Seas Turning to Blood

Seas Turning to Blood

Scripture: Zechariah 4:14, Ezra 6:16-17, Acts 2:38
Date: 12/02/2012 
It’s the kind of thing that conjures up pictures, something like the Biblical plague that fell on Ancient Egypt. On November 27, 2012, tourists in Australia were asked to stay out of the water after a very rare, natural phenomenon turned the water blood red.

NKJV Remnant Special Forces Study Bible (Brown) by Remnant Publications

NKJV Remnant Special Forces Study Bible (Brown) by Remnant Publications
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? It’s the kind of thing that conjures up pictures, something like the Biblical plague that fell on Ancient Egypt. On November 27, 2012, tourists in Australia were asked to stay out of the water after a very rare, natural phenomenon turned the water blood red.

Several popular beaches in and around Sydney had to be closed after a huge Algae bloom transformed patches of the coastal sea into something that resembled a scene from a massive shark attack. These creepy-looking red tides are a spectacle caused by extensive algae blooms of aquatic microorganisms.

Did you know that Bible prophecy foretells a day when both oceans, and rivers, will turn blood red? Stay with us friends. We’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That is the number, and lines are open friends. If you’d like to call in with a Bible question, we’re here to do our best to answer your questions. It’s a free phone call. One more time, 1-800-GOD-SAYS; 1-800-463-7297 will bring your questions into our studio here, coming from the capital of California and going out on a couple of hundred stations around the world. 1-800-463-7297 for your Bible questions.

My name is Doug Batchelor. Pastor Jëan Ross is out tonight so with the help of our studio crew, we’ll be doing our best to pilot this ship through your Bible questions. And that’s why we exist. If you have a question about the Word of God, we’ll do our best to search the Word together. We have some Bible resources open ahead of us and we'll look for the answers.

So with your Bible questions, calling now there's a good chance of getting your question on tonight’s broadcast. 1-800-463-7297. As always, we’d like to start the program with a word of prayer. Loving Lord, we thank You for Your blessings. We thank You, Lord, for the Word that changes our hearts, and that Jesus became the Word incarnate. And Lord, we thank You for the opportunity we have to communicate like this on a global level, to study what is truth. Please bless every aspect of this program, and I pray that Christ and His Word will be exalted. In His name we ask, amen.

You know friends, before the program I brought up an interesting red tide that they have in Australia. Its happened in other places and other times around the world, usually in coastal waters. There are these marine algae that create aquatic microorganisms blooming and reproducing. Sometimes they turn the water brown or green, sometimes bright red, and it gives the appearance that the water is soaked with blood.

It makes you think about what happened in Exodus, when the Pharaoh did not want to release the children of Israel from the land of Egypt. Moses and Aaron, Exodus 7:20, Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded. He lifted up his rod and he struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river turned to blood.

The fish that were in the river died and the river stank and the Egyptians could not drink the water in the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. You know friends, that describes a pretty frightening situation. I don’t believe it was an algae bloom when the water turned red in the Nile River because, first of all, the algae blooms happen in salt water. This was in a fresh-water river.

Another reason we know that this was a literal plague that God brought on the Egyptians, it says all the fish died in the water; and it’s going to happen again in the future. Just prior to Jesus’ second coming, the Bible tells us that there are going to be the seven last plagues. This is sometimes associated with the great tribulation, they’re one and the same.

You can read about it in Revelation 15 and 16, when these vials of wrath, or these plagues, are poured upon the world that has grieved away the Holy Spirit and rejected the offer of salvation, just prior to Jesus’s coming. It tells us two of those plagues involve the sea and the rivers turning like the blood of a dead man.

I’ll read it to you. Revelation 16:3, “Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea; and it became blood as the blood of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and the springs of waters,” that’s the freshwater sources, “and they became blood.”

You know, most of the world’s population lives right by the coast of the ocean or by the coast of the rivers, and so you can see this will be a real catastrophe for the planet and those who have received the mark of the beast. It goes on to say on Revelation 16, “And I heard the angel of the waters saying, You are righteous, O Lord, the one who is, and who was, and is to be, because you have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink; for this is their just due."

So you can see from reading that, that’s a real thing that happens. Maybe you would like to know more about what are some of the signs that will precede the coming of Jesus and how can you know when that time is near. Better yet, how can you be ready? We have a free study guide we recommend for anyone that wants to know more about the second coming of Jesus. It’s called, The Ultimate Deliverance.

It’s free. It’s a beautiful color study guide. Its got several pages in it and it’ll take you through, not only how Jesus is going to come, but some of the signs the Bible says are to precede His coming, many of which have already happened. If you'd like a copy of that lesson, then call our number, it’s 1-800-835-6747. That is our resource number. If you’d like the free study guide, The Ultimate Deliverance, 1-800-835-6747, and we’ll be happy to send that to you.

Hey, something exciting happened today in Houston. Amazing Facts went on the air with our TV program, and we’re going to be there every Sunday now. It’s on KUBE, Channel 57 in Houston, 9:30 Sunday mornings. That’s one of our many television outlets now. Houston is, of course, the fourth largest city in the United States. We’re thrilled to be on there with such good time.

One more time, Sunday morning, Amazing Facts on KUBE, or it’s KUBE 57, in Houston, 9:30 in the morning. I hope you tune in. Tell all your friends and enemies to do the same thing. We’re going to go now to the phones with your questions; talking first with Glenn who's calling from New York, listening on WMCA. Glenn, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Glenn: Good evening Pastor.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Glenn: Pastor, my question has to do with good people who are not Christians. Where might they wind up in eternity? I can’t imagine that one Dalai Lama passes to the next--dies--that his soul goes on to the same place, let's say a chairman now or a one-time seminary student, Joseph Stalin, is spending eternity. [sic]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, there’s some good news. Jesus said everyone is rewarded according to their works. You can read that also in Revelation. And so, obviously, Adolf Hitler and some of the other unsavory characters you mentioned, they’re going to get a lot more severe judgment than people who are guilty of minor offenses.

Now, there may be some people in heaven who have walked in all the light they had, but maybe they didn’t have an opportunity, or a fair presentation, of what the Gospel is. Nobody is saved by anything but the name of Jesus; and so some people that the Lord may choose to save, that maybe did not understand at all but they walked in the light they had I think will be surprised.

Someone said there will be three surprises in heaven. Our first surprise is that we’re there. Second surprise is, there are going to be some people missing that we thought would be leading the parade in heaven. Then the third surprise is there’s going to be some people there that we never imagined would be there. So, I just know that God is fair and it says He’s going to reward everyone according to his works. Jesus said... [cross talk]

Glenn: Yeah, I guess what bothers me...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I’m sorry, go ahead.

Glenn: ...the one line about, you know, Christ says, “No one comes to the Father but through Me."

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, what that means is no one earns salvation by their good works. Anyone who gets to heaven is by grace; and it’s through the grace of God and through the sacrifice of Christ that anyone is going to be there, because the Bible says the penalty for sin is death. We’ve all sinned. We’ve all got this contagious disease.

The only reason anyone is going to be in heaven is because Christ took their death for them. He paid their penalty. And so, no one will be there because they deserve it, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. If we get what we deserve we’re in trouble, and that’s including me.

Glenn: True, true.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So…

Glenn: Well, thanks for clearing that up. I appreciate it Pastor, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, hope that helped. Appreciate your call Glenn. Talking next with Martin who is calling from--well, let me just take Martin’s call and we’ll find out. Martin, calling from North Highlands. Oh, Marlin, I’m sorry.

Marlin: Yeah. The Bible mentioned sorcery in Galatians 5, verse 20?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah

Marlin: It contrasts the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the spirit; and then it’s also in Revelation 21 or Revelation 20, it mentions sorcery. What’s the Bible’s definition of sorcery? It's magical arts? And then I heard another definition that it was illegal drug use. Is that the two definitions for sorcery?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I think the Greek word--and I don’t have it open in front of me at this moment--I think the Greek word is related to the word “pharmaceutical,” or it’s "pharmacy" something; and so some have said, "Well, it’s drug use." Well, the ancient sorcerers also did use drugs for their enchantments and for their potions that they would make.

Marlin: What kind of drugs did they use?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well I don’t know, but they had herbs and mushrooms and things that would cause visions and hallucinations; and people would have these hallucinations and they think they see gods. I always hesitate to tell people, but before I was a Christian, I did the mushrooms and the LSD...

Marlin: Yeah, I did...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...and a lot of people thought they were having spiritual experiences back in the ‘60s.

Marlin: [Laughs] Yeah, I did too. I’m probably your age too. I ate some magic mushrooms and took some LSD. Yeah, I haven’t since then.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. I hesitate telling people that, and they think, “What qualifies you to answer our Bible questions? How do we know you’re not still having flashbacks?" So [laughs], but yeah, the word that used, "sorcery" there, I think is connected with the word “pharmacy.” So there may have been drugs involved in their incantations and potions.

Marlin: Hmm.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: But, I think it would encompass all sorcerers, and all witchcraft, and the enchantments and things that they did.

Marlin: Hmm.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Christians aren’t to have anything to do with that.

Marlin: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with taking an aspirin. You know what I’m saying?

Marlin: Uh-hmm, yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hey, I appreciate your call and hope that helps a little bit Marlin. With that, we’re going to go to Darlie calling from Golf Breeze, Florida on line 7. Did I say that right?

Darrell: No, it’s actually Darrell.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Darrell, I’m sorry.

Darrell: [Laughs] That’s okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: If you were in the studio now you’d see we actually have a monitor going out on us. I can sort of read it, but it’s not that clear, and your question?

Darrell: Yes, in Psalm 110:1, who are the two Lords that David is speaking of? You have LORD in all caps. I’m assuming that’s Yhvh or Yhwh; and then you have, “The LORD said to my Lord....” Is that Lord the other Lord "Yeshua," "Jesus," "Michael the archangel?"

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, this verse is quoted in the New Testament when he’s referring to Jesus. So when it says, "The LORD,” that would be Jehovah, “said to my Lord," the Anointed, "Sit at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” This, I think, is a Messianic prophecy.

It’s Matthew 22:42. Jesus is talking to the scribes and Pharisees, and He says, “What do you think of Christ? Whose son is He? And they say unto Him, The son of David. He said unto them, How then does David in the spirit,” in other words, in the inspiration of writing the Psalms, “called him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit at my right hand?"

So you see, Jesus is telling us this is a Messianic prophecy. The first LORD being God the Father, “...saying unto my Lord," the Anointed or God the Son, “Sit at my right hand ‘till I make all your enemies thy footstool.” Then you go to Hebrews and it says that, "Jesus ascended and sat down at the Father’s right hand."

Darrell: So, Jehovah is not another name for Jesus? That Jehovah is the Father’s name and Yeshua is the Son’s name?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, it doesn’t use Yeshua here on Psalm 110, but Yeshua is the Jewish way of saying Jesus’ name.Jehovah is one of the Old Testament names for God. But actually, Jehovah’s used interchangeably in the Old Testament for God the Father and God the Son; you know, like it says, “God said let us make man in our image”?

Darrell: Uh-huh.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So sometimes God uses the plural and sometimes the singular.

Darrell: Okay, but when you said, “God said let us make man in our image," that God is Elohim, right?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, and that’s plural.

Darrell: Uh-huh. Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Do you have some question about the Trinity maybe?

Darrell: Yeah. I’m just trying to understand it. I got your book on the Trinity and I’ve read that and, I don’t know. Just still kind of one of those things, just trying to figure it out.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well Darrell, don’t be discouraged. You know, the Bible tells us that God’s ways are so far above our ways. It’s like the stars above the earth, the heaven’s above the earth; His ways are past finding out. So if you struggle to understand God, well that’s okay. If you could define God, you’d have to be God, so there are some things that are still a mystery.

And I’m glad; it sounds like you’ve got The Trinity book. Hoped that helped a little bit. You would enjoy, Darrell, the Amazing Facts' Bible Study Course. For anybody out there, if you go to Bible Universe, BibleUniverse.com, you’d enjoy taking that course. It’ll just quadruple your Bible knowledge, including subjects like the Trinity. That’s BibleUniverse.com.

With that, we’re going to give Mike a chance and talk to him. He’s listening online 8, calling from Edison, New Jersey on WMCA. Mike, you’re on the air.

Mike: Good evening Pastor.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Mike: First of all, I’d like to compliment you on your show. I’ve been listening about two years now. It’s really great.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, praise the Lord. That makes about six people now.

Mike: [Laughs] That’s very funny. My question today is, according to the Bible, relations should not be--physical relations should not take place between a man and a woman until they are married, and then it‘s acceptable to have relations and procreate. That being said, after the great flood and Noah’s family came out from the ark and re-populated the earth, would that not have been incest? I’ve heard this question on several different shows. I’ve never really heard a satisfactory answer.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, the reason that incest is incest is because, as you marry--first of all, the further we get from the tree of life and Adam and Eve, the more imperfect humans are when they reproduce. Every person in the world today tracks our genes back to an original. We all get closer and closer as we go further back, and even evolutionists will agree with that.

Mike: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Originally when God made Adam, God was his father, and then God made Eve. God made Adam and Eve. You might say they had the same father and mother, making Adam and Eve brother and sister in a sense, or even weirder than that, in that Eve is from Adam's rib; and then Adam and Eve, their children, they married their sisters. You know, Cain and Abel?

Mike: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And the sisters married the brothers. Then after the flood, I’m sure they were doing the same. Now one reason we know that is, when you get to the time of Jacob, Jacob is marrying his first cousin. Isaac marries his first cousin.

Mike: Uh-hm

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Abraham marries his half-sister. Evidently, that kind of incest was not a problem until about the time of Moses. They realized there’s risk of genetic deformity if they keep marrying too close to the family tree.

Mike: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And so by that time, it was forbidden.

Mike: Uh-hmm, so are you saying that when, according to the Bible, when Noah and his family exited the ark it was, I guess, basically acceptable, you know, for the brother and sister?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. Evidently the offspring of Noah’s sons and their wives inter-married until the Tower of Babel; at which point God shook everything up with the languages and people kind of gravitated into groups they could communicate with. Then they went and populated the nations.

Mike: I guess, technically, that would not be what the (unintelligible) of incest, as we know it today?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Not back then. And you know, it’s interesting, as you go from state to state and country to country, they have varying definitions for incest.

Mike: Uh-hmm.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Some have no problem with your marrying a first cousin. In some places they say no, that’s even forbidden.

Mike: Yes, yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The reason for that, it’s not because of a social stigma-- though I guess there is some social stigma; but the laws really are because you are at risk of having genetic problems in your children by marrying too close to your own family.

Mike: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You need genetic vitality, and that happens as a result of spreading out. You know, they say that one reason that Americans are taller than their ancestors is because Americans are such a melting pot of people from all over the world, that there's a lot of genetic vitality in our country because we’ve got so many mixed cultures that inter-marry. Anyway, I appreciate that. I hope it helps a little bit.

We're going to talk next with Richard, calling from Houston, Texas. Hi Richard, you’re on the air, listening from satellite, right?

Richard: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And your question?

Richard: Yeah, I’d like to know the difference between the chosen and the elect versus being saved through Jesus.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, some people try to draw some dotted lines and divide. The chosen is one group, and the elect is another group, and the saved are another group. Some say that the elect are the Jews. I don’t make that distinction. I think all three words are used to describe those who embrace the truth.

I think that in the New Testament when God wants to talk about Gentiles, the writers used the word "Gentiles" and when they want to talk about Jews, they used the word "Jews." Now, when they want to talk about the general saved, it says, “He will send forth His angels to gather together His elect from the four winds of heaven,” in Matthew 24, that’s the saved. I don’t think it’s just Jews or just Gentiles.

So, I don’t know if you’re given me a third category to answer your question. Did that make sense?

Richard: Well, I like to think I’m normal, but, you know, we’ve all been around the block. I mean, I just feel I’m--I don’t know how to say it--like, I see things like, you know, I see my name written in the book of life. This was many years ago and I know I’m stronger (unintelligible). I just don’t think I’m normal sometimes. But, you know, I talk to God every day, you know; and I believe--someone told me God really has nothing to do with humans but, you know, we intercede through Jesus?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, what I think one of the keys there is, Jesus is God; and Jesus said, “The Father, himself, loveth you.” So not only does Jesus love us, as we sing, but the Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world,” that would be God the Father, “that he sent his only begotten Son,” that’s Jesus. So God loves us. I think He is in tune. He knows everything and He knows our prayers and He wants to answer our prayers. So, I think that He’s very involved.

You know Richard, you would enjoy our study guide that’s called, Rescue From Above. We’d be happy to send you a free copy of that. It talks about the salvation and the elect. If you'd call our resource number, which is 1-800-835-6747, we’ll be happy to send you a free copy of, Rescue From Above, and trust that would be a blessing to you.

Okay, I think we’re going to talk next with Louis who is calling from the Bronx. Louis, you're on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Louis: Okay, how are you?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing well. How are you doing?

Louis: Doing down. I’m doing down. Well, I have a question. And first, I just want to say a couple of Bible passages before I ask the question if that’s okay?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Sure.

Louis: Okay. Well, the Bible talks about Nicodemus, that he went to Jesus at night and he asked Him a question.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Uh-hm

Louis: And Jesus told him that, you know, he needed to be born from the water and the Spirit, and to the kingdom of heaven. And then, Jesus, in Matthew 28:19, is telling the disciples that, you know, to go baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, keyword: name. Then after that, in Acts 2:38, it says that Peter got up and said, Be baptized in the name of Jesus. So my question is, what you should say to someone that is getting baptized? What should you say at that specific moment that you are baptizing someone?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So, what declaration should you make when they’re getting baptized?

Louis: Yes, what declaration?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay. Well, you’re right. In Matthew 28 He says, “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” Matthew 2:38. You know, it’s actually a little different in every place. In Mathew 2:38 it says, “Baptize in the name of Jesus Christ.” In Matthew 8:16 it says, “Baptize in the name of the Lord Jesus.” In Acts 10:48 it says, “Baptize in the name of the Lord." So right there you’ve got four different wordings.

The idea is that when we get baptized, we get baptized in the name of the God of the Bible, which is the Lord Jesus. Jesus says it should be in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. So when I baptize, I try to cover all the bases and I say, “We baptize you in the name of the Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.”

Louis: Okay, but in Colossians 3:17 it said that everything that you do, you have to do it the name of Jesus.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well when we pray, we pray to the Father, right?

Louis: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: “Our Father which art in heaven….” And then we ask Him to hear our prayer, in Jesus name.

Louis: Okay. So...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So we address prayers to the Father, in Christ’s name.

Louis: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Jesus said, “When you pray, pray in this manner, Our Father which art in heaven.…” So there’s nothing wrong with including God the Father in the declaration.

Louis: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. Hey, thank you. I appreciate that. You know, we do have a lesson on the subject of baptism. We’ll be happy to send you a free copy of that. If you call the phone number, 1-800-835-6747 Louis, we’ll send you our lesson on, Power in Purity. It talks about baptism, Power in Purity.

Oh let me see, do we have time? We’re going to take a break here in a minute and I hate to cut anyone short with a phone call. Let’s see. Heidi, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live. Do you have quick question?

Heidi: Oh, I’ll try. Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi

Heidi: I’d like to know why is it that it says to, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem," but yet we will not have peace until Jesus comes back”?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well first of all, even in the New Testament, it tells us that we should do our best to live peaceably with the powers that be. When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, it’s not just talking about the land or the city of Jerusalem. I think we should pray for peace on earth. When Jesus came the angels said, “Peace and good will to men," and, "Peace on Earth.” I don’t think we should isolate our prayers to peace for Jerusalem. Though I do think they need special prayer.

So--but you’re right. Jesus said, “I came not to send peace but a sword.” As we preach the Word and share the message, it causes problems. Heidi, there’s a book I’ll send you on that for free. It’s called, Spiritual Israel. You call our number we’ll send it to you, Spiritual Israel, and it’s free from us to you. You’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

You know friends, I started the broadcast talking about the seven last plagues and what’s going to be happening in the world during the final days. Amazing Facts has a website that especially focuses on prophecy, and we believe that you'll be really blessed by it. It’s called, Bible Prophecy Truth. If you go to our website, BibleProphecyTruth.com, you’re going to find there are studies on a plethora of famous Bible subjects. This has become a very popular site.

If you want to know what’s 666; what does that mean; who is the antichrist; about the seven last plagues that we just mentioned; if you want to know about Armageddon; or death; or hell, there are videos there. There are study materials. The seven-year tribulation, maybe you’d like to know about that.

Babylon, angels, the millennium, the mark of the beast, the new world order, and much, much more. BibleProphecyTruth.com, all there at that website. And after you discover it, you'll go, "Wow! Where have I been?" and send the link to your friends.

We’re not going away friends. We’re just going to take a brief breather then be back with your Bible questions.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We are back on the air with Bible Answers Live, and we do have lines open. I failed to mention that if you want to call in with your Bible question, now is a good time to do that. It’s a free phone call. That number once again is, 1-800-463-7297. That will bring you into the studio for the last half, second half, best half of our program, 1-800-463-7297. I am Doug Batchelor, and Pastor Jëan Ross is off for the night.

If you have a Bible question, call in. You may also want to tune in. You can watch us stream on the Internet. If you'd like to see the program streaming on the Internet, it is Live.AmazingFacts.org. Just Live.AmazingFacts.org will bring you in to the studio. For whatever it’s worth, you’ll get the visual along with the audio.

With that, we’re also inviting people to check out the BibleProphecyTruth.com website. Just oodles and gobs of Bible prophecy information there, and studies, and resources, and commentaries, and videos; and we trust that you’ll find that a blessing if you’re wanting to understand Bible Prophecy. We’re going to go back to the phones now. Talking next to TJ, calling from Iowa, and your question TJ?

TJ: Yes, hello there. My question is regarding Zechariah 14:4, and verse 2 as well. Verse 4, you know, a lot of denominations believe it to basically be talking about Jesus Christ, when He comes back with the saints, after a thousand years and what not.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Uh-huh

TJ: And I was reading in context of verse 2. Verse 2 basically says, before verse 4, it says, “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Basically, when I read this, I was just a little bit confused as to the context of verse 2, in regards of verse 4 as well, because verse 2 seems more like it’s going to be taken, you know? Of course, we know that the New Jerusalem will not be taken.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right, and the women will not be ravished either.

TJ: Yeah, exactly.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So you’re wondering how do you get from there to verse 4, where it talks about Jesus’ coming?

TJ: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: In prophecy, you’ll often see that in one verse, a thousand years go by. An example of that would be in Revelation, chapter 12. You’ve got 2,000 years in just a few verses that go by. Here, you have Zechariah. Now, Zechariah lives after they came back from the Babylonian captivity. They’re in Jerusalem. It’s not talking about the Babylonians destroying Jerusalem; so the only other time that, really, it could talking about, is either the Roman destruction that was in 70 A.D. And then it’s looking beyond that to the ultimate New Jerusalem, when Jesus is going to come down as the Messiah and deliver the city from any more war.

TJ: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: He’ll fight for them in that battle. So there’s a big leap here, and prophets often did that. They were looking at the span of history as a big, prophetic panorama. They’re not doing things chronologically from week to week or year to year.

TJ: Yeah, awesome! Yeah, yeah. Actually, I read verse 3 as well. I’ve been hearing that explanation. Yeah, that definitely makes a lot more sense now.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, and we know from history that the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans was even worse than what happened when Nebuchadnezzar took the city.

TJ: Oh wow.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Because Nebuchadnezzar, he did burn the temple, and he did burn the city, and he took a lot of them away captive. But what the Romans did, you read Josephus' account of what the Romans did, and yeah, it was pretty gruesome.

TJ: Joseva?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Josephus. You can read it for free online. It’s Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian. He lived just after the time of Christ, and he writes a history about the fall of Rome that’s pretty graphic. You know, there’s another book that I recommend. It’s called, The Great Controversy. The opening chapter talks about the fall of Jerusalem.

TJ: Oh yeah. I have The Great Controversy.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, that’s a good book too. Hey, I appreciate your call TJ. Hope that helps a little bit. We’re going to move on and talk with Miguel who’s calling from Brooklyn, New York, listening on WMCA. Miguel, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Miguel: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing well. How about you?

Miguel: I'm hanging in there. My question is, I don’t know if you were briefed as to with the part of the Scripture that talks about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right.

Miguel: And, there’s obviously lots of confusion about what that is. So I was wondering if you could elaborate a little bit on that? And also, how does that relate to someone who has shipwrecked or safe? How are those related?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, there are people who are backslidden…

Miguel: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: … like the prodigal son, who have not committed the unpardonable sin.

Miguel: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Or like Peter, who denied Jesus, that obviously was later forgiven and used in ministry.

Miguel: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Or, even King David, who committed majored transgression with Bathsheba; and, not as major, but numbering Israel later. They’re obviously forgiven and put back into service.

Miguel: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: There are varying degrees of transgression. David’s sin of adultery and murder was a lot more severe than somebody who might lose their temper and utter a swear word.

Miguel: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: But when it talks about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t mean shaking your fist at the heavens and saying a dirty word, or using God’s name in vain, or even cursing the Holy Spirit, as awful and sinful as that would be.

Miguel: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, it says, "All manner of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men," even blasphemy. Paul said, “I was a blasphemer.” So Paul was guilty of blasphemy. But to blaspheme the Holy Spirit really means you’re rejecting the moving of the Holy Spirit on your heart, over a period of time; and it’s especially dangerous because you can get where you don’t hear the Holy Spirit anymore. God won’t force Himself on us.

Something like a person that lives by a railroad or an airport; after a while, you could be talking to him and the whole house shakes when a plane takes off, but they don’t even notice it because they’ve just gotten used to it. When a person is still sensitive to the Holy Spirit, they should listen to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, listen to the guidance, and when we’re sorry for our sins, we should repent.

But when we harden our hearts, we can get a callous. It’s sort of like turning down the radio volume where you just don’t hear it anymore, or a person who keeps pressing the snooze button on their alarm clock so they get to where they can sleep through the alarm.

Miguel: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So that’s what grieving away the Holy Spirit is. That’s what blasphemy is. Paul talks about grieving the Spirit in Ephesians. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is where you grieve away the Spirit. Now, it’s the Spirit that brings conviction of our sin.

Miguel: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: If we turn off the source that brings conviction and makes us come to Christ, then how can God save us if we can’t repent? If we’ve lost our capacity to repent through the Spirit, then how can we be saved?

That’s really what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is. And if you won’t think it’s too opportunistic Miguel, I’ll tell you and everyone listening, I just finished a book called, "Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin?"

Now, it’s a brand new release and so I can’t give it away as I do with all of the other published works. I’m sure I will be able to eventually, but these new releases, the publisher has them for sale. It’s a nominal price, and that’s at the Amazing Facts' website. It’s called, “Beyond Mercy: What is the Unpardonable Sin?” I did an in-depth study on what is the unpardonable sin; and hope you and others will tune in to that. I do have a free sermon on the subject. You can listen to it on Amazing Facts. Still there Miguel?

Miguel: I’m here, I’m here.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, and hope that helps a little.

Miguel: It does, and I’ll definitely listen to the message. I guess it was also related to that, someone who has shipwrecked their faith.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Now, you're talking about the passage where it says, “...making shipwreck of their faith?

Miguel: Uh-hm

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. Well, when a ship dashes on the rock, you usually can’t put Humpty Dumpty together again. Some people can go so far, like King Saul became so rebellious he, basically, shipwrecked his faith. Judas did that. Balaam did that. At one point he was a prophet of God, but because of greed he just kept going the wrong direction until he had gone too far.

Miguel: Right.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So yeah, there are some sad cases in the Bible of people that go too far from God. So hope that helps a little Miguel. I appreciate your question, and do listen to the message on the unpardonable sin at the Amazing Facts' website. By the way friends, got a new website. It’s easy to search for the very sermons, and I think you’ll find that a blessing.

Talking next with--let me see here, Marcus has been waiting patiently. Marcus, you’re on the air listening, on WMUZ from Michigan.

Marcus: Hi, is this Doug?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: This is he.

Marcus: Hi Doug.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Marcus: The question I was debating is, I wanted to compare a problem from the Old Testament throughout the New Testament. It refers to confession of sins. I was wondering when is it actually necessary to have a second person present for confession of sins? Because there’s a verse in the New Testament that says confess your sins to one another.And there’s another verse that asks to call upon elders of the church to hear you. Then there’s also David in the Old Testament who says, “I confess my sins to the Lord,” and He was merciful to him. So when is it actually necessary to have a second person or third person present, and what are the things that require that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, private sin should be privately confessed. If I’ve offended you because of some action that I committed, I should go to you. Jesus says in Matthew 18, “Go to your brother alone. Be reconciled to your brother,” and I ought to confess my fault to you. It’s like what you read there in James, "Confess your faults to one another."

Now, faults and sins, they're probably a different magnitude. We all do things where we’re inconsiderate. Just this week someone got upset and they made a ranting phone call to me. The next day they called and apologized. It’s just a simple and small thing. Then, there are public sins. If someone is a member of the church and they sort of have disgraced the Lord by something they’ve done, they might want to make a more public confession and tell the elders, and have that communicated to the church.

Or even stand up during a testimony service and say, “You know, I wandered from the Lord and I’ve done some things that have brought reproached on God’s name, and I’d like to just publicly say I’m so sorry about that.” And it isn’t necessary to confess your sins to a priest to get forgiveness. The Bible says we confess them to God. So, I don’t know. Does that make sense?

Marcus: It does to a point, because we are taught sort of that. But it goes kind of in a spiral mode, considering how big of the offense or sin was. That’s when you would know that you need someone to go to, depending on how offensive the sin was.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, you know that’s…

Marcus: So, you know the Word says...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: … you might need a mediator. I’ve gone as a Pastor where somebody needed to confess to somebody, and that they were afraid for their own safety for one thing. You might have an employee that becomes convicted. They hear the Gospel and they say, “You know, I need to tell my boss I’ve been stealing from them. Can you go with me?”

Then you have that person really going as a mediator to just try to mollify and soften things a little bit, because sometimes a person might be hearing a confession for the first time and be so angry, they’re not hearing. Paul did that. If you’ve read the book of Philemon, Paul acts as a mediator for Onisemus, who is a runaway slave, and Paul is asking Philemon to forgive him.

Of course, he’s doing it by letter, but it’s the same principle. So, I hope that helps a little Marcus; and you know, our lesson on salvation talks about confessing your sin, repenting of your sin, and that is called, Rescue From Above. We’ll be happy to send that to you. Okay let’s see, who has been waiting, we’ll talk to Michael who’s calling from Michigan on WMUZ.

Michael: Yeah, how are you today?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing well. How can we help you?

Michael: Yeah, they told me--I got a question, but they only told me I've only got three minutes and I can ask one question, and I really had two. I could make them quick.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Let’s take them one at a time.

Michael: Okay. What about--I want to know about the tithes. I heard a guy teaching the other day. He said to tithe on the first fruits, and he made it sound like you’ve got like a wind fall or something dropped out of the sky, maybe if you got a new job, or you started a business; and on the first fruits of that, that’s what you tithe on. I was wondering what Scripture says about that, because there seems to be a lot of confusion on that. Do you want me to give you the other question now too?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Is it related to tithe, or is it a separate question?

Michael: Separate.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well then let’s do them in categories, one at a time. On tithe, first thing is, please ask for our study on tithe. It’s called, In God We Trust. But, let me give you a quick answer. When a person receives any income that they’ve earned, Malachi chapter 3 says, “Will a man rob God? And the people say, How have we robbed you?” and God says, “In tithes and offerings.” The Bible says that a tenth of our increase we should return to the Lord for the proclamation of the Gospel around the world.

Just to remember that everything else belongs to him; and that means if I work somewhere and I earn a hundred dollars, ten dollars I give to the Lord. Now that’s--I think I’m hearing you say, "Someone said your first fruits." So if your first check is a hundred dollars, you give all the first check to the Lord. That’s not really what that’s talking about.

They meant, "Of the first fruits of your harvest." Don’t wait until you’re done with the harvest and say, “Is there anything left out molding in the field I can give to God.” Give the first and the best. Don’t give the leftovers. So, should take tithe right off the top and pay it.

Michael: Yes. Yeah, that’s the way I believe it. But you know, I heard it was being taught that, you know, the increase, you know, is like, you know, like that [cross talk]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, it gets complicated. Let’s suppose that your deceased aunt gives you a grand piano, and that’s an increase. What are you supposed to do? Take 10% of the 88 keys and send them to the church? Some things are hard to pay tithe on [cross talk]. You just make a thank you offering to the Lord for something like that. Alright, what was your second question?

Michael: Yeah, I had some people that did some pretty terrible stuff to me. They told some major lies, and they really destroyed my family, and they did it for money to upgrade their self and the system in the world and stuff. And they know what they did, but, you know, it was very hurtful to me and my family what they did. It was very wicked. I’m trying my best just to trust in the Lord, to have Him take care of that. I was just really wanting, maybe, some advice on how to handle that, you know? Because it’s very upsetting to me at times; and I’m doing good with it, but it’s just so evil what they did. And I just was wondering what you thought about, you know, when people do stuff like that...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Let me...

Michael: ...for money and for position, you know? And then describe you...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Let me take a crack at it so I can give you an answer before we run out of time. I’ve been hurt like that too, a lot of people listening. And it especially hurts when it's people close to you that say things that are not true, or they malign you, or they steal from you, or they violate your trust. You can brood on it, and feel bitter, and get upset, and just think about it and think about it, it’ll eat you up. Then you waste your life being upset about a bad decision someone else made. What has helped me, and I think it helps a lot of people, is just realize that people are sick. People really are sick and they’re behaving like they’re sick.

People have a disease called sin. Once we recognize that people are selfish and people are sinful--and without Christ, we’re all like that--that, you know, it makes it easier to forgive them and say, "They need the Lord. They need a conversion." The other thing that helps me is I realized, like Matthew 18, all that I’ve done to hurt the Lord, and when I think about everything I’ve done to hurt the Lord and how much God has forgiven me, it makes it easier for me to forgive what others have done to me. Just choose not to dwell on it.

Those things are going to come into your mind. And the other thing, Michael, it just takes time. Sometimes when you’ve been hurt and someone has taken advantage of you, it just takes time to get past it. So hey, I appreciate that, and hope that helps a little bit. We’re going to go on now and talk with, Joe has been waiting patiently, Joe from Des Moines, Iowa, listening on Sirius XM. Joe, you’re on the air.

Joe: Hey Doug, I have a question. I’m always confused. I’ve heard people, which I’m convinced that the rapture occurs before the tribulation or during or even after, which, I’m going to be honest with you, I’m kind of convinced of all three. But I've always wondered what's your take on that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I’m not convinced of all three. I think that the rapture takes place, or the second coming, at the conclusion of the tribulation, and here are my reasons for that. When we read about the seven plagues in Revelation, the seven plagues are the great tribulation, right? You just look at them and they are happening at the same time. Did the children of Israel, were they still in Egypt when the ten plagues came on the Egyptians? The answer is yes.

Joe: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Did God protect them through the ten plagues? Yes. Will God’s people still be in the world when the seven last plagues fall? I believe they will. Of course, the seventh plague is actually the second coming of the Lord, and the great earthquake, and all that happening at one time. God tends to save His people, not from trouble but through trouble.

Joe: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Just as He saved Noah through the flood, not from it. He saved Joseph through the trials of Egypt; and so did He with Job, was saved through his trials. And Paul said, “It is through tribulation we enter the kingdom of God.” Well God will preserve His people during that time. He fed the children of Israel. He took care of them, and so I believe it’s at the culmination. That’s why Jesus said, “He that endures to the end will be saved.” When He’s talking about the second coming in Matthew 24, He says, “He that endures to the end….” Endures what? Tribulation.

Joe: Tribulation.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. Christ said that there’s going to be great tribulation; after those days is when the second coming happens. Just read Matthew 24. You read it, without any pastoral commentary, and everyone will understand that God’s people will still be in the world during that time. And the resurrection happens when the Lord comes and the saints are caught up. Can I send you a free book on that subject Joe?

Joe: Yes, that would be great.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: It’s a book called, Anything But Secret. If you call our number, 1-800-835-6747, one more time 1-800-835-6747, ask for the book, Anything But Secret, it's a great study on the subject of the second coming, and the tribulation, and their sequence. So hope that will be helpful for you. Alright, next talking with Steven, also listening on Sirius XM in Pennsylvania. Steven, you’re on the air with Bible Answers Live.

Steven: Hello sir. How is your night tonight? I hope you’re doing well.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The Lord is good.

Steven: Yeah, I just have a question and a quick comment if you permit, if we have time, on something I heard from another caller earlier.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, let’s take them one at a time. First question?

Steven: Alright. First my question is, God says in the end that He will wipe away all tears, all suffering, all pain, you know, so that the pain and the suffering and everything. So, whenever He does that, will we forget all about our lives before? Will we forget who our loved ones were?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well...

Steven: Who our spouses were, that kind of stuff?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: No, I don’t think we’re going to forget who our loved ones are. The Bible tells us in 1st Corinthians 13, “Then I will know, even as I am known.” It’s the painful memories that we’ll not remember or come into mind. But we’re not going to forget what Jesus did for us to save us, and we’re not going to forget any loved ones that are saved. Of course, will be there. We’ll never forget them.

I think God will wipe away our tears for loved ones that may not be in the kingdom, and they will eventually fade. God’s not brainwashing us, but we’ll have others to think about. Steven, I hope you’ll understand. I’ve got several calls lined up. I’m trying to take one more. We’ve got someone calling all the way from Queensland, Australia on Skype. Tim, are you still with us?

Tim: Yeah, I’m here. Can you hear me?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I can. We got just about two minutes. Can we make it quick?

Tim: Yeah sure. My mother-in-law is, sort of, bringing up an issue at a church where this particular individual was accused of something. And then the police got involved; and I actually acquitted him of being innocent and there was nothing really to prove but she keeps bringing it up. So I’m just wondering from a biblical standpoint, with convicting someone of their sin if it cannot be proven, you know, where do we go from there?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, that’s a good question, especially how do Christians relate is, if there’s no evidence, then we need to assume that they are innocent. If they’re not, we know that God knows everything and everybody is going to ultimately pay for their works. We might hide it from men, but we can’t hide it from God. And so sometimes you have to put these things in the Lord’s hands. Sometimes God, He will actually act and He will deal out judgment, even in this life. Hey Tim, I’m glad we got you on even briefly.

Listening friends, I apologize if we did not get to your calls tonight. You know, it wouldn’t be fair if we took another caller. I hope you'll give us a chance if you were standing in the wings and call again, but might also refer you to the website. At the AmazingFacts.org website, there are just tons and tons of Bible study resources. We’d love to hear from you. We would like you to help us stay on the air. Go to AmazingFacts.org, click Contact Us. God Bless.

Remember, Jesus is the truth that will set you free.

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