Ichthys Acronym Image

Home             Site Links

Mutual Encouragement in Christ XIII

Word RTF

Question #1:  

Hi Bob,

After seeing the destruction caused by the tornados in Kentucky I just wanted to check in with you, hoping you did not lose any friends or loved ones in the storms. Having lived there for 12 years I consider myself a Kentuckian and was heartbroken seeing what happened, especially in Mayfield. I've definitely been keeping those folks in my prayers. My brother has a cabin down in southern Kentucky and wasn't far off from one of the tornados that tracked through there, thank God everyone is ok in this end. Wishing you and yours a safe season.

In Jesus Christ

Response #1: 

Thanks for your concern, my friend. Twisters didn't make it to Louisville – we are all very grateful to the Lord for that! Good to hear that your brother also was spared. God is good!

Wishing you also a safe and happy time – hope you get a little time off!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:  

Very happy to hear that Bob. We are under the gun here in Minnesota tonight, they are calling it a historic and unprecedented wind storm and severe weather outbreak with 80+ mph winds and strong tornadoes possible. This type of thing has never happened before here in December, since they started keeping weather records at Fort Snelling 200 years ago. Please keep us in your prayers during these frightening times. This is a time of year of blizzards, not tornadoes. At any rate, glad you are safe and sound and thanks for your prayers!

In Jesus,

Response #2: 

Well, blizzards can be deadly too! Pick your poison. I'll take mine warmed up.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Hi Bob and family,

I heard about the devastating tornados in and around Kentucky – I’m hoping it was kind to you, I wouldn’t like to experience that.

May I take this opportunity of wishing you and yours a happy and safe Christmas in 2021. Not long now.

On another note, a friend sent me a video of a pastor in America saying that life begins at conception and it made me re-visit my article about The Gift of Life – God’s Gift to Us and rewrite some things to make it clearer for those who think otherwise and I’ve taken the liberty of sending it again for you to cast your eye over it in the hope you agree with it – only if and when you get time.

Also, to my annoyance and probably out of my control – when I first posted on HubPages in 2014, you had the option of turning ads on or off in your articles and of course I chose the option not to have them, which they respected. However, HubPages have since been acquired by Mavern and even though that option is still on their website they don’t respect it.

I have sent many kind emails, not argumentative, regarding this but to no avail.

What I find annoying is these ads are in the middle of all my articles – no doubt others too, which I find distracting because some ads are not of a Christian nature. The odd thing is, these same ads appear at the end of articles, which I’m OK with, that’s where they should be, I just don’t understand why if someone opts for not to have the ads, they don’t respect it.

I wish there was a way I could block these ads.

To save you looking for the article: http://hub.me/aoyvD

As always dear Bob,

Response #3: 

No problems here in Louisville, God be praised! But of course we feel for those a little to the southwest who were hit so hard (and pray for them as well).

On your article, it's much sharper on this point – well done you! The only quibble I would have is with this part: "That is when God places your soul in your body. Your soul enters your body with your first breath and it leaves on your last breath." I would replace "soul" with "spirit".

On the ads, well, on the desktop I was able just to click out of the ads; it was more of a problem on the IPad (didn't try it on the phone). But unless a person has his/her own web site, one really is at the whim of those who own the site. It could be a lot a worse. Wouldn't be a bad idea to develop a contingency plan for if it DOES get worse.

Your prayers and good wishes are appreciated, my friend! Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:  

So glad you’re OK, I was almost afraid to ask.

Thank you for your continued prayers, please know they are reciprocated.

Words changed as suggested and thank you for that too. And so much lukewarmness everywhere these days, which we both know that’s only going to get worse.

Probably not much I can do about those ads, if I make too much noise they will probably ban me so I’ll grin and bear it – I believe others have made similar complaints and as you rightly say, I don’t own the site.

As always my friend,

Response #4: 

Thanks for your concern, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:  


I just wanted to fill you in on my progress. I've had a long stint with my parents as they are really struggling right now and really need support and help so I've been staying with them and you know that normally this is a precarious situation for me to stay long in .. However..

It really has been so much different this time. I've hardly been rattled or angered like I usually do and really felt strong whilst at the same time have been meek. I have really been humbling myself and following the Spirit's lead and the results have truly been remarkable!

Even my parents have commented on how calm yet strong I have been, that I have been kind and thoughtful and that they can rely on me. I have really felt different this time and I have really felt the Holy Spirit carry me through it all it has been incredible! The witness this has shown my parents has been absolutely undeniable! I have even been amazed on how I have coped myself as really it has felt a breeze when I knew it really shouldn't have been and yet I have been carried through!

It really has been amazing! I have looked towards the flesh the odd time and then found myself in the water again but when I trust in the Holy Spirit to guide me, then I have really sailed through even glided through on top of the water!

Of course as a mature believer you will know all about this but this is still new to me! I have experienced this before.. When __ came out of the hospital with broken ribs, he had gone nil by mouth for so long that I thought he had given up the will to live. I was so scared I felt I couldn't do it, I was overwhelmed. So I remembered your Peter series about testing and suffering and I went into the spare room and kneeled and prayed that the Holy Spirit would lead me through.

It was incredible because I suddenly had all the strength and resources to pull through and nurse ___ back to health. The same has happened here..I know that when I trust in our Lord and look to the Spirit then I will get through and I do know now that I can get through anything as long as I am walking with the Lord in the Spirit.

In Him,

Response #5: 

What a wonderful testimony!

I do hope you'll let me post it (absent names, of course).

Here's wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Of course Bob! I hope it will encourage others.

A very merry Christmas to you and your loved ones also.

In Jesus,

Response #6: 

Thank you!

And a happy new year to you too!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:  

Happy new year, Prof!

Very happy to hear from you. Yes, I did see Peter #37. I congratulate you, sir, on completion of this particular part of the Series. Right now I am still translating Pet. #35. When I asked your permission to translate back in 2019 I was in trepidation because the task seemed huge; but it has developed into a very pleasurable, though hard, experience. The experience has also given me confidence in writing my own lessons. All in all, this is a wonderful labour of love. I thank God for you and your fellowship, sir. This walk of faith is not easy, the road is hard and it does have traps laid by the evil one, but having a teacher such as yourself helps a great deal in discerning and rumbling such traps.

In our Lord,
[link to our friend's website]

Response #7: 

Thanks for the good report and update!

I appreciate your good words, my friend.

(9) And [so] let us not grow weary of doing the good [work of God], for at [the appointed] time we will reap [our reward], provided that we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

Keep fighting the fight.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.
*p.s., our friend's farm (his livelihood) is under severe drought; please pray for him.

Question #8:  

Happy New year to you Bob.

I just want to say how much I enjoy your website and the studies you have provided I use them constantly and have grown spiritually doing so. Thank You. May God richly bless you in 2022.

Bedford Nova Scotia

Response #8: 

Thank you!

Question #9:  


I have read and continue to read much of your writings. I have a question though. Have you ever considered putting it in book form that someone could purchase. I find myself going back to it on many occasions but fear that one day it will be gone off the internet. If you do have it in book form now could you tell me what the cost of the books are? Thank you for all your study and writings they are really interesting to read and study by.


Response #9: 

If you're worried about availability, you can easily download everything at Ichthys at the Archive page (at the link); there are ZIP files of the series individually and also ZIP files which contain everything I have posted.

In terms of books, there are many good reasons why I have decided not to go that route (n.b., I don't have any problem with readers printing these studies on their home printers or at commercial places such as Kinkos).

Here's the best link explaining my reasons: FAQ #1: Books.

Wishing you a great '22, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:  

Hello Sir,

I am so happy to hear from you. I have lost quiet a lot of weight, so much so that people have started asking me about it. I stopped all refined carbs, all kinds of sugar and frequent eating. my blood sugars are normal now, I can see better at night too. I cannot afford quality protein and fats, so I eat only once a day; this Intermittent fasting is working great. Dietary fats help me get through the day without feeling hungry or weak. many health issues I have faced for the past 20+ years are slowly vanishing. Lord answered my prayers and showed me the way. I am sure He will similarly answer my prayers regarding other issues as well, financial issues being the most pressing.

Congratulations on completing the series. I have read the Peter #37. I am re-reading a lot of different topics at Ichthys and will continue to do so day by day. I can not thank you enough for providing all these studies to everyone free of cost. I know this could not have been easy for you to do.

I keep you in my prayers everyday and all on the special prayer list at Ichthys. Thanks and please continue to pray for me, as I am totally dependent on the Lord for everything. I am trying very hard to stay calm under all circumstances.

In our dear Lord,

Response #10: 

I'm happy to hear that your health is improving, my friend! I'll keep up the prayers for these other matters as well.

Thanks for your prayers and encouraging words, my friend. They mean a lot to me!

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.
p.s., please pray for our brother in India's welfare and for the salvation of his family

Question #11:  

Happy New Year, Dr. Luginbill!

Thank you so much for sending the link and prompt to dive into Peter Lesson #37. I will set aside some time this week to dig deeper.

I do have a prayer request. My father who was visiting us with my mom fell in our yard after Thanksgiving and broke his hip. He spent one week in the local hospital and almost three weeks in a local rehabilitative hospital. He is still suffering greatly - both from his hip injury and a very, very painful bedsore. His mental and emotional health have also suffered greatly with all of this. My mom is struggling mentally and emotionally as well. We are doing everything we can to help and aid them in every capacity.

We ask that our brothers and sisters unite with us and uplift my dad and mom before the Father - full recovery and a renewed hope.

Thank you for reaching out. I hope and pray that all is well with you - and that you are enjoying your winter break.

In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #11: 

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I'm praying for him and your mom. Let me know if you'd like me to put this on the Ichthys list (verbiage appreciated in that case).

It was nice to get an email from you without learning of some new catastrophe at your new house, however! I guess/hope that has all finally been straightened out?

Plenty of house issues on this end, but God gets us through.

Winter break is evaporating fast! I did manage to get a number of critical things accomplished, however, so I won't complain too much.

Thanks for those prayers!

In Jesus,

Bob L.
*p.s., while our friend's father is doing better [thank you for those prayers] please pray for her health as she has developed very serious problems in both knees, pain and can barely walk; please pray for the success of her treatment regime and rehab.

Question #12:  

Hi Bob,

Thank you so much for the info and wow what a project you undertook over three decades ago.

God has blessed your efforts and now we have the benefits. Thank you, I will definitely enjoy studying this.

Happy New Year to you too Bob.

I'm sure we all pray that 2022 will be a return to what we perceived as normal three years ago.

Thanks again,

Response #12: 

Yes, wouldn't that be nice!

In the meantime, we keep close to Jesus Christ knowing that He will get us through.

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #13:  

Dear Bob,

Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed your Christmas celebrations. I have enjoyed rejoicing in our Savior even choosing a quiet break rather than the usual busyness - I needed it.

Thank you for your sending the link to your latest on the Peter series #37 which I have duly read. It is always good to get additional information on the scriptures that one may not have noticed in one’s personal reading.

I am thankful to you for your generous sharing over many years which has certainly helped my understanding of the scriptures and helped me personally with struggles I have had with issues over the time, especially for your prayers. I will endeavour to remember to improve my prayers and walk.

As of today, January 1st 2022, my two sons and I no longer have employment due to the Premier Mark McGowan’s mandating 75% of workforce categories be vaccinated or lose our jobs. We have chosen to not participate in this outrageous lie and are now considering with our Lord’s help ways to survive without employment.

Aunty in Queensland has said that you now have to show proof of your vaccination status to enter the market to buy food. Our Premier has been flagging harsher restrictions on the unvaccinated come February 5 when supposedly we open up the state once more. Already we are not permitted at certain venues and he is determined to pursue even stricter draconian measures in order to force compliance, such as, but not limited to, residents of “low vaccination regions” being not permitted to return home indefinitely should they “stray” out of their limited area.
Unsurprisingly the new Omnicron strain came into Australia by the few that were permitted to travel to Australia - the fully vaxxed and PCR tested. Ludicrous decisions have no basis in reality, but the lie must be perpetuated at ALL costs.

Some family no longer talk to us of the unvaxxed persuasion, though most still do. Nice to hear from my eldest son yesterday (he is holiday in Europe with his family).

There are very few people holding out against the mandates, even among those who were against it. Fear of job loss and draconian restrictions have persuaded them to succumb. Happily there still are a few I can associate with in town. Thinking of what assets we can sell to keep paying our bills. Some have already sold their homes and are living in old converted buses or in their cars.
Trusting in our Lord to see us through the tough times ahead.

One of the upsides of this Plandemic is that people who had no interest in spiritual matters are now turning to the Bible and Jesus as they see that the plandemic madness has no logical physical reality.

My former experience within a cult and observation of cults, together with scripture leaves me with no doubt that the current plandemic is in DEED the Worldwide Satanic cult to make ready his people for his antichrist to come.
I have since come across on the internet a dissenter (now a believer in Jesus) from the Freemasons whose expose on this Satanic religion explains much of what is hidden in plain sight. Knowing what I do from Mormonism I know he has done this at great peril to his mortal life. This Australian has previously won a prestigious musical award but has gained insult for turning from his music band and to the Lord. It had 800,000 views on YouTube before being banned. (Still available on some alternate media).

I am praying and following the lead of the Spirit to guide me as the days are truly evil. I have still been reading your emails but feel as though I do not have a contribution to make as my focus is in DEED on these last days and though it is some advantage to be ever learning some things nice to know, I feel the time is demanding embracing the truth and rejecting the lie and I have decided to reject the lie and Satan’s Worldwide cult. I have no doubt it is a cult. Satan realises he can not get everyone to join a cult - so he endeavours to transform the whole world into a cult - complete with both his baptisms - spiritual and physical, and clothing paraphernalia.

I accept you have a totally different view so we are at polar opposites on this one. (The final say as you say). I am unsure how much longer I can keep up my internet payments to stay online in any meaningful way but am leaving all things (as they realistically always have been) in the Lord’s hands. Having come out of a cult I certainly do not wish to join Satan’s global cult.

Seems the time has come a bit earlier than I expected for the cost of discipleship to rise steeply. I pray the Lord will be with us all as we do what He wants us to do.

In Jesus Christ,

Response #13: 

Good to hear from you! I'm glad to hear you had a good Christmas – though I'm distressed to hear about your situation. I'll be keeping that in my prayers.

As to being "polar opposites", I'm not convinced that's the case. Vaccines are medical technology. How good and effective they are and how well tested is another question. How governments are exploiting the situation and comporting themselves towards those who are vaccinated and those who are not has nothing to do with the technology itself. One of the heroes of the American Revolution, Ethan Allen, the fellow who captured Fort Ticonderoga, famously had himself vaccinated for small pox in the town square causing quite a scandal at the time as the Congregationalists and other Protestant denominations of New England were opposed to it on religious grounds. Med-tech and tech generally has always been a flash point.

I wasn't personally convinced the vaccines were sufficiently tested or would be effective, and I did resent being pressured to get the shot. But there wasn't anything biblically wrong with doing so. I also don't like paying income taxes, and in fact I'm pretty sure that the 16th amendment really doesn't make what the government is doing strictly legal. I don't like being coerced to pay what is arguably an ungodly rate or for what I pay to be used for all manner of things with which I disagree (this sort of thing led to the Revolution over here). But the consequences for not paying are worse than ostracism. If it were ungodly to pay, that would be one thing. But it is in fact required biblically to pay one's taxes (Rom.13:6-7). So I pay my taxes.

And he said unto them, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."
Luke 20:25 KJV

In other words, I find a difference between being forced or pressured to do unpleasant and disagreeable things which are not in and of themselves ungodly and those which are. That is true as far as I see it even if the pressure is coming from governments out of questionable or even evil motivations. We can't go "out of the world" (1Cor.5:10); no one who has tried it has ever succeeded.

There's no argument about the fact that lies abound, that much evil is being done in the name of public health, and that ulterior motives are present. But I'm always averse to seeing grand conspiracies, for one thing since people tend to be far too incompetent to have any hope of planning such things effectively, still less in carrying them off. The devil is an ace tactician but no strategist – if he were, he would have considered the impossibility of fighting God ahead of time. During WWII, Satan backed Stalin and Hitler and Mao (no doubt Roosevelt and Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek as well) – to have a bet on every horse. Today, I'm sure he has a large bet on every anti-vax group as well as every hyper-vax group. Best thing in my humble opinion is to stay clear of it all and stick to one's own knitting – as a wise friend once suggested.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:  

Dear Bob,

I'm not sure if you are still on your holidays at the moment so if you still are, please forgive this interruption and you don't need to reply to this at all or only when you are back in the saddle.

I am writing this to encourage you and others and especially your writer this week who said s/he was drifting. I have felt this feeling in regards to what I was supposed to be doing day to day especially with ministry and I want to say what I did in response and the results it produced because they are A-mazing!!

I remember reading on your site that the best way to counteract sin was to go on the offensive and an aggressive offensive at that! So that is what I have been doing. I have been studying multiple areas of your site at once during the day as well as my Bible study as regularly (daily) as I can. I have been using your MP3 files as well as reading your site and the results have been phenomenal!

So in the morning I will listen to the Mp3s of the selected emails (one every morning) and then I tick it off the list once I have listened to it.

I then chunk up the Satanic rebellion and Coming Tribulation in 20 minute sections each and listen to them every day too. I am currently reading Revelation whilst doing this.

For my Bible study I am currently up to Ecclesiastes in the OT and have now finished the NT (so I am just sticking with Revelation right now).

I am also studying your Peter series section by section and I take notes here. I am also hoping to get to the point that I am watching the Bible Academy videos also.

I am also praying throughout the day and diligently seeking Him whenever I can.

You know that I have had some fairly big tests recently and some of them were happening side by side. Well you also know I have also had some pretty amazing deliverances also and these have REALLY encouraged me so much that I am actually excited and joyous about studying more and knowing the Lord more as I know things will become more and more wonderful! After all, the greater the test/tribulation, the more wondrous the deliverance right?

I realise that God's Word is more real than anything in this world that I can see with my eyes. Didn't Peter say he trusted the Word more than his own eyes?

I realise that when it is written that God rewards all who diligently seek Him, this is not mere encouragement with nothing behind it, they are not empty words but a promise! It is amazing because He has been rewarding me! It's like you said that an amazing treasure trove of blessings and gifts opens up to us! I am now experiencing these in abundance.

At the same time as the amazing deliverances He has given, He is also blessing my life and opening doors for me. He is helping me and encouraging me to set up my business in the spare room and you know that He has also given me a volunteer online position.

Also I find that I am managing to sin less in my speech. Of course I do not have full control over my tongue but I am relying on the Holy Spirit more and more, am more careful when I talk and I don't have these big family arguments I used to have. I am also happy and contented looking after people around me and being hard working and efficient. I am so thrilled that the Holy Spirit is bearing fruit through me. People have noticed.

It isn't just others who benefit from this but I am having the largest share of the blessings from this walk myself. I feel such great peace, joy, confidence and assurance through the Spirit and all of this comes from Jesus our Lord and it is so amazing that I am truly lost for words for how incredible this walk truly is! It really is a glorious walk and such an honour to be used as a vessel for His glory that I really want to encourage others.

We rely and trust so many human and fleshly things in this world and yet we have no reason to. Why not trust the Lord instead as He truly keeps all His promises and never ever fails and I can fully witness to this truth?

I feel more and more encouraged in my study and pursuit of the Lord and I feel so inspired and excited to be pursuing Him even more and more because I have tasted the Lord and know that He is good!

John 1:50
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

I am so joyously happy Bob because I know I will see greater and greater things as I diligently seek the Lord. So I am very happy to report to others, even if you feel low, discouraged or as though you are drifting, lay the feelings to one side and press on with study, spiritual growth and prayer. Press on with applying the Word to your life when it is mingled with faith in your heart. Press on with diligently seeking Him for He will reward you when you do and will reward you and bless you abundantly and this abundance is so great that you will no longer see yourself slowly climbing with difficulty but you will find yourself running with joy and carried on and up with the wings of eagles.

So my encouragement is to keep on keeping on because very soon incredible things will be happening to you and your life and you will soon be experiencing God's blessing in your life that defies human understanding because yes indeed it IS supernatural because God is spiritual! Amen!

In Jesus,

Response #14: 

That's wonderful!

You have it exactly: the closer we get to the Lord, the more we see what He is doing in our lives – and He has always been helping us (as we can see if we reflect on the past), even when we were not pushing forward with Him as we should have been.

And it's always better to do a little even when you feel too tired to do anything. If you do a little, well, at least you've done something. And if you do a little, you may find that you're not as tired as you thought. That's the way to keep momentum going. Spiritual momentum is hard to build up but VERY easy to lose. So keep on keeping on, my friend!

Thanks for the inspiring email! I'm sure it will indeed be an encouragement to others as well.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:  

Dear Dr Luginbill,

So the book with the fictional [character - omitted] . . . Anyway, I thought it was a very interesting morality question. You wouldn't have the honorable knight doing those types of things, even if it did win the war/protect the kingdom. Also I just realized that you are a history expert and probably know more and better than me!

I notice that in the OT sometimes the command was to kill everyone, and sometimes to spare, and I don't yet see why it was some things in place and another in another. Do you think the honor codes are just stupid? I mean would you rather have more of a dragon fighter who wins you the war, or the noble knight who possibly loses but fulfills a romanticized ideal?

Response #15: 

To be honest, I don't know of any time in history where "honor codes" regarding warfare were ever real (certainly not scrupulously adhered to). One finds them being consistently applied sometimes in literature, but that is about the only place. We very often are appalled at things that other people, other countries, do to us. Or civilians get upset with things that come to light that soldiers have done (protecting them). War is a horrible thing. There is no honor in it, even if some of the people who have to fight it are honorable. But even prescribed "codes" are seldom adhered to. One is supposed to have some concern for civilians. Tell that to the women and children of Dresden or Hiroshima. One is not supposed to shoot prisoners who voluntarily surrender. We are all appalled at the Malmedy massacre and everyone involved was later tried as war criminals. But many US units boasted about not taking prisoners. That's OK – because we are "the good guys". The Romans had a saying: "Vae Victis!" Meaning, "woe to the conquered" – because the victors have the power to do whatever they please to the vanquished . . . and often do. That's not necessarily "honorable", but it is reality. So better not to fight; but if you do have to fight, better not to lose.

But of course, we Christians are fighting a more important battle, one not against flesh and blood (Eph.6:12), and we DO have an honor code to live up to, laid down for us by our Commander in Chief in His manual of manuals, the Bible (see the link). We also don't have to worry about how others behave. As long as we are doing what He desires, what is honorable in His eyes, we can be confident of being awarded with battle decorations that outshine anything human imagination has ever devised. We just need to keep fighting the fight.

In Jesus Christ or Lord in whom we have the victory of victories!

Bob L.

Question #16:  

[details about being taken advantage of on the job omitted]

Response #16: 

It's good not to be a doormat. It's also good not to be the opposite. In everything we do, we attempt to reflect Jesus Christ to others. You never know when He's going to open up an opportunity to share the truth.

I am glad to hear that you are protecting yourself. That is very important.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:  

Do u have books that I may order on these subjects?

Response #17: 

Dear Friend,

For a variety of reasons (see the link: FAQ #1), I have not published these materials in the traditional way.

However, I have no problem with readers printing out these materials, either on their own printers or through a commercial vendor (such as Fedex Office). See the prior link for some possibilities.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:  

Greetings Dr Luginbill,

I pray this new year that the Lord will strengthen you even more in your spirit and increase the effectiveness of your ministry.

Just had one question as to how to explain the seemingly contradictory statements between 1 John 2:27b “…and you have no need for anyone to teach you;” and Ephesians 4:11 “He gave some as…teachers,”?

Response #18: 

Greek is different from English in many ways. One of the things I always have to struggle with my students about is the issue in Greek of ellipsis – leaving out things that in English are essential. In English, we can leave almost any object out if we only say "it" or "this" etc.; but if we omit the place-holder, people are confused. Example:

"I'd like you to try THIS" – we understand

"I'd like you to try" – we scratch our heads. "Try what?", we wonder, even if the person is pointing to a casserole.

Of course we need teachers. The New Testament (and the Old) are filled with passages which promote teachers and the teaching of the Word of God (e.g., 1Cor.12:28; Eph.4:11-16). On the other hand, there are no passages which suggest that such essential teaching is unnecessary . . . except this one you mention? No. Not even this one. What we have here is an ellipsis of the direct object, very common in Greek:

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you:
1st John 2:27a KJV

Teach you what? Teach you anything at all? Makes no sense. Here is what it means:

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you THIS (i.e., that you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you – because you already know THAT by experience):
1st John 2:27a KJV [expanded]

Just because Greek is being Greek here, leaving out the obvious, is no justification for turning the entire truth of the Bible on its head.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #19:  

Wow, that makes sense. Your answer is a demonstration of why we need teachers.

Thanks again Dr Luginbill.

Response #19: 


Question #20:  

As you probably know already, I have [problem omitted].

I watch, read, and come up with my own stories about it sometimes. Is just doing this sexual immorality, or is only doing sexual acts along with immoral?

Response #20: 

My best advice to any Christian is to stay away from all things sexual (except of course if we are talking about a married couple). The devil uses this area to attack believers with great effect, possibly more so than any other.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1st Corinthians 6:18 KJV

Question #21:  

Dear Prof, how are you sir? Family, academics, ministry? I believe the Lord is helping you. God bless you sir.

I must apologize for my lack of communication. I have really been ill for some weeks with what actually looked like Covid. With the comorbidities that I have been coping with, it was quite a terrible time. I've never been this ill and for the first time my wife was very worried. At a point I could not get up or even lift my hands. My whole family came down with the same thing but mild in their case. They are all ok now. Antibiotics, Ivermectin and Chloroquine were part of what we took. Thank God, He raised me up! Still feeling weak but so much better. So please forgive me.

It was our friend who told me you sent birthday wishes. I could not even check till later I was still very down on my birthday. I would have loved to mark it since it was my 60th but I thank God anyways. It is the person who is alive that can mark birthday!

Last year was quite the year! Quite stressful. There was a lot of expectation that I did not meet, felt bad about some but I thank God I survived it by His mercy. I guess I still have work to do! I'm preserved to serve. I must not fail. I'm trusting in Him to help me this year to meet all His expectations of me. This year I plan to set Him always before me like never before and I know that because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved Psa 16:8

Prof I wish you a happy and prosperous new year. I pray that you will be fully pleasing to Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (never enough!) Once again, thank you for being there for us. I still wonder at times what I would have been doing if not for Ichthys and you. Thank you.

In Him

Response #21: 

I'm sorry to hear that you've had such a rough ride, health-wise, my friend, but happy to hear that you are on the back side of that. Everyone here seems to be getting sick now too, vaccinated, boosted, medicated, isolated . . . and still getting sick. Blessedly, NOT as sick as you seem to have been.

I'm also happy to hear of your continued and renewed dedication to what the Lord has for you, my friend. There's nothing better in this life.

I'm keeping you and your family and your situation in my prayers every day.

Thanks for writing! Things are doing well here on most fronts. Challenges, but more than sufficient grace to meet them. It is ever such with our Lord.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.
*p.s., our friend just had some terrible news; please pray for his immediate deliverance.

Question #22:  

Hi Bob,

I'm glad you still have another week off even though you have some admin to do. I do hope you won't have to go remote again. I will keep this in my prayers.

I'm on "standby" to cover an extra day this week in case one of my colleagues who has covid still hasn't returned to work. Her whole family has it but as far as I know it's mild. If she has a negative lateral flow test on day six and seven then she can come back to work. They reduced it from ten days just recently.

Secondary school pupils here in England will have to wear masks again this month. It's a "temporary reintroduction" to tackle Omicron. They will have to test twice a week too. They said regular testing is a way to support schools and protect face to face teaching which is so important. They're urging the school kids to get vaccinated too.

I wonder when the time will come when people who have covid but feel well enough to go to work will be allowed to do that. I don't know if that's a reckless way to think but if ___'s anything to go by when he had it over Christmas, well, he's had much worse colds and would still have gone to work. It's the number of hospitalizations they're concerned about and hospital staff being off sick or isolating.

Anyway, I've been reading 1 Corinthians and Paul's teaching about how the spiritual gifts should be used in an orderly manner in the church. I read chapter 14:33.

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

It reminded me of the Charismatic churches today and how they believe the chaos in their services is the work of the Holy Spirit when it's anything but. Then further on in chapter 15 when Paul talks about the order of the resurrection. The resurrection of Christ and our own resurrection. I started to think then how beautiful it is to see how within the three Persons of the Trinity there is complete orderliness and harmony. How the Father formed the Plan to be carried out through Christ and Christ being the God-man submitted to the Father and followed His Plan and executed it perfectly and how the Holy Spirit's role is the empowerment of the Plan of God.

I thought about how He created the universe in such an orderly way and even our bodies and how they function is amazing. How He has arranged various levels of authority under His ultimate authority - governments, family, church etc. Everything He does is in a perfectly orderly way.

God's way brings harmony and peace but we see complete chaos everywhere in a world that refuses to submit to Him and His Will. It's going to get even more chaotic soon in the Tribulation and we can't afford to allow that chaos into our hearts and minds. We study His Word and prepare and we know it's all in His perfect Plan. By focusing on the truth we have believed and stored up in our hearts we won't have confusion but we have the peace of God ruling in our hearts. (Col. 3:15, Isaiah 26:3, John 14:27) We know our Lord Jesus is coming back very soon and we'll be resurrected to be with Him forever. He has it all in order - He is in full control and we have nothing to worry about. (1Thess.4:16-18)

I'm very grateful to the Lord for taking me out of the pre-trib Charismatic chaos and leading me to Ichthys and the truth of the post-trib - even if I'd rather we could skip that bit!

Just wanted to share all that with you. Keeping you and yours in my prayers and thanks so much for yours.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #22: 

Yes, what with the vaccines and the new therapeutics, the general immunity being built up and the better ways of treating this thing which have now been discovered, and with the new strain being less severe, it's really frustrating that the powers that be are unwilling to see this in the usual way disease was approached before Covid-mania. We try to remain sane in the midst of insanity.

Brilliant discourse on God's perfect organization! Looking forward to posting it.

Everything He does is perfect, and that is true of the plan as well. So while we see chaos, all the disorder is a result of creature decisions and creature free will – operating against the truth. The Millennium will demonstrate that even with sinful natures, mankind can live in an orderly and peaceful way . . . provided it has perfect government under the rule of the perfect King. Of course, just as soon as humanity gets the chance, people will rebel against that perfect kingdom – to their own destruction.

Looking forward to ALL of this being over!

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #23:  

Hi Bob,

I'm confident we'll remain sane no matter how nutty this world gets! (Phil.4:13)

We have such a wonderful Lord and it was all whirling around my mind so it was nice to be able to write it all down and share it.

I love the verse you gave me. (Ecclesiastes 7:8) At least in the end we know that all things will work together for good. (Rom.8:28) Better to be patient and persevere in doing what the Lord wants us to do while we're still here. It's not long compared to eternity with Him. It's an utter waste of our time and dangerous to be drawn into the world's craziness and I have absolutely no desire for any of it. In Ecclesiastes again - "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."

I'm so thankful to the Lord for His Word and everything He has given to me to be able to study and understand it - including you. Sometimes it can be really difficult to grasp at first but I know the Spirit has given me this determination to stick at it and it's well worth it in the end when it finally clicks into place.

Hope you have a good evening. Back to work for me tomorrow!

In Jesus

Response #23: 

I pray for a good day for you! I'm meeting with my "triumvirate" tomorrow, the two ladies who used to teach Latin with me before the prior administration axed my program. I heard today however that the History dept. is in even worse shape, down to a handful of profs with a number more on their way out the door (retirements or found something better), down as a result of mismanagement here but also national trends from 300 to only 100 majors. Everyone is taking Psych or Bio or English, it seems (along with a number of other things that shall not be named).

Yes indeed it is all vanity, dust, nothing in the end. We do have to fight the fight down here, but believers who are strong in the truth and strong in faith are able to keep our bearings and not get overly upset by the negative trends and developments. We're only here for a very short time (Ps.39:4; 90:12). And the other side will be wonderful beyond imagination.

I'm thankful for you! It's impossible to teach a class well if there are no students present (and pointless too); it's pretty difficult to persevere in studying and teaching the Word of God if there isn't anyone out there receiving it.

I appreciate your perseverance – and all of your help.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #24:  

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your prayers! I survived another busy day at work.

Did you have a lovely "triumvirate" get together today?! I hope everyone is in good form. I'm sure they aren't missing work too much.

It's such a shame to hear about the changes at your Uni. You must have seen a lot of changes in all the years you've worked there. Circumstances in life are changing all the time but I'm so glad the Lord never changes. He's the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) It's a tough fight at times but He is with us and He is faithful. It's always a blessing to look back and see how the Lord helped us through the hard times and worked it all out for us. I've loved watching Him do that for you as well as for me!

I'm still here and always hungry for more of the Word, and I thank the Lord for you and that you're still there to teach me and encourage me through the Word. I'm so happy to have been of some encouragement and help to you. It's a real joy especially because I know it's what pleases the Lord too.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #24: 


This ball of mud is always in flux, but we are looking forward to a wonderful eternity which never changes – not in terms of lacking anything good, because the name of the city will be "The Lord is There" (Ezek.38:45).

Glad to hear you survived! Everyone around here is either getting or has or is fending off Covid (omicron). Almost no staff at the grocery store today because of it. And most of these folks are vaccinated too. Just a good time to be extra careful and dose up with chicken soup and extra rest if one "feels the load". I'm grateful that U of L is NOT going remote, but I do wonder what things will look like on Monday. The temps are going down way below freezing tonight and we've got serious snow coming in tomorrow. Weather like that usually ramps up flu and colds, so I would imagine things will be getting worse before they get better. Still, I've had a nice break and I'm ready to get back to it. Don't know how I'll feel about day #2 however!

Thanks for your prayers too, my friend. And indeed you are an encouragement to me.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #25:  

Hi Bob,

Did the snow come today? It's been freezing here too. I had to get out there a little bit earlier this morning to de-ice the car before I went to work.

You're so right about taking extra care of ourselves with omicron everywhere and flu and colds. My manager was off work today because her husband has Covid. She has had a PCR test and if that comes back negative she can come back to work. Those are the rules for NHS workers. She should know the results tomorrow morning. She has to do a lateral flow test every day as well. My other work colleague who had Covid is coming back to work tomorrow. We're having a lot of patients canceling appointments because they have Covid too (always very easy to fill those appointments back up!). I think we're going to see a lot of this for a while so we're just managing it the best way we can at work.

It's great to hear that U of L isn't going remote! I'm praying for you, for when you're ready to dive back in on Monday. I always remember what you say about taking it one day at a time and I'm so thankful that we have the Lord with us to help us all the way through. There's a lot of "noise" going on out there but in my heart I have so much peace. (Philippians 4:6-7)

I love what you wrote:

"The other side will be wonderful beyond imagination".

"This ball of mud is always in flux, but we are looking forward to a wonderful eternity which never changes – not in terms of lacking anything good, because the name of the city will be "The Lord is There" (Ezek.38:45).

That's where our focus, our heart, our hope is. It won't be long before we're there with Him.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Saviour

Response #25: 

We did get a few inches. Temps are going down to minus 14 on your scale tonight, so a good day to hunker down. The university sent staff home early and will have a late start tomorrow. Weather is supposed to be marginally better for the first day of classes. I'm curious to see how many students turn up. They often do manage to make the first day. It's the next 42 that give a lot of them trouble every semester.

That's right! Not too long now! A good thing to keep in mind – along with the cross which we can never let slip from our conscious mind.

Thanks for your prayers! Keeping you and yours in mine as well, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #26:  

Hi Bob,

I'm happy it's Friday! They're very busy days at work and it's very tiring but at least the weekend is here.

I hope you get a good amount of students turn up for classes when you go back. Does it mean more work for you if they're not there or can they catch up with what they've missed on their own? I'm guessing the winter months must be harder for your students too.

Stay well and warm in those freezing cold temperatures.

I'm taking my vitamins - think I might have some chicken soup and a good rest over the weekend too!

Keeping you and yours in my prayers and I'm very grateful for yours too.

In Jesus

Response #26: 

As I tell my students every "first day", coming to class is important. I think I'm a pretty good teacher, but I have a very hard time teaching them when they are not present.

Covid is running rampant here, and my colleagues are burning up the email sending "to everyone" mail about how it is so unfair that the university is requiring us to come back and teach in person on Monday. You've never heard such very erudite and articulate whining! I'd love a week's delay to let this thing spike, but having to go remote at the last minute and on the first day at that would be an unmitigated disaster. We've just barely recovered from the last round of "online teaching". We'd lose so many students if we pulled that again now it doesn't bear thinking about. If this place were unionized (the KY statutes forbid it for university employees), I'm sure they'd be striking on Monday absent administration capitulation. Should make for an interesting week, however!

Glad you made it to the weekend!

I'm watching my health as well – though eating too much. The only exercise I got today was shoveling snow (too much ice to even think about even walking).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #27:  

Hi Bob,

It’s good to hear from you. We had a wonderful Christmas. We rented an Airbnb in Coeurdalene Idaho on the lake. It was very nice to have a home to be in for the Holiday with the kids. It was nice and warm and very roomy. We were very, very thankful. It just didn’t last long enough.

We left it today and now we are staying with __'s friend for a few days. There is a snow storm right now and the roads are really bad. It’s suppose to get really cold this week so we’re trying to decide what to do. It would be nice to stay here and be in a warm home but we also are concerned our camper might need to be watched over with the cold temperatures. All we need is frozen pipes. We have lost electricity quite a bit lately in the area so it’s a concern. I guess it really is what it is and you just roll with it. It’s been a very difficult few months. Probably the most difficult since I can remember. But there has been some blessings amongst it all. I sometimes get in that place where I don’t understand why we don’t have a home. I look around and see millions around us that have a home and those that don’t are into drugs, alcohol or are just pure lazy. We don’t fit in that category.

I know we are where God wants us and I truly believe it’s his plan but that doesn’t mean I can’t like it. I do try to stay positive and have a happy way about it all…I’m just praying all this ends soon. All I want is a warm home for my family for a bit longer.

Enough of me… how are you doing? How is your work? How is your health and family?

Response #27: 

I'm sorry to hear that you're still without a house, my friend. I keep you two in prayer about this every day. It is hard times in lots of ways for many, and the fact that there are also plenty who are not affected but don't seem to deserve that can always rankle if we are not careful.

Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
Psalm 73:12 NKJV

But as the psalmist goes on to explain, their end is not at all enviable whereas it certainly is for us who believe.

Thanks for the update. Much appreciated. Things are OK here. Christmas respite from work. Have had a series of calamities: total failure of the entire HVAC system, stove and also water heater. All about twice as expensive to replace as before Covid. But God gets us through.

I think about you guys and your situation all the time. My "plan" is to continue to do battle in prayer for you, my friend, until we have victory. Here's hoping and praying for good news in 2022.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:  

Thanks for your kind email Bob, it's much appreciated, and of course your prayers.

Sorry to hear of your HVAC, stove and hot water heater. My experience is when something goes in the house it always goes in 3. I still to this day have not figured out why? Probably never will.....I just have experienced it many times.

When you mentioned Psalm 73:12 NKJV, my thought was: Is it possible for those that believe, trust and follow Jesus to increase in riches or is it just possible for the ones NOT following Jesus?

Yes, you are right about it being hard times for many right now. I look at our situation and then others that are struggling too and I'm so thankful to have the 400 sq ft that has running warm water and a thermostat.

I try to not think it can be worse although it's very possible.....but to think it can be better. It takes the same energy to be negative than it does to be positive so I'm going to work on using my energy to stay positive so positive things happen.

Response #28: 

On "threes", maybe because we can't process more than that (so we remember the "big three" even when there are always other things to list out).

In terms of prosperity, first, it is true that there are many great believers of the past who were materially blessed. I think, just for example, of Abraham, Job and David – of course none of us would want the trouble that any of these three had in their lives, so there is that.

In my experience and observation, God always helps us scrape through no matter what. He never lets us down – which doesn't mean that we are always overflowing in our material circumstances. Actually, in terms of believers who are very prosperous, it's also been my experience that they are not necessarily – and in fact seldom – the ones who are growing spiritually and producing for the Lord. James has a lot to say on that score (Jas.1:9-11; 2:5-13; 5:1-6; cf. also 1Tim.6:6-10; 6:17-19).

Having not enough (or really having less than others and less than would be good to have) is a test; having much more than enough is also a test. We would be happy to have test #2 instead of test #1! But many who get #2 do so because they are weak in faith and already marginalized in their Christian walk. For those who do believe but who are not at all interested in growth, progress and production, I have noticed that God often lets them have "nice lives" (the devil certainly has little interest in them); but for those who are determined to push through and do what Jesus Christ wants us to do, the times are almost always harder. For one thing, positive believers come in for much more satanic opposition; for another, this is God's way of helping us to keep focused on what's important, of refining and strengthening our faith.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:2 NKJV

This may seem hard and "unfair" for those of us down here on the firing line. But 1) we know that God can never be unfair; that He is good and merciful; that He has only our best at heart, working everything in our lives out for that ultimate good (Rom.8:28) – for those who LOVE Him, who are set on serving Jesus the right way; 2) whatever we are suffering through in this life really is nothing compared to the eternal rewards we are earning – when we are truly suffering for Christ; if there were no pain involved, maybe everyone would run the course the right way; but there is pain involved, suffering and self-sacrifice; we can take heart in the fact that the Lord always provides us peace, mercy and grace even in the most difficult trials, and that He never allows us to be tested beyond what we can endure (1Cor.10:13); He always provides us with times of refreshment here in this awful world, and we have wondrous things to look forward to, after we have endured down here for what is really a very short time.

(32) Remember the days gone by, when you first saw the light, when you persevered through that terrible trial of abuse. (33) For you were publicly exposed to humiliation and persecution, and shared the lot of others who experienced the same. (34) You suffered from my chains, and accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you possessed a more valuable estate, and a more lasting one. (35) So do not throw away this conviction of yours – it leads to a great reward. (36) You need to keep persevering so that you may carry off in victory what has been promised – after you have accomplished God's will. (37) For yet a little while, how short, how short [the wait], and He who is coming shall come, nor will He delay. (38) "Then shall my righteous one by faith live because of his faith, but if he shrinks back, My heart takes no pleasure in him (Hab.2:3-4)."
Hebrews 10:32-38

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be praised, who has in His great mercy caused us to be reborn to a hope which lives through Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead, and to an inheritance which will never be destroyed, defiled, or dimmed, but which is being guarded in heaven for us, who are ourselves also being kept safe by God's power and our faith in Him to an ultimate deliverance ready to be unveiled at the end of time. Rejoice in this [salvation to come], even though at present it may for a time be your lot to suffer through various trials so that this validation (lit., “assaying”) of your faith [which results from your successful passing of these tests] may result in praise, glory and honor for you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. For this [validation process] has a greater benefit [for you] than [is true in the case of] gold, which, while it is also proved by fire, ultimately perishes (e.g., in contrast to the eternal rewards of faith proved genuine through testing).
1st Peter 1:3-7

I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers every day.

In Jesus,

Question #29:  

Hi Bob,

I like pictures of snow also. Our electricity went out yesterday morning. I needed to do dishes so I asked __ to get me some snow to melt. He came in with a little snowman. Pretty hilarious.!!

God's timing is perfect.

Thanks for your prayers, always appreciated.

Response #29: 

Sorry about the electricity! It's a good thing you guys are so well prepared . . . and resilient!

Pretty funny! It sure does help to have a sense of humor in trying times. And believers, I've noticed, can afford to have one because we are not "all in" invested in this world.

God's timing IS perfect. Us understanding that always is the hard part.

Thanks for being so upbeat, my friend! You're a great witness to the power of the truth.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Ichthys Home