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The Banyan Tree

Date: 01/07/2007 
The tropical banyan tree is sometimes known as the “Strangler fig” because of its unusual growth habits. These large tropical trees usually start life, when their tiny sticky seeds are deposited by a bird high in the crook or foliage of another tree.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact? The tropical banyan tree is sometimes known as the “Strangler fig” because of its unusual growth habits. These large tropical trees usually start life, when their tiny sticky seeds are deposited by a bird high in the crook or foliage of another tree. The aggressive sprouts grow quickly and begin sending rootlets down over the trunk of the host tree seeking out the rich soil below. Once they’ve found the ground and anchored themselves, the strangler fig roots rapidly thicken and lengthen. Where the fig roots cross each other, they fuse together creating a lattice around the host tree trunk. As the roots grow thicker, they squeeze the trunk of its victim and cut off the flow of sap.

Gradually, they starve the host tree and prevent it from growing by robbing all of its sunlight, water, and nutrients. Eventually the banyan tree chokes the host until it dies and withers away. All that remains of the host tree is the hallow center with the strangler fig standing in its place. One particular banyan tree in India is listed in the 1985 Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest tree. With 1000 prop roots covering an area of 4 acres. Sometimes, the sticky seeds of sin might appear small and harmless at first, but if tolerated, its tentacles will quickly grow and choke the spiritual life from a Christian. Stay with us friends, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome friends to a fresh edition of Bible Answers Live, and we do have lines open, if you any Bible question that is the purpose of mission of this program, to find the answers to better understand “what is truth”. And if you’d like to call in with a Bible question, now would be a real good time to pick up your telephone and make that call. It’s a toll free number, that number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. And as I said, we’ve got several lines open, so you have a good chance of getting your question on tonight’s broadcast. My name is Doug Batchelor and my co-pilot, Pastor Jëan Ross is right now out of the country doing a little mission project, and so you all be praying for me as I try to negotiate the phones as well as the Bible programs here, to find our answers together. So our custom is, we don’t want to venture out into the safari without asking for God’s blessing. And so I invite you to join me as we pray together.

Loving Lord, thank you so much for the privilege of knowing you, and Lord we’re praying right now we can know you better as we find out what the Bible teaches regarding the questions that you may have planned for tonight’s program. Lord we do commit this time to your glory and ask that you guide with your Spirit, both in the questions that are asked and the answers that are given. For we pray in the name of your Son Jesus, amen.

Well friends, I started out with a little amazing fact dealing with this banyan tree that is sometimes known as a strangler fig because it really is something of a parasitic tree, it moves in, and little by little, through stem it takes over a tree, virtually strangling it to death, and standing in its place, beginning with a very tiny sticky seeds. You know, this is sometimes how sin operates. Little things, when tolerated eventually are embraced, and if we know something is forbidden, and we allow it to go on without confessing, and forsaking, those things have a way to come into our lives, and cause a lot of havoc. Eventually, they can grow, sometimes it might start with some little, what may seem an innocent diversion, or an innocent abuse of the conscience, and then it can spread to something more serious. King David started with a forbidden look at that Shiva, and that lingering look eventually turned into deceit, adultery, murder, and to some extent, losing the respect of his kingdom. And so, little things do matter, God has called His people to be holy. Jesus not only saves us from the record of sin, but the Bible teaches that Jesus is able, and willing to save us from the power of sin, to set us free. The Bible tells us, “that Jesus came to save them from their sins”, not in our sins. And so much has said these days about the wonderful news of grace, but people almost act like obedience is legalism, but God is calling Christians to live a new life through the power of Christ. We have a special offer that deals with this subject, if you’d like to know more, how you can be given the victory. Jesus said that, in Revelations, 7 times, He said, “To him that overcomes”. Christ can make you an overcomer, yes he can friends, He’s done it for so many people that are listening right now, folks who have struggled with a broad variety, virtually every conceivable temptation and sin. The Lord can save you from alcohol, He can save you from drugs, He can save you from immorality, He’s done it for others, and He can do it for you. There is no sin that you can name, that the Lord can’t deliver you from. Through Christ, all things are possible. The only sin He can’t save you from, is the one that you will not repent of and come to Him for, asking for help.

We have a book, and the title’s intriguing, “Is it Possible to Live without Sinning?” I’m not going to answer that question friends, you’ve got to send for the book, it’s free. “Is it Possible to Live without Sinning?” Classic written by Joe Cruz, and we’ll be happy to send it to you just for the asking. You really, if you haven’t read this, I was reading one time on an airplane this book, and it just inspired me. So if you’d like some encouragement and inspiration, then ask for our free offer tonight, “Is it Possible to Live without Sinning?” Just call the toll free number I’m about to give you, its 1-800-835-6747. Now that’s different from the number to get into the studio with your question. For the free offer, call 1-800-835-6747, we’ll be happy to send that to you just as soon as we can.

Now we always have a couple of internet questions we try to address before we take our phone calls. We’ve got a question here from Murry, who’s asking Matthew 23:23.

Let me read this to you friends, it’s probably not fair for me to just quote the reference without giving you the verse. Jesus says here, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and you have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy, and faith: these you ought to have done, and not leave the other undone”. Now Jesus here is saying that, “The legalists, scribes, and Pharisees where hypocrites, because they would make a big deal about paying their tithe on the little herbs in their herb garden, but they were omitting the priorities of mercy, judgement, and faith. This has been, sometimes used to support, that Christ did not come to abolish tithe in the New Testament. Because you notice He says, “These you ought to have done, and do not leave the other undone”? In other words, don’t stop paying your tithe, but done forget the priorities. Now some are saying that, or the question here is, if we are to keep this law, the law of tithe from the Old Testament, why not keep the rest of the 613 Mosaic and Levitical laws? Well there are different divisions of laws… and by the way, this is a good question. There were sacrificial ceremonial laws that were nailed to the cross. Then there were some other principle laws that pre-date Mount Sinai and Moses, such as the health laws go all the way back to Noah. Tithing is one of these foundational laws, it’s a basic law for the support of God’s work, way back in the days of Abraham, long before Mount Sinai, and the Levitical laws, Abraham paid tithe to Melchizedek the high priest, in the book of Hebrews it talks about this. Furthermore, Jacob made a similar vow, He said, “Lord, if you bring me safely back again to the promise land, of all that you give me, I will give a tenth... and that’s what the word tithe means, a tenth to thy”. Now some have wondered, but in the New Testament, there’s no specific command to continue paying tithe, there’s just a few references. Well I would argue, that when God does give a very direct command several places in the Old Testament, if that is not revoked or reversed in the New Testament, then it is healthy to assume it’s still intact, and since God does not outline another replacement for the support of ministry in the New Testament, there was nothing wrong with the tithe principle. In fact, as I read the New Testament, one tenth of our increase is actually, it’s really the basement, that’s elementary school for the New Testament Christian. If you want to be honest, you read in Acts Chapter 5, “And they were selling their houses and lands”. It tells us in Acts Chapter 3, “No man said that ought that he had was his own, but all men had everything in common”, they shared everything they had, so ten percent was like baby food. And so, you know, for a very basic beginning for a Christian who is learning to be steward of their means, tithe is still intact friends, I don’t think there should be any question about that. If you want, we have a study guide we’ll send you, if you have some question about the subject of tithes, and offerings, and what the Bible teaches. If you call the resource number, you can even get this by going to the Amazing Facts website let me give that to you, “Amazingfacts.org”, and if you click on the free library, you’ll find a booklet there you can read, called, “Thieves in the Church, Thieves in the Church”, and you can read it for free online, or you can send for our Bible study guide, “In God we Trust”, call the resource number, 1-800-835-6747, or as I said, go to “Amazingfacts.org”. Next question, we’re going to take 2 internet questions here.

Question, one of our churches recently voted to begin having special children’s church during the regular adult worship service, thus separating many of the children from the adults during the worship hour. What do you think about this, is there any comment in the Bible on this principle?

Well there are a few references and I’m just going to paraphrase some of this, of course I believe it is appropriate when we’re having a teaching segment for children to go to what we call ,”Sabbath school”, many call “Sunday School”, where they get together ,and they learn with their peers, and the lesson is brought down to their level. But for the worship service, I personally think there needs to be a sense of community where everybody comes together. You can read in the book of Ezra, when he read the word of God, that the man, and the women, and the children, they all stood up when he opened the word, they listened as they read the word, there was a time of corporate community worship. I think what could happen is, as children grow up when they’re segregated like that, for the young children, the worship service, it gravitates into entertainment, they resort to puppets, and shows, and skits, and things, and they don’t learn to sit, and be reverent, and be still, and listen. And I think it’s important, it’s very healthy for children to have that time wherefore, you know, 1 hour, an hour and 15 minutes, whatever your church has for its worship service, that they sit, sing with… everyone sings together as a family, I think that’s important. Now it might be appropriate occasionally to have a special service, some churches may do this once a month where they have a special children’s church, but I don’t think that should be the regular pattern, because it’s as they worship together, we build that sense of community.

Well that gives us a start, once again, I want to encourage you to check out many of the resources, a matter a fact, we can’t always take all of the questions that come in to the radio program, but if you go to the Amazing Facts website, and you click on the button “media” at the website, you’ll see that it talks about the “Bible Answers Live program”, there, radio program, and we have archives at the radio program, of some of the most favourite questions, and their scores of Bible questions and answers there.

I think it’s that time where we’re going to go to the phones. And getting ready to take our 1st call, we’re going to talk to Tammy, who’s calling from Buckeye, Arizona, and listening on the internet. Welcome to the program Tammy.

Tammy: Hi Pastor.

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

Tammy: My question is in reference to Genesis Chapter 2 and 3. It describes specifically the location of the Garden of Eden, and it talks about an angel that guards the tree of life.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Tammy: My question is historically, has the Garden of Eden been found and why does the Tree of Life with the angel not existent anymore to be an example for us to see?

Pastor Doug: Alright, good question. There is something of a mystery that surrounds the location of the Garden of Eden and where it might be today. I am of the opinion, and I agree with scholars who believe that because you find the Tree of Life in the new earth, in Revelation 21, and because you… Well I guess that’s revelation 22. In Revelation 21, it talks about, “The New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven”, that before the flood, God assumed or raptured, whatever word you want to choose, that garden up to heaven, it is the central park in the New Jerusalem. And so He did something, because keep in mind, the whole earth was a paradise before sin and before the flood, but God wanted to specifically preserve the garden He personally planted, which was the Garden of Eden, it says, “The Lord God planted a garden”. And so that garden, which was to be kind of held as a memorial of Adam and Eve’s world before sin, was preserved from the flood. And a number of scholars believe that, they describe to that, and I agree with them. So as you look over the world and say, “Where was the Garden of Eden?” Well it was in the region of Mesopotamia, at present, they Iraq right now, which is interesting. But I don’t think you’re going to be, you know, skewering or combing the Middle East to say, “Where is it today?” because I think that it was either destroyed during the flood, or it was caught up by the Lord before the flood, and that’s what I believe.

Tammy: okay.

Pastor Doug: Hope that helps a little, good question.

Tammy: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Thank you very much Tammy.

That takes us next to Michael who’s calling from Malden, Massachusetts, and listening on WROL. Welcome to the program Michael.

Michael: Hi, how you doing Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Very good, and your question?

Michael: My question is, is dousing evil?

Pastor Doug: You talking about like water witching, dousing for water?

Michael: I have a father who claims, he does dousing, and it seems like it’s some kind of a form of meditation, or something, I didn’t know much about it, I wasn’t sure it was an evil thing or not.

Pastor Doug: Well if you talk about dousing for water, I think you’re like finding water underground, it that what you’re talking about?

Michael: (Inaudible 17:22)

Pastor Doug: (Inaudible 17:22) meditation, that’s a different subject.

Michael: No, I think it did mention, in order to find something, dousing to find something.

Pastor Doug: Okay, well now, you know, there are people out there that’s supposedly help the law enforcement. They’re psychics, they claim who can help them find criminal, I think that is spiritualism. When people are looking for the best place to dig a well, there are a number of cultures around the world that claim, that there is some magnetic virtue in either the steel rods, or willow branches, or something, and that they intend to cross when you go over water. You know, there may be some scientific… I’ve heard some amazing stories about how people really do find water in barren places using this method. I’m not ready to say, “It’s all witchcraft”, we periodically learn that there are gravitational forces. We do know water is attracted to water. If you ever put 2 drops next to each other, they seem to pull towards each other. I don’t know if, you know, i would rather have something more definite than hiring someone with a couple of willow sticks if I was looking for where to drill, but I’m not ready to say that all of it is diabolical.

Michael: Okay.

Pastor Doug: People who are going around, you know, using supposedly super natural powers to find things, that to me sounds very dubious.

Michael: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Well some of the techniques that people use for water, which in I’ve heard that there’s actually scientific value, or there’s some scientific reasons why the metal rod’s cross, or the willow branches, or whatever they’re using.

Michael: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Michael: Okay, thank you Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Thank you very much Michael, appreciate that.

That then takes us to line 4, and we’re going to talk to Hilary, calling from Martinez, California, listening on KCBC, welcome Hilary.

Hilary: Hi, how are you pastor?

Pastor Doug: Good, and your question?

Hilary: I have a question. My name is Hilary and I have a question about what does the Bible say about an erring husband? In short, we’ve been married for years, and he was Protestant Christian. 6 months into the marriage, he created, he committed some serious crimes, and is now facing prison. So what does the Bible say about my position in that?

Pastor Doug: Well are you wondering about your position, are you just stay his wife or how do you respond?

Hilary: Yes, am I to stay his wife in this situation?

Pastor Doug: Well I’ll answer your question by telling you, that biblically, the grounds that Jesus provides for biblical divorce, it’s a very narrow area, and that would be 1st of all adultery, or fornication Jesus calls it. He said that, “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder”, you can read this in Matthew Chapter 5, verse 19, and there’s several other parallel passages in the other gospels where He said, that “There is no grounds saving for the cause of fornication”. Now the apostle Paul, in 1st Corinthians 7, he seems to open a window in another area just a little bit, and that’s in the event that, if a person who is a pagan converts to Christianity and their pagan spouse abandons them, then Paul says, “They are free in such cases”, and it seems like he’s saying “They are free to remarry”. So, you know, if your husband has not committed adultery, and he has not abandoned you because of your faith, and he’s willing to continue… by the way, in 1st Corinthians 7, Paul says, “Look, if they’re willing to stay with you, by all means, stay together”. Do you mind my asking, not that it really has a lot of relevance to the grounds for divorce, but do you have children?

Hilary: Yes we do.

Pastor Doug: All the more reason.

Hilary: They’re my children from previous marriage, and he has a child from previous marriage.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well for, even for their sake, the stability and commitment sends a very strong signal, and I’m not trying to detract from how difficult your circumstances might be, you may be going through just a terrible trial, but I just have to point you to the words of Jesus, where He says, “Saving for the cause of fornication”, that is your husband. And furthermore, you would hope that he would be converted from this bad behaviour, and you can read in 1st Peter Chapter 3, that if “Women are married to a husband who’s not a believer”, then certainly, that would include someone not practicing, “As they behold your chased conversation, your behaviour, they can be one to the Lord”. You see, there’s redemptive value both for him, for the children, and even for yourself, by hanging on.

Hilary: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Hilary: I just, I was just wondering if that would (inaudible 22:28) that message to the children (Inaudible 22:31). You should be involved with someone that’s (inaudible 22:33).

Pastor Doug: Well you know, if he’s living, if he’s still practicing criminal behavior, then you have the option of separating to protect them,

Hilary: We have separated.

Pastor Doug: but divorce is different.

Hilary: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Hilary: Alright, thank you.

Pastor Doug: I know tough situation, you’re in our prayers. Thank you Hilary.

Talking next to Jose, who’s calling on line 5 from New York City, listening on WMCA. Welcome Jose, you’re on the air.

Jose: Hi pastor.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Jose: I’m calling, I’m a new reader to the Bible,

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Jose: it’s an amazing book. I’m calling about the distribution of Joshua, the distribution of land, and I was reading this book, and I’m just wondering to myself, “What does that have to do with me?”

Pastor Doug: The distribution of the Promised Land and you’re wondering, what is the modern application of that?

Jose: Yeah, because there’s so much written on it, I’m just wondering, what does that mean to me?

Pastor Doug: Well the spiritual application would mean that, in the same way, God had a place for each of the tribes in the Promised Land God has a place for Jose in the New Jerusalem, the Promised Land. And in the same way that the places were assigned to the tribes according to their needs, some of the tribes had more cattle, they were giving a country that had more meadows and fields,

Jose: Right.

Pastor Doug: so forth. So in the same way, God considered their size and characteristics in the allocation of land, He’s going to consider when He builds your mansion exactly what your needs are. It tells us, that God cares about a place for you,

Jose: Okay.

Pastor Doug: He wants you to have environment, just like when He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He prepared a place for them.

Jose: I see.

Pastor Doug: That’s why Jesus said, “I’d go to prepare a place for you”.

Jose: Right. It sounds, it makes more sense when you’re saying it, but when I was reading it, I just, I wasn’t getting it, but I’m new to this.

Pastor Doug: Well you know, just keep reading the Bible, every time I read it, I get new things.

Jose: okay.

Pastor Doug: And we’re on a New Year now, I’ve just started reading through the New Testament again, and I’m learning things every time, it’s a wonderful book.

Jose: It really is.

Pastor Doug: You can never plumb the depths of the Bible.

Jose: Amazing. Thank you pastor, I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Thank you Jose, good question.

Okay, I think we got time for a couple more before our break. We’re going to talk next to Danny, who’s calling from New York City, and listening again on WMCA. Welcome Danny, you’re on the air.

Danny: Hey how are you? Thank you for taking my call pastor.

Pastor Doug: Delighted.

Danny: My question is, how hard should we continue to evangelize to those that refuse to hear the word? I was talking today with my brother and I’m trying to evangelize to him, and he’s a non-believer, and he seems to get pretty violently angry as I was trying to get him to hear the word of God. I don’t want to give up on him but I don’t know what are the steps I should take?

Pastor Doug: Well that is a good question. I know when I 1st became a Christian, I was so anxious for all my family to be saved, that I think I was a little obnoxious, now that I look back, I was very pushy. And it takes a delicate balance of grace intact and diplomacy to reach people. You’ve got to know when to back off, and you really never see Jesus anywhere in the Bible, taking someone by the lapel, and shacking them, and said, “You need to believe in me”. He told them the truth, if they didn’t want to listen, He would not push them. The rich young ruler came to Jesus, and he asked Jesus, he had an interest, “What must I do to be saved?” Christ told him, and he turned away. And Jesus did not chase after him He did not argue with him, He did not debate. You know, people have to show an interest, the Bible says, “Seek and you will find”, and right now, your brother may not be seeking, and so, the best thing to do, is be a good example, pray for him, and wait until he opens the door again, otherwise, he’s going to feel like you’re pushing him, and it could have the opposite effect.

Danny: Right. Yeah, I guess it’s just that sense of urgency.

Pastor Doug: I know.

Danny: I see what he doesn’t see.

Pastor Doug: Well you know the other thing you can do, that is sometimes less hostile. Sit down and write him a letter, and say, and in the letter, say “Brother, you know, I apologize if I’ve been pushy, I don’t want to be obnoxious, it’s just so, I’m so passionate about what I believe, please forgive me. If you’re ever interested, I’d love to study with you”. And you know, that would really, maybe touch his heart.

Danny: That’s a perfect answer.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Danny: Thank you pastor.

Pastor Doug: Good question, thank you Danny.

I think we may be able to take one, two more minutes, let’s see what we can do here.

Going to talk to Aaron, calling from New York, New York on WMCA again. Welcome Aaron, you’re on the air.

Aaron: Yes hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Good, we got a couple of minutes before our break, so quickly, what’s your question?

Aaron: My question is, does God allow women to preach? And I’m going from 1st Timothy 2:11.

Pastor Doug: Alright, you want to read that to us, or do you want me to?

Aaron: I can read it. 1st Timothy 2:11 says, “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission, and I do not permit a woman to teach, or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence”.

Pastor Doug: Okay, let me tell you what I see in the Bible. 1st of all, you’ve got to look at the examples in the history of the Bible, there are no examples in the Bible of women serving in the capacity of priest, or elder, pastor, but you do have… apostle, there are no women apostles, but you do have women serving in the capacity of prophetess, and judge.

Aaron: okay.

Pastor Doug: So God does obviously have inspired office for women, but

Aaron: Okay.

Pastor Doug: the role of the priest is a patriarchal role, it’s the role of the man, men are to be the priest leaders of the family, and the churches is the extension of the family. So there is no example of a woman serving in that capacity, no example of a woman being ordained as a priest, or pastor in the Bible, but women were serving in the capacity of doing evangelism, mission work, you got (inaudible 28:46) in the New Testament and Old Testament. So there are obviously spirit filled women that are speaking in behalf of God, see what I’m saying?

Aaron: Yes…

Pastor Doug: But there’s a distinction between the role of an evangelist and a pastor, and a prophetess and a pastor. Hey, you can hear the music, we got to take a break real quick here, hope that helps a little bit Aaron.

And for our listening friends, this is just that, we’re just going to take a break. If you’ve recently tuned in, this is Bible Answers Live, my name is Doug Batchelor, and you can find out a lot more about what we’re doing by going to “Amazingfacts.org”, our website is a virtual tree of life that has a lot of resources to help you find the amazing facts of salvation.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: That would be me. Welcome friends, if you’ve just tuned in, this is Bible Answers Live, and it’s a live international, interactive Bible study where we make the best possible use of talk radio, taking about what is truth, what is the purpose of life, why are you breathing, why is your heart beating? I’ll tell you it’s, that way you might know God and His love, and share God and His love. Cross goes in 2 directions, it’s a love relationship up and down, and it’s the horizontal love relationship with each other. And that’s what this program’s all about. Finding out what is the truth and what are the big priorities. If you have a Bible question, we have lines open, call our question line is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor, Pastor Jean Ross, our regular co-pilot is doing a mission project in the Caribbean right now, he’ll be back in a couple of weeks. Going back to the lines right away, we’re talking next to Renal, who is calling from Woodbridge, New Jersey, listening on WMCA. Welcome Renal.

Renal: How you doing Pastor Batchelor?

Pastor Doug: Good.

Renal: One question I have for you. How do you know that you have the Holy Spirit?

Pastor Doug: Good question. How do you know that you have the Holy Spirit? Well the fruits of the Spirit are the best evidence. If you look in your Bible in Galatians Chapter 5:22, it tells us what those fruits are. Jesus said, “You’ll know them by their fruits”, and the fruits of the Spirit are… and you can read this in Galatians 5:22, “Love, Joy, Peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance”, these are the fruits of the Spirit. So if you have these fruits in your life Renal, that’s evidence of the Holy Spirit.

Renal: Okay. Can I get one more quick question in?

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Renal: Also, I wanted to know, is the 10 commandments still binding today, is it still present in the church today?

Pastor Doug: Can I answer your question with a question?

Renal: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Does God want us to keep the 10 commandments, or break them?

Renal: I don’t think He wants to break His laws though.

Pastor Doug: You’re asking a good question, because it’s amazing how many Christians are wondering about this, you’re not alone, and they hear so many mixed messages about the law, and there are ceremonial laws that are nailed to the cross, we don’t need to worry about sacrificing lambs and things like that, circumcision. But the 10 commandments are completely distinct, separate law that God wrote with His finger in stone, spoke with His voice, it’s a moral law for all mankind. Don’t kill, don’t lie, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, honor your father and mother, don’t take God’s name in vain. You go through the 10 commandments, why would He not want a Christian to keep them?

Renal: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So obviously, Jesus, a matter a fact a young man came to Christ, and he said, “Lord, what must I do to have everlasting life?”, and Jesus said, “What is written in the law?”, he said, “Keep the commandments”, and Jesus sited for him the 10 commandments. So nowhere does the Lord say, you don’t have to keep the 10 commandments anymore, because look at the anarchy that would come into church if Christians were teaching people, “it’s okay to lie, it’s okay to steal, it’s okay to commit adultery”. So the answer to that question is ask the opposite question, it’s so absurd that the only thing we’re left with… of course He wants us to keep the 10 commandments.

Renal: Everyone.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, sin is the transgression of God’s law, that’s 1st John Chapter 4, “Sin is the transgression of God’s law”. So when we break God’s law, it’s called sin. Why would God want us to sin?

Renal: Okay.

Pastor Doug: See what I’m saying?

Renal: Yes.

Pastor Doug: One of the last verses in the Old Testament, or in the New Testament is Revelation Chapter 22:14, “Blessed are those who do His commandments that they might have a right to enter through the gates of the city, and eat from the tree of life”.

Renal: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So we could go on and on. You know, there’s a lesson of…

Renal: My wife is in the background and she (inaudible 35:34-35:38) with her friends. The main commandment I was interested, was the Sabbath, because one of her friends came to her with a question, and that’s why that (inaudible 35:48-35:50) if that’s still binding today, if you have…

Pastor Doug: Alright, well I’ll tell you what. There are 2 lessons that you could request. One is, we’ll send you a lesson called, “Written in Stone”, it’s a lesson that deals with the relationship between law and grace, called ,”Written in Stone”. Anyone who wants that, call Amazing Facts. The other one that you were asking about Renal is “The Lost Day of History”, it’s a Bible study on the 4th commandment, and how should Christian relate to the Sabbath commandment. “The Lost Day of history”, if you want a free copy of that, just call the resource number, friends get your pencil, it’s different than the number for the studio, 1-800-835-6747.

Renal: 835.

Pastor Doug: And if you didn’t get it this time

Renal: 6747?

Pastor Doug: 6747. We’ll give that number out several times. Yeah, ask for “The Lost Day of History”.

Renal: “The Lost Day of History”.

Pastor Doug: Yes sir. I hope that’ll help you…. We’ll give that number several times during the program if anyone didn’t get it the last time.

Alright we want to try and take some more calls here, so we’re going to go to line 9, it takes both my hands to do this without Pastor Ross. Cathy is listening in Pasco, Washington, on KLRF. Welcome to the program Cathy.

Cathy: Thank you very much, nice talking to you.

Pastor Doug: Likewise.

Cathy: My question is what biblical landmarks are there located in the country of Iraq?

Pastor Doug: Biblical landmarks. Well the ancient city of Babylon

Cathy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: is there, and my son was in Iraq, in the marines during the 1st part of this last war when it began. A number of the marines actually went to Ancient Babylon, and saw the city built by King Nebuchadnezzar the Great. You’ve got some of the cities where Daniel lived, like Shoe Shan. You read about Daniel having one of his visions there, which became a capital city of the Persians who conquered the Babylonians. Then of course, you know, the land of Mesopotamia, where Abraham came from. (Inaudible 37:57), I think is located in what is now Southern Iraq.

Cathy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So there are a number of, and they found that also, they believe they found that city. There are a number of biblical locations that are currently… they found some of the ruins in ancient Iraq.

Cathy: You think maybe the Garden of Eden originally was in that area?

Pastor Doug: Well.

Cathy: I was thinking with the (inaudible 38:25) of the (inaudible 38:26) River. (Laughing) what my landmark was.

Pastor Doug: Well you know, actually in Genesis there, it says there were 4 rivers, and 2 of them don’t even exist anymore. So the surface of the earth was so radically changed from the flood that we’re not sure exactly if the course of the present tigers in (inaudible 38:42), I mean even the Mississippi has altered, and the Missouri rivers just since America was formed, they’ve altered greatly. So in the last you know, 6000 years, the location of the tigers in (Inaudible 38:54) probably changed some,

Cathy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: but it was, it probably was in that vicinity,

Cathy: Alright.

Pastor Doug: because after the, after the flood, when they came to build the Tower of Babel, they went back towards where the Garden of Eden used to be, it was sort of a natural magnet for them, and that was in the plain of, the area around Babylon.

Cathy: Okay, then I was kind of thinking along with Abraham, with the (inaudible 39:18) I was thinking that maybe Sodom and Gomorrah might have been there in that area to.

Pastor Doug: No, we’re pretty sure on the fix of Sodom and Gomorrah, they are down in the Southern part of the Jordan Valley, in what’s now, it’s actually the south area of where the Dead Sea is.

Cathy: Okay.

Pastor Doug: We’re pretty positive of that because there located in Genesis much more specifically.

Cathy: Alright.

Pastor Doug: We knew that they were in the valley downhill from Hebron, and it says that, “Lot could look from Hebron and see it”

Cathy: Alright.

Pastor Doug: So that gives us a pretty good fix on that.

Cathy: Okay, well thank you so much that was very helpful.

Pastor Doug: Okay, thank you, good question, appreciate that.

Alright, next we’re going to talk to Cony, who’s listening on KLRF also, from Tri-cities, Washington. Welcome Cony, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Cony: Thank you Pastor Doug. My question is I wonder, if the Apostles Creed is biblical? And the reason I wonder is because they said it, various churches and I’ve noticed a couple of times that the particular denomination of the church will be inserted into the final portion of that prayer, or the creed.

Pastor Doug: Right. Well let me read this to you here, it’s the Apostles Creed, I just punched it up when I saw your question here, and it’s, you can find it online pretty rattily. “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son our Lord who is conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into hell the 3rd day He rose again”, now that word “Hell” there means, “The grave”, “He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from thins He shall judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, I believe in the Holy Catholic Church”, now that word “Catholic Church” there does not mean Roman Catholic, the Word “Catholic” there is just the classic, meaning “Universal, the holy universal church”, “The communion of Saints”, and that’s not talking about saints that are floating around in heaven, it’s talking about up believers, “The forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the body, and of everlasting life”. So the Apostles Creed is pretty basic doctrine. Some people have misinterpreted aspects of what is here, but it’s basic teaching. I don’t know if that helps you though Cony.

Cony: Yes (Inaudible 41:57), thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you, good question, appreciate that. I remember, I used to read that Apostles Creed when I was worshipping with my Methodist brother in Texas, and I used to wonder when it said, “I believe in the Holy Catholic Church”, I thought, “What am I doing in a Methodist church, saying I believe in the Holy Catholic church?” And then someone explained that the word… I was pretty young, and they said, “That word there means the universal it had nothing to do with the Roman Catholic Church”. Alright, good question.

Let’s see who’s next here I think its Walters turn, who’s calling from York, Pennsylvania, listening on the internet. Welcome to the program Walter, you’re on the air.

Walter: Hello Pastor Doug, thanks for all you do.

Pastor Doug: My pleasure.

Walter: I have a question about John 18:6.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Walter: And what… when it says, “When therefor He said to them, I am He they drew back and fell to the ground”. What’s the significance of that verse, and what are they trying to say?

Pastor Doug: Alright good question. Now if you read this in that King James Version, or some versions will show that the word “He” in telex, meaning it’s not in the original”. So what Christ actually said, when they said, you know, “We’re looking for Jesus of Nazareth”, they came to arrest Him. He said, “I am”, and they fell backwards to the ground. Now evidently, keep in mind, when Moses said to God, “Whom shall I say is sending me?” God said, “I am that I am”. One of the divine sacred names of God is the self-existent one, “The Great I am”. And so when they said they’re looking for Jesus and He said “I am”, divinity evidently flashed through Him at that moment, the power of that word, His glory just sort of poked out and they could not retain it, and they absolutely were floored by it, it knocked them down. That was just a little testimony of His power, even when they came to arrest Him, they knew who He was.

Walter: Okay, Thank you

Pastor Doug: Alright thank you, good question. Matter a fact… you’re not asking this, but you’ll find more “I am’s” in the gospel of John, Jesus says, “I am the door, I am the bread of life, I am the water of life, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life”, more “I am’s” in John. Matter a fact, the Jews took up stones to kill Jesus His enemies when He told them, “Before Abraham was, I am”, and they understood what that meant, that He was putting Himself in the place of Jehovah, and they thought that was blasphemous. So when He says that here, “I am”, they fell back from that statement. Thank you Walter, appreciate that.

Going next to talk with Helen, who’s calling from Henyon, Minnesota, listening on KOPJ. Welcome Helen, you’re on the air.

Helen: Hi Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Helen: I have a question on how John the Baptist and Jesus are related. Are Elizabeth and Mary sisters? And I was looking at Luke 1:36, “Elizabeth, your relative has also conceived a son on her old age” and over to 56, it says “Mary remained with her about three months”. So I wondered what the relationship is, between John the Baptist and Jesus, and if Elizabeth and Mary are sisters or…

Pastor Doug: Yes, it’s possible… No they weren’t sisters, it is possible that they were cousins it’s very likely that they were cousins of some form. It seems that Elizabeth was from the house of Aaron, Mary is from the house of David, but it’s still possible for them to have fathers from different tribes, and be cousins if you know what I’m saying. They can be cousins through the mother’s side.

Helen: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And so, you know, a lot of people have wondered about that, the Bible doesn’t say any more than what you just read, but it does definitely lead us to believe that they were keen of some form, probably not sisters because Mary’s so young, and Elizabeth is having a child, and she is so much older.

Helen: Okay. And are there Bible commentaries that you recommend?

Pastor Doug: Yes, you might look at Adam Clarks Bible Commentary, Matthew Henry, these are a couple of old ones, but I trust these gentlemen quite a bit. They’ve got some good comments, Adam Clarks can speak about 7 languages and he was very thoroughly versed in the original languages, and I’ve got a lot of confidence in his comments.

Helen: Okay, thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you very much, appreciate that question.

Talking next to Debby who’s calling from Monastery, Idaho. Welcome to the program Debby.

Debby: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi, and your question?

Debby: (Inaudible 46:54) question.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Debby: What is the difference between Judas’s suicide and Samson’s suicide? In fact Judas won’t be saved and sounds like Samson will.

Pastor Doug: Alright, before I answer this question, you got to promise me you’re not thinking of suicide.

Debby: No.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Alright, just wanted to clarify that.

Debby: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Samson was about to be executed, he had been broad out, they had put out his eyes, they brought everybody together to display their enemy, they tormented him, made sport of him somehow, and they were bringing him before their god Dagon execute him. So he knew that he was about to go. When Samson pushed down the pillars and brought down the house, so to speak, knowing he would die, he did it as an act to defeat the enemies of God. So it was a sacrificial act to save God’s people from their oppressors and enemies. That’s a little different than a suicide, that is sort of like… let me give you an example. I know a fella, recently passed away during World War 2. Somebody threw a hand grenade into the ditch where he was sitting with a bunch of his buddies. He jumped on the hand grenade to save them… well he could have died, but he didn’t, it just blew of a part of his foot, his toes. But some order say, “Well that’s suicide”. But is it, when you are sacrificing yourself to save other?

Debby: Like with you kids, if someone’s going to shoot your kids and you jump in front of it.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, is that suicide or is it a sacrifice?

Debby: I see.

Pastor Doug: So Samson was about to be executed. The Philistines had been killing and oppressing his people. He basically said, “Look, I’m going to do this, I’m going to orchestrate this in a way where I’m taking you with me to save my people”. Remember, God raised Samson up, and the angels said, “He will begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines”. And that’s why it says, “When he died, he slew more by his death then he did in his life”. And Samson really a type of Christ because Christ willingly laid His life down and by his death, Jesus did more to defeat our enemy the devil, then He did by His life, by the cross. Samson stretched out his arms and he died, and so did Jesus. See what I’m saying?

Debby: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Judas, he was overcomed with just guilt and the devil basically had entered him, Jesus… When Judas went out from the Last Supper, it says, “Satan entered him”, and Satan just overwhelmed him with the despair, and he committed a faithless, hopeless suicide, which is, you know, Christ even said, and Peter said, “Woe onto him that delivers that Son of man, it would have been better for him not to be born”. So I don’t want to be Judas in the resurrection.

Debby: No, I won’t either. Okay, that’s more understandable now.

Pastor Doug: Alright thanks, good question, appreciate that.

Talking next to James, who’s calling from Brooklyn, New York, again on WMCA. Welcome to the program James.

James: Yes hello. (inaudible 29:55) speaks about a steadfast faith law. In class he says, “Unless you continue and the faith is firmly established and steadfast”.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

James: Do those scriptures rebuke Calvinism?

Pastor Doug: Well the very fact that he’s challenging them to remain steadfast in the faith.

James: Yes.

Pastor Doug: I never thought of it that way but it would be an argument against Calvinism, because well, you know but even Calvinist believes that you can choose to be faithful to remain steadfast, they don’t have a problem with that. So maybe not specifically, but there are so many verses in the Bible where we are invited to make a decision,

James: Yes.

Pastor Doug: that the predestination doesn’t hold up very well.

James: Yeah, I choose not to believe in predestination. Sometimes I just go through the scriptures, I find scriptures such as that, where it talks about, you know, “Keeping, and staying, and remaining, and running”, and it perceives that there is a part that we must be faithful in.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, obviously, if there is no conscious choice that we have to make in salvation, then why do mission work, why preach?

James: Yeah, exactly.

Pastor Doug: I mean the whole purpose of preaching, is to encourage and invite people to choose whom they will serve.

James: Sure, why evangel with this predestination, people would be damned to hell or not is basically in their doctrine. Okay, well thank you very much

Pastor Doug: Thank you, appreciate your question.

James: Have a good night.

Pastor Doug: You to.

Talking next with Mike, who is calling from Point Pleasant, New Jersey, on WMCA. Welcome to the program Mike.

Mike: Thank you Pastor Doug. I just have a pretty quick question. Does the Bible say anything about, or how does it explain dinosaurs, the existence of them. Is there anything in the Bible about them?

Pastor Doug: Well you know, the Bible talks about “Dragons”, and usually, it’s referring to the reptiles that they had in the deserts out there. The Bible talks about the, “Leviathan”, and some have speculated that the Leviathan were leftovers of the dinosaurs that haven’t died out yet. The whole idea of dinosaurs, they’re, you know, there have always been reptiles, just variant sized reptiles. And I do believe that these large reptiles that we see, the fossils of, they are hold overs from before the flood. But what you don’t often hear people ask, whenever they ask about dinosaurs, they forget to ask “What about these humongous mammals?” I’ve been to museums all over the world, and I’ve seen the remains of not only these baby reptiles, but everything was bigger before the flood. I mean, they had raccoons that were 6 feet tall. They had sloths you’ve heard of the giant sloth, they’re just enormous.

Mike: Sure.

Pastor Doug: The Racks and some of the deer, and the moose, the fossils that they found, the remains they found from the tar pits, they’re also so much bigger than any specimens we have today, as with the mammoths and the Macedon’s. So everything was bigger, not only the reptiles that we call dinosaurs but the mammals as well.

Mike: And the Bible speaks of them as pre-flood.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well all the creatures that lived before the flood. You know, most of the creature in the world, people think that Adam and Eve had to take 2 of every kind of dog on the arc, 2 German shepherd, 2 poodles, 2 Saint Bernard’s. And he didn’t need to do that because all the dogs you see in the world today, their DNA can be traced back to a couple of wolf like dogs,

Mike: I see.

Pastor Doug: and it’s through breeding that you get the incredible variety. So when Noah stocked the ark… or I should say, “When God brought the animals to the ark”, He brought them in categories, that all He needed to do. Look at all the diversity in people in the world today that came from Adam and Eve, and then again from Noah’s family. So…

Mike: (Inaudible 53:57)

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the dinosaurs could just be classified in a few classes, and they were just the large reptiles that after the flood they could not be sustained by the shortage of vegetation, they had copious dies, and the atmosphere probably changed radically after the flood.

Mike: Make sense.

Pastor Doug: Well we know… I mean the fossils we look at forest were so thick and deep with ferns the oxygen levels were probably different.

Mike: Very true.

Pastor Doug: That’s where we get.

Mike: Yeah, I never actually thought of it that way.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you look at the cold reserved and the oil in the world, where did it come from? It came from, just mountains of living matter that got compressed, and everyone agrees on that. So in order to have these incredible oil reserves buried, there must have been some catastrophe that covered these forests that were very rich. So I think that the fossil record and geology very much supports the Bible.

Mike: When you look at it that way, it does make sense, it’s all matter of prospective.

Pastor Doug: You know we’ve got a book we’ll be happy to send you, and it’s called, “When Evolution Flunked the Science Test”, it talks a little about what you’re asking Mike, and we appreciate that. We’re going to try and take one more call and talk to J.T in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, listening on the internet. Welcome J.T, you’re on the air.

J.T: Hi Pastor Doug, I had a question regarding confession, and whether or not confession would be valid through another man or a priest, specifically relating to John 20:23, “If you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven, if you retain the sins of any they are retained”.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, this is a very difficult verse in the Bible a lot of people have debated. Most of the scholars I read when they dissect this verse, they say, that what Jesus is saying is, “through your distributing the gospel, you are distributing forgiveness, and when you do not do that, their sins are retained”. In other words, through the preaching of the gospel, they have the vehicle to withhold, or to dispense salvation, but if you take it that a man gets to decide who does and does not have eternal life, that is a terrifying thought, that one man has the power to choose whether someone is forgiven or not forgiven. Most protestant believers don’t go with that interpretation, because it’s, you know the Bible says, even in the New Testament, “God and God only can forgive sin”. Now I can choose, if someone offends me, I can choose to forgive them or not forgive them, but I’m really not choosing whether or not they’re saved, see what I’m saying?

J.T: So that verse is more about forgiveness than salvation?

Pastor Doug: Well I think this verse, Chapter 20, John verse 23 is talking about, “Jesus had just breathed unto them to receive the Holy Spirit”, the purpose of the Holy Spirit, was to empower them to witness as they witnessed, people were saved. When they didn’t get the message to someone, they were still under sin. And so it’s really talking about that aspect of it.

Our friends, you can tell that we’ve run out of time, we’re being chased again by our closing music, but don’t go away yet, not till I tell you how thankful I am that you are one of our faithful listeners. Tell your friends to tune in to Bible Answers Live we’re here by the grace of God every week at this time. And keep us in your prayers, we’d love to hear from you, drop us a line, we’ll be giving you that address in just a moment. And don’t forget, take advantage of the website, go to “Amazingfacts.com”, all you got to do is type, “Amazing Facts” into Google and there we are. Take advantage of that tree of life that we’ve got at our internet website, free library, Bible Answers Live archives. God bless you friends, and we’

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