Famine for God's Word

Famine for God's Word

Scripture: Revelation 21:22, Acts 16:29-34, John 6:44
Date: 07/07/2013 
The Rocky Mountain locusts were an abundant species of grasshopper that ranged through the Western half of North America until the end of the nineteenth century. Sightings of ...
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Doug Batchelor: Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? The Rocky Mountain locusts were an abundant species of grasshopper that ranged through the Western half of North America until the end of the nineteenth century. Sightings of swarms were often reported in numbers far larger than any species of locusts in the world including one famous swarm in 1875 that blackened the sky for five days. This super swarm consumed fields like a prairie farm causing a famine in the Midwest.

This locust’s swarm of Biblical proportions was estimated to be 110 miles wide and 1,800 miles long. That comes out to 198,000 square miles of locusts. A super organism greater than the area of California and weighing over 27 million tons. According to the Guinness book of world records this swarm consisted of approximately 12 trillion insects and was the greatest concentration of creatures ever reported. Incredibly less than 30 years later the Rocky Mountain locusts were extinct.

The last reported sighting of a live specimen was in 1902 in Canada. It’s believed the historic wave of settlers sweeping across the West inadvertently plowed up the locusts favorite locations for breeding and laying their eggs. You know the Bible records that plagues of locusts were often followed by famines and Jesus said there will be famines in the last days as a sign of His return. Stay with us friends, we are going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Doug Batchelor: Now, is the time to pick up your phone and give us a call. We have lines open if you have a Bible question. We will do our best to search the Word together. We have the Bible in many translations here on our laptops and a number of study resources. We don’t have all the answers, but Jesus promises if we seek we will find. That’s what this program is all about friends. If you have a Bible question Bible Answers Live is why we exist to do our best to find the truth together. Call now, free phone call, 800-GOD-SAYS. Lines are open, 800-463-7297. One more time 800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: And, my name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug let’s begin the program with a word of prayer. Dear Father once again we want to invite Your presence to be with us as we study Your Word together this evening. Lord we recognize the Bible is Your book and so, we ask for Your leading, and guidance to be with those who are listening wherever they might be, and lead us Lord into a clearer and fuller understanding of Your truth today for we ask this in Jesus name, Amen.

Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Jëan Ross: Pastor you opened the program by talking about this gigantic swarm of locusts. It’s almost hard to fathom. Locusts covering the same surface area as the State of California just moving from the east towards the west … just incredible.

Doug Batchelor: And, even almost as incredible that within 30 years a creature that was that omnipresent in North America you couldn’t find one, they were extinct. The good news about that is that while we see the devil and his minions all over the planet, if we keep sowing the gospel seeds someday he will be extinct too. Evidently those settlers when they looked for the very prime valleys to farm in, the grasshoppers had been laying their eggs in those very same valleys and they plowed them up, and didn’t even realize they were doing it, but you know the Bible also talks about famine. A lot of famines have been caused by swarms of locusts.

I think we all know about the unprecedented swarm of locusts that went through the land of Egypt as a harbinger for God’s people going home and it caused a famine in Egypt after that. But, it tells us that famines are a sign of Jesus’ return. One example is in Mathew 24, Christ is saying, “There will be wars and rumors of war where nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” this is Mathew 24:7, “and there will be famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places. All of these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Now, the Bible talks about a couple of different kinds of famines. One famine is if people don’t have food, but because man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every Word that precedes from the mouth of God. There is another kind of famine the Bible talks about and that’s in Amos 8:11, “Behold the days are coming says the Lord God that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the Word of the Lord and they will wander from sea to sea and from North to East and they will run to-and-fro to seek the Word of the Lord and shall not find it”. And then I have always wondered is it possible to have this famine for the Word of God in a country where the average person has got three or four Bibles in their home.

It is, you can have Bibles and not know what is in the Bible, and you can have churches and not know the Lord, and I think we are living in a time of Biblical illiteracy where so many people are just really unacquainted with what the Bible teaches. That’s where the source of life is. The Bible is the constitution for life especially for the believer the Christian, and we should know the Word. Every time Jesus was tempted He quoted the Word of God. The Word is that sword of truth that we all need.

If you would like to know more about how to become acquainted with the Bible we have a special free resource we would like to tell you about and all you have to do is call and ask or you can go to the website and read it for free there.

Jëan Ross: Tonight we are offering a book entitled, The Ultimate Resource and it’s all about the Bible, learning more about the history of the Bible and how to study the Bible. We will send that to you for free. Just call our resource line. The number is 800-835-6747 again, that’s 800-835-6747 and ask for the book, The Ultimate Resource written by Pastor Doug Batchelor. If you’re close to your computers this evening you can join us here in the studio by going to live.Amazingfacts.org we are streaming tonight’s program. That’s live.Amazingfacts.org. We are going to go to the phone lines. Pastor Doug our first caller this evening is Michael and he’s listening from New Jersey. Michael welcome to the program.

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

Doug Batchelor: It’s a pleasure. And, your question tonight?

Michael: I hope this is not as controversial as I think it is so, this is what I’m trying to ask, we…

Doug Batchelor: We are not afraid of the controversial questions sometimes they are the most important. We don’t mind even people disagreeing as long as they are agreeable so we want to search the truth together. You go right ahead.

Michael: And we are equipped not to be and I thank you. Now this is the question. It says that you have to come to Christ with your own free will, but in John 6:44 Christ Himself says that, “No man can come to Him unless he’s drawn to Him by God”. Could you explain that Pastor?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I think one of the key words there is the word “draw”. You know a magnet can draw someone. That means you feel a pull, but you have the power to resist it, and the Spirit of God draws people. God doesn’t force so it is true that no one can even have the desire to come to God unless the Spirit were drawing him. So we thank and praise God that He does call us. He does knock on the door of our hearts and He is asking to be invited in, but we never find anywhere where Jesus forced Himself upon anyone in the Bible. Even when that rich young ruler came to Christ and Jesus said, “Sell what you have and follow me.”

Well you know the apostles left their nets to follow Jesus they just walked away and Mathew Levi walked away from his cash register, but that rich young ruler he said, “No” for whatever reason we don’t know. He didn’t – he just went away sad and said, “No”. So, Christ was drawing him, but he resisted and everybody has that freedom to respond and to come to Jesus and trust that He has their best interest in mind or, we can turn away and try and do it our own way and that usually ends in disaster.

Michael: So, if their heart is open they basically will be drawn in?

Doug Batchelor: That’s correct and you know if we seek, God especially draws those who are searching for something better then opens the way. Then the promise is that if we draw near to Him and this I believe is James chapter 4, “If we draw near to Him He will draw near to us” so there is an effort we can make to respond to His Spirit and He comes even closer.

Michael: One little last question Pastor. I was reading in the Scripture about God saying He would, “break the jaw” with either army or country and then I started looking and searching and searching and I couldn’t find it. Am I wrong or is there somewhere in there where God says He will break the jaw of a country or an army?

Doug Batchelor: Well I’m going to look real quick here. The thing about the word jaw appears 6 times in the King James Version. Let me look real quick “And bridled in the jaws put hooks in your jaws” it talks…

Jëan Ross: There is a verse in Job 29:17. It says, “And I’ll break the jaws of the wicked and pluck the spoil from his teeth.”

Michael: Amen, thank you.

Doug Batchelor: All right thank you. Appreciate your question Michael.

Jëan Ross: We have E. Frank who is listening from Queens New York. E. Frank welcome to the program.

E. Frank: Yes, good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross you know I called this evening, because I wish to ask a specific question about salvation.

Doug Batchelor: Okay.

E. Frank: I just wanted to know because I had a situation where an ethnic Anglo-Saxon congregation puritan Christian woman asked me when I was reading the Bible on the subway if I believe in Christ and Jesus, and I told her, “Yes I do” but I happen to be an immigrant son native of the city that believed in Christ who left another faith, but converted to Christ through Scripture alone.

She was curious to find out whether or not you know if I had her same understanding of Scripture, and my question to you both gentlemen this evening is, because I was very curious, some people actually have told me they are saved, but is there a sign that can indicate someone’s salvation? Can a person who is saved bring to salvation a person who is probably not saved?

Doug Batchelor: Well, yeah of course it’s typically people that God uses to bring other people to Christ and you know that’s the whole great commission so I’m not sure if I understood your question correctly. Yeah, the Lord does use saved people to reach out to those that don’t know Him. In fact God can use just about anything and anyone. He can use circumstances, the Lord can speak through a donkey if He wants to, and God can even speak through an unconverted prophet like Balaam to reach a person so, or even angels directly like, with Paul. So, I don’t know if I’m answering your question.

E. Frank: No, yes you are, but I just had a problem with this lady who seemed to be of my age, but she came from another Christian denomination.

Doug Batchelor: Well you know there are obviously a lot of different branches and denominations of Christianity in North America and some are closer to the Bible than others. Some I think cross the line where their interpretation of Christianity is outside of a theology where you know “God Saves” it’s almost it borders on the place of being a cult, and so where these people are only God knows based on their teachings.

It tells us the truth shall set you free. Now Pastor Ross and I believe there are a lot of dear true sincere Christians that may not be part of our denomination, but they are walking in all the light they have and the Lord considers that. Anyway I hope that helps a little bit with your question I appreciate that, and we are all to do mission work. Thank you E. Frank.

Jëan Ross: We have Elio who is listening from New York on WMCA. Elio welcome to the program.

Elio: Thank you Pastors. Good evening first of all I hope you guys are all okay.

Doug Batchelor: Doing great thank you.

Elio: My question today is about the seven feasts that the Israelites celebrated. I think I found that in the book of Leviticus and my wife was actually the one who asked me the question and I didn’t have a straight answer. I know that there are certain things that pointed to Christ they have done away with definitely not the Lord, but certain things that kind of pointed out Him and…Let me see if I can break this down correctly. Why don’t we celebrate pretty much none of them at this point is there a reason as to why?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, you’re talking about the annual feasts that the Israelites had?

Elio: Right, Passover and unleavened bread and so on.

Doug Batchelor: Right, the feasts, most of them originated … you know you’ve got the seventh-day Sabbath which is something that comes from creation and the seventh-day Sabbath began before there was even sin in the world. It’s right there in Genesis chapter 2. But years later when the Exodus and Moses … God established a ceremonial calendar for the Jewish nation and it was all designed so that they would recognize the Messiah when He came.

Everything about that calendar taught them about salvation. With you know the high point of the calendar was the Passover where they would sacrifice a lamb and of course when Jesus began His Ministry and He was anointed at His baptism John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said, here He is, behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Christ is that Passover lamb, and indeed He died during the Passover for He was slain right when the Passover lamb was slain.

When that happened the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom signifying that the purpose for the ceremonial laws and their annual feasts was really fulfilled in Christ. I think Pastor Ross you probably have that verse, “Christ is our Passover?”

Jëan Ross: That’s right that’s the apostle Paul. Let me just mention before we get that verse we do have a book Elio for you that I think you will find interesting it’s for anyone and if you just call and ask for it, it’s called, Feast Days and Sabbaths and we actually look at this very important subject.

How did the feast days point forward to Jesus? How where they fulfilled? What is the difference between these feast days and the seventh-day Sabbath? And, we will send that to anyone who calls and asks for it. The number to call is 800-835-6747 and you can just ask for the book, Feast Days and Sabbaths and we will send it out.

Doug Batchelor: And, that verse is in where it says, “Christ is our Passover that is sacrificed for us” and so, if Jesus if now our Passover you know there really is no purpose … he celebrated that Lord’s Supper during the Passover time basically showing one really superseded the other.

Jëan Ross: First Corinthians 5:7 is the verse you’re thinking of.

Doug Batchelor: Thank you. Hope that helps a little bit and we appreciate your question Elio.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is John and he’s listening from L.A. John welcome to the program.

John: Hey, Pastor Ross and Pastor Bachelor. I wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed Shadows of Light I was so glad that I read that.

Doug Batchelor: Praise the Lord. You enjoyed the book, I appreciate that.

John: It was good, but my question tonight I was talking to my dad about the Trinity and he brought up John 1:1 where it said, “The Word was with God and the Word was God” and he was saying that’s meaning they’re only one person and so, I came home and studied and I found a Scripture in Proverbs 8:30 it’s 22-30.To me what I got out of that was referring to Jesus because it was saying that, “He was with Him in the beginning” but then I heard on another broadcast, it wasn’t Jesus it was just meaning wisdom.So, I don’t know if that’s true because I was reading a little book called, Why was Sin Permitted by Ellen White, and she said, “The Son declares of Himself” and then she put on there 22-30.

Doug Batchelor: Puts proverbs…yeah.

John: Proverbs 8:30 well 8:22 to 8:30 so, the way it sounded she was saying that, “Jesus declared that of Himself,” because He was the Son of God declares this of Himself. So, I was…

Doug Batchelor: Let me try and dive in here. If you look in Proverbs 8:12 and this is before this beautiful – of course Proverbs here in the first few verses Solomon is extolling the value of wisdom. Another example of it is in verse 12, “I wisdom dwell with prudence and find out knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, pride arrogance and every evil way, counsel is mine, sound wisdom, I am understanding I am strength, by me kings reign” and he’s saying, “By me” by who? Well by, “wisdom” right?

Kings reign and rulers decree justice. You keep reading you just have to remember where the starting point is you keep reading and it’s obviously talking about, “For wisdom is better than rubies” verse 11, “And, all the things that one might desire cannot be compared with her” and it kind of crosses over you read the book, Shadows of Light?Where there is a shadow of Jesus in this story of wisdom because all the wisdom of God coalesced bodily in Christ. Everything He said He opened His mouth and He spoke in wisdom, but you know the statement of Proverbs here is really talking about wisdom. The reason that’s important to understand that is because sometimes people will say well, “It talks about the beginning” and they will say, “Well Jesus had a beginning He was created or He was born” and we have to be very careful about that.

Don’t worry about the idea that God the Father, Son and Spirit are one they are the same way that Jesus prayed the 12 apostles would be one they’re still distinct individuals and Jesus said, “A man and woman get married then they become one” and He said all people will know we are His disciples by our love for one another in our oneness. one Lord, one faith, one baptism so, one in Hebrew does not always mean numerical quantity, it means unity.

So, yes symbolically Christ is the essence of wisdom, but the main thing He’s saying in Proverbs 8 is He’s talking about wisdom. Does that help a little bit John?

John: Yeah, but she said He declared of Himself so, does that mean He was with the Father…maybe not was created, but in a way He was set up from everlasting by the Father, because the Father anointed Him. So, you know I don’t know how what … I struggle with I don’t know how God the Father would have had a Son just there at the beginning of time you know without having a wife or…I don’t know how the Son would’ve come about.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, John don’t worry about that because you’re not going to be able to understand Jesus by trying to relate him to the biology of an earthly family as though God the Father had to go hunting around the universe for a wife in order to have Jesus. The Lord calls Jesus His beloved Son just to help us know about the closet intimate relationship that we can comprehend, but you know the angels don’t marry and reproduce like humans do. I don’t believe there is any creature that does, and I don’t think we should try to impose that kind of plumbing on God.

Jëan Ross: You know in John 17:5 you have Jesus in prayer, praying to His Father and He says, “Oh, Father glorify Me together with Yourself with the glory which I had with You before the world was” so Jesus was keenly aware of His existence prior to the incarnation. He was “one with the Father” as it describes here in John chapter 15. Now, as you mentioned earlier Pastor Doug this idea of oneness especially when you talk about the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit what is being revealed to us is for understanding, but there are aspects of the Deity that we don’t understand.

Doug Batchelor: That’s right…

Jëan Ross: For example how could God never have a beginning? That … we can’t understand that from a human perspective because we live our lives based upon time. We have a beginning, we have an ending, but God has no beginning so, some of these things we receive by faith and I think throughout the long ages of eternity we will continue to grow in understanding of God’s character as revealed through Christ.

Doug Batchelor: That’s right absolutely, and by the way Craig…I’m sorry … John we are going to Craig next. John we have a book we will send you which is called, The Trinity is it Biblical and we will be happy to send you a free copy.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is the resource line and ask for the book on the Trinity called, The Trinity is it Biblical. We have Craig listening from Iowa. Craig welcome to the program.

Craig: Yes, hello Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Doug Batchelor: Evening.

Craig: Called you many times of course. I have a question in regards – see I lost my brother about a week and a half ago. He was only 51, and he wasn’t saved and I’m definitely saved. I serve the Lord day and night and I was reading a Scripture in Acts 16:31 and there is more back up behind previous Scriptures 29-34 actually, but it says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved and thy house” so, I’m just wondering is there any reference whether that is or not in the Bible? If you’re faithful and you serve the Lord and you do all you can is it possible that someone in your family would be saved, because of your faithfulness?

Doug Batchelor: Well every individual needs to make a personal decision to accept Jesus. In a family when a father of a household would accept Christ and especially during that time in history the wife would generally look to the man and say as a priest to the household we will accept and embrace his teachings and then the children of course would do that and so Paul was basically saying, “If you believe you will be saved” and if your family believes, your household they will be saved too. He wasn’t saying if you believe automatically everyone in your household regardless of their age or heart is automatically saved. It is true when children don’t reach the age of accountability that the faith of believing parents has a sanctifying influence on those children and I think that’s in first Corinthians chapter 7.

It talks about when Lydia accepted Jesus that she and her house found salvation, but it’s really because it starts with a leader in a house and then the family members generally follow suit. Now, I know your heart probably yearns over your brother and you’re thinking, “Well if he died without knowing Christ maybe he can get some credit if he’s part of my household or is there any kind of sanctifying influence that can bleed over into his life through our prays,” and you know I have a brother who passed away in similar circumstances, and I just put it in God’s hands and I know God just loves my brother and my family that may have died not professing Christ infinitely more than I do, and that’s the kind of thing you just have to leave in God’s hands.

Craig: Right, I mean I knew according to the Bible he would be lost if you just go by that because he wasn’t doing what the Lord said.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, well that obviously can be a very difficult situation that’s why Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4, “We don’t sorrow as others that don’t have hope” and when we have a loved one that dies in the Lord we obviously are rejoicing for them, because their next conscious thought is a resurrection of a glorified body. But, it’s a lot more difficult if we have doubts about a person’s relationship with the Lord, and that’s all the more reason for us to make sure we get the gospel out there to the living as quickly as we can.

Craig: Well I’m working on my other family members.

Doug Batchelor: Well God can bring good out of everything even the tragedy that you have just been through.

Craig: Real quick does Pastor Ross have any sermons on the internet?

Jëan Ross: You know we do have some sermons at our website GraniteBaySDA.org and it’s a series of sermons that we preach there on Hebrews and Revelation.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, GraniteBaySDA.org. You’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug we are coming up upon our break in just a few moments and we want to let folks know about our website and we mentioned this from time-to-time. It’s a great resource for people wanting to know what the Bible teaches on a number of important subjects, but tonight in particular what does the Bible have to say about hell? Is it a place of eternal burning torment for the wicked? Is a God of love looking down from heaven watching people suffer what does the Bible say about the subject?

Doug Batchelor: Or even is it burning now? I think that’s one of the areas where there is just so much misunderstanding and even disagreement in the Christian world. People are taught that if a person dies in a lost condition that God somehow plunges them in this place of torment immediately before a judgment. They need to go visit Helltruth.com, a lot of information there. We will tell you a lot more about that in just a few minutes.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Doug Batchelor: We are back and this is Bible Answers Live. If you have a Bible question we are going to do our best to answer for you. All you have to do is call in and ask your question it’s a free phone call. I think we have one or two lines open. Ready? Here is the number, 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297 and that will bring you into our studios. I just want to take a moment and tell my wife if she is listening “happy birthday”. Today is Karen’s birthday and I just came from a dinner and just wanted to wish her well and you can note that on your calendars friends, and just say you like Mrs. Bachelor at her facebook page. Anyway I’m not going to tell you how old she is, but we are glad she’s celebrating her first half century today.

Jëan Ross: All right… Pastor Doug just before the break we were telling folks about a website that Amazing Facts has. It’s been around for a while, but it’s a great resource. It has got an interesting intriguing title. Helltruth.com. All about the subject of the destruction of the wicked, but even through that how God’s love is demonstrated.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, that’s right and a lot of people misunderstand the subject and the reason we are passionate about it is if you misunderstand how God deals with sin and the wicked and you think He’s sadistic or vengeful or vindictive it changes your picture of God. When you find out what the Bible teaches on this … there is punishment of the wicked, there is a lake of fire, but there are so many misunderstandings. You need to go there and read this and it may really, as it did for me, open your ability to just really love the Lord with all your heart even with the way God deals with sinners and sins, He’s doing it in a loving way. Helltruth.com. You ready for the phones?

Jëan Ross: Yes, we have Shaun listening in Tennessee on WLMR. Shaun welcome to the program.

Shaun: Good evening I’m really concerned about what I suspect is a radical teaching going around that I’ve been approached with basing itself on Ephesians 3:1-7, Galatians 2:9, and Romans 11:13 among others. It’s promulgating somehow that Paul was solely the apostle for the gentile nations and it is only his writings where we get our doctoral instructions for daily living as a Christian from, and that Israel was just solely – all the other apostles whether it’s Peter, James, John, whoever, are only for the nation of Israel and that everyone else would of…do you understand what this…?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I’ve heard that before. Whenever they find anything that talks about obedience or anything that says anything about the Ten Commandments they say, “Well they were preaching to the Jews all we go by is the writings of Paul, because he was the apostle to the gentiles” and you’re right. It is a heresy and it’s interesting that the first apostle to the gentiles was not Paul it was Peter. Peter went to Cornelius’ house and God gave him a vision and told him to go to the gentiles. But it’s totally bogus, but I have heard that also.

Shaun: And, I’m concerned well they acknowledge that to, but they say that Paul eventually as they tried to prove from the middle of the book of Actsand they said, “Acts is a transitional book only” and that Paul agreed with the other apostles, he was to go to the uncircumcised. Just so I tell you it was in Galatians and that Peter, James, and John whatever, would stay back and just teach Jerusalem and Jews.

Doug Batchelor: But you know what if you read the book of Acts even though Paul became exasperated sometimes he and Barnabas a one point said, “Since you prove yourselves unworthy lo we turn to the gentiles” and he did that in that town, but the next town Paul went to he’d go to the Synagogue first, and even when you get to the end of Romans…I’m sorry the end of Acts when he’s in Rome he spends time talking to the Jews there. So, everywhere Paul went he went to Jew and gentile, and even Paul said to the Jew first and to the gentile.

Shaun: I’m not sure, but I think this kind of teaching is referred to as “hyperdispensationalism” is it not?

Doug Batchelor: I think…well there are different variations of it so I’m going to be careful not to put a label on it, but it is a kind of dispensationalism that Paul had an elite ministry only to non-Jews, but it’s interesting that Paul is the one that told Timothy to be circumcised.

Shaun: Okay, I appreciate your clarifying that because we really – you know there is false teaching going on there.

Doug Batchelor: Absolutely, the whole New Testament is for the whole church, and Shaun we have a book we will send you that helps explain this I think pretty clearly and it’s called, Spiritual Israel, I wrote with my friend Steve Wohlberg who is a Jewish Christian, and a lot of misunderstanding on that. If you call you can get a free copy or if you want to see it right now and you’re on the internet just go to our website and you can read Spiritual Israel at Amazingfact.org.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the book on Israel called Spiritual Israel and we’d be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks for it. We have Aaron who is listening from Carmichael. Aaron welcome to the program.

Aaron: Hi! So, I had kind of a drawn out thing, but I’m going to make it really short so, basically you know I’ve been thinking about the issues of all sexual immorality outside of the bounds of marriage, and how it says that they won’t inherit the kingdom of heaven and I was thinking about it in terms of homo-sexuality and heterosexual immorality and being that I’m 26 there is a lot of kids that I grew up with that didn’t – parents were divorced so they don’t understand that living together is the same as marriage.

Then there is also the gay rights which are trying to push for gay marriage, but a verse came to mind which is Romans 12:2 where it says, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” so I guess my question is in regards to…

Doug Batchelor: It’s not conforming to the world that the Lord wants He wants us to be transformed. The morals of the world are despicable right now.

Aaron: Yeah, and oh, this is what it was what Paul wrote and Peter, James, John, and Paul writing about sexual morality was that sort of prophetic of what was to happen today?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, the Lord tells us through Paul as well as others that, “Evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse” and He identifies that some of the signs of the last times were going to be immorality, and Jesus said…Pardon me Pastor Ross.

Jëan Ross: I was going to make that same point Pastor that you’re making. Jesus said as it was in days of Sodom and Gomorrah, [???] the Son of man shall be revealed and we know what was going on in Sodom and Gomorrah and we see the same thing been advocated today.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah.

Aaron: Yeah, I had watched a sermon of yours about gay marriage I think it was on YouTube and then I watched you and John McArthur so it helped explain that.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I’m pretty sure I agree with Pastor McArthur on that subject. It’s a sign of the times and you know it’s all the more reason for us to speak up as Christians fearlessly about – just because everyone is doing something doesn’t mean that God approves it. The truth about morality has not changed and there are consequences. You know we suffer for consequences when we disobey God and we do it to ourselves.

He wants to save us from the results of sin and anyone who reads Roman chapter 1, He’s pretty clear on that. Hey, I appreciate your comment and your question Aaron you’re on the right track we need our minds transformed not conformed.

Jëan Ross: Next caller we have is Rick listening in Michigan. Rick welcome to the program.

Rick: Hello! How are you doing?

Doug Batchelor: Doing well. Thanks for calling.

Rick: I like your guys show. I got a question I hope it isn’t stupid, but I was wondering was “Melchizedek” a form of Christ before He came?

Doug Batchelor: That is a very intelligent question. Someone earlier, I know this is going to seem like shameless promotion, but someone earlier tonight referenced a book a just wrote called Shadows of Light - seeing Jesus in all the Bible, and in one chapter in there I talk about Melchizedek and how he is a type of Christ. For one thing it tells us that Abraham comes back from this battle with these Kings in the North, Melchizedek comes out and brings bread and wine.

Well at the new covenant dinner Jesus offers bread and wine, those are the two emblems used. Melchizedek means King of Righteousness. Jesus is our King of Righteousness. It says Melchizedek was without beginning of days or end and Paul references that in Hebrews, because Melchizedek … we don’t know what his people were. He appears suddenly out of history, he disappears … it’s like he’s from everlasting to everlasting.

We don’t know when he started and when he ended, and then furthermore it tells us he’s the King of Salem and a priest. Jesus is our King and our Priest. Of the New Jerusalem, Salem was just Shalom later known as Jerusalem. So, in many ways even in Hebrews it’s very clear Melchizedek is a type of Christ so, you’re on the right track Rick. Spotting some of these Old Testaments symbols and types of Jesus that you find reflected in Christ.

Rick: Thank you so very much I really appreciate that.

Doug Batchelor: Good question thank you.

Jëan Ross: We have Kate who is listening in Canada. Kate welcome to the program.

Kate: Good evening Pastors I have a question…

Doug Batchelor: Get real close to your phone Kate we can barely hear you. You Canadians are far away.

Kate: Can you hear me now.

Doug Batchelor: That does a little better just go ahead and shout in the phone.

Kate: I’m very close to the phone.

Doug Batchelor: And, your question?

Kate: I have a question about the clean food. God commanded us to eat clean food, but I’m wondering if I can take a medicine made of unclean food. It’s made of donkey’s skin…I don’t know?

Doug Batchelor: I can barely hear you, you are wondering if you can take…what made of…?

Jëan Ross: Medicine…

Doug Batchelor: Medicine made of unclean food?

Kate: Yeah, one kind of medicine made of donkey’s skin so…

Jëan Ross: Are you thinking about gelatin?

Kate: Pardon me…

Jëan Ross: Are you thinking about gelatin?

Jëan Ross: That the medicine has gelatin in it?

Doug Batchelor: Usually some capsules are made of gelatin.

Kate: Actually no it’s just made of donkey’s skin like, chocolate you know the puree is like chocolate.

Doug Batchelor: Well let me get to the heart of your question. There are some medical procedures and even some medicines that might have some chemical elements that are extracted – you know I’ve heard there are even some heart medicines that for instance they extract something from oyster shells … well it has this calcium in it you know I wouldn’t personally worry about that if for a medicinal purpose that stuff is so hyper-processed they bring it back down to its basic chemical element.

I don’t know how to tell anybody this, but 90% of the soap you’re going to use in a hotel is made out of Tallow which is made from fat that usually comes from a combination of different animals including pigs. So, here you get people worried about unclean pigs and they wash themselves with Tallow well that’s been so hyper-processed that it’s just pretty much a chemical by the time they get done. So, I’d say if you are uncomfortable you’ve got to follow your conscience Kate I would not tell you to do that and I certainly don’t want to be offering you medical advice. If your doctor has prescribed something you have to talk to him about that.

There might be an alternative medicine that you can try that will do the same thing that doesn’t have the moral challenge of having some ingredients maybe from an unclean animal so, maybe a kosher type of medicine for instance. Hope that helps Kate we can’t bring your phone back up again, because we can barely hear you, but we do thank you for calling.

Jëan Ross: We do have a lesson talking about, it’s called God’s Free Health Plan. What does the Bible say about how we should eat? And, we’d be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks for it. The number is 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide entitled, God’s Free Health Plan and we will send that out to you. Mildred is calling from New York. Mildred welcome to the program.

Mildred: Hello! I want to thank you first of all for the study guide, Is the Devil in Charge of Hell, I got that a while ago and it helped me and freed me, because I thought I was such a misfit in my thinking. The thing is I have not been to church for a long time and I just live on the radio ministries. I listen to them all. Some are good and some a little wacky, but I’m a Bible believing Christian.

The thing is this, I would go to a church if I could find a church that didn’t preach this burning in hell forever and I feel like a hypocrite going to one that preaches that and in their outreach ministries they all preach that. Does that make me a hypocrite? If I should go to their church should I keep quiet about it and just pretend I believe what they’re preaching on this?

Doug Batchelor: Do you live in Manhattan New York?

Mildred: No, I live in Brooklyn New York and I don’t know how to find one that believes what you know regarding this.

Doug Batchelor: If you go to the Amazing Facts website I think they might be able to direct you to a category of churches in your area that do have some solid Biblical teaching and if nothing else call our office and they have a directory or you can email our office and they have a directory and, because you need fellowship.

Mildred: Yeah, I understand and I wonder is it…I mean is it wrong for me not to go to the churches?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, it is wrong and let me give you a Scripture. The Bible tells us, “We should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together” verse 10.

Mildred: Right, I know that. That’s the one I cited when I first called, but also it says not to be a hypocrite and going to a church that preaches one thing…

Doug Batchelor: Well find the right one. I think you can find the right one.

Mildred: It’s a tough one.

Doug Batchelor: Seek and you shall find that’s another Scripture. Let me tell you also it tells us in the Ten Commandments in the Sabbath command it says, the Sabbath is a holy convocation. In other words it’s a time to come together, and so it’s important for God’s people to assemble and convene, and you need fellowship Mildred of other people. It keeps you from having beliefs that become eccentric. Now, I believe you can find a church that has the fundamentals, right? Please call our office and some of our people will get a directory out and try and steer you to some options in your area, but what do you think Pastor Ross?

Jëan Ross: You know Mildred we have a book we will send you for free that will help you in your search if you call our resource line. That’s 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the book, The Search for the True Church.

Doug Batchelor: Absolutely.

Jëan Ross: We will be happy to send that to you for free and at the same time you can ask for the study guide entitled, The Bride of Christ, so be sure to call and ask for those resources. The Search for the True Church and The Bride of Christ. Again, one more time the resource line is 800-835-6747. Our next caller is Gary and he’s listening in Washington. Gary welcome to the program.

Gary: Hey, guys thanks for taking my call.

Doug Batchelor: Sure…

Gary: I’m really concerned about the music that’s coming into my church not only drums, but once in a while there are also bongo drums, but as I was reading over in Psalms 150:4-5 it says, “Praise Him with timbrel and dance praise Him with stringed instruments, and flutes praise Him with loud cymbals praise Him with clashing cymbals” so…

Doug Batchelor: So, you’re wondering is this appropriate then to use these instruments and this kind of music in a church service?

Gary: Yeah, exactly I’ve been sort of speaking out, but when I do…

Doug Batchelor: People quote this to you…

Gary: Yeah.

Doug Batchelor: You know what? They are misquoting it. Several of the Psalms were victory Psalms where when they would come back from battle they would play these songs of just raucous when I say raucous I don’t mean like, rock music – loud exuberant music and these were the songs they would sing after a victory in a battle. Someone is going to point to verse 1, where it says, “Praise the Lord praise God in His sanctuary” and they’ll say, ‘see they used these instruments in the sanctuary’.

No, no, no they misunderstand. Someone is on the victory field and they are marching back to Jerusalem for instance they are saying, “Praise God in His sanctuary”. There is talk about where God is, not where they are. So these are songs – it used to be for instance … the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, Miriam lead the woman with songs, dancing, cymbals … that’s not what you do in a church service she did it on the beach after a victory. David and Saul come back from victorious battle, the women come out to sing and they play the cymbals and the tambourines.

The daughter of … Jephtha came back after the victory … she was dancing and singing, and it was just very common back then to do that. This is one of those victory songs they would sing. You know if I hear the Marine march band playing a great – I heard just this 4th of July during the fireworks show I heard one of these great Sousa March songs, that’s a great song. You don’t play it in church and you don’t play 76 trombones in the parade during the worship service.

It’s great when you’re coming back from a victory on the battlefield so music is time and place appropriate. People take Psalm 150 and they say, “This is what we are supposed to do during a worship service”. The Bible says, “The Lord is in His holy temple let all the earth keep silent”. There is to be a different kind of mood and reverence when we gather together on the Lord’s day to worship Him. So people love to point to this and say, “Yeah, we’re supposed to dance and clang cymbals” and they turn the church service into a “hootenanny” and that’s not what this is talking about.

Gary: It’s pretty much somewhat almost…it’s lost its spirituality.

Doug Batchelor: Where would any reverence be? I mean where do you have the quiet time during the service for prayer and meditation and reverence and you know the sacred hour where the Word is taught? We are to sing songs of praise, but it’s not the military victory songs. Hey, we have a book on this at our website that talks about the Christian and music and you can – I don’t know if it’s one of the free books we can give away it might be something you need to order. But, I’ve got a whole sermon you can listen to for free on music and the Christian Gary on our website.

Gary: Oh, okay, is that the name of it Music and the Christian?

Doug Batchelor: As a matter of fact it’s on YouTube a lot of people have gone there. You can type in YouTube.com and say Music and the Christian and you will find it.

Gary: Okay, all right thank you very much and thanks for taking my call.

Doug Batchelor: Thank you Gary it’s a very relevant question.

Jëan Ross: We have Destiny who is listening from Washing D.C. Destiny welcome to the program.

Destiny: Hi! How are you?

Doug Batchelor: Doing well and your question Destiny?

Destiny: Oh, my question is I hope it’s not a silly question or I won’t be judged about it, but is it bad and is it wrong for you to smoke marijuana?

Doug Batchelor: Listen in this day and age right now where it is so omnipresent especially here is California and several states now it’s been legalized. When you’re asking is it wrong I think that a Christian needs to know that their body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and they shouldn’t be smoking pot or cigarettes. God never designed for us to inhale smoke it’s just not good for your lungs it’s not good for your system and especially that smoke is riddled with a bunch of narcotics that are going to alter your mind.

So, the quick answer is what would Jesus do and I don’t think it passes the test of whatsoever things are good and holy and just and pure. Now, I know some people are saying, “Well it’s for medicinal purposes. Right now you’re listening to somebody who in my youth I smoked a whole lot of pot and I grew it. I can say that because I’m never going to run for President, it’s already in my book. So you don’t need to tell me about what pot is or what THC is or how to grow it or any of that, I know all about it. Anyone who tells me that their doing it for medicinal purposes are kidding themselves there are a lot better things out there.

Destiny: Even the fact that’s it’s natural it comes from the ground like, its natural.

Doug Batchelor: When you smoke something the smoke is doing a lot of damage that is doing more harm than the medicine is doing good, and you know a lot of people – it’s just phenomenal to me how many people have gone to the doctor and are now getting prescribed medical marijuana so they can grow their 25 plants. I’ve got 100’s of people I know 100’s of people in Mendocino County that all of a sudden got a medical marijuana card, and they are growing 25 plants which is the limit, and they are selling the majority of it, it has nothing to do with medicine. All of this we are hearing about the great medicinal benefits of it, it’s really so people can get high and they have themselves convinced.

Jëan Ross: Just because it’s natural doesn’t always mean it’s good and there are poisonous plants out there.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, poison ivy is natural, but you don’t want to smoke it.

Jëan Ross: Right…

Doug Batchelor: Poison oak or something like that. I’m sorry I don’t mean to be unsympathetic Destiny, but I don’t believe it’s good and I think responsible doctors are not prescribing marijuana these days. So do we have time for one more call?

Jëan Ross: All right we have Bob calling from the Virgin Islands. Bob welcome to the program. Bob you’re on the air…

Bob: Hello!

Jëan Ross: Yes…?

Doug Batchelor: Hi! We have about a minute Bob. Quick question…

Bob: Yes, I had two questions, but let me see if I go quick, quick, quick Doug where is the Ark of the Covenant right now?

Doug Batchelor: Hey, I’m glad you asked that I was just talking about it this weekend. According to the Bible it was not carried to Ethiopia as one legend says that King Solomon had an affair with the queen of Sheba and they had a son and then he ended up giving the Ark of the Covenant to the son. It was not captured by Pharaoh Necho and taken to Egypt there is no record of that.

The ark is still mentioned in 2nd Chronicles as being in the temple as late as the time of King Josiah. It’s specifically mentioned and that means when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem it’s never heard from again. Evidently Jeremiah and some of the priests buried it one of those many caves that honeycomb the area around Jerusalem. The whole city of Jerusalem has caves and tombs all over and it’s probably hidden there somewhere and it’s been undisturbed from that time till the present.

So, Bob I hope they find it that would sure increase people’s faith, but more than that friends we want to have the Word of God written on our hearts … that’s the new covenant, the law written on the inside. We have run out of time, but we would love to hear from you. During the week contact us. You can go to Amazingfacts.org and make a donation to please keep us on the air, God Bless.

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