Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Date: 12/18/2005 
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. It happens when someone wrongfully obtains and uses another’s personal data for fraud or economic gain. Unlike your fingerprints, your personal data—especially your social security number, bank account, or credit card numbers—can be terribly abused if they fall into the wrong hands.

Great Controversy Deluxe Paperback by Ellen White

Great Controversy Deluxe Paperback by Ellen White
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. It happens when someone wrongfully obtains and uses another’s personal data for fraud or economic gain. Unlike your fingerprints, your personal data—especially your social security number, bank account, or credit card numbers—can be terribly abused if they fall into the wrong hands. Every day, thousands of people across the country report funds stolen from their accounts. In the worst cases, criminals completely take over a victim’s identity. They run up vast debts; sometimes even committing crimes, leaving the victims with destroyed credit and a criminal record that it might take years to correct.

In March 2002, the New York Police Department arrested Abraham Abdallah accusing him of identity theft on a massive scale. The 32-year old bus boy and high school dropout is suspected of stealing the identities of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner, and scores of other famous people whose names he got from a Forbes’ list of wealthy Americans. When he was finally caught, he had stolen over 80 million dollars and had bought a credit card machine to make his own credit cards. At the time of his arrest, Abdallah had 800 fake credit cards.

Did you know the Bible teaches the devil has stolen the identity of an entire world leaving them with a dark criminal record and a debt beyond their means to repay? Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live!

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Dick: Welcome to Amazing Facts Ministries’ Bible Answers Live with Pastor Doug Batchelor. Do you find it challenging to understand the Bible? Are there passages of Scripture that confuse you? Is it sometimes difficult to connect what you read in the Bible with what you’ve been taught? Then you’ve found the right program because the Word of God is a quick and powerful sword against evil. Stay tuned to better understand the will of God for your life.

This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, lines are open Sundays from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Time. Now, here’s your host, the president of Amazing Facts Ministries, author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome, friends, to our first edition of Amazing Facts: Bible Answers Live. If you have any Bible-related questions, lines are open so pick up your phone and give us a call right now. It’s a toll-free phone number and that number is 800-GOD-SAYS; 800-463-7297.

Right now, at the beginning of the program, is a good time to pick up your phone. We have a number of lines open. Here in Sacramento, we’re having something of a small typhoon but we think that around the country line, you’re still going to get through.

Pastor Dick: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: So, give us a call now. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: My name is Dick Devitt. Good evening, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Good evening, Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: You’re feeling better this week. We missed you.

Pastor Doug: Much better!

Pastor Dick: We were glad Jëan was with us last week but we knew you were under the weather.

Pastor Doug: Well, we appreciate his filling in and excited to get back to the phones and to the subject of studying God’s word with our friends.

Pastor Dick: Amen. Well, we normally start with a word of prayer so let’s do that. Father in heaven, we thank You once again for the privilege of coming in to the studios and opening God’s Word and sharing together with our callers and our listeners. I pray that You’ll give Pastor Doug clarity of thoughts as he seeks to answer the questions and Lord, speak through him tonight to touch the hearts of those who call in with biblical questions. We know, Lord, there is someone that You want to talk to tonight. And so, we anticipate what You will do and say. We thank You and we praise You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Dick: Pastor Doug, how can Satan steal our identities? I’m wondering about this amazing fact you used and I’m a little…

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, this is really… what has happened is the Lord created man in His image.

Pastor Dick: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And the devil is, in essence, kidnapped the world and he has superimposed his government on the world.

Pastor Dick: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And the very fact that in heaven, Revelation tells us, Jesus is going to give us a new name because our reputation has been besmeared by the enemy. A matter of fact, when the Lord called Jacob and many others—Abraham, Sarah—He gave them new names because their old identity just didn’t fit anymore. And Jesus even did more than that. He basically trades places. He says, “I will take your criminal record. I’ll take your debt that you can’t pay. I’m going to give you My riches. I’m going to give you My innocent record.” And so, He swaps identities with us, so to speak. And after we accept the blood of Jesus no matter what our sins or our record might look like, when the Father looks down from heaven, He sees the perfection and the innocence of His own Son—gives us a new identity!

Pastor Dick: Yeah. Amen! Amen!

Pastor Doug: So, some of our friends out there might want to know, “How do I get this new identity? How can I have the riches that heaven affords and all that grace in my heavenly bank account when right now I’m so destitute?”

Pastor Dick: Yeah. It happens so often that we can lose our identity. Can it…

Pastor Doug: Lose our earthly treasure and…

Pastor Dick: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: …our earthly reputations but the Lord can restore that.

Pastor Dick: Well, we have an offer tonight that we want to make available to all of our listeners. It’s called, “The High Cost of the Cross.” This is a book that is a compelling view of our Lord Jesus Christ and it helps to discover why the Lord had to die the second death to set us free from our penalty of sins. If you would like this book, we encourage you to call our resource operators and ask for a copy of “The High Cost of the Cross.” Call 1-800-835-6747. That call is free and the book is free; and if you call that number, it’ll put you in touch with our resource operators or you can go to the Internet and go to the Amazing Facts website at amazingfacts.org and we’ll make this available to you. So call tonight and ask for “The High Cost of the Cross.”

We normally take a couple of Internet questions, Pastor Doug. So let’s start with the first one. It comes from a young man in Brooklyn, New York who says that he is studying the book of Revelation and he says during our discussion this past week, he learned for the first time that the wicked’s punishment in the second resurrection will vary depending on the severity of sins that are committed and he quotes Revelation 22:12 as a Bible reference. So his question is, “Is that true and does that mean that some of the wicked will feel the heat from the fire more than others considering that the fires of hell will be seven times hotter?”

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible does teach that there are varying degrees of reward and punishment. It doesn’t teach that the fires of hell are seven times hotter. I’m suspecting that they drew that from the story of Daniel when king Nebuchadnezzar heated up the furnace seven times hotter—and maybe some preacher stipulated that must be a symbol for the fires of hell but it doesn’t really say that in the Bible.

Another example of this principle that there are varying degrees of both reward and punishment, Jesus said in Luke 12:47, “And that servant that knew his Lord’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, will be beaten with many stripes; but he that did not and did not commit things worthy…” I’m sorry, “and did things worthy of stripes will be beaten with few stripes. For to whosoever much is given, of him shall much be required.”

There are varying rewards and punishments based upon what a person knows. And a number of verses compared. This is the one side in Revelation 22, “He’ll reward everyone according to their works.” And obviously, some young person who has maybe squandered their life on drugs and die prematurely is not going to suffer the same extent as maybe and Hitler or Polpot. So God is going to have varying punishments based on the crimes.

Pastor Dick: Okay. Second question, this person says, “Pastor Doug, I’ve been putting off starting a prayer journal for a long time now for fear that Satan will know all the more my weaknesses and my thoughts. Can you, in the Bible, tell us that only God can know our thoughts?”

Pastor Doug: Well, there is a verse when Solomon was dedicating the first temple—the first permanent temple—in 1 Kings Chapter 8 and you can read… I believe it’s in verse 39 that God and God only… “For Thou and even Thou only knowest the hearts of all the children of men.” And again, the Bible tells us that Jesus knew what was in man. It’s not that it was a trick. God is the only one who really knows what a person is thinking. Many times, Jesus knew what someone was thinking and He answered that before they articulated it. But that shouldn’t keep you from writing down your prayers in your prayer journal. I think the devil trembles when we pray out loud. There’s no command against praying out loud or by writing your prayers down.

Pastor Dick: Right.

Pastor Doug: There’s a number of prayers written down in the Bible so it’s obviously okay to do that.

Pastor Dick: Some powerful prayers.

Pastor Doug: Yes, it is. And I think that angels, when you articulate your prayers—when you say them out loud—they’re recorded because every word we say is recorded. And furthermore, when we write them down, I believe that it just empowers the angels and God and His Spirit to answer those prayers more. So don’t be afraid of what the devil knows. He trembles when we pray.

Pastor Dick: Amen. Amen. Alright! Very good, Pastor Doug. Well, we’re going to go to the phone in just a moment but I want to make mention that we still have about four lines open. If you have a Bible-related question, now would be a good time to give us a call at 1-800-GOD-SAYS; 1-800-463-7297, and if you call now, you’ll stand a good chance of getting your question on the air and talking with Pastor Doug. 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297.

Let’s take our first call for the evening, Pastor Doug. We’ll go to Avon Park, Florida and talk with Verita who is listening on WMMA. Welcome, Verita!

Verita: Hello!

Pastor Dick: Good evening!

Verita: Good evening. My question has to do with demon harassments with Christians.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Verita: And if this is a reality today, which I believe it is, are there certain people who specialize in casting out or rebuking these demons and how can I find out?

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. You know, I studied into this a little bit because every now and then, I’ll run across a Pastor who claims to have a special ministry to cast out devils. And when I first encountered this, I was a little suspicious because it seem like the ministry focus so much on devils and the casting out of devils—that it didn’t say very much about Jesus and the gospel and the good news. And I looked in the Bible and I found that the apostles and Christ Himself—they never went looking for devils. It seems like every now and then, they would be accosted by this situation. Jesus would be preaching as in Mark chapter 2 and a lunatic would interrupt; or Paul is in the city and the demon-possessed girl follows him down the street. But they never went out advertising or handing out business cards saying, “Demons are us, we cast out devils!” or something like that.

So that’s one principle. I think we should be very careful about someone who specializes in that. Never should we communicate deliberately with demons. There’s only one time in the Bible where Jesus actually asked a devil a question. And in some of these exorcism ministries, the preachers are talking to the demons and dialoguing and… I mean, that’s how sin entered our world. It’s because Eve began to dialogue with the devil. And that is, I think, inattentive ground and only Jesus has the fortitude to be able to do that and He’s the only one that did, one time. So I don’t recommend getting involved in those things.

There are some ministries and Pastors that have real gifts of prayer. And they have, through prayer and the laying on of hands, people have been delivered from demonic harassments under their ministry. The most powerful thing, Verita, is the preaching of the Word because the devil trembles at the Word. The Word is the sword that fights the devil. When the devil came to Jesus, what did He use? He said, “It is written,” right?

Verita: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: And so, equipping people with the Word and teaching them how to use their swords, so to speak, is one of the best things we can do to help believers know how to repel the attacks of the enemy.

Verita: Okay. So there’s no list or anything of Pastors or something that…

Pastor Doug: I would be… there probably is but I’d be very suspicious of that kind of list.

Verita: Okay.

Pastor Doug: I would never hang out my shingle that said if you have demons to cast out, give me a call.

Pastor Dick: Yeah. I would share with you a personal experience I had, Verita. Not to call attention but to tell you that it scared the daylights out of me. I was in Africa and I literally participated in a demon possession… delivering somebody from a demon possession. But my participation was only to stand there and watch. I was… and pray. I wasn’t directly involved with speaking to the demons or anything like that. That was left to the local African Pastors who deal with that on a fairly regular basis.

Verita: Yes.

Pastor Dick: But what I saw scared me to death. So, you know, you don’t want to go looking for it [laughing].

Verita: Okay [laughing]. Well, thank you very much for your answer. That helped me a lot.

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Pastor Dick: Alright, Verita.

Pastor Doug: We do have a book called, “The Armor of God” that we’ll send you a copy if you’d like and it deals with some of the armor that we use to fight the enemy.

Verita: Okay.

Pastor Dick: Verita, call our resource operators or go to the website and you can find that resource; either at the website, which is amazingfacts.org, or call 1-800-835-6747.

Verita: Alright. What was the name again?

Pastor Dick: “The Armor of God.”

Verita: Thank you very much.

Pastor Dick: Okay. Thanks for the call. Let’s go next to Galt, California. David is listening on KFIA. David, we’re glad you’re with us tonight!

David: Sir?

Pastor Dick: Your question please.

David: I was asking, could a non-believer put a curse on a Christian believer’s belongings?

Pastor Doug: Can a non-believer put a curse on the belongings of a believer?

David: Christian.

Pastor Doug: Right, a Christian. You know, I don’t see any example in the Bible where the devil has the power to curse the physical property of someone who’s walking with the Lord. I’m sure that there are people involved in spiritualism out there that try to do that. They use, you know, voodoo tactics to try to put a whammy on somebody’s property. Now, you know, I can’t speak for you, Pastor Dick, but there was a couple of times out there I bought an automobile or some component that seem like it was possessed or cursed [laughing]. But…

Pastor Dick: They call those “lemons.” [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Is that what it is? I bought a few of those and who knows? Maybe one of my enemies vexed it.

Pastor Dick: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: But I have actually prayed before, David, that God will…

David: Is that possible, then?

Pastor Doug: Is it possible? Well…

David: Well, it’s not possible then.

Pastor Doug: It is possible for the devil to meddle with a property. But I don’t believe that Christians need to fear that unbelievers and Satanists are out there putting curses on their components and their property and their things. And if a per…

David: sir…

Pastor Doug: Excuse me?

David: Sir.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I don’t think that that’s something that we need to worry about because, you know, if we’re trusting the Lord—if, you know, we’re having problems with some of our property, just consecrate it to the Lord and ask Him to bless it.

Pastor Dick: Amen.

Pastor Doug: That’s what I’ve done.

Pastor Dick: Amen. Praise the Lord!

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps a little, David.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call, David. We’ll go next to Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Heather is listening on the Internet. Welcome, Heather!

Heather: Hi, thank you. My question is, I was wondering about your interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11:5 concerning a woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered. I just wondered what your thoughts are on that verse.

Pastor Doug: Alright. 1 Corinthians 11:5—we get this question frequently and I don’t know that my answer… I’ve never been totally satisfied with my answer if you want to know the truth. But let me read this for our friends. “But every woman that prays prophesy,” and the word “prophesy” there, it doesn’t mean that they’re predicting the future. It’s the same word you find later in 1 Corinthians for “preaching,” very same word. “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonors her head for that is even all as one as if she were shaven or shorn. But if a woman will not be covered, let her also be shorn. But if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn,” or shaven, “let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head for as much as he is the image and glory of God but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman but the woman of the man, neither was the man created for the woman but the woman for the man. For this cause, ought the woman to have power on her head,” and that means to humble her hair, which is her glory, “because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man in the Lord.”

Let me see here. One of the parts of this verse that I’m looking for is where Paul goes to the point of saying we have no other custom. And the very fact that he refers to this as a custom or a tradition makes us wonder, “Is this a Bible command?” You know, a good practice to follow is, don’t make a Bible doctrine out of any one verse. The Bible says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses, let something be established.” And some have wondered, “Well, is this the teaching in the Bible that women, whenever they pray or prophesy in public, they need to have a veil or cover in their head?”

You know, there’s many religions that practice this and I actually have no burden to discourage someone if the Spirit is convicting them that this is what the Scripture is saying, then there’s no harm in that, is there?

Heather: Right.

Pastor Doug: But at the same time, I would guard against making it a dogma—a doctrine—that will cause people and tell ladies praying in public that they’ve got to have their heads covered because there are a lot of customs that had to do with style and attire that were customs of respect. Those kind of things constantly evolve. In Bible times, when two men met each other, they kiss on the cheek and you still see them do that in the Middle East, right? Well, we don’t do that in our culture and I mean, it talks in the Bible about greeting the brethren with a holy kiss. If we start doing that now, it can seem strange because our greetings are shaking hands or, you know, slap on the shoulders…

Pastor Dick: Right, right.

Pastor Doug: …or even a holy hug. But everything’s a little different so it may have been a custom and Paul was just saying respect the customs in the Lord.

Heather: Okay. That sounds good!

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Pastor Dick: Alright. Thanks for the call. Let’s go next to… well, we want to go to Alaska and talk with Robert in Soldotna in Alaska who’s listening on the Internet. Welcome, Robert!

Robert: Hi, Pastor Dick; hi, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Robert: My question has to do… I don’t answer if I had a… explain this exactly. Is there a difference between being born again and being converted? And the reason I asked this is because I know in John chapter 3, Jesus said in order to see the kingdom of God, we must be born again. And then I know when you’re born again, your name’s written in the Book of Life. So He told the disciples when He sent the 70 out to rejoice because their names are written in the Book of Life. But later on, He told Peter, “When you are converted, then feed My sheep.” So, is there a difference between being born again and being converted?

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. You know, my initial answer would be it could be that there’s a difference because some of it would have to do with what your definitions are—what your understanding is. When a person first realizes their lost condition and they come to the Lord and they accept His forgiveness…

Robert: Right.

Pastor Doug: …they can experience that new birth. Now, you might call that conversion. But conversion can also be a process and even in John chapter 3, Jesus talks to Nicodemus. He said, “You hear the wind blows, where it leads you can’t tell where it’s come from or where it’s going.” You may not be able to put your finger on the moment of when a heart is transformed. Sometimes it’s a process. You can put your finger on the day, perhaps, when you’re baptized. But conversion is something that may happen… some people are converted like a jet ski where they turn on a dime; others like a battleship where it takes a while. And that’s just something I’ve observed.

Some people are converted mentally. In other words, I think I was converted intellectually. The logic of the Bible and the gospel—that was my biggest obstacle and I was converted that way first. And then, it became more of a heart conversion later. So there may be a difference in the timing. See what I’m saying?

Robert: Okay. So…

Pastor Doug: Some people may fall in love with the Lord and they’re born again but their lives are not transformed yet, which will be a conversion.

Robert: Okay. So that’s my… where I’m at right now, I mentally have accepted the Bible and accepted… came from atheism.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Robert: And I’ve come to mentally… it doesn’t seem much change in my life yet. I’m scared if something happens, I know the Lord will finish the work He started but I just get scared if something happens to me, am I saved because I’m born again because I don’t seem to be quite converted yet.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, you can ask that question the way that the Lord worked with Peter. When Jesus first called Peter, there was a conversion process. What would have happened if Peter died two years into following Jesus? Would he be saved? You know, I always worry when we ask that question. It’s like, is the Lord trying to catch us off guard? The promise is, “He that has begun a good work in you will perform it,” and then again, the Lord, in Hebrews it tells us, is the “Author and Finisher of our faith.” And so, you keep walking with the Lord and as you read the word, Robert, that conversion will deepen.

Robert: Okay. Well, thank you, Pastor. Appreciate…

Pastor Dick: Robert, thanks for the call. We appreciate it. Pastor Doug, we’ll go to Austin, Michigan and talk with Sandi who’s got a question for us. Hello Sandi!

Sandi: Hi! Pastor Doug, I have a question about the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Sandi: It’s advertised as a Christian allegory and I question that it’s Christian reading. My son’s reading the book and it really bothers me. What do you think?

Pastor Doug: Well, I don’t know that I’ve read the whole series but years ago, I know I’ve read the first few and it is very captivating. There are very obvious spiritual comparisons between the character that is known as Aslan in the lion and probably some others. But there’s a whole lot of fairytale mixed in. You know, it’s not necessarily an inspired story as when John Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progress. Everything in Pilgrim’s Progress had a very clear spiritual allegory.

Even C.S. Lewis would admit that there are Christian principles and there are things that you’ll find in salvation in this Chronicles of Narnia but they were entertainment for his children or was it his nieces and nephews. So I would not try to over-spiritualize something and especially after Hollywood gets a hold of it [laughing]. You can be sure that they’re not doing it to save people. Disney is not in that business, I mean, because the next movie is going to be another spiritualistic movie. It’s a money-making business. And so, churches, you know, maybe they’re trying to find something positive—there’s so much negative comes out of Hollywood—they’re looking for something positive. I don’t think we ought to baptize the Chronicles of Narnia and just tell everyone to embrace it— .

Sandi: Do you see a danger in reading it?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, the only danger would be that it would… it might create an appetite for other useless fantasy. It’s a very thin line between the Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings, and then Harry Potter.

Sandi: Right.

Pastor Doug: These are all dealing with a lot of these witches and supernatural and spiritualism.

Sandi: Right.

Pastor Dick: If it’s going to be read by young children, I think I would want to read it with them and point out the parts that are, you know, that are obviously Christian in nature and the parts that are not. And explain it a way that way.

Sandi: He’s in his twenties but it still bothers me. I know there’s a lot of…

Pastor Doug: Just set him on your knee and start reading [laughing].

Sandi: [Laughing]

Pastor Dick: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: Well, I hope that helps a little bit and, you know, I’m certainly not the last word and I don’t want to steal the blessing others may be getting but I’m always a little bit suspicious of anything that Hollywood produces and others claim that it’s Christian.

Pastor Dick: I grew up with a mother in show business and so I’ve seen the dark side of what drives Hollywood and it’s largely merchandise and…

Sandi: Right. Okay.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Sandi: I appreciate it. Thank you.

Pastor Dick: Alright Sandi. Thanks for the call. We want to go next to Joan in New York on WMCA. Hello Joan. Welcome to the program!

Pastor Doug: Joan, are you there? Sometimes somebody waits.

Pastor Dick: Okay.

Pastor Doug: We may not have time for Joan’s call…

Pastor Dick: Well, I think we don’t have enough time anyway.

Pastor Doug: I was going to say maybe she could either call us back or we put her on hold. But we’re taking a break, friends. This is not the end of the program. We’re just going to give our station affiliates a chance to identify themselves. And also, we’d like to tell you during this time to check out the Amazing Facts website. Go to amazingfacts.org. You’ll not only see the broad kaleidoscope of products we have available to help you in your personal growth. You’ll learn about the College of Evangelism that we have, training people, our television programs that are being broadcast around the world, as well as the free library. You can also sign up for Bible study course by going to bibleuniverse.com and enroll in the Apostles of Prophecy study course. Learn about the books of Daniel and Revelation. We’ll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Dick: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live with Doug Batchelor. Because this is a pre-recorded broadcast of our Sunday night program, call from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Time on Sundays with your Bible-related questions. Receive clear, practical answers from the Bible about prophecy, doctrine, biblical principles. Call 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297. Now, join us as we open our Bibles for more Bible answers live with author and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: The B-I-B-L-E. I heard Pastor Dick say several times. The hero of our program is the Word—that’s Jesus—and He’s the Word incarnate. If you would like to ask any Bible question, we have lines open; give us a call—800-GOD-SAYS. That translates into toll-free, 463-7297. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Dick: And my name is Dick Devitt. And we want to go right to the phones, Pastor Doug, take our first call for this part of the program. We want to talk with Christian who’s listening on KFIA in Sacramento, California. Welcome, Christian!

Christian: Hey, how’s it going?

Pastor Dick: Good!

Christian: Alright, good stuff! Let’s see here. I have a question about Colossians 2:17.

Pastor Dick: Okay.

Christian: And I’ve read it in the NIV and NLT and I still don’t understand what it’s talking about [laughing].

Pastor Doug: Alright, Colossians 2:17. I want to read that for friends who are listening. A lot of folks aren’t where they have a Bible, they’re in their cars. It says… and you know, you almost need to read verse 16 so with your permission, I’ll read that, too. “Let no man, therefore, judge you in neither in drink or in respect with a holiday or the new moon or Sabbath days which are shadows of things to come, but the body is of Christ.”

A number of the Old Testament holidays and seasons had ceremonial feasts connected with them that were shadows of the coming of Christ. And that’s why when Jesus died on the cross, one of the amazing things that happened was He died right on the Passover and the veil in the temple ripped from top to bottom, exposing what they call the Holy of holies that no one was supposed to look at, and also signifying that the purpose for the earthly sacrificial system had ceased. And so, all of those ceremonial laws and holidays that were connected with the sanctuary and its services met their fulfillment in Christ, Christian. For instance, we don’t need to sacrifice lambs anymore. And the New Testament is very clear that circumcision—the right means nothing. Now, it is the circumcision of the heart that God is interested in and these ceremonial feasts and Sabbaths that the Jews celebrated, they were all shadows pointing forward to help us recognize Christ.

So that’s what it’s talking about. If you see… sometimes, when I’m driving on winding roads around sunset, I will see the shadow of a car come around the corner before I see the car. Well, once the car is there, I don’t need to look for the shadow anymore; I’m looking at the substance. And when Christ came, the shadows that showed the Messiah, they met their fulfillment.

Christian: Okay, cool! I was wondering if I could ask you one more quick question if that’s possible?

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Christian: I want to know what exactly does the pentagram mean. And that will be my last question. You have a merry Christmas!

Pastor Doug: Alright, you too! The pentagram is a symbol that many have associated with satanic worship and spiritualism. It’s often drawn when there’s satanic rituals. It’s a five-pointed star and one reason that that was adopted by some of the pagan cultures is because two of the stars look like the horns of a goat, which was one of the symbols; two of the wings of the star look like the ears and the bottom star is supposed to be the beard of the goat. And so, people draw the image of a goat into the pentagram and with a circle and… I wouldn’t put too much talking. And some people get worried wherever they see a five-pointed star that that means that there’s devil worship happening. Well, you’ll find six-pointed stars, eight-pointed stars, five-pointed stars, or geometric figures and I wouldn’t make a… I wouldn’t get too unnerved by that.

Christian: The pentagram was like used as some kind of like portal to like release evil. Do you know anything about that or..?

Pastor Doug: You know I’m… I don’t… you might, you know, I’m not recommending you study into it a lot. There’s, of course, I would recommend you study into the essence of the symbol behind the cross, but you know, a lot of the Rosicrucians and some of these cabala books, they get into all the symbols and their supernatural meaning. But you know, for me, it’s spiritualism and I think the Bible tells us to avoid that, Christian.

Pastor Dick: Exactly.

Pastor Doug: You know, there’s a book we’ll send you for free that deals with some of that stuff and it’s “Does God Inspire Psychics and Astrologers?”

Pastor Dick: That’ll be a good book for you to study, Christian. And it’s available for free. If you’ll call our resource operators, 1-800-835-6747, we’ll send it to you. Just call that number and ask for “Does God Inspire Astrologers…”

Pastor Doug: And Psychics.

Pastor Dick: “…and Psychics?” And they’ll send it right out to you; so 1-800-835-6747.

Pastor Doug: A matter of fact, I think there’s… looking at the cover, I think they’ve got a little symbol of a pentagram on the cover.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call, Christian. Let’s go to Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Next, we want to talk with Dwayne who’s listening on KOKS. Welcome to the program, Dwayne!

Dwayne: Yeah, thank you.

Pastor Dick: You’re welcome. Your question please.

Dwayne: Yeah. I am not a Christian person or anything but I’ve been wanting to change my life and want to try to get saved. And I’ve been trying to and it hasn’t happened yet. And I was wondering if you could tell me what I was doing wrong or what I need to do to get saved and change my life.

Pastor Doug: Well, I appreciate that question. These are a few things that a Pastor would rather hear…

Pastor Dick: Amen.

Pastor Doug: …than somebody asking, “What do I do to be… need to do to be saved?” Tonight, I… and I want to answer your question directly. But what are you expecting when you’re saved, Dwayne? What are you looking for to happen?

Dwayne: Well, I guess to get over all misery and just different. You know, different things out there…

Pastor Doug: Do you struggle sometimes with some habits and things that gets you in trouble and are you looking for peace in your heart and hope for everlasting life?

Dwayne: Yeah, I guess you could say that. Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ll tell you, there’s one principal purpose in life and that is to know God and His love. And once you know it, then you want to share it. And the great message of the Bible is that you can come to God just like you are even if you don’t understand and say, “Lord, you know, I would like to know what Your will is for me. I like to be forgiven of my sins.” Dwayne, obviously, you know the Bible defines sin as anything when we break God’s law, right?

Dwayne: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And you, like all of us, you’ve broken God’s law and the Bible teach us the penalty for sin is death. So we’re in big trouble unless we’re saved. The Bible tells us that when the Lord comes, we have nothing to look forward to but judgment and fiery punishment. But with salvation, the Lord can give us a new heart and a new purpose. He’s got a plan for your life besides just saving you. He wants to save you and He has a work for you to do. But if begins with coming to the Lord just like you are and asking Jesus to take possession of your mind and heart and say, “Lord, whatever it is, I want to give my heart to You.” And if you believe that God will accept you, and He promises if you come just as you are, if you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. He will do that!

Pastor Dick: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Do you believe that?

Dwayne: Well, I guess I do…

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ll tell you what…

Dwayne: I’ve been… I’ve been trying to do that. Nothing’s happened. That’s the reason I’ve called. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or…

Pastor Dick: Dwayne, I want to share with you just for a moment what happened to me 22 years ago. While I’m sitting here listening to what you’re saying, and you sound just like me 22 years ago. And I was walking through a park and I was in Detroit, Michigan and I was kicking the leaves and I said, out loud—there was nobody else around—and I said, “God, I don’t know You. I don’t even know if You exist. But if You do, I need Your help. Please do something.” And I was expecting what it sounds like to me, I was expecting the same kinds of things that you’re expecting right now. I expect to just see some major changes in my life immediately. I wanted peace of mind, peace of heart; but I was expecting something really dramatic and it didn’t happen right away. I didn’t see any dramatic changes immediately but that was because God had other things to do with me before the dramatic changes could take place.

So, I just share this with you in order to say when you ask God to do something, it’s important for you to believe that He’s going to do it. And it may not happen immediately; it may happen… He may say to you, “I’ll take care of that later. Right now, this is what I want. This is what I’m going to do.” And you have to believe that God is doing what He needs to do with you.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the promise is, Dwayne, that if you come to the Lord as you are, He won’t turn you away. And even if you come with doubts, just like Pastor Dick when I first prayed and said, “Lord, if you’re there,” you know, “if I’m doing the right thing, then please…” I had doubts, “please forgive me.” Are you willing to pray with us now and we would pray for you right here on the air and invite others who are listening to pray that God would come into your heart and begin to transform you? Is that your desire?

Dwayne: Well, to be honest with you, I was listening to your radio station on that and I called the number and they went through that and nothing happened and…

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, there’s a…

Dwayne: …that’s one reason I called in that I don’t really understand why…

Pastor Doug: Why nothing happened?

Dwayne: Yeah, I’ve done some things that I’ve done and nothing’s happened. I was wondering maybe what I was doing wrong or whatever.

Pastor Doug: Well, do you have a Bible?

Dwayne: No.

Pastor Doug: Would you like us to send you a Bible? You know, one thing is you need to get to know the Lord. The power’s in the Word. And as we’ve been saying during this program, I was an atheist. Eventually, I started reading the Bible I found in a cave when I was 17 years old living like a hermit and it changed my heart. But you know, it didn’t happen in one moment.

Pastor Dick: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: It happened as a process of learning about a new Friend and God’s presence.

Pastor Dick: Dwayne, I share this with you lovingly as a brother in Christ. You’re asking what you’re doing wrong and I would share with you, and I don’t mean to offend you, and I say this: one of the things you’re doing wrong is you’re not reading your Bible [laughing]. You need a Bible. You need to be in the Word of God every day.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. There’s power in the Word. But, you know what? With your permission, we’d still like to pray for you again, Dwayne.

Pastor Dick: Amen. Amen.

Pastor Doug: And ask God to just manifest Himself to you—to work in your life—because the Lord can do amazing things to show you He’s real that are even outside of the Bible. And so, is that okay with you if we have prayer?

Dwayne: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Father in heaven, thank You that Dwayne, like many others I know, is seeking after everlasting life and he’s… You promised, Lord, that if we seek, we’ll find. And You promised in Jeremiah 29:13 that if we search for You and search with all of our hearts, we will find You. So please be with him. Reveal Yourself to him. Help him do what he can’t to get to know You and to experience the forgiveness that Jesus promises…

Pastor Dick: Amen.

Pastor Doug: …the new life, the new purpose. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Dick: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Now, Dwayne, I would recommend you call the resource number and we will do our best to try and get you a Bible and so you can start reading and getting to know the Lord for yourself, okay?

Dwayne: Okay.

Pastor Dick: Write this number down, Dwayne. 835-6747, 835-6747. Now, that’s an 800 number so you have to dial 800 first. It’s a free call and if you’ll call right now and tell them that you’re listening to Bible Answers Live and we said that we would get you a Bible, just call them and ask for a Bible and we’ll get you one. Okay?

Pastor Doug: You know, the other thing is we… if you will ask for the first lesson in the Bible study series, it will teach you how to understand the Bible. It’s a very easy reading. Ask for the first lesson in the Bible study series and you’ll find that that’s a blessing, Dwayne. Thank you for your call.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call, Dwayne. And to anybody else who is listening who may have the same question that Dwayne has or a similar question, 1-800-835-6747; call the resource operators and talk to them now. We’ll get you a Bible, we’ll get you the first set… the first lesson of the set and get you started on Bible study lessons.

Let’s go next, Pastor Doug, to Browns, New York. We want to talk with Lewis who’s listening on WMCA. Good evening, Lewis!

Lewis: Hi! How are you, Pastor?

Pastor Dick: Good.

Lewis: Fine. My question is this. Can we stop evil thought from entering our minds? Let say I would never act upon but may come into my mind and they are evil and I’m wondering if they ever stop. To add to that, I know how God forgives a past tense, present tense, and future tense. But why can’t I overcome these evil thoughts? Do you have them? Does every Christian have them? Did Paul have them? Did Peter have them?

Pastor Doug: Alright. Very good question. Yeah, I did a sermon not too long ago called “Conquering Interspace: The Last Frontier.” One of the signs of Christian maturity is you become not just concerned about what you do but what you think. The Lord says, “Blessed are the pure in heart; they will inherit the kingdom of God.” There are things you can do that affect the purity of thought. But as long as you’re in this world and the devil’s there to tempt you, the devil will continue to try to put that evil thoughts in your mind.

Pastor Dick: Amen.

Pastor Doug: What can we do to limit or greatly reduce those kinds of thoughts? Well, we’re changed by beholding. For instance, if a person is watching a lot of salacious television or movies or looking at things they shouldn’t look at on the Internet, their mind is going to be filled with those thoughts even after they’re not looking at it anymore because they have filled their minds with those images and words. The more we focus on things that are pure, that we feed our soul in things that are good and noble and just and true and pure, well, the more likely we are to dwell and to meditate on those things. But even for the Christian who’s very careful about what he or she reads or watches, it’s like Martin Luther said, “You cannot prevent the birds from flying over your head. But you can prevent them from making a nest in your hair.”

There will be fleeting thoughts. But you don’t have to dwell upon them. You can choose to overcome evil with good by thinking about good things. You know what I’m saying?

Lewis: I appreciate that, but you said you did a sermon and what was the name of it? Conquering what?

Pastor Doug: “Conquering Interspace.”

Lewis: “Conquering Interspace.” Can I get this by calling…

Pastor Doug: You can call…

Lewis: …463-7297 number?

Pastor Doug: You can call the… not that number. You call the resource number. There’s a small cost with the cassette tape.

Lewis: Yes. What is the resource number?

Pastor Dick: 835-6747.

Lewis: Okay, I have it.

Pastor Doug: And that’s toll-free also.

Lewis: Okay. Well, you’ve been a great help, Pastor. Thank you and may God bless and keep you guys well.

Pastor Doug: God bless you!

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call, Lewis. To Hanford, California, Celcie is listening on KARM. Welcome, Celcie!

Celcie: Good evening! Howdy, Pastor Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Hi! Your question.

Celcie: Psalms 32:1.

Pastor Doug: Okay. What about it? You just want me to comment on there?

Celcie: Well, I’m curious why David gave sin more different… I don’t know, definition? Transgression, sin, iniquity… I know what guile is.

Pastor Doug: Good! That’s a good question. I haven’t had anyone ever ask that before.

Celcie: And he did the same thing in Psalms 51 and I know what sin is—transgression of the law. I was just curious why he had all those different words.

Pastor Doug: I’m glad you asked that question. You know, every night, Pastor Dick and I have sort of an unspoken contest. We always get a lot of repeat questions but we really enjoy the new ones and…

Pastor Dick: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: …there’s always new questions. There are different definitions for sin. For one thing, first time tells us sin is a transgression of the law. And then again, James says, “Sin is knowing to do good and not doing it.” Paul tells us anything that is not of faith is sin and all unrighteousness is sin. There’s four definitions.

Now, in the Hebrew mind—who King David, of course, is Hebrew—they had four definitions or at least three for sin. You had the strongest form of sin is “iniquity.” And a picture of you can… you’ve got an archer and a target. And the archer is supposed to hit the bull’s eye on the target with the arrow but because his arm is too weak to pull back the bow, the arrow doesn’t even reach the target. That would be sometimes referred to as what we call sin. Just the weakness of the flesh.

Then you got “transgression.” He has the strength to pull back the bow but he doesn’t have the skill to hit the bull’s eye. And then you would have iniquity—he can hit the bull’s eye, he has the strength to pull back the bow but he turns around and fires in the other direction. That’s what the Bible calls “presumptuous sin.” It was the most offensive kind of sin. It’s where a person deliberately did what they were told not to do and they had the power to do the right thing but they chose to do the wrong thing. So there are varying degrees of sin.

You can read, for instance, in Hebrews chapter 12, it says, “We run the race by setting our eyes upon Jesus, laying aside the weight and the sin.” Some things are weights. They slow us down and then there is sin. So there are varying degrees of sin. The addict that desperately wants to be free but they just don’t have the physical, moral strength without outside help. They are sinners but that’s not like someone else who chooses to do evil. You see what I’m saying?

Celcie: Would it be like a rebellion and then..?

Pastor Doug: Exactly!

Celcie: …in their crookedness?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. It is like a rebellion. A matter of fact, in the sacrificial system, there was no sacrifice for what the Bible called “presumptuous sin.” And the reason that David is asking for forgiveness for all these categories is because he wanted to be totally clean and holy. And I think we should pray for deliverance because God can save us from all the categories of sin.

Celcie: Wow!

Pastor Doug: All sin is offensive to God but I think everybody knows there’s some people that are morally just very weak individuals like Mary Magdalene—seven times, Jesus casts devils out of her. You know what I’m saying?

Celcie: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And then you got someone who, like Judas, he knew better. And when he sold Jesus, Jesus said it would be better for him than if he had never been born. You’ve got varying degrees. Here, Judas kissed Jesus’ face and he betrayed Him. Mary kissed His feet and she surrendered.

Celcie: Wow!

Pastor Doug: They’ve both struggled with sin. One was much more high-handed and open.

Celcie: Well, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Celcie: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Thank you. Good question.

Pastor Dick: Celcie, thanks for the call. That was a great question. Let’s go next, Pastor Doug, to Clayborn, Texas. Wayne is listening on the Internet. Good evening, Wayne!

Wayne: Hi! Good evening. Yeah, I was studying about Samson in verse 17 in Judges 16.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Wayne: It talks about the last thing he did and it talked about his hair and all that give up the secret. And then there in verse 20, it says that the Lord departed from him, you know, or was it the Holy Spirit leaving him? Is that the grievous sin or, you know, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

Pastor Doug: Well, he didn’t commit the unpardonable sin because at the end of his life, the Holy Spirit comes back with power and he accomplishes more… I mean, he prays a prayer and God hears his prayer. So the last act of Samson’s life is to be empowered by God’s Spirit and then if you go to Hebrews chapter 11, it lists Samson among all of the great who are redeemed at the end of time. So, it was… Samson did grieve the Spirit of God and the Spirit was withdrawn from him but not permanently.

The Holy Spirit was withdrawn from David when he sinned with Bathsheba. But as previous caller mentioned, in Psalms 51, David prays, “Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation.” There are many people who have grieved away the Spirit but not permanently. See what I’m saying?

Wayne: So then, if you do—commit that sin and grieving away—and that…

Pastor Doug: If you commit the unpardonable sin, there’s no mercy. The Holy Spirit does not come back.

Wayne: How can you know the difference here?

Pastor Doug: Well, an example in the Bible would be Judas. After Judas repented, instead of turning back to the Lord, he hung himself. He had lost all hope. When King Saul grieved away the Holy Spirit, even after he sought God, God would not answer him and he committed suicide—he fell on his sword. And so, there are examples in the Bible like Balaam who grieved away the Holy Spirit and went running after money and he perished. So, when a person grieves away the Holy Spirit, there is no repentance. There is no salvation at that point. You want to know how does a person know?

Wayne: Well, I’ve got a friend. It’s… he reads these books—they call these “The Strength of Sin” and he told me that there is a passage in here that there can come a time in a person’s life when you grieve away the Holy Spirit and God gives up and then you’re under control of Satan and there’s nothing you can do about it. Is that right?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, of course, we just cited some examples where there are individuals in the Bible that what happened is they grieved away the Spirit. But generally, with those people, they don’t have a desire to return to God and be filled with the Spirit. In other words, when they grieve away the Spirit, it’s the Holy Spirit that leads us to repentance. They have no desire to repent.

Pastor Dick: Wayne, it’s like they’re setting up a different God in their lives and so, they’re already torn between two gods. They’ve made a decision that they’re going to go in a particular direction and they set up this god—whatever it is—and they worship it rather than the Creator God of the universe. And when they do that, they grieve away the Holy Spirit, commit the unpardonable sin.

Pastor Doug: Yup.

Wayne: Yeah. I tried to get information. I know it takes up a long time. written about Lucifer when he fell that he went back to Jesus and said, “No, Jesus. I want to talk with You and sit and just get back in heaven.” And Jesus said, “[inaudible] accounted for…”

Pastor Doug: Well, obviously, there was a point where Lucifer did go too far because then, there was no redemption for him beyond that. Even Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” You know, there is a book that we can offer you, Wayne, and it’s dealing with “Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?” “Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?” We’ll send you a copy of that. It deals a little bit with the subject of the unpardonable sin.

Pastor Dick: Wayne, call our resource operators—1-800-835-6747—“Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?” is the title and if you’ll call, we’ll send that to you right away. And I think that will help with this issue that you’ve raised tonight. It’s a good question and I think it’s one that really deserves a lot of good study. 1-800-835-6747 is the number or you could go to the website, amazingfacts.org and you can find it there as well.

Pastor Doug, there’s the music. We’re out of time.

Pastor Doug: Oh, I apologize, friends, if we did not get to your phone call tonight. Please give us another chance. We’d sure like to hear what your question is and we are thankful for your continuing to keep Bible Answers Live in your prayers. We’d love to hear from you so drop us a line and let us know if this program has been a blessing to you. And especially this time of year because we are entirely faith-based, listener supported. We get no subsidy from any corporations or denominations; it’s just from you, the listener. And I would just invite you to ask yourself how many times had a program like this, you’ve heard someone say, “Please, let’s stand together and support us.” So many people listen and that’s all they do.

If you’ve been blessed, then do something to keep us on the station. It’s only because of folks like you that we’re still there. Don’t forget the website, amazingfacts.org, a lot of free things there for you to share your faith and to strengthen you. And we’ll be back, God willing, next week!

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