I was hoping for some additional clarification on the following part of your Coming Tribulation series. In the Heavenly Prelude to Tribulation you state, "Inasmuch as there remain no major events of unfulfilled prophecy between us and the commencement of the end times.” What aspects of prophecy in regards to the end times have already been fulfilled?
You ask: "What aspects of prophecy in regards to the end times have
already been fulfilled?"; I wrote "there remain no major events of
unfulfilled prophecy between us and the commencement of the end times" –
which doesn't imply (to me) that previously fulfilled prophecy (as for
example prophecies relating to the first advent and the coming of the
Messiah) necessarily have to do with "end times" events.
What I mean by the statement is that we're not waiting for XYZ to happen BEFORE the Tribulation starts. The Church Age is the mystery age (see the link) so there was/is no prophecy – not events predicted in scripture – which are to take place within it. The fulfillment of predicted events has to do with the Tribulation and everything that follows.
So no matter how awful or strange things get in this world – one thinks of the current unpleasantness with nearly the whole world locked down because of the political reaction to this virus – it's not the fulfillment of any prophecy and it's also not any sort of "sign" that the Tribulation has begun.
It is true, however, that Christians with a lick of spiritual common sense can easily see the "handwriting on the wall" and understand that on the one hand things cannot go on as they are much longer, and on the other hand that the evil one is in the process of making preparations for his last great offensive once the darkness falls. So we believers have to make the most of the time we have left to prepare ourselves spiritually. Once the darkness falls, it will be difficult to do any such work (Jn.9:4).
In Jesus our dear Savior,
It sounds as though you have been on the front lines of bitter trench warfare trying to keep Classics alive at U of L! Congratulations for surviving! It's great that you have a new dean and restored research funding. Were you able to get a combination major restored?
I am content with the way my classics "career" turned out. I had a chance to explore the languages I love at UCI, and I was spared writing a dissertation by God's call to China. The nine years I spent in China were perhaps the most fulfilling years of my life.
Your posting on the church is very interesting and important. Far too many people think of the church as primarily a building.
Stay well. I think it is a matter of when, not if, the corona virus erupts in the US [written 3/3/20]. I was in China during the SARS epidemic so watching the spread of Covid 19 is a replay of 2003 in Fuzhou.
It is interesting to see so many people here who have no hope of life eternal getting so panicked about this contagion. But we have a hope which is anchored to the throne room of God (Heb.6:19).
In faith in Jesus Christ and the perfect plan of God for our lives.
Thank you for sharing.
By any chance, have you shared your thoughts on coronavirus and how Christians can put this pandemic into context? It seems like the virus is just getting warmed up in the United States.
My pleasure. [written 3/9/20]
As to your question, given the near hysteria over this thing – our governor declared a state of emergency over one single case – I think it gives us some idea of just how rapidly things will go from bad to worse once the Tribulation begins and the Holy Spirit restraint is removed.
As to the illness itself, Christians have nothing whatsoever to fear. On the one hand, we'd rather be with the Lord in any case, and however He chooses to bring us home should be fine with us. On the other hand, if it's not His will for us to come home right now, no force on earth can harm us whatsoever. But we do have to BELIEVE that. It does have the virtue of being absolutely true. Putting faith into action like this is a characteristic of mature rather than immature believers. So this is both a good test for the mature (if we are overly worried we really need to reevaluate how we are looking at life and the world), and a stimulus for the immature to do something about that ASAP: the Tribulation, when things will get REALLY bad is not so far off at present. As for unbelievers, just seeing how they are so irrationally affected by this lets us know clearly that there is nothing in this world that could ever make for happiness apart from the Lord: because there is no security apart from Him. Everyone dies, but unbelievers convince themselves de facto that it "won't happen to them", and things like this have a tendency to break through that fragile cocoon of falsehood.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
I pray all is going well with you in relations to this virus. I know universities and schools have been impacted. I pray the Lord continue to see you through and provide for your every need and sustain you through the Blood of Christ.
Do you see any relevance to this as a "setup" for lack of better word to end times?
God bless ya
Yes indeed – more about that in last week's posting when it finally gets
to you. And also in this week's (will try to mail that out tomorrow).
We're fine. I suspect we already had it back in January (sore throats of an unusual nature); way too many cases too quickly for this not to have already been here in the US by around Christmas time. Teaching remotely is a big challenge and a lot more work than walking into the classroom, but I'm getting through it.
My bigger concern is for all our brothers and sisters out there whose livelihoods depend on a functioning economy [written 3/22/20]. I'd had a number of messages from readers who were being severely challenged BEFORE all this happened. Now many of them have no source of income whatsoever. I'm praying for the Lord to reverse this all soon.
Here's also hoping and praying that you and your family are protected and kept healthy, my friend.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I hope you've managed to get out into the fresh air today. It's been a lovely sunny day here - a bit nippy but lovely.
After reading your student's reply to your follow-up email I think you and your department are doing a great job with your online teaching. No settling for second best or the easy option!
Thanks Bob for being such a great example to me in how you always do your very best to work "as unto the Lord" no matter how hard or unpleasant it might be sometimes. I know you've had no choice in having to teach in this different way. You've been thrown in at the deep end and had to learn something new but within a matter of days with prayer and the Lord's help you've managed to work at it and be there on time to teach your students. So thanks again for the great example and encouragement you've given me in how you trusted the Lord to help you through, giving Him 100% in your work for Him and in looking after your students so well. The Lord never lets us down - He's always faithful - always there to help us.
When you said to me,
"If we are walking close to the Lord, times of pressure can be wonderful despite the added load".
I think I understand this because while all the panic and hysteria about this corona virus has been going on I still feel the Lord's peace and joy inside which is so comforting and encouraging to me. The noise in the world is all around me but to me it's been like a muffled noise in the background and I love that because that's exactly where it should be. I do listen to the good advice we are given to stay safe and healthy but as long as I'm close to the Lord and focusing on Him and His Word then I calmly walk through it all with Him.
I understand as well about this kind of thing being a good litmus test for where we are spiritually. I'm thankful to the Lord for these difficult times because it has caused me to want to focus even more on being closer to Him and His Word. Also making CT a priority and continuing to grow and prepare myself for the even harder times ahead. So I thank the Lord for these testing times - they help us to see where we're at and encourage us to press on even harder and that is a great help and a great blessing from the Lord. I know that this is His absolute love for us shining through again. He never fails to do the absolute best for us no matter how horrible the circumstances might look. I can see that these situations are a blessing in disguise for those of us who walk closely with the Lord.
And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Thanks for all you do, Bob, to encourage us and to help us to grow spiritually -
I appreciate it so much.
Praying for you and your family.
In our dear Lord Jesus
And I really appreciate the encouragement. Friday went OK – especially the upper Latin class (perfect attendance!). I think I'm getting better at this – or at least more comfortable. Still could have used a three day weekend to catch up. I'm a bit behind on everything (so apologies for the short response).
I am keeping up on prayer, however. How is your health?
Do take pains to be extra careful with your health seeing as how you are on "the front lines" of all this mess.
Don't think things can continue long here like they are. It's as if someone said, "Right! To get to safety, all you have to do is hold your breath for half an hour and swim from point A to point B." But it's been only half a minute and we're already running out of oxygen. The people who plunged us into this ought to have thought of that ahead of time, in my humble opinion [written 3/22/20]. Blessedly the Lord is in control and He has a perfect plan. So all that is happening is happening for good reasons. It certainly makes one grateful for what one has! And for what one hopes to have again soon (the simple pleasure of actually being able to go into work).
Thanks for all your good words and godly attitude under all this pressure! You are a great example.
Your friend in Jesus Christ,
Hi Bob and family,
Due to the rapid changing of this virus you may find this article of some use.
Sometime in late 2019, a mysterious virus emerged in the city of Wuhan, China. Easily transmissible, it spread through the city like wildfire. By late January 2020, local hospitals were overwhelmed with critically ill pneumonia patients. China ordered a quarantine of the entire city – a city of 11 million people. Experts named the virus COVID-19 (a.k.a. “the coronavirus”). The quarantine of Wuhan, which now includes dozens of cities and over 700 million people, is implemented with the hope of ending all spread of the disease. If it fails, a global pandemic will strike the world. This isn’t without precedent. One hundred years ago, the world faced a similar enemy – H1N1. Also known as the Spanish Flu, it rose from the trenches of World War I and spread to every corner of the globe in the years 1918 and 1919 – even remote Pacific islands. When the global pandemic finally ended, it had taken more lives than the Great War itself. Estimates say between 50 and 100 million people died – about 3% to 6% of the world population. Will History Repeat Itself? Since the 1918/1919 Spanish Flu, we’ve avoided a similar pandemic. We’ve had a number of scares – bird flu, swine flu, Ebola, Zika, and other diseases – but we’ve avoided a global pandemic. Some of this is because of what we’ve done. We have better knowledge of how viruses and bacteria spread. We know how to quarantine areas, disinfect treatment centres, and provide more effective medical care. But the number one reason we’ve avoided a global pandemic is luck. That’s right. For the past 100 years, we’ve just been plain lucky. Unfortunately, our luck is about to end. How can I be so sure? Because what we know indicates the coronavirus is every bit as infectious and deadly as the Spanish Flu, if not more so. For instance, early studies are showing for every person who contracts the coronavirus, they give it to at least three other people. For comparison sake, only 1.8 persons contracted the Spanish Flu for every one person who got it. The coronavirus also has an incubation period as long as up to 24 days, and a person can be contagious throughout that entire period. So far, the case fatality rate (or number of people who die after contracting the coronavirus) is at least 1% and could end up being much higher. Expect a Global Pandemic. Unless a sudden mutation makes the coronavirus harmless, expect a global pandemic. Why? Unlike more recent pandemic threats such as Ebola or SARS, the coronavirus spreads even when infected people show no symptoms. And once symptoms do appear, they’re similar to the seasonal flu. This means the coronavirus can silently spread through an entire community without raising suspicion. Only when local hospitals see a spike in severe pneumonia cases will it become clear how widespread the infection is. In all likelihood, the silent spread of the coronavirus is already taking place. While government officials try to convince the public the virus is contained, it’s not. And they know it. Notice how every new case outside of China merits the official government response, “Don’t worry. The risk of wider spread in the community remains low.” This isn’t necessarily a lie. The key word is “remains.” The risk does remain low – until it doesn’t. So what is the true risk? Professor Gabriel Leung, the chair of public health medicine at Hong Kong University, is one of the world’s leading experts on coronavirus epidemics. He played a key role in containing the 2002/2003 SARS outbreak. According to Leung, if the coronavirus can not be contained, it could infect up to 60% of the world’s population. Dr. Robert Redfield, current Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “I think this virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we’ll get community based transmission and you can start to think about it like seasonal flu. The only difference is we don’t understand this virus.” Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said, “I think it is likely we’ll see a global pandemic. If a pandemic happens, 40% to 70% of people world-wide are likely to be infected in the coming year.”
Thanks for this. But if it were the case, I'd expect the virus to be out
of control in China. It's a big country. A few infected people outside
of the city should be enough with these postulates to infect the great
mass of the country. But they claim the thing has leveled off. Maybe
they're lying or just don't know yet. Guess we'll all find out pretty
ONE thing we know for sure is that the Lord is 100% faithful, so we have absolutely nothing to worry about, come what may, even if it gets a tad bit uncomfortable.
I am glad to hear you are doing quite well despite the general hysteria.
The following story to keep under your hat for now.
On my way home yesterday I happened upon another driver. I stopped and asked him: “Do you smell a rat?” . He: "I was beginning to think I was the only one to think this is all overKILL. I got a runny nose and told my employer and they said I can’t come to work. They cordoned off his bus with “crime scene tape and with witches hats”." Later they must have thought it might bring attention to themselves and took all the paraphernalia away. They said the driver would have to isolate for 14 days. Immediately, on Friday, he went to a local doctor who is not that many years this side of a century, who examined him in the car park; Breathe in, breathe out (while having a listen with a stethoscope), tap, tap on the back. Right; unfit for work on Friday, fit to return to work Monday. Who needs a test kit with ancient wisdom like that!
Interesting to see this (steel faced) employer being so anxious. Then it is off to shop jowel to jowel in the thronging supermarket. Then to the TV to see the packed queues at the unemployment offices (not keeping their 2 metres apart till they allow a few at a time into the office to keep a “social distancing” requirement - otherwise the lines would go out of sight!) The SS online site crashed.
At home I looked up some sites, to find the yearly deaths from tuberculosis over a million in each of some recent years (no fuss on this one), and a list of other diseases that this pandemic will be battling to get within a bulls roar of the numbers (no fuss on any of those either). I dared not look up motor accident deaths, to avoid the FINAL supermarket stampede to get the last items before ALL forms of transport are banned.
Recently two blokes (one in his 20’s and another about 50) died “near” here when a wind gust blew them off a farm shed roof they were working on - - so I get your point about how dangerous ladders are - - except they had gotten off the ladder and were actually blown off the roof. I suppose the ladders could still be implicated for bringing them to a dangerous height. Also a timely reminder for myself while atop of a big step ladder pruning trees around our place. Mini willy willys sometimes appear out of thin air.
I was wondering where the billions (trillions in the USA) of dollars come from to pay for all this. The money seems to come out of thin air and then sold to unsuspecting folk. I have always thought that whoever this money is owed to (even though it seems to come from a willy willy) might be a vulnerable target themselves, as it is bankrupting countries. They must have an unlimited “supply” to keep doling it out. A bit like watching Penn and Teller Fool Us - it is a trick all along.
While waiting for that perfect time in the New Jerusalem, the immediate next stage of: They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; ... will be vastly different to the skullduggery now in place. (Isaiah 65:22)
Thank you for your prayers and Ministry.
Your grateful student and friend
It's a mess for sure!
I'm deeply hopeful that the Lord will turn this all around on a dime [written 3/22/20]. Of course it is a nice dry run for the Tribulation. It lets us see how quickly things can change, how easily people can change their whole approach to everything, and how that in spite of such a shock there doesn't seem to be any Nineveh-like reaction of returning to the Lord going on at all.
That lets us know all we need to know.
Thanks for the update, my friend – and remember not to sniffle!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
This virus has crushed my savings and rendered my plan of going to the Tribulation on passive income not feasible any longer. Thus, I am in a jam-up so to speak with less than two months left of school before graduation, no job, and a recession coming down the economic pipeline.
I have had a few ideas on what to do after school: 1. Become a high school teacher (this would probably require getting my masters in teaching next year). 2. Become an expert in the ACT/SAT and start a business (if this worked it would provide flexibility of hours and less time long-term time commitments than teaching, but it is less interesting)
I was wondering your thoughts about those two options.
I hope you have gotten your online classes in order!
In our Lord,
Well, on the bright side, it's better that the plan got crushed before it really
even got started [written 3/20/20]. As to savings, I wouldn't be surprised if
things bounce back quicker than anyone imagines tonight. Not that I know,
Just about everyone I know has been "dropped into the drink" to one degree or another, and many I pray for are in really dire straits – or soon will be if things don't return to "normal" pretty soon. But for us all, I do know that God is in complete control and that He never lets us down. There's no water? We could complain like the Israelites did during the exodus – but they are given to us as a NEGATIVE example. We read about them and think, "why didn't they just hold on and trust God?" Well, that is exactly what we all need to do.
As to new plans, I've always tended to try and steer people who ask me advice about tent-making ministries towards things that are stable and well-defined – not because they are "better" options (doing e.g. freelancing might be theoretically "better"), but because human beings that we are it's no so easy to be consistent in our daily discipline for the Lord without a measure of structure imposed from without. So either of these seems workable. However, I will say that getting an education credential is a soul-crushing experience. I have known many good people who have tried but who couldn't take the nonsense. It doesn't matter that you "know what you are talking about". Also, high schools are difficult places to teach nowadays. So I personally would shy away from that one (certainly not telling YOU to do that, but please have a serious conversation with at least two high school teachers whose opinions you respect before committing to that course). Don't know anything about the other option but it seems reasonable . . . if a little boring. My former next-door neighbor did that from a math/statistics point of view and I know he made "bank".
Stay safe and healthy, my friend!
Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.
Hope you've had a good day and I'm happy that you're feeling more comfortable with the desk-cam. I'm praying for the Lord to help you to catch up with everything else as well.
My foot is a lot better but still sore when I go out and walk any distance. I'm sure it will get better in time and thanks so much for your prayers. I will be careful at work, Bob but to be honest all of this virus thing is starting to affect our work now. I have a feeling at best they will have to reduce my hours or I might be out of a job completely for a while pretty soon. __ has had her hours at work cut by a lot and ___ was sent home from work today as his department has decided it's best for them to all work from home now. His job is secure though and he's happy enough to work from home. It will save him two hours of driving each day. The company that ___ works for is owned by a very nice (and very rich!) man from America. They have other companies in America too which did shut down for a while until further notice due to the virus but then ___'s manager had an email from them today to say that they have just reopened them again. So it's all a bit confusing - nobody seems to know what's going on or what to do [written 3/23/20].
So it's all a bit mad but I'm not worried in the slightest because I know the Lord is looking after me and my family. Perhaps it's for my own safety if my hours are cut. The PM has taken it up a notch tonight. We can only go out to travel to work, one session of exercise alone, food shopping, medicine and funerals. He has given the police more powers if people don't follow this and fines too. Like you say, I honestly don't know if people are actually going to be able to do this without going mad.
But anyway, I have the Lord's peace inside and we'll just go with the flow for now. Please don't worry about replying, because I know you have so much to do. Just an update on the state of play over here!
I hope all is still well with you and with all of your family too. I'm keeping you all in my prayers. Thanks for listening!
Your friend in our dear Lord Jesus
Thanks for the update and the good report – happy to hear that your
health is OK. I do hope you don't get the sack – not even temporarily. I
suppose that people won't get toothaches now that we have this crisis.
Good to hear that in spite of dislocation you all still have your jobs.
Before this all started, I probably told you, I had received a number of
emails from a number of good Christians who had gotten bad news
reversing good news on the economic front – and now they and many others
I know about personally through this ministry are being laid off or in
danger of losing their jobs. So we are very grateful to the Lord for the
food and clothing we do have, for the roofs over our heads, and for
having the means to keep on. All this does make you appreciate what the
Lord has given us – and how, apart from Him, it's all absolutely
tenuous. A good lesson for unbelievers and marginal believers, and if
one person is led to Christ because of all this, then I guess I've got
no business complaining (not that that's a good idea in any case!).
I'm always appreciative of your positive attitude! Very worthy of emulation.
Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
That's exactly what I was going to say to you - as long as we have food
to eat, clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads then we'll be
fine and I thank the Lord for that. I'm content with what I have. And I
remember Matthew 6:25-34. Times like this make you realise that all of
the other stuff that we have and do we don't really need anyway. The
world wants more and more - you know the building treasures on earth
kind of stuff but my heart is in doing the Lord's work and building up
my treasures in heaven. Matthew 6:19-21
I'm not sure yet how things will go with work. If they do have to lay me off then I know once things are back to "normal" again they would have me back. I'm only working tomorrow this week because it's so quiet so I'll see how the land lies.
All of this coronavirus will definitely be worth it if one person is led to Christ because of it. I haven't personally seen any more interest among the people I know or my family. I remember you saying to me that the Lord gives people enough chances and I can really see that, Bob. Take for instance ___. ___ is recovering from a brain haemorrhage that could have so easily killed her, ___ is having chemo right now for leukaemia, his cat has a tumour and only days to live and now corona is stopping him and ___ from going out anywhere because she's so vulnerable and has to avoid catching anything. All I know that he has said is, "Well we all die in the end anyway" and he said, "This coronavirus is an absolute curse dividing families as it has". Don't get me wrong, - I don't really know what is going on in his heart and I will always continue to pray for his salvation but how much more does anyone need to go through to even think about God? This is with me repeatedly telling him I'm praying for everyone too. But what a gracious, loving God we have who gives everyone every chance He can because He is patient and not wishing that any should perish. What an awesome God we serve!
I'm seeing and learning a lot more about this Laodicean age and although I don't like it and never will, it isn't surprising me quite so much anymore.
I hope you've been able to finally catch your breath today. I still think you've done amazingly well with your online teaching in such a short space of time. You made me smile when you said your students could be watching the ball game or having a beer. I can understand how challenging it must be for you not being able to see them and "read" them. At least this is only temporary, and you're doing the very best you can with what you've got for now. You're doing your bit but the student always has to do their bit too. We all have choices - we can listen and learn as best we can or we can have a beer or even fall asleep instead!
I always want to listen and learn and believe and apply!
Praying for you and yours.
Your friend in Jesus
I'm up against it today, so apologies for the short reply. Four classes tomorrow but at least I'm semi-prepped for them. Learning what works and what doesn't. Hard to keep up with the ministry, but I'm hoping NOW that Thursday will do what Tuesday was planned to do in getting me caught up. I'm always a little overly optimistic on the time line.
Glad to hear you are feeling better and getting a little respite from work. Hope they don't let you go – but it seems they'll be needing dentistry regardless, so that wouldn't make much sense, especially if any of the staff get sick. If you get the sniffles these days, they send you home for two or three weeks!
Looking forward to posting your wonderful and encouraging words, my friend!
We trust in the Lord – no matter what.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Regarding your university teaching platform I don't want to be argumentative, but in my experience, if you don't put IT's feet to the fire, things don't get done. They're the "experts" after all and you're a "luser," at least as they see it. I've been there! It can be fixed. Just not easily.
I understand how BB has made it's inroads, but it doesn't absolve them from doing a good job of providing you tools that work. I suspect this isn't in your makeup, but you need to put your IT
department's feet to the fire. Otherwise, nothing will get done. You need people who can speak the lingo if you want to get through.
Years ago, I was contracted to the Texas Department of Transportation to train staff and install a $2M personnel management system written by CA (Computer Associates.) A darling of large corporations. I had problems installing it on our platform and called their tech support. The result was I spent the better part of a day on the phone correcting their installation scripts and teaching them how to install on our platform. That doesn't mean I was a genius. I certainly wasn't but it says a lot about their attitude. That attitude is common in the IT world and I'm sure you've seen it
Just because people work for big and respected corporations doesn't mean they know anything. They many times don't yet they're perceived as experts. (I was an IBM contractor.) I get that attitude often and, frankly Bob, I won't play that game. It's like they sold you a hammer with two claws and no head and try to make you feel like an idiot for not using it properly.
There may be some mechanical limitations I don't know about; a view of the entire class would take additional hardware and software. Maybe the University isn't willing to spring for that. Or, they received the software free for "other considerations" which I've seen many times before. I'm sitting here reacting to your situation as I would in the old days. Maybe that's not so good anymore.
I apologize for the rant. Your situation struck close to home.
BTW, Navajos in New Mexico makes far more sense to me and I think your step-son made an excellent choice. The transition from East Coast to Southwest can be hard and take some time. I spent a number of years in Boston and, 50 years later, I still miss some things like fresh North Atlantic seafood just off the boat an hour earlier. Still I wouldn't go back for love nor money. The food in the Southwest is superb. No cheesesteaks, very few if any decent Reubens, no real delis
but there's Calabacita, Carnitas and real barbecue. (Adding vinegar to barbecue will get you shot down here and adding beans will get you outcast from society.) Good Italian food he'll have to make himself. If he's married, his wife will have the hardest time.
But I rhapsodize... Stay well. I think this hysteria will pass quickly.
Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,
No worries, my friend! I hear what you're saying. I'll leave redesigning
the airplane to some point after we come in for a safe landing, however.
The local places here went to all-carry-out but now people are being told to stay home (and there is considerable anxiety about the possibility of infected food). So even if you were living across the street from a great Cheese Steak place, it might not be available now.
Regardless of when the hysteria and the threat pass, it's all a good litmus test for our present spiritual status. If we are walking close to the Lord, times of pressure can be wonderful despite the added load; otherwise . . .
Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Have been reading your tribulations material and I don't know if you
remember me as it's been awhile and I'm sure you've been busy but what
scares me is the great apostasy because all times I've done great and
then falling on my face at other times so afraid if I couldn't make it
in good times that bad wouldn't look so we'll for me but I've kepty
faith I love Jesus so much and I'm fighting everyday to carry my cross
please pray for me if you have time much love to you and God bless to
Just wanted to say hello and see how you are doing? May God bless you and yours. Haven't spoken in quite awhile but you have been on my heart lately. Praying that this cornavirus hasn't affected you too much and look forward to perhaps hearing from you if you have time. Thanks again for all you have done my Brother friend and helper!
Great to hear from you, my friend! I do remember you, and I will be
praying for you.
It's true more often than one would guess that individuals who have trouble being consistent in good times manage to rally and be exceptional in hard times. Since you love Jesus Christ more than this temporary life, I have no doubt that you will NOT succumb to the Great Apostasy. You will NOT take the mark of the beast, trading some terrible pottage that lasts for but a moment in exchange for eternal life.
Keep fighting the fight, my friend! I'm very encouraged to hear that you are reading these materials. Spiritual growth requires intake of the truth beyond personal Bible reading – and you are doing that! Consider also accessing our friend Curt Omo's Bible Academy materials.
I'm doing OK. I'm having to teach my five classes online now instead of in-person and it is WAY tougher to do it this new way because I don't get that energy and feedback from seeing students face-to-face. But God helping us we will all get through this. I don't imagine that there's much of anyone not affected by all this in some way or another. As I've mentioned in the last two email postings, this is a pretty good dry run "litmus test" for us to check ourselves out and see how we are doing spiritually. And in the grace of God this is really relatively painless . . . compared to the actual Tribulation. So believers would do well to take this test to heart and redouble efforts for preparation, spiritual preparation, during the brief respite we have before the darkness falls.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Dear Dr. Luginbill,
How have you been? [written 3/25/20]
What is your take on the worldwide panic that has spread over this corona virus? All the information that I've read about it doesn't seem to be that bad. Most people who succumb to the virus end up surviving it, and the symptoms we know of don't seem to be all that unbearable. I really don't understand the drastic measures that the world has taken to contain it...or am I missing something here?
In other news, my airline announced that they would be shutting down by April 1. Originally they told us that they would be operating until the end of the year, but the reduction in demand for air travel (due to the corona virus) has accelerated their shutdown.
I started applying to other airlines almost immediately after I found out that they were shutting down. But because of the panic over this virus, the other airlines have put a freeze on hiring. So it looks like I'll be unemployed for a little while.
Since I don't have many options for work at this time, I was considering joining the air force reserves. The benefits of joining seem to outweigh the cons; they'd pay for my tuition so that I can complete my Bachelor's degree. Plus having military experience would improve my chances of getting hired at another airline or whatever industry I choose to work for after the economy goes back to normal. And I believe it would help me attain a level of discipline that would be difficult to achieve on my own. However, my parents and my brothers aren't overly thrilled with my desire to join; but they did tell me that they will support whatever decision I make. I would like your advice on this because I trust your wisdom in helping me make a biblical choice.
It's good to hear from you – thanks for checking in.
I'm sorry to hear that you are being laid off – but I'm actually a little surprised from what we've heard on the news that it hasn't happened just yet.
Like many people with a little spiritual common sense, I also am inclined to see all this as a huge over-reaction that is going to cause WAY more trouble (and deaths) than it saves in lives. One hopes that common sense (of any kind) will begin to filter through and those in charge can come up with a workable exit strategy. As I've said to many already, this is a little like being told that we will be OK on this underwater swim from point A to point B: all we have to do is to hold our breath for half an hour. There are some hopeful signs – and WE know that the Lord is in control over all of this and that nothing is accidental. As I've also said, this may be a "tune up test" for believers to cause them to realize that they are NOT in fact ready for the Tribulation . . . if they are having severe trouble with this rather mild (by comparison) dry run. One thing all this is also making clear is the difference between godly thinking – which you are expressing (good for you!) – and entirely worldly thinking. People who in their hardness of hearts imagine de facto that they will never die and that the world will always go on in the same way (the unbeliever perspective and, sadly, to a great degree the Laodicean perspective as well) are having that blindness shaken a bit as the Lord lets in some light.
As to your future plans, I enjoyed my time in the military very much – even though it certainly isn't easy and requires many sacrifices. I think it's a grand idea – as long as you are sure. As I just wrote one other reader who is also thinking about it: "One thing I always also let everyone know who's thinking about this is that many go into the military because they are unsure of "what next?". And it is a common experience that just AFTER joining – within a week, usually – it becomes very clear "what next?" – but they have six years to think about it at that point. So be sure."
How is your mom doing? I keep you and your family in my prayers daily.
Stay safe and health as best you can!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Yes, you nicely put it; what is needed is a Nineveh-like reaction. Thank you for the reminder of this.
What did you mean by: I know for a fact that this will entail far more deaths down the road.
Small Update here: (Government announces new restrictions every day here). One of them: All boarding colleges to shut down - - meaning farmers and others from around this vast State have to pick up their children somehow in quick smart time and take them from cities and towns and back home to the farm or country towns. Talk about spreading the CV far and wide! One of the boarders is now catching my bus daily back and forth from farm to school! As our 2ic in the quarantine and inspection service, where I worked in a “former life” was fond of saying when he observed ludicrous rules; “We are stuffed around by experts”. Another one of the silly things we are forced to observe is that we can only get 1 or 2 items on the shelves at supermarkets, so the need to shop every day to supply our hungry teenagers, yet in the next breathe told not to visit the supermarket regularly and to make it quick. Also imagine how this works for people in farming areas who have to travel in some cases many hundreds of kilometres to stock up for their families and for the farm staff. Even on my bus run some ordinary families travel over 70 km one way to shop. I am picturing a BIG dog barking and every day is a different command to the little dogs so that the little dogs get used to following even contradictory barks out of fear. Seems like a primer to me - of things yet to come.
Today Big dog said he might be “forced” to track people’s movements by their mobile phones to ensure people do not go out of their local area. A week ago the bark was for people to holiday anywhere in this vast state to offset the economic effects - yesterday, WOOF, don’t go anywhere! Mentally people are bewildered. Anyone could be excused for thinking the daily changing of rules is to keep people in a frenzy.
Talk about a prep for world dictatorship and fearfully following the One with the LOUD bark.
Thank you for your encouragement at all times and your prayers. Keeping you and yours in mine daily.
In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
What I mean is that people need to eat, and are benefitted by having
clothing and a roof over their heads. This shutdown is going to cast
countless individuals into absolute penury and even homelessness, and if
it comes to civil unrest, well, let's just notice that ammunition has
been selling out here. On top of that, during the 2008 financial crisis
there was a spike of many thousands in suicides, and there are far more
people about to be ruined today. Just on that basis alone it's likely to
result in a tenfold to a hundredfold greater loss of life. Of course, we
believers don't need to worry about any of that. Is there no water? The
Lord can make it flow from a flinty rock. We just need to be patient. Is
there no food? The Lord can case manna to come down from heaven. It's
only our trust in Him that's being tested while we wait.
Your point is also very valid. Just as the Lord is using this to prepare positive believers and get the attention of lukewarm believers (and, we hope also, bring some unbelievers around as well), the devil is instigating this to further his own ends and to prepare for what he is going to launch on an even grander scale once the Tribulation begins. What a blessing to know that everything the devil tries, even when apparently successful at first – as in the fall of Adam and Eve – is always used for good by the Lord who has planned all things perfectly:
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
Romans 5:18 NKJV
Keeping you and your family and situation in my prayers every day, my
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank for the explanation.
From your previous email I was prompted to read about Jonah and Nineveh to my wife. The king did respond positively to the Lord’s warning given through Jonah and instructed his people to plead for divine forgiveness and to commit to following God, and took the lead in repenting in sack cloth and ashes. But where is the “Jonah” today? (Even though he was more than reluctant to do the Lord’s errand) Yes, I realise we all have access to the scriptures. Will we have to wait for the Ministry of the two witnesses for such divine instructions?
The dry run certainly does make us question our spiritual preparedness for the coming Tribulation.
Update: Not so much need to concern about guns here, as the Howard government years ago, took most of them away from citizens as a response to the Port Arthur massacre. Only the real criminals have theirs tucked away - though I suspect that even a “lack” of guns will not prevent civil unrest here.
On the bus I was down to 15 students today, which is a third of the usual. A press announcement (they keep on coming) just now from the education minister says that from next week students will be encouraged to stay home from school (well over half are already staying away accessing online learning), and then the following week there will be no tuition for students who do turn up for school, supervision only, then the following week begins 2 weeks of school holidays. I am not sure how long they require me to keep driving - waiting for the WOOF! Of course for me, no work, no pay. We were thinking yesterday whether we could eat our overgrown kikuyu lawn grass - out of future interest only - as we are ok for quite awhile to come. Will give me time to do some vegetable planting.
This is only one minor “pre plague” and the panic is huge. Imagine the panic to come as the rapid fire succession of real plagues of the Tribulation relentlessly roles on. And a much bigger WOOF devouring little dogs and scaring the rest to heel.
Thank you for your timely reminders of how our God is able to provide water and manna. We need to exercise faith. Good to have your teaching Ministry (perhaps a type of Jonah for us), and not a moment too soon! God is good. Thank you for your prayers. Keeping you and yours in my prayers.
*stop press* My wife just received communication from a friend in the Philippines saying: we are not going to die from the covid 19 virus but we ARE going to die of starvation”.
This is a serious text. They are not allowed out of their area to try and get food and the food that is local is SO expensive that they cannot buy it (and they can not now go to work). Also many small local stores have run out and closed shop. ___ is not allowed to go to the city to get money out of the bank to buy food. It is a lock down. People living near the ocean are not allowed to go to fish. This is crazy!!! (We are going to save the people - - even if it kills them!)
I REALLY understand your statement now!
I will pray their faith will see blessings open to them.
Your student and friend in Jesus.
We're not to that point in the states as of yet [written 3/25/20], but if they don't find an exit strategy soon half the country is going to be homeless and without the means to purchase food, even if it's available.
But God is in control. That will also be important to never let slip from our hearts and minds during the Tribulation when everything is going terribly wrong – to earthly eyes that don't understand His plan.
Keeping you and yours in my daily prayers, my friend.
I hope your four classes went well today.
I don't want to take up too much of your time because I know you're very busy at the moment. I just wanted to quickly let you know that thankfully everything is still OK with my job. We had some more guidelines through today and due to the coronavirus things have changed a little bit. It's a requirement in our NHS contract that if we are to continue to be paid then we have to offer our services as an emergency dental practice. This means we will see patients (not just our own) who are not showing any symptoms of the virus and we will also be given better protection as in higher level protection masks etc. If we didn't offer our services like this then we wouldn't get paid and I'm sure some of us would be laid off for a while.
So we're still going to have to be very careful but I know I have the Lord's protection and I trust Him completely to look after me.
I'm so thankful to the Lord because I know He gave me this job and the Spirit reminded me of this verse this morning before I went to work.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Our God is faithful!
I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers, Bob.
In our dear Lord Jesus
Thanks for the update – and thanks for your understanding too.
I'm thrilled to hear that your job is not "on the chopping block". So many here in the states are being forced out of work. One hopes it's temporary, but no one seems to have thought through an exit strategy on just how and when we're going to declare "victory". There are some hopeful signs, but we believers don't have to worry as you are right to point out: God supplies us with whatever we need, even if we are wandering through a barren desert. He is our Shepherd, and the Lord will bring us through whatever valley of the death-shadow it's necessary for us to trek on our way to Zion. He has NEVER let us down and He never will. Do we have to wait sometimes? Yes, but that is to build our faith – and so it does, if we are willing to trust Him. Do we see threats coming from all sides? Yes, and sometimes they are really serious and present. But He ALWAYS delivers us, if not from, then definitely through. And He uses these experiences to teach us about His faithfulness – and to build our trust in Him, if, as I say, we are willing to rely totally on Him and not at all on ourselves.
This online teaching is really wearing. Without the energy and the feedback, I think in the early going here it's at least twice as much of a load to teach an online class. But I do seem to be getting the hang of it, figuring out what works and what doesn't, and honing my audio-visual computer instructions skills (who'd have thought all that necessary a month or so ago?). If my students continue to put up with me, it'll all end OK in about four weeks.
Thanks for your good words and for your prayers! Keeping you and your family in mine daily.
In Jesus who is our Savior,
Thanks Bob - you're words are so encouraging and helpful to me and I
know for sure that you're speaking from years of experience. From the
many times the Lord has been faithful to you and brought you through
tough times as well. The trials are never easy but I want each one I go
through to become a stepping stone to a stronger and deeper faith in the
I'm praying each day that the Lord will help you through this wearing time having to teach your students online. I'm really happy to hear that you're getting the hang of it. By the time you're a real pro at it you'll be back to teaching face to face at uni. I'm sure that's going to be one very happy day for you!
In our dear Lord Jesus
Amen to that!
Of course the scuttlebutt is that the governor is about to pull the trigger on a stay at home order for the whole state, so that is going in the opposite direction. [written 3/25/20]
Good to be able to rest in the truth that the Lord is in absolute control of all this and is bending it all to His own perfect design.
Take care of yourself, my friend.
Keeping you and your family in my prayers.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I've been teleworking about a week now. I have to go through some online training relating to administrative and bureaucratic procedures related to the Department of Defense for goodness knows what reason. It's thousands (I kid you not, thousands) of slides long, and I have to get =80% on exams following every section, so I actually have to kind of read it. It has been a trial of patience, but the upside is that doing this stupid training at home is not substantially different than doing it at work, so the remote working hasn't disrupted what I need to do. The rest of my team has not been so lucky, and technological woes (I probably needn't elaborate) have added an additional layer of challenge for them. Prayers appreciated.
What's the situation with your teaching like? My __'s University has shut down for the entire rest of the semester, and also canceled Maymester programs. Everything shifted to online, as best it could. Makes me glad I graduated last semester!
I've been somewhat puzzled over the world's reaction to the virus. I guess maybe it's because I'm a low risk population that I don't find myself worried nearly at all. It's funny. I've had no problems leaving this one in God's hands (like, what can I do to change anything anyhow -- so why worry about it?), but I have a much harder time adopting this attitude elsewhere (marriage comes to mind).
It seems to me like the panic is way disproportionate to the actual severity. This is pretty tame compared to 1918, e.g. Of course, our closer contact nowadays does make it easier to spread. But it still doesn't explain the odd tendency to panic buy canned food and things of this sort?
These are interesting times we live in. If this is the reaction to something on the milder end of things, it does make one see how some of the events in Revelation come about. Rather than turning to God, people will do seemingly everything but. If ever there was a metaphor fully capturing the futility of relying on one's own preparations over trust in God, I'd say compulsively hoarding toilet paper (as if this would do anything) is a good candidate!
Not surprised about your exams. After OCS, I made the mistake of signing up for
a USMC Correspondence School class on infantry tactics. Sounded kind of fun –
but it turned out to be relentless. And you actually had to read the stuff very
carefully because the multiple choice questions were deliberately and
pedantically tricky. And if you didn't send it in on time they threatened you
pretty effectively. Can't imagine it on the scale you're dealing with.
Yes I am teaching online. Five days before we started I didn't have a clue about how to do it. Now things are going pretty well – for the one out of five of my students who's really playing along. In my Latin 102 class today when I started calling on the 11 out of 23 participants, about half of them didn't answer: "Ryan? Ryan? Use your chat function if your mic is down. Ryan?" and so it went. So they logged in then went off to play hooky. Well I have a hard core of about half a dozen who seem to be paying attention and every day is different. On Wednesday they seemed to be all over it, chatting up a storm. If people use their mikes it's a problem anyway because inevitably there is a lot of feedback since they have old mikes or are using old phones or just from the nature of the thing. The upper Latin class is nice because everyone shows up!!! One older student has no computer / internet so she calls on my cell phone which I lay between mic and speakers. It works but it's not a multi-year solution! I'm twice as tired after teaching four in a row online than I ever was in person. And for some reason ten minutes in between classes while I'm walking from building to building is plenty, but here at home it's a blink of the eye. So I for one will be VERY happy when/if things go back to normal, but we're online until the end of the semester here.
I agree with you about the reaction. Sounds like a bad flu which knocks off old people, people with diabetes and some other lung-related problems, and makes a few others really sick. Not the sort of thing to commit economic suicide over. But it's a good dry run for the devil, seeing how best to twist the entire political world to his will; and a good dry run for believers too, letting us see how complete disruption of the "normal" affects us, so we can realize just how much we need to double down on the truth AND our application of it before the real trouble starts.
Good observations too. The benefit of this exercise so far seems to be narrow, but God knows what is in the hearts of all. If it leads one unbeliever to Christ or causes one lukewarm Laodicean to get serious in time to do something about it, then I am all for it.
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank u so much doc Robert. I hope your family is well by God's grace sir..
Sir I would like to ask also: What are your thoughts on the current novel coronavirus outbreak sir in relation to Scriptures specifically the end times?
Thanks again doc Robert. God bless you and your family.
Sincerely in Christ Jesus,
You can read about that in detail in the two postings right after it all started:
Eschatology Issues XXIX
Eschatology Issues XXX
We know that the Church Age is
the mystery age, so none of the OT prophecy relates to the time we
are now in – and also none of the NT prophetic passages do either:
fulfillment of prophecy begins when the Tribulation begins. We have a
good idea of when that is because of the seven millennial day
interpretation, adding two thousand years to the most likely time of the
crucifixion and resurrection to get the second advent then subtracting
seven years. So we are close.
I will say that this recent upheaval is working things out to make it very clear to any believer who is paying attention that the idea that things can't change fast enough or dramatically enough to become as Revelation (e.g.) says they will become is dead wrong. We are not even in the Tribulation yet, the Holy Spirit is still exercising His restraining ministry, and yet the evil one has been able to turn everything upside down with a little bug. No doubt God is allowing this as a sort of "spiritual tune up" for believers, especially the lukewarm Laodicean types, so they (we) can all see where we are at spiritually, and realize the work we need to do to prepare ourselves for what is coming.
Hope you are keeping well and staying healthy! I keep you and your family and your good efforts for the Lord in my prayers daily.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you for your kind words of reply. I draw so much encouragement from you and your gracious Ministry.
I am happy you are keeping well and surviving your online stint. Though nice to be present in person; therefore I am thankful for living with my wife and boys as the meeting of others outdoors is limited to 2 people at a distance of about 2 metres.
I had one student less than you count on one hand, due to one girl texting in sick at last hour this morning. 4 female high school students - - did someone say females are a lot less likely to succumb to CV 19? Thankfully I get paid to do the run and not on how many of my 52 passengers get on, on any given day. Most are opting for the online learning for this last week (they also cut the term by one week).
A friend who is a believer of sorts (the farmer who went broke years ago and found there was NO help apart from he calling upon God for deliverance from doom), has an Australian friend stranded in New York City who has done a few walks and reported back things that I have not seen reported on any news service. I won’t repeat it as it would be a third party report, but concerns a couple of hospitals in the city and other stuff. Interestingly, one of his reports was echoed on ABC News this morning of the Australian government scrutinising all share market transactions here as a defence against Chinese companies taking advantage of the downturn to buy up strategic companies. (This part of his report given well beforehand is now announced on the news). We’ll see if his other reports referring to dates in November and December 2019 will be reported by the news media in the future.
My main concern is to use the current crisis to alert my friend to what we know is coming shortly hereafter, and thankfully he is listening - somewhat.
It is obvious that your Coming Tribulation Series is for us to take seriously. I have used your Ministry to inform him on the CT and antichrist, and of Jesus, our only hope of eternal life, just as Jesus WAS the only One to deliver him previously - it will be the same, and IS the same always.
I have been mulling over whether to try and contact the Baptist pastor and urge him to start teaching the truth of the Tribulation, but am still conflicted, so will leave that for now. He would have to communicate that in writing, giving his words “permanence”, as worship services are now banned. Prayers for guidance on my several things I am contemplating to further the work of your Ministry would be much appreciated.
I pray the Holy Spirit will be with us all as we strive to have His presence guide us through whatever is our lot. I am sure He is working all things together for good despite our severe shortfalls.
Keeping you and Curt at Bible Academy in my prayers daily.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.
Your student and friend
Good for you, my friend! We know that this is a satanic "dry run", but God is
using it to help His people prepare. No doubt there are many out there who may
now be more receptive to the truth seeing that everything they thought secure
was actually built on shifting sand. Only the Rock is secure. Good to be
reminded of that. Hoping that many who've been lukewarm will be encouraged to
heat up spiritually – we can hope, anyway.
As to your preacher friend, that is a judgment call indeed, one I'm confident that you will be led to make correctly in the Spirit.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who ASKS you a reason for the hope that is in you . . .
1st Peter 3:15a NKJV
Your faith and zeal for the truth are without question clear for all who know
you to see. I would think that anyone in your ambit who's led by all this to
seek out the truth would also be moved to "ASK you the reason for the hope that
is in you".
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord,
Longtime, how have you been ??
So much distress here with the covid19 everything almost coming to a halt....
Concerning the coming the coming of Christ, some televangelist quoted 2Thes 2 vs 1-8 saying that which restraineth the man of lawlessness is the church"the body of Christ awaiting to be removed from this world, how would you respond to this??? The preacher insisted that this is not the time in relating to covid19 and how it has taken the world with so much traction and control...
What are your views concerning this pandemic ?? Is it a biological accident (conspiracy) or entirely natural disaster?
After reviewing the WHO concerning this pandemic reports, its been quiet confusing for instance two new reports are saying its not airborne(covid19) but is spread by sputum,saliva and other bodily fluids, but I highly doubt this argument because most RNA viruses use possessed cells with its organelles functioning... Could this be the working of the devil???
Good to hear from you, my friend.
I'm well, teaching my university classes online. That has been an "interesting" evolution. Much easier for me to teach face to face, but at least this is working out. Glad it all came down towards the end of the semester. We're done here the end of April and I have no summer teaching. Very hopeful that things will be more or less back to normal by the fall.
1) The "man of sin" is clearly antichrist. A "man" is a "man" and not a bus or a tree or the Church or anything else besides a "man". A "man" can "take his seat in God's temple" but a bus or a tree or the whole Church cannot. Using that false method of interpretation, "no" can mean "yes" and "yes" can mean "no". It is understandable that rapture-types are bothered by 2nd Thessalonians chapter two, because it so clearly states that the Great Apostasy and the revelation of antichrist PRECEDE the second advent and the resurrection. Whoever came up with this false doctrine should have read this passage – and Matthew chapter 24 (and the rest of the Bible, come to think of it) – first.
2) Whether this plague is a bio-warfare accident or a natural occurrence botched by the govt. in China is immaterial. It's pretty clear that the devil is using it for his purposes in getting people to be more dependent upon governments and more responsive to them – in preparation for his soon to come one-world government under antichrist. However, God works all things out for the good for His people. And so this is also a nice wake-up call to get serious about the truth for lukewarm Laodicean Christians, especially for those who erroneously think that they couldn't possibly ever end up in the Tribulation because of the "rapture" fallacy.
There is only one Rock – and only in Him and in following Him closely is there any true security. Everything else – as this plague blessedly shows – is only shifting sand. Everything people thought they had and could count on has been overturned and in many cases wiped away in the blink of an eye. So to the extent that believers take this to heart and get cracking with spiritual growth, progress and production, there is definitely a silver lining. I'm using this as an opportunity to re-read the Coming Tribulation series myself.
3) See above. I'm not that kind of Dr.; I think it's likely that things will come back to more-or-less normal fairly quickly [written 3/30/20]. But this was a good "dry run" for the evil one, did some good prep work for him – but can also be a benefit to us believers as well, just as long as we use it as a prod to begin doubling down on the things we know are really important.
Everything we see here in this temporary world is dust and there is no true happiness on this earth apart from the Lord, His truth and our fellow Christian warriors and ministering to them. Everything else is a satanic myth.
Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
From my research its likely that corona will not end soon. In all likelihood this virus will stick around and cause social distancing until a vaccine is mass produced and taken by a large percentage of the population. For example, the most optimistic projections for a vaccine to get through the trials is early to mid 2021. To have it mass produced and distributed when ready will logistically take months. Thus, there is a good chance that social distancing lasts throughout 2020 and a good portion of 2021 and possibly beyond.
In Exodus when the Lord instructs the Israelites to put blood on the doorposts for the Passover, how do door posts represent a cross? I get the fact that a cross is wooden and with intersecting wood, but beyond that I'm not fully getting this "type". Can we infer that they put the blood on the doorposts a certain way? Mainly, I'm just looking for your commentary on this.
In the Lord,
You may be right. However, what they are doing in Germany – testing
everyone and giving "certificates of immunity" to those with the
antibodies after they're no longer infectious and then sending them back
to work – is probably what will happen here too (or some version
thereof). We just have to wait for the testing to catch up (which sounds
as if it is happening) [written 3/30/20].
In any case, this is an opportunity for all believers to deepen our relationship with the Lord and to let sink in deep that there is no security or happiness in this world . . . apart from Him. The boat of false security and worldly pleasures is a ship of fools destined to go down with all hands. We have the right and the duty to abandon that ship and walk on the water with our Lord instead – through faith.
If I place a dab on the lintel above my head, my arm going up in a vertical stroke represents the central pole of the cross; if I place a dab on the left door jamb then move over and place a dab on the right door jamb the horizontal stroke represents the cross-piece of the cross. We who are following Jesus the right way don't make "the sign of the cross"; we don't "cross ourselves", but the movements on Passover essentially represent that – in a good and godly way rather than in a religious and superstitious way.
Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hi there Bob,
Just checking in with you. How are you doing? I'm hoping you are doing well. We are doing really good. I've been reading the Tribulation again and really enjoying it. It's been good for me. I sure recognize so much of what's happening right now and that gives me hope.
I've been in touch with my friend in Italy and it has gotten worse there. To me it seems like this virus is like a ticking bomb. I think we are in this for a while. We will never know but we all got extremely sick 6 weeks ago. The symptoms were exactly like the coronavirus and we were literally out for 2 weeks. We stayed at home the entire time. I told __ afterwards that I had never experienced a sickness like that and it didn't have any similarities to any flu or sickness I have experienced in my life. It literally sucked the oxygen out of me to the point that I couldn't think well and if someone spoke it took time for me to comprehend. My brain was so fried. I think it was because I wasn't getting oxygen. My lungs were filled and tight. I had a dry cough and a high fever for 3 days. It was just the weirdest sickness. It very well could have been the flu but it has made us wonder.
I can see the change in the world already and know more is coming. It's disheartening to know the suffering that's happening but on the other hand I know things have to happen and God is in control full board.
Hope your online classes are going good. __ isn't liking hers. Too bad she can't join yours.
I gotta run, take care
Thanks for your upbeat report, my friend!
Yes it does sound as if this could have been "the virus" you guys had. That makes perfect sense to me. It got "everywhere" so quickly it almost certainly had to have already "been here", just not widespread enough for people to realize what this was.
I'm getting better at teaching online but don't think I'd every like it nearly as much as teaching in person. It has "informed" my teaching method though. If we're back in the fall, I'll make some changes for the good.
Hope __ has passed his test or gotten something else. Praying for that and also for your business.
I'm re-reading "Coming Tribulation" too!
There is a lot of suffering, but it's also a good test for us all to help us see where we are "at" spiritually. You clearly have your feet firmly planted, and that is very heartening to hear!
Would you mind me posting you experience with this bug (anonymously of course)?
In Jesus our dear Savior,
We just experienced our first earthquake. It was a fun ride!! Nothing big happened, everyone and everything is okay. I can only imagine all the preppers and religious people in this area are thinking. A virus, an earthquake, a rare tornado touched the ground in Richmond Washington today at 2:30. They all think it's the end of the world I'm sure or the Tribulation has started. I haven't spoke to my family much but I already know what they are thinking. Pretty exciting times though. The truth is happening....we are getting closer.
All "this" is a blessing to the extent that it focuses serious believers
on what is important, and on the blessed end to all this when our Lord
returns, for that is our "blessed hope" (Tit.2:13).
I'm thrilled to hear of your good and godly and confident reaction! It does stand in sharp contrast to so many of Laodicea who are being panicked by all this. It's a bit ironic, isn't it? I mean that lukewarm types never cared for what scripture says about the end times (except from some lazy curiosity) and now are terrified that they have begun! But these are only blessed "tune-ups" from the Lord / prepping from the evil one.
It is grand to contemplate how close we are getting to being with Jesus forever!
Keeping you all in my daily prayers.
In our dear Savior.
I'm happy to hear your reading the Tribulation too. The book helps to remind me who is in control and how much he loves us. I have found over the years especially the last 7 of ours how fast I seem to be challenged in faith and belief but if you keep studying and believing you are eventually shown how much truth is in the Bible and then when we are put in a situation like we are now it doesn't phase you negatively; in fact I have found a little tickle inside of happiness. Of course it's not seeing people struggle but I'm seeing all kinds of signs we are headed so close to the time of the Tribulation. I'm so not looking forward to those difficult times but I'm looking forward to Jesus Christ's return, and that keeps me moving forward.
My neighbor has a son in New York, the virus is as bad as they are saying if not worse. She has a daughter in Rome, it's bad there too. My friend in Italy said they may have reached the top but not really sure. We are in this for longer than two months here in the US. It's extremely contagious. I'm praying you, your family and friends stay healthy.
It was last year I prayed and prayed that we were given a break from all the personal tribulation we have been through in the last 7 years. I prayed to have time to read and study more along with being able to financially afford to. Two months ago I was working so much, long hours and tons of stress that I literally broke down asking why am having to chase the dollar and not able to study the Bible. It didn't make sense. I now realized I needed to learn patience, I thought I had that down after 4 kids...apparently not. Today I write this with tears rolling down my face, he has answered my prayers. I have at least 2 months... quarantined in my house studying away. This is a prayer answered 10 FOLD. What a blessing
Have a wonderful day Bob,
We are all tested by circumstances. It's not how we initially FEEL about
it that matters. It's how we actually follow through. Like the two sons
who were told to go into the field to work for their father, it's not
the one who gave the initial cheery "yes sir!" . . . but didn't do it .
. . who comes in for praise from the Lord, but the one who initially
didn't FEEL like it – but rallied his heart and went and did what was
right. We should all have the attitude of the former son and the follow
through of the latter; but the follow through is what counts, even if we
are initially uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. You are doing well
and being "stand up" for the Lord.
Two months! I appreciate your attitude! That is the way to make lemonade out of lemons! But I dearly hope that it won't be that long. While some of us can survive that long, very many will not be able to do so. What is happening from the cure seems to me to be far worse than the disease. But nobody has asked my opinion. What we DO know is that the Lord is in control and He can deliver those who belong to Him through anything. He certainly delivered the Israelites from all the plagues that struck the Egyptians. And the plague of death which killed all of their first born touched not a single one of the people of God. That will be the case in the Tribulation too, namely, nothing coming from the Lord to punish the world will fall upon us. Not that it won't be uncomfortable. Something I personally dislike. I have to work on that too.
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
If you told me three months ago that Christian pastors in the United States would be arrested in the name of "public safety," I would have said you are misguided, but it has begun to happen:
If I still possess doubt that end times are rapidly approaching, are there any events you expect to happen from this point on that should certainly remove that doubt?
So many things that were "never expected" are happening that it boggles
the mind. It's easy to see how non-Christians must feel "all at sea"
with their whole world crashing down around them. All the security and
safety and regularity they had imagined has evaporated or is in the
process of doing so. It must be unnerving to realize that such things
can and do happen and nearly instantaneously so. Of course when the
Tribulation hits, this will seem as nothing by comparison. So it is a
good time for believers to take all this to heart and redouble efforts
to prepare for what is coming. Personally, I'm rereading "Coming
Tribulation" myself – but of course true spiritual preparation has
to be broad-based, being attentive to all of the truth in the Bible and
not just eschatology.
Let's hope and pray that this rattles our pre-Trib brothers and sisters sufficiently to get them to see the folly of their false position . . . so that they may become motivated to prepare for those dark times they wrongly thought to escape.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I will begin work on "Coming
Tribulation" myself. Most of the people around me that I've talked
to think things will return back to "normal" shortly, but there's very
little that indicates to me that this will be the case.
Well, "normal" is all relative in any case here in the devil's world. It won't
be long now until the Lord returns, and the seven years before that will make
all this seem "normal" by comparison. Looking forward to that blessed day when
our "normal" will be eternal life in the presence of the Lord we love so much
more than this present world.
Yea I'm in a hotspot outside of Philly but not the epicenter blessedly. It's amazing how the governments are taking so much control so quickly, and printing so much money for yet such a harmless thing (a worse version of the flu) on the grand scheme of things; to put it in perspective 300k people die each year in the US from car deaths but they don't shut the world down to stop automobile accidents. This is setting up the world for authoritarian leadership and chaos in the Middle East and Africa which will precipitate the Mahdi's rise. Things are moving along quickly. Here in my busy area everything is totally shut down. The economy will suffer dramatically. The Fed estimates unemployment of over 30%. During the Great Depression's peak we had 25%. Things are obviously different, but the next few years will be tough for those with who have to feed their young ones. No need for a response to this -- just my musings.
Matthew 27:48 (KJV)
48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
On the hyssop stock that Jesus drank from how does this represent the
sprinkling of blood from the Law -- I remember you saying there was a
In our Lord
For "hyssop" see
Q/A #2 at the link.
On deaths, I think you've got the magnitude wrong for car accidents; I think that's around 30K. So COVID-19 may top that mark (hard to say at this point). But I do get your point.
Yes it is quite a reaction. The skeptic in me assumes that there must be something "they" know and that "they" are not telling us. On the other hand, all conspiracy theories always attribute a far greater degree of knowledge and competence to "them" than "they" actually have.
One thing is certain, the devil has a plan, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he is testing it out with all this. Blessedly, God has THE Plan – and the hard part has already been accomplished at the cross. We believers, members of the army of the Lord of Hosts, are merely pressing forward to the final victory. Will the evil one mount more counter-attacks? Indubitably he will. But in Jesus Christ we "superabundantly conquer" (Rom.8:37) – as long as we take care to stay in ranks following the "Prince Leader of our salvation" (Heb.2:10), all the way to the end of the road.
Keep fighting the good fight, my friend! Therein lie great rewards.
In Jesus our Lord.
I have felt like I was losing my hold on the things I have learned since February, so I was happy to find that one and I am going to try to find the other.
School is unlikely to resume any time soon. Here in Nigeria, the situation with education is something that serious students just try not to think too hard about. At this moment university lecturers are actually on strike, so even if there were no lockdown, there would still be no school. It's a little different with the IJMB program that I got accepted into though. I think that the university is using it to make extra income independent of what it gets from the government, so the strike may not affect it, although the lockdown certainly will. That is not to say anything about the quality of teaching that one can hope to get.
Thank you, Sir, for the reminder. It is very timely.
Your student in Jesus Christ
I'm confident of you keeping your spiritual balance, come what may. In
trying times it's is difficult to keep everything neatly ordered, but as
long as we keep our eyes on Jesus Christ first and foremost, everything
else always falls into place, even we are made to be uncomfortable in
this world for a short season. In any case, it's not a good idea to get
too comfortable in this world. To the extent that we do have comfort, we
need always to remember that it comes from Jesus Christ and its
continuation depends entirely on Him – and if it is disrupted, well,
there is no doubt a good and godly reason for that. At such times, we
need to be determined to be like Moses and trust Him to work it all out
and NOT to be like the children of Israel who complained and griped and
rebelled and showed their inveterate lack of faith and trust whenever
they were put to the test.
Keeping you and your family in my prayers every day.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
How are you keeping and how is the online teaching going? I hope things are settling and you managed to negotiate the teething process. I have been keeping you in my prayers daily.
We are on “lockdown” here, although in reality not much has changed to my daily routine. In fact, it probably has made it more focused than ever! Knowing you only have limited ‘credits’ to spend each day, such as going out once for exercise and shopping as infrequently as possible for food, makes one all the more wiser with distributing their time in the day.
My walk with the Lord is increasing daily and this move to Scotland couldn’t have been better timed. I guess London would somewhat be very similar to the situation currently in New York, not a good place to be. My objective is to grow in the Word as aggressively as I can and maximise the Spirit-controlled daily walk, whilst the rest of the world somewhat dissolves in chaos. Makes me wonder that this doesn’t even make it into the radar compared what’s to come at the Tribulation.
The Lord has a marvellous way of revealing his truth to the open heart that are so pertinent to one's circumstances of that moment. We know this is the way the Spirit communicates and inoculates our heart with truth, ready to be applied. To give you an insight into my experience of this very recently, your series of Peripateology (I have decided to go through this again before Ecclesiology, pertinent to my recent change of circumstances) is truly a joy to read each morning. Your military parallels resonate so well given my brother’s role in the Royal Marines here, and this town serving as a Royal Navy base. Finding the path, walking on the path, staying on the path - I just so happened to find a narrow tarmac path right on the cliffs down the road from our house. Each morning I go on a prayer walk to start my day and prepare my heart to receive the truth I am about to avail myself to. I also use this for my daily jogs now. Your description and living out the Christian walk are firmly kept in mind every time I go on this walk/run. The smallest step to the left or right could potentially be catastrophic, how much more of our spiritual lives. Blessed be the Lord who renews our strength, who allows us to run and not grow weary, to walk and not be faint, who helps us soar on wings like eagles if we do fall! (Is.40:31). In my Bible reading I was also studying Psalm 37 - vv.5-6, 23, 31 are all inundated with these principles of path, steps and delighting oneself in the Lord (and His truth). Interestingly, I was also reading Leviticus 13 which had particular resonance to the current 7 day and 14 day isolation/quarantine. We read how the priest would assess symptoms and pronounce the person unclean/clean, holding ultimate authority for allowing safe reintegration into the camp. Yet these measures are hailed as the latest scientific breakthrough to deal with current pandemic, only to have been written in the Word thousands of years ago! The greater learning I take from this passage is separation from sin and the importance of pursuing sanctification for today’s priest-believers, teaching us how vigilant we should be with self-examination both of our lives and our association with the world, even to the 'smallest mark on our garments’.
I hope all Ichthys readers and believers enduring these circumstances can take the same solace and delight in the Lord, for He truly sustains us and is faithful from everlasting to everlasting.
Your student in the Word,
Thanks so much for the update, my friend!
And what a great analogy and application! Yes, there is only one "strait and narrow" and nothing for us on the other sides. Off to the left, no real happiness, only "myth-happiness" because only in the Lord could we ever be satisfied. Off to the right there is no real security. Even the foundations of the strongest fortress will come crashing down on that great "Day". But if we are walking with Him, we don't have to worry about stumbling or falling accidentally. He holds us up and keeps us safe no matter what.
I'm getting better at the whole online teaching thing and learning something new every day, but it is much more time consuming and difficult that teaching face to face – and a lot less fun too. Sure hope this ends soon!
Apologies again for not yet getting to your material. I wasn't able to catch up last week. Possible in the one to come.
Keeping you and your brother in my prayers daily, my friend!
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,