KHCB Broadcast – Pastor’s Q & A – October 19, 2023• Dr. Andy Woods • October 19, 2023 • KHCB Radio
KHCB Q & A – 10-19-2023.mp3
Announcer: [00:00:12] Good evening. Time is coming up on 9:30 Central Time, and we welcome you to another Question and Answers program, a program where you can call us with your questions about the Bible, a Scripture, or the Christian way of life and our guests will answer that question for you. Live on the air. Tonight’s guest is Dr. Andy Woods, Senior Pastor at the Sugar Land Bible Church. The church website is SLBC.org. Dr. Woods is also president of the Chafer Theological Seminary. That website is www.chafer.edu. Sugar Land Bible Church is located at 401 Matlage Way in Sugar Land, Texas. Dr. Woods is also joined tonight by Dr. Jim McGowan, Associate Pastor at Sugar Land Bible Church. Pastor Woods has authored and contributed to many Christian books and theological journals, and speaks on a variety of topics at Christian conferences and churches. His websites are Andy Woods Ministries and Andy Woods Bible Study. You can also find him on Pastors Point of View on YouTube and Rumble. This week’s current updates have been Prophecy Update and “Who really cares about male headship?”. That was updated yesterday and also it’s got an update on Israel that was recently updated, and you can find new content two times a week on that website. Also, I’d like to announce the annual prophecy conference that’ll take place in February 23rd, 2024. Guest speakers will be Olivier Melnick, Russ Miller, Dr. David Reagan, and, of course, Dr. Andy Woods. You can get more information at SLBC.org. On the Question and Answers program, if you’re calling from inside the Houston listening area, you can dial (832) 922-4444. That’s (832) 922-4444. If you’re calling from around the KHCB network outside of the Houston area, you can dial (877) 999-5422. That’s (877) 999-5422. Or if you’d rather email your question, you can send it to Questions@KHCB.org. And it will appear on our computer screen here in the studio, and we’ll forward it to our guests. We ask that you not mention any denominations or personal names, because our aim is to answer questions relating to the Bible. And now to get us started, here are our pastors, Dr. Andy Woods and Dr. Jim McGowan.
Pastor Jim: [00:04:02] Welcome once again listening, friends, and thank you so very much for tuning in to the program this evening. As always, we have wonderful, wonderful news. And that is that God has answers just for you. And in order to find those answers, we will of course be going to God’s Holy Word, the Bible, which is the only inspired, authoritative Revelation of everlasting truth and is the one and only divine source for all things pertaining to godly living. So we’re excited and we hope that you’re excited also to see what God has in store for us during the next hour. And we’ll be going to the phones shortly. But let me remind you of our three very important guidelines, if I may. First of all, please remember that we need you to turn your volume down. If you’re waiting to come on the air, go ahead and turn your volume down. That will prevent feedback and difficulties hearing. We appreciate that. And secondly, please remember to keep your on air time to one question only if you would be so kind. We recognize that many people have many issues they want to address, but please keep in mind that other folks are also waiting to get a line in, and so we appreciate you remembering them. And then finally, please remember to go ahead. Once you’ve shared your question, go ahead and hang up and listen for the answers. And again, as we said, that helps us out tremendously because that frees up lines for other callers who are trying to get in to ask their questions. So thank you so much for your cooperation and participation in the program this evening. And we’re very excited about what God is going to do as I said. I think we’ll go to our email box first. Pastor, I have one here. It says this this individual writes in and says, “What does the Bible say on interracial or interculture and many books in the Old Testament relate to this topic. Looking to get a little more clarification how to use and relate to my current life?”
Pastor Andy: [00:06:05] All right, um, can you hear me? Okay. I’m not hearing myself through my earphones. There we go. Okay. What does the Bible say about interracial or interculture? You know, I guess I had misread this email. I thought it was about interracial marriage, but in hindsight, I’m not seeing the word marriage there.
Pastor Jim: [00:06:37] But I think it would still.
Pastor Andy: [00:06:39] Still work.
Pastor Jim: [00:06:39] It would still be relative.
Pastor Andy: [00:06:41] Okay. And for some reason I’m not hearing Jim through my earphones. I can hear myself fine, but I can’t hear Jim. All right. What does the Bible say about interracial marriage? Well, the first thing to understand is the Bible doesn’t support the idea that there are races because there’s only one race, the human race. And Acts 17, verse 26 says, we are all descendants from one man, Adam. So when you marry someone of a different skin color, I think we should get out of our minds that those are two races coming together because there’s only one race, the human race. And beyond that, if you’re marrying a Christian, which you should be, Galatians 3:28 says, within the body of Christ there’s neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. So given those principles, I don’t see any problem with marrying someone of a different skin color than you. We actually have examples of that in the Bible. Moses married a Cushite woman, Numbers 12, verse 1. And we know from the book of Ezekiel, chapter 38 and verse 5 that the Cushites would be Ethiopian, right? So that would be a Hebrew and an Ethiopian marrying. We also have the example of Timothy’s parents. One was Greek, one was Jewish. Acts 16, verse 1. And the Bible never condemns that. So I’m not really seeing a problem with what people today are calling, you know, interracial dating or interracial marriage. I don’t see any Biblical problem with it whatsoever.
Pastor Jim: [00:08:32] Amen. All right. Well, I hope that that answered the individual’s questions sufficiently. If not, write us again and we’ll do our best next time. And let me just take a moment to pause and give out the phone numbers. Once again, I noticed that we do not at this point have any one waiting. So if you would like to call in and give us your question on the air, please do so calling. If you’re in the local Houston area, you can call 832-922-4444. Again, that’s 832-922-4444. If you’re outside the local area, you can call toll free at 877-999-5422. Again 877- 999-5422. And of course, if you would prefer to send your question in by email, you can also do that and they’ll make sure we get it. You just send it to Questions@KHCB.org. And lo and behold all I just needed to give the phone numbers out again. Pastor we have someone waiting. So let’s go to the phones. Thank you so much for calling the program this evening. What is your Bible question for Doctor Woods?
Pastor Jim: [00:09:51] Hello? Hello. I know you’re there. Hello, caller.
Caller: [00:09:57] Hello.
Pastor Jim: [00:09:57] Hey. I think we finally got you. Thanks for waiting.
Caller: [00:10:02] Yeah. Are you talking to me?
Pastor Jim: [00:10:04] Yes, we’re talking to you. What’s your Bible question?
Caller: [00:10:07] Okay. Praise the Lord, brother. God bless you all. There is a discrepancy of different opinions concerning the Two Witnesses. One side says Moses and Elijah because of the transfiguration. Another side says Enoch and Elijah because neither one of them have died. Right? And I’m a minister. And we were talking the other night, and we’ve been talking on TV programs and different meetings. And after talking with a pastor, a fellow, a colleague, he dawned upon me that if Moses and I want your opinion for real, because it’s not such a big deal, but it’s kind of, you know, interesting. It dawned upon me, brothers and brethren, that if Moses would be the other witness besides Elijah, that would mean that Moses would die twice, the first time at the end of Deuteronomy, that we know that he died and the Lord buried him. And then the second time he would die as a as the witness, right, as one of the two witnesses. And that would be like a biblical impossibility from my understanding, because nobody can die two times. So I just wanted to share that with you, you know, and just get your opinion. I’m sure that you’ve thought about everything that I’ve stated, but it dawned upon me, and then I shared it with some brothers and I said, hey, that means that Moses would have to die twice. And that’s like, definitely against, you know, Hebrews 9:27 or, or against any kind of concept of Biblical that somebody could die twice, you know? So I wanted to run that by you.
Pastor Jim: [00:11:47] Well, I truly appreciate you calling the program, and we just love it when we get a good question to kick the program off. So thank you. If you’d like to hang up, we’ll do our best to provide a good, solid Bible answer for you. Pastor, this is a question that we encounter from time to time. What would be your response to this?
Pastor Andy: [00:12:03] Well, let’s talk about Enoch first. I mean, that was a view that was pretty common in the early church. And of course, he’s talking about the two witnesses there in Revelation chapter 11, really about verses 3 through, oh 3 through 13. Right in there. I don’t think one of those witnesses is Enoch, even though Enoch never died, the primary reason is Enoch was a Gentile and not a Jew. The story of Enoch takes place in Genesis 5, and the nation of Israel wouldn’t even exist until the calling of Abraham in Genesis 12. And you have to understand that the point of the Tribulation is to bring salvation to the Jewish nation. Correct? Jeremiah 30, verse seven talks about the Jewish emphasis of the Tribulation period, as does Daniel chapter 9 verse 24. It’s a time period, seven years yet future that concerns Daniel’s people and Daniel’s city, which would be Israel and the city of Jerusalem. So I don’t think Enoch would qualify because he wasn’t Jewish. I do agree that one of them is Elijah. You have a prophecy there in Malachi 4 about Elijah returning in the last days. And so there has to be some kind of fulfillment of that.
Pastor Andy: [00:13:32] And by the way, one of the Two Witnesses shuts up the heavens so that it can’t rain for three and a half years. That’s exactly what Elijah did. And the other one turns the water to blood, which would be Moses. So I think the other witness was the other witness will be Moses. And I agree with what the caller said, that when Jesus transfigured himself, Moses and Elijah were there with him. And so the two make guest appearances when the kingdom is imminent, as we see here in the book of Revelation. So one of the problems is, well, if a man can only die once, wouldn’t that mean you know that Moses who died, would have to die again? Because he did die. And this particular witness was martyred. Well, I would say this, that the principle Hebrews chapter 9, verse 27, it’s appointed for a man once to die, then to face the judgment. I would say that that’s not an ironclad, you know, 100% rule. I think it’s just a generic general principle. But there are exceptions. For example, I’m thinking of Lazarus, who, you know, Jesus brought back from the dead.
Pastor Jim: [00:14:53] The widow’s son.
Pastor Andy: [00:14:54] Yes. Yes. And you know, Lazarus did die. That’s why he was brought back from the dead. And presumably because he wasn’t yet in a resurrected body. He died a second time. So Hebrews 9:27 is a general rule, but there are exceptions. And one of the exceptions would be Moses. It is interesting that when you go to the book of Jude, I believe it’s verse 9, you have Satan disputing with Michael concerning the body of Moses. And I often wonder, why were they arguing about the body of Moses? Well, maybe because Moses is going to need his body again, albeit Revelation chapter 11. So I think when you put all the data together, I’m fairly confident that the Two Witnesses will be Moses and Elijah, the two prophets that showed up with Jesus when he transfigured himself in Matthew chapter 17. So I hope that helps.
Pastor Jim: [00:15:48] Yeah. And this is an in-house debate, of course, and we wouldn’t start a church based on this doctrine, but that’s the viewpoint that we would take. And again, thank you so very much for calling the program. We do truly appreciate it. And let’s go back to the phones. Thank you for waiting. What is your Bible question for Dr. Woods this evening?
Caller: [00:16:06] Hello? Can you hear me?
Pastor Jim: [00:16:07] I can hear you.
Caller: [00:16:10] Okay. Yeah. Real quick, just about Jezebel.
Pastor Jim: [00:16:14] Okay. Go for it.
Caller: [00:16:15] Jezebel is women who are like Jezebel, are they are evil spirits, evil women that promote sexiness and like sexiness in rejecting Jesus Christ because of sexiness or Jezebel spirits. I hear women who are like Jezebel, all that Jezebel spirits. That’s my question.
Pastor Jim: [00:16:41] Okay. Thank you so very much for calling. I appreciate that so very much. Well, Jezebel in the Old Testament was a pretty crazy lady wasn’t she Pastor?
Pastor Andy: [00:16:49] Yeah, I mean, Jezebel was Phoenician. She was married to Ahab and she convinced him to murder Naboth. So, Ahab wouldn’t sulk and instead could have Naboth’s vineyard. And you know, the two of them introduced idolatry all over the northern Kingdom, which most would argue led to the Northern Kingdom’s dispersion at the hands of the Assyrians in 702 B.C.. Now, there is an interesting reference to Jezebel as Jesus is speaking to the seven churches. He talks about a woman named Jezebel in one of those churches. Now, obviously this is New Testament time, so it couldn’t be the literal Jezebel from the past. It must be someone whose character and doctrine is similar to Jezebel. So that’s probably about as close as you’re going to get in Scripture to finding a Jezebel spirit. I do find people today, you know, pointing out different wayward women and saying, you know, oh, she has the Jezebel spirit. I mean, I’m a little uncomfortable with labeling people that way, but Jesus did label a false teacher, a female false teacher in one of the churches there in Asia Minor as Jezebel. And apparently, since that wasn’t the literal Jezebel from the Old Testament, it was somebody who was sort of imitating Jezebel’s despicable character.
Pastor Jim: [00:18:25] Yes. And all you have to do is go back to the Old Testament and read up on Queen Jezebel to find out what she was doing to give you an idea of what we’re referring to. So thank you so very much for calling the program. I see that we’re still waiting for another caller, so if you’d like to call us, go ahead and do so and we’ll go back to our email box. I have another one here, Pastor, from an individual has written in and they’re questioning in relationship to 1st Corinthians 16:2 upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And the question is, what is he referring to with regards to this no gathering? Is he referring to the gathering of people to worship on the first day? Can you please elaborate? All right.
Pastor Andy: [00:19:13] Well, I think the gathering here in context is not fellowship in general, but a gathering for offerings. And we know that the Apostle Paul was taking up an offering throughout his ministry for the suffering saints in Jerusalem. And Romans 15, verse 27, Paul says, you know, we owe it to them as Jews because we’ve benefited from the Jews. You know, spiritually is it no small – you know, it’s really no wonder that we should share in them material things. So Paul always had his eyes on the suffering Christians there in the first church, Jerusalem. And that church was financially hurting for a lot of different reasons. So Paul was taking up an offering for that, that group. And what he’s saying in 1st Corinthians 16, verse 2 is basically store up for the Jerusalem saints gradually, you know, do it as the Lord has prospered. You do it on the first day of the week, so I won’t have to take one big offering when I get there. It’s basically what his point is.
Pastor Jim: [00:20:22] Yeah, and those people were likely suffering with their own poverty and difficulties, I’m sure too. So it’s much easier to save up a little bit here and there than it is to try to get a big offering at one time, I think probably. All right. We’re still looking for callers, so let me give out those phone numbers again. If you’re in the local Houston area, you can call 832-922-4444. Again, 832-922-4444. If you’re outside the local area, you can again call toll free at 877-999-5422, 877-999-5422. You can also email your questions at Questions@KHCB.org. So I guess we’re going to clean out our mailbox tonight pastor. Here’s our next question. This person starts out and says, Happy birthday, Andy. So this is been a little bit but so happy birthday again pastor. Thank you. And then they say why is fruit not necessarily evidence of salvation?
Pastor Andy: [00:21:35] All right. Why is fruit, I guess I’m understanding fruit as kind of outer behavior of the Christian. Why is that not always or not necessarily evidence of salvation? Well the answer to that is the Bible gives one condition for salvation or justification. It’s faith alone in Christ alone. You see this taught in many different texts John chapter 3, verse 16, you’ll see it. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have eternal life”. That’s just one condition necessary to be justified. John 5 verse 24 talks about it, that if we believe we have crossed over from life to death, excuse me, death to life, and we have eternal life on one condition believing, you’ll see that in John 6:47. You’ll see it in John 6:28 and 29. Ephesians 2 verses 8 and 9 says, “we are saved by grace through faith. It is not of works lest any man should boast”. In fact, the Bible 160 times says, we’re justified by faith alone. It never says faith plus, you got to have some works on the back end. It never says that – it’s by grace. It’s a done deal. And I can show you examples in the Bible of people that were clearly justified, that really, as far as I can tell, have very little fruit, if any. One of the clearest examples that I can think of is 1st Corinthians chapter 3 and verse 15.
Pastor Andy: [00:23:26] It’s talking about a man appearing before the judgment seat of rewards. And it says, “if any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire”. It’s talking about his works burning up at the Bema Seat judgment of Christ in totality, because he lived his Christian life in the flesh. And yet clearly he’s still a believer because it says here he himself will be saved as though through fire. So that’s one example of many that I could give where someone could actually be justified, but not have any tangible, visible fruit or life change. Yeah. Now, having said that, I mean, I’m in favor of people having a tangible, visible life change. That’s how you grow as a Christian. That’s a growth issue. But if you’re not growing spiritually, you can’t undo someone’s birth just like someone that’s having developmental problems. Um, you know, in terms of their maturity, well, they’re still born. They can’t they can’t become unborn. And that’s how it works in the spiritual world. You’re either born again because you’ve trusted in Christ for salvation and received God’s free offer of forgiveness, or you’re not born again. And so you’re either a believer or you’re not. You’ve believed or you haven’t. Once you get saved, then God wants us to develop and grow. Some do, some don’t. But our, you know, works on the back end don’t prove necessarily that we’re justified before God.
Pastor Jim: [00:25:05] Yeah. And we all grow at different levels, different paces. Right? Just like in human growth, some people have big growth spurts and some people not so much. So, Amen. Great answer. All right I believe that we have someone waiting online. So let’s go back to the phones. Thank you for your patience this evening. What is your Bible question for Doctor Woods this evening?
Caller: [00:25:27] Uh, I just wanted to I had a question about what ever happened to the Garden of Eden. It was a physical place. And when they were banished from it, I know that some angels were gardening so that they couldn’t get back in. But whatever happened to it? And I’ll hang up.
Pastor Jim: [00:25:43] Thank you so much. We really appreciate the question, pastor. You know, we know from the scriptures that there was a literal, physical place called the Garden of Eden, and then we don’t really hear much about it after Adam and Eve sinned. So what are your thoughts on that?
Pastor Andy: [00:25:59] Well, I’m of the view that the Garden of Eden was probably somewhere in what we might call modern day Iraq. And the reason I think that is it mentions the Euphrates and the Tigris. And, you know, that’s the area called Shinar or Mesopotamia between the rivers or modern day Iraq. It’s true that when Adam and Eve sinned, God stationed cherubim so they could not reenter Eden and consequently eat from the Tree of Life and live forever. So if God had let him back in Eden, you know they could have conceivably lived forever in their sin nature, which would have been a disaster for them and for the human race. So God, out of grace, did not let them reenter Eden. And so humanity has never been able to get back to the garden. And of course, the flood came that covered the whole earth. And, um, I’m assuming that the Garden of Eden would be washed away, you know, at that particular point. But what’s wonderful is our focus as New Testament Christians is not so much a garden anymore, but a city. Hebrews 11 verse 10 Abraham was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God, and that city is described in Revelation 21 and 22. And quite frankly, it’s similar to the Garden of Eden in a lot of ways, that Eternal City in the last two chapters of the Bible. But there’s some also some key differences. And so the story of the Bible is from a garden to a city with a Cross in between. And so as much as we can learn lessons from the Garden of Eden, I don’t think we’re to be overly focused on getting back into it, because the New Testament focus is a future city.
Pastor Jim: [00:27:52] And as you point out, we are not actually told in the scriptures what happened to the Garden of Eden. But I agree with you that it makes a lot of sense. It’s logical to me that given the nature of the universality of the flood that destroyed everything, you know, it would have likely wiped that out if it was still there in existence. So, so thank you for that question. We like to get those thought provoking questions. And let’s go back to the phones. I see we have a couple of folks waiting. Thank you so much. Can you turn your radio down? I’m getting an echo.
Caller: [00:28:23] Yes okay. I’ve turned it down. Thank you so much.
Pastor Jim: [00:28:26] Thank you. What’s your question?
Caller: [00:28:29] Okay. This is a sort of a question having to do with 2nd Timothy 2:12, in which it says, according to the. Let me see. I don’t remember what Doctor Woods used. I think he says, I don’t know. At any rate, the King James Version says, “if we suffer, we shall also reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us”. So the question is, what kind of suffering are what? What, what must we endure in order to reign with Christ? And I mean are our every day sufferings that which he’s referring to? I don’t know. And then does reign in this verse mean reign during the Millennium? And then there’s another reference to 1st Peter 2:9 where we are a royal priesthood. But I think that’s a reference back to Exodus 19:6. But I mean, in other words, are we going to reign as with Christ? Or I mean, are we going to reign? What does that mean? Okay. I’m sorry, I hope it’s clear.
Pastor Jim: [00:29:45] That’s a great question. And I think we probably can give you a good Bible answer. Thank you so much for calling the program.
Pastor Andy: [00:29:51] Yeah. I mean, keep in mind the context of this. Timothy, Paul is writing to Timothy. Timothy, who’s the pastor at the church at Ephesus, is really thinking about quitting or shrinking back in his ministry. And Paul encourages him onward with the trustworthy saying that’s found there in 2nd Timothy chapter 2, verses 11 through 13. It says it is a trustworthy statement, if we died with him, we shall live with him. Now that’s talking about our justification. But it goes on and it says, if we endure. In other words, Timothy, if you endure in your ministry and don’t quit, if we endure with him, we shall also reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. Deny us what? Reigning? So as we persevere in what God has called each of us to do, and don’t throw in the towel when things get tough, God takes note of that. And see our salvation is not in doubt. But what is in doubt is the degree of authority that we will wield alongside Christ’s under his delegated authority in the Millennial Kingdom. So Revelation 5 verse 10 tells us that he has made us a kingdom of priests, and we will reign upon the earth. Now, when you look at the parable of the Minas, one man is given. I can’t remember five cities to rule over. Another man is given ten. Notice that they’re given differing degrees of authority based on what kind of steward they were during their earthly pilgrimage. And that’s sort of the idea that God is encouraging Paul rather. God, through Paul, is encouraging Timothy with that you need to endure in your calling so you can have the highest degree of authority. God wants to give you in the Millennial Kingdom, but then it goes on in verse 13 and it says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself”. So Timothy, even if you do quit on your ministry and throw in the towel, it’s not going to reverse your justification. That’s described in verse 11. What can be stopped is your being fully rewarded and reigning to your full potential. In the millennium, your degree of authority in the Millennium is at stake, not your salvation. And so I think that’s the point that Paul is getting at. So the application to us is whatever God has called us to do when we think about quitting, don’t do it because what’s at issue is not our justification, but our how, how big our reigning is going to be.
Pastor Jim: [00:32:43] Amen. Amen. Well, thank you again for so much for calling the program. I see we’ve reached the top of the hour. So we’re going to take a short station break, and we’ll be back momentarily with our prayer for the nation. So hang in with us and we’ll see you on the other side of the break.
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Pastor Jim: [00:33:57] All right. Well, thank you for hanging around after the break and if you’d be so kind as to find a safe place and join us in prayer, we sure appreciate that. We’re going to pray for our nation. So, shall we do that just right now? Abba, father, it’s from your providential hand that we have received our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Included in those rights is the calling you’ve placed upon us as your people to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ. Through the power and the working of your Holy Spirit, you empower us to live out our faith in the midst of the lost in order to demonstrate your light, your grace, and your saving truth in our neighborhoods, our cities, our states, and our nation, and even to the world at large. So we ask you to fortify us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty, and give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they’re threatened, and give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the inalienable rights of your church. Furthermore, we pray that you would grant your children a clear and united voice in this troubling time in our nation, so that with every trial withstood and every danger overcome for the sake of our children and our grandchildren and all who will come after us, this great land will remain one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Pastor Jim: [00:35:39] We pray also that our leaders might make godly decisions and cooperate with your divine plan, and will not only for themselves, but for all the people they serve. Please remind them, father, and help them as they enforce and formulate new laws and make legal decisions and rulings. And please move mightily on these men and women and remind and motivate and convict them of their obligation to uphold the laws, regulations and principles which they vowed before you to defend. And we consider, or I should say, as we consider, the reprehensible acts that are taking place in the land of Israel, in the name of a foreign “god”, we beseech you, father, to remind Israel’s enemies that he who keeps Israel does not slumber nor sleep, and that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the defender of Israel. Therefore, to come against Israel is to come against God. Abba, father, please manifest your great power and protection over Israel and over all her peace loving citizens, and save her from her enemies, just as you have done consists nightly throughout Israel’s history.
Pastor Jim: [00:37:00] We also pray that you would use your faithful, believing servants there in Israel and empower them and equip them to properly represent Yeshua. Use them as salt and light, so that the unbelieving might hear the gospel and place their faith and confidence in Yeshua, your one and only beloved son and the Savior of their souls. And finally, Abba Father, thank you for the opportunities you give us to serve you and for loving us so much that you do not leave us as we are, but you work within us to conform us moment by moment into the image of your dear son. Thank you for helping us to continue to grow and mature in Christ, and for the awesome truth that this present earth is not our home. As we look for that city whose builder and maker is God, and we pray these things in Jesus name, Maranatha and Amen. Thank you so much for pausing with us and praying. We do appreciate that so very much. And let’s go back to the phones we have. I see one person waiting. So thank you so much for being patient. And what is your Bible question for Dr. Woods this evening? Hello, caller.
Caller: [00:38:21] Hello? Can you hear me?
Pastor Jim: [00:38:23] Okay, I can hear you now. Yes. Go for it.
Caller: [00:38:25] Oh, okay. All right. Thank you. So my question is taken from Jeremiah 29 where the Scripture talks about the 70 years that will be that had to be completed before those taken captive were returned to the place that God had promised them. Uh, my question is, are those 70 years completed or not yet?
Pastor Jim: [00:38:56] All right. What a great question. Thank you so very much for calling. And you have called the right person. Dr. Andy Woods is an expert in prophecy. So let’s kick it over to him and see what he has to say.
Pastor Andy: [00:39:07] Well that’s interesting. The prophet Jeremiah is the only prophet that tells you. It tells us exactly how long the Babylonian captivity, which was just on the horizon for Jeremiah’s generation, would last. And he already quoted one verse, Jeremiah 29, verse 10. And it’s also found in Jeremiah chapter 25, verse 11, and that captivity started in 605 BC, and it goes all the way to about 536 BC, when the Jews returned into the homeland. Some started at 586, and it would go to the laying the foundation of the rebuilding of the Temple. 515 but either way, the 70 years is over, and one of the reasons we know that is Daniel in Daniel chapter 9, verses 2 and 3 was praying to God. He had been studying Jeremiah, who was a prophet that wrote just a little before his time, Daniel’s time. And he knew that the 70 year captivity was about to end, and he began to pray accordingly. And he knew exactly what time it was on God’s calendar, because he was a student of those two verses from Jeremiah, and knew that the 70 year captivity would last 70 years. So from Daniel’s time frame, there was only just a few years left of the 70 year captivity. And so we believe that the 70 year captivity already transpired.
Pastor Jim: [00:40:43] Yes. Amen. And if I may just add this, if you’d like an in-depth study of the book of Daniel that discusses this time period, I’d encourage you to go out to the Sugar Land Bible Church website and check out our sermon archives. And you can go find Pastor Wood’s teaching on the Book of Daniel. And I think you’ll be greatly blessed by that particular study. So I encourage you to do that. I think that would be helpful. All right. Let me give out the phone numbers again because I see we have some lines available. So if you’re in the local area you can call 832-922-4444. Again, 832-922-4444. If you’re outside the local area, you can call toll free at 877-999-5422. Again, it is 877-999-5422. You can of course email us at Questions@KHCB.org. All right pastor I have another email here. Let’s see what we can find this time around. This person says “good evening, is there a book written by you that helps explain if we go to sleep or if we go to be with Christ when we die and they would like some Bible references.”
Pastor Andy: [00:42:00] Right? Well, there’s no book written by me on that subject. If you’re interested in this subject and related subjects, I would recommend the book to you by Dr. Ron Rhodes entitled Undiscovered Country. He deals in that book with these kind of issues, but as far as Bible verses are concerned, you know, we don’t really teach or believe in soul sleep. We believe that when we die. And death, of course, is the separation of the material from the immaterial, the soul or the “psuché” from the body. You’ll see Jesus experiencing that in Matthew 27 around verses 50 and 51. This is what happened to Stephen in Acts 7, verse 59, when the Christian dies, what happens to him or her or their soul? They go directly into the presence of the Lord. And they are in a fully conscious state. And the Bible verses are second Corinthians 5:8 “Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. Philippians 1:21 through 23 Paul says, “for me to live as Christ, to die is gain. I’d much rather depart and be with Christ, which is which is much better”.
Pastor Andy: [00:43:23] And so he acknowledged that if upon death he would go directly into the presence of the Lord, which is a better place than where he was when he wrote that from a Roman prison. You also have the story of the thief on the cross. Jesus said to the penitent thief, today you will be with me. You know, with me today. That’s not soul sleep. That’s a place of consciousness. Today you will be with me in Paradise. And we know that those that are unbelievers are in a conscious state in Hades. We see that in Luke 16 verses 19 through 31. So if there’s no soul, sleep for those in Hades, why would there be soul sleep for those in Heaven? So the man you know, the rich man who died in unbelief and went into Hades, he remembered his brothers. He had send, send you know, he was talking to Abraham. He remembered Lazarus. And so he was in a fully conscious state. Now, if that’s true for unsaved people, why would it be any different for, say, people? So those are the verses that would point to.
Pastor Jim: [00:44:40] All right. Thank you, pastor. Hope that was helpful to you. Thanks for calling the program. I see we have our lines are starting to light up. So let’s go back to the phones. Thank you for waiting. What is your Bible question for Dr. Woods this evening?
Caller: [00:44:54] Yes. Can you hear me?
Pastor Jim: [00:44:55] We can hear you. Go for it.
Caller: [00:44:57] Okay, uh, a few little questions someone’s going to ask you. Well, I was hearing the program yesterday during the nighttime hours because I work at night, and I was hearing, a 740AM (radio station), A program of its called “Coast to Coast”. But anyway, the point of it is that they had a program about this man that he said that he had read the Bible. And it has different ways of communication. Dealing with the people that are unbelief and believe. And that a lot of people, they pass away. They come back like in the reincarnation.
Pastor Jim: [00:45:50] All right, well, let’s see if we can provide you a Bible answer to the issue of reincarnation. Pastor?
Pastor Andy: [00:45:56] Well, we you know, we don’t believe or teach reincarnation. We don’t think it’s Biblical. Reincarnation, of course, is the idea that depending on what you did in this life, you come back as a human being, either in a high station or a low station in life, you know, depending on the good that you did before you died. The Bible knows no such doctrine. I mean, what it says is absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. It says, Hebrews 9:27 says it’s appointed for a man to die once and then to face the judgment. A verse that we covered a little earlier in the show, and we just talked about Luke 16, verses 19 through 31, you know, of the rich man that died in unbelief. And he actually wanted to get out and tell his brothers not to come to this place. And he was told he couldn’t. So it seems to me that once you die, you enter into the fixed eternal realm. Your fate is sealed. And this, if that’s true, then there’s no possibility of a person being recycled back into this life, you know, in a different life form as reincarnation teaches.
Pastor Jim: [00:47:16] Yes. Amen. Amen. All right. Thank you for the call. And the question. Back to the phones. Thank you for waiting. What’s your Bible question for Dr. Woods this evening? Hello. Hi.
Caller: [00:47:27] Hi. In James 5, I understand it’s talking to the brothers and sisters, and I understand we don’t lose our salvation, but it talks about if one strays or errors they’re safe from. If you bring them back, they’re safe from death. What is that explaining? If we don’t lose our salvation.
Pastor Jim: [00:47:52] All right, what a wonderful question. Thank you so much, pastor. What in the world is it talking about? Saying if someone strays and they don’t come back, they they’re going to have a hard time?
Pastor Andy: [00:48:02] Yeah. She pointed out the key part of this. It says in James 5 verse 19, “my brethren”. So, “brethren”, is basically, I think, being used here as the community of the church, the saved people. Jesus said, who is my brother? Who are my sisters? Are not my mother, my father or not they the ones that do the will of my father who is in heaven? So he’s talking to believers. So he says, “my brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins”. The wages of sin is death. Now death doesn’t always mean Hell every time you see it in the Bible, You know, David sinned. He committed adultery. And what did it lead to? It led to death. Murder. It led to his unborn son, his child dying. So there are there’s a reality in Scripture of temporal death. And so if someone had got to David and turned him away from that particular sin, then Uriah the Hittite wouldn’t have died. His, the son wouldn’t have been conceived, so as to die. Dr. Ryrie, in his footnote here on these verses, says the reference is evidently to Christians, and the death is physical death, which sin may cause. And he’s got there 1st Corinthians 11, verse 30 in parentheses, which is what I would call maximum divine discipline. Where sometimes the disciplinary hand of the Lord on his children can be so severe that your life is actually, you know, cut short. It has nothing to do with going to hell. But it relates to, you know, a temporal consequence. So if you turn someone away from sin, you know, you’re averting them from temporal consequences like that.
Pastor Jim: [00:50:16] Yes. And we probably all know people have experienced with people, family members or others who profess Christ and are truly saved and they’ve gone off into sin. And if you just watch their life and watch what begins to happen and you see the repercussions and the consequences of their sinful behavior, that’s a form of death in my mind, because you don’t see the life of Christ being manifested anywhere. So anyway, thank you so very much for that call. We truly appreciate it. And what a, what a great question. Back to the phones. Thank you for waiting. What is your Bible question for Dr. Woods this evening?
Caller: [00:50:51] Yes, hello. Good evening. My gosh, you just answer the question. That’s much similar to the question I’m going to ask. So the second comment, the dead in Christ will rise first. Correct? So is that a body? A body without the soul as a rise. And then the soul will be connected to the body?
Pastor Jim: [00:51:19] I think you’ve got it.
Pastor Andy: [00:51:22] Okay. Well, maybe she could hang up and….
Pastor Jim: [00:51:26] Is there anything else you want to ask?
Pastor Andy: [00:51:27] We could try to give an answer.
Caller: [00:51:30] And I wanted to know if the Rapture will happen right after that event.
Pastor Jim: [00:51:35] Okay, great. Thank you so much for the question. We appreciate it. All right, pastor.
Pastor Andy: [00:51:40] All right. Well, this comes from 1st Thessalonians 4 verses 13 through 18, which is a description of the Rapture. He says there in verse 16, “for the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord”. So this is this is the Rapture. And he’s explaining here that when the Rapture happens, it begins with the dead in Christ. Because what had happened is when Paul left Thessalonica, some of the loved ones within the Thessalonian assembly had died. And so they wanted to know these deceased loved ones in Christ. How are they going to participate in the Rapture, which Paul had already taught them about? And he says, don’t worry about it. The resurrection program begins with them. Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. So when the Rapture happens, these people are placed in resurrected bodies first and they begin to descend. And then we who are, let’s assume this happens in our lifetime. Of course we can’t guarantee that, but we sure hope it could happen in our lifetime. Then we who are alive and on the earth at the time will be caught up, will be placed in our resurrected bodies second, and caught up off the earth. And so as we’re going up, we in the sky, in the air, join the group that is coming down. And so there’s a giant reunion in the sky. And so Paul says, that’s when you’re going to see your deceased loved ones again in Christ. And then he concludes that by saying, “therefore comfort one another with these words”. In other words, you’re going to see your deceased loved ones in Christ again at the point of the Rapture.
Pastor Jim: [00:53:48] And so at the Rapture, we’re caught up, we meet them in the air, and then we go back to heaven. Correct? All right. And this is it makes sure we’re very clear on this. This is a clear distinction between the Rapture and the Second Coming, which what would be the difference there?
Pastor Andy: [00:54:05] Well, here, his feet never touch the earth. We’re caught up to meet the Lord in the air. There’s no there’s no mention of him coming back to the earth right now at his Second Advent, which is seven years or more later at the end of the Tribulation period, his feet actually touch planet Earth, Zechariah chapter 14 and verse 4 and other passages, as his feet will touch the Mount of Olives and the Mount of Olives will split. And so you’re right. This is an event that’s very different than the Second Advent at the end of the seven year Tribulation period.
Pastor Jim: [00:54:45] Yeah. And I just wanted to get that clarification out there because she kind of used the term Second Coming and Rapture. I want to make sure it was clear in her mind also. So thank you so much. And I believe we have someone waiting on line. So let’s go back to the phones. Thank you for waiting. What’s your Bible question for Doctor Woods this evening?
Caller: [00:55:02] Yes. Good evening, my brother. Can you hear me?
Pastor Jim: [00:55:04] We sure can go for it.
Caller: [00:55:06] Outstanding. So I have a question about Genesis 12 related to the distinction between Israel and the church. Specifically, where God tells Abraham that he would bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. Now, it’s been my understanding that in God’s program, you know, there is a pretty defined distinction between Israel and the church. Earlier today I was reading a commentary on that verse, and it basically said that it’s actually speaking of the church, that those who bless the church, um, God would bless. Those who curse the church, God would curse. I was always under the impression that that was referring to Israel specifically. Can you maybe flush that out for me, please, and help you understand that?
Pastor Jim: [00:56:03] Absolutely. And first of all, let me tell you your thinking is absolutely correct. It’s talking about Israel. But I’m going to let Pastor Woods pick that up and he’ll give you a much finer answer.
Pastor Andy: [00:56:14] Well, um. The nation of Israel is what’s being dealt with here. God is forming the nation of Israel through the patriarch Abraham, and he’s giving him promises that relate to Israel. So in that verse, he says, the world is going to be blessed through you. God will bless the world through the nation of Israel. You know the Scripture, the Messiah, the coming kingdom are all inextricably linked to God’s program for the nation of Israel. The church didn’t even exist when this statement was made. The church, as Paul calls it in Ephesians chapter 3, is a “mustérion” or a mystery, a truth revealed in Ephesians in the New Testament age, never before disclosed. So if you’re reading a commentary that’s trying to throw the church in here, you’re probably reading somebody from Reformed Theological type of tradition where they don’t have to programs in their theology one for Israel and one for the church. They have sort of one people of God. And so they actually think the church started with Abraham, or some say the church started with Adam the moment he got out of Eden and had his, you know, his skin coverings put on him is the moment the church started.
Pastor Andy: [00:57:46] Now that can’t be because Jesus said in Matthew 16 verse 18, when he was on the earth, this is a good 2000 years after the time of Abraham, I will build my church. The verb is in the future tense. I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it – Matthew 16 verse 18. So when he makes that statement, he’s saying, the church didn’t exist in the Old Testament. The church didn’t even exist when Jesus was on the earth. The church is something that would come into existence beginning on the day of Pentecost. And so when you study the Bible, one of the most important rules you can learn is figure out contextually which promises go with national Israel and which ones go with the Church. And here, you know, we’re of the persuasion that this “I’ll bless those who bless you. I’ll curse those who curse you” is a promise God gave to his earthly people, the nation of Israel, not his heavenly people the Church.
Pastor Jim: [00:58:51] Amen and amen. All right. Great question. Once again I see we have another caller. So let’s go back to the phones. Thank you for waiting. What is your Bible question for Dr. Woods this evening?
Caller: [00:58:59] Hi, I would like I’ve been reading Zephaniah specifically chapter 2. Verses 4, 5 and 6. Are those is this a prophecy that has already taken place as far as Gaza and Ashkelon, or is this referring to something in the future? Seems pretty relevant when we’re hearing all these names in the news right now. So I wonder if you could tell me when this happened or is going to happen.
Pastor Jim: [00:59:33] All right. We’re going to turn over there and take a quick look. Thank you for calling. We do appreciate that. All right. Zephaniah chapter 2 verses 4 through 6. Let me see if I can get over there.
Pastor Andy: [00:59:45] I found it. That’s a short book in the Bible. It’s hard to find. Um, Zephaniah 2, 4, 5 and 6 “For Gaza will be abandoned and Ashkelon a desolation. Ashdod will be driven out at noon, Ekron will be uprooted”. And it kind of goes on like that. And I could see how people would try to tie this into modern day news. But the truth of the matter is, the prophets really didn’t see the present Church Age. The present Church Age was sort of a mystery to them. So I would argue that this is something that awaits the future Tribulation period, when God will bring judgment upon all of Israel’s enemies and the entire earth. So I would I would be sort of hesitant to tie it into the latest news cycle.
Pastor Jim: [01:00:39] Amen. All right, brother, we still have another caller waiting. All right, that’s it. Well, you know what? That works out very well because it’s time for us to say good night. So, let me just thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedules to call into the program this evening. We got wonderful questions. We hope you got wonderful answers, and we ask that you would pray for us. We pray for you, and we’ll look forward to meeting with you again next time on KHCB’s Question and Answers program. God bless and good night.