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Eschatology Issues LXXXVIII

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Question #1:

Hi Bob,

You probably knew I would have to chime in on the current situation. Sadly, I no longer believe anything I hear, see or read from our "Ministry of Truth." Our Ministry of Peace seems to be aggravating the Ukrainian situation. If JFK was justified in the Cuban Missile Crisis, it seems Putin was justified in his demand that NATO not be on his border. He apparently told us what he would do if he didn't get those assurances. He didn't get them and he did what he said. That's probably more than I can say about our government. I understand his securing of the Crimean peninsula, his only access to the Black Sea. Also, Donetsk and the other province wanted to succeed, rejoin Russia and had been at war with the Ukrainian government for the past eight years. Putin went farther than I expected, but when the dogs of war are unleashed, terrible things happen. We are guilty of the same.

I firmly believe that the purpose of a thing is what it does. What has been done for the past few years has thrown everyone into a panic over the current boogieman covid, wrecked lives, economies, businesses as surely as a war. Then came the "vaccines" in which the mRNA vaccines have been discovered to have a gene sequence patented by Moderna in 2018 and have been proven to be more lethal than the original covid and self spreading, at that. The purpose of this "thing," including the current war hysteria (anther boogieman) doesn't seem to hurt Russia at all. It hurts and destroys ordinary people who just want to buy groceries for their family and reasonably priced gasoline. While Western governments may be populated by ignorant boobs who didn't expect this or it is by intentional design, I don't know -- probably both. Whichever you may think, it's uniformly destructive to our Western way of life. I have to believe that this is the purpose of current events.

Keep in mind, I've pieced this together from media and government chest thumping. I could be way off base. Whatever it may be, I can do nothing about it and I'm not sure I care anymore. I firmly believe the Lord is pleading with us as I type and it appears precious few are listening. Compared to what's coming, this is little more than a dress rehearsal.

Thank you for your history lesson on Greece! I didn't know all that. The more I learn, the more I see that people have been the same throughout history. Nothing really has changed. I take comfort in Revelation 21:8.

I'm sorry to hear you've lost appliances. I've replaced most and will soon have to replace the last major appliance I have. My garden has basically failed the past couple of years, though that's probably my fault. I've recently discovered a book on companion planting that I'm going to try. (Most of the plants you mentioned in your last email that you plant for the butterflies repel insect pests when planted near crops.)


Fortunately, it's a reference so I only have to squint for a couple of paragraphs. Note that parsley and dill attract swallowtails whose larvae munch happily on the foliage. For some reason, that seems to make the plants thrive.

I pray you and yours are well and safe.

In our Lord,

Response #1:

The first thing I want to say is that if I gave the impression in last week's posting that my extra-biblical opinions are to be seen as any more weighty than anyone else's, I do apologize for that. I always try to steer believers away from getting involved in politics, and getting too tied up in what is going on. Whether the events in question are foreign or domestic, this is only going to work against the daily peace we believers are meant to have – and required to seek. We can't do anything about this situation, and, as Christians, it is no doubt a mistake to try. We can certainly pray for our brothers and sisters over there with all they are suffering, and pray we certainly should – for their safety and deliverance, and for these events to lead to salvation and spiritual growth.

"We are guilty of the same." No nation is Simon-pure. Personally, I think it is a mistake to get too wrapped up in the "right or wrong" question when it comes to matters of war and peace, because there is always some of the former and plenty of the latter to be found on both sides. Sometimes, I do believe there is a clear overbalance on one side or the other. I do think that this is such a case. Believing that a territory is historically yours, being upset with its militarization, being concerned for your ethnic kin within its borders . . . and then settling the matter with war when the other party and its allies won't budge is exactly the scenario which led to WWII when Hitler invaded Poland. Many Germans at the time were quite surprised that the rest of the world couldn't see their point of view on this. And just as Putin fumes about the fall of the USSR, so Hitler fumed about the Versailles treaty: both used these as motivation and justification for their actions (and signaled well ahead of time – in writing – what they intended to do). Are the US and NATO without sin? Surely not. Neither was Britain in the WWII example (since her empire was built upon occupying and retaining colonial territories by military force).

So in my view, when it comes to worldly matters it really is better not to become too wedded to this "right and wrong" question as believers looking at the situation. All nations have their national interests and behave accordingly (unless some sort of religious insanity leads them astray such as with Iran or with our own Woketopian mess). And of course there is miscalculation, which is more the historical rule than the exception.

Believers cannot do anything about all this and we should definitely not try to – beyond praying, and beyond using the upset to help motivate us to greater effort in our personal spiritual growth. That doesn't mean we can't have opinions about all this. How would we not, human beings that we are? But we do have to remember that God is in control of it all. No way this would be happening if it were not in the plan of God, since all is foreordained. Just as we have to accept reverses and suffering in our own lives, recognizing that God is working these things out for good for us who love Him, if only we stick close to the Lord no matter what, so also with disturbing political events here and abroad.

One thing I have found fascinating is the relative "unity" between most of the left and the right on this issue and how quickly it coalesced. I think this is a good indication of how relatively simple it will be for antichrist to pose as the savior of the country when some even more dire threat emerges which seems to threaten our way of life (i.e., price of gas and groceries).

After Covid, another dress rehearsal.

Best wishes for your garden! No serious planting here until "after Derby" – or one could get surprised by the frost.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hi Bob,

I don't think you gave the opinion your view was superior. I though it was one of the more rational opinions on the war and as a military history buff. your opinion IS probably more informed than most. I just get very tired of the posturing and chest thumping. I still scan the news, but for the most part, it's worthless, I don't believe much of anything anymore.

I didn't see combat but I did get to see the results of combat every six months when the bomb wing cycled in from Guam. It turned my stomach. Watching all the drugs that came back in boxes labeled "Citrus from SE Asia" and in coffins lined up against the far hanger wall under guard convinced me that our "government" IS the drug cartel. When the Gulf of Tonkin business was revealed as a false flag, it pretty much turned me against government. Bob, I have to admit that I find it nearly impossible to pray for our government except as David did and pray for the Lord to take them out of our misery.

I don't get involved and haven't since the '90s nor will I. It is clearly a waste of time. All officials have sworn an oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the US constitution and precious few actually honor that oath.

I agree that the short term future will be one panic after another and most people will swallow it hook, line and sinker. I believe that'll be an increasing trend leading up to the Tribulation. It seems to me that the Olivet Prophecy is at least 50% realized but that seems true of the past 2.000 years.

Two questions that comes to mind: is it the 144,000 who preach the gospel to the whole world or are they confined to just Israel? Also Matt.24:20-21:  Matt.24:20 KJV ends with a colon suggesting things will be specially bad if they flee in the winter or on the sabbath where the Matt.24:20 NIV ends  with a period suggesting it will be specially bad for pregnant women. I think I understand the sabbath par. Which more accurately reflects the original?

I apologize for my earlier grumpy email. Woketopian -- I like that!

Yours in our Lord,

Response #2:

It's certainly fine to see the flaws in one's own government and realize at the same time that things could be a lot worse. They will be getting a lot worse soon enough. The restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit is preventing the "revelation of antichrist" (2Thes.2:6-7; discussion at the link), along with keeping many other horrible trends in check. If it doesn't seem so at present, it's only because we have no idea just how much worse things are going to get and just how quickly.

Keeping out of politics AND keeping oneself emotionally disinvested from current events so as not to react overly to them are both things wise believers should do (apologies if I seemed to or actually did fail a bit on the second part here in the previous posting). This is not our kingdom. We are waiting for a righteous King and a perfect Kingdom in which we shall share, if only we persevere until the end (Matt.10:22; Mk.13:13).

On prophecy, there is no unfulfilled prophecy being fulfilled in our present Church Age (the only major exception being the trends of the seven church eras, but these are not prophecies per se since they don't deal with specific events). Certainly we can see similarities today (and in years past) between the descriptions of the horrors of the Tribulation and nasty doings in our own times – but similarity does not equal fulfillment. A good example of that is false teaching and false prophets. The Church Age has been replete with both, or, as John says, "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour" (1Jn.2:18). THE beast will not be revealed until the Tribulation begins; but those who model him are numerous and have always been around; and we have events parallel to things that will happen in the Tribulation too, but likewise on a much less virulent scale (as future developments will show). Coming Tribulation lays out the biblical teachings regarding the events of the Tribulation and with the prophecies dealing with it (at the link).

The 144,000 will minister to the Jewish community worldwide, although I have hypothesized that they will initially travel to Jerusalem to be commissioned by Moses and Elijah, then sent out in the same way our Lord sent out the 12 and the 72 (who are forerunners of the 144K). See the link.

Verse twenty of Matthew 24:19-20 begins with a de, a weak connector, but the use of a colon gives a false impression. The description of the flight applies to all who will wisely flee at the Tribulation's midpoint. If it happened on a Sabbath, that would be a problem (because it would be obvious that they were fleeing and could make them targets, whereas on a weekday they would be able to escape scrutiny), and if it happened when there was a storm (not "winter"), that would be problematic for obvious reasons. More about this event at the link.

Can't take credit for "Woketopia", but thanks!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the explanation. The colon didn't feel right. I'll check out the links you sent. I have the whole CT downloaded, but my eyes can't handle that much screen time.

Don't worry. I don't get exercised over the gyrations of government. At best I'm only an observer.

On a side note: I think I'm beginning to understand how the altar was built. Surprisingly, not all that different from our masonry outdoor BBQ pits. That the Lord commanded the fire never go out and it was made of wood tells me that could only happen with the Lord's sustaining hand. It was miraculous by itself.

The caul particularly and fat in general, the Lord reserved for Himself as a sweet savor. The caul today is from pork, called leaf lard and is considered the very finest for pastries. I used to be able to buy that and traditionally smoked meats at the farmer's market until the butcher decided it too much work and the FDA ran the man who did the smoking as it had been done for centuries, out of business. Yet, they allow speck, traditionally smoked pork, to be imported. Ah, well...

In Jesus Christ,

Response #3:

What?! The government interfered with someone's business?! I am so shocked.

Keeping you in my daily prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I just wanted to share a thought that just came to me as I was studying.

The thought was this:

The war that Russia is involved in with Ukraine, is perhaps a prelude to even more discord and more difficulty between countries, which will soon grow worse by the day, month and year. This is given to us in Matthew 24 as you know.

But, when things get really bad, then comes the antichrist on the scene, the great so-called peacemaker, and people in every country will marvel at his success.

After he gets all these countries under his control via his peace treaty, he will lower the boom.

Deception is his game.

Just a thought I had.

Blessings to you always

Your friend,

Response #4:

That is the long and short of it indeed. However, the way in which the beast will "make peace" with his main enemy, the three eastern kingdoms and their leader, is through warfare, defeating all opposition.

I've written in all the detail the Bible will allow about the rise of antichrist and what is likely to happen in the first three and a half years of the Tribulation in the following study: Coming Tribulation part 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom (at the link).

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hi Bob,

I’m just writing to check in and say, “hello”. I hope you and your family are all well.

I wanted to let you know that for about a year now, God has lead me to a good church that teaches from the Bible and the pastor is kind and sincere. The congregation seem faithful and I’ve made two friends who I call “my sisters in Christ’, they truly are. I am so blessed and grateful to our Lord. Of course, __ did extensive research and prayed for me before he directed me to go there.

I noticed that someone wrote about how terrible are the Albanian mafia in England. This saddens me, I hope that Albanians would open their hearts to the Holy Spirit and accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I was extremely nationalistic to both this heritage as well as my Americanism. I have unknowingly detached myself from my Dual-national heritage and simply consider myself and find joy in being a Christian and part of God’s kingdom, simply passing through this temporary life and land. The Communist culture was certainly a dark, cruel, and evil n Albania. I wonder if that culture helped to create these awful criminals...

On a brighter note, I plan to visit Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, this summer with my church...what is your opinion of this place?

Thank you for your continued prayers. We are forever grateful for you support and guidance.

God bless you, your family, and your ministry.

Praise Jesus, our Lord and King,

Response #5:

Good to hear from you! Thanks for the update. I keep you both in my daily prayers.

I wouldn't take to heart too much what someone has mentioned about any national group. There are stereotypes about every group, and these are pointless because Christians are responsible to deal with everyone as an individual. I dare say that I would hate to be tarred with all of the expectations people around the world have about Americans. I remember asking a Swiss friend in graduate school what the essential "take" on Americans was in Europe. She said, "they are outgoing and seem friendly, but they don't really care". Ouch! A bit too close to the mark – except for individuals, especially Christians, who follow Christ regardless of any "national character tendency".

I couldn't recommend the ark thing. I've not been there, but I can guarantee that it has nothing to do with the Bible. For one thing, the actual ark was the shape of a shoe box (just much bigger), as any cursory reading of Genesis shows clearly enough. So if they've gotten THAT wrong (in order to sell tickets) . . . Also, if I'm not mistaken, this crowd believes that there were dinosaurs around at the time (don't know if they give them a place on the ark or not).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Dear Bob,

I am going to take you advice about the Ark visit. Thank you for sharing it.

It seemed like a good way to have fellowship, but perhaps it is best to find a better way to spend time being spiritually edified and fed while also having fellowship...I imagine it being something of an amusement park/museum.

Thanks for all you go and for your gem of a Bible study site. Thanks also for your prayers, you are in mine.

All for Jesus,

Response #6:

You're most welcome.

"perhaps it is best to find a better way to spend time being spiritually edified and fed" Amen!

Keeping you in prayer, my friend. Thanks so much for yours!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

I was born in 1971 so the first president I recall seeing and hearing a fair amount of was Reagan. My recollection of him was positive, he seemed far more competent and mentally fit than Biden is now. That said, I was really young and didn’t have the understanding of politics that I do now. I can watch documentaries about Nixon, Ford and Carter but it’s not the same thing as living through it. Obviously none of them were anything to brag about.

I remember an email I received from you about 7 years ago that mentioned the 2026 may be the beginning of the tribulation. You made the point then as you do now that you have often been wrong. Although I must admit, you may end up being right about that one!

Perhaps Putin is thinking that his nuclear threats may shake things up and the end result will be a desirable one.

I don’t feel as frightened as I do sad, seeing what the world and our country has turned into the last 5 years. That being said, it’s not like I should be surprised, all these things are predicted in the Bible.

So tell me, if I wanted to give advice on aggressive spiritual growth, where should I tell someone to start? For me that means prayer, reading the Bible, avoiding worldly pleasures and deliberate sin. I also find your website to be a comfort in these times. Thanks very much for your insight, in Jesus Christ!

Response #7:

Reagan was a clear exception to the rule – but he wasn't so strongly supported by Congress as to be able to do all he wanted to do (SDI comes to mind).

"You made the point then as you do now that you have often been wrong." That doesn't sound like me! LOL. I do remind people that I am no prophet, so that anything having to do with interpretation of current events is not necessarily any better or worse than anyone else's. Plenty of things have happened to me in my own life I never expected.

Bible interpretation and teaching is a different thing entirely, however. I stand by everything I've posted to Ichthys and if I weren't sure it was correct I would never post it.

The commencement of the Tribulation is an in-between thing. It is an interpretation of biblical information, but it depends on a number of the assumptions, interpretations in their own right, also being correct. So whenever I mention 2026, it is always with that caveat (here is a link to where this is discussed in detail). Please note that the date has not been arrived at by consulting contemporary events but only through analysis of biblical information.

As to "aggressive spiritual growth", Bible reading is good and essential; prayer is good and essential; but the third leg of the stool – which keeps it from falling over – is learning from a good teaching ministry. No believer can advance to spiritual maturity and beyond without that. Best place to start at Ichthys is the Peter series (link), followed by the Basics series (link); reading the weekly email postings on Sunday is a good habit to get into as well.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

The first thing I remember about Reagan is the assassination attempt in the spring of 1981. The principal held an assembly to inform us that he had been shot and that he was critically injured. Not long after that we were informed he would survive. He was certainly well-liked and respected by my parents and teachers it seemed. I do remember Reagan giving a speech about SDI, maybe sometime in 1983 or 1984. One thing I am pretty sure of is we haven't had as good a president since then.

Sorry, I didn't word that correctly. I should have said you made it a point to say that you are no prophet, which isn't the same as saying you were often wrong. I on the other hand can say with sincerity that I have been wrong a lot more than I've been right insofar as how I thought things would turn out in my own life and in the lives of others. I expected to be a broken down old man at 51 and while I'm not young anymore, I have held up better than I expected to this point, I thank God for that. I did not expect to lose both my dad and stepmother inside of 5 years, neither making it to 75. Nor did I expect my half siblings to cut off all ties with myself and full brother after they passed. Life is full of surprises, that's for sure.

I read your first link and surprisingly, I didn't need to reread it, made perfect sense. I spent a while reading the weekly email postings link, some very good questions there. I have your page saved in my phone so on my flights down and back from Louisville I can read without needing an internet connection. Delta is supposed to have internet access but I can't ever seem to get it to work. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and for prayers.

In Jesus,

Response #8:

In terms of leaders, it is my observation, based on a biblical perspective, that nations receive "the leadership they deserve". So as I also often remark, if a Christian wants, say, a better government, the best thing he/she can do – and in fact that only thing that has a chance of working – is to spend more time and effort on spiritual growth. Believers are the preservative, the "salt" of their nation (link); the more salt and the better the quality of the salt, the more blessing which accrues to the nation. But if the salt has lost its savor . . .

Believe you me, in terms of personal life, prognostication about the future, my own situation included, and anything not related to the Bible, I have as long a list of "wrong!" as anyone else. When it comes to the Bible studies posted at Ichthys, I wouldn't post something if I didn't believe it. Many of these things have been "out there" for going on 25 years now (this October), and I've seldom had occasion to change anything at all (with the exception of correcting typos). The system of theology has been the same since then, merely expanding the offerings year by year.

The email page changes weekly (here's the link for prior postings going back many years).  As I say, best place to start for a systematic and aggressive approach to spiritual growth is the Peter series, followed by Bible Basics Satanic Rebellion sets the stage for studying the Tribulation, and Coming Tribulation is all about those seven years, using the Book of Revelation as the organizing principle.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Perhaps it is the true believers that have kept America from being destroyed and spared thus far from things that have plagued other countries the last 100 years. Although I’ve heard it said that the average non-Christian 100 years ago was more righteous than the average Christian today. As I guess all I can do it my own small part, you are able to reach people with a ministry which is what God wants to see more of.

There are sites where I read things and think to myself, I wonder if that’s really true. I don’t have those thoughts with your website, I trust your words. There is a newsletter that I read a few times a year from a church called Last Trumpet Ministries. It’s informative but I’ve never visited or communicated with the pastor so I don’t swallow everything I read whole if that makes sense.

Thanks for laying all those links out for me, makes it much easier to find. I will forward them to my mother too and to some friends overseas. Sorry for the late reply and thanks for your prayers, they are always welcome and needed!

In Jesus Christ

Response #9:

It's my pleasure!

The lukewarm Laodicean trend started in the late nineteenth century and has been accelerating over the years (so it may be a question of comparing a C- then down to a D- now).

What the Lord wants from all of us is consistent spiritual growth (through Bible reading, prayer, and, critically, learning from a solid teaching ministry), spiritual progress (putting the truth we are learning and believing into practice, especially in passing tests), and eventually consistent production: the Lord has a ministry for everyone since we are all given spiritual gifts. At Christ's judgment seat, we will be evaluated on the basis of quality not just quantity. As the Lord remarked of the widow with the "least coin":

"Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood"
Mark12:33-34 NKJV

Keeping you and your family in my prayers,

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Dear Brother LInguibil,

After reading some of your exchanges with other readers on the issue of the current Russian-Ukrainian War, I wondered if you have every read or watch anything from a international relation realist point of view? Professor John Mearsheimer of University of Chicago gave a now very famous lecture on the Ukrainian crisis back in 2015, right after the 2014 Maidan Coup.


In this lecture he explained why the crisis in Ukraine (back in 2015) was the fault of the West. He explained it from the international relation point of view that the expansion of NATO after the fall of the Soviet Union was one of the main causes of the Ukraine crisis. He continued to point out that NATO in 2008 made the public announcement that is it their goal to include Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. This announcement threatened the interest of Russia and led to the Russian Georgian War in 2008. Then the Maidan revolution/coup in 2014 that the West supported resulted in an anti-Russia government led to Putin's decision to annex Crimea. He explained the entire situation from a realist international relation point of view and also from a nationalism and great power politics/realpolitk point of view. It is definitely a refreshing view among all the one voice "blame Russia" narrative.

Do you find it strange that the entire West is bent on canceling Russia. It is using all its power in the media to launch an all out propaganda war and has pretty much won the day against Russia. To me, if the entire godless elites are telling me something, I would hesitate to believe it. Especially after what they have done creating the covid narratives and their censorship for the past 2 years.

I know we shouldn't be using new events to interpret Biblical prophecies. However, I like to ask you on what do you think about the two feet of iron and clay with ten toes on the statue? I understand that this two feet are the last Gentile Kingdom before the return of Christ to establish His kingdom. The two feet are iron and clay mixed together, so this kingdom is a mixture of various people and various strengths. The ten toes could be the same to the ten horns of the last beast referring to the ten kings. This is my own thinking that the world since the Roman Empire has largely been divided into two camps, the West and the East. First the Latins vs the Greeks, then the Latin West vs the Greeks plus the Muslims. This could be the two legs of the 4th kingdom that continued throughout history. Today there's still the West versus the East. Could it be that the West and the East are the two feet of the same kingdom? And out of this kingdom the small horn would arise? So that even though we are seeing a conflict between the East and the West, but they are all part of the kingdom of the beast?

Also, the small horn that is going to rise up as the anti-Christ would pluck out 3 horns before it. Could it be that the anti-Christ would destroy 3 kings (world power) before its rise? Perhaps Russia, China and the US?

In any case, thank you for your ministry as always! And thank you for you kindly answering my questions in the past.

God bless,

Response #10:

I've not heard of this person or this lecture, but I'm familiar with the argument. Personally, from a Christian point of view, I don't really think it matters whether or not Russia is 100% justified or 100% in the wrong. Nations and national leaders act on their perceived interests – and very often miscalculate (more the rule than the exception in my own studies of history). What will happen over there will happen. God is in control of all things. And from the point of view of individual Christians, we really are better off not getting upset, regardless of our opinions on this subject. It's a lot more serious than a sporting event, obviously, but for those of us who are not actually in harm's way, getting upset over such events makes about as much sense from a spiritual point of view as it does when a team we like suffers a defeat. If we were personally being bombed or shot at, that would be another story of course, but even then our relationship with Jesus Christ and what He wants us to be doing still ought to be the prime issue. If we're having trouble accepting that now and acting on that principle now, what then when the Tribulation begins? And it's not far off now.

If you've been reading the postings, you've no doubt seen some speculation about how all this might be preparing the ground, so to speak, for the events of the Tribulation. You can find the details about the specific questions you are asking here at the link:  CT 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom. In a nutshell, the beast arises from mystery Babylon (which at this late date almost certainly has to be the US – once the Tribulation begins and not before, however); he then quickly comes to control the revived Roman Empire as well (through a variety of asymmetrical tactics); this would be Europe, the seven kings; antichrist's power thus rests on two legs (Babylon AND revived Rome); the three kings (which the little horn, antichrist, uproots), are the Mideast power bloc with which antichrist wars during the Tribulation's first half, defeating that bloc decisively at the midpoint; this results in his domination of the world, and the Great Persecution begins immediately thereafter, starting in Israel with the martyrdom of the 144,000.

Although in general terms the relative geography is of revived Rome and the other three kingdoms which also were a part of that empire in the east and south is clear, the exact composition of the two entities discussed above, namely, revived Rome and the bloc of powers to its east, can only be speculated about at present (and the same goes for the rulers of the ten total kingdoms). There will be an antichrist-like ruler of the Mideast bloc as well, styled "antichrist" by antichrist – who will claim himself to be Christ.

So it's tempting to see, e.g., Putin, as this "Mahdi" who will rally to his standard everything east of Western Europe, but I wouldn't be too sure of that yet. A lot can happen in just a few years – as recent events make all too clear. The possibilities are still limitless and kaleidoscopic. And we will see soon enough. As mentioned in a recent posting, there are no "points" to be had in figuring any of the specifics out ahead of time. Believers need to keep an open mind on the details which are not in the Bible, even as they accept absolutely the truth of what the Bible does have to say.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Thank you very much for your reply. I will take the time to re-read the study on the Tribulation.

God bless,

Response #11:

My pleasure!

Question #12:

Well it has certainly got my attention even if it didn't Laodicea! I was already in the process though of stepping up and knuckling down but this has also opened my eyes wider enough to think about making my videos again.. No matter how ramshackle and imperfect they turn out to be.

You know A LOT about Geopolitics! That is something else I now feel an urge to brush up more on. Are there any tried and trusted sources you can recommend?

Incidentally, the area that is laid waste in Isaiah 34, Unger says it is Edom and will be permanently ruined so is this a future event? Is it ruined during the tribulation? Where is Edom now?

You know the more I read and study and look at all these things the more questions I have..

When Jesus says that none of us will ask Him any questions when we see Him again, do you think it will be because we will know the answer or that it won't even matter at that point?

Thank you my friend!

In Him,

Response #12:

That would be great! Ministry has a lot of positive effects. Sort of like how you learn something even better than you knew it before when you end up having to teach it.

Don't know about sources for that. I read a lot of history. The same sorts of things keep happening over and over again – the stupid mistakes/miscalculations people make and the fog of war (oft times deliberately induced) for two.

The second half of Isaiah 34 is talking about Edom, as it says (roughly equivalent to the south of modern day Jordan), but Edom is also archetypical of the nations generally, so that the destruction with which the chapter begins is the one leveled by the Lord on all of the nations attacking Jerusalem at Armageddon (see the link).

As to John 16:23, the NLT, a highly interpretive translation (which is like the little girl who "when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was awful"), has it right this time:

"At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name."
John 16:23 NLT

"You know the more I read and study and look at all these things the more questions I have." Amen! There is no end to the truth we can learn from the Bible and become conversant with while we are in this world, if we are willing. How much more in the world to come!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:


Re: The War in Heaven and Why? What are your thoughts on this explanation?

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdZYxkUqo0M

Response #13:

I couldn't get through it. The very idea that there was no "war in heaven" and that this (i.e., the Genesis gap, the Satanic revolt, the present spiritual warfare – and by logic therefore all of eschatology) is all just nonsense derived from tradition has by definition to be predicated on rejecting all the biblical passages about these subjects – so that very little of the Bible is left.

I've bumped into this Heiser guy before. An unbeliever, where the Bible is concerned, from what I've seen. He seems to have found a niche to make money with this scholarly sounding tripe.

If you have specific questions about any of this nonsense, I'm happy to reply, but I can't sit through a lecture by this guy.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Thanks Bob.

Just reaching out to scholars for different opinions.

Response #14:

I appreciate the compliment, but in my experience most biblical "scholars" have sacrificed the truth for the patina of said scholarship. This guy is a good example of that.

If you want to know the truth about all this, the Satanic Rebellion series is the best place to go.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

I’ve read your work several times Bob. Your work is helping me understand the truth.

Response #15:


Question #16:


In 2 John 1:8 John say they should carry on so they get a full reward. Implying lesser rewards.

What happens to someone who started out on the foundation (see 1 Cor 3) but they have fallen away for years and keeping in mind Ezekiel 18:24 talk about a righteous person all their good stuff is forgotten. If after losing their faith they come back, can they still get that full reward, some reward or not rewards if they come back and repent?

Response #16:

Here is my translation of the context:

(8) Watch out for yourselves, lest you lose what you have worked so hard for, but may instead receive a full reward. (9) No one who goes wandering off, that is, anyone who does not keep to the teachings about Jesus Christ, has [even] a share in God.
2nd John 1:8-9

This passage is speaking about apostasy (see the link). As verse nine makes clear, such a person has "no part" or share in Christ – and that can only refer to an unbeliever (in this context, a believer who has apostatized). The only way a believer can lose the rewards he/she has earned in this life is through throwing away salvation.

Believers who start well but go off the rails spiritually, yet do not apostatize, will clearly not live up to their full potential in this life. We are here to grow, progress and produce for the Lord – His way, not our way: that is the only way to the three crowns of top reward (see the link). But as long as we have "today", as long as we are alive, we have an opportunity to add to our heavenly treasure chest. It's up to us not to squander that opportunity by redeeming our time daily. And so we can do – day by day – regardless of our pasts.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

I am one of those who went wayward, and feel a sense of inferiority and lack of satisfaction as a result in regards to rewards and sadness and possibility of having lost a full reward. Leaving me feeling despondent.

If a person walks away it says all good they have done will be forgotten. But if they come back in terms of rewards they may have gone back to zero rewards, but will God not provide opportunities for them again in the Christians walk with the Lord and still be able to receive a full reward of judgment day?

Also presumably lesser rewards would make a Christian before the Lord feel sad for the loss. However in Revelation it states God will wipe away all, tears, crying and sadness. How does that work?


Response #17:

Once again, my translation is as follows:

(8) Watch out for yourselves, lest you lose what you have worked so hard for, but may instead receive a full reward. (9) No one who goes wandering off, that is, anyone who does not keep to the teachings about Jesus Christ, has [even] a share in God.
2nd John 1:8-9

The people being warned who wander off no longer "have a share" in God. That means they've apostatized and are no longer saved. That is the only way to lose any legitimate reward earned. Any other view is Roman Catholic (i.e., dead wrong).

In my experience, observation, and reading of the Bible, the worst thing a believer can do is to get hung up on the past. The past cannot be changed. But people often tie themselves up in knots about it – and for Christians there is no point in that. God gives us one day at a time. Every day is an opportunity to put something more in our eternal "treasure chest" by growing spiritually (through listening to and believing good Bible teaching), progressing spiritually (by applying the truth we have learned), and producing, helping other believers through the gifts we've been given. To the extent that we are looking backwards, we're going to miss those opportunities right in front of us.

(12) [It is] not that I have already gotten [what I am striving for], nor that I have already completed [my course]. Rather, I am continuing to pursue [the prize] in hopes of fully acquiring it – [this prize for whose acquisition] I was myself acquired by Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I do not consider that I have already acquired it. This one thing only [do I keep in mind]. Forgetting what lies behind me [on the course] and straining towards the [course] ahead, (14) I continue to drive straight for the tape, towards the prize to which God has called us from the beginning [of our race] in Christ Jesus. (15) So as many as are [spiritually] mature, let us have this attitude (i.e., of focusing on our spiritual advance and reward and not getting hung up on what lies behind: vv.13-14), and if in any matter your attitude is off-center, God will reveal that to you (i.e., assuming you are mature and are advancing as you should). (16) But with respect to the progress you have made, keep on advancing in the same way!
Philippians 3:12-16

No one will feel sad in New Jerusalem! The least rewarded believer of the Church Age in the smallest dwelling on the wall of Dan will be blissfully happy for all eternity! God is not about less. God is all about more – of what is spiritually good for us – for all who love Him (Rom.8:28).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Yep can a person who return to having faith in God even though they have lost the treasure they have gathered up to that point is it too late for them to get a full reward? Because as you point out those who walk away will lose it. It doesn't say what will happen if they come back even years later and repent. Does whether a sin was done in ignorance or deliberate knowing the truth effect whether it is too late to come back and receive a full reward? Mine was deliberate I'm sad to say.

1 Corinthians 3 the Corinthians were told about passing through the fire and loss of rewards. Was that meant for Christians who didn't repent of their behaviour and attitudes eg causing division and stiff. Presumably if they repented the could get a full reward?

Presumably the parable of the ten minas, if those not making use of their gifts repent by returning to the faith they can still get those cities 5, 10, what have you?


Response #18:

Re: "even though they have lost the treasure they have gathered up to that point": Again, Christians NEVER lose their treasure . . . unless they cease to be Christians through apostasy. Then they do lose it because they lose everything by losing their salvation. That is what 2nd John 1:8-9 is describing. Believers take with them everything they have done which is considered worthy of a reward by the Lord, regardless of ups and downs in their behavior over the years.

Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
Revelation 14:13 NKJV

And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Revelation 19:8 NKJV

The situation you are describing is not apostasy (my old mentor used to call that "reversionism"). Apostasy is complete loss of faith. It is doubtful if anyone ever comes back from that. But in the hypothetical case of becoming an unbeliever and then become a believer again (and again, that is unlikely to have been what happened; the prodigal son is our example of a believer who goes to a "far country" but then comes to his/her senses and comes back), I would say that God is merciful and that there is no reason for reward to be lost – that is NOT what 2nd John 1:8-9 is saying in any case, and I know of no other scripture which indicates that what you fear might be true – probably because, as I say, that is a "null set" since actual apostates do not come back.

Not that there aren't MANY believers who imagine that is what happened in their particular case, because many of us have had "prodigal son" experiences and we all say when we come back "I am not worthy any longer to be called Your son"; but what does God say? "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found" (Lk.15:22-24 NIV). Even if a person wants to say "dead" here was apostasy (it's actually being out of fellowship with the Lord), note that the prodigal is completely restored to all the benefits of being a son. He lost nothing – except the time when he was wandering.

1st Corinthians 3:10-15 is talking about something else entirely. Not everything Christians "do" down here "for God" is actually something He wants us to do. Spiritual growth is rewarded. Spiritual progress in passing tests is rewarded. Genuine spiritual production empowered by the Holy Spirit is rewarded. But things that legalistic or emotionalistic groups promote as "doing" for God are usually motivated and empowered by the energy of the flesh and not the Spirit and in a questionable cause at that (despite protestations that whatever it is is being done "for God!").

Those who went off on the crusades and fought the Mohammedans no doubt thought they were "doing something for God", but this is "something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind" (Jer.19:5). I would venture that almost everything done in lukewarm local churches today falls into this category, namely of "human good": things people imagine God wants (even though it's contrary to scripture) but which God considers "filthy rags" (Is.64:6). Immature believers often can't tell the difference, but the Lord surely knows. And believers who are content with being immature will doubtless never get to the point of being able to contend for the top rewards, the three crowns which the Lord would happily give every believer. Few enough, it seems, will win these crowns, because most never even get to the point of figuring out what God really wants from us (because in their heart of hearts such lukewarm believers they don't really care and prefer the cheap substitutes being offered today: be water-baptized, join a church, give money to an organization which is not really empowered by the Spirit, work, work, work – but don't bother seeking the truth). Everything which is not considered genuinely "good" by God will be burned up when said believer is evaluated before the judgment seat of Christ. That is what the passage you ask about means.

Finally, as mentioned before, where there is life, there is hope. We only have so much time on this earth, but I have seen often enough believers turn things around and grow and progress spiritually at an amazing rate – when they put the Lord first and commit to spiritual growth (through a ministry such as Ichthys). So even if one's life has been wasted in the past, that is no reason – and no excuse – to waste what time is left going forward.

"As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work."
John 19:4 NIV (cf. Is.55:6)

Redeem your time, for the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16

Walk wisely in regard to those outside [the body of Christ], redeeming your time.
Colossians 4:5

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hi Bob,

Is it possible to make the lake of fire sound scarier than it really is? I don't know why Christians barely think about this -- for me its become a very serious motivator -- I guess most Christians nowadays don't even believe it really exists. I have been watching a few YouTube videos of pits of lava to try and get at least a sense of our Lord's sacrifice and was wondering if it is doctrinally incorrect to say Jesus went into a pit of fiery lava, in darkness, away from fellowship with the Father to die for our sins.

Does the lake of fire exist in the current earth? Is it the lava I previously mentioned albeit in one concentrated place? How will the resurrection bodies withstand that heat?

Praise to our Lord who took the punishment so we could have eternal life!

In His glorious Name,

Response #19:

Best I can discern from scripture, the third heaven above and Hades below are, in biblical parlance, not part of this "world" (kosmos); and they can only be supernaturally accessed at present (here's link to a diagram which gives a schematic of the relationship). So the third heaven and Hades (the entire multi-compartment underworld; see the link) are not destroyed when the present heavens and present earth (which ARE "this world", this kosmos) are replaced by the new heavens and the new earth.

The lake of fire already exists (it has already "been prepared for the devil and his angels"; Matt.25:41). Nothing about lava in anything I've read, but it certainly paints an analogous picture. At present, Torments (the holding compartment in Hades for unbelievers passed from this life) is a terrible place; the rich man says "I am tormented in this flame" (Lk.16:24); but as bad as it is, it seems the lake of fire will be worse (link). Bodies once resurrected are indestructible; just exactly how that is so we will have to wait to find out, but it is so (compare Rev.19:20 with Rev.20:10).

As to the lake of fire being a motivator, my perspective on this vis-à-vis unbelievers is that while hell is a part of the presentation of the gospel in that the good news is that we have been delivered from it, focusing on the alternative rather than the truly wonderful news that we can live forever with the Lord has always seemed to me to be an incorrect approach. As far as believers are concerned, we are given positive motivation in scripture (cf. Heb.11:6), and, as long as we hold onto our faith (critical to do, of course, all the way to the end: e.g., Matt.10:22), the only "fear" we have is being rebuked at the judgment seat of Christ (2Cor.5:11) – not being cast out since we belong to Jesus forever: only apostates would be in that camp and they simply do not care.

I have seen way too many Christians who in fact ARE terrified that they have lost their salvation (which is impossible for those who are in fact believers: you have to abandon your faith in Christ entirely to be lost) to want to reinforce that debilitating point of view. As far as unbelievers are concerned, hell, as I say, is in fact a part of the true picture of the future, but in my experience death is the thing that is actually feared because death alone can be seen clearly and cannot be refuted. Unbelievers build all manner of defenses in hardening their hearts against that impending reality, but in the end they cannot entirely eject it from their thinking. And Jesus is the only solution to death.

"Praise to our Lord who took the punishment so we could have eternal life!"


In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hello Dr. Luginbill, Hope all is well with you. If you could help me in understanding what scripture tells of about death I would appreciate it. When a believer in Jesus dies he goes to heaven, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, in his interim body until we return to earth with Christ in our new glorified body, correct? What I am wondering is about the unbeliever and how his/her soul is handled. Their soul too must have to have a tent to dwell in since our souls can never be without a covering, right? So does the Bible deal with this and those who will be in hell for eternity. ___ recently died and I do not think he believed in Jesus. He was a good man but since only those who believe in the saving grace of our Lord will be in heaven it lays heavy on my heart that he did not accept this and is not in heaven. I have trouble wrapping my head around and explaining to other family members that the only way to salvation is through the saving blood of Jesus when they ask about good people versus evil people like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and comparison to these who will also be in hell, I don't see in scripture where there are separate places for really bad versus good unbelievers. Hell is a permanent separation from God but could you show me other scriptures that might help me understand this.
Blessings and thank you.

Response #20:

You are absolutely correct about everything you have said here. The only small correction I would make is that the "soul" is not a "thing" but a word which is a synonym for "person" and/or "heart". The unseen "us" is the human spirit. The idea that there is a tertium quid called a "soul" which is a kind of a spirit is medieval Roman Catholic confusion (see the link which will lead to others).

There is only one "Torments" where all departed unbelievers currently reside; and there is only one lake of fire where all who are unsaved will be cast at the last judgment.

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:12-15 NIV

In this passage we see that there are "great and small" among the dead unbelievers, which no doubt means "prominent and insignificant" – and from our perspective they might be "truly bad and not particularly bad". But the important thing to note is that being bad and good is of no account. All sin (Rom.3:23). And Christ died for all sin. So no one is condemned for sin – because Christ took it out of the way for all and that is the only reason any of us can be saved. How are we saved? By accepting that ineffable gift and choosing to stand judgment on His work instead of our own.

We see in the passage above that the dead are judged "according to what they had done", meaning everything they said, thought and did in life. And it will be shown that nothing was good enough to make up for a single sin in the cases of those who did things which we from our earthly perspective consider "good". But as Christians we know that nothing not done in the power of the Holy Spirit can be good in God's eyes (Mk.10:18; Lk.18:19; 1Cor.12:3).

I'm sorry about ___, but when you say "I do not think he believed in Jesus", by the way you phrase this it seems certain that he had heard the gospel. Perhaps he was saved or perhaps in the end facing the end he committed himself to the Lord. It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs here in the waning hours of Laodicea that so many of us who are red hot for the Lord have so many friends and family whom we care for about whose eternal destiny we are uncertain. So we pray for them and once they depart we trust the Lord to have brought about the end He always had in mind according to the perfect plan of God – one which takes perfectly into account also our hearts and theirs.

In the mercy and wisdom of Jesus Christ our Lord and dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dr. Luginbill, Thank you for your quick response to my email. ___had heard about Jesus and he appeared open to conversations but they live far away. ___ knows that I am a Christian and talk about it with her but could not honestly say she has expressed it to me but seems to wander to another topic. Yes I too believe that someone on their death bed could accept the salvation through believing in Jesus and if he did that I can not know until I am in heaven. I did not understand your last sentence where you say "we trust the Lord to have brought about the end He always had in mind according to the perfect plan of God--one which takes perfectly into account also our hearts and theirs." Does He not want all to accept the saving blood of Jesus and He knows if they will so I don't understand the "we trust the Lord to have brought about the end He always had in mind". Also the part "one which takes perfectly into account our hearts and theirs." That sounds like if in my heart and prayers I wanted ___ to be saved then the Lord knows that and would take into account my desire but that result can only come if __ accepted Him. Let me know where my understanding of this is wrong.

Can you also help me with Revelation that you referenced where it says "the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books". It does not matter what we have done in this life if we have not accepted Jesus than nothing else matters so what are they being judged on? They were already in Hades at that point so why the judgement and then thrown into the lake of fire?

My understanding is that when we as Christians die that our spirit is escorted to heaven by an angel and we receive our interim body. Is their any mention in scripture about when a nonbeliever passes if they receive some form of covering and are they escorted to Hades by something, maybe a fallen angel? I seem to get in the weeds with some of my questions, sorry but since I left the brick and mortar church about 15 years ago you are my source for all things big and mundane. I have missed the fellowship of the church body but going to different Bible studies in search of a place to land it seemed they all have many errors in their teaching from the Adventist saying that the archangel Michael was Jesus to the Pentacostals telling me I wasn't saved because I didn't speak in tongues, so fortunate are we to have you to turn to for the truth. I am sure you will be met with "well done thy good and faithful servant" when you are called home because of your caring for us lost sheep searching for the truth of the Bible.

Blessings and thanks as always,

Response #21:

1) "That sounds like if in my heart and prayers I wanted him to be saved than the Lord knows that and would take into account my desire but that result can only come if my brother-in-law accepted Him.": That's exactly right. So we can relax in the Lord and not worry, knowing He has it all in hand.

2) "It does not matter what we have done in this life if we have not accepted Jesus than nothing else matters so what are they being judged on? ": That's exactly correct as well. No amount of "good" – as the world sees things – can take away a single sin. And it's unnecessary too since Jesus died for them all. What is necessary is to accept and not reject our Lord's great gift of salvation.

3) "They were already in Hades at that point so why the judgement and then thrown into the lake of fire?": God is absolutely just and fair in every way. So even though the result is obvious, every single person gets a thorough and complete trial to demonstrate precisely what their choices were and precisely what they really did want – and how "doing things" for God is arrogant and misguided (that is what Cain did too, after all).

4) "My understanding is that when we as Christians die that our spirit is escorted to heaven by an angel and we receive our interim body. Is their any mention in scripture about when a nonbeliever passes if they receive some form of covering and are they escorted to Hades by something, maybe a fallen angel?": You are absolutely correct on the first part; on the last bit, it's possible that there is angelic agency involved in taking unbelievers to Hades (in fact I think it's likely), but I doubt that the fallen angels are doing anything to advance the plan of God in any way (except of course to the degree that all that happens is calculated into the plan). See for example the link: "Participation"

5) "I have missed the fellowship of the church body but going to different Bible studies in search of a place to land it seemed they all have many errors in their teaching": Amen! I think that is where we all are – and by "we" I mean believers who put the truth of the Word of God above everything else and are therefore unwilling to compromise for the sake of anything else. There's a great deal on all this in in BB 6B: Ecclesiology.

Thanks for all of your wonderful words, my friend! I'll endeavor to be truly worthy of them.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dr. Luginbill I am still confused about #1 in your reply. It sounds like that if I desired that ___ be saved then He has it in His hands and all is well. But just because I want it does not make it so unless he had accepted Jesus. Also "we trust the Lord to have brought about the end He always had in mind", but he would want all to accept and this sounds like He decides according to the "perfect plan of God" and not us making the choice so where is our free will?

Response #22:

What we want doesn't determine the plan of God nor does it coerce the free will of others. But the Lord plugged us into His plan in just the right time and place for all His good purposes. He's not unaware of our feelings and our legitimate desire for those we love to be saved – nor was He when He crafted the perfect plan. That's no guarantee, but knowing the wonderful mercy and goodness of our Lord, it's a comfort to me to remember that He does have it all in hand.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Dr. Luginbill,

So what you are saying is God's got it covered so I should keep praying, keep trusting Him...

Have a great day.

Blessings and thank you.

Response #23:

Right! There are a lot worse ways to go than having absolute confidence in the Lord that He has everything covered in the perfect and pre-determined plan of God – which He does.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Thank you so much Bill for bringing this to my attention. I still have your two part series ready at hand and go back to it often to recall the big picture. I have been very busy with work but always make time to research, watch and pray. I think of you often and hope you are doing well because you are only one of a few people that I know of who is aware of what is coming “first” before the coming of the Lord, “that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” (2Th. 2:9-10).

I look forward to delving into BB 6B

Response #24:

My pleasure!

Indeed, it's good to know ahead of time the importance of preparation for the Tribulation – so we can do so.

And on the other side we'll see the Lord face to face.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Hello Mr Luginbill

What do you take 1st Corinthians 9:24-27 to mean?

Response #25:

(24) Don't you know that all the runners in the stadium run the race, but that only one receives the prize? Run in such a way so as to achieve what you are after. (25) And again, everyone involved in competition exercises self-control in all respects. Those athletes go through such things so that they may receive a perishable crown of victory, but we do it to receive an imperishable one. (26) So as I run this race of ours, I'm heading straight for the finish line; and as I box this bout of ours, I'm making every punch count. (27) I'm "pummeling my body", one might say, bringing myself under strict control so that, after having preached [the gospel] to others, I might not myself be disqualified [from receiving the prize we all seek].
1st Corinthians 9:24-27

This is talking about eternal rewards. Not all win the three crowns – and most, it seems, don't even win one. We have to run a good race to get those rewards, doing what the Lord really wants us to do – not what some local church or lukewarm pastor wants us to do. In a nutshell the three crowns represent accomplishing our mission in terms of spiritual growth, spiritual progress, and spiritual production respectively (see the link: "The judgment and reward of the Church").

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Howdy professor,

Remote teaching sounds really hard, and hard for your students to connect up. But there are many places that offer free wifi, though many places are also closing down. I feel like a laptop is a required item for college. There are people that will try very hard for your class and things not line up, but please be careful because they are also student who are lazy (looking in the mirror myself here) and will take advantage of your good nature.

You talk in the Peter series about how he was just a pebble in the Building. I have been realizing that I overestimate myself and gin up my ego. The thing is that it does get me a LITTLE further than otherwise. I am trying to only use it to the extent I get where everyone else is. And then not get depressed over putting so much work to get to the same place as everyone else.

My grandparents told me about how during the Great Depression people moved back to family farms; but I read many farms went under. There are no safe havens apart from the Lord.

One thing I have learned it to enjoy the little blessings He gives us even in the midst of situations like these.

I wish you well. I'd say I look forward so much to meeting you on the Day, but I really feel low and can't right now. Lord bless you,

Oh! I also meant to share something with you (and ask if you agreed). On the Prodigal Son-my understanding of these situations is that both would have had their inheritance set aside (or an amount figure to be set aside), and the father would have some of his wealth for himself until he died. And the son coming back, the father was using his own wealth, not the non-prodigal son's. So this would have been more a matter of greed, and lack of love for the son who came back. It is a bit greedy if that is how it worked, because the non-prodigal son still had all HIS inheritance waiting for him, but the father's means for himself (the father's self)-the father could spend however he wished. Sort of like the vineyard keeper who paid everyone a dollar, and the first worker's were upset over.

What do you think, sir?

Response #26:

I think everyone is having a bit of a hard time dealing with all this disruptive nonsense. But do take heart: the Lord is working this all out together for good.

On differentiation, both things are true at the same time, namely, we are all "one" and we are all different and will rank differently in eternity. Rather than being down about either aspect, we need to rejoice that we will all know and enjoy each other as part of the perfect Church, basking in the glory of the dear Lord who redeemed us forever (unity), and yet we will also be uniquely "us", having been rewarded for absolutely every thing we have thought, said and done in the power of the Spirit (not even a cup of cold water offered will fail to get its reward, after all). So humility and hope need to coexist within us at all times, even as we cast out competition and despair: for there is no scarcity with God, and we are unbreakably anchored to heaven regardless of how well we do.

I have a few friends with farms and land, but such wouldn't be my first choice of venues to be honest.

As to the older son, I'm sure all manner of negative emotions and motivations were involved.

I'm giving my students the benefit of the doubt this semester because they got dropped into this with no warning and no preparation and some of them (a great many of them in KY) have no particular means.

We have a right to rejoice in the Lord no matter what we are experiencing, my friend.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 NIV

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.


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