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Ministry and Preparation for Ministry XV

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Question #1: 

Thanks Bob,

Yes I am starting to see it all fit together, the plan, the big picture.

Yes it is a vertical climb this narrow path we're on and sometimes it is literally like hanging off a cliff face with the elements buffeting us all around.

I was thinking about the book of Job and the kind of tests he endured: losing his children, losing property, losing his estate/ livelihood, physical attacks on his body, his wife turning on him and then abandoning him and finally his "friends" blaming him for everything that was happening.

Before I saw this as one big test but it is actually several different tests that attacked his surroundings, loved ones and then himself. The tests on his person were both on his outer body (boils) and also inside both mentally and emotionally. He had already suffered the great loss of his children and his estate/ livelihood so would already be extremely emotionally weakened by that but stayed firm in faith. His wife attacked this firmness in faith and became an agent of Satan by telling him to "curse God and die" (suicide or despair?). His "friends" then came to comfort him but also became agents of Satan by tormenting him mentally and emotionally by blaming him for everything that had happened.

It was these friends that finally caused Job to crack...

I just had this huge revelation that your ministry's prayer list is actually full of Jobs! I have only just put these two together in my head!

There are people who are suffering financially and have lost their livelihood, they have family disputes, antagonisms or have lost a loved one or watching someone suffer through injury or disease.

They are suffering attacks on their own persons whether it is physically through disease or injury or mentally and emotionally whether it be abuse, alienation, false accusations or depression and despair.

Our brothers and sisters in your ministry are all like Job! I am like Job too! As I am suffering attacks on my family, property and both physically and mentally on my person!

It is taken me all this time to put the two together! The Book of Job and our own experiences! We also have Peter's Epistles that explains what is happening and why!

So the best thing to do then is to be patient (like Job was), maintain the faith, the walk and the witness. Keep close to our Lord and pray to Him for deliverance. Trust Him to deliver us. Submit to the testing without complaint with the full trust that we will be delivered through. To not take it personally and be discouraged over it. To not try to seek our own fleshly solutions to the test (e.g. Hagar, David feigning madness). To endure it and overcome it knowing that this will glorify God over Satan's false accusations of us. That this will finely tune and polish off our faith and our character with each test we pass.

And most importantly: to never ever doubt God, never to ask "Why me?" and also to never, ever blame God for what we are going through in any way.

In Jesus,

Response #1: 

Great testimony and a great observation! We're given the book of Job for at least one reason so as not to make the same mistake.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4 NKJV

And you are right that when we see brothers and sisters suffering, 1) we realize how blessed we are NOT to be suffering what they are suffering. For even if we are suffering it is suffering designed for us personally which we CAN tolerate (1Cor.10:13) whereas we are probably correct to conclude "I couldn't handle what X is suffering!"; 2) if they are not handling it well, we are motivated to help them if we can, pray for them at least, and make a note to self to do better if similarly challenged; and 3) if they ARE handling it well, to be inspired and encouraged by their spiritual victory, realizing that they are winning it through God's help, the same help we have when we are suffering (if we are good about following the Spirit and the truth so as to access that comfort and help).

(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of compassion and all encouragement, (4) the One who encourages us in all our tribulation so that we in turn may be able to encourage those in all types of tribulation by means of the very encouragement which we ourselves received from God. (5) Because as our sufferings for Christ multiplied in service to you, so through Christ did the encouragement we received multiply to the same degree. (6) So if we are experiencing tribulation, it is to provide you with encouragement and salvation. And if we are being encouraged it is for the sake of the encouragement you have received, which is now at work in your successful endurance of the same sufferings which we also experienced. (7) And so our hope for you is a solid one, since we know that as you have become partakers of suffering, in the same way will you also become partakers of encouragement.
2nd Corinthians 1:3-7

(8) Stay sober and stay awake [on guard]. Your adversary the devil roams about like a roaring lion, looking for someone he can devour. (9) Resist him, solid in your faith, remembering that your fellow believers in this world are undergoing the exact same sort of suffering [that you are]. (10) And the God of all grace, the One who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, though you have had to suffer for a short time, will Himself equip you, solidify you, strengthen you, establish you. (11) To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever! Amen!
1st Peter 5:8-11

It's always a blessing to hear/see a believer put things together, not just in terms of knowledge, but in solid epignosis application in faith.

Speaking of suffering, if you haven't checked the Ichthys prayer list lately (at the link), there are some important new entries. Please pray in particular for the health of our brother Curt Omo's wife Amy (you know about Bible Academy, I believe).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2: 

Dear Dr. Robert Bob,

Thank you very much for your materials and efforts in building the younger ministers.

Please I would like to know your thoughts regarding:

1. Forex trading,
2. Crypto currency,
3. Bitcoin and the like.

My close neighbour, who is a Christian, and preparing for ministry invested in Forex and has been asking me to join the trade.

But because of my consistent resistance to join him, he started asking me to explain to him whether the trade is against the will of God.

Well, I have given him my personal reasons why I wouldn't consider trading in that area. But he needs scriptural proofs. He has gone deeper already and he is teaming up with a group of pastors to really expand the trade.

I sincerely don't know much scriptural position on this. Aside from the danger of them delving into worshipping mammon, loving the world and the things therein, occupying their minds with earthly things and loosing peace, I don't know other impending dangers.

He is already enjoying the inflow of so much money. He is investing more and seeking to get more people to team up with him. But at the same time, he would like to know if God is pleased with it.

On my part, I would like to hear your opinion, and possibly, scriptural position on it.

Thank you.

Response #2: 

In terms of the Bible, I don't know of any scriptural reason to say doing this is wrong.

However, I admit that my reaction is much the same as yours. First, from the standpoint of normal human common sense, these are not only speculative activities but are on the edge of speculation wherein, even if there really was nothing wrong with doing it, the chances of losing everything are very high. And also the chances of being scammed by someone else (not necessarily your friend) are also very high. In my opinion, irrespective of scripture, no one with normal common sense should risk any money on such ventures which they cannot afford to lose without any pain. Because the difference between this sort of thing and buying lottery tickets or gambling generally is very slight, again, in my opinion. Economics teaches that there is advantage to "market making" which creates efficiencies and profits everyone in the end – part of Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand", I suppose. But there is a difference on the one hand between long-term investing wherein a person is merely prudently trying to build or preserve a modest amount of wealth for, e.g., retirement, and on the other hand trying to "get rich quick". The former may make some believers slightly uncomfortable; the latter – given all the Bible has to say about the folly of seeking to get rich – should give us tremors (lots about that on the site; here is one link).

We all have to make our own decisions. I don't know enough about your friend and his spiritual situation (or the specifics of his business) to make any judgment there. I think it's great that he's doing well. But the blood of Christ is the currency of the Kingdom, and I rejoice to be "rich in faith", because the things of this world are dust, but what we do in response to the truth in the love of Jesus Christ last forever.

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?
James 2:5 NKJV

So what's the best investment? Using one's time and energy to serve the Lord through spiritual growth, progress and production. The smallest increment of reward at the judgment seat of Christ will be worth more than all the wealth of this present world, and infinitely and eternally so. That is why we should "redeem the time" in the cause of Jesus Christ (Eph.5:16; Col.4:5), if we are thinking ahead, at any rate.

People are "funny about money", and in my observation and experience, those who have it tend to be funnier about it – and stingier with it – than those who don't have it.

"And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Matthew 19:24 NKJV

A really wonderful investment, better than having bought Bitcoin when they were 12 for a dollar, is investing in a ministry which is really doing the Lord's work in spreading the truth. Not everyone can be a pastor-teacher. Even if gifted, it takes a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears, to get properly prepared – and then to actually do the job consistently. But any Christian can contribute to such a ministry, even if only a little, it counts with the Lord (Mk.12:41-44; Lk.21:1-4), and it is right and proper to support ministries one is relying on as well (see the link).

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
Galatians 6:6 NKJV

This ministry, Ichthys, doesn't accept contributions (for a variety of reasons; see the link). I do welcome aggressive prayer support! I also highly recommend making use of AND supporting Curt Omo's Bible Academy (at the link; please also see recent prayer request at the link).

Some other links on the biblical view of money and finances:

Financial crisis

Cast thy bread upon the waters

Jobs, Money, Finances and Giving: What does the Bible say?

Greed (in SR 4)

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3: 

Hi Bob,

Very interesting emails about seminaries and spiritual formation. I think the Lord has worked it out that way this week - just the way the emails came at the same time if you understand me.

I think I'm quite sensitive about this subject since my friend completed a three year course to become a "spiritual director". I've written a lot to you about this in the past and I just don't have anything positive to say about it. I did read this though tonight from Dallas Theological Seminary.

What is Spiritual Formation at DTS?

Recognizing that this formation is of the Spirit and not through any work of man, our program is an intentional attempt to provide a vital context for life change. Through a scripturally grounded study of what it is to be in Christ, in authentic Christian community, and called to a life of faithfulness, our prayer is that students would be equipped and encouraged. Our prayer is that each of our students would look more like Jesus at the end of each semester than they did when they walked in. To God alone be the glory!

We recognize that in some circles the term "spiritual formation" has taken on a very different connotation than the above. Spiritual Formation at Dallas Theological Seminary should be in no way associated with the so-called "contemplative prayer movement" that pursues enlightenment of the self rather than Christlikeness. We do not promote or endorse any form of eastern mysticism, higher consciousness, divinity within the self, or any practice that promotes entering into an altered or transcendent state of consciousness. These dangerous and heterodox teachings often masquerade as Christian spirituality. We categorically reject these practices and their claims. Our foundation is Scriptural. Our goal is Christological. The method is Pneumatalogical. Our intentions are doxological.

So that sounds very good and promising, Bob but I still have an uneasiness about it. At the same time I do understand that seminary isn't just about this.

In Jesus

Response #3: 

I'm more than just uneasy. Particularly from the standpoint of someone having to participate in these activities weekly for three years, I can't imagine the damage. Either a person thinking the right way would have to be disingenuous to an unhealthy degree or else have their good approach and attitude corrupted. Sounds like evangelicalism's legalistic "discipleship" on steroids (link).  I'm just shy of calling it evil. 

I'm getting plenty of rest - thanks! It's going pretty fast already. Of course that always happens.

Continues to be warmer than usual here. All to the good – as long as there are no more tornadoes.

Thanks for your prayers! And thanks as always for the typo help, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:  

Hi Bob,

I hope you're in good form!

My foot is still coming along nicely. [omitted] So thanks for all your prayers - I really appreciate them.


After I'd talked to the Lord I went on to Ichthys and found that you had posted the new emails for this week. And there it was - that very same verse in one of my emails to you that the Spirit had only just minutes before reminded me about. So right now rather than worrying that I haven't done or said enough for the Lord to help these people, I want to rest in Him and keep up the good witness for Him until they're ready for anything more. To stay obedient to Him, to learn total dependence on Him. I want to pass the tests and for them to develop my character and help me to grow. I'm grateful for the Lord's understanding and patience with me - He's always there to help me along the way even when I do veer off a bit.

I got great encouragement from your testimony in this week's posting too. How you trusted the Lord when times were so hard for you and He is 100% faithful every time. Things happen in life that you never ever think are going to happen but I'm glad you belong to the Lord because I know you'll always be alright and you've got lots of people praying daily for you.

Curtis has started a new series called A Survey of the Old Testament. I find I need to work harder on the Old Testament so this has been really helpful so far for me. It's one new lesson a week and I've been listening to him on my ipad and as he's talking I've been typing it out in Word on my laptop. Sometimes I can keep up with him but most of the time I have to put him on pause so I can catch up! It's like going back to my very first full time job out of college as an audio typist and it's really handy because I can go back and read over it again. Typing it out helps it to sink in better as well. It takes a while but it's well worth it. I'm going to print it out and put it all in my folder.

I'm really grateful to the Lord for you and Curtis (Bible Academy link). I've always thought your ministries compliment each other very well. I'm still reading BB 2B as well. I love His word, Bob it's just that I can't learn it all quick enough. The more I can learn, believe, apply and grow the more I can really help others in the best possible way.

I love how the Lord helps me - the verse He reminded me of and then finding it minutes after on Ichthys and then knowing in my heart this is all a test for me (probably a long one!) and then while listening to Curt's lesson yesterday he was talking all about testing as well.

Your friend in Jesus

Response #4: 

Rain today – also, I somehow pulled a muscle in my side (not sure how), so took a day off from exercise. Things are going pretty well at work for a change. Good to hear that you are bouncing back physically as well.

I think your attitude and approach to these matters is right on the mark. We have to allow them their free will and we have to trust the Lord – even as we zealously pursue their salvation and spiritual growth in our prayers in the opportunities the Lord provides. That is the exact "sweet spot" between doing nothing (wrong approach) and acting as if it were "all up to us" (maybe even worse).

I listened to part of Curt's lesson on Numbers the other day "smashing stuff" (is that proper Brit-speak?). It's a great encouragement and a real prod for me to see what my brother in Christ is doing for the Lord day by day.

We are all in this fight together!

In Jesus Christ the Lord of Hosts whom we love and serve on this battlefield.

Bob L.
p.s., please see recent urgent prayer request for Curt's wife Amy's health (at the link).

Question #5: 

I am frightened and fearful in my fleshly life these days. I think of you often as a good source of help in the time of need-Help to endure the days ahead. Our local church pastor is sensitive to all the new daily warfare we are experiencing as believers in Jesus Christ. Every day brings a new challenge to stay focused on the promises we have, to keep us encouraged to face the ordeals ahead. Robert you have been a lighthouse in our past communication and I will continue to listen to your counsel that is needed in the days ahead. Please give us spiritual advice to last until the end...The Lord's coming back we hope is soon. If you sense a urgent plea from me and my family, please believe it.

In God's loving care we will remain until Jesus comes for His bride...'even so- come Lord Jesus

Response #5: 

I'm happy to hear from you, my friend.

Thanks for your good words – but I am sorry to hear that you are seemingly under some sort of pressure.

If you would like me to put up a special prayer request for you on the Ichthys list, I am happy to do so.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6: 

Thank you Robert for your prompt response to our issues. Yes, special prayer would be great! As the spiritual head of the family, the events happening right now has been somewhat overwhelming. I know end time prophecies warn us of impending dangers world wide. Could you recommend a few books that covers the long term answers to these issues like losing personal freedoms we have enjoyed for a long time. It is intimidating and scary at times. Some scriptures would be helpful as well. Thank you Robert-God bless you and your ministry.

Response #6: 

Here's what I put: "For Mike and his family, for encouragement and help under pressure."

I'm happy to amend this in any way you find appropriate.

As to books, other than the Bible, I do recommend reading – or re-reading – the Coming Tribulation series. Part 7 in particular, "Preparing for Tribulation: A Tribulational Code of Conduct" is particularly apropos of your concern (at the link).

*Also, the weekly email postings, if you're not in the habit of reading them, very often address these and many other pertinent issues as our brothers and sisters are trying to negotiate these difficult times to the glory of our dear Savior.

Finally, Curt Omo's Bible Academy is top-notch – I highly recommend his ministry (at the link).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7: 

Thank you, Dr Luginbill! It's always so good to hear from you. What an amazing endeavor to complete the Peter series after so many years of hard work! Here's to many more!

I'll be honest, my way of studying your teachings is eclectic, mostly cherry-picking through topics I'm interested in, so I've probably gotten through about half the Peter series and perhaps 1000 other topics you've written over the years (a rough estimate and perhaps a slight exaggeration, but it's definitely a lot!) I'm due to reread the Satanic Rebellion and the Coming Tribulation, as it's been several years since I've read them. And I'm looking forward to reading this most recent installment in the Peter series. Your ministry is such an inspiration to me, and I pray to have half the wisdom you have to be able to carry out whatever ministry and purpose the Lord has for my life. I'll be praying for you and your flock and all believers throughout the world, always!

Oh yeah, and Happy New Year!!

In Him,

Response #7: 

Thanks for the good words!

I'm planning to complete Peter's second epistle as well (chapter one now posted at the link), and then, well, it's still to be decided. However, I'm leaning on doing 2nd Corinthians. That is a very special epistle for me and it's been on my "radar" ever since seminary. One thing that has had me holding back is that two of the thirteen chapters (eight and nine) have to do with giving exclusively. But perhaps that is a subject I need to spend some time on. This ministry, Ichthys, as you know, doesn't accept financial contributions (I do accept prayer!), and I wonder if I've done a disservice by taking that position. Not that I regret it vis-à-vis this ministry – I feel the same as Paul: "But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast" (1Cor.9:15 NIV). But I certainly hope I've not given the impression that it's "OK" for believers to completely neglect their personal responsibility to support the work of the Lord. Not everyone can have a "full-time ministry" which receives support. But for those who are enjoying the work of others, well, it is only appropriate to help out, by prayer, yes, but also in material terms.

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
Galatians 6:6 NKJV

Bible Academy is an excellent alternative for those wishing to give (link)!

What's the story on your parents moving? How is your job going?

I'm keeping all this in my prayers, my friend.

Wishing you a wonderful '22!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8: 

Hi Bob,

I will be going back home soon and I want to get right into my ministry again!

Because I have been very busy with my family I have neglected my study for a few days and I have REALLY, REALLY missed it and so am eager to jump back in tomorrow. Everyone has REALLY noticed the change in me now and one said today that I am so kind and patient with her that it makes her want to cry. Also I am hardly ever arguing with __ now and letting all the times he tries to bait me, wash right over me!

So I feel really strong but not in the flesh but the spirit! I told her to give God the glory if she benefits from my behaviour. When I have times like this I really do feel as though I can get through anything and everything, not because of myself but because of Jesus and my growing faith in Him.

I realise how empty and meaningless life is without spiritual growth and study. It is so much part of me now and who I am that I feel the heart of me is missing when I am not doing it.
It makes me so happy and joyful to know that this is me now, I am in Christ and this is forever as long as I remain in Him.

It has also made me eager to pursue rewards also. I see all the things of the world that others vaunt and fight other as utterly worthless and I realise what great riches I have now and that more and more will be added to it the more I progress!

Thank you so very, very much my friend! Your persistent pointing me to spiritual growth and study over and over again has truly paid off with me and I really SEE the dividends paying off in my own life and it is glorious! It is so wonderfully enriching and bountiful that it amazes me and I so want everyone else to have what I have now!!

I was talking today about being perfect. I know that we can't be perfectly sinless in our current bodies but we should strive for being holy. I then talked about "moral perfection"
and about how most people pass up both sanctification and salvation whilst shuddering at the idea of it.. And yet and yet.. And yet they are striving for a perfect house, a perfect career, a perfect spouse, a perfect family, a perfect car, a perfect face, a perfect body etc etc. They do not see the tyrannical treadmill that the enemy has the whole world on and reaching for that "perfect" brass ring. They do not seem to realise that it is never attainable, always both tantalising and mockingly out of reach.

Surely they know, deep down that love and kindness and selflessness are truly what is important here and that it is all about the matters of the heart? They know this but they blot it out and instead join the rat race into "making a name for themselves" just like they tried to do at Babel.
"Plus ça change (plus c'est la même chose).."

Nothing new under the sun! Amen!

In Jesus,

Response #8: 

Thank you for this wonderful testimonial, my friend!

I think everyone who has committed to and been consistent with spiritual growth over a decent period of time experiences similar things, namely, a recognition of personal change all for the good, and a focus on "the things above" while keeping "the things below" more and more at arm's length. It takes some folks longer than others! And as your own experience shows clearly, the more one puts into it, the more one gets out of it. Quelle surprise! [now you've got me doing it]

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9: 

Dear Teacher

'But God has protected me here in this "wilderness" since I was first led here many years ago' is a huge encouragement to me. When I read it, I was reminded that we are living within God's plan and if we trust Him, He will take care of us. I thought that it was miraculous that so much was happening all around you and somehow not quite getting to where you are. It occurred to me that this is Psalm 91:7. I also remembered that God has been kind to me too. When I was moving from the last place I lived in, I was told that robberies were normal there until I moved in. I hadn't even heard that until I was leaving. What I did hear was that children of the rich people there acted out a lot by committing all types of crimes there, but I didn't fully believe it. Then I also heard that people were robbed of their cars or of their phones or even kidnapped in the same neighborhood, but I was never even accosted when I came home after dark. There was even one time when I came in from the village close to midnight and worried that I would have to lug some heavy luggage all the way home on foot, but I got a bike to drop me off and I had no trouble from anyone. That was why I thought that the place was safe, but it was just the Lord protecting me. The same has been the case here. This part of Lamingo is notorious for armed robbery and kidnapping, but the two incidents that I was aware of after I moved in were removed from where my house is. Whenever I am tempted to get upset at the Lord, I remember how He has carried me faithfully despite all of my foolish failures. So, if I trust Him and remain patient, He will bring me to the place that He has prepared for me and the woman that He has given to me.

Thank you for all of your other excellent advice and help, Sir. I don't think that I could ever outgrow your encouragement. I am still reeling from the blessing of you in my life.

I forgot to tell you that my mom has been faithfully listening to Pastor Curt Omo for several weeks now (Bible Academy link). She has even been asking me questions whenever something confuses or otherwise troubles her. I thought that she might give it up after going back to the village, but she has kept up with it and she is calling to ask questions still. I am so happy about that. I am hoping that this spreads among my siblings too.


How are you doing, Sir? Continuing to pray for you here.

Your grateful student in Jesus

Response #9: 

It's always a pleasure to hear of you being strong and courageous in your faith and application of the truth, my friend, even under such difficult circumstances.

I know that the Lord is going to help you through this "crunch period", and work it all out for your good and His glory. Your part is to trust Him, even as you do everything it's incumbent upon you to do for yourself. Difficult times with so many things to juggle at the same time and so many uncertainties. But we can be sure of God's faithfulness. Dead solid sure.

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

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10: 

Dear Teacher

Yesterday, I had another opportunity to teach in church. It felt like it didn't go very well. I felt a little lost somehow, a little disconnected. Still not entirely sure why, but I felt like I might have been pushed off a cliff spiritually.

I have also been engaging with a Discord group. I thought it would be good for me to learn how to engage people who don't love the truth and not be uncharitable to them. I also started to feel a bit off-balance there somehow. Not sure I can say that I lost my way spiritually there, but I feel as if maybe that interaction has not done me any spiritual favors.

Ever since Dad passed, I have opened up a bit more to my family and to the community around me. I still think that it is good to engage with the world in that way, but I do wonder if that has not brought unnecessary complexity into my life and endangered me some more spiritually. I still have the consciousness that I should hold everyone at arm's length spiritually so that their ideas of God do not cause any unpleasantness in my relationship with God, but I wonder if in our social negotiations I have not been allowing some accommodations in that have led to some imbalance in my spiritual walk.

I feel like I bit off more than I can chew with the church. First, I had not planned to be involved with it for this long. Second, I had not wanted to get visible in the church at all. Now, it feels a lot more like a balancing act with it than I want and it is looking harder to extricate myself after the wedding than I wanted. I am considering just seeing if we can get away with a court wedding and then taking my leave of the place.


Is it really right for me to be so hesitant about stepping into the pastor-teaching role because I feel that too much is up in the air for me right now? I feel as though I would struggle mightily to keep up with the duty day by day. I want so much for things to quiet down and become more orderly in my life before I can become a pillar for others to lean on. That is how I think of it. I am more than happy to take on discrete ministry assignments that allow me to help other believers who do have a pastor-teacher they can count on consistently, but is this enough? Or am I failing to put the Lord's pleasure ahead of myself and my own "needs"?

I am attaching a piece that I thought might be good for others. It came out of my thoughts about some of the things I shared above. Could you take a look at it and let me know what you think? I suspect that it could use some more work, but something is better than nothing at this point for me.

Keeping you in our prayers here, Sir.

Your student joyfully in Jesus

Response #10: 

I had brief look at your piece. All I'll say about that is that it's a personal decision, namely, how much contact to have with unbelievers. Personally, I don't have a lot of time and energy to spend on people who are not enthusiastic about the Word – I get enough of that contact in my job and in just living in the world. Others have found such friendships a way to evangelize others. I agree that it is our relationship with the Lord that trumps everything else.

Teaching the Word is always an interesting experience. I can tell you that it is a temptation to judge one's efforts by what other people say or by how they react or by how one feels that they are reacting. But that is a mistake. If you are supposed to teach group X in place Y, then do so in the power of the Spirit, telling them what they need to know, whether they like it or not. But if the whole thing leaves you with a very bad taste in you mouth, then maybe it's not the right place.

In terms of your relationship with the group, I certainly don't think you "failed" in any way. This group is supposed to allow the lot of you to sharpen iron with iron. Everyone in the early going ends up supporting some positions latter realized to be in need of adjustment . . . if they keep growing and studying (that is my experience, for what it is worth), but if we are seeking out the truth, then we are happy to be adjusted – and to help to adjust others when need be, if they are willing.

Thanks for letting me know that the email I received probably arose from this "Discord group". That seems strange to me. If a person is involved in / preparing for a ministry of apologetics, then by all means interaction with such groups/individuals might be beneficial. Personally, in all my efforts to grow in the truth from early days on, I've encountered plenty of hostility to the truth without having to go out looking for it!

How is your work coming? Any leads? You DO have a lot on your plate. At such times, it is important to focus on the things that are most important. We will always have a lot of "balls in the air" at the same time, but there is a limit to how many any one person can juggle and not start to drop some. Better to choose which ones are non-essential before the ones that are the most important hit the ground.

Keeping you and your families in my prayers daily, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11: 

[question about the mechanics of giving]

Response #11: 

I know that our friend has also been contemplating some sort of ministry along these lines.

I have to say that I'm not a fan of the complicated work-arounds outlined here. If we are supposed to do something, it seems we should do it. But if "doing it" will involve us in any way in anything illegal or unethical – or in anything that will be perceived that way by authority or, more to the point, that our consciences will have a hard time with – then we ought to think twice. And the more convoluted the approach, the more likely that we are not meant to "do it" – at least not that way.

That is my opinion, at any rate. Unfortunately, I don't have a good alternative solution. I ran into something similar some years ago when I likewise was attempting to help a brother in another country (a different one). It ended up not being possible – without the sort of questionable twisting around of things we're talking about here. So I didn't do it. The brother survived and I was able to help him in other ways, prayer, encouragement, sharing contacts.

Sometimes when God closes the door He has a good reason for doing so. I'm certainly not telling you what to do, but occasionally we have to be patient and wait for Him to provide a solution. That is usually to be preferred to trying to force something through that doesn't look or seem or feel "right".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12: 

Hi Bob,

I do not believe he has interacted with the community to much extent at all, much less shared plans along these lines.


Response #12: 

I'm a little surprised that he hasn't talked this over with the group. I don't believe I'll be betraying a confidence to say that he is weighing some sort of ministry along the lines of an official charity, but focused on "real needs" of "known quantities". So it sounds to me as if he is thinking along the same lines as you, only with a broader focus. It might be good to discuss the issue with him.

Of course I'm reading between the lines in what you're telling me. You certainly don't have to run any of this by me. It's just that when I hear a very complicated plan to do what is essentially a very simple thing, the alarms go off. If it can't be done in an absolutely simple and straightforward manner, then maybe we have a problem.

A word about taxes. I'm certainly no CPA, but I do know enough about the issue to be able to say that the IRS has gone to great lengths to prevent money transfers which are not "normal", and tends to shoot first and ask questions later when something that THEY consider "not normal" occurs – even if it is not technically illegal. For example, if I give money to someone, even a relative, there is, technically speaking, a limit to what I can give without me and him owing taxes on the transaction. And if I do anything to obscure the transfer via benefit in kind or otherwise, that can be considered a form of evasion by them And the more convoluted the method, the more suspicious they will probably find it. There are a lot more ins and outs here which I do not have a good handle on, but I would strongly advise seeing a CPA and running the whole thing by him before engaging in any plan of this sort.

As to money you're not sure what to do with, as I told you before, when you do find Mrs. "Right" – and we're praying for that, yes? – that little "problem" will disappear instantly, I assure you.

And I always recommend Bible Academy as eminently worthy of gifts given in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13: 


Response #13: 

I agree with almost everything. Two points only:

1) I don't believe in giving "with strings" at all. So if we are giving only on occasion, we can "fire and forget" – which seems to me to be the best approach.

2) However, I do not agree that people should have to ask for help. In fact, I find asking for help to be most unpleasant – unless we are talking about family (even then, it's to be avoided except in the most dire circumstances). This is not necessarily a biblical position, but I do note in James 2:15-16 that there is no "asking"; rather, it seems that one observes a need and gives . . . or not. In all the instances of giving I can think of in the Bible, that is the pattern too. Can you think of anyone asking for financial help in scripture (apart from beggars in, e.g., Acts)?

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:  


Response #14: 

In the course of life, we do become aware of other believer's needs. When we do, it is right and proper to help them in a godly way. Your helping our friend to learn how to program is for me a prime example of that. Having the means to help and not being aware of really worthwhile causes is the opposite of what most of us experience, namely, being aware of many needs and not having much in the way of means to help.

Which brings me to the prayer list. Some of these requests are verbatim what the person asked me to put on the list; most are put up by me when asked for prayer or when I know it's necessary. I could put you in touch with the ones you've asked about, if you wish. I'm in current contact with all but __ (don't think I've heard from him in a while, but I could give you his email address).

As to "Would any of these be a good match for our support?", that is hard to say. Giving should be a two person affair, in my opinion. Paul was eager to help the believers in Jerusalem, but look how much trouble he had with the Corinthians (and how he had to tie himself up into knots about the process of giving: 2Cor.8:1 - 9:16) – and of course we know what happened when he went there to deliver the gift personally. So I'd be loathe to be any sort of go-between – other than giving you the addresses and letting you establish contact if your heart moves you to do so in any given situation; n.b., I have done this before when others have asked about prayer requests or when moved to inquire about individuals who were clearly needy as seen from their emails back and forth to me in the weekly postings – you often get a better sense of the person and the need that way than just from a prayer request without context.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15: 


Response #15: 

Give me a minute on the specific website questions. I will say in general that it looks terrific! You've clearly done a lot of good work here!

Its good of any believer to help any other believer in legitimate need. It's not obligatory – unless the need is severe (i.e., lacking food and clothing: Jas.2:15); nor is it needful to continue forever in some sort of caretaker mode. Still, for both these reasons, namely, the weighing of need and the concern about when to end support – not to mention being involved a little too deeply in some cases with other people's business – it's something to think twice about doing if one is not sure of the rightness of it (and "guilting" oneself into it usually a clear sign of it being questionable). Being a middleman is a lot like getting married in this respect: "such people will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you" (1Cor.7:28). If you don't believe this, PLEASE read 2nd Corinthians chapters 8-9. If you ask me, this is one of the main reasons these two chapters are in the Bible (and it's not as if these are the only places Paul's troubles being a middleman for the Corinthians in their giving are chronicled).

I hate being nosy too. Rule of thumb: if the need is not so obvious as to be crystal clear and if the one receiving is not so obviously deserving as to require no such inquiry, then perhaps one should rethink.

Scholarships are something different. I know of individuals who were supported to go through seminary by others who wanted to contribute to the truth in this way (in my own case I took out my first and last student loans to pay for the tuition). I don't know what sort of justifications had to be provided if any, but it seems acceptable to me for scholarship providers to have standards and requirements (I am happy not to have been nor now to have to be involved in any such thing).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16: 

-Dear Dr. Luginbill-

This is my first email question directed to you after visiting Ichthys.com many times over the past several years, especially when dealing with complex Biblical interpretations. I am in a life-long search to sort Biblical truth from error and heresy.

I must confess that over my adult lifetime as a “Christian”, after abandoning my RCC membership over 50 years ago, that I have financially supported several “para-church” organizations, in addition to local churches that we have attended. Since my secular retirement about 14 months ago, I’ve spent more time researching the management of these organizations and was shocked to learn (at least according to my values) that the founders and their boards of directors of these organizations make HUGE sums of money. And these are organizations that are helping poor and hurting people world-wide. Some Christian commentators would suggest that according to the Bible that “the labor is worthy of his wages”, inferring that competent management should be paid competitive wages and benefits. I would agree that this is true in the secular world, but just can’t continue to feel good about my continued financial support of organizations with so much “overhead cost”. Many individuals in these organizations have annual compensations in excess of $250k, up to $1 million. For now I’ve decided to not continue my contributions to these organizations, but do feel compelled to support evangelical efforts and the relief of dire poverty situations.

Could you please give me some Biblical perspective on this matter? The best logic I can currently present, based on my research, is that anyone in financially compensated Christian service should not be living at a standard of living that is significantly above those being served (within reason). It appears to me that many of these para-church organizations are simply “selling Jesus” to significantly financially enrich themselves and their families as their primary motive, under the guise of “doing the Lord’s work”.

Thank you for your teaching and insights. By not accepting contributions from your readers, I think you have set an impeccable standard of proper motivation for Christian service – following Paul’s example!

May God continue to bless your ministry,

Response #16: 

Great to make your acquaintance – and thanks for your positive words!

Here are some links to where related issues are discussed at Ichthys:

Helping the needy

Charity work

Charitable organizations

In the main, I very much agree with your analysis and share your impressions on this issue. The point about a full time minister's salary being proportional to the median income of those ministered to is one recommended by my revered church history professor at Talbot Seminary. That way, the pastor doesn't make so much more so as to be tempted to look down on those ministered to, and he also doesn't make so much less so that those he ministers to come to think of him as under their thumb. But that is speaking of churches. "Para-ministry" organizations are somewhat different. I don't know enough about the details to say with authority especially regarding recent years, but the Salvation Army has always come off looking good in my eyes whenever I've had any dealings with them. They don't pay their full-timers overly much (at least they didn't used to), and they seem to have a very good "tooth to tail ratio" as they say in the military, with most of the funding going directly to their mission. I wouldn't sign off on all of their doctrinal positions or their methodologies, however.

Finding a truly worthy cause is difficult. For one reason, none of us is perfect, after all. My rule of thumb on this is that giving money to individuals or very local groups you personally know is almost always going to be superior to and more satisfying than giving to big organizations where there will be much leakage, even in the best of them. Why should I give $100 to organization X in the hopes that my needy neighbor Fred might get $10 of that (once the rest of it leaks)? I could just give Fred the $100 myself. And in my experience, not only would Fred NOT get $100 the other way, he probably would get nothing – not even the $10 I was hoping for.

I have known MANY needy and worthy Christians in my life, and I don't remember a single one of them ever getting anything from any of these "Christian organizations". Anecdotal, true, but there are reasons that this is likely so in more than my personal experience (given the type of people who urgently ask for help vs. those who do not, and also the imperfections of people in organizations looking for "worthy causes").

One VERY worthy ministry and worthy minister I always recommend is my old Seminary colleague Curtis Omo's Bible Academy (at the link).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17: 


Response #17: 

Privacy is no problem.

Many people react to what happens to them in this world and mix that up with the Lord. The Lord is good in every way and has never failed to be faithful. However, we are often "off" in our approach in many ways.

If you believe in Jesus Christ, that He died for your sins and that He is the Son of God, God and man in one person forever, and if you have committed yourself and your life to Him, then you are saved.

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
John 3:18 NKJV

There are our Lord's words.

As to "renouncing Christianity", I'm not sure what that means. What, after all, is "Christianity"? The word is not in the Bible. If you are talking about renouncing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, nothing could be more ill-advised than that. He is the only Way to eternal life – the lake of fire being the only other "venue" for those who reject Him, either actively or through refusing to accept the Gift of life eternal.

Besides, we can hardly blame Him if we have not bothered to learn the truth and are instead operating on false assumptions about what the truth is – and things go "south".

This I do know: He is the only help in this world and the only hope for the next one. If we do commit to following Him as He has told us to do, then as we grow in the truth, there is peace and there is joy – even when things go wrong.

But I have to say, charity, even if it is appreciated by those who benefit, is NOT the way to life eternal, nor is it true, biblical "Christianity". God doesn't need our help. He could end all need in the blink of an eye, if that were in the plan – and it will be indeed in the Millennium soon to come. Salvation is a grace thing, not a works thing. If we are given works of charity to do by the Spirit, that is as much for our benefit as it is for those who receive the gifts.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV

So I rather suspect that your efforts at "good works" blew up in your face precisely because the Lord caused them to do so. Why? To bring you to see that YOU need Him – not the other way around.

I'll say a prayer for you.

In Jesus Christ through whom alone we have eternal life.

Bob L.

Question #18: 


Response #18: 

I'm happy to try to help.

First, let's remember that these things that are troubling you really have nothing DIRECTLY to do with the issue of Jesus Christ and that salvation is by grace through faith in His Name, His perfect person, God and man, and His death in the darkness for all sin, yours and mine and those of the entire world. I say this because it is not uncommon for people to allow themselves to be distracted from this central issue by all manner of ancillary concerns (such as those you voice here). Not that such other things are completely unimportant; but compared to eternal life they really do pale in significance.

"But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?"
Luke 6:46 NKJV

This would be a good verse for you to quote in response to the above. Please note, however, that 1) our Lord has told us to do MANY things, not just the single issue of charity you broach here, and that since the whole Bible is His, the very "mind of Christ" (1Cor.2:16), not complying with all that the Bible tells us certainly also falls into this same category: we are all sinners, we all fall short, but we are all washed clean by the blood of Christ, so that salvation is NOT a matter of "doing" in terms of being perfect, but of responding in faith to the truth; and 2) that is why our fundamental "job" is to be faithful to Jesus Christ:

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
John 6:29 NKJV

Specifically, as to "give to those who ask", I think it is fair to remember that scripture is not nonsense and that legitimate qualifications which are understood are not to be left out in any genuine teaching.

"Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away."
Matthew 5:42 NKJV

I dare say that the "sermon on the mount" contains many things that are very difficult for any human being – especially someone being honest with themselves – to carry out completely and consistently . . . and still live in this world. But please remember the PURPOSE of this perfect teaching: to show all listening that indeed they were sinners as we all are and required a Savior. We CANNOT be perfect, even though we should aspire to it, and we HAVE NOT BECOME perfect, more to the point since even present perfection (were it possible) could not take away a single sin.

It's also important to remember that our Lord is speaking to the Jewish nation, a nation which was supposed to consist of believers only, and believers who were following the Lord faithfully. Under such circumstances, no one would "ask" without genuine need, and anyone who did "ask" would truly be your brother. So not turning away a close believing friend who comes to you in genuine need is a godly thing. But to take this verse to mean that if you are accosted in the subway by some addict or alcoholic you've never seen who wants money, you are un-Christian if you do not acquiesce is a mis-application of the truth in my humble opinion.

I have similar things to say about other issues you allude to here, but I hope I've made the main points I wished to make: 1) this life is about believing in Jesus Christ and following Jesus Christ, and that 2) to do so correctly requires more than guilt-induced interaction with a few preferred scriptures: it requires broad-based spiritual growth (and that in turn requires placing oneself under the authority of a substantive and orthodox teaching ministry).

You are welcome at Ichthys any time.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19: 


Response #19: 

You asked me to weigh in on this, so here goes.

Our friend is actually working on some of these things as well, so you might want to include him.

Believe it or not, when I first was contemplating "how to do it", I was looking for a "doctrinal" church (there was one in Alaska at the time looking for a pastor-teacher and I did make application to at least one other place I recall). The "plan" was to go verse by verse through the book of Luke (did some preliminary work on that). When I started the face to face Bible study in Irvine CA, I chose Peter because it seemed to me that the two epistles were short enough to run through in a reasonable time (thirty plus years later I'm still not done as you know; 1Pet. done at the link); but then I shifted over to "Bible Basics" because it became clear that the group did not have a sufficient grasp on basic Bible doctrine in order for me not to have to teach everything from scratch whenever we bumped into a particular concept. So, thirty plus years later, I'm closing in on being done with that (hope to have BB 7 out sometime this year; we'll see; now posted at the link). Turns out that there was a great deal I had to learn myself, but I was blessed to be able to learn it as I studied. Eschatology was a bit of a "detour" (two full series there), but a necessary one; and the email responses and the posting associated with it have been a time-consuming though very profitable part of the ministry.

The point of the above is that "no plan survives contact with the enemy". We change our plans to fit the circumstances – in this case, to fit what it is precisely that the Lord gives us to do.

So if the Lord gives you some believers, whether online or in person, you should modify your approach to fit their needs for teaching, both in terms of content (i.e., to meet them where they are presently "at") and also in terms of format (i.e., what is the best way to actually "teach" these people whom I meet with in this way).

If all this seems a little obvious, well I would hope so!

In my estimation, there's not a lot of time left. So I wouldn't worry about duplication but about education – of any and all Christians willing to be educated in the truth. E.g., a series of YouTube videos breaking down Bible basics into digestible hunks might get some Christians watching who would never get around to reading the sort of stuff I've produced (or anything remotely like it). Being so close to the Tribulation, a series of PowerPoint presentations (voiced over, maybe) explaining the basics of the doctrines connected to the end times could really be helpful in preparing those who were willing to watch for what will soon transpire. These are just ideas; I'm sure you can come up with dozens of others off of the top of you heads – the Zooming you are doing, e.g.

As you all know, I'm not much into Christian "marketing". However, it's also true that we're not supposed to put our light under a bushel but up on a lampstand. While Ichthys did more or less follow the "if you build it, they will come" model, I also did what I could to reasonably promote it in a godly fashion. The 12 and the 72 sent out by our Lord actually went to the towns and villages they were meant to evangelize, and I believe the 144,000 will do the same. What that means in terms of your individual ministries and approaches, I can't say. I do know that "the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few" (Matt.9:37; Lk.10:2). So making some effort to find your niche is not something I would personally see as wrong – quite the opposite.

In Jesus Christ the Lord of the harvest.

Bob L.

Question #20: 

Hi Dr L,

Ah well I was wondering. When I read the Bible, I get the impression that we are to (while balancing it with the other things He wants us to do) give our company and help to other believers and even suffering nonbelievers (barring rare circumstances, like obviously you wouldn't stop to help one of the Sodomites as is was being destroyed), regardless of whether we personally like them. Would you agree with this? Keep in mind I do include with the other things He wants us to do, I do include us taking care of ourselves as one of them (though to what degree might be a grey area).

This is also keeping in mind, as part of balancing other things the Scripture says, it also says things like not to even eat with certain persons, or greet them, and to avoid the company of people who do certain things so you don't have a share.

What do you think if I may ask?

Psalms 35:12-14, Job 29: 12-17 (there is some similarity between these too isn't there), and many other Scriptures about helping the brokenhearted (much more so someone who is in physical need), and none of them say 'unless you don't like that person.' (As before though there are other Scriptures like I mentioned).

Is it a Christian duty to be friends with any believer so long as they aren't one of the ones doing things whom the Bible says to avoid (if they do them)? How else do you interpret the command to love them and company with and encourage them and all the other verses? Unless the 'them' has a silent 'unless you don't like them?'

I don't know. Please provide insight!

Response #20: 

It is our Christian duty to love everyone and to "do good" to them, "especially the household of faith" (Gal.6:1). To me, that means the things that the Lord is most concerned about, namely, helping others, especially believers, grow spiritually (through providing them spiritual food), progress in passing tests (i.e., by encouraging and helping them), and come into their own ministries . . . through the proper execution of our own. So the best way to help others is first and foremost to become the mature Christians the Lord wants us to be in order to be prepared to help others the way HE wants us to help them (as opposed to what the world says, or the RC church says, or our guilty world-infected conscience may say).

If you are talking about "charity", there is a place for that, but as I've often remarked, helping someone known to us to be in a particular difficulty is what the Bible has in mind, NOT organizations which are supposed to be doing charitable work.

If you are talking about befriending others, we are to treat all civilly, and especially believers, but nowhere are we commanded to "be friends" with everyone else who is a Christian in our ambit. In your environment there are probably thousands of Christians, from well-known to just on the fringe of your periphery. No one can be "friends" with thousands of people (no one sane, anyway). Also, what if they would rather not be friends with you? Personal friendship of the sort all human beings have is not what is envisioned by Christian agape – which is more of a holy tolerance of others, seeking their actual good (not what they may erroneously see as good).

In all such matters, spiritually mature believers will always stand a better chance of doing the right thing, whereas the immature are likely to blunder around and make some huge mistakes (if they are feeling guilty about some questionable sermon they just heard preached, e.g.). We are supposed to be as harmless as doves – but also as wise as serpents, because this world is a very dangerous place. Anyone can claim to be a Christian. And Christians are not always pure in their motivation. And even if it is a case of two genuine Christians of a mature spiritual status, sometimes two people are "oil and water"; trying to mix the two is always a bad idea because it never works out. Doesn't mean we aren't supposed to be "loving" towards them, but it does mean that striking up a personal friendship for its own sake is not something that is necessarily a good idea, let alone being anything I find commanded anywhere in the Bible.

As to your passages, David is complaining about people he helped no doubt in his capacity as an officer of Saul or later as king, who turned on him (don't see any precedents there); Job had a personal ministry of acting as a defense attorney / judge for the poor and unfortunate who needed that. Don't see any friendship there. We are all called to particular ministries, and, yes, we should be encouraging the fellow believers we know, e.g., but every case is a judgment call – and it is the Spirit's judgment that we should be listening to. I.e., I don't think we can (or should) reduce this to a set of rules.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21: 


Response #21: 

I am sorry about what you have suffered in your life, but I do rejoice that the Lord not only delivered you from all that but also led you to be such a good Christian (many would have reacted the wrong way entirely – and many do).

As to drawing lines, for one thing, people who commit the sort of abuse you're talking about, both actual incidents and all the various hypotheticals, are not Christians. If they are (doubtful), then they are WAY in the wrong and need to be separated from in any case (1Cor.5:11; 2Jn.1:10).

Christians are to be loving towards other Christians. But we only can know or have close relations with a smallish number (some people's circles are bigger than others, but all are limited to one degree or another).

The Bible gives us the principles (love but also discernment) and leaves it to us to apply those principles in the Spirit without trying to make up rules.

So if you are asking me about a particular situation, I would have to say that if you are walking close with the Lord and walking in love, doing the "Christian thing" in regard to some Christians you know or meet will not be a problem. If you don't know a person well enough really to be sure whether they are a Christian or not – or if the person is known to you not to be a "good Christian" – then other principles apply as well. We are not being asked to destroy ourselves or ruin ourselves or put ourselves in dangerous positions – quite the opposite. This is particularly important to understand as things begin to decline ever more precipitously as we approach the end, and as bad behavior even on the part of marginal "Christians" begins to degenerate.

But I'm guessing that you don't have a particular example of your present life/situation where there is someone who is a Christian who wants, say, encouragement from you but you are unwilling to give it for no good reason.

So I wouldn't worry overly about things that are merely hypothetical. That is not how the Christian life works. We are responsible to do what the Lord wants us to do in the actual situations and circumstances we have been given to deal with day by day.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #22: 

Hi Dr.

I pray all is well with you, your family and your ministry. Soon, by the grace of God, you will be receiving emails from my gmail account. lol. Hallelujah.

Quick question. I am doing a sermon on bearing one another's burden and thus fulfilling the law of Christ (Gal 6:2) and I was wondering if you can send me some examples of OT and NT saints, not the Lord Jesus Christ, who bore the burdens of others. I have an exhaustive concordance and other materials but they are of no avail.

I know for instance Abraham bore the burden for Lot in Genesis as it relates to Sodom and Moses bore the burden of Israel as it relates to their murmuring in Gen 14 but if you can give me others I appreciate it.

Thank you and much appreciated in Jesus Christ our Lord

Response #22: 

On "bearing burdens" in Galatians 6:2, I interpret this to mean putting up with fellow believers, that is, acting towards them with the tolerance of 'agape' love, not judging or criticizing or doing anything to throw stumbling blocks in their way, "bearing with" the immaturity of other believers for the sake of their own (eventual) spiritual growth. Romans fourteen provides a good example of this, and 1st Corinthians 13 lists some of the other characteristics of this.

G-mail! You can have any account you want very soon. I'm praying for the Lord to "hasten the day"!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

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