Black Skimmers

Date: 09/11/2005 
Black Skimmers are graceful, black and white go like birds. They get the name "Skimmer" because the birds love to fly just above the surface of the ocean with its lower bill skimming through the water for fish.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Black Skimmers are graceful, black and white go like birds. They get the name "Skimmer" because the birds love to fly just above the surface of the ocean with its lower bill skimming through the water for fish.

Skimmers have elliptical-shaped eye pupils that allow them to tolerate the bright sun on the sand or the shell surfaces where they love to rest and nest. Back in 1968, a flock of 38 Black Skimmers decided to set up housekeeping on a large, Dow Chemical complex parking lot made out of oyster shells.

The Texas chemical company was pleased to host the birds, hoping it would improve their environmental public image. Then one day, someone removed the shells from the parking lot and the colony of Black Skimmers moved elsewhere. Removing the birds' habitat caused a great deal of negative publicity for the chemical company, so Dow immediately ordered that the oyster-shell parking lot be restored; but the Skimmers didn't return.

They consulted a wildlife expert who recommended placing a pair of plastic decoy Skimmers on the new shell surface, and it worked. Soon, a few live Skimmers noticed what appeared to be two of their own kind enjoying this new real estate so they joined them. Eventually, the lot was, once again, covered with nesting Skimmers.

Left on their own, Skimmers will always face away from the wind. But additional experiments showed that when the plastic decoy Skimmers were placed with their heads facing into the wind, the real birds copied them. And when the decoys were placed very close together and off by themselves, the real Skimmers began their nesting rituals.

The Bible teaches in the last days, there would be many false Christs and false prophets so how can we tell the difference? Stay with us friends and we'll learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Pastor Doug: Welcome once again listening friends to a fresh installment of Bible Answers Live. If you are tuning in for the first time by God's providence, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study. We would invite you to join us. You can listen to the program and hopefully, you'll be edified as we study together with our friends who call in.

It's a free phone call in North America, 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's 1-800-463-7297. Right now is a good time to pick up your phone and call. It's a toll-free call and you'll get your question on during this broadcast. Also, you can listen on the Internet by going to the website, A growing number of people even call while they're tuned in on the Internet.

If you have any Bible questions, give us a call and we'd love to get them on the air right now. My name is Doug Batchelor and I am sitting with a new friend. Pastor Dick is off tonight and I've invited in one of our directors of the Amazing Facts evangelism training program, Pastor Jëan Ross. Good evening Pastor Jëan.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: He said, "I want to come and see what happens here at the radio program; and he also teaches the Bible. And so I thought, "Hey, he'd be a great one." If you want to help me with an answer tonight, I can use all the help I can get. Just pipe right in.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure, will do.

Pastor Doug: But we always begin with a brief word of prayer, so friends, we invite you to just pray with us right now. Loving Lord, thank You for this opportunity and even the technology to be able to study Your word on this scale and this scope. We pray that the Holy Spirit will be with those of us here in the studio and those who are listening wherever they might be, driving down the road, in their homes, or sitting by their computers. And I pray that the Holy Spirit will draw us closer to heaven, inspire and instruct. We pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Well friends, we started out with an amazing fact dealing with the subject of these Black Skimmers. I thought it was very interesting that the decoy birds were able to, basically, attract and set the trends for the real birds, and they were nothing more than plastic.

You know, that made me think, Pastor Jëan, about the Scripture where it says in Matthew 24--I could start with verse 23 of Matthew 24, "If any man says to you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there will arrive false Christs, and false prophets, and show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they would deceive the very elect."

And then Jesus says, "Behold, I have told you before." You know, one of the first things Christ said when He began to talk about the signs of His coming is, "Beware lest any man deceive you."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um m

Pastor Doug: And then again He says, "Watch out for false Christs and false prophets." So friends, you might be wondering, should we just roll up our sleeves and say, "Anybody that says they're a prophet in these last days, well they're out of here"? Or is it possible there is still a place for true prophets, but we need to know how to discern between the false and the true?

In the book of Joel, the Bible tells us that God promises in the last days He will pour out His spirit, and your sons and daughters will prophesy. One of the gifts of the Spirit is prophecy. So it might be extreme to say, "Don't trust anyone who claims to be a prophet in the last days." So then we need to know how do you determine, how do you distinguish between the true and the false?

Well we have a special offer. We don't offer this very often, but it is free for the asking. It's a color study guide, filled with Scriptures, and it's called, "Does God Inspire Astrologers and Psychics?" Of course, many of these people in the field of astrology and the psychics claim to have the gift of prophecy. But there is a biblical list of criteria in this study guide that will help you know how do you distinguish between a true and a false prophet.

If you'd like a free copy of this, all you've got to do is call the resource number; and that number is 1-800-835-6747. That's different from the number that brings you into the studio. If you want to call in your question, that's 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. You'll find out the answer so you don't have to get deceived by a plastic decoy.

You know, we get a couple of Internet questions, Pastor Jëan, we like to--well we get hundreds of them- -

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: - -but we pick a couple of them at the beginning of the program. And I've just pulled a couple, quite honestly, right off the top of the pile. To begin with, and I expect this question is here because of what has happened recently in Israel with the relinquishing of parts of the Gaza strip to the Palestinians.

And in the question it says, "Does the land that God promised Abraham include the Gaza strip?" In other words, if God promised to give that land to Abraham and his descendents, then why are they giving it away to the Palestinians? You know, God is not only going to give the current land of Israel, including the Gaza strip, to the descendents of Abraham, but much more than that.

You see, Abraham, he considered himself a pilgrim and a wanderer. He was not looking to inherit the Promised Land the way it is today. The Bible said that he was looking for a City "whose builder and maker is God." And when the New Jerusalem descends from heaven at the end of the 1,000 years--and you'll find this referred to in Revelation 21, as well as in Zechariah 14--it's going to descend on the Mount of Olives.

We read that the dimensions of the City are 375 miles on each side. That would mean that that City is going to completely encompass, not only the whole land of Israel and the Gaza strip and the West Bank, but it will encompass everything that Solomon possessed at the zenith of the kingdom of Israel, and much more.

So when Abraham ultimately--and his descendents inherit that City--that's something that's going to happen more after the second coming of Christ. If you want more information on that, I've got a book I wrote with a fellow Jew named Steve Wohlberg and it's called, Spiritual Israel, understanding who the seed of Abraham are.

We've got another question here. I guess they're both related to the New Jerusalem. "After Jesus comes back to earth, if the earth is going to be brought back to the pure Garden of Eden, then why is it going to be in the midst of a giant City, the New Jerusalem?"

You know evidently, there's no Scripture that tells us this, but the Bible tells us that the tree of life God planted in the garden He planted. The Garden of Eden is not Adam's garden, it was God's garden. Some have wondered, "Well what happened to it? Was it destroyed in the flood?" The Bible doesn't say, but we suspect that what God does with the New Jerusalem He did with the Garden of Eden.

In the same way that the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven, we have reason to believe before the flood, the Lord caught the Garden of Eden up to heaven, because in the New Jerusalem is the tree of life and the Garden of Eden is there, the Paradise of God. It reminds me something of many of the great cities in the world, like New York City, where I grew up. You fly over it, and there's this great big park in the middle of the city that can't be missed, Central Park.

Well, the Garden of Eden is going to be the Central Park of the New Jerusalem. It will be there, and of course, not only will we have the City, but we'll go forth from the New Jerusalem and build houses and inhabit them. Oh, by the way, we have a study guide, if you'd like a copy of that, it's called, The New Jerusalem. Call that resource number, 1-800-835-6747. I think I've talked long enough, so we're going to go to the phones.

I'm going to try to do my Dick Devitt impersonation tonight. Let's see, we're going to start out with Marcus who's calling from Asheville, North Carolina listening on the Internet. Your question Marcus?

Marcus: Yes, if you wrong a person, tell a person a lie years and years ago or just wrong them, do you need to go back and ask that person for forgiveness, or do you just need to ask God for forgiveness?

Pastor Doug: Well, it's not possible, necessarily, to be able to unscramble all the scrambled eggs of our past because, first of all, we can't remember everything. But if the Holy Spirit lays something on your heart and He makes you aware of something you did to an individual, that's probably the Spirit telling you that you need to right that wrong.

I remember stealing my step-mother's Jaguar XKE when I was a teenager and I wrecked it in reverse. And then it limped on home, I parked it in the driveway, and the next morning they thought someone pulled in and hit it because I wrecked it in reverse and I never said anything.

But years later when I became a Christian, I became convicted to tell Betty, "Betty, I wrecked your car." And you know what she said? "Oh Doug, we always knew that." Well I felt relief just by, at least, confessing it. I had stolen from an employer when I was 14 years old and I went back to recompense. And so, you'll get peace by doing that.

It tells us in Isaiah that we should restore the pledge, and as far as possible, right those wrongs, I'm paraphrasing. So, if you've lied to somebody, what you'll be doing, Marcus, is you'll be witnessing to them, "You know, God is working in my life...."

I know some people that stole thousands of dollars from employers and then became Christians; and they said, "Pastor Doug, if I confess this, I'm going to jail," and they prayed about it. I said, "You know, better to suffer for doing good than doing evil." And they went to their employers and their employers said, "Look, we're going to waive the charges. We are so impressed by your honesty." It was a witness.

So if the Holy Spirit reminds you of something, He's probably telling you to right that wrong.

Marcus: Okay. Alright, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Okay? Thanks for the question Marcus. Let's move right along to Karen who's calling from Aurora and listening on KIVE; and your question Karen?

Karen: My question is in Revelation 1, verse 4 it says the seven spirits who are before his throne, before God's throne.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Karen: Who are the seven spirits? Is that the Holy Spirit?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Do you have a Bible with you?

Karen: Yes I do.

Pastor Doug: Turn to Isaiah chapter 11.

Karen: Isaiah 11, okay.

Pastor Doug: And if you look at verse 2, you got that?

Karen: Yeah

Pastor Doug: It says, "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD." Now, some scholars have wondered, if you count the Spirit of the Lord as number one; and then wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord, that adds up to seven.

So it's not that God has got seven Holy Spirits. These are like seven facets, or attributes, of the Holy Spirit.

Karen: Oh okay.

Pastor Doug: And so that could be what he's referring to there in Revelation. The seven spirits are the seven attributes, or facets, of the Holy Spirit, because there's one Spirit the Bible says.

[Cross talk]

Karen: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: One Lord, one Spirit, one faith, one baptism.

Karen: Okay, well thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you. That make sense Pastor Jëan?

Pastor Jëan Ross: It does. Also, seven is the perfect number, complete number.

Pastor Doug: Yup

Pastor Jëan Ross: Ties in with the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, Holy Spirit is perfect. It, sort of, represents a perfect cycle, like a seven day week.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Complete.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Moving on, and is it Teyron, calling from Los Angeles, California.

Teyron: Yes, hello Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi, and your question tonight?

Teyron: First of all, I just want to thank you for the inspiration you gave me. It has been great, you know. I got more close with the Lord.

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord.

Teyron: Yes. My question is my teacher said that the first woman created was not Eve but Lilith and the old Hebrew manuscripts has that. So I just want to know if that's true or not?

Pastor Doug: Well the teacher that you're talking about- -

Teyron: Yeah

Pastor Doug: - -is she Jewish?

Teyron: No, Catholic.

Pastor Doug: She's Catholic. That's interesting because that is a Jewish tradition. It is not in the Bible. I think it may be in one of the Rabbinical writings. I've heard that before, but all of the Jewish Bibles say the same thing your Bible says, that the first woman, Eve, came out of man.

There's just absolutely no question about that. Even in the New and the Old Testaments, it always refers to Eve as the first woman. This other name, Lilith, that you mentioned, doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible.

Teyron: Oh, because she said that they changed it so men would have authority over women.

Pastor Doug: [Chuckles] Yeah. That's a popular teaching these days. The feminists are pushing that and there's no evidence in the Bible. And as soon as you start saying, "Well man changed it," well you can say, "Man changed everything in the Bible," and soon you won't believe the Bible at all.

Teyron: Yeah. That's what I said, I said that--yeah.

Pastor Doug: The manuscripts of the Old Testament date back even before Christ.

Teyron: Yeah

Pastor Doug: And there's no question. God created Adam; and then out of Adam's side, He pulled his wife Eve. There's no other wife before that. Jesus said in the beginning He made them male and female, not male and females.

Teyron: Yeah

Pastor Doug: One man, one woman. Adam was his name, Eve was her name. No question about it.

Teyron: So it's like a myth?

Pastor Doug: It's a myth that arose from the Rabbis years after the Babylonian captivity.

Teyron: Oh

Pastor Doug: It's an apocryphal myth. Is that your understanding?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, absolutely.

Teyron: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Yup

Teyron: Yes

Pastor Doug: Alright, hope that helps a little Teyron.

Teyron: Yeah it does. Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless you. Moving right along here. Let's talk now to Michael who has been waiting and calling right here in Northern California, Sacramento, KFIA. Michael, your question? Michael, you've got to turn your radio down in the background, and you're on the air.

Michael: Okay. My question is in the Bible it says, "Thou shalt not murder."

Pastor Doug: Right

Michael: Does that mean thou shalt not murder just man, or just murder anything?

Pastor Doug: Well, what were you thinking of murdering besides people? I mean, give me an example, murdering a mosquito, or?

Michael: Yeah, murdering any bug or animal.

Pastor Doug: First of all, you are correct. It says in the Old Testament, "Thou shalt not kill," but a more accurate translation is "murder" because when you step on the ground, you are killing bacteria. So we're killing things all through the day just by breathing and walking. Not to mention, if you eat meat, you're participating in killing cows.

If you swat a fly or a mosquito, you're killing a bug. If you cut down a tree, you're killing the tree; and so if it's just killing, it would seem like God is a hypocrite. But murder is different. Murder is another human, in a premeditated way, taking the life of somebody with malice. You know what I mean by that? With bad intention.

If you accidentally bump a friend of yours and they fall into the street and get killed, that's not even murder, according to the legal description. That's an accident. So when Jesus says and when God says, "Thou shalt not murder," that's different from killing a mosquito or a plant, okay?

Michael: Okay

Pastor Doug: So yes, God is very consistent. He does not want us to maliciously hurt others. And some people then say, "Well what about war, when God sent the armies of Israel into war, when David killed Goliath?" Well self-defense is a different category. When soldiers come back from war, we don't call them murderers, unless, of course, we're living in the 60's.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: They'd come back from Vietnam. That wasn't very nice, was it? Hope that helps Michael, good question. Okay, hey we're making some progress here. Let's go to New York City now. We're going to talk to Dixon who is listening from WMCA. You're on the air Dixon, your question?

Dixon: Yeah, my question is coming from Revelation 19:10- -

Pastor Doug: Okay

Dixon: - -the last part of it, when it says, "...for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." I wanted to understand what is the "testimony of Jesus" and what is the "spirit of prophecy"?

Pastor Doug: Alright, good question. Do you have your Bible handy?

Dixon: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Turn to Isaiah. If you look at Isaiah chapter 8, and let's start with verse 16 I guess. You got it?

Dixon: Yeah

Pastor Doug: "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples." The "testimony" is another word for the testimony of the prophets. And then look in Isaiah chapter 8, verse 20.

Dixon: Right

Pastor Doug: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word...." Now, you'll notice that the last thing it says in the Old Testament, "Remember the law of Moses...Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet." All through the Bible you're going to hear reference to the law and the prophets, the law and the prophets. And what is it that inspired the prophets to prophesy? It was the Spirit of God, right?

Dixon: Right

Pastor Doug: You remember when the spirit of Elijah went on to Elisha? Have you read that story in the Bible?

Dixon: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Okay. And the Bible says John the Baptist would come in the spirit of Elijah?

Dixon: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Okay. So when it talks about the spirit of prophecy, it's talking about the spirit that God gave the prophets, which was one of reform and revival. Two characteristics of God's church are they keep the commandments of God and they have the spirit of prophecy, or you might say the law and the prophets.

Let me give you one more verse.

Dixon: Okay

Pastor Doug: In Luke chapter 24 when Jesus rises from the dead, He talks to two disciples on the road to Emmaus and they don't know who He is. And He says, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken:" "And beginning at Moses," the law, "and all the prophets," that's the spirit of prophecy, "he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

The law and the prophets. So the "testimony of Jesus" and the "spirit of prophecy" in Revelation 19:10 is talking about the testimony of His word that is given through the power of the Spirit and the prophets.

Dixon: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, also Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit would come, He would not testify of Himself, but what He hears He will testify of, and it's Jesus that communicates His will to us through the Holy Spirit. Thus, the testimony of Jesus is communicated through the spirit of prophecy.

Pastor Doug: Good point. That's right.

Dixon: Oh, okay

Pastor Doug: Does that help a little?

Dixon: Yeah it helped a little.

Pastor Doug: [Chuckles] a little. It doesn't sound like a satisfied customer.

Dixon: No, I'm satisfied. Just got to go over, you know, and just rephrase what you--but I have it, you know.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, take a look at the verses that we gave you, Isaiah 8, verse 16; 8, verse 20; Malachi chapter 4; Luke chapter 24, I believe it is; and the verse Pastor Jëan just gave, I think that's the Gospel of John. But look at those together. And you know, one other that you didn't mention to understand Revelation, you can also look in Revelation 12:17.

Dixon: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: It says, "the dragon is wroth with the woman. He goes to make war with the remnant of her seed that keep the commandments of God," that's the law; "and have the testimony of Jesus," that's the spirit of prophecy, the law and the prophets.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And then also we have in Revelation chapter 1, verse 2, John is testifying of what he's done or what he is doing, through Revelation. And he says that he's the one who bears witness of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus through all of those things that he saw.

So John, who writes Revelation, has the spirit of prophecy and he's giving the testimony of Jesus. So the testimony of Jesus is closely linked to the Holy Spirit giving God's will to mankind.

Dixon: Okay

Pastor Doug: That make sense?

Dixon: Yes, it makes sense.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Hey, thanks a lot for your question.

Dixon: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Now we're going to try and--let me see--Joseph is waiting in New York City, also listening on WMCA.

Joseph: Hello Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: Hi Joseph. We've got a couple minutes before our break. How can we help you?

Joseph: I just want to ask must a present-day messiah be born in the land of David and come out of Egypt as the prophesies say and be born of the virgin?

Pastor Doug: Are you saying there's going to be another messiah?

Joseph: No, no. I'm not saying that.

Pastor Doug: You're talking about a false messiah?

Joseph: False messiah, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Would he be born in Bethlehem?

Joseph: He has to be born in Bethlehem (unintelligible)

Pastor Doug: You're not asking a question then. You're making a statement?

Joseph: The statement I'm making is that--let's say a present-day false messiah--you could double-check by asking where he was born. In other words, the messiah must be born in Bethlehem, correct?

Pastor Doug: Well we already know that Jesus was the Messiah.- -

Joseph: Right

Pastor Doug: - -But I think any false Christ who comes will not claim that the first Jesus wasn't Jesus. He'll say he's either coming again, which means he doesn't have to say, "I was born here." No telling where he'll be born, if there's a human antichrist of sorts.

Joseph: But according to the prophesies Pastor, wasn't the Messiah suppose to have been born in the land of David, Bethlehem?

Pastor Doug: Well we already know from the first coming of Jesus. There's no question that Jesus in the prophecy said that He would come from Bethlehem; He'd come from Judah; He'd come from the tribe of David and from Abraham. That's very carefully crafted. But- -

Joseph: He won't come out of Egypt?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that all happened, but I'm saying- -

Joseph: He'll be a Nazarene?

Pastor Doug: Yes, but I'm saying a last-day imitation of Christ doesn't have to repeat all that again; so I wouldn't necessarily look for him to duplicate all of the lineage of Jesus.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well actually, if anyone comes who says he's a messiah, that immediately should key us in that it's a false messiah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Pastor Jëan Ross: Isn't that correct?

Pastor Doug: When Christ comes again, the Bible says that He will be in the air, not on the ground. He said, "If anyone comes in My name saying, 'I am Christ,' don't even go forth."

Pastor Jëan Ross: "Don't believe it."

Pastor Doug: If he's in the desert, don't turn on your TV; if someone says, "Hey, Jesus is on channel 41..." because it'll be a false Christ. Next time we see Christ, we're caught up to meet Him in the air. No one will have to tell you. The Bible says, "Every eye will see Him. It'll be like lightning flashing from the east and shining unto the west." There's not going to be any question at all about that.

I don't know, how much time do we have before the break? Oh, let me see how quickly we can answer this question, line # 3. David is calling from Orlando, Florida, and your question Dave?

David: Yes, my question is Michael, mentioned in Daniel chapter 12. It says, "Michael shall stand up, the Prince that watches over God's people." I've heard it referred that Michael is Jesus Christ and I can't really put hands on that to say that He is. So that's my question.

Pastor Doug: Good question. In case we run out of time on this question, I will send you a free book, and it's called, "Who is Michael the Archangel?"

David: Yes

Pastor Doug: And you call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747, they'll send you that. "Who is Michael the Archangel?" Very quickly- -

David: 800?

Pastor Doug: 1-800-835-6747

David: Thanks

Pastor Doug: and ask for that. But I'll tell you real quick for the friends who are listening, many Bible scholars, including me, believe that Michael is one of the Old Testament names for Christ. We're not saying Jesus is an angel, but it says, "The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of the archangel."

"Archangel" means "greatest messenger" and the name "Michael" means "who is as God."

David: Yes

Pastor Doug: So when you look at all the attributes of Michael that you find in about five verses in the Bible, He resurrects Moses in the book of Jude, he's doing all the things that Jesus does.

David: Yes

Pastor Doug: And then finally, when you go to Revelation chapter 12, the war between the dragon--that's a code word for the devil, and Michael--that's a code word for Christ; so there's a lot of evidence for that. Matthew Henry, Adam Clark, many of the commentators believe Michael was Jesus.

Get the book, "Who is Michael the Archangel?" We're going to take a break in just a moment friends. I want to remind you that while you're getting a drink of water, we have some announcements for you. Log on to and you'll see all of our resources there. We'll be right back.


Pastor Doug: Welcome back, and for those who are just joining us or you've picked up along the way, this is Bible Answers Live. It is a live, international, interactive Bible study and you can participate. You can listen and pray for us. You can call in a Bible question if you'd like. If you want to call in your question, we still have some lines open, which we don't typically have at this point.

It's 1-800-GOD-SAYS, that's to get your question in the studio, 1-800-463-7297. Alright, we're going to go back to the phones. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And my name is Jëan Ross.

Pastor Doug: Pastor Jëan works with our Amazing Facts College of Evangelism and we're glad that he could have time to join us tonight. Let me see, who's next here? I think we're going to talk to Loretta who's calling from Savannah, Tennessee on WDNK. Welcome Loretta.

Loretta: That's WDNX, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Oh I'm sorry.

Loretta: I have a question. I don't have a problem with what happens to people once they die. I believe that they rest in the grave until Jesus comes. Now, what sort of terminology do you use when someone is cremated, and maybe their ashes are spread across, you know, the ocean, or something of that sort?

Pastor Doug: You mean Biblically?

Loretta: Yes, either Biblically or just something that's uh, you know, terminology sense that's current.

Pastor Doug: There doesn't seem to be any command in the Bible forbidding cremation. Most of the time in the Bible when someone died, they buried their remains, but there are a few exceptions. You can read, for instance, in, I think it's 2nd Samuel, Saul and Jonathan were cremated.

Their bodies were somewhat mutilated by the Philistines and so David had them cremated. Yeah, it says here in 2nd Samuel 21, verse 12, David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan and his sons and he brought them up and they buried them.

Actually, it says here--I'm sorry, I gave you the wrong verse--the men of Jabeshgilead burned their bones after they buried them. But, other than that uh- -

Loretta: I don't have a problem with the cremation issue.

Pastor Doug: What is the question then?

Loretta: My question is one of terminology. When they die and you put them in the grave, they're, quote: "in the grave, resting in the grave until Jesus comes."

Pastor Doug: Right

Loretta: If you cremate them and, let's say you spread their ashes over the Atlantic ocean or something, what terminology do you use for where they are now?

Pastor Doug: Oh, I misunderstood. I'm sorry. Well first of all, you can say they're sleeping in the Lord.

Loretta: Okay, okay.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, because God is not resurrecting the old body- -

Loretta: Correct, correct.

Pastor Doug: - -and so if you try to say, I mean, you know, we've all got loved ones that are passed away and- -

Loretta: Yeah

Pastor Doug: - -you don't really need to say, "They're here in the grave" [cross talk]

Loretta: You don't need to say where they are.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. That's where their remains might be but that's not where they are.

Loretta: Okay, oh okay.

Pastor Doug: You might say, "In the memory of God until they get their new bodies at the resurrection"- -

Loretta: Okay

Pastor Doug: - -because [cross talk, unintelligible] God isn't resurrecting the old body- -

Loretta: Yes. He's resurrecting the new bodies.

Pastor Doug: Yup

Loretta: And their spirit, that's what returns to God?

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Loretta: Okay

Pastor Doug: Well the spirit, the Bible tells us, is the breath of life that returns to God- -

Loretta: Okay

Pastor Doug: - -because there in Ecclesiastes 12 it says the spirit of everybody when they die- -

Loretta: Oh okay

Pastor Doug: - -the dust returns to the earth as it was and the spirit returns to God who gave it, meaning the breath of life returns to God.

Loretta: Okay, well thank you. You've answered my question.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you very much.

Loretta: I appreciate that, thank you.

Pastor Doug: God bless. Okay, let me see, now we're going to migrate on to Darrin who's been waiting patiently. Darrin, you're calling from, how do you say that, Tega Cay, South Carolina?

Darrin: You're close Pastor, Tega Cay.

Pastor Doug: Tega Cay. And your question?

Darrin: I had a question. What exactly do individuals mean by "praying in the spirit"? I mean, when some churches start talking in tongues? My church does that sometimes and I know that, in Corinthians, that I believe that it's talking about other languages that other people may speak. But when they start talking in the um, I want to say "googlie," however that goes, when they talk an unknown language, they say it's "praying in the spirit." So I'm trying to find out how do I--what is "praying in the spirit"?

Pastor Doug: Good question. Now, before you forget, you have a pencil?

Darrin: Uh yes

Pastor Doug: Write this number down, it's 1-800, free phone call,

Darrin: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: 835-6747

Darrin: This is your resource number?

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh. I wrote a book called, Captured by Tongues.

Darrin: I have it.

Pastor Doug: You've got it. Have you read that?

Darrin: I did. I read it, but now my question is when someone, you know, when they say, "praying in the spirit," I'm not, you know, what are they talking about by "praying in the spirit"?

Pastor Doug: You're asking two questions: one is, "What does the Bible mean?" and the other is, "What do people mean?" [Cross talk]

Darrin: Well yes, what is- -

Pastor Doug: A lot of the Christians today "praying in the spirit," they mean that they're praying in tongues.

Darrin: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: But you don't find an example anywhere from Genesis to Revelation of anyone babbling in prayer.

Darrin: Right

Pastor Doug: Can you find any? I mean, I don't know of any.

Darrin: So that's what--I can't find it. So when I taught in my church and I uh, you know, I'm trying to--I think--I do know the right way, and my family is still into this church, and I think my wife is coming along. But when they ask that question, 'Well what's "praying in the spirit?'" So I'm like, "Well let's go in the Bible." I can't out where "praying in the spirit" is though.

Pastor Doug: Well let me give you the verses, 1st Corinthians 14:15. Paul says, "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I'll pray with the understanding." Paul is not saying that you "pray with the spirit" means tongues. He's saying whenever you pray, pray with the Holy Spirit. Pray in harmony with the Spirit, pray with the mind of Christ, pray Spirit-filled prayers.

Nothing in the context is talking about praying in babbling. Paul is actually saying, "If I were to pray in an unknown tongue," and what they would mean is, if I should suddenly pray in Hebrew and say, "[Pastor Doug speaks briefly in Hebrew]," I'm praying in an unknown tongue. It doesn't help anybody there--and I could be praying a Spirit-filled prayer, but it doesn't help your understanding.

Darrin: Right

Pastor Doug: So, if you're going to pray in front of people, as far as possible, pray in a language they can understand, otherwise how do they say "Amen" to your prayer?

Darrin: Exactly

Pastor Doug: Now, the idea that you would pray in a tongue and you don't know what you're saying, how can that be prayer, because you won't ever know what you said or whether it's ever answered?

Darrin: So "praying in the spirit" is just praying in the right heart, praying uh- -

Pastor Doug: In the Holy Spirit.

Darrin: - -in the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, praying with the Spirit of God. The opposite is praying without the Spirit. You never want to do that.

Darrin: Right. Okay. And I just want to say one thing. I'm in the military and I do believe that Saturday is the Sabbath, and pray for me, because I've been praying for the wisdom and knowledge, but I got to pray for strength when I get it.

Pastor Doug: Amen

Darrin: So I just want you to pray for me. I'm in the military. Sometimes we have to work on Saturday and I'm- -

Pastor Doug: You've got some challenges don't you?

Darrin: I've got some challenges.

Pastor Doug: Alright, well I will pray for you. I've got a boy that's in the Marines at least for another couple months so I understand.

Darrin: Okay, and thank you Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: God bless you Darrin and we'll be praying for you and your answer on that question, that you're able to share that. Alright let me see now, who would be next? Becky has been waiting and, let me see here, line 9. Becky, you're on the air, your question? From Austin, Indiana, is that right? South Austin, Indiana?

Becky: Yeah, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Listening on 3ABN. Your question?

Becky: 3ABN, yeah. Okay. I am considered legally blind and I am also, uh, I can't walk very well, okay? I can walk though. But the Bible tells us that we need to share our love of God and what God has done for us in our lives and everything. Now, basically, the places I go to is back and forth to the store because I have my family that takes me where I need to go to pay bills, do grocery shopping, and then to church on the weekends; and that's my limit as to getting out among people, okay?

Pastor Doug: Right

Becky: So my question is what ways can I share my love and what God has done for me, other than donating money to the various- -

Pastor Doug: Charities and, yeah.

Becky: - -places like Amazing Facts, 3ABN and things like that, because I do do that also?

Pastor Doug: Well bless your heart. First of all, you're not alone. The apostle Paul probably was afflicted with very poor eyesight. You remember reading where he said, "I've got this thorn in my flesh and I prayed about it, that God would remove it"?

Many scholars believe that Paul had very poor vision; and that's why he never traveled alone. That's why he didn't recognize the high priest when he was being tried. And he also had other people write his letters for him but then he'd sign his letters. And when he had that vision of Christ, he never did quite see well again.

The scales fell from his eyes and he was able to see, but it wasn't a total healing, something like when Jacob wrestled with the angel. He limped the rest of his life. Paul was able to do amazing things in witnessing, but he always needed people to, kind of, help him. There are probably still things you can do in communicating with others; and it may be through the telephone.

There are probably ministries. I know even at Amazing Facts we have some people that they spend most of the day on the phone calling and encouraging and thanking people who are on our list. So there are probably things you can do with your gifts, because I can tell talking to you that you've got a good voice and your mind is clear.

Becky: Yeah, well I was with the phone company for 22 years until I was forced to take disability retirement because of my vision. So I am a people person and I do like talking; and um- -

Pastor Doug: Can you see a little bit?

Becky: Oh, I'm considered legally blind because my detailed vision is completely gone in my left eye and almost completely gone in my right eye.

Pastor Doug: Do you have a phone? Do you dial a phone by braille or you've got the big numbers on there and have them memorized?

Becky: I have them memorized okay? And I have a special magnifying glass that allows me to still be able to read my Bible. Most of the time I listen to it on CD though because if I read too much, my eye starts bothering me really bad.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well- -

Becky: You know, God's good to me. I have no complaints and I know one of these days I'll be able to see just fine. But I want to help. I want people--there are so many people out there that don't know about our God, that don't know that He loves them; and they're so, you know, so lost and discouraged, and I want to help these people- -

Pastor Doug: How, how do you- -

Becky: - -and I just don't know how.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Becky, just by you being positive and just by calling, you're being a witness and testifying of your God. So God will bring people into your life, give you opportunity to share your faith. And by you being positive and sharing the love of Jesus, you're making an impact for the kingdom of God.

Pastor Doug: Yup. That's absolutely right. He'll help you do that and be able to keep using opportunities like this now, being able to share your faith. Well God bless Becky. I hope that helps you a little bit and gives you some encouragement. Alright, we're going to now talk to, oh let me see, line 6 is Jim calling from Wishram, Washington. How do you say that?

Jim: Yes, Wishram.

Pastor Doug: Wishram. Well I don't feel so bad.

Jim: How are you doing Doug?

Pastor Doug: They need to change the name of that town.

Jim: Yeah. They did once. [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: I'm okay, and your question? [Chuckles]

Jim: Anyhow, I have a question on this Daniel 12:13 where it says, "Go your way Daniel; you'll stand in your lot at the end of days."

Pastor Doug: Yes

Jim: Now "lot" is singular there.

Pastor Doug: Yes

Jim: But when I go through the Apocrypha, which was in the King James Bible till 1827, we read about Mordecai's dream at the tail end of the book of Esther- -

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Jim: - -and this Jewish holiday they call Purim, which means, literally, "lot." Pure was lot, and Purim, where he made a place for the nations.

Pastor Doug: Right

Jim: What do you think about them taking that out in 1827 and people not using it anymore?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that chapter 12, verse 13 of Daniel, that has not changed- -

Jim: No

Pastor Doug: - -for a long time. You're talking about some of the apocryphal books- -

Jim: This was prior to the gospel going to the Gentiles which, incidentally, you did a good one on the Damascus road, thank you.

Pastor Doug: You're welcome. But I've got the, let me see here, I've got the King James Version here and the Hebrew and that word "lot" is singular in the original Hebrew. I've got it here in front of me.

Jim: In Daniel?

Pastor Doug: In Daniel chapter 12:13.

Jim: Okay, but not in Esther, Mordecai's dream, uh--

Pastor Doug: Yeah but Mordecai's dream is what they call an apocryphal book. A lot of the- -

Jim: Right

Pastor Doug: - -scholars doubt the inspiration of that.

Jim: Yeah, but, you know, if you're going to put doubt--and there's a lot of them that are a lot more far out than Mordecai's dream I'll tell you that, which we take by faith.

Pastor Doug: Well you know, one reason, let me give you a reason that some of these things are included and some aren't. You have, for instance, Jesus refers to the book of Jonah. Jesus refers to Genesis; He refers to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel many times. None of the Bible writers refer to the book of Mordecai. It seems to have appeared out of nowhere, Mordecai's dream.

And so that's why some of these books are very dubious or doubtful origin and I don't think we should base our conclusions on Daniel from those things. I hope that helps a little bit Jim. Okay, let me think here. Talking next to Don who's listening in Orlando, Florida. Don, welcome to the program.

Don: Hi, good evening.

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Don: Thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Don: A question has come up within family recently on who is Jesus Christ and, essentially, Him being God. How do I teach or share that with somebody that is inquiring about that?

Pastor Doug: Well first of all, if you look at the attributes of God; the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," correct?

Don: Yes sir.

Pastor Doug: Alright. If you look at John chapter 1 it says, "All things that were made were made by him," speaking of Jesus. So if God created the heaven and the earth, and the New Testament says Jesus created the heaven and the earth, then Jesus must be God. The Bible says, "Only God can forgive sin," Mark chapter 2; and yet, we know Jesus forgave sin. Jesus must be God.

The Bible says, "Only God knows the thoughts of men's hearts," which is 1st Kings chapter 9, the dedication prayer of Solomon.

Don: 1st Kings chapter 9?

Pastor Doug: Actually I think it's 1st Kings 8 verse 39. I'm looking on my mental screen trying to see that now. It says, "God and God only knows the thoughts of men's hearts." Well, Jesus knew what people were thinking many times. And so the Bible says, "There's no savior but God." Well, Jesus is called Savior. You've got some others, Pastor Jëan?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we find it in Scripture, especially in the Gospels where the Pharisees were very upset with Jesus because He claimed titles that belonged to God.

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Pastor Jëan Ross: He claimed to be able to forgive sins- -

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Pastor Jëan Ross: - -and they recognized that as being a characteristic of divinity and for that reason, they wanted to stone Him.

Pastor Doug: Yup. Matter of fact, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I AM," and they knew that He was claiming divinity there. That's, what, John chapter 8? I forget.

Don: I believe so, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I'm winging it right here because I went through so many Scriptures I lost my place. Anyway, you begin to look at the criteria of God in the Bible and Jesus fits all those criteria.

Don: Yeah, I believe that and I see that. Now I'm not sure if the Pharisees there were--the one that you mentioned, they, in referencing that, they actually (unintelligible) were accusing Him of being the Son of God. But setting that aside, the other verses you quoted seem to fit. But what about in Timothy where it says there's, uh one, uh- -

Pastor Doug: One God?

Don: One God,- -

Pastor Doug: Uh-huh

Don: - -one man between men and God- -

Pastor Doug: One Mediator.

Don: One Mediator between men and- -

Pastor Doug: - -between men and God, Jesus Christ.

Don: The man, Christ Jesus, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Doug: Right

Don: You know, I don't--I guess that's sort of a stumbling block.

Pastor Doug: Well it shouldn't be. First of all, don't let the word "one" confuse you. God is referred to as "One," but the Bible says man and woman become "one" when they get married; and Jesus said to the 12 apostles, "You need to be one." In the Hebrew mind, "one" not only meant numerical value, "one" meant unity.

Don: Yes

Pastor Doug: And so when Paul that there is one God, that's, of course, including Jesus. But one time did God become a man to bridge earth to heaven, and that's Jesus Christ, the Man. See, Jesus existed before He came to earth and took on the form of a man. So Paul there is referring to both dimensions of Jesus, rather than saying that one is God the Father and one is God the Son.

That's why we're told to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These are the three Persons of the Godhead.

Don: Okay. Well that gives me a list of verses to run through.

Pastor Doug: I've got a book that's called, "The Trinity: Is It Biblical?" But in that book it talks a lot more about the divinity of Christ. I'll send you that for free if you'd like it?

Don: Yeah, and I can kind of [cross talk]

Pastor Doug: You can even read it online if you want. Just go to the Amazing Facts website. You can download it and read it right there at

Don: Thank you

Pastor Jëan Ross: Just one more text to add to that,- -

Don: Amazing Facts- -

Pastor Jëan Ross: - -John chapter 1, verse 14, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." So here Jesus becomes one with us, but He is one with the Father.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. That's good.

Don: Yeah. Amazing?

Pastor Doug: It's easy to remember, or you can even do; and then go to the Free Library and you'll see there's a book on the Trinity. You can read it there--a lot of verses on the divinity of Christ.

Don: Fantastic!

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Don: Thank you very much for your time.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks a lot Don. Okay, let me see here, we're going to talk to Michelle calling here in Sacramento; and you're on the air Michelle, your question?

Michelle: Yes, I was wondering if Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus and the adulterous woman in John 8:3- -

Pastor Doug: Yes

Michelle: - -and the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears, are they all Mary Magdalene?

Pastor Doug: I believe so. Now that's interesting you would ask me that because I spent about five years writing a book on that and- -

Michelle: You wrote a book on that?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. It's called, "At Jesus' Feet: The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene." Matter of fact, they even carry it at Wal-Mart.

Michelle: Oh wow!

Pastor Doug: I went into great detail studying. I think the woman caught in the act of adultery was the first time that Mary met Jesus. It simply calls her, "a woman" in there. But John refers

to Mary as a woman in one gospel and it's the very same story they refer to in Luke as Mary. Sometimes they didn't want to embarrass her because she was still a member of the church when they wrote their gospels; and sometimes they referred to her in an anonymous way.

Mary of Magdala had a brother and sister that lived in Bethany, Lazarus and Martha. That's why you never hear, "Mary of Bethany" and "Mary of Magdalene" ever mentioned together, but they're always at Jesus' feet. They have all of the same characteristics, so we think they're the same Mary.

Michelle: Yes, because in one Scripture, I just had it here, but when she comes in the morning after the burial- -

Pastor Doug: Yes

Michelle: - -and it says, "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary,"- -

Pastor Doug: Yes

Michelle: - -is that Mary's mother, the other Mary? I mean, Jesus' mother?

Pastor Doug: Well, there were three Marys at the cross. One was Mary, the mother of Jesus; one was Mary, I think she's the wife of Cleopas;- -

Michelle: That's James' mom?

Pastor Doug: Yeah; and then you've got Mary Magdalene.

Michelle: Okay

Pastor Doug: So, it's not clear in that other verse which one it was, but we know that Jesus' mother was at the Tomb too.

Michelle: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thanks a lot Michelle. Alright, now we'll go to Charlotte listening in Delano, California; - -

Charlotte: Yes

Pastor Doug: - -and your question--on a cell phone?

Charlotte: Well I have a son that's a born-again Christian man; and since his wife left him a year ago, he's continually having sexual affairs. And I'm trying to tell him that he needs to repent and he's telling me, "I don't live under the law. I live under the grace." So I would like to know what Scripture will let him know what he's doing is not something that is great. I mean, I know God forgives us, and I said, "Son, you need to repent," and he says, "I repent all the time I'm doing it mom, but I don't live under the law. I live" - -

Pastor Doug: Oh, well does he mean not under the law, meaning he's free to break it? Is it also now okay for him to kill? Here's a verse for you if you can remember this.

Charlotte: Yes

Pastor Doug: Romans chapter 6, the first verse.

Charlotte: Okay

Pastor Doug: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Well, this is the same book where he talks about not being under the law. And so when we're saved from the penalty of the law, that doesn't then give us the right to break it, or we're back under the penalty again.

Charlotte: Amen!

Pastor Doug: Yeah, a lot of verses here in Romans. You can even look at Romans chapter 3, verse 13 where Paul says, "It's not the hearers of the law that are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified."

Charlotte: Amen!

Pastor Doug: I'm sorry, I gave the wrong verse to you. It's Romans chapter 2, verse 13.

Charlotte: Okay

Pastor Doug: Romans 2:13, "Not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified."

Charlotte: Amen, that's perfect!

Pastor Doug: So, there are a lot of verses. He's basically lying to himself and he knows that it's a sin; you know, at least if he'll admit it and repent and turn away but just to say a little prayer after you commit sin so your conscience won't feel so bad, that's not real repentance.

Charlotte: Yeah. And I've been living with my son since June and when a woman comes over and spends the night, it has happened two times, I just--I sleep in my car. I can't bear to go back there anymore.

Pastor Doug: Charlotte, is that your house?

Charlotte: No. It's my son's.

Pastor Doug: Oh, I was going to say. Well there's nothing you can do about that. But if he's in your house, then you don't need to tolerate that.

Charlotte: Right; but like he said, he's the man of the house and I have- -

Pastor Doug: Yeah, nothing you can do about that, but you might be doing the right thing by just protesting and saying, "Look you know, if you're going to live in adultery, I don't want to be in the house. I'm your mom."

Charlotte: Amen

Pastor Doug: He ought to respect you.

Charlotte: Amen

Pastor Doug: Alright, well, hey hope that helps a little bit.

Charlotte: Absolutely. God bless you.

Pastor Doug: God bless, thanks Charlotte. Alright Pastor Jëan, let's see if we can--oh, I've got two minutes. Juanita is calling from KOKS and listening from [closing music begins]. Oh no, I hate doing that to people. Juanita, I'm sorry I didn't get to your question. Will you forgive me?

Listening friends, I apologize. Hey you know, I meant to say we've got three new stations we want to welcome and we never did. We've got WNDY 1450 AM in Newberry, Michigan; we've got KWOL 103.7 FM in Arroyo Grande, California; and WBLN 104.9 FM in Glens Falls, New York. I want to welcome all these new stations to the Bible Answers Live family.

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