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Eschatology Issues XXXVIII

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Question #1:

Dear Bob,

Please pray for my city (Minneapolis) as things are coming apart that the seams. Looting, pillaging, burning and killing is getting worse by the day and they are moving in my direction. May take my belongings and get out but right now this area is locked down. There are those who have it much worse than me, losing their homes and businesses. I know there has been some riots in Louisville although I haven't had much time to look at the bigger picture. Thanks for your prayers...

In Jesus Christ

Response #1:

I will do so. Yes, it was awful here in Louisville last night. The mob split up and half of it headed our way, getting to within two blocks before being turned back. I see the Lord's hand in that!

They've called out the national guard, but they had plenty of personnel here last night when the whole downtown area was trashed and looted. If the police are told to stand by and do nothing, individuals inclined to smash and grab and burn get emboldened pretty quick. It will be interesting to see what happens tonight (dusk to dawn curfew) – I hear the choppers overhead right now.

Your prayers are appreciated too!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Dear Bob,

There is a substantial difference in tone between Jeremiah and Ezekiel. More pronounced so in the NIV. Should I attribute this to the difference in personalities between the two prophets? Or is
there more?

Also, in Ezekiel 28:12, the king of Tyre is described as "a man" yet later, he's described as walking on the stones in the garden of God. That seems clearly a reference to Satan yet he's described as a "man." Is this after he's cast down? What should I understand that I don't?

From a comment you made in last week's email posting about your hybrid online application, you alluded to a chat function. I will say that years ago when we had to upgrade a large data center in
the middle of the night, working remotely, we relied on an application called "irc." (Internet Relay Chat.)

Yours in our Lord,

Response #2:

Well, John is different from Peter is different from Paul, but it is the same message of truth. That is one of the most profound proofs of the inspiration of the Bible in my opinion, namely, that even though men of widely differing personalities, time periods, languages and literary styles wrote it, nevertheless the unity of the truth within it is absolute.

The king of Tyre is/was 1) an actual human being; 2) a type of antichrist; 3) a type of Satan. This is not an unusual thing in scripture (see the link: typology).

I have no idea how things will work in the fall. The one thing I can say is that it will not be up to me for the most part (and in terms of tech for any part). They asked for our preferences but that is only to figure out how much push-back they'll get from different strategies. As I'm telling everyone, my students hated online instruction even though I practically lit myself on fire every session to keep them engaged. So it doesn't matter a whit if we "do a good job" with it: they will likely vote with their feet if U of L goes that route in a big way. Thanks for the insight though.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hola, Bob,

I suspected it was a personality difference but I had to be sure. As many times as I've read Ezekiel 28, I would never have understood that. Thanks again. Could it be that Satan possessed him and the focus of the word of the Lord shifted from the man to the spirit of Satan?

Sorry about the uncertainty of the fall semester. I've never seen such insanity as today -- and I lived through the '60s nonsense. Maybe it's time we pushed back?

Yours in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #3:

I don't find anything about possession in the passage. In any case, there are all manner of typologies in the Bible (in addition to the previous link see "Typology and Theophany" and "Old Testament Typology"). And there are other types of antichrist besides this instance; Nimrod, for example (see the link for details).

On "pushing back", as you've probably figured out, I am dead set against Christian involvement in politics. This is the devil's world and it plays by his rules. If we try to change it we only end up embracing it and being changed by it. Here is what I read in scripture:

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."
John 18:36 NKJV

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against [angelic] princes, against [angelic] authorities, against the cosmic powers of this [present] darkness, against evil spirits in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12

The rotten things going on in the world today are the result of satanic direction, satanic influence, the leadership, power and position of those under satanic influence, the satanic system in general and its growing influence (SR 4 is all about that). None of these things can be combated by physical confrontation. Only spiritual solutions offer any true hope. Blessedly, believers who are engaging in the fight daily through spiritual growth are having an outsized influence for good – far beyond any possible good they could ever do even if elected to the highest offices in the land (and if fact in that case they would be so compromised to have accomplished such things that they would no doubt be doing more harm than good, especially to themselves). We who are actually "in the fight" also have the encouragement of understanding that in a few short years the whole satanic system will be taken down in its entirety as Christ rules the world – and we will share in all that (with higher positions going to the better spiritual warriors now). Babylon, moreover, will be completely destroyed even before we see the Lord return to destroy the armies of the beast (and cast him and his false prophet into the lake of fire). Until then, believers are "salt" (link), and the saltier we are the more preservative influence on our countries we are given to exert – not visible and directly, but invisibly through the power of God (not to mention that our prayers are also proportionally more efficacious: Jas.5:16b-17).

Believers who are really interested in pushing back should spend more time in prayer, Bible reading, and Bible study.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hello, Bob,

While I agree with you, it begs the issue. I have nothing to do with politics, but if they come to my door and demand I be vaccinated, should I submit? They would be in violation of the law. Should I entertain criminals? Why did the Lord tell the apostles to sell a garment and buy a sword? My instinct would be to resist with as much force as needed.

Should they come to the door and demand I allow them to stick a swab up my nose for a "test" that is proven to be unreliable, should I submit? My instinct is not. Will I survive either option? Probably not.

Many situations arise where immediate reaction is necessary and I realize it will be up to each individual. I may be over reacting but I see nothing Biblical that would prohibit that response. What did I miss?

Yours in our Lord,

Response #4:

If a criminal shows up at my door and wants to vaccinate me or anything else (the mob of rioters got within two blocks last night), I have the right of self-defense. As uncomfortable as it may be, there is this:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
Romans 13:1-2 NKJV

As I always remark, Paul said this about the Roman authority at whose hands he had and would continue to suffer severely and often unfairly – and by whom he was eventually put to death. I'm sure he and his carried swords – against bandits. But they never resisted the legitimate authority even when it was acting unfairly – just as our Lord did not.

However, I do also need to point out that life is difficult enough without torturing oneself with hypotheticals. OK, a meteor could fall from the sky and vaporize me and my humble abode. I'm not going to worry about that. I'm also always trying not to worry about anything that might happen – because for one thing it might NOT happen (the Lord protected me and mine last night without us having to raise a finger). And for another our Lord told us not to worry. He told us to trust Him. He knows a lot more about what is going to happen than we do. In fact He knows everything, of course. And in fact He's made perfect provision for us. So the only question we really need to consider is "what does the Lord want me to do?" In terms of, e.g., being unjustly arrested by the authority God has allowed to be in place, I'm pretty sure the answer to that is not violent resistance even if it is also not passive acquiescence – and there is price to pay there as well, as is surely going to befall many of us in the not too distant future.

“If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.
Revelation 13:10 NIV

We're not going to use violence against the forces of antichrist; we're not going to take his mark; we are going to have to suffer the consequences of following Jesus in the way He desires.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dear Bob,

This may be somewhat legalistic and for that I apologize.

I practice Romans 13 -- even when laws are wrong by constitutional standards. My dilemma comes with forced vaccines. This new magical COVID vaccine they're rushing through is an RNA vaccine which permanently changes a person's DNA. (Fixing what God didn't get right, apparently.)

In forcing that vaccine, "they" would be in violation of 4th and 14th amendments and consequently in violation of federal Code of Criminal Procedure (18 USC 242). Ergo, that violation would be criminal.

While I don't agonize over hypotheticals and I believe vaccinations probably won't be forced, I do believe in being prepared in so far as I'm able.

This is a long way from the difference between Jeremiah and Ezekiel. I can only add that Israel and Judah were punished for violating the law. I can only wonder how things would have turned out had people of the time pushed back and obeyed God's laws. I can see very little difference between people of their time and people of our time.

Thanks for putting up with me.

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #5:

If by "pushing back" then you mean, "doing what God wants us to do", then by all means I would agree with that. For us believers nowadays that means spiritual growth, progress and production.

One other difference between then and now is that Israel was God's nation – we are not. This is a secular nation which, for many centuries, had a remnant of positive believers who acted as salt for it. In my estimation, the quantity and more particularly the quality of the salt has seriously declined and is trending vigorously downward, and the reactions of people generally to all "this" seem to confirm that if anything I was giving us too much credit. So "push back" – God's way!

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
James 5:16b-18 KJV

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:

I got into a pretty big argument with my family tonight at dinner about God's sovereignty in a democracy of selecting leaders while us still having operable free will. I told them I was not going to vote and they are very afraid of the Democrats. I could not rationally explain this balance although they were not really interested in hearing. I feel like this is one of those things that is true because it's true -- like marriage being between one man and one woman.

Should I continue to take a stand on not voting or just back off and vote for Trump (who I think is better anyway). This would save me a lot of domestic angst. At the same time I feel like being neutral on political parties is important because we are not to worry about things bigger than our pay grade.

In our Lord,

Response #6:

As you know, I'm big on Christians staying out of politics. It's very hard NEVER to have any sort of political discussion with one's family, e.g., especially under the current unpleasantness; that is because while normally politics have only an indirect effect or at least a delayed one on the fabric of our lives, at present everything we do is being touched with immediacy by the decisions of political leaders, national, state and local (e.g., the decision of our mayor last night not to have the police intervene resulted in most of downtown being trashed and looted – with only three arrests total).

I can't remember a biblical passage where we are told that it is our Christian duty to vote. In fact, I don't know of anything in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution or any other important document that even suggests we are not good people or good citizens if we don't cast ballots. Voting is, in my view, a privilege -- NOT a "responsibility". Serving one's country is a responsibility – but the vast majority of people who harp on voting have never served.

It's more important for your family to be saved than to vote or to have their political preferences win out or be affirmed.

We all have opinions (goodness knows). But what do they matter when they have to do with things that don't matter? Will any politician ward off the coming of antichrist or the Tribulation? Of course not (they can't even handle effectively the Covid crisis or the present rioting). But some politician (most likely) will BE antichrist, and most of the rest will end up supporting him. That goes for religious leaders and opinion makers and scientists and media talking heads and nearly everyone else – except for believers who are walking closely with Jesus Christ and paying attention to Him and His truth instead of to extraneous things (like politics).

That being the case, staying out of the losing game of politics (the devil is normally the only one who ever wins it – and that will be absolutely the case once the Tribulation begins) is my preference. As I say, it's not as if I don't have opinions too or that these can't occasionally be aggravated out of me by those near and dear.

I said, “I will guard my ways,
Lest I sin with my tongue;
I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,
While the wicked are before me.”
I was mute with silence,
I held my peace even from good;
And my sorrow was stirred up.
My heart was hot within me;
While I was musing, the fire burned.
Then I spoke with my tongue.
Psalm 39:1-3 NKJV

We've all been THERE. But what does David say in the next verse in the Spirit?

LORD, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.
Psalm 39:4 NKJV

In other words, God is in control, not us, and if we are walking humbly with Him we will refrain from anger, realizing that what people REALLY need to be set straight about is the gospel and the further truth thereafter (for believers), and that this will only happen if the Spirit leads them. When we are patiently waiting for an opening to deliver a missile of truth, He may use us to do so. But if we are muddying the waters by participating in non-essential arguments . . .

As I say, it's hard to see, e.g., the ubiquitous irrational fear out there (or the governmental acquiescence in the present violence) and not say something to those with whom we have some rapport; but it is also true that where the mouth is concerned, it is usually the case that "discretion if the better part of valor". Or as it says in scripture:

For I know that your transgressions are many and your sins are numerous. You oppress the righteous man, you take bribes, and you turn the innocent away [from justice] at the gate. So the prudent man keeps quiet at [such a] time [as] this, for it is an evil time.
Amos 5:12-13 (cf. Matt.7:6)

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L. – who is far from perfect on this score (in case you were wondering)

Question #7:

Thanks Bob,

How do I tell them that we can have free will and God is still in control of nation's leaders? They were saying that there can't be both free will and God's sovereignty because we live in a democracy and people use their free will decisions to vote so can God then be soveign?

In hindsight I'd like to know how to reconcile this in a coherent argument because it has peace in my mind I just cannot articulate it without "contradicting myself" in their words.

Please say a prayer for me that I can soon leave this place if it is in our Lord's Will. I much prefer being alone with Jesus than with hardened unbelievers. Then with my new biz I will have plenty of interaction.

Never mind. I know the answer to this. This is what I texted my __ who listened to the conversation and is a very lukewarm believer. "They cannot understand what I am saying because they do not have the Holy Spirit (only people who believe in Jesus as their Savior do). The Holy Spirit is in each believer and He helps make spiritual things understandable. Thus, this is why I am only texting you this: God can be both sovereign (all-controlling in politics) while balancing our free-will because He knew our decisions beforehand so He crafted everything in His plan to work out for those who love Him. So while He doesnt make decisions for us, He knows what they will be before we make them and will work it out for His plan which culminates in Jesus returning at the end of the tribulation, and the resultant judgement that takes place. That’s the truth. Whether some party is in on either side will not make a difference to His plan. And instead of someone making a politician their Savior they should make God their Savior, and that’s why I decided to take a stand on saying that it doesn’t matter because God has it in control despite the fact that we have free will decision making. And the only place that free will decision making power is important is deciding whether to believe in Christ and grow through His word after, not some silly vote that makes absolutely no difference

Response #7:

Excellent response! Do you mind if I post it?

Question #8:

No problem!

Response #8:

Thanks. It's very tempting to get involved in argumentation, as I say, with all that is going on. If Christians were spending half the time praying to the Lord for deliverance for our country and our brothers and sisters in Christ as we are fretting, griping and watching the news, it would probably be over by now (not to suggest that I personally am Simon-pure on this score!).

Question #9:

Social distancing is the one and only thing that protects you from COVID-19. That means church is a 100% effective way of spreading it because it's the least socially distant event you can possibly attend.

People wanna die? Let them die. People wanna ignore the science in favor of their delusions? ("I also will choose their delusions" Isaiah 66:4) let them believe whatever they wish. It's not hatred: it's respect.

Response #9:

Don't know why you're addressing this to me since Ichthys is all-internet.

But in terms of e.g. the RC church (and almost all Protestant churches), it's not as if anyone is missing out on the truth by not attending their services.

Question #10:

Just looking at generalities & stereotypes. I am just in awe of how /weird/ people are. My mind simply does not work that way. And I hope it never does.

A good thing to keep in mind to avoid pride:

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/12/if-everyone-else-is-such-an-idiot-how-come-youre-not-rich/249430/

If I am so wise and everyone else so foolish, I probably would already be wealthier than Jeff Bezos....

Response #10:

If wisdom were about making money, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates and you name 'em would be occupying prime real estate in New Jerusalem instead of the lake of fire.

Question #11:

Hello Bob,

Notice how the authorities pick the number "6".

In our Lord,

Response #11:

Hah! Well, you know, it's 2 meters (or metres) in UK and dominion territories.

But that's been the least of concerns here of late. Last night the mob which looted and trashed our downtown (while the police no doubt on orders from our mayor looked on and did nothing – three arrests all night long) got to within three blocks of where we live. I'm grateful to the Lord for the deliverance and for the fact that no serious damage was done in our neighborhood. The governor called out the national guard for tonight, but there were plenty of state police and locals yesterday night to handle the number of rioters who were causing trouble. It'll be interesting to see what happens tonight after I post this week's responses.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Thank you Sir for the prompt reply. By the mercy of God I and my family needs help very urgent. Am a classroom teacher of kindergarten and and nursery class in a private school.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 there's has been a locked down and since then no work and no salary for two months now and still counting. Our local church's pastor has been trying to assist a lot of the few members in the homes to provide foods to survive.
Churches buildings have been shut but we fellowship as families members in our homes to prevent the spread.

Our local church and the pastor cannot continue because no money and he is of age (78 years). My family and some other brethren with their family needs all the help we can get.
Our government only enforced locked down without palatives given and every one is suffering. Am so sorry to bother you sir, if there is any thing you can do for us, I have three little kids of 8,6,and 4 years.

Please if you can speak to any charity group or any helpers on our behalves. We are up to three family in our local church with same challenge of hunger.
Am from Lagos Nigeria West Africa.
PLEASE HELP IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD.
SHALOM.

Response #12:

I don't have any contact with any charities but I will post this to the site.

Question #13:

Hi Bob,

Hope you're okay and had a nice weekend.

I'm sorry to hear about the possibility of no "in class with students" time in the fall. Have you heard anything more?

It seems most of the universities over here are planning to take the same route with teaching online in the autumn. From bits that I've read it sounds like it's taking a LOT of organisation to achieve this. Some are wanting to be able to teach smaller groups f2f with social distancing as soon as possible. Also I read that the students will have to pay exactly the same tuition fees for online as for face to face teaching. I feel the same as you in that I wouldn't want to pay the same money.

They're talking about using the same sort of teaching methods that you told me about rather than just "bunging lectures online" which is something I know that you didn't do anyway even though others did.

I feel really sorry for the students at this time. I wonder if they will all have access to everything they need for online and even have a quiet place in their household where they can study.

They're saying the uni's decisions will change as updates on the virus are changing.

I'm keeping you in my prayers about all of this.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #13:

It's Memorial Day here so the weekend continues. Overdid it a little bit, going for a run (very hot and humid here now as normal L-ville weather has returned), then working in my backyard, pulling "creeping Charlie" out of the long lily bed and also gathering up wood and pulled up weeds to set out for pick up.

No news from the uni; no telling what next week will bring. Barber shops started opening up today; mine still seems to be closed. I'll have to do something about that soon. Favorite restaurant on the corner is still only doing carry-out though they've gotten permission to reopen since last Friday. People still seem to be terrified for reasons that escape me entirely. The NYT did a front page where they listed the names of all the USA CV-19 victims. I don't take the paper but I checked it out on their website and I didn't see a single victim under 60 with most much older (lots of 90's). Yet no one wants to go anywhere or do anything. That is the sort of irrational fear that seems to be permeating my uni too. I thought the prospect of total collapse of enrollments and revenue would shake them awake, but not yet, it seems. Regardless of organization and planning and even resources expended, I'm highly skeptical that a hybrid model will work or be any better received by our students than the emergency online approach. That's just not what college is. If things had gone differently I would have loved to have gone to Oxford. But sitting home on a computer is NOT "going to Oxford".

Thanks for those prayers! Keeping you and your family in mine too.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Bob,

Hope you've recovered from overdoing it a bit. Sometimes just working in the yard is enough exercise for the day - especially in all your heat and humidity. You'll be getting achy bones! Lovely weather here again and I've been out weeding and pruning and sweeping.

Primary schools are reopening here for the younger years on 1st June and non-essential shops from 15th June. So that should make the towns and cities come to life a little bit more - maybe! I'm hoping it will gradually help to make people feel a bit more reassured that it's OK. Hairdressers and barbers are still shut though. Makes me chuckle a bit when I see everyone looking a bit dishevelled from needing a haircut. I saw my boss for the first time in ages a couple of weeks ago and he walked in looking slightly windswept. I know I shouldn't smile but it was really funny! Once my hairdresser opens I'll probably have to wait another month before I can even get an appointment. Still no restaurants or pubs open but some places are doing carry-outs.

It was interesting to read what you said about the ages of the USA CV-19 victims. The number of deaths here are going down and down each week. They talk about a virus being contagious and can spread quickly but I think you can say the same about fear. The virus is constantly in the media and that definitely hasn't helped especially when they use frightening language like "killer virus", "deadly disease", "invisible enemy", "fear", "afraid". I'm not really into Facebook or anything like that but who knows what fear is being spread through all of that too. People are letting fear rule their lives rather than being guided by reason and keeping their fears in check. If only they all knew the Lord things would be a whole lot different.

I didn't know that you would have loved to have gone to Oxford, Bob. It's a real shame it didn't quite work out that way for you. I always watch the Oxford and Cambridge boat race on TV but it was cancelled this year.

In work tomorrow for my one day. Not sure when we'll move on any further - it's all gone a bit quiet higher up with the Chief Dental Officer for England. Dentists aren't happy about the way she's handling all of this and some have called for her resignation. We'll see what happens in the next episode!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers, and thanks so much for yours too.

In Jesus our dear Saviour

Response #14:

I need a haircut too! I did finally shave off most of the "viral beard" I'd been growing (got to the point of needing to be trimmed but my gear was getting it all uneven and produced some noticeable holes so . . .). My barber shop is on my jogging route and as I peeked in the window today someone was cutting hair! But I'm sure I'll need an appointment (and a mask). My brother lives in Michigan where their governor is now notorious for dictatorial shutdown decrees. A barber up there refused to shut down and his patrons kept paying his fines. When they got tough and revoked his license, he had to go to court to get it reinstated. Her husband called the boat shop where they have their luxury cabin up north and asked them to get their boat ready for Memorial Day weekend. The guy at the shop said "three weeks"; when the gov's hubby asked it would make if difference if he were the gov's husband the guy said, "Yeah, six weeks". Another good line: "We've flattened to curve; now it's time to flatten the fear". Of course, without Jesus Christ I suppose all these unbelievers do have a right to be afraid. What they've got waiting for them on the other side is terrible beyond contemplation. It's only by pretending they aren't going to die that they can bump along, but this viral-fear has made the reality much more difficult to ignore. So they want me to wear a mask. I'll wear a mask (actually, all I have is a bandana made out of an old t-shirt), but it won't keep them out of the lake of fire. Only Jesus Christ can do that.

More and more people I have any contact with are SO ready for things to return to normal. As far as I'm concerned, I'm hoping for the "new normal" to be identical to the "old normal" – but it'll be good to remember all this for what's to soon to come – and also to take to heart the need to get ready for that.

Thanks for the email – keeping you and yours in my daily prayers.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi again my friend,

I too had never heard of this man or his books until last week, but I get all reading materials from Audible as my reading eyes were lost due to almost 30 years of looking at a computer screen. don't know how long a ride you have to work or if your cell phone and your car are bluetooth enabled, but here's a 2 book free trial to audible where you can order it for free and listen on your ride to and from work. Just don't forget to cancel the audible subscription. I'm not finished it yet but I'd love your take on it. It's mind blowing to me in how he has matched ancient kings to today's leaders; even to the dates of their coming to power. Even Bill Clinton, Obama, Hillary's attempt and even matches Trump to Jehu and his rise. His matching of dates, especially to ancient kings and current ones beginning with Clinton are uncanny but I'd really like your take. Here is one of his interviews using Ahab as Clinton's paradigm.

https://christinprophecyblog.org/2018/11/a-biblical-blueprint-for-america-ahab-as-clintons-paradigm/

https://www.audible.com/ep/freetrial

Your friend in Christ

Response #15:

I do have the MP3 files now at Ichthys for all the major studies and even for some email topics (link), but that is all a result of the hard work and effort of reader Chris B (I just post what he's done). I'm not much of an audio person myself, though I did listen to Col. Thieme's tapes for years; now I don't seem to have the patience for audio books (reading is faster and it's easier to be selective).

In any case, I should tell you that I don't believe that there is any pre-Trib prophecy in scripture. The Church Age is the mystery age which was only dimly foreshadowed in the Old Testament. We do have the seven churches of Revelation, but they give general trends for the church eras, not prophecies of specific events.

Assigning prophetic value to contemporary events has been a cottage industry in the Laodicean church-visible ever since I can remember, but while it does sell books, it doesn't actually have any validity. It can't, because nothing in scripture says anything about the present time. Prophetic references start when the Tribulation starts. It is true that we are getting very close, and for that reason it is interesting to look at current events and try to gauge how these might end up in the end times situation described in scripture. But as I've often had occasion to remark, the pace of events during the Tribulation after the removal of Holy Spirit restraint will be beyond anything previously imaginable, so that whatever happens ahead of time can be turned on its head overnight once the end times actually begin – witness the speed at which the present unpleasantness has transformed most everything for the worse.

The other main problem I have with these sorts of "analyses" is that they are usually wrong-footed in their approach and dangerously so. We do have enough in scripture to be able to say with authority that the beast will not be some middle-eastern potentate but instead the head of mystery Babylon (which seems to be the US after the Tribulation's commencement – not now). But a lot of these sorts of books want to find an Islamic beast, and the problem with that is that antichrist will style himself as the opponent of precisely that personality. In other words, wrong-headed approaches will tend to make Christians vulnerable to the lie that the beast is actually on God's side fighting against "the beast". But that is what Christ does – and of course antichrist will in the end pretend to be Christ. Getting THAT one wrong will contribute to the apostasy of a third of believers who will end up taking the mark.

Apologies if I've read this completely wrong - - I haven't read / heard the book – but in any case I don't believe there is any such "matching" to be done, regardless of the results of such a procedure.

Praying for you and for you health daily, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hello Bob,

Thanks to you and your studies, I have a very good understanding of the tribulation. Please be assured of that. Now I just watch and listen because these appear to be strange times that we're living in and, I know, will get exponentially worse. In that respect you've misunderstood my curiosity of this person's material which I know is not scriptural. I've still not completed the book so I'm unclear of what the matching (length of the reigns of the ancient kings to present governmental persons) is actually supposed to mean according to the writer. I do know, as you mentioned, that there's absolutely nothing in scripture to equate past to present rulers.

As regards the tribulation, I've asked a number of acquaintances what are their thoughts on it. Many will not even discuss it; some get mildly upset and most churches teach the rapture based on the "catching up" theory.

The Lord led me to your website a very long time ago and for that I'm so thankful.

Yours in Christ,

Response #16:

Thanks for all this, my friend! I appreciate it.

And you are certainly right about the state of affairs in church-visible Laodicea. That really is the latent danger in the "rapture theory". While theoretically a person might be just as interested in the details even if they didn't apply, in practice we see laziness and immaturity being the rule and that false doctrine is clearly a great contributor.

Do get back to me on what this person does with the "connections" once you get further into the book (I'd be very interested to know).

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Thank you Bob!

To clarify, our Philadelphian ancestors had such great faith that God blessed our country with tremendous prosperity that gave believers of Laodicea time and great potential to grow spiritually and apply the Truth?

I have some more questions and if I ask one that has already been answered please refer the link to me. I do not want to waste your precious time.

1. Will we have a woman partner in eternity? I know Jesus tells the Pharisees that there will be no wives in heaven but since God did set up man and woman to complement one another it would make sense for us to be paired up wouldn’t it?

Response #17:

God did bless this country and no doubt that is mostly to do with believers (the "salt principle"). Conversely, it's not wrong to see the present decline in all things decent – and the troubles we are currently dealing with (Covid-19 over-reaction; rioting under-reaction) as a result of the decrease in the quantity of quality of said "salt".

1) The Bible doesn't say, and for good reason. If the answer were "no", because of our human weaknesses it would be frustrating to know that (even though of course things will be wonderful on the other side); if the answer were "yes", for the same reason we would fixate on that. And it's pointless in any case because yes or no, nothing on the other side will be anything like we imagine in our present limited ability to do so.

Question #18:

2. Will our resurrection bodies have an enhanced mind to appreciate the wonders of the new heavens and earth? If we do have an enhanced mind wouldn’t this change our personality and therefore our spirits? I know our spirits are eternal so is it just the physical body that transforms?

Response #18:

2) I think it is a sure thing that we will be "enhanced" in all manner of ways. We know a little bit about that from scripture, but the details we will have to wait to find out.

Question #19:

3. Will God remove our free will in eternal life? I want to choose for God in this life but fighting this battle of choices and free will is a constant struggle. Since God will only accept perfectly righteous people in his kingdom, and free will has the potential for evil, will He remove free will and bring us completely to Him?

Response #19:

3) Imagine being in Eden – without a tree-of-knowing-good-and-evil. We'd still be "us", just with no inclination to sin and no opportunity for it either. So I don't think that's a helpful way to phrase the issue.

Question #20:

4. How will resurrected believers occupy their time in the Millennial Kingdom other than administration? Wouldn’t there be so many resurrected believers that there would be more administrators than actual people living? I know the population will boom but it still seems like a disconnected ratio. I’m assuming this administration will can be completely spiritual because if people living during that time saw us resurrected wouldn’t that corrupt their free will?

Response #20:

4) This would be true for the first few years; but the human population expanded rapidly from only eight after the flood – and the environment was far from perfect. Imagine perfect environment and a much larger start number (millions?).

Question #21:

5. Will we see the Father in the New Heavens and Earth or will the Son always be the physical manifestation of the Trinity?

Response #21:

5) Revelation says they are in light in the center of New Jerusalem so I don't know why not

Question #22:

6. I want to make sure that I have the definition of sin completely correct. I’m going to state the definition that I think is Biblically correct and please let me know how correct it truly is. “Sin is the action of a person conceiving a lust, by thinking that the particular wrongful thought is the right thing to do in their mind even for the briefest moment and if the sin gets conceived long enough it manifests into words and actions. However, having lusts and temptations enter the mind but not conceived and grabbed hold of so to speak is just the Holy Spirit resisting the sin and the person is not committing it.”?

Your student in Christ,

Response #22:

6) Here's what you need to know about sin: don't do it. And if you do, confess, ride out the discipline, making a mental note not to do it again. The Bible says, "sin is lawlessness" (1Jn.3:4). For more see the link: in BB 3B: "The Nature of Sin". I'm very reluctant to engage in making definitions which are not specific biblical quotes. This is a Platonic philosophy procedure that got the early church-visible into a heap of trouble. I don't say it's wrong (I do go along with the traditional description of the Trinity – but that is not a definition), but it leads to a lot of problems without producing anything good. Sin is something we know when we see it or think about it in the Spirit, even if it's not identified as a particular sin in the Bible. So abortion is a sin, right? Not saying it's "murder"; but it's not mentioned in the Bible. Shooting up heroin is a sin, right? Also not in the Bible. When it comes to mental sins, this is very hard stuff to parse. One thing we can say – the practical thing – is that we ought to train and discipline ourselves to stay away from any such "wrestling match" – because no good will come of it. Also, this is not how we "keep score". We all sin. If we sin, we confess and make a point of not going there again. If we are slow on the uptake, and if we get disciplined, we confess, and we ride out the discipline of a loving God the Father – and try to be better about this in the future. Like I always say, the place to fight the enemy is at the farthest possible remove, not after they've already broken through the wire and things are hand-to-hand. If we let it get to that point, by all means fight. But much better to blow away temptation and any sort of thinking that's likely to entertain it before it ever gets started.

Hope you are starting to feel some better, my friend. I'm keeping you in my prayers daily.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Dear Robert,

The subject has to do with Matthew 21:43 coupled with what Paul’s points out in Romans 10:19.

Firstly, is the ‘taken and given’ a reference to the responsibility of delivering the gospel of Christ to the world, that was forfeited by Israel and now is the message of Gentile believers? Secondly, will the ‘taken’ become a ‘given’ back to Israel with their acceptance of Christ (Zachariah 13:9) during the millennium reign of Christ? So as to fulfill their calling [which was given to Paul at first for he was the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 28:28)] as given to them as per Matthew 28:19-20.

In Him who sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Blessings,

Response #23:

The Church rather than Israel is now the evangelical light of the world reflecting the Light our Lord.

However, Israel is the base of the Church and the Church includes Israel as well. At present, Jewish believers are in the minority; during the age of Israel, gentile believers were in the minority. Prophecy indicates that the proportion will shift again during the Millennium. As far as the main vehicle to spread the truth is concerned, however, during the Millennium "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Hab.2:14 NKJV). Christ will be ruling in Jerusalem and we will share in His rule. So there will be no dearth of the truth. But in spite of that, at the end of this era of perfect environment and government, most of the population will rebel against Christ (Rev.20:7-10). So it's not all a matter of evangelism. Knowing the truth is nothing without believing it and responding to it too.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Thanks man. That reminded me of something. Does the Bible say anything about being vegetarian or vegan as opposed to eating meat? I was talking with somebody and she said we're supposed to be vegetarians because that's what Adam & Eve were. She also said it's more healthier and animal meat act as middle men for protein because they get their protein from plants. Though someone else said that isn't true and it's just New Age Christianity or New Age Spiritualism and that we should eat meat. I don't really trust the meat given to us as it appears to be unhealthy & not produced well at all. I also watched a recent documentary about athletes who have a vegetarian diet performing better than meat eating athletes. I was wondering your thoughts on this.

Ah and another thing. Once believers receive their eternal bodies does that mean they're 3 dimensional bodies (like the ones we have now) but immortal & better or does that mean spiritual bodies like angels? Also I have a concern about having bodies with no limitations. Does that mean anybody is able to do anything? Because if so I think that would defeat the purpose of sports or athletes who work hard to achieve a more fit body. If everybody can do anything then that'd seem a bit boring to me. Like weight lifters. How can one appreciate lifting a heavy weight if there was no work or effort put into accomplishing such a task; moreover, where is the fun in that if everyone can do it? I'm all about growth & work and personally a body that could do anything automatically would be boring to me and I'd lose it, haha. I think work/effort makes us appreciate things more and gives us something to look forward to. For example, if everybody can lift anything then that would destroy a whole sport or even exercise all together! So maybe having "no limitations" could mean endless possibilities, right? But we still have to work for it (ex. running as fast as a car but having to put forth the effort to get there instead of just being able to do it). Of course if we don't have physical bodies then all sports, athletics, etc. goes down the drain. Couldn't imagine spending eternity like that. Thanks again.

Response #24:

Vegetarianism as a universal lifestyle came to an end with the great flood (cf. Mk.7:19; Rom.14:14; Col.2:16-23; 1Tim.4:1-5; 2Tim.3:5; Heb.13:9): :

"Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."
Genesis 9:3 NIV

On the other hand, proclaiming that any food is restricted or unholy is a mark of false teaching and even a harbinger of antichrist's false religion:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
1st Timothy 4:1-5

On your other question, there is a great deal we don't know about what's coming, but since our eternal bodies will be just like that of our resurrected Lord (1Jn.3:2), we can say that there are many similarities with what we have now, only without corruption and with many abilities we can't as yet imagine.

Here is the main link on that for the details: "The Resurrection Body"

Eternity will not be boring – we will be face to face with the Lord! But most of what people waste their time with and value down here in this temporary world of dust will indeed be gone forever. For what scripture does tell us about the eternal state and New Jerusalem, see the link.

In Jesus Christ whom we long to be with forever.

Bob L.

Question #25:

Hello Bob,

1. How do I balance reward motivation with glorifying Jesus Christ?

You wrote this: "Correct motivations always flow from humility, from obedience to God and to His truth, and from a desire for His glory, not our own.

"The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But the One who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him, this is the One who is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him."
John 7:18

The Pharisees did all that they did not out of a desire to glorify God but instead to glorify themselves."

However, this still does not make a lot of sense for me, because aren't we seeking our own glory by wanting approbation, reward, and honor from Jesus? Is it that we are seeking Jesus's glory here on earth because we know He will glorify us in heaven. So, we shift our innate desire for honor and respect into the heavenly realm instead of the earthly realm?

Response #25:

1) The two things are perfectly complementary and you can't really do one without the other. The Pharisees sought glory from people; we seek to be found acceptable to the Lord in every way as long as we are here (e.g., 2Cor.5:9).

Question #26:

2. Also, will all of the Friends of the Bride not have a eternal habitation in the New Jerusalem?
You said this: "The population of the New Earth outside of New Jerusalem will be composed of the Friends of the Bride, that is, the contingent of millennial believers not resurrected and rewarded until history's end." So to reaffirm only Church believers will have a stake to an eternal habitation in the New Jerusalem?

I'm not asking this because I distrust you in any way, rather I find it quite remarkable that only the Church believers get this wonderful reward. If possible, can you give me some more color on this? Is it because Church believers have a tougher trial to overcome than millennial believers?

Response #26:

2) The New Jerusalem is actually said to be "the Bride" (Rev.21:9); and we know also from Rev.21-22 that there are believers living outside of the city. Eternity will be wonderful. All the saved and elect angels too will be able to enter the city. But we – the Church (all believers from Adam and Eve unto the 2nd Advent) – have our eternal home there. This is a special privilege of the Bride, the unique complement of Jesus Christ.

Question #27:

3. Last, sometimes I wonder about the Jewish vs. Gentile distinction in heaven? How will God balance His impartiality with maintaining his covenant promises to the race of the Jews?

In Christ,

Response #27:

3) I don't believe there will be any functional distinction whatsoever. We, gentile believers, all become members of one of the tribes as they are reorganized according to merit (cf. the 12 gates, one for each tribe).

Hope you are doing well, my friend! I pray for you and your health.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Hi Dr. L,

I pray all is well with you and your family. Can you point me to some verses on who obtains a glorified body? I am in a study discussion with a fellow believer and assert that only saints that are dead and alive at Jesus Christ 2nd advent receives a glorified body. The other person asserts that millennium believers also receive a glorified body. I disagree. I mentioned Rev 21:24 and other passages. But i can recall in your extensive revelation study that you mentioned the Friends of the Bride with relevant verses. Ughh. I wish i could have kept it.

Any help is appreciated.

Also, It is no where in the bible but am I to assume that the Friends of the Bride that bring their glory to the New Jerusalem will be the ones that will repopulate the new heaven and new earth since resurrected saints are made like angels, i.e can't reproduce.

In Christ Jesus our Lord

Response #28:

In the 2B Eschatology (link), you will find the info about the next phase of the resurrection in section 7.4 on p. 177: "The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride"; this will detail how you are correct that only those who are believers (alive or departed) at the Lord's return are part of the Church. 1st Corinthians 15:23-24 shows that there are three phases of the resurrection: 1) Jesus Christ; 2) the Church; 3) the end when both millennial believers and all unbelievers of all time are resurrected. #3 are the subjects of the "sheep and goats" judgment in Matthew 25. The sheep there cannot be the Church because that would mean that all unbelievers would be judged at the second advent but we know from Revelation 20 that this happens after the Millennium is over. We also know from Revelation 21-22 that the Bride is living in New Jerusalem (Rev.21:9), but that there are others outside who are also not condemned (Rev.21:24). These friends of the Bride are also mentioned at Revelation 19:9 and called "blessed". In 2B Eschatology this is treated in various places throughout, but p.327, section 8.1.a, "The Last Resurrection of the Saved and the Unsaved" will discuss it most comprehensively.

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Hi Bob and family,

Just a quick question in regarding helping a friend.

What is the difference between losing your salvation and losing your rewards?

A friend asked me this question yesterday when we were talking about it.

Again as always dear Bob,

Response #29:

“And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
Matthew 10:42 NKJV

Pretty unequivocal. So here is my simple answer: Lose your salvation (through apostasy), lose your rewards. Hold onto your salvation, hold onto your rewards.

Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
2nd John 1:18 NKJV

The above "losing" is only possible through first losing faith (apostasy). If we are producing well then all of a sudden go into a spiritual tail-spin and crash and burn in the sin unto death (or even a milder loss of productive headway), we lose the opportunity of gaining a reward as full as it might have been, but "God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Heb.6:10 NKJV).

Mind you, if we do make that mistake, we will be saved "yet as through fire" (1Cor.3:12-15), and can expect a big bonfire at the judgment seat of Christ for all the waste we produced (but our "gold, silver and precious stones" will abide).

The danger is thus not that we will lose reward if we backslide, but that we will backslide all the way and lose our faith, thus losing our salvation. That IS a real danger that the OSAS crowd don't accept. See the link.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Hi there,

I read your article at https://ichthys.com/mail-When-is-the-Rapture.htm . I have researched the timing of the second coming extensively, and have come to a conclusion that the second coming would have to be in 2026, in agreement to one of your possible years, because of one truth, the year we are in since creation. Might I suggest you read my bible study regarding this topic? It is good to discuss these important matters with other believers. http://www.wisdomofgod.us/2019/11/20/estimated-dates-of-the-events-of-the-1-year-great-tribulation-of-the-earth/ .

Response #30:

Then how do you reconcile that with the date of the cross, 33 AD?

Seems you are seven years early.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #31:

The Messiah actually died in 30 AD, because he died on a Wednesday to fulfill “3 days and 3 nights” that he remained dead. Nisan 14 fell on a Wednesday in 30 AD, so he was therefore anointed in 26 AD, 3 and ½ years prior to his death. And from 26 AD to 2026 AD is precisely 2,000 years. And from the beginning of creation to the year of the anointing of the Messiah was precisely 4,000 years. We are in in fact approaching 6,000 years from creation in less than 7 years.

Response #31:

Actually, this is a common misunderstanding that's been gaining strength nowadays. The scriptures clearly teach a Friday crucifixion (the next day is the Sabbath: e.g., Mk.15:42), and a Sunday resurrection (e.g., Matt.28:1). The "3 days / 3 nights" objection is unfounded. In the ancient world, and in Israel as well, they used what is called "inclusive counting"; so part of Friday, all of Saturday, and part of Sunday counts as three days. If it is objected that this is not complete, "3 days / 3 nights" also cannot mean MORE than "3 days / 3 nights". But we know that our Lord gave up spirit about the ninth hour, the middle of the afternoon (Mk.15:34), but that He rose first thing Sunday morning (e.g., Matt.28:1). So if He were crucified on Thursday, it would mean not 72 hours in the grave but more like 81, and 104 if on Wednesday. Those do not work at all; but the traditional (biblical) understanding does.

Secondly, putting any serious interpretive weight on the Jewish dating now used (and used during the middle ages) is unwise and unfounded, because we have no idea how they were administering the calendar in our Lord's day. These dates have been projected backwards. The earliest info we have is from the Talmud, no earlier than 500 AD, and there is much speculation involved in the reconstruction. We can tell this was an issue in our Lord's day, because our Lord and His disciples celebrated the Passover, the "last supper" on the day before His crucifixion, but everyone in Jerusalem (in the south, that is), celebrated it the next evening.

Thirdly, we know that our Lord began His ministry at the age of 30 and that He was born in 2 BC at the end of the year (i.e., one year earlier than the traditional date). Since the ministry lasted three and a half years, the spring of 33 AD is necessary here too (see the links: "The Birth of Christ" and "The Crucifixion of Christ" for the particulars).

In any case, since the Tribulation precedes our Lord's return (Matt.24:29 ff.), if 2026 were correct for the dating of the second advent, that would mean that the Tribulation would already have to have begun in fall of 2019 – since it lasts seven years (Daniel's seventieth week). But we will definitely know when the Tribulation begins:

When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
Revelation 8:1-5 NKJV

Yours in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #32:

First, the Messiah did not die before the weekly Shabbath, he died before the High Shabbath, which was the High Shabbath of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which came with a command, “you shall do no work”, which implies, “shabbath”. And that is why one of the gospels says that the particular Shabbath before the death of the Messiah was a “high” one. The Messiah would’ve died on a Wednesday before the High Shabbath, to then fulfill 3 days and 3 nights he was dead, which is what the scriptures teach. And 30 AD is when Nisan 14 fell on a Wednesday, so 30 AD is actually the correct year of the death of the Messiah. And there is also no such thing as a “7 year tribulation”, because it is a misinterpretation of the final week of Daniel, which was already fulfilled by the Messiah. The great tribulation will be 1 year, for that is how long wailing and famine and plague and death will be rendered to the prostitute of Babylon, 1 prophetic day.

Response #32:

1) There's no higher Sabbath than the Passover (and the Day of Atonement); the question is, on what day was it celebrated? You have not answered my objections nor even considered the points I made.

2) Your scenario has the Messiah in the grave LONGER than three days and three nights which violates the scripture that He "would not see corruption" (Ps.16:10 compared with Jn.11:39).

3) You continue to assume that the medieval Jewish calendar and the projections of it backwards are accurate and meaningful (wrong on both counts).

4) The Tribulation lasts seven years as is clear throughout the Bible. For one thing (just as an example), the beast will trample Jerusalem for 42 months (Rev.11:2), after antichrist breaks the treaty with Israel "in the middle of the week" (seventieth week of Daniel: Dan.9:27). So the first half has 42 months as well = seven years.

5) And you've ignored all my other points and the links I sent you to.

This is a Bible teaching ministry. You came to me, not the other way around. I do not troll the internet looking for people to fence with. I give those who come here the benefit of the doubt that they are seeking the truth – until they prove otherwise.

I don't have any further time to waste on this.

 

 

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