Buried Treasure

Scripture: Genesis 4:23, Revelation 1:15, Psalm 23:1-6
Date: 03/02/2014 
In February 2013, a Northern California couple, while walking their dog on their country property east of Sacramento, stumbled across a...
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Doug Batchelor: Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? In February 2013, a Northern California couple, while walking their dog on their country property east of Sacramento, stumbled across a modern day pot of gold. Actually, they found several pots of gold buried in the shadow of an old tree.

The couple, who have chosen to remain anonymous, found eight tin cans containing 1,427 gold coins dating from between 1847 to 1849, virtually all in mint condition. Although the face value of the coin pieces only adds up to about $27,000.00, some of them are so rare and well-preserved, coin experts say they could fetch nearly one million dollars-a-piece.

It’s believed whoever owned the property 150 years ago, buried the coins as kind of a primitive safety deposit box and probably died taking the secret with them. The coins were then forgotten for over a century. The middle-aged couple discovered the coins on their property, along a trail they’ve been walking for years. They are choosing to remain anonymous in part to avoid a renewed gold rush with modern day prospectors armed with metal detectors, leaving craters all over their land.

This once-in-a-lifetime hoard that could easily fetch ten million dollars, is believed to be the most valuable buried treasure ever found in the United States.

Friends, did you know the Bible also talks about a man who found buried treasure in a field? Stay with us, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Doug Batchelor: And we’re really thankful you’ve tuned in for another edition of Bible Answers Live. Friends, if you have a Bible question, that’s the purpose of this program. Pick up your phone right now and you can make that phone call, it’s free of course in North America. The number is 800-GOD-SAYS or (800)-463-7297 brings you into the studio with your Bible question and as long as it’s dealing with the Word of God or what it means to live the Christian life or Christian theology, then that’s what this program is for.

Give us your call -- 800-GOD-SAYS or (800)-463-7297. We have some lines open. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug. As usual, let’s begin the program with a word of prayer.

Dear Father, once again we thank You for this time when we can spend a few moments in Your Word. We want to ask that the Holy Spirit would guard our minds and our hearts. Be with those who are listening, wherever they might be, and tonight Lord, guide us into a clear and a full understanding of the Scriptures, for it is a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path, for we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Doug Batchelor: Amen!

Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened up the program by sharing an amazing fact of an occurrence that happened, well, not too far from where we live, up here in Northern California, of a remarkable discovery. I think we can probably all identify with just the excitement of discovering something on your property that is worth so much money, over ten million dollars, just incredible.

Doug Batchelor: I know.

Jëan Ross: …having you set for the rest of your life, to discover something like that.

Doug Batchelor: That would be pretty exciting. Yeah, it’s like a dream come true -- the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I know you live up there in gold country. You probably are going to search for a metal detector.

Jëan Ross: I am just thinking where can I go in my property and look? What big treat do I have?

Doug Batchelor: Your kids are going to have holes all over the yard. There is a story in the Bible. It’s only found in Matthew Chapter 13 where Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven…Matthew 13:44, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and he hid, and for joy over it, he goes and he sells all that he has and buys the field.”

In Bible times, of course they didn’t have as many banks as we have today, and a lot of people would bury the treasure in the field and just like the amazing fact we just heard about, some man is renting a field. The farmer just to rents the land like share croppers from big land owners, and he is out plowing one day and the plow turns over a box or a bag and it’s got money in it.

But he is an honest man. Instead of just taking the money, says, “Well, it really belongs to the landowner but he may not know the value of it. I am going to go buy his land and then the treasure is mine.”

So he goes home and he tells his wife, “Look, it’s going to cost $5,000.00 to buy this land but there’s ten million dollars of treasure on it so we’ve got to sell everything we’ve got to get that five thousand dollars.”

Who wouldn’t do that? And so Jesus is saying how much is eternal life worth? Why do we hesitate when He says we should be willing to forsake all and follow Him? Compared to the treasure that God is offering us. Remember that story Pastor Ross where a rich young man came to Jesus?

This is in Mark Chapter 10 and he said, “Lord, what good thing should I do that I might have eternal life?” He said, “Go sell what you have. Give it to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow Me.”

The Bible says he went away sad for he had great riches. Sell out his riches? But he was sad. “What profit is it,” Christ said, “If you gain the whole world and lose your soul? And what would a man give in exchange for his soul?”

So really, we just want you to think about that friends that we’d all enjoy finding millions of dollars and I think we’d all like to believe we’d do a lot of charitable things with it. In reality, a lot of people that win a lottery or come into big money, end up spending it on themselves or wasting it. But we have a chance to get something that is worth eternal life for ourselves and good news to share with others.

Maybe you’d like to know more about what it means to have that gift that is priceless. We have a free offer that talks about going all the way with the Lord.

Jëan Ross: We have a study guide entitled No Turning Back and we’re going to send it to anyone who calls and asks for it. Our resource line is 1-(800) 835-6747, and our free offer this evening is No Turning Back. The number is (800) 835-6747.

This is the final lesson in a series of Bible studies that Amazing Facts has, dealing with some very important Bible topics. You can ask for this lesson but at the same time you can also enroll in our free Bible Study Correspondence Course that will guide you through these various subjects. I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy it.

The number to call is 800-835-6747. We’re going to go to the phone lines now. Our first caller is Jackie and Jackie is listening from Georgia. Jackie, welcome to the program.

Jackie: Good evening Pastor Doug.

Doug Batchelor: Good evening!

Jackie: I have one question, I wonder why there are so many different nationalities, I know when the flood came and when they came out of the ark, the [??] first. Could you reiterate on that please?

Doug Batchelor: Sure, I appreciate your question. Yeah, after the flood, we know that everybody in the world today is related to Noah and more particularly at the Tower of Babel, when the languages were confounded, people gathered together in clusters. They could somewhat comprehend each other, and they began to group together. They couldn’t communicate with other groups so they stuck with the ones they could communicate.

And then what typically happens is called “micro-evolution”, not to be confused with typical Darwinian evolution. There is something we observe in nature where if you isolate a group of people, in other words, you can go to the South Pacific and you can tell the difference because of features, the genetic features that develop after generations of families staying close, between the people in Papua New Guinea and Samoans and Fijians and other Polynesians.

Just as time goes by, there are certain dominant features that become clear, and it’s probably not the best analogy but even in the dog kingdom, most geneticists agree, even evolutionists agree that all the different, very strange, dog breeds that you see in the world, all originate from two wolf-like dogs.

They’ve tracked the DNA of different dogs and they all come together, but through isolation and breeding and different environmental influences, look at the incredible difference – you get dogs that are covered with thick hair and dogs that are bald. You’ve got dogs that are big and dogs that you can fit in a matchbox, and you’ve got dogs that are covered with wrinkles and dogs that run like a rabbit.

I mean they’re so different because humanity, for the last 4,000 years, has been scattered around the planet and families had restricted groups that they bred in, you developed some unique characteristics but we’re all related because you can take a person from Europe and a person from China and a person from Africa and they can get married and all have healthy children.

Does that makes sense Jackie?

Jackie: Yeah, it makes sense quite well. Very good!

Doug Batchelor: All right, thank you. I appreciate that. The Bible says, “God has made from one blood, all nations,” and it all began to disperse at the Tower of Babel.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Mark and he is listening from Knoxville, Tennessee. Mark, you’re on the air.

Mark: All right, thank you for taking my call. I am really confused about something. How can God use false doctrine or a non-existent place to bring someone to Christ? The other night I saw on Daystar where they featured a professor named Howard Storm, who died and went to hell and then converted to Christ, and then there was a guy by the name of Maurice Rawlings who wrote similar stories of patients who died, went to hell and got saved. Why would God take someone to a place that doesn’t even exist, or how could He?

Doug Batchelor: Well, there you have two questions here – one is, can God bring good out of evil? And the clear answer in Romans Chapter 8 is God can work all things together for good. When Joseph was sold by his brothers, God took that terrible thing that they did and Joseph said, “God worked it for good to save many people.’

I know of pastors and evangelists that they brought many people to the Lord and then it was revealed that they were living either an immoral life…I’ll just put it that way but patently, immoral life. How could God use those pastors to lead other people to Christ when they were living lives of hypocrisy?

The answer would be, God could speak through a donkey if He wants to, and so the Lord can use all kinds of situations and yes, even people sometimes might have false information but there’s an element of truth and the Lord will take advantage of that and use that.

Mark: But how can God take someone to a place that doesn’t exist?

Doug Batchelor: Well, how do you know that God took them there, because they said they had an experience?

Mark: Well, because they died and went through this fiery place or demonic place, and then they got scared and they got saved.

Doug Batchelor: How do you know they died? I mean a person is not dead if their brain is removed and then it’s blunted or something, then you’d have a good argument but a lot of people that are saying they died, their heart stopped and the brain is robbed of oxygen and they hallucinate and they get all kinds of dreams and the dream may be very real to them.

But you have people in India that are Hindus that die on the operating table and they have dreams of being with Krishna, and then you’ve got Buddhists that die and they have dreams of being reincarnated with Buddha.

What people dream is not what you base your truth on, or what a person might experience on an operating table or in an ambulance ride, you know what I am saying?

Mark: Yeah, this person even actually got out of his body and walked down the hospital hall and stuff and then the next thing he knew, he was being taken by demons to hell.

Doug Batchelor: Again, these are, and there’s many reports about this. There’s also stories about…I think there’s a movie coming out called Is Heaven for Real about a boy who ostensibly died and he was taken to heaven. He saw grandma and she talked to him and he saw these other things and he couldn’t know where he was. He knew where his father was.

We don’t base theology on a person’s individual experience. We can’t add to the Word of God because somebody has a dream or someone has an experience because every country you go to, and every religion you go to, people are having dreams and visions. You need to just go by the Bible. Can God use something like that?

Yeah, and I think I’ve told people before. I had a dream once that Jesus came for me and he was driving a bumper car and he took me to heaven. Well, that might be something between me and Jesus but it doesn’t mean Jesus is coming in a bumper car.

So that’s just my dream and I hope nobody will now write a book about Jesus coming in a bumper car because that’s not how it’s going to happen. Anyway, hope that helps a little bit, and we appreciate your call.

If you’re on the line, let me just make a quick announcement, if you’re on the line and your call got dropped, I don’t know if we got struck by lightning or what happened but all the calls dropped off and we’re taking it back now. We’ve got things up and running again. So if you don’t mind, try calling back in with your question and we apologize. We do have someone lined up.

Jëan Ross: We have Mike who is listening from Kentucky. Mike, welcome to the program.

Mike: Hi, how are you doing Pastor Doug? There was a movie – have you heard about the Son of God?

Doug Batchelor: Yes, as a matter of fact, I was in Nashville, Tennessee last week with the Religious Broadcasters Convention and they did a premier of the movie and we were able to meet the directors and the producers, so yes, I’ve heard about it and I saw most of it.

Mike: Are you going to watch it?

Doug Batchelor: I already saw most of it. I don’t personally go to movies. It’s just a personal practice of mine that…

Mike: Yeah, it’s really good. It’s better than “Passion of the Christ” because “Passion of the Christ” was really sad.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, well we know how the story ends, and this is my personal opinion – I am so thankful that when Hollywood makes an effort to try to give moral value and bring out Bible truth. I am very thankful for that. But at the same time, it is so difficult to find an actor or people that can really portray Jesus.

We did a video called “Cosmic Conflict” that has been very popular. You have mixed feelings because it’s so…we have scenes of Christ in there. It’s so hard to find an actor who will accurately depict Jesus. But yes, I have heard about it and I know churches that are renting entire theaters and bringing their people…

Mike: Yeah, I have watched it last Friday. It was really good.

Doug Batchelor: Good. Now how did you see it last Friday because it wasn’t released then? Was it released last Friday?

Mike: Yes, it was.

Doug Batchelor: Oh, I thought it was released today. Well, I appreciate that Mike, yeah. I know a lot of folks are lining up and Hollywood is probably sitting up and paying attention because I guess when the same producers put out the movie or the mini-series “The Bible” on the History Channel, it got record-breaking views. I think Hollywood is surprised how religiously inclined Americans are.

Jëan Ross: There’s a number of big movies coming out this year on Bible themes. So really interesting to see what happens.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, got one on Noah and a bunch of other things.

Jëan Ross: Mike, was that your comment or did you have a question?

Mike: I have a question also.

Jëan Ross: What’s your question this evening?

Mike: Why did God allow evil in the world?

Doug Batchelor: All right, good question, and before we forget, we want to tell you we have a lesson that we’ll send you or anyone that wants to know that or the Bible study on this subject – Did God Create a Devil?

But in a quick answer, God did not make evil. God made all His creatures beautiful and free and one of His creatures, the beautiful, powerful angel named Lucifer, was filled with pride and he rebelled. And God gives His creatures freedom and this particular angel, God made him knowing that he would be free to choose and he chose to rebel.

Jëan Ross: The study guide that you mentioned Pastor Doug again is called Did God Create a Devil? We’ll send it to anyone who calls and asks for it. The number is (800) 835-6747. You can ask for the study guide Did God Create a Devil? We’ll be happy to send it out to anyone who calls and asks.

Doug Batchelor: And also Mike or anyone that is interested in that lesson, you can go to Bibleuniverse.com and you can read it for free right online. If you’re in a hurry to see the answers, Bibleuniverse.com.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is David and he is listening in Ontario, Canada. David, welcome to the program.

David: Good evening Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross. Can you hear me clearly?

Doug Batchelor: Good evening.

Jëan Ross: Yes.

David: Ok. My question is on the book of Mark 16:17-18. I was reading a commentary recently and they seemed to indicate that part of the verses in that chapter don’t belong to the Bible, apparently after verse 18. So my first question is, what’s your opinion -- do verses 19 to 20 actually belong to the Bible?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I believe. You’ll find some of the people connected with higher criticism. They do have manuscripts where they found small manuscripts where these last two verses are not there, but they don’t believe it’s because they were not part of Mark’s gospel. Sometimes the end of something could be lost.

Bibles back then were not written in books, as we noted. Sometimes they were in scrolls or even in pages, they were like the final pages and so this segment was either torn off or worn away, it doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

So yes, you’ll find most, even modern translations still include this verse, even though they did find a manuscript where it was off. But yeah, I believe they…

Jëan Ross: It’s much more common if you think about of it for just a moment, these writings, these letters that were received by the apostles or those who knew Jesus, the eyewitnesses who were there with Christ and they recorded these various events as these letters were received and then copied by hand and then sent to the next location and they were read and then copied. Those who copied these various letters, they were very careful in making sure that they wrote down exactly what was there. If there was a line or two that they couldn’t quite see, or perhaps that had been damaged in the post when it was sent over, it was far more likely that they would leave it blank than make up something.

So the fact that there would be a portion missing from some of these ancient manuscripts would indicate that there was quite possibly something that came along that wasn’t clear and so they didn’t copy it down, then a scribe actually just making something up and adding a whole bunch of information, that was very unlikely.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, so we believe that was in the original and that it is accurate.

David: Ok. So the second part of my question is for verses 17-18. They actually find activities that Jesus said for people who believe, so they might even cast out demons, they’ll speak with new tongues, they’ll take up serpents and they can drink a deadly thing and have it not hurt them, and they can lay hands on the sick and have them recover. So of all these five activities, do you believe in all the five prophecies happening?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, well first of all, Jesus said those who believe will do these things. We do see the apostles casting out devils. Paul did that. We do see them speaking with other languages they didn’t know before. We do see them taking up serpents and that Paul, when he was shipwrecked on Malta, was bit by a serpent and he lifted his hand, that’s sort of him taking it up and he shook it off. He was not harmed by it.

There is no record in the New Testament of anyone drinking anything that poisoned them but it’s easy to see why not. Someone might try and poison them. They might drink it and then walk away and they’d never know. We know that they laid hands on the sick and they recovered. So I think all of these things you see in the New Testament, and I believe that at different times in history, God still uses these various gifts. I do believe in healing. I do believe in casting out devils. I do believe in speaking in tongues, the Biblical version. So yeah, I believe every word.

David: My question is, which time did they… because we had somebody die in Kentucky like a month ago and he was believing this verbatim, I mean difficult…

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, and I heard about that. When people take this verse to think they’re supposed to go looking for snakes and pick them up, Jesus said you shall not tempt the Lord, your God, and Christ was quoting Moses.

The idea that we’re supposed to go looking for snakes and picking them up is not at all what Jesus was talking about. Jesus was talking about when Paul got bit by a snake and he was not harmed, he didn’t go looking for it. He was putting wood on a fire. The Lord was just saying…and I even think that there is a spiritual meaning in this.

It said Jesus was supposed to tread on this serpent. He says the heel of the Savior would crush the head of the serpent and so taking up serpents meant you’ll be doing battle with the devil. There’s even a spiritual analogy there.

Jëan Ross: Yeah, let me add to this one. I think it would be presumption to purposely go find snakes and then play with them and let them bite you and say, “Well, I have faith. I am not going to die.”

Likewise, if one gets bitten by a snake and there is a means, they can go to the hospital and they can get the anti-venom and be healed. For them not to do that, that again will also be presumption. But a missionary, I heard this story not long ago, was in Papua New Guinea and he was very far away from any medical facilities and he was sharing the gospel with a very remote group of people.

He was bitten by a deadly snake. Everybody thought he was going to drop down and die but he prayed and he claimed this promise and nothing happened to him. It was remarkable – powerful testimony. This happened in recent times.

In those types of situations, one can claim the promise of God and believe that He has promised that He would sustain us when we are doing His will. It’s not an act of presumption but we’re trusting that He is going to provide for us and take care of us – that’s what I think this verse is referring to.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, so we believe in all of the Word of God and that it’s true. I think you’ll see more of these miracles also in the last stage as God pours out the Holy Spirit the way He did when He poured out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. All right, we’ve got time for another question before our break. Thank you David.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Tim and he is listening in Australia. Tim, welcome to the program.

Tim: Hi Doug, how are you?

Doug Batchelor: Doing great. Thanks for calling, and your question?

Tim: Yeah, I’ve got a question about Aaron’s rod, really more of a thought process that I started looking at Psalm 23:4 where it talks about the rod and the staff that comforts and wondered if it had any relation to Aaron’s rod and know particularly why did it bud almonds and which was last day symbolism there?

Doug Batchelor: Well, for our friends that may not know, there was a challenge against the authority of Moses and Aaron. And the 12 tribe patriarchs were told to bring their staffs. All of the elders carried kind of a staff, and they brought them before the Lord and overnight the rod or staff of Aaron that Moses had used for so many miracles, actually blossomed.

The blossoms brought forth almonds and when he looked in the sanctuary, it was like God could take something dead and he could bring new life out of it. I meant the stick that had been carried around in the desert, had no life left in it but when they brought it before the Lord, kind of like the dry bones in Ezekiel’s vision, God was able to bring life and fruit.

A rod represents also authority. Rods were used for disciplining the sheep and so it represents a sign of authority. When it says, “Thy rod and thy staff comfort me,” a sheep, or lamb is glad that the shepherd’s got a rod for beating the jackals and other animals that might come to harm the sheep, and so it’s a means of protection. That’s why we’re comforted by the rod, the power, the authority of God. That’s how I would make that connection Tim.

Tim: OK, and is there any last day symbolism in almonds?

Doug Batchelor: When I think about almonds I think about when Jacob sent almonds down to Joseph during the final famine. Almonds aren’t mentioned very often in the Bible. I don’t even know if they’re mentioned in the New Testament. So I’d have to think about that if there is, I’m sure there’s a meaning to every word but I don’t have all of them yet. So I appreciate it, thank you for your question.

I don’t know if we’re going to have time for another call before we have the break, Pastor Ross. Something we ought to mention just before we go to the break, many people know that a video recently hit the internet of Pope Francis giving a personal video message to a leadership conference in Texas and there’s something at the Amazing Facts website that talks about that, I think it is very relevant in the times in which we’re living right now.

Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, we’re coming up on a break in just a few moments but you mentioned something about this video. If you’re unfamiliar with this, I’d encourage you to take a look at the Amazing Facts website – amazingfacts.org or amazingfacts.com and on the home page you will see right there, it says, “Across the gulf” and if you click on the little picture, you’ll go to a YouTube video where you’ll actually see this.

Probably about a week or so ago, there was this video that was released. A little bit of the background Pastor, there was this evangelical gathering that took place and there was a video that was recorded by the Pope to be played at this evangelical gathering, and you made some comments on it.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, I kind of went through the video. It’s a personal appeal for Protestants to sort of embrace and reunite with Catholics, which is very profound that the Pope would personally make that to a group of Protestants. Take a look at amazingfacts.org. We’ll be right back.


Doug Batchelor: We’re back friends and if you joined us en-route, this is Bible Answers Live and it’s brought to you by Amazing Facts. If you have a Bible question, we still have a couple of lines open. The number is (800)-463-7297. Let me say it again -- (800)-463-7297 will bring your Bible question to the studio. Have a pencil or a pen or a sharp toothpick available and we may give you websites and another phone number that has some free resources. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross and Pastor Doug, just before the break we were saying something about this video that was released and just before you go back to the phone lines, why don’t you tell us just a little bit more about this because we feel that it was rather an important event that took place here not too long ago.

Doug Batchelor: It’s extremely unusual and I believe very significant. Evidently, there is an emissary who is an Anglican Bishop, friends of Pope Francis who was at the Vatican, and he asked the Pope to give him a personal video message for ministers at an evangelical conference hosted by Kenneth Copeland where I guess thousands of ministers gather there, outside Forth Worth, and they introduced the video. Before playing it, the same person, Bishop Anthony Palmer came and introduced it and made a very direct appeal for Protestants to put aside their protest and to reunite with Catholics.

The astounding thing was then the Pope comes on screen and he makes his personal appeal to the charismatic leaders in this conference to embrace their separated brothers in the Catholic Church. People applauded and they stood and they prayed for the Pope and they sent a return message and seem to embrace the concept.

Sure, not everybody in the room felt that way but it was very significant because what was amazing to me is the way that the details and the issues of the Protestant reformation were negated or downplayed. They said, “Oh we put aside that protest, those differences,” though it wasn’t one point it was actually, Luther nailed 95 points of disagreement on the door of the Wittenberg Church. I was amazed at how Biblically illiterate Christians are becoming not to know anymore why Protestants protested.

By the way, not only should you take a look. It’s free to go look at the YouTube. It’s at the Amazing Facts website, just click where it says “Across the Gulf” and you could see the YouTube. In two days, we’ve had over 55,000 people, it’s kind of going viral, have gone to look at this YouTube, and we just threw it together with no practice. Just played the video and commented on it.

But the other thing is, if you want to know, we spent three-and-half years working on a DVD that deals with the subject of the reformation, and it’s called Revelation – The Beast, the Bride and Babylon and you ought to take a look at that too.

Anyway, that’s our commercial but you take a look at the Amazing Facts website, look at this video message from the Pope. Amazingfacts.org – let me know what you think.

Jëan Ross: All right. We’re going to go to the next caller. We have David who is listening in Montana. David, welcome to the program.

David: Hello!

Doug Batchelor: Yes, you’re on the air David.

David: Yeah, my question is the abomination of desolation that was talked in Daniel. When was it and what was it?

Doug Batchelor: All right, we’ve got a couple of things happening – when Daniel is talking about the abomination of desolation, I think one of the clues is in Matthew 24 when Jesus says, when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, “Let those that be in Judea flee into the mountains.”

When Luke mentions that verse, he is quoting Jesus. He says, “When you see Jerusalem encompassed by armies, let those that be in Jerusalem flee into the mountains.”

The first part of this abomination of desolation was when the holy place, the temple, was desolated by the Romans. I guess it happened once by the Greeks during the time of Antiochus Epiphanies but especially when the Romans destroyed the temple in 1780, so that was the first literal part but there’s going to be another spiritual application where there’ll be an abomination of desolation, and the truth of God is going to be defiled.

You can read in Daniel. He says, “He cast the truth to the ground.” Daniel Chapter 8, “He cast the truth to the ground and he practiced and prospered,” speaking of the beast power. God’s people are going to be desolated again when that beast power, it says, “That wicked one will sit in the temple of God, showing himself he is God.”

I forgot this, is that Second Thessalonians Pastor Ross?

Jëan Ross: Yes, it is.

Doug Batchelor: Second Thessalonians, Chapter 2 I believe.

David: Yeah, exactly.

Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, I am just thinking that video you just mentioned a few moments ago – Revelation, talks about…

Doug Batchelor: The Bride, the Beast and Babylon?

Jëan Ross: The Bride, the Beast and Babylon. It goes into this very thing and in great detail talking about the abomination of desolation and how the truth was cast down to the ground.

Doug Batchelor: And we also have a book. I think do we still carry that book by Gary Gibbs, called The Abomination of Desolation and we can send you a copy of that. It’s a big study for us to try and condense into four minutes on the phone but it’s a desolating power that is desolating or defiling the truth of God. In the Old Testament or in the time of Christ, it was the temple of God.

He said, “Your house is left unto you desolate,” and He was talking about the temple. So that’s the first part and there will be another part coming in our day. Hope that helps a little David.

Jëan Ross: Let me give you that number. If you call our resource line, it’s (800) 835-6747. You can ask for the book on The Abomination of Desolation and we’ll be happy to send that to you. Again, it’s (800) 835-6747 and if you are able to get a hold of Amazing Facts, go to the website and ask for that video on Revelation. It will give you a lot more information the same subject.

Doug Batchelor: We also re-released, I just remembered, there’s a book by Joe Crews called The Beast, The Dragon and The Woman and we just re-did that and it covers the same issue. It’s pretty…you need to put on your seatbelt when you read that. Thanks. I appreciate your call David.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Fred and Fred is listening from Connecticut. Fred, welcome to the program.

Fred: Yes, good evening. I wanted to ask you, is the real tithe 23.3 percent?

Doug Batchelor: The word “tithe” itself comes from an old English word. It means a tenth, and that English word is also based on a Hebrew word. I don’t know what the Hebrew pronunciation is but the very word “tithe” means tenth and so when it says you shall give a tithe of your increase, it means a tenth. So no, a tithe is not 23 percent.

Some people take the fact that the Bible talks about two kinds of tithe and they double it and they say oh that must be 20 percent, but to the word “tithe” itself really means a tenth. So the children of Israel were to give a tithe of all their increase to support the children of Levites, the descendants of Levites that were the priests for everybody, because they did not get an inheritance in Israel. Their full-time job was to minister to the rest of the congregation and to teach the word.

Fred: Yes, I just heard a minister going over that. He was using Malachi and the grain formula and he said if you really want to know the real tithe, it’s 23.3, and he took the two and then he took a third of a year and that’s how he did it.

Doug Batchelor: Well, it does not surprise me. You would hear televangelists. I got to be careful because I am one too, but it doesn’t surprise me you would hear one of them raising the cost of supporting their ministry. But yeah, biblically he might be talking about where it does say “Bring all the tithes and offerings.”

A tithe is a specified amount. An offering is every man gives as he purposes in his heart. It is not a dictated amount in the Bible. It’s just a free will offering. You give as cheerfully as the Lord impresses you. So yeah, but tithe is only ten percent.

Fred: I appreciate it.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, we do have a book. We’ll give you a free copy Fred or you can read it online and it’s called In God We Trust.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is (800) 835-6747 and the book is called In God We Trust. If you’d call and ask for that, we’ll send it to you Fred or anyone who calls and asks. Again, (800) 835-6747, and again the study guide is called In God We Trust.

Our next caller is Marjorie and she is listening from Michigan. Marjorie, welcome to the program.

Marjorie: Hello!

Jëan Ross: You’re on the air.

Marjorie: Hi! Hi Pastor.

Doug Batchelor: Hi.

Marjorie: I have a question regarding the graven images. Does that include gravestones, photo albums, crosses, statues, Christmas ornaments?

Doug Batchelor: It could. Keep in mind, the Commandment doesn’t say don’t make any kind of image. The Commandment says “Don’t make any kind of image and bow down to it.” God was not commanding them not to make any kind of a lightness of anything because He told them when they made the sanctuary to engrave flowers, to engrave angels on the Ark. Solomon engraved oxen that were underneath the laver in his temple. They were decorations but God said don’t make a graven image and pray to it.

So technically, you’ve got a photograph in your wall then it is a facsimile of something.

Marjorie: Yeah, but I am not bowing down to it.

Doug Batchelor: No, I would avoid, obviously people sometimes put pictures of the Saints and statues in their home and it’s because some folks are given to superstition, another person might stumble by that.

Marjorie: Oh . Is it a bad omen to kill a snake? I heard you talking to someone about snakes?

Doug Batchelor: Well, it’s not an omen in the Bible. You can kill a snake if it’s threatening you. There’s certain kind of snakes that kill…

Marjorie: No, one was threatening me, I just bopped it with a hammer, took it in the house and cleaned it up and cut it up and cooked it for the cat.

Doug Batchelor: [laughs]

Marjorie: My husband was enthralled because I wouldn’t tell him what pan I cooked it in, so my mother went out and bought him a pot and pans.

Doug Batchelor: I don’t know. I actually rattled a snake one time myself but that was a long time ago.

Marjorie: Oh that’s what I was thinking about – rattlesnakes, what’s the difference?

Doug Batchelor: Well, there’s nothing the Bible that says it’s bad luck to kill a snake. If a snake is a threat, and there’s some snakes you probably want in your garden because they’ll eat the other varmints that are going to hurt your garden.

Anyway, hey I hope that helps a little bit Marjorie. We do have a booklet if you want to know more about it, that’s called The Savior and the Serpent and it talks about the sign of the serpent that Jesus mentioned in John, Chapter 3. You might want to look at that.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is (800) 835-6747 and the book is called The Savor and the Serpent and that’s talking about the gospel, as revealed with reference to these various symbols in the Bible.

Our next caller is Angela and she is listening from New York. Angela, welcome to the program.

Angela: Hi. I would like to know if we should, if womean should cover their heads in church.

Doug Batchelor: Well, you’re probably referring to that passage in 1 Corinthians 11 that talks about a woman praying or prophesying with their head uncovered. First thing I’d like to remind people is, we need to be careful about building a doctrine based on one verse, if it can be misunderstood.

Paul, in this chapter, uses also the word “custom or tradition” and so it might be that he was saying to the churches in Corinth, out of respect, the women praying in public should cover their heads because that was their custom.

We’ve got customs in our culture that are different. An example would be, when I have gone to church in some Asian countries, you take off your shoes or in some South Pacific countries. Before you went to church, everyone leaves their shoes in a pile at the door. If I had walked in with my shoes on, it was considered very disrespectful.

Paul might have said to me, “Make sure and take your shoes off before you go in to church so you don’t offend these people.” You know what I mean? So, we’re not sure if this was a local custom because there’s nothing else in the Old and New Testament that talks about women needing to cover their heads before they pray. It does talk about a bride veiling herself before the wedding and that’s in the case of Rebecca, but yeah, we don’t think that it’s a stern commandment. I do think that wherever the custom is, when I go for instance…are you still there Angela?

Angela: Yes, I am.

Doug Batchelor: I went to Israel. I went to the Wailing Wall, because being half-Jewish I thought that it would be nice to go up to the wall and touch it and say a prayer. But in order for you to enter the courtyard where the wall is, they require you, as a man, to put on a head covering.

Now, in our culture, when I walk into a church, I take my hat off and when we pray, I take off my baseball cap. In the Hebrew culture, when you go to a holy place, you cover your head. So you would want to do whatever is the symbol of respect and reverence in that culture. You know what I am saying?

Angela: Yes.

Doug Batchelor: So this may have been a custom that was for their culture. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of Bible command behind it, other than that.

Jëan Ross: I think the principle that Paul is emphasizing here is that we recognize the importance of showing respect and showing reverence in doing all things. That’s the central theme in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, doing all things decently and in order, especially when it comes to the worship of God.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, absolutely. Appreciate your call Angela. I hope that helps a little.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Christine and she is listening from Washington. Christine, welcome to the program.

Christine: Hi Pastor Doug. Thank you for inviting me to the program.

Doug Batchelor: Oh it’s Kristen, sorry.

Jëan Ross: Sorry Kristen, my apologies. Welcome.

Tristan: Oh, it’s not Kristen, it’s Tristan. I am sorry.

Doug Batchelor: How can we help you?

Tristan: Can you guys hear me?

Doug Batchelor: Yes.

Tristan: Ok. Are the 144,000 the only ones to be sealed by the seal of God?

Doug Batchelor: Well, it appears that at least they are the first ones that are sealed, and you find this friends in Revelation Chapter 7, and you’ll also find it in Revelation Chapter 14. The 144,000 are a special group that God calls and seals but it seems like through their ministry, there may also be a great multitude that is reached.

So it’s not saying that only 144,000 are saved in the last days. That would be kind of frightening because right now there are approximately seven billion people in the world supposing Jesus would come in a year. It could happen.

You figure that out and that means that there’s like only one in about 49,000 people would be saved. Those aren’t very good odds. It’s just a little better than the lottery. So we think that the 144,000, it’s 12 times 12,000, they are in the last days before the second coming, where the 12 apostles were for the first coming.

Jesus called the 12 apostles and told them initially to go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. He calls the 144,000 and tells them to go to [??]. So it’s 12 times 12,000. They’re like last day apostles. They are sealed. They are not the only ones who are saved in the last days.

By the way, we do have a free book Tristan that we’d be happy to send you, and it’s called Who Are the 144,000? We’ll send it to you just for asking, or you can read it online.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is (800) 835-6747, and again, you just ask for the book Who Are the 144,000? It’s (800) 835-6747 and you can ask for the book Who Are the 144,000?

Next caller is Michael and Michael is calling from New Jersey. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Yes, Pastor Doug, Pastor Ross, I got a quick observation and a question but I got to say thank you for your service and this life in Christ is outstanding. [Crosstalk]

My question is about Lamech in Genesis 4:23. I just don’t even understand what he is trying to say, what he told his wife.

Doug Batchelor: Let me read this for…yeah, well I’ll do my best. It is a difficult verse. I’ll read this to those who are listening. We remember, a lot of our folks who are driving down the road and don’t have a Bible opened.

It’s going to the genealogies and it says, “Then Lamech said to his wives, Adah and Zillah, hear my voice, wives of Lamech, listen to my speech, for I have killed a man to my wounding, even a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged seven-fold then Lamech 70 times seven.”

Evidently, this was another murder. When Cain murdered his brother Abel, it was a rare thing. The other thing that’s happening is we notice that polygamy is setting in. Originally, man was to have one wife but before the flood, and that’s when Lamech lived, they had started now having two wives. He is saying Cain, without provocation, killed his brother. He said, “Someone wounded me and I killed them in self-defense and so if Cain is going to be avenged seven-fold then it will be seventy fold for me because I did it in self-defense.”

It’s kind of an interesting history about…it says in Noah’s day that violence filled the land. Noah lived after Lamech and so giving a sample of polygamy and violence that existed before the flood.

Michael: So this wasn’t an evil by God at all?

Doug Batchelor: No. It’s Lamech just making a statement. Yeah, and I don’t know Pastor Ross, you ever say to that anymore?

Jëan Ross: Since you’re saying about it, we don’t know what type of civil government was established before the flood, whether it was maybe more city-type state government, whether people were responsible for their own protection, families were responsible for their own protection – whatever it was, it was a lot of violence in the land.

It was as if people were threatening one another and saying, “If you hurt me, I am really going to come back and hurt you,” and it’s as if this is a threatening and he is telling his wives, “Put the word out there, if anybody wants to hurt me, I am really going to hurt them.” It’s almost perhaps a declaration of fear, wanting to make sure that people know he is really going to get even if something happens to him.

Doug Batchelor: You’ve got to watch out for him. You’ve got [??] because he did it in self-defense. Yeah, that’s true if there was a law of the land, back then if you killed somebody, they had what they called the [??].

Jëan Ross: Yeah, to seek revenge.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, seek revenge. I appreciate your question Michael. Thanks again for your call.

Jëan Ross: We have James who is listening in Oregon. James, welcome to the program.

Doug Batchelor: James, yeah you’re on the air.

James: Hey! I have a question about Revelation 1:15, talks about Jesus’ feet being like brass, and I was looking it up and it said that brass was an impure character. Is there another definition?

Doug Batchelor: Well, you’re talking about the metal brass. I think when James says His feet were like polished brass, brass when it was polished, it was like gold. It just glowed. It looked like it shined from inside out and so this really has nothing to do with the impurity of the metallurgy or metallic properties of brass. It’s talking about, so His eyes were like a flame of fire, so His eyes are, there’s like a light coming from within Him. His feet are shining like brass because there’s like…it’s not like skin tone. It’s like a light coming from within Him and His hair is whiter than wool and so everything about Christ, it’s like light is emanating from within, out.

James: It was like symbolic.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah. It’s not saying that His feet were brass. It’s just saying the color’s just shining out from underneath His white garments that He is wearing, like a priest.

Jëan Ross: It also says in verse 15, “As if refined in a furnace.” We know that faith is described as being faith tried by a furnace, symbolizing trial. Christ’s faith was tried and tested through His experience in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Cross, and here Jesus is described as being victorious and triumphant and that’s also symbolized by His feet shining as brass refined in the fire.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, the feet in the Bible represented your walk and that’s where Jesus washed the feet of the apostles. The feet of Christ, He walked the bloodstained path and He lived a victorious life. His feet had been refined through the fire, so there’s a spiritual meaning there as well. Thank you James, hope that helps a little bit.

Jëan Ross: Next caller is Exodus and he is calling from the Virgin Islands. Exodus, welcome to the program.

Exodus: Hello.

Doug Batchelor: Greetings. You’re on the air.

Exodus: Which chapter in the Bible that says having children?

Doug Batchelor: What chapter in the Bible says what?We should not be having children? You’re talking about where Christ…

Exodus: Children will be having children and …

Doug Batchelor: What chapter says children will be having children?

Exodus: There was a chapter in the Bible.

Doug Batchelor: I don’t know of any chapter in the Bible that says children will be having children. It does say in Isaiah Chapter 3, “Woe unto you when children rule over you,” and Jesus speaking of the last days, He said, “Woe unto them that are with child, and nursing in those days”, but there may be something I am missing because I don’t claim to know every word but I don’t know of a place where it says children are going to be having children.

It says, speaking of the last days children will not respect their parents, and is that in Timothy or it’s yeah, they will be disrespectful of their parents and unthankful.

So Exodus, hope that helps a little but we’re always thankful to get a call from the Virgin Islands. It’s fun even to think about being there. Do we have time for one more, Pastor Ross -- maybe Joe in Hawaii?

Jëan Ross: All right, let’s go there. We’ve got Joe in Hawaii. Joe, welcome to the program. We have about a minute.

Joe: All right, I’ll make it quick. You know the verse about . I have a concern these days about the issues of God’s sovereignty. The issue I am trying to bring out is that typically pastors don’t talk about salvation as being the gift of God. It’s a miracle and the truth of Christ is where I am getting to it because…

Doug Batchelor: What’s your question?

Joe: The question is, I am just trying to make the point that the faith of Christ is salvation, not faith in Him. I mean you can either…it’s not an equalizer…

Doug Batchelor: So you want me to answer the question?

Joe: Well, the question is, I guess I am not sure I am really asking a question. I am just concerned that the minister…oh yeah, let me ask you the question…

Doug Batchelor: [laughs] Well, we’re running out of time. The music is coming. I am sorry. Hey Joe, I didn’t want to do that to you but we’re looking for questions and we did run out of time, trying to squeeze it in.

Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug, let me quickly give you that verse you mentioned earlier about children being disobedient to parents. It’s Romans 1:30.

Doug Batchelor: All right, thank you. And listening friends, if we didn’t get your question, give us another chance. Don’t forget to check out that video, special message from the Pope. You will find it interesting – amazingfacts.org. Send us a note when you do. God Bless!

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