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Eschatology Issues XLIII

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Question #1:

Hi Dr L,

Do you write about amillennialism versus premillennialism anywhere in your online studies? It seems like older mainline Protestant churches, especially Reform, and the RCC are Amill and most current popular prophecy material is premillennialism. Just wondering if you address this anywhere.

As always, many thanks for the free study material you provide us seekers out here.

Hope you are well

V/s

Response #1:

This sort of thing is scattered around Ichthys. It's an apologetic question (not an interpretive one for those who read the Bible not as merely symbolic) so I don't cover it the same way I'd cover other things. But here are some links to where the issue is discussed:

A literal 1,000 years

Eschatology Issues IX: Amillennialism

Interpreting the book of Revelation

CT 6: The Millennium and New Jerusalem

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Thanks as always, I appreciate your taking time to respond to my questions.

I want to go where the truth leads me and I favor premillennialism as a explanation on future events but I wish the amillennialism view was correct. It seems to be more hopeful for the church. Amill is like the kingdom is here and growing and will eventually spread throughout the whole world. Premillennialism is like we, the church, are going to get creamed.

Again, thank you very much. I will get on with reading the links you sent me.

V/R

Response #2:

The world will never be put right except by the direct rule of Jesus Christ. And even then, the population of the world will rebel against the perfect government of the Son of God just as soon as it has the opportunity to do so (Rev.20:7-10).

"I want to go where the truth leads me": Indeed, that is the ONLY proper approach. Even far too many Christians allow their views to be warped by what they prefer: prosperity gospel, pre-Trib "rapture", once saved always saved, etc. But every time we believe what is false we weaken the superstructure of truth we should be building in our hearts. That is a double problem for most believers today in our era of Laodicea, because they have precious little truth there in the first place.

As to "getting creamed", doing what the Lord wants from us is blessed in every way. That is in fact the only way to earn the maximum rewards and get a good report from Him at His judgment seat. If we are loving this world, then of course the prospect of losing what we have and even our lives is quite daunting. But if we are viewing our lives and possessions as mere tools to serve Jesus Christ – the correct view (Matt.16:25; Lk.14:33) – then the Tribulation will only offer us a front row seat of God's day of judgment coming down on the wicked culminating in our Lord's return.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Dear Bob,

A comment in your last email caused me some angst. You said, if not violating God's law, we should obey -- even if unconstitutional, (Or words to that effect.) My reaction was that the constitution was the supreme law of the land (Article VI) and all authorities have sworn before God to "...bear true faith and allegiance to the same." As near as I can tell, none of them have which makes them liars and frauds (criminal in most states.) Their facial diaper rules and fines a violation of 18 USC and most state laws. (And much more before that.)

So you sent me back to review the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:25 supports your judgment but it still leaves open the question of "obey the law or criminal authorities." From scriptural examples, I would assume criminal authorities though Paul seems to obviate that. (I generally fall back on Matthew 5-7 for guidance.)

I have to concede, I will follow the insane and illegal requirements until and which time it crosses the line. I have some hard lines I won't allow anyone to cross. Forced vaccinations is one. (If the new vaccine is truly an RNA vaccine which will change my genetic structure, I see no difference between that and the Mark.) Nor will I allow, willingly, any violation of my person, house, papers and effects. (Matthew 24:43.)

So enough frumping and strutting. Questions remaining from the Sermon are: what does meek really mean? Contemporary usage doesn't seem to apply; "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" suggests "gentle" is a more appropriate meaning. And finally, what is the difference between the Pharisees of old and the "authorities" of today?

I pray all is well with you and your summer is going well. (It's __really__ hot here. Watering every day.)

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #3:

It's certainly true that no government is perfect, least of all ours. Whether or not the authorities are acting illegally is often a fair question. However, under our system, there are ways to address supposed or actual violations of this sort. I have had occasion in my life to have to "fight the system" – more than once. And I can tell you that it is neither easy nor pleasant, and that even if you are right and even if you win, there is a steep price to pay for doing so. But those are the two options for debatable issues, namely, things we feel are not right or otherwise really illegal – but do not actually involve making us do something that God actually forbids or keep us from doing something that God commands. For such things, God-fearing Christians can go along, trusting Him to keep us safe, or we can use valid legal means to fight what we think is wrong. If what we are told to do (or refrain from doing) really does constitute a violation of what God has told us not to do (or commanded us to do), then we had better follow Him – and be prepared to suffer the consequences. Taking the mark of the beast is the action we are specifically warned against during the soon to come Tribulation; declining to speak the truth or acknowledge Christ if that were outlawed would be an example inappropriate inaction (cf. Jn.13:38). Daniel, of course, was forbidden "by law" to pray, and since we are obligated to God to pray, he ignored the law, as did Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah – and suffered the consequences. But the Lord delivered them all – and there is a good lesson there for us. We do what is right and we trust God to take care of us, being willing to die or suffer whatever we must, but being confident that living or dying we are in the will of God.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."
Daniel 3:16-18 NKJV

That has to be our attitude as well. As I often mention, Peter (1Pet.2:13-18) and Paul (Rom.13:1-7) are very clear on the need for Christians to obey the established authority – when no such violation of God's express commands is at issue – even though both of them suffered mightily from said established authority, even being eventually put to death by it. This is quite different from taking up arms against the state or giving any justification for doing so. That is rarely justifiable from the biblical point of view. We can argue about the American Revolution, but the plight of believers during the Tribulation will be quite different, I would argue. Here are a few links on this you might have missed:

Christian submission to authority

Submission in Romans

Political Action vs. Biblical Christianity

History, War and Politics

Christianity and Politics

So when you say you won't allow certain things "willingly", compulsion by authority often happens against our will (public domain confiscation, for example). The question is, what to do about it? And, as suggested above, for Christians who are walking with Jesus Christ, acquiescence is fine (we don't have to "like it"), legally authorized resistance is fine, and peaceful refusal while being willing to accept the consequences for that is fine if in our view we are being forced to go against God's expressed will. But Daniel didn't meet the men who came to arrest him with a sword, after all, and I don't think that such a reaction will be acceptable to the Lord during the Tribulation – nor do I think it is under present circumstances either.

On the meaning of "meek" at, e.g., Matthew 5:5, see the link; it's not the same word as in the "harmless as doves" passage; it has more to do with humility and a willingness to do things God's way instead of what we would prefer than with weakness (or certainly cowardice – since doing things God's way often takes a great deal more courage than following worldly methods does).

On the Pharisees vs. today's authorities, that is a difficult comparison because of course in Israel in antiquity there was no separation between "church and state"; just the opposite. What makes is even more difficult to compare to today is that in our Lord's day there was a complicated secular authority (Rome but also an overlap with the Herodian regime), and the priesthood had devolved into a political office, with the Sanhedrin and the various sects (Sadducees in particular as well) having a certain measure of political power, so that, short of the death penalty, a person could be punished without any recourse to Roman or Herodian power or officialdom (cf. Jn.18:31). When our Lord tells those listening in regard to the Pharisees to "be careful to do everything they tell you", He is speaking primarily of their biblical interpretations – which, under the Law had requirements we would think of today as secular. But it is an interesting expansion of the principles discussed above: if the Pharisees are wrongly interpreting the Bible but, since they "sit in the seat of Moses" (Matt.23:2), still have a claim on regulation of behavior according to our Lord, that would seem to me to argue as well for our erring on the side of doing rather than refusing.

It's perhaps not what any "red-blooded American" wants to hear, but then the Bible often tells us what we don't want to hear – at least at first. But once we "get with the program", things always look different. The closer we walk with Christ, the more understandable everything becomes. In this case, we will be making Jesus Christ the issue, rather than what we personally feel comfortable with or not.

VERY hot here too (but not Texas hot). Looks like next week will be even worse. Guess I'm going to have to start getting up even earlier (oh joy).

In our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

I gather you believe the church (us) will not be raptured before the tribulation? Please direct me to your notes on this subject. Maybe I’m a bit slow but can find it in your series…

Hope you’re well and doing ok under the circumstances.

Your friend,

Response #4:

You are correct.

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Matthew 24:29-31 NKJV

The above is so clear – after the Tribulation Christ returns, then the trumpet sounds, and then the Church is resurrected – that it baffles me how and why Bible-reading Christians could be led to believe that the resurrection precedes the Tribulation (especially since there is not a verse in the Bible that time-links the resurrection to before the Tribulation).

Yes, I have had occasion to address this many times and in many places. Here are some of the more pertinent links – and these will lead to many more as well:

Tribulational Security (in Pet. #27)

The 'Rapture' and other Eschatological Issues

Eschatology Issues XXIV: the 'Rapture' et al.

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

Dangers of the Pre-Trib Rapture False Teaching

When is the Rapture?

Parousia

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

No Rapture

The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride (in CT 5)

I'm getting by, though I find all this unpleasantness highly claustrophobic (especially the masks and the "remote contacts"). It looks like I'll be able to teach my classes in person in the fall – 75% of the time and with a mask on – but that depends, it seems, on the current spike not terrifying the powers that be to much prior to mid-August.

Hope you and your family are doing well – I keep you in my prayers daily.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dear Teacher

That is very nice indeed. I think that all these shifts, small or big, are actually setting things up so that those of us who are willing to walk with the Lord will be better able to do so during the Tribulation. My __ in Wales works with a firm as a scientist helping client companies evaluate the impact of their products on the environment. Apparently, it is possible that they may never return to the work paradigm that they used to have before the pandemic. A Nigerian couple in Canada and acquaintances of mine told me that they are likely to never return to working out of offices downtown anymore. Perhaps all of that will change again, perhaps it won't. But if it doesn't, that would be quite interesting for the Tribulation.

[details about dangerous travel home omitted]

Thank you, Sir, for your prayers. Always praying for you here too.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #5:

I hope and pray this email finds you safely arrived home no worse for wear, and that things will go well for you there, that you'll be able to be a help to your family.

Yes, I'm sure that the changes taking place are all part of the picture. They do show just how much that future picture is in flux as far as we can see from our present vantage point, because after all no one anticipated any of this. So we can be sure that there is much more to come which hasn't been anticipated – at least not in the detail and actual events we are experiencing. So we will all have to be very flexible as I say about what is unimportant and reserve our inflexibility for the things that really matter, the things that have to do with our faith and its practice.

Thanks for those prayers, my friend! Please keep me in the loop.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord.

Bob L.
*[please pray for our friend Odii for his comfort in the recent loss of his father and for help and strength in straightening out a problematic home situation]

Question #6:

Hi Bob,

I’m happy to hear you are safe from the riots. It seems these rioters have no clue as to what or who these statues represent. This world is not our home but I do find it sad that it is going to hell in a hand basket.

I have finished my paperwork for the anti harassment order and I’m taking it to the courthouse tomorrow. I have asked for a temporary 14 day cover because I’m pretty sure he’s not going to like it when he is served. This will cover both of us and our property until the court date. I have dates, times, pictures and video and 12 pages of information for the last three plus years. I don’t see why that we would not get the order, especially with his last outburst. I know God is leading me through this and I will come out victorious. I am a little worried about how the neighbor will handle it. The police officer I talked to said this cures 80% of people harassing. I’m hoping our neighbor isn’t in the 20%. I was told that if he starts anything, the police will come and arrest him. When he harassed us the last time, he also made threats to kill us and they did nothing even though I have video. Mom and I thank you so much for your continued prayers in the situation. Hopefully, the end of this is in sight.

In Him,

Response #6:

I hope it went well today and that you were able to get the "cover" before the case comes up. It seems you've had no choice whatsoever but to go this route inasmuch as the authorities have not arrested this person for so many actions, any of which it seems to me would land an ordinary person "in the clink". No doubt this is a test. But the Lord brings across every impassible sea and never lets us be tested beyond what we are capable of enduring (1Cor.10:13; Phil.4:11-13; 2Tim.4:17-18).

How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.
Psalm 31:19-20 NIV

What you are experiencing now is likely to be common for all loyal believers in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation only writ large, so thank you for sharing all this and also for your wonderful witness in maintaining a courageous walk with Jesus Christ in spite of everything.

I will most definitely be keeping you and your mom in my prayers on this.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

Yesterday went very well. The judge gave me the 14 day temporary order. He also ordered that the neighbor surrender all his guns and weapons. The police went to his house to serve him at 5:00pm and he wouldn’t answer the door. He was home because I saw him go outside after they left. They will try again they said. It’s amazing how he has been able to skate by on all of this...until now. A friend of mine said that it seems like he has 9 lives! With all the information I have provided, I can’t see how he’ll get out of this one. This is sure feeling like a test and I know I will be better for it when it’s done. I have had to face some hurts and other things in my own heart as a result, so it’s good that I am going through this. I definitely have been growing in Christ!

Thank you for the continued prayers and I will continue to keep you updated.

In Him,

Response #7:

I'm very happy to hear this! I'm also happy to hear that the police paid him a visit. That cannot have gone unnoticed. People like this often strut around arrogantly – until they are given to fear that someone capable of standing up to them may be coming; then they usually melt. YOU did not – in spite of this pressure.

The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.
Proverbs 28:1 NKJV

I'm hoping and praying that this test is close to an end for good in every way, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hi Bob,

How are you doing? Just felt that I had to reach out today.

The world is going mad. More than ever we need to pray and maybe at some near future stage have to stand up publicly for what we believe, what ever the consequences of that might be.

Your friend,

Response #8:

Thanks for the "reach out" my friend!

I think actually the world has been "mad" . . . ever since the fall.

This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
Ecclesiastes 9:3 NKJV

While I too feel the inclination to "shout it from the rooftops", there is also this in scripture:

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

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

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

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

We do have to keep in mind that we live among "swine" for the most part, and their swinishness is becoming more and more pronounced. It's not as bad as it will be in the Tribulation, but taking care about casting pearls only to be trampled in the mud ourselves along with them should already be a prudent concern (Matt.7:6). Being careful to "pick our spots" is important now and will be critical then:

"All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
Matthew 24:8-13 NKJV

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.

In Jesus Christ our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

On Isaiah 34, the whole chapter is about God's revenge against Edom, right, sir? Does Edom represent something for us readers living today? I mean, in the same way that Babylon and Rome do?

Response #9:

Yes, Edom represents the nations in general in prophecy (link). The various passages and chapters and catalogs of "judgments upon the nations" throughout the prophets are both contemporaneously (or near term) literal, but also all look forward to the ultimate judgment on all the nations opposing Israel at Armageddon when antichrist brings the whole world together to do battle with the Lord at the second advent.

Question #10:

Dear Bob,

Obadiah speaks of the destruction of "the mount of Esau." Should I understand this as the population or cities of Esau's children? Also, if I remember correctly, the Arabs and Arabic people consider themselves descendants of Esau. Can I understand from this that those of them who are not Christian will be destroyed?

Interesting also, again if I remember correctly, the Lord assured Esau his descendants would be numerous as the sands of the sea. If the Arabs are correct that they descended from Esau, the Lord's promise has been fulfilled. If they are the mount of Esau, and I assume any who have adopted their belief like Pakistanis and Indonesians would be included, then a very large part of the earth's population will go into the pit.

Have I misunderstood or have I gone too far?

I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I notice in this week's email post you have a lot of nasturtiums. Did you know that nasturtium buds can be fermented or pickled in vinegar to make a reasonable caper substitute? Excellent in sauces for roasted and grilled meats.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #10:

As far as identification of present day descendants of ancient peoples are concerned, that is a virtually impossible thing to know for certain. But there are a lot of myths out there (British Israelites for one), and I wouldn't give credence to them. This is not a new phenomenon, by the way. Scholars are still arguing about the Dorians and Ionians and Achaeans in this regard concerning their status in ca. 500 B.C., and the Greeks themselves argued about the same thing at that time.

For our purposes, Edom – which name in Hebrew is essentially indistinguishable from Adam (vowel differences only; consonants the same) – represents the nations of the gentiles generally throughout the prophets. So the destruction(s) that are mentioned therein, while contemporaneously more or less imminent, also have a future eschatological meaning, namely, the annihilation of all the nations ranged against Jerusalem at the second advent (see the link: "The Day of the Lord paradigm"). As I say in CT 1: "Obadiah 1: Edom as typical of "the nations"; the "Day of the Lord" and the coming Kingdom".

I've heard that about nasturtiums but enjoy looking at them too much to eat them.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hello Bob,

Thank you. That explains much. I understood Edom as a pagan country by which the Israelites passed on the exodus and later conquered. Then, later, it's prophesied destruction. That confused me a bit.

I note in the CT1 link you also connect Arabs and Esau. I'm beginning to see how much of the Bible is presented as an example for us - such as Cain and Able, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and Pharaoh(s), Ahab and Jezebel, etc. The paradigm certainly applies today.

I don't know that much about Greek societies. I do know that in music, there are scalar modes called Dorian, Ionian, Locrian and others. Also natural and tempered scales which is what made me so curious about the music of David. I still wish we knew more.

I pray you are well and safe. (Don't overlook a steak sauce of mushrooms and capers in butter.)

Yours in our Lord,

Response #11:

As to connecting Arabs and Esau, here's the only thing I have close to that in CT 1:

21b: Edom (archetypical of all the nations hostile to Israel [the goats]; cf. Esau vs. Jacob)
21c: Arabia (archetypical of all the sympathetic nations [the sheep])

Isaiah chapter 21 changes subjects at verse 13 where the "Burden of Arabia" begins. So the only connection is that they are treated sequentially, probably because of geographical collocation. Chapters in the Bible don't have any interpretive significance because they were all invented much later than the inspiration of the scriptures themselves (over a thousand years later in this case).

Greek music – almost as much as Hebrew music – has not been preserved. The musical notations we are familiar with today were not used in antiquity. We do have ancient works on ancient Greek music but the understanding of them is highly dubious. The "modes" are also thus only theoretically known from prose descriptions. We know less about e.g. the musical accompaniment of the Psalms. Which goes to show, in my view, how much more important in Bible terms the words are than anything else – exactly the opposite of the approach in modern church music.

I usually eat my steak with salt only. If it needs sauce, it probably ought to be ground up for hamburger and served fully dressed. Though I will admit that there was a steak place I loved in Florida that flame-fried their two inch thick Porterhouses with garlic – that was a nice touch. Sadly, the place burned down years ago, however.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Dear Bob,

As I understand your most recent responses, there's little that can be known about the world back then. Buildings and houses seem to be reduced to rubble. Nothing remains of their culinary traditions. Little detailed information on sacrifices. And little about clothing traditions. At least, outside the Bible.

Thanks for putting up with me. You answered the Hebrew music question earlier, but I didn't know much about Greek. (I would suppose they were similar but that may be unfounded.) I know in western music, nothing was notated until the late Middle Ages to early Renaissance. And at that, left much to interpretation. I was hoping Jewish tradition would shed some light, but I'm not sure what we experience today is traditional Jewish rather than Eastern European. I wonder if the diaspora led there or if Kazaria, et. al., was little more than fake.

My belief is that this is all part of the Lord's plan. Else why would faith be required?

BTW – try steak au poivre. You can skip the traditional cream sauce if you like. Just saute a little garlic until golden in the pan drippings (a little butter wouldn't hurt) to put over the top. (Or bottom if you want to get chefy.) Salt is, of course, still good. Freshly cracked pepper coated steak whether fillet, ribeye or even NY strip is good. Just my humble opinion, of course.)

Yours in our Lord,

Response #12:

There are "cantillation marks" in the Masoretic text which instruct the cognoscenti on how to "sing" the verses; but these are not original and at least as late as the vowel points (ca. 8th cent. A.D., give or take).

One of the things I find fascinating about Greece and Rome which, in contrast to ancient Israel, are very well documented in many respects and have had scholars digging through all the evidence for centuries, is that whenever you get interested about a subject, you don't have to dig too long to hit a wall about this detail or fact or practice and come to find out that the answer is "we don't know" or "we think it may be XYZ based upon this one little sliver of evidence". Case in point, we know about "thumbs up / thumbs down" from one passage only in Juvenal where the Latin is pollice verso – which means "thumb having been turned" – but which way and meaning what is open to debate (and without this passage we wouldn't even be sure the Romans used it).

"My belief is that this is all part of the Lord's plan. Else why would faith be required?" Amen!

Cold pizza tonight so no steak doctoring for at least a few days.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hello Dr.,

In your DropBox you should find the following audio files:

The Future of the Church Universal

The Local Church pt.1

The Local Church pt.2


Things are rolling along here, working, studying, living, etc.. Watching the reaction of people around me to the state of the world today is definitely interesting. It seems the demoralization process that has been taking place in this country over the last several decades has been quite successful and now that we are in the destabilization/crisis stage most people really don’t have the ability to understand accurately what is going on either from a spiritual or secular perspective. Many are hoping it will all just go away and return to normal and very few wish to know or accept the truth. Like you, I’m hoping/praying for several “fat” years before the “lean”, but it may be likely to be a mix at best. No matter, the Lord is in control and “the powers that wanna be” can’t do any more than He allows.

Really enjoying the Ecclesiology study, good stuff. How are things with you Sir? Hope your summer is starting out a productive one. Praying for you daily.

All the best,

Rev.22:20

Response #13:

Thanks for this! All files uploaded, linked, and tested AOK.

I'm making some progress on research. I sure wish it were the end of April rather than the end of June, however. It's been hard to achieve normal separation from the university this summer, since there have been so many problems and issues regarding how things will shape up on the fall – still dealing with that too: just had my one other first year Latin section (the one taught by a colleague) cancelled today. She's unable to teach given her age and other issues such as what the university will require in terms of partially tech-dependent remote teaching in the fall (all the face to face classes can only be 75% so). I've spent a good deal of time on this already myself, and I'll have to stop all research and go totally into class prep once August gets here. Not sure how all this is going to work out, but it could be worse: some universities are going to be ALL remote in the fall (don't think I'd be able to handle that for a full semester).

But all this uncertainty and dislocation from the virus and the society (heard it described as a "collective nervous breakdown" the other day, and that sure seems to fit), does seem to be separating the believers who are walking close to Jesus Christ from everyone else. So it's all good in the end – we know that the Lord is working this all out for good, after all. If we need the flexibility testing, well and good. And one hopes that some of the rapture-think crowd will smell the coffee. Meanwhile, we who love the Lord find ourselves safe and secure and at peace in the eye of the storm – thus is it ever, and will be even during the Tribulation.

In any case, not much time left. My first goal is to do what I can helping my brothers and sisters be ready for what's coming. Once we get to the Tribulation, it's hard to say ahead of time that there will be the same opportunities we enjoy today – different ones, maybe; different challenges, definitely.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers daily, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Bob again!

I've had some interesting thoughts about this whole "taking a knee" thing. Someone in the comments said that they were "kneeling to Baal" and obviously I was very alarmed at this suggestion. I looked up in the bible the reference to "kneeling to Baal" and found this..

"Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him."
1 Kings 19:18

The Wikipedia entry for Baal says that he was seen as a (false pagan) god of fertility and prosperity. Of course, there is no Baal or Baalim only Satan but he is linking in people's minds that if you don't show signs of worship and obedience to the antichrist system you will not prosper (in fact you will suffer both socially and financially).

This could be prepping us for the antichrist kingdom as kneeling is usually a sign of reverence to God or to a figurehead or monarch. A person kneels when they are knighted also.
It also jumped out to me that people are usually forced to kneel when they are beheaded!

I have been avoiding conspiracy things like I said before (cold turkey) but things do pop out at me from time to time (noticing patterns). I never thought I would see atheist/ secular types kneeling as it is usually connected to reverence to God within a religious setting. The only other reference I have to kneeling is people get down on one knee to propose to their wife/ bride to be.

I have often wondered how the antichrist could get populaces full of sceptics and atheists to embrace his "religion". I guess one way is to introduce religious behaviours such as kneeling but divested of their original connotations. There is a growing political movement of "virtue signalling" which increasingly has all the hallmarks of a religion in the making. If you think that these "signals of virtue" are become first socially and later maybe legally mandated, it all becomes very worrying. It seems to have all the signs and signifiers of the coming antichrist religion.

What religion are they kneeling for though? That is the question I'm asking..

In Jesus Christ, the only one to whom I will kneel,

Response #14:

It's easy to get riled up about this sort of thing. But I wouldn't worry about it. The Tribulation is going to start right on schedule. And – blessedly – it's going to END right on schedule too. And we believers know all about that. That is our hope: the resurrection when our Lord returns. Whatever happens in between will be as nothing once that day arrives – except that it CAN be a basis for a good reward . . . if we stick to our knitting, growing spiritually, passing these tests, and helping others too, according to the gifts and opportunities for ministry we're given.

There are all sorts of distractions in this world, but there's no security here and no true happiness, and none of the nonsense we see in the world really has anything to do with us believers, because the plan of God moves on for the world and also for us: our Lord protects us from everything – and anything He lets us endure is actually all for our benefit too.

Whatever we have to suffer, our Lord suffered far, far worse, even before He got to the cross, and we are only sharing His sufferings (link) – but that is actually a privilege (cf. Acts 5:41).

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted (lit., "graciously given") on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
Philippians 1:27-30 NKJV

So keep your eyes up, focused on the Lord who bought you with His blood. He's the One to be concerned about, pleasing Him in all you think and say and do.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi Bob,

Yes, I wasn't getting riled up as it is very silly all of this kneeling thing. I just saw a few connections forming.

Yes I completely agree it's all about our walk and growth. I am very eager to be productive and at sometime have ministry but I also know that I have to master the small stuff before I be trusted with anything bigger. I just watch these things that are happening around us with a degree of detachment now as much as possible. I don't want to take my eyes off the prize which is Jesus Christ.

I know things are going to get really tough and so I don't want to be one of the foolish virgins. I am reading a great deal on your site, watching Omo's videos and studying the bible with the commentaries you recommended.

I am trying my best everyday to chose the Holy Spirit over my sin nature and it is wonderful to do so. A real joy! I'm learning how to shake off the old man and trusting God by looking to the Holy Spirit for guidance by trying to imitate Jesus.

It's not easy and I get frustrated by persistent sin but I know we will never be sinless here but there is a lot of hope with the renewing of our minds. We can start the day off badly but then pick ourselves back off the floor, dust ourselves off, confess and then get back in the race again. This is the approach I am taking at the moment.

I try not to ruminate or agonise over failure to hit the mark but I try to do better next time. I really feel empowered by the Holy Spirit in this regard. Like you said before, a lot of times you can just stay silent. Sin often comes along in haste.

I feel very happy being in this race of life. It is not always easy but I am so confident in God that a great deal of worry, fear or pain just melts away when I think and that I know that God always makes good on His promises and we can fully trust in Him whilst walking the narrow path towards Christ. Amen

In Him,

Response #15:

Thanks for the encouraging email!

I'm also happy to learn that you are availing yourself of the Bible Academy site – it is EXCELLENT!

Keeping you in my prayers every day, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

[omitted]

Response #17:

Thanks for the update. I'm happy to hear that you are coping.

Yes, we have all the Covid angst you have, but layered in on top of that is the huge political load we are experiencing from all the unrest in this country that has now come to a head. The fall promises to be "interesting" to say the least. But the Lord will see us through – thanks for reminding of that!

Out jogging before 8 PM but that was still too late (and we are on the extreme west of the time zone). All the "global warming" folks are having a field day with these record temps.  They've got no idea just how "hot" things are going to get in about six and a half years.  In any case,  tomorrow I'll have to launch myself even earlier. Never was a "morning person", so that won't be fun. 

Enjoy your day off! We've got 4th of July here (the day off for it), but we're being told now that there is something wrong with feeling good about it. Some days I feel like the Tribulation can't arrive soon enough!

In Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #18:

[omitted by request]

Response #18:

Good to make your acquaintance! Things are OK here. For info on all that's going on here in Louisville and at the university, the more recent email postings entitle "Eschatology Issues" have a lot about that (and other things related to what you ask), so I would direct you there (link list of "previous postings").

Thanks for your prayers! I won't be posting any part of your email (answers are mine and always subject to posting even when Qs are kept anonymous).

1) This is the devil's world and has been since the fall. The fact that things "in the world" are worse today in this country in particular than has been the case in the past can be variously explained, but the number one reason has to do with the decreasing quality of the remnant of believers. Believers in any country are the preservative "salt" (see the link), and the more salt – and the better the quality of the salt – the more God blesses the country and the more closely He protects it.

These troubles are a sign of the times in that we are getting very close to the Tribulation, but also a temperature check of the remnant, revealing what any positive believers can readily tell, namely, that we are, collectively, the epitome of Laodicea (link). So while it is certainly possible to compare the situation at the outset of the Tribulation and try and work back to the situation here and now, it is also true that 1) the Bible gives us very general information about those seven years in terms of the texture of current events (so that matching things up is questionable), and 2) while the pace of events today may seem unprecedentedly rapid (and may be), this is nothing compared to what the pace will be like in the Tribulation (so that wherever we are when it starts will not in the least prevent exactly what is predicted from happening in exactly the predicted way).

Still, it is possible to say that the evil one and his minions seen and unseen are doing their best to prepare the battlefield, and that much of what we are seeing in terms of economic dislocation and social and cultural unpleasantness at present no doubt is a reflection of that. What this means for believers who take warning is that we ought to stay completely away from all such things, politics and political engagement however defined, and strive instead to redouble our efforts in spiritual growth. That is the only way to improve the savor of our individual salt - and that is the only way to become anything like prepared for the seven years of trouble fast approaching.

2) We have faith in God, "all other pay cash". We can pray for our country and leaders and institutions – and are told to do so (1Tim.2:2) – without at the same time having any illusions about them, their spiritual quality and tragic trajectory. In terms of studies I'd recommend, spiritual growth is what we all need, and that is achieved by giving attention to all the truth scripture contains; that is to say it requires a broad-based as opposed to a narrow focus approach.

But I will say that Coming Tribulation has to do with what is on our door step; Satanic Rebellion explains the "battlefield" as you asked about in Q1; BB 6A: Peripateology is designed to help believers improve their walk with the Lord – which will be necessary all the more when the balloon goes up (see the links).

3) I watch all manner of news on TV and cable, and also get news from internet sites (as long as I don't have to pay for subscriptions). As I often remark, even when it has no particular "dog in the fight" (as in covering a Little League baseball game), the press usually gets facts wrong. When it is a question of being an advocacy organ for certain policies and political outcomes, there is usually very little in traditional media which is "true" or often even "factual". But one does become skilled at picking out the few crumbs of facts. Also, to the extent that what one listens to is absolute drivel and completely biased and unfair commentary masquerading as "new", to that extent watching it can be a good temperature check of where we are at in our quest to disengage from the world, recognizing that everything we see is going to be destroyed in any case, and for those of us in this country, sooner rather than later.

We believers know that the Lord is in absolute control, that His plan is proceeding perfectly and without a hitch, that all the evil people who threaten us will meet with His fiery justice sooner or later, and that we will be brought safe to heaven home, one way or another and at one time or another – just as long as we keep faith with Jesus Christ. That all being the case, the most important thing we can do for ourselves and our families and for everyone and everything we love, is to make spiritual growth our number one priority. Not only does that draw us closer to the Lord and He to us and improve the reception of our prayers (Jas.5:16-18), but it also is the way we earn eternal rewards that glorify Him and benefit us for all time to come (link).

Do feel free to write me back.

In Jesus Christ our Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

[omitted by request]

Response #19:

I do postings on Saturday, so apologies for the delay.

Thanks for this.

On mercy, this is one of the greatest benefits we have from the Lord as well: we do not get what we deserve from Him – in fact just the opposite: blessing instead of cursing because He died for our sins, "being made a curse for us" (Gal.3:13).

On courage, we can be strong and courageous because we trust in the Lord to fight our battles for us, to protect us, and to be our shield of deliverance at all times (cf. Ps.90:1ff.). And we are right to use all the truth we know and believe to inspire us to have that faith. As it says in Hebrews, Abraham had such a powerful faith in the Lord that he was able to conclude "that God was able to raise [Isaac] up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense" (Heb.11:19 NKJV).

It's hotter than ever today! Sure hope we get a thundershower to cool things off.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

I hope you had a nice fourth and saw some fireworks. They were blasting all over the place in my neighborhood. It reminded me of what will be happening in Israel with the aerial bombardments if we flee Babylon and make our way over there God willing.

Zephaniah 1:9-10 (NASB) 9
“And I will punish on that day all who leap on the temple threshold, Who fill the house of their lord with violence and deceit. 10 “On that day,” declares the Lord, “There will be the sound of a cry from the Fish Gate, A wail from the Second Quarter, And a loud crash from the hills.

On verse 9, does the direct interpretation have to do with the abomination of desolation in addition to the pagan idolatries of Judah during the contemporary period. And on verse 10, specifically on the end times portion is this describing the slaughter done by our Lord or of the armies of antichrist before the slaughter of the Lord? I reckon the interpretation of verse 10 has to do with the interpretation of the subject in verse 9.

Great email insights as always. I chuckled at the silliness of U of L. I know you do not take funds – but if you did I would love to give you a large amount with no second thoughts to never speak of it again so you could get out of debt. Hope they regain their sanity soon – no high hopes there.

In our Lord,

Response #20:

You're correct that this is a prophet once again using the eschatological attack by antichrist prior to Armageddon to warn about impending contemporary judgment. In each case, those who have embraced idolatry will be in for the worst time – and in the eschaton will of course be subject to the baptism of fire after the Lord's return (link).

I didn't see any fireworks but I heard plenty! Snoozed right on through, however. Yes, I'm sure it will be "interesting" for any and all who make it there to experience it firsthand (not snoozing possible then, I'm guessing).

Thanks for the kind offer, my friend! It's greatly appreciated, but I'm doing fine - - and in spite of all the folderal, I do get some pleasure out of my job and, more to the point, it's good for me to keep doing it for many reasons.

Hope you get your business up and running soon, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dear Professor

I really appreciate your reply and sharing your knowledge of the truth with us. I have read through your response several times and it makes perfect sense. Thank you. (Rom.10:15). Reminds me of how precious the gospel is, and those feet are to them who are saved. (Luke 7:38)

There is a two week school break from after today and I am looking forward to the “rest”, to catch up on chores and to get over this cold. Been running on paracetamol last few days, and there is still none on the supermarket shelves due to the covid 19 panic buying effects lingering on. With the new cases in Melbourne, people have started the panic buying again, so paracetamol will likely be as common as hen’s teeth for awhile yet. You can buy the more expensive version from the pharmacy/drug store (which we have done).

I am particularly interested in not getting pneumonia again. Several years ago In hospital, they said I was seriously ill and it had me concerned what would happen to my family should I depart forever, and what death would look like for me.

I am returning to your section on The Jewish Calendar incorporating the festivals. I want to understand it much, much better, before venturing to find opportunity to teach it to anyone else. Thank you for the NIV footnotes reference. And for the fact (also thanks to you) that I even have an NIV Bible from the excellent edition era (before they went a bit awol). There is a fair bit of preparation time for any of us to be able to teach effectively, even on an bump into someone and explain the hope we have basis. How much more to teach substantial doctrine. I also think that several lessons developed around exposing some of the false teachings that have come into particular prominence amongst believers here during the covid 19 episode might be good modules to develop and use. I desire that a local pastor would use it to alert his flock - though that is more a case of his unwillingness, rather than his unknowingness. He KNOWS there are no pre-trib rapture scriptures. Perhaps it might be more successful amongst our own little groups who keep that “faint“ prospect smouldering under the leaf litter. Better rake the top layer away to a safe clearing and allow it to burn away, without destroying tree and root completely, once the accelerant of deceit is poured out in the Tribulation. If they now believe stuff that is not in the Bible, what’s the chance of not succumbing when the current pleasant ear tickling is enhanced by “incentives”, coercion, and impressive signs and miracles! It is amazing to me that a believer can hold beliefs in a doctrine and not even provide a single scripture to support it. Not one! This is a “miracle” in itself, before even needing the “real” miracles to deceive the stronger believers, and attempting to deceive even the very elect.

I really need to find ways of better reaching my own household family. Some are not as “nutty” about the gospel as me. Living in Laodicea certainly has problems and advantages. I pray for help in this. Our internet is down, so there is going to be a delay in sending this to you.

I am hoping and praying things are working out for you; particularly thinking of the disruption to your normal teaching routine. A wonderful gift to be blessed with the teachings of your Ministry. I am convinced it is the difference many/most of us require to make it through to eternal life. I, and we, also, should be willing/able to bless others who are searching for the truth. Always more preparation we can be doing to be useful.

Feeling better, I managed to get out in the paddock yesterday, though it took more out of me than I realised, so this afternoon I seem to be worse than before.

I appreciate the emails your readers have shared. Any encouragement and spiritual insight helps strengthen us all. Sounds like the coercion has already commenced in China, and of course many Christians have been/are brutally treated in some countries. No place for anyone to hide once this brutality gains universal appeal.

As our internet is still waiting the attention of the technician, I will have a go at sending this through my phone data.

Many thanks for sharing all you have.

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Your student

Response #21:

Always appreciate your updates! Hope this one was not too expensive to send.

I'm getting a bit concerned about your health, my friend. I do wish you would take it a bit easier until you are 100% back in the pink. I do understand about being impatient with illness, believe me. But as "we" get older, we do have to at least nod in the direction of our changing condition now and again.

I'll continue to keep your family and your courageous ministry efforts in my prayers, my friend.

Thanks too for your comments about mutual encouragement. I am certainly informed and encouraged by many of my correspondents as well – not least of whom by you!

We are all in this together – in Jesus Christ.

In our dear Savior.

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your concern. I do appreciate all you do, for everyone of us. My health has gone downhill a bit yesterday afternoon, so that even the paracetamol is battling. I am praying for a good sleep tonight. A bit of a sook when it comes to pain.

As you can see I have bitten off much more than I can comfortably chew. We are spread quite thin physically. From before I came across Ichthys we had shifted from the city and bought “temporary” assets, until we could build out on the farm block. Everything/everybody (including ourselves)seem to have conspired against us over the 15 years or so, and now the assets are not worth much, we (particularly me, are in much less vigour), the council rates, insurances, and repairs need to be paid whether there is an income or not. Your saying (can’t find the scripture right now) of “being in the world but not making full use of the world”, seems to have been imposed on us at least as much, as It is by our own choices. Many bushfire victims are in a much worse predicament even now, having lost almost every thing and living in gifted tents while donated funds are endeavouring to be allocated to the “best use”.

I can imagine a scenario where it would not take much under a beastly system to lose everything very quickly. In today’s covid cop system, just a word, not even a stroke of a pen, changes things almost immediately - would you believe it, JUST NOW got a text from the “internet people” asking for a 1,2, or 3 option for a covid safe technician visit for tomorrow. They won’t attend if you are feeling unwell! The technician works out in the street in that hole in the ground!!

I HAD been thinking more of how the Victorian government has just banned 3000 people from even coming out of their apartment blocks and surrounded the place with police to make sure they don’t. Hearing of the residents plight, volunteers (NOT government organised) turned up with food and essentials, and were kept waiting and put through hoola hoops in trying to feed the hungry residents. Is this REALLY happening! There are no balconies - people (some with quite large families) are under “house arrest” in small apartments with no access to anything. Government have now said they will give them some money - but you can’t come out to spend it. Following that continuing fiasco, the NSW Premier has just announced that she is closing the border with Victoria UFN.

What a schumozzal! Drones for the long border. There are umpteen border crossings for the police to man, border towns which straddle both states (somewhat like your Mexican border at El Paso (but without the wall etc), heaps of people who live one side and work daily on the other, fuel tanker trucks that are on tight schedules to satisfy driver safety regulations, that may now be caught in the traffic (will this make the trucking companies unviable, as they won’t be able to make the return trip?) at the posts with all those others with “exemption certificates” (these haven’t been made up yet and people working through the night, to, as the Premier says to hopefully “come up with something” soon!

I did not think that such stupidity would surface before the Tribulation, but I suppose the conditioning will ENABLE the beast to move with great speed once he emerges to “save” from some even greater “menace” (that “menace” being created as we speak). Already there are many frustrated, many angry people out there - as if some of them needed further agitation.

Yes, I also thought your “job” might be to take us TO the Tribulation. With madness already revealing itself, even getting TO the Tribulation will be quite a challenge, given the government pen does not have to hit paper to ban “threats to national health and security”. “Unhelpful” non mainstream thoughts could be seen as a gross threat.

“Virtue signalling” will surely aid breaking the bank of this and other countries as we ATTEMPT to pay In cash and kind, sinners, to atone for our sins, INSTEAD OF all of us confessing our sins daily to God alone and relying on Him only, who has paid for us all in coin of unimaginable magnitude.

I am now resignedly submitting to that nod you wisely advise. I really don’t have much choice at the moment. Also keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our Only Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #22:

I sure hope you get to feeling better soon. I know you've got a great deal on your plate, but if you're somewhat sick it really isn't wise to push on until you are REALLY sick. Spoken by someone who knows what he's talking about through experience.

Thanks for all the updating. I wasn't aware that Australia was going through this new surge and the new reaction to it. News here barely ever crosses the border – unless it gives a chance to bash those here who need bashing in the media's opinion. We're spiking most places here in the US and many places are starting to role back progress made, even though it seems that deaths and serious reactions are down as the medicos are learning how to deal with this bug better. Sure hope none of our governors are reading the Aussie papers. I'm sure they'd get some "good ideas" in their way of thinking.

Making some personal progress. Sure wish it was the 7th of May instead of the 7th of July, however. Maybe I've said that before. Summer coming to an end is an issue. I'm having to deal with classroom issues, syllabi and now also personnel committee issues even though we're supposed to be off (ten month contracts). Also this online class about how to teach online is time-consuming and soul-crushing (seems the school of education rot has finally made its way through the entire university now; the cancer has metastasized and all us little antibodies can do is to just keep at our job the right way). God gets us through it all, however. Our real job is to trust that He will. And we know it's true.

To tell the truth, the more dislocated things become, the more eager I am to get the last seven years underway. It may be worse (it WILL be worse), but at least we'll have count-down clock for when it will all finally be over with.

In the meantime, you just have to laugh at all this stuff – to keep from crying.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Dear Professor

Rough night last night - not much sleep - hoping that was the worst of it. ___ knows of another driver who has also succumbed just as the 2 weeks school holidays started. At least, blessedly, the timing helps keep the finances going.

I get your take on the seven dwarfs. Also about not wanting to charge for anything on your site. From what you’ve explained you want to keep it that way. Things seem so hectic for you. Having a “Donate” button on your site is not directly charging anyone and they contribute only if they are able. A lot different from most sites that charge for any books etc. A move from the freely receive, freely give category; to the worker is worthy of his wages category. Just a thought should things get that way. (if you wait much longer, perhaps many/most of us will be struggling to survive - don’t like the way the Tribulation reads in this regard and we seem to be somewhat “starting” before the starters gun).

We get a lot of news about the USA over here. Interesting looking at the americanthinker.com to get an ‘alternate’ view - almost polar opposite perspective to what the main news media is reporting. We do need to be thinking and not just going along with the mob mentality.

In regards to Melbourne the new cases apparently came from those in hotel isolation who shared their virus with the security guards who were not trained in correct cv19 protocol - and other even worse shenanigans - so the hotels became the new cruise ships. (What a better outcome if they had put the likes of you and me into resort style quarantine, while the healthy ones kept the world ticking over. Your book would be well advanced and that surely is a great blessing to us all). Our road toll is way over covid deaths (I realise this could change) and suicides are 3 X over road deaths with it now expected to rise to 4X. (Those younger ones could of had our jobs - though much more problematic filling your shoes - and the effect would have been far less drastic, especially for them - just a layman’s thoughts). Will be glad when and if this virus is spent. Health wise, I sometimes feel much like one of your correspondents, in that I may not last the distance TO the Tribulation, especially should I get another bout of pneumonia (might be a bit of wishful thinking). I once thought how good it would be to last the distance and be caught up. I pray for our God to bless me to endure to whenever He wills so as to give Him the glory and praise Him for His great mercies.
Endeavouring to keep your counsel of getting back into the pink.

I have been trying to think of the suffering of our Savior, when even my cold/flu seems to take me quickly to my utmost limit.

Please don’t feel you need to give a long, or any, reply - I am not expecting it and I know you have plenty to do.

I am so grateful for all you do. Keeping you and your family and Ministry in prayer.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #23:

I'm relieved to hear that you'll not be pushing yourself beyond reason's limit. We could get away with that sort of thing in our twenties. But I'm a shade past that now (and I understand the same is true of you, though not nearly to the same extent).

I too will be VERY glad when all "this" is over – but the "this" over here seems to be multiplying and cross-pollinating and metastasizing. Spent a good deal of the day working on room switches (they're capping capacity of our classes based on a "PD6" limit that works out square footage and spits out a maximum number of occupants – which locks out new students in the registration process) and I need all I can get in Classics, especially as my part time colleague is gone for the fall at least and I am once again a one man show. Also been working on syllabi and plans for "digital instruction", so a whole rework of the plan I had last spring. It's very odd (and unpleasant) to be working on administration and teaching in single digit-time in July. Not helping the research push. Online "teaching" course is also a big drag.

It would be dandy to be done – a quicker than expected resurrection . . . or rapture! But we have no reason to expect the former and know that the later is hens teeth and horses toes. We'll be here as long as the Lord wants us here, not a moment longer; and we'll be seeing Him when that is in God's plan – and not a moment sooner. Until then, therefore, it really doesn't matter . . . just as long as we are fighting the good fight day by day.

Keep on punching, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your reply.

Thankfully in WESTERN Australia there are is no “social” distancing in schools. Not sure about universities but they seem to be back into the normal swing of things as well. Only new infections detected (2) were people returning from overseas. I do hope and pray you can cope with all that disruption.

If only there was a position at UWA and you had taken it with a fist full of dollars 3 days a week. Even with me dropping in very occasionally to see you on a weekend would still have left you more time for your Ministry. I do get there is no if only ......

Our internet got back on yesterday after 4 days down. Technician said it is a temporary fix - the street needs new cabling - too much water getting into the trenches. See how long it lasts. He will report it.

A bit of a talk with my friend yesterday. He asked me to have a look at tomorrow’s world.org and look up about the revived Roman Empire. He thinks USA is finished and it is all about Europe uniting to counter the threat from China. I may have to send him excerpts of your writing as giving links hasn’t worked. I will have a quick look at his suggestion, though I do have some idea of the argument from his past explanations/readings. I rather want to delve into those NIV scriptures on Old Testament Feasts and other Sacred Days pp 176-177 that you sent to me. I can’t locate that email for some reason but I have found the chart/table. Also I wanted to phone my Mormon friend (was hoping to meet him except for this flu), but I as I learned yesterday, I break into coughing when talking, which really hurts my head, so I will wait for another opportunity.

Thank you so very much for your wonderful Ministry. It is what keeps me “punching”. In this we acknowledge God. Without Him all is futility.

I am praying for your health and that things at work to work out for you all.

Your student and friend

Response #24:

I don't think many places are looking to hire late 60's full professors (unless they have a personal "in").

We've heard the same thing over here, namely, that the young ones not only don't get the bug but that they don't spread it when they do. But it doesn't seem to have done much to stifle the panic. I spent most of the day dealing with prep issues, but there are now rumors (unsubstantiated) that if the bug keeps spiking, we may end up being totally remote in the fall. What a disaster that would be for the uni – so bad, that I'm almost more concerned about that than the trouble it would make for me personally (almost).

One of the things discovered around this also very large country subsequent to everything going remote is that the majority of areas (not the majority of the population centers) don't have broadband internet at all. That has really disadvantaged those living in rural places – some of surprisingly larger populations than one would think.

I'm glad you're attending to your health and getting advice from. My health is pretty good. After syllabi work, spent the balance of the morning sweating up a storm mowing, trimming and weeding (giving the knees a day off). Personnel issues in the afternoon (did I mention I don't get paid for July?).

In one way, all "this" (and "double this" in the states for sure) helps believers who are paying attention to remember that we are only here for a VERY short time in God's scheme of things. Getting too comfortable is never a good thing, but it is our natural proclivity (mine, certainly). So a little shaking up is actually helpful, if we take pains to adjust our thinking – and our attitudes.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #25:

Dear Professor

That was only me dreaming of how nice it would be to physically see a splendid gospel teacher.
Thank you for sharing your situation. One thing has got me blowed is that similar academics over here would be on a decent superannuation/pension by their late 60s (this is also my age), and only work because they love to - not have to. If you did not have a Ministry, would you still need to work? I have no idea how much it takes to keep an online ministry going.

While the family was in the city yesterday (no one too worried about the bug at the shopping centres), I spent a lovely quiet day alone. So relaxing and I only nodded off for a few seconds in the chair to be wakened by the dropped head. A short phone chat with __ before I gave up due to my coughing fit. Later a short spell on the phone with my friend. Today I am going to write him a short email on Babylon and the beast - of course using your resources. I got fairly side tracked in the Old Testament - instead of researching a topic I got drawn into reading chapters. The cyclic nature of the chosen people responding then forgetting God, of blessing and punishment is starkly evident.

No chance, I know, of a wholesale turnaround of the populace to avert what is already clearly written to happen in the Tribulation. My friend says that if people repent and keep all the commandments (which he agrees they clearly will not - the correct Sabbath being one of them) all these judgments would be averted. He’s looking at Germany for the emergence of the antichrist. Looks like many people are looking at the same area. What’s the Christian view of this in the USA? I heard Jared Kushner mentioned. Seems 39 years old puts him past it? Maybe someone more grass roots? I believe what you teach and it seems antichrist will NEED people looking in the wrong places. Then he will come out of his place to “fix” the wrong/s. My friend believes he is on to a winner with the UK leaving the EU, as H. W. Armstrong said would happen. The group broke up into a couple of bits and now he reads one of the branches; tomorrow’s world.org.

It is extremely difficult for people to change their indoctrinated ideas that are apparently coming from scripture. Then interpretation. As it appears to be happening as HWA said it would, my friend sees it coming near to fulfilment. I do see danger in blindly following things you think are right, as in the local Baptist pastor saying that we should follow the USA no matter what - right or wrong! I hope I helped him to think by me saying “what if that leader IS the antichrist?”

I think my health is a little better today (now mild headache, stuffy sinuses, cough lessening, energy level very low still). Hopefully recuperate fully real soon so I can get into those physical jobs again while there is still a week left of no school.

I pray for you, your family and your gracious Ministry.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #25:

I'm happy to hear you're getting some rest, my friend. Be pleased to keep that up until you are completely back in the pink. No sense wasting half a recuperation by trying to get back into things too soon and before you absolutely have to.

It's not terribly expensive to keep the ministry "on the air". If my life had worked out differently, things would be different, but they are as they are. We don't have a pension per se but rather a nest egg of sorts – one which would be gone in a few years if I had to depend on it instead of my salary. As I say, I'm in good shape – I just need to keep plugging away, and the Lord has given me a good job that I can do adequately and still have sufficient time to do what needs to be done on the ministry – so I have no complaints (that is, I SHOULD have no complaints – apologies for complaining).

I'm not really in the know as to the pulse of church-going evangelicalism nowadays, but I never found it too interested in eschatology here in the US to be worried over such questions. They're going to be raptured, so no need to fuss, and they also don't seem to feel that the Tribulation is necessarily anywhere near. They are (were) concerned about love and marriage and family issues ("more sermons on that, please!"), career success, vacations and . . . playing, with the occasional "nod to God". Laodicea, in other words. But whenever we get a new president I do get a rash of emails on how he is the antichrist.

Sorry it's so cold down there – we'd be happy to send you some of this awful heat!

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

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

[omitted]

Response #26:

There are plenty of reasons to be irritable nowadays, so if yours is at a manageable level, I'd count that a victory. Being cooped up and away from people for someone as sociable as yourself has got to be getting old. I didn't get out very much before all this, so things haven't changed terribly much. But even so everything has an awful claustrophobic feel, and this mask thing sure isn't helping. It's looking as if I'll have to teach in one of the darned things. That I don't get. Fauci and all the other talking heads take their masks off when they speak – so as to be understood. But teachers can't?

I'm in the process of redoing all of my syllabi. I've had not much of a summer break, and haven't gotten near as far on research as I needed to get. We had a personnel committee meeting via Teams yesterday (in July!), and have had other department meetings over the summer and lots of communications and troubles in trying to work out what will happen in the fall. Mandatory online class on how to teach online (which I already did successfully in March/April but, oh well) This week I've had to shift rooms around to get big enough spaces for my face to face classes. We'll be having Latin in the same space but if we had more than 10 we'd have to move. Happily (I suppose), there are plenty of classrooms available because about half of the college's classes will be 100% remote. I think that explains why, after my colleague declined to teach this fall because of all the trouble and I moved my class to a lecture hall to raise the allowed enrollment to 30, I got 30 right away, but am already down to 28: as students find out that only a fraction of their classes will be real, I think we'll see even more dropouts. Can't say as I blame them. I did what I could last spring with our classes, but sitting in front of a computer in your parents house watching Youtube videos and doing e-quizzes is not the college experience.

Even my classes are only partially "real". I'm allowed to do only 75% face to face, so I've had to make 11 of the 44 days "remote digital days". So I sure hope my students will realize that "being there" is now more important than ever. We shall see. I'm having to spend a lot of time working up these "digital assignments", but I think I'll be able to knock them out by the end of next week and then still have a few weeks left for research (Aug. 12 is the first official faculty meeting of the fall). One other hiccup is that the library has been closed as far as circulation of books is concerned and this has hampered my research as well. Now that it's open, they've put a great many books "in storage" where they cannot be reached and they're not back up with inter-library loan either, so I just cannot get certain items that are critical. A real mess. But we persevere, realizing that God has a perfect plan.

Yes, I'm jogging. It's going pretty well in spite of the heat, but today was particularly hard. I'm going to have to start getting up even earlier (oh my).

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Bob

Question #27:

Hi Bob,

Interesting interpretation. Definitely motivating.

1) Revelation 17:8 (NASB)

8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.

Why is the beast (Revived Rome) called "is not" when in fact during John's time it still "is"?

Response #27:

Hope you are doing well.

1) Not the first time I've had this question. From a prior posting:

I think I can clarify this for you pretty simply. The vision relates to the future; John is in the present (in his day). Whatever relates to John relates to the present; whatever relates to the vision relates to the future. Since it is the beast who is being described, not John, the point of reference is future, not present. For that reason, the "was" means "was" from the standpoint of the appearance of the beast in the future. That is the natural way any contemporary Greek reader would take it, and also squares with biblical prophetic usage.

Question #28:

2) You said that that Babylon will be a place of immigrant peoples with your scripture reference based on Is. 13:14

Isaiah 13:14 (NASB)
14 And it will be that like a hunted gazelle,
Or like sheep with none to gather them,
They will each turn to his own people,
And each one flee to his own land.

Can you explain to me your thinking on how this verse relates to immigrants peoples in Babylon?

Response #28:

2) What I state about this verse (Is.13:14; as well as of Jer.51:8) in CT 5 is "Babylon's affliction will produce a dramatic outflow of her non-native population". That seems to me to be just what both verses say. And it makes sense to me. When a nation is going down, the first to flee generally are those who have some place to go back to.

Question #29:

3) The appellations Peqod and Merathaim in Jeremiah 50:21 speak to this point, with the former meaning “visitation” representing her destruction, and the latter meaning “double rebellion” bespeaking her rebellion against antichrist.

Is this double rebellion talking about Babylon’s double rebellion against (God and then antichrist) or the double Babylon and Israel at once against antichrist?

In Jesus,

Response #29:

3) While either one of those is possible, I take the plural to be a poetic of intensity.

We're hearing rumblings of this present insanity possibly coming to an end soon. Praying for you to be able to get back to work and normal life – praying for that for us all!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Hello again Bob,

Thank you so much for your continued guidance and support. I don't know what I would do without it! I also prize my friendship and fellowship with you very dearly. May God bless you in every part of your life!

I have learnt a great deal from Job. I have realised that everything here that is material is temporary and can be taken away, including our own health and life. Only the spiritual is eternal and can only be taken away if we willingly give them up through apostasy. I realise that my saving faith is everything to me. It is treasure more precious than gold! Jesus is my treasure.

I agree that I need to work. I realise though that jobs can and do get taken away from people. My ___'s jobs are currently on the chopping block because of the pandemic. (Please pray for them). ___ has gone the career route over the family route. She has put everything into her job and now she may lose it. I was hoping that this would give her wisdom to seek the eternal over the temporal but instead she has switched from making her job into an idol to making her home one instead. A house can be taken away too though (especially if it hasn't been paid for and even if it has). Countries can seize properties in wartime situations. I worry that her whole being relies on these things and yet I see the very fine threads that hold all these things up. I see how easily these threads can snap.

I am still looking to work despite everything around me but also am strongly bearing in mind that all these things can and will be taken from us, especially during the tribulation.

I'm in a position right now where I don't have much of anything. No job, very little money and no place of my own. Of course I want these things to change but when they do (or even if they don't) I will have faith and trust God as this is my hope eternal. I am developing that mindset that I can cope with having things and not having things. I already know poverty (as I currently have it) so it doesn't scare me like it does other people.

Being in this position now where I have very little, it strengthens me for what's to come. The antichrist system will be about what it can give a person and what it can take away. I already do not have any of the worldly things of the antichrist system so it won't be any real threat to me. I'm already starting from the position of "I don't have anything" of worldly value. Over the next few years I will build up from this position but it will be built up on the rock.

Even if I got a job, a house or a typical life for myself, it wouldn't be a tragedy for me to lose it again in the Tribulation. I am not invested in these things. I think it important for me to work and have my own place and indeed this is what I will work towards, but losing these things later on will not shipwreck my faith. I am accepting of the temporal nature of things and relieved that I feel this way now because I am less likely to take the mark to hold onto money, fame, status etc. I need money to live of course but it doesn't define me. I do think about what it would be like to truly go hungry. There is still a level of poverty beyond my own that I have yet to experience. I pray that I will trust God throughout these challenges.

I already am starting to prepare myself, mentally, physically and spiritually for the possible eventuality that I may be put to death for my faith. I am investing in my faith now so that should the time come, I hope that I will not falter.

As to those I love, all I can do is continue to tell the truth in love to them whenever I get the chance and try to live my life as an imitation of Christ so that in time they might want the strength, the endurance and peace that I now possess. They may recognise that despite my poverty, I am starting to live my life as though I have abundance (because I do!)

It's sad to see people you love who shun the bible and thinks my spiritual growth and dedication folly, whilst they drink just to survive another day. They cannot see the cruel irony that is at the heart of this self deception.

This email may seem very downbeat but the truth is that I have a very strong hope now and I am seeing everything with spiritual eyes. The bible is my map and Jesus is my path and as long as I keep on looking at the map and keep my feet on the path moving onwards, I feel joy very few men would understand and even less men could ever take away.

In our Saviour who is everything to us,

Response #30:

Thanks for the terrific email!

I sure hope you'll be willing to let me post it (absent personal details), because it would be a great help to others as well because I couldn't have said all this better myself.

As to the content, I'm hoping that I'll be able keep the same attitude along with all our brothers and sisters and so be ready for what's coming. There's knowing, there's preparing, and then there's doing. God helping us, we'll all be able to run through all three steps to the glory of Jesus Christ – and a good reward on the other side!

I do promise to keep you and your family concerns here in my prayers.

In Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

 

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