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Life Saving Blood

Date: 03/04/2012 
During World War II, a young marine laid badly wounded in a military hospital on a South Pacific island. Shrapnel had ripped through his chest. And unless he received a series of blood transfusions at once, the young man was due to die.
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Hello friends! How about an amazing fact?

During World War II, a young marine laid badly wounded in a military hospital on a South Pacific island. Shrapnel had ripped through his chest. And unless he received a series of blood transfusions at once, the young man was due to die. But the type of blood required turned out to be very rare. No donors were immediately available and hope for saving the marine was fading quickly. Then a medic discovered a supply of rare blood in a recent shipment from the United States. The transfusion was given and the marine lived.

When he recovered, the grateful young man asked about the donor. She turned out to be a Boston woman and he wrote to thank her for the gift of lifesaving blood. Then he wrote to his father in Kentucky and told him about his miraculous experience. His father recognized the donor’s name. She was his long lost sister, the marine’s own aunt! The wounded man had never known his aunt but her donation of rare blood which matched his, saved his life in the far away Pacific. Did you know, friends, that there is a unique type of blood that is still saving thousands today? Stay tuned for more. You’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome to “Bible Answers Live” brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. Are you looking for a clear, concise answer to your most challenging Bible questions? Maybe you’re struggling to understand difficult passages of Scripture. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Join us now as we open God’s Word to discover His will and find honest, practical answers to your Bible-related questions.

This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, call us Sundays from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time at 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. Now, let’s join our host, author, speaker, and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Hello friends! This is Bible Answers Live. Pastor Doug is out this evening but this is a live, interactive Bible study. And if you have a Bible-related question, this is a good time to make a way to your phone. Give us a call. The number is 800-463-7297. Again, that is 1-800-GOD-SAYS 463-7297. We have a number of phone lines that are now open. Again, the number is 800-463-7297.

Before we get to our questions this evening, I invite you to join me for a word of prayer. Father, we thank You for the Bible. We recognize that it’s Your book and in order to correctly understand it, we need the leading of the Holy Spirit. So we ask that You be with us now as we study Your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I opened the program by sharing an amazing fact of a man during the Second World War that needed a special type of blood. And it worked out that the blood that saved his life ended up being the blood that was donated from his long lost aunt. She ended up saving his life.

But you know, friends, the Bible talks about a very special kind of blood that saves people. Perhaps, not now, physically but more importantly, spiritually brings everlasting life. That, of course, is the blood of Jesus. Romans 5 in verse 8, we read, “But God demonstrates His own love towards us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” So there it is! Through the blood of Jesus through His death for us on Calvary, we are saved from wrath through faith in Him and His atoning sacrifice, we can have everlasting life. Now, perhaps you’d like to learn more about how you can obtain this wonderful gift of everlasting life. We have a study guide we’d like to send you. It’s absolutely free. Just call our resource line. The number is 800-835-6747. Again, that is the resource line, it’s 800-835-6747 and ask for the study guide, “Rescue from Above.” Now, if you’d like to ask your question on air, the number to the studio is 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297 800-463-7297.

We’re going to go to the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is Craig and he’s listening from Des Moines. Craig, welcome to the program!

Craig: Yes, hello. It’s Pastor Ross, right?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right!

Craig: Oh, yes. I called you last week for the very first time and…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh, great! I’m glad you’re calling back.

Craig: Yeah. I love you, guys. Pastor Ross, my question is really for my sister and I tried to explain this to her as the way I could but she’s not accepting my explanation. She says and asked were we created spiritually before physically because in Genesis 1:26 through 30, it’s talking about God created man. Woman is only a mention and that was the 6th day, of course. Okay, then in Genesis… then it stops, you know, and He has the 7th day Sabbath, all that information there. And then in Genesis 2:5, it says, “There was not a man to till the ground.” So then it’s, you know, it’s saying that He created man but then it says there was not a man. And so, she’s tossed on that, you know, like saying that we were in heaven spiritually before we were created physically on earth.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well, that’s a good question. Let me go to Genesis chapter 2 verse 7. We’ll start there and then we’ll move on into chapter 3 and maybe get a little more direct to the question. But Genesis 2:7 tells us how God created man in the beginning. It says, “And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathe into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being,” or as the King James has it, “the living soul.” And then we read on in chapter 3 how God caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam and He removed a rib and with the rib, He made Eve. And so, God created Adam and Eve in His own image.

Now, in order for man to have been created, the Bible tells us God didn’t just speak man into existence. He did that for all of the other things that He created—the animals, the vegetation, the atmosphere, the earth. But when it came to the creation of man, He actually used clay—He modeled man out of the clay, breathed into him the breath of life, man became a living being. So, in order for man to have life, it actually involved God molding man from clay, and then he became a living being. So that life couldn’t have been on earth when God formed man out of the clay and breathed into him the breath of life.

Craig: That’s exactly… I’m glad you’re explaining it that way. I didn’t explain it properly so she would understand but now that you said this, it gives me more to give her because I just told her that God doesn’t always do things chronologically like we would want, you know what I mean?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Craig: He stops at one point and then goes to another point. It doesn’t mean that He’s saying something totally different. He’s just explaining, you know, how God was created… or how man was created.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right, kind of filling in for us. Something else to bring in mind, when you’re studying a Scripture and you’re looking for example at the creation, Genesis chapter 1 will give you an overview of creation. And then in chapter 2, God comes and gives us some additional details that wasn’t mentioned in chapter 1. So you’ve got… the overall is given and then in chapter 2, some additional details. For example, in chapter 1, it doesn’t say how God created man, it just simply says, “And God created man,” and in chapter 2, it explains how exactly He did that.

Craig: That’s wonderful! I’m glad you gave me more to give her. I think she’ll understand this fully now [laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright! Look great! Glad we could help. Thanks for your call, Craig. Our next caller is Gary and he is calling from Georgia. Gary, welcome to the program!

Gary: Hey, how are you? Is this Pastor Doug?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, Pastor Doug’s out but this is Pastor Ross.

Gary: Hey, Pastor Ross. How are you doing?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Doing very well, and how are you?

Gary: Okay, I’m doing fine. I have two questions for you today.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure.

Gary: And oh, this evening, actually. First question is, “What does the Bible have to say as far as suicide is concerned?” and “Can a person who commits suicide be saved at Christ’s second coming?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you know, that’s a deep question and firs of all, let me begin by mentioning that God knows the heart and I think each situation is a little different when somebody gets to the point of such desperation where they’re willing to take their life. There are probably a number of factors that come into play so, you know, the judging whether or not somebody is going to be saved or not, that’s really God’s decision.

The Bible does tell us, however, that murder is a sin. And that would also include self-murder which would be suicide. But there are a number of factors that, as I said, God knows. For example, sometimes people might be suffering from some terrible disease and they might be in terrible pain and they just get overwhelmed by what they’re going through and their only way of escape might be suicide. Others might have, you know, chemical imbalance and might lead them to do something that otherwise they wouldn’t even consider doing under normal circumstances.

So these are the things that we just don’t know. And that’s why we just place them in God’s hands knowing that He is just and He is loving and He’s going to make the right decision in each of those situations. However, you know, I also want to mention that for anyone who might even be contemplating suicide, you don’t even have to go there. You know, Jesus promises to provide strength and courage for every crisis and every situation there’d be faith. God is able to carry us through. His grace is sufficient, the Bible tells us.

Gary: Okay. I do understand that the final decision is up to God, you know. He knows the heart.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Gary: So I am in total agreement with you on that. My next question is did Jesus sweat actual blood in the garden of Gethsemane when He was, you know, agonized by His imminent death.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, the Bible tells us He did. Great drops of blood that actually came from His skin. Now, there is a scientific explanation for that. It doesn’t happen very often but there have been some other cases cited in history where somebody is under such severe stress that their blood pressure rises to the point of actually bursting some of the blood vessels close to the skin.

Gary: I’m talking about that man.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. And the perspiration is mixed with blood.

Gary: Okay. Yes, but my… I’m reading from the Bible right now in Luke 22:44, I don’t know if you mind turning to that text.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure. Do you have it there?

Gary: Yes, I have it right here.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Would you read that for us?

Gary: It says, “And being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” So, in here, we have like a comparison really. It didn’t actually state that it was blood. It’s like comparing with sweat. You know, I’m reading from the Bible now.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure. Well, let me say something about that. You know, what’s happening in the garden, Jesus is under such stress that His blood pressure is highly elevated and as we mentioned before, the blood vessels close to the surface of the skin begin to break and the blood mixes with the perspiration. So definitely, Jesus is perspiring but mixed in with His perspiration is blood and it’s looking like drops of blood that is falling to the ground.

Gary: So you still hold the point that it was actually blood…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I do. Otherwise, why would they mention blood in particular, you know. They would say, “perspired great drops.” Why would they say, “like blood” if, you know, it didn’t look like blood.

Gary: Yes. Okay. Yeah, and I read from a book, “The Desires of Ages,” from the section, “Gethsemane,” where the servant of the Lord, our great sister, White, you know, she thought of…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Gary, we need you to bring this to a question as we got some callers on hold.

Gary: Yes.

Pastor Jëan Ross: What was your question?

Gary: The question is that Sister White actually states that his… in the book, “The Great Controversy,” I mean, “The Desires of Ages,” rather, that His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. And as we mentioned before, you know, that’s a quote probably directly from Luke and we just read it. You know, it talks about Christ’s sweat as being drops of blood. Again, such stress and agony that Jesus went through for our salvation, we can’t even begin to imagine but He went through that for us so that we can have eternal life.

Thank you for your call, Gary. We have Leman who is listening from Detroit. Leman, welcome to the program!

Leman: Hi, good evening.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening.

Leman: My question is about the rich man in the book of Mark…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes.

Leman: …who died and went to Hell. And Lazarus as well, the beggar that was, you know, used to beg by his house. Now, this rich man was in Hell and then in Hell, he saw Lazarus and Abraham. And then he call on to Abraham saying, “Father Abraham, please tell Lazarus to dip his finger in water and put it on my tongue for I’m in a torment in this place.” Now, how was he able to recognize that that was Abraham? Because the physical body of Abraham that we know is buried here on earth. And what the guy was looking at was the spirit man. So, is there any kind of resemblance between the spirit man and the physical man?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, well, good question. Let me say a few words about this passage of Scripture because it has brought a number of questions in people’s minds. When you read the parable—and you read it in Luke 16, you can begin around verse 29 which it tells a story of a certain rich man who was very wealthy and there was a beggar whose name was Lazarus who laid at his gate. And the rich man didn’t help the beggar even though the beggar cried out. He just refused to help him. So they both died and the rich man went to this place of torment and the poor man—the beggar, Lazarus—he went to a place called “Abraham’s bosom.” And then there’s this dialogue that takes place between Abraham and the rich man down in this place of torment. And the rich man says, “You know, if you could just put a drop of water on my tongue to kind of ease the pain that would be helpful.” But the answer comes back, “There is a great gulf fixed so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot.”

And then, here’s really the point of the whole parable that Jesus is trying to make. Verse 27 in Luke 16, “Then he said, I beg of you…” this is the rich man. “I beg of you, therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house…” this would be Lazarus. “…for I have 5 brothers that they… that he may testify to them lest they also come to this place or torment.” Abraham said to him, “They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them hear them.” And he said, “No, father Abraham. But if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Now here’s the point, verse 31, “But he said unto them, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one is raised from the dead.”

Now, that’s really the point of the parable. Jesus is likening the rich man to the Pharisees. The beggar, Lazarus, is a comparison with the poor and the Gentiles that the Pharisees look down on. They claim to be the descendants of Abraham so they thought that they were guaranteed a place in heaven. But Jesus says they won’t believe even if somebody is raised from the dead. Now, the amazing part of the story is that Jesus did raise somebody from the dead and the Pharisees refused to believe. And the one that Jesus raised from the dead was Lazarus, therefore, the name is given Lazarus.

So when Jesus told this parable to illustrate that point to the Pharisees, they really understood what Jesus was talking about—the resurrection of Lazarus. This is not a commentary on what happens when a person dies because there’s other passages of Scripture that give us a more accurate description that tells us the dead do not know anything and 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us when Jesus comes, He’s going to call forth His sleeping saints and they’ll be resurrected from the grave. Really, Jesus is talking after the Pharisees and He’s rebuking them because of their unbelief even in the face of seeing Christ raise Lazarus from the dead.

Leman: Okay. Well, that makes sense.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Great question. You know, we do have a study guide dealing with the subject. You can read it online at the Amazing Facts website. Just amazingfacts.org or you can call our resource line and ask for it. We’ll send it out to you. It’s called, “Are the Dead really Dead?” And actually, we deal with this very passage, the story. To call our resource line, the number is 800-835-6747. That’s 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide, “Are the Dead really Dead?” and we’ll send that out to you.

If you have a Bible question, you can call our studio here this evening, 800-463-7297. That’s 800-463-7297. Our next caller is Michael and he’s listening from Wyoming. Michael, welcome to the program!

Michael—Wyoming. Are you there?

Michael: This is Michael from York, Pennsylvania.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh, alright! Well, hey, we’ll take you now. How’s that? [Laughing].

Michael: Hey, that works for me [laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay [laughing].

Michael: How are you doing, Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Doing well.

Michael: Good, good. Thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure.

Michael: I have a text here and I was wondering if you can give me some clarity, a deeper understanding on…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay.

Michael: …2 Thessalonians 2:11. Would you read that and give me more understanding on that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure. It says, “And for this reason, God will send them strong delusions that they should believe a lie that they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Okay. Well, let’s go back a little bit further just to get the context verse 9… 2 Thessalonians 2:9, it says, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception amongst those who perish…” And here’s the point, “…because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this reason, God will send them strong delusions.”

So here, the picture is being painted of people who were presented with truth but they refused to receive the truth. And when they refuse to receive the truth, what they received is a lie or deception. Now, it’s not that God purposefully sends deception to people but when a person rejects truth, there is only one alternate that they can receive and that is deception. So it’s talking about the lawless one who performs miracles, talks about Satan, he’s trying to deceive people. And if people refuse to receive the truth that God gives them, they end up receiving the deceptions of the devil.

Michael: Okay. I see it, so they reject the truth but in the end, the conclusion is they accept the deception.

Pastor Jëan Ross: They accept deception. You know, they cannot be a vacuum either you are accepting truth or you’re accepting error. The error is a middle ground. You know, Jesus told a parable where evil spirit was cast out of a man and in the parable, Jesus says the evil spirit went wandering around and found seven other spirits worse than he and then he came back to the man and then he found the house swept and neat and clean. And so these evil spirits moved in and Jesus said the end was worse than the beginning. In other words, you can’t leave a vacuum. We need to fill our hearts with Christ and with these truths, otherwise, we end up being filled with deception and lies.

Michael: Okay, I understand. Okay, great. Thank you. I appreciate your time.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You’re welcome! Thanks for calling. Next caller is Charlie calling from South Carolina. Charlie, welcome to the program!

Charlie: Good evening, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening.

Charlie: My question is about the Holy Spirit. I read somewhere in the Bible where it says, “I heard the sound of a voice as if it were a trumpet talking with me.” Now, lately, I’ve been hearing this real high pitched sound in my head and it won’t go away. I’m in good health and I don’t have tinnitus, and I don’t have high blood pressure. And I was just wondering, do you think that might be the sound of the Holy Spirit’s voice, that high pitched hum?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you know, I don’t know if a high pitched hum would really describe the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that when the Holy Spirit speaks to us, it is a “Guiding Voice.” The Bible says, “You shall hear a voice behind you saying this is the way. Walk ye in it.” That’s the Holy Spirit prompting us and the Holy Spirit speaks through our conscience, kind of guides us through our conscience. The verse that you’re thinking of where John, in the book of Revelation, was in vision and he heard behind him a loud voice as of a trumpet. You’ll read that in Revelation chapter 1. And then it goes on to describe what he sees. And what he sees is Jesus and then Jesus speaks to John. And when Jesus speaks to John, it’s a very understandable, audible message that Jesus gives to John but the sound of His voice is described as the sound of a trumpet, and elsewhere in Scripture, it’s described as thunder.

So these different descriptions of the voice of God, it’s very majestic very powerful, you know, very clear. And so, the imagery is used there of a trumpet. But whenever the Holy Spirit speaks to us, it’s an audible—maybe not to our ears but in our mind, through our conscience—it’s something that we understand, something that we know.

Charlie: Okay. Well, I sure appreciate your help. Thank you so much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You’re welcome. Thanks for calling, Charlie. Our next caller is Jesse calling from… looks like Mexico City. Jesse, welcome to the program!

Jesse: Yes sir!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. How are you?

Jesse: Oh, excellent! Thank God, and thanks for your taking the call.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You’re welcome!

Jesse: Yes. Well, my question again is I was told that Pastor… I’ve been scared for several months now. He told me that God was going to keep me accountable for my wife. And… but my wife, you know, she says that it’s only the virgin and that’s it. It’s always an argument when I try to talk… when I try to show her some passages in the Bible and…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure. Jesse, bring those to a question if you don’t mind. We’re running out of time.

Jesse: Yes sir. The question is, “Is God going to keep me accountable for this?” I mean…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you know, let me see if I understand the question. You and your wife are… have a little bit of a dispute concerning purity? Is that right?

Jesse: Yes, correct.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well, are you both Christians? Have you given your life to Christ?

Jesse: Only myself. She doesn’t… she says that only the virgin is the one.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay.

Jesse: And she… I tried to tell her about what the Bible says and she says that people that read the Bible go crazy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well, you know, you’re kind of working a little bit of a handicapped there if she won’t acknowledge the Scriptures. You know, in this case, the best thing you can do is be the best example that you can. Live a godly life and… by your conduct, by the way you speak, by your kindness that you show to her. God is going to be able to speak to her and pray for her. And then look for opportunities to try and witness. You can’t force anyone to receive the gospel. I mean, that’s their free choice but by your example, try and do the best you can to try and persuade her. You know, the Bible does tell us in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, He’s faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and that’s a promise that we can claim no matter what the past is, Jesse. When you commit your life to Christ and by faith receive the forgiveness that He wants to give, your past is washed away. You’re made whole. You’re a brand new person with Christ. And that’s what God looks at. He doesn’t look at what you’ve done in the past. He looks at your faith and your confidence in Him now. And that’s what you want to hold on to.

Jesse: Okay. Sir, I also read the Revelation chapter 12. What is that talking about?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Revelation 12:1, let me read it for those who might be driving. It says, “Now a great sign appeared in heaven. A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and on her head, a garland of twelve stars.” Very quickly, in Bible prophecy, a woman represents the church. They are two “woman” described here in Revelation. The one is chapter 12 and the other woman is described in Revelation chapter 17. In Revelation chapter 12, we have a description of a pure woman in Revelation 17, we have a description of an impure woman. She’s referred to as “Babylon” or “the harlot.” Now, the woman of Revelation chapter 12 represents God’s true church whereas the woman described in Revelation 17 represents a church that has fallen from the truths of God’s word.

The church is the bride of Christ. She is to be married to Jesus. But when the church leaves her allegiance to Christ and forms an alliance with some other power—political or secular—she becomes guilty of committing spiritual fornication. Friends, just to remind you, you are listening to Bible Answers Live.

Friends, if you have a Bible-related question, it’s not too late to give us a call. We’re going to be taking a break coming up in just a few moments but we do have a few lines still open. If you’d like to call, the number is 800-463-7297. Again, that’s 800-463-7297 or the acronym is 800-GOD-SAYS 800-GOD-SAYS. Before we take the break, I’d like to remind you of just a couple websites that we have—Bible Prophecy Truth, one of our most popular websites. If you haven’t ever wondered about various imagery that you read about in Scripture—who is the Beast? What is the number 666 all about? What about the rapture? All of this information is available at bibleprophecytruth.com. You can go to the website and you can search a number of important subjects. We’ll be right back!

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello friends, this is Bible Answers Live. And if you’ve just joined us, this is a live interactive, international Bible study. If you have a Bible question, we’d love to hear from you. The number is 800-463-7297. Again, 800-463-7297 that’ll get you right here to the studio and keep your pencil handy pencil or pen. I’m going to be giving you another number. It’s our resource line for various free offers that we will mention as we walk our way through the program.

We’re going to go straight to the phone lines. Our next caller this evening is Bradley and he’s listening from Pennsylvania. Bradley, welcome to the program!

Bradley: Hello, Pastor Ross. How are you?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Doing well, thanks.

Bradley: My question is about Revelation 6:9-11.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Do you have that there?

Bradley: I do. Would you like me to read it?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Please.

Bradley: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and the testimony that they had held. And they cried out in a loud voice saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? And then, a white robe was given to each of them. It was said to them that they should rest a little while longer until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed as they were was complete.” Now, I have just a question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay.

Bradley: It seems from the verse that there’s a group of believers who are in heaven and there is a group of believers who are on the earth. And the ones in heaven are asking, “Well, when will You… will You avenge our blood, God, against…” well, you know, basically, “…the world?” And I’m just wondering, how does… how can there be believers in heaven, if we are asleep until the resurrection?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, good question. First of all, remember, Revelation is a symbolic book. There’s a number of symbols. For example, Revelation talks about horses galloping across the sky—a red horse and then a white horse, or red horse and then a sort of a pale horse and a black horse. There are also symbols describing Jesus in heaven. He’s described as a Lamb that’s bleeding in Revelation chapter 5. There’s stars and scroll with seven seals. There’s all kinds of symbols. So, in this description of this fifth seal, we have, once again, a symbol. And the symbol is these “souls under the altar,” and they’re crying out, “How long until You avenge our blood?”

Now, they aren’t literally souls at the base of some altar in heaven crying out, “How long?” and then God gives them white robes. Rather, these souls cry out in the same way as did the blood of righteous Abel. You remember, Cain rose up and killed his brother Abel?

Bradley: I do.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And when God came to Cain and said, “Where is your brother Abel?” and Cain said, “Well, I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Then God said, “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the earth.” Now, you know, Abel’s blood wasn’t literally crying out from the earth. But God notes the injustice that is done to His people and, you know, justice will be done and here are those who gave their lives. They’re described as the “souls under the altar” and their blood cries out for justice, for vengeance. In other words, how long is God going to allow the wicked to persecute His people? And the answer comes back, “Well, a little while longer. Certain things have to still take place before the second coming and before judgment comes upon the wicked.”

Bradley: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Does that make sense?

Bradley: Yeah, it does. Thank you very much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Thanks so much for calling. You know, you’d probably enjoy that same study guide we mentioned a little earlier. It’s entitled, “Are the Dead really Dead?” and you can read that at the Amazing Facts website just amazingfacts.org or call our resource line at 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, “Are the Dead really Dead?” Our next call is Cory who is listening from the Virgin Islands. Cory, welcome to the program!

Cory: Hi, Pastor. How are you doing?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Doing well. How are you?

Cory: I’m pretty fine. I just have a new concern, a new challenge in interpreting some of the Scriptures that highlights burning of incense. I recognize that we still… churches still uphold tithes and offering which is patterned with the old system because Abraham returned the tenth part to Melchi… king of Salem. And now, we see here, burning incense is something still you see from the Old Testament and then you see from Revelation, it shows up again where in Revelation chapter 8, they highlight the part of burning incense. I’m trying to figure out why isn’t churches practicing the burning of incense during, I guess, as part of worship?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, good question. You know, we find in Scripture the burning of incense associated with the earthly sanctuary. Of course, the tithe principle—the giving of a tenth—goes back to the time of Abraham but the earthly temple wasn’t built until the time of Moses. So we find tithing going back even before the building of an earthly temple or tabernacle. It was in the sanctuary that you find the burning of incense and the earthly sanctuary is a shadow or a type of the heavenly sanctuary. Hebrews chapter 8 verse 1 says, “Now of the things that we have spoken, this is the sum. We have a Great High Priest who is ministering in the temple (or the sanctuary) not made with hands (that is the one in heaven).”

So the earthly sanctuary was a shadow and a type of the heavenly and the work of the priest in the earthly sanctuary was a shadow of the work of Jesus, our High Priest in heaven. The incense that was offered in the earthly sanctuary was a symbol of our prayers. Our prayers would… or our prayers go up to God and Jesus intercedes. He mingles His merits with our prayers symbolized by the incense which makes it accepted to God.

So today, we don’t have to offer incense because we don’t have an earthly sanctuary but we recognize that the incense that was offered in the earthly sanctuary represents the intercessory work of Jesus for us in heaven.

Cory: So then, what you want to say is that burning incense would be wrong then?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you know, we don’t have an earthly sanctuary and the only place that incense was burnt was in the sanctuary which, as I said, was a shadow of the heavenly. If somebody wants to burn incense for, you know, in their home in order for their house to smell nice, you know, that’s not wrong. But there’s no spiritual significance now to the burning of incense.

Cory: Okay, because in Revelation chapter 8, it highlights in verse 3, “And another angel came and stood at the altar having the golden censer and there was given unto him each incense that should offer with a prayer.” So here we see smoke and prayers…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Exactly!

Cory: …which should be offered in…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You see, the smoke symbolizes the prayer. The incense that’s added to the smoke represents the intercession of Jesus. Remember, Revelation is a symbolic book. So it’s kind of explaining to us what those symbols mean. The smoke ascending up mixed with the incense represents Christ’s intercession and our prayers ascending up is symbolized as smoke.

Cory: Oh, can you repeat that again?

Pastor Jëan Ross: The prayers, according to Revelation 8, ascending up before God is likened unto smoke and the incense is the intercession of Jesus that makes our prayers accepted to the Father. That’s why when we pray, we always finish our prayer in Jesus’ name. It’s because of His intercession that our prayers are accepted.

Cory: Oh, because the way I read verse 4 it says, “And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. Now, remember, you’ve got smoke and then you’ve got incense. In the earthly sanctuary, there would be smoke that was the result of coals that were being burnt on the altar of incense and the high priest would mix in with the smoke rising from the coals the incense. And that would have ascend up with the smoke over the veil into the Most Holy Place.

Cory: Okay. And at that time, too, the censer… censers, it seems like it was a common thing for priests to carry?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it was used in the earthly sanctuary.

Cory: Yeah, because in Leviticus, it highlights where Nadab and Abihu, they did contrary, where they were drunk along with the incense… they took… each of them took their censers into the temple.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. That’s right. And judgment came upon them because of that.

Cory: Yeah, yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And the reason judgment was so severe was because of what that represented. It represented the intercessory work of Jesus.

Cory: Okay, okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And that’s why judgment came so severe. So today, the incense or the burning of incense doesn’t have any spiritual significance, rather, it’s what it teaches us. And what it teaches us is Christ is interceding on our behalf in heaven.

Cory: Right. So where Paul highlights that we are a royal priesthood, right?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Cory: How would you match… how would you fit that in to the whole scheme of following Christ?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Jesus Christ is our High Priest. We’re part of the…

Cory: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …royal priesthood in that we need to share Jesus with others. The priest’s work…

Cory: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …was to intercede. And so…

Cory: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …we’re priests in that we are to share the gospel with others so that they can find salvation.

Cory: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: But the Great High Priest, of course, is Jesus and it’s His merits…

Cory: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …that make our prayers acceptable to the Father.

Cory: Right. Right, right. So, just to finish the last, you still have another call coming in.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay.

Cory: So would following certain practices that Christ is doing, would it be wrong?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You mean specifically to burn incense in church?

Cory: Yeah, yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, there’s a number of rituals that were associated with the earthly sanctuary that are no longer binding on Christians. For example, the sacrificing of the lamb. It would have been wrong for somebody today to sacrifice a lamb, to kind of point them to Jesus.

Cory: Well, now Christ is the Lamb but if you’ve got to the incense…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you know, even the incense is Christ. Christ is the Incense. He intercedes for us in heaven. Once again, the burning of incense doesn’t have spiritual significance. It’s what it represented, what it pointed forward to.

Thanks so much, Cory. Appreciate your call. We’re going to try and get a few more callers in here before we ran out of time. We’ve got Charles listening from Canada. Charles, welcome to the program!

Charles: Thank you, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi!

Charles: I really appreciate your program and I’ve learned a lot. I’m a new Christian and my question for you this evening is in regards to the whole armor of God. Can you explain what they are?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay.

Charles: What they mean and how do we put them on?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well, that’s a deep, broad question so we’ll see how much of that we can get to in the allotted three minutes or so. So the passage of Scripture that you’re probably referring to is Ephesians chapter 6 verse 14 where it talks about the armor of God. Let me read it. It says, “Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth and put on the breastplate of righteousness.” Now, of course, girding your waist with truth, that would be a belt. And back in Bible times as it is today, belts are used to hold everything in place to hold everything together. So it is that the truth of God’s word helps to hold our understanding of things together—understanding of what is right, what is wrong, and what God’s will is for our lives. We find it in His word. So putting on the waist or the belt of truth is studying the word of God.

“Have on the breastplate of righteousness.” The breastplate covers the heart. It protects the heart and spiritually, we are protecting our heart when we do the things God is asking us to do. And then the next verse, verse 15, says, “Having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” That’s witnessing. When we share the gospel with somebody else—it’s important to share the gospel in order to strengthen our belief in the gospel. As we share, we are reaffirmed in that truth.

Verse 16 says, “And above all, taking the shield of faith with which you are able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Of course, we understand, the importance of faith. The Bible says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Now, what is faith? Faith is believing that whatever God has said, He will do. So when we’re reading the Scriptures and we see the promises that God gives us in His word, faith is taking a hold of that promise and believing that God will do what He has promised to do. And some of the most important promises that we can claim are promises like, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us.” That is in 1 John 1:9. Ezekiel chapter 36 where God says, “I will give you a new heart. I will put a new spirit within you.” These are the promises that we want to claim and hold on to and believe that God will fulfill His word to us.

Verse 17 says, “And take the helmet of salvation.” The helmet of salvation that is believing that through Christ we have salvation. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And that would be the Bible. So this is kind of what the Christian needs in order to be victorious against the assaults of the enemy, Satan.

Charles: I see. How do we put this on, Pastor, in the sense that… I just have to meditate on the Bible and go to our church and…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it starts by searching for truth. You know, that’s the first item that’s listed there in verse 14. So we begin by opening up the word of God and saying, “Lord, I want to find truth.” Start studying the word to find truth. As we begin to study the word to find truth, we’re putting on that breastplate of righteousness because we are choosing to follow the truth that God reveals to us. And then we share. Share your experience with somebody else. Share Jesus with a... you know, with somebody else. Bring someone to Christ. And then exercise faith. You have to do that every day—every morning, get up and say, “Lord, today, please give me the strength to trust in You to hold on to You.” And that’s something we do every day. You know, every day commit your life to Christ and that’s what it is to put on the armor of God. It’s a day by day experience.

Charles: Thank you very much, Pastor Ross, and God bless you and your ministry. May God just strengthen your ministry as well. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you so much. We appreciate your call. We have Robert who is listening from New Jersey. Robert, welcome to the program!

Robert: Good evening, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening.

Robert: Hi. My question’s concerning some of the minor prophets of the Old Testament. The book says as… and their relevance to us as Christians. I mean, just like Zechariah, Nahum, or Joel. And Micah’s posted up problems of Israel between Israel and God and how is… maybe in some cases, how Israel is to be punished for going away from God or… and it was the case of Obadiah which actually is talking about against Edom—the land of Edom—because they betrayed Israel. So what does that has to do with us as Christians? And by the way, even where the major prophet, Ezekiel, which is loaded with symbolism, I think we could figure out. So, what is it for Christians…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Alright.

Robert: And how it came to us.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, good question. Now, before we get to the specifics, would you believe or would you feel as though the New Testament is particularly significant to Christians today?

Robert: Absolutely!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. One of the book of the New Testament, of course, the book of Revelation, is filled with imagery and symbols. And in order to understand what the book of Revelation is all about, you have to go back to the Old Testament because symbols are used in Revelation that are explained in the Old Testament. In Isaiah, in Ezekiel, in Jeremiah, in Micah, in some of these I will refer to as the Minor Prophets.

Robert: Right. Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So in order for us as Christians today to understand God’s will for us now, we need to be able to go back to the Old Testament and read what God revealed to those prophets of old. Now, you’re right. A lot of what the Minor Prophets speak about are things referring to Israel as a nation during that time period and the prophet was there. But they also lay principles down which are relevant for us now. For example, I’m going to look at the last book of the Old Testament—the book of Malachi.

Robert: Great.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It says, Malachi 4:1, “For behold, the day is coming burning like an oven. And all the proud, yes all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day that is coming will burn them up saith the Lord of hosts. It will leave them neither root nor branch.” Now, what Malachi is referring to is the final destruction of the wicked that happens after second coming of Christ. Verse 2, it says, “But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings and you shall go out and grow fatlike staff-fed calves and you will trample upon the wicked…” and so on. And then in verse 5 of Malachi chapter 4, it says, “Behold, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children…” and so on.

So really, what Malachi is referring to is events that reached far into the future from his day. He’s talking about events associated with the day of the Lord or the second coming of Christ. So yes, these books are significant.

Robert: You know, I realized that Malachi is… I realized that Jonah is… but how about somebody like Obadiah? I think it’s… I might see there Obadiah?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Obadiah, that’s right. Yes, even Obadiah even though he did write specifically to the Jews at that point in time, he uses imagery that helps us understand the book of Revelation and some of the other principles that we find in the New Testament.

Robert: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So, yeah. We don’t want to get rid of all of… or any of them. They’re all relevant for our understanding today. And you know, there are what we call “dual applications” to some of these Old Testament prophecies that related to Israel. There is a dual application for that for us in the Christian era as well.

Robert: Okay. Alright. Thank you and thank you, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You’re welcome and thanks for calling. We’re going to go to Danny who is listening in Minnesota. Danny, welcome to the program.

Danny: Thank you, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You’re welcome.

Danny: My question is… my question is could you give me the chronological order of things in the end times like Revelation—like for instance, the rapture, when Satan perishes, when the millennium comes, the second coming, the rebuilding of the temple, and the… when do we live happily ever after and move around? [Laughing].

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing] Well, that’s a broad question but let me give you a quick summary of the book of Revelation. The first thing we want to recognize when studying Revelation is that Revelation is not written in a chronological order. It’s written topical. So in a vision, John is revealing or God reveals something to John on a particular subject or topic and then John covers that topic during a period of time. And then God reveals something else to John. That next topic might not follow the first topic that was revealed to him. It might overlap as far as time goes.

Let me explain it to you this way: there are series of sevens that we find in Revelation—the seven churches, the seven seals, and the seven trumpets. The seven churches, the seven seals, and the seven trumpets cover the same time period. It really covers the Christian era. The seven churches describe the spiritual condition of the church from the time of the ascension of Christ ‘til the second coming. The seals trace that same time period but emphasize different aspects of events that would be taking place during that time period. The trumpets do the same thing. So you have a repeat of the same time period but different emphasis, different subjects that are being addressed during that time period. And then it brings us up to Revelation chapter 10. Revelation chapter 10 describes the great awakening of Bible prophecy in the early 1800s. Revelation chapter 11 talks about the two witnesses, talks about judgment that begins. Chapter 12 is really a summary of the Christian era once again beginning with the time of Christ going all the way through to what the Bible refers to as the “remnant” in Revelation 12:17—those that keep the commandments of God and of the testimony of Jesus.

Chapter 13 describes two powers—two beasts—the one comes from the sea, the other comes from the earth. These are two key players at the end of time that will eventually unite their forces against God’s people. And Revelation 14 is where you have a picture of the second coming of Christ. It’s Revelation chapter 14 beginning with verse… I believe it’s verse 10 onwards that describes Jesus’ coming on a cloud and He’s coming to reap the harvest of the earth. The harvest of the earth is the second coming. Just prior to the harvest of the earth, you have the three angels’ messages which is God’s last warning message that goes out to the world. Then in chapter 15, it kind of sets the stage for the outpouring of the seven last plagues. And that’s dealt with in chapter 16.

Chapter 17 describes this woman by the name of Babylon which persecutes God’s people and that spans the Christian era but focuses more on events just before the coming of Christ. And then you have chapter 18 that talks about the judgments coming upon Babylon chapter 19 again that describes the second coming chapter 20 which is the 1,000 years where the righteous are in heaven with Christ during the millennium chapter 21 describes events after the 1,000 years—that’s when the earth is recreated. And chapter 22 is just the comments closing out the book of Revelation. That’s a quick summary of the book of Revelation.

Danny: During the millennium, are the righteous and the wicked together?

Pastor Jëan Ross: No. The righteous are in heaven according to Revelation chapter 20. They’ll live and reign with Christ for that thousand years. The wicked, if you look back in Revelation chapter 19, they are destroyed.

Danny: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It describes this destruction that happens to the wicked at the second coming of Christ. 1 Thessalonians says the wicked are destroyed… actually 2 Thessalonians says the wicked are destroyed at the brightness of Christ’s coming. So at the second coming, the wicked are destroyed, the righteous are gathered, taken to heaven and they’re in heaven for the thousand-year period—the millennium. There is judgment that takes place on the wicked. At the end of the 1,000-year period, the New Jerusalem comes out of heaven, Revelation chapter 21, and the wicked are resurrected for the final judgment and destruction and then God creates a new earth. And we live happily ever after at that point.

Danny: Are all the wicked perish at that time?

Pastor Jëan Ross: They will be destroyed at the end of that thousand-year period, yes…

Danny: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …even Satan is finally destroyed.

Danny: So it will be just us and God?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Just us and God. The amazing thing about it is God will move His throne to earth and the earth is recreated and so planet earth, the planet that was in rebellion ends up becoming the headquarters of the universe because God is dwelling with His people.

Danny: And we’ll have a glorified body then.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Absolutely!

Danny: Oh, that’s wonderful! Thank you, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s the… absolutely! That’s the great hope that the Christian has the day when Jesus comes and He makes all things new.

Well, friends, we want to thank you so much for joining us. We don’t have enough time to take another call, I do apologize if you’ve been on hold. Give us a try next week. Call us back and we’ll try to answer as many Bible questions as we possibly can during this one hour. This is probably one of the fastest hours of the week for us. It’s really a highlight. We enjoy studying the word together. Before we go, I wanted to remind you some of our websites. You can continue to study God’s word. The website in particular that I think you’ll find very interesting is bibleprophecytruth.com. It’s bibleprophecytruth.com. It’s filled with all important studies dealing with prophetic subjects. When does the rapture happen or who’s the Antichrist? How do we prepare for events yet to come? What about the seven last plagues? All of that is found at bibleprophecytruth.com. Be sure to take a visit at that website and then don’t forget the Amazing Facts website. Just simply amazingfacts.org. Until next week, may God bless!

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NKJV Remnant Special Forces Study Bible (Brown) by Remnant Publications

NKJV Remnant Special Forces Study Bible (Brown) by Remnant Publications
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