From Desert to Garden

From Desert to Garden

Scripture: Acts 1:18, Romans 14:5
Date: 11/17/2013 
The Sahara desert is the world’s largest and hottest desert, at over 3.6 million square miles; it covers most of North Africa, making it almost...
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor, how about an amazing fact? The Sahara desert is the world’s largest and hottest desert, at over 3.6 million square miles; it covers most of North Africa, making it almost as large as the United States or China and the blistering heat can reach a hundred and thirty degrees in the shade, but the Sahara has not always been the burning waste land that we see today. In 1847, French army officers in Algeria discovered a number of ancient rock paintings, the depicting of people who lived in a savannah like land filled with rivers and lakes.

The paintings show the country was teeming with giant buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, crocodiles and hippopotamus, animals that obviously no longer live in the Sahara. One cave, with early rock art in the mountainous Sahara plateau, contains pictographs of people diving and swimming. These amazing rock painting images date from between 2000 and 3000 B.C., they demonstrate the Sahara desert was once a lush green land abounding in life. Did you know, the Bible says that this is not the first time a garden like land has turn into a desert? Stay with us friends, were going to learn more, as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well I’m excited that we can jump right in and answer your Bible question. Anybody listening? If you have a question regarding the Word of God, that is what this program is all about. It’s a free phone call with your Bible questions and lines are open, the number (800) GOD-SAYS, (800) 463-7297, one more time, you ready? (800) 463-7297 brings you into the studio with your Bible question and 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 can gather together for a few moments to study Your Word and Lord we want to ask for the Holy Spirit to please guide our hearts and our minds, be with those who are listening wherever they might be and lead us into a clear and full understanding of Your will, for we ask this in Jesus name, amen.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen.

Jëan Ross: Well Pastor Doug, we know that there all kinds of different animals and little critters that live out in the desert. Especially the Sahara desert, just a huge place but really if you would have picked a place on the globe where you would probably think of the most barren, dry, lifeless place, you would think the Sahara desert and yet, at one point in time it appears as though there were beautiful trees, animals and lakes and rivers, amazing!

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, in just a couple of thousand years, it’s been three to four thousand years that what we see now is just a sterile desert, according to this ancient art, there were civilizations that lived in the area that drew these paintings that were just teeming with rivers and lakes, and animals, and people would wonder, what happened? All these theories about whether it’s a combination of desertification, the over grazing or was it the earth rocking back and forth on its axis that changed the climate that brought in those hot winds and there’s a number of theories and some say, if we wait long enough it will turn back into a garden again but the Bible talks about a couple of cases, were a land that was once beautiful, sort of turned into a desert.

I think we all know, the Bible first depicts the land of Israel as the best land, it was a land flowing with milk and honey and that means it was just lush with trees and forests and gardens and flowers. In order to have a lot of honey you need flowers. In order to have a lot of milk you need a lot of grass and pasture, and it’s getting better now but a hundred years ago it was a desert, I heard one of the you know, the Romans, when they conquered Israel, they would sow the fields with salt and the people over-grazed it and wars were fought and there were droughts in the trees. One king, he taxed people based on how many trees they had on their land so what would you do?

Lower your taxes, cut down your trees and so they de-forested it, the land and it turned into a desert but gradually, now there bringing it back, they’ve got a lot of programs for planting trees in Israel but I think about that verse in the Bible, one is a promise that God can take a desert, turn it into a garden, Isaiah 51:3. “for the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places and He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the Lord, Joy and gladness will be found there and thanksgiving and the voice of melody.”

So we know the Lord can take the beautiful placea in this world and they can turn to a desert and He can take deserts and make them beautiful, He can do that in your life friends. And then I think about one other place in the Bible that was once like a garden that turned into a desert, you can read in Genesis and Lot, he lifted up his eyes and he saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, it was like the garden of the Lord, like Eden and I think we all know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Because of their decadence and sin the fire and brimstone came down. There may have been some seismic activity, the people were destroyed and you go down there now, it is the lowest place on earth where those cities were and it is. I’ve been down to the dead sea and it is dry and lifeless, nothing grows there, its clay and minerals and it was once the Bible says like the garden of the Lord. Lot picked it because it was the best of the promise land, which also was remembered as one of the shortest verses in the Bible, is where Jesus says “remember Lot’s life” and because of the poor choices that Lot made and his wife in particular, she turned into a pillar of salt and he lost just about everything and there’s some very important lessons about the second coming connected with “remember Lot’s wife”. Jesus is coming soon and the planet’s going to go through some radical changes then, maybe you want to be ready friends? We have a special offer.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do, we have a book entitled Remember Lot’s wife and it looks at this important Bible story, it gives you some important information about that. If you’d like to receive this free book, give us a call on our resource line, the number is (800) 835-6747, then you’re going to ask for the book Remember Lot’s wife, again that number is (800) 835-6747, and if you’re close to your computers, you can join us, we are streaming a live video from the studio here this evening. Now that is live.amazingfacts.org, live.amazingfacts.org. Well, we’re ready to go to the phone lines, our first caller this evening is Timothy and he is listening from Georgia, Timothy welcome to the program!

Timothy: Hi, my name is Tim and my question is why did God never get married?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, now do you mean, why did Jesus never get married?

Timothy: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: More specifically, you know, in the Bible it tells us, in Ephesians, that husbands should love their wives the way that Christ or Jesus loved the church, in a sense Timothy, Jesus does get married, the Bible says that the church is coming out of heaven, the new Jerusalem like a bride and that those who are saved are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb and Jesus told many parables about how He is like the Bridegroom and so, really the bride of Jesus is His people, His church and so in a sense, Jesus didn’t marry a single human woman, He really married His people, He treats His church as His bride that He loves and He gave Himself for her. So that’s a very good question, you know, we got a lesson, we could send it Timothy and it talks about the bride of Jesus, you’ll like it. We’ll send you a free copy of that lesson.

Pastor Jëan Ross: All you’re going to need to do is call our resource line, that’s (800) 835-6747 you can ask the study guide entitled The Bride of Christ That’s (800) 835-6747.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Thank you Timothy, Appreciate your call.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Kevin who is listening in Alaska, Kevin welcome to the program!

Kevin: Yeah, good evening gentlemen. My question is, it deals with the subject that we seem to be flowing into, the marriage issue and, and also two things that the Bible tells us, but I’ll ask the question first and that would be, if we allow the state to sever forever the bonds of matrimony are usually [??], meaning one sided, will that also put us under holy matrimony?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, especially for a believer, we recognize that marriage is a holy covenant, not unfortunately, not everybody in society recognizes the sanctity of the institution so for a lot of people, it really isn’t like its holy because although it should be, they don’t recognize that and you know, we believe the Bible’s Holy, some things are holy and so I don’t know if I’m answering what you’re asking Kevin.

Kevin: Well, I understand what you’re saying but generally, the Bible teaches us two things that tells us to honor our government and secondly it says,” what God has joined together, let not man put asunder”. So that kind of puts me at odds with that question I asked.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Alright so, I think so, if the government should declare a marriage invalid and God says it’s holy, what are you to do, is that sort of what you’re asking?

Kevin: Yeah, it’s basically if the state severs forever the bonds of matrimony because if you look at their paperwork they don’t use the term holy, they use the term matrimony so they just, they sever forever the bonds of matrimony and my question is, will that also put asunder holy matrimony?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, well, I’ll tell you, marriage is under attack right know, Pastor Ross and I, you know, we’re ordained ministers, we conduct weddings and we officiate and the marriage licenses in California for instance and a number of states are changing, there used to be a place on the license were we’d fill in, bride and groom and now they’re redoing the licenses were it says, you know, partner one and partner two or something like that and or party one or party two, I can’t remember but they are eliminating any gender distinction between the husband and the wife, so marriage is, it’s kind of an all-out wholesale plan to sort of redefine what marriage is.

Because you know, let’s suppose that the government doesn’t endorse the holiness of marriage; you would want both parties to recognize it, it’s difficult if one party, the husband does and the wife doesn’t, can’t force a person to recognize a marriage if they’re going to violate it. You do have cases in the Bible were in the book of Hosea for instance it said his wife ran off and was unfaithful and he went after her and he invited her back, you also have that, I think it’s the last story in the book of judges, a man goes after his wife in Bethlehem who was unfaithful and she is happy to come back. So, you know, sometimes there can be reconciliation, you can’t force a person. I appreciate your question Kevin; we do have that study guide that deals with marriage, Holy…

Pastor Jëan Ross: called Keys to a Happy Marriage. Yes, we’ll send it to you Kevin or anyone who calls and ask, what does the Bible have to say about marriage? The number to call is (800) 835-6747, that is our resource line, you can ask for the study guide, Keys to a Happy Marriage. Again that’s (800) 835-6747 and if you’d like to get your question on tonight’s program, the phone line here to the studio is 800-463-7297. The next caller is Kim and Kim is listening in Tennessee. Kim welcome to the program!

Kim: Yes, how you doing today?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing great, how about you?

Kim: Alright, my question is related to the three angel’s message. In one of your sermons, you’ve mentioned something about people will be lost if we don’t tell them, if we don’t share our faith and you’ve mentioned something about your early crusades, when you’d just, you know, share the gospel, you didn’t have that many converts but you were trying something.

My question is, is that true, would people be lost if you don’t tell them? And I thought that, before Jesus comes again, everyone is going to have a chance to hear the three angel’s message. So how does that tie in, if they’re going to hear the message and make a decision, is that actually true what you said, people will be lost if you don’t tell them?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well that’s a good question; let me see if I could rephrase it a little bit. Jesus says in Matthew 24:14, the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations and then the end will come, meaning that all around the world, the gospel will be within reach of people, Jesus doesn’t say everyone will believe, He says, it will be preached in all the world for a witness and I think that, you know, when the issues of the mark of the beast and the seal of God, that final battle between good and evil happens, it’s going to be front page news every day. Everybody around the world is going to be plugged into what’s happening and so, in that sense, you know, it’s going to be brought within reach. It doesn’t mean everyone’s going to respond.

Now the second prior question is, is it true that there will be people lost if we don’t tell them? Of course that’s true, I mean, why would Jesus tell us to go if it wasn’t going to make a difference? He says “go into all the world and preach the gospel”, there are definitely people who will not be saved if we or someone doesn’t share with them, that otherwise would be, why did God tell Jonah to go to Nineveh? And when Jonah ran from God, the sailors and the Ninevites were perishing, when he turned, the sailors were saved and ultimately the people of Nineveh. So, is that answering what you’re asking?

Kim: Yes! Yes, yes that pretty much answers everything, why do you think that God gives us such an awesome responsibility to do this?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, yeah and that’s, I want to be careful, that’s a good question. I want to be careful that people don’t misunderstand and think that means, that as you walk down the street, you suddenly become responsible for every soul that you pass on the sidewalk, you know, we’d be grabbing everybody by their collar and saying, are you saved, are you saved? And just, you end up becoming obnoxious at that point. You don’t reach anybody with those methods.

Jesus didn’t do that but God will bring people within our sphere of influence and Peter says “Be ready to give an answer to those that ask you about the hope that’s in you with meekness and fear”. So at the very least, we should be ready to explain our faith to others if we’ve, you know, have certain gifts in teaching and preaching and we ought to be proactive in going out there and doing what we can to give the Bible, Bible studies and so forth. But I appreciate your question Kim and hope that helps a little bit.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, we have a study guide talking about the three angels messages and it called Angel Messages From Space I’d invite anyone to give us a call and ask for it, we’d love to send it to you, very important study, it’s called Angel Messages From Space and the number to call is (800) 835-6747, that’s (800) 835-6747, you can ask for the study guide called Angel Messages From Space. We have Michael, who is listening in Henderson Kentucky, Michael, welcome to the program!

Michael: Hey Doug, how you doing man?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing good and your question tonight?

Michael: I was gonna say, Why do bad things happen to good people?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, you know, that is one of the big questions people ask and you find this also in the book of Job. Job was a good man and all these terrible things suddenly happened to him and he not only lost all of his possessions, he lost his children, he lost his money, he lost his health and his friends came to grieve with him as he sat in a, you know, junk pile mourning. And they said, well Job, you know we’re sorry this is happening to you but you probably ought to repent and confess and tell God you’re sorry for your sins. And Job said, I don’t know what I did that brought this on, I’ve tried to serve God.

They said ‘aw come on, confess if you’ve done something wrong’, now I’m paraphrasing. And the whole discussion in the 30, what is it 38 chapters? No it’s more than that, over 40 chapters in the book of Job is basically dialoguing about why do bad things happen to good people, why do good things happen to bad people? Now ultimately, it is better with those who serve the Lord than it is with those who don’t. Sometimes Job’s suffering, it didn’t last forever, Joseph went to a terrible trial when he was sold by his brothers, he spent years serving as a slave and then he was a prisoner, falsely accused but God turned it all around and then he spent the last 80 years of his life living in the palace. And so Job went through a terrible trial but then He was doubly blessed the last half of his life which was over a hundred years. And so yeah, bad things do happen to good people because there is a devil out there and you can see the devil in the background in the story of the book of Job, I don’t know Pastor Ross if you have any other thoughts on that?

Pastor Jëan Ross: Yes, you know Pastor I, we talk about the great controversy between good and evil, and we know that these things are playing out and that we’re in the midst of that battlefield and sometimes good soldiers get hit and die but the good news is that whatever we go through here, God has promised that one day He is going to make everything right. And that’s the promise for the Christian, second coming, that when Jesus comes, the dead will be resurrected, no more pain, no more suffering and even in the midst of trial and difficulties. If we can trust in God, He will be able to work things out ultimately for our good. We have that promise in Scripture, He will work all things out for our good, for those who trust in Him, those who hold on to Him so that gives us courage even in the midst of trial.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That’s right, amen!

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have a book that it’s just an inspirational story about somebody who went through great trial and how they were able to trust in God and actually be a witness to those around them, it’s called Death Watch in Siberia and we’ll send this to you, give us a call.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Free copy.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Michael or anyone, give us a call, we’ll send you this great story, excellent book. Death Watch in Siberia, the number is (800) 835-6747 and you can watch for the book Death watch in Siberia. We’re going to go to B who is listening in Illinois. B welcome to the program!

B: Hello

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi, how are you doing?

B: Not bad, not bad. I was just trying to think of the right words to put, the question into about the service.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay

B: I got my attorney here.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: that’s, (Laughing)

B: if I’m convicted about the Sabbath day.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: (Laughing)

B: How am I supposed to, how am I supposed to find work, looking for work, how am I supposed to find work and still keep the Sabbath day, knowing that I’m convicted about and also not be part of the problem? (Laugh) the sort of line of work I get into, you know?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well that’s a valid question. Of course everybody who has a conviction about keeping God’s law is, you know, they face, well sometimes they may have certain work opportunities or they may get cut backs on their salary or pay is they say, you know like, “I’ve got to have certain hours off so I can worship God on His holy day” and that’s not a new challenge. That, you know, dated back for six thousand years. God’s people have always had to reserve this time, a sacred time and, for God.

And you know, it’s not just our relationship with God, I think in every relationship, whether it’s your children or whether it’s your spouse, you need to carve out time and say, we need time for family, we need time for vacation, we need time for our children. Time is what life is made of and some people, when you’re like myself, I’m tempted to be a workaholic, you just got to stop and say, “wait a second, what am I working for?” If you don’t take time to do things with your family, what’s it all about? Same thing with God, it’s more important, our time with God because He gives us our family and we just have to look for work where we just tell our, when we apply for a job, I just tell them up front, one thing I need to let you know is I’ll work hard, I’ll be honest, I’ll work six days a week but the Sabbath day, 24 hours is holy time and I’ll be in church worshiping God.

Pastor Jëan Ross: So yeah, you just need to let them know B, are you there?

B: Yeah I’m just, you know, I’ve applied in businesses, been upfront with them just like, just exactly how you said, you know it’s, it’s also having trouble getting in the right type of line of work that just, that isn’t …

Pastor Doug Batchelor: That doesn’t require, yeah, working over the Sabbath. Well you’re doing the right thing and, and let me just share with you that you may go through a test. I remember once I was badly in need of work, had three kids at that point and I was praying for a job at the local lumber mill. And finally because I had a friend, they got me an interview to get a job and just at the very beginning I said now, I need to let you know upfront, I won’t be able to work Sabbath.

And they said, oh well you know, everybody when they first start for a few weeks they have to work swing shift and you’re going to have to be, a few Saturdays and I said, I can’t do it even a few, I can’t obey God, disobey God a little bit and they said, well then, don’t even bother getting the medical and I was really discouraged and said, alright Lord, You’re going to have to come through for me, and He did and you know, God ended up finding me a better job and He can do that for you, sometimes it takes patience because you’ll be tested. So I appreciate your question B, Pastor Ross we have something that.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We do! We have a book called Why God Said Remember talks about the Sabbath, it’s a very important Biblical principal on the Sabbath, we’ll send it to anyone who calls and asks, the number is (800) 835-6747, again the book is called Why God Said Remember, its (800) 835-6747. Our next caller is Gary and he is listening in Washington, Gary welcome to the program!

Gary: Okay, Thank you, can you hear me?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes, loud and clear.

Gary: Okay, my question is on Acts 1:18 in a part where it says “falling headlong, he burst open in the middle, and all his internals gushed out” what is that?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, not a very pretty picture is it?

Gary: No, it isn’t and what does that? I know its talking about Judas but …

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yeah, evidently when it says in the Bible ‘Judas went out and hung himself’, he hung himself it seems like in this part of this is tradition but it seems backed up by what Peter says here, is that he hung himself off the wall somewhere outside the city somewhere. The rope broke and he plummeted down to the ground and the rest of it speaks for itself. One story, was that this happened just before the cross and not far from where people were leading Jesus to be crucified and they could see already what the fate of His betrayer was.

Sort of as a frightening harbinger of what it would mean to reject your Savior … what happened to Judas. So Peter was just rehearsing that Judas was no longer an apostle and they needed to replace him and that for what he had done, a severe judgment had come upon him. So that’s the story that they, you know, has been passed on, is that he hung himself, that’s what the Bible says and then it sayshe fell and the rope broke and so, wasn’t really … he kind of died like Jezebel, the Bible says, she was thrown out her window and the dogs ate her and that’s kind of what happened to Judas.Yeah, I hope that helps a little Gary so it’s not a pretty picture but it gives the faithful history, thank you.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Debra who is listening from Illinois Chicago, Debra welcome to the program.

Debra: Hi, thank you for having me.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes, and your question.

Debra: My question is about tithes, my husband believes in, on the gross and I believe in tithing on the net, and the two Scriptures I have that I’m conflicted on, the first one is, that we were supposed to tithe on our increase. If I always think one thing, if it takes their portion the rest is my increase so I tithe on that and then the other Scriptures that I had, was confused about is (inaudible 27:19-23) I’m thinking the gross because we give the government a portion of our gross so we give God a portion of our gross, so I conflict with those two.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Let me give you an answer, were going to have a break here in just a moment Debra but quickly, when you pay taxes, that’s the same kind of bill as when you buy your groceries and it’s part of your expenses, and so you can’t say after the government takes there part then I’ll pay my tithe, I think that it’s just one of your taxes is one of your bills, and so I pay on the gross, you can’t out give God, He’ll bless you no matter what, you just be faithful …

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know Pastor we have a study guide on Debra’s question. We do have a study guide In God We Trust that talks about the principal that we read about in Scripture of tithing and it’s got a lot of Scriptures and explains a little bit further, Debra orfor anyone who’s interested in learning this, call our resource line, it’s (800) 835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide entitled “In God We Trust”. Pastor Doug we’re coming up on a break here in just a few moments but before we do, we’d just like to let people know about this brand new website, well it’s been around for a little while but we’ve made some changes to it, Biblehistory.com.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Absolutely friends, this is an incredible free study resource that you’ve got to pass on. I’d save it as one of your favorites and then link to it. It has the whole panorama when you go to the home page of the site you’ve got little pictures of all the different phases in Bible history. I think there’s about twelve, thirteen of them? Going from the creation all the way to the book of Revelation, it goes through the prophecies, tells you when people lived, it gives you a visual of how their lives overlapped. Biblehistory.com, you’re going to really enjoy this, share it with a friend. We’re going to be back with questions in just a couple of minutes, hang on.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And we are back, if you’ve just joined us, this is “Bible Answers Live” and as the title suggests, it is a live international, interactive Bible study were you can call in with your Bible questions and we don’t know everything but we’ll do our best to share what we do know from the Word of God. It’s a free phone call, lines are still open, 800-GOD-SAYS, (800) 463-7297 I’m Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross and Pastor Doug just before we go back to the phone lines, we’ve heard a lot recently in the news about this terrible typhoon that went all the way through the Philippines and you actually just posted something on your Facebook recently.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I did.

Pastor Jëan Ross: That was interesting.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: I got a remarkable picture from some people that were on the ground in the very eye of that typhoon. That city was just devastated and it’s a picture of a lone church that is standing. The church is well built it’s made of concrete, everything else is, just about everything else is mowed down around it. It gives you a picture of the scope of the devastation and we were surprised over half a million people went to the Facebook page, looked at the picture and we were encouraging people to well, first pray for the people there and support any way you can in relief efforts because Karen and I were in the Philippines this year and we have a school.

The director of our AFCOE school, we have our AFCOE school in the Philippines, we teach evangelism there. We’re going back and doing a city wide crusade, a country wide crusade in Manila. It’ll be broadcast on T.V around the country in 2015 and right now our programs are on all over in the Philippines. We have a lot of friends there and we just hope you’ll keep those people in your prayers. If you want to see that remarkable picture, just go to the Doug Batchelor Facebook page and there’s probably a couple of Doug Batchelors’, I’m the bald one

Pastor Jëan Ross: (Laughing)

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So you’ll find it, yeah thank you! We’ll go back to the phones now.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Right now we have Lisa from Delaware. Lisa welcome to the program!

Lisa: Hi Pastor Doug.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Lisa: Hi, I have a question; it’s about speaking in tongues.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay.

Lisa: [??] that was saying that tongues is just many languages but a friend of mine, she goes to a church were they speak in tongues but she tells me, she understood everything he was saying and she interpreted to the person that I just said they were praying over, so I just got really confused, I want to see if you can help me with that, on information on that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: First thing Lisa is we will send you a free book after the, I’ll do my best to give you a quick answer but there’s a lot more in the book and it’s called Understanding Tongues so Pastor Ross will give you a number in a minute. Secondly, there are three examples of speaking in tongues in the Bible; you’ve got Acts chapter 2, Acts chapter 10, and Acts chapter 19.

Jesus once refers to it, He simply says to the disciples, you will speak with other tongues in Mark 16, meaning, the Lord supernaturally gave the apostles and early disciples the ability to speak in other languages they had not normally studied. It was a supernatural gift to be able to speak for the purpose of not showing off but preaching the gospel. Then you see an example of that in Acts chapter 2 where the apostles are given this gift of the Spirit. They are then speaking in the languages of these visiting Jews who have come from other countries to come for the feast of Pentecost.

And then you even see in Acts 10 and Acts chapter 19 when they spoke in tongues. They understood what they were saying, in other words, there were several language groups present. So you’re correct, the gift of tongues represents a language of the world that may not normally be known by those present and someone is given the supernatural ability to speak in their native tongue to preach the gospel, to teach the good news.

Lisa: So how does she say that she was able to interpret what the guy that was speaking in tongues for this woman that they were praying on, I don’t understand that.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And I don’t want to be disrespectful but there’s a number of charismatic churches, not all, thatthey speak in what they call a prayer language. Now you don’t see a single example in the Bible of anybody praying in a language where the people present don’t know what they are saying. They are not praying in some heavenly tongue, that seems like babbling.

When Paul talks about praying in an unknown tongue, he just means that if someone starts praying in a language that those present don’t understand, they can’t really join in your prayer. They don’t know what you’re saying and Paul says in 1st Corinthians 14, he says, you need to have an interpreter. He says, I’d rather speak five words with my understanding that I might instruct other, then ten thousand in an unknown tongue. Or if the trumpet gives a uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for the battle? And so he said, when you speak, speak words that are easy to be understood.

Paul is very clear, that when we gather together to worship the, primary emphasis in 1st Corinthians 14 is don’t say anything if people present can’t understand or if you don’t have a translator. Now, when people in some of these churches start babbling in tongues and it, it sounds like babbling to the, you know, average person. Some people will get an impression, on their mind or heart, I think the Spirit is telling me what they’re saying and the first thing that comes to their mind, they start saying, thus sayeth the Lord. And I don’t think this is what’s happening in the Bible, this kind of comes out of some of the Pagan religions and it found its way into Christianity a hundred years ago. You don’t see it for the last nineteen hundred years of Christian history and anyway, read the book called Understanding Tongues we’ll send you or anyone who wants to understand this subject Biblically, we’ll send you that free book.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call is (800) 835-6747 and the book is called Understanding Tongues, (800) 835-6747. We have Terry who is listening from Sacramento California, Terry welcome to the program.

Terry: Hello.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi Terry.

Terry: My question is, can a Christian commit the unpardonable sin?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, let me rephrase that if you don’t mind. Can a person who really outwardly is following Christ turn from that decision and grieve away the Holy Spirit and commit the unpardonable sin? Yes. First of all, anyone who isn’t a Christian, whenever you die lost, you’ve committed the unpardonable sin. Everybody who dies lost, there’s no more forgiveness. There’s some people who have gone beyond forgiveness while they’re still alive.

An example would be Judas. Judas was one of the apostles. Jesus laid hands on Judas like He did the other eleven apostles. He sent Judas out preaching. Judas came back and said, even the spirits are subject onto me and he was casting out devils and healing but Judas was clinging to a sin that he was struggling with, of greed and pride. And finally when Judas, he did not repent of his sins at the last supper, Christ gave him an opportunity, He even said, one of you is going to betray me, Judas should have confessed and he didn’t. The Bible tells us Satan entered him. He went out and it was night. Judas then reached the point of no return, he hung himself, King Saul grieved away the Holy Spirit and God would not speak to him anymore, Saul committed suicide, he fell on his own sword.

So Saul was once filled with the Holy Spirit, he was prophesying, he was chosen by God so you’ve got examples of believers that then turn from God and harden their hearts and they end up grieving away the Spirit. Now I have a free book on that, that I’ll send you Terry. It’s actually a bigger book than, that we usually send out but I just completed a book called Beyond Mercy, What is the Unpardonable Sin?, and gives you lots of Scripture on the subject. Would you like a free copy of that?

Terry: Yes please.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, just call the number, it’ll be on its way.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The number to call (800) 835-6747 and ask for the book Beyond Mercy again that’s (800) 835-6747. We have Michael who is listening from New Jersey, Michael welcome to the program.

Michael: Pastor Doug, Pastor Ross as usual, thank you for your service

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, Thank you for calling.

Michael: Alright, I have a couple of three friends, they’re non-believers but they’re always trying to trap me. Now they came up with this so called inconsistency. They said that all, and they read the Bible as the devil reads the Bible, but they said that because God used one angel in many instances as like the Assyrian army and a couple of angels at Sodom and Gomorrah, one that came to David. They said God would use one angel or two to use destruction for His justice so they said, well if God was consistently using one angel, why does Jesus say He’s going to summon thousands of angels in the book of Matthew, I think it’s down at 27.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well actually, Jesus said, He could summon thousands of angels, He didn’t.

Michael: He didn’t summon any angels but the point of it is, they’re saying that is an inconsistency, which of course I just dismiss them but I’m saying, there saying it’s an inconsistency because why would Jesus, being at the right hand of God knowing all the information want to summon thousands of angels, when He only has to summon one?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, my first thought is, is that the best they can come up with? If they’re looking for inconsistencies, there are several apparent inconsistencies in the Bible, you know, some people say for instance on the head of Jesus and all the four gospels, the wording on the sign, it’s a little different in all four gospels, I mean, I’d point to that, now there’s an answer for that, it’s because it’s in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin so different gospel writers are quoting from the different languages.

It just depends, but yeah when the Bible tells us that one angel struck a hundred and eighty five thousand Syrians, God has different levels of angels for one thing. They’re, you know, it appears from what we read in the Bible, that there are angels that would be what we call captains, and sergeants, and privates, and there are angels that are generals, and there are angels of very great size and strength and power. Satan was Lucifer, was the chief of the angels. So there’s so much we don’t understand about that, to take that as an argument for inconsistency in the Bible, I think it’s very consistent.

By the way, God’s angels aren’t always apparent, when one angel talked to the shepherds and said I’ve got good news for you, that this night in Bethlehem is born a Savior and you’ll go find the Child, after that one angel first appeared, then their eyes were opened and they saw the heavens were filled with angels. There were a lot of angels there, they saw one first so there eyes could get adjusted, then their eyes were opened and they saw all of them. So there may have been many other angels in some of these appearances in the Bible that didn’t all appear at one time and I can think of some other (inaudible 42:33) when Jesus ascended to heaven it says two angels but then He was caught up to a cloud of angels as He ascended so I think your friends are just looking for excuses (laughing). Hey Mike, you got a good voice for radio so you need to keep talking, appreciate your questions.

Pastor Jëan Ross: The next caller is Alexis and she’s listening in New York.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello Alexis welcome to the program.

Alexis: Hi.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Alexis: Good evening.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Alexis: My question is, one thing we’re talking about the priest when he goes, when he went in for the Day of Atonement, when he went into the most holy place, they said that he had like a rope or something tied around him in case he doesn’t confess all his sins and he died in the most holy place, they would pull him out.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Alexis: Is that so?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well it’s not in the Bible but there is a Jewish tradition. Two things, one is, one in the Bible tells us that around the skirt of the high priest, there were little golden bells that pomegranates and

Pastor Jëan Ross: Bells and pomegranates.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Bells and Pomegranates, yeah. And so that as he was in there ministering and they heard a tinkling, and if it got quiet because, you know, he could have had a heart attack or anything, nobody was allowed to go in to the Holy of Holies. And so one legend or it’s in the Talmud, I forgot where it is but there’s some Biblical writing that says he had a rope or cord around his ankle so that if there was a calamity and he didn’t come out, they could pull his body out without exposing themselves to the glory of God.

You remember when an angel appeared to the father of John the Baptist, Zachariah, when he was in the temple, the people began to worry out there because he was taking too long and so that’s, it’s not in the Bible but we believe it’s probably true and I think it’s in some extra-biblical writings, good question! Appreciate that Alexis.

Pastor Jëan Ross: We have Eric, who is in North Dakota, Eric welcome to the program.

Eric: How are you today?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing great! How are you?

Eric: Not too bad, my question is, you talked about the Sabbath, remember the Sabbath and so I just started listening when you’re talking about that, so I’m assuming you’re taking about Saturday, right?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: ’ am

Eric: Okay so, I can’t remember exactly were in the Bible but your (inaudible 44:57) says, figured it was Romans but were it says that, one day is no different than another day, so if someone tells you that one day is better than the other for worshipping that’s, like … what’s your basis for that, saying that we have to rest on Saturday because where I work I get Wednesdays and Thursdays off. So …

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, are you a Christian?

Eric: What if I wanted to work on Wednesday? Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, do you believe that God wants us to keep the Ten Commandments?

Eric: I do.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Is one of the commandments, to remember the Sabbath day and to keep it holy?

Eric: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: And does it say in the commandment, the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God and you shall not do any work?

Eric: Sure.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Okay, if you look at a calendar or you look at a dictionary, it says, the seventh day of the week is Saturday. First day of the week, now we don’t argue, that’s when Jesus rose but that’s Sunday and there is no command in the Bible to keep Sunday as a Sabbath. We as believers should worship God seven days a week, I think you should always worship God, but the fourth commandment is not just about worship. That’s part of it but it’s about resting from our work and so this is something that I think is not a suggestion, it’s a command.

Now in Romans you ask a good question. In Romans 5, Paul is talking to the Gentiles who had converted to Christianity and some of the Jewish believers were saying, they needed to keep the annual feasts, like passover or the Day of Atonement, or the feast of trumpets, or whatever, and Paul was saying, look, one man regards one day above another, another man regards everyday alike. He’s talking about Jewish feast days there, he’s not talking about the commandments. The Jewish feast days were annual days, they came after sin. The Sabbath came before sin. The feast days were not part of the Ten Commandments, they were part of the Levitical Mosaic law, and so, the context of what he says in Romans really has nothing to do with the Ten Commandments but that is a good question.

So you know, if a Christian wants to keep Christmas, I know, some believers are saying that Christmas is Pagan, we’re not going to do anything on Christmas and Jesus wasn’t born the 25th and they feel very strong about that, and then there are others who say, hey if the world’s going to remember the birth of Jesus on this day, what a great witnessing opportunity, were going to go in with both hands, that’ll leave out Santa Claus but they’ll go in with the Jesus birth part, if someone’s going to do it, do it unto the Lord. That’s how I would apply this verse. It has nothing to do with the Sabbath day, you still there Eric?

Eric: Yeah, I’m still here. So I guess if I had a Christian like, when I am at home on weekends, I worship on Sunday, that’s one day of rest. Today I go to church, today we worship, so is that wrong?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well there’s a lot of sincere Christians that are worshipping on the first day of the week, I would say that it’s Biblically inaccurate. I’m not going to say that all those people are lost because I think a lot of them don’t know but if you want to go by the Bible, there’s really no question about which day of the week is the Sabbath, would you be willing to study this subject?

Eric: Well, sure!

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well, I’ll tell you what, we’ll send you a free study. I was in your exact shoes. One day when I remember, I went to church on Sunday and I learned this, I said hey! I’m going to follow the Bible, this makes sense to me. Let me send you the study on this subject, Pastor Ross will give you the information.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Absolutely, it’s part of our Amazing Facts study guide series and it’s called The Lost Day in History, it’s all about the Sabbath because you get Biblical foundation, a number of verses there. To receive this study guide, just call our resource line, its (800) 835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide called The Lost Day in History, we also have a website that is filled with information, and a lot of important articles there. Great study resource called Sabbathtruth.com. So Eric, if you can go to the website, take a look at that, there’s a great amount of resources there for anyone who wants to learn more about the importance of the Sabbath. Our next caller is Ed and Ed is listening in New York, Ed welcome to the program.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Ed, you’re on, you there?

Ed: Yes.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hi, and your question? You might need to turn off your radio or you’re going to feel like you’re a little schizophrenic. Are you there?

Ed: Yes, I’m here.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: okay, your question?

Ed: Yeah, my question is, when exactly was Satan cast out of heaven? Because some people are saying 1914, some are saying after the creation, some are saying not yet, according to Revelation. Then I …

Pastor Doug Batchelor: In revelation 12, it talks about the war, well I’ll let you finish, I’m sorry, go ahead.

Ed: Yeah, go ahead because I’m thinking that if he’s cast out after, he needs to be cast out, what happened to Eve in the garden? So maybe I said, let me call you and you might be able to, give me a better answer.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: You’re on the right track. The, the devil of course rebelled, Lucifer was his name, the highest of the angels, he rebelled against God before there was sin. He, sin originated with him, he was cast out of heaven after this rebellion you read about in revelation chapter 12. Revelation doesn’t only point forward in the future at least in this one case it talks about the battle back in the beginning where sin originated.

And you also read in Ezekiel and Isaiah where it talks about this. Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 talks about Lucifer’s rebellion and so he was cast out of heaven, he wasn’t really restricted to the earth until after Adam and Eve sinned and they listened to him but he had been expelled from heaven before our world was made.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, Revelation chapter 12 speaks of a casting out and a casting down, and it’s not the same event. The casting out took place before the creation of the earth, that’s where it talks about this war in heaven and Satan, his angels were cast out of heaven, but then there’s also a casting down to the earth, and in the context of Revelation chapter 12 you’ll read about that in verse 9, it’s really referring to the time of Christ’s crucifixion.

You see, Satan claimed to be the representative of the earth but when Jesus died on the cross, Satan no longer could claim to be man’s representative. Now Christ is the representative of the earth and Satan is cast down. He doesn’t have any access to anywhere in the universe, he’s bound to this earth, waiting for his final destruction. So there is the casting out that happened before creation and then there’s the casting down which happened at the cross.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: So and we have a study guide that goes into what happened with Lucifer and his rebellion and why there is evil in the world and we’ll send you a free copy of that and anyone who wants to know, ask for it.

Pastor Jëan Ross: Study guide is called Did God Create a Devil? and we’ll be happy to send that to anyone that calls and asks. Again this study guide is Did God Create a Devil?, the number is (800) 835-6747. Our next caller is Wanda and Wanda is listening in New York. Wanda welcome to the program.

Wanda: Hi, how are you?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Doing great, and your question tonight?

Wanda: I have a question. Every time I see a rainbow I’m always (inaudible 52:25) but I know that God said that, He made a promise right? He wouldn’t destroy the earth, and the rainbow was a symbol right?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Right.

Wanda: So why does, why do people still get destroyed by water if that’s a promise?

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Well God wasn’t saying it would never rain or flood again in isolated areas. Back in Noah’s day, the entire planet was wiped out with a deluge and He’s saying I will never do that, I will never destroy the earth again with a flood but there have been serious rain storms and there have been flash floods, you know, ever since the days of Noah when rain started. But there, you know, as people saw the floods and the water come in and God was saying, this is not the end, it will subside and it did, so yeah, there are still storms, there are tornadoes, there are typhoons and there are floods and tsunamis and, and that promise about the rainbow was saying, He would never destroy the whole world with it.

The whole world was baptized in water, in the days of Noah because of the sin of the people, only those in the ark were saved. When Jesus comes back again, only those in Christ, that are part of His body and His church will be saved and the Bible tells us He’s going to destroy the world, baptize it in fire, when He comes back. That’s in, 2nd Peter 3, so good question, appreciate that one.

Wanda: Thank you, okay.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Absolutely, you know, one of the things, while we’re talking about the rainbow and I don’t know if we’re going to have time for another question, it kind of, is a little bit frustrating, aggravating, maddening that the rainbow, which is something that God put in the heavens as a symbol for goodness and purity and His covenant and so forth, has sort of been kidnapped lately by, you know, some of the, the homosexual activists and the gay right militants and whenever I see that, I think, I’m not giving up the rainbow, I’m still going to use it, and (laughing) it’s just a, it’s like a remarketing, what the rainbow means, it’s supposed to be a covenant of God.

Pastor Jëan Ross: You know, the rainbow is very significant, especially when you get to prophecy, in Revelation chapter 4 we have a description of God’s throne room and it talks about the four living creatures that really make up God’s throne and then it says, surrounding God’s throne is a rainbow and that is a symbol of God’s mercy. It’s comforting to know that when God looks at us, He’s looking at us through the rainbow, in other words, He looks at us with mercy.

Pastor Doug Batchelor: Amen, well listening friends, we’re looking at the clock and we’re looking, we have a few people lined up that have called in with questions. We hope you will give us another chance and call next week, we just don’t want to cut anybody short, we don’t really have enough time to take another call but if you will listen a moment longer, please do check out the website we mentioned earlier, you’ll really appreciate all the study resources at that new website called Biblehistory.com.

It’s a Bible timeline that covers the whole scope of Bible history at a glance. And as we’re moving into the holiday season, Thanksgiving, Christmas, if you’ve been blessed by this program and you’re contemplating your year-end giving, think of Amazing Facts. The mission of Jesus to get the gospel to the world, that’s our mission, one phone call at a time, and so we appreciate your support in us. Also, find out more by going to Amazingfacts.org, you can donate right online, let us know if you enjoyed the program, God bless friends.

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