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Cults and Christianity XIII

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Question #1:

Tornadoes:  I hope this finds you well. I got the impression the storm was traveling ENE. I don't know how close to Louisville it got.

On a completely different note: Ben Franklin's epitaph: It is comforting to me at this time. I wish I had written something like this.

The body of
B. Franklin, Printer.
Like the cover of an old book,
Its contents torn out,
And stripped of its lettering and gilding,
Lies here, food for worms;
Yet the work itself shall not be lost,
For it will as he believed
appear once more,
In a new, and more beautiful edition,
Corrected and improved
By the Author.

-- Ben Franklin

Of my three careers, my time as a printer is the one of which I'm most proud. It's the only one in which I actually did something useful. Sadly, it's a trade that no longer exists except for very small pockets and old hold-outs.

I pray you're well and safe.

In our Lord,

Response #1:

Thanks for your concern, my friend! The tornadoes knocked Kentucky around quite a bit, but they stopped just short of Louisville. We had some strong winds, but no damage. Not even any significant tree fall from what I saw going out and about today. We are grateful to the Lord!

Thanks for the poem! Yes, we're all waiting for the "second edition" (Rom.8:23).

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hi Dr.

32 years working on Peter....wow. Thank you for your effort and all your work. It has and is a blessing.

When the word speaks of 'meditation' what do you take it to mean and how can one apply it in their walk?

Thank you always.

In Christ Jesus our Lord

Response #2:

Some versions use that word more than others. Here is one famous passage where most versions use that word:

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

It is safe to say by way of preface that "meditation" in the Bible never means what most people mean by that word today in modern English. For one thing, it never involves particular stances or positions, nor intoning some sort of chant, nor focusing on some sort of mental picture or visualization – and of course this does not exhaust the different ungodly approaches out there, not just in pagan religions but also of late in perverse and dangerous supposedly "Christian" meditating which has more in common with "new age" heresies than anything else.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 KJV

The above is true Christian "meditation" – to the extent that we want to use this word. Personally, I would avoid it at all costs because the potential damage far outweighs any benefit that might come from using it in place of a good synonym. For example, in the Psalm 19:14 passage quoted above, "thinking" or "thoughts" would be just as good, because that is what higayon (from hagah) really means: words formed in the heart.

Thanks for the good words, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hello, Dr. Bill,

I’m so thankful for you sound teaching ,and references links at hand. As you know from previous emails , I was elated to find that my beliefs were in line with what you teach. My former pastor, a man who was Christ Like in his walk with the Lord, tried to explain to me that the 1000 year reign wasn’t literal. Something to the effect of 1000 years is 1 day with the Lord. The Day you are saved is that 1000 years, the lamb lays down with the lion in your soul. So I just nodded my head and went about my way. He was a wonderful Christian man and I have no doubt that he went to be with the Lord. I just wonder where he learned that from? That is my question. He never preached on that subject. His preaching was rebuked and exhort in love, he could preach a message on hell being the consequences of a sinful life , and our redeemer Jesus Christ , saving our soul from hell, and I would leave thinking, he is the only one I’ve heard that can preach hell and make you feel happy.

I have been saved for 35 years and only been a member of 2 church’s. The 1st church teaching , Rapture. I never could get settled with this doctrine as the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me. Not to say my fellow Christians, aren’t believers. They truly are. My dear pastor of this Church believed in the millennium. So our talks were never heated, more like agreeing to disagree. His teaching, was John is talking to the Church and in Chapter 4 of Revelations John says come up hither. The Church is in Heaven from that moment until the 30 minute silence in heaven, when they come back with the Lord to battle. Where do they learn that from?

Eternal security is a tool the devil is using. There are many Ifs, ands, and buts being over looked in the Bible. I can only speak of personal experience. At the age of 28, I came to the realization that I wanted what a dear Lady at my work had. I wanted that joy unspeakable, and peace that surpassed all understanding. She had it and I wanted it. She was happy and unmovable in any circumstance. I had many well being Christian women telling me “ you just need to get saved” with their pious looks and words of judgement, all the while witnessing to me with sour looks. I honestly thought I was better off than them. When I got saved, I was truly born a new person. Old things were passed away all things were new. I can never thank the Lord for this new live. There was a change in me. I never want to lose that. When I sin, the Holy Spirit makes me feel terrible, like I’ve committed murder. I immediately ask forgiveness. I do believe Christ saved me eternally, I believed I’m sealed til the day of redemption. I think those who profess the hope , but, continue in willfully sinning , quenching the Holy Spirit, and not producing any fruit. Those are the ones that will be told “depart from me I never knew you” . If Christ never knew you then, he did not save you.

Through all these years of walking with Christ , there is 1 thing I know. He will lead me to the truth. We have always told our girls to listen to the still small voice. They too , teach their Children at home the word of God. Cause we know, there is no private interpretation of the word. God tells us to teach our children. We can not count on just the Church. Praise God! Thankful for your sharing and wisdom. May God continue to richly bless you.

Response #3:

Good to hear from you.

I also know and have known good Christians who were "off" on certain important truths of scripture. That is, in short, the history of the Church. However, there is no question but that truth is what "this" is all about. The more truth we know, the more truth we believe, the better we listen to the Spirit in applying and responding to the truth, the "better Christians" we will be in fact – in the Lord's eyes – and not just in the estimation of human beings. Everything we do in this world is informed by and empowered by the truth. I know of some people who can/could do pushups with only one arm – but it's easier with two. The more holes we have in our understanding of the truth, the more difficult to live our lives the way Jesus wants and to serve Him the way He wants.

In the end, it's all about the truth.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Thank you, Bob. I really appreciate your prayers and encouragement.

Seems so silly to be caught up in any sort of human drama with the time drawing short. I keep myself pretty unplugged from mainstream news, so I’m always shocked (but not really surprised) to hear another nutty thing going on in this world.

Praise: My mom has been listening to the book of Matthew on her audio Bible! And asking really good questions! Last night was about Jesus saying “who are my mother and brothers” …. This confused her. And I wondered, too. Was Jesus prioritizing His spiritual brothers? Was Mary not really a believer or until the crucifixion?

I’m also having trouble explaining to mom, as well as another Catholic friend, why our Bible is correct and complete. Do you have a write up on the history of the Bible and why the extra books in the Catholic Bible should not be there?

Thank you

Response #4:

Sounds to me as if you've been explaining things wonderfully well! What good news that your mom is opening up to the truth! We'll keep her in prayer.

As to "who are my mother and brothers", our Lord was not saying that His family was not His, but that we who follow Him are – closer than blood relations because we have not been born again, born again by human will but by the Spirit of God and the water of the Word (Jn.1:12-13; 3:5-6).

As to His brothers, they were not saved until afterwards (Jn.7:5). I do think Mary was a believer even at this early stage, but very few, it seems, had a clear picture of who the Messiah was at this point, that He was God and man . . . and would need to die for the sins of the world. Those who trusted without perfect information were believers (e.g., Matt.16:16; Jn.11:27), just as we trust the Lord now, even though we have many questions we'd like to have answered: we trust that all questions will be answered on the other side, if not before, and are grateful for the truth God has shared with us before that.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Thank you.

Response #5:

You're most welcome, . . . and I forgot to give you the links on your other question:

On the Bible generally, please see part 7 of Bible Basics, "Bibliology"; your question overlaps many issues, so please scroll through the table of contents to find what's most applicable. As to the "Apocrypha", that is, the "extra" books in the RC Bible which are not inspired, here is a link which will lead to others: "The Bible and the Canon IV".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:


Just checking in to see how you are doing?

Was shocked to see that your University has forced a campus wide vaccine mandate! Having said that, Europe is looking more and more like a banana republic each day. Austria has mandated vaccines now for the whole country (Feb 2022) otherwise there are fines or prison sentences. The word on the street is that the Czech Republic and Germany are poised to follow suit. No doubt this country will be the same also, it's all just a matter of time..

In Holland they have had riots there over lockdowns and the police have open fired on the people, injuring people and killing two. They claim that no warning shots were fired.
The idea of peaceful protest is a thing of the past it seems.

Things are really "getting serious" now aren't they? My dad has been following that Rittenhouse case and believes it is yet another tinder box situation.

I hope you and yours are holding on and keeping on!

Just reading further with the emails and saw the questions regarding a son with schizophrenia.
I'm not an expert on mental illness but I have had a lot of experience both as a sufferer and as a student of psychotherapy and psychology.

They only give you three options as a solution 1) a talking cure or attempts at changing behaviour and coping mechanisms 2) drugs 3) dubious interventions.

The third is the most dubious in that the cure is often times worst than the illness. It involves torturous practices such as lobotomies or shock treatment which seem to treat people and their suffering as though they are criminal acts! Even the more benign of these are actually dangerous in a different way!

This is the realms of pseudo science when the "doctor" relies on occult methods and witchcraft to heal. I am not kidding Bob. They use occult methods to heal. There are two things they used on me. One was called EMDR or "tapping" for PTSD and the other one was "visualisations".

I told you that the visualisation led to the only time I have had a direct encounter with demons and I will never ever do it again. I now know that visualisation is a common technique in new age occultism and is designed to "open you up in contact with the ascended masters for knowledge and healing". The ascended masters I hasten to add are fallen angels.

The other technique EMDR involves rolling your eyes back in forth in your head whilst you recall a traumatic memory. This caused me almost to have a complete breakdown. Even the therapist himself said he was rageful for months himself after doing it himself. They simply DO NOT know what they are doing or what they are playing with!

I would urge the writer to STAY AWAY from head shrinkers as they will only make their son worse in my humble opinion. The only benefit I got was one therapist showed me how to structure my day better and one of them was a Christian counsellor and so was harmless but also of little help.

How can psychotherapists and psychiatrists possibly help when they don't acknowledge or know our creator? How can they help when they deny the truth? If they don't go to God for help, where do their techniques of healing come from? The occult is the answer. Most of the experiments that have been done over the years will shock you. They often go to pagan cultures and witch doctors for help and advice as they believe in "ancient wisdom". You can blame Margaret Mead and various anthropologists for the use of voodoo and sorcery that is now prevalent in the science of the mind.

They often try to get people to enter an "altered state" through drugs, suggestion or hypnosis and this can be devastating to a mind that is already fragile. I could never condone hypnosis to anyone. I am sorry to be cynical but I think most mind doctors are here to do the devil's work. Mostly of course unwittingly. They really believe their witchcraft methods will work and is for the good of the people but can sorcery ever be made clean with good intentions?

You may feel I have gone too far by saying this but if a doctor does not seek solutions from God than he can only look to the devil for help and indeed he has. Both occult methods used on me in a therapeutic setting has backfired on me tremendously. I am grateful that both hurt me terribly after just one occasion. God protected me enough to show the truth the first time around and I will never use these evil methods again and will tell others to avoid them too at all costs as they are spiritually as well as physically dangerous!

I have healed hugely however from following your ministry and reading the Bible. Your section on Peter and suffering in particular has helped immensely. Now that I know that depression (and all mental illness) comes from without not within, I literally can see the black cloud approaching and now I can also stop it from settling over my head as I know it is from the enemy. Now that the enemy knows I see through it, he uses it less and less.

Once we identify that it is a weapon forged against us, we can fight back against it with growing faith, spiritual maturity and trust in God and His Word.

Trust me, I have spent years in therapy with the best of the best in London and my faith, the Bible and your ministry has done more to heal me in a few years than decades with the world's finest experts in the fields of psychiatry and psychotherapy. Just my humble opinion based on my own experiences.

Who could know us better than the one who created us? The good doctor and the great physician who marvelled all with his knowledge even as a child?

P.s. Just wanted to add that I in no way or circumstance encourage protest. I once did (before I was saved) but now I see it as a waste of time if not very dangerous. We are not here to fix this place but to do God's will.

I've just noticed that all "peaceful protests" are now indistinguishable from "rioting in the daytime". It seems that any middle ground or centrist viewpoint has all but been entirely erased. It's easy to see how in the future that we will be seen as collaborators in our refusal to riot alongside with them for "freedom".

Unlike others, the vaccine mandates is not the hill I am willing to die on. Only Jesus Christ is worth dying for (although of course I would defend others too if it came to that).

It will be interesting to see if they threaten to arrest dissenters for refusing. Even the vaccinated should sit up and take notice of that kind of government overreach. If it comes to that, I will seek God's counsel. This is proving to be a very realistic dry run for the mark of the beast.
I know the refusal of the mark will be a hundred times harder than refusing a vaccine mandate so it has been good training for me identifying my weak spots and chinks in my armour.

In Jesus,

Response #6:

The bit about a universal mandate is concerning indeed [update: U of L had to cancel ours because of a state court decision]. Don't know how that is legally possible. Over here, they're "only" trying to prevent people from working (and eating) in order to coerce them – which is bad enough, obviously.

Thank you for your heart-felt and informative discussion of psychotherapy. These are things any believers should take seriously. As mentioned, I have known of individuals who have been helped by counseling, even though I would never recommend it and have similar reservations. At Talbot, to get an M.Div., you had to take "pastoral counseling". I switched over to an academic track before having to subject myself to that. And Biola, the university associated with Talbot seminary, has an entire school of psychology. These may have Christian underpinnings, but I doubt vigorously that they are separated hermetically from secular psych methodology – anymore than that university and seminary have been able to stick with "Bible only". They have not.

I think the biggest problem with this sort of thing is that it carries the risk of surrendering one's free will to the counselor and to the method of therapy, whereas at the same time it seeks reliance on human help when God is the only actual help. Still, on the analogy of breaking a bone and seeking medical attention, there are times when we do need the help of others – and if God has provided the help, and if we understand that it is God who is really doing the healing, then I have no problem with that. We all have to make our own decisions about such things – through the Spirit ideally.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

I've emailed you about these things before but I just want to say that I have a distinct suspicion that the antichrist may have long hair and a beard.

The truth is that no-one knows what our Lord looks like and yet we have hundreds of years worth of iconography showing Jesus to look a particular look. I strongly think this is a snare.

When I had that awful attack after that visualisation, I first saw an image of the Catholic image of Jesus. Many people really believe this to be our Lord's likeness. This image has appeared to many people in the new age occultic religion as an "ascended master".

Response #7:

That does make a lot of sense. Everyone has the "long hair" image of our Lord in their heads thanks to nearly all the "famous" paintings of Christ (e.g., Sallman's) – but scripture of course never says so. On the other hand, we do have to be careful not to wed ourselves to that interpretation because in truth we don't yet know who the beast is, and we certainly don't want to let any presuppositions of any kind keep us from a correct identification (we could be wrong about things that are not spelled out in scripture).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Thank you Bob,

Your wise counsel keeps me on the ground during these strange and tumultuous times.

I daily pray for discernment now. I wanted discernment for continual spiritual growth and to keep me from error but I know that I can completely trust your ministry in all areas of doctrine as I have never really disagreed with you yet! When I thought I did, I went back to the Bible and realised you were right all along! I really appreciate your thoroughness and diligent dedication to the truth my friend! Such a rare trait these days.

I don't have attacks of smorgasbordianism as much these days. I read one of the emails this week quoting John Piper and found myself shaking my head but then again "I was that soldier!" I remember the first time I read about "Christian Hedonism" and sighed deeply inside in the hope that it wasn't true. I was such a babe back then and I really feel for other babes in Christ wandering one way and then another, unaware of the wolves and their false teachings. There is actually a video of Piper saying that he wished that he could speak in tongues and sits in his parked car for hours trying to make it happen. He even says he prays that God will give him this toy to play with! (P.s I am a complete Cessationist now but I don't completely rule out that God will still use these gifts from time to time and will use them again during the tribulation.)

I have whittled down my extra Ichthys resources to two YouTube channels and now to be honest I am thinking of giving them the old heave ho too. They gave good info on what is happening in "Churchianity" vis a vis the whole rising up rebellion to tyranny meme, the infiltration by the new age and this whole patriotic dominionist theology but I noticed errors when they were doing their own teachings themselves.

One of them said
1) Jerusalem is Babylon (that's where I got that from and you gracefully helped me there.)
2) that the "Restrainer" is Michael
3) that Peter is the rock on which the church is founded upon

Those last two particularly alarmed me as I know them to be quoted a lot by Catholics so I'm wondering whether the channel in question is not bringing in Catholic teachings by the back door just like the Emergents are doing.

Anyway this is enough to cure me of Smorgasborditis. I have all these David Pawson books on the Bible and not sure if I should read them now. Earlier on in the year I rashly took out a year's subscription to Tabletalk magazine and not sure whether I should read that either (Sproul practiced infant baptism).

I have actually become a lot more careful and discerning than I used to be. I remember a few years ago I put on God Tv and couldn't bear more than about five minutes of it. It was Ravi Zacharias and it sounded like psychobabble to me. I literally forgot what he said five seconds after hearing it, it was so woolly.

It seemed the right thing in the past to either seek out "Christian" channels on TV or on the radio but now I avoid them like the plague as I know that it will be false teaching or as you call it "pablum".

I looked up one of your contemporaries Pastor Perkins. He said he believes in OSAS, that there is no possibility of loss of salvation for anyone who has believed (past tense) in Jesus. I don't understand how anyone can believe that because it almost negates free will, excuses sin and negates the need for endurance or even spiritual growth! It also suggests that if you apostatise then you are still saved! He also believes in pre- trib rapture. He also said something that I didn't understand about the Holy Spirit

"...Except for the indwelling, the ministries of the Holy Spirit are temporary, lost upon the advent of personal sin, and recovered through the confession of sin."

I don't understand what this means? Does it mean we lose the Holy Spirit every time we sin? Is this true?

In Jesus,

Response #8:

I rejoice in your growing spiritual discernment, my friend! Truth will do that for a person.

Every time I hear something about Piper it's always bad. And your list of three is also bad . . . and dangerous.

I am sorry to say that my friend apparently never parted company with the Thieme position on unconditional eternal security (among other things). You are right to point out some of the dangers with that false position. I hasten to add that I got a lot out of Col. Thieme's ministry and that Ichthys would not be what it is today if it were not for what I learned from my mentor. But the truth is the truth, and we grow by embracing what's true and casting out what's false. Incidentally, my friend and his wife are now in Tahiti – he retired in order to take up a full time mission ministry there.

Finally, the bit about the Spirit is also clearly wrong. We benefit from His ministry more to the extent that we are responding to Him. Confession of sin is part of the response, but so is every other thing we should do or not do as He guides us. The more response, the more empowerment.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

I know you're not a big fan of Christian songs but I heard one today on an old timey Christian radio station in Texas that I listen to on my trusty Roberts Internet radio, it's called "Great Is They Faithfulness". I was brought up on Catholic Hymns so this is a new one for me.

How wonderful are the lyrics "Morning by morning new mercies I see, All I hath needed thy hand hath provided, Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me."


Pressure has been intensifying somewhat here. The drug situation next door is bad. Seems as though it involves human trafficking as the man who lives next door is Albanian and is scared out of his wits. I have also seen very young children (twin girls 4/5) go next door too with different men.

I've reported this to the police and even human trafficking organisations and yet absolutely nothing is being done. It seems to be an international affair with Hong Kong landlords and people from all over the world involved.

Last night I heard them drilling holes in the door after 10pm to install spy holes and extra security. I have been sore tempted more than once to get personally involved but instead I am trusting in the Lord for His deliverance.

I think the real answer is to move house so that is what we are now fixing to do in the new year if possible. Being next door to a house that has now become a rental will always mean more problems and more changing of hands.

In happier news, I am learning to put all my trust in God's hands and trying to be less obsessed with controlling things myself and instead be patient for our Lord's deliverance. If I impatiently do an "operation Hagar" it will always come a cropper but God's deliverance and timing will always be perfect so (after many misfires) I am now learning to trust and wait on Him.

I am determined to be a strong witness to my family and I do think that I am planting a few seeds. There is so much deception around that I am trying my best to steer them around the obvious ones and trying to give them the truth instead.

Also I am making progress with the spare room. I am fixing it up to be an art studio and because I have already ideas for my first project, I hope to have the basic set up of my business completed by the end of the year.

By then I will also have finished the bible for the first time so I am hoping also in the new year to commit to plans in continuing work on my ministry again.

I'm also trying to watch my calories at the moment and following a "Couch to 5K" exercise plan that hopefully will get my body back into something movable again after the lockdown

Things are tough but with Jesus I can do it. Without Him, I'd perish to think though the words "nowhere fast" spring to mind.

The nights are drawing in fast now. Unfortunately the neighbours and their children will be celebrating Halloween tonight yet another cultural import that we could have happily have done without!

In Him,

Response #9:

"Couch to 5K" – pretty funny! My own jogging goes slow. I got somewhat out of shape and overweight on account of psi-joint and knee problems, and at my age the recovery is slow and low.

Glad to hear that you continue to do well spiritually! I do hope that you can move soon. Sounds like a real horror story next door – no need for Halloween! Confronting evil people like that personally is not the best idea, especially without a side-arm. And if the police won't even look into it . . .

Yes, I'm not a fan of hymns. I'm not a fan of that one either, but I don't judge others who like Christian music . . . just as long as they understand that the only reason it has any truly positive effects for them is because they already know and have believed a good deal of truth so that the occasional not-awful lyric strikes the right chord.

Keeping you and your business and family and all other matters in my daily prayers, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hello Brother Bob, from your friend in Ohio. Praying that all things continue to go well with you! Is the University implementing more health restrictions? It's hard to be relational through all that.

I am looking for some suggestions on a good book to read on apologetics that gives simple answers to common attacks on our Christian faith. I refer to "simple" because I am not a good reader, and if it requires too much theology, I may get lost. I'm in need something to support . . .

2 Cor 10:4
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

There is no other like, or beside Him, and we are his workmanship, and messengers. What a privilege.

Looking forward to your suggestion

Response #10:

We'll, I'm not exactly sure what you're looking for.  If it's a question of "where does the Bible teach that Jesus is God", for example, or defending the Trinity (e.g.), you can find things about those sorts of questions at Ichthys, and I honestly don't know of any better place.  Happy to point you to places at Ichthys where info on specific questions you are interested in may be found.

If you're interested in the practice of apologetics, that is, more about the theory and tactics, there are books on that. Most books with apologetics in the title is likely to be more theoretical than involved in practical application. Here's one title I have: Christian Apologetics, by Norman L. Geisler (2013).

Here are some links at Ichthys where the practice and gift of apologetics are treated (see the subject index for more):

Apologetics, Ministry and False Teaching

Atheism and Apologetics II

Atheism and Apologetics I

Apologetics, Legalism, Cults and Philosophy

Cults and Christianity

Hope you're doing well, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hi Bob,

Sorry not to have gotten back sooner. My original thought was to find some info on how to answer the most common "statements" Christians encounter from others who do not believe as we do. I was hoping there might be something on the simpler side rather than a full Apologetic response. It seems likely we will soon be challenged to give an account of why we believe. Trying to get "Trained Up" for what lies ahead.

Your friend in Jesus

Response #11:

I'm not sure what these particular "statements" might be. Examples? The types of arguments believers encounter when talking to unbelievers who are resistant, such as "What about the people who have never heard the gospel?" are well known to any believer who has been around a while. I think you will find plenty about all these sorts of things at Ichthys (don't know of any book which deals with them).

I guess the main point I would want to make is that we can't "can" getting "trained up" in the truth. There are no shortcuts. A person can't train to be a professional baseball player by only doing pushups, for example. To get better at baseball, a person needs to play baseball – AND learn everything about baseball AND do all manner of exercises and practice regimes. Similarly, while learning about Christology and Soteriology (BB 4A and 4B respectively in the Ichthys Bible Basics series) might not seem on-point for training to debate unbelievers, it turns out that such knowledge – when believed and digested – often provides exactly what is needed in a given situation.

Situations are unpredictable. But there is no "question" or quibble against the truth which cannot be handled by the truth. But one never knows what Bible verse, what Bible principle, what Bible doctrine, what part of the truth will be necessary for the ACTUAL situation the Lord may bring the prepared believer into. The better prepared we are, the more the Lord is likely to use us.

So, not to be flip at all, but I suppose my essential answer to the question about a book to help us with preparation for engaging with unbelievers (or believers for that matter) is that, "yes", there is such a book: the Bible. The better we know it, and even more to the point, the better we really understand all of the truths and doctrines it contains, the better prepared we will be for absolutely anything that comes our way, be it an unbeliever's resistance or a believer's genuine confusion, or any testing, trials or tribulations we are personally given to suffer.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2nd Timothy 2:16-17 NKJV

It always ends up to be about personal spiritual growth through the Word of God.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the come back. I see your point, and liked your reply "yes, there is a book: the Bible". I know the Holy Spirit normally takes control during these times. I was referring to how jehovah witnesses are ready with some counter during discussions. Though I don't agree with their theology they seem prepared. The Truth from scripture is always the proper defense. The more I think about it would most likely come under common discussions during evangelism. I hope to be more prepared for future push back. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in this world!

Thanks again Brother

God's love to you

Response #12:

The JWs are a "tough nut to crack". For one thing, they always come by in twos, and the older one of the pair is generally so hardened there's not a chance of him/her ever abandoning the cult (too much invested, for one thing). Another problem with them is that they have their own version of the Bible which commits all manner of atrocities which no honest person would ever print (the "NWT").

If this is the sort of thing you're thinking of, here's one good book in a series by the same author:

Walter Martin, "Kingdom of the Cults"

You might also check the series by Josh McDowell, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict"

And here are some Ichthys links dealing with the JWs and their translation:

Witnessing: Cults and Christianity I

Cults and Christianity VI

Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading III

Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading II

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Bob thank you SO much for this!

I have to thank you for many things actually...

You are so right about so many different things and it comes from your spiritual maturity as a Christian and I now realise humbly that you are literally the only mature Christian I know (there is Pastor Omo too, but I am not on personal terms with him).

I am literally smacking my head as I write this because I have experienced everything first hand all you have warned me about:

1) That obsession with face to face fellowship let a Laodicean, church visible's services stop me from reading for myself. This is the worst mistake as I have stopped READING THE BIBLE FOR MYSELF! This has left me on shaky ground and to be defenceless when I have been attacked spiritually!

2) That I may not have become a one day a week Christian but instead a three days a week one because of my one church service and two meetings.

3) That a great deal of the church visible's teachings are spiritual pablum in that they sound good and feel good in the moment but after you go hungry for the rest of the time.

4) That the worship music most churches (and even bible groups) use are dubious in origin (Hillsong, Bethel et al) and the lyrics are biblically unsound. The visuals in the videos which accompany these songs are often occultic in nature and the songs often deliberately confuse who Jesus is with who Satan is (I kid you not!) and also promote a new age and Gnostic view of faith. That the church visible, when using these songs, throws ALL spiritual discernment out of the window just to "feel good".

5) That because the leaders of the church visible are not growing and maturing themselves they do not lead their flock to grow either. The church I go to gave up on midweek bible study to watch Christian films and the bible study group didn't know what to study next and so asked us about our lives and to share baby photos?!

6) That the church visible puts personal feelings above wisdom and biblical truth. That in their vain desire to stay relevant and hip, they talk about pointless things and put feelings of euphoria and spiritual ecstasy above humble learning. That it is often about dancing around and talking about sportsmen or what's on tv (I kid you not) or feeling good and euphoric over dubious songs. I suspect they do this so that they can partake in the pleasures of the world but have the satisfaction of the "Christian" label to assuage their guilt.

7) That the Laodicean church is neither studying or preaching the end times!!! They simply are not acknowledging it at all which will leave their congregation terribly under prepared for what's coming!

8) That they are frighteningly naive about Satan and the type of opponent to our faith he is. That my bible group wouldn't let me talk about Satan with regard to our everyday reality (when I tried to talk about your Satanic rebellion series).

9) That by letting the church services and meetings soak up so much of my time and energy that I have neglected my study from Ichthys, Bible Academy and working on my own bible study/ reading channel!

10) This one is more of a personal error: that I have let obligation and guilt feelings towards neglecting the church and bible meetings cloud my judgement and instead I have NEGLECTED GOD and my own spiritual growth.

I've wasted so much time Bob on all this when I could have been progressing so much with your site, the Bible Academy and doing my own bible reading and study with my Unger commentaries. I have neglected my own ministry efforts.

It's funny that in the early days of these church services and groups I remember saying to myself "this is enjoyable but I'm glad I have my own study and Ichthys too as I wouldn't be growing any here". I have gone from this position though to basically neglecting my own studies to the point that they have almost stopped completely.

Thank you for your wisdom and patience with me Bob. I realise what I have to do now and that it will take time and hard work. It is important to also note that the time is running out.

In Jesus,

Response #13:

I think you're being a bit too hard on yourself. I also believe that probably all Christians who do get some momentum in actually learning the truth always try to see if they can't get that some place where they may also have some fellowship. It seems hard to believe, after all, that with a church on nearly every corner (in this country, anyway), that none of them would be teaching substantive truth which is doctrinally correct. How could that be? Sadly, that is the way it is. Those who really want to get close to Christ through the truth – and there is no other way to do it – have to go "outside the gate, bearing His reproach" (Heb.13:13); and there are always reproaches (which I know you've suffered), which only makes it more difficult. But I also know that there is nothing which can compare with the simple joy of being close to our Lord, delighting in the comfort of the Spirit through the sweet water of the Word of God. And that is also really the only way to be prepared for what is coming, that is, through spiritual growth to be ready for the soon-to-come Tribulation.

In my estimation you have come a long way! And this is just part of the process. The Spirit is good about knocking the rough edges off of us at the right time, when we are ready and when we see the whys and the wherefores through the truth – as opposed to the legalistic way of whitewashing: trying to impose behavior changes from without, whereas godly change only results when the truth and adherence to it is at the root of that change.

So kudos to you that you are continuing the process of jettisoning things which are holding you back. Keep growing in the Word and keep listening to the Spirit – and don't look back. We do have to be bold in approaching the throne of grace (Heb.4:16), forgetting what lies behind, and striving only for what lies ahead (Phil.3:13-14).

Keep your eyes on the prize, my friend, making the most of TODAY – and don't let yesterday keep you from doing so.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:


Response #14:

It's not uncommon for believers to need some time and give some thought to just how to implement the ministries the Lord is calling them to. In fact it's wise not to jump willy-nilly into something we're not sure of. That is actually a very common mistake in the case of believers who are running on emotion instead of genuine spiritual growth. That is also a pattern of Laodicea. Whether it's the charismatics or the evangelicals or even the traditionalists, where truth is lacking, emotion comes out in all manner of unfortunate ways in terms of motivating bad choices. Believe, me, I have seen (and had) enough of "rah, rah, rah" Christianity to last me several life-times. It makes me physically ill at this point and I have no patience with it.

You are a solid believer who is growing daily through the Word of God. You will, with the Spirit's help and prayerful consideration, be led to figure out just what it is you're supposed to do. But as we discussed previously, personal spiritual growth has to be the top priority. Because our personal growth is the bedrock of all the ministry we might profitably do. If that's deficient or neglected, then to that extent any ministry we might undertake will be compromised.

On top of all that, you are already ministering – to your friends and family. That is the most important "mission field" of all. If you run yourself ragged trying other things then not only won't you have the time and energy for the people who matter most (who is going to reach them if not you?), but it will also compromise your witness.

So while I do understand the desire and the impetus to do more, there is a sweet spot between going overboard and going off "half-cocked" on the one hand, and refusing to be stirred by the Spirit on the other. If we are continuing our spiritual advance AND being faithful to the ministry opportunities which the Spirit definitely HAS given to us, then we should be at peace with that, even as we contemplate an expansion of possibilities down the road.

I do promise to pray for you about this.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:


Response #15:

Some "fields" are harder to plow than others. There is a time to persevere and a time to move on (Eccl.3:1-8); which is which is something the Spirit and prayerful consideration will make clear anon. I'll be praying for you about that.

It's good to see you solid in your direction and moving confidently forward in spiritual growth!

Thanks for your prayers, my friend. Keeping you and your family daily in mine as well.

In Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #16:


Response #16:

Very good to make your acquaintance! And thanks for your encouraging testimony.

When it comes to Messianic churches and groups, there are a wide variety of them, and they run the gamut from sects which are very weak (to say the least) on the divinity of Christ to groups which merely wish to emphasize the Jewish origins of our faith. The proof is in the pudding as is often the case. I don't recommend these groups for gentile believers, but I do have acquaintances who are good Christians who are involved. For Jewish believers, it is understandable that they would wish to have a form of Christianity which is conversant with the Jewish culture they grew up in; for gentile believers, I don't see this as necessary, but as I say I do know of some cases where such involvement doesn't seem to be doing any more harm than, e.g., going to a Baptist church. My concern is always with spiritual growth, and in my experience everything that is extraneous, every false emphasis, is generally not conducive to that.

What believers DO need for spiritual growth is the truth – and plenty of it. Only what is actually true – and believed – becomes useable to the Spirit. So I encourage you to find a good place (I do firmly believe Ichthys is one) where the Word is taught in sufficient depth and quantity for a believer to make good progress. One other place I always recommend is Bible Academy (at the link).

I do promise to put you on my prayer list, and please do feel free to write back any time. Since you are new to the site, also please let me know if you are having trouble finding things (it is fairly large and not that easy to navigate until you get your bearings). A good place to begin with spiritual growth is BB 6A: Peripateology – though generally I recommend the "Peter Series" as a good place to start.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #17:


Response #17:

Great to hear back from you!

Your experiences mirror those of most of us who are connected with this ministry. In my experience, most believers who are truly NOT lukewarm but determined to grow up in Jesus Christ the right way, through diligent study of His Word, have had very similar sorts of experiences in trying to find the right way forward. Our Lord told us to "test the tree" by examining its fruit, and so what you have been doing in this regard is definitely right and good – and according to scripture. We know that "if we seek, we find" – but some have had to seek a very long time – with a lot of bad fruit consumed first in the process (some of it "new age" drivel as your report)! It's all to the good, however, IF it results in finding a safe place where the Word of God is taught in sufficient depth and truth to be able to grow. That's what we are here to do, after all, then pass the tests that come to the mature, then help others along in this same process through the functioning of our spiritual gifts.

Apologies for not having these materials in book form (explained at the link: FAQ #1), especially since the price of having them printed out has gotten really expensive, but this "on line only" format has proved its value over the years, and really is the only workable way for me to conduct this ministry.

I do still work at U of L (if you'd like some updates on that situation and other recent events, the most recent weekly email postings are a good bet; latest one at the link: "Eschatology Issues XXXVIII").

Thanks for your encouraging words!

I'd also like to let you know that there is a small forum of readers who are interested in "comparing notes" run by one of our prospective pastor-teachers. If interested, I'd be happy to ask to have an invitation sent to you.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:


Response #18:

My pleasure. I just sent an email to the moderator asking him to send you an invite. He just started a new job so he might be a little backed up. If you don't hear anything in about a week or so, let me know and I'll ask him about it again.

As to your concerns, it's very common for believers who are gaining spiritual momentum to feel as if the whole world (or they themselves) has "gone crazy". That is because, from the godly viewpoint, the world is crazy – or better put, dancing to the devil's tune to its own great disregard. We believers know what is truly important on all levels. So we mourn for unbelievers and are very concerned for the ones we know personally, especially those near and dear. And we also shake our heads in disbelief at the insane values and crazy thinking of the world in general – insane and crazy because it disregards the truth that is so obvious to us. As you grow, expect that disconnect to grow with you – but you can also learn to have God's peace in spite of it (in fact we're commanded to have it).

So while on one level everything seems to be crashing and burning for lack of the most basic common sense, we who are walking with Jesus Christ understand that only the truth will set these people free, and that in the case of those who really are aiding and abetting the evil one, their end will come. The justice of God always prevails – and we shall see that with our own eyes, whether in this body or in resurrection.

Thanks much for your update! I'm sure I've driven by your place many times – but not much long distance driving lately, the times being what they are.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:


Response #19:

It's my pleasure. Let me know if you have trouble finding anything. One other good place to look is the Subject Index (link). It doesn't have everything, but you can often find what you're looking for that way.

As to your first concern, I don't know a single Christian who is on the spiritual advance who doesn't have family members and loved ones about whom he/she is concerned, if not for salvation then for spiritual direction. That's part of being in the world – especially at this time in the late innings of Laodicea. On the one hand, everyone has free will. Christ died for all, yet most end up rejecting Him. Clearly, if it would not violate the whole point of the plan of God, He would intervene. But the purpose of "all this" is a great threshing floor wherein the wheat and the chaff are separated (believers from unbelievers; cf. Matt.3:12; 13:24-30; Lk.3:17), and wherein the quality of the wheat is evaluated (see the link: "The judgment and reward of the Church"). On the other hand, God knows everything – and He knew everything before He decreed the plan and made the world. He definitely knew and knows your heart about those you love. That doesn't mean we can count on all those being saved whom we want to be saved, but it does certainly mean that He who cares about us and hears our prayers most definitely does take that into account – and did in decreeing the one perfect plan in the first place. So don't lose hope – and don't doubt the value of persistent prayer (cf. Lk.18:1-8).

On your second concern, marriage is difficult. That's why Paul is given to say in the Spirit that while marriage is certainly not sinful and that while most people need to be married and couldn't cope with being single, "But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this." (1Cor.7:28). There's a lot at Ichthys about the relationship, but not nearly as much as will be found at other "ministries". People tend to be concerned with love and marriage to the exclusion of what the Bible is really focused on: salvation and spiritual growth. But I do answer questions about it so the Subject Index is a good place to look. I will say here that neither the "social equality" model preferred by many today nor the "husband as master" model which some "Christian" groups espouse are biblical. The former eschews biblical passages and the latter misinterprets them:

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1st Peter 3:7 NIV

Wives have duties and responsibilities to their husbands but husbands also do towards their wives. Wives are told to respect their husbands but husbands are told to love their wives, not being bitter towards them (Eph.5:25), but loving them "just as Christ loved the Church" (Col.3:19). Clearly, husbands are held to a higher standard, and this means that any idea of expecting and demanding complete military-style obedience is NOT a biblical idea. Husbands should be good leaders and wives good followers. Within that framework, communication is key in my view. If that breaks down, everything else is going to go out the window. Any good leader knows that getting those who are being led to "buy in" is the key to success; that is true even in situations where unlike marriage there is a complete authority on the part of the leader (as in the USMC where I have some experience of that).

I always try to stay away from telling people what to do – we are here to make our own choices. That is the very essence of the plan of God. So I'm not going to advise you about the particulars. Prayer is good and important here as well, I will say. God knows your heart and your needs – and "He works everything out for the good for those who are called according to His purpose" (Rom.8:28). Trust Him; commit your way to Him; and proceed in a godly way. That is always the best any of us can do in navigating this temporary world.

I promise to keep praying for you too.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:


Response #20:

I'm delighted that you've made contact with the forum! I hope this will be a help. And thanks so much for your very encouraging words about this ministry!

As to your questions:

1) There is a lot on the site about prayer (see subject index for a start). When it comes to lists, everyone has their own way of going about this, and there is no "one size fits all". When they asked our Lord about this, the "Lord's prayer" He gave the disciples is really a wondrous thing and much of what it contains is not so obvious the first thousand times one says it (see link which leads to others). For one thing, everything we pray for has already happened or is sure of happening irrespective of our praying (except for possibly the forgiveness we are told to issue to others). When we think about what it means, we are comforted and also led deeply into very important areas of truth, eternity, providence here and now, and the cross which is the basis for both. So prayer is a lot like Bible reading in the sense of "it doesn't matter so much HOW you do it as it does THAT you do it". One's prayer life necessarily changes and develops over time for the good – for those who are advancing spiritually. We thank the Lord, we pray for our leaders, we pray for others, we pray for ourselves. We have plenty of concerns – and we know they are heard. When it comes to wanting to remember others, I think that comes somewhat naturally, but I wouldn't want to lob up a "best practices". Prayer is very personal – and meant to be.

2) Thanks so much for your generous attitude! That means a great deal to me. I'm blessed by the Lord to have been given a good job which is more than sufficient to support me in this ministry. But I would love to be on your prayer list!

Keeping you and your situation in my prayers.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hi Bob,

Just a quick question. You know how ___ is saying a few new agey things about God? Well recently she hinted that she thinks God would be okay with same sex relations because she said "God is love".

I just didn't say anything at the time because I just think anything I said contrary would be immediately met with the word "bigot". How is best to respond to the whole gender/ LGBT stuff in a way that is a good witness?

It's not easy to distil it all into one sentence and sometimes if you start the sentence with either "well.." or "but" then that can be enough. In fact my sister went hysterical when I started to say "but" because she knew I wasn't going to completely agree with her assertion.

Someone once said "it doesn't matter if you think you were born that way, you have to be born again". In a sense we are all "born that way", inclined to sin that is so that might be a good place to start from that we are all sinners.

Most people recognise the Bible's stance on sexuality and gender and their reaction is to reject God altogether. Some instead try to make God into something they would rather believe, a God who overlooks sin even without faith. At that point it is really hard to reach a person.

In Him,

Response #21:

Your email is a great synopsis of "world-think". It is so true that when people reject the truth, they immediately have to go and embrace some lie in its place. The human heart abhors a vacuum, and when there is no over-pressure of truth to push out the false, the devil's lies come rushing in into its place.

We can hope that __ is trying to reconcile previous ideas with the truth and will see that it's not possible. In other words, we can hope – and pray – that this is part of her process in coming back to the Lord.

Don't know that it does any good to argue the issues with her, however – once it's clear that you don't agree, that's maybe enough if its clear that she's not really interested yet in being corrected.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.

In Jesus,

Question #22:

Hello Bob!

This email will be mostly personal info, but I'd like to throw in a bible question at the end :)


Praise! __ is just behind me in coming out of the New Age deception. She was raised in a Christian family and she holds some strong doctrinal beliefs, including positional security. Yesterday she sent me several messages saying she felt so lost because she had been seeing things (online) questioning "once saved always saved." She said she prayed for the truth and within a day, the Lord revealed that positional security was false and dangerous. I'm so thankful for her teachable heart and for her friendship. She is truly a blessing to me.

I'm in an online women's bible study that is overall very biblically sound. We are in our 4th week studying Mary & Martha. I read what I could find on your site about Mary & Martha (I'm sure I missed something). Anyway, I thought it was very interesting your take on the sisters being wealthy (how Mary could afford that very expensive perfume). That makes me wonder though, in Luke when Martha was rebuked for her worry and busy behavior, why was she cooking and serving? If they were extremely wealthy, would they not have had servants to cook and serve? I realize this is not an urgent question, but you know me... I get caught up in the details sometimes.

Thank you, friend!

In Christ,

Response #22:

I'm sorry to hear about your continuing health problems. I've got that on my list. Keeping up with medical appointments like that is a full time job in and of itself. I'm also keeping your other family issues in prayer. Any news on the twins your wrote me about?

Good news about ___! The Lord certainly led her to the right place! I'll say a prayer for her and you to keep helping her hone in on the truth.

On Mary and Martha, the fact that Martha was working on dinner doesn't mean she wasn't rich. I have known some fairly well-to-do people in my life who were very involved whenever it came to putting on a dinner. This also doesn't mean the family didn't have servants – only that they are not mentioned. Even with servants, one can understand how Martha would want her sister to be helping when there was plenty to do, including supervision. The Bible tells us what it tells us but it doesn't tell us everything:

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
John 21:25 KJV

And I also find this:

Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
Luke 8:1-3 NKJV

We learn from the above that 1) Joanna was part of this circle with Mary Magdalene, Martha's sister, and would have been part of the best connected set of people in Palestine at that time (Herod was part of the upper echelon of the government and the position of steward was at the top of the list of any household in those days; cf. Lk.16:1ff.); 2) these women were supporting the ministry with their own resources – and that had to entail a significant outlay not only for the Lord and the twelve but for all and sundry who followed along even if unnamed in most places as in the case of these women (cf. Lk.10:1); and 3) reading the gospels when our Lord engages with His disciples, we often get the impression that it was only these thirteen and no others, but this passage (and others like it) remind us that the gospel writers didn't include everything, only what the Spirit gave them for the spiritual purpose of each passage.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Hey Dr. Luginbill,

I've been having some kind of serious family problems and I was wondering if you could help me out.

As I've become more open about God and reading my Bible I've just been getting more and more opposition from my family. They basically just sat me down and said they are very worried that I'm basically going off the rails with this "religious stuff and Jesus". They used words like "brain-washed," "cult-like," and "extremely frightening" to describe it. In addition, last week I caught them having a weird private meeting that was clearly about me.

I've been trying to be more open about it because I know I shouldn't be hiding it for any reason, so I've definitely been laying it out there. However, they are freaking out.


Does it seem like I'm saying too much? I don't want to witness incorrectly, but I think this is really just worldly opposition. I try to lay out the important arguments and convey that this is really my biggest priority in life, but they really don't get that either. Maybe I just accept that they won't get it and do my best as is. I'm praying for help and direction with this stuff.

I know this is a lot, but I'd appreciate your thoughts.

I hope your summer is going well.

In the Lord,

Response #23:

I'm sorry to hear this, but I do have to say it's nothing unusual. I would say that most readers of this ministry come in for opposition from friends and families. It's only the degree and the form that differ. Sounds as if you are getting a big "dose" of it.

The next thing to say is that your family loves you, and that is how they justify their really unjustifiable actions. Really what is happening is that your love for the Lord and His truth has undermined their "comfort zone" of not thinking about these things. Any that are not believers are now being forced to remember that there is a God who is just and righteous and that when this life comes to an end they will have to give an account they are unable to bear. Any that are believers are being forced to confront the reality that they are not living up to their calling as you are trying to do. It would be more "comfortable" for all of them if you would just go back to that bad place where you were before.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
1st Peter 3:15 NKJV

From what you've shared with me, you have no reason to second guess yourself whatsoever. Many new Christians – and many Christians who become newly enamored of the truth – often take the tack of beating their family members over the head with the truth. That is usually not the best approach. Once loved ones have been told the reason for your hope in a respectful way (as indicated above), if they are not interested, it's often best to wait for genuine further opportunities. But if they quiz you, you are right to respond as best you can. That, it seems to me, is exactly what you have been doing. It is a mistake to measure our effectiveness as witnesses for Christ from the response of those to whom we witness. The Holy Spirit is the Agent of all evangelism, for salvation and also for response to the truth generally. People who reject the truth are rejecting Him, not us. So we need to be careful to make the truth the issue and not ourselves. This is what you have been doing and you should rejoice in that.

I'm sorry that this opportunity (for that on one level is what it is) has also been such a challenge. But look what God is accomplishing with this: He is confirming you in your faith and godly zeal for the Lord and His truth. For if those you love and respect the most are unable with the greatest pressure they can bring to bear to turn you from that truth, then you have given the best witness of all.

So the "problems" are really theirs not yours. Your job is to trust Jesus Christ more and more and redouble your efforts at spiritual growth. If you're feeling angst about anything, the R/x for that is more truth – and believing that truth and applying that truth. As you make that process your daily habit, you will gain confidence in the Lord.

The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.
Proverbs 28:1 NKJV

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1st Corinthians 16:13 NIV

You're fighting the good fight, my friend. Keep it up! I promise to keep you and your situation in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord.

Bob L.

Question #24:

Just got in touch with our friend. Had a good conversation. Parents think he is brainwashing and isolating himself. It seems that anybody who wants the truth these days ends up having no choice but to remove themselves from friends of the past and heavy engagement in cultural activities. I had a similar experience with my family and during school I warned him that these things would come. He's pushing ahead though and seems to be cheerful. He's just in a tough spot since school might not start up and then he would have to continue at home. School was a much needed respite for me. I have high hopes for him.

In our Lord

Response #24:

I've seen this plenty of times myself. There's the difference between a cult and the truth right there. In a cult, they tell you to dump your family or else – because that makes you more dependent on the cult. When you're following the truth, old acquaintances and often family too push YOU away – because they want nothing to do with the truth. Or else they try to brainwash YOU . . . back to where you were.

And yes, we'll ALL be very glad to get back on campus. I'm very hopeful that all the doom and gloom-sayers will be overruled by the facts on the ground – not just the truth about the virus, but also the truth that students aren't going to stand for paying tuition to do quizzes on the computer at home after watching Youtube lectures.

We'll keep our friend in our prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.


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