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Spiritually Illiterate

Date: 08/26/2012 
As a child in Santa Fe New Mexico, John Corcoran's reading ability stalled after second grade. Being one of six siblings, his busy parents were too overwhelmed to notice he couldn’t read, spell or write.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? As a child in Santa Fe New Mexico, John Corcoran's reading ability stalled after second grade. Being one of six siblings, his busy parents were too overwhelmed to notice he couldn’t read, spell or write. His teachers at school were so distracted by his discipline problems they didn’t notice his illiteracy; yet, through his series of clever tricks, excuses and cheating, John managed to pass from grade to grade hiding his handicap.

He graduated Palo Verde High School in Blythe, California in June 1956. Once more, John Corcoran went on to attend two junior colleges, and then University of Texas at El Paso. By masterful manipulation, evasiveness and persuading his friends to complete his assignments, he managed to graduate college in 1961, still illiterate.

Ironically, John's first job out college was, of all things, a high school English teacher. He continued to conceal his illiteracy by relying heavily on teacher's assistance and using oral lessons. John switched schools, but he continued as a teacher for 17 years before becoming a successful real estate developer. When after 10 years his business faltered, he finally resolved to buckle down and learn how to read. After 13 months of tutoring, he reached a 12th grade reading level. Since then John has written two books.

It makes you wonder, how can someone go that far in the education system and not know how to read? It shouldn’t surprise you, then, that millions of people also spend their lives in Christian churches and Christian schools but never come to know Christ. Stay with us friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. We’re very thankful that you are tuning in. We’re going to be talking about the Bible and Bible questions, taking your Bible questions live of the air. If you have a Bible question, we’ve got lines wide open right now. It is a free phone call, are you ready? I’m going to give you the number, it's 1-800-GOD-SAYS.

Got a pencil? 1-800-463-7297 will bring you into the studio with any Bible question and we’ll do our best to find the answers from the Word of God. We’ve got our laptops open in front of us with the Bible in about 10 different versions, and all the Greek and Hebrew texts. We’ll do our best to search the Scriptures and find that answer. One more time, 1-800-463-7297.

If you call and you don’t get picked up right away, be patient and our operators will pick up and channel you through into the studio here. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends. Pastor Doug, let’s begin the program with a word of prayer. Father, once again we thank You that we have this opportunity to study Your Word. We want to ask a special blessing upon this program. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be, and Lord, guide us into a clearer and fuller understanding of Your Word. For we ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about John--an incredible story--who was able to make it not only through elementary school and high school and college, but even taught English and not being able to read.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, it’s a perfect example of someone who’s going through all the motions of knowing, and fooling everyone around them into thinking they know, but not knowing the basics. I couldn’t read that story. I’ve heard his interview and he has some interesting books out about it. But I couldn’t help but think about people who just grow up going through all the motions of Christianity.

They’ll be in church, they sing the hymns, they go to prayer meeting, and they never really know Christ, which is, of course, the first and most important thing; or they never receive the filling of the Spirit so it’s just all a show. And Jesus, one of the things He really focused on is people who pray to be seen, and they give to be seen, and they fast to be seen of others, but they really don’t know the Lord.

Maybe there are some friends listening out there right now and you think, "You know, I want to do the right thing and I know I should know Jesus, but right now I’m just sort of faking it until I make it." And you would like to know, "What do I do to have a real experience with the Lord? How can I be filled with the Spirit? How can I be a real, genuine Christian?"

It begins by completely surrendering. Jesus said you need to take up your cross and follow Him. If you’re willing to lose your life and let go and say, “I’m not going to live for myself anymore. I’m willing to live for God,” then He can work a miracle in your life and you can have the real thing. If you’d like to know more about that, how to have the real article of faith, a real experience to really know the Lord, we’ve got a free book we’d like to make available to you tonight just for asking.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is entitled, The Surrender of Self, the key to living an abundant Christian life. If you’d like to receive the book, give us a call on our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747, and you can ask for the book, The Surrender of Self. We’ll be happy to send that to you. Anyone listening, 1-800-835-6747, ask for the book, The Surrender of Self. Well Pastor Doug, are we ready for the phone lines?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I think so, we’ll see.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, we have Debra who is listening in Richland, Washington, Debra, welcome to the program.

Debra: Good evening Pastor Ross, Good evening Pastor Batchelor.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening Debra, your question tonight?

Debra: Yes Pastor, I’m considering opening an online business that’s automated and I would be a middle man in this online shopping. But my concern is, it’s going to be opened 24/7 and I have questions about that. I'm not sure with the Sabbath if this is something that I should pursue. Should I turn the funds over to the Lord if I go in it? I don’t understand what I should do and I'm wondering what you think about that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s a good question. You know, we face that at Amazing Facts. We’ve got about 20 different websites. Because of the way the world turns when it’s Sabbath and one part of the world at the end of each week, it’s not necessarily Sabbath in the other part because the days are changing constantly.

And with the international nature of the internet, it’s not very easy to turn off and turn on a site once a week so what we do is we just basically leave the sites up and we don’t do any of the buying, or selling, or registering, or login or answering on the Sabbath. As far as we’re concerned, our office is shut. If there are different people in the different parts of the world that are tuning in and want to know more information, we’re not even aware of that until Monday morning.

We just have to leave that up to the discretion of the listeners or the viewers in the case of the internet. It is an interesting question because it can be a moral conundrum in some ways, but that’s how a lot of ministries I know deal with it. It’s just very difficult to globally have a consistent website and turn it off once a week for basically two days because of the way the world revolves and work schedules. Does that make sense?

Debra: It really does Pastor Batchelor. I just want to thank you so much for your ministry and Amazing Facts. We just pray for you here in the tri-cities Washington and thank you for taking my call and answering that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Absolutely. Say hi to our friends there in Kennewick and--I can’t remember--Pasco, and I’ve been there, tri-cities. God bless and appreciate your call Debra.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Connie who is listening in Pennsylvania. Connie, welcome to the program.

Connie: Hello.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi Connie, thanks for calling.

Connie: Hi. I love everything about Amazing Facts. I want to let you guys know that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well thank you. In that case, we love you too.

Connie: Alright, that’s wonderful.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And your question tonight?

Connie: Yes, well it kind of stumps me everytime I go into Revelation and I’m just getting different answers. Now, if I go in and I start reading in Revelation 21, it begins with the old heaven, and the old earth disappears, and the new heaven and new earth is here, and they go into 21 and explain all this. Then also, as it goes into 22 it’s still explaining more of...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: About heaven.

Connie: ...right, of the new everything. What gets me when I’m reading, I get to the last section of 21, chapter 21:27, it explains nothing impure--any sin cannot enter that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right.

Connie: If we are in the new heaven and the new earth, why is that mentioned in that section right there because there will be no more sin? It just stops me. Every time I get--and I read Revelation and I get to that--it stops me and I don’t understand it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well keep in mind, while you’re reading this, John is writing 1,900 years ago, and he is writing to people to encourage them to surrender their lives to Christ and be cleansed from their sins by faith. He’s reminding them as he tells them of the glories of heaven, “Nothing is going to enter that city that is impure so allow God to purify you now. 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.'"

So he’s just pausing in the description and saying, “Oh it’s so beautiful, you want to be there. Nothing will enter that is impure, that lies, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.” So he’s pleading with people to have their names written in that book, and then he goes on and describes the city [New Jerusalem] more.

Connie: Now that makes sense. That makes more sense to me than how I am trying to think--why would they--is sin on the outside?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: No, there’s no sin outside.

Connie: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: There’s no sin inside. He's just pausing to remind everybody, “It’s so glorious. Please allow the Lord to transform your hearts so you can be in that city.”

Connie: Amen to that. I thank you for that and keep up the great work. I just love you guys!

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, thank you.

Connie: I’m always on the internet. I’m always reading and listening so I’m always there, and thank you. That answered my question.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, God bless Connie. You have a good evening.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Tim who is listening in Texas. Tim, welcome to the program.

Tim: Hello

Pastor Jëan Ross: Tim in Texas.

Tim: Hi

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi Tim.

Tim: Hi Doug. I hope you remember me. I’m the guy that came out to see you about five years ago. My wife and I are street evangelists from Wisconsin. We were supposed to eat with you and we got stuck in traffic. My wife was filming it when we got to Granite Bay and I said, “You know Doug,” you said, “Well, what brings you out to California?” I said, “You do, man.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: (Laughing)

Tim: I (unintelligible) for five years. Do you (unintelligible) me yet?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I do remember that, yes; and I was so sorry that we missed that appointment. But what’s your question tonight?

Tim: Well, you know, the reason I called was my wife and I have handed out over 10,000 of your Bible cards to people. Every Sabbath we’re on the street witnessing to people unless we’re sick. I always put on the cards, my wife gave you one of those, "The Richest Caveman, 1-800-GOD-SAYS." And I thought, “Hey, it’s 9:00. I should see if this actually goes through,” so that when I talk to people I can say, “Well, yeah, I called them," you know. My question is, I like to talk to a lot of Muslims, but I don’t know. I don’t have the ammunition to witness to them. I’ve never read the Quran. We were on the street last night and they all tell me the same thing, that they love Jesus, and Jesus is coming back to reach the world and everything, and they believe in the prophets and all that. But maybe you could just tell me where I could--what sources I could go to find out how to address any questions; or, I’m in the dark there. I just...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, it is a challenge. First of all, Jesus gave us an example. When He was talking to the woman at the well, she was not a Jew, she was a Samaritan. The first thing He did is He said, You've got to start a dialogue; so He said, Can I have a drink? That opened the door to develop a relationship, and to talk where He could then talk to her about her families, and go call your husband and then He talked to her about her soul.

So the first thing is, when you’re witnessing to someone of another faith, you've got to develop a dialogue and a relationship. Pastor Ross and I play racquetball periodically with a friend who is a Muslim, very devout. He’ll stop during a series of racquetball games and go pray. I admire his devotion and we’ve had some interesting long discussions.

They do believe that Jesus lived. Of course, the Quran says that Jesus is a prophet of God, but they think the New Testament has been tampered with so the parts of the New Testament that talk about Christ dying for the sins of the world and His being divine, they reject. So getting them to develop faith in the Bible is, I think, one of the key steps in studying with Muslims. Do you have any thoughts on there Jëan?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, and you know, the person you spoke of, Pastor Doug, I actually spend some time; and we went over to his house and he would read the Quran and I’d read the Bible and we’d go back and forth and look at different verses. I think the key is building the authority of Scripture. And probably one of the most powerful ways to do that is to look at prophecy.

No other sacred writing, no other book, has prophecy in it the way the Bible does that’s been so accurately fulfilled. When somebody looks at that and you see how accurate the Scripture is, that builds credibility so that we’re willing to receive the Hero of the Bible, which, of course, is Jesus.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right. A good tip is just take a prophecy like Daniel 2 and say, “Let me show you this,” and as their confidence builds in the Scripture, then look at the prophecies that point to Jesus, God becoming a man. I think that’s probably a good path right there Tim.

Tim: Yeah, I have no problem with the dialogue, getting to talk and everything. We'll be there laughing and I'll say, "Yeah, I see." When I see him on the streets, you know, they usually have a head covering, or he just, you know, tells the way they look. They just, you know, they look--there's people from different parts of the country, different worlds, look different. And I said, “So are you guys Muslims?” "Yeah." (Unintelligible) "I know you believe in Abraham and Jesus and you’re waiting for Jesus to come back." And that just opens the door, you know, because I’m very bold; and I never get snotty with them. But last night we had a guy and two girls and they’re dentists and they came from Saudi Arabia, and I said, “Say, there’s a guys named Walter Veith.” He said that in Saudi Arabia--he said, “In the Muslim countries, that the church is next door.” He asked that, well, I’m not supposed to mention any religions, but anyways I asked them, and some say, “Yeah it is,” and some say, “It ain’t.” Anyhow, are there any particular books that you’d recommend to look up?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, something that I would recommend is, if you take our study guide that deals with Daniel chapter 2, it’s the Storacle called, “The Millennial Man," and you can find that at the website called, Bible Universe, BibleUniverse.com. They're called Storacles, the name of the series, Storacles of Prophecy. I think it’s number one or two.

That’s a good one to study with Muslims because it starts out by dealing with countries of the Middle East in that prophecy. And they’re familiar with, of course, Cyrus, and Nebuchadnezzar, and some of those characters and they know it’s all true. Anyway hey, I appreciate your call Tim. Good to hear from you again. We've got a few more still lined up.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The next caller is Mike and he is listening in Michigan. Mike, welcome to the program.

Mike: Thank you, thank you for having me.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes sir, and your question?

Mike: My question is kind of a broad question. I just wanted to know which Bible I should be reading because I’ve looked at several Bibles; and I’ve just gotten some information from somebody else that, in the book of Isaiah, it mentions that the heavenly Father’s true name is Jehovah. And it says in there that, "If your Bible doesn’t say that, then you need to get another Bible." So my Bible--I’m reading the NIV and it does not say "Jehovah God," so....

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I wouldn’t let that be the only criteria for picking a Bible because the Jews very rarely wrote the sacred name of the Lord. Most of the time, for instance, in the New King James where you’re going to find in the Old Testament the word "LORD" in capital letters, it was the sacred name of God.

We don’t know exactly how that was pronounced. Some have postulated that the pronunciation is "Jehovah" or "Yahweh." So we're not exactly sure. because they didn’t even utter that name. They thought it was so holy, so they put in the word “LORD.” What do they call it? The Tetragrammaton? It was just those four letters. I wouldn’t let that eliminate the Bible that you pick.

Mike: Okay

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Personally, I love the King James for just the sheer beauty and poetry of English that is uses. The New King James is very similar. New American Standard, you’re going to find most of those, as you line up the verses, they’re 99% the same. One thing I want to mention Mike. When people hear Christians talking about which Bible and they’re not Christians, they get the idea that we've got all these different Bibles; we don’t even know they're all saying different things.

Friends, all of the Bibles pretty much say the same thing. They're just translated into English from the original. There are slight variations in the wording the translator’s use, but the overall message is the same.

Mike: Okay

Pastor Jëan Ross: Now, of course Mike, there is a difference between something called a translation and then a paraphrase. Now a paraphrase would be somebody taking, perhaps, an English Bible and then reading a verse and thinking about it and praying about it, and re-writing that verse in their own words.

Mike: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s different than a translation. A translation goes to the original Greek and Hebrew and actually translates the original text. So one needs to be aware; if you’re looking to study the word of God, it’s always a good idea to go to a good translation and study it out.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: An example would be one of the bibles I know and they talk in Revelation 13 about the mark of the beast, it calls it "a mark in the right hand or forehead" in the original; but someone took a little liberty and they said, “It’s a tattoo.” Well, it doesn’t call it a tattoo. A lot of people have assumed the mark of the beast is a tattoo and it’s not. So someone just sort of put that in their own words and that’s where it leads to misunderstandings in those paraphrased versions.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we've got a book written by Pastor Doug entitled, The Ultimate Resource. It talks about the Bible and actually speaks a little bit about translations.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right! Please, yeah, just know I didn’t tell him to say that. (Laughing)

Pastor Jëan Ross: (Laughing) if you’d like to receive that book Mike, or anyone who is listening, give us a call on our resource line. It’s 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, The Ultimate Resource, and we’ll be happy to send that out. Our next caller is Lee and Lee is calling from Honolulu. Lee, welcome to the program.

Lee: Oh hi.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Lee: Yeah, I’m seized with fear.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Don’t be afraid. We’ll both get scared if you do that. Your question?

Lee: Yes, I have to make a statement first. My uncle said, “Get burial insurance because if you don’t and something happened to you, if something happened to you, they’re going to burn you up,” and he sounds like a broken record. And so what I tell him is that, “I’m living a good life, and I haven’t gotten a wise and smart life, and I haven’t gotten all of the promises that God has promised me--I haven’t got all the things that God has promised me yet. And, if I did that, about burial insurance, then that would be a lack of faith.” And he said, “No, no (inaudible), if something happened to you they’re going to burn you up." I said [cross talk]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: In other words, you’ll be cremated if you don’t buy some cemetery plot insurance?

Lee: Exactly, like cremated, and so we were going on in circles. So if I bought this insurance that he’s talking about, wouldn’t that be a lack of faith?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well first of all, if someone’s trying to sell me insurance and they push too much, I’d become suspicious. But it is not a sin...

Lee: My uncle is not trying to...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Oh, he’s just encouraging you to get it and he’s not selling it?

Lee: No, he’s not selling it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, yeah. Put very simply, it’s not a sin to have some kind of an appropriate insurance and to make plans for your passing as the coming of the Lord gets near. Now, I don’t think that a 20 year old or someone 25 in college needs to worry about picking a cemetery plot and getting burial insurance because, for one thing, their lives seem to move around. They may not even know where they want to get planted at the end.

Lee: I know I’m at the age. I’m 68.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, as you get up there in years it’s a prudent thing to do because it’s inevitable. They say, “If you live long enough, you’ll die.”

Lee: I haven’t gotten all of the promises. I’ve been waiting and waiting. I think we talked about this before, about the waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting, you know. And (unintelligible) that would be a lack of faith.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I’ll tell you what. The Bible says, “Anything that is not of faith is sin.” If you’re uncomfortable with it, then don’t do it. But I just want to say generally for those listening, buying some kind of advance preparation, whether its appropriate legitimate insurance, or it’s buying a plot in advance, is not a sin or a lack of faith.

When the Lord comes He’ll transform you and give you a new body. There are examples in the Bible where Abraham made provision for his grave before he died and so did Joseph. Hey, appreciate that question Lee. We’re going to try and get one more in before we take our half-time break.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Danny and he is listening from Long Island on WMCA. Danny, welcome to the program.

Danny: Hi, how are you? Good evening to you Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening, your question?

Danny: Well, I’m going to try to be as brief as possible because I know you guys got a lot of callers, but let me just start with saying thank you very much for what you guys are doing. I had to tell you that I am blessed for--I got a second opportunity, and I actually got it through you Pastor Doug, I (call drops off 25:09-25:12).

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let’s see if we can get Danny back on the line. Hang on a second. There he is.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You got cut of Danny. You still there?

Danny: Yes, I’m still here.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay. We just lost you for a second, but keep going.

Danny: Okay, so basically I just wanted to thank you because, like I said, it was a Sunday morning on TV that I just put the channel and you came up and I continued to listen. And then I kept on doing it every Sunday; and now even my wife, we’re both going to church. We feel pretty good and pretty thankful for you and for the Lord, for doing that. So to my question.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Praise the Lord!

Danny: I just want you to elaborate a little bit about what the message to the seven churches actually means?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The seven churches in Revelation?

Danny: Yes, correct.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. Let me give you a quick overview before we take our break. Revelation chapters 2 and 3, friends; Jesus begins the book of Revelation by giving seven messages to the seven different churches in Asia. They kind of all form a circle in the way the message is given.

There are a lot of churches in Asia at the time He gave it but He focused on those churches. Several of the churches, I think five out of seven, He cautioned them to repent for some bad behavior.

He encouraged them and then He gave them a promise, if they were faithful, of what they would expect. Those seven churches represent the seven ages of the church that cover the time of Christian history from the first coming to the second coming of Jesus.

So the church of Ephesus, for example, would be covering approximately the first hundred years, the first century of Christian history, from when Jesus ascended to heaven and the apostle John wrote his letter. And then it goes from there to the churche of Smyrna and so forth; and ends with the church of Laodicea, representing the last age of the church. The word "Laodicea" means “the judging of the people.”

So it’s really covering the panorama of church history; also represents sort of a cycle that a church might go through. I don’t know that we have a study guide specifically on the seven churches. Amazing Facts is getting ready to put out a new magazine on Daniel and Revelation. You’ll be hearing a lot about that when it comes of the press, but we want you to be looking for that.

But the seven churches really cover, not only the age of the church, they cover what an individual may go through in their personal experience with the Lord; and of course, church families may go through that same cycle. So I hope that helps a little bit. Friends, you’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, from time to time on our radio program, we like to highlight certain websites. Tonight, just before we went on the air, we were talking about what website we want to talk about here just before our break. The one we chose is Ghost Truth, just GhostTruth.com. That’s the name of the website. It deals with the subject of ghosts, what happens when a person dies, can they come back and haunt a family member or a neighbour, GhostTruth.com.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The Bible actually has a couple of ghost stories people don’t know about, and you wonder, "What are those ghosts? Are they goblins? Are they spirits? Are they fallen angels or the dead coming back?" You know, when people search "ghosts," it’s one of the most popular searches on the website; so we encourage you to take a look there at GhostTruth.com.

You’re going to learn a lot about what the Bible says about what happens when a person dies and what the Bible says about ghosts, spirits, goblins and things that go bump in the night. Friends, don’t go away. We’ll be back after a short break.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We are back friends. If there’s someone out there that joined us along the way, this is Bible Answers Live. We invite you to call in with your Bible questions. We still have three empty phone lines. We’d like to get you lined up so we can take the next half an hour and just focus our attention on doing our best to answer your questions. That phone number one more time, 1-800-463-7297. Of course, that’s a free phone call. I don’t know, most people have free calling anywhere around the country with their plans, but that used to mean something, 1-800-463-7297. 1-800-463-7297 brings you into the studio with your Bible question; and I am still Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And I am still Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug, let’s go to the phone lines. We've got Michael calling from New Jersey. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Pastor Doug, thank you and Pastor Ross for your service.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Praise God

Michael: Amen, and I have a question from Ecclesiastes chapter 7, verse 28

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Michael: Of course, a little bit of a fire storm with some of the women around me, but I will read it to you. And it says, “Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for, only one out of a thousand men is virtuous but not one woman.” Could you please explain that so I can tell the ladies something positive?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: What version are you reading?

Michael: NLT

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, that’s the new living translation. Is that a paraphrase or translation? That may be a translation I think.

Michael: Oh, well I've looked at it in the King James Version. It’s almost 99% similar.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: It is similar, yeah; but I knew your wording was different than what I was laying my eyes on at the moment so I wanted to find out. You’re right, that is a volatile verse and so we’re going to go to the next caller! No, I’m just (laughing)

Pastor Jëan Ross: (Laughing)

Michael: (Laughing)

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, let me tell you what I think, and I’m stabbing in the dark, but just from reading the Bible I’ve seen this verse before. It also raised my eyebrows a little bit, “Yet which my soul seeketh, I find not: one man among a thousand have I found but a woman among all those, I have not found.”

You know, it talks about the Messiah as being the only one that has lived without sin. And, of course, often there are a few men in the Bible who have typified Jesus; and so I think that Solomon here, who we believe is the writer of Ecclesiastes, that this is really a spiritual application. Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Of course, it’s also interesting; we have a number there, a thousand. We know that Solomon had a thousand wives and concubines and they came, many of them from pagan origin, from some of the neighbouring countries. Doubtless, there was a lot of quarreling going on and squabbling amongst his wives.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: It says there was.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And it seems as though at one point in time he was somewhat exasperated. Of course, that wouldn’t be the best situation for anyone to have that many wives, ever. But some scholars feel that that might have also influenced what Solomon had to say here in this verse.

Michael: But he was considered the wisest man in the Bible, in the Old Testament. He was considered that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I don’t think that means that there are no virtuous women because Solomon also wrote Proverbs in a 31st chapter. It talks about this idealic woman...

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...this perfect woman. And then you read in the Bible about there are some fantastic women, like Hannah, and Abigail, and Deborah, and Huldah, and Mary and I could go on.

Michael: Mary, yes. So I can direct the ladies to, what did you say? Proverbs 34?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Proverbs 31.

Michael: 31, okay (unintelligible)

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. It talks about the perfect, virtuous woman there.

Michael: Amen, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, hey appreciate your call Michael.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is Don and he is listening from Central Valley, California on 90.5. Don, welcome to the program.

Don: Good evening Pastors Doug and Ross.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good evening.

Don: I actually have a question, a little counselling I need if I could. The churches I go to here in the Central Valley, they are ordaining women as elders, even head elders, and I don’t agree with it. I just, you know, I want to continue going to church but I feel a little uncomfortable, and all the churches are doing it. I was wondering if you could give me little advice on this, how to handle this?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, well first thing I want to tell you that I wrote a book on it because we had this question so often. It’s called, God’s Role for Women in Ministry, we'll send you. I’ll do my best to answer your question, but I just want to mention the book while I’m thinking about it. Ask for our sermon book on women in ministry.

God’s Role for Women in Ministry is the title of the book. It goes through the Bible principles. Obviously, God calls men and women to ministry. Everybody, every Christian believer is to be involved in using their gifts to serve the Lord based on what their gifts are.

There is a distinction that is clearly made from Genesis to Revelation in the roles of men and women when it comes to the final spiritual authority in the home and in the church. God said to Adam in Genesis and He told Eve, "Your desire will be to your husband and he will rule over you," and the word means "he’ll have authority." So the spiritual authority in the family should rest with the man. The man should be the spiritual leader, the priest of the family, a servant leader, not a despot or a dictator. Some men have abused that verse in the Bible.

But you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, all of the patriarchs, the men where the ones offering sacrifice in behalf their family. With the priesthood there were women who were of the family of Aaron and Levi that were considered daughters of Aaron, but only the men served in the temple as the priest in that capacity, offering sacrifice. The women also had their job in upkeep of the temple, but it was the men that offered sacrifice.

So when it comes to the spiritual leadership of a church, it ultimately rests with men. Men should be pastors. It’s not a coincidence that Jesus picked 12 men as apostles; that when Judas committed suicide, that there were men and women in the upper room, Acts chapter 1. And when they said, “We need to find a replacement for Judas,” they chose first from among two men.

The women did not protest and say, “How come your leaving us out? This is not fair. It’s unequal.” They cast lots and they picked a man. So all the apostles mentioned in the New Testament were men. There is a consistency. Then you get to the last chapter in the Bible and it’s telling you, or last two chapters, the foundations of the New Jerusalem and the gates of the New Jerusalem have the names of the patriarchs from the Old Testament and the apostles from the New Testament, all men.

So, obviously, every believer is to be a spiritual priest. We’re all to be servants of God but there is a distinction. If you’re in a church that is compromising on this, if you don’t have one nearby you can go to, I would just make your best of it and let your light shine there.

Don: Okay. I guess that was my question, how do I do it, because I’ve gone to several churches and they’re all doing it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: In a loving, Christian way, give them the study. Post your reasons with them. You might write a nice letter and say, “I respectfully think that this is a mistake and it’s unbiblical.” You don’t want to condemn people that might think differently.

Don: No.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Just so they know where you stand; what they do with the information is going to have to be between them and God. Then hopefully there are other things you have in common.

Don: Other than that, I'll continue going to the church and try to serve in ministry and everything, and I'll serve God.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yup.

Don: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And yeah, follow the Lord. Alright, hey thank you. Appreciate your question and don’t forget, the book is called, God’s Role for Women in Ministry. We'll send you or anyone who’d like a copy of that, a study on the subject, for free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: If you’d like to receive the book, give us a call on our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, Women in Ministry. That’s 1-800-835-6747. Our next caller is, I believe Rene, calling from the Bronx, listening on WMCA. Rene, welcome to the program.

Rene: Hi, welcome, and thank you for having me. Well first of all, I want to say God bless both of you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Thank you.

Rene: My question is, Jesus said in the book of Matthew to not to hurt one of the little ones, which were the children, for if you do you might as well hang over a milestone around your neck and toss yourself in a river.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes

Rene: So if you hurt a child, if you hurt a child, or harm, hurt or danger, anything like that, you are not forgiven for that? I’m asking.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well you know, it doesn’t say that’s the unpardonable sin. When Jesus talks about loving and protecting and caring for the little ones, He’s not only talking about children. I think that there are people who are not only little children, little people; I think there are people who are babies in their faith, and so this has also a spiritual application.

Sometimes there are new believers. Their faith is tender, they're young. They're babes in the Lord; and I think we need to be especially tender and compassionate and caring of new Christians. I’ve seen some people just come to the Lord and they come into a church and they don’t know everything yet. They make some mistakes and some of the more callas Christians handle them roughly, and they get discouraged and they lose their faith.

I think this warning that Jesus gives us in Matthew 18:10 about offending the little ones is also talking about that. But, I’d stop short of saying--you know, it’s a horrendous thing, people who are abusing children. There are not too many parents out there, probably, that don’t look back and think, “You know, I was harsh on my children at some point, or I wasn’t caring."

And so, I don’t want parents all beating up on themselves thinking they’ve committed the unpardonable sin because they lost their temper and yelled at their child. There are variations of not being gentle with the children, see what I’m saying?

Rene: Yes. I’m with someone and they tried to commit suicide twice. And I’ve been trying to coach them and talk to them the best way that I can; and unfortunately, this person has harmed, you know...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Harmed children.

Rene: Yes and...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: They're thinking there’s no forgiveness for them?

Rene: Well, he is so--it’s every day, like, I’m on the phone with him...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, let me give you a verse in the Bible, okay? Matter a fact, Pastor Ross is going to help me look the verse up. But there's a king named Manasseh, and Manasseh, he did a lot of things wrong. He killed prophets, he worshiped false gods; but among the things he did, he made his children pass through the fire.

Some of his children were sacrificed to pagan gods, they died. He was carried off to prison. The Assyrians drug him through the thorns. And in prison, he repented of his sins. The Bible says God heard his prayer, and we understand that means God forgave him. He brought him back to Jerusalem and restored him to his kingdom. A wicked, wicked king like that that did all those things, he killed the prophet Isaiah, he genuinely humbled himself and prayed and repented, and God forgave him. So if God can forgive Manasseh, you've got a verse about Manasseh Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s in 2nd Kings, chapter 21. You can read the whole story there.

Rene: Which one, who?

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book of 2nd Kings, chapter 21 will tell you the story of Manasseh.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: 2nd Kings, or 2 Kings.

Rene: Kings?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: 2nd book of Kings, 21, chapter 21, it’ll tell you about it. Tell your friend that; and if there’s hope for Manasseh, there’s probably hope for anybody. Now, I also have a book. We’ll send you a book that's just coming off the press. It’s called, “What is the Unpardonable Sin?” and it tells what it is and what it isn’t.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number for that is 1-800-835-6747. That is the resource line. You can ask for the book, “What is the Unpardonable Sin?” It's 1-800-835-6747. We have Jose who is listening in Lynn, Massachusetts. Jose, welcome to the program.

Jose: Hi pastor Doug, Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Jose: How are you guys doing?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, praise God.

Jose: I have a question concerning Revelation, chapter 12, verses 7 and 8

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Jose: I’ll read it to you guys. “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail; nor was a place found for them.” And also, we read in John 14:2 says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." My question is, are we, as Christians, are we replacing the places that one-third of the angels has lost?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, now the angels were cast out of heaven. We ultimately will go to heaven. We’ll be with Jesus in those mansions He has prepared, but I don’t think we’re going to be moving into the building that Lucifer was evicted from. But it is true that the redeemed, to a great extent, we will be, then, ministers of God.

God is going to move the capitol of the universe to earth. It says the New Jerusalem comes down and God himself dwells with us. Originally, the devils, or the fallen angels, didn’t live here so I wouldn’t put too much stock in the exact place; but certainly, heaven is going to be somewhat repopulated with the redeemed and we’ll be His representatives. So does that make sense?

Jose: Yeah that does, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, hey appreciate your question Jose. God bless, you have a good evening. By the way, we do have a new book. It talks a little bit on some of what you’re asking about. It's, “Who are the Sons of God?” It talks about the fallen angels and people thinking about who are aliens too.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. That is or resource line. You can ask for the book, “Who are the Sons of God?” We have Melinda who in listening from Visalia, California. Melinda, welcome to the program.

Melinda: Hi, good evening, thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes, and your question?

Melinda: I was just wondering, I’m a little unclear about what the Bible says about suicide. The reason I ask is because my mother committed suicide. I think it was almost 13 years ago; so I’m just, you know, wondering what the Bible says about that. I’d like to know will she go to heaven or, you know?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, for one thing, at the beginning of answering this, at the Amazing Facts' website our magazine just came out, our monthly magazine, and I answer Bible questions; and I answered this question, "Are there exceptions? Can a person who commits suicide be saved?" That’s a very difficult question, and I can hear that in your voice.

Melinda: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We just about all know somebody, may not be a family member, but most people who have lived any length of time know somebody who has taken their life and we wonder, "Is that the unpardonable sin?" The Bible does not say it is the unpardonable sin. It is a troubling decision; and I don’t want to mislead you, Melinda, that, generally, not always but generally, when a person, you know, the last act of their life is one that seems to be an act of faithlessness or hopelessness, we wonder, "How can God save them?"

Melinda: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: But God looks at the hearts, and we don’t know what all the circumstances are. We don’t know what kind of pressures and attacks they were under.

Melinda: Right

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And I don’t think that God judges a whole life by a moment where they have been overwhelmed, and it could have been everything from some physical sickness or a chemical problems they were having in their body, so God takes all that into account.

So we’ve got to be careful not to say, “Well, if they’ve committed suicide, that’s the unpardonable sin,” because I don’t believe that. But I encourage you to read the article. I hope you’ll find some hope there. You know what I would do if I where you? I know you probably really want to see your mom in the kingdom. Place that in God’s hands and just say, “Remember, the Lord loves your mother and He wants her saved even more than you do,” if you can believe that’s possible.

Just say, “Lord, I’m going to tear myself up worrying about it. Since I don’t know the answer now, I’m going to have to,” here's the word, “trust You.” Just trust the Lord and say, “Lord, I’m going to have to have faith that You are going to do the right thing and whatever You do, I will trust,” and leave it at that because worrying about it now is just going to tear your heart up.

Melinda: Right. Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, thank you so much Melinda. Hey, can we pray with you?

Melinda: Oh sure, absolutely.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Let me just have a prayer. Father in heaven, we just want to join together with Melinda, and others like her, that grieve and are concerned about love ones they have, that maybe they were suicides or maybe they died unexpectedly and we worry about their salvation. Help these individuals. Place that whole situation in Your hands; and trust that Your love for them surpasses our own; and that You will do the right and the best thing. We thank You and ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Amen.

Melinda: Amen. Thanks, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, God bless. You have a good evening.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Cindy who is listening in San Antonio, Texas. Cindy, welcome to the program.

Cindy: Hi there, hi Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Cindy: I’ve had this discussion with a number of people and they’ve made a comment that they believe that the temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt and that they’re going to make sacrifices again, that the Jews are planning to do this. And even somebody had made a comment that there was a training being done for temple priests.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right.

Cindy: What is the future of, you know, what does the Bible have to say about that in Revelation in regards to the temple?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, most of these speculations come from a verse. Is it 1st Thessalonians were it says, “...he’ll sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”?

Cindy: Yes. yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, there’s a prophecy that Paul makes, and I think it's 1st Thessalonians. I might be wrong.

Pastor Jëan Ross: In 2nd Thessalonians 2:4.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: 2nd Thessalonians, there we go. I was in 2nd Thessalonians--oh yeah, it’s right here in front of me: “...who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself he is God."

Cindy: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, since the temple has been destroyed and since the antichrist did not come, then people have said, “Well, the temple must need to be rebuilt." Well it hasn’t been rebuilt in 1,900 years. Right now the site of the old temple is occupied by a sacred Muslim mosque. Many people have realized they're probably going to cause World War III if the Jews were to take Caterpillar bulldozers up there and level the mosque of...

Cindy: And level Mecca, yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, so I think that they’ve misunderstood this verse. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple made with hands and in three days, I’ll make one without hands.” And it says, “He spoke of His body”. Paul said, “What? Don’t you know that ye are the body of Christ?" Peter says, “We are living stones in the body.”

There is another temple right now. It’s called the church. There’s a temple on earth. It’s the church of Jesus Christ. We are a royal priesthood in that temple. So there is a spiritual temple right now on earth. The antichrist power is going to sit over that temple saying he is God. I don’t think we need to look for the Jews to rebuild Solomon’s temple.

I’ll tell you another reason, and my mother was Jewish. I don’t know any Jews that sacrifice lambs anymore. The whole sacrificial system has changed in the last 1,900 years. The Jews have adjusted the theology where they don’t need a sacrificial system. So you don’t have Jews around the world clamouring to reactivate the sacrificial system. There may be some orthodox Jews that do, but the vast majority don’t.

So, it’s Christians that are talking about rebuilding the temple, more that Jews. I’m telling you this, as a Jew who has been to Jerusalem twice, that it’s interesting; you go there and nobody talks about rebuilding the temple.

It’s largely evangelical friends I’ve got that are talking about this, based on misunderstanding this verse in 2nd Thessalonians. Hey, can I send you a book on that?

Cindy: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: It’s an easy book. It’s called, Spiritual Israel. Spiritual Israel talks about the temple, the rebuilding of the temple. Anyone out there, if you want to understand this subject, it’s written by myself and a friend, Steve Wohlberg. It’s called, Spiritual Israel. It talks about the future of Israel and the temple and what’s going on there. Thank you for your call Cindy. We've got two minutes Pastor Ross. Is there someone we could...

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, let’s see if we can get in, we've got Ilse, I believe her name is, calling from Davis, California. Ilse?

Ilse: Hi.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi, and your question tonight?

Ilse: My question is pretty broad so you probably won’t be able to cover it in two minutes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Oh, can you summarize it?

Ilse: I was wondering what you guys have to say about the Trinity.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, I’ll do my best. First of all, we’ll send you a free book on it that I wrote. It’s an easy-reading book that covers the main points. The word "Trinity" does not appear in the Bible; of course, the word "Bible" does not appear in the Bible. It’s just a word that means the tri-entities of God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

A lot of questions about this, first of all, when we discuss God, we’ve got to remember that He is higher than we are, or He’s higher than us as the stars are above the earth. He’s past finding out the Bible says; so we’re treading on holy ground when we start to define God. But from what the Bible reveals, we see that all things that were made were made by Jesus. Have you read that before?

Ilse: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And then the Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” so if all things that were made were made by Jesus and if the Bible says, “God created,” then Jesus must be God the Son. And if in Genesis God says, “Let us make man in our image,” then there you’ve got the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters, you’ve got God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit all involved in the Creation.

Then at the baptism of Jesus, you see that God the Father is up in heaven. He says, “Behold this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," and God the Spirit comes down. In Matthew 28 Jesus says, “Go ye therefore and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

That really troubles people that don’t believe in the Trinity; and they say, “Oh, it doesn’t really mean that," or, "It wasn’t really there or that was added.” But you start messing with the Scriptures and you’re going to have problems. Jesus said that. So I believe from cover to cover in the Bible it tells us that God is composed of these three distinct Persons with different roles, but They are equally powerful and eternal.

Oh please, ask for the book on the Trinity and we’ll send that to you. That number for the free offer is 1-800-835-6747. Listening friends, we are out of time. We’d love to hear from you. The way to do it? Just go to AmazingFacts.org. Send us your notes. God bless until next week.

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