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Wearing Your Treasure

Scripture: John 3:13, Matthew 24:28, Revelation 14:18
Date: 05/26/2013 
A man in India, Datta Phuge, has taken extravagance to a new level. He recently ordered the creation of the world's most expensive...
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Pastor Doug: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? A man in India, Datta Phuge, has taken extravagance to a new level. He recently ordered the creation of the world's most expensive shirt made with more than seven pounds of 22 karat gold and worth over $250,000. Mr. Phuge also nicknamed the "Gold man," already has his knuckles, neck and his wrists weighed down with chunky gold bracelets, gaudy signet rings and a gigantic medallion that Olympic champions might envy.

The spectacular shirt is covered with 14,000 gold flowers, interwoven with 100,000 gilded spangles, and lining of the finest white velvet. Because it can’t be dry cleaned, great care must be taken not to let it get dirty or sweaty, which is hard to avoid during the occasions in the Indian summer. Given its impractical nature, the glittering garment is only worn on special occasions; and Mr. Phuge must have his security guards with him wherever he goes. Mr. Phuge believes gold is a good investment, and he admits he likes to wear his money.

Did you know the Bible talks about wearing gold and jewelry? Stay with us friends. We're going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. We'd just like to encourage you, if you have a Bible question, now is the best time to pick up the phone and give us a call. We've got the lines open. This program is dedicated to searching the Word of God together and finding what is truth. If you have a question related to the Christian life or the Bible, then give us a call. The number once again is 1-800-GOD-SAYS. Are you ready? 1-800-463-7297 will bring you into the studio with your Bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross, good evening listening friends; and Pastor Doug as usual, let's start the program with prayer. Dear Father, once again we thank You that we have this opportunity to spend time studying Your Word. Lord, we ask a blessing upon this program. Be with those who are listening wherever they might be, and lead us into a deeper and fuller understanding of Your Word this evening. For we ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about an individual who spent a tremendous amount of money adorning himself with some of the most outlandish attire, a shirt made with gold. Incredible!

Pastor Doug: Yes, they've got pictures of it of course on the internet. I don’t know how the fellow can walk around, because it's not just the shirt that's heavy, but the layers. Do some of our listeners remember the old Mr. T, who was renowned for just having layers of gold chains around his neck? Well this fellow puts him to shame. It's layers of gold on every finger, sometimes 2 or 3 per finger, and his wrists and his neck. It gives a new meaning to bling. He's kind of blinged out, but he says, "Yeah, I’ve got money and gold is an investment. I want to wear my money."

It makes me think about an illustration one time where I saw a Pastor put money in his ears to try to talk about should Christians wear jewelry, and if so how much is too much? You know friends, you might be surprised to learn that the Bible tells us that Christians should be modest in their apparel; and we should not deliberately dress in a way to advertise that we've got money. It says in, for instance, 1 Peter 3:3, “Do not let your adornment be the outward adornment, the arranging of the hair, or the wearing of gold or putting on fine apparel. Rather let it be the hidden person in the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and a quiet spirit."

Here Peter is also referencing something that Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:9, "In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly clothing." Of course, this isn’t just for women. This would be a principle for men and women; and I think sometimes people forget that when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, the Egyptians paid them. It is true, nothing is wrong with gold or silver or jewels or diamonds. I mean, God made these things; and we're going to walk on gold in heaven, lot of gold in heaven. The question is--if God wants us to draw attention to ourselves by hanging baubles and beads on our body--when the Israelites left Egypt, they sort of got back-pay for the years they worked; and the Egyptians just showered them with gold and silver and jewels.

Well then you read a little later and it tells us in Exodus 32, this is what they ended up turning into a God, a golden calf that they worshiped. In the days of Jacob when they went to meet before the Lord, Jacob said put away the pagan gods that are among you. They took off their ornaments and their jewelry and their earrings and they buried them; and then they met with the Lord. So there is often a connection in the Bible with the outward adornment and some of the pagan-ness.

A few years ago when some of the famous televangelists got into trouble, one of the things that the world mocked was their ostentation in dress, they and their wives. So you know, we think about Jesus. Jesus was humble and He was modest, and no one ever talked about--the only thing that's mentioned is that He had a nice white garment. Other than that, they couldn’t spot Him in the crowd.

So Christian’s clothing should, of course, be clean and neat and ought to be representing Jesus. I think there's a principle here, that we ought to avoid the outward display and the ornamentation and stuff that's so popular in the world. And we've got a book on that if you want to find out. It's a simple Bible study that talks about more of the way we witness is not only with our words, it's with our being, with our appearance.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The book is simply entitled, Jewelry, How Much is Too Much? Pastor Doug, you wrote this book some time back but it's an excellent study in this important subject. How do we reveal Christ? The book again is entitled, Jewelry, How Much is Too Much? and we'll send it to anyone who calls and asks for our book at our resource line. The number is 1-800-835-6747. Again, 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, Jewelry, How Much is Too Much? If you’re close to your computer, you can join us live via the web. Just go to Amazing Facts--now wait a minute--what is the website again?

Pastor Doug: Live.amazingfacts.org

Pastor Jëan Ross: Oh, there it is. Live.amazingfacts.org. Live.amazingfacts.org, and you'll be able to participate with us right here in the studio.

Pastor Doug: It's easy. Sometimes you forget because I think Amazing Facts has about 20 or 25 websites, so to keep them all straight, you do pretty good on the fly.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We say it enough. You'd think we'd remember, but there is always a new one. Well we're ready to go to the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is Tullert, and he is calling from New York. Tullert, welcome to the program.

Gilbert: It's Gilbert.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Gilbert? Alright.

Pastor Doug: A letter fell off the monitor sorry, [laughs] and your question tonight?

Gilbert: Yes, Pastor Batchelor is it?

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Gilbert: Yes, I have a question. I saw a YouTube of the Cosmic Conflict and why don’t you have no one play the archangel Michael? Isn’t the archangel, Michael, like the general angel, and Jesus is the commanding chief? I think archangel Michael is the like general. To me, he is the general, the war angel.

Pastor Doug: Okay Gilbert, well good question. First let me tell you, we're going send you a book; and the book is called--you have to call and ask for it--the book is called, Who is Michael the Archangel? We have a whole book on that, but let me tell you very quickly. Michael the archangel is sort of a mysterious character that appears a number of times in the Old Testament, and a couple of times in the New Testament. It doesn’t really say that he is an angel, in the sense of a seraphim or a cherubim.

He's like the angel of the Lord, and the word angel there means the "messenger." It's one of the names that is used for Christ, God's Son prior to the incarnation. The word "Michael" means, "Who is as God." And so we've got the greatest--"Archangel" means, "greatest or highest messenger." And of course, He is the general of the angels. Jesus is the general of the angels. The angels worship Him. But let me give you a quick study on that.

You see, for instance, when this angelic being appears to Joshua and He says, "Take your shoes off your feet for this is holy ground", Joshua worships Him. Well we're only supposed to worship God. When John tried to pray to Gabriel, a common angel in Revelation, he was told not to do it. The Bible says the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of the archangel. That's 1st Thessalonians 4--The Lord comes with the voice of the archangel--then you see in Jude, and I believe its verse 9, that it says Michael is the one who comes to resurrect Moses; and you see that there is a war in heaven between the dragon--the dragon, remember, is a symbolic name for the devil--the dragon and his angels and Michael.

Well if the dragon is a symbolic name for somebody, perhaps Michael is a symbolic name for the Leader of all good, which is Jesus. So a number of Bible scholars believe that Michael was sort of an enigmatic name for Christ when he appeared in the Old Testament. Yeah, I know that some people disagree on that. We're not saying--please understand Gilbert--we're not saying that Jesus is an angel. Jesus is the eternal Son of God. We are saying that one of the ways that Christ appeared in the Old Testament was through this greatest messenger, who is as God. So please order the book, Who is Michael the Archangel? We'll send that to you and anyone who wants that. You can even find it I think on-line. You can read it for free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, Who is Michael the Archangel? You can also go to the Amazing Facts website, amazingfacts.org, and you'll be able to read the book on-line. It has a free library. Type in the name, Michael the archangel. We have Michael, who's listening from New Jersey. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross, I thank you for your service.

Pastor Doug: Well pleasure. We were just talking about your name <laughs>

Michael: I have a dilemma. I have been separated from my wife for about 2 1/2 years almost, but I’m waiting patiently and faithfully because she is out of Christ and she's not saved. So with that, I need to know the exact meaning of 1 Corinthians 7:15?

Pastor Doug: Alright. Can I read this to our listeners?

Michael: Yes sir.

Pastor Doug: "But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases when God has called us to peace." The context, from what Paul is talking about--and this is a difficult verse--and I’d like to hear Pastor Jëan weigh in on this, if he has a different view. Paul is speaking to the Corinthians, most of whom were pagans. They’re married, and then one of them accepts Christ. Well the pagan that they are married to--the unbeliever--says, "Look, I didn’t buy into this when I married you. You worshiped Jupiter. Now you've gone and followed Jesus. I’m leaving." If that unbelieving spouse leaves, and there's nothing that the believing spouse can do to get them to stay, then the believing spouse eventually is free to remarry.

That's a unique circumstance. If you've got two believers and they’re married, and one of them stops believing, that doesn’t mean that the believing spouse now can say, "Well let's just get a divorce and I’m going to go remarry." So I don’t know Jëan, that's kind of my understanding.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah absolutely. I think even Paul addresses that in verse 16 because he says, "For how do you know wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know husband, whether you will save your wife?" Then it goes on to explain how that, through a godly conduct, the wife or the husband can be a positive influence on their spouse.

Michael: Yes. I have four [children] but they are grown, but I’m asking there is nothing wrong with me continuing to wait?

Pastor Doug: No. Do you know what the Biblical grounds for divorce are?

Michael: Yes I do.

Pastor Doug: Okay. Has your wife, to your knowledge, remained celibate?

Michael: Well not to my knowledge, but out of her mouth--like I said she's out of Christ--she's not acting herself. She said that she was quote, unquote, "seeing someone."

Pastor Doug: Yes, well you know the thing that I would recommend is patience and prayer. It is tough. The Bible says that it's not good for a man to be alone and so I recommend that you just continue to pray and wait, and no telling what God can do. If there are any redeemable qualities, it's such a stronger witness to society when Christians can reconcile. Now I wrote a book specifically because of these questions. The book is called, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. If you call Amazing Facts--you won’t find it where you can read it online--but you call Amazing Facts and we can send you a copy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call for that book Michael is 1-800-835-6747; and the book Marriage Divorce and Remarriage 1-800-835-6747, is for you or anyone who wants to learn more about this important subject.

Pastor Doug: Thanks for your question.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Joe, who's listening from Iowa.

Joe: Hello?

Pastor Doug: Hi! And you’re on the air.

Joe: Yeah, I’m calling from Iowa, I have a question. For many years, I’ve always learned or always believed myself, that people who die and go to hell are there forever, eternally tormented. Is that right, or is that when people die and go to hell do they just...

Pastor Doug: There are two major misunderstandings about hell. First of all, there is a place where the wicked are punished, there is a lake of fire. The Bible's very clear. You can read that in Revelation 20. The two misconceptions are one, that as soon as a lost person dies, they immediately go to hell before the judgment or the resurrection. The Bible doesn’t tell us that. The Bible is very clear that the wicked are not cast into the lake of fire until after the great white throne judgment, which is still in the future. The Bible says that the wicked remain in the grave. They are reserved for the day of punishment. That means they are waiting, they are not there. So first of all, I want people to know that nobody is burning in the lake of fire right now. They misunderstand the parable of the rich man and Lazarus and they build a whole doctrine on that.

Secondly, the Bible is pretty clear that the wicked are burnt up. If you look, for instance, in Malachi 4:1, it says, "Behold the day comes that will burn as an oven, and all of the proud, and all that do wickedly will be stubble. The day that comes will burn them up."

When something's burnt up how much is left? And you know John 3:16 where it says "God so loved the world He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him..." Now here are the two choices everyone has: "will not perish, but have ever lasting life." God doesn’t say they'll have everlasting life in heaven and then the others will have everlasting life in hell.

Life is a gift of Jesus. Eternal death and separation from God is the punishment for the wicked. They are punished in the lake of fire according to what they deserve. Christ says that everyone gets a different punishment according to what their works are, then they are burnt up. They are consumed. The Bible says the wicked are devoured. It's the second death, and we've got a study guide on it we'll send you for free; and then there's a website. You can go to the website simply called helltruth.com.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor, I’m looking at the website right here in front of me. Fantastic resource for anyone wanting to study more about the subject. For example, what does the Bible mean when it speaks about "spirits in prison"? And what about unquenchable fire? All of these are addressed at the website helltruth.com. If you go there you can study this out for yourself. There is a video you can actually watch and you can order a free book on-line.

Pastor Doug: No we don’t have video of hell. We just want to make sure. We don’t have any live footage.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We don’t have a streaming camera there. We do have a book that you can click on at the website entitled, Hell-Fire: A Twisted Truth Untangled, and we'll send that to you for free or you can call our resource line. That's 1-800-835-6747, and you can ask for the Amazing Facts study guide called, Is the Devil in Charge of Hell, and we'll send that to anyone who calls and asks. Again, the number is 1-800-835-6747

Pastor Doug: This is such an important question, Joe, because a lot of people are just driven to distraction thinking their loved ones that may have died lost are right now writhing in sulfur moment after moment and that they will through eternity. It could drive a person crazy; and God is not a tyrant, He is not a sadist. And if people only understood the truth on this subject, they would find that God is a God that they can trust and love. So yes, take a look at the website.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Bob who is listening from New Jersey. Bob, Welcome to the program.

Bob: Pastor Ross!

Pastor Doug: Hey! You’re on the air.

Bob: This is Bob from Jackson, New Jersey. My question is, in heaven, can we visit friends we have lost contact with?

Pastor Doug: I believe so. If you look in 1st Corinthians 13:12, it says, "For now we look through a glass darkly...but then we will know even as we are known." I think that old acquaintances, assuming they are saved, that you will be able to rekindle. We're going to gather around that tree of life and gather around the throne and worship God; and there will be rejoicing in ecstasy and bliss. At His right hand are pleasures forever more, and to do it with friends that we love is just going to be just the greatest joy that is imaginable. So I think absolutely. We have a lesson that we can send you about some of the wonders of heaven that we'll be happy to send you for free Bob.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The study guide Bob, if you'd call and ask for it, the number is 1-800-835-6747, the study guide is entitled, A Colossal City in Space. It's all about heaven and what God has in store for those who love Him.

Pastor Doug: We also have that book called, Heaven Is It For Real?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Another great resource, yes.

Pastor Doug: Right. That also talks about your question. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Jerry, who is listening now from Oregon. Jerry, welcome to the program.

Jerry: Thank you. Good Afternoon Pastors Ross and Batchelor.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Evening.

Jerry: Evening. My question pertains first of all to John 3:13, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Now and of course, we know from many other Scriptures that we'll resurrect on the final day; but regarding the transfiguration in Matthew 11:3, "Then the 3 disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus..." I guess you can anticipate my question.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, I think that this is one of those cases that, when you go from the Greek to the English, that it's misunderstood. Christ is really saying the two together. No one has gone up to heaven and come down from heaven to reveal who God is, except the Son. He's not trying to make a point that no one ascending to heaven--cause Jesus obviously knew that Elijah ascended and Moses ascended and Enoch went to heaven--so He's not saying no one has gone up but Me. He's saying no one has gone up, and then come from the Father to tell you who the Father is; but I’ve come to reveal the Father from heaven.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, and if you look at the previous verse, in verse 12, Jesus says, "I've told you earthly things and you do not believe. How would you believe if I told you of heavenly things?" And then He says, "No one has ascended up in heaven and come down to share these heavenly things, other than Christ."

Pastor Doug: So that's a place where, even if you look in--there's a Bible program anyone can download for free called e-Sword. It's a great program, and there are a lot of good commentaries that are also free, some of the great reformation commentators. If you look on the comments from everyone from John Gill to Matthew Henry to Adam Clark, they all make it pretty clear that when you look in the original language, this is a place where the English has created a cumbersome problem that isn’t really there in the original.

Jerry: And one other clarification, how would the disciples know that this was Moses and Elijah?

Pastor Doug: Yes, that's a good question, I’ve asked that question before, and it occurred to me that it says they listened to them talk. You read it in Matthew and Mark and it says they were speaking but in Luke it says what they were speaking about. Jesus probably addressed them and said Elijah and Moses probably in the conversational context. I often meet people at the door as I travel and I know I’ve met them before; and I can’t remember their name. And I pray and say, "Oh it'll be so embarrassing Lord. I think I married or baptized this person and I can’t remember their name." I’ll pray someone else will say their name as we're gathered there, and God has always answered that prayer.

So I think, in the context of the conversation, Jesus addressed them or they addressed each other by name. It's also a divine vision. When you've got a supernatural vision, I think there is also divine revelation that comes spiritually. So the Lord may have just revealed to them through the Spirit who this was also. Oh by the way, Jerry, got a free book that I’ll send you. I wrote a book on the mount of transfiguration and it's called, Who are the Two Witnesses? or The Glorious Mount. It talks about the Two Witnesses; it's the Moses and Elijah Vision. I'll send that to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. That is the resource line, and you can ask for the book, The Glorious Mount. If you have a Bible question, the number here to the studio is 1-800-463-7297. We have, it looks like, three lines open. You can call now with your Bible question. We have Fay who is listening from Michigan. Fay, welcome to the program.

Fay: Hello, How are you guys?

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

Fay: Well my question that I have is concerning Hebrews the 4th chapter, and it's concerning the rest. The Bible talks about entering His rest. Okay. I understand where it talks about how He made the earth in six days and how He rested on the seventh day; so my question is, is this rest today? Does it mean that the rest in Him today is just resting in Jesus, or is it actually rest? You know, where He just took a whole day and just rested from all His work. Is that the same type of rest in this Scripture today?

Pastor Doug: Alright well let me read this for our friends. If you look in Hebrews 4:8 it says, "For if Joshua had given them rest"--now a person who is reading this in the King James version will see "Jesus" there because Jesus is the Greek way of saying "Joshua"; but it's talking about Joshua in the Old Testament, when he lead the children of Israel into the "rest of the promised land."

They didn’t have to wander anymore. They finally were able to settle back and plant and build and settle down. And it says, "For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not afterward had spoken of another day." After they entered the promised land, King David said--and you read this in verse 7--"Today if you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts." And, "they shall not enter my rest because of unbelief." That you find in verse 5, same chapter.

So he's saying the rest that David speaks of is after Joshua leads them into the promised land. There is another rest beyond the promised land. Now the spiritual--all of the Commandments have got a spiritual side and a legal side. The Spirit of the law says thou shalt not commit adultery, no I take that back. The letter of the law says thou shalt not commit adultery; the Spirit of the law says if you look on the opposite sex and you lust in your heart, you can commit spiritual adultery. The letter of the law says thou shalt not kill; the Spirit of the law says don’t be angry with your brother without cause or you're guilty of murder. The letter of the law says don't lie, Jesus said the Spirit of the law is don’t swear, let your yes be yes and your no be no.

Now in the same way Fay, the letter of the law says remember the Sabbath day. The Spirit of the law says come unto me and I will give you rest. Now we're still supposed to keep the letter of the law. God didn’t say its okay to literally steal, lie, commit adultery, murder and break the Sabbath. He wants us to keep the letter of the law, but beyond the letter of the law, He wants us to keep the Spirit of the law. And so He's saying here that it's through Jesus that we really experience that inner rest. But obviously, God still wants His people to have physical rest.

You know, we're not supposed to work seven days a week. Obviously there needs to be a set time where God's people come together to fellowship and worship. You find in Leviticus 23 where it talks about the Sabbath being a holy convocation. So we still need both. We need the Spirit and the letter of the law. By the way, we have a lesson called, The Lost Day of History. We'll send you a free copy Fay. Just call the resource number.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, the resource number, just for those who are listening and they didn’t catch it when we were mentioning it earlier, the number is 1-800-835-6747. We have a website that we'd like to tell everybody about. It's one that is very important and also very popular. It's called truthaboutdeath.com or deathtruth.com. You can type in either one and it will take you to the website. That answers the important question about what happens when a person dies.

Pastor Doug: Yes and right now, as people are spending time on Memorial Day remembering their loved ones, a lot of folks are wondering, "Are they listening from the grave and do they know?" So you want to check that out and make sure you understand what does the Bible say about death. It's something no one wants to think about, but statistically everyone is going to face some day. Now don’t worry friends. We're going to be back with more Bible questions.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We're Back friends with more Bible questions and Bible Answers Live. And for those who may have joined us somewhere in or out, if you've got a Bible question, that's what this program is for. We invite you to call in. The phone number, it's a free phone call, is 1-800-463-7297. You know, I still find that I’m saying, "800 free phone call", as though people wouldn’t know that. Most people in North America have cell plans where it just doesn’t matter anymore but yes, some phone companies do still charge, and it is a free phone call. 1-800-463-7297 will bring you into the studio with your Bible question and my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross, and we're going to go straight to the phone lines. We have Lenora who is listening from Greenville, North Carolina. Lenora, welcome to the program.

Lenora: Thank you and good evening to you, and thank God for your ministry.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you for calling, and your question?

Lenora: I have a question.

Pastor Doug: You might want to turn the radio off in the background or you'll hear a delay and it's going to confuse you.

Lenora: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Are you there?

Lenora: Yes, I’m on the internet. I’m trying to turn it down. My question is, is it wrong to lie? It's just something I’ve always wondered about. Why was it okay for Jacob to lie and receive the blessing? It was a downright lie.

Pastor Doug: It was a downright lie. Why do you think it was okay? Does the Bible say it was okay?

Lenora: No I guess not, but it just seems like it was okay because he received, he stole the birthright from his brother.

Pastor Doug: No actually, God was going to give him the birthright. God had already told Rebecca before he was even born, that the older would serve the younger, that The Messiah would come for the younger one Jacob; and Jacob wanted that, but Jacob--instead of trusting the Lord and waiting on God--he and Rebecca thought they could connive and make things happen. Sort of the same way that Abraham thought that he could manipulate things to have the baby by marrying Hagar. So they ran ahead of the Lord, Jacob and his mother, and they tricked Isaac into giving him the blessing. Well he was going to get the blessing anyway; and he suffered for years after that because then Laban, his father-in-law, tricked him.

Everyone started tricking Jacob. His sons tricked him when they sold Joseph. Laban, his father-in-law, tricked him when he swapped Leah and Rachel during his wedding night. God forgave David for what happened with Bathsheba, but He didn’t reverse the consequences. David suffered tremendously for what happened; and indeed, four of his sons died in some connection with his sin. So yeah Jacob lied, and his lie was wrong, and he had deceived his brother. Matter of fact, the name "Jacob" means "deceiver" or con-artist--and he repented of that. He had to kind of run from home or his brother was going to murder him.

Lenora: Thank you very much, that answered the question.

Pastor Doug: Alright, I appreciate it Lenora.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we do see examples in the Bible passages as you mentioned. The Bible is very honest of these folks back in Bible times, both their strengths of character, but also their weaknesses. The Bible records the good things they did and also the bad things they did.

Pastor Doug: David lied. He pretended he was crazy in front of Ahimelech. And you've got the story where Rahab told a blatant lie, but you know, you've got to give her a break. She was a harlot and she's just doing what she's done all her life, and these people learned. Peter lied when he said, "No, I don’t know who Jesus is, never met Him before." So the Bible records...

Pastor Jëan Ross: It's not an excuse.

Pastor Doug: No it's never--God never wants us to lie. He always wants us to be honest.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our Next caller is Mindy. She's listening from Virginia. Mindy welcome to the program.

Mindy: Hi.

Pastor Doug: Hi Mindy.

Mindy: My question is about Matthew 24, where Jesus is talking about the great tribulation and about His second coming. Then He's talking so literally; then all of a sudden you get to verse 28 where it's got, "So wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together." I just kind of don’t understand that, and I was wondering if you could tell me what that means?

Pastor Doug: When Noah was in the ark and the Bible says the flood came and took them all away, the wicked were taken away in judgment, and the earth was probably covered with the slain. After a great battle when people where punished or judged by God, the birds would gather. And so it's really talking about the ones who are left behind, the ones who are saved in a sense. When judgment comes--the children of Israel--when they were obedient to God, they got to stay in the promised land. When they were disobedient, they were carried off into captivity, whether it was by the Romans or by the Babylonians. So when they asked Jesus where? He's taking about where they are carried away to. He says wherever the carcass is, that's where the eagles are gathered.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a book talking about the second coming of Christ and actually describes further this passage of Scripture that we see in Matthew Chapter 24. We'll send this to you Mindy, or anyone who calls and asks for it. It's called, The Ultimate Deliverance. It's about the second coming of Christ and what happens to the righteous and what will happen to the wicked. The number to call is 1-800-835-6747 and the study guide is called, The Ultimate Deliverance. That's 1-800-835-6747. The study guide is, Ultimate Deliverance. We have Larry, who is listening from Ohio. Larry, welcome to the program.

Larry: Hey, how you doing?

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

Larry: I was calling in because I really have more of a statement than a question, but first, I want to start off by saying thank you for being someone who was actually preaching truth. There is a famine of truth that's going around, and that's one of the main things that's going to happen in the end that people kind of miss. They'll see a lot of violence going on and they'll say, "Oh man that's just crazy." We know these are the last days, but one of the keys that it says in Matthew 24:14, it says that when the gospel is preached all over the world it says then shall the end come, but everything else those were like just things just that's going to happen.

There are lots of things in the Bible that aren’t common knowledge but when those become common knowledge, some of the things like Genesis Chapter 6. Like for years, I’ve been knowing that those weren’t angels, but a lot of people have told me that; but I believe what the Bible says more than I believe what man says--and so I was real happy to hear. I listened to one of your shows and I heard that. I was like, "Oh wow man, somebody really knows." What I wanted to say though was about Lucifer.

Pastor Doug: Now do you have a question, Larry?

Larry: Well I can’t say exactly it's a question or it wasn’t a question.

Pastor Doug: Well we got several people lined up, so it's probably not a good format for a statement. If you have a question, that's what we're here for. Can you make it real quick?

Larry: Well yeah, real quick. A lot of people think that Lucifer in Isaiah 14 was the devil but just the whole thing of the devil used to be an angel, and then he turned bad. If you read in John 8:44, Jesus says that the devil was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth because there is no truth in him. So that means he was never good, that doesn’t mean it used to be truth. He said that there was no truth in him.

Pastor Doug: Well, you've got a question actually phrased in that, that I might be able to help you with. When it says that the devil abode not in the truth, the word "abode" there means he did not remain in the truth; and so Lucifer, at one time prior to his fall, was actually a beautiful, good angel. The devil did not just kind of ooze out of nowhere. God made a beautiful angel that was free but he did not abide, he did not remain. Like, what Jesus says in John 15, if we abide in Him, that means if we remain in Him, then He will remain in us. So the devil did not remain in the truth and he rebelled. We do have a study. Please take a look at it Larry. It's a study talking about did God make a devil. We'll send it to you for free.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747 and the study guide is Did God Create a Devil? 1-800-835-6747. Our next caller is Sunny. I believe she's from New Jersey. Sunny, welcome to the program.

Sunny: Hello.

Pastor Doug: Hi.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You're on the air.

Sunny: My question is in Mark 16:17-18

Pastor Doug: You want me to read that for people?

Sunny: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Mark 16:17-18, and it says, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." So you're wanting to know is this true? Is this still real?

Sunny: Yea, can you do any of them?

Pastor Doug: I believe that all of these things happened in the days of the Apostles. I believe they have happened at times in history. I believe they will happen again before the second coming. I do believe that God still heals people; and I do believe that God can cast out devils. So yes, I believe all this is absolutely true.

Sunny: But you're saying these signs are for the believers. That means if you're a believer, you're supposed to be able to do these things. You’re supposed to be able to drink any deadly thing and it won’t hurt you.

Pastor Doug: Yeah--now do you think we ought to deliberately be drinking deadly things?

Sunny: Well if the Bible says so. It says so right?

Pastor Doug: Well no. It's saying if someone tries to poison you, it won’t hurt you. But you shouldn’t be tempting the Lord. Jesus refused when the devil told Him to jump off the building to prove He had the Holy Spirit; so I don’t think Christians ought to go down to the hardware store and be drinking Drano and saying, "I’m going to prove I’ve got the Holy Spirit." You'll probably get sick and die.

So that's not what He means; nor does it mean that we're supposed to go find poisonous snakes and pick them up. But when Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake in Acts 26 or 7, I don’t remember, it says he took up the serpent and shook it into the fire and the serpent did not hurt him. He should have fallen down, swollen up and died, but nothing happened because he had the Holy Spirit.

I think that power is still with God's people. Whenever the Lord wants to use that power, He can and He does. I appreciate your question Sunny. I think that you’re going to see the signs and wonders that attended the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost during the first coming of Jesus. You will see another wave of those signs and wonders attend God's people prior to the second coming.

It's a fact of history that, even among believers, the miracles seem to come and go in waves; and whenever God does something significant, it seems like there is a new infusion of the Holy Spirit. Who's next Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: We've got Ernesto, who is listening from New Jersey. Ernesto, welcome to the program.

Ernesto: Good evening, nice to speak to you guys.

Pastor Doug: Likewise!

Ernesto: And just like Larry said, I am so grateful that we have you guys speaking truth on this evening.

Pastor Doug: It's our privilege.

Ernesto: I heard you speak to someone about the Sabbath and so, I would like some Bible verses in reference to what you quoted in the book of Hebrews. I would like you to quote some Bible verses that would clarify your statement. Then I want you to look at Revelation 14: 8-9 for me and Revelation 17:5, if that's possible, if you have the time.

Pastor Doug: Alright we'll do the best we can. If you look in Hebrew chapter 4 when it talks about if "Joshua had given them rest"--the reference here is Joshua 22:4, and so that's one reference for that. Then if you look when it's talking about David saying, "I swore in my wrath, they would not enter my rest," that is Psalm 95; you’re reading Psalm 95:11. "I swore in my wrath they will not enter my rest" is a direct quote from Psalm 95:11. And Paul--we believe the writer of Hebrews is Paul--is saying that the ultimate rest that David and Joshua were talking about is not just the promised land.

There is a bigger rest that was to come to God's people, not only in Christ, but ultimately in the real promised land. When we're in the heavenly Canaan and we won’t have to study war no more. Now you gave us another verse you wanted a quick answer on in Revelation 14 you said?

Ernesto: Revelation 14:8-9, where it speaks of Babylon; and then Revelation 17:5, it also speaks of Babylon.

Pastor Doug: Do you want to know who Babylon is?

Ernesto: Yes, Sir.

Pastor Doug: Well to understand Babylon in the Bible, first you find "Babel" appears in Genesis chapter 11. It was a city built by these rebels against God by Nimrod; and it became a city that was sort of a counterfeit place of worship. Ultimately Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, conquered the land of Israel and destroyed the temple. People were carried off to Babylon and so Babylon came to summarize a confusion of religion. When they confused the language at the tower of Babel, Babylon also talked about basically a confusion of tongues.

I think we all know that there are churches today, when you walk in the door and you wonder what in the world is going on because it sounds like a combination of a hootenanny and a lot of confusion of tongues, and Paul said in 1st Corinthians 14 we're not supposed to be doing that.

Ultimately, Babylon is this woman that you find identified in Revelation 17 that the Christian church in Rome gradually began to compromise for the pagans in Rome, until you had this milkshake of Christianity--all blended up with paganism. You read for instance the last verse in Revelation 17 when you want to know who is this woman? Who is this city?

It says in Revelation 17:18, "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." So at the time John was in prison, he was imprisoned by Rome, and Rome was the city reigning over the kings of the earth. Rome was the place that Christianity moved its headquarters during the dark ages and there was a lot of apostasy and drifting away from Biblical Christianity. So Ernesto that's a good question. It is a quick short answer but we'll send you a free lesson that talks about Babylon.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do. We have a study guide called, The Other Woman. It talks about Revelation chapter 17. We’ll send it to anyone who calls and asks for it.

Pastor Doug: It also mentions Revelation 14 too. Both verses he asked about are in there.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right. The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. Ask for the study guide, The Other Woman. That's 1-800-835-6747. We have Bernastine who is listening from Sacramento. Bernastine, welcome to the program.

Bernastine: Oh thank you!

Pastor Doug: Welcome!

Bernastine: Oh, I have a question. I'm thinking about this, because I believe in the eternal lake of fire burning forever; but what I don’t understand is, if we're obedient and we end up with Christ and all, He's going to give us eternal life. It seems like if the wicked decide they don’t want to be with Him that they are going to receive the eternal damnation of Satan because they rejected Christ. Why would the wicked receive mercy in the lake of fire when they rejected the mercy? And also, there's a Scripture that says something about that those that were wicked, their worm would never die and the fire would never be...

Pastor Doug: Quenched.

Bernastine: Yes! So talk on that.

Pastor Doug: Do you believe that the soul is immortal?

Bernastine: The soul is immortal.

Pastor Doug: Can a soul die?

Bernastine: Yes it can die.

Pastor Doug: It says in Ezekiel that a soul that sins will die. Paul says the penalty for sin is death. The wages for sin is death; and Jesus, when He died on the cross, He paid our penalty right?

Bernastine: Yes.

Pastor Doug: If the penalty for sin is eternal burning in fire, then how did Jesus pay our penalty?

Bernastine: Well He paid our penalty for those that would receive Him but those that don’t want Him; they rejected what He would have to offer.

Pastor Doug: You and I agree. Now in the verse you mentioned, where it talks about the worm will not die and the fire will not be quenched--and that's mentioned in Matthew and Mark, and it may also be in Luke--He specifically says it's better to enter heaven, He's telling a parable, because He says it's better to go to heaven missing a hand, a foot or an eye than to go into Gehenna, is the word He uses, where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

The word He uses in original is Gehenna. Gehenna is the Valley of Hinnom, which is right outside Jerusalem. It was a very steep place. It's not as steep today because it has been filled in over millennia, but it was where they threw all of the trash and it was constantly burning. They had old baskets and debris that were burning, the dead animals were there. It was full of worms and smoking continually; and Christ is basically saying that you're better off going to heaven maimed than ending up in Gehenna where it's just an awful existence. But the Bible, I think, is pretty clear about the penalty of sin.

Let me give you another verse. In Revelation it says that God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There is no more pain, neither sorrow or death. Now if there is no more pain when God remakes the universe, if He has a torture chamber where a billion zillion years from now people-- I mean, think about it: A 13 year-old teenager who is past the age of accountability--so he's not forgiven because he's too young, and he committed suicide or he did something where he died lost, whatever. Is he going to burn as long as Adolf Hitler? A lot of people see that and they say, "Well how do you see the love and the justice of God?"

Now you asked about mercy. I believe that God is punishing people according to what they deserve, the fact that they are going to the lake of fire and they are going to burn according to what they deserve. Revelation 20 calls it the "second death." I don’t know if you want to add to that Pastor Ross?

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, I just want to encourage you, if you have access to the internet Bernastine, take a look at the website helltruth.com. Right there on the home page we talk about the worm that does not die. Well look at that first, the unquenchable fire, the story of the rich man and Lazarus. It's all there, just very important information, and you'll be able to take time to really study the subject.

Pastor Doug: Yes this idea that the wicked are tormented though eternity, it's not what Jesus taught. It sort of came into the church through Greek mythology during the dark ages and the church was kind of able to use it to scare people into cooperating; but Christ is offering everlasting life to the saved and everlasting death to the lost.

They are punished and then they die. Jesus paid our penalty; and He suffered and He died and that's how you pay the penalty of sin. Bernastine, please look at helltruth.com. I appreciate your call and your good spirit, but we're going to have to go to another caller.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Rhema, who is listening from Detroit Michigan. Rhema, welcome to the program.

Rhema: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: How can we help you tonight?

Rhema: Could you describe the difference, your explanation of the difference between the Scriptures, "Christians will judge the angels" versus Matthew 7, "Judge not least we all be judged."

Pastor Doug: People often think that Matthew 7:1, "Judge not that you be not judged, for with what judgment you judge you will be judged, and with what measure you mete it will be measured back to you." And then it goes on, “Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don’t consider the plank, the beam, the 2x4 in your own eye or how can you say to your brother, 'Here let me help remove this speck from your eye', and look, you've got a plank in your own eye.”

Notice what Jesus says, "Hypocrite, first remove the plank from your own eye, then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Jesus never said we're not supposed to help each other when we have things in our eye. He says make sure you’re not a hypocrite, because what judgment you judge, you will be judged. Jesus also says in the gospel of John--I forget the verse--"When you judge, judge with a righteous judgment." And then Paul, talking about the church that was involved in suing each other, he said, "Do you not know you’re going to judge angels? How can’t you judge and adjudicate problems among yourselves as the church?"

So God calls Christians to be faithful in their judgment, but we're not to condemn other people. I think we exercise judgment with our brothers and sisters every day. You know, if we see a brother or sister, Rhema, that is wandering from the Lord, God wants us to notice that and try to go and encourage them. It tells us that in the book of James.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The verse you’re referring to Pastor Doug, in John, that's John 7:24 where Jesus says, "Do not judge according to appearances but judge with righteous judgment."

Pastor Doug: There you have it. Hey Rhema, we do have a book and it's talking about the judgment. I think it's called, Facing the Judge, and we'll send you that. It's a study guide that is color and illustrated. I always like the pictures. It's a beautifully illustrated study guide on what is judgment, and you or anyone who would like that, we'll send you a free copy tonight.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747; and again the study guide is entitled, Facing the Judge, dealing with this important question. You know Pastor, I just have one quick thought to add.

When we're talking about judgment, we're never to judge the heart of the individual, for we don’t know the heart. Only God knows the heart. But God has given us His Word and the Word reveals truth. So we need to know what truth is. And like you mentioned, if a brother or a sister needs truth revealed to them tactfully and prayerfully, you'd want to share that with them. We're not judging their heart, only God can do that. We need to discern between right and wrong.

Pastor Doug: You know friends, it wouldn’t be fair to you if we took another call because we just have a few seconds left in tonight's broadcast, but don’t change the dial. Just for a minute, will you listen to me make my final appeal for tonight anyway? We are a completely listener-supported program. If you have been encouraged, instructed, edified in any way through this broadcast--a lot of people think about it, but very few actually do it--would you consider making a donation to keep Amazing Facts on the air on this station? Just go to our website. It's so easy, amazingfacts.org. There's a button that you can donate. God willing, we're going to talk together again next week.

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