Can You Count the Stars?

Can You Count the Stars?

Date: 01/09/2005 
For the better part of recorded history, the earth was thought to be the stationary center of the universe and the ancient wise men believed there were only 5,119 stars.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? For the better part of recorded history, the earth was thought to be the stationary center of the universe and the ancient wise men believed there were only 5,119 stars. The constellations were named and filled with colorful legends.

Without a telescope, the stars seemed to be just twinkling points of light that moved across the night sky. Now we know when we look at the heavens, what we once thought were just single stars are often really a gigantic spiral of stars called a galaxy. A galaxy is like a colossal island in space made up of gas, dust and millions of stars.

On clear nights, we see the spiral edge of our own galaxy called the Milky Way. Our sun is just one small star in a pinwheel, containing about 100 billion, blazing suns aligned in the form of a disc; and that's not counting the planets that could be orbiting around these stars. Recent research indicates there may be millions of galaxies in our universe.

A few years ago the Hubble telescope took a picture of a small spot of the sky near the Big Dipper. To give you a better idea of how big this area was, it was about the size of a dime held 75 feet away. In that tiny dot of sky, scientists counted over 1,500 galaxies. Take that number, times the volume of space in every direction, and you would calculate that there are millions of billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars.

Wow! The distance of these galaxies is measured in light years. Keep in mind, of course, one light year is the distance you would travel if you could ride a beam of light at 186,000 miles per second for 365 days. That's one light year. Our home, the Milky Way, is some 30,000 light years across, meaning you'd have to travel the speed of light for 30,000 years just to cross our galaxy, but you still haven't left our own front yard.

For example, if you wanted to visit the Andromeda Galaxy, you'd have to travel over the speed of light for 2.4 million years. Wow! When we consider the God who made all of this, we can only say, "How great Thou art!" It's almost inconceivable that the God who invented this infinite cosmos wants to dwell with us.

Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: We want to thank the Lord. We are back again with you live in this new year; and we want to welcome all our friends who are tuned in to Bible Answers Live. If this is your first time hearing the broadcast, this is, as the title suggests, a live, interactive Bible study that is going around North America and around the world.

If you'd like to participate, you can call the toll-free number with any Bible question, and that number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. We go to the Bible for our answers, 1-800-463-7297. We have lines open right now. It's a good time to pick up the phone with your Bible question. Give us a call at 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. I'm Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: Good evening, I'm Dick Devitt.

Pastor Doug: Welcome Dick

Pastor Dick: Thank you Doug.

Pastor Doug: Well why don't you have prayer, Pastor?

Pastor Dick: Let's start with a word of prayer. Father in heaven, we thank You and we praise You; and wow Lord, we're just amazed that the amazing facts that Pastor Doug shared with us, the immensity of Your creation. We are so thankful for what You have done and the plan of salvation You have put into place. Heavenly Father, as we seek to open the Word of God and listen to You tonight, may You calm us, clear our minds. May we hear clearly what it is that You're trying to say to us, in the midst of the immensity of Your greatness. We thank You, Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen

Pastor Dick: Wow. You know Pastor Doug, it just goes on and on. Are you ready to leave? [Chuckles]

Pastor Doug: Oh yeah!

Pastor Dick: You know, trying to travel the breadth, the width of our galaxy - -

Pastor Doug: Our minds can't comprehend the immensity of space.

Pastor Dick: No. The immensity.

Pastor Doug: We have no words. I mean, light years are insufficient, because even if you go to the Andromeda Galaxy riding a beam of light as fast as it goes, you'd have to go 2.4 million years to get to that galaxy.

Pastor Dick: Now where are you going with this in a spiritual sense Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: You think about how big space is, and it helps you understand why the angels bow before God and say, "Holy, Holy." He is so powerful and magnificent.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And yet, the Bible says He wants to move the capitol of the universe to our planet. It tells us in Revelation that the new Jerusalem will come down to earth and God, Himself, will be with us.

Pastor Dick: Yeah--that--yeah! He wants to be in our midst. He wants to be with us.

Pastor Doug: You know, we're going to Washington D.C. to conduct this global satellite evangelistic program. And it's kind of fun to think we'll be in the Capitol of the United States.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But I think that's where the President is; and if you're in the capitol of a state, that's where the Governor is. And if you're in the County Seat, that's where you've got your Mayors and - -

Pastor Dick: And we've got "Arrrnold."

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that's right - -

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: - - here in California, Sacramento. But the capitol of all creation will be moved to this world and the President will live with us, the Creator.

Pastor Dick: Wow, praise the Lord.

Pastor Doug: And you just think about it. It's mind boggling. And that's not far away for any one of us.

Pastor Dick: You know, we have a special gift we want to make available to our listeners tonight. It's one of the study guides that Amazing Facts has produced. It's called A Colossal City in Space. This is a lesson that we want to make available to anyone who will call and ask for it tonight.

A Colossal City in Space shows that heaven is a place that we don't want to miss.

Pastor Doug: Amen

Pastor Dick: And what Pastor Doug has just shared with us in the amazing fact just, kind of, whets your whistle a little bit about just what God has in store for us. So we want to invite you to call our resource operators and ask for this lesson that talks about A Colossal City in Space. It's now under construction; and you can make your reservations right now to be there.

Call our resource operators, 1-800-835-6747. That puts you in touch with our resource operators. Ask for A Colossal City in Space. It's a great lesson that you want to add to your resources. Pastor Doug, we take a couple of Internet questions each evening before we go to the phones.

The first one is a question I don't think we've had before, but it's a good question Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Pastor Dick: "Should a Christian pledge a fraternity or a sorority?"

Pastor Doug: Well, my initial reaction is that sometimes these fraternities or sororities involve pledges and vows that could conflict with Christian values.

Pastor Dick: Um m um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And sometimes there are initiations and rites, hazings and different things that are definitely a conflict with Christian values. And the Bible warns us against being yoked, or linked, to entities or people that are non-believers. Christians were not to marry or go into business agreements with the pagans; - -

Pastor Dick: Um-hm, um-hm

Pastor Doug: - - and Paul puts it this way in 2nd Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers." In Bible times, they would have a pair of donkeys or mules or oxen that would be linked together and they needed to pull even, and to share the weight evenly, and be heading in the same direction. And it's hard to be yoked to someone that is turning a different way - -

Pastor Dick: Right, right

Pastor Doug: - - because they pull you with them. So I would advise Christians to avoid getting involved in secret societies and fraternities and sororities. Sometimes there's a lot of cultish symbols in rituals that they go through.


Pastor Dick: The best pledge a person can make, of course, is a pledge to Jesus Christ and join a local congregation.

Pastor Doug: That's a sorority.

Pastor Dick: That's right

Pastor Doug: That's a fraternity, or the brotherhood, of Christianity that one should be part of.

Pastor Dick: Amen, amen. Alright, second question is, "Where in the Bible does it talk about being a single mother?" This is from a woman who is a single mother and she's looking for biblical resources.

Pastor Doug: Well, in the book of James, there the brother of our Lord says that, "True religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction."

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Now these are children that don't have a father and women that don't have a husband. That would be single mothers. An example in the Old Testament would be there's a widow who had two boys. She came to Elisha the prophet because her sons were going to be basically taken to mortgage the home because she couldn't pay her payments.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: And she went and pled with the prophet to help her.

Pastor Dick: Hagar

Pastor Doug: Hagar was basically divorced by Abraham and sent off as a single mother. You have the story in the Bible of a widow who had an only son, and Jesus felt sorry for her and He raised the son. And then Mary may have been a fatherless mother by the time Christ began His ministry because there's no reference anywhere to Joseph after Jesus' 12th year of age.

Pastor Dick: Right, right

Pastor Doug: And so most scholars agree that Joseph probably had died at that point; so Mary was a single mother, you might say.

Pastor Dick: Okay, good resources, good resources. We want to celebrate and welcome a whole host of new radio stations that have joined our network through 3ABN. These are affiliates of the 3ABN network, and they are WWFC in Bryant, Alabama; WJSD in Henagar, Alabama; WKOC in Higdon, Alabama; WRMH in Franklin, Georgia; KRQC in Riverdale, Iowa; KRFL in Fulton, Missouri; KHLM in St. Joseph, Missouri; KANB in Kalispell, Montana.

In Hobbs, New Mexico, KCMG; in Morganton, North Carolina, WHGW; and in Spencer, Tennessee, WSPE; and also, we want to welcome Radio DE in Santa Elena, Cayo, Belize.

Pastor Doug: Wow, praise the Lord!

Pastor Dick: Praise the Lord for all of these new affiliates! [Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: We'd like to hear from them.

Pastor Dick: We'd like to hear from--yes, right.

Pastor Doug: Have them call us!

Pastor Dick: That's right, please do. If you are listening to any of these stations that we've just mentioned, give us a call and tell us that you are listening; and call us tonight. We'll do our best to get you on the air. Pastor Doug, our lines are lit up, so let's go to the phones and take our first caller for the evening.

We want to talk with Daniel in Brooklyn, New York who's listening on WMCA. Hello Daniel.

Daniel: Hello Pastor Dick, Pastor Doug

Pastor Dick: Yes sir, your question please?

Daniel: My question is concerning Daniel chapter 12. It's right at the end. There are two time prophecies right at the end that are a bit confusing to me. I just recently did a study on the book of Daniel and that's just something I could never understand, and I want to know if you could help me.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Yeah, there are a couple of things. First of all, a study in Daniel, especially the last three chapters, chapters 10, 11 and 12, I don't know if there's any deeper Bible prophecy study in the Scriptures (inaudible) Ezekiel.

Pastor Dick: Yes, yes, yeah

Pastor Doug: There's a book I would recommend that's by Uriah Smith, and it's Daniel and the Revelation.

Daniel: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: There's another book by Stephen Haskell that's called The Prophet Daniel.

Pastor Dick: And God Cares is another one that uh - -

Pastor Doug: Is that the one by Maxwell?

Pastor Dick: Maxwell

Pastor Doug: Yeah; and so there are some good resources where you'll get more depth. But very quickly, there are three time prophecies that you find in Daniel chapter 12. There's 1260, 1335 and 1290, not in that order. The 1260 is a time period that you find many times in the Bible; 1260 is three and a half years.

Jesus taught for three and a half years. There's three and a half years of famine during the days of Elijah. There were three and a half years of prophetic time during the Dark Ages, from 538 to 1798, which is one thousand, two hundred and sixty days, when the church sort of went underground. And it talks about this church; Babylon was on the throne during that time.

The woman flees into the wilderness, Revelation 12, for forty-two months. That's three and a half years, 1,260 days. So that time period is easier to understand than 1290 and the 1335. One thing that we can tell you is the difference between 1290 and 1260 is one month, or 30 days. And then again, the difference between the 1260 and the 1335 is seventy-five.

I thought it was interesting, Abraham was 75 when he left Babylon to come to the Promised Land. And so, some believe that that is giving us a signal that at the end of that 1335 days, it says, "You will stand in your lot," Daniel, "at the end of the days." So there's a lot there. I would recommend that you read one of those books. Some of those books that I've mentioned Daniel--can you get on the Internet Daniel?

Daniel: Yeah

Pastor Doug: You could probably read some of the text of Uriah Smith for free. In other words, you don't even need to buy the book because it's public domain. It has been out a long time; and I bet you you could find that in an Acrobat file, you could read it for free; and maybe even that's true with Stephen Haskell. So, rather than try to take 15 minutes of the first part of the program, I'm going to have to recommend that, okay?

Daniel: Okay. One more thing, quick, fast. Is it fair to say that these prophecies are already fulfilled? I mean, the time has already come? Or are these things - -

Pastor Doug: There are two ways that you look at these prophecies. There is what they call the historic interpretation, and based on the historic interpretation, they are past, they have been fulfilled. Then there may be a dual application where some of these things will have another fulfillment in the future.

You know, I just remembered something Pastor Dick. At the Amazing Facts' website under our Sabbath School link, I've got some charts that deal with Daniel 12--because I just taught on this a few weeks ago--take a look at those. Matter of fact, you could listen to my study on Daniel chapter 12 online. I specifically went through these prophecies, but it took me an hour, so I can't do it all right now.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Daniel: On that Sabbath School link on your Amazing - -

Pastor Doug: Yes. Go to the Amazing Facts' website and you can even listen to the archives for Sabbath School. I think it was three weeks ago I taught Daniel chapter 12, the whole thing.

Daniel: Okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Daniel. Let's go next to Huntington, West Virginia. David is a first-time caller. Welcome David.

David: Thank you very much for taking my call. Doug, I enjoy your TV program that we receive here. We do not receive your radio show, but we do get your TV show and I enjoy that.

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord

David: I was reading your Amazing Facts study guide, number 13, on You Wouldn't Do This. And I was discussing with my brother about the clean and unclean food - -

Pastor Doug: Right

David: - - that is mentioned in Leviticus.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

David: And he posed a good question to me; and I looked at it in the New International Version, and also in the Nelson New King James Version study Bible. In Mark chapter 7, verses, uh--really 19, 18 and 19. But in 19 it says, "For it does not go into his heart but into his stomach and then out of his body." And then in parentheses it says, "In saying this, Jesus declares all foods clean."

Pastor Doug: Right

David: This is in Mark. I wonder if you could explain that to me? I'm a little confused.

Pastor Doug: Well, I'll just be very honest with you. The New International Version translators took an enormous liberty here by putting that in parentheses because I actually had a pastor come to me one time and he challenged me on that, because I was teaching that the New Testament still says that we should not eat unclean food.

He said, "What about this?" And we went to the Greek and he actually read Greek, and he blushed; and he said, "Doug, I just have to tell you, I don't understand it." He said, "I don't agree with you, but it isn't in the Greek. I don't know why they put it in the NIV."

And if you get a Greek interlinear, if you can go on the Internet, you can find this online. The way it reads in the King James Version--it speaks about what you eat with unwashed hands. Actually, the story has nothing to do with food, clean or unclean. It has to do with eating with unwashed hands.

David: Now that's in Matthew, correct?

Pastor Doug: No. I'm talking about Mark 7, verses 18 and 19. The context of the discussion, the Pharisees are giving Jesus a hard time because His disciples were eating without going through the regular ceremonial washing. Jesus chastised them and He said, "Don't you know that when you eat something, it goes into your stomach and through your digestive system, thus purging all foods?"

In other words, our digestive system has a very powerful purging process. Kids are eating, and we are eating, bacteria all day long. There's a certain amount of germs in bacteria that we ingest constantly; and God designed our systems--and even Jesus knew this--where there's a purging process that takes place.

Then it goes on to say, "and it is eliminated in the ditch." That's what Jesus said. In other words, it goes in and it goes out. He's talking about if you eat with dirty hands. But, what goes into your mind can defile you. This discussion had nothing to do with clean and unclean food; and the original Greek does not say what the NIV version says: "In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean."

That's a terrible liberty that they took in that verse. Some of the scholars, the contributors I should say, that were working for uh--I think Zondervan prints the NIV--they basically were saying, "Hey, here's a good place for us to put in something to fight the teaching of clean and unclean foods." And they - -

David: Well, that even puzzled me in the New King James Version, in the study Bible.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. In the study Bible, that's not - -

[Cross talking]

David: It has the same thing.

Pastor Doug: - - those are notes.

David: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Any scholar can put his notes in a study Bible and many of them conflict with each other; but the New King James Version says, "It is eliminated, thus purifying all foods." So that says pretty much the same thing as the King James. But the NIV took a real liberty there.

David: And I was just wondering, because they put it in the footnote and this was a thing that we were discussing; and he says, "Well, this shows in the Bible. If you filter everything through the Bible that now all foods are permissible to eat."

Pastor Doug: No. Then if that's true, then why does it say in the New Testament in Acts chapter 15, verse 20 that they're not suppose to eat blood, if all things are clean?

David: Well--and I also wondered, and I asked him the question in Acts chapter 10 where Peter is having his dream.

[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: And he says, "I've never eaten anything" - -

David: And he said, "Well maybe Peter's came before Marks."

Pastor Doug: No, no, no, no, no. Here he would be arguing that Peter's dream came before Mark's vision; and obviously, Peter has his vision in Acts chapter 10 long after Jesus died and

went to heaven. And so, Peter says in Acts chapter 10, "I've never eaten anything common or unclean." There's no question that he had his vision after Christ made these statements.

So just look at it. I would just say, David, read it in the original Greek; and that's really the final word. Anyone can read it for themselves. Hope that helps a little and I trust that you've got our study guide on this that deals with the clean and the unclean foods.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: There's another book written by Joe Crews we could send you called Death in the Kitchen and another one called Hogs & Other Hazards. You can read those for free, or we'll send them to you.

Pastor Dick: David, call our resource operators and we'll send those out to you tonight, 1-800-835-6747, and thanks for the call. Let's go to Brooklyn, New York. We want to talk with Shaun who's listening on WMCA. Hi Shaun.

Shaun: Hi Pastor, good evening

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Shaun: Yeah. I read your article on Inside Report.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Shaun: It speaks about heaven's hostages, can we save the lost.

Pastor Doug: Yes, uh-huh

Shaun: You spoke about, like, Israel being grafted. What Israel do you mean? You mean, like, Israel in the Bible, the nation of Israel, or, like, anybody?

Pastor Doug: In Romans 11, Paul is speaking about literal Israel. He's comparing the Gentiles to the Jews. And he said literal Israel can be grafted back in, if they believe. And so that there in Romans 11--and I think that's what you're quoting--that's talking about the actual nation and people of Israel, the Jews.

Shaun: Okay, and just one more question.

Pastor Doug: Shaun, before we leave that, I've got a book that I wrote with another Jew called Spiritual Israel, and it goes into this study a little bit. We'll send that to you for free if you like. It's called Spiritual Israel.

Shaun: Yeah

Pastor Doug: And you have another question?

Shaun: Yeah. Somewhere in the New Testament I read if you sin willfully, like, there's no more sacrifice - -

Pastor Doug: Hebrews chapter 6, and I think it's verse 4. If we sin willfully after a person has received the enlightenment of God, there is no more repentance. Is that the one you're talking about?

Shaun: No. There's another one, but I cannot exactly remember where.

Pastor Doug: "If we sin knowingly," in Hebrews chapter 10, verse 26, - -

Shaun: Okay

Pastor Doug: Is that the one you're thinking of?

Shaun: Yeah, I think that's the one.

Pastor Doug: "If we continue to sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there is no more sacrifice for sins." Is that the one?

Shaun: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Hebrews 10:26. What's your question? That's just talking about if a person continues in rebellious living after they know what God wants, then the sacrifice of Christ doesn't cover them while they deliberately live in rebellion.

Shaun: Oh. So like if you know of a particular sin and you still go ahead and do it - -

Pastor Doug: Well you can repent; but it's saying while you're living in a state of rebellion--Isaiah chapter 1 says, "If we rebel we will be devoured by the sword."

Shaun: Okay

Pastor Doug: And the Bible tells us rebellion is like witchcraft to God. We need to submit. Hope that helps a little Shaun.

Shaun: Okay. What's the book you told me to get?

Pastor Doug: The book is called Spiritual Israel.

Pastor Dick: Call our resource operators at 1-800-835-6747, Shaun, and thanks for the call. Let's talk with Bruce who's listening on KMDL in Hidden Valley Lake, California. Hi Bruce.

Bruce: Hi, and God bless you gentlemen.

Pastor Dick: Yes sir

Bruce: Happy new year. Hey, I also just wanted to say that I read a chronological One Year Through the Bible this year, and it was really great. I really enjoyed it, having everything put in order that way.

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord

Bruce: Now I'm back to the mixed up New Testament. Old Testament Proverbs and Psalms, I like that the best. Hey, now my question is about the way that John the Baptist and Elijah, and then in Revelation chapter 11, verse 3, the prophet, apparently Elijah, maybe in all three cases, were pointed out for the way they dressed. And it seems like they don't give it up, even after they're brought back. Elijah possibly, you know, after his birth, and then he never died and brought back; as John the Baptist, whereas, was beheaded and died, and then, possibly, one of the Two Witnesses in Revelation. And the second part of the question is 2nd Kings chapter 1, verse 11 where Elijah says, "If I am a prophet," you know, "fire will come down from heaven to destroy you." Now, I found myself praying to destroy our enemies, especially when we are in wars in the last 20 or 30 years and uh, is there anything wrong with it? I pulled out a Psalms. David did it it seems. Moses might have done it. And Elijah is doing it right there in person, but is there anything wrong with that kind of a prayer?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, one time when the Samaritans did not receive Jesus, He was on His way to Jerusalem, James and John were very indignant, and they said, "Lord, You just give us the word and we're going to pray that fire comes down from heaven and burns them up like Elijah."

And Jesus said, "You don't know what spirit you are of. The Son of man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And He rebuked them for that. Now, it is true that some of the Old Testament prophets did pray and fire came down. That was typically done to save God's people from their enemies. There might be a time when that is justified. I can see places where Elijah and Moses, as leaders of the people, were doing that to protect the nation from evil.

But I would be very hesitant for me to pray that God would bring fire down on anybody. [Cross talk] I've had those thoughts before, but I'm always ashamed [chuckles].

Bruce: Well, maybe this is different, but I asked for it to be within God's will to destroy our enemies and help us in our battle; because after watching the news and the destruction against our troops - -

Pastor Doug: Which would be easier, to pray that God destroy them, or convert them?

Bruce: Well, I can live with it too, if He decides not to, because I have no power to do that myself without Him, you know?

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Bruce: Now the clothing, the leather belt and stuff, now what are they telling us about Elijah there? I'm a Baptist. Why the common clothes and the sackcloth in chapter 11 of Revelation?

Pastor Doug: Alright, good point. We're going to have a break before I probably finish this, but let me tell you real quick Bruce. The simplicity of Elijah's garb, matter of fact, he was known as a man who wore, it says, "a hairy garment," and that meant just camel skin; and so was John the Baptist.

Their simplicity in their attire was something--it was almost like a uniform for the prophets--they were very austere and spartan because of their dedication to God. And it is true that the Two Witnesses represent Moses and Elijah, but it's really the Word of God, the law and the prophets.

We have an article on that. There's a new book that's out and it's called The Glorious Mount, Bruce. We'll send you a copy of that if you'd like. It's called The Glorious Mount and it deals with Moses, and Elijah and the Two Witnesses. Friends, we're going to take a break in just a moment here. We have some important announcements to share with you.

Most of all, we'd also like to remind you to check out the Amazing Facts' website. There is so much there and it's a growing resource, free material and studies and sermons. Take a look, AmazingFacts.org.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back, and for our friends who are just tuning in, this is Bible Answers Live. If you have any Bible questions, this is the program that is designed for that purpose. Give us a call. We'll do our best to study the Word of God together. We have a lot of Bible resources at our fingertips here. We have the Bible in about 10 different versions in the Hebrew, original; Greek, original; as well as commentaries. And we want to know what is the truth.

The number if you have a question, and we have a few lines open, is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. I'm Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: I'm Dick Devitt, and we want to go directly to the phones, Pastor Doug, and take our first call for this part of the program. We want to talk with Meryl in Spokane, Washington who's listening on KEEH. Hi Meryl.

Meryl: Hi, good evening Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Meryl: My question is, has everyone who has ever lived on this earth heard, or has had the opportunity, to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Pastor Doug: I don't think they all have yet because in Matthew 24:14, Jesus said, "The gospel of this kingdom will go on all the world for a witness unto all nations; then the end shall come." And that means that they'll all have it within their reach and an opportunity to respond.

Right now, the vehicles are in place to communicate the Gospel to every corner of the earth, through satellite, and printing, and the media. But there are still places where they have not had it within their district, their reach. But I think we are living in the generation, no doubt in my mind, Meryl, that will see the fulfillment of that. And that's a very exciting thought, especially right after you see some of these, what they're calling "biblical catastrophes," - -

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Meryl: Right

Pastor Doug: - - or "prophetic catastrophes." So, I really think that we are seeing the last days before our very eyes right now.

Meryl: Okay. So there have been people who have died that have never heard of Jesus Christ?

Pastor Doug: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Meryl: Yes. What happens to them when He comes for the second time?

Pastor Doug: Well everyone, Jesus said, is judged according to the light they have.

Meryl: Okay

Pastor Doug: Jesus said, "To whom much is given, much is required. To whom little is given, little is required." So those who have had more knowledge are responsible to walk in the light they have.

Meryl: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Meryl: That answers my question.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you. God bless.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Meryl. Let's go next to Brooklyn, New York. Wilfred is listening on WMCA. Welcome Wilfred.

Wilfred: Good evening, thank you Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi

Wilfred: My question is why Saul, when he was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, he was struck down and blinded, and he heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Wilfred: Did Saul know then who was talking to Him?

Pastor Doug: Well, evidently, not when he first heard the voice because he says, "Who are you, Lord?" And then Jesus said, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest." So when he first saw the light and heard the voice, he didn't know who it was and he had to ask. He knew it was some divine Being; and then finally he realized it was the very Jesus that he was persecuting the followers of.

But right in the passage there, it's in Acts chapter 9, he does know who it is before the vision is over; because Jesus said, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."

Wilfred: Right. I have another quick one, and I'm not going to hold up your time.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Wilfred: John the Baptist, when he was baptizing, said, "I baptize you with water; but here cometh one who will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." What does that fire mean?

Pastor Doug: Well that's speaking of on Pentecost. It says that "tongues of fire lit on each of the disciples in the form of cloven tongues." That would simply mean the word "fire" is often used for power. You remember there was a pillar of fire that followed the children of Israel through the wilderness that illuminated them. Fire warms, fire is a power, fire cleanses, fire illuminates; and these are some of the attributes of God the Spirit. He illuminates, He empowers, He cleanses, He guides, He warms, okay?

Wilfred: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Wilfred. To Brooklyn, New York. Gavin is listening on WMCA. Gavin, your question?

Gavin: Yes, hi, good night Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Gavin: I am trying to understand chapter 1 of the Genesis, which includes the Creation story.

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Gavin: And there's a portion of verses 3 and 4 that talks about the creation of light.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Gavin: And later on, verses 14 through 17 talk about what I understand to be those objects, the sun, and the moon and stars, that are actually the source of the light.

Pastor Doug: Right

Gavin: And I couldn't understand the creation of light before the source of light. Could you explain that for me?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I'll do my best. In the beginning when God came to this part of the solar system and began creating, it says, "The earth was without form and void." Now in my mind, I understand the planet probably looked something like a lot of the asteroids we see floating around there, or our moon. It was without form. It was chaotic. It was void. It did not have the symmetry and the structure and the color that we see now.

And when God comes to this planet, He begins to revolve it; and the Bible says, "God is light." The Bible tells us the light of God is brighter than the light of the sun. So when God comes to this planet and begins to spin it, that gives you your day and your night right there, where whatever is facing God is bright as the sun, that's the day.

Then God later makes the other heavenly bodies, or He illuminates the sun, and the stars, and the moons, and the other heavenly bodies afterward. Scientists sometime say, "Well the sun came first and then the other parts of our solar system." The Bible says, "No. The earth was the first part of this solar system, and then the other planets and stars came."

Gavin: Okay. So just in a (unintelligible) you're saying that the light that we have today is not--the sun is not its source, but God is the source of that light and the sun actually illuminates God's light?

Pastor Doug: No. That's not quite what I'm saying. I'm saying on the first few days of creation, when God said, "Let there be light," it was the light and the darkness that separated the earth. In 1st John chapter 1, verse 5, it says, "God is light." Matter of fact, if you read in Malachi chapter 4, it says, "The Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings." In Revelation it tells us that Jesus was "brighter than the sun;" also in Mark chapter 9.

And so, the very fact when God came and began creating our world, He was the light for those first three days. Then He made the sun.

Gavin: I see, okay.

Pastor Doug: And God was probably on the same side of the planet as the sun was. I don't understand the specifics of it all, but that's what gave us the first few days. Okay?

Gavin: I see. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Gavin. To New York, we want to talk with Jessica who's listening on WMCA. Welcome Jessica.

Jessica: Good evening Pastor Doug. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Jessica: I just wanted to ask a question. What does the Word say about predestination?

Pastor Doug: Well, the word "predestination" is in the Bible.

Jessica: It is?

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Jessica: Oh okay

Pastor Doug: Many have confused the term "predestination" to mean that God has decided in advance who is going to be saved and who is not going to be saved. And it makes it sound like we have no choice because God already knows. Now, this is one of those enigmas. Because God already knows, and He does know whether or not I'll be saved or you'll be saved, because He knows everything, He's God.

Jessica: Right

Pastor Doug: That does not mean we don't have a choice. He knows what our choices will be. He knows what's going to happen a million years from now. That's how Jesus was able to predict whether or not Judas was going to betray Him. He knew, but Judas made the choice. It's not God's fault that Judas betrayed Him. It's Judas' fault, see what I'm saying?

Jessica: Okay, but then I'm confused because, when God opens our eyes, that means that we're regenerated and saved at that point? When is it that we're actually saved?

Pastor Doug: When we believe, by faith, in the redemption of Jesus and His blood covering our sins, the Bible says, "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." So at the time we come and humble ourselves, confess our sins, embrace His sacrifice, we're saved.

Jessica: But if we're blind and we can't see or hear, how will we recognize that?

Pastor Doug: I don't know what you're saying.

Jessica: Doesn't He open up our eyes so that we can actually see that?

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Jessica: We walk around the earth, we don't know what we're doing, and then finally He brings us to - -

Pastor Doug: Correct. One of the gifts of the Spirit is, Jesus said, "The Spirit will come and convict you of sin." That's when He opens our eyes. It's the Holy Spirit that helps us realize our sins.

Jessica: So if He opens our eyes, how do we choose then? That's what I don't understand.

Pastor Doug: Well - -

Jessica: How are we making a choice, if He's the one that's opening up our eyes, and before that we're blind?

Pastor Doug: There's no problem with that. Imagine that you've got three or four doors in a dark room; when someone turns on the light and you see one door says "life" and one door says "death," you can choose what door. The one who turned on the light made it easier for you to make a choice.

Jessica: Okay

Pastor Doug: So God illuminates our minds by the Spirit, but we still must choose.

Jessica: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Dick: If somebody gives you a new car, you have to put the key in the ignition and turn the engine on before you can drive it.

Pastor Doug: Yup. Hope that helps a little. You know, there's an article I'd recommend, Jessica, that deals with these themes of predestination, and it's called A Heavenly Hostage. If you just go to the Amazing Facts' website and look under our free library, it's a magazine article. It will talk a little about the themes of predestination you're asking about. Hope that helps.

Pastor Dick: www.AmazingFacts.org is the website address Jessica, and you'll find that resource there. We hope you'll do that. Let's go to Elizabeth, New Jersey. Geneva is listening on WMCA. Welcome Geneva.

Geneva: Hi, how are you? Could you recommend a great study Bible, as well as a commentary, that is as close as is possible to the original translation from Hebrew and Greek? And part two is, I've been looking at the King James Version, 1611, but it contains the apocrypha in this book. I just want to know is it worth studying since it is included in the original translations by St. Jerome, Wycliffe and Tyndale?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I would avoid reading the apocryphal books as inspired. That's why they're not in most Protestant Bibles because we can't really trace those back for accuracy to the authors that they attribute to them. In other words, they're of a doubtful origin.

One reason you know that, for instance, you have Peter quoting Paul; you've got Jude quoting Peter; they sort of cross-endorse each others book as authentic. Jesus probably quotes 20 Old Testament books in His ministry. These apocryphal books suddenly appear out of nowhere with no cross-endorsement; and they're not referenced in church history at all until they appear hundreds of years after the Gospel.

So, I would avoid those Bible translations. Now as far as a study Bible, I've got to be careful. A Bible translation, a more modern King James Version, I like the New American Standard Version. The New King James is pretty good. I could do a study Bible and call it the Batchelor Bible; and I would put my notes in the Bible and it would be no better or worse than my theology.

So the study notes are not necessarily going to be inspired because they're all going to be a man's interpretation or a man's commentary, or a woman's. You know that I recommend? When I preach, I often use the New King James Version. It's called the Open Bible by Thomas Nelson. But sometimes when you eat a melon, you can really enjoy it, but you've got to spit out the seeds.

There will be some things, even in the commentaries, that I say, "No, that doesn't make sense." So don't take all the commentaries as divine, inspired truth, okay?

Geneva: So New King James Open Bible?

Pastor Doug: I use that. It's done by Thomas Nelson. Holman Bible translators have some; and then there's the New American Standard that's a pretty good translation. That's, of course, besides the King James.

Pastor Dick: The King James - -

Geneva: Can you repeat the middle one? Holden?

Pastor Doug: Holman Bible Publishers.

Pastor Dick: H-o-l-m-a-n

Pastor Doug: Yeah. They've got a few versions that are pretty accurate.

Geneva: Thank you

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Geneva. We'll go next to speak with Ty in Orlando, Florida who's listening on WTLN. Hello Ty.

Ty: Hello Pastors, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Good

Ty: I'm calling with a question. Is there a difference between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God? And if so, what is it? I remember reading it in the Gospels when Jesus was doing His teachings.

Pastor Doug: Well, there could be a difference. Jesus does say, "The kingdom of heaven is within you." Sometimes when we're thinking about the kingdom of God, we're thinking about when His physical kingdom will come to this world and the Lord will reign, and there will be no contention from the wicked.

But the first part of the kingdom of God is an inner kingdom. When Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand," the reason the kingdom of heaven is at hand right now is not because Christ reigns in the world and the meek have inherited the world. That doesn't happen yet. It's because we can invite Jesus into our hearts and He reigns in our hearts. So that part of the kingdom of heaven is available now.

Then there's the literal kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God when the new Jerusalem comes down and the wicked are all destroyed. Okay?

Ty: Thank you

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks, good question.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call. Let's go to Boston, Massachusetts and talk with Jean who's listening on WROL. Hi Jean.

Jean: Hi. Hello?

Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick: Yes

Jean: Okay. I'd like to ask a question.

Pastor Dick: Your question please?

Jean: It's Psalm 26:2 when David prayed. He said, "Examine me, O LORD, and put me to the test;" - -

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Jean: - - "and try my kidneys and my heart." What was he saying here? What does it mean?

Pastor Doug: Well, the word "kidneys" there, that's one example where the King James--and I don't know what version are you reading?

Jean: I'm reading New (inaudible) translation.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. The way that you read that, for instance, in the New King James, "Examine me, O LORD, and prove me, try my mind and my heart." Now, in Hebrew the word for "mind" and "kidneys" may have been similar. That's why some versions put it that way. But sometimes, when a person feels anxious, they actually feel it in their stomach.

It is a fact. You know, they put a camera, Pastor Dick,

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: they put a camera down somebody's throat and they found out that when you're face blushes, your stomach blushes.

Pastor Dick: Ummm-Hm

Pastor Doug: And when people have anxiety in their mind, they have stomach problems.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So the Hebrews realized that a lot of their feelings could be felt in their tummy; and so they actually would say, "In my heart, in my kidneys." Well we know that's speaking about in your mind really.

Pastor Dick: That's right

Pastor Doug: It's just kind of a poetic term. If you tell somebody, "My heart has been stirred with this subject," well you don't really mean the pump that pumps the blood. You're talking about your mind; "as a man thinketh in his heart." Some of these internal organs they would mix up their purpose a little bit.

Jean: So would this be like your thoughts and your emotions?

Pastor Doug: Exactly. Yeah. It's talking about, "Lord, try my thoughts, try my feelings, my emotions and test me." Okay?

Jean: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Jean. To Brooklyn, New York. Cresida is listening on WMCA. Welcome Cresida.

Cresida: Hello. I have a question for Doug.

Pastor Dick: Okay

Pastor Doug: Yes

Cresida: It's in Luke 17:35

Pastor Doug: Okay

Cresida: 34 and 35. Is this talking about the rapture?

Pastor Doug: Well, let me read this for our friends. Luke 17:34. "I tell you, that in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding together; one taken, the other left. Two men in the field; one taken, the other left." Jesus is using very obvious, biblical symbols to explain something about the second coming.

A woman in the Bible represents a church. In Revelation, you have two primary women; and one is God's church, Revelation 12, one is a false church.

Cresida: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: The Bible says, "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church." These two women, in the last days, represent the true and the false religions. When Christ comes, one is lost, one is saved.

Cresida: Um m m-hm

Pastor Doug: Grinding at the mill, it says these two women are grinding at the mill. Bread represents the Word of God. These two women are outwardly doing the same thing.

Cresida: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: They're both working with the Word, but one is doing the truth and one is counterfeit. Sleep in the Bible, two men sleeping in a bed. Sleep represents death. There are two kinds of people that are sleep right now, the saved and the lost. Jesus speaks about the resurrection of the just, and the resurrection of the damned. So that's describing the two kinds of people that are dead that will be raised at His coming.

And then, of course, you've got two men working in the field. There are two kinds of gospels. The field is the world; the true and the false gospel. So He's using these terms to say when Christ comes, there will be these groups that are outwardly doing the same thing, but one is true and one is false; and He's just illustrating that with a number of symbols Pastor Dick. Hope that helps Cresida.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Cresida. To Spokane, Washington. Christine is listening on KEEH. Hi Christine.

Christine: Hi

Pastor Dick: Welcome!

Christine: I have a question. What's your view on infant baptism? I was reading about Lydia's conversion in Acts 16:11. Just wondering, I've heard some people use that as their argument saying infant baptism is okay and I'm just wondering what your view was on it?

Pastor Doug: Okay. In Acts 16, actually verses 14 and 15, it says she invited Paul and the apostles to her house. Where are they getting baptism out of it?

Christine: Well, you know how Lydia believed and then she was baptized and her whole household was baptized?

Pastor Doug: Oh. They're assuming that includes the children.

Christine: Right. Yes. They're assuming that; - -

Pastor Doug: Wow

Christine: - - and that they used as an argument in part.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and that's verse 15. Well that's a very liberal interpretation. It doesn't say anything about the children being baptized. I mean, you could say does that include the animals in her household as well? Baptism, in the Bible--the requirements for baptism are repent--they're told to repent and be baptized. Can a baby repent?

Christine: No

Pastor Doug: In the Bible it says believe and be baptized. Can a baby believe?

Christine: No

Pastor Doug: The Bible says that people should be taught before they're baptized, "Go and teach all nations." Can a baby be taught? Infant baptism was not even practiced until hundreds of years after Christ; and it came after Augustine. Augustine began to teach something called "original sin," that the guilt of Adam is passed on to every baby.

Now it is true that every human being is born with the tendencies of sin because of Adam's sin, but not guilt. A baby is not born guilty of committing any sins. If that's true, you know, the same people that believe this also believe that babies that aren't baptized go and burn in hell and purgatory, and the Bible doesn't teach that.

Christine: Do you know what the purpose of baptism was before Christ? Was it just, like, purification and - -

Pastor Doug: It's a symbol for a desire to be washed of your sins and to get a new beginning, a new birth.

Christine: Okay

Pastor Doug: When a baby is born, it comes out of an envelope of water. That's why Christ said we must be born again. But He wasn't talking about babies. He said to Nicodemus, an old teacher, "You must be born again." It's talking about a spiritual birth. But nowhere in the Bible, there's not a single example of infants being baptized - -

Christine: Okay

Pastor Doug: - - because all the prerequisites, believing, being taught, repenting, none of that can be done by a baby.

Christine: Okay

Pastor Doug: Jesus wasn't baptized until He was 30, but Christ was dedicated as a baby. There's nothing wrong with being dedicated as a baby, but not baptized.

Christine: Okay, thank you for your ministry.

Pastor Doug: Thank you very much. Oh, by the way before you go, we have a lesson on that Christine. We'll send it to you for free.

Christine: Okay

Pastor Doug: Just ask for our Bible study guide or our booklet on baptism; or you can read it for free online, okay?

Christine: Okay

Pastor Doug: AmazingFacts.org

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Christine. Go to the website, AmazingFacts.org, or call the resource operators and we'll send that to you for free tonight, 1-800-835-6747. To Hermiston, Oregon, we want to talk with Jared who's listening on KJTS. Jared, welcome.

Jared: Hello

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Jared: My question is I want to know what you guys believe as far as receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the evidence of that?

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well first of all, the Bible is very clear that God wants all of His people to receive the Holy Spirit. We need to be baptized both ways, born of the water and born of the Spirit. And then you can read in the book of 1st Corinthians, there are many different gifts of the Spirit; everything from the gift of healing; and apostles; and teaching; and miracles; and helps; and administrations; and tongues to, um--oh I know I'm leaving some gifts out.

Anyway, so there are all these different gifts of the Spirit and He gives the different gifts to people. Now, you want to know what is the evidence for the Holy Spirit. The way you know if a person has the Holy Spirit is not by the gifts of the Spirit, Jared. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruits." There's a difference between the gifts of the Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit.

The gifts of the Spirit are the subjects I just named, such as miracles, and teaching, administration, tongues. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. And you find that in Galatians chapter 5, verse 22. So, it's a common mistake that people think we tell if a person has the Holy Spirit by the gifts of the Spirit. We're suppose to determine if the Spirit is in someone's life by the fruits of the Spirit.

Jared: Okay. I was reading in Acts chapter 10 and it's about Cornelius.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Jared: And in verse 45 it says--well I'll start at 44. It says, "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them." I'm reading from King James Version, - -

Pastor Doug: Okay

Jared: - - "fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost." And verse 46 says, "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God."

Pastor Doug: Absolutely, and you'll also find that if you look in Acts chapter 19. Paul baptized 12 Ephesian men and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Jared: So do you believe that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Pastor Doug: I believe the gift of tongues is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It does not say in the Bible that it is the evidence. There are times in the Bible when the Holy Spirit came on His people, and rather than speak in tongues, they simply spoke the Word of God. Jared, if you look at Acts chapter 4, verse 32, it tells you that the apostles prayed, the place was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

It didn't always have to be in tongues. And, of course, the Holy Spirit came on Samson and he killed Philistines. So the Holy Spirit gives a variety of gifts.

Jared: Okay

Pastor Doug: It is not always tongues. You know, I've got a book on that. I believe in the gift of tongues. Would you like me to send that to you?

Jared: Ummm

Pastor Doug: It's free.

Jared: Um, I have one more question though.

Pastor Doug: Oh, you've got to make it quick. We're almost out of time.

Jared: Okay. In verse 48, well 47 says, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" And in 48 it says, "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." And um, I know you were just talking about infant baptism.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Jared: And you were talking about how it didn't start until, like, that Roman guy.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, Augustine, yeah.

Jared: Yeah, Augustine. But did you know that baptizing in the name of a title didn't start until the Council of Nicea 300 years or so later after the apostles died?

Pastor Doug: When Jesus says in Matthew 28, "Baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit," that dates back before the Council of Nicea. And sometimes in Acts, it says they baptized "in the name of the Lord." Sometimes it says, "in the name of Jesus Christ," that's Acts 2:38. Sometimes it says they baptized "in the name of the Lord Jesus." So the emphasis on the exact utterance is not the most important thing.

But if you would like that book I just mentioned, we've got a book on baptism we'll send you for free Jared. We appreciate your questions, or the book on tongues. You can just go to the Amazing Facts' phone number and ask for Captured by Tongues, and we'll send that to you for free. Thank you.

We're out of time listening friends. We do appreciate your participation. Keep in mind, this is a faith ministry. We are listener-supported. If you want us to stay on your station and you appreciate this, we would love to hear from you. Drop us a line. You can even make a donation at our website, AmazingFacts.com or .org.

And most of all remember, it's not the details. It's Jesus, the Truth that sets you free.

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