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Eschatology Issues XXVII

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Question #1:

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your explanations and I did re-read The Seven Seals link but I am still unsure of how the 7th seal precedes the opening of Tribulation – if the first four are in the first half of Tribulation and the 5th seal marks the beginning of the second half, followed by the 6th seal, yet I understand before the 7th seal is opened there is silence in heaven for about the space of a ½ hour. Is the ½ hour the 21 months before the 1st trumpet? And if that is so I must be missing something if the first 4 seals are in the first half.

Bob there is no rush for this as I know Saturday is your posting day for emails – please, only at your convenience.

Response #1:

The seals are roughly chronological giving a panoramic view of the Tribulation; but trends can span a long period of time. The fifth seal, the Great Persecution has its origins in the first half but comes to the fore throughout the second half of the Tribulation, e.g. Seals are placed on the outside of rolls to keep them from being opened, but here we have "book cover pictures", so to speak, to show us the highlights of what is within. The seventh seal serves as the fail safe: the book cannot be fully opened – that is, the Tribulation cannot actually begin – until it is broken open last of all. Here is the link at Ichthys to where this is discussed in full: The Seven Seals.

The half hour of silence is a period of grace once the "clock runs out" for the Church Age before the Tribulation begins. It also serves to shift the calendar from spring to fall. The Church Age begins at the cross, in the spring (Passover); but the Tribulation ends in the fall (Day of Atonement), so it is necessary for the Tribulation, being exactly seven years (minus the time of the "days being shortened for the sake of the elect": Matt.24:22; Mk.13:20), to begin in the fall as well.

So the seals are in general ordered chronologically, but since the first four present overlapping trends which characterize the entire Tribulation, we can't make too much of that. All we can say is that 1-4 represent the nature of the Tribulation as first manifest during its first half, whereas 5-6 are distinct events pertaining to the second half of the seven years, the Great Tribulation: #5 certainly has antecedents in the first half but only "opens in full" after antichrist takes his seat in the temple and openly proclaims himself to be God and Messiah; #6 is the second advent and all of the events and judgments ("thunder judgments" at the link) associated with it.

The first seals thus give a preview of the nature of the Tribulation from the outside before one can look in and see the details: terrible times (#1-4) culminating in massive persecution (#5) answered by divine judgment (#6) and a perfect ending (#7) which is also a perfect beginning. But the seals are on the outside of the book of "Christ's revealing"; they have to be opened / broken before the Tribulation begins and that is why only the Lamb can do so – since it's His "book" with the full "revealing" of Him taking place at the end when He returns.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hi Bob and family,

Again my thanks for your patience with me and as I want to write about this in a simplistic way so as not to cause any confusion to both ichthys readers and HubPages readers – I am concerned to ‘get it right’ for all and not leave any doubt.

I am understanding from your email and the links you have given me in your second paragraph – i.e. 1 – 4 to mean happening in the 1st half as an opening view and 5 & 6 being distinct events, I am still unsure of how to understand (let alone write it) that #7 is a perfect ending and is also a perfect beginning. Your last sentence sums it up perfectly – it’s just the relationship between the 7th being an ending and a beginning as well – is it similar to the scripture that says the first shall be last and the last shall be first?

There must be an example in grammar as to the meaning but I don’t know how to explain it and I’m hoping you can steer me in the right direction.

My apologies in my slow grasp of things.

With brotherly love,

Response #2:

The seventh seal opens the book, and the book is The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Thus the seventh seal begins the final chapter of human history whose prologue is the Tribulation which precedes the Day of the Lord when Jesus will be revealed. The book cannot be opened until all of the seals are released. As each seal is opened, a glimpse of what it contains comes to light, but the seventh seal is different because when it is opened the book itself is now finally opened and the end times begins, starting with a half-year of reprieve, followed by a seven year Tribulation, culminating in the Day of the Lord, His judgments and thousand year reign, punctuated by the end of history and the final judgment. So the seventh seal is very important, even though it does not have a trend or event associated with it: it begins them all: the perfect beginning of the perfect ending of history, when God the Father is "all in all" with us and our dear Lord Jesus in New Jerusalem (1Cor.15:28).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #3:

It is probably obvious that I use the KJV for about 97% of all my biblical studies and references for written material. That is why “great tribulation” (gr. megas thlipsis) instead of “a” or “the” great tribulation was used in my first contact with you.

Response #3:

Greek doesn't have an indefinite article per se (i.e., an "a/an"), so supplying it in English translation is the default position when translating anarthrous phrases such as "great tribulation"; in the context in particular not using an "a" would take away a certain amount of emphasis which is the opposite of what our Lord is trying to convey here (cf. Mk.13:19). By the way, it is interesting that rapture enthusiasts have any interest in eschatology since they are of the opinion it is all just academic to them. But that does I suppose help to explain their overall sloppy approach.

Question #4:

You mention the word “resurrection” (gr. anastasis) as opposed to being “caught up” (gr. harpadzo), or raptured. apparently the word “rapture” comes from the Latin word rapio. and does not appear in the bible. doesn’t “resurrection” typically have to do with those that have died? you mention the resurrection of even the living after or along with the resurrection of the dead. please enlighten. If not occurring along with one of the 7 trumpets of revelation, where and when is the “last trump” sounded and brought into play? the word trump is used only twice in scripture and both relate to the raising of the dead. one in 1 thessalonians 4:16 (gr. anistemi) and the other one is the “last trump” (1 corinthians 15:52 – gr. egeiro). the last trump is when our mortal bodies are changed into immortal ones, which has to occur sometime during the second coming of Jesus and before God’s wrath is poured out (revelation 16:1). is that correct? where does this coincide with the book of revelation?

Response #4:

The resurrection – the rising of the entire Church both living and dead (see 1Thes.4:16-17 where we are told that the dead in Christ precede believers still alive) has already taken place by Revelation 19:14 inasmuch as the Church constitutes a great portion of the armies of the Lord at the second advent; it is announced and celebrated in Revelation 19:1-9, and confirmed and described as a present reality after the fact in Revelation 20:4-5 (but, n.b., "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" is not part of scripture; rather it is a later interpolation; see the link).

Question #5:

In regards to my comments on the first part of Daniel 9:27, was it correct for me to say that the “confirming of the covenant” statement will be something related to peace, at least at the beginning of the week? if so, how does that fit in with the whole week being “the tribulation”? Any comments on my note about “the covenant”?

Response #5:

"Confirming" in regard to the covenant in Daniel 9:27 might be a little misleading. On the one hand, higbir means probably here "to make a strong covenant"; also there is no definite article (i.e., it's not "the" covenant). Here is my translation (and please go to the link for the context of where I treat this passage):

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

Question #6:

Hi Dr,

Excellent news about pastor Omo and his family's deliverance through the hurricane, and proof that the Lord does protect his own by bringing them through the storm as opposed to keeping them from it in the first place altogether. Similar to the upcoming Tribulation.

Thanks and much appreciated in Christ Jesus our Lord

Response #6:

It's an excellent point: our friend found himself in the eye of the storm but the storm passed by and he and his family were spared. I believe that is exactly the way believers should look at the Tribulation, as you say, confident that we and our families will be protected (just like the children of Israel in Egypt at the time of the exodus) in spite of all manner of terrible things happening around us:

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
Psalm 97:7-10 NKJV

Of course that does not mean that we will not be inconvenienced or that the Tribulation will not be hard – it certainly will be (and it will test the faith of us all, with one third failing the test); but the truth of these words will be seen at that time as is always the case:

And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
Malachi 3:18

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

Where in the Bible does it say that the 144,000 will be martyred?


Response #7:

Revelation 14:1-5 presents the 144,000 in heaven with the Lamb directly after the persecution breaks out with the mark of the beast in chapter thirteen, and directly before the three warnings of what is to come; after the warnings, we have the harvest of believers in Rev.14:12-16: this is the Great Persecution of which the 144K are the "firstfruits" (Rev.14:4), which I take to mean that they, the 144K, are the first to fall in the G.P. – right after Moses and Elijah in chapter 11, the two witnesses who directed their ministry – with the sacrifice of the 144K in refusing to flee buying time for believing Israel's flight to the desert sanctuary (in chapter 12).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hi Bob,

Nearly every commentator have mentioned that the antichrist's having no desire for women is because he might be gay. I understood it for a different reason. I figured that since he shall "magnify himself above all" means he doesn't care about anyone period (male, female, gods, etc.). Not sure if this would make sense in that context.

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for [he shall 'magnify himself' above all].
(Daniel 11:37)

I considered the word "himself" in meaning that he cares about "no one" but himself, including anyone who is considered female.

Another question is about animals being possessed by demons. I only know about the demoniac of Gadarene who possessed the herd of swine, but only with the Lord's permission. There are a lot of crows that come next to my home in particular for some reason, and they usually show up when I am studying God's Word very deeply. Every time I pray for them to go away . . . they go away immediately after I say AMEN. This must have happened at least 30 times and my prayers have came to pass 100% of the time immediately. It happened again today, but when I prayed expecting that it will come to pass no matter what so that the crow to stop cawing, the crow kept cawing. But then a cat came out of nowhere and stared at me with what looked like it understood me, and then went after the crow and the crow fled away. I thought it was funny!

Now it just seems like all of my prayers are coming to pass 100% of the time; some immediately, and some when the timing is right according to the Lord. I don't watch any television except the morning and evening news to keep up to date. I just spend most of my day studying God's truth and praying, and this leaves me almost no sinful desires to ever come to my mind. I've also have become more angrier at things a lot and wondered if I am sinning because of this. But I only get angry at certain things like when I see trash on the tv between news breaks like women scantily dressed and acting like they're trying to seduce the viewer. I also get angry when I listen to supposed Christians who preach that we can live like the devil or the world and still be saved, and all they use is a few verses out of context like being saved by grace through faith, and not of works. They accuse these godly men of preaching "another gospel" and condemn them when they say that we are justified by faith alone, but by a faith that is not alone (which I believe). And they accuse all who disagree with them to be "unsaved" and "heretics". They also accuse others who disagree with them that they are going to rot in hell and use derogatory remarks like little immature school kids. I get very angry when I see such behavior on the internet, like youtube. Also, please pray for my dad who is also having heart issues. Thanks!

God Bless you and your ministry,

Response #8:

Good reasoning, but there is a little more to it, so I will paste in here what I have written about this phrase (in CT 4):

The phrase often translated "the desire of women" is not a reference to any particular pagan god, but represents the replacement or rather superseding of all other pagan activity by the new religion which worships only Satan and antichrist. In Jewish experience, foreign women were often the ones who led their husbands to idolatry (cf. Num.25:1-3; 1Ki.11:1-13), so that this phrase stands for all pagan influence in contrast to the "God of his fathers". Not only will antichrist "have no regard for the God of his fathers" (i.e., the Lord), but will also not revere "those [gods and religions] favored by their wives", and, indeed, will not even have any "regard for any god [at all]", but will instead "exalt himself above them all". In place of both the worship of the one true God and all other pagan worship (wherein the satanic origins and effects may be presently concealed to one degree or another), antichrist's new religion will put into place the direct worship of the devil (along with the worship of his son, the beast).

On your prayer life, I'm thrilled to hear of your "batting average". As John says . . .

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
1st John 5:14-15 NKJV

So having one's prayers answers is a good sign that one is "zoned in" on the Will of God for one's life, a sure sign of spiritual maturity.

I think it is also true that the more we see things God's way – the essence of "godliness" – the more we will take His view of things. Compare:

But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
Revelation 2:6 NIV

The Nicolaitans were the permissive sect of early Christianity, indulging in many of the things that upset you and seeking to justify them. Being negatively disposed to such behavior and the individuals that promote it is thus decidedly a good thing – as long as you don't fret yourself overly. After all, "for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (Jas.1:20 NKJV). Avoiding extremes in all things is genuinely the prudent, Christian thing to do.

Keep fighting the good fight of faith, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Dr. Luginbill you have mentioned in your two part series on the Satanic Rebellion and the Coming Tribulation that the Antichrist would be a Danite, a teaching apparently held by the early church fathers for the first 300 years of the church, including Ireneus. I am very fascinated with what little I have discovered about this tribe including the information on the above link by Barbara Aho (https://watch.pairsite.com/dan.html). What would be a better source of info on the tribe of Dan? Apparently the Illiad mentions a people called the Danaoi or Dana eleven times, is that reference in the Illiad referring to the tribe of Dan? Also can the Tuatha Dana of Ireland be historically linked to the tribe of Dan?

Response #9:

The link you include is an article by the late Janet Moser, and I must say that this is a very dangerous piece, dripping with anti-Semitism (and false teachings there are more dangerous than this one).

Not to put too fine a point on it, there is not a scintilla of truth in any of the sections of this article after she leaves the Bible behind (and I would disagree seriously with much of her biblical "exegesis" as well). I think anyone reading this piece with even a semi-critical eye will be able to see that the jumping to conclusions here is on the level of a series of record-setting Olympic long jumps. And to make matters worse, none of the points jumped from and to have any serious evidentiary basis.

Important case in point: the Celts have absolutely nothing to do with the so-called ten lost tribes. The Celts (from which the Irish sprang) were/are an Indo-European people who, along with the Germans, the Slavs, the Italo-Umbrians, the Greeks (the Danoi were a Greek tribe) and others, began flooding into Europe from the steppes of Eurasia many centuries before the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel. Genetically, linguistically, historically, they have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Israel. Place names mean nothing. There is a Paris in Kentucky, but don't look for to many descendants of Louis XVI there.

In short, there is nothing in common between this article and the postings at Ichthys except for the very basic point taught by many others throughout church history that antichrist's mother is from the tribe of Dan. And of course that would be a very natural conclusion for anyone reading Revelation to draw inasmuch as Dan is the one tribe left out of the list of the 144,000 (see also of course Gen.49:16-18).

Here are some links that combat some of the false notions in Moser's article:

Cults and Christianity VII

Who is "true Israel"?

Who are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?

How Many Tribes do the Jews of Today Represent?

How Many Tribes Do The Jews Represent? II

More on the lost tribes

As to Ichthys, the main links you have already seen, no doubt, but it's worth repeating them here:

The Omission of the tribe of Dan

Antichrist from Dan

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi Bob and family,

I keep having recurring thoughts about Tribulation as to how we will survive not being able to buy or sell during that time. Being confident of being saved, perhaps I should say hopefully, I still wonder how He will provide for us – I’m sure you can understand the doubts that arise and I wonder about the 3rd trumpet – 3 months of fresh water stricken and then into the second half, the 3rd bowl judgement where ALL fresh water rivers are stricken for the last 10 months of Tribulation. I know that in some way not yet known to us He will provide for all those who are His – Matthew 6: 25 – 34 tells us that is so.

My son had googled can man be sustained on rice and potatoes and honey indefinitely and the medical answer was yes it’s possible. (Apparently rice can be stored for 30 years in suitable containers.) As well as white potatoes, sweet potatoes are high in many vitamins, more so than white potatoes. He has grown sweet potatoes at his house and also has about 12 bee hives as he keeps bees as a hobby. Would you see that scenario as a possibility?

Knowing that fresh water will be a problem for 3 months in the 1st half through the 3rd trumpet judgement and I’m unsure if this time is for the area associated with the anti-Christ only or universally all over – and then universally in the last 10 months of the 2nd half – again thinking of the verses in Matthew, God knows exactly where we are and I wonder if somehow, the water that comes out of the tap in the kitchen will not be contaminated. The problem I see here is how will we pay water rates? Should we put in a reasonable size water tank on our property in the hope it will be under His protection?

We already have solar panels for electricity on the roof of our house and we are thinking of increasing more panels and at some time later we want to put in a battery to be totally self reliant, not needing electricity supplied from a power company.

I know this may be contrary to what we have spoken about some time ago but I am interested in your thoughts on this subject.

As always dear Bob, with brotherly love,

Response #10:

Always good to hear from you, my friend.

I would never take it upon myself to tell others what to do in matters of this sort. If the Bible doesn't give a direct mandate (for or against), then we are in the realm of application wherein each of us has to make his/her own decisions.

My caveats on this topic always have to do with putting the Lord's will and power and providence in place of priority over our own works. This is always a balancing act. The person who sits down on a park bench and refuses to go to work, waiting for "God to provide", is clearly in the wrong. The person who works non-stop seven days a week to amass as much as possible out of fear of what may betide, finding security in money and possessions, is also clearly in the wrong. Where the "sweet spot" may be for each individual (somewhere in the middle of these two extreme examples, obviously), is all application – which will change as we grow and also vary according to circumstances.

The "circumstance" we are contemplating here is the Tribulation and the changes that will bring. I have always tried to emphasize that although we know a great deal about the Tribulation – and it has been a hallmark of this ministry to attempt to explicate virtually everything the Bible has to say about that subject – yet there is much about the specifics, about the "texture" of the times ahead about which we may as yet only speculate.

I am a man of very limited imagination (one of my many failings), but even I can easily foresee a great many eventualities which would obviate and render as nil any prior material preparations I might make in anticipation of the coming darkness. But while all that we have of a material nature might easily be taken from us, the spiritual preparations we make are ours to keep no matter what, and I think it is beyond argument that the truth we shall have in our hearts, stored there by faith, will prove far more important and valuable during those terrible seven years than anything we might be able to store up in our cellars. So that is where I am coming from. Any distraction to the detriment of spiritual growth and spiritual preparation through concern for or fixation on material preparation for the Tribulation would thus seem to me to make the latter a poor bargain indeed, for while material preparation may (or may not) prove useful, the best such will not be able to replace spiritual preparations not made on its account.

Also, what, exactly, are we afraid of?

They triumphed over 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.
Revelation 12:11 NIV

This verse about those believers lost in antichrist's Great Persecution affirms and reminds us of the fact that no matter how we may feel or what we may do, a great many of us are destined for martyrdom in those days soon to come. But more to the point of what we are discussing, these great believers will be able to triumph precisely because they are unconcerned about their physical lives in comparison to their eternal lives. If we become too involved in making preparations for physical survival, I have to believe that it will have a tendency to make us focus overly on just that – as if it really matters whether we fail to make it until the Tribulation begins, or die as martyrs within it, or are called upon to endure until the end. In either of these three eventualities, we will be raised to glory in just a few short years. Indeed, the only thing that might even possibly prevent that is a total loss of faith. In that regard, anything that detracts from our growing trust in the faithfulness of Jesus Christ to save us is to be avoided; and my concern is that any overly large dependency upon material means of survival is apt to reduce our focus upon our spiritual survival – which is really the only thing that counts.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1st Peter 1:3-5 NKJV

As long as we are guarding our salvation through faith, we can be sure that the Lord is "guarding our deposit" of eternal reward (1Tim.6:20; 2Tim.1:12; 1:14), with the result that whatever happens, we shall suffer no loss – as long as we do not lose faith.

What, then, are we afraid of?

God's plan is perfect. Whatever happens is precisely His will. We may suffer divine discipline for sinful behavior, but do we really think that we are going to suffer the loss of all because we didn't get around buying those flats of canned tuna fish? We may starve. It is possible (though I honestly doubt it). But if we do, will it be because God abandoned us? He will never abandon us (Heb.13:5). Will it be because He is angry with us for not storing more water, batteries, emergency supplies, and foodstuffs? He is the One who provided miraculously for Elijah in a deliberately similar three year situation: when the water ran out, He led him to a place where the jar of oil and the jar of flour did not run out.

We may not experience this same kind of miraculous provision Elijah did, but I am confident and absolutely so that the Lord is not going to allow us to starve if it is His will for us to make it through those seven years until the living resurrection takes place. But even if it is not His will for us to do so, we will still take part in it (1Thes.4:16-17); and even if we do a wonderful job of material preparation, there is no way we are going to make it to the end if that is not His plan for us. We know and are confident that He is "working all things together for good for those who love Him" (Rom.8:28), and that will not stop just because the Tribulation starts.

(31) So what shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? (32) He who did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over for our sake, how will He not also graciously give us everything [we need] along with [that gift of] Him? (33) Who will [dare to] bring charges against God's elect? God is the One who is pronouncing [us] justified. (34) Who is he that condemns [us]? Christ Jesus is the One who died [condemned in our place], and the One, moreover, who was raised from the dead [for us], who is [seated] at the right hand of God, who is also making petitions on our behalf. (35) What will separate us from Christ's love? Tribulation? Or privation? Or persecution? Or hunger? Or destitution? Or danger? Or violence? (36) As it is written, "For your sake we are being put to death all day long. We were accounted as sheep for slaughter". (37) But in all such things we are decisively victorious through Him who loved us [enough to do what He did for us]. (38) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angelic nor human authorities, neither things present nor things to come, neither heavenly powers, (39) be they the highest [of the elect] or the lowest [of the fallen], nor any other created thing [on this earth] will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:31-39

Nothing, not even a lack of material preparation, can separate us from God's love in Jesus Christ – as long as we are faithful to Him, continue to trust Him, preserve our faith in Him (2Tim.2:11-13).

Things will get bad during the Tribulation, and no doubt we cannot fully appreciate just how bad before the fact. Yes, things will be bad, and nothing we can do ahead of time will prevent that. But we can train ourselves spiritually to be better able to cope. That is the priority. And part of that training is a growing trust and reliance on our Lord rather than on the things of this world.

I'm not saying it's wrong to prepare materially. Not at all. I am saying that one has to have the correct attitude about such things for them not to have the potential of becoming stumbling blocks and doing much more spiritual damage than the material benefit they may possibly later provide.

We have nothing to fear.

We belong to Jesus Christ. He kept the children of Israel safe while all of Egypt was rocked with plague after plague – and then He brought them safely out and across the sea of division (while all of their enemies were drowned). They had made no special provision – but He provided for them and carried them "on eagles wings".

It is certainly possible that when the darkness falls many will show up at your doorstep and be benefited by your foresight, my friend. Who knows? I might even end up ringing your doorbell myself. But we do have to keep in mind the principle: "he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack" (Ex.16:18). If this is the ministry to which you have been called, then it is incumbent upon you to do it (Jas.4:17). I would only urge you to do whatever you do in absolute faith that the Lord is the One who is going to be doing the providing and the protecting – if it be His will to bring you and those who come to you safe through to the end.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hi Bob and family,

Thank you – I was hoping you would agree with what I’d added, however, I feel it is still unfinished. I feel that I should address a common question that would arise in many and that is ‘it seems unfair that those in Christ and who are alive during Tribulation are severely tested – perhaps even to a painful death but all those who are His and die beforehand escape these things.’ In my mind I think I know why but I can’t yet put it into words that are both true and make sense for others to grasp and accept. I can’t remember if you’ve written about this question before and if you have I can’t remember where – would you be kind enough to give me a link to where it is, or perhaps a rough draft as an answer that I can expand on and add to the article. I am only thinking of questions that could arise beforehand and to dispel any doubts. Of course I understand that there will be some who just don’t understand period and there is little I can do about that except hope that their situation will change in due time.

With brotherly love,

Response #11:

You're very welcome.

Well, I suppose there is more than one way to look at this issue. Perhaps some, older folks like us, are wondering, "why don't I get the chance to experience the Tribulation?" Mind you, that is not my point of view (I know too much to have that feeling).

It is true, however, that the greater the testing the greater the reward . . . assuming that the testing is passed successfully. So I am sure that many who are not made to go through the Tribulation, who are taken home in peace before it begins, will not have the same degree of rewards that others who do go through it end up winning. There are, after all, levels within the three crowns, and no doubt all manner of other "add-ons" the Lord has for whatever it is we are called upon to suffer and bear up under in this life, depending on how we do with it.

Also, the Lord knows what He is doing. Those who have done well but wouldn't be able to handle the Tribulation are no doubt not going to be made to try. The plan is perfect and takes all these and many more things into consideration (actually, everything, of course). So we have to trust the Lord that He is handling it just right for us and for everyone else. He is absolutely fair and could not be unfair in the least, not in one single instance. If we are not clear how that is so in this or that situation, we can rest assured that on the other side all these things will be explained in complete detail. The Judgment of the Church and also the Last Judgment will no doubt last a very long time, because all things will be brought to light (1Cor.4:5).

So I think what you have written is fine.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

During the tribulation, there will be lots of natural disasters. If an earthquake strikes where I live and I die during some collapsing building...does that mean that I was an unbeliever the whole time? Or if I'm walking around and get killed by a murderous person? Will all believers not get killed by these natural disasters?


Response #12:

It's important to remember that God is in absolute control of everything. Everything. Even the hairs on your head are numbered. He marks the falling of every sparrow – and you are worth much more to Him than a sparrow. Nothing that has happened since the world was created and nothing that ever will transpire before kingdom come has been unknown to Him or unplanned by Him. Nothing is random. There is no chance, no luck, no accident. He loves you, and has been superintending your life perfectly from the moment you took your first breath. The world doesn't look this way to human eyes, but we who are of faith know that these things are true. We would rather be with Jesus in any case (Phil.1:23). This world is an awful place and is going to get worse. But we have nothing whatsoever to fear. If it should be His will for us to be brought home to Him, that is all to the good. We know that many believers will die in the Tribulation, mostly through martyrdom, but we cannot say that none will die for other reasons. I would consider it a blessing of the greatest sort to be spared from the Tribulation or to be spared from a good deal of it – however the "exit" occurs, as long as it is godly.

Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His saints.
Psalm 116:15

The righteous perishes,
And no man takes it to heart;
Merciful men are taken away,
While no one considers
That the righteous is taken away from evil.
He shall enter into peace;
They shall rest in their beds,
Each one walking in his uprightness.
Isaiah 57:1-2 NKJV

But I fully expect most believers to be protected from the many disasters of the Tribulation, especially those which are judgments from God on the unbelieving world (i.e., the trumpets and the bowls). That is how He dealt with the children of Israel during the ten plagues that fell upon the Egyptians. Not a hair on the head of a single Jew was harmed, and even afterwards they were all brought safe across the Red Sea while their enemies were destroyed. Of course then they failed every test the Lord put upon them and blamed Him. So more to be feared than the troubles to come is our reaction to them. A full one third of the Church will blame God for the troubles of that time and apostatize, taking the mark/name of the beast (see the link). That is really the only thing to be concerned about – and it's not something a growing, positive believer who loves the Lord more than anything else in this world would ever come close to doing even at the pain of death. That is something, however, that many of these feel-good, prosperity-gospel, judge-others for not doing church our way lukewarm Laodicean Christian brothers and sisters of ours are in great danger of, however.

Keep growing, my friend, and determine in your heart to stay the course no matter what. That is far more important than jobs and relationships and degrees and health and anything else of all the many things in this world about which people get concerned.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

Greetings from Ohio in the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! I just had the happy "accident" of coming upon your website as I was searching for the Greek meaning of a particular passage of scripture. I am so happy that I found you! I know I have many hours of reading and learning ahead of me!

My specific question involves Ezekiel 38:11. There are multiple prophecy teachers who currently believe that this war is imminent in the Middle East. I can completely see why they think so, and I'm 99% in agreement with the exception of one word in this passage "unsuspecting." Israel certainly isn't unsuspecting at this moment, they are anticipating and preparing for a war on their northern border. That being the case, I'm wondering if the use of "unsuspecting" in the translation is accurate. Would you be so kind as to provide insight?

Thanks so very much, and what a wonderful ministry you have!

Response #13:

Good to make your acquaintance.

Ezekiel chapters 38-39 have to do with the Tribulation and the battle of Armageddon. There is no biblical prophecy of specific events which will happen during our current mystery age, the Age of the Church. Once the Tribulation begins (very soon now), prophetic events such as this will be fulfilled in their entirety. Old and New Testament prophecy all looks forward to the Day of the Lord whose inaugural time is the Tribulation, whose commencement is the second advent, whose fulfillment is the Millennium, and whose completion is the last judgment, the destruction of the present heavens and earth, the creation of the new heavens and new earth, and the descent of New Jerusalem.

The reason why Israel is "unsuspecting" in Ezekiel 38:11 is because of the fifth bowl judgment. Having been oppressed by antichrist for three years (after he breaks the treaty with her in the "middle of the week": Dan.9:27), Israel (and the world) receives a reprieve when the Lord plunges revived Rome, the north (in biblical terms), the power center of antichrist's worldwide kingdom, into darkness (Rev.16:10ff.); this will precipitate a crisis of control and force the beast to withdraw from Israel (where he had been sitting "as God" in the temple in Jerusalem: 2Thes.2:4). The world will rejoice, Babylon (the biblical west) will throw off antichrist's chains (precipitating her later destruction), and Israel will also purge most vestiges of the beast's control. But antichrist will reemerge when the darkness lifts and will call his followers to destroy Babylon (Rev.17:16-18), and will next summon the whole world to destroy Israel at Armageddon. This Israel did not expect and has minimal time to prepare – so she is "unsuspecting" (Ezekiel 38:11) at the outset of the Armageddon campaign . . . and would have been destroyed but for the Lord's second advent and miraculous intervention at the battle of Armageddon (which we believers will witness in resurrection).

Please understand that this is the briefest synopsis of hundreds of pages of material. The best place to look for the treatment of this specific passage and others like it is in Coming Tribulation part 5, at the link: section III: "The Beast's Armageddon Crusade".

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

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Bob,

The seven years of severe famine prophesied in Genesis 41 is not an accident. And according to Genesis the famine was very severe indeed.

"There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine."
(Genesis 47:13)

I don't know the precise chronology, but I am guessing that this was "Year 5" of a horrific famine. Yet the people of Egypt were able to survive by selling themselves to slavery to Joseph. For the seven years of famine which are coming eight years from now... how will I survive?


Response #14:

Nothing is too hard for the Lord.

The question is, do we trust Him?

"Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18:8b NKJV

The family of Jacob was in fact completely delivered with no ill-effect to themselves or to their flocks through Joseph's provision, and indeed God used the event to reunite the family and care for them.

"But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive."
Genesis 50:20 NKJV

In Jesus who has never ever let us down even one time.

Bob L.

Question #15:

I have a question I was concerned about and have tried to get more details or understanding of what Christ was talking about in this scripture but I only seem to be coming up with teaching on the word "watch" and not on the word "escape". There is also a teaching that's been put forth, though I don't really know how popular it is, but it says that instead of the rapture taking us away from the Great Tribulation, that God will send a prophet telling us Christians that we should escape to "the wilderness ", such as basically Damascus, and in that approximate area. And that it will be the lukewarm Christians that don't heed this information that will be beheaded. Of course the fact that these beloved saints will reign with Christ 1000 years seems to denote otherwise but he also uses the scripture Luke 21:36 as a rock solid truth that Jesus warned that if we are vigilant, that we will hear and listen and miraculously have the means to get up, travel across the world and be fed and taken care of by the Lord for 3 1/2 years. And of course that also includes the teaching that the woman who gave birth to the Male child is the church, and not the people of Israel, which I had always believed that they were who God was referring to, though I could very well be mistaken. While attempting to validate that I had the right scripture I looked at others I had underlined in Luke 21: 12 - 19, explaining that we will indeed be persecuted, some will be put to death and this will also be a time when God will use our testimony for great things. I also understand that those scriptures foretold a time that already happened but I think most would agree that this is also referring to the end times. But it seems that verse 36 is being taught that if we are careful to watch, that we WILL ESCAPE those things.

I guess the biggest reason I am confused and concerned about some of these things, is that I experienced several things in the past that I didn't quite understand when they happened at the time but I believe that God was teaching me how He can certainly prepare us for this time of Tribulation and even provide for us miraculously without us having to flee for the wilderness. There have been many times as a young mother, trying to escape a very abusive marriage, while praying I felt directed by God to provide for another single mom or person often giving away our last meal, then returning home, praying for Gods provision, telling no one of our need, to open the door to put out food for the cat, or allow the kids to play outside and finding bags of groceries at my door step. And months before the end of my marriage, ( I finally escaped when the threat of violence and even death was directed at my children) somehow, without any effort on my part, and in fact something I have never been able to do again naturally on my own, with my own strength, while standing there being beaten to a pulp by my husband for things as simple and faultless as going to church, I was able to genuinely respond with "I love you and I forgive you for this." I believe today that God has taught me that if we stay in relationship with Christ that He will love through us, that HE will be the courage we need exactly at the time we need it. That HE will be the strength that we need exactly at the time we will need it. I more than most, don't like the prospect at all of going through the Tribulation, but I know that if I do, it CAN be a time of seeing the incredible bounty, provision, and GRACE of our Lord, that will also be a testimony to an unbelieving and unknowing world. I also don't understand the mentality that seems to believe that as a Christian church in this day and age, that we are too good to deserve to have our faith tested and refined, to be able to be presented to our bridegroom as a bride worthy of His sacrifice. I hope that you can shed some light on this scripture and this teaching with the tools you have available to you and the wisdom God has granted you. I've written this man a letter already but very concerned about it, because I am a woman and have no right attempting to correct or teach a man and outside of my own beliefs on the subject, and I have been proven wrong before, I'm not very learned on the scripture, though I am very hungry for the truth.

Thank you for your time,

Response #15:

Good to hear from you, and thank you for a very encouraging and thoughtful email! First, let me tell you that I rejoice at your spiritual strength and draw great encouragement from your testimony (I hope you would be willing to let me post this email, taking out names etc. of course).

I certainly agree that the Lord is our Strength and our Rock and our Deliverer. If we are meant to endure the Tribulation and also meant to survive it, He is more than able to be bring us through. The children of Israel were delivered through all of the plagues that struck the Egyptians without a hair on their heads being touched. Such is the distinction the Lord makes between those who belong to Him and those who do not. Thus the trumpet and bowl judgments, along with the thunder judgments that precede, include and follow Armageddon, are meant for unbelievers, not for believers. Believers will no doubt suffer from the difficult times ahead – it's called the Tribulation for a reason. But we can be confident that the Lord is not going to allow us to perish if it is His will to have us survive until the resurrection – which happens at the second advent (there is no pre-Tribulation "rapture"; see the link which will lead to many others). Many believers will indeed survive; enough so that in all the descriptions of the resurrection it certainly does not seem to be a small number who rise to meet the Lord while still alive on earth (e.g., Matt.24:31; 1Thes.4:17).

It should be said here, however, that only one third of believers will make it to the end. Another third will be martyred, and we have to be ready for that if such is the Lord's will for us to glorify Him in that special way and thus receive a martyr's reward (Rev.12:11). One third of those who believe today, sadly, will apostatize, take the mark of the beast, and be lost (see the link: "The Great Apostasy").

You are absolutely correct that the "woman" in Revelation chapter twelve is Israel. The people who flee to the desert are Jewish believers who have responded during the Tribulation to the ministry of Moses and Elijah, the two witnesses, and their servants, the 144,000 Jewish evangelists. I find no indication in scripture that we today, especially if we are gentiles, are going to be part of that number who ride out the Tribulation in the desert sanctuary (see the link: "The Dragon's Persecution of Believing Israel"). It is also true, however, that believers who find themselves living in mystery Babylon (probably "here"), will be called upon to flee (probably to Israel) during the waning days of the Tribulation (see the link: "Flee Babylon"). One thing we can be sure of: the Lord loves us and has made all preparations for us. Our job is to prepare spiritually before that terrible time to come so as to be ready to give a good witness that will please Him and result in our great eternal reward.

You have covered a great deal of ground here, and the above is just the briefest of summaries attempting to intersect with your main points. There is an entire series, of course, Coming Tribulation, which treats most of these issues in great detail (see also the somewhat shorter treatment: BB 2B: Eschatology).

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

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Thank you so much for replying, and yes feel free to share my email as you see fit. From your response I do have a couple more questions or observations, 1. The first 3 plagues did affect both Egypt and Israel, didn't they? I know that they didn't suffer them in the same way but I liken it to, if some of the destruction caused a food shortage (during the trib), of course, we also, would have to depend on the grace of God for our daily bread, and that would seem to also apply to the lack if medicine, heat, etc. Also, in the same way I've been forgiven for my sins, but even today, suffer some fallout from the consequences of my actions. If America is Mystery Babylon, I would think God would even hold His people more accountable for the sins of this nation that we didn't fight harder against. (I'm basically thinking out loud now..sorry) But if God does call us out of America I imagine that many would stay because the consensus is that God is only going to bless America, also real question here, is how would we know, we have to leave, or afford to?? This is what this man is saying too but honestly, he is offering, deeper truths and more pertinent information if you are willing to pay for it, I have an extraordinary distrust for anyone who gives God message at a cost. It's one thing to be open to donations it's another to keep information from people unless they pay. So, well maybe I'm in trouble already.
3. I was taught the pre-trib rapture as truth once I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and was certainly glad about it, but something inside of me had a problem I couldn't even put into words..then again, at the time it never occurred to me to study the word about it, then one day while listening to my pastor teach about it and giving scripture reference, I was shocked to read the exact same scripture and get a completely opposite interpretation. I brought it up after service and was accused of being rebellious for not accepting what I heard, I kept my mouth shut for MANY years after that. I began to teach my children and anyone that would listen that the scriptures themselves seemed to indicate that we would not be "rescued" out if it but the "rapture" would occur at the end of this time at, I believe, is Jesus's second coming, but anyway, I thank God for your teaching with such a detailed explanation with scriptural confirmation of this. I'm so glad to be assured that I'm neither crazy or "rebellious".

A quick question, do you believe we need to follow the Jewish feasts, and Sabbath to be pleasing in our obedience to the Lord? I won't go into why I'm asking this, but just curious.

I will certainly read some of the others topics you gave me the links to, I'm trying to learn all I can and to be honest, some of the things I thought I knew turned out to be wrong and I'm convinced otherwise by a better study of the scripture, and something's I have to admit I don't have the understanding I would like, again thank you, I know you have put a lot of time and study into this.

Response #16:

You're most welcome.

I don't find anything to show that the Israelites were harmed by the first three plagues, but we are told specifically that they were protected from some of the later ones (I take that as the pattern). You are certainly correct that in times of disaster while believers can count on the Lord's protection, that doesn't mean we won't be inconvenienced. Cf.:

“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: ‘You said, “Woe is me now! For the LORD has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.” ’ “Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land. And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the LORD. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.” ’ ”
Jeremiah 45:2-5 NKJV

I don't find anything in scripture to suggest than any besides believing Jews in Israel are going to be given the offer and command to flee at the Tribulation's mid-point. Fleeing from Babylon is something that comes later (mere months before Armageddon). Timing is very important, of course. The Israelites were not willing to go up into the land when the Lord told them to do so; when they regretted their decision later and tried to do so without Him and were sorely defeated (e.g., Deut.1:19-46).

As far as believers having an impact on our country, indeed, believers are "salt", and we are the preservative of our country . . . when the salt has savor (link). How do we act as salt? By doing what the Lord wants us to do, namely, by growing spiritually, by walking closer to Him day by day and passing the tests that come, and by helping others do likewise through the ministry opportunities we are given. How do we NOT do so? By getting involved in political action in attempts to force others to "do the right thing" even as we are not really willing to do so because we are substituting "fun" things for what the Lord really wants from us. That is Laodicea in a nutshell (please see the link). If the salt loses its savor, it no longer has any preservative qualities.

I don't have a problem with worthy ministries soliciting and accepting donations (I do not do so personally, but there are many reasons for that), but you are absolutely correct about anyone or any ministry demanding payment for materials! A clear sign of trouble. Sounds more like Scientology.

I can't tell you how many of us have had the same experience regarding the pre-Trib "rapture". I'm convinced that this is a teaching no one could come up with by reading the Bible, and also that anyone who makes a habit of reading the Bible and paying attention to what it really says will eventually be led to the truth that such teaching is fallacious.

On your question, no, there is not only no necessity of participating in such things as feasts; in fact, following the Law is a rejection of Christ because the Law foreshadowed His coming and sacrifice so that continuing in it is "crucifying Him afresh" (Heb.6:6):

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Romans 7:4 NIV

This verse, carefully read, demonstrates that a person has to make a choice: either follow the Law or follow Christ; trying to follow both makes a person an "adulteress". For we are dead to the Law, the old husband, and now married to the new husband, Christ.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Colossians 2:16-17 NKJV

The shadows have been fulfilled; turning back to them is falling from grace (Gal.5:4). Scripture is replete with many such statements. The New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant, after all, so it's always been a mystery to me how anyone who has read the New can feel the need to ignore it and follow the Old (a shadow of the New) instead. Lots of links to this at Ichthys (and please just read the book of Hebrews which explains all about our new High Priest Jesus Christ whose priesthood has replaced that of the Law: Heb.7:12). Here are a few that will lead to others:

Legalism, Past and Present IV

Legalism, Past and Present III

Legalism, Past and Present II

Legalism, Past and Present I

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Again, thank you. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear your explanation about the law and grace, I definitely believe this too, I'm afraid I had to ask,( this may fall under "test the spirits"), but it's sad to realize through trying to get my hands on just about everything I can read, that the "Church of God" has some very "good teachings, and truths" bundled up with the teachings that Paul was battling that we must keep the law, I'm not even sure how much, I won't read that far, most of my family has been captive by this teaching or the prosperity teaching,..and the pretrib..yikes. I believe all can be equally dangerous. The problem with the former is they have many things they teach about that really make sense, especially their stand against the pre-trib rapture and today alot of people aren't even open to discussing it, so I'm sorry, but I've been very encouraged by your teachings and just wanted to make sure I wasn't getting excited by another wolf in sheep's clothing. Not that I don't appreciate the truth they've taught, but you have to be so careful especially when that teaching presents another means to be saved. There are a couple points with you that I differ but they don't center around salvation which I think is the important factor. We all don't have to agree on everything to be brothers, but I think the three main fallacies that have been put forth in the last couple centuries, living by the law, the prosperity gospel and the pre-trib rapture are very dangerous teachings that make us the prime candidate for the Laodicean church.

Thank you again for your ministry, you have helped me very much with getting answers so desperately desired.

Please don't feel you need to respond to this email, I just wanted to explain my question, forgive me if that's needed.

Response #17:

You're most welcome, my friend, and I deeply appreciate your good and insightful words.

No worries on this end about breaking fellowship over points of disagreement. The truth winnows out all differences eventually for those who are genuinely seeking the truth.

Do feel free to write any time.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Bob,

Could you explain this verse as it relates to the whole chapter?

A dire vision has been shown to me:
The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot.
Elam, attack! Media, lay siege!
I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.
Isaiah 21:2

Why does Isaiah mention the Elamites in this eschatological chapter?


Response #18:

From CT 1:

Isaiah 21a: Babylon (a type of the beast's kingdom; judgment prior to and at the 2nd Advent; cf. Rev.17)
Isaiah 21b: Edom (archetypical of all the nations hostile to Israel [the goats]; cf. Esau vs. Jacob)
Isaiah 21c: Arabia (archetypical of all the sympathetic nations [the sheep])

Media and Elam are typical of the confederation of nations which will attack and destroy mystery Babylon in the waning days of the Tribulation. No doubt Elam is included because that nation lay east and south of historical Babylon while Media lay to the north. The point is that mystery Babylon, like historical Babylon, will be attacked by various and sundry opponents and from all directions. Please see the link: In CT5 "The Destruction of Babylon".

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #19:

I was reading part of your Tribulation series again: America is a large continent, but is supposed to be plundered in a short time? I mean I understand that if you had a bunch of nukes you could destroy it quickly, but the plundering seems like it would take awhile. But maybe the warnings and judgements will have already destroyed a large degree of it.

Response #19:

It does seem like it, alright. This is a very large country. On the other hand, the Tribulation will be filled with unique events that don't seem possible or likely to human minds. When you factor that in, and then when you consider that all manner of things have happened in human history which no one anticipated and often much quicker than anything dreamed possible, I'm confident that the biblical picture is definitely not only possible but certain. I could speculate about the hows and wherefores, but no one knows the specifics before the fact. I'm guessing that by that time, the waning months of the Tribulation, everything will be clear enough (see the link: "The Destruction of Babylon"). Scripture does indicate invasion from all points of the compass; add to that modern technological means (a person can drive coast to coast in a couple of days – and fly across in a couple of hours) and I am certain that it's possible. All the more reason to heed the command to "Flee Babylon", a command which will be impossible to miss (see the link).

Question #20:

So the command will be an actual in time command, audible? I thought maybe the verse itself was it.

Response #20:

Indeed; no excuse for not obeying this audible command:

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out from her, O my people, that you may not receive a share of [the punishment for] her sins, and that you may not partake of the plagues [which are about to fall upon] her."
Revelation 18:4

Question #21:

Is the darkness covering the Beast's kingdom something we just have to watch the news for once everything starts?

Response #21:

Knowing about this prophecy will certainly help to get believers alive in Babylon at the time ready to flee – and the command to flee will come soon thereafter. So even if a person wasn't up to speed on the Bible on this point, the ""Flee Babylon" command will be unmistakable, heard by all (see the link). Not sure how "news" will work during the Tribulation, but it's likely an entire quadrant of the earth being plunged into supernatural darkness will be something that will get everyone's attention. This event, by the way, is what triggers the revolt against antichrist in Israel and in Babylon – and those revolts in turn are what bring about the beast's desire to destroy Babylon and then invade Israel and bring on Armageddon. So we can be sure that everyone in Babylon will know about this event – it's the reason why Babylon's rulers will feel secure enough to revolt (after antichrist "disappears" into the north to restore order there).

Question #22:

If we flee to Zion, do we still resist if the people there want us to fight with them?

Response #22:

It seems clear to me that before this last phase of the Tribulation there will be no legitimate opportunity for believers to violently resist the beast – and the result will be martyrdom on a large scale. As for believers who flee Babylon and make their way safely to Israel, we don't know as yet what sort of conditions will obtain for us once we get there. True, the people of Israel (unbelievers all since the believers fled to the desert at the Tribulation's midpoint) will soon thereafter be doing everything possible to prepare for antichrist's return and the battle that will ensure. From their secular point of view, it will be "do or die" indeed. We believers, however, understand that the Lord will return and fight for His people and that the beast's plans to destroy Israel will come to naught; he and all who follow him will be totally destroyed instead. So Israel will fight (and there are verses in scripture which applaud their efforts, e.g., Zech.14:14), but I don't know of any verse that suggests escaped gentiles doing the same. I can imagine things going either way. I'm afraid this will be a "take it as it comes" situation. The Bible gives us the broad outlines of the tribulational events, but the details, the "texture", are things we are going to find out when we have to suffer through them.

Question #23:

What do you think about the idea of the seven years being outside the main time line, like the time our Lord was on Earth being outside of the main count? I just ask because I do see everything falling into place, just not quite that fast. I remember my history teacher in high school talking about France having problems with (I think it was the) Hijab. And that was a decade ago, and it still isn't at crisis point yet. I mean I see it going where you say, just a bit slower.

Response #23:

The seven years of the Tribulation are indeed within the Church Age (and jointly the final years of the Jewish Age). The date of the cross, the best that can be determined, was 33 A.D. (see the link). That means that the earliest the second advent can be is 2033 – if the Church Age is to receive its full complement of two millennial days. We have to be careful about judging things from what we see. No doubt Word War II could have easily looked like the Tribulation to those who experienced it and while it was raging; but it was not.

Question #24:

When we die, when the Lord resurrects us, will we be incapable of sin? I also noticed that even after taking the mark, his followers entertain rebelling against him. So I suppose it isn't a mind control thing. But possible the Lord hardens them so they wont repent after?

Response #24:

On the first question, I can assure you that there will be no sin in the new heavens, on the new earth, and in the New Jerusalem (cf. Rev.21:4); the "old things" will have passed away (Rev.21:5). Even in Eden, there would have been no occasion for sin – since our first parents had no sin nature – but for the presence of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. No such tree in New Jerusalem; only the tree of life.

On taking the mark: only apostates will take the mark. For someone to have known Jesus Christ and then to abandon Him and disown Him and follow Satan instead takes a deep-in-the-heart resolve of rejecting God that, apparently, never ever will change thereafter – just as in the case of Satan and his followers.

On your decision, I would always counsel anyone to cease having anything to with anyone who is physically violent or threatening, even if there is a marriage or family ties in question. We are not required to endure proximity if that is the case.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior, the One who loved us so much He died for all of our sins.

Bob L.

Question #25:

Dear Bob,

This Sunday's email posts raised a question about animals. Does Isaiah chapter 11 refer to the millennium (as it would seem to me) or the new heaven and earth? The "rod out of the stem of Jesse" would suggest the millennium.

Along with that, is it safe to understand that in the millennium and beyond, we'll be vegetarians? This would seem reasonable given the creation of Eden and it's restitution.

If you've explained all this before, just point me to the links.


Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #25:

Yes, this is the Millennium. For one thing, there won't be any children in the eternal state (or old people either).

As to vegetarians, there are animal sacrifices in the Millennium and in the Old Testament the meat of most (though not all) of these sacrifices was meant to be eaten (e.g., Ezek.45:16-23); there is also Passover in the Millennium with no indication that the way it is to be celebrated will change (and roasting and eating the lamb is key to that festival: Ezek.45:21). We also know that "meat" will figure in the victory banquet of the Lamb wherein His Church and their invited guests will celebrate His rule (Is.25:6ff.).

In terms of the eternal state, our Lord in His resurrection body seems to have eaten fish (Jn.21:12-15); just what we will eat in the New Jerusalem besides the fruit of the tree of life is not spelled out in scripture (though Rev.21:26 does say "And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it [New Jerusalem]"). I can see good reasons for affirming your conclusion but have no great biblical basis for doing so – other than the deduction that it would seem incongruous to slaughter creatures with spirits which have been brought back to life (link). We will have to wait and see on that one. One thing I can say with some confidence is that we will enjoy whatever we eat, will probably eat whatever we want whenever we want, and will never feel bad about it.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Hello, Bob,

This will take me some time to digest. The seeming incongruity between lions lying down with lambs where little children lead them and ritual slaughter doesn't make sense to me. Particularly
celebrating passover. Christ has already been sacrificed and risen; what else is it foreshadowing? The Feast of Tabernacles, I can understand to a certain extent. But the purpose of Passover in that
context escapes me.

By eternal state, do you mean those of us resurrected at His return? Or the new Jerusalem?

As far as Isaiah 25:6, what is your translation? The KJV speaks of "wine on the lees well refined" which is an oxymoron. The NIV makes more sense, but is it accurate?

I hate to nit-pick, but these things were written for a reason and so far, I've not been able to put them together.

Thanks for your patience.

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #26:

On the millennial sacrifices, see the link "Sacrifice in the Millennium?". In a nutshell, these have a different purpose taking place under the eyes of the glorified Messiah Himself, namely, to teach about His sacrifice rather than to foreshadow it. That could not be the case today with Him not present and Israel "hardened in part" (Rom.11:25). But the scripture is quite clear on both points, even if they might seem incongruous.

The Church begins its eternity in ruling with Christ during the Millennium. The term "eternal state" (one I inherited) refers to the new heavens and the new earth and our eternity there in and in New Jerusalem.

On Isaiah 25:6, "fine old wine purified" would be a good translation for the Hebrew text here. The "lees" bit refers to the fact that the wine has not been disturbed (so as to filter off the lees); the "purified" part assures us that it will not contain such residue.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Hello, Bob,

That explanation makes sense. I assume the memorial, while we may participate, is intended for those that have come through the Tribulation and have not been saved as well as those born after?

Interesting about the wine. Assuming the wine was fermented in amphorae it would be almost impossible to take the wine without disturbing the lees. Without tubing of some kind, I wonder how they did it.

Thanks for clearing the fog. I accept scripture, but it's sometimes difficult to reconcile the parts and pieces.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #27:

Yes, this would be everyone: believers are resurrected on Christ's return. Also, all who have taken the mark will be peremptorily removed in the "baptism of fire". We will be in our resurrection bodies and part of Christ's millennial administration during the thousand years.

On the wine, the alternative is to transfer the wine into smaller, secondary containers. Think "boxes of wine" nowadays – clearly these will not contain the best of the best.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Hola, Bob,

The wine reference fits perfectly. Only a very small percentage of the wine could have been decanted that way - only a very small percentage go through the narrow gate.

That also suggests that the wine Christ made at Canna was without lees. Lees were also used as leaven. "Emptins" in the 18th century was brewery waste; spent grains and dregs used for the yeast. The Europeans used wine must for the same purpose as did the Romans, I believe. I never before understood the miracle at Canna.

The more I learn, the more amazed I am at the teaching in the Bible. It runs from the most mundane - dunging the vines, etc., to the most sublime.

If I only understood more. Bob, you have no idea how much I appreciate your willingness to field my poorly thought through, sometimes inane and ignorant questions. You have taught me so much. Thank you.

Thank you for bearing with me on this

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #28:

You're more than welcome, my friend!

Do feel free to write me any time.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Dear all,

Wish to share this teaching came on line and shall appreciate to know views if there's any.


Watch "Post- Tribulation Rapture by Zac Poonen" on YouTube


Response #29:

I certainly agree with the position, as you know, that there is no "pre-Trib rapture", and often also use the passage in Matthew to demonstrate to folks of the opposite persuasion that 1st Thessalonians chapter four is talking about the same thing – post Trib. However, when Mr. Poonen says that the "Apostasy" is already happening, while apostasy is always happening, the Great Apostasy will occur during the Tribulation itself – and an entire third of believers will fall into it (link).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the ever obliging reply. The church I belong to believe pre trib rapture. Many quote Luke 21:36 to assure this view.

"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Luke 21:36 NKJV

What do you think of this verse?


Response #30:

They are taking the verse out of context. Luke 21:36 is said by our Lord at the end of His teaching about the Tribulation as a warning to prepare for it and stay strong in it so as not to fall away into apostasy during the pressures of the Tribulation. The "escape" is escape through the terrors of that time (something we can do through spiritual preparation and a faithful walk), not deliverance from even having to enter the Tribulation (something that is definitely not in our hands to choose at all, despite what the misinterpretation of this passage suggests). Here is a snippet from the link "The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted" recently posted:

Finally, to come to your two passages, let us begin with the Luke passage since we have just been quoting that very chapter. Let me give you the entire context beginning where we left off with the fig tree parable:

"Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it [i.e., "that {terrible} day] will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
Luke 21:32-36 NIV

"That day" is the second advent and the events of the Tribulation leading up to it; it is from the negative consequences of this (i.e., being counted an enemy for having lost faith) that we wish to escape on our Lord's return.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.


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