Words Are Powerful

Scripture: Isaiah 45:7, John 2:10, Ephesians 5:18
Date: 03/23/2014 
There’s an island in the north Arctic sea called Kaldai which contains perhaps the most curious lake in the world. The surface of its water is...
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Doug Batchelor: Hello friends, this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? There’s an island in the north Arctic sea called Kaldai which contains perhaps the most curious lake in the world. The surface of its water is quite fresh and supports fresh water creatures and fresh water vegetation, but go down a little deeper and it’s as salty as the bluest depths of the sea, where saltwater fish and sponges live much to the bewilderment of scientists.

Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen saw much of the same thing on his expedition while drifting across the polar sea. He’d often get entirely fresh water on the surface of the sea, but down a few feet, it would be briny.

Did you know the Bible says there are few people that seem to have the capacity to pour out both fresh water and salty?

Stay with us friends we are going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Doug Batchelor: Welcome listening friends to Bible Answers Live, and as the title suggests, if you’d like to call in with a live Bible question, we have lines open. The phone number to call in with your question is 800-GOD-SAYS, (800)-463-7297. One more time, give you a chance to grab that pen or pencil, (800)-463-7297 will bring your Bible question into tonight’s program, and this is a good time to pick up the phone and call. Be sure you get on in the next 48 or 50 minutes. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: My name is Jëan Ross, good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug. Let’s begin the program with prayer.

Dear Father in heaven, we thank You for the opportunity that we have once again to study Your Word over the airways. We ask for Your blessing upon this program and with those who are listening wherever they might be. And lead us oh Lord into a clearer and fuller understanding of Your Word for we ask this in Jesus name, Amen!

Pastor, you opened the program by telling us about a rather interesting lake and then you also mentioned that there’s an ocean that has a similar current where there is both fresh water and salt water and it seems that the fresh water and the salt water are able to stay separated sufficiently where there are different groups of fish that are actually able to thrive in these different environments.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, it’s really quite amazing. You know, in some of the arctic seas both in the north and the Antarctic in the south, when you’ve got massive fresh water icebergs melting and its calm, you’ll end up having an accumulation of fresh water on the surface.

But having a lake like that has been somewhat confusing to the scientists, how that would develop. You know, there are other places in the sea where you can find rivers and oceans that meet and in calm conditions again you might have fresh water fish swimming on one side of the current and salt water fish swimming on the other side. The Bible actually mentions a spring that yields both fresh water and salt. And if you have your Bibles friends this is found in James 3:8-12. Here he is talking about the tongue, and when people talk or maybe they gossip about others he says “but no man can tame the tongue” It’s an unruly evil full of deadly poison. With it we bless God and the Father and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing, my brother these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send forth both fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree bare olives and great vines bare figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

Some of our friends listening may remember the story in the Bible where there was a spring that had tainted water, probably had like sulfur water near Jericho. And they came to Elisha the prophet and said “we could develop this area if this spring wasn’t so bad, nothing could grow” and he said “bring me a little cruse of salt” and he took some salt, and he sprinkled it on the spring and somehow the salt made the water fresh. (Laughs) that makes me think of how we are supposed to be the salt of the earth and create life where we go, but nobody can survive drinking salt water and we shouldn’t, in our words have both have both fresh water and salt water, it shouldn’t be bitter and sweet. Yet words, the Bible says, can do a lot of good and they can also cause a lot of hurt and create pain. There are some marriages that are struggling right now because some words were spoken in anger that have not been quickly forgotten and they seem to stick for years. If you’d like to know more about what the Bible says of being careful regarding what you say and the power of words, we have a special offer that I think you’ve not heard before.

Pastor Ross: It’s a book that we’ll send to anyone that calls and asks for it. The book is entitled Tiny Trouble Makers, talking about the power of speech. And we’ll send this for free if you call our resource line, the number is (800) 835-6747, just ask for the book Tiny Trouble Makers. That’s (800) 835-6747 and we’ll send that to you just for the asking.

We are going to go to the phone lines, our first call this evening is Tristan and he is listening in Washington, Tristan welcome to the program.

Tristan: Hi, thank you for inviting me to the program tonight.

Doug Batchelor: And your question?

Tristan: My question tonight is, we always believe God did not create evil, so please explain Isaiah 45:7.

Doug Batchelor: All right, let me read this for our friends that are listening, many are probably driving down the road. It says in Isaiah 45:7 “forming the light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil. I Jehovah do all this things” now someone is naturally thinking “God? Why would God make evil? Every good and perfect gift comes from God and God is the antithesis of evil, Satan is evil, God is good, why would God create evil?” Well here Isaiah is talking about judgments. God makes things good, sin brings judgment and God will send judgment. Sometimes in the prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah, they talk about “evil will come”, in other words, God will create a plague that would come when the angel of death came through.

Pastor Ross: You know it’s interesting if you look at the same word translated in the New King James version, ‘evil’ is translated as calamity so the verse reads, I make peace and create calamity.

Doug Batchelor: So sometimes God would withdraw the rain or the blessings because of the sins of the people. Someone would call that evil, but it was really a judgment from God because of sin and the choices people had made. So, does that help a little bit Tristan?

Tristan: Oh yeah, it helped really fine, thank you Doug Batchelor.

Doug Batchelor: All right, appreciate your call, good evening.

Pastor Ross: Our next call is Jeremiah and he is listening from Sacramento California. Jeremiah you are on the air.

Jeremiah: Hi, how are you guys doing?

Doug Batchelor: Doing well.

Tristan: I was wondering how do you discern from whether you are hearing the Holy Spirit or maybe that of Satan.

Doug Batchelor: That’s a good question, you know, a lot of times we have impressions, you know, you might even ask God to forgive you for a sin and then you’re bothered by it later in your sin as if the Holy Spirit is still convicting me about something that I had given up and asked God to forgive me for, or is it just the devil making me feel guilty. People grapple with it you know, where is this coming from? Or you might get an impression you know I’m feeling impressed to give something maybe to someone standing on the corner with a sign saying “will work for food” but he’s got a beer bottle by his ankle. And you’re wondering, is the Lord telling me to give or is this just a guilty conscious.

What is the voice of the Holy Spirit? Well there are a few criteria, Pastor Ross might think of some others. The Bible tells us you’ll hear a still small voice. You’ll hear a voice behind you saying “this is the way walk ye in it”. If you commit your ways unto the Lord, if you surrender to the Lord, saying “Lord I’m willing to do your will”. It’s like when Jesus said “he that hears let him hear what the Spirit says” you’ll begin to recognize a distinction. The Spirit of God will never lead you contrary to the Word of God. And the longer you talk to the Lord, the easier it is to recognize His voice. We do have a book we can send you that deals with the subject of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Ross: I was going to mention that Pastor. We have a book that you wrote that is called Determining the Will of God and it deals with this and it actually lays down certain principles like: spending time in prayer, having a willingness to do God’s will, seeking Godly council from individuals if you have an important decision to make, having a right attitude, studying the Scriptures. Well send that to you and to anyone that calls and asks for the book entitled Determining the Will of God. The number to call is (800) 835-6747 and just ask for the book Determining the Will of God, (800) 835-6747. Our next caller is Daryl and he is listening in Florida. Daryl welcome to the program.

Daryl: Hi Pastor Jëan and Pastor Doug, my question is in regards of John 2:10 where it reads “and he said to Him, every man in the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now”. Someone asked me a question about this and I wasn’t really sure about how to answer it. I have been listening to Bible Answers Live for quite a few years, and well, the way I answered was that it had something to do with that the master of the feast was referring to the wine that was brought out later as like it tasted like fresh wine from the harvest, whereas the other wine tasted like wine that was made from concentrate with water added to it…

Doug Batchelor: Yes, you are on the right track. First of all, in our culture today, if you go to a wedding and someone says “do you have any good stuff” they usually mean alcohol. But that was not at all the way they thought in Bible times. They used to struggle to keep the grape juice to fermenting. Matter of fact, it wasn’t until the time of someone named Welches, that they developed the method to prevent grape juice from fermenting. Welch was a Methodist and he wanted to have communion wine that remained non-fermented because they rightly believed that the bread was to be unleavened, the grape juice was to be unfermented, symbol of the perfect body and blood of Jesus. The good stuff was the fresh stuff, you usually couldn’t get fresh wine in that time because as it said it was reconstituted. When you traveled with wine, if you could dehydrate it, it was a lot lighter and then when you got to your destination they would just add water again as they do today. They made almost a syrup out of it and the sugar content kept it from fermenting. It was easy to ferment wine, that’s why Jesus said “if you put new wine in old wine skins, it will ferment right away and it will burst the skins”. Jesus compared His gospel to new wine, new wine is unfermented, the word wine just means “from the vine”.

Daryl: So maybe this wine that initially has a little bit of fermentation going on, and then later on when Jesus turns the water into wine, it tastes like wine fresh from the harvest?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, exactly. Some of the first wine that went out it could have been either the reconstituted grape juice that they used to make from that paste. And they’ve recovered some of this, they actually found a residue in these clay jars in various archeological sites that had this wine paste in it.

Pastor Ross: You know, what’s interesting about this miracle that Jesus performed? It’s the first miracle that Christ performed but really it’s also a shadow of His atoning sacrifice. You have Jesus doing this first miracle of turning water into wine; of course wine is the symbol of His atoning sacrifice, His death. For thousands of years you had the blood of animals as a foreshadowing of the Blood of Christ and the sacrificing of animals was inferior to the sacrifice of Christ. His sacrifice was greater.

Doug Batchelor: He saved the best for last.

Pastor Ross: That’s right.

Daryl: Hey Pastor Doug; you guys know when you’ll be able to start streaming your sermons at the Granite Bay Church online?

Doug Batchelor: Glad you asked! We just started; if you go there now I think you’ll see the last few weeks.

Pastor Ross: I don’t know if we are streaming live currently.

Doug Batchelor: They are archived.

Daryl: Well I know, but are you saying that the videos are archived or just the audio?

Doug Batchelor: Now we are doing video too, I checked it out last week someone told me they just started to put them up. We just started bringing the camera 3 weeks ago. And it’s real simple; we are working on getting a better location for streaming. But yeah, glad you asked that. And I think its granitebaysda.com is the website.

Daryl: All right, thanks guys have a good evening.

Doug Batchelor: All right thanks, God bless you.

Pastor Ross: We have Michael listening in New Jersey. Michael, welcome to the program.

Michael: Pastor Ross, Pastor Doug, thank you for your service. I am having a problem with just one book and that’s the Song of Songs. Can you please explain to me what is the meaning and what’s going on in there?

Doug Batchelor: Song of Songs or Song of Solomon is a beautiful masterpiece of poetry and it’s done in the context of a Jewish wedding. Now some of this is speculation, but I’ll tell you what the conventional wisdom is. Solomon is talking about a Shunnamite. Now before David died, King David, he was suffering from something doctors think was a congestive heart failure, but he couldn’t get warm. And some of his counselors said, “let’s get a beautiful young virgin that will cuddle him and try to keep him warm” and they found a beautiful Shunnamite. Shumen was an area in the northern part of Israel. They found a beautiful Shunnamite girl. David soon after died, but apparently, Solomon took a liking to her. And even though he was married to the princess of Egypt, she was just a poor girl that they had pulled out of her country because she was pretty, and he would leave the palace, dress out of his robes. They would have this rendezvous, anyway… it describes a wedding and the poetry goes back and forth. You know, Jesus tells the parable of the 10 virgins. They were bride’s maids that would recite parts of this poem, and then part of the friends of the bride groom would respond, and it’s really a poem that goes back and forth at a wedding, kind of a ritual. It’s a love song.

Michael: Oh okay.

Doug Batchelor: So there was music that went with it, I don’t know what that sounded like but its inspiring because not only is it a love song but it’s really telling us about Jesus and His love for the church. So the beloved that you find being mentioned, that the bride is talking about is Christ. Have you ever heard “The Fairest of 10,000”? It’s talking about Jesus. And it says in the Song of Solomon ”my love has [??]” and it talks about the gifts that the wise man brought Him as a baby. There are a lot of parallels between the life of Christ and what you find for the bride groom in the Song of Solomon. I get excited, I could say more but it would take a lot of time.

Michael: So it could be both?

Doug Batchelor: Well I think it is both, there’s the literal and spiritual application.

Michael: Amen.

Doug Batchelor: Appreciate your question Michael, thank you for calling.

Michael: Thank you

Doug Batchelor: Pastor Ross, we had a caller just a minute ago that was from Florida I believe, asking a question about alcohol and I forgot to mention that we have a free book we can send him called Alcohol and the Christian. He can either call, we’ll send him a free copy, or he can read it right now on the internet and it’ll address his questions.

Pastor Ross: The number to call for the book is (800) 835-6747 and the book is called Alcohol and the Christian. We’ll be happy to send it to anyone that calls and asks, the number is (800) 835-6747 and you can ask for the book Alcohol and the Christian or you can go to the Amazing Facts website amazingfacts.org and you can read it there at our free library. Our next caller is Danny and he is listening from Minnesota. Danny welcome to the program.

Danny: Hello Pastor Ross.

Pastor Ross: Hi Danny, you are on the air.

Danny: Yes. My question is about salvation. I know you have preached about like how Judas lost his salvation. And are there verses that you can give me in the Bible that refer to others maybe? I’ve got some friends that I’ve been discussing salvation with and I need little help.

Doug Batchelor: well this is THE great debate not only between Protestants and Catholics but between Protestants and Protestants. You’ve got the Armenian view and you’ve got the Calvinistic view and there are two great errors that the church is wrestling with: one is the year, that you can have no assurance of being saved; you are constantly living in fear. Am I saved? Did I do anything wrong today? And that’s not God’s will because Jesus said “I came to give you peace” and He wants us to have joy. Then the other idea is the presumption that once I’ve accepted Jesus I don’t need to be conscious of my behavior at all, I can live like the world. And doesn’t matter what I do then I’ll just stay safe. Well that says that you no longer have a free will and God is going to take you heaven kicking and screaming because you are the elect, and other people that want to go won’t get to go because they are not the elect. So there’s these two ideas that are really at odds with each other and we believe that it is possible to have joy and assurance that Jesus is going to be the Author and Finisher of our faith, yet at the same time we should not presume that we have no accountability for our choices. Otherwise God would not say “Choose you this day who you will serve” and there are cases in the Bible that show where some have fallen where Peter says “they turn back to wallowing in the mire” I don’t know, Pastor Ross has that verse in front of me, he’s got something he’s looking at.

Pastor Ross: I am looking at the verse in Revelation 3:5. That speaks about “whoever overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot his name out in the lambs of Book of Life”.

Doug Batchelor: So some will obviously have their name blotted out. That’s why Jesus said “he that overcomes” and that’s why Christ says in John 15 “whoever abides in Him will bear fruit, those that do not bring forth fruit will be pruned off” He said “any branch in Me” now that’s the important part, they are in Him but they are not baring fruit, they are not abiding, they are good for nothing, they’ll be cut off and burnt up. But the branch that abides in Me and bears fruit, I’ll prune it so it can bare more fruit. So there are lots of examples of how important it is for us on a daily basis to be… that’s why Paul said “I die daily”, he chose to humble himself and not live for himself but to live for Christ. And he was born again every day.

Pastor Ross: In Mathew 24:13, Jesus is speaking about the end of time, He says “he who endures to the end shall be saved” so there’s need for endurance, that’s holding on, being faithful, being persevering in our faith in order to be saved.

Danny: Very good, Thank you very much for your help pastors.

Doug Batchelor: Absolutely and we do have a book Danny, that talks about salvation and assurance and we’ll be happy to send you a copy of that, and I think the book is called Can a Saved Man Choose to Be Lost?

Pastor Ross: The number to call is (800) 835-6747, that is the resource line, you can ask for the book Can a Saved Man Choose to Be Lost? again that’s (800) 835-6747 and the book again is Can a Saved Man Choose to Be Lost? and the number here to the studio this evening is 800 463 7297, that’s 800 463 7297. Our next caller is Nick and he is listening in Springhill Florida. Good evening Nick, and welcome to the program.

Nick: God bless pastors, how are you today?

Doug Batchelor Doing great!

Nick: I’m a little stuck here, with the wine. And I’ve had several people address me about this okay, they actually went all the way back to the Greek and the Hebrew and…..

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, in the Greek, the word that you find for wine in John is Onos. And I think it’s the same word, there’s only one word, it’s used both to describe the new wine and the fermented so some people will look at the original word and say “it means this” and then others will say “it means that. Because the same word is used both ways. When Jesus talks about new wine it’s the same word.

Nick: Ok, but how about the fermentation of the wine?

Pastor Doug: Well the word fermentation is not used in John chapter 2, the Bible definitely talks about strong wine. So there’s no question that it talks about a strong drink, when Solomon says “wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging whoever is deceived thereby is not wise” he is obviously talking about fermented wine, and when it says give wine to him that is ready to perish, there again it is talking about fermented wine. So there are verses, Noah drank wine and got drunk and walked around naked, that’s obviously fermented wine, now those illustrations are good points why not to drink wine, David tried to get Uriah drunk so he could violate his conscious. So, even from antiquity they knew that when people drank wine your resistance to temptation went down.

Nick: So they in the new testament they are referring to fermented and unfermented wine?

Pastor Doug: They are using both, depends on the verse. In John chapter 2, when Jesus turned the water to wine, He did not turn it into, and I forget there were like 20 gallon jars, He didn’t turn it into a bunch of booze for a party. He turned it into fresh grape juice for a party.

Nick: Just real quick, I was looking in Titus 2:3. And “not give them too much wine”, it pointed out to me that wine should be taken in moderation. Not taken into excess.

Pastor Doug: Well that’s true that it can be read that way this verse can also be read that they are not given to much wine, in other words, much wine are people that drink a lot. So it’s not saying you can be given to a little wine, they’re saying that you are not to be drunkards. And I think you may have given our screener another verse in Ephesians 5:18 where it also talks about “do not be drunk with wine wherein is dissipation” so drinking wine causes dissipation. They had both kinds of wine. Now you know what makes it complicated Nick, is that in Bible times, you know, now if you go to the store it says right on the bottle 5%, 10%, 20% alcohol. Back in Bible times they would put fresh grape juice in a wine skin and they just had to kind of taste it and they’d say “well, it is starting to turn, how far has it turned”, so the skins weren’t stamped you know, they might have 0.5% alcohol in them and you are probably safe drinking that and not running around naked.

So that was some of the ideas. Hey you would enjoy our book dealing with the subject of Alcohol and the Christian, if you call we’ll send you a free copy. You are listening to Bible Answers Live.

Pastor Ross: The number to call again is (800) 835-6747 and you can ask for the book Alcohol and the Christian again, that’s (800) 835-6747.

Pastor Doug: Hey Nick we apologize, we are going to have to take a break right now; we’d like to tell our friends before we do go to the half time break. There’s a web site we’d like to highly recommend if you’ve not been there before, and it’s called Bibleuniverse.com. If you want to get into a Bible study that will really enrich your life, friends you have your own daily devotions. This is a great way to do it, just go here and start going through some of the Bible studies. Neat thing about this website is that you can find Bible study tools in multiple languages and I mean this across the spectrum. People have taken the amazing facts Bible study guides and have translated them not only into English and Spanish and Chinese and Korean, they are in Farsi, in Romanian, Swedish, and Norwegian, anyway. So take a look at Bible universe, go into the Bible studies and there’s even Bible prophesy study guides.


Pastor Doug: We are back and this is Bible Answers Live listening friends. If you have a Bible question we invite you to call in, we do have a couple lines that have opened up. The number to call with your Bible question is 800-GOD-SAYS. That’s (800)-463 7297. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Pastor Ross: my name is Jëan Ross and we are going to go straight to the phone lines. Our next caller is Gill and he is listening in queens New York. Gill, welcome to the program.

Gill: Hi Jëan Ross and Doug. Jëan you might remember I am also blind and I listen to the show and I called you.

Pastor Ross: Yeah, we appreciate you calling back.

Gill: I have a few verses I want to point out. I think it’s in 1 John chapter 2, first one it says “if any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”, and then I think it’s in 1 John 3:20 it says that if our hearts condemns us, God is greater than our hearts. Now in light of that, the thing about salvation and all of that stuff, faith and works that we do that God does also because I know that the Bible says that there is one God and one mediator between God and men.

Pastor Doug: So the question is?

Gill: Our faith being a work that we do in faith, because a lot of Protestants stress more of the issue that we are saved by great faith alone and I think of Ephesians 2:10 also.

Pastor Doug: Well I believe we are saved by faith alone but there is a distinction between the saved and the lost. And those that are saved respond with the free choice, you can’t force love. Those that are saved respond to that election of God by surrendering their wills and by coming. We can choose to harden our hearts like the Pharaoh did and like Lucifer did or we can choose to submit and surrender. And even if we are weak and we say “Lord, I want to serve You but You know, in my flesh I want to serve sin, but I’m willing to be willing” you can even just come to the Lord just like you are saying “Lord I would like to be a Christian but I love sin and I’m going to need You to save me and change my heart” and God can meet you there, but you’ve got to make a choice to come to Him just as you are. So that’s where we exercise faith that in coming to Him, He will receive us.

Gill: Yes, absolutely. It’s a comforting thought you know, in days of sorrow to know that Jesus Christ is our advocate and when we are loaded and carrying heavy loads of sin, He can take the burden and the guilt and the shame away from us so that you know, so that we can have a more prosperous victorious Christian life. He is our advocate in heaven for us.

Pastor Doug: We are made righteous through faith. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. But even God gives us the faith as a gift, God has given to all men a measure of faith. I appreciate your question tonight Gill.

Gill: I give a big electronic hug to you Doug.

Pastor Doug: All right, we send a big electronic hug to you. Thanks for calling.

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

William: Hello Pastor Doug and Pastor Ross, how are you doing? And God bless you.

Pastor Doug: Doing well. Thanks for calling.

William: My question is, actually I just want to give a little scenario then the Scripture and then I have a question. The scenario is last year, you might remember our national news where a pastor was killed in the state of Louisiana by an elder, and I remember when like 10 years ago there was an incident in Brazil where a missionary working woman went there and got into a dispute I believe with a rancher and she went into her pocket to get a Bible, he said he thought she was going for a gun. He killed her.

I called you about this before I believe like a year ago, the Scripture is Isaiah 53:17, and I want to know if that verse is potentially linked to Luke 12:4-5.

Pastor Doug: All right, so let me first, for our friends that are listening let me read Isaiah 54:17, “no weapon that is formed against you shall be blessed and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn this is the inheritance of the servants of Jehovah and the righteousness is from Me” says Jehovah. Do you have the Luke verse John?

Pastor Ross: Yes, Luke 12:4 says “and I say to you my friends, don’t be afraid of those who kill the body and afterwards have no more that they can do but I will show you whom you need to fear. Fear Him, whom after He has killed has power to cast you to hell. Yes I say you say to you fear Him”.

Pastor Doug: Ok so formulate your question William.

William: Okay, my question is, this people unless you claim the verse in Isaiah 54:17, these were Christians and they were killed actually. So my question is actually you know, why where they killed if Isaiah 54:17 is supposed to be something like a protection or defensive type verse? Does this mean that even though they are killed physically, they will be raised in the resurrection spiritually and still about their life as a Christian? In other words either that or chapter 54, verse 17 of Isaiah failed to protect them which is the Word of God and I want to know what happened there.

Pastor Doug: First of all, do you know how Isaiah died?

William: I believe they say he was sawn in half.

Pastor Doug: Yeah, you are right. He was killed by King Manasseh and so Isaiah obviously did not mean by this verse that believers in God, that they are somehow bullet-proof. There are times in the Bible where enemies of God’s people had tried to hurt them with arrows or slings and the Lord protected them. There was one king that wanted to arrest a prophet of God and he pointed at the prophet and said “arrest him” and the king’s arms froze.

So you know, the Lord if He wants to, He can make you virtually bullet-proof. Twice in the life of Jesus they took up stones to stone Him and somehow they became confused and Jesus walked right through the middle of them as though He was invisible. But later of course Christ allowed Himself to be crucified He said “no man takes My life but I lay it down”. So Paul was stoned and after they stoned him he kind of got up and dusted himself off and walked away. So God can definitely protect His people, but these promises are not saying that Christians are to be tempting the Lord like you know Jesus is told by the devil “jump off a building” because God will bare you up.

I think that they are promises that we claim that a lot of times you are right, claiming the promise has extra value in that God’s Spirit will direct you to certain promises when He is going to deliver them. Let me give you a closing thought of that: when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were told about how they were going to the fiery furnace, they said to Nebuchadnezzar “we are not going to worship your image and our God if He chooses is able to deliver us but even if He chooses not to deliver us” so they recognized God could miraculously make them bullet-proof, the weapon of Nebuchadnezzar cannot hurt them and it didn’t, they were delivered, but they recognized that God might not choose to do that. Daniel, same thing. He went to the lion’s den but the weapon that was supposed to kill him, God preserved him. But there were a whole lot of Christians eaten by lions during the Roman era. So, God does intervene but this is not a unilateral promise.

Pastor Ross: Then of course we do have the promise that Jesus gave in Luke 12:4 where it says “don’t be afraid of those who can kill the body”, if our faith is in Christ we have the promise of the resurrection as He mentioned. When Jesus comes again, those that sleep in the grave He will awake, those who have faith in Him and they will be resurrected to eternal life were there will be no more death.

Pastor Doug: Amen. Thank you William and I appreciate your question.

Pastor Ross: Our next call is Margery and she is listening in Michigan, Margery welcome to the program.

Margery: Thank you, hi! I have a question regarding the prodigal son. When he came home did his father throw a big party and have someone kill the fatted calves?

Pastor Doug: They did, I think they had a barbeque.

Margery: All right. Some churches don’t believe in eating meat and they take it from the Bible. I don’t understand why that’s a…

Pastor Doug: Well there are a lot of Christians; first of all, you don’t find a lot of this in Bible times, you know… food is a lot more scarce and in countries where food is scarce, I don’t think they make it an issue. You’ve got 3 things happening here. One is, you’ve got the ideal diet that God gives Adam in the Garden of Eden was obviously a vegetarian diet. Then after the flood all the vegetation was wiped out God says “if you are going to eat meat, eat clean meat” do not eat pigs and cockroaches, eat the deer and the sheep. And you know, there are a lot of people now who are health conscious. I just watched a video I was talking to Pastor Ross just before we went on the air tonight I finally saw it, it’s called Forks Over Knives and it’s not produced by religious individuals but it has some outstanding information about how much you would increase your longevity and reduce your risk of disease by avoiding animal products and having a plant based diet. Now I’m a vegetarian for principally health reasons and I figure in heaven you know God is going to restore things to the ideal again.

But I don’t know any churches that order everybody to give up meat. I think there are many churches that teach its advantages. Matter of fact I’ve heard that Rick Warren’s church down in Southern California they are doing this Daniel diet where they eat simple food and grain and their church collectively has lost tons of weight, which obviously lengthens your life.

So you are not going to find a Scripture that says “I shall not eat meat”. Jesus ate fish, they ate fatted calves. It wasn’t a principal part of the diet.

You know, one more thing, and I’m kind of drifting from the Bible but it’s something that I saw in this video. In Asia, places like Japan in particular. There’s 3 places in the world National Geographic says has the greatest longevity and the lowest disease. One is Japan. They’ve got the longest lifespan in the world, as a matter of fact the oldest person in the world is like 115 in Japan, a lady. That means, this is one of the last people left that was born in the 1800s. And then you have the people in Cerdeña which is an island off the coast of Italy, I was there years ago, and they eat the Mediterranean diet that is just a lot of simple foods, lots of vegetables, they have more fish in their diet. And then the third group are the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda.

National Geographic recorded that because they are largely, not all, but they are largely vegetarian, they get a lot of exercise and they don’t eat unclean food. They don’t eat the pork and catfish. Many are vegetarians and they have the longest lifespan of any group in North America, so there are obviously benefits. The Japanese and Cerdeñans don’t know why but the Seventh-day Adventists do it because of Biblical reasons. They think it’s the more natural diet you find in Genesis. Anyway, that’s a long answer Margery.

Margery: Well I enjoyed it.

Pastor Doug: Ok, well good, I hope others did too. And we have a book we’ll send you, we don’t send it to everybody but it’s a fun book, it’s called Death In the Kitchen and we’ll send it to you for free Margery, just call the resource number.

Pastor Ross: The number to call is (800) 835-6747, you can ask for the book Death In the Kitchen and we’ll be happy to send it to you Margery or anyone who calls and asks, talking about God’s original diet that He gave Adam and Eve way back in the Garden of Eden.

Pastor Doug: Make sure people know we are not talking about my wife’s cooking.

Pastor Ross: The number is (800) 835-6747, you can ask for the book Death In the Kitchen. Our next call is Aaron and he is a listener in California. Aaron welcome to the program.

Aaron: Hi so I had a question that I have been thinking about, I was wondering what the Bible says about gambling in general and also if it would be a sin for a Christian to work in a casino in Nevada in doing IT work or whatever.

Pastor Doug: Let’s start with your first question, you are not going to find anything in the Bible that says “don’t play poker” because those things didn’t exist. The principle of gambling is really based upon a kind of risk where you are trying to make haste to get rich. And the Bible does say “those who make haste to get rich are not innocent”. Trying to get something from nothing also, the Bible talks about working to get your money. So the type of speculation that they do in gambling I don’t think is a healthy practice for Christians. It’s kind of interesting that the government says there are certain people that are not allowed to gamble but the government basically endorses gambling with their lotteries, so there’s major hypocrisy happening there. And you know, one of the other reasons, you’ll know them by their fruit.

Typically casinos go hand in hand with drinking and anything you get addicted to, people do definitely get addicted to gambling. It becomes a real problem for them and I think Christians have a hard time defending / supporting that industry which would answer your second question. So you know, if a Christian was in a situation where they’re directly doing something like that it would make me uncomfortable. I would let everyone pray that the Holy Spirit would guide him.

Pastor Ross: I mean you want to set a good example and it’s somewhat difficult if you are supporting that kind of industry by working there.

Aaron: Yeah I mean, my understanding is that there is a lot of organized crime around it too so it seems kind of shady.

Pastor Doug: Yeah that’s exactly right it’s not on the shining side of virtue that you’d find. People come out, the majority of course are broke they’ve lost their money, very few make money. So yeah, I think Christians… we have to write a book on that, we get a lot of questions on gambling. Here in Sacramento we are not so far away from Reno so Pastor Ross and I both deal with people that go across the state line and lose everything. We now have Indian casinos that are every bit like every other casino.

Aaron: Yeah, thank you.

Pastor Doug: thank you Aaron, appreciate your question.

Pastor Ross: We have Larry who is listening in North Carolina. Larry you are on the air.

Larry: I have a question about the numbers in the Bible. I’ve got a Strong’s Concordance and it doesn’t explain everything to be known about Hebrew language as far as words in the Bible, but looking to it I’ve seen that sometimes there’s a number, there’s a word that is given for a certain number and sometimes there’s not. I’m just looking for a reference as to how all the different ways that were used for translation came up with the actual numbers that are printed in the King James Bible.

Pastor Doug: Well there are 3 things happening, you’ve got your numbers in Hebrew, you’ve got your numbers in Greek, and the Greek manuscripts numbers were sometimes a little bit easier to decipher when reading the originals.

Larry: I’m just concerned with the Hebrew.

Pastor Doug: And because of the Hebrew alphabet, you know where Jesus says “not one jot or tittle will in any way pass from the law” a jot and a tittle. A jot was like a period it was a very small Hebrew character and a tittle was like half of the crossing of a T. Those little marks on a manuscript could make the difference in numbers and in words. And as the scholars read through the ancient manuscripts and they were translating the Bibles there were some times where they didn’t know if the word was 14 or 40 because [??]. So you’ll find maybe 2 or 3 places in the Bible where it says “and they were 14 years old and it began to reign” and then you go to Chronicles and it says they were 40 years old and people say “wait a second, which was it?” and it’s usually just a little tittle or a dot in the original. You have to read it in context to figure out which one is right.

Larry: But I’m looking for the source, someone that has actually taken photographs of the manuscripts.

Pastor Doug: Well I have good news for you! They just made the Dead Sea scrolls which have many of the books in the Old Testament. They just put them online where you can look at them in high resolution and I think there are translations that are given there. But they’ve just got this whole new website if you probably Google “dead sea scroll photographs” it’ll take you to this website. I think that around two months ago someone told me that that’s all public now.

Larry: I was watching a TV show called Day of Discovery and some guys said they photographed the whole bunch of different versions of the manuscripts so that eventually we could all see and I’m just interested in the Hebrew right now. Because some numbers you know, there needs to be something or some explanation for them, not just nothing.

Pastor Doug: Well Strong in his concordance spent more time dealing with the words than the numbers. So he didn’t spend a lot of time defining the numbers because they are pretty straight forward, the number 3 meant 3. I thought you were wondering if there were any discrepancies in the numbers.

One more thing Larry, if you go to our website that is called “Bible Prophecy Truth” we actually have a paper there called Bible numbers and their meaning because some Bible numbers are recurring frequently like 7, 12, and 40. You might find out that some of them have sort of a spiritual analogy. And that’s it, BibleProphecyTruth.com. Thank you for your call and I’ll send you a free book, it’s called The Ultimate Resource on the Bible and how to study it.

Pastor Ross: The number to call for that is (800) 835-6747 you can ask for the book called The Ultimate Resource all about the Bible. (800) 835-6747. Our next caller is Dan and he is listening in Michigan. Dan you are on the air.

Dan: Well hello there, how are you doing Pastors?

Pastor Doug: Doing well, how can we help tonight?

Dan: Well I’m not exactly sure. You know, examining my life I see that I’m in a bad spot and it’s like this is not some place that a person would ever care to end at, and yet somehow I’m here. I don’t like the word fool but it sees that that’s the hat that I’m supposed to wear. I have forsaken God when I made promises. I meant it, I don’t want to say that I was double-minded because I meant everything I said but I didn’t have any follow-thru.

Pastor Doug: It kind of feels like your promises where ropes of sand huh?

Dan: Well regrettably I have forsaken God in so many ways and I think there is a price to pay for all this stuff. Even though I’ve been baptized at one point, in my maturity I didn’t tend to my garden, I didn’t mature as a Christian and regrettably I am now paying a terrible price for it.

Pastor Doug: If you could get a new beginning, would you?

Dan: Well there’s no infrastructure here…

Pastor Doug: I’m not asking how, I’m asking if you could…

Dan: I would love to. But right now I’m so confused, I feel as though I’ve been turned and turned and turned and I don’t know which way is north anymore.

Pastor Doug: Well you are in a perfect place to just come to the Lord where you are. I can point people in the Bible that made a first class mess of their lives, Solomon; you read the book of Ecclesiastes, it said “everything he did was vanity” and towards the of his life he turned back to God and we are going to expect to see him in the kingdom. You’ve got David; you probably know some of the stories about him, King David. You’ve got Peter who denied Jesus and was swearing and cursing after he told everybody that he would never do it. And Jesus, first thing He said when He rose from the dead; He told the women “go tell Peter I’m alive” and he was reconciled, he was forgiven.

You know, the wonderful thing about the Lord is that even the thief on the cross who didn’t have his sentence reversed, in other words, consequences might not immediately change, but Jesus gave hope and peace to people that were terminal, they were on the cross when he said “Lord remember me when You come in Your kingdom” and then Jesus said “I’m promising you today, you will be with Me in paradise”. So you can come to the Lord just like you are now Dan, and get a whole new beginning.

Dan: Yeah but there is that whole thing about being mature and doing your…

Pastor Doug: Well don’t look at the problems. You just pray, you come unto the Lord. If you want to look at problems, there will always be doubts and problems. But if you want to say “Lord, I’m a mess, I want to get a new beginning” and pray and ask Him. Then watch and see what He does.

Dan: Well I’ve heard a lot of testimonies of persons that I met because I’ve been dealing with this homeless thing that…

Pastor Doug: Yeah, well the Lord, He can help you get a new beginning. Hey Dan I hate to do this to you but we are going to go off the air but I just want to have a prayer for you with Pastor Ross before we tie off this program.

Father in heaven I just want to pray that you will be with Dan. I hope that he joins in this prayer right now. That he joins in this prayer right now, that he can just come to You with all of the mistakes and all of the consequences, whatever may have happened to his reputation, situations and I pray that you’ll help him get a new beginning. And anyone else listening who finds himself in that category, show Yourself real in their behalf. That You can help them get a fresh start.

We pray in Jesus name, amen.

Pastor Ross: Amen.

Pastor Doug: Well listening friends, that’s all our time, its run out. But we’d like to hear from you. Go to amazingfacts.org, lots of resources, send us a note, tell us if you enjoyed the program and help us stay on the air, God bless.

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