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Eschatology Issues XXXIX

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Question #1:

Hello Bob,

I have read your series "The Coming Tribulation". This is my question: is there biblical prophecy that specifically refers to the current crises - i.e the worldwide virus and the violent riots occurring now in the U.S. and the aggression of China. Where are these crises in the timeline leading up to the tribulation?

Respectfully.

Response #1:

Good to make your acquaintance.

The Church Age, our present age, was/is the "mystery age", largely shrouded from view in Old Testament prophecy and only revealed when Christ was – and only fully understood after the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost (see the link). So while there were indications that two thousand years would separate the cross/resurrection and the second advent (the ceremonial calendar of the Law and the seven millennial days interpretation, e.g.: see the links), Old Testament prophecy deals with the first advent and even more so with the second advent and the events preceding it (the Tribulation) and following it (the Millennium and the eternal state) but not with what occurs between the two advents. That means that, after Christ, there are no events mentioned in the Old Testament which take place before the Tribulation starts (assuming the opposite is a common mistake made by many "prophecy ministries").

It is true that the seven churches of Revelation predict the spiritual trends of the Church during the Church Age (see the link), but these, as stated, are trends, not specific events of the sort you ask about and of the sort Old Testament prophecy does predict (such as the reign of the Messiah and the regathering of Israel, e.g.).

That said, I think any Christian who is growing in the Word can easily look around and see that "all this" can't go on for much longer – and by "all this" I mean not only the virus and more particularly the over-reaction to it and the rioting and more particularly the under-reaction to it, but even more so the growing darkness of human hearts evidenced in and empowered by the advance of technology and the intrusive, negative effects it is having, the growing political upheaval worldwide, the accretion of power in ever more dangerous hands, and general social degeneration. After all, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and brought on the great flood worldwide for similar reasons:

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Genesis 6:5-7 NKJV

The Tribulation is just such a flood – of trouble, caused by the unleashing of evil the devil and his son will bring on when allowed to do so, and also by the judgment of God upon the evil individuals who will support them (most of the world). But before we get too worried about the latter, we need to read the next verse in Genesis:

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Genesis 6:8 NKJV

So if we are on the right side – as Noah was, and as Lot was, and as Moses was – then we can be sure of being delivered in just the right way. It doesn't mean it will be easy or "fun", however: Noah went through a great deal before, during and after the flood, and Lot lost everything except his life, while the children of Israel had to pull up stakes and hastily leave the country – and we who are willing to choose for Jesus Christ even if it means we have to give up our lives may indeed be called upon to do just that.

All the more reason, therefore, to take "all this" to heart as you are doing. While these unpleasantnesses don't inform the timeline with specificity, they are certainly harbingers of that time of judgment to come, and thus offer a fine opportunity for believers to "take their spiritual temperature", and make positive changes (being more aggressive in spiritual growth) if that is indicated (more is always better at any time).

Finally, as we behold and contemplate "all this", we should also not fail to consider: 1) that the world at large, unbelievers who are held in the devil's sway, are the ones who are causing all the trouble and also, for the most part, suffering for it; 2) that even if as believers we do suffer from these occurrences and negative trends, "sharing the sufferings of Christ" is part of the normal Christian experience for those walking with Him, and such suffering not only has a positive effect upon our growth (when we handle it correctly by trusting in the Lord to get us through), but also will not fail to be rewarded on the other side (links); and 3) that God's coming judgment on all evil both at present and very much so during the Tribulation will be directed at those doing the evil and NOT at us. Indeed, the tribulational judgments are specifically aimed at those who will be persecuting believers: just as was the case in Noah's day it was the evil who were eradicated but the righteous who were delivered, and just as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah while the others were destroyed righteous Lot was delivered, and just as in the case of the exodus it was Pharaoh and his people and his army who were plagued and destroyed while the children of Israel were delivered, so also now as always and even more so during the Tribulation believers have nothing whatsoever to fear . . . as long as we are NOT relying on the world but are truly walking with Jesus Christ, ready to give up anything and everything, even our lives, if the Lord calls upon us to do so. Being cozy with the world, as Noah's putative neighbors who were swept away, as Lot's sons in law who wouldn't listen so as to save themselves or his wife who looked back longingly at Sodom and was turned into a pillar of salt, or as the children of Israel who, though delivered, quickly proved unfaithful, is clearly the wrong route and a direct result of being in the wrong place spiritually when the trouble comes on.

All the more reason to redouble efforts now to ensure that we are walking closely to our Master. For this world is passing away (1Cor.7:31; 1Jn.2:17), but we are looking forward to a better one (Heb.11:15-16), one where only righteousness dwells (2Pet.3:13).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #2:

Thanks for pinging back.

If you have time over the holiday break, please watch this video: (insights on Rev 17 & 18)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnhzurLSmIA

I came upon it and found it interesting, and I think it may be true. I would like to know if you think so. It is fairly long, but if you do have time to watch it, please send me your comments, and thanks.

Response #2:

The USA of the Tribulation (as opposed to the USA of today) will be as a whole "mystery Babylon" – in my interpretation of things.

"City" in Greek is polis and it means rather "state" and not just "major metropolitan area" (that word is asty in Greek). Sparta, e.g., was a polis, and in her day controlled half of the Peloponnesus, not just Sparta town (which was by most accounts a very humble looking place).

So when the command to "flee Babylon" is heard, believers will need to clear out entirely – not just from New York (see the link).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

You take Zech 2:8-9 as describing the ransacking of Babylon. What's confusing me is the fact that the Lord says "against the nations" when Babylon is only one nation. Can you clarify why nations is plural when you take it to be referencing singular Babylon? Thanks!

Response #3:

Here's the context:

(6) “Awake! Awake! And flee from the land of the north (i.e., Babylon), even though I scatter you like the four winds of heaven [were driving you on]!” says the Lord. (7) “Awake! Flee to Zion, you who dwell with the Babylonians!" (8) For thus says the Lord of hosts, “In later times He [the Father] shall send Me in glory against the nations who have plundered you (for whoever touches you touches the apple of My eye). (9) At that time, behold, I shall wave My hand against them, and they will be plundered by their slaves. In this way you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me.
Zechariah 2:6-9

I don't restrict "the nations" in verse 8 to mystery Babylon. All the nations of the world will also be gathered against Jerusalem. And the Lord Jesus Christ will be "sent against them [all]"; that is, at Armageddon where He will destroy the armies of antichrist. Being "plundered by their slaves", however, is not something that happens at Jerusalem at the battle of Armageddon. That will only apply to mystery Babylon and will have already happened (part of the seventh bowl judgment) before our Lord's return (cf. Rev.17:16-18; and all of Rev.18). So fleeing Babylon (beginning of the context above) for believers before the time of this judgment will be very important (see the link).

Have a good week ahead!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hello Bob,

I have come to the conclusion that a number of your correspondents, argumentative people not withstanding, are probably believers. That they ask similar questions suggests to me that the Holy Spirit is alive and working with those of us who believe. This week's email posting has finally pushed me off the bench.

Comments and a couple of questions follow.

1. Cults: A number of years ago, I left the Methodist church in disgust and spun off in the weeds. I was a member of the Rosicrucians for a while and witnessed many signs and lying wonders. Whether group hypnosis or actual, I don't know. The two conclusions I have are this. There are many, many things out there in our world we don't understand or know and there are things we can perceive that are lies. Only hubris (or science) would claim otherwise, Only the Holy Spirit and scripture can be our guides.

I may have found a way to discourage JWs. One couple persisted in coming around (and where I live, not even UPS or FedEx will come all the way up the lane) I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out, again, my limited evangelical skills. So when he asked, "May we come out again.", I said yes. The next time, I said something I can't recall and he asked. "Do you believe in the Trinity?" I said. "Absolutely." He said, "We don't." That was the last I saw of them. Needless to say, I didn't get to practice my evangelical skills. It is, however, a technique I'll use in the future.

Response #4:

We've mostly all gone done some paths that were fruitless at some point in our lives, but if we've learned from our experiences, well, call it immunization against worst things. And we can count ourselves blessed if in the end we ended up in a good place.

Question #5:

2. Holy Spirit: In my experience, my belief is "be still and know that I am God." When I was looking for land, it took five years. I'm now convinced it was that long because I wasn't still and listened. When I finally gave in and looked at the one place I rejected before, I found it to be exactly that for which I prayed. (I wish I had enough sense to pray for knowledge I didn't know I needed!)

Still, the Lord has provided everything here that I need. Just not some of the things I thought I wanted. I still have trouble growing some of what I would want, but other things I didn't consider so much, flourish.

Best, I think, is to learn to appreciate that which you are given than to insist on things you're not. (I love tarragon,, e.g., which grows well up North but dies horribly in Texas.) Mint Marigold, Texas Tarragon is a reasonable substitute.

Response #5:

The Spirit's ministry is the most wonderful thing! But it is what is and it isn't what it isn't. Trying to make it what it isn't is where the trouble begins (this is the story of the charismatics in a nutshell).

Question #6:

3: Is Bozrah in scripture the same as Bosra today?

Response #6:

Bosra today is in Syria; the Bozrah of the Bible was in Edom, south of the Dead Sea somewhere (identifying biblical sites with places today is a notoriously dangerous game).

Question #7:

4: Am I misunderstanding Jeremiah's prophecy against Babylon (50 et. seq.) as relating to the ten plagues of Egypt and (in a much reduced intensity) to the Tribulation?

I read that and marvel about the similarity to our contemporary world.

If we are to be Babylon (which I think is most probable) should we expect any less? Since the original Babylon doesn't appear to be along today's national boundaries, should we expect the destruction to encompass all of the US? If there were citizens of Israel and Judah that were spared and left, would we be different?

Response #7:

Occasional "double fulfillment" is a reality of biblical prophecy (link). The many prophecies against Babylon in scripture (Isaiah is also filled with them) were fulfilled against the historical Babylon, but they will also be fulfilled in the near future in regard to the eschatological Babylon. In terms of historical Babylon, the total destruction had to do with her main city, not with what we might call her provinces. So while we can't say with certainty, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it is the major urban areas of eschatological Babylon which will suffer this but not her rural areas. But it would also probably be a mistake to think that, e.g., Louisville will be safe but not New York.

Question #8:

6. Finally, what is the original Greek translation in Romans 13:1? "Higher powers" (KJV) and "Governing authorities" (NIV) mean two different things in English.

Yours in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Response #8:

Regarding "" at Romans 13:1, exousia = "power" and hyperecho = "to be in control over"; these are generic terms in Greek. I have translated the phrase "superior authorities":

Let every person be subject to [all] superior authorities. For no authority exists which has not [been established] by God. And those that exist are [in turn] subject to God. Therefore whoever opposes [established] authority has taken a stand against God's [ordered] arrangement, and those who have done so will receive judgment upon themselves. For rulers do not exist to discourage good deeds through the fear they inspire, but rather evil ones. So do you wish to have no fear of the authorities? Then do what is good, and you will have praise from them. For they are ministering to God on your behalf for your [own] good. But if you do evil, beware, for they have not been invested with the power of punishment (lit., "the sword") for nothing. For they are ministering to God in the severe vengeance [they bring down] upon those who do evil. Therefore it is necessary to be subject [to authority] not only because of this severity, but also for conscience' sake.
Romans 13:1-5

So I don't think that there is any around this very clear language.  It may be uncomfortable (to say the least) for believers to fulfill the above when antichrist runs the government, but the passage says what it says.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

In CT Part 7 -- Do Take Joy in God's Working out of His Plan (instead of being Disheartened by Events)

Does taking joy in the punishment of our oppressors contradict our Lord’s instructions in Matthew chapter 5:

Matthew 5:43-45 (NASB) 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

What should our modus operandi look like to unbelievers who have not taken the mark or who not yet taken the mark? If they are oppressing us, should we feel contentment in our Lord’s punishment upon them?

Should we hoot and holler as our Lord wins the battle, or look on with sanctified concern in general?

Another question: Is it possible for an outside reader to hyperlink directly to a spot in a webpage on Ichthys or is that ability reserved for the webmaster because of website constraints?

I have been praying that your final grading will not be too strenuous, and will leave time for other things!

In Jesus,

Response #9:

Thank you my friend – all went well! Sorry for the delay in response. I was visiting family after I finished up at U of L, and am only beginning now to "dig out".

Anyone can link to anything without permission. The only place where it wouldn't work is if the person doing the linking was logged into some secure area. Following the link would bump into that firewall without a similar login.

As to "taking joy in the punishment of our oppressors", I think it's possible to rejoice in all that God does, that is, to be joyful in His vindication and deliverance of us without at the same time being nasty. Oppressors get what they deserve; we should be glad of that justice. There is no contradiction between being loving and also appreciating justice – God IS love, but He is also absolutely just.

I guarantee you that we will appreciate His execution of judgment at the Great White Throne without feeling any remorse for those who spat in God's face and rejected His Gift.

As to how to comport ourselves towards anyone who has taken the mark of the beast, it seems to me that we ought to stay as far away as possible; as to unbelievers who have not, I don't find any reason to have any different attitude towards them than the godly one we have towards unbelievers today: desiring their salvation and being willing to share the gospel. But of course the "pearls before swine" principle will still apply – and doubly so during the Tribulation. Just because they have not taken the mark will not automatically mean that they are good people who can be trusted.

Keeping you in my prayers as well for a strong finish.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Dear Bob,

When I read that the temple is or people are "called by my name," can I understand it as a general term for people who worship the Lord and the places where they do so? In other words, is the term "Christian" equivalent?

If it is, I think we're in for some hard times even before the Tribulation starts. I've been rather stuck in the prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah particularly, and amazed at how much both describe
people today. While we don't burn children to Baal, we do break them in half in the womb. (Isaiah 49:1) While we don't erect Asherah poles in high places, we do seem to worship science, government, football players in stadiums, celebrities in theaters and Marx almost everywhere. Some even worship Satan. I don't think we are any different than Israel or Judah. I think the division between North and South in the 1850s and '60s is a curious analog to ancient times that still exists today.

If I'm off the rails, here, please set me straight.

I pray your slog through the tech mire is still improving.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #10:

The "Name" is His person, so this is a way to say that it / they / we "belong to Him". So in terms of people, it means believers (cf. Amos 9:12 of gentiles; quoted by James: Acts 15:17).

As to "people today", the number of such who "belong to Him" is, in my estimation, quite small. Most who are identified as -- or identify as – Christians are not born again / born from believers in the person and work of Jesus Christ but merely members of a tradition.

Israel was a special case in that all who belonged to that nation were supposed to be believers; unbelievers were supposed to be put to death. Of course this never happened, and the percentage of those historically who were "of Israel" biologically and also spiritually "of the faith" as well as of the seed of Abraham (Rom.4:12-16; Gal.3:7-9) was, it seems, never particularly high – though not as small as today where "this generation" of rejection of the Messiah continues and will do so until the two witness / 144K revival during the Tribulation (Rom.11:25).

Since the end of the divinely constituted state of Israel (not to be seen again until the Messiah returns and not to be confused with the current secular state), no nation has been "godly" or "of God" or "called by His Name". There have been some at some times which did have a sizeable remnant of believers who were "salt" for that nation. It can be argued that the US was such, once upon a time. And I do think there are a lot of believers in this country at present as well, though no doubt a much smaller number than may be imagined by some. However, the spiritual quality of the remnant in this Laodicean era is low, and that affects the quality and efficacy of the "salt" as well (Matt.5:13; Lk.14:34).

So we can certainly roll out a very long list of activities, behaviors and general speech which are indicative of unbelief and horrifically anti-God and anti-truth thinking in the hearts of our fellow countrymen. Believers can do nothing about all of that with worldly means – not politically, that is. Getting red hot about the truth and committing to spiritual growth, progress and production so as to increase the savor of the salt within each of us individually is what will (would) collectively increase the power of the remnant. For the Lord certainly does hear prayers – and "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (Jas.5:16B KJV).

I finished up year #29 today, putting in grades and other odds and ends. Things at the university are in a real mess, but I'm making plans for the summer research push.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Has reading Greek literature made you feel our culture is very godless? It makes me feel that way. I mean even just watching Japanese Anime which has been very popular for my generation, they mention their, uh, traditional equivalents for spirits and gods a lot. While over here, it is empty of any deity or spirits.

Godless. That is why it is funny when atheists act like Christians are out of their minds saying our culture is godless. I would say, well as a human reading and watching other works that casually mention their gods constantly, yes, our culture is godless. Even with Harry Potter, there is not mention of gods/spirits/demons that another culture's works would do. Lord of the Rings creates a whole different fantasy universe and world, and The Chronicles of Narnia take the reader/children outside of our world to the fantasy worlds, so I do think those kinds of works are different from HP. From what I have read, parts of wicanism are very clear about their serving Lucifer and demons (or attempting to). Which blows my mind because he would kill them if he had the chance. All those stories of evil men killing people out of boredom, Lucifer strikes me as the type to be like that.

Anyway, I definitely agree about excitedly waiting for Jesus' rule. I keep trying to imagine it, but I think it is a bit beyond me. I wish I knew what part I might have in it, but at least I will get to see and talk with (not just to) Him. I really look forward to seeing you on that day, sir and friend

Response #11:

All cultures are godless – Israel during her day was meant to be the exception (and even she fell far short the majority of the time). That's why we believers are the "salt" that preserves an otherwise godless society (cf. 1Cor.7:14).

But yes, hallelujah for that great day SOON to come when Christ rules this world directly!

In Jesus our Savior and coming Sovereign,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

I hope the week is going well for you too. I'm sure you have been overwhelmed as the semester closes down. In two/three weeks you will be in the clear so that is exciting.

You said, "the end times have been imminent in the sense of no unfulfilled prophecy remaining after the resurrection of our Lord and until His return". However, in Revelation chapters 2/3 I'd argue that we do have fulfilled prophecy in the Church ages. What is your take on that?

In the Lord,

Response #12:

The seven eras of the Church are trends, not specific prophecies (that is what I'm referring to). Old Testament prophecies about the end times have a great many specifics – about the Tribulation and its events, about the second advent, and about the Millennium. So while it is true that the trends mentioned in Revelation chapters 2-3 have played out chronologically, there has never been a "specific event" which one could point to or look forward to in the way that is true of OT end times predictions.

The one exception that proves the rule is the destruction of the second temple, but that was something that a) was connected to pausing the age of Israel and its particular dispensation of the truth; and b) took place at the end of the apostolic era (just as the era of Ephesus began). Also, no OT prophecy alludes to the seven eras or their trends. The OT prophetic foreshortening picture doesn't see the huge valley of the Church Age which lies between the first and second advent prophecies (see the link).

Hope you are keeping busy and furthering your plans, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Greetings to you sir.

Thanks for your write ups. Nothing short of God’s wisdom through you. I thank God for people like you.

May I ask please about great tribulation, Jesus told the Jews to run to Petra, is there any place non Jews can actually be safe? What about children? I’ve heard people say Sinai peninsula then I’ve read it’s actually Horeb in Saudi Arabia. Since we might have no homes. What’s the best time to leave if anywhere? What will happen to Africa in all these? Bible doesn’t seem to talk much of Africa besides Egypt.

I have my trust in God and daily trying to grow but I’ve lived all my life believing in rapture till few weeks ago. A lot of things taught in the churches - where do they get their teaching from

Response #13:

Good to make your acquaintance.

As to the safe-haven in the desert, this is for the Jewish believers of the Tribulation who respond to the teachings of the two witneses, Moses and Elijah, and to the preaching of the 144,000; that refuge will be east of Jerusalem and will be supernaturally shielded and veiled (the forces of antichrist who pursue them will vanish without a trace (Rev.12:16).

I don't find any indication that gentile believers will be a part of this particular escape. Our "job" will be to remain faithful in spite of the pressures of the Tribulation -- and in spite of the pressures of the Great Persecution in particular, wherein half of those of us remaining faithful are predicted to be martyred for our faith.

But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, (i.e., gentile believers) who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 12:16-17 NKJV

As to other parts of the globe not specifically mentioned in scripture (for good reason since at time of writing the recipients knew little to nothing about them), we can expect them to suffer the same pressures and troubles as the rest of the world. I have posited that as antichrist's original home country, mystery Babylon may be initially spared the depredations he imposes on the rest of the world – but this will be more than balanced out by her complete destruction in the months before the second advent (Rev.17:16-18; Rev.18).

Children who perish before they have reached the age of accountability – before, that is, they've had a fair chance to accept Jesus Christ, are automatically saved.

I want to commend you on your prudent and godly concern for becoming spiritually prepared. So many of our Laodicean era are hiding behind the false doctrine of the "pre-Tribulation rapture" which as you have discovered from the Bible does not exist. Where do they "get it"? They get it from others who are self-deceived, but not from the Bible. Here's the latest link on that (it will lead to many others): "The 'Rapture' and other Eschatological Issues".

Question #14:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Here is a small snippet from a teaching that I compiled with the title "Twisted Truth". Can you look at this and let me know what you think?

Here is the Snippet:

There is one more very prevalent “Twisted Truth” that needs to be shared. The false doctrine of the so-called “Rapture”.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2.
“ 1Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord[the Second Coming of Jesus Christ] has come.

These verses are speaking strictly of the “Second Coming of Jesus Christ”, not about a “Rapture”, and if anything, it is the “First Resurrection”, not a so-called “Rapture”. It also says that several things will happen before the “Second Coming”:

1. The apostasy depicted in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 will occur.

2. The restraining of the antichrist will be removed, the Holy Spirit will not be removed, neither will the church.

3. The antichrist will be revealed.

4. The antichrist will sit in the temple in Israel and proclaim himself to be God.

5. God will send a deluding influence on those who do not believe the Truth[The Gospel].

Other facts noted in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 are as follows:

1. The very first two verses of this passage of scripture that our “gathering together”[1st Resurrection] will not happen until the time of the “Second Coming” or, as it says: “the Day of the Lord”[this is the final day of mankind, the 7th day or 7,000th year.]

2. The passage then informs us what will happen prior to this “gathering together”[1st Resurrection noted in Rev. 20:6] which happens at the sound of the trumpet of assembly which is the Second Coming.

3. Paul says this in verse 3-4 of this Scripture: “ 3Let no one deceive you in any way, for it [Second Coming], or if you believe this refers to a “Rapture” you will be shocked to find out that what you are calling a “Rapture”,will not come until the rebellion occurs [the falling away noted in 1 Timothy 4:1-3], and the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction [the a/c]—is revealed. 4He[the a/c] will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he [the a/c] will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”

4. This 4th event which says”The antichrist will sit in the temple and proclaim himself to be God, does not take place until the last three and a half years of “The Great Tribulation”.

A multitude of Christians have been taught[or should I say deceived, because they have not studied the Scriptures for themselves, but have left it up to others to do, what they don’t want to do], that this verse in 2 Thessalonians 2 is talking about “a rapture”, and if that is true, then “all” these events mentioned in Verse 3 & 4 must take place;

As it clearly says: “will not come until”, that is the so-called rapture, when in reality, it is not a rapture, but is indeed the Second Coming.

Hope you are doing good and are in excellent health. Thanks always for your great advice and guidance. Blessings to you always, from the One who is life.

Your friend,

Response #14:

Great job, my friend! It's pretty clear and you make it very clear.

One small suggestion: Matthew 24, especially vv.29-31, is also very difficult to "interpret around". You should also know, however, that there are die-hards who have cockamamie and foolish interpretations of all of these passages to defend this their favorite falsehood.

Keep up the good work for Jesus Christ!

In Him,

Question #15:

I know that God is omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent and is more powerful than Satan, but how does Satan's power, as seen in the book of Job and Revelation, inferior to God's in perception? For example in Job, Satan controls the weather, but so did Jesus when he calmed the storm, God turned the Nile to blood, but Satan through the magicians did so to with other water, God predicts the future, but doesn't Deuteronomy 13:1-3 and Acts 16:16 seem to indicate Satan can somewhat do so to, to some extent, or no, I'm wondering? I know some give Satan more power than he's made of, and picture a dualistic approach between God and the devil, but how would you respond to someone who says that if "Satan can do many of the same things God can do, so how is it such a miracle or wonder from God, if Satan can do the same thing?" I just want a better understanding of this all and how to respond to questions like this?

Response #15:

Good to make your acquaintance.

Satan is a creature. God is God. Satan may have some small idea of what is going to happen – from reading the Bible. But nothing at all could happen, not the smallest thing, unless it were foreordained by God in the one perfect and all-comprehensive plan of God in which we are presently living.

The least of the demons could destroy all of humanity in no time – if it were allowed. It isn't. Satan has great power – compared to human beings. But the devil has no power and no ability that has not been given him by God and can do nothing whatsoever that God does not allow.

You mention perception, and that is part of the issue. Believers have to learn to respond to what they believe, not to what they see, hear and feel. God has veiled His glory from the world. If we could see Him as He is, well, there would be no more issue of faith because who and what He is would be undeniable. It is only now in this brief period called "time" or "human history" that unbelievers are allowed to imagine that God is small. In fact of course the entire universe is infinitesimally small compared to God – and in fact there can be no comparison between Him who made it in an instant and sustains it with His word of power and the thing merely created.

Arrogance imagines self to be large and God to be small. Believers still in the body are still subject to the madness that is our heritage in Adam (Eccl.9:3). But as we respond to the truth we begin to appreciate how small we are in fact and how large God is – and I mean this in every way of course, not just size. God in fact cannot even be described or understood in terms of size. Omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence are merely words to describe for us God in relation to the creation. That is to say, He is infinite in His nature and perfect in His character (please see BB 1: Theology). Suffice it to say that God is great and loving towards us who belong to Him beyond our imagination to an indescribable degree – and that is certainly shown by His plan which He accomplished at the cross. The devil couldn't stop it and it has already been fulfilled. We are in the exploitation phase of the plan at present.

Blessedly, we believers have already been given the "history book" about what is to happen in the future, the truth about all the end times events as written in scripture. So while we don't underestimate the adversary, we understand that he has no ability to affect the plan of God or the things to come, not one little bit. God is for us, and nothing can separate us from His love (Rom.8:38-39).

I have written a good deal about all of these matters. If you haven't already discovered them, the best place to go regarding your question generally is the Satanic Rebellion series, and after that the Coming Tribulation series.

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Dr Luginbill,

Do you know how you say we tend to worship-or at least over-rely- on modern technology? I was looking at the Falcon 9 launch, and it is very beautiful machinery inside and out. And the guy, Elon Musk, he has a number of very interesting projects like super-speed underground tunnels for transportation, electric cars, lots of stuff. It makes me feel hopeful about the future. Or it would. But you know about the rioting over the past couple days. None of the modern technology matters if people are just going to destroy it, if society breaks down. I think maybe I have been a little guilty of thinking too highly of modern technology, thinking it can do anything. It is hard, because we see such jumps in ability and efficiency. But the before is true, that it is rather useless with a godless people. Not that everyone in the protests were godless, for the peaceful lawful groups that are walking and trying to defend businesses and stop the looters, I think that is a just think to do (I personally think). But even if the looters are a fraction it is enough to just destroy everything. And that doesn't even get into those marching who are just now, but in another environment would hunt believers-not that everyone in that group would do that, of course. It just a bit saddening that the progress and potential seems like such a lie then.

May I ask what it is like for you, coming from a time when air conditioning was rare to today with all the modern tech?

And would you also pray for my job situation? [details of unfair treatment omitted]

Happy new week,

Response #16:

I'll be keeping you in prayer on all this, my friend.

If it's any consolation, almost everyone I've ever known has had to deal with the "bad boss" situation from time to time, some chronically so. It sounds to me as if you are doing everything you can do on your end. So just keep doing your job as unto the Lord. There is nothing impossible for Him.

As to technology, yes things have definitely changed since I was young, but people have remained the same.

Tech is a tool, but people tend to view it as "magic" and worship it. As if all problems can be solved by tech – when in fact it can fairly be argued that it creates as many or more problems than it solves. Spiritually speaking, that really does seem to be the case. To the extent that human nature and human sinfulness can be amplified by technology, we really aren't collectively better off. Believers are blessed to have the best of both worlds, if we are careful in our walk with Jesus Christ. But the rise of tech-magic will certainly be a factor in making the rule of antichrist possible. The Nimrod and the tower of Babel analogy comes to mind (see the link).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Technology can't save someone from their sins. And that is the ultimate thing.

The other thing I was thinking, looking at this lawlessness, is that this is what it is like now, how will it be then. It would really have to be like a flood of one sort on top of a flood of another sort on top of a flood of another sort. I mean because with the Pandemic, and the response to it of shutting everything down (and the job loss, and the inability to go to the hospital for other things, etc), to this rioting now.

But the Lord is in control, evil people have always been limited in what they can do in general, and towards His own. And the Word says it will never be more than we can bear.

Response #17:

Very well said!

Keeping you in my prayers for your job situation.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Dear Bob,

I pray you're well, safe and out of harm's way.

I've been thinking about the French reign of terror, the Bolshevik revolution and now the bizarre world-wide COVID reaction and the current riots. (Is there a connection?) None of the former ended well and I doubt this one will either. I suspect the COVID nonsense is our "let them eat cake" time.

Martial law will probably be used to usher both the beast and antichrist into power and I believe people will demand it. I thank God I live in the country though I think it's only temporary insulation. It won't be long until the chaos moves to the suburbs and then out here. We're not far from Ft. Hood. I'm curious to see how that plays out.

I may be over-reacting but I believe I can see the trend(s?) over the next six years more clearly than ever before. I believe, too, that restraints are beginning to be loosened. I'm certainly not
looking forward to the next few years.

Yours in our only hope and protection,

Response #18:

A good analogy. I heard one wag recently comment, "The French Revolution has finally caught up with the American Revolution".

Yes, it's hard to see – unless we get a respite – things lasting until 2026. But from the standpoint of biblical interpretation, the date is very hard to move. If we hear, see and feel worldwide "voices, thunderings, lightnings, and earthquake", we will have to readjust the timeline (Rev.8:5). Until then, I suppose it makes sense for things to continue to degenerate leading up to the worst "tribulation" in world history (Matt.24:21). If all "this" continues – and continues to worsen – I guess we can conclude that the Tribulation will be even worse than we had expected.

Good motivation to keep preparing spiritually – the only preparation we can count on once it does start.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Bob,

We've been reading over here in the UK about your home town. How are you doing? Praying for you, your family and your town. Keep safe.

In Jesus,

Your friend,

Response #19:

Thanks for the prayers! Praying for you too, my friend.

There are a few things about this at the latest email posting (link), and I may put up some other things about what happened next this coming Saturday (too soon to tell on that).

Hope you are doing well.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

Glad to hear things have quietened down. I've just read this and it is another alarmingly similar idea to the mark of the beast. In India, without the contact tracing app on your phone, you are not allowed to travel outside the country or even on domestic train journeys. It even blocks access to healthcare, jobs and services! They have already had something similar in India which was a biometric ID. I know that these are not the mark, it does however show that they are already in full swing trialling prototypes for the mark of the beast, getting people used to the idea that no ID/no app/no mark will mean becoming a non person in society overnight.

Chilling reading...

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/india-contact-tracing-app-mandatory-arogya-setu

In Jesus,

Response #20:

Wow! Not as bad as China, but still pretty bad. It is chilling, but believers have the Lord on their side – and nothing is impossible for Him. We'll have to be willing to martyred for Him if that is His will when the Great Persecution begins, but He will help us through that or all the way to the end to see Him return in glory if that is His good pleasure. But as for these servants of Satan who plague us . . .

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.
Revelation 16:1-2 NASB

Keeping you in prayer daily, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hi Bob,

I have a sneaky suspicion about all this. Bill Gates is pushing for a tattoo ID that proves a person has been given the Corona Virus vaccine. He is being so vilified publicly at the moment, that I am beginning to smell a rat..

I now have a suspicion that there will be a bait and switch scenario. People are already saying that this is the mark of the beast. Now let's imagine that all these obvious villains on the world stage are purged or deposed by no other than the antichrist himself? He will pose as a saviour will he not? Saviour from what exactly is a moot point...

He won't pretend to save from sin as most unbelievers are not interested in sin in the first place. He will pretend to save us from some earthly or political danger. Maybe he will "save us" from an alien/nephilim staged attack but maybe he may pretend to save us from people like Bill Gates..

It will be a huge deception after all, fooling even the elect (which would mean real believers).
I guess what I am saying is that we need to stick with the Bible and study and to keep our eyes on Jesus.

It's very easy at the moment to get carried away with news stories and this will emotionally affect us and possibly tip us up and deceive us.

We have to be as wise as serpents after all. Whenever I see a lot of people pushing a particular story, I get suspicious and then I try to think around it a bit less emotively. Sometimes it is because I can sense that I am either being rushed into a decision or I can tell I am being manipulated. There is a lot of dirt circulating about Bill Gates right now.

What if the antichrist comes up against people like Bill Gates? It would be very easy to be fooled wouldn't it?

I think we all need to exercise great caution in the weeks, months and years to come. Whenever an idea or story becomes popular I always think, they want me to know about this.. Why is that?

Only the things of Satan are promoted in this world, anything against him is suppressed. I have my suspicion that the Bill Gates and vaccine ID thing is subterfuge to fool us into going one way and then being fooled into thinking whoever saves us from evil globalist technocrats will be our saviour.

Just some food for thought.
Jesus tells us to "Watch" doesn't He. He doesn't tell us to protest, take to the streets or petition. He tells us to "Watch". We are also told to wait on God, to be patient. We are also told to endure and overcome even to the point of death. It is easy to become disconnected from the Holy Spirit if we are concentrating too much on the flesh. Too much time focusing on the world can trip us up.

Many were disappointed that Jesus was not a political leader or a worldly king. The antichrist will be exactly what the world wants, an earthly and political king.

We all have to be very careful at this moment and from now on. If we become too entangled with the politics and news aspect, we could lose our footing, impede our faith and make disastrous decisions later on.

It feels good to write this all down. The air is thick with deceit right now and we need to be apart from it all, now more than ever!

In Jesus,

Response #21:

"I guess what I am saying is that we need to stick with the Bible and study and to keep our eyes on Jesus." – Amen!

"It's very easy at the moment to get carried away with news stories and this will emotionally affect us and possibly tip us up and deceive us." – There's certainly a lot of that happening right now, more so than usual.

"If we become too entangled with the politics and news aspect, we could lose our footing, impede our faith and make disastrous decisions later on." – Excellent advice!

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

[encouragement needed in light of Covid-19 and rioting.]

Response #22:

First, it's a decidedly GOOD thing that you don't see things the way the world does. You have a godly perspective – meaning you see things through His eyes, not the eyes of the world. So you are not fooled by what the devil and those dancing to his tune are doing. That doesn't mean it's not wearing to have to hear this stuff and also more particularly to have to endure the consequences of this stuff which are trickling down to us all. So it can be debilitating . . . if we're not careful to keep our focus on the Lord.

In drivers' education, they always told us "keep your eyes high in steering", and that is good advice for the spiritual walk we are on as well. If we are looking at what is right in front of us we can easily be distracted by it – or worse yet allow our gaze to turn back in on ourselves, or off to the temptations on the left (no happiness there!), or to the things that seem to produce worldly security on the right (only disappointment there!). The only safe way to walk is keeping our eyes focused on the Lord and eternity – keeping them up. If we do that, all the other stuff will be much less likely to distract and bother us.

(1) Therefore since you have been resurrected [positionally] with Christ, keep seeking after the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Keep thinking on the things above, and not the things on the earth.
Colossians 3:1-2

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 NIV

Remember too that we are called to peace and commanded to have peace – the faith-rest walk with Jesus which is our fulfillment of the 4th commandment today. We can't always feel good, emotional and/or physically. So it can be hard to be effervescently joyous always – but we can always rest in Him who is our Mighty Fortress. He's working it out for good. All we have to do is hold His hand as we march along to glory.

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

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

[omitted]

Response #23:

You said you weren't working but of course you are – just doing it at home. My experience with that from last semester and also now this summer (research) is that it is actually much harder than going into the office. There is such a blessing in being able to leave the office down at the office and keep home more or less isolated from that other world. All "this" has blurred the lines and that makes relaxing and making time for spiritual pursuits uninterrupted all that much more difficult.

So I think all of us are going through this same sort of stress to greater or lesser degrees. It has side-effects that we perhaps haven't experienced before and thus we have to develop strategies to cope which previously were unnecessary. It's actually a very good experience to keep in mind. Things change in this world. And during the Tribulation there will be some big ones. For one thing, if we are imprisoned for our faith (and some of us will be: Rev.13:10), that will throw ALL previous routines out the window. Routines are good and important. They are the way we manage in this noisy world to get done what needs to get done, "rendering unto Caesar" what is necessary but also carving out time for the spiritual matters that are of prime importance. Learning how to quickly deal with new situations and keep doing the latter even when the pressures from the former increase (and change) is an important skill set. In other words, a little flexibility test now and again is not a bad "tune up" for the much greater flexibility we will need to exhibit during the Tribulation; that is to say, flexibility on all that is not essential in order to be completely inflexible regarding what and whom we hold most dear. And key to all that is preserving our godly thinking: first we reorient in a spiritual way to whatever test or stress we are facing, then we reorganize to cope, then we start moving forward again. That's my R/x: rep. s.o.s ("repeat as necessary").

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Dear Professor

It is indeed blessed to hear the rioters stopped 3 blocks away from you. I was wondering how close you were to the “action”, when I watched the news on TV.

Not difficult to see how lawlessness will abound during the Tribulation! (When this is what happens with some restraint still in place - we know that once the Spirit moves out of the way we will have madmen “justifying” themselves and their actions of terror to an astonishingly degree of insanity). Thank our Lord we have your explicit teachings on the Tribulation to alert and prepare ourselves spiritually before it hits hard.

I have some questions and thoughts on the 7 years as we now observe years. And thank you for your perspective on how the Tribulation can go no longer than the 7 years and will indeed be shortened a little bit.

1. I was looking to see if there was any OTHER “shortening”. Seeing that the years the scriptures and yourself talk about seem to be 360 days; will this mean that we have another “shortening” of a month, ( 5 days x 7 = 35 days). Leap years would perhaps “give” us another couple of days. Taken with Mark 13:20, might it give us, say at least 5 weeks off the time (as the world calculates years), and even a bit more with the days being shortened by a little bit off the second 1260 days. Any relief is welcome! (should we live that long).

2. Would that mean the first 3 1/2 years will also be 2 1/2 weeks shorter than what we now observe as 3 1/2 years? The half of the week in Daniel 9:27.

3. Will the two witnesses be active from “day one”. That is, from the day of Revelation 8:5; so that we can know when their warning mission ends, and how to calculate the days?

Some days I find it tiring coping with the here and now of the “good” times and pray for relief and blessings to be able continue as long as our Lord decrees should be our lot to. More than ever I realise we are indeed powerless without Jesus Christ and it is blasphemous to think otherwise.

I do pray your face to face teaching at U of L can resume. Computer driving and computer passengers don’t do anything for me either. Thankfully, I have mine back, along with an income. Almost all the West’s internal borders are open again. I was only deprived of an income for about 3 1/2 weeks. Most were chomping on the bit to get moving again - some a little too excited as evidenced by the spate of road fatalities (many more than the covid deaths and much younger too) right after restrictions were lifted.

Keeping you and your Ministry in my prayers. We all draw great strength and hope from your teaching (even when it is not face to face - but online). Hoping to meet you in person on that glorious day, to thank you properly.

In Him who is due all glory and all of our praise, Jesus Christ our blessed Savior.

Your student and friend

Response #24:

The National Guard and the police teamed up to turn back the crowd last night (stopped this time at an intersection about a half a mile or more away). They eventually had to resort to a great deal of tear gas and even used flash-bangs but got their point across when the crowd started throwing bottles and fireworks. Downtown was similar on a larger scale. Now that there's been some push-back, I'm guessing it'll peter out – but we'll see tonight (5/31/20).

Indeed, but the real lawlessness during the Tribulation will be committed by those in power and against believers by design. Blessedly, it will be our Lord who vindicates us, and that is what the tribulational judgments are all about. So we don't have to fear the latter – indeed we will rejoice over them.

1/2. While any reduction would be welcome, I don't think we can calculate it out. Months were the way the calendar was calculated in the ancient world (not weeks) because their beginnings and ends can be seen easily just by looking up at the night sky. Additional months were added every so often to make up for the short fall occasioned by the discrepancy between that system and the solar year. This was done in Israel too, although we can't say exactly when and how (there's some evidence in the Bible for it but not enough to posit a regular system -- which probably didn't exist in any case as it was ad hoc in places like Greece and Rome).

3. I would imagine that Moses and Elijah are brought back immediately, but scripture doesn't say. In any case, it might take some time before they are widely known. My best guess is that it happens very fast since the 144K have to be recruited, trained and commissioned: they complete their ministry during the first half of the Tribulation after all.

I'm sure it will be difficult. Our Lord tells us that this tribulation will be " such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt.24:21 NKJV), and that "unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved" (Matt.24:22 NKJV). So we will have to shift away from all worldly focus in a way and to a much greater degree than is absolutely essential at present – it will be essential then.

Thanks for your prayers, my friend. All these things that concern us now will no doubt seem of little relative consequence once the Tribulation begins, but trial is trial and testing is testing and temptation is temptation; the process of resisting and coping and enduring is the same large or small, so the techniques we are learning and perfecting now will be the same ones we will be using then. If we can cope with peace and confidence now, the same will likely be true then. But if we're having trouble now . . .

Keeping you and yours in my daily prayers as well.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior – the One who will see us through no matter what betides,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Dear Professor

It is good news the crowd was turned back by those in power. Hard to see how those committing acts of vandalism and theft have any interest in justice - rather it seems to bring out their hidden “talents”. What is apparent is how easy it is to get people involved in a “good cause” so aiding the committing of further crimes to “balance” previous crimes. Not good news that those in power in the near future will turn on believers. Having the crowd PLUS the leaders involved “in a cause” is a horrid thought to contemplate. Though I do trust our Lord will enable us to endure to the end in Him.

1/2. I was looking at the 1260 days in Revelation 11:3 for the first half, and the 1260 days in Revelation 12:6 for the second half. Hence my thinking that the Tribulation will not go longer than 2520 DAYS. And then a little shortening?

I know you are right that now will seem like the school picnic compared to the Tribulation. Good to make all the spiritual preparation we are able to right now. I sometimes think that being popular now will make it even much more difficult to endure the hatred to come, directed at believers.

Thank you for your diligence in feeding us through the Word of God. I pray for your safety and blessing.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student and friend

Response #25:

On 1/2, you could be right – I'm sure that along about August 2033 we'll all HOPE you are right. But seven years, even shortened by a few weeks or more, is still a long time to be under the gun. Lately I'm finding a great deal of encouragement on that score from the Psalms. The emphasis on God's protection and His destruction of the wicked is becoming ever more meaningful in contemplation of the Tribulation – and no doubt the double unpleasantness over here of late is contributing to that perspective.

In any case, this is all very good training. As long as we remember that God is in complete control and that He is the One who protects us and provides for us come what may, we use these events to build up our faith, and as memorials to help us when the real darkness falls.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your reply. I am glad you are safe in our Lord. Indeed, 7 years is along time, when even a week of oppression can seem unbearable.

Psalms are encouraging when we think of how long David was pursued by Saul and was able to mostly act in an appropriate manner. Psalms are also the favourite book of the retired police officer that I occasionally meet with. We won’t be in a position to spare the antichrist’s life, as David spared Saul’s life. Those that attempt to get rid of the antichrist (speaking of really “great” causes, following in the step of the first cause he embarks on), only elevate him to a “god”. He will make war with the saints and overcome them (Daniel 7:21). We can take encouragement from what you point out in scripture, that even in death, we are victorious in Christ. Leading up to that time, or for some being spared to tarry until Christ returns, will be challenges that we do not specifically know and it sounds dangerous and unbearable, unless we have complete faith and closely following our Lord. (Taking up our cross). I praise our Lord Jesus and thank Him for allowing me to find Ichthys and your most generous teaching and prayers, where you have not held back any teaching that is advantageous to our salvation in Christ.

Bits I heard on ABC radio while busing and motoring today.

# A 30 year Australian man dubbed the youngest to die of CV 19 was instead found to be the recipient of one of the superfluous over zealously printed covid stickers (don’t waste them). The coroner found no evidence he died of corona virus. He was suffering from pre- existing conditions from his mining employment. We’ll put this down to a lab error - not the first, the tests are not reliable - well we nearly managed to broaden the age base to the younger folk! Why would the coroner spoil the fairy tale with the truth? Not good policy leaving vital people off the covid incentive scheme. Because the miner’s fiancé was also unwell they shut down the bakery and gave it a “deep clean”. Devastating to many in this small community. She then also tested negative but the damage was done. The Queensland Premier apologised to the community for the distress and grief that the false positives wreaked on the small community. No community trust in their leaders - political or medical.

One can see how all this division and anger is being used by the evil one to prepare his problem solver to enter and fix things for everyone. People are being primed. Both the compliant and the distrustful may be apt to follow a new leader. I was for a time intrigued how he could get the support of diverse elements on every side, yet this is his trade (lies meant to deliver hell to his followers). Not too difficult after watching the world CV 19 reaction and it’s willingness to believe freedom (and lives) must be forfeited for the greater “good”. False teaching and beliefs are certainly perilous for any believer, especially following the escapist philosophy of the false “pre-trib rapture”.

Your admonition to read the Bible, pray and study from a trusted teacher, is what each of us should embrace more often and earnestly. This will help warn us away from the hireling, but rather that we will know the voice of and follow the Good Shepherd.

Thank you for your Ministry. God bless us to prepare daily. Your student in Christ Jesus.

Response #26:

Yes, what is happening does seem as if it would provide an excellent immediate segue into tribulational events, but it's hard to see the Tribulation beginning any earlier than I've posited. If the Church Age does run 2,000 years, then 2033 would seem to be the end (and thus 2026 the beginning of the Tribulation). Luke 3:1 tells us that John started baptizing in the 15th year of Tiberius' reign, a very well-documented chronological point: 28/29 A.D. Jesus was baptized by John a few months later and His earthly ministry ran three and a half years (that is reconstructed easily enough from the chronological information in the gospels, particularly John who lists all the Passovers). So regardless of theories to the contrary, the cross in 33 A.D. plus 2,000 years means that the second advent would be in 2033 with the Tribulation seven years earlier. It's possible, I suppose, that the Church Age is less than 2,000 years, but I can't think of a biblical reason why it would be. In any case, we will know when it starts (Rev.8:5). I was sure hoping for "seven fat years" ahead of that time – and I'm still praying to that effect – but perhaps we need these "tune ups" more than we have any idea.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Dear Professor

I am in agreement with you and always have been with the start date of the Tribulation. This also was my understanding before coming to Ichthys. (Though I did not have a documented case for it). I recall when the year 2000 was “looming” with predictions of doom, that I felt quite confident that our Lord’s return would be 2000 years after the cross, and not from the date of His birth. Also the signs of the times (no Tribulation then )did not seem to indicate an imminent return - as it turns out it was very good for me as I had not yet discovered the truths at Ichthys.

Some of my earlier questions to you were about me questioning my own understanding and the possibility that I had missed something. Your teaching taught me why I should continue to believe what I did. The 7 days of human history that you teach make sense from the Biblical perspective. I accept your teachings as being the truth from the scriptures, including Rev.8:5. A particular thank you for the understanding of this verse.

I am sorry if you thought that I was not convinced of the 2026 date - I believe this also to be the start time of the Tribulation. Whatever the exact day, I am sure the prophecy of Rev.8:5 will literally jolt our memory!

Q. I was just wondering how we are to take the 1260 + 1260 = 2520 days = 7 years (almost)? That is, will the 2520 days be shortened, or, will the 7 years be shortened?
Rev.11:3 + 12:6. The scriptures do say days. (2520 days).

Sorry if I haven’t understood your earlier reply on this one.

Today an economist said the cv 19 has hastened the end of cash by about 5 years (another of the many “consequences”).

Yes I am sure I need a “tune up” along with most others. There is much grace in our God providing us all the opportunity and prodding to prepare.

Hoping you are faring well, considering the protests and riots in the USA. Thankfully things are relatively calm here at the moment. I do appreciate your dedication to the truth of the Word of God, and your kind sharing with all of us.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #27:

No worries, my friend! I know that your head is "screwed on straight" as we say in the states. It's just a natural thing to wonder about with all that's going on. I must confess to going through the details myself again – which is why they were on "the tip of my tongue" so to speak.

On the "1260 + 1260", it's more often described as "42 months x 2" (see the link). Months are the main way in antiquity the calendar operated, because, as mentioned, you only have to look up at the night sky (in a time before electric lights). Their months were actual lunar months, not artificial months adjusted to the solar year. When the calendar got "out of whack", they would put in an additional "intercalary" month to get the months back in line with the solar year. The point being therefore that I don't think we can take these designations to mean a predetermined shortening since this is the way we should expect a specific period of time of this length to be described. Also of course, Daniel's seventy weeks in chapter nine are definitely full years, and the Tribulation is the seventieth week. Jesus Himself told us that the days would be shortened "for the sake of the elect", but it seems clear from all the other information about the Tribulation that we are talking weeks at the most and less than a month over all (for one thing, His return will sync with the feast of Trumpets [Rosh Hashanah]).

But I for one will be overjoyed to get as many "days off" from the Tribulation as possible!

Thanks as always for your good words and enthusiasm for this ministry and for the Word of God, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

 

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