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Keys to a Happy Marriage

Date: 07/29/2012 
Even before Herbert Fisher passed away at a 104 back in February 2011, he and his wife Zelmyra - 103, held the Guinness World Record for the longest marriage of any couple — 86 years and nine months. The North Carolina couple were teenagers when they married in 1924, more than six years before the Great Depression.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

Even before Herbert Fisher passed away at a 104 back in February 2011, he and his wife Zelmyra - 103, held the Guinness World Record for the longest marriage of any couple — 86 years and nine months. The North Carolina couple were teenagers when they married in 1924, more than six years before the Great Depression. Their hard work and careful saving paid for the college educations of the couple’s five children. They also have ten grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren. When asked in 2011 what was the secret that kept them together for so many years, Zelmyra Fisher said that she and Herbert never even considered divorce, adding “There isn’t any secret.” It was only God that kept them together.

Many couples today are wondering, “Can God still keep marriages together?” Stay with us, friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of “Bible Answers Live."

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Welcome to “Bible Answers Live” brought to you by Amazing Facts Ministries. Are you looking for a clear, concise answer to your most challenging Bible questions? Maybe you’re struggling to understand difficult passages of Scripture. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Join us now as we open God’s Word to discover His will and find honest, practical answers to your Bible-related questions.

This broadcast is pre-recorded. If you have a Bible question, call us Sundays from 7 to 8 P.M. Pacific Standard Time at 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. Now, let’s join our host, author, speaker, and evangelist, Pastor Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Welcome, listening friends, to “Bible Answers Live.” We are live! And if you have a Bible question, please give us a call. It is a free phone call, and we have lines open for your Bible questions. Here’s the number again. Are you ready? 800-463-7297. The acronym is 800-GOD-SAYS. 800-463-7297 to get your Bible question on tonight’s live broadcast. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, listening friends and Pastor Doug. Let us begin the program with prayer.

Dear Father, once again, we thank You that we have this opportunity to study Your Word, and we ask Your special blessing upon this program. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about an incredibly long marriage. 86 years…

Pastor Doug: 86 years and 9 months.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …9 months.Incredible! And if anyone was to obtain secrets as to what makes a long marriage, you’d think, “Well, they should know a few.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I know. It’s very interesting and even a little funny when you read some of their comments. As Zelmyra said, “You know, when I first saw Herbert, he wasn’t so much to look at, but he was kind and sweet.” And so she married him, and they made it through. Can you imagine living where your life overlaps World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War? They just saw so much history, and they probably stuck at through a few little wars of their own, as most married couples have their times and their disagreements. Actually, they said they didn’t fight that much.

But what are some of the keys that the Bible tells us that contribute to a happy marriage? How can God keep couples together in a time when some people are shying away from marriage because of the carnage they see with divorce? And there are still so many people that are struggling with their marriages and so many broken homes. And how do we have marriages stick together? I think one of the keys to remember is it’s God’s idea. And so, if you buy something and you get the instruction manual from the manufacturer, they would know best how it’s supposed to operate.

And since marriage is God’s idea, as a matter of fact, the Bible really has a lot to say about marriage. The first book of the Bible, you get the marriage of Adam and Eve, you could say, performed by God! And then, the New Testament begins by Jesus’ attending a wedding. His first miracle was at a wedding. And the Bible ends with the marriage of Christ and the Church. It’s called the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb.”

So marriage is a central theme, and being God’s idea, He has the answers in His Word.

First of all, if we love and serve one another, and then it takes commitment. It’s like Herbert and Zelmyra said, they never even considered divorce as an option. Jesus said in Mark chapter 10, “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. And they, too, shall be one flesh, so they are no longer two but one flesh. And what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

So it’s a divine covenant. It’s a very important institution. And once people recognize that, that helps. And love is also a choice, it’s not always a feeling.

You did a wedding today.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I did. You know, I’m just -- it’s funny you should mention that. Let me share with you just something that maybe would make you smile. I found this in preparation for the wedding. A teacher once asked her students to write down why people fall in love. And of course the kids responded and I like one of these responses. A little guy with the name of Manuel, aged eight, he said, “I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something like that, but the rest of it shouldn’t be that painful.” [Laughing]. Talking about falling in love.

Pastor Doug: Cupid’s arrow. [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Cupid’s arrow. But you know, it is something that God ordained, as you said. And it’s got great symbolism, as you look at Christ refers Himself as the bridegroom and the Church as being the bride and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. But how can we make the most about marriage here on earth?

Amazing Facts has a study guide entitled, “Keys for a Happy Marriage.” And we’ll send it out to anybody who gives us a call. The number is 800-835-6747 that is our resource line. And as for the study guide, “Keys for a Happy Marriage,” that’s 800-835-6747. And also, we’re streaming this program live on the Internet, so if you’re close to your computer, you can not only hear the program, but you can join us here in the studio live. The address is amazingfacts… live.amazingfacts.org.

Pastor Doug: Alright, do that one more time.

Pastor Jëan Ross: “live.amazingfacts.org.” Don’t put the “www” in front. Just “live.amazingfacts.org” and you can join us right here.

We’re ready for the phone lines, our first caller is Chris, and he’s listening from West Virginia. Chris, welcome to the program!

Chris: Hello!

Pastor Doug: Good evening! Thanks for your call!

Chris: How are you guys doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing great!

Chris: My question, Pastor Doug, was concerning the Sabbath.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Chris: In particular, Hebrews chapter 4. I’ve heard people try to say that, you know, the Sabbath rest is now a spiritual rest. You know, and then, of course, Hebrews chapter 4 verse 9 says, “There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God.” And to me, it’s clear, but I would just like for you to… ask you to elaborate on Hebrews chapter 4 and the spiritual rest as some people say about the Sabbath and I’d just like to hear your thoughts on it.

Pastor Doug: Well, the Sabbath, you know, when we come to Jesus, it is true for every command of God, there is a spiritual application. But the spiritual application does not eliminate the literal truth. You know, you’ve got the spirit of the law, and the letter of the law. There is the letter of the law that says, “Do not kill.” Jesus said, “The spirit of the law is ‘Do not be angry with your brother without cause or you could be committing murder in your heart.’” The spirit of the law in the seventh commandment, I’m sorry, the letter of the law in the seventh commandment says that, “Thou shall not commit adultery.” But Jesus says it’s possible to break the spirit of the law by lusting in your heart. Well, the letter of the law says, “Remember to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath.” The spirit of the law is, “Come to Jesus and you will find rest in the Lord.” The Promised Land was a type of a rest, also.

But there in Hebrews chapter four verse nine, it says, “There remains, therefore, a rest.” That word “rest” is “Sabatismos” in Greek. And it means a “Sabbath for the people of God.” Nothing in the New Testament tells us to forget the letter of the law. I mean, if we’re keeping the spirit of the law about not committing adultery where we’re keeping it in our hearts, we’re not going to break the letter of the law of committing adultery. If we’re keeping the spirit of the law about not being angry with our brother in our hearts, well, we’re not going to break the letter. And if we’re keeping the spirit of the law about rest, that doesn’t mean that now, you work seven days a week. You know what I’m saying? So, I don’t know. When people argue for the spiritual side of the law, I’m all for that. But that does not ever negate the letter. Does that make sense?

Chris: Yeah. Yes, it does. I guess it’s just where, I mean, I’m a Sabbath-keeper, Sabbath believer. But some people, they bring it to Hebrews chapter 4 verse 9, the standing that there’s not…

Pastor Doug: Well, it actually says the opposite.

Chris: Yeah, I may add it to, but I guess, you know, they use the whole chapter. They say, “Well, you have to read the whole chapter in context and I still don’t get it but -- and I probably won’t get it because it’s not there…

Pastor Doug: Well, Paul is talking about the “rest.” It just, real quickly, Paul is talking, and we’re assuming Paul wrote Hebrews, he’s talking about the “rest” that the people of God received when they entered the Promised Land. But he said that rest didn’t last. And he talks about when Joshua, if He had given them that real rest, then they wouldn’t have had spoken of another day, meaning, when King David says, “Today if you hear his heart -- his voice, don’t harden your heart.” So, Joshua, who lives before David, if that was the ultimate rest, then why did David talk about another rest? And so they’re talking about that the real rest that we get is when we come to Christ, and that’s absolutely true. There is a rest. Jesus said “Come to Me, and I’ll give you rest.”

But that has nothing to do with abrogating or abolishing the Ten Commandments. So yes, there is a spiritual application to the law. But you don’t do away with the real law. We still need to rest. We still have a day to worship God. And why wouldn’t Christians want to keep the Sabbath?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we got a website, Pastor Doug, dealing with the subject of the Sabbath, and perhaps there are some listening who said, “Well, what does the Bible have to say about that?” Take a look at the website sabbathtruth.com. That is just sabbathtruth -- www.sabbathtruth.com, and there is just a host of information talking about, “What does the Bible say about the Sabbath and why is it significant for us today?” And we have a study guide dealing with that subject as well called, “The Lost Day of History.” If you call our resource line, we’ll send that to you for free! The number is 800-835-6747. 835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, “The Lost Day of History.” And if you have a Bible question, the number to call here to the studio is 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s 800-463-7297. We have a few lines that are still open. It’s a good time to get to your phone and give us a call. That’s 800-463-7297.

Our next caller is Jerry, and he’s listening from Oregon. Jerry, welcome to the program!

Jerry: Thank you, Pastors Ross and Batchelor. My question pertains to the Christian propriety of a white lie. By “white lie,” I mean a lie that is said to spare somebody else’s feelings and has no adverse consequences on them.

Pastor Doug: Well, do you want to give me an example?

Jerry: Well, somebody asks you, you know, if you’re young and eligible, they ask if you want to go on a dinner date or something, and you tell them you’re busy, or you have a conflict or something.

Pastor Doug: Well, yeah, I think Christians have to always be honest. So you know, a “white lie” is still a lie. If someone says you want to go out on a date and you don’t want to, you know, there’s other ways of trying to “spare their feelings” and still be honest, that you sometimes have to be a little diplomatic and as graceful as you could be. But you don’t want to say anything that is untrue. You know, it’s like when somebody calls the house and you tell your kids to answer the phone and you say, “Tell them Mom and Dad aren’t home.”

Jerry: Right.

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s dishonest. You can say, “They can’t come to the phone right now.” But don’t say, you know, you don’t ever want to say anything that is not true. So I think Christians need to be very careful. Jesus said “Let your ‘ye’ be ‘ye’ and your ‘nay’ be ‘nay’.” And there are times you want to be as encouraging as you can and positive as you can and diplomatic and you have to pray for wisdom to choose your words carefully so you don’t hurt people’s feelings.

Jerry: Well, in the example I cited, I don’t know how you could really do that without hurting their feelings.

Pastor Doug: Well, and you know what, sometimes you may just have to be honest with people and it will hurt their feelings. Sometimes the truth hurts. You want to be graceful as you can be, but you’re better off, I think, being real with people. And, you know, if someone’s trying to date you, and you might just need to say, “You know, in my heart, I just don’t feel like that’s a good idea.” Or, you know, be honest with them. Or “I’m not comfortable with that.” Pray that the Lord gives you wisdom and tact.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, you want to be tactful, but like Pastor Doug says, there is a limit. We want to be honest. We want to have a reputation of being honest and I guess on the other side, one needs to be careful. There are some who say, “Well, I’m always honest. I always say things the way they are.” And they use that as an excuse to be rude and untactful. So there is a balance there. You want to be tactful, concerned about the other person’s feelings and yet be honest. And try to be faithful to what you know to be the truth.

Jerry: That’s cool.

Pastor Doug: Alright, hey, we appreciate it, Jerry. Hope that helps a little bit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, if you have a Bible-related question we love to hear from you tonight. The number is 800-463-7297. That’s right here to the studio 800-463-7297.

Pastor Doug: And for Jerry, if he wants to call that number, we have that Study Guide called, “Written in Stone,” talking about the love of God and the principles of obeying Him. Well, that’s important.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our resource line is 800-835-6747. 800-835-6747. And the study guide, “Written in Stone,” talking about the need to be honest and, well, to be faithful to all of that which God asks.

Our next caller is Aaron and he’s calling from Carmichael, California. Aaron, welcome to the phone. Welcome to the program, I should say.

Aaron: Hi. Hello. I have a question, because I’ve been talking with some people of different faiths, backgrounds, in general, and I asked them where in the New Testament that it claims that we have a continual priesthood and if Hebrews chapter 8 cleared that up at all. Because it seems like, I told them, I said that my understanding is that Jesus did away with the priesthood when He died and resurrected.

Pastor Doug: Well, he didn’t do away with the concept of a priest, of course, as someone who makes intercession and they atone. Christ is our High Priest. So in that sense, you know, He is our Priest. And then He calls us to be a “nation of priests.” So, as a matter of fact, even in the Old Testament, when God called Israel, He said “I wanted you to be a nation of kings and priests. He wanted them to intercede with the other nations and represent God. And now, he’s asking the church to be a nation of kings and priests. So we don’t offer sacrifices of lambs now. We present Christ, the Lamb of God, as a Sacrifice we bring to the world. And so, He is our High Priest, but we don’t have a priesthood in that sense where we are keeping those ceremonial laws.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Aaron, you asking with reference to priesthood. Are you referring to maybe a different religious group that insists of a priesthood currently and certain people chosen to do certain things? Related to that…

Aaron: Well, yeah. Basically, men hold it and there’s two levels of the – I mean, I don’t know if I should say the names because it might give away who’s – what groups they are.

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s -- you can talk about the essence of what it is and we’ll try to figure out.

Aaron: Okay. Well, there’s a law of priesthood in it. And it has my name with an “IC” at the end of it called “Aaronic.” And then they have a testament priesthood but they say that this is like a restore – it’s been restored back to our church and other churches don’t hold this, and so they are being or baptizing people in the proper priesthood.

Pastor Doug: Well, I’ll tell you what I think is a convincing Bible argument. Before Jesus was crucified, He went before the high priest, Caiaphas, who was the acting high priest at that time. And in the course of the trial, Caiaphas rent, he tore his robes. When a high priest tears his robes, they were never supposed to do that, it’s very significant. It represented something, I believe. And then, when Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn. Now this represents that it’s an end to the old temple system because that temple was destroyed and never rebuilt and we are now the temple of God. And it’s an end to the old priesthood. So trying to restore the old priesthood — that doesn’t make sense biblically.

Aaron: Yeah, that’s what I was telling him. And then I said, “Well, can you look in the New Testament when we meet again?” And then he said, “I’ve got to ask for forgiveness because I really don’t know the New Testament very well,” which I thought is a lie and he claims he’s a Christian, so…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, we should know both. But, you know, especially the New Testament portrays Christ. If a Christian does not know about Christ, then that’s unfortunate. Hey, we appreciate your call, Aaron. Thanks for calling, Aaron.

Aaron: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is Melissa and she’s calling from Berkeley, New York! Melissa, welcome to the program!

Melissa: Good evening. My question is can you give me some Bible reference on what day is the Sabbath? Because there’s some denomination that worship on Sunday, and as Seventh Day Adventists, we worship on Saturday. Can you please give me what Bible text that states Saturday as the Sabbath, please? Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, there is actually no verse in the Bible that says that the Sabbath is Sunday or Saturday because the names “Saturday” and “Sunday” are Roman names that were adopted years later. The Romans, you know, our months are named after -- July-Julius Caesar, August- Augustus Caesar. So our calendar’s a Roman calendar and the days of the week, we use the Roman names. Sunday was the day of the sun, Monday was moon day, Tuesday was Tiu, Wednesday was Woden’s day, Thursday was Thor’s day, Friday, I think, was Frida, so then Saturday was Saturn’s day. So they were all named after celestial days. In the Bible, the Jews named the days of the week “First Day,” “Second Day,” “Third Day,” “Fourth Day,” “Fifth Day,” “Sixth Day”— which was the preparation day, “Seventh Day” or the Sabbath.

We can know today how to correspond those Biblical days with our days of the week, because it tells us that Jesus was crucified on the preparation day. He rested in the tomb even in the Sabbath. He kept the Sabbath at His death, and He rose on the first day of the week. And, we all know that they call that “Easter Sunday,” the day of the Resurrection.

Melissa: Alright.

Pastor Doug: So if you look in the dictionary and you look up the word “First Day,” it’ll say “First day of the week: Sunday.” You look up “seventh day,” it’ll say “seventh day of the week: Saturday.” So, all over the world for the last, you know, recorded history, there’s no question about the days of the week. Calendars have been adjusted but that never affects the weekly cycle. And so the weekly cycle has been a perpetual cycle of “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven” from the time of Adam to the present day. And even the – what is it? The naval observatory, someone wrote a letter to them and they said there’s been no change in the calendar that has affected the continuity of the weekly cycle in recorded history. So, the encyclopedia, dictionary, “first day of the week: Sunday, seventh day of the week: Saturday.” And we have a website on the Sabbath that has all that, those quotes are all there. It’s a very popular site, and…

Pastor Jëan Ross: The website is sabbathtruth.com. Just www.sabbathtruth.com. Take a look at that. You can also call our resource line and we’ll send you a study guide entitled, “The Lost Day of History.” Just ask for the study guide on the Sabbath, and it’ll give you some additional Bible references. The number for our resource line is 800-835-6747. 800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide on the Sabbath, “The Lost Day of History.” And if you have a Bible question, we’d love to hear from you tonight. Our phone lines are open. The number to call is 800-463-7297. Again, that’s 800-463-7297. We have Nick who is listening in New Jersey. Nick, welcome to the program.

Nick: Oh, how are you doing, Pastor?

Pastor Doug: Doing well!

Nick: Great. You know, I’m looking at Matthew 11 – chapter 11 verse 9, I believe it is where they speak of Jesus being called a “wine-bibber.” Okay, well, I looked that up in the Greek text and everything, and the Greek text is saying to me that, you know, they accused Jesus of drinking fermented wine. And I’m a little confused with that. Well, my understanding, I’ve been following you guys for a very long time now and I study with you a lot.

Pastor Doug: Well, we appreciate that, Nick. First thing I think we need to remember, well, the verse is Matthew 11:19, I think that’s what you’re referring to.

Nick: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: And the first thing to remember is He’s talking with His enemies. In the previous verse, it says they accused Jesus of also having the devil. And so, they accused Jesus of being -- casting out the devils by the spirit of the devil. They accused Him of being a Samaritan. I forget what else they accused him of. Well, they accused Him of all kinds of things. So these are His enemies accusing him of being a wine-bibber or a drunk. Well, Jesus was not a drunk, though He did drink, at least, grape juice because, they assumed, because He ate with publicans that that meant He was drinking like they drink. And because Jesus did go to the house of publicans and there were some social people of ill-repute there, that doesn’t mean that he was doing there what they commonly did. So they were assuming, when He went to Matthew’s house and, keep in mind this was written by Matthew, a former publican, that that meant that He was a drunkard and a glutton. And a glutton, of course, is a person who stuffs himself with food. Jesus was not a glutton.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now, we also know in Scripture, according to 1 Corinthians chapter 6 in verse 9 and 10, specifically named in verse 10, the Bible tells us that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God. In other words, it’s a sin. And to accuse Jesus of being a wine-bibber, that would be accusing him of being a drunkard. Well, that couldn’t have been, I mean, they could have accused Christ of that but Jesus didn’t sin. And so he couldn’t have drank or been drunk with wine.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Nick: Just real quick. So, was He formed like a, I believe it’s called a Nazarene order like Samson was where he didn’t drink or anything like that, and I could take the worst for my answer over the phone.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well, I’ll do my best to answer that. Now what I’m going to share is a theory, Nick. Jesus -- there is one verse in Matthew where it said, “He would be called a ‘Nazirite,’” and it’s because he was from Nazareth. And folks are wondering and that they painted Jesus often with long hair thinking that maybe He took the Nazirite vow. Some people were – they were Nazirites for life. Some people could take the Nazirite vow for a period of time. And it’s possible that Jesus took the Nazirite vow until he began His ministry at His baptism. And that’s just a speculation because it’s obvious, a Nazirite could not drink anything from the vine. He could not even eat grapes or raisins. And so, you know, Jesus, obviously, at the Last Supper, even though it was unfermented, he drank grape juice. And so His Nazirite vow would have been done by then and some have thought that it ended when He began His ministry. So by the way, we do have a book that has to do with alcohol. It’s called, “The Christian and Alcohol.” And I wrote that a few years ago because we got a lot of questions on it. We’ll send you a free copy, Nick.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is the resource line. You can ask for the book, “Alcohol and the Christian.” We’d be happy to send that to you. If you have a Bible question, the number to call here to the studio is 800-463-7297. That’s 800-463-7297. We have Tommy listening from Honolulu, Hawaii. Tommy, welcome to the program!

Tommy: Hello guys! Hello Pastor Doug. Tommy D. Rock and roll singer from Hawaii. How are you doing, good buddies?

Pastor Doug: Hi. Good to hear from you, Tommy.

Tommy: I hope your family’s doing well and everything. Here’s a quick question, my friend. Why do famous pastors, you know, very, very famous pastors, they talk about the Ten Commandments, talk about God’s Word and honoring the Ten Commandments that every time these babblers get to the Fourth Commandment, they sidestep that over, I mean they definitely walk around it. And I’m talking about famous, famous pastors. And I’ve never understood why they do that when that’s the one commandment that God says, “Remember the Sabbath and to keep it holy.” And it’s always confusing. I’m talking about famous pastors. So I’ve never understood that and there’s a famous pastor over here who’s written several books and so he’s one that says the same thing and it just, I don’t… because he once said it’s the Lord’s Day, and the Sabbath is the Sabbath so there’s a difference. And a lot -- so I just want to know why so many famous pastors…

Pastor Doug: Well, let me give you an answer before we go to our break, Tommy…

Tommy: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: …as quickly as I can. I don’t know why, well, I do know why. It’s, of course, it’s not very popular. A number of these pastors, they understand what the Bible says, and they just, they’re trying to avoid the embarrassment of that contention that they may be keeping the wrong day biblically. And that they can’t give a Bible answer, so they just stream by that commandment. Friends, you’re listening to “Bible Answers Live.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you know, Pastor Doug, we’re coming up on our break here. We don’t have time to take another caller but we do, from time to time, like to mention some of the websites that Amazing facts has. We’ve mentioned several times in the program so far— the sabbathtruth.com website. But we also have some others dealing with some very important Bible subjects. One of the more popular ones is, well it’s got an interesting name, helltruth.com.

Pastor Doug: A lot of people ask questions about what happens if you’re lost and you die. Is there a purgatory? Limbo? Do people burn in the lake of fire forever and ever? Do you have a body or do you just go to sleep? Is it annihilation? What does the Bible really teach about what happens if a person is lost and they die? Some people have been driven to destruction wondering, “What’s happened to my loved ones that died if they were lost?” You’ll be comforted by the truth in this website: helltruth.com. Don’t go away, friends. More Bible questions coming.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back to “Bible Answers Live,” friends! And if you just joined us, this is a live international, interactive Bible Study. And if you have a Bible question, that’s why we’re here. We don’t claim to have all the answers but we will do our best and between Pastor Ross and I, we probably got about 50 years of ministry, and we got our Bible computers open before us, so we’ll find out what the Word says for itself. If you’d like to call in, we’ve got some lines open, and I understand that technically our phone line went down for a part of our program, so hey, you got a first chance to call in 800-463-7297 with your Bible question. That’s 800-463-7297. Or if you want the acronym, that’s 800-GOD-SAYS. It brings you to the studio with your Bible question. And also, we’re streaming right now. If you’d like to watch the program, and that address is live.amazingfacts.org.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, well, we’re ready for the phone lines. Our next question in is coming from Ed from Chicago, Illinois! Ed, welcome to the program.

Ed: Hello guys. Thank you for taking my call. I always see you guys, and God bless your ministry. It’s amazing.

Pastor Doug: Well, praise the Lord.

Ed: I have a quick question for you guys. And it’s regarding the time of the end, the times that we’re living. And the question is how do we overcome the fear of the things that are to come to this earth?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, the Bible does tell us that in the last days, I think it’s Luke 21, Pastor Ross, men’s hearts failing for fear looking after those things that are coming on the earth. So there is fear, but if you fear God appropriately, you won’t really fear those other things. One of the things— it’s got to be cast in the lake of fire is the fearful. Perfect love casts out fear. God does not want us to live in fear.

Pastor Ross: Yeah, the verse you’re referring to is Luke chapter 21 verse 26, speaking of the end of time. It says, “Men’s hearts failing them for fear and the expectations of those things which are coming upon the earth for the powers of heaven will be shaken.” So one of the signs of the end is fear! But you know, for the Christian, we don’t have to be afraid. Jesus says, “Come to Me, I’ll give you perfect rest.” Christ has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. And something else to bear in mind, I just preached this past weekend on the outpouring of the seven last plagues. It’s going to be a whole lot better for those who have the confidence in Christ when that time of trouble comes because God’s going to take care of them! God’s going to protect them. It’s going to be a lot worse for those who have not come to Jesus and found safety in Him.

Pastor Doug: When Jesus was on a stormy sea at night, and the disciples woke Him up and said, “Lord, we’re perishing!” And they were exceedingly afraid during that experience. He said, “Why are you so afraid?” I mean, Jesus was at peace in the storm. And I think the Lord told us there are going to be storms. The wise man builds on the rock. He knows that his house is rooted on the rock. He can sleep at night. And if we are building our faith on the rock of Christ’s word, then like it says in Psalm 91, 10,000 might fall down at your side but it will not come nigh unto thee if you make the Most High your habitation. You ought to read that, Ed. Psalm 91 will give you a lot of encouragement.

Ed: You know, I do, and I read the Bible a lot. So would you say that it’s normal to be fearful even if you’re a Christian?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that when you contemplate the end events, it could be awesome and maybe a little troubling. But it isn’t good if a Christian is living in a state of apprehension because it’s hard for you to attract other people to the faith if you don’t have peace. You know what I’m saying?

Ed: You’re right, and I never talk about these things with anyone, not even with my wife for the most part. But there’s something inside of me that, you know, I think about these things day after day— everyday— and I’m wondering if it’s normal.

Pastor Doug: You know, it is. And when the Holy Spirit works on you, sometimes there’s a conviction, and we realize the times in which we’re living. You know, any soldier on the battlefield if he just goes marching of without any kind of apprehension, then he’s not going to last long. That kind of fear keeps you alive. And so a certain awareness of some of the cataclysmic things that will be happening in the end should wake us up and help us keep our spiritual priorities, but I don’t think we should be living in wringing our hands from day to day. You know, God wants us to have peace.

Ed: Thanks for that.

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Ed: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: We appreciate… God bless, Ed.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have AJ who’s listening from Maryland, Baltimore. AJ, welcome to the program!

AJ: Good evening, Pastors. Thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Good evening.

AJ: My question is sort of in reference to the statement made, I believe it’s in a few other gospels, you know. How about drunkards, thieves, and sorts of the like cannot inherit the kingdom of God? I’m actually a recovering heroin-addict. And now I’ve tried several years to come clean. I’ve been in and out of hospitals. Nothing has worked out too well for me but I was put on medicine that has actually kept me off of drugs for quite a long time now. And I’m just wondering how that kind of goes along with that statement in the Bible, because I’ve kind of, though I’m not taking drugs, I’ve kind of traded, sort of traded one addiction for another.

Pastor Doug: Just like a methadone program or something?

AJ: Yeah, it’s similar. It’s sabutax which is -- it’s not quite as bad as methadone, but it’s basically it does the same type of thing.

Pastor Doug: Well, obviously, that is intended to be a bridge to complete recovery. It’s like when someone takes a tobacco patch. They’re still getting their nicotine fix but they’re breaking the pattern of buying the cigarettes and smoking as a step to ultimately being free. You don’t want to be getting your nicotine through a patch for the rest of your life.

AJ: Right.

Pastor Doug: And I believe you can be free. You know, I know so many people that struggle with that and other things. And you can get the victory. You know, God can help an alcoholic quit drinking. He can get people off crack, which is, I understand, maybe even harder than heroin. I grew up in New York City during the heroin era, and I had a number of friends, and even my mom’s friends. She was in show business and musicians just struggle. So I know it’s a terrible monster, but Christ can make you free. And I don’t want to be, you know, the doctor giving you professional advice on how to get off the transitional medication you’re on. But make sure that you understand that it’s transitional, because you don’t want to be for the rest of your life taking some kind of drug to just keep you…

AJ: Right, just to keep me normal.

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

AJ: Yeah, it’s just kind of like where I’m at. And this last year, I’ve just been in and out of hospitals, like you know, the mental hospital and stuff like that. It’s been rough.

Pastor Doug: Do you go to church?

AJ: Yes, I do.

Pastor Doug: Get involved with a good spiritual group and a Bible Study. Find a good Bible Study. And you know, you can’t survive as a Christian, especially if you’re struggling with an addiction on what you might get from, you know, two hours of church once a week. You’re going to need more to compensate and just get that encouragement.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the verse you referred to a little earlier where the Bible, actually it’s the apostle Paul, in this instance, in 1 Corinthians chapter 6, he lists a whole list of things. It says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” And then he goes on and talked about those who are idolaters and drunkards and so on and so forth. It’s quite a list. But then, there’s hope in verse 11. For he adds, “And such were some of you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.” So Paul says, you know, and if you read the last chapter, there were some real challenges that these people had. But Paul says, “You were like this, but God has cleansed you and washed you.” And so there’s always hope! No matter where a person is, there’s always hope.

Pastor Doug: We have a new study book that Rich and Susan Collinberg wrote on recovery. And these are two friends of ours involved in Christian ministry that were both addicted to drugs and they have been free from that for years— both cigarettes and other harder drugs. And I try to remember the title of the book. But if you contact Amazing Facts and you ask for the book on recovery, it’s called, “Seven Steps to Freedom” or something like that. Ask for the Seven Steps book and…

AJ: And I can get that on the Amazing Facts?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I’ll give you a number to call as well. You can just call and ask for that. And also take a look at the Amazing Facts website. The number is 800-835-6747, and ask for the book, “Seven Steps to Freedom.” That’s 800-835-6747, or go to the website amazingfacts.org. Type that in, and you can read the book online, “Seven Steps to Freedom.”

AJ: Well, alright, thanks a lot.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, thanks for calling. Our next caller is Frankie and he’s calling from Al Paso, Texas. Frankie, welcome to the program!

Frankie: Well, hello! How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good, Frankie. And your question tonight?

Frankie: My question is, in the Last Supper, the Lord when He passes the cup of wine and He says, “This is my blood. Drink it, for it was shed for you.” Did He say too that do not drink of the vine until I return with it?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think you’re talking about Matthew.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Matthew 14:25.

Frankie: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Jesus said, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until I drink it with you new in the Father’s kingdom.” Well, are you going to read that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, let me read it. Actually, it’s what you said, Pastor Doug. You can read it both in Matthew 26:29 and also in Mark 14:25 where Jesus said, “Surely I say unto you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until the day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah, so Christ is just saying He won’t drink it again until He drinks it with us and He specifies “new” meaning “new wine” which is unfermented with us in the kingdom of God. In other words, He was going to wait to have that meal again until He serves it with us as the wedding feast of the Lamb in the kingdom. So that’s what the groom did when he made a proposal to the bride, and so He’s speaking in the language of the Jewish wedding there. But yeah, I appreciate that, Frankie and we also -- if you have a question about wine in the Bible, we have that book, “Alcohol and the Christian,” and we’ll send you a free copy if you ask. And, I appreciate your call.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 800-835-6747. That is our resource line. You can ask for the book, “Alcohol and the Christian.” We’ll send it out to you. We have Rick who is listening from Michigan. Rick, welcome to the program.

Rick: Hey, how are you guys doing tonight?

Pastor Doug: Doing well.

Rick: My question is about Melchizedek. I would like to know what does the termination mean, “We’re priests of Melchizedek?” And do Levitical priests derive from him?

Pastor Doug: Alright, well, first understand the Melchizedek priesthood. You got to know, “Who is Melchizedek?” Melchizedek is, of course, an Old Testament name of this enigma, this person appears out of nowhere in history. And when Abraham won this decisive battle to rescue Lot and his family…

Rick: Yes.

Pastor Doug: …coming back from Damascus, which is modern-day Syria, he passed by the area of Salem, now known as Jerusalem, and there was a king there by the name of Melchizedek. And it says, “He brought forth bread and wine.” He was the high priest of God, and he, you know, interceded. And Abraham, he must have been a very important person because Abraham give him tithe of all the bounty from winning this war. And so what Paul is saying in Hebrews is we are not priests after the priesthood of Aaron or the Levites. We are more priests now like Melchizedek. Christ was not a priest of any one tribe. He is a priest for God’s people. Jesus did not come from the tribe of Levi or Aaron He came from the tribe of Judah. So, that in a nutshell is the difference. So we’re part of that priesthood, it’s a spiritual priesthood.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And of course, Paul picks up at that in Hebrews chapter 7 verse 11, and he makes the analogy that Christ is of the Melchizedek priesthood, not the Levitical priests. In other words, meaning that the priesthood of Christ is broader and has a greater significance than the Levitical priesthood because Jesus is both a Priest as well as a King. And as Hebrews chapter 8 verse 1 says, He is our High Priest ministering for us in the heavenly sanctuary.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it’s interesting that Melchizedek, his name means “king of righteousness,” and he was the priest of Salem, Jerusalem. Jesus is our High Priest, King of Righteousness of the New Jerusalem. So there was a… Paul was making an analogy there, the spiritual comparison.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a study guide dealing with the Old Testament sanctuary and also the service associated with that.

Pastor Doug: The priest… yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I think anyone wanting to learn more about the priesthood in Scripture would find that interesting. The study guide is entitled, “God Drew the Plans.” It’s talking about the Old Testament sanctuary. If you’d give us a call on our resource line, the number is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, “God Drew the Plans,” and we’ll be happy to send that out. Our next caller is Dan and he’s listening from Connecticut. Dan, welcome to the program!

Dan: Good evening, Pastors!

Pastor Doug: Evening!

Dan: First-time caller. I love your program.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you! Glad you called and you must be on the road.

Dan: Yeah, I’m on the road. My question is, I’ve always wondered since my father’s funeral that, you know, he was a gardener and he loves children that is having, you know, easy, you know like warden plus gardener and likes being among children. My question is, I’ve also heard this, when we go to heaven, are we going to work for the Lord like something we do on earth or we’re just happy, hopping around, playing our harps. I mean, will we be doing work of what place you ahead of the skills here on earth?

Pastor Doug: Yes, let me give you a couple of verses on what’s going to happen in heaven. And your father will be real happy in the kingdom because it does say that they’ll plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them, they’ll build houses and inhabit them. And you can read in Isaiah 11:6, “the wolf also will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together,” meaning, you know, lions and lambs don’t usually get along in this world. “And a little child will lead them.” So there’s children there, the wild animals are tame, you’ll be able to garden. And you know, if the Promised Land flowed with milk and honey, just the earth made new is going to be more beautiful than the Garden of Eden. Nothing in the Bible says anything about our floating in the clouds and playing harps. That kind of came out of medieval mythology. The Bible talks about heaven as being a very real world that God is going to create. He creates a new heaven and a new earth, meaning the atmosphere around our planet and our world is made new. And we have a lesson that we’ll send you, if you can remember this, Dan, that talks specifically about the subject of heaven.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The lesson is entitled, “A Colossal City in Space.” You can just ask about the “Space City,” talking about heaven. The number is 800-835-6747. That’s 800-835-6747. And you can ask for the study guide, “A Colossal City in Space,” all about heaven and what the righteous will do. Our next caller is Fernando, and he is calling from the Virgin Islands! Fernando, welcome to the program. You’re on the air, Fernando.

Fernando: I think immortal means that existing cannot dies. Is a Christ immortal?

Pastor Doug: Yes, it’s very simple. Jesus said, “From everlasting to everlasting, He is God, and Christ is immortal, He’s eternal, He’s the Alpha and the Omega.” So, you have to get real close to your phone. Do you have a question on that?

Fernando: It’s just that I thought immortal means that one cannot die. The Bible says that God alone is immortal that God alone cannot die and Christ died for our transgressions.

Pastor Doug: Well, when Christ came to earth, He laid aside His divinity.

Fernando: That’s why even in heaven, John saw God on the throne and Christ came and take the Book of the End Times. But anyway, I just want to know if Christ is immortal, that is why I called. And I thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you very much, Fernando. Jesus now has His glorified body, and He is eternal, He is immortal, He will never die again. It says, “I’m alive forevermore.” And He’s never going to die. When He came to earth as a man, He laid aside, you know, a number of aspects of His divinity, and so, yes, He did die.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And you know, the Bible speaks of the incarnation of Jesus coming to earth as being a mystery. But we know what the Bible says, we can’t fully understand how the Creator of all the universe could lay aside His divinity and take upon Himself humanity and actually die for our sins! And then, of course, He’s resurrected and ascends to heaven. There is that mysterious element of this, and yet the Bible is very clear that Jesus is God. He was with God in the beginning, and He will be with God forever without end. And He’s our Creator and Savior.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. Alright, who do we have lined up?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Lyn, and she’s calling from Massachusetts. Lyn, welcome to the program!

Lyn: Hi, how are you tonight?

Pastor Doug: Great. Thank you for calling!

Lyn: What a pleasant surprise. I’m here in Cambridge and the question I’m formatting it in a way where how relevant is it that we start following and helping the fellow believers follow prophecy? Along with that, I wanted to put it in that format, and how long should they be spending in the Word, you know, because in the last three years, my first job I worked nights and I was able to spend like six hours a night in the Lord and fasted once a week. The last eleven months, I haven’t been able to work and I can honestly say in recent months I’ve spent like 8 to 10 hours a day in the Word in seeking the Lord. And I tell you, with that young man that called about the heroin addiction, time in the Lord will fill that cup and help substantially.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, absolutely. Time in the Word.

Lyn: But what I want to say is that it’s though you listen to the talk radio and you hear the news which I don’t follow, I follow online news. And everybody seems to be aware, things are in peril. But you go into churches and you listen Christian radio and you’d think we were heading to paradise, and we weren’t even getting so much as a hair’s inch. And I just really appeal to the Pastors to start being more honest with the Body of Christ that we’re headed for troubled times and Christians have been dying since time immemorial, but their faith… and I think it’s highly likely that we’re going to – we’re facing significant potential suffering as believers on a wide scale. And I don’t think they’re helping but not telling people.

Pastor Doug: You’re right, Lyn. We need to… the Pastors need to be faithful. And the Bible says they need to “cry aloud, spare not, lift the trumpet, show people their sins and tell them to repent.” It’s like that parable of… what was it? Pilgrim’s Progress. He says, “Repent and flee from the wrath to come!” So, you know, we are living in very perilous times. A lot of Bible prophecy, I think we are on the cusp of the fulfillment of some very major Bible prophecies and that there’s going to be a time of trouble ahead. So, Pastors need to be faithful to let people know that. And we have a book that we can send you, Lyn. It’s called, “Anything But Secret.” It talks about the tribulation and what that means and the Second Coming of the Lord.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call for that is 800-835-6747. That’s 800-835-6747. And the book written by Pastor Doug is entitled, “Anything But Secret,” talking about the Second Coming of Christ and what the Bible says will happen just prior to His coming. That number again is 800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, “Anything But Secret.” Our next caller is Sarah, and she is listening from Brooklyn, New York. Sarah, welcome to the program!

Sarah: Yes, I’m very enthralled by your articulation and wisdom. I’m going to start to say something about Jesus in terms of… but I changed my mind. I’ve been studying, and I’m not allowed to say what kind of faith I am, but my last name begins with Cowen. And anyway, about we’re made in the image of God, right?

Pastor Doug: Right. Now, Sarah, we’ve got, before we run off the air, we’ve only got two minutes. I want to make sure you’ve got a chance to state your question.

Sarah: My question is what does it mean that we are made…? If I’m made in the image of God, how can I learn to feel that image and His awesome qualities and everything if that’s who I am, I’m the image of God?

Pastor Doug: Well, especially when you consider all the life on the planet here, man being made in the image of God was the crowing act of creation, according to Moses, here in this world. You look at how far superior man is to the other creatures and our ability to just see, process, and think in abstract forms, and I think even Shakespeare said something very interesting about man and how angelic-like he is. But, yeah, I think that it is wonderful when you consider it, and that’s why men are so precious to be saved. It’s because it’s not like, you know, trying to spare a mosquito that’s trapped in the water or something. Man is made in the image of God that’s saved in a human soul. It’s so precious that God became a man to save men. And I think that’s the greatest evidence of the power of God’s love is that He loved man so much, He became a human to save mankind. That’s what the Messiah did.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The power is demonstrated in the sacrifice that was made for man’s salvation. You know, the beautiful thing about being made in the image of God is not only is there the physical resemblance, but we also have the ability now to communicate with Him. And He communicates to us through His Word, through the moving of the Holy Spirit, so we can actually have a real, personal relationship with our Creator. And that’s because we’ve been made in His image.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. And He wants to reason with us. He wants a relationship with us. Friends, I think you can tell that we’ve run out of time for tonight’s program, but we look forward to hearing from you again. Go to the website! There is more information there. Amazingfacts.org. You can watch these programs, and also you will see other Bible resources. God bless! Until next week.

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Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides in Box by Bill May

Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides in Box by Bill May
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