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Eschatology Issues XVI

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Question #1:

Hi Bob,

Regarding there being no prophesied event in the Church age, this statement is false and I can prove it:

(1) The Church age begins at 33 AD

(2) Daniel 9:26 states that "After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary."

(3) The event in question happens after the sixty-two "sevens" and before the final "seven."

(4) Therefore, there exists one prophetic event that was fulfilled during the Church age

Q. E. D.

Response #1:

You do have a point, but, as they say, exceptions prove the rule (the trends of the seven Church eras are also sometimes brought up but are somewhat different in that they prophesy just that, namely, trends in contrast to specific historical events). I am also loath to change my language on this issue because it is clear that while the event in question (the destruction of Jerusalem) may technically occur during the time period of the Church Age the even itself applies to the Jewish Age, marking the absolute end to the temple worship and the priest nation until the time of restoration. There is overlap at the end as well, after all, since the Tribulation is technically a joint period of Israel and the Church. But the statement about there being no prophesied events during the Church Age is true for all practical purposes, and the rationale for making it is also sound, to wit, to warn believers off of all manner of ill-advised attempts to align contemporary events with various passages in scripture (as in, e.g., very famously, finding false significance in the year 1948 because it was the year of the secular state of Israel's foundation). So while you have a point, I'm reminded of many OT passages where the word "all" is used but "all" is not "all" in terms of our modern, western, scientific, rigorous (in our view) application of that word – since col in Hebrew often means "all . . . for all important practical intents and purposes" (see the link). And it turns out that this is valuable sort of phrasing in such instances, even if it offends our modern sensibilities. So I suppose I mean "none" in the Hebrew sense, namely, that by any important measure the principle does apply as stated.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Thanks for info in idolatry. Lady is pastors wife preaching to people. Will hear Monday from her how it went. Thanks again.

Next question, how do you interpret Revelation 11:1-4. For the temple to be within us? Is this the physical temple to be rebuild by man's hand? 3rd temple Jesus himself will come and restore. Please correct me in whether I am wrong.

Busy studying Revelation in depth.

Shalom.

Response #2:

You're most welcome, my friend. Happy to be of assistance.

As to your question, Revelation 11:1-4 is indeed describing the "third temple" which will be rebuilt (at least in its initial, rudimentary form) under the direction of the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah who are brought back from the dead (not resurrected) to lead the tribulational revival of a portion of the Jewish people (see the link).

The Messiah is the One who will beautify the temple:

The entire flock of Kedar will be gathered for you. The rams of Nebaioth will serve you. They will be sacrificed as acceptable offerings on My altar. And as for My glorious house (i.e., the temple), I shall glorify it.
Isaiah 60:7

The entire glory of Lebanon will come to you, the fir, the pine, and the cedar together, to beautify My holy place (i.e., the temple), the place of My feet. And I shall glorify it.
Isaiah 60:13

But when He returns, it will already be in existence:

Behold, I am about to send [forth] My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. Then the Lord whom you are seeking will suddenly come to His temple (i.e., it is already built in "preparation" for that great day).
Malachi 3:1

Here is how I translate Zechariah 6:12-13 which is sometimes misunderstood on this score:

(12) And He said to me, "Thus says the Lord of Hosts: Behold a Man – 'Branch' is His name (i.e., the Messiah; cf. Is.4:2; 11:1; 53:2; Zech.3:8). And He will branch out from His place and will build [up] the temple of the Lord. (13) For it is He who will build [up] the temple of the Lord. And He will raise up [its] glory (as of something already in existence). And He will sit and rule [as King] upon His throne. And He will [also] be Priest upon His [kingly] throne. For there will be a [unity of] consultation between the two [offices]".
Zechariah 6:12-13a

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Bob,

Thank you for your input. I always prefer reading on paper rather than on a computer screen. I’ve printed out the Satanic Rebellion, Coming Tribulation, Peter Series, and Bible Basics, and have them in three-ring binders. I’m already looking to acquire a print copy of the J.W. Gibbs translation of Genesius’ lexicon so I don’t have to rely on the pdf. I’ll get as many of the other works recommended at Ichthys as I can find as well. Thankfully, God has blessed me with a decently paying job, and I have no monetary dependents other than myself, so I can spend some money on books without worrying. Indeed, in the four years I’ve had this job my personal library has grown considerably. I share your sentiment in not regretting buying reference works, and appreciate the advice that the best biblical language-learning resources will be older ones.

There are a couple of questions I’ve had on my mind for a few months:

I have a two-part question about the John the Baptist, and Jesus’ statements in Matthew 11:13-14.

A. What does Jesus mean that "all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John"? Does this have to do with John’s water baptism and Jesus’ spirit baptism being the preparation for and fulfillment of, respectively, the mediating of a new covenant; and therefore the Law was the guardian of the people until this new covenant in Christ (Gal. 3:24), and the prophecies of the Prophets were in effect throughout the Jewish Age, receiving much fulfillment in Christ’s life at the "conjunction of the ages" (Heb. 9:26), and then the prophecy would cease being given and cease being fulfilled for the duration of the Church Age once the canon of scripture was complete (1 Cor. 13:8-12)? Or am I stretching it too far and it means something else?

B. What does it mean that Jesus identifies John as Elijah? Was John the Baptist actually Elijah? Or was he just a type of Elijah in a similar way that Joshua was a type of Jesus; and John’s fulfillment of prophecy about Elijah returning before the Messiah is the type for Jesus’ first coming, whereas the actual Elijah of the Old Testament in his original body (for that’s how he was taken up in 2 Kings 2:11) will come back as one of the Two Witnesses (along with Moses) at the start of the Tribulation for the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy about Elijah’s return? I don’t know when the tradition started, or if it was around in the 1st century A.D., but I find it interesting that every year at Passover the Jewish people set an extra place at the table and have a part in the Seder where they leave the door open for Elijah. The Two Witnesses are together in a Jewish tradition about a holiday fulfilled by Jesus’ sacrifice.

Thank you for all the prayer on mine and my family’s behalf.

Yours in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #3:

You're most welcome, my friend.

Yes, like you, I prefer books. On Gesenius, I use the Tregelles version (I found the Oxford version for only $7.39 at A.B.E.). As to your other questions:

a) In Matthew 11:13 our Lord is drawing a distinction between the dispensation of revelation (that is, how the truth was disseminated – which is what "dispensation" means biblically; see the link) before His coming and everything afterwards. John is the dividing line between the shadows of the Old Testament and the truth unveiled in the face of Jesus Christ, whose herald John was. This is perhaps a bit clearer in the parallel passage in Luke:

The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached (i.e., openly and by the Savior Himself).
Luke 16:16 NIV

b) Moses and Elijah are types of Jesus and John respectively. When our Lord makes the comparison, He is looking forward to the time, during the Tribulation, when these two witnesses will be dispensing the truth and directing the worldwide evangelizing of Israel – parallel to what John and Jesus had done. Moses takes the lead in restoration, being a "type of Christ" (link); Elijah is in the forefront of the evangelizing, being a type of John. Please see the links:

The Two Witnesses

Moses and Elijah are the Two Witnesses

The Restoration Ministries of Moses and Elijah

Please do feel free to write back about any of the above.

Keep fighting the good fight of faith, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Dr.

I hope all is well with your ministry and your family. As always, you are in my prayers. I have a couple of questions, one from this week email and the others from the CT series I am rereading.

1. Is there any scriptural proof that during the 1/2 hour silence before the opening of the 7th seal, is when Elijah and Moses will appoint the 144K or will those appointment occur anytime between the opening of the 1st seal and the 7th seal? Just curious about timing of the appointment of the 144K and if it will be a personal appointment, meaning they will have to physically appoint them and not through a surrogate. If they have to physically appoint, then it accounts for a longer period of time so they can appointed. If I miss this during my reading, please redirect me.

2. Christ's robe dipped in red in Rev 19:13. Is the red a precursor to His victory at Armageddon or symbolic of all martyred blood in human history.

Last but not least, I am going through all your previous emails. Like all your studies I have printed them out. I currently have 3 and 1/2 volumes printed. That is 10 emails per volume. A monumental work by itself your email studies and going back and reading previous posts I came upon many back and forth and that is where I am having some hesitancy. You are more patient than me and I thank God for that in you.

In Christ our Lord.

Response #4:

It's good to hear from you, my friend. Your prayers are needed and appreciated as always.

As to your questions:

1) The Tribulation does not begin until the half-hour of silence in Revelation 8:1 is over. Only then do the signs of the Tribulation's commencement occur (Rev.8:5). It is not stated in scripture precisely when Moses and Elijah are resuscitated. However, we do know that the 144,000 are sealed before this waiting period begins (in Rev.7:3ff.). It would certainly make sense for the inauguration of the ministry to take place during this peaceful interval before any of the warning judgments commences. We are not given any of the details you ask about, but I am confident that any who belong to that number of the 144,000 will be informed and directed in a supernatural way to appear for their commissioning (in Jerusalem – again, this is what I assume as the most logical thing; cf. e.g., Acts 8:26; 9:10; 10:19-20). I don't believe that this period is too short when God is directing it; I am sure that it will turn out to have been "just long enough".

2) The red robe of Christ in Revelation 19:13 is a reference to the slaughter of Armageddon, referring to the blood of the slaughtered enemies. Compare:

Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? "I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come."
Isaiah 63:2-4 NIV

I've been praying for you and your situation.

Looking forward to your deliverance in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hi Bob,

"They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God."
John 16:2 NIV

According to John 16:2, what fraction of the great persecution during the Tribulation will be Jewish-led?

Sincerely,

Response #5:

I'm not sure we can assign percentages. Synagogues are obviously Jewish. The principle applies to churches as well – and of course there was no such thing as a Christian church when our Lord said these words (and it would not have been at all helpful for Him to try and explain that to the disciples before the fact). Suffice it to say that persecution of genuine believers will be universal during the Great Persecution (link). We do know that antichrist, who pretends to be Christ, moves the entire operation to Jerusalem after the mid-point of the Tribulation, and that his false prophet will direct the persecution from Jerusalem (where the abomination of desolation will be erected); so we can surmise that there will be plenty of Jewish supporters of the beast involved at headquarters at least. To what degree actual synagogues will be involved in this is difficult to say, because nowadays most who belong to them are not believers in Christ – needless to say. The 144,000 will evangelize Jews worldwide so this may account for "synagogue ouster and persecution" referred to in the verse you cite, but we are also to understand this shunning to be from the churches who have by this time all allied with antichrist.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:

If churches didn't exist, then why did Jesus tell his disciples to go to the Church?

"If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."
(Matthew 18:17)

What is the Greek word used here, and how does it compare to the word translated as "synagogue" in John?

Response #6:

The word there is ekklesia, and it is the NT word for "church"; but the word actually means "assembly" (it is the same word used for the political assembly at Athens during the democracy, for example). For more on the etymology and its theological implications please see the link: "Etymology of ekklesia". Said to Israel before Pentecost, therefore, "church" is a very potentially confusing way to translate this word in Matthew 18:17 ("congregation" would be better), but it does show that there is more of a seamlessness between Israel and the Church than most hyper-dispensationlists realize. Here is another passage along these lines:

"This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:"
Acts 7:38 KJV

"This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us,"
Acts 7:38 NKJV

So the differences between Jewish and Christian congregations are not as different as might be supposed – at least in God's economy of believing Jews on the one hand and Bible-following gentile Christians on the other.

Please see the links:

Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church II

Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church I

Dispensations, the Church, the Rapture, and the Destruction of the Universe.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #7:

I know that the church is the community of believers from Adam and Eve, but Thiessen's point about Matthew 16:18 speaking of origination of the church is something I haven't thought about before.

Response #7:

The observation is incorrect. E.g.:

This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.
Acts 7:37-38 KJV

Matthew 16:18 "I will build up my Church" doesn't mean that it never had any "members" before this point (cf. the similar misunderstanding at Zech.6:12-13 regarding the Messiah's "building up" of the temple in the Millennium, even though it was already originally constructed during the Tribulation (see the link). It's not a question of "improving Judaism"; it's all about the people of God who belong to Christ as His Body. Clearly, there are different "dispensings" of the truth at different times, different ways in which the truth is disseminated and taught throughout the first six days of human history ("dispensations"), but Thiessen is coming at this from the traditional evangelical position of hyper-dispensationalism and that is coloring his view. There are differences between the age of Israel and the age of the Church, but the Bride of Christ is a unity from the garden to the second advent. See the links:

Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church II

Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church I

Dispensations, the Church, the Rapture, and the Destruction of the Universe.

Question #8:

Hi Dr., I hope all is well.

In reading this week's email in reference to Mk.2:14, a question about the new name: will this new name also apply to believers prior to the 1st Advent; i.e., Moses, David, etc or is this only applicable to the Church Age?

In Christ our Lord.

Response #8:

Isaiah 65:16 promises this in the Old Testament as well (cf. Is.62:2). Since we are all "the Church" (from Adam to the second advent), it certainly stands to reason that the promise at, e.g., Revelation 2:17, will apply to the entire Body of Christ. Here are a few links:

The White Stone

The New Name

The meaning of the New Name

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hi Bob,

What does Psalm 45:10-17 mean, especially with regard to the last two verses?

Sincerely,

Response #9:

This is a Messianic Psalm, and I (along with many others) take the Bride here to be the Church.

As to the last two lines, as in the case of any allegory or parallel, the points of comparison do not need to be exact (and seldom are). I take these two verses in a general sense to mean that prosperity, peace, and blessing that will result once the Messiah's kingdom begins will be perpetuated through the generations (i.e., through the Millennium), rather than there being any literal procreation. To the extent that there is anything more here, I would assign that to the spiritual expansion of the kingdom and its message in the salvation of the "friends of the Bride", the generation of millennial believers who, in toto, will equal the Church in numbers by the end of the thousand years.

Hope your transition is proceeding well, my friend. I'm keeping you in my prayers.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi Dr.,

I have a quick question about Psalm 45. I know these verses are Messianic in nature. Am I correct to interpret that the word "Daughter", is referencing the Church?

Thank you like always. In Christ our Lord

Response #10:

Yes, most Christians who take this as being a Messianic Psalm also take the bride here to be the Church – I certainly do. Interestingly, however, since this is Messianic and the allegory is comprehensive in that case, the Bride ought to include Israel. It does, of course (that is, all saved before the Messiah's return), but there still is apt to be this disconnect in evangelical circles nowadays of seeing a strong and even organizational division between Israel and "the Church", even though it doesn't exist (as this Psalm shows, along with all of the other biblical evidence).

Here's a pertinent link: "The interpretation of Psalm 45"

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hey Dr Bob-

Hope you're thawing out from the chill and well in Christ's comfort.

I've read a lot on this magnum opus of yours and believe fully on that blessed day, you will be congratulated on how much you taught me to grow in Spiritual Maturity. Having said that, and with a more sturdy grasp on those end times, I have something to share with you that will require the requisite follow up question.

I understand as best I can how you have arrived at an ESTIMATED time for the Tribulation - I emphasise to give you due credit that you have stated numerous times these are your opinions based on your considerable knowledge. You have expressed thoroughly that Our Father controls all things, while teaching us as a loving parent.

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/technology-10-ways-hack-body-144737924.html

I understand my mortal mind cannot know what Heavenly battles are fought each day. But the attached link intrigued me, because it seems to me that Satan has thrown open the doors and shown us the wizard, as it were. I do not believe any of these are the mark & God will use what is valuable for good & in line with His purpose. My question is this: Whenever the time is come, will it be so blatantly obvious that these are mere tricks? I also know you aren't a news hound, but the words cataclysmic, Armageddon, earthquakes never seen before are being tossed around daily. Are these signs Christ told us to watch for or are they trickery from the Devil himself?

I apologize in advance for the long email but I would appreciate your thoughts.

In Our Christ's Great Love that will be sufficient.

Response #11:

It's always good to hear from you. And I think you are certainly right about all this. Things are developing (or devolving) so rapidly it really does seem impossible that the world could go on as it is going for many decades to come without complete moral meltdown, and perhaps that is being intuitively felt by many, even by those who do not have an informed and doctrinal Christian perspective. But that does not mean that the Tribulation has begun (it most definitely has not), or that it is going to begin any minute (as you note, the estimate given at Ichthys based upon biblical information has that event nearly a decade away at time of writing).

As to the link, I only see something about implanting chips into people's brains, but I have heard some opine about this sort of thing and related matters before (I will give you some links below). For me Revelation is very clear that taking the mark of the beast, while there will be pressure to do so, will be considered a privilege precisely because it avoids the disadvantages detailed in scripture. So it will not be something foisted on people by trickery. Satan wants the world to choose enthusiastically for his son – or at least given that impression even if under duress. The mark will show that the person in question is part of the "team", party or congregation. It will be equivalent to becoming a member of the Nazi or Communist parties, or a communicant in the R.C. church – not something that will be easy to do by accident. So all of these theories which try to make the mark out as something other than what scripture clearly says it is (a visible tattoo on the hand or forehead) are merely playing into the devil's hands. After all, to the extent that Christians actually believe that kind of thing, to that extent they may talk themselves into believing that the actual mark is not "the mark" (absent a chip in the brain or whatnot).

When the time comes, just as no believer who has been paying the slightest attention to the Bible will have any doubt about the fact that the Tribulation has begun (cf. Rev.8:50, so also no one who loves the truth will be in doubt about who is antichrist or what the consequences of taking the mark of the beast are. After all, as Revelation tells us, these will be broadcast by God worldwide for everyone to hear:

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name."
Revelation 14:9-11 NIV

Here are those links:

DNA and the mark

Biometry and the mark

RFD chips and the mark

Computer chips and the mark

Numbers, Letters, and the Mark of the Beast

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Good Evening Dr. Luginbill,

I would like to first thank you immensely for making your years of education, and your Spirit led pursuit of knowledge of our God and King, available at no cost through ichthys.com. I have been a student of the Word for approximately 11 years and have found nothing as rich in both depth and simplicity anywhere like it. If all printed Holy Bibles suddenly disappeared, I would point anyone and everyone directly to ichthys.com as the foremost resource. Your intellectual and spiritual honesty is profound.

I myself never bought into eternal security, however, I was taught the doctrine of pretribulation rapture and swallowed it whole. Then as I was reading 2Thess.1:4-10, the lights came on as Paul said that he (and they) would be recompensed with rest when Jesus came back with His angels in flaming fire, and instantly I knew the pre-trib scenario was impossible. Then I read into Chapter 2 where he said that Day would not come until the son of perdition sits in the temple proclaiming himself to be God. After that, I reread the entirety of 1 Thess with particular attention to the sequential order and key words like last trump. Ever since that time, it's been a done deal for me.

The church to which God has called me is one of great brotherly love, but my Pastor's attitude is that it doesn't matter when the rapture comes, we need to be ready either way. Not so in my heart. If we know Him and serve Him we are ready now. The Lord has been revealing to me through His Spirit that I will be involved in helping others get through the night that our Lord prophesied when no man can work.

I live on a 20 acre horse farm which I know He plans to use as a refuge, I believe in connection with others, similar to an Underground Railroad. With special facilities particularly for children to be born, but not numbered (with an SSN or immediately chipped somehow). I do not perceive He is saying that He is actually encouraging childbirth during this time, but that there will be a time when simply being born is nearly a ticket to the Lake of Fire due to the spiritual wickedness of the Beast System. I am not 100% on this understanding at all. But I do know I am hearing from Him on this and would be eager to put these prophetic insights before a man such as yourself for verity, being that I have no one personally who is like minded, and yours is the only website I have found that reveals both the fallacy of eternal security as well as the pretribulation rapture without the spirit of legalism and condemnation I have perceived in the others.

The main thing I know He said to me is this, "Your marching orders have changed. You are no longer in the Army of the Lord. You are a medic on a battlefield where people are bleeding and dying all around while few of My people even see them." And I know He is telling me that when someone has a jugular wound, we don't stand there and preach the Great Physician, we shore up the bleeding, then share the Gospel on the way to the Hospital. Then as they praise us for our lovingkindness, we refer to Him as the wellspring of our healing and the source of our love perfected in Him and by Him, which cast out all our fears and torments. Then like Paul in Acts 17, we introduce them to the Unknown God they revere through their idolatry, be it drug addiction or status and power.

I have so much to share, but being in full agreement with the complementary roles of women in scripture, I allow God as much as possible help me not to, in my great fervor and love for His people, usurp authority from men. However, having no men of this understanding around at this time, it is sometimes difficult. Please pray I will be like a Phoebe. I know I am already a Priscilla, however, in truth I feel in my spirit that He has now made me a Deborah.

Anyway, I am a business development consultant and sales/marketing professional, as well as a former executive assistant. I am not sure exactly what I may do for you, but I know how to make a great deal of money using scriptural business principles in the marketplace, and am about to incorporate for this purpose. I would like to offer you any assistance you may require in any matter free of charge. The Lord has given me many innovative ideas, all designed to bring Him glory by launching and funding ministries with the profits. One such ministry I believe He has led me to begin is "The Sarai Initiative - Bringing Women of God to Greatness through the High Honor of Biblical Submission."

Please pray with me that should our Lord desire any connection between my marketplace ministry and your personal ministry, that He will reveal His purpose for us.

Thank you and may God bless you and your family in all things.

Sincerely,

Response #12:

It's very good to make your acquaintance, and thank you so much for your kind words (Rom.11:36). Let me also say at the outset that I very much appreciate your kind offer of assistance. I have resisted since the beginning of this ministry the legitimate receipt of donations, and I have never regretted it (even if things have been hard from time to time, the Lord has always provided). I will keep your offer of other help in mind. One never knows about such things, and in the Body of Christ, we all need each other – I can certainly use your prayers!

In terms of the rest of your encouraging and insightful email, I would say that every believer has a ministry, and the fact that you are taking pains to pursue and develop yours, even though it may be a few years until it will be fully implemented, is a wonderful thing. Women and men are equal partners in the Lord. In marriage there is an authority relationship and a love obligation for women and men respectively, and this only works where both ends are equally upheld in a godly way. In terms of women ministering, the only ministries from which woman are barred by scripture are those which involve teaching adult men in an authoritative capacity – and most men are barred from this as well, not having been given the teaching gift. As you have figured out on your own, the number of places where there is ANY significant teaching going on in the church visible nowadays is extremely small so as to render this consideration largely moot in any case. I think an intelligent person such as yourself would easily be able, with some careful reflection and prayer, to discover ways to promote the truth which do not involve mounting the pulpit on Sunday morning (something I do not literally do either) – and it seems you are already doing so. Good for you!

Finally, on the specifics, it is probably best to accept the fact that while scripture gives us a good deal of information on the overall course and texture of the Tribulation, there is a large amount of detail which of course had to be left out – and which was deliberately left out. We who have given attention to such things do have a wonderful framework of the truth which will prove invaluable once the Tribulation begins. However, when it comes to many of the specifics and details, we are necessarily in the dark before that "day" arrives. No doubt it is at least partially for that reason that our Lord tells those who will be hauled before antichrist's tribunals not to give thought before the fact as to what will be said, for the Spirit will give the perfect message. Analogously, while we know that to be ready we need to prepare spiritually might and main before the fact, we are really in the dark ahead of time in terms of what material preparation might be useful or just a waste of time and resources which might be better spent now on spiritual things.

Case in point is the issue of technology and bio-science (which you reference). None of the scenarios bruited about today would have even been conceivable a few decades ago because science and technology had not progressed to where they are today. Indeed, the pace of advance is today so dizzying that I dare say when the Tribulation actually does begin in a decade or so, many things one might assume today based upon 2016 knowledge and capabilities will be wildly different in 2016 terms. Add to this the second critical factor that while, based upon some of the things scripture does have to say, we may speculate about the specifics of the reign of antichrist and his government of Babylon et al. (and this I have done as far as I believe scripture will let me go in the Coming Tribulation series), we cannot really know the details before the fact. And considering that it would only take one small detail being different from what we imagine to derail all manner of elaborate material plans, one is left to question the value or the wisdom of such efforts. On the other hand, we certainly know that any spiritual preparations we might make ahead of time will be invaluable.

Finally, on the issue of infants and mark of the beast, everything I have been able to discern from scripture indicates quite clearly that the mark will be and must be voluntarily asked for to be received (even though there will certainly be pressure and coercion to take it). There will be no case of an individual being marked before attaining the age of accountability or of being forced absolutely against his/her will into be being marked (though the price for refusal will in some cases be death). Being marked will thus be cast as a privilege of sorts and a means of demonstrating voluntary allegiance to antichrist (e.g., like joining the Communist or Nazi parties). This is why damnation for being marked is absolute, namely, because it will in fact be one and the same with accepting the beast as "the true Christ" – which necessarily requires a prior and willful rejection of the actual Lord Jesus Christ.

Here are some links which flesh out many of the points above:

Do not take the mark (in CT 7)

Antichrist:  the Mark, the Number, and the Identification of the Beast

Numbers, Letters, and the Mark of the Beast.

Speculations about the number of the beast

The mark of the beast and "biometry"

The mark of the beast

Is the mark a tattoo?

Aspects of the Unseen Angelic Warfare and 666, the Mark of the Beast

The Trinity and the mark

The idea of the mark

The 144,000: God's Seal vs. the Mark of the Beast

Again, thanks so much for your encouraging words! Please do feel free to write back about any of the above.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #13:

Dear Dr Luginbill,

Thank you so much for your response. It is a great encouragement to me as well that you take such time in responding so carefully to your readers, and your response to me is much appreciated. I would love to see ichthys.com grow according to God's will and to your prayers in Him. Please remember if you need any help at all, do not hesitate to let me know.

I have a number of things I would like to share with you at another time regarding the insights you offered. For now though, I have attached something that grew from my simple response to a friend's message on Facebook about her witnessing to her neighbor. I believe God has put it on my heart to make this into a kind of Personal Evangelist's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Manual. The formatting is very rough and so is pretty much everything else about it. I've attached it as a PDF document; it is about 3 pages. If you are led to read it, would you mind providing me with any feedback you might have?

Thank you so much and God bless you.

Response #13:

This is very good! I think that many would benefit from the sound advice given here. The only small thing I would say is that evangelism is not a "one size fits all" operation; all of our personalities are different, and what works for one might not be even possible for another in terms of the way we approach things tactically. I don't think you are putting things forward in any other way, but believe me when I say that people can easily get the wrong impression on points like this when they are not spelled out (and even sometimes when they are).

p.s., smoking is a nasty habit and I personally abhor cigarette smoke in particular – but I don't find anything in scripture that would convince me it is a sin per se (degrading one's health and/or being insensitive to the concerns of others certainly might be, but not the act itself). I add this because as you rightly point out the issue in salvation is deliverance from judgment for sin by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus, not making an issue of behavior, sinful or not, before the fact of putting faith in Christ.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Robert -

Our former emails containing previous conversation have once again fallen off my iPad storage limit, but this your friend from Los Angeles - maybe you remember?

I have been working my way through your writings in my very limited reading time, mostly in small starts and bursts in between sections of the bible. I hope you will take it as the compliment it truly is when I tell you that Ichthys, while obviously behind my bible in priority, is the only other source of Christian written material to which I give any real time.

I have learned a great deal from you, and I agree with about 98% of everything I have read so far, with the 2% being non-essential, mostly esoteric stuff.

Time being short right at this minute, I have one question for you. I'm currently reading through your Armageddon/2nd Advent piece, and you opine that believers in prophetic Babylon (USA) will have a short window of time in which we are commanded and made able to flee to Zion. That happens a little while before the Antichrist returns for his final assault on Jerusalem. Previous to that (at the onset of the Great Tribulation), all believers residing in Jerusalem (all of Israel?) have already fled to the northern area of protection provided by The Lord.

A bit later in the same article, setting up the 2nd Advent and describing the gathering army of Antichrist, you talk about the secular and zealous Jews standing up for Jerusalem. At that point, you mention that ALL remaining believers are now in the northern place of protection. Am I understanding that correctly? If so, how did the refugee Babylonians get there at their later time of arrival?

I personally do believe that all (100%) of all believers at the point of the 2nd Advent will either be dead or in the northern area of protection. I came to that conclusion a while back based on what I see as very plainly worded scripture to that effect. However, I had thought this was one small area in which you disagreed.

Once again, thank you for the time and effort you have spent to do this service for your brothers and sisters in Christ. I hope you are doing well.

Response #14:

It's great to hear from you again, my friend! Of course I remember you – and I pray for you daily. I believe I have all of our previous correspondence too if you'd like me to resend it to you.

As to your question, there is admittedly not a lot of detail on this important subject (important to us, that is, inasmuch as we may very well be involved in the not too distant future), but there are some piers to set the structure on, and that is what I have attempted to do. It would be wonderful to anticipate that finally, at long last, at the very end of the Tribulation, we believers who have survived thus far will, on our safe entrance into the land of Israel, likewise be shepherded into the place of safety in the desert occupied by the Jewish believers who escaped at the Tribulation's midpoint (detailed primarily in Revelation chapter twelve). It is also true that there isn't any mention, so far as I know, of what precisely believers who flee Babylon (to Israel) just before the end will do or where they will stay. However, there is also no indication I know of to suggest that we would be admitted into the Revelation 12 refuge. In fact, there are two things which would seem to militate against that, one positive and one negative.

To take them in reverse order, Revelation chapter twelve makes the refuge a unique place for Jewish believers who become believers in the first half of the Tribulation; the believers coming from Babylon will be predominantly gentile and this event happens at the end of the Great Tribulation. This is not a fatal objection, but since the refuge is designed for the protection of the remnant of believing Jews who are the product of the restoration ministry of Moses and Elijah mediated by the 144,000, it would seem to be uniquely theirs. It will also be remembered that getting to the refuge involved supernatural provision and also divine intervention against the armies of the beast; certainly, God could do this again, but there isn't any indication I can see in prophesy that this is destined to happen. The other objection has to do with the fact that Joel 2:32 and Obadiah 1:17 seem to me to suggest that there will be believers present at Jerusalem at the second advent to be delivered by the Lord (cf. Zech.14:5). But if those who have escaped Babylon are in the desert refuge, who would there still be in Jerusalem and on the Mount of Olives to be rescued as prophesied (via living resurrection)?

The situation in Revelation twelve presents the Lord orchestrating the flight to the desert refuge ("the woman was given the two wings of a great eagle": Rev.12:14 NIV); the flight from Babylon on the other hand is presented more as an individual response to a divine warning. This doesn't mean that we won't be helped (I'm counting on it, personally); but it does indicate to me that this later flight will be accomplished through regular means (supernaturally supported) rather than an overtly supernatural deliverance (such as is the case in the flight of the Jewish believers just prior to antichrist's session in the temple). To the extent that we can infer the place of refuge for the escapees from Babylon from the means of their flight, to that extent to I would be inclined – absent any specific scriptural guidance – to stick with the interpretation already advanced.

I really appreciate your godly attitude in all this. There are many people out there – many Christians – who seem incapable of this sort of balanced, reasonable approach to biblical teaching. Some will part fellowship over the smallest of disagreements; others will be inclined to suppress their own common sense even on some obvious point that is clearly enough a "problem". Your approach is the correct one, that is, not to suppress one's own spiritual common sense, but also not to let the "2%", as you put it, impede taking in by faith the other 98% one tests and finds good and true. This is really the only effective way to benefit from any Bible teaching ministry. "Playing the field" never works because then a believer has to act as umpire on every point of doctrine, and it will be difficult to believe anything for certain (even if – or perhaps especially if – the believer in question is well versed in a dozen alternative theories on some point or other). Absolute doctrinal lock-step is also problematic because it suppresses who we really are inside (normal people with our own free will), and makes cult-like following deliberately deprived of all spiritual common sense a real possibility. Putting aside small disagreements in a "pending file" is the best way to approach things. It may be that we are correct in our reluctance to accept some point or interpretation being advanced, and that this will in time be vindicated; it may be that we just have yet to hear some other point which will help this piece which doesn't seem to fit at first actually fall into its proper place. Whatever the truth about whatever is in the "2%", it's important not to let it impede our spiritual growth, either through undermining our confidence in a ministry we have found valuable, or through overturning our better judgment carefully and judiciously applied. No teacher is perfect; no student is perfect. But God is perfect, and He has perfectly guided us all to just the right place – to the extent that we are willing to be guided.

I hope and pray that you are doing well too. Keep up the wonderful work for our dear Lord Jesus Christ, my friend! Thanks also for your kind words about this ministry (Ps.115:1).

In our dear Savior.

Bob L.

Question #15:

Dear Robert,

I am reading Micah, (jumping in with both feet here), Micah 5:2-5:

Therefore he shall give them up until the time that she who is in labor has given birth...

Is this looking forward to the Birth of our Savior Christ Jesus, then forward to Christ's Millennial reign, after the first half of the tribulation of the Saints the second half of the tribulation of non believers, etc....?

Your Sister in Christ

Response #15:

Good to hear from you, my friend.

Yes, that is correct. The Old Testament prophecies tend to telescope all future events together (the Church Age was a mystery veiled by God until it commenced, after all). For example, Daniel 12:2 doesn't give any hint that, following Christ's resurrection, there will be two echelons of resurrection – because these things were hidden from view (or, better, compounded into one in the way they were given). There is more about all this at the link in CT 1: "Prophetic Foreshortening". The Micah passage is in fact the locus classicus for identifying Jerusalem as the place of Armageddon. Here is how I translate the passage:

(1) But now marshal your [own] troops (<gdd, ), O city (lit., "daughter") of troops (<gedhudh, ) [which are marshaled against you]. For they have laid siege to us. For they have struck on the cheek with a rod the Judge of Israel. (2) But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, too small to be numbered among the clans of Judah, from you I will bring forth the One who is to rule over Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, even from the days of eternity. (3) For He will give them over [to the oppressor] until the time when [Jerusalem] labors [like] a woman in labor. At that time the rest of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel (i.e., prior to the second advent). (4) For He (our Lord Jesus at His return) will arise and will be their Shepherd, in the might of the Lord, and in majesty of the Name of the Lord His God. And they (i.e., His flock) will abide, for then He will be great, even to the ends of the earth. (5) For this One will be our Peace.
Micah 5:1-5a

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hey Bob,

Can you tell me how you came up with 360 years for the middle church eras? I realize there are 360 days in the Jewish year; I am just wondering if there was anything specific that made you tie 360 as a number of years in the middle church eras? The period of time makes sense when looking at the 2000 years of the church era; matching Christ's description of events with those periods. Was it just dividing by 7 and doing a little deductive reasoning?

To Him be the glory,

So after sending this and looking at this topic with my good Christian brother and teacher we found that from the death of Joseph to the time Moses is sent to free Israel and received the new covenant is 360 years.

Wow.

Response #16:

Thanks for this! In addition to the evidence provided by the fact that 360 days is the standard year-length in the Jewish ceremonial calendar (see the link), I can note that the standard year length / time period for the calculation of the Tribulation is also one of 360 day years (see the link: "the 42 months"); that the Church Age, being the mystery age, also uses this number is therefore not surprising. Please see the links for more details on how the figures regarding Revelation chapters two through three were arrived at: "The Seven Churches"; "Date of Laodicea".

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob,

You wrote: "Pergamum was also the name of the citadel (or acropolis) of the fabled city of Troy. The choice of cities for this third era of the Church, the "era of accommodation", is thus no accident."

I have three questions. Do you really think Jesus Christ was intending for the recipient of his mini-epistle to get this reference to Homer? What would you say is the likelihood that Antipas was a real person? Lastly, to what extent were these mini-epistles addressed to real churches with real pastoral problems beyond John's ability to handle?

Response #17:

1) If the standard is what people "get", then 99% of the Bible must be "unintended". It is what it is and it means what it means. There are no accidents by the Spirit. You got what it means, after all. Also, Paul, in his speech to the Areopagus council, quotes Aratus directly and paraphrases Homer obliquely, to gain a hearing from his audience when they "got it" in hopes this would dispose them to be saved.

2) Just as Pergamum was a real place but had a namesake that is used for a spiritual reference, so Antipas is a real martyr whose name is also used by the Spirit for spiritual reference and application (covered at the link: Pergamum).

3) They are both real, contemporary churches and, for us much more importantly, symbolic of the coming eras of the Church Age. The contemporary issues Christ addresses also have important implications for and are illustrative of the ages to come. That is why these seven (which mirror the eras of the Church in their spiritual dynamics) were the churches chosen, even though John no doubt had other churches on his circuit as well.

Yours in dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Bob,

Lamentations 1:1-2 seems very similar to the language John uses to describe Babylon in the Book of Revelation. Do you see a connection between Ancient Israel and Babylon?

Sincerely,

Response #18:

There are similarities, but in terms of substance Babylon is destroyed, not enslaved with the prospect of deliverance in the future: Israel in Lamentations is a case of a wayward wife capable of restoration in the future, while Babylon in Revelation is a case of a godless prostitute whose fate is ignominious destruction.

Question #19:

Hello Bob and family,

I hope this email finds you well and in good spirits. I’ve been reading and re-reading the information on your website, particularly the emails of late – so much wisdom and inspiration there from both yourself and others. Yesterday I was looking for something else to read from your work and I clicked on ‘Read your Bible’ – I hadn’t clicked on it before, not knowing if it was just an exhortation to read it and I got a delightful surprise with what I found and I just ate it up! Truly Bob, I wish the world would find it too. I know I’ve said that before but I mean it sincerely. How often do we hear and even use the phrase ourselves – if only.

Thinking about this perishing world, where we are now and the short time we have left, and the terrible things that are happening almost on a daily occurrence it seems, I am now wondering about ISIL and where it fits in. We hear from time to time that it’s not going to go away anytime soon and could be here for some time and even though in our corner of the world, we are at present, largely unaffected compared to other parts but that could change at any time. Not having any military experience, I can’t help but think that not enough countries are standing up to this threat and I may be wrong but I think ‘boots on the ground’ in large numbers are eventually what’s needed to counter it. Please don’t think I’m advocating war and I don’t want to see anyone killed, but haven’t they already declared war on us by their actions? It would seem we are adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude and then hunt them down and capture them like a ‘normal police action’ simply because in most cases they blend in with the crowd and their tactics are cowardly. Perhaps that’s all we can do. Whatever their motives are they haven’t included yours and my God in it.

As I can’t find a specific reference to ISIL in the scriptures (and I could be wrong) except for the single verse in Revelation 20:4 which is describing an action that is tied to ISIL behaviour, I would appreciate your thoughts, knowing you have a military background and what you think from scripture. I sometimes wonder is it just part of what we read in Matthew 24:6 or is it a precursor of something far more sinister?

Will make this do for now dear Bob and always I remain, Your brother by His mercy,

Response #19:

Good to hear from you. I have been keeping you in my prayers for success in your efforts to prepare yourself, family and friends for what's coming. We all need help with that. Thanks also for your kind words of encouragement (Ps.29:2).

As to your question, the nice thing about realizing that God is complete control of things and that all political action is pointless (for Christians) is the subsequent ability to just relax and observe without letting the things going on in the world disturb us personally. There will be plenty of time to test our peace once the balloon goes up, so to speak. As to the particulars, we have plenty of information about the Tribulation itself, and there is much to say about how things will probably develop based upon the great volume of passages which speak of these matters either directly or indirectly. I have written up all that I can find out in the Coming Tribulation series, of course. In a nutshell, it seems likely to me that antichrist will base a large part of his appeal on an anti-Muslim crusade which will react to a united Islam under a putative "Mahdi" in the early days of the Tribulation. The beast will style that other person as "antichrist", while he himself pretends to be "Christ". The first half of the Tribulation will be largely consumed by antichrist's seizure of power in Babylon and in revived Rome, and in the carrying out of two major campaigns against the Muslim bloc which is defeated at about the Tribulation's mid-point. When no other major power exists in the world, and there is no further power of significance besides that controlled by the beast, the Great Tribulation (i.e., the 42 months) will begin.

It certainly stands to reason that in order for all these things to occur, there is much that will have to transpire in the next ten years. I do note that twenty years ago it would have seemed impossible; today it seems almost eminently likely. There is no prophecy for the Church Age (a mystery intercalation into the "calendar" of the Plan of God) so we can't say anything for certain, but it is an interesting exercise to move the pieces of the puzzle around and speculate about just how we get to "there" from "here". Personally, I would doubt that ISIS will last as being important in all this (pure speculation on my part) [time of writing 3/29/16]. The anti-beast will garner the support of all the Muslim nations, so his movement will be much more than an insurgency in a limited area composed of a small part of one Muslim sect. But all this certainly is stirring the pot, so to speak, and breaking down traditional restraints and barriers which would otherwise seem to have made the scenario the Bible puts forward for the Tribulation rather unlikely. One thing ought to be clear to any Christian paying attention: we are getting ever nearer to the end.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hello Doc and Brother Luginbill,

I have studied this verse many times and have not come away with a good understanding. In Daniel 9:27, "the people of the prince which is to come" (i.e., antichrist as the ruler of revived Rome) will make a treaty during the last "seven" and break it in the middle of the "seven", that is, during middle of the seven years at the outset of the Great Tribulation.

1. In my understanding, the Anti-Christ is not mentioned in this verse.

2. Can we assume here that the "covenant" that is made and in the middle of this "seven year covenant" that is during the middle of the 7 year outset of the Great Tribulation this covenant is broken by the Anti-Christ. I don't get this understanding from this verse at all, so can you help me to better understand?

I have attached a teaching that I obtained from a Website, and it looks plausible to me but...then again. Confused who want a good solid understanding, and need your help desperately. Thanks again for reading the document and providing your comments. I know it is a long document (8 pages), but I really want to understand this. Thanks so very much for your precious time.

Blessings to you,

Response #20:

Here's my translation of the verse in question:

Then he (i.e., antichrist) will confirm an agreement (or "covenant"; Hebrew, , beriyth) with the powerful [in Israel] during [that] one [remaining] week (i.e., the 70th week, the Tribulation), but in the middle of the week (i.e., just prior to the Tribulation's mid-point) he will put a halt to sacrifice and offering (i.e., eliminating Moses and Elijah and interrupting the temple rites). And on account of the extreme [nature] of [his] abominations, he [will] be causing desolations (i.e., desertion and estrangement from God), even until the end when what has been determined will be poured out upon the one characterized by [this] desolation (i.e., the beast as archetype and cause of the alienation and rebellion from God which he fosters).
Daniel 9:27

Antichrist is "the prince" (ruler) of "the people . . . which is to come" (i.e., the historical Romans representing the revived Roman empire of which the beast will be the head), who is described in the preceding verse (Dan.9:26); therefore the "he" in verse 27 has to be the same person as in verse 26, "the prince/ruler". As in English, Hebrew is reluctant to use a pronoun if the antecedent is not clear.

As to your second question, yes, that is correct. This treaty is broken in the middle of its duration. That represents antichrist's cynical use of the assassination plot against himself to take over Israel, the last free place on earth, and install himself in the temple (bringing an end to the revived sacrifices which Moses and Elijah had reinstituted). That happens at the midpoint of the seven years and marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation's 42 months. This is all written up in CT 3B beginning at the link: "Antichrist's Alliance with Israel" (although you'll have to read a long way to get all of the pertinent info).

On your document, I don't have a newish version of Word so I can't always open docx files. If you want to convert it to doc or rtf and resend, I'd be happy to have a look.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hello Doc,

The following are some comments from the document that I attempted to send you. Can you please provide some comments from your perspective, because I really value yours.

The following is the Scripture of Daniel 9: Verses 26 & 27 as it appears in the "Orthodox Jewish Bible".

"26 And after threescore and two heptads, yikaret (will be cut off) Moshiach [Yeshayah 53:8], but not for himself [Yeshayah 53:4-6,8]; and the troops of the coming nagid shall destroy the Ir and the Kodesh (Beis Hamikdash, i.e., 70.C.E.); and the end thereof shall come with a flood, and unto the end there shall be war. Desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm brit (covenant) with rabbim for one heptad; and in the midst of the heptad he shall cause the zevach and the minchah to cease, and on the kenaf (wing) of the abominations is one making desolate, even until the complete destruction, a destruction that is decreed, shall be poured out upon the Shomem (Desolator, Destroyer).

-The following is a translation of the same verses into English names where appropriate:

-26: "After 62 sevens, will be cut off Messiah (Isaiah 53:8), but not for himself (Isaiah 53:4-6,8); and the troops of the coming prince or leader shall destroy the city and shall destroy the sanctuary (The temple), i.e. 70 C.E. and the end thereof shall come with a flood, and unto the end there shall be war. Desolations are determined.

-27: "And he shall confirm covenant with many for one seven, and in the midst of the seven he shall cause the offering and the gift to cease, and on the wing of the abominations is one making desolate, even until the complete destruction, a destruction that is decreed, shall be poured out upon the (desolator, destroyer).

-Following is a translation from the YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) of these verse:

-Daniel 9: Verses 26 & 27.

-"24‘Seventy weeks are determined for thy people, and for thy holy city, to shut up the transgression, and to seal up sins, and to cover iniquity, and to bring in righteousness age-during, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the holy of holies. 25And thou dost know, and dost consider wisely, from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem till Messiah the Leader [is] seven weeks, and sixty and two weeks: the broad place hath been built again, and the rampart, even in the distress of the times. 26And after the sixty and two weeks, cut off is Messiah, and the city and the holy place are not his, the Leader who hath come doth destroy the people; and its end [is] with a flood, and till the end [is] war, determined [are] desolations. 27And he hath strengthened a covenant with many — one week, and [in] the midst of the week he causeth sacrifice and present to cease, and by the wing of abominations he is making desolate, even till the consummation, and that which is determined is poured on the desolate one.’

-And He hath strengthened a covenant with many – one week, then in the middle of Jesus’ ministry which lasted about three and one half years, He dies or (is cut off).

-This covenant is the (New Testament) bought by Jesus’ death; the many that Jesus makes this covenant promise refers to the Gentiles.

-The Leader who hath come is definitely referring to the Messiah.

-In beginning of verse 27 we see these words: "And he".

-According to a reputable Christian Hebrew Scholar, there is in Hebrew as well as in English, something called an "Antecedent" pronoun.

-The word "Antecedent" meaning "An antecedent is a word for which a pronoun stands. (ante = "before") The pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number.

-Rule: A singular pronoun must replace a singular noun; a plural pronoun must replace a plural noun.

-This "Antecedent" pronoun "He" in Verse 27, refers to the person that was previously referenced and which immediately precedes the "pronoun".

-Hence, the He in verse 27 is absolutely referring to the Messiah Jesus not the "Anti-Christ".

-There is absolutely no mention of ‘Anti-Christ’ in Verse 27; should we not read what the scripture says rather than our own conjecture, pre-conceived ideas and add our own suppositions.

-Again, It is here foretold that the people of the prince that shall come shall be the instruments of this destruction, that is, the Roman armies, belonging to a monarchy yet to come (Christ is the prince that shall come), and they are employed by Him in this service;

-This statement that "Christ is the prince that shall come is not an assumption", but is clearly portrayed in this scripture verse.

-There is no mention of the personage of the "Anti-Christ in these verses, and it is an assumption and conjecture to "Add" this to these verses.

Blessings to you for your time, and thank you so much for your help, knowledge and research that you take time to share.

Response #21:

As to the information pasted in, it's nonsense cloaked in gibberish. It's very common for someone who cares nothing about scripture or the truth but who wishes to advance a scurrilously (and obviously) false position to wrap it in all manner of confusing verbiage, the longer and the more complex the better. The average person will not understand that all the "stuff" is just so much "stuff" and as a result will be inclined to believe that the false conclusion (which inevitably is not proved by the "stuff") must be correct – because of all the "stuff". Read the passage in question in any English version you please, and you will see very clearly that the "he" of verse twenty-seven has to be the "prince" of verse twenty-six. I've just read this passage again (for the umpteenth time) in Hebrew, and the English versions are all essentially correct – though I prefer my expanded rendering, given in the prior email and reproduced again here with the fuller context:

(24) Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to complete the rebellion and consummate sins (i.e., to bring apostasy to the full), to atone for iniquity and bring in everlasting righteousness (i.e., the saving work of Christ), and to seal up vision and prophecy and anoint the holy of holies (i.e., the coming of the Kingdom). (25) So know and understand that from the issuing of a decree to desist [from rebuilding Jerusalem] (decreed forty-two years later in ca. 443 B.C.: cf. Ezra 7:11-28; Neh. chap.1-6; taking a further seven years to fulfill) until Messiah the prince there will be seven weeks (i.e., between the decree and the rebuilding) and sixty-two weeks (i.e., between the rebuilding and the birth of Christ in ca. 2 B.C.). [Jerusalem] will be repopulated and rebuilt with streets (i.e., residential reconstruction) and fortifications (i.e., military reconstruction) [and will remain so] even during difficult times (e.g., the occupation of Antiochus Epiphanes). (26) And after the sixty two weeks, Messiah will be cut off and have nothing (cf. Is.53:8), and the people of the prince who is coming (i.e., antichrist) will destroy both the city and the holy place. And his end will come with a flood (i.e., the "flooding away" of his armies at Armageddon; cf. the same Hebrew word, sheteph, , in Dan.11:22; Nah.1:8), and until that end there will be wars – [appalling] devastation has been decreed. (27) Then he (i.e., antichrist) will confirm an agreement (or "covenant"; Hebrew, , beriyth) with the powerful [in Israel] during [that] one [remaining] week (i.e., the 70th week, the Tribulation), but in the middle of the week (i.e., just prior to the Tribulation's mid-point) he will put a halt to sacrifice and offering (i.e., eliminating Moses and Elijah and interrupting the temple rites). And on account of the extreme [nature] of [his] abominations, he [will] be causing desolations (i.e., desertion and estrangement from God), even until the end when what has been determined will be poured out upon the one characterized by [this] desolation (i.e., the beast as archetype and cause of the alienation and rebellion from God which he fosters).
Daniel 9:24-27

The biggest "fly in the ointment" whereby the author quoted by you attempts to shoe-horn in here an incorrect concept is where he/she translates (habba') in verse twenty-six as "[The Leader] who hath come". That is impossible in Hebrew. Finite verbs cannot be preceded by definite articles as is the case here – this is a participle. So what any second year Hebrew student will see immediately is that this phrase means not "who hath come" (in the past) but "who is going to come" (in the future) – that's what this sort of participial construction means. Since in the context the Messiah has already been cut off, this other prince "of the people which is going to come" must be the future antichrist and not the Messiah. As such, antichrist in verse twenty-six is necessarily the antecedent of the "he" in verse twenty-seven. Q.E.D.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Good afternoon Bob and family,

I am continuing to read and re-read all that you have written as it is such very good soul fortification and we all need that. I have been trying to understand some of the things in the Coming Tribulation, in particular part 6 – the Last Things and the Millennium. I understand that it won’t change things regarding my salvation and for want of a better description, I’m at a loss to understand it fully and I’m hoping you can clear a few things up for me because it’s been troubling me for some time.

Firstly I need to say I can’t understand the sad view that many have in believing in a pre-trib rapture, saying or thinking that Jesus will come and take us away before the horror begins – even a mid-trib rapture as some also hold to, yet we know from scripture that the mark of the beast won’t be in place until the second half has begun and true Christians won’t take the mark so we will go through it if we are alive at the time. Why would God even bother to ‘shorten the days’ if His elect didn’t go through it? If there were no Christians and only non-believers here, they would all take the mark or perhaps it wouldn’t be necessary at all.

Some time ago when thinking about the 1000 year millennium and I can’t find any other reference to it other than in Revelation 20, I was never sure if it was figurative or literal and even since then, I really don’t fully understand why it is necessary in the literal sense, if that were the case. These are my own thoughts and I hope you can correct me as I’m most probably wrong simply because of my misunderstanding of it.

When Jesus returns immediately at the end of tribulation to gather His own, ‘the dead in Christ will rise first to meet Him in the air followed by those who are alive and remain’, so all believers both dead and alive are removed, leaving only the unsaved who have taken the mark to face the wrath of God. I am assuming these will all be killed to be raised at the second resurrection. I can also understand that there will/may be some who haven’t given their hearts and minds to God, who for reasons of their own haven’t taken the mark and somehow survive tribulation and also many children as well and I don’t imagine there will be a great number in this group. One could easily think – this number being small, if they were to decide for God after realising and witnessing first hand the tribulation, would 1000 years be necessary?

Before I found ichthys.com I have read where no-one will enter the millennium unless they are a believer – the trouble I have with that is where did those people come from and who were they if all believers both alive and dead are raised at Jesus’ return? Verse 8 says in part, ‘the number of whom is as the sand of the sea’, which would suggest a considerable amount of people.

There are probably more questions I would ask from the above but I hope I’m not covering ground already turned over and perhaps I need to re-read part 6 again in a closer study if you would be so kind as to break it down and simplify it for me.

Again dear Bob, I remain your brother by His mercy,

Response #22:

Good to hear from you, my friend. First, let me say that I think you do a fine job here in your third paragraph pointing out the problems with the pre-Trib "rapture" belief (the point about how there can't be a shortening "for the sake of the elect" if there are no elect is particular cogent).

As to the Millennium, that thousand year period is mentioned directly in Revelation 20:2-7, once in each verse for a total of six times. The Bible only has to say something once for it to be true; here we have it six times, each in a way that has to be taken literally or else throw out all common sense in the hermeneutics of biblical interpretation. There is more than this, of course: there are seven days of re-creation in Genesis chapter one, and seven days of human history, six, in any case, have already taken place (nearly so in the case of the one we are in, number six), and it is easily demonstrable that the have lasted a thousand years. And since we know that the Sabbath is a time of rest, and is literal, so we can postulate that the seventh millennium will be so as well. As Moses affirms and Peter repeats (in the context of the end times), "one day with the Lord is as a thousand years" (Ps.90:4; 2Pet.3:8). Why have a Millennium? Putting aside the fact that there are plenty of things in the Bible and God's economy of things about which this question could probably be asked by many who have questions and doubts, the Millennium is necessary to fulfill all of the many promises to Israel given throughout the Old Testament, promises that have not yet been fulfilled and which, by the very nature of them, could not be fulfilled once eternity begins and all believers are resurrected – just take the regathering of all Jews to Israel and the very specific promises in the latter chapters of Ezekiel for starters – and then there are all the promises to and about the Messiah. For more on all this please see:

The Seven Millennial Days

The Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ (in CT 6)

As to the population of the Millennium, here is what I say in CT 6:

As our introductory passage, Ezekiel 39:6, suggests, the Baptism of fire will be extensive and will no doubt consume the great majority of the world's remaining population (for most of those who are not followers of Jesus will have chosen instead to follow the beast: Rev.13:8; 17:8b). It will not, however, be total, and we can expect a very large proportion of those who survive this judgment to be children who had not yet reached the age of accountability and consent at the time of the Second Advent (cf. Is.2:2-3; 60:14; 66:17). The purpose of this judgment will be two-fold and merciful in every way to all inclined to respond to God's mercy. By cleansing the threshing floor and removing all such stumbling blocks out of Messiah's kingdom (cf. Is.57:14; Zeph.3:11; Matt.13:41), the fire sent "upon Magog and upon those who dwell securely in the islands" has another very specific purpose, and one that works hand in glove with the first: "so that they may know that I am the Lord" (Ezek.39:6).

and

In addition to the vast destruction of Armageddon, and along with the purging out of Jews who though regathered still refuse to accept Jesus as Messiah (the sixth thunder-judgment), the fifth thunder-judgment will also punish with destruction all unbelievers who took the mark of the beast (and that most likely constitutes the majority of tribulational survivors). Taken in conjunction with the enormous loss of life for many other reasons during the Tribulation, therefore, it is virtually certain that the Millennium will begin with a very small population relative to the current seven or so billion human beings who inhabit planet earth, a population which could very well be pushing some ten billion at the time of the Tribulation's commencement. But even if this figure be reduced to one percent (and we are told that mankind will become "rare as gold of Ophir" as a result of the tribulational judgments: Is.13:12; cf. Is.24:6; Zeph.1:2-3; Mic.7:13), the remaining 100 million survivors under the conditions of millennial blessing and enjoying expanded human life-spans would be certain to rebound to the previous level in very short order (and to surpass it significantly by the Millennium's end). That is no doubt true even if the figure of 100 million survivors turns out to be far too high. This would also seem to be borne out by the rapid expansions of both the pre-flood human population (which began with only two, after all), and of the population after the flood (from a seed stock of eight), both under sub-millennial conditions. Starting with what must be at the very least some millions more than this (judging from the facts that "we who remain" in 1Thes.4 is a sizable enough category to deserve mention, and that the regathering of Jews from around the world at this time is one of the most prominently emphasized scriptural prophecies), even this small "seed stock" will no doubt prove more than sufficient to surpass current population levels in very little time (so that by the time of the final event of the Millennium's end those who will oppose the Lord will be as numerous as "the sand of the seashore": Rev.20:8).

Please also see the link: "Who will populate earth during the Millennium?" 

These are all good questions and the sort that anyone looking into these issues seriously is going to have sooner or later (I certainly did). So please do have a look at the links and do also feel free to write me back about any of the above.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Good afternoon Bob and family,

Thank you for your last email, 28th May last, I have taken a little time to re-read the pages you mention and things are a little clearer now – I find when reading something for the first time, even the second time, if I read it quickly I can miss some important information, so I’ve taken the time to read it slowly and it sinks in better. I now have a better understanding of it, however, in your 4th paragraph I’m not quite sure of part of this sentence which reads: (judging from the facts that "we who remain" in 1Thes.4 is a sizeable enough category to receive mention, and that the regathering of Jews from around the world at this time is one of the most prominently emphasized scriptural prophecies).

The part I’m unsure of is "we who remain" - isn’t that in reference to those of us who are believers and are alive and ‘caught up together with them’ at the return of Jesus? From your wording I am understanding this to mean they are surviving Tribulation to enter the millennium but aren’t yet risen? Or am I perhaps misinterpreting your meaning completely?

Please don’t think I would question your words in a deliberate disparaging way, I trust everything you’ve said to me in both your written works and your valued emails and will continue to do so because I have learnt so much from you, which I am so thankful for.

Again Bob, I remain your brother by His mercy,

Response #23:

Always good to hear from you, my friend – I'm happy to answer your questions.

You are absolutely correct that "we who remain" is referring to believers who are indeed all resurrected at this point when Christ returns and so will not be part of the "seed stock" of those in first physical bodies who repopulate the world during the millennium (though we, the Church, will "rule with Christ" during this time). The point is that from 1st Thessalonians 4:17 we can tell that a sizeable number of believers must survive all the way to the end of the Tribulation for this verse to be written in this way; and if a sizeable number of believers survive it, even though pressured as never before in human history to apostatize and targeted with extermination if they refuse (so that one third will in fact reject Christ for the beast and a further third will be martyred), then it certainly stands to reason there must be an even greater number of unbelievers who survive: there are more unbelievers than believers to begin with, and unbelievers, even those who resist taking the mark, will not be the recipients of satanic attentions to the degree that believers will be.

Granted, all who take the mark of the beast will be removed by the "baptism of fire" (see the link), but there must be a sizeable number who survive who have not done so. For instance, all of the prophecies which depict Israel returning to the land suggest a very large number of Jewish people who also survive (which also argues for an even larger number of non-Jews who survive). Add to this the fact that children under the age of accountability must constitute a significant proportion of all such groups (and they will not yet have the mark of the beast by definition).

When I say "large number" and "sizeable number", that does not mean large or sizeable in terms of the numbers alive today. Relative to the world's population today, the number will be very small. But even if it is only a few million will survive out of however many billions who enter the Tribulation, that is much more than the human race began with, and much more than it was reconstituted with after the great flood. Conditions in the millennium will be so blessed compared to any other time in human history outside of Eden that we can expect a population boom which is unprecedented even in comparison to those two prior parallels.

I hope I'm addressing your concern here correctly. Please do feel free to write me back about any of the above.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

You wrote (http://ichthys.com/mail-Last Judgment Great White Throne.html):

With one exception, no one will be judged for personal sins at the Last Judgment, not even unbelievers (Matt.25:31ff.; Rev.20:11-15).

I thought that unbelievers will be judged for their sins (Revelation 20:13: "each person was judged according to what they had done"). Could you clarify this point?

Response #24:

Christ has died for all human sin. Revelation actually says that unbelievers will be judged "according to their works". The distinction is important because the passage in question scrupulously and carefully avoids saying what many people assume will happen – that is because on the one hand being judged for a single sin would incinerate the guilty party (only Christ being God as well as man could endure it), and also because on the other hand Christ was judged for all the sins of all mankind (and so there is no basis for further judgment for sins already paid for – the only exception being the rejecting of that work – that is the "one exception"). The lives of unbelievers will be examined and it will be shown thereby that 1) they were culpable (knew about God, knew about death, knew right from wrong), 2) rejected their opportunities to be saved; and 3) that everything they did only proved the determination of their intention and choice to live an eternity without God and also their unworthiness to be with Him. The last judgment is not one of punishment but one of vindicating God's Name and character and demonstrating His justice in condemning unbelievers to the lake of fire and His willingness to have pardoned them if they had only been willing to acknowledge His Lordship through accepting the sacrifice of Christ in their place. The last judgment will answer all the "why?, God" questions.

Question #25:

Hello Robert,

Good to hear from you. I certainly have a passion for Eschatology and will read part 2B. I recently read Daniel Speck’s book about the final 7 years beginning 2023 and the second coming 2030. Attached is Daniel’s article and my latest newsletter concerning my trip to Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

Eternity and the value of a soul, Eternity matters!

Response #25:

Good to hear from you, my friend! Wonderful work you are doing for the gospel – I keep you and your ministry in my prayers day by day.

On the attachment, I agree with Mr. Speck on pretty much all points . . . except the date. He assumes, for some reason, that our Lord was crucified and resurrected in 30 A.D. (it's not explained why). However, the best reconstruction I can come up with (which is agreed to by probably most conservative evangelical scholars who have looked into the question) is 33 A.D. It is true that there is no absolute certainty as to the date of the cross, so that is a good thing to keep in mind when "calling the date". Also, I've always been careful to say that the interpretation I advance is built on certain assumptions, ones which I firmly believe, mind you, but that if any were incorrect it would affect the whole. That is certainly true of the dating of the cross. As I say, I'm firmly convinced myself, but it is true that the evidence is not sufficient to be so dogmatic as to disallow any other possibility. All of which means we need to be prepared for anything . . . which we should know already in any case.

Praying for your safe travels and continued effectiveness for the Lord and His Church.

In Jesus Christ our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Hi Bob,

I am a pre-tribulationist so I was quite taken aback at this series. I never viewed a pre-tribulation rapture as a cop-out but I can see how it could result in complacency. However I do not believe in coincidence so I will read through the subject carefully again and digest it’s content. I notice that you often mention the "prophetic clock" and the imminence of Christ’s return but how do you equate that with the tribulation which has clearly not occurred yet?

Kind regards,

Response #26:

The first generation of the Church was told to be vigilant (e.g., Rom.13:11; 1Thes.1:10; Tit.2:13), so it stands to reason that today, so much later in the "clock" (almost to the end, by my studies), we should be ready for things to begin at any time. In terms of global eschatology, God certainly can change the timing at any moment if He wishes (the days of the Tribulation are "shortened for the sake of the elect" after all). It doesn't seem at present that He is doing so, but we have to be ready even so. In terms of personal eschatology, we need to be prepared "to meet our Maker" at all times: no one has given us an iron-clad contract for tomorrow, and for all we know we are today experiencing our last day on this earth. If that's not imminence, I don't know what is.

As to the timing, it has to do with the seven millennial days. In a nutshell, there are seven thousand years of human history: 2K for the gentiles; 2K for the Jewish age; 2K for the Church age; 1K for the Millennium. Since the Church age began at Pentecost, 2K from 33 AD is 2033 AD (second advent) minus seven for the start of the Tribulation: 2026. This is shorthand for a much more involved interpretation (in the posting). We can't be sure of course, but the information is in the Bible for a reason.

Happy reading – and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Dear Bob,

This new posting, Basics 2B Eschatology, I think is excellent. Many times, when you're focusing on trees, you don't see the mountain range around which the forest lives. Reading on a computer is getting increasingly difficult for me, so I'm only partially through reading, but what I've read so far is excellent. My compliments. Yes, there are things familiar, but the 50,000 view is of extreme value. Condensing a complex topic down to a summary is very difficult and you've done a masterful job. In this summary, I've already seen connections that I've not put together before. I will use them in exhorting others. Thank you.

One question, though.

Revelation 22:15
For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

This suggests that everything outside New Jerusalem is the lake of fire and that humanity as it exists today will go on in that lake. Is this an accurate understanding? Sadly, dogs are consigned to the lake. If I'm deemed worthy, (I often worry about that) I'll miss a good dog.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #27:

As you will see (400 or so pages in!) "outside" in Revelation 22:15 is referring not just to New Jerusalem but to the New Heavens and New Earth entirely . . . that is, to the lake of fire (see the link). Actually, the friends of the bride (the millennial believers) will be populating the new earth, not New Jerusalem (though they will visit often; see the link).

As to "dogs", in this passage the word refers to despicable human beings ("dog" being a grave insult in the ancient world). Quite the contrary, in my extrapolation of the limited information, it seems to me that all creatures with spirits (including of course all canines) will be in eternity – they didn't make any negative choice against God (they don't have the image of God to be able to do so), so there is no problem with giving their spirits new bodies (God, it seems, never allows a spirit once created to be destroyed). Here is a link on that: "Animals and the Flood".

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Dear Bob,

Now I may be confused. You seem to be saying that everything outside New Jerusalem is the lake of fire yet millennial believers will visit. Coming in from the lake of fire? I have always understood the lake of fire to be isolated but visible from the new earth. I'm sure you've explained this before, so if you would please just point me to the links, I'd appreciate it. I may have already read it, but I don't always remember all the details. Forgive me if I'm rehashing old questions.

Thanks

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #28:

Not at all. The lake of fire is not part of the New Heavens or the New Earth. Like the third heaven (which is "not a part of this kosmos": Heb.9:11), the subterranean realms are separated from the "world" in terms of biblical "geography". Directly beyond the gates of the New Jerusalem will be the New Earth where the other half of Christ's double portion of believers, the Millennial believers or "friends of the bride", will have their primary habitation. The lake of fire is a distinct place which will only even be visible from one place outside the city (Is.66:23-24). The rest of the new universe or "world/kosmos" will be a place where "only righteousness dwells" (2Pet.3:13).

The confusion comes in from a misunderstanding of Revelation 22:15 where the English translation "outside" is wrongly taken to refer to New Jerusalem but instead means "outside of the new creation"; i.e., in the third quadrant of existence, not the third heaven, not the "world", but the subterranean region wherein one finds the Abyss (or Tartarus), the now vacant paradise of Old Testament times (cf. the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke), Torments, and also the Lake of Fire (the only part of the nether regions to be occupied from the end of history forward – by unbelievers and fallen angels). That is the "outside" referred to in Revelation 22:15. Please see the link: "Biblical Geography".

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

 

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