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Eschatology Issues XCII

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Question #1:

Hello Dr.,

In your DropBox you should find the following audio files for Peter #39.

Good timing on this one Dr., I happened to take the last week off for a much needed break from work and was able to dedicate a few days to getting these audio files ready for Ichthys. Great stuff as always and certainly a much needed reminder for all of us. I recently finished my annual refresher of The Satanic Rebellion and The Coming Tribulation and I’m currently going through the Bible Basics series again, I learn something new every time!

Thanks for keeping me on the prayer list: the Lord has/is answering all of these. I have noticed significant improvement in the first two and I’m currently in the process of interviewing for a job (the first two interviews went very well), not sure how it’s all going to end up, but I suspect some big decisions may have to be made. Please say a prayer that the Lord guide me along the correct path and grant me wisdom and discernment in this matter so that I may stay in His perfect will. Please say a prayer for my wife as well (omitted).

How are you sir? It can be difficult to glean where your currently at by reading the weekly postings given that they are collected and put together from different points in time. When Covid was in the headlines you were giving updates almost weekly and judging by what appears to be coming on the horizon we may get back to that soon enough. Got you in prayer here daily.

All the best,


Response #1:

Thanks for the rapid production, my friend! MP3's of Peter #39 now posted at the link. Greatly appreciated.

I'm thrilled to hear about the new job prospect! I'll be praying for you. Please keep me in the loop.

I'm doing very well, thanks. I've finally gotten my body back into sufficient working order to be able to begin upping the exercise. Coupled with a diet, I'm gradually working my way back into more healthy shape. May was very busy, but I got most of the necessary admin out of the way so as to be able to begin to concentrate on research in June and July (classes start Aug. 25th and meetings a week earlier, so I really have to start wrapping things up the beginning of that month).

One area on which I'd appreciate prayer is enrollments for Greek and Latin. They are low, and I'm concerned about the incoming freshmen being likely to fill in when we're already way under water: there are less of them next fall and generally less interested in anything hard (or truly worthwhile). Greek is a particular concern (only have four so far signed up).

Even more pressing is a family prayer concern: I would appreciate prayer for my niece, Sharon and her husband Michael. Sharon is due in October but there is a problem with the child's development. Something about the baby's heart pressing in on the lungs and not allowing proper growth. According to the little I know at the moment (I gather there are more tests in store next week), things are really serious (i.e., not like so many stories I've heard about babies with semi-routine heart issues being resolved): My brother: "We're praying for a miracle" – so am I.

Thanks as always for your great work on behalf of this ministry, my friend! And thanks for your prayers and concern as well. Know that I keep you guys in my prayers daily.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Sorry for the late reply brother. I'm in the middle of many things. Thank you for your response and them links, I found it very helpful and reassuring. What you said about Stephen still rings true. The RC cultists reported me thrice for hate speech and I got caught in FB jail and my account is restricted for 30 days. I don't like Meta as they don't like The Gospel preached and are biased against those of us who stand for the Truth Still I did my job and made quite a few friends around the world over the course of the debates.

I'm following the geopolitical grappling in Ukraine and Russia openly declaring it is WW3.





I am not panicking but gearing up for the final countdown to tribulation in plain view and sounding the alert to folks as a watchman in these last days.

I am praying for you and your family and the ministry as well as for all people around the world

Much Love,

In our Lord Jesus The Rock of Ages!

Response #2:

"I don't like Meta as they don't like The Gospel preached and are biased against those if us who stand for the Truth" – not exactly a surprise. That is surely true of nearly all social media platforms.

The war in Ukraine does at least show us how quickly things can change. During the Tribulation, with the removal of the Holy Spirit's restraining ministry, the pace of change will make things today look slow. So we do need to stay alert – and also resist wedding ourselves to any particular geo-political scenario which is not directly indicated in the Bible.

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Dear Bob,

Re: "This pandemic treaty is the greatest power grab any of us has seen in our lifetime, says Neil Oliver":

I'm pretty sure everything you've written and we've read is now beginning and at light speed. Would really love your thoughts on this, I'm sure all your readers would.

In Christ Jesus,

Response #3:

Good to hear from you!

In terms of the link, everything happening now which seems to be verging on totalitarianism and internationalism will pale in significance to the opening moves of the Tribulation. On the one hand, there is so much like this happening that it is hard to see how things can go on much longer without reaching a crisis point. On the other hand, there also seems to be a long way to go overall before conditions would seem absolutely ripe for, say, the one world religion of antichrist or the world war against the reputed antichrist that brings that and much other consolidation of the beast's power about. But we know that whenever the darkness falls, the pace of change will accelerate and unprecedentedly so – because of the removal of the Spirit's restraining ministry (2Thes.2:7-8; see the link).

In any case, when we notice these things, it ought to prompt us to double down on spiritual preparation. That is not the exact interpretation of the following passage, but it is a good application to draw from it:

"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door."
Matthew 24:32-33 NIV

Keeping you in my daily prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

Monkey pox seems to be associated with male homosexual sex; do you think Romans 1 applies to this? Asked differently. are we any different or better than the Romans of Paul's day? Should we expect a different fate than the Romans?

In Jesus,

Response #4:

Well, there are only a few cases of it and mostly in Europe. Also, I hadn't heard about this aspect of it, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Paul in Romans chapter one is speaking about ALL unbelievers everywhere at all times. So, of course, unbelievers in the US are no different than unbelievers anywhere else. The only variables historically are 1) where culture and nationalism has contributed to a more lawful and less lawless approach, and 2) where a remnant of believers who were truly "salt" has preserved a particular nation and avoided the worst sort of result – such as the termination of Sodom and Gomorrah. To recall, Abraham had "negotiated" the Lord down to preserving those places if only "ten righteous" could be found therein. The problem with Abraham's approach was that there was only ONE righteous individual in the entire place, his nephew Lot. So there comes a time when the remnant is too small to prevent the inevitable divine reaction to absolute lawlessness which is necessary to prevent satanic corruption from destroying any possibility worldwide of the genuine exercise of free will – which is the entire point of human history: salvation through Jesus Christ or refusal to respond:

"Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD.
Ezekiel 14:13-14 NKJV

In terms of the US, it's also good to remember that if we really are going to become mystery Babylon once the Tribulation begins, the end of "that place" will be devastatingly awful (cf. Rev.18:1ff.).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hi Bob,

Am I correct in understanding that if Daniel, Noah and Job were in the city and couldn't or didn't leave for some reason, their physical bodies would be destroyed but their spirit would survive and go to the reward of the righteous? A nuclear attack comes to mind. Or the twin towers in NYC. Revelation 18:4 suggests otherwise if they had divine warning.

Ft. Hood is apparently a secondary target of a Russian or Chinese nuclear attack and I'm close enough to become radioactive vapor if such were to occur. I think it unlikely, but one never knows.

In our Lord,

Response #5:

Let me assure you that God has no need of an intact physical body to accomplish the resurrection. Adam and Eve died some six thousand years ago, and their graves were inundated by the great flood. The chances of any of their physical molecules still holding together are slim – but they will be resurrected nonetheless, among the first (Abel will be the first). At present, they are in heaven, in interim bodies, enjoying the presence of the Lord with all our departed, believing loved ones. So, no, it doesn't matter how we go out or what care is taken of our empty bodies. What matters is our spiritual status, believer or unbeliever, whether or not we have been born again, born from above.

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."
John 6:63 NKJV

In terms of "fleeing Babylon", if that is what you are asking about with the Revelation 18:4 reference, it is clear that failing to heed the command will mean, for those willfully still residing in mystery Babylon at the time of the judgment (approximately six months before the second advent), a very unpleasant time, whether or not they die as a result or are merely very uncomfortable during the Tribulation's last phase. But in either case, this will not mean loss of salvation. It's not a good sign, that is, getting a direct heavenly command to do something and failing to do it, but it's not as if any of us is perfect and it's not at all on the level of taking the mark of the beast. Lot, we remember, was likewise told to flee Sodom, but hesitated and had to be coerced by the angels to do so. God is merciful and He provided this special intervention to keep Lot from perishing. We can't guarantee the same sort of thing for those in mystery Babylon at the time who might be, for many possible reasons, reluctant to leave everything behind, but I also wouldn't rule out special divine help. But as I say, this is a matter of suffering for not responding to a very specific and direct divine warning rather than terminal apostasy. It's difficult to imagine the three great men mentioned failing to respond, but some of the rest of us might need a little push.

I can think of a lot worse ways to go than being vaporized in an instant without even having time to think about it or feel any pain! But however we depart this world, it's the next one that counts.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
Philippians 1:21-23 NIV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hi Bob,

What makes you say Abel will be first?

As far as Rev 18:4, I was thinking of me. Short of divine intervention, my old bod is giving out. It's over 300 miles to the southern border. I doubt I would make it. It isn't a question of unwillingness. It's a question of ability.

I should note that when I was told my time is short, it was crystal clear and unmistakable. It was not verbal; it was just there and understood. I suspect the order to leave will be the same.

It's my understanding that in the resurrection, we will have new bodies. I'm not sure the new body will even look like our current husk. I wouldn't cherish the thought of going through eternity looking like I do now.

In our Lord Jesus,

Response #6:

According to 1st Thessalonians 4:16 "the dead in Christ rise first", then "we who are [still] alive" are resurrected after they are (1Thes.4:17; cf. 1Thes.4:15). So the sequence is the earlier departed believers being resurrected first and then ending with those who haven't departed yet. That being the case, we can expect the resurrection to begin with the very first believer to have died. According to what is recorded in scripture, that would be Abel (the first person recorded to have died of other than natural causes and perhaps/probably the first person to have died period).

In terms of what is possible and what is not, nothing is impossible for God. If it is His will for you to be around then, then it will be His will for you to get out – and He will find a way to get you out. Miracles are no problem for Him. As to letting us know things, I don't doubt that the Lord does so. Everyone has their own gifts, after all, and their own experiences from the Lord. Peter was given a "heads up" (2Pet.1:14). In terms of fleeing mystery Babylon, that command will be given audibly far and wide so that there will be no excuse about not getting the message (see the link):

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues."
Revelation 18:4 NKJV

As far as the resurrection body is concerned, I'll give you the links below. We are told that we will be resurrected in the manner of Christ, and we know that He looked much the same as before the crucifixion (He had not as yet been glorified, however). Since we will be "like Him" (1Jn.3:2), it stands to reason that we will be perfect and present a perfect age (i.e., there won't be infants or old people in eternity). We also know that while this body is characterized by "weakness", the resurrection body is characterized by "power" (1Cor.15:43), and we can surely see this from the amazing abilities that Christ has in resurrection (moving through walls, ascending to heaven, never being subject to death in that new body ever again: Rom.6:9, e.g.).

As I often say, scripture describes our eternal existence mostly in terms of the absence of negatives – no more pain or tears or death or disease or grief, etc. – most likely because we do not yet have a frame of reference or reasonable point of comparison to appreciate what it is like to be eternal (and would no doubt be completely ruined for continuing to fight the fight down here if we did).

Here are those links:

The Character of our Eternal Life (in CT 6)

The Nature of the Resurrection (in BB 4A)

The Resurrection Body (in Peter #20)

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

I apologize for keeping at this, particularly on a Saturday.

Why would not Adam and Eve be counted among believers and first? They didn't need faith. They had direct knowledge. Plus they trained Able who did require believe. That tells me they were believers though I can think of no scripture that says much about them post expulsion.

I guess looking like I did in my prime isn't so bad. I now understand the Biblical description of "stricken in age." There's so much I don't understand (my glass is very dark.) I'll just have to wait and see. At this point, I still hope to be meeting the Lord in the air.


In our Lord,

Response #7:

Adam and Eve were the first believers – and, after the fall, being spiritually dead, they did have to put their faith in the Lord. We all do. Just because they saw Him, doesn't mean that faith wasn't necessary. How many saw our Lord come in the flesh, saw all His miracles, heard all His wonderful words of truth, and yet still refused to believe (e.g., Jn.5:38)?

Abel, however, was the first believer to die, and the sequence in 1st Thessalonians chapter four places the departed in front of the still alive, indicating a sequence that follows the "first shall be last and the last first" principle. So in my reading of scripture there will be a definite order and since the still living are last, the first departed should be first. Not that it makes any great difference since the entire resurrection will take place in very short order. What will make a difference will be what we've done here on earth for the Lord. Our eternal "order" or rank will depend upon that, and Abel, even though his time was shorter than others, will have a wonderful reward:

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
Hebrews 11:4 NKJV

We are all looking forward to that wonderful resurrection body, my friend! Meanwhile, God gives us everything we need to persevere, if we just keep trusting Him (not that we don't have to look for more and more "work-arounds" the older we get).

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2nd Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV

Everything on the other side is better (Rev.7:17; 21:4).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:


I'm just studying your section on the Great Apostasy from the Coming Tribulation series (links).
I realise now that my old fear of death which I have now lost has now been eclipsed by a far, far greater fear, the fear of the death of my faith.

The thought that I could be part of the Great Apostasy actually terrifies me now and I realise that one of the best ways to prepare is to go through Spiritual Testing. Obviously I'm not a fan of going through the boot camp but I realise that I'd far rather learn to completely trust the Lord now than in the midst of the Tribulation.

Sometimes I worry that I get sloppy and take my eye off Jesus or I fool myself into thinking that I am the one who is actually muddling through. I have felt a bit battle fatigued of late and felt a little of my old zeal wane a little so I hope I can get myself fired up again. Especially now I realise what ministry I am to go into!

Many thanks for this invaluable series my friend.

In Him,

Response #8:

We have nothing to fear, my friend. Nothing. Just as long as we hold onto our reverence and respect, our "godly fear" of the Lord. We can – and must – have every confidence that He will see us through whatever is to come, regardless of circumstances, employing whatever divine power be necessary to bring us safely through to the end He has planned for us, whether martyrdom or taking part in the living resurrection.

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.
But the wicked shall perish;
And the enemies of the LORD,
Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish.
Into smoke they shall vanish away.
Psalm 37:18-20 NKJV

It is good sense, however, to make use of the knowledge we have to spur ourselves onward so as to keep walking closely with the Lord (in spiritual growth, progress and production), for that is not only the way to earn a good reward but also the best guarantor of spiritual safety as well.

I certainly agree with you! No one likes testing. Personally, I'm not a fan of being uncomfortable. So anything that helps to build our tolerance and hone down the rough edges so as to make us better prepared for what is to come ought to be appreciated by us – even if we can't be expected to be joyous about it without some work on that.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:2-5 NKJV

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hello Bob,

You once wrote and said if I ever needed to talk, I could write. I think this is one of those times. No need to respond. I just need to get it off my chest.

As I read the old testament, it appears that after the exodus generation passed, the Isrealites reverted to the old gods and their worship. I suspect there was a very strong sexual incentive behind that. I don't know much about Astarte but Baal had a strong sexual component. Today "stars" show as much flesh as possible and wiggle around on stage defining themselves as temple whores? The abortionists are going berserk.

It didn't take long for the Israelites to pervert themselves and today, no one knows where they went. I think much the same happened after WWII. My father went through the ordeal in the south pacific and my mother watched the newsreels to see which of her friends weren't coming home. I think that when it was all over, they were so relieved to be out from under the war restrictions and rationing that they over indulged us. My generation didn't know any better, so it's our fault we have the self-indulgent brats we have today.

Frankly, I see no difference between us today and the ancient Israelites post exodus. I don't see how we escape the condemnation. As for me, the staff of bread is broken. With the drought, very little germinates or grows. Even natives. There has been no rain for weeks. There have been droughts before and even freezes, but the unusual freeze followed by an unusual drought has not happened in my lifetime,

Don't pay any attention to this. Just my emoting. Stay well.

I pray all is well with you and yours.

Response #9:

I'm always happy to hear from you, my friend. I'm keeping you in prayer.

As to your observations, I'm closing in on the next installment of the Peter series . . . which has turned out to be an extended introduction to 2nd Peter chapter two which is all about false teachers, false teaching and false organizations, ending up with a consolidation of most everything I've been able to glean about antichrist's "religion" (now posted at the link). There is a lot in there about present circumstances, the state of our society and Laodicean Christianity – all of which echoes a lot of what you are saying here in addition to drawing parallels with the paganism of the past.

One thing I would point out, however, is that ancient Israel was God's nation. We are not. Israel was held to particularly high standards because the entire nation was supposed to be composed of believers only who faithfully followed the Lord. Of course, they never came close to this standard, but it does explain a lot about how they were dealt with by the Lord – when other nations which were in many ways far worse did not receive anything like the discipline which Israel received.

The US has historically had a rather large and important "remnant" of believers, the "salt" which has preserved the nation and been the reason for God's blessings over the centuries. Today, that remnant in my estimation is very small. And, equally important, even what exists consist mostly of very insipid "salt". In other words, the percentage of mature believers who are actually striving to do what the Lord wants (spiritual growth, progress and production) has probably never been smaller. That is what I would attribute all of our woes to. While this is a cause of regret, it is also good motivation for those of us who are determined to follow Jesus Christ to be more resolute about it, and to fight off any inclination towards lukewarmness – difficult inasmuch as the entire environment in which we live is headed entirely in the opposite direction.

However much longer we have, the best thing believers can do for our country, for our family, and for ourselves, is to put the Lord and His truth first in our lives – and to keep them there, regardless of circumstances.

Praying for your comfort, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi Bob,

I was surprised to see Peter #39 posted so soon. After reading it, it looks like you have a more dismal expectation than me. Much of what you wrote had me thinking, "That's what I'm seeing!" And part of it was, "Good grief – that bad?!"

Fortunately, I have no skin in the game. (At least I hope not.) I don't expect to live into the start of the tribulation. My family will and I hope I can be a positive influence while I can. Whether I can or not is out of my hands,

Bob, accept my thanks. You have been a blessing to me. For all those times I read what you wrote and thought, "What! No way." and then checked your cites, I had to agree you were right and I was wrong. That has never come easily for me in the past though I'm getting more used to it as I grow older.

God be with you and yours.

In Jesus,

Response #10:

Well, as originally envisaged Peter #39 was supposed cover chapter two and have an intro about false teaching, teachers and organizations, but when the intro got to over eighty pages single-spaced I decided to publish it as a stand alone. Peter will end up having 41 instead of 40 parts when all is said and done.

"I don't expect to live into the start of the tribulation." You never know, my friend! It could be only a few years off. That part's not up to us in any case. As I've been saying all my life, "it didn't turn out the way I expected".

Thanks for the good words, my friend! The Word of God has a way of surprising and correcting us all – if we're really willing to listen. Pastor-teachers just get their dose earlier than everyone they teach.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:

I think I asked this in the past but did [not?] get a reply.

In 1 Thess 4:17 in some interlined it translates

"We who are remaining, at the same time, together with them, will be caught up..."

"We who are remaining, together with them, will be caught up..."

Are they both possible translations or only one?


Response #11:

It's a question of how one translates the Greek adverb hama (ἅμα). It can mean in company with physically or temporally, in other words, either "together [with them]" or "at the same time [with them]".

In any case, this is a reference to the living resurrection of those who survive the Tribulation. They (we, possibly) will be resurrected immediately afterwards in a continuum with those who have already passed away and who are resurrected first, but it all does happen "at the same time", merely in a sequence.

Looking forward to that blessed day!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:

So both translations are possible?

Can the Greek for "together with them" also mean in the same place or location? You mentioned it mean to accompany, I was wondering if it could be translated another way as in the same location or place and not as in accompanying?

Response #12:

The "with them" in brackets is translating the prepositional phrase syn autois which is positioned right next to hama in the Greek text.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Not sure what that means. Can it mean in the same place or does it just mean to accompany?

Response #13:

The phrase syn autois means "with them" and possesses about the same scope of meaning as we have in English. Not sure how you could accompany someone and not be "with them".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Well you could be with some one in the same place, like in the same house, or you can accompany. You could say someone was in heaven with someone else, but that wouldn't automatically they were going some where as in accompanying.

Response #14:

I'm still not sure how we could make that distinction in the Greek. Here's the way I translate the passage (maybe that will clear all this up):

(15) For we tell you this by the Lord's own Word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord (i.e., the Second Advent which brings the Great Tribulation to a close) will not precede those who have fallen asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the archangel's blast on the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first (in resurrection), (17) then we who are alive and remain will be snatched up together with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and in this way we shall always be with the Lord.
1st Thessalonians 4:15-17

So, clearly, Paul puts things in this way to reassure his readers that 1) the dead in Christ are not lost, and 2) that at the resurrection we will all be in the same place and circumstance. The only difference is that those who have already passed on will be resurrected momentarily first and then we will be resurrected (assuming we are still around) immediately thereafter.

We, the Church, are all part of the same resurrection, both we who are still alive and they who have departed (us "with them" / syn autois) and we are all resurrected on the same day, the day of Christ's return so that we rise as one ("together/at the same time" / hama).

Looking forward to that glorious day!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hello Dr. Bob,

I sure have missed writing to you during the rather long hiatus. Thank you Dr. Bob, that sure means a lot to us. My wife has not been keeping well of late and is being tested on that facet.

Business has been real slow after Christmas and it's gotten to a screeching halt of late as we are yet to sign a new account and the lone client [ www.wowlifestyler.in ] has defaulted on final payments and owes us INR 60 grand, but The Lord is still feeding us three meals a day in this famine (MIRACLE!).

We certainly are thankful as a whole, even though we whine now and then in the middle of this current crisis. The major weight actually is from the mental illness running in the family adding to our stressors in business and it seems like a special kind of heavy cross we are carrying with The Lord's Grace alone. I guess He is preparing us for the soon-coming tribulation for we have to invariably depend solely on His Divine Providence and Trust Him throughout as the battle lines have been drawn already. So, yes we are learning to take it in our stride one tumble and fall a time yet we are progressing in Faith each day so it's good that we are failing forward as we learn the ropes for the mother of all battles that lies ahead around the corner.

Having developed a tribulation-saint mindset (Big Thanks To You!) has surely helped stay on top of the crisis even though we stumble and fall, but we are trudging along fine and not as one without hope. Praise God.

We know it will be worth all this in the end. So I will end this diatribe of mundane living on a happy positive note brother.

You are always in our prayers and not a day goes by without fond thoughts about you. God Bless You and the ministry more in the days ahead.

All our Love to you Always.

In Our Lord our All.

Best Regards,

Response #15:

I'm grieved to hear of your troubles, my friend – and I promise to take up these issues in prayer. But I am very much encouraged by your courageous faith! That is exactly what the Lord wants from us. When we face the impassable Red Sea, it's our job not to whine and complain and blame Him, but to have faith and confidence that He will see us safe across to the other side just as He always does, even if we can't see the "how?" at this present moment.

You are so right! Everything the Lord is doing to prepare us NOW for all that will happen THEN is really a great blessing, even if sometimes we become a bit weary of bearing the load. Thank you for your very encouraging attitude in the Lord, my friend! It is a great tonic for me and for our fellow believers in Jesus Christ no doubt!

Keeping you and your family in my daily prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Dear Dr. Bob,

Always a pleasure to hear from you. Honestly, grieving you is the last thing on my mind as I don't want to add to your Godly sorrow over our many tribulations and you already hear plenty of that from other regulars at Ichthys, but I cannot lie to you. I am not ashamed of my tribulations or confiding my many struggles in you, yet I refrained from writing much earlier only because of this, but when The Holy Spirit Commands - Enough Already... Write Now! .. & then I obey.

What brought a smile on my face is when I read that my report encourages you, brother. The Lord has shown me enough and more examples from the scriptures. I have also read countless email exchanges on the Ichthys website over the years, I even know certain portions like the back of my hand. The Lord Truly has brought us over many such "Impassable Red Seas" in the past 15 years, I do not doubt in His Miraculous Rescues one iota. Just that our perpetual poverty gets us sometimes, but we have gotten used to this over the years, whether we liked it or not, but God certainly has been Faithful Just as we know Him. What strikes me in the face is that somehow our Lord in His Matchless Wisdom chose to put me through this course and I don't think a stiff-necked narcissistic antisocial megalomaniac and World's Greatest Sinner like me would have budged any other way, even though God is not limited in ways for His dealing with us, all we are is dust and I had to eat some of it time and again.

In spite of all of this, our Great Lord has indeed shown me Extraordinary Mercy and has certainly bestowed Grace upon Grace on me personally, I simply should have died long time ago! All I can sanely relate to is Luke 7:47 - Praise Him. Dr. Bob, this week's email posting came just in time as I was preparing to go to church on Sunday Morning with a rather parched mental state and I read the whole posting in under 20 minutes in one go! And did I thank God for it or what! Hallelujah! What a Tremendous Blessing it was, I was thoroughly Strengthened, I Praised and Thanked our Lord all the more and made a beeline to church!... Worshipped our Sweet Lord with such Gladness and got back home with such Godly Peace in my Heart!

Peter's Series has been very instrumental in dealing with my personal tribulations and it is the first one I want to translate into my mother tongue Tamil. Truly, these are a Great Blessing and I realize them for what they are brother! My life would have no meaning without them and I Thank God for trusting me with these, even though much of it was brought on as a divine discipline and I have had to endure multiple sentences concurrently. We read from Hebrews 12 and 13 this morning and God brought a lot of important priorities to the forefront of our minds! Praise Him. [The concluding verses sound typical of Paul and I tend to believe Paul indeed was the author and maybe someone else held the pen for him in Greek, I do not like to think it could have been Apollos or somebody else, yet I could be wrong, but anyways we will certainly find out in Heaven soon and I won't let this bother me for now!]

I read about your flu episode and issues with your hip and have said prayers for you. We too have had our dance with the flu bug here and am the last one to be mowed down lol. Thankfully we are on the mend as we have let it basically run its course, just feeling a little run down, but expecting to be better soon.

I have refrained from quoting many bible verses in this email, as I know the student is not higher than the teacher. You are The Best Teacher that God in His Great Mercy and Grace chose for me personally and many of our brethren at Ichthys. I say a prayer for those that are in the process of finding the ministry website. We are more fortunate to have associated with you via Ichthys than the multitude of your students at U of L who get more face-time with you in real life! I wish and pray they spend some quality time on Ichthys too as it would result in Better Rewards and Higher Grades in Heaven. [ https://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=453152 ]

Okay, guess I've stolen enough of your time already. My Dear Brother and Teacher Dr. Bob, I don't have a dime on me right now, but I feel like I am The Richest Man that ever lived on this earth! Praise our Lord for His Peace - It makes me feel this way and I am not the one that is complaining! -- You know why :) Amen. God Bless You Greatly for what you have done and adding to the quantum of it in our(brethren) lives -- No doubt Your Rewards Are Indeed Going To Be Many and I want to collect half as much as you!

All Our Love.

Your Dear Brother in Christ Our Great King!

Best Regards,

Response #16:

I've updated the prayer request I placed at Ichthys for you. Do feel free to let me know if there is any change or addition you'd like me to make (happy to do so).

What can I say to a wonderful Christian warrior like yourself? You have made my day brother – and my whole week. I only wish I could relieve some of your troubles. But my testimony is much like yours (even though of course I don't want to seem to diminish in any way the hardships you are presently enduring with such grace and courage): the Lord provides; the Lord delivers; blessed be the Name of the Lord!

I wish my students would read Ichthys too. But at present I would settle for them opening their textbooks every so often!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily, my friend, and eagerly looking forward to your deliverance in Jesus Christ.

In our dear Savior.

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hello again Dr. Bob,

Thank You from the bottom of our hearts! So thoughtful and kind of you to have made mention of wanting to relieve my troubles, just the thought is enough and you have already helped me enough and more with your ministering of The Word brother and for never ceasing to pray for us! -- I would not lay anymore burden on you. Thank you also for the updated the prayer request, however, I feel mine is stealing more space on the list and would like it to be short and you could just mention issues with my business, directions for my ministry and my wife's health (just a one-liner would suffice) but please add our brother's poverty and lack of income and his family situation (his wife and daughter left him citing poverty) and also please add a prayer request for my new virtual assistant, Bhavani, a fine young lady in Christ who is also undergoing great stress with her engineer husband's unemployment, (he was let go from his position as a professor in an engineering college after serving there for 8 years.)

My friend does not talk to me anymore as he is an adamant pre-tribber and I have left it to God as we cannot force anybody or make their decisions for them. Unfortunately, my hindu friends have also distanced themselves from the good news of the gospel and have gone full force with their hindu gods.

Glad my report made you happy as you certainly deserve to be happy for all your hard labor ministering to our needs and seeing your fellow brothers growing in the knowledge of our Lord and in faith each day so they can do the same for others. I have already read your testimony that was mentioned in this week's email posting and I believe that The Lord will provide safe landing stones for me as well brother, as I believe what He does for others He will certainly do for every one of His Own Children. Amen.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that our Great Lord is our Great Sun and Shield and an Ever-Present Help in all our afflictions and Truly His Grace is sufficient for us all until the end of time here on earth. The Lord indeed is our one and only "Deliverer" - I second you totally! Amen. Hallelujah!

On an unrelated note, Dr. Bob, would it surprise you if I told you that I keep hearing a gentle voice repeat this multiple times now "You will live through the Great Tribulation and not see death and will see The Lord's Appearing."-- I have never discussed this with anyone except maybe I would have told our friend about it once during a brief conversation. I didn't want to sound boastful or be ridiculed as some wannabe super-saint who is worthy of such a long tenure, as I frankly don't know how much of tribulation I can humanly withstand; leave alone the conditions of The Great Tribulation, but I still wonder if this is indeed The Holy Spirit speaking to me or if it is my own mind conjuring up these things and tricking me.

If its The Lord's Voice, then I believe I will make it with The Lord's Strength, but if it is my own mind playing games then I hate it and would have my mental health to blame .I have no qualms offering my neck to the sword when I know its time to prove my faith to The Lord in that manner obeying to The Lord's Will and then receiving the Esteemed Martyr's Crown! What a Great Blessing that would be. Have you had any personal experience of this kind brother? Is this even Normal ?I am just curious.

I have one last question .I know about the genealogy of Christ in the Gospels, but it traces Joseph's family tree back to Adam and since Joseph was not our Lord's biological father, a strange thought pops up as to why wasn't Mary's genealogy not mentioned as The Lord carries her human genes and chromosomes? Now, I don't mean to say this in a bad way as I know Moses who was not Pharaoh's own son was indeed accepted and celebrated and respect as a Royal prince as one of Pharaoh's own sons in Egypt. I know it is a man's lineage and status in Israel and descendants were always remembered and revered with the name of their father's house (ex: The House of David) same with other patriarchs in recorded history. I am assuming Mary also was from The House of David. -- Please take your time on this and I am not in a hurry as I don't want to usurp your time on other more important matters.

I forgot to mention the different accounts of Christ Our Lord's genealogy in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Matthew records it Solomon and Luke records it via Nathan to David. This does not bother me per se as Our Lord is The Son of The Father God and His Great Throne is Above and Beyond any human throne (David's). Even if Mary's lineage cannot be tracked to The Davidic line, Our Lord is King of kings and Lord of lords by God The Father and that is end of story! Yet I am only correlating my original question to the gospel harmony construct. Hope I have made my question a bit more clearer. Thank you kindly.

I hear you about your students focusing on their academics as I know you are a doting professor who cares and they are basically there for their academics and not for their theological studies and U of L is not a seminary. No heat on that lol. But I know God will gladly send the ones who search for Him to the Ichthys website sometime if that is what they desire.

I just want to say I Love you my dearest brother in Christ. Please take good care of your health as we all need you for the long haul as The Lord Graciously Allows. You will Rise on Eagle's Wings and keep shining ever so bright !I too have the mind of Christ! Amen.

Wishing you an Awesome Blessed week ahead Dr. Bob.

Best Regards,

Response #17:

I've reworked the prayer request in response to your stipulations. Please have a look - - it's no bother at all to add or subtract or change anything.

It would be nice to know – I suppose – whether or not I personally will make it to the Tribulation, be martyred in the Tribulation, or live to see the Lord return. I honestly wouldn't know what to choose if asked (Phil.1:23). Blessedly, the Lord has the perfect plan, so my job – our job – is to be willing to do whatever He wants us to do. He's working it all out together for good.

As to making it through, I think that will be the hardest thing. Easier to be taken home before it starts. Not easy to be martyred, but the Lord will give superabundant grace to all in that situation – and they will all be relieved of having to put up with the worst of the Tribulation. Those who "make it through" will have the toughest time for the longest time. So I don't know that this would be my wish – but I do know that the Lord can bring it about for all for whom He's determined to do it. But whether we meet each other on the Mt. of Olives waiting for Christ's return or not, we will surely "meet in the clouds" in the resurrection at that blessed time to come as all who have put their faith in Him will do.

On the genealogy, here's a link to where I discuss that and explain the reasons for the differences between Matthew and Luke in that regard: "Genealogies" (here's a second link as well).  Have a look and do feel free to write back if this doesn't address all the issues for you.

Thanks so much for all your good words of truth and for all your encouragement my dear friend! Best to your dear wife and daughters.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Dear Dr. Bob:

Thank you for the latest response. I apologize for the delay in writing you back, still a bit under the weather.

The prayer request looks fine to me. Thank you again. Praise report the client who owes us a balance payment of 60K called us tonight and said he was sorry and that his bank accounts were frozen due to some foreign exchange tax issue. He said he is selling a piece of land that he owns this week and has offered to pay 20k by Monday and the outstanding amount within 15 days when he gets the transacted cash in his hands. God certainly works miracles all the time! Praise Him. Your faithful interceding prayers were heard and are being answered. We would like to thank every saint who is praying for us! God bless them, every one.

Thank you. All that you wrote about The Superabundant grace and the variables of our presence or absence hits home. I believe in them too. Not our will but may His Will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven-AMEN!

I did read the Genealogies link you sent me. This passage puts everything in proper perspective - 28) The Son of David: Jesus is David's literal “son” as a direct descendant through the mother of His humanity (Luke's genealogy: Lk.3:23-38), and legal heir as a direct descendant through His step-father Joseph (Matthew's genealogy: Matt.1:1-17). Jesus is also the prophetic “greater Son” of David, the Messiah, the promised coming King who would provide the ultimate fulfillment of the promises made to David by the Lord, the “Davidic Covenant” (Ps.89:13-37).In His capacity of “Son of David”, Jesus is David's “seed” (Rom.1:3) and the “Lion” of the tribe of Judah, and “the root of David” (Rev.5:5; cf. “Branch” above #4).

“The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2nd Samuel 7:11b-13NIV

I read online on one of the quora threads that Luke used the word "son" instead of "son-in-law" to refer to Joseph in his account, as there was not a proper word for it back then and Eli was, in fact, Mary's father not Joseph's. I don't know if this is a good interpretation.

Thanks again for your lightning-swift response brother. There really is no one like you!

I know its posting day today and I don't want to usurp your precious time.

Have a Blessed weekend.

All our Love.

In Christ our All,

Response #18:

That is a real answer to prayer, my friend! God is good! All praise to Him! I'll continue to pray that this needful recompense comes in according to promise. When it does, you'll be able to say you passed this difficult test with flying colors.

On genealogies, here's something pertinent from "Luke Questions":

As you know, I teach that Joseph's genealogy is given in Matthew (Matthew writing to a predominately Jewish audience where patrimony is key), whereas Luke gives Mary's line, the actual physical line of our Lord's humanity. I would quibble with "this view is less likely since Luke here so explicitly names Joseph (v. 23), without any reference at all to Mary." In the Greek, it is easier to see that "being it was supposed the son of Joseph" is a parenthesis, and as such does not go directly with what follows. In practical terms, this phrase is the equivalent of "Mary's son". Here is how I expand the translation: "being, it was supposed, the son of Joseph, [but really of the line] of Eli, [Mary's father], of Matthat. . .".

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

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Dear Dr. Bob:

Thanks for the recent response. Sorry for the late reply again. Things are going from bad to worse as the client has failed to keep his promises and has defaulted again and hasn't paid us a penny yet. He is absconding as of the writing of this email and is not answering or returning our calls. Anyways, I believe The Lord has allowed this for good reason and there is little I can do to recover 60k that is stuck with him. Yet through all my financial travails, I am still hopeful that The Lord will rescue us from going belly up and completely under. Praise Him.

On an unrelated note, I found this resourceful ministry today www.purelifeministries.org - on a mission to set many captives free. Their spotify channel "Purity For Life" is Pure Gold

They are based in KY as well and I thought you might know them. My life was ruined by hedonism and I still struggle with the flesh, but am hopeful that with Our Lord's Help I will overcome. I am led to believe that my ministry will most likely be in this turf helping brothers to be set free from these heavy chains. Kindly pray about this for me.

I am on survival mode on the business side of things and I looking at adding chatbots to my business offerings, it is a relatively new technology in India and there is less competition right now. I am learning the platform via www.udemy.com and free content on YouTube. I hope to bring some money with this soon with The Lord's help. There's a learning curve but I hope to get through in a week and then continue learning on the job. I am going with ManyChat as it is the leading platform for non-coders like myself. https://manychat.com
This is my only hope of signing new contracts right now as business on the website development side is slow, owing to stiff local competition.

You and the ministry are in my prayers daily

Much Love,

In our Lord

Response #19:

I'm terribly sorry to hear this my friend!

I'll be keeping you in my prayers on all this. We know that the Lord has a plan – and that it includes our perfect deliverance, even if we can't see it clearly from this side of the Red Sea.

Thanks for your prayers too, brother!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Dearest Dr. Bob,

Please don't be. I will be okay soon. I am suffering due to my mental illnesses and my poor choices over the years. I deserve every bit of what I am going through. I will continue to be miserable until The Lord rescues me in His Time.

I am praying that I should withstand all testing and come out as the overcomer He wants me to be. I still am without business as the one last prospect, a dental surgeon who was supposed to pay us an advance of 25K for his website project last week has deferred the project at the last minute until the first week of April. So right now, there is just nothing I can do but wait for Manna from Heaven and Divine Deliverance from this money hell. I am not pinning my hope on anyone else. Let The Lord do what He has planned already in my situation. I am willing to endure though I am being hounded by creditors at this time.

I know we walk by faith and not by sight and money has little significance to me now, even though this world spins on it. I just want to finish my race well. This coronavirus hasn't scared me one iota, I am that kind, rather indifferent. But chiefly because of my Trust in our Great Lord Who is our Great Sun and Shield. Amen. Praise Him for Everlasting.

Praying for you brother.

Much Love,

Your brother in Christ our ALL

Best Regards,

Response #20:

Things are quite hectic and busy here – but I'm making time for prayer, and you and your family and situation are in them daily.

I commend you for your godly attitude and faith in the Lord in spite of this terrific pressure. That is what the great believers of the past were commended for: their faith (Heb.11:1-2).

If we had no troubles, no pressures, no tests in this life, we couldn't do what you are doing, namely, demonstrate that Jesus Christ and His truth and His Church are more important to us than anything else, even more than our short lives in this nasty world.

I draw encouragement from you, my friend!

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV

In Jesus Christ who has NEVER EVER let us down, not one time!

Thank you for your prayers!

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hey Mr. Luginbill,

I want you to take a look at a comment by Jason Mclean that I'm posting below. Do you agree with his assessment? That's all I want to know. I found it reasonable and well argued.

"I know that the common argument held in popular culture is that Evolution and Creationism are antithetical to one another, and that is true to a point. Darwinism, the belief that all life evolved by random chance from a common ancestor, is not compatible with Biblical creationism. However, Darwin's observations that an animal (or plant) species could adapt to a new environment and eventually evolve into a new species is actually what one would expect from an intelligently designed life form. The argument that animals could evolve from one species to another is not one that is usually made by those defending Biblical creationism, but this is due to an error made over a century ago in defining the Hebrew word: miyn (Strong's H4327). Derived from an unused root that means "portion out" or "sort," Gesenius ' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon defines miyn as "species," which is not incorrect, but our concept of a species differs from the intention of the word. There are disagreements among geneticists where the line is drawn between a species and a sub-species, but from a modern scientific perspective, a "species" is at the bottom of the taxonomic line. For example, the Gouldian finch (native to Australia) and Gray-crowned rosy finch (native to North America) are two different species. However, this is not how miyn should be interpreted. Miyn is about bloodlines, and familial lines, and is much broader than our word "species" allows for. Let's say you had a large herd of cattle that were owned by one family for three generations and they never bred with an outside herd. Then the herd is broken up and sent to three ranches that do not intermix. After a thousand years these three strains of cattle could be bred into very different breeds, possibly even differing species incapable of cross breeding. However, to the ancient Hebrew they would be the same miyn or kind. So from a modern scientific perspective, instead of seeing "kind" as "species," we should look higher up the taxonomic line to "order." Keeping with the finch theme mentioned earlier, where species are individual groups of finch (as noted above), and family means all finches, order means all perching birds (birds with three forward pointing toes and one rear facing toe) or song birds (half of all birds).Thus, in the context of Noah, we should not interpret the ark as being loaded with every species, but rather with representatives of different orders."

What do you think of all the above?

Response #21:

No I do not agree – at all.

First thing to observe is that Darwinism has been "evolving" over the years and is not the same system as Darwin first laid down (not that I agree with any iteration of it). For one thing, the mechanism was originally one of pure "natural selection". For example, billions of ungulates over billions of years eventually produced a mutation with a longer neck; this was an advantage in reaching higher up where other browsers couldn't; the mutation thrived; we get the giraffe over time. That theoretical mechanism has changed now to the creature in question's efforts somehow affecting its biology and generating a mutation based on situations. But all of that is moot since the present flora and fauna have only existed for some 6,000 years, and even in the newer versions of evolutionary theory that is just a blink of an eye.

It's clear to any honest reader of Hebrew that a "kind" is something solidly set; if it is not solidly set, then it is not a "kind". The stability of the "kind" is what makes it something unique. If it could change to something else, then it would no longer be "that kind". That is the entire thrust of these descriptions in Genesis chapter one. This analysis turns the entire biblical picture on its head.

Evolution is not only anti-biblical – it's anti-common sense. For just ONE mutation to work out into a new species would take eons. So how do you get so many different "kinds" in the world in which we live? It's mathematically impossible to an infinite degree. Also, the entire, basic scientific principle of the physical universe, that is, the principle of entropy, is set on its head by evolution – if evolution existed. Things break down and dissipate – they don't build up and evolve into things more complex. All of the natural order of the cosmos is set against that ever happening. So it didn't happen. To suggest otherwise is to rob God of His rightful glory as the One and only Creator.

Here are some links:

Science and the Bible

Science and the Bible II

The problem of science and the Bible

Charles Hodge and Charles Darwin

Hope you job is going well!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Ok, I see. Of course I understand evolution is anti-biblical, I just wasn't sure the writer was taking it that far. I just want to make sure I'm understanding him properly. How could we explain subspecies? They just adapted to their environments and developed a few differences over time? There are so many subspecies of different animals that I don't imagine that all of them could have fit on the ark, so I doubt everything we have around today was present during Noah's time. How do we explain that? I know this seems a bit of a simple question but I've never given it that much thought. And, of course, I disagree with McLean that dinosaurs were on the ark. I still don't understand how so many Christians can believe that.

Response #22:

This is a false dilemma based on definitions. The Bible doesn't use the word "species". That is a technical, modern scientific term. If it has been too narrowly defined to fit the truth of the biblical "kind", well, that is the fault of science, not the Bible. In other words, if ABC are all part of biblical kind X in God's economy, science' differentiation of them into species or subspecies is technically incorrect – and it is not valid to criticize the Bible because B can become more like A and A like C as environments change. The three, ABC, are thus all still X, just like the Bible says.

As to the ark, it was very large and miraculously provided for, and what makes anyone think that God could not have, in addition to the species preserved on the ark, recreated all manner of animal, insect and plant life all over the earth after the flood? The ark's main purpose was the preservation of human life – which could not have been re-created in that other, direct way and still maintain the plan of God. There is plenty we do not know because the Bible doesn't say. But that is no reason to discount what the Bible does say.

I didn't realize this person believed in that "dinos on the ark" nonsense. That doesn't surprise me given this other analysis, however.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Good answer! I'm not worried about this anymore now that you've mentioned this. Plus, as you said, there are just some things we won't know this side of eternity until we all get to heaven. Until then, this isn't something we should get our minds wrapped around. I will say that I ran all this past you for a reason, and I'm glad I did. I just misunderstood the writer, that's all. Since I wasn't sure, I reached out to you, so I hope you understand I wasn't taking the writer's words as fact or at face value. One last thing though.

I am aware that you believe it's possible for animals to be in Heaven. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I saw on one of the Saturday postings that someone asked if we would see our "beloved pets" in eternity one day, and (correct me if I'm wrong) you said that it is plausible based on Ecclesiastes 3:21. With that said, what about ticks, lice, mosquitoes, and all other pests and vermin? Are they part of the sin curse? Do you believe it possible that God created them after the fall, or do you think maybe they were always around since the seven days? Did the curse turn them into the terrible little critters they are now? Silly questions, I know, but my curiosity is racing. Revelation 21:1 says there will no longer be any sea (oceans). So does that mean that the spirits of whales, dolphins and sharks all go into oblivion? I know this sounds silly, and we may not know the answer. I'm just curious what your opinion is. I admit I have a tendency to ask questions having some knowledge of what kind of answer you're going to give (except for the evolution quote above because I misunderstood). I only do this because I want to be 100% sure and need assurance. Otherwise, it will just sit in the back of my head and bother me until I ask you about it. Does this make sense? I hope that doesn't bother you.

I'm sorry, I forgot to update you on how the job is going, now it's my turn to apologize for the oversight, lol!

I'm not gonna lie, work is miserable right now. But I've been told by other workers that I'm doing a great job and that I just need to keep fighting the good fight until they decide to transfer me into a mechanic helper which would increase my pay. It would only be four days, forty hours a week. Three straight days off sounds really nice! (details omitted)

Response #23:

The distinction made by scripture has to do with the spirit. Animals by definition (from Latin anima meaning spirit) have spirits. That is not true of plants or insects et al., and these by the way are covered separately in Genesis chapter one as well.

In terms of habitation in eternity, there is much we do not yet know, as I mentioned before. Consider, however, that the river of life will water the face of the new earth in an analogous way to the rivers of Eden. Rivers can be very large. The Yangtze for example is home to a species of dolphins that lives exclusively in that river. The lack of an ocean is hardly an impediment for God. Also, there are countless galaxies in the present heavens and indications are that the new heavens and new earth will be exponentially larger (since New Jerusalem is 1,200 times wider and higher than millennial Jerusalem). There is no life in those far regions at present (on account of the judgment that results in the Genesis gap), but there is no reason for that to be true in the perfect eternity to come – and no reason for great bodies of water to be lacking on those other far destinations. We will have to wait and see.

Quite a story about your job! I wish I could say that all this surprises me, but it's pretty typical human behavior for those who have no fear of God to slack off completely when there is no one looking on carefully. Good for you that you demonstrated the integrity of a genuine believer in Jesus Christ! That is quite a witness. See you don't get exploited, however. It's easy to make promises. But I've also seen plenty of instances where they were never honored.

Keeping you in my prayers on this, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

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