Passenger pigeons

Passenger pigeons

Date: 07/16/2006 
Passenger pigeons were once the most numerous birds in North America, and probably on the entire planet. The elegant birds had a slate blue head, gray back, and wine-red breasts. The eye was scarlet with a short, slender, black bill.

A New Revelation DVD and Study Guide by Doug Batchelor

A New Revelation DVD and Study Guide by Doug Batchelor
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Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Passenger pigeons were once the most numerous birds in North America, and probably on the entire planet. The elegant birds had a slate blue head, gray back, and wine-red breasts. The eye was scarlet with a short, slender, black bill.

A long tail, graceful and fast, these pigeons could reach flight speeds of 60 to 70 miles an hour, but they were not fast enough to escape annihilation. Early settlers recorded massive flocks a mile wide and up to 300 miles long. These clouds of birds were so dense that they darkened the sky for days as the immense flock passed overhead one tier above the other.

The flocks were so thickly packed that a single shot from a shotgun could bring down 30 or 40 birds. And many were killed simply by hitting them with a piece of wood or a rock as they flew over the low hilltops. Their roosting sites were also enormous. Some covered an area 5 by 12 miles with up to 90 nests in a single tree.

Branches broke and whole trees were toppled by the sheer weight of these roosting passenger pigeons often standing on top of each other and leaving a pile of droppings several inches deep under the tree. Population estimates from the 19th century range from three to five billion birds.

Then began what is probably the most severe example of mass wildlife slaughter in history. The young chicks were regarded as a great delicacy and the adults were sought after for their feathers as well as their meat. The pigeons were hunted for hog feed, as live targets for trap shooting, and even sometimes as fertilizer.

They were often the primary meat for slaves in America. In New York City in 1805, a pair of pigeons sold for two cents. Commercial hunters harvested tens of thousands of individuals daily from nesting colonies and shipped them by the boxcar load to the markets in the East. In 1855, 300,000 pigeons a year were being sent to New York alone for restaurants.

During 1874, Michigan sent over three million birds East. With the coming of the telegraph, the location of these large flocks could be wired to hunters and the birds were relentlessly pursued. By the late 1880's, passenger pigeon flocks that once numbered in the millions were no more than a few hundred.

By 1900, no wild passenger pigeons could be found. From 1909 to 1912, the American Ornithological Union offered $1,500.00 to anyone finding a nest, but these efforts were futile. The last passenger pigeon, named Martha, died alone at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. Who could have dreamed that within a few decades you could go from the most birds to zero?

The book of Revelation teaches that in the last days, an all-out effort will be made to annihilate God's people. Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome once again listening friends to Bible Answers Live. This is a live, international, interactive Bible study. You are invited to participate by calling in your Bible question. That number again is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. That's 1-800-463-7297.

Have a pencil handy because through the broadcast we also give out a number where you can free resources to help you in your personal Bible study; and also some websites that will greatly enhance your study and there's a lot of resources there as well. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And my name is Jëan Ross. Good evening Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Welcome back Pastor Jëan. You were in Nigeria.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I was in Nigeria, Africa. We were doing a mission trip there with Amazing Facts, some of our students from our evangelistic school, and the Lord blessed. We had a wonderful time.

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord. And you had good success?

Pastor Jëan Ross: We had baptisms as a result of the meetings. People made their decision to follow Jesus and it was exciting! From the five students that went along and did meetings and myself, there were about 98 baptisms that came as a result of those meetings.

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord! That's encouraging.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now I know you also were gone just last week.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I was in Sweden last week meeting a lot of friends there that listen on Radio 74 that broadcasts around Europe and reaches into Scandinavia and some of our friends that listen on the Internet. And so I did a little convocation.

I'd never been to Scandinavia before there in Sweden, not far from Stockholm, and had a great experience. A lot of lovely people there. And the church really needs prayer there because I understand only one percent of the population in Scandinavia goes to church--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um m

Pastor Doug: --compared to 35 or 40 percent in North America. There are many Christians there but very few go to church. So they really need a revival there; and we think things are turning around. But hey, we've got an exciting program tonight.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do.

Pastor Doug: Let's begin with a word of prayer.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, let's do that. Let's just bow our heads. Dear Father, once more, as we open up Your word, we ask for the Holy Spirit to be with us. We recognize that in order to understand Your Book, we need Your guidance. So be with us here and those who are listening, and those who call in with questions. May the answers be clear and may they lift up Jesus. For this we ask in His name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: We began the program this evening talking about this mass destruction of these pigeons in the early days in the United States. And you ended that amazing fact by talking about a time that is yet to come that we read about in Revelation where there will be a death decree against those who follow Jesus.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. The Bible is telling us in Revelation 13 that this beast is not going to allow people to buy or sell, and that's Revelation 13:17. "That no one might buy or sell, except the one who has the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."

It goes on also to say in the previous verse that those who do not participate in worshiping the beast should be killed. And there, basically, is going to be an effort to annihilate, to exterminate, all of God's people that do not capitulate their convictions and worship the beast. And this will not be the first time in history.

We remember in the book of Esther. The central, dramatic point of Esther is there's a decree made to annihilate all of the Jews--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: --in the Persian empire. And at the last minute, God intervenes and the tables are totally turned, and He delivers them. Of course, the king of Egypt had Israel up against the Red Sea and he was probably bent on annihilation back then too.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right.

Pastor Doug: And God parted the sea and worked a miracle. So, God is going to, we believe, step in again and deliver His people. But there is going to be a severe time of trouble and our friends might want to know what prophecy says about that day and that effort.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a free offer that deals with this whole situation spoken about in Revelation chapter 13. It's called, "The Beast: Who Will Worship It?" It's a free booklet that all you'll need to do is call our resource number and ask for it. "The Beast: Who Will Worship It?"

The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, and the free offer is "The Beast: Who Will Worship It?" Pastor Doug, before we get to our Internet questions, we just want to welcome a radio station broadcasting our program in Houston, Texas. It's KLVL 1480 AM. So if anyone is listening from there, we would be thrilled if you would call in with your Bible question, our first night on the air there in Houston, Texas on this particular radio station.

Pastor Doug: Good! Look forward to hearing from them.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The first Internet question has to do with the subject of tattoos. It says, "Is it Biblically wrong to get a tattoo if it is honoring God?" So I imagine maybe the tattoo has something to say as far as the name of God or some Christian principle.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I've seen people who get tattoos that maybe have a Scripture.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm, John 3:16.

Pastor Doug: And so they think, "Well, what could possibly be wrong with tattooing a Scripture on your body?" Well I would, first of all, appeal to Christians. God says, "Thy word I've hid in my heart," not painted on my skin.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um m

Pastor Doug: So if the word is in our hearts and in our minds it'll be exhibited in our lives. Tattooing a passage on our bodies, first of all, the Bible says we should not do it. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And it doesn't matter what you put on the temple, it's graffiti if you deface the temple.

A lot of kids take these spray paint cans on the sides of buildings and they might spray some Biblical principle. Well I doubt the owners appreciate that. Our bodies are the temple. By the way, that's Leviticus 19:28, "Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am the LORD."

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's quite clear in that verse.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it's--matter of fact, the only time you're going to find the word "tattoo" there in the New King James Version is Leviticus 19:28. But it's very clear. I mean, if you see somebody that has tattoos all over their body, you wouldn't normally think of Jesus doing that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And He's our example.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. Our next question has to do with--I think you need to clarify as we get into this question a little bit--the person was wondering about "those who live after the rapture on earth for seven years, will they interact with the glorified saints when Jesus returns again?" So from the question, it seems as though the person asking believes that people live on earth after the rapture for another seven years.

Pastor Doug: You know, this is a common dilemma, a conundrum that people have who believe that the righteous, with their glorified, immortal bodies, will be coexisting, or ruling over the wicked who are still mortal.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: And there's nothing in the Bible that teaches that you're going to have this amalgamation of the immortal saved with the wicked lost living on the same planet. There's a lot of problems with that theology.

The Bible is very clear that, when the Lord descends, the wicked are destroyed by the brightness of His coming; that the righteous that get their glorified bodies are caught up, or raptured up, to meet the Lord in the air and we spend the 1,000 years living and reigning with Christ in heaven.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um m

Pastor Doug: It's not the righteous reigning over the wicked on earth. I mean, how could that be heaven if you have to cohabit with the wicked on the planet?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right

Pastor Doug: It says, "The meek will inherit the earth", not the wicked. So the foundation for the question is coming from a misconception about prophecy. We have an offer that is called, Anything But Secret. And it explains the scenario of the second coming, not only that Jesus is coming, but the sequence of how that happens. If someone would like a copy of that, all they've got to do is call the resource number. It's called, Anything But Secret.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, the number to call is 1-800-835-6747. It has to do with the second coming, the rapture, the tribulation, how this all fits together. Anything But Secret is the little booklet that you can ask for.

Pastor Doug, I was just wondering before we go to the phone lines, why don't you say just a few words about the seven-year period that people come up with, as far as seven years of tribulation. Will the tribulation be seven years?

[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Well the phrase "seven year tribulation" doesn't appear anywhere in the Bible. Some have taken the prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 and there is a final week in this 490-year prophecy, and they tear it off the other 483 years; and kind of have it floating down at the end of time somewhere.

There's no reason, Biblically, to do that. I don't know how it can be argued that you would take a whole period--the angel gives this whole 490-year period, it's a prophetic period, and to take the last week and separate it from the other 483 years, it ceases to be 490 years.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So we understand from the Bible there will be a tribulation period, but the Bible doesn't say it's going to be seven years.

Pastor Doug: It never calls it seven--matter of fact, if you were to pick a Bible number, it would seem more likely that it would be three and a half,--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: --because the times of persecution and rejection in the Bible, during Elijah fleeing into the wilderness, of Christ's ministry and crucifixion, it was always three and a half years. But there's nowhere in the Bible you find the phrase, "seven year tribulation."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. That's an important point to know. I know it's very popular to talk about the seven-year tribulation--

[cross talk, unintelligible]

Pastor Doug: That grew out of Hal Lindsey's books and interpretation.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Let's go to the phone lines. Our first caller is Joseph calling from New York, listening on WMCA. Welcome to the program Joseph.

Joseph: Hello Pastor. Pastor, I'm calling concerning the expression that Jesus used to Nicodemus, being born again.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Joseph: Now my question is this, when a child is born, he's baptized, of course. And then he makes his Communion voluntarily, willingly. And after that, he, again, is confirmed voluntarily and willingly, in both cases accepting Jesus. Isn't that the equivalent of being born again, except in Jesus, on these two other occasions, after baptism?

Pastor Doug: Well being born again should be synonymous with the decision to repent of our sins, to confess our sins, to choose to accept Christ to take control of our lives. The Bible says that when we are Christ's, we are new creatures; old things are passed away, all things are become new.

So the new birth is where God places a new mind in us; and that's Romans chapter 12, that by the renewing of our minds. And so it's a new heart, a new mind, new love, new direction, new motives. It is not necessarily connected with Communion. For instance, when we celebrate Communion, that's a choice we make to renew the commitment of the new birth.

Baptism is a choice to seal the commitment of the new birth. But the new birth is something that God does in us through the Holy Spirit. We cannot set a date and say, "On such and such a day, I'm going to repent and be born again." When God speaks to us and we respond to the voice of the Spirit, our hearts can be recreated.

Joseph: You don't think that's done when they receive confirmation, or Communion?

Pastor Doug: Well, a person could experience the new birth at Communion. But the moving of the Spirit is not restricted to a church ceremony, like baptism or Communion or confirmation.

Joseph: So are you saying--

Pastor Doug: Let me give you an example, okay?

Joseph: Alright

Pastor Doug: In the Bible, Acts chapter 9, the Apostle Paul, he was born again after Jesus met him on the road to Damascus.

Joseph: Yes

Pastor Doug: He wasn't doing Communion. He wasn't being baptized. He was on his way to murder Christians; and God basically hit him between the eyes with a bolt of light. And he realized what his sins were; he spent three days repenting; and he was born again. He was a different man. Peter was born again. After he denied Christ, he went out and wept bitterly; and he had a new heart. He was a different man.

And so, it often happens in those kinds of situations. We believe John was born again when Jesus washed his feet in the Upper Room. So that was connected with a service. But it's the moving of God's Spirit. It's not a function of a church ceremony. I hope that helps a little bit Joseph. But uh, does that make sense Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: It does. You know, we talk about baptism, Communion, that sort of flows out of this experience of receiving a new heart, being born again. However, taking part in Communion or doing baptism, it's not a guarantee that we're going to be born again.

Pastor Doug: That's right [cross talk]. I've met people, and you have too, that think, "Well if I could just get baptized, I'll be born again." It doesn't work that way.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Doesn't work.

Pastor Doug: You have to give your heart. That's like a guy saying to a girl, "I think if I could just marry you, then I'll love you."

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Chuckles]

Pastor Doug: You better have the love first.

Pastor Jëan Ross: There's not too many women, hopefully, that will go with that.

Pastor Doug: No.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Let's go to the next caller. Donald is calling from Michigan. Welcome to the program Donald.

Donald: Hello, thank you. Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Donald: Yes, my question is in regard to tithe.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Donald: Simply, does God require us to return tithe on money that we work for only, or does He also require us to tithe on money that we receive as a gift?

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible tells us that the tithe is of the increase; and the majority of a person's increase is usually because of their work. But that increase could come in the form of an inheritance. It could come in the form of, you know, some other windfall that you maybe don't anticipate.

But as God blesses and we continue to return tithe, the more faithful we are, the more that God can use us as a channel of blessing, the more He will bless. In other words, God doesn't want us to just hoard any good thing, whether it's truth or our resources, our love. He wants us to be channels through which those things flow.

And so, tithe is a great opportunity to have the increase God gives us flow through us. I wouldn't restrict it to just our paycheck. In our family, if my wife and I get some windfall from something unexpected and, you know, it could be a tax return or something that we weren't anticipating, we just praise God.

Every now and then, I'll get a royalty check I didn't know was coming. I pay tithe on that.

Donald: Oh okay. Alright, well thank you very much. So the Bible teaches our increase?

Pastor Doug: Tithe is on the increase; and we have a book we're send you on that, if you would like it.

Donald: Sure

Pastor Doug: It's, "In God We Trust?" It's the Amazing Facts study guide called, "In God We Trust?" It has a lot of amazing facts in it. It's a very colorful study guide; and we'll send that to you for free if you'd like one Donald.

Donald: Sure, I'd like that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: All you'll need to do Donald is just call the resource number. It's 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, "In God We Trust?" and that will give you more information upon the important subject of tithing. Our next caller is Anita. She's listening in Illinois. Welcome to the program, listening on the Internet. Anita, are you there?

Anita: Hello?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello

Anita: Yeah, hi. I was wondering about--because I've been discussing with someone about the earth being different before Adam and Eve sinned--and I was wondering where in the Bible does it say that the earth was cursed, or that, you know, the animals, and maybe nature, were different now than it was in the beginning?

Pastor Doug: Well in Genesis it tells us that after Adam and Eve sinned, thorns and thistles came out.

Anita: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: And that would be Genesis 3:18, "Both thorns and thistles it will bring forth to you." Thorns, of course, are not pleasant and thistles are like thorny plants. Probably, there was no Poison Oak or Poison Ivy that would hurt you before sin. So a lot of the toxic plants, animals killing each other--we know in heaven the lion will eat straw.

There was no death before sin. But the animals killing and eating each other, all of that was part and parcel of the curse that came on the planet with Adam and Eve's sin.

Anita: Yep. Isn't there also a verse about the animals fearing man after the flood or something?

Pastor Doug: Yes, and Pastor Ross might be looking that up. That's after Noah comes out of the ark. God said that He would put the fear of man on all the beasts. Man was given dominion; and it's obvious, just by looking in the world around us today, you can see that man has conquered all of the beasts.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I think the verse you're thinking of is Genesis chapter 9, verse 2 where it says, "And the fear of you"--

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that's it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: --"and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth."

Pastor Doug: So Noah comes out of the--[cross talk]

Pastor Jëan Ross: It was protection for them, yeah. Absolutely.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps Anita.

Anita: Okay, well thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, God bless.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thanks for calling Anita. Our next caller is Danielle calling from Sacto, California. Are you there?

Danielle: Hello?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello

Pastor Doug: Hi. That's Sacramento.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh, is that what it is?

Pastor Doug: That's an abbreviation. You haven't been here long enough [cross talk, laughter]

Pastor Jëan Ross: I was just going to ask you, "Do you know where Sacto is?" [laughs]

Pastor Doug: Pastor Ross has only been here, how long? A year now? [laughter]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sometimes I wonder. Alright. Sacramento, California.

Pastor Doug: I should let you know it's also sometimes called River City; but go ahead.

Danielle: Okay. My question is does God love all people the same? And the two verses that bring the question is Luke 14:26 where it says that, "Whoever loves mother, father, brother more than me," or basically we have to hate them. In the original language "hate" means to "love less."

Pastor Doug: Yeah

Danielle: And in Romans 9:13, it says that God loves Jacob but He hated Esau, which means to love him less. Now is there, like, does God love all people equally?

Pastor Doug: Well let's first start with Romans, if that's okay. That is a verse that has been often misunderstood. "I have loved Jacob, I have hated Esau." That isn't because God looked at these two twin brothers and said, "You know, I don't like the hairy one. I don't love him as much as I love the smooth one." You know, Esau was hairy and Jacob wasn't.

Danielle: Uh-huh

Pastor Doug: Jacob, if you look at this verse, Paul is quoting Malachi chapter 1, verses 2 and 3. And he's not talking about Jacob the man or Esau the man. He's talking about Jacob's descendants. Sometimes Israel was referred to as "Jacob" and Esau's descendants, the "Edomites." He loved Israel. He showed favor to Israel. And He did not show the same favor and love for the Edomites because of their behavior.

So when God blessed Israel and gave them the promise land and protected them, He cursed the Edomites because of their wickedness and pagan worship. That's what he's referring to. It's not saying an individual. It's talking about nations here.

Danielle: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright. So that's that one verse. You are also asking about Luke chapter 14, "If anyone does not hate his father, mother," so forth?

Danielle: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Well first of all, God loves everyone. John 3:16, "God so loved the world...." I mean, He loves everyone. And the Bible says, "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." He loved us enough to die for us no matter who we are.

You can think of one of the worse sinners in the Bible. You take this king by the name of Manasseh, who was a wicked king. He did all kinds of vile things, even killing his children; and when he repented, God forgave him. I mean, He even loved Manasseh. He still loved David after David murdered and committed adultery, stealing his friend's wife. So God is love.

It does seem to indicate, Danielle, that in the Bible God shows favor to some more than others. That might be arbitrarily because of His grace and providence. Sometimes I believe God shows favor because of a person's choices. For instance, the Bible says Daniel was greatly beloved, and that's Daniel chapter 9.

Well, it wasn't that God just said, "I'm going to love Daniel more than anyone else because I like the sound of his name. Daniel was greatly beloved because of the choices Daniel made to respond to God's grace. Does that make sense?

Danielle: Yes it does.

Pastor Doug: I remember my mother once got upset with me and she said, "Doug, I love you, but sometimes I don't like you."

Danielle: [Chuckles]

Pastor Doug: And she meant I love you because it's just...I guess it's part of the job description as mother. But sometimes, you know, parents don't like what their kids are doing.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right.

Pastor Doug: I'm sure the Lord feels that way too sometimes.

Danielle: Okay

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thanks Danielle.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. I think we have time for one more. Let's go to Marcus in North Carolina. Marcus, welcome to the program.

Marcus: Hi, thank you. Yes, my question is if you have a husband and wife and the husband is not following God, does the wife--is she obligated to be submissive to her husband or to follow his leadership in the house?

Pastor Doug: Well the Bible does teach that men are to be the priest leaders of their family. I believe that as long as the husband is not asking his wife or family to violate a Biblical doctrine, they ought to show respect. I knew this one husband, he was not a Christian. He'd tell his wife, he'd say, "Look, I want you to go to the movie with me today." And she says, "It's time to go to church."

He says, "I'm your husband. God says you should submit to me." And she said, "Well, but first I must submit to God,"--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: --"who says, 'Go to church.' And so, I'm going to church." And, you know, if a husband is asking his wife to violate her convictions and spiritual commitment to God, by no means should she put man ahead of God. You see what I'm saying?

Marcus: Yeah

Pastor Doug: But, if the husband is saying, "I'd rather eat at 5:30 than 6:30," and she says, "I don't care. I don't want to cook dinner until 7," well that might be disrespectful, you know what I mean? There's not a Biblical principle there.

Marcus: Yes, like if the husband stopped going to church and the wife continues to go, does she need to respect him? You know, it's--

Pastor Doug: Well I believe, yeah, I believe the husband and wife should both respect each other.

Marcus: Okay

Pastor Doug: Let me read you 1st Peter chapter 3, verse 1: "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands; that, if any do not obey the word," this is speaking about unbelieving husbands, "they without a word can be won by the behavior of the wives; while they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear."

And then he goes on later and it talks about the women respecting their husbands in the following verses. "Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord." But it's saying that as a believing wife, by her behavior and example, can melt the heart of an unbelieving husband. Does that make sense?

Marcus: Alright, yes it does.

Pastor Doug: Alright. We have a lesson on marriage that you might find a blessing; and it's called, "Happiness for Husbands and Wives", or, what's the name of that lesson Pastor Ross? I just--I'm having a brain cramp. It's, "Keys for a Happy Marriage."

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right. We changed the name.

Pastor Doug: "Keys for a Happy Marriage." It's a new edition. We'll send you a copy of that if you'd like one.

Marcus: Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me go ahead and give you the number to call. It's the resource number. It's 1-800-835-6747, and just ask for, "Keys for a Happy Marriage." We'll be happy to send that out. Pastor Doug, that question brings to mind also about submission to the authorities of the government. We obey them as far as it doesn't contradict God's word.

Pastor Doug: That's right. And there will be a day when the government tells us to break a Commandment. We've got to put our faith on the line like Daniel was told by the government to not pray. And Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were told by the government to bow down to an idol; and they said, "No."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And so we should always put our obligation to God ahead of obligation to man. Friends, we're going to take a break. In the meantime, if you have a pencil, jot down amazingfacts.org. It's one of the most popular Christian websites out there.

It gets about a million hits a month. If you would like to see all the resources, many of them free, there are videos you can watch, radio programs you can listen to; and a plethora, tree of life of Bible studies and resources that you can download and use in sharing your faith and personal devotions. Be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: If you have just joined us friends, this is Bible Answers Live. It is, as the title states, a live, international, interactive Bible study. And we get calls all over the country and from other parts of the world. If you have a Bible question in North America or Canada, it's a toll-free call, 1-800-GOD-SAYS.

We still have a line or two open, 1-800-463-7297. Before we go to the phones, we have something exciting we'd like to tell our friends about. There is going to be a special, international prophecy study that Amazing Facts will be doing with Three Angels Broadcasting September 15th through the 23rd.

Immediately prior to this broadcast, and if people want to know more about this, they should just go to mostamazingprophecies.com and they'll find information on how they can get a location near them where they can participate in this 9-day, 10-part prophecies. We're going through the most amazing Bible prophecies and expounding them.

On September 11th on PAX TV, yours truly, along with Pastor Dwight Nelson from Andrews University, we're going to do an half an hour program talking about the final events of prophecy, and announcing this Most Amazing Prophecies seminar. If you'd like to know more how you can participate--you can even watch on the Internet.

You can go to a live location with churches that are helping to sponsor the event; then go to mostamazingprophecies.com and there will be information there. We hope that you will tune in.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, that sounds exciting Pastor Doug. We talk about it as being MAP, just the abbreviation for Most Amazing Prophecies. The nice thing about the prophecies they do provide a map to the future--

[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: That's right

Pastor Jëan Ross: --pointing us towards heaven, showing us the way to go. Let's go to the phone lines. Our next caller is David in Victorville, California. Welcome to the program David.

David: Thank you Pastors, how are you?

Pastor Doug and Pastor Jëan Ross: Good!

Pastor Doug: Thanks for calling.

David: Terrific. Okay. I'll make it as brief as I can. Revelation 17:11, "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth," and that's my hangup. What is the "eighth"?

Pastor Doug: "...And he is of the seven, and going into perdition."

David: Correct, yeah.

Pastor Doug: It's important to remember where it says, "of the seven." Most scholars, David, believe that this is, Revelation 17, that is showing a parallel of the beast in Revelation 13 that gets a "deadly wound" and comes back.

David: Okay

Pastor Doug: So it's almost like a marriage is annulled, and then they get remarried. He's dead, but he comes back. It's the same beast, but he's renumbered again because he went off the scene and came back again. And this is, we believe, what happened to Papal Rome, which is the seventh beast; it received a "deadly wound."

Back in about 1798, they had had almost uninterrupted power over the ancient Roman empire territory. [Cross talk.] That was interrupted by Napoleon. He took the pope captive, and there was the French Revolution, all those things happened that just turned the church upside down.

But there was a great resurgence. The "deadly wound" was healed and once again it gained autonomy. The Vatican, once again, is an independent country. They had lost that back in

1798. Back in 1928, I believe it was, they were reestablished as an independent country again.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: And they have ambassadors from virtually every country in the world that go to the Vatican. That's really strange when you consider it is a church, and yet it is a political entity.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Very influential political entity.

Pastor Doug: Very wealthy--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: --when you consider about their holdings.

David: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So must scholars, Protestant scholars, that's their interpretation.

David: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, something else that, David, that's interesting. It talks about this beast that has a "deadly wound" and wound was healed; and then all the world wonders after the beast. It gains this great power.

Pastor Doug: And popularity.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And popularity. It reminds me of the experience of Jesus. He had a deadly wound, but He rose from the dead, and all the world honors Him, or at least, should honor Him and worship Him. And so we find this beast--

[Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: It's almost like a counterfeit resurrection.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right, a counterfeit of the work of Christ,--

Pastor Doug: Yup

Pastor Jëan Ross: --which is interesting.

Pastor Doug: That's a good point. I've seen people go through Revelation and show all the parallels for the beast as a counterfeit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps a little bit David. And if you want more information, we have a book called, "The Beast, The Dragon and The Woman" that goes into Revelation 17; and I think it answers that question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: To get one of those books, all you'll need to do is just call our resource number. Let me give that to you. It's a great resource to have, "The Beast, The Dragon and The Woman." Call the number 1-800-835-6747 and just ask for that and they'll be happy to send that out. Thanks for calling David. Our next caller is Daniel calling from Riversdale, California. Welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug: Riverside.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh is it Riverside?

Pastor Doug: Yup

Daniel: Hi Pastor Doug

Pastor Doug: Hi Daniel, how can we help you?

Daniel: My question is where in the Bible can I find evidence of the earth being 6,000 years old?

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well you can actually find that evidence; and, as far as the exact date, that we can't find, approximately 6,000 years of Biblical history. If you add up the ages starting with Adam, who lived 930 years, and then you can go through Genesis, Chronicles, Numbers, there are a number of places where it has the ages of the patriarchs.

You can take the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3, get a calculator--just get a Casio calculator--and start doing some math. That's what Bishop Usher did. You may have heard of Bishop Ussher's chronology, which was a very popular one for years. That will take you up to the time of Christ, which we know was, of course, 2,000 years ago.

So you get that first 4,000 years there, then you add 2,000, and you get 6,000.

Daniel: Okay

Pastor Doug: But I did it once with a friend. That's how I know it works. I'll tell you where you're going to have one problem, though, is when you get to Noah, it doesn't tell how old Noah was when he had his sons. It basically says that, I think he was uh 500 years old and he had Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Well, did he had triplets all that year? We don't think he had all three in one year. It's just saying after his 500th birthday he had these boys. And so, that leaves some ambiguity there. There's a couple of other gray areas like that but you can get a pretty good fix on approximately 6,000 years of Biblical history.

Daniel: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We know for definite the world is not six billion years old. [Cross talk]

Pastor Doug: Yeah. That's one thing we know; or 10,000 as some say.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright

Pastor Doug: I hope that helps Daniel.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thanks for your call. Our next caller is Mark. Welcome to the program Mark, listening on the Internet, calling from Stockton, Virginia, I imagine.

Mark: Hello

Pastor Doug: Hi, how are you Mark?

Mark: I'm very good. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good

Mark: I really enjoy your program. My question comes from a couple of Scriptures. The first one, Genesis chapter 5, verse 24--

Pastor Doug: Okay

Mark: --where it talks about Enoch walking with God and then he was no more, for God took him, or--

Pastor Doug: Right

Mark: --transferred him I think some translations say. And I was talking with someone and they felt like he was in heaven; but, of course, I've always believed that from Ecclesiastes 9:5 and 10 that the dead are conscious of nothing, that he would have to be awaiting a resurrection. I was wondering how you would talk about that.

Pastor Doug: Well it's a good question. In Ecclesiastes where Solomon says that the living know they will die but the dead don't know anything, he's speaking, of course, in general terms; the average person. The very fact that Enoch is mentioned here means that he is a tremendous exception to what every other man experiences.

I think you can also go to Hebrews chapter 11, where it says, "By faith Enoch," verse 5, "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had translated him:" Translation means taken to heaven, translated from the earthly and the

mortal to the immortal and the heavenly. That's what that word means--"because he had this testimony that he pleased God." So, we believe that Enoch is in heaven now and enjoying those benefits.

Mark: Okay. I guess I run into a little trouble. I did read that verse. That's where he took me actually. And in verse 13 it says, "All these died although they did not get the fulfillment of the promises." And then I've got John 3:13 as one that I've always been hung up on.

Pastor Doug: "It's appointed unto man once to die" is also in Hebrews. But you're talking about John 3:13. I'm sorry.

Mark: Yeah, John 3:13 mentions that, "No one has ascended to heaven but he that came from heaven." That's Jesus.

Pastor Doug: Well now, first let's talk about that verse. If you take that verse to mean that no man has gone to heaven, then how do Moses and Elijah appear talking to Jesus in Mark chapter 9 on the Mount of Transfiguration?

Mark: Yeah, I see.

Pastor Doug: It's a general term when it says, "No man has ascended into heaven." For one thing, no man has ascended into the presence of the Father. You know the Bible says, "No man has seen the Father." But then you even have where Paul says in, is it 2nd Corinthians that, "I was caught up into the third heaven"?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: So these statements that you're quoting are true; and they're speaking of the vast majority. But there are a few exceptions and that's why the Bible mentions the exceptions: Enoch, Elijah going in a fiery chariot, Moses was resurrected. But the vast majority of people, they die.

Mark: Okay

Pastor Doug: So I wouldn't get hung up on that.

Mark: Yeah, it's a difficult passage for me [laughs]

Pastor Doug: Alright, well, you know what, someone said one time, "You can take a penny, hold it at arm's length, and if it's close enough to your eye, you can block the sun." But you don't want to get so hung up on looking at the penny that it eclipses the whole sun. Well a penny is a lot smaller than the sun. So don't get affixed on those verses and neglect the weight of evidence, you know what I'm saying?

Mark: Yes I do. I really appreciate your taking time to help me with that.

Pastor Doug: Alright, and thank you very much Mark.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Warren calling from Bronx, New York. Welcome to the program, listening on WMCA. Warren, you there?

Warren: Yes I'm here.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi, your question?

Warren: Hi, good night

Pastor Doug: Good evening

Warren: Okay. I have a question about jewelry.

Pastor Doug: Okay

Warren: My question, this verse, um Ezekiel 16?

Pastor Doug: Yeah?

Warren: It's from Ezekiel 16:11. It says, "I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thy ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. Thus was thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom."

Pastor Doug: Okay, and your question?

Warren: Is it wrong for a Christian to wear jewelry?

Pastor Doug: I think so.

Warren: This says that Israel,--

Pastor Doug: Alright now, what--

Warren: --God put--

Pastor Doug: Keep in mind, the Lord is not talking about an individual putting these things on. The Lord is talking about His people. And He's saying that He blessed them. And when you look at all of the blessings and the gold and the silver that God gave them, especially during the temple of Solomon, that temple was like a jewel among the people.

God basically married them. They were His bride. And so He's using the terminology of the day. Women used to dress up for their weddings, of course, to look as beautiful as they could;

and that often included artificial adornment. But this verse is a prophecy. It is an allegory. And God also has allegories where He talks about slavery, but it doesn't mean He endorses slavery.

God has allegories in the Bible where He talks about polygamy, people having many wives. Well it doesn't mean God approves of people having many wives. He takes the customs of the day and He uses them to teach lessons; because there are all these other places in the Bible, Warren, where God said, in Isaiah, who is a parallel prophet of Ezekiel--matter of fact, do you have your Bible handy?

Warren: Yes I have it.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Go to Isaiah chapter 4, um, let me see, maybe I think what I want is Isaiah chapter 3.

Pastor Jëan Ross: 18 to 23.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I, yeah, let me see here. Isaiah chapter 3, is it verse 18? Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Verse 18, yeah.

Pastor Doug: "In that day the Lord," this is Isaiah 3:18. "In that day the Lord will take away the finery, and the jingling anklets, the scarves, the crescents, the pendents, the bracelets, the veils, the headdresses, the leg ornaments, the headbands."

Oh by the way, you almost have to read verse 16, "Moreover the LORD says, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and they walk with outstretched necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing," that means swishing, "as they go, making a jingling with their feet. God will take away..." and then he lists all these jewels that they wear; and it's because of their pride.

So, it's one thing if God puts a crown on us in heaven. It's something else if we put a crown on ourselves.

Warren: Okay

Pastor Doug: And Peter says that for a Christian, "the adorning should not be the outward adorning, the wearing of gold and putting on of apparel." Paul says, "let the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, not with pearls and gold." And then you get to Revelation chapter 17, Warren, you've got two women there.

Warren: Okay

Pastor Doug: One represents God's church in chapter 12. Revelation 17 is the apostate church. The woman in Revelation 12 is wearing light, the sun, the moon, the stars. The woman in Revelation 17 has got the gold, the pears, and the worldly adornment. And so, a Christian should be adorned, I think, in a modest, humble way.

Now, let me ask, is there anything wrong with wearing 20 earrings in your ear?

Warren: Yes, that does look kind of weird.

Pastor Doug: Well, what about 19 earrings? How about that?

Warren: Very weird.

Pastor Doug: How about just 11?

Warren: Still weird.

Pastor Doug: Three?

Warren: Kind of.

Pastor Doug: Okay. So where do you draw the line?

Warren: Um...

Pastor Doug: How many earrings (unintelligible) it looks okay?

Warren: None, probably.

Pastor Doug: How many holes should we put in our ears? [Laughs]

Warren: None. From these texts, none.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. So can I send you a book on the subject? We have a book--matter of fact, we have two books. I've got one that I wrote called, "Jewelry: How Much Is Too Much?" And I want to quickly add for our friends listening, you might think Pastor Doug is a conservative extremist. I guess maybe I am a little bit. I figure that, especially when you see people going bonkers with jewelry these days,--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: --I'm safer not wearing any. I don't even wear a wedding ring.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm

Pastor Doug: And my wife doesn't wear one. It's just our choice. Nothing in the Bible about a wedding ring. We just think that the key is modesty, simplicity; and God is not going to say to me in the Judgment, "Doug, I can't let you in. You didn't wear enough jewelry."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right

Pastor Doug: You know what I mean? And, so many people are so hung up on--they've got whole channels dedicated to showing these bobbles and beads and ornaments that people buy. And they spend all this money on hanging these minerals on our mortal bodies, and it's just, and it's, it's....

You know, a few years ago, this is a pet peeve of mine. Oh wait a second, I told you, Warren, if you want that book, it's called, "Jewelry: How Much Is Too Much?" and the other book is called, "Colorful Cosmetics and Jewelry" by Joe Crews. I'll let you pick whichever one you want. Call the resource number and they will send that to you. Pastor Ross will give you that number in a minute. [Cross talk] I'm on a hobby horse here.

A few years ago, a lot of evangelists got into trouble in North America. There was immorality,--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: --living ostentatious lives. And you know what everybody pointed to to show that they were hypocrites?

Pastor Jëan Ross: All of their money?

Pastor Doug: All their jewelry they were wearing. They were wearing Rolex watches and a ring on every finger and their wives were decked out in fox stoles. And their ostentatious apparel belied the humility of Christ. And I really think the church has gone a long way from the simplicity of Jesus, and jewelry is one of the ways that's manifested. So,--

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, a hundred years ago the whole topic of adornment was treated by Christians as being, uh, modesty as being sort of the standard.

Pastor Doug: Hm m

Pastor Jëan Ross: In mainline Christian churches, that was sort of the standard, modesty of dress and so on.

Pastor Doug: I know. I've read that Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, they never wore jewelry.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right!

Pastor Doug: They called you, "Jezebel."

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right.

Pastor Doug: [Chuckles]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now it's just sort of become the norm.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it's the norm in the church [cross talk]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Exactly.

Pastor Doug: They've lost the principles.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you that number to call for those books. It's 1-800-835-6747. It is, "Jewelry: How Much Is Too Much?" and the other one, "Colorful Cosmetics and"--

Pastor Doug: "and Jewelry" by Joe Crews. Yup.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Two great resources. Alright. Let's go to our next caller, Christina, calling from Sacramento, California. Welcome to the program Christina.

Christina: Hi. I just wanted to know does the Bible say anything about what's going on in Israel, the war right now?

Pastor Doug: Well the Bible has quite a bit to say about Israel. Of course, any believer is a spiritual Israelite. Galatians tells us that if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed. And all Christians are grafted into the stock of Israel, so we should be very interested; because every Christian is rooted in Jewish soil, you know what I'm saying Christina?

Christina: Um-hmm, um-hmm

Pastor Doug: It is significant that there's no nation in the world like the Jews that has been displaced three or four times in their history. I mean, they were carried away during the time of Joseph to Egypt; and they came back again. They were carried off to the Babylonian captivity; and they came back again.

Then for 1,900 years they were carried off. In A.D. 70, the Romans dispersed them all over the world. They came back in 1948. And now we see them under attack again as a nation. But Israel is not really going to be experiencing the blessing of God until they have faith.

A lot of the trials they experience, they are both protected and they're persecuted: protected because God made promises to the people; persecuted because they're not in faith right now. But most of the prophecies are dealing with spiritual Israel. Now I will give you one more thing to think about, and I won't even tell you what the answer is; but you just think about it. Look at the headlines and think about it, okay?

Christina: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Some of the last things you find in Daniel chapter 11 before probation closes and the rapture takes place, the resurrection, it tells us that Egypt, Libya, Edom, Moab, and Ammon, all these Arab nations that currently surround Israel, are going to, somehow, there's going to be a conflict.

Now I don't think the headlines today are a fulfillment of that, but it is something to think about. I don't even know what it all means.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: Talks about this battle between the king of the north and the king of the south. But it mentions five or six Arab nations today that all surround Israel. It's a miracle that they're still there because they're surrounded by enemies.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, what's significant about that too is just the fact that, throughout history, go back in the Bible from the days of Abraham and his descendants onwards, there has always been this conflict and this tension between Israel and the Arab nations surrounding--

Pastor Doug: Between the descendants of Isaac and the descendants of Ishmael--[cross talk]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Ishmael, way back.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. That's right. [Cross talk] And it all is because Abraham listened to Sarah--

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughs]

Pastor Doug: --and took an extra wife.

Pastor Jëan Ross: He doubted God's promise.

Pastor Doug: All these wars that they have in the Middle East right now is because he took an extra wife.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, it causes conflict.

Pastor Doug: I don't know if that helps Christina.

Christina: Thank you

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, thanks for calling Christina.

Pastor Doug: Alright, bye bye.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Greg calling from Queens, New York, listening on WMCA. Welcome to the program Greg.

Greg: Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Your question?

Greg: How are you Doug? I have a question for you. I was um--where in the Bible does it say that God will destroy the Vatican just before the second coming of the Messiah?

Pastor Doug: Well it doesn't say God will destroy the Vatican. It does talk in Revelation chapters 17 and 18 about the fall of Babylon. Many Protestant believers equate apostate Christianity with Babylon. A lot of people look at the pope--and he might be a wonderful, loving man--but they look at that office and they say, "That's an unbiblical position."

These dear folks that are praying to Mary and there's no Bible command for that; and they look at some of these beliefs they feel have been influenced by Babylon. And they say the fall of Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18, they equate that with something happening to Vatican City.--

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hmm

Pastor Doug: --But it doesn't specifically say that.

Greg: Would it be a coincidence that it's the first non-Italian pope ever picked in 150 years?

Pastor Doug: Well, Pope John Paul was a non-Italian pope. He was Polish.

Greg: Yeah

Pastor Doug: Now they've got a German pope.

Greg: Right

Pastor Doug: So that fact that you just quoted, I think that there's something more to that that you're leaving out. There is something different about the pope now from John Paul, but neither of them were Italian. Anyway, hope that helps a little bit.

Greg: Thanks Doug. I appreciate your time, and thanks for this show. I learned a lot from you. It's very educational, more than informative.

Pastor Doug: Oh praise the Lord. That's what we're after. The truth will set you free.

Greg: God bless you Doug.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thanks for your call Greg.

Pastor Doug: God bless Greg.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Ezekiel calling from Lake Placid, Florida. Welcome to the program.

Ezekiel: Hey, thank you guys. Doug, my question is, recently I've been doing some studies. And I recently found out that Bush and Kerry are both cousins; and that both are members of the elite Bone and Skull secret society, 322. And I want to know, what does the Bible say about secret societies?

Pastor Doug: Well, as far as I've heard, I've seen some things on the Internet that are later proven to be urban legends. And I wouldn't believe everything that you hear. I've heard--and it may be true that Bush and Kerry are related, if you go back far enough. Of course, you go back far enough in American history, we're all related.

But whether or not they're part of a secret society and what it stands for, that, I think, is dubious information. I'd be careful about that. But I'll answer your question, Ezekiel, about what does the bible say about secret societies.

Ezekiel: Okay

Pastor Doug: Christians should not put their light under a bush. And if people are joining some organization that they've got to keep secret, it is automatically suspect.

Ezekiel: That's true.

Pastor Doug: Why, in a free country, would you keep something you believe in secret? And if you have to keep it secret, then maybe it's something to be ashamed of. So, you know, I think that Christians should live transparent lives; that we shouldn't be hiding what we believe. And if we have an allegiance and we're taking vows, as people often do in secret societies, that are separate from our vows to Christ, there's a conflict.

Because for a Christian, our primary allegiance and vow must be to Jesus; and Jesus doesn't want us to share that allegiance with other secret organizations.

Ezekiel: It's true. And the thing that really makes sense here is Revelation 13, the second beast, talks about that United States is that second beast in chapter 13?

Pastor Doug: Right. Well the United States is the first beast in chapter 13.

Ezekiel: Oh, the United--

Pastor Doug: Oh the second beast. No, you're correct, I'm sorry; second beast.

Ezekiel: Oh okay [cross talk]

Pastor Doug: You're right. No, I'm getting my beasts mixed up, sorry.

Ezekiel: [Laughs] And it just seems like United States is about to speak like a dragon. I don't know if you agree with that.

Pastor Doug: No, I do agree.

Ezekiel: Okay

Pastor Doug: I think a little more time is going to go by, but all it will take is some other national tragedy, and we'll lose more freedom.

Ezekiel: Yes. I'm seeing that too. Thank you Doug.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thanks Ezekiel.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thanks for calling.

Pastor Doug: We appreciate your comments.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Michael listening from Queens, New York. Welcome to the program Michael.

Michael: Thank you, good evening. Hope you're both doing well. I have a question for you and it's regarding the Ten Commandments. Can we truly keep all of God's Commandments? I was reading in the Bible John chapter 14, verse 15 where it says, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." And I struggle with that daily because I know it's like a roller coaster ride, going up and down, up and down, trying to keep the word of God. I was just wondering. I know if God says to do something, He wouldn't ask us to do something if we couldn't do it or if we weren't able to do it, but is it truly possible for us to keep all of God's Commandments?

Pastor Doug: You know, the Bible teaches that as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we can do the impossible. Peter walked on water when he kept his eyes on Jesus. In Hebrews chapter 12, it says let us run the race laying aside both sin and the weight keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, looking unto Jesus.

As we keep our eyes on Christ and we behold Him, we are transformed into His image. Is it possible for a person not to murder? I think so. Is it possible for a person to be honest, to respect their marriage, to not worship idols? Yeah, I believe it is possible. With God's help, all things are possible. Without Christ, we can't do anything.

That's a good question Michael; and you know, I think sanctification is something where we grow. It's not just the outward keeping of the law, but the Christian, when he has a new heart, begins to keep the spirit of the law, as well as the letter; and that's where the real challenge is--not just keeping the letter, but keeping the spirit of the law. And we can only do that through the Holy Spirit.

You can probably tell from the music in the background that our time is just about up. Listening friends, I'm sorry if we didn't get to your question tonight. Give us another chance next Sunday, God willing, or in our next broadcast, and we will do our very best. Take advantage of the free resources at the Amazing Facts Website.

If you would like to enroll in a life-changing Bible study, maybe this is what you were supposed to hear, go to bibleuniverse.com. In the meantime friends, remember, Jesus is the truth that will set you free. God bless until next week.

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