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Eschatology Issues XLV

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Question #1:

I am now striving to set my whole heart on the Lord and away from myself, I hope and pray that He gives me time for the ministry I've purposed. It is true that as I have finally started to make progress in adopting the scriptural perspective on things temporal and things eternal - not just intellectually acknowledging the truth, but finally beginning to live it - I am also looking forward to the New Jerusalem, to the resurrection body.

You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race (2 Timothy 4:7). You have borne a great crop for the Lord - so great that I cannot even imagine how you have done it and how, even if I had the time, I could ever even produce a small part of that. As for me - I have little enough to show for all the great provisions God has given me (Luke 12:47-48).

Every day is a grace from Him and if He continues to give me this grace, maybe I will have something more to show. There is only one teaching where I "hope" you're wrong - 2026. If this is when the Tribulation begins, there won't be time. To be in your position would be wonderful, but it's a race against time for me.

Response #1:

Actually, I don't see us as being much different. I've had plenty of ups and downs, and whatever has been produced that is truly good has been done by the Spirit (Ps.115:1). I just sat in the chair and participated – and I could have done it better (Lk.17:10). As to how much has been done and how good it is, that will be the Lord's purview to evaluate and state (2Cor.5:10-11). So my job is to keep plugging away day by day until He returns or takes me home (2Tim.4:2). Come to think of it, that's precisely your job too. So it's both our jobs – regardless of how we feel today or especially how we feel about the past (good, bad or agnostic – this last being my preference).

I could be wrong about 2026. I've been wrong before. As I tell my students, "Well, there WAS that one time in 1976".

Our friend asked me to preview a book for him wherein a fairly persuasive argument was made for the crucifixion in 30/31. If so, 2026 would be wrong. Then we would be dealing with 2023 or 2024. Not sure that was what you wanted to hear. But I don't think 33 AD is wrong because I'm convinced that Luke makes our Lord 29+ at His baptism and that He was thus 30 when His ministry began. That syncs with 2 BC as His birth date. The book also suggested that 1 BC might be correct for that. I don't think it syncs, but that might make the Tribulation commencement in 2027 – still not much help. As you know, I stand firmly behind the analysis written and posted.

Of course the Lord is free act on these things differently than from what I have assumed in applying, e.g., the seven millennial days. I don't think so, but I've also said this is an interpretation based upon the assumptions stated. For example, what if instead of an overlap of the seven remaining years of the Jewish Age there is a double counting (i.e., considering the Tribulation to count double, "doubling back", so to speak)? That would reduce the timeline. But if the other calculations are correct, that would mean that the Tribulation should already be underway. They did graffiti my neighbor's house the other night (across the street two houses down) with "BLM" and "a racis [sic] lives here". Don't know him but he has two pre-school age children and I'm sure its terrifying – but the Tribulation will be much worse, and we will surely know when it has started:

When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises [lit. "voices"], thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake [apparently seen and heard and felt everywhere].
Revelation 8:1-5 NKJV

Hard to miss the above occurring worldwide, I should think. Also, here is something I recently wrote (in Eschatology Issues XXXIX):

Luke 3:1 tells us that John started baptizing in the 15th year of Tiberius' reign, a very well-documented chronological point: 28/29 A.D. Jesus was baptized by John a few months later and His earthly ministry ran three and a half years (that is reconstructed easily enough from the chronological information in the gospels, particularly John who lists all the Passovers). So regardless of theories to the contrary, the cross in 33 A.D. plus 2,000 years means that the second advent would be in 2033 with the Tribulation seven years earlier.

The only even potential "wiggle room" I see there is 1) the issue of inclusive counting and how the regnal years of Tiberius are to be calculated (that only yields a year or possibly two in case one adopts some curious theories; see the commentaries on Syriac method of calculation); I don't think the idea that Tiberius may have been coheir with Augustus before the latter's death and that this affects the count makes any sense whatsoever; 2) John 20:20: the "46 years" would mesh better with a 27 A.D. crucifixion / resurrection date, since Herod's reconstruction is plausibly placed to between 20 and 17 B.C. (depending upon what the Jews who were disputing with Jesus meant); 3) there is some indication that the "15th year of Tiberius" might be a misreading. Marcion has iota epsilon followed by pentakaidekato – suggesting that the original reading was a numerical abbreviation and that the full spelled out version is a later development; adding that to the fact that the de in Sinaiticus was originally thought to be in error (and is marked so) and we could have had simply iota originally (confusion caused by the immediately preceding iota in eti for etei in the spelling of the time), giving us the meaning "tenth year". That could speed things up by five or six years (inclusive counting). Understand, I'm not advocating for this interpretation; I'm just sharing what I've learned. In any case, if, for example, all this (or the above potential doubling vs. overlap) means that we are right on the brink, we will know very soon. The autumnal equinox in 2020 occurs on September 22nd so that the Day of Atonement would fall ten days later (October 2nd), that being the original calendar's representation of when the Tribulation should start (I do recognize that the Jewish calendar presently in use has Yom Kippur on the 28th of September this year). As I say, it's not as if we're going to miss the divine announcement that it has begun.

We have the time we have, my friend! We don't even know for certain that we have tomorrow. Or whether the Lord will leave us here for a further 50 years (HIGHLY doubtful in my case, even in a total absence of renegade buses running me down). We just have to do the best we can today, "as long as it is called 'today' ".

If we do end up in the Tribulation, right on schedule or even much earlier than we thought to have done, we know that the Lord has the perfect plan. And if it is His will for us to enter it, then He surely has something important for us to do once it's begun.

Personally, my money is on 2026, and six years is a long time (I got my entire Ph.D. work done in six years). But we do have to be ready all the time (link). With the spiritual resources we've been given, that we can be. As our friend said the other day, "God made me for the Tribulation". Amen!

In Jesus Christ for whose glorious return we breathlessly wait – and the Tribulation has to come first.

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hello Bob,

The word of God says

Matthew 5:48 (NKJV)
48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

And let every word that comes out of your mouth be like God's words.

I watched the seven thousand day millennial video. I found some errors such as the precise wording of our Lord's sacrifice and saying that Moses died and will be resuscitated rather than being preserved in heaven like Elijah. However, I am at a loss as to whether I should take the video down and correct them, which will take a boatload of time. Or to keep the video up, and use the time I save from the minor corrections to put another video up.

What do you think?

Videos are harder to deal with than text pieces because correcting a single error is more difficult than correcting one on a website for example.

In Jesus

Response #2:

Perfection is the standard we shoot for. But when it comes to something like making videos, that is like giving a class. I could never be perfect in any class. I'd like "do-overs" for about 25% of them (at least). But that is not the way life works. You just have to put your head down and charge ahead – if you want to make any progress at all.

As to your videos specifically, I would reserve "remakes" for catastrophic mistakes and or omissions. I saw your first video and I think you have to understand that even watching practiced "talking-heads" on TV everyone makes small mistakes when they are giving an oral presentation. Viewers realize this too and make allowances. I thought you did a great job. Since it is so long, odds are that if you tried to redo it, it wouldn't be nearly as good – hard to be that enthusiastic on a second take – and you still couldn't guarantee a perfect video. Yes, we shoot for perfection, but in this world little is. As Napoleon said, "if you want to make an omelet, you're going to have to break some eggs". This is true. If we drop one egg, it's not the end of the world. Save the remakes for when you drop the whole carton and make a mess (that happens too). Besides, if you spend your time and energy remaking the old, it will limit forward progress with the new.

Keeping you in my prayers for this exciting ministry, my friend!

In Jesus.

Bob L.
[Please have a look at our friend's new YouTube channel: "Bible Crash Course"]

Question #3:

Hi Bob,

To be honest, it's a little scary to be doing this. I know the weight of what I am dealing with -- the infinitely perfect word of God. But it's what God put me here to do.

And I know how imperfect I am. It's just that there is nobody else doing it on Youtube -- so I thought why not me? There is so much wrongthink out there, I figure that if I were my brother or sister in Christ then I would be really happy to have found Bible Crash Course and that's my goal.

It's a little bit like when I was grappling with faith being a free will choice my first time. It's scary to think that my eternal future is in the sole hands of my free will. So, is my teaching. And yes that's on me. It would be nice to "try and peg the responsibility" on someone else at the judgment seat but that is just not going to happen. We are responsible for what we do, and I am in the transition of "owning" it. You are giving me a helping hand in that transition, and I appreciate that. It's now time to run with two hands and be confident in it, and take it really seriously. Because it's the most serious job out there. Even if people don't fully get that. We get that.

Can you send me a few verses that you come back to in your heart when you are thinking about this phenomenon on us teachers "breaking an egg to make an omelet" head down mentality so to speak. I noticed how the Scripture implicitly commends the Apostles and studs like Barnabas for charging ahead even if their knowledge was not perfect. But, I was wondering if you had any specific verses in mind.

In our Lord
p.s. I said “nobody doing it on YouTube” — hyperbole. Our friend Curt is a workhorse (link). And has done a terrific job

Response #3:

It is "heady stuff", but you seem to me to be up to the task. Get yourself a good rhythm and try to stick with it. We don't ever know just how much time is left; but we do know that not much time is left (and possibly much less than we had hoped for).

In terms of "breaking eggs", I have three things to say: 1) I suggest you re-read the sections in BB 6B on the pastor-teacher carefully; BB 6A would also be good to read again (links). We are all imperfect – that is why confession of sin is in the Lord's prayer (and everywhere else too). 2) No one is saying you shouldn't strive to be perfect in the content of your teaching. You should only teach what you believe and you should only believe what you see in scripture. Mis-statements (as when I say "good morning" reflexively but on consideration would realize that it is after twelve noon) and minor stumblings are not the same as teaching something untrue. The latter is a hard mistake to make accidentally. If you do, you should indeed correct it at the first opportunity. By this I also don't mean getting a verse citation wrong or giving the wrong calendar year or any other sort of "typo" type mistake, but teaching "the rapture", for example – then finding out that you were wrong about it. 3) Persistence in teaching the Word is absolutely a virtue, and I'm very proud of you that you have taken up this mantle:

Proclaim the Word! Keep at it, whether circumstances are favorable or not! Reprove, rebuke, [and] encourage with all patience [in your] teaching!
2nd Timothy 4:2

Even if there were dozens of men putting things up on YouTube which were of a similar quality to yours or even better (Bible Academy is amazing), that would not mean that you shouldn't be doing what you are doing. The Spirit has obviously moved you to get to this, and what you are doing is – in my humble opinion – honoring to the Lord AND helpful to any and all who find it and choose to make use of it.

So keep fighting the good fight for Jesus Christ!

Your friend in Him.

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

I launched Bible Crash Course today. Hoping it can be a resource for those who want to prepare for the tribulation that is coming in what little time we have left.


I posted the first video today on the 7 Day Millennial teaching,

Thank you for your blessed fruit that has prepared me to do this.

I'm hoping to put out a video a week. Anything more than that would be great.

In Jesus

Response #4:

Nice job. Really, I am very impressed and would like to link this channel on Ichthys if that is OK with you.

I think you are a natural teacher, and I also think that you have probably found your niche (in terms of format for delivery – if you were doing this live in front an audience, it would be even better).

I want to commend your wonderful mastery of the truth -- which you have managed to accomplish in record time. I'm also very impressed with the expansions and applications you've made. For example (to cite just one of a number of things), seeing Adam and Eve on the seventh day as foreshadowing / teaching Christ and His complete bride at the end of the Church Age is brilliant and clearly correct – though I personally never caught that before. So I'm learning from you too!

A couple of small suggestions: 1) Most people's attention span is not 86+ minutes long; I would consider limiting these to around 40 minutes. If you get the end of 40 minutes and haven't finished what you'd planned, well, welcome to teaching! It seems we NEVER get to all we've planned in the session for which it's planned (I planned Peter to last a few weeks back in 1990). You can always start anew where you left off in the next one. 2) More slides and more illustrations would be good. 3) Also, more active illustration: I have a e-pad I use in online teaching where I can basically sketch over whatever illustration or whiteboard I've got up. They're not expensive and they're very easy to set up and use (got the idea from our friend Curt).

Also PLEASE save these lessons locally (not just on YouTube - which has a habit of subjecting such things to the condemnatio memoriae for being politically incorrect), so that you always have a backup. These things are valuable.

Well done you!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hi Bob,

Somebody challenged Hosea 6:2 referring to the millennial days on the fact that it is 700 years before Christ, so the two days and then restored wouldn't make sense. But I would say to that since the Jewish age was still going on, and because they we're still God's believers on earth, and those who were filling up the early portion of the bride despite their rebelliousness all the way up to Christ, excluding the Babylonian captivity that we can say that these verses don't apply until the Jewish age ends when Jesus comes.

In our Lord

Response #5:

I think you'll find that one feature of a YouTube ministry is getting a lot of heavy flak.

I think your analysis is correct. If we are in the "1000 years = a day" mode, the 700 years left is somewhere late in the afternoon looking forward to the 2/3 coming days.

Keeping fighting the good fight!

In Jesus our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #6:


Response #6:

Sorry to hear that you're having to move back. I do hope that this will work out for the good – that is what God promise for those who love Him (Rom.8:28). I promise to keep this in prayer for you and your family, and also your health.

It's not realistic to expect human being to act as if they don't have emotions and that is not what we're commanded. We're commanded to remember and apply the truth, trusting the Lord to get us through – as you are doing. We do get better at this as we get closer to Him – and that makes good sense, right?

Things are in a muddle and a half here with the administration laying on our plate the need to make our in person classes also now available "remotely" for students who decide at the last minute that this is what they want. Double work. But no support to make it work (i.e., to do that right I'd need a technician with a microphone and camera who would also see to getting the productions up and available for students). Our department is up in arms and complaining in writing to the dean (sure to make its way higher too), but to be honest I'm just happy to be teaching in a classroom and not in front of computer. With God's help I'm always able to muddle through and that will be the case here as well.

The Lord gets us through – as I just said to you! So I'm trying to "practice what I preach" and leave it all to the Lord (doing my job as unto Him).

In our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hello Dr.,

No shortcomings to worry about here. You hooked me up with Steve T’s forum last fall. I’ve taken a couple of looks at It but haven’t participated. I’m not a very big internet user (with the exception of Ichthys, B.A.O., and a couple of newsfeeds) I have exactly zero participation in any social media. Concerning the “fellowship” statement In my email: that is what I’ve heard from the “churchianity” crowd, but not my personal desire. Sure, “real“ fellowship with “real” Christians would be great, but that’s nearly impossible in Laodicea. Not to sound antisocial but the way people are today I find the less I have around me the happier I am. We only have a short time until all “true” believers will experience “true“ fellowship with our Lord and each other, I’m looking forward to that. The Ichthys fellowship people seem like a good group; it’s just not something that fits me right now.

I think it is awesome that the Lord brought about a powerful thunderstorm to stop the “protesters” near your home. The “powers that wanna be” aren’t as smart and powerful as they think they are. With all their pride and arrogance it never crosses their minds that one day they will be scurrying behind rocks like scared little rodents to hide from His powerful return.

Thank you for thinking of me, your concern is greatly appreciated. Got you in prayer daily.

All the best,

Response #7:

No worries on that! There are some good people on there and some good connections have been made, but I'm not on there (for other reasons), and I'd say it's about 50/50 between people invited and people actively participating. That sort of thing is not everyone's cup of tea. I'll have to a better job on my list . . . or memory.

I love the "scurrying"! Yes, it's true. So many of the Psalms and other passages which bespeak God's judgment on the wicked are becoming ever more meaningful and relevant to me personally. I'm sure that is only going to intensify as the time gets closer.

Keeping you in my prayers every day, my friend.

In our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hello Dr.,

In your DropBox you should find the following audio files:

Organization and Functions of the Local Church

Pastoral Support

This finishes the book, personally I think it’s great! The insight that the Holy Spirit has given you into Scripture and your ability to perceive and express it are without rival. Your only competition in the English language (that I know of) is Pastor Omo [link], and your ministries complement each other perfectly (no accident there). Thank you (once again) for all that you do for our Lord’s Church. You and Pastor Omo are the right men, at the right time, for this very important job, congratulations on your faithfulness to our Lord! The Church visible is failing at an astonishing rate, but you guys are locked in and focused on the truth! I can’t wait until all this is over and we are all together with our Lord serving Him in perfection! I’m gonna hug your neck’s in a way that only a supernatural body can withstand! Ok, that’s a lot of explanation points, I’ll dial it back a bit.

How are you Sir? I’m praying for your welfare according to the Lords will. Keep up the good work!

All the best!


Response #8:

Thanks for finishing this one off, my friend! All of the MP3s for BB 6B now uploaded and tested AOK.

Thanks also for your great encouragement – much appreciated!

One week from today, we start classes here (8/17). Some rumblings that we may not be face to face for long. Numbers go up and down (down today). Nobody seems to have much of a clue after all this planning. We'll just have to roll with the punches.

In Jesus our dear Lord.

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hi Bob,

Just a quick question. How do we enter into the moment by moment Sabbath rest? Is it through trusting in Jesus' finished work and experiencing the joy of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (one of which is peace?)

Are you still doing your daily jog? I'm currently running on the spot while watching videos of people driving around various places on YouTube. It isn't ideal but there are new restrictions in place here at the moment whilst simultaneously there is a rebellious kicking back against the restrictions on the street and community level. Society is divided around fault lines of pro-masks and anti-mask wearers. I try to stay wise as a serpent by keeping out of all politics once and for all. I wear a mask because it is the law over here now (in shops and on transport). Some people are equating wearing a mask with not trusting God and I don't think that fair. We are commanded to stay within our country's laws are we not? Also in the future although we can use reasonable force to protect family and ourselves, we shouldn't resist arrest should that happen as time goes on. I'm I right on these points?

I have my wobbles and off days like everyone else. Everyday I get up, I feel a little fear in the mornings but I think about God and what I have learned and I trust Him. My family have noticed how consistently I am optimistic about things despite all odds. Being a good witness to Christ is a HUGE motivator for me!

Also something amazing has come out of the blue! God has sent me some work! I have my first commission in years which really is a miracle. A man I once designed for has contacted me again with a job after at least a 15 years or so gap! God has blessed me many times in so many surprising and wonderful ways. There is such an abundance through Him that my heart fills with joy just thinking about it!

Your friend in Christ,

Response #9:

Wonderful news, my friend! What an answer to prayer! God is SO good! I'm thrilled to hear this, and I'll be praying for this to catch fire so that you can have your own stable livelihood going forward.

As to masks, there's a lot about that in the latest email postings (Eschatology Issues #44). In a nutshell, I agree with you that a mask is not a "mark" and that while they are very annoying and possibly even counterproductive (in that one is always touching them et al.), we are indeed commanded to obey authority as long as it's not telling us to do something against God's law (like take the actual mark) or stop doing something that we are supposed to do (like praying as in Daniel's case). We believers can understand what's going on well enough and not allow ourselves to become desensitized to the truth because of this sort of thing.

As to the moment by moment Sabbath and how to enter into it, it's clear to me that you are already doing it (see the link)! One of the main purposes of the actual day Sabbath was to spend time with the Lord; we now have the Spirit and a wealth of truth in the New Testament, so that we have the ability to be focused on the Lord at all times, resting in Him, trusting in Him, walking with Him. We can all do better on that score, but spiritual growth, getting better at and progressing in our application of the truth we learn and believe, and helping others do the same (as in your enthusiastic life of witnessing) allows us to and in great measure actually is the fulfillment of that command. The more we see and follow Jesus Christ instead of the world, the better we are doing with that – for He is our peace (Eph.2:14).

You're running a good race – be pleased to keep it up for Jesus Christ!

In our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi Bob,

I know I shouldn't be shocked given the place we live in and the times but I am. The literal first Google searches for the words "Book of Exodus" and "Gospel" bring up a link to Wikipedia and PBS respectively as top results. In the introduction to Wikipedia for the Book of Exodus it says as follows.

"The consensus among scholars is that the story in the Book of Exodus is best understood as a myth, and does not accurately describe historical events."

and further along it says..

"all but the most conservative scholars reject the biblical account of the Exodus"

Wow! In the world of laws against hate speech and self identifying as whatever you want, this is the top result for the Exodus?! How can they be allowed to write that? Anyway why would a person who didn't believe in the Bible go to the lengths to write the main entry for the Book of Exodus??

It's even worse with the Gospels! It claims that they are not historically accurate and yet simultaneously push the whole Marcan priority and the Q source angle at the same time.

The PBS link is even worse! (Given this is the top Google search result) I actually had to stop reading it I found it so offensive!

The overriding theme of this article is that the Gospels are neither biographies nor objective historical accounts, the gospels resembled religious advertisements. This argument is not made by keyboard atheistic teenagers but Professor of Classics and Director of the Religious Studies Program University of Texas at Austin William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of the Appreciation of Scripture, Boston University Associate Professor of New Testament, Harvard Divinity School, The Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament Yale Divinity School etc.

This will be a huge stumbling block for a great many people and it is "authenticated" by many people of letters! It merely confirms to me what I am now beginning to understand; that the world is completely deceived by Satan, that we are very close to the end times and that the bible can only be understood with faith through the Holy Spirit.

All this does is make me even more grateful for yours and Pastor Omo's ministries!

Starting to read your Peter series now!

In Jesus,

Response #10:

Of course it's not just the Bible. From climate change, to the virus, to the things happening over here in the states resulting in riots, to all the political upheaval no one is interested in the truth. They have invented their own lies – their own religion of lies – and are now not satisfied with being allowed to parade them as the truth; no, they want to be allowed to destroy everyone who is not willing to say that the lie is the truth. Good practice for the Tribulation ahead indeed!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hi Bob,

Yes I just re-read your email. Yes, they are saying that lies are truth and good is evil and evil is good. Would you say that this is prophesy being fulfilled?

1 Thessalonians 5:3
"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

Do you think this verse refers to this treaty just announced between Israel and the UAE, or will it be the "seeming" peace that the earth will think the antichrist brings?

__ phoned me up really happy about the news and I told her I was ambivalent about it as it means that the end times are round the corner which are going to be truly awful times but that it also means that Jesus is drawing nearer too! I told her that there will be good things such as worldwide evangelism alongside satanic opposition. It's sad. I can't talk to them about end times because they believe it to be so dark and negative but the irony is that we will have to live through it all soon enough.

I try to plant seeds though as I go along. Even when I warn about the evils to come, I always try to end that God wins and there will eventually be peace on earth but not by human means.

In Jesus, the life, the truth and the way.

Response #11:

This – and many other things – are surely indications that the end is coming. However, the treaty of Daniel 9:27 is between Israel and mystery Babylon, his home country, and it will not be made until the Tribulation begins. It will have religious as well as political overtones (antichrist will represent it as being "the New Covenant" of Jeremiah; see the link: "Antichrist's Alliance with Israel").

There is no unfulfilled prophecy that will be fulfilled until after the Tribulation starts, so trying to figure out precisely how this or that current event stacks up or figures in is really impossible at this point. If the Tribulation begins in fall of 2026, that's just over six years away at present. When you think of all that has happened and changed in just the last six months, especially here in the states (where we have a virtual insurrection and political meltdown on top of a "pandemic"), that is an eternity by comparison.

1st Thessalonians 5:3 is fulfilled in its main application on the cusp of the second advent, both in Babylon and also in regard to those following the beast to Armageddon and afterwards suffering the "baptism of fire" as a result of taking the mark. But it certainly DOES have an application to Christians who are believing in a "rapture" but will find themselves hip-deep in the Tribulation before not too long.

"I try to plant seeds though as I go along" - good for you, my friend! That is really all any of us can do when it is a case of bumping into serious negativity to the truth.

Keep fighting the good fight in Jesus Christ!

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hello again, Bob,

Sorry to keep at this. I've spent a lot of time re-evaluating long held notions in light of what you told me. There is, however, one last (I hope) outstanding question. I'm having trouble reconciling the Lord's instruction to turn the other cheek with his example of the head of the house being ready and not suffering his house to be broken up. It may be apples and oranges. An insult I can easily take. A berserker with a molotov cocktail would be different. Insults are real, the berserker is hypothetical – so far.

I understand the first was an instruction and the second was an example or metaphor but every other example or metaphor I've read has turned out to be true. (I would certainly pull a sheep out of the pit. That strikes me as the same mercy as not muzzling the ox treading the grain.) How would being armed and ready in light of current events be unbiblical? I don't think anyone sane would want to fire on someone else, particularly if they knew what a bullet actually does as opposed to the Hollywood depiction. What are your thoughts during our pre-trib degeneration?

On an irrelevant side note, from an earlier conversation: possum recipes:



I've never tried it. Rabbits are easier to clean and even that I'm reluctant to do. (I like my meat nicely wrapped and possibly frozen.) Plus, I would have to get up in the middle of the night to kill a possum. However, they're getting damaging enough it may be worth reconsidering. But, just in case... (Some of these recipes would work well, I think, with pork shoulder or cabrito. Sweet potato with a strong meat like lamb, possibly, is appealing. Bon Appétit)

Yours in our Lord,

Response #12:

As to the two passages / teachings of our Lord, I have written about "turning the other cheek" before: links


TTOC 2 (continues past first Q/A)


In a nutshell, that has to do with being willing to endure minor insults from other believers (everyone in Israel was supposed to be a believer) for the sake of the kingdom of God; it does not refer to defending one's life and limb or home and hearth from deadly serious attack. Self-defense is obviously always acceptable to God – and that is why our Lord, just before He was arrested – made sure that the disciples had swords to defend themselves going forward when they would no longer have His special in-person protection (Lk.22:36).

As to the "strong man armed", I'm aware that this is sometimes interpreted in a "second amendment" manner, but that misses the whole point of the analogy. In the context, our Lord is explaining His casting out of Satan's demons. That would be impossible to do unless He were stronger than the devil – just as no one would plunder a warrior and his fortress unless said person were stronger. So the passage is not a brief I would use for self-defense (since that would be casting the person doing the defending in the Satan-analogous role), especially since that's not necessary: the Bible is, as I have said above in brief, never ever anti-self-defense. What the Bible does do, however, is to focus us on trusting the Lord and not ourselves or our own preparations. That doesn't mean we don't prepare. That doesn't mean we don't have to make an effort in this life. But it is true that regardless of our preparations, we won't be truly ready without the Lord, and that regardless of our effort we won't succeed without the Lord.

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
Psalm 127:1 NIV

Thanks for the recipes (I think). Haven't seen a possum in a minute around here (of course I have an early bedtime, so there is that). We do have an infestation of raccoons in the neighborhood. I would have to be pretty hungry for either one and it may come to that after all. However I do read this in scripture:

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.
Psalm 146:5-7 NKJV

This is all part of our heritage as believers in Christ.

Reminds me of one of my professors at Irvine, an English fellow, who on coming to the states saw this bumper-sticker: "Eat more possum" . . . and assumed it was Latin. It almost does work in Latin (it would have to means something like "let it go – in my own way I am able").

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In our Lord.

Question #13:


Response #13:

I did hear that the "Big 10" athletic conference has postponed football for the fall. Many of the universities involved are close neighbors of ours (though we are not in that conference). College football is a major source of revenue for almost all American universities, the lion's share of what comes in via athletics (multi-billions all told). Also, the smaller college towns where their teams play have many small businesses dependent on the six home games when literally a hundred thousand non-residents swarm in and spend money (so this is analogous to a retailer losing the Christmas season). It also is a harbinger of the way many in the higher ed power structure are looking at things. On that note, however, for the second day in a row reported cases were down in KY (though not as much as they were on Monday). We will see what happens [cases spiking up since writing].

I'm sorry to hear of your continuing labors at work. Honestly, I don't think I could have lectured four hours in a row (my U of L schedule) wearing a mask.

Good for you and your great witness! I'm happy to hear that the Lord is giving you some confirmation of its effectiveness. I'm keeping this in prayer.

Got my hair cut yesterday too! Second time for me. Still a weird situation out there. But trying to think of it as "normal" as you are doing is probably not a bad idea.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:


Response #14:

I'm sorry to hear that things are getting tense at work. Not surprising, however. We've been told that even though we're teaching hybrid classes we're supposed to accommodate students who can't / won't make it to classes – yet they're not giving us the help or the technology to do it. So it'll be dicey. I already have two students who aren't going to be able to be there initially [over 10% of students at time of posting]. They're in the same class so perhaps I can do a work around. It'll be challenging, that's for sure.

There's been some push-back on the sports front (not that I really am terribly concerned about it per se). So much is still up in the air with less than a week to go.

I love your bottom line which is right on the money: "Anyway, we can't control anything but we can pray to the One who IS in control of everything."  Amen!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #15:

I understand about being expected to do a job but not being given the right equipment that you need. We tried to order some more of our specially fitted masks yesterday and we couldn't get hold of any and apparently there's no guarantee that they will always be able to supply them. So we've got to have another "fit test" for a different type and make of mask. This type is black and solid - we have one of our own because they aren't disposable but can be disinfected. We're all going to look like Darth Vader!

Response #15:

Things here are in a bit of a tizzy. The president, provost and dean have weighed in now and let students know too that "being online" is a fine option – without giving us who are teaching face to face any time or direction or resources to be able to cope with a student who comes to us and says "I'm uncomfortable being in class so I want to take this one online" [in their defense, every single one of my now reluctant students has a good reason for asking]. When it was all online, that was one thing. I set up my computer station at home, taught synchronously, recorded the classes for those who had connectivity issues, and posted all assignments online. But now I'm in a classroom lecturing. How am I supposed to manage a camera and a microphone and an online connection – especially since these don't exist in my classrooms? If I had a tech team with that gear, they could broadcast the class. Maybe if I had all summer to work things out, there'd be some solution (not without someone ponying up dollars, however). As it is, the university has just shoveled this onto the backs of the profs who were willing to show up on campus and not hunker down at home. I'm doing what I can. I've already had five students wanting / needing some version of this and they are all different in their problems and their needs [more now], but it's a mess. My colleagues in the language department are up in arms – especially since we are getting no consideration for all the extra last minute work. My plan: trust the Lord and muddle through. It always works for me.

I hope they give you a light sabre to go with that mask! That'll keep the patients in line (if they're not already scared to death).

Keeping you and your family in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #16:

When we were having our masks fitted we were told that not everyone passes the "fit test" because not all masks will fit everyone's face shape. The people who spent weeks and weeks making the most fuss about how terrible Covid was and being obsessive about social distancing (even if there were just two of us here) and not wanting to treat patients, were the very same people who somehow managed to fail the "fit test". The test would be very easy to fail just by saying that you could still smell or taste the spray they use when you're wearing the mask. It just seemed a bit of a coincidence to me and to the others who did pass the test. So this meant that the few of us who passed have had to suffer the most. Rather than it being shared out and lightening the load for everyone it has all come down to a few of us putting ourselves at more risk and literally sweating it out while the others hide away from the patients behind their screens. And all because we were willing to get back into the thick of it all to help the patients out who were suffering. Those same people are being "fit tested" for these new masks too - it will be interesting to see what happens!

My mask might be changing but my plan never will: trust in the Lord and HIS protection in all circumstances. (Psalm 91)

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #16:

Didn't get everything done that was planned. Guess like my students I'll be "doing my homework" on Sunday night!

Anyway, sounds like you have it WAY worse than me. I do hope you'll take extra good care of yourself, getting plenty of rest and good nutrition, and building in some "me time" for emotional R&R. What you're doing is almost like combat – and even the toughest soldiers can only take so many weeks before they need to be rotated out of the line – otherwise, they start making fatal mistakes.

About half of my dept. colleagues sent a furious letter to our dean. They are really upset about this latest indignity (I'm kind of surprised, actually – it's not like this is the worst thing to happen; maybe they've just hit the tipping point). I chose not to sign on. So many things can happen. With all the student requests I'm getting for online only, I wouldn't be surprised if the university just pulled the plug. But if they do, they'll lose millions (as students dis-enroll), and we're already facing a "cliff". Oh well, Psalm 131.

More and more I'm enjoying the Psalms (not that I haven't always loved them). With all the evil that is gaining prominence and dominance in this country especially (but also of course around the world), our Lord's promise to "slay the wicked" is sounding better and better. Nice to be able to put that entirely in His hands too. We can't always tell (though sometimes it's glaringly obvious), but He will sort it – and them – all out in the end.

In our righteous Savior.

Bob L.

Question #17:

Dear Professor

While it is at the top of my head: On our trusty ABC this morning I was intrigued to hear that during this covid 19 economic downturn/disaster, there is one business that is booming in New South Wales, ... wait for it, well, ok the title gave it away...Tattoo parlours can not keep up with the huge demand for tattoos. One operator said his first available 90 minute vacancy is in 6 weeks time. The reason given by one, by what sounded like a young female customer: “Everything being so uncertain now and for the future with covid 19, I want SOMETHING that is SURE and PERMANENT. “Interesting”. Not something I thought would have taken off with covid 19. (Spiritual marketing?) Obviously she feels some comfort in things that “will last”.

I know from previously talking to some young folk that they think it would be a great idea to have a tattoo to pay for things - as it is ALWAYS with you. MUCH more to this pandemic than first meets the eye. Definitely the preparation phase for the next trick, and that longing for security in things of this world will be what trips up many. This enticement of perceived lasting security in the mark of the beast, despite the command not to take the mark.

My friend has previously smiled about the mark, saying he won’t last long, as he will not be able to purchase his needed medication to sustain his life. I again decided to not take up his offer for the cafe this morning, just to be cautious about his health. I am slowly improving. Also, only __ attended Saturday’s fellowship with me watching at home the Youtube video the teacher decided to have in place of a normal Bible lesson; “When the End Comes, Where Will You Be?” Quite a good sermon. I didn’t twig whether he was pre, mid, or post trib as I was a bit worn out from cutting and carting a trailer load of wood - even the brain was tired.

Victoria is in lockdown for 6 weeks, adding an 8pm to 5am curfew; to only one person a household going to the shops not more than 5km away outside of the curfew, schools shut etc. Thankfully in the West it is almost life as “normal”. The Prime Minister joined forces with a wealthy businessman to take High court action to try to get Western Australia to take down our hard borders with the rest of Australia. The Premier of WA resisted and called the PM out, and after big social media and radio polls backing the Premier, the PM has backed down by removing their support for the businessman Clive Palmer; though the case has been heard already and just waiting for a decision of the High Court of Australia in October/November. The polling and the Victorian resurgence of the virus had the PM back peddling. He previously had put great pressure on our Premier to open up the borders, and now he “fully supports” the eastern states Premiers closing there borders. Oh, how utterly confusing everything has become. (Perhaps hence that previously mentioned longing by some for the tattoo that “lasts”).

Looks like a week of paper shuffling, pen scribbling and data entry at my most procrastinated/detested task of getting these tax returns ready for the accountant. I have never seen you mention tax returns in regard to the New Jerusalem, so I am taking silence as meaning this is not needed in a place of blissful peace.

Encouraging news: recently visited ___ and got her to recite the “sinners prayer”. I don’t know the exact form, only that it is necessary to confess our sins and rely on the atonement of Jesus for our salvation. I feel so happy that she has been able to do this, despite the suffering she experienced at the hands of the nuns in the Catholic Church and others, so many years ago when she was just a vulnerable little girl. It is a miracle that she could ever turn to the One that that church also professes to follow. God is good. I am praying she stays in the faith.

Thank you for your gracious Ministry. I certainly would be lost without it.

Hope things are going well for you in your university preparations, and that you can manage having a bit of a break before resuming the treadmill.

In Jesus our most gracious Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #17:

That is interesting. When I was young, only sailors and ex-cons had tattoos. Now all the time I see young people who can't yet have much of a clue about life generally who are covered with them. It really is the case that a universal mark now won't seem too terribly out of the ordinary under the circumstances. But equating permanence with a mark on this very temporary body really is even more telling. Also, the desire to find permanence in the material – when only the spiritual could every possibly be permanent as the whole universe shouts at us continually – lets us see where mankind is at present. Sadly, a lot of believers really think that way as well. I haven't noticed this double unpleasantness and the even more unpleasant responses to it producing much spiritual revival anywhere. One possible exception: believers who were already not lukewarm getting determined to be even more "red hot" for the Lord in the face of what's coming. Because "all this" certainly is a harbinger and also a demonstration that what is prophesied is not only possible to happen but seemingly impossible not to happen sooner rather than later.

I'm thrilled to hear about your niece. However, I'm not a fan of the "sinner's prayer" for a number of reasons. Here is a common form:

1) Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness.

2) I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead.

3) I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life.

4) I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior.

Getting rid of the two italicized lines would improve things 100%.  Quoting scripture instead would improve things 1000%.

"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved."
Acts 16:31

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily, my friend.

In our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #18:

Dear Professor

What a difference 3 weeks can make. Covid 19 deaths have more than doubled in Australia, due mainly to Victoria having outbreaks. I know this is small compared to the USA figures, though shows how quickly things can change (reminds me of you saying how rapid things will change in the Tribulation - even if does not seem likely now). The mental and economic cost of this picnic with too many pigeons (as your correspondent referred to it) is growing daily. Down our way, plenty coming down with the “flu”. Still no testing, no finding.

My health is improving ever so slowly. Getting up so early in the cold each morning might not help and I do not have a lot of energy. Making very small initial inroads on the tax preparation, though hoping to speed up as health improves so as to not nod off so often. I will get to those reports on the videos (they don’t come out looking good), once the brain defogs a bit more.
Attached the Australian Government Health report for covid 19 to yesterday.

Hope you are getting some relax/refresh time while you can. Thank you for your Ministry of encouragement in the truth of His Word.

In Jesus.

Your student

Response #18:

Yes, I think this is one of the reasons why people are finding all "this" so unsettling, namely, since things are in such flux and the story changes almost daily, that it's all very hard to grapple with, both physically and also emotionally. It really does demonstrate the inestimable value of a close walk with Jesus Christ as opposed to the waffling of weak believers and the insane gyrations of unbelievers.

I'm happy to hear you are making some progress in health and wealth . . . subtraction in the case of the latter on account of taxes.

Into the final phase of preparation here. Covid numbers have leveled off a bit in KY so at this moment I don't think that there is any justification for changing course [serious spiking in the last few days now]. Lots to do before I show up in my classes a week from Monday, however. But it seems to be in hand (even if the research didn't go as planned this summer) [true enough before being told to try and accommodate students all online even as we are teaching in the classroom too]

Take care of yourself, my friend. I've developed a bum left knee, so I'm off the jogging (very temporarily, I certainly hope).

In Jesus our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #19:

Dear Professor

Sorry to hear abut your left knee. I pray you will heal quickly and get back to jogging.

My jogging halted 30 or so years ago due to a troublesome left knee. After seeing a specialist when I was nearing 40, I settled for cycling instead. Turns out it was not an injury (as I wrongly assumed) but I was born with leg bones shaped so as to put lopsided pressure on the knee joints. I opted not to go with the hope of fixing the problem, with the proposed remedy of having both leg bones broken and put back together in a straighter line.

Other embarrassing physical features put a stop to swimming as a kid, though as a teenager and up until a few years ago I liked to body surf in the ocean. On reflection, these physical annoyances probably gave me the best opportunity to follow Jesus than if I had been a select physical specimen. From being the fastest runner at school, I haven’t been able to raise a trot (without pain and damage) for many years. As Paul explained, it prevents us getting conceited. It may not seem a blessing for a (life) time, but the Lord is maximising and making possible our salvation. 2Cor.12:7. Better the thorn than not to be reborn. He knows exactly what will get us through to eternal life, even when we may see it as an obstacle. I haven’t done much cycling for years as I find my time cut out with physical chores (though not so able recently).

Some radio science report on the ABC yesterday pointed out that the 1918 flu virus is still with us 102 years later, having changed some of it’s spots (not the technical terms they used) and responsible for millions of deaths. Ended the programme with a cross to Fauci to say there is a possibility covid will be with us for “awhile”, though the science team said covid had just a straight line of DNA whereas the flu had 4 separate lines making the common flu more complicated. Little things have been playing havoc with us for years. Ah, the things we do not see – physically and spiritually.

I will try out my marginally improving health today in getting out in the paddock before the rain returns tomorrow. I hope you get some sort of enjoyment before getting into the fray again in a week. Look forward to your emails tomorrow as I appreciate your answers and your readers angles. Thank you for your generosity in sharing the whole truth.

In Jesus our only salvation

Your student

Response #19:

My old company commander and still good friend had knees that stopped him jogging too – but he's still looks today like he did in the mid-70's (wish I could say the same for myself)! So I guess there's more to staying in shape than that.

Thanks for the input and update. I used to love body-surfing when I lived in So-Cal (wasn't the best at it – got bounced off the bottom a lot). Of course the water was very cold there (warmer in San Diego but I lived north of where the currents split), and nowadays I'm a bit leery of sharks.

Hope you're tip-top soon!

Into the final countdown here.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your Ministry. Just read through the latest posting of your emails and feel somewhat grateful being old and blessed with one wife, though still am looking forward to being young in the New Jerusalem in the new creation where there is no sin.

On my return bus trip and listening to the ABC’s Late Night Live Program, to the enticing gravelly voice of the host, 80 yo Philip Adams, who self describes as a communist, any hope of a clean/green future as touted by “the enlightened lot” bit the dust. (I like your line of things in this world being lust, rust and dust).

Rare earth minerals (actually many very common and widespread throughout the world) are predominantly, 95%, mined in China/Mongolia. The reporter, who was jailed by the Chinese for reporting the issue, disclosed the dirty side of our “clean/green future”. He has since been released and returned to (France, I think). One town next to one mine is called cancer city by the locals. People in their 30’s go grey and children don’t have teeth. To extract one tonne of mineral takes at least 200 cubic metres of clean/green water, which then with toxins is released into rivers or a dam. Less than 1% of produced metals worldwide are ever recycled as it is too expensive and needs vast quantities of energy to do so to separate the created alloys, so it is much cheaper to dig up more and destroy more of the natural environment, and in particular change the nice clean water into green or other disgusting coloured water for discharge. These minerals are used in our mobile phones, computers and an increasingly vast array of modern products, with batteries for electric vehicles about to take a huge increase. Never mind; most don’t look, don’t see.

Brings to mind the mindless campaigns for human “solutions” APART from God. When it becomes increasingly obvious that there are NO human solutions, I suspect that the mindless WILL embrace a god to “deliver” them. But with him, in being the god of this world (the antichrist), the promise means even less (and much more tragic) than the current clean/green promise of “deliverance”.

I pray for Philip, an avowed atheist. Though he mainly seems to invite guests that agree in principle with his views, his leftist stance has been shaken a little by some who reveal all is not good on ALL “sides”. He keeps hoping in man made cures. After he had listened to an extremely unjust dilemma he remarked he was so moved that if he was religious he would pray for her and her people. “Nearly” but. He has a cherished human belief, even for a human cure for death, which he does admit will come too late for him in any case. His enchanting voice gets me in - I will have to be on guard for this when the man of deception appears!

I will attach screen shots of the web page so that you can be sure I am not making this up, and to show what keeps me alert on the road. It is an eastern states broadcast that I often listen to because of it’s worldwide guest coverage, in preference to our local ABC.

I managed a small load of wood yesterday before the cold wind forced me to stop. Cold/rainy today so am grateful for the fire. By the way, some places want to ban wood fires too. The cynical in me thinks of the constant bulldozing of trees to pile up and burn to make way for more chemical farming drifts and the smoke and fire damage from bush fires because of stupid rules that do not allow you to mitigate sensibly. I will fall back on the remarks of my 2 i/c in the inspection service; “you can’t educate mugs”. And they are everywhere! Frustration in all the walks of life. Nothing we do can really change anything in the devil’s world.

Except for wariness of the prior Tribulation, I am eager for our Lord and Savior to really fix things at His Second Advent.

In His Holy Name.

Your student

Response #20:

Interesting stuff. I know we're in the process of restarting a major mine which produces the stuff here in the states. I think the side-effects issues for all the green stuff are large and scrupulously ignored. Big drops in bird populations as the windmill farms grow, lots of chemicals needed to make solar panels, e.g.

On your correspondent, I think that may be the ONLY actual benefit to being a celebrity: I would imagine that many good Christians end up launching some prayers on their behalf now and again, simply because they are known. More for them to answer for on the other side if they still refuse to respond.

Yes, the Tribulation is likely to be a disagreeable precursor. But it's only seven years (only).

Your friend in Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dear Professor

I hope things are sorting out for you. Have you had that little rest?

Here's some info on a minor reftagger error (omitted).

Thank you for all your good teaching on the eve (of the Tribulation).

In Jesus

Your student

Response #21:

Good to hear from you. Thanks! Correction made.

Things here are in a muddle. The pres. of the uni told all and sundry that students who feel uncomfortable being face to face should be allowed to take classes online, even if they were made to be hybrid – through hard work all summer long. Not really possible – unless they give me a tech with a camera and a mic who will produce the class and load it up for the students. Needless to say all that costs money and that is the kind of support we do not receive (material support – they do cheer us on as they ask for ever increasing amounts of free labor). My colleagues are pretty upset – sent a nasty letter to the dean and I suppose it'll be on it's way further up if they don't get some joy from it. Personally, I'm surprised since I've seen them "take" just about everything else over the last 30 years. Well maybe they've finally tipped. Don't think it will make any difference. The Lord brings me through all these things. If students show up Monday (eight or nine in three classes have already expressed a desire not to [more as of posting] – and it's only been 48 hours since the pres. gave them the "maybe option"), then I'll teach them. If they don't, I'll work on my research.

Meanwhile, how are you? Over that bug yet? I sure hope so. My knee is on the mend but I'm not back to jogging yet. It'll get a little rest next week in any case as I really don't have time for a full workout MWF when I'm teaching (need a little extra juice in the tank too for four classes in a row). I'm just hoping I'm not allergic to the disinfectant they'll be spraying all over everything. Our building has no airflow – literally (built that way during the pre-historic now "energy crisis"). Did I mention that the Lord always takes care of me? He always has and I am confident and then some that this will be no different. The storm swirls around, but we believers walking close to Him find ourselves in the eye of that storm.

God is good!

Keeping you and your family in my daily prayers, my friend.

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dear Bob:

I think that the Millennial Reign will still have poor people believe it or not(Isaiah 11:4) although wealthier than our current poor. And if that's the case. Do you think the Book of Proverbs has its complete fulfillment in the Millennial Reign?

In terms of the rewards for the diligent and hard working and poverty for the lazy and death for the foolish. Without injustice that prevents the diligent and righteous/wicked in our evil world from always reaping their rewards as they deserve

Of course hard work results in exponentially greater rewards in the Millennial Reign. But I would not put it past the slothful being poor from his own fault.

What do you think?

Response #22:

I would agree that millennial poverty will be "relative"; human nature will not change, so that anyone who is allergic to work will face the consequences for that as has always been true. In any case, in the context you quote, the idea is not lack of resources being a problem per se, but the simple truth that for the poor justice can sometimes be hard to come by (think of certain average-Joe police officers being scapegoated just for doing their job: https://knowledgeisgood.net/2020/08/13/the-george-floyd-fall-guys/). That will not be the case under the perfect reign of the Messiah where the justice will swift and inerrant.

Looking forward to all the millennial fulfillments – not too far off now!

In Jesus our dear Savior.

Bob L.

Question #23:

Hi Professor Luginbill,

When Paul appeals to Caesar and Festus brings Agrippa to figure out what charges he should let Caesar know are against Paul: this seems like he is holding him for no reason other than some faction doesn't like him. I mean why didn't Agrippa say something like that? Is it normal for so great a kingdom to just hold random people in prison for the laughs when the mob gets upset? Wouldn't Caesar think the same, and that his time is being wasted (even if an evil ruler)?

Am I missing something?

Response #23:

Yes, Paul certainly got a questionable process of justice at every point, it seems to me.

If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.
Ecclesiastes 5:8 NIV

We certainly see that lack of justice in our own country today – usually at the hands of those who are putatively "crying out for justice" which actually seems to mean getting exactly what they want by any means legal or illegal and right away (pertinent link: https://knowledgeisgood.net/2020/08/13/the-george-floyd-fall-guys/)

However, that lack of justice doled out to Paul makes his inspired commands to us to obey secular rulers all the more pointed (e.g., Rom.13:1-7; Titus 3:1; cf. also 1Pet.2:13-17).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #24:

I feel odd, because the more I read, the more I think that the only real uniqueness to the US is its prosperity (but then we are just the next in the line), as many of our freedoms were indeed enjoyed by many in many different places and times. There are always groups left out, even now, there are a few. In some places you can get physically hurt in the US for saying the wrong thing (or not saying the 'right' thing): try wearing a Trump hat in many places (and no I am not a Trump fan) or not believing in infanticide.

But it also motivation to remember that heaven is not America, and we shouldn't get too comfortable regardless of when the Tribulation happens.

How do you think all this is likely to play out?

Response #24:

The US is just a country. It's natural to be partial to one's country. Biblically speaking, it's obligatory to be a good citizen (as God defines it, not as man defines it). Eschatologically, the evidence suggests that the US will become mystery Babylon in the Tribulation (see the link); hard to get enthusiastic about that.

As to how it plays out, here believers need to be very careful in how we look at these matters and even more so in how we may be tempted to react to them. It's very easy if one is of the right-leaning persuasion to get upset at what's going on, but those of the left-leaning persuasion are upset too – and the devil understands all of this very well. In fact he is behind a great deal of it.

It is possible that the Tribulation will be upon us sooner than we think. We'll know for certain when it has begun (Rev.8:1-5), but even if it started in the next few weeks, it's impossible to say at this point just exactly "how things will play out". One could foresee a scenario where the current resident of the White House wins and that brings on a violent reaction followed by some sort of coup; of the other side wins and that produces the same sort of thing – with a suddenly revealed antichrist picking up the pieces, whichever way they happen to fall. I expect the beast to co-opt most people in the end. The left may like his deposing of the rich and powerful, his abolishing of traditional law and mores, his confiscation of guns, etc.; the right may like his "American exceptionalism" taken to extremes in world conquest, his rabid defense of Israel (at first), and his religiosity – he will claim to be the Messiah and God, after all. And everyone likes a "winner"; what with his satanically empowered charisma and special powers, even people who aren't crazy about his policies are likely to love him.

The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”
Revelation 13:2-4 NIV

We believers have to be ready for anything, and a big part of that is remembering that we came into this world with nothing and will leave with nothing – except for our eternal life and rewards bought for us by Jesus Christ. We need to stay flexible about everything else, holding fast the only One who can deliver us safely through all that is likely soon to come to pass. 

You are right: don't get too comfortable; stay alert.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior (1Cor.1:7; 1Thes.1:10; Tit.2:13; cf. Rom.8:23).

Bob L.

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