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Cows Led by the Spirit

Date: 02/03/2013 
Of the roughly 40 million cattle that make the ultimate sacrifice in the US each year, about 35 thousand provide their hides for footballs. Early footballs were inflated with...
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Pastor Doug: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Of the roughly 40 million cattle that make the ultimate sacrifice in the US each year, about 35 thousand provide their hides for footballs. Early footballs were inflated with the pig bladder inside, a leather cover creating the popular nickname, “pig skin.” Today, all regulation footballs are made of cattle leather with a rubber bladder. Wilson, the official of NFL footballs, makes about 700 thousand footballs every year with one cow hide, producing between 15 to 25 footballs.

So you might wonder, what are the odds that any given cow will make it to the super bowl via football? Out of those 700 thousand regulation balls Wilson makes each year, only a 158 will be used in the super bowl so the odds that a random cow will have some skin in the super bowl game are about 1 in 17 million. Sadly, the bull wine that scores the winning touchdown never gets any glory or credit for their sacrifice. Did you know the Bible says that even cows can be led by the Holy Spirit? Stay with us friends, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts bring us this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: We are so glad friends that you’ve tuned in to Bible Answers Live and yes, we’re coming to you live and looking for your Bible questions. If you have a question about the word of God, our number is 1-800-GOD SAYS. It’s a free phone call, and we do have lines open, 1-800- 463-7297. Picking up your phone right now increases the odds that your question will be in the first half of this broadcast with your Bible question. One more time, 1-800-463-7297, and my name is Doug Bachelor.

Pastor Jean Ross: My name is Jean Ross. Good evening listening friends; and Pastor Doug, let’s begin the program with prayer. Dear Father, once again we thank You for this opportunity to study Your word, and we ask of You a special blessing upon this program. Be with those who are listening, wherever they might be and Lord, we ask for wisdom as we search the Scriptures. In Jesus name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jean Ross: Well Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about, well firstly, footballs; and then finally cows being led by the Spirit. Now I think I know what story in the Bible you’re referring to when you’re talking about cows led by the spirit.

Pastor Doug: Yes, back in the Old Testament, in the first book of Samuel, the Ark of God, that famous Ark that contained the Ten Commandments. That golden chest was captured by the Philistines during a battle. Well then, all of these plagues came upon the Philistines, just one right after the other. And they thought, "It’s because we have the Ark of God. We need to find out are these plagues just by chance, or is this retribution for capturing the Ark of God." And they said, “Look, let’s do a test. Let’s put the Ark on a cart and we’ll get two milking cows and take their calves away from them. If God wants his Ark to go back to Israel, the cows will go away from their calves, which is totally abnormal. Cows always go toward their calves when they’re crying, and that’ll be a sign. Otherwise, we’ll just say that these plagues were just by chance."

Well, you can read about this in 1st Samuel 6 verse 10. Then the men did so. They took the two milking cows and hitched them to a cart and shut up their calves at home. They set the Ark of God on the cart and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods, and they put some gold trinkets inside to appease the God of Israel. Then the cows headed straight for the road to Bethshemesh and went along the highway, lowing as they went. So they’re crying for their calves, but they're going away from them towards Israel; and they did not turn aside to the right hand or the left. Would God that all Christians could learn how to not turn to the right hand or the left.

The lords of the Philistines went after them and followed them as far as Bethshemesh. They wanted to make sure the Ark safely got into the territory of Israel so they could be free of the curse that had come on the land; and of course the Israelites were thrilled when they found out that the Ark had returned to their country. It makes you wonder, if God can speak through a donkey and if He can guide cows, then can He guide us if we’re willing? Of course the answer is yes, but He will not force His will and His spirit on us. We must surrender our hearts. He stands at the door and He knocks. Jesus tells us in Revelation 3 if we open the door, He will come in.

That's the main reason we do this program friends. We answer Bible questions to lead people to the ultimate center truth of the Bible, which is Jesus. He is the truth that will set us free. If you have any Bible questions, call 1-800-463-7297. What else shall I say?

Pastor Jean Ross: Well just before we go to the phone lines, we'd like to let folks know about a free offer that we have this evening, and it’s talking about life in the spirit. It’s called, “Life in the Spirit”, about how we can be led by the Holy Spirit everyday of our lives. If you’d like to receive this book for free, give us a call on our resource line, that’s 1-800-835-6747, again 1-800-835-6747 and ask for the book, “Life in the Spirit." We’ll send that to you, or you can go to the Amazing Facts website, amazingfacts.org and you’d be able to read the book for free in our on-line library. Well we’re going to go to the phone lines Pastor Doug. We’ll go to our first caller here in just a moment but before we do that, if you’re close to your computer friends, you can join us on-line at live.amazingfacts.org. That’s live.amazingacts.org. Our first caller is Rose this evening, listening on WMCA from New York. Rose, welcome to the program.

Rose: Can you hear me okay?

Pastor Doug: Loud and clear.

Rose: Okay, was Zipporah, Moses wife, the Ethiopian woman that Miriam and Aaron spoke against in Numbers 12:1? Some say yes, some say no, but I think no. I wanted to know what you thought.

Pastor Doug: Well, when Moses married Zipporah, she was the daughter of Jethro, who had those seven daughters. Moses lived 40 years with her and had two sons. She joined him when he first went back to Egypt, because they had a discussion on the road, if you’ll remember. Now that was the beginning of their 40 years of wondering, because you’re already in the book of Numbers. If she had died and Moses had remarried, it doesn’t say and so we don’t know. It could be that Zipporah was also called Ethiopian because she was from the land of Median, and that was near the southern territory. Ethiopia today is a little different than what you find--Ethiopia mentioned in the Bible was a much bigger territory; so, you know, the jury is out--and that’s why you’re hearing some saying yes and some saying no, because the Bible is not clear on that. It could be Moses and Aaron, I’m sorry, Miriam and Aaron were complaining about Zipporah, who may have been giving him advice and they thought, “Well, how come you're not listening to us? We're your brother and your sister?” Or, it could have been that Moses remarried and they were just being a little bit racist because he didn’t marry an Israelite.

Rose: I also notice something interesting, that both Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses but God only chose to punish Miriam.

Pastor Doug: Yes, well part of the reason for that is Aaron managed to get by with a little more. He was the high priest and God protected him. You remember when the children made the golden calf? Aaron kind of led in that. A lot of the ring leaders were killed, but not Aaron. He was the high priest. The other thing was, Miriam was actually his older sister. She might have been the ring leader of complaining about Zipporah’s, or the Ethiopian woman’s, influence over Moses. So good questions. I can’t wait to get to heaven and ask some of these questions and find out the answers; but thank you, appreciate that Rose.

Rose: (Laughing) Thank you, okay.

Pastor Doug: God bless.

Pastor Jean Ross: Next caller is E. Frank, and he is listening also on WMCA from New York. E. Frank, welcome to the program.

E. Frank: Yes, I would like to thank Pastor Doug for letting me on the air. My question for tonight is the following. The Holy Spirit works with many individuals in this world, and I’ve recently, you know, have been, for many years, I’ve been listening to many radio programs that are Christian-based. I’ve heard many politicians. One of them is retired President Jimmy Carter, and Dan Quayle, and others have stated that they are saved. Now my question for you Pastor Doug is, are these individuals, who are Christians in Congress or in regular government and who seem blessed by the Holy Spirit, are they able to actually lead us towards Christ? Because I’ve heard, I mean, many politicians and other government individuals, if you want to use the word individuals, but have stated that they have a good understanding of who God is and what the Bible states in, throughout all the many of its books; and I kind of get confused sometimes because each individual who could be a politician or a government official, could be a police officer or a fire fighter.

Pastor Doug: Well I'll summarize the question. I’m sorry, I want to try and give you an answer before we run out of time.

E. Frank: My question is, is it a good idea to listen to a government individual or official who says he’s saved and believe in what he believes to reach salvation?

Pastor Doug: Let me give you a Bible answer. There are examples in the Bible of leaders like Daniel, who was a government leader; and Joseph, who was very, much of a government leader, that are obviously Spirit-filled. And on the case of Daniel and Joseph, they were prophets in addition. So I have no question, you know, I would not comment on any specific politician and what’s going on between him and the Lord. Jesus said, “You’ll know them by their fruits”, but there’s no question that God raises up people in these positions; and God sets up leaders and He takes leaders down.

I personally believe, there are some professions where it is especially challenging to maintain your Christian faith. I believe there are Christians in show business, but boy that’s a hard place to practice your faith. I believe there are Christians in the political world, but there’s so much back-room dealing in politics. Everyone knows what goes on and there are so many special interests that it takes extraordinary men and women to have the kind of integrity to maintain Christian values. So yes, God can speak through those people and speak to them, no question. There are Bible examples, but let’s hope there’s still a few knees that haven’t bowed to Balaam in Washington. I appreciate your question E. Frank. And we’re going to go next to, who’s in line?

Pastor Jean Ross: We have Loretta listening from Tennessee on WDMX. Loretta, welcome to the program.

Loretta: Thank you Pastors, I’ve got actually two quick questions. One is simply, yes or no. In the Bible, is the term arch angel used only in reference to Michael?

Pastor Doug: No

Loretta: Okay.

Pastor Doug: In other words, there’s one time where it talks about the arch angel and it doesn’t mention Michael in name. I think it’s talking about the same individual but...

Loretta: Okay but it is kind of referring to him?

Pastor Doug: I think it’s referring to him, but his name, the name Michael is not mentioned in 1st Thessalonians 4.

Loretta: Okay, now secondly, I was reading in Revelation 13. It talks about the miracle of being deceived by miracles. I was listening to a lady, she and her husband have been missionaries, been just about everywhere; and they were in one particular African country where, evidently, there was something going on and a lot of the people there were dead. She tells about all these healings that went on there. My question is--you know, I relate to miracles. Do you weight these miracles based on Isaiah 8:20, to the law and to the testimony; and miracles only occur amongst people where they’re keeping the law, or how does that work?

Pastor Doug: Well in the book of Acts, it talks about someone by the name of Simon who had some kind of power. He seemed to be doing some sort of miracles and the people followed him. He was in Samaria, but when he heard and saw the preaching of the Apostles, he repented and said, “This is the truth.” So who was doing the miracles through Simon prior to his being converted? And even after he was converted, his conversion was suspect. So can the devil do signs and wonders and manufacture, or at least impersonate, healings? It says in Revelation chapter 16, “the spirits of devils working miracles” and...

Loretta: So no one who’s not keeping all the commandments is able to do miracles?

Pastor Doug: No.

Loretta: Or are those miracles all from Satan?

Pastor Doug: Well you just asked the question, is it possible that someone who’s not keeping all the commandments can do miracles? Yes, but if someone isn’t living in open rebellion, and the reason I say that is God can speak through a donkey if he wants. If you read the story of Balaam, Balaam was a prophet of God that went bad. God prophesied through him but he was living in rebellion at the time.

Loretta: So can God speak through or use somebody that is not in complete submission?

Pastor Doug: Yes, like I said, He can, He can do whatever He wants. He’s the Lord. Even Saul, when he tried to arrest David one time, God overwhelmed him with the Holy Spirit, and he started to prophesy. So he was on the wrong mission. There are people who maybe, let’s suppose there are people out there that maybe, did not know about the command that you’re supposed to have one man, supposed to have one wife. Some of the Old Testament prophets have many wives. Well, they're breaking one of God’s commands, but He may have worked through them and used them like David and Abraham and others, you know what I’m saying?

Loretta: Yes, yes, yes.

Pastor Doug: So he looks on the heart; but it does say in Acts 4:31, 5:31, that He gives the Holy Spirit to them that obey him. Pastor Ross is looking it up. I’m going from memory that’s fading all the time.

Pastor Jean Ross: Acts chapter 5 verse 32 is the one you were referring to.

Pastor Doug: 32, I was close. So anyway, He gives the Holy Spirit to those that obey Him.

Loretta: Okay, good. Well thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: So obedience is very important, but God--I wanted to say--we can limit God that, He can’t use a person unless they’re keeping a hundred percent of the Commandments. He’s God, He has supreme authority.

Pastor Jean Ross: You know the book, “Life in the Spirit,” I think you’d enjoy that Loretta, or anyone wanting to learn more about this. Call our resource line. Its 1-800-835-6747 and you can ask for the book, “Life in the Spirit.” We’ll be happy to send it out. We have Richard who is listening in Canada. Richard, welcome to the program.

Richard: Hi, thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Sure.

Richard: My question is on 2nd Peter chapter 3 verse 10.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Richard: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” I know that you teach that it’s when the Lord comes back, in the beginning of the one thousand year millennium; and the lake of fire doesn’t come until after the millennium, so how should I interpret that verse in regards to that?

Pastor Doug: Well those that are alive when the Lord comes, it tells us in 2nd Thessalonians,

Pastor Ross, that they’re destroyed by the brightness of His coming. The presence of the Lord is a consuming fire, so there is a burning that happens when He comes, then following the one thousand years, then there is going to be a Judgment that takes place at the end.

Pastor Jean Ross: That was 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 8.

Pastor Doug: Yes, they’re destroyed by the brightness of His coming. That’s not the final Judgment--or the punishment--that’s just whoever is wicked who happens to be alive. The wicked who died before Christ returns aren’t resurrected and burned up then. It’s telling us that those who are alive when the Lord returns are destroyed by the brightness of His coming, and that’s when Peter says that the elements will melt with fervent heat. It’s probably not a total melt down because it says the cities are all broken down and there is ruin everywhere. You know, we do have a lesson that talks about the millennium and this sequence, Richard, that’s mentioned here in the Bible. We’ll be happy to send you a copy of that.

Pastor Jean Ross: It’s also interesting to know that on certain prophetic passages, you have Matthew, when you have here in 2nd Peter, often, the second coming of Jesus that happens at the beginning of the thousand years, and the third coming that happens at the end of the thousand years, they're sort of presented almost as the same event; and it’s not until Revelation chapter 20 that you realize there are a thousand years in between some of the characteristics that’s listed. We find the same thing true in the Old Testament where we have reference to the first coming of Jesus, but it’s also connected with images of His second coming. So from the prophetic view, the first, second and third comings sometimes overlap somewhat, and there were large periods of time in between the first, second and third comings; but it’s not until you study further that you realize how much time lapses between when Jesus comes a second time and a third.

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Jean Ross: The study guide you’re referring to is, “The Thousand Years of Peace.” We’ll send it out to anyone who calls and asks for it. The number is 1-800-835-6747. Again, it’s called “A Thousand Years of Peace.” Our next caller is Joseph, and he is listening in New York on WMCA. Joseph, welcome to the program.

Joseph: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi Joseph, thanks for calling, and your question?

Joseph: Yes, I called you to talk about the anti-Christ (inaudible 19:47-19:50). They are waiting for an anti-Christ who’s a superman. I don’t think it will ever come because they don’t know the actual anti-Christ, So I called you, to just, you know, promote the book about the anti-Christ so all the people may know the real anti-Christ; and the second one is my baptism. They say that baptism is not required for salvation; and if it’s not required for salvation, why is it the Apostles went through the pain of baptizing 3,000 on the Pentecost day, and then 5000 on the next time? And why did Paul who was, you know, convicted by God Himself, why was he baptized?

Pastor Doug: Alright, well let’s take it one at a time. First your comment--I’m not sure it was a question--your comment on the anti-Christ. We do have a lesson, a book on the anti-Christ, you’re right, that people misunderstand. They think that a lot of the ideas of the modern fables about what the anti-Christ is going to be--that he’ll be some kind of combination between a superstar, rock star, and a politician, and that’s not what the Bible teaches. We do have a lesson on the anti-Christ that we’ll send anybody that would like to know about that.

Then your second question or comment on baptism, is baptism necessary for salvation? Well, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Unless you were born of the water and the Spirit, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." No, that doesn’t mean that through Bible history, everybody in heaven had to baptized, because there are people in the Old Testament that obviously weren’t baptized; but baptism is part of accepting Christ. It’s like, you know, a wedding is to a marriage. It’s the ceremony by which we publicly declare that we’ve accepted Christ and are washed from our sins. So it certainly is important. Jesus says in Mark 16:16, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved and whoever believeth not will be destroyed.” So yeah, I agree that it is very important. I would stop short of saying that God can’t save somebody unless they’re baptized, because the thief on the cross, when he accepted Jesus, he probably didn’t come down and get baptized; and so I think Jesus gave him credit by His own baptism.

Pastor Jean Ross: You know, we have two study guides that you mentioned dealing with this subject. The first one is, “Who is the anti-Christ?” and the other is, “Purity and Power.” One is on the anti-Christ, the other is on baptism. Two important lessons. We’ll send them to anyone for free if you’d call our resource line. The number again is 1-800-835-6747, and if you’d like to get your Bible question on the air this evening, the number to call is 1-800-463-7297. That number again is 1-800-463-7297. We have, looks like three phone lines open, 1-800-463-7297. Our next caller is, let’s see, Andrea.

Pastor Doug: Andrea.

Pastor Jean Ross: Andrea is listening on the Internet from Maryland. Andrea, welcome to the program

Andrea: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug: Good evening, doing great! How are you?

Andrea: I’m fine thank you. I had a couple questions, but they're mainly about the Levitical laws. I just found out that someone asked a question about mixing fabrics and said that we’re not supposed to be doing that anymore--I mean--not ever supposed to mix in fibers like poly and cotton I would say. And the next one is, I guess you can address that one first because the other one is completely off of it from this.

Pastor Doug: Right. There is a principle that you find mentioned in the Bible were it talks about not mixing your seed and not mixing your--I think its linen and--oh I forget, wool...

Andrea: Well.

Pastor Jean Ross: I think Deuteronomy chapter 22 verse 11 might be the one.

Andrea: Yes.

Pastor Jean Ross: “Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.”

Andrea: And also Leviticus 19:19, both of them.

Pastor Doug: Okay, Leviticus 19:19 has it as well, yeah. There’s a principal there where He talks about maintaining purity, so you don’t get hybrids when it comes to the seed...

Andrea: Okay.

Pastor Doug: ...and that principle still applies. One of the reasons they didn’t want you mixing your linen and your wool is that linen is a material, a cloth that comes from plants; wool is a cloth that comes from animals, and they won’t shrink the same (laughing). They won’t wear the same. Well let me give you another example. Moses said in one of the Levitical laws, “Do not boil a kid in its mothers milk." Now when you think about that, there’s something. You know, milk is meant to keep the kid alive, and to take that little baby goat and butcher it and say, “Hey, let’s boil it in its mother's milk,” there’s almost something perverted about it. And so Moses is saying in that same passage, he said to maintain some clarity of separation. Maintain some decency. Don’t mix your animal clothes with your plant clothes and don’t mix your seed because you’ll end up with hybrids that aren’t going to be as robust. He was just encouraging purity.

Pastor Jean Ross: I also think it’s important to know the idea of simplicity of dress also being emphasized in that instead of going to great lengths in trying to mix different fabrics together, the Israelites were known for their cleanliness and their simplicity of dress.

Andrea: Okay, and the reason why this is important to me is because I actually make clothing for a living; and I was buying fabrics that was mixed like linen and cotton and I wasn’t sure if that applied or, you know.

Pastor Doug: I wouldn’t worry about that. There both plant products.

Andrea: Okay so you went where, okay.

Pastor Doug: and that cotton ball (Unintelligible), no I’m just kidding.

Andrea: and my next question...

Pastor Doug: (Laughing)

Andrea: (Laughing)

Pastor Jean Ross: (Laughing)

Andrea: Well my next question is about a bastard. A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord. I guess what I’m trying to say is, how do I know which laws still apply and it’s really hard, because I’ve been finding out a lot of things that I never knew.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well, keep in mind--now first of all--illegitimate child, let’s use that word. You're using the King James word, and that’s okay.

Andrea: Yes, I’m sorry.

Pastor Doug: It’s alright. Sometimes people use that in a harsh sense.

Andrea: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Quick answer because I got about a minute before our break

Andrea: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Certainly in the New Testament, illegitimate children are allowed into worship and into church. The Lord was trying to stress to the Israelites that, unlike the Egyptians and some of the other nations where marriage and having families was not valuable, they were not to have, especially in the priesthood, somebody that could not say, “This is my mother and this is my father.” And it wasn’t to punish the children; it was to encourage the people to value family and the importance of having a present father and a mother for the children. Now there were actually judges that came along, I think it was Jephthah, when he was first cast out, he said he was illegitimate. And then he said, “You’re asking me to lead you into battle but you kicked me out because I’m illegitimate” and they ended up making him a judge in Israel. So certainly by the time of Christ, illegitimate children were welcomed into the assembly of the Lord.

Very good questions. I appreciate that Andrea and hope we made some sense out of it; but mostly He was seeking after the purity of the people in high standards. Hey friends, don’t go away, we’re going to take a break, you’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jean Ross: You know Pastor Doug, we’re going to take a break here in just a few moments, but we'd like to highlight one of our websites just before we take this break; and one of our favorites, that we like talking about is Bible prophecy truth.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Pastor Jean Ross: It’s probably next to the Amazing Facts website, one of the popular websites out there dealing with everything related to Bible prophecy, talking about Armageddon, the second coming of Christ, the mark of the beast, and much, much more, just bibleprophecytruth.com.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. You think about any of the hot topics. You can scarcely name one that you won’t find something at this website on those subjects. It has everything from, as you said, talking about Babylon, the seven-year tribulation, Israel and prophecy. They’re in the headlines a lot today, Armageddon, heaven, and everything else. So take a look at bibleprophecytruth.com, we’ll be back in just a moment.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: Welcome back to Bible Answers Live, listening friend; and if you’ve tuned in along the way, this is a live international, interactive Bible study. We invite our listeners to call in with their Bible questions. It is a free phone. Call 1-800-GOD SAYS. 1-800-463-7297 brings you into the studio with your question. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jean Ross: My name is Jean Ross and again, if you’re close to your computer, you can join us on-line. We’re streaming to program this evening, that’s live.amazingfacts.org, just live.amazingfacts.org. We go to our next caller, Barbara, who is listening from Toronto, Canada. Barbara, welcome to the program.

Barbara: Thank you Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug: Yes?

Barbara: My question - I have mentioned, I spoke to a lady in relation to suicide, is it possible for a Christian to commit suicide and we have the assurance that that person is going to be with the Lord? I would like to know what’s your view on it.

Pastor Doug: Alright well two things, maybe three things I want to say and answer in this question. First of all, periodically we have people who call in that are discouraged Christians and they want to know if they end their lives, can they still be saved? When I know the question is coming from that direction, I do everything I can to discourage them from making that decision because sometimes, well most times, suicide is the result of a person losing hope and losing faith; and the Bible says, “Without faith, it’s impossible to please the Lord.”

It’s just a very dangerous thing to do, to have the last act of your life be self-murder and then hope for heaven; but having said that, we also get calls from people who say, “I have a love one, spouse, a child, somebody, a friend, they were good Christians for years and then they went through this terrible depression and took their life, does that mean they’re automatically lost?” To them I would say no it doesn’t mean they’re automatically lost because God looks on the heart and He knows what a person is going through; and some people are baring things that only God understands that are almost beyond what a human can handle.

I have Christian friends that were going through just physical agony because of some illness, where if they had the opportunity they said, they would have killed themselves just because of physical pain. You’re just not in your right mind. So God understands these things. He understands sometimes people go through chemical changes; and there could be a variety of other circumstances where they will not be judged on that last act. They’ll be judged by the panorama of their faith, and that’s what I believe. I want to be careful to try and give a balanced answer, so I don’t know if that helped. You see people like Samson in the Bible who...

Barbara: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: ...the last act of his life was one that, of course it’s, was to defeat...

Barbara: He took his own life.

Pastor Doug: Right. It was to defeat the enemies of God's people, but it was something of a sacrifice of himself. He knew he was going to die so, you know. And even Jesus said, “No man takes My life, I lay it down”, but that’s not really suicide. Jesus boldly went into the den of lions so to speak. He knew what was coming and yet He went forward. So the Lord looks at the heart and what the circumstances are. I would just tell people that there’s only a couple examples I know of suicides in the Bible. They didn’t end well--one was--well three...

Barbara: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Judas.

Barbara: Judas.

Pastor Doug: King Saul.

Barbara: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: And a counselor of David’s named Ahithophel.

Barbara: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And we believe all three of those were on the wrong side of the game when they ended their lives, it was not a good ending.

Barbara: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So see? Suicide is not an encouraging thing to...

Barbara: It’s a bit confusing because as believers, I don’t think a person who takes his own life should be, you know, counted with those that would really enter into eternity, but I will really appreciate your suggestion.

Pastor Doug: Well, thank you.

Barbara: We just need to know.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. God looks on the heart. In most cases, I would think that it would be a very ominous thing but, you know, we just have to put those circumstances in God’s hands. Hey appreciate your call Barbara.

Barbara: And thank you very much.

Pastor Jean Ross: Our next caller is Tim. He is listening from San Antonio, Texas. Tim, welcome to the program.

Tim: Hey, how you doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing well, how are you?

Tim: Hi Doug, its Tim, the evangelist.

Pastor Doug: Yes. How can we help you tonight?

Tim: You know, (Inaudible) I’ve been reading the book of Ezekiel and there are the four living creatures, the wheel, and the wheel within the wheel and the rims and the eyes. Yeah, they go in detail what these creatures look like, with the four heads and everything. Are those the same creatures, four living creatures, from the book of Revelation?

Pastor Doug: Yes. The creatures that you find in Ezekiel--now that’s the easy part of your question--the creatures that you find in Ezekiel are almost identical to the creatures you find around the throne of God in Revelation, is that 4 or 5?

Pastor Jean Ross: Chapter 4

Pastor Doug: Chapter 4, and I thought you were going to ask me about the wheel within the wheels.

Tim: Oh I’m going to, that’s what I wanted to, I just, I know it’s (inaudible 36:02) symbolic

Pastor Doug: (Laughing)

Pastor Jean Ross: (Laughing)

Pastor Doug: Well, that’s the part that stomps us. Tell you what, let me ramble for just a few moments about the wheels within the wheels. Ezekiel is a very deep prophet, probably, he’s among the deepest. You’re in deep water when you study in Ezekiel. One of the most profound of the prophets, he saw mysteries that are mysterious to the greatest minds, but one thing that I know is, when you look at what God made with a telescope, you find wheels within wheels, the galaxies, the planets that rotate around the sun.

The galaxy, of course, is a fiery pinwheel of suns, and then you’ve got the burning suns with their planets going around them, and then you have moons going around the planets, and the planets have their independent orbits. And then you look with a microscope of what God has made, and the cells of life, and even the molecules and the atoms and electrons, you’ve got wheels within a wheel. I’m not sure exactly what Ezekiel saw but, some people thought, “Are these flying saucers that God uses to zip around the heavens?” No, but He has some kind of--you know, it talks about the chariots of fire that picked up Elijah--He’s got some kind of vehicle that transports His glory. And I’d like to see what he saw but it’s a little bit mysterious without a photograph. That’s why a picture is worth a thousand words. Ezekiel just didn’t say enough about those wheels within the wheel.

Tim: Yeah, he didn’t talk about the rim.

Pastor Doug: Well I don’t know. That’s what I’m telling you. When I read this--and I’ve read it many times--I’m just trying to understand, in the light of the rest of the Bible, what he has seen and you know, if you ask me a lot about other passages in Ezekiel, I can help you; but every now and then, we get a special caller that stomps...

Pastor Jean Ross: (Laughing)

Pastor Doug: ...that stomps the Bible answers here on this end. Maybe Pastor Ross can explain the wheels within the wheel.

Pastor Jean Ross: (Laughing) I’m just trying to listen and figure that out too. Now of course the four living creatures, little easy to understand. Based upon what we have on Revelation, these covering cherubs that stand around that throne of God but--one idea that I have heard with reference to the wheels is God’s throne moves. The four living creatures form the throne of God and the wheel moving, indicating that God is able to move His throne, moves and it’s moved by these living creatures that turn every which way, indicating God’s omnipresence. He’s everywhere. He sees everything, He knows everything, being emphasized by the idea of the wheels.

Pastor Doug: Let me add one more thing. As a pilot, one of the things that keep a plane stable is called “the giro." You’re instruments are controlled by a giro, which is a wheel within a wheel; and He knows.

Tim: It’s exactly what I was thinking when I read that, about a giro.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I want to be careful not to speculate on exactly what kind of differential machinery God has in His heavenly transport but, one more thing on the four faces, just jumping back to that to get us out of trouble. Each of those faces says something about the character of God. You’ve got the eagle, you’ve got the calve, you’ve got the man, and you’ve got the lion; and they’re all aspects of the character of Christ. Christ is a sacrifice. He’s the Son of man, He is all-seeing, like an eagle and the swiftness of the eagle and, He is also the sacrifice. I mentioned that, He is the lion.

Pastor Jean Ross: The king of the tribe.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and some have compared the four gospels to the four creatures around the throne. They said that Mark is like the eagle; Matthew is like the lion; Luke is the man, he was the physician; and John gives the perspective of Christ as the calf, the sacrifice. So that satisfied me when I learned about that.

Pastor Jean Ross: Let me add one more thing while we’re on that, just to wrap that up a little bit. I think, also, the four living creatures can represent the four faces of Christ's ministry: the lion representing His kingship, perhaps before the incarnation; the calf representing Jesus as our sin barer and sacrifice; the man representing Jesus as our high priest; and then the eagle, a symbol of judgment. Sometimes, the Scriptured eagle is described as coming swiftly and it’s connected with judgment. Jesus comes as King of kings to judge.

Pastor Doug: That’s right, He comes from above.

Pastor Jean Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: Good, good points, very good, appreciate that. Thanks for your question Tim.

Pastor Jean Ross: Our next caller is Steve. He is listening from Brooklyn, New York on WMCA. Steve, welcome to the program.

Steve: Yes, how are you doing? Good evening Pastor Doug, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good evening, how can we help you tonight?

Steve: Yes I got a question. I’m concerned about my brother in Christ. I tried to help based on what I know about the Bible. Well obviously, I don’t know enough about the Bible, so I need your help, you know?

Pastor Doug: Well tell me the question. I’ll do my best.

Steve: Yes, so basically I want to know something. I know he’s saved, but he questions his salvation based on the fact that he has a certain mental illness in which he hallucinates. I don’t know if he see things that aren't there, but he hears voices and everything like that. He thinks that he is demon possessed and everything.

Pastor Doug: He is wondering if that’s going to prevent him from being saved, because he’s not sure whether it’s a medical condition or a physiological or spiritual condition, right?

Steve: Well, actually yeah. He fumbles with the issue because what happened is, basically, the medication is not really effective, and they put that reason right there. He questions salvation because he knows the fundamentals about what it takes to be saved, but the fact that he hears these voices--he’s being tormented and everything to a point where...

Pastor Doug: Well, let me--Steve, let me jump in here and try and answer the principle because, you know, it’ll be hard for me to address personally, what might be at stake with your friend individually without knowing him or being able to counsel like a pastor. Does the Lord prevent a person from being saved if they’ve got a legitimate medical problem, a mental problem I mean? Some people have epilepsy, some people, just because of maybe a birth defect, their minds are not strong and they’re easily influenced. They do their best to have faith but they are just really mentally unstable; they’re doing the best they can. The good news is that Jesus is tender with people. He looks and realizes some people, mentally, can’t get beyond children. Others have a medical handicap and the Lord knows that. Now there are some people who say they’ve got a medical problem but they’ve got a spiritual problem; and then there are some people that have a spiritual problem but it’s really a medical problem, so it works both ways. Just know that God looks on the hearts and He judges everybody fairly. Hey, appreciate your question Steve. We got a few more lined up though.

Pastor Jean Ross: We have Sofia listening in Michigan on WMUZ. Sofia, welcome to the program.

Sofia: Oh hi, thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Sofia: I had a question. I’m doing a study in Genesis. The part where Hagar and Ishmael are sent out, you know, and I’m just wondering if you could clear up why? It seems like God dealt with them so harshly, and with Abraham, Sarah and Isaac, not so.

Pastor Doug: Well, I feel sorry...

Sofia: They seem to have done something to bring this on them, but they are the ones who petitioned her to have this baby and to do all these kinds of stuff. When she was prophesied about her baby before the baby was born, it was a negative prophecy.

Pastor Doug: Right. I feel sorry for Hagar when I read the Bible story...

Sofia: Me too.

Pastor Doug: because when Sarah became exasperated because she wasn’t having a baby, Abraham--his name means father of the multitude--and everybody would say, "Hi, how are you father of the multitude, how many children do you have?" And he’d say, "None yet." "How old are you?" "98," and so Sarah thought, "You know, I need to do something" and she took matters into her own hands. They lost faith, and Abraham and Sarah had Hagar serve as a concubine - Sarah did. Well Ishmael was a healthy, strapping young boy and everything was fine, but then Sarah finally had Isaac. Ishmael began to mock Isaac, and Sarah saw that Hagar...

Sofia: That part I know, I know that part but I have to...

Pastor Doug: There’s more to the story. Now keep in mind, when Hagar was finally sent out by Abraham...

Sofia: The prophecy came before the mocking now, so I mean it’s not like...

Pastor Doug: I mean the prophecy about...

Sofia: They were treated that way because of the mockings, that prophecy came before that?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, let me...

Sofia: and when he went out the first time?

Pastor Doug: Sofia.

Sofia: it, yeah?

Pastor Doug: Just you and I know what we’re talking about but a lot of listeners don’t. Let me just say...

Sofia: Okay.

Pastor Doug: For our listeners, there is a prophecy where God told Abraham that He would bless Ishmael also, but that Isaac was going to be the one who would be the heir of the seed. And is that the prophecy you’re talking about?

Sofia: No, I’m talking about when Sarah went out the first time, when she ran away.

Pastor Doug: You mean when Hagar ran away?

Sofia: Wait, yeah, when Hagar ran away and she was gone. God spoke to her and told her that, when she has a son, that He was going to be against his brothers and some other things that He had said, but there wasn’t anything promising in that prophecy.

Pastor Doug: Well, God actually said that her son would be a leader of a nation...

Sofia: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: ...and that in itself was encouraging. Ishmael of course did become a powerful leader, the father of the Arab world and the people of the east so, you know, He did bless her. And when the boy was dying, God showed mercy on her. He sent an angel and said, "There’s a well of water over here, drink”, but what this story illustrates is all the heartache that comes into a family when a man takes two wives. It was never God’s will for Abraham to have two wives.

Hagar was not supposed to be the wife of Abraham and sometimes God blesses and takes care of things; but, you know, we’ve encountered this when we do meetings oversees. I’ve actually worked on an Indian reservation where men still practice polygamy and they said, “We want to come to the Lord, is it okay if I continue having multiple wives?” And we would say no. It’s just the wrong precedent for the Bible. Well, which wife do you get rid of? It’s a lot of problems. They have that in Africa, right? Pastor Ross is from Africa.

Pastor Jean Ross: Absolutely, it’s a real challenge.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, so it’s just a really difficult thing but, God’s plan is one man, one woman, one family. It just goes to show the heartache it brings when we divide, when we separate from God’s perfect plan.

Pastor Jean Ross: You know, what is nice about the story though, despite all the tragedy because of not following God’s plan as you have mentioned, at the end of the story though, when it came to the death of Abraham, we find that both of his sons were present there...

Pastor Doug: Isaiah and Ishmael came together.

Pastor Jean Ross: ...and they buried their father. They work together. They were able to--whatever differences they had--they were able to work through that, supported each other and of course, in the death of their father, they were there.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. I hope that helps a little Sofia, and we appreciate your call.

Pastor Jean Ross: Our next caller is Scott, and he is listening from Irwin, California. Scott, welcome to the program.

Scott: Hey, how are you guys?

Pastor Doug: Doing well, thanks for calling.

Scott: I’m calling on Revelation 8:8. I noticed a couple of months ago that there was this river in China, in Yangtze, it turned to blood. And it says one-third of the river turned to blood in Revelation 8:8, and it’s in the Prophecy Study Bible by Amazing Facts. It’s a circular Bible verse. It basically goes through Exodus 7:17 and Revelation 16:4. I’m just trying to figure out if they’re all linked or if it’s just Revelation 8:8?

Pastor Doug: Alright well first of all, in Revelation 8 verse, I believe its verse 11 where it says, “And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” Now, are you talking about the water looks like blood?

Scott: Yes. Well I don’t know if you noticed, but in China, I think it’s the biggest river. It was one third of the biggest river in China. Me and my father were researching it and now we--I just had questions on it.

Pastor Doug: Well they just had, in the news, that an ocean near Sydney turned blood red, but it’s a rare but not a totally unusual event where they have this red algae bloom, and it’s not blood, its algae; but when the river Nile River turned to blood in Egypt during the ten plagues that fell on the Egyptians, that was a real plague. I don’t think it was red algae because that typically doesn’t happen in fresh water; and in China the rivers are turning--I’ve been to China and the rivers are changing color. A lot of it is because of chemicals that they’re putting in the river and sometimes there might be a rain storm; and they’ve got red clay. That’s not the plague the Bible is talking about because that kind of thing happens many times in the Bible. Also in the Bible it says that during the seven last plagues, and that will be Revelation 15 and 16 specifically, that a third of all the rivers turn to blood. It’s not just the river here in China or one in (Unintelligible) you know, the Amazon.

Scott: Okay.

Pastor Jean Ross: That’s Revelation 16:3, 4 that speaks about the rivers turning to blood.

Scott: Okay, and I have one other question on Psalms 32:8. Is that the Holy Spirit? It says, “I will guide with my eye." Psalms 32:8 I think it is the Holy Spirit because...

Pastor Doug: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye?"

Scott: ...because I have noticed on the dollar the All-Seeing Eye. I’ve seen just diabolical things, like when I was going surfing at Tousles, there was this guy that looked like Lucifer and he had an eye over his head. I’m just wondering, you know.

Pastor Doug: That’s not talking about the eye of God that you would find on a Masonic symbol or the dollar bill. When God says, “I’ll guide you with My eye” it means with My watch. In other words, when parents are watching over their children, they’ll guide them with their eyes, and that just means God keeps one eye on the future and He keeps one eye on our progress. It has to do, I think, with that image of the All-Seeing Eye.

Scott: I know he is a counterfeit because the devil, that’s what he is. He’s a counterfeit.

Pastor Doug: Exactly, your right, the devil's got hundreds of counterfeits for every truth of God--he does; but it’s good to know this is the Holy Spirit, and God guides us with His providence. He guides us with His Spirit and He will watch over us. If we commit our way of life to the Lord, He’ll show us which way to go.

Pastor Jean Ross: Thank you for your call Scott. We have Robert who is listening from Minnesota. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi Robert, you’re on the air.

Robert: Hi, hey first of all, praise God for what you guys are doing, I’m going to get married on March 9th and my question is (inaudible 52:50) when Jesus' curse was talking about, you should be ruled over by your husband. I was just curious as to the exact meaning of that because I’ve read a lot of your pamphlets that was given from Amazing Facts. I was just curious on the exact meaning of what God was talking about, "you shall be ruled by your husband."

Pastor Doug: Well, the Bible says, “Husbands loves your wives as Christ loves the church." In the family men are to be the spiritual leaders. It doesn’t mean that they are to be slave masters or despots or tyrants.

Robert: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: You’re not to be forcing your spouse, but when there is a contention between the husband and wife on decisions, the wife should defer to the husband, unless there's some moral reason not to. She shouldn’t surrender her convictions; and the husband should not take advantage of this Scripture, but he is to be the priest of the family. He is to be a servant leader in the family as Jesus came to serve the church, but he is also the authority--just so a person doesn’t misunderstand this, the Bible...

Robert: Yeah. I think that’s what a lot of husbands have done over the years, is took that to the wrong context.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I think women, Christian women, they want men to be strong spiritual leaders in the family--and this is what the Bible--let me read the verse for our friends that are listening. After the fall and Adam and Eve sinned, God said to the woman in Genesis 3:16, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” And so this is establishing that men were to be the servant leaders in the families.

Of course this is re-edited several times in the New Testament, where it talks about an elder should be one who rules his own family. Well if you read in, I think it’s First Peter 3:2 where it says if a woman is married to an unbelieving husband, that she can win her husband to the Lord "while they behold your chaste behavior coupled with fear.” I know these are just difficult verses in a feminist world. Well listening friends, you can tell the music is chasing us. Probably a good time for us to excuse ourselves without question.

Pastor Jean Ross: (Laughing)

Pastor Doug: We hope you’ll keep Bible Answers Live in your prayers. If you’ve been blessed by the program, we do our best just to have a Bible study with you. And we're only on the air because people like you who are listening keep us there. If you want to support Amazing Facts, go to amazingfacts.org. In the meantime, we’ll talk again next week.

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