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Eschatology Issues XXVIII

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Question #1:

Dear Professor

I do hope you recover quickly. Personally I do much prefer to read your written word to audio. Besides, I also like the extensive scripture references that you provide. (What a huge amount of work you have done). I was experimenting with Curt’s videos with my young son and found that he understood and it kept his attention. Thus my thought to share with newer members of the faith - both child and adult (including some of my own family). May use his video lessons for when our Bible teacher can not be there at times. Not possible for my relative when she returns to the Philippines late next month, due to no internet. I notice that it is 2019. Seems very little time to self prepare, and help others do the same, and share our belief in our Lord, and have them realise the Tribulation is so close.

I have tried various ways of bringing people’s attention to our common plight of death, and a need for a solution, the impending Tribulation, the need for faith in Jesus. At times, when I sense that there is considerable disbelief, I have chosen to use your admonition for them, when times get tough, to never take the mark of the beast, even if it costs them their lives. Some of my friends, family and colleagues fall into this category.

Somewhere in studying your writings, there was a reference to Ezekiel, to the effect of, he who has been warned, must warn his neighbour, or their blood will be required at our hand. The point for Ezekiel (and I feel also for us), is not whether they choose to believe or not, but that we choose to give the warning in the way God wants. The thought of anyone being separated from God should be enough for us to strive to share with others the Truth.

Your work on The Coming Tribulation is truly a most timely message of great importance. As nasty as the Tribulation is described to be, I have tried to see it from other perspectives.
We know God is just and loving. This may be one of those times when God allows evil to bring about some good. Perhaps this will turn some to the Truth who otherwise would just cruise though their lives to an unsaved death. I do acknowledge other aspects including the sorting out of who really is for God.

These kinds of thoughts are why I sometimes feel that if I just go along and socialise, I am wasting time in small talk of no importance whatsoever - except to “appease” the evil one (yes, being mindful not to offend or being “a know it all”). Do we wait for December 2025 to say SOMETHING? (Along with our seasons greetings)! Why did you NOT tell me before?

I believe our Lord (who takes NO pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, but rather the wicked turn from his ways), does require us to do what we are able to share what we do know (appropriate to the circumstance and audience and our capacity-he can help us even here).

If we accept the time line you have printed (I also believe that the 2nd Advent will be around 2033). My reservation is I have no great knowledge of the accuracy of calendars. I defer to your much greater knowledge on this and all Biblical subjects.

In any case we are required to share, those who choose to harden will do so, while we are not to know if some we meet will turn to the Lord. My desire is to have my family receptive. Also to share the truth to those who have it in part (taking my knowledge from your Ministry as my measure), so that we may all come to a unity in the faith.

Some of the areas of major differences in Interpretation I encounter have related to Tithing, and Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Interpretation of the timing of the Second Advent seems to be a no no with almost ALL Christians I meet. They mostly acknowledge it is close but love to quote the Day/ Hour no one knows. There are many more “subtle” ones such as listening to some online ministry “gurus”.

Thanks to my learning from your Ministry, the “subtleties” of these doctrines of devils is now much more apparent.

Somewhat related to the “Last Days”, I would think, that if Muslims read the New Testament they could only conclude that Jesus is God. They believe Him to be a prophet. He said He is the Son of God. A true prophet tells only the Truth.

What I was wondering was, with the conquests of the antichrist, seeing the Mahdi defeated, will Muslims then believe the antichrist is their real deliverer, and turn to him? This got me to thinking that if I use the simple reasoning in previous paragraph with the few Muslims I come into contact with, and they choose not to see the logic at this time, will it make them more vulnerable to the deceit of antichrist when he triumphs, in the near future, over their Mahdi? (Last part is somewhat a rhetorical question).

Praying for your complete recovery from your illnesses.

Do not feel any hurry to reply.

I am most gratefully using your vast expertise and works in my little patch of endeavours. Many thanks.

In our dear Lord Jesus our Savior.

Your student

Response #1:

Thanks for this – for your good words and for your insight.

I think you make a very good point about one of the purposes of the Tribulation: when contentment and comfort go out the window, it may very well cause some people to reassess their lack of concern about eternity (or lackadaisical attitude toward the truth in the case of believers), with more being saved and more being rewarded as a result. Still, as with you, it's not a time I look forward to.

Another good point about calendars. Plenty of dates in the ancient world are up in the air, and chronology is a much dicier subject than the impression given by many introductory texts. Still, we know within a very small window the year of our Lord's birth (2 AD in my estimate; cf. Lk.3:1 and back out thirty years); we know that He was just turning thirty when He began His ministry (Lk.3:23); and we know that it lasted three and a half years (from the sequence of Passovers et al. in the gospels; see the link). Adding the six month's "half an hour of silence" (Rev.8:1) necessary to shift the start from spring (time of the crucifixion) to fall (time of the Day of Atonement) yields 2033 when two thousand years are figured into the mix. I always qualify this date (and 2026 which is, obviously, the start of the seven years) by mentioning how it is derived and all of the assumptions that go into it, but I've never seen anything to make me think it might be "off" to any significant degree. God is sovereign and can do anything. But He does give us the information in the Bible for a reason.

As far as sharing the truth, you are doing what you can. Any time we are wondering whether or not we have said too much it's a safe bet that we've probably said enough. We look for opportunities, but we can't force these truths on other people. The vast majority of people I know in the normal course of life, even close family and friends, though they know about this ministry, don't follow it or read it or pay attention to it (even if they think it's a "nice thing for me to be doing"). We do what we can. We leave the rest to the Lord.

Thanks for your prayers and concerns. I'm still having some issues as after effects of the flu/cold with my system; hip is pretty much the same (but hard to tell since I've not been able to test it with much serious exercise for the better part of a month). Feeling a lot better today, though. Classes went well. Happy it's Friday!

Keeping you and yours in my prayers every day, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

I needed to talk to you for completely different reasons which I will get to post haste, but as I clicked to reply to your last--the damage from the wind, I thought I would include the flooding around the farm down in 1967 after Hurricane Beulah.

#2--there is an assistant pastor doing a 8 week module on Revelation right after the main service, and was in the trumpet judgments...Part 3 of 8--my first part that I attended, this one being in the chapter 8-10 Trumpet judgments--that being my first mistake being I'm late as usual. Here's my beef and I texted him but having a doctorate and other reasons we didn't meet eye to eye...never mind. Listen, I think getting a doctorate is like having a baby...nobody can possible understand what you have been through but you. Here's the deal, all these incredible...and they are unbelievable except that John writes down exactly what God is showing him...and that's the key--he is writing down...making the vision the inerrant inscrutable Word of God. Therefore, these things--a third of the earth so on and so forth can not possibly be explained in human terms, i.e....probably a nuclear attack...I am so sick of human conjecture...speculation. As if there is any way possible we can explain what only God is able to do. If God wanted to explain that these judgments were the result of human actions then could he not have said so. What thinkest thou?

And too...not a big deal...it is my opinion that the Antichrist is resurrected out of the Abyss from his fatal wound to kill the two witnesses at the halfway point of the 7 years, making their ministry the first half...your opinion on that and please don't take your time to explain your view...it's okay, I know you have a million reasons...mine is just one really--the LORD commands all to flee Jerusalem at the sign of the Abominations of Desolations...so the ministry of the two witnesses, the two olive trees, would fit into the first half where Israel still had authority over the temple and sacrifices before he cancels them...what thinkest thou about that?

Response #2:

Wow! The grace of God for sure. Reminds of the big hurricane Harvey that hit Houston two years back. Curt and family had just had to move for some reason or other and weren't happy about it. But the new place was high and dry and the old place ended up under water.

On the two witnesses, that's essentially what I teach (see the link in CT 3A).

On the trumpets, having gotten email #2, here's the link for that (also in CT 3A). Like you, I am nauseated by the Hal Lindsey school of interpretation which finds locusts to be Soviet helicopters, e.g. (boy has THAT ship sailed). Revelation actually has very few symbolic parts and the ones that are, are always highlighted as symbolic (e.g., the two beasts, the woman that rides one, the woman Israel in Rev.12); here's a link on that:  "Symbolism in Revelation".

Hope the semi-retirement plan is going well!

Your pal in Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi Bob,


Response #3:

Great to hear from you!

Hope you are doing well (I continue to keep you and your family in my prayers).

This link certainly is a "sign of the times". It's unclear at this point just how much will be in place before the Tribulation begins. One of that period's characteristic features will be the rapidity with which things happen, even more dramatically fast than events today. At present, there are still many fissures in Islam; it will take "the one" who is perceived as their Messiah (Mahdi) to bring them all together, and that might not happen until the Tribulation's early days.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

I recently discovered your web-site it's a great blessing.

I would appreciate if you can explain the various Revelation theologies and which one is closest to the correct interpretation as per the Bible.

A- Millennium
Post- Millennium

I have attached the details in the document, if you can explain briefly your views it would be great.


Response #4:

Good to make your acquaintance.

On "theologies", scripture very clearly teaches that there is a Millennium, and that Christ's second advent – and our resurrection – precedes that return directly. This correct appreciation of events is usually described as "pre-Millennial" but "post-Tribulation" – in that there are a great number of evangelicals who for some reason that still escapes me (tradition more than anything else no doubt) teach a "rapture" preceding the Tribulation. You can find the most recent rebuttasl to that false theory at the links: "The 'Rapture' and other Eschatological Issues", Eschatology Issues XXIV, and "The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted" (and these will lead to many other links).

There are, literally, thousands of pages on eschatology posted at Ichthys. The best short (relatively speaking) intro would be BB 2B: Eschatology (at the link); it's still 386 pp. single spaced, but it's much shorter than reading the 5 part Satanic Rebellion series followed by the 9 part Coming Tribulation series.

As to your attachment, I'm not able to access docx files. It's just as well though. I have a lot on my plate and thus can't commit to reviewing long pieces by other people. I do answer reader's questions, though. So do please feel free to write me back with questions any time.

Thanks for your kind words.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #5:

Hi there,

We've been reading now for 8 hours on your website. It's been such a wonderful day. Sitting by the fire all cozy on the couch. I have a quick question. What is your interpretation of this? Matthew 24:20- Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath.

The Sabbath confuses me as I know some people think the Sabbath is just on Sunday. I'm not on board with that. I've read some of your writings on Sabbath and it feels right to me but then I came across this and it sent me into confusion. I'm missing the boat somewhere.

Hope you are doing well,

Response #5:

Eight hours! Zounds. I couldn't even do that.

This verse is intended for the Jewish believers in Israel (the ones who've responded to Moses and Elijah and the 144,000). They will flee to the desert for refuge at the Tribulation's mid-point (covered in Rev. chapter 12), and will need to move quickly when the order is given. If this had happened during stormy weather ("winter" is a mis-translation) or on a Sabbath, that would make things more difficult; in the case of the former for obvious reasons, but in the case of the Sabbath because then their activity would be all the more pronounced and noticeable when everyone else is at home and this movement would stand out as unusual.

Still trying to recover from the flu here. Tomorrow will be a bumpy Monday.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:


I have just started reading your article. I didn't get very far before I felt compelled to write. you state: In Daniel 9:26, "the people of the prince which is to come" (i.e., antichrist as the ruler of revived Rome) will make a treaty during the last "seven" and break it in the middle of the "seven", that is, during middle of the seven years at the outset of the Great Tribulation. This is not correct. The (people of) the prince to come (Titus) is Rome but not the revived Roman Empire. The Antichrist does not appear until the Christians start falling away from the faith and the son of perdition shows up. This is very plain in the Bible (2nd Thes. 2:3). You are not reading Daniel 9:27 correctly. If you will check with History as well as the Bible you will see it can be explained better and more faithfully what Daniel 9:26 says...... "And --AFTER-- --the-- sixty two weeks [62 weeks] an Anointed One shall be cut off and shall have nothing." Jesus is killed after 62 weeks this is very plainly written...the last week and the 7 weeks of Daniel 9:25 are not part of the 62 weeks. Jerusalem and the (second) temple were destroyed (Daniel 9:26b) AFTER Jesus's death, resurrection and ascention to the Father. Daniel 9:27 shows that the agreement between "he" the Antichrist and (probably) Israel happens well AFTER Jesus dies, is resurrected and goes to the Father. This shows not only in Dan. 9:27 but also in Dan. 11:23. Verse 26 continues......."and the PEOPLE of the prince who is to come.... shall destroy the city and the sanctuary........" It was the PEOPLE who CAME and destroyed Jerusalem and the temple...this is the soldiers of the Prince Titus...son of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. History has it Titus tried to stop them but couldn't. This was prophecied by Jesus in Matt. 24:1-2 and it happened just that way in 70 AD. It is much too early for Titus (his soldiers) to be the Antichrist. Dan. 11:31 "Forces from him (THIS is the Antichrist) shall appear and profane the temple and fortress and take away the continual burnt offering (this is the third temple of Thes. 2:3-4 and Rev. 11:1-2 and Dan. 11:31 and Dan. 12:11) and they shall set up an abomination that makes desolate......Dan.12:11 "From the time the continual burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up there shall be 1,290 days." This is when the great tribulation starts (and see Matt.24:15). In one of your articles I read you have a note: 'read your Bible' while this is very good advice...we all must read with our Bible in one hand and the translation of the Greek and Hebrew in the other hand....only then can we get the true meaning of the Scriptures as the translations are not very good in the Bible alone.

Response #6:

Dear Friend,

This is a Bible teaching ministry wherein I answer readers' Bible questions, and the link you include contains a number of these Q and As. That is to say, the main postings where these subjects are covered in detail are the nine extensive parts of the Coming Tribulation series (see the link; the prolegomena to this series is also extensive, the five part Satanic Rebellion series; the synopsis of these, BB 2B: Eschatology is itself much shorter but still "weighs in" at 389 pages single spaced). As I often say, the overall interpretation of the end times as taught in scripture included in these series is more than the sum of its parts, because they present a consistent picture where that overall interpretation "works". For that reason I always ask readers to go into a little more depth when they have quibbles about one part or another, because within the whole, the question or quibble is usually covered, and in some serious detail at that.

The point I'm trying to make here is that judging the interpretation from one derivative file is like judging a book by its cover, or better put an encyclopedia by the blurb on the dust jacket of one of its volumes. That said, I do take the position that it is right for readers to ask for justification for the teachings of this ministry when they have valid concerns and as long as they engage in civil discourse. As mentioned, the function of this ministry is Bible teaching, and part of that includes answering questions. I'm not really sure you have a question, however. Rather, you seem to already "know". Suggesting that by not agreeing with your interpretation (and I am sure you must be aware that there are many interpretations of many scriptural issues), that therefore I don't read the Bible is not a particularly encouraging sign of any profitability for dialogue. However, I will give it a shot, at least once.

As I say, it is fair for readers to expect me to address valid criticisms. Alternative interpretations, even if deeply believed, must be defended. As mentioned above, I am "in print" in great detail on the matters you broach here, so let's have a look and see if your criticism of them warrants any re-thinking on my part.

1) You say, "The (people of) the prince to come (Titus) is Rome but not the revived Roman Empire." You are taking objection with my words at the posting, "In Daniel 9:26, "the people of the prince which is to come" (i.e., antichrist as the ruler of revived Rome) will make a treaty during the last "seven" and break it in the middle of the "seven", that is, during middle of the seven years at the outset of the Great Tribulation", but if you will please note the section in bold, since it is antichrist whom I mention as making the treaty, not contemporary Romans, you will see that you have misread what I have written here.

2) On the question of the 7 and 62 weeks, you have made an interpretation that does not line up with what Daniel has just stated in verse twenty-four of the same chapter. There he says that the 7 weeks precede the 62, so while it is true that the Messiah is "cut off" after the 62 weeks, the 62 weeks have followed the 7 weeks, so the cross follows the 69 weeks prophesied. The reason for splitting up these sets of weeks is discussed in detail in the series listed above, but for a shorter discussion see the link: "What are the 69 Weeks?". People have alternative (incorrect) explanations, but statements such as you make, "If you will check with History as well as the Bible you will see it can be explained better and more faithfully", are not any sort of proof nor likely to convince. You would need to share your reasoning and contrast it to the reasoning in the links.

3) You write, "This (i.e., after the 1290 days) is when the great tribulation starts". But Revelation clearly presents the abomination of desolation as being set up in the middle of the seven years, not right at the start; yet Daniel 12:11 states that the 1290 days begin after this – so they can't indicate when the Tribulation starts. Nor, mind you, do they speak of its end but the terminus runs into the Millennium and touches certain events following the Tribulation (this is discussed, again the concise version, at the link: "What is the meaning of the 1290 days versus the 1335 days in Daniel 12?").

You seem to have a deep interest in what the Bible has to say about the end times. So do I. I think you would profit from giving the postings at Ichthys a bit more of detailed look.

In any case, I wish you well in the Name of Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #7:

[long screed omitted]

Response #7:

Dear Friend.

The foundation of the secular state called Israel – which is NOT God's "Israel" – has nothing to do with the Messiah's regathering of the entire Jewish people during the Millennium. There is no unfulfilled prophecy that is fulfilled during the Church Age which was a mystery in Old Testament times (see the link). Therefore any interpretation that makes anything out of applying prophecy to events BEFORE the Tribulation begins is building on sand. Nothing said here is convincing to me – and I assure you I have been over these things many times in Hebrew and Greek (which I actually do know) for many years and am quite confident in the interpretations advanced (the details may be found in the links previously given).

I'd like to help you learn, but you seem intent on teaching instead.

These things are going to happen soon enough. The proof will be in the pudding.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hello Dr. Luginbill and Happy New year to you.

I was just reading Part 5 of the Satanic Rebellion towards the end under "Phase 11: Completion:/2.Restoration 11: the Millennium 1) Earth: where you write; "During the Tribulation, conditions on earth will be worse than at any time in human history since the great flood (Matt.24:21;Mk.13:19).

When I read Matthew 24:21 and especially Mark 13:19 Jesus says that this Tribulation will be worse than any time since the world began or since the creation of God so I am puzzled as to why you say that the conditions will be worse than any time in human history but only since after the flood! Jesus words seem to suggest the conditions will exceed even the terrible conditions before the flood as well?

Response #8:

Good to hear from you, and wishing you a blessed 2019 too.

As to your question, if you'll check the context of the quote (which is about the physical conditions of the earth being drastically altered for the good during the Millennium), you'll see that I'm talking about just that, physical/environmental conditions, not the trouble, trials and tribulations that individual believers will face. The great flood wiped out all life and there has never been anything more catastrophic to the physical earth during the brief tenure of mankind upon it. Clearly, the personal tribulations which believers will confront during the Great Tribulation has never been nor will ever be as bad – just as our Lord said. But while the physical condition of earth will also be terrible as evidenced by the events of the trumpet judgments, they will not as bad as the great flood which wiped out everything and everyone, save those in the ark; in terms of what human beings will experience, however, conditions during the Tribulation will indeed be worse than at any other time since, and this will proved a marked contrast to the perfect environment of the Millennium which follows, when the Genesis curse on the earth is removed in the glorious reign of the Messiah.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #9:

P.S. Also, what are your thoughts about all this internet chatter and dissertations about the "blood moons" which are to occur tomorrow and the next day. These people are frantic about this happening and say that it has some sort of prophetical meaning concerning President Trump. What it is they do not clarify. Personally, I am one to try the spirits to see if they are of God, and in this particular case, I am somewhat skeptical.

Response #9:

On the issue of blood moons, there is no end to the list of things to which people who do not understand the Bible want to attach a "here and now" prophetic significance. But in fact there is no unfulfilled prophecy that is fulfilled in the Church Age. The Church Age is the mystery Age and is only hinted at in the Old Testament (link). The unfulfilled prophecies contained therein deal with the Tribulation, the second advent, and Millennium. So nothing that happens today, even though we are very close to the end, is any sort of a fulfilled prophecy. And while it is certainly true that any believer with a lick of spiritual common sense can look around and easily conclude that things can't go on like this much longer (in terms of politics, society, technology, and general moral degeneration), that doesn't mean that interesting things that happen have prophetic significance. They do not. Here are few links to what I've been prompted to writing on "blood moons" before:

Keeping you in prayer for a weekly service, my friend (and other things besides, of course).

Blood moons again

Blood moons not prophetic

The "moon turned to blood" in scripture

Astronomical phenomena not harbingers

Question #10:

Hello my dear friend Bob,

I am sad to hear you've had problems but glad to hear that the Lord has His hand on your head and protecting you.

Thank you for your guidance regarding Leviticus.

It seems as if everything has taken a swift turn for the worse in my country. It has almost happened overnight! We are seeing a militarised police state creeping in. Out of control knife crime has meant that the police can stop and search anytime and also there is a huge clampdown on what we can say here on the Internet. It would be tempting to say that this won't effect Christians but I fear it will. The U.K. home office have just classified Christianity as a religion of violence citing passages from Leviticus, Exodus and Revelation. Yesterday I left my house to see a huge "transgender pride" flag flying outside my local town hall. I have to say that it made my blood run cold to see it. I don't believe this is about tolerance at all but a supremacist mentality. Would you say that all this is the labour pains increasing in intensity?

In some ways, it is an incredible time to be alive to see the Bible being fulfilled before our very eyes but at the same time, I felt scared when I saw that flag. It feels as though the wolves are at the door now, breathing down our necks. I realise now how important study of Scripture and my Christian walk is. Time is swiftly running out, lines are being drawn in the sand and people are making their allegiances clear. There is no more hiding in the shadows for them, they are making their service to the enemy bold in ways that take a person's breath away. It's true that I am not politically engaged anymore but I do wonder what this country will look like after Brexit. It feels as though we are fast tracking our way to the Tribulation. Even time seems to fly by faster now that I have spiritual eyes to see.

Do you think Christians will be here for the whole of Tribulation or for the first half until the mark of the beast? How do you feel about the whole Rapture doctrine?

Will keep praying for you my dear friend!

God bless.

In Jesus Christ the King of Kings,

Response #10:

Yes indeed, He always is shepherding us – and we all need to remember that (thanks!).

There is little doubt in my mind that things cannot be allowed to go on as they are for too much longer. So the date of the Tribulation being close makes sense. This is all also to some extent a useful thing for Christians as an inoculation against caring about what the world is doing: what the world will be doing in the Tribulation will be much worse, after all. As to the resurrection of the Church, it takes place at the second advent (link). The only early release would be 1) being taken home individually in the great mercies of the Lord (cf. Is.57:1-2), or being martyred – as will happen to one third of us who enter the Tribulation. There is a great deal about all this at Ichthys (happy to share the links).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Professor

You certainly are having a bit of a rough time. I do always keep you in my prayers. Yes, and now my relative has found Curt’s site I do hope she is able to tune in sometimes, while also hopefully soon having a copy of your Ichthys site offline from her daughter.

When you are feeling a bit better, could I ask you for your take on Mark 13:35. “Watch ye therefore, for ye know not when the master of the house cometh , at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning” KJV.

I understand it is in the dark days of the Tribulation, when the day and night that are as one (neither dark nor light), which is a certain giveaway sign of Christ’s second Advent, along with the sign in the sky preceding His glorious return. What then is the significance of the word “when”? Is it just the hour rather than the day (though it could be one of two - before or after midnight). Of course before this sign is given, we will not know the day. However, we will have a good idea of the “season” as Jesus says also in Mark 13:23, I have foretold you ALL things. Then when the sign is given, we have a possibility of one of two days? Is there a further significance that I have missed, of, “at even, or at midnight, or at he cock crowing, or in the morning?

Your explanations and scripture references in EMail Responses “The Day of the Lord II” and its link to CT 2B Section IV. 6 describing the sixth seal seem to make it apparent at this late stage, ALL will know our Lord is returning. Is there not some hiding in rocks in anticipation of our Lords Advent? (Though intense meteor showers would have ANY one of us seeking ANY shelter.)

My apologies if this is answered in your writings (even in what I have already read but wasn’t quite “with it” at the time). I tend to use my old timers excuse somewhat nowadays.

I pray our dear Lord blesses you with all you need.

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Your student

Response #11:

Thanks for all these interesting updates as always, my friend!

On your question, given the context, yes this is indeed referring to the second advent. But of course in principle it applies always. We could be taken home by the Lord any time. We don't know the day or hour of our final moments. We don't know if the Lord is going to be mercifully bringing us home before the Tribulation starts, or if it is our lot to honor Him with martyrdom (John the baptist had only a few moments' notice), or if it will be given us to endure until the end. But there is no doubt about the end or the time of the end at the end of the seven years of the Tribulation – within a few days (with those days shortened "for the sake of the elect": Matt.24:22; Mk.13:20).

Thanks also as always for your good words and prayers, my friend! Keeping you and your family in mine too day by day.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Dear Sir, Calvary greetings to you.

Hope you are doing fine in the Lord in every aspect of your life. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers from them all. I'm trusting God to keep you and yours till He comes. (times I feel inadequate to pray for someone who produced that incredible ichthys website but we are commanded to pray for one another so I drop my heartfelt 'widows mite'!)

I have been praying for my pastor whom I love so much to see the light on post trib rapture. We rarely disagree on scripture, and he is always ready to explain scriptures but he does not even want to discuss it. He leaks what he knows about it sometimes on the pulpit like saying we shall spend 3 and half years in the sky (heaven I presume) before coming back with Christ! I do so because we are not teaching the church enough about persecution and preparing the minds and hearts of the people for what is coming down the road. Even to face tribulation before the great tribulation is a big headache for most of us Christians here today.

I take on arguments sometimes to consolidate what I know and be prepared to give an answer to people searching for the truth. I believe I will have the opportunity with him someday before it's too late. It has not been easy for me sir, but I thank God for what He allowed me to pass through and still passing through. Only the prayers of the saints has sustained me. April is full of dates for court for me. Sorry for being so long winded!

Rev 7v14 talks about those saints who came out of the great trib standing before the throne
Rev 20v4 talks about those saints that did not succumb to the Antichrist, reigning with Christ.

None of them talks about the saints who died in Christ outside those periods. Therefore those must have been raptured before the tribulation. If the tribulation saints were a part of the church, why was not the expression “the dead in Christ” used as in I Thessalonians 4? The fact that this group is singled out for resurrection, as if they were a special body of saints, points to the conclusion that the church had been previously raptured. This is a pretrib argument

I responded that:
-You can't build an argument position from a position of silence. Because it does not say so does not mean they are not included.
-John 6 v39,40,44,54 states they will be raised at the last day. The second coming (parousia) will take place at the last day of this age before the millennium, so the resurrection/rapture of 1Thess 4 and 1Cor 15 cannot be before then.
-No specific time (b4 or after tribulation) was given in 1Thess 4 and 1Cor 15, but other scriptures taken together will give us the clue (however not when you approach the scriptures with pretrib mindset)
-Did those who will reign with Christ die outside the Lord??

Sir do you think my argument is enough? (they did not agree with me!)

The Lord keep renewing your strength daily.
Love to you and yours sir in Nigeria and in Christ

Response #12:

I'm happy to hear from you, my friend, but I am sorry to hear that your efforts to evangelize for the truth have not met with immediate success. That is, unfortunately, not a great surprise. People who believe false doctrines, especially out of tradition, are not easily swayed. Think about it. If these individuals were reading scripture daily and intent on finding what the truth was on every topic and in every verse in the Bible, they would have bumped into plenty of evidence already that made it very clear that there is no such thing as a pre-Trib "rapture". What they have instead are a few counter-arguments they keep handy (or learn from others) when challenged. Even the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses have that.

For what it's worth, I think you presented the truth very well! But those who are not interested in the truth – truth be told – are not likely to respond, just because what you tell them is true. Nor are they likely to be persuaded even when their counter-arguments are demolished. After all, they believe what they believe not because it is true nor because they are even interested in the truth but because it is traditional or something they prefer. All you will do by continuing to upend their false positions is send them out looking for more reasons why what they prefer is right and what the Bible says is wrong.

In case you haven't had a chance to look at these, here are some of the main links at Ichthys which deal with this subject (they will lead to many others):

The 'Rapture' and other Eschatological Issues

Eschatology Issues XXIV: the 'Rapture' et al.

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

Dangers of the Pre-Trib Rapture False Teaching

When is the Rapture?


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

No Rapture

Three False Doctrines that Threaten Faith

Keeping you and your practice and legal situation in my prayers.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Revelations 3:10

How do you explain “I also will keep you from the hour of trial”, to a Pre Trib believer like myself.

“Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
Revelation 3:10 NKJV

Response #13:

Short answer (from previous posting):

Rev.3:10: Much ink has been spilled debating whether the Greek word ek here means "out of the midst of" or "out before contact with". The word is not inherently so specific (any more than our English word "from" is) and it really doesn't matter much in any case. Christ is telling the Philadelphians that they will not experience the tribulation. We are not the Philadelphians; they passed on to be with the Lord hundreds of years ago and so these words have been fulfilled in their immediate, literal sense (please see the link in Coming Tribulation part 2A: "Philadelphia: the Era of Revival"). It is true that scripture, especially prophecy, often also has a future or more general interpretation. In the case of the seven churches, the broader interpretation is that of the seven ages of the church. Philadelphia is the penultimate generation of the Church; that is, the one before the last one. The era of reformation and reform (terminating, I believe, in the late 19th century) was indeed a great epoch in the history of the Church of Christ, and it can be rightly said of these great believers that they "kept My command to endure patiently" NIV. Like the historical Philadelphians, these "Philadelphia-era" believers have been spared the trauma of the tribulation. Not so the lukewarm Laodiceans, whose pattern our current generation is following (see the link: "Laodicea: the Era of Degeneration").

Let me also point out that Revelation 3:10 doesn't say anything at all about a rapture, about a resurrection, about believers being lifted off the earth and brought to heaven. That is all speculation.

And one more thing. The name of the book is "Revelation" not "Revelations". Just as there is only one resurrection of the Church at the end of the Tribulation, so there is only ONE revelation of Jesus Christ, when He comes back to the earth at the end of the Tribulation.

I've written a great deal about all of this, including this particular passage. If interested, here are some pertinent links:

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

Dangers of the Pre-Trib Rapture False Teaching

When is the Rapture?

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

No Rapture

Three False Doctrines that Threaten Faith

Misplaced Faith in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture

Finally, when you say you are a "pre-trib believer", I would ask you "why?" I've never found a single verse in the Bible that definitively states anything like this happens, or any passage that can even be reasonably made to necessarily say this. For example, in regard to Revelation 3:10, even if you want to take it to mean that believers won't have to go into the Tribulation, there is no reason to suppose that the deliverance is a resurrection. The most common way the Lord delivers His own from having to face horrible situations is through a timely death (Is.57:1). Also, the Greek preposition ek here more likely means "brought through". After all, the Israelites were delivered through the Red Sea, not spared the threat of destruction from the Egyptian army. An English translation of the Greek se tereso ek as "keep you from" is an interpretation which stretches the actual language here. I would prefer "guard you from". But however it is translated, please understand that in the history of the world the way the Lord most commonly "guards us from" things is to brings us safely through them rather than obviate the necessity of us even ever having to face danger in the first place.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 KJV

We have nothing to fear – if we are walking with Him. He is able to bring us through that "valley of the death shadow" in spite of what human eyes might see. But it would be good to prepare spiritually first . . . instead of buying into fantasies of wishful thinking which are not supported by the scriptures. People only believe the pre-Trib "rapture" because they've been taught it and like the idea of it, NOT because they were reading scripture and this "doctrine" jumped out at them.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Forgive my typo

Could it be that the letters written to the Churches by John were also written to the Churches of today as well? Surely you would agree that there are Churches today that have the same issues that are represented by the Seven Church’s of those days. I believe the Church’s Christ described in the seven letters are the same challenges we have today. There were many more than seven Churches in those days, but possibly the cross-section of failings and success of those represented by His letters are almost the same in today’s Churches as well.

Response #14:

No worries about the misspelling – but it's a common one and an important one to correct because people often lose track of the fact that Revelation is all about Christ's being revealed to the world . . . which is what eschatology is all about: the second advent and the Millennium and all that follows. That being the case, it's beyond passing odd that there is no pre-Trib rapture event in this most detailed of the books of Bible concerning the end times.

On your question, absolutely true. These seven were actual churches, and they apparently had comparable problems. So it is a valid application to use the "if the shoe fits" test for any Christian church or group today. But the actual interpretation of the passage is as sent to you. The seven are meant to be symbolic of the sequential eras of the Church Age. That is clear from what Revelation says:

“Write (1) the things which you have seen, and (2) the things which are, and (3) the things which will take place after this.
Revelation 1:19 NKJV

We know from the following that "the things after this" are the end times events:

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

But of course the end times events were nearly two thousand years future at John's time of witnessing these things. So the seven church stand between "what you have seen" and what is to happen "after this", i.e., they give the trends of the Church Age which occur between John's "now" and the "after this" which is the Tribulation and the glories that follow. There are other places at Ichthys where this is discussed in more detail. Here are a few links:

The Church Eras

Calculating the Church Eras

The Seven Churches of Revelation (CT 2A)

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #15:

You don't have to be a theologian to refute (respectfully) many of the more popular positions, but that are, nevertheless, erroneous. Case in point: THE FINAL RETURN - Questions that expose the Achilles Heel of the belief that present-day Israel as of 1948 is the prophetic fulfillment of the Final Return, which impacts your understanding of "Jacob's Trouble," and creates a "domino effect" that skews everything else. Or, as I like to describe it, taking an argument to its logical absurdity.

Take the offensive and compel them to defend their position. This is the basis of the polemic approach to exposing weaknesses in an opposing position. But, attack the doctrine and not the individual. There is such a thing as godly dissent. It's not your answers that will dismantle their position, IF the dismantling is possible, but rather, it is their own answers that will do the job.

And, in all fairness, it will also enable you to become of aware of the weaknesses of your own position. It is one way of searching for the truth, which should always be the objective, and not to win an argument. After all, you can conceivably win the argument and be "apparently" right, but DEAD RIGHT, and in the end to have been DEAD WRONG!

How do you explain the prophecy concerning the Abomination of Desolation? How can this be the Final Return if the Antichrist has apparently invaded Israel and has taken his seat in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem in the middle of the 70th Week of Daniel?

"Well, I don't take the Antichrist and the Abomination of Desolation, literally, as I also view the Time of Jacob's Trouble. They are merely symbolic. But, as for Jacob's Trouble, although, I believe there is certainly a physical aspect to it, I think that applies to Jewish History in general, covering all generations."

Well, if you believe those two events are symbolic and not tangible prophecies, then, why not be consistent and spiritualize the Covenantal Promises for Israel and apply them to the Church? Why not spiritualize the geographical boundaries of the Promised Land? Why should the physical location and City of Jerusalem have any significance for the last days?

At what point to you arbitrarily draw the line between the literal and the symbolic? How can you distinguish this approach to Biblical interpretation from Replacement Theology? How does this differ from the view of the Gnostics who denied that Jesus had come in the flesh and that He was only a spirit? If Jesus did not live physically and die physically by way of crucifixion, how then, could His body have been resurrected from the dead?

If Jesus has not been bodily resurrected from the dead, how can our faith be anything but worthless? Then, how can we follow this line of thinking and not come to the conclusion that those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished? And, having been consistent with this line of thinking and extending to its conclusion, how can we not wind up with the conclusion that if we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied?

Note: Now, this is just one approach, which may or may not be the best approach. Ultimately, it's what works best for you, which also coincides with what you are most comfortable with. Also, it is not necessary to present nearly as many questions as I posed to make your point. Sometimes it takes only one shot to hit the bulls-eye, where there is a chink in the opposition's armor.

But, I must say that, Jesus was mighty effective at dismantling the arguments thrown at Him by responding with questions or by answering questions with questions. Is it any wonder that the Pharisees finally came to the point where they determined not to ask Jesus anymore questions?

If you can just get them to think on these things, to consider and compel them to examine and re-examine these things, IF, they are more interested in the TRUTH as opposed to winning an argument, you've already accomplished a great deal. You have put the ball in their court. You have done your job! Ultimately, it comes down to "Let each one be fully persuaded in HIS own mind."

Response #15:

Well done my friend!

Question #16:

Hi Bob and family,

Hoping this email finds you well and your injuries improving.

Again I was listening to the news – seems it’s all bad news these days, and when something is said that clearly refers to the coming Tribulation, (even though they are totally unaware of it) it grabs my attention immediately.

A couple of nights ago someone was talking about RFID chips that will eliminate credit cards, making it easier to pay for everything, even suggesting to parents to micro-chip their kids in case they were kidnapped (which is purely a scare tactic) and many other things associated with it that will be for our benefit. They were saying that a survey was conducted on x amount of a cross section of people and 1 in 3 said they would agree to it, saying they saw it as a good thing and could see nothing wrong with it.

It just reinforces how blind so many are to this insidious invasion of our minds – pre conditioning them to blindly accept the mark when it comes and they will think the same things then – it’s for our benefit. Some things are just hard to understand. No wonder God says in 2nd Thessalonians 2: 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.

Just thought you’d be interested Bob.

Will make this do for now and as always with brotherly love,

Response #16:

Good to hear from you – and thanks for this.

It is a scary time indeed – and getting more so with each passing day, it seems.

I have heard about these chips. Yes, much of what is happening in this world, not only in technology but socially, culturally and politically is no doubt aimed at conditioning us to what the devil plans to do just as soon as the Tribulation begins. But nothing can affect the image of God in our spirits placed there by God Himself. Anyone who takes the mark, even though the compulsion will be great, will do so out of choice – a choice that by definition rejects Jesus Christ. The "strong delusion" – which I translate as "empowerment of error" – will only occur after the removal of the Holy Spirit's restraint. Blessedly, we who have Him in us will continue to do so even during those dark days. So we have nothing to worry about. The Lord will be with us no matter what. And He can bring us through any raging sea – even if that means He has to part it for us – safe to the other side. Our job is merely to trust Him and hold fast to that trust solidly until the end.

Keeping you and your family in my daily prayers, my friend!

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob and family,

Just a quick, short note to tell you of some disturbing information coming soon. This is probably something you are already aware of but it’s news here and I heard it last night on the news. Our government is going to follow the lead of other counties and introduce Facial Recognition Technology on mobile phones so that paying for any transport fare will be a thing of the past.

The way it works is that all transport agencies up til now manually collect ticket fares, which is ‘outdated’ and slow. (There is already a ‘tap n go’ card technology just about everywhere now.) But this technology will be used in one data base, which will eventually become universal.

I wasn’t surprised when I heard it – it is just further proof that we are in the last days. I’m sure you see it as I do – that is, we are being pre-conditioned now to accept the mark in 10 years or so. And so many are blind to it.

As always dear Bob, with brotherly love,

Response #17:

Wow! Pretty spooky indeed. No one has even suggested anything like that in this country – as far as I know.

Regardless of how that and other tech developments may "play" under the regime of antichrist, this is another verification, if you ask me, of the fact that there is no way all this sort of thing can continue for much longer. So another indication that the end is near enough.

Good to hear from you as always, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Dear Bob,

Questions that have been brewing:

1) In Revelations 11:18 what does the original of "... and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." actually mean? I've understood it in the past to mean military conquest, but now, I'm not so sure. I'm beginning to think it is a slow, but literal destruction.

2) Now that the US has legalized killing infants postpartum, how are we different than Israel and Judah that the prophets prophesied against? Is that not the same as sacrificing children to Moloch – or in this case, the god of medicine?

3) Now that the scientists are genetically modifying everything living including humans, what makes these genetically modified humans different than the nephilim? (Aside from the fact that
they're not angel/human hybrids. They're still not as God created them.) Does this relate to what Christ said in Luke 17:26, "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the
Son of man"?

4) A verse that I can't get out of my head as I scan the news (I admit it. I still do it) is Isaiah 3:12:

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule
over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err,
and destroy the way of thy paths.

This seems compellingly appropriate for today. In fact, all that the prophets prophesied against seems to be alive and active today in people all over the world. We worship our idols, whether statues of the Virgin Mary, science, doctors, sports heros and on and on. Illicit sex is everywhere. We practice child sacrifice as a "woman's right to choose." Scientists seem hell-bent on correcting God's blunders.

At times I feel guilty for hiding out in my little corner of rural America. Then, after a trip to the grocery, I thank the Lord I have a quiet hiding place.

Am I off in the weeds again and reading too much into the prophet's words? Put another way, how are we different than Israel and Judah of the 700-500BC time frame?

As an observation, the genetic engineering, body modification, geo-engineering and technology in general seems to be a preview of the Tribulation. While the Mark of the Beast may not be something implanted, the technology of RFID tattoos exists.

Already, cell phones, e.g., are so wide spread there's no such thing anymore as pay phones of phone booths. Some companies and even some countries are requiring everyone be chipped. They claim it's for their own security. It doesn't take a large leap of logic to see that if all commerce is activated by these RFID tattoos when we go cashless, we could not buy or sell, etc., without that tattoo. It seems that, if a thing can be done, it will.

I think much of Tribulation will be technology driven. Already we have AI technology to create photos and scenes that don't exist. News is infinitely changeable since so little is printed. Porn uses the technology if I'm to believe what I read. I have to say, we have signs and lying wonders today. Nothing like what is foretold for the Tribulation, but signs and lying wonders, none the less.

Sorry for this long and rambling email.

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #18:

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

1) From a posted response:

The "earth" in Revelation 11:18 is the Greek word ge, [cf. "ge-ography"] which in Revelation can mean the land of Israel specifically, or more often "the entire world" (as we would say), as opposed to "the earth". Notice how those two words are quite different in their connotations in English, with "world" referring more to people as the focus, and with "earth" tending more towards the physical planet. It is the former sense in which ge is mostly used in Revelation:

The whole world (i.e., "all people" [ge]) was astonished and followed the beast.
Revelation 13:3 NIV

People, after all, are part of the earth as much as plants and animals and ecosystems are, and from the divine point of view (and the source of this quote you mention is coming from heaven), people – and especially believers – are the most important part of "the world". Destroying the world, therefore, is more than bad environmental policy. Indeed, in the context of the Tribulation the destruction of freedom and the ruination of the world economy is much more significant, with the most significant thing from the divine point of view being the Great Persecution. With the restrictions imposed by antichrist and with the rapid depopulation resulting from the various tribulational trends and judgments, the damage that people do to the environment during that time is likely to be significantly less than it is today, though not as a matter of policy. That said, I greatly suspect that antichrist will be an environmentalist, since that is a wonderful way for him to gain political support in the early going and also to garner more power in the mid term before his control becomes total.

Environmentalism as it exists today in its left-wing political form is a kind of religion which places more value on species which come under its wing or even on inanimate things than it does on human life and well-being. That is a sick notion, biblically speaking, and a sure harbinger of the end times. As a former boy scout in my youth, I have always been a conservationist. The main principle of that creed is to enjoy the outdoors but to make sure that you leave it just as pristine as it was when you arrived. Environmentalism, by contrast, wants to use the force of the state to deprive most of its citizens of the right even to enjoy the outdoors (environmentalist themselves being the exception), and to eradicate any exploitation of natural resources whatsoever regardless of whether or not others who are not as wealthy as the environmentalists will then starve or freeze to death. Right up the beast's alley, no doubt.

Here's what I write about this verse in CT in loc.:

Finally, the vengeance about to fall upon all involved in committing, aiding, or abetting the Great Persecution comes in for special mention. Christ's impending return will result in the literal destruction of "those who are destroying the earth", a phrase with primarily moral and spiritual implications, referring in particular to all who have been responsible for the martyrdom of those who remain faithful to Jesus (rather than referring exclusively to any physical or environmental damage to planet earth proper; cf. in Rev.19:2, the whore Babylon "who was destroying the earth by her excessive prostitution", that is, destroying it in a moral and spiritual sense; cf. Is.14:18; Hab.2:17; Rev.6:7-8). This includes Babylon, the beast, the devil, his angels, the nations and those from the nations who participated in Satan's evil plan to eradicate the faithful and the seed of Israel from the earth. So we see that just as they did prior to the opening of the book with its seven seals representing the beginning of the Tribulation proper (Rev.5:8-10; albeit in this earlier instance they do so in company with the four living creatures), here too the twenty-four elders are performing a special hymn of worship to memorialize the importance of the 7th trumpet, the event which marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation even as it heralds the imminent arrival of the Kingdom and its King who will vindicate His own on the dawning of the Great Day of the Lord.

2) It's somewhat of a political question. In that regard, I'm a Christian who happens to be a citizen of the USA. I served my country with honor in the USMC (didn't get shot at; did get seriously injured in a training accident). What politicians do or don't do is of little concern to me as long as I can continue to walk with Jesus, learn about Him and serve His Church. Getting upset about worldly events – and heaven knows there are plenty of things to get upset about if we allow ourselves to go that route – is dancing to the devil's tune. The Messiah will be back in no time, and He will straighten everything out. Until then, there is nothing we can do to straighten anything out. In terms of your question as a biblical one, this does indicate more and more that the USA > Babylon interpretation is correct.

3) The nephilim were products of angelic / demonic manipulation to a degree that science cannot yet touch with its little finger. In biblical terms, it is another sign that "all this" can't go on much longer. According to my understanding of the divine time-line it won't: just over 14 years to go at present (2019).

4) Churchill's dictum that democracy was the worst form of government "except for all the others" is gradually going to be proven wrong when it gives us antichrist. The Isaiah passage is apropos of us heading that way for sure.

Yes it's all pretty scary, but you are not hiding out: you are doing what the Lord has told us to do:

The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.
Psalm 12:8 NIV85

Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
Isaiah 59:15a NIV

*Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil.
Amos 5:13 NIV

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Proverbs 22:3 NIV

If you are growing spiritually, walking with Jesus, and ministering according to the gifts He has given you, then you are "in the fight", the REAL fight. All attempts to combat evil politically and physically are doomed to fail. We are the true warriors. Be glad of your role and give it your all – that is the way to the highest eternal rewards.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I have done some research on the meaning of the subject addressed and know that the Lutheran church holds to this doctrine, along with other denominational churches. I have a special friend and his wife who are Lutherans, but my friend for many years is born-again and was instrumental in my salvation; he presented the Gospel to me via and Gospel tract he gave me.

We are scheduled to visit them the end of this month, and was wondering if you could direct me to some of your material on this topic?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Your friend,

Response #19:

Always good to hear from you, my friend.

On the Millennium, I've mostly approached eschatology in a positive way except when asked or challenged. I do have two brief postings where I explain that the Millennium is literal and not figurative:

Does the Bible teach a literal Millennium?

Eschatology Issues IX

I suppose one reason I've never made a major presentation on this issue is because of the definitive statements in the book of Revelation:

Rev 20:2
He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;

Rev 20:3
and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

Rev 20:4
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Rev 20:5
But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Rev 20:6
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

Rev 20:7
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.

These are pretty difficult to treat as non-literal statements. Folks who have no trouble doing that could make any verse in scripture "not literal" and believe (or disbelieve) in anything they wanted. So not much point in arguing.

In addition to these statements, we have all of the wonderful passages in the OT where the Messiah's reign is described – and it clearly is not "eternity" . . . unless one sees all those clearly literal statements about Israel being blessed and propagating in the Millennium as not-literal as well. Here's the main link at Ichthys for where the Millennium is described: "The Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ"

One particular focus of the Messiah's return in scripture is the regathering of Israel (see the link). But how is this most important set of promises supposed to be fulfilled if eternity lies directly on the other side of the second advent? In fact, there are MANY promises to Israel and promises about the Messiah's reign which clearly have not been fulfilled. The Old Testament is replete with them – but maybe these people think that it's just all allegory too.

At some point, you have to start believing the Bible – or not.

Best wishes for this, my friend. I'll say a prayer for your for a successful conversation.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Dear Professor

I am rereading some of your Coming Tribulation series. Given that it may be outlawed to access Bible teaching, especially teaching such as yours, during The Great Tribulation, and so be taken off the net (if the net is still working), would it be advisable to ensure we each have our hard copy Bibles on hand? Also electronic Bibles might be susceptible to banning or interference online. I take it that we work while it still is day (pre-Tribulation), for when the night comes (Tribulation or perhaps Great Tribulation) no work can be done.

Reading from your texts makes our present 7 year lead up to Tribulation seem like a picnic in comparison to the “peace, peace” announcement just prior to destruction. Procuring oil now for our (spiritual) lamps, seems to reflect the luxury of storing now; in stark comparison to the lack of physical oil and of spiritual oil available in the dark days of The Tribulation.

A somewhat loosely related question if I may. Does Great Britain need to be in the revived Roman Empire to make the Bible scenario of the 7 Kings work? Lots of confusion on Britain's future involvement in Europe at the moment. I recall my Pharisee friend saying Great Britain was not going to be part of the new unified Europe. He took his understanding from Ted Garner Armstrong’s ( Worldwide Church of God) teachings. Take your time in reply, and, keep it easy.

In Jesus our only Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #20:

Preparing is rarely a bad idea. As I always emphasize, however, spiritual preparation is the best – it can never be taken away from us no matter what, even if we end up in prison without anything else.

So while I'm not against thinking about things in these terms and taking basic common-sense steps as you suggest, I'm also obliged to point out that we don't know precisely how the Lord is going to use us during the Tribulation, should it be our lot to live that long. We do have to keep in mind always that He is with us, no matter what betides. And He can bring us through anything and give us whatever we need, regardless of circumstances. So while making prudent preparations is not to be disallowed, I am completely confident that Jesus will be right by our side whatever we face. Even if everything we have is taken away, in spite of prudent preparation, He can get it back for us – and much more. We have nothing to worry about, even though the world at large which doesn't even see it coming has everything to worry about.

On Britain, it was part of the Roman empire and I see no reason from the Bible to assume that it would be exempt from the predicted revival. The fact that the constellation of events is not absolutely clear at the present moment is absolutely no surprise. As I also often point out, events during the Tribulation absent the Holy Spirit's restraint and given the fact that the devil will be expending all of his hoarded resources, will move at a dizzying pace. Things we imagine requiring many years to accomplish may be done in weeks or even days, and everything as it stands the day before can be turned on its head the day after the Tribulation begins. So while international, political, cultural and social events all do seem to be pointing the way to what is coming and also forming a substratum of support for what we know will unfold, I'm averse to getting too caught up in the details before the fact. Armstrongites are British Israelists (!), so what you report is no surprise.

Glad to hear all works well from your end too!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dear Professor

thank you for your gracious reply. Perhaps I gave the wrong impression in my previous email. I did not mean to convey a storage mentality (very big with the mormons). My attempt was to convey the spiritual preparation necessary by comparing to the tough times ahead from a physical standpoint as well. Spiritual oil stored, as in the five wise virgins versus the foolish five virgins lack of preparation spiritually. I gained that insight from your studies and not from my own understanding - and I am thankful to you for the enlightenment on that parable.

I am accepting of your explanations of the futility of complete reliance on temporal storage. Anything we do own may easily be taken away from us. From my understanding of your teachings this 7 years of relative plenty, to be followed by the worst 7 years ever known in the world’s history, is not to be strictly compared with the 7 years of plenty in Egypt followed by 7 years of drought, in the time of Joseph.

In my previous life as a mormon the preaching was to have a minimum 2 years supply of food, and if possible fuel. Given the likelihood of antichrist gaining control of religions it will be an easy supply for him or an incentive to allow one to keep some of it in exchange for loyalty to him. As mormons keep meticulous records of their members, hiding will be nigh impossible.

Thank you also for the timely reminder of the likelihood of the rapid rate of change once the Tribulation starts. Hence what Great Britain is today, or even right up until the Tribulation may change in a relative instant. I do desire that I may be able to share your site more successfully with others. As it is I do “preach” from the insights I get from you, even if people do not take the offer to read from your site. At last check, this morning, one of your business card recipients said he has it sitting on his desk. I gently prodded for him to take the step of actually reading from your site for himself. There is a fair bit of common ground at the “cuppa” with most, and the opportunity and challenge for those who believe in different doctrines (eg Pre-Trib rapture) to show me where it specifically teaches that in the Bible. Not one has been able to do that successfully.

My thanks and our Lord’s blessings for your work in Him. Praying we are able to overcome all things through Christ, both now and in the future. Things are more tolerable at home, yet definitely a reminder that we are living in the last days. I am totally reliant on the Lord for mercy and blessings. Some things are well beyond my abilities to cope with. I rely on His grace.

Thank you for your prayers. I am keeping you in mine with thankfulness for all you do and share.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #21:

I'm not worried that you were somehow off on this point. It's just my job to give that perspective.

No one knows what the future will bring – except we do know for certain that the Lord will provide. I have another Australian correspondent who has some land out in the middle of nowhere. If I'm kicked out of Babylon, perhaps we'll all meet some day.

I always appreciate your insightful comments, my friend – and your courageous sharing of Christ and the Word.

Keeping you in my prayers – thanks so much for yours!

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

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