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Eschatology Issues XXVI

[posted 8/22/19]

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Question #1:

https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2016/12/18/maybe-nero-didnt-persecute-christians/

Where do you think the evidence lies? Did Tacitus make up the Neronian persecution, or is there corroboration?

Response #1:

I don't find any reason to doubt the gist of what Tacitus, a fairly reliable historian, reports (allowing for hyperbole, perhaps). One has to understand that when we are talking about ancient history the amount of evidence is minuscule compared to researching anything from, say, the 15th cent. onward (following the invention of the printing press and the commencement of modern record keeping). The Romans kept good records, but the barbarians destroyed them all with few exceptions. As to the article, this is the kind of thing ancient historians (including myself) do all the time. It's not evidence, merely a re-sifting of it (I'm not convinced of the skepticism advanced here – not that it matters).

On the persecutions which the Bible itself references, see the link: "the ten days of Roman persecution"

Question #2:

Thank you for letting me know about BB 6A being posted! Look forward to it. Right now I'm going through Harmartiology and that's been a very good read. I was going to email you about it because one of your statements in it really stuck out to me because it applied to me pretty well. It was the part where you mentioned how we cannot become fixated on spiritual offense to the exclusion of spiritual defense or vice versa. I must confess I have been struggling with this and its has caused me great concern. So when I read it, it immediately stuck out to me and I taped it on my wall, although it has become fixated in my heart which is even better. I know the best spiritual times in my life are coming, yes I know they entail suffering, but perspective can be everything. As you have said before, we should not take spiritual attacks personally, and I do believe we should view all our personal struggles with joy, as we are supposed to take pains to be joyful.

By the way, what do you think about me learning church history? I was talking to Mr. Omo about this and I ordered the book he mentioned by Williston Walker. I would only be going through it two days out of the week or on my days off for maybe a total of about 4 hours or so as this is about the only time I would have. I know there is so much but I figured I would hone in on it for the next 8 or so years, however much time I have. I must confess I never started the languages, and it looks like I may never do so, although I never know. So I figured I would try to learn at least some church history, regardless of how long and difficult it may prove. I know the languages are preferable to learn, but I figured something is better than nothing.

In Christ

Response #2:

Thanks for the update, my friend. It's always a shot in the arm to hear that these materials have helped a person grow.

True, there's not much time left (the way I interpret things); whatever you can do between now and the time the Lord puts you into service is a good thing.

Church history is good to know – to a point. As I have often remarked, however, "church history" is a secular pursuit and if someone were writing a chapter about today, doubtless Curt Omo of Bible Academy (link) and I would not make it into the book; there would be a lot about Liberty college and their engagement in politics, the persecution of "Christians" in Muslim lands, the developments in Roman Catholicism, the decline of mainline denominations, the LGBT issue, the rise of the Charismatics, Billy Graham and his son, TV "Christian" shows and networks, evangelicals supporting Trump, etc. Westoboro Baptist might get mentioned – but along with most of the others that would be treated, one wonders how good a job they are doing for Christ . . . and in far too many cases whether or not they are even Christians. In short, the "church visible" is NOT the Church of Jesus Christ, and sometimes the overlap is very tenuous indeed. That is the case in "church history" too. We know about the history of the Church until about 60 A.D. from the book of Acts and the epistles; after that, we know about those groups and individuals who left non-canonical works or who caught the attention of the world so as to be recorded here or there. To find out who the real heroes were, we'll have to wait for the judgment seat of Christ. That is true of e.g. the tenth century, and it is true of today as well.

Since as a prospective teacher you are going to be interacting with people from different backgrounds, however, it is good to know something about traditional church history, so Walker is not a bad place to start; he is very liberal and that is a problem, but he includes a lot of good information after about the fourth century. You might want to look up persons / events mentioned which you are wondering about in an alternative source for good measure.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

On the date of the Apostle John’s death, in the Coming Tribulation you stated that you think that John died circa 70 AD, and that his death was part of the transition into the era of Ephesus in the Church Age. My question is how that fits into what some early church fathers have said. Since Polycarp was born in 69 AD, does that make either him or Irenaeus a liar? From what I understand Irenaeus said that he heard Polycarp speak about being instructed by the Apostle John. If John died in 70 AD that would mean one of those two was lying, right? It’s also my understanding that the first time in Church History that we have a recorded instance of someone saying that they received a tradition that was passed down directly from the Apostles outside of the Bible is Irenaeus claiming that Jesus was 50 years old when he died (which he needed to be the case to support his recapitulation theory of the atonement), so it’s not like I’m expecting Irenaeus to be right about everything. Papias would have been 10 in 70 AD, so it’s feasible that he could have met John as a young boy. Is it possible that John could have lived until 82 AD (i.e. the end of the era of Ephesus)? This would explain the traditions that John settled in Ephesus, which would be fitting for the name of the era in which he was the only living Apostle (as opposed to the first era without any apostles), and Polycarp would have been 13 in 82, making it more feasible that he could have been known John.

Response #3:

Polycarp's letters and the letters / works which talk about Polycarp are not canonical. So we can't take anything they say as necessarily true. Rather than accusing the writers of "lying", I would find these hagiographical and biographical works to be in the mainstream of the Classical tradition which culls all manner of details out whatever remains and sets things down comprehensively as if factual, drawing any number of potentially erroneous conclusions from definitely questionable evidence. How do we know how old Polycarp was when he died? Because some piece written about him says so? How do we know for certain that he died at the time usually stated? Because of correlation of one or two bits of data, "facts" which cannot be certified on either side of the equation (i.e., not just P's age but also the supposed anchor dates too)? If any of the data points are incorrect, the problem you suggest is resolved by rejecting these traditional "conclusions". Even if not, how do we know that P' actually even set eyes on John (He doesn't quote from John's gospel in his letter)? Because Irenaeus supposedly says so (we need not worry about Tertullian who knew as much about Polycarp as I do about Abraham Lincoln – same approximate chronological remove)? In short, I'm not sure these "facts" are true – but we do know that scripture is.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

The Testimonium Flavianum; Is it completely authentic, partially authentic, or a complete forgery?

Response #4:

It's an interpolation into Josephus, one of unknown origin.

We know that among other reasons because the name "Christian" is not attested before the third century and Josephus wrote the work in which this interpolation appears at the end of the first century. Tacitus and Suetonius, writing at about the same time – actually a little later – still preserve the original "Chrestus" (not "Christus"). For the details: "What does the name 'Christian' mean?".

Question #5:

Very interesting! What about the part where he mentions "James, Brother of Jesus"?

Response #5:

It's undoubtedly original to Josephus . . . which means only that Josephus wrote this passage.

Question #6:

"James the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ"... is the "Christ" subordinate clause an interpolation?

Response #6:

I don't have access to the best mss. or critical editions of Josephus at present, but there seems no reason to doubt this as original. "Jesus who was called 'Anointed' (i.e., 'Messiah')" is the type of qualification we should expect from the likes of Josephus.

In Jesus who IS the Christ,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Someone said that the "Jesus" is referring to "Jesus son of Damneus" who is mentioned at the end of the passage. I don't know how viable that interpretation is. It does seem to me that he is referring to the death of the same James, brother of Jesus mentioned in the epistles. Especially because he was a celebrity around Jerusalem.

Response #7:

Seems to me to be an effort to "cleanse" Josephus. But for this interpretation to work it would be necessary to remove "called 'Anointed'" from the text; as I say, it doesn't stand to reason to do so from the sense, and I don't know of any mss. evidence for doing so. But again, we're talking about Josephus here, not the Bible. Josephus in my opinion is a very dilettantish historian who is also trying to entertain and shape history for his own purposes. I don't much trust anything he has to say.

Question #8:

I don't think it is possible to cleanse Josephus. He mentions John the Baptist in a very extended section and even gives information about him that is external to the gospels (like that he was imprisoned along the delta of the Jordan River) which suggests that he was an eyewitness to John independent from the gospel writers.

There's also a matter of intellectual honesty. We have Ignatius of Antioch clearly and unambiguously reference Matthew and Luke in his epistles, indicating that by the very early second century the synoptics were widely dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. How did they get so dispersed by the late first century? Because they were written all prior to A.D. 70. And if they were written all within decades of the lifetimes of all the major players...how can they be doubted as being unreliable?

Response #8:

Good points!!!

Question #9:

In Revelation 1:10 when John says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” is “the Lord’s Day” the same as the “Day of the Lord”? I have heard from multiple sources (Dr. White being one of them) that “the Lord’s Day” is a reference to Sunday, the first day of the week, because it’s the day of Jesus’ resurrection, and we see in Acts 20:7 that the early church was already meeting on that day. So does “the Lord’s Day” here refer to the prophetic “Day of the Lord”, or simply to Sunday because that’s the day of the week when John would have been worshipping as a Christian?

Response #9:

The reference is clearly to Sunday. John phrases this much differently from "the Day of the Lord" or similar phrasing by using the adjective kyriakos ("belonging to the Lord") in addition to "day" = almost "Lord's-day".

Question #10:

Hi Bob and family,

I was talking to someone yesterday about the ‘catching away’ and explaining the different views that people have and he thought about it and asked a question that kind of took me by surprise a little. He asked, does it really matter which view you hold – is it a salvation issue?

It caused me to think and I said, not in the sense you are asking but if you put your hope in the pre-trib view you really have no fear of Tribulation because you are thinking you won’t be here but if it happens after Tribulation, which is the correct view, you won’t be spiritually prepared for what is coming. And that will make it very difficult to survive as there is no way of surviving without His help and you will need a preparation of mind for that.

You could also be among those who hold to the pre-trib view and when they realise it has already begun and they are still here, their disappointment could turn to despair and perhaps even end up hating God. And they may take the mark to be able to buy and sell just to survive.

Of course, they will realise their mistake when they see Him at the end and plead for forgiveness – but to no avail. Anyone taking the mark has forfeited their opportunity, even in ignorance – it will be too late. Taking the mark is the point of no return and there is simply no forgiveness for taking the mark – you will have sold your sole to the devil.

It was an interesting conversation and it gave him something to think about and I hope to continue it in the future.

As you have said before there will be much ‘work to do’ when these days arrive and I know if I can do my best and sew a seed of faith, God will do the watering.

I am eagerly immersing myself in your latest work – enjoying it so much and so very good. Will make this do for now and again dear Bob, with brotherly love,

Response #10:

Always great to hear from you, my friend. I keep you and your family in my daily prayers.

Very well done on your part, my friend. I think if this person is/was at all interested in giving the truth a fair consideration you hit him "right between the eyes" with it. Nice job.

One small thing to add. No one is going to hell by accident. The devil is the master of deception, but the prohibition against taking the mark couldn't be more clear, and there will be a worldwide supernatural warning against it as the Great Tribulation begins (Rev.14:9-11). The mark will be something people line up to get because of the "benefits" it confers (and the persecution it avoids). But its meaning – worshiping the beast – will be beyond clear. So I don't think, actually, that genuine believers will take the mark. In each and every case, I suspect that a person will have to have already lost faith / reverted to being an unbeliever before taking the mark. The mark will merely be – in those cases – the manifestation of lost faith / apostasy.

Hardening one's heart against the truth so as to be able to take the mark in spite of the supernatural warning is a measure of the grand self-deception in which the whole world will partake at that time – believers who know their Lord and who are willing to follow Him even unto death being the only notable exceptions.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Rev 18:23 says in part: ...for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

How should I understand this? Sorceries via witchcraft, etc., is possible, but if the original Greek indicates magic powders and potions - pharmaceuticals or, perhaps food additives and vaccines, that seems a more reasonable understanding. Is this correct or am I off in the weeds again?

On another front, do you know of a NIV '84 translation in large print? My current version is a study Bible in 4-4.5 point type and my tired old eyes can't deal with that anymore. I would be looking for something in 12 point or larger and I'm finding little online. Don't go to a lot of effort, but should you know of anything, I would appreciate it.

Thanks.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #11:

Taking these in reverse order, I found a 1984 NIV large print on ABE book exchange for $6.49 ($3.00 shipping) at the link: NIV Large Print Bible (Zondervan 1985).

As to Revelation 18:23, pharmakeia is meant broadly in terms of mystery-Babylon's satanic influence on the world; one could say that this "cultural" influence acts a magic potion of sorts to corrupt the world (cf. the golden cup in the hands of the prostitute in Rev.17:4, "full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication" KJV). So "cultural" and religious influence leading to the worship of the beast is the main application, but one would not want to rule out any of her outrageous behaviors that lead to this same evil goal.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

What a horrible judgment the last judgment will be! They shall arise to a voice that is not friendly or inviting but dreadful and death-inducing. And they will be given a complete tour of the history of their life.

But that's not the worst part. The worst part is not going over the history of your life. The worst part is that their history didn't have to be like this. The worst part is that the history could have been like a stroll through memory lane, as if you were looking through photographs of your previous vacation at the Rockies. History should be a pleasant study that makes you joyful and fills you with warm memories. That was God's design.

Response #12:

I think the lake of fire will be the worst part. The most incredible thing to me is that even if let out of the lake of fire and given another chance in life in corrupt bodies without immediate necessity and with the same opportunity to harden the heart against the truth . . . they would all do exactly the same thing all over again.

The plan of God is PERFECT.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

I think I am just reacting because I feel like I haven't done anything, even though I have felt a fire for a long time and yet I have no accomplishment, and the times I tried I messed it up, and I did spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure it out searching and reading instead of doing normal things and feel I didn't get much of anywhere. It is just feeling like failure and hopelessness and waste and bitterness. Passages I am referencing:

“And in the progression of Church eras related above, it seems clear that the material prosperity we enjoy today is much more the result of residual blessing from the era of Philadelphia than from our own efforts (in a manner analogous to spendthrift children enjoying an inheritance from thrifty parents).”


“The (relative) political stability, material prosperity, and scientific progress which followed in the wake of the era of Philadelphia was, from the standpoint of opportunity, a blessing, for it provided heretofore unheard of possibilities for individual Christians. In no other era have Christians collectively had as much time, as much freedom, and as much availability of necessary materials (everything from scriptures in original languages, opportunities for education, books, pamphlets, and potentially well-trained teachers) for spiritual advance.”

As I said before, this might fit the generations leading up to the most recent lifetime or so, but around the Millennial generation we don't have lots of free time or money or resources anything like in the recent past. And lots of books and articles (many of which I have searched through-though obviously not even scratched the surface) don't mean much if they are bad material and you don't know where the good material is. I don't think I would have ever have found your wonderful website if I had had any free time away from the Bible like the hyper religious Puritans.

I think that when you describe Laodicea in the Revelations, you might have gone a bit beyond what it actually says in the Scripture. It says that they-the people themselves-claim that they have it all. But I don't see the Scripture saying itself that they have more access to Bible teaching than every before or wealth than ever before. As someone who spent an unhealthy amount of time reading the Bible and searching for teaching for many years, I don't see an excess so available. I mean now that I finally discovered your website after years of searching, it is a real treasure and blessing. But it was after lots of digging, and it I had acted like the Puritans and -gasped- had some time not reading the Bible, I might never have found it.

I also don't see that people my age or younger actually do have lots of material wealth in reality-quite the opposite. Thousands of school loan debt, comparisons between lifestyles now vs in recent history, country itself trillions in debt, etc. But I do see them thinking and acting like they have it all (ironically while sitting in our sad little apartments alone with no family, little money, and lots of debt), which does fit with the Scripture. I mean them claiming it. And also the being lukewarm thing. I don't mean to accuse you or anything. Just that I don't know that the resources-like-never-before fits, it just says that that is what they claim to be so. And Scripture does seem to only say that it is a claim they make. Maybe it fits the 60s generation though? But in 8 years they will be the minority on the way out.

Response #13:

First off, as long as a Christian is alive, there is opportunity to grow, progress and produce. Each day brings new opportunities. It is a mistake and a trap to look back with regret – or to look back at all. As I often say, the only day that matters in the Christian life is "today"; yesterday is gone and cannot be changed (if we do look back, we need to see only the cross and the day we were saved by putting our faith in Christ); tomorrow is uncertain – we don't even know if we'll be given tomorrow (I had a dear Christian friend in graduate school not much older than yourself who was "fine" in the morning and deceased in the evening). But we do have today. And we need to make the best possible use of it for the Lord. Even those who have "done well for years" did it this same way: striving for the Lord one day at a time. There is nothing else. Looking back morbidly only keeps us from exploiting the opportunity which is "today".

On Laodicea, if you read the sections you included carefully, you will see I'm talking in general terms. And, generally speaking, these comments are dead-on correct. There was no internet in the 19th century, and most people lived on the farm still at that time. Even those who lived in cities were, except for the elites (who are the exception throughout history), generally limited in how far they could go to hear the truth on a regular basis. Today, we can video conference. Even many poor people in Africa have cell phones and internet access. In our country, how many young people don't have indoor plumbing or electricity or the internet and TV and radio? How many have to work eighty hours a week to survive? How many don't have enough to eat? There are exceptions to every generality, but even those with zero money are well-off by comparison with the past. I'm not rich either, believe me. But in terms of the quality of life we can have today even with a negative net worth, there is absolutely no comparison to anything in the past. In terms of what really counts, Greek and Hebrew can be learned online, and virtually everything a man needs to prepare for ministry is now there free for the taking (it does require work). And there are good Bible ministries available online too. I like to the think of Ichthys as one of these and I also highly recommend Bible Academy (at the link); learning the truth still requires work too. In the not too distant past, physical books were the only alternative to face to face local church teaching, and these were expensive and not that easy to find or to come by. Now it's all available at the click of a mouse. That is true even for most poor people in the US. But in spite of these advantages, interest in exploiting these opportunities (to prepare to minister or to be ministered to through the Word) has never been lower. Q.E.D.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

I imagine you are in your late sixties, so I think you will go see all of your friends and family soon too. I will be sad when you are gone. At least life here doesn't go one forever for me either. The Bible is a comfort when I read it. At the very least I will be going to God, waiting for me.

I am very sorry about your friend. That must have been hard to lose someone you care about and so suddenly.

You are right. I will read the Bible, pray, and when I can, do Greek. That is something (I mean the prayer is something in the way over production at least). Yes I am materially better off than the average person in the past though. I am just kind of used to thinking of land/homesteading as wealth. But that is a narrow view. If I am living through the Tribulation, there will probably be serious opportunity then, anyway. At the very least to show that I love God more than anything. Thanks for your patience and help again.

Response #14:

Well, in the immortal words of Woody Guthrie, "I ain't dead yet!"

Also, it's not beyond the realm of the possible that I might struggle through to the second advent (it's only fifteen years away in my calculation of things).

But thanks for your kind words, and also about my friend. Yes, I'll have all eternity to worship the Lord along with her . . . and you and all of our brothers and sisters who love Jesus Christ more than anything in this world.

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi Bob!

One of the things in Christendom that disturbs me is the lack of spiritual discernment, especially in the Charismatic movement that seems to be dominating "Christianity" today. Why is there such a lack of spiritual discernment? There are even top Christian apologists and theologians that use "experience" rather than the truth of Scripture as if it replaces scripture. I don't doubt that there are times in our lives when we experience the goodness of God as we clearly see Him accomplishing His will in our lives; but I ALWAYS test the spirits and compare it with the Word of God. How does it come to be that such men and women who truly love God can fall into such error and lack of spiritual discernment?

As mentioned in a previous email, some internet "prophet" took scripture out of context and said that after the first week of August, the apocalypse will begin. Then there were hundreds of comments from Christians feeling terrible about themselves and felt that they needed to repent. Why now? This is something that should have been in the hearts of these believers all the time. The problem with this false prophecy is that it only takes one false word to show that someone is a false prophet. And now since it is obvious that this "prophecy" did not come to pass causes a lot of problems, such as those who put their trust in this internet prophet are now felt that they were let down. And I believe that this can cause people's faith to waver and cause them to stumble in the sense that them being on the alert for Christ's return is diminished. I cannot figure out why Christians can fall into such error. Why is this happening? and why is it so prevalent today more than ever? Thanks in advance!

God Bless,

Response #15:

The short answer to your question is "free will". Christians, like everyone else, have to make their own choices. Why is there such a prevalence of bad choices nowadays? Short answer: this is the era of Laodicea, the prophesied lukewarmness of the Church prior to the Tribulation.

All of your comments are spot on, my friend, and they bespeak something most of us who are truly desirous of pleasing the Lord HIS WAY (through spiritual growth, progress and production) often notice, namely, that we are getting farther and farther away from the rest of our brethren in our entire manner of looking at things. Because while they are looking at things like spiritual two year olds, we are advancing into ever greater spiritual maturity. So this is a natural consequence of the divergence in approaches between the majority Lukewarm and the minority "red hot" for Jesus Christ – in an actually biblical (rather than merely showy emotional) way.

Why is there so little discernment? Because there is so little attention to learning the truth of the Word of God.

When there is no [respect for] divine communication (lit., "vision" [from God] = the truth of the Word), the people are unrestrained, but he who obeys the Law (lit. "teaching" from God) will be blessed.
Proverbs 29:18

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Robert,

Thank you so much for Ichthys. I haven't found any Bible study website like it. I've seen so much that isn't taught at Church. My class at Church is studying Colossians. In chapter one, verse twenty-four can you explain what Paul means that is still lacking? No one was clear on the meaning. Also, Paul mentions Laodicea in a positive way. Do you have any understanding about what happened between Colossians and Revelation? Thank you for your time and teaching.

Response #16:

Good to make your acquaintance – and thanks so much for these kind words.

As to your questions, let me take them in reverse. It is true that Paul mentions Laodicea four times in his epistle to the neighboring Colossians (Col.2:1; 4:13; 4:15; 4:16). I don't disagree that he does so "in a positive way" – at least there is nothing negative in what he says. But all of the passages are along the lines of expressing pastoral care and concern. Paul often does that and also upbraids the congregation in question pretty severely in the same letter (as in 1st Corinthians and Hebrews notably). So I'm not sure that we can draw the conclusion from these brief comments that there was nothing going on in Laodicea at the time which was not threatening in the direction mentioned in Revelation. Paul's letter was written ten to twenty years before Revelation, enough time, it seems to me, for a changing of the guard, the rise of a new generation which was far less enthusiastic about the truth than their parents had been. Also, the purpose in Revelation is different. The messages from our Lord are delivered in full knowledge of all that is truly going on, and are meant in the case of all seven churches to "cut to the quick" and lay bare the precise character of each (this was not Paul's purpose in his brief comments). And perhaps most importantly, the main purpose of the messages to the seven churches is to use them as templates for outlining the trends of the rest of the Church Age which follows, with each church representing an era of the Church Age and sequentially so (please see the link: "The Seven Churches"). The final era, Laodicea, the one we are currently in, is characterized by the lukewarmness which our Lord castigates, so this failing of the contemporary Laodicean church is emphasized also for that reason.

As to Colossians 1:24, this verse has to be interpreted in the light of "sharing the suffering of Christ" (Rom.8:17; 2Cor.1:5; Phil.1:29-30; 3:10; Col.1:24; 2Tim.2:12; 1Pet.4:12-13; cf. Matt.10:38; 16:24; Mk.8:34; 10:21; 10:38-39; Lk.9:23; 14:27; Acts 5:41; 2Cor.4:10-11; Gal.6:17; 1Thes.1:6; 2Thes.1:4-5; 2Tim.3:12; see the link: in CT 2A: ""sharing in the sufferings of Christ" is a part of the normal Christian experience").

Paul suffered greatly for the Lord (1Cor.4:8-13; 2Cor.4:7-12; 6:3-10; 11:16-33; Phil.3:7-11; et passim in Acts and the Pauline Epistles), and this is for all dedicated Christians as it was for Paul a part of our "imitation of Christ" (1Cor.11:1).

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
Matthew 16:24 NKJV (cf. Matt.10:28; Mk.8:34; Lk.9:23; 14:27)

Our Christian lives, properly led, are focused on Christ, focused on what He did for us, and focused on following Him, carrying our own crosses in emulation of Him. That means being ready to sacrifice everything for Him at any time, bidding farewell in our hearts to everything in this world (Lk.14:33), and being ready to suffer for Him. This is the plan of God for Christ's Church (1Thes.3:4; 2Tim.3:12).

That being the case, the fulfillment of the Church can be viewed in several ways. One, of course, is the filling out of its prophesied number (matching the number of the fallen angels; see the Satanic Rebellion series, part 5 in particular; link); this Age will continue until that number is met and then the resurrection will occur at Christ's return.

However, it is also true that the Church is being left here in the world in order to witness to it and in order to win eternal rewards. The winning of these crowns et al. (at the link), involves spiritual growth, spiritual progress in passing testing and refining faith, and spiritual production – all things the Lord wants us to do, all of which involve suffering of one type or another. So another way to look at the fulfillment of the Church is the completion of its mission viewed individually and in the aggregate. That is what Paul is doing in the passage you ask about. In other words, when Paul says "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church" (Col.1:24 NKJV), he is saying, in effect, "I'm doing my job" and implying "follow my example and do the same".

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

When we engage in these "works" (growing spiritually, living accordingly in spite of opposition, and helping others do likewise), we are doing our part in completing the plan, "filling in what is not yet done or lacking" after which we will all see the Lord, and doing so in spite of suffering and opposition. We have it from our Lord that this process (and such suffering / testing) is necessary in order to maximize our production for Him:

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

We know plenty from scripture about the specifics of the eschatological time-table which is set, and it's not as if we are going to affect in any way the working out of the perfect pre-ordained plan of God, but it is nice to know that we all have a job to do in "filling in what's to be done". It certainly ought to be motivation to follow Paul's lead and do it, even if there is pain with the gain (as there certainly will be).

Here's a link to a brief rebuttal of a false interpretation of this passage: "What is lacking"

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob,

Hope you are well and enjoying summer. I thought it would perhaps be wise to request your view on the some interpretations where we seem to differ. They do not affect the gist of our end time interpretations, but does affect some of the detail. I would love to continue the 'side-by-side' development of our views, even if some of the detail differs. However, its up to you to decide whether you can live with the localized integration of our views or not.

They are the following:

1) Eternal Security: In my view Jesus is clear on this in John 6 and 10.
2) Pre-wrath rapture: To me the sixth seal represents the actual rapture, and not a preview.

The effect of these two differences can be seen in my posts '3.9 The 7-7-7 timetable' and '7.8 The Great Apostasy', If you agree that these are side-issues to the general post-trib theme, I would be delighted. If not, no worries, I will remove the references and all Ichthys content. Alternatively we can present the two views side-by- side and let the reader decide. (not that there are any readers of my blog!)

Thanks for your guidance,

Regards,

Response #17:

I have no problems with how you decide to present things (as long as there is no mistaken impression given about the teaching at Ichthys).

I certainly would not part fellowship with you over these two doctrinal points, but they are very important. I have written quite extensively about both of them and will give you the links below, so what I have to say here is more along the lines of explaining the importance of getting these two teaching write (rather than a "ground up" teaching / defense of them; for that, please see the links). To take these in reverse order:

The so-called pre-Tribulation "rapture": It is often argued by proponents of this dangerous false doctrine (for which there is not one single shred of biblical evidence) that "it makes no difference". In fact, it makes a great deal of difference. We live in the final era of the Church Age, that of Laodicea, and Christians today as I'm sure you can affirm yourself are most definitely lukewarm when it comes to having the discipline or the interest to learn anything deep and true about the Bible and its teachings. If, however, they realized that the Tribulation was only a few years away, and, consequently, if they realized that they were going to be entering that Tribulation themselves (as opposed to being magically released by some "rapture" before it even begins), they might just be motivated to begin to prepare spiritually. At the very least, they might just take eschatological teachings seriously. As it is, eschatology for most genuine Christians today is merely a "fun" area of speculation, and they fell free to ignore it or entertain all manner of fantasies and false teachings about it precisely because "it doesn't matter". Problem is, it does matter. The Lord's typical m.o. is to bring us through trouble rather than giving us a completely free pass from it (does the exodus ring a bell?). If that is true of all of the believers of note in the Bible (and it is), and if that is our own Christian experience (and it is), then it certainly is likely to be true in this case as well – especially since the Bible has so very much to say about the Tribulation in both testaments. Why would the Lord give us so much information . . . if it didn't matter? He does so because it matters a great deal (as everyone will find out very shortly). There is much to say about the particulars (see the links), but what I always do with those who seem to think the Bible teaches a pre-Trib rapture is to just read – carefully and slowly read – Matthew chapter 24, and explain what these verses mean and when they occur considered at face value. Only exegetical gymnastics which violate the sanctity of scripture can a) find a pre-Trib resurrection here and/or b) fail to see that the resurrection occurs at our Lord's second advent return and not before, His parousia (as every other Old and New Testament passage also teaches). Here are those links:

The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted

Dangers of the Pre-Trib Rapture False Teaching

When is the Rapture?

Parousia

The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory

No Rapture

Wrath

Unconditional Eternal Security: For believers who really are trying to live their lives for Jesus Christ, this may be less of an issue – at the moment. However, during the Tribulation, one third of the actual Church is prophesied to apostatize (lose faith and thus lose life eternal), so that while the pressures of the present day may in fact be insufficient in most cases to lead some to depart from Christ aided in that bad decision by misunderstanding this point, during the Tribulation such a notion might be fatal. If "I am saved no matter what", then why not take the mark of the beast and avoid all the nasty persecution that is befalling other Christians? In fact, only believers are saved. In fact, it is possible for faith in Christ to be lost as scripture very clear affirms:

And those [whose seed of faith fell] on the rock do receive the Word with joy when they hear it. However these [types] have no root [to their faith]. They believe for a while, but in time of testing they apostatize.
Luke 8:13

People who "believer for a while" but then "apostatize" no longer believe by definition, and only believers are saved:

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

The perfect tense employed by our Lord in the "because" clause indicates a state of disbelief at present – regardless of what may have happened in the past. Believers are described in scripture everywhere as "believers", that is "those who do [presently] have faith in Jesus Christ" – but what if a person loses faith, abandons faith, lets their faith die out completely? That person has rejected salvation of their own free will. Indeed, it is precisely to test and to demonstrate the genuineness of our faith that we are left in this world after salvation. Some persevere; some do not. That is a matter of choice. We have the image of God – free will; if we couldn't rebel / apostatize, we would no longer be free.

This is not to say that our salvation rests on "pins and needles". That is the opposite extreme on this issue and equally false. Losing one's faith is not the result of committing some sin and having salvation taken away. As long as we believe, we are saved, even if we are headed down a wrong path. Heading down the wrong road does injure us spiritually, does degrade our faith, and can lead to apostasy or the sin unto death (depending on our choices in rebellion against the Lord; see the link); but people never lose salvation accidentally or suddenly or without considering what they are doing. In every such case, they decide to turn away from Christ. So when you quote John 6 (abiding in Christ) or John 10 (no one being able to snatch a believer out of Christ or the Father's hands), it is good to consider that these and similar passages are speaking of the security of the believer in Christ; however, those who cease to abide and choose not to abide any longer, and those who themselves remove themselves from the embrace of the Father and of our Lord by turning away, rejecting Him, apostatizing from Him, are no longer believers, and thus no longer saved.

"But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’"
Luke 13:27 NIV

Here are those links:

The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security III

The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security II

The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security I

Three False Doctrines

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your grace in letting differences not getting in the way of continued exploring /development of our views. I did not fully explain the reasons for my views, hence your openness to engage was very encouraging if maybe a bit unexpected. Your detailed reply gave me so much more than I thought you'd have time for. From your explanation I now gather we are not too far apart on both the points mentioned. There is perhaps only a slight difference in perspective.

On eternal security, we agree that only believers are saved. Perhaps the difference in perspective is that I believe that God will 'keep' all his children from falling. (1Pet 1: "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed at the last time"). I agree that faith saved us, and that those who keep believing are saved. The main implication is that I believe that the apostates are apparent believers (as far as we can establish - only God knows the heart) and were thus not saved in the first place because they had accepted some corrupted form of the gospel. They may have insisted in their hearts, for example, that some recognition of their efforts/works is due and needs to be added to Jesus' work on the cross. Such a corrupted gospel has no power to save. It seems both our interpretations regarding the state of other believers is dependant on the heart of the believer, and only God knows the heart. Persecution will definitely remove this uncertainty!

As for the pre-tribulation rapture, I fully agree with you that this is a false teaching. Regarding my cryptic second point, note the pre-wrath rapture is actually a little known version of the post tribulation interpretation. As you say, the rapture and the second coming of Jesus (as per Matt 24) will be after the Great Tribulation, not before, i.e. a post-trib rapture. I also agree Matt 24:29-31 corresponds to the sixth seal with the "Sun and moon being darkened,...", etc. in Revelation 6.

The difference is in our definition of the term 'tribulation' and of the 'Great Tribulation'. My definition ends the tribulation (including the Great Tribulation, as defined in the preceding Matt 24:21) at the point when the Sun and moon are being darkened (v29). The Great Tribulation is thus placed before the events of the sixth seal. Then we have Jesus' coming and the rapture, when the angels gather the elect. Clearly the tribulation is now over, as the rapture and the second coming of Jesus both are "AFTER the tribulation of this days (v29)". Thus both the tribulation and the Great Tribulation precede the trumpets and bowls. The trumpets and bowls are the outpouring of Gods wrath upon the unbelieving world, and are not part of the Great Tribulation.

Hence this version of the post tribulation rapture places the rapture before the wrath of God, hence the term pre-wrath rapture. This is likely to be sometime after the Abomination, which Jesus refers to in v15. The abomination is well before the v29 rapture. Because the rapture is thus within the 1260 days after the Abomination, during the time of Great Tribulation, which is then cut short, its timing is also indeterminate. Only the Father knows when He will decide that enough is enough, and cut short the persecution. This cutting short of v22 clarifies v36 about the day or the hour. That day will be sometime during the second half of the 70th week.

Thereafter the trumpets and bowls, which have a undefined start but, as you point out, a defined end.

Hope that better defines my pre-wrath one-liner in the previous email.

Regards.

Response #18:

If only believers are saved, what about those who cease to believe? How can they possibly still be considered believers if they no longer believe?  So the logic of the argument you make seems persuasive, but this is theological territory. We have it from our Lord Himself that there are those who "believe" but then "fall away" into apostasy after the withering of their faith "plant", that is, the complete death of their faith (Lk.8:13).

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:11-16 NIV

These verses (not to mention perhaps a quarter of the Bible) mean a great deal less to someone who is of the mistaken impression that nothing he/she could ever do would ever jeopardize his/her faith. Please do have a look at the previously provided links.

As to wrath, believers are never subject to the wrath of God – we have been delivered from "the wrath to come" (1Thes.1:10). That means that we will not be the object of our Lord's vengeance, during the Tribulation (when we will be brought through these trials like the Israelites during the ten plagues on Egypt); it does not mean we won't be there (just as the children of Israel were in Egypt during these plagues). When you say, "thus both the tribulation and the Great Tribulation precede the trumpets and bowls", I find no basis for even making such an argument. Revelation is largely chronological, and many of the events in both of these judgments clearly cannot take place at any other point than in their sequential, chronological place during the seven years (just consider Rev.16:17-19, for example). See "trumpet judgments" and "bowl judgments"; and for the meaning of the 42 months / 1,260 days, please see the link.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Thanks Bob,

What you say on Luke 8 is how I always used to see it. For me Luke 8 now reads differently. We did a Bible study on Luke 8 just a few months ago, and we noticed the end of the verse 12: Those by the way side are they that hear; then comes the devil, and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. (Luke 8:12 KJV) . Hence, if the seed (word) had germinated, they would have been saved, even if the heart (the wayside/road) was hard. Next, the v13 seed that falls in rocky soil. By the underlined definition of v12, this is a person that believes and is saved, whether it withers afterwards or not. The same with the plant that is choked, and brought no fruit to perfection. That is the magnificence of God's mercy.

I know this sounds radical, but I believe this is how radical God's eternal life promise and mercy is. With such a great promise in my soul I would never consider taking liberties with my promise of security and dishonor God deliberately, I also believe God will keep me from ever 'jeopardizing my faith'. Therefore we need not fear that eternal security would generate apathy and slackness, quite the contrary, I believe it emboldens. It has for me.

I really can see your point of view, that is always how I used to see it, but on closer inspection am not so sure anymore. Else the gospel is not really good news, is it, if the requirement is that I do have to multiply the seed hundredfold in order to know that we are saved?

I have read the scriptures on the warnings, against a 'spirit of unbelief', etc. Yes, there are many. It is a mystery, how the promises and warnings co-exist. If you lean towards the 'safe' side, I understand that. If I lean towards the 'extravagant' side, I'm sure that pleases God too.

Regards,

Response #19:

Let me assure you, my friend, that I rejoice to the depth of my being in the great grace and mercy of the Lord. His mercy is so great and His love so immeasurable and the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ so ineffable that it can only be dimly comprehended as to its magnitude even by we who have made His Word our life.

. . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 NKJV

Please keep in mind, however, that this inimitable love of God wherein the Son died for all sin is directed towards unbelievers is well: Christ died for every one of their sins as well. So why are unbelievers not saved? Our Lord tells us why not:

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

The issue is faith in Jesus Christ. Those who have faith in Jesus Christ are believers, and believers are saved; those who do not, are not.

What about someone who did believe in Christ but for some reason or other, persecution, disappointment, disillusionment with God because of some loss e.g., loses faith and comes to the point of no longer believing? That person is, by definition, not a believer, and only believers are saved. According to scripture, "a believer" is a person who possesses faith in Jesus Christ. This is most often expressed in the New Testament through the use of the present participle of the verb "to believe" used as a substantive; in other words, a believer is, literally in scripture, "a believing person", with the object of that faith being Jesus Christ. But if said person comes to a crossroads where they lose that faith and in fact no longer believes in Christ then said person is not a believer – and according to our Lord's words above, condemned for lack of belief. If things were otherwise, we would no longer truly have free will after salvation. I suppose one could, as suggested, see that as a measure of God's grace – but how can a just God give someone a pass when they don't believe, when they in effect "trample under foot the Son of God" (Heb.10:29)? If He could do so, it seems to me that we would have to conclude that He will save everyone, believing or not, so that no one will not be saved. But we certainly know that only believers are saved. So, if only believers are saved, then either those who lose faith lose salvation, or being a believer means nothing because all will be saved, if those who lose faith are saved.

As to your interpretation of Luke 8:12, let me start by reminding you that in the same context in the very next verse our Lord affirms that there is a category of person who "believes for a while" but then loses faith, and the plant of faith shrivels and dies. That is not a picture of salvation. It's also not good to have weeds stunt one's spiritual growth, but in that case the faith plant is not described as dying, so the person is saved even so, but without reward. I suspect, based upon what I have learned about the Bible and seen in this world that the number of believers who fall into the fourth category who produce a significant crop will be far in the minority. So in this parable we have four types: 1) those who never believe (not saved); 2) those who believe but do not persevere (not saved); 3) those who believe but fail to produce (saved but without serious reward); 4) those who are saved and produce a good crop (with concomitant reward).

In Luke 8:12 itself, please note that there are two verbal actions in the clause you are relying on, having to do first with believing and second with being saved: ". . . in order that they might be saved" . . . how? . . . "by being a believer". In the Greek, it is not a case, as the English translations suggest, of "believe AND be saved"; in fact, the part about believing is not a finite verb but a participle in the aorist tense. The best I can do with this in a literal rendering is [the devil sees to it that the gospel truth is removed from them] "with the purpose that they might not be saved on account of having become believers". The reason we become believers is so as to be saved; but it does not follow necessarily or logically that having become believers we are all going to stay believers and thus actually BE saved in the end; that depends on us persevering in our faith to the end (cf. Heb.10:36). In short, the language here does not eliminate the possibility of apostasy – and in the very next verse our Lord assures us that such IS a possibility.

I have no worries about you. And indeed, probably most lukewarm believers in our lukewarm age would not normally be likely to fall away into apostasy (unless they lost a loved one and blamed God, e.g.) if things continued much as they are. But we are on the cusp on the Tribulation. And a third of believers are prophesied to fall away therein (see the link). For unprepared believers, getting through the Tribulation with faith intact is going to be hard enough, but if they are operating with any false doctrine in their hearts, this will be even more problematic. Why not, as I posed before, take the mark of the beast – if they are going to be saved anyway? I ask you that in all earnestness.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for taking the trouble to explain your thinking on Luke 8 in detail. I concede that the plant that withers, taking it at face value as Jesus presented it, seems to indicate a complete loss of spiritual life. And as you say, the seed/plant that is choked represents the majority of believers today. I also have to concede that the bible is clear on the mark of the beast: that anyone taking the mark of the beast is definitely excluded/not saved. That is a problem for the eternal security view, as apostasy would seem to imply that a person first was 'a child of God' and then lost that position. Certainly, if anyone takes the mark of the beast reasoning that they are going to be saved anyway, that means they never read the bible properly or that were deceived by a wrong understanding of their security as a believer.

I'll think about it some more. The only way out, for the eternal security point of view, is to claim such a person accepted a false gospel and was never saved in the first place. Does Jesus not say that the wheat and tares are, from our perspective, virtually indistinguishable? To us a lukewarm believer and an unsaved churchgoer may appear the same. This is probably the case in most churches. Hence, from our point of view these tares are fellow Christians, and when they fall away it would seem that they apostatize .

I fully agree that presuming on our salvation and being irresponsible as a result is a wicked and ungodly attitude. I'm just questioning whether its at all possible to be this presumptuous if we are saved.

Thanks again for helping reconsider the Luke 8 interpretation.

Regards,

Response #20:

No worries, my friend!

You're most welcome. I think also that I do know where you are coming from. We are indeed secure in Christ because we believe in Him. And we are not going to trade that precious faith for any "mess of pottage". We do have to take into account, however, that not everyone is of such strong faith, and that therefore the scriptures in God's great mercy give appropriate warning and very often too to help the marginal ones hold onto at the least the far shoulder of the strait and narrow. It is also true that there are a great many "churches", groups and cults that teach what I call "pins and needles" salvation; that is, the idea that loss of salvation is only a sin away. That is a damnable false doctrine, and I have probably answered more email assuring Christians that they have NOT lost their salvation than any other type since I started this ministry many years ago. The truth is neither "saved no matter what" or "if ever you fail not saved". The truth is that we are saved and secure in Jesus Christ as those who believe. No one and nothing can rip us from the grasp of the Father and the Son (Jn.10:28-29). Our job is merely to persevere in that faith so as not to pull ourselves away through rejecting Christ from the eternal security that is ours by faith. This will be a bigger temptation during the Tribulation for those who are on the margins and only bouncing along with minimal faith. We know that from scripture (2Thes.2:3; and see the link: "the Great Apostasy").


I appreciate your willingness to listen, my friend! It's a very rare quality in our Laodicean era.

Keep up the good fight for Jesus Christ our Lord.

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hi Bob,

There was a gathering of Christians that I attended yesterday and it was about the 2nd coming of Christ, or the rapture. They sent out this 2hr video about how after this week of August, the apocalypse will begin. The author of that video quoted "the falling away" before the man of sin is revealed. He said that the Greek word refers to a departure or what he translated it as, the rapture. Such false teachers as Jack Van Impe had said the same thing, but from what you have taught me and the bible, it clearly says that this is an "apostasy" because of the Greek word "apostasia". I responded very clearly by saying, "It doesn't matter to me what some internet prophet says, I know that we ALL should be ready at ALL TIMES. And that we should keep our lamps filled at ALL TIMES regardless of what someone is saying about when this rapture will occur. Then one of my brothers in Christ got offended and said that I am worshipping a god of my own imagination. I felt bad for him and prayed for him because he seems to be missing the point, and that is to be on guard at ALL TIMES, and to walk in the spirit AT ALL TIMES according to the strength that God has given us through Christ. It seems that most people just want the rapture to occur because they want some sort of permanent vacation, and are not willing to live or die for the Lord. I don't want to sow discord among Christians, so I'm just going to leave it at that as you advised not to quarrel about such things. To me...I am just going to walk in the spirit as the Lord gives me the strength, and to be watchful at ALL TIMES regardless of what their eschatalogical view of the rapture is. I hope I am doing what's right in the eyes of God as I always strive to please Him.

God Bless,

Response #21:

I've written a GREAT deal about this subject as I'm sure you know (for the latest which will lead to many other links see: "The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted"). In terms of the passage you ask about, 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3, it never ceases to amaze me how pre-Trib rapture proponents can so willfully ignore what is written right on the page in front of them. You are correct, of course, that the apostasia is not a "rapture" but the Great Apostasy (link). But it should be clear from a grade-school reading of any English translation that it CANNOT be a "rapture":

(1) Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, (2) not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. (3) Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (apostasia) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.
2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3 NKJV

Consider: Paul equates the second advent ("coming") and the resurrection ("our gathering together") with "the day" in verses one and two. Then in verse three he says that this Day/advent/resurrection cannot happen before the apostasia. But if the resurrection were the apostasia – as these people claim – then the resurrection would have to precede itself. Or to put in their terms, "the rapture cannot take place until after the rapture takes place". Absurd.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Hi Bob!

I tried to link to your website ministry but I can't seem to connect to it on any computer. I was listening to your past colleague (John MacArthur) and one of his audio broadcasts and he cited the 2 Thessalonians 2:2 passage, and he said that the passage mentioned does not actually refer to "the day of the Lord", but of a pre-trib rapture. Biblical scholars are divided on this issue.

John MacArthur wrote:

"But now, in a time of severe persecution and trial, the Christians at Thessalonica had fallen prey to the false idea that God was already pouring out His final wrath and they were among the objects of that wrath. They obviously feared they had missed the rapture and were about to be swept away in the final and epochal judgments of the Day of the Lord. The day of Christ had come” (2 Thessalonians 2:2). “The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him” is a clear reference to the rapture. “The day of Christ” is the day of the Lord (in fact, the older manuscripts use the expression “day of the Lord” in this verse). There were two aspects of the error troubling the Thessalonian church: one was the notion that they had missed the rapture. The other was the accompanying fear that they had already entered into the apocalyptic judgment that signaled the day of the Lord had arrived already."

I obviously am not a scholar like you or MacArthur, so I always compare what the views are and compare it with scripture. Is it true that the older manuscripts translates "the day of the Lord" rather than "gathered together unto Him in the clouds"?

God Bless,

Response #22:

I noticed an outage on the site the other day too, but it went away after a little while. Please try again and let me know if you experience further trouble.

As to your question, no, the oldest and best mss. have "day of the Lord"; only a few ms. and not the oldest and best have "day of Christ". So there is no question about the reading whatsoever. Not that it matters. These terms are synonymous since Christ is the Lord. But it troubles me that 'M' seems to think that textual variants which are clearly wrong are of any moment, and that he would adduce them as some sort of evidence. It bespeaks a very low esteem for the Word of God. But that is perhaps to be expected when one considers that no verse in the Bible links the resurrection with anything but the second advent. That is to say, there is not a single verse which must be taken to show that the resurrection precedes the Tribulation – and that is clearly because it does not.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Hello mr. luginbill...i have recently become familiar with you and your ministry. so far, i have spent a fair amount of time reading some of your study material and will continue to delve into more. it amazes me that i have finally found someone that approaches the word of God with a flair for the truth and i thank God for that. i also posses a keen desire to rightly divide the word of truth even in the midst of the lukewarm meltdown of the modern church. i do not hold the most impressive list of credentials that you do but i am a diligent student at the international seminary of the Holy Spirit.

I can no longer sit on the sidelines and continue to listen to the ongoing display of dogmatic ideological bias from any source that is perverting the word of God. their dogma has become so intransigent that it is nothing more than doctrinaire. there are so many new evangelical buzz words and talking points that are leading uninformed "believers" astray. but this is really not something new. these supposed leaders continue to say things like, "as believers, we need to get it right", or that we need to properly interpret the word. they really should start taking their own advice. the attached brief study is a response to two "christian" radio talk shows, as well as to john macarthur who recently used 1 corinthians 15:52 to claim that the rapture will occur at the twinkling of an eye. as you probably know, he is a rabid pretriber.

It is my hope that you will have some time to consider this response and provide me with feedback. being on the right track is crucial to me. I also have a published book that i would like to send you at no charge, also for your feedback.

Thanks so much and bye for now.

Response #23:

A nice effort, my friend! The evidence in scripture which ties the resurrection to the return of Christ is overwhelming, and there are many passages which cannot even be twisted to support anything else (by anyone with a third grade reading knowledge of English, that is). I'm still waiting for a passage that ostensibly ties the resurrection to a point before the Tribulation. Case in point, it doesn't matter if the resurrection is quick "like a twinkling of an eye"; what matters for the purposes of this discussion is WHEN it "quickly" takes place. There is nothing in 1st Corinthians 15:52 or the context to make anyone think that this resurrection is separated somehow from the second advent. That's just not there. One small point on this: trumpets serve multiple purposes; the seven in Revelation are warning trumpets (a common feature of the use of trumpets in the Bible and the ancient world), but the "last trump" is a call to assembly – another very common use of trumpets.

Also, I do have to point out this verse:

For at that time [i.e., of believers in turmoil, not absent from earth] there will be a Great Tribulation (θλιψις μεγαλη) such as has never occurred from the beginning of the world until now, and [such as] will never again occur thereafter.
Matthew 24:21 (cf. Mk.13:19)

Keep up the good work for Jesus Christ, my friend!

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Dr. Luginbill,

The Jewish leaders of Jesus day didn't recognize Him because they only looked forward to His coming once, and then triumphantly. Could we be making a similar mistake with the rapture? Is the concept of multiple raptures Biblically compatible and if not what verse or verses eliminate it as a possibility?

Thank you for your time.

Response #24:

I'm not positive I understand your question, so please do feel free to write back if I don't make contact with the ball this time up.

When you say "what verse eliminates [multiple raptures] as a possibility", I have to say that this is not the way I approach the Bible. I try to let the Bible speak to me through the Spirit and build on the principles of truth garnered that way. Obviously, I have benefited from the work of others done over the millennia. But deductive theology which begins with theory and then tries to make scripture conform always ends badly (just consider how that nearly everything in Augustinian theology is wrong).

I also avoid using the word "rapture" since 1) it is not a Bible word, and 2) it is taken by most evangelicals to refer to a mythical resurrection which supposedly precedes the Tribulation. However, all the resurrection passages in the New Testament and all the references to Christ's return – one return only (the second advent) – are fixed on the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. This is a passage by passage process. There isn't any passage in scripture which places the resurrection before the Tribulation, and in terms of phases of the resurrection, if that is what you are asking about, we do have a passage which makes clear that for Christ and the elect there are three phases, namely, the resurrection of Christ (which is now a historical fact); the resurrection of the Bride which occurs when her Husband returns as King; the resurrection of the millennial believers at the end of history:

(23) But each [will be resurrected] in his own echelon. Christ [is the] first-fruits. Next [will be] those belonging to Christ at His coming (i.e., the 2nd Advent). (24) Then the end, when He will hand the Kingdom over to the Father, after He has brought an end to all rule, all power, and all authority. (25) For He must rule until He has placed all His enemies under His feet – (26) and death is the final enemy to be done away with.
1st Corinthians 15:23-26

If you'd like to know more about all this, please do have a look at some of the following links:

The Resurrection (explains the timing of all of the echelons of the resurrection; in Peter #20

The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride (in CT 5)

The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted

Dangers of the Pre-Trib Rapture False Teaching

When is the Rapture?

The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory

No Rapture

Three False Doctrines that Threaten Faith

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your response and your answer on the 10 virgins – you clear it up nicely.

Just wondering, am I correct about the ‘last trump’?

Thank you too, for your congratulations – teaching was something I enjoyed immensely. I was once terrified of public speaking and teaching face to face solved that problem!

As always my good friend,

Response #25:

Trumpets have several uses in scripture. One is to sound a warning (the function of the trumpet judgments, warning against what is coming, namely, antichrist's deception and the folly of following him); another is to sound assembly (see the link). The "trump of God" in 1st Thessalonians 4:16 is an assembly call. Any you are correct! Even though this assembly call for the resurrection of the Church given at the second advent is associated with angels (because no doubt they are the ones who "gather the elect": Matt.24:31), it is not said to be a trumpet blown by an angel, but seems to be initiated by the Lord Himself:

Then the LORD will be seen over them,
And His arrow will go forth like lightning.
The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet,
And go with whirlwinds from the south.
Zechariah 9:14 NKJV

"And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Matthew 24:31 NKJV

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1st Corinthians 15:51-52 NIV

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1st Thessalonians 4:16 NKJV

Thanks for this!

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #26:

hello again bob...there are a couple issues in revelation that i need your help with....

1. when do you believe the "last trump" is sounded?

2. i have run across three verses in revelation that could possibly but used to support pretrib...
2:24; 3:10; and 7:14...please advise (i hope it isn't so)

thanks.

Response #26:

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1st Corinthians 15:52 KJV

Simply from the verse above it is clear that when the "last trump" (KJV lingo) is sounded, the resurrection takes place ("and the dead shall be raised"); and it is also clear from this verse that Paul is talking about the resurrection of the Church ("and we shall be changed"; cf. the following verse as well). From the same chapter a few verses earlier:

(23) But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (24) Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1st Corinthians 15:23-24 KJV

Above we see that previously in the same chapter Paul has already explained the order and the time of the phases of the resurrection of the living (unbelievers are raised at the end of history when "death and Hades" the entire "sea" gives up all of her dead: Rev.20:13):

1) Christ (who has already been resurrected as the "firstfruits" of resurrection).

2) "they that are Christ's at his coming" (1Cor.15:23 above): this is the Church and "his coming" is the second advent; the Greek word is parousia, and this word is used in the NT as a technical term for the second advent:

(1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3 KJV

We are gathered unto Him at His return, the resurrection, and these events have to follow the Great Apostasy ("falling away") and the coming of antichrist (the "son of perdition"), both, obviously, events which take place during the Tribulation, thus fixing the parousia / second advent and resurrection to a point of time AFTER the Tribulation (indeed, this marks the end and coincides with Armageddon).

3) "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power" (1Cor.15:24 above): this "end" is the end of history, after the Millennium and the Gog-Magog rebellion of Revelation 20:7-10, and that is when the third and final phase of the resurrection takes place, the resurrection of the believers of the Millennium, the "friends of the Bride" (e.g., Rev.19:9).

There are no other phases or instances of the resurrection. So the "last trump" of 1st Corinthians 15:52 is the clarion call for the believers of the Church to rise and join the Lord in the air (1Thes.4:16-17), in order to observe His victory at Armageddon (Rev.19:4).

(30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And [then] he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Matthew 24:30-31 KJV

As to the verses you mention:

But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
Revelation 2:24 KJV

The "burden" is defined by what follows immediately in the next verse:

But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
Revelation 2:25 KJV

Staying faithful to the Lord "until He comes" is what is demanded of believers specifically here: to NOT fall away into apostasy (should it be the lot of anyone to enter the Tribulation in particular), but to hold onto faith until the Lord returns ("till I come"). That "coming" would be the second advent for believers in the Tribulation; for all others it would be physical death. So far from being a reassurance that believers don't have to contemplate the Tribulation, this verse says exactly the opposite: our "burden" is to stay faithful no matter what, even in the midst of the Tribulation. Also, there is no hint of a rapture here since the "burden" is faithfulness in keeping away from satanic teachings previously mentioned in the message. This is typical of "evidence" for the "rapture": what we have here in Revelation 2:24 is a verse which does not even mention resurrection and can at best only be considered not inconsistent with the theory of a pre-Trib "rapture" if it is taken out of context, twisted just so and viewed from an esoteric (and incorrect) perspective. I.e., it's not any sort of "evidence" for a "rapture".

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Revelation 3:10 KJV

The seven churches of Revelation are eras of the Church Age, and they have occurred chronologically. We are presently in the era of Laodicea – which is very plain to see, in my opinion, easily identified by the ubiquitous lukewarmness on the one hand while assuming being "rich" on the other (Rev.3:17). Here is the main link to where the church eras are discussed: in CT 2A: "The Seven Churches of Revelation". So the era of Philadelphia was indeed "kept" from entering the Tribulation, as all of those believers are now at home with the Lord.

I do realize that many people don't accept this interpretation ( even though to my mind it is beyond obvious with only a minimum of studying it out; see the link: "the seven church eras explained and defended"). But consider: if these are not eras, then they have to be individual churches of John's day. And if they are individual churches of the first century, then all of those who received this message in Philadelphia have likewise been kept from having to endure the Tribulation. Some want to say that because they feel these are only general truths and not applicable to eras nor merely to contemporary churches that for this reason all who have "kept the word of my patience" will be delivered from having to undergo the Tribulation. *But even if we accept all of this incorrect analysis just for sake of argument, please note that the Lord does NOT say "how" these individuals will be kept from having to endure the Tribulation! He does NOT say "ye shall be raptured" or "resurrected" – there is nothing of the sort here. "How else?", rapture devotees may ask. To which I say the Lord has many ways of doing things without resorting to an additional phase of the resurrection which is otherwise not mentioned and would contradict the passages listed above along with many others. One obvious way one might be "kept" from the Tribulation is prior physical death (no need to assume a "rapture"):

The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.
Isaiah 57:1 KJV

Given that the other churches among the seven which receive positive or not completely negative reports are NOT made the same promise as Philadelphia is, it is faulty interpretation to claim that ALL believers will receive this same promise (even if for the sake of argument we accept the reasoning which wrongly rejects the church era interpretation and selectively applies the information to the seven churches). For, clearly enough, in that case the seven have to represent different types of believers generally and thus the details have to be applied circumstantially (e.g., not everyone is "lukewarm" and not everyone "has a name as being alive but is dead", etc.). So "even if" we accept everything else about this passage that rapture proponents want us to accept, it is impossible for them to escape the necessity of admitting that not everyone will fall into the category of those who have "kept the word of my patience" (just as not every Christian is "lukewarm"), so as to be "kept" from the Tribulation, however they might possibly be "kept" from it. Meaning that even with this faulty approach, we would have to allow for the possibility of entering the Tribulation (6 out of 7 believers, in any case).

I have no doubt that even with the Tribulation close at hand, there will be some believers who will be spared having to endure it . . . by being mercifully taken home before hand. However, most will enter, one third will fall away, and NO ONE will be "raptured" ahead of time. Revelation 3:10 simply does NOT say anything of the kind. This is typical of the rapture-fantasy, namely, taking verses that say nothing about a "rapture" and understanding them to mean what they do not actually say however translated.

And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 7:14 KJV

The above is a picture of the gathering tribulational martyrs, those who are killed by the beast and who "did not love their lives to the death." (Rev.12:11). They have white sheets, not resurrection bodies. Thus they are in the interim state which all believers occupy after death prior to the resurrection (as exemplified by Lazarus and Abraham in Lk.16:19-31; n.b., these also appeared by way of prologue at Rev.6:9-11). Once again, we have a case of pro-rapture individuals not understanding very basic things about scripture and that can cause problems – especially if a person is going to the Bible NOT to be taught but only to dig up ammunition for a pet theory. Please see the link: "Our Heavenly, Pre-Resurrection, Interim State". Even if this is not understood or accepted, these individuals are said to come OUT of the Tribulation – which means clearly that they were in it – so where was the "rapture" for them?

All this is a good example of why it is impossible to learn anything about the Bible without learning everything about the Bible. That is to say, every small piece of truth is like a brick in the edifice of the whole. Trying to build a house with only one's favorite five or ten percent of the bricks will make for a very unstable structure. We don't know exactly how one individual brick considered in isolation will contribute to the stability of the whole, but in the end we find out that it was as important as every other and as necessary as every other to furnish the solid structure of truth in the hearth which every Christian should desire (Matt.7:24-25).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Dear Professor

Your ministry continues a great blessing to me and others; increasingly, I am hoping, a lot more for others too, as we pray for the eyes of understanding be opened with those I meet with.

While downtown today I sketched out, from memory, what was to go on the”business” cards, and left with the receptionist to produce. It was fairly close to what I sent you except I left her with - Subject Index (With answers to your Bible Questions). The one I sent you had slightly different wording in brackets but essentially meaning the same. (Memory not totally accurate). I should pick them up this week and will try to send you a photo of back and front. I ordered 200 to start with.

Belief in the Pre-Tribulation “Rapture”.

A bit cautiously, (I know you have dealt with it a lot), bring this one up again. It seems that we few who do not see one, (I have never seen one in the scriptures), are a small minority in this little “circle of believers “ in town. The coffee group has a majority of Baptist believers who also espouse the Pre-Trib line and seem to find great comfort in the belief that “we will be out of here by then”.

Got onto this subject again, ( I often bring up the subject in course of conversation)

My OT friend : (not pre-trib) said read Mark 13. (Later at home I did)
Pre-Trib: But there must be two coming events as Jesus deals with the Church before dealing with the Jews.
Me: That is the 1290 to 1335 days after the Great Tribulation and after the Second Advent. Dan:11-12. (I thought I saw grey faces and worried looks)

Mark 13 records Jesus telling his disciples privately the sequence of events of the last days. Not a mention of any pre- trib. The Resurrection of the “righteous” is after their beatings and testimonies, and after the Great Tribulation, at the Second Advent.

I was wondering if you felt there was any place for including this in your clear teaching from scripture, of the absence of any wished for pre-trib rapture?

I am grateful for your teachings. I got the 1290 to 1335 days explanation from your CT 6, page 26, 2) The Time of Purging (of the Jews).

I was mainly asking whether the Mark 13, and Dan 12: 11-12, together with your teachings at CT 6 , page 26 would be a useful inclusion in the Rapture section.

My OT friend was interested in the 1290 and 1335 days explanation I gave from your CT6 book. He is giving the 2nd half of his presentation of “The Tent of Meeting” to us this weekend.

Hoping and praying for all believers to come to a more sure knowledge of the truth. Much gratitude and thanks to you for providing myself and others with the excellent “food” we need to grow in the truth. As you can see I do use your teachings to help me with my “knitting”.

As an afterthought, I thought how our eternal bodies are prepared for us, so also in this, as in everything else, we have nothing to boast. All is a loving gift from our God.

All the glory to Jesus our Lord, Mighty to Save.

Your student

Response #27:

These are excellent observations! I will include this email at some point in the future when I do something on "rapture" again (there are rather a lot of these in the queue, so it may be a while before it comes about.

I find your acquaintances' comment – answered so well by you – typical so-called "rapture evidence". "There must be a rapture because this is the only way to understand passage X" (= the way I choose to understand passage X); and inevitably passage X never says anything about a rapture or a resurrection. This is the definition of grasping at straws. One would think that at SOME point . . . but as you mention they are thrilled with the prospect of not having to worry about the Tribulation, because that way they continue to be lukewarm and concentrate on "enjoying life".

"You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
Revelation 3:17 NIV

I continue to keep your family and also all of your work for the Lord in my prayers, my friend.

Thanks as every for your good work for this ministry and also for your prayers.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Yesterday I was caught in an unfruitful discussion which was postponed for further clarification and research, we couldn't find a firm ground to share each others ideas only to be battered and silenced.

It seems there many kind of eschatologies
https://bereanresearch.org/eschatology-end-times/ out there, many interpretation of scripture and the new charismatic way of viewing scripture.

Someone sent me this site https://www.gotquestions.org/rapture-of-the-church.html. could you validate what these individuals purport???

Is it worth to continue discussing misinterpretations/misapplication of scripture other than the gospel preached and believed ??

Are doctrinal matters worth elaborating after the person has received Christ Jesus and put there whole faith in him??

Thank you I'm advance for your well thought replies awaiting your response.

Response #28:

As to your link on the "rapture", I dislike using that term for the resurrection of the Church, because it was developed by and today is used exclusively by those who are "Pre-Trib", that is, misguided individuals who want to see the resurrection of the Church as happening before the Tribulation. Plainly, that is not the case:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Matthew 24:29-31 NKJV

The passage above without a shadow of a doubt places the resurrection after the Tribulation and at the second advent. In this it is consistent with every single passage in the Bible where the issue is discussed. Only by ignoring passages that are beyond clear and reading into other passages what is not there can a person believe that the pre-Trib "rapture" is biblical. I have written a great deal about this. The latest link (which leads to many others) is: "The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted".

The link you asked me to look at deliberately avoids the question of when the resurrection of the Church takes place. That is the key issue since "rapture" proponents, beginning in the late 19th century when this false doctrine was invented, want to move the resurrection to a point before the Tribulation when clearly that is contrary to what scripture teaches. No doubt they are fearful of the Tribulation (understandably so for those weak in faith especially), but they do the Church a great disservice and contribute to complacency with this false teaching.

As to the other link which discusses Revelation chapter twenty, you should know that the words in verse five, "But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.", are not original to the text and so are not legitimately part of the Bible (they are a gloss that was entered later either by accident or from some perverse and misguided attempt to explain things; see the link).

As I say, I've devoted a large part of this ministry to this and related issues, so rather than engaging in a detailed analysis of third party materials, may I ask you submit specific questions about anything you find about which you would like some input? Satanic Rebellion, Coming Tribulation, BB 2B Eschatology, and very many email responses which go into other details comprehensively cover most every question you might run into.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Hi Bob and family,

Thank you for your encouraging words – I just hope and pray that courage will not desert ourselves from our faith when it all arrives and I have to admit, that certainly does scare me. If it is far worse than what we imagine, I would be lying to myself if I thought I’m strong in faith – one of my constant prayers is that He will finish the work He has begun in my life and I pray this could be so for others.

I’m hoping the little I’ve said in each article about ichthys will cause a thirst in others to know more of the same and again my deepest thanks for the work you have done in this regard.

Thank you again for posting these articles.

Again dear Bob and as always, with brotherly love,

Response #29:

I'm praying for ever greater response to your postings.

We have nothing to fear. That is a fact. The plan of God is unchangeable. And it is perfect. The provision for all of our needs has already been perfectly ordained as He knows what we will need and when and how, though we have no clue. Not a hair of our heads will be touched.

"Everyone will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. Stand firm, and you will win life."
Luke 21:17-19 NIV

This doesn't mean we will avoid martyrdom. It does mean that we will receive all the encouragement and help to endure it if we must – even right down to the words we will be given to speak in our defense (Lk.21:13-15).

At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2nd Timothy 4:16-18 NIV

All the threats and potential trouble and things people fear and worry about are truly meaningless in fact. We can't be hurt in the least unless the Lord allows it, and if He allows it that is for our good and THE good in every way (Rom.8:28), so we know that He will help us through it – just as He has helped us through all the testing we've faced in this life hitherto to help prepare us. These bodies aren't going to last anyway, nor are our possessions nor even the entire world. All is dust and about to pass away.

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
1st John 2:17 NIV

The thing is, the faith we need to have is the acceptance and acknowledgment of truth like the truths above before the fact of "terrible things" arriving on our doorstep. Because seen from the godly perspective nothing that actually happens is "terrible", even if it is very hard. And the Lord is graciously training us now – those willing to be trained – so that we can begin to see things more and more as He sees them, rather than as the world does. As we believe more and more of the truth, we will find that the fears and worries that occupy the world mean less and less to us. For this is not our world. We are in it, but we are definitely not "of it". We have a King and a kingdom which is not of this world at all, and it is on Him and on our blessed future in that kingdom to come that we have chosen to fix our gaze. We may get distracted over the course of a day or stumble here and there, but as we grow we are seeing things ever more clearly day by day . . . until one day we get to the point where we cannot imagine seeing them any other way at all.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Hi Bob,

I am having difficulty understanding Isaiah 66:18. It says that those who eat pork will face God's wrath. I understand that the NT says that God had made meats, which had created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth in 1 Timothy 4:3, but I cannot reconcile this with the Isaiah 66:18 verse.

They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

Some would argue that this refers to the Jews only; however, I don't see anything in this passage that would imply that it was only for the Jews because it is speaking of the 2nd Advent. I have also read arguments that this is NOT referring to the 2nd advent but regarding something called the "3rd Isaiah" passage. Can you help clarify the meaning of this passage? Thanks!

One last thing. Can you pray for my neighbors that they render their hearts to the Lord. [details about problematic unbelieving neighbors omitted] Please pray with me for his salvation and the salvation of my neighbors.

God Bless you and your ministry,

Response #30:

Thanks so much for your very kind words, my friend. I'm sorry to hear that your living situation is still problematic. We all have tests to endure, and sometimes it's just things like this that can "get our goat" if we're not careful, even though we are passing bigger tests with flying colors.

On Isaiah 66:17 (I think that is the verse you mean), first, there is no such thing as "second" or "third" Isaiah: there is only ONE Isaiah, the book we have in sixty-six chapters. See the link: the false deutero-Isaiah theory.

Let me give you my translation of the context first:

(15) For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and His chariots will be like a whirlwind, to bring down His wrath in anger and His rebuke in flames of fire. (16) For with fire the Lord is going to execute judgment – and with His sword – upon all flesh, and many will be those slain by the Lord. (17) Those who sanctify and purify themselves for the gardens following the lead of the one [characterized] by violence, eating the flesh of swine, and of whatever is an abomination, and of rats will be swept away together (i.e., at the Second Advent), says the Lord.
Isaiah 66:15-17

This is a reference to those who observe the satanic ceremonies of the beast's tribulational religion. All such persons will have taken the mark of the beast and will be cleansed from the earth at the second advent in the "baptism of fire" to which John the baptist refers (see the link: "Fire upon Magog"). So the "problem" here is not at all eating pork. Jesus Himself "proclaimed all foods pure" (Mk.7:19), and Peter was explicitly told by the Spirit in a lesson repeated three times that the dietary regulations of the Law were no longer applicable in the Church Age (Acts 10:10-16). The "problem" is participating in "antichrist's communion" which is what is being represented in the passage above. It stands to reason that the beast would include food considered most vile to Jews in his anti-communion, but this is not "eating a pork chop for dinner" – this is participating in a "sacred ceremony" reserved for beast-worshipers as a direct, evil counterpoint to the communion believers partake of in worshiping Jesus Christ. For more on all this see the links:

The Anti-Christian Religion and its Worldwide Expansion

Characteristics of the New Religion

The persuasiveness of the tribulational false religion

The False Prophet

Dangers of cooperating with antichrist's religion

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #31:

Thank you Bob...great to hear from you again...and that you have not forgotten me.

As I near the end of this first phase of our mortal lives...and get set to see that THE BEST IS YET TO COME... I am aghast at how many "Believers" have zero handle of the depth and meaning of DYING IN CHRIST...since they give lip service only to their personal relationship to Him.

What are your thoughts on our returning to our spiritual form...back to God who infused it in our bodies, and what the SPIRITUAL WORLD is all about? I am convinced we will join maybe millions in "Paradise" the interim heaven, awaiting THE DAY... i.e. no one goes to the Eternal Heaven where only God resides...(not even Enoch & Elijah). The failure to teach the TRUTH of what the bible clearly reveals of this adventure, is what i am sure has resulted in the loss of millions of souls who walk away from the ridiculous plans presented by pastors who are only interested in getting one to mutter the Sinners Prayer...and then dump them!

God bless you in your perseverance and steadfastness.

Response #31:

Thanks for your good words, my friend.

As to your question, we all have human spirits, and indeed these are brought back to the presence of the Lord when we die and given an interim covering (which I call an "interim body"; see the link); as 2nd Corinthians 5:3 makes clear (in the actual Greek original), even when we put this shell aside, we will "not be found naked". Man was created dichotomous, body and spirit, and that is how we shall ever be. For those who endure alive until the return of the Lord and the resurrection at His second advent, the interim state will be avoided, but all others in the Church (and unbelievers as well), will experience an interim state after death which, while far better for believers than what we have now, will not approach the glory of the resurrection. Still, as Paul assures us, being face to face with the Lord after death as we who believe in Him all will be is "better by far" (Phil.1:23). The New Jerusalem and the new heavens and new earth will not appear until the end of history, but Revelation chapters 4-8 give us a good idea of the wonders which we shall experience if we depart before the Lord's return, where we shall hear "inexpressible words, which a [mortal] man is not permitted to speak" (2Cor.12:4).

I certainly also agree with you about the dearth of substantive Bible teaching. That is both a supply problem AND a demand problem here in the era of Laodicea (see the link) where lukewarmness is the order of the day.

Thank you for YOUR zeal for the Lord!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #32:

Dear Bob,

In Revelation 2&3, John is directed to write to the _angels_ of the respective churches. I wondered, "Why the angels and not the churches?"

It occurs to me that the angels have a stewardship over believers and those believers fall into the seven categories. Their stewardship will, in that case, last until the 2nd advent. It seems reasonable to understand those seven letters are written to all believers, then and until the end. It would explain the injunction, "Let he who has an ear, let him hear" which I never completely grasped before.

Am I thinking correctly on this?

Thanks.

Your's in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #32:

Good to hear from you, my friend.

Indeed, the seven churches are more than seven local churches in John's day. They are representative of things to come (cf. Zech.3:8). The angels are the high ranking officers who have oversight over the seven sequential Church Age eras. Rather than the seven churches delineating seven types of believers, however, they represent time periods. We are in the last one, Laodicea, the era of lukewarmness – and that is plain enough to see from any sober, objective assessment of the state church visible today. Here is the main link to where this is all discussed in detail: CT 2A: The Seven Churches.

So, yes, the information is certainly applicable to all believers at all times, but the way the churches are introduced and the way in which the section is concluded makes it clear that the seven churches "occur" between John's time of writing and the beginning of the Tribulation, which is to say, the Church Age following the end of the apostolic period.

"Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now (John's time of writing) and what will take place later (i.e., the seven churches = the Church Age, followed by the end times). The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches."
Revelation 1:19-20 NIV

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this (i.e., the end times which follow after the seven churches which = the Church Age)"
Revelation 4:1 NIV

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.


P.S.:  If you haven't noticed or already done so, please check out the list of wonderful ministry offerings on the Special Topics page, including postings by Bartek Sylwestrzak (*series on Mary now complete!), Christian Vassallo, John Jackson, "Bible Readings by Emma", Bible Reading Log by Christian Vassallo (helps for reading through the English Bible),  The Holocaust: A Biblical and Historical Examination (Future Implications) by Fred London, the Expanded Index to Old Testment translations at Ichthys, Foundational Principles, by Odii Ariwodo, and, most recently, "The Peter series" translated into Kiswahili by Resi Kilambo.


Special Prayer Requests

A special word of thanks to all who have been praying for this ministry.  The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for me and mine.  I am forever grateful to Him, and also to all of you who have been faithfully interceding for me and for this ministry.

The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.
Exodus 15:2

Addendum: 12/24/16:  I also want to thank everyone who has been praying for my family and especially for my mother.  She passed away yesterday morning at the age of ninety-six.  Considering the sad shape she was in, it was a blessing that the Lord took her when He did.  She died "full of years" in the company of those who loved her, and now she is with the Lord – and nothing is better than that (Phil.1:23; Rev.7:17; 21:4).

Update on Urgent Prayer Request For Vau (5/29/19): 

Hello Brother Bob, Vau passed this morning. He is now with our Lord. Please continue to lift our family up in prayer.

Sister Shevetta Washington

***Link to Vau's obituary

More Prayer Requests:

  • For Will successful surgery for his for his nerve impingement, and for deliverance from family pressure to dismiss and denigrate his spiritual advance as 'depression' needing involuntary treatment.

  • For Walter's son Josh, in need of surgery for a defective heart valve.

  • For Lowell, for success for proton therapy for his prostate cancer.

  • *For our friend Gaurav, for encouragement, health, and material deliverance. [n.b., Gaurav was the first one on this list years ago; he writes that he is still "hanging in" and staying faithful to the Lord, but he and his family are in greater material need than ever; please remember them in your prayers]
  • *For Shontel, for the means and opportunity to get out of a debilitating and dangerous domestic situation ASAP.
  • For David's wife who is entering hospice [*update: our friend's wife has gone to be with the Lord; please pray for his comfort].
  • For Kevin for successful brain tumor surgery.
  • *For Bob P. for guidance and healing in facing prostate cancer; also for help in healing a painful skin disorder (praise here as the condition has been somewhat ameliorated, but please keep him in prayer); *and Bob wife, Debbie, just diagnosed with invasive ductile breast cancer *[update: treatments successful!  Please continue prayer as some continued therapy necessary for some time].
  • For comfort for Jon and his family in the loss of his father.  Thanks to all who have been praying for him.  Jon reports convincing evidence that his dad was indeed saved before the end.  Praise the Lord!
  • For Abby for success and blessing in her new efforts in ministry, and for her cousin Danny's health. *Please also pray for her health, strength and perseverance in stressful and challenging circumstances.
  • For our friend Bartek, for the recovery of his health, and also for success in gaining citizenship in the UK [*praise here as his petition was successful!]. *Also, please pray for empowerment and help for his father in his evangelization ministry.
  • For help and support for Yuhanna and his family in the midst of continuing trial and testing, and for the salvation of his wider family. And please pray in particular for financial help and help for a better job for his wife in the midst of this crisis.  **[update: 12/18: please pray for success for a critical initiative that would overturn much wrong and right the situation for our friend and other affected; *next 60 days are crucial]. *Yuhanna also asks for prayer for his wife and children find a sound biblically based church and for the Lord to display the fruit of The Spirit in their lives; and also for Charlotte to find employment.
  • For Ramsey, for success in his job application process [praise here! please keep him in your prayers].
  • *For the empowerment of our friend Curt's ministry; for his health, the health of his family [praise for good news here - please pray for Curt's own health], and for his finances. *Critical: please also pray for immediate deliverance from false accusations.
  • *For our brother Abishai's help and guidance in preparing for ministry, as well as for his healing and help with his business to provide for his family's basic needs, and for the health and healing of his young daughter [praise here!].  Please also pray for his brother, a believer, to be led to the truth on important issues of doctrine. And please also pray for the health of his wife and children, and of his father in law.  Please also pray for the protection of the family living very close to Sri Lanka.  And also please pray for two Hindu's our brother is trying to lead to Christ: Sudhir and Suraj.

  • For our friend Betty's help and deliverance [praise the Lord for answered prayer!].
  • For our friend Carol's recovery, encouragement and for help in her professional life.
  • For our friend Vau's father for healing from critical illness, and for Vau's encouragement [praise here!].
  • For our friend John's family's deliverance from cult influence [praise for some good news here, but some members are still entrapped]. *Please also pray for John's health and that of his wife as well.

  • For our friend Kathleen's recovery from a terrible accident.
  • For our friend Steve for strength, protection, providence and deliverance – more needful now than ever.
  • For help and deliverance for our friend Cindy's daughter.
  • *For our friend Brittany's healing from cancer, and for her spiritual recovery and encouragement.
  • For our friend Ken and his family's protection from persecution for seeking the truth.
  • For the family of Jewel, a recently martyred pastor in Bangladesh (please see the link).
  • Ken Young's ministry and for his health (please see the link).
  • For Christian congregations being persecuted in Sri Lanka (please see the link).
  • For our friend Neal's help in and healing from devastating illness.
  • *[For young Joel, a newborn with Zellweger syndrome . . .]; from the family:  little Omari Joel passed on June 4, 2018 at the age of 5 ½. There are no words to express our gratitude for your prayers, and your love will always be remembered. Your prayers were blessed with love, grace, and an eternal relationship with Jesus. May God continue to bless you each and every day, and thank you for bringing our family into your family. Amen. Many blessings, keep family in your prayers!!!
  • For our friend Mark's successful surgery and swift recovery.
  • *For the healing, blessing, encouragement and vindication of our brother, Nihal.  Please also protect him and his family and church family from the recent troubles in Sri Lanka.
  • *For our friend Mike's encouragement and God's blessing on his livelihood to provide for his family (urgently needed at present!).
  • For Helen's healing from cancer and for her comfort in the loss of her family members.
  • For pastor Don's wife Jessie's healing from cancer.
  • For Clyde's encouragement and deliverance in severe testing.
  • For John, for help in getting more hours or work or a better job.
  • For our friend John's help in coping with a difficult medical condition (cadasil).
  • For our friend Paul's father-in-law, for deliverance from cancer.
  • For healing for Leigh's dad's health (praise for betterment here - she thanks everyone for their prayers), for her daughter's healing from hypothyroidism and celiac disease, and for encouragement and help for her.
  • *For the salvation of Judah's friend, and for help for Judah in overcoming spiritual obstacles and for help in preparing for ministry.
  • For Tom for help in the development of all skills necessary for an apologetics ministry combating atheism in particular. *Please also pray for the salvation of his grandmother.

  • For the deliverance of Michael's wife from extreme charismatic influence.
  • For Michael's deliverance from debt, stress and unwanted conflict – special prayer help needed here as things are getting worse.
  • For our friend Karl's mother's salvation.
  • For our friend Oscar's continued spiritual growth and help in securing suitable employment in spite of serious satanic opposition.
  • For Richard Khum and Mission Training School in Myanmar (richardlkhum@gmail.com).
  • For Ashley and help with her marriage.
  • For Wen and family in a new area without suitable Bible teaching.
  • For Zach's healing, deliverance and comfort from severe cult abuse and control, and to be led into God’s truth.
  • For the salvation of Danny's mother and for her healing in extreme pain; for healing in body and mind, and for his protection and blessing on his family and for their reconciliation.  Please also pray for Danny's living situation, and also for his job situation where he is experiencing persecution.
  • For deliverance for John's friend from the JW heresy.
  • For our friend who wished to remain nameless, for her protection and the protection of her children from a hostile and aggressive "ex".
  • For the deliverance of Jay's friend from the influence of a noxious cult.
  • For our friend Anna and her family's comfort in the loss of her daughter, and for the comfort, encouragement and salvation of her two children.
  • For our friend Sheila's healing from the effects of a chronic condition.
  • For our friend Sandra, suffering from multiply myeloma [praise here! please keep her in your prayers].
  • For David's wife who is recovering from back surgery.
  • For friends Lynette, Angie, Marcia, Dan and Jeffery, all of whom are presently under heavy spiritual pressures and in need of prayer and encouragement.
  • For our newly converted brother Jacob in India, for healing for him and for his daughter, for his material needs, and for the salvation of his parents.
  • For our friend Tommy, for a roof over his head.
  • For the protection of Crystal and her family.
  • For Billy's mother to be led into all of God's truth.
  • ***For Resi in transitioning from Roman Catholicism and for help in serious financial difficulties.  Please also pray for our friend and his cooperative to be successful.  Prayers also please for family who does not share his faith. And please pray for our friend's protection from persecution in a place where standing up for the truth and not following the crowd results in suspicion and shunning.
  • For Kim and her family, and for her daughter's deliverance from a cult.
  • *For Leigh, for protection and deliverance from a dangerous neighbor, and for help in restoring her home and home situation.

  • For Ryan's salvation.
  • For Brian's healing from sleep apnea [praise here!], protection on a hazardous job [praise here too!], and continued spiritual growth.  *Please also pray for help with potential heart problems.

  • For help for Steven in successfully carrying a heavy and difficult academic load in preparing to minister to the body of Christ.
  • For the opening of Daniel's heart to the gospel and his salvation in Jesus Christ.
  • For Becca's family, for help with serious medical and financial troubles (praise here for answered prayers!).
  • For the salvation of John's two unbelieving sons.
  • For Charles' granddaughter, for the perseverance of her faith and for her deliverance from drug addiction, and for the salvation and spiritual growth of another granddaughter.
  • For Bogdan's salvation and receptiveness to the truth.
  • For Clinton, for spiritual growth [praise here for completing his degree and landing a good job!].
  • *For Chris, for the preservation of his job in the midst of budget cuts [praise here! Victory! Job retained!], and for his health and protection on the job. *Please also pray for Lisa's health.
  • For the salvation of Mitch's wife.
  • *For help for Sam's recovery from cancer and deliverance from extreme insomnia.  *Please also pray for the salvation of his son in law.
  • For Cary, for encouragement in persecution abroad, and for health and strength (praise here for answered prayer as our brother has managed to find employment as a teacher).

  • For Ania, for her salvation and spiritual growth in the truth.
  • *For our friend Odii, for help in finding a way to make a living without compromising his principles in a difficult field (social media). *Please pray for the success of his business as a base for ministering the Word.   **Please also pray for his fiancée and her family for protection from violence in the place where they live.

  • For Alex' and Chris' mother, for her salvation and the opening of her heart to the truth.
  • For our friend Carmen, for the protection of her granddaughters, and her encouragement and strength in negotiating a difficult trial; for her boy Josh's recovery and for encouragement for him to turn to the Lord for help.
  • *For Amber's continued spiritual growth and encouragement, and for her healing.  Please also pray for the salvation of her grandmother.
  • *For Sande's encouragement and perseverance in proclaiming and teaching the Word in the face of significant resistance. Please pray also for his health and the health of his mother and grandmother (suffering from aplastic anaemia and spinal stenosis respectively).

  • For Christine, for help and protection in a longstanding debate with several JWs, and for Melina and Sandra, for their salvation and deliverance from the WT.
  • For Christian, for the prospering of his consultancy in order to have more time to prepare for and engage in ministry [praise here!  please continue to pray for the success of his business].
  • For Kim, for help for her and her family in struggling with severe financial pressures and for moving forward with spiritual growth.
  • For Brooke, for peace and blessing her marriage, and for her spiritual growth.
  • For Filip, for salvation in Jesus Christ and spiritual growth thereafter.
  • For Mélanie, for her healing and help in finishing her degree under difficult circumstances, and for encouragement to move forward with spiritual growth.
  • For Jeffery, for the salvation of his two sons.
  • *Dorota went to be with the Lord yesterday (5/27/19); please pray for the salvation of her two daughters.

  • *For old friend and seminary colleague, pastor Mark, for his healing from cancer and its complications *[praise here, as he is in full recovery mode at present!].
  • For Peter, for the deliverance of his family from cult influence and to be led to salvation in Jesus Christ, and for help in meeting serious financial challenges. Please also pray for his son's return to faith and for the salvation of his grandchildren.
  • For comfort and encouragement for Charles and his family in the recent loss of wife and mother.
  • For the salvation of Emma's family and loved ones.

  • More E-mails:       Complete archive of previous emails:  Ichthys' Emails

    Old Testament Interpretation XIV

    Politics versus Spiritual Growth IV

    Old Testament Interpretation XIII

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief V

    Biblical Interpretation X

    Fighting the Fight X

    Politics versus Spiritual Growth III

    Baptism: Water and Spirit IX

    Biblical Anthropology VIII

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation IV

    Genesis Questions IV

    Fighting the Fight IX

    Eschatology Issues XXV

    Angelic Issues IX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry VII

    Legalism, Past, Present and Future IV

    New Testament Interpretation VII

    Eschatology Issues XXIV: the 'Rapture' et al.

    Believers in the World VIII: Coping with Family

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief IV

    Believers in the World VII

    Culture and Christianity XX

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations XI

    Cults and Christianity XI

    Spiritual Gifts and False Teaching

    Angelic Issues VIII

    Christology Questions X

    Believers in the World VI

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers VI

    Atheism and Evangelism

    New Testament Interpretation VI

    Old Testament Interpretation XII

    Fighting the Fight VIII

    Spiritual Warfare VI

    Sin, Faith and Suffering

    Prayer, Vows and Confession

    Eschatology Issues XXIII

    Apologetics, Ministry and False Teaching

    Culture and Christianity XIX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry VI

    Church: The Biblical Ideal versus the Contemporary Reality II

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief III

    Fighting the Fight VII

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions VI

    Interpretation, Application, Exegesis and Ministry

    Biblical Anthropology VII

    Baptism: Water and Spirit VIII

    Text and Canon

    New Testament Interpretation V

    Grace versus Law II

    Apathy, Atheism, Cults and False Teaching

    All about Ichthys III

    The Battlefield Within II: Combating anger, fear, blaming God, blaming others

    Salvation Questions III

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation III

    Eschatology Issues XXII

    Cults and Christianity X

    Cults and Christianity IX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry V

    Fighting the Fight VI

    Marriage and the Bible VII

    Culture and Christianity XVIII: Substance Use and Abuse, Tithing, Politics and Environmentalism, Friendship, Self-Defense, and Work

    Paul the Apostle: Aspects of his Life and Ministry II

    Old Testament Interpretation XI

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ VII

    The Transitional Era of the Book of Acts and its Unique Spiritual Gifts

    Old Testament Interpretation X

    Marriage and the Bible VI

    The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted

    Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth III

    Eschatology Issues XXI

    Eschatology Issues XX

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations X

    Legalism, Past and Present III: Sabbath observance, tithing, dietary regulations and other issues

    Believers in the World V: Ministering, Mutually Encouraging, and Coping with Family, Politics, and Health

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief II

    Old Testament Interpretation IX

    Christology Questions IX: Christ and His Church

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ VI: Perseverance

    Science and the Bible III

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation II

    Eschatology Issues XIX

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry IV

    Bible Interpretation IX

    Marriage and the Bible V

    Gospel Questions XIII

    Biblical Anthropology VI

    Cults and Christianity VIII

    Fighting the Fight V: Dispatches from the Laodicean 'Front' II

    Old Testament Interpretation VIII

    Eschatology Issues XVIII

    Spiritual Growth III

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry III

    Sin, Guilt, and Salvation II

    New Testament Interpretation IV

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations IX

    Peace, Reconciliation and Salvation

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ V: Soldiers of the Cross

    Baptism: Water and Spirit VII

    Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation

    Cults and Christianity VII

    Old Testament Interpretation VII

    Sin, Guilt, and Salvation

    Eschatology Issues XVII

    Dangers of the Pre-Trib Rapture False Teaching

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VIII

    The Infinity, Magnitude, Glory, Providence and Plan of God

    Eschatology Issues XVI

    Gospel Questions XII

    The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God IV

    Nephilim, Antichrist, the False Prophet and the Mark of the Beast

    Angelic Issues VII

    Prayer Questions II

    The Trinity and Messianic Legalism II

    Annihilationism, Universalism, Hell and Judgment II

    Atheism and Apologetics II

    Politics versus Spiritual Growth II

    Culture and Christianity XVII: Humor, Self-Defense, Pacifism and War

    Culture and Christianity XVI: Alcohol, Money and Dietary Issues

    Dreams, Visions, Miracles, Exorcism, Tongues, and False Prophets

    Calvinism, Catholicism and Ichthys

    Apologetics, Legalism, Cults and Philosophy

    The Law, Legalism, and Rome

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ IV

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V

    Faith and Free Will in Trial and Testing

    Free Will and God's WILL in Salvation

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

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry II

    Eschatology Issues XV

    Dealing with Sin and Guilt

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ III

    Preparing for Tribulation II

    It is Better on the Other Side

    Family Matters

    Christology Questions VIII: The Deity, Humanity and Life of Christ

    The Lives of the Apostles and the Writing of the New Testament II

    Biblical People and Places: Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Hagar, Esau, Joseph and more

    Biblical Anthropology V: Body, Spirit and 'Soul', Present and Future

    Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet and the Mark of the Beast

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions V

    Prophets, Prophecy, and False Prophets

    Christology Questions VII: The Life and Spiritual Death of Christ and Holy Communion

    The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God III

    Culture and Christianity XV: The Bible vs. some Sensitive Social and Political Issues

    Christology Questions VI: Christophany, Deity and the Spiritual Death of Christ

    Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth II

    Spiritual Warfare V

    Cults and Christianity VI

    Fighting the Fight IV: Dispatches from the Laodicean 'Front'

    Eschatology Issues XIV

    The Gift of Tongues: Part 3

    The Resurrection Body and our Eternal Future II

    Gospel Questions XI

    Blindness, Disease and Healing

    Ministry and Preparation for Ministry

    Atheism and Apologetics

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VII

    Church History II

    Salvation Questions II

    Culture and Christianity XIV

    Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth

    Judaism and Legalism in the church-visible

    Bible Interpretation VIII

    Apostasy, Sin and Salvation

    Confronting False Groups and False Teaching III

    Eschatology Issues XIII: Time of the Tribulation and the Resurrection, Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast

    Salvation Questions

    Theological Questions II

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions IV

    Old Testament Interpretation VI

    More Questions on the Book of Hebrews: Melchizedek, Esau, and the 'Impossibility' of Being Restored

    Believers in the World IV: Making Godly Choices vs. Following Man-Made Rules

    Guilt, Sin and Victory through Spiritual Growth

    Confronting False Groups and False Teaching II

    Cults and Christianity V

    Politics versus Spiritual Growth

    Christian Struggle, Perseverance and Deliverance

    The Bible and the Natural World

    Sin, Fear and Forgiveness

    An Extended Conversation on the 'Unpardonable' Sin

    Eternal Realities: Real Heaven, Real Hell

    Eschatology Issues XII: Babylon, Armageddon, Israel, 2026

    Ministers, Ministry, and Preparation for Ministry

    Evangelism in Principle and Practice II

    Gospel Questions X: Glory, John the baptist, the hidden talent, the Kingdom of God

    Old Testament Interpretation V: The Flight to Egypt, the Virgin Birth, Jonathan's Choice, Tyre in Prophecy

    Matthew Questions, verse by verse

    Marriage and the Bible IV

    Politics and Political Action on the Eve of the Tribulation

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading IV

    Spiritual Growth II

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ II

    Baptism: Water and Spirit VI

    Science and the Bible II

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

    Culture and Christianity XIII: College, Dating, Marriage and Friendship

    Eschatology Issues XI: Trumpets, the Millennium, the Time of the Tribulation and the Resurrection.

    Sin according to the Bible: Hamartiology II

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    Salvation and Sin

    Bible Interpretation VI

    Eschatology Issues X: Strong delusion, blood moons, 2026, imminence, apostasy & the mark of the beast

    Angelic Issues VI: Cherubs, Guardians, Elders and 'gods'

    Sin according to the Bible: Hamartiology I

    Bible Chronology, Aramaic and Interpretation

    Christians and Mental Illness

    Culture and Christianity XII

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    The Trinity and Messianic Legalism

    Anger, Anthropopathism, Eternity and Divine Motives

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    The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God II

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    Faith, Hope and Love: Virtue in Spiritual Warfare

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    Some Sensitive Topics IV

    Finding a Church – or Something Better? II

    New Testament Interpretation III

    Faith vs. History, Archaeology, Philosophy

    Believers in the World II: Confronting False Groups and False Teaching

    The 144,000 and the Two Witnesses of the Tribulation

    Biblical Anthropology IV: Soul and Spirit, Image and Likeness, Book of Life, Life at Birth, Accountability and Infant Salvation.

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    Christophany and the Trinity

    Love, Marriage, and Divorce: Marriage and the Bible III

    Interpreting Dreams and Analyzing Prophetic Claims

    Culture and Christianity XI: Lying, Suicide, Tattoos, Investing, Drugs, Music, Family, Dating, Politics

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading III

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    Spiritual Warfare IV: Demons, Demonic Influences and Satanic Methodology

    Satan's Fall from Grace

    Atheism and Gnosticism: Denying the Truth about God

    Sin, Salvation and Forgiveness: Claiming the Mental and Spiritual High-Ground

    Struggling with Salvation . . . and Relatives

    Legalism, Past and Present II

    Ministry and the Ichthys Ministry II

     All about Ichthys II: Mutual Encouragement in the Lord

    The Book of Job and Christian Suffering

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

    Christology Questions IV: Jesus' Birth, Baptism, Early Life, and Kenosis

    Third Party Testimony III: Near Death Experiences, Revelations and Tongues

    Third Party Testimony II: Charismatic Claims of Visions, Dreams and Prophecy

    Third Party Testimony I: We Believe God and His Word – Not People

    God Heals - in His way (not our way)

    Sanctification, Separation and Restraint

    Finding a Church – or Something Better?

    Culture and Christianity X:  Military Service, College, Politics, and Race Relations

    Contemporary Churches and Women Preachers

    Culture and Christianity IX: Politics, Tithing, Music, Crucifixes, Alcohol, and Gambling

    Marriage and the Bible II

    Biblical Anthropology III: Soul versus Spirit, "Soul Sleep", and the Interim Body

    New Testament Interpretation II: Who is equal? Grace in vain. Unequally yoked.

    Aspects of the Crucifixion II: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?

    Aspects of the Crucifixion I: Carrying the cross, trials and rooster crow.

    Salvation Lost and Found

    The Canon: Content, Chronology, and Criticism

    Spiritual Warfare III: Peter's 'Angel', Saul's Death, and Strange Events

    Old Testament Interpretation IV: Gehazi's Leprosy, Tyre's Destruction, and Immanuel

    Nephilim, Fallen Angels, and Genesis 6

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    Sin, Atonement and Forgiveness II

    Sin, Atonement and Forgiveness I

    Annihilationism, Universalism, Hell and Judgment

    When is the Rapture?

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    The Tribulation: Timing of, Preparation for, and Conditions in

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

    Satan's Revolt and the Tribulation to Come

    Old Testament Interpretation III: The Name 'Jacob', the Mark of Cain, Jeshrun.

    Old Testament Interpretation II: Urim and Thummim, the Bronze Serpent, the Ark.

    Being Saved: Security, Apostasy, and the Sin unto Death

    Fighting the Fight III: False Teaching, Local Churches, and the Truth

    Fighting the Fight II: Struggling with Sin, Doubt, and Severe Testing

    Fighting the Fight I: Accountability, Faith, Sin, Forgiveness, and Reward

    Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church II

    Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church I

    Witnessing: Cults and Christianity II

    Witnessing: Cults and Christianity I

    Ministry and the Ichthys Ministry

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    Baptism: Water and Spirit V

    Spiritual Growth, Church-Searching and "Discipling"

    Unbelievers, Free Will, and the Plan of God

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VI

    Baptism: Water and Spirit IV

    Paganism, Idolatry, Mythology and the Occult

    The Lives of the Apostles and the Writing of the New Testament

    The Essence of God and Deity of Christ

    Parables and their Interpretation

    The Meaning and Purpose of True Christian Assembly

    Marriage and the Bible

    Spiritual 'ups' and 'downs'

    1st John: Text and Interpretation

    Eschatology Issues VII

    Perseverance in the latter days of Laodicea

    Babylon USA?

    Baptism: Water and Spirit III

    Prayer: the Persistence, Purpose and Power of.

    Paul the Apostle: Aspects of his Life and Ministry

    Gospel Questions VII: The Wedding at Cana et al.

    Israel, 'Lost Tribes' and the Star of David

    Israel and Antichrist in Eschatology

    Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ II

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions III

    Culture and Christianity VIII

    The Geography of Heaven, Hades and 'Hell'.

    Eschatology Issues VI

    Bible Interpretation IV

    Legalism, Past and Present

    The Resurrection Body and our Eternal Future.

    Christ the First-Born, High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek.

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading II

    Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading

    Hermeneutics, Typology, Christophany, Theophany and Anthropopathism.

    No, Hebrews does not teach that you lost your salvation.

    Gospel Questions VI: the Long Ending of Mark et al.

    Judas and the Betrayal of Christ

    Doubting Salvation and Questions of Sin

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

    Atheism: Putting Truth to Death

    War in Heaven II

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions II

    War in Heaven

    The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions I

    The Law, Love, Faith-Rest and Messianism

    Paul and the Law

    Genesis Questions III

    Sin and Salvation, Confession and Forgiveness

    Have I Lost My Salvation? (III)

    The Battlefield Within: Fighting the inner spiritual Struggle.

    Putting Christ in Christmas: Loving Jesus, the Star and the Magi, Wonderful Counselor.

    Old Testament Interpretation: Moses and Zipporah, David's disastrous Census, the Destruction of the Midianites, et al.

    Healing, Miracles, and Dreams: Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff by biblical Means

    153 Fish: Explaining some Difficult New Testament Passages

    Kenosis: Our Lord's Self-Limitation during the 1st Advent

    Biblical Anthropology II: 'Soul sleep', & dichotomy vs. trichotomy

    Biblical Anthropology I: The Nature of Human Beings and Human Life according to the Bible.

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II.

    Culture and Christianity VII: Jury Duty, Witnessing, Biometry, Military Service et al.

    Culture and Christianity VI: Halloween, Holidays, Aliens, and Christian Applications.

    Angelic Issues V: Michael, the Angel of the Lord, Christophany, demons, cherubs, and Satan's revolt.

    Angelic Issues IV:  Satan's Revolt in the Plan of God.

    New Testament Interpretation: Melchizedek, 'Forsake not Assembly', 'Women Remain Silent', Water-Baptism, Tongues, Prophecy, Intervention of Departed Believers.

    Lost my salvation II?

    All about Ichthys: Mutual Encouragement in the Lord. 

    Genesis Questions.

    Fallen Angels, Demons, Nephilim, and the Devil's Methodology.

    End Times Interpretation II.

    Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief.

    The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God.

    End Times Interpretation.

    Grace versus Law.

    Communion and the Spiritual Death of Christ.

    Sinlessness and 1st John.

    Israelology, Anti-Semitism, the Remnant, Gentiles, Lost Tribes, Jewish Myths.

    "Soul Sleep" versus our true Heavenly State.

    Christology Questions III: The Angel of the Lord, the Lamb Slain, monogenes.

    Angelic Issues III: Demons, Satan, Elders, Female Angels and Guardians.

    Against Universalism III: Unbelievers in the Plan of God.

    Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

    Marriage "Matters".

    In Need of Guidance and Encouragement.

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations V.

    Servants, Slaves, Disciples, and Ministers.

    Baptism: Water and Spirit II.

    Bible Interpretation III: David's Anointing, Stephen versus Genesis, Triplets, This People, and more.

    Evangelism in Principle and Practice.

    Scripture versus Personal Experience.

    Calvinism, Covenants and Catholicism.

    Culture and Christianity V: Temporal Authority vs. Biblical Application.

    False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security III.

    The Dangers of Messianic Legalism IV: Unclean and Impure?

    Things to Come III: The Wrath of God and the Fate of the Beast's Army.

    God Works All Things Together for Good.

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

    The Coming Tribulation and the Kingdom of God.

    Sin, Confession and Forgiveness.

    Mutual Encouragement in Christ.

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations IV.

    Culture and Christianity IV: Doing one's job as 'unto the Lord', the peril's of 'heroic medicine', Christian perspectives on legalizing marijuana, when lying is not a sin, and when life begins.

    Eschatology Issues V: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons".

    Ichthys and Contemporary Christianity.

    Gospel Questions V: Help my Unbelief, Respecting our Enemies, etc.

    The Two Witnesses of the Tribulation: Moses and Elijah.

    The Apostles, the Jerusalem Council, and Legalism then and now.

    Aspects of the Christian Walk: Gambling, Lying, Christmas, Judging, Worrying, et al.

    No Rapture

    Believers in the World: Using our Free Will to Respond to the Lord

    Christology Questions II: The Serpent Lifted and the Cross, Jesus' Infallibility, Destroy this Temple, the Sign Spoken Against, His Glorification, the Spirit's Anointing, and the Necessity for His Humanity.

    Paul's Jerusalem Error, Worshiping Truly, the Priesthood of the Believer, and Peter's Vision of the Impure Food

    Christian Trials and Testing

    Gospel Questions IV: The Prophet, the rich man in Hades, Peter's wife, the 'eleven' and the 'twelve' apostles, 'the world could not contain' (Jn.21:25), and progressive revelation.

    Eschatology Issues IV: Israeli politics, 'This Generation', Signs of the Times, the Beast presently alive?, 'Flee Babylon', Preparing for the Tribulation, and 'was, is not, will be'.

    John's Water-Baptism versus the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

    Eschatology Issues III: Over-focusing on Revelation, the Seven Churches, Enoch versus Elijah, and the Symbolism of the Menorah

    The Purpose of Chronicles, Cyrus the Persian, the Chronology of the Exodus Plagues, Qumran and Isaiah, Nebuchadnezzar's Madness, and Jeremiah 31:22, "A Woman will Embrace a Man".

    Aaron and the Golden Calf, Mount Zion, Moses and Zipporah, the high priest's attire, and the ark of the covenant.

    Aspects of the Genesis Curse on Animals, the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, and Kainam.

    The City of David, the Star of David, Solomon's Wisdom, and the Song of Solomon.

    The Israelites at Kadesh and 'not entering the Land of Promise'.

    Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.

    Sin and Spiritual Transformation.

    Cults and Christianity IV

    Cults and Christianity III

    Cults and Christianity II

    Cults and Christianity.

    One Baptism: the True Meaning of Peter's Words at Acts 2:38.

    Apostasy and the Sin unto Death, the Conscience and Sanctification.

    The Plan of God and Individual Salvation (excerpt from BB 4B)

    In Your Anger, do not Sin:  Ephesians 4:26 and the Sin Nature

    Bible Interpretation II: Easter, Abiathar, the Hyssop-Blood Cross, Baal, the Scarlet Thread, Names of God, Adiaphoria, and Mezentius.

    Spiritual Warfare II

    Culture and Christianity III

    Have I Lost my Salvation?

    On the Firing Line: Encouragement in Christian Trials

    Eschatology and the Old Testament

    Prayer and our Walk with Jesus.

    Issues of Canonicity II: Aramaic, Enoch, KJV, and the Pastorals

    Bible Vocabulary and Bible Word Studies

    Satan, his Demons, and the Gnostics

    Antichrist: Alive and Well and Living on Planet Earth?

    The Nature of Angels

    Our Eternal Future: Life after Death for Believers in Jesus Christ

    Giants and Nephilim, Sumerian Myths, and Sea Monsters

    Dreams and Visions II

    The Golden Rule

    The Divinity of Jesus Christ

    Free-Will Faith and the Will of God

    Some Sensitive Topics III

    The Spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy: explaining James 4:5.

    Faith: What is it?

    The Seven-Fold Spirit of God.

    Free-Will Faith in the Plan of God.

    Putting the Word of God First.

    Free-Will Faith.

    The False Doctrine of "Soul Sleep" II.

    The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security II.

    The Plan of God

    The Dangers of Messianic Legalism III

    The Dangers of Messianic Legalism II

    The Dangers of Messianic Legalism.

    The Gift of Tongues: Part 2

    The Gift of Tongues: Part 1

    Mega-Churches, Emergent Christianity, Spirituality and Materialism.

    Epignosis, Christian Epistemology, and Spiritual Growth.

    Jephthah's Daughter, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage.

    Christian Unity and Divisiveness.

    Death, Martyrdom and Resurrection.

    Blessing, Cursing, and Prayer.

    Freedom and Responsibility.

    Fighting the Good Fight of Faith.

    Only-Begotten, Mother-of-God, On-this-Rock: English-only Interpretation is Dangerous.

    The Greek Text of the New Testament and some Issues of Textual Criticism.

    What does the name 'Christian' mean?

    Some Jewish Issues.

    Christians Beware: Internet Frauds and the Need for Spiritual Discernment (part 2).

    Christians Beware: Internet Frauds and the Need for Spiritual Discernment.

    Sin and Forgiveness.

    Spring Special: The Millennial Regathering and Purging of Israel.

    Life Begins at Birth.

    Culture and Christianity II

    Culture and Christianity I

    The Saved and the Unsaved

    Last Things and Last Judgments

    The Local Church and Personal Ministry IV

    The Local Church and Personal Ministry III

    The Local Church and Personal Ministry II

    The Local Church and Personal Ministry I

    More on Antichrist and his Kingdom

    Antichrist and Babylon

    Prophecy Questions.

    Theological Questions

    Heavenly Things.

    Dysfunctional Churches.

    Some Sensitive Topics II.

    Christmas Special: The Judgment and Reward of the Church.

    What is God's Will?

    Apologetics

    Thanksgiving Leftovers.

    Combating Legalism VI

    Combating Legalism V

    Combating Legalism IV

    Combating Legalism III

    Combating Legalism II

    Combating Legalism I

    Aspects of the False Doctrine of Institutional Security

    Chronological Order of the Books of the Bible II

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations III

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations II

    Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations I

    Gospel Questions III: Least in the kingdom, Millstones, Pennies, Pebbles, Babes, Rhaka, Tallits, and the Crown of Thorns.

    Gospel Questions II: Jesus' Turning Water to Wine, Sweating Blood, Walking on Water, Washing the Disciples' Feet, and the Promise of Freedom."

    Things to Come II: Genesis Rapture, Daniel's Weeks, Seven Kings, Signs of the Apocalypse, Tribulational Suffering, Seven Seals, the Bride of Christ, and Mystery Babylon.

    Things to Come: The Half Hour, the 144,000, the Book of Life, Rewards, the Beast's Kingdom, the Great Apostasy, and the so-called 'Partial Rapture'.

    Satan and the Existence of Evil.

    The Holy Spirit: Blasphemy against, Restraining Ministry, and Gender.

    Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Growth

    Christian Love, the Golden Rule, Christian Military Service and Self-Defense.

    Issues of Canonicity: Apocrypha, Enoch, and Inspiration.

    Church: The Biblical Ideal versus the Contemporary Reality.

    Numbers, Letters, and the Mark of the Beast.

    Gospel Questions I: Jesus' Life, the Gospels and Cherubs, and who Wrote Matthew.

    More Questions about Genesis.

    Naaman, Nero, Nineveh, and Senacharib.

    The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security.

    Choosing Hell: Questions about Salvation and the Love of God.

    The Chronology of the End.

    The Route of the Israelites in Crossing the Red Sea.

    Some Issues of Transmission, Translation, and Transliteration: The Camel and the Needle, etc.

    Aspects of the Life of Christ: Jesus' siblings, the man born blind, et al.

    Jesus is God and man.

    Jesus is God.

    Redemption, the Blood of Christ, Christ our Passover, and The Passion of the Christ.

    Eschatology Issues II: Angelic bodies, heaven and hell, Satan and the Nephilim, etc.

    The Book of Job and Biblical Interpretation.

    Some Questions about Eternity.

    Who Controls our Thoughts and Emotions?

    The Day of the Lord.

    Sleep as a Euphemism for Death.

    Literal Hell.

    Christ's Preaching to the Spirits in Hell (1Pet.3:18-20), & Michael's Rebuke of Satan (2Pet.2:10-11 ).

    Recovering from Sin.

    The Timing of the Resurrection.

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

    Christianity versus Contemporary Kitsch.

    Purpose Driven Life, Oprah's New Age Religion, et al.

    Lot, Esau, and Cain: Learning through Negative Examples.

    Against Universalism II: Only Believers are Saved.

    Against Universalism I: Free Will and the Image of God.

    Courage in the Fight.

    Demon Influences.

    Sabbath Questions.

    The Seven Edens and the Eden of Adam and Eve.

    Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.

    Mary 'Full of Grace'?

    Changing the Name of God?

    The Beast:  Some Questions about Antichrist.

    The Book of Revelation:  Some Questions.

    Red Hot or Lukewarm? Bible Teaching versus Sermonizing.

    The Last Judgment and the Great White Throne.

    Baptism:  Water and Spirit.

    Spiritual  Marathons.

    Christology:  Some Questions on the Life of Christ.

    Regarding Ichthys.

    Train up a Child in the Way he should Go.

    War, History, and Politics.

    Unbelief and its Consequences.

    Dreams and Visions.

    Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ.

    Free Will and Faith under Pressure.

    Angelic Issues II.

    Science and the Bible.

    Bible Interpretation I:  Academics, Versions et al.

    Faith in the Word of God: the Basis of all True Worship.

    Aspects of the Resurrection II.

    Faith and Encouragement in the midst of Fiery Trials.

    Some Sensitive Topics.

    Jethro, Amenhotep, Iraq, the Catacombs, and the KJV.

    Eschatology Issues: The Fig Tree, Ezekiel 38, Joel 3, and the Trumpets.

    Christ the Rock, the Rooster's Crow, and the Cross.

    Applying Faith II: Production, Forgiveness, Circumcision, Truth over People.

    Applying Faith: Eating, Drinking, and Vacation.

    The Tree of Life, Communion, and the Virgin Birth.

    Grammar Questions.

    Can Prayer Be Offered From Heaven? & Some Genesis Questions.

    Walking the Path of Faith through the Light of the Word of God.

    Salvation on the battlefield, truth revealed to infants, and damnation.

    Preparing for Tribulation.

    Divine Sovereignty and Divine Judgment.

    God's Free Gift of Salvation.

    Should Christians wear Jewelry?

    The Lord's Prayer.

    The Events Surrounding the Birth of Christ.

    Cremation or Burial?

    Zechariah, Demon Possession, Marriage, Spiritual Experiences, and Bible Prophecy.

    No Grounds for Divorce?

    The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.

    Taking Personal Responsibility: Interest, Bankruptcy, Gambling, and Employment.

    The Seven Churches, the Judgment Seat of Christ,  and other issues in Eschatology.

    The Canonicity of the book of Hebrews.

    Great White Throne, the Last Judgment, and the Outer Darkness.

    Political Action versus Biblical Christianity.

    Study Tools and Methodologies.

    Covenants.

    The Gospel and the Kingdom of God.

    Pursuing a Deeper Relationship with Jesus and Christian Epistemology.

    The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory.

    The Divinity of the Spirit and the Percentage of those who are Saved.

    Should Christians ever consider getting a lawyer?

    Pastoral Authority, Popes, Pat Robertson, and Pelagianism.

    Some Questions on Church Polity.

    Apostles and Evangelism

    Luther, Arminius, Calvin, Kant, Ironside, Tutu and Thieme.

    Angelic Issues.

    Transmutation, Resuscitation, and Resurrection.

    Is the Soul a tertium quid?

    More on the Documentary Hypothesis and More on the Rapture.

    Enoch's Walk with God and Some Questions in the Gospels.

    The Influence of the Renaissance and Rationalism on the Church and Cutting off Arms in Malachi 2:3.

    Sabbath Observance.

    1st John 5:20 & Romans 6:23.

    Eschatology Questions.

    Baptism and Following Jesus.

    Where is Armageddon?

    Assurance of Salvation.

    The Cross, Sin, and the Devil in God's Plan.

    More on: Spiritual Gifts; Hats & Hair; the Age of Accountability.

    Daniel 9:25 and Daniel 11:30.

    Who will populate earth during the Millennium?  and  Asking for Wisdom: James 1:5.

    Was Judas Saved?, The Gospel of Judas, and Issues of Canonicity.

    Is 'My Son' Israel or Jesus in Hosea 11:1?  &  How do you Prove Sin to Someone?

    Did Matthew Write his Gospel in Hebrew?

    Christian Crowns, Pagan Names, and the Time of the Cock-Crow.

    Child-like Faith, Mark vs. Matthew, the Mahdi, and 'Who was with God in the Beginning?

    True Orthodoxy and False Creeds.

    Foot-washing, Bitter Herbs, Baptism, and Borrowed Faith.

    All Things Charismatic.

    Friday versus Thursday Crucifixion.

    Jesus' Cursing of the Fig Tree, Apostasy, and 'Feng Shui'.

    The Genesis Serpent, Using "it" to refer to the baby Jesus, and more on Tattoos.

    Combating Gnosticism.

    Resisting the Devil.

    Why did Jesus choose John over James to take care of His mother Mary?

    Antichrist's 'desire of women' in Daniel 11:37 et al.

    Do recent catastrophes have a divine origin?

    Does God really want us to be sick and poor?  Revisiting the prosperity gospel.

    Why did our Lord Jesus arise from the tribe of Judah?

    What will our relationship be in heaven with children who died young?

    The baptism of the Holy Spirit as distinct from speaking in tongues.

    The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap.

    The Great White Throne Judgment.

    Moses and Zipporah.

    The Victory of Faith.

    Does God's choice of us eliminate our free will?

    Why does God allow bad things to happen?

    The Bible as "divine", roof prayer, and tattoos.

    Character in Hebrews 1:3, et al.

    Exorcism, et al.

    "Are the children of unbelievers lost if they die before receiving Christ?"

    How not to get "left behind".

    "Is baptism necessary for salvation?"

    "The nature of life after death."

    "The personality of the Holy Spirit."

    "The dragon of Revelation 12 and the talking idol of Revelation 13."

    "Bound by Satan in Luke 13:16, language and the Tower of Babel, Daniel's 70th week, and the number 12."

    "Infirmities and Diseases in Matthew 8:17"

    "The Leftover Baskets of Bread and Fish in John 6."

    "Waiting for the Ascension" and "Amos 4:11".

    Why was Canaan cursed?

    Should Christians have a competitive attitude?

    John "leapt for joy" in the womb - or did he?

    Satanic Influence in Video Games and Television.

    Moving Mountains:  Matthew 21:21

    Not a hair shall be lost? Luke 21:16 versus Luke 21:18.

    The reign of antichrist:  7 years or 3 and 1/2 years?

    The Trinity in Scripture.

    The Ark of the Covenant.

    "Doubts about the Nephilim in Genesis 6" and "Ezekiel 9:4 and the Mark of the Beast"

    "Word Counts in the Bible", "Him whom they Pierced (Rev.1:7)", and "Necromancy".

    "Waiting for a Savior" and "The Direction East in the Bible"

    Transubstantiation.

    Is there a purgatory according to the Bible?

    Your desire shall be for your husband: Genesis 3:16.

    Have I committed the unforgivable sin?

    Is the local church meant to be a patriarchy?

    Why doesn't the Bible mention all of the prophets of the children of Israel?

    The True "Victorious Life".

    Tohu in Genesis 1:2 and the Cause of the Darkness.

    Why Doesn't God Prevent All Children from Dying?

    Why were Christians being regarded as "evil-doers" in 1st Peter 2:12?

    The Scofield Reference Bible.

    Phylacteries and the Mark of the Beast, and "What about Joseph?"

    Feeling desperate and alone.

    Is Tithing net or gross?

    Assembly of the local church, and Jesus' use of "I AM" from Exodus 3:14 in John 8:58

    The "burden of the Lord" in Jeremiah 23:32-40, and judgment for idle words in Matthew 12:36-37.

    The importance of spiritual resiliency.

    Does God use disease to discipline us?

    Recovering from Cult Exposure.

    Variability in Christian Testing and Personal Tribulation.

    Is there any value to the Apocrypha?

    The Communion Ceremony outside of the local church.

    The Christian Walk, the End, and Tattoos.

    Should Christians honor Sunday as the new Sabbath?

    Chronological order of the books of the Bible.

    Doubt, light, missed opportunities et al.

    Addicted to Sin.

    Corporate prayer in Matthew 18:19:  "when two agree on earth".

    What does the Bible say about humor?

    The value of cumulative prayer.

    Our Heavenly, Pre-Resurrection, Interim State.

    How could a loving God order the destruction of the Canaanites?

    Should Christians observe the Torah?

    Church Polity and three other passages.

    Walking with Jesus.

    Tongues: does 'no man' understand?

    The few saved, the door in heaven, visions of heavenly realities, and Christmas.

    Spiritual Warfare.

    Christian suffering and spiritual maturity.

    Aliens, antichrist, and eschatology.

    Does exceptionally sinful behavior indicate that a Christian has lost salvation?

    Should Christians celebrate Jewish festivals?

    The Deaths of the 12 Disciples / Apostles of Christ.

    Categories of Sin in Psalm 19.

    Some brief answers on a variety of topics.

    Pastoral Support, Pastoral Preparation, and the Purpose of Assembly.

    Eternal Rewards.

    Encouragement, Isaiah 6:11-13, and the Hope of Repentance.

    Questioning the Genesis Gap.

    Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

    How much should we pay our pastor?

    More about Women Preachers.

    Is it wrong for me to celebrate Easter?

    The Remnant in Isaiah 6:13.

    The Big Distinction.

    The Day of the Lord in 2nd Peter 3:10.

    The Day of the Lord.

    Church History.

    The Sealing of the Holy Spirit.

    Visions of Angels: Colossians 2:18.

    Waiting on God's timing:  patience in testing.

    "Your Throne, O God":  Psalm 45:6.

    Moses striking the Rock.

    Procreation and Creation.

    What is meant by the phrase "the Lord's footstool"?

    1st Peter 3:3-5

    A conversation about divorce and remarriage.

    Faith in the midst of the fiery trial.

    Hebrews 10:26 again, and two other notes on Arthur Pink and the Greek word diakonos.

    What is the correct translation of Isaiah 59:19?

    Is the star of Acts 7:43 the star of David?

    Some questions about Nimrod and Christmas trees, Tongues, and Healing

    Is Jesus the only One ever to restore sight?

    What happens to people who were born and died prior to the birth of Christ?

    Which is better, the King James Version or the New King James Version?

    What is the minimum necessary to be saved?

    How can we know whose interpretation of the Bible is right (Part 2)?

    How can we know whose interpretation of the Bible is right (Part 1)?

    Psalm 22:1, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

    The "Mind of Christ" in 1st Corinthians 2:16

    Simeon and Simon, and the two crows of the rooster

    Ichthys, saints, and the Last Adam

    Does Hebrews 10:26 teach loss of salvation?

    Eternal security: where does one draw the line?

    Who are Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39?

    How did John the baptist come to doubt Jesus?

    Is Jesus literally seated on the throne at God's right hand?

    Are the Celts the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?

    Whatever happened to the "Genesis Gap"?

    "The baptism which now saves you":  1st Peter 3:21.

    Hebrew Language Study Tools.

    What type of healing is being discussed in Isaiah 53:5?

    The Origin of the Four Seasons

    2nd Peter 3:5: Doubting the Tribulation

    Tent-making and Galatians 6:6

    A Question about Ichthys books

    Biblical Metaphors and Symbolism

    Faith and the Pre-Tribulational "Rapture".

    Faith Healing.

    Bible translation and John 8:58.

    Melchizedek and the high priesthood of Christ:  two questions et alia.

    In need of encouragement.

    The centurion and the Syro-Phoenician woman.

    Who is the Meshiach?

    A Sadducean Question

    What is "heaven" like according to Christian teachings?

    Acts 20:28: Whose Blood?

    1st Corinthians 11:  Hats or Hair?

    Confession of Sin, Fellowship, and the Filling of the Holy Spirit.

    A Miscellany of Questions and Answers (Nineveh, the beast, tongues, demons, Sadam, etc.)

    Some Greek Questions in the Gospels (John 1:3; 2:19; 8:58; Luke 23:43)

    Is Man trichotomous, and does that mean that salvation is three-tiered?

    Questioning the Trinity

    The blood of Christ

    Christ knocking at the door in Revelation 3:20

    The futility of memory without God and eternal life.

    The meaning of Jesus' words, "I am" in John 8:58

    What does the Bible say about Heaven and Hell?

    Peace in 1st Corinthians 14:33

    Salvation and Church Affiliation.

    Several questions on the book of Hebrews.

    Does the Bible prohibit women from preaching or teaching in the Church?

    Should Christian leaders refrain from drinking in public?

    How to use the Bible translations at Ichthys.

    The Worship of Jesus:  a proof of His divinity?

    An Extended Conversation about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

    Is water baptism required for Christians today?

    Are health and wealth a part of the gospel?

    Will those in Hades be able to see Christ's return?

    Feelings of Guilt about Remarriage.

    Who are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?

    What does "the Word was with God" mean in John 1:1-2?

    Three questions on three verses in Isaiah (Is.21:4; 28:10, & 66:24).

    How important is education for a pastor?

    Does Hebrews 10:26-35 ("deliberate sinning" etc.) mean that a believer can lose his or her salvation?

    Availability and use of Ichthys materials: several questions.

    Is there any difference between demons and fallen angels?

    Confronting atheism.

    Two questions about Judas Iscariot.

    Three Questions about Tattoos and Salvation.

    The Hebrew word for 'one' (`echadh) and the uniqueness of God.

    Did the witch of Endor really conjure up the spirit of Samuel?

    A Question about the "Waters Above".

    Why did God the Father wait so long to send Jesus into the world?

    How does being "slain in the Spirit" relate to being baptized in the Spirit?

    How do you prove the existence of God?

    Where does the Bible teach that Jesus is God?

    Is it ever Justifiable to Tell a Lie (part 2)?

    Seeing double in Matthew.

    Mary, Joseph, and Nazareth.

    Is the Westminster Catechism a Good Reference Tool?

    What does it mean "the spirit returns to God" in Ecclesiastes 12:7?

    Is there any Connection between biblical Gemstones and Moral Characteristics?

    Are Miraculous Gifts Operational Today?

    Jesus Christ in the Old Testament (Christophany: Gen.3:8).

    Can those in organizations which teach "salvation by works" be saved?

    Is "helpmeet" a wrong translation in Genesis 2:20?

    Our will and God's WILL.

    Cast thy Bread upon the Waters:  What do the seven and eight portions in Ecclesiastes 11:2 mean?

    Was Cain Satan's literal "seed"?

    The Demon Possessed Girl in Acts 16:16.

    The "Sin unto Death" in 1st John 5:16.

    Is death just a natural part of human life?

    Communion and the Blood of Christ.

    What does it mean in 1st Corinthians 7:14, "the unbelieving husband is sanctified"?

    The Re-institution of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium.

    Secular Documentation for the Exodus.

    The false doctrine of "soul sleep".

    The Author of Hebrews and Jesus' Perfect Completion of His Mission.

    The Trinity in Isaiah 63:10-15.

    How old was Jesus at the time of His crucifixion and resurrection?

    Five Smooth Stones: 1st Samuel 17:40

    How can we know the Bible is true?

    The name "Jesus".

    Habakkuk's Prosperity Prayer: Habakkuk 3:17-19.

    Jeremiah 31:22: "A Woman shall Compass a Man".

    The New International Version of the Bible and some issues in Bible translation.

    Is "the Prophet" of Deuteronomy 18:18 Muhammad?

    The One True God and the Trinity in the Old Testament.

    Are those in Hebrews 6:4 who "crucify the Son of God afresh" lost?

    Are New Bible Translations Part of a Conspiracy?

    What exactly is the "red heifer prophecy", and how does it relate to the events of the end times?

    Where did the waters of Genesis 1 go?

    Interpreting Revelation

    Sin, Baptism, and the Book of Revelation

    Tithing and the Book of Life

    The Dangers of the Prosperity Gospel.

    English and the Tower of Babel.

    The "Seven Thunders" of Revelation 10:3-4

    The fate of the unrighteous dead in Isaiah 66:24

    Who are the "sons of the kingdom" in Matthew 18:11-12?

    Why does Judah get greater honor than Jerusalem in Zechariah 12:7?

    Are there Female Angels?

    Longevity in the Millennium.

    How is the date of Easter computed?

    What is the meaning of the 1290 days versus the 1335 days in Daniel 12?

    What Church era are we now in?

    The mark of the beast.

    Christophany in the Exodus.

    Can you explain "help my unbelief!" in Mark 9:24?

    What does it mean to "overcome" in Revelation chapters 2 and 3?

    Are women required to wear veils or hats in church?

    Is the world about to come to an end?

    Does the Bible ever describe the earth as being round?

    Pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation rapture?

    Pearls before swine.

    Recognizing the Messiah.

    The gift of healing.

    The origin and fate of the "giants" in Genesis chapter six.

    Christian suffering - Christian encouragement.

    Is speaking in tongues biblical?

    Is speaking in tongues a sin?

    Can you recommend a good commentary on the book of Romans?

    Aspects of the resurrection.

    The recipients of Peter's epistles.

    Pre- or Post-Tribulation "rapture"?

    The lives of the prophets.

    The old prophet who lied.

    Animal sacrifice in the millennium.

    Is it ever justifiable to lie?

    Who wrote the King James version?

    The meaning of the divine name יהוה.

    The so-called "documentary hypothesis".

    The relationship between the books of Kings and Chronicles.

    David's disastrous census of Israel.

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

    The 200 million strong demon army of Revelation 9:13.

    Deliverance through Childbearing in 1st Timothy 2:15?

    Some questions about the Tribulation.

    More on divorce and remarriage.

    Divorce and remarriage.

    The antecedents of ICHTHYS.

    What does it mean to "remember the Sabbath and keep it holy"?

    The manner of the apostle Peter's death.

    Wasn't Matthias the thirteenth apostle?

    Forward progress necessary for salvation and spiritual growth.

    The "seven days" of human history.

    1st John 1:9 and confessing sin.

    ICHTHYS and the role of traditional Christianity.

    Can you recommend a good survey for the Old and New Testaments?

    Where can I find more information on the "Genesis gap"?

    Is Church membership an issue in salvation?

    Can you recommend a church?

    Are these materials available for purchase as books?

    A bit of autobiography.

    What is your opinion of the Abingdon one-volume Bible Commentary?

    What is the significance of the number "20" in the Bible?

    The 144,000 of Revelation chapters 7 and 14.

    What is your view on predestination?

    Who is "true Israel"?

    The chronology of the date 2026.

    Does baptism play a role in being born again?

    Why does the devil have access to God while man cannot stand in His presence?

    The structure of the book of Revelation.

    What is your view of the rapture?

    What is meant by the "10 days" of Revelation 2:10?

    Dragons in the Bible?

    Are there apostles in the Church today?

    What is the meaning of the word "chosen" in the Bible.

    The Passover.

    What are the most common Bible names?

    What is the biblical significance of the number forty?

    What does the Bible have to say about witchcraft?

    How can I protect myself from false teaching?

    Didn't the devil know he couldn't defeat God?

    Are the Masons wrong according to the Bible?

    Six Questions.

    Can the faith of "backsliders" be restored?

    Are there biblical origins to mythology?

    What does the phrase "sides of the pit" mean in Isaiah 14:15?

    Can prayer be offered in the name of the Son?

    Election and John 6:37?

    Is it valid to celebrate Christmas?

    Can you give me some information on divine names in the Bible?

    What is the significance of name changes in the Bible?

    Is faith a "gift of God"?

    Is there a "gospel of Thomas"?

    Is the nature of Man dichotomous or trichotomous?

    Will the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem?

    Does the Bible teach a literal Millennium?

    What does the word "good" mean in Genesis?

    Who are "the dead" who "rise first" in 1st Thessalonians 4?

    Are the Greek tenses in John 7:34 correctly translated?

    Is the devil "mad" to oppose God?

    Does the Bible require supporting the pastor financially?

    How can Jesus be a man and God at the same time?

    How did people atone for intentional sin in Old Testament times?

    What is the symbolism of the Lamb of God in Revelation?

    Can you recommend some word study tools for Bible study?

    Can people who commit suicide be saved?

    Are tattoos biblical?

    Is it "ichthys" or "ichthus"?

    What is the difference between wisdom and discernment?

    Marriage of Believers and Unbelievers.

    Is hearing believing in John 6:35?

    How certain a date is 2026?

    Is Paul describing himself in Romans chapter seven?

    Is tithing required for salvation?

    What is the evidence for the "rapture"?

    Is there any validity to the "prosperity gospel"?

    Who are the "Nephilim" in Genesis chapter six?

    Church attendance.

    Is there a literal "devil"?

    What does the Bible have to say about reincarnation?

    What is the unpardonable sin?

    Believing the Bible for Spiritual Growth.

    Why was the New Testament written in Greek?

    What about those who have never heard of Christ?

    What about elders and deacons?

    Eternal Security and "sinless perfection".

    Eternal Security and "salvation by works".

    Does the Bible teach ex nihilo creation?

    When did Jesus first know He was God's Son?

    Are there prophets today?

    Despairing of life.

    How important is baptism?

    How could Christ have been three days and nights in the grave?

    Do Muslims worship the One true God?

    What can I do about spiritual fainting?

     


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