John Bradshaw - Racism, Restoration and Giant Reptiles
John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining us. This is "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. This is where we get to answer your Bible questions. If you have a Bible question that you'd like us to address, or to answer, to explain in some way, email it to us. The web address, or the email address, I'm sorry, is [email protected], [email protected] I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Eric Flickinger. Eric, thanks for being here.
Eric Flickinger: Good to be here, John. We got more questions.
John Bradshaw: Fantastic. Where do we start?
Eric Flickinger: All right. We're gonna start with a question from Rhimamah. Rhimamah's question is, "I want to serve God with all my heart and let Him have His will in my life. I also have a desire to be successful in this life. How can I find the correct balance between the two and know when or if I am letting worldly success overshadow my relationship with God"? That's...
John Bradshaw: That's a good question.
Eric Flickinger: I don't think God wants us to be failures in this life.
John Bradshaw: No.
Eric Flickinger: You know, He wants us to be successful. What does true success look like? How do we mingle success in this world with a positive relationship with God?
John Bradshaw: Yeah, some things to be kept in mind. One is that God wants you to give of your best. The parable, He gave talents. He's expecting a return on those talents. Successful people will be busy people. It's gonna be a challenge.
Eric Flickinger: Yeah.
— Even less successful people might be tremendously busy. And maybe the first thing of those three that I should have said is to pray and bring this to God and say, I want to do what's right in your sight, and I want to honor you not dishonor you. And I believe that God will guide you with that, but we're gonna take you to Deuteronomy, chapter eight. We'll pick it up in verse 11. God said, "Beware that you do not forget the Lord thy God in not keeping His commandments and His judgements and His statutes, which I command thee this day, lest when you have eaten and you are full and you've built goodly houses and dwelt therein, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, that your heart be lifted up and that you forget the Lord, your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage". So, nowhere does God say, don't be successful or don't work hard, but it is important to strike that balance. So, take it to God and pray, and, because everybody's situation is different, we can't say, here's one size that fits all.
— What would you recommend on a practical sense? God's not against success, but He does say here, be careful that you don't allow your success to make you forget me.
— Yeah, over in 1 Timothy, Paul's writing to Timothy, and he talks about money, but not necessarily money. He says the love of money. "The love of money is the root of all evil". If we start to desire wealth more than we desire God, and we start to make decision in our lives to pursue wealth that are leading us apart from God, we're, I think there's no question, we're heading in the wrong direction. Now, John, you were reading from the book of Deuteronomy just a moment ago.
— And in chapter eight, verse 18, which is just a few verses beyond where you finished, it says, "And you shall remember the Lord, your God for it is He who gives you power to get wealth". So, any wealth that we might have, we gotta remember, it's only because God gave us life and breath to have that wealth. So, we owe any wealth that we do have to Him. But if we start tracking after wealth and away from God, we're in danger.
— Yeah, fame is troublesome. Many a person has become famous and forgotten God because they get so busy with busyness that God is no longer primary. So, I would encourage you to go to the Lord, establish a solid relationship, monitor that as far as lies within you, in consultation with God. Ask God to keep you accountable and keep you honest. And when you start to see, you know, I don't love reading the Bible or prayer, I don't wanna go to the prayer meeting or church because these other things are dragging me away, bring yourself back, ask God to bring you back. He will do it. Pursue success, sure. But dedicate that success to God. Hey, so you could be a successful singer in Nashville, or you could be a successful singer for God in a religious sense. Someone's gonna say, well, you can be a successful singer in Nashville and be a Christian. Yes, but only if you're a real exception to the rule.
— It makes it more and more difficult. The more successful you become in a worldly environment, the more difficult it often is to have that genuine relationship with Christ. Maybe not impossible, but it sure is more difficult.
— Yeah, so commit your talent and your capabilities and your talents and your time to God and ask God to keep that where it ought to be. I know that's a, that we kind of went around this a little bit, but it's not easy because there are so many variables in this. Okay, next question. Ami asks, Eric, "In studying the story about David and Goliath, my seven year old son asked, 'Why were there giants back then? Did God make them? Why are giants no longer around today?'" Trust a seven year old to ask an honest and searching question.
— Great questions, and thank you, Ami, for sharing your seven year old son's question. Why were there giants back then? Well, the world was very different back in the days of Adam and Eve. So, this is pre flood, and so, the atmosphere was different. The Bible talks about the waters above the Earth and the waters below the Earth. The environment was very different. And many people believe that people who lived like Adam and Eve and so forth back in those days were indeed much taller, much bigger than we are today. And there's every reason to believe that that indeed is the case. So, David's day, David and Goliath's day, was further down than, of course, Adam and Eve. But, well before our time now. And so, over time, the stature has decreased. There were giants back then. You still see some giants today, but not quite as many.
— Yep, usually on, like, a basketball court.
— Something of that nature. You know, it wasn't that long ago, there was the gentleman, Robert Wadlow, tallest man of the world at the time. I believe he was nine feet tall, was he? Was he eight feet tall? I think there were some things that happened in his body that don't happen to everybody. Maybe some things that are a little unfortunate for him, some difficult conditions, at least. So, it's possible. There were more. I think you've answered the question very well. People believe that back in the day, folks lived a little, well, we know they lived a lot longer, grew a little bigger, and Goliath was evidently a hangover from that time. All right. Sue has a question.
— She does. Here is Sue's question. Sue asks, "Is it racist to be disgusted by a race or races of people who torture their people, live in squalor, commit infanticide and other atrocities"?
— I'll give you a straight answer, Sue. Here's the answer. Yes. That's the answer. Yes. Now, having said that, is it racist to be disgusted by behavior? No. That may even be appropriate, although you might wanna manifest more pity than disgust. Now, some things to keep in mind. Folks who live in a different culture to you, it's really sometimes hard to get your head around that. People sometimes do what they do not because they're disgusting, but because that's the way the culture rolls. And so, a little forbearance and a little tolerance, a little understanding might help. Take it from there, Eric.
— You know, we don't want to condemn an entire group of people because of the actions of some of them. It's easy to paint with broad strokes when we see a lot of people who share common characteristics, doing similar things. An example that we might take is to look back during World War II. I think most of us can probably agree that what the Nazis did was terrible. Does that mean that all Germans are bad people? I hope not, because that would mean I'm a terrible person. I was born over there. I have family over there, but we can't paint with those broad strokes. It's important to distinguish, as you mentioned, the activities from the individuals who are doing those activities. It's also important to remember Jesus. You look at what Jesus did, his example for our lives, and he said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". There were people who were treating him terribly, and yet he exercised forgiveness toward them. It's important to have a little bit of forgiveness yourself toward individuals and realize that just because somebody may be doing something different than the way you are, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's bad. In some cases, it's just different.
— Now, I don't know where Sue is writing from, but let's assume that Sue is writing from the United States. Now, Sue, imagine that you live in another country. Imagine you live in a predominantly Muslim country, and you look at the United States, and you hear that somebody took a gun into a nightclub and shot 50 people dead. And you hear that somebody took a gun to a concert and shot 50, 60, 70 people dead. And you understand that the United States is drowning in pornography. And you understand that the United States is awash in prostitution, and that there are bars open till 11, 12 at night, one, two in the morning, and there's drunkenness and immorality. How would that sound to you if you were from a country where those values were, where things were looked at differently? And I don't mean just a Muslim country, but it could be any country. You'd look at the United States and say, those Americans disgust me. You wouldn't differentiate, probably, and say, well, some of them are a little crazy, and some of them do their thing in this direction. You may just paint with a broad stroke, as Eric said before, and decide that all Americans are off their rocker or they're all nasty and disgusting people because a lot of nasty and disgusting things go on. So, you gotta be like Jesus. Love the sinner. Hate the sin. Love the sinner. Hate the sin. And learn how to navigate this thing without allowing your feelings to cause you to be prejudiced against people because of what they are, even in spite of certain associations. Good question.
— Excellent question.
— Yeah. Very practical question. Okay, I got a question for you. It's from Madison. Madison asks, "Where can I find a Bible verse that explains that God's power is greater than Satan's"?
— Well, let's hope we can find more than one, because if we're relying on only one Bible verse to show us that God's power is stronger than Satan's, we are in trouble.
— The good news is God is much more powerful than Satan, has been from the beginning, will be throughout eternity. In fact, ultimately, the devil is going to cease to be because of some of the choices that he has made. Here's a few verses. 1 John 4, in verse number 4. 1 John 4:4 says, "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world". So, if you are connected with God, you are much stronger than the devil. That's good news, because without God, the devil's much stronger than we are.
— Yeah, amen.
— But we just gotta connect ourselves with the right power, and that's the stronger power, God.
— Yeah, absolutely right. And matter of fact, wanna take you to the end of this story. It says in Ezekiel, chapter 28, speaking of Satan, "You have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your inequities, by the inequity of your traffic. Therefore, will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee. It shall devour thee, and I will bring you to ashes upon the earth and the sight of all them that behold you". The devil will ultimately be destroyed, reduced to ashes. Clearly, God is more powerful. You have another verse?
— I'm thinking of John 11, John 11:43-44, the resurrection of Lazarus.
— Amen, yeah.
— It says "Now, when He," that is Jesus, "had said these things, he cried with a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come forth!' And he who had died came out, bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, 'Loose him and let him go.'" So, if Jesus has the power over death, he's the side we wanna ally ourselves with. He's gonna be the winner in the end.
— Amen. Okay. A question that could take us an entire program to answer. We're gonna answer it in about 45 seconds. As a matter of fact, you're gonna answer it in about 45 seconds. "Who or what are the four living creatures that surround the throne of God as mentioned in the Book of Revelation"?
— All right. The four living creatures. Here's the short answer. They're likely angels. When you take a look at the description of the angels, I'll give you a few cross references. You'll find them described in Revelation 4:6-8. You can find similar descriptions in Ezekiel, 1:6-10, Ezekiel 10:12-15, Ezekiel 25:18-21 talk about the cherubim on the ark surrounding the Shakina Glory. Over and over again, you see that the angels surround the throne of God. They're the ones who worship Him and have been since they were created, will continue to.
— Hey, why take half an hour if we can get an answer like that done in what was about 30 seconds?
— There you go.
— Thank you very much. This is "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written with Eric Flickinger. I'm John Bradshaw, back with more in a moment. You know that at It Is Written, we are serious about studying the Word of God, and we encourage you to be serious as well. Well, here's what you do if you want to dig deeper into God's word. go to itiswritten.study for the It Is Written Bible study guides online. 25 in depth Bible studies that will take you through the major teachings of the Bible. You'll be blessed, and it's something you'll want to tell others about, as well. Itiswritten.study. Go further. Itiswritten.study.
— Welcome back to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written, where we take your Bible questions and find Bible answers. John, we've got another question here. This one comes from Eparama. Eparama is asking us, "Israelites call Him Yeshua, but why does the outside world call him Jesus"? What about the name of God, the name of Jesus?
— Yeah. Where I'm from, I'm called John. In Espanol, my name is Juan. If I'm in Germany, I may be Hans. Someone might decide that I'm Johan. Eparama, in Fiji, the brother's known as Sitiveni. In Australia or England or the United States, he's known as Stephen. In South Africa, he's probably gonna go by Itian. You see? Yeshua, Yehoshua, Yashua, there's a million derivations of this name. It was Hebrew back in the Bible. That's the Hebrew name. Now, today, we have a translation of that name. What I wanna encourage you and anyone else not to do is get caught up on non-issues. I've had people tell me straight, well, you can't be worshiping Him if you don't get His name right. You know, I think I see what they're getting at, but what they're really getting at is, we're gonna make something out of nothing and split hairs and argue when we don't need to.
— And often, when I come across groups that are focusing so much on the name of God or the name of Jesus, I look at the rest of what they teach, and much of what they teach is so completely out of whack with what the Bible actually teaches. Even if you did get His name right, you wonder what He's doing up there, scratching his head, saying, but what are you teaching?
— Yeah. Yeah.
— It's a mess.
— Very good point. So, I don't think either of us would like to say that it's, that the name doesn't matter, trample on it and call Him what you will. We don't think that. We expect the name's important, but not salvational. And it doesn't reach beyond translations. You'll call Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, whatever works in your language. By the way, if you look at the name of God in the Old Testament, there are multiple names for God given in the Old Testament. So, my appeal to you is, don't make a mountain out of, it's not even a mole hill. It's out of a valley or out of a plain. Translation is the answer. This should never be a divisive question, ever. All right. Question for you from Cassandra, Eric. "Luke 8. God is all knowing. Why didn't Jesus stop and look at the woman and just say, 'Your faith has healed you'"? Wow, there's a good question. "Why did he ask, 'Who touched me?' if He is all knowing"? The implication is that Jesus didn't know who touched him. I don't think that was what he was getting at.
— No, I think Jesus knew exactly who touched him. I think he knew exactly what happened and why it happened. But why did Jesus make this, why did he make an example out of this? Well, it's really what he did, is he made an example out of it. He wanted people to know what had really happened. Several different things that are going on here. One thing it's kind of like the Centurion. You may remember when Jesus was speaking with the Centurion. Jesus wanted this woman's expression of faith to be an example to others. When he saw, he knew what she had done, he wanted to draw people's attention to it. That's one reason why he may have drawn that out, and asked, "Who touched me"? Another, he may have wanted her to have the joy of knowing that he recognized what she had done. He didn't just let it go by. He took a look at her. He focused on her. He singled her out and let her know that he appreciated what she had done. Any other reasons that you can think of why he might have done that?
— Well, one thing is that Jesus didn't want her to think, well, I touched the hem of his garment. Lucky me, he's got a lucky garment on. Although I think the questioner was really asking, why didn't he turn around and say, hey, you, your faith has made me whole? Eric has really spoken to this very clearly. It was important, A, that she knew that Jesus acknowledged her touch of faith and that others understood what had gone on. Fascinating story.
— It is.
— Talks about how Jesus is in the crowd. He's getting bumped and, you know, buffeted this way and that, and then he says, "Who touched me"? Even the disciples, say, what are you talking about? They've all touched you. And you're asking who touched you? Oh, yeah. There's a difference here between a bump and a touch of faith.
— And that's what Jesus was getting at.
— That's the big difference right here.
— Yeah. Great story.
— Very good. Here's another question. This question comes from Jacky, and Jacky asked the question, "Revelation 22:2 it says, 'And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.' Why would nations need to be healed if we're told in Revelation 21:4, which is just the preceding chapter, that there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain"? So, why do we need to have these leaves of this tree for the healing of the nations? What needs to be healed?
— I'll point something out. I don't know that I'm gonna answer the question exactly right away, but, you know, when John wrote the Book of Revelation, he got, a lot of his source material was the Old Testament scriptures. And he drew on what was written in Daniel, for example. And he drew what was on what was written in Zechariah. And he borrowed a lot of stuff and brought it over. Here, when John writes in Revelation about the leaves of the tree of life being for medicine for the nations, the healing of the nations, he got that right out of Ezekiel 47:12. "And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side shall grow all trees for meat," for food, "whose leaf shall not fade. Neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed. It shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary, and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, for food, and the leaf thereof for medicine". Medicine? No sick people in heaven. Well, here, we're speaking Old Testament, but what's he getting at over there in Revelation? I just wanted to point out that connection between Revelation 22 and Ezekiel chapter 47.
— Oh, absolutely. When we get over the Book of Revelation, we're talking about being in heaven, you look at, and this kind of goes back to other questions that we've received about hating people or feeling a dislike for people because of where they're from or what they do. We're gonna have people from all different kinds of backgrounds in the kingdom of heaven, who may have been very different from one another here on Earth. It's gonna take a little bit of getting used to with one another. There's gonna be some wounds that need to be healed. So, this healing of the nations is not so much that you're wandering through the new Earth, and you stumble across some long forgotten patch of poison ivy, and now you've got a rash, and now you need to run to the tree to heal that rash. That's not what it's about, but what it is going to do is it's going to bring people together. When they come together to the tree, this is going to heal them, part of their healing process, and part of what the whole experience of heaven is all about.
— Yeah. Amen. The Greek word, therapeia. Interesting, isn't it?
— It's where we get the word therapy from.
— That's right.
— The tree of life is God's guarantee, if you like, there's gonna be health, wellness, as long as the, as you're in heaven, as long as the tree of life is there, you have no disease to fear, no sickness to fear. I'm looking forward to being there, Eric, and I know you are, as well. Next question.
— All right, next question. This one comes from Andral. Here's what it says. "In Daniel 7:10 and Revelation 20:12, does the Bible specify what those books are and how many"? So, Daniel, chapter seven and Revelation 20:12 talks about some books. What are those books? How many of them are there? What are they all about?
— Yeah, really interesting. I'm gonna turn to Daniel, chapter seven. Daniel 7:10, it says, "A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and 10,000 times 10,000 stood before Him. The judgment was set and the books were opened".
— All right, here's another verse over in the Book of Revelation, says something very similar. This is Revelation 20:12, which Andral mentioned. "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were open. And another book was open, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books". So, there are several books that the Bible talks about. One is called the Book of Remembrance, or the Book of Deeds. Everything that I have ever said, done, thought is recorded in that Book of Deeds, Book of Remembrance. These are all the good things that I've done for people, the encouraging words that I've shared, the Bible studies that I've given, helping people along the road to salvation. These are recorded in the Book of Deeds. Now, does that mean that if I have a big old thick Book of Deeds, then I make it into heaven? Well, if you base your theology on many of the jokes that one might hear about what it takes to get into heaven, one might think that, but there's probably a little bit more to it. What other books might they mean?
— Book of Life. Bible speaks about the Book of Life.
— When you name the name of Jesus, your name enters into the Book of Life. That's a great book.
— Yep, and if your name is not in there, you kind of have no hope whatsoever, but there are records of all the good deeds that you've done. There's also the Book of Iniquity, which is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:2. All of your iniquity is marked before God. So, everything that you've ever done the other direction, said, thought, all that's marked down, too. That's probably a book that we wouldn't wanna dig a whole lot into.
— Right. I could agree with that. Twanda has a question. "Did dinosaurs exist before Noah's flood and were they included in Noah's Ark"? What a great question.
— Great question. So, dinosaur, what about dinosaurs? You know, the Bible doesn't say there were dinosaurs. However, when you take a look at the Book of Job, there are several passages that sound an awful lot like what we would today call dinosaurs. The word dinosaur, of course, is a word that comes from two other words. Basically, thunder lizard is what dinosaur means. So, when you take a look at the Book of Job, in Job 40:15-19, here, it describes a creature called behemoth. "Look now at the behemoth. He eats grass like an ox. See, now his strength that is in his hips and his power is in the stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar. The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs, like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God. Only He who made him can bring near His sword". Now, some people have said, well, sounds like an elephant to me.
— Yeah. Yeah.
— But I don't remember the last time I saw an elephant with a tail like a cedar.
— No, no. It's got a stringy tail.
— Yeah, a little stringy tail.
— Yeah. Yeah.
— So, we've got behemoth here, but there's also another creature called Leviathan.
— Leviathan, yeah.
— The Leviathan is also described in the Book of Job, and you see a, basically he's described as a twisted serpent, a fleeing serpent. In Job 41:9, it says, "Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false. Shall one not be overwhelmed at the site of him"?
— Here's what we know.
— Dinosaurs existed. They were great big things. You see 'em in every natural history museum you go into. So, were they around before the flood? Evidently they were. Probably were destroyed in the flood, for the most part. Did dinosaurs get taken on Noah's Ark? Some people would have you believe yes, but probably little ones. They weren't all great big things, these dinosaurs. Some of them are really quite small, quite small. So, they may have gone on the Ark. It all depends. You know, in my home country of New Zealand, there is a lizard, the tuatara, which they say is a dinosaur creature, just, it's a lizard about this big. They say it's a dinosaur. I don't know how you classify that. I'm sure if I was a scientist, I would know. You look at that and you say, well, it doesn't look a whole lot like a T-Rex, but most dinosaur type creatures did not.
— They weren't all gigantic.
— I think the thing to remember about these dinosaurs, though, is they are not millions and millions and millions of years old.
John Bradshaw: Amen.
— As many naturalists would have you believe. Thousands of years old is about as far back as we're gonna go 'cause that's how far back creation goes.
— Yeah, and I'm not a hundred percent comfortable with being awfully dogmatic about dinosaurs. We know dinosaurs existed. Some may have got on the Ark, not Brontosauruses, maybe something small. Dinosaurs don't exist today. I'm glad they don't, and I'm glad you joined us. Be sure to join us again for more on "Line Upon Line". Get your questions to us [email protected] We'll do our best to answer your Bible question, as well. With Eric Flickinger, I'm John Bradshaw. This has been "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.