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Biblical Illiteracy

Date: 08/18/2013 
Between the spring of 1959 and the end of 1961, China experienced one of the deadliest famines in earth’s history. Some 20 million Chinese people starved to death and about the same number of births were lost.
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Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Between the spring of 1959 and the end of 1961, China experienced one of the deadliest famines in earth’s history. Some 20 million Chinese people starved to death and about the same number of births were lost.

During this time, some of the desperate people made bread from a kind of white porcelain clay that was mixed with chaff and wheat. These mud pies that they baked stopped the hunger pains for awhile, but the ingredients were devoid of any nutrients so those who ate the loaves eventually starved.

Did you know the Bible predicts there will be a different kind of famine in the last days? Stay with us friends. We’re going to talk about it as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live. This is just what it says; it’s a live, international and interactive Bible study. We’ve got hundreds of stations around North America, people listening in other parts of the world, and via the internet, I guess, all over the globe.

So if you would like to call in with a Bible question for the next hour that’s why we’re here. We’ll do our best to search the Word of God together, and it’s a free phone call. We still have some lines open. The beginning of the program is a good time to make your call. We’ll get to your call as we progress through them. That number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS; 1-800-463-7297 will bring you into the studio.

We do our best to answer as many questions as we can, because sometimes our answers aren’t quite as comprehensive as we would like them to be, but we try and give you a few verses, and the principles and whatever we can do in three or four minutes and then go on to the next call. So, if you’ve got a question, just call in. Again, that number, 1-800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends. Pastor Doug, let’s begin the program with prayer. Dear Father, once again, we thank You that we have this opportunity to study Your Word together. We want to ask a special blessing upon this program. Lord, be with those who are listening wherever they might be. And Father, we do ask that Your Spirit would guide us here in the studio as we search Your Book, the Bible. Thank You for Your promise to be with us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened the program by talking about a terrible famine in China. But when you were talking about that it reminded me of a Bible story. During the days of Elijah when the King of Syria, Ben Hadad, came and surrounded the city, Samaria, the Bible says there was a terrible famine. So much so that, well, it talks about people selling the heads of donkeys for food.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, and if you read on in that story they actually get to cannibalism before it’s over.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Which, Moses foretold what would happen if they went after other gods, that He would withhold the blessings of heaven and it would be very difficult. But, matter of fact, there have been famines in the Bible. God’s people, when He called them, it seems like they always came out of a famine. Abraham survived a famine. So did Isaac. So did Jacob.

During the time of David’s ancestors, Ruth. The whole story is in the context of famine, and then it turning into a harvest. But the Bible foretells another kind of famine in the last days. Not all famines are famines for literal bread.

You can read about this in Amos chapter 8, it's a prophecy, verse 11 through 12: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." [KJV]

It’s possible to even have a famine for the Word of God in a country where the average family has three or four Bibles in their home. We might be at that point today when you see some of the things that are happening spiritually in the culture, very few Christians have regular Bible reading habits.

They often feed on, well, kind of like in our illustration about the people in China that were eating clay loaves of bread. Isaiah talks about that, "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread?" And most people in America, even Christians, they’re feeding on the entertainment of the world and they’re just about biblically illiterate.

Yet, it’s the Bible that keeps us from temptation. Every time Jesus was tempted, He said, “It is written," "It is written," "It is written.” Jesus quoted the word of God. So that’s why David said, “Thy word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." So we need to know our Bibles, friends, if we're going to make it through the real trials coming in the last days. We’d like to encourage you to become better acquainted with the Word. We’ve got a free offer to help you with that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got a book, Pastor Doug, you wrote it some time back. It’s an excellent resource. It’s called, The Ultimate Resource. It’s all about the Bible. Where did the Bible come from? How do we study the Bible? How are we able to use the Bible to strengthen us against temptation?

Friends, we’d like to send you this book. If you'll call our resource line we’ll send it out to anyone who calls and asks for it. The book again is called, The Ultimate Resource. Our phone number for our resource is, 1-800-835-6747. Again, that number is, 1-800-835-6747, and ask for the book, The Ultimate resource. We’ll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. Well Pastor Doug, are we ready for going to the phones?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Sure.

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

Craig: Yes, hello. I do have a question, of course. But real quickly, I wanted to say you’re showing the rest of the story this week here in Iowa.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Oh yeah.

Craig: And that video is what changed my life.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, praise the Lord!

Craig: Yeah, I was reading the Bible for years and years and years and had never stumbled across the truth; and you guys have been such a blessing in my life. I just wanted you to know it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, thank you. We sure appreciate that testimony, Craig.

Craig: I had a question. I saw this pastor--I usually don’t watch anybody but you and Mark Finley--but I saw this pastor today talk about Jeremiah chapter 3:16-18. He was saying that the Scriptures show that the Ark of the Covenant will be found in the last days, and that it was buried in Northern Ireland. And so it was kind of far-fetched to me, talking about the North and all that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, yeah. Okay, so let me read this. It was Jeremiah 3:16? Is that what you said?

Craig: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: “And then it will come to pass, that when you are multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, that they will say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: it shall not come to mind: nor shall they remember it; nor shall they visit it; nor shall it be made anymore.”

You know, when we get to heaven, it says, "Before you call I will answer." We won’t need the Ten Commandments in a golden box in the Kingdom because we’re going to have God Himself. The Ark is a miniature of the throne of God. So if we’ve got the Word of God in our minds and hearts, and if the Presence of God is there in front of us, we won’t need the Ark.

Now on your second question that is really talking about where is the Ark and will it be found, you know, whether or not it will be found, the Ark is mentioned in Revelation, I think it’s chapter 11, verse 19. But the Ark was still in the temple up until the time of Hezekiah. It specifically is mentioned during the reign of Hezekiah and it’s believed it never is mentioned after Nebuchadnezzar carried all the vessels out of the temple.

We believe that Jeremiah, knowing that Jerusalem was going to fall to the Babylonians, he and some of the priests hid the Ark so that it wouldn’t fall into enemy hands, and it has never been found. How it would make its way up to Ireland--and I've heard people that say, "The stone of scone is supposed to be connected with the Ark and the Ark was hidden there;" and, "The Ark is supposed to be hidden in Ethiopia."

There are all kinds of rumors in Egypt. It’s pretty clear it’s probably within two miles of Jerusalem is my bet. Jerusalem is absolutely honeycombed with caves and I think it’s probably been put in a cave and sealed so that you can’t spot the entrance and it’s still there today.

Craig: Yeah. I got that from one of your sermons, that part, so that I thought, "Well that's kind of odd that this guy is saying that. It doesn’t make sense, you know."

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. There’s no real record in history of the Ark making its way up to Ireland. There are legends. All the people would like to say, "Yeah, the Ark is in our country." But I’ve even heard one rumor that said that somehow it got taken over to North America by some of the lost tribes of Israel.

So you’ll hear all kinds of stories, but we’ll have to wait and see if it appears. The exciting thing about the Ark, everyone wants to find a golden box that would be a great artifact, but--I guess you could call it an “ark-a-fact”--but what’s in the Ark is what’s really exciting, the Ten Commandments. That’s why the Ark was just a container. We’ve got what’s in the Ark in our Bibles, it’s the Word of God, the Ten Commandments. So hey, I appreciate your calling Craig. We do have a lesson and it actually has the Ark on the cover.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Well, that study guide that you’re referring to, Pastor Doug, has to do with God drawing the plans. Matter of fact, that’s what the study guide is entitled. It’s all about the sanctuary and it talks about the Ark and the Ten Commandments. If you’d like to receive that study guide, our resource line is, 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide, God Drew the Plans, and we’ll be happy to send that out to anyone who calls and asks. Our next caller is Michael and he is listening in New Jersey. Michael, welcome to the program.

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

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Appreciate your calling.

Michael: I want to just piggy-back on that last guy when he said if they do find the Ark of the Covenant, they better be very careful in handling it. That's all I can say.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, it didn’t end well for some of the people that handled it irreverently in the past.

Michael: Yes sir. Now my question is if you have a spouse that has went astray and committed adultery, if they come to Christ and they repent, are you still obligated to have relations with them immediately?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, there are two parts of that question hidden in there. The first question is, you have biblical grounds for a divorce, according to Jesus. He said in Matthew 5 and in Matthew 19 that, "What God has joined together let not man put asunder." Divorce should not even be considered unless there’s fornication, and that means a violation of the wedding vows of intimacy.

But if there has been, it’s not required. There can be repentance and restoration. You have so many examples in the Bible of, like, Hosea. It talks about him taking his wife who had played the harlot and brings her back. In the book of Judges, one of the last stories talks about a man who is from the priesthood of Ephraim and his wife had played the harlot. He went to Bethlehem and retrieved her. He forgave her and took her back.

Of course, there was another problem in that story but he came to take her back. And God, of course, has purchased a bride and she has been unfaithful many times. So whether you’re a wife or a husband, sometimes there’s that tragic mistake that’s made in a marriage; but the spouse, if there’s repentance, there can be restoration and they can be reconciled.

Michael: But I’m just saying...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So if there's reconciliation then, of course, you should have a normal marriage.

Michael: Okay. So--well, you know, sometimes it's according to how you feel heart. You just don’t want to immediately, you’ve been so...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, you’re free you know. I would say that if this is your case, or anyone who's listening, if your spouse has been unfaithful and you’re considering forgiving them, they ought to understand that there might be a time of coolness where you try to just process this emotionally, and I think that’s normal and that should be understood.

But, you know, you don’t want to make a person grovel forever so, ultimately, there needs to be forgiveness and you need to act like you're married again.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a book dealing with the subject, Pastor Doug. We get a lot of calls on this. Not too long ago a book came out that you wrote, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, which addresses these very issues. We’ll be happy to send that to you, Michael, or anyone wanting to know more about this and what does the Bible have to say. The number to call is, 1-800-835-6747,and the book, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. Just ask for it and we’ll be happy to send it to anyone.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Appreciate your call Michael.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Next caller is Barbara. She's listening from Florida. Barbara, welcome to the program.

Barbara: Yes, Pastor Doug. I know a lot of people call in and ask about the Sabbath, but I’ve been going to church for over 70 years on Sunday. And since I’ve been listening to your program, I’ve really been wondering if I'm doing the right thing. So I asked my Sunday school teacher and he said it doesn’t matter which day you pick, Saturday or Sunday, if it’s a day of worship and rest. He said the day could be wrong, but the principle is right. I've sent for several things. I got, “God Says Remember,” and, “Is Sunday Really Sacred?” Now I'm really confused.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well it’s difficult, if you’ve got all of your friends and your experience is in a church where they are worshiping on Sunday. Our commitment on this program is what does the Bible say, because we need to get the truth from the Bible.

If you look in Genesis 2, of course, Jesus says, "The Sabbath was made for man." He didn’t say the Sabbath was made for Jews. He said the Sabbath was made for man. And you find that in Genesis 2 when it says, “The heavens and the earth and all the hosts of them were finished; And on the seventh day God ended His work; and He rested on the seventh day from all the work He had done. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it."

So God three times mentions a specific day. Then, of course, you go to the Ten Commandments and the Lord says, “Remember the Sabbath Day.” He made everything in six days, and on the seventh day, He blessed that day as the Sabbath. So, if God several times tells us a specific day is a day He has chosen, and a day He has blessed, you really have to ask, "Does man have the right to say, ‘Well, we’re going to change it. It's more convenient; or we’re going to bless first day or the third day.’"

That’s why I think it does matter. I think God is extremely specific. When you read the stories in the Bible, whether He tells Joshua to march around Jericho seven times on the seventh day; or He tells Naaman to dip himself in the Jordan seven times, he didn’t get the miracle until he did what God said, the number that He said. So, I think God is specific. I’m sure it’s a struggle for a lot of people when they learn the Sabbath truth. It was for me. I used to go to church on Sunday.

So hey, I appreciate that Barbara and we’ll pray for you. It sounds like you have some of our good materials. We do have a website.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I was just going to mention that Pastor Doug. It’s a website entitled SabbathTruth.com. I believe if you type "Sabbath truth," even if you typed it into Google, one of the first websites that will come up is this website called, SabbathTruth.com, and it’s just packed with all kinds of resources. There’s a whole documentary series on the seventh day that you can actually watch online.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: The video, yeah.

Pastor Jëan Ross: There’s a video there. There’s sermon information. There are fantastic Bible studies. It is an important subject and, really, there’s a lot of Christians, Pastor Doug, beginning to discover this and are receiving the blessing in keeping the Sabbath. There is a blessing that God promises when we are faithful in doing the things He asks us to do.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, I’ll just say a word more, Barbara, is, we do mention this on the program; and there’s a lot of questions we get asked. Some of the answers maybe are not as important an issue. We get questions all the time about whether a woman’s hair should be long or short; or whether it should be covered; and of the seven trumpets; and the 144,000; and all kinds of questions.

Some of these are just theological curiosities. But when it comes to the Ten Commandments, there really is no doctrinal truth that's more important that, if we love the Lord--we’re not saved by keeping any Commandment. We're not saved by keeping the Commandment about don’t worship idols, but if people are worshiping idols, we’re going to tell them what the Bible says.

The Sabbath is one of those Commandments, so we just want to be consistent on this program and share it when it's asked. Appreciate your call, Barbara, and we’ll be praying for you and hope that God gives you wisdom.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Gina and she is listening from Rio Linda, California. Gina, welcome to the program.

Gina: Hello Pastor Jëan and Pastor Doug. My question is about the fear of God, all the definitions and meanings please. I understood it to mean you are to obey God, but lately I’ve been meeting some people that take that literally, like, be afraid of God. And, while I believe that there are definite consequences that we have to answer for our actions one day, I don’t want to be afraid of God because God is love. So please, could you explain that for me?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Great question, I appreciate that. Let me read you a verse. This is from 1st John, I don’t know if you have a pencil handy, 1st John 4:17, “Love has been perfected among us in this, that we might have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in the world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect; because we love him because he first loved us.”

When we really know and love God, we will not lose our reverence and our awe for God. Of course, He is the most magnificent Essence Being in the universe. It probably is a fearful thing to see God, but He wants us to love Him. So it’s not the kind of fear where you would run from God, but run to Him.

It does actually say--I forget where in Revelation, "The fearful will be cast into the lake of fire." Is that 22? Revelation 22? "The fearful and the unbelieving will be cast in the lake of fire." God wants us to be faithful, not fearful. But when it says a man fears God, it means someone who reverences God; and there is kind of a holy terror, but it’s not like the fear where you run from somebody.

Gina: Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So, I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s just like and awesome...

Gina: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ...an awesome respect that can make you tremble.

Gina: And I will remember that verse to give to others so they don’t need to be afraid. They can just feel the love. Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You’re welcome, and Pastor Ross may have found that other verse.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, it is in Revelation. I'm trying to find the specific one here. There are a lot of times in the Bible that the word "fear" or "fearful" is used. I'm just looking at it now.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I think it’s Revelation 22. It talks about the fearful and the unbelieving will be cast into the lake of fire. So, yeah, God obviously doesn't want us to live in fear. Hey, appreciate your call Gina. Thank you very much.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Sherry here who is listening from Minnesota. Sherry, welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi Sherry from Minnesota. Are you there?

Sherry: I'm here.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And your question?

Sherry: Hi Pastor Doug, hi Pastor Ross. I have a question about Bible study. About seven years ago when I found the truth in the Bible and found Jesus and started reading, I was so on fire. I was reading eight hours a day for eight months, just couldn’t put it down. And I still have that fire inside of me; however, when I get up, you know I feel the Lord getting me up very early in the morning lately, like 4 or 5 o’clock, and I get drawn to read His word and I’m stuck. It’s like I don’t feel a leading to anywhere. I keep finding myself going back to my favorite books or my favorite passages. How do you...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Can I make a suggestion?

Sherry: Yes, please. That’s what I'm calling for is a suggestion.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, it’s great to study the Bible sometimes with an outline to guide you through either different books or theological subjects, and it really increases your understanding going subject by subject. Have you ever been through the Amazing Facts' Bible study course?

Sherry: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We’ve got two of them. We've got what we call the Storacles, and we’ve got one called our study guides?

Sherry: I’ve been through the study guides.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay. You can do them online. Matter of fact, what’s the website?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Bible Universe, BibleUniverse.com.

Sherry: Okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah. Matter of fact, I think they’re also at the Bible Prophecy Truth website. Yeah. You can look at the Storacle study guides. You can print them off there. When you wake up in the morning, you go through them. It takes different stories in the Bible. It comes from the word historical and story and oracle. They’re called Storacles.

But you take a story and, like, it will talk about the story of God’s people being carried off to Babylon, and that’s used as an illustration of God’s Kingdom. Anyway, there’s just a variety of different stories that take you through Bible studies Scripture by Scripture and it goes all over the Bible. So you’ll really be getting a broad picture of the Bible, and yet you’re doing something different every day. So try that. Are you able to get on the internet?

Sherry: Yes I am. I do have a lot of other books that I, you know, want to read that’s going to give me more of the character of Christ and things like that, but I always feel like the Bible is the main thing I want to be in all the time.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: There’s a book that will keep you in the Bible. It’s a classic called, The Desire of Ages, and every chapter is based on a chapter in the Bible. It begins by saying, "Read this chapter," or, "This chapter is based on these verses." You read those verses and then you go through the life of Christ. That is an outstanding book called, The Desire of Ages.

You could probably read it online. Just type that in. Okay, thank you Sherry. We’re glad that you’ve been blessed and keep studying!

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Mary Jane who is listening in Michigan. Mary Jane, welcome to the program.

Mary Jane: Thank you Pastor Ross, and hi Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross.

Pastor Doug and Pastor Jëan Ross: Hi.

Mary Jane: Hi. I’m calling today to ask a question about a passage in Job, Job 1:6.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright. Do you want to read it or do you want us to read it?

Mary Jane: I can read it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Mary Jane: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” Who are these sons of God?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, there are two main theories. I’ll tell you what they are and then I’ll tell you what I think. First of all, the term, “sons of God” is used three or four times in the Bible--well it’s used several times in the Bible, but it often means up to three or four different things.

You can read in Genesis where it says, "The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair." There, the "sons of God" are talking about the children of Seth, the believers, began to marry with the daughters of Cain, the unbelievers. You can also read where sometimes even angels are called sons of God. And Adam is called the son of God, because you read in Luke and it says, "...Enos had Seth, and Seth is the son of Adam, who is the son of God," because Adam wasn’t born, he was created.

Now, one theory is that there are a lot of unfallen worlds out there. The Bible says that God made the worlds through Christ. We don’t believe that the only life in the universe is here on this planet. We believe God has got an infinite amount of life out there; and that the leaders of these different worlds come and gather and meet with God.

They are the sons of God because they are the leaders of their respective worlds. That’s kind of what I lean towards. We do have a book. We can send you a free copy, and it’s dealing with the sons of God. I think it's called, “Who are the Sons of God?" If you call our resource line, we’ll be happy to send you a free copy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. Mary Jane, just ask for the book on the sons of God and we’ll be happy to send that to you, or anyone who calls and asks. It’s really a great study on that theme. Again, the number is, 1-800-835-6747, and the book again is called, “Who Are the Sons of God?” Our next caller is Brian and he’s listening from Pennsylvania. Brian, welcome to the program.

Brian: Yes, thank you. I believe that Saturday is the Sabbath. I think that’s, of course, what the Bible says. I was just wondering what to do on the Sabbath, like, the guy in the Old Testament that picked up sticks and was--I guess a guy killed him because of that. Would that happen today too, you know?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, in the Bible, it’s also in the New Testament, that when Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter they dropped dead. God killed them. Matter of fact, in the Old Testament, the people had to stone that man and, in the New Testament, God did it Himself. So when believers openly sin in the Presence of God, then the punishment can be a little more severe.

But they were told they didn’t need a fire on the Sabbath; and if it did get cool, you were allowed to have a fire on the Sabbath. You just weren’t allowed to kindle one. They used to rub sticks together and all those things they did to make a fire from scratch. So some people think they’re supposed to freeze to death on the Sabbath. That’s not true. They just weren’t supposed to kindle a fire.

They were to gather all the wood and have that all done and have the fire going before sundown and they knew how to keep the fires going. But keeping the Sabbath, it’s a good day to, of course, read the Word, gather together for worship, visit and give Bible studies to people, get some rest, get out in nature.

Matter of fact, in our latest Amazing Facts Magazine we just did an article, a two-series article on how to keep the Sabbath. You can find that right now, Brian, by going to the Amazing Facts' website. You’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, on that same theme Pastor Doug, again, that website, we mentioned it earlier, SabbathTruth.com. That also has a number of resources and deals with how do you keep the Sabbath, the significance of the Sabbath. The website again is SabbathTruth.com.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, something else we wanted to share with you just before the break, might even talk about it a little bit after the break as well, is a new website. Alright everybody, put on your seat belts. We’ve been working on this for a year and a half at least. It is the best Bible time line on the internet, and its free.

You can see the whole panorama of Bible history, the main characters, how their lives interrelate, full of illustrations, commentary, all the dates, BibleHistory.com. You want to check that out and please pass it on, BibleHistory.com. Go there now. We think it's going to be the best Bible time line in the world--on the Internet anyway.

So check it out, BibleHistory.com. You can go to the different sections of Bible history and understand the relationship with each other. We’re going to take a break and we’ll be back with more questions.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We’re back for more Bible questions in just a moment. For those of you who have tuned in along the way, you’re listening to Bible Answers Live. This is a live program where we just invite you to call in with Bible questions. We do our best by searching the resources at our fingertips to find them together.

Now speaking of resources, just before the break I started to rave about something that has just been released. Matter of fact, it's still kind of in the beta version, but we couldn't wait to get it out there. It’s a Bible time line. It’s called, BibleHistory.com. We just really wanted people to be able to understand Bible history.

I don’t know, if you’re like me friends, if you’ve looked at the Bible and you’ve said, "Abraham--I wonder whose lives overlap with Abraham? When did Abraham live in relationship to Job?" And King David, you’d be surprised how close his life is like Samson; and you can see a line that shows where their lives overlap.

Did you know, for instance, that Abraham, when he was born, Noah was still alive? And there’s a lot of other fascinating things you’ll find with, like I said, pictures. Prophecy, if you’d like to see some of the time prophecies in the Bible that are given, we’ve got a whole section dealing with the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and those time prophecies. BibleHistory.com.

Please check it out and then pass it on to your friends. We're still making final tweaks. If you see something that you think needs adjustment, let us know.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, I’m looking at the website right here in front of me. Part of the reason why it took us so long to actually get this website together, not only is it filled with a lot of information, but it's also some cutting-edge technology. You have the ability of actually scrolling through the time line and moving it up and down, and seeing the different characters, and then clicking on the name of somebody, and then it’ll give you some additional information and also the Scripture related to that. This is brand new technology that was used, developed specifically for this website. It’s exciting.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: It is. It’s real exciting. So take a look, send us a note, let us know what you think of that, and it will help you in your Bible study. It might answer a few questions.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And that’s where we’re going now.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ve got Ron who is calling from Canada. Ron, welcome to the program.

Ron: I beg your pardon.

Pastor Doug and Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, you are on the air.

Ron: Yes, thank you for taking my call.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Absolutely, and your question?

Ron: I don’t know if I heard a minister or heard a teacher, or whether I read it myself; I listen a lot to 131 here on satellite radio. But I’m under the impression that there's a Scripture that says: That the Lord, without hands, will deliver the children of Israel in a manner to where they will forget the deliverance out of Egypt. Now, if that is in the Scripture, I guess I would take that to mean that the Lord Himself is going to deliver them without doing it through the hand man. Have I made an accurate--I know I can’t quote the Scripture. I kind of paraphrased there. So, I don’t know how to help you two look it up, but...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, we looked up the phrase “without hands,” and the term "without hands" is used three times in the Bible. In Daniel 2, and this might be what the pastor was talking about, in Daniel 2 it talks about a stone that was cut without hands, that smites this image on the feet and it basically pulverizes, and this is the vision in Daniel chapter 2.

That is talking about delivering His people, but not specifically from Egypt. That stone represents Christ and His word. The stone cut without man's hands reminds us of when God took the Ten Commandments and He cut them with His hands out of the mountain. So it's not with man’s hands. It's the hands of God. But I don’t know of a prophecy exactly like what you cited there; but, yeah, if you find a closer reference we’ll do a search for you.

Ron: Yeah, okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Just to add to that a little bit, with reference to being delivered without hands, it’s almost always a reference to God’s deliverance of His people. But I think it has a broader application. We know that when Jesus comes, He is going to deliver His people from their enemies.

The Bible speaks of spiritual Israel, that would be those who believe in Christ. Paul tells us that, if we believe in Christ, then we are part of Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. So you have spiritual Israel; and God will deliver His people in a dramatic way, when Jesus comes again, from their enemies.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen. I appreciate your call, Ron from Saskatchewan. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Robert and he is listening in New Jersey. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Hello.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi Robert.

Robert: Good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. My question is about marriage.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Robert: Now I was wondering, what does the Bible say about how a person would become married? I mean, do they have to have a magistrate, a clergy, or could they just declare it, you know, verbally, the two of them agree, the man and the woman, let’s say in front of all heaven and God, that we declare ourselves married? Do they have to have an actual... [cross talk]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: A certificate, and do they have to have a civil ceremony? You're kind of asking those questions?

Robert: Precisely, wedding certificate.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right. Well you know, you can look back. The first wedding was performed by God between Adam and Eve. I doubt that they had something from the Justice of the Peace; but you would think God would be adequate. Then later, you notice that they have more of a ceremony, because marriage was something that was to be celebrated. It was a covenant, and covenants were usually sealed with witnesses and with a feast.

Even Jesus talks about salvation as a marriage feast between He and the bride, the church. The first miracle of Christ was at a wedding feast. So you want your marriage to be something that is recognized and accepted by your culture because it's a witness to the culture, and you want it to be legal.

Now there are states in North America and there are different countries, they recognize different kinds of common law marriage; but for a Christian, because marriage is a covenant, you want it to be something that is done in the presence of God and witnesses. I can't really think of any good reason you wouldn’t want it to be legal and go about it the way that it's recognized. Jesus talks about obeying the laws of the land.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm, absolutely.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So, I don’t know if that kind of gives you an overview, Robert, that would help?

Robert: Okay. Thank you.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We do have that book on marriage that you could ask for that we mentioned earlier.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is 1-800-835-6747. That is the resource line. You can ask for the book on marriage, Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. It deals with this question of when is marriage appropriate and how is it to be done. Our next caller is Angelina and she’s listening in Michigan. Angelina, you’re on the air.

Angelina: How are you doing guys?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing good.

Angelina: Thank you for taking my call. My question was how do you know what God wants for you?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I’m glad you asked. Now first of all, before you forget Angelina, we’re going to send you a book, or you can read it tonight on the internet. It’s called, Determining the Will of God. But I’m going to give you a couple of quick answers.

I think in the book it has 12 points about how to identify the will of God. First of all, what does the Bible say? God reveals His will in His word. Obviously, if the Bible says, "Don’t lie," you know it’s not His will that you lie. You might be thinking about His plan for your life and so you're seeking direction. The Bible doesn’t always say whether you should head north or south on a highway.

So you get Christian counsel, "In the multitude of counselors there is safety." You pray for the guidance of providence. God will open doors and He’ll close doors. You go by His Word. Sometimes the inner voice of the Spirit will give you a desire to do a certain thing that God wants you to do, or you’ll have a peace about it, or you’ll feel unrest.

The Spirit is the factor, but you never want the Spirit to be leading you different from the Word. They should go together. Those are just a few of the pointers on how do you know the will of God. So Angelina, take a look at that free resource, Determining the Will of God. We’ll send you the book if you'd like. Pastor Ross will give you the number, or you can read it online.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is, 1-800-835-6747. That is the resource line. The book again is entitled, Determining the Will of God.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And the website if you want to read it is just, AmazingFacts.org.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Hazel and she’s listening from Tennessee. Hazel, welcome to the program.

Hazel: Hi.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi, how are you?

Hazel: Just fine. I would like to know where the Scripture is found in the Bible that says that Christ says that, "I do not know thee."

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I think Matthew 7.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Matthew 7:23

Hazel: That’s in, referring in... [cross talk]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: What He is saying is... [cross talk]

Hazel: ...in heaven?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, Jesus is saying that in the judgment, in the resurrection, that some of the lost who are resurrected are going to say, "Lord, Lord, why are we not in the Kingdom? We cast out devils, we did many wonderful works, we preached." And I will say, “Depart me, I never knew you, you who work iniquity.”

In other words, they had sin in their lives, but they thought because they were doing outwardly religious things--Jesus talked a lot about scribes and Pharisees and people like that--that had a lot of religious trappings in their lives. They did a lot of--they were (unintelligible) with religious ceremonies, but their hearts weren’t right. They were clinging to iniquity in their lives.

So, those are the ones He will say, "Look, I never really knew you because I wasn’t in your heart. You were just going through the outward forms of religion." Are you still there?

Hazel: So, wouldn’t that apply to any lost person?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Not really. There are some lost people who have made no profession of serving God. They’re just living for the world; some are atheists, some are pagans. But Jesus is talking about a lot who will come and say, "Oh yeah, Lord, we believe in You." The majority of people who claim to love and follow Jesus haven’t really repented and turned from their sins.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The Bible speaks of a time before Jesus comes where people will have a form of Godliness, but they deny the power thereof. So many who are calling themselves Christians; and yet, they don’t really know Christ.

Hazel: Okay so, all of those that are professing that they are Christians but are not Christians, that’s where Christ is saying, “I don’t know thee.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right.

Hazel: And those that never came to Christ are then just going to hell. Correct?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, that’s right. Jesus talks about those who don’t know Him are condemned already. That’s why we’ve got a mission to try and reach the lost, the ones who haven’t even heard, and give them an opportunity to accept Christ. But there’s a big category of those who claim to be followers of Jesus that really don’t follow His teachings.

They’re Christians in name only, nominal Christians. That’s what He’s talking about in that parable. I appreciate your question Hazel. I don’t know if we’ve got that book, Search for the True Church. It talks about being a real Christian.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We’ll send it to anyone who calls and asks. The number is 1-800-835-6747. That’s a study guide, actually a book. It's entitled, Search for the True Church, 1-800-835-6747. We have Clifford who is listening in New York. Clifford, welcome to the program. Clifford, New York, are you there?

Clifford: Yes. Thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You’re on the air.

Clifford: There is a Scripture in the Gospel of John where Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many mansions." Can you tell me what the word "mansion" actually means?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I believe that word there means “dwelling places.” That’s in John chapter 14. “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places.” The King James translators and others who have translated that, or rendered that, to be "mansions."

Pastor Jëan Ross: The literal translation, Pastor Doug, as you mentioned, is “abiding places.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah.

Clifford: Can it be a place of authority? Or, "I will give you a place of authority. I would put you in a position where you would have authority?" Could that mean, not so much housing, like a dwelling place, but a position of authority? Could it mean that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well you know, I think a person can say he wants a verse to mean anything; but if you look at the word and what it is saying, I don’t think it's really saying that. We might be building something into it. Jesus is actually talking about the context of a wedding.

When a Jewish young man proposed to a young lady, he would give her a cup. If she drank from it, she accepted the proposal. He would then go back to his father’s house and build a dwelling place on his fathers’ house that was the honeymoon chamber. So Christ is talking about this in the context of really a wedding, more than a magisterial dwelling or a place of authority.

So it's really a story of love. He’s saying, "You know, would a groom forget, after he builds his honeymoon suite, would he forget to pick up the bride?" He’d know something was missing. Jesus is saying, "Look, I’m not going to forget about you. I’m going back to my Father’s house to prepare the honeymoon suite for My church, the place where that love is consummated." And so He’s saying, "I won’t forget about you. I will come back." So I think that’s more the message that’s in this verse than really a place of authority.

Pastor Jëan Ross: There is a verse where Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew 19:28, He said, “Surely I say unto you, in the regeneration, when the Son of man sits upon his throne of glory, you," speaking to the apostles, "will follow me and also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

So there is that reference there of ruler ship; but there’s also the idea that God is preparing a dwelling place in His Father’s house, and He’s going to come back and take us to the place that He is preparing.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You know, what’s exciting is, not only that, but it says, God’s making us a city home and we’re going to be building country homes. It says, "They will build houses and inhabit them," in the new earth. We do have a lesson on heaven. We’ll be happy to send you a free copy of that Clifford. It’s called, “Heaven: Is It for Real?”

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is, 1-800-835-6747, and the study guide again is entitled, “Heaven Is It for Real?” I think it’s a book. Just ask for it and we'll send it out to anyone who calls and asks. We have Fred who is listening from Stamford, Connecticut. Fred, welcome to the program.

Fred: Oh yes, when you have a prayer request, should you just ask once, or many times?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well Jesus says, "Do not pray in vain repetition,” but that does not mean that you can’t pray the same thing on different occasions. Jesus doesn’t want us chanting as though God is deaf. But Christ does talk about, for instance in Luke 18, He tells the parable of the widow who repeatedly comes to this judge and asks the same request to get deliverance on a certain issue.

She finally has her prayer answered after relentlessly coming and coming and coming. And so, boy I tell you, I pray for my kids virtually every day. So if that kind of repetitive prayer is a sin, then I’m guilty. I think all of us out there have things that we pray about frequently. I pray for victory over my weaknesses; so there’s nothing wrong with repetitive prayers.

Pastor Jëan Ross: In the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed, He prayed the same request three times. "Father, if it is possible, let this cup be removed from me."

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And Elijah, when he was on Mount Caramel, he prayed for rain seven times before the rain actually came. So,yeah, as long as a person is not just chanting--He says "as the pagans do"--there’s nothing wrong. You know, sometimes some churches will say, "Repeat the Lord’s Prayer ten times," and that starts getting into the chanting business. But to have a prayer on your heart you repeatedly ask for, there’s nothing wrong with that Fred. Hey I appreciate your call, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a book entitled, Teach Us to Pray. We’ll send it to you, Fred, or anyone who calls and asks for it. The number is, 1-800-835-6747, and the book again is, Teach Us to Pray." We have Ernest who is listening in Orlando, Florida. Ernest, welcome to the program.

Ernest: Yes. Thank you very much Doug. I appreciate your program, I really appreciate it.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I was in Orlando last week.

Ernest: Oh great, wonderful. Yeah, we have great ministries out here. It’s a wonderful place to get in on the Word.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: How can we help you tonight?

Ernest: Okay, I’ve had something that has been bugging me. It’s kind of like a take on one of the previous callers that you had. It’s concerning losing your salvation. Can your name be erased from the Lamb’s Book of Life? And I'll put it this way, "Once saved, always saved." There are certain arguments that are going back and forth about that. Could you give me some enlightenment about that teaching?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, you’ve kind of answered the question in in your question. Jesus does say in His lessons, in His messages to the seven churches, and I forget which one it is. He says, "Except you repent," He says, "I’ll remove your candlestick out of its place," or, "take your name out of the Book of Life." So God is pretty clear that, once He saves us we can have assurance of salvation, but if we turn from the Lord and decide to go back to the world, we can forfeit that gift.

Pastor Jëan Ross: I think the verse you're referring to is Revelation chapter 3, verse 5. Jesus says, “He that overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot his name from the book of life.”

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So, if it wasn’t possible for Jesus to blot a name, why would He ever say that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Um-hm.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And, of course, Peter talks about those who are washed; he says a pig that’s washed but goes back to wallowing in the mire, or the dog that returns to its vomit. You have people in the Bible who followed Jesus, and then turned away. Matter of fact, it's an interesting verse, John 6, verse 66. Then you have Judas. You’ve got Balaam, who was a prophet of God that turned away.

You’ve got King Saul, who was filled with the Spirit and even prophesied, but became selfish and grieved away the Holy Spirit. And so, we don’t lose our freedom after we accept Jesus; otherwise, it makes it sound like God is going to force certain people to be saved. They lose their will to choose after they become Christians.

Ernest: Yes, thank you. But that’s kind of a scary thought, now that I really, really get my feet into it, because you really have to be on your P’s and Q’s. You don’t want your name to be removed at all for any reason...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well God is--you know, I like to balance this. Pardon me for interrupting, Ernest, but I don’t want to mislead. I’d like to balance this question by saying God does not want us to have an experience where we live in constant fear. He wants us to have peace and assurance because otherwise, how is the Gospel good news, and how can you have joy?

John says, "...That we might know that we have eternal life," and we are made righteous through faith. God wants us to have faith that, He that has begun a good work in you will complete it. He is the Author and the Finisher of our salvation. So, God wants us to have assurance. He says, "I’ll never let go of you."

Just the little technicality is, we still have freedom to let go of Him. But He’ll never let go of us. He loves us; and so we have to really yank ourselves out of His hand to be lost. When you’ve made that decision, you keep following Him. You don’t have to be afraid.

Ernest: Okay.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know we have a book.

Ernest: What about if you take your own life? What about suicide?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: We’ve got a book on that too. Matter of fact, we’ve got two books. We've got one on the unpardonable sin, and that talks about suicide. Pastor Ross, what book do you have?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yeah, we have a book dealing specifically with this question. It’s called, "Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?” Ernest, I think you'll appreciate all of the Bible references that we have in the book. We’ll send it to you or anyone who calls and asks for it. The number is, 1-800-835-6747. You can ask for the book, “Can a Saved Man Choose to be Lost?”

Pastor Doug, I think we have time for one more. We’ll get Pam in here real quick. Pam, we’ve got about two minutes. Pam from St. Louis.

Pam: Hello, I just think what you just said needs to be taught to a lot of ministries, because they’re preaching an errant word. But my question is Revelation 7, about the great multitude who no one could count, from every nation, tribe and tongue...

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right.

Pam: ...who came out the great tribulation. Is that the church? And if so, how can one believe in the pre-tribulation rapture?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright, two questions, is it the church? Absolutely. Those who are saved that are in the kingdom that have those victory palms, that’s the church. The idea that the rapture takes place before the tribulation I don’t think is found in the Bible. I believe at the second coming, when we’re caught up to meet the Lord in the air, it says, "He that endures to the end will be saved."

Jesus doesn’t save us from tribulation. Paul said it is through tribulation that we enter the kingdom of God. Just like God saved the children of Israel, they were in Egypt when those plagues fell; well the great tribulation in the last days is identical to the plagues that fell on Egypt. Many of them are the same plagues. He saved Israel through those plagues; He will save His people and He provides for us through the plagues.

We don’t have to be afraid of the great time of trouble. The Bible tells us, "Your bread and water will be sure. His angels will watch over you." But the idea that the church, kind of, pops up out of the world when things get tough is not biblical. And the idea that He is separating Israel from the church, we are grafted into the same stock; so this kind of segregated ministry in the last days, I don’t find that in the Bible. I find that Israel and that Christians will be working together and there will be a great revival among the Jews.

But, yeah, there’s going to be tribulation and persecution, and He will protect His people. We’ve got a lesson on that, a book we’ll send you Pam. It’s called, Anything But Secret.

If you go to our website, you can read it for free, Anything But Secret. Half of that talks about the tribulation, that book; or you can ask for a free copy and we’ll send it to you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is, 1-800-835-6747, and the book entitled, Anything But Secret, talking about the second coming.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Friends, well we’re wrapping up. I knew the music was going to be chasing us in just a moment. But, in our final moments, let us remind you, this new website is just a phenomenal study resource. It’s really exciting, and it’s BibleHistory.com.

It has the whole panorama of the Bible time line. You can look at it all in one page, or you can zoom in several times to every little character within, I think, ten years through the whole 6,000-year scope of Bible time, on into eternity. BibleHistory.com. If you’ve been blessed by what Amazing Facts does, we’re only here on the air because some of you listening think, "Hey you know, I believe the Holy Spirit wants me to keep them on the air." Send us a note. You can donate online. It’s AmazingFacts.org.

God willing, we’ll talk next week.

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