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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Feast Days, the Rapture, and Cremation

John Bradshaw - Feast Days, the Rapture, and Cremation


John Bradshaw - Feast Days, the Rapture, and Cremation
TOPICS: Line Upon Line

John Bradshaw: Welcome to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written, where we answer your Bible questions. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Wes Peppers. Great to have you here. Thanks for being here, Wes.

Wes Peppers: Thank you, Pastor John. Good to be here.

John Bradshaw: We answer questions that have been submitted to us at It Is Written. If you'd like to submit a question for us to answer, email us at [email protected] Nice and easy. By the way, we have an excellent series of Bible studies that we wanna encourage you to participate in. Go online to itiswritten.study. It's completely free. You will study through the major teachings of the Bible. They're in-depth studies. They point you to Jesus as the hope of the world, and you'll be encouraged. That web address is itiswritten.study. If you know someone interested in studying the Bible, let them know about itiswritten.study.

Wes Peppers: You know, Pastor John, I did those Bible studies when I was an atheist, and they were fantastic. They helped me grow, they helped me learn, and they actually gave me the confidence I needed to trust the Bible. So they're fantastic. I've done them personally.

John Bradshaw: Awesome, awesome. Got a question here from Pamela. That's where we'll begin. In fact, it's several questions: "Should we keep the dietary laws? Should we keep the holy day feasts of the Old Testament? If we've been baptized but continue Sunday-keeping instead of Saturday Sabbath, should we be baptized again"? All right, all right, all right. First question: "Should we keep the dietary laws"? Now, depends what you mean by "the dietary laws," but when you look into the Bible, there are some things that we consider food that are "clean" and some that are "unclean". We're speaking about animals, so the "clean" animals, or those that have a split hoof and chew the cud.

That's right.

The fish that are clean are those that have fins and scales.

Scales. Mm-hmm.

The birds, it's a little fuzzier there. So I'm just glad I'm a vegetarian. I don't have to worry about it.

That's right.

But basically, scavenger birds, birds that eat carrion, eat dead stuff. You don't wanna go near them. You can imagine going to Auntie Mabel's house at Thanksgiving, and she takes the big silver lid off and says, "We're having a buzzard this year".

That's right.

I don't know that you'd be too thrilled about that.

A hawk or an eagle wouldn't be any better.

Wouldn't be any better. We're in Acts, chapter 10. Peter goes to a man's house... no, before he goes to the man's house, has a vision, a dream. He sees the heavens open and a great sheet knit at the four corners ascending to him and filled up with all kind of animals that are unclean. "And a voice says, 'Rise, Peter: kill and eat.' He says, 'Not so, Lord! For I have not eaten anything that is common or unclean.'" Now, my question is this: If there's no such thing as an unclean animal, when did the change happen? Because Peter, several years after the cross, was still saying these things are unclean. If anybody would've known, it'd be Peter. So it's very, very evident that there was no change made at the cross.

There's a lot of people that say that. They say when Jesus died, all those things were done away with. But yet, as you said, several years after, Peter is still holding to that conviction. And he's actually confused because God is saying what seems to be something opposite. God said, "What God has cleansed you must not call common". He's confused.

Yeah.

He's saying, "No, God, I know You don't approve of clean animals".

Right. And so God was... and if we were answering this question and only this question, we could go into this in more depth. Three people, three Gentiles, knocked at his door. He saw this vision three times. God was saying, "Go with the Gentiles. Don't consider the Gentiles to be unclean". This had nothing to do with diet. It had everything to do with racism. The Jews hated the Gentiles, and vice versa, based on who and what they were. So there was no change ever made to a pig making it clean rather than unclean, or a catfish or an oyster or a rat. They're unclean.

Jesus didn't die to cleanse pigs; He died to cleanse the hearts of men.

Exactly right.

And I wanna read this verse real quick, and it just really nails it. Verse 28 in Acts, chapter 10, he says, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go out to one of another nation", that's Peter. He says, "But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean". So it wasn't the animals; it was the men, the Gentiles.

Yeah, really clear. Hey, okay. So we just explained it and showed from the Bible that God wasn't cleansing pigs and rabbits.

Wes Peppers: Right.

But someone said, "I don't believe that. I don't believe that". Why? Why do people have that attitude? "I see what you just said. I'm gonna keep on eating my catfish".

Wes Peppers: Yeah.

Why?

Sometimes people are just hanging on to something, and they say, "Oh, I've always done this, and I want to do it". It comes down to, what is God asking us to do? Are we gonna submit to Jesus? Are we gonna submit to His Word? You know, God always gives us what's the best for us.

That's right, that's right.

Wes Peppers: He never gives us anything bad. What's interesting is that unclean food, which, you know, many people eat, most people wouldn't think of eating a rat.

John Bradshaw: No, they wouldn't. Yeah.

Wes Peppers: That's unclean. But pigs are unclean.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Wes Peppers: But culturally and societally, we have accepted that as food. But God never called it food.

John Bradshaw: I'll give you another example. Most everybody who eats meat would be happy to eat a cow...

Wes Peppers: Yes.

John Bradshaw: ...eat beef, let's say, but most people who eat meat would turn up their noses at the idea of eating a horse.

Wes Peppers: Right.

John Bradshaw: When I used to eat meat, I'd eat all the beef and lamb you could give me. Our neighbor kept goats. I would never dream of eating a goat. Yuck. Many people do.

Wes Peppers: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: You go to an Indian restaurant, often they're serving goat.

Wes Peppers: Yeah.

John Bradshaw: It's kind of what you're comfortable with.

Wes Peppers: Right.

John Bradshaw: None of these unclean animals are good for you. It's not biblical. We wanna keep away from that.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: "Should we keep the holy feast days of the Old Testament"? Let's make this real quick.

Wes Peppers: No, I don't think so. Paul said Jesus is "our Passover".

Yeah.

And so Jesus became the Passover. He was the Passover. And so when... it's kind of like...I go back to this... the feasts were kind of like having a matchbox car to play with.

Yeah.

My son loves cars. You have the real Ferrari, and I ask my son, "Which one do you wanna do? You wanna play with the toy, or do you wanna drive the Ferrari"? Jesus is the real thing.

Yeah.

He fulfills all those things. All those things were about Him, pointed to Him. When we have Him, we don't really need those.

And with the feast days, too, they were a matter of type and anti-type. Like, you had the day of atonement back there.

That's right.

Rather than keeping that day now literally, you would understand we are living in the anti-typical day of atonement. The judgment is taking place...

That's right.

...in heaven.

That's right.

Question here: "If we've been baptized but we carry on with Sunday-keeping instead of Saturday Sabbath"... So somebody who went to church on Sunday was baptized, and now they learn about the Bible Sabbath. Should they be rebaptized?

You know, some people, different people have different convictions about that. Acts, chapter 19 talks about people who were baptized once, and then they learned some new Bible truth...

Yep.

...and they were baptized again. I would say it's really up to the individual. And the most important thing is that you've learned the truth about the Sabbath, you've accepted that, and you're following that. If God leads you to rebaptism, that's between you and Him. I think it's up to them.

That's right. Baptism is accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. The old life dies. You're raised up to walk in a new life in Jesus. You don't have to be rebaptized, but as Wes said, you may choose to be. That would be up to you. All right, what's our next question?

All right, our next question comes from Monty. And he asks, "If, when a Christian dies, and his spiritual body goes directly to heaven and Christ comes to reap His own, the dead in Christ first, what do 2 Corinthians 5:8 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 mean"?

We wanna break down this question. "If, when a Christian dies, his spiritual body goes directly to heaven", I don't even know what that means. What happens is the breath goes back to God. You die; your body goes into the grave and decays. Your breath, it's also called spirit, goes back to God. That's the life spark. God retains within Himself in heaven the power to boot you back up again, if you like. So Monty goes on to ask, what about 2 Corinthians 5 and verse 8? You know something, Monty, you can't really understand that without starting at the beginning of 2 Corinthians, chapter 5. It's only eight verses, so I'm gonna read through this, Wes: "We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved", that's our body, "we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens". If you die, this body dissolves. You're gonna get a new body. "In this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven". Verse 3: "If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked". So, there's the old body, the new body, and the intermediate state. He refers to that as being naked. In this, "We that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened", I'm gonna move down just for time's sake. Verse 6: "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body", that's this body, "we're absent from the Lord". As long as you're in that body, you're not in heaven.

That's right. Mm-hmm.

Pretty obvious. "We walk by faith, not by sight". Verse 8 says, "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord". This is one of the great mysteries of Christianity to me, that people will say, "To be absent from the body is to be present for the Lord".

"Present for the Lord".

And they'll say they're quoting the Bible. Had a lady say, I was standing in her driveway outside of Pulaski, Tennessee, talking with her. And I asked her, "Hey, so what did you think of that presentation about death last night"? "Oh, I really liked that, preacher, but to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord". I said, "Well, let's look at that". Turned to this very verse.

Mm-hmm.

She said, "Hmm. It doesn't say that, does it"? "No". She said, "Well, it's in the Bible somewhere. It's somewhere else". I said, "No, it really isn't". She said, "Well, my preacher says it is, so it must be".

Yeah. And you could show her the whole Bible, and she may still not believe.

Yeah.

It's very interesting, that verse, Pastor John. He never says, "We are". He says, "But we'd rather be".

That's right.

We'd rather be. But he's desiring to be with the Lord. He's not saying that to be absent from the body is, people will build an entire belief system out of this one verse.

Yeah, oh, for sure.

An entire doctrine. And so we have to compare this with the rest of Scripture. If that verse does say when we're absent from the body, we are present with the Lord, then it conflicts with hundreds of other verses. And so we know the Bible doesn't conflict. And when you really study that and when you really read it word for word, it's very clear he is not saying that we are, but we'd rather be.

We don't have a lot of time, so rather than taking another question, let's drill down on this a bit. And this question comes up on "Line Upon Line" a little bit, which is indicative of the fact it's a big-deal question for a lot of people. There's something kind of nice, I guess, about believing that your loved one dies and goes straight to heaven. Kind of a nice thought, until, of course, you start to really think about that. She's looking down on me. I would like her to keep out of my business. You know what I mean.

Yes.

Yeah, there are some things you don't want people looking at.

That's right.

You want the husband to look down onto the earth, and there's his dear wife struggling with Alzheimer's. The parents looking down on the earth, and there's the son who's wasting his life as an addict and a criminal and whatnot. Really, God's plan is better. We live, we die, we sleep, and then rather than going to heaven to meet Grandma, we get to travel from here to heaven with Grandma.

Wes Peppers: That's right.

John Bradshaw: What a journey!

Wes Peppers: That's fantastic.

John Bradshaw: Oh, you'd be with your parents or your siblings or whoever passed on before you, and you see them in the resurrection because everybody sleeps until Jesus comes back, and they wake up. We go to heaven together! What a great journey that's gonna be.

Wes Peppers: That'll be great. And we'll all be together with the Lord. That's 1 Thessalonians 4. The Bible says that: We'll be together with Him in the air.

John Bradshaw: That's right.

Wes Peppers: And we'll be forever with Him.

John Bradshaw: Amen.

Wes Peppers: And so that's very powerful.

John Bradshaw: And we'll have more great questions coming up in just a moment. I do wanna tell you that if you have a question you would like to share with us, to then share an answer with you, email us: [email protected] With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw. More "Line Upon Line" in a moment, brought to you by It Is Written.

John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. We are glad you have joined us as we answer Bible questions that have been submitted to us at It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Wes Peppers. I have a question for you, Wes, from Michelle: "Could you help me find the scripture that refers to the ruler isn't supposed to live better than the people"?

Wes Peppers: Sure. Thank you for that, Michelle. And I believe the verse you're speaking of is found in Mark, chapter 10, starting in verse 42. I'll just read those verses. It says, "But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, 'You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.'"

There we go. Good one.

Yeah.

Okay, hope that helps. What's our next question?

Sure. Our next question comes from Michael, and it says, "Is the vision of Zechariah 14 a vision of what could've happened for ancient Israel or will happen in the time of the Second Coming"?

If you want a book of the Bible that will challenge ya...

That's the one.

...Zechariah.

That's right.

But I'll tell you this: The book of Zechariah is quoted again and again and again in the book of Revelation.

Yes.

It's quoted extensively, which I find interesting.

For sure.

And that kind of gives us a clue to our answer. Let's look at Zechariah 14. I mean, you said chapter 14. There are 21 verses in chapter 14, but I'm going to guess that we're dealing with verse 4. I'll start in verse 1: "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. ...I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; ...the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled," and so forth. We get to verse 4 now: "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, ...there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south". So is this for literal Israel or for the end of time? It could have been either way. And here's what I mean by this. With many prophecies in the Old Testament, they had a literal and local application until the children of Israel did not fulfill their God-appointed destiny. And so this was not able to happen because they did not step up and really be God's Israel. Down in the close of time, God has a spiritual Israel. And many of these prophecies that were not fulfilled in literal Israel, because they dropped the ball, will be fulfilled in God's people down in the close of time. Well, how do you know? Well, you read and you study, and the context often is what tells you and a consistency through Scripture. So we will see the Mount of Olives cleave asunder, split in two, down here in the close of time. Might it have happened back then? Yes.

Could have.

If Israel had risen to fulfill its destiny, Jesus would've come as the Messiah way back when. Maybe this would've happened a couple of thousand years ago. But because Israel fumbled, because Israel failed, because Israel didn't step into the place that God had designed for her, these prophecies will be fulfilled down in the close of time, not in a literal Israel, but in a spiritual Israel.

A spiritual Israel, that's right.

Okay, let's take a look at another question. And I don't wanna get the wrong one here. I believe the question we have is Debra. Let's look at Debra's question: "So if God knows all, does He know who will be born and if they will be saved? Will He write their names in the Book of life at this time and into the future those who haven't been born yet"? How does that work?

It's very interesting. You know, God does know who all will be saved, but He doesn't control that. He still gives freedom of choice. So He allows us to choose. And he does not write all the names of all the people in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Not ahead of time.

Not ahead of time. He writes them as people respond to Him. And when they enter into that relationship with Jesus, when they've accepted Him, their names go in among the saved. And so God does know that. And sometimes people struggle with that.

Yeah.

They get hung up on that because they say, "If God already knows, what's the point"? And the point is that God still gives us an opportunity to choose. Foreknowledge is not the same as controlling the choice.

That's right.

It's very important to know that.

You leave a plate of cookies in the middle on the kitchen table, and then walk the kids...

Mm-hmm.

...you know they're gonna go straight to the cookies.

That's right.

Ninety-nine times out of 100 you're gonna take one.

Yes.

Did you control them? No. You just know them.

That's right.

And God's knowledge, His foreknowledge, isn't the same as predestination...

That's right.

...isn't forcing the point.

Mm-hmm.

And I think when you apply that, it really helps you to see God in a more just and balanced way.

That's exactly right.

What's our next question?

Our next one comes from Clark: "Is it acceptable for a Christian to be cremated? What about [those] who have had near-death experiences? And if I'm already in heaven when I die, how will I be raised from the dead to be with Jesus when the rapture occurs"?

Okay, several questions. Is it acceptable for a Christian to be cremated? The answer is yes, sure it is. It's acceptable. There's no suggestion in Scripture that that would not be okay. Be nice to your kids because ultimately they will decide what happens to you. And when Jesus comes back, you get a brand new body. It's okay to be cremated. It's okay to be eaten by a shark. It's okay to be buried at sea. It's okay to perish in a house fire. I'm not saying you wanna do any of those things. It's all okay. It doesn't mess with God's plans. It's not contrary to the will of God.

He's not dependent upon this old body.

Yeah, that's...

He can do anything He wants to do.

I've had people ask me, "Well, how does God raise me up from the grave if my body was burned up"? Well, number one, after a couple of thousand years, it's gone anyway.

Gone anyway, yeah.

Number two, God is not scratching around in the dirt saying, "I gotta find the rest of Wes".

"I found everything, but there's one piece missing".

"Sorry, Wes. Sorry, you missed out".

"You don't have a big toe in heaven. I couldn't find those cells or..". No. It's okay. God's not dependent on that.

Right.

"What about people who have had near-death experiences"? This could take forever. Let's not take forever. These are people who have visions of themselves floating outside their body, or they see the fog and the tunnel, and they hear the voice of Jesus. What does that prove?

Yeah, it doesn't prove anything. And, you know, many times people will make this claim, "Oh, I was going through a tunnel of light, and I got to the end of the tunnel and there was this magnificent beauty. But then I heard a voice that said, 'Oh no, it's not your time yet. Go back.'" And so I don't view God making mistakes and sending someone back, accidentally calling someone, then realizing, oh, that wasn't good, sending them back. Many times these are associated with traumas to the mind...

Yeah.

...either a surgery or an accident or medication. And so we could be safe to say that, you know, those are not biblical. The Bible doesn't really describe any of those. It says when we die, we go to the grave to rest until the resurrection.

The brain is a fascinating organ.

It's fascinating.

It can do a number of flips.

That's right.

The night my dad died, or right around that time, might have been the night of the funeral, actually, my sister said she had a dream in which she saw Dad. And he might have even said that he was looking forward to seeing her.

Mm-hmm.

Of course she did.

Yeah.

She just buried her father.

Sure.

He'd been her father all her life.

That's right.

It's natural to have a dream like that, particularly when these suggestions have been made and the idea is not an odd idea.

Your dreams can be really relative to the activities you're doing through the day or what you may be watching on TV.

That's right, that's right.

So we don't wanna, you know, undermine someone's experience, but again, every experience should be compared to the Word of God.

Always. Clark on his three-for-one deal writes another question: "If I'm already in heaven when I die, how will I be raised from the dead to be with Jesus when the rapture occurs"? Clark...

Wes Peppers: He's on to something.

You've nailed it, my friend. That's correct. That's correct. There's gonna be a resurrection. When I was a kid, an altar boy, I'd be in the church, and the priest would say, "And we can be happy today because Grandpa", whoever it was, "is in heaven". Then we'd go to the cemetery and bury whoever it might be, and that same priest would say, "Now we commit the body of X to the grave, where he or she will wait until the resurrection and on that great day when the Lord comes back". And as a child, my head is spinning. A minute ago, this character was in heaven. Now he's in the grave waiting for the resurrection. How can the brother or the sister be in two places at once?

That's very interesting. He can't be. And I've witnessed those same funerals. What's interesting is when you go to very older, old places like Europe, and you go to visit the graveyards...

Even in the United States, old graveyards...

That's right, the old ones. You read them, and they're all very consistent. They'll say things like "sleeping till the resurrection"...

Yes.

...or "waiting for the Lord to come..".

Yes.

...or "looking forward to being reunited with my family one day". And so, almost all of them, because all Christians used to believe the same thing.

Yeah.

And they practiced it.

When you get to about the 1840s or '50s...

Yes.

...'40s, '50s, right around there, the gravestones...

That's right.

...start to change.

Yes.

What's written, the epitaph.

Yes, yes. That's right.

Starts changing a little bit. That's a really interesting study.

It is, it is.

Yeah. So, Clark, what you've identified is that you're not gonna be in heaven when you die. It's not gonna work like that. You're gonna die, and you're gonna sleep. And you'll sleep a dreamless sleep waiting for the resurrection. And then the resurrection, you'll be called forth from your grave, you'll be crowned with immortality, you get a new body, and we're gonna hang out together throughout all eternity. Now, someone has said, "I don't believe that". I understand. "I don't believe that". Good enough. Grab a Bible and check. You see, if you hear something on "Line Upon Line" that you don't agree with, that's okay. You still have our undying respect, but we would encourage you to go to your Bible and study and see whether it is so. And if you can find a slew of texts that say that when you die, you go straight to heaven, please, first thing you gotta do is email us and say, "What about all these texts"? But no one's ever sent that email.

We haven't gotten them.

No. And if you were to send us a text or two, we'd find a very good explanation for you, and then send back, we would send back 5 or 10 for every one verse you send us. And I'm not trying to get into a fight here. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying we really want to be committed to finding out what the Bible says. It's not about arguing.

That's right.

It is about searching for truth.

That's right.

Because Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life". We don't have long, but this is an important question from Kamron: "What should you do if you pray and read your Bible, but you still don't love God and aren't close to Him"? Kamron has two questions. Let's try and do them both. Let's do this one first. What do you do? You pray; you read; you don't feel like you're close to God.

You know, there's times I've prayed and read and didn't feel close to God.

Sure.

And we have to remember that our experience is not based upon feelings...

There you go.

...but upon faith. And we have to trust and believe the promises of God. When God says in Jeremiah, chapter 31, behold, "I've loved you with an everlasting love," sometimes I don't feel that, but I can choose to believe it. And the more I choose to believe it...

That's right.

...the more it's gonna become real to me, and I will have that sense of peace about me.

Kamron, if you are praying and reading your Bible, you are close to God. If you've invited Him into your heart, you can't get any closer. Jesus dwells in you, you see? So believe now and don't rely on your feelings. That's really important. Second part of Kamron's question: "Is looking at hairstyles on the internet and choosing to do them considered coveting"?

Wes Peppers: You know what I wonder? I wonder if anyone's ever coveted my hair.

John Bradshaw: I wonder that too.

Wes Peppers: Yeah, you wonder that.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, I'm not gonna say anything, but I wonder.

Wes Peppers: It's a...oh, Kamron.

John Bradshaw: It's a fair question.

Wes Peppers: It's a fair question. It is.

John Bradshaw: The answer is it could be coveting, couldn't it? It could be. But there's nothing wrong with looking at a car and saying, "Mmm, I'd like to have one of those".

Wes Peppers: Sure.

John Bradshaw: Looking at a suit and saying, "I think that would look good on me". And if you see a hairstyle and you say, "That might look good," it could be coveting, depends on your motive, but I don't think you need to go there. You say, "I might try cutting my hair or getting my hairstyle that way. That would suit me. That would look good". Don't make everything a sin. The cross is heavy enough. Don't go loading stuff on it to beat yourself down and drag ya down. Enjoy the hairstyles. Look your best. Be happy in Jesus. It's gonna be okay.

Wes Peppers: Amen. That's right.

John Bradshaw: Hey, thanks for being here, Wes.

Wes Peppers: Thank you.

John Bradshaw: And thank you for being here. We'll do this again. I'm John Bradshaw, with me, Wes Peppers. This has been "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.
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