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Eschatology Issues XXIII

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Question #1:

I just came across your site. Here is one of a few papers I've been working on the last few years:

The 70th Week of Daniel

Response #1:

Dear Friend,

When the Tribulation begins, we (believers who are paying attention), will definitely know it:

And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.
Revelation 8:5 KJV

This clearly hasn't happened yet. But I will agree that the Tribulation is certainly close (see the link).

In Jesus our dear Lord.

Bob Luginbill

Question #2:

 Hi Bob,

I believe we will see supernatural events within approximately the next year. The 5th Trump lasts 5 months and it happens before the 6th, or maybe at close to the same time.

It’s rare that anyone replies to my messages. I’m glad you’re willing to engage in a dialogue.

I’ll look at your link.

God Bless,

Response #2:

Dear Friend,

The trumpets are sequential, and they don't occur until after the Tribulation has begun, specifically during the last half of the first half with the seventh trumpet being the commencement of the Great Tribulation, the second half of the seven years.

Here's a link to chart with discussion: "The Seven Trumpet Judgments of Warning".

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Dear Sir,

I have read your teaching about the Great Tribulation (https://ichthys.com/Tribulation-Part4.htm).

I personally tend to think that the tribulation period is past already.

May I leave for your consideration the attached article presenting this view (in form of a pamphlet).

Kind Regards,

Response #3:

Good to make your acquaintance.

With all due respect, we will know when the Tribulation begins:

(1) And when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (2) And I saw the seven angels who stood before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. (3) And another angel with a golden censer came and stood by the altar, and much incense was given to him so that he might offer it for the prayers of the saints on the golden altar in front of the throne. (4) And smoke from the incense went up from the hand of the angel before God for the prayers of the saints. (5) Then the angel took the incense holder and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the earth. And there occurred thunderous voices(1) and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Revelation 8:1-5

And it is hard to imagine how we could possibly have missed the seven trumpet judgments (to take the first only, one third of the trees and all of the grass worldwide is burned up, and that clearly hasn't happened yet), let alone the bowl judgments (the last is Armageddon and that clearly hasn't happened yet). Further, during the Great Tribulation, the second half of the Tribulation, antichrist will rule the entire world. We have no idea who the beast is as yet, but clearly no one has come to rule the entire world yet. One could go on at great length, but one point I would be remiss not to mention is that the Church Age, our present age, lasts two thousand years beginning from the point of the cross and the resurrection (in A.D. 33) – which means that we still have a few years to go before the commencement of the Tribulation (see the link: "The Seven Millennial Days").

As to your PDF, apologies, but I can't agree with methodology.  From the start of this document information is derived by the calculation of and assigning prophetic importance to specific dates within the Church Age.  But the Church Age is the mystery age which was not anticipated by Old Testament believers (and is only in the OT in general terms).  Simply put, there are no events prophesied to take place within the Church Age.  The creation of the secular state of Israel, while perhaps a necessary prerequisite for tribulational events, is not the prophesied regathering  in any way.  That regathering as prophesied in the Old Testament is always clearly 1) total (but today only a fraction of Jews worldwide have returned); and 2) accomplished by God in supernatural ways (what we have today is a movement born of human will and accomplished by mundane means).

Many people fail to grasp some of the (to my mind) obvious points made above, so I don't fault you for that.  But I think that if you were to read the entire Satanic Rebellion series followed by the entire Coming Tribulation series you would see what I often have noted, namely, the entire interpretation taken as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts -- because it is internally consistent.

Also often missed in interpretations which fall short are 1) the fact that Revelation is essentially chronological; 2) that it is in fact rarely "symbolic" (except where explicitly so); and 3) the fact that it can only be fully understood in comparison and conjunction with all of the other many passages and books in scripture which deal with these issues. Maybe that is why it took me some thirty years or so to research and write these two series.

You are certainly most welcome to all of these materials, and also to ask questions if you wish.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your reply.

I have simply inserted some comments into your email below (to keep it brief).


Response #4:

Insertions into previous, long emails make extended conversations difficult; I'll do my best here though.

ME: And it is hard to imagine how we could possibly have missed the seven trumpet judgments (to take the first only, one third of the trees and all of the grass worldwide is burned up, and that clearly hasn't happened yet), let alone the bowl judgments (the last is Armageddon and that clearly hasn't happened yet).

REV 1:1 says that it shows "things which must shortly come to pass" by signs ("signified"), i.e., in symbolic language. Though there can be dual or even literal fulfilments, all the above verses have been fulfilled in history. If Revelation prophesies history from John's time onward till the end (which it does), then one would also expect God to say a few words about pagan Rome killing 10 million Christians, the fall of pagan Rome, the rise of papal Rome, the 50 million Christians and Jews killed by papal Rome, the fall of papal Rome, and the rise and fall of Islam - just to mention the main antichristian forces in history. The trumpets signified the fall of the Roman Empire (followed by the rise of the papacy) plus the rise of Islam (Arabs & Turks). The vials signify judgments on papal Rome, and though her temporal power was taken from her a long time ago, the 7th vial or Armageddon will finally destroy Babylon the Great (the vials are not the Great Tribulation; the judgements on the Papacy actually helped the Jews).

1) The use of the word "signified" (= "showed") in Revelation 1:1 can't be taken to mean that "signs" were used or used exclusively to present the Revelation to John – and it CERTAINLY doesn't mean that everything that was shown to him was only symbolic! If that were the case, why would he later be given to say, on only a few occasions, "I saw a sign" (e.g., Rev.15:1? What then of the other 95% of what occurs in the book? When John says it's a sign/symbol, then it's a sign/symbol (like the Woman in chapter 12); when he doesn't, it's not. Revelation does give the trends of the Church Age through its seven eras (we are in the era of Laodicea), but the opening of the seventh seal begins the Tribulation and the book proceeds chronologically from that point forward through the Tribulation, ending in the second advent, the last judgment, the Millennium, and the eternal state.

ME: Further, during the Great Tribulation, the second half of the Tribulation, antichrist will rule the entire world. We have no idea who the beast is as yet, but clearly no one has come to rule the entire world yet.

Where does the Bible say this? Luther, Huss, Calvin, Wesley, Sir Isaac Newton, et al. - they all knew that the Papacy is Antichrist. REV 17:18 clearly says that Rome rides beast which "makes war with the saints" (REV 13:7). So, it should be quite obvious to whom this refers.

2) "Where does the Bible say this?": E.g.:

(3) For [the Second Advent cannot come] unless the [Great] Apostasy has first occurred and the man of lawlessness, [antichrist,] has [first] been revealed, that "son of destruction" (cf. Jn.17:12 of Judas), (4) the one who will oppose and exalt himself against every so-called god and object of worship to such a degree that he will [even] take his seat in the temple of God and represent himself as being God.
2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4

The temple has not even been rebuilt yet, by the way.

And authority was given to him over every tribe and people and language and race. (8) And all the inhabitants of the earth will worship [the beast], [that is, all] whose names are not [still] written in the book of life [where they were written] from the beginning of the world, [even the book] which belongs to the Lamb who was slain.
Revelation 13:7b-8

There are a great many Roman Catholics, but they certainly don't constitute "all" the inhabitants of the earth. Read also the book of Daniel.

ME: As to your PDF, apologies, but I can't agree with methodology. From the start of this document information is derived by the calculation of and assigning prophetic importance to specific dates within the Church Age. But the Church Age is the mystery age which was not anticipated by Old Testament believers (and is only in the OT in general terms). Simply put, there are no events prophesied to take place within the Church Age.

There are dozens and dozens and dozens of OT prophecies referring to what you call "Church Age"; two examples:

DANIEL 12:12 | "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." The context is Islam, as the previous verse relates to the Mohammedan abomination. The Moslem lunar calendar started in 622 AD. Adding 1335 lunar years to 622 AD takes us to 1917 - the year when Jerusalem, after 400 years, was delivered from the Turks.

DANIEL 8:13-14 | "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." The context is the defilement of the Temple by Gentiles (Greeks in this case). Their Kingdom rose in 334 BC. Adding 2300 years takes us to 1967 when the Temple Mount was taken from the Gentiles and put back under Israel's control (of course there's also the literal fulfillment which occurred in the 2nd century BC).

3) "Daniel 8:13-14 and 12:12": In both cases these are days, not years. The former refers to the period of 38 months wherein antichrist holds sway in Jerusalem (he departs before Armageddon; see CT 5; the later refers to the end of the Tribulation with the differential between 1260 and 1290 being the time required for the regathering of Israel and the time between the 1290 and the 1335 being the period of judgment of the returnees in the desert before being allowed to reenter (only those who accept Christ and who have not taken the mark may enter). I should note that there is nothing, of course, in either passage that would lead a person to connect these passage to past history (from our point of view) unless one was diligently looking for some set of numbers that seemed to match.

ME: The creation of the secular state of Israel, while perhaps a necessary prerequisite for tribulational events, is not the prophesied regathering in any way. That regathering as prophesied in the Old Testament is always clearly 1) total (but today only a fraction of Jews worldwide have returned);

Where does it say "total" in the Bible?

4) Many places (and it is also implicit wherever the return is prophesied); e.g.:

"When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.
Ezekiel 39:27-28 NKJV

(12) "I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. (13) One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the Lord at their head."
Micah 2:12-13

ME: and 2) accomplished by God in supernatural ways (what we have today is a movement born of human will and accomplished by mundane means).

Where does the Bible say that it should happen "supernaturally"? Whatever that means - with some angels floating around? God is obviously in charge of every detail which happens, and the history of Israel's rebirth was indeed miraculous: "a nation born in a day" as ISAIAH 66:8 says.

5) "Where does the Bible say that it should happen "supernaturally"?": What I mean by this is that it will clearly be God who does the gathering; the passages where the regathering is mentioned use "I" referring to the Lord (e.g., Is.45:5-7); and the regathering will be rapid, not a process which lasts over a century:

(7) "Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. (8) Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children. (9) "Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the Lord. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God.
Isaiah 66:7-9 NIV

ME: Many people fail to grasp some of the (to my mind) obvious points made above, so I don't fault you for that. But I think that if you were to read the entire Satanic Rebellion series followed by the entire Coming Tribulation series you would see what I often have noted, namely, the entire interpretation taken as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts -- because it is internally consistent.

I have read a few bits. One sentence stated: "after the 7th Trumpet the Great Tribulation will start..." - where is that in the Bible? The plagues of the vials and the so-called Great Tribulation (great distress, great affliction) are two different things.

6) "One sentence stated: "after the 7th Trumpet the Great Tribulation will start..." - where is that in the Bible?": Since you agree that Revelation is chronological, and since the seventh trumpet is followed later by the seven bowl/vial judgments, we have to consider the possibility (a fact in my view) that the seventh trumpet, the third woe, is the "Great Tribulation"; that period lasts three and a half years, the second half of the seven years; that final period is the "seventh trumpet" of warning because the entire Great Tribulation is the last warning to the inhabitants of the earth to repent before the Lord returns and it is too late to do so (in many cases – and in the case of all who have taken the mark).

ME: 2) that it is in fact rarely "symbolic" (except where explicitly so);

See above. The Bible states the exact opposite; basically everything is symbolic.

7) Not at all (see point #1); so for example when there is a "sign in heaven", John calls it "a sign/symbol"; therefore the woman representing Israel, the Lamb representing Christ, the whore representing Babylon, and the beast representing antichrist are indeed "symbols" – but they are just about the only ones in the book. Everything else is presented as if literal – and if any of it were "symbolic", there would be no way anyone could tell what these (in that hypothetical case) unattributed symbols might mean or represent and anyone would be free to make whatever hash out of this important part of the Word of God they wanted to. In fact, the few symbols in Revelation are very clearly painted and their attributes made abundantly clear. The Lamb is called Christ; the whore is called Babylon, the Woman is called Israel – so we may have no doubt about them or their meaning. Where there is no explanation, attribution, we're dealing with something literal.

As I say, if you are genuinely interested in entertaining the unified interpretation presented in these two series, it's best to read them and see them as part of a whole. This is all very important because the time is drawing very near.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #5:

I very much admire and respect your expertise and knowledge, and your love for the Lord, and very much appreciate all of your help both to me and anyone who happens by. Please understand that I ask this question from a lowly position, but, is it possible that the 2,000 years starts at 70 AD or 136 AD instead of the crucifixion? I sincerely don't want to cause upset by asking this.

Response #5:

You're most welcome, my friend, and please don't ever feel shy about asking questions.

The significance of 33 A.D. is that this is the year of the crucifixion and the resurrection, the very pivot of all of human history from the divine point of view (Heb.9:26). It is also the date of the first Pentecost where the Church is empowered with the Holy Spirit.

The two other dates proposed (the destruction of Jerusalem and the final termination of any significant Jewish presence in the land with crushing of the Bar-Kochba revolt) have significance for the Roman empire and also for the Jewish nation, but the Church Age had already begun long before and had been established by the apostles, none of whom were still alive even at the early date. And when I say "Jewish nation", it needs to be considered that these were mostly (if not entirely) unbelievers, having followed in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents in rejecting the Messiah several generations before. So while the dates are significant historically, I don't think they can hold a candle to the foundational spiritual events of 33 A.D. Naturally, I would love to be able to think that the Tribulation might not be so close – and of course we are talking about a hypothesis (though I think an incredibly likely one); but facing the truth is always better than sticking one's head in the sand as the majority of this era of Laodicea is doing. So I thank God for you and for your zeal for the truth, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Dear Teacher

Before I continue with my questions on Habakkuk, I was wondering what you think about 1 Peter 1:10-11; from NIV84

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

In SR1 p. 8, you used a translation that said "precise time" in v. 11. In that long email I sent you a while back, I think it was one of the things I mentioned to you: right now, I want to know if you think that it is a good argument for teaching other believers to diligently inquire into the times that God has given us to hold as significant, for example, the study of eschatology.

I think it is. But I would like to know what you think, sir.

Also, I want to express my profound gratitude that you make time to answer my emails. I have never done that. I now appreciate that you have very many people to answer all the time and that is in addition to a demanding work schedule, I'm sure. I keep hoping that I will be able to do that if the Lord calls upon me to do it but it's hard to imagine that I can. I thank you, sir. And please forgive me for being a burden all the time and for not "getting it" whenever I am slow (which I feel sure is all the time really).

And how are you, sir?

Yours in our precious Lord Jesus Christ

Response #6:

Always good to hear from you, my friend, and thanks much for your good words – they are very much appreciated.

Yes, I think that verse does express a willingness divinely approved to find out what the truth is about the future in prophecy. Here are two others . . . from our Lord:

"Now learn this parable from the fig tree:"
Matthew 24:32 NKJV

"So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!"
Matthew 24:33 NKJV

Since these verses immediately precede the verse often wrongly taken to mean "don't learn" and "don't know" (i.e., Matt.24:36), pointing out to nay-sayers that our Lord has just told us that we ARE supposed to do both is important.

I'm doing some better, health-wise (thanks for asking). Things are still up in the air in regard to my job but I'm confident of the Lord working them out for good by and by.

Keeping you in my prayers – and thanks so much for yours!

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hello Dr . Luginbill,

I was reading your emails concerning "Eschatology Issues XXI" the very first question concerning the "Kingdom of God". I remember the Scripture is Romans 14:14-17, and specifically verse 17 which says:

"For the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Question: According to the person writing this email says: "It seems like this is another verse that speaks against postmillennial interpretations, because “the Kingdom of God is not something that can be observed,” while the earthly eschaton imagined by postmillennialists is a kingdom that can be observed. It is very dangerous to look for signs and an Earthly kingdom. Too many Christians are waiting for an Earthly messiah.

I don't quite know what he is looking for in the verse he quotes, but according to what Paul says in Romans 13:17, the "Kingdom of God" is observable; by that I mean, in the lives who are truly Christians and show outwardly "righteous, peace and joy". Sorry to be trivial, but perhaps I am not understanding what the writer is suggesting. I would agree with the actual physical "Kingdom of God" will only be seen during the Millennial reign of Christ. I try to review these emails each week that they are posted, as I find that I learn a great deal from them and from your kind responses.

Blessings to you my friend,

Response #7:

I too am not always certain "what the author is thinking / meaning" in many questions I field either; sometimes this is my fault, but it is also true that folks often assume that the vast sub-text that lies behind what they ask is common to us all (which is clearly not the case).

Good observation (no pun intended)!

And thanks so much for your encouraging comments, my friend.

Keeping you in my prayers every day.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I am getting into eschatology now and studying it. In a bible discussion someone had said that God will use the Antichrist to judge the Jews instead of God, He said that while Jesus is judging and giving rewards at the bema, that this takes place in the air, while the Jews are judged on Earth by the Antichrist. I've never heard this before. Is this biblically accurate? He also said that the judgment for the Jews are because their rejection of the triune God. From I've studied, it seems as if the time of Jacob's trouble is the same event as the Great Tribulation, is this correct? And is there a reason why it's referred to as Jacob's trouble? and that all of the events during the Great Tribulation will result in the conversion of the Jews.

God Bless,

Response #8:

You are absolutely correct. The Church of Jesus Christ is composed of Jews and also of gentiles. All believers of the Church, Jew and gentile, are judged before the bema, the judgment seat of Christ, after resurrection at the beginning of the Millennium.

During the Tribulation's first half, those Jews who respond to the ministry of Moses and Elijah and the 144,000 are led to safety in the desert at the Tribulation's mid point (Revelation chapter twelve). The harsh treatment of Israel (the remaining unbelievers) during the second half of the Tribulation is "Jacob's Trouble" (although it certainly starts with the Tribulation's beginning).

There is much more to all this and you will find it all covered in detail in the "Coming Tribulation" series; for a somewhat shorter synopsis, see Bible Basics 2B: Eschatology.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I've heard an odd teaching in a sermon regarding the book of Revelation. It was a preacher who was teaching that Revelation is a series of 7 parallel prophecies, and each covering the whole history of the church. He then referred to it as Historicism as he was trying to teach that Preterism is a false doctrine. I know what Preterism is, but what exactly is Historicism in biblical terms?

God Bless,

Response #9:

That is odd indeed. Preterism means "already happened" while historicism means "representing historical events". The latter is usually in the past, but I have heard some ridiculous theories trying to link Revelation up to middle ages events et al. So there may be a fine distinction. What the two have in common is being wrong on the face of it. Clearly, there has been no mark of the beast, no worldwide control by antichrist, none of the trumpet or bowl judgments, no resuscitation of Moses and Elijah, no 144,000, no rebuilt temple . . . one could go on at length. The only way that a person could accept any of the false systems of prophetic interpretation is by failing to believe that Revelation along with the rest of scripture means what it says.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi Bob,

While compiling the attached blog, once again a citation, it occurred to me that the 8th day circumcision may be prophetic of the complete removal of sin in the New Jerusalem, starting at the 8th millennium.

Do you agree?


Response #10:

It's an interesting point and worthy of consideration.

It would certainly be worth bringing up as a valid application when these matters are discussed.

Thanks for sharing this!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hello Bob and family,

I am enjoying re-reading part 3a The Tribulation Begins and there is something I am not quite understanding and I hope you will put me right by your response as you always do. In II The Great Apostasy, point 1 Definition, you mention Matthew 25: 1 – 13, the 5 wise and the 5 foolish. I always assumed this scripture meant that 50% of believers will be welcomed by Jesus and 50% will apostatize simply because of the way it is written but you mention it is only 1/3 who are welcomed by Jesus, 1/3 will fall away and 1/3 are the martyrs who are omitted in this parable. Thinking about the martyrs, who clearly haven’t apostatized, I am wondering how they fit in this parable that doesn’t mention them? I understand Zechariah 13: 8 – 9 that mentions briefly here in v8: two parts therein shall be cut off and die: but the third shall be left therein. (KJV.) Are the martyrs the 144,000 or are they combined with all the martyrs of Revelation 6: 9?

Hoping not to inconvenience you and as always dear Bob,

With brotherly love,

Response #11:

The "math" has to do with the prophecy of 1/3 of believers being martyred (Rev.12:4); this parable deals with the other 2/3's – wherein they are "half and half" in the parable.

Hope that explains my calculations! Never was very good at math, I'm sorry to say.

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

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

 Hi Bob,

The KJV translates Luke 21:36 'counted worthy to escape....' NIV : ' may be able to escape...' There's a big difference. I don't trust the NIV to be right. What is your interpretation and application of this verse?

Thanks so much for your valuable help. No obligation to reply if this is discussed in Ichthys somewhere. Maybe just a link?


Response #12:

Here's my translation of the verse (see the link to the left for the context):

(34) "Watch out for yourselves lest your hearts be burdened down in debauchery and drunkenness and earthly cares, and that day fall upon you suddenly like a trap [snapping shut]. (35) For it will come upon all those who dwell upon the face of the earth. (36) So be alert at all times, praying that you might have the strength to endure all these things which are going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Luke 21:34-36

I don't see any justification for "counted worthy", and "be able" doesn't really reflect the force of katischyomai (the same verb used by Paul in Philippians 4:13 – also usually mistranslated there) which has to do with enduring strength. Also, "escape" is a bad rendering because it suggests avoidance whereas the meaning is "getting all the way through" safely – by which I mean "with faith intact". This is an "endure the Tribulation" verse (see context at link above), and certainly not a "support for the (heretical) pre-Trib 'rapture' " verse.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Thanks Bob,

That helps. I'm getting a little more skeptical about 'God’s possible escape plan' for gentile believers, with the word 'escape' in Luke 21 now in question. (Refer https://escapeallthesethings.com/faith-to-escape-tribulation/)

I note that you have described the woman of Rev 12 as Israel, which seems the logical choice ( also cited in my posts 7.2 and 7.3). Do you think there is any justification for a wider application of Rev 12 to gentile believers as Tim McHyde mentions above? The only reason I've even entertained this is because I've encountered a book with a parallel under very improbable circumstances. The warning sent by a spirit filled prophet to the Armenians (refer 'the happiest people on earth' by Demos Shakarian) before approx 1500 000 Christian Armenians were eliminated around 1915 by the Turks did seem to confirm to me that those willing to be listen & obedient, and leave all behind, are given an opportunity by God to escape. This parallel may be a bit of a stretch, but the timing of the book seemed significant to me as I was busy with Rev 12 around that time.


Response #13:

It seems pretty clear to me – and not only to me but to virtually every serious exegete of the book of Revelation – that the woman is Israel (the only disputants I know of being those who erroneously see the Church as the New Israel).

As to historical fulfilments, as you know, I am strongly opposed to seeing any validity to the historist or praeterist schools of interpretation. Not only that – in my considered opinion there is no prophecy meant for the Church Age because the Church is the mystery age; therefore all unfulfilled prophecy in scripture has no application from Pentecost to the beginning of the Tribulation and is only fulfilled after the Tribulation begins.

As to persecutions, there have been many such, large and small, over the last nearly two thousand years. Those Jews who "saw the handwriting on the wall", so to speak, and got out of Nazi Germany while the "getting was good" were preserved while most of those who stayed were not.

However, in no case of persecution of Christians or Jews, including the one you report, do I find antichrist (merely evil persecutors), or any haven in the desert, or any miraculous destruction of the pursuing forces.

Finally, it should also be mentioned that if Revelation 12 has already happened, then all of the events which precede it must have already happened as well. I realize that there are some who theorize just that (had a long conversation with someone recently who feels that the entire book has been fulfilled already in medieval times!); but it doesn't take a Ph.D. in theology or Greek/Hebrew to see that Revelation is an essentially chronological book of prophecy about the future Tribulation. Figuring out the details is no easy matter (it took me decades to do so), but without that proper starting point, all interpretations must necessarily run aground on the rocks of the truth they are trying to skirt.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Thanks again Bob, for assisting me with clarity re. the 'Escape Plan'.

Referring to the prophecy gap between Pentecost to the beginning of the Tribulation as the 'mystery age' is also helpful. To be able to discount claims that a particular prophecy refers to an event inside the prophecy gap is a valuable tool and will help to weed out much speculation.

Response #14:

You're welcome!

Question #15:

Greetings Dr Bob,

I enjoyed the last references you helped me with and they redirected me to a many links until I just got tired of reading. Thanks.

I embarked on a certain phrase or term I read from your posting "prophetic foreshortening" I looked up on your analogies "mountain perspective", which lead me to this information below.

"Clarence Larkin’s mountain peaks of prophecy": The Mountains of Prophecy: Clarence Larkin (1850-1924) published a series of charts on prophecy that promoted the premillennial view of Scripture, and dispensationalism. In his chart, “The Mountain Peaks of Prophecy,” a larger-than-life, bearded figure stands on a plain at the left, looking towards the right. The scene is a timeline, which represents the progress of time. The bearded person clearly sees the birth of Jesus, Calvary, the descent of the holy Spirit at Pentecost, which are represented by symbols upon the top of a mountain ridge representing the coming of Christ in the first century. Behind the first range of mountains is a valley that is hidden from the view of the bearded prophet. In the middle of the valley, called the Valley of the Church, there is a church building, that is obviously meant to represent the Christian church. A note states that the prophets did not see this. Beyond the Valley of the Church, there is another range of mountains, representing events at the end of the age, and the return of Christ. Antichrist stands near the summit. Beyond him, over the mount of Olives, is an image of the sun, and farther beyond it another valley, called the Millennial Valley. A circle floating above the valley contains the kingdom of God, which is visible to the prophet. At the far right, suspended in the air, are the New Jerusalem and the new earth." " Jerusalem was raised up. In the New Testament, Jerusalem was raised up, as Isaiah foretold, in Isaiah 2:1-3, above the hills. This happened when Jesus ascended to heaven. John said God and the Lamb are the temple of the holy city. Paul referred to “the Jerusalem which is above,” in Galatians 4:26. Hebrews 12:22 says, “Ye are come to mount Sion, and to the heavenly Jerusalem.” The saints in every age, in every location, and of every nation, have come to the heavenly Jerusalem. In Larkin’s chart, the New Jerusalem should be located not at the far right, but at the beginning of the church age. Similarly the kingdom of God should correspond to the ascent of Jesus to heaven, not removed to an age following the present church age. The chart seems to imply that the whole corpus of prophecy is defective, and in need of the enlightenment that is provided by dispensationalism. Larkin represents his chart as a “view from the side.” In fact, prophecy provides the view from above , the divine perspective."


1 Is this fellow Larkin and his charts beneficial in anyway comments please??

2 Does eschatology teach about dispensationalism ?

3 Did the prophets see the church age?

Response #15:

1. Some of the overall aspects of Larkin's chart are not bad (see last paragraph), but I'm reluctant to endorse it for a number of reasons. The fundamental idea of prophetic foreshortening is, as I have taught (at the link), namely, that the OT prophets were given to see sequence but not necessarily to see the details and time frame of the differentiation of the events in the end times sequence – which is why those in Israel before our Lord came, those who were sloppy in their approach, didn't see the need for the cross before the crown. But that later event is clearly required by scripture (just have a look at Isaiah chapter 53, e.g.).

2. On "dispensationalism", discussing this can easily end up becoming an "argument about words" which scripture warns against (e.g., 2Tim.2:14). That is to say, what most evangelicals think of as a "dispensation" is completely incorrect, and what evangelical teachers have done over the years is to take an incorrect appreciation of the word and concept in the Bible and develop massive (and massively incorrect) systems of eschatology AND interpretation of scripture based on wild expansions and mis-applications of said word(s) and concept.

In a nutshell, God "dispenses" His truth somewhat differently in different times. Before Israel and during Israel before Moses, He did it through prophets who tended to be heads of believing households. Under Israel, He did it through the Law and its shadows. During the apostolic period, prophecy is again a focus. Today, all such dispensation of the truth comes through the Bible, taught by prepared teachers, empowered by the Holy Spirit. But the idea that, e.g., Israel is somehow separated and a thing apart from the Church is a terribly heresy that rests at the doorstep of all such hyper-dispensationalists. We are all resurrected as one Church, for example, every believer from Adam and Eve to the last person saved during the Tribulation. Here are a couple of key links that provide the details:

Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church I


What is an oikonomia?

3. The Church Age is present in the Jewish ceremonial calendar (see the link), and can also be posited through understanding the seven millennial days which are adumbrated and symbolized by the seven days of re-creation, but given what is said at 1st Peter 1:10-12 and given the disciples' universal expectation on the one hand that the Lord was going to bring in the kingdom, and on the other a complete ignorance of the fact that salvation was going to come to the gentiles (over a long period of time) – something also in scripture as James later realizes (Acts 15:13-18) – it is fair to say that the Church Age is described as a "mystery age" for a reason: until it happened, the information in the OT which teaches it was not understood.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Greetings Professor, I hope you New Year is blessed. I have a quick question. Are angels also called clouds? V/r

Response #16:

Not only angels but also the host of resurrected believers are called "clouds" at various places in scripture, a metaphor for the vast number arrayed in the heavens, like a cloud (see the link: "He is coming with clouds").

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob and family,

I am enjoying re-reading through ichthys and I keep finding new things – perhaps I missed them on previous readings but I am learning so much and I cannot thank you enough for your efforts in making ichthys available and I sincerely hope and pray that more will find it. Being retired, there was a time when I was looking for a new hobby to ease the boredom of retirement – now I haven’t got time for a hobby, ichthys fills my days completely! I was wondering if you have made a timeline chart for the seal judgements? I have found 4 timeline charts which I have printed out, namely:

1. Event of the Tribulation’s first half.

2. The Seven Trumpet Judgements of Warning.

3. The Trumpet Judgements and the Two Campaigns against the South.

4. The Seven Bowl Judgements.

The timeline charts are very interesting as they show the events that will take place and when. I understand the first 4 seal judgements take place in the first half of Tribulation, I don’t know the duration of each one – you’ve probably put it in written form but I’m not sure where it is. Because of what the first 4 represent I am unsure if the duration of each is the same or of a different duration to each other. I also understand that the 5th seal marks the beginning of the second half of Tribulation where the 144,000 are the first to be martyred followed by those of us who will be martyred as well. I don’t know if the 6th and 7th seals last until the end like the 7th trumpet judgement, overlapping the bowl judgements. It would be interesting to see a timeline chart showing the seal judgements and where they fit and overlap on the charts mentioned.

If you don’t have a timeline chart for the seals, perhaps if you could tell me their durations in written form – (as in the first seal, the white horse lasts for 2 months) and I will then pencil them in over the charts I’ve printed out.

I am hoping not to have caused you any inconvenience and again dear Bob,

With brotherly love,

Response #17:

Thanks for the encouraging words as always – always great to hear from you.

As to your question, I have a "graphic", you could say, which relates to the seals but it's not exactly a chart. This lays out the seal trends in overview:

The Tribulation's First Half (four major trends):

1. White horse: Antichrist's Conquests: the trend of warfare and aggression

2. Red horse: Civil Discord: the trend of lawlessness and political destabilization

3. Black horse: Economic Constraint: the trend of economic dislocation and famine

4. Pale-green horse: Accelerated Mortality: the trend of plague and rampant death

The Great Tribulation (two major events):

5. Martyrs: the Great Persecution (of believers by antichrist and his religion)

6. Judgments: the Second Advent (with its preliminary and concomitant judgments)

The reason why I don't have a chronology beyond the above which only splits the seals into two groups is because they are not judgments which occur at specific times; rather, they are trends which run through the Tribulation (though the last two, seals five and six, do not start until the second half, and we do have a time frame for the bowl judgments which does have an explanatory chart as you note).

So for example, the trend represented by seal #1 will begin with the onset of the Tribulation as antichrist asserts himself and that will only end with Christ's return. The next three will also begin immediately or almost so and grow throughout the Tribulation, only ending with the second advent. Seal trend #5 will not be absent in the first half, but will become persecution leading to martyrdom with the commencement of the Great Tribulation (this is precisely what makes the second half "great" in terms of intensity).

As I explain where this is covered in CT 2B under "The Seven Seals", the seals are not at all parallel to the trumpets and the bowls, both of which other two sets are a series of sequential divine judgments on the earth, the former monitory and the latter punitive. Rather, the seals are a preview of what is going to happen throughout the Tribulation. These seals are literal seals on the book of Revelation which John is given to see, and each of them has a of picture of events, not unlike the blurb on the back of a modern book which indicates something of its contents. This has long seemed to me to be a fairly obvious thing, but I have to say that almost all interpretations of Revelation (other than this one) go far astray on this point.

For more, see the link above and also Q/A #3 in "Interpreting Revelation" at the link.

Do feel free to write me back about this, my friend. I'm always happy to hear from you.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #18:

In that day the Lord will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
With His fierce and great and mighty sword,
Even Leviathan the twisted serpent;
And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.
(Isaiah 27:1)

My intuition is telling me that “Leviathan the fleeing Serpent” is Satan and “Leviathan the twisted serpent” is the Beast. There’s definitely some sort of connection. Am I right?

Response #18:

Very nice. Antichrist is the devil's son, and the symbolic descriptions of them in Revelation as beast and dragon (in chapters 13 and 12 respectively) are very similar.

Leviathan is usually taken to be the devil and with that I agree (see the link). In the text, the word "even" represents waw followed the same preposition repeated plus "Leviathan the serpent" repeated – only the descriptive adjective is different. So from the Hebrew, I am given every indication that this is not a different "Leviathan", rather that this is the same proper name merely given an additional epithet in a poetic way.

As to "dragon" at the end of the verse, this word, taniyn, can also mean "serpent" (cf. Ex.7:9-12; Deut.32:33), and sometimes "sea monster". In no place where it occurs in scripture does it seem to mean "dragon" as opposed to "sea monster" since the place of the taniyn where specified is always the sea (or a river). Antichrist is the beast, and while the representations of him are always of terrestrial predator, he does rise from the sea (Rev.13:1). In Isaiah 27:1 above, Leviathan is said to be punished whereas the taniyn is said to be slain. Satan is punished at the second advent (that is "the Day" referred to here) by being imprisoned until the end of the Millennium, but he is not "slain" until after the Gog-Magog rebellion when he is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and false prophet were cast at Armageddon – and that certainly can be considered a "slaying".

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Dear Dr. Bob,

Happy year 2018 to you! Sorry if my timing is off in sending this email. I know your schedule is loaded with responsibilities in the university and with ichthys, among others. Just want to let you know that you are always in my prayers together with other believers in the prayer list. I always thank the Lord that my searching for truth led me to your ministry and to meet you through the internet.

I am one of your ministry's bible students and been one for a year now. Been able to have some time to do so since my bed-ridden father went to be with the Lord summer of 2016. My mom went ahead of him three years before that. I was the only one who looked after them because I can't afford the services of a nurse/caregiver or a nursing home. I thank the Lord that He blessed me with understanding sons and wife even when I moved them from their place to our house.

Seeing the negative implications of this situation especially to my physical health led some folks to comment negatively about how other old persons they knew weren't burdens to their children - they departed quickly. Of course, they meant well for me but at the same time that was unfair for my wards - one cannot tell nor will how his last days on earth will be like ("I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul" is overrated). I know for a fact that my parents pitied me but I reassured them that it was a privilege from the Lord for me to look after them in the conditions that they were in. I always reminded them that as much as we are able, we are to be good stewards of what God gave us, even when these are already sick bodies.

Towards the end, they were unable to speak but still able to hear. After every cleaning and feeding routine, I played the Psalms in an mp3 player in their room until they fell asleep. I myself know the comfort God's Word gives especially in trying situations when physical and medical interventions are inadequate to soothe the pain in a sick body. Or when one feels alone following a spiritual path that is different from what is traditionally taken by most. Forgive me if I sound self-righteous and sentimental.

(It is difficult to feel self-righteous because even in spiritual activities like communicating how our Lord has been gracious. One is always aware of one's sinfulness and of the sneaky sinful nature inside that would always want to taint it with self-praise - the self wanting to take credit of the progress that was made possible only because of grace. One should only be always grateful because of His grace.) There are just times when one misses some folks who were dear and close. And times when one notices how in all those good and bad times, our Lord's plan and will is working for our good, though He is invisible, not wanting to be and hardly, noticed by us. It is just like Him to be quietly leading us to himself through all these and through fellow believers like you in the spiritual journey, who minister to one another the encouragement of His Word.

Sir, when you have the time, please let me know why the Lord says in the passages of Ezekiel 31:16 and 32:31, that the pharaoh and the multitude are comforted in the midst of their defeat? This is during the beast's second campaign against the "southern alliance."

Praying you always have a blessed day,

Sincerely in our gracious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
p.s. It is midnight here.

Response #19:

It's hard to lose loved ones, even when in the case of parents it may be a matter of "better by far" to be with the Lord from every point of view (Phil.1:23). My dad went in his sleep without the many years of deterioration my mother had to endure, so I can sympathize. I'm very encouraged to hear of your decent and faithful treatment of your parents. No doubt God is pleased with that. Doing the right thing is often difficult and misunderstood – but it is always better by far in the long run.

As to your question, in Ezekiel chapter 32, the king of Babylon is symbolic of the beast, and the point that Ezekiel is communicating is the ultimate impotence of antichrist. That is a very important perspective for believers to have, especially for those of us likely to live long enough to experience his depredations. Even though the beast will gain the whole world and be the object of worship of most unbelievers, he will still end up just like any other pagan ruler, cast into the pit – and actually worse since he and his false prophet will be deposited directly into the lake of fire at Armageddon. So the point is not that Pharaoh and his armies receive comfort by the comparison – how much comfort can be had in Torments is sort of a moot point – but to emphasize by that very comparison that all of antichrist's efforts (and Satan's too) are going to come to naught. We will have to keep that firmly in mind when the pressure is on.

Ezekiel chapter 31's comparison of Pharaoh and the former king of Assyria to trees with the other departed trees taking comfort in their demise is precisely similar. The one thing to keep in mind about both passages is that while they refer in the near term to contemporary rulers, they also have a far term, eschatological application, with both of them predicting the fall of antichrist and reminding us all of his inevitable defeat (for Pharaoh see the links: "Pharaoh [as a type of antichrist]", and  "the analogy of the Exodus").

Happy new year to you too, my friend!

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20:

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.”
(Isaiah 23:15)

Is this the seventy years of Babylonian captivity?

“And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the Lord: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.”
(Isaiah 23:17-18)

Response #20:

Just as the king of Tyre is a type of antichrist, so Tyre is a type of eschatological Babylon, and these passages represent the "low kingdom" she will become after her destruction in the Tribulation – but she will not even recover that humble status until after a period of seventy years (a further humiliation). This is talked about at the link "Old Testament Interpretation V", and also in CT 3B under "Characteristics of Babylon".

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Is God being sarcastic or serious here?

“Keep on, then, with your magic spells
and with your many sorceries,
which you have labored at since childhood.
Perhaps you will succeed,
perhaps you will cause terror.”
(Isaiah 47:12)

Response #21:

However one wants to characterize it, the point is that of course Babylon will be destroyed regardless of the prior technological prowess represented here ("magic" = technology = "magic").

Question #22:

Do you believe in a future reign by a physical (and yet immortal) Jesus from a restored Jerusalem of some kind via a political theocracy with Him as ruling King and (some of) His saints serving as (sub)ruling princes over some subjects of said theocracy, or the absence thereof?

Response #22:

Yes, the Bible certainly teaches a literal Millennium and, as I said, I'm in the evangelical as opposed traditionalist amillennial tradition; but as the way you have phrased things here shows, there are plenty of ins and outs to eschatology. I am in the process of doing the eschatological part of the "Bible Basics" synopsis at present (now posted at the link), and it will likely run somewhere close to two hundred single spaced pages (389 in fact). Both the Satanic Rebellion series and especially the Coming Tribulation series are focused on these matters, and I would direct you there for the full story.

Question #23:

What does this verse mean?

“For truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.”
(Matthew 10:23)

Response #23:

The eschatological reference is to the 144,000 who will evangelize Israel but will not bring about complete revival – only the Lord's return will accomplish that when unbelieving Israel "looks upon Him whom they have pierced" (Zech.12:10; Rev.1:7).

Question #24:

To refresh your memory, this verse is the subject of my question:

“For truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes,”
(Matthew 10:23)

I accept that this verse is primarily eschatological in nature. However, why would Jesus give such a command to his disciples if they were going to be dead for a long time before the command becomes relevant? That does not make sense to me.


Response #24:

Context of the verse in Matthew chapter 10 NKJV:

v.17: "But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues."

Comment: no record of this happening for the 12 or the 72.

v.18: "and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles"

Comment: no record of this happening for the 12 or the 72; in fact, our Lord had told them at the beginning of this passage (at Matt.10:5-6) not to go to the Samaritans or the gentiles but only to the "lost sheep of Israel".

v.19-20: "But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you"

Comment: again, no record of this happening for the 12 or the 72 or of it being necessary.

v.21: "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death."

Comment: this prophecy is clearly broader than the 12 or the 72 and there isn't any record of anything like this happening at all during the time of our Lord's ministry, let alone it being a widespread occurrence as prophesied here. This prophecy is from Micah 7:6 and that passage, vv.1-7, relates the suffering of Israel during the Tribulation (primarily – another case of the "Day of the Lord" paradigm explaining and comparing here the coming near term judgment for rebellion against the Lord in terms of the eschatological experience of Israel that would happen in the future); vv.8-13 the regathering of Israel under the Messiah; vv.14-20 the blessings of the Millennium. So the passage quoted is clearly eschatological and just as clearly not actually fulfilled in the experience of the 12 or the 72 or of the contemporary generation – though it would be paralleled at least in the coming destruction of Judea.

v.22: "And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved."

Comment: clearly also eschatological as nothing like this happened to the 12 or the 72 during our Lord's time on earth. The second sentence applies to all believers at all times, and more so to believes under significant pressure and persecution because they are believers, and most of all to believers during the Tribulation; compare our Lord's identical words later at Matthew 24:13 where the context is declared to be eschatological in answer to the disciples' question, "when will these things take place?" (Matt.24:3). The first sentence is also true of believers generally during the Tribulation but even more so of the 144,000 who are directed by the two witnesses. These will all die a martyr's death, and this passage from beginning to end applies mostly to the 144K who follow in the footsteps of the 12 and the 72. In fact, they have an identical mandate, viz., to direct Jewish revival.

Theoretically, Israel could have responded to their Messiah instead of rejecting Him. Our Lord's message was, "repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt.4:17). But the kingdom was not restored "at this time" (cf. Acts 1:6) and instead the message of the gospel would be proclaimed to the gentiles to complete the assembly (the Church Age). During the Tribulation, the kingdom will again be "at hand", and the 144K will take up the revival ministry precisely where the 12 and the 72 left off. Not all Israel will respond; some will not do so until the see the Lord return at the second advent; that is the significance of "not complete" the cities of Israel; completion will have to await the post-return repentance also predicted in scripture (Zech.12:10; Rev.1:7).

So on the one hand, what our Lord is doing here, utilizing the "Day of the Lord paradigm" to teach the 12 and the 72 about the hardships of their impending mission – and assure them that it will not be as difficult as it might have been (by comparison with the 144K) – is precisely in line with what other prophets have been given to do throughout the Old Testament (so it should not be surprising if THE Prophet does so). And on the other hand, as mentioned above, this all could have theoretically happened, had the response on behalf of most been positive; for that reason it was fitting and right for our Lord to put things the way He put them.

Finally, it should also be said that the description given here while it applies "most" to the 144K and "some" to the 12 and the 72 also applies "more" to the apostles and the early generations of the truth who did face serious persecution in spreading the Word of God – and by analogy / application may apply to any Christian who is proclaiming the Word of God and suffers for it (n.b.).

Having the whole Bible now, these things are far from impossible to sort out.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Hello Professor,

I hope you are well. I often pray for your ministry and you are often in my thoughts. Is there anything else you would like me to pray for?

Thank you for your previous email and apologies for taking so long to reply back. I’ve started using Unger’s commentary on the OT and it has been helpful. I’ve just started reading the book of Jeremiah and what I tend to do is read a chapter on its own and then read it again verse by verse whilst using the commentary. I will take on-board your recommendation on reading part 1 of the Coming Tribulation, and I am looking forward to starting it. Currently I’m reading through Bible Basics and I’ve nearly finished reading Pneumatology. Once I’ve completed Bible Basics I shall start your studies on Coming Tribulation. Last week I managed to print your study of Eschatology, I found a decent online company that prints PDF files. I thought of the idea after reading one of your email postings. I’ve already read Eschatology so I’m just planning to re-read it in slow time during my lunch breaks, it also gives me a break from my laptop.

Whilst reading the first few pages of Eschatology I’ve come across The Sealing of the 144,000 and you wrote that they were given authority to perform miracles. These kinds of miracles are the same kind of those performed during the early days of the apostolic era of the Church. In your study of Pneumatology, scripture states that these kind of Spiritual gifts are temporary and after the apostolic era they stopped happening. Why is it that The 144,000 have to use these temporary Spiritual gifts when during the Tribulation we will still have the prophetically inspired Word?

I look forward to hearing back from you my friend.

In our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Response #25:

Great to hear from you, my friend!

As to your question, in terms of overt justifications or explanations, this is never provided by scripture. What we can say is that there have only been a very few periods in history, spiritually considered, when there have been (or will be) such cases of intense and widespread overtly miraculous happenings or the giving of special gifts, and that all of these represented times or revival and initiation of something new; other than this period you ask about, we also have: 1) Moses' ministry to the children of Israel and the creation of their God-centered state through the giving of the Law with the people being miraculously delivered from Egypt and supernaturally provided for in the desert; 2) the revival of Israel under the ministry of Elijah and Elisha on the threshold of the Assyrian destruction of the north and the later captivity of the south; 3) the ministry of Jesus Christ and His disciples which is then continued by the disciples then apostles where Israel rejects the King and His kingdom (witnessed to by the 12 and the 72) and the Church is expanded to the gentiles and likewise inaugurated through such gifts and miracles.

Interestingly, the first two of the three above were superintended by two specially gifted individual who were given to do miracles, Moses and Elijah – and they are the two witnesses of the Tribulation who will direct this ministry of the 144,000 (n.b., they also foreshadow and typologically represent Jesus Christ and John the baptist). That ministry too will be a revival ministry for the restoration of Israel, intended, as was John the baptist's, "‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Lk.1:17; cf. Mal.4:5-6) – second advent here in view as opposed to first advent.

The connection with revival no doubt helps to explain the miracles and the special gifts: revivals are necessary only because the people (of Israel in this and every one of the four cases) are far from the Lord and so may require special proof of God's power to respond; when they do, special gifts may be necessary to fill in the gap of a lack of spiritual infrastructure and/or a shortness of time so to make up spiritual deficits faster than might otherwise be able to be the case.

So it is always so that the truth is better than a miracle, but the truth does take time and effort to learn, to make it one's own by faith, to become familiar with it so as to be able to use it in applying it to one's life, and finally to be able to see the world and this life through the lens of that truth despite what one's physical eyes may see. Miracles are wonderful; special gifts are wonderful; but having faith strong enough not to need them is better still. For those who have such faith, the light of the truth is a surer guide for our steps by far (Ps.119:105). As Peter said:

Yet I consider the prophetically inspired Word (i.e. the Bible) even more reliable (i.e., than witnessing the miracle of the transfiguration of vv.16-18). You too would do well to pay the closest attention to it (i.e., scripture), just as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises (i.e., the Second Advent).
2nd Peter 1:19

I keep you and your brother and your family in my prayers daily as well – thanks so much for yours!

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I hope you are doing well! How have you been? I am keeping you and your ministry in my prayers every day.

I have been very busy. Thank you so much for keeping me on the Ichthys prayer list! God is answering everyone’s prayers for me. I have gotten through a lot of the problems balancing my other responsibilities and Bible/language study in the last few months and I am now back on track preparing for my ministry in the way God wants me to. Lately I have had much more energy and have been making slow and steady progress in most of the things God is guiding me to accomplish. Of course, time management and the “balancing act” are always a challenge for me. Also, I am corresponding with two friends - thank you for guiding me to connect with them!

I am rotating between several New Testament and Old Testament books of the on a weekly bases and right now I am back into making progress in the Book of Daniel. I am listening to Curt’s verse-by-verse studies again on Daniel (link). I got through all of them more than a year ago, but now I am going back and taking notes. I am also taking notes from Unger’s Commentary on the Old Testament and referring to all of your teaching I can find on Daniel on Ichthys.

I have been keeping a list of questions I want to ask you and need to go through my list to prioritize, but during my study on Daniel this morning I came across something that confuses me.

My question has to do with how Daniel’s vision in chapter 8 applies to Antiochus Epiphanies and to the Antichrist. I know that Antiochus Epiphanies is a type for the Antichrist, but I am confused as to which verses/events can be attributed to exclusively to Antiochus’s career and which ones can also be attributed to the Antichrist’s career. When it comes to typing, can ALL of the details in Daniel’s vision apply to the Antichrist or do only some of them apply (even in a different way)?

We know that the Antichrist rises from Mystery Babylon (the U.S.A) and later takes over the area of Revived Rome. Antiochus is described as a little horn rising from one of the four horns on the shaggy goat (Greece), which is the Seleucid Empire (Daniel 8:9 and 8:22). At first I thought verses 8:9 and 8:22 could only be referring to Antiochus until I came across this explanation from Unger:

“At first blush, that seems to refer only to Antiochus Epiphanies and at the same time to categorically exclude any reference to the end-time Antichrist, who will rise out of the ten horns of the fourth empire (Rome), and not out of one of the four horns of the third empire (Greece). The simple solution is that the four kingdoms of the third empire are to have a last day existence, territorially comprising four of the ten kingdoms of the fourth (Roman) kingdom, and out of one of them – territorially embracing, no doubt, the area ruled by the ancient Seleucid kings – will arise the sinister Roman beast-Antichrist of the end time (7:23-27).”

Does Unger interpret these verses correctly? Is it possible to attribute any of the vision about the 4 horns on the goat to the events of the Tribulation and to the Antichrist? I know the Antichrist rises in power in the U.S.A and then over Revived Rome. Is it possible that his take over of Revived Rome involves politics/conflict from geographical area ruled over by the Seleucid Dynasty? That area covers the modern day regions of Cyprus, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey.

Or should we only apply verses 8:9 and 8:22 to the career of Antiochus? There has been a lot of political conflict involving the U.S.A./Europe and these regions, but have warned against analyzing current political events to try and predict what will happen during the Tribulation. I just want to make sure I am getting Daniel’s vision and Gabriel’s interpretation correct.

No rush in getting back to me! I know you are very busy!

In Christ's Love,

Response #26:

It's delightful to hear from you, my friend, and I am also very glad to hear that things are going better for you – that has certainly been the theme of my prayers on your behalf. Thanks also for yours for me. I am "hanging in there" and finding work-arounds for the various hitches in my giddy-up. The Lord is getting me through as He always does on the physical front and on the other fronts I'm fighting on too (job et al.).

As to your question, in my opinion Daniel chapter eight is to be interpreted as referring to Antiochus, and then to antichrist by way of typology. In such circumstances it is always right to apply only the appropriate information from the type to the anti-type (see the link: "typology"). And sometimes (as in the case of Matthew 10:5ff. for example), prophecy shifts from typology to outright prophecy about the anti-type (this happens also in Daniel chapter eleven). Verses nine through fourteen all have to do mainly with the beast and the Tribulation. The same phenomenon occurs in the second half of chapter eight. The prophecy begins with Antiochus – and I would put verses 20-22 down to him. But verse nineteen tells us that the passage will have a further, future application:

And [the angel] said to me, "Understand, O son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end." . . . "Behold, I am making known to you what will take place during the final period of [God's] indignation (i.e., the Tribulation), for [this will happen] at the appointed time of the end.
Daniel 8:17b & 8:19

This information / application which is exclusively relating to the beast begins in verse 23. You would think that Unger would have seen that based upon how that verse begins:

And at the end of their kingdom (i.e., during the Tribulation), when rebels are being confirmed [in their apostasy], there will arise a stern-faced king (i.e., antichrist), well versed in deception.
Daniel 8:23

Still, he's the best published OT exegete I know of who actually believes the Bible.

Feel free to write me back about any of this.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:

What's the meaning of this verse?

"As when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating, and awakes with his hunger not satisfied, or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking, and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched, so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion."
(Isaiah 29:8)

Response #27:

This refers to the complete annihilation of the forces of antichrist at the second advent – it will be as if they never were once the Lord is finished with them; by application, it also applies to the coming contemporary annihilation in Isaiah's day of the Assyrian army, which was a type of the later horde of the beast (the Day of the Lord Paradigm; at the link).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Greetings Doc.,

Just wondering how we can find out what Tribe of Israel that Jared Kushner comes from.

I am as always reading your post and going back to the studies for reference, thought and mediation. Seems to me with China going to one man rule (Russia already there) that end time is moving on us faster than maybe thought. Never the less I know that our lamps are trimmed and we await the Bridegroom when ever His Father so chooses. Your Brother in Christ, Love, Grace and Faith.

Response #28:

Good to hear from you, my friend.

It's an interesting question. I'm not an expert on Jewish matters but I believe I'm correct in making the general statement that most people of Jewish ancestry have no clear idea about their family line so many generations in the past any more than the rest of us do. The Lord knows, however – and that's the only important thing.

It is true that times are getting pretty "interesting" and it is hard to see how things could continue as the are for too much longer, based on a sober assessment of technology, society, the world at large or any combination of these and other measures of human depravity which are spiking at present with no end in site. Again, the Lord knows – and we have to trust Him that He has put us in exactly the right time and place to do what He wants us to do.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Hello Doctor,

How are you fairing since we last communicated? I’ve read a few places that satan is being very consistent with you, so you must still be doing amazing things for those who read your stuff. For the (?)th time, thank you so much!

In The Spirit I'd like to ask you your take on something: do you find the random explosion in “popularity” of this activist kid at all like a sore thumb? Born in 2000, already shaky story (one day “I was there!,” next “I was home then went back!,”??); instantly hates parents and is helping kids hate theirs even more; oozes arrogance, etc..); there’s a lot of kids today that act like that yes, he just seems to be especially in our face yet mainstream is demanding he be honored no matter how he hates us/our current rights or is easily seen through. Oh, and his dad is and “ex” fed, right. Opponents just cave to him, so it really seems set up and part of the narrative. What do you think? We’ll have to see, but sore thumb to me He is.

I pray you are able to rest brother, it’s get tiring being flogged so much.

Your student,

Response #29:

Thanks for the update, my friend. I'll be praying for you new situation. Life in this world is not easy, that is for sure.

It's been a difficult week or so here on the job with all the political developmentss. Voiced support of some is nice but "the help of man is useless" (Ps.60:11; 108:12). On the other hand, "the fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat" (2Chron.17:10). I trust the Lord.

Your trust in the Lord is an encouragement to me! I thank the Lord for you and your courageousness in this fight. It's what we all need to deploy, but it is helpful to see other brothers and sisters in the battle line being "strong and courageous" as examples to us all.

On your question, it's very difficult to say. I couldn't tell you if the beast comes from the left or the right; I can easily envision scenarios based upon the present situation which might go either way. Most of what I have been able to glean from scripture about him, moreover, makes him a religious-political figure who manages to be "all things to all people" – except true believers in Christ. Not sure precisely what that will look like, however. And we are getting very close.

One thing this whole development does make clear is that modern media and the complete lack of historical perspective in the country generally tends to make any tragedy immediately into "the most important thing that's ever happened in the history of the world", especially in the isolated-from-reality USA. During the liberation of the Philippines, the Japanese who still held Manila went on a week's long rape and murder rampage where they deliberately, systematically and brutally raped and murdered as many Filipinos as they possibly could (along with any foreigners they could get their hands on), with the death toll reaching near 100K – and that was just one major "incident" in what that country (and all the foreigners present there including US prisoners) endured over the course of over two and half years of occupation – and that was just one small part of a world war that saw tens of millions killed, many more maimed for life, many more made homeless and made to suffer the loss of everything. If this recent incident upsets people to the point of dysfunction, it makes you wonder how they would have reacted to WWII, and what will happen once they experience the Tribulation. To say they may prove "suggestible" is perhaps an understatement.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers every day, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #30:

[details omitted]

Response #30:

I suppose it's theoretically possible that the current present might be the a/c (just as that has always been possible with world rulers). However, I don't think he's Jewish (that's a problem, biblically speaking, with the identification, since the beast rises from the tribe of Dan; see the link). Also, what I get from scripture is that the beast will be exceptional, not just successful and lucky. And antichrist from my reading will be a non-conformist in many ways, gaining support from all quarters. He will also be Israel's greatest supporter – until he's not.

I'm not sure the Hitler analogy is a good one. Antichrist will be the most successful in world history at gobbling up territory. The only ones in recent history who come close are Stalin and Mao (Hitler's conquests being smaller and a evanescent by comparison, lasting only a few short years).

In other words, I believe it is a big mistake to start to see the beast ahead of time as right-wing – because it will make all who do susceptible to being duped by him if he is not; that is the same problem with seeing him ahead of time as left wing.

In the US today there are in numerical terms and politically speaking just as many left wing Christians as there are right wing ones, but in my reading of scripture the beast will convince them all – all the politically active ones – that he is the Messiah (did I mention that political involvement is spiritually dangerous?). This would argue for an asymmetrical antichrist, and that is what I have my radar alerted for.

Yours in Jesus Christ the truth Messiah who will destroy all of the beast's followers in short order.

Bob L.


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