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Eschatology Issues XLI

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Question #1:

Dear Bob:

What do you make of so many apparent "Christians" succumbing to Marxist ideology and other lies sweeping the country today?

Why are so many Christians "Leftist"?

Response #1:

I think you have stumbled on the answer when you write "apparent "Christians"". I'm not saying that all who profess to belong to Him and yet do things that are worldly are not saved – but at the very least we can say that those looking for political solutions are very immature Christians at best (whether they are looking on the right or on the left). That is the hallmark of our present age of Laodicea, after all.

When the truth of scripture is disregarded, people always go searching for something else, and they never find anything good outside of the Bible (a lot about this in SR 4: Satan's World System).

Truly, this only I have found:
That God made man upright,
But they have sought out many schemes.
Ecclesiastes 7:29 NKJV

Therefore, instead of getting upset and overreacting with all that is going on at present, the best thing for those who love the Lord in truth should do is to redouble their efforts at spiritual growth, spiritual progress, and production for Him. That is the way to increase the savor of the "salt" within us, and it is only by our "saltiness" that we can hope to influence events for the good – NOT by getting involved in any way on one side or the other.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Dear Bob.

How are we any different from those Isaiah prophesied against in Isaiah 3:12?

"As for My people, children are their oppressors,
And women rule over them.
O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err,
And destroy the way of your paths."
Isaiah 3:12 NKJV

I know full well to whom he was speaking, but if we are grafted into the bride of Christ, are we exempt from this? It seems to fit us today to a tee.

In our Lord,

Response #2:

What I would say about this verse is what I would say about all such judgment passages throughout the prophets. On the one hand, there are parallels of application for how God deals with every nation. But on the other hand, the US is not "My people".

It's an arrogant assumption that has been in vogue for centuries here in certain circles in this country that "we are special". We are not special. Who is "we" anyway? From God's point of view, the extent that the verse and the passage do apply, the "we" above are the believers. To the extent that believers in any country constitute a sizeable percent of the population (maybe 10% here? – hard to tell, doubt if it's more and could be much less), that is all to the good . . . if said believers are doing their job.

That is to say, if the remnant is sufficiently "salty", then God works things out for good for the country in question, but if they are not, then all manner of bad things may happen – and possibly more so on account of the very fact that there are many believers there who are not doing their job (see the link). If there were no believers in this country then there would be no basis whatsoever to be talking about "my people"; but to the extent that "my people" applies here, it applies to believers, and the only reason that bad things would be – or in fact are – happening because of divine judgment, would be on account of the deficiencies of "my people", that is, the salt is losing or has lost its savor.

So verses such as this invite believers to look in the mirror and ask whether or not we are doing our part. Are we doing all we can to grow spiritually, to walk close to Jesus day by day, and to help others do likewise? If so, then we are salt that is getting saltier and we are part of the solution. But if not . . .

"Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them,
For they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him,
For the reward of his hands shall be given him."
Isaiah 3:10-11 NKJV

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Dear Bob,

I realize we're goyim, but if He punished His people the way he did, and we have the examples or Assyria, Babylon (I can think of a number of people who should be out in the rain eating grass,) Greece, Rome and of course, Germany, England and France, what would be logical for us to expect? I used to believe that the Lord would hold off until the Tribulation. Now, I'm not so sure.

I look at what's going on today and think the destruction of this country is progressing quite as nicely as our enemies would wish. We seem to be behaving as did Israel, Judah, Rome and more recently, France. And, we haven't learned a thing. I'm not sure this can be attributed to the Lords punishment as much as He letting us alone to do it ourselves. Look at what's happened. When Samuel pleaded with the Lord to give the Israelites the king that they demanded so forcefully we have ended up living with that choice today.

The current milieu, though, has convinced me to change the way I do things and the way I live. I'm getting to be a first class hermit and will be growing more food. Yep, vegetables. Livestock is too much work. I'm not even sure about chickens. I will also add that, while I'm trying to learn as much as I can, I've only encountered three people in the last ten years with whom I could successfully share the gospel. Now that I'm a hermit, there will be even less.

There will be hard choices coming between now and the Tribulation. I still think it would be useful if you write pre-trib general orders. In your spare time, of course.

I pray all is well with you and yours and your research is going well.

Your friend in Christ,

Response #3:

"We" is a word I still would not use. I have nothing in common with pagan unbelievers in this country who have no respect for anything, let alone God (and not much in common with legalistic and/or liberal "believers" who are not serious about the truth). Also, if nations "got what they deserved" in the way suggested, I can think of many countries which should have been destroyed long ago – in fact probably 99% of the globe throughout the course of history. God's reasons for sparing this one and destroying that one are perfect and based on a totality of information – which we most certainly do not have – with the goal of salvation of His people always in mind.

He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the children of Israel.
Deuteronomy 32:8b NKJV

(26) From one man he created all the nations of mankind – that they should come to inhabit the whole face of the earth. He fixed and determined the specific times and extent of their habitations, (27) to the end that they should seek out this God, that they might go in search of Him and so might find Him – for He is not far off from any one of us.
Acts 17:26-27

If a nation has a very small number of believers but they are dedicated to the Lord and His truth, I would imagine that either the Lord would spare that nation for the sake of the "salt", or else rescue those who believe (Gen.18:32; Is.3:10; cf. the Huguenot's being delivered from France); on the other hand, if a nation has a large number of believers but they are not doing their "salt" job, I could understand that nation being destroyed – but I would still hold out hope for any and all who are "salty" (Gen.19:15; Jer.45:4-5; Ezek.14:13-20).

We do have to remember as well that not only His ways higher than our ways (Is.55:9), but also that with Him, a day is like a thousand years (Ps.90:4). So even if our analysis of a particular country were correct, that doesn't mean either that a) judgment is imminent in the way we perceive imminence, or b) that things will transpire in a way any of us might anticipate.

All that being the case, the same calculus thus applies: not only for our own sake, but also for the sake of our country, the best thing a believer can do is to get and to stay serious about the Word of God, about walking more closely with Jesus Christ day by day, and by committing to helping others do so as well by means of applying ourselves to the ministries we've been given as adjuncts to our spiritual gifts. Individually we're all way too small to turn the ship around – and that would be true even if we were great (Ezek.14:14) – but collectively, well, there's no underestimating the power of the truth.

If that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.
Jeremiah 18:8 NKJV

I have included a "Tribulational Code of Conduct" in the CT series (at the link).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Bob L.,

I know you've talked about it and recently posted several emails relating to the topic of Joseph's plenty vs famine dream interpretation and how it may relate to the 7 years prior to and during the tribulation.

This got me thinking especially with everything going on in our country and the world. I've been approaching this as having material/physical security/peace for 7 years prior to the tribulation. Probably a typical American approach to the world. Could it mean, if it does in fact apply, 7 years of spiritual plenty instead?

I know we don't actually have an abundance of spiritual truth right now but it's probably a lot more than will be coming when the tribulation starts. So now it's time to learn the truth, believe the truth, and store up as much as we can. So when the tribulation comes we can live off the truth we have stored up and have some for those who have very little but want it despite the risk?

I know we are still in year 1 of this interpretation but it just seems like it probably won't get better. Like you said in the recent weekly email positing we could use a tune up. Maybe it's the kind of tuneup where things are slowly tightened up until we can handle the big race when it starts. God willing, with plenty of gas to get us and other believers as far as God wants us to go?

In Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior

Response #4:

Excellent application, my friend! I agree, and from that more important point of view we've certainly gotten some very good wake-up calls. I have no doubt that you are absolutely correct. Reminds me of the parable of the five wise and five foolish young women – the ones who had enough oil (truth) to keep their lamps (faith) alight were the ones who were let into the wedding (got through the Tribulation with faith intact).

So while it would be quite nice if things calmed down and "normal" returned across the board – I am certainly praying for that – God knows what we believers really need, and He is more than capable of keeping us safe and helping us to prepare for the worse things ahead . . . as long as we are willing to be the clay in His loving hands and respond in a godly way.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dear Teacher

How have you and yours been, sir?

I'm getting on here. I haven't traveled yet. It seems likely that the ban will be lifted on Sunday, but we'll know then.

My dad is back home. I'm at peace with the possibility of his passing, but I am hoping to see him and do what I can to strengthen his faith, if I can. And I want to be there to give my mom some support.

My studies are going quite well, and I think that I'm finding the routine that works.

We are always praying for you, sir, and thank you for always being there and praying for us.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #5:

Doing fine here – thanks for asking.

I'm happy to hear that won't be undertaking this journey under a dangerous ban. I'll be praying for your safe arrival.

Good to hear that your studies are progressing. Things are opening up here in the states. Universities are problematic, however. At mine, about half the classes in the fall are going to be offered online only, and as a consequence of the uncertainty our enrollments – our major source of funding – are down at the moment. Personally, I feel that if the university would just announce business as usual in the fall, the missing students would show back up. I certainly don't blame them for not wanting to commit when the grand plan hasn't even been fully unveiled yet. I'm deliberately not making any syllabi until all the shoes have dropped. I've opted for face to face teaching – more colleagues want online than in person, so I'm getting my "druthers" – but even so I have to schedule about a quarter of my classes as digital not in person events. Exactly how many and when is up in the air, but we're apparently going to be done with face to face by Thanksgiving. So it will be different, to say the least.

In any case, I'm hoping and praying that you can get started with your academics ASAP!

Thanks for the prayers – to you both!

Keeping you and your families in mine as well day by day.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:


Am sorry your website views have been down lately or rather picked up significantly for April and dropped off in May. Don’t let it obscure the fact that it’s one of the best if not the best Bible-based websites on the net. I’ve been on the net since 1997 and I’ve learned more from your website than any other. I have some friends in Africa I sent links to so hopefully they will check it out soon.

I’ve been doing a lot more praying lately in general. Have a really strong feeling that we are living in the very last days as we are seeing Biblical prophecy unfold before our very eyes. This country is seemingly far more evil than it was 25 or 30 years ago, I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before. The evil gets shoved in your face daily here if you work for a left-leaning company. Of course if you don’t agree with their agenda you are a horrible human being. Don’t mean to rant but I’m sure you can relate and see some of that yourself working at a major university.

Interesting that you point out on your website that organization is key to satanic false religions and that people will do things in a group they would never do on their own. Certainly rings true with some of the movements going on right now. Few seem interested these days in having a relationship with Jesus. Take care my friend and thanks for listening!

In Jesus Christ

Response #6:


Much appreciated, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hello Bob!

As always, thank you for your thoughtful and thorough responses. I hope you are doing well. I need to catch up on your last two weeks of email Q&As.

I am really struggling with my fear surrounding the upcoming Tribulation. I am trying to undo years of New Age thoughts (where I WAS IN CONTROL and I was God, etc). And then a church influence of lukewarm/prosperity Christianity, where "God working all things out for my good" meant comfort, earthly blessings, and minimal suffering. I have learned so much in just a few short weeks about God's will, His timing, and so on. I know I'm lacking in Trust.

It's a huge shift to go from "creating your own reality" through thoughts/intention (Law of Attraction; thanks a lot, Oprah).... to realizing you really have no control. That belongs to God. I know I should find comfort in this because HIS THOUGHTS ARE NOT MY THOUGHTS AND HE KNOWS BEST... so why am I still grieving my loss of control?

I know you have said I (we all) should be working on spiritual growth during these times. I have started reading your Peter series and have been highlighting most of it. In my mind and heart, I'm preparing myself to stand firm for our Lord. The hypotheticals of watching my daughter or family suffer is where I start to lose it. I guess I'm assuming the worst. I feel like I'm doing this so that I'm prepared, but it also feels like torment from the enemy. It's possible that we could be tortured and martyred, but it's also possible that we are divinely protected, right? I'm really struggling to find peace in this. I assume it goes back to my recent reluctant surrender of control. (broken record here). I know that God knows better than me. He created me. I know He knows it all. I just can't figure out why I'm so scared of the end times. If I trust God is in control, I don't know why I'm so scared. Whoops... I accidentally hit a weird combination of keys that actually sent that email before I had a chance to sign off. That might have been God saying, enough with this broken record fear talk.

Thank you, Bob!

Response #7:

Learning that the Lord is control of everything is actually very comforting – once we get to the point of appreciating His absolute faithfulness. We know from the Bible and from much personal experience that He never puts on us anything we can't actually handle (e.g., 1Cor.10:13). We are indeed not in control. No one is. No one ever has been. That is an illusion. But God IS in control. Always has been; always will be. He loves us more than we can imagine – and that is proven by the gift of His Son our Lord Jesus Christ.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 5:8-10 NKJV

The "wrath" above has to do with eternal condemnation, it is true, but the principle applies to the Tribulation too. After all, the Tribulation is the time of wrath – divine judgment upon those who oppose God, not upon us whom He loves. That wrath is not meant for us but for unbelievers, especially the ones who will be instruments of persecuting believers during antichrist's reign:

Behold, the day of the LORD comes,
Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate;
And He will destroy its sinners from it.
For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not give their light;
The sun will be darkened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine.
I will punish the world for its evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will halt the arrogance of the proud,
And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold,
A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Therefore I will shake the heavens,
And the earth will move out of her place,
In the wrath of the LORD of hosts
And in the day of His fierce anger.
Isaiah 13:9-13 KJV

The Lord is angry at THEM, not us – for seeking to harm us. So rather than being petrified by what will happen during the Tribulation, like the children of Israel we will be overjoyed to see the plagues fall upon those who are persecuting us. Everything that comes from God during the Tribulation will for our benefit and for our deliverance.

Our God is the God of salvation;
And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.
Psalm 68:20 KJV

In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Isaiah 25:9 NIV

A small amount of apprehension about the Tribulation can be salutary, but being fearful is something to cast out, both because of the above and because we trust the Lord to work it out for good for us who love Him.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1st John 4:18 NIV

Yes we do reverence the Lord (that is what "the fear of God" is, respect, not cowardly trepidation). If we "fear God" in truth, in truth we have absolutely nothing to fear from the world, not now, not then, not ever. He can deliver us no matter what from whatever betides. And not only CAN He – He always does, for those who are walking hand in hand with Him.

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge--10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."
Psalm 91:1-16 NIV [1984]

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hi Bob,

Good to hear that all your hard work in the yards is paying off and they're looking pretty. Definitely good exercise too. Coreopsis meaning "Maiden-face" - that's nice!

Good that you can do your research on something you really enjoy too. When I first found Ichthys I clicked on the link to Amazon and had a look at the books that you've written - such a great achievement. I would read them but I've still got lots of Ichthys to read yet! When we were talking about CV-19 and you mentioned the plague of Athens during the Peloponnesian war I did have a little read up about it. How Thucydides had the illness too and how he gave an account of the symptoms - sounded absolutely horrible!

I don't get much "me-time" after tending to everyone and everything else. I'm preparing as much as I can though knowing that things in the near future will gradually begin to unfold more and more as we head towards the Tribulation. Something that stood out a mile to me from this week's emails was Response #10 and Micah 7:4-7. It's something I've been thinking about more along with Matthew 10:34-36. Who knows what will happen. I'll need to be cautious and prudent but I know the Lord will always be with me.

Praying for you and yours, and about the protests too - hoping things will calm down very soon.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #8:

The nasturtiums have now exploded and have never looked better. On the one slope, well, it's practically covered with nothing but blossoms, all mixed colors too.

I have reason to believe that Thucydides exaggerated the symptoms of the plague as an analogy for the war. But as to my two books, they're not the same as the Ichthys writing at all – and they are expensive (and I don't get anything much at all from their sales).

We've all got a lot of adjusting to do before the Tribulation begins. No doubt that is what all this "double unpleasantness" is about in the permissive will of God. Reading the Psalms with that perspective is very helpful (e.g., Ps.10 as us actually being in the situation described). Also, we need to approach what is coming with a deep flexibility about the texture of our lives even as we are determined to be inflexible about the truth.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.
Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV 1984

Remember, the wrath of God during the Tribulation is not meant for us but for unbelievers (Is.13:9-13); God's deliverances are for us (Ps.68:20). Therefore we don't have to rue the destruction that will be occurring left and right. Rather, we are confident that the Lord will deliver us in just the right way and at just the right time. So we need to be stayed on that hope, regardless of the form it may take (Rev.13:10).

Keeping up the prayer for you, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hello, Bob,

Interesting email post this weekend. I think it's the first time I've read your sarcasm -- which your #1 correspondent richly deserved, I think. I certainly hope I haven't been that obstinate and argumentative.

On to Hosea:

Hosea 6:2 says that in two days, Israel will be revived and in the third day restored. I read that as 2,000+ years and sometime in the following millennium, Israel will be regathered. If I understand roughly the time of Hosea, the two days ended about 1300 AD. The tribulation ending in 2033 fits with restoration in the third day. Am I understanding this correctly?

If I am, 7:4-6 would also confirm that time frame. In a stone or masonry wood fired oven, it takes a day or a little better to get it to temperature for baking. Having bread rise with no yeast takes 48 hours or so to leaven the bread with natural yeast on whole grain. In fact, there was a recent post by an archaeologist/food historian on making bread the Roman way entitled, "48 Hour Bread."

Most contemporary bakers would start a fire midday, wait through the next day and bake on the third. Enough time for a 48 hour rise. Completely consistent with 6:2! I'm sure that there are other similar examples which I've never recognized or looked for, but I will look for them from now on. No human(s) could have written this.

As a side note on the Lord's marvelous design, mosquitoes are out now in my neck of the woods. Not coincidentally, the dragonflies, who live off mosquitoes hatched about the same time and are also active. The swallows, too, which love mosquitoes are active and competing with the dragonflies. Lavender is an excellent mosquito repellent for humans and dogs. (This couldn't have evolved out of a presupposed primordial slime.) Everything we need has been provided if we just recognize it.

On contemporary affairs: I don't believe there is anything spontaneous or accidental going on. Far worse pandemics, according to CDC, have happened in the past. I've lived through 6-7 of them without ever realizing it. This one, as I suspect of any respiratory disease, targets the old and is part of the plan. Antifa is more of the same -- their riots and destruction appears to be similar to conditions that Hosea warned about.

There's also some angst going on in the more "conservative" media about the generals criticizing the president. I spent many hours in the UCMJ in the old days. The current CiC is right. He shouldn't have become political. But that's another argument. An officer can be recalled to active duty and courts martialed. (I pray you're not recalled for any reason.) It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

If the targeting of the old is a part of the agenda, I expect to be martyred if I live into the Tribulation. That's fine with me, though there's much I may miss. At this point in my life, I expected to sit down, have a cold beer and have nothing more to learn. Instead, I've discovered far more to learn than I ever expected and find I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

I apologize for the long winded post. You are in my prayers daily, my friend. Stay well and safe. -- And, enjoy your garden. (Fried okra, tomatoes and onions and/or garlic are excellent with pulled pork!)

Yours in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #9:

If they ever recall me to active duty, then you will know that things have REALLY gotten into a mess, no doubt terminally.

I hope that wasn't off-putting to Ichthys readers. I guess I'm getting a tad irascible in my old(er) age. You've been great! This other person was one of those the Lord sends my way who need to hear the truth, and sometimes my patience flags.

On Hosea, here's my expanded translation:

[The Lord] will restore us, [Israel], after two days (i.e., after the Church age), and will raise us up on the third day (i.e., the Millennium), that we may live in His presence (i.e., with the Messiah, who personifies this prophecy in His resurrection on the third day).
Hosea 6:2 (cf. Lk.24:46; 1Cor.15:4)

So, yes, I do see this as referring to the seven millennial days interpretation and the restoration of Israel in the Millennium. Interesting comments about baking. The passage you address is much disputed so it does depend on what version you read. I know next to nothing about baking. I do bake (pre-made) pizzas in my oven occasionally, but not a whole lot else (joints of meat on sometimes).

Thanks for the info. Didn't know lavender warded off mosquitoes. Maybe the new patch in the back is part of the reason for less bites this year (so far).

And in my experience, pulled-pork goes good with just about anything.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi I’m writing in as I am a post trib believer and have come under attack on a Christian page I am following from a pre tribber who posts this question and would love your insight

1.If there is a post trib then show in revelations where it talks about a rapture?

2. And another guy put this up as proof of pre trib

1) The Bible describes the Rapture and Second Coming as different events.
The Bible must see the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-4; I Cor. 15:51-58; 1 Thes. 4:13-18) and the Second Coming (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19) as separate events, because when the verses are compared they describe two very different scenarios:

Rapture — believers meet Christ in the air
Second Coming — Christ returns to the Mount of Olives to meet the believers on earth
Rapture — Mount of Olives is unchanged
Second Coming — Mount of Olives is divided, forming a valley east of Jerusalem
Rapture — living believers obtain glorified bodies
Second Coming — living believers remain in same bodies
Rapture — believers go to heaven
Second Coming — glorified believers come from heaven, earthly believers stay on earth
Rapture — world left unjudged and living in sin
Second Coming — world is judged and righteousness is established
Rapture — depicts deliverance of the Church from wrath
Second Coming — depicts deliverance of believers who endured wrath
Rapture — no signs precede it
Second Coming — many signs precede it
Rapture — revealed only in New Testament
Second Coming — revealed in both Old and New Testaments
Rapture — deals with only the saved
Second Coming — deals with both the saved and unsaved
Rapture — Satan remains free
Second Coming — Satan is bound and thrown into the Abyss
Since the Rapture and Second Coming clearly are different events that do not occur at the same time, this would rule out a Post-Tribulation Rapture scenario.

2) The Rapture is described as occurring at any time without warning.
Jesus stated in Matthew 24:42,44 to “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come… So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Not only do believers in Christ not know when to expect Him, but the Father Himself seems to have left Jesus out on the exact time His Son is to return. As Jesus stated in Matthew 24:36, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” These and other verses (Mat. 24:36,42,44,50; 25:13; 1 Thes. 4:18; Tit. 2:13; 1 Jn. 2:28; 3:2-3) indicate that Jesus’ arrival will come when nobody expects it.

The Second Coming, on the other hand, is preceded by many events, such as the rise of the Antichrist (Rev. 12:13-17; Zech; 13:7-9), a treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple (Mat. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Rev. 11:1-2), as well as plagues and judgments and persecutions destroying most of the world’s population (Rev. 6-18). The Book of Revelation reports these events as occurring during the 7-year Tribulation, which Revelation reveals precede the Second Coming.

Because the Rapture could happen at any moment and without warning and the Second Coming is preceded by so many signs, then the Rapture and Second Coming must be different events. The Rapture has to occur before the seven years’ worth of signs, because Christians are called to look for the Lord’s return rather than signs such as the Antichrist’s arrival. Once the signs begin, then the seven year countdown begins towards its end with Christ’s return at the Second Coming.

Jesus’ imminent return dismisses any of the other viewpoints related to a rapture that occur within or at the end of the Tribulation.

3) The Rapture and the removal of the “Restrainer” occur at the same time.
In 2 Thessalonians, the church at Thessalonica was afraid due to a false report that they had entered the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) and had somehow missed the Rapture. The Apostle Paul assured them that the Antichrist would not be revealed until a restraining force would be taken away so that the Man of Lawlessness could be revealed.

Because the revealing of the Antichrist coincides with the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation starting with his peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), then the Restrainer has to be removed before the Tribulation. As the Holy Spirit also works in salvation (Jn. 16:8-11; 1 Jn. 5:7) during the Tribulation, then it is the Church that must be the Restrainer that is removed. Therefore, the Rapture and the removal of the Church must coincide, and at the beginning of the seven years.

Any insight would be appreciated
God bless and keep up the good work

Response #10:

Good to make your acquaintance.

First, I would counsel you to stay away from any internet site, even reputedly Christian ones, where individuals "troll" other participants in this fashion.

Second, you will find a whole host of postings at Ichthys where this issue is exhaustively covered from every point of view (see for example the link "The 'Rapture' and other Eschatological Issues" which will lead to many others).

Third, it's always best to start out with the obvious fact that there is NO biblical passage which on its face connects the resurrection of the Church with anything but Christ's return. Such a passage does not exist in the Bible. So the pre-trib 'rapture' is a false doctrine that no one would ever come up with by reading the Bible. People only believe it because they have been taught it – and it is seductive because no one wants to go through the Tribulation. But that day is coming soon, and the pre-trib people will be caught completely unprepared.

As to the points:

1) These passages are all talking about the second advent and the resurrection which happens at that time. The seeming "opposition" of events on this list is thus based upon a false premise and so the argument is circular. There is no reason why all of these things cannot be true at the same time – except for the false conclusions which are based upon nothing. For example "no signs precede it" – says who? There is no scriptural support for any of these false statements. Compare:

"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."
Matthew 16:28 KJV


And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Matthew 17:1-3 KJV

So "the Son of man coming in his kingdom", i.e., the "coming" or return of Christ, is described here (as it is EVERYWHERE else) as the second advent.

2) "the Rapture is described as occurring at any time without warning"; That is clearly NOT what this or any other passage says. Directly before our Lord says the quote referenced from Matthew 24 ("Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come"), in verses 32-35 He has just told us that there WILL be indications – just as when we can tell from the fig tree that the summer is near. The fact that no one knows the literal "day or the hour" doesn't mean we won't be able to tell that the event – His second advent – is imminent. These are all false inferences. That is the hallmark of the 'rapture' teaching: no direct scripture; merely deductive logic which is in fact faulty and based ultimately on misinterpretations of scripture (willful or otherwise).

3) "The Rapture and the removal of the “Restrainer” occur at the same time." That is also not stated anywhere in the passage cited. In fact, in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4 Paul had just said that the resurrection will NOT occur before antichrist is revealed and the Great Apostasy takes place. Everyone knows that these things take place during the Tribulation, so how can this 'rapture' take place prior to the Tribulation when Paul unequivocally states that it will NOT occur before these tribulational events?

There are no end of proponents for false doctrine. And you'll never convince people who are evangelizing for lies that they are wrong. The Lord will do that – for any and all who have not hardened themselves irretrievably against the truth.

I strongly urge you to stay away from such dangerous places and find a safe haven. You are welcome at Ichthys any time.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hi Bob,

Great, that clears things up nicely.

In Revelation Chapter 20:1-7, how do we know that the 1,000 year timeframe for the millennial kingdom is in fact 1,000 years since other scriptural timeframes represent other periods of time? Since the verses say "1,000" years six times in seven verses that would seem like reason enough to confirm scripture is crystal clear, but I was wondering if there's another reason for this as well?

I am pumped for a long break, and boatloads of time for growth, thanks! I hope you have a very fruitful one as well!

You are in my prayers every day.

In our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #11:

Glad to hear it! Yes, I'm going to try to make a major push on BB 6B, though I'm not sure I'm close enough yet or have enough time to get it finished. We'll see [now posted at the link].

On your question, if the Bible states something one time, it's true. There are some things that can be ambiguous. The phrase "a thousand years" cannot be taken any other way. And as you notice, it's there six times.

When you say "since other scriptural timeframes represent other periods of time", I'm not sure to what you are referring. If you mean that the word "day" can sometimes be more than a day, that is true and there is always something in context which makes that clear if such is the case. For example "a day is like a thousand years" or "weeks of years" in Daniel (where it really says "seventy sevens" not days or weeks). But I don't know of a place anywhere in the Bible where numbered years are anything but years.

Keeping you in my prayers every day, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hello, Bob,

Thanks for the clarification. In times past, there was so much of the Mosaic rules and regulations, I had always considered it the second temple. Now, it surprises me there will be the same rules and regulations in the millennium although it shouldn't. I had assumed that, with our Lord's return, much of that would have expired. Each trip through the Bible is a new learning experience.

Ezekiel also describes the layout of the promised land. (Which should have been a key arguing against my earlier understanding.) If we are grafted into the tribes of Israel, do we know which one(s)? Do we settle where we choose and become part of the tribe to which the land is allocated? I don't recall reading anything that addresses that.

Texas weather is difficult to enjoy. At least for me. Either Texas weather is perverse or old age (likely) is perverse because it seems like I no sooner get used to the cold than it gets hot. Then, I no sooner get used to the heat and it turns cold. Still, overcast skies are not that frequent.

I grew up just North of Dayton where the humidity is always higher than the temperature. There, it clouds up in September and clears up in May or June. I'll take Texas weather any day over that. The last time I was up there, in July and August, I though I would die of heat exhaustion. It was a relief getting back home.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #12:

The sacrifices of the Millennium are in the vein of memorials to the cross rather than shadows of things to come (since the cross and what it means has been thoroughly revealed in the New Testament). As to the functioning of the rest of the Law, we are not told about that, but I personally would be surprised to learn that it was to be in force as was supposed to be the case in the past. Israel will have special status, but nowhere do we read that, e.g., "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes" (Rom.10:4), or "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself" (Rom.14:14; cf. Mk.7:19; Acts 10:15) are to be invalidated (so we will have to await instructions about Ezek.44:23, e.g.).

In terms of inheritance of the physical land of Israel during the Millennium, that is for Jewish people – but also for gentiles who join themselves to Israel (that is different):

You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe a foreigner resides, there you are to give them their inheritance,” declares the Sovereign LORD.
Ezekiel 47:22-23 NIV

For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob. Then people will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them for servants and maids in the land of the LORD; they will take them captive whose captives they were, and rule over their oppressors.
Isaiah 14:1-2 NKJV

There is also this:

“And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 66:21 NKJV

This is also said of the gentiles, and that certainly never happened before. But all this has to do with the non-resurrected population of the Millennium; in other words, it does NOT apply to us, the Church. Our role will be "sharing the rule of Christ", constituting His millennial administration (e.g., Rev.2:26-27; 3:21; 20:4). I rather suspect that in the early days we may outnumber those being administered, but just as the population of earth exploded after the flood, how much more will it not do so in the perfect environment of the Millennium where the curse on the ground is removed and where the only deaths will be for gross malfeasance (Is.65:20)?

It gets pretty humid in Louisville too – and hotter than Dayton!

You just need to anticipate the seasons by six months and you'll be fine, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Dear Bob,

I read this, (Eze 40 et.seq.) and part seems like the millenial temple but the rituals make it seem like the second temple (which I don't think was rebuilt, yet.)

Am I reading a millenial prophecy or a second temple prophecy -- or both.


Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #13:

The temple described in Ezekiel is the third temple. This next / third temple won't get started until the Tribulation when it will be built in its essential structure under the aegis of Moses and Elijah, the two witnesses (link); it will be finished / adorned by the Messiah during the Millennium (link).

Hope you're enjoying that Texas sunshine!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Dr. Luginbill,

I have a question about the millennial sacrifices. To say they are a memorial does not sit well with my spirit. Why do this animal sacrificing when Christ's memorial sacrifice is what we want to remember in Communion? There must be some purpose in this since for example, Ez. 43:27 speaks of the people making burnt offerings and peace offerings; "and I will accept you, saith the Lord God.", and also another example, Ez..45:17 says that the prince makes these sacrifices "to make reconciliation for the house of Israel." I believe this is somehow related to God's presence being in the temple (no need for a veil), Jesus and the resurrected saints, but then the ministering priests and people being in mortal flesh with the sinful DNA of Adam. To approach Jesus and "the glory of the Lord" (Ez. 43:5) in mortal flesh requires the cleansing of the animal sacrifice though the priests are redeemed spiritually. It is kind of on the analogy of "He that is washed, needeth not except to wash his feet, but is entirely clean..." John 13:10. Though Jesus appeared in his resurrected body for 40 days to the disciples and others in their mortal flesh, here in the temple God's glory is dwelling under a legal system of rule-- and cleansing is required of just the fact that they have potential sin and are mortal because of sin. I admit, much more study is needed here, but I believe this is on the right track. In studying Hebrews I found this verse: Heb. 9:13, "For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh..." This has not changed since Christ's sacrifice. In other words, through Christ's sacrifice our salvation is purchased and conscience cleansed, but nevertheless, the blood of bulls...did sanctify the flesh, and will do the same in the Millenium.
What do you think?

Response #14:

Good to make your acquaintance.

As far as I am aware, the Bible doesn't tell us why sacrifice is reinstituted in the Millennium, only that it is. We do know for certain that it has nothing to do with salvation, and that in the Old Testament it presented a picture of the cross; the cross is now a reality, and every Christian who has a Bible knows very well what the cross did and means; the Millennium clearly won't change the fact of the cross (hallelujah!) nor remove the knowledge that the cross was being symbolized, foreshadowed by the sacrifices.

One of the key things about the Millennium is the regathering of Israel and making her and her king (and her King) the ruling see of the world. Since fulfilling the promises under the Old Covenant involves the promises connected with the Levites, and since the temple is the palace of the Messiah, it would be more surprising if there wasn't a revival of at least some of the OT practices.

"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began."
Acts 3:19-21 NKJV

The Millennium then, being a time of "restoration", it is not unexpected for there to be sacrifices at the temple.

Since the cross is a reality, we can also say that these sacrifices are not, as they were in the OT regime, shadows looking forward dimly to the incarnation and to the cross. These things are now thoroughly understood and will be all the more so during the Millennium when "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Hab.2:14).

But I cannot imagine that there is a complete change of symbolism. If the symbolism is not forward looking to the cross – the focal point of the entire plan of God – then it seems to me the most likely thing if it is looking back to it, that is, to memorialize it.

Could there be another purpose? Possibly. However, Ezekiel 43:27 is speaking of a collective sacrifice, so that any sanctification would be collective as well symbolic (same is true of Ezek.45:17). Therefore, I'm not sure why we would want to go into the other things you mention in the last paragraph which are not directly tied by scripture to this issue of millennial sacrifices.

Do feel free to write me back about this.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #15:

Hi Bob,

Since our Lord is now totally glorious and no un-resurrected man can look at Him in His full glory, how will He be able to reign in-Person during the Millennium and also purge the Jews in His glorious state during the 45 days after the in-gathering? Won’t the light be totally blinding? Does He dampen down some of His glory in the Millennium and then let it go full during the eternal state?

In our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Response #15:

When we are talking about kings, few subjects generally get to see them. And in the case of our Lord, David will be the one ruling in Israel in His place (e.g., Jer.30:9; Hos.3:5), with a non-resurrected "prince" under him (e.g., Ezek.46:16-18). So while no doubt we believers who form His millennial administration will see Him face to face often, that won't be the general rule for others, I'm thinking. God can certainly "work around" anything in any case. John was given to see Him in glory without being blinded after all (Rev.1:10-20).

In Jesus our dear Lord and Master,

Bob L

Question #16:

In Isaiah 25, up to verses 7 and 8, this chapter read like the Millennium. But these two verses sound more like the Eternal State to me than the Millennium. Is this a conflation of both or does this verse refer to the Resurrection of the Church? Also, is the covering in verse 7 Satan's spiritual influence over the Earth?

And He will destroy on this mountain
The surface of the covering cast over all people,
And the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever,
And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces;
The rebuke of His people
He will take away from all the earth;
For the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 25:7-8 NKJV

Response #16:

Isaiah 25:7-8 may be taken to refer both to the resurrection (the end of death for the Church) but also to the absence of death from the Millennium (except in cases of capital punishment et al.). They certainly also do apply to the eternal state as well (cf. Rev.7:17; 21:4). The veil is physical death (of which there will be none for the resurrected and little for anyone else during the Millennium), and that physical death – or rather the fear of it – is the ultimate basis of the devil's influence (Heb.2:14-15).

Question #17:

They are now dead, they live no more; their spirits do not rise. You punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them.
Isaiah 26:14 NIV

Who are the dead and the departed spirits spoken of here? I am wondering if the first statement referred to the spiritually dead at the moment of our Lord's Return, that is, those who had taken the mark of the Antichrist and who are consequently destroyed when our Lord returns and if the departed spirits are the spirits of unbelievers dead until then who are not resurrected like believers are at that time.

Response #17:

This verse is true of all unbelievers, by anticipation before their death and by fact afterwards. It is an ode of victory sung by those exulting in our Lord's victorious return (as its main interpretation), so that it would apply first and foremost to those wiped out at the second advent and just afterwards in the various judgments (see the link: "The Seven Thunder Judgments").

Question #18:

Thank you for putting together these eschatology studies -- they brought me to your website and then to me believing and having a stake in eternal life. They are also top notch preparation materials for the terrible times ahead. As I go through them a second time, it's really hitting me how short time is, and how momentous every day is as well. I feel the pressure, and wish I could live longer. But God's plan is perfect. Is it a good perspective to think for all prepared believers alive today who won't fall into the great apostasy to think, "God made me for the tribulation so I should embrace it"?

Response #18:

"God made me for the tribulation so I should embrace it" – excellent!

Question #19:

I'm not very clear on how the resurrected will live in that old Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom, will it be reconstructed for them? how will they live there anyway, their city comes later from God not sure whether John saw it occupied or empty.

Response #19:

We are told that we, the resurrected Church, will share Christ's millennial rule (e.g., Rev.3:21). That certainly ought to mean being present on earth and carrying out the Messiah's policies the world over. Just how this will happen and where we will live in doing so and how often we will go to Jerusalem is not spelled out in scripture. But it seems we will have work to do in the Millennium, and not be sitting around idle in millennial Jerusalem.

Question #20:

The Jews are preparing for the third temple construction, is this the same one which will be in the millennial kingdom or another one will be built?

Response #20:

The two witnesses of the Tribulation, Moses and Elijah, will superintend the bare-bones building of the third temple. This structure will be "built up", i.e., adorned and beautified by the Messiah during the Millennium, but it is the same structure (see the link: "Rebuilding the temple").

Question #21:

Dear Bob:

Thank you. Another question is. When we do get rewarded for our work on this earth. Will we subsequently have opportunities for advancement in the Eternal State or is our position and reward fixed by that time?

I am curious if there is such a thing as social mobility in the Eternal State.

God bless

Response #21:

The Judgment Seat of Christ (link) for believers of the Church takes place shortly after the second advent (on earth) and is the basis not only for eternal rewards but also for our "jobs" during the Millennium.

Our opportunity to win rewards is thus very much "here and now". The eternal state is hard to imagine in its particulars – in fact impossible given our present limitations (the descriptions we do have are more often than not concentrated on what will not be there – death, tears, pain, oppression, need, anything bad at all). But we have absolute faith that it will be absolutely the best in every way.

But as it is written:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
1st Corinthians 2:9 NKJV

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Lastly, what do you think about believers joining the military? It seems to me we are not really a God fearing nation anymore. The stuff we have been doing in the Middle East for years hasn’t been good at all. There seems to be corruption everywhere. Should believers refrain from doing so especially since the Tribulation isn’t far away? Thanks.

Response #22:

As to joining the military at THIS time, I agree that it's problematic given the closeness of the Tribulation. While I personally benefitted greatly from my years in the USMC, and while it is a noble profession and a "good" thing to do generally, we are not that far away from the time when antichrist will seize power in mystery Babylon, and very soon thereafter all the armed forces in the world will come under his direct control. So if I were a young man contemplating this course of action, I'd want to at least think twice, especially about a career that was going to go beyond six or seven years from now.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.


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