Date: 01/30/2005 
It's hard to make heads or tails of the oyster. For starters, it has no head or tail. Yet, in spite of the fact it lacks a brain, the oyster has an extremely acute chemical and tactile senses...
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Hi friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? It's hard to make heads or tails of the oyster. For starters, it has no head or tail. Yet, in spite of the fact it lacks a brain, the oyster has an extremely acute chemical and tactile senses, and other resources that help enable it to survive, even though it seems like one of the most defenseless creatures in the sea.

The oyster has a small heart that pumps colorless blood and a pair of kidneys, and, as mentioned, no brain. It draws oxygen from the water through gills similar to fish. To eat, the oyster has an intricate pumping system coupled with a filter system that sifts food from up to about eight gallons of water per hour.

Some oysters can even alternate their gender, male one year, female the next; and they can release over 1,000,000 eggs in a season, but only a few of these eggs will likely survive to maturity. The oyster has a powerful central abductor muscle that can open or shut its shell very rapidly, and a catch part that keeps the shells closed for a long time, apparently without getting tired.

One of the most advance achievements of an oyster is how it makes a pearl. This brainless wonder creates a perfectly-formed, iridescent jewel from an irritating grain of sand. Oysters, evidently, used to be much bigger. A few years ago, geologists found some enormous, fossilized oysters that measured up to 10 feet across and weighed over 650 pounds.

But what's even more amazing is where they were discovered, thirteen thousand feet above sea level in a province approximately 250 miles southeast of Lima, Peru. Can you imagine the pearl that might have come from one of these monstrous oysters? Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug: This is the best subject you could possibly want to talk about, the Word of God and eternal life. Friends, if you have any questions dealing with the Bible or Bible-related themes, we invite you to call. It's a toll-free call. That number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. We study the Bible for our answers, 1-800-463-7297. Lines are open now and so if you'd like to get your question into today's program, then just pick up your phone and dial that number.

We also want to tell you about our Internet. If you want to listen online, you can even go to AmazingFacts.org. Give us a call now if you have any Bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

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

Pastor Doug: Good evening Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: We want to pray together as we usually do before we start the program.

Pastor Doug: Let's do that.

Pastor Dick: Thank You, Lord, for this privilege that You give us to come into the studio and to open Your Word. Thank You for the privilege of being able to communicate with believers, with people who have questions about Your Word. And thank You Lord for speaking clearly; and I pray that You will be with Pastor Doug tonight. Give him wisdom and discernment as we seek to answer these questions that come to us. May what we do and say bring You honor and glory is my prayer. In Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Dick: How in the world can you find an oyster at 13,000, 14,000 feet above sea level?

Pastor Doug: That's a question that many of the evolutionists have trouble explaining, - -

Pastor Dick: Oh yeah

Pastor Doug: - - because these oysters were found with their shells closed, which is something. When an oyster dies, its shell opens up; and we've probably seen them on the shore that way - -

Pastor Dick: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: - - because it releases its muscle. But these were found closed, which means they must have died suddenly and had been buried under great pressure in some kind of catastrophic flood. And yet, here they are 13,000 feet on top of these mountains.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And there's really no explanation other than the biblical flood. But you know what else has made me think of, is an oyster that big, I've often read in the Bible, we hear about the pearly gates--and that really comes from one verse in the Bible, where it says in Revelation 21:21, easy to remember, Revelation 21:21- -

Pastor Dick: Umm-hm, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: - - "The twelve gates," speaking of the new Jerusalem, - -

Pastor Dick: Ohhh yeah

Pastor Doug: - - "the twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate one pearl." Not made of pearls; and you think, "Boy those gates, if they're in the City of God must be enormous gates!" And each gate made of one pearl. What kind of oyster would it take to produce that kind of pearl?

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: And, well, you begin to understand why God says that we cannot even imagine the things He has prepared for those that love Him.

Pastor Dick: Well, we want to make available to folks tonight a booklet, Pastor Doug, that is part of our library. It's a book entitled, "Heaven: Is It for Real?" If people want to find out more about those heavenly gates, those heavenly pearls, this is an excellent book for their resources, for their library.

So if you would like to have a copy of this book, it's called, "Heaven: Is It for Real?" would you call our resource operators now and ask for this book? And we'll send it out to you tonight. It's absolutely free, the call is free, 1-800-835-6747. Believe it folks, believe it, heaven is for real!

Pastor Doug: And this book will encourage them too.

Pastor Dick: Add this to your library tonight, "Heaven: Is It for Real?" Pastor Doug, we take Internet questions, a couple of them each evening before we go to the phones, so let's do that. The first one comes from a person who says they are a faithful tithe-giver and they have a question about leadership within the church; and the question is, "Who is suppose to take over a particular congregation after the pastor dies?"

Pastor Doug: Well, in some churches, it's not uncommon for a pastor to be there many years. In some denominations, pastors are moved every few years. I've seen some churches where they almost have a different pastor every six months or every year.

Pastor Dick: Right, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: It used to be years ago where a pastor might stay by his entire life. He was assigned to a district. And like John Bunyan and his parents; or John Wesley's father was a minister, and they just were there for their entire lives. And you hoped you got a good pastor back then, even when they were assigned, because they were there.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: In some cases, the son, if he goes into ministry, actually steps into his father's ministry - -

Pastor Dick: Or even the wife, in some cases.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and that's what they might be asking. Some of that will depend on the way a respective church is governed. There isn't really a Bible mandate on how a pastor is to be selected. You're hoping that it is done with the appropriate leading of the Spirit and respect for church authority.

Some churches are congregationally-based; some are administered by conferences; and the Presbyterian church comes from the word the "presbuteros." The elders were to administer those decisions.

Pastor Dick: Right, right

Pastor Doug: So it varies with the church administration, but you would hope it would be somebody that the congregation is in harmony with; otherwise, what you have is a flock that's uncomfortable with the shepherd.

Pastor Dick: And I think people would be surprised that there are so many different ways to select a pastor, based on the denomination that they are speaking of, because, as you said, some churches are governed by conferences; others, the local congregation does the hiring.

Pastor Doug: And there are even still some churches that pray and cast lots like they did way back, so - -

Pastor Dick: Yeah, yeah, yeah

Pastor Doug: - - you just want to pray that there's going to be harmony there.

Pastor Dick: Lots of prayer before selecting a pastor. Alright. Second question. There are some denominations that practice confession by confessing their sins to each other, to a person. This person wants to know is this a biblical principle? Is it okay to go into a confessional and confess your sins to another person? What does the Bible have to say about that?

Pastor Doug: Well ultimately, God is the only One who can forgive sin. If I have wronged an individual, I should go to that individual and confess the wrong to them.

Pastor Dick: Okay, right

Pastor Doug: Or it tells us in James that we might confess our faults to one another and pray for one another. I might say, "Pastor Dick, pray for me. I drive too fast," or whatever it happens to be.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But I wouldn't want to bear my soul to another human and confess my sins seeking forgiveness, the divine forgiveness that really only comes from God.

Pastor Dick: Right

Pastor Doug: We can approach God directly. Hebrews says, "We can go boldly before the throne of grace." The veil is open. We can come ,through Christ, directly to the Father. Some have taken the verse in John 20:23 where Christ, before He ascended, He said to the apostles, "If you forgive the sins any, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Actually, that is not a perfect translation from the Greek. It reads more precisely in the Greek: "If you have forgiven the sins, they have been forgiven." And Jesus is simply saying that as they shared the Gospel with people, through the Gospel, through the grace that the disciples administered, people's sins were either forgiven by accepting, or retained by rejecting.

Pastor Dick: Um-Hmm

Pastor Doug: He wasn't saying that a man can arbitrarily decide whether a person is forgiven by God. That's really a dangerous teaching.

Pastor Dick: Okay, very good. Let's to the phones and take our first caller for this evening. We want to start in Boston, Massachusetts and talk with Joshua who is listening tonight. Good evening Joshua.

Joshua: Good evening gentlemen.

Pastor Dick: Get real close - -

Joshua: I'm surprised I was the first caller. Yes. I do have my question. First and foremost, I'd like to say God bless the two of you, that the Lord is using us in individual ways. He has a plan for us all and definitely is using you both in an extraordinary way.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you

Joshua: As well as Doug Batchelor, I wanted to thank you for the Thanksgiving card that I received in the mail; - -

Pastor Doug: Oh, you're welcome

Joshua: - - you and your beautiful family. I was able to see a picture of that, thank you. My question is, why did Jesus eat fish?

Pastor Doug: After He rose from the dead, or at any time in His life?

Joshua: Both, either or. I'm just wondering why because, you know, the Italian lifestyle is the best way forward. Maybe (unintelligible).

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, Christ lived as a Man among men; and in order to reach the people He was working among, He submitted Himself to the laws that He had given them. And, obviously, Christ ate the food that was prescribed as clean or kosher by the Levitical law. So He lived within the laws that He had given and He worked. It's pretty hard to live and work with fishermen and not eat fish.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: But you know, some of it was also, Joshua, a question of hospitality. Do you remember in the Bible when the angels came to Abraham and Abraham killed a fatted calf for Jesus and two angels?

Joshua: Mm m

Pastor Doug: And I've always wondered why would angels eat beef? I mean, they certainly don't eat it in heaven.

Joshua: Right

Pastor Doug: But, you know, it doesn't mean anything to an angel in that sense. They were just accepting the hospitality that was being offered by Abraham and it wasn't really a health issue. I also think that probably in the time of Jesus, the Sea of Galilee was so much cleaner that it was safer to eat fish then than it probably is to eat lettuce now with all the chemicals.

Pastor Dick: You know, besides the issue of hospitality, I think it's also an issue of honoring the disciples. When He came to them, what they had for Him was fish. And He said, "Do you have anything to eat?" and they gave Him the fish, so He ate it.

Pastor Doug: Um-hmm

Pastor Dick: If He had said, "No, that's okay. I'll pass on it," He wouldn't be honoring them; and Jesus was very much aware of respecting and honoring those people.

Pastor Doug: You reminded me of a Scripture that may help Joshua a little bit, Luke 10:8. Jesus, when He sent out the 12 apostles, He said, "Whatever city you enter," these are the words of Jesus, "Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you."

Pastor Dick: Yes, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Obviously, they were preaching in Jewish cities. They weren't going to set half a hog before them or anything like that. So it was just asking God to bless the food that was given them and they were to be grateful for that. Hope that helps a little bit Joshua.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Joshua. Let's go next to Buena Park, California. We want to talk with James who's listening on KTIE. Hello James.

James: Hi, how are you doing today?

Pastor Dick: Doing good.

James: That's good. I have a question. I know the reason you're study guide--I know it's real and literal--I know that when Christ comes back the second time, them in Christ will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, right?

Pastor Doug: Right

James: But I had a question today from somebody that said that heaven is symbolic and it's not literal, that we are going to be on earth; and - -

Pastor Doug: Oh okay, well - -

James: - - Jesus is not coming--I'm not sure if they meant that Jesus is already here on earth somewhere, you know, secretly?

Pastor Doug: Right

James: But see - -

Pastor Doug: I know exactly who you've been talking to, and I know what they believe. There's always an element of truth mixed in with error. Let me explain the scenario to you James, and this will help. Let me just walk this through with you. When Jesus comes back--He said, "I go to prepare a place for you and I will come again." Did He really come the first time? Sure. He walked among men. That's how we have His teaching.

James: That's right

Pastor Doug: He said, "I will come again." Will He really come the second time?

James: Yes

Pastor Doug: Acts chapter 1, the angel said, "As you saw Him go into heaven, you will see Him return." So He's going to come back. But when He comes next, we are first caught up to meet Him in the air. We go and we spend the millennium with the Lord. We've got a lesson on that if anyone wants it.

At the end of the 1,000 years, Revelation 21 says the New Jerusalem comes down to earth. Heaven will move to earth at that point. When we speak of heaven, we talk about the Paradise of God on earth; and that's why it says, "The meek will inherit the earth." So in that sense, it is true that, ultimately, we'll live on a new, created earth where we'll plant vineyards and build houses.

It appears James may have dropped off and we apologize. I think it could be because SBC is going to buy out AT&T. It's a conspiracy.

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: I'm sorry James, but I hope that answers your question. Perhaps we should offer him the free booklet that we're offering tonight.

Pastor Dick: James, why don't you call our resource operators tonight and ask for this book because this idea that heaven is symbolic, or isn't real, is included in this book. "Heaven: Is It for Real?" Call 1-800-835-6747, and ask for this book and we'll send it to you. Call us back after you get it and we'll talk some more; and I apologize for having the call drop off the line like that.

Let's go next to Columbia, Missouri. Timothy is listening on the Internet. Welcome to the program Timothy.

Timothy: Good evening

Pastor Dick: Good evening

Timothy: Nice to talk with you Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick. What is the meaning of Ezekiel 1? There are four rather gruesome beasts in that.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Let's go there real quick. And you'll find that there's a parallel between the creatures in Ezekiel 1 and what you also find in Revelation. In particular, is there a special verse that you're looking at?

Timothy: No. It would be the chapter as a whole.

Pastor Doug: Well alright. Tell you what, he talks about these four creatures in verse 9. Their wings touch one another. The faces of one was like a man; one was like a lion; one was like an ox; and one was like an eagle. If you look in Revelation chapter 4, verse 7, it's good to compare Scripture with Scripture, it talks about these creatures around the throne of God.

One like a lion, like a calf, like a man, and like an eagle. You see a comparison there?

Timothy: Yes

Pastor Doug: Alright. Let me tell you what many of the scholars believe. A lot of what you see in Revelation and in vision are symbolic. We just talked about heaven being real, but there are symbols in vision.

Timothy: Right

Pastor Doug: For instance, Jesus is pictured in Revelation with a sword coming out of His mouth. Well, we really don't expect the Lord to walk around in heaven with this big dagger protruding from His head. We know that a sword is a symbol for the Word of God. These creatures around the throne of God tell us different things about His personality.

Some have wondered if these four creatures represent, like, the four Gospels. For instance, the Gospel of Luke tells us about the humanity of Jesus. The Gospel of John tells us about the calf, the sacrifice of Jesus. The Gospel of Mark, Jesus is portrayed as an eagle, the swiftness of His ministry. Whenever you read Mark, it says, "immediately, straightway." And the Gospel of Matthew, He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; and so this represents four different dimensions.

You know, I apologize again because, for whatever reason, our phone system is vexed tonight. That call just dropped off.

Pastor Dick: Yup

Pastor Doug: I don't think they got upset and hung up on us; but that might happen from time to time but not twice in a row. I think that we just lost our call. We are sorry, and I hope that was sufficient to answer the question.

Pastor Dick: Okay. Let's go next to Sacramento, California. Donald is listening on KNDL. Hello Donald.

Donald: How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Very well. I think you're calling from Pastor Dick's old station.

Donald: Yes, yeah

Pastor Dick: [Chuckles] Many years ago.

Pastor Doug: There's a different call sign then.

Pastor Dick: It was, that's right.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Donald: Yes. Well in conversations with friends, I went to religious school as a child and I remembered learning the rules against birth control, and about the commandments to go forth and multiply. And I've been asked by many friends how to justify that type of belief in modern times where population growth seems to be such a problem that it's decreasing the standard of living for people around the globe; and, inevitably will lead to chaos in some instances. I've been unable to cite to any parts of Scripture, or give any real, good responses to people to explain why it still was God's will for us to just continue having children all the way until the time that there's billions and billions and billions of people on the planet. I was wondering if you could help me out with that?

Pastor Doug: Alright, good question, it really is a good question. I'll do my best. First of all, in the beginning, God said to be fruitful and multiply, but He didn't stop there. He told Adam and Eve be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth; I think the King James says "replenish," and that word simply means to "fill." It's an Old English word. The earth is fairly full now when you look at the density of people per square mile.

There is no Bible mandate that forbids planning your family. In other words, Jesus does say in Luke chapter 14:28, "If any of you intend to build a tower, you better sit down first and count the cost whether you have enough to finish it." It's irresponsible for parents to just continue to have children when they cannot support their own families.

In some cases, they can't support themselves, and then they bring these children into the world. And they say, "Well, we'll just have faith that God will provide." You know, that's not faith, that's presumption.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Jesus said you need to plan. I do not believe in any birth control that kills a fertilized egg. In other words, once conception takes place, it is sacred, human life and it is to be regarded as such. But preventing conception is a different thing.

And in the Bible, it tells us that the purpose for marital intimacy is much more than simply procreation. If you doubt that, just read the book Song of Solomon. I just think it's a good idea to plan your families. You there Donald?

Donald: Yes, yes I am, and I thank you for that. That does make a lot of sense. I was wondering are there any passages that you could refer me to [cross talk, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: Well, I quoted the one in Genesis. I quoted the one in Luke 14:28. Read 1st Corinthians 7. Paul talks a little bit about there's a time when it's better not to marry because of the persecution that was in the world when he was a Christian. So, you start using reasoning. You piece these Scriptures together and it just gives you common sense. You want to think about how many or if any children are going to come into the family.

Pastor Dick: Um-hm, um-hm

Donald: Wonderful. Thank you very much. I appreciate you taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Donald. To Dallas, Texas, and Katherine is listening on KPYN. Hello Katherine.

Katherine: Hello?

Pastor Dick: Yes

Katherine: What I wanted to ask was in the book of 2nd Maccabees chapter 12, verse 46, it states, "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from sins." My question is, the dead are asleep now until Jesus returns. Is it possible for us to pray for those who are asleep, seeing we don't know where they're going to go before Jesus returns?

Pastor Doug: Well, let's talk about this for a second. Now first of all, of course, Katherine, you're aware that the book of Maccabees, 1st and 2nd, are not in the traditional Bible. They're called apocryphal books.

Katherine: Yes

Pastor Doug: And many Bible scholars don't recognize them as inspired, but let's talk about your question. When a person dies, the Bible says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Once a person dies, they take to the grave with them their record of accepting Christ. If their names are written in the book of life, they're written. If they're not, they're not.

No amount of prayers that transpire after a person dies will save the wicked. If the whole world should start praying for Hitler, Hitler has gone to his grave with his record; and he will face that. The Bible tells us in Revelation that every man will be judged according to his works. Well, at what point do their works end? When they die.

And so the idea that we can pray for people after they die, we can commit their lives to the Lord, but we really have absolutely no control over it altering their record anymore, you know what I'm saying?

Katherine: Yes

Pastor Doug: It says in Ezekiel 18, "The son will not be charged with the sins of the father, and the father will not be charged with the sins of the son: the righteousness of the righteous will be upon him, the wickedness of the wicked will be upon him." In other words, people are going to take their record to the grave and they will be judged according to that.

If they've accepted Christ, they get the blood of Christ applied to their lives. If not, all the prayers and candle burning that takes place afterward doesn't make any difference.

Katherine: So we're all responsible for ourselves.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. There are some churches that teach that once you die that someone else can be baptized in your behalf. I've heard of grandfathers that say, "Well, I'm going to just sin like the dickens, and when I'm gone you get baptized for me." Well that's mocking God.

Katherine: Right

Pastor Doug: You can't do that.

Katherine: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Now, you can pray for people while they're alive. The Bible says, "A living dog is better than a dead lion." Where there is life, there is hope.

Katherine: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Okay, hope that helps.

Pastor Dick: Katherine, thanks for the call. We appreciate it. You're listening to Bible Answers Live, a production of Amazing Facts. Pastor Doug, we have just a couple of minutes before we take a break. Why don't you talk to us about what's happening the next month.

Pastor Doug: The Prophecy Code, yes. I'm very excited. You've heard me mention it before friends. I will be going with the Batchelor tribe to Washington D.C. I was there a couple of weeks ago. We are going to be broadcasting a series of meetings via satellite. It will be on a number of cable and television stations, as well as satellite, around North America and the world.

If you receive the Hope Channel or 3ABN, you'll be able to participate in this series. It'll be translated in four languages, French, Portuguese, English and Spanish. It won't be translated into English, I'll be speaking English.

Pastor Dick: Tell us a little bit about the content Doug.

Pastor Doug: It will be talking about prophecy. A lot of folks have wondered about the DaVinci Code and the Bible Code and the American Prophecies, and we're really going to tell, with a special focus on the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and current events, what's happening in the world today from a biblical perspective.

This is what I do when I'm not answering Bible questions. I principally do these Bible prophecy seminars. If you want more information, it's real easy to remember friends, Prophecy Code. You type in ProphecyCode.com or .org, it will take you to the website. We'll have a map up soon, it may be up now but I'm not sure, that will show you a location near you where you might be able to attend, or stations where you might be able to view.

If it's not on a network in your community, it may be at a location where you go and it'll be there via satellite. So we'd love to have you come. If you need more information, you can go to either AmazingFacts.org or go to ProphecyCode.org. Also, since I'm giving out websites, a lot of our listeners want to know more about the Bible. One of the things you can do, it's free, is simply go to BibleUniversity.com and enroll in the Bible University online study course.

It's very easy to do. It'll take you through the Bible, with a special emphasis on the prophecies; and you will understand a lot more about what has happened and what is coming when you do this. It will change your life, I promise you. It's free. If you're not satisfied, I'll give you your money back.

Pastor Dick: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: So just go to BibleUniversity.com and sign up for the Apostles of Prophecy; and don't forget that if you want to participate in the upcoming program called The Prophecy Code, it's March 4th through the 26th, coming to you from Washington D.C. Just go to the website, ProphecyCode.com; a lot of information there, pictures and things that will tell you about the seminar. And be praying for me. We'll be right back.


Pastor Doug: We're back. This is now the second half of Bible Answers Live. For those who have just tuned in, if you have a Bible question, as you heard, just call the toll-free number, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. You can even listen on the Internet at AmazingFacts.org. We're ready for more questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt; and we have a couple of lines open. So if you have a Bible-related question, now is the time to get your call in. Pastor Doug, let's take our first caller from New Jersey. We'll talk with Beulah who's listening on WMCA. Hi Beulah.

Beulah: Hello Pastor

Pastor Doug: Hi

Beulah: Good evening

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Beulah: Yes, my question is, I'm a married woman and I'm having a problem with my husband. And I do not share the room with him. Is that a sin?

Pastor Doug: So in other words, you're not living together like husband and wife?

Beulah: No

Pastor Doug: Okay. Let me read something to you, 1st Corinthians chapter 7, verse 4. "The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does: and likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except with consent for a time, that you might give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and then come together again, so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control."

When you make a covenant of marriage, you become one flesh. There are needs that a man and a woman have for intimacy; and marriage is the context to supply those needs. It's a tragedy when two people are in a marriage and they are physically able to accommodate, and because of frustration or anger, they deprive one another. And so the Bible says you shouldn't do that.

And I know you would always want intimacy to be willing and desirable, but the Bible seems to teach an element of obligation there. Do you get that out of that verse Pastor Dick?

Pastor Dick: I do, yup.

Pastor Doug: It's something that should be done in love and respect but, you know, you become one flesh when you get married.

Pastor Dick: There is the issue there of self-control it talks about. That's part of that intimacy.

Pastor Doug: I think the idea of separate dwelling is not healthy in a marriage.

Pastor Dick: No it's not. No, it is not.

Pastor Doug: Until you're just ready for the nursing home. [Chuckling] So I'm trying to give you a Bible answer. I hope that helps Beulah.

Beulah: Yes, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Beulah. Let's go next to San Luis Obispo. Lynn is listening on the Internet. Welcome Lynn.

Lynn: Hello

Pastor Doug: Hi

Lynn: How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good, how about you?

Lynn: Very good, thank you. My question is about 1st Chronicles 4:9, the prayer of David.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Lynn: I'm wondering what your take is on that? I recently read a book--actually, I got a video, a DVD from a video store, The Prayer of Jabez. And it was this eight-part series of, actually, you know, praying and repeating the prayer of Jabez as he did, asking for God to bless you, enlarge your territory, - -

Pastor Doug: Right

Lynn: - - "Keep Your hand upon me, keep me from evil so that I might" - -

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I'm acquainted with the series.

Lynn: What do you think about that? And is it true? I mean, does that work? Is it--I mean, I know there's a lot of criteria as far as just saved, and behavior, and belief.

Pastor Doug: Well, the Word of God is true. I'll tell you what I was surprised by, Lynn, I'll just be very honest with you. I've read the prayer of Jabez years before the book came out. Matter of fact, Spurgeon, in the 1800's did a sermon on the prayer of Jabez that was very powerful.

Pastor Dick: Yes, yes

Lynn: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: The teachings of the Word of God are very potent. What always surprised me is that a whole phenomenon grew out of one verse like this. There are myriads, there are many, many verses in the Bible that are filled with principles and promises, just like the prayer of Jabez.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Lynn: Right

Pastor Doug: But from what I've heard and what I read of the book, the essence of the principles are all true, that we can ask God to bless us. It's not inappropriate. We can ask Him to expand our territory. And I would think that would be our influence for His kingdom.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Lynn: Right

Pastor Doug: But keep in mind, all of the promises and principles in the prayer of Jabez need to be mitigated against the other passages of the Bible.

Pastor Dick: Yes

Pastor Doug: Just because you pray that God will bless you and expand your territory does not necessarily mean that the verses in the Bible that say that we may suffer persecution and that we all have tribulation are not true also. You know what I'm saying?

Lynn: Right [laughs], unfortunately.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, so some people become so myopic, focusing on one prayer in the Bible that they don't mitigate it with the other--it needs to be balanced against the other promises and principles in the Bible. You know what I'm saying?

Lynn: Right, yes I do. I totally understand that.

Pastor Doug: So, you know, you shouldn't draw a circle around this verse and say, "I'm going to live by one verse." The idea is live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Pastor Dick: Right, every word that proceeds.

Lynn: Right. And, like you said, there are so many references in all the different books of the Bible about, you know, God, Jesus saying, "Ask, and ye shall receive," and so many places where it kind of backs that up with this. It seems so simple. It seems so elementary you know, if you just do it.

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Lynn: But that's what He wants us to do. Well, thank you.

Pastor Dick: Lynn, one of your questions to Pastor Doug was, "Does it work?" Have you tried it?

Lynn: You know, I did, and I have been; and I believe so much in the power of prayer. And I've only been doing it about a week and a half, and my son is actually talking to me now, so [laughs].

Pastor Dick: Okay

Pastor Doug: It works.

Pastor Dick: There, it works. God is enlarging your territory. If your son is talking to you and he hadn't been, praise the Lord [laughs].

Lynn: Yeah. Yeah, he's 21 and going through that stage so - -

Pastor Dick: There you go!

Lynn: - - but I pray for him too, for God to touch him. He's kind of a non-believer. So, but uh, they said to give it 30 days.

Pastor Dick: Keep praying.

Lynn: Keep praying [laughs], right. And also Pastor Doug, I wanted to know real quick here. Is The Prophecy Code going to be available from the Sac Central Internet?

Pastor Doug: Yes, well it'll be on in cable in Sacramento Central, plus it'll be on at the Sacramento Central church.

Lynn: So if we click on your website there we'll be able to hear it?

Pastor Doug: I would recommend that you go to the 3ABN website. You know how to find that?

Lynn: No

Pastor Doug: Okay. If you type in 3ABN.org, it'll be on there. You can go to the 3ABN website, or Hope Channel website. Go to these networks and they'll carry it because it's on their programs. And it will be at the Amazing Facts' website. They'll archive it. In other words, you can go there the day after the first program and watch yesterday's program.

Lynn: Oh wonderful. I saw your service the other day at the SacCentral, and the thing in where they went to Washington - -

Pastor Doug: Yes

Lynn: - - and (unintelligible) and everybody, and it was so great.

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord

Lynn: They were being acknowledged, but we're being acknowledged. Wonderful.

Pastor Doug: Well, God bless you.

Lynn: Well God bless you too, thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, take care

Lynn: Okay, bye bye

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Lynn. To Embry, Mississippi. Bess is listening to the program this evening. Hello Bess.

Bess: Hello

Pastor Dick: And your question please?

Bess: My question is where was Jesus the three days that He was in the grave?

Pastor Doug: Well, that's a good question. But the Bible tells us that God said He would not leave His soul in the grave. He was in the grave, but He wasn't left there. People want to know, "Well, maybe His body was there, but where was His consciousness? Did He go somewhere?"

Some people have said, "Well He went down to hell to preach to people who were lost, to give them another chance." That is not true. That's a misapplication of a Scripture in 1st Peter. But Jesus, the Bible says He was dead and He was in the grave during that time. How can God, or the Son of God, be unconscious? I don't know, but that's what the Scriptures say.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: He died, and it doesn't say He rose right away. It says He rose three days later, see what I'm saying?

Bess: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So if we read it without trying to create some new teaching--it says He died and He was buried, and He rose three days later. He was in the grave until He rose. Remember the angel came and rolled away the stone that morning. He didn't go anywhere until then, Sunday morning. Okay?

Bess: Yes

Pastor Doug: Does that make sense?

Bess: So He was just like we will be if we're dead, unconscious and as sleeping?

Pastor Doug: Yes. And don't ask me to explain how God could go to sleep, but the Bible says He breathed His last; He closed His eyes; He said, "It is finished; He died. It doesn't say anything in the Scripture about Him ushering into another existence or dimension. If we say that, we're adding to the Scriptures.

Bess: Yes. Well there has been some confusion about the Scripture in Peter, as you said.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. What Peter is talking about is through the Holy Spirit, God preached to the people who lived back in the days of Noah that were imprisoned by sin. And that's a loose translation. It doesn't mean that Jesus went to those people who died back during the flood and gave them another chance. That's twisted version.

Bess: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Bess: Yes, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Bess. To New Market, Alabama, our next call. We want to talk with Carl who's listening on WOCG. Welcome Carl.

Carl: Hello

Pastor Doug: Hi, and your question?

Carl: Yes, about the 144,000.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Carl: Okay. This is really a half question, half comment.

Pastor Doug: Alright

Carl: Okay. Counting this world, there's 145,000 of them. And those Jewish men will be ambassadors, those other worlds. Therefore, the innocent animals will be raised and distributed amongst all those other worlds because they're not nearly as populated as this one is.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know what I would like to offer for you, Carl, is I've actually written a booklet that we'll send you for free. It's called "Who Are The 144,000?" Actually, I think it's called "Who Will Sing The Song, the 144,000." I've got a whole study on this see, because it was of real interest to me, as I can tell it is with you. We'll send you a free copy of that book because you have to compare about four or five passages in the Bible to do that study.

I'm of the opinion that it's spiritual Jews. They're not literal Jews. And one problem with it being literal Jews is you don't have people from the tribes of Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali. Now they were scattered back before the time of Jesus among the Assyrians and they intermarried.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Some of them came back as Samaritans. So it must not be talking about literal Jews. Paul says if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed. These are spiritual Jews. Anyway, read the book and I'd like to know what you think at that point.

Pastor Dick: Carl, the phone number of the resource operators, 1-800-835-6747. If you call that number, we'll send you the book this evening. It's free and the call is free; so ask for the book on the 144,000 and we'll send it out to you this evening.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that's all you've got to remember. The book on the 144,000.

Pastor Dick: Right, 1-800-835-6747. Pastor Doug, to New York. We want to talk with Kevin who's listening on WMCA. Hello Kevin.

Kevin: Ah yes, I don' know, I might be in big trouble here. I want to make sure I'm not fooling myself.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Kevin: I was a Christian, and I returned back to the faith. I've done my first work over again, let me make that real clear.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Kevin: And professed Christ, blood-bought, born again, but I did leave the Christian faith and went to the Islamic faith; and in their mosque, publicly denounced Christ as the Christ. That's part of their ritual. But then just was miserable and returned back to Christ.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Kevin: When I look at chapter 6, 4 through 6 in Hebrews, wow!

Pastor Doug: Let me read this for our friends that are listening, Kevin, because not everyone has a Bible handy, okay?

Kevin: Okay

Pastor Doug: Hebrews chapter 6, verse 4, and by the way, this is one of the most disputed verses in the New Testament.

Kevin: I would be blown away if I was on my knees every day and walking, and - -

Pastor Doug: Well I think I can offer you some comfort, so here, let me read this for our friends. "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come. If they fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put him to open shame."

Some have wondered does this mean that if a person falls away, it's impossible to renew them to repentance? Well, let's look at the examples in the Bible. Can we think of anyone in the Bible that fell away that came back?

Kevin: Peter

Pastor Doug: Oh yeah, Peter. David fell away pretty seriously. Solomon fell away. And it's understood in the book of Ecclesiastes, he wrote that in his old age, he said, "I tried everything and I found that it's all vanity; and I came back and learned, Fear God and keep His Commandments." Solomon is listed as among the saved in Hebrews, even though we know that he fell away.

So, the idea that you can't repent once you fall away is not biblical. Jacob, basically, deceived his brother and ran away. He found forgiveness with God. So there are too many examples in the Bible of people who sinned against knowledge, and then God forgave them.

Kevin: I even spoke against Christ.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well that's okay. I mean, that's a sin, don't misunderstand, but if you have genuinely repented, the only sin that God will not forgive is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, right?

Kevin: Well, yes.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit--and we've got a book we'll send you on that if you want, "What is the Unpardonable Sin?" Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is where we have no longer a desire to live for God, because we've grieved away the Holy Spirit. It's like what Judas did when he went out and hung himself; or what Saul did when he fell on his sword. They grieved away the Holy Spirit.

And so, Hebrews 6, verses 4 through 6 is really saying, "If you turn from everything God has for you," it says they were, "enlightened, they've tasted the heavenly gift, partakers of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good word of God, the powers of the age to come." If we reject everything God offers, what else is He going to offer? It's impossible - -

Kevin: There is none.

Pastor Doug: Right. That's all it's saying there. It's not saying that you can't come to your senses and turn back again.

Kevin: Okay, because I did publicly denounce Christ as God and Savior.

Pastor Doug: Well you know what I would do? I would go - -

Kevin: Oh I did my [tape skips, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: Well I would just say, if you've done it publicly, then I would publicly repent and embrace Him again.

Kevin: I have.

Pastor Doug: And, you know, you may not be able to undo all the damage you've done, but God can forgive you. Okay? Trust me though, the Holy Spirit is working in your life, or you would not make this call.

Pastor Dick: That's right

Pastor Doug: We have a book that deals with the unpardonable sin. And I would encourage Kevin to request that.

Pastor Dick: Kevin, call our resource operators, 1-800-835-6747. That call is free, it's an 800 number. Call that number and uh - -

Pastor Doug: I'd like to recommend something, if it's okay. There's a book called Three Steps to Heaven that Kevin will really appreciate, Three Steps to Heaven. That, in particular, I think would be encouraging for his circumstances.

Pastor Dick: We'll send that out to you tonight Kevin, Three Steps to Heaven.

Pastor Doug: You've got to call and ask for it.

Pastor Dick: Yup, just call 1-800-835-6747. Ask for Three Steps to Heaven, and we'll send it out tonight. Thanks for the call Kevin. Let's go next to Loma Linda, California. June is listening on the Internet. Hi June.

June: Oh hi Pastors, how are you doing?

Pastor Dick: Good

June: Yes. I just have a question about the parable of the 10 virgins. It says there that all of them slept, - -

Pastor Doug: Yes

June: - - but five of them had the Holy Spirit with them. But I was wondering, why did also the five who had the Holy Spirit sleep? Is there anything there?

Pastor Doug: Well, even the good sleep sometimes. What were the apostles doing when Jesus took Peter, James and John up on the glorious mount? They were sleeping when Moses and Elijah appeared. What did the apostles do when Jesus went to the Garden and told them to pray? They went to sleep. Now, these were saved men, these were good men.

Jesus is telling us that the whole church is going to be asleep just before the end; and I think that's one of the signs that we are living in the last days. The church is asleep.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

June: I'm just wondering it would also mean that, really, the last event will be a surprise for everyone?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Jesus said, "In such an hour as you think not, the Son of man comes." He says we should be watching and praying. "Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping." That's Mark chapter 13. So we need to be awake.

June: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright?

June: Well, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call June. We'll go next to East Orange, New Jersey. Shelly is listening on WMCA. Hello Shelly.

Shelly: Yes, God bless you Pastors.

Pastor Doug: Hi

Shelly: My question is about God setting Christians apart from the world.

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Shelly: Well, the Scripture I was reading was in Hebrews about Moses choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God.

Pastor Doug: Hebrews 11, yes.

Shelly: And esteeming the reproach of Christ greater than the treasures - -

Pastor Doug: Greater riches, yes.

Shelly: Right, and other Scriptures, like, Romans 12, "Be not transformed," you know, "conformed to this world" - -

Pastor Doug: "Be not conformed to the world, but be transformed...."

Shelly: Right, and also in 1st John, "Love not the world...."

Pastor Doug: Yes

Shelly: How far do you go with that? For example, does God bring you to a point, like, where you stop watching television and just loving the things that He wants you to involve yourself in with Himself?

Pastor Doug: Well you know, I'm glad you mentioned that. I think that the ideal that Christians should strive for is one where they are hungering and thirsting for the Word of God. And I think virtually, everybody knows in their heart that the regular fare of modern television is very unhealthy for a person's spiritual growth.

Shelly: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: God is calling us to lives of holiness.

Shelly: Right

Pastor Doug: We've got a book that deals with that we'll send you for free, if you'd like one.

Shelly: Oh, I was hoping you had some literature. I really [cross talking]

Pastor Doug: Well I don't offer this often because it's strong stuff, but it sounds like something you'd be interested in.

Shelly: Oh yes, I would be.

Pastor Doug: And it's called The Surrender of Self.

Shelly: The Surrender of Self?

Pastor Doug: The Surrender of Self.

Shelly: Okay

Pastor Doug: And then there's another book; it's also strong medicine, and it's called "Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?"

Shelly: "Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning?"

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that will make you sit up and really think.

Shelly: Okay

Pastor Doug: It's just filled with Scripture and it's a very interesting book by Joe Crews.

Shelly: Oh, okay. Alright. Thank you very much Pastor.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call Shelly and that phone number is the same. It's 1-800-835-6747. Call that number tonight. We'll send those books out to you. You're listening to Amazing Facts, Bible Answers Live. We want to go next to Huntsville, Alabama. Sharon is listening on WOCG. Hi Sharon.

Sharon: Hello

Pastor Doug: Hi

Pastor Dick: Get real close to your phone, Sharon, if you would please?

Sharon: Hello?

Pastor Dick: Hi there

Sharon: My question is what does God say about homosexual ministers, male or female, in the church? And are these ministers considered false teachers?

Pastor Doug: Well, if a person is standing in the position of a minister, and they are teaching people that God condones the homosexual lifestyle, that is an abominable teaching. It is completely diametrically opposed to what the Bible teaches.

And while the Lord loves people who are struggling with those tendencies, the Lord loves pedophiles; the Lord loves adulterers; the Lord loves sinners. But just because there are a lot of people in the world struggling with these things does not mean that God condones them. So for a person to blatantly get out front and say, "I am a practicing homosexual and I'm here to teach you about the Word of God," it's just a ridiculous paradox.

It's a contradiction, because the Bible teaches that that is a sin. It is a sin that will exclude people from heaven if it's not repented of and forsaken, you know what I'm saying?

Sharon: Yes. I know, because it was very popular in the news about some minister, but it divided a whole church.

Pastor Doug: Well it has divided a lot of churches.

Pastor Dick: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: You know Sharon, we have a book, and here's another book, we've got hundreds of books friends. Some of them we don't announce but you can find them online. Some of them, as I said, are pretty strong medicine. One of those books is one that Gary Gibbs wrote, and it's called Return to Sodom. Sharon, if you're interested, we'll send you a free copy of that.

It talks about what the Bible says, what the popular trends are, and it's free. Would you like a copy of that?

Sharon: Yes, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Call the resource number.

Pastor Dick: 1-800-835-6747, and ask for Return to Sodom, and we'll send it right out to you Sharon. Pastor Doug, we have enough time, I think, for maybe one more. Let's see if we can do justice to Fred, who's in Huntsville, Alabama, listening to WOCG. Hi Fred.

Fred: Hey, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good, thanks for calling. Your question?

Fred: Well, I was thinking about the Trinity. I was wondering, in a nutshell, how can Jesus be God and the Son of God at the same time?

Pastor Doug: Alright. I'll answer that with, I hope, a Bible illustration. The word "one" in the Bible does not always mean the numerical quantity. For instance, God says, "A man leaves his mother and father and cleaves to his wife, and those two become one." How can a woman be one with her husband and still be a distinct woman? How can a man still be a distinct man and be one with his wife?

When Jesus prayed to the Father in John 17, He said, "Father, I pray that," speaking of the apostles, "I pray that they might be one, even as We are one." Now, that's a key right there. Were the 12 apostles still distinct individuals when Jesus prayed that prayer?

Fred: Yes

Pastor Doug: And yet, Jesus was saying their oneness was to be like Jesus and the Father's oneness. Jesus and the Father are two, distinct People, but They are one in Their purpose, see what I'm saying? They're united. "One" not only means--and we're one nation under God--well it's made of 260 million people; so "one" in the Hebrew [language] did not always mean quantity. It meant unity.

And people often get that confused. Think of the word God as sort of a last name in a family. You've got God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. They're three different People. An egg is one thing that has three distinct parts. It has the shell, it has the white, it has the yoke; and so does every cell of life, actually, when you think about it.

Pastor Dick: Well a family is that way, a father, a mother and children.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, exactly. While these are imperfect illustrations, or analogies, they help us understand how you can have one, and still distinct individuals. Now, I'm going to say to you

what I say to a lot of people. I've written a book on that because we had so many questions. If you call our resource number and ask for Pastor Doug's book on "The Trinity: Is It Biblical?" and I'll send it to you for free.

We offer these books because we just believe that people will believe in what we're doing and support the ministry.

Pastor Dick: Amen

Pastor Doug: So we appreciate it if you can do that. Fred, just call the resource number, ask for the book on the Trinity. I hope after you read it you give us a call if you still have some questions. Thank you for your questions this evening friends. We've run out of time for this program.

Please do remember, this is a listener-supported ministry. We get no subsidy from any denomination or corporation; but just from you, yes you, who are listening. If you appreciate what you've heard, if it has touched your heart or helped you, then just go to the website. You can help us online, or drop us a line. Pastor Dick is going to give you the address in just a moment. Most of all, remember, it's not the details. It's all about Jesus, the Truth who sets you free.


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