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Question #1:

12He will raise a banner for the nations
and gather the exiles of Israel;
He will collect the scattered of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
13Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart,
and the adversaries of Judah will be cut off.
Ephraim will no longer envy Judah,
nor will Judah harass Ephraim.
14They will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines to the west;
together they will plunder the sons of the east.
They will lay their hands on Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites will be subject to them.
Isaiah 11:12-14

What is this prophecy talking about? Given how Edom and Moab and Ammon have ceased to exist. So how will Ammonites be subject to Israel in the future?

Response #1:

You could add the Philistines as well. Here's what scripture anticipates in regard to that land:

Ashkelon shall see it, and be afraid;
Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish;
Ekron also, because its hopes are confounded.
The king shall perish from Gaza;
Ashkelon shall be uninhabited;
a mixed people shall dwell in Ashdod,
and I will cut off the pride of Philistia.
Zechariah 9:5-6 ESV

So Isaiah 11:12-14, which you ask about, and many other critical passages (such as, e.g., Dan.11:41), are speaking about geographical areas not specific peoples. Most of these nations have dissolved, and what happened to their offspring we have no idea. But we do know where they lived, so when Daniel says in the passage cited that "Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape" antichrist's invasion, he's talking about the places they occupied, not the nations themselves which no longer exist.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

I find it easier to deal with the rest of the passage in dealing with geographical areas because it talks of Israel claiming those lands. But it's harder to deal with "Ammonites" being subject to Israel. Why would Isaiah refer to Ammonites who are subject to Israel?

Another Nation dwelling in the same land dwelling in the Land of Ammon is referred to as the Ammonites in this case? It's quite confusing.

Response #2:

Again, the contemporary peoples stand for the present and future geographical areas. This verse expresses the eastern boundary of the millennial kingdom (fulfilling Ezekiel 47:18, correctly translated). When it says that Israel will "lay hands on" Edom and Moab, that means to take possession of those areas (along with whomever is living there: namely, the region to the east and southeast of the Dead Sea). When it says that "the Ammonites will be subject" to them, that means whoever will be living in the territory of the Ammonites along with that territory (namely, the trans-Jordan region north of the Dead Sea). In other words, these two parts of the verse are saying precisely the same thing, just in a different way. It is a common feature of poetic speech – and this is poetry – to vary one's modes of expression so as to make the poetry more interesting and more pleasing. Thus in Vergil's Aeneid, he finds dozens of ways to say "Carthage" (e.g., "Libya", "Tyrian citadels", etc.), so as not to have to keep saying the same word over and over again. Good poetry always displays a real mastery of the language it's written in. One of MANY reasons why I'll never be a poet (and I know it).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

What clues in the text itself that would indicate if the prophecy is referring actually to the real people groups like the ammonites moabites and edomites themselves and not poetic language?

Response #3:

It's not so much specific clues in the text as it is the way in which Hebrew prophecy "works". One cannot expect scripture to have said to people in ca. 500 B.C. "the geographical area of what will one day be called the kingdom of Jordan and also Saudi Arabia", e.g. So for example Edom is used archetypically for all of the nations which will assail Israel at the battle of Armageddon (being THE archetypical gentile nations, cf. Mal.1:1-5; and see the link).

For more info on how prophecy should be interpreted, please see the link; in CT 1: Hermeneutic Issues.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:

I agree. But there should be tells in the prophecy that tip the interpretation one way or another. Otherwise the other alternative may be that the Prophecy actually failed. And hindsight is only retroactively applying what happened in the future to try to fit it into the Prophecy like trying to fit a thing that looks close to the square in a square peg, rather than the Prophecy actually being a vision of the future.

In Jesus

Response #4:

God's divine prophecies have never failed. They certainly have been misinterpreted and misused, however.

The "rules" of interpretation are the rules which the Bible gives and, more to the point, demonstrates. In theology this is called "hermeneutics" (i.e., the canons of interpretation). I've been working on refining these in regard to biblical prophecy for a very long time. Please have a look at the link: in CT 1: "Hermeneutic Issues".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hi Bob,

Please correct my thinking: Many people pray "give us this day our daily bread" yet I wonder how many realize He has? We may not like it and we may get tired of it, but in reality, He has provided us our daily bread. It may not be what we're used to buying at the grocery, but it's there none the less. Even onions! There are over 100 wild varieties here in the lower 48 and, from what I can tell, all over the habitable world.

With projected famines, food shortages and other government "adjustments" coming, how many will lose faith because the grocery is empty but their yards and woods are full of food? Here, for example, mesquites provide leaves for tea, beans for flour, prickly pear provides nutrient dense food and medicine, wild lettuce, thistles, junipers for food and medicine, bee balm for tea and seasoning and on and on. Your neck of the woods provides as much, though different. I remember while living in Massachusetts looking forward to the winter snows because the wintergreen berries ripened under the snow and their discovery was a wonderful treat.

So my question is: how can we be thankful for what we don't know is there? Is the Lord a stockholder in Krogers? How would He logically provide our daily bread? He clearly provided it to the Isrealite's livestock during the Exodus. He provided it to the Israelites though they grew tired of manna and grumbled. Is that an indication of what we will do?

Even if we buy commercially now, we have fresh produce and dried beans and grains to get us through difficult times like Joseph did for the Egyptians and his family. I believe our prayers have been answered. We may not have Rice-a-roni or spaghetti-os in the coming months, but I have no doubt we'll have food.

After all, the Lord said, when He kicked us out of Eden, that we would have to work for our food. That time may come again.

Sorry for the rambling. I've been thinking about what is actually growing and what is not. (Mostly what I planted...)

I pray all is well with you and yours.

In our Lord,

Response #5:

I'm thinking of putting in a small "victory garden" for the first time this spring. But it really depends on the time. I need to get into my research seriously this summer and gardening can suck up the time if one is not careful (already enough committed to "outside work" as it is).

We do need to eat – as long as we are in these physical bodies. In New Jerusalem, food (the twelve fruits of the tree of life) will be strictly for enjoyment (Rev.22:2-3a where "healing" in, e.g., KJV, is better translated "And the leaves of the tree are for the enjoyment of [all] the nations, (3a) so that there will no longer be any division" [NOT "curse]").

Down here, here and now, food is a reminder of God's provision. We thank Him for that provision and are reminded whenever we eat of how we are in absolute need of what He provides us – or at least that is the way it should be. And the ultimate provision is the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, who has delivered us from our sins and given us life eternal.

"I believe our prayers have been answered. We may not have Rice-a-roni or spaghetti-os in the coming months, but I have no doubt we'll have food." Amen! The Lord always takes care of us. He can make it so that "the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil" until His return, if that is His will (1Ki.17:14-16).

I'm reminded of our Lord multiplying the five loaves and two fish into enough to feed five thousand plus – with twelve baskets left over! This was impressive – to the people of that day who, in the end, mostly cared more about the physical food and it's miraculous provision than they did about the REAL Bread of Life who was giving them the Word to eat which provides life eternal (Jn.6:15; 6:60). It's not about food, even though we are grateful for it, and even if it be miraculously provided food – it's about the truth.

"This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
John 6:58 NKJV

Best wishes for YOUR gardens this summer, my friend. If they can't plant in Ukraine this spring, we may all NEED our gardens.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hi Bob,

I probably should have kept my fingers quiet. I'm going through a bit of angst right now. Gardening is getting harder for me and I can only care for an increasingly smaller garden. First consideration is what do I do now. Then I realized how much is available -- as I munched on a bit of wild lettuce. Try as I might, I can't grow things like He does. Last March, as the shelves emptied, there was still food. Perhaps not what people may have wanted, but there was still food. So even in the cities. He will care for us.

I'm about through Deuteronomy again and the bickering and complaining of Israel rings through my thinking. I don't want to be like that. I have absolute faith the Lord will take care of us if we just have enough wit to recognize it and enough wisdom to use it. I doubt He'll cater to our tastes and whims, but He will take care of us.

Seeds here are very slow to germinate for some reason this year. While I can't grow enough to sustain me, I do hope to have some delightful things to add to my diet. I hope your garden is a success as well.

Yours in Jesus,

Response #6:

No worries at all, my friend – your perspective is exactly right. The Lord will indeed "take care of us", but that doesn't mean that 1) we won't have to scramble (we may well have to do so: Gen.3:19), or 2) that we'll be dining on "the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock" (Ps.81:16). But we can be absolutely sure and certain that we aren't going to be left to starve to death, regardless of how bad things may get (and they will get bad).

The LORD knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
Psalm 37:18-19 NKJV

I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.
Psalm 37:25 NKJV

He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil–this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.
Isaiah 33:15-16 NIV

They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them.
Isaiah 49:10 KJV

These are all promises from the Lord, and we have a right to be confident in their fulfillment to us.

The Lord will bring us through, so that we may say as it has been prophesied:

And they will say on that day, "Behold! This is our God! We waited in hope for Him to deliver us. This is our Lord. We waited in hope for Him. Let us rejoice and be glad in His deliverance!"
Isaiah 25:9

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

Thank you so much for your references. Particularly Psalm 37. There is so much in the entire Psalm that is a comfort. Psalm 37:25 specially struck home.

At this point, in reading and considering Moses' farewell address as the Israelites are about to enter the promised land. It amazes me how they blew the gift they were given. Then I look at today and see so many people squandering the Gift and gifts they were given that I realize nothing has changed in all these millennia.

Another question, if I may: the Lord told Moses to go up on the mountain and look in all four directions and said that what he saw was the promised land. Deuteronomy 3:27 That suggests he was already in the promised land though he was told he wouldn't enter or cross the Jordan. What am I missing?

Am I also correctly understanding that the Israelites approached the Jordan from the East? That would make sense since that's the way our Lord is returning.

Thanks, Bob, for your support.

Yours in Jesus,

Response #7:

My pleasure as always, my friend.

Yes, they came from the east.

If the area to the NE and SE of Mt. Pisgah (an unknown location, in spite of some modern day identifications) were part of the land, then Moses could have seen part of the land from any cardinal direction (if he looked east, he would only see part of the land to his left and right). But even more to the point, there is also indication that the borders of the Millennial Israel will include territory which at the time was not in Moses' day part of "the land": Isaiah 11:12-14 compared with Ezekiel 47:18 when correctly translated. None of the versions have it right since they all try to assimilate the passage to what is found in Numbers 34:1-12, but the verse mentioned, Ezekiel 47:18, indicates a more easterly division than merely following the Jordan (rightly understood).

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hello Bob,

Just studying some of your work and therefore thinking of you . From all the questions that you so painstakingly and promptly address I am sure you have helped many, many people who are searching for the truth in this strange world.

Wow Bob , I am sure that Matthew 25:21 will be applicable to you .

Hope all well.


Response #8:

Very good of you to say! Of course, the Lord is the one who makes that determination:

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
1st Corinthians 4:5 NKJV

So there's nothing for it but to stand fast at the post the Lord has given us – like Casabianca – and continue to do the work He's given us to do, day by day, until He takes us home or we see Him return.

Hope you are doing well! Keeping you and yours in my daily prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hi Dr. Luginbill,

I have two questions if you'd be willing to help me.

First, I've been thinking about the idea of God's "word" versus The "Word". I understand that God's reason/message/word (logos) to mankind is Jesus Christ, because He is the purpose for all creation, and I understand that the written word is also the Word because it is in its entirety about Jesus as well, but I'm wondering about God's "word" or communication to Adam and Eve, for example. Although the story of Adam and Eve is a part of the Word, would we consider His specific word itself to them to be a part of the Word? Or, would we only officially consider what is a part of the written word to encapsulate the Word. This might be confusing but I hope it makes sense.

Also, I'm curious how to think about Romans 10:9-10. I know that we don't literally have to proclaim that Jesus is Lord to be saved, but apparently, some do believe this. I thought I saw you comment on this in an email response recently but I want to make sure I understand it.

Let me know

Thanks a lot

In our Lord,

Response #9:

Good to hear from you!

On #1, I do admit to being a bit confused. I generally try to avoid over-categorization and the building theology on categories unnecessarily formed – that is how traditional theology came to be so confused in a nutshell! But do feel free to write back and attempt to "un-confuse" me.

On #2, here's what I write about this in BB 4B:

The lie: "It is necessary to acknowledge Christ as 'Lord' in order to be saved". The truth: Jesus Christ IS Lord, and the truth of His deity is an important part of the gospel which all who are given to understand it by the Holy Spirit accept as part of their exercise of saving faith. No separate, public, demonstrative proclamation of this fact is necessary to be saved, and to the extent that a person relies on this or any other false addition to the gospel as the basis of their confidence (whether included on this short list or not), to that extent their salvation is problematic, because no one can be saved by works (Jn.6:29; Eph.2:8-9).

Hope your semester is going well! Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Dr. Luginbill,

Yeah, with the first question, maybe I'm overthinking it. With the Adam and Eve example, I think I was trying to get at God's direct communication to them or command not to eat from the tree aside from it being directly in the written word. Would we consider that specific "word" or message to them to be a part of the "Word" aside from it being in the written Word, or would we just say that the story is part of the written Word and so is a part of the message of Jesus Christ? So I think I'm asking if that occurence in isolation would be a part of the message of Jesus Christ. I don't know if that helps. I think for a while I've maybe taken John 17:14-19 and the translation with the lowercase "w" in "word" to mean something other than "Word", but logos is the word in all cases so it basically is the same. Also with Psalm 119:89, for example, I guess we can translate it with "Word" or "word".

With #2, that makes sense. My other thought was that because spiritual rebirth is really an act of God, He will only give us the Spirit and consider us righteous if we have that saving faith that He desires.

In our Lord,

Response #10:

The word "logos" has always been a key word in Greek thought. It means more than "word" and can also mean "concept" and "plan". Jesus Christ is THE living "Word", the very plan of God Himself, encompassing all divine thinking in Himself. The written Word is perfectly reflective of Him who is the living Word, but it is distinct and clearly does not contain everything there is to know – just everything we need to know here in the world as believers. God of course has spoken to His people since the beginning at special times and in special ways (Heb.1:1-2). We can call these communications "prophecy" (which is forth-telling as well as foretelling), but unless these prophecies have been recorded in scripture they are not part of the written Word. I don't think the fact of this communication which was not written down changes the meaning or our understanding of the other two.

"He will only give us the Spirit and consider us righteous if we have that saving faith that He desires" - Amen!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:


Okay, I think what you're saying answers my question. Even though God has communicated to various people in various ways throughout history, only what is in the written Word is part of the larger special revelation of Jesus Christ, who is the Word. Does that sound right?

Also, I doubt this really happens to you, but do you ever get so hyper-focused that you have no idea if something makes sense or not? I think sometimes I get so zoned in and then I begin to rationalize things that don't make sense or that don't really exist. Haha. This is definitely an odd question but I'm just curious. Like I've been staring at Hebrews 1:1-3 for like 30 minutes just trying to think about it critically and I don't know if I'm making myself more anxious or actually getting something out of it. I think I need to relax a little.

Here's a question I sort of have from Heb. 1:1-3: does God communicating to us with His Son pertain primarily to Jesus as God incarnate literally speaking to us, or is there more of an implication of God revealing Himself to humanity with the revelation of the Word, which is His Son, Jesus Christ? Or is it both? It seems like it might be both.

I think that question makes sense, right?

Any help would be appreciated on this

In Jesus,

Response #11:

Hebrews 1:1-3 draws a distinction between the revelation prior to Christ – wherein His coming incarnation was still largely veiled – and the revelation which comes directly through Himself as the God-man after He comes into the world.

The written Word is all about Jesus Christ, because He IS the plan of God. Plan and word, by the way, can both be represented by the Greek word "logos" – and "Word" definitely includes both.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Could you provide me with an accurate translation of John 3:34? The KJV adds the words"unto him: at the end of the verse.

"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."
John 3:34

The NASB says this: "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure".

The NASB gives a totally different idea that Jesus[He] gives the Holy Spirit without measure". I am assuming that "Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to all "believers" without measure".

The KJV translation gives me the impression that God the Father gives Jesus the Spirit without measure.

So, just what is the correct translation of this verse?

In addition, I am now dealing with a KJVite and you know what they believe!!!!

I sent her a document from your study on the first 3 1/2 years of tribulation, providing her with your study from Revelation chapter 9. She commented that "I don't believe that these mentioned as locusts would be invisible, but did not say why!

Another one of these kinds, not again. Oh well, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will make it through this one also.

Thanks for your help. Blessings to you.

Your friend,

Response #12:

My version:

"For the One God sent speaks the words of God. For the Father does not give [Him] the Spirit in a sparing way."
John 3:34

NIV has "without limit" which is also good. Here's a link to where I explain this. As I say at the link, this is referencing the Spirit's ministry of inspiration – our Lord received the entire revelation of God meant for human beings in His humanity (whereas all other prophets have received only partial revelation). That is why He may say that everything He speaks are the "words of God" – the second part of the verse explains the first.

As to the "unto Him", I also expand the translation because it is understood in Greek (common to leave out objects when they are obvious in context). I believe the KJV should have put this phrase "unto Him" in italics . . . because it is an expansion (i.e., not representing any Greek words actually in the text, although that is what it means).

In short, I think all the versions and translations say essentially the same thing – it's just the interpretation which seems to cause problems (as is often the case). Yes we all have the Holy Spirit as believers – and you either have the Spirit or you do not. But it is also true that the ministry of the Spirit differs (and sometimes some are said to be "filled with" or "full of" the Spirit, indicating His moving the person to some particular action). So this verse is addressing one of those situations, and, in particular, the complete prophetic revelation given to our Lord directly from the Spirit of God.

You have the patience of Job, my friend! And some people need just that in those given to minister to them.

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

In Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

My questions are:

1. "Does a believer receive only a "measure" of the Holy Spirit at regeneration?

2. What does the Greek says in John 3:34?

I looked at 47 translations, and most of them say "He gives the Spirit w/o measure."

The NASB, the version I use. says:

"For He[Jesus Christ] whom God[The Father] has sent speaks the words of God; for He[Jesus Christ or God the Father??] gives the Spirit without measure.

As you well know, the Pentecostals and Charismatics, all believe there is the 2nd work of grace called "the Baptism of the Holy" which is identified by the fact that the individual speaks in tongues. They claim of course that if a believer does not speak in tongues, it means that they have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit, which you and I disagree with, and rightly so.

Based on my reading of John 3:34 from the NASB, Jesus Christ, or the Father, not sure based on the Greek rendering, gives believers the Holy Spirit without measure. Some translations have added unto him and the end of Verse 34 of John 3. Most of the 47 translations that I have looked at do not indicate that the giving of the Holy Spirit is not speaking of Jesus, but is given to believers, that is without measure.

According to John 1:33, it is Jesus who "gives" or baptizes a believer with the Holy Spirit.

Would greatly appreciate your comments and review of what I have stated, and tell me if I am incorrect in my thinking; I am only going by what the Bible states, and want to know the correct translation of John 3:34 in Greek. The KJV has the words unto him at the end of this verse 34.

Thanks so much as always,

God blessings to you always,

Your friend,

Response #13:

Good to hear from you, my friend!

The key here is that the meaning of John 3:34 is mostly misunderstood. The context is all about speaking the truth, that is, it is all about prophesying the truth:

"He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure."
John 3:31-34 NKJV

So when, in the last verse here, verse 34, it says in the second half "for", that "for" (Greek gar giving an explanation of what has just been previously stated) means "the reason why I was right in saying that 'He whom God has sent speaks the words of God' is because 'God does not give [Him] the Spirit by measure' (that is, in any sort of limited way)". The Spirit is the One who inspires all prophecy and all godly pronouncements that are truly from God. Since Jesus is the Son of God, everything He said was "of God / from God" – that is what "He gives [to Him] the Spirit without measure" means.

As to the "unto Him" in the KJV, that is in italics – which means that the translator is saying "this is what it means" even though those words are not present in the Greek. And he is right! It is very common in Greek (and other ancient languages) to leave out a direct or, as here, indirect object when it is obvious from the context. We are not happy with that in English – but this was not originally written in English.

Hope all is well with you and your wife and family. I keep you all in my daily prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Judges 13:7
7 but he said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. So then drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’ ”

You mentioned that this is a Messianic prophesy? How is that so?

In our Savior and Redeemer,

Response #14:

Samson, while possibly not everyone's favorite person or role model, was a type of Christ in regard to his exceptional birth and abilities, with the special prophecy given by the Angel of the Lord paralleling the announcements given to Mary (and also John's father).

So this is a foreshadowing of the birth of the One who would be truly sinless (as opposed to fulfilling the symbolic Nazirite requirements). So while Samson was – uniquely – a ritual Nazirite from birth, Jesus was from birth a "true Nazirite" not a ceremonial one, in that He fulfilled in fact what the Nazirite vow merely symbolized: total sinlessness and complete dedication to the Father.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Greetings professor

Long time indeed sorry I've been quiet busy of lately, but every time I always wish I can engage myself in learning more and asking questions from you......

I hope you're doing great that side of the world.....
During my personal study of the bible,,I came across the old prophet' story who deceived a young prophet but later God used him to prophecy ....

My question is; How could God have allowed this?

Why wasn't the young prophet given a chance to repent or rather have a fair hearing?

Did God allow this old prophet to get away with his deception???

What lesson can we learn from this encounter?

Response #15:

Good to hear from you!

It is an interesting episode to be sure. Later on, as I recall, when a dead man is thrown into this prophet's grave in an emergency, the man comes back to life. Surely this tells us that even though He put him to death, the Lord thought much of this prophet from the south. Remember: Moses wasn't allowed to enter the land because of his "one mistake". But "to whom much is given, much will be required" (Lk.12:48). If God tells you something personally, I would think that THAT ought to be of much more import to you than either 1) what you feel compelled to do (in the case of Moses) or 2) what someone else tells you (as in the case we are dealing with here). People lie all the time, after all.

People today claim they are prophets. Anti-christ will have his own personal false prophet proclaiming him to be God and Christ. Doesn't make it true! So if the entire world is going to be held responsible for believing antichrist's lies and his false prophet – who will indeed be performing unprecedented signs and apparent "miracles" – to what standard should an advanced believer, and in this case a prophet, who has direct communication from God be held? There are mistakes . . . and then there are mistakes. And a person's spiritual status is also something the Lord clearly takes into account. Eve was deceived. Adam was not. So his sin was the greater.

As to "God allowing", remember that this is a spiritual battlefield, and we are all here to be sorted out. Free will is the mechanism that God is using to separate the wheat from the chaff, and, in the case of the wheat, separating the high quality grain from that which barely passes muster. Praise the Lord that He does sometimes intervene and save us from ourselves in making terrible mistakes (e.g., 1Sam.25:21ff.)! But we certainly cannot count on that to the extent of putting Him to the test like the exodus generation did "ten times" – and if we are spiritually mature and "know better", we can expect to be held to a higher standard (just as we hold our own children to ever tighter standards of behavior as they grow in age and discernment).

Hope you are doing well, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:


I wanted to share some good news with you!

I've just finished the design of my second greetings card and sent it off to the printer! So now I have two designs so I have officially started setting up my own illustration/art/design business!!

It's really sad that my family cannot share in my success. I told __ about it: "So you've made a card?! Is that what you're going to do? Just make cards?!" Well I've never heard Hallmark complain about the way they make money. Have you?

I am also doing very well spiritually and firing forward on all cylinders despite some bumps on the path here and there. Also it's looking promising that it really IS a family moving next door to us! Isn't GOD GREAT!!!!!

Hopefully it won't be much longer now that I get my ministry building chops together. I have already cobbled together a piece on false religions (and how they are all pretty much the same thing) I have a feeling my path will be about exposing false teaching/ discernment and exposing the tools the enemy uses against the truth!

So good news to report all round even despite all the calamities in the world. My faith increases and I have HOPE!

Hope this finds you in very fine fettle my friend!

In Jesus,

Response #16:

Good news about next door! Bad neighbors are a curse, but good neighbors a real blessing. Prayer updates posted.

Good news too about your business! I'm proud of you hanging in there. That's the way to do things, one day at a time, keep plugging, and the next thing you know "you're in business" (literally as well as figuratively).

Family, of course, are often the very last to give us our due, but we shouldn't be surprised:

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Matthew 13:54-58 NIV

Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ ” “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.
Luke 4:23-24 NIV

For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
John 4:44 NKJV

Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.
John 7:3-5 NIV

If His nearest and dearest treated our Lord this way, we shouldn't be surprised to occasionally suffer similar disdain.

Thrilled to hear about your continued spiritual growth most of all!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

This word, "prophesying", has bothered me recently in looking at scripture where it is used and how our minister talks about its definition. He has been using it to also mean preaching and this in connection with women's work in the church. So we come to scriptures like the one in Joel 2:28 which says "your sons and daughters will prophesy". Our minister is totally in favor of women preaching in the assembly. I don't see that there are examples of that in the NT. Paul states that "As in all congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches.... ICor 14:34:35. Our minister believes that command was due to the cultural status of women at that time. Then there is the story of Priscilla and Aquila in teaching Apollos in Acts 18. I realize that we have to make some allowances for different cultures in our worship assemblies, organization and meeting order, but I haven't seen anything in scripture that puts culture above specific commands from God, Christ or the apostles. I don't believe it is something the church should vote on or have elders(pastors, bishops ((depending on how the greek or hebrew is translated))) decide.

I have read your writings about women's roles in the church, but I am not certain that we should just let "grace" abound in regard to this subject. I do not want to belittle women's role at all in the family or church. But throughout scripture it seems to me that there is a hierarchy that God put in place from the beginning. Whether Christ changed all of that I am unsure in regards to women.

There are several other scriptures that use the word prophesy, etc. I have always thought that the word meant to "foretell something that is in the future". Like Anna,, who is called at prophetess, in the temple when Jesus was a baby (Luke 2:36-38).

I mention these things because in some churches this is causing division and people are leaving because they have been taught that women should not teach or preach to men in the church. Scripture does say that the older women should teach the younger women. Our congregation has been in an upheaval for over 5 yrs now in talking about expanding the role of women in letting them lead prayer, give communion talks and co-teach Bible classes with men. It is even being discussed that women should be appointed elders.

Paul said something to the effect that "Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial". Or am I "straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel". Thanks for listening and appreciate your website for the Bible based teachings of many different spiritual subjects.

Response #17:

Hello Friend,

Good to hear from you again.

I completely agree with your take on this subject.

"Prophecy" is foretelling but also sometimes forth-telling – when specifically empowered by the Holy Spirit. But whether foretelling the future or giving direct revelation from the Spirit, both are special gifts which are not being given at the present time. These gifts were given during the apostolic period to cover the gap of time until the canon of scripture could be completed and enough men trained to teach the Word. The verse cited, Joel 2:28, will be fulfilled during the Millennium (it had a partial fulfillment during the days of the apostles, but does not apply today).

So no one should be "prophesying" today, not in the biblical sense. The Spirit is not giving special revelation to anyone anymore. We all have the Holy Spirit as believers, but He works through the Word of God. Also, only some men and no women have the gift of pastor-teacher which authorizes and potentially empowers the study and teaching of the Word of God. And even for those men who have the gift, it doesn't replace the need 1) to become prepared to teach in general (the course of preparation varies but it can be very long and difficult if done correctly), or 2) the need to study diligently to prepare to teach the Bible day by day to a congregation.

If a local church doesn't understand the above – which as you quite correctly ascertain is pretty basic and very obvious from reading the English Bible – then it's questionable that those in charge have much of anything correct.

Don't know what to advise you. In my observation and experience, it's nigh on impossible to change things from the inside even when one is 100% correct about the truth and the need for change – maybe even especially then. Our Lord warned us about putting new wine in old wine skins.

You are most welcome at Ichthys anytime.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:

I think I told you we are reading excerpts from the Book of Daniel for the adult education session, and I now know the origin of the phrase “the writing on the wall.” But before each of the three ‘wall writings’ are the words mene, tekel, and peres. Are those three words simply numbers?

Response #18:

On your question, the famous "handwriting on the wall", these three phrases are actually all monetary units: mina, mina (i.e., two minas), tekel (Aramaic for shekel), and (that's the 'u') pharsin (small pieces/coins/pennies). So together it's an inventory, one could say: two very large denominations, one smaller one, and some negligible pocket change. These three correspond to the three kings of Babylon: Nebuchadnezzar (the great one), Nabonidus his son (not insignificant but nowhere near his father), and this current ruler, Belshazzar, who was practically worthless. The evaluation also produces the prophetic symbolism interpreted by Daniel since a mina comes from the verb meaning to count, shekel is also a scale or to weigh, and peres sounds like the word for Persian.

Question #19:

I wanted to ask a question about Jesus Christ second coming. I seem to remember somewhere in the Pauline epistles it says people will see the coming of Christ and call out to Him I know about those in Thessalonians but where else .. Thank you

Response #19:

Good to hear from you.

You may be thinking of one of these passages:

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:30 KJV

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation 1:7 KJV

The time is growing closer (e.g., Rev.1:3; 3:11; 22:7; 22:12; 22:20; cf. Matt.3:2; 4:17; Rom.13:11-12; 1Cor.7:29; Phil.4:5; Heb.10:25; Jas.5:8; 1Pet.4:7; 1Jn.2:18)!

And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near."
Revelation 22:10

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

Are the curses and suffering outlined in Deuteronomy Chapter 28 discussing the Babylonian invasion, the Assyrian invasion, Titus's siege, or antichrist's rule in Israel?

The locusts of Joel are a precursor to Armageddon. What connection do you see if any to the trumpet judgement. Are we to see it as also Israel’s unbelievers in fear of the stinging locusts (i.e Joel 2:4)?

Response #20:

As to the first question, I take these as generalized curses that would – and have – happen, should Israel go the wrong way. So we can see these things happening in all three incidents you mention and also at all other times when Israel was, has been, and will be oppressed because of her turning away from the Lord.

As to the second question, I don't see any connection. The locusts of Joel – literal insects -- are also a prophecy of the Armageddon invasion (as well as of the contemporary, impending invasion of Assyria).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Thank you so much my friend!

She will really appreciate it!

Just begun studying Ecclesiastes for the first time and really enjoying it! My father's football team suffered a very bad humiliating defeat tonight by my sister's boyfriend's much smaller football team. So the words "vanity, vanity all is vanity" has never been more apt!

In Him, where there is eternal joy and abundant purpose!

Response #21:

You're most welcome,

Yes, Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books. It does help to be reminded that "all of this" is absolutely pointless – absent faith in Christ and our eternal reward.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Thanks Bob!

C'est bon ça!

On another note, I've noticed something that the enemy is doing with law and order and I thought it something to comment on and try to articulate. He (and his minions) have woven a strand into the justice system that is at one side preposterous and petty whilst at the same time draconian. This strand (which has become more like a rope) has wrapped itself around true law and order that the vast majority of people want to keep in place. The problem is that this "false" law and order is the squeaky wheel that demands all the oil and column inches. This situation is leading to all law being diluted to such a degree that it becomes useless and a joke to all. At the same time, this constant baiting of people with silly laws pushes people into a rebellious and libertarian viewpoint which of course is exactly what Satan wanted all along!

So the problem is that people can be baited into two reactions that are dangerous to believers: 1) that they may be baited to rebel against silly but draconian laws to protect their "freedoms" 2) that they may be tempted to take the law into their own hands via vigilantism and mob rule.

Obviously a maturing believer would stay away from both extremes (libertarianism vs vigilantism) and hopefully distance themselves completely from this perishing world but I thought it important to note that there are dangers at both extremes as always.

I am studying CT and SR side by side and also looked over the Exodus series again and the following questions have arose from my studies:

1) was the pre-judged Earth (Genesis gap) populated by dinosaurs because the fallen angels created hybrids as they did later with humans (Nephilim) or was dinosaurs the original creation?

Response #22:

Some good observations. To your "two temptations" I would add a third, one to which most of the world will soon succumb, the temptation to "join the party" and so become "part of the problem" once antichrist incentivizes that temptation to the maximum possible degree.

Prayer request up. Have not heard from/about __ for several years. After a while, I find it necessary to clean house.

On your questions:

1) That is my deduction, namely, that these monsters were part of the devil's genetic experimentation (see the links:  Dinos1; Dinos2; Dinos3; Dinos4; Dinos5).

Question #23:

2) were Adam and Eve virgins before the fall? If they were innocent and only aware of nakedness because of the fall then "carnal knowledge" was a result of the fall?
Didn't Eve "gotten" Cain after the expulsion? So if Adam and Eve hadn't rebelled then they wouldn't have any offspring and we wouldn't be alive today?
Does this make "carnal relations" inherently sinful then?
I know in Paul's letter to the Corinthians says that to marry is not a sin but it is better to stay single. Is it better to stay single because sex is sinful or because a spouse and children will take you away from spiritual growth?

Jesus was conceived without "sin" so there is an implication there that sex is sinful. Also the martyrs who witness in Jerusalem will be virgins. Again, is there are spiritual significance for this? Is this another implication that sex is sinful (even within marriage)?

Does it mean that virgin believers are closer to God than non-virgins? Or celibates closer than wedded believers? Just wondering of this significance (if there is any).
Is the reason for marriage to "make sex not sinful", because it is not good for man to be alone, to provide children (and populate the earth), to be a type/ shadow of Jesus marriage to His bride the church. Or is it all of the above?

Response #23:

2) The Bible doesn't say, but it does say that God told our first parents to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen.1:28), so it would seem incongruous that sexual relations between the first couple should be prohibited in any way. It is true that they didn't have any children until after the fall, but that was, in my estimation, a matter of God's grace. Giving a married couple time together to enjoy each other before children complicate the picture is gift from God. So He was blessing them. Had they refrained from falling forever, eventually they would have had children in Eden. But of course there are no actual hypotheticals in the plan of God.

There is no benefit to being virginal. There is a benefit to staying away from sin, especially sexual sin (1Cor.6:18). For married couples, it is forbidden to deprive each other (1Cor.7:2-5). Everyone else is required to abstain.

Question #24:

3) the hardening of Pharaoh's heart in Exodus. Is this a foreshadowing of the hardening of the hearts of the whole world during the first judgements of the tribulation? Are these trumpet judgements then sent as warnings and will progressively worsen like the judgements on Pharaoh?

Response #24:

3) Pharaoh is definitely a pattern of exceptional hardness which in his case was, as scripture tells us, specially enabled by God (Ex.9:16; Rom.9:17; see also the link, Exodus 14: Hardening Pharaoh's Heart).  And it is also true that during the Tribulation, along with the removal of Holy Spirit restraint, God will also provide a special "empowerment of error" to accelerate the trends of degeneration, allowing people to do what they really want to do with great speed so as to bring all things to an end within the seven years (2Thes.2:8-12; see the link: "the unleashing of the mystery of lawlessness")

Question #25:

4) this one is from Isaiah 52:13-15 is about Jesus

The marred visage is about His sufferings on the cross but then it occurred to me..

John 5:43
I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

The marred visage in Isaiah 53:14, could that be mistaken to be the "fatally wounded head" in Revelation 13:3 so that people will believe that the prophesy in Isaiah 53 is fulfilled in the antichrist (which is also a fulfilment of our Lord's words in John 5:43)?

Just a thought!

Response #25:

4) As to this question, clearly, as you see, that will not be the fulfillment. But inasmuch antichrist will be a counterfeit Christ in every way, I wouldn't be surprised to find his devotees interpreting this passage in that way. However, I will also say that followers of the devil are usually not bothered to go into that much detail about scripture, especially not after they have attained the worldly success that they are really after.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #26:

My relative who died last year from Covid was very excitable when I mentioned the link between nephilim and so called aliens but he got it the wrong way round. He saw the nephilim as really being aliens from another planet whereas I was saying that if the nephilim return "as in the days of Noah" they will be explained away as being different life forms from another planet rather than demonically sired human and animal hybrids from Earth! I know now from experience that you have to explain this out very precisely to give an accurate biblical representation otherwise people may think you are saying the opposite to what you are actually saying!

I suspected that Satan had a lot to do with the way dinosaurs turned out! They are ugly and fearsome creatures that do not look at all like the creatures we have now (apart from reptiles which are obviously much smaller). Like you said, this is where the fascination with reptiles started. I also guessed that dinosaurs had a satanic connection because the world esteems them so highly and children especially are constantly bombarded with dinosaur images on clothes and toys etc to brainwash them while they're young to be fascinated with them.

As for the Nephilim (included in your link) will we see a return of them in the Tribulation?
Jesus said that "as in the days of Noah".. As someone pointed out, the only sin present then which is not present today is these human angelic hybrids. I also have a feeling this is why they bang on about aliens and ufos all the time, to hide what Nephilim truly are (they seem to be doing the same thing about climate change given the time they claim the earth to destroy itself fits exactly with the tribulational time period).


In Jesus,

Response #26:

I wouldn't be surprised if antichrist, who is the ultimate nephilim, the seed of the devil (Gen.3:15), not just a high-ranking demon, will have it put out that he is an alien. Plenty of people would find that attractive, I'm guessing. It's also seemingly the case that the ten kings of revived Rome may be nephilim as well (link). If so, then they are doubtless already on the scene if not yet revealed. What has otherwise restricted this behavior over the last three millennia is the terror on the part of fallen angels at the prospect of being thrown into the light-less Abyss for this crime (as those involved in the Genesis six attack were and still remain there; cf. Lk.8:31). Satan probably had trouble recruiting anyone to even try in the last few thousand years. But the Tribulation is his "big push", and he's pulling out all the stops in preparation for it.

I'm happy to hear that your spiritual growth is having a positive effect on your family! That is what we all should be striving for. Many Laodicean Christians put a premium upon "talk talk talk", but it is the power of the witness of the life in the case of those who really have changed through the Word which has the most dramatic impact in my experience.

So keep up the good work, my friend! And I'll be on the lookout for your updates.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Dear Bob,

I was thinking about the Tribulation period and was actually thinking of the good things about it rather than the actual bad:

1) that Jesus will be nearer to returning
2) that we have prophesy to guide us through what will happen
3) that the clock will be ticking down and we will know how many years left
4) that it will force us all to up the ante on our growth, maturity and production

For me number 5) on the list is equally important. The veneer of "the lie" about this place will be cracking off completely. So people will have two options : To double down and embrace the lie perforce and harden their hearts even more or be broken by it all and will be forced to face the truth.

In Him,

Response #27:

Couldn't agree with you more!

Keep running your good race for Jesus Christ!  That's the best way to prepare and to win a good reward.

In Him,

Bob L.


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