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How to Survive a Fall

Scripture: Jude 1:24, 2 Corinthians 12:2, Romans 2:6
Date: 02/04/2007 
On January 21, 2007, a Wisconsin man, Joshua S. Hanson and two friends were in Minneapolis for a dart tournament. After a few hours of drinking they returned to their Hyatt Regency Hotel about 1:30 in the morning.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact? On January 21, 2007, a Wisconsin man, Joshua S. Hanson and two friends were in Minneapolis for a dart tournament. After a few hours of drinking they returned to their Hyatt Regency Hotel about 1:30 in the morning. They took an elevator to the 17th floor and were evidently horsing around. For some reason 29 year old Hanson ran from the elevator down the short hallway and apparently lost his balance, crashing through the large double-pane ceiling-to-floor window. He tumbled sixteen floors, crashing into the awning of the hotel’s main entrance overhang. Amazingly he survived. The most serious injury was a broken leg.

Minneapolis Police Lieutenant Dale Barsness said, “This man must have had an angel on his shoulder.” The record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute is held by a Serbian woman, Vesna Vulovic. On January 26, 1972, she was flying over the Czech Republic. Croat terrorists had placed a bomb onboard JAT Yugoslav flight 364 on which Vulovic was a flight attendant. The explosion tore the DC-9 to pieces but incredibly Vulovic survived. She remained strapped into her seat in the tail section of the plane that was still attached to the washrooms. The assembly spiraled down 33,000 feet then struck the snow covered flank of a mountain. The twenty-two-year-old wasn’t even supposed to be on that flight, her schedule had been mixed up with another stewardess.

Her injuries included a fractured skull, two broken legs, three broken vertebrae, one of which left her temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. She regained the use of her legs after several months of surgeries. Vulovic was the only survivor of the flight and not only lived to tell about it, but continued working for JAT Airlines at a desk job. Vulovic later became a national hero in Yugoslavia. Friends, you know the Bible teaches that all men have morally fallen, but there’s a way that you can survive the fall. Stay with us, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of “Bible Answers Live.”

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live and as Pastor Ross just told you, we do have lines open, that number again is 800-GOD-SAYS. I know there might be a few people still watching the remnants of the Super Bowl, but we’d invite you if you want to know about the score in eternity, call this program, we’ll talk about the game of life that really matters. Give us a call at 800-GOD-SAYS, that’s 800-463-7297 and we’ll search the word together to find our answers. And also you could be listening to this program on the internet; the website is amazingfacts.org and you’ll find a listing of the stations there that carry this live streaming. But my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends. Pastor Doug let’s start with a word of prayer. Dear Lord once more as we open up your word, we ask for your Holy Spirit to be with us, we recognize that the Bible is your book.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And whatever we ought to understand we need your leading. So be with us here in the studio this evening, be with those who are listening and those who call in. For this we ask in Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You opened the program by talking about some incredible falls that people had taken from 17 stories and then 33,000 feet, is that the height that that lady fall?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Yeah, that is amazing. Matter of fact, I was reading in research of this amazing fact and during the World War II there were some other amazing stories. I think one American fell 18,000 feet not within any kind of wreckage but just freefall, he jumped from a plane, his parachute was on fire and just decided “I’d rather go down alone than in a burning plane.” And he struck a hillside also flanked with some trees, twisted his knee but walked away from it. 18,000 feet. So I mean obviously there’s miraculous angelic intervention in surviving those kinds of falls, but we’re talking about surviving a different kind of fall that has affected everybody listening to my voice right now.

The Bible refers to the fall of man when Adam and Eve fell from their glorified state in the Garden of Eden and that fall has created a domino effect so that every child of Adam has also fallen into sin with the exception of one. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God except Jesus who did no sin.” And the solution is to be born again and when we have that new heart and that new life God says that He will help us live a new life. In Jude verse 24, He closes His introduction by saying, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, God is able to keep us from falling---that means of course falling into temptation--and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” We may have some friends out there that have felt the bruises of the fall and they’d like to know how do I get that new heart, live a new life where I’m not constantly falling? And we have a free offer that’ll talk about that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The free offer is entitled “Rescue from Above” and that’s where our hope is, it’s from God, from heaven, “Rescue from Above.” It’s an Amazing Facts study guide. To receive that, just call the resource number, the number is 1-800-835-6747. 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the free study guide “Rescue from Above.” It talks about salvation and how we can have that new birth experience and gain victory over sin.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a few questions that’s coming Pastor Doug via the internet. The first one this evening is, “Are people going to receive different levels or live on different floors in heaven? I’m talking about rewards,” the person says.

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, that concept of people who’ve said before, “Well, I was in seventh heaven,” and some people actually think that there are varying levels of heaven and if you’re real good you get the penthouse, otherwise you’re on the ground floor. But that’s based on a passage in 2 Corinthians 12, I should say that misunderstanding is based on this passage, 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul is speaking and he’s probably referring to himself and he said that “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I don’t know, he was in vision, he couldn’t tell this is real or what. It seemed real, God knows, such a one was caught up to the third heaven.”

People hear third heaven, well there must be a first and a second heaven, maybe there is a seventh heaven. If you’re good you get to go to the fifth or sixth or seventh heaven, that’s like Park Place on Monopoly. But that’s not what the Bible teaches. There are three words for heaven in the Bible; the first, second and third heaven. The first heaven is the atmosphere around the earth and that’s where the clouds float and the birds fly. The second heaven is the starry heavens where the planets rest. The third heaven is called the paradise or dwelling place of God. And so Paul is simply saying he was caught up to the dwelling place of God. All of us are going to be together in the New Earth and in the New Jerusalem; we’re not going to be segregated. There are varying rewards, but I think that might be leading into our next question actually.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, the second part of that first question was speaking about the levels and then follow-up, “Is there different rewards in heaven?”

Pastor Doug: Why there are not different levels of heaven? Everybody is going to be able to comingle in heaven. We’re not segregated like a gated community. At the same time, people do receive varying rewards. Jesus said to the twelve apostles that you will sit with me on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes’ positions of honor. And in Revelation it tells us that “The dead, small and great are judged out of those things written in the book, every man is rewarded according to his works,” and I think you had another verse in Romans.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Romans 2:6 says the same thing, “Who will render to every man according to his deeds or works.” So there is that, there does seem to be different rewards, not only for the righteous but even rewards of punishment for the wicked according to their work according to their deeds.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Exactly. The Lord is fair. He’s not going to, you know, punish Adolf Hitler the same way as some, you know, eighteen-year-old that died of an overdose. So God is just.

Pastor Jëan Ross: However having said that, I don’t think anyone who gets to heaven will be disappointed with their reward.

Pastor Doug: I just want to be there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right (Laughing). Alright, the next question we have here, “What is the light that God created on the first day and why couldn’t that light sustain plant life?”

Pastor Doug: Well, it probably could have, at least it had to for twenty-four hours. But you can read in the Bible in 1 John 5, it tells us-- 1 John 1:5, sorry--“This is the message we’ve heard from him and declare unto you that God is light.” So when God came to this chaotic orb that was hovering in space and he said, “Let there be light,” that first light was not the sun because he doesn’t make the sun and the moon and the stars till the fourth day, that first light was God’s light. And it was in the-- He probably began the planet spinning at its current speed and that’s what separated day from night. Whatever side of the planet He was on, that was the light and so then later He made the sun.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And that’s probably because God wasn’t always going to be as close perhaps to the earth as He was first that first creation week as far as the light continually shining?

Pastor Doug: Evidently the Lord seemed to make a circuit through creation and you read in Genesis after Adam and Eve fell, the Lord came to the garden maybe a regular meeting to visit with them and they ran. But He wasn’t always there talking to them face-to-face, but they had access to Him on a regular basis.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So that makes sense?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Good. Let’s go to the phone lines. Robert is listening on the internet and he’s calling from Alaska. Robert welcome to the program. You’re on the air.

Robert: Good evening Pastors.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Robert: My question has to do with the comparison of the first four trumpets with the first four plagues and I noticed both of them basically affect the same areas; the seas, the rivers, the heavenly bodies. Yet most commentators that I’ve read take the first four trumpets as symbolic, but they take the first four plagues as literal. What rule of interpretation is there to take one symbolically and one literally?

Pastor Doug: Well, I do think that all of them need to be read in context. I am in the camp that believes that-- well, let me just back up because someone explained this to me and I found it to be true. There are a series of visions in Revelation that involve sevens; seven churches, seven seals, seven plagues, seven trumpets. The seven churches cover the religious history of the church from the first to the second coming. The seven seals they represent the political history, sometimes the first four of the seven seals are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. But they’re actually part of the seven seals. They cover the political history of the church from the first to the second coming. The seven trumpets cover a military history of the church from the first to the second coming and, of course, the seven plagues covers the judgment at the end. Now there are many parallels you find in Revelation 2, the Exodus experience in the books of Moses and even the book of Joshua.

I believe that some of these prophecies have what you would call a dual fulfillment. Not only is there the historic fulfillment of it, but there may be some literal last day component as well that has the spiritual application. For instance, the sixth plague, and I should just tell you right now before we get in too deep Robert, I’m not an expert and I know we don’t have enough time in our three or four we budget per question to do all seven of the seven trumpets, it’s a deep subject, but when it talks, for instance, about the plague of the Euphrates River drying up, many of the-- oh, I’m talking about the plagues now. You were talking about the trumpets, I’m sorry.

Robert: Okay.

Pastor Doug: But anyway, so I think that there may be the historical of course and there may be some literal interpretation in the last days.

Robert: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Any thoughts Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, you know, you mentioned also Joshua, before we went on the air you were talking about Joshua at Jericho where the trumpets blew.

Pastor Doug: I preached about Joshua yesterday, so this was fresh in our minds Robert.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. So the trumpet has the sign of war, it has a calling; it’s a gathering of people. So if you look at the seven trumpets in the Revelation they have, like you mentioned, a military aspect, its issues that God is judging, issues that need to be judged.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. Does that help?

Robert: Yes, I think it does. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright, thank you Robert.

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

Joseph: Good evening. I’m enquiring about the time that Jesus wrote in the sand, I think it was…

Pastor Doug: John chapter 8.

Joseph: Okay. Was there any other time that Jesus wrote anything at all?

Pastor Doug: Well, I’m sure, you know, if you could have followed Him around 2000 years ago He did. The Bible says, “He went to the synagogue and stood up to read,” so we believe He was literate, He could probably read and write. The only record of Him writing is in His incarnate state is when He wrote in the dust of the temple floor. And that’s significant because, you know, Jesus is God, there’s three times that God writes in the Bible.

He writes the law, the Ten Commandments with His finger, He writes judgment of the walls of Babylon and then He writes in the dust, the sins were chronicled in the dust of the temple floor. The laws in stone, it’s unchanging, the walls of Babylon they’re gone. The sins written in the dust they can blow away, but the law doesn’t change. And so it’s just interesting when you do a study on the writing of God, those three places.

Joseph: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know another thing about the writing of God, you have the law and if we break the law, the result is judgment that you find on the walls of Babylon.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: But then you have God’s grace and forgiveness as revealed Jesus writing on the ground.

Pastor Doug: It does, that’s a good point.

Joseph: Would you say that’s the reason why He didn’t write anywhere else?

Pastor Doug: Well, that would probably be the reason that it’s not recorded anywhere else in the Bible of Him writing, He wrote the sins of Mary’s accuser in the dust. Meaning that, well, dust can be swept away by your hand.

Joseph: When you said Mary, was that Mary Magdalene?

Pastor Doug: Well, you know, the Bible doesn’t say that woman. It just calls her a woman. Many scholars believe that was the first introduction to Mary, because in other stories in the New Testament Mary Magdalene is referred to-- some gospels refer to her as “a woman who was a sinner,” same way John chapter 8 later tells us it’s Mary. So this may have been the first encounter with Mary Magdalene.

Joseph: In the same vein may I ask, I know Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, did he physically write them or did he dictate them and they were written by a scribe?

Pastor Doug: I’m of the opinion that Moses actually wrote much of them because Genesis was probably written before he even went to Egypt and Moses was very educated, he spent forty years in the most educated country in the world, before he left Egypt.

Joseph: Right.

Pastor Doug: So I believe that he did write them. Obviously the last few chapters in Deuteronomy or the last chapter may have been written by someone else because it talks about his burial and I don’t think Moses wrote that. But, yeah, I believe he wrote most of the books of Moses and probably wrote the Book of Job as well.

Joseph: When you mentioned previous that the Lord wrote three different times, is there something about that number three that’s important?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s the triumph number of God.

Joseph: And you think that’s related to the three writings?

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s what comes into my mind, there may be a lot more to it.

Joseph: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: I like what Jëan said about you got the law, you got judgment and you got grace. Salvation is three parts; justification, sanctification, glorification.

Joseph: Thank you very much gentlemen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: There’s one more thought also I just thought of it as well. In Revelation we have God writing, but He is writing a new name, I think its salvation.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So you have the law, judgment, grace and then ultimately salvation.

Pastor Doug: Salvation, good point.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, the next caller is Caroline listening on the internet, calling from Jackson, California. Welcome to the program Caroline. You’re on the air.

Caroline: Yes Pastor Batchelor, I’d like to ask you about this verse in Deuteronomy 7:15.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Caroline: It says, “And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt which thou knowest upon thee but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.”

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Caroline: Now, is this still in effect today or was this a promise just for them?

Pastor Doug: Well, the principle is still true and here’s the principle. God gave the children of Israel abundant laws regarding sanitation, health, moral behavior and when God’s people obey those laws collectively-- matter of fact it was in Psalms I believe Jëan, where it says “There is not one feeble one among their tribes,” when they came in after three and a half-- I’m sorry-- after forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the record is there was not one feeble person among them when they came into the Promised Land.

Of course they were eating the bread from heaven, they were obeying the health laws that had been revived and sanitation laws and moral laws, you know, so much sickness in our society comes from bad living practices and bad morals. And the Egyptians who were not following those things, they suffered the consequence of disobedience, so the sickness came on their enemies because they weren’t obeying the laws.

Caroline: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So those principles also exist today, those that hate God and His people also hate His law and they usually have all of the sickness and disease that comes with disobeying natural law.

Caroline: Okay, that makes sense.

Pastor Doug: That makes sense?

Caroline: Yeah, that sure does. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Thank you. And, you know, we have a lesson, if you’d like, that it deals with the subject of health. If you’d like to request it we’ll send you our Bible study guide, it’s called “God’s Health Plan.”

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, “God’s Free Health Plan.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah, “God’s Free Health Plan,” that’s the one because it’s so expensive today we wanted to include that word free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. Let me give you the number to call, it’s 1-800-835-6747 and Caroline you can ask for “God’s Free Health Plan” and they’ll be happy to send that out to you or anybody else listening wanting to know more information about how you can have abundant health.

Pastor Doug: Bible secrets to health.

Pastor Jëan Ross: By the way the verse that you were referring to is Psalm 105:37 which is talking about God bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt and it says “He brought them forth with silver and gold and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah. That’s great.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Henry listening on WFLI from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Henry you’re on Bible Answers Live.

Henry: I appreciate you taking my call. I was reading in the Daniel that Daniel said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Thou art the head of gold” in Daniel 2:38.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Henry: But just a couple of verses above that I had read that a stone was cut out without hands and it broke the gold into pieces.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Henry: And I’m not sure how Nebuchadnezzar can be broken to pieces if he doesn’t exist.

Pastor Doug: Well, what that’s saying is this is an outline of the Pagan kingdoms of the world. Keep in mind the dream is about-- it’s a big idol and idolatry is the antithesis of the worship of Jehovah. You know idolatry of course is one of the commandments, “Don’t worship gods that you make, I’m the God that made you.” So idolatry is the opposite spectrum and so this vision represents all the world kingdoms that had oppressed God’s people. Now when you read on the other visions in Daniel, it tells us that the residue of Babylon was adapted by the Middle Persians, they embraced elements of the golden head.

And the Greeks embraced elements of the silver chest and the Romans embraced elements of the Greeks, matter of fact Jesus was born during the Roman era but they were speaking Greek and so on. And so when it talks in Daniel about this whole image, gold, silver, bronze. Iron, all being destroyed, it’s talking about the whole foundation of this false system, and Nebuchadnezzar was part of that. So, all of the false religion and idolatry would be obliterated.

Henry: Okay. Well, when I read in the New American Standard Bible, it said that the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all crushed at the same time.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Henry: So wouldn’t that be referring to the specific kingdoms that were correlating with the different metals?

Pastor Doug: Well, the spirit of those kingdoms is alive all through history because you get to Revelation it still talks about in the last days Babylon. And so these all represent-- keep in mind Babylon occupied God’s people, Israel, Persia occupied God’s people, Greece occupied Israel and so did Rome. These are the powers that were oppressing God’s people. And so when it says the gold and the silver and the head and all this is crushed, the memory of all these pagan empires is gone when Jesus comes and the idolatry is gone, the oppression is gone, that’s all it’s saying. It’s not talking about Nebuchadnezzar in particular because the Golden Kingdom lasted beyond Nebuchadnezzar, it lasted through his grandson.

Henry: Alright.

Pastor Doug: Alright?

Henry: I appreciate that.

Pastor Doug: Thank you very much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug there is a verse in Matthew 21:44 that I like in particular, and Jesus is referring to the actual dream that we have in Daniel 2 where He says “Whosoever shall fall upon this stone, speaking of himself shall be broken, but whosoever it falls upon it will grind him to powder.”

Pastor Doug: That’s what happened in Daniel.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right. The stone struck the image and ground it into powder. So Jesus was very much aware of Daniel chapter 2.

Pastor Doug: That’s a good point.

Pastor Jëan Ross: He also alluded to the stone as being Himself.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay, our next caller is Michelle calling from Redlands, California listening on KTIE. Michelle welcome to the program.

Michelle: Hi, thank you for taking my call. I just have a question with regards to Mark 3:28-29 where it talks about the unpardonable sin, if you’re at the King James Version as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Michelle: And I had a friend ask me to explain that and I couldn’t because my only explanation of an unpardonable sin has always been if you didn’t accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, if you weren’t born again. So can you explain that to me?

Pastor Doug: Yes, of course Jesus said, “All men have sinned and blasphemy will be forgiven.” And you can read this not only in Mark but you can read it in Matthew as well and the sin against the Holy Spirit is not somebody getting up and shaking their fist against the Holy Spirit or saying some blasphemous phrase and inserting the word Holy Spirit in there, it’s resisting the Spirit. Paul refers to grieving the Holy Spirit. He says, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit wherewith you’re sealed.”

And Pastor Ross is looking the reference up there. I get all of these verses in my head, but sometimes I can’t remember the numbers because I’m a little dyslexic. But in any event, you look at the example in the Bible of people that committed the unpardonable sin, Michelle, like King Saul and Judas and Balaam, God’s Spirit was with them at one point, pleading with them but they continued to resist it. And ultimately they grieved it away so they no longer heard God’s voice.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The verse there is Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby you’re sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Pastor Doug: See, the Holy Spirit is the person of the God head that brings us to repentance and he can’t be saved without repentance. If we resist the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, then God has no other vehicle to lead us to repentance and that sin cannot be forgiven because the sin for which we do not repent cannot be forgiven. See what I’m saying?

Michelle: Oh, I understand.

Pastor Doug: And so look at it this way. It’s sort of like a person, we’ve all got an ear; a spiritual ear that’s why Jesus said, “He that has ears let him hear,” you can get a callous on your spiritual eardrum where you just don’t hear the voice of the Holy Spirit anymore and it doesn’t matter how loud God’s radio is, you just don’t hear Him. And that’s where we’re gradually developing-- you know the sin against the Holy Spirit doesn’t usually happen in one moment, it’s gradually developing that callous on your ear.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Romans 2:4 brings up an interesting point, it says, “No you’re not that, it’s the goodness of God that leads you to repentance.” So it’s the Holy Spirit that convicts the heart that actually brings about a spirit of repentance where we want to repent. But if we’ve rejected the Holy Spirit, then we have no desire to repent.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. And, yeah, we’ve grieved away the capacity. You know, we’ve got a booklet on the Holy Spirit, there’s a new booklet, if you’d like a copy we’ll send you one Michelle.

Michelle: That’d be great.

Pastor Doug: And it talks about the unpardonable sin. Why don’t you call Amazing Facts and ask for Pastor Doug’s new booklet on the Holy Spirit?

Michelle: Okay, I will do that. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you the number again, its 1-800-835-6747 and the book Pastor Doug is “The Unpardonable -- The Holy Spirit.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah, just ask for the book on the Holy Spirit, they’ll know what to say.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, that’ll cover it.

Pastor Doug: We’re going to take a break friends, it’s time for that. While you’re still listening, get your pencil handy and write down a couple of websites. First of all, we’d like to remind you to go to Amazing Facts. In this one hour program we can rarely get all the questions on the air, we’ve got another thirty minutes coming in just a moment, but you can go to amazingfacts.org and click on the media link.

Go to Bible Answers Live and you can listen to many of the archives of the more popular questions that people ask, and we trust that’ll be a blessing to you. Also you could take a look at if you’d like to enroll in our Bible Study Course, go to bibleuniverse.com, bibleuniverse.com and enroll in the free Bible study course. Don’t go very far because we’re going to have more Bible questions and Bible answers in just a few moments after these important announcements.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: This is I believe the best possible use of the miracle of talk radio, to talk about the word, the word of God. If you have questions about the blessed book, then call our resource number, or call our question number which is 1-800-GOD-SAYS, it’s a free phone call. We still have a couple of lines open, so you’ve got a good chance of getting your question on tonight’s program. 800-463-7297. And before we go right back to the phones, you know, we always like it when people give us some tips of good websites.

Periodically folks send me to a great website where there’s good Bible study resources, sometimes I’ve found some websites where there’s great facts so I can share amazing facts with people. But we’d like to tell you about some great websites that have good devotional material, Bible study material. We’ve already talked about Amazing Facts website and that’s an easy one, you can remember just Amazing Facts, you go home, type that in into Google or Yahoo and you’ll find it.

But there are some others, we talked about Bible Universe. If you’d like to do an online Bible study that will revolutionize your understanding of the word of God, go to bibleuniverse.com. We get a lot of questions on the Sabbath subject and it’s simply sabbathtruth.com, .org you can go there and matter of fact if you type in the word Sabbath, it’s one of the top websites that you’ll find on Google on this subject. It’s just got incredible resources about how do you keep the Sabbath day and sort of been a revival of that subject. We frequently get questions about the conflict among Christians of what really happens when you die, do you go right to heaven, do you rest, do you go to Abraham’s bosom? There is a website called Truth about Death and that’s .org.

Some people can’t see our TV programs but they hear the radio program and they can get on the internet, we have international television broadcast, but you can watch them on the internet. Our most recent recordings were done and it’s in Berrien Springs, Michigan, it’s called The Most Amazing Prophecies and that website is mostamazingprophecies.com. What am I forgetting Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Connected with the website Death Truth is another good topic, Hell Truth. What happens so…

Pastor Doug: That’s right, a lot of confusion about the punishment of the wicked.

Pastor Jëan Ross: There’s a whole website on that and then there’s also the marytruth.com website.

Pastor Doug: A lot especially since the Da Vinci Code book and movie people are wondering, did Mary Magdalene have an affair with Jesus, were they married? Go to this website friend, there’s a lot of information there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And then just two others that come to mind, The Final Events, that’s an important website, finalevents.com.

Pastor Doug: Oh, Final Events of Prophecy, yes, and that’s finalevents.com.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And then 05 Revive.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, sometimes Christians just want to hear some good revival messages rather than prophetic or eschatological studies. And if they type in 05revive.com, you can listen to the archives of our revival we did last year.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay. Well, let’s go to phone lines. John is listening from New York, New York on WMCA. John welcome to Bible Answers Live. You’re on the air.

John: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Hi, welcome to the program, and your question.

John: Yes, I’m trying to find any resource that could corroborate mathematically the accuracy of Scriptures, I hear of periodically minister say that if you fill up the whole state of Texas with half a dollars or silver dollars and you allow one of them to be directed as being representing the Scriptures being true, what would the mathematical probability be for a person to just on one opportunity pick up the coin that will confirm that the Scriptures are true?

Pastor Doug: Right, I think I’ve heard a similar illustration. I’ve actually that illustration used for evolution as well. It’s a probability illustration. You know, John, you reminded me of something just before we came back to the phones we were talking about websites, there is another very powerful website called Prophecy Code, Prophecy Code and at that website you can-- I think it’s prophecycode.org--at that website there is a free downlink of Bible numbers.

It’s also got one of Bible symbols and what their meaning is and some people wonder what does, you know, the dragon represent, what does bread represent, the long list of Bible symbols, what their meanings are, but there is a page of Bible numbers and what they represent. And I think that you’d probably enjoy that and just go to prophecycode.com, okay?

John: Okay, thank you so much. God bless.

Pastor Doug: Alright. God bless you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’re going to go to our next caller who is on the cell phone. Evans is listening on KFIA from Sacramento, California. Evans welcome to the program.

Evans: Hello Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Evening, your question.

Evans: Revelation 8:1 I’d like to get your opinion on that, I was reading it, I wasn’t really sure what that means.

Pastor Doug: Revelation8:1. Well, let me go here real quick, “And when he had opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Well, now I think this is very interesting because heaven is usually filled with angels singing. It’s full of activity. God is ministering there. What would cause absolute silence in heaven? And in prophecy, most scholars agree that in prophetic interpretation if a day equals a year, then one hour is 1/24th of a day, half an hour would-- well, one hour would be 15 days, about half an hour would seven days, it doesn’t say half an hour it says about half an hour, if you apply the principle of a day equaling a year in prophecy. And there are many who believe that when Jesus comes back to earth, for one thing there’s silence in heaven because mediation has ceased.

Evans: Okay.

Pastor Doug: In other words, nobody can be saved or lost anymore. You read in Revelation 22 God will declare, “Let the righteous be righteous still, let the holy be holy still, let the wicked be wicked and the filthy be filthy still.” I’m paraphrasing. So the saved are saved, the lost are lost probation is closed. Just like, now here’s another example Evans, after Noah built the ark and he got on board and the door was shut, seven more days went by where there was no rain. The saved were saved and the lost were lost.

Evans: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: See what I’m saying? The voice of salvation was not heard anymore, there was silence for the voice of salvation during that time. So this silence in heaven makes it sound like heaven has been vacated and God is coming to earth, Christ is coming with His procession to rapture up the saved.

Evans: Okay, alright, it does make sense.

Pastor Doug: Alright, hey appreciate your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: A verse there Evans as well that collaborates that, Matthew 25:31, it says, “When the son of man comes in his glory, he’ll come with all of his angels.” So all of the angels leave heaven and come with Jesus.

Pastor Doug: That’s right. He’s in the glory of the Father, the Father is there, He’s with all the angels, the angels are there, who’s left?

Pastor Jëan Ross: That’s right.

Pastor Doug: Everyone has come to pick up the redeemed.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Good point.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is David and he’s listening on WMCA from New York City. Welcome to the program David.

David: How are you doing tonight?

Pastor Doug: Very well. How can we help you?

David: I’m calling you from North New Jersey really.

Pastor Doug: Oh, okay.

David: Okay. Law versus grace, I’ll give you two verses, James 1:22 and Romans 2:13 and, you know, a lot of Christians, you know, they don’t do what the word says. Can you read two verses here?

Pastor Doug: James 1:22 says “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves,” and if I remember Romans 2:13 says “It is not the hearers of the law that will be declared righteous but the doers of the law will be-- is that right?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Justified.

Pastor Doug: Justified, that’s right.

David: Yes, can you explain that a little bit to our listeners out there?

Pastor Doug: Well, I appreciate your question. It is a very good question. So many people emphasize the grace aspect of God’s character. They forget that He wants us to be doers of His word and not only hearers. A number of parables bear this out. For instance, Jesus said, “It’s like a man who has two sons and he says, “Boys go work in the field,” and one boy says, “I’m going dad,” but he doesn’t go. The other boy says, “I’m not going,” but he later repents and he goes and then Jesus asks this question, “Which of the two did the will of the father?”

Christ also says, “Not everyone that says unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but he that does the will of his father.” In Matthew chapter 8, He compares it to the wise man and the fool, He said, “The wise man is the one who hears these words of mine and does them.” And so God does not want us to just be hearers of His will and His law, he wants us to be doers.

David: That means like witnessing and visiting the sick and giving them encouragement and stuff?

Pastor Doug: Well, He wants us to model His life and did Jesus do those things?

David: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. So if we’re Christians, a Christian is a follower of Christ, we’re to live the kind of life Jesus lived. We’re to follow Him as our example. The Bible tells us He is our example and we should walk as He walks. So I appreciate that.

David: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Good question. By the way for other friends that are listening we’ve got a lesson that deals with the biblical teaching of law and grace and the balance and it’s called “Written in Stone.” If any of our friends want to hear a real good study and read a real good study on the subject of the balance between law and grace, please send for the free study “Written in Stone.” It’s filled with amazing facts and illustrations and we know you’ll enjoy it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number for that is 1-800-835-6747, ask for the study guide “Written in Stone” and the study guide that we offered at the beginning of the program is “Rescue from Above” dealing with new birth and salvation and feel free to ask for that study guide as well. Our next caller is Greg listening on WMCA from Queens, New York. Greg welcome to Bible Answers Live. Greg, are you there?

Greg: Yes.

Pastor Doug: You’re on the air and your question.

Greg: Hi Doug, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Good, thanks for calling.

Greg: Thank you. I have two quick questions, same subject.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Greg: Does the Bible talk about divine healing and number two: can we use divine healing to heal diseases such as diabetes, cancer, et cetera?

Pastor Doug: Well does the Bible teach divine healing? Yes. Jesus healed people. He told the man who had been sick for thirty-eight years, He said, “Get up and walk” and He just dramatically healed him. There was the paralyzed man in Mark chapter 2 where that was lowered down through the roof and Jesus said, “Get up,” he’d been paralyzed for years carried around on a bed, couldn’t even walk and he picked up his bed and walked home.

So the Lord heals everything from well blindness and deafness to death. That’s the ultimate healing is when He raised Lazarus, you don’t get much sicker than being dead, do you? And then the next question you said, can we ask for that for specific diseases?

Greg: Through Jesus Christ, yes, can we?

Pastor Doug: I do believe we should pray for divine healing for these things. As in the days of Jesus so is it true today that you don’t always notice that the Lord may or may not heal. And there’s things you can do naturally to encourage healing. Greg, for instance, when Hezekiah was sick and he was terminal and he prayed, God sent Isaiah the prophet to him and said “God’s going to heal you, now take a lump of figs or a plaster of figs and put it on the boil--he had a boil evidently. And so God healed him divinely.

Greg: Right.

Pastor Doug: And yet He used a medical treatment to do it.

Greg: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So God does it, sometimes God will heal just by His touch, by His words, sometimes He uses natural means.

Greg: And, like you said, it has to be His will, right?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, always we pray according to His will because, you know, even in the Bible, some of God’s mighty men died of sickness.

Greg: Right, right. Okay, Doug thanks a lot for the information. I appreciate it.

Pastor Doug: Thank you Greg. Good questions.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Stanley is listening on the internet from Irvington, New Jersey. Stanley welcome to the program.

Stanley: Thank you very much. My question is pertaining to the thorn in the flesh.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Stanley: I heard you explain it before on the internet before, can you explain it again? And I’m going to show you-- I have a question pertaining to it. But explain what is a thorn in the flesh to you? What does it really mean?

Pastor Doug: Well, are you talking about a thorn in the flesh or what Paul’s thorn in the flesh?

Stanley: Paul’s thorn in the flesh concerning 2 Corinthians 12:7.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, in 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul talks about a thorn that he had that afflicted him and it’s obviously a physical ailment because he prays about it three times. Most scholars believe that this problem was his eyesight. Of course we all know that Paul in chapter 9 of Acts, when he had that vision of Jesus it totally blinded him. After praying for three days Ananias came and something like scales fell from his eyes and those could have been just cataracts from the light, who knows?

But he was able to see after that, but we wonder if he was able to see perfectly or if there was problem. I mean, even after Jacob wrestled with the angel he limped the rest of his life. Now one time when Paul was in the Supreme Court in the Book of Acts, he reviled the High Priest and he was chastised for doing this and he said, “I’m sorry I didn’t know that was the high priest,” in other words, it was like he couldn’t see him.

The other question the scholars ask is why does Paul have somebody writing his letters for him since he was so thoroughly educated and spoke so many languages. When he did sign his letters, one time he signed his letters and he said, “You can see with what big characters I am writing,” you know, sometimes people that are nearsighted they write very large characters so they can see them. And so there’s a lot of evidence in the Bible that Paul had a problem, Paul never travelled alone because I don’t think he could see where he was going. So I do think he had God that healed his vision so he could see somewhat but his vision was never a hundred percent.

Stanley: Okay. Now I did a few studies on that and tell me what you think about it. Because even pertaining to the scholars, the scholars still didn’t really know what it was, but based on the chapel study and research they figure out that by hypothesis that this can be an eye problem. But from what I’ve been studying I feel it’s going somewhere else, so you tell me what you think about that.

Pastor Doug: Well we only got a minute or two, so hurry up.

Stanley: I’ll be really quick.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Stanley: Okay (Laughing). Alright, now everywhere that I notice through the Scriptures in-- you can read in Numbers 33:50, Joshua 23:13, Samuel 23:6 and there’s a few more and everywhere it mentions thorn in the side, thorn in your eyes or thorn as a symbolic purpose, literal it’s always referring to people or a being or beings, but never referring to a sickness, an eye problem, a disease or anything of such. Well, going back to Paul’s situation here, I’m reading this and it says here that “There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me.” So to me that’s the answer to the thorn in the flesh. It says the messenger…

Pastor Doug: Well, Stanley I think you need to read the rest of it, because he says that, first of all, “In the flesh” and secondly he says that “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” So this was a weakness in the flesh and you’re absolutely right in the Old Testament talk about thorns in the eyes, that’s what Paul was alluding to, it’s one more verse that makes us think it was his vision.

And there are thorns in the Bible that had nothing to do with people, the thorns in Jesus’ head, there’s no analogy for people in that. But I respectfully disagree with your conclusion that it was somebody that was bothering him. I think it was a physical ailment that it was a handicap he prayed for healing. Here Paul was healing and raising the dead and he’s sick.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Of course Paul did have people that always tried to chump him up, I think Paul’s…

Pastor Doug: Not one.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: He had lots of them (Laughing).

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, well more than one, you know, they dragged him out and stoned him one time, so without doubt the devil tried to get to Paul that way too but…

Pastor Doug: Now in fairness some scholars have said they thought it was epilepsy, but there’s no Scripture to support it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I think the idea of the eyes seems to definitely have the weight of evidence in this situation.

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Alright, our next caller is O’Neal listening on WTLG from Brooklyn, New York. O’Neal welcome to the program.

O’Neal: Hello. Goodnight Pastor?

Pastor Doug: Evening O’Neal. How can we help you?

O’Neal: Well, I have a question on Romans 14:23 where it says “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” I’d like to know what’s your take on that verse and how you think it relates to God’s law being immutable?

Pastor Doug: Well, first of all, reading this in context, Paul is saying if somebody is convicted that it is wrong to eat things that are sacrificed to idols and they can’t do it with a clear conscience in faith, they are sinning because they are going against their conscience. And whenever a person goes against their conscience-- let me give you an example of how that works.

A person sees a quarter on the floor in the church and they look to the right and they look to the left they think, “Ah, the deacon dropped a quarter during the offering, I’m going to take this quarter and I’m going to steal it.” So they take the quarter and they put it in their pocket, well it turns out they are the ones who dropped the quarter so they stole their own quarter.

Are they guilty of stealing? Yes. Even though they took their own quarter, they still sinned because their attitude was wrong even though technically it was their quarter to start with, see what I’m saying?

O’Neal: Yes, sir.

Pastor Doug: So in the same way some people who--and I know that’s not the best illustration but I just made it up and that’s the best I can do on the spot--but some people they go against their conscience and there are people I know that are terribly convicted that a woman should not pray with her head uncovered. Well, if you can’t do that with faith, then don’t do it. You know, there’s several definitions for sin in the Bible, sin is a transgression of God’s law, all unrighteousness is sin, sin is going to do good and not doing it and anything that is not of faith is sin. These are four primary definitions. So people need to have confidence for doing God’s will. If they have doubts about what they’re doing that God could be opposed to it, they shouldn’t do it. That’s what Paul’s saying.

O’Neal: How do think it relates to God’s law being immutable?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that obviously God’s law does not change, it’s eternal. How you relate this verse specifically to God’s law I’m not sure.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, all the faith in the world is not going to change a clear statement that, you know, what God says in the law, He wrote it with His finger. Someone might have faith and say, well, I can break the law because I have faith and it doesn’t bother my conscience, that doesn’t mean that excused him from having sinned. The law is immutable, it stands ineffective of faith.

O’Neal: So we could say that faith is essential in order to keep the law? You could say that, right?

Pastor Doug: Well, you can’t please God without faith. Everything a Christian does needs to be based on faith because that is the fulfillment. We’re saved by grace through faith.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Without faith you can’t please God, yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I appreciate your question O’Neal. And he would maybe also enjoy that study we just offered about the law of God, “Written in Stone,” we’ll send you a free copy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Let me give you the number. It’s 1-800-835-6747. It’s an Amazing Facts study guide called “Written in Stone.” Max is listening on the internet from Brooklyn, New York. Max welcome to the program.

Max: Hi goodnight Pastor Doug and Pastor Jëan.

Pastor Doug: Evening, and your question.

Max: Yes, I have four very short verses if you don’t mind reading them. Its James 1:18.

Pastor Doug: Okay, you want me to read that real quick?

Max: Yes, it’s very short.

Pastor Doug: “At his own will he begot us with the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Max: Okay, and Revelation 14:4.

Pastor Doug: Revelation 14:4?

Max: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Alright, “These are the ones who are not defiled with women for they are virgins, they are the ones who follow the lamb whithersoever he goeth, these were redeemed from among men being the first fruits under God into the land.

Max: Okay, with these two verses the word in question is first fruit.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Max: Is this word pertaining to like the first Adam and maybe that God created before earth?

Pastor Doug: No, I don’t think so because it’s talking about the first fruits--well first of all, the first fruits is dealing with-- it’s an agricultural offering, is where the word originates, the first part of the harvest they gave to God. Then God uses that agricultural law of first fruit offering talking about redemption. For instance, you might say that Abraham was a type of first fruits of the Israelites, when Jesus ascended to heaven there was a resurrection around Jerusalem and those people that He took with them were sort of like a first fruits of the ones that will be saved. But I wanted to restrict it just to the Adams of other worlds, while I believe God has life on other planets, I’m not sure I’d apply this verse that way.

Max: Okay, so 1 Corinthians 4:9.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you want me to go to that one now?

Max: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Okay. And let me see here, you got that one Pastor Ross, I’m still looking.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, 1 Corinthians 4:9, “For I think that God has sent forth us the apostles last as it were appointed to death for we’re made a spectacle unto worlds, unto angels, unto men.”

Max: And Hebrews 10:33.

Pastor Doug: Hebrews 10:33. Okay. Go ahead Pastor Ross.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Hebrews 10:33, “Partly whilst you were made a gazing stock both of reproaches and afflictions and partly whilst you became companions of them that were so used.”

Max: Okay, the word in Corinthians is spectacles and the one in Hebrews is gazing stock. Is Paul saying that we’re made a spectacle in the sense unto other Adams, the other Adams which exists in the other planets?

Pastor Doug: Well, I do believe that our world and what’s happening down here is being beheld by other creations because for one thing it says, “These things the angels desire to look into” and so-- matter of fact that’s in Hebrews 2 I believe. So there are other beings that are interested in the plan of salvation that are gazing into what’s happening here. I don’t believe that any of God’s other creatures are involved in what’s happening here on earth but the angels.

Our planet has a disease called sin and there is quarantine because sin is contagious and the only one that can go to this hospital is the Lazar house, so to speak, is God and His angels. They’re the medical staff, so to speak. I don’t think the other intelligent beings that God has made are communicating in any way with earth, they may be aware of what’s happening here. I think we better keep moving to get another question or two in Pastor Ross. Thank you, Max. I hope that helps a little.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Thank you for your call Max. Our next caller is Gilbert and he’s listening from Fresno, California. Gilbert welcome to the program.

Gilbert: Hey how is it going Brother Doug and Brother Ross?

Pastor Doug: Good.

Gilbert: I got a question for you guys. My question is from Jeremiah 29:12-14 compared to Luke 19:10.

Pastor Doug: Alright, Jeremiah 29:12, and what is your question? It says “You’ll call and you’ll pray to pray to me and I’ll hearken to you and you’ll search for me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”

Gilbert: That’s right. And 19:10 “For this other man has come to seek and save that which was lost.”

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Gilbert: My question is, you know, you hear people say, “I found the Lord” or does the Lord find us?

Pastor Doug: Oh, good question. Well, it’s interesting the first question in Bible that God asks is God says, “Where are you?” The first question in the New Testament is the wise men looking for Jesus and they say, “Where is he?” The fact is we have been separated by sin. Now God hasn’t misplaced us, for like someone loses their glasses or their keys or their keys and he doesn’t know where we are, God knows everything.

Gilbert: Amen.

Pastor Doug: But it says that “We grope for Him, we’re blind and we’re groping for Him,” and I think that’s in Acts, He’s not very far from us and yet we grope for Him. But God is also seeking us. The Bible tells us the eyes of the Lord go to and from through the earth looking for those whose heart is loyal to Him. And so we’re mutually looking for the ones we love, God loves us and He is pursuing us a lot more than we’re pursuing Him.

Gilbert: That’s right, okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And I think God is the one who initiates the search. In other words, it’s His Spirit prompting our hearts that cause us to search for Him, to reach out, to look for Him.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, but it’s not like God is up there in a helicopter scanning the dark waters wondering now where did I put them, He knows where we are.

Gilbert: So it just popped into my head like the prodigal son halfway that the dad runs, you know what I mean?

Pastor Doug: As soon as, the Bible does say in James, “Draw near to God and He’ll draw near to you,” and when the father of the prodigal son saw the boy coming home, as soon as he started coming home he ran to meet him. And friends that’s probably a good place for us to pause this broadcast is to say if you’re looking for God, if you draw near to Him, He will run to meet you. Why don’t you take those first steps?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Have you been thinking about committing your life to Jesus and you’ve not done it yet? What better time than right now? Wherever you are, in your car, at home you could say, “Lord, please accept this feeble effort I’m drawing close to you,” and He will come to meet you, and just pray and ask Him to take charge of your life and to guide you and to forgive you and fulfill His will for your life and He’ll do that.

Also remember you can study more to know this God better by going to bibleuniverse.com, there is a free Bible study course there that will be a great blessing to your soul. As you can tell we’re just about out of time for this broadcast, we do this because we want people to know about Jesus. It’s not so much the details, it’s the person of Christ who is the truth that will set you free.

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