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Apologetics and Legalism II

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Question #1:   

Hello Bob,

Is it okay to call Jesus, Jesus? Many people use other names like Yeshua or Yeshua Hamashiach?

I don't want to offend by using the wrong name. I do however have to say that Jesus feels right for me in my heart.

Also, are we supposed/ allowed to write or say God? I know some people write without the vowel instead.

Please can you point me in the right direction as I wish to pray to Jesus and God and do it right.

Response #1: 

Jesus is Jesus, and calling Him Jesus is perfectly fine. That is His Name. Of course in the Greek New Testament, His Name is pronounced more like "I-e-sous", but we are not Greek. The key point is that Peter and Paul and John could have written "Yeshua" or "Yehoshua" or "Adonai" or whatever, either in Hebrew or transliterated from Hebrew, but instead they used the standard Greek spelling of the Name that was common for hundreds of years prior to the first advent. Not only that, but they don't try and spell or represent YHVH; instead they say kyrios which we translate as "Lord". And they don't say "Elohiyim" (the Hebrew word for God), they say theos, the Greek word for "God (or god)". Since in the power of the Holy Spirit the men given to write the New Testament were not led or required to use Hebrew spellings or vocalizations, but instead to use the common words available in the language in which they were writing, why would anyone think that today we should go the opposite way? It's a form of mysticism or "magic", and in my view does a lot more harm than good. Here are some links on that:

Changing the Name of God?

The Name "Jesus"

Hope you are doing well, my friend! Keeping you in my prayers daily.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:  

I don't feel OK calling the Lord "God". Obviously, the Lord is God, but the word "God" is too casual.

"like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."
(1 Peter 3:6)

Response #2: 

By all means, call Him "Lord". However . . .

"But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ?"
Mark 12:26 NKJV

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Matthew 27:46 NKJV

Since the Father calls Himself "God", and since the Son calls the Father "God" (on the cross, the most "formal" event in history), I can't find fault with anyone who wants to call Him "God".

In Jesus, "my Lord and my God" (Jn.20:28).

Bob L.

Question #3:   


My understanding is that the Gospel of Mark is written for Jews. As for all the Gospels which are descriptive of Christ’s coming to the Jew first and then commissions Paul to the Gentiles.

Why would Mark and Luke be academically forced to be Gentile oriented.

In Christ,

Response #3:   

My impression / information is different. Matthew has a Jewish focus, but Mark seems to be particularly oriented to gentile believers (stemming no doubt from Mark's association with Peter in Rome at that time). This aspect of the gospels is often made much of, but it is a very small consideration. The gospel is SO important that the Spirit deemed it necessary to have four different points of view of the same blessed first advent, and all they contribute important details not found in the others, even though there is overlap. Like the perfect plan of God, this was worked out perfectly as well.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:   

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Isaiah 43:7 says:

"Everyone who is called by my Name, for My glory I have created him, I have formed him, indeed, I have made him."

The phrase "who are called by my Name", is this speaking of Israel as it seems to indicate, or is it referring to all believers or all mankind in general?

Thanks again for your help.

Blessings and grace to you,

Response #4:  

It applies to all believers, even though in the context Israel is the addressee as you rightly note. After all, Israel is the foundation of the assembly of Jesus Christ, that is, His Church.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:27-29 NKJV

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:19-20 NKJV

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Colossians 3:11 NKJV

In the end, the entire Church, from Adam and Eve to the last person saved in the Tribulation before Christ's return will be adopted into Israel and the tribes rearranged on a merit basis (analogous to what happened with the angelic clans in the wake of the satanic rebellion).

Hope you are doing well, my friend!

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #5: 

Hello again Dr. Luginbill,

Yes, we are doing well. Studying a lot [your material of course] and I am being blessed by it by the grace of God.

We have begun our monthly Sunday service on Jan. 6th in the club house they have here on the property, with seven people in attendance, which is the exact number we started with before where we had as many as 20 or more when we left.

We have permission for only a monthly service, unless God would arrange a weekly session which I am praying He will if that is His will.

I really enjoy reviewing and studying the material you present on the ICHTHYS website; it is always a great blessing to me.

I would ask that you pray for the Sunday services to eventually on a weekly basis, like I stated, if it His will.
To Him be the glory and praise forever and ever.

Your friend,

Response #5: 

I'll definitely be keeping this issue in prayer for you, my friend.

Keep me in the loop on developments.

Thanks for your kind words as always!

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6: 

Good Afternoon Robert,

I imagine it’s been roughly a year since we’ve last spoken. You’ve been a great help in all your response emails to me with regards to scripture. At the present moment, I find myself emotionally & spiritually conflicted with the judicial blinding of the Jewish people. A lot of people say dispensationalist are damnable heretics and id perceive you do not share those beliefs. However, I’ve met a Jewish woman my age who on her own accord became very interested in the Holy Bible & The Lord Jesus Christ. Kinda blew my mind honestly as I was not expecting this. I’ll preface this by saying she has not & is not a devout follower of Judaism, nor does she subscribe to any branch of Judaism for that matter. Although she does speak fluent Hebrew. I was compelled to show her the gospel, of course. So I did show her 1st Corinthians Chapter 15:1-4. However when speaking with her, she of course does believe in The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob...but her mind makes it hard to believe God becoming a man. & she does believe it stems from her faint memory in her childhood & her short attendance to the synagogue. Due to the nature of this situation, I revisit Romans Chapter 10 & wonder if a verbal confession is made that Jesus Christ is God manifest in flesh (for Jews). Of course, I know there’s neither jew nor Greek in the body of Christ.. But she seems to genuinely want to accept the gospel, & finds no fault in it nor the scriptures, but has a hard time in her heart & she says she feels some oppressive spirit or voice telling her to Is there more of a delicate approach that could be taken in this that I might be missing? I do not doubt one bit in the simplicity that is in Christ & the power of believing on The Lord Jesus Christ...would appreciate any insight you might have when dealing with this. She says earnestly that she wants to be born again.

God Bless,

Response #6:  

Dispensationalism aside, Romans does say that for the vast majority of the Jewish people, "hardness in part" will abide until Christ returns (Rom.11:25), and that will be the case even during the exceptional revival in Israel under the ministry of Moses and Elijah and the 144,000 during the Tribulation; even so, only a fraction will believe.

But there has always been a remnant of Jewish believers:

Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Romans 11:5 NKJV

And the Church is composed of all believers, Jewish believers not only included but forming the foundation:

Now, therefore, you [Gentiles] are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God [i.e., Israel], having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:19-20 NKJV

When it comes to the gospel, the issue is not how it is presented. Rather, it is THAT it is presented. The Evangelist is really the Holy Spirit. If we witness the truth to someone, the Spirit is the One who makes that truth clear to them in their hearts, and He is well able to do so regardless of whether WE think we did a good job or a bad job. The person listening is responding to the truth presented by the Spirit Himself – or resisting. And it is not possible for us to improve on what He is doing, nor is it possible for us to use persuasion or any technique whatsoever to convince others if they have not allowed themselves to be convinced by the Spirit.

That said, it is true that some people take longer than others to come to the Lord. The fact that you have not had an out and out refusal is a good thing, and it is good of you to be willing to continue ministering the truth to this person. I would suggest always coming back to the gospel, wherever the discussion tends to stray. It's not about you or me or anyone else. It's about the person hearing the truth and whether or not they are willing to accept the Spirit's witness to it.

So keep up the good work, my friend, and try not to become dispirited because of momentary rebuff. It may just be that the Lord is working this out for this person's salvation and that it will take more than one presentation before she is willing to accept the truth. But it is all about the truth, and not at all about how we are choosing to present it.

I promise to say a prayer for her.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #7: 

Hey Bob,

Thank you for your timely response. I will certainly let The Holy Spirit take the lead in convicting her, as I know the arm of the flesh or eloquent speech has no saving power. I guess the main (probably rather ignorant) question that I had was if the judicial blinding directly ties to Romans 11:32 that he would later have mercy on them? Nothing to stop a person from being saved, jew or not. so I realize it’s a silly question. I think Im reading Romans 11:32 out of context (KJV) “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”
But I’m sure there’s an entirely different application to that than what I’m thinking. I appreciate the prayer, and I want to be careful for nothing, but also want to not overstep any boundaries. She says she wants to be saved, and is asking me/wondering why she’s not being born again upon belief. But obviously God knows what genuine belief is. She earnestly is seeking, so maybe it’s more deep rooted into if she really believes she needs a savior from her sins & that she would otherwise be lost & separated from God, that perhaps currently she feels The Lord Jesus would be “a nice addition to her spiritual journey” rather than the essential foundation for salvation & knowing God. I don’t know her heart. So I’ll not intervene but will continue to pray. She’s moving back to Israel this year. Thank you for your prayer & advice.

Thank You & God Bless

Response #7: 

I'm a little confused by the question "why she’s not being born again upon belief". Everyone who puts their faith / trust in Jesus Christ is saved, born again. But I do understand your reservations based on what you say here. Are these her words, "nice addition"? That is clearly the wrong way to think about salvation.

Not everyone has the same salvation experience. Some are dramatic and emotional; many are not. But all who put their trust in Jesus for salvation are saved and given the Holy Spirit.

You are certainly right that sometimes it can be very hard to tell. But anyone who really is saved cannot help but be moved to learn more about the Lord and the truth (at least initially), so keep up the good work. Paul tells us that "we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you" (1Thes.2:9 NIV). So, clearly, in the Bible the "gospel" is ALL of the good news about Christ and His truth – the entire Bible. We don't stop when the person believes. That is just the beginning (and it is a major failing of evangelicaldom not to see and understand that and act accordingly).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8: 

That is very true. I grew up in lukewarm Christianity but one night in my grandmothers backyard (January 2012) I decided to actually put my faith in Jesus Christ & immediately as I made that declaration in my heart, mind & soul, instantly my entire body froze & I started involuntarily crying, not of sadness, not of joy, but something unspeakable that I cannot directly correlate to any emotion. I also heard the words “You’re mine” (inaudibly) - & no, it’s not her words, I can’t search the reigns of her heart but it’s my hope that she doesn’t see it that way. She really loves & respects her mother who is a universalist & a psychiatrist, so i feel as though her genuine interest in Christianity as a whole is somewhat under scrutiny but not in doubt on her end, just searching & genuinely interested which to this point, she still finds no fault in the scriptures. based on scripture & many brethren’s testimonies, when you’re born again & given The Holy Ghost, you know it. Or that’s been what I have observed & read. After that night for me, i knew that God saved me. So I guess that would beg the question is “Does everyone who is saved know it?” Which I’m sure would beg many other questions for some people. When The Lord Jesus Christ baptizes the believer with The Holy Ghost it would seem so apparent, that even peter could observe it happening (Acts Chapter 10) but I won’t reserve a firm opinion that it is always observable if someone were to witness it, after all peter was an apostle. In describing my testimony to my friend Jessica, she wants to be born again, and perhaps my testimony was rather intense that she would expect the same exact experience, which I had already told her that it’s not the same for everyone. So hopefully, I’ve not confused her. Some Christians have rejected my testimony because I didn’t cry out to God asking Him to save me (Romans Chapter 10) but I wholeheartedly concur with your email & definitely don’t question someone if they’ve put there trust in The Lord Jesus Christ, I think the issue for her is knowing, to which I’ve answered without hesitation that you know when it happens. If I’m off on this, please let me know.

Response #8:  

I think you are right on target, my friend. As you say, in the end, only the Lord knows. There are some who give a very good impression of being Christians who turn out later to show that either they never were or else they fell away. Others who are not acting at all in a manner consistent with their Christian status definitely are. The ideal situation is a person who not only professes Christ but shows beyond all argument by their life that they are what they profess to be. But that is not so common these days, not if we take into consideration what a Christian really SHOULD be – as opposed to what passes for "victorious Christianity" here in Laodicea.

I've said a prayer for your friend. I appreciate your dedication to and your stalwart service for the Lord, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:  

Hello Professor and Happy Easter, He is Risen. In our Bible Study today a gal asked about the Pharisees and if they did except Jesus... We are in Chpt. 24 Acts about Felix and Paul and their charge against him. Next yr. we do an in depth study of Isaiah ( my favorite bk of the Bible). So she was wanting to know more about the resurrection and Pharisees believed and if they came to Salvation. Hope all is going well for you …..Blessings

Response #9: 

While there were some Pharisees – like Nicodemus – who responded to our Lord's ministry, most of them were virulently opposed to Him and sought to discredit and kill Him (cf. Matt.12:14; 21:45-46; 22:15; 27:62; Mk.3:6; 12:13; Lk.6:7; 6:11; 11:53; Jn.7:32; 11:47-50; 11:57; 12:10; 18:3).

After the resurrection, just before the day of Pentecost, there were only 120 believers gathered (Acts 1:15); throughout the period that followed, more clearly did believe (Acts 2:41), and no doubt at least of few were Pharisees (cf. Acts 15:5), but the community of faith was always in the minority.

Paul is the most notable example of a Pharisee who came to Christ (Acts 23:6; 26:5; Phil.3:5).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #10:  

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I have been studying a book called "Refuting Rabbinic Objections to Christianity & Messianic Prophecies". I have read and marked the book once already, and am going back reading it more carefully. The writer quotes Isaiah 53 and verse 9 and makes the following comments:

1. A rabbi named Asor "noticed" a plural description is in verse 9, where he believes the character is dying multiple deaths, not a single one, and therefore, cannot be the Messiah. He writes (from Hebrew): "Any Hebrew speaker will be amazed. Why does it say "Bemotayv" and not "Bemoto"? How come the word "Moto" in singular does not appear here, yest the word in plural "Bemotayv: does? Meaning the servant in Isaiah 53 verse 9 experienced several deaths, not just one. Didn't Jesus die only one famous death?...It is clear that the term "Bemotayv" in the Bible speaks of plural not singular."

Here is the author of the book's response:

However, both in biblical Hebrew and in modern Hebrew, a word written in plural form does not necessarily mean more than one referent, but may also indicate collectively (immediate plural). For example: (Panayv), (Rahamim), (Adonayv) are all in plural form, yet have a singular meaning to them. Only two references in the Hebrew Scriptures refer to "death" in the plural:
Isaiah 53:9; Ezekiel 28:10. Ezekiel 28:10 clearly states that Ezekiel is using plural deaths in order to describe a singular death.

As discovered within the Dead Sea Scrolls, before Jesus was born, the verse in question was written in the singular: Translating the Septuagint, the Jewish sages also understood this verse was talking about the singular, translating it: (avri rou), death in the singular.

He continues: The Targum (Jonathan ben Uzziel) a Jewish translation into Aramaic translated "Bemotayv" into the singular and not into plural בְּמֹתָ יו
If prophet Isaiah meant the word for death to be in the plural, he probably would have used " בְּמֹתָ יו

My comments:

1. I know according to Scripture, and from your teachings, that Jesus Christ did in fact die 2 times, plural, not 1 time singular.

2. So obviously the Rabbi Asor, who wrote this does not know that there were indeed "plural" deaths of the servant on the Cross.

3. I just wanted to let you know what these two gentlemen wrote, and get your comments about the Hebrew portion, and other further comments you may have.

4. This has peaked my curiosity, as languages always have.
From this I would deduce that the correct Hebrew translation would be the "plural", not the singular.

If I was younger, soon to be 80, I would most certainly attempt to learn Hebrew and Greek, but......

Always, always appreciate your input and excellence in your responses to my questions.

May God's Love, grace, mercy and blessings be always with you,

Your friend,

Response #10: 

You are certainly correct that our Lord died spiritually on the cross in the darkness paying the price for all of our sins (link). After all, He proclaimed salvation "finished" after the darkness lifted (Jn.19:30), and then He died physically by His own will in expelling His spirit. There is also the point that in Hebrew we have the phenomenon of the intensive plural (see Kautzsch's Gesenius Hebrew Grammar, para.124); after all, that is how many people understand the word 'elohiym – which is a plural of 'el. The Isaiah passage is speaking first and foremost of our Lord's spiritual death – that is the reason He came into the world – and there could never have been any death like the one the Lord suffered for us.

However, it's not much of an objection. Understanding rabbinic teaching on any point is a moving target (there are opinions on opinions), but I would have thought that they would find the Messiah dying at all to be a problem (cf. Jn.12:34). How do they explain that? And if Isaiah 53 is not talking about the Messiah, who is it talking about?

You're young enough to serve the Lord, my friend! And I rejoice to see you doing so.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:   

Dear Robert,

Jesus’ abrupt reference to the Law and the Prophets in Matthew 5:17 is a fulfillment of what He relates to His disciples in the tripartite description found in Luke 24:44. Why the connection? Both Scriptures concerns Christ’s arrival to fulfill (Luke 24:46) the Scriptures as previously proclaimed by the Lord in Matthew 5:17c “...but to fulfill.” These passages initiates the fulfillment process “...till all is fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18c) This deduction does not limit the full scope of the work-completion of the Son of God. Christ is the ‘Righteous One’ that fulfills in our stead the Law and the Prophets and the Psalms. Paul beautifully strokes this truth in 1 Timothy 1:9 “...that the law is not made for a righteous person,...”. The Law as a ‘sleeping giant’ was never awakened by Christ for He had never failed, being without sin (Hebrews 4:15), is holy, blameless, pure.. (Hebrews 7:26), “In him is no sin (1 John 3:5) and Paul confirms for us that Jesus “had no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21). In His kenosis state perfect God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Rom. 10:4). The Lord “...having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us...” (Col. 2:14). Therefore grace abounds because the law has no more a dominance over you (Rom. 6:14).

Matthew 5:17 is thus for me more than just, as most commentaries entails, a Messiah that has ‘kept the Law perfectly’. Christ did not come to destroy (annul) all that is written about Him, but to fulfill all of Scripture regarding Him!!! “...and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God in faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection...” (Phil. 3:9-11). My deduction is that the Lord is the content and the substance in the context of “the Law and the Prophets” in Matthew 5:17 and “in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” (Luke 24:44).

May I bless you with the beautiful portion of Scripture found in 1 John 5:20: “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

In Him,

Response #11: 

Good to hear from you, my friend.

I'm not exactly sure what your question is, but if you are asking about the fulfillment, our Lord fulfilled the purpose of the Law (and the Old Testament as a whole) by being the Substitute for sin it foreshadows (e.g., Rom.10:4; Col.2:14). The Law is all about salvation, rightly understood, and Christ accomplished it on the cross.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:  

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I was reading the Gospel of John and discovered something that I always wondered about.
In John 1:11b the interpretation of "His own" in that verse? The word that I found was the Greek transliterated Ioudaios. I looked at Strongs dictionary and it has three meanings: Jews, Judeans, etc. Can you tell me what the actual Greek meaning of this word is? The same question for John 4:9,and 4:22, and in John 19:40. Most likely, this is a trivial question, but it got my curiosity up.

Secondly, were the Judeans the ones who along with John, involved in writing this book? or was it only one person, John?

Thanks so much again for your great help. Wish I knew Greek. I only know German, and my wife is my helper on that.

Blessings to you always,

Your friend,

Response #12: 

It's actually a very good question. This is not an easy verse to translate precisely because of the vocabulary here. The Greek word in both cases is the adjective idios ("proprietary" / "one's own") from which we get the English nouns 'idiot' and 'idiom'. The first derivative comes from Athenian 5th century usage where an "idiot" was actually someone who "minded his one's own business" instead of participating in the democracy; the second derivative has to do with a turn of phrase or unpredictable usage of speech which is unique or belongs to one's own language only (and is therefore not easily translated into another one). So this is not the most usual way to say what is said here in the Greek of John 1:11, even though in English translations it may not seem out of the ordinary.

The second issue has to do with the fact that the first "one's own" in John 1:11 is actually neuter plural, so it means "the things which were specially His own"; whereas the second "one's own" is masculine, meaning "the people who were specially His own".

The effect of these uses two side by side is to distinguish between our Lord's right to view everything to which He came as belonging uniquely to Him as the Messiah on the one hand, and the failure in response of those who ought to have acknowledged that they did belong to Him but did not do so on the other.

In terms of what Ioudaios means in the gospel of John – and actually elsewhere in the NT as well – the fact is that it has multiple related meanings. Sometimes it means "Jew" in an ethnic sense (and of course Paul sometimes distinguishes between "true Jews" as those of faith as opposed to those who do not believe). But in the gospel of John in particular, there are many times where the word means "residents of Judea" as opposed to Jews from, e.g., Galilee, and possibly also "speakers of Hebrew" as opposed to speakers of Aramaic. Moreover, it can also sometimes mean "the ruling class of Judea", i.e., THE Jews . . . who are in political power. One has to get which is which from the context. Here is something from a previous posting:

"Sometimes, as here [Jn.7:13], John uses [the word "Jews"] to mean "those in Judea who belong to the power structure"; that is, the sort of people in positions of authority you would expect to find if you went to Judea or more particularly to Jerusalem in Jesus' day. In such contexts I feel it would be helpful to translate "[religious] Jews [who do not believe" (Jeremiah's usage at Jer.43:9 is similar); that makes the distinction a bit more clear (and the brackets let the reader know that the word "religious" is an interpretive addition)".

Hope you and your family are well, my friend – keeping you in my daily prayers.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #13:   

Hello Professor.

This is my first time emailing you! I have frequented your site (probably an understatement) for the past two years or so! I am a firefighter/medic. I was raised in a Christian home, and grew up in a Brethren in Christ Church. (A spinoff of the Anabaptist tradition/river brethren). My family sang gospel music and did so at many churches, many different denominations, so I have seen some bizarre behavior/tongues/running the aisles/you name it! throughout my growing up years!
First I wanted to thank you for your amazing ministry. I have never met anyone who teaches the bible as clearly as your do and without denominational influence! God is truly using you and your ministry to reach people like me who has been enslaved to legalism and denominational tradition and prepare me for what is to coming.

I have always struggled with much of what I had been taught, not that it was biblically inaccurate (although I now know much was), but that it didn't really give the whole story, (they tend to manipulate the bible to conform to what they believe). I almost gave up on my faith because I was so frustrated with living up to a standard that I couldn't live up to, (or maybe wouldn't, not sure yet), and was at a low point in my life when I almost by accident (I now know if was the Lord) found your site. I was blown away. For the first time in my life someone actually explained the bible in a way that made sense! Many of the questions I had that they couldn't answer, you answered perfectly. I have learned so much from many of your series, and I thank you, and of course Praise God for your ministry!

I have two questions for you.

First, because I have learned so much from your ministry, I am excited and want to share with others what I have learned! The only problem is, well, they are not real receptive (and understatement!) When they believe in baptism and the pre-tribulational rapture and many other non-biblical issues and I tell them that scripture does not really support these ideas, it does not go over well. I realize in the era of Laodicea that we are in, this is a common problem! __ complains that I won't speak up about what I have learned, but I feel like all I cause is controversy. My questions is, how can I approach this, and how would you approach this issue?

The second question is a little more scriptural if you will! __ has a supposed bible teacher telling them that the original sin in the Garden was eve having sex with satan. Of course I know this is hogwash, because even reading the Genesis account in English you would never come to that conclusion, and of course Genesis 4:1 tells us who fathered Cain and Able, but why would someone want to believe that? Are they trying to establish that Cain may have been the literal seed of Satan, and why would they want to do that? What is behind that? I suspect it is behind some type of heresy, but what would that be?

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks again for all you do, and I pray I will be in the crowd serenading you when you receive your crown for your faithful ministry!!

Response #13:   

Good to make your acquaintance, and thanks so much for your inspiring testimony and good words about this ministry!

As to your first question, this is a common issue and one to which there is no simple or pat answer. You have outlined the basic problem in an excellent way. When I first became enthusiastic about the Word, I had the mistaken impression that all I would have to do was to share the material I was reading and the things I was learning with others and they would immediately jump for joy as I had. What I didn't take into account, of course, was that this time of ours down here on the earth is all about free will, and I too had to be brought to just the right place before I was going to be receptive to the truth. So expecting others to immediately behave in similar fashion is not realistic. That is why the Lord told us to beware about casting pearls before swine. There are a great many swine on planet earth, but not too many pearl-appreciaters. When we find one of the latter, it's always a matter of rejoicing.

How to tackle this? First, my advice would be to continue to keep on doing what you are doing. Spiritual growth is the prerequisite for everything, because God uses people who are prepared - - and we can all be better prepared than we are. How to grow? I'm sure you have this down from reading into the site. We try to pray every day, we try to read the Bible everyday, we try to read into (or listen to) the ministry the Lord has led us to every day (Bible Academy is very good too; link). And more of each is better than less. And of course the quality of effort we put in does make a difference too. If we are thinking about supper while reading Psalms, we're likely not to get as much out of it as if we were really paying attention in the Spirit (we've all been there). And as we are learning the truth and believing what we are learning (things understood intellectually but not believed do us no spiritual good), we try to apply these to our lives and in our walk every step of the way.

Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NKJV

One of the difficulties you have encountered is typical of what we are all facing, those of us, that is, who love the truth and want to share it: most believers in Laodicea are merely conversant (to some degree) with the teachings of their group. If they were really interested in the truth, in growing spiritually by seeking deeply the meaning of everything the Bible has to say, well, they wouldn't be in that group. So when we tell try to explain to a Calvinist, e.g., that apostasy (and the sin unto death) is a legitimate danger for believers to consider – especially since the scriptures warns of this problem in both testaments over and over again – we need to understand that we are dealing with someone in a fortress of untruth where he/she is very comfortable. That is to say, we are not dealing with someone seeking out the right road forward who might be thankful for guidance (as in Priscilla and Aquila guiding Apollos); rather we are most likely dealing with someone who is not interested in spiritual advance at all, and who will merely be resentful at our attempt to pull some of the bricks out of their fortress.

There are some such folks whom the Lord is guiding to the truth, of course, and it is that small number who are worthy of our attentions. How do we tell who is who? That requires increasing spiritual common sense (which grows as we grow) and a growing sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Of course, in some instances it will be so obvious that there is very little question about it, whether we are talking about someone who is ripe for truth whom the Lord has placed in our path, or someone upon whom our efforts would only be wasted (with possible negative repercussions which do no one any good). Patience, as I often say, while a virtue, is not one of my personal strengths. So I understand very well the desire to force the issue in any case. Better is to rely on the Spirit's guidance, testing the waters occasionally in cases where one is not sure (with a "word fitly spoken": Prov.25:11).

As to the second question, I've heard this tripe before. It's a heretical teaching that's been around in the ether for a long time (I don't know the origin of it, not that this matters). Your analysis is spot-on in every way, and your crisp refutation would be enough for anyone who really puts the authority of what the Bible actually says in first place, it seems to me. For those for whom the Bible's teaching are merely suggestions or a departure point for fantasizing, well, there's no hope there unless and until God gets the person's attention. Because without a deep respect for the Bible as the sole source of the truth (beyond natural revelation), no argumentation is profitable (this is why it's largely pointless debating e.g. Mormons, in my experience).

Apologetics is a specialized form of ministry, and there are all manner of possible ministries and ministry opportunities for those so gifted. As I often also say, this is not my forte, but there are some postings at the site which deal with this area of serving the Lord (example link). What I said above clearly does not always apply to those whose job for the Lord it is to wade into popular culture or cults or misguided denominations with the purpose of "showing the flag" of truth. That is a rather tough "row to hoe", it seems to me, but there are as many combinations and variations of gifts and as many ministries as there are believers, and so we all need to figure out just how the Lord intends to use us as we become mature spiritually and begin to advance in our walk with the Lord. Apologetics strikes me as being akin to the ministries of the prophets of Israel. Generally speaking (and with exceptions), they did their job by confronting a largely unresponsive audience with uncomfortable truths.

To get back to question #2, as to what is the motivation behind such rubbish, that is something that would have to be adjudged on an individual basis. The biggest distinction would be between those who teach such stuff and those who delight in hearing it. To start with the latter, people generally are always eager to hear "secret truths", especially if they are salacious or outrageous in any way. That's why finding aliens in Ezekiel, or codes in the Hebrew letters, or "new" books of the Bible (apocryphal) always seems to generate more interest in unbelievers, weak believers, and lukewarm believers than the actual truth of scripture which we are so blessed to have. Anything dealing with angels, especially fallen ones, and secret or titillating or prurient activities, or anything involved in contacting or "mastering" them (dangerous as such neo-Gnosticism is), is very interesting to many, even though most of these "many" would never deign to sit through an entire Bible class where the actual truth is being taught.

In terms of teachers, now we have very clear motivation: the devil is always behind any such perversion of the truth – because the truth is his biggest problem, whenever it is believed. The teachers themselves want what all human beings dancing to Satan's tune want. They want money, they want pleasures, they want success, fame, power, celebrity – and all too many are willing to do almost anything to get what they want. Only fear of the consequences puts a limit on the illicit aspects of the "pursuit of happiness" in this life, but leading believers or potential believers astray through false teaching of the Bible is not a crime, even if it is evil in the extreme. All one has to do is to prostitute oneself to lies that people find fun and interesting, it seems, to gain a following.

So be aware of this, that in the last days there will be difficult times. For [in those times] there will be men (i.e., false teachers; cf. chap.2) concerned only for themselves, devoted to money, egotistic, arrogant, blasphemous, not concerned for their parents, ungrateful, irreverent, implacable, slanderers, uninhibited, savage, despising the good, betrayers, impetuous, megalomaniacal, devotees of pleasure rather than lovers of God, possessing an [outward] appearance of godliness, but [in reality] having rejected its [true] power. From such men turn away. Of this sort are those who [even in our own day] worm their way into households and take captive the [spiritually] weak who are loaded down with sins, leading them astray with various lusts, [victims who consequently,] though always learning, are never able to accept the truth. In the same way that [Pharaoh's court magicians] Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, for their minds have been corrupted and they have been found wanting concerning the faith. But they will not keep on striding forward forever. Their folly will become obvious to all, just as in the case of those two.
2nd Timothy 3:1-9

(18) For by pouring forth [statements] of outrageous folly, [by appealing to] fleshly lusts, and by making use of every [sort of] sensuality, [these false teachers] entice those who [previously] had truly escaped from those who live [such] lives of deception (i.e., the false teachers). (19) [These false teachers] promise [weak believers] freedom [from a disciplined life], though they themselves are truly slaves of corruption. For by what[ever] one is mastered (i.e., the victims of false teaching – who are the center of discussion from here on in), to this is he enslaved. (20) For if after having escaped the defilements of this world by recognizing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [these weak believers] should be overcome [spiritually] by becoming involved again in these foul things, then they have become worse off than they were before. (21) For it would have been better for them not to have accepted the Righteous Way in the first place, rather than – once having accepted this holy command [for faith in Christ which was] committed to them – to turn their backs on it now. (22) And so in their case this proverb is true: "The dog has returned to his vomit, and the sow, though washed, to her muddy sty".
2nd Peter 2:18-22

I'll say a prayer for these individuals. Some things, quite frankly, just don't pass the spiritual "sniff test" – or as our Lord told us, if the fruit is clearly bad, it must come from a bad tree (Matt.7:18; 12:33). Now we wouldn't cut down a tree for one rotten apple, but some apples are SO bad that at the very least finding one like that ought to occasion reexamination of our assessment of the quality of the tree in question.

Thanks again for your good words, my friend! Do feel free to write me any time.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #14:   

[question about going along with others watching / viewing / reading questionable content]

Response #14:  

As Paul tells the Philippians . . .

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 NKJV

So no, of course, we are not required to conform – quite the opposite. That doesn't mean that we go out of our way to tell others how to behave, however. That is, as a rule, legalism when it comes to other believers (although a timely word spoken may indeed be appropriate and even life-saving to the person in question), and in terms of unbelievers, only faith in Christ will bring change; making an issue of sin only confuses the gospel.

In terms of what we expose ourselves to, there is no rule which can be written here. There are plenty of things which almost all of us could agree are wrong to embrace and dangerous to linger over. There are some which almost no one would find objectionable or problematic. In between, there is a large gray area where every believer has to make his/her own decisions. And it does make a difference who we are since some are more vulnerable to being tripped up by one sort of questionable thing, others not so much – but we all have areas of strength and weakness. If we really are trying to walk in a way pleasing to the Lord, then the Spirit will surely indicate to us what we ought and ought not to do. Mind you, His is the "still, small voice", and it is all too easy to ignore Him and do what we want to do instead. That is always a mistake, but none of us is anywhere near perfect. That is one reason why the grace of confession is such a blessing. And as we grow, we will (or should) get better at listening to the Spirit and turning away from everything that is not profitable for our spiritual growth, progress and production.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15: 

I have gotten the impression via life experience that sometimes we have to go along with social norms. And part of life and part of being part of society/any social group involves some sin I think. So, ___ is a gray area?

Response #15: 

We don't have to confront others who do things that are wrong; we are responsible for not doing things that are wrong ourselves. If it's not a question of right and wrong, then it doesn't really matter, except as far as our consciences and the Spirit direct us.

When I was in high school, wearing bell-bottom trousers was against the rules and a sign of massive rebellion, worthy of getting suspended. By the time I got to college and went shopping for clothes, I literally could not find a single pair of pants of any kind which was not at least "flared". Today, you'd need to go to a vintage shop to find any such thing, I'm guessing. In my opinion at this point, this was all a very silly thing. But of course, had I worn bell-bottoms when they first started appearing, it would have been taken as a sign of rebellion. We try, as Christians, not to give unnecessary offense, but we also don't allow ourselves to be bullied into or out of things we think are bad or good respectively.

On writing / reading, this is a personal decision. If you're worried about it, it's at least worth considering whether or not the Spirit is telling you something.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #16: 

Hi Bill

You mention that Esau wasn't a believer. Still isn't the point of the passage to warn that it can be too late to be saved, because it is saying by selling his birthright it was too late to ever inherit. So in the same way a Christian if they deny Christ or put an earthly passion above Jesus Christ they have sold out the possibility of a return?

If that isn't the analogy, then what is?

I am interested in particular as to what birthright and inherit in Esau's case is an analogy for the audience to whom the author is writing?


Response #16:  

You mean Hebrews 12:16-17?

It certainly is a warning, but I don't see the additional conclusions you're drawing from it to be present or warranted. Esau sought the inheritance after he'd sold it in no different way and with no different attitude than the one with which he had sold it. That is clear from the Genesis account and also here. So a case where a believer becomes an unbeliever – selling his/her birthright to life eternal for some worldly pottage (or for whatever reason he/she chose to stop believing in Christ = apostasy) – would follow the Esau pattern when said unbeliever appears before Christ at the last judgment and cries about being condemned. But if said person had really had a change of heart in this life (true biblical repentance), he/she had ample opportunity to return to the Lord before the finality of death – just like the prodigal son did.

But it SURELY is better not to even play with such dangerous things as apostasy or the sin unto death – and that IS the point of the passage.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17: 

OK In 1 John 3 it states anyone who lives a sinful lifestyle is a child of he devil, so clearly a person can't live a long existence as an unrepentant Christian, but you seem to say they can. You mention them going on in sin until God ends their life. So while these people are living like this, what are they? Christians or Children of the Devil, they can't be both, but your interpretation would mean that they would be

Response #17: 

With apologies, you're making a number of incorrect assumptions here about my positions.

If you really want to know what I write about this issue, have a look at this link for starters: "Apostasy and the Sin unto Death" (in BB 3B).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18: 

As far as I can see from the article you are saying that before the Lord removes the person from life who is committing the sin unto death, they are sinning in sa serious way while saved as Christian and that the Lord removes them from life to stop them losing faith. My point still stands. You are saying, even though this person will be removed from life, that they will be sinning, then die and expect to be saved in heaven, but John says in 1 John 3 that such people are not saved but children of the devil. 1 Corinthians 6:9 says they will not inherit the Kingdom of God. You seem to be saving a Christian who is caught up in sinful behaviour like sexual immorality if they don't repent and continue will be removed from among the living in a painful way, because the won't repent. In other words you are saying a non repentant person, can enter heaven whereas John and Paul says he can't. Scripture is pitted against scripture. If this is not your interpretation then please explain how sinful a person has to be to become a child of the devil as mentioned in 1 John 3, how much sin is too much. Some who refuses to make restitution for money they stole, too much sin, according to John it is.

You seem to imply throughout your website that so long as faith hasn't died a person is still born-again. That what should I make of the words "without which no man shall see the Lord" Heb 12:14

This verse isn't saying do the following or you may end up losing your faith and so lose your salvation. It's saying if you don't do the following you will lose salvation full stop. "no man shall see the Lord" What do you understand that to mean. I understand it to mean if those works are not present then a person isn't saved, you seem to be reading them differently as though not maintaining faith so a person can see the Lord. So what do you mean? Faith or works will make a person see the Lord?


Response #18:  

Our God is a God of the greatest mercy. Consider:

Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Bound in affliction and irons—
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High,
Therefore He brought down their heart with labor;
They fell down, and there was none to help.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He has broken the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron in two.
Fools, because of their transgression,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food,
And they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And declare His works with rejoicing.
Psalm 107:10-22

You wrote: "My point still stands".

I had thought that you were asking a question of this Bible teaching ministry, but it now seems that perhaps were looking for an argument. With all due respect, I really don't have time for that.

There is a great deal at Ichthys that might benefit you, but you have to actually read it with an open mind and let the Spirit guide you into the truth. Only truth believed can ever do a believer any good.

In Jesus Christ our Lord who is the very Word of Truth.

Bob L.

Question #19:  

I know what I mean by what I say and I wasn't trying to start an argument. I was meaning why does it in 1 John 3 say born-again people don't sin, yet you claim that a rebellious Christian can sin seriously to the point of actually being physically extinguished?

Response #19: 

Of course Christians continue to sin – even though of course we should not. Anyone who knows any Christian understands that. And any Christian who is honest with him or herself understands it as well. The only way for any 'Christian' to claim sinless perfection is to redefine sin as a small group of truly horrible actions which the person in question has no problem staying away from. But what we say can easily be sinful (often in ways we don't even realize at the time); and what we think can likewise frequently be sinful – even if other people don't see it.

1st John 3:6 and similar passages are best translated by seeing the verbs there are progressive: "does not keep sinning", or "does not sin habitually". I have no problem with the straight translation, "does not sin", however, because this is essentially our Christian "job description". A Christian "doesn't sin". And yet we do. That is the dilemma of being "in the body". Rather than try to make the passage fit our behavior by "dumbing down" sin to only things we don't have a problem with avoiding – a horrible mistake that always results in rank Pharisaical legalism and thus can endanger salvation – every Christian who reads, e.g., 1st John 3:6, should do as the man did in Luke 18:13 and proclaim, "O God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!" For that is the truth.

Before allowing oneself to become overly upset by, e.g., 1st John 3:6, one should remember what John said earlier in the epistle:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1st John 1:8 NKJV

Meaning that we all have a sin nature, a body of sin in which we live, and that results in personal sins. Saying or claiming otherwise is self-deception.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1st John 1:9 NKJV

God provides for a means for forgiveness and cleansing from sin for believers – something unnecessary if it were impossible for believers to sin.

If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
1st John 1:10

Pretty clear. Persons who claim "sinless perfection" are saying that God lied when He inspired the previous verses.

And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
1st John 2:1b

The Lord advocates for us when we sin. But if we claim we have not sinned when we have . . .

Sin is a deep dark ocean, and it encompasses many behavior, words, and thoughts most don't even recognize as being sinful. No doubt for just that reason, most of the sacrifices in the Mosaic Law were for "sins of ignorance". For more on all this and what sin "is", please see BB 3B: Hamartiology.

In Jesus Christ who is "the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world" (1Jn.2:2).

Bob L.

Question #20:  

Hi Bob and family,

Hope this email finds you well – ½ the year almost over and getting so much closer to that day, which sadly, too many are in ignorance of.

The strait gate verses have been on my mind again and it brings me to a question that possibly crosses the mind of so many who are perhaps not aware of what I believe to be the true meaning of those verses in Matthew 7: 13 & 14. In my mind those two verses are specific and I’m sure are in a literal, spiritual sense – I can’t see them any other way.

In Luke 13: 24, Jesus said to strive to enter in at the strait gate – can it be more specific than that and there is so much scripture that reinforces it. Jesus knew of the corruption of the religious leaders both then and now, which is why He brought His disciples out of it. And He made it available to all who would earnestly seek it, there is no mystery about it, it just isn’t in a manmade system. To my mind, entering the strait gate is spiritual – not physical.

In my article about the strait gate there’s not much more I can add to it but various friends who I think are genuine Christians and are in the system and believe in it – this begs the question about what I believe to be the broad way.

Can a (supposedly) genuine Christian be ‘in the system’ and be saved? I know that God knows the hearts of all but it is still contrary to those verses, which are diametrically opposites to each other.

I know your own thoughts on the church visible today and I am concerned for all – I want to be able to correctly define an answer for those in the system who would question my thoughts and I hope you can help me.

Will make this do for now dear Bob and as always, with brotherly love,

Response #20: 

Always good to hear from you, my friend.

Jesus is the "Way" (Jn.14:6) and also the "Gate" (cf. Jn.10:7-9) whereby we enter life eternal; any other way is headed to destruction.

As to systems, anytime anyone sets up a system it's a dangerous thing. There are no rules for how to organize churches in NT, far less super-church organizations like denominations or para-church movements. Systemization means rule-making, and all extra-biblical rule-making is legalism. And to the extent that a person relies on following man-made rules to be saved (whatever the rules), to that extent he/she is not relying on simple faith in Jesus Christ to be saved – and only those who believe in Christ are saved.

So it always gets back to the state of the heart of the person concerned. The worse the system, the slighter the chance that a person can be in it and be saved. I've often said that personally I'm agnostic about the possibility of RCs being saved, but every RC ex-pat I've ever met or spoken with on the subject has claimed it to be impossible. Not only are the teaching of the RC church completely legalistic (and non-biblical), but it is also the case that anyone even slightly concerned about seeking the truth would certainly bail out sooner or later.

It's not an absolute thing. I'm sure there are Baptists who are saved, e.g., even though their system has plenty of problems. But allegiance to a system, any system, is problematic to the degree that it conflicts with the truth. This will become a much bigger issue in the soon to come Tribulation when antichrist's world religion co-opts all such religious systems and corrupts and compromises whatever truth any of them may have had. At that point, failing to exit will result in being subsumed into evil. At the moment, it is possible in some systems to "Baal dance" (1Ki.18:21 in the Hebrew) between the truth and the quirks of the system; in the near future, that possibility will be removed.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #21:   

Hi Bob and family,

I’m not sure if I’ve correctly understood your kind reply, in my use of the word system I was referring to ‘the visible church system’ overall and I’m not sure if you’ve understood my question in the real sense. What I am saying or asking, is a person professing to be a Christian saved if they diligently or otherwise, attend any church?

I’m not sure if you’re saying that a person with little or no understanding of the strait gate verses, yet is attending a church may still be saved until the false prophet coerces (perhaps by force) all to join a one-world-church. I understand that part and perhaps I should re-read your reply as I am sometimes guilty of not spending a little more time in understanding.

On one hand some of my friends are genuine in their belief and attend a church believing they have salvation but have no true understanding of those two verses. I’m quite sure they believe it must be right to belong to a church because they have been around for almost 2000 years.

On the other hand, because I don’t have any faith in any church system (possibly because of my mistrust from my 11 years in what I now know is a cult) simply because I believe I have a correct understanding of those verses.

My dilemma is how to advise any person if the question arises, whether to go – or not to go to any church.

I hope I have explained myself better and hoping not to cause any inconvenience to you.

With brotherly love,

Response #21: 

You're no inconvenience, my friend! I'm always very happy to hear from you.

As to friends who are "in a church", whatever sort of system that church represents, as I have said many times, there is no security based upon membership or participation in a church or denomination (see the links: "Institutional Security" and "aspects of institutional security").

And while it is the case that belonging or otherwise associating with a group, denomination, system, church will not save a person, there are very many of these organizations which will outright lead a person away from the Lord, and in which it is very difficult to be saved precisely because the issue of the gospel is confused, distorted or even obliterated. I get what you are saying about folks who belong to churches because "that is what you do"; but belonging doesn't get it done, in most cases, and in some cases can do the opposite of "getting it done". That is why Ichthys is on the internet.

As to your dilemma, one of the things that has always bothered me about mass evangelism and "hit and run" evangelism is that people who come to Christ need the truth then more than ever. Telling them, "well, you're saved now, go find a church" is a real cop out. But of course very often the people who tell them this, the people involved in the "crusade", are spiritually immature, not growing, and using this activity as a substitute for growth (not always, but often enough to mention it).

If I knew/know of a church where a person could really grow and learn the truth, I would be happy to send someone there. As it is, when I bump into anyone positive, I usually tell them that "Ichthys is my church", and that they are welcome there any time.

I hope I've come a little closer to getting to what you are asking this time, my friend. Do feel free to write me back about any of this.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:  

Hi Bob and family,

Thank you for your further clarification on the question and as usual, you’ve cleared it up by saying “church will not save a person” and sometimes little seeds of doubt can creep in, making me think – am I too radical but I soon snap out of it as I know who is to blame.

It is just so sad that most are following the directions of salaried men in hallowed buildings instead of scripture. As a poor analogy – I’ll take my chances on scripture rather than what men would/will say.

I can’t help but think of how simple God made salvation and I don’t mean in any way to diminish Jesus’ gift through His unselfish sacrifice and I have now put that question behind me.

Again my thanks Bob and as always, with brotherly love,

Response #22: 

Glad to hear this was helpful.

Yes, it is perplexing, but we do what we can do and let the Lord deal with the rest.

Salvation is "simple" indeed – for us – because the Lord paid a price beyond imagination for us.

In awe of His grace and mercy.

Bob L.


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 
The Lord has given me a wonderful deliverance through a very difficult time here, so thank you each and everyone who has been praying for me and this ministry!
So much to be thankful for!


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