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Forgiving Your Enemies

Scripture: Matthew 5:32, Mark 10:11-12, Judges 19:1-30
Date: 04/27/2014 
Before Louis VII became King of France, he suffered terribly through treatment and indignities at the hand of his cousin, Charles VIII.
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Doug Batchelor: Hello friends! This is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Before Louis VII became King of France, he suffered terribly through treatment and indignities at the hand of his cousin, Charles VIII. He was slandered, thrown in prison and was constantly threatened with death.

When he became king, his close friends urged him to avenge himself for the years of shameful abuse. So he wrote out a list of names of all the men who had been guilty of crimes against him and placed a red cross by their names. His enemies heard about the list and they were filled with dread. They thought the sign of a cross meant that they were sentenced to hang on the gallows. So one after another, they fled the court and even the country.

But when the king learned about it, he explained to his clerk, “The little red crosses on the list of names did not mean the execution of his enemies.”

“Do not fear,” he said, “The cross that I drew by your name is not a sign of punishment, but a pledge of forgiveness.” He remembered that from the cross, Jesus forgave all of his enemies and prayed for them.

The Bible teaches us one of the best ways to get even with our enemies, is to love and forgive them. Stay with us friends, we’re going to learn more as Amazing Facts brings you this edition of Bible Answers Live.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Doug Batchelor: This really is one of my favorite hours of the week when we get to, in a very direct way; just communicate with people about what is truth. And if you have a Bible question friends, dealing with the Word of God or what does it mean to be a Christian, that’s what this program is all about.

It’s a live program. You can call in with your Bible questions, and that number is (800)-463-7297. That’s 800-GOD-SAYS or (800)-463-7297. We generally have a few lines open at the beginning of the program. So pick up your phone and give us a call now with your Bible question. There’s a good chance that it will be on tonight’s program. My name is Doug Batchelor.

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

Dear Father, once again we thank You that we’re able to take a few moments to gather together to study Your Word and we ask Your blessing upon this program be with those who are listening, and Father, we ask that this program makes a difference for eternity, in Jesus name. Amen!

Doug Batchelor: Amen!

Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, you opened up the program by talking about an individual, a king who others thought was plotting their execution when in reality he was planning forgiveness.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah and when someone puts a red mark by your name and you’ve been really unkind to them and now they’re in power, you think, “Oh, I am on the list.”

They thought that red meant blood but it was really that red meant the forgiveness of the blood of Christ, and he thought if Christ has forgiven me, I should forgive them.

I am sure everybody listening has struggled with people who have hurt their feelings or have done something unkind to them and they find it hard to just forgive them, but that’s what Jesus teaches us, is to love our enemies, do good to those that despitefully use you and persecute you.

As a matter of fact, if you can look at Romans 12:20, Paul says, “Therefore if your enemy is hungry; feed him. If he is thirsty, give him drink. For in so doing, you will heap coals of fire on his head. Overcome evil with good.”

He says do not be overcome of evil but overcome evil with good. If we operate on the principle that if someone does us wrong, we do wrong back, that eye for an eye that Jesus talked about and Moses talked about, is really dealing with how governments need to respond.

In our relationships with each other, we need to learn to forgive, and when we remember how much God has forgiven us, makes it a little easier.

We have a free offer that talks about what that price of forgiveness was, how you can receive it and pass it on.

Jëan Ross: The book that we have to give you for free, if you call our resource line, is entitled The High Cost of the Cross. We’ll send that to anyone who calls and ask. The number for our resource line is (800)-832-6747.

Again, you can ask for the book called The High Cost of the Cross. That’s (800)-835-6747.

We’re going to go to the phone lines now. We have Anne who is listening in New York. Anne, welcome to the program.

Anne: Hi! I am so happy you’re taking my call. I’d like to ask you a question about the 144,000 – I want to know who they are and are they going to be translated without dying on earth? And also, do they have to be vegetarian?

Doug Batchelor: [laughs] OK. Well, first part the 144,000 and by the way Anne, I have a book we’ll send you. I’ll answer your question quickly, but we have a book that we’ve written called “Who are the 144,000?” It’s an easy, quick read but it covers all the scriptures and anyone who has a question about this, we’d be delighted to send that to you.

The key is in the number itself. You had the 12 apostles that followed Jesus during His first coming. They helped prepare people to receive Him during His first coming. Before Christ’s second coming, He has 12 times 12,000.

When Jesus came the first time, He sent the apostles to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. That’s where they initially went. But with the 144,000 they are going not just to Israel but they’re going to the whole world – that’s why there’s 12 times 12,000.

The Bible tells us that these people have a lot of the same characteristics. It says that they are undefiled, meaning that they’ve been transformed by the power. They are born again. They are representatives. Through the preaching of the 144,000, we have a great multitude that is converted.

I think there’s a lot in the Bible. One of the most interesting things to me is in the name. Let me just share this with you. The list of the names of the 12 tribes, I don’t think that the 144,000 are literally Jews because it’s listing names of tribes that don’t even exist anymore. Before Jesus was born, a number of these tribes were conquered by the Syrians. They intermarried and disappeared.

So when it says 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh, Naphtali, Asher. There weren’t 12,000 of them in Israel in Jesus day. So it’s a spiritual meaning. The Bible talks about “spiritual Israel” and I believe in literal Israel. I think their prophecy is about literal Israel but Paul is pretty clear that if you are in Christ then you are Abraham’s seed.

This is the only list in the Bible where the tribes are given in this order. Reuben is the first born. Normally, he would be mentioned first. But it says, “Reuben 12,000, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin.

Dan is left out and so is Ephraim. It’s an interesting list. Joseph is included. So it’s a unique list you don’t find anywhere else in the Bible. If you take the names of the tribes and line them up, for instance, the name Judah means “I will praise the Lord.” Reuben means “He has looked on me.” Gad means “Given good fortune.” Asher means “Happy am I.”

If you line up these names and read what it says, here’s the statement – “I will praise the Lord, for He has looked on me and given good fortune. I am happy because my wrestling God is making me to forget. God hears me and has joined me. He has purchased me a dwelling and will add to me the Son of His right hand.”

The whole story of redemption is wrapped up in the names of the 144,000. But they are very real people and they are going to be living godly lives. It says they are not defiled with women, meaning they are not defiled with the false teachings of that woman in Revelation Chapter 17 and her daughters, but is part of the true bride.

Send for the book, we’ll send you a free copy of Who Are the 144,000?

Jëan Ross: The number to call is (800) 835-6747. That is the resource line. You can ask for the book Who will sing the song of 144,000? Or, if you can’t remember all of that, just ask for the book on “The 144,000.”

Again, that’s (800)-835-6747. That is the resource line, and if you have a Bible question, the number here to the studio is (800)-463-7297.

Our next caller is Chantal and Chantal is listening in Oregon. Chantal, welcome to the program.

Chantal: Hi. Thank you and good evening.

Jëan Ross: Evening.

Chantal: I am calling about something that Pastor Doug has said a few times in his sermons, about when we get to heaven, our questions will be answered about why this happened or how this happened, and all those kind of mysteries. So I am wondering if there’s a Bible text that speaks of the Book of Life, is that the closest Bible text that could possibly refer to that or is there anything else?

Doug Batchelor: The Lord has a record of everything we do because in the judgment it says, “The books are opened and every man is rewarded according to his works.” So there is a book of records spoken of there in Revelation. When it talks about people’s works are somehow recorded, good and bad, and the book of life is a book where our names are entered when we accept Jesus, because we’re saved by…it’s interesting, we’re saved by grace but it says every man is judged according to his works, because your works show, whether or not you have received grace. You know what I am saying?

Chantal: Yes.

Doug Batchelor: There’s another verse where Isaiah says, “The painful memories will not come into mind or be thought of,” and so eventually, as eternity runs by, we’re not going to be dwelling upon the mysteries or problems of this life; we’re going to be so absorbed in and filled with the glory of the new world that these former things won’t even be thought of.

Jëan Ross: I have another verse with reference to the kingdom of heaven and Jesus said in Matthew 10:26, “Therefore, do not fear them for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be made known.”

So here, specifically Jesus is talking about the acts of the wicked, but I think the questions that we might have are “Lord, why did you allow this to happen?” Or “This didn’t seem to make sense at the time.” It will be revealed. We will see God’s hand of love, even through the difficult situations that we face.

Doug Batchelor: We have a book we can send you Chantal, that’s called Facing theJudge and it really talks a little bit about the judgment, some of these other mysteries, and if you don’t have that, we’ll be happy to send you a free copy.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is 800-835-6747 and the book is called Facing the Judge. Just call and ask for that – 800-835-6747. We have Michael who is listening in Colorado. Michael, you’re on the air.

Michael: Yes sir! Thank you for taking my call.

Doug Batchelor: And how can we help?

Michael: My question is on Judges Chapter 19. It seems pretty brutal to me and I don’t quite understand why they did what they did to the concubine?

Doug Batchelor: Just for our friends who are listening, this is a very disturbing story. The Bible doesn’t pull any punches; it gives the history – good and bad, and that’s why we believe it’s a true book because it tells some things that happened. It doesn’t paint anyone in the glorious light but it was accurate.

This really happened. There was a man of Ephraim whose wife wasn’t faithful. She ran home to her father in Bethlehem. He went to retrieve her because he loved her and he was willing to forgive her. He was delayed along the way.

On the way home they couldn’t make it home before sun down. They decided to just stay with somebody. Someone took them in from the tribe of Benjamin. I think it was the town of Gibeah.

The people of the town broke in and she was abused so badly that she died. This man then when he got home, he took his wife’s body and he sent the 12 parts of her body to the 12 tribes and said, “Look, you need to come and we need to visit judgment on the people of this town for doing such a thing.”

This is before they had a king. So they had to kind of rally. Now, are you wondering why is this there or why did they treat her that way?

Michael: Well, actually you’ve already kind of helped me out in the fact that I didn’t realize from reading the story that when he found her on his threshold that she was already passed on.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, he made to the…

Michael: (unintelligible) chop her up?

Doug Batchelor: Oh, no.

Michael: And I was thinking they were just doing it out of spite because they used her to save their own butt and then sent her out to be used and abused and then when she came back, used and abused her.

Doug Batchelor: When he went, they opened the door and she had died at the threshold. There’s a very strong spiritual analogy or symbolism in this story. The Bible tells us that the wife, the bride or the church rather is like the bride of Christ. She has been unfaithful. He came to this world to a town called Bethlehem to forgive and reclaim her, and she was willing to go home with him. But on the way home, she was attacked by the world.

You can read in Revelation why the bride of Christ is viciously attacked and she has to flee for her life. There’s a lot of analogies here, and then there’s a great judgment day in the story in Judges and there’s a great judgment day because of what the world has done to God’s people.

So there’s some very powerful analogies in the story of Judges. It’s a true story but there’s also a spiritual lesson there.

Jëan Ross: You also read the next chapter that tells you the result of what happened. The Israelites were just really indignant. One of the tribes, Benjamin, who would do such a thing and half of those who did this, and as a result, there was actually a civil war, you can read on, that broke out between the rest of the tribes and the tribe of Benjamin and several thousands of people were killed in that battle, in that war, as a result of this.

It was a very serious thing and I think that’s probably why we also have it listed in scripture to reveal how deprived a human being can actually become and are hardened if they take their heart off Christ.

Doug Batchelor: Absolutely, and Benjamin was decimated. It used to be one of the biggest tribes and then after this experience, it became one of the smallest. But hope that helps a little bit Michael. It is a different story.

Michael: It does very much.

Doug Batchelor: Glad you called in. Thank you for your call.

Michael: Well, thank you.

Doug Batchelor: God Bless.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Hermine from New York, listening in Manhattan. Hermine, welcome to the program.

Hermine: Good evening. I would like to know in Isaiah 66 in the last three verses. If we are going to be hidden, why should we experience then such horrible things?

Doug Batchelor: All right, let me read this for our friends that are watching. It says here, “And it shall come to pass that from one new moon to another and one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me,” says the Lord, “And they will go forward and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me, for their worm shall not die and neither shall their fire be quenched, and they will be abhorring unto all flesh.”

It’s not telling us that through eternity the people are going to go for a stroll outside in New Jerusalem and watch the wicked burning. There is a period of time after the one thousand years, after the great judgment day, when it says that the wicked, describes them as Gog and Magog, may surround the city of God and try to take the city and ultimately they are judged. Fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them.

It says in Malachi chapter 4, “You shall go forth and tread upon the wicked, for they are ashes under the souls of your feet.” Then God of course creates a new heaven and a new earth.

Now, the word “fire not be quenched” – people think that means that the fire just continues to burn. In the Old Testament they used that term to say nobody will be able to extinguish it. So the wicked will be burnt up, and it says “their fire will not be quenched.”

Jesus uses the same word when he says, “Their worm will not die.” Christ quotes that in Mark…I think He is talking about Gehenna and He refers to that same verse in Mark 9:44, “Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” Christ is quoting back to Isaiah 66. I don’t know if Pastor Ross has anything to add to that.

Jëan Ross: Just the idea, as you refer to what Jesus spoke about Gehenna. It was sort of the city dump and they would throw trash and they would throw the carcasses of animals and they would have these fires burning almost all the time to try and take care of the refuge and that there were worms and it was a bad place to be.

That becomes sort of a symbol of utter destruction and complete hopelessness, and the wicked at the end of one thousand years, they mount this attack upon the New Jerusalem and they are completely destroyed, although every man is punished according to his works, so not everyone gets the exact same punishment in that final day of destruction.

Doug Batchelor: We do have a lesson that talks about this, we’ll be happy to send you, and it’s dealing with Is the Devil in Charge of Hell? It’s kind of the final punishment of the wicked.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is (800)-835-6747. You can ask for the study guide Is the Devil in Charge of Hell? Just a number of important Bible verses related to that.

If you have a Bible question, the number here to the studio is (800)-463-7297. Again, it’s (800)-463-7297. We have Steve who is listening in South Dakota. Steve, welcome to the program.

Steve: Thanks for taking my call. I really enjoy you guys.

Jëan Ross: Thank you.

Steve: I like the way your callers are like Joseph from New York and Mark from Knoxville.

Doug Batchelor: You’re like old friends.

Steve: Oh yeah, and that guy that little guy that always calls and tries [???] big name and so trying to discount the devil, like he’s not real or something, but anyway I was wondering what is the purpose after the thousand year reign after the first coming, why did the Lord free the devil for a short time?

Doug Batchelor: Good question! Keep in mind, and here’s my answer, and by the way friends, this is in Revelation 10. It says the devil is bound in this bottomless pit, and then you look at verse 7 it says, “When the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.”

Why would the Lord let the devil loose? Why not just destroy him? Satan, Lucifer was the highest of God’s creation. In other words, God is everlasting, and as soon as you go one step below God, who is self-existent, you’ve got the creation.

Lucifer was the highest of the creation. He was the leader of the ministry and spirits of God and the greatest of the angels. He was loved and adored by all the angels before he rebelled. Before he is destroyed, God wants to demonstrate he has no choice because even after Lucifer has a thousand years to look at the result of his destruction and consider what all of his bad behavior has caused, instead of repenting, he goes right back to work trying to rally forces against God.

So God is showing “I have no choice”, even destroying the devil and throwing him in that lake of fire is an act of love because if Lucifer can’t change, he has got no redeemable qualities left. He cannot repent.

So God is showing that even Lucifer and all the others who are willing to follow him in attacking God, they wouldn’t change. He has no choice.

Steve: Does that mean that he’s gonna tempt us too?

Doug Batchelor: Well, not the ones who are in the city. It’s sort of out of his reach. Once we’re resurrected, we’ll never be tempted again. If we die saved, it says then we shall ever be with the Lord, and that’s 1 Thessalonians chapter 4.

Jëan Ross: A couple of sequence of events – you have the second coming of Christ and then the wicked are destroyed with the brightness of Christ’s coming. The righteous are taken to heaven with Jesus. The devil and his angels are bound on this broken planet for a thousand years, but at the end of the thousand years, Revelation 21 says, “The New Jerusalem comes from God out of heaven. The redeemed are in the city. Christ is there.”

At that time Jesus sets His foot up on the Mount of Olives, which opens up and forms a great valley, then all the wicked are resurrected for the final judgment.

Revelation 20 speaks of the great white throne judgment. At the conclusion of that judgment, the prophecy is fulfilled that every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord. This is not a confession out of repentance. It’s just the fact they are overwhelmed by the evidence and they say, “Well, you’re right Lord. You are all right.”

But then Satan, after every knee bows and even Satan himself confesses that Christ is Lord, but then he goes out and he tells the wicked, he deceives the wicked into thinking that … perhaps he tells them I am the one who resurrected you. Look at our numbers. If we unite, we can take the city of gold.

So somehow, Satan is able to deceive this vast throng of people and they mount an attack upon New Jerusalem. That’s when the fire comes and devours them.

Doug Batchelor: See, we do have, if you’ve not read it but chances are, if you’ve been listening for a while you know it’s been available online or for free, we’ll be happy to send you the study guide on 1,000 Years of Peace.

Jëan Ross: That’s right. The number to call is 800-835-6747. That again is our resource line and you can ask for the study guide, 1000 Years of Peace, and it’s on Revelation Chapter 20.

Doug Batchelor: And you can also read that online if you want to go there. You can read the study guides at our website bibleuniverse.com.

Jëan Ross: We have Robert who is listening in Florida. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Thank you. How are you doing?

Jëan Ross: Doing great, and your question tonight?

Robert: Yeah, it’s simple. Can you explain Matthew 5:32? It’s repeated in Matthew 10:11-12.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, let me read this. It says, “I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason, except sexual immorality,” … in King James it’s “fornication”, “Causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a woman who is divorced, commits adultery.”

Its saying that divorce of course was never part of God’s plan and if a person divorces without Biblical grounds, and usually he’s divorcing so he can marry someone else, it’s kind of like trying to have judicial adultery. In other words, get a license.

Just because you get married, if you just bounce from person-to-person and call it marriage, it really becomes something else after a while. You’re putting your spouse in the position where they’re going to end up going into someone else's arms and you’re sort of pushing them into a kind of adultery.

God intends that there should be one man, one woman. Only grounds for remarriage are, if your spouse dies. That’s why they used to say in the wedding “till death do you part” or if there’s marital infidelity.

That’s where Jesus says ‘saving for fornication’ or immorality. But people saying that “I don’t like the way she cooks” or “he snores too loud, I am going to go get another husband” and people get divorced for all kinds of what they call “irreconcilable differences”.

Marriage is a big commitment that Lord wants us to take seriously and stick it out.

Jëan Ross: We have a book dealing with this subject called Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage and this is addressed in the book. We’ll be happy to send that to you Robert, or anyone wanting to learn more about this important subject. The number is 800-835-6747.

You can ask for Pastor Doug’s book on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage.

Doug Batchelor: Pastor Ross, before we go to our break, we thought we should probably take a moment and tell people about something very significant that’s happening right now. I think just about everybody knows that in the recent months in the last few years, Hollywood has taken a unique interest in producing movies. There was a recent movie about Noah that got a lot of press. It wasn’t very accurate to the Bible. I have not seen it but I think most of us have seen trailers and heard the previews and it sounds like it was pretty far-fetched.

There was a movie called “Son of God” on the life of Jesus, and now a recent movie has come out, called “Heaven is for Real” and it’s based upon the experience of a young boy that ostensibly died on the operating table, and then was taken to heaven and saw all kinds of things and talked to people who had died, including his miscarried baby sister and a grandma, a grandpa and so forth, and came back and had all this communication and information from the dead.

What should be the Christian approach about these out-of-body experiences or near-death experiences? Are we to view them as credible?

We have a website that’s supposed to give you information on this that will be a blessing. It’s called isheavenforreal.com. Take a look at that. There’s a lesson that I have on the subject – isheavenforreal.com.

You’re listening to Bible Answers Live.

Jëan Ross: Pastor Doug, we’re coming for a break in just a moment but some of the things that people will find at that website isheavenforreal.com, there is a video that you recently did, dealing with this subject of what happens when a person dies? Can the dead communicate with the living? It’s a very important message because the devil, in the last stage, is going to try and deceive.

One of the ways that he is going to try and deceive is by having the dead communicate with the living, or so called “communicate with the living.”

Doug Batchelor: The Bible talks about there’ll be spirits of devils working miracles and there’s about a dozen, 11 or 12 resurrections in the Bible. It should be interesting that none of the people resurrected in the Bible ever made a single comment on an experience while dead or someone that they talked to in heaven. The only time you’ve got heavenly people talking to anyone on earth is when Moses and Elijah spoke to Jesus. Yeah, they didn’t speak to peers James and John, and so we got to be careful.

Also a book you’ll find at that website called “Final Mystery – The Truth About Death Revealed”. Now don’t go away. We’re going to be taking a brief break and coming back with more Bible Questions. Hey, lines are open. Give us a call.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Doug Batchelor: We’re back and if you have a Bible question, we do have a couple of lines open. The number is (800)-835-6747. That’s 800-GOD-SAYS and that will bring you into the Bible Answer Live studios for your Bible questions. My name is Doug Batchelor.

Jëan Ross: My name is Jëan Ross and we’re going to go to the phone lines. We have Art who is listening in Michigan. Art, welcome to the program.

Art: Good to hear your voice.

Doug Batchelor: Likewise, and your question tonight?

Art: You know the Bible talks about the dragon and I’m wondering was that an actual living animal or a dinosaur or something like that … and then I want to know if in fact it did exist, what period of time compared to the time of Christ did it exist? Which if you talk about Job about Leviathon about the dragon, is it an actual breathing big massive thing that actually physically existed?

Doug Batchelor: All right, well that’s a good question. If you do a little research in history, virtually every ancient culture has some kind of art work or legend revolving around these winged serpents. It is interesting that they found prehistoric fossils. I don’t think that they are dated with the same ages as the paleontologist of flying pterodactyls and these large flying reptiles. Some say well that’s where the legends come from, but in the Bible, it tells us that this serpent that tempted Eve was cursed so that he would now have to go on the ground.

That leads you to believe before the serpent was cursed, he didn’t go on the ground. Another interesting fact, we did an amazing fact here at the studio, they found bones of a serpent in South America in a cave. They call it Titanoboa and it was the snake that was 50 feet long and about four feet around. It was just massive.

So before the flood, there were a lot of creatures that were much bigger. These flying reptiles of any variety, became a symbol of the devil because it was through a serpent or a dragon that the devil first tempted Eve, and that’s why when you go to Revelation 12, it tells you in verse 16 that, it calls him that dragon, that old devil, and I think it’s verse 9 actually. It says, “And that great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil, and Satan.”

So there you got it – dragon, serpent, devil, Satan. Serpents are not devils. I know some people feel that way but they’re reptiles. They’re just dumb animals but it was the medium through which the devil first communicated with man and so it remained the symbol, all the way from Genesis to Revelation, of the enemy.

And they’re cold blooded so there’s some symbolism there. But hey, hope that helps a little bit. Art, you’d like our new DVD we did on Revelation called “The Bride, The Beast & Babylon.” We’ve got a seven-headed serpent that we recreated in that. The woman sits on a dragon in Revelation 17, and so take a look at that and see what you think.

Jëan Ross: Thank you for your call Art. Our next caller is Robert and he is listening in New Jersey. Robert, welcome to the program.

Robert: Hi Pastors Doug and John. Thanks very much. My question is that the Bible says that God is not the author of confusion. I think that might be in Genesis, but also He said that He scattered the people with the Tower of Babel to create confusion. Now how would I answer if someone would ask about a question like that, I mean it seems to contradict itself.

Doug Batchelor: Yes, you’re right. It says, I think it’s 1 Corinthians 14 where God says that He is not the author of confusion. Paul was writing to the churches where they were speaking in tongues and everybody was babbling in different languages they couldn’t understand and there were no translators.

God says, “Look, that’s not how you do things. Do things in order. God is not the author of confusion.” But what happened at the Tower of Babel was … it was really a judgment and so yes, God did confuse. There are times in the Bible where God confused or “confounded” is a word that’s used, the enemies. Many times like when the battle of Gideon, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East got confused in the battle when the trumpets were blowing and the lights were flashing, and they all ended up turning on each other.

God allowed that confusion because it was a judgment. What happened at the tower of Babel was also a judgment of God. God told them to trust Him, that He’d never flood the world again and that they were to go out and be fruitful, and they didn’t want to. They said, “Well, what if there’s another flood? We’ll build a tower. We’ll save ourselves. Let’s make a name for ourselves.” They weren’t interested in making a name for God.

So to scatter them, God confused or confounded the languages and it was a judgment. In God’s church, with His blessing, He is not the author of confusion. He is the author of truth and order but in war, sometimes a judgment would come where the enemies are confused.

Robert: OK.

Doug Batchelor: Good question. I don’t think we ever had it. That’s a good question.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Vincent and he is listening from Los Angeles. Vincent, welcome to the program.

Vincent: Hi! How are you guys doing?

Jëan Ross: Doing good, appreciate your call.

Vincent: I am going to ask you a question about the anti-Christ. Can you explain to me about him?

Doug Batchelor: The word anti-Christ, surprisingly enough, it’s not even found in Revelation. People think that you read Revelation to learn about the anti-Christ. The word “anti-Christ” is found in the letters of John and it means someone who is against the teachings or principles of Christ, and John even says, and Pastor Ross might tell me where it is, even now there are many anti-Christs.

When John wrote his letter, he said already there were many anti-Christs in his day. The devil was operating through many people and institutions that were fighting God even back in John’s day.

Jëan Ross: You’re talking about 1 John 2:18.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, but most of the time when we think of anti-Christ, we’re thinking about the main guy at the end of time who was going to be sort of the incarnation of the devil to attract worship, to be the leader of that final beast power movement. Sometimes he is referred to as the little horn power and the beast of Revelation 13, and we always think of the anti-Christ.

Now we have a lesson. It’s hard to give you a study in just a couple of minutes on the phone but we have a lesson where we will send it to you for free, and it’s called “Who is the anti-Christ” and there is a final power that is going to call many of the world together to fight against the people of God.

Vincent: I have an Amazing Facts Study Bible. Is the study guide in there?

Doug Batchelor: It is. I am not sure if it has the same title but it’s good for you, you’ve got the Amazing Facts Study Bible. If you look in the contents in the back, I think one of the lessons is just on the anti-Christ. I just don’t know if it has a title “anti-Christ” or if it’s talking about the end time villain. They may have re-titled some of them.

Jëan Ross: We will be happy to send you the lesson as well, or you can also go to the Amazing Facts website and take a look at the online resources there. You can also read the lesson right online called “Who is the anti-Christ?”

Doug Batchelor: If I were you Vincent, from those options, what I’d do is I’d send for the Amazing Fact Study Guide because there’s pictures.

Jëan Ross: I like that.

Doug Batchelor: I think there’s even pictures in the back of the new Bible – aren’t there?

Jëan Ross: Some but not as many as the ones in the…

Doug Batchelor: So lessons got some beautiful color pictures that help illustrate the Bible scriptures. You could just send for that lesson. Call our toll-free number and we’ll send you a free copy – (800)-835-6747 is the resource line. (800)-835-6747.

Jëan Ross: We have Priscilla who is listening from Minnesota. Priscilla, welcome to the program.

Priscilla: Hi!

Doug Batchelor: Hi! Welcome.

Priscilla: Good evening. My question is, I was reading Genesis and my sister and I have a really…I was real confused for a bit, does Jesus believe in the death penalty?

Doug Batchelor: All right, that’s a good question. We know that Jesus is willing to forgive but when you talk about the death penalty, Jesus is willing to forgive those who killed him, right?

Priscilla: Yeah.

Doug Batchelor: He prayed for them from the Cross. But Jesus or an individual, choosing to forgive somebody is very different from a government. Keep in mind, Moses did not dream up his laws. The laws that Moses gave Israel and one of those laws said eye-for-eye, tooth-for-tooth and life-for-life. If a person committed murder, the penalty was they were to be stoned to death if it was a deliberate murder. If it was an accidental murder, they could flee to a city of refuge – something we would call manslaughter today, and there was a way for them to be forgiven and to live, if they made it to a city of refuge, and they would protect them there from the family that might want to get vengeance.

But if a person was guilty of premeditated murder, they were to be executed, and that law that Moses shared, came from Jesus because the Bible says all things that were made were made by Him. So God the Father, doesn’t have a different law than God the Son. They’re one. They’re perfectly united.

Jëan Ross: And of course, in the Bible we have laws that relate not only to an individual’s conduct but especially in the Old Testament times, certain civil laws that governed the nation of Israel, you could just imagine what would happen if murderers were allowed to just go free without any consequence, if there’s no check set in place to control bad behavior, what a terrible state society would be in?

So we find that principle in scripture but on an individual basis, Jesus says, “Turn the other cheek. Go the extra mile and forgive your enemies.” So there is an individual responsibility but then there’s also the responsibility of the country or the society.

Doug Batchelor: Right, and I know a case where an individual, her name was Karla Faye Tucker. She was in the news but I guess it’s no secret. She was guilty of a brutal murder. Under the influence of drugs she killed somebody, and then she had a dramatic conversion to Christianity in jail in Texas, and the family of the people that were killed, were so convinced of her sincerity, they forgave her and they even appealed for her to be forgiven. The state did not choose to forgive her. She was executed - one of the few women that have been executed under the death penalty. But the family still chose to forgive her but she had to deal with the consequences of the terrible murder.

So you’ve almost got two different things you’re dealing with there – you’ve got the state, which is an un-feeling organization, and then you’ve got the individual. So yeah, I know it’s tough.

One other thought, I don’t want to complicate it but when the children of Israel were going through the wilderness and Moses gave them their laws, they did not have a portable prison. It’s kind of hard to have a portable jail that you carried from one camp site to next.

So people were dealt with severely and they might have their hand slapped or be punished or fined, and then they moved on. But they couldn’t keep people in jail for 50 years when they were going through the wilderness.

Anyway, hope that helps a little bit Priscilla and I know it’s a controversial subject these days.

Jëan Ross: We have Charles who is listening in Pennsylvania. Charles, you’re on Bible Answers Live.

Charles: Hey, hi guys, how are you?

Doug Batchelor: Better than we deserve. How are you doing?

Charles: Good. Here’s my question – when the Nephilim were created, that was from when I guess…

Doug Batchelor: Sons of God blending with the daughters of men?

Charles: Right. So that was basically fallen angels mating with human women, correct?

Doug Batchelor: Incorrect. I think it’s incorrect, and before I forget, I’ll give you a quick answer but I wrote a book on that that we’ll send you for free. It’s called “Aliens Adopted…”

Jëan Ross: Who are the sons of God?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, ‘Who Are The Sons of God? It’s Aliens Adopted or Angels – Who Are The Sons of God? When Adam and Eve had two sons, of course Cain killed Abel and then they had another son named Seth. Cain left. He took his wife, which was one of his sisters. He left. They started a whole separate civilization. They were known as the sons of men.

The sons of God are the ones who were still true to God and that was Adam, Eve, Seth and their descendants. They wanted to continue to worship God. They remained separate for hundreds of years, but then just before the time of Noah, they began to intermarry and as a result of the intermarriage, the Bible says “wickedness was great in the earth when the sons of God came unto the daughters of men.”

For instance, 1 John Chapter 3 says, “Behold what manner of love, the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called sons of God.”

Several times in the Bible it calls the saved sons and daughters of God. So it’s when the believers intermarried with the unbelievers, wickedness prevailed. Now, because their races had been separated for hundreds of years, when they came together, their children were very strong and big and it’s called genetic vitality. It’s a basic truth of genetics.

It wasn’t because of angels because Jesus said angels cannot procreate. It wasn’t because angels, fallen or otherwise, were having intimate relations with humans. There’s no place in the Bible that says that angels procreate with humans.

Charles: OK.

Doug Batchelor: I know that was a mouthful but a lot of people are taught that and it’s kind of a new theology.

Jëan Ross: Let me give you another verse on that. One day somebody came to Jesus trying to trick him and they said a woman had a husband who died, and so she married this man’s brother and he also died. So she married the next brother – all the way up to seven brothers, and they all died.

Then they said in the resurrection, whose wife will she be? Jesus responded in Matthew 22:29, “And Jesus said unto them, “You make a mistake,” not knowing the scriptures and all the power of God, “For in the resurrection they will neither marry nor give in marriage, but are like the angels of God.”

So there Jesus says that angels don’t marry. They don’t have sexual relationships. They can’t procreate.

Doug Batchelor: So it was all created. They are not born.

Jëan Ross: They’re spirits, yeah. These sons of God spoken of in Genesis, couldn’t have been fallen angels.

Charles: OK.

Doug Batchelor: Anyway, the reason that it says that children were, the Nephilim were so big. If you cross a tiger and a lion, you can do that. You get something called a liger. They are big. They are bigger than a tiger or a lion. It’s called genetic vitality because those big cats have been separated by generations. When they come together, they seem to have big offspring. A donkey and a horse shall have a mule and mules are big.

Jëan Ross: What about a zonkie? Can’t you cross a donkey and zebra and make zonkie?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, you’re funny. I think you should answer that.

Jëan Ross: …that somewhere along the line.

Doug Batchelor: Anyway, I hope that helps a little bit Charles. Please send for the free book on who are the sons of God and we will be happy to send it off to anybody that asks.

Jëan Ross: The number to call is (800)-835-6747. (800)-835-6747. You can ask for the book Who are the sons of God. Jessica is listening from Florida. Jessica, you’re on the air.

Doug Batchelor: Jessica, hi.

Jessica: Good evening. Hello.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, well you’re on.

Jessica: Yeah, I had two questions if you allow me to ask.

Doug Batchelor: Let’s take them one at a time.

Jessica: OK. Number one – when Cain and Abel came into the story, because I started reading from the beginning now so this is my first time to read the Bible but I have a lot of questions. When Cain and Abel came to the picture, was there anybody hide from them that the sisters or brother.

Doug Batchelor: Yes. In Genesis 5 when it talks about Adam, it says, “Adam lived 130 years and he had sons and daughters.” Adam not only had Cain and Abel, it just mentions they’re first born boys but when you live 900 years and you’re healthy for even half of that, you could have a whole boat load of kids, and Adam and Eve probably had a pretty big family.

They had sons and daughters and Cain probably married one of his sisters.

Jessica: Before he killed Abel?

Doug Batchelor: Right. Before he killed Abel, there were other children in the picture because they were grown up. They were making a sacrifice. Adam and Eve probably had several other children or even had a few sets of twins.

Jessica: OK. I understand now. The second one is, I have been reading about Moses, when he said to God that he might not be able to take all the stuff out of Egypt and God said, “I have put in your hands and I will harden their heart.”

Why God said, “I will harden their heart?”

Doug Batchelor: Well it’s a good question. If you read other places in Exodus, and I don’t know if Pastor Ross knows it off hand but another place it says, “Pharaoh hardened his heart.” What God didn’t do is God didn’t reached into Pharaoh’s chest or mind and say I am going to make you a stubborn hard-hearted person.” What God did is God sent a lot of circumstances and plagues, and when that happened, Pharaoh showed the hardness of heart.

So God is saying, “Look, with the events that I am going to send the Pharaoh, it’s going to harden his heart.” But Pharaoh ultimately chose to be proud and stubborn because we all have a free will. So at one place it says God hardened his heart; another place it says Pharaoh hardened his heart.

Jessica: Yeah, how come they just don’t learn “I will harden his heart”, just like God was the one who hardened the heart of Pharaoh but that Pharaoh cannot do anything about it. It’s that hard . I know God is a knowing God and how come it took…and God knows that He will send ten plagues before the Pharaoh of Egypt but I think that…I don’t know if you know it too but I think God has a message in here.

Doug Batchelor: Oh yeah, absolutely. The different plagues that came were all teaching the Israelites trust and they were also a judgment for what the Egyptians had done to the Israelites over those years.

Jëan Ross: I’ve found the verse and there’s actually several, but here’s one in Exodus 8:15, “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.”

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, Pharaoh was just stubborn like Lucifer.

Jëan Ross: I think sometimes God is referred to as hardening Pharaoh’s heart and then God was the one who sent the plagues, and Pharaoh chose to harden his heart and rebel against God, but God sort of encouraged Pharaoh to make a decision, either humble his heart or harden his heart.

So sometimes in the Old Testament, God is accounted as the one who is hardening the heart but really God is arranging circumstances, and the individual chooses how he/she wants to respond.

Doug Batchelor: That’s right. Jessica, if you’re reading through the Bible the first time, you would really enjoy the Amazing Facts Bible Study Course that is free. If you just go to bibleuniverse.com and you can download and sign up tonight, start going through the Bible Study Course. It answers a lot of these questions and it’s a lot of fun too.

Jëan Ross: Our next caller is Benedicta and Benedicta is listening from New York. Welcome to the program.

Benedicta: Well, thanks for picking my call on this show. I just want to find out what’s the meaning of the seals I see in the Book of Revelation?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, good question. In Revelation it talks about, and you can find it begins in Revelation Chapter 5. It says, “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof.”

There’s this book. It’s similar to like the book of life and only the lamb can open the book. Only Jesus, the Lamb of God, can enter our names in the Book of Life. This book tells the political history of the church from the time of John, until the second coming of Jesus. Every seal that is open, gives another phase of the history of God’s people.

Pastor Ross not too long ago did a series on Revelation in his church. I don’t know if he wants to dive in and give a quick overview of the seals?

Jëan Ross: The seals cover the same time period roughly as do the seven churches, as well as the seven trumpets. The first seal is a description of a rider on a white horse going forth to conquer. That’s the symbol of the early Christian church after about 100 AD when the truth was being spread very rapidly.

Then the next one is the red horse. It’s a symbol of persecution that came from about 100 to 300 AD, and then you move on to a black horse, which symbolizes a compromising of truth. Then a pale horse that brings you into the dark ages.

And then brings you up to the time of the reformation, and then all the way to the second coming of Christ. So it’s tracing the history of the Christian church during different events and phases that the church passed through.

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, and you would also really enjoy the Bible study guide because it delves into Revelation a little bit. I think we have time for one more call. Looks like another question on Revelation.

Jëan Ross: We’re going to go to this one here – Bob has been waiting for a while. Bob from Tennessee, welcome to the program. We have about one and half minutes.

Bob: Well, great. Real quick – I read in John 19:31 talking about the high Sabbath was special Sabbath and I was wondering if you could quickly tell me what was so special and high about it? What does that mean?

Doug Batchelor: Yeah, every now and then of course the Jews had annual Sabbaths. Passover, feast of trumpets, feast of tabernacles, when those annual feasts came along, they called it also a Holy day or Sabbath. They would rest from their regular work to celebrate those feasts every now and then just because of the way the calendar works.

The regular weekly Sabbath, it goes all the way back to Adam and Eve, the weekly Sabbath when lineup give an annual Sabbath and the year that Jesus died, that Passover landed, the actual Passover sacrifice landed on the seventh day of the week and so they called it a high Sabbath because just as the Passover was beginning, the Sabbath was beginning and so they claimed a double blessing during those times.

Hope that helps Bob. Sorry, that’s our music that kind of chases us off the precipice of this hour. If you’re still listening, don’t change your channel friends, not until I make my final plea. Help us keep the program on the air.

If you’re blessed, just go to amazingfacts.org – you can click and donate right there online. Let us know if the program is a blessing to you. God bless, until we talk again next week.

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Culture And The Christian (PB) by Joe Crews

Culture And The Christian (PB) by Joe Crews
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