Hiding Out

Hiding Out

Date: 11/19/2006 
The record for hiding out was made by a young Chinese college student by the name Cheng Guan Lim. He was studying engineering at the University of Michigan but was doing very badly at Physics and Math. If his studies did not improve, he would have to leave school ...

Wisdom for Life: A 31-Day Devotional in Proverbs by Doug Batchelor

Wisdom for Life: A 31-Day Devotional in Proverbs by Doug Batchelor
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Hello friends! How about an amazing fact?

The record for hiding out was made by a young Chinese college student by the name Cheng Guan Lim. He was studying engineering at the University of Michigan but was doing very badly at Physics and Math. If his studies did not improve, he would have to leave school, quit his job as janitor at the Ann Arbor’s First Methodist Church, and take the humiliating news of his academic failure back to his father who was a schoolteacher in Singapore. Finally, one day in October 1955, Cheng disappeared.

His friends, including the Reverend Eugene Ransom, pastor of the church, called the police. But they found no clues! Cheng’s Methodist friends had another mystery to ponder — strange, bumping noises that came out of the deserted church at night. Early one morning, four years after Cheng’s disappearance, a pair of private detectives called in by Reverend Ransom heard a trap door to the church attic slam. Together with police, they climbed up, swept their flashlights about the attic, and there crouched above them in the rafters was Cheng!

For four years, the attic of the church had been his home. The bumping noises had been Cheng’s skipping rope to keep in shape. During the day, he slept on padding from a pew. At night, he walked around the church and helped himself to food from the kitchen. Physically, Cheng seemed unaffected by his hermit’s existence, but as police hauled him off to County Jail, his four year preoccupation with loss of face suddenly vanished. “I’ve been a coward,” he said, “I’m glad I was found!”

Did you know that the Bible speaks of a time when Satan will be forced to live a life of a hermit? Stay tuned for 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 Jëan Ross: Hello, friends! Welcome to Bible Answers Live. My name is Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug Batchelor is out of town this evening. And friends, we’re glad that you have tuned in. If this is the first time that you’re listening to “Bible Answers Live,” this is what the name says it is— a live, interactive, national and international Bible study. And if you have a Bible-related question, you can call in your question right now. The phone lines are open. The number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 1-800-463-7297.

Before we take your questions, let’s begin with a short word of prayer. Father, we recognize that the Bible is Your book, and if we are to ever understand it, we need Your guidance. And so, tonight, we ask that You be with us. Guide us. BE with those who are listening. For this we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

We opened the program by talking about a young man who hid in the attic of a church for four years. He holds the record for someone hiding out from someone else. In this case, he was hiding from his father because of his bad grades at school. But friends, the Bible talks about a time when the devil will have to live the life of a hermit not for four years, but according Revelation chapter 20, for 1,000 years. Let me read the verse Revelation 20:1. It says, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven having a key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And He laid hold of the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal upon him that he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season.”

Well, friends this passage of Scripture, Revelation chapter 20, deals with something called the Millennium, or the 1,000-Year Period. It begins by talking about Satan, who’s referred to here as the dragon and the serpent, being bound in something called the bottomless pit for a thousand years. And then it says he can’t deceive any nation, anyone in the nations, until the Thousand Years were fulfilled. Well, what is this bottomless pit? And why is it that Satan is bound for 1,000 years? Perhaps, there are questions that you have. The Amazing Facts offer for this evening is a study guide entitled “One Thousand Years of Peace,” and it deals with this 1,000-Year Period, talks about what this bottomless pit is. It also talks about why Satan is bound and why he can’t deceive anyone during that time period. I you would like to receive a free copy of “A Thousand Years of Peace,” the Amazing Facts study guide, all you need to do is call our resource number. That number is 1-800-835-6747. Again, it’s 1-800-835-6747. And just ask for the Amazing Facts study guide “A Thousand Years of Peace.” And they’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Before we go to the phone lines, we’d like to take a few Internet questions that come along, and you can also send us your question via the Internet by going to the Amazing Facts website. It’s www.amazingfacts.org. There is a link that you can click on that says Contact Us. You can type in your Bible question and email it to us, and we will try our best to read that question on the air and give our Bible answer when we do our program here once a week. We have two questions that we would like to look at that have come via the Internet. The first one is this, coming from Carrie. She says, “What does 1 Corinthians 7:14 mean when it says that husband or the wife can sanctify the unbelieving spouse? I thought that we are to work out our own salvation. Now, how can we understand this verse?”

Well, let me read it to you. It’s in 1 Corinthians 7:14, and it’s talking about— Paul is speaking to believers, and he’s talking about the husband and the wife— if the one is a believer and the other one is not. 1 Corinthians 7:14, it says, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean.”

Now, what Paul is talking about, first of all, is that if a believing spouse remains with their unbelieving husband or wife, their influence can have a positive effect on the unbelieving effect on the unbelieving spouse. It has a sanctifying influence. So, that’s one way to understand the verse. Secondly, if they remain married in the eyes of the community, their marriage is still holy, it’s still complete, it’s still a blessing from God, so the sanctity of marriage is still intact. And so, Paul says if someone is married to someone who does not believe, keep that union if possible. In that way, you can be a positive influence for your spouse, and it will be good for your children as well, as well as those around in the community. So, that’s what Paul was referring to, and he says if the husband or the wife stay, they will have a sanctifying influence.

Well, the second question is from Samuel, and he asks, he says, “Was Satan already evicted out of heaven when God made Adam and Eve?” I think the verse that he’s referring to here is in Revelation chapter 12, and it’s verse 7. Let me read it for you— Revelation 12:7. It says, “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the dragon, that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

Well, when did this war occur in heaven? Did it happen after Adam and Eve were created, or before? Well, friends, we know from Genesis that the devil came into the Garden of Eden in the form of a serpent and he tempted and deceived Eve. It is rather clear from that the Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven prior to Adam and Eve being here on this earth. So, this war, described in Revelation 12:7 took place before the creation of the earth. We don’t know how long before earth was created that this war in heaven happened. But Satan and his angels were cast out to the earth by the time Adam and Eve were created because he came to tempt them in the Garden of Eden.

In a broader sense, Satan was, once again, cast down when Jesus died on the cross. The accusations that Satan had made against God— that God wasn’t fair, that God wasn’t love, that He didn’t really care about His creation, all of these accusations were proven false when Jesus laid down His life for those that He had created. And again, Satan and his accusations were cast down. So, yes, there was this war in heaven. And before Adam and Ever were created, Satan and his angels were cast out.

Well, friends, we also would like to welcome a new radio station that is joining us this evening. It’s KJSL, that’s 6:30 A.M. in Saint Louis, Missouri! So, if there’s anyone listening on KJSL, 6:30 A.M. in Saint Louis, Missouri, we’d love to hear from you! Friends, we’re going to go to the phone lines. The number to have your question on the air is 1-800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 1-800-463-7297. Harold, welcome to the program, listening from New York.

Harold: Yes. How are you doing?

Pastor Jëan Ross: I’m fine. Yourself?

Harold: Pretty good. I’ve been struggling with a verse for many years, and no one seems to be giving me an adequate answer.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright.

Harold: The phrase “first day of the week”— I think it appears seven or eight times in the New Testament— is actually translated from the Greek word “sabbaton.” The word “week” is translated from the Greek word “sabbaton…”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Correct.

Harold: …which means “Sabbath.” So, in Greek, it would say “First Sabbath.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, actually the first day, the phrase “first day…”

Harold: Well, “day” doesn’t appear on the text…

Pastor Jëan Ross: “Day” doesn’t appear in the original, but the number one, or “first” does. And then you have the first something of “sabbaton” or Sabbath, and the word that we have in English translation for week in the original Greek is Sabbath or “sabbaton.” Now, it’s not saying that this is the first Sabbath, but rather it’s the first day from the Sabbath. In other words, the days of the week seem to be, in the original Greek, the first day from the Sabbath, the second day from the Sabbath, the third day from the Sabbath. And so, that’s why the word for “week” there is used for Sabbath, not the word for “first.” “First” would be just a number that we have in the Greek, but the word for “week” that had its bearing from the Sabbath, so the Sabbath forms sort of the mark. And then the days were after the Sabbath were third, fourth day, fifth day after the Sabbath, or the sixth day after the Sabbath.

Harold: Okay, because for a long time, I was thinking that maybe, it says “first Sabbath” because Passover is the first yearly Sabbath, and maybe it says that because the Passover, you know, He was crucified and raised again on the first Sabbath, the first yearly Sabbath, but I guess I’m wrong.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, the word there for “week” there, you know, in the Greek is Sabbath, and the days of the week were measured from the Sabbath. So, it was the first day from the Sabbath, second day from the Sabbath, and so on.

Harold: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright!

Harold: Okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, thank you for calling, Harold. We appreciate it. We’ll go to our next caller. Alyssa is listening on WROL in Boston, Massachusetts. Welcome to the program!

Alyssa: Hi. Good evening and…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi, Alyssa.

Alyssa: …many blessings to your ministry. The question for you in regards to suicide, I noticed that it was mentioned a few times by individuals that they actually committed suicide. What does the Bible and, or, God say about suicide?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. That’s a good question. That’s a question that we want to deal with sensitively because, you know, that is something that does affect families, where a family member will take their life. First of all, the Bible does tell us, you know, one of the commandments is “Thou shalt not kill,” and you know, suicide is somebody taking their own life. But having said that, let me just add to it a little bit more. In some cases with suicide, the person is under so much emotional distress, whether they are suffering from severe depression or some other, sometimes, mental illness. They are not really thinking straight. And, you know, there are cases where, I think, if people were able to think clearly, or if they could receive treatment for whatever the ailment might be that they have, they wouldn’t commit suicide. They would not do something that they would consider, but under the extreme of that moment… So, I think God takes that into consideration as well, what the person is going through, what emotional distress they’re under.

There is another concern with suicide, and that is that if a person does commit suicide, it’s an act of hopelessness. They’ve given up faith. They’ve given up hope. And we know that faith is important for salvation. We have to believe. And so, when someone does commit suicide in one way, it’s giving up of faith. But there are some circumstances that we can’t judge. We just don’t know. I think as an individual, if we are contemplating suicide, we need to recognize the gravity of something like that. One could, you know, be giving up eternal life as a result of it. But on the other hand, we need to be very careful not to judge another, because only God knows the heart.

Alyssa: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Does that make sense, Lisa?

Alyssa: It makes sense.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright.

Alyssa: Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you for your call. Our next caller is Shawn, and he’s listening on 3BN Radio from South Illinois. So, welcome to the program!

Shawn: Hello. My question was about Jeremiah 23:5-6. I don’t know if you could tell me if this was a prophecy at that time about the coming of Christ.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Let me read it for you. Jeremiah 23:5, it says, “Behold the day cometh,” or comes, “saith the Lord that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” And verse 6 says, “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is the name whereby he will be called ‘The Lord Our Righteousness.’” Now, the question that you had for that?

Shawn: Yeah. Was that a prophecy about His first coming to the earth?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know what I think it’s a prophecy that covers both in one way. Jesus, when He came the first time He came to be the Lord our Righteousness. He laid down His life for us. But verse 5 also speaks about Him coming to execute judgment and justice in the earth. The beginning of verse 6 talks about the saved that they will dwell safely. Now, we know that the redeemed or the righteous, those who love the Lord, even now don’t always dwell safely because we have an adversary, the devil. So, I think a complete fulfillment of these two verses would be at the second coming— hen Jesus comes again to redeem His people.

So, on one hand, it’s relating to His first coming, more specifically verse 6, where it talks about the Lord our Righteousness, but the I think at verse 5 also speaks of the second coming of Jesus. So, both of those verses, or both comings, can be related to by those verses.

Shawn: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well, thanks for calling, Shawn!

Shawn: Thank you very much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. We’ll go to our next caller, Joseph. And if you have a Bible-related question, the number to call is 1-800-463-7297. We have a few lines that are still open. Joseph, welcome to the program listening on WMCA in New York, New York.

Joseph: Hello, Pastor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi, Joseph.

Joseph: Pastor, can you tell me how long Lazarus lived after he was brought back?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s a good question. The Bible doesn’t tell us how long Lazarus lived after he was resurrected. We do know, however, how long he was dead before Jesus resurrected him. The Bible says he was in the grave for four days. But after the resurrection, we don’t have any further record as to how long Lazarus live or how involved he was with the early Christian church. We just don’t know. The Bible’s quiet on that.

Joseph: Pardon me. Did they mention what the cause of passing was?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus, and it was simply that, “The one whom Thou lovest is ill,” or sick. So, it was some sickness that brought about Lazarus’ death. We don’t know exactly what that might have been.

Joseph: Alright. One other thing. Was Jesus and he long-time friends?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, Jesus had a special relationship with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Whenever Jesus was in the area of Jerusalem, in Bethany where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived— was a town very close in Jerusalem, pretty much on the other side of the Mount of Olives; you have Jerusalem and you have the Kidron Valley and you have the Mount of Olives, and the on the other side was where Bethany was— it seems that whenever Jesus was in the area, He would often stay or visit in their home. And so, there was this special relationship that Jesus had with him. Was the brother… Lazarus was the brother; Mary and Martha were sisters. The Bible doesn’t say what happened to their parents, but the three of them were living together, we presume. We know Mary and Martha were there, because on one occasion, Martha was busy cooking in the kitchen, if you remember the story, and Mary was sitting, listening at Jesus’ feet. Do you remember that?

Joseph: Yes.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And Martha came out and said to Jesus, “Why do I have to do all the work? Why won’t You tell Mary to come and help me?” So, Jesus was in their home. He visited with them. And the message that they sent Jesus indicates that there was a close relationship between them and Jesus.

Joseph: You think it lasted a couple of years?

Pastor Jëan Ross: What do you mean? By…

Joseph: The friendship.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The friendship, yes! I’m sure it is. Lazarus’ death was near the end of Christ’s public ministry, and Christ’s ministry was three and a half years…

Joseph: Thank you so much, Pastor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So, at least they had three years together.

Joseph: Thank you so much, Pastor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, you’re welcome. Thank you for calling, Joseph.

Our next caller is Mike, and he’s calling from New York, New York. Mike, welcome to the program!

Mike: Good evening, Pastor. I’ll ask you a quick question. About a couple of weeks ago, Pastor Batchelor was on the air, and he talked about when a Christian dies, they don’t go right to heaven; they go to some kind of sleep. And the Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. And I just drew a [inaudible] on a verse of a chapter that’s in the book that’s… And I wonder if you could elaborate on that because I always thought that when we, you know, every funeral that I’ve gone to where believers passed away, they mention that, “Right now, he is the presence of God.” That pastor kind of threw me at curb when he said that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well, let me first address that probably from the position that Pastor Doug was speaking as far as sleep. He liked it unto— or death, I should say— he likened that unto sleep. Now, Pastor Doug wasn’t the first on this. Jesus Himself likened death unto sleep. And the pervious caller, we have just spoken about Lazarus, and Jesus referred to Lazarus when he was dead and said, “Our friends sleepeth,” and the disciples said to Him, “Well, if he’s sleeping then he’s doing well.” Then the Bible says with Jesus actually speaking of death, and He said, “I’m going to go wake him up.”

Mike: Now, what verse was that when Lazarus was sleeping?

Pastor Jëan Ross: When Lazarus was sleeping, or actually when He was dead— let me see if I can grab it for you here, I’ll just pull that up quickly. You’ll read it in John 11:24. Oh, actually, it’s John 11. Verse 24 is what Jesus said to Martha and Mary when He actually came. Now, Lazarus died. He was already in the tomb for four days, then Jesus came. Then Jesus came, and Martha and Mary met Him. And Jesus said to them, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” And they said to Him, “Well, we know that Lazarus will rise again in the last day.” And then Jesus, of course, went and resurrected Lazarus right there.

So, the Bible does speak of sleep as likening that to death, and there’s a number of verses. Let me give you another one. Daniel 12:1-2 talks about many of those who sleep shall awake, talking about the second coming of Christ. So, you know, we have death likened unto sleep. And the verse that you referred to be the absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Death is likened unto sleep, but when a person is asleep, they’re unaware of what’s happening around them. The very next thing they know is the alarm clock rings, it’s time for them to get up and go to work or school or wherever. Likewise, someone who believes in Christ and who dies, the very next conscious thought that they have is Jesus is coming to take them home.

And now, the Bible speaks a lot about the resurrection that will take place when Jesus comes again. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 speaks of this. We also have Corinthians 15:20-22 that talks about the second coming. So, death is likened unto a sleep, and when Jesus comes, He wakes those who are asleep, or sleeping the sleep of death, and then they receive eternal life.

Mike: I never had that explained like that. Every person that I’ve gone to believes at his funeral that the pastor always mentions that he is now in the presence of God.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I know. That is something that is quite a few. However, let me also add there are a number of Bible scholars and Christians who feel that, you know, when the Bible says death is a sleep, then that’s what it’s like. Some people ask the question that if people are already in heaven the moment they die, why does the Bible speak of a resurrection when Jesus comes back? And that makes sense. I mean, if you’re already in heaven, why must we be resurrected?

Mike: But real quickly, where does an unbeliever go? Does he sleep, too— an unbeliever? Or does he…

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s great! An unbeliever sleeps as well, but they will also be resurrected. You know, Jesus said, “The hour is coming when all who are in their grave shall hear His voice; those who have done good unto the resurrection of life,” that’s at the second coming, “those who have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. And there will be a time when the wicked will be resurrected to receive their punishment. But you know, Mike, we’ve got a whole study guide here at Amazing Facts dealing with the subject of death, and it’s entitled “Are the Dead Really Dead?” And you know, I think you’d really enjoy it. It’s free if you just call our resource number. We’ll be happy to send that out to you.

Mike: Sure.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So, if you have a pencil or pen handy, let me give you that number.

Mike: I’m ready.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s 1-800-835-6747.

Mike: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: 1-800-835-6747. Just ask for the study guide “Are the Dead Really Dead?” It’s filled with a whole lot of Scriptures that deals with these questions that come up from time to time.

Mike: Thank you very much, and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. And you, too! Thank you for calling. We’ll go to our next caller. Cathy is listening on KFIA in Tracy, California. Welcome to the program.

Cathy: Hi. Good afternoon, oh evening. I’m a little nervous here. [Laughing]

Pastor Jëan Ross: No problem, Cathy.

Cathy: When Jesus went out to, I guess it was… was that Gethsemane up there?

Pastor Jëan Ross: In the Garden of Gethsemane? Yes

Cathy: Right. And He took Peter and John and James, and they fell asleep on Him. He said, you know, “Wait for Me.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right.

Cathy: And then He went up and they came down [inaudible]?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Correct.

Cathy: And He went… I was wondering, if they were sleeping who would write down what had happened?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s a good question. You know, we know that the gospels weren’t written until a while after Christ’s death and resurrection and ascension. It was later on that the disciples actually wrote the gospels. We also know that the writing of the Bible, any portion of the Bible, involved divine inspiration. In other words, the Holy Spirit was there moving upon the authors, those who wrote the Bible. These different details that the disciples weren’t even aware of, and others in Scripture that described Jesus, for example, when He was tempted in the wilderness; there was no one but there Jesus and the devil.

Cathy: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: But the disciples or whoever it is writing recalls different events. These things were brought back to the minds of those who wrote the gospels or wrote the portions of Scripture by the Holy Spirit.

Cathy: Okay, I was just learning about that in a Bible study that I’m doing, too. So, that makes a lot of sense now.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes. You know, we have a whole study guide on the Bible. It talks about the inspiration of the Bible and so on, and you might find it interesting. You know, it’s an important subject because if we can’t put out faith in the Bible, then what can we put our faith in?

Cathy: Correct.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So, we want to make sure that the Bible is trustworthy and that aw can put our faith in it. You know, the study guide is entitled “Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?” And it deals with the Bible. It talks about the inspiration of the Bible, how the prophets wrote the Bible and so on. And to get that, Cathy, all you have to do is to call that resource number again. And let me give it to you; it’s 1-800-835-6747.

Cathy: Okay, and that was…

Pastor Jëan Ross: “Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?”

Cathy: Right. Great.

Pastor Jëan Ross: “Is There Anything Left You Can Trust?” And anyone else that’s listening and has a similar question, I’d encourage you to call and get these study guides as well. I think they’ll find it very helpful and eye-opening.

Cathy: Well, I do believe the Bible is the Word of God, and I believe every word in it. I just couldn’t quite put together how things that when nobody was there…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, some of the events described in the gospels, the disciples were actually there to witness it, you know. And they thought back or whatever, and the Holy Spirit brought it back to their minds and they wrote it down. But then, of course, we have other instances when there was no one around Jesus, [inaudible] recorded. So, that was the Holy Spirit moving upon the authors.

Cathy: Oh, praise be to God.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, Cathy. Well, thank you for calling.

Cathy: Thank you, and praise God.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. I hear the music playing in the background. That means we’re coming up on our half-hour break. Again, friends, if you have a Bible-related question, the number to call to get your question on the air tonight is 1-800-GOD-SAYS; that’s 1-800-463-7297. And we would love to hear from you. We do have some lines that are still open. So, maybe of the break, if you want to get on your phone and give us a call, we’d love to hear from you. Also, just a reminder, if you want more information, go to the Amazing Facts website and you can see some of the materials that we have. And well, stay tuned, friends. We’ll tell you more!

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hello, friends! Welcome back. This is Bible Answers Live. And if you have a Bible-related question, we’d love to hear from you. Again, our phone number that you can call right here into the studio is 1-800-463-7297; 1-800-463-7297. I want to remind you of our free offer for this evening dealing with the 1,000-Year Period, sometimes called the Millennium. You can read about it in Revelation chapter 20. And to get an Amazing Facts study guide dealing with this important topic, you can call our resource number. Now, that’s different from the number that you need to call to get your question on the air. The resource number is 1-800-835-6747; 835-6747. And just ask for “A Thousand Years of Peace,” and they’ll be happy to send that out to you.

We’re going to go to the phone lines now. Caroline is listening on KFIA from Burkeville, California. Caroline, welcome to the program.

Caroline: Hi! Thank you. I have a question about… I was just recently talking to a friend who is not a Christian but we were talking about death. And he believed, he asked me, he said, “I believe that when someone dies, that that’s their time to go, and there’s no such thing as premature…” or he thinks that when a person dies, that’s when God wants him dead. And I was wondering if there was anything Biblical to answer that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. That’s a good question. First of all, let me just mention two things. Number one, we can actually choose, to some extent, when we’re going to die. In other words, by the way we live, the things we do, we can shorten our life. But then there are circumstances and things that we really have no control over. Those things are in the hand of God. But the things that we do have control over, I think we need to do the best we can to preserve our life, and live a life that brings honor and glory to God. But there are some things that, you know, we can’t worry about— whether we’re going to... maybe an accident or maybe something’s going to happen to us when we travel. Those things are in God’s hands; they’re not in our hands.

You know, I’ve thought of a text to while you were asking that question. And you find in Luke 13:32, and it’s referring to Jesus and He’s speaking to the disciples, some of the Pharisees, actually, that came to Him, and they were saying that Herod wanted to kill him. The disciples… the Pharisees had worked with Herod. And Jesus responded and said to them, “Go ye, and tell that fox,” speaking of Herod, “behold, I cast out devils and do curse today and tomorrow, and the third day shall I be perfected.” In other words, Jesus recognized that God ha d a work for Him to do, and that no one was going to stop Him from doing that work. In other words, Herod was powerless…

Caroline: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …to end the life of Christ prematurely because God still had a purpose and a plan. And I think that’s true for us…

Caroline: I think so, too.

Pastor Jëan Ross: If we’re living our life in harmony with God’s principles as given in Scripture, and we are serving Him with our life, then we are protected by God. Then God has a purpose and a plan. But if we are not living our life in harmony with God’s principles, if we are not living for God, then I think that puts us on different ground…

Caroline: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: …then it makes us susceptible to maybe some of the devil’s plans. So, we want to make sure that we’re living our life in harmony with God, and if we are, if we’re trusting in Him, then we don’t have to worry about tomorrow, what will happen in the future. God will take care of us. God’s got a purpose for every person’s life and those that choose Him. And that purpose will be fulfilled if we faithfully follow Him.

Caroline: Well, I think that’s exactly what I told him. And of course, it’s kind of difficult when you’re talking with someone that doesn’t really believe the Bible anyway. So, I think that what you just said confirmed what I believe myself. So…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. If we’re Christians and we put our lives in God’s hands, then we’re safe and secure in His hands. He’ll take care of use.

Caroline: Right. Well, thank you very much!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright! Well, thank you for calling, Caroline. We’ll go to our next caller, mark, who is listening on the Internet from Hamilton, Ohio. Welcome to the program, Mark!

Mark: Hello.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi!

Mark: My wife and I are studying Matthew chapter 15, and we’ve come across Matthew 15:11. Can you explain that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Let’s take a look at that. Matthew 15:11, starting in verse 10 because you’d get the context. And it says, “And He called the multitude, and said unto them,” Jesus speaking, “Hear, and understand. Not that which goeth into the mouth defiles a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” And then verse 12, “Then came his disciples and said unto Him, ‘Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?’”

And verse 13 says, “But He answered and said, ‘Every plant, which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone. He be blind leaders… they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead them, both shall fall into the ditch.” And then verse 15, it says, “Then answered Peter and said unto Him, ‘Declare unto us this parable.’” So, even the disciples were puzzled by this. They wanted to know what Jesus meant.

Verse 16, Jesus said, “Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies, etc.”

So, what Jesus is saying is that it’s not what goes in or it’s not what’s on the outside that brings about spiritual defilement, but it’s that which is in the inside— the heart. In other words, the Pharisees were concerned about making sure that outwardly they were doing all the right things. You know, they made sure that they ate things that the Bible says they should eat. There were very particular; they strained at a gnat, Jesus said, but they ended up swallowing a camel, symbolically. So, they were very particular about doing all of the right things, and Jesus was rebuking them and saying, “You’re really missing the point. What’s really important is what is in the inside.”

Now, on the other hand, let’s balance of what Jesus is saying in this verse with the rest of Scripture, and the example of Christ Himself and the example of the disciples. You know, there are some things that are good to eat, and there are some things that are not good to eat. Jesus is not saying that we can eat anything that we want or anything that creeps across our plate, but Jesus is telling us that eating doesn’t make us pure in our hearts. There’s something more important. We need the Spirit of God in our hearts. Does that make sense?

Mark: Yes, it does. So, in Leviticus, it talks about the health law…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes.

Mark: Does that play a role in this?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, Jesus is not saying here that now, you can eat anything, that the health laws have no meaning; because the health laws are health laws. They were given by God so that we could be healthy, so that we could live long, so that we can be happy, have an abundant life. Now, God is not saying then just because you’re a Christian, you believe in God that you can be sick or you could eat whatever you want, whatever you think you should eat. But what Jesus is saying is that true purity and holiness comes from the heart. It comes from the working of the Spirit upon us. Jesus is not discrediting those important health principles. Jesus is not saying now that we can just eat absolutely anything, because after all, God wants us to be healthy. The Bible tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we need to take care of it. In 1 Corinthians, Paul says that we need to honor God. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit; we need to present ourselves as a holy sacrifice acceptable God, which is our reasonable service. So, on the one hand, Jesus is saying us to us, listen, keep that which is important a priority, and that is the heart. But on the other hand, recognize your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and we want to take the very best care of it that we can.

Mark: Okay. Alright, thank you very much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thanks for the call, Mark. That was a good call.

Let’s go to our next caller, and it is Levin calling from Hamilton, California. Welcome to the program.

Levin: Hi. It’s Ontario, actually.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh, I’m sorry. You’re in Ontario. Okay.

Levin: My question is about Revelation 3:10…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes.

Levin: Does that mean the rapture of the chosen, they won’t have to go through the tribulation, and that [inaudible] “I will keep you from the hour of trial?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well, that’s part of the messages that Jesus is giving toe Seven Churches. And here He’s specifically talking to the Church of Philadelphia. Now, after the Church of Philadelphia, we have the Church of Laodicea. Now, each of the Seven Churches that we have recorded in Revelation chapter 2 and Revelation chapter 3, they were literal churches at the time that John wrote, but they also represent phases of Christian history— from the time of the early church all the way down to the second coming of Christ. So, the first church represents the first Christian or the first 100 years of Christianity. And the counsels that Jesus has to that church are counsels and descriptions of the church at that time. Now, here, we’re talking to the Church of Philadelphia, and Jesus says, “Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you for the hour of temptation, which will come upon all the earth to try them.” That does speak of the time of tribulation that just proceeds the second coming of Christ, but the Church of Philadelphia is not the last church. In other words, those represented by the Church of Philadelphia, they died before Jesus came. The last church is the Church of Laodicea. That’s the church is here during the hour of trial or hour of temptation that drives the whole world.

Levin: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So, when Jesus says, you know, “Because you kept the word of My patience, I’ll keep you from the hour of temptation,” that’s exactly what happened. The Church of Philadelphia ended, and, or, at least the time period represented by the church. And then today, we are living in the Laodicean time period, which is the seventh of the last church.

Levin: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And that’s the church that is here during the tribulation. But God takes care of us. God will protect us, see us through. We have nothing to dear.

Levin: Alright.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, Thank you for your call!

Levin: No problem.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Tom listening on WMCA from New York. Welcome to the program, Tom!

Tom: Oh, thank you very much. Really good program. I enjoy it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you.

Tom: My question is, if the books of the Bible are inspired by the Holy Spirit, why would the Apostle Paul in his letters indicate that he believed that the second coming of Christ would be during his lifetime?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good question. You know, whenever we read in the Bible, especially the New Testament, refers to the second coming of Christ, the second coming of Christ is always seen as a soon coming event, something very imminent. The Christians have always believed, the Christians have always look forward to it. They always had the hope in the second coming of Christ.

However, Paul does also recognize that the second coming of Christ is not going to happen too soon because he says there are still certain things that need to happen before Jesus comes. And I’m just trying to get the verse where it says that, I believe it’s in Thessalonians where he talks about the second coming of Christ— let me pull it up here on my computer. Yes, 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 and it’s verse 5. He says, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction…” and so on. Then he goes on to talk about the antichrist who was to come, who was to be revealed.

So, he recognized that before Jesus would come, there would be the antichrist that would be revealed, but he also puts it in a framework of a short period. In other words, Jesus is coming soon! Now, why did God do that? Why did God reveal to the church and to the writers of the Bible that He was coming quickly? Because that was the hope of the Christian. Every Christian as hope for Jesus to come within their lifetime.

Tom: Right. Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s not that… a matter of fact, could you imagine a Christian that’s not hoping for the soon coming of Jesus? I mean that’s their motivation…

Tom: I understand these things…

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s what keeps them going. He understood there were a number of things to happen before Jesus would come. But he also hoped and longed for the coming of Jesus to be soon. And that’s the way for the coming of Jesus to be soon. And that’s the way, you know, that’s sort of the motivation of a Christian, and that’s the way that we find the Bible writing.

Tom: Right. Well, that made sense.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Well, great! Thanks for calling, Tom.

Tom: Thank you!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright. Our next caller is Catherine listening on KFIA in Fairfield, California. Welcome to the program.

Catherine: Yes. Hi.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi!

Catherine: I was listening to how you were referring to death as sleep, for the Lord refers to it to sleep, and I believe that, also. But could you explain Luke 23:42 where the Lord is speaking to the thief on the cross, and the thief asked Him to remember him and when He went into His kingdom. And then it says, “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Surely, I say unto you. Today you will be with me in paradise.’” Is this part of the first resurrection?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay…

Catherine: The Bible speaks of a first resurrection and a…

Pastor Jëan Ross: A second… Correct.

Catherine: ...second resurrection…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Correct. Let me address this verse, and then we can talk a little bit about the first and second resurrection. Jesus is on the cross and there were two thieves crucified with Him. The one, even though he was dying, ridicules Jesus and says, “If You are the Son of God, You must save Yourself. Save us as well.” The other one looks at the thief and says, you know, “How do you say this? We deserve what we’re getting, but Jesus has done nothing, has done nothing wrong.” Then the thief says to Jesus, and I think the question is kind of important. The thief says to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom, or come into Thy kingdom.” In other words, the thief didn’t intend to go to heaven that very day, but he asked Jesus to remember him when He came or when He would come into His kingdom. In other words, the thief’s hope centered around the second coming of Christ. Of course, that’s when the resurrection takes place.

Then Jesus says to him in verse 43, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”Now, the way it is in my Bible, it says, “Verily I say unto thee,” comma, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” That gives the idea that that very day, Jesus and the thief were both going to be in paradise together. However, what we need to remember that is in the original Greek, there were no punctuation marks when they wrote Greek. The punctuation, as well as the verses and so on, were added later on. Now, depending on the way you put that comma, it makes quite a difference in the verse. In other words, if you say, “Verily I say unto thee,” comma, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” it sounds like that very day, they were going to meet in paradise. But if you say, “Verily I say unto thee today,” comma, “thou shalt be with me in paradise.”

Catherine: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: In other words, Jesus was confirming to the thief that very day that He would remember him when He came in His kingdom, and that he would be with Him in paradise.

Catherine: Right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So, depending on where the comma is, it does make a difference in the verse.

Catherine: I remember hearing that another time awhile back. Yeah. And then, of course, in Marl where it speaks— I’m sorry— Matthew where it speaks of the graves opening at His resurrection…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes.

Catherine: Is that still like the first resurrection?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s sort of a special resurrection if you like. Just a few were resurrected, and that was not the time of Christ’s resurrection. The graves opened up and some of the saints, it says, that slept arose and appeared in Jerusalem. But then the Bible doesn’t say anything else about that. They play no significant role in the early Christian church. And Revelation talks about 24 elders that surround the throne of God. Some Bible scholars believe that those who were resurrected at the time of Christ’s resurrection, ascended with Him to heaven as first fruits of the greater resurrection which would happen at the second coming of Christ.

Now, the number 24 is somewhat significant because in the Bible, 12 represents the church— we have the 12 tribes of the Old Testament, and we have the 12 apostles of the New.. And then we have 24; that’s 12 plus 12. So, some feel that the 24 elders could very well be those who were resurrected at that time and ascended with Jesus to heaven. But the rest of those who will be resurrected, that happens at the second coming of Christ. And that is the first resurrection. In other words, the first resurrection is for the righteous at the second coming of Christ, but the Bible does talk about a second resurrection, and you can read about this in Revelation chapter 20. And the second resurrection is for the wicked. So, the first resurrection is for the righteous, the second resurrection is for the wicked.

And you know, that study guide that I mentioned a little earlier talks about a thousand years of peace, that deals with the first and second resurrection— what happens in the beginning, what happens in the end. You’ll probably find that very interesting.

Catherine: Okay, and what reference is that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s Revelation chapter 20, and the study guide is called “A Thousand Years of Peace.”

Catherine: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And you can get it by calling the resource number, and let me give you the number again. It’s 1-800-835-6747.

Catherine: Alright. Thank you very much!

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright! You’re welcome. Thank you for calling. Alright. Our next caller is Randy. Randy, welcome to the program listening from Ontario, Canada on the Internet.

Randy: Hello.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi!

Randy: Yeah. I have a question about Daniel…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright.

Randy: …chapter 11 verse 40 and down, particularly verse 41…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Daniel 11:40.

Randy: And it says, “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” Like, are they spiritual? Or is this something else here? I know that from reading other Scriptures that Edom was pretty well destroyed…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, yes. Yes, and sort of no… [Laughing] if I could give it… Revelation chapter 11, just a back-up, Revelation chapter 11 is a very detailed account starting at the time after the Fall of Babylon and after the Greek Empire was divided up. You know, Alexander the Great died and his four generals divided up the kingdom. And then there’s the every detailed account of the rulers and the different battles and wars that were fought during that time period.

And then as the chapter moves on, it does take a stronger spiritual application in the context of the great controversy between the forces of good and the forces of evil. The forces of evil would, of course, be the devil and his angels. The force of good would be God, and those that love Him and trust Him. And then it sorts of climaxes with this great battle between the forces of good and evil, and that sort of comes to light in Daniel 12:1, where it says, “And at that time,” which is still in the future, “shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one found written in the book.” So, he’s talking about the second coming of Christ and God’s people being delivered at that time. So, the last…

Randy: You don’t think we’re in that time yet? Basically, I mean, obviously.. no, I mean, Michel has not set up yet but I’m saying, like, maybe what’s happening over the Middle East. Does that employ anything there? Or is that…

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the Middle East is always being a place of conflict even from the days of, you know, back in the days of Israel and Babylon and the nations surrounding them. There has always been war. There has always been conflict in Israel. The increase in conflict that we see in Israel today, but not only in Israel but in all Middle East area, it does seem to play… the Bible talks about wars and rumors of wars and increase in strife among nations just prior to or as we get closer to the second coming of Jesus. So, I think in that way, the increase in conflict and strife in the Middle East could definitely point us in a direction that Jesus is coming soon, but a specific battle or a specific event in the Middle East, you know, they have so many… Everyday, it seems like something else is happening. So, I think in a broad picture that gives us an idea of where we are in time, but not necessarily specifically as in relation to the different wars, the battles.

Randy: So, what would you think those three nations were saying though?

Pastor Jëan Ross: The three nations referred to, there, talks about Edom, Moab, and the children of Ammon. These were the enemies of God’s people when Israel went to enter into the Promised Land. On the spiritual note, the enemies of God’s people at the end of time will be those who were opposed to them and persecute them. Revelation chapter 13 talks about what refers to as the beast power that says those who refuse to worship the beast power, they won’t be able to buy and sell, and eventually a death sentence will be passed against them. And so, Moab, Edom, and Ammon in a spiritual way represents those enemies of God’s people, especially as it relates to the end of time.

Randy: Ah, great.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright!

Randy: Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, thank you, Randy. I appreciate your call. Our next caller is calling from New York, New York. Sheena, welcome to the program.

Sheena: Hi.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi!

Sheena: I have a question regarding the Sabbath…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes.

Sheena: In Luke 6:5, Jesus was addressing the Pharisees regarding His disciples, you know, eating, you know, food from the field. And He had spoken to them and said He was Lord of the Sabbath…

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes.

Sheena: I was just wondering, like, you know, we’re of Christian [inaudible], we have a relationship with Christ and be walking with Him in spirit and in truth, why is that it matters if we worship Him on Saturday or Sunday when He fulfilled the law?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, good question! First of all, let’s talk about what it means when it says Jesus fulfilled the law. To fulfill the law means that He kept the law perfectly, and He gives us an example of how we should keep the law. In other words, Jesus didn’t steal, Jesus didn’t kill, Jesus didn’t lie, you know He didn’t covet. He fulfilled the law perfectly. And He gives us an example of how we should love. Now, that doesn’t mean that God would want us to go ahead and steal or lie or commit adultery like that. Does that make sense?

Catherine: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So, the fulfilling of the law, in other words, Jesus perfectly kept the law as an example for us. Now, does it really matter when we worship God? Well, I think we should worship God everyday, but I also think it’s very important that we do what God asks us to do and specifically, I’m thinking of the fourth commandment where God says “Remember to keep the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” There’s a special blessing that God wants to give us; and by remembering the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, God is able to pour out the special blessing upon us. And as time goes on, you know, it becomes more and more significant as our lives become more and more hectic. We need that time. We need that day when we could just set aside all the cares of the world to gather in God’s presence. We can worship Him and receive spiritual strength that He wants to give us.

Now, just specifically on the verse that you’ve mentioned, the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath, what Jesus is saying is that He’s the one that defines what can be done on the Sabbath and what can’t be done on the Sabbath. You see, the scribes and Pharisees that added all kinds of rules and regulations in the Sabbath, they made it a tremendous burden for people. Jesus came and He said, “I am the Lord of the Sabbath. If you want to know how to keep the Sabbath, listen to Me.” So, Jesus was doing away with the Sabbath, You know, by His own example, He kept the Sabbath, but He also defines for us how to keep the Sabbath, and what the Sabbath is really for, what it’s really all about.

Catherine: Oh, okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright?

Catherine: Alright. Thank you so much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you for calling. We’re going to try and get at least one more call in before we run out of time this evening. Sarah calling from Loma Linda, California, welcome to the program.

Sarah: Yes, thank you. Hello, Sir. Thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Sure.

Sarah: I believe in the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments, but I have a friend who’s a Christian, but he’s struggling with the Sabbath versus Sunday keeping. He believes the Sabbath was given to the Jews, like a covenant between them and God only. And so, I wanted to show him in the Bible and I don’t know where does it instruct us in the Bible was given to the Jews and the Gentiles?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you’ve… probably the easiest— and I hear the music playing in the background— would be going into the origin of the Sabbath. You know, Sabbath was made at creation. God created the earth in six days, and then He rested on the seventh day. And in Genesis chapter 2 in particular, Genesis 2:2-3 talks about how God rested and blessed and sanctified the Sabbath and set it apart for a holy use. Now, that was for Adam and Eve. They weren’t Jews. Jews didn’t come along until Abraham’s time. And so, the Sabbath was given even before sin entered in to the world. And I think that’s one of the best places we could go to see that the Sabbath is for all mankind, not just for one select group of people.

Sarah, I hear the countdown, and I know we’re going to run out of time. Friends, I want to thank you again for listening. And remember, next week, we’ll meet you again!

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