Better Than Rubies

Better Than Rubies

Date: 01/01/2006 
Rubies, next to diamonds, are the hardest material known on earth and are among the rarest and most expensive of all gems. In fact, a flawless, well-cut ruby is worth far more than a diamond of comparable size. In addition to their importance as highly priced gems, rubies are used in industry as jewel bearings, and watches, and scientific instruments.
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

Rubies, next to diamonds, are the hardest material known on earth and are among the rarest and most expensive of all gems. In fact, a flawless, well-cut ruby is worth far more than a diamond of comparable size. In addition to their importance as highly priced gems, rubies are used in industry as jewel bearings, and watches, and scientific instruments.

In the Bible, rubies, sometimes called a Sardis, are found on the breastplate of the high priest and in the foundations of the New Jerusalem. The color of a ruby depends on the amount of chromium oxide in the gem. So the hue ranges from light red to the more rare deep bluish red. Jewelers call this color, “pigeon blood.”

The most precious rubies are star rubies because when cut into a dome shape, they display a six-pointed star of light refraction caused by the alignment of the crystals in the gem. The finest rubies come from Burma. Rubies of varying qualities can also be found in India, Salem, and Cambodia, Afghanistan, Tanzania, and some high quality rubies have even been found in North Carolina. Because of the high demand for rubies, science has found a way to fabricate a synthetic stone.

Synthetic rubies are made from the same elements contained in the genuine stones. Both types have the same composition and degree of hardness and cannot be distinguished from each other without special testing. Yet, people who want the genuine stone do not hesitate to pay the high price to get it ... well passing of the almost identical synthetic stones.

History has taught us that for every truth of God, the devil has synthesized a counterfeit. Perhaps this is why King Solomon said in Proverbs 8:11, “For wisdom is better than rubies and all things that one might desire cannot be compared with her.” How can one tell whether or not they are being deceived by counterfeit truth? 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, and I’d like to wish you a happy new year to a fresh edition of Bible Answers Live! And as you can tell, this is a live program coming to you from the capital of California—Sacramento—where we’re being blasted with…

Pastor Dick: Not sunny California [laughing].

Pastor Doug: Not sunny… we’re having a flood-in and storms out here but we’re still here with you, friends. And we’d love to hear from you tonight. If you have a new year’s Bible question, you can give us a call. It’s a toll-free number, 1-800-GOD-SAYS—800-463-7297—and this is brought to you by the Amazing Facts Ministries. If you would like to find out more about some of the other services and programs, you can just go to the Internet, amazingfacts.org, a lot of free resources there as well. But for your Bible questions tonight, call in 1-800-GOD-SAYS. Lines are open, got a good chance in getting your call on the air tonight. But… Happy New Year!

Pastor Dick: Good evening, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: I haven’t talked to you since last year, Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: Yeah, happy new year! God bless you. We’re looking forward to another year of Bible Answers Live. That’s been…

Pastor Doug: Well, 11 years now?

Pastor Dick: 11 years!

Pastor Doug: Praise the Lord!

Pastor Dick: Praise the Lord! We normally start with a word of prayer so let’s pray together. Thank You, Lord, for this privilege of being able to open the Word of God and share with so many people around the country and internationally as well. Lord, You want to speak to us. You still want to share the gospel with the world and so, Lord, we are making ourselves available. We want to hear from You and we pray that You will speak clearly tonight to Pastor Doug and to our callers and our listeners. Share with us, Lord, the good news of Jesus Christ…

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Dick: And if there is someone listening to us tonight, Lord, who will give their heart to you because of what they hear, we pray that Your Holy Spirit will be there to bless them and save them in Your kingdom. Thank You, Lord, for this privilege. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Dick: Rubies, boy! They’re beautiful! I’ve had the privilege of being in London and going through the display of the crown jewels…

Pastor Doug: The tower with…

Pastor Dick: The tower. Oh my! Those stones are amazing! And particularly, the rubies, they’re just fascinating, Doug.

Pastor Doug: They have Indus Mesonian in Washington, D.C. They’ve also got a rare gem display that is pretty spectacular. And I was both pleased and interested to learn that of the foundation stones in the New Jerusalem, one of them—that is in the New Testament, it’s called the Sardis—it’s really ruby.

Pastor Dick: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And in the Hebrew, the word there is the word for “red” and it’s the same word for Adam. That’s why the word “Edom” and “Adam” are similar.

Pastor Dick: Okay, okay.

Pastor Doug: But it was also one of the stones on the breastplate of the high priest. They say it’s a stone that symbolizes love and sacrifice because it is very much like a blood color. But anyway, you know, it was fascinating—the ability of science—the first gem that science was ever able to synthesize was the ruby. And while it may have almost identical characteristics, there are minute differences. One is manmade, one is God-made. And people recognize that the value of the natural God-made rubies are much more than the manmade or counterfeit. Now, as I said, the “foe rubies.”

Pastor Dick: Right.

Pastor Doug: But there’s a lot of counterfeit truth out there that sometimes is almost undistinguishable and people say, “What difference does it make?” And in the last days, those who worship God and receive the seal of God are going to be distinguished from those who worship the beast and receive the mark of the beast based upon being deceived by a counterfeit truth. They both think they’re worshipping the true God—one is and one is not. And how do we know how to determine between the truth and Satan’s confusing counterfeits?

Pastor Dick: I think, you know, I think that one of the things that I think about, I have a relative who works in a bank and they spent a lot of time looking at money. You know, they hold up a $20 bill to see if they could see the marks and that sort of thing.

Pastor Doug: Right.

Pastor Dick: And they know the counterfeits by spending time with the truths, not by studying the counterfeits.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Dick: They don’t…

Pastor Doug: They’re so well acquainted with every new ones of the genuine that the counterfeit—the fraud—jumps out of it.

Pastor Dick: Exactly! Exactly.

Pastor Doug: And that’s the way to know the truth is become so acquainted with it that when you hear something that is false or deception, it jumps right out at you.

Pastor Dick: We have an offer that we want to make available and I don’t think it’s been in the… well, I think it’s been a long time, as what I’m trying to say…

Pastor Doug: I believe you. You’re right.

Pastor Dick: …since we’ve offered this book. It’s called, “Satan’s Confusing Counterfeits,” written by Joe Crews and we want to make this book available to anyone who would like to add it to their library. “Satan’s Confusing Counterfeits” outlines the two main strategies that Satan uses to cause even the most religious people to sin. And so, we want to make this available to anybody who will call our resource operators at 1-800-835-6747 or by going to the website that Pastor Doug mentioned a few minutes ago, amazingfacts.org, and going to the link there. You can find other resources that we mentioned. “Satan’s Confusing Counterfeits” is our offer tonight. Call that number or go to the website and you’ll find a copy of that book and…

Pastor Doug: It’s free!

Pastor Dick: …it is free. The call is free. And there are no charges at the website either and we won’t bug you…

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Dick: …so please get this and add it to your library because it will help you to identify Satan’s counterfeits. Pastor Doug, we normally take a couple of Internet questions. The first one tonight is, “Where in the Bible does it tell us anything about what Jesus did between the ages of 11 or 12 and 30 when He started His public ministry?”

Pastor Doug: Well, there is not a lot there and they call that “the missing years” and they assume that He got all of His knowledge because when He began His ministry, His knowledge seems so profound and for Him to just have a carpenter’s education, they say, “Well, He must have gone and learned from the Wise Men in the East regarding…”

Pastor Dick: Right.

Pastor Doug: “…learn from the gurus there.” And there’s all the speculation and there are other Bible translations that have talked about it. But in the gospel of Luke, it just tells us that He went back to Nazareth and He was subject to His parents and He grew up and lived at home. And when He began His ministry, they all knew who He was. He had been in that town. And so, we have just all the evidence in the Bible that He lived a normal life between the ages of, you know, last time we hear of Him, He’s a youth—He’s 12 years of age—and then He begins His ministry on His 30th birthday.

It’s just every reason to believe that He lived a sinless, but a normal, life. “Normal” meaning, He worked with His father. He probably helped in the community. He taught in the synagogue. They said that was His custom. In order for it to be His custom to be in the synagogue on the Sabbath, He had to be in Nazareth all those years. So, we don’t need to have wild speculations that Jesus was visited by aliens or that He was in India and… there’s all kinds of crazy theories out there but the Bible’s very clear. He was in Nazareth.

Pastor Dick: Alright. Very good! Second question, “Who was the strange man that Jacob wrestled with all night?”

Pastor Doug: Right. Well, in Genesis it tells us that while Jacob was praying after his return into the Promised Land, he separated his families—the descendants or the children of Rachel and Leah and their concubines—so in case his brother attacked, at least half of them would survive. And he went by himself to pray. And while he was praying, probably very fearful, someone touched his shoulder and he thought, you know, there’s a lot of… in the Jordan Valley, they had bandits that would haunt the area and he thought, “I’m being attacked!” And he spun around and began to wrestle with this person before… it’s dark. He doesn’t know who it is and we often hear it referred to as an angel.

The word “angel” simply means messenger. But towards the end, the dialogue tells us. First of all, he says, “I’ve seen God!” And that leads many to believe that this is one of the pre-incarnation appearances of Jesus. The way Jesus appeared to Abraham and others that Christ was actually there in the garden or… well, I guess it was a garden. When they wrestled in the woods there and that He gave him a new name. And the Bible says Jesus gives us a new name.

Pastor Dick: Amen!

Pastor Doug: So there’s evidence there that it was the Lord Himself.

Pastor Dick: Praise the Lord! Amen. Want to take our first call for the new year?

Pastor Doug: Let’s do that.

Pastor Dick: Alright. We’ll go first to Corinth, Mississippi. We want to talk with Barbara who is listening on WDNX. Barbara, you’re the first caller for the New Year. Welcome to Bible Answers Live!

Barbara: Hello there!

Pastor Dick: Good evening!

Barbara: It’s very nice to talk to you.

Pastor Dick: Well, thank you and your question, please.

Barbara: My question is I would like to know what the Bible says about the proper way to dress, you know, concerning jewelry and so forth—the proper way to dress at work, on the Sabbath, and so forth—and I would just like to know more about that.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, there’s a lot of Scriptures I could take you to. The principles for Christian dress are, first of all, you want to represent the Lord in cleanliness. We should represent the Lord in modesty—Christians should not want to dress to attract attention to be flamboyant or ostentatious. And for instance, you look in 1 Timothy 2:8… well, let’s say go to verse 9. “In like manner, also the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shame-facedness,” that means humility, “and sobriety; not with broidered hair or gold or pearls or costly array. But that which becomes women professing godliness be clothed with good works.”

So that one verse covers quite a bit there. Of course, we could also look at a parallel verse that we find in 1 Peter chapter 3 speaking of the women… 1 Peter 3:3 who’s adorning, “Let it not be outward adorning of plaiting the hair, wearing of gold, putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden manner of the heart.” Now, these same principles, Barbara, apply to men. It’s not just women but typically… well, it used to be—not anymore—but it used to be that it was the women that the body piercing and the jewelry but now, it’s pretty universal. And if you like more information on that, I wrote a book that talks a little bit about dress. It talks more specifically about the Christian and jewelry and what our attitudes should be.

Barbara: Yes. I think I would be very interested in that book.

Pastor Doug: Well, if you call the resource number, the book is called, “Jewelry: How Much is Too Much?” by Doug Batchelor. And…

Barbara: Okay.

Pastor Doug: …we’ll be happy to send that to you for free. Okay?

Barbara: Well, thank you so much and I appreciate you talking to me.

Pastor Doug: God bless, Barbara.

Pastor Dick: Barbara, that phone number is 1-800-835-6747; 835-6747. Call that number and ask for “Jewelry: How Much is Too Much?” and they will send it to you, and thanks for the call, Barbara. Let’s go to Morgan Town, North Carolina next to talk with Louie who is listening to 100.3. Louie, welcome to the program!

Louie: Thank you.

Pastor Dick: And your question, please.

Louie: Well, my question, sir… actually, first thing I’d like to do, I’d like to give God thanks for the salvation that He gave me. I was… I’m a born again atheist—I was atheist for 20 years and I just recently got saved.

Pastor Doug: Amen! Well, you’re talking to two former atheists on this program, so we can relate.

Louie: Well, praise the Lord for that then!

Pastor Doug: Welcome to the family, brother.

Louie: Well, my question is once you get saved, and you give your heart and life to God, what is your views of sin? Are you still live free from sin or sin you might, sin you can’t help it?

Pastor Doug: Well, every Christian should strive to be like Christ who is perfect. But you can just about count on a growing process which is going to mean that you’re going to slip and fall. It’s something like any baby—the Christian experience is called a new birth—you’ll learn to walk. And if you fall down, you get back up again. But the difference for the Christian is, Paul puts it these ways, “Sin no longer has dominion over you.” In other words, before you’re a Christian, you’re controlled and enslaved to a life of sin. Before you baptize, you might, you know, have drinking addictions or drug addictions—a variety of… we’re all sin-a-holics—and those addictions manifest themselves different ways. But when you’re born again, God breaks those chains and sets you free but that doesn’t mean you’re never going to fall. That’s why John says in 1 John, “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father.”

It’s understood that of the apostles that began to follow Jesus, they fell—they made mistakes, they argued among themselves, Peter denied the Lord—and Jesus understood that it was a sanctifying, growing process. So even for the Christian, there is this process. But our goal is the perfection of Jesus.

Louie: I understand that. That makes sense. My question was, it contained actually to Romans 6:18 where it said, “Be may then free from sin, you become the servants of righteousness.”

Pastor Dick: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Correct!

Louie: So, I mean, wouldn’t that tell them that, you know, once we get saved and stuff, we must strive to be as Christ was which is “free from sin.” And I’m not saying that we’re going to be probably like Christ was. However, in our daily lives, we must strive every day to bear the cross and live free from sin…

Pastor Doug: Well, absolutely!

Louie: …is that the correct..?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, because… and the reason for this, because we love Jesus. Sin nailed Jesus to the cross and so, anything we do to embrace sin or to run after sin, it sort of crucify Him afresh. And so, absolutely! A matter of fact, we’ve got a book that goes right along with your question we’ll send you for free and anyone else that wants this and it’s a very good book. The title scares people—“Is it Possible to Live Without Sinning?” And this book is so good. I put my plane on autopilot once and read the whole thing.

Pastor Dick: [Laughing]

Louie: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: So I recommend it. We’ll send you a copy. Would you like that?

Louie: Well, actually, the answers to that question was perfect and you were exactly correct in the statement you made and I’ve just started listening to your program because my wife and I have been looking for a radio station that spoke the truth. And the station really just hit home with this…

Pastor Doug: Well, praise the Lord!

Louie: …and I just want to praise the Lord for guiding us to you. But I don’t need the book because I’ve got the only book in here, which is the Bible.

Pastor Doug: That’s alright. Well, it’s okay to sometimes use study resources to… as long as they’re filled with Scripture…

Louie: Right.

Pastor Doug: …and that’s what you want. And if you change your mind, just go to the Amazing Facts website and there, you can read the book for free online. It’s filled with Scripture references and I think you’d appreciate it, Louie. Thanks for your call.

Pastor Dick: It’s very simple, amazingfacts.org, and if you would like to check those resources out, they’re free and they’re there and available to you. And thanks for the call, Louie.

Let’s go to New Haven, Connecticut. Jeremiah is on a cellphone. Welcome, Jeremiah, to the program!

Jeremiah: Happy New Year, Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick!

Pastor Dick: Thank you, same to you, brother.

Jeremiah: My question is about the 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction…” and it goes on. My question is, what constitute… at this time, it was written in… I don’t know who wrote this. Timothy apparently wrote it?

Pastor Doug: Paul wrote the two Timothy.

Jeremiah: Oh, Paul wrote the two Timothy.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. The book of Timothy is addressed from Paul to Timothy, which was… Paul was his mentor. But…

Jeremiah: But at that time…

Pastor Doug: Go ahead.

Jeremiah: At that time, there would didn’t exist. The Ascenes wrote the Old Testament with these scrolls.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Jeremiah: And it was just among… from those scrolls was gathered the, you know, the Old Testament and then the gospels came I guess a bit later?

Pastor Doug: Well, the majority of the Old Testament Scriptures did exist and were recognized as Scripture even before Paul wrote this.

Jeremiah: Oh!

Pastor Doug: So it wasn’t just the Ascenes. The Ascenes copied many of the Old Testament Scriptures and stored them away but most of the scribes and religious leaders in Jerusalem had an assembly of Old Testament Scriptures. They recognize, of course, the books of Moses, the minor prophets, major prophets, Ezra… Jesus quoted from many of the books in the Old Testament.

Pastor Dick: Right. And they got up and read in the synagogue.

Pastor Doug: And Isaiah.

Pastor Dick: Right.

Jeremiah: Because I know that there’s some other books like the gospel is one that comes to mind. And there’s also… isn’t there the apocryphal books?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. There are several books that are referred to as apocryphal books or some of the pseudo-figurical books. Many of them are of doubtful origin. In other words, none of the Old Testament writers or New Testament writers refer to them and suddenly they appear in history with no historical roots and it would be very easy for some priests to say, “You know, I want to make a point and so I’m going to write a book and call it the gospel of Thomas,” or something. And all of a sudden, he’s digging through a library and say, “Look what I’ve found!” And there’s no record of these books prior to the priest finding them in a library. And so, there’s been a lot of doubt about their authenticity.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with reading some of those. For instance, the book of Maccabees, there’s some good historical information in there. It isn’t classified with Scripture because the glow of inspiration seems to be missing from the Maccabees. It’s a little more of a political nature. But I think they’re good for historical reference.

Pastor Dick: Yeah. And Josephus referred to the book of Maccabees and…

Pastor Doug: Yeah!

Pastor Dick: …and used some of the historical information there. So, yeah, there’s nothing wrong with reading them but like Doug says, there’s nothing canonical about them.

Jeremiah: Could it be that some of those books were inspired by the Holy Spirit and were just left omitted from the Bible?

Pastor Doug: well, I’m of the opinion and right now, what you’re asking is my opinion because the reason they’re left out is they’re not mentioned by the other New Testament and Old Testament writers. I’m of the opinion that the Holy Spirit led in the assembly of books that are in the typical, what we call Protestant Bibles. There may be some inspiration in those other books—I don’t know and I’d just be speculating.

Jeremiah: Because I’m just thinking about the people at the time that these—the early Christians—what they were reading. Was it the same stuff that we’re reading?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, the early Christians until about 40AD, they didn’t have anything but the Old Testament. But then, you know, with the gospel of Mark and the other books that were written after the time of Christ, the New Testament inspired things were written. For instance, Peter refers to the letters of Paul as inspired so that’s pretty good endorsement.

Jeremiah: Yeah. Okay.

Pastor Doug: And that’s in 2 Peter chapter 3.

Pastor Dick: So much of the apocryphal information—the apocryphal books—deals with that 400-year period between the Old Testament and the New Testament so since they have the Old Testament already, those apocryphal books were just appearing during that time period.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps a little bit, Jeremiah.

Jeremiah: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright…

Pastor Dick: Appreciate…

Pastor Doug: God bless…

Pastor Dick: …the call. Thank you very much. Let’s go on to Dallas, Pastor Doug. Sam is listening on KSKY. Sam, welcome to the program!

Sam: Good evening, Pastor Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Evening! How can we help you tonight?

Sam: Yeah, we are looking forward to seeing you on February 18.

Pastor Doug: Oh, that’s right! I forgot I’m going to be out your direction.

Sam: Dallas…

Pastor Doug: The Dallas First Church.

Sam: Yes. Okay.

Pastor Doug: And your question tonight.

Sam: Alright. My question is, since the Holy Spirit is a Member of the Godhead, the Bible talks about the throne of God the Father and throne of the Lamb…

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Sam: …who is God the Son in Revelation 22:3.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Sam: My question is, does the Bible talk anywhere about the throne of God the Holy Spirit? Does God the Holy Spirit have any throne?

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s a good question! I think the reason that you find the physical throne in heaven for the Father and the Son here in Revelation 22:3, it calls it “God and the Lamb”—being the Son—is because they do seem to have a physical form. While the Bible does say God is a Spirit, it does describe the Father and the Son in terms of having some essence that occupies a space; whereas the Spirit is a lot more ethereal. The Spirit is sometimes Wind and Fire and Water and… the throne the Holy Spirit resides on is the throne of our hearts. And so, the place where the Holy Spirit is going to reign in heaven is not on a physical throne in a temple but in the throne of all that are in the city, which is in their hearts. Okay?

Sam: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Sam. Good question. I’ll see you in Dallas in February.

Sam: Okay.

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call, Sam! Let’s go to San Diego, Pastor Doug. Jason is on a cellphone and he’s listening to us. Welcome, Jason, to the program!

Jason: Hello. God bless you. I had a question about sanctification. I know sanctification is at present and we were sanctified in Christ, we’re being sanctified, and then we will be glorified. But my question is, I see two views of sanctification, you know. You can call it which view is correct and what’s our part in sanctification?

Pastor Doug: Okay. It’s a big question but I’ll do my best in two minutes to give you an answer. I should probably be right up front with you and explain that I think we here on this program fall on to the Armenian view of sanctification.

Pastor Dick: Right.

Pastor Doug: You know, the Christian church is almost split right down the middle between the Calvinistic view and the Armenian view and that is that we have a choice—we have a will—in the process of sanctification, God sanctifies us because we come to Him. He, of course, through the Spirit, leads us to Him and then we then surrender our wills to Him. This is why Jesus asks us to deny ourselves—take up our cross—daily and follow Him. We do have a daily responsibility and self-denial in assuming the cross and following Christ. And that is the process of sanctification. Paul said, “I die daily.” It’s a daily choice to die to self and to sin.

Jason: One thing I’ve got a question is, why do you allow to not just judgment of sin? Why do a lot of Christians fall back sometimes in a bit of sin? I mean, they are saved but why do they tend to keep on yelling to surrendering to God or overcoming sin?

Pastor Doug: Well, this is a pattern you see all through the Bible. I mean, the record of Israel and the early church is one of continual backsliding and it is the nature of the human heart just as without resistance—without power—a plane does not fly. Without forward motion, a plane will drop like a rock. And for the Christian, without the power and forward motion of moving towards God, we just drop. It’s like a sailboat. We cannot stir a sailboat when there’s no wind. And it’s…

Jason: So it’s not just believing. In fact, just having faith is really giving in to the Word, prayer…

Pastor Doug: It’s capitalizing on the power that God makes available. I apologize; we’re going to have to take a break, Jason. The half time is come upon us. But hopefully that will be some help to your question that you had.

For our listening friends, we are just taking a break right now. Pastor Dick is going to share some important announcements in just a moment. Before we go to that, I want to explain that we do have a free Bible study course that you can participate in. Anybody listening, if you’d like to sign up for the Amazing Facts Bible study course, it’s free! You can either go to our website, amazingfacts.org, or you can go to bibleuniverse.com and… or call us and we’ll send it to you. 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: We’re glad that you’re still tuning in. If you’ve just joined us, you’re listening to Bible Answers Live. It is a live, international, interactive Bible study and you can participate by listening. Hopefully, we’ll learn together as we search the Word of God. You can pray for us as we do our best to remember where the passages are and share them with you. And you can call in a Bible question, 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. Keep a pencil handy. Pastor Dick will be giving out another phone number that deals with the free resources that we offer each evening.

Pastor Dick: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Alright, Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: Okay, we’ll take our first caller for this part of the program and we’ll go to Corinth, Mississippi and talk with Dale who’s listening on WDNX. Good evening, Dale. Welcome to the program!

Dale: Hi! My question is, okay, in the New Testament, people came to a pool to be healed of their diseases or whatever and the waters were troubled. Is there any other reported place in the Scriptures where angels maybe healed someone or anything like that incident?

Pastor Doug: You know, this is a unique story that’s found in John chapter 5 and it’s still verses 1 through 14. And it almost seems like, when you first look at it, that there’s… the water would somehow bubble and superstition had grown about this pool that whoever got into the water first after it bubbled was healed. And there’s been a lot of speculation among the scholars. First of all, it’s doubtful that angels of God would find entertainment in looking at all these sick people and troubling the water and watch them scramble over each other to get in. God doesn’t typically do things that way but it is a fact that many people are healed by their own faith. That’s why Jesus healed people and He said, “Your faith has made you whole.”

And it could be that there was some natural phenomenon where either seismic activity or some pools like Old Faithful, they sporadically bubble or gush or something—it “stirs” is the word that’s used—and people believed, if they got in, they’d be healed and some were.

And so, there’s no other account of this story in the Bible. It’s unique to the gospel of John and I don’t believe there’s any other account of an angel healing anybody in the Bible.

Pastor Dick: The other… the only other account that’s similar to this is the beggar in Acts who sits by the pool for 38 years and he never does get into the water.

Pastor Doug: Yeah! You mean the beggar at the Beautiful Gate.

Pastor Dick: At the Beautiful Gate. Right.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Dick: Yeah, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well, hopefully that helps a little bit, Dale.

Dale: Okay, so the… it is not certain that the waters were actually troubled maybe? It’s just that in the Scriptures…

Pastor Doug: Well, it does say… you can’t deny what it says in the gospel of John. It tells us that an angel went down at certain seasons into the pool and troubled the water.

Dale: Oh, okay. Okay.

Pastor Doug: So it does say that an angel troubled it. They wondered, “This is an angel of God or was it an angel of the devil?” And the word “angel” just means a “messenger.” And it could be John’s way of saying, “Something troubled the water.”

Dale: Right.

Pastor Doug: And so, they’re really not sure what this is all about. But for me, it’s hard to believe it was an angel of God.

Dale: Yeah, me too. That’s why I sort of been for a few years, I’ve wondered, “Wow!” You know, I mean, usually it’s just the Lord Himself or you know, through someone, He’ll heal someone. But it’s a really… it’s just really a strange part of the Scriptures so…

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, I’m of the opinion some of these angels are fallen angels sometimes known as demons that it was not an angel of God. It doesn’t call it the “angel of the Lord.” Okay?

Dale: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps a little.

Dale: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Good question…

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call, Dale. Appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Happy New Year!

Pastor Dick: Pastor Doug, let’s go to Sydney, Australia.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Pastor Dick: Wieland is calling. Welcome, Wieland!

Wieland: Hi, is that Pastor Doug?

Pastor Dick: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Yes. Welcome to the program!

Wieland: Hi! Happy New Year!

Pastor Doug: Happy New Year! There’s a little time lapse because you’re on the other side of the planet but we’re glad you’ve called in.

Wieland: Oh, okay. My question relates to the first miracle that Jesus performed at Cana…

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Wieland: …where He turned water into wine. Is there any direct evidence that Joseph that wine that Jesus made was alcoholic or non-alcoholic? And more generally, what’s the Jewish tradition in terms of the types of drink they have in their wedding?

Pastor Doug: Hey, good question! It is not uncommon at a Jewish wedding for them to have a sweet grape juice—my grandparents had this in their cabinet, I saw it for years—and it was 2% alcohol. I’m just being honest with you, which is almost none. All wine, unless they did something… unless it was fresh or new, or they did something to constitute it or to condense it, rather, will ferment. But it seems that you can get the fermented wine all year long. The governor of the feast was surprised that Jesus had found this quality wine when it wasn’t the harvest.

And so, we believe that this must have been new wine. For one thing, it’s hard to imagine the Lord making—what would it had been? You know, 60 gallons of booze for a party. And furthermore, at the last supper, Jesus said—and we believe that that was non-fermented as well, Wieland. Jesus said, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until I drink it with you new in the Father’s kingdom.” The governor of the feast said, “You saved the best for last.” See now, that water at the wedding is a symbol of the blood of Christ. This is why this was His first miracle. The first miracle of Jesus is He gave to man pure grape juice—a symbol of His sinless blood. The last thing that happens on the cross, Wieland, is Jesus tastes sour wine that man gives Him, and then He says, “It is finished!” He took our sin, He gave us His pure life—His pure blood—and so it really destroys the message of the gospel to say that this was fermented, corrupted drug. See what I’m saying?

Wieland: Yup.

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ve got…

Wieland: It’s probably hard to imagine that Jesus made 180 gallons of alcoholic beverages.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, exactly! And you know, the party had already gone on for days. It just so out of character for the Lord to want people to be intoxicated. And I’ve actually got a book we’ll send to you. You can read it for free if it’s easier to get online and it’s something I wrote because we have a lot of questions on this and it’s called, “The Alcohol and the Christian.” “Alcohol and the Christian.”

Wieland: I think I got that. That’s download, actually.

Pastor Doug: Oh, good! Well, I hope you’ll enjoy that and hey, we appreciate getting your call from Australia and we wish you a happy New Year!

Pastor Dick: Wieland thanks for the call and God bless. Pastor Doug, let’s go next to… well, we’ll go from New Zealand, or rather, Australia to Saint Johns, Newfoundland in Canada and talk with Nancy who’s listening on VOAR. Hi, Nancy!

Pastor Doug: We’re really global tonight.

Pastor Dick: I’d say. Welcome, Nancy!

Nancy: Hi!

Pastor Dick: And your question please.

Nancy: I was just wondering about when… like when you go to heaven, will there be like different nationalities like eyes and color? Like will there still be black people and white people and, you know?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that there will certainly be diversity in color. As far as nationalities, as we gather under the tree of life, we’re pretty much going to be a new nation. See, every Christian in any part of the world is part of the same nation today. So nationality is not really the word but I think you’re asking about racial differences.

Nancy: Yes. Yeah.

Pastor Doug: I believe we will still have distinguishing differences because we’re all unique. Now, I think… I’m hoping I look better when I’m there [laughing].

Nancy: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: I hope anything would be an improvement. And so, I’m assuming that everybody is going to be a perfect version of who they are. We’re going to get new bodies. You know what I’m saying?

Nancy: Yeah, I do. Can I just ask one more quick question?

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Nancy: What does the ten horns on the ten… like the ten crowns on the ten horns in Revelation?

Pastor Doug: Oh, your first question was easier. But, alright, let’s look at that real quick. In Revelation 17, it talks about… and in Revelation 12, it talks about… and in Revelation 13, there’s a beast that has got seven heads and ten horns. A horn in the Bible, keep in mind that the Jewish people were a nomadic people—they were largely shepherds—and they saw that with rams and sheep that the horns represented strength. And you’ll see in Danile chapter 8, there’s a vision of a goat and a ram and they fight with their horns. And the horns, the angel tells us, represent kingdoms. So the ten horns—the ten powers—on top of the head of this beast represent the ten kingdoms that the Roman Empire would divide into, which are synonymous with the ten… pretty much, the ten nations surrounding the Mediterranean today in Europe.

Nancy: Okay. Yeah, I got this… like I had a list of that. Like what do the crowns and the horns symbolize?

Pastor Doug: Well, those who’d represent that those kingdoms had kings.

Nancy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Some kingdoms are… other governments, I mean, even in Greece they had a Senate and they didn’t necessarily always have a king. But they are monarchies.

Nancy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: You get, for instance, in Revelation chapter 13, it talks about the second beast has two horns like a lamb but there are no crowns on the horns because that second beast is the US. And we’ve never had a monarchy here.

Nancy: Okay. Okay, great!

Pastor Doug: Okay? Hey, you can…

Nancy: Okay. Thanks a lot!

Pastor Doug: …go to our Amazing Facts website. We’ve got a lesson that deals with Revelation 13 and you’ll find a lot more detail there.

Pastor Dick: Amen. Nancy, thanks for the call and happy New Year! We’ll go next, Pastor Doug, to Astoria, New York and talk with E. Frank…

E. Frank: Yes, this is E. Frank from Astoria Queens, New York City.

Pastor Doug: Yes sir!

E. Frank: My question is in the New Testament, and I think in the Old Testament, says that Satan is the prince of the air or lord of the air. And I want to find out whether or not Satan himself can materialize in one way or another through some sort of anti-matter. And I want to tell you this because I live in a building where in the past, there used to live individuals who used to practice Satanism and I actually saw Satan himself in the apartment where I lived. And another incident where my grandmother went to visit Tollorado Cannibal Indians and they also manifest… Satan manifested himself to her…

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, let me give you a Scripture for that, E. Frank. If you look in 2 Corinthians 11:14, it says, “And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers are also transformed as ministers of righteousness.” In other words, Satan himself can appear as an angel of light. I want you to think about something, when Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness… are you still there, Frank?

E. Frank: Yes, I am.

Pastor Doug: When He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, do you think that the devil appeared to Him with black cape and red leotards and horns and a pitchfork? Or do you think he may have appeared as a beautiful angel?

E. Frank: Well, you’re asking me that question but what I saw was what you described—the first—the cape, the horns, the reddish, ashy face… that’s what I saw as it appeared to me. It didn’t appear as an angel of light although it does say, as you’ve said, I’ve read it in the Bible that Satan can appear as an angel of light.

Pastor Doug: Well, he can appear either way. If he wants to appear grotesque, and that serves his purposes, he can certainly do that as you just cited. But that doesn’t surprise us when the devil appears as an ugly demon. It does surprise us that he can also appear as beautiful as an angel and that’s when he’s the most dangerous.

E. Frank: Right. And I also feel that Satan has the power—I don’t know if you might agree with me—that, you know, he uses not this plane, the physical plane, but it’s a… let’s just say in an anti-matter some type of plane that he just materializes when his causes aren’t met. Because I’ve been reading things in the Satanic Bible and the people who practice Satanism do conjure up Satan in the way it says in the Satanic Scripture.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, first of all, I recommend that you don’t spend a lot of time reading the Satanic Bible but you are correct that the devil is living in a realm—you call it the anti-matter—in Ephesians chapter 6, it says, “We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but demons in heavenly places.” These are living in a dimension that we don’t operate in right now because of our limitations. You know, there’s a book I’d like to send you for free, E. Frank. And if you go online, you can either read it there or call the phone number and it’s about the devil. It’s “Where Did the Devil Come From?” And if you want to call Amazing Facts and ask for that resource, we could also… you know what would be good is we’ve got the book, “Satan in Chains.”

Pastor Dick: “Satan in Chains.”

Pastor Doug: “Satan in Chains” would be a good study.

Pastor Dick: 1-800-835-6747 is that number, E. Frank. 800-835-6747. If you call that number and ask for “Satan in Chains”…

Pastor Doug: And the other one I meant to say is “Did God Create the Devil?”

Pastor Dick: “Did God Create the Devil?”

Pastor Doug: It gives the history of the devil, what his limitations are and biblically, the answer’s there.

Pastor Dick: E. Frank, thanks for the call. We appreciate hearing from you and happy New Year. Let’s go next to New Orleans, Louisiana. Kevin is listening on 3ABN. Welcome, Kevin!

Kevin: Hey! Hi, it’s a pleasure. My question is concerning Revelation 11 in verse 7 which talks about two witnesses.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Kevin: It says that, “When they shall have finished their testimony,” they’re going to be killed. And I don’t understand how we can refer to the French revolution because wouldn’t this killing of the two witnesses have to occur after 1798?

Pastor Doug: Alright. For our friends listening, Kevin and I know what we’re talking about. But in Revelation 11, the historic view of these two witnesses are that they are the Word of God, the Law and the Prophets, some say Moses and Elijah who both symbolize the law and the prophets, and when it says, “After they finished their testimony,” there was a testimony that they give in sackcloth for 1,260 years and then there is another special testimony that they give during three and a half years of the French revolution when blood just reign on the streets.

And so, it’s talking about… this is really the birth of atheism, which began in France. France was one of the first countries that said there is no God. And it describes this in prophecy. But I’m not sure you’re saying for them to finish their testimony, how could they be the Word of God? Is that your question, Kevin?

Kevin: No, no, no. What I’m saying is how could it refer to 1793 when in fact, French government rejected the Bible for three and a half literal years? That’s what I would have you explain to me. And if the killing of the two witnesses, which was the rejection of the Bible for three and a half years beginning at 1793 to 1797…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Kevin: How could that be? Because it says “after they shall have finished” and in another book by a famous woman writer, she puts in parentheses, “are finishing.” So it’s to put it in like a present tense instead of past tense.

Pastor Doug: Well, I guess the bigger question is, do you think the two witnesses represent the Word of God?

Kevin: Absolutely! It’s just I’m having trouble reconciling this “they shall have finished.”

Pastor Doug: The interpretation… this particular interpretation of those verses, they’re dealing with the French revolution. Well, let me just give you the overview very quickly. The revolution in France was the birth of atheism. The nation burned the Bibles in the streets—that’s when it says they were killed. They established a ten-day week because they could not prove a seven-day week from anything but the Bible. The world keeps the seven-day week and you can only trace the seven-day week to “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Kevin: Amen.

Pastor Doug: And so, this all-out war was commenced against the Bible in France that resulted in an atheistic nation and the birth of atheism there. They killed the Huguenots and blood just ran in the streets and the Christians were slaughtered there. And it was three and a half years later—a day’s a year in prophecy—that they reinstituted the seven-day week, they allowed the Bible once again, and that’s why it goes on and says that “Their bodies will lie in the street of that great city that’s spiritually called Sodom and Egypt.” It was in Egypt that Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord?” and Sodom, you know. Everyone knows about the promiscuity that was available then.

This is a deep study for a three-minute question. If you’ve read the book by Uriah Smith—have you looked at that, Kevin?

Kevin: I haven’t catch up with that yet but I intend to.

Pastor Doug: I think you can read it for free online. We don’t have it on our website because it’s a big book but if you type in “Daniel and the Revelation” by Uriah Smith, that would be a great study for that because this… but there’s pages on this and it’s hard for me to give you a quick, concise answer on the French revolution. Hope that helps a little bit and thanks for calling, Kevin.

Pastor Dick: Thanks for the call. Happy New Year, Kevin. Let’s go next to Arlington, Texas. Faye is a first time caller. Welcome, Faye!

Faye: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi!

Pastor Dick: Good evening and your…

Faye: Peace to you, Pastor Doug and Pastor Dick.

Pastor Dick: Thank you.

Faye: My question is carrying our conversations sweet ahead and ring in our past questions in regards to the devil. My question is I’m having a hard time understanding in Revelation when it talks about Lucifer being cast down to earth because, as we know, he deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden and in the book of Job, he’s talked about he went to the meeting of God… with God and His sons in heaven and God asked him why was he there. And he says, well, and what had he been doing and he said that he was walking to and fro in the earth. So as we know, there are…

Pastor Doug: I think I can answer your question with a simple illustration. I think you’re saying that Satan has been cast to the earth, then how is it he appears in the book of Job in heaven? Is that what you’re asking, Faye?

Faye: Well, that’s… well, yes. And it goes along with the final question that I have. I can’t figure it out in my mind why in Revelation it talks about he’s cast down to the earth? Maybe I have the sequence of Revelations incorrect.

Pastor Doug: No, I think that you do. Well, first let me say, in Revelation 12 when it talks about Satan being cast to the earth and it talks about the war in heaven, Revelation is not written in sequential, chronological order. Revelation is a bunch of snapshots of the war between good and evil that has happened over the course of the earth’s history and the prophecies—they cover that same time period.

In Revelation chapter 12 when it talks about the war between Michael and the Dragon and Satan being cast to the earth, John is being shown a panorama of the battle in the past. Now, just because Satan has been cast to the earth—that’s talking about his residence—it doesn’t mean he can’t, you know, roam around. And up until the time of Christ Jesus, “And I saw Satan fall like lightning.” I believe that he did have the ability to access heaven and say, “I’m coming to represent the planet earth at these heavenly meetings.” But his office was here on this planet. His home was here on this planet. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t ever leave it.

After Christ died, and after Jesus’ successful ministry, I believe Satan could no longer represent this planet because Jesus has purchased it. Now, did that make sense?

Faye: As usual, you explain… you put everything in such a simple explanation that is understandable.

Pastor Doug: Oh, well, praise the Lord! Another happy customer.

Faye: I really appreciate you explaining that to me because I’ve had a lot of questions about that and I did not realize that Revelation wasn’t in sequence.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it’s… let me give you something that a great evangelist has shared with me that helped me. In Revelations chapters 2 and 3, you’ve got the history of the church in the seven churches—it’s a religious history—then you’ve got the history—the political history—in the seven seals, then you’ve got the same history—the military history—in the seven trumpets, and these are overviews or panorama of the battle between good and evil from the perspective of religion, politics, military. But they mean much more than that. That’s just the very elementary beginning. Hope that helps a little bit, Faye, and thanks for your question.

Pastor Dick: Faye, we appreciate the call. Thanks for calling. Let’s go next to… Pastor Doug, to Wellington, Delaware and talk with Nancy who’s listening on the Internet. Welcome, Nancy!

Nancy: Hello.

Pastor Dick: And your question please.

Nancy: Can somebody lose their salvation?

Pastor Doug: Can someone lose their salvation?

Nancy: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe that… well, let me ask you a couple of questions if you don’t mind. How does someone receive salvation?

Nancy: By accepting Jesus as their Savior.

Pastor Doug: And by believing, right?

Nancy: And by believing, yeah.

Pastor Doug: If they cease to believe and if they reject Jesus, are they still saved?

Nancy: What was that again? I’m sorry.

Pastor Doug: If we are saved by believing in Christ and accepting Him, then if we reject Him and we stop believing, are we still saved? Did you understand that?

Nancy: Yeah. I understand…

Pastor Doug: It’s salvation in reverse. In other words, if we are saved because we are taking advantage of His offer—He’s offered us forgiveness, He’s offered us salvation; we embrace it, we believe, we accept Him—but then, if we turn our backs on Him and reject Him, He will never let go of us but that doesn’t mean we aren’t free to yank our hand out of His hand and let go of Him. And so, can a person—once they’re saved—be lost? The question is, do we still have choice? Do we lose our choice after we accept Jesus or are we still free? See what I’m saying?

Nancy: Yeah, I understand what you’re saying.

Pastor Doug: And now, there… I hope that helps a little bit but there’s a free article that you can read on that at the Amazing Facts website and it’s called, “Heavenly Hostage,” and it talks about, you know, once we’re saved, can we be lost? And that’s really the heart of your question. A matter of fact, Pastor Dick, we’ve got a book that we could send Nancy and that’s the title of the book, “Can a Saved Man be Lost?”

Pastor Dick: Nancy, I want you to call this phone number and ask for that. If you’ll call 1-800-835-6747 and ask for “Can a Saved Man be Lost?” they’ll send it to you. Okay? Thanks for the call, Nancy, and happy New Year to you.

Pastor Doug, let’s see if we can get one more caller in. We’ll talk with Carl in Enruz, North Carolina listening on WKRK. Carl, we have about two and a half minutes.

Carl: Okay. I got a quick one, Doug.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Carl: Okay. Why does Jesus say in John 3:13, “No man has ascended up to heaven,” when we know that the Scriptures are clear indicating that Enoch and Moses and Elijah all went to heaven?

Pastor Doug: Well, that is a good question. And we’ve been asked that several times. Let me give you some quick thoughts on that. No one has ascended to heaven by virtue of their righteousness except Christ. In other words, anyone who’s gone to heaven gets there—Moses, Enoch, Elijah—they were basically riding on Christ’s back. No one could get from earth to heaven but Jesus, based on His own righteousness.

Carl: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And if you also want to speak in general terms, you know, the Bible says, “It’s appointed unto man once to die,” right? “And after that, the judgment.” But are there a couple of exceptions? Well, Enoch didn’t die; Elijah didn’t die, right?

Carl: Right.

Pastor Doug: So how can the Bible say, “It’s appointed unto man once to die?” Well, because generally speaking, you know, out of the billions that have lived, two doesn’t amount to a very big percentage. Most men die and then the judgment. And generally speaking, no one has ascended to heaven. They’re all on their graves waiting for the resurrection.

Oh, sorry Carl. I think we’ve run out of time. Anyway, listening friends, you can tell from the music that we’ve bumped it right up to the edge again. Keep in mind, this is a faith ministry especially as we enter the new year, we need people who are willing to stand with us and keep this program on the air. We are not supported by any corporations or denominations but just by people like you. And praise the Lord for some of you who felt moved by the Spirit to say, “I’ve been edified by this programs and I want to help keep them on my station.” And so, we’d love to hear from you. Anything you do is appreciated. Also, you can sign up for the free Amazing Facts magazine this year. If you like to contact us at Amazing Facts, say, “I’d like to get a copy of the Inside Report magazine.” We’ll send that to you for free!

Most of all, we want you to have a happy New Year in Christ. And remember that Jesus is the Truth that will set you free!

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