Waging a War on Sin

Scripture: Revelation 17:1-18, Matthew 5:8, Mark 14:51
Date: 04/06/2014 
At one time, the government of Australia actually launched a war against birds. Yes, back in 1932 there was such a great public outcry about the alarming numbers of emus running amuck around the Western Australian area that the government declared a war to combat the plague of ostrich-like birds.
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Doug Batchelor: Hello friends. This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? At one time, the government of Australia actually launched a war against birds. Yes, back in 1932 there was such a great public outcry about the alarming numbers of emus running amuck around the Western Australian area that the government declared a war to combat the plague of ostrich-like birds.

The great Emu War began November 1932 and was led by Major Meredith of the Royal Australian Artillery. Armed with machine guns, the soldiers tried to ambush and slaughter some roughly 20,000 large birds that were decimating the farmers weak crops. Their mission was largely a failure. When reporting the results, they learned they required around 10000 rounds of ammunition to kill around 986 Emus, roughly 10 rounds per kill.

Although the Emu population diminished for a while the swarms of large birds eventually reappeared. Once again, the public asked for military help to launch another war in 1934, and then again in 1943 and one in 1948 but they were turned down each time.

Friend, doesn’t this sound like the personal war that we try to wage on individual sins in our lives, picking them off one at a time? You know, the Bible says there is a better way. Stay with us. We are going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.


Doug Bachelor: You have the number friends. If you have a Bible question we have the lines open. That is what this program is all about. This is Bible Answers Live, the number one more time is 800-GOD-SAYS, 800-463-7297. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross. Good evening listening friends and Pastor Doug. As usual let’s begin this program with prayer.

“Dear Father, once again we thank You that we are able to spend a few moments studying Your Word together and we want to ask Your presence be with those who are listening where ever they might be. Guide us Lord here in the studio as we search the Scriptures for truth. For we ask this In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Pastor Doug, you opened up the program by talking of this plague of birds in Australia. Not little birds but big birds and they tried to destroy them using machine guns. It wasn’t very successful. I don’t know… I asked you before the program began, well what are they doing now? I guess nobody quite knows or at least we don’t know what they did to get rid of the birds.

Pastor Doug: You know Australia; I think struggles with occasional plagues of mice. I have seen a video…

Jëan Ross: Rabbits…

Pastor Doug: Rabbits, yeah that was the next one and emus evidently. They waged war on all of them before and even grasshoppers. They have plagues of locust in different parts of Australia but sometimes waging war against these plagues reminds us when we try to pick off the sins in our lives one at a time and they just seem to sprout up like…what do they call it? [Whack-a-mole]

You hit one over here and one pops over there and it’s sort of like trying to kill a crabapple tree by pulling off the fruit. They just keep on coming back and the way to kill the tree is you got to cut it down and graft it with something different. Really, that’s the secret of having victory in your life. As long as our hearts are motivated by selfishness, well we can make some changes sometime with moral desire and will power or even for selfish means, a person can quit drinking or smoking or have a change of behavior but that does not necessarily mean they had a conversion of heart. Usually that unconverted heart will reappear in some other manifestation but really there is one thing that everybody needs.

There is a story in the Bible where there was this rich young ruler, a good man and he just knew something was missing. He just didn’t have peace in his life and he ran to Jesus. By the way, this is Mark 10:17,

“As Christ was going down the road, one came running and he knelt before Him and he said, “Good teacher, what shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but one and that’s God. Do you know the commandments? Do not commit adultery. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not bare false witness. Do not defraud. Honor you father and mother” And he answered and said, “Teacher, all of these things, I have kept from my youth up.” Jesus looking at him loved him and He said, “One thing you lack”.”

Now you still wonder; wow! I’d like to get to the place where the Lord said, “There is only one thing left.” But He told him there is only one thing. “Go your way. Sell whatever you have. Give to the poor you will have treasure in heaven. And come take up your cross and follow Me.”

The one thing wasn’t selling everything because that will take a long [garage sale] probably. The one thing was taking up your cross and following Me, surrendering yourself and when a person sees how much the Lord loves them that He gave His life to save them and they surrender, they really surrender their lives to Him and say, “Lord, whatever Your will is, I am willing to do it.” That’s the one thing.

When you get to a place where you say the same prayer that Jesus said in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not My will, Thy will be done.” Then you have gotten that victory, that one thing and that’s all we need to pray for. Maybe you would like to know more about how you can have that victory and experience a new life, be able to resist the temptations that come. Believe it or not, it comes through a positive negative and we got a book that talks about that.

Jëan Ross: We do. The book that we have this evening is called The Power of a Positive NO. We will send this to anyone who calls and asks. Our resource line is 800-835-6747. If you’d call that number and ask for the book, The Power of a Positive No. Again our number is 800-835-6747 and ask for our free offer this evening, The Power of a Positive No. We are going to go to the phone lines. Our first caller this evening is Michael and he is listening in New Jersey. Michael, you are on the air.

Michael: Pastor Doug, Pastor Ross as usual I thank you for your service. This question is concerning, well my church members are chasing me with torches on this question. I want to know how did Noah come out of a drunken stupor and curse Canaan?

Pastor Doug: Well we do not know that he was still hung-over necessarily when he cursed Canaan. It says when Noah learned what his son… it was actually Ham, had done. Canaan was the son of Ham. Evidently what had happened and some people I think misunderstand, when Noah, who was their father, he drank wine and was stumbling around in the tent drunk, he was naked. Ham coming in and instead of respecting his father and just covering up and saying, “Dad go to bed.” He came out and mocked him.

His other brothers, you will notice they went in. They actually walked in backwards and covered their father and tried to show respect. When Abraham, I am sorry when Noah woke up and realized what had happened he said, “Because of your disrespect for your father, there is going to be a curse on your protégée.” And I do not think he was drunk when he issued that. The patriarchs, Noah was certainly a prophet and the Bible says, Noah walked with God, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord and many respects, Noah was such a great man.

This is one of the many errors in Noah’s life. A matter of fact, I think it is the only one that we read about. A lot of the great people in the Bible…The Bible is the Word of God that faithfully records their failures too but what Noah did really wasn’t an excuse for his son to disrespect him.

Michael: So I am trying to say, where did he think that he got the authority from to curse him?

Pastor Doug: Well because Noah was a prophet, I think the Spirit of God came on him. Many of the patriarchs before they died, they would bless their children, the Holy Spirit would come over them and they would tell the future of their children. Isaac did it with Jacob and Esau; Jacob did with his sons and so forth. So Noah was actually pronouncing a blessing and a cursing on his sons. Jacob actually pronounced some pretty severe things on some of his sons. That’s Genesis 49, I think or 50.

Jëan Ross: Now also want to recognize that this wasn’t an obligatory decision on Noah’s part, just saying, well Ham and his children are going to be cursed because of this…it was pretty evident that Ham did not show respect for his father and that character trait would be carried over to his sons and would be perpetuated to his children. Thus the heart would grow hard and grow in rebellion against God. So it wasn’t just an arbitrary decision by Noah but it was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for telling what that hardness of heart would ultimately lead to.

Pastor Doug: That’s why it says unto the third and fourth generation, the good or bad behavior of the parents is often replicated in the children because you model it for them. It’s like, who was it? Albert Schweitzer who said that there are three ways to teach children; first by example, second by example and third by example. And because of the example of Ham it went to Canaan and the other children. I appreciate your call Michael and thanks again.

Jëan Ross: Next call is Marjorie and she is listening in Michigan. Marjorie welcome to the program.

Marjorie: Hello?

Jëan Ross: Evening?

Marjorie: Pastor Doug, I want to thank you very much because you answered my question before I even asked it. To pick up my cross and…

Pastor Doug: Well praise the Lord.

Marjorie: I just want Him to take me and say, “Hey you belong here.” Take my hand and say you belong here.

Pastor Doug: As we surrender completely, Marjorie, to Jesus and we really get to the place where we say, “Lord I am willing by grace to do your will.” If we are struggling, you can even pray, “Lord help me be willing to be willing to do Your will.” When we get to that place where we are willing to do whatever God calls us to do, He then becomes responsible to reveal His will. Of course He will do that through His Word, through Christian counsel, through the Holy Spirit but that’s when real peace comes. When we say, “Lord, I a hundred percent yours. I am an empty vessel to fill any way You want.” And He reveals Himself to us at that point.

Marjorie: Thank you so much. Have a blessed evening both of you.

Pastor Doug: You too. And you would enjoy that book. The book, it’s got a strange title, The Power of a Positive NO but it’s talking about the positive side really of surrender and even when you struggle with temptation and how you can really resist it and have the victory.

Jëan Ross: The number to call for the book is 800-835-6747. Just call the number and ask for the book and ask for the book, The Power of a Positive NO. The next caller is Elio and he is listening in New York. Elio, welcome to the program.

Elio: Good evening Pastors. God Bless you.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Elio: I don’t want to mention any denomination by name and I have to be quick but it is my understanding based on our faith, we share the same faith, that at one point there will be a worldwide religion government. But I am thinking, to convince the whole world, this is a big task. How is this going to happen? And is Satan himself going to be the one to accomplish this by impersonating Christ?

Pastor Doug: Well I think Satan is going to certainly make the most of that. Speaking of the last days, if you read in Mathew 24, the first thing Jesus says when He is asking the disciples questions about the end of time, He said, “Take heed that no one deceives you for many will come in my name saying that I am Christ.”

Now we know Elio that through history there have been many people who have claimed to be Jesus. Some are absurd like Jim Jones or David Koresh but Satan is going to do a master piece of impersonation before the end because you read and even verse 11 the same chapter; many false prophets will come and deceive many.

The ultimate deceiver is the devil. I think his master piece of deception is going to be the end of time when he seeks to impersonate Christ.

Jëan Ross: There is an interesting passage in Revelation 16:13-14. Let me read that and it says;

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”

Verse 14 says;

For they are the spirits of the demons performing signs which go out to the kings of the earth and to the whole world to gather them to battle of the great day of God almighty.”

So at the end of times there these miracles that are performed and it is these signs and one does these miracles that actually deceive people into giving their support to what Revelation calls this beast power right at the end of times. So yes, he will appear as though this spiritual movement has the blessing of heaven, where there are miracles taking place and people are saying, this must be of God and yet it does not follow the true teachings of the Scripture.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. It says the beast power will even go as far as appearing to bring fire down from heaven, which typically was done by God in the Bible but now the devil is trying to counterfeit that. So we appreciate your question. If you’ve not seen it before, you would really like our lesson that is called, Anything But Secret. It talks about the second coming of Christ and some of the signs connected with that Elio.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747, that is the resource line and the study guide dealing with the second coming of Christ is called, Anything But Secret and we’ll be happy to send that out. It is actually a book. The number is 800-835-6747, that is the resource line and our number here to the studio, if you have you have a Bible related question is 800-463-7297. We have E. Frank who is listening also from New York. E. Frank welcome to the program.

E. Frank: Yes, thank you gentlemen for taking my phone call this evening. Pastor Batchelor and Pastor Ross, I have a question that has been pondering my mind for many years now. I read the book of Revelation from time to time and I always wondered in the age we live in, specifically now in the 21st century. In the past centuries there have been saints who have died in the name of Christ and have gone to heaven. Is it possible for any of them to actually provide or promulgate Revelation, it goes above and beyond, the book of Revelation to any of us?

Pastor Doug: Well we’ve got two questions built in there. The Bible tells us that Enoch walked with God and God took him, Moses was resurrected, Elijah went to heaven in a fiery chariot but in general the majority of the saints the Bible says that when they die, they are sleeping, waiting for the resurrection and coming of the Lord. So for them to be communicating with us, there are two issues here; one is God is very clear in His word that Christians should not be trying to communicate with the dead whether they are dead saints or anybody, because there is risk that the devil or fallen angels could try to impersonate these deceased saints whether it is Joseph or Peter or whoever it might be and give us messages that will somehow supersede or contradict the Bible. There is a real danger. So one is a question you are asking about the dead and who might be in heaven now and the other is a question about, would be there any new or additional information?

There is also that statement that Revelation closes with; if any man adds to this book then the plagues that are written in this book will be added to them. So I think we’ve got to be careful not to add to the Bible or anything that would depreciate. Now God does speak through angels periodically but they are never going to say anything that is going to contradict the Word of God. They will always point back to it and exalt the Word of God. So I do not know if that has helped answer your question Frank or it was sort of meandering.

Jëan Ross: You know we do have a study guide dealing with the subject of Does God Inspire Psychics and Astrologers? A lot of people ask, well can you figure out the future by looking at, communicating with the dead and so on? This study guide does deal with that and give us a number of Bible verses on the topic.

Pastor Doug: So did that help address your question at all E. Frank?

E. Frank: Yes Pastor Batchelor, it did.

Pastor Doug: Okay.Well if you would like that free book then we’ll send that to you.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747 and again the study guide dealing with this is called Does God Inspire Astrologers and Psychics? Just ask for the book, dealing with psychics. Does God inspire Psychics? The number again is 800-835-6747. Our next caller is Matt and Matt is listening in Pleasant Hill, California. Matt, welcome to the program.

Matt: Hello. Good afternoon all pastors.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Matt: Could you explain the seven thunders to me?

Pastor Doug: Are you asking if we know what they mean?

Matt: Yeah. Who are they or what are they?

Pastor Doug: Well the seven thunders that are mentioned in Revelation…let me see here. That’s …

Jëan Ross: Revelation10?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Revelation 10:3, and it says that,

“And he cried with a loud voice as when a lion roars and when he had cried seven thunders uttered their voices.”

Sometimes when God spoke it sounded like thunder. At the baptism of Jesus some people thought they heard thunder and a matter of fact if you look in John 12, to understand this Matt you just need to look at John 12:29

The people thereby, that stood thereby heard it and they thought it thundered. Others said an angel spoke to him.”

So here, those that had the spirit of discernment heard a voice of an angel, others thought it was thunder. So when the seven thunders take place in Revelation its talking about …it says when the seven thunders or rather the voice I was about to write it, I heard a voice saying to me, “Seal up those things that the seven thunders uttered, whatever they said. Write them not.” So, you let me know Matt if you figure out what they said, I don’t know because God told John not to write it down. I don’t know, Pastor Ross, do you have an idea?

Jëan Ross: You know there are some guesses as to what it is but that’s all it is. It is guesses. We don’t know. The idea behind it though is that something was revealed to John but then God said, “Do not write it down.” In other words, hold it back and if you look at the whole context of Revelation Chapter 10, it’s describing the event where people at first did not fully understand the prophecy until after it was fully fulfilled, then it came to light.

Then they understood it, the eating of the book that was sweet and bitter. So some have seen the seven thunders as describing the experience of those who at first did not fully understand the prophecy and only understood it after the fact, after it was fulfilled.

Pastor Doug: Anyway I hope that helps a little bit but you are asking about one of those mysteries in the Bible that tells us right in the Bible, God said, “Don’t write it down.” So we can’t go beyond God’s revealing.

Jëan Ross: Thanks for your call Matt.

Pastor Doug: Appreciate it.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Martha Ann and Martha Ann is calling from New York City. Martha, welcome to the program.

Martha: Thank you. Good night

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Martha: I was calling because I had a discussion with a friend and within reference to watching your [??]. I don’t know where I can find that out in the word.

Pastor Doug: Well it tells us in Philippians that, “Whatsoever things that are pure, noble and good think on these things” And I am summarizing that verse. I do not know if you are looking at that same one up Pastor Ross. David says in Psalms, “I will set no evil thing before my eyes.”

Martha: Yes

Pastor Doug: We make our [??] that I’ll make a covenant with our eyes not to gaze upon a woman. So some of the TV programs that are filled with violence, God destroy the world back in the days of Noah because of the violence it talks about that had filled the land. We watch things; people are often entertained by violence, they are entertained by sex, they are entertained by thievery and things that are immoral and we are transformed by what we behold. That’s why adultery is wrong because it ends up affecting us. Let me see… are you looking some of those up Pastor Ross?

Jëan Ross: I am.

Pastor Doug: Yeah in Philippians where they talk about, whatever things are pure, whatever things are noble, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, if there is any praise think on this things. As well as…

Martha: Could you tell me about which Philippians what chapter and verse…

Pastor Doug: We are both looking them up right now and I think we’re having a brain cramp.

Martha: Okay

Pastor Doug: Hang on, just a second. I think, we both got computers in here and you know computers are really smart unless you miss one letter when you are searching.

Martha: I understand. It was just that we had a good discussion and the first we said, No that’s not really important there.” You don’t have to…that will not affect my spirit. My debate was, yes even those horror movies…

Pastor Doug: Philippians 4:8

“Finally brethren whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things that have good report, if there is any virtue, if there is anything praise worthy think on these things.”

And so that’s a pretty high standard to apply to what you are watching and what we feed our souls. And we have got a study guide that talks about holy living and …what is our last study guide?

Jëan Ross: It is called, No Turning Back. It talks about…actually a love the transforms ...

Pastor Doug: That’s the one, A Love that Transforms

Jëan Ross: That’s got a number of these verses in it as well. The number to call 800-835-6747 and the study guide is called A Love that Transforms

Pastor Doug: It talks about Christian standards of holiness.

Jëan Ross: 800-835-6747. Our next caller is Darius: and Darius is listening in Charlotte, North Carolina. Darius, welcome to the program.

Darius: Hey, good evening ladies and gentlemen.

Pastor Doug: Evening. We have about three minutes before the break. Can you make it quick?

Darius: Oh yes. My question is, it’s been talked about in a lot of churches I’ve been into that we have to tithe 10% of our income.

Pastor Doug: Yes.

Darius: What I read in Scriptures, like in Deuteronomy 14:22, when He is about talking how you should tithe, its referring to agriculture. My question is at what point did it change from agriculture to become our money?

Pastor Doug: Yes. Well when the Lord gave the principle of tithe, it was the principal to whether you are a farmer and you are tithing vegetables, it’s a principle whether you are a herdsman you’re your tithing of your cattle, it was a principal of whether you are businessman and you are tithing off your gold and silver. They were the tithe of their increase. Wealth isn’t… money buys these other things and a matter of fact sometimes when they went to the temple to give their tithe, if they couldn’t carry the wheat with them or the goats with them they’d sell them in their hometown, they’d bring money and they’d pay tithe in the money equivalent. Well that’s what most people do today but they gave tithe of money even in Bible times.

Darius: Okay. So are there Scriptures that show they pay tithe with money?

Pastor Doug: Yeah. Well one example is in the temple when Jesus came in commended the widow because she came in and she put her two mites in, those were coins. When it talks about bringing your gift to God sometimes they bring an animal or sometimes they bring it in form of coin money. You could sell your goat for money and you could buy your goat for money. So they were all kind of…wealth was interchangeable whether you were bringing the actual grain as an offering or if you are bringing the worth of it in money which was often when they were travelling.

The Jews that went on pilgrimage and came during the feast, to bring their tithe to the Lord, they weren’t always carrying wagon loads of wheat and corn and barley. You know what I am saying? Especially the wealthier ones would have had just tons of stuff to carry; they’d convert it in their hometown to money. They would bring that and give that to the Lord and then the priests and Levites would use that to buy food through the year.

So it was 10% of your increase. That’s why God said, “Bring all the tithe into the store house and I will open the windows of heaven.”A matter of fact He talks that about you earn wages to put them in pockets with holes. Well that wasn’t the goats and grains that was falling out of their pocket. It was their money.

Darius: Alright.

Pastor Doug: Good question, a practical question, appreciate that Darius.

Darius: Thank you.

Pastor Doug: And by the way we have lesson called, In God We Trust we’ll send you a free a copy and all you’ve got to do is call 800-835-6747 and it will be all yours. You are listening to Bible Answers Live.

Jëan Ross: You know Pastor Doug; we had spoken to a caller just prior to Darius about not setting anything wicked before your eyes. We did find the verse I was looking up the wrong word. Psalms 101:3 “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” Psalms 101:3

Pastor Doug: That’s a good verse to use as a rule when you’re deciding what to watch. You will probably say, “I will set nothing wicked between my ears either.”

Jëan Ross: That’s right, same principle.

Pastor Doug: I think there is even a verse that says, “He that turns away his ear from hearing evil.” And so God wants us to guard the avenues of the soul. Very few Christians talk about that today but it’s so important. Listening friends, we are going to take a break in a moment and keep in mind, we’ve only gone through the first half of the program. If you have any Bible questions we still have some lines open.

Maybe there is something you have been thinking about you want to ask. We may not have the answer but call 800-GOD-SAVES, 800-463-7297. We are going to be back in a moment.


Pastor Doug: We are back and this is Bible Answers Live and just in case some of you have joined us [in or out], this is live interactive international Bible study. And you can participate by calling in with a Bible question at 800-835-67…no! 800-463-7297, I was giving you the resource line sorry. One more time, 800-GOD-SAYS, that’s 800-463-7297 brings you into the studio with your Bible questions. And my name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross and we are going to go to the phone lines. We have Kevin who is listening in Illinois. Kevin you are on Bible Answers Live.

Kevin: Hey. How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Doing well. And you?

Kevin: I am great. Thank you so much for your show, I have been listening for a couple of years and it has been very life changing.

Pastor Doug: Oh, we love to hear that and your question tonight?

Kevin: I have a question. Who are the eight kings that are mentioned in Revelation? I think it is Revelation 12, I am not sure of that. It says six already have come. One is… and then it says something like two are yet to come and the last is the same as the previous.

Pastor Doug: That is Revelation 17, I think you are talking about. Let me go in there really quick and we will read it you. It is talking about the seven heads or seven mountains on which the woman sits. This is a woman in prophecy and it is identifying the seven kingdoms that have persecuted God’s people through history. It says, five have fallen. Now the five kingdoms that had occupied Israel from…now this is Revelation written by the apostle John. So it is taken from the perspective when John wrote.

The five that were fallen were Egypt, remember they were occupied by the Egyptians, Syria; the Syrians carried off 10 of the tribes to captivity, Babylon; the Medo-Persians or the Persian kingdom and the Greek or Greece they all occupied. Five have fallen he said and he said one is; that one that was in power when John wrote is what you would call Pagan Rome. Now there are two kinds of Rome that are mentioned here. You’ve got what’s called Pagan Rome which is Rome when it was ruled by Caesar and then you have what they call Papal Rome, which is when the Roman Empire kind of fell, the Roman church grew into an empire and that existed for like 1260 years.

So sometimes it’s called the Holy Roman Empire. Those kingdoms had occupied, the crusades, they’d also fought over the Promised Land and they kind of persecuted God’s people. And he says he is also an eighth because he receives a deadly wound but he comes back again.

Kevin: Okay

Pastor Doug: So I don’t think you mean, what is the meaning of the eight kings? You mean what is the meaning of the eighth or who is the eighth one?

Kevin: No. I did not know who they were at all and you just explained it very well.

Pastor Doug: Good. We have a lesson. It’s a good lesson, it is called, The Other Woman. Is that right?

Jëan Ross: That’s right. It talks about Revelation 17.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. We will send you a free copy and it kind of unpacks Revelation 17. Everyone ought to sign up for this. Or you know what…which is why you are listening Kevin. Amazing Facts spent about three and a half years doing a video that is now out and it is called, Revelation; the Bride, the Beast and Babylon. In that video, it deals completely with Revelation 12 and 17. We had a lot of fun making it because we had just a really good actress that came in. We dressed her up like a scarlet woman, we put her on a three dimensional seven headed dragon that moves around and everything and then we went through the prophecies. So it is a pretty vivid DVD.

If anyone who wants to know more about getting a hold of the Revelation DVD, you can just type in, Revelation Mystery to Google. It will take you to the website, you can watch the trailer and we will send you that free lesson Kevin.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747, that is the resource and you can ask for the study guide called The Other Woman talking about Revelation Chapter 17. We have Bruce who is listening from Washington. Bruce welcome to the program.

Bruce: Thank you for taking my call. I have thirty seconds of background in my question.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Bruce: I was listening to a program on the same station your program is aired on and a pastor was giving a sermon on Mathew 5:8, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God’. He began talking about the Bible doesn’t teach sinlessness and that someone who is trying to get there will become discouraged and it’s not in the Bible. He talked about Noah being declared righteous and he became drunk, Abraham declared righteous and he lied, Moses having a special relationship with God and then disobeyed and he went on and on

He talked of Peter’s denial and Paul, the Apostle Paul in Romans 7, where he was not able to do the things he knew he should do. In talking of the pure in heart, he mentioned the word pure in Greek as katharos and he defined it as being an army being, being [poached] of the cowardly, those who are not determined. So he concluded that the pure in heart have made a decision to be in the army of God and when the difficulties of life come, they don’t bail out. And yet all along the journey they are confronted with their sins, they are confronted with the reality, even though they have accepted Christ within their hearts.

That is the same the same barriers as the apostle Paul experienced in Roman Chapter 7. My question is, does the Bible teach that being pure in heart is just a decision, being committed, not bailing out? Or is it something that happens to us internally where we actually resist impure thoughts?

Pastor Doug: Well, I will just say without commenting on what this particular person said but the way that I read the Bible, when Jesus says blessed are the pure in heart they will see God, Paul also says, we all have to strive for holiness without which no man will see God. Holiness and Peter says, Peter is actually quoting Moses when Peter says, “Be holy for I am holy”. A Christian is a follower of Christ and Christ was holy.

So while I and Pastor Ross do not claim sinlessness, there is no question that sin is the enemy and God is calling us to turn from sin, to flee temptation, to resist sin. Jesus said to the woman when He forgave her, He said ‘Go and sin no more unless a worse thing come upon thee.’ So just all through the Bible it is extremely clear that God wants to save us from sin. Jesus, when the angel told Mary you will call His name Jesus for He will save His people from, not in their sins, from their sins.

Now it is true when we first come to Jesus, we are instantly justified. He accepts us just like we are. But then after you accept Jesus He works in our hearts and we are to wrestle…we wrestle with temptation, we strive. There is a struggle sometimes against temptation. God wants to take the drunkard and make him sober. God wants to save people from the drugs and their addiction and so the idea that He just sort of paints a label on us and there is not to be any tangible victory, is not the teaching of the Bible.

Bruce: Okay. So we are to expect God to work in us to overcome in these areas.

Pastor Doug: To will and to do of His good pleasures. Yeah, Jesus said that it’s not he that says ‘Lord, Lord that will enter the kingdom of heaven but he that does the will of My Father in heaven.” Again John says… what is this? 1 John 2:15,

“Love not the world nor the things that are in the world, for if any man loves the world the love of the father is not in him. For all that’s in the world, the lust of flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of the life is not of the Father but of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust thereof, but he that does the will of My Father will be in heaven.”

The Lord wants us to do His will which of course is expressed in His law and in the teachings of Christ. So yes, there is a battle between the Spirit and the flesh as Paul said. By the way, when you read what Paul says about his struggle in Roman Chapter 7,

“The things that I do not want to do that I do and the things I do want to do that I do not do.”

And then he goes on and says,

“Who will deliver me? O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this condition?”

Then you go to read first words in Chapter 8,

“I thank God through Jesus Christ I no longer walk after the flesh but after the Spirit.”

People never read the next chapter. They stop with that phrase where Paul identifies his struggles and they do not get to the part where he says he gets the victory over that struggle of not doing what he knows he should do. So, it is like what he says in Roman 6,

“What shall we continue in sin that grace might abound? God forbid”

You know, you would really enjoy the book that we are offering tonight; The Power of a Positive NO perfectly addresses your question Bruce. We will send it to you, it is free.

Bruce: Okay, very good.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747 and again the book is called The Power of a Positive NO 800-835-6747. The next caller is Claire and she is listening in Toronto, Canada. Claire welcome to the program.

Claire: Thank you. Good night.

Pastor Doug: Evening.

Claire: Good evening. My question is not really a Scriptural question. It is just regarding a dream that I have been dreaming. On a couple occasions I have dreamt about a snake and it brings me back to the Garden of Eden and as a Christian it really disturbs me. I am not sure whether it is justified or not, I am not even sure I should be calling you on this.

Pastor Doug: Well, let me give you a couple of… there are two or three things that can affect dreams. For one thing God made us somehow and maybe this is a crude illustration but sometimes a computer needs to be defragmented a year after you run a virus program. Whenever we go to sleep, I do not know what the Lord does but during sleep even when your body is rested sometimes your brain gets tired and needs to sleep and it’s like a computer that needs to defragment and its reorganizing the thoughts of the day and prioritizing things you need to remember. People have all sorts of rapid eye movement during dreams and Solomon says…now I am giving you Scripture about this. Solomon says,

“A dream comes through the multitude of business.”

That’s Ecclesiastes 5:3

I have a friend that worked in an auto parts store and he was always asking about Make, Model and Year and he’d sleep at night and dream about Make, Model and Year of different cars.

Claire: Okay

Pastor Doug: I used to play chess all day long and I’d go to sleep and I’d see the chest set, you know the squares in my mind. Well I’d play the racket ball and I’d wake up and think I was swinging a racket. I’d go skiing for a week and I’d dream I am going down the hill. So I do not know if it’s something you watched or something where you could maybe see snakes. So one thing is a dream comes through the multitude business. The Lord can inspire dreams and the devil can inspire dreams. And sometimes a person has nightmares…

Claire: That’s what I am afraid you.

Pastor Doug: It doesn’t hurt you, it’s just…

Claire: It’s not that I have not been really thinking about snakes. I have not been watching… I mean what I watch is religious or news. So this links me back to…

Pastor Doug: Would you like me to tell you how to get the victory over that Claire?

Claire: Well I did kill most of them except that one. The first one was like a baby snake the second dream it came back…it was much bigger and it was hard for me to get things out of my flesh.

Pastor Doug: Well you go ahead and you go to the store somewhere and you buy yourself a plastic snake

Claire: Okay.

Pastor Doug: And then you will realize it is harmless and I bet the dreams will go away. Try that and let me know how that works but I am not a very good psychiatrist I will tell you a head of time.

Claire: Okay, thanks. No, no it was in a Biblical sense where it brings me back to the Garden of Eden and I am thinking this can’t be good.

Pastor Doug: Well snakes are often a symbol of the devil in the Bible but they are not inherently any more wicked than a frog or a turtle. It is just a reptile.

Jëan Ross: Just to add on a bit to that, do not be too alarmed. There are often recurring dreams that people are having. We do not know why we have it. Often people will have a dream where they are at the top of this flight of stairs and then they stumble and they fall and then they wake up, just before they hit the bottom. I had the same dream over and over again. I have had dreams like that and I know what is going to happen and I think, here we go again, it’s the same dream. There is another verse that I am looking at here are talking about dreams, Ecclesiastes 5:7. Is this the one that you mentioned?

Pastor Doug: No, I read 5:3

Jëan Ross: Ecclesiastes 5:7 It says,

“For in the multitude of dreams in many words, there is vanity.”

In otherwise do not worry too much about it. The wise man is saying do not put too much concern in your dreams.

Pastor Doug: Your computer defragmenting, it does not mean anything. You might have a lightened fear of snakes and so your brain is playing tricks on you, maybe nothing spiritual at all, Claire. So do not be afraid. We appreciate your call.

Jëan Ross: Next caller is Carlos and Carlos is listening in New York. Carlos welcome to the program.

Carlos: Good evening pastors? How are you guys doing?

Pastor Doug: A lot better than we deserve. How are you doing?

Carlos: Quite well. My question is concerning the different denominations that we have today. Is there anything in the Bible that explains why we have so many different denominations? And is there one true denomination?

Pastor Doug: Yeah, let me read two verses for you real quick. One is Isaiah 4:1 and this is the prophecy of Isaiah. In the Bible a woman is often typified as a church. There are many churches but Jesus in the parable of the ten virgins compared them to churches. It says, husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church. So there are many times in the Bible where a woman can represent a church.

“In that day seven women will take one man saying we will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel but let us be called by your own name to take away our reproach.”

Bread in the Bible is a symbol for the Word of God. Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Apparel represented righteousness, whether it was self-righteousness or God’s righteousness. So here you have got all these different women, they are taking hold of one man, Jesus the Son of man. But they want to be married to Christ but they are saying we want our own bread, our own Word of God, our own interpretation, we want our own righteousness, our own idea of what constitutes righteousness but we want Your name because there is no there is no other name given amongst men in which we must be saved.

Then you read in Revelation 17, this counterfeit church called Babylon, we talked about earlier tonight. She has many daughters. She is called the mother of harlots and so many daughters are… false churches have come out of her. The devil is trying to hide the diamond of God’s truth by surrounding it with broken glass. So yeah, so many churches have split up over different doctrinal issues. Now before Jesus comes back, see the Lord said, “By these, all men will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another.”

Right now the Christian church is certainly the most divided religion in the world. There are not as many Buddhist divisions or Muslim divisions or Hindu divisions as there are Christian divisions. There are more divisions in Christianity than any religion because the devil is trying to camouflage the truth. But before Christ comes back there will be a great shaking in the church and everybody is going to either receive the mark of the beast or receive the seal of God and everybody is going to be sort of forced or sort of polarized into two groups and you need to know what the true group is. So we have a study guide that talks about that.

Jëan Ross: It’s a book as well called The Search For the True Church. We will be happy to send that to you Carlos or anyone who calls and asks. This is an important subject. The number to call is 800-835-6747. That is our resource line and you can ask for the book The Search For the True Church. That’s 800-835-6747. Our next caller is Patty and Patty is calling from Carmichael, California. Patty welcome to the program.

Patty: Thank you very much for taking my call and bless you for what you do.

Pastor Doug: Thank you

Patty: I am curious about Mark 14:51-52 where it talks about the gentleman who runs up to Jesus, pulls down his linen and runs away naked. What is the symbolism to that? What’s that all about?

Pastor Doug: Let me read it to our friends listening. It talks about when Jesus was arrested and it’s only in the Gospel of Mark. If you read in verse 50 it says, “They (meaning the apostles), they all forsook Him and fled. And there followed him, a certain young man having a linen clothe about his naked body.” Remember the mob came, the disciples were all falling asleep. Jesus wanted them to pray with Him but it was late and they were tired and they all fell asleep. There was another young man that was somewhere in the Garden of Gethsemane, who had wrapped…they would take off their clothes and they kind of wrapped themselves up and he didn’t, I guess have any BVDs on. He had this cloth wrapped around his body and he was following to find out what happened to Jesus and they turned around to grab him and he shook himself free and left and fled from them naked.

Well the only person who might know this would be a young man named Mark who wrote the Gospel. It’s probably…see Mark largely wrote his Gospel at the dictation of Peter. So the Gospel of Mark is really the dictation of Peter. But this probably Mark, later known as John Mark. When Jesus met in the upper room, it says it was the house of John Mark’s mother when they met in this upper room. So he was close to Jesus. He may also have been in the garden of Gethsemane that night. That’s what most of the commentators guessed. Is that what you’ve understood Pastor Ross?

Jëan Ross: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Probably John Mark.

Patty: Okay.

Pastor Doug: He was not an apostle but he was the young man that was probably not far away from where they had gone to sleep that night or somehow he heard the mob when they were arresting Jesus and he woke up and began to follow them.

Patty: I see.

Pastor Doug: And they kind of turned around and said, “What do you think you are doing?” They grabbed him and he ran away. He didn’t want to get arrested.

Patty: Okay. I just haven’t read anywhere else in the Bible and I read the Bible a lot and I thought, that’s an interesting stanza. I wonder what it’s all about.

Pastor Doug: And there may be a spiritual application here and I don’t want to read too much into it but when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they suddenly found themselves naked. When this young man fled from Jesus, he left naked. So clothing represents…when the thieves beat up the man who fell in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, they took his clothes, they robbed and left him naked. The devil often seems like he strips humanity meaning…

Patty: But God always gives it back…

Pastor Doug: Takes away the righteousness, yeah.

Patty: In fold.

Pastor Doug: Right. So anyway, kind of a double meaning there. Appreciate your call Patty.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Lisa and Lisa is listening in Ontario. Lisa welcome to the program.

Lisa: I am fine. How are you?

Pastor Doug: Doing good, thank you for calling and your question tonight?

Lisa: I have a Scripture that I was looking at Deuteronomy 6:1-8 about possessing the land and all of that. I was just kind of looking into it and see where he is really going because he says verse 8, land before you. So going to possess the land which the Lord decides to give Abraham, five and six...

Pastor Doug: Yeah. When it says, “Behold I have set the land before you. Go in and possess it.” Are you wondering why does it say that?

Lisa: I am kind of wondering, where is he going with that? Is there an actuality or is there something physical? What is he saying? Like go and possess that land…

Pastor Doug: Well let me give you the background. The book of Deuteronomy is really the last sermon of Moses. It’s all one discourse, its…and it tells about their experience just at the Jordan. Moses gets ready to die. He dies at the end of the book. In this chapter, he has led for 40 years now. He is 120 years old and he said, the land of Canaan and the Promised Land that God promised to give you is before.

Don’t be afraid to go in and take possession of the land.” Because there were other tribes that had moved in while Jacob was gone and sort of took it over and they were beginning to wonder if they were ever going to go in. 40 years earlier, they were ready to go, take the land and 10 of the spies came back that Israel had sent to spy on the land, they said, “All the giants are too big. We can never take the land.” God said, “Because of your unbelief that you don’t believe I can give you victory and give you back the land, you are not going to see.” So the reason Moses is encouraging them now, he’s saying, look don’t doubt this time. Have faith and God will give you the victory. [Now of course they did]. They crossed the Jordan and walls of Jericho fell and they did take possession of the promised land.

Lisa: So it’s up to the Lord what He does in order for that to come to pass, is that the idea?

Pastor Doug: He wants us to have faith that He will keep His promises and we cooperate with Him. In other words, we have to march towards the Jordan river but God knows how to part the river and to bring us all the way into the Promised Land. I am trying to think if we have any lesson or book that would be relevant to Lisa’s question that we can offer. She sounds like she’d enjoy the study guide series.

Jëan Ross: That’s right. If you call our resource line and just ask for the Amazing Facts study guide, set of lessons, they will get you signed up for that. It’s free. The number to call is 800-835-6747 and you can ask for the Amazing Facts’ study guide set of lessons. Just great resource, really dig deep into the Word of God and some wonderful truths that you can learn.

Pastor Doug: Yeah. By the way friends, anybody who wants to take the Amazing Facts study guide course, you can do it. We recommend it if you’ve not done it. Go to Bibleuniverse…just go to Bibleuniverse.com and you will see that the study guides are there. You’ve got them in English and they’re in Spanish and there is François and they’re in German, they’re in Norwegian, they’re in Mandarin, I forget the all the languages but I’ll also send that link. It’s a Bible study course. If you just want a good Biblical foundation, not everybody can afford to go Bible college but you know, Pastor Ross, the people I know that have been through the Amazing Facts Bible study course, they come out of it and they are just thunder struck.

They say, where have I been? I have been a Christian all my life and I never really understood the Bible like I do now. So check that out, Bibleuniverse.com and if you are online, we’ve kind of run out of time for tonight’s broadcast, we’d like to remind you that Amazing Facts is only on the air because people like you are listening, they are blessed and you say, you know, I’d like to contribute to keep this program on the air. You will be blessed if you do. The Bible promises that as we keep the work of the Lord going, God will also take care of our needs. Just go to Amazingfacts.org, there is a simple contact button and we just love to hear from you too. Tell us if the program has been a blessing, one more time, Amazingfacts.org. God willing we will talk together again next week.

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