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Eschatology Issues XXXII

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Question #1:

In Coming Tribulation 1, III. General Character of the Tribulation, you bring the point of why the Tribulation? Why the tribulation and why the millennium seem to be missing in others that write about this topic. The importance of "why?" is just as pertinent as the Tribulation itself. Nice job on pointing this out...the hour of testing.

Response #1:

Thank you!

I appreciate it very much, my friend. And of course we are all tested all the time – can't grow spiritually without that. And without testing – such as we are pretty much all undergoing now to one degree or another – we wouldn't be ready for the Tribulation when it does arrive.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

I'm just an ordinary Xian whose soul willeth but body is lazy. Today I got this verse from the Bible (Isaiah 6:11-13). I don't know whether it's coincidence or it's Jesus speaking to me. Is it relevant in the context of Covid virus threat? I just want to know the meaning of this.

Also pls pray for my husband and two eldest sons (we're staying apart; I'm with the younger twins). I really don't know what the future holds for us....I gave up my job yrs back & my friends trying to help me out but it's difficult. I want to put an end to this financial dependence on relatives. I want to do this for God but feel inadequate. A word of encouragement from God is all I need right now.

Response #2:

Hello Friend,

Good to make your acquaintance.

These are trying times indeed! But not so bad as the Tribulation. For the most part, this passage you ask about, Isaiah 6:11-13, is speaking about those last seven years before the return of our Lord and our gathering together with Him at that glorious time of the second advent. However, most of the passages of this sort in Isaiah (and elsewhere in Old Testament prophecy) do have application to our present circumstances in that the pattern of judgment, restoration and replacement repeats throughout the plan of God (and is in many ways "short hand" for the plan). So Old Testament prophets often used the Tribulation and the glories to follow as a sort of paradigm to explain contemporary events and events soon to come. Whenever the people of God strays from Him, it results in judgment, but for those who respond, there is restoration and the replacement of all that was lost and better than before. This is true on the individual level as well (the book of Job is a good point of comparison there, although Job was not initially at fault as we know well).

As to words of encouragement, as I tell all readers of Ichthys, God has a plan and that plan is perfect. He is concerned about even the fall of every sparrow (Matt.10:29); He is certainly concerned about you and me. Nothing that happens to us is anything but for the good – if we are walking with Him as we should be (Rom.8:28).

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So we may boldly say:
“The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5b-6 NKJV

I think if you peruse Ichthys you will find it chock-full of encouragement – the encouragement that comes from the Word of God. As to the present crisis, the two latest postings are concerned with that with a view of helping believers through:

Eschatology Issues XXIX

Eschatology Issues XXX

Eschatology Issues XXXI

I have said a prayer for you and for your family.

Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Heb.13:8) – and He will see us through. For He is absolutely faithful; always has been, and always will be.

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #3:

Hello--hope you are okay with this virus. I imagine your college is shut down. Could you tell me if these are accurate translations of the Greek?

Someone posted them on CARM and I wanted to see if the translations are accurate.

Take care and God bless you.

Response #3:

We are "all online" at the minute. Teaching online, especially since we got dropped in two thirds of the way in the semester has been quite a challenge. Much harder and more time consuming in the short run than teaching face to face (since I'm actually teaching, not just "posting").

As to your Greek phrases: Best guess: someone punched their English phrases into "Google translate" and this is what they got. It's a dicey system. Sometimes I play a game with my Latin classes and test Google on how well it knows/renders Latin. Strangely, it's gotten WORSE over the years and not better. So much for AI taking over.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Dr. Luginbill,

Could this be a candidate for the mark of the beast, or perhaps a mark-type?

http://news.mit.edu/2019/storing-vaccine-history-skin-1218

It is a digital tattoo that encodes identifying information. It can also deliver a vaccine. Bill Gates is funding it.

Response #4:

Well, antichrist's actual mark is something that will be accompanied by a public pronouncement of allegiance to the beast and the devil – and a concomitant rejection of the one true God. People will do this knowingly and willingly, so that what form the tattoo takes is of no great moment since it is the inclination of heart – to reject Jesus Christ and accept Satan in His place – that is the operative point.

No one apostatizes or goes to hell through innocence or accident or against their own free will. Choosing our eternal destiny, whether or not we wish to live with the Lord forever through accepting Him and His gift of life, is what this life and this world is really all about.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Just thought I would email you during these difficult times wondering how you've been doing. I was just praying and all the sudden I randomly thought of you and then desired to reach out. I hope all is well.

I was laid off at my job but that's ok with me as I needed time to pull myself together, all this free time has been enjoyable for me as I have been keeping focused and busy in the Word and in my studies, this is all sort of a time of blessing for me, and I'm beginning to see major improvement in my life and now beginning to even see some more production as well. The beginning of this year has been better than all of last year combined, I still struggle but by God's grace and power I am doing much better and growing closer in my walk with the Lord.

To be honest, I'm not all that concerned about this virus, I haven't really been thinking about it all that much. That isn't to say I'm not concerned for those who are actually suffering from all this of course, but my eyes are on the Lord. I see this as practice for when the tribulation begins, though this is of course pales in comparison to what we will witness during the tribulation. None the less, the way I see it is that believers should be doing what they should be doing when the tribulation begins, namely continuing the quite routine of growth, progress, and production and not let anything get in the way of that. I noticed that for myself its the only way I can remain at peace and feel security, and instead of worrying about the wind and waves that are raging around me, analogous to the terrors the tribulation will bring, I try to take pains to keep my eyes fixed straight ahead on Christ. Makes me think of Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (KJV).

I'm just about finished with the coming tribulation, and then I want to move and do in order the basic series.

Will continue to press forward and fight hard, I know there is no way but up from here on out.

In His grace and power

Response #5:

Thanks for your encouraging email, my friend!

Isaiah 26:3 it is! I'm thrilled to hear of your wonderful attitude in spite of your employment situation. I hope and pray that things get back to where they were ASAP. It would be nice to have "seven fat years" before the "seven lean" that are surely coming, but the Plan of God is perfect.

I'm also very pleased to know you as a brother Christian and would always counsel every believer to be concerned about what Jesus Christ thinks – and remember always His mercy and forgiveness – and not worry about what other people think, not even believers, not even people we may like, look up to, or respect. There's nothing for it in this life except to forget the past and push forward as you are doing, trying to do our best for our dear Lord and Master, come what may.

Looking forward to cheering you on at the judgment seat of Christ!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hello Dr. Luginbill, I pray all is well with you.

This Coronavirus seems like a very good fire drill used for political and economical agendas. As you have been preaching "the writing is on the wall"

With that being said, I was wondering:

1) From this point moving forward, what is the best way to prepare for the tribulation?

2) At this point, what motivation would Satan have to still think his plan would work, moreover is it that Satan knows he messed up and wants to take as many people down with him, or does he actually believe that the more people he convinces the better chance he has to change the plan of God?

Thanks as always

Response #6:

Hello Friend,

"Fire drill" is a good way of putting it!

The best way to prepare for the Tribulation is the best way to prepare for the personal tribulation all Christians experience from time to time (to greater or lesser degree), namely, to continue to grow spiritually, progress in passing of tests, and to help others do likewise through ministry. In other words, "spiritual growth" along the lines outlined fairly recently in BB 6A: Peripateology (link).

As to the devil, he was in the very presence of God for unknown ages before he rebelled – and he still imagined he could pull it off! That is unparalleled arrogance. And we know that arrogance hardens hearts and produces spiritual blindness. We see that in people too of course. Everyone knows that they will die, and everyone knows that God exists and that He is perfect and perfectly righteous, that is part of the "eternity written" on the hearts of all (Eccl.3:21; cf. Rom.1:18-21). And yet people still imagine that somehow they will not be cast into hell – even though they realize they are sinners and have spat in the face of Jesus Christ, rejecting the Father's costly sacrifice on their behalf. So the pattern of arrogance turning reality upside down, creating a new personal "truth", and believing those self-concocted or at least happily embraced lies as "the truth" is an old story – the story of everyone who rejects God. See also the link: "Learning from the devil's revolt"

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Thanks man stay safe out there too. I have a question about the Tower of Babel and us going to the moon ‘n’ stuff. If God didn’t allow humans to build the Tower of Babel to reach heaven then why would He allow us to send mankind to space? Was it just our intentions that differentiates between the two? Thanks.

Response #7:

Of course the tower of Babel could not actually reach heaven – that was just the satanic propaganda. And of course reaching the moon is a laughably insignificant distance compared even to this tiny solar system. And even if people could find a way to get to the end of the galaxy – or the end of the universe – it wouldn't bring them one step closer to heaven. God has allowed – both cases – just enough to permit those of us with a godly perspective to see the unlimited reach of human arrogance in comparison to humanity's truly paltry ability. As I've often noted, people's egos are enormous and they imagine themselves so big – and God so small – when of course the opposite is true and to an infinite degree. A major part of godliness is getting that sorted out in our thinking.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Yeah I figured they wouldn’t be able to reach heaven. I guess it was the attempt itself that upset God. I guess I’m confused about where heaven is exactly. Is it in another dimension beyond space, time, & matter or our universe? People seem to think it’s in the sky or hidden in the clouds but we can’t see it. It’s always confused me. Also when Jesus Christ our Lord comes back and He rules over earth for 1000 years what would happen to the believers currently in heaven and those who live through to the Tribulation? Will there still be death? It wouldn’t be the New Jerusalem right so wouldn’t there still be unbelievers or does Christ’s return convince all the doubters? Also does Scripture say anything about what would happen to someone if they died not knowing about the Bible or Jesus Christ? Do they go to heaven or hell? That’s confused me as well. Thanks man.

Do you think this coronavirus is prophetic? Like is it one of the things supposed to happen before the Tribulation in 2026 among many things? Regardless should we expect some events to happen as a prerequisite to the Trib? A warning ‘n’ such? Seems like this thing has gotten out of hand and I definitely don’t trust our government even more so now. Hopefully this thing doesn’t mutate into different strains or/and into something stronger. People have been saying there could be multiple waves and that there is more than one strain already. It is apart of the RNA virus family so it can mutate.

Response #8:

To take your second question first, there's a great deal about that in the latest email postings which are mostly about the virus. That's the been the case for the past month or so; see the links:

Eschatology Issues XXIX

Eschatology Issues XXX

Eschatology Issues XXXI

As to your first paragraph – a lot of Qs here so feel free to write back if I miss anything – "heaven" is the third heaven and it is "not of this creation" (Heb.9:11); that means that it's not in time and space the way the physical universe is (same goes for Hades, the underworld with all of its compartments). Physical human beings can't even discern the "above and below" but they are real, just as the spirit (and angels) are real but not of the physical world we can see. So "dimension" is perhaps not the worst way to think about it, but even that word seems to put things in material terms and so misses the point: it's all real but not physical / material in the way what human beings can discern is.

When the Lord returns, all believers from Adam and Eve to the last person saved in the Tribulation will be resurrected as the Church of Jesus Christ and will reign with Him for the 1,000 years. Those saved in the Millennium will not be resurrected until the end of that time – they are the Friends of Bride. The resurrection of the unsaved also occurs at that end time and is followed by the last judgment of unbelievers. Following that, we have eternity, "kingdom come", the new heavens and the new earth and New Jerusalem where we believers will be forever with our dear Lord (a very quick version of CT 6: "Last Things" at the link).

There will be plenty of unbelievers during the Millennium, but life will be so good that death will be extremely rare (cf. Is.65:20). Scripture doesn't provide many details, but it seems that only (rare) violence will result in death and that believers who are victims will be resuscitated but unbelievers will end up in Torments (along with all the unbelievers since Cain).

These are troubling times, but we know that only wonderful things await us, we who believe in Jesus Christ.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2nd Corinthians 4:18 NIV

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hope you are alright Bob,

I see Covid 19 has hit the US hard, especially in New York.

Keeping you in my prayers. My mum turned 70 today. We had an online party with family and friends on Zoom. It took a lot of organising and I had to do most of it myself pretty last minute, put it worked tremendously well and my mum was so touched. She said she'll never forget it.

Mum and dad both now say grace before meals and they regularly pray with me. They are thinking about God now so much more than before!

God can use all things for good!

God bless you.

In Jesus,

Response #9:

Good to hear that you're having such success in reaching your parents – and that the birthday party went so well! Good for you!

We're hanging in there. The virus doesn't seem to be doing all that much damage, at least not compared to the horrific economic damage we're doing to our own selves. When this is over, there may be a lot of people virus-free – living in cardboard boxes in the alley and starving to death.

I'm blessed to have a job. It's not fun teaching online (not for me), but – did I mention? – I still have my job, so I'm so very grateful to the Lord for that.

And you are right. I'm sure that since this is part of the plan that the Lord is using it for good. Important to remember that, and the example of your parents proves that. If this all brings a few people around to Christ (and a few believers around to getting serious), then I can't complain.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily, my friend! Thanks so much for yours too!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hello Dr.,

Having quite a bit of trouble the internet and DropBox with all the cyber traffic these days, hopefully in your DropBox you will find the following:

BB-6B pt.3: The Old and New Covenants

Things sure have been interesting lately, however not much has changed here for me personally (at this point), keeping busy around the house and working. The City has shut down, but the Inspections Division is still working since the Governor has deemed construction “essential”... thankful for that. I’m not worried about the virus, if I get it, no problem, I may have already of had it and not known what it was. This is definitely a good learning experience in how to deal with people who are caught up in mass hysteria. It seems fear and panic have taken over most that I’ve come into contact with, even some of the rough/tough men that used to show so much bravado now have a deer in the headlights look about them. I’ve found it best not to say too much, especially if you don’t go along with the mainstream narrative. Basically I’ve found that if an individual has a different take on this than what is being preached by the powers that be than that individual must hate people and want everybody to die. However, I can assure you that is not the case with me personally. I just think there is much about this that doesn't add up and that there is more to it than meets the eye. There is an underlying current of hatred in people that is easily provoked when their sense of normalcy is disrupted. But I’m not surprised, with the nearness of the Tribulation, it’s to be expected. When Holy Spirit restraint is removed it’s really going to be a challenge, so I can see the benefit of an event like this from a preparedness perspective for a believer. Also, it’s quite disturbing that people in this country are more concerned with stocking up on toilet paper than they are with saving there own soul.

How are you sir? From your postings over the last couple of weeks it seems that you are getting the hang of the new work from home deal, even if it isn't ideal. Hopefully we’ll get back to what I expect to be the “new normal” in the near future. I’m sure there will be more waves of disruption with more new rules of one sort or another to help finish building the world stage for the coming charismatic “leader”. Keeping you in prayer here daily. Thanks for all you do.

All the best,

Response #10:

Thanks for the latest MP3! Uploaded and working fine – sorry it was a hassle on your end, my friend.

How is your health? How are you and your wife doing out there – you were "remote" before it became obligatory. Any word on the position? I keep you two in my prayers daily.

Thanks for your CV-19 perspectives. Yes, and in re: toilet paper, this has certainly cut down on the risk of getting one's house "TP-ed"! A friend of a friend opined that he sure wished someone would TP his house – he'd then go out and collect it up.

We've received today a "warning order" about our classes all being moved online in the Fall! It's already happened for summer. Don't honestly know if this is overly pessimistic (since Fall is a long way off), or overly optimistic: I mean, if THIS continues into the Fall, I doubt there will be an economy or a university left – or maybe even a government. Some people may starve to death willingly, but probably not an entire country. So interesting times ahead no doubt! There are some positive signs, spiritually speaking – though very modest given the nature of the shock. I've had a few readers report about friends and relatives being more responsive to the truth. And my Ichthys numbers hit a high today I haven't seen in many years. So people are "thinking about it". What they end up DOING about it may be not so good (many start, few follow through). We'll just have to see on that. In spite of the no doubt satanic machinations behind all this, our God always works it out for the good. Even if it is a bit uncomfortable. Did I mention I'm not into being uncomfortable? Guess I'll have to work on that one.

Thanks again for your penetrating comments! You may see them posted sooner rather than later.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11:

With the exception of gaining a few pounds my health seems pretty good. Have you lost any weight? If you did, I found it! My memory and concentration seem to be improving.

Yes, we are “remote”, and being an introvert by nature I’ve always practiced my own brand of “social distancing” so this is not much of a problem for me. The State is in a hiring freeze with department heads directed to look for areas to make cuts, so job prospects in this arena aren’t looking to promising. But that’s ok, I’m thankful for the job I have. So many people have found themselves with nothing due to this mess, and I might be one of them once all is said and done. However, our Father loves us and gave His Son to die for us, so it’s no big thing for Him to provide for us, no matter how bad things get.

I’m happy to hear that the number of visitors to Ichthys is up. It would seem that this event would be a big wake up call to a largely sleeping Church. I’ve seen headlines from other Christians websites claiming “the four horsemen of the apocalypse are riding” and “the rapture is near” so let’s hope they don’t hit the snooze button.

I do hope you find yourself back in a classroom in the Fall. However, if you still have to teach online at least the paychecks should keep rolling in (right?). Thanks for Ichthys, I’m looking forward to spending eternity with our Lord and brothers and sisters like you.

All the best,

Response #11:

Yes, I still have a job. But I really don't think there'll even be a university if everything is still shut down in the fall. They're talking about furloughs at the university, they're cutting the pay of the administrators who make a lot (so there are some advantages to being underpaid), cutting back on all of our retirement contributions, and freezing everything. Pretty sure we'll be OK – the Lord is in control whatever we think.

Good to hear that your memory problems are abating. With the load you're under it's easily explainable why you might have forgotten where you put your car keys once or twice (as long as you didn't mail them in with the electric bill). On weight, they say you gain a pound a year on average after the age of twenty. That would make me 102 years old, I fear.

Keeping you and the situation in my daily prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

I hope you've had a good day and you and your family are still well.

My hours have been reduced at work now to one day a week and the guidelines seem to be changing all the time. __'s workplace has just shut for a minimum of three weeks. He will still be getting paid 80% of his normal wage so I'm very grateful for that. No worries at all though - I'm still trusting in the Lord and have His peace inside.

This week's emails were really interesting to read. One thing that got me thinking was your correspondent who was talking about the possible symptoms of the virus they had. And when you said that you thought maybe you'd had it yourself. It reminded me of a few weeks back before it all really kicked off over here on the news and __ had been really ill. She had a terrible dry cough which went on for a long time, was really loud and sounded like a bark! She had a temperature, a sore throat, achy, really bad headaches at the start and her chest was really sore and tight. She said that sometimes she felt like she was drowning. She said that's the only way she can describe it because she was so short of breath. She was really struggling with her breathing and her inhaler wasn't making any difference. At the time we weren't really thinking about the virus because this was just before all the fuss started about it. She was also seeing the doctor about her breathing and they sent her for a chest x-ray for her heart which came back fine. When she was waiting for her x-ray she was coughing and they told her to stand further away from them just in case she had the virus. She said her chest is still sore now because of all the coughing but apart from that she's better. Not long after this I had what I thought was just a cold but it started with a chesty cough not a dry cough and a sore throat. I had a few bad headaches as well which is something I very rarely have and a bit later on I started having what I thought was just asthma. I had asthma worse as a child and very rarely get it now. So who knows,__ is pretty sure she's had it - I'm not sure about me.

You must be all worn out with Corona emails! But to know the Lord is looking after us and we can trust Him no matter what is just amazing.

I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #12:

I'm sorry to hear about the cutbacks, but I'm in communication with many who have been laid off entirely and are on their own. So I know you're grateful for what you've got: me too! God is good!

We've had some nasty rumblings here to the effect that the uni may be still doing remote next fall. What a disaster that would be! If we are all still locked down by fall, I really don't think there will be universities left – or economies or maybe even governments. Scary prospects. So I'm not sweating another semester of online teaching because I really think it's unlikely – one way or the other. Then again, I'm the opposite of a prophet as things usually don't work out how I would expect. But God always works them out for good in every case.

Interesting about your daughter's illness. I had a very strange sore throat / mild flu come on last January and those around me did as well. I never get temperatures (run low though not as low as my mom did). So maybe I've had it too. Doesn't really matter to me. The damage being done by the reaction is far more concerning.

Yes, I'm a bit overloaded at the moment. Still doing work-arounds for home and job and the volume of emails is way up. I'm struggling to stay even but I know that the Lord always works it out.

Keeping you and your health and that of your family and all other things in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hi Bob,

You're right - I'm always very grateful for everything that the Lord has given me and I know that there are a huge number of people worse off than me and feeling under enormous pressure right now and I'm praying for them. There are so many people to pray for. I'm praying for our Government and for our Prime Minister too who is in intensive care right now.

I would be amazed if you're still teaching online by fall. I think once this virus has hit it's peak and then things slowly begin to improve it won't take too long at all before we're all back to "normal". I might be wrong but those are my thoughts on it.

I'm not in control of any of the madness in this world right now. All I know is that I am a child of the One who IS in control of it all. He knows what He's doing in the world and in the lives and hearts of His own individual children. I know that whatever He does is only ever for our good.

I'll be continuing to pray for you - including the ministry, family, health, home and work. If there's ever anything specific you want me to pray for don't hesitate to let me know. I know that prayer is the very best way that I can minister to everyone.

Thanks so much for your prayers too.

Take care.

In our dear Lord Jesus Christ

Response #13:

I heard about your PM. I'm hoping that drs. worldwide will find fixes; I've hear that a combo of anti-viral and immune suppressants seems to be the most likely ticket for people who get into distress with this. Add more testing (including for finding those who are now immune) and we SHOULD be good enough to go back to work. The real problem is the sky-is-falling mentality of many in our country of the "global warming" variety. These folks won't be happy until all activity has ceased – except for theirs.

I always appreciate your godly perspective! Man proposes, but God disposes. His plan is perfect and everything that happens is part of what is necessary. Our job is to trust and accept – and give the kind of good positive witness that you are giving.

Thanks so much for your prayers! It is quite busy at the moment. Keeping you and yours in mine daily as well.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Sending you this video as evidence that even the influencers in this world who claim to not know Jesus, do know who He is and are actively deceiving people so that people will reject Him despite overwhelming revelation. They know that most people will seek the truth at some point and I have realised that popular culture's only purpose is to blind people to the truth. There is so much mockery of our Saviour in every single form of media, entertainment and culture.
I never have to look far to see Him referenced in songs, novels, art, films etc. The constant mockery is actually consistent proof!

I know Bob that you do not need proof and certainly not from unbelievers but I thought this video very interesting. It shows that the denial of Jesus is imbedded in the culture around us and they try, at an early age, to brainwash us to such a degree that when we find the truth. We doubt it. This is because there are subtle little references to Jesus in all popular culture. All it serves is to discredit who He is and why He came here.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPhBrFQ-TOg

In the video it shows how "1984" made us fear "Room 101" (and all beginners classes are called 101 as well as 1 and 0 being binary code) and yet Jesus is revealed to be the door in John 10:1.

In the same book we are warned of something malevolent watching over us called "Big Brother". This has become embedded into our culture to represent a nefarious surveillance state. Yet I have just realised from the video I sent you, Jesus is our big brother and He is actually watching over us and watching out for us like a loving big brother would!

It makes sense that they try to invert everything! They promote all that is evil and say it is good for us, whilst trying to terrify us from seeking our wonderful Saviour!

Yet more amazing revelation! They really are terrified that we will find out who Jesus is. They know who Jesus is but actively reject Him for riches in this world. They don't want us to know the truth. That's what they call it the "ugly truth".

Jesus is the truth, that is why they say that.

Take care of yourself.

In Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

Response #14:

You are right! Jesus has it all in hand; we who trust Him have nothing to worry about since our hope is not in this world but in the next one. Whatever happens here, good or bad (from our perspective) is all to the good for all who trust Him who is working all things out together for good.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hello my friend and brother, as always I pray for those that are ministering the word of God (in your face) before our Father and your family.

1.) Robert, the church age started at the birth of Christ, or at Christ baptism, or when he turned 30, or at his resurrection or in the upper room? Since we are close to being at the end of the 2000 year point from the resurrection of Christ Jesus is this an indication we have 25 +- years to go before the end of the church age ends. Also does this mean the door will be closed the wood shut up, no one can enter in, what is the fallout for those who have not accepted our Savior at this point? I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work, John 9:4.

2.) Exodus 20: 8-11 , the Sabbath day we are to remember to do and to keep it holy, a commandment; and because we are in Christ who is our Sabbath knowing this, and/or, is there also a day we should keep?

3.) as the redeemed of Christ are we the ones grafted into Israel?

Thank you always for being the Friend of our Savior Christ Jesus, John 15:15

Response #15:

Good to hear from you – and I hope you and yours are doing well in spite of the present unpleasantness.

As for your questions:

1) The coming of the Holy Spirit is what begins the Church Age, technically speaking. The time between the birth of Christ and that event is an interim period. As to the calendar, if we posit 33 AD as the time of the cross and resurrection (most likely; see the link), then 2033 would be the most likely candidate for His return. We subtract the seven years of the Tribulation which precedes the second advent to get the time of the Tribulation's commencement: 2026 (if the other assumptions are correct – which I believe they are). So there isn't much time left.

2) For the Church, we are to have a "moment by moment Sabbath" rather than a specific day observance. Recent link on that: "Sabbath or Sunday worship" in BB 6B (but there is a lot about this on the site; see the subject index or write me back for the links).

3) You are correct: Gentiles are the ones "grafted in"; we are grafted into "true Israel", meaning all descendants of Abraham who are also "of the FAITH of Abraham" (e.g., Rom.4:12; 4:16).

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi, Bob,

Hope you and your family are healthy. Minnesota has not been hit hard yet. Wondering what your thoughts were on the sacking of Captain Crozier. Seems to be a lot of mixed opinions between veterans I’ve heard from. I’m sure our Lord and Savior will continue to keep you healthy and safe.

Response #16:

I'm doing fine – thanks for asking. It's not the disease that's problematic, IMHO, it's the insanity of the "cure".

As to your question, I wasn't on the boat so it's hard for me to judge. I will say that the military has a mission and carrying that mission out is what it is all about. I would bet that there isn't a ship in the navy – or a military base – that doesn't have cases of the virus. If they all decided to go off line, we'd be in pretty big trouble. If you've got a particularly big problem on your boat/base, it's legitimate to and in fact required to let the chain of command know the situation as well as to pass along your best suggestions for handling it; but you don't get to pick how to handle it if that means refusing to carry out your orders, even if the solution passed down by higher-ups is incredibly stupid (that is the case more often than not). If commanders only carried out smart orders, we'd have no military over night. Refusing to carry out a not-illegal order (this order to continue operation was not illegal) is a high-risk thing to do. It takes courage to do that, no doubt. It's also the end of the road career-wise, even if the refuse-nik is right and the higher-ups are wrong – actually, especially if that is true.

Blessedly we have a Commander who is NEVER wrong. If we think so and start complaining like the children of Israel did in the desert, failing the test ten times, we can expect to find our bones bleaching in the desert just like they did.

In Jesus our perfect Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Bob,

As always, glad you are well. I share your opinion, was in favor of the stay at home order initially because I was afraid our hospitals would get overwhelmed and maybe someone I cared about, myself included, might have needed a bed and not been able to get one. At this point though, the damage to the economy (if this continues) is going to be far greater than that of the virus, it is what it is and it's not possible to argue that. We will definitely see a spike in cases if things open back up right now but I certainly hope by the end of April most American workers at least have a date for starting their job again. I try not to worry much about myself and keep focused on other people, successful I think more often than not but far from perfect in that regard. Still have moments of fear, doubt and self-pity.

Thanks for explaining that. Now I see why it was so difficult for the men in Vietnam to give back ground gained to the enemy. To them, it must come down to that their friends basically died for nothing when they lose 35 men taking a hill and are ordered to give it back 2 days later. No choice but to follow orders though. I suppose a gifted and gutsy general might disobey an order in the heat of battle and get away with it but not company commanders or platoon leaders. Having never served in the military, that's the closest I can come to making sense of it.

I find the older I get, the more God is basically everything that matters. Have prayed my heart out that our doctors, nurses, parents and friends stay healthy, I hope it's helped. I try to keep gratitude in front of me at all times and I always thank God for his mercy, blessings and grace above all.

Response #17:

I'm certainly also praying for this insanity to all end sooner rather than later. The unintended consequences are mounting and falling on others like so many dominoes. Not too much longer and there won't be anything left or it will be too late to turn things around. If a fellow didn't have strong faith in Jesus Christ it could be down right depressing. Blessedly, we know that He is in charge, that He loves us, that He is our Rock, that He will never let us fall. We are going to be able to carry out His plan for our lives (even if that doesn't square 100% with what we WANTED to be His plan for our lives), because He will make it possible. And nothing and no one can stand in His way.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1st Peter 1:3-7 NIV

It doesn't matter what the rank is. Disobeying orders can get you shot. So you'd better be pretty sure that it's worth being shot before you do so. I'm a student of military history and I can't think of a single war or battle where the leaders on either side and at every level were not at least somewhat wrong or at least not entirely right about the orders they gave – by virtue of the "fog of war" even in the case of brilliant commanders – so that by the standard we're discussing any soldier could feel justified in disobeying any order at any time, since he might actually have a point. That is why they shoot people for disobeying orders. Because otherwise no unit would ever do anything it was told to do.

As mentioned before, however, blessedly WE have a Commanding Officer who IS perfect in every way and who has NEVER told us to do anything that wasn't absolutely in our best interest. Our part therefore is also to be obedient – and to trust Him that He knows what He is doing. Believe me, He certainly does!

See the link in SR 4: Strangers in the Devil's Realm

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your kind words - it encourages me to try to be even a little bit worthy of them. I am afraid that I have a long way to go to fit your description of myself. Indeed my need to prepare urgently.

The gardener tending the roses near the bus stop in his town this morning hit the nail on the head (I had stacks of time, as it turned out I had only 1 student on the bus, so I went for a walk around the block), when he said: “We are not the top of the food chain, when a tiny invisible thing can do this to us.”

I was disappointed in myself that I did not ask what he thought of Jesus ( was being careful to ascertain his position, then it was time to go). Even unbelievers believe in things they can’t see - with a little bigger eyes (of faith) we can see Jesus.

He continued; “We had the flu after the World Wars, and it is about 50 years between these major diseases, it will be good to get this over with and look forward to 50 years of normality. One thing it has taught us to be a little kinder to each other, though there are exceptions. And I suppose mother nature does a needed cull of the population”. (he thinks THIS is a cull! Patience.)
Me: “I believe we are in for far worse times in the very near future with diseases and other things. Just when we think it is peaceful we will be hit with these things.” (me being a party pooper - no need to wonder what the future penalty of that might be!) I probably ruined his day, or he thought I was a pessimist nutter. I will try to get there early tomorrow to explain more along the lines of 1st Peter 3:15a that you quoted. Hopefully he will be there. It is probably my last few days of paid employment for awhile so I won’t be venturing over there for awhile after that.

Just a thought I had now in review; seeing with CV 19 we got to keep a distance of at least 2 metres from people, I will put fotos of your business cards on my fone to share with any who are willing for me to send it to their fone . I will mention that Curt has Bible Academy on your homepage as well. If he is there, will the gardener accept? If he does, he would have my number to ask any questions) I am a bit perturbed by the thought that the Spirit set this up to test my level of preparedness and I was found wanting.

Listening to announcements I got excited when I heard the PM say they were going to pay employers payments to assist keeping even casual staff on their books, as long as the casual has been with the company at least 12 months. I just changed companies a few months ago, so my balloon was shot down - you did say something generally about not changing jobs, but I wanted a little adventure and ...

Got on ___s church’s Bible study via their church’s Zoom app last night - just getting oriented how to use it mainly and then having each person pray in turn. I was dog tired after another run (hopefully not dry), to the city in my break between morning and afternoon bus runs, plus hardly slept a wink the night before stressing over an over the phone deal to buy a caravan for my daughter who is homeless with her baby, to live in temporarily . (So much for my heeding Jesus, saying, not to worry!) Travel curfew came in at midnight last night, so it had to be done yesterday in short time. (I again recall in your Coming Tribulation series saying about the rapid fire changes that will be happening at a bewildering pace during the Tribulation). Prepare to meet the Bridegroom while it is still day (NOW), for when the night comes (methinks during the Great Tribulation) NO WORK can be done. I notice in Matthew 25:6 that Jesus returns at midnight (the darkest point of the Tribulation). Verse 5 seems to indicate the bride is totally battle weary. The oil in their lamps allows the bride to see Jesus, even in the darkest night of affliction. It would be nice to have an oil gauge we can check, yet it is the Holy Spirit that prompts us to show us where we are at, and to keep us adding oil.

Well you are correct, we are NOT ready for the Tribulation when I can easily fret over such things (a pattern for me with these sorts of complicated monetary/ emotional/family decisions that I seem never to have gotten any better at over time). Of course there were family dynamics to contend with - though today they have quietened and I have resigned myself to trust our Lord more than I have before. Left me rather tired, though I did kinda have a better sleep last night because of the sheer fatigue. My wife kept a more reasonable attitude, so this was calming for me.

They say life is all about balance. When you have plenty of work, you have no time to pay the bills. When you have no work (and plenty of time), you have no money to pay the bills.

We are different. We know life is Jesus.

Yes, the reading of scriptures and study is the easy part - the believing and actually living it out in our daily life is so much more difficult. I see that prayer needs to be a bigger part of my life. I thank you for yours.

As you say, will be nice when this virus thing is over, yet it HAS showed up serious chinks in our personal armour. I pray we can all get to work and mend up the equipment needed for the real testing to come. I did take the opportunity to mention in the Zoom study the greater challenges ahead. The pastor’s wife who was running the video meeting took no issue with me on this point, so I am hoping she now also realises what we already know from scripture about enduring to the end. Also in the prayers it was mentioned she was suffering internal physical injuries of unknown nature, so we are praying for her health as well as challenges each of us in this little group has at the present (lack of paid work being common to many of us due to virus constraints). __ and wife shifting into caravan to cut expenses of living in a rental house.

I got one of many inklings, including of what you said about antichrist distributing property etc to his cronies, when the government said people cannot be evicted from their rental accommodation (a good thing), due to a loss of their jobs from CV19 - but landlord’s are expected to wear the cost. In the Tribulational future it is now easy to see how quick things change to enforce any law that will see people lose even the house they live in. Certainly is an evil “prep time” now. A good time to review Job 1:21 .... The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Also Ephesians 6:10-20

It is hard to see this country ever recovering from the mountain of debt this virus has caused - I suppose it is not meant to recover, but, is meant to ensure “the prep” is totally effective for the despot ruler to control his “dominion”.

I pray the Holy Spirit will guide each of us in OUR preparation to ENDURE to the end and be blessed to rejoice in the everlasting kingdom of Him who is our true Lord.

Thank you for gracious Ministry.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student and friend

Response #18:

Thanks for all your good words, my friend. I wouldn't fret to much over "fretting". Pressure is real. We just need to learn how to cope with it, realizing to our depths that Jesus is in control and that all this is happening for a reason. Spending more and better time with Him is what we need to get through every crisis. It certainly is true that we find out in such times of pressure where we are at. No one ever "arrives" completely. We can all improve our spiritual foundation. Even the best prepared military unit finds out quickly in their first combat encounter that they need to make some changes. The good ones adjust rapidly and move onward not worrying about initial losses from false assumptions and the like. Good believers do the same. And just because our emotions are acting up – very understandable – it doesn't mean we have to follow them. If we remain "strong and courageous" in our status / standing, with feet planted firmly on the Rock, then we needn't despair about feeling internal commotion. We can "speak to our hearts" and calm them in the Holy Spirit. Elijah was not wrong to be upset about getting that threatening letter from Jezebel: he was wrong to allow himself to react to it the way he did. Moses was not wrong to be angry at the failure of the new generation just like their fathers when facing the "no water test": he was wrong to let that anger get control of him and act out in a wrong way. We hold our place in the battle line, no matter what, and we do our best to inspire confidence in all who look to us.

You are doing well my friend – and doing it right!

Hold your good course in Jesus Christ!

Question #19:

Dear Professor

Just the kind of answer I need at this time. Thank you.

One of my “frets”, (about not mentioning Jesus to the gardener in the median strip), I need not have beat myself up too much about. I got over there early this morning and he wasn’t there, so I walked around the blocks and he was just setting up to prune the roses as I was on my way back to depart in the bus, so it had to be a quick chat. He waved a casual passing by type of wave, I went over and asked what he thought about Jesus. That set him off.

Gardener: It is just a belief isn’t it. I been around churches and all kinds of beliefs, what about the Hare Chrisna, Buddhist’s, Moslems ; everyone believes they are right. It just depends how and what you are brought up believing.
Me: It is evident from what we see in the world and the universe that there is a creator.
G: What about the Big Bang!
Me: What about it?
G: Well things just evolved.
Me: What we gradually formed out of nothing and then out of rocks?
G: Well it is all just a belief and people believe differently.
Me: I get my belief from the Bible.
G: What!? Do you believe what you read in the newspapers too? Did the Bible tell of the two world wars?(mockingly).
Me: No. It starts with the Tribulation in 7 years time. We all die. We all will give an account for our lives. You believe in a virus someone tells you they can see under a microscope, and so do I. I also believe in Jesus who I can not see, but many reliable witnesses testify of Him and His resurrection. He is also written about before His birth in the Old Testament.
G: Well it is all just different beliefs and I don’t believe in the Bible.
Me: Nice having a chat. I like pruning, but I don’t get paid to do it. You are fortunate to get paid for doing such a pleasurable job. Bye.

That was the gist of it. He was coming from a solid position of denial that wasn’t going to be moved in a 5min chat - or however long. Will leave him with it. When we do get back to “normal” again, if I see him, I won’t be able to stop and chat with him as I will be enroute with a bus load of students, so it will be a wave.

I suppose the best thing about coming up against such strong opposition is that it makes you want to prepare better - not only for having a rational conversation with unbelievers, but to examine what and why we believe what we do. I do feel pained by the hardness of people’s hearts.

After today - my last day on the job until this cv19 is resolved- I join the unemployed - though there are plenty of unpaid jobs I will have the chance to do. There is a bit of social security relief for being a pensioner so we will see how things pan out (taking the Pan Millennialist line on this one). Like you remind us - God is in charge.

Thank you for your gracious Ministry.

Your student and friend in Jesus our Lord.

Response #19:

You are most definitely "strong and courageous" for the Lord, my friend!

This incident is a good example of where we sometimes are thinking we are not being forward enough when in fact we are way out in front of the actual responsiveness of someone we encounter. It's not a matter of our preparation. The Holy Spirit's witness is perfect for all our imperfection. If they won't respond to Him, it wouldn't matter how "polished" we were.

Sadly, in evangelicaldom in this country in particular (but around the world as well), a perverse pride is taken in "reaching" such people by banging them over the head with the gospel. Or rather, I should say, with hell fire and damnation (which is certainly NOT "good news"). This sort of activity substitutes for learning anything deep about the Bible or applying it in their own lives. It's called Laodicea. Such folks will be more than a little surprised when the Tribulation begins and they have not been raptured to safety. At that point, they will either have to finally get serious about the truth or succumb. We pray for the former, but scripture is very clear that all to many will fall to the latter.

Praying for you – and for everyone else – to get their jobs back ASAP. This situation has become insane. It's as if we were scared of being bitten by a rat so we got up on a chair . . . and hanged ourselves by the neck from the chandelier "just in case".

But nothing is impossible for the Lord and His good purpose is being carried out – even if we have a hard time seeing just how at the time.

We walk by faith, not by sight (2Cor.5:7).

In Jesus Christ who loved us so much that He died in the darkness to sin to expiate us from all our sin so that we might live eternally with Him – something so much better than any suffering we're now experiencing that there is no true comparison (1Pet.4:12-13).

Bob L.

Question #20:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your kind words of reply. I know and am sure I have many areas where I do need improving on - especially at home with teaching the gospel. That is why I always appreciate your prayers, and those of other believers - to help me in my lack.

Very early on in this covid 19 virus epidemic, when it became apparent that the older age group, especially those with pre-existing health problems, were the ones mostly susceptible to this virus, I thought it would be an idea to protect this age group and minimise the disruption to the rest of society. Of course that would still have meant you teaching online - or I had visions of you behind a perplex screen or in a space suit teaching your class. The rest of us oldies they could isolate in luxury resorts (great for the economy and our egos), or more reasonably at home, with home deliveries for essentials (also great for the economy).

But this is all just human thinking and I concur with your observation that there are NO human solutions to human problems - only One solution - Jesus Christ. This event is meant to show this, for any willing to accept the obvious - the biggest problem we have is NOT having power over death and hell and judgment.

The choice should be obvious to believers, but, perhaps to the hard hearts of unbelievers much less obvious. Now perhaps less than 7 years to prepare for the Tribulation 7 years where the choices/solutions will finally come down to 2 CHOICES ONLY. What we have now is the picnic version to help us prepare for this Tribulation. (A blessed “respite” and gentle prod, to remind and prepare us for what is to come).

In the Tribulation:

Q1. Will we recognise and choose the true solution? (Despite the clever deception)
Q2. Will we be able to endure to the end? (Despite the severe cost)

A1 & A2. Constantly filling our spiritual oil lamps - NOW!

The oil from our lamps will illuminate what the Spirit shows us to be the truth, despite our eyes and ears observing the many false signs and wonders of the other ”choice” giver, brilliantly displayed and packaged for those perishing.

Let us encourage one another with the ONLY solution. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;
and especially that we, in Laodicea, will not be deluded in the crisis, Colossians 2:1-8.

It is encouraging for me to hear that some other Christians I speak to, also see this as a preparation/prelude.

Thank you for always impressing upon us the pressing need to prepare spiritually. I pray for you and your Ministry (an excellent place to learn how to keep adding to our lamps).

Have a blessed holiday, in remembrance of Him, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself as the price for our sins, to redeem us forever unto eternal life.

And just as an afterthought to demonstrate the truth of the current events.

People are right to fear the unseen - but it is NOT CV 19 virus (this is just a catalyst to move our thinking to the truth); rather it is to fear our unseen Lord who delivers salvation and damnation, which one; each decides, depending whether we accept Him as our Lord, resulting in our redemption/resurrection; or by succumbing to the antichrist resulting in judgment and damnation for those who do succumb. This is the warning to believers and unbelievers.

For the Laodicean church of our day the message ends the same as to the other churches; “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:22

We are to heed, in addition to the message to the Laodicean church, the messages to all the other churches as well - as they all teach us the truths we need.

It is time - to feast upon the Word. We will not get another such time to prepare - or to prepare so well having the excellent resources. This prod, at this time, is for our benefit. As you have said; Prep time is not when the battle is in full array.

Thank you for your excellent resources from the Bible teachings you write, telling us ALL things BEFOREHAND - which is the ONLY time to prepare.

In Jesus our Lord.

Your student and friend

Response #20:

This is great stuff!

Hope you don't mind me posting it sooner rather than later.

Apologies for the brevity. Really getting snowed under here.

Your fellow Christian warrior in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your reply.

From your teachings I did realise that he does represent himself as Jesus Christ or God. I was thinking of BEFORE he seats himself in the temple, could this card - glorious manifestation of some sort - be pulled out by him or the false prophet - either in person or through others?
It does say that signs and wonders (Matt 24:24) by false christs and false prophets. It seems this verse is after the mid point, so why false christs - when antichrist will claim to be THE Christ?

On Joseph’s dream, let’s hope this cv19 is just a signal to prepare for believers and a jolt to humanity to turn to God, then our favorable years can start. I suppose the signal/jolt will be the exact right length of time (a perspective I got from my ichthys teacher). The alternative, years of bliss and then whamo, will also be a severe shock.

1 Thessalonians 5:3 seems to indicate that either there has been a period of peace and security, OR, times have been a bit rough and now at last we can look forward to peace and security?

Hoping your classes go well for the remainder of the semester. Have you got a long break before next semester?

What a great blessing to have your Ministry in these last days. Best class I have ever attended.

Also keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Not to trivialise the current cv 19 virus - but to put some perspective on the numbers, a friend put me onto worldometers.info/coronavirus. You may have already seen it.

DEATHS SO FAR this year (2020) due to the following causes:
Topping the list (you guessed it)

Covid 19 = 69,545
Mothers dying giving birth = 81,873
Seasonal flu = 128,801
Hunger = 223,060
Malaria = 259,823
Suicide = 284,053
Traffic accidents = 357,573
AIDS = 445,290
Alcohol = 662,511
Smoking = 1.3 million
Cancer = 2.2 million
Communicable diseases = 3.44 million
Abortions = 11.26 million (conceding these are not live births)
Deaths by dying = 15.6 million
Though this is well and truly offset by live
Births = 37.1 million

(Only the Covid 19 statistic includes any that also died in 2019).

You can see there are a few things on the list that could be banned to “save” lives, though one would cost Queen Elisabeth and myself our night cap. Another one, my job (though I have lost that one for now already).

It will be “interesting” to see the categories in the above chart at the end of this year.

We know from scripture that the Birth/Death ratio will be vastly different once the Tribulation comes, though I doubt many of us will be bothered much with statistics.

Your student and friend in Jesus

Response #21:

An important dose of perspective. I'm sure that the world would not be willing to ban autos, or going outside to avoid malaria, even to dodge these higher numbers, e.g., but this virus? Don't see how "this", namely, the reaction, can continue too much longer. The "group-think" is amazing, and also the rapidity with which it has changed, going from "no problem" to "maybe we better do something" to "the sky is falling!" in the blink of an eye. Shows you where the world is at both spiritually and technologically, and the combination of dismal spirituality and high tech is a toxic one – or soon will be. I was expecting all this sort of thing to wait another six or seven years. But I'm no prophet, just the opposite. As I've often said, my junior high yearbook quotation – one that came as a total surprise to me but elicited grinning nods from all my compatriots – was "it didn't turn out the way I expected".

I'll probably be posting this next Saturday – so keep your great observations coming in, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dear Professor

A typo and an omission from yesterday. 4th on the ascending list should have read (or rather today reads, as the numbers are increasing as one types):

DEATHS SO FAR this year:
In 4th place in ascending order
(Not hunger but)

Deaths due to
Water related diseases = 225,471

Then the one I missed was
Hunger = 2.99 million

Covid went up by about 6,000 today to
Covid = 75,760 though still behind

Seasonal flu = 130,190

Naturally all other categories of death have increased TODAY including
suicides by 4000 to = 287,103
And surprisingly (as at least over here there is hardly any traffic on the roads)
Road Deaths increased by 4000 to = 361,413
**Alcohol by 7000 to = 669,630
Communicable diseases by 30,000 to = 3.47 million
AIDS by 5000 to = 450,075
And for those interested in the unborn
Abortions increased by 120,000 today to = 11.38 million

(ALL categories, each alone, still have more deaths recorded individually than Covid 19 -although there is a big increase in Covid cases in the USA lately which is probably quite disturbing to most Americans). Looks likely that Covid 19 will pass the 2nd lowest listed cause of death - mothers dying in child birth - by this weeks end.

**Perhaps I will have had more thoughts on my night cap and alert Her Majesty the Queen - though at her age and good health she has worked all this out a LOT better than the VAST majority of US!

I pray you keep safe and; covid, and seasonal flu free.

Hunger = a big killer. Now is the time of urgency to feed purposefully and often on the SPIRITUAL food to sustain us for the real famine to come - the dark days of the Great Tribulation - when there will be a real famine in the earth - a famine of hearing the Word of God. Perhaps this minor isolation many of us in this world are forced to endure is a time for believers to be able to prepare to stand ALONE in our faith (in Christ). This is a real prospect for many of us who survive to Martyrdom or are spared to endure until Christ returns.

Though I have been reviewing parts of your Coming Tribulation Series, I also felt myself drawn to recently read a particular section of your Bible Basics Part 6B. Ecclesiology: The Study of the Church/ 3. Other Issues a. Communion. (The Spirit knows what each of us need reminding of). A spinoff from this isolation is that __ has been contacting me and wanting to talk about the gospel more than ever before. It sometimes seems strange that a retired former minster in charge of churches in a large area of our State would want to talk to me. However, such is the quality of your teaching Ministry that even novices like myself can get a hearing. Little things like this give me great hope that more believers will seriously prepare to walk closely with Jesus. Thank you for your prayers and faith in all this.

Also, while on a walk with my wife the other day, I “bumped into” a school teacher out walking with his young family and I asked him if he had read any of Ichthys. He said he had. There wasn’t opportunity to take it much further at that time (he was the one studying theology that I had previously given your business card to). I pray that the Spirit will witness to him and them the truth and inspire them to read your writings. I am sure much of what “happens” is due to your faith and prayers on my behalf, so I am indebted to you on so many counts.

Always grateful for your excellent Ministry, teaching us to avoid the real death of real concern - eternal damnation- and focus instead on obtaining our real life, eternal life through the truth in the One we are all indebted to, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In Jesus our Redeemer.

Your student and friend

Response #22:

Thanks, and let me say that I'm especially encouraged by your joy and confidence in the Lord in spite of the pressures you are under. That is an excellent witness. We can all learn from you . . . to do a little more thanksgiving and a little less complaining.

I appreciate you in the Lord, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Thanks for your prayers Bob, it's much appreciated.

We live pretty simple and our monthly cost are real low. I don't remember if you remember me telling you a few years back that we felt the need to start living as simple as possible and so we never got into car payments or bought a house.

On "cure seems to me to be far worse than the disease", I totally agree with you. I sure hope that's not the case. Time will tell. I have a feeling this is the beginning of some hard times ahead for some people. I pray for all those that need the strength to get through this. It's going to be a challenge.

I have been watching the world economics very closely and you can't shut a country down like this without some sort of backlash at some point or time in every angle along with all other countries struggling too. I'm not good at writing about all this but I do believe in my heart we are headed towards some sort of World Order....kinda the beginning of the build up of POWER in the world.

On the plagues...thanks for help on this. That's how I remember reading them now but I've read so much that sometimes I get a few things mixed up and then start double guessing myself.

How are your emails going? Are you finding a few more in your inbox with all this going on. I would think with this event that it might awake a few. That's what I'm praying for.

Keeping you in our prayers for good rest and health and strong fingers for all that typing returning emails.

Response #23:

Yes, I'm really jammed up with online teaching taking so much longer, having to do so many home work-arounds to keep things running, and also a much higher volume of emails. I guess the latter is a good thing – let's hope so.

Right! I'm not sure that the whole country is going to be willing to commit suicide because of a few thousand deaths. We certainly aren't even willing to stop driving because of 35K or so auto accident deaths a year. We live with it and try to manage it. I don't think that's sunk in with some of the powers-that-be, however – no doubt because they and their families are not the ones directly suffering. But things could get real ugly real quick – for them as well as those responsible for inflicting this on us all in the name of public health. OK, time to get off of my soapbox. Nobody asked me (or will) – and that is a great blessing!

Thanks for your prayers, my friend! Keeping you and yours in mine day by day.

In Jesus,

Bob L.
p.s., fingers are fine but the right wrist is getting a bit sore!

Question #24:

Hi Bob,

Thank you, yes, I can't watch the news anymore, it all makes me sick to my stomach. The lies, the deceiving and all that's taking our country down...and the worst part so many believers of it all.

I think you are right, things could get real ugly real quick. Time will tell and thank goodness we don't need to worry about it since we know who is in charge. I'm so thankful to be able to eat, take a shower and have a bed right now....and have my health, my families and friends. I'm constantly thanking God all day for these things.

Hope the rest of your week goes well!!

Keeping you and yours in our prayers

Response #24:

Well said! Yes, I am VERY grateful for a warm bed, being well-fed, and having a roof over my head – and I need to add the shower to my list of things to be grateful for for sure!

I'm banging along. Had a little accident doing yard work yesterday and still in a bit of pain today. Made me a little groggy during online class.

But I never EVER plan to do this again after this semester. If we're teaching all online in the fall, I'm skeptical that there will be a university any longer – or an economy, or . . .

But as I'm fond of saying, "We'll blow up that bridge when we come to it."

Grateful for you and your spouse! Praying for your family. Thanks so much for your prayers!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Hello Bob,

I’m just checking on you to see how you’re fairing in this new and strange pandemic world. I hope all is well. How’s the online teaching going?

Yours in Christ,

Response #25:

Hope you are keeping well and healthy – important for all with medical issues to pay particular attention to protocols nowadays.

If you've read the most recent email postings, there's a great deal about all that:

Eschatology Issues XXIX

Eschatology Issues XXX

Eschatology Issues XXXI

I'm surviving, but I'm very glad that the semester is drawing to a close. I'm fairly confident that I won't have to worry about this in the fall. We shall see. One would hope that people in power get that everything is being ruined in ways that are not yet completely obvious. But the devil is having a nice "dry run" and seeing for himself that people in the world today are easily manipulated into doing any number of insane and self-destructive things along with their governments. All he has to do is stoke up a little bit of fear.

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

Blessed we know that the Lord is in complete control and works everything out together for our good. So I'm hoping all this will act as a spiritual tune-up for the godly, a wake-up call for the lukewarm, and a powerful message of evangelism for the unbelieving. If so, it's all worth it – regardless of the pain and suffering.

Keeping you in my prayers daily!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Dear Friend,

In these strange and uncertain times, I wanted to share—reading the story of Joseph, the seven years of plenty, the time of famine, and the encouragement this story gives me. Remember the greatest time of our country’s very recent economic growth and the blessing God gave us like the seven years of plenty stored up? Yet, it seems evaporated, and we are now wanting, waiting like in the years of famine when God prepared through Joseph the recovery as the whole world came to Egypt for food. I hope and pray for what is to follow that God Almighty is right now working the same thing having readied our country in this trouble for a booming recovery and a spiritual birth only He can bring about just in time.

In the Only Name Given Among Men Under Heaven, Amen

Response #26:

Yes, I was HOPING for seven "fat years" before the lean ones begin. Positing the cross/resurrection in 33 A.D., that would make the second advent most likely in 2033, with the Tribulation beginning in 2026.

But of course the Tribulation is going to come as a very big shock to so many of our evangelical brothers and sisters who erroneously think that they are going to be "raptured" to safety ahead of time. As nice as that fantasy sounds, Matthew 24 and 2nd Thessalonians 2 are good chapters to review on that score for those who think so.

In any case, I am hoping that all this craziness will be a prod to the lukewarm to get serious and start reading their Bibles and seeking out good Bible teaching. If they do, they'll find out that this is also a wake up call to prepare for the actual Tribulation – which is going to make this present "fire drill" seem incredibly tame by comparison.

Hope you and yours are doing well in spite of everything, my friend. Keeping you in my prayers daily.

Your pal in Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Revelation 13:17! While I don't think this is the mark, the current restrictions are certainly getting us prepared to accept it when it comes. That suggests the Tribulation is getting much closer.

I can now see how this all comes about. Without the mark, we'll be forced to "shelter in place" or verify we're not "carriers" of whatever the current hysteria at the time may be. That we would
be prevented from earning a living, as some are now, or banking or income from trusts, would be irrelevant -- much like it is in this dry run for tyranny. It would all be government "recommendations" and for the "protection" of the population. And so, plausible. If I can judge by what I see down here. Most will be happy to go along.

As you have pointed out, and I don't doubt, few are listening, this is good practice for the Trib. I can now see how most will fail, I wish it were otherwise.

I hope and pray all is well with you and yours as I do for others who actively seek and follow the Word. Bob, I think we are at the door. I have to admit, I pray I don't have to go through it but I wonder if it will come before your assessed timeline.

"Kushner's team seeks national coronavirus surveillance system"

It fits in well with the MIT innovation. It all seems to be pointing to the same thing.

I may be getting carried away. I've been rereading Isaiah and it seems clear to me that people haven't changed a bit from then.

In Jesus Christ,

Response #27:

Well I certainly agree with your conclusion about people, my friend!

As to timelines, I'm sticking with the interpretation I've shared, mindful that the Lord is the One in charge of the "clock". We will know, however, when the Tribulation has started as there will be worldwide phenomena which are unmistakable and impossible to ignore (Rev.8:5). So we may have a little time left. But I'm sure it'll go by quickly. And of course the "seven fat years" were forgotten in Egypt during Joseph's day on account of the severity of the "seven lean years" which followed. I don't think it will ever get as "lean" as during the Tribulation.

This present unpleasantness does serve also to demonstrate that material preparation is problematic because of all the unpredictable things that may happen and which cannot really be anticipated by prior action. But spiritual preparation is always useful, whatever my betide.

In Jesus Christ, the One who anchors us to the throne room of heaven through hope in Him (Heb.6:19).

Bob L.

Question #28:

Dear Bob,

I don't doubt your timeline. On one hand, I wish it would come sooner. On the other, I wish it would come later.

I think what's happening now is getting us ready to accept whatever is demanded of us; whether vaccine credentials, implants or whatever. I'm afraid that when the time comes, people will simply accept it as normal and submit without question.

Will people truly recognize the sign when it comes? Or will it be poo-pooed and spun as a Chinese or American test? I don't doubt it will be unmistakable to those who are watching but for those who aren't, will they recognize it for what it is? As near as I can tell most people and most putative Christians haven't read let alone understood Revelation.

Maybe I'm over reacting...

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #28:

No doubt the evil one has his finger in every pie and no doubt all "this" is part of his plan. But we know that our God has THE plan – and nothing any human being or any satanic force can do can disrupt that plan by so much as a sparrow's fall. Our God has planned out and ordained the swerve of every quark in every distant galaxy – He certainly has our best interests at heart.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.
Exodus 16:4 NKJV

And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”
Exodus 20:20 NKJV

“And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Deuteronomy 8:2 NKJV

“who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—
Deuteronomy 8:16 NKJV

“so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not.”
Judges 2:22 NKJV

The people of Israel by and large consistently failed such tests (e.g., 1Cor.10:1ff.; Heb.3:7-19; 4:1-13). Let us be determined to be in the number of the famous exceptions rather than in that of the irascible majority.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Hello Bob,

The last two weeks have been extra crazy here. I was going to say that I’ve never seen this quick of a turnaround between emails being sent to you and posted to Ichthys, but I guess current events are current—and changing every day it seems.

Two weeks ago, my mom met with the surgical oncologist who said he wanted to do surgery ASAP to remove the mass. The original plan was a 5.5-hour surgery, followed by 4-5 days in the hospital in recovery. The doctor then called back a couple of hours later, flabbergasted, saying that NY classified all cancer surgeries as “elective” and so they’re all cancelled because of the coronavirus. They said it wasn’t an issue with the OR, but they couldn’t guarantee her a bed for the 4-5 days of recovery because all beds had to be emptied for potential COVID patients. He said he had another patient, much worse off than my mom, who had a surgery scheduled for the next day that was cancelled.

As of writing this on 4/9, most NY hospitals and other medical centers are still essentially empty (as evidenced by people on the ground, filming inside and out, over multiple days). The actual numbers are showing that the initial projections were overblown, and it appears we are reaching or have already reached the peak. They could have easily done the surgery two weeks ago, and she would have been out of the hospital last week, and there was no mega-shortage of beds during that time that would have prevented it. I’m just hoping that by the end of the month, when we meet with the doctor again, the worst of the pandemic is over and they can open up beds so they can just do the surgery. My mom said the pain is getting worse, but it’s also conditional on how much she sits versus laying down, and she’s been doing far too much sitting and working.

Her school is extra crazy as well. They’re private, but follow NYC public schools for closures. They’re all at home, but they’re somehow expected by the administrative office (fearing the Dep. of Ed. from whom they receive the kids’ tuition) to be providing remote learning—except remote learning for autistic/special-needs preschoolers isn’t as easy as remote learning for high school—and proof that they’re working every hour of every day. It’s made more complicated by the fact that no one knows how to use computers or cell phones (and their IT department is AWOL and won’t answer any emails or calls), and some of these people don’t even own a computer. They’re all using Office365 and the cloud for storage, and Zoom for meetings, etc. My mom has about 60 staff members. A handful don’t own computers, and only 1 (literally one person) is computer-literate.

They’re all expected to send packets home to the kids for the families to work on with them, and then they’re expected to fill out a schedule of what they did every day (both the employee and the kids), and they’re expected to contact the families multiple times every day to make sure the kids are doing stuff. None of them can figure out how to fill out the forms and email them to my mom. Some are filling it out by hand and then texting my mom pictures. My mom started a group text to distribute information to them more efficiently, and they’ve all been bickering with each other and having their own discussions in the group text (leading some to ask to be removed and contacted separately). In addition they’re now making all of the employees digitally fill out their time cards, and my mom has to approve each “swipe in” and “swipe out” for each person for each day (and some of these people don’t pay attention and “swipe out” at 2:30AM instead of PM). As a result of all the necessary communications, as well as all of the stupid and idiotic questions, my mom’s phone and email have been blowing up from 5AM to 11PM, 7 days a week.

My job has been crazy as well. About 75% of the company is working from home now. We just found out that one person who had been away from the office for 3 weeks just tested positive for the virus.

I hope you’re staying safe and well-supplied. I’m glad you’re getting the hang of teaching online. I read the latest email posting at Ichthys, and I agree that this is all like a big test run for the Tribulation, where the enemy is getting his systems in place while God’s people have a wake-up call to test our maturity and preparedness (spiritual and otherwise).

Thanks for your prayers, as always. I’m praying for you and the rest of the Ichthys community to make it through this trying time.

I hope you have a Happy Passover and Easter. It’s a great time for everyone to be focusing on the Lord.

In Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,

Response #29:

Thanks for the update. I'll certainly be keeping your mom in prayer. I'd also like to post this (with heavy editing of course) on Saturday. That should generate some more prayer as well *[please do pray for our friend Jon and his mom].

Unintended consequences! But that is what happens when nincompoops run things (and as a student of history I can affirm that nincompoops are always in charge: David, Solomon, Josiah being exceptions which prove the rule). Here in KY, the university is talking about furloughs. We're WAY in the red and one main reason is that the hospital and medical system we own can't do any surgeries or procedures because we are waiting for a "surge" (only 1,600 cases in the whole state!); meanwhile patients like your mom are suffering and they are actually laying off personnel at the hospitals. Human stupidity, however, never comes as a surprise to me (too much life experience).

Yes, I hear you on the computer literacy. And it's also a problem of equipment and connection for my students. You're NOT a bad person if you don't have a good computer or a good internet connection – but everything is riding on that now. I'm not liking the online but not too worried about the Fall: if we are still "online" then, I have a strong feeling that there won't be a "line" . . . or much of anything else left.

I'll say a prayer for your friend – and I'm keeping you and your mom in my daily prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior, the One who is really in control of all this (so that we really don't need to sweat a thing, even if the Egyptian army is hot on our heels).

Bob L.

 

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