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Eschatology Issues LXXXII

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Question #1:

Greetings in the name of Jesus.

In looking up true Bible chronology, I ran across you internet site. I am very blessed by what you have researched and written.

My question, (from your studies); Do you see a pretribulation rapture in your study of the Bible? You are very knowledgeable and I would be blessed by your insights on this subject.

In Christ,

Your brother,

Response #1:

Good to make your acquaintance, and thanks much for your good words.

As to your question, here is what I read in scripture:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Matthew 24:29-31 NKJV

Seems beyond clear to me. The "trumpet" is the same one we find in 1st Thessalonians 4:16 -- which shows that that passage too is talking about the resurrection AFTER the Tribulation. There is no resurrection (apart from our Lord's) before the Tribulation. And there is no verse in the Bible which teaches any pre-Tribulation "rapture" . . . or even suggests the possibility if carefully considered.

Here are some references at Ichthys which will help fill in the details (these will lead to many other links as well):

The 'Rapture' and other Eschatological Issues

When is the Rapture?

The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior, for whose return we breathlessly wait.

Bob L.

Question #2:

Thanks Bob, I have read through this study as I received it through my other email site as well. As usual your presentation is most instructive, biblical and helpful to me. I do have some questions and concerns on one particular topic that you covered in part 4 section e. “The dangers of Antisemitism” (link). The word Antisemitism is not in the Bible and my research has revealed that the word itself is a late invention fashioned as a rhetorical device. In as much as God indeed said to Abraham that He would “Bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you” and inasmuch as this promise was carried by the descendants of Abraham until the seed to whom all the promises of God was born, Paul clearly says in Galatians 3:16 that the promises were not to “seeds, as in many, but to one seed which is Christ. “The shields of the earth belong to the Lord” so of course the carriers of the oracles of God would benefit from the promise to Abraham until the seed was born. Jesus informed the Jews of His day what would happen to them if they rejected Him and falsely accused Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub. In Mather 12 Jesus reveals the inevitable consequence in the spiritual world of what takes place after a demon is cast out of a man. Jesus came to Israel and began casting out demons, Israel’s house was swept of demons but Israel did not fill their house with the Holy one afterwards but killed Him. Jesus told them that the evil spirit would come back to that house with seven other spirits more wicked than the first and the last state of that man would be worst than the first. Jesus then spoke these ominous words to them : “So shall it be with this generation”. That Israel was “cut off” and has become demonized sevenfold over the centuries. “The Israel of God” that Paul mentions in Galatians is the church which is made up of Jews and Gentiles. The sevenfold demonization of the husk of Jewry began immediately after Christ’s ascension. In 1666 a Rabbi named Sabbetai Zevi declared himself the Messaih. At that time there were only about 2 million Jews on the planet and half of them followed Zevi. Zevi taught a twisted doctrine called “Redemption thru sin”. Still adamant that they were destined to rule the world when God’s kingdom arrived Zevi theorized that God would not bring His kingdom until the earth was totally righteous or so wicked that God would be forced to intervene. Convinced that the former was impossible, Zevi and his followers adopted the latter and set out to corrupt the world to such a degree that God would be forced to intervene. After Zevi died another Jew took his place named Jacob Franks. Today the Frankish Jews are also know as Sabbateans after Zevi. The most radical sect from the Sabbateans are called Chabad Lubavitcher. Jared Kushner, the son in law of Donald Trump has been a member of Chabad since his college days. Chabad controls 90 percent of the Jewry in Russia and have Synagogues around the world. Chabad has introduced their seven Noahide Laws into the US legal system under the guise of Education. Every President since Reagan has signed and reaffirmed Chabad’s seven Noahide laws H.S. Resolution 104 to designate March 26, 1991 as “Education Day, USA”. Chabad has also introduced the Noahide Laws to the UN which is actively promoting them as well. (Isaiah 10;1}. The penalty for violation of any of the seven Noahides is death by the gulliotine. The first Noahide Law forbids Idolatry. Sounds good but Chabad defines idolatry as the worship of any man and they do not believe the Jesus is God so Christians would have to forsake the worshipping of Jesus or lose their head. This will become law and will lead to the great persecution that you write about that will begin in 2030 and will thus fulfill Revelation 20:5. Modern Laodician Christianity has found in the armor, or rather, the enemy has discovered the Laodician chink in it’s armor. The breach was made in 1830 by the introduction of two demonic doctrines from one man, John Nelson Darby. Darby brought the false pretrib rapture teaching and also the false dual covenant theology to America making the way for the false gathering (Zeph.2:1-2) and establishment of a false Israel a century later in 1948. Paul warned of this false sign and lying wonder as he wrote in 2Thess.2:8-11. A false Israel was necessary for the porousia of the false Christ whose coming would be with All power false signs and lying wonders. I am all for giving the real Israel a “wide berth” as you suggest but not so wide as invite in and facilitate the arrival of the Antichrist and his three and a half year reign of terror.

I am currently reading thru again Part 4 of your Satan’s World System”.

God Bless, Your brother in Christ,

Response #2:

I do teach that the pre-Trib 'rapture' is incorrect, and also that there is nothing special about 1948: there is no unfulfilled prophecy for the Church Age, so the secular state of Israel is certainly not a divinely constituted thing by any means.

As to the details you supply here, other than to mention that I have grave doubts about many of these "conspiracy theory" points (and know for certain that some of them are wrong), unbelievers are unbelievers, and believers are believers, whether they are gentile or Jewish. So I would suggest you read over Romans chapter eleven carefully (since gentiles are the wild olive branch and only stand through faith by being grafted into the natural olive which is Israel). Here's one verse to consider:

Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
Romans 11:28

"Beloved" by God – on account of their genealogy. That is true whatever vile things individuals may be involved in (and there are vile individuals of every ethnic background who do vile things). So when you say "I am all for giving the real Israel a “wide berth” as you suggest but not so wide as invite in and facilitate the arrival of the Antichrist and his three and a half year reign of terror", I say "amen!" to the first part, but I scratch my head about the second. If you are referring to hyper-support for the state of Israel on the part of certain evangelical groups, that certainly is not prudent. But antichrist will arrive and everything written in the book is going to happen just like it says, with or without any "facilitation". You are right that we don't want to be any part of that. Staying away from churches and religions that don't teach and are not any part of the truth is the best way to avoid becoming involved in any such thing – which is mainly what BB 6B is about.

Here are some important links:

Cults and Christianity VII

Israelology and Anti-Semitism


The dangers of Antisemitism (in BB 6B)

Satan's Attack on the Line of the Messiah (Anti-Semitism)

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hello Bob,

Yes, Romans 11 is certainly the heavenly perspective of God’s sentiment towards the Jews, after all “God is willing and patient that none should perish”, and thank God for that but the same Apostle that wrote Romans 11 also wrote 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15, “...the Jews who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out as well. They are displeasing to God and hostile to all men.”. Now obviously not all the Jews of Christ day killed Jesus but the leadership delivered Christ up to the Romans and it is the leadership of Rabbi’s down to this day that are still compassing land and sea to make as many converts “two-fold sons of hell” as themselves. The school of Rabbinic Jews that killed Christ are the original school of antichrists that the Apostle John warned of when he said “many antichrists have gone out into the world”. As I mentioned previously the passage in Matthew 12:40-45 where Jesus warned them about being demonized seven-fold, well, they have. From that time until now the Jewish Rabbi’s have sought to take back the vineyard that Jesus said would be taken away from them and given to others.  As I mentioned earlier, the word “Antisemitism” is not in the Bible. What is in the Bible from the Holy Spirit is the word “Antichrist” and the word “Antichrists”. John writes “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour”, (1Jn.2:18). No where in the New Testament is the church warned to be alert against Antisemitism but it is warned to be alert against the Antichrist and the many antichrists that have gone out in the world. In this devils world he will if possible deceive even the very elect and he will do so through words, words and doctrines cleverly devised and subtly introduced so as to change mankind’s perspective of reality. It is true that as the early church expanded from it’s original Hebrew roots it progressively began to be filled up with Gentile believers and for the next 1700 hundred years the burgeoning gentle dominated church perceived those Jews who still did not believe in Christ as those who “killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets” (1Th.2:14-15), a perception that was passed down to the church from the gospels and also from the struggles and letters of the Apostle Paul. In order to deceive the very elect, Satan knew that he and his seed would have to appear as one of the very elect. As Vladimir Lenin once said, “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it.”, hence, the notion of “Antisemitism” was deployed through the antichrist Jews as a sort of IED (improvised explosive device) to be placed in the minds and mouths of the gentiles and the gentile church to neutralize it. The unbelieving Jews were sick and tired of being perceived by the Christian world as being a curse among the nations, a curse that they brought on themselves when they said “His blood be upon us and upon our children” (Matt.27:24-25). Even in the Old Testament book of Zechariah we read that the house of Judah and the house of Israel would be “a curse among the nations” and only God would be able to remove it off of them: “It will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing...” (Zech.8:13a). This glorious fulfillment and lifting of this curse will not take place until Christ returns and “... removes ungodliness from Jacob” (Rom.11:26c). Taken the initiative to throw off this self imposed curse, the Jewish elite Talmudic Rabbi’s had to create an event that would eclipse the guilt they bore for killing the Lord Jesus and transfer to the Gentiles a greater guilt so as to form in the mind of the world and the church a perception that the Jews were not enemies of the gospel but rather they were victims of history, victims of Gentiles and especially victims of a misguided church. The event that was planned, prepared and performed by the Talmudic Jew was the plan of the so called “Holocaust” and demise of 6 million of their own people. Christopher Jon Bjerknes, a secular Jew, documents this plan in his Volume 1 titled “Adolf Hitler Bolshevik and Zionist”. Also the notion of 6 million Jews being killed in a holocaust is a number that was introduced by the International Jewish Congress decades before WW2. David Irving, foremost British Historian on the subject of the Hitler regime calculates the number of Jews killed in the “Holocaust” to be at about nine hundred thousand, a tragedy non the less, but a number inflated by the victors of war who write the history, revisionist history. From the Frankfurt School Jews of Germany to the Macy Group Conferences of Jews in the US to the Tavistock Institute led by Jewish psychiatrist Sigmund Freud the great shift of guilt began as the “Holocaust” news spread throughout the world through the Jewish controlled media, print and publication. With this newly formed perception that emerged after WW2 the Jewish Illuminati have used the Antisemitism canard to malign and demonize anybody opposed to their clandestine agenda. Case in point, just recently President Trump signed an Executive Order that would defund any College or University that criticizes Israel or the Jews. With a stroke of the pen the President destroyed the first amendment to the Constitution. Vice President Pence recently came out and made a statement saying “Anti-Zionism is a new form of Anti-Semitism and we will seek it out and root it out in all it’s form.” On the contrary Jesus said “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you” (Luke 6:26). Today the Jewish plan for their brand of Zionism mirrors precisely Satan’s plan for world control. Saint Iraeneus not only was a proponent of the “Six Millennial Days of Human History” but he and the early church fathers unanimously taught that the Antichrist would be a Jew from the tribe of Dan.

Response #3:

I have to strenuously disagree with almost everything you have written here. To take one example, while I have read some books by David Irving – who is a good military historian – he is WAY off the mark on the Holocaust which is no myth. If anything, it was worse than we know, especially in regard to the abysmal cruelty of it (you might want to see the documentary film "Shoah" which presents matters often in "former" Nazi's own words). What the Nazis did in Eastern Europe, for example, is so appalling that it defies understanding – absent the consideration that evil is capable of anything (I highly recommend Stephen G. Fritz' Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East). No wise Christian will allow him or herself to get anywhere near this kind of stuff.

You wrote: "but he and the early church fathers unanimously taught that the Antichrist would be a Jew from the tribe of Dan". I confess I don't understand the "but" – as I teach both things as well. It's not any kind of justification for indulging in antisemitic conspiracy theories, however, and I always resent people using Bible truths as a nucleus for an evil agenda.

Just because it is possible to find "bad people" who are/were Jewish does not negate anything I've written about this subject in my view. I dare say that it's possible to find very many more gentiles who are/were "bad people". And of course being "good or bad" is a negligible concern at the Last Judgment: all believers are saved; all unbelievers are condemned, whether "good or bad" in the world's thinking. So the issue is one of faith and salvation as always. We believing gentiles are grafted into the Jewish root of faith, not the other way around (Rom.11:1ff.). Something we can never afford to forget.

Here are those links again – I strongly suggest you read them.

Cults and Christianity VII

Israelology and Anti-Semitism


The dangers of Antisemitism (in BB 6B)

Satan's Attack on the Line of the Messiah (Anti-Semitism)

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Yes, I agree, and understand that we are not to be arrogant against the natural olive tree, that would indicative of a mind that did not grasp the full extent of what it cost God to bring His Son into the world and provide redemption for us all even we who were far off. We Gentiles were indeed grafted into the Jewish roots of faith and in Christ we are partakers of the commonwealth of Israel but we have not been engrafted into those “...who are descended from Israel” but are not Israel (Rm.9:6). When Paul writes that the natural branches “...were broken off for there unbelief”, he refers to this as God’s severity. The vast portion of the nation of Israel of Paul’s day were “cutt off” and at that present time salvation came to only “...a remnant according to God’s gracious choice (Rm.11:5). Today we have a situation a people who are alleged to be Jews who have gathered themselves back into the land of ancient Judae and have convinced a broad portion of the churches in America that they are God’s chosen people and have endeared themselves into the hearts and minds of these so-called Christian Zionist community in the US that even my pastor keeps referring to them as “the people of God” even though the founders of that modern state of Israel (Ben Gourion) nor the current leader (Netanyahu) have faith in the Son of God. But if John the Apostle says “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father,” (1Jn.2:23) in what sense are they the people of God if they have not the Father? Again, the word “antisemitism” is not in the Bible and to use that word to end an investigation into any wrong doing or malfeasance by folk who are called Jews only serves as a cloak of that possible malfeasance and ends the investigation before it even begins. Could you imagine what might of become of the Apostle Paul if he had told his nephew that he should not be indulging in antisemitic conspiracies when in fact “...Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. More than forty men were involved in this plot....” (Acts 23:12-35)?

In Jesus

Response #4:

I certainly do not adhere to the "Israel (current secular nation of) right or wrong" school of evangelicaldom thought as is clear from all the posting on Ichthys. That's off the side of the road and into the ditch. It's just that I am also well aware that on the other side of the road is an at least equally and probably much MORE dangerous ditch (call it whatever you wish). My job is to warn believers off of leaving the strait and narrow on either side. Anti-semitism is a very dangerous thing, no matter how much someone may try to justify it or what you wish to call it.

Conspiracy theories of any kind are also always dangerous. They are "interesting", appeal to "itching ears" (2Tim.4:3), and, as in the case of most false teaching, often have a grain of truth – which is then pushed in all manner of evil direction with no regard for facts, fueled by hate, fear and perverse curiosity. Best to stay away from such nonsense – and stick with the Bible instead. The Lord will never let you down. People often do. Conspiracy-believing unbelievers ALWAYS do.

Please stay away from this material. It is highly toxic, I assure you, and will do you no positive good in terms of your spiritual growth.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior, "born of the seed of David according to the flesh" (Rom.1:3)

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dear Teacher

Thank you very much for the encouragement. I wish I wrote something even more comprehensive, but I was surprised enough to see what came out when I wrote. I've had a bit of trouble writing over the past weeks. God is good, just as you always say, Sir.

I will let you know when I hear from him. I am a little concerned about his welfare. There's trouble everywhere in Nigeria. An old friend about my age just told me this week that she lost her husband last Sunday. I didn't expect such news, and I wonder what the circumstances were: She didn't seem up to talking about it. I'm hoping and praying that the Lord will open a door for us to leave the country before things go the way that they are threatening to go, but God has been very kind and keeping me from panicking.

I'm attaching a new conversation with our friend here. I continue to pray for him. What keeps me from getting too worried about what he says is that the Bible is clear that God is able to keep us from falling, so I know that the same way I have been continually delivered out of my own very many and even ruinsome errors, the Lord can deliver him too.

The situation here seems better, but every moment of calm here is deceptive. There is a clear push for Islamism across the country and it would be easier for Islam to advance when the resistance of the Middle Belt (of which Plateau State where we live) has been eliminated, which is why this part of the country has been facing terrorist attacks for two decades now. There used to be bombings in markets and churches way back in the 2000s. For some time now, they have limited it to raiding villages and killing the people in them with impunity. Now, they have gotten bold enough to begin attacking communities in the capital city too. And they don't space out the attacks as much. The whole state here has risen up with a commitment to protecting themselves, but that can very quickly lead to chaos, so I am praying that it doesn't get worse until the Lord gets all of us whom He wishes to deliver that way to safety.

Always remembering you in my prayers, Sir, and thankful for your ever-present spiritual support.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #5:

Thanks for the update. I'm concerned about your welfare (and of course your family's too). I'm keeping you in prayer for that and also for future developments. The way things are developing in the world, it's hard to imagine any place safe a few years from now. I fully expect terrorism to expand exponentially given recent occurrences in Afghanistan, and the US is more likely to be the prime recipient than not.

Thanks also for bearing with our friend. I haven't heard from him since I got vaccinated, so it seems to me that he has taken that action as a sort of betrayal. I appreciate your even-handed discussion.

As to "fear", most people over here got vaccinated when it wasn't yet incurring penalties not to do so because they were afraid of getting Covid. So there is plenty of fear on both sides. If we toss that out, then it's a choice between taking a reasonable measure that might protect one's health vs. wishing to avoid unpleasant consequences for choosing not to do so. I'm very glad I did what I did when I did it [update 11/20/21: U of L instituted a mandatory vaccination policy this week; discipline and termination for those refusing]. Delta is spiking here and the university is getting somewhat paranoid about it. They are quarantining un-vaccinated individuals who come in contact with Covid positive people – something it would be difficult for me to avoid given all the students I have et al. And weekly testing is also both a burden and a risk – in that if one tests positive, even if it is a false positive, one is in the same boat. I don't fancy getting pulled out of the classroom for two weeks possible multiple times, so this avoids all that – and I never could have taught in a mask.

Best wishes for a good week of research and writing (despite all distractions)!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Salve, Bob! Quid agis? ( idiomatic?). Well..... I did take it ~57yr ago@ 15 yr. old (Caesar and Vercingetorex (sp.?) et al., 'Gallia in tres partes divisa est' ), but forgot the bulk of it, that's for certain. Took a couple yr. of Espanol also, but that too has slid off the "memory bank" I'm afraid! Just finished up on the email feed.... great as usual! # 26 correspondent won the day [link], with a very insightful on ALL issues of the vaccine ( excellent backup scriptures to settle any opposing positions), concerning what's been plaguing us. (Yes, this should be the "last word", as you say). It is time to put this to sleep, and only God knows what is coming next on the menu. We just have to keep trusting, and know He has it all in His Hands! He never leaves any of His behind, so unlike our present leaders concerning the evacuation debacle! I do pray #26 will continue to be safe and protected by Him, as well as those left behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. I hope and pray all is well with you. In Jesus,

Response #6:


Our brother in Nigeria lives in a rough neighborhood (the whole middle part of the country, apparently). Pretty good on the Latin after all that time! Hope my students are catching on as well as you did lo those many years ago.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers too, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

I hope you are well. I've had the odd day again when I have slumped mentally but I am back on my feet again. The reason for it is that we have a suspected "Cannabis Farm" installed next door to us! The young family that lived there before were given a good offer from a "Chinese businessman" and they snatched it and went on their way. We were pretty hurt that they did that and was not concerned over what that would mean for the property or the neighbourhood. They moved out without even saying goodbye despite the fact that we sent cards to them at seasonal times of the year and when they had a baby. The whole thing didn't sit right with us and showed that they didn't actually care about us or the other neighbours or neighbourhood at all.

Since then we have had a dubious looking young man move in. He keeps odd hours, we never see him, no communication, nothing. When he first moved in there was some noisy work at the property and then all went silent for a bit. He hardly even buys groceries or has any delivered so he probably doesn't even sleep there half the time. After this he has completely blotted out all the windows and we have been forced to endure very loud whirring noises of electrical generators morning, noon and night for months on end. I looked all this up online and these are all probable signs of a cannabis farm. The annoying thing is that I have no concrete evidence of any of this happening and I haven't been able to smell it because I do know what it smells like as people smoke it a lot around here in the park. All of this has really made my blood boil. Don't worry Bob I won't do anything. I have left it in the police's hands and I will pray on it.

Maybe this is another fiery trial and that God wants to see how I handle a situation that tests my sense of fleshly justice. I will submit to the Lord in prayer. This is a difficult one for me but I do want to grow through testing. I sometimes do cry bitterly over the injustice of drug dealing and growing right next to little children but I will keep praying for deliverance from this. It hits hard because when we first moved into this street, a year later a family were openly dealing drugs from their house and we even saw very young kids selling little bags of white powder in broad daylight. We reported it to the police at the time but they never came around. Did I mention that we live around the corner from a police station? Thankfully that all fizzled out eventually but now we have this! Maybe it is time to think about moving. I can imagine this kind of general lawlessness becoming more and more widespread though especially with the tribulation around the corner.

How involved as Christians should we get in these types of things? We have had other bad things happen here. The strange thing is that I wouldn't describe this neighbourhood as a "rough one". It's definitely working class or "blue collar" as you might call it in the States but people are reasonably law abiding and civic minded on the whole (the area has even shown signs of "gentrification" of late - so I guess this stuff really can happen anywhere and everywhere. Even some of the more wealthier parts of London I used to live in had their fair share of societal and community problems.) So how should we react to anti-social behaviour and criminality without sinning? How should we react when the police do not respond and uphold the law? How should we respond to the no doubt increasing lawlessness over the next few years? I know that we should avoid things as much as possible but what recourse if it affects us directly?

I find myself now regularly praying for our Lord's swift return. I'm getting tired Bob, I feel so much older than my years. I have no qualms about leaving this world at all anymore. It is all so wearisome and I find myself groaning for that day I will be ultimately delivered from here.

Until then..Marana-tha!

In Jesus,

Response #7:

Trouble with neighbors and with living situations is a big one on the list of course – and the devil knows that as well. It is always a dicey call as to when to take action and when to relent. We all have our boiling point on that.

Of course prayer is essential. God knows you, what you need and what you think you need – same for me and for us all.

As to interpretation, perhaps this is a prod to get cracking with the business/job push so you can find your own place somewhere that is not on the firing line.

We have certainly seen a rise in lawlessness here in the states as well, but at least it's not Afghanistan or Nigeria . . . or South Africa or Australia yet. One other thing is sure. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better:

Even now you know what it is that restrains [antichrist] so that he will be revealed [only] in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness (anomia) is already at work – it is only the Restrainer [who keeps things in check, and will] until He moves out of the way. And then the lawless one (anomos) will be revealed . . .
2nd Thessalonians 2:6-8a

Lawlessness really does wear down even godly individuals. So we need to take care to be trusting in the Lord for our security and help more and more. He will be sorting things out soon enough.

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Isaiah 35:4 NIV

I'm adding this to my list, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Dear Teacher

I hadn't even thought of it like that. I was thinking that the focus of Islamic terrorism and intrigue would be on Africa now, but I think you are right. Afghanistan has certainly emboldened them, so it is likely that they will step things up everywhere now rather than on just the weak "links" like Africa.

A couple of times over the past month or so, my neighbors and the church that I have been attending have urged me and other men to join the hunters' associations that double as community security now everywhere. It would grant us the right to acquire a simple firearm for protection. I was willing to go for it because of the terrible happenings especially here in the Middle Belt. But the government is constantly accusing Southerners, especially Igbo people of which I am one, of arming themselves for insurrection. So if I enter any records for owning any firearm, I may have a very hard time escaping any prosecution that follows, not because I would be doing anything wrong but because I live in a very unjust society. So I have delayed doing anything about that until now praying the Lord to protect us even without weapons. It may yet get to a point where I will bite the bullet and do whatever I might need to, but until that time comes, I choose to hope for the Lord's deliverance in some other way. That's the only way that I know how to deal with things like this: to deal with them as they come and not make too much of an issue of them until they come.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #8:

Thanks for this. I really don't feel as if I've done anything to drive him away, but I seem to have this effect on people eventually. Perhaps consistency in teaching the Word sooner or later hits a sore spot – and we all have sore spots. I have mine rubbed raw when I study and write on my own.

I'm happy to hear that things may have gotten a bit better. I'm sure you'll continue to make the right decisions about self-defense et al. We need to be responsible, but if something like that is not really a necessity (as carrying a sword in journeys in the ancient near east was), then it's a trickier call, especially when there are multiple downsides for doing so. We think it out in the Spirit, we make our decision in the Spirit, and we leave it to the Lord for the rest. This one is a lot like the vaccine – no strong indication on either side because one is not being irresponsible or ungodly either way.

I do hope things go well for you this weekend, my friend! I'm keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Dear Teacher

I also don't see anything that you have done to drive anybody away. My theory (since I tend to have to have some at least convincing explanation for these things) is that it usually is part of the process to rebel before we realize the true sublimity of the gift of your ministry. In my case, because I wandered for so long and got wounded several times, it didn't take so much for me to realize how precious the gift of your ministry is. For others, granted what history they may have had, it may yet require them to wander a bit and see how far they can get by themselves before they remember that they don't need to.

The thought they may have is that since nobody is infallible, even for all your excellent work, you have managed to fail spectacularly (in the different matters that are important to them) and proved that they would be better off trusting only themselves and following the Lord as they decide is right for them.

If I did not get to the point of fear that I was going insane trying to figure out the Bible by myself, I don't think I would have been ready for your ministry when I found it. Even now, after all that I have learned, I am daily reminded how terribly unwise it is to think that I'm alright by myself now. I started out thinking that I had attained to my ministry and was grown enough to not have to run every single thing by you, so I went from thinking of myself as an apprentice to thinking of myself as a full-fledged pastor-teacher. Now though, I think that I know that I have gained the framework of the truth. I understand how it works. But I also just learned,, that I have so much more to learn about using the truth I've learned in combat situations. It feels like I just finally entered combat for the first time and am in well over my head. I think that I will always have to deal with this in one form or another and have to find a way through every time, but I certainly have lost some of my earlier bravado. I consider it very humbling, and where I once feared that I lost my way spiritually, now I am grateful that the Lord deemed me worthy to pass through all this. I have hardly an idea what I should do from moment to moment, but I keep going from moment to moment anyway.

I am very sorry that you experience what you do with those that the Lord brings to you. I wish that more and more of us would be a refreshment to your spirit. I will continue to try to support your work spiritually as much as I can. At the moment, I feel like I am constantly under crashing waves and it is all I can do to not drown, but I hope to come out to more "boring" times in the near future.

The security situation here is such that it seems to me that prudence would be to do whatever I can to protect my home without much expectation of the government, but I am also aware that it is the Lord Who protects us and it is He who provides the opportunities and resources that I can take advantage of to create any kind of security architecture for us here. I am contributing in any way that I can to a local neighborhood security arrangement right now: have been since I moved here. And I will do whatever else the Lord enables me to. There is such a necessity because what is happening in Plateau State where I live is that some terrorists invade villages, kill the people there, burn their homes and destroy their crops, and vanish. The government never seems to find them although when one community decided to carry out a reprisal attack, the airwaves were suddenly filled with news of arrests of suspects in a recent raid on them. This is not to mention the nasty spate of kidnapping and armed robbery that has been occurring for a while now. I personally would prefer to have nothing to do with violence in any form, but I think it would be quite irresponsible to not do everything I can to protect us. Besides, the men in the neighborhood have agreed to work toward presenting some sort of concerted defense in the event of an attack on the village that we live in.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #9:

Thanks so much for all your good and encouraging words, my friend. I don't wish to "swell your head", but I do think that if the Lord called you to a pastorate or similar ministry you could handle it. We never get to the point where there are no rough spots whatsoever.

Your security situation concerns me. It's a bit ironic that the way things are going by the time you may have managed to get to the US things here may be as bad or worse than things there – "from the frying pan into the fire" as we say. Where in the world is there a place safe from lawlessness anymore? Seems only totalitarian countries have that nowadays, but they suppress and oppress believers. I guess we will just have to trust the Lord – which doesn't mean that we don't take what prudent measure we can take without compromising that trust in our hearts.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

I hope things have calmed down for you pertaining to any lingering issues with U. of L. et al.?... and you are moving forward without too much trouble in the background or foreground, on all fronts. Not so here presently, on several fronts (another "surge"). [omitted] Also, my oldest son, is suffering from, what seems to me, some type of schizophrenia. I've reached out to him by email several times and it is apparent he is in a "spiritual battle". I've sent him emails that were packed with scriptures of encouragement, but now I'm a bit stymied on how to proceed to help him (a precious soul!) in accordance with God's will.

Any advice from you, Bob, would be greatly appreciated. Please pray for my son. We are praying for a miracle (nothing is impossible for Him!) Personally, I believe something good will come out of all of this (for all of us)...God knows the end from the beginning. So many issues, but God is faithful! Thanks for your support in these "battles". Your friend in Jesus,

Response #10:

I'm very much saddened to hear of these situations. I assure you that I will be in prayer for them as well as for you.

I don't have any special expertise when it comes to this sort of thing. It does seem to me that there is a great deal more serious mental illness abroad today than was the case fifty years ago. While part of that may be explained by the rise of psychiatry and psychology (all these experts need something to do, after all), there are chemical imbalances – and I do also believe that there really is more demonic intervention than ever before. We know where we are on the time-line. And we know that Satan had a similar strategy before the first advent – why would he not also before the second, and especially before the seven years which precede it?

By all means, we seek out whatever earthly means are available, and we also do whatever we personally can do for those afflicted with problems of this sort (I have seen plenty of this in the past several decades and it is definitely increasing), but in the end our main weapon is prayer. Nothing is impossible for the Lord.

Our biggest dilemma – and our biggest heartache – is that we know in such things the key element has to be supplied by the person who is suffering him/herself. There has to be a willingness – a consistent and decided one – to get better and to rise above whatever it is that is submerging them. We can give counsel, we can seek and help them to seek professional help, and we can certainly pray for them aggressively – but they have to want to be helped.

It sounds to me as if your son does want to be helped, so that is all to the good. As I say, I promise to keep you and him and your family in my prayers until we see this all the way to victory.

In Jesus Christ our loving and merciful Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hello Bob, Thanks for the quick response and the "fire support" of much needed prayer in the "battle". You are in our prayers continually also. Prayers are surely the most important weapon in our arsenal, to ensure a complete victory, coming from the throne room in the 3rd. Heaven. Thanks to our Lord, our help in time of need! (and Bezos and Branson thought they were so cool, by floating for a few seconds at the edge of "outer space".......reality is not real for these "spaced out" geniuses..... seems like a wasted effort not to at least try for the 3rd. Heaven). As far as special expertise goes I have to respectfully disagree......your "psycho-spiritual" analysis is right on the money! This is precisely the insightful input I was lacking, so thanks for reminding me of the real reality! #1, Where we are on the timeline. #2, prevalence of an uptick of mental illness melted in with an uptick of more demonic intervention. #3, Satan's overall strategy surges further as he sees "that day" approaching. One thing that is still puzzling, as I ponder the situation, is the "demonic intervention" part, as you put it. It is my understanding that believers cannot be "possessed" because we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So do you mean by "intervention" demonic "attack"( e.g. Paul's attack from a messenger of Satan?). without "possession," or maybe conjuring up evil spirits? ( e.g. the witch of Endor?)......not sure if it's an attack or someone consciously calling up an evil spirit, like using a ouija board, or? As far as the phenomenon of "possession" goes, it is my understanding that this can only happen to an unbeliever who "allows" it to happen....but they still have control over their free will and can "seek" deliverance. (e.g. the Gadarene demoniac). Is this always the case?


Hopefully I will be of some help, to get him out from behind "enemy lines", through prayer and encouragement. Seeking out "earthly means' sometimes is necessary to eal with physical or mental problems in addition to prayer (e.g. Paul advised Timothy to use wine for a stomach problem; not to mention all of the times we've accessed modern medicine). The biggest problem I see with "modern psychology" is that it fails to understand the "spirit" being a part of a person.( the most important part!), which is our "essential nature". But the fact is, due to our present condition living in a "fallen world", there are real personality disorders, as well as neurological disorders...and because of this we have to, sometimes, resort to "earthly means" besides prayer to move forward. May God help us in this endeavor! Thanks again , Bob, for your prayers and thoughtful godly advice! In Jesus,

Response #11:

You are absolutely correct: believers cannot be demon possessed, but they can be afflicted with disease, both mental (1Sam.16:15-16) and physical (2Cor.12:7-10).

One mistake believers often make if they are not spiritually mature is the misguided attempt to "fight the devil" or "do spiritual combat" with demons. That is not possible. If we engage with these evil forces in any way – other than learning what scripture says and handing the matter over to the Lord in prayer – this only opens us up to their influence and makes us vulnerable.

As mentioned, I have known plenty of people who have been helped by secular therapy and medication. I do honestly believe that a Christian who is walking closely with the Lord and growing in Him will seldom need this sort of help, but of course this is Laodicea and the number of spiritually mature believers out there in the aggregate is very small.

I do promise to do battle with you on this in prayer, my friend.

In Jesus for whom nothing is impossible.

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the clarification, and mostly for your prayers in this matter. I do believe my son fits the category of not being spiritually mature, and probably has opened himself up to their nefarious influence. [omitted] Any advice appreciated.

I was wondering about those two scriptures, 1 Sam.16: 15-16, 2 Cor. 12:7-10 ( your ref. for mental and physical affliction /disease.). I noticed in v. 14 of 1 Sam., that Saul "lost" the Spirit of the Lord, and then an evil spirit "from the Lord" is tormenting him. Did God actually place an evil spirit into Saul (as a punishment?) or did he ( Saul) somehow "allow" this evil spirit in, "opening the door" for attack? ( this would be a stark, frightening development, leading to mental illness!). After reading down to v. 23, I see that relief comes to Saul, and the evil spirit leaves.... is this a permanent or temporary "cure"?

Re.: 2 Cor. 12:7-10,......it seems that in Paul's case (physical torment), that he is enduring whatever is afflicting him (without a "cure"), solely from God's strength through His grace given to Paul, after his fervent prayer seeking relief, but without receiving any "cure". So, was Paul's "thorn in the flesh", a messenger from Satan tormenting him, given or sent by God, as the evil spirit was sent "from the Lord" to torment Saul? Please don't bother yourself with this till you get more "breathing room". I hope things are going well for you, looking forward to this evening's email post. Have a good day! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #12:

It's always a judgment call as to how and when to talk to those we love about sensitive subjects where we are not sure of enthusiastic response. When it comes to trying to guide them, I prefer to do that in person where possible (2Jn.1:12). For one thing, the critical element is the free will of the person in question. If it were me, I would be inclined to be frank and pithy in explaining that it does no one any good to engage in spiritual combat the wrong way – which is imagining in any way that one is personally struggling or wrestling with demons or the devil. That only puts us in their power – to the extent that believers can be afflicted.

When we are doing things God's way and walking with the Lord, the most the powers of evil can do to us is to interfere as in the case of Paul where God allows it – and God would never allow it except for good as was the case with Paul. Paul was exceptional so that his tests were exceptional; we don't have to worry about anything similar, but it is true that when bad things happen to us it is, if there's no question of divine discipline, a question of testing, and the testing may have an evil origin – but only because God is allowing it. So we really don't need to know whether it's directly from God or indirect from an evil actor or coming as a result of the natural processes of life: God is aware of all the troubles that befall us – and nothing could befall us without being part of His perfect plan with perfect outcomes meant and achieved . . . even though we often have a HARD time seeing that always here on the firing line.

When we put ourselves beyond God's grace and help – not that believers are ever completely beyond God's grace and help – we shouldn't expect things to go swimmingly well for us. It just makes sense that He would give us "experiences" to woo us back to the strait and narrow way – as He did for the prodigal son – so that we, like he did, might come to our senses and return from whatever "far land" we have journeyed to, returning to the warm embrace of our heavenly Father and fellowship with His Son our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

Saul is an example of a believer who experienced this second sort of attack which God allowed – but without coming back like the prodigal son. Saul was saved, but he died the "sin unto death" as a result of his straying from the Lord and refusing to return.

The LORD has made all for Himself,
Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.
Psalm 16:4 NKJV

God is in control of everything. Nothing that happens is not part of the perfect all-comprehensive plan. The devil is doing his utmost to defeat God but in fact all of his actions are part of the plan as well. So strategically, God has always made use of His enemies as well as those who follow Him – in ineffably marvelous ways.

The same thing is true tactically. There are numerous instances in scripture of God using evil spirits to carry out his purposes. The second and third woes of Revelation, the penultimate and antepenultimate trumpet judgments meant to warn the world of what's coming are carried out by demon armies – a profound example of this phenomenon. So scripture may attribute some action to God or to evils spirits or to God's use of evil spirits (compare 1Chron.21:1 with 2Sam.24:1). In the end it is all the same, since God is in control of everything. Here's a link to where some more of these instances are cataloged: "God's employment of evil spirits"

Keeping you and yours in my daily prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Just got the test results back [omitted] so I thank the Lord for this good news! Thanks for your prayers too, Bob!

Even though I am eating a reasonably good diet ( reasonable?), and getting some physical exercise, things just don't seem to be working out physically perfect, but I'll just keep on keeping on anyway, with the Lord's help! In any case, these bodies don't have any extended warranties, but I'm really looking forward to that fully warranted perfect one, that we'll be receiving at the Resurrection, and our final rescue from all that ails us! Hope you are well, in body and in spirit! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #13:

Good news! An answer to prayer.

I don't get tested for that (or for anything unless forced to do so ala Covid) so no worries here. Trust me, if I had something go seriously haywire I WOULD look into it.

The older we get, the more dents in the fenders – that's for sure! But somehow – God's grace! – these old rust-buckets keep chugging along . . . and will continue to do so, God helping us, just as long as the Lord wants us down here.

"Fully warrantied" hah! Indeed. I'm looking forward to the 2026 models myself.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

"2026 models"...... you're not pre-trib are you? ( just kidding!). Chugging along OK, with this "model!" [omitted] . . . so I'm wondering if I should just bow out, and sit on the "sidelines", and do something less "potentially" stressful, physically as well as mentally? Yes, I'll really need to pray and listen to our Lord on this one! I really don't need or want any more "dents in the fenders", that's for sure! Please, remember to watch out for those "busses', that might run you over, Bob!

As far as health goes ( we all should want optimal health), but I am not worried, or a fan about getting tested for any and all "possibilities" known or unknown. (never got tested for lots of "stuff", e.g. Covid, EKG, HIV, cognitive decline, etc.). And the Lord has brought me through so much, in this category, as well as numerous others. I'm amazed and very thankful to Him! Personally, I do feel some testing may be warranted, due to the fact that some negative health issues present no symptoms at all, but are growing unnoticed until it's too late to head off for a good outcome. My ex-business partner found this out, and died shortly after noticing that something was "haywire" in his colon. The good news is that he was a believer! (to die is gain), but, of course, family and friends were sad to see him go at such a young age. God's grace, for believers, is always in play, so we always have this consolation! Every day is Thanksgiving! God has been so good to me, and to you, as well as to all believers.....we're always thankful for His love, grace, and mercy! Things may be "bad" now, but they're going to get a whole lot better! So, we will "chug along", as best we can, with His help!

When Joab asks David (2 Sam. 24:3), ......why did the king "delight"in taking the census? Was David planning something that was a breach to not trusting God alone to supply his needs? Joab knew that taking the census would bring disaster to the people of Israel. Why didn't David know also or was he "leaning on his own understanding?" Was he afraid he wouldn't have enough troops? Insecurity? Finally, David realizes ( 2 Sam. 24: 10), being conscience- stricken for his blunder, but sadly one person's sin caused tremendous ramifications (70,000 deaths!). David "owns it '', but his acting foolishly, even after remorse and confession, did not ameliorate the punishment. He hated seeing what was happening to his "innocent" sheep, wanting, instead, he and his family to suffer the consequences, instead of them. I have not gotten to the "rest of the story" yet, but there is a lot here to "chew on". The investigation goes on. It is stunning to me, after checking 2 Sam. 22 and forward to see David really acknowledging all of God's provision then things really "blow up" at 2 Sam. 24. Quite a lesson to not "take your eye off the ball"..... a lot to ponder.... to keep trusting God in all the circumstances, and "lean not to your own understanding". I pray He will "lighten my darkness" with His lamp, and "keep my feet from slipping". I hope you are doing well, Bob! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #14:

Hah! You got me there. Things won't be over in 2026 – the fun will only be getting started. Guess I got caught up in some wishful thinking.

I'll say a prayer for you for guidance and wisdom. Working is a pain . . . but not working is worse. I've seen plenty of colleagues who regretted retirement, even though it was getting to be a struggle to keep up the fight. Some things are impossible to continue into ripe old age – like being in the military (even generals should be retired before they're sixty [maybe 50]). But for those of us who are blessed to be able to keep at it, keeping at it has lots of pluses. And sometimes it's also necessary. It's a good idea to keep one's growing list of limitations firmly in mind, however – no ladders! I never get up on ladders anymore . . . except when I need to reach something requiring a ladder.

Yes, medicine is one of those areas where it's easy to do too little or too much. I usually err in going off of the former side of the road rather than the latter.

As to 2nd Samuel 24:3, most versions have "desire" rather than "delight", and that is a better rendering. David "wanted to do it" but we are not told why even though Joab specifically asks him why. Roughly analogous to people who want to know exactly how much is in their stock portfolio (I imagine) – when it could be cut in half in a New York minute when and if the market goes bust (Prov.23:6). People are a king's currency (Prov.14:28). So it's an understandable temptation for an absolute ruler that probably only such a ruler would understand.

I certainly agree with you that this was a let down on David's part – perhaps not as bad as Bathsheba or his two excursions to Gath, but with a great deal of negative consequences. We all run the risk of making spiritual mistakes when we let ourselves get slack in any way. But the mistakes of those in power always produce exponentially worse consequences. Of course God used David's mistake to cleanse the population no doubt.

In Jesus our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Re. to: 2 Sam. 24:3......."desire" makes more sense, so now I can see that, in David's position and mind, he thought he was reasonably proceeding. As far as using David's mistake for God to "cleanse" the population..... is this conjecture or how do we know? Did it result in things getting better, for those remaining after the cleansing? (ie. Does it follow that killing innocent people would be a good cleansing? ....a good outcome, down the trail?). I don't understand this part of it? Would it be similar to when Joseph told his brothers, "But as for you, you meant evil against me ; but God meant it for good." (ie. the salvation of many people...a great outcome!). Is this correct? Another thought......was it that David "forgot" the trust in God that he had as a younger man, but now was trusting "more "in the "size" of his troops, rather than the power of God? This one thing I do get----God does things correctly all the time, even though I don't get why He does things the way He does them ( ie." My ways are not your ways"). So, we need to trust Him all the time!( hopefully, we should, in whatever circumstance). Thanks for your explanation of my questions.

Construction, due to physical demands, is one of those occupations that is almost impossible for "older bucks" to stay engaged in (very few make it past 60). Falling is never a good option, especially for "older bucks" (recovery time gets exponentially longer!). Safety first! (to stay in one piece!). Thanks for the prayers and insightful tips, Bob! I hope you have a great weekend and look forward to tomorrow's posts! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #15:

Yes, I didn't phrase this very well but still don't know how I would have said it better. Clearly, God does not "take out" good believers who are doing His will for no reason. Believers are often taken home when we didn't expect it, but while that may mean sorrow for us who remain, it's always better for them (cf. Is.57:1-2 and Phil.1:23). As to other evidence, Solomon's reign was meant to parallel the Millennium, the reign of a king of peace following the reign of the warrior king, so "clearing the decks" of problematic people no doubt did make things go more smoothly in Solomon's early years. That is my interpretation of events at any rate. So yes, what we often see as a disaster may often turn out to be divine providence. That has certainly been the case many times in my own life.

If I were doing a complete remodel or building from scratch, I'd call you first!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Bob, Thanks for bearing with me on this. You did say it best! Your "expanded" interpretation really helps (Solomon's reign paralleling the Millennium, ie. the reign of a king of peace following the reign of the warrior king fits quite well....this is a great interpretation of events!). The two scriptures (mentioned above) definitely show that "better outcome" for believers. I agree that our Lord has indeed got us out of a lot of precarious situations, for which we are very grateful!

Forgot to mention, if you did live in these parts, and were in need of a builder, you would have the "family discount" applied! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #16:

I'll keep that kind offer in mind! Honestly, though, I'm pretty well fixed here. Seems every place out west – and I dearly loved all my time out west - - is about to dry up, catch fire, and blow away. At least we have plenty of water here in L-ville, working at "Harvard on the Ohio River", don't you know.

It really is humbling to contemplate the completeness and comprehensiveness of the plan of God – with everything at every time working out for the good, true good for us who love Him, and for the best in every other respect, even the most evilly intended acts. Sometimes it's hard for us to accept as well as to comprehend, but the Spirit helps us with that too, if we are willing to be helped.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob,

Hope you are well. Thanks for your previous contact etc. Thanks for taking the time always.

I just wondered if it was ok to ask you a question. Well it's more a bit of help really. I've been looking at some of your writings lately which have been very helpful. But I'll try not to be too detailed here. But I'm struggling with I would say ultimately anxiety. Probably to do with potentially losing ___. Death etc. Being fearful etc. It's to do with covid ultimately. ___ is very vulnerable and I fear losing him to the disease. I probably watch too much news too, but it's been a real fear over this last year or so.

So through reading the Word and praying - pouring my heart out to our Lord Jesus, I have been getting Biblical understanding. I feel the Holy Spirit has been guiding me. I've been looking at things like faith. Really knowing the Gospel truth. Grace. Not just intellectually as such but through relationship and communion with God. I've been looking at how our times are in His hands. That I'm a child of God.

Casting my cares upon the Lord. Dying to self. Loving God first. Following God's way. I've seen that I've been striving after the wind. Trying too hard, going my own way in the past. And actually it's been good. But I have an area where I can't seem to let go. Originally when covid started, there was talk about groceries. The virus could be on things. It feels this has dissipated now, but I have still held onto that unfortunately. I had a tendency anyway to be obsessive about supposed contamination of things. Covid increased this. I'm so much better than I was but for some reason I can't seem to let go of this feeling.

I don't know if it's lack of faith, not fully knowing everything is in God's hands. Or fear I could inadvertently pass things onto ___. So I want to be careful - but this is too much. Is this sinful behaviour like not letting go and doing things normally. A sinful habit even? Is it lack of faith? That I'm not truly just giving it to God, knowing it's in His hands. But it's like when something comes through the door I get afraid. It's like an effort to be ok with it.

Anyway I hope it's ok checking this out with you. I've rambled a bit but hope it makes some sense!

Many thanks. Yours in Christ.

Response #17:

I'm happy to hear that you are making spiritual progress! Apologies for the delay: emails coming in after COB on Friday often are not addressed until Sunday as Saturday is devoted to weekly posting.

Everyone is made differently. We are all unique. Some of these traits are neutral – part of the individuality of the human spirit we are given when we are born. Some of these traits are negative – part of the different sin nature tendencies we all have.

Every believer is inclined to act according to his/her traits, and is tempted to act according to his/her sinful tendencies. The former may not be for the best; the latter never are. But we are not judged for being tempted, nor for contemplating doing things which might not be for the best but which we in the end did NOT do. Only what is sinful needs to be repented of and confessed.

We all have "things" which constantly eat at us from one of these two areas and which often combine together. But we also have the Holy Spirit. If we are not actually doing anything wrong, the fact that we are tempted to is not a sin, and, with continuing spiritual growth and ever greater reliance on the Spirit, listening to His still small voice and having the confidence that He, as God, is far superior to any pressures we are facing, we learn to cope.

So please don't get down on yourself. There is no believer down here on planet earth who is not being constantly tempted, tested and tried. Instead, commit yourself the Lord and to His mighty power. He will give you deliverance in this as in all other things.

God has called us to peace. That is our Church Age fulfillment of the fourth commandment. Rest in Him (link).

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3 NIV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Bob,

Good to hear from you and thank you very much for getting back to me always so quickly too.

I think I understand what you have said about traits we all have. So it's a trait maybe to have this tendency to worry? And to be a bit obsessive about things like contamination etc? So ultimately is this worry a lack of trusting God? I must say more recently when these particular worries come, I am not trying to deal with it myself. I'm going to God. Just saying "help, this is how I'm feeling!" Asking for strength and just pouring it out to our Lord Jesus. I'm wondering if faith grows then, in all these things just bringing it to the Lord. But in the cases of giving in to these thoughts, is that then where repentance and confession are needed particularly. For not fully trusting God?

But indeed as you say we have the Holy Spirit. I can see that being tempted isn't a sin. But I think in terms of being fearful touching things because I worry about covid, then avoiding touching things etc. When would it start being sinful? If I actively give in to the fear, and avoid touching things because of thinking it's contaminated?

But I see about our ever greater reliance on the Holy Spirit, listening and having confidence in God - as you say - That God is far superior to any pressures we are facing. Therefore commit myself to the Lord.

But lately with all this I have been knowing God's peace, as I guess I have been bringing it all to God. And the fear does actually feel to be subsiding on the whole I would say.

But thanks so much for your email. It's been really helpful.

Yours in Christ.

Response #18:

You're most welcome.

It's often a question of "was that a sin or not?" when we are talking about our thoughts. My own application is to confess anything in doubt immediately and then move on. After all, if we end up paralyzing ourselves with worry . . . about worrying . . . that is clearly not what God has in mind. We're told not to worry. That is a tough one, but the more we grow spiritually (it's always ALL about spiritual growth), the easier it does get to make progress along those lines.

This life is all about learning to trust God, to rest in our Lord more and more at all times. So I would urge all to be less obsessive about worrying about being obsessive and more attentive to the Spirit's "still, small voice", giving up our own works as we relax and let God "do it".

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hello Dr. Lugingill,

My wife and I were studying teaching that I compiled titled "As it Was". I was talking about Noah in Genesis 6 and some of the angels who left their first abode and came down to cohabit with women. A discussion ensued and I told her that angels also have free will just like we do. She did not understand why they would do this, as well as satan and other angels also who fell away from God and followed satan. She wanted me to write you and ask if you had any comments as to why they did this because they had in heaven total bliss? I also had to explain the free will that angels have. I stated that if they did not have free will, then God would have no right to punish them, for they had no choice in the matter. She later understood about that, but is still perplexed by the fact that angels had all they could ever want? but were not satisfied with that. Also, Genesis 6 uses the word "regretted" when explaining that God was not happy, but sorry that He had made man. She also wanted an explanation from you about this, to see what you could add.

Seems to me that the word "regretted" is not the best word to use? She is perplexed, as I said.

Just a closing note: I believe that it has been about 7 years that I have been studying the material on your Website and I can say that, I have learned more in that 7 years than I ever learned in the 35 previous years. I thank God for all the effort you have put into the studies and praise Him for leading me to your internet site. I have never ever regretted it, but thank God for your teachings.

Praise, honor, and glory be unto Him for the great things He has done in my life. Eph. 3:20-21.

God's richest blessing, peace, and joy be your always,

Your friend,

Response #19:

Thanks for the kind and encouraging comments, my friend!

To take these in reverse order, God uses "language of accommodation" in His Bible to make things easier to understand. Just as we say, "sunrise" and "sunset", even though we know very well that the sun doesn't move, in an analogous way God, to help us understand His point of view, describes Himself often in human terms, even though we know very well that He is God. We also realize, or should, that He in His infinity is so far above us (if that is even the correct word), that we could never understand the first thing about Him without such help. He is our Father and He gave us the human family to help us understand something of the relationship we have with Him as those who have responded to His Son. In the Old Testament in particular there are many instances of what in theology is called "anthropopathism", where God is described as emoting or otherwise acting in terms that we human beings can understand – when of course we know that He does not get angry, e.g., nor could He ever not know what is going to happen. This is such a case you mention. Here is a link for further discussion on that topic: "Does God get angry?"

On the reason for Satan's revolt, scripture does tell us about that:

Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor
Ezekiel 28:17a NKJV

The heart "lifted up" is pride, arrogance. Satan was impressed with himself and went from thinking himself as a subject to God, then to an equal with God, then to one who ought to replace God – the typical progression of arrogant thinking. Arrogance is madness because it looks at reality upside down. Pride goes before the fall because pride takes away the wisdom of humility and prudence. And as Satan went, so went those who shared a similar pattern of thinking (after being properly tempted with something, the one thing, they did not have: physical bodies; see the link: "Satan's revolutionary platform").

I've written a great deal about this. For more on the devil's initial revolt and also how the devil corrupted other angels to follow him, please see the link: part 1 of the Satanic Rebellion: Satan's Fall from Grace.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

While this doesn't represent the mark and only shows the potential, it's concerning:

"An Invisible Quantum Dot Tattoo Could Be Used to ID Vaccinated Kids"


I'm trying to keep mind occupied. There has been no change or improvement for my daughter. If anything, slightly worse. It's getting difficult to find the incentive to do basic things around the house.

In Jesus our only hope,

Response #20:

Technology is making freedom and independence less and less secure – even while it doesn't seem to be doing much to repress lawlessness. This is all a reflection of the times we live in. No tech breakthrough can take away our free will, however. That is the issue in the mark of the beast (link).

I'm keeping you in my prayers, my friend, and your daughter in particular.

In our merciful Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Thanks Bob!

I'll pray for your brother and your niece and I keep you in my daily prayers. I'll also pray that things get better for you at work next week.

A little update on my sister and the bad work situation. One of the crises has been averted! The pencilled in "nightmare boss" didn't get the job so they've all breathed a big sigh of relief. It is still tough going but it would have been much much worse if that particular person got the job. Thanks for your prayers!

Is there a way of downloading the MP3s off your site so I can put them on an MP3 player while out and about? I really enjoy listening to them. I often read over the files after but I find listening to them as well as reading them really a good way of absorbing the teaching!

I know it's your posting day so no hurry about the response!

In Him,

Response #21:

Thanks for the prayers – my brother is back in the pink; my niece still a bit sick. Good news about your sister!

On the MP3's, depending on what browser you use, when you click on the MP3 link at Ichthys and get the black screen with the play/pause button, there should be three vertical dots on the right extremity of the oval. Click those and you will have a "download" option which will allow you to save the file to your desktop (or wherever); from there you can move it with, e.g., a thumb drive or by plugging your device into your computer for transfer.

*This works on the Chrome browser and on the Edge browser but not on the Firefox browser.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Hi Bob,

I hope you are well and had a good weekend. I'm so pleased to know that your brother has recovered from his nasty bout of Covid. I'm praying for your niece now too.

I can't believe the increase in the percentage of vaccines at U of L now. They've blasted them through in such a short space of time. Here's hoping you'll soon be mask free.

You mentioned the "fruit test" in one of your responses this week - funny because I was reading all about that again last night in CT 2A in the section about the church of Ephesus. There's so much you have written about this and it's brilliant. Absolutely spot on with the experiences I've had with Christians who seem to love consuming "bad fruit" in the churches today. They tell me the fruit is good because it makes them "feel" good and it makes them "feel" closer to the Lord. They seem happy enough with this. Even when I've tried to steer them towards the truth they don't seem to want it.

You wrote this in CT 2A:-

. . . it is much more difficult to deceive those who are energetically pursuing spiritual growth and diligently following our Master than it is those whose dedication to Him is minimal and whose Christian walk is lax. Those who are little interested in pursuing the truth of the Word of God are inevitably eager for something "more interesting" and hence are more vulnerable to "spicy" false teaching.

And how you write that love for God and for His Word are two things that are, in truth, indivisible. There is no difference between loving Him and loving what He has to say. Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God.

I just love your teaching Bob because I love the truth.

Anyway, life for me has been tough going just recently. I'm being fired at from all directions and a new one added on top this week. Work is hard and we're understaffed at the moment but while that's all been going on I've been having a great time studying CT. I'm fighting on through and continuing to study and pray. I'm learning through these trials as well. Learning to be more discerning. Knowing that people out there can't always be trusted no matter who they are and that most of the time they're only ever looking out for themselves. There'll be a LOT more of that kind of selfish attitude in the Tribulation and they'll be doing a lot more than stamping their feet in a huff when I don't agree with them or give them what they want. They'll probably bump me off instead.

I made a couple of little slip ups last week (lost my patience a bit) while I was under a lot of pressure and extremely tired. Nothing too bad but still enough for me to be very annoyed with myself. I'm not perfect - none of us are but I've sorted it with the Lord's help and no looking back - it's onwards and upwards.

I'm very sad to hear you've lost some friends just over a vaccine. In the grand scheme of things it's not important or even a spiritual matter. We haven't got much time left and we should be concentrating on getting on with the job the Lord has left us here to do. Growing spiritually and encouraging and helping each other to do the same. To break fellowship with such a loving and devoted teacher, brother and friend for the sake of some shot seems a real shame to me. We are absolutely privileged to have been led by the Lord to Ichthys. Privileged to have so much truth, so much meat, so much GOOD FRUIT given freely and placed right there in front of us to dig in to.

I love this verse from CT 1 as well. Rev. 1:12-16

So I turned around to see [the source of] the voice that was speaking to me, and when I had turned around, I saw seven golden lampstands. And in the middle of the lampstands was what looked like a man dressed in a long robe with a golden belt tied around His waist. And His head and his hair were as white as wool or as snow, and His eyes were like a fiery flame, and His feet were like white-hot bronze when super-heated in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. And he held seven stars in His right hand, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword. And His face shone like the sun in its glory.

Our Lord Jesus Christ - THE most important Person of all. It's all about Him, the One we love with all our heart, soul, mind and might. He is the true focus of our hope, the One we are eagerly waiting for.

Marana tha!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Your friend in our dear Lord Jesus Christ

Response #22:

Thanks for all this, my friend!

This is one of my favorite passages as well. Glory, hallelujah for the day when we finally see our beloved Savior face to face!

We can ALL lose patience under the right circumstances. Even a rock can be worn down by constant dripping (as the Latin proverb says). My second year Latin class got my goat on Friday. They all flunked the quiz even though it was a review of material they should have learned last year and I spent the whole week reviewing it – and even left a model on the board for them. I scolded them a bit (not at all my usual), and pretty mildly too – but it bothered me all weekend. Maybe I should bring them donuts tomorrow.

Wishing you a blessed – and easier – week ahead!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob l.

Question #23:

Hi Bob,

I know you will be sick to the back teeth about this subject but I thought these two articles (below) very interesting on how to stop the spread indoors. It seems that masks are only good with the droplets and not so good with aerosols. Really it seems that ventilation and duration are the two key factors that are decisive. Real ventilation such as an open door or window is best as "recycled air" actually spreads the virus more.

I thought you might find it useful as one of the case studies they used was a classroom. Classroom outbreaks though are not very common, at least at the time these articles were written (and do not account for the current variants.)

Still keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In Him,

Response #23:

Thanks for this. The building I teach in is the "poster child" for poor ventilation, so this is encouraging (not).

I'd open the windows . . . but I'd need a hand grenade to do it. The building was designed to save energy so none of the windows open and the whole ventilation system fails if doors are propped open.

Guess I'll just have to keep drinking my OJ and chicken soup!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Hi Bob,

I hope things are going well for you in your work and personal life. I've come across a number of people not so much in my personal life but strangers online who claim the COVID-19 vaccine is the mark of the beast. I don't believe this is true but I'm wondering if you've received questions about this and what your response is. My understanding is that this mark will come from the antichrist and people will know ahead of time that it would allow them to buy or sell. This wasn't the case with the COVID vaccine. At any rate, thanks as always for your time!

In Jesus Christ,

Response #24:

This question has come up . . . over and over again. If you read through the last year's postings, the "eschatology issues" in particular, you'll come across it many times.

In a nutshell, it's quite clear from scripture what the mark is: a visible tattoo on the forehead or right hand (see the link). It's not hidden. It's not something that can only be seen with a microscope or similar. And it's placed on the worshiper -- worshiper of the beast – by the false prophet or one his many subordinates. The purpose is to show that the person in question is loyal to the beast, proclaiming antichrist to be God and Christ and thus rejecting the real Lord Jesus Christ.

In short, the whole point of the mark is elicit a voluntary (if highly coerced) expression of loyalty to the devil's son. And this process will only begin half way through the Tribulation.

So the vaccine can't be the mark because 1) it can't be seen; 2) it is not accompanied by any expression of loyalty to Satan nor is it understood in that way (except perhaps by a handful of "loony tunes"), and it's not put on in some sort of religious ceremony; 3) it's not a tattoo; 4) as you point out, there's no restriction from buying and selling; and 5) we're not even in the Tribulation yet. Other than that . . .

Things are going well here – thanks for asking! Hope the same is true for you, my friend. Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.


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