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Miraculous Survival

Scripture: Psalms 23:1-6, Exodus 15:11, Revelation 22:19
Date: 12/22/2013 
Harrison Okene begged God for a miracle in turbulent seas 20 miles from the coast of Lagos. The Nigerian cook’s tugboat flipped over in the middle of...
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Pastor Doug: Hello friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Harrison Okene begged God for a miracle in turbulent seas 20 miles from the coast of Lagos. The Nigerian cook’s tugboat flipped over in the middle of the night and quickly sank 100 feet to the sea floor. In the watery chaos, the 11 other seamen on the boat perished but Okene somehow found himself trapped in a large pocket of air deep within the capsized vessel. Providentially just prior to the accident, God impressed Okene’s wife to send him a text message quoting Psalms 54 which reads, “Save me oh God by Your name, behold God is my helper. The Lord is with those who uphold my life”.

That became Okene’s prayer. Seventy-two hours later and nearly out of air and hope, the watery soggy chamber where he was, began to glow with a green light. A Dutch salvage company had sent divers for the sunken ship expecting to recover the bodies. Imagine their shock when Harrison’s hand reached out and grabbed one of the divers. The shaken diver shouted through his microphone to the rescue crew, “There is a survivor, he is alive.” Nearly out of air and trapped in the cold depths of the ocean for three days, Okene had miraculously survived.

Did you know that the Bible talks about another man who was rescued after being trapped in the deep for three days? Stay with us friends we are going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome again listening friends. It’s our desire to make the truth about God and Jesus available to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible and that is why we do this program. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, then give us a call. It’s a free phone call, 800-GOD-SAYS, that’s 800-463-729, will bring you into the studio with your Bible questions. We do have our lines open right now so this is the best time to pick up the phone and call with your Bible questions. Once more 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297 and I am Doug Batchelor

Jëan Ross: And my name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug? Let’s begin the program with a prayer. Dear Father once again we thank You for this opportunity to study Your Word and we invite Your presence to be with us here in studio, be with those who are listening wherever they might be. And Lord, guide us into a fuller and clearer understanding of Your Word this evening. For we ask this in Jesus name. AMEN.

Pastor Doug: Amen

Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug you opened the program by talking about Harrison whose miraculous story ended up down over 100 feet, I understand at the bottom of the ocean there for three days, in an air pocket, in the dark, in the cold he was just praying and he survived.

Pastor Doug: It is remarkable because the rescue crew, they were actually a recovery crew, they were coming looking for bodies. They actually had helmet cameras with video and audio of their communication with the rescue, the main vessel recording as they were looking for the bodies. They actually have video and you can see it online of when they popped their heads up and actually saw him in the pocket and the look on his face and their recording of…we’ve got a live one here. It’s amazing.

I remember when I was a kid, we’d go out at summer camp and we’d turned over a canoe and try and breath underneath that canoe or something for a little while. You can’t last very long before you start getting dizzy because there is not enough air. So it really is a miracle that he survived three days down there and he was quite [??]. I am a scuba diver and wreck diving is among the most dangerous kinds of diving and they had to rescue him and take him up through a decompression chamber for 60 hours to get him back and acclimated to the air surface. But he told his wife, he said, “I am never going to the sea again.” But the text that she sent him is what really kept his hope alive and when you hear about someone who is down in the depths of the ocean for three days and three nights, you can’t help but think of that Bible hero. Hero may not be the right word.

Jonah’s character…Jonah had a prayer when he was down at the bottom of the mountains and you can read this in Jonah chapter 2. After that sea monster swallowed him, he prayed from the belly of the great fish and he said, “Out of the belly of sheol, I cried and you heard my voice, you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas and the floods surrounded me.”

Read on in that chapter, he says how he prayed to God in His temple. I like the story because if God can hear the prayer of somebody that’s in a capsized vessel 100 feet down or in a sea monster 1000 feet down then can He hear our prayers? If God can save someone from what looked like a virtual coffin then can He save us? And we just want people to know that there is hope.

Beyond that, Jesus said that Jonah is a sign of His own mission. You can read this in Mathew 12:40.

Jesus said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so the Son of man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth and the men of Nineveh will rise up in judgment with this generation and condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.” In many ways Jonah and Jesus went through some parallels, one being Jonah was asleep in a boat, the bottom of the boat during the storm and when he was awakened, the captain said, “Don’t you care that we are perishing?”

Jesus was asleep in a boat, in a storm in the back of the boat and they woke Him up and said, “Lord, don’t You care that we are perishing?” At the cross of Jesus they cast lots, for Jonah they cast lots. The sailors said, “Don’t charge us with innocent blood”, when they tossed Jonah overboard. Pilate said, “I don’t want to be guilty of this Man’s innocent blood.” There are just a lot of parallels you can see.

Jonah goes three and a half days in Nineveh and says in 40 days it will be destroyed if they don’t repent. Jesus preaches three and half years and tells Jerusalem they will be destroyed if they don’t repent. Nineveh repented, Jerusalem didn’t and they were destroyed 40 years later. So Jesus said, “This is the sign of Jonah.” Now I gave you a very quick study on this subject friends. There is a lot more to it and we are willing to give you a free copy of this book called The Sign of Jonah. It will encourage you just with the whole story and I think it will inspire you just with the Bible study involved. Call and it’s free.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747, that is our resource line and the book this evening that we are offering for free, just give us a call and ask for it, is called The Sign of Jonah. Again that number is 800-835-6747; ask for the book The Sign of Jonah. We are going to go to the phone lines. We have Chantelle who is listening from Oregon. Chantelle welcome to the program.

Chantelle: Hello, good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Chantelle: First I’d like to say that I was really disappointed to hear your announcement this past service.

Pastor Doug: Well maybe I better explain to our listeners what I am announcing and that is I’ve been 20 years pastor of Sacramental Central Church and the time had come and I would actually pastor in two congregations. Pastor Ross and I also pastored the church in Granite Bay and we are going to shift over there. So we are not giving up pastoring or media ministry but I can’t maintain the two churches indefinitely.

Chantelle: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: So you will still hear us here.

Chantelle: Yes because I always look forward to your sermon so much

Pastor Doug: But we are still going to be recording services at Sacramental Central for a little while so don’t give up on us.

Chantelle: Okay, all right. I am calling about the Old Testament’s prophesies about Jesus and I noticed that sometimes its written in the past tense and sometimes it is written in the future tense.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Chantelle: I wondered what you could say about that.

Pastor Doug: Which prophecy are you thinking about? Are you talking about like Isaiah 53 or you are talking about the prophecies where David in Psalms 22 talks about piercing my hands and feet?

Chantelle: Well I didn’t jot down the Psalms but I think…let’s see…Genesis and Numbers you mentioned…I was looking at Messiah mystery and you started in Genesis and Numbers and then you went into Isaiah 53 and 11 and Genesis and Numbers uses a past tense and Isaiah 53:11 is the future tense.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well some of…

Chantelle: So I was wondering why that is.

Pastor Doug: In some cases like even with David. David wrote some of the Psalms that were Messianic Psalms but the same trials that he described Christ going through, David went through some of that both when Saul was trying to kill him and when his own son was trying to kill him and he had to run for his life on both occasions. So David is talking about present because of what’s happening to him but the same things happened to the Son of David. So I don’t know if that make sense …

Pastor Doug: Pastor Ross, I don’t know if you want to weigh in on that one.

Jëan Ross: You know it’s kind of interesting when you look at different prophecies of Christ. Not only are they as you say referring to future events but sometimes they are experiences that the prophet himself goes through and the experience that he goes through is a foreshadowing or a type of something related to the Messiah or something that relates during the time of Christ. Often that was written in the past tense but it has the future applications that relates to Jesus.

Chantelle: Okay alright then

Pastor Doug: I appreciate your question Chantelle.

Chantelle: Okay thank you

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is T. J and he is listening in Iowa. T. J, welcome to the program

T. J: Yes hello I was wondering because I’ve heard a couple of different views on this. I’ve heard some pastors say that only pastors and prophets are allowed to rebuke the sin of others and I’ve heard others say that everybody is allowed to rebuke sin. So I was wondering if you could give some passages to help clarify which one is correct for me.

Pastor Doug: Well I think that Jesus tells us that you can have an issue with your brother and rebuke him. So if you are a parent you can rebuke your child. A rebuke is an admonition, a correction and so you don’t have to be…now you know what, some people might be thinking, well in the context of a congregation it shouldn’t be a member that stands up and rebukes the whole congregation. But in interpersonal relationships, friends can rebuke each other.

So yeah, I am looking at a few examples right now. In Titus, Paul is writing to Titus and then he also says in Timothy that, you might rebuke but you might argue, well they were in ministry and they were elders. But the word rebuke is used 113 times; I don’t think it’s only…most of the time God is rebuking. But I don’t think it’s only relegated to pastors and prophets. I think that in our relationships, in a loving way sometimes we need to rebuke those we care about and say, hey that’s not right.

T. J: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Rebuke doesn’t need to be mean or harsh. It’s really meant as an admonition or a correction.

T. J: Okay. Alright, thanks very much

Pastor Doug: Alright. I appreciate that. Thanks for your call T.J

Jëan Ross: We have Leonora who is listening in North Carolina. Leonora, welcome to the program

Leonora: Thank you so much for your ministry. It has blessed me tremendously. My question is Pastor Doug, you preached on Amazing Facts, I really love watching that program on how…I mean we know that Satan has dominion of the earth….what Adam had.

Pastor Doug: Right

Leonora: And Jesus regained dominion when He died on the cross but I just didn’t understand when you said a couple of weeks ago how He just has, I guess, part of the dominion or not the full dominion? So what exactly did He regain is what I am trying to ask.

Pastor Doug: Well the Lord paid the ransom when He died on the cross and I think Satan’s power…well his doom was sealed for one thing but the idea that Satan is somehow bound now and that he is not exercising authority is not accurate. Satan is still rampaging around the planet all the time and so he knows his time is short. It’s says in Revelation chapter 12, But Jesus called the devil the prince of this world and when Christ comes Satan is bound.” And that’s Revelation chapter 20 talks about the second coming of Jesus. When the dead in Jesus Christ rise, the wicked are in their graves and 1000 years begin, that’s the second coming of Jesus…is when an angel comes down from heaven with a great chain and Satan is bound. Right now he is still kind of running-a-muck, riding around the planets with his demons and we deal with the temptations of the devil every day.

Leonora: So the Lord would have not have dominion?

Pastor Doug: Well Jesus paid the price to redeem the planet when He died on the cross and so that’s guaranteed but a person can be sentenced to death and be on death row and still be alive. So Satan’s doom is secure but he is definitely still rampaging through the world.

Jëan Ross: You know it’s interesting when we read about the story of Jesus and His death on Calvary. Not only does He die for the sins of the world to redeem mankind but it is also said that He was given a crown of thorns. If you read about the curse of sin in the beginning of Genesis, it’s says the ground brought forth thorns and thistles.

So Christ not only redeemed mankind but He redeems the whole earth and He comes once again as the King of the earth. The position that Satan tried to usurp, Christ has once again regained

Leonora: Okay, thank you so much

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. We do have a Bible lesson that talks about, Did God Make a Devil? And it goes into more detail. We’ll be happy to send you a free copy of that.

Jëan Ross: The number to call for that is 800-835-6747 and the study guide is called Did God Create the Devil? Again its 800-835-6747, just call and ask for that study guide and we will be happy to send it to anyone who gives us a call. We have Randall who is listening from Ontario, Canada. Randall welcome to the program.

Randall: Well thank you pastor and I thank you for your program. I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you!

Randall: Yes. I think it’s a great concept of a program and my question pastor is whether you could ever believe that the first verse of Psalms 23 may be incorrect.

Pastor Doug: Where it says, the Lord is my shepherd I shall not?

Randall: That’s right. If that verse could ever be incorrect and if I may, give an explanation as to why I asked the question.

Pastor Doug: Well yeah. Are you saying… is it possible for a person who’s accepted the Lord as their shepherd to ever be in want?

Randall: Well I am saying that God gave me a revelation. The word ‘not’ should actually be ‘always’. So that Psalms 23 should read it as simple as it sounds that, the Lord is my shepherd I shall always want.

Pastor Doug: Well the word want meant have a need and so the way that you are rendering that is it would say the Lord…first of all you can’t change the Word of God. The Lord is my shepherd I shall not be in need. And what it means is some shepherds never took good care of their sheep and the sheep always looked malnourished or diseased. David is saying…David who is a shepherd because he laid down his life for the sheep or put his life on the line. David who is saying, God is my Shepherd I am not going to have any need, I am not going to lack is really what it’s says. It’s not saying a Christian never struggles, it means that as you look back over your life when God is your Shepherd, He provides.

Jëan Ross: Of course as a child of God, great the need is for more of God. So the promise here is yes He will provide for our needs but as we grow closer to Him we will want more of Him, that He will meet our needs. Jesus said, “If God takes care of the flowers and birds, He will take care of you.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah it evens says in verse 3,“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” It’s very much like where Jesus said, Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the other needs you will not want for these things. I think David also said, “I was young and now I am old and yet I have not seen God’s children forsaken…

Jëan Ross: Or his seed begging for bread.

Pastor Doug: Begging bread, yeah. So He provides for us and… a very beautiful Psalm, I was just reading it this week. Thank you for your question Randall.

Jëan Ross: We have Lori who is listening from Santa Rosa, California. Lori, you are on the air

Lori: Hi, I just have a quick question. I am just wondering where and what does the Bible say about marriage…

Pastor Doug: Well its God’s idea. Starts in Genesis, God actually conducted the first marriage between Adam and Eve and the first miracle of Jesus was at a wedding. So Jesus obviously feels highly about marriage. It’s God’s plan and the Bible ends with a wedding .It tells us that when Jesus comes down that it’s the marriage supper of the Lamb and the New Jerusalem is adorned as a bride prepared for her husband. So Christ’s second coming, He talked about the parable of the wedding where the ten virgins that are waiting for the bride groom to come.

The metaphor of marriage is used by God all through the Bible to show His love for the church and when the church is unfaithful He says that its adultery. So wow, you are right. It’s a big subject in the Bible.

Lori: [Phone break]

Pastor Doug: What’s that?

Lori: Specifically I was just told that you didn’t … that there was no where in the Bible that specifically says that you have to go into a church and get married. That as long as you commit yourself to somebody for life by praying to God, that it’s okay and I just want clarification for that .

Pastor Doug: Thank You for making that more clear. Is it necessary to get married in a church? No! If you are a believer it’s probably preferable to take vows in the presence of other believers, in a place that is set aside for God’s worship. It’s not mandatory. The marriage should be recognized as legal by the state that you are in. The Bible tells us to obey the laws of the land.

Lori: Okay. So it says to follow the laws of the land and is it [inaudible].

Pastor Doug: Yea I forget too. I am stumped.

Lori: Okay. So I just wanted to…and also...so you are saying marriage is basically…so can’t just say, I want to pray to God with somebody and say, I want to be with him or her for the rest of my life. It’s actually something where you do it legally...

Pastor Doug: It should be more of…I think It should be more serious and sacred than that. It’s something you do publicly because a marriage is recognized not just between two people but it’s recognized by the society. That’s one reason that once you publicly declare your covenant, men know they are supposed to leave that woman alone and other women know they are supposed to leave that man alone because they’ve made a covenant to another person and they are off the market so to speak.

So marriage is usually very public. They are legal and the idea…some states recognize common law marriage but I think most pastors frown on that because the question is, why wouldn’t a person want to get married legally with a celebration in public?

Lori: Got it. Excellent, thank you!

Pastor Doug: Alright. And by the way we do have a book on marriage we just completed and it’s called Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage. Doesn’t just talk about divorce but it talks about marriage commitments and a few… call our number and we will send you a free copy Lori.

Lori: Okay, thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: You are welcome.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747 and the book is entitled Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. Call and ask and we will be happy to send that to anyone who wants to learn more about what the Bible has to say about marriage. Our next caller is Jerry and Jerry is listening in Oregon. Jerry welcome to the program.

Jerry: Thank you. Good evening pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Jerry: Before I ask my main question, Pastor Doug do you plan to have Sabbath streaming from Granite Bay in the future?

Pastor Doug: God willing we will. We’ll … for a while we are probably going to be three or six months still at Sacramental Central. I just won’t be senior pastor but we are going to continue to record services and we’ll eventually transition things over at Granite Bay. But yeah, we are going to continue with the media ministry.

Jerry: Okay thank you! Then my question is… I’m kind of intrigued by the unique relationship Moses and Elisha have. Now they start off with… in John 3:13, Jesus said,“For no man has ascended to heaven except the Son of man who descended from heaven.” He didn’t say except for Moses and Elijah but we know from the transfiguration from verses in the New and the Old Testament, that they seem to have gone to heaven.

Pastor Doug: Well they did.

Jerry: Now, I am sorry, one last thing. Now interestingly, the two great witnesses in Revelation 11, appeared to be Moses and Elijah based upon the type of miracles they were doing which are identical to the ones they did in the Old Testament. Is there some kind of connection here between all these?

Pastor Doug: Well first of all I wrote a book on…called, The Glorious Mount that I will send you a free copy. I just want to tell you that now and it deals with Moses, Elijah and the Mount of Transfiguration and the two witnesses. So I want to make sure that you get that because in this question we usually got about three minutes and sometimes they are big subjects. When Jesus said, “No man has ascended to the Father,” Enoch went to heaven. We know Moses and Elijah went to heaven.

The Bible also describes heaven as the very dwelling place of God the Father and no man has really been up into the presence of God the Father’s glory evidently but Jesus. Jesus is the one who came from the glory of the Father to reveal who the Father is to man. That wasn’t the mission of Elijah and Moses. He is not just saying no man ascended, He is basically saying, no man has gone up and come down to bring the information. Moses and Elijah and Enoch, went up but they didn’t come back down from the presence of God to reveal who God is, the Father is. Jesus came to reveal the Father. So it’s a little different mission.

Jëan Ross: You know the second part of your question, they are asking about Elijah and Moses and the parallels that we see in Revelation 11 to the two witnesses. We also realize that Moses represents the law and Elijah would represent the prophets. The Old Testament was divided into two parts; the law-the first 5 books and then the prophets which was the rest. So the two witnesses represent the law and the prophets, represent God’s Word and of course if you study that in Revelation chapter 11, it’s talking about a time of persecution and an attempt to destroy God’s Word, during the time period of the French revolution.

Pastor Doug: So anyway send for that book, The Glorious Mount and we will be happy to send it to you Larry. It’s got the whole study there. I appreciate your question. Jerry, I am sorry.

Jëan Ross: We have time for just I think one quick question before the break. We have Michael. Michael welcome to the program. We have about a minute and a half.

Michael: Hi how are you doing Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Good! What’s your question tonight?

Michael: My question is not going to be that long but I have one thing to say. Why are you leaving Sacramental Central? Answer my question.

Pastor Doug: Well we may not have time to get your question but real quick I have been at Sacramento Central for 20 years and I am also a pastor in the Granite Bay church with Pastor Ross and we just felt the time had come to put all of the eggs sort of in one bucket. So yeah, it was a difficult decision.

Jëan Ross: You know as you said pastor we still are going to be continuing with the media outreach. There might be a transitional time period as things get organized but we want to keep sharing the gospel as widely as possible and media is an effective way of doing that.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely. This isn’t an announcement that we are going to be doing less, if anything we are hoping to be doing more.

Jëan Ross: Right. It’s the change of the location.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it’s just time. And it was tough for the family you know. We’ve been there 20 years, our kids were younger…a couple of kids have grown up there at the Sacramento Central Church. That’s where Karen was baptized, she and I were married, our kids were dedicated and baptized there. So yeah we appreciate your prayers.

Jëan Ross: We are going to be coming up on a break here in just a few moments Pastor Doug but before we do that, around this time of the year, people are hearing the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus. People are singing about that but today there is much confusion as to who Mary is. What role did she play in the time of Christ? And what about now, is she still playing some significant roles in salvation? Well there is a website dedicated to the subject called Marytruth.com

Pastor Doug: Absolutely, especially this time of the year you hear some wonderful stories about Mary and the visit of the angel. No question that she was an amazing individual chosen by God with an amazing work to do but they maybe take it a little far and they deify Mary and worship Mary. People may want to know Biblically how do you relate to Mary? There are some mysteries about Mary. We’ve got a free book offer at the website called The Mystery of Mary and a video you can watch that will give you a lot more information on that. So once again you ought to take a look, Marytruth.com. We’ll be back in just a moment.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We are back listening friends and you’ve found your way to Bible Answers Live. If you’ve joined us, we are a live international interactive Bible study and you can participate by calling the toll-free number with your Bible question. We have a couple of lines open. That number one more time, 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross and Pastor Doug we are going to go back to the phone lines with just a follow up on one of the questions that we had a little earlier. You said that the Scripture says that we need to obey the laws of the land. Well there are a couple of references in Romans 13 that speaks about those having authority over you, speaking of the rulers and the laws of the land as doing those things that they ask if it’s in harmony with God’s Word. So that’s Romans 13, you can read verse one, verse three. That speaks about that.

Pastor Doug: Okay. I appreciate that.

Jëan Ross: Next caller is Barbara and she is listening from Georgia. Barbara, welcome to the program.

Barbara: Yes sir. Thank you for talking my call. My question is on remarriage after divorce. In light of the Scripture in the book of Matthew where Christ says that to marry a divorced person was committing adultery. Now I have read what Pastor Doug has written on marriage, divorce and remarriage and I have heard him say that you can’t unscramble scrambled eggs. But the question that’s been asked to me that I can’t answer is that if a couple stays married after they have read this Scripture, isn’t this being disobedient? And wouldn’t it be similar to like a person continuing to worship on Sunday even though they know the seventh day is the Sabbath?

Pastor Doug: So your question is if people get married and they don’t have Biblical grounds, should they then get divorced?

Barbara: No, even with Biblical grounds or both cases.

Pastor Doug: Well people get married with Biblical grounds. There’s no question, they stay married. So if your question is…

Barbara: No, this is marriage after divorce.

Pastor Doug: Okay. So if someone is remarried after they’ve been divorced…let me give you a couple of Bible examples. Abraham, when he married Hagar, after he was already married to Sarah, God told Abraham that…He said, “Look, this isn’t right. You can’t have more than one wife.” God actually told him to put away, it’s the same word used in Hebrew for divorce. He told him to put away Hagar. He gave her some gifts and he sent her away.

On the other hand, when David took Bathsheba and he wasn’t supposed to. It was another man’s wife, it was…the start of their marriage was all wrong, they were punished for that. First He calls Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. God said, “You’ve taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.” But after David repented and they actually lost the first child from that union, the Bible says, “David comforted his wife, Bathsheba.”Then you’ve got…and so ultimately the next child from David and Bathsheba was Solomon who became king through whom Christ came.

Then you’ve got the story of the Samaritan woman at the well who had five husbands, she was living with a man she wasn’t married to and yet Jesus revealed to her He was the Messiah. Now I don’t know what happened when she went home. She either kicked out that character that was living with her or married him. I don’t know what happened but the Lord just basically was saying, I meet people where they are at. It doesn’t mean that people getting married without Biblical ground isn’t a sin, it is. The question is, is it the unpardonable sin?

In some cases, we had a call a couple of weeks ago, someone said, you know, we got married without Biblical grounds. We did it alone, we now have children together. What do we do? Do we get divorced? Well obviously not. It’s very hard. Once those things, those roots have gone down to…to tear it apart and start over again, you just need to try and make your way back to the Lord with a humble attitude and go where you are.

Barbara: So the Lord meets you then where you are and it isn’t considered continuing to sin if you stay married?

Pastor Doug: Well no. I would say no. If you get married without Biblical grounds and you are legally married, you’ve made a covenant. Now you shouldn’t have entered into that covenant but you made a covenant. Now you need to keep it. It’s almost like, what if a person has an illegitimate child? Well they shouldn’t have ever gotten into a situation where they have an illegitimate child. Do you they stop loving the child then? Of course not, you need to love, raise and take care of that child.

Barbara: I see.

Pastor Doug: So some things…

Barbara: Good analogy.

Pastor Doug: You need to just make the best of it where you are. We all make mistakes in relationships.

Barbara: Okay, thank you.

Pastor Doug: Appreciate your question, thank you Barbara.

Jëan Ross: We have Rita who is listening from California. Rita welcome to the program.

Rita: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Evening. I want to hear Pastor Ross say Chula Vista.

Jëan Ross: Chula Vista, I have been there actually Southern California.

Pastor Doug: And your question tonight?

Rita: Alright. I have three questions. One of the names given to Jesus Christ is Everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:6. Why was He given this name when we already have God the Father? Number two … when we offer praise to God the Father…when we pray to the Heavenly Father, are we praying to Jesus Christ or to God the Father? And number three … is it alright, as children we always pray to Jesus. So does it really matter whether we pray to Jesus or to God the Father?

Pastor Doug: You know Rita, you get the record, because you did the best job of anybody I can remember of asking three questions quickly on the program. I appreciate that.

Rita: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Let me do my best to answer first of all your last question about praying to Jesus. I don’t believe it’s wrong to pray to Jesus. There is only one Biblical example I can think of where Stephen was being stoned, I think in Acts, chapter seven. And he says, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit.” Most of the other prayers are addressed to the Father in Christ’s name. So that’s one question, then in Isaiah when it calls Jesus the Everlasting Father.

In a sense Jesus uses many metaphors to talk about Himself. He says I am your Friend, He says I am your Brother. He is also our Father in that all things that were made, were made by the Word. God the Father committed all creation to God the Son, Jesus. So if you want you can say, well Jesus is the one who really created. In that sense, He is our Father. Your third question about…help me…it was really your second question about…was it praying?

Rita: When we pray, are we praying to Jesus or to God the Father, when we say, “Our Heavenly Father” …

Pastor Doug: No. They are individuals, they are separate and the reason we know this is, at the baptism of Jesus. Jesus is in the water, God the Father speaks from heaven and said, “This is my Son.” He is obviously a different person, in a different place and He is addressing Jesus. So we are praying to the Father in Christ’s name. Jesus said, “When you pray, pray in this manner: Our Father who art in heaven.”

So I think Biblically, the most appropriate way is to address our prayers to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to hear our prayers, sort of we sign the check with Jesus’ name. It’s for Christ’s sake. We don’t deserve anything by except the blood of Christ. So we pray in Jesus name.

Rita: Exactly. So for little children, do we teach them to pray to our Heavenly Father or to Jesus Christ?

Pastor Doug: I think so. I think that you could tell him to pray to our Father in heaven and tell him that…

Rita: In His name.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Give it to him accurate. … By the way we have a book we’d be happy to send you and it’s called The Name of God and it talks about this subject. Also even the book on the Trinity. We’ll send you either one. One is called, The Trinity, is it Biblical and the other one is The Name of God Rita. Thank you for your questions.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Jaime from Brooklyn, New York and he is listening online. Jaime, welcome to the program.

Jaime: No, that’s Jaime, Jaime from Brooklyn New York.

Jëan Ross: Jaime, welcome Jaime.

Jaime: My question is Exodus 15:11, could you explain that please?

Pastor Doug: Well let’s go there. Exodus 15:11, “Who is like You, oh Lord among the gods? Who is like You glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” You are wondering who among the gods are?

Jaime: I like an explanation for everything. What does it mean?

Pastor Doug: Alright. Well first of all, this is a prayer that is being prayed by the children of Israel and Moses in Exodus. They have just come out of Egypt when judgment fell on all the gods of the Egyptians. They were not real gods. So they are asking a rhetorical question meaning there is nobody like God. So he is just really glorifying and exalting God. It’s a song…it says, “And Moses and the children of Israel sang this song,” you start with the beginning of chapter 15. They are singing this song after their deliverance from the Red Sea.

It just says, “Who is like You oh Lord?” There is none like You, in other words among the gods, the other gods of the world to the pagans. “Who is like You glorious in holiness?” God is so awesome. He is up in the pavilion of heaven surrounded by glory, fearful in praises, doing wonders.

Jëan Ross: You know to the pagan back at that time, the god that you worshiped was the god that will give you victory in battle. So if you have a mighty god that you worship and you win a battle then you say, well my god is greater than your god. But here you have the child of Israel wondrously delivered from slavery in Egypt and God opens up the Red Sea and they pass through. It’s very evident that the God that the Israelites worship is the true God and the other so called gods of the other nations were inferior gods. Really, they direct people’s attention away from the true God to the god of this world which is Satan. So it’s just emphasizing how great God is, the true God, the deliverer God.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I appreciate your question Jaime and hopes that helps a little bit.

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

Danielle: Hello, thanks for taking my call.My question is, in terms of…what does the Bible and God say about mental illness, in terms of someone that maybe sociopathic or their personality when one of those personalities seems to be devoted Christians and then another personality seems very evil and dangerous. What does the Bible say about that, and when is that person healed?

Pastor Ross: There are a number of ways you can look at this. First of all sometimes things that we’d call mental illness today, the Bible called it demonic possession. Now I believe that some people are still demon possessed and do outrageous things. In our modern culture they probably treat a lot of it with chemicals and drugs and some of it is a medical condition today. Even in the Bible, there were people that I think the Lord called one…King James calls it lunatic. It was a mental illness and the Bible recognizes that.

King David…then sometimes he uses the word mad and I know that sounds…it’s an old English word. It has to do with… sometimes the animals would go rabid and just behave in odd ways and it was like madness. King David pretended that he was mad and he drooled on his beard in order to get a [??]… the Philistine to just leave him alone. So the Lord can heal people.

Jëan Ross: Of course you also have the story of Nebuchadnezzar that for seven years crawled around like a wild beast then of course God restored to him his understanding.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, restored his reason. So you have some that its spiritual, mental illness. Some is physical or some is chemical, some people are born with brain defects that are a physical problem and it might be missing a chromosome or a number of other problems. Some of it is psychological because of experiences, people do struggle and they can…Christian counselors and finding good counselors is difficult but they are out there.

A good Christian counselor can really help people sometimes just deal with a lot of psychological issues but they need to do it with a Biblical perspective. So mental illness is across the map and like I just mentioned about four different categories.

Danielle: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: I appreciated that.

Danielle: Yeah. I think that this particular person had a very traumatic experience that seems to have brought all these things on. In addition to that they are saying that they are devoted Christians but they are saying that they had a spirit to a curse that allows them to oppress other people and themselves.

Pastor Doug: They need to get a Christian counselor that can…

Danielle: So it’s very alarming for me.

Pastor Doug: They need to get a Christian counselor. They need counsel and a good thing about a good Christian counselor is they can also pray with them for victory and healing because prayer makes a difference. They have to come to terms with the problem and God can also heal. Thank you Daniel, appreciate your question.

Jëan Ross: If you have a Bible question we would love to hear from you. We have a few lines that are open. The number to call is 800-463-7297. Again, that’s the number to our studio here, its 800-463-7297. We have Chris who is listening on the road. Chris welcome to the program.

Chris: Hi guys. First thing I just want to say thanks for what you do and my prayers are always with you guys as you try to bring some understanding to some difficult subjects.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, it’s a joy for us.

Chris: So my question is one of my friends asked me a question which I have been kind of struggling with, about Revelation. He said or he asked…he said, “So in Revelation it says that you should not…that is my word which I have given to you. You should not add to or take away from it.” Something along those lines. He brought up and he said if that is true then how do you describe or how do you relate the fact that the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical were removed from the Bible back…I can’t remember, a Council of Trent or something like that by the Catholic church because those were a kind of conflict. So that’s my question.

Pastor Doug: Alright. No problem Chris. Well I shouldn’t say it’s no problem. I appreciate that. I think it’s a good question, an easy question. It says in Revelation 22:19, one of the last verses in the Bible, “And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life.” And it also likewise says, “Don’t add anything to the words of this prophecy.”

To be honest what it is saying here in Revelation, he is specifically talking about the prophecy of Revelation. I do think it’s true, it says in Deuteronomy and I forgot the verse Pastor Ross, “Add not to His words lest thou be found a liar.”

We shouldn’t be adding to or taking away from God’s Word as a whole. There were some books that had been submitted for consideration as inspired, they called them Scripture, but when they did the study at the Council of Trent, they realized that these were Apocryphal books that were creeping in. They were not recognized by the early church fathers. Everything that we have in the typical Protestant Bible today was recognized as inspired by the people that actually lived at the same time as the Apostle John. Before that generation that knew John died off, they all agreed upon the books that we have in our Bible.

The other reason why some of these Apocryphal books were removed is because none of the other Bible authors referenced them and they just appeared out of nowhere. So whenever you are reading a new testament book, Peter refers to Paul, Paul refers to Peter, Jude refers to Peter. They cross pollinate and endorse one another. These other books were totally…they came out of the blue; they had no endorsement from any other Bible writer. They weren’t endorsed by the early church fathers and so they were considered suspect and it just finally came about at the council. They said, “We’ve got to stop introducing these other books as Scripture because they weren’t recognized that way.” I don’t know if that helps Chris but that’s the way I understand it. We have a book we can…

Jëan Ross: We do. It’s called The Ultimate Resource talking about the Bible and how we got the Bible. We will send that to you Chris or anyone who calls and asks. Our resource line is 800-835-6747 and just ask for the book, The Ultimate Resource. The number, 800-835-6747 and the number here to the studio is 800-463-7297, that’s 800-463-7297. We have B. J. who listening from Tennessee. B. J welcome to the program.

B. J: Thank you Pastor Ross and Pastor Doug. Well I enjoy your program and this is just about my second time I ever called but…

Pastor Doug: We are glad you called.

B. J: I was calling in reference to the book of Revelation, chapter 11 about the two witnesses. I didn’t understand if that’s in the future or in the past. Could you all elaborate on that a little bit for me?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. We’ll do our best. I start out and Pastor Ross might want to jump in. First of all for our friends listening, Revelation 11, talks about these mysterious two witnesses. And it says, “I’ll give power,” in verse three, “To My two witnesses and they will prophesy 1260 days clothed in sackcloth.” Now many Christians believe the two witnesses are…this is Revelation, full of symbolism. That is a symbol for the Word of God. The Word of God is called the law and the prophets. You can call it the New and Old testament. It’s dual in nature.

On the mount of transfiguration two characters appeared to Jesus; Moses and Elijah. Moses represents the law, Elijah represents the prophets. At the end of Malachi, the Old Testament ends by saying, “Remember the law of Moses. Behold I send you Elijah the prophet.” Then there you go to the New Testament. Moses and Elijah endorsed Jesus as the Messiah. So the Word of God, the law and the prophets endorsed Jesus as the Messiah. These are the two witnesses. New and the Old Testament are [??] with two edges because the Bible says in the mouth of at least two witnesses, things were proven. It talks about there is a time period of the dark ages from like 538 to1798, that the Word of God was still prophesying but it was obscured by sackcloth, sackcloth like a potato bag.

Then it says, “These are the two lampstands before the God of all the earth.” This is drawn from Zechariah chapter 4, I think it is.“And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouths.” You know when Moses spoke and Elijah spoke, fire came down from heaven.

B. J: Yes sir.

Pastor Doug: And it says if anyone wants to harm them, they have power over plagues, well Moses had plagues in the Old and the New Testament, and struck the earth with plagues as often as it desires. So it also prophesies an attack on the Word of God with the birth of atheism during the French revolution. Atheism was really born during the French revolution and they burned Bibles in the street. So there is a whole of prophecy about an attack. Pastor Ross if you want to add.

Jëan Ross: Just add a little bit more. It speaks about three and half days, one prophetic day is a literal year and it speaks about how their bodies will be piled up in the streets of the city and so on. But that’s been identified to represent a time period from November 10th 1793 to June 17th 1797. This is a time period during the French revolution. During that three and half year period, the French revolutionary forces or the governing power at the time in France, outlawed Christianity and gathered up Bibles and burned them publicly in the street. That lasted for three and half years.

At the end of that time period they were forced to allow religion and allow the Bible and we find that after 1797 or the 1800s, the Bible was translated in all of these different languages and was shared or spread round the world. So the Scripture, the two witnesses were exalted. So a very interesting fulfillment we read during the time period there.

Pastor Doug: So hope that helps a little B. J

B. J: It does. Just one quick little question. What was the main…at the three and half days, they would be resurrected and gone back to heaven?

Pastor Doug: Exalted…well because at the end of that three and half year time period in France when atheism was born, they realized the nation had just unraveled when they outlawed the Bible. The Bibles were again allowed and the Word of God was exalted to heaven and the Bibles began to get printed like crazy. So the Word of God really was glorified after that time. You’d also appreciate the book we just mentioned a minute ago B. J called, The Ultimate Resource, it’s on the Bible and we also have the book on The Two Witnesses that we could send you as well.

Jëan Ross: The number is 800-835-6747 and again you can ask for the book, The Ultimate Resource and also the book on The Two witnesses. We’d be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks for it. Our next caller is Maurice and is Maurice is listening in New Jersey. Maurice, welcome to the program.

Maurice: Yes. Hi, how are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing well and your question tonight?

Maurice: My question is should a Christian woman marry a man that claims to believe in God but refuses to study the Bible. Give advice.

Pastor Doug: Alright. That’s a good question. The answer would be no. If you are a Christian why you wouldn’t want to study the Bible and make a Biblical commitment of baptism? If the last words of Jesus are go teach and baptize and you think the last words of a person would be a priority for a believer to say I don’t want to be taught, I don’t want to study the Bible and I don’t want to be baptized but I’m a Christian, well that’s called a nominal Christian. That means someone who is a Christian in name only but they aren’t practicing what it teaches. Then of course the Bible tells us in Corinthians not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

So I don’t think a Christian man or a woman should marry somebody that is out of the faith, that doesn’t have a basic commitment like that. We have time for one more Pastor Ross. Thank you Maurice.

Jëan Ross: We do. Thank you for your call. We’ll go to Terrence who is listening in New York. Terrence, welcome to the program.

Terrence: Yes.

Pastor Doug: And your question?

Terrance: Yes, thank you. It’s my second time calling. My question is I’ll read the Bible where Jesus said, “Bless are the poor, they shall have the kingdom of heaven.”

Pastor Doug: You need to turn down your radio on the background or its going to confuse you because you got a time delay. You know Terrance, I am so sorry. I guess we took your call a little late. Hey Terrence, give us another chance and maybe you can give us a call next week. Listening friends you can tell from the music, it’s relentless. We can’t stop it. We’ve run out of time but you can’t say that we don’t dedicate the majority of these minutes to answering your Bible questions. Love to hear from you, keep us on the air, go to Amazingfacts.org and keep us going. God Bless, have a Happy Christmas.

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365 Amazing Answers to Big Bible Questions Devotional by Doug Batchelor

365 Amazing Answers to Big Bible Questions Devotional by Doug Batchelor
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