Modern Day Miracle

Modern Day Miracle

Scripture: Hosea 6:2, Daniel 7:13, Revelation 6:10
Date: 11/25/2012 
Malala Yousafzia, a 15-year old Pakistani girl, gained international recognition when she boldly wrote and spoke out in support of girls' education, and this in a country where...
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Malala Yousafzia, a 15-year old Pakistani girl, gained international recognition when she boldly wrote and spoke out in support of girls' education, and this in a country where it's still forbidden by the Taliban.

Then on October 9th when Malala was singing with her girlfriends and riding home from school, a Taliban gunman forcefully boarded her school bus and shot Malala in the head and neck at point-blank range gravely wounding her and two of her friends. Her future looked very bleak. In critical condition she was flown to England for medical treatment while children around the world prayed for a miracle.

Incredibly, two months later she's walking, talking, reading, smiling and showing no significant signs of brain damage. Yes, God still works miracles and answers prayer. Stay tuned friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. If you’re joining us for the first time, this is a live, international, interactive Bible study. We invite you to call in to the program with your Bible questions. We're broadcasting across North America and around the world via the internet on hundreds of stations.

It’s just a big family Bible study. If you’d like to call in with your Bible question, we have lines open right now. That number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. The Bible is our source Book, 1-800-463-7297. One more time, you ready? 1-800-463-7297. That will bring your question into our studio. Keep listening, we give out another phone number later for our resources, many of them free. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug. Let’s begin the program with a word of prayer. Dear Father, once again as we study Your Word, we ask for Your leading and guiding. The Bible is Your Book and in order for us to correctly understand it, we want the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. So be with those who are listening wherever they might be and we pray You be with us here in the Studio. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, for those who are close to their computers, we just want to let them know that they can also join us live by going to Live.AmazingFacts.org. We're streaming the program from the studio. We’d love you to join us online. You opened the program by talking about, well, a miracle; an incredible recovery for this young girl who was shot at point-blank range.

I mean, you'd expect her to be dead, and yet not only has she recovered, but as you mentioned, there doesn’t seem to be any permanent brain damage.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, it’s just remarkable. I think everybody thought the outlook was pretty hopeless when, basically, it was an assassination attempt on a 15-year old girl that was unarmed; and they came right up and shot her twice. It was some time before they could even get her to England; several days went by for treatment.

The prospects looked pretty bleak. But children around the world were praying for this girl, who just boldly stood up for a right that any child should have, of education. It really does seem like divine intervention, that she not only still has her wits about her; it seems that the bullet kind of ricocheted off the inside of her skull and just didn’t do any major damage.

She’s going to be in the hospital; probably psychological just would be the damage when someone tries to do that. But it seemed to me evidence that there was divine, angelic protection that sustained her. A grown man that's armed boards a bus and tries to kill her and, I think, shot two other girls as well, it made me think that this is another modern example of God does answer prayers.

People always say, "If there’s a God, why do bad things happen? If God is real, why did He allow her to get shot at all?" Or you can say, "Why does anything bad happen to anybody if God is good? Why doesn’t He just destroy the devil?" And really, I think people need to realize this planet has been kidnapped by an enemy, an evil power.

There’s an arch fiend out there called Satan, or the devil. We've all sinned and the penalty is death, so we really ought to be asking, "Why does anything good happen?" But God is so good and so loving He has invaded the devil’s domain to reclaim and to redeem humans that He loves, and He answers prayer. Jesus tells us to, "Ask and you’ll receive, seek and you'll find, knock and it will be opened." The Lord wants us to pray.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I'm reminded of that verse, Pastor Doug, in Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12 that says, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.” We have an adversary, and prayer is essential if we are going to be victorious over our enemy, the devil.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right, and the only way that we can live the Christian life is by being in an attitude of prayer. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Maybe people would like to know more about prayer. You know, I heard someone say one time that if you don’t get prayer right, nothing else will go right in your Christian experience. And it's the foundation; it's your relationship with God.

Maybe you feel like something is missing, or you just wondered why your relationship with God seemed so thin or it's so sporadic. The answer might be a real revival and understanding the power of prayer and the necessity of prayer. I was just day dreaming the other day and I thought it would be interesting to sell or create this special watch, and it doesn’t tell you the time. It just is an alarm to pray and it would silently buzz.

You know, I hate when phones go off while you’re teaching up front or something. But it would just buzz and it would tell people two or three times a day, "Pray," and it would just be a reminder. I mean, it seems so simple; but people forget to pray.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well you know, David prayed--not David, Daniel. I'm sure David did too; but Daniel prayed three times a day and that’s a good habit to follow.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: David did too, because I think Daniel read where David wrote, I think it's Psalm 55:17, "Evening, and morning, and at noon, I will pray." So you're right, they both prayed three times a day. It’s a good idea for us to have registered times for serious prayer, but also be throwing up prayers and communion with God all the time.

Maybe our listening friends would like to know more how can they have a revival in their prayer life. We have a free book we'd like to share with them.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is entitled, Teach Us to Pray. We’ll send that book to you for free if you’ll call our resource line. The number is, 1-800-835-6747, and the book is entitled, Teach Us to Pray. It's a question the disciples asked of Jesus. Again, the number is 1-800-835-6747, that is the resource line. You can ask for the book, Teach Us to Pray.

We’re going to go to the phone lines now. We have Craig who is listening from Des Moines, Iowa. Craig, welcome to the program.

Craig: Yes, hello Pastor Doug. I've called you many times of course. Usually, I call you and ask just a regular Bible question, but tonight I was hoping to get maybe a little advice since you do have quite a bit more knowledge than I do and, you know, in your work and everything. And I attend the same church as you do, same denomination in Des Moines, Iowa here. It's a great church, I mean, it's an okay church. I like going there and I like the people and everything, but I'm used to a church that I came out of that was non-denominational years ago. They would have altar calls, for instance, and they would go out into the public to win souls. This church does none of that, and I'm just--it’s not that it’s upsetting, but I really want to win souls. And I know I can do it on my own. I do try; and I'm working on people now for instance, but I just don’t know what I should do, if I should pray about it, or if that's just the nature of the denomination or, you know?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well I hope not. In our church here in Sacramento, I think it is safe to say that once or twice a month we do an altar call. We have members that go out and share literature and we do evangelistic meetings. Pastor Ross, once or twice a year you do some kind of evangelism at your church.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That's right. Matter of fact, we've got some prophecy seminars coming up later on this year. You know, if a church is not involved in reaching out to others, what tends to happen is the church ends up stagnating, and that’s even true of the individual member. If we’re not involved in sharing our faith, we seem to lose that spark, that first-love experience.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. You need to be giving it away. If you don’t give away your joy and your faith, you don’t get to keep it. So the more that you're giving Bible studies, that's how you remember the Scriptures, by sharing it with others. It's crucial. I can't speak for your church or anyone’s particular neighborhood or city, but I would say to anybody if you want to see a revival in that area, then you go home and you kneel down and you get a piece of chalk and you draw a circle around you, and you say, "Lord start a revival in the circle."

It really has to begin with each individual saying, "I can’t really make everybody in the church do something, but I can start." Then you can take someone with you and say, “Hey, let’s go out and knock on some doors. Let’s go give some Bible studies.” There’s a thousand ways to do it. But yeah, we've got to all feel that passion to reach the lost. I'm delighted to hear you ask that question.

So often we get these philosophical questions about theology; but really, once you know the Gospel, you want to share it with others and that’s crucial. Hey, appreciate that Craig. You know, I'm trying to think of something that we can send him.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well you know, you mentioned witnessing, or evangelism, is really experiencing God’s love and then sharing it with somebody else. We have a book entitled, Life in the Spirit. It talks about living in the Presence of God and allowing the Spirit to work within your heart and life. We’ll send you this book for free if you'd call our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, Life in the Spirit. We do have a few lines that are still open. If you’d like to call in with your Bible question, the number is 1-800-463-7297. That’s 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is T.J. and he’s listening from Lincoln, Nebraska. T.J., welcome to the program.

T.J.: Hey, thank you. My question is regarding 1st Corinthians chapter 7, verse 1, where Paul basically states that it's good for a man not to touch a woman. I know it says it's basically dealing with outside of marriage, but what my question sort of dealt with was how does one sort of, um--I'm trying to think of how to word this. Basically, when a guy and a girl first meet, you know, what's appropriate and what's not appropriate in the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship before they get married?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, first let me say something about that verse, 1st Corinthians 7:1. There was a question coming to Paul whether if you could be a Christian without getting married. In other words, was it required to have wife? And one reason they were asking that question in the Corinthian church is they were moving into an era where there was great persecution against Christians. Paul had already been in prison.

Someone was asking a question, is it required that every believer needs to get married and procreate? Because you know, after all, God made Adam and Eve and said, "Be fruitful and multiply." And Paul was saying it's good--and the word there “good” there means it's acceptable; it’s permissible for a man not to get married and not to touch a woman. That is permissible, but, he goes on to say to avoid fornication.

And Paul, of course, he endorses marriage a hundred other times in his writings but he was answering, I think, a specific question there. I don't know if I'm answering the second part of your question.

T.J.: Not quite yet, but the second part of my question basically is, biblically and in the Spirit of Prophecy, what is the appropriate interaction between a boyfriend and a girlfriend, you know?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Ah yes. Well when it says don’t touch a woman, I don’t think that there's any sin involved if you are courting a girl, if you're holding hands or you’ve got your arm around the shoulder. I mean, that’s one thing. But I think everybody knows that if a young man that's healthy--and a young woman--that are healthy get into a situation alone and they start pushing the buttons and activating those switches, they can start processes of human nature that are hard to stop. So a lot of the caressing and heavy touching and petting, everyone knows where it leads.

T.J.: Um-hm, yeah. I heard that Spirit of Prophecy where it talks about petting and stuff like that. Actually I was just like, "I want to stay away from that."

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, and you know one way to stay away from it is don’t get off by yourselves where you’re going to be tempted to have no witnesses. I mean, it doesn’t mean you can’t be doing things together, but it’s when you get kind of alone in the dark you’re going to get into trouble [chuckles].

So you’ve got to watch out. I know it seems almost crazy in this day and age where people treat sex like shaking hands, that you would say something so archaic as a young man and a young woman should remain pure until they’re married. That’s what marriage is supposed to be, is you’re reserving that relationship for when you’ve made that permanent commitment.

T.J.: Um-hmm. Awesome, awesome. Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So hopefully, yeah--hope that helps a little bit. We do have a lesson that talks about keys to a happy marriage and it talks about some of these other intimate questions. Appreciate that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: For anyone wanting to receive that free study guide entitled, Keys to a Happy Marriage, we’ll send it to you for free. Just call our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, Keys to a Happy Marriage,and we’ll send that out to anybody who calls and asks for it.

Our next caller is Alex and he is listening in Washington. Alex, welcome to the program. Alex in Washington, you are on the air.

Alex: Hi Pastor Doug. Thanks for having me.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi, how are you?

Alex: Good. My question is on Hosea chapter 6, verses 1 and 2. I don't know, do you want me to read it, or?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You can or I can, go ahead.

Alex: I prefer you, if you would read it please?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. Hosea 6:1, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he has torn, but he will heal us; he has smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us: and on the third day he will raise us up, and we will live in his sight.” Are you wondering what that verse means?

Alex: Yes. Is that a prophecy of, as Peter said, a thousand days is--or a thousand years is as one day, one day is a thousand years. Is that one way that it’s used after Jesus rose two more days, as in two thousand years will pass, when He will return? And on the third day after three thousand years, we will have eternal life? Is that what it means?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I don’t think that this is a place you would apply that. I think that this is actually a prophecy talking about Jesus would rise the third day. And really, the healing for us all, and forgiveness, all comes because of what happened the third day.

Even after Christ died, His enemies remembered that He said, "After three days I will rise." That’s why they had the Roman guard stationed at the tomb. Frequently, you find that after three days something significant happens. You can look in the book of Joshua. It says after the third day the spies made it back across the river.

When the Gibeonites pretended that they were from a far country it says they made a covenant, "...and after the third day they found out." All through the Bible it talks about "the third day." There’s this revelation, there’s this deliverance. So, I think he's referring to that. It ultimately points to the third day that after His death, Jesus would rise...

Alex: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...and that’s when we’re healed and that which is smitten is bound up.

Alex: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, yeah, because Paul says we are crucified with Christ, yet we rise. And when did Christ rise? After the third day; and it says here after the third day, He will raise us up and we'll live in His sight. So it's just like, I think, a scenario or a symbol of us coming forth with Him. I don’t know if you have any thoughts on that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, I think so Pastor Doug, the same idea that you're suggesting. There's something I did notice here is that it speaks about, "He was stricken, but He will bind us up." I was reminded of Isaiah 53 where it speaks about Christ, who was stricken, and He bore our sins and so on. So again, I think it's relating to Christ and His resurrection.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good point. Yeah it’s one of those allegorical verses; and after all, Hosea is a prophet and this is a prophecy. Thanks for your question Alex.

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

Gary: Hi, good evening.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Gary: I think it's in Hebrews. It talks about when a saved person sins, that you go to this person and you tell them about, you know, how you have sinned and this is what you’ve done. If they don’t listen to you, you go back with two or three others to bear witness to these words; and if they still don’t listen, then the church is to go and talk to them about their sin. If they still don’t listen to the church and they continue in their sin, we are to treat them as the heathen and the tax collector. The question is...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I think you're talking about Matthew 18, if I'm not mistaken. It's in Matthew. But there's another verse in Hebrews I think alludes to that, but go ahead.

Gary: Okay, but the question is that if we are to treat them as the heathen or the tax collector, does that mean that that person has now become unsaved?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, yes. If a person is living in open sin, whether it’s rebelling against the authority of the church when the church is telling them to repent for something or to make some wrong right. So if they’re rejecting that authority and if they're sinning, whatever the sin is--a known sin--and they're persisting in it, that person cannot claim to be in a saved relationship with Jesus, if they’re living in rebellion. So you’re either with Him or against Him.

Gary: So, basically, this is, you know, I was always raised to where that the one, unforgivable sin was the denial of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. Now this is not the unforgivable sin; but if a person is rebelling against the church and they're put out of the church, they're not in a saved relationship at that point. Paul talks about one of the members in 1st Corinthians who was having an affair with his step-mother, to be specific. Paul said that person should be put out of the church and basically put back into the territory of Satan, hopefully to bring them to repentance.

Then when you get to 2nd Corinthians Paul says, "Now you know you need to let up on that fellow. Maybe his heart has softened now and he will come back to the Lord."

I’m paraphrasing. So, once a person is put out of the church, and that's what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 18, if they’re not going to be reconciled, if they’re not going to respect the church authority, then you have no choice but to put them out of fellowship. Jesus said that’s a serious condition to be in, but it’s not the unpardonable sin. That person can repent and come back.

Gary: Oh okay, alright.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The unpardonable sin is a sin where there is no repentance. There is no forgiveness.

Gary: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Now, I just finished a book on that subject and it’s called, "Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin?" Beyond Mercy. If you call our resource number, I think we can send you one of those.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. That is the resource line. The book by Pastor Doug is entitled, Beyond Mercy. We’ll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. If you have a Bible related question the number is 1-800-463-7297. That is the phone number for the studio, 1-800-463-7297. We’d love to hear from you tonight.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know what I think is happening? After Thanksgiving they have Black Friday and all these malls that stay open late. Friends, usually our phones just completely fill up with Bible questions, and here it is. I'm going, "What’s going on. Is there a new world war that broke out?" I mean, we have relatively few phone calls for this part of the program, and I think, "Ah, I know what it is. They're all out shopping!"

Pastor Jëan Ross: It’s not the super bowl tonight is it?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We even get phone calls during the super bowl but, yeah--hey, it's a good time to call in tonight friends. We’ll just confess it’s a little thin, but we still have some people lined up.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Sidney and he’s calling from San Antonio, Texas. Sidney, welcome to the program.

Cindy: Hi, that's Cindy.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Oh okay Cindy, sorry.

Cindy: No that’s okay, hi Doug. My question has to do with the war in heaven and when Satan was cast down. The time frame, was that before Eden, was that at the cross? And did he have an opportunity to go back and forth after the war? It’s a confusion.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right. This is a little mysterious but I’ll share what I think I understand just from a few Scriptures. I’ll invite Pastor Ross to jump in. Satan, of course, rebelled against God and there was a war in heaven prior to our world, I think, being created.

Satan was roaming through the universe. After our world was created, he came to this planet to recruit our family. When Adam and Eve chose to listen to the devil, God then said, "Alright, whoever you obey that’s whose servants you are." When they listened to the devil instead of God, man became the slave of the devil and Satan considered this world his headquarters. It became the beachhead of his war against God.

Christ even said, "Satan is the prince of this world," so even Jesus recognized that to some extent. But then when Christ died on the cross, man's redemption, the provision for his redemption, was secure. Satan was cast down in a new sense. He could not now, at least, access the gates of heaven and represent our world. Is that how you understand it?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, that’s right. Revelation chapter 12 kind of outlines that. In verse 7 it speaks about this war in heaven, and Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought, and that appears to have taken place sometime before the creation of the earth.

But then if you read in verse 10, it says, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ has come: for the accuser of our brethren who accused them before our God day and night has been cast down." So there is a second casting down of Satan at the cross, where he no longer is the representative of earth.

Now prior to that, when he was able to deceive Adam and Eve, he took on the position of being representative of earth. But now Christ, the second Adam, took that away from him, and so there’s the second casting down [of Satan] at the cross.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We have, Cindy, a video, and I think you can see it on YouTube now; you can watch it there probably for free or order it from Amazing Facts. It’s called, Cosmic Conflict. Anybody, if you want to understand where did sin come from, where did the devil come from, this is a 45-minute video that gives the whole story with 3-D creations and animation, describing the rebellion of Lucifer.

It puts all the Scriptures together where they make sense about why is there evil in the world, and if God is powerful, then why doesn’t He destroy the devil. All of this is addressed. It's called, Cosmic Conflict. You just type that into Google or Yahoo and you’ll find it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I also want to mention a study guide that we have entitled, “Did God Create the Devil?”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Perfect.

Pastor Jëan Ross: And that deals with the subject of rebellion and how Lucifer rebelled against God, and how Adam and Eve and the human race got involved in this rebellion. If you call and ask for the study guide, “Did God Create the Devil?” we’ll be happy to send that to you. It's one in a series of Bible studies that will guide you into deeper and fuller understanding what the Bible has to say.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yup. Hope that helps a little bit. And, once again, for anyone that wants to know more about that, you can also just go to that website, Cosmic Conflict, and you'll find a lot more information there on that. You know, we were going to talk about this in just a moment, but we’re going to have a break in about 45 seconds. It's not very fair to take a call.

Don’t go way friends. If you’re calling with your Bible questions, we’re going to get to you, just be patient. But, I do want to mention that we have a very important upgrade that has recently happened to the Amazing Facts' website. They went through and just added all of the most modern technology. I was watching some of the videos last night and it was amazing to me how sharp they are now.

Sometimes you have to watch it in a little box or it gets too pixilated. You go full screen and they're crisp and it moves fast. I don’t know what the technology is. And the library, to access the publishing, and the books, and the sermons and the studies, it just seems like it is all sped up and there’s so much more there.

That’s at the main Amazing Facts' website. You know, I heard this weekend we get about 250,000 people a month that come to--well it was like 90,000 in a week; so it is probably even more than that. Anyway, that's simply AmazingFacts.org. You’re going to find an awful lot of good study material there, and archives of this program as well. You’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Another website we want to let everyone know about - if you, friend, have been listening to the radio program for awhile, we’ve probably mentioned this website before but it is worth mentioning again. If you have questions about Bible prophecy, we have a website entitled, BibleProphecyTruth.com, that pretty much covers the key topics related to Bible prophecy.

One of the headings here is, The Antichrist, 666, Armageddon, Seven Last Plagues, The Seven-Year Tribulation, and much, much more!

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, all the hot buttons that people might want to know about. Some people ask about Babylon and they want to know about Israel in prophecy. BibleProphecyTruth.com has just tons of studies on that material. There's a special series of lessons you can go through there that will really change your life. We highly recommend it. Bible Prophecy Truth. We’ll be right back with more Bible questions. Stay on the line.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hey friends, you are back to Bible Answers Live. We expect some of you have come on board along the way. This is a Bible interactive study program where you can call in with your Bible questions. That number one more time, 1-800-463-7297, and this brings you into the studio with your question. I guess you don’t need me to remind you it’s a free phone call. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Pastor Doug, we’re going to go to the phone lines. Our first caller for the second half is Risen, and he is listening from New Mexico. Risen, welcome to the program.

Risen: Yes, good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. First of all, this is not my question but I want to ask this anyway. When is the Cosmic Conflict Part 2 going to come out? Because I received the first one through Jason Morgan, who had that crusade here in New Mexico last year, and it was really, really great! I'm looking forward to the Part 2 of that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I can tell you that right now we've recorded 90% of Part 2. It has been very exciting. This is just light years ahead and it is longer too, where Part 1 was about 45 minutes. This one, we’ve gone all over the world getting footage--well I shouldn’t say all over the world, but around Europe anyway. Its got the two women in Revelation.

The name of it, Cosmic Conflict Two, is sort of the working title but it’s called, Revelation: History's Hidden Mysteries. So, I think February they'll be done with the post production and it should be available then. That’s our target right now but it’s going to be really good. It's going to help people understand the great apostasy and the great reformation.

Risen: I’m looking forward to that Pastor Doug, but anyway, to my question now. In Ecclesiastes 9, verse 5, it says, “For the living know that they will die: but the dead know nothing. They have no further word and even the memory of them is forgotten.” And verse 6 says, “Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished. Never again will they have part in anything that happens under the sun.” But in Revelation 6, verse 10, it says, “The martyrs called out in a loud voice, how long is our suffering, Lord, holy and true, until You judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” So how can they, uh, call out to God...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: How can souls be under the altar if they're sleeping, and how can they be crying out and talking to God, right?

Risen: Yes sir.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well first of all, Revelation is full of symbolism. Revelation talks, of course, about a dragon with seven heads and ten horns. By the way, on the Cosmic Conflict Two, we actually created a seven-headed dragon with ten horns and it's three-dimensional. Looks very real.

But, that's obviously a symbol of something in Revelation. When it talks about souls under the altar we have to ask, "Are there really saved souls that are under an altar crying in heaven?" That wouldn’t be a very blissful experience; and they’re crying and moaning, “How long, oh Lord?”

They seem to be in a very melancholy state; or is that really a symbol of these people who have been martyred for Christ? Their blood is crying out for justice, just like when Abel died there in Genesis. God said to Cain, "The blood of your brother Abel cries to me from the ground." Well, the little blood cells were not screaming at God. It’s just a figure that justice was crying out for vengeance.

That’s what’s happening here. These souls are basically those who were martyred for the sake of Christ. Their record is really calling out, "How long before we’re avenged?" And God is saying, "Rest a little longer." He goes onto say, "Really you’re going to rest." So, it’s just a metaphor for justice waiting to be vindicated.

Risen: I got you. Thank you so very much Pastor Doug!

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Absolutely, we’re thankful that you called in Risen. God Bless; and you keep watching. You’ll see the Cosmic Conflict Two coming out pretty soon.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a website dedicated to the subject: What the Bible says about death. I believe this specific passage is dealt with at the website. The website is called, TruthAboutDeath.com. We also have a study guide entitled, “Are the Dead Really Dead?”

We'll send that to you for free if you call our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide on the subject of death, The Truth About Death. Our next caller is Richard and he is listening in Canada. Richard, welcome to the program.

Richard: Good evening.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening, and your question?

Richard: I recently received your magazine, A Day Lost in History. It peaked my interest because you seem to be teaching that the Sabbath is what we should be worshiping on.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes, that's correct. Yeah, we believe we’re not saved by keeping any of the Commandments, but we believe the Ten Commandments are still Ten, they’re not nine; and that the Commandment about the Sabbath is still one of God’s Ten Commandments.

And the seventh-day Sabbath is not part of the ceremonial law, like the Jewish feast days and those annual sabbaths that were really nailed to the cross. It’s something that began at Creation and goes on through, it even says in Isaiah, the new earth. So yeah, God said, “Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy.”

We think that He knew we might be inclined to forget. That's what has happened with many churches. They’ve forgotten about the Sabbath and keeping it holy.

Richard: Yes, and the Puritans in England and them worshiped on Sunday, the first day of the week (unintelligible). God blesses them who worship the one day a week.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Oh absolutely. I'm listening to a sermon. It's actually a book by a Puritan author in my car right now; just incredible, and he talks about the Sabbath. They kept the Sabbath very carefully but they kept the wrong day. They kept the first day. I’m sure God blessed them because they did it in sincerity.

There's a lot of dear Christians that are keeping the wrong day as the Sabbath. There are people that are celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25th, but I think most of us know He wasn’t born on December 25th. But, if a person wants to keep the Sabbath day on the seventh day, the way God says it should be done, that’s not the first day of the week when He rose. It’s what we would call Saturday.

It's the same day the Jews still keep today. There’s no Commandment in the Bible to keep holy the first day of the week. The church started doing that through tradition as a compromise with the pagans in Rome hundreds of years after Christ. So, we are seventh-day Sabbath-keepers, as are a lot of other Christians out there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a website dedicated to this subject as well. It’s called, SabbathTruth.com, and I'd like to encourage, Richard, if you'd take a look at that website, and anyone wanting to learn more about this important subject, it’s just SabbathTruth.com. There are just tons of Scriptures there to read and study. There are actually videos you can watch dealing with the subject, SabbathTruth.com.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, we’re very excited about that site because when you search on Yahoo or Google and you type in a word like “Sabbath” or “Sabbath Day,” there will be 91 million possible sites you could go to. They'll rank on the page the importance of the sites, the value of the sites or how many people visit the sites based on what page it is, if it's the tenth page or the first page.

This website is usually the second website when you search the subject of Sabbath on Google because it has all the information at one place. So we recommend it friends, Sabbath Truth--lots of other people are using it-- SabbathTruth.com. It has the history, how to keep the Sabbath, what were the efforts to change it through history. It’s an important truth that a lot of Christians are rediscovering, and we need that rest. We need that blessing that God has put into the Sabbath! Thank you, Richard.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Heidi and she is listening in North Highlands, California. Heidi, welcome to the program.

Heidi: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing well.

Heidi: Okay. I’m calling because there are two lesbians in our church and they’ve been going to our church for maybe 25 years or more. And I keep getting the feeling that the Holy Spirit is telling me to say something--say something. But then there are other people in the church that try to--that are telling me if I say something, then I'm like, I guess kind of like being a hypocrite because my life isn’t perfect, I shouldn't say anything. And I am not sure of what to do because I feel...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, now if you’ve got two people in the church, whether they’re lesbians or homosexuals, and they are openly acknowledging that they are practicing that lifestyle, people may struggle with tendencies and be Christians in good standing. Everyone is tempted, that’s different.

But when a person basically embraces the sin and says, "Look, I want everyone to accept it," when the Bible clearly condemns it, I would hope that the pastors and the leaders in that church would counsel with these individuals and say, "Now you realize this lifestyle that you’re putting forward, the Bible says that it's wrong, that it's a perversion of God’s plan."

Heidi: Okay, so I should be able to talk to my pastor about it then?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The best thing would be for you to first visit with the pastor and make sure that he's aware. He may be already counseling and talking to them, and so you don’t double up on people that could be dealing with an issue. And then again, you may feel impressed to go to them alone. There's Scripture for that too.

Just approach them and say, "Do I misunderstand, but you guys think that this kind of relationship is something that God approves of?" It's pretty clear. We’ve got Romans chapter 1, verse 26. It says, "For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one towards another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was meet. And they do not retain God in their knowledge."

It's just very clear, when you read through the writings in the New Testament and even the Old Testament, that the strongest possible terms are used to condemn and forbid a practicing homosexual lifestyle.

Heidi: Okay. Okay, thank you very, very much.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, absolutely. We have a book that we don't mention often, but I think we still carry it. It just talks about the challenge in our age. You know, the gay community is just clamoring for acceptance on every front and they want it to be normalized, and it’s grandstanded in television. It's called, Return to Sodom, by Gary Gibbs. I think if we still carry that, we'll send you a free copy Heidi. It’s called, Return to Sodom.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, and the book is entitled Return to Sodom. Again, that number is 1-800-835-6747. Our next caller is Karen and she is listening from Detroit, Michigan. Karen, welcome to the program.

Karen: Thank you so much for taking my call and happy holiday.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Likewise.

Karen: Thank you. I'm new in the Word. I recently finished a Master’s program so now I'm thirsting for religion. I'm just, like, trying to find my way. And I remember reading a passage in the book of Psalms that said about, and I don’t remember the exact number, but it says, "If your mother and father forsake you, I'm all that you need." But yet, I know that parents often say, "Honor thy mother and thy father so that thy days might be long," but if you have a mom and dad that is not seeking God or not in the Word, God won’t condemn you, will He, if you choose not to associate in a toxic relationship?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right. I think the verse you're talking about is Psalm 27, verse 10, “When my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will take me up.” I used to claim that verse myself because my mother and father weren't very excited when I became a Christian and thought that I'd gone off my rocker; and I said, "Well you know, I'm just going to have to let our Father in heaven adopt me."

Now, the Bible says honor your parents in the Lord. As far as you can show respect and honor to your parents, you should always. They may ask you to engage in conversation or behavior that is against your principles and you’re going to have to respectfully disagree with them and say, "Mom, dad, while I love you, I can’t participate in that."

And, I know; my mom once asked me to lie about my age when I went to a movie so she'd get a lower rate, and that always bothered me. I think I did back then. But later in my life when my mother or father would ask me to fudge on the truth and say, "Well everyone does it," I said, "Well you know I can’t do that as a Christian now. Even if it is a small thing, it’s either true or it is false."

And I wasn’t disrespecting them you know. If your parents tell you to go rob a bank, you can say, "Look, I love and respect you, but I’m not going to do that." So honor your parents in the Lord, as long as it’s in agreement with the principles of God. Does that help?

Karen: Right. What if it’s adversarial, where it's keeping you from being who God wants you to be as a person? Because I think we all aspire to be better people and to be Christlike, as far as not [cross talk]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know what I would do? If you need to do that, you might write your mom and/or dad a letter and say, “You know mom, dad, I love you and I respect you, but right now I hope you’ll understand I need a break in our relationship for awhile.”

You don’t want to ever write them off forever because people change. But there's nothing wrong if they're just leading you the wrong way. If you do nothing but fight when you’re together, then you write them a nice, kind, loving letter and say, "I hope you’ll understand. I love and respect you, but I need to have a little space and I want to give you some space." Take some time and see if their hearts soften and maybe things will be better.

Karen: Been there, done that in the eighties; that’s why--yeah, oh yeah, okay. And one other thing about fasting. I'm not sure as to how do you fast and incorporate prayer because, like I said, I'm new to the prayer experience. So is there something in the Bible, or is there a book that you can suggest where people that are new in the Word will know how to fast and to pray at the same time simultaneously?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well first of all, the book we’re offering tonight would be perfect for you and it’s called, Teach Us to Pray. Are you able to easily access the internet?

Karen: Sometimes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I’ve got a sermon on the Amazing Facts' website and it is called, When You Fast. It deals with fasting. It has a lot more information than I can give you in 30 seconds. So anyone out there, if you've got questions on fasting, you can go to the website, AmazingFacts.org, and look under the sermon archives and just type in "when you fast."

Jesus didn’t say, "If you fast." He said, “When you fast,” assuming that people would. So that's a good question, fasting and prayer, how do you do that? There’s a lot of different ways. Very quickly, you can do a fast where you don’t eat any food. You should still drink water.

You can fast from certain foods. You can fast from one meal a day; there's a number of ways. You're giving yourself more to the feeding of the spirit and the body and keeping your head clear. It just really makes you think about spiritual things more. Hey, thank you for your questions Karen and bless you in your new walk with the Lord.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Eric and he’s listening in Michigan. Eric, welcome to the program. Eric in Michigan, you're on the air.

Eric: Hello. Yeah, actually Minnesota but that’s alright. The question I have is what should a Christian do when they suspect that there is an evil presence in their home, or a spirit? And does the Bible offer any guidance or instruction on that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I don’t think that evil spirits find a lot of entertainment in possessing two-by-fours and sheet rock. I think that there may be spirits that will harass a person, and it’s not really a house that's haunted. Devils don’t care about spooking up a building with no one there. They care about harassing people. And so, if you're being harassed by a devil, and it may seem like it happens more one place than another, I think the answer is just, in the name of the Lord, pray and surrender yourself to God. Ask Him to take it away.

I know this may sound strange, but I would say, "So what." And what I mean by that is, I used to be afraid about the devil spooking me here and there and things going bump in the night. Finally it occurred to me, "Why am I letting that bother me? I already know there’s a devil. I believe in God and I believe there’s a devil." So when those things happened I just got where I ignored it.

Eric: Sure.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And you know what? The devil seemed to lose interest, because it didn’t bother me anymore and they lost interest.

Eric: Sure, he quits getting a reaction.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. I believe that there are devils and I believe that they try to distract you and cause all kinds of problems. I just said, "Look, I’m going to keep my attention on God. I’m not going to get spooked every time the devil wants to spook me."

Eric: Sure. Is there anything in the Bible? You know, I did some reading just last night and opened up my book and read aloud. You know, I've heard other, on the radio, other times they said these things hate the Word of God, the music of God, all these different things. I don’t know if there's a specific spot. I just kind of followed my heart and it led me to a verse.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, it says that when Saul was tormented by an evil spirit, David would play this heavenly music and the evil spirits would leave him. So, Christian music, the other thing is reading the Word of God, and then prayer. Our former caller, Karen, was asking about fasting.

One time the disciples couldn’t cast this evil spirit out of a boy. Jesus said, "This kind only comes out through fasting and prayer." So you might spend some time in fasting and prayer and just ask the Lord to stifle those devils that are doing that, and send His angels in the house, good angels.

Eric: Yeah I did ask for the angels, too, so I could sense them. So anyway, alright. Thanks a lot, that's great.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good question, yeah, appreciate that. Thank you Eric. By the way, we do have a website. People wonder about ghosts. We have a new website out there that deals with some of those issues, and it’s called GhostTruth.com.

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

Jim: How are you doing tonight?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing well, how can we help you?

Jim: I was wondering in--Jesus, at the Last Supper, He said, "Unless you eat My body and drink My blood...." What did He mean by that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” His life was the embodiment of God. He said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." So Jesus is God incarnate. God came into human form; and everything He said and everything He did, God was living out His life in a human form.

And so He said, “When you eat My flesh,” what He meant by that was, "I’m that bread that came down from heaven and My words are the bread of life." When He said, "Drink my blood,” He’s not telling us to resort to either being vampires or cannibals. He’s just basically saying, "Take My word, take My teaching into your life and receive it."

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, it’s in John chapter 6 where Jesus said, "Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in yourself." In verse 60 of John 6, the disciples said, "This is a hard saying; who could understand it?" So even the disciples are puzzled as to what Jesus meant when He said, "You have to eat My flesh and drink My blood."

Then in response to that Jesus said in verse 63, and I think this is the point, Pastor, that you're making;Jesus said, “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” So Jesus explained what He meant by the words that He speaks. That’s what is symbolized by His flesh.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Perfect. Yeah, it's really all about the Word of God. I hope that helps a little bit Jim.

Jim: Yeah, that helped a lot.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Great. Well we've a book we'll be happy to send to you. It’s called, The High Cost of the Cross, and it talks a little bit about these issues.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747, and the book again is entitled, The High Cost of the Cross. Call and ask for it and we’ll be happy to send it to you. We have Brandon who is listening in Michigan. Brandon, welcome to the program.

Brandon: Hello?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi, and your question?

Brandon: Alright. My question was, I was asking you about what you guys said earlier on the radio about the devil is the ruler of the earth. My kid turned it and he was like, he said, "No dad, that ain't right is it?" I just wanted to get some more info about it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, you can read in John chapter 12:31, Jesus is speaking. He said, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” John 14, verse 30, Jesus is speaking again. He said, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and he has nothing in me.”

And then you can look in John 16, verse 11, He says, “Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you will see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” You know, even the devil said to Jesus, "If you will bow down and worship me--you know I’m the king of the world--I’ll give you the world." So Satan really kidnapped this planet like a hijacker does a plane and Jesus redeemed it back at the cross. So the world does belong to the Lord.

God says the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; but the people of the world, most of them are sinners. They're on the broad road to destruction and they’re being controlled by the devil. So that’s really what that’s talking about, Brandon, and I didn’t mean to confuse anyone. I don’t want to understate the power of Christ, but Jesus recognized that the devil has taken possession of most of the people and places in this world; and it's only through Christ--"Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."

Pastor Jëan Ross: Again, we'd like to remind anyone wanting to learn more about the subject to call and ask for the study guide, “Did God Create the Devil?” The number to call is 1-800-835-6747 and the study guide again is, “Did God Create the Devil?” You can go to the Amazing Facts' website, AmazingFacts.org. If you type in the search box at the website, just type in there "did God create the devil” and you can actually read the study guide for free online.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I even think about in the Lord's Prayer when we say, "Thy kingdom come." Why would we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” except it’s not here right now. There’s another king that’s contesting the kingdom of God. But friends, Jesus, the King of Kings, He’s going to be victorious in the end. You can probably tell we’ve about run out of time; but in the last couple seconds, AmazingFacts.org. We’d love to hear from you.

You can keep us on the air by making a donation. Just click Donate or Contact Us, and let us know. God Bless, we’ll talk again next week.

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