Ichthys Acronym Image
Ichthys home navigation button

Eschatology Issues CVII

Word RTF

Question #1:

Doc I'm actually really scared right now...supposedly someone had given very clear and convincing evidence of the Covid Vaccine being the Mark Of The Beast.

"The nearness of the mark of the beast (MOTB) via the ongoing worldwide covid PLANdemic and the ever-tightening restrictions on humanity are aligning with scripture in amazing detail. The world leaders are squeezing us to the point where we will not be able to "buy or sell" much longer unless one receives their DEPOPULATION, tracking, controlling, experimental and gene-altering device through the injections. The final lethal identifier of one's vaccination records will be a mark (scratch or stamp) on the physical body - the right hand or forehead, which has not arrived yet. The collapse of the dollar also appears close, as well as hyperinflation and food and other products shortages. The foregoing societal conditions, along with the Quantum Dot Tattoo (QDT) from a coming microneedle vaccine, have Revelation 13:16,17 written all over them. God's word declares that the people who receive the mark of the beast will be DECEIVED due to miraculous signs and counterfeit miracles (Rev. 13:14; 19:20). What could those signs and counterfeit miracles be? It is not clear at this point and might never be in this life. Perhaps, those signs and counterfeit miracles mentioned in the Bible will occur in the future. Despite that unknown, we do know this Covid injection has, at various times, been touted as a "miracle vaccine", the key to the return to normalcy, the 'only solution' and is front and center regarding their New World Order (NWO), Great Reset or Green New Deal and the coming announced inability to 'buy or sell' unless one participates [in their 'vaccination' system]. In W. Africa the "elites" are experimenting with the Trust Stamp, which is connected to currency via Master Card. In China, they have been using facial recognition for purchases through one's bank, WITHOUT credit card or cash! The proof of vaccination on the body, or MOTB, is coming from the MICRONEEDLE vaccine (NOT the hypodermic needle). That will leave an invisible-to-the-naked-eye mark on the body (QDT) at the same time as the vaccine and at the spot of the vaccine administration. There have been numerous pictures and videos of people putting this technology on their own forearms. BTW, when the New Testament was written, the forearm was also considered the HAND, according to the Greek term "cheir". Remember, people will BE DECEIVED into taking the MOTB, as stated in scripture. Do not be misled by end time rapture MOVIES or popular pre-trib rapture teachers, which teach otherwise. Be very careful what you believe. The change from using cash to going cashless globally is a related goal. Is that instant? No, and neither is the manifestation of the MOTB. The MOTB will be directly related to one's currency, as they have openly stated in Microsoft's patent WO2020060606. Connect all the aforementioned to especially the microneedle Quantum Dot Tattoo, and those dots clearly point to Rev. 13:16,17 - the MOTB. In their time, no one will be able to 'buy or sell' anything without their Quantum Dot Tattoo 'smart patch' mark - the MOTB (Rev. 13:16,17). All, even "saints," who receive that mark will go to the lake of fire (Rev. 14:9-12) and will be in fiery tormented with the devil there forever (Rev. 20:10). There is no eternal security. The faithful ones, not under the present-day strong delusion (2 Thess. 2:11,12), have captivity and decapitation in their earthly future (Rev. 13:10 cf. 6:8; 20:4) before PARADISE, and even that scriptural detail of captivity lines up with their open and announced 'quarantine facilities' (really prisons to be beheaded). Again, connect the dots. TIME IS VERY SHORT. For many, from this point in the great tribulation to seal #4 - when 2 billion die - the events portrayed in the foregoing Bible verses describes their earthly life. The way to overcome has been clearly revealed, "They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." (Rev 12:11) Come to the weekly Internet Church for updates on what is happening during this tribulation period and to be fed spiritually. At this moment, seal three is starting to tear open.

Response #1:

Let me assure you: the mark of the beast is NOT a vaccine. It is a physical tattoo. Please read Revelation chapter 13. And if you have questions, read the main treatment at Ichthys (link).

After all, the Tribulation hasn't even started yet (so no seals have been opened), and antichrist is not even officially "revealed" until the middle of the Tribulation (read 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2) – that is when the mark will first be given to those who acknowledge antichrist as Christ openly, making their profession officially and publicly when they do.

There are a lot of cockamamie theories out there. So-called "Christians" do a lot of damage by proffering them.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

He makes many arguments from the Greek though, and I was hoping you could say something about them...please help

Response #2:

I have Ph.D. in ancient Greek and teach it for a living and I don't see it. But really all you need to do is read Revelation 13 in the English to see for yourself:

Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. He did astounding miracles, even making fire flash down to earth from the sky while everyone was watching. And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die. He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.
Revelation 13:11-18 NLT

Ichthys expanded translation:
(11) And I saw another beast (i.e., the false prophet: cf. Rev.16:13; 19:20; 20:10) rising up from the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. (12) And he [will] act with all the authority of the first beast [while] in his presence, and he [will] make the world and all its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. (13) And [the beast's false prophet] [will] perform great miracles (lit., "signs"), even making fire come down from heaven to the earth in front of everyone. (14) And he [will] deceive those who dwell upon the earth on account of the miracles (lit., "signs") which have been given to him to perform in the presence of the beast, even commanding the inhabitants of the earth to make an image of the beast, [that is] of him who received the [deadly] stroke of the sword and [yet] came [back] to life. (15) And it was given to him to provide a spirit for the image of the beast so that the image might speak, and [it was also given to him] to bring it about that as many as refused to worship the image of the beast might be put to death. (16) And he (i.e., the false prophet) compelled everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to allow [his clergy] to place a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, (17) so that no one would be able to buy or sell except those with the mark, [consisting of] either the name of the [first] beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: let everyone who is alert [at that time] calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man['s name]. And his (i.e., the beast's) number is six hundred and sixty six (i.e., 666 "ways").
Revelation 13:11-18

Question #3:

...I'm starting to doubt you have anything you can say to refute this. I don't want to believe all this terror and fire and brimstone he preaches both theologically and in terms of the reality of everything, but I have to believe it if it's the truth...

Hi Doc.

Forgive me for the last email, I guess I've become too reliant on you, thinking of you as some kind of theological genie in fact...and now it's gotten to the point I'm pretty much sending you as an attack dog against anyone I want proven to be a false teacher. I still am scared of what he says, his arguments for why he believes what he does seem irrefutable after all, but if you don't want to do it I'll respect that.

Can't you break down why his arguments, even if they aren't from the Greek, aren't tenable? I'm very much relying on you here...I don't want to live in perpetual fear because what he says might be true, and you've said nothing to disprove him so far.

Response #3:

If somebody writes a book on how that the moon really is made of green cheese, forgive me if I don't want to spend hours of my precious time refuting what anyone can determine is nonsense on their own with no trouble at all.

In this case, you can tell from the English of Revelation 13 with no trouble at all (see previous email).

However, if you want to give me one "argument" at a time which bothers you and tell me why it does, I'd be happy to respond to that.

Question #4:

OK so I didn't fully read it before making those emails. He says the Covid Vaccine isn't actually the Mark, but a coming "Microneedle Patch Vaccine".

First off, supposedly the Greek word referring to the worship given to the Beast, PROSKUNEO, can have a very subtle meaning. It supposedly means "kiss like a dog licking his master's hand; to fawn or crouch to; prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore)."

Supposedly this means that Revelation 13-17 really does mean those who take the Mark will be deceived rather than know and choose to.

Since the announcement of Babylon The Great having fallen takes place before the angelic warning not to take the Mark (the announcement is 1 verse before the warning), and Seal 4 of Revelation is supposedly when the Saints are martyred, and Seal 2 is when peace is taken from the earth and men start killing each other, then Seal 3 should be when the Mark is introduced most likely. He claims if Revelation 13 is in sequential order, it's clear from all this the Beast is being worshipped before the Mark is revealed, in fact he won't be ruler over "every tribe, people, language and nation" for a while.

He says it's also possible these events are noted as happening without being fully realized or recognized before the issuing of the Mark. He says the Antichrist could be worshipped in much less dramatic ways than most have been led to believe, which would supposedly align with the meaning of the Greek word Proskuneo.

Also, he claims since the Greek term for Angel simply means "messenger", it won't be a literal angel who gives the warning, and it could possibly mean the collective Church will be the ones warning people not to take the Mark.

I'll post more of his arguments later but for now I would like you to address this one, thank you.

Response #4:

Re: "so I didn't fully read it" – why would you be reading it at all? Why are you trolling silly internet sites which have only garbage, garbage which you don't seem to be able to keep from upsetting you? There is more than enough actual truth available at Ichthys to keep you busy for years – if you really want to grow and accomplish the plan God has for your life. If it were the case that you had found another good ministry that spoke to you better, then by all means concentrate on that instead of Ichthys. But if it's a question of unsubstantiated garbage . . . ?!

If a vaccine can't be the mark, what difference does it make how it's administered? One of the main points of the mark is that people will be able to see it. No one can see with the naked eye whether you've gotten a shot or not. But they can see a deliberately noticeable tattoo on your forehead or your right hand. And you can't get something like that by accident. Also, the devil has no interest in forcing people to receive the mark completely against their will. The whole point is to get people to choose for him over God – of their own free will (even if mightily coerced). And besides, Revelation 13 spells out precisely what it is, what it means, how it works (see the main link in CT 4 if you haven't yet bothered to read it).

As to "worship" and proskyneo, this is the standard verb for worship in Greek and is used throughout the New Testament. Ever remember anyone kissing and licking someone's hand in the Bible? Me neither.

Then those who were in the boat worshiped (<proskyneo) him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Matthew 14:33 NIV

It is typical of false teachers to try to impress people with supposed magical information coming from the Greek or the Hebrew. Knowing those languages is indispensable for solid, substantive Bible teaching, but people who know only enough to be dangerous (as in this case) usually only delude themselves and others through not actually understanding the languages, how they work, what words and grammatical structures can and cannot mean, can and cannot do – sort of like listening to a Youtube video about how to fly an F18 so as to be able to "talk a good game" with people who know nothing at all about it – but would you want to be in the rear seat with that "pilot"? I think not.

On deception, anytime we do anything sinful or wrong we are allowing ourselves to be deceived and/or deceiving ourselves, and there will be abnormal pressure to receive the mark, but the Bible spells out in unusual detail in Revelation chapter 13 what it is and what taking the mark means in Revelation chapter 14. In fact it is made abundantly clear that loss of salvation is the result of taking it . . . which can ONLY mean that apostasy has to precede actually allowing oneself to be tattooed, no matter how distressed about not being allowed to buy and sell, no matter how terrified by the threat of physical death. But no believer will yield to this pressure because doing so means condemnation and all believers are saved (Jn.3:18).

On top of all this, if this weren't enough, the means God uses to make all this clear at the time will be miraculous: there will be a worldwide angelic proclamation reminding all that taking the mark results in condemnation (Rev.14:9-13). Everywhere else in Revelation, an angel is an angel. And THESE three angels are said to be "flying in midair" (Rev.14:6). Nowhere in scripture is "an angel" a symbol for anything – let alone the collective church – and symbols don't fly through the air and proclaim things. We could interpret anything anyway we wanted using such false hermeneutical canons.

Author doesn't understand the seals, either (not unusual). They are on the outside of the book indicating what is inside before the book (of Revelation / revealing Jesus Christ) is opened and that time is set in motion. The first four seals take place before the mid-point of the Tribulation indicating trends, 5 and 6 are the main events of the second half (the Great Persecution of the Church and the events preceding the second advent respectively), and opening #7 opens the book and begins the Tribulation (here's the main link for this in CT 2B).

In short, this person hasn't gotten a single other thing right – so that it's not surprising that he has the mark completely wrong as well. The real question is, why are you bothering to pay attention to this nonsense? All you would have to do is read the Bible in English to see that he doesn't have any idea what he is talking about . . . even though it is the case you need to access a good Bible teaching ministry to find out affirmatively what is actually true – as opposed to merely discerning that something is false. The latter is the fruit test. Believers without the gift of pastor-teacher (and those with it who are not completely prepared to use it yet) are given enough insight in the Spirit to see with the help of scripture what is NOT good, but not enough to learn what they need to learn to grow without relying on a teaching ministry that IS good.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

So apparently this patch will leave a "Quantum Dot Tattoo", which is normally invisible but can be seen with special lights of some kind (using a bioluminescent enzyme called Luciferase) and will be scanned as proof of vaccination...this will supposedly be the check to be able to buy or sell, and he pulls up several articles of the people behind this patch saying they'll make it so people won't be allowed to buy or sell without it.

He says since it's just a small patch with microscopic needles that contains the vaccine, there's no reason this couldn't be used on the right hand or forehead. Also, the mark will be both "on" and "in" the right hand and forehead because of this. He compares it to a "serpent bite" (the serpent being represented here being the Satan serpent of Eden), because apparently the Greek word for "Mark" in Revelation 13 has that as one of its meanings, and he seems to think this plays into the Mark being administering itself via a patch of needles.

P.S: While there is also his argument for who he thinks is the Antichrist (Bill Gates!?), I've since refuted that thanks to help from a Christian community. His argument is that BILL GATES III (his full name in capitals) translates to 666 in ASCII...which isn't true at all, each character in ascii is a string of 3 numbers, and even if you add them up (you would never actually do this if you knew how ASCII works), you get 956, not 666. And none of the strings are even 666 either!

Response #5:

??? If this were being put into people without their knowledge, what in the world would be the point of keeping them from buying and selling without it? In the Bible, people get this thing so that they CAN buy and sell – meaning they know what they are doing. But if the whole world is given it without realizing what is going on, then there's no point in restricting commerce in order to get them to do something that is essentially out of their control and unknown to them and being done to them without their knowledge already. See prior email. This is just one problem with the "theory". Biggest problem: it is DIRECTLY contradicted by any clear, simple reading of scripture.

Also, you haven't read the section(s) at Ichthys on this linked for you previously. That would clear up a lot. Here's a good one on the Mark of the Beast (link).

The bottom line here: deliberately taking the mark IS worshiping the beast; worshiping the beast will involve deliberately taking the mark. The two cannot be separated – which is why no genuine believer will do so, regardless of consequences.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."
Revelation 12:11 NKJV

He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Revelation 13:10 NKJV

And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives (i.e., voluntarily) the mark of his name.” Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
Revelation 14:11-13 NKJV

Question #6:


I'm just curious.

Have you ever had any trolls email your site? You know, people online who say or do outrageous and/or offensive things they don't actually believe for attention, or to cause chaos and/or drama?

With how much these people like to get attention, even if it's negative, I wouldn't be surprised if someone at some point, especially with how long this site has been up, had sent a troll email to Ichthys.

Response #6:

I've been at this a long time. It's pretty easy to tell when someone is not really interested in the truth – and with that, I have little patience.

Question #7:

Good Afternoon,

How did you come up with the timeline of the church eras in Revelation chapter two ending?

Does this mean the Rapture occurs in 2026 AD?

Response #7:

The resurrection occurs after the Tribulation NOT before (see the link), most likely in 2033, that is, assuming a 2026 start date for the Tribulation (see the link).

On the seven churches, this is explained in BB 2A, but I have fielded questions on how the eras are computed before. On "how did I come up with it", short answer: I study hard in the Word with the help of the Spirit. Here are some links that give a little more detail:

Why do you say we're in Laodicea?

Where did these church era [numbers] come from? n.b., don't stop reading after the first Q/A

How did you come up with this [schema of the eras]? n.b., don't stop reading after the first Q/A

More on the 360 years

What church era are we in?

Several questions on the eras

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Thank You

You always answer my questions which is appreciated.

I don't think I'll make it to the rapture myself. I am barely in fellowship using 1 John 1:9.

I think God will be taking me home very soon.

I feel sad because I will be a loser believer in Heaven. I wonder how many rewards you lose there? Millions? Billions?

Sorry for rambling here and thanks once again.

Response #8:

All believers will be resurrected when the Lord returns (1Cor.15:51); not just the "good ones" (whatever that may mean).

Also, here's what I read in scripture:

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
2nd Corinthians 6:2 NIV

Every day is an opportunity to earn eternal rewards. Even a cup of cold water offered in the Lord's Name to a believer will not fail to earn its due reward according to our Lord (Matt.10:42).

So if you are concerned about rewards, get "up and doing" (1Chron.22:16). Praying is rewarded. Engaging in Bible study and growing is rewarded. Eventually, if you persist, the Lord will lead you into the ministry He set aside for you in eternity past.

The only restraint on your reward is you. So don't look backward or worry about lost opportunities. Move forward now. You'll never regret it.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Thank You

I never knew studying the Bible yields rewards. That makes me happy.

Been sad because I recently lost my dog. I always tell God now please hug him from me.

God Bless and Thanks

Response #9:

Yes, spiritual growth is rewarded, and the only way a Christian can grow spiritually is through the truth. That means accessing a good Bible study ministry, learning well what is taught, believing it (that is the key step) and applying it to one's life (key number two). Getting to spiritual maturity yields the first of the three major crowns of reward, the crown of righteousness (2Tim.4:8; see the link).

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

I hope you don't mind also answering a couple questions on an unrelated topic as well, as I've wanted to ask you for awhile, but it has not been first on my list:

I appreciate and believe your seven millennial day teaching to be true, as it seems to be clearly in line with the Scriptures, and I also hold to your 2026 date as a pretty probable guideline.

If the final 7 tribulation years belong to both Jewish and Church age, are you saying there will be an absence of 7 years from the total 7000?

That seems a little odd to me, otherwise where are those extra 7 years accommodated?

Also, where then do the 33 (and 1/2?) years of our Lord fit into the 7000 total?

Response #10:

On the seven millennial days, these are not meant to be subjected to an overly literal accounting of the numbers. What about the time Adam and Eve spent in Eden before falling? What about the life-time of our Lord (which you notice also)? What about the end of the Millennium when "Gog and Magog" rebel once Satan is released (it has to take some time for the whole unbelieving world to rebel and assemble at Jerusalem, probably some years inasmuch as there are rewards for the believers who help others in trouble at this time: Matt.25:25-30). What about the "shortening of the days" at the end of the Tribulation without which "no flesh would survive" (Matt.24:22; Mk.13:20)? Over-focusing on perceived "preciseness" when it comes to such things is a modern world failing, a failing for two reasons: 1) because it overlooks the fact that there's not much difference between a perfect whole and an essential whole in this imperfect world, and 2) our modern "preciseness" falls short as well (see the link). What about leap seconds? What about the variations in the lunar cycles, small enough, but is one month "precisely" the same as another? Not "absolutely precisely" if we get hung up on an overly literal extreme (link).

So we interpret the Bible on the Bible's own terms and resist imposing systems or biases from without. To that point, in terms of 2026, I have been very clear from the beginning of advancing this interpretation that it is just that, namely, an interpretation. An overlap of ages would only be a "loss" of seven years in strictly chronological terms; in biblical terms, each age would "have" that seven year period.

There are many good reasons (in my view) for seeing the overlap, but if it weren't actually there, then the Tribulation would be a further seven years out. And of course the Lord is free to have assigned things however He wished to do so; we are merely grappling with the information He has given us. As the earlier part of this discussion makes clear, there are two mistakes commonly made in such analyses which take things to opposite, incorrect extremes: 1) assuming that one can be more precise than scripture and its correct interpretation actually allows; or 2) concluding that since we cannot be as precise as we would perhaps like to be that we can't know anything about this at all and that it is foolhardy to pay any attention to scriptural information about the eschatological time line. Both of these schools of misinterpretation are common today, but at Ichthys, the middle road is taken – often pleasing no one. But if it turns out to have been pleasing to the Lord, I'll certainly take that!

Question #11:

On the millennial days/tribulation answers, that's good stuff, God bless you Bob and thank you for your work in the Lord, it is definitely information I will ponder. The only question I would add is, is there anything significant that you are aware of regarding the 33 (and 1/2) years of our Lord and why it was 33 (and ½?)?

Response #11:

 On 33 and 1/2, I'm not sure about the 1/2 in terms of exactitude. We aren't given our Lord's exact birthday for a reason no doubt. As with most scriptural numbers, they generally do not have the significance often assigned to them by so-called exegetes.

In terms of 3 and 1/2, however, that is the length of our Lord's earthly ministry (and John's too); and it is also the exact number of the coming ministries of Moses and Elijah (albeit the former two were staggered and the latter two run consecutively; see the link).

Question #12:

Dr. Luginbill,

I've been attending a Bible study and they asked me to speak. I gave a presentation tonight on the dreams and visions in Daniel. I was hoping it would get my foot in the door as far as having reliable information on the end times and proper interpretation. I attached the pdf that I sent out as notes on the topic. I should have emailed you before, but they want to continue the discussion next week. I was hoping you could let me know if I got anything wrong, or could add or emphasize anything better.

I was told to come prepared for Daniel 11 next week. I think I've got an okay grasp, but would gladly be pointed to some good Ichthys resources.

Side note. They were surprisingly receptive. I thought I was going to have to fight for why we should study the end times. Someone did say that I should add more personal application. I responded that it's all applicable if we live through it, and someone else pointed out that it prepares us for tribulations regardless. There was only one guy that said "so I take it you're post-trib." Any advice on interactions on that front? I briefly presented the Bible's case with 2 Thess 2. I didn't push much after that. I tend to come across as "this is the right answer, and this is why." I'm not sure I have the right balance.


Response #12:

The attached file looks good – nice job!

In terms of Daniel chapter eleven, the prophecy is mostly about near contemporary history only gets to the end times beginning with verse 21 where the historical Antiochus Ephiphanes is also a type of antichrist. What I have said about this is all to be found in CT 3B (link), but I think from your attachment that you've already been accessing this.

In terms of "how you are doing", or "what to do", any Bible teacher has as his job to teach the truth. If you are doing that, you are doing the right thing. So I wouldn't worry about audience reaction. Any one sitting under a Bible teacher has as his/her responsibility to give full attention and to believe the truth of what is being taught.

I do understand that this is a situation where you and they are trying each other out, so to speak. I think being willing to defend positions which may be controversial to some is fine – to the extent that it is educational for them. There is a fine line sometimes between being patient with legitimate questions on the one hand and allowing oneself to be bullied by the "congregation" on the other hand. Being able to quote "scripture and verse" about everything taught at Ichthys, even in only one area like eschatology, is no easy lift. So it's not the worst idea to, e.g., anticipate a question about pre/post Trib and be ready to give a prepared mini-talk about that.

Congratulations on "entering the arena", my friend!

Please keep me in the loop as to how it goes.

In Jesus,

Bob L.
*p.s., if you're not already on the Ichthys forum that Steven T. has set up, you might consider it; there are a number of young men on there who are dealing with similar situations and could give you a lot of good advice and encouragement as well.

Question #13:

Hi Bob,

I trust you’re well. I’ve concluded a teaching on Ezek 37-39 that took us back to Numbers 24:7 and the Balaam prophecy that I believe (per the Septuagint wording) accurately identifies (what the Masoretic text cites as “Agag”) as being Gog, and that of course brought us full circle back to Ezek 38-39.

Feeling like I ought to touch on the Millennium I went back to your spectacular writings on the topic and forwarded a link:


. . . to the small group. I’m sure they’ll be so blessed by your teachings and insights. I’ve also copied some of your text and will be forwarding that to the hungry folks in case they are not inclined to dig further into your writing. There is so much there!

Again, many many thanks for your diligence in pressing in to understand and then bring forth the plans of God.

Bless you, friend,

Response #13:

Thanks for this, my friend. I did some checking, and its not just the LXX that has Gog; that is also what is found in all of the so-called "trifaria varietas", namely, the Greek translaitons of Aquilla, Symmachus and Theodotion (according BHS); it's also in the Samaritan Pentateuch this way:

Samaritan Pentateuch

Keil and Delitzsch suggest that Agag is an Amalekite title – as in Pharaoh – rather than a specific individual, Amalek being the first nation to oppose Israel on a national basis and thus standing for all the nations and coalitions who would oppose her in the future. As such, this would be an eschatological reference. Unger (v.1. of Commentary on the OT) likewise says that this title is suggestive of antichrist from the same line of thought.

So whether we think that the text should be amended or not, either way this is surely a reference to the ultimate attacker of Israel and the Messianic kingdom to follow:

"His KING shall be higher than Agag,
And his kingdom shall be exalted."
Numbers 24:7 NKJV [with emphasis]

Thanks for your good words, my friend – and thanks for the prayers (keeping you guys in mine as well).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Bob,

I have a bad case of Y.K.O.H.E. (your-knowledge-of-Hebrew-envy), my friend. Meanwhile God has had me in toy-invention-land for 53 years and along with ministry callings etc. I have sadly missed learning God’s true love language!! Perhaps someday if/when the Lord allows me to retire….

I hope at the conclusion of this age part of the miracle will be the restoration of one tongue includes an instantaneous impartation of Hebrew!

Having spent time in Ezekiel, I often wondered about this verse:

Ezekiel 38:17 (NKJV) 17 Thus says the Lord GOD: "Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?

There appears to be no verse historically fulfilling that statement, UNTIL you read Num 24:7 (divinely/ironically numbered to imply every day/all the time 24/&) that has two prophets of Israel speaking about Gog.

1. Magnificent Moses and

2. Prostitute prophet Balaam (qualified to be considered a prophet once his eyes were wide open) together fulfill that Ezek truth in one speaking and one chronicling the prophecy.

Blessings to you as well.

Response #14:

It's a good point that this verse we've been discussing (Num.24:7) is indeed a prophetic fulfillment, but in my view there are others. E.g.,

"The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you. They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you."
Deuteronomy 28:49-52 NKJV

The above is generally taken as generic – and it is, since this SORT of thing happened more than once. But even though generic, in accordance with prophetic canons it can also be specific. E.g.,

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren."
Deuteronomy 18:15a NKJV

The ultimate prophetic fulfillment is in Jesus Christ who is THE Prophet, but the text here (and at Deut.18:18) has no definite article . . . because it is at once generic in that this happened many times with prophets who were not yet the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy as our Lord was and is. Same applies with Deuteronomy 28:49ff. The "Day of the Lord Paradigm" (link) is a specialized example of this sort of multiple fulfillment, with contemporary or "in the offing" events being types of the ultimate fulfillment of the Day of the Lord at the second advent.

Good point about the multiplicity of prophets at Ezekiel 38:17; we should probably also add Psalm 68 to the list of passages providing prophetic foreshadowing of the coming of antichrist (esp.v.21 compared with Gen.3:15 and Rev.13:13).

Re: "Perhaps someday if/when the Lord allows me to retire…." LOL, it's looking more and more like I'm on the "feet first" program here in Louisville!

Keeping you in my prayers – thanks so much for yours as well, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi Bob.

You're right. We've been labeled a national security threat. terrorists and Lord alone knows what else. It's all here today now. I read Orwell back in the old days and thought it could never happen here. But it has. I think it's a harbinger of things to come.

I've been brooding about your cites re: not trusting neighbors passages ever since you sent them. It amazes me that absolutely nothing has changed in the past 6,000 years. I don't know when Micah and Jeremiah were written, (800-500 BC?) and of course, the examples of Jacob and Joseph but scripture points to the same thing throughout history.

One thing alarms me though. People are now used to this corruption. When the curtain goes up and the lights go on, people will assume it's just more of the same and accept -- and "go with the flow."

I keep in mind Ecclesiastes 7:10: Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

I suspect that in former days, we just didn't have the "news" or propaganda we have today. We don't have much information about antediluvian times but "evil constantly" seems to describe the world today. Bob, it's depressing!

But I rant and rave. I apologize. I'm ready. Let's have it over with.

In Jesus,

Response #15:

Orwell is starting to seem somewhat understated by comparison with contemporary events, especially since the system in 1984 was well-articulated and understood well by all (even if they had to pretend things were otherwise), but we today seem to be sleep-walking through these changes and spiraling downward a rapid pace without too many people taking notice (the ones who are not embracing and hastening it, that is). Seems like the water temperature is rising so quickly that even some pretty listless frogs are about to be considering jumping out of the pot (not that there is anywhere to jump).

If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.
Ecclesiastes 5:8 NIV

Everyone always wants "a cut", so it seems. That is human nature – for all without an innate or developed sense of honor and integrity. In China they used to have (still have?) the "chop" system: to get anything done every official had to sign off (chop) the proposal – and that meant getting a small share of the proceeds. In most places at most times, whether the share was monetary or in goods or in power/influence/favors stored up for later – or social welfare points – there has usually been, as the passage above indicates, a certain level of corruption. But the degree has fluctuated depending on the time and place. In the Roman republic, for example, it was very high, but that was changed in the empire (of course it took a very strong tyranny to produce that change). My sense is that the U.S. in the 1920's was not too bad on this score (outside of the major cities like Chicago where I grew up . . . a LITTLE later than that), but that with the depression things began to slide and that slide has been recently accelerating. So while people, of course, have always been the same, what they can get away with has varied. And part of repressing the sin-natural tendency towards corruption has always been a culture which instills respect for law and order and doing what is right – if only (as in Rome) out of fear of the consequences. When such individuals become rare (because of societal devolution and increasingly rare counteracting forces), and when the governing apparatus loses control (or in our case, seems to be aiding the decline), then all bets are off.

But of course we also don't want to lose track of the spiritual dimension here. Even with all the negatives, things would be much better today IF the Lord were not allowing things to proceed as they are proceeding. That is to say, IF there were a large "remnant according to the election of grace" (Rom.11:5), and if that remnant were sufficiently "salty", that is, consisting of many mature believers with much serious spiritual growth occurring. That is not what I see. Hence, I am not surprised by what I do see.

There is also "the times". The Tribulation is close, so of course it does make sense that the evil one is beginning to "prep the battlefield", and the removal of restraints, moral, political, economic, traditional, is certainly part of that, regardless of what precise form the beast's movement will assume.

All this is, while concerning, also good to note because it ought to supply us believers with motivation to get even more serious about spiritual growth than perhaps we have been. Even good believers sometimes seem to behave as if they had a lot of time to "get to it". But we all have limited time. And at the moment, the time is very short – and obviously getting shorter every day. Every unbelievable (previously) headline is a testament to that fact. So while I do not recommend spending a lot of time on the "news" especially if/when it begins to affect our inner peace, we can use that dis-ease as a prod to get back to or to get onto doing what is really important: spiritual growth.

The unpleasantness of the Tribulation is such that the contemplation of the reality of it – real in the very short term ahead – does produce, if we are not careful, an ostrich effect. After all, that is the whole impetus behind the pre-Trib rapture canard. But we will be happier in the long run if we acknowledge the truth of imminency and reform our approach appropriately – and probably happier in the short run too.

Rather than being depressed, it is possible here to make lemonade out of these lemons. We are very likely on the verge of experiencing the most sensational period in human history. And the opportunities for earning even greater rewards, through exercising our gifts in ways which before were not possible or wanted and through demonstrating our faith under previously unknown duress, will be exponentially greater than is the case now. AND we will get to see the phenomenal and extraordinary worldwide working of God – in judgments (trumpets, bowls, thunders, etc.) and in miraculous provision (Moses and Elijah, the 144K, the rebuilt temple, the escape of the Jewish remnant) – the likes of which have never been seen before.

So we can (on some level) "enjoy" what is coming (in a relative sense, given the trouble we too will be enduring). But to really be able to do so in a way that glorifies the Lord, we had better get prepared.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Bob,

I never thought I would consider Orwell understated. For that matter, I never thought I would read government calling us terrorists and calling for our killing and destruction. When you said it would happen with increasing speed, I thought you meant during the Tribulation. I didn't realize you meant now.

I don't read much news. I don't read newspapers, watch television or listen to the radio. The drive-by headlines are disgusting enough. Now, it seems, they are vulgar, fascinated with "starlets" who expose as much flesh as possible. and either trash or praise Putin and Trump. I don't think either is a savior -- but what happened to perspective -- or rational analysis? And they can't spell, either!

I know that's the pot calling the kettle black, but I'm not a paid "professional!" If I wanted to read a twitter thread, I would subscribe to twitter. Not read "news."

I never thought I would commit suicide by confession.

In our Lord, which I pray comes soon,

Response #16:

Yes, the news has become a chore – but also a good test of whether one is mentally relaxed or not. If we are yelling at the TV, we need to readjust our attitude. After all, why should we care what the unbelievers are doing? That disinterest ought to dominate our view of the goings-on in the world even in regard to the unbelievers who stand for things we more or less agree with as well as to those who are clearly of the devil. Jesus is coming back at the precise right time regardless of what any of these unbelievers say or do – and nothing can stop Him. Praise God!

And do this (i.e., walk in love as a consequence of spiritual growth), understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:11-12 NKJV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob,

How mentally relaxed I am is an open question. I must confess, now that I no longer have skin in the game, I find it hard to care one way or another. I do have to admit that while I rarely see much in the news humorous, the reactions of "progressives" and "beautiful people" finding illegals on their doorstep is hilarious. They should see what it looks like here in fly-over country.

I no longer have much involvement in the world and prefer to keep it that way. The Lord brought me here for a reason, though I don't know what that is yet. I trust He knows best. With no TV, (too many Rogain and Cialis commercials,) I'm not yelling at it. I haven't subscribed to a news paper since I brought one back from the mailbox and more blowins fell out than there was newspaper. I had to pick it all up on a windy day. Besides, tire and lingerie ads don't inspire me. While I may be an iconoclastic curmudgeon, I find very few modern conveniences convenient or even beneficial. (I do like the grocery store, though, pathetic as it is:)

I hope your school year is progressing nicely and you're happy with your new students. Weather should be breaking about now, I should think.

In our Lord,

Response #17:

My own position is similar. I make it my policy to aggressively not care what the unbelievers do, but I do find it useful to keep abreast to some degree of the nonsense they are spewing and the destructive aims they are pursuing. TV commercials are annoying, but not as much as the commentary on so-called "news programs". Blessedly, between the mute button and the fast-forward (I mostly watch what I've recorded on the DVR), I can avoid the lion's share of that sort of thing. I get enough political opinion commentary from "news reports".

For those of us who are making a habit of dis-investing from the fortunes of soon-to-be-Babylon, there is much to be amused by. Sometimes current events do hit pretty close to home, however, even on the prairie I would think. But the Lord is our strength to endure them and our shield to protect us from the consequences of them. We may get uncomfortable down here before all this is over, but we're looking through the haze to New Jerusalem on the other side.

(19) And this hope [truly] is what "anchors" our lives, a secure and solid [anchor of hope] which penetrates [behind] the veil (i.e., the heavens) into the inner place (i.e., the heavenly holy of holies) (20) where our vanguard, Jesus, has entered on our behalf, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:19-20

Yes, beautiful weather here. My students (most of them) have their first exam on Monday. We'll see how much I'm enjoying this semester once I set to grading.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hey there Dr Bob-

I hope you are doing well. We haven't spoken since I gave you the wonderful news about my Mama being cancer free & I, also had no cancer.

I recently was able to celebrate my 54th year thanks be to the Lord and have been led to read again the Coming Tribulation series while reading the Book of Revelation along with your wise words.

I'm not sure if it's growth or just the fact that we learn & discern more each time we study the Word in stillness & prayer but I read Chapter 12 again, along with your outline then moved onto Chapter 13. While I have never thought that Revelation was any more "figurative" than Genesis - bc the Word is plain. The Writer knew His creatures, His Children, would have human, limited intelligence & intellectual understanding, I don't believe He made any verse hard to understand. It makes no sense to me that Our Father, the Author, would do that.

The devil is the liar & accuser. Father wants us to be well armed & comforted by His Word. Not struggling day after day to understand the armor He has crafted for us.

That said, I notice when you reach Chapter 13, you say that it's a panoramic view & that the first half of the Tribulation has been fulfilled. Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding this passage.

In Chapter 12, the Woman & the Dragon are at the start. I assume this woman to be Mary bc the Dragon must be Satan, ready to devour her "male child." She has a crown with 12 stones (the 12 Tribes) and she is "standing on the sun with the moon under her feet." Then Michael and the Dragon have a fight - I assume this is another reference to the Genesis Gap - again please correct me in any error you may find.

I have long mistakenly and I don't know how or if I was taught this - thought that the Antichrist would be born in the normal human way. I thought the devil would disguise himself as a human and have relations with a woman of Jewish descent in order to make the Antichrist the devil's son and his mother a human in order to make a false, yet convincing, were it possible for the true believers to be convinced, that he was the true Christ.

I fear I've been confused even after all these years of study with you! Now I believe that, if I'm right this time & have made some growth, thanks to your steady diet of true Spiritual food, that the Antichrist will be imbued with his "father's" spirit and the devil will work through him bc he allowed Satan to control him. That's why the last time we spoke about this, you told me not to get hung up on trying to figure out who it is or will be. Our Father through His Son will reveal all things in His Time.

I apologize for the length of this correspondence but I must persevere and run the good race. I would appreciate your help with understanding what I believe I've misunderstood.

Also, if you would, please add my Daddy to the prayer list. Shortly after Christmas, he got pneumonia and had to be hospitalized. He's been on oxygen ever since he came home. He is scheduled for a CT scan in April with a follow up after the scan is reviewed. If he's better, he'll be able to discontinue the supplemental oxygen. However, Mama told me yesterday that any time he gets up and moves around, his level drops until he's seated and resting again. My Daddy is a Purple Heart Veteran of Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange. He suffered a heart attack in 2016 and was also diagnosed with COPD, hypothyroidism and diabetes. His diabetes is well controlled through diet. He had pneumonia a few years back and lost 5% of his lung function in the effected lung. Mother & Daddy haven't said that this time it was the same lung but since it was already weak, I assume so. Daddy just turned 80 this past August so that's another contributing factor. They celebrated 60 years of marriage last June and I don't know how either of them would do without the other. They are Christians who have been an example to our family by leaving this in the Hands of the Almighty but it still pains my humanness to see them both worried and they have been through so much in such a short time.

Thank you for all you do for His Flock and helping all of us to run the good race and rely on Him for everything. May He keep you safe and well.

In His Boundless Love,

Response #18:

As to "panoramic", the passage you're asking about is in the introduction to CT 3B: Antichrist and his Kingdom (link). This set of sentences is meant to point out that while by this point (Rev.12-13) antichrist has been around since the very beginning of the Tribulation, he and his kingdom have barely appeared in the text of Revelation yet. Revelation is, essentially, chronological. But it is also thematic as chapter 13 demonstrates. That is to say, rather than giving a history of events one day at a time, in order to cover more ground with less ink (for one reason) topics are grouped (a not uncommon technique in historical writing). Chapter 13 makes use of symbolism, clearly: the dragon is the devil, the beast is antichrist, the characteristics of the beast are not literal (he does not have feet that look like bear's feet, e.g.), but we do learn a lot about him and his rise to power from considering carefully everything that is said here. The view is also panoramic in that it brings us up to speed "in a single view / snapshot chapter" with all that has been happening in the world since the opening of the seventh seal from the enemy's side of things in terms of the devil's coming to control the world through his son, antichrist. That is to say, the beast doesn't gain control overnight as we know from all of the other places in scripture where his rise is chronicled, the book of Daniel in particular. Revelation is not written the way you or I would have written it no doubt – but the Spirit did it perfectly in order to teach and show us all we need to know about this subject, using Revelation to pull together all of the rest of the eschatological information in scripture and put it all in its proper place. That is what Coming Tribulation attempts to do in addition to translating and interpreting the book of Revelation.

The woman in Revelation 12 symbolizes Israel (here's a link on that). Mary was one person from one tribe and can't represent all twelve tribes which the crown of stars represents; and we see later in the chapter that it is Israel (believers thereof, evangelized by Moses and Elijah and the 144, 000) which is helped to escape from the beast: she is the woman. The persecution and escape covered in that chapter is something that happens right at the Tribulation's mid-point, so again we see Revelation moving in a chronological way. The war in heaven takes place at that time, and it is only at that time that the devil and his angels are finally ejected from heaven to spend their few remaining days of freedom relegated to earth (Rev.12:10-13).

In terms of the antecedents of antichrist, you are exactly correct (Gen.3:15 says this directly, for example). In terms of the measure of satanic control of the beast, we're not given details on that in scripture, but suffice it to say that the devil and the beast and the false prophet too are always described as having the same goals and objectives, so that it hardly matters whether or not there is a direct possession. Even the ten kings are on board with the devil's counter plan 100% (Rev.17:16-17; which suggest that they are nephilim as well).

I pray for you daily. I have put your dad on my Ichthys list.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Thanks Bob,

Yes it is never boring. Being a Christian has never been boring not even for one second!

Something that has hit me recently like a ton of bricks.. Cosmos Diabolicus as you refer to it operates in the main exactly like a cult does. In fact I've come to the shocking revelation whilst studying up on how cults work, that this world is one huge cult and then other smaller cults all the way down. If you imagine a set of Russian Dolls then you have a visual for how Satan has made this work.

What I have come to realise is that Cults are how Satan controls people in the main. It's true that he appeals to the flesh either through push or pull like you say, either fear or seduction. This is how cults work too. At the beginning, the bait is seduction but what keeps you there is fear. Satan uses seduction to bait a person through their lusts of the flesh but once they realise it is a trap, then he uses fear to keep them. Satan knows that the initial desire cannot last forever so he needs another hook to keep a person from escaping. So it really is "bait and switch" with him. In fact he probably has used this on the fallen angels who followed him. If it was the lust of having physical flesh for themselves through possession that caused them to rebel against God, no doubt that fear of judgement keeps them fixed in that rebellious position. Maybe a bit like a sunk cost fallacy.

What has really hit me hard is that most material written against cults is from a secular humanist perspective. They make the argument that if you leave a cult and go back into the "real world" again you are somehow "safe" and back using "critical thinking" again. What they have failed to realise is that they themselves are in the biggest cult Satan has going here!

The myth that the secular world is spiritually neutral and also the place of freedom and critical thinking is almost laughable if it weren't so tragic. We know that Satan has contaminated everything here. His main weapon against us was the lure of atheism and humanism, the belief that we don't need God. In this cult, his largest one, Satan uses money and power and 'making a name for oneself' as the main bait. Once people have swallowed this particular bait, they are at pains to keep running fearfully on the hamster wheel to keep it all in their pockets. With the threat of time running out through death casting a great shadow over the proceedings.

Satan knows though that we were created with a need and desire to worship. In the secular world he uses the idolatry of mammon to keep them there.

He must have known that this, whilst sufficient for most of the world's population (and it is) would not be enough for everyone. So then he has other cults for people to fall into that isn't based around the main mammon cult.

So for people who make romance their idol we have abusive relationships with a charismatic partner (who becomes their idol). Others fall for the idea of patching up this cosmos through philanthropy or politics. These are usually the "god needs me" types. They make their cause, whatever that might be into their idol.

For the religious types, we have all manner of religions, sects and groups. Either licentious or legalistic (they are either one or the other and sometimes both), these cults give the veneer that the adherents really are serving God in the correct way.

Then you have the worst of them all (in my humble opinion) the self help and new age, human potential groups. These are the cults that blasphemously teach that "I am God'. I think these are the worst because that blasphemous lie is the hardest one to break once someone has fully embraced it.

What makes all of this pretty depressing is that when you are successful at helping someone leave one particular cult then they are catapulted into the arms of another one.

It is arguable which is worse, the Moonies or being of the world? Both are blasphemous and wrong. It is also arguable which has the most lethal mind control. If we are going off numbers alone, secularism is the most lethal, pernicious and successful cult going. The scary thing about secularism is that it is seen as neutral, as the norm, as sanity, as safety, as logical and reasonable!

Most people shudder when they look at the Moonies and recoil. Who recoils from secularism though? Very few if any. It is so easy, too easy to be lulled by it all over again mainly because it is everywhere and seems so safe and neutral! Yet the fact that it leads to the second death makes it just as lethal as any other cult here.

It's only in Jesus Christ that we have freedom from all this. Satan plays dirty though so it isn't surprising that his most notorious cults claim Christianity for themselves in one way or another. He has been smearing God from the beginning after all.

The worrying aspect is that once a person leaves a more lurid cult that has the veneer of Christianity, the more likely a person will be abandoning faith altogether and rejoining the cult of atheism.

Yes indeed it is much worse than before. When people were in abusive relationships or felt the emptiness of life weigh upon them, they could then reach out and ask for God's help. Just over a hundred years ago this would be the case. There were growing political and philanthropic movements then but they were only in larger cities and still something or a fringe movement.

Present day couldn't be more removed from that in its worsened state. You cannot move for politics or groups or cults or self help. It is in the language we use on a daily basis (karma, positive and negative etc). The repulsion we all naturally felt for the occult has completely gone with even children desiring to be witches and wizards "when they grow up".

Most put this down to a mass insanity but we know it goes far deeper than that. Not mere insanity but spiritual darkness and wickedness that the world has thoroughly embraced and can only be cut through with the two edged sword of the Word of God.

In Jesus, the only freedom from the Kingdom of Cults,

I hope you have a blessed Sunday. I'm just about to read over this week's emails on your Ministry page and later will have some bread and wine for communion and pray for your ministry list.
I have been afraid again recently, maybe because I have been looking too much at the enemy and not at the Word. I will be remedying that today. I know that I can leave all my troubles with Jesus and not be afraid. Amen!

Thank you for your continual pastoring, teaching, fellowship and friendship. You are a real blessing to my life my friend. I don't know how I could have been strengthened to go this far without your Ministry.

God bless you and yours.



In Jesus, our perfect peace,

Response #19:

Thanks for these great emails. I appreciate you hanging in there with the Lord and the truth in spite of everything. You have deep insight into these matters and your emails on these topics are always a help to those who read them. I am sure that once you figure out the right approach, your own personal ministry will also be a help to many others – and earn you a fine reward.

That is really the only reason we're still here, after all. Everything else is essentially pointless nonsense when viewed from the standpoint of eternity – swiftly coming on.

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
What profit has a man from all his labor
In which he toils under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 NKJV

But our "lock box" is in heaven, and we have the great opportunity to put some eternal coins into it every day we are down here.

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Hebrews 2:14-15 NKJV [explanation now posted at Ichthys in Hebrews chapter 2: link]

It's a good series of points about the world essentially being a big cult and fear being the devil's ace trump (guilt being on the other side of the card). As you know, there is a lot about all this in Peter #39 (especially in part 2 where the devil's three lies are discussed). Right now, all of this is seemingly (and actually) disorganized, even though it is all proceeding from a common source: Satan. But in short order all of these disparate strains will be joined into one, so that the world can finally be united in a universal . . . lie.

It would be easy to get depressed about all of this. And it is very easy to get caught up in it as well. We are still in the world and we are still in the body. We still feel pain and still have emotions which, often rightly, get upset when we see and hear and experience horrible things. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we understand that this is all temporary – more so than we presently have any idea. In the blink of an eye, our Lord will return. No one can stop or delay that return. And He will return with justice.

Arise, O LORD, in Your anger;
Lift Yourself up because of the rage of my enemies;
Rise up for me to the judgment You have commanded!
Psalm 7:6 NKJV

Arise, O LORD,
Do not let man prevail;
Let the nations be judged in Your sight.
Psalm 9:19 NKJV

Arise, O LORD!
O God, lift up Your hand!
Do not forget the humble.
Psalm 10:12 NKJV

“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the LORD;
“I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”
Psalm 12:5 NKJV

Let God arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;
Let those also who hate Him flee before Him.
Psalm 68:1 NKJV

Arise, O God, judge the earth;
For You shall inherit all nations.
Psalm 82:8 NKJV

For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.
Psalm 96:13 NKJV

For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.
Psalm 98:9 NKJV

For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause.
Isaiah 34:8 NIV

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Isaiah 35:4 NIV

According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.
Isaiah 59:18 NIV

A destroyer will come against Babylon; her warriors will be captured, and their bows will be broken. For the LORD is a God of retribution; he will repay in full.
Jeremiah 51:56 NIV

Before our Lord returns, there will be massive judgments. Judgments of warning (the trumpets). Judgments of wrath (the bowls). Judgments of retribution and reckoning (the second advent "thunder" judgments). Judgments leveled by the two witnesses (Moses and Elijah). These are often the things which terrify people – even believers – when contemplating the Tribulation. But believers have nothing whatsoever to fear on this score, that is, judgments coming from the Lord. For these judgments are all rendered on behalf of believers, not against us (we will be protected from all divine judgment just as the children of Israel were in Egypt). The "trouble" that will afflict believers will stem from the one-world rule of antichrist and his religion. So any insight we get now into that from its present day incipient form is all to the good. And any practice we get from learning to put it and the whole cosmos diabolicus (the term is originally L.S. Chafer's) into the proper divine perspective will be especially useful then. We need to learn not to care about the things we shouldn't be caring about in the first place, even as we get better at caring more and more about the things we should esteem.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
1st John 2:15-17 NKJV

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
1st John 4:17 NKJV

So keep fighting your good fight, my friend! There will be a day of victory and rejoicing. It is not far off in fact. Meanwhile, we keep advancing in the same old way, one day at a time, one day closer to the kingdom of heaven as long as it is called "today".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

Happy to hear your spring break went well. Hope today did too.

Sorry I've been a bit quiet. I've been trying to keep up with my study and the testing here seems quite constant at the moment. Different stuff to what I've told you about before but I'm hanging in .... again! It's good for me - I just need to remember to keep my focus more intently on the Lord. I've studied the tribulational false teaching in CT as well.

I recently listened to a talk by Walter Martin who wrote The Kingdom of the Cults. I don't agree with everything he says but he's interesting to listen to and I've learnt a lot. He said this which I thought was very good. What do you think, Bob?

"The only way to detect a counterfeit is to be so familiar with the original that you can't be fooled. I do not urge that you all become authorities on the cults. I urge that you become authorities on Jesus Christ and you will never be fooled by anybody. It's the people who are uninformed that get sucked into the cults. And don't think it doesn't happen to Christians because it does. I have run across Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians of every shade and variety born again people who got sucked into the cults and whom the Lord has graciously brought out again but not without all kinds of suffering and great spiritual anguish. Be familiar with the original and the counterfeit will not pose any great threat."

That was certainly my experience and the Lord graciously brought me out again. The rise of false teaching in the Tribulation is just one factor that will contribute to bringing about mass apostasy. I thank the Lord for you and the truth you teach and the time we have now to study and prepare ourselves spiritually for the Tribulation. I keep reminding myself to use the time I have left wisely.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus

Response #20:

You have a lot on your plate. We strive – as we should – to get to the place of going full out for the Lord. But when and if we get there, it's easy for just a little sand in the gears to throw us off. We have to roll with those punches best we can (sorry for mixing the metaphors).

On Martin, that is one of the few books written by evangelicals that I recommend. On the quote per se, while I certainly agree with the premise that in terms of knowledge, correct knowledge about the truth of the Word and Him who is the Word will make identifying the false very easy for a mature believer or even for a would be advancing believer (this is the "fruit test", after all [link]), I think it is a big mistake to ever assume this is only about information. That is Platonism (Marxism) at it's worst: "If people only knew that by harming others they are really harming themselves they would stop!" Wrong. For one thing, the definition of what is harmful and especially of what is "good" for others has historically been greatly abused. The "golden rule", rightly understood, emphases NOT doing things to others one would not wish to be done to oneself. Communism/socialism/liberalism is all about "doing unto others" things YOU think are "good for them" (even if you'd never want them applied to yourself). Let's call it the "leaden rule".

"They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."
Matthew 23:4 NIV

People are basically bad – since we all are born with a sin nature; only good, decent secular socialization (coming from good parents, good teachers, good Scoutmasters, good Sunday school teachers, etc.) which trains a person to be disposed to do what is right by country and family and to obey the law – if only because otherwise you'll suffer mightily – ever even temporarily leads people to "not do bad so much" as they otherwise would. It's only through Jesus Christ, through the truth, through the Spirit, that Christians seek to do what is right because we revere our Master.

Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.
Ecclesiastes 8:12 NIV

Anyone who gets involved in any cult has been deceived by definition. But on some level in some way said person wanted to believe whatever lie the cult was telling them. In other words, Martin's quote makes it seem as if those who get sucked into cults are completely innocent and that knowledge will save them. That's not the case. Whenever someone ends up in "the wrong place" (as most of us have done at some point in our earlier lives), when and if we get fed up with the lies, the Lord will help us to extricate ourselves from those lies – through the truth. But we got involved with the lie (whatever it was) in the first place of our own free will: we were/are responsible for that, even if we have (allowed ourselves to have) been deceived to a great degree. In the end, it doesn't matter how much we've actively blinded ourselves or been passively blinded by others since all such deception was only possible because we turned away from the truth.

Would that we would have "knowledge" before stumbling into some lie and that such "knowledge" would keep us from doing so. But "knowledge" is different from our free will. If we are determined to follow after the temptations connected with the lie (just as Eve and then Adam did), it is only afterwards that such "knowledge" will be helpful and only AFTER we determine to choose what is right and reject what is false.

So knowledge of the ins and outs of the cult in question at that point . . . and really afterwards when we are trying to recover emotionally . . . is helpful because it is good to see just how we were deceived and exactly what we were deceived about, i.e., what tempted us and what we ran after running over the truth in the process.

I have done some very dumb things in my life, but I do "own them". Had I listened to the Spirit, had I obeyed the Spirit, I never would have done them. Knowing more ahead of time about why they were so dumb might have helped, but since I "knew" all that in a general sense in the Spirit before I did them I doubt it. It really wasn't about "knowledge" – it was about choice.

So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
Revelation 13:4 NKJV

The people who follow the beast during the Tribulation will mostly do so enthusiastically. People generally love to be part of "something big" and "something successful". Nothing much bigger than a religion which will embrace everything (almost) or a political movement which will conquer the world (nearly). And both of these things will come together in antichrist and his religious-political movement. Not only will the Spirit be telling all soon-to-be apostate believers that they are making the worst possible move here, but He will cause that truth to be broadcast audibly worldwide:

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
Revelation 14:9-11 NKJV

But in spite of that, most of the world will still go rushing after him, not just because they are deceived but also because they want to be deceived . . . out of love for the lie and hatred for the truth.

(8) And then the lawless one (i.e., antichrist) will be revealed, [that same one] whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and destroy when He appears at His [glorious] return – [that same lawless one] (9) whose appearance [will come about] through Satan's empowerment [and will be] accompanied by every [sort of] false miracle, both signs and portents, (10) and by every [sort of] unrighteous deception [designed] for those who are perishing, [namely those who will believe these lies] because they did not open themselves up to the love for the truth so as to be saved. (11) And for this [very] reason God is going to send upon them an empowerment of error so that they may believe the lie, (12) in order that they may be condemned, [even all those] who have not believed the truth but have [instead] approved of unrighteousness.
2nd Thessalonians 2:8-12

People who in their heart of hearts hate lies are always rescued from them in the end by the truth – as you were, as I was; people who in their heart of hearts love lies more than the truth are eventually handed over to what they love (exceptionally so in the Tribulation as in the passage above). Figuring out who is who and which is which is the whole point of history (and in the case of the former, proving just how much those who love the truth through which they were delivered do so). The devil is the father of lies; our Lord Jesus is the truth. It's all about taking up sides, and eventually everyone ends up on the side they truly value, either accepting the truth that God gives us or esteeming one's own "truth" instead . . . which is really no truth but lies concocted by the evil one designed to fit whatever pique's the "victim's" interest. Those deceived are victims, I agree, but willing victims, exercising their free will image of God to choose for the devil instead of for God. It's why we're all here.

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Thank you Bob. I love this because I can relate to it. I know it to be true from my own personal experience but also when I've attempted to help others in the same situation.

I spent so much time studying the lies that others in my life were believing and then attempting to give them the truth. I didn't enjoy researching the lies. There's definitely a place for that - just not for me. Especially when they basically said no thanks - I prefer the false teaching. But I don't regret the time and research I put in to try to help them. I'm at peace knowing that I did what the Lord was and is asking of me in that situation. I think if there's ever a next time, I'd approach it differently. For me personally, I'd much rather put all of my energy into studying the truth - especially The Coming Tribulation series. I feel it's the best way to help myself and others in the future - that's if they want the truth in the end. If I'm being honest, I struggle to have patience with people who don't love the truth. I don't show it outwardly but it's there inside. Something I need to try harder at, I think.

It was the "fruit test" bit in the quote that I agreed with. Thanks for making the rest of it much clearer for me.

Thanks so much for your prayers too!

In Jesus

Response #21:

It is strange, isn't it? To be in this world walking among people who for the most part have no clue about what is really important – and who don't want to know. They have, with exceptions, hardened their hearts against the truth so as to be able to bump through this life oblivious to the consequences of rejecting Him who is the truth. It's very easy, even for believers, to lose focus, and that is inevitable if and when anyone stops engaging aggressively with the truth. Probably we all know that by experience. Understanding that this is all a matter of personal choice does make it harder to have patience with those who are deliberately choosing against what we hold so near and dear – to their own eventual hurt. Of course we all need to remember that we could probably do better on this score as well.

So it's a real blessing to have contact with others who share the same priorities. That is in fact what the Church is all about. And gaining encouragement from each other – as I certainly do from you, my friend – is better than a thousand "coffee hours" of forced "fellowship" with the hordes of the lukewarm in my opinion (1Cor.7:40).

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today.”
Hebrews 3:13a NIV

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV

Keeping up the prayer!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Hi Bob,

It's very strange. And it makes you realise even more how this world is not our home. We're sojourners, we're just passing through.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.

What we hold so near and dear is foolishness to the people of this world. (1Cor.1:18) Yet even though I can't see the Lord or the things above right now, they seem more real to me than this world does. And I think that's something that comes by growing closer to the Lord through the Word and growing spiritually. It certainly doesn't come by wasting our time in a social-church drinking coffee with the lukewarm.

When the Lord rescued me from the lies, I always remember from the very start all I wanted was to pray to the Lord and to read the Bible. I had absolutely no desire to be involved in a church again. I had a lot to learn but I knew in my heart that the Bible was God's precious Word to me and it's all that I wanted. The Lord knew my heart and a few days later He led me to Ichthys. He is so good to us. I had no idea anything like this even existed at the time but it was perfect for me. The Lord gave me exactly what I wanted and needed and it is an absolute blessing!

Thanks so much for all the encouragement you give to me too, Bob. The verses you gave me from Hebrews are ones I think a lot about too. No coincidence there again!

Praying for you.

In Jesus

Response #22:

What a wonderful testimony, !

It's also wonderful to read someone speaking from a scriptural perspective and saying exactly the same things I might say myself (on a GOOD day). I'd like to think that this means you're really getting somewhere in your spiritual growth (even if it does sound like something I might write, LOL)! Praying for your continued and continuing witnessing to the truth.

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2nd Timothy 2:2 NASB95

As to "[Spiritual growth] certainly doesn't come by wasting our time in a social-church drinking coffee with the lukewarm", that is absolutely true, even if the coffee is hot.

It's been a week here in L-ville, and I'll be more than a little pleased to see the end of it tomorrow afternoon. We're supposed to have a major storm come through, dropping up to four inches of rain or more on our already saturated ground. I'm wondering if we might not get another "state of emergency day off" – probably not, but one can dream.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Thanks Bob - that's a real compliment!

I kind of forgot for a minute it was my teacher I was speaking to when I wrote the verses. I have a feeling you already know them! I was speaking from the heart to you as my friend and your words are so encouraging to me. I'm happy that I've been able to encourage you as well. Half the time I don't even realise I'm doing it. If the Lord can use me in any way He chooses to then I'm more than happy with that.

How's the storm going, Bob? At least you've reached the end of the week. Friday's are normally a mad day for me but today was a good one.

Enjoy your weekend and keeping you in my prayers!

In Jesus

Response #23:

It's all good, my friend!

We've had some rain, but so far this storm hasn't lived up to the hype. They are predicting 2 to 4 inches tonight and possible high winds or even hail and tornadoes. Here's hoping (praying) it doesn't get too bad. They say that "the Highlands" where I live never floods. Of course there was that ONE time . . .

Thanks for those prayers! Keeping you in mine as well.

In Jesus,

Bob L.


Ichthys Home