Ichthys Acronym Image
Ichthys home navigation button

Eschatology Issues CVI

Word RTF

Question #1:

Hi Bob,

As I read this chapter, I assume it came at the end or near the end of the Babylonian captivity. But, it also reads like he's speaking of the end time destruction. If you're right, and I believe you are, verse 5 says we'll be completely destroyed -- and destroyed by those from far-away lands.

I see our current administration poking Russia in the eye apparently trying to provoke war. In spite of the remarkable restraint Russia has shown, sooner or later they'll retaliate. Isaiah 13:19 says we'll be overthrown like Sodom & Gomorrah, Which sounds like we'll have a nuclear catastrophe in our future. I suspect Isaiah is mostly poetry so I may have misunderstood. If, as Isaiah says, we'll be completely destroyed, there will be no place to which we can flee.

What's your understanding? Am I completely off base? After almost 60 years watching the news (as I neared draft age) I've never seen anything like the evil and corruption we have today.


I pray you and yours are well and safe and the East Palestine fiasco causes you no harm.

In our Lord,

Response #1:

Always great to hear from you, my friend.

Here is what I say about that chapter in the synopsis in CT 1:

[Babylon Present and Future]
Isaiah 13-14a: contemporary Babylon as a type of beast's kingdom (the prince as antichrist and Satan)

Historical Babylon thus does give the pattern in prophecy for the fate of Mystery Babylon of the Tribulation. But the destruction of the latter comes at the very end of the Tribulation, about six months or so before the second advent (see the link). Until then, Babylon's status is that of "the great city which rules over the kings of the earth" (Rev.17:18).

In terms of just how she comes to an end, there is definitely "burning" involved (Rev.17:16; and cf. all of chapter 18), but there is also abundance of evidence throughout scripture that suggests that she will be invaded and burned/looted/destroyed by those who invade her (rather than suffering from a purely "stand-off" bombing; see the link).

Mystery Babylon does not actually become such until the Tribulation begins. So no matter how bad things are at present – and they are bad – I'm afraid we "haven't seen anything yet". Once the Holy Spirit ends His restraining ministry, all hell will break loose . . . literally (see the link).

Our water here does come from the Ohio, but we are pretty far down stream. Here's hoping we get a "head's up" before anything significant floats all the way down here (not holding my breath on that, however). I saw something on the local blah last night about multiple communities in the upriver being concerned. Cincinnati will receive the "plume" before we do (they say it's moving at 1MPH), so we'll probably have a good idea of potential problems here ahead of time, now that the thing has "gone viral".

You're in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.
[note: latest from our water co. today 2/18: "Your drinking water is safe: The spill is currently more than 300 miles away, and we have no detections of butyl acrylate in Louisville. We are working with our partners along the Ohio River to monitor and understand all we can about this spill. Our scientists monitor our water source daily, year-round."]

Question #2:

Thank you Bob!

While I read some of the links before, your cites in the articles tied things together in a way I totally missed before. (The reason I have a bruised forehead.)

I can only conclude from the news and scripture that the Spirit's restraint is gradually lifting and Satan is gaining more control. While there has always been evil and repression, I don't remember from any history a time when infrastructure was attacked on such a wide spread basis outside of war. To be sure, military campaigns will destroy crops and production facilities but never such evil and destruction outside of warfare. While there have been massacres before, they was limited in scope. Perhaps you know of previous examples but I don't remember reading of any. The obvious answer to me is that this IS warfare as it has always been and Satan is CIC. The opening shot was Genesis 3:5 and we seem to have swallowed that lie hook, line and sinker.

I've been doing much less headline reading and generally feel better because of it. In a sense, I don't really care anymore what happens out there in the world. It's out of my hands. Thanks for your explanation -- and your patience with me. Thank you for your prayers. You and yours remain in mine which now include the prayer you'll get along well with the garbage coming down the river. Note: from past experience, I would be skeptical of whatever government said, I would urge you stock up on bottled water just in case. If things work out well, you'll at least have water to take on your walks.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #2:

Things are bad, but they have been bad before. I suppose if we apply the qualification of not being in a hot war then you may have a point. But, after all, with all the hot wars in human history; not actually being in the middle of one at present is a blessing. After all, the second horseman of Revelation chapter six is "War", meaning a great deal more hot, warm and cold warfare around the globe than ever before during the Tribulation.

It always seems worse when one is experiencing it oneself, I imagine. Being in China in the early 1930's meant that a person was in for nearly two decades of famine, warfare, looting and pillaging, all manner of horrors – which have never entirely gone away with their present regime. Compared to most places in most eras of history, things at present, while worse than in, say, 1950, are not as bad today for most of us here in the US . . . as long as we take your example and do NOT read too much of the news.

When it comes to all things secular and human, I follow the ancient Greek basic life-advice 101: "Learn how to swim (i.e., because in that time and place you WOULD eventually end up on a sinking ship at some point), and remember not to believe anyone".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi Bob,

I'm not exactly sure of what you're meaning - If you could add a "by the numbers" so simple even I can understand - could you expand a little. I have to admit, sometimes I grasp things quickly, other times I'm slow.

I'm still on this side of the grass, so I'm doing pretty well.

In the last days of the age we find ourselves in there are too many who just don't want to know, probably don't care is more correct but I'm hoping, as these days march on, that some will think 'what should I do now, or perhaps, maybe I should turn to God' and we sincerely hope that might be the case. And unless that thought crosses their mind and they seek salvation, there's not much hope for them. If some who know and value articles like yours and mine (link) and some others, if they know of some in that situation, they may lead them and others to these articles before, I fear, they might/could be removed from the internet as the day gets ever closer. And of course, that will all depend on their willingness to know. I think all unbelievers know in their own hearts that there is a God, who in mercy has given salvation to all through His Son's sacrifice - they just choose to reject it. Which we can't understand!

I just hope in the coming days, more might consider these things and want salvation before it's too late - I can't help but think of the unrepentant thief who had the same opportunity as his fallen companion.

As always my dear friend,

Response #3:

I certainly agree that it's not a matter of "knowledge" – it's a matter of free will / faith:

(18) God's wrath is about to be revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness – on men who suppress the truth [in their hearts about God] in their unrighteousness. (19) For that which can be known about God [from everyday experience] is obvious to them, because God has made it obvious. (20) His nature, though invisible, is nevertheless plainly apparent, and has been since His foundation of the world, for it may be clearly inferred from this creation of His – [this is true of] both His eternal power and His divinity – so that they are without any excuse: (21) they knew about God, but they neither honored Him as God nor thanked Him. Instead, they gave themselves over to [the] vanity [of this world] in their speculations, and their senseless hearts were filled with darkness.
Romans 1:18-22

From the divine point of view – the point of view of the truth – there is only black and white. The truth is an inestimably sharp sword that divides everything completely in two: believers vs. unbelievers; good vs. evil; light vs. darkness. The strait and narrow that leads to life from the broad way that leads to destruction. Once the truth is perceived, it's up to each individual to respond to it . . . or reject it.

"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!"
Acts 16:31

But if you refuse to submit in faith to follow Him, then you will not be 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

This is what I am talking about. If someone should say, "How do I avoid being destroyed by taking the broad rather than the strait way?", I would want to make it clear "how": you put your faith in Jesus Christ and you follow Him. That is spiritual rather than physical, believing the truth to be saved and following Him through the truth to stay safe thereafter – through attention to good teaching, Bible reading and prayer, doing all the things we are called to do and avoiding all the things we are told to stay away from in anticipation of our judgment and reward. Sanctification and spiritual growth. Believers behaving like believers on the defense and the offense. Not like unbelievers whose eternity is frightful beyond imagination.

So if we are appealing to unbelievers, we make the issue of salvation clear (first part of the above paragraph); if we are addressing ourselves to believers who are caught up in the lukewarm church-going of Laodicea, then we attempt to motivate them by appealing to their duty to Christ, the dangers of doing otherwise, and the rewards they ought to want to win (second part of the above paragraph). Mixing the two approaches can be confusing to the former (since it can muddy the issue of salvation) and to the latter as well (since it can make them doubt their salvation instead of lighting a fire under them to get cracking with spiritual growth).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hello Doc!

How have you been lately? I have gone through the Hebrews series, well on the way to being another excellent study per your usual output.

I’m dead certain I’m not the first person you’ve heard this from, but I am officially convinced Elon “Eli-Elihon” Musk IS indeed the False Prophet and is well into the groundwork for his coming mark not to mention his ties to everything involved in the current world status as a whole (covid, the evil “vax”, political situations at large, hadron collider, etc.). I was hesitant shortly ago but too much lines up, he’s clearly overtly satanic in his behavior and history and seems really to be the only one making inroads with political “conservatives,” the center and still maintains a certain amount of the “left” but they’ve always been co-opted so that part seems nearly irrelevant anyway.

What is your take?

I know the AC is still a ways off, but I have my guesses, and per the last we spoke on it, Shapiro seemed logical, but he’s too “on the nose” in many ways for me to be able to accept it as fervently as I did before, but this Crowder situation... what if he were to “discover” his Jewish heritage and start the process of subsuming his “newly found background” into his “faith” and begin selling said nonsense? Possible, and smacks (hypothetically) of something satan would pull. He’s VERY charismatic and even some on the left love his kind seeming logic and have grown to not hate him like they do the other pundits.. just a thought, could be wrong.

I started a YouTube channel (link), it’s not super large, but I’ve based it on your works, and I read from your Coming Tribulation series often along with other basics (baptism issues, anger and sin, handling addiction with The Word [I film that one tomorrow by request], proper Christian attitude based on Scriptures [I used the section in 3a about the Great Apostasy], and will be covering much more accordingly, and I ALWAYS cite you and refer people to your site.) I hope you are ok with this as it seems I have little choice but to do so.

I recently lost my sales position due to the ownership allowing coworkers to steal MANY sales from me with no recourse on their end so I have a lot of time currently and I have that feeling of “this was intentional” and He has something else for me coming soon. We have a nest egg so we’re not hurting, and The Lord has ALWAYS made sure we’re ok financially plus many other strange occurrences to boot . . .


___ has been moved lately to get ready for the coming nonsense the “powers that be” will be throwing at us as they announced the “pandemic” years ago, and have recently “promised” grid attacks which will likely come faster than even covid as the timeline is short (I can’t get late spring early summer out of my mind as that seems the best time to ruin the most foods and cause maximum panic; The Spirit?).

I’m seeing massive some response to my videos and have received a LOT of outreach from Brothers and Sisters thanking and asking for guidance and help (edification) and I’ve been using Twitter (while the grass is green) which, in spite of Elons’ ownership has been going extremely well also. I spend much time defending the gospel against much heresy and the energy I have (been given?) to do so I can only describe as “beyond me” and (Father forgive me if I speak presumptuously, please) Spirit driven. I think it’s perhaps reasonable to assume I’ll only be allowed to teach and help up until the powers remove my channel (in 3.5 or so years, perhaps prior to the 6 months of peace?).

When I write I (sorta) sound like you do when you write, only frankly I have less tolerance for nonsense I think as I have little patience for heresy (JW, Catholic, Mormon, Cult nonsense basically and I also call out believers being too hopeful in patriotism which has clearly been co-opted as well lately..) and I call it out quickly and sometimes sharply but the resistance I’ve received has been FIERCE (over the target?) but I’ve (His Word really, I hope) never “lost” any battle and my followers have seen and taken notice and it’s only seemed to add to my (His) effectiveness.

I am so scared and yet so capable all at once. Perhaps I finally understand on some level Isaiah 6:5 (I have NOT seen The Lord however) and Psalm 22:6, but I still have issue accepting all this. This whole situation is so surreal and I need your input, advice and critique badly. I know you’re a busy man, but please, I beg you if you can/will, will you look into what I’ve done? I WANT THOSE CROWNS SO BADLY and I know if I’m missing anything you will see it.

He is moving and I need to crank out as much solid food as possible for those taken up by their Babylonian lifestyle keeping them from having enough downtime to read so they can listen and learn while I have the time. Perhaps this will somehow be my job.

I know you’re busy, but please if you can, have a look at the channel (link).

I sincerely pray you are well and highly look forward to hearing from you.

Response #4:

Good to hear from you!

On identifying the beast and/or his false prophet, I don't think that's at all possible in the case of the latter until sometime in the Tribulation. We may get an inkling of antichrist beforehand, but maybe not. In any case, we won't be able to be sure until the seven years begin. One thing I'm relatively sure of: no presently famous person I've seen or heard of comes close to fitting the bill. We shall see, however.

Sorry to hear about the job. If it's any consolation, I know many believers who have been slighted in this way, namely, favoritism shown to others, allowing those others to gain credit from another's work, scapegoating the believer for the mistakes/sins of others, etc. So if that was the situation at your previous employer, you're well out of it from that perspective. I'll pray for you for another, better job ASAP.

In terms of "getting a feeling" that something was or was about to happen, it's not what I would call prophecy. I remember vividly being in second grade and our teacher saying she had something important to tell us and I knew immediately that it must be that my friend's father had died. Thinking back, I probably just put two and two together instinctively, but . . . We all have different gifts. We use them as best we can. In terms of ministry, absolutely that is a wonderful thing. There are many out there who need this help and yes indeed it is the Spirit who empowers all genuine ministry. That is certainly the case with Ichthys. No way I could have written these materials without a great deal of help.

In terms of numerology, I have to tell you I don't put any stock in it – just the opposite. There are many reasons for that, not the least of which is that scripture never does this sort of thing (not that numbers aren't important in the Bible but in a significantly different way), and also because very few cults fail to make use of this sort of methodology. Also, whenever one subjects any such thing to close scrutiny the constructs always fall apart. You are gifted by God, clearly. That is enough to know. And He has given you particular experiences to encourage you. Best advice: don't cloud it with numerology.

Which brings me to your website. Very nice indeed! You have a great way of presenting things, my friend. I think you may have found your niche. I've taken the liberty of linking this at Ichthys and will be sure to mention it as occasion warrants. Keep up the good work, my friend!

And thanks much for the update. Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

I’m glad you responded so quickly!

No, I certainly don’t give anything numerology wise any true weight, it’s just hard ignoring so many coincidences all at once.

Honestly it’s peaceful not worrying about income as I can look back clearly and see He’s always filled our needs and __ may have some carpentry work for me soon and I think I’d prefer that over sales anyhow as I would rather be convincing believers to look to The Word more than anything else (perhaps my calling, we’ll see.)

If you ever have any critique on any video or work of mine is will gladly hear you out, I’m open to suggestions also, but will continue to put your work up as well as viewer requests and I hope I make you proud as you’ve always been my only real teacher and for good reason. Also, I’m certain at some point someone will contact you with anything I can’t explain (so far so good, but your knowledge outweighs mine) so hopefully I don’t overload you, but it seems right and you’ve always helped me.

Also, I’d like to thank you for your input so long ago regarding family, these kids and my awesome wife have been a massive blessing and you really made letting Him decide simple.

I hope to talk soon, I’ll need help at some point I’m sure and thank you for posting the page.

Talk soon Doctor!

Bless you dearly.

Response #5:

It's my pleasure, my friend. Thanks for the update.

What a handsome family you've got! A real blessing from the Lord!

Nothing wrong with carpentry after all. I only got a B+ in Woodshop myself (too slow on projects).

It's a great channel (link).

Keep up the good work for our Lord!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:


I just went back to reread "The Satanic Rebellion" and found Steven Tammen's Video Series attached (link).

What a blessing this has been to listen to these. Learning is reinforced when material is presented in different ways.

Thank you for adding this.

Response #6:

Thank you!

I know our friend will appreciate this.

Please be sure to check out his new website as well: BibleDocs

And the SR series is also available in MP3 audio files suitable for download thanks to our friend Chris B. (at the link).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I was in the grocery store today, and noticed that they have implemented self check out. You probably have them also in Louisville. These Bar Codes have been around for some time now, a number of years ago it was implemented, and everything that we buy has one. Now the stores here in Evansville, were not using self-check with bar code scanning being done by the consumer, they had clerical workers who do this for you. But, just recently, I have noticed that every store we go to now has implemented self-check scanning using the bar code scanner.

May not sound to exciting to many people, as they don't give it a second thought. A thought came into my mind as we were checking out, via self-check scanning, that was implemented not too long ago was in full force. This is a recent installation of these scanners in their store, but like I said, every store we go to now has self-check with scanners. Restaurants included, and other types of stores. Maybe many will say, oh well, that is due to the fact that they cannot get anyone who wants to work at that particular pay range.

Well, I have another thought about these machines. I really do believe that we are getting ever closer to the coming of the antichrist, and the mark of the beast. I don't think this store implementation is just wanting to keep up with the latest technology. Looks an awful like big tech is preparing and gearing up to the time when no one can buy or sell except he that had the mark.

Would like to have your opinion.

2026 is just 3 years away, and people are asleep at the wheel.

Blessings to you always,

Your friend,

Response #7:

Good to hear from you.

I have no doubt that technology will play a role in everything that happens prior to and within the Tribulation. But technology is not the problem. The devil . . . and those who follow him . . . are the problem.

Blessedly, there is nothing the evil one and all his minions put together can do to eradicate faith from the least of those who belong to Christ – as long as we are not willing to yield.

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Revelation 12:11 ESV

Everywhere we look, technology, society, politics, religion, international relations, everything is pointing in the same direction, after all. All the more reason to double down with the truth – and in making a habit of trusting God absolutely regardless of what we hear or see or feel. That's the only way to rise above all this noise and churn . . . and get to the line of departure ready to go for whatever comes our way once it all starts.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

It's here, its been 77 years since ww2 ended. Notice 4th beast is verse 7.7.

What does Musk and Hitler have in common? both gave us a car, musk is jewish, he plays a part. Folks love him, twitter is his platform, where he spreads his falsehoods , man has hundreds of million followers. worth watching. The enemy is brilliant, thats ok, we have the Most High, Christ. Im following him on twitter, watching.... Most folks are asleep. Churches are dead, I left mine too, in 2009, then shut my tv off, been studying scriptures ever since

Dan 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Be careful-much deception now. Walk in the Light
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The Lord has turned USA over to evil and removed his lovingkindness and mercies, The Usa has fallen into the hands of an angry God. Tell folks, turn from all willful ,conscious, deliberate SIN or they will be turned over to it.

God Bless,
*Auxilium Meum A Domino Yeshua*

Response #8:

You should know that these verse divisions of Old Testament books were only developed in the 15th century A.D.

Question #9:

I already know that. My question to you is do you feel the 4th beast?

Response #9:

But your analysis is based upon the presumption that these verse numbers are spiritually significant when they clearly cannot be.

The fourth beast is revived Rome, distinct from Mystery Babylon (see the link). It's certainly possible to see the rumblings of that revival in Europe today, as well as the incipient Babylon of the Tribulation in the US (see the link).

In terms of identifying personalities as antichrist, this is not a fruitful pursuit at present. The beast is not said to be fully revealed until the Tribulation (2Thes.2:3). You mention Hitler and he was certainly a likely seeming candidate at the time – but he met his end nearly eight decades ago.

Speculation on this subject usually leads to more speculation which inevitably is not biblical and thus potentially impeding to spiritual growth. Also, with so much that we CAN learn and know about these subjects, better to invest our time and energy in learning what the Bible actually says . . . as opposed to picking favorite candidates and scenarios and trying to marry up the odd scripture to them (a futile process that leads nowhere good).

To that end I highly recommend The Coming Tribulation series and the prolegomenon to it: The Satanic Rebellion series (at the links).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hey Dr. Luginbill, just a quick question.

I'm reading back through the coming tribulation part 4 and I wondered "what about all the unbelieving zealots who never take the mark of the beast but remain unbelievers until they cry out to God in faith upon His return?" Does that mean that most or all of the trumpet and bowl judgments will affect them directly (as the plagues did the Egyptians but not not the Israelites in Egypt)? As in, won't they be stung by scorpions like everyone else or will the Lord spare them because He foreknew they would come to believe in Him later on?

In His grace and power,

Response #10:

Revelation presents things as pretty much black and white. For example:

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 13:8 NKJV

Here the "all" has to be not our modern, skeptical, "scientific" "all" but instead the practical, biblical "all" (cf. Hebrew adjective, col, at the link) wherein it doesn't mean "not a single solitary person" but rather "the vast majority" . . . because we know, as you mention, that there have to be Jews who do not worship the beast or take his mark yet are not saved but do fulfill the prophecy of being saved when Christ returns. Even Revelation affirms that (Rev.1:7).

Since we can expect things to be very rough even for believers sealed by the Spirit (Matt.24:21), it stands to reason that they will be "rougher" still for unbelievers, even though these Jewish unbelievers may receive special treatment for the sake of their genealogy (Rom.11:28).

So I can't rule out that they will suffer some or all of the things the other unbelievers suffer (not being sealed as we are and as the 144,000 will be: Rev.7:1ff.), but I wouldn't be surprised if they do receive a measure of protection also – at least as far as preserving their lives is concerned. In spite of the great loss of life during the Tribulation (cf. Is.13:12), there must be a sizeable number of believers left to be resurrected (1Thes.4:17), and a large number of unbelieving Jews remaining as well, who refused to take the mark, in order to fulfill all the prophecies of Israel's regathering by the Messiah (see the link).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hi Dr. Luginbill,

I came across a potential argument for the pre-trib rapture:

"Fourth, the rapture is imminent. Jesus taught that his second coming would be preceded by various specific signs (Mt. 24:4-34), making it non-imminent. However, the early church lived in the expectancy that Jesus could return at any moment. The church is told to watch for Jesus (1 Thess. 5:6; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:3), but they are not told to watch for any signs. If Jesus comes to rapture the church before the signs, then this would still make his coming imminent (c.f. comments on Jn. 21:18)."

Now I know that imminence in general doesn't work, because I understand that "imminence" of His coming does not preclude a tribulation, because even though the apostles wrote of the imminence of the Lord's return, whatever that meant was not less than a 7-year period, for example. We've discussed this. My main question is about that first sentence, that the signs immediately before His second coming make His coming non-imminent. I kind of know there are problems with this, but what would you say about that point? This guy's third sentence also seems wrong, given Luke 21:25-33, since the parable of the fig tree makes it obvious that we are to look for signs for His coming.

I'm sorry for another pre-trib question. I've been going through some arguments and am trying to make the best sense of them.

Thank you

In Him,

Response #11:

The first thing I would wish to note is that the passage cited specifically and unequivocally teaches that the "rapture/resurrection" occurs at the SECOND ADVENT:

"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

End of argument for anyone who believes the Bible and takes the trouble to actually listen to what it says.

The second thing I would note that while the above IS a positive statement of what will happen (the resurrection they call the "rapture") and when (at Christ's return after the Tribulation), the only indication of anything that might be called "imminence" in this passage is the following:

"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!"
Matthew 24:32-33 NKJV

But THAT "nearness" is only activated "when you see all these things" taking place – the things earlier in the chapter which are all events of the Tribulation. So even this verse teaches a post-Trib resurrection/"rapture". So you are correct about the fig tree (which is in the Matthew passage above as well).

As to 1Thes.5:6 "watch and be sober"; Tit.2:13 "looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing"; Rev. 3:3 "you will not know what hour I will come upon you", all of these passages have a clear application which does not require any such "pre-Trib rapture": 1) of course we should "watch and be sober" for whatever may betide, not just for the resurrection; 2) of course we are looking forward to the resurrection – but that can't be taken to deduce anything about its timing; 3) and of course we "do not know the hour" of our visitation: every prior generation of the Church has been "visited" and if they got caught out not being diligent at death because of a sloppy life, then their rewards will suffer – but this has had nothing to do with the resurrection for the vast majority of believers in the history of the Church Age.

As I always remark, there is not a single verse in the New Testament which positively teaches a pre-Trib "rapture"; not one. The best proponents can do is adduce "logical arguments" which, from one warped point of view or another, might seem to suggest such a thing. But in light of the many, actual, unequivocal scriptures which tie the resurrection to our Lord's return (his parousia, as in the case of Matt.24 in our discussion), it is wonder to me that so many allow themselves to be deceived by this false teaching – or it would be surprising if I were not aware of the era in which we find ourselves (Laodicea) and the value to the devil of encouraging as many believers as possible to be unprepared for what is soon to come.

I would give you links but you no doubt know your way around Ichthys very well [here's one recent link which leads to many others].

Hope you are doing well, my friend! I keep you in my prayers daily.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Dr. Luginbill,

Okay, I mainly see what you're saying. I'm still caught up on that first sentence, though. Because the signs associated with His coming are essentially simultaneous with His coming, because we will "know that it is near--at the doors". Because of this, I kinda see what he's saying when he says His second coming isn't imminent. And I think I know there are scriptures that teach that the second coming is imminent, but I'm still having a hard time getting over this point. It kinda seems kinda wrong to me for some reason, but it is somewhat convincing.

I think the evidence favors a post-trib rapture (and I'm being ironic because I'm aware there's no positive evidence of a pre-Trib rapture -- haha).

Response #12:

You'll have to help me with this question. It seems to me that the only way this derivative and non-biblical argument might work is if the return of our Lord is something that can happen any moment; but if it isn't something that can happen before the events of the Tribulation, then there can be no pre-Trib rapture based on that very standard. So I don't see how both things can be true at the same time.

I had read this person's paragraph before and it seemed to me that he was very confused in terms of logic: I mean, is it or isn't it imminent according to the Bible, and if so / or not, what then are the implications for the proving or disproving this "doctrine". I don't think it's possible to unravel this person's confused thinking (and I'm not interested in trying to do that), but if YOU have further questions about any aspects of this issue, I'm happy to try to help you resolve them.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:


Okay, could you just dummy it down more for me. "It seems to me that the only way this derivative and non-biblical argument might work is if the return of our Lord is something that can happen any moment; but if it isn't something that can happen before the events of the Tribulation, then there can be no pre-Trib rapture." just isn't cliquing for me. Sorry.

On the other hand, I found a site committed to anti-pre-trib rapture and he responds to the whole article, saying this about this argument:

This is one of the easiest to refute. First, it continues to assume the premise that there are two second comings. But Paul put things in front of the rapture as previously discussed. Those being the apostasy and the revelation of the Antichrist. Those are two signs that precede the rapture and therefore prove that the rapture is not imminent. There is a big difference between imminence and expectancy and the two should not be conflated. The early Church had expectancy. Why, because they were looking at what Jesus said the signs would be, and based on that, were expecting Jesus to return soon. They had no reason then to believe that the Lord intends to return farther into the future. Many thought Nero was the Antichrist, they had seen Jerusalem destroyed, and many other things including apostasy with the rise of Gnosticism and those who denied the faith (fell away) when their lives were threatened. The only thing imminent to the early believers was death, which is imminent for us too. None of the verses cited above teach an imminent rapture.

Not sure what you might make of this. I think when he says, "Those are two signs that precede the rapture and therefore prove that the rapture is not imminent.", he's applying the same logic used in that first sentence of the argument to the rapture. Not sure if this is maybe what you're saying?

Let me know

Maybe check out this website if you have the time.


This link is the critique to the entire article this guy wrote.

Response #13:

The "problem" is one of theology. It is typical in theology – as opposed to substantive Bible teaching – to invent constructs which are not biblical and then engage in endless discussions about those constructs as if they were scriptural. Inevitably they are not – or at least are "off" enough to make the whole thing pointless. That is the problem here in my opinion.

The Bible never uses the word "rapture".

The Bible never uses the words "imminent/imminence" in the context of the resurrection.

Hence my frustration with the quotations and your frustration with my analysis of them: we can profitably debate the meaning of scriptures or scriptural terms, but when it comes to other people's constructs, like "rapture" and "imminence", we would have to have a perfect understanding of what they think they mean by them in order to evaluate or refute them. Otherwise the debate is sliding out of the room.

Is there a pre-Trib resurrection? No. Matthew 24, the one place rapturists think to find it, actually teaches the opposite as we have seen (i.e., our Lord tells us that it happens "after the tribulation of those days" in verse 29).

Do the quotations about the need for Christian alertness mean that the second advent could happen any time? No. Our Lord, in Matthew 24, explains the basic chronology of His return: if these things haven't happened (e.g., the Tribulation), the return is not happening yet. Be alert by noting them as you note the fig tree. Paul says the same sort of thing in 2nd Thessalonians chapter two.

Rapturists want to say that because we have "a blessed hope" of resurrection that therefore there must be a pre-Trib rapture because otherwise we would have to wait until after the Trib and thus we can't actually be hoping for something that couldn't happen this afternoon. That is nonsense on its face and not worth the time of day, but that is generally what they mean when they say things like "imminence proves that there is a pre-Trib rapture". Getting sucked into these discussions too long and too deep is generally not helpful to anyone. Here's a link to one such posted at Ichthys.

One thing also to keep in mind: none of us know the day of our death. And when we die, we will be with the Lord. In that sense, eternity is ALWAYS "imminent" – so that we can be hopeful every day (since it might be "our day") and we ought to be alert every day (for the same reason). That is the perspective these "imminence" passages are written with. But theological thinking always confuses things.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Robert, hope you're good.

How did Col. Thieme influence you (I'm assuming he was a believer), and why do you say he would not enthusiastically approve of a lot of your stuff on Ichthys? What would he not approve of exactly?

"It is more than fair to say that Col. Thieme "influenced me" - indeed, I learned a great deal from him (the books were especially helpful). However, it is also almost certainly fair to say that much of what is to be found here at ICHTHYS would not be enthusiastically approved of by him or his (even from where things stood back in the 80's)."

Response #14:

Colonel Thieme was the pastor-teacher of Berachah church in Houston TX and ran a worldwide outreach teaching ministry, to servicemen in particular, through a tapes and publications service. I was blessed to become aware of it when in the USMC through a fellow officer and life-long friend; it was just what I needed at the time and instrumental in my coming back to the Lord and getting serious about spiritual growth and preparing to minister myself.

Thieme came out of Dallas Theological and, in my view, improved significantly on L.S. Chafer – just as Chafer had improved on Scofield, Scofield on Hodge, Hodge on the Reformers, the Reformers on the church fathers. My differences in teaching from Thieme are likewise, in my opinion, improvements. To take two of the major ones, given where he came from, it's no surprise that Thieme was a proponent of the pre-Trib rapture and also OSAS. He was also a very strict disciplinarian in doctrinal terms, and so he would not have brooked any disagreements with his positions by any and all who claimed to be following his ministry. So I do not claim to follow his ministry. I do acknowledge my very great debt to it, however.

Berachah T&P is still a going concern, the last time I checked, so it would be easy enough for you to investigate the ministry. I think you'd find that the styles are different between the two as well. N.B., the publications were not written by him but under his auspices; the tapes are of him teaching.

How are you doing? What is the job situation? The situation with your son? I am keeping these matters in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi Robert,

Well, I wasn't going to investigate his ministry, just was curious who he was of importance to you.

When we're you in the USMC? Your Facebook photo looks almost around Vietnam time-frame... did you not reach Captain or am I way off on that (thought I saw that somewhere)?

What do you mean "coming back to the Lord" in your email?

Dallas does seem to have a pre-trib, OSAS requirement to it, just something I've noticed.

I take it you're not big on Charles Hodge and his systematic theology?

John Owen?

Thank you for your prayers. Always desired and appreciated. I am regularly praying to God for an experience with the Holy Spirit (to attest to my spirit that He's there for me still, as Paul mentions). Hope things are well with you and everything's good.


Response #15:

I served from early '75 to late '79 – just after Vietnam (I went on active duty around the time when the last choppers left the roof of the US embassy in Saigon). It was a tough time since instead of "thank you for your service" those in uniform were routinely spit at. Also, it was right at the time when the services were transitioning to all-volunteer and the pay hadn't be raised to account for that . . . until right after I got out. But I have no regrets.

I was saved at a young age but went my own way as a young adult / young man (prodigal son) . . . until the Lord turned me around. When He did, it was the Col.'s ministry which was instrumental in my spiritual recovery and growth.

As to Dallas, they may have some measure of flexibility now (as Talbot does). But I'm not the one to ask about that.

Hodge was great . . . in his time. All those in the progression I included contributed (except for the church fathers; there it greatly depends on which ones we're talking about). Clearly, I could have put some others on the list (but was not moved to do so).

From the standpoint of the truth, I think we should all be very grateful about the time in which we live in since more truth (and more tools for finding it) is available than ever before. But people / Christians seem less interested than ever before. That's Laodicea.

In terms of experiences, these are highly overrated. Most people don't have the capacity to appreciate them if they do get them. What Christians need is to learn to listen to the Spirit. I can tell you that nothing is more powerful than the truth fully believed and understood in Him – nothing. But it takes a lot of work to get there (spiritual growth, progress, production – I may have mentioned this once or twice in the past).

I'm praying for the job and for your son.

On my end, prayers are always appreciated – and particularly needful now.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Dr. Luginbill, just a quick note to say that I am thoroughly enjoying your latest posting on Hebrews, chapter 1. This is an answer to prayer. I thank God for this spiritual food, and for you the faithful steward providing that food at this time. May God continue to bless you and this ministry.

Response #16:

Thank you!

Your encouragement and support is greatly appreciated.

Hope you're doing well – keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob,

Just a note to express my deep thanks for Hebrews 1. (1/21/23) You have shed new light on scripture I've read many, many times without connecting the dots and fully understanding. You have increased my understanding many fold -- not just of Hebrews but scripture in general. I never fully grasped the significance of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar as just one example. And I'm not even through the introduction. (My poor old eyes gave out and need a rest.)

I never completely understood gnosticism or the extent to which it's poisoned our lives and churches. I can better understand the adoption of the rainbow symbol as a direct means of perverting God's promise. It and the pressure to conform is just an sample of what will grow increasingly demanding over the remaining few years.

I look forward to finishing this installment and installments to come.

Thanks you.

In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #17:

Sorry about the eyes, my friend! I've got that on my prayer list.

I always appreciate your encouragement – it means a lot.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hello Bob,

I just wanted to add something else about the Queen and about celebrities in general. I have noticed a worrying trend happening over here and I think it worth mentioning as I believe it to be potentially spiritually dangerous. I do agree that we are to respect whatever governing body, ruler or leader we are under and to abide by the rules and laws that we live under. Two trends have been laid bare over here and I think it is worthy of comment as I suspect we will see these trends continue and to gather momentum going into the tribulation. I don't think these trends are incidental, I think they are of importance to us spiritually to be wary of. I am using the Queen as a prime example but I have also noticed it happening when other notable people pass away. So there are two camps and there are numerous people forming on both sides

1) camp number one tends to whitewash the famous person. Some go as far as deifying the person who has died. They see no fault in that person and will not admit that person was a sinner who needed a Saviour. Another aspect of this is digging around the person's past conversations, looking for evidence that they were a believer. This is understandable as we want all to be saved but we should also recognise that this is the devil's world and anyone who is anyone is very likely to be deceived by him. That a high ranking person has escaped deception and simultaneously maintained their position in society would be the exception not the rule.
This side overlooks God's demand for righteousness and justice.

2) camp number two does the exact opposite and completely demonises the famous person. They will say that they weren't human and everything they said and did will be viewed through a filter and then digging around for evidence for the demonic. Once we recognise that this is indeed the devil's world, it can be easy to attribute the demonic to everything and everybody. It is also easy to not worry about such things as concrete evidence of satanic collusion, hearsay is enough to convict a person in the court room of public opinion.
This side overlooks God's desire for mercy.

Both these sides are gaining significant followers and because they believe in such opposites e.g., the Queen was a saint versus the Queen was a lizard. How can these two sides happily coexist? Well they can't and I think these trends of highly oppositional and impassioned thinking can only lead to civil unrest in the future. Maybe even civil war.

We have seen this progressively gain momentum in society, that society is developing fault lines, rifts, schisms and breaches. This trend can only speed up given the little time we have left.

You often talk about how we should keep our eyes down on our knitting. If said famous person turned to the Lord at some point, fantastic. If they didn't, that was their decision and they would have made the same one over and over a million times over. It seems more prudent to keep our eyes on the prize and just keep keeping on.

Like you have said, we need to retain a professionalism which involves a certain amount of detachment from this perishing world. We have so little time left for sifting over individuals with did they, didn't they. If they weren't believers at all then we are not meant to be judging them at all.

Celebrity is a dangerous thing. We waste too much time over these people. They seem to be a distraction to me from what we should be doing. I am trying to not allow them any influence over me and my walk at all.

I am training myself to be blinkered to the world and concentrate on my own walk and gains for the kingdom. I think it too late in the day to be constantly thinking "what if' about others. It serves little use for anything. We will all know once and forever very soon what people chose. Whether for the Lord or not. We just keep working in the vineyard and wait for the whistle to blow so we can then stop working to sit down for that wonderful wedding feast of the Lamb! Amen!

In Jesus,

Response #18:

That's exactly right – there are no "what ifs" in the plan of God. And we have enough issues trying to get our own lives on track spiritually and keep them there without agonizing over the behavior of others, especially not those with whom we have little or no contact. We are always happy to talk about the Lord and the truth . . . if we bump into any non-swine who are truly interested. Otherwise . . .

In terms of camps, one thing most of the world will agree on during the Tribulation is the "greatness" of the beast. Everyone (nearly) will think he and what he has done / is doing is great – except for us (and a few very solid unbelievers, many of whom will be Jewish, it seems). It's not easy to be the only born again Christian in any pagan place, even today. Sort of like being a Cowboys fan in Washington D.C. (or an LFC fan in Birmingham over there) – except that the blow-back is deadly serious and not penny-ante at all.

So for those who hate all the divisiveness in the this country and around the world, just wait a minute and the unity will surprise you – the only problem being is that YOU will be the pariah if you are a believer.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hi Bob,

Hope you've had a good weekend. Thanks for the emails. I've learnt some new things, had other things confirmed and even had some guidance too. Very helpful!

In your quotation of 1st Thessalonians 4:17, should it not be . . . "then we who are alive and remain will be snatched up together with them in (THE) clouds to meet . . ." ?

I'll be sticking to my mission this week - head down continuing to study CT. Wishing you a very good week ahead, and keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus

Response #19:

Thanks for the help. The "in clouds" is deliberate because that expresses us believers in resurrection, e.g., "clouds" of believers taken up into the sky. I.e., we are not "in the clouds"; we ARE the clouds as we rise to meet the Lord in a massive formation of the Church, Christ's Bride resurrected at His return. See the link.

As to, "I've learnt some new things, had other things confirmed and even had some guidance too." Well, that's the 'trifecta' of what I'm trying to accomplish, so thanks for that!

Wishing you good week ahead as well and I'll be keeping up the prayers on my end too.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Who will be the two witnesses in the great tribulation? Moses and Elijah, or Elijah and Enoch?

Response #20:

Good to make your acquaintance.

I assure you, the witnesses are Moses and Elijah. Please see the links:

The Two Witnesses of the Tribulation: Moses and Elijah

The Two Witnesses and the Ministry of the 144,000 (in CT 3A)

I realize that for reasons I can't personally understand, there is a school of thought out there that wants to replace Moses with Enoch. But that makes no sense. The two witnesses operate in Israel, reviving the temple rites and administering the ministry efforts of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists to bring about a worldwide Jewish revival. Enoch was not Jewish.

There are plenty of other positive reasons to see Moses as Elijah's colleague (see the links above) – and plenty of negative ones against accepting Enoch (see the link for something on the latter).

Here's the main prophecy on this wherein the two are named (cf. also Zech.4:2-14) . . . both of them:

Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him on Horeb (i.e., Sinai) concerning all Israel, [with both its] statutes and judgments – behold, I am about to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the Day of Lord, [that] great and awesome [Day], so that he may restore [to God] the hearts of the fathers along with [their] children and the hearts of the children along with their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with complete devastation.
Malachi 4:4-6

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

At the present time, I am having a problem with Revelation 13:4.

And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
Revelation 13:4 NKJV

I know that it says that the false prophet is given to perform signs and a spirit to this giant image that he had made. I find it rather difficult to believe that God would give this evil person the ability to give or breathe into this image a spirit and become human or alive. Does not God have sole authority to give life to someone as stated in Genesis 2:7? My thought is that according to verse 14, he deceives those who dwell on earth, and perhaps it means that he does not have the ability to give this piece of gold life, he makes it appear like he has the power, in order to deceive the people. Personally, I believe this image is perhaps a Robot, for they are very popular nowadays, and very well made, and do multiple things. I know that God can do anything, but this ?

I wonder what the Greek really says about this? This does not sit well with me at all. Perhaps you can make some sense out of this dilemma for me. Thanks so much as always. Blessings to you each and every minute, hour and day and ad infinitum. I am learning these big words from you LoL

Your friend,
P.S. I have been thinking about what I wrote in the my previous email to you.
In Revelation 13:4, "they worshipped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast.
In Revelation 13:12 "He[the false prophet exercises all the authority of the first beast[the antichrist].
So, based on this, I failed to realize that it was not God who gave him the ability to give breath to the image. Looks like the false prophet deceived the people into believing that he had the power to give breath to the image of the beast. I don't believe that he actually did give breath to the image, he deceived the gullible people. Well, these are my additional thoughts on this subject. How did I do?

Thanks Dr. Luginbill, for all your help and comments.

Blessings to you,

Your friend,
PPS. New Bible Study will hopefully start on Sunday this week. The wife was suffering from a sinus infection so we had to cancel last Sunday's session. I am praying to it will go well, and that God alone, will be glorified through it. Eph. 3:20-21.

Response #21:

I think you've got it exactly right, my friend!

This image is not an actual being; it's more, as you say, something akin to a robot. It's not even a nephilim. It is somewhat surprising to hear that the evil one and his minions will be able to do what seem to all the world like "miracles", but that is only being allowed by God to test the inhabitants of the earth – and thus demonstrate what is really in their hearts (cf. Ex.15:25; 20:20; Deut.33:8; 2Chron.32:31; Heb.11:17). And it's not as if our Lord didn't warn us about this ahead of time:

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand."
Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV

Having been thus forewarned, we are absolutely forearmed. Any believer who has spent any time at all reading the gospels and/or Revelation will be able to avoid being tricked by such deceit – how much more capable of resisting will be those who have diligently prepared for what is to come?

Here's the main link on the beast's talking statue: in CT 3B: "The Abomination of Desolation"

Keeping you and yours in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.



Ichthys Home