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Eschatology Issues XXII

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Question #1:

Bob,

I hope this email doesn’t get sorted as junk too. I prayed about all the things you listed there. I hope your health issues aren’t life-threatening. I certainly hope you can stick around to continue teaching/ministering as long as possible. It would be a shame for the Classics to be shut down. Why would they want to get rid of Greek and Latin? Not enough enrollment in the classes? Is it because postmodernists have declared war on gender distinctions so they don’t like languages that rely on “masculine” and “feminine” morphologies? (That question is a little bit serious and mostly gallows humor.) I’m also curious about your colleague and what the “official” reason might have been for the termination (I hope the real reason wasn’t political). I pray for finding gainful, secure employment.

I have a story to share that is a good example of someone relying too heavily on Strong’s Concordance and combining that with historical anachronism to produce a false teaching. I finished making notes for Part 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom of the Coming Tribulation study a couple of weeks ago, so when youtube recommended to me an hour-long segment of Pastor David Lankford (whom I’ve told you about before) teaching all about the Antichrist, I decided to listen and find out what he had to say (and play a game of “spot the false teaching”). To give credit where credit is due, he was actually correct about a lot of what he taught. He accurately conveyed that the Antichrist will be a unique person (not simply many AC’s, nor just a world system). He also understood that we won’t be able to positively, with 100% certainty, identify the AC until he takes his seat in the temple in Jerusalem and breaks his covenant with Israel. He also understood that Daniel 11 gives us a wealth of information about AC. However, when he went to verse 24 and claimed to have the clue for his origins, that’s where the pastor went off the rails.

You wrote a whole footnote in CT on specifically the phrase on which Pastor Lankford focused, and which he got so wrong. I’m referring to משמני מדינה. He went to Strong’s and looked up shaman and decided that instead of translating the word as “fat” it should actually be translated “oily”. He then said that since the other word was medina in Hebrew that must be referring to the city Medina in Saudi Arabia. So, he concluded, the phrase “fattest places of the province” should actually be translated “oily Medina”; and we should understand from this that the AC will be a Muslim and will come to power in one of the oil-rich nations of the Middle East. Amazing, right?!

First of all, I’m not sure if Strong’s is confusing shaman with shemen when it gives a definition of “oily”. Please correct my understanding of Hebrew and language here if it’s wrong, but mishmannay should be understood as a compound noun with medina, right? And if it’s a compound noun and medina is feminine, then the only choice when I look in BDB, since shemen is a masculine noun, is shaman, which means “fat, fertile, place”. This is clearly referring to wealth or, as your translation at Ichthys reflects, strength. It cannot, it seems to me, be referring to oil.

Now, to Pastor Lankford’s anachronism regarding medina, this Aramaic loan word means “province” and in Arabic means “city”. However, the city in modern day Saudi Arabia wasn’t renamed Medina until the 7th century A.D. by Muhammed and his followers. For over a millennium before that it was called Yathrib (the name given to it by its original Jewish settlers in the 6th century B.C.). This history can be found on Wikipedia, so I find it embarrassing that a pastor would try to say that Daniel was referring to a city that was just being settled at the time he was writing and wouldn’t be called Medina until over 1000 years later!

It also seems like a grave misunderstanding of this verse to think that it’s talking about the place where AC initially comes to power. The text seems pretty clear to me that verse 21 is talking about AC’s initial rise to power and by verse 24 it’s talking about him expanding his power to other regions. I know there’s a popular (false) belief out there that the AC will be the Muslim Mahdi, and I guess it’s this kind of “exegesis” (even using quotes seems too complimentary of the method—should it just be called eisegesis?) that’s needed to support it.

I hoped that sharing this story would be interesting for you and perhaps beneficial for the readers at Ichthys (if/when this gets posted). I have a list of questions/topics written down that I’d like to discuss with you, but I’ll take them one at a time going forward.

In dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Response #1:

Thanks for your email – it came through fine. I think the size and formatting of the other string was what created the problem. But I've recently sent emails to others at the university from my university account which were branded [Suspicious Message] (!), so there's no telling about these kinds of things. Happily, whenever an email is trying to tell me that a rich foreigner with cancer wants to give me all his/her money for charitable purposes, it always makes it through the spam filter AOK.

This example of yours is indeed a perfect one to illustrate what passes for Bible teaching these days. I will be sure to post it in the future – thank you! I have bumped into many false teachings about the Tribulation which want to see the beast in the middle east. That is a monstrous mistake, because that is precisely what antichrist will claim, namely, that "the other guy" (Mahdi) is "antichrist", and in so doing will convince many weak Christians that he, the beast, is Christ (the root of the Great Apostasy; link). So this is a very dangerous mistake and one which is becoming almost as "settled" and popular as the pre-Trib "rapture".

Thanks also for your prayers for my colleague; she has now retired and, I hope, will be happier in the future with this load off of her back. I'm sure the Lord knows what He is doing, even though it was a very sad event for her and for me.

As to Classics, it's all about money. If my discipline were on a growth track as opposed to a decline nationwide, if it brought in grant money instead of doing research that has no financial benefit attached, it if were trendy, as opposed to being considered stuffy (because it is hard and deals with concrete reality instead of subjective theory), and if those making the decisions had any idea of what education has been and will always be about, then we wouldn't have such problems. As it is, the semester and year ahead will be more challenging than usual, but I'm confident that it can be done – with God's help (so thanks in advance for your prayers!).

The history of health issues is too long to go into, but suffice it to say that I have come through the problems either OK or with sufficient "work arounds" to be able to persevere in all the things I need to do – thanks for your concern and your prayers!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers day by day.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

“Sharpen the arrows,
take up the shields!
The Lord has stirred up the kings of the Medes,
because his purpose is to destroy Babylon.” (Jer. 51:11)

Is “the king of the Medes” the antichrist?

Response #2:

This chapter has dual application, and in the eschatological one it does refer to the destruction of Babylon just before the second advent by antichrist and his subordinate ten kings (Rev.17:16-18). In the passage cited, "God put it into their hearts" to destroy Babylon, so that is directly parallel to the stirring up of the king of the Medes in this verse. So, yes, I would say that the king of the Medes is a type of antichrist here (see the link on typology).

Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hello Professor,

I hope you have had a good week my friend and that all is well.

My following question might sound similar to my last question on double application and typology but I just want to make sure that what I think is correct. Whilst reading Isaiah 14:12-15 I looked at my NIV Study Bible Notes by Kenneth Barker, the following is what it stated:

14:12–15 Some believe that Isaiah is giving a description of the fall of Satan (cf. Lk 10:18—where, however, Jesus is referring to an event contemporary with himself). But the passage clearly applies to the king of Babylon, who is later used as a type (prefiguration) of the “beast” who will lead the Babylon of the last days (see Rev 13:4; 17:3). Cf. the description of the king of Tyre in Eze 28.

Does that mean that Isaiah 14:12-15 is talking about the fall of Satan, the kind of Babylon, and as a type of the ‘’beast’’, would I be right to say that this verse has triple application? Also, why would Kenneth Barker state that ‘Some believe that Isaiah is giving a description of the fall of Satan’?

On another note, do you have any views on The New Unger’s Bible Handbook? I was looking to purchase it as another ‘helping hand’ for my Bible Studies.

In our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Response #3:

Good to hear from you. Hope your med course is going well.

You are exactly correct about the multiple applications of this passage (see the link for a discussion of why some of this has to be eschatological). Satan's experience is typologically analogous to the contemporary king in the context (looking backward), just as antichrist's experience will looking to the future. As to "why" someone would say something that is indicative of a lack of faith or understanding of basic biblical principles, we have to remember that these sorts of books are produced with a profit motive and for that reason tend to try and avoid controversy that will cause strident defenders of one position or another to criticize them and thus hurt their sales.

As to the Unger handbook, he was an excellent scholar but died many years ago. I'm not sure about his "handbook"; his "Bible dictionary" was a reworking of an earlier book by someone else who didn't have the same high view of inspiration. So you'd have to see how much is his and how much is just using his famous name to sell the book.  I do like his two volume OT commentary, however (which is all his).

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your valuable resources. I've enjoyed your refreshing literal approach. I am in the process of constructing a website re. Spiritual preparation for the coming millennium. This site is not 'visible ' on most searches neither do I intended to actively do so.

It seemed unnecessary to attempt writing my version of the topics below if you've done such an excellent job already. In essence the quotes are from two sections of SR4, about 7 pages each. Edits are limited to:

1) some long sentences which I have split to improve readability.
2) the first paragraph of each blog by necessity includes an additional sentence or two to introduce the topic.
3) Being excepts from your theme, some sentences or paragraphs have been reshuffled, but without changing the meaning.

Should you find anything not to your liking I will gladly change it.  Please find these on hopeful martyr.com Section 3.3 Pseudo-good
Section 3.4 Taking the eye off the ball

I mention your site etc on each section, and the references blog.

Thanks,

Response #4:

Thanks for all you good words – I truly appreciate them.

As to citation, I don't find anything here out of bounds. The general parameters (to which you appear to be adhering) can be found at this link: "About Ichthys: Copy Policy".

Best wishes for you work for the Lord.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hi Bob,

Re. Hopefulmartyr.com: the site content is now complete. I used your Tribulation series part 4 to 7 quite extensively to do so.

As I now need to start the checking & 'cleaning up' process, I'd like to give you the opportunity to comment, and thank you again for your easily accessible resources. If there is anything obvious that you would like to add/comment on, please let me know?

I appreciate the many insights obtained through your website, helping me to clear up so many loose ends. I really only have one difference of opinion, and that is on physical preparation. I do consider it wise, once our motives are checked and our limits set, to have a reserve of some items. I wouldn't call it stockpiling, because of the limitations and lack of luxuries of any sort. It took hardly any extra time to 'prepare materially', neither does it take much space at home. It took me much longer to read and write about it (post 5.3) than to load up the items at the store. But I get your point, our hearts are "deceitful and desperately wicked", and it is certainly much better to fully rely on our Provider at all times. Nevertheless we know that wisdom is highly prized too...

Regards,

Response #5:

Thanks very much for your great efforts!

It's a wonderful looking website. I don't have anything to add or suggest, just one question: you have a place for posting comments; are you going to be monitoring / moderating this? There are a lot of "trolls" out there in cyber-space, and so there are many possible "postings" I might envision that would be offensive or even potentially dangerous.

On preparation of a physical nature, I certainly do understand your point of view. You are not the only one to make this argument. I wouldn't call it a disagreement per se. Because of the importance of the spiritual over the physical, and because of my desire to head of the obvious misapplication of becoming far too over-focused on something that might border on survivalism, I have staked out a very "pure" position, but it is not my intention to suggest that taking any steps whatsoever is somehow wrong. What is wrong is to put faith in such measures instead of in God; because, after all, we have no idea what will be needed or how exactly things will play out so that any physical measures we take before the fact could easily be swept away in the blink of an eye and end up being to no avail, so that if they distracted us from doing other good things we should be doing that would be a truly pitiable loss; but spiritual preparation cannot be taken away from us, no matter what.

Thanks again for everything – I'll be sure to include this email and link to this site the next time a pertinent topic comes up in weekly postings.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Bob,

Is there a less complicated way to discuss the End Times? My friend and I were discussing it this morning. The point being that we will be in a time of great confusion - Anti-Christ (wrong assumptions made) - Tribulation (7 year period short explanation) - Rapture - Christ Second coming - etc.

I was thinking that it will be a time when God will want to use Serious Believers to explain the Truth, about what is happening at that time, to weak Christians (in some cases they will be family members)

Maybe just an introduction, following up with a paper on the full explanation for those that will pray for help and then dig deeper.

respectfully

Response #6:

Good to hear from you as always, my friend.

There are many ways to explain any complicated subject. I find that whenever I am asked questions which seem similar (and are in many respects) that there are always different emphases in the questions and that this usually leads me to explain things in slightly different ways each time – not varying the truth at all, but using different illustrations, examples, word choices etc. (and I think you can see this if you look at the email responses over time as posted on the site which deal with similar topics).

Something else I have found out over the years is that after a person sits down themselves to "teach it" or "do it", they always end up "understanding it" much better thereafter (whatever "it" is). This is definitely true of the truth of the Bible as well.

I think your premise is exactly right. When the Tribulation begins, the vast majority of Christians are going to be in deep spiritual trouble, and not just because they have bought into incorrect teachings about the Tribulation and the "rapture". This is the age of Laodicea and most of our brethren are spiritual infants when in comes to understanding everything that a mature believer ought to understand and even worse off in many if not most cases when it comes to having the habit of applying the truth they do believe and have learned to their lives. Perhaps a person can bump along in good times with this sloppy, lukewarm approach, but during the Tribulation it will prove deadly to the faith of a full one third of the Church.

But while one third will fall away in the Great Apostasy, the other two thirds will not, half of whom will give a good witness for the Lord in being martyred for Him, and the other half of whom will persevere all the way to the end of the Tribulation to be resurrected at His glorious return. How will that be possible if this two thirds of the lukewarm Church doesn't have some way of engaging in a crash course of learning the truth? I don't see how else it can happen that this two thirds is able to make such a dramatic recovery except through the efforts of people like yourself who are dedicating themselves to being prepared now so as to be of service then when our lukewarm brothers and sisters are finally willing to listen.

Since no two teachers teach the same way, and since no two lessons ever go quite the same way (for the reasons discussed above), I would recommend that this "simplified" overview of eschatology be something you set yourself to put together. In so doing, you would learn a great deal (believe me), and would also begin to prepare yourself for what the Lord may have for you down the road. As our Lord said:

He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Luke 10:2 NIV

This certainly applies to the coming Tribulation given the poor state of understanding of the truth generally within Laodicea today – and also the poor state of preparation among those who are reputed to be teachers in most cases.

I would certainly be happy to be a sounding board for you on this and to have a look at anything you might come up with. I will confess that while I ought to be able to "write short", I almost always end up going far longer than ever anticipated (this email is a good example of that, come to think of it).

Looking forward to witnessing your continued spiritual advance and whatever good purpose the Lord has in mind for you.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Bob,

I need to start somewhere - How about here?

- A discussion of the End Times from the words of Jesus, Paul, Peter, and John By Stephen Golden

https://www.slideshare.net/smgolden1/eschatology-simplified-1

Response #7:

I think you'd do better and get more out of it struggling with this yourself (I do realize it is a bit of a struggle, but nothing good comes without sweat).

Not only is the slide show linked to not the way I would do things, but right off the bat the person seems to be confused and believe in a pre-Tribulation "rapture". Whereas we know that the Church is not resurrected until our Lord's second advent return. So I can't endorse this site/presentation.

Starting is the hardest thing. I always recommend reverse planning. That is to say, try to put yourself in the shoes of your intended audience and imagine what it is precisely you want them to "get" as the objective of your particular lesson. Work backward from that to see how you might lead them to understanding the point at issue.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Bob,

My first response after hearing your comments was to write this off as honest interest but beyond my abilities - much is written about Eschatology and it all seems to be - way too complicated:

CHRISTIAN ESCHATOLOGY | TRADITIONAL HISTORICISM | FUTURISM AND DISPENSATIONALISM | PARTIAL PRETERISM | ZIONISM | ANTI-ZIONISM | REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY OR SUPERSESSIONISM | FALLING AWAY OR APOSTASY | STRONG DELUSION | IDEALISM | RESOURCES - TRACTS |
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Historicism, Futurism and Preterism

I was hoping to find - lets say an introduction to eschatology with biblical references. One can then highlight the parts that seem to be conflicted and list maybe a few opposite opinions. ( like rapture for example). Maybe there is no way to approach it this way. The key word being simplicity - Maybe not possible in this case.

respectfully

Response #8:

It all depends on one's objectives. For example, what you have pasted in here and mention yourself too deals with alternative theories (here is a link to Ichthys to where this is treated: "Interpreting Revelation"). In fact, I can't think of a topic in eschatology for which I have not answered questions from a "basic" point of view. If you're looking for that, you can find it by leafing through the "previous postings", checking the "subject index", going to "specific passages", or putting the search term in the "site search" box (see the links).  Also, there a whole series of email postings on "eschatology issues" (see the link for the last one).

So if this is a question of personally needing some help with the basics of eschatology, I believe it is all there for you at Ichthys. Part 2B of "Bible Basics" is just such an "introduction" to eschatology, although it is longer that what you seemed to be asking for so I didn't link it last time (linked here however). And if you have any questions at all about any topic in eschatology I would be more than happy to answer them and/or point you to a place where they are answered from an "entry level" point of view.

If the purpose is helping others get to the truth, then, again, I would suggest that you think about coming up with your own outline and move from there to basic points and essential scriptures to support them. You will find all of those things at Ichthys, from the most basic responses in emails, to the BB 2B long synopsis, to the very lengthy Satanic Rebellion and Coming Tribulation series. It's all there, but you will probably want to format things differently as you think about the particular ministry you are contemplating. I'm certainly happy to help with that, but I do think that for your ministry / engagement with others, it's better for you to have this organized "your way".

Please do feel free to write me back about any aspect of this, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Dear Robert,

I'm under the impression that there are bound to be many changes during this period above (2026) and there onwards but I seem to have few concerns of my own. If it were true and the observation, calculations and strong biblical evidence of the eschatology of events are right:

1. Is it okay to abandon investments and projects? In anticipation of the little time remaining time (roughly 8-9years) and focus much on spiritual growth?

2. Is it okay that I should abandon my practice and devote my life to teaching the word of God??

3. I'm worried also about having children since I cannot bare seeing tribulation upon them "advise me on this one"

Response #9:

The first thing that I always tell anyone who asks anything about "2026" is that this is my interpretation of the biblical evidence (see the link). That is to say, while I believe it to be true and have laid out the points upon which it is based many times and in many places and have only ever received reinforcement that it is correct, it is for all that an interpretation. The date itself is not in the Bible.

Secondly, people are often asked the question, "what would you do if you knew you only had one day to live?" The best answer I've ever heard to that and the one which I hope I would give – and doubly hope that I would abide by – is "exactly the same thing as if I didn't know". Add to this the fact that there is much we do not know. The date could be off by a few years (I don't believe it is, but perhaps the historical information we have about the probable date of the crucifixion is in error – this is at least in part extra-biblical information we are talking about, after all). But the real point is that whatever is worth doing is worth doing whether or not we have precise information about "tomorrow". As I am fond of saying, God only gives us one day at a time and we are to live that day, not other theoretical days. We don't know if we will be given a tomorrow or what that day will hold. Obviously, this does not mean that we should never plan. If we need X degree for Y career or for preparation for ministry, that will take many days. But we should always attempt to live our lives day by day in the light of eternity.

In terms of investments and projects and all other such things, while we are in the world, we are not of the world (Jn.17:16). Even if we knew that the Tribulation would not occur for 1,000 years, it would still be a good idea to put as much time and emphasis on spiritual growth as possible – but in a responsible way. We are still in the world, even though we are not of it, and that means that we do have take care of our bodies, work at a livelihood, take prudent precautions for the future, provide for our families, et al. But we do so as those who have hope that this is all temporary, not as those who foolishly think that what they are building will last forever.

Here is what I read in scripture:

This is a reliable saying: "If anyone desires the office of overseer (i.e., pastor-teacher), he is seeking [to do] an honorable work".
1st Timothy 3:1

Regardless of timing, if one has the gift of pastor-teacher, preparing for a teaching ministry and engaging in one is a very noble pursuit – and, if done well, highly rewarded in the next life if not in this one (although I feel that I personally have been tremendously blessed and wouldn't trade my decision to go this route for anything). Ministries need to be supported, and even more to the point periods of preparation need to be supported. So burning one's prior bridges (as in giving up a job or a career) is something that needs to be done only with care and only when one is absolutely sure – about having the gift and one's commitment to follow through as well. And it can often be that a combined approach is the best one. I did give up my regular commission in the USMC along with my essentially guaranteed career to go back to school with no income for many years. But I was pretty young (mid-twenties) and had the time and energy to do what I did – and God provided everything else. So it's a noble intention, but it may not be an either-or proposition: that depends more on the details of your personal situation than it does on the "eschatological clock".

Children are a gift from the Lord. And one never knows how things will play out. I hear what you are saying, and I suppose the nearness of the time is a consideration (cf. Matt.24:19). What I think I can say with certainty on this one is that no one can tell you that it's a good or a bad idea at this point. That's something that, once you do get married (if you are not already married), you and your spouse will have to decide.

In sum, while this important knowledge does inform our decision making and should indeed light a fire under us to get cracking with spiritual growth, given the uncertainty of so many things even if the interpretation you reference is correct, in general we probably ought to do things just as we would have done them anyway – only with a renewed emphasis and purpose in regard to what is really most important in this life: our Lord, His truth, and the spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Professor, sometimes it seems like it’s a burden to know what we know. It is definitely a burden knowing that the Tribulation\Great Tribulation will start in 2026.

Response #10:

Always good to hear from you, my friend.

As to your good point, one the one hand, as you say . . .

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes 1:18 NIV

But on the other hand:

Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.
Ecclesiastes 7:12 NIV

So it's always better to know than not to know – because though the knowledge may be painful it can also be beneficial in leading us to do things that may preserve ourselves (spiritually as well as physically); yet it is also true that to at least a certain degree, "ignorance is bliss" . . . at least until it turns into painful knowledge when it is too late:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24:37-39 NIV

I would rather be someone who had to bear the burden of knowing a flood was coming – and built an ark so as not to drown – than someone who had no cares . . . until the rains poured down. Our "ark" is the truth of the Word stored up in our hearts. As those walking closely with the Lord, we have absolutely no doubts that He will preserve us for the purpose He has for us (whether for martyrdom or the living resurrection), and the truth is a critical means of that preservation, keeping us close to Him. It's definitely better to know the truth – especially for those who believe it and act upon it.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Greetings Bob,

I found your website searching on "Eternal Security". Thank you for the sound treatment in writing on that subject. After ____, the Lord in his kindness put people in my life along the way to get my attention and the scriptures came back to my mind and heart that Jesus never sinned as a man, and that he died to empower me by the Holy Spirit to no longer serve sin.

The 2300 days of Daniel 8, as best I can tell (from reading the Bible for the past 40 years) somehow should fit into the time of the end tribulation. The 7 year idea of end times tribulation I do not see in the Bible. In the middle of the 70th week of Daniel 9 Messiah is cut off (Jesus died on the cross, not for himself Daniel 9:26). In the middle of the week sacrifice & oblation cease Daniel 9:27 (Jesus death is the once for all sacrifice for sins). Jesus earthly ministry being about 3-1/2 years.

As the number 1000 can have a spiritual meaning of completeness of time (Psalm 91:7, 105:8, Ecc. 7:28, Isaiah 30:17, Deut 7:9, 32:30 are some examples), the last half of the 70th week I believe has in view spiritually the entire gospel age after the cross. The spiritual lesson being that Christ went through tribulation for us, and we also go through tribulation in dying to sin and carrying forth the gospel (to the end of the 70th week, the perfect completion of time only known to God).

Notice that the focus of the Book of Revelation (written after the cross) is not on 7 years of tribulation, but instead on 3-1/2 years pictured as 42 months, 1260 days, and time, times, and half a time. This pictures the gospel going forth and Satan opposing the gospel right to the end. So how does the 2300 days of Daniel fit in?, when "truth is cast to the ground" Daniel 8:12. Daniel 8:19, 23, point to this time being near the end. Have you considered the 2300 evening mornings in seeking to understand the final tribulation prior to the parousia?

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Response #11:

Good to make your acquaintance.

Indeed, there is posted at Ichthys an extensive, nine part series on the Tribulation (see the link), as well as a very large five part series which acts as a prolegomenon to it, "The Satanic Rebellion series" (at the link). Here is one place where the 2,300 evenings and mornings of Daniel 8:14 is explained (at the link): "Heavenly Things".

Actually, Revelation does cover all seven years (as you will see from the series above; see in particular the link: "42 Months"); also, I'm not aware of anywhere in scripture where 1,000 years are not 1,000 years – or for that matter where any numbered set of years is not actually literal "years". In any case, since these are very involved issues and the work done at the site is commensurately involved, I ask you to have a look at these materials first and then I'd be happy to discuss any particular points you wish.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Good afternoon,

Thank you for the links. For examples:

"He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations"
(Psalm 105:8 KJV).

If the 1000 years in this verse are literal, how do you understand it?

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
(Matthew 18:1 KJV).

How can 490 be the literal number of times I forgive a brother when he sins against me?

Blessings,

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."
(1Cor 2:12-13 KJV)

Response #12:

Good to hear back from you.

It's as I said, generations are not "years", and the context is poetic (Psalms); wherever numbers of years are found, even in poetry, they mean the years stated. That is how I understand the 1,000 years in Revelation, namely, as the Millennial reign of Christ, a literal millennium.

The fact that in other places numbers (which are not being applied to years) are used figuratively (as in 70 times 7) does not mean that sometimes numbers are not used literally – there really are only 12 apostles; Christ really was "about 30" when He began His public ministry, etc. In fact, much more often than not, anything numbered in the Bible is literal. These instances you bring up are figurative uses, but whenever such things occur they are generally made quite clear by the context. In the 70 times 7 example, Peter was using 7 as a hypothetical – because he felt there should be a limit to the number of times we "let someone get away with it"; so our Lord replies with a hyperbolic hypothetical: not only 7 times but way beyond that to a comparable degree. This was a hypothetical question on Peter's part, so the answer is equally hypothetical – but in application would be literal if such a case actually occurred (i.e., if someone really did "sin against us" 490 times, that is how often we should forgive them – and not as an upper limit either); but this is not about years.

I don't doubt that you can find other examples of figurative uses of numbers in the Bible, but, as I say, they are the exception rather than the rule, and I don't know of any such case involving years which are always literal.

Since that is the case, there has to be something specific in context to justify taking a number as figurative instead of literal, especially if we are talking about a "usually definite something" (like years) which is nowhere else used in a figurative way in scripture.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Esteemed Prof. Dr. Luginbill,

I am a 70-year-old who has been educated in Roman Catholicism since childhood and after a youthful period of departure from religious practices and the Sacraments, I have returned to them and to the Sacred Scriptures to nourish and feed Christian hope in that Salvation Plan which has been handed down to us from the Sacred Scriptures and Tradition, as well as to make thanks to the Almighty for Creation which is reflex of His Magnificence and His Glory.

Far from critical sentiments of religious affiliation, I sincerely thank You for the work done with Your Bible studies and for having shared them online. I have been able to read in particular 2A (Angelology) and 2B (Eschatology) and I admit that for the first time, after repeated but ineffective readings of the last book of the New Testament, I think I have had a unified and consistent interpretation of the Book of Revelation, in line with its expected prophetic content. What had never happened before, or had only happened in very small part after reading the Newton's Treaty on Apocalypse.

Nevertheless, I would like to ask some questions that came to my mind during my reading of such two studies mentioned above.

1) In 2A there is a clear condemnation towards the idea of unifying the nations of the world under a single government, which would facilitate the task of the Opposer by eliminating any defenses imposed by the limits assigned to each nation. In this regard, I wonder if it is not permissible to think that it is the Will of the Almighty, to use the ambition of the "Lord of this World", to bring His salvation to the Gentiles by eliminating the Antichrist (after establishing unification) starting the Millennial Kingdom of Christ Jesus. So, may the unification of the World under a single government be a sign of the imminence of the "Last Times"?

2) In 2B it is very clear (especially the scheme provided for the Timeline from Adam) as it comes to establishing in 2028 the beginning of the Great Tribulation and the subsequent Second Advent. But, is not all this in contradiction with the Gospel according to Matthew (ch. 24 - The Jerusalem Bible - Westminster, July 4, 1966)? From it we know that “But as for that day and hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, no one but the Father only.” So how do you reconcile such an apparent contradiction? (Or, just the day and the hour are unknown, but not the year?).

3) In 2B it is identified Babylon and The Beast (as well as Gog and Magog) with the European Confederation and its People. In this respect, the adduced elements that can lead to such an interpretation are understandable. But, without wanting to take away any merit of Your work, one must wonder whether there are further historical, scriptural, objective and unequivocal elements in order to support such an interpretation in the spirit of truth and authenticity.

It is with no acrimony and with simplicity and sincerity I ask these questions. I hope You can and will welcome them to provide me with the clarifications required to allow me a broader reflection and a mature insight.

Very warm greetings.

Response #13:

Thanks so much for your email – I certainly appreciate all of your good words and your English translation in particular as I have never formally studied Italian (a great regret, actually).

As to your questions:

1) On the subject of internationalism, Revelation is very clear that the beast will indeed "unite the world" only for evil, not for good:

All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb's book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Revelation 13:8 NIV

This will take place at the mid-point of the Tribulation with the beginning of the Great Tribulation after antichrist has subdued the last major power bloc standing in his way, the "southern alliance" as I term it (the "king of the south" in Daniel). So there will be "one world government" for the last three and a half years before our Lord's return – a horrendous terrible one which will persecute believers unto apostasy or martyrdom in many cases, with the blessed worldwide kingdom of our Lord which follows the beast's rule directly thereafter being all the more blessed through the absolute contrast.

As to the trend toward internationalism being a "sign of the times", that is no doubt the case along with so many other troubling developments in our world. But these are general trends most of which have been in train for very many years now, and so they are not predictive or technically prophetic. As I often point out, the Church Age which is presently coming rapidly to a close was a "mystery age" whose existence while adumbrated in the Old Testament came as a surprise even to the believers of our Lord's generation. Indeed, the separation of the two advents was not something understood by most until after the fact (see the link: "prophetic foreshortening" for the principle). The upshot is that there are no unfulfilled prophecies during this present age for us to rely on as a means of tracking things.

2) When you insert at the end of this second question "Or just the day and the hour are unknown, but not the year?", that is precisely it. Our Lord's statement that no one knows "the day or the hour" in Matthew 24:36 is given in the context directly preceding of the "lesson of the fig tree" which the disciples are told to "learn". The lesson is that there are indeed very specific prophecies given about the events of the Tribulation which will make it quite clear when the second advent is about to take place:

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

If we know it is "near" from observing the signs and "right at the door", we still may not know the exact "day or hour". Please note that this passage refers to the second advent and it thus concerned with measuring events during the Tribulation; it has nothing to do with the beginning of the Tribulation. For more on this see the link: "No one knows the day or the hour?"

3) Here I fear that you have misunderstood me. Contrary to what is usually assumed, I have gone to great lengths to explain that Babylon is not the same as revived Rome: Babylon is the beast's home country and occupies – in terms of biblical geography – the western quadrant of the world while Rome (Europe) occupies the north; the south is in conflict with the beast's empire (Babylon and Rome combined) and is defeated at the Tribulation's mid-point. The fourth quadrant of the world in biblical terms, the east, does not play a major role in any of this, but we know that the entire world is under antichrist's thrall at that point, and he is able to summon "the kings of the east" to do battle on his behalf at Armageddon.

Here I would like to point out that the study you mention, BB 2B Eschatology, is, while large by some standards, merely a synopsis of the more comprehensive "Coming Tribulation series" whose prologue is the "Satanic Rebellion series" (at the links). The best particular reference I can give you for this last question is this link in CT 3B: The Identification of mystery Babylon.

Thanks again for your kind words.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #14:

Good morning Dr. Luginbill, It is a beautiful day here in Western North Carolina with 11" of snow having fallen over the weekend but the sun is out and temperature heading to 48 degrees. Just a little side note ; ) The question I have on Daniel 9:27 "and he shall confirm a covenant with many", he being the antichrist, is that correct and who is the covenant made with, is it Israel? If so, President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel and saying he is pushing even more for a peace accord, is this setting the stage for the fulfillment of this scripture? If the answer is yes then in the months ahead and if this should happen does it mean the peace agreement signed between Israel and Palestine, will the person signing this be the antichrist? Will the two witnesses and the 144,000 then begin their ministries? However this would put it about 7 years before you say our Lord will return. 2018 plus 7 would be 2025 and you feel he will return in 2033. Please help me with all this. Thanks and have a very blessed day,

Response #14:

Always a pleasure to hear from you!

As to your questions, first, there will be no doubt when the Tribulation begins because it will be miraculously marked:

(1) And when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (2) And I saw the seven angels who stood before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. (3) And another angel with a golden censer came and stood by the altar, and much incense was given to him so that he might offer it for the prayers of the saints on the golden altar in front of the throne. (4) And smoke from the incense went up from the hand of the angel before God for the prayers of the saints. (5) Then the angel took the incense holder and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it to the earth. And there occurred thunderous voices and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
Revelation 8:1-5

And given the uniqueness of the Tribulation and its trends, even if a person were in a coma and missed this inaugural announcement (the only way it might be possible to miss it), the manner and speed with which events will take place after the Tribulation does commence will defy anything previously seen in the history of the world by orders of magnitude (accelerated, e.g., the "empowerment of error" after the removal of the Holy Spirit's restraint; see the link). Add to this the numerous prophecies that will be fulfilled once the end times do begin and it will only be those who are not believers – or believers who haven't been paying attention to the truth whatsoever (sadly, many of these today in Laodicea) – who could possibly have any doubts about it.

Simply put, we're not in the Tribulation yet. It is true that there are plenty of trends and events which pertain to the end times and which do seem to signal that we are getting very close, but we will most definitely "know it when we see it".

Specifically, the "covenant" which antichrist will make with the state of Israel will be ratified in the earliest days of the Tribulation; but it will be a formal military alliance committing not just Babylon but also revived Rome to Israel's defense – and we certainly don't see anything like that as of yet. In great part this alliance will be a putative reaction to the alliance of the south, a confederation of all of the world's Muslim nations coming together to follow a charismatic leader – and that certainly has happened yet either (they are still killing each other at a prodigious rate).

I don't see anything in scripture which indicates peace between Israel and her neighbors in the Tribulation – quite the opposite: two major military campaigns of a "world at war" magnitude will be conducted in the middle east during the Tribulation's first half in defense of Israel from this pan-Muslim power bloc.

The two witnesses and the 144,000 begin their ministry immediately after the Tribulation begins and it lasts only until the mid-point (no sign of that yet either).

The details on pretty much all of this are to be found in the following file at the link: "CT 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom".

One last thing. The beast will be bizarrely unique – as the son of the devil and so only half human (along the lines of the nephilim of Genesis chapter six). I don't know of anyone in public life anywhere at the moment who even comes close to fitting the bill (based upon what I've learned from scripture; see the prior link for the details). After all, the entire world will come to worship antichrist – believers who know their God and serve Jesus Christ unto death being the only notable exceptions.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Dr. Luginbill,

Thank you for getting back to me so promptly. I know you are such a busy man with so many demands on your time so I don't want to ask too many questions. I had left the 'brick and mortar' church, hard to believe that was 12 years ago, and your were an excellent resource for me to find answers to MANY questions (I still have many). I plan to reread CT: 3B and looked at it but it will take me a couple weeks, almost all of it is underlined because of so much in depth material. In the mean time could you just answer about Israel and Jerusalem now recognized as the capital. I had always thought once this started happening that it would be the US that would work to get the peace agreement signed. I guess falsely thinking that it would be a US President and he would be the antichrist. Scripture talks about Jerusalem being a stone around everyone's neck and everyone wants to call it theirs. Does the two state solution have anything to do than with the covenant made by the antichrist in the middle of the tribulation. Do we even care if Jerusalem is recognized as the capital and that peace comes in the region or is this just outside the end times plan? Is the answer than in the CT: 3B : ) Once I get it read I am sure I will be back with more question. In the mean time, a blessed and Merry Christmas to you. P.S. The snow is almost gone.

Response #15:

You've very welcome. I don't think this event means anything in particular (in terms of the imminence of the Tribulation as being closer than what has been postulated; see the link). It is a "sign of the time". There was nothing like recognition of capitals in Bible times so this isn't anywhere in the Bible. I think your supposition about the beast, the head of Babylon, being a US president is a likely scenario, but the beast is half Jewish and unique (in an evil way as the devil's son), and I honestly don't know of any present public personalities who come anywhere close to being likely candidates for the identification – not that I have found convincing, at least. In any case, the Tribulation has not begun, and the treaty is made only after it does begin. However mid-east politics play out between now and then will be interesting to watch, but I would be reluctant to draw any specific conclusions about the time-line from what we see. There is no unfulfilled prophecy destined to occur before the Tribulation begins. I don't see any "peace plan" in the Bible for that time; quite the opposite.

I hope this answers your questions here – do feel free to write me back!

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.
p.s. and a very merry Christmas to you as well!

Question #16:

Thank you for response it does help. I will look at CT again reading with different viewpoint other than with my preconceived ideal of covenant/peace treaty. Are you always up this late to answer emails ; ). Again thanks. Blessings,

Response #16:

You're very welcome, my friend.

It does take some time to get all these things down pat.

There is a prophesied treaty during the Tribulation, but it is between antichrist-Babylon-revived Rome on the one side and Israel on the other, not with any of Israel's neighbors: it is a military alliance designed to protect Israel from those neighbors. This is the "covenant" that the beast breaks "in the middle of the week", i.e., the mid-point of the Tribulation (Dan.9:27), when he begins to oppress Israel and the Church, setting himself up in the newly constructed temple in Jerusalem and proclaiming himself to be God (2Thes.2:3-4).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:  [N.b.: Q/A #18 goes into greater detail]

After carefully reading your articles on this issue I really got lost. I understood some points but others were a mystery. Why do you say we are in the Ladocean era?

Response #17:

As to Laodicea, chapters two and three of Revelation relate to seven churches. They were historical places. But we also know that these seven churches relate to the future (future from John's perspective in ca. A.D. 68). One reason for this (see the link for others) is that our Lord says in Revelation 4:1, the point at which the prophecy of the Tribulation, second advent, and eternal state begins, that all that future prophecy will happen "after these things", meaning what has just been described in chapter two and three. So beyond all argument chapters two and three contain a string of events which precede the not-yet-come Tribulation and events following, all of which occur "after these things (i.e., the seven church eras)".

If makes good sense on the face of it then for the seven churches to be seven eras which are sequential (most everything else in Revelation before and after chapters two and three is also sequential and in chronological order). Add to this that, when the eras are matched up with what we know about the history of the church-visible as it has played out over the last two millennia, our Lord's descriptions of these eras dove-tails perfectly with what has already happened (for the details, see the link to part 2A of Coming Tribulation wherein the eras are covered in detail and sequentially). Laodicea being placed last thus also occurs last. Since we know that the Church Age consists of two thousand years (i.e., it embraces millennial days 5 and 6 of the Seven Millennial Days; see the link), and that therefore the Tribulation is soon to begin, we can easily see from that perspective too that this must be the last era. Finally, all one has to do is to look around to understand that spiritual lukewarmness is the salient characteristic of the day. Christians are interested in high ritual, or emotional excess, or political action – but generally not in doing what Christ has called them to do, namely, to grow and progress spiritually and to help others in the Church do likewise. In my country, there is a church of one type or another on virtually every street corner – but almost none of them are teaching the Word of God at all (and what little is being taught is usually not without error). That is the definition of lukewarmness.

Here's another link to an extended discussion of the church eras (which will lead to more links).

[N.b.: please keep reading: Q/A #18 goes into greater detail]

Question #18:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

First of all, thank you for all your prayers. __ has improved in health. And I have peace in my home now that the fake friend who wrecked my car is out of my life. A bible teacher was speaking on the Laodicean church age and he said that there is no biblical proof that they actually refer to church ages, just literal churches during those times. Can the bible prove that the churches also refer to church ages? He challenged anyone to refute him and nobody could.

God Bless,

Response #18:

You're very welcome!

I most happy to hear all of this good news – answers to prayer on many fronts. And thanks also to YOU for your prayers. I really have been a bit "under fire" on the job front here. We're experiencing a bit of a "war on Classics" at my university (part and parcel of the "if it doesn't produce money, it's worthless" mantra we're all living under these days). But today I had a significant victory – and I know it came from the Lord, and I know that the prayers of folks like yourself made it happen. Thank you!

As to the church eras, declarations to the effect of "I don't see any proof" are not arguments. Such a statement can be used against any doctrine of the Bible after all; for us to accept such statements only puts the person making the declaration in the "driver's seat", so to speak, because things now have to meet his/her satisfaction . . . rather than an objective test.

There are many reasons for accepting the (correct) interpretation that the seven churches, in addition to being actual churches of the time, also represent eras of the Church Age:

1) Many exegetes who know a great deal about the Bible have come to this same conclusion from independent analysis over many centuries; that is to say, on the one hand it's not a "confessional doctrine" so the fact that many others have come to this conclusion not because of tradition is important (contrast this with the erroneous belief in a pre-Tribulation "rapture" which is believed only because of tradition); and on the other hand it's not a half-baked idea of one person from one tradition in one generation. When good fishermen from different states go to the same lake over the course of many years, it's not irrational to conclude that there may be fish there – and at least it's worth a look.

2) If these were only contemporary churches, the two chapters which, after the introduction, preface all future prophecy in the book of Revelation would be a) a seemingly odd emphasis in a book which is all about the future, and b) much diminished in their applicability for us today. Like the first point, it's not decisive, but any prudent exegete would see that this point also makes an off-hand dismissal of this interpretation unwise.

3) As all who have treated this subject have seen, the seven eras bear an uncanny resemblance in their main trends to what actually has happened in the Church Age and chronologically, sequentially so. Not to go through the entire lengthy treatment at Ichthys, but it's clear even to a casual observer that Sardis resembles the Roman Catholic church of the late middle ages to a "T" and that Philadelphia following Sardis fits the experience of the generation of the Reformation and those that followed. And no one who is really hungry for the truth of the Word of God can possibly fail to see that we are Laodicea: thinking we are rich and blessed, but in reality being poor and naked and blind – because we are (as an era) lukewarm about the truth. And dismissing this interpretation without a fair hearing is an indication of no real interest in the truth (it's just easier to proclaim "no proof" or "doctrine is too hard") – precisely the sort of thing that lukewarm Laodicean believers are wont to do!

4) To finish with the strongest proof, we know that these seven churches represent what would happen in the Church Age because it essentially says so in Revelation:

"Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this [i.e., after John's time]. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches."
Revelation 1:19-20 NKJV

*In between these two passages (the one above and the one below this space) we have the seven churches in chapters 2-3 occurring.

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you [the] things which must take place after this. [i.e., after the seven churches]"
Revelation 4:1 NKJV

The "things which must take place after this" in the passage immediately above are, as seen from reading the next chapters, the events of the Tribulation and everything that follows it – that is what Revelation is about, the revealing of Christ to the world, including the preceding Tribulation and Millennium, judgment and eternal state which follows it. If the seven churches were merely first century churches, "after this" would be incorrect (or at least very misleading) because of course the 2,000 year Church Age is what directly precedes the Tribulation and following events. Nothing in either passage nor in the three sections taken as a whole suggest a gap; rather, a seamless continuation is presented in both setup verses: Revelation presents the Tribulation following directly after Laodicea – but if Laodicea is only a local church some two millennia ago, that makes little sense. In John's day, the Church Age was no longer hidden in mystery because it had already begun and been explained by the entire rest of the New Testament, absent only the book of Revelation. So "after this" really does have to mean, after the Church Age . . . which has just been described.

These points may not satisfy everyone (some people take perverse delight in proving "unpersuadable"). But then not everyone is genuinely looking for the truth. This is the era of Laodicea, after all.

For more detail on all this, here are some links:

The seven churches in CT 2A (this has many more arguments illustrating the truth of this interpretation).

Computing the seven eras

Others compute the eras

Where does the 360 years come from?

More on the 360 years

What church era are we in?

Several questions on the eras

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

This bible teacher said to accept the " church age" theory one must accept the RC "church" and reformation "churches" as legitimate churches:

"One must also accept that since we are now in the "Laodicean age" that the previous ages do not apply to us for we no longer in those ages - they are past."

I don't think it is necessary to accept the RCC and the reformation as legitimate just because of the "church age theory". After all, the real church as an institution has existed since Jesus established it. It has been with us from the beginning and all through the so called church age.

God Bless,

Response #19:

As to the substance, no, it isn't necessary to accept the validity of these humanly concocted organizations: there is only one Church, and if we accept that the seven in Revelation represent eras of the one Church, then we will not be talking about the RCC or Reformation "churches" but the corporate Body of Christ consisting of believers in each era (many of whom were in fact in "churches" irrespective of their membership in THE Church, just as is often the case today).

But if we don't accept the seven era interpretation, then what right do we have to apply our Lord's words except in the general terms to anyone except the seven which are long gone nearly two thousand years ago?

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hello again Dr. Luginbill,

This guy is giving me trouble, he said that:

"On the contrary, if we accept the church age theory, then we can ONLY apply the current church age to the current church, by the very definition of each church representing a particular age. However, if we accept that each letter" was written to a particular church, it follows that it applies only to that church, EXCEPT for the fact that each church letter includes this: Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; .....This then makes each letter to each of the CHURCHES to apply in a secondary way to every individual church."

Response #20:

. . . to which I would reply, "On the contrary: words of truth always apply regardless of original audience." We don't ignore the Pauline epistles just because they were written to individual congregations, do we? But if we say that Laodicea only applies generally, then by definition it cannot apply to an entire Church era as a hallmark characteristic (and thus be a sign that we are indeed on the cusp of the end times). But these words about Laodicea in Revelation certainly do apply to our era as a collective whole just as was true of the other eras (with some few exceptions to the trends among believers as the message itself indicates: e.g., "Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes": Rev.3:4 NIV). If we ignore the correct interpretation – one which as suggested in my first email is laid out very clearly by the text of Revelation itself – then we are only proving ourselves "blind" just like those addressed in Laodicea by our Lord who are counseled to do something about their blindness.

It is typical of individuals who have a weak position and know it – and who don't really care about the truth – to focus in only on one perceived flaw in the correct position as if everything rises on falls on that point. "Bible teacher" ignores the other important evidence. "After this" has to mean "after the Church Age" which validates the interpretation absolutely. I again urge you to look at the other evidence presented at the link (not all of it was rehearsed in these emails: "Overview of the 7 churches").

I could care less what "Bible teacher" thinks. What I am worried about is why you seem to care. The world is filled with false teachers, bad teachers, unprepared teachers, and teachers who have limited understanding and incorrect positions even if they mean well (and all too many do not). Life is too short, the time is too short, and spiritual growth is too important to give them the time of day. Very, very soon, all of these things will be coming into play for real, not just theoretically, and it behooves those of us who are willing to respond to the truth to do so in a professional way: we are, after all, soldiers of Jesus Christ, and those of us who are willing to learn and live the truth are by far in the minority. For that reason we will have to bear a larger share of the burden in helping others (like "Bible teacher") get up to speed once the Tribulation begins. Laodicea is lukewarm, but all such will have to warm up fast once the Tribulation starts, else run the risk of falling away in the Great Apostasy.

It is somewhat ironic that "Bible teacher" by his refusal to engage with the truth of the interpretation only proves in so doing that the interpretation is correct: we are living in the era of Laodicea as his lukewarmness affirms.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I copied and pasted your response and this "bible teacher" still thinks he's right and "encourages" me to re-read what he wrote. I am no longer going to correspond with him, his mind is already made up and he doesn't want to be confused with the facts. Right now, I am trying to get involved in some sort of ministry. The only ministry that I engage in is with the homeless. When I see a homeless person, I tell them about the good news of the Gospel. I don't know if I told you this before, but I was once homeless for 10 years. I was unsaved at the time, and the Lord got me off the streets, gave me a home, a good job, car, etc. This is my testimony in a nutshell. The Lord has told me that His main will in my life is to have all my family members saved [details omitted]. I told my __ about the Gospel about 5 years ago, and I have never seen anyone grow so fast in Christ. And I thank the Lord for that. He loves fishing with his boat, but now he's also a fisher of men and women. He preaches the Gospel to his friends. I know we are living in the end times because the decline of morality. Transgenders, men marrying men, and women marrying women. The legalization of marijuana here in California, and they passed a law in Berkeley where women can walk around topless. And when I hear of such things, it brings a bible verse in mind. "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." And: "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." I'd like to thank you for all the knowledge you have poured out into me, for it is like watering a plant. I've grown tremendously from your teachings.

God Bless you and your ministry,

Response #21:

It's a great testimony, my friend! I think what you have been through and where you are now spiritually (and in every other way) is a great testimony to the grace of God and to your resolute faith in Him (and commitment to spiritual growth).

I will continue to be praying for you and your whole family, my friend.

The times are indeed troubling – and it is surely true that so many things cannot be allowed by the Lord to go on too much longer.

All the more reason for those of us who do love the truth to prepare diligently for what is ahead. I know that the Lord appreciates and honors your commitment and dedication. I promise to say a prayer for your ministry and opportunities related thereunto.

Thanks also for your good and encouraging words (Ps.115:1).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

My bible study group was discussing what " the kingdom of God" is referring to such as in 1st Corinthians 6:9. Does this mean Heaven or in another world to come Any help you can give us will be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Response #22:

Always good to hear from you, my friend.

Every day we pray, "thy kingdom come!", meaning that we are all eager and anticipating the coming kingdom of God the Father, the eternal state of New Jerusalem described in the last two chapters of Revelation, and before that the Millennial kingdom of Christ which precedes it.

Of course God has always been in charge. It is only because of the devil's rebellion and mankind's fall that temporarily this world has an evil ruler. But God is of course not un-involved. We are His representatives of the kingdom to come following in the footsteps of our Lord, as He said:

Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation; “nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."
Luke 17:20-21 NKJV

"Within you [collectively]" meaning "in your midst" in the Person of the One who will rule over it after His return. Therefore the "kingdom" in Christ's parables et al. is often described as present as well as future. Its visible and glorious manifestation to the world is future; its progress in the formation of the Church and our individual growth in gaining rewards which we will enjoy within it is an ongoing process. So the kingdom is "here" in our hearts and in our actions for Christ as believers; but it will only be revealed to the world when Christ returns. Here are a number of links which go into much greater detail:

The Kingdom of God (in CT 7)

The Gospel and the Kingdom of God

Meaning of the Kingdom (#6 AND #7)

The Kingdom of God versus the kingdom of Satan

Seek first the Kingdom

Sons of the Kingdom

"Yours is the Kingdom"

The Rule of Christ and the Kingdom of God (in SR 5)

Gospel Questions X

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Dear Bob,

In Revelation 21:24 the kings of the earth come into New Jerusalem to worship. Revelation 22:14, suggests that there are many of the saved outside of New Jerusalem, but outside is evil. (Revelation 22:15) Revelation 21:27 says that nothing that is evil shall enter. I understand that to mean not all of us will be in the city of New Jerusalem and the Lake of Fire is somewhat isolated from the rest of us -- inside or outside of New Jerusalem. Is this a correct understanding?

From Sunday's (4/16) email compendium, I can sympathize with your first questioner's point #2. For those of us with failing eyes, a printed copy is preferred.

Many copy shops have Docutechs or similar equipment. Essentially, if your not familiar with them, they queue up PDF or PS files and print them off either one or two sides (or reduce and impose for 5.5x8.5 saddle stitched books. "Satan's Rebellion, e.g., would cost about $20.00 copied two sides on three hole drilled 8.5x11 bond here in the boonies of Texas. In Austin, depending on where you went, it could be almost double. That's roughly equivalent to a short run printed edition.

You also might want to consider adding a copyright notice on the title page or overleaf and explain the terms under which you license the use of your publication.

Thanks

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #23:

Always good to hear from you, my friend. As to your questions:

1) By "outside" in Revelation 22:15 scripture means not "outside of the New Jerusalem" but "outside" of the New Heavens and New Earth, that is, in the "outer darkness" of the lake of fire reserved for the devil and his angels and all unbelievers (see the link). The inside will be the residence of the Church; however the Friends of the Bride, the believers of the Millennium, will have their habitation elsewhere on the New Earth, but they will, as the context in Revelation and your quote make clear, also enter the city itself regularly to worship the Lord.

2) On books and the reason for my policies in this respect, please see FAQ #1 (at the link). I am happy to have readers print out these studies in any format and by any means that is convenient for them (including what you report) and have often suggested this to those who write in with this question. And of course it is possible with any e-reader or IPAD or computer or cell phone to make the text just as big as one needs to make it. As to copyright, beyond "common law copyright" (with plenty of documentation regarding when and how all these materials were produced and posted) I do have the following statement on the site (at the link: "About Ichthys"):

Copy Policy: These materials are copyrighted, but visitors are free to download and utilize them with the following restrictions:

1) These materials may not be offered to others for a fee or otherwise sold under any circumstances. This is a grace ministry.

2) These materials may not be fundamentally changed or edited. I don't mind honest excerption, but alteration of meaning is not allowed.

3) These materials may not be represented as the work of others. You don't have to cite me; you may use these lessons anonymously, but please don't pass them off as your own materials.

In sum, this site is meant for the glory of God through the edification and growth of His children. Any use of its materials for personal profit, aggrandizement or other personal agendas is not authorized.

Do feel free to write me back about any of the above, my friend.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I have a small question:

In Rev. 12:3 it mentions: 7 - Heads, 10 - Horns, 7- Diadems.
In Rev. 13:1 it mentions: 10 - Horns, 7 - Heads 10 - Diadems, in that sequence.
In Rev. 17:3 it mentions: 7 - Heads, 10 - Horns, 0 - Diadems.

Why the difference in the number of Diadems mentioned, and does the sequence of the items of any significance. Still studying, so it may be a while between emails. Always thankful for your excellent help and understanding. Praise be to the One who is, who was, and is to come. Amen.

Much Blessings to you

Your friend,

Response #24:

Hope you are doing well, my friend.

As to your question, it's a nice synopsis and useful for anyone looking into this (thanks!).

Of the three passages cited, the first is speaking of the dragon (Satan), while both of the next two are speaking of the beast (antichrist). The symbolism is similar because the beast is the son/invention of the devil and both have the same purpose in this kingdom of darkness.  In general, horns and heads are similar in their symbolism, referring to kingdoms and the individuals that lead them respectively.

Since the last two passages, Revelation 13:1 and 17:3, both speak of the beast, the number of horns and heads is the same. They are listed in a different order, and that difference in sequence between these two would seem to mean that in the last passage, in chapter seventeen, heads followed by horns is the exact order in which John then goes on to explain the two categories.  The explanation is that the heads are a sequence of seven kings in v.10, of which the beast is the last (in the pattern of the Caesars of original Rome; so the beast is the ruler of revived Rome); the horns, on the other hand, are a college of contemporaneous kings in v.14; these are the original (probably nephilim) rulers of the seven parts of revived Rome which antichrist comes to rule from Babylon shortly after the Tribulation begins, plus the three rulers of the three parts of the southern alliance (also originally part of historical Rome), all of whom are "moles", so to speak, and contribute to that alliance' defeat at the hands of the beast  (Dan.11:26).

In terms of lack of crowns in the third passage, in the first two passages, Revelation 12:3 and 13:1, the dragon and the beast are symbols but with the details of the heads and the horns not yet given in those chapters (that is explained only in chapter 17), so in these two prior chapters kingly crowns are employed to make the symbolism clear that we are talking about rulers of some sort; no crowns (diadems = kingly crowns) occur in chapter seventeen, being now unnecessary because of the prior two examples, and because their particular significance is specifically explained in the context:

(9) This calls for a mind having wisdom: the seven heads [of the beast (cf. v.3 and 13:1)] are seven mountains whereon the woman sits. They are also seven kings. (10) The [first] five [of these kings] have fallen. The [next (i.e., the sixth)] one is now [alive]. The last (i.e., antichrist) has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain for a short time (i.e., the Tribulation). (11) And [as to] the beast which was and is not, this is the eighth [king] and he is [also] one of the seven, and he is going to [his] destruction. (12) And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings for one hour (i.e., time period, specifically, the Tribulation) along with the beast. (13) These will have one purpose and [are going to] give their power and their authority to the beast. (14) These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, because He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and those who are with Him are called, and elect – and [have remained] faithful.”
Revelation 17:1-14

And on the subject of the difference in number of crowns/diadems between the dragon (seven) and the beast (ten), there is another difference too which helps to explain both. In the case of the beast, the crowns are located on the horns (Rev.13:1) as an indication that each of the ten kings/horns of the college of kings of revived Rome are kings in their own right. In the case of the dragon, the heads have the crowns (Rev.12:3), and these heads are the seven kingdoms / kings of revived Rome before the conquest of the south by antichrist in the middle of the Tribulation. So the symbolism is similar, demonstrating the unity between the dragon and the beast (the devil and his "son"), but set out in proper chronological order showing that the devil is behind the rise of the beast and his kingdom, growing it in the following sequence: first gaining control of mystery Babylon, then rulership over the seven provinces of revived Rome, and finally the entirety of revived Rome after the conquest of the south at the Tribulation's mid-point.

Your can read more about this at the links:

The 10 Horns of the Beast (in CT 3B)

Horns and heads

The 7 Trumpets, the 7 Kings, Nephilim, Antichrist and Revived Rome

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Dear Bob,

Sorry to inundate you with email. I've meant to ask this for a long time and always forget. Would you explain

John 14:2
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

I note that the ESV changes this verse into a question. This seems easy enough to understand on it's face, but there must be more. It seems to appear with no reference that I can discern. It also appears to be disconnected from the context.

Thanks

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #25:

The Greek can be construed either way. Punctuation was for the most part non-existent (and/or non-standard) at time of writing – no question marks. I think the ESV and other versions which divide the verse differently and make it a question are incorrect. Here is my translation of the context:

Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God, and believe also in Me. There are many rooms in my Father's house. If there were not, I would have told you. For I am going in order to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I shall come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also.
John 14:1-3

This is a definite promise from our Lord that we each have a very specific home already prepared for us in the New Jerusalem (no doubt reflecting both our own particular likes but also how we did in this life). Here is a link to where I discuss the verse: "Many mansions?"

Feel free to write me any time!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Hi Bob,

I hope you are having a blessed Christmas as I am. One thing that always interested me a lot is our glorified bodies, and the bodies of the condemned when they are raised from the dead. The bible says the flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 cor. 15:50). But yet Jesus said to Thomas that He HAD flesh and bones, when he said, "a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have." This is somewhat confusing to me. And since blood is a form of decay, would it be correct to say that there will be no blood in Heaven? And when the term "spirit body" is used, it doesn't seem to indicate that it is some ethereal ghostlike structure. What does it mean to have a spirit body? Also, what type of body will the condemned will have? will it have incorruptible flesh and bones? When I read the bible in Luke regarding the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man was able to feel pain, and thirst, but his thirst could not be quenched. So I suppose in hell that there will be no water, food, etc. I know since there will be no tears in Heaven, it would make sense that there will be no tear ducts. I am just fascinated by this subject and would like to know a lot about the bodies of the resurrected, and the bodies of the condemned. Thanks in advance! God Bless you and your ministry,

Response #26:

A merry Christmas to you and your family as well, my friend, and here's wishing you a blessed 2018 as well!

As to your question, in 1st Corinthians 15:39-40, Paul makes the point that because "all flesh is not the same flesh" (v.39), from which we can see that there are both "celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies" (v.40). This is similar to when he says that God will do away with both stomachs and food (1Cor.6:13); in the passage cited he is not talking about stomachs and food altogether but about the earthly forms which are subject to decay on the one hand and only fit for earthly bodies on the other: there will be heavenly bodies which will eat food but not for the same reasons we do today (cf. the fruits of the tree of life in the New Jerusalem). So the eternal bodies we will have will have "flesh and bone" which "you see Me having" as our Lord told Thomas and the other disciples. They will not be less in any way; they will greater in every way, capable of enjoyment and understanding beyond anything we can yet conceive of. They will not be "ghost like"; that is a common and dangerous misconception based upon a misreading of what Paul says in the chapter cited at the head of this paragraph. "Spiritual" in that context means "celestial" as opposed to "terrestrial": not less but more real and enduring forever. "Spiritual" means fit for the full expression of the spirit; where as "physical" or "terrestrial" or psychikoi means "fit for this natural and corrupt world only".

Unbelievers' bodies will be indestructible, but we don't know much more than that; the place of their eternal consignment – the lake of fire – is the operative problem for them. In the scriptures about Lazarus the poor man and Abraham, the rich man seems to have had an interim body identical to that of Lazarus and Abraham – the problem for him was the place he was in.

I have written a lot about this subject and will give you some links:

The resurrection body

The nature of the resurrection

The resurrection of the Lamb's Bride

The character of our eternal life

Keeping you in my prayers day by day.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Hello Professor,

One of the things said by Mary in what was either an apparition that did not actually take place or, if a supernatural phenomenon did take place, an apparition of demonic origin, was that she would take the children with whom she was speaking to heaven. There is absolutely no biblical foundation for humans to play any role in the transport of other dead humans to heaven or hell, but I thought I could provide an explanation that angels do play a role in that. I remember you writing about it in your studies or responses - could you point me to some resources on this?

In the grace of our Lord,

Response #27:

Here is the passage that deals with your question:

So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.
Luke 16:22a NKJV

Since it was the case that angels conducted Lazarus to paradise below the earth, it would seem to have to be the case that this is how we all reach the third heaven today when as believers we die as well. I.e., there is no difference in death then or now, no difference in the fact that we are as they were awaiting a resurrection body while being in an interim state, and no functional difference I can see in going to paradise or the third heaven for purposes of this question. Just exactly how it is that angels manage this transport and whether we receive the interim body before, during or after this conveyance, I can only speculate.

Continuing to rejoice in your good news, my friend! We have our Thanksgiving day a week from tomorrow, and I have a great deal to be thankful for, your friendship in particular.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

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