can we prepare ourselves for the second coming of Christ?

Pastor Batchelor: How do we prepare ourselves? That's my favorite question. Jesus said, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness." I would say you've got to get to know the Lord through His word.

And one of the best things you can do is just get on your knees whenever you're by yourself and say, "Lord, I want to know you. I want to be saved. I'm giving You permission to work on my mind and heart. Forgive me of my sins." And invite Him to take charge of your life. He'll begin you on a new journey. Now, we do have a free lesson we can send you that talks about that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We also have a book, a beautiful book, that is very clear and plain as to what a person needs to do in order to be saved. The book is entitled, Three Steps to Heaven. For anyone listening, if you'd call our resource line, that's 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book, Three Steps to Heaven, it will tell you what you have to do in order to receive that gift of salvation. And that's the most important thing that we can do to prepare for events yet to come.

Pastor Batchelor: That's right. If you get a fallout shelter and you're not saved, it won't do you any good.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's not going to help. That's right.

Pastor Batchelor: I appreciate your question Charles.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thanks for your call. We have Loretta from Tennessee. Loretta, welcome to the program. Loretta from Savannah, Tennessee.

Loretta: Yes, thank you again. I had a question about Leviticus 12, I believe it is. They're going through all the rules and the laws. And that particular chapter, it's not real long, but it talks about how, I guess when a woman has a man-child, she's unclean for a week; but it's more for a female child. Why is that?

Pastor Batchelor: Well you know, that's a good question. Some people have wondered is there some medical reason that a woman would need more time for purification, or for healing, after giving birth to a female child than a male child. I don't think there's evidence for that.

I believe it's more dealing with the subject of what happened in the beginning between men and women. Paul talks about--and these are some difficult issues--but Paul talks about, well, it was a woman that was deceived, and this is somehow carried on; and men were to be the priests in the family.

And if she had a female child, that she was, I think, to take twice as long through the process of purification as if she had a male child. I don't know Pastor Ross, you want to take a stab at that, without becoming unpopular?

Pastor Jëan Ross and Pastor Batchelor: (laughs)

Pastor Jëan Ross: I was just going to move on to the next caller. I thought you did a good job. (laughter)

Loretta: So basically what you're saying is that there's really no medical reason?

Pastor Batchelor: None that I know of. You know, we've got boys and girls, I know you do Pastor Ross; and I've never heard of any evidence that a woman would need longer to recover from giving birth to a female than a male.

There are lots of differences in what happens to the children. Boys and girls do develop differently. But as far as the healing process, I don't know of any evidence for that. So I need to assume that it was something spiritual.

Now keep in mind, I don't believe that that means, today, that if a mom has a girl baby, she has to stay away from church longer than if she has a boy baby. I think these things had to do with the temple per se, and its services.

Loretta: Oh okay, because I know that they found, scientifically, in regards to circumcision and the actual time that they're told to do it, how the body produces more white blood cells--

Pastor Batchelor: Right, vitamin K after the eighth day. That's true. It's a clotting factor in the blood.

Loretta: Okay.

Pastor Batchelor: But I think it's different in this than uh--

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, and you also look back at society, in general, back in those days, there was more emphasis placed upon having a male child. You look at the patriarchal family, the wives of Jacob. They wanted to have male children. That was, sort of, the goal and the purpose. So, partly because of culture, partly because of what people were looking for, what was important to them, I think that might have something to do with it as well.

Pastor Batchelor: You know, even more than that, it just kind of came to me, Loretta, there are seven women in the Bible that had miracle babies. They were barren, and through prayer, they ended up having babies quickly. Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, the Shunammite woman, Samson's mother, and Elizabeth in the New Testament, all of their miracle babies were boys. That's because all of those boys were types of Christ.

So there might also be something there that when they had a male child, they would go first, because that promised baby boy--every baby boy that was born was a reminder that God was going to come into the world--He would send His only beloved Son. And so, I think there's something connected with that. Oh, and I left out Hannah. Hannah was the other one that had a miracle baby.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, now that you mentioned that, that made me think of one other. We're also told God told the children of Israel that the first male to be born was to be given to the Lord.

Pastor Batchelor: Um-hmm

Pastor Jëan Ross: And eventually, the tribe of Levi was chosen to fulfill that role. Of course, again, that was pointing forward to the coming of the Messiah, Christ.

Pastor Batchelor: Right. Well that sounds better to me. I don't know what you think, Loretta, but I hope that helps a little.

Loretta: I really appreciate that. I hadn't had any explanation before, so that gives me something to work with.

Pastor Batchelor: Alright, well thank you very much. We don't want to leave a vacuum. Appreciate your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Stephen who is listening from California. Stephen, welcome to the program.

Stephen: I appreciate your programs and I enjoy listening to you on my television, watching you, I should say. I teach Sabbath School, and I would like to know, what is the strongest point I could put forth on the Sabbath, the Lord of the Sabbath?

Pastor Batchelor: Oh, I think that the strongest thing that you could say about that would be that it's one of the Ten Commandments; that before there was even sin in the world, on the seventh day of creation, God made one more day. He didn't make a person, or an animal, or a vegetable on that day. He made a period of time to worship Him.

And then He reminded His people when they came out of Egypt to remember that time. It's one of the Ten Commandments. It's in the middle of God's law. It's the longest of the Ten Commandments. And it has to do with worship.

The whole problem that we've got in the world right now is because creatures fail to worship God as supreme, starting with Lucifer. So yeah, the Sabbath is just core to a love relationship; requires time for us to love God. We need that time; and it's a time, also, to rest in Christ.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We've got a website dedicated to that subject, sabbathtruth.com, sabbathtruth.com.

Pastor Batchelor: You'll find a lot more there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is Aaron and he is listening from Sacramento. Aaron, welcome to Bible Answers.

Aaron: Hi. Thank you for your answer last week about the whole Biblical diet. I've been sort of following it the last couple weeks.

Pastor Batchelor: Good

Aaron: But anyway my next question, because I've been talking to a lot of believers about the subject is--and I think it's not unbiblical but--people for hundreds of years before now would actually marry their cousin. I think that it's Biblical that you can and there are some examples. I've had people say, "No, it's sin to do that." And I'm not saying that's, like, me or anything; it's just something I was thinking about.

Pastor Batchelor: Well, that's a good question, it's valid. In the Bible, in the very beginning,--and people think it's a little weird--but Adam really married his sister when you think about it. Even weirder than that, she came from his side. But Adam and Eve had the same Father, and mother, you might say; same Creator, so what are they?

And then, who did Cain and Abel marry? Well they married their sisters. Who did Abraham marry? He married his half-sister, Sarah. When you get down to Isaac, Isaac married his first cousin. By the time you get to Moses, Moses is the first one who sort of makes a mandate that a boy is not to look upon the nakedness of his sister. Part of that is because it became known that you end up with genetic weaknesses when you marry to close to the family tree.

It's more prone, within any race of people, if they marry too closely together--you get any group of people that are isolated on islands and, Polynesia or the Pacific or something--they're more prone to certain kinds of diseases because they don't have the genetic vitality of a broad spectrum of fresh genes coming in. Even different dog breeds have particular defects because of that. So, it's not that there was anything wrong with falling in love with a cousin, it's that there was a higher probability that the children might have problems.

Matter of fact, I've not researched this, but I've heard that the blue bloods of Europe, they call them the blue bloods, that meant the royalty of Europe. They had done so much intermarrying that they had a much higher incidence of hemophilia and actually just some anemia; and so they called them the blue bloods. You can tell from some of the paintings. They look a little washed-out. I'm not sure if they just didn't get enough sun.

But that's the main reason it's not good to marry too close to the family tree. It can affect health and intelligence; and you want to have genetic vitality. That was a long answer. Hope that helped a little Aaron.

Aaron: Oh yeah, it will do. The other thing that I've heard too that if you; well, I've read recently that if you marry a second or third cousin, actually your genetics are better. I'm not, like, advocating for it, but I like to have an open mind about this kind of thing because I've kind of seen it happen before. It's kind of strange, but--

Pastor Batchelor: You know, I don't know that. I haven't heard that; and I'm certainly not an authority. But the only Biblical reason that I can give you is that there were risks if you begin to marry too close to your own family.

Varying states have different laws on this. Some states actually tell you where to draw the line; and they issue licenses based on that. And some states you cannot marry your first cousin, and some you can. It varies. Hey, appreciate your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Wayne listening from Phoenix, Arizona. Wayne, welcome to the program.

Wayne: Hello, hello.

Pastor Batchelor: Good evening.

Wayne: My question is, can you hear me?

Pastor Batchelor: Yup, loud and clear.

Wayne: Where in the Bible does it say that Noah preached for 120 years?

Pastor Batchelor: It doesn't say it like that. It's assumed that he preached 120 years; because if you read in Genesis 6, when God sees the wickedness of man and the world, He says, "My spirit will not always strive with man...yet his days will be 120 years," and then God calls Noah.

And so it's believe that God basically was saying, "Look, the wickedness of man is great. I'm sorry that I've made man. He's got 120 years." So from the time that God called Noah until the flood came, they believe that it was 120 years.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Genesis chapter 6, verse 3 is the verse.

Wayne: Well, thank you.

Pastor Batchelor: Alright. Appreciate your question, and thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Yolanda who is listening from Elk Grove. Yolanda, welcome to the program.

Yolanda: Thank you, good evening Pastors.

Pastor Batchelor and Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening.

Yolanda: I have a question about the Spirit of Prophecy. I don't know exactly what it is, and I hear it being spoken all about. And I can't get someone to quite pinpoint what it is exactly. And where can I find it in the Bible?

Pastor Batchelor: Alright. If you look in, well you've got a few places you could look. One is in Revelation chapter--

Pastor Jëan Ross: 12, verse 17

Pastor Batchelor: 12, verse17; and then you go to Revelation 19:10.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Correct.

Pastor Batchelor: Revelation 12:17 says, "The dragon is wroth," that means angry, "with the woman," that would be the church, "and he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." And then you go to Revelation 19, and maybe you can read that verse 10 to find out what is that testimony of Jesus.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It says, "And I fell at the feet to worship him. But he said to me, 'See that you do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

Pastor Batchelor: And then if you look in Isaiah 8:16, it says, "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." Go to Isaiah chapter 8, verse 20, and it says, "According to the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

The last thing it says, Yolanda, in the Old Testament is, "Remember the law of Moses ... Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet." So the two great witnesses of God, are the word of God that is dual: the Law and the Prophets. Sometimes, the Word of God is called a sword with two edges. God speaks to us. It says, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything be established."

When Jesus rose from the dead, He talked to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. And He said, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken." And it says, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

And so, when we talk about the spirit of prophecy that is the message of the prophets; and, you know, you'll often hear it also referred to, speaking of even modern examples of that. God still has the gifts of the spirit in His church.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, in Revelation chapter 1 and verse 9, John, who wrote the book of Revelation, refers to himself as having the testimony of Jesus. And we know that John had the gift of prophecy. He wrote a number of prophetic books. Of course, he wrote the Gospel [of John], and then he wrote the book of Revelation.

And so, somebody that has the spirit of prophecy would also have the gift of prophecy; and God would communicate to His church through them in a very special way, through dreams, through visions.

Pastor Batchelor: Hope that helps a little, Yolanda. Now, we have a book that will tell you more about that. We'll send you a free copy, and it's called, The Mount of Transfiguration, or The Two Witnesses; either one will get you there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is, 1-800-835-6747. That's 1-800-835-6747, and you can ask for the book, The Two Witnesses. We'll be happy to send that out to you. The Two Witnesses. We have Lauren who is listening from Toronto, Canada. Lauren, welcome to the program.

Lauren: Yes, good evening. Thank you for taking my call. I have a quick question please. One of the Ten Commandments says, "Thou shalt not kill."

Pastor Batchelor: Yes

Lauren: And I always thought from a young age that, you know, a person who commits suicide really lost their pathway with God. I heard a couple of ministers preaching a few weeks ago at a Christian radio channel, and they were saying, like, if you're saved, if you give your heart to the Lord and eventually take your life at some point, then that's nothing between you and God. You're still heaven-bound. Is that right?

Pastor Batchelor: No. There's really two questions you're asking. One, you're asking about suicide. The other question you're really asking is, once a person accepts Jesus, can they then be lost. And we believe the Bible is very clear that salvation is a gift that you can accept; but if a person then turns away from the Lord, you don't lose your freedom.

A person is free to turn away from the Lord, and reject the Lord, and cease to believe; and then they're lost. And it's not that we can't have security regarding our salvation, but we don't lose our freedom to choose.

So, if a person is walking with the Lord, and they love the Lord, and they're full of the Spirit, and then, for whatever reason, they become proud and stop following God and they reject God, they can't commit suicide and say, "Well, I accepted the Lord when I was 10-years old and so He's got to save me now."

One example would be King Saul. Saul was a Spirit-filled king. And he followed the Lord, and he was chosen by God, but then he became proud. He became rebellious. He began to disobey God. He started being more concerned with what the people thought of him. And after 35 or 40 years, he had rejected God, grieved away the Holy Spirit, and committed suicide. I don't expect to see Saul in heaven.

Lauren: Oh okay.

Pastor Batchelor: So that's a different question then. Does it mean that everybody that commits suicide is lost? I don't believe that. I think there may be exceptions because God knows the circumstances. Some people might be terminal and they're in so much pain, they're just not thinking straight; and God may not judge them on that reckless act in desperation.

Or, there could be some chemical problem in their body. So there are all kinds of extenuating circumstances that might drive a person to do that; but that's really a different question. Once you're saved, can you then be lost?

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a book dealing with that subject entitled, Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost? And for anyone wanting to learn more about that, call our resource line. That's 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the book, Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost? We have Tony who is listening from Texas. Tony, welcome to the program.

Tony: Hey, thank you very much. My Bible question, Pastors, I've had some issues dealing with explaining to people where it says, "All creatures of God are to be accepted with thanksgiving." And my friends are like, "Well go ahead. Have a bacon sandwich; have some pork." I'm trying to seek a more sound, Biblical, dietary environment for myself and my family. And I wanted to be able to explain that a little bit better, but I'm stumbling on ways.

Pastor Batchelor: Alright, no problem. You might be talking about the verse there in, is that 1st Timothy , where it says, "For every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused"? Paul, there in Timothy, is not saying that everything can be eaten, because you think about what the ramifications of that would mean. That would mean that you could eat cockroaches, skunks, vultures, all kinds of abominable things. He's saying it is sanctified by the word of God.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's 1st Timothy chapter 4, verse 4. Let me read it just so you can get the context. "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it's received with thanksgiving." Verse 5 says, "For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."

Pastor Batchelor: So first, it's got to be sanctified by the word of God. And that means, if you want to find out what creatures are sanctified by the word, you go to Leviticus. And even Peter, in Acts chapter 10, he says, "I have never eaten anything that was common or unclean."

We have a study guide that will give you a broad spectrum of Scriptures to help answer those questions, Tony. We're just about out of time for the program. We want to send this to you. It's called, God's Free Health Plan.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, God's Free Health Plan. Again, the number is 1-800-835-6747.

Pastor Batchelor: You know Pastor Ross, I don't know if we're going to have time to take another caller. And we apologize if some of you were standing by, cued up for the phone calls tonight. God willing, we'll be back next week. But before we sign off, we just want to remind everybody to go to the website please.

While this live segment of Amazing Facts may be coming to an end, the ministry doesn't need to come to an end. We've got things happening 24-hours a day, around the world. For one thing, we've got a television station. Not only is it seen across the country on Amazing Facts television, AFTV; you can watch it online.

We'd also love to hear from you. You can go to the website and contact us; make a donation, keep us on the air, we'll be grateful. God bless until next week.

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