Sabbath: God's Gift of Rest

Date: 03/09/2014 
Sooty Terns are large, common seabirds with white under parts and dark black upper parts; found throughout the world’s equatorial zones. They have a...
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Pastor Doug Batchelor: Hello friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Sooty Terns are large, common seabirds with white under parts and dark black upper parts; found throughout the world’s equatorial zones. They have a wide wing span of about 36 inches and a deeply forked tail and these graceful soaring birds also have a remarkable homing ability; when individual ones who were marked with a dye were taken from their breeding grounds on the Dry Tortugas, they were released along the coast of North Carolina and Texas, all returned to their breeding grounds within one to seven days.

Sooty Terns are also known as the wide awake tern or just wide awakes because partly of the raucous noise they make on their breeding islands, but, also because they never seem to rest. The species is long-lived and may survive for up to 35 years which is really amazing when you consider from the time it leaves its’ nesting ground as a youngster; a Sooty Tern will remain aloft for from three to ten years or until it’s time to breed. During this time it virtually never lands. It eats, drinks, and even sleeps on the wing.

When hungry; they simply take their food via the air mail, skimming the water, and scooping up fish near the surface; 24 hours a day, seven days a week , for months, and years they fly, rarely touching down on the ocean. This is partly because they have weak oil glands and they can become easily water logged if they alight on the surface too long. You know the Bible says people can’t live like a Sooty Tern. If we keep flying non-stop without regular rest; we’ll ultimately crash. Stay with us friends, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live. .


Pastor Doug Batchelor: Welcome listening friends to a fresh installment of Bible Answers Live. And this program is for you, if you have any questions regarding the Word of God; the Bible, we don’t claim to have all the answers, but, we’ve got several Bibles here and Bible programs on our computers and we’ll search the Word together. If you have a question for tonight’s broadcast, we do have lines open. The beginning of the program is a good time to pick up your phone. That number: (800) GOD-SAYS, (800) 463-7297 will bring you into the studio with your Bible question. One more time: (800) 463-7297 with your Bible questions. And I am Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: And I am Jëan Ross, good evening, listening friends and Pastor Doug let’s begin the program with a word of prayer. Dear Father, once again we want to invite Your presence to be with us, as we study the Bible tonight; be with those who are listening, wherever they might be, and Father we pray that You will give us wisdom; as we search the Holy Scriptures, together. For we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor Doug: Amen.

Jëan Ross: Pastor, you opened the program by talking about a remarkable bird that is able to stay aloft for not just for a few hours, but, literally for years and even a decade or more...

Pastor Doug: Hmm.

Jëan Ross: Just flying; and then of course, it eats, and drinks, and even sleeps. You wonder the bird must get bored. At least you’d think how boring that would be; just staring out at the blue ocean, day after day, week after week, month after month, but, if God has created these birds to be perfectly content just soaring the currents... the air currents, and diving up and down...

Pastor Doug: They live in the air?

Jëan Ross: Yeah, in the clouds and they’re perfectly content, [Laughs].

Pastor Doug: They live in the air and they... you know... I guess they are somewhat social. They spend time, talking to each other up there and bobbing among the clouds and at night they do a lot of their feeding. And actually, it is interesting that these Sooty Terns; they’re not the only tern that does this, but, when the predatory fish chase their prey to the surface; the terns know that and they catch the fish that are jumping from the predators.

They catch them when they jump and it’s just a remarkable bird; they’re very bright, but, flying constantly, non-stop. And it just makes me think about how tired I get with frequent flyer miles, [Laughs], and you, too, just in the last, what, month or so; you’ve been to Indonesia, and the Philippines, and you head to India soon. So, you know, flying like that a person can’t do that forever and, you know, the Bible says that we need regular times of rest. First of all, every Christian gets spiritual rest just when we come to Jesus. And, you know, there’s two great statements Jesus makes in Matthew. One is Matthew 11:28 where He says, “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” One is called the great invitation, the other is the great commission where He tells us to go into all the world, but, first, He says, ‘Come to me...’ first we come to Him, and then we go for Him. Come to Him and get rest. There’s a spiritual rest that God offers every believer that does last 24 hours a day, but, He’s also offering us a physical rest and you can read about that in the Ten Commandments. In Exodus Chapter 20: 8 it says we need regular rest; not only, sleeping through the night, but, day of rest. And maybe your life, friend, is just over packed and you feel like you’re going and flying non-stop and a little stress is starting to mount. If you’d like to know more about the rest that Jesus offers, then we’ve got a free gift we’d like to send you.

Jëan Ross: We have a book entitled, Why God Said Remember. It’s about obtaining that wonderful rest; that Sabbath rest, that God wants to give each person. If you’ll call our resource line; we’ll send the book to you free and it’s called, Why God Said Remember and our resource line is: (800) 835-6747. Again, that number: (800) 835-6747 and you can ask for the book, Why God Said Remember. Well, we’re ready to go to the phone lines now. Our first caller this evening is Marjorie and she’s calling from Michigan. Marjorie, welcome to the program. Marjorie, you’re on the air.

Marjorie: Hello doctor... [laughs], Pastor Doug, I call you doctor every time I think of your name...

Pastor Doug: That’s okay.

Marjorie: Thank you. I apologize for calling in the past and I go off on a tangent. I am manic depressive, but, I think I’ve got it under control tonight I...

Pastor Doug: Well, let’s get to the question then.

Marjorie: Okay, here it is. Dinah, the only daughter of Israel was taken by; I thought it was a prince of another tribe, but, they had gotten close to in the area...

Pastor Doug: Well, but, you’re correct; it was Dinah ended up, she had an affair, but, Hamor, who was the prince of Shechem, had a son, Shechem, which Shechem was also the name of the town or city near to where Jacob and his sons were, you know, tending their sheep. So in a sense, he was the son of a prince of this tribe, Hamor; you’re correct.

Marjorie: What I’d like to know is; why did they destroy them, after they knew how much Shechem loved... or the gentleman loved her?

Pastor Doug: He loved Dinah, yes. And well, you know, and... actually, Jacob... it was Levi and Simeon the sons...

Marjorie: Oh, okay.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the sons of Jacob, Levi and Simeon, they were upset that... he basically took their sister without a formal wedding and they kind of used it as an excuse to execute all the males. They tricked them really; they kind of tricked all the men in the city into... they said, ‘join us, we will be all one people, if you get circumcised and then we’ll all be one nation,’ and all the men did this and they were really sore from the procedure. About two or three days later, Simeon and Levi with their brothers came in and they just executed all the men, they took all the women and the children and they basically took all the possessions of Shechem.

Well, Jacob chastised them later. He said you’re going to make my name stink among the inhabitants of the land and they’re all going to attack me, but, God protected them from that. But, later in their life when Jacob was blessing the sons, he refers back to this incident; where Simeon and Levi... their wrath because of what happened to their sister. Now, Dinah was a full blood sister of Simeon and Levi; not of all the brothers. And so they felt like they had some kind of a family honor that they must defend because the son of Hamor, Shechem, just took Dinah without a wedding and going through the normal procedure. Anyway, but, that’s what happened there, so, you’re not far off, Marjorie, and appreciate your question, thank you.

Jëan Ross: And the next caller is Michael and Michael is listening from New Jersey. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Hi, Pastor Doug, and Pastor Ross, you will be the last word on this question. I got a big one and a small one. Now, here’s the big one. Who’s up in heaven right now?

Pastor Doug: Now, that’s a good question. Hopefully, we’re not the last word; but, the Bible will give us some insights. First of all, we know that the resurrection happens when Jesus comes. And that’s in 1Thessalonians Chapter 4 it says, ‘the dead in Christ will rise.’ Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you,” John 14, “I’ll receive you unto myself when I come again, I’ll receive you unto myself that where I am; you might be.” Well, He hasn’t come yet, so, He hasn’t received us unto Himself to take us to those mansions. So, that’s what we think of when we’re thinking of heaven. We know that Elijah went to heaven without dying.

We know that Enoch was not because God took him, so he went to heaven without dying. Moses was specially resurrected; you read that in the Book of Jude verse 9. And it says Michael came for the body of Moses and this is presumably for a resurrection because later Moses appears alive in Mark Chapter 2 on the Mount of Transfiguration. And then there’s a resurrection at the... the ah... ah, resurrection of Jesus or actually the death of Jesus there’s a grave opened during an earthquake and then after He comes out of the grave; it says, ‘A great multitude of those who slept around Jerusalem rose’, but, it’s not everybody that rose. And we don’t know all of their names. I mean it might have been Isaiah and Jeremiah.

We don’t know who was in that group. It might have been John the Baptist, but, He took a trophy of first fruit resurrection people to heaven with Him during that time. But, the general resurrection doesn’t happen until the second coming. And there are a number of verses that tell us that. 1 Corinthians 15 it says, ‘Afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming; they’re raised.’ At His coming they’re raised. So, who’s in heaven now? Other than that group that we mentioned and I know that sounds contrary, a lot of people say, oh I died and I saw grandma in heaven.

People have all kinds of dreams and experiences, but, it’s pretty clear Biblically that the general resurrection takes place when Jesus comes. And the judgment hasn’t happened yet, so, if people were going to get their rewards before the resurrection and the judgment; well, what’s with that? Why would you have a person in heaven for a thousand years and then judge them? So, anyway, Pastor Ross, you got anything?

Pastor Ross: Yeah, we’ve got a study guide dealing with the subject of what happens when a person dies. Do they go straight to heaven or do they wait for the resurrection? How does this work? The study guide is entitled, Are the Dead Really Dead? And we will send this to anyone who calls and asks the number to call is: (800) 835-6747 you can ask for the study guide, Are the Dead Really Dead? Or you can take a look at the website Amazing Facts put together called: -- it’ll give you a lot of great resources and study material and a lot of Holy Spirit dealing with the subject.

Pastor Doug: You know, one reason Michael may be asking that question is, there is a movie to be released next month that’s based upon a very well selling book, I think it’s called, “Heaven is for Real” about this Pastor’s boy who dies, ostensibly dies, and nearly dies on the operating table and he, you know, is taken up to heaven and he sees his miscarried sister and other family members and they talk. Then when he comes back he gets these messages from those who are dead.

You know, we’ve got to be careful about people’s experiences like this; even though as authentic as it might seem because the Lord tells us very clearly in the Word not to be consulting with the dead. And when King Saul did this the Bible says, you know, he was talking with devils. And, you know, as sincere as a young person might be with these dreams or experiences they have when they listen in on the operating table that should not be the foundation for our theology. And we’re doing a new video on that subject called... as a matter of fact we’ve got a website called, “Is Heaven for Real” where we can... people can go there and find out more about it. But, anyway, hope that helps, Michael, appreciate your question.

Pastor Ross: We have Wilbert listening from North Dakota, Wilbert, welcome to the program.

Wilbert: Thank you. Has the sanctuary in heaven ever had provisions for sacrifices?

Pastor Doug: No, the only... when the Bible talks about the heavenly sanctuary where it says the one on earth was fashioned after the one in heaven, but, obviously, anything on earth is going to be a miniature. And where on the earthly sanctuary you‘ve got golden angels by the throne of God in the ark, in heaven you’ve got real angels. You can read about that in Isaiah 6. On earth they would sacrifice, you know, sheep, and goats, and doves. In heaven they... it’s the Lamb of God that pleads His blood. So, they’re not sacrificing lambs in heaven. Jesus is the Lamb. And John saw that in Revelation... is it 4?

Pastor Ross: Revelation Chapter 5, yeah.

Pastor Doug: 5, yeah. So it’s a shadow, you know, the things on earth are a shadow of the real dwelling place of God where the plan of salvation is being acted out in reality in heaven.

Wilbert: So, there is no courtyard with the sanctuary in heaven?

Pastor Doug: Well, I think that there’s, you know, angels that are watching and you know if you wanted to try to transfer the terms from below to above, but it’s going to be imperfect because it’s going to be much bigger.

Pastor Ross: You know the services that were played out in the courtyard on the earthly sanctuary, you know, you had the altar of burnt sacrifice where the lamb was slain and then it was sacrificed; that symbolizes the earth and the ministry of Jesus on the earth. Jesus came to the earth. He’s the Lamb of God. He laid down His life. He died. He was buried. He rose from the dead and then He ascended up to heaven where He ministers as our Priest; our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. You can also read in Revelation 11: 1 where it talks about leaving out the courtyard; don’t measure the courtyard. So it appears that the courtyard represents the earth and the work that Jesus does for us here on the earth and that He did for us on the earth. And the holy... and the most holy place, of the sanctuary represent the work that He does for us in heaven; as our High Priest.

Wilbert: That’s good. Are the temple and sanctuary one and the same?

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you’ll find the word temple, sanctuary, tabernacle, and when it’s talking about the dwelling place of God; it’s really a word that is interchangeable. And you know, Wilbert, we actually have a study guide that talks in more detail about the sanctuary, with some illustrations in it and anyone out there, if you’d like to understand this very important Bible subject, you’ll find the sanctuary mentioned from Exodus to Revelation and is it, God Drew the Plans?

Pastor Ross: God Drew the Plans, yes. If you’d call our resource line that’s: (800) 835-6747 you can ask for the study guide: God Drew the Plans it’s all about the sanctuary, the earthly, and then also what it means with reference to the heavenly. Again that’s: (800) 835-6747 and the study guide again is called, God Drew the Plans. We have Richard, who is listening from Canada. Richard, welcome to the program.

Richard: Hi guys.

Pastor Ross: You’re on the air.

Richard: [Laughs].Yup. I’m on the air. It’s ah... my question today is umm... ah... I’ve been sort of re-looking at... you know... the Ten Commandments and the relationship with the Ten Commandments to the ceremonial law and I ran into some websites that criticize the Ten Commandments and so on and so forth. So, I was just asking is that a long question? And does it have a bit an explanation? Are there any Holy Scriptures that clearly draw a distinction between the moral law of the Ten Commandments and the ceremonial laws in the Bible? There seems to be verses that are a little ambiguous about it and even seem to suggest that they are the same... umm...

Pastor Doug: Well, let me give you a couple in that... first of all, for me, it is a very easy distinction that God makes and, you know, a person might say, ‘this is circumstantial evidence’, but, it’s pretty powerful circumstance. When He gives the civil laws and a number of the ceremonial laws, they’re written... they’re spoken by a man’s voice. They’re written on paper by a man’s hand and that’s the hand writing and ordinances that’s nailed to the cross spoken of in Colossians 2. When He gives the Ten Commandments, it is completely unique. God speaks with His own voice.

He writes with His own finger and He writes on stone and those laws are placed in the Ark of the Covenant and that is put in the very middle of the sanctuary. Whereas the ceremonial laws were not put in the Ark. So, there’s a lot of distinction. And then the simple question and this is, you know, kind of a basic question. I can’t believe when I hear Pastors say, ’we’re not under the law,’ and they take that to mean that we don’t need to keep the Ten Commandments because I’ve never heard a Pastor stand up and say, ‘you’re now free to commit adultery, you’re free to lie, you’re free to steal, you’re free to kill, I mean, [Sighs], you’re free to worship other gods... I mean, they never say that and why would they say we don’t have to keep the Ten Commandments?

But, anyway, back to your... the heart of your question, if you go to Deuteronomy Chapter 4 and you look in like... let me see here, verse 13, “He declared unto you His covenant that He commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments, and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.” And new thought, “The Lord commanded me,” Moses is speaking, “at that time to teach you new statutes and judgments that you might do them in the land you go to possess.” So, here, Moses makes a distinction, he says, ‘here’s the Ten Commandments and He wrote it on stone with His finger,’ and in addition to that something separate, ‘He gave me other laws.’ And so I think, there are three places in the Bible where it talks about in Chronicles also, and it makes a distinction between the Ten Commandments and the other laws.

Pastor Ross: You know we’ve all seen placed just another circumstantial fact... ah, something that has a beginning has the potential of having an end.

Richard: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Ross: We know that the Ten Commandments existed before man was even created. For example, was it wrong to tell a lie, before man was created? Was it wrong to worship another God-?

Richard: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Ross: Before man was created? Yes; whereas you only find, ah... the ceremonial law, the sacrificing of lambs and feast days and those types of things, established after sin; pointing forward, to the coming of a redeemer.

Richard: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Ross: So, ah... the ceremonial law all had a purpose and a functionand that was to point people to the Savior, to the Lamb of God. But, the Law of God was always in existence, ah...

Richard: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Ross: Even before man came onto the scene. And that’s why Lucifer in his rebellion there was a law that he broke! That was the Ten Commandments.

Richard: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: Well, let me give you one more verse in the New Testament, I Corinthians 7:19 Paul says, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing…” now these are laws that had a beginning...

Richard: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: and Paul says they have an end,” …, but the keeping of the commandments of God.” is what matters.

Richard: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: That’s interesting. He’s taking one of the ceremonial laws and saying these things don’t matter, but keeping the commandments matters.

Richard: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: So, Paul makes a distinction between those two laws. Now Richard, we also have a book that we could send you, Does God’s Grace Blot out His Law? we’ll send you a free copy of that and we also have a study guide that really gives a good study on this from the Bible and it’s called, Written in Stone talking about the Ten Commandments.

Pastor Ross: To receive that call our resource line the number is: (800) 835-6747 you can ask for the study guide entitled, Written in Stone dealing with the Law of God and you can also ask for the book, Does God’s Grace Blot out His Law? we’d be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. Our next caller is Steven and he is listening right here in Sacramento. Steven, welcome to the program.

Steven: Hi you guys.

Pastor Ross: Good evening.

Steven: Good evening. My question is regarding the thief on the cross and where he says that... to Jesus, ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And Jesus replies, “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise.”

Pastor Ross: Yes.

Steven: It’s a... something that I’ve been wondering about, you know, “punctuation marks”, as we know it in English, only appeared a couple of hundred years ago... 150 years ago, periods and commas and such . Could Jesus have meant, ‘truly I tell you today,’ “,” - comma‘… you will be with me in paradise.’? In other words, “I’m telling you right now, you will be with me in paradise.”

Pastor Doug: Yeah. You’re actually, you’re exactly right, Steven, because there was no punctuation and even beyond that and some people have read this verse the way that the King James punctuates it, “Verily I say to you,” – Comma “… today you will be with me in paradise.” Well, the problem was that, that thief may not have not even died that day; the day ends at sundown.

Secondly, Jesus had not gone to paradise thatday because when Mary went to worship Him, if you go to John Chapter 21, I believe... when Mary goes to worship Him and she grabs Him by the feet... I’m sorry, it’s John 20:17, and it says, “Touch Me not…” or don’t cling to Me because “… for I am not yet ascended to My Father.” So here we are Sunday morning when He says, “… for I am not yet ascended to My Father.” and the Bible says the Father is in paradise. So, the thief could not be with Jesus and the Father in paradise Friday afternoon, if Jesus hadn’t gone yet.

But, that verse really should be translated, “Verily I say to you today; come, you will be with Me in paradise.” He said, ‘today, even though, I don’t look like a Lord and I don’t look like a King and I don’t look like I have anything to offer you and My hands are nailed to the cross; I’m still going to save you.’ I’m making a promise today and that was the real emphasis; is that as bleak as the circumstances looked, He was giving a promisethat day to the thief to hang his faith on.

Steven: I knew He like... yeah, you know that sinner... that sinner problem has been nagging at me for years and I just got... you’ve done a good job!

Pastor Doug: Well, bless your heart and we have a study guide that talks about the subject of death and I think that this is at the end of the study guide, Are the Dead Really Dead? they have a special section on the thief on the cross.

Steven: You know, I’m breaking the rules; I’m asking the second question, so, you can hang up on me if you want to...

Pastor Doug: Well, we just have a few minutes before the break. What was it?

Steven: Where do you think the thief is now?

Pastor Doug: I believe that the thief is sleeping. Now as far as the thief’s concerned; once he died on the cross, his next conscious thought, is going to be the resurrection and being present with the Lord. So, for him, five seconds hasn’t gone by... ah... but, for us who live in time, we know the resurrection hasn’t happened yet and the judgment hasn’t happened and so that thief will be in the group that will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air when He comes.

Pastor Ross: You know, what’s interesting, Steven is the thief wasn’t expecting to go to heaven that very day. He asked Jesus, remember me, Lord, when you come in your kingdom’ meaning the second coming of Christ. So, he’d been anticipating being resurrected or hoping to be resurrected when Jesus comes again. So he had his theology straight with reference to when the righteous receive their reward. He wasn’t anticipating a rewardthat very day. He was looking forward to a futurereward when Christ comes for a second time.

Pastor Doug: Yeah and that’s even borne out when Jesus raises Lazarus, of course, Jesus said, ‘our friend Lazarus is asleep’ in John 11 and He tells Martha, He says, ‘your brother will rise again’ and Martha had her theology right, she said, ‘I know he’ll rise in the resurrection at the last day’...

Pastor Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: and as a matter of fact; I think the last day is mentioned three times in that chapter so... or John Chapter 6 also. Jesus was very clear the resurrection happens the last day, sometimes called the Day of the Lord. It’s His second coming when the history of this world as we know it ends. So, you’re on the right track, Steven, and appreciate you tuning in. Hope this... send for those study guides that we mentioned talking about, Are the Dead Really Dead?

Pastor Ross: And the number to call is: (800) 835-6747 and you can ask for the study guide, Are the Dead Really Dead? We also have a website dealing with that same subject called: and I believe that very verse...

Pastor Doug: That’s right.

Pastor Ross: Is dealt with there at that website. Now, Pastor Doug, I’ve got a hunch we can’t have time to take another call. We’re coming up on our break. Maybe we should take a few moments just to talk about that website: it’s one of the popular questions that we have that people call in on. A lot of confusion today, actually, we’re working on our study guides and we were looking at a new format for our online school and we were talking about this study guide, Are the Dead Really Dead? We were doing a little video clip and you know somebody’s at a graveyard and they are looking at the tombstones and one of the tombstones says, ‘our beloved friend or mother who is in heaven’ another one says, ‘they’re resting’. What does the Bible teach on that important subject?

Pastor Doug: There’s a lot of confusion. It’s something that we really need to understand because the Lord does not want Christians communicating with the dead or trying.

Pastor Ross: You know another important website that actually if you just type it in on Google, it’s on the first page, it’s:

Pastor Doug: Yeah, the neat thing about that is; as you said, it has just been amazing for us to see how popular this has become because, so many people are looking for rest and they’re looking for peace and a lot of Christians are also confused about... you know... we had a question tonight about the Ten Commandments. Christians never have a problem with the Ten Commandments and Pastors never have a problem with the Ten Commandments, until they start taking a close look at the fourth commandment that says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day’ and a lot of churches aren’t practicing that. They used to be very careful about keeping the Sabbath day years ago, but many of them keep the wrong day. The Bible says the seventh day, but now a lot of Christians don’t keep any day and they just you know they come home from church and they go to the mall and they mow the grass and they watch television and my friends, you can’t fly around like one of those seabirds indefinitely. God wants us to have rest. We’re not going to go away, but we’re going to take a break and get a drink of water, call us; we have got some lines open. Bible Answers Live (800) GOD-SAYS. We’ll be back in just a minute.


Pastor Doug: We are back and we are live and if you have a Bible question we do have lines open. That number is (800) 463-7297 brings you to our studio here in the capital of California. (800) 463-7297 this is Bible Answers Live. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and as Pastor Doug mentioned; we do have a few lines open, if you have a Bible related questions, it would be a great time to pick up your phone and give us a call! Our next call is Phil and he is listening from Michigan. Phil, welcome to the program.

Phil: Hello. Thanks for taking my call.

Pastor Doug: Yes, sir, how can we help you?

Phil: My question is do you believe in a no hell, a temporary hell, or an eternal hell, and can you explain why?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. I appreciate your question. Well, I believe the Bible is pretty clear if you look in Revelation 20 it tells us that the wicked are cast into a lake of fire. And so there is no question that there is punishment and Jesus said, ‘fear not him who will destroy the body, but fear Him who can destroy soul and body in hell’ and that’s Matthew Chapter 10. So Jesus makes it sound like soul and body will ultimately be destroyed in hell and John 3:16 said, there are two choices you’ve got everlasting life or perish and then again in Revelation 21 it tells us that God’s going to make a world where there’s no more pain, sorrow, crying, tears.

So, there does come a time when after everyone is rewarded according to what they deserve, as it says in Malachi Chapter 4, ‘the Day of the Lord will come that will burn as an oven and all the proud and all that do wickedly will be stubble. The day that comes will burn them up; leaving neither root nor branch’. So, at some point the wicked are punished and they’re burnt up in this lake of fire and Malachi goes on to say, ‘you’ll go forth and tread upon the wicked for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet.’ So that’s just a small sample of verses that tell us there is punishment, there is a lake of fire, the wicked are rewarded, but it doesn’t burn forever and ever.

Phil: Okay. Well, I [Laughs] guess I’m going to say, I hope you’re right because I have many family members who have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and to believe that they’re only going to be punished for a temporary period of time would be other than eternal. But, I do have to say that the way I understand the Bible and many verses, it sounds to me like there’s a very good reason to believe that it will be eternal.

Pastor Doug: Well, let’s talk about it. You’ve got, ah... God says that the punishment of the wicked will be as when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and they were burnt up and they’re not still burning today since turning them into ashes is an example of what will happen to the wicked. So there are some verses in the Bible that have confused people and we’re free to admit that and we’re stating a number of verses that are very explicit, but some verses that have been misunderstood and because of those verses I think people’s fear has been exploited and God’s character has sort of been misunderstood. Just think for a moment, Phil, you’ve got a 15 year old boy, grew up with just the wrong circumstances because he had a difficult family life, so he never accepts the Lord; he takes his life... becomes discouraged and takes his life at 15.

He’s going to now burn for ceaseless ages, in other words, for 15 million years from now, he’s still only just begun burning. That means Adolf Hitler gets the same reward as this 15 year old boy. Now I don’t know too many people listening out there if you had just a terrible bad dog that wouldn’t listen to you and just bit everybody, I don’t think anyone would do this to their dog. So it’s really been disparaging for the character of God because people have misunderstood this. They try to reconcile, ‘how can God be a loving God and how could He torture the creatures that are born with this propensity to sin and torture them for ceaseless ages for the sins of one lifetime?’ So there’s plenty of Holy Scriptures. There’s lots of Holy Scriptures that deals with that.

Pastor Ross: You know just... let’s just take it from a human perspective, let alone God. We know God is far more loving than any human being, but even those who are saved, if you knew that your family member was suffering eternally in a place of torment; how happy would heaven be? I mean... God is a God of justice, but He’s also a God of love and mercy. Yes, the wicked will suffer for the things that they have done. There is punishment the Bible is clear on that. There is a lake of fire, but really the purpose of the lake of fire is to destroy the wicked and the Bible says that there will be a new heavens and a new earth and sin and sinners will be no more. God will make all things new.

Pastor Doug: Phil, you still there?

Phil: Yes, I am. And again I think I’ll just say, I hope you’re right for the reasons I already stated, but, you know, it’s just my own opinion I feel more comfortable playing it safe and if someone were to ask me, ‘do I believe in a temporary hell or an eternal hell,’ I feel more comfortable playing it safe and tell them I believe in an eternal hell because someday when I stand before God and give an account for what I told other people; I honestly don’t think I’m going... I don’t think there’s going to be any... any repercussions for telling people there’s an eternal hell...

Pastor Doug: Well, you and I agree. There is an eternal hell. Now what we mean by that and what the Bible says is... the wicked... the punishment of the wicked is eternal. In other words, they don’t get a second chance. It’s eternal separation from God. The Bible calls it the second death twice in Revelation Chapter 20 and so... and they’re burnt with unquenchable fire. It doesn’t say that they burn forever and ever it means it cannot be extinguished; it burns until it’s burnt up.

The Bible tells us Sodom and Gomorrah and the gates of Jerusalem were burnt with unquenchable fire, but they’re not still burning. It means it completely consumed. So you’re right that the punishment of the wicked is an eternal punishment. But the question is: are these people conscious for zillions and zillions of years blistering in sulfur and brimstone? I mean, that’s the part that I think has been distorted by medieval mythology. Do something please, Phil?

You want to know what the Bible says, not what we say because our words aren’t worth a nickel. If you go... there’s a bunch of Scripture on this, it’s at a website called – hell truth .com and take a look at that. There’s also a free study guide, Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?, that we’ll send you a copy of, or anyone who wants to understand this subject from a Biblical perspective and find out what Jesus and the disciples really taught about this before it sort of got distorted through history and it’s called: Is the Devil in Charge of Hell?

Pastor Ross: That number to call is: (800) 835-6747 you can ask for the study guide Is the Devil in Charge of Hell? Also take a look at the website, .The next caller is Sonja and she’s listening from Maryland. Sonja, welcome to the program.

Sonja: Oh, thank you. Good evening, Pastor Doug, and Pastor Ross. Thank you for this program.

Pastor Doug: Good evening.

Sonja: I have a question and you kind of touched on it a bit with the last caller. In Genesis it describes how God formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed breathe into him which is the spirit and he became a living soul.

Pastor Doug: Umm-hmm.

Sonja: But, in Matthew 10:28 it says “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.” So umm... I’m kind of confused because in Genesis it makes it seem like we are souls, but in Matthew it makes it seem like a soul is something that we have. And from my understanding, it’s like once the body is dead, the spirit goes back to God and then we’re no longer a soul. Body plus spirit equals soul. That’s my understanding. So could you shed some light on that please?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and it is a difficult subject, Sonja, but what makes you, you is not just the body that people might recognize when they look at your face; it’s the essence of who you are in your character. And Jesus was saying you know when God made Adam and He breathed His breath of life into him, the combination of the breath of life and the body that He had made... you know, these elements of earth...

Sonja: Right.

Pastor Doug: Made Adam who he was. He made him a living soul, a person. Jesus was saying don’t be afraid if someone tortures you for your faith, yes, they actually can kill your body, but they can’t take the essence of who you are because I’ll give you a new body...

Sonja: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: And you’ll be raised again with that breath of life that I gave Adam. And so it doesn’t mean that you’ve got a conscious butterfly that flips out of you when you die and kind of flutters around until it gets a body. It’s just really telling us that we don’t have to be afraid of what the enemy might do to our bodies through persecutions or prison. That what’s going to last forever, none of these bodies last forever, and flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, in these bodies. We get a glorified body and it is the one that will last forever. And it will be the soul of who you are in that body...

Sonja: Oh, okay so the soul has a different meaning here than it does in Genesis or is there more to soul than just you know the fact that, I’m a soul? Do you know what I mean?

Pastor Doug: Yeah.

Pastor Ross: Well, I think the word “soul” can be used in different contexts. I mean, the Bible often refers to old created creatures as souls when referring to the flood it says, ‘and all the souls that had breath died.’ So it’s not only referring to human beings, it seems to be referring to the animals there in the context. So the word “soul” can be used in different contexts...

Sonja: Oh, okay.

Pastor Ross: And in the New Testament the word “soul” is more than just ... umm... a person, it’s referring to the character or the essence of what makes you, you. God says...

Sonja: Oh, okay.

Pastor Ross: I know your character, I can give you a new body, but with reference to those who are lost, they are going to be completely consumed; their identity is going to be gone.

Sonja: Okay, but once a person dies it’s not the soul that goes back to God; it’s still that spirit, that breath.

Pastor Doug: The breath of life, yeah and that’s...

Sonja: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Ecclesiastes Chapter 12 the body...

Sonja: Okay.

Pastor Doug: and Solomon says in Ecclesiastes, he’s pretty clear, it’s not just with the saved or the lost, he says it’s with the animals, with everything.

Pastor Ross: Right.

Pastor Doug: That power of life that God breathes into His creatures, when they die it turns back to dust and the breath of life, or the spirit of life returns to God who gave it. Not these little ghosts who leap out of all the cows and the pollywogs and go back to God or were floating around up there. Alright, thank you Sonja for your question.

Pastor Ross: Alright we have Lee who is listening from North Carolina. Lee, welcome to the program.

Lee: Thank you very much. My question is what... what is the evidence in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament when the Holy Spirit came upon someone?

Pastor Doug: Well, that varies, you know, it tells us that the Spirit of the Lord came on Samson and it was demonstrated by not singing psalms like David; Samson was given supernatural strength . It’s like even in the New Testament, there are varying gifts of the Spirit and so one person might get the Holy Spirit and they have the gifts of teaching, or another one might have preaching, some do gifts of miracles or administration. You know, the Spirit of God might manifest itself in a number of ways. Matter of fact, Revelation, I think... oh where is it... where it talks about the seven Spirits of God and then you read in Isaiah Chapter 11:2 it talks about like seven characteristics of the Spirit of God. And that’s in Isaiah 11:2 and Revelation talks about the seven Spirits of the Lord...

Pastor Ross: Revelation 4.

Pastor Doug: Revelation 4, yeah, so... umm... in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came on the elders of Israel. God took the Spirit of Moses and put it on the elders. Now the Holy Spirit came on Samson. The Spirit of the Lord came on Jacob when he blessed his sons and he prophesied about the future. The Spirit of the Lord came on Balaam when he prophesied. So you have some that get the Spirit of the Lord and they sing songs and poems like David, some are prophesying, some are administrating, some are killing lions and Philistines.

Lee: So, does prophesying in the Bible just mean preach or is it just foretelling the future when you...

Pastor Doug: Both. It does mean both in the Old and New Testament you have the gift of prophesy can mean prophesying a message from God where you are predicting something; a prophecy like John or in Revelation or Daniel, or it could mean proclaiming for God, and that’s in I Corinthians 14 it talks about the gift of prophecies, it’s really talking about preaching there; to proclaim.

Lee: Alright.

Pastor Doug: So the gift varies... ah, the word “prophecy” actually has two meanings. When Pastor Ross and I preach, we could be saying well we’re prophesying and that would be like the I Corinthians 7 version...

Lee: Okay.

Pastor Doug: But, we would cower if anyone was thinking we were saying we’re like Elijah or a prophet.

Lee: Okay.

Pastor Doug: So every preacher prophesies the Word of God and that’s a different kind of classical definition.

Lee: Thank you so much.

Pastor Doug: Absolutely, appreciate your question, Lee, thanks for your call.

Pastor Ross: Our next caller is Merlyn, calling from New York. Let me hit the right line here. Merlyn, calling from New York, Merlyn, you’re on the air.

Merlyn: Good evening, Pastors.

Pastor Ross: Good evening.

Merlyn: My question is in the book of James 5:12 and Matthew 5: 33-37. Jesus clearly says that do not swear at all. My question was: is it okay for a Christian to take an oath in a court of law?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, and that’s a good question. I just did a series not too long ago on the Ten Commandments. These Commandments were to swear not by heaven or earth. Does that mean that you’re not to swear to tell the truth in a court of law? No, I think that’s perfectly appropriate to do that. Jesus is saying that... because even in the Old Testament, they took those kinds of oaths and vows at the command of God. And God does say better not to vow than to vow and not to pay, but when people made vows and there are places where even where Jesus proclaimed kind of an oath when the high priest said I abjure thee by the living God are you the Christ? And He responded to that. So, in a court of law, there’s no moral reason why a Christian wouldn’t say, ‘yes I do promise to tell the truth’.

Unless they’re planning on lying, [Laughs], but then they’ve got other issues. Yeah, so, I know some people have felt that this is just religiously that there is a mandate here that we should never take an oath in a court to tell the truth. But no, Jesus is just saying we don’t need to as Christians go among our friends and say I swear this and I swear that. You know, our conversations should be so clear and so honest. I even catch myself sometimes saying, ‘let me tell you the truth about this.’ And I’m thinking why I would even say that, I would hope I would always tell the truth. You know what I mean? And so sometimes we like emphasize, boy I am really telling the truth now and well, what are we telling them the rest of the time? [Laughs] And so Christians Jesus said let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.

If we always tell the truth we won’t have to... we won’t have to validate what we’re saying with oaths. And He’s talking about our communications with our friends. In a formal court, if you’ve got to take an oath, I’d say take an oath there’s no... you’re not breaking any principle.

Merlyn: Okay, thanks a lot.

Pastor Doug: Alright thank you, Merlyn, appreciate your call.

Pastor Ross: We have Peter who is listening in New Jersey. Peter, welcome to the program.

Peter: Blessed be the name of the Lord. God bless you my brothers...

Pastor Doug: Thank you.

Peter: I appreciate your ministry. My question will be: you know the parables the Lord never mentions a name, if I am not mistaken, except the parable with Lazarus and the rich man...

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Peter: He mentions Lazarus and then He mentions Abraham. Is that because after we die we are in question until the judgment? So is that happening another time when Jesus is illustrating that?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, for our friends that are listening Peter is talking about Luke Chapter 16: 19 it’s the only place this parable appears. It’s called the rich man and Lazarus and it is unique in that so often when Jesus gives a parable He talks about the prodigal son and He talks about the Good Samaritan and names are not given. But, in Luke here He gives the name Lazarus, but just keep in mind that the name Lazarus is about the most common name and it was a very common name and it’s based on a Greek form of the name Eleazar and there were several Eleazars in the Old Testament and there were several in the time of Christ.

And Jesus even raised a person and I think the reason He used the name Lazarus; Jesus raised a person by the name of Lazarus and in the parable Luke Chapter 16: 31 KJV it says, “And he said unto him. If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” But it doesn’t tell the name of the rich man. And the analogies in the story have to be a parable because you know they’re pretty wild; the idea that everybody that dies could somehow squeeze into Abraham’s bosom.

It is obviously a symbol and the idea that a drop of water could cool a person who is burning in Hades. What Jesus does in this parable... the reason for the parable of the rich man and Lazarus has really nothing to do with the state of man and death.

What the parable is saying is: Jesus is telling the Jewish nation you all think because you’re Abraham’s children that you are automatically going to go to heaven and that all the Gentiles will be lost. They used to call the Gentiles the Greeks. In Greek mythology there was a god named Kato in charge of a place of torment called Hades. All the Jews wanted to go to be with Abraham when they died in the kingdom. Jesus tells this parable where the poor beggar who is like the Gentiles, he goes to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man who is supposed to be a Jew; he goes to the Gentiles place of torment. And so Christ actually uses an irony here and shows a great reversal and even uses the name Hades, it’s a place in Greek mythology.

So Jesus is just illustrating the end of a parable, usually like we tell stories at the end; you find the moral, or the end of a joke you’ve got the punch line. At the end of Jesus’ parable is the meaning for the whole parable. He said if they do not believe Moses and the prophets then neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead. Jesus raised someone from the dead by the name of Lazarus and the religious leaders still refused to believe; they even tried to kill Lazarus.

Peter: Umm-hmm.

Pastor Doug: So, it is a parable Peter and we have a free book we’ll send you called: The Rich Man and Lazarus and all you’ve got to do is ask for it.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is: (800) 835-6747 that is the resource line and you can just ask for the book: The Rich Man and Lazarus we’ll be happy to send it to you, Peter, or anyone who calls and asks. We have Jim who is listening in Lexington, Kentucky. Jim, welcome to the program.

Jim: Yeah, thank you for answering my call. I wanted to ask you a question about... you still there?

Pastors Doug and Pastor Ross: Yeah, we’re still here.

Jim: Okay, umm... about I Corinthians Chapter 10...

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Jim: verse 23 where they’re talking about that, you know, like, if you set down at another man’s table and...

Pastor Doug: He’s talking about things offered to idols in verse 20... 19... and verse 23 where Paul says,” And all things are lawful to me, but not all things are expedient.” “All things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” Is that the part you mean?

Jim: Yeah.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, Paul is saying that... well just let me give you the backdrop for a big issue in Paul’s day. Paul largely became an apostle to the Gentiles. Many Gentiles accepted Jesus and they read the Bible, but the Jewish converts to Christianity were telling the Gentile converts to Christianity, ‘you can’t eat food that has been sacrificed to idols in the marketplace’ because in the kingdom of Rome; where we go to the market now, where we buy our meat, we just go to the cold freezer section and people buy their meat, but in Paul’s day the butcher’s would offer everything they sacrificed; they butchered, to a god. And so a lot of the very sensitive Jewish converts to Christianity said we can’t eat any of the meat in the Roman marketplace, if it’s not killed in a kosher way.

And so many of the Jews would raise their own livestock and they’d butcher it, and of course it was clean food like chicken or sheep or goat; whatever. And they weren’t offered to idols, but if it was in the marketplace Paul said look, it doesn’t bother me. I didn’t offer it to an idol, that’s between them and their god and their idols. And Paul said look this is lawful for me; it may not be expedient because if I’ve got a weak brother, a brother with a hyper-sensitive conscious, and I go to the marketplace and he says well was that offered to an idol? I can’t eat that because maybe I’m participating in idol worship. And Paul said basically, the idol is nothing it doesn’t bother me, but if it going to make my brother stumble, I won’t eat any meat at all, if that’s what it’s going to do. This was a big discussion in Paul’s writings. Jim, I don’t know if this makes sense.

Jim: Yeah, it does, but that doesn’t make all meat clean to eat. I mean as far as pork.

Pastor Doug: No. Yeah, it has nothing to do with clean or unclean meat. It’s never really addressed in this chapter. Paul when he says all things are lawful to me, you know, but if we thought what Paul was saying is that he could eat anything. Then that would really mean that Paul is saying I can eat anything I want to. You know, I could eat food full of cholesterol you know it won’t matter because it’s all lawful to me and I can eat skunk steak and I could eat buzzard stew and it doesn’t matter because all things. Paul wasn’t suggesting anything like that. Paul was saying... the context if you read up on what he’s talking about is things offered to idols.

Jim: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, so you’re looking at verse 19 … what shall I say then, that the idol is anything or that which was sacrificed to an idol was anything, but I say those things with the Gentiles sacrifice is sacrificed to devils and not to God. And he just said, you know, it’s lawful for me. He didn’t have a problem with it. The idol was nothing, but if it bothered a person, he said, don’t do it.

Pastor Ross: We also have in the book of Acts where the question arose with what were some of the requirements that would be followed by the Gentile believers. One of the requirements was and they sent it by letter at the hand of Paul that the gentile believers... when it came to food, were to follow the health requirements that were given in reference to food; not to eat anything that was strangled or to eat blood. So it was even important for the Gentile believers to recognize the difference between clean and unclean food; meats.

Pastor Doug: Umm-hmm. That’s what it says in Acts Chapter 15. Well, I’m sorry friends, I’m looking at the clock and I think we’re only going to have about one half a minute or... whoops... less than that. Music came up and snuck up behind us. If we didn’t get to your question tonight friends, please, don’t give up on us; give us another chance. And give us a call next week God willing we’ll be back here at the microphones and we would like to hear from you. We don’t want this to be just one way. Go to Amazing Facts tell us if the program has been a blessing. And read the resources there. God Bless until we talk together again next week.

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