Tsunamis

Tsunamis

Date: 01/02/2005 
Tsunamis are among the most destructive of natural disasters. This is due, in part, to the fact that much of the world's population lives within a mile of the ocean.

365 Amazing Answers to Big Bible Questions Devotional by Doug Batchelor

365 Amazing Answers to Big Bible Questions Devotional by Doug Batchelor
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Tsunamis are among the most destructive of natural disasters. This is due, in part, to the fact that much of the world's population lives within a mile of the ocean. Tsunamis are sometimes called tidal waves, but they really have nothing to do with the tide.

They're actually seismic sea waves caused either by earthquakes, undersea landslides, volcanic eruptions, and even asteroids striking the ocean that result in a sudden, colossal movement of sea water. Tsunamis can look like great, massive, towering waves, or appear as quickly-rising monster tides that surge in without warning.

Out in the deep ocean, a tsunami wave can travel at speeds of over 500 miles an hour. That's as fast as a jet plane. These killer waves may only be a foot high in the deep ocean and might not even be noticed by boats in the area. But as they reach the shallow water, the wave grows slower and taller, some over a hundred feet high.

Tsunamis occur all the time, perhaps thousands each year. The majority of them are in the Pacific Ocean, sometimes in the Atlantic; as we learned this week, sometimes in the Indian Ocean. Most are too small to even notice, but every few years, some seismic event will produce a large tsunami wave that kills thousands of people.

The famous volcanic explosion of Krakatoa August 27, 1883 generated terrifying tsunami waves that were up to 120 feet in height. These waves destroyed 295 towns and villages in Western Java and Southern Samatra and over 3,600 people were drowned.

The largest tsunami wave ever recorded in modern times was in Lituya Bay, Alaska, and it's described as a mega-tsunami. It was caused by a massive landslide triggered by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. When the wave rushed across the Bay, it ran up the valley walls to a height of 1,720 feet.

Did you know in the Gospel of Luke Jesus said one of the signs of the end would be, "distress of nations, with perplexity; and the sea and waves roaring." Stay with us friends. We'll learn more and talk about it as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: I had always prayed that someday there would be a phone number you could dial where people could give you just simple, straight, biblical answers. What does the Bible say and what is Bible truth? That's what this program is all about friends. It's called Bible Answers Live.

You can pick up the phone, dial a toll-free number, and ask whatever Bible questions might be on your heart. The phones are open right now. The number to call is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

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

Pastor Doug: Happy new year Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: Thank you. I haven't seen you since last year.

Pastor Doug: That's right [chuckles]

Pastor Dick: [Chuckles]

Pastor Doug: We're glad that we can begin this year with another program and a word of prayer to launch the program.

Pastor Dick: A word of prayer, so let's do that. Father in heaven, we thank You and praise You because You are so awesome, Lord. You are gracious and kind and empower us to be able to open the Word of God, and we thank You for that privilege. Heavenly Father, we pray that Your Holy Spirit will give us wisdom now, and insight, as Pastor Doug seeks to answer questions from callers all over the world who have Bible related questions. May we hear from You tonight, Lord, the truth from Your Word. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Dick: Pastor Doug, is this apocalyptic? Tell us a little bit about this prophecy that you just mentioned. Is what happened here on this earth a sign of the end times?

Pastor Doug: You know, since the very first news report came out Dick, I was driving cross-country with our family coming back from a Christmas vacation. I think they were first reporting numbers of 20- to 40-thousand, and that, of course, was staggering.

Pastor Dick: Right, right

Pastor Doug: I told Karen I've been to this part of the world and I know that so many of the people live in these vary low, coastal villages. Matter of fact, I was in New Guinea just a few months ago with a family where they live out on the water. The house is built up on stilts. And I thought that number is going to be much higher; and I told Karen it's going to be over 100,000, I'm sure of it.

And I just had a sense that this was almost a harbinger of prophecy being fulfilled. I was thinking in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Jesus gives signs of His coming. Many scholars look at these signs that are given as mountain peaks in history.

Pastor Dick: Um m hm

Pastor Doug: Let me read some of this to you.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: It says in Luke 21 friends, verse 25: "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, in the stars; and on earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and the expectation of those things that are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with power and great glory."

And in Matthew 24 He says, "The sun will be turned dark, the moon will turn to blood, the stars will fall from heaven." Historically, these things have all happened in great magnitude. You could look at this great earthquake. Jesus talked about "earthquakes in divers places." And one of the greatest, as far as the extent of it being felt, was the Lisbon earthquake.

Pastor Dick: Um m hm, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: There was a tsunami connected with that. But you think about the prophecy of Christ, "earthquakes in divers places." "Divers" means "different." Many different countries were affected by one earthquake, - -

Pastor Dick: Um-hm, um-hm

Pastor Doug: - - both in the actual tremors and in the subsequent tsunami.

Pastor Dick: There was another event that's not spoken of very often, but it was the dark day. I think you and I were talking about it before we came on the air, of how the stars seemed to fall; and North America and South America, the entire stretch of the eastern seaboard of both continents - -

Pastor Doug: The sun went dark.

Pastor Dick: The sun went dark.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. They were trying to track it to some forest fires in Canada or something but there's no record of that.

Pastor Dick: Um-hm, um-hm

Pastor Doug: And that night when the moon came up, it was blood red, which sometimes happens in the event of a fire.

Pastor Dick: Now the skeptics will say, Pastor Doug, "Now there you go Pastor Doug, trying to put fear and use these things to scare people." How do we respond to that?

Pastor Doug: Well, I would ask them, "If Jesus said, 'Here are some signs,' are we suppose to look for them? And if what happened this last week, the newscasters, who are hardly religious, generally speaking--they're very liberal and even atheistic or agnostic--they are using the wording, 'a disaster, a catastrophe of biblical, apocalyptic proportions.'"

Pastor Dick: Yes, I've heard that.

Pastor Doug: "Well, then what would it take? What would a skeptic accept as evidence of these signs?"

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: "If this is not that kind of sign, what would they accept?" That would be my answer. And you know, I think that it's a good time for us, especially at the beginning of a new year, to realize that the signs are being fulfilled.

Jesus, when He gives us these prophecies, He doesn't say that, "You know, one day this will happen; the next day, this will happen; the next day, this will happen." God looks at eternity as spread out.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But when you look at the mountaintops in history from the discovery of the United States to the present, we've seen a day in history where the stars fell. Abraham Lincoln lived and wrote about that.

Pastor Dick: Right, right.

Pastor Doug: We've seen a day where the sun went dark, where it came up like blood, where there's a great earthquake, where the sea and the waves are roaring; in other words, the confluence of all these things happening in quick succession. They just had a record year of hurricanes in Florida - -

Pastor Dick: Right, um-hm

Pastor Doug: - - and, you just can't help but wonder if God is trying to get our attention because we're running out of time?

Pastor Dick: If tomorrow morning Jesus were to come, would I be ready tonight? Are we ready right now? Are these signs pointing to Jesus Christ's coming?

Pastor Doug: And I ask myself that question every day.

Pastor Dick: Every day, right.

Pastor Doug: Yup

Pastor Dick: And that's precisely what our offer is all about tonight. We want to make this available to our listeners tonight. We have a book called The Last Night On Earth. It was written by Joe Crews and it is a book that compels you to ask the question, "Would I be saved if tonight was my last night on earth? Would I be saved?"

It's a sobering question; and we want to make it available to you tonight if you will call our resource operators at 1-800-835-6747. Just ask for The Last Night On Earth and we'll send it out to you tonight, 1-800-835-6747. Pastor Doug, we take a couple of Internet questions before we go to the phones, so let's do that. Zechariah chapter 8.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Pastor Dick: "Zechariah chapter 8, it appears to be talking about the new Jerusalem. And in verse 4 it talks about old men and old women with canes walking the streets of Jerusalem in peace. Why the need for canes if it's the new Jerusalem?"

Pastor Doug: Well, I haven't found which translation they're reading from. In the New King James, it calls them "staffs." Let me read this. "Thus says the LORD; Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age."

Age does not necessarily mean being decrepit; and the staff, even healthy people carried a staff. The leaders in Israel, when Moses brought them before the Lord, they all brought their staff. It was a sign of the head of a tribe carrying the tribal staff.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: It's like the rod of Aaron and Moses. So it's simply saying that these people of great age are surviving, where they had been decimated before, so it has nothing to do with people growing old there.

Pastor Dick: A symbol of wisdom.

Pastor Doug: A symbol of wisdom, leadership, - -

Pastor Dick: Leadership

Pastor Doug: - - and respect.

Pastor Dick: Very good, okay. Second question, from Matthew chapter 18 we find a procedure for dealing with troubled people within the church. I guess that's a good way to put it. And so the question is, "What is the procedure for making a member leave the church?"

Pastor Doug: Oh, I think the Catholics, of course, call this excommunication; - -

Pastor Dick: Okay

Pastor Doug: - - and most Protestant churches, they call it "to disfellowship." There are other terms that are used. Basically, it means to remove a person's name officially as a member of that church.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And this is appropriate to do, because when somebody who professes to believe in Christ and to accept His teachings and to believe in the tenets of their respective church, ceases to do that, then it becomes dishonest to have their names registered as a member of that church, when they no longer represent that belief.

Pastor Dick: Um-hm, Um-hm

Pastor Doug: If a person has their names on the church books and they've been out of the church for years and they're in the headlines as a serial killer, what church would want the news media to show up and say, "Oh, we hear that Mr. Bundy is a member in your church in good standing."

Pastor Dick: Yeah, yeah

Pastor Doug: Wouldn't you prefer to have him off the books before that happens?

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So when people are not living a Christian life, usually it's discussed at a church board meeting, then recommended to the church family, that that person be dropped. They should be notified, according to Matthew 18, on a one-on-one basis. Every effort should be made to reclaim them before that action is taken and to bring about their conversion, but there are plenty of biblical reasons to do it, if a person is no longer following Christ.

Pastor Dick: Okay now, is this something that you would want to make public once the church has done it?

Pastor Doug: It's not necessary because it's really a family matter.

Pastor Dick: It really is.

Pastor Doug: It does need to be made public in the church because when they are baptized, it's done publicly.

Pastor Dick: Yes, yes. Okay, good. Alright, let's go to the phones and take our first caller for the evening. We'll start in Sacramento, California. We want to talk with Diana who's listening on KFIA. Diana, welcome to the program.

Diana: Thank you, have a blessed year.

Pastor Dick: Thank you

Diana: My question is I am looking for a verse in the Bible that referenced both God's laws, and it states, "written with his finger" and Moses' ordinance in the same verse. And I read it, and I can't find it again.

Pastor Doug: Alright, well let me see. You might be thinking of Deuteronomy chapter 4, let me go there real quick. I'm thinking probably of verse, oh, 13. "So he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, the ten commandments," speaking of God declared to the people, - -

Diana: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: - - "and he wrote them on two tables of stone. And the LORD commanded me," Moses, "at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land that you possess." So here, distinction is made between the law of God and the statutes and judgments that God gave to Moses. So I'm not sure if that's the one you're looking for.

Diana: No. This one is close, but then the one I'm looking for referenced that "the statutes and judgments that you are now to look at the Ten Commandments." It said something about stating that God's law was written with His finger and Moses' statutes were, like, written.

Pastor Doug: Well, alright. Let me see, um - -

Diana: I'm sorry.

Pastor Doug: No, it's okay. I'm, uh - -

Pastor Dick: Pastor Doug has a computer program here called QuickVerse - -

Diana: I think it's in the New Testament.

Pastor Dick: - - and he's looking up as quickly as he can.

Diana: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright, Exodus 31:18. "And when he made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, he gave Moses two tablets of the testimony, written with the finger of God." Now, you're wanting to know where it says, "written by the hand of Moses?"

Diana: Yes, because the one I'm looking for, it's kind of stating that you don't have to--because Christ died for us--that you don't-- you just follow the Ten Commandments now; that the judgments that were written by Moses - -

Pastor Doug: That they're not required anymore?

Diana: Right

Pastor Doug: Well, you might be thinking of Colossians. It's in the New Testament, Colossians chapter 2, where it talks about "the handwriting that was against us," and that's referring to the ordinances, the ceremonial law, that were written by Moses.

Diana: Right

Pastor Doug: That's in Colossians chapter 2, verses 13 through 16. You know, that's probably the best we're going to be able to do to help you right now.

Diana: No, that's fine. I think--because I was looking for it in Colossians and a little further on; so thank you.

Pastor Doug: Oh, one more thing here. Judges 3, verse 4 talks about the laws written by the hand of Moses.

Diana: Okay

Pastor Doug: That might help you also.

Diana: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Pastor Dick: Alright Diana, thanks for the call. Let's go next to Moses Lake, Washington and talk with Lupe who's listening - -

Pastor Doug: Speaking of Moses.

Pastor Dick: - - speaking of Moses - -

Lupe: Yeah, hi

Pastor Dick: Yes

Lupe: My question is somebody came up to me and they started telling me that sometime in the future, or later on, that, I guess the government might try passing a certain law called a Sunday law? And I'm not sure if that's biblical or not, or if there are any Scriptures about that?

Pastor Doug: There already are many laws on the books, Lupe, in North America and Canada called Sunday laws. Matter of fact, many of the western countries of the world have them. Most Blue laws, they're called "Blue laws," - -

Lupe: Okay

Pastor Doug: - - they're not being enforced quite frankly. Matter of fact, I think in Texas, some of the big corporations have been contesting the Blue laws because they want to be open and be able to sell everything on Sunday. And this is being battled in the courts in several states.

There is reason to believe that a day will come when the beast power is going to compel people to obey laws of men that are not part of the law of God; and many speculate that this won't mean that the government will force people to keep Sunday.

Lupe: Okay

Pastor Doug: Now, this actually happened before in North America during the time of the Pilgrims. If you were caught out weeding your garden, they would put you in the stocks if you were doing that on Sunday.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And I know a man that in Canada was in prison for 40 days for working on Sunday. This is years ago, but these laws are dormant on the books right now, and many believe, as I believe, that someday there will be a--well let me back up and say something else. You don't find Sunday law in the Bible.

Lupe: Right

Pastor Doug: What you do find in the Bible is in the days of King Nebuchadnezzar, the government made a law that forced God's people to either obey the government law and bow down to the golden image, - -

Lupe: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: - - or keep God's law that says don't worship images. That would be breaking the Second Commandment.

Lupe: Right

Pastor Doug: Then you have Daniel chapter 6, where the government makes a law that you've got to pray to the king instead of to God. Well, Daniel had to decide, "Do I obey the First Commandment, or the government law?" And, of course, Daniel stood up for God and God blessed him.

Lupe: Right

Pastor Doug: Many believe in the last days it's not going to be the First, or the Second, or the Third, but the Fourth Commandment, which is the Sabbath day.

Lupe: Right

Pastor Doug: And the devil is going to do something real tricky; he's going to say, "You have to go to church," which sounds real good, "but go on the first day, not the seventh." [Cross talk]

Lupe: Yes

Pastor Doug: So that's where this comes from. There's nothing in the Bible that says Sunday law per se.

Lupe: Okay

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Lupe: Alright

Pastor Doug: Alright

Lupe: Thank you

Pastor Doug: God bless

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Lupe. Let's go next to the Bronx, New York. Kevin is listening on WMCA. Hello Kevin.

Kevin: Oh hi. I've got a question for you in Romans 8:29, where it says, "For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he predestined, these he also called, those he called he justified...." But anyway, is that to say that we as man really have not the option to come to salvation, that God has already decided who's going to be saved and who's not?

Pastor Doug: No, and that is a very common misunderstanding. First, let me address the question specifically that you are asking. Is God saying, "I've already made up My mind who I'm going to save and who I'm going to let slip through My fingers, and there's really nothing we can do to choose?"

Kevin: Because of His Sovereignty?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, but the sovereignty really has nothing to do with it. God's sovereignty does not take away our freedom of choice. Otherwise, why would the Lord beg us to choose? He desperately tells us, "Turn ye, turn ye, why will you die?" He says, "Whosoever will, let him come and take the water of life."

Jesus says, "Whosoever believes in him should not perish." We have a choice to choose to follow Him. That's why the Bible says, "Choose ye this day who you will serve." So, the idea that we don't have a choice, it would make God arbitrary. The Bible says God is not willing that any should perish. God would have all men to be saved. So the teaching of the Bible is very clear that humans are made with the freedom of choice.

That's how we love. You can choose to love. You can't be forced to love. And so, God has predestined that He wants all to be saved. "Many are called, few are chosen," meaning few choose to respond to the call, see what I'm saying?

Kevin: Okay

Pastor Doug: God is stretching His arms out wide. He's saying, "Whoever will, come to me."

Kevin: So where did that weird idea come from?

Pastor Dick: John Calvin.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that's the imminent word. That's what it is.

Pastor Dick: John Calvin. It comes from the Reformation. It comes from a split, if you will, within the Reformation between Calvin and Luther. And it was John Calvin's belief that God's sovereignty did away with our freedom of choice.

Kevin: Um mp

Pastor Doug: In other words, "Because God knows everything, He's making it happen."

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: But we contest that God knows everything because He is God. That doesn't mean He's making it happen. Something like a parent that knows their children might skin their knee. So before they ever do it, they have band aids in the medicine cabinet. They're not making them skin their knee. They just - -

Kevin: So the word "election" would mean He would elect that we would all come to Him, based on the Scripture you just gave me?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well the elect are the ones - -

Kevin: He elects that we all get saved?

Pastor Doug: God has invited everyone. Those who respond are elected. You know, even in an election, you are nominated before you're ever elected. You can accept or reject a nomination. Everyone has been nominated by the Lord. Many are rejecting the nomination. They never get elected.

And so the word "elect" is misunderstood, it's misapplied. But obviously, God wants to save everybody; and He invites everybody to choose. We do have a choice. If we don't have a choice, then what good is preaching?

Kevin: It would be a waste of time.

Pastor Dick: Yeah, yup

Pastor Doug: Why would you appeal to people?

Kevin: It would be a waste of time to be a Christian.

Pastor Doug: Why send missionaries out pleading for souls? You know, we have an article that you can read, and it's dealing with the subject of "once saved, always saved."

Kevin: Yeah, that was the next big one.

Pastor Doug: Well, if you go to our website, there's an article under the Inside Report tab and it's called A Heavenly Hostage.

Kevin: Um mp

Pastor Doug: And you might want to read that.

Kevin: I will, I will.

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

Kevin: That helped tremendously, because that was kind of tied in with the whole thing of once we have come to salvation that we're redeemed for now and forever.

Pastor Doug: Yup

Kevin: I don't know if I agree with that.

Pastor Dick: AmazingFacts.org Kevin, go to AmazingFacts.org and then under the tab, "Inside Report," you'll find that article A Heavenly Hostage. Thanks for the call.

Kevin: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Alright. It's fascinating, Pastor Doug, this subject is fascinating. If you go to Geneva, Switzerland where, uh- -

Pastor Doug: Calvin did a lot of his work.

Pastor Dick: - - Calvin did a lot of his work; and Luther was there for a short time also before he moved on. In the main square in Geneva, there are statues of all of these Reformers. And the only one that doesn't appear is Martin Luther because of the split.

Pastor Doug: Um m, that's interesting.

Pastor Dick: It is. It is interesting.

Pastor Doug: An obvious vacuum.

Pastor Dick: Yup, yup. Let's try to get one more in. We're going to take a break in a few minutes but let's go to Pennsylvania, Dingmans Ferry, and talk with Richie who's listening on WMCA. Hi Richie.

Richie: Hi, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick: Good

Richie: Can you hear me?

Pastor Dick: Yup. What's your question?

Richie: Okay. I just wanted to know, like during this holiday season, I wanted to know if it was okay to have a drink; say, if you're with family or something? You know, I, personally don't have a personal conviction about it. And I just wanted to know what you felt about that and if it was okay, or if there's anything biblically wrong with it?

Pastor Doug: Alright, well good question. I've actually written a booklet, Richie, for anyone that might want to know. It's called Alcohol and the Christian. There's nothing wrong with socializing with family. We should do that. I just did that with our family, but we didn't take drugs while we did it. You don't have to have drugs--and alcohol is a drug that is every bit as devastating.

The effect on the body is, by every definition, the same as the effect of other drugs, in that it becomes addictive; it inhibits your intelligence; people do and say things that are often embarrassing; it causes a lot of catastrophes on the highway. And so why a Christian would want to take drugs deliberately when they socialize with their friends--well, it's not any better than getting around shooting heroin or smoking pot.

Just because it's socially acceptable, alcohol is the biggest bane in our society; and I don't think Christians should drink.

Pastor Dick: I could just hear people saying now though, Doug, "But a little," - -

Pastor Doug: "Eggnog, yeah..."

Pastor Dick: - - "Just a little...."

Pastor Doug: "Just one d--r--i--n--k!"

Pastor Dick: "I mean...."

Pastor Doug: Once you get a hole in the levee, the whole dam breaks; and as soon as someone says, "A little bit is okay," well, you know, it opens the floodgates. Alcohol has brought so much misery into our society. It is a devastating drug. It always troubles me that Christians think, "Oh, but didn't Jesus drink a little wine?" He drank grape juice. He did not drink booze.

People who are teaching that Jesus used fermented grape juice, they don't know the Bible. Jesus said He was going to drink "new wine" with the disciples in the kingdom. That's unfermented.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: He compared His Gospel to new wine. The kind of bread that we eat at the Communion is unleavened bread; and it's to be unfermented grape juice. So there's nothing in the Bible. Noah drank wine, he walked around naked. The Bible tells us that Lot drank wine and slept with his daughters; a very bad record in the Bible for drinking alcohol, especially with family.

Okay. Well friends, we've got a break coming. That's what this music means.

Pastor Dick: That's right

Pastor Doug: As we're coming up to the break, get your pencil because we're going to give you some free offers along the way. You might want to request that book, Alcohol and the Christian. We'll send it to you for free. Also the book, The Last Night On Earth. What will it be like when Jesus comes and will we be ready? You can request that free offer for tonight by calling 1-800-835-6747. That's an 800 number, 1-800-835-6747.

AmazingFacts.org is the website. Don't forget we also have another website for those who want to study the Bible for themselves online, and it's BibleUniverse.com. Just look up BibleUniverse.com. In a moment, we'll be back. As we start the next half of the program, we've got some exciting things to share with you. So stay tuned.

You can even pick up the phone and call a friend and tell them to tune in. Be back in just a few moments with more Bible questions at Bible Answers Live.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We are back. If you have just tuned in, this is the second half of Bible Answers Live. It's often the best half because we get the most calls in. We do have one or two lines open. If you'd like to call, it's a toll-free number in North America, 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297. I am Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: And my name is Dick Devitt, and Pastor Doug, before we go to the phones in this part of the program, we have a great opportunity coming up in March to do a wonderful program, and you're hard at work planning it. Why don't you tell us what's coming up in March.

Pastor Doug: Yes. You know, most of what Amazing Facts does is television. This is really the only radio program that I participate in. We do a lot more TV. We're going to be broadcasting by satellite live, around much of the world, a program from the Washington D.C. area called the Prophecy Code.

People have heard about the Bible Code. They've heard about the DaVinci Code; and there are a lot of myths and fairy tales out there. Well, we're going to really give people keys to unlock the prophecies in the Bible. There will be locations in virtually every major city in North America where you can come and listen to this live program.

It will be, unless you come to Washington D.C., it will be on a large video screen in various auditoriums and churches. If you want more information about the Prophecy Code, all you'll need to do is type in ProphecyCode.com, ProphecyCode.org. You can register now to become a participant.

It will be on Hope Channel primarily, 3ABN, possibly SafeTV, and another of other outlets. So look up ProphecyCode.com. We'd love to have you be praying for this event. It begins March 4th and will last until the 26th of March.

Pastor Dick: Praise the Lord! Let's go to our phones Pastor Doug. We'll go to Little Rock, Arkansas first and talk with Tammy who has a question for us. Hello Tammy.

Tammy: Hello

Pastor Dick: Get real close to your telephone please.

Tammy: Hello?

Pastor Dick: Yes, your question please. You're on the air with Pastor Doug.

Tammy: I've got a question. Why is it that bad things happen to Christians?

Pastor Doug: You know, that is a good question. Probably one of the best answers for that is the book of Job. The Bible begins the book of Job by saying, "Here is a perfect and upright man that loves God and hates evil," and then all this calamity comes to him. And through the book, you begin to learn the reason that God allows that. It's, first of all, Christians are the best witness when they are witnessing through trials.

When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the fiery furnace, that's when the whole nation of Babylon began to look at Jehovah, because of their witness through their fiery trials. When Daniel was going to the lions' den, the Medo-Persian empire learned about God because of his witnessing through that trial.

The other thing is, when we go through those trials, we often grow. Jesus was very close to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. So sometimes God allows trials for us to grow, and also for us to witness. That's probably the best answer in a nutshell. Okay?

Tammy: Okay, yes.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps a little. Thanks a lot Tammy.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Tammy. Let's go next to Malvern, Arkansas and talk to Joe who's listening on 3ABN. Hello Joe.

Joe: Hello

Pastor Dick: Your question please?

Joe: I was wondering, I've always been taught that the feast days were done away with, but I've been talking with some people lately. They kind of brought up some questions in my mind, and I was just wondering if you had some Scriptures that really proved that the feast days were done away with?

Pastor Doug: Well, when you say the "feast days," first of all, before we wonder if something was done away with, we need to evaluate what was it created for. Did it meet its purpose? The feast days were ceremonial laws that were very specifically given to the Jewish nation after the Exodus to commemorate the different high points of salvation.

They were annual feasts. That would include, of course, the Passover, the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Tabernacles; and I think there were seven feasts in all. They had the spring feasts and the fall feasts. All of these Jewish feasts were pointing to Christ, who is the ultimate fulfillment for those things.

The Bible tells us that, "Christ is our Passover which is sacrificed for us." . So, for instance, do we need to sacrifice lambs anymore? I'll ask you that question.

Joe: No

Pastor Doug: Then if lamb sacrifices were connected with virtually every one of the Jewish feast days, why would we keep the other feast days, if we're not going to sacrifice a Passover lamb? The feast days have been totally fulfilled in the reality of Christ.

Let me see if I can explain it this way. If you had a son that was overseas in the military service and you had his picture up on your mantle, and you might pick it up and kiss it and hug it every day and think, "I can't wait for him to come home." I'm relating to this because I had a boy in Iraq.

When he finally comes home and he knocks on the front door and you open the door, would you run back to the mantle and pick up the picture and hug it?

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: Or would you hug him? Why would we embrace these symbols when now we have the reality?

Pastor Dick: Good point, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And I am troubled by some of my friends out there that are making such an issue about keeping these Jewish feast days. They're nowhere near the caliber of the Ten Commandments. They came after sin. They were there just during the time of the sanctuary. When the sanctuary curtain was ripped from top to bottom, all of the feasts connected with it were also fulfilled in Christ.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Of course, that Scripture I gave you, which is 1st Corinthians 5:7, "Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you might be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ is our passover sacrificed for us." He's not using real leavened bread. He's saying we are the leavened bread.

So Paul says, "We don't use real lambs. We use Christ." Everything that was literal there now has a spiritual fulfillment; and so why are we going to go back to these literal things? That's going backwards in time. We have a book we'll send you if you're interested, Joe, for free. It's simply called Feast Days & Sabbaths. Would you like a copy of that?

Joe: Yes I would.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Just call the toll-free number.

Joe: Okay

Pastor Dick: Joe, call this number, it's 1-800-835-6747, and ask for Feast Days & Sabbaths.

Joe: Okay

Pastor Dick: And we'll send it out to you tonight.

Joe: Okay, I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Thanks

Pastor Dick: Alright, thanks for the call. We're going to go to Alaska, to Soldotna, and talk with Robert who's listening on the Internet. Welcome Robert.

Robert: Thank you. Hi Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick!

Pastor Dick: Yes sir

Robert: My question involves Leviticus chapter 4. I was reading about the sin offerings. And over and over, it talks about if you sin unintentionally. Were not the offerings for intentional sins also?

Pastor Doug: Well, there are different kinds of sin. Biblically, all sin is offensive to God. The Bible speaks about sins of ignorance; and there are sins of weakness, where a person sins because the weakness of the flesh the Bible addresses.

The most offensive sins to God where the word "iniquity" is used were deliberate transgressions. Those were presumptuous sins. That's why David says, "Lord, keep your servant back from presumptuous sins." But I think I know where you're going. Would the sacrifices provide forgiveness for presumptuous sin, - -

Robert: Right

Pastor Doug: - - or for deliberate sin? Well, I hope so, because first of all, when Adam and Eve took the fruit, God had said, "Don't do this." They knew exactly what they were doing. It was deliberate disobedience. And matter of fact, just before she ate the fruit, Eve told the

devil, the serpent, "God said don't eat it." So, I mean, how much more deliberate can you be? He did not hold her down. She knew what God wanted and she did the opposite.

Can there be forgiveness, or did she commit the unpardonable sin? I'm asking sort of absurd questions so that we can know what this doesn't mean. God is not saying, here in Leviticus 4, that because of these priestly offerings, that there is no sacrifice for deliberate sin.

The regular, daily sacrifices were dealing with--and this is the way I understand it--they were dealing with the sins of weakness and ignorance. If you committed deliberate sin, you had to bring a special offering; but there was forgiveness. See what I'm saying?

Robert: Yeah, I understand. Where is that in the offerings for deliberate sin?

Pastor Doug: Well, there are examples of it in the Bible where - -

Robert: Oh I, yeah, I understand. I mean I do believe God forgives intentional sin - -

Pastor Doug: I don't know that it's outlined like that in the Levitical law per se, but when you read these things in their context in chapter 4, we think that He's addressing the regular sins of weakness.

Let me give you another example. Job, when he made an offering for his children, he says, "They may have sinned in their hearts." And he gave sort of a preemptive offering in their behalf everyday in case they sinned, the sins of weakness and ignorance. And Abraham did that for his family.

But if someone committed a deliberate sin, then they would have to go before the Lord with an offering. David did this when he sinned with Bathsheba; and it was a very deliberate sin.

Robert: Would it be like the trespass offerings then, for deliberate sin?

Pastor Doug: Yes

Robert: Okay. Well thank you very much. That helps a lot.

Pastor Doug: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Dick: Alright Robert, thanks for the call. We'll go next to Greenbelt, Maryland. Tasha is listening on the Internet. Welcome Tasha.

Tasha: Hi

Pastor Doug: Hi

Tasha: Okay, my question has to do with, um, I'm not exactly sure of the Scripture, but it's something about do not cast your pearls out to swine, - -

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Tasha: - - that they may trample them under their feet.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Tasha: My question is regarding that Scripture and how it links to Christian friendships? I have a friend that I've been trying to study with, talk to about God. He basically understands it, but he's deliberately still does what he's not suppose to do.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Tasha: And he told me that, that he doesn't want to, that he just wants to get drunk and do whatever he does and it frustrates me.

Pastor Doug: Tasha, if you want to be a Christian, and if this friend has made up his mind, the best thing you can do is, of course, pray for him.

Tasha: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But you can send a message to this person. And doing mission work for the lost is different from being a friend. A friend is somebody that you influence, they influence you, you have a tight relationship. You don't want to walk with somebody who's going in the opposite direction.

Jesus quotes Amos chapter 3:3, and Jesus said the same thing, "Can two walk together, except they are agreed?"

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: If you've got a friend that says, "You know, I'm bent on going down the road to destruction," and you're saying, "I want to go on the strait gate to eternal life," you can't go together. By the way, the verse you are looking for about the swine is Matthew 7, verse 6.

Tasha: Okay

Pastor Doug: "Don't cast your pearls before swine. Don't give that which is holy to the dogs."

Tasha: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And I'll give you one more verse. Jesus said, "If your right hand offends you, cut it off." This friend may be very close, but if they're dragging you down, even as painful as it would be to cut off a hand, you're better off going to heaven missing a hand than going to hell with a friend and having all your limbs, you know what I'm saying?

Tasha: Um-hmm. No, he doesn't really drag me down. It just frustrates me because I see his potential and he's just--he told me that he doesn't want to do it right now.

Pastor Doug: How long have you been working with this person?

Tasha: Um, I've known him since 2000 and - -

Pastor Doug: Well, four years then, five years.

Tasha: Yeah, and I wasn't doing good when we met, but I recently got re-baptized in June; and I'm trying to - -

Pastor Doug: And this person got re-baptized too? You got re-baptized, or this person did?

Tasha: I did, in June. So I've changed my life around, like 180.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I think you need to just let that relationship rest until he comes around. Pray for him, and make sure you get new friends. Invest in friends that are going the same direction.

Tasha: Okay

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Tasha: Alright

Pastor Doug: I know it's tough, but it often happens. Thanks for your question Tasha.

Tasha: Alright. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Pastor Dick: Let's go next to Queens, New York. Sylvester is listening on WMCA. Sylvester, welcome.

Sylvester: Hi Pastor Doug, hi Pastor Dick

Pastor Doug: Hi

Sylvester: Well, first I want to say God bless you both for your programming. It has worked wonders in both my wife and my own life as well.

Pastor Doug: Praise God!

Sylvester: I just wanted to ask a quick question though. I was reading St. John chapter 1, verse 47 and I was curious to know what Nathanael meant when he said, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" and whether or not that had any type of historical meaning?

Pastor Doug: Good question. That's actually verse 46, but that's a good question. Nazareth, in the time of Jesus, was a city that was legendary for being sort of the projects, if you don't mind my using that terminology, - -

Sylvester: No

Pastor Doug: - - of the Promised Land. It wasn't in Galilee and it wasn't in Jerusalem where the holy people are. It was sort of up in the hills and it was the crossroads area. It was rugged country. And Nazareth just was sort of legendary for being a wicked town. It was on the crossroads. A lot of caravans went through there.

I'm trying to--without offending anybody--I'm trying to use a modern equivalent. It's almost like saying, "Can anything good come out of Vegas?" Well of course, today Vegas is a pretty glitzy city - -

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: - - but, you know, it was just sort of like the slums and had a bad reputation.

Sylvester: I see

Pastor Doug: But the very fact that Christ grew up in that environment and lived a holy life is a testament to the power of God for all of us.

Sylvester: I see, um m

Pastor Doug: So there was a proverb back in the days of the apostles about Nazareth; and when they said, "He's from Nazareth," they said, "Nazareth? Oh!" You know?

Sylvester: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Okay, and it's not in the Bible, but you can read some of the Bible commentaries and history that talks about the city of Nazareth, and it has that evidence.

Sylvester: Okay

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Sylvester.

Sylvester: Thank you

Pastor Dick: Alright, God bless. Let's go next to Thayer, Missouri. Paula is listening on KOKS. Hello Paula. [Long pause] Paula, are you still with us?

Paula: I sure am.

Pastor Dick: Your question please?

Paula: Very quickly, in October, I recommitted my life to God. I went through one of your Amazing Facts prophecy seminars with Tyler Long and his wife LaVonne.

Pastor Doug: Oh good, yes!

Pastor Dick: Oh!

Paula: Very Godly couple, an amazing couple as a matter of fact. And they spent enough time with me that I decided to recommit, which was a last-ditch effort me. My question is, is there any Scripture that I can go to for, like, comfort while I'm waiting for peace? I don't feel the peace that I think that I ought to feel and stuff, through salvation, that, you know, it just doesn't seem like it's there and stuff. Is there any Scripture that I could go to and relate back to that would help me through that?

Pastor Doug: You know, if you're swimming and you're swimming underwater, it's really hard to breath without some kind of artificial gear. When you get to the top, you breath a lot easier. And being a Christian and finding peace is something like that. It requires a little bit of effort to get your head above water where you're breathing fresh air.

Let me give you a Scripture that relates to that. Isaiah 26, verse 3. "Thou will keep him in perfect peace who's mind is stayed upon thee, because he trusts in thee." As you make an effort to fill your mind with God, to talk to God, I want you to picture yourself. You're swimming towards the surface, and you're going to find you'll be getting those gulps of fresh air, that peace comes the closer you draw to the Lord.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. And the more time you spend with Him, the more He will speak peace to your soul. Now, there's another principle. We often don't have peace when we know our lives are out of harmony with God, and that's good. You don't want to be at peace when you're out of God's will.

The Bible tells us that, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing will offend them." So there's a peace that comes to those that have really surrendered their lives to the Lord. I found that when people follow those two principles, of making sure their lives are surrendered, they get peace from that; and then investing time in being with the Lord.

Now, are you still there? I think Paula may have - -

Pastor Dick: Yeah, I see that.

Pastor Doug: You there Paula?

Paula: Yes, I'm still here. I just didn't want to interrupt.

Pastor Doug: Did that make sense? No, it's okay. You didn't interrupt. I hope that helps a little bit?

Paula: Yup. It probably will. I just, you know, I just needed some form of comfort or something like that because everybody else, it seems like, that committed their life back to Christ and stuff had some type of an inner peace, or.... It just seemed apparent with them and stuff, and I hadn't felt it yet.

Pastor Dick: The Word of God, Paula, is where you're going to find it.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. There are great promises in the Word of God that just provide a peace that passes understanding, as Paul says.

Pastor Dick: Yeah, yeah, yup. The Psalms, especially.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps.

Paula: I've been through the Psalms and stuff. Tyler was real good to kind of give some Scripture and stuff you know; but it just, I just didn't - -

Pastor Doug: Let me offer you a free book; and I don't think we've ever offered this, Pastor Dick. I mean it, never. There's a book carried by Amazing Facts called From Stress to Joy. We'll send you a free copy of that if you'd like. Just ask for From Stress to Joy. I think that you'll find some real encouragement from that.

Pastor Dick: Call our resource operators, Paula, at 1-800-835-6747, that's an 800 number, it's toll-free. Ask for that book and we'll send it out to you tonight. Let's go next, Pastor Doug, to Sylvia in Stamford, Connecticut who's listening on WMCA. Hi Sylvia.

Sylvia: Hi, thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome, and get real close to your phone.

Sylvia: Okay, thank you. I have a question about 1st Thessalonians 4:16.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Sylvia: It seems like, you know, somebody versified over that passage. Some believe in the rapture of the church and some don't. And I'm kind of a little confused because I hear different opinions about that.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Do you have a pencil Sylvia?

Sylvia: Yes I do.

Pastor Doug: I'm going to answer your question, but I also want to send you a free booklet.

Sylvia: Okay

Pastor Doug: And the booklet is called Anything But Secret.

Sylvia: Okay

Pastor Doug: Now, it's dealing with the rapture, which is what you're asking about; and the whole booklet is written on that. I wrote it.

Sylvia: Okay

Pastor Doug: In 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 it talks about the Lord Himself descending from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel, the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise. The word "rapture" means "to be caught up." It says in the next verse, 17, "We who are alive and remain will be caught up."

Sylvia: Right

Pastor Doug: Yes, that is the rapture. The word "rapture" doesn't appear in the Bible, but when the church, the saved, are "caught up," that is the rapture. It's not a secret. And the big questions where Christians disagree on the subject of the rapture, most Christians believe we'll be caught up to meet the Lord. You can't deny this verse.

Sylvia: Right

Pastor Doug: The big disagreements are some believe the rapture is a secret, and that life goes on here on earth for another seven years after the rapture.

Sylvia: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But it tells us that when the Lord descends from heaven in 2nd Peter chapter 3, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens pass away with a great noise, and the elements melt with fervent heat, and the earth and everything in it burns up." So how is life going to go on for seven more years after the rapture?

We believe the rapture happens after the tribulation. Some Christians believe it happens before.

Sylvia: Right. That's one of the things.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well send for that booklet and you look at that, and I'd like you to call me and let me know what you think. Pastor Dick will give you the number.

Pastor Dick: Sylvia, it's the same number we just gave to our last caller, 1-800-835-6747. Call that number and we'll send the book out to you right away; and thanks for the call. Let's go next to Orlando, Florida. Pearl is listening on WDLM. Hi Pearl.

Pearl: Hi

Pastor Doug: Thanks for calling.

Pearl: My question, sir, is, what version is your preference, because I know you have a very sound doctrine and I have been reading the King James, versus the New Age and the final writ authority.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Pearl: And my question is, your preference, what version would you endorse?

Pastor Doug: Well I always feel safe, if I was to endorse one version, in endorsing the King James, or the New King James

Pearl: Yeah, okay. I appreciate that.

Pastor Doug: Now keep in mind, Pearl, there are strengths to different versions. Some Bible translations are stronger in some areas.

Pearl: I know.

Pastor Doug: But overall, the King James Version has proven by it's durability to be a very - -

Pearl: Yeah, because I've been crying so much because there's the verse that says, "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, for you have a greater damnation."

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Pearl: And it means, because, they, you know, there was this old elder (?) of the book and he compared everything. He was not partial or anything.

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Pearl: And they changed a lot of--like--no wonder there's so much cult religion that comes because they changed the Son of God to Son of man. They changed worship. Now before him, [unintelligible, cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Oh I know. I've seen some of these books before that have just reams and reams of changes that are made in various translations. Some of them are modernized terms. There's nothing wrong with that, but some of them actually alter the meaning completely. You know, we have a booklet called The Faithful Witness that we'll send you, Pearl. It's called the Faithful Witness. You call and ask for that and we'll give you the number later in the program.

Pastor Dick: It's that same number I've just given out, Pearl, so call that number. Let's go to San Diego. Mark is listening on 1210. Welcome Mark, we have about two minutes. What can we do?

Mark: Okay, thank you. Good to talk to you and I hope your new year is going great - -

Pastor Dick: Thank you

Mark: - - and blessed in the Lord. Hello?

Pastor Doug: Yes, we're here

Pastor Dick: Yes, go ahead

Mark: Okay. I want to ask you about, I had a previous question so I don't want the screener to think that I fibbed to him, but I heard you talking as I talked to them. My question is, can you explain to me Romans 9:15 to 22?

Pastor Doug: Well, that's a lot of verses to explain in two minutes; but Romans chapter 9, verses 15 to 22?

Mark: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Alright, well let me go - -

Mark: A brief synopsis.

Pastor Doug: - - yeah. "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." Are you wondering, for instance - -

Mark: Well actually more in verse 21, when he's talking about having power over the clay to make one lump of honor - -

Pastor Doug: Yeah - -

Mark: - - and another to dishonor. What, what - -

Pastor Doug: Well, that's the fact that, of course, the Lord does have supreme authority to make everybody the way He wants and give them a variety of gifts. But some people have wondered in this verse is Paul saying that, "I've made some people to be saved and I've made some people to be lost."

No. God is saying, "I'll make some people to be clay vessels; some people are silver vessels; some people are gold vessels, but I want all those vessels in My house." It reminds me of the story of the woman in 2nd Kings chapter 4, who Elijah tells to take all these different vessels in the community, bring them to her house, all different kinds of vessels, and fill them with this miracle oil.

Pastor Dick: Um m

Pastor Doug: And God wants all different kinds of vessels in His house. I am sorry we ran out of time on that Mark. He would have all men to be saved. God doesn't want any to perish. We apologize friends if we didn't get to your question tonight. We want to, from here at Amazing Facts in Sacramento, California, wish you a very happy new year.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Pastor Doug: Let's also remember to extend our prayers to these many thousands of people who have been catastrophically affected by this tsunami in Southeast Asia, and that God will bless them, and bring good from that.

Also keep in mind, this ministry is entirely funded and fueled by listeners like you. We'd love to have you support what we're doing, especially the first of the year. We need your help. People have made their holiday giving and it often dries up in January. So, if you've been blessed that you can even log online, AmazingFacts.org, and we appreciate your giving.

Remember friends, it's not the details, but it's all about Jesus, who is the Truth that will set you free.

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