Little Things Do Matter!

Little Things Do Matter!

Date: 10/22/2006 
About 600 years before Christ, a Greek natural philosopher named Demarcates said that everything in the world was made up of very tiny particles, so small you couldn’t see them with a naked eye.

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Hello, friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact?

About 600 years before Christ, a Greek natural philosopher named Demarcates said that everything in the world was made up of very tiny particles, so small you couldn’t see them with a naked eye. These tiny particles were ranged in various configurations that created a myriad of different things that we can see, such as animals, minerals, vegetable, even the air and water. These particles are so small, in fact, they could not be broken down into anything smaller. That’s why he named “atoms” from the Greek word “atomos,” which means “uncuttable.”

Of course, 2500 years later, that atomic theory became the foundation for all modern physics. And yes, atoms are indeed small— so small, a mere drop of water contains billions of them. Today, scientists understand that atoms are made up of even smaller parts— a nucleus, which is composed of protons and neutrons, and then electrons that spin around the nucleus. To give you a perspective of how small an atomic nucleus is, if an atom were the size of a football stadium, the nucleus would be only the size of a marble. Then, scientists realized that neutrons and protons are made of something even smaller called “quarks.”

But wait, there’s more! Now, they’ve realized that even the quarks are made of something smaller called “strings.” How small is a string? Listen, friends. A string is to the size of a proton, as a proton is to the size of our solar system. Strings are so small, it would take a proton smasher a million billion times stronger than any we have now in order to smash a proton hard enough to get to the strings. And what’s more, some scientists are now thinking there might be things even smaller than the strings!

No wonder the Bible says, “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” There’s no question that little things do matter. 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: Once again, friends, what I believe to be the best possible use of talk radio— talking about the truth and the Word of God, asking the big questions about eternal life and the eternal God. If you have a Bible question, this is a program for you. It’s called “Bible Answers Live” because it is a live program. You can call in with your Bible questions, and it’s a free phone call. We still have some lines open! So, pick up the phone right now, and there’s a great chance you’ll get your question on the air tonight. That number, once again, toll-free, 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 800-463-7297. And we’d love to hear from you. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And my name is Jëan Ross. Good evening, listening friends, Pastor Doug. Let’s start with a word of prayer.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Dear Father, once more, as we open up Your Word, we ask Your Holy Spirit to be with us. Be with those listening and those who call in. Give us wisdom as we open up Your Word. Give answers from the Bible. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You spoke about the importance of little things, an introduction for this evening to the program. We can’t take the little things for granted. The Bible has a lot to say about little things.

Pastor Doug: That’s right! Jesus said, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” And it was amazing as we looked as this amazing fact about what are these smallest things. And I’m sure if we can look through God’s microscope, we’d find there things not only smaller than atoms and quarks and strings, you know. I believe, in the same way, God’s universe is almost infinite in scope going out; it may be infinite in scope going in. And only God can comprehend that. Our minds begin to explode… [laughing] We’ll reach the boiling point if we try to comprehend both how big things are and how little things are.

But in the Bible, it tells us little things do matter. And one thing in particular is, sometimes, we think, “Well, our words, they don’t make that big a difference.” And yet Jesus said that in the judgment, Matthew chapter 12, we will give an account for every idle word we have spoken. And by our words we’ll be justified, and by our words we’ll be condemned! And we need to pray God will give us grace over the little things in our lives, and help us to tame the tongue!

We can read in James chapter 3, it says, “Even so, the tongue is a little member,” meaning a little organ in the body, “and it boasts great things. Behold how great a matter a small fire kindles.” Sometimes, it just takes a little spark— a match can set a whole forest ablaze. And some have done that with a few carelessly spoken words.

Maybe there are some who are listening out there and they’d think, “Oh, I wish the Lord would help me get the victory over this idle chatter and gossip.” Or maybe you’d be a victim of people’s cruel and [inaudible] words. We have a special offer that talks about the tongue, and both when it’s used against this and how we might use it and how we get the victory.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That offer is called “Tiny Troublemakers.” And to get it, just call our resource number. It’s 1-800-835-6747. Again, ask for “Tiny Troublemakers,” dealing with tongues and gossip and the things we say, the words we speak, and the importance of them.

Well, friends, if you have a question that you’d like to email to us, you can do so by going to the Amazing Facts website. There is a link that says Contact Us. You can click on that. And there is a place where you can type in your Bible-related question.

Pastor Doug, the question that came in— we have two for this evening. The first one is, when the Bible says “Be ye not unequally yoked,” does this pertain to finances, education, and even racial as well as spiritual matters?

Pastor Doug: Principally, when Paul talks about being not unequally yoked, he in the first sense, I believe, is talking about spiritually. Christians should be marrying Christians; I mean that God should be the center. And Jesus said, “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” And if a Christian marries a non-Christian and even beyond that— if a Christian from one denomination marries someone from a, you know, vastly different denomination, there’s always great conflict. So, we want to be equally yoked that way.

But it is also practical to consider that the more you have in common, whether it is in education— I mean it’s nice to marry someone has the roughly the same interests and education. Culturally, there are people who are Christians but their cultural backgrounds are so different, and that, of course, would overlap with some of the racial problems that people have in marriages, that it can create a lot of conflict. And people just need to be aware of these things when they go into a marriage. And economically, you know, if one is frugal and a saver, and the other one is a compulsive buyer, you’re going to have challenges there, too. So, you want to be as compatible as possible, because we’re already prone to be attracted to opposites. We don’t to make it any worse than it already is.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next question, since Satan sinned, how come he’s still alive for all of these centuries and did not eat from the Tree of Life?

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. I don’t think we’ve ever had that before. Keep in mind, Adam’s life was measured in centuries because, of course, he did for at least a while had access to that tree that perpetuates life. He was evicted from the garden, could not eat from that tree, and eventually his cells began to degenerate and die, and his posterity had kept getting— their lifespans got shorter and shorter especially after the Flood.

What about Satan? He hasn’t eaten from the Tree of Life. How come he’s been around for at least 6,000 years? Well, he’s a spirit. We don’t know if Satan eats anything. And so, the advantages of the Tree of Life had nothing to do with him. But Satan was created by God; he wasn’t born. And so, how he is sustained— I don’t know. The Bible says at the end, Satan will be cast in the lake of fire, so he will meet his end. But, you know, he doesn’t need to eat from the Tree of Life to live long.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, thank you. If you have any questions you’d like to email to us, feel free to do that. Just go to the Amazing Facts website. But now, we’ll go to the phone lines! Our first caller is Bernadine, and she’s calling from Denver, Colorado listening on the Internet. Welcome to the program!

Bernadine: Oh, thank you!

Pastor Jëan Ross: And your question?

Bernadine: Oh, I’d like to know from Doug. I heard that Satan hung on to Noah’s Ark, the boat, when the earth was flooded. He was so upset because he thought he was going to be perished or something from God. Is that true?

Pastor Doug: Well, there’s nothing in the Bible that says that Satan was clinging to the outside of the ark. There are commentaries that say that the ferocity of the storm was so intense that Satan, no doubt, feared for his own existence. Now, that’s one statement I’ve read in a book called “Prophets and Kings,” or “Patriarchs and Prophets.” But there’s nothing in the Bible that says that, and I don’t remember even any commentary that says that Satan was hanging onto the railing…

Bernadine: Alright.

Pastor Doug: So, I mean he is a spirit. I just think that the ferocity of the flood was so intense that even the demons probably even feared for their existence. That’s what I recall, but that was in a commentary; it’s not in the Bible.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Bernadine: Okay. So, I can find it in the “Patriarchs and Prophets”?

Pastor Doug: I think you will.

Bernadine: Okay, because I have the book, so I will check it.

Pastor Doug: Good!

Bernadine: Okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Thank you, Bernadine.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Joseph is listening on WMCA from New York. Welcome to the program, Joseph.

Joseph: Good evening!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening.

Joseph: I’m going to ask… I was thinking about the miracles of Moses performed on the Red Sea and the plagues and all the other miracles he performed in the desert. I was wondering, were his miracles greater than the miracles that Jesus performed?

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s a good question. You know, what would be a challenge here, Joseph, is developing a grading system for miracles. Certainly parting the Red Sea, you think about the panoramic scope of that. So, one nation could cross over, and then later another nation is swallowed up would be a pretty spectacular thing to behold. Of course, the river, the Nile River, turning into blood would be pretty spectacular. The pillar of fire above the sanctuary…

But when you think about the miracles of Jesus, one of the most remarkable was somebody having been dead so long, the decomposing— that was Lazarus, John chapter 11. The resurrection of Lazarus is usually believed to be by, at least New Testament commentators, the greatest of Christ’s miracles short of His own resurrection. A matter of fact, I‘ve heard one commentator say that each of the resurrections of Jesus were successively more amazing. He starts with a little girl who had just died, and He goes to a boy on His way to burial, then He resurrects a Lazarus who’s been dead for four days, and the greatest resurrection is, of course, Himself.

So… but the resurrection of Lazarus, you know… Moses really never raised anyone from the dead; what he did were mostly the miracles of the elements in nature. You know what I’m saying? That the plagues and the lice and the blood and the water and so forth… Did anything come to mind, Pastor Jëan?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. You know, Pastor Doug, even though Moses was involved in the miracles, of course, we recognize that Jesus was probably the One parting the Red Sea!

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s right!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Moses held out the rod…

Pastor Doug: Moses was the medium…

Pastor Jëan Ross: …but God was doing the miracle.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, good point. I’m glad you’ve mentioned that.

Joseph: Did Saint Peter raise someone that passed away also?

Pastor Doug: Yes, Dorcas— Peter raised Dorcas, and Paul raised— we believe Eutychus had died when he fell from the window. It doesn’t say that, but we believe he had died. And so, several of the apostles raised the dead.

Joseph: How about Elijah?

Pastor Doug: Ellijah had raised a boy who had died, and so did Elisha. They both raised boys in the household where they were staying that had died.

Joseph: But in your opinion, Jesus’ miracles were the greatest…

Pastor Doug: Well, the difference is Lazarus had not just been dead a few hours; he had been dead to the point where he was already beginning to decompose. That’s why they said, “It already smells. Don’t roll away the stone.” And so, for Christ to do that was almost an active creation or recreation. And He was illustrating that He could resurrect us when He resurrected Lazarus— that we don’t have to be afraid of death or even being turned into the dust. He can raise us again.

Joseph: I was listening to you earlier. Did you give the age of Adam when you were talking about Adam?

Pastor Doug: No, I didn’t, but the Bible says that Adam lived 930 years, I believe.

Joseph: Oh and Methuselah?

Pastor Doug: Methuselah, 969.

Joseph: Oh boy.

Pastor Doug: And Noah, 950.

Joseph: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: So, hope that helps a little…

Joseph: [Laughing] Thanks so much.

Pastor Doug: Thanks a lot. Bye-bye, Joseph.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Joyce. She’s listening on WMBA from Bronx, New York. Welcome to the program, Joyce. Your question?

Joyce: My question is… I read a Scripture… I don’t remember where to find it, but Jesus says that God the Father does not hear the sinner’s prayer. And then I went to a Bible class and the teacher was teaching that at the time when that was written, they were speaking to Jesus. Jesus was the person they were telling that God the Father doesn’t hear sinners’ prayers. They were saying that Jesus is the sinner. While, you know, the church and most pastors teach that unsaved people and Jesus, God don’t hear your prayer unless you’re praying to be saved. I would like you to tell me, how do you interpret it?

Pastor Doug: Okay. First of all, God will always hear a prayer of repentance, and I think we agree on that, and that’s what you’ve been hearing. But Jesus said that God is good and He sends the rain on the just and the unjust.

Joyce: Right.

Pastor Doug: And there are people who pray that their lives are not in harmony, but God is often merciful. He often answers the prayers of even pagans that don’t know Him…

Joyce: Right.

Pastor Doug: …because He’s merciful. Now, they might be thinking of a verse that’s in Proverbs 28:9 that says, “He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.” And there’s another verse I remember, Jëan, but I can’t remember. It’s in Psalms where it says if I regard iniquity in my heart, He will not hear or something…

Joyce: No, they said the verse… I guess I have to call you back to get the Scripture and call you back next week, because it is written that God does not hear sinners’ prayer.

Pastor Doug: Oh, well there…

Joyce: When sinners pray, God don’t hear their prayer.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. John chapter 9…

Joyce: Okay…

Pastor Doug: …is saying that— and it’s not Jesus speaking, I think it’s the man who had been healed from blindness— and he’s saying, “We know that God will not hear the prayers of sinners.” But it’s not Christ Who says that. That was an assumption, I think, that the Jews had.

Joyce: That’s what the Bible teacher was telling us that that was not from Christ nor God the Father nor God the Son. That was someone who was speaking…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I think he was referring to the story. You’ll find that in John chapter 9, Joyce, it’s the story where Jesus opens the eyes of this blind man. And there’s a quote in there, but I don’t believe the words, it’s coming from Christ. Let me see here. Yeah, I think if you look in John 9:31, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners…”

Joyce: Right.

Pastor Doug: …but if any man be a worshiper of God…” This is the man who had been healed. He’s not… it’s not a statement of Christ; it’s this young man who’s sharing his theology that he had gotten from the religious leaders that God will not hear sinners. But that’s not really a Biblical statement. In other words, in the Book of Job, you’ve got a lot of statements from Job’s friends that are incorrect.

Joyce: Right.

Pastor Doug: And that’s why even at the end of the Book of Job, Job has to pray for them because they were saying things that were not true. Well, not every statement in the Bible is true. The enemies of Christ think, accused him of being a drunkard and a glutton. Well, He wasn’t. So, you can’t take that verse that says Jesus is a Samaritan drunkard and glutton…

Joyce: I have heard a lot of preachers preach that sermon in the form that if you are [inaudible] with a sinner and you pray to God, God don’t hear you unless you are praying to Him to say, “Lord, save me. Take me.” You know…

Pastor Doug: Well, there is some truth to that, Joyce, in respect to the fact that if a person is living in open high-handed defiance— that’s why it said if we turn away our ear from hearing, if we regard iniquity in our hearts— in other words, if we know the truth ad we turn away, God is not promising to answer our prayers. In His mercy, God will even send blessings on the just and the unjust. Even the wicked get blessings from God. That’s what Jesus said. You know, we have no right to claim by faith that God’s going to answer our prayers when we’re living in rebellion. And I think that’s what they’re talking about. Hope that helps a little bit, Joyce, and it’s a good thought. Good question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Mary Ann, and she’s listening on KJMM from Lexington, Kentucky. Welcome to the program, Mary Ann.

Mary Ann: Thank you. My question is, I’ve looked in the Bible and I can’t find it, but I’m wondering if there are different levels of heaven. For example, when Jesus was on the cross and the man next to Him, He said to him, “Today, you will be with Me in paradise.” And this man lived a horrible life, but at the very end, he believed in Jesus. And is that man going to be the same heaven as, for example, Billy Graham who’s led thousands and thousands of people to Jesus?

Pastor Doug: Alright, that’s a good question. Let me read the Scripture to you that’s created some confusion on this subject. 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul is speaking; he says, “I knew a man in Christ about 14 years ago, whether in the body I cannot tell, whether out of the body, I cannot tell. God knows.” In other words, he was in vision. “Such a one God caught up to the third heaven.” Some people have read the third heaven, I think… and you’ve heard the expression, “I was in seventh heaven”?

Mary Ann: Yes.

Pastor Doug: It’s not in the Bible, but people always use that to talk about ecstasy— “I was in seventh heaven.” But in the Bible, there’s only one place where the redeemed go and God does not segregate us there. The third heaven… let me explain what that is, in the Jewish mind, they use the word “heaven” in three ways. There was the heaven that was the atmosphere around the earth. An example of that would be in Genesis where it says God placed a heaven, a firmament, between the waters above— the clouds, and the waters below— the sea. And they call that a “firmament,” a heaven. So, the first heaven is the atmosphere around the world. Perhaps, you remember reading in the Bible where it says God will create a new heaven and a new earth…

Mary Ann: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well, that heaven’s not talking about where God lives; it’s talking about the atmosphere around the world.

Mary Ann: Ahh…

Pastor Doug: Then it goes on to say there’s a second heaven. That’s where the sun, the moon, the stars, the heavenly bodies hang. It talks, for instance, about the stars in heaven. That’s the second heaven. The third heaven is the place of paradise, the dwelling place of God where the redeemed will dwell. And so, the third heaven is simply talking about the paradise. There are not different levels of heaven. Now, some of us might have mansions that are a little nicer than others. I don’t know.

Marr Ann: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: But we’re all going to live together.

Mary Ann: Okay.

Pastor Doug: The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter 4, then we will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air where He’s not going to take us to heaven and segregate us there into different levels of heaven. Some have taught that there’s one called Paradise and one called Abraham’s Bosom and one called who-knows-what. But that’s all man-made myth. Everyone’s going to be together in heaven.

Mary Ann: Okay, great. Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Some will have greater rewards— that’s true because Jesus said, you know, there’s varying degrees of reward, both for the righteous and the lost!

Mary Ann: Mm-hmm. Okay. Alright.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thanks, Mary Ann.

Mary Ann: Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: David is calling from San Diego, California listening on KPRZ. Welcome to the program, David.

David: Well. Hello, Pastors! I was wondering, Pastor Batchelor, about, a question about… are there passages that I can find that give us assurance of salvation and that after we confess our old past sins that we are covered by the blood of Christ and do not have to worry about the old sins that we’ve had?

Pastor Doug: Well, I believe that there are in 1 John, it’s telling us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So, if we have confessed our sins, He will forgive us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Now, of course, in connection with that confessing of sin, it tells us in Proverbs whoever confesses and forsakes his sin will have mercy. So, there should be a repentance that goes with that confession, meaning a sorrow for sin and willing to turn away from it. And if we’ve done that and if we have accepted the forgiveness, the remission that Jesus offers, we can know, John tells us that we have passed from death unto life.

David: Where are those passages…?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, I recommend that, one of what I’ve just quoted is from 1 John chapter 1, but I think if you read 1 John, it’s only got five chapters… you’ll find a lot of assurance in there.

David: Okay.

Pastor Doug: What do you think, Pastor Ross? You’ve got… Oh, you know what, you’re looking for that booklet on assurance. Yeah, we’ve got some study guides that deal with assurance where you could probably find a lot of encouragement in the whole book!

David: Oh, okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me tell you about this one, “Rescue from Above.” It’s an Amazing Facts study guide that deals with this very question on how can we have assurance that we are forgiven, the promise of the Gospel? To get it, just call the resource number, and…

Pastor Doug: Pastor Ross, would you let me interrupt you?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure! Go right ahead.

Pastor Doug: That’s a great study guide, and you’re free to offer it, but I just, I forgot…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You found something else.

Pastor Doug: I just wrote a book on assurance that just got printed. I forgot.

Pastor Jëan Ross: [Laughing]

Pastor Doug: I have a book called “Assurance.”

David: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Does that sound like what you’re looking for?

David: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. You know what happens is sometimes I’ll write an article, and when they print it as a book, the title’s different. And I forgot we have an article we wrote and it’s called “Assurance.” A new booklet of it just came out. I think that would be perfect for what you’re looking for, David.

David: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Will that help?

David: Yes, I think that helps very much.

Pastor Doug: If you call the resource number and ask for Pastor Doug’s new book on assurance, we’ll send that to you. We don’t even have one in the studio, that’s why Pastor Ross doesn’t have it in his fingertips. It’s so new, we don’t even have a copy here.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you the number again, David. It’s 1-800-835-6747, and again the book is “Assurance.” Not only for David, but anyone who’s listening who wants that information, we’d be happy to give it that way. Alright, our next caller is Ezekiel, and he is listening on the Internet from Lake Placid, Florida. Welcome to the program.

Ezekiel: Hey, thank you guys. My question is Revelation 13, the second beast that comes out of the earth. I strongly believe, I’m not sure, Doug, I just want to hear from you guys, but this represents the United States of America. And the point here that I’m trying to see here is it possible— because it says it speaks like a dragon, and the dragon represents Satan— is it possible that the United States of America could be setting up a lot of these terror attacks coming from our own government? Is it possible?

Pastor Doug: You know, I’ve heard a number— let me, for our friends who are listening to Ezekiel, let me explain where you and I are because not everyone knows what we’re talking about…

Ezekiel: Yes, Sir.

Pastor Doug: In Revelation 13, friends, there are two beasts. We always think of the mark of the beast, and we say singular. Revelation really tells us that there are two beasts that work in cooperation…

Ezekiel: Right.

Pastor Doug: …bringing about the mark of the beast. And we believe the second beast, many scholars believe that the second beast in Revelation 13 is America after it goes through this major apostasy, and it’s going to make religious laws. And what I think Ezekiel’s saying is some of what’s happened with terrorism lately, some of that, the governments are chipping away at our freedoms where there’s more and more restrictions and we lose more and more freedoms. And every time I fly now, I’ve got to hide my hand lotion and everything in my bag. I can’t take it on the airplane with me, because you know, it might be some kind of explosive. We’re living in fear now.

Ezekiel: Like police state, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, so, and you know, that’s often in a way a dictatorship and subdeveloping it’s because the people sacrifice liberty for a sense of security.

Ezekiel: Absolutely, yeah.

Pastor Doug: And I think that with this, you know, even as speak, I think today in Iraq or at least what was today— this morning— they had another terrible bombing over there, another attack, and it’s almost daily. It seems like things are… Yeah, it is just getting worse. But I do not believe— the devil may be behind it— but I don’t believe that there’s anybody in our government in smoke-filled rooms that are planning 9-11 and these things so that they can see power. I think the devil is behind it, but I really don’t believe some of the conspiracies I’ve heard that America was behind the planes flying into the trade center. And I’ve heard a lot of similar conspiracy theories. I don’t believe in that one bit.

Ezekiel: Oh, okay. I was just wondering info.com and all these different kind of websites that I’ve been…

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well, hey, look, if you believe everything you see on the Internet, Elvis is still alive and walking around out there, so…

Ezekiel: [Laughing] Right.

Pastor Doug: [Laughing] Hey, hope that helps, Ezekiel. Thanks.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. I think we have one minute, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Oh, you know what, rather than cut someone off, tell you what we’ll do. Friends, get a pencil, please, or a pen or a piece of chalk and write down what we’re…

Pastor Jëan Ross: There goes the music.

Pastor Doug: Yup, I had a feeling. Some new websites that really will help you in your study. Of course, amazingfacts.org. You can go there into our Bible study guides, our free library. We have some of the studies on most of the questions here. If you click Media at Amazing Facts, you can go to “Bible Answers Live,” and we have a whole archive of many, many questions over the years— some of the more popular questions, you can listen anytime at your convenience.

There’s a new website— we’ve got a lot of questions on about the lake of fire and hell— new website’s out there called helltruth.org. I know that sounds kind of ominous— H-E-L-L truth.org— a lot of confusion about that. A lot of questions on the Sabbath Day keep coming in, so we’ve got a website that has resource called sabbathtruth.com. And so take advantage of these resources, and in just a minute, we’re going to be back with more Bible questions. But Pastor Ross has some important announcements for you in the meantime. Keep your pencil handy, we have free gifts as well.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We are back live for your Bible questions, friends! If anybody has tuned in recently, this is “Bible Answers Live” you’re listening to. And if you have a Bible question, we still have some lines open! And give us a call! It’s 800-GOD-SAYS. The Bible is the Word of God, and that’s our textbook for this program. We entertain questions not on finance or romance, but on the Word of God. 800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 463-7297, if you do it numerically rather than alphabetically. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug, let’s go to the phone lines. Our next caller is Max. He’s listening on the Internet from Brooklyn, New York. Welcome to the program, Max.

Max: Yes. Hi, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi! Thanks for waiting.

Max: Thank you. My question comes from Hebrews 4:15…

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Max: …where it says, “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are…”

Pastor Doug: Right.

Max: “…yet without sin.” My question is, looking at Matthew 4:1-7, it’s told all the way that the different temptations that Jesus had to go through in the wilderness. But I was wondering, is that all that we would, you know, encounter in our lives?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Obviously, Max, there are thousands of different possibilities for a way for a person to be tempted, but those temptations, those millions of different temptations really fall into three categories. In 1 John— no, I take that back— 2 John… 1 John chapter 2, sorry, 1 John 2:15, it talks about the three primary temptations as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Jesus was tempted in those same three areas, and those are the same three areas where Eve fell, and Adam.

Max: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And so, the lust of the flesh is any physical temptation. When the devil said to Jesus, “Turn these stones into bread,” that could be any temptation of the flesh, whether it’s a craving for a drug, whether it’s a sexual temptation, a food temptation, any physical temptation, sensual temptation— that would be the first category. The pride of life, he said that, “I will give you all the kingdoms of the world if you fall down and worship me.” That actually would be the lust of the eyes— all the kingdoms of the world. And then the pride of life, he said that, “Tempt the Lord. Jump off the building, and You know, You’re the Son of God. He’ll catch you up.” And so, those three categories cover any area of temptation, and the fact that Jesus got the victory in those areas means that we can.

Max: Right.

Pastor Doug: So, Jesus was never tempted with heroin and they didn’t have it back then, but He was tempted with the flesh. And you know, they’ve discovered that Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous that have given so many people victory over that physical addiction, are the same principles that they’re using now to help people with any drug addiction. It doesn’t have to be alcohol. It could be heroin, it could be meth, speed, but it’s through trust in Divine Power, group support, prayer— those steps are the steps of victory. And all temptation is basically the same.

Max: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: Hey, you know what, I have a book that we’ll be happy to send you. And it’s called “Tips to Resisting Temptations.” Would you like a free copy of that, Max?

Max: Sure, yeah.

Pastor Doug: If you call the…

Max: I have that one. Yeah.

Pastor Doug: You’ve got it? Oh, good for you. I’m flattered.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Thank you so much for calling, Max.

Our next caller is Mary, and she’s listening on 7.40, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Welcome to the program, Mary.

Mary: Hi, Pastor Doug. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Good!

Mary: Good. I know you’ve had a lot of callers on smoking…

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Mary: I’ve battled this for years. And I’ve said every prayer, and I’ve had other people pray, and I can’t quit. I’m still addicted. I just can’t quit.

Pastor Doug: Well, now, Mary, first of all, I’m assuming you’re calling because you’d like a little encouragement and help.

Mary: No, I want the truth. I know people has told me different things, but I know in the Bible it says about if you destroy this temple of something, God will destroy you.

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible does teach that. It says whoever defiles the temple of God, it’s a serious business…

Mary: Right.

Pastor Doug: I mean… but there’s even more to it than that. It’s not only that you don’t want to disobey God, you’re hurting yourself as well.

Mary: I know.

Pastor Doug: Now, I used to smoke, so I can talk to you. And I know how tough it is. A matter of fact, I had a lot of addictions that God had to help me with. I’ve had problems. I drank, I used drugs, and the Lord gave me victory— not to mention my diet, I needed some big changes there— but the Lord gave me victory over these things, but the hardest thing for me, Mary was smoking!

Mary: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And I’ve heard it said, for some people, giving up cigarettes can be as hard as giving up alcohol for an alcoholic. Now, do you believe that God wants you to quit.

Mary: Oh, definitely.

Pastor Doug: Here’s the next question. Do you believe that God will help you do what He wants you to do?

Mary: I’m sure He will, but my problem…

Pastor Doug: Wait, wait, wait… Now, hang on. Pardon me. I heard you say something a moment ago, I wanted to catch you. Jesus said when you pray, pray believing. And I heard you say just a moment ago, “I’ve tried everything. I don’t think I can quit.” Don’t believe that you can’t. If your faith is that you can’t, you’ve already got a problem right there. Believe that you can do all things through Christ…

Mary: Right. I know He will help me do it. That’s not the issue. It’s me getting up enough nerve or whatever to put them down.

Pastor Doug: Well, don’t just put them down. Let me tell you what worked for me…

Mary: What?

Pastor Doug: …is you need to make, say a prayer, find a garbage can that is not in your kitchen, somewhere far from home, throw them all away, and get on your knees and say, “Lord, break these chains. Set me free.” And, you know, I could talk to you about all the little things, the patches, all of plans and programs, but the best thing that seems to work is to just ask God to break the chains, take the step, throw them away, and then take it one minute at a time. And it is going to be a struggle!

Mary: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Can you go an hour without smoking?

Mary: No.

Pastor Doug: Do you sleep? Do you wake up every hour and smoke?

Mary: Oh, no.

Pastor Doug: Okay, so you can go an hour without smoking.

Mary: Yeah, I might.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Let me ask you. Be honest with me, Mary.

Mary: I am.

Pastor Doug: Have you ever flown on airplane?

Mary: Ah, one time.

Pastor Doug: Alright, if you fly right now a two-hour flight, you’re not allowed to smoke.

Mary: Right.

Pastor Doug: Are you going to jump out of the plane, or we’ll just make it two hours?

Mary: Will make it two hours.

Pastor Doug: Alright, because you have to, don’t you?

Mary: Uhuh.

Pastor Doug: Alright. If you have to, you can.

Mary: Right.

Pastor Doug: You’ve just proven that to me.

Mary: Right.

Pastor Doug: So, you take in one minute at a time. Get a box of toothpicks. And if you’re tempted, get a toothpick in your mouth, but don’t ever buy anymore cigarettes. Think of all the money you’re going to save!

Mary: Yeah, I thought about that a lot, too. Because one time, I did try it for a day and a half…

Pastor Doug: Hey, you know what, if you made it a day and a half, you can make it a week and a half, a month and a half, and a year and a half…

Mary: Yeah, that’s what I did… that I paced the floor, I took walks, I took baths, I did everything until I came in, I was getting ready to pull my hair out, and I just, I couldn’t take it anymore.

Pastor Doug: Well, you can make it. You know, the first week is miserable. And I remember I quit smoking several times before I finally quit for good, but it’s been 30 years since I’ve had a cigarette in my mouth. And if He did it for me, He can do it for you.

Mary: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And my dad smoked 50 years, and he quit!

Mary: Did he smoke two to three packs a day?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, he smoked plenty. But you can do it. Yes, you can. And it is a matter of life and death. I think you know that.

Mary: I do.

Pastor Doug: Can I pray with you right now?

Mary: Definitely. Yes, please.

Pastor Doug: Mary, I tell you what. I’d like to pray with you and for you, and with and for anybody out there who’s struggling with this problem. And I’d like to ask all the believers out there to just join their prayers with ours for Mary and others like her, that God will give her the courage and strength to break these chains!

Mary: Please.

Pastor Doug: Father in Heaven, we just want to come before You, and we’re asking for You to do what You’ve done a thousand times before. Intercede in Mary’s life. Break the chains. Set her free. And we know there may be struggles and there may be a time of testing.As she goes through the time of trial, go through the furnace with her. And I pray that You’ll just help her to be completely free and relieve the pressure and the stress from the temptation. Show her everything that she can do to help make it one minute at a time until, through resisting the devil, she gains the victory. So, bless her and set her free, and through the blood of Christ we claim this. Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Amen.

Mary: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Now, there’s a book I’d like to encourage you to read. We’ll give you some help with this, and it’s called “Broken Chains.”

Mary: I got that.

Pastor Doug: You got it?

Mary: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Have you read it?

Mary: Yes, I have.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Well, hey, we’re giving you the best help we can. But you stick with it because you can be free. Okay, Mary?

Mary: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Okay, God bless. Hey, you know, I’ve just thought of something else. If Mary is still listening, Mary, I think you can probably hear me. There is a book called “The Power of a Positive No.” “The Power of a Positive No.” I love that title by Joe Crews.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: That is a great book. We’ll send that to you for free. I bet you don’t have that. Just call and ask for it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Michael, thank you for holding. Welcome to the program. You’re calling from Lake Placid, Florida. I see you on the cellphone. Michael, are you there?

Michael: Yes, hi.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi.

Michael: My question was, I wanted to know, because I have started a home church, and I wanted to know if this was right. And I’ve got… or does it talk about it in the Bible because, you know, I’m disappointed with the organized church, and I still want to keep the Sabbath, but I’m just disappointed about some of the things that are going on in the organized church.

Pastor Doug: Alright, well, let me answer your question two ways. Biblically, there is nothing wrong with believers gathering for worship in a home, because I believe that, of course, the Last Supper was instituted in somebody’s upper room, and the early church, they met in the home of John Mark’s mother. So, most of the early Christians didn’t have public places of worship. That came over time. There’s nothing wrong with meeting in a home church. I’ve started churches before where we had to start in someone’s home. So, as far as that, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

But I hear you say something different that, you know, is it okay to basically separate from the organized work because, you know, sometimes we see hypocrisy and failure and the apostasy in the organized church, and that’s true! But, you know, that has always been true. Let me give you an example, Michael. Back in the days of Jesus, was the organized church corrupt?

Michael: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Sure, they were! But when that woman came to the temple to drop her ten mites in the offering box in the temple, did Jesus say, “No, don’t give your money here because those priests, they’re just scoundrels.” Or did He encourage her for doing that?

Michael: No. Yeah, He complimented her for doing it.

Pastor Doug: Exactly. So He never encouraged separating from the organized church. Here’s where I draw the line. I’m part of an organized church. If my church gets involved in apostasy where I can no longer practice and preach my convictions, I’ll have no choice. I’ll have to do something else. Even Martin Luther didn’t want to leave the Catholic Church; he wanted to reform it! He finally got excommunicated.

So, don’t isolate yourself because if the church needs revival, and it does, you cannot clean a house from the outside; you cannot bail a boat if you’re in the ocean— you got to be in the boat to bail it. And so, you lose a lot of influence to bring revival in the church by separating. Nothing wrong with meeting in a home. A matter of fact, you know, you may have two or three meetings in your home through the week, but don’t, you know, don’t separate from the greater international work of God’s people. That’s my counsel.

You know, I’ve got a book— you think we’ve got a book about everything. We’ve got a lot of books, but I’ve got a book I wrote. It’s called “How to Survive and Thrive in Church.” Michael, can you still hear me?

Michael: Yeah, I can still hear.

Pastor Doug: “How to Survive and Thrive in Church.” And I can’t send it to you for free, because it got— some of our books are in a category we can send them for free, some of them we have smaller print runs and we can’t. But I think it’s only about four dollars or something. But if you go to the website, you might even find someone’s posted it for free, and I don’t care if you read it online. “How to Survive and Thrive in Church.” I’ve got a chapter in there about when to leave the church, and how do you survive in a big church, a little church, a dead church, how do you survive gossip— it’s just all these different problems people have in church, and I think it would be encouraging for your situation. Okay, Michael?

Michael: Okay, so I should just go back to church, right?

Pastor Doug: Try to. Yet nothing wrong with meeting at home with your friends through the week, but don’t separate from your church. A matter of fact, you might even meet at home, you know, on occasional Sabbath, but stay part of the church, so you can keep your influence there. Okay?

Michael: Okay, Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Alright.

Michael: Pastor, tell me. Did you vote for George Bush?

Pastor Doug: Oh, we’re not getting into politics; we’re just going to talk about religion here. Okay?

Michael: Okay. I’ll get that as a yes.

Pastor Doug: [Laughing] Alright, you can take it any way you want. We’ll talk to you later.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Paul, and he’s listening at KFL from Bakersfield, California. That’s KFL 9.17. Paul, welcome to the program.

Paul: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, Paul. How are you doing?

Paul: I’m very good. I would like to thank you guys and Amazing Facts for all that you do for everybody. I just attended a seminar, [inaudible] if you will, John Bradshaw.

Pastor Doug: Oh, praise the Lord! Yeah, John is one of our top Amazing Facts evangelists.

Paul: Oh yeah. It’s a very, very good seminar. But I was calling for, not specifically for myself, maybe others who are listening. How, when you’re trying to witness to a secular person, can you validate the Bible without using the Bible? If you what I’m saying…

Pastor Doug: I think I do. That’s a good question. You know, the very first Amazing Facts study guide is called “Is There Anything Left We Can Trust?” And we wrote that study guide to do what you’re describing. We wrote that so that people could use the evidence in that study guide to validate the dependability of the Bible where they’re actually not holding the Bible, they’re holding outside historical and scientific information that supports the dependability of the Bible.

Paul: Are these the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Pastor Doug: Exactly. We talk about that. It talks about a number of things— scientific support, historical support, textural support, and social support for the validity of the Bible. Nothing has affected families and individuals in gaining victory more than Scripture.

Paul: I’ve heard other people talk about the acronym MAP. Have you ever heard of that Manuscript Archeological Evidence, predictive [inaudible], and the Scriptures themselves?

Pastor Doug: Hey, you know, that’s good. I haven’t heard of that before, but I believe it.

Paul: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: You know what, I’ll tell you another little amazing fact. Did you know that all the jet airplanes that you fly all over the world, part of the survival gear and the lifeboat is the Bible?

Paul: Oh really?

Pastor Doug: Yup. My father was in the aviation business, and he donated some of the life rafts to our summer camp where we had cystic fibrosis kids, and you open those and there’s a Bible with a survival gear. It didn’t have— pardon me, friends— but it didn’t have a Koran, it didn’t have the Bhagavad Gita or anything else. It had a Bible because their research showed them that people who had the Bible with them had a higher percentage of survival…

Paul: Yeah, it seems all of the other religions, they didn’t have Jesus in there somewhere.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well. Anyway, I thought you’d find that interesting. And, do you have our first study guide?

Paul: I don’t…

Pastor Doug: We’ll send you a free copy.

Paul: Oh, I would love that. But really, your past caller called about the smoking…

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Paul: And the book that you told her, I would love to have that book…

Pastor Doug: “Broken Chains…”

Paul: Yes. I have a problem myself…

Pastor Doug: “Broken Chains…” “The Power…”

Paul: I talked to Jëan personally about that, and… but I haven’t got the book yet.

Pastor Doug: Well, I tell you what. You call the resource number. Tell them what you’ve told me. Sometimes, it takes a couple of weeks to mail things out because we get a backlog of calls, but you go ahead and call the resource number. And we have that book “The Power of a Positive No” and “Broken Chains.” And take your pick. Ask them for one of those.

Paul: Oh, wonderful. And if you ever come to Bakersfield, I will see you.

Pastor Doug: I’m sure I’ll be there again someday.

Paul: [Laughing] Thank you.

Pastor Doug: I was on my way to several places. [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, Paul. Let me give you the resource number. It’s 1-800-835-6747. And for anyone listening who would like to know more about that first study guide that we just spoke about— how can we believe the Bible, the title of the study guide is “Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?” And you can just ask for that when you call the resource number 1-800-835-6747. Our next caller is Eric listening on WOCG from Huntsville, Alabama! Welcome to the program, Eric!

Eric: Yeah, how are you doing, Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Good!

Eric: I just have a quick question from John chapter 1 verses 14 and verses 18— well, actually more of verse 18. I just wanted an explanation of it where it says, “No one has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son who was at the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” I was told that this kind of a proof-text to see that, you know, Christ was created and that He is not part of the Godhead saying that which no one has seen God. Can you explain that to me?

Pastor Doug: Well, in the Bible, we know that there are individuals that saw God, at least God the Son. God said to Moses, “No man can see My face and lived, but I’ll let you see the back of Me,” and that’s when He put him at the cleft of the rock. You remember that story?

Eric: Yes, I do.

Pastor Doug: And it’s where we get that song “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock.” Jacob said, “I’ve seen God face to face and I am preserved” when he wrestled with the angel and he named the place. Manoah and his wife, when they saw the angel, they said, “We’re going to die because we’ve seen God.” And so, there are many times in the Bible… God said, “I spoke to Abraham, My friend, face to face.”

Now, the way that I think we reconcile those verses, it says, “No man has seen God the Father…” they have seen God the Son. So, there’ a difference. And I don’t believe any man has seen God in His glorified state. We couldn’t— no mortal man could endure that. But Adam in the Garden of Eden, did he say God?

Eric: Yes, Sir.

Pastor Doug: Well, I think he saw God the Son. I don’t think he saw God the Father in His glory right then. And then, of course, the Bible ends by saying we will see Him. “Now, we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face”— that’s 1 Corinthians 13. Now, your bigger question was really about was Jesus created.

Eric: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well…

Eric: Well, He was the only Begotten… that’s the only thing I’ve got.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, some people think “begotten” means that there was a time when Christ was born. It’s speaking of when God came to earth in the form of a man, and the only time that God was begotten as a man was Jesus. Jesus… you know, some religions teach there are many god-man incarnations. Buddha was one and Jesus was one and Krishna was one, and they’ve got all these theories. But the Bible says there’s only one time when God was incarnate. The only begotten Son was when Jesus was born.

But that wasn’t when Christ first existed; He’s existed through all eternity because the Bible says He is the Alpha and the Omega, “from everlasting to everlasting Thou art God.” And Jesus said to the religious leaders in John chapter 6, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” And the word “I Am,” that mean the “Self-existent One.” We have a book, Eric. We’ll send you a free copy. We’re trying to get a few more calls before we run out of time. It’s called “The Trinity,” and it answers “Was Jesus created?” And I wrote that. It’s “The Trinity.” So, ask for a free copy. We’ll send it to you!

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number is 1-800-835-6747, that’s the resource number. And ask for the book “Trinity,” and we’ll be happy to send that out to you. Thank you for calling Eric. Our next caller is Tammy. She’s listening on the Internet from Eastern Pennsylvania. Welcome to the program, Tammy.

Tammy: Thank you. Good evening to both of you, and thank you for taking my call. I really enjoy the show

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you for calling!

Tammy: Thank you. My question, I’m afraid, may seem trivial, however I’ll ask anyway. I’ve recently learned through your show that Christians should not wear jewelry, and I’m okay with that. However, I’m having an issue with giving up my wedding band. And is it acceptable to still wear it? If it’s not, is it a salvation issue? I’m just going back and forth on that…

Pastor Doug: Oh, okay. Well, let me tell you, Tammy. First of all, there is going to be millions of people in heaven that wore wedding rings; there’ll be millions of people that wore jewelry that were sincere Christians. We’re not saved by those issues. But sin is knowing to do good and not doing it. And so, let me illustrate this principle. I often use this on the show, so you may have heard it before. There will be people in heaven that had too many wives at one time, like King David and Solomon and Jacob. But if I take extra wives, I’m not making it, because I know better.

Tammy: Right.

Pastor Doug: So, sin is also a question of if God leads you into truth and light, we should walk in the light. Jesus said if you know these things, happy are ye if you do them. And that’s why I teach, sometimes, some of these particulars about godly living, because I think Christian light is something that grows. I show people a lot of Scriptures in the Bible whereas God’s people come closer to Him, they strip themselves of ostentatious clothing and jewelry. And I think you probably heard, you know, one of these, one of the things that a lot of evangelists got in trouble a few years ago with immoral behavior. The world is making so much fun of them because of their gaudy jewelry, their Rolex watches. It’s like they are trying to grandstand, you know… make fun of with their makeup and how artificial they were.

So, I don’t wear any jewelry. I don’t even wear a wedding ring because there’s certainly, it’s a cultural thing. A lot of Christians do. I’m not here to condemn them, but there’s no place in the Bible… In this program, I’d like to stick to the Bible. I invite anyone to show me where in the Bible that talks about a wedding ring. It’s something that came purely out of pagan traditions.

Tammy: Right. It’s been weighing heavily on me. I removed my earrings right away when I thought about it and prayed…

Pastor Doug: How does your husband feel? Are you married? I’m assuming… [Laughing]

Tammy: [Laughing] Well, I don’t just wear one.

Pastor Doug: I know that’s a dumb question, but I’ve said a number of things before. How does he feel about that?

Tammy: Well, he doesn’t wear one. He prefers not to, so it worked well for him when he learned the truth. He told me to see and to pray about it. I just have, I have really conflictive emotions on it, but it does mean so much to me. And I don’t wear it as a vanity issue, that’s for sure. So…

Pastor Doug: Well, you know what you could do?

Tammy: What?

Pastor Doug: Pray about it. Try to go a day and see how you feel.

Tammy: Okay. Well, I feel…

Pastor Doug: See if the Holy Spirit’s telling you to put it back on.

Tammy: Well, I feel a tremendous amount of guilt, so I think I might have my answer already. But I thought I’d call and speak with you about it anyway.

Pastor Doug: Well, I appreciate that, and I hope that helps. You know, Amazing Facts actually has… have you seen our study guide on the subject of jewelry?

Tammy: No, I don’t believe I’ve…

Pastor Doug: We’ll send you a free copy. Anyone who’d like a copy that you might wonder what in the world Tammy’s talking about. If you did not hear our TV program where we talked about Christian attire and modesty, we have a book called “Jewelry: How Much is Too Much?” And I think there’s a little something in there about the wedding ring, Tammy.

Tammy: Okay. Well, thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Alright. So, just go ask for that when you call the resource number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number again is 1-800-835-6747. Thank you for calling, Tammy. Our next caller is Jerry listening on KFIA in Sacramento, California! Jerry, welcome to the program!

Jerry: Hey! How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good! Thanks for calling. Your question?

Jerry: Yes, Sir. I’ve got a question on one of the Ten Commandments. Is it “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shalt not murder”?

Pastor Doug: In the Old Testament, in Exodus 20, it reads “Thou shalt not kill,” but that is really not the best translation into the English. You read where Jesus quotes it in Matthew, He says, “Thou shalt not commit murder.” And if you look in the dictionary, murder is a very different thing from killing.

Technically, clinically, whenever you breathe, you’re killing bacteria. You swat a fly, you’re killing… you know, when you step on a weed or pull it up, you’re killing. And so, you could try and be a neurotic Buddhist going around all the time trying to watch your step and how you breathe so you don’t kill any bacteria. That’s not what it’s talking about. Murder is the pre-meditated taking of another life. And that’s different.

You’ll also find reference to that in Genesis 9 where it talks about if man sheds the blood of another man, by man his blood shall be shed. So, it’s not saying that someone who goes to work to defend the country, they’re not murderers by definition, but I think Christians ought to avoid taking up arms. It’s talking about another life in a premeditated way. If somebody killed by accident, they went to a city of refuge, because it wasn’t the same thing.

I hope that helps a little bit, Jerry. We’ve run out of time as you can hear from the music behind us.

Listening friends, keep us in your prayers. This is a faith ministry. Pray for Amazing Facts. And, if you can do anything to help us keep going, we’re very grateful for that. Send us any amazing facts you might have. Go to amazingfacts.org. We’d love to hear some good amazing facts from you. You’ll probably hear them on future programs. Most of all, we do what we do because we want you to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He’s the central theme of the Bible, and He is the Truth that will set you free!

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