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Question #1:

I'm so upset by what is happening!

Response #1:

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
Psalm 37:1 NIV

"Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!"
Then the LORD said, "Is it right for you to be angry?"
Jonah 4:3-4 NKJV

We can get upset – but to what purpose? Nothing good (Jas.1:20). The Tribulation will arrive right on time, and the second advent too – praise the Lord! No political development is going to change that at all as we who love the truth know very well! So even if we could change things politically and "make it all good" (whatever we personally think that "good" scenario would look like), while it might change the texture of the next few days or years (depending on how much time is left before the end times finally begin), it would not be able to change the start date, whatever that is. This has all been decreed by the plan of God.

To talk about scenarios, it is possible that trouble now is laying the ground work for what will happen in the Tribulation; but it is also the case – since things will happen at an unprecedentedly breakneck pace once those seven years begin – that even if we had nothing but peace and harmony, prosperity and well-being between now and then (for however long the gap is), it wouldn't change the texture of the Tribulation one iota – and it certainly wouldn't delay it for one second.

We have to remember who is in control here. Not politicians. Not tech magnates. Not bureaucracy. Not the media. Not shadowy, conspiratorial groups. Not the wealthy. Not the powerful. Not any human agent or group of actors whatsoever – and certainly NOT us, believers in Jesus Christ.

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
1st Corinthians 1:26-29 NKJV

But for us who believe . . .

. . . we know that, for those who love God, He works everything together for good – [that is to say,] for those who have been called according to His plan.
Romans 8:28

I will also say that from the true, godly perspective, believers actually have more influence on what is happening than all of the above groups mentioned put together (and any I may have inadvertently left out). Why? Because believers are the salt of the nation – whatever nation they reside in. We are the preservative and it is for our sake that God prevents catastrophe and blesses with prosperity (see the link).

Is there too much of the former and too little of the latter in our view? If so, the solution is not to let ourselves get upset, and far less to let ourselves get swept up in or dangerously involved in what is happening or what may happen, but instead to redouble our efforts to walk as close to the Lord as possible, to be the "saltiest salt" we can possibly be. We can pray, of course, but do we really know what to pray for in this regard? For peace and deliverance, but who can really understand the specifics of the best way to get there or the consequences of results we might be tempted to pray for? If we pray for one specific result or another, we really do need to understand that "be careful what you wish for" might soon apply. Focusing on our spiritual growth and drawing closer to Jesus Christ through His truth, however, will always pay dividends, not only for us personally, but for everyone around us and for our nation too.

Even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.
Ezekiel 14:14 NIV

We know for a fact that this is true of mystery Babylon during the Tribulation. Babylon will be utterly destroyed, and anyone who prefers the company of "these three men" above will be wise to heed the command to flee when it comes (link). So whatever good we might think to do by our efforts now, we have to realize that the effects can only be short term at this point. And of course only godly efforts will really amount to anything truly good.

So focusing on the Lord in our walk through this difficult patch of dark woods or "valley of the death shadow" is to be recommended. Emotional disinvestment from things destined to decline and degrade seems the best course, even as we commit ourselves to redouble our efforts to keeping close to the Lord by means of His truth, holding tight to His hand and letting Him lead us through the darkness. This is a salutary approach not only in regard to the political, social, economic and emotional turmoil around us as a result of the present triple unpleasantness, but also in respect to our own personal situations. Are things difficult at present? No doubt about that. And they may or may not get worse in the near term. But one thing is definitely true: they will get a great deal more difficult before all this is over, once the Tribulation begins.

"If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?"
Jeremiah 12:5 NKJV

So instead of allowing ourselves to be baited by the evil one into getting upset by '"all this", it is better that we should remember why we are here in this world – to respond to Jesus Christ, not the world – and to use "all this" as a means of inuring ourselves to the world in preparation for the day soon to come when allowing ourselves to get baited into being upset might be spiritual fatal. There is no need to be upset, moreover, because divine justice is better than human justice, and that justice is surely coming – we just need to be patient and wait for it.

When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
Psalm 73:16-20 NIV

For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause.
Isaiah 34:8 NIV

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Isaiah 35:4 NIV

According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.
Isaiah 59:18 NIV

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
2nd Thessalonians 1:6-10 NIV

In the Name of the One soon to come, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hello, I came across your website in hunt of the correct gematria to use when attempting to calculate the number of the beast from a possible name. I even went as far as I did a site specific search using google and your URL but still could not find this article. You may or may not have touched on this subject. Can you shed some truth and light on this subject?

Respectfully,

Response #2:

Good to make your acquaintance.

Here's a link to where that is covered: "Numbers, letters, and the mark of the beast".

There is a more detailed treatment in Coming Tribulation part 4 at the link.

Let me say here too (and you will find this at the link) that it is a mistake to spend any significant time attempting to identify antichrist before his revelation (which will happen only "then") by applying the "six hundred and sixty six" test to contemporary individuals. That is because 1) there are many possible solutions to this puzzle and that is deliberate since it is not meant to be a means of discovery; 2) rather, the "mark of the beast" is a double-check litmus test given to believers to make absolutely sure that no one who belongs to Christ is deceived by him once he is revealed (2Thes.2:3). It will be very clear to any mature believer who has been growing in the truth just exactly who antichrist is by the Tribulation's mid-point when the mark begins to be given; but this litmus test is graciously given to us so that at that time there will be absolutely no excuse on the part of believers: if any marginal and immature believers does have doubts, he/she can apply to the test and see that antichrist is indeed the beast and NOT Jesus Christ.

In Jesus who is the only Christ,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hello Dr. Bob,

I hope this finds you safe & well & in the love & care of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It has been a long time since I've written but you are always in my prayers.

I've been concerned about from reading the emails. I believe I read in an email that your Mother had passed away. I know it's overdue but you have my deepest sympathies on your Mother's passing, if by some chance, I misunderstood, please accept my apologies.

[omitted]

Again, from reading the emails, I have gathered I think, that you have had a rough go of it. You have been in my prayers, Brother, always. You have given me so much through your ministry & helped me grow so much spiritually, I can never repay you. So, I pray for you daily & your ministry. We need it so very much.

I have never been one of those to argue with you about your thoughts on the beginning of the Tribulation & using Scripture to calculate a date. I have always thought you to be very clear in stating this was your calculation but the Lord moves in His time. People that argue that point with you, I don't believe they fully read, maybe skim, or don't comprehend. Alas, it is not for me to pick planks from my neighbors eye.

This current state of the world, however, has me thinking you may not be privy to the day, but I believe you're right on target with everything else. I think to myself, well, it cannot get worse, knowing full well it most certainly will, then I think of the people who lived in the Middle Ages and they probably thought the same thing.

I write to you though because even though I have studied, learned and am quite sure of what the mark will & won't be, I do believe I keep hearing about some neurochip. Again, I know this is not the mark, we haven't begun the Tribulation, ergo, we cannot be 3.5 years into it but my stars. Electronic retinas, neurochips, those who seem to have clearly chosen sides & are trying to make themselves immortal. The devil is busy, I think he knows his time his near. I don't really have a question, I suppose, I just wanted to touch base with you and while we can, thank you for all you have done for me & my family. Long ago, I gave up religion or church buildings and our family has for many years used your ministry to grow & deepen our faith for the struggles and tests to come. Who knows how much longer we will be able to wish each other well, say I love you, Dear Brother in Christ, and if The Lord leaves one of us here to struggle or chooses to call one of us Home, I would not want to miss the opportunity to say thank you again & if we don't meet here on Earth, I will see you when we truly arrive Home.

The Lord Bless & Keep you in His Loving Care until we finally meet on that joyous Day!!

Much Love & Many Thanks,

Response #3:

Good to hear from you, my friend. I'm very much touched and encouraged by your godly perspective, especially given what you're suffered.

I was going to write you soon and let you know about BB 7: Bibliology, the last of the Bible Basics series now complete and posted (the series has been underway in one way or another for over thirty years so I'm relieved to finally have it safely "out there").

It has been an interesting stretch, alright, but many of our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and Australia, for example, are facing a lot worse – and of course there are plenty of Ichthys correspondents here in the states who are bearing a heavy load as well (I pray for your health daily).

Thanks for your encouraging comments and also for your good, godly insight into the times present and coming. It would be great if we were on the cusp of having some peace and quiet – the best of circumstances for spiritual preparation (1Tim.2:2; cf. 2Pet.3:14). On the other hand, all "this" ought to remind us of the importance of putting the spiritual ahead of everything else (Lk.10:38-42). So we deal with what we have to deal with.

Thanks for your commiserations about my mom; it's been a few years now (no worries – I didn't generally say much about it in postings, just posting the notice because a number of readers had been praying for her). The last time I saw her, she was not able to communicate any longer but was clearly extremely miserable – that was the last time I prayed for healing. She had a good long life, and the Lord took her home at the right time.

I too am very much looking forward to that "blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Tit.2:13 NKJV) – and all the wonders to follow!

Thanks again for your wonderful message, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Dear Professor

I found some of our “lost” emails in the Bin file. I can only conclude they made the jump of their own free will.

Friday (yesterday) it was a staff development day so I thought I would have a sleep in.
However, I thought that as I have been having transmission problems (jams in any gear it fancies - mostly 1st and 3rd) that the locals could not fix, I drove the bus to the city to the specialists.

It took all day to get to the problem and fix the transmission, so I got caught in some of the city peak hour traffic heading home. Once I cleared the city and went over the hill into the countryside with the glee of expectation of getting home for our son’s birthday dinner, and older son returning from the grain bins to spend his day off with us, the excitement of being out of the city and letting the bus have its head was such a relief. On rounding a curve on the Albany Highway I was perturbed to see a dozen or so vehicles (couldn’t see over the next rise to the front of the queue) stationary on the highway, and then only ambulances and a police vehicle heading back towards the city. I waited in the queue for quite awhile and then decided to use the radio to see if any of the semi trailer/road train drivers in the queue ahead of me had any idea of the wait time. When one answered my query whether it would be an hour or so , he answered at least that long and probably much more, my tired body sank somewhat.

The crash happened where two lanes (one lane a short passing lane) merged back into one lane. I could only see the top of a tow truck with the orange flashing lights just over the rise. I radioed that I was going to do a 3 point turn and head back into the city to go home another longer way. The highway was blocked in both directions so I did not have to worry about oncoming traffic. By this time the queue behind me had grown longer and some of those who could, turned around also. By the time I returned the bus to depot I could hardly see for all the splattered insects on the windscreen - awful with vehicle lights in your face. Our son from the grain bins got in just after me - he works out in another direction about 2 hours drive away.

Resting a bit today. Our Bible Study/Fellowship is on tonight at a single man’s house. This may be the final lesson of our teacher. I will say how important it is for the rest of us to continue to meet and learn. It is rather warm at 31 degrees max, falling to max of 16 tomorrow. Spring here has its big ups and downs - just like the Albany Hwy, particularly recently. If the highway had covid it would undoubtedly be locked down for much longer. A lot of grief for many on this road. Being Friday afternoon/evening, there probably were others excited to be going home/away for the weekend.

I always try to remember to thank our Lord for safe journeys.

The Lord blesses us in so many ways that we perhaps do not think to thank Him for them all. In fact, I believe that we would be doing nothing else but thanking and worshiping Him all day and all night, if we were to acknowledge all His goodness to us. And that is in addition to His great sacrifice on the cross for us, for which no other was worthy.

Thank you for all your good words/works.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #4:

Good to hear that you at least partially solved the mystery! Gremlins no doubt.

Thanks for finding this typo – change made.

I'm at least happy that you weren't in any way involved in that accident. When the arteries get clogged, there often really is nothing for it but to just turn around – if possible!

We just had the time change here and so now it's not quite so dark in the AM (for a bit) but dark now by six PM. Hard freeze forecast tonight so I got all my houseplants in this morning. Afraid the nasturtiums in the yard aren't going to make it through the night [they didn't]. A real pity as they were glorious this year and just now coming back into their own as they seem to love the cooler weather. Too much territory to think about covering them. So they'll be a mess until I get through with the semester and can devote some time to yard work again.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend – thanks awfully for all your good and encouraging words as usual!

Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dear Professor

Interesting days in the USA.

If Covid is a kind of preparation for accepting draconian “solutions “ come the Tribulation, could the challenge to the democratic vote be paving the way for similar draconian political “solutions” in the very near future? Just a thought, as to how the antichrist might use uncertainty to seize the opportunity to come to power, once the Restrainer stops restraining him.

I don’t expect the antichrist to be showing immediately his cruel nature, rather that he will use satanic tactics that have worked from ages past - masterful deceit and appealing to vanity and lustful desires.

The recent terrorist attacks in Europe could be seen as priming his campaign against “evil” so that he can declare “war on terror”. Where have we heard that before? Weapons of mass destruction, being instead, the callers weapon of mass deception.

Unfortunately many believers set themselves up for being easily deceived by declaring allegiance to one side or the other - akin to slogans like “all the way with LBJ”. I have heard a local pastor say that we should follow America, right or wrong. That makes the antichrist’s task so much easier when he declares war on the “antichrist” and then on the “antichrists” who refuse to worship him.

Question re: Free Will of Angels. In BB 7 you say "seeing God in His glory would virtually remove the issue of free will in salvation ...". Does this apply to angels? How was Satan, together with a third of the host of angels be able to rebel, seeing they were with God, and Satan, even now, comes into the presence of God to accuse us?

Please pardon if you have previously answered this question.

I suppose we could turn off the TV and radio for a week or so and return to see how things are panning out in dispute over votes. Hopefully all we be resolved peacefully and you/we can settle down for awhile before the real strife starts. Or perhaps not. Because of a mutation of the corona virus that has infected at least 12 people, the Danish government is going to slaughter all of its 15 million mink population. Bye mink farmers. Just another thought: what if a covid mutation got into the sheep, cattle population worldwide? No more steak? Some things tend to bring out how pathetically small we humans are (cowering to the microscopic) - without God. We pray these other things do not happen. We pray other people may come to God as they realise there are no human solutions apart from God.

There was a prayer day for our pastor's wife yesterday as she is going in to either have an operation or determine whether she should.

Thank you for your excellent Ministry. No hurry for a reply, perhaps when your workload eases up a bit.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #5:

Indeed – and getting more interesting by the moment.

On your question, this is something I have thought about but can't remember writing about. It is true that the angels "see God" face to face, but of course God's actual glory is veiled from them at least to some degree as well. He IS light, and, after all, not subject to time and space – the universe and time are His creations to provide a place for us to exist. The fact that Satan and his angels "saw God" and yet rebelled is the clearest possible evidence that, just as mankind can look at the creation and yet still harden their hearts against the truth, so also the angels are able to disregard what they perceive. Therefore we can't underestimate the power of free will – and the arrogance that attaches to it whenever the truth is dismissed for lies of one's own making – to blind us to reality.

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

(18) God's wrath is about to be revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness – on men who suppress the truth [in their hearts about God] in their unrighteousness. (19) For that which can be known about God [from everyday experience] is obvious to them, because God has made it obvious. (20) His nature, though invisible, is nevertheless plainly apparent, and has been since His foundation of the world, for it may be clearly inferred from this creation of His – [this is true of] both His eternal power and His divinity – so that they are without any excuse: (21) they knew about God, but they neither honored Him as God nor thanked Him. Instead, they gave themselves over to [the] vanity [of this world] in their speculations, and their senseless hearts were filled with darkness. (22) Claiming to be wise, they became foolish, (23) for they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for images and likenesses of corruptible men, of birds and beasts and reptiles.
Romans 1:18-22

The image of God is thus no small thing, and, for the majority of humanity and a large complement of angelic kind as well, that image is employed in making the wielder of it exponentially "bigger" than is actually the case, and making (in the eyes of that person or angel alone) God infinitesimally "smaller" than is actually the case – and in fact no words are sufficient to express the actual magnitude and the majesty of God. Simply put, we really cannot, this side of eternity, have any real clue as to just how "big" He is in every way. Humility responding to the truth acknowledges that in principle and strives to implement it in real time – although as long as we remain in these sinful bodies we are probably always going to be far "bigger" in our egos than is anywhere close to the reality and will continue to have struggle to see God as anywhere close to as "big" as He actually is. A good reason to keep the cross – and the fact that it is "bigger" in its smallest part than all that is or ever will be in creation – firmly in our hearts and our sights as we walk through this treacherous world.

Keeping you and yours in my daily prayers (thanks for the update on our friend).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Bob! Hello!

Congrats on BB7!

I will have to print this one and add it to my reading collection. I have been thinking about you and your ministry a lot lately. I haven’t reached out because it always seems I’m only contacting you when I’m having a moment of panic and needing urgent prayer & advice.

Thank you for asking about our land. We were in a purchase agreement and had hired a realtor to try to sell our current home. We started packing. But last week the deal fell through and we had to walk away. While it was sad and we are bummed, it was a clear answer. We kept praying, Lord — we are moving forward. If this is not your plan for us, you have to clearly shut the door.
And He did.

Still preparing to move. Praying people actually still want to live in the downtown area after the election and covid and all that. So much uncertainty!

How’re you, Bob? I pray for you every time I hear something about Louisville. I’m praying you’re reaching more and more people these days with your work!

I’ll be honest. Being back in the city and without my parents’ help with my toddler and all the projects, well, it's challenging keeping up with my bible studies. I know I need it more than ever now. At least I listen to Pastor Omo’s Audio lessons while I’m packing!  Also lost my engagement ring.

As always, thank you for listening!

In Christ,

Response #6:

I'm sorry about the collapse of the real estate deal – but I'm really encouraged to hear your response to it, leaving it in God's hands as His answer. I have been praying for this and will continue to do so – for the right thing at the right time.

You sound really busy! Very busy here too. I think it's much better than the alternative, to be honest. Still, I'm looking forward to the effective end of the semester which comes for me just before Thanksgiving when the university switches entirely to remote. I've already done most of my due so other than collecting and grading assignments and putting in grades, I'll be done then until mid-January (delayed reopening in the spring on account of Covid). Of course I have to prepare for those classes too.

Otherwise, things are going pretty well. I'm still rehabbing my left knee but it's coming along (very slowly); had some trouble with my right eye, but mostly that has cleared up too. The older I get the more "work-arounds" I have to put in place, but I'm holding together (even if it is with chewing gum and bailing wire). I do have some yard work to get to once things calm down. That frost we had last week nuked the nasturtiums (a pity – they were really coming into their own with the cooler fall weather and it was only a one night event).

Hope that engagement ring turns up!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

I was just talking with someone today about the dangers of Oprah's Christianity (her belief that all roads lead to God; we're all divine beings; etc). Speaking of, did I ever tell you one of the New Age guided meditations is "I AM" – as in, "I control my destiny"? Goodness, once you wake up to that junk, it's just so obvious and heart-breaking.

I know how much you love teaching in-person, so I really hate what this winter looks like for you!

Prayers for your physical ailments to clear. I've received vague direction and some possible answers to my health issues, but mostly I'm like you and just holding things together. It was definitely a rough 5 days leading up to the election. I don't bother myself with politics, of course, but I can still feel the tension all around me, and there was definitely intense spiritual warfare going on. Halloween and Day of the Dead don't help anything either!

I had two huge, gorgeous mums on our front porch. They got pretty messed up in a downpour. Then that frost finished them off.

My very liberal relatives came over this evening. He is very handy and he's helping us with a few projects before we list the house. It was so painful to hear him talk politics and defend the Left. I tried to talk about Jesus and how none of that really matters, but I just received blank stares or laughs. They even called me a conspiracy theorist. Growing up in rural __ but now living in the city, my newsfeed is soooooo divided. I've never seen such ugliness from people I know and love. I'm sure you see it, too. It's terrifying and disgusting. How do you cope? Just pray for them to have their eyes opened? I'll be honest. Regardless of the outcome, I'm scared for our country. I have to remember that HE already knows all.

Anyway, I'm rambling, as you know I love to do.

Response #7:

No worries – we all have plenty in our past to be embarrassed about. Good to remember it to some degree to stay humble and grateful, but not to the point of forgetting that God the Father loves us and that Jesus died for us and that we have been forgiven . . . and are now moving forward with Him.

I am teaching in person, 75% of the regular time. And I'm slated to do the same next semester (it's the most they'll allow me meet with the students). Our chair did a Zoom meeting in which she lined out what was in store for the year in terms of our dept. break down. Classics: 10 classes hybrid; the next language on the list (with multiple faculty members): zero hybrid and all online. So I'm doing my part keeping our percentage in the ballpark (the college is demanding 50/50 because many students do not like online instruction). But, yes, I will be thrilled when things finally go back to normal, no masks and regular meetings. I was hoping that would happen this coming spring, but really DO hope we have gotten over all "this" by the next fall.

I think it's very good that you are emotionally dis-investing from politics. That is always good for one's mental (and physical) health – and it seems will be even more necessary in the days and weeks ahead for Christians who want to maintain an even keel in the midst of these rough waters we seem to be sailing into.

I do envy you and your family being on the point of moving to the country somewhere. Wish I could do that, but then I'd probably miss the daily/yearly routine of teaching, admin and research. It's a load but an enjoyable one for the most part (for all my complaining), "tending the garden", so to speak, although this is a far cry from Eden (Gen.2:15)!

Sorry to hear about the mums. I pulled all my houseplants in the night before the freeze, my mum included. Wasn't sure about that one since I'd heard they were "hardy", but now after hearing from you I'm glad I did so (a gift from the little girl next door and her parents, so having it sitting out there "nuked" would have been bad form).

I know a lot of people are concerned, and mad or resentful or all manner of other emotions. We do have to remember that God is in complete control, that nothing happens without His say so, that absolutely everything has a purpose, and that it is our job to trust Him even when – especially when – things happen that concern us or frighten us or enrage us.

Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!” But the LORD said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”
Jonah 4:9-11 NKJV

Jonah felt about the Assyrians the same way we feel about our most implacable and bitterest enemies – and of course very shortly thereafter that nation would destroy the northern kingdom of Israel. But while Jonah was looking at the things right in front of him, God knew very well that many of these Assyrians WOULD repent while most in Israel would not – so that He graciously saw to their salvation, even though Jonah only participated in the most grudging way. Better we should trust the Lord and accept what He is doing. If evil seems to be triumphing, we should remember that evil never wins in the end, and that the lake of fire is the final destiny of all who oppose the Lord. But we, on the other hand, have an eternal home in the New Jerusalem, and are "down here" with the purpose of responding to the truth so as to glorify the Lord and earn a good reward.

It's easy "down here" and in these bodies of sinful flesh to get focused on the trees – or the pine needles on the forest floor – and fail to keep our "heads up" and our eyes fixed on the Lord and what we are really doing here.

(1) Since then we too [like the believers of chapter 11] have such a large audience of witnesses surrounding us [both men and angels], let us put off every hindrance – especially whatever sins habitually affect us – and run with endurance the race set before us, (2) turning our gaze unto Jesus, the originator and completer of our faith (cf. "Alpha and Omega"), who, for the joy set before Him, endured the shame of the cross, treating it with despite, and took His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Keeping you (and your health) and your family in my prayers daily – thanks so much for yours!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.
p.s., a tendency to digress is a sure sign of genius (at least that's what I tell my students since I'm prone to it)

Question #8:

So good to hear you ramble, too!

I want to respond more in-depth to your email, but I just wanted to quickly ask for prayers for seeds to be planted. Someone in a large Christian Women’s Group (on Facebook) asked for resources about Revelation. So many were commenting with “rapture ready” websites. I shared your site with a link to CT.

Praying someone in there is ready to see that! Either that, or I’ll get kicked out of the group for being post-Trib. Ha.

In Christ,

Response #8:

Reminds me of that old quote, "I've been thrown out of better places than this before!" (Groucho often gets credit for that one but it's probably apocryphal).

Yes, I'll say a prayer for your success in spreading the truth!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hello Dr.

Yes I did notice, in fact I have already read a large portion of it. Excellent work as usual! I have always taken great interest in Bibliology, so I was very much looking forward to this piece. Thanks for the heads up, and even though I know you probably hear it a lot, thank you for all your hard work and your wonderful ministry! You were instrumental in bringing me back from the far country, and for that I am eternally grateful! Praying you have a safe and blessed week!

In Christ our Lord!

Response #9:

You're very welcome, my friend!

Hope things are going well for you – thanks for your good and encouraging words (much appreciated).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hi Dr.,

I see you finished BB-7 and wanted to thank you for all the work and dedication to our Lord’s Church. Congratulations! I know it must feel good to get that accomplished. I will begin an edit for audio files next week and should have the first one to you in about a month (give or take).

It’s interesting observing the globalist agenda (UN, WEF, WHO, WB, etc.) everything they are trying to implement by 2030 matches up exactly with what AC will be bringing to the table when he arrives on scene in just a few short years. Coincidence? I think not.

Thanks for all you do. Got you in prayer daily.

All the Best!

Rev. 22:20

Response #10:

Thanks much for the congrats, my friend! Greatly appreciated. Take your time on the audio file. I know you've got a lot on your plate.

Interesting point – guess we'll know soon enough (maybe a bit TOO soon).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hello Bob,

I hope you are well.

I have had a lot of very grave news come to me in quick succession. My dad's cousin has Covid and is now in intensive care and it is 50/50 whether she will pull through. Her only daughter has it too and she is very ill now and may have to go into hospital too. Please pray for Mavis and Sheryl's full recovery from Covid.

Also my dad's brother Barry, who is severely mentally handicapped and in a care home, has lost a lot of weight and is not eating as he is worried about Covid as he doesn't understand what is happening and is probably frightened that people only spend time with him in full PPE and protective suits. We have hardly seen him at all this year and promised to see him at Christmas. My dad is worried sick about him as Barry is his only and younger brother and feels completely responsible for his welfare as he has the mental reasonings of a child. Please pray for protection and comfort of my uncle Barry and my dad Peter during this really horrible time.

The last few days I have been reading through your Peter series about suffering and it has been a very great comfort to me. I know it is the truth and I know that I am growing spiritually now and starting to mature in faith.

God bless you my friend.

In Jesus, our source of all comfort, strength and understanding,

Response #11:

I have and will be praying for these family members per your request.

All of a sudden I seem to be hearing about all manner of people I know directly or indirectly being struck by this disease, and many of them in the UK – so please take care of yourself as well!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

Yes I will thank you. It's the first time that I have felt real fear about it. I thought that it was just bad flu but now I think it is a lot more serious depending what strain you have. My uncle and cousin had it for a week and it was just like flu but then went away but for someone with pre-existing health conditions it is pretty lethal and a person's health deteriorates very rapidly with it.

I went through the phase of thinking it was a hoax and just disguising a hidden agenda but the virus is very real and very nasty and I think it may be a bioweapon.

Putting all these things aside though, my dad's cousin had it for a week and is now in intensive care needing oxygen and a drip. Prior to this she was getting over a bad fall in the bath that put her back out. The cruel irony is that her daughter insisted she stay with them instead of staying in a convalescent home for fear of Covid. She instead has contracted Covid either from her granddaughter or son in law at home. Her granddaughter was continuing to work even though she had symptoms. Not sure whether she was wearing a mask or not.

The problem seems to be that many young people are cavalier and want to still have their life and have fun. As they think the virus won't kill them, they are continuing as normal but then going home and giving it to their grandparents or parents and they are dying from it.

People here have been going nuts. Still demanding foreign travel even in the height of it, going to Spain and then bringing a new strain of it back with them. Refusing to quarantine and then going back to work.

We've just had bonfire night and fireworks going off every night and it feels tasteless in the extreme. Some peoples reaction to all this chaos is having parties every night! It's horrifying to see such disparities between huge unemployment, rioting, panic buying and then these weird revelries. I have to say that at times it feels positively demonic! I am told I am being negative to think like this but isn't this the time to mourn not celebrate?!

Even my mum is now saying that we must be in the last days. Things are so chaotic. I don't know what is more scary, the virus or the reaction to it.

I will say again though Bob that your Peter series is given me the calm right in the middle of the storm. I am reading two verses from the OT and one from the NT, studying one unit from your Peter series and one Bible Basic video every day, well I am trying to keep to this schedule. I hope to get back to my YouTube channel this weekend and start uploading again.

If it was just me I had to worry about, I wouldn't be worried. What is hard though is seeing my love ones suffer and get more and more frightened. I try to tell them about the peace I have but they won't listen. I am trying to show them the peace through my actions now.

It's hard going even with growing faith, I can't imagine what it would be like to be faithless right now. To quote some moniker handle I once saw on YouTube "atheism is madness"

In Jesus,

Response #12:

Thanks so much for your godly testimony as always, my friend!

It is so important to remember that none of this could be happening unless the Lord were allowing it for His own good purposes. Meanwhile, I will be praying for you and your family members. We who are walking close to the Lord have no need to fear anything, not death (Is.57:1-2) and not disease (Ps.103:3), for the Lord is more than able to keep us safe if that is His will.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
Psalm 91:5-8 NIV

Whatever comes, we belong to Him, and always shall.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hello again Bob,

Things have changed again (everything is happening so quickly here).

Mavis is still in intensive care but has been rallying today and been able to text family from her bed. Please pray for her continued recovery and her daughter's recovery too. Unfortunately there has been some finger pointing and accusations of blame happening in the family now. Please pray for peace and forbearance in the extended family.

The care home where my uncle Barry is, four of the residents have contracted Covid. Barry has tested negative at the moment. Please pray for his continual protection and the recovery of his friends at the care home. The care home he is in is called "The Keepers".

It is rocking me all of this because of the speed of its transmission. It used to just be people on tv with Covid and now many people in my family are getting it or other people I know. I trust God though. I am spending the day reading your Satanic Rebellion series alongside your Peter series. It is hugely helpful and sustaining to have a biblically and Godly perspective on all that is happening.

I am determined to not let things affect my spiritual growth and if anything I want to double down on my study and prayer.

In Jesus,

Response #13:

I will be praying for you and will be posting this to solicit prayers from readers.

There is no contradiction between loving the Lord and trusting Him and still being concerned and distraught for the troubles those we love are suffering. One only has to read through the Psalms to see that good, godly believers have emotions and feel pain in suffering – but we pour our hearts out to the Lord and trust Him to work all things out together for the good (Rom.8:28). Through our absolute trust in Him, we are able to have "perfect peace" (Is.26:3).

Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Romans 8:23-25 NKJV

Looking forward to that blessed day when all this physical suffering is gone forever.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:4 NKJV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Bob,

I hope you're well and managing to cope with your challenging workload.

I just wanted to let you know that my daughter came over to our house on Thursday evening and wasn't feeling well. She sounded like she had a cold and she had a temperature so I told her she needed to get a test for Covid. She got the results on Sunday morning and she tested positive. She's had a temperature, achy joints, completely lost her sense of smell and taste, very weak and shaky when she stands to walk and sounds like she has a bad cold. So she's been feeling rough but seems to be feeling a little bit better today and sounds quite upbeat. Two of her colleagues at work also tested positive on Monday morning.

So because me and my son were in contact with her we're having to self-isolate for 14 days. We're into day five now and he is fine with no symptoms at all but I've been getting a burning sensation in my lungs so I went to get a test done this morning. It was different to yours because I was supervised - they told me what to do and I did the test myself. I had to rotate the tip on both of my tonsils for five seconds each and then shove it straight up my nostril - gross! That was the worst bit and it made my eyes water! I suppose if you do it yourself at least you can be gentle and know when you've hit some resistance and you can't get any further up your nose. Anyway, I should get the results in a couple of days. As today has gone on the burning in my lungs is more noticeable and my breathing isn't 100%. I very occasionally get mild asthma but I know this is different. We'll see how I go.

So Covid has finally got my family. We're back into lockdown over here from Thursday until 2nd December but it's not quite as strict as the first one.

I hope your students can hang in there while all this is going on. It's the same over here for the students at uni - not easy for them at all.

It will be interesting to see how your election goes. Trump is a bit of a "character" isn't he?! I don't do politics - you taught me well!

Take very good care of yourself, Bob. Keeping you in my prayers and thanks for yours too.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #14:

I'm doing well . . . BUT what about you?!

Please keep me updated on your health and your daughter's as well. And please take it easy and get the treatment that's indicated. I hear this is a nasty disease if it's not nipped in the bud.

I'll be keeping you and your daughter and your family in my prayers – PLEASE take care of yourself, my friend. This is no time for heroics.

Thanks for help with the typos – but going to bed until you're back near 100% seems a more prudent approach to take.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Thank you for your concern and your prayers for me and my family - I appreciate them very much.

I'm video calling my daughter each day and today she was in bed with a very bad headache. She said she feels like she could sleep all day and all night. I told her if that's what her body is telling her it needs then she MUST do it and she promised me she would. One positive thing she said is that she doesn't have a high temperature now. I'm very thankful to the Lord that her breathing hasn't been affected too badly either.

My symptoms only really kicked in yesterday which is why I went for the test. They say don't get tested if you don't have symptoms but still self-isolate for 14 days. After I sent my email to you, later on in the evening my breathing got a little bit worse. I'm finding it difficult to eat and breathe at the same time - it makes my breathing worse. I've been trying to eat things that don't take much chewing and are easy to get down. The NHS UK website has tips on how to help breathlessness with Covid. I know a lot of them from having asthma and they do help. I can deal with it at the level it was last night (I've had worse from asthma) but it's the uncertainty with Covid - things can change very quickly. I've been resting in bed today and I'm keeping a close check on my symptoms.

I had a very comfortable night's sleep last night. My breathing today has been about the same as yesterday and I still have the burning sensation in my lungs. I feel quite weak when I stand up. I don't have a cough or a temperature and still have my sense of taste and smell. I should get my test results tomorrow.

I promise there's no heroics going on here. The typos I sent were ones I found last week before I had any symptoms and I was feeling well.

Everyone else thankfully is absolutely fine and I'm praying it stays that way. They might be asymptomatic.

Could I please ask you to put us on the prayer list?

Thanks again for your prayers - we're in the Lord's hands. Please stay safe and well, Bob - praying for you and yours too.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #15:

Thanks for these details. I'm relieved to hear that you and your daughter are going to be taking it as easy as need be. From what you report, it does sound as if "you have it" – but I'm not that kind of dr. (as I'm wont to say). So after months of this and not even knowing anyone who had it, I've had some students test positive and my friend's athletic trainer and another acquaintance came down with it as well. I'll be praying for this (and have been) diligently for you and your daughter – and I also added the prayer request to the Ichthys list.

[omitted]

But please take a break from all that – and everything else – until you are 100% recovered, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Bob,

Thank you very much for putting us on the prayer list.

I spoke to my daughter today and she said even though she still has a headache and feels very tired and still can't smell or taste anything it's the best she has felt so far! She's being good and still resting too. She made me laugh (which hurts!) she said that a cup of tea tastes like soil. She sent me a message the other day saying, "I've got a nice cup of warm soil!"

I got my test result back and it was . . . negative. I would love to believe this is a true result but I'm really not convinced it is because of how rough I've been feeling. I read that testing too early in the course of infection is likely to result in a false negative test. The sample might not contain enough viral material to come back positive. It happened to my son's friend and his dad. They had a test as soon as they had symptoms and it came back negative then had another test a few days later and it came back positive. It's not that I really want Covid-19 but I'm going to get another test just to make sure. If it comes back negative again then I'll accept the result and phone the doctor. My breathing has been better today. I'm more headachy and tired but I'm still just resting.

I've experienced the same as you - going from months of not knowing anyone who has had the virus to suddenly knowing of quite a few - including three of my son's friends.

[omitted]

Better go and lie down now. Thank you so much for your prayers, Bob.

Sorry, I also just wanted to let you know that I'm praying too for your students who tested positive and for your friend's athletic trainer. I hope and pray they're not suffering too badly.

I'm thankful to the Lord for the time I can spend with Him right now in prayer and reading my Bible and resting in Him.

In Jesus

Response #16:

Please don't worry about anything, my friend!

You concentrate on getting better.

Keeping you and your daughter and your family in my prayers.

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob,

Thank you so much for your prayers and support and the wise advice you have given me this week - it's really helped me and my family.

When I spoke to my daughter today she said she felt MUCH better. She said she's been getting lots of sleep in the day and sleeping well at night. As soon as I saw her she looked and sounded more like herself. Much more colour in her cheeks. She said she still feels quite tired but they said sometimes it can take six to eight weeks to build your strength back up again. But she's young and healthy and strong so as long as she takes it easy she'll get there.

I'm feeling better knowing that she is nearly through this. My symptoms are still there but not so bad and I don't feel as tired. But I'm still going to keep resting until I'm better. I still have to self-isolate next week due to being in contact with Jodie last Thursday. The rest of the family are thankfully still absolutely fine.

Thanks again for everything, Bob and I hope you have a lovely weekend and manage to get some rest too. Keeping you and your family in my prayers as well.

I thank our Lord with all of my heart for His love and for hearing our prayers.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #17:

Thanks for keeping me in the loop, my friend. I've been concerned and of course praying for you and your daughter.

Keep up the sleep!

I'm into the last push here and not in a bad way so far. I plan to take your advice and get some extra rest this weekend seeing as how there is a "mini-lull" at the moment. This has been the semester of not being able to miss a beat without consequences.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Dear Bob,

When I read an earlier email back to haunt me, I had written that CDC had revised COVID death count down to about 10,000. That page has since disappeared and it's now claimed to be back to 220,000 or so. However, from CDC's published mortality tables, total deaths this year, annualized, are a little less than 2019. So it seems many cases of flu, pneumonia and TB are being reported as Kung Flu and with the Medicare incentives, I can see why. I expect that to be revised as well.

Your correspondent in Australia painted a grim picture. (#38) His comments though, about people unwilling to work, echoed what I'm hearing here. I suspect that attitude is fueling the riots and looting. I wonder if that could have been much of the motivation for the French Revolution and the first Bolshevik Revolution.

Another item I wanted to pass on is buckwheat. I don't know whether you like buckwheat or not. Some don't but the time my blood pressure went so low I passed out, I was eating buckwheat every morning for breakfast and occasionally as crêpes. I'm back to the same regimen though moderated. I mix it with a breakfast of eggs or oats, but I do love buckwheat. (Raw -- not kasha -- toasted buckwheat though kasha may make a better risotto.)

I've been eating my own dog food lately (Matthew 6:34) and reading Revelation in conjunction with CT. I may eventually come to an understanding. I'm trying to relate Revelation to what I see going on today. Much we've seen before, but a few things are new, different and match. Curiously, today, President Harris is seen as the savior on one side and President Trump the savior on the other. I think we can expect that worship to only grow stronger.

I pray you and yours are well and safe.

Yours in Jesus,

Response #18:

No worries, my friend. I always take all statistics with a cellar of salt anyway, especially in the current sea of lies in which we are awash.

Excellent point about people looking for a savior – when they should be looking TO THE Savior. Seeking solutions to all this sort of angst is clearly going to be a big part of antichrist's appeal. We just don't know the particulars yet. But when things really start to go awry, people being people will toss overboard what ought to be fundamentally disturbing concerns. That is how the Nazis got into power, after all – fears over another terrible depression such as they experienced in the 20's with the hyperinflation.

I've got a big jar of buckwheat honey in the kitchen given me by a friend, so I guess I'm downing two birds with a single projectile there. Can't agree with the dog food thing, however!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hello, Bob,

As Mark Twain said, "There are lies, dammed lies and statistics." There is precious little to trust these days.

"Eat your own dog food" is an expression I grew up with from the old days meaning, "Practice what you preach." I've been preaching that to myself. In terms of "my" dog food. it's not really mine but the Lord's -- and I have been preaching that. Whether anyone listens or not is another issue.

Buckwheat honey, from what I can remember (it's been years) is somewhat dark and strong, but good, though. The hypotensive component is rutin, which is not present in the honey in great quantities. There is some evidence that bee stings are also hypotensive. (See above.) Also, I'm always remembering that "normal" blood pressure, systolic anyway 100 years ago, is age + 100. Modern "doctors" don't agree with that today. Who do we trust?

Note that in recent news, the DoD is partnering with the Gates Foundation to introduce microchips in their mRNA vaccines. I would ask why -- and there are plenty of theories out there. DoD seems to be holding quite close to the chest on this. Given that, my questions are: should we submit to authorities when it would materially change how the Lord made us and who we are? Also, since microchip implants cause cancer in dogs and cats, should we voluntarily submit because the authorities demand it? It seems to me facing prison or execution is substantially different than volunteering for the changes.

As you have suggested, the mark will be voluntary. If there is a "pre-marking" as with possibly these new "vaccines" and we volunteer, could the vaccine and chip be the marking that physically change us as mRNA would? Making us identified on our forehead since no one knows what these vaccines will do? After all, it's voluntary.

Is it possible that those of us who resist the early attempts at "marking," if such they are. will be forced later to accept the tattoo if we want to buy and sell? Much like we'll be forced to have an health certificate if we want to travel? Or forced to buy a cell phone if we want to communicate as, largely, we are now?

Bob, I think there will likely be many questions arising over the next few years, such as these, for which there will be no clear-cut answers. This, I think, will be an important part of your ministry.

Stay well and safe.

In our Lord,

Response #19:

That's a great quote. Another one in the same vein (anonymous): "figures don't lie, but liars do figure".

Thanks for clearing things up about the dog food. I was worried that I'd have to stage an intervention.

You're right about the honey, but I do like it anyway. It's supposed to have wonderful properties. And I like it anyway.

As to blood pressure, as I'm fond of saying, I'm just happy to have some at this point.

On vaccines and chips and such, I can only comment on what I know from Revelation, that the mark will be a physical tattoo, and the point of it is to demonstrate allegiance to the beast. The control the devil is after is self-control . . . in his service. So I'm not much worried about the other stuff – but like I said before, I won't be standing in line waiting for my "opportunity" to get vaccinated.

As to cell phones, I do still have a landline. And, no, it's only purpose is not just to find my cell phone. Communication is highly overrated in any case.

When and if we have a regime that makes this stuff mandatory, I'll give it some thought then. As I'm also fond of saying, I'll blow up that bridge when I come to it. It does strike me that if we are in a place where mandatory microchip implants are the norm, we probably are going to have much bigger problems.

It does all make you wonder how nine years out could not possibly be way past the point where the human race self-destructs. I guess we'll find out by seeing it with our own eyes, some of us, anyway, but no doubt not all of us. Which reminds me of another bad old joke which I modify here for context: "Luther is dead, Calvin is dead, and I myself am also not feeling well".

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Dear Teacher

I just arrived in Jos about a couple hours ago. It was a dusty, somewhat uncomfortable ride, but we got here in one piece. I'm tired, so I can't think too good right now to write everything I've been wanting to write, but I thought I should tell you.

Found out on my way this morning that my mom actually fell ill about a couple of nights ago. She said that she didn't want to tell me about it so that I wouldn't feel bad about leaving. I have a little regret leaving like that. She is home alone this time with only the teenage boy who helps her with the chores for company, and then she falls ill too. I don't think I have much of a choice. I've prayed for her, and my older brother plans to visit this week, and I mean to call her everyday to keep track of her health.

I don't really avoid the news. I just tend to find it boring, so even when I turn on the radio, I soon space out, especially when I'm emotionally distracted or stressed somehow, as I have been for quite a while now. I emptied my Facebook feed because I found it too distracting. Whenever I got on Facebook, I ended up spending inordinate amounts of time either hunting conversations to participate in or watching videos because I was bored. I got pretty tired of that. I wanted to organize my resources so that I can go to them when I need them, not have them basically commanding my attention all the time. It helped that I was that much disconnected for a bit though, so when the craziness about #EndSARS was erupting, I didn't have it blaring at me everywhere. I saw it on WhatsApp and heard it on the news, but I didn't really need it all over my Facebook too. I knew what was going on, have known for years, and however boring I find the news, I try to not be uninformed so that I don't end up in the wrong place at the wrong time especially in a country such as mine.

[omitted]

Congratulations on finishing Bibliology and the Bible Basics series, Sir. I actually wondered what you would busy yourself with now. It seemed as if you would not have that much of a challenge with the Peter series, but I suppose it is enough to keep you busy going forward until the Lord drops something new in your lap. I'm already reading up the new posting.

I saw that you did the COVID-19 test already and you passed again. Congratulations on that too, Sir. I'm happy to hear that your health issues are being worked out or at least kept in check by the Lord, so that you can continue to function productively.

I'm attaching my new entry in the series of posts that I'm writing.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #20:

Good to hear you made the trip safe and sound, but I am distressed to hear about your mother. I'm glad your brother is going to be able to check in on her soon. I be sure to be keeping her in my prayers.

Sorry to hear about the website. Your page at Ichthys is always available in the meantime (I'll try to get to those files this week – the big push to get BB 7 out and vetted put behind on many things). [our friend's new files now posted as "Bible Basics" at the link]

I think most people in this country are also ready to "have it over with", but I'm afraid that at this point "it" may never be over with until kingdom come. I stay away from FB but I should also watch less "news" on cable.

Praying also for this tech-writing opportunity. Don't know whether or not this is a good or the right place, but I'm sure that you would excel at it! You are not only a crisp, clear writer, but you never make mistakes (whereas I am a typo-producing machine). Any place would be blessed to have you.

Thanks for your congratulations, my friend, and also for your prayers – much appreciated as always.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dear Professor

Good to hear you are coping, though I hope you are near to shedding some of that extra work load you have taken on at U of L.

Thank you for all your kind words and prayers, and for your wonderful Ministry. The Lord’s grace is truly overwhelming. There is not enough thanks that you can be given for sharing the truths of our dear Lord Jesus Christ.

The latest email postings. 9 years maybe, and not 6. Some people like to turn things upside down. Seriously, seems like a “good” idea, though sometimes I wonder about struggling through the next 6 and then into “it”.

Buses are unfavourably mentioned again, but that is also a common saying here, despite cars being the usual culprits - a couple were killed on the weekend in our south west in a head on collision. Seems no end to the carnage on our roads.

Western Australia is opening up to the rest of Australia from November 14, as new covid case numbers are near zero. We have got real relaxed over here with most people seemingly not bothering to use the hand sanitizers provided in shops, and usually only bandits are “seen” here with masks.

Ah, change of seasons for you in the northern hemisphere too. Spring is in form here - Friday we had the air conditioning on to keep cool, Saturday the fire going to keep warm. In the west we do not need to “save” daylight, as they do in the east - we have stacks of it in the summertime. In any case it doesn’t make their winter days any longer.

Quite busy here so I will share the email I sent to our friend with you. Probably won’t be news to you - but it is time to stop twiddling my thumbs and get tapping the keyboard etc.



Great to hear your business has prospered. Jesus knows how to bless each one of us in just the right way and right time. Your videos have been a boost to me. I have been resisting taking on teaching the group for various reasons, however, I feel that as our Lord keeps putting this in front of my face, I had best respond.

When we shifted to this small town, I never envisaged now, or had any intention of teaching or joining any group, but I see the Spirit has done all the preparation, to break down defences, to mingle with other church leaders, without compromising the truths in the Bible and taught at Ichthys. God’s grace truly is wondrous! I comfort myself that God can use the weak things of this world to confound the wise.

We really are blessed to have a Bible teacher at Ichthys who serves our Lord and not lucre.
I spent heaps of time (as no doubt have many others) searching the internet before I found someone teaching the truth in substance. Even so, I looked up other sources to verify that Dr Luginbill was who he said he was.

I will keep you in prayer as we serve and worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Your fellow brother in Jesus.
__

Professor, BB 7 is another great labor of love in the truth.

Thank you for your encouragement in the gospel of our dear Lord.

Your student

Response #21:

It's true that I do mention buses overly much as problematic for my health – but never bus drivers.

Lost the nasturtiums last night indeed, and quite nippy today, but it's supposed to warm right back up again. Pretty fall here. Leaves are past peak, but they were glorious (a bit early too, if memory serves). Hoping for a mild winter. Last one I didn't even have to pull out the snow shovel one time – some years it's constant. Never know what you will get in Louisville.

Busy week but if I get through everything on the list next one will be better, and then only one long one left before the final day and the effective beginning of my break (still some things to do like grading and putting in grades and getting ready for spring, syllabi and all, but should be restful).

Good to hear that you and our friend are keeping up. It's always a pleasure to find out that some godly connections have been made.

Thanks as always for your encouraging words, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your concern about my health, and prayer on a difficult spiritual enlightenment for the Muslim men. The Christian man is leaving today for a few weeks work further north and when he returns he will be a few hours south of here for his work.

I have been recovered health wise for a few weeks now, and it is only the trying to catch up that is making me fatigued. My younger friend by a decade succumbed to a long afternoon nap yesterday. He has been helping me - perhaps also overdoing it.

Your last couple of emails have vanished from my Inbox. Even a restart has not worked. Had trouble typing using the reply arrow, so the problem seems to be with this iPad.

I pray that I am not the first one on the scene of a traffic accident as I don’t like the thought of finding dead or badly injured persons. Last week __ was the first on the scene of a fatal crash on Albany highway. He said had he been 3 seconds up the road on his Harley, that would have been him gone too. We pray for safety and should be thankful that is what we receive. For a state with a small population we seem to be having many deaths. A couple of recent drownings down at the ocean, one search still under way for a woman. The ocean was flat looking and beguiles people to explore amongst the crevices of rocks, where they are taken by a strong swirling undercurrent where a moment ago they were on sand. The fatality before, the man was taken from on the rocks in the same area when a wave pounced out of nowhere. Suicides outrank drownings by a huge degree and I think they are more akin the road toll or greater. However they are seldom mentioned, except at the moment as an 11 yo indigenous girl who was allegedly raped by a close community member, took own her life after the police granted the alleged offender bail.

We are grateful for all blessings including protection. My wife said she thanked God in her prayers that our friend had just cleared the firebreak minimising the damage and injury, and that the car did not catch alight - it has got rather dry here as harvest time for farmers has begun in some areas.

One thing I think about which tends to keep me in check, but also concerns me is Paul saying in 1Cor. 9:27b “... lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” ESV. (grey areas particularly). That coupled with the parable of the seeds in Matthew 13:22 where the cares of this (busy) world choke the word.

Life has definitely not turned out the way I planned it, particularly being so busy at this late stage of life. I am trying to reevaluate and take action that the Spirit dictates.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

I pray for your Ministry always and you certainly deliver what the Lord is pleased with.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student and friend

Response #22:

OK - good to hear that you are not sick, but please take care not to get overly fatigued as that often results in getting ill as you know only too well. I think that is especially true given the physical and psychological load of the current unpleasantness. Of course, I do understand: when there's much to do it needs to get done.

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:12-13 NIV

The point above really is not that we make one mistake and all falls apart; the point is – in the spiritual as well as the physical realm – that slipping into a pattern of laziness if VERY easy. In fact it is the standard default of the old sin nature.

I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 24:30-34 NIV

So we need to combat that attitude in our worldly life, but even more so in our spiritual life, because in the case of the latter the consequences are not so obviously immediate or so visible to the eye as in the example above.

You're doing it right, my friend! Just keep fighting the good fight day by day.

What is the story in regard to your leading of the local Bible study? How is the pastor's wife doing? I've been keeping these things in my prayers.

Your friend in Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #23:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your reply. It is hard for me to imagine how you keep up with everything.

Last night our Bible Study of John 1-12 Life to the full by Josh Moody, began at a couple’s house. They have two children and came from South Africa. Kids go to the Catholic school here in town.

The pastors wife was there and seemed in good spirits (she wants her recovery to be a witness and testimony of the power and goodness of Christ), whereas her pastor husband is having a hard time coping with everything and having a downer, so did not attend. My son’s former maths teacher came, saying that she almost didn’t because things at school have been getting her down, with back stabbing by staff and lots of problems. I asked about the Chaplin (who wasn’t in attendance), who the maths teacher rarely comes across at school because of different areas of work. The Chaplain has also been under severe stress and cut down on her work days. I had no idea things were so awful for the school staff. She mentioned one of the deputies is Muslim and things are difficult with everyone, including him, not being able to mention religion. A student at the school died recently and some students have a hard time coping.

Made my problems look small when on the bus yesterday someone, don’t know who, threw something on the bus and I ended with saying something like “if you are an idiot, try not to be an idiot."

Apparently, that is not the correct way to deal with it, so I wouldn’t last up on the hill at school. However, it seemed to work with the students. I always endeavour to give them a polite farewell and most respond, even the misbehaving ones.

We ended Bible study with anyone, which was mostly everyone, praying for what they felt. The pastor’s wife remembered to ask that I would learn new strategies for dealing with the students. This is why I am not a school teacher! (although the “P’s” and “Q’s” seem to be almost a universal requirement nowadays).

I get what you say about “handouts”. I rarely refer back to our teachers handout's, though they are faintly photocopied from hand written original and difficult to read. (Not a great excuse). We use them in the lesson time. I was planning to get each person a red folder (to be HOT in our era of Laodicea) and have the printouts done at the office shop, instruct the believers to keep them and challenge them to check that is what the scriptures actually teach, rather than relying only on my say so, and bring them back each week with any questions or observations. I am hoping that the handouts will be the basis for them being able to explain to others the truths they learn, protect themselves, and inform others of false doctrines.

I find it much better to have the written word than trying to remember what someone has verbally taught me. So still thinking to try them out, at least for awhile.

There is my thought that as people may try to see some things as “minor” doctrines (don really matter if we have differing views) versus “major” doctrines (that we can all agree on), they will come to see ALL truth is important no matter how “minor”. I do not see how people who believe in the scriptures can reasonably refute obvious truths taught therein. Though, for now, I will stay away from areas I am not so confident about teaching, such as dichotomy v trichotomy (though FBT taught this one as though it was fact). That is the disadvantage of not being good in English, let alone not knowing Greek or Hebrew.

I thank you for your prayers on behalf of our pastor's wife (she had a firm handshake last night) and others, including myself.

I pray things a getting better for you at university. Hope the street unrest is resting. Don’t know if I will bother with the news if Trump doesn’t trump - the other candidate is not so entertaining. (some of us are susceptible to entertainment).

Thanking you for your works and words, including your latest BB 7. Your encouragement in Christ is what motivates us to have hope and strive forward. Yours is a mighty Ministry for our Lord.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #23:

Thanks for the update and the background, my friend.

OK, you have made me a believer in your method. Just trying to look out for you.

"I do not see how people who believe in the scriptures can reasonably refute obvious truths taught therein": Part of the problem might just be that "belief". One has to humbly approach the Lord in the first place to be saved, and then humbly approach His duly constituted authority in order to grow. That means respecting the Word (which, I'm sad to say, is as you have experienced no "given" even among Christians who otherwise seem to put up a good front) and His means of growth in a providing gifted and prepared individuals – and here we have nearly universal disrespect. But there's nothing new about that.

For these are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction. They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”
Isaiah 30:9-11 NIV

"Unwilling" – it is all about free will. After all, that is what history is all about: from the rejecting by Satan and his followers of the Lord's authority to every act of rebellion and disobedience by humankind right down to the very end, history is the great threshing floor of decision. We're here to be sorted out, strategically (i.e., "going up?" or "going down?"), and, for believers, tactically: how much did we really love the Lord in this life? Enough to "do what I say" (Lk.6:46-49), or not?

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

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Hi Bob,

Isaiah 25:2 (NASB) 2 For You have made a city into a heap,
A fortified city into a ruin;
A palace of strangers is a city no more,
It will never be rebuilt.

Since we know the beast utilizes fortress cities to keep his power grip on the world, how do we know that the city here is a direct reference to Babylon rather than a reference to a composite of the beast's fortress cities?

Hope work is going ok!

In Jesus

Response #24:

That's true, but the whole context here is a universal one rather than a local one. Compare the very next verse:

Therefore the strong people will glorify You;
The city of the terrible nations will fear You.
Isaiah 25:3 NKJV

This would seem to have to be Babylon rather than a particular city or a group of strongholds. And we also know that Babylon is frequently prophesied to be totally destroyed (e.g., Rev.18:1ff.), but I don't know where individual or even "composite" groups of strongholds are described in these terms: "a city no more, it will never be rebuilt".

Hoping you're wrong about 9 years to go before the "fun" starts instead of 6! Don't think I can wait that long (as if we're not having enough "fun" already) – but I'll probably be posting the theory this Saturday or next [posted in Eschatology Issues LI].

In Jesus our dear Savior.

Bob L.

Question #25:

Hi Bob,

Isaiah 4:2 (NASB) 2 In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.

What does the fruit reference here? Unger takes it as another synonym for Jesus who is the Branch sprouting out of the Earth in His Humanity. Do you agree?

In Jesus the Branch

Response #25:

I think it is referring to the progeny of the survivors. Just as the Lord is the Branch and will "branch out" in a beautiful and glorious rule, so those restored to the land will produce a wonderful and bountiful crop of offspring during the Millennium. Compare (see also "Eden like conditions as seen from the expanding population" in CT 6):

(19) "Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away. (20) The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, 'This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.'"
Isaiah 49:19-20 NIV

(1) Rejoice, O barren woman who has never born a child! Break forth with rejoicing and shout for joy, O woman who has never given birth! For the children of the desolate woman will be more than those of the married woman, says the Lord. (2) Enlarge the place for your tent. Let your tent curtains stretch wide and don't hold back. Lengthen your ropes and strengthen your stakes. (3) For you will burst forth on the right and on the left. Your offspring will possess the nations, and the deserted cities will be inhabited.
Isaiah 54:2-3

The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time, I will do this swiftly.
Isaiah 60:22 NIV

I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pastures where they will be fruitful and increase in number.
Jeremiah 23:3 NIV

(18) "This is what the Lord says: I will restore the fortunes of Jacob's tents and have compassion on his dwellings; the city will be rebuilt on her ruins, and the palace will stand in its proper place. (19) From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained."
Jeremiah 30:18-19 NIV

(8) " 'But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. (9) I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, (10) and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. (11) I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. (12) I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.
Ezekiel 36:8-12 NIV

(37) "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Once again I will yield to the plea of the house of Israel and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep, (38) as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord."
Ezekiel 36:37-38 NIV

In Jesus our dear Lord.

Bob L.

Question #26:

Hi Bob,

Chapter 13 of Isaiah uses the "day of the Lord" consolidation that we have been speaking about lately.

It seems like verses 1-5 and verses 14-22 apply to eschatological Babylon whereas verses 6-13 apply to that great Day when our Lord returns (second advent).

Is my understanding correct?

In Jesus

Response #26:

Don't know if I would want to exclude any verses from either subject since they all apply both contemporaneously and also to eschatologically wherein "the Day of the Lord" IS the "eschaton" (i.e., all of eschatology, only sometimes focusing on what precedes His return, sometimes the day itself or events immediately before it, sometimes that day and what follows; see the link).

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #27:

Hi Bob,

Chapter 18 of Isaiah is difficult to say the least.

Your summary for it is... "Cush (a type of the Southern Alliance defeated at the hands of the beast)".

Can you help me understand where in the chapter it parallels the southern alliance being defeated at the hands of the beast. It seems like the chapter mainly has a contemporary view of Assyria being destroyed and of course Armageddon significance.

Isaiah is a lot of fun!

In our Lord,

Response #27:

"the chapter mainly has a contemporary view of Assyria being destroyed"; yes, that is the contemporary anchor; but we also have an eschatological parallel (as you note).

I would agree that verses 3-6 refer to Armageddon, but the passage itself is "Woe" to Cush (Assyria / Iraq etc.), and that "woe" will come first and foremost at the hands of the beast in their defeat prior to the Tribulation's midpoint (as part of the southern alliance and standing for it here); at the end, they, like the rest of the world, will have their armies gathered at Armageddon in support of the beast; so scripture looks toward the final "woe", but the point of the first two verses is their defeat by the beast despite their warlike prowess, then their continued humiliation thereafter at Armageddon, and finally their submission to the Lord in the Millennium.

I appreciate your zeal for the Word of God, my friend!

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #28:

Hi Bob,

Isaiah 18:1-2 (NKJV) 1 Woe to the land shadowed with buzzing wings,
Which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,
2 Which sends ambassadors by sea,
Even in vessels of reed on the waters, saying,
“Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth of skin,
To a people terrible from their beginning onward,
A nation powerful and treading down,
Whose land the rivers divide.”

Where are the Ethiopian envoys going to both contemporarily and eschatologically? Said in other words, where is "a nation powerful whose land the rivers divide" in this context? Commentators are divided on this.

In Jesus the chief Teacher

Response #28:

From a note in SR 1:

. . . often fail to take into account that the mention of "Cush" (Gen.2:14) can be (and most probably is) a reference to the land of the Kassites (modern day southern Iraq),(22): cf. 2Chron.20:16; Nimrod, son of Cush, operates in Babylonia, not Ethiopia. See "The Rivers of Paradise," by E.A. Speiser, in Festschrift Johannes Friedrich (Heidelberg 1958) 473-485.

The ambassadors at the end are bringing gifts and sacrifices to the Messiah in Jerusalem along with the rest of the world; this contrasts with their no-doubt threatening communications before having been humbled at the second advent.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Hi Bob,

So far I have found nobody who figured out the break between the 7 and the 62 besides you, and have "made it work" in terms of years. Congrats on that. I do have a question on your interpretation. In the prophecy it says...

(26) And after the sixty two weeks, Messiah will be cut off and have nothing

Thus it sounds like right as the 62 weeks ends then the cross happens. But you take these 62 weeks running up to the start of Jesus Christ's life rather than 33 AD. Can you explain this to me?

Second, you take "the times of distress" to be talking about Antiochus Epiphanes. Can you explain to me why you chose Antiochus considering the discussion about him doesn't come up until Daniel 11:21-35. It seems a bit more logical that it would be talking about the distress and threats Nehemiah faced in his building. I have extremely limited understanding so this is just an idea.

In Jesus,

Response #29:

Thanks!

On your question, the time between the order to desist of Ezra 4:6ff (ca. 485) and the birth of Christ (ca. 2 B.C.), is precisely 483 years or 69 "weeks of years". Daniel 9:25 says "from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks", and I do take this to be Christ's birth; the next verse which speaks about Him being cut off is said to be "after" the 62 weeks but it clearly can't be the same time as the "until Messiah the prince" since at the very least the "until" would have to be His presentation to the nation; the fact that the 7 are not mentioned there but only the second element, the 62, indicates to me that there is an unspecified lag between "until" and then "cut off", and that would be the interlude in the calendar that constitutes His life.

As to the "times of distress", first, it's plural (so it's not just one time; I don't have a big problem with including what you mention); second, the verse says that there will be city fortifications in place during these "times"; that was the case during Antiochus depredations, but the "troubles" of Nehemiah's day ended once the walls were in place.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Hi Bob,

On Ichthys, I found two comments about these men:

1. We may also see in the rejection of Shebna for Eliakim (Is.22:20-25) the change of leadership which accompanied the coup in the absence of antichrist. For although Eliakim is clearly superior to the disgraceful Shebna, nevertheless he too will fall from the weight of the pressures unleashed against Israel because the beast's advance cannot be checked through human efforts.

2. the before and after stewards (premiers)

Can you clear up who/what these two men represent? The reason I'd like clarity is because in verses 20 through 24 the verses read Messianic rather than Israel's leader who falters under the pressure of the beast's advance.

In Jesus,

Response #30:

The two quotes you've pulled here are indeed the way I see the interpretation of this passage (Is.22:20-25), namely, the bad steward (leader) and follower of the beast replaced by a good one (leader of the rebellion at the very end of the Tribulation and just before the second advent [link]), but the good one also being unable to ward off destruction – requiring the intervention of the Messiah (at the second advent).

I can see why in the way Eliakim is described you might want to see him as a Messianic figure, but when the Messiah returns He will never "give way" in the manner Eliakim is said to do. So while Eliakim is a positive figure – following the pattern of the Messiah – he does not represent him directly.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #31:

Bob,

Thank You for all your hard work getting this done over the years. The entire series has been a tremendous aid in my spiritual growth and I've already started reading BB7. I'm praying for your safety with all the uncertainty coming this week especially since your in Louisville. I'm also praying for the safety of all the Ichthys readers. I hope some decency and respect prevail but expecting the world we live in to continue on the path most want it to take. Praise God for our protection and seeing us through whatever may come and Praise Jesus for loving us so much to make the ultimate sacrifice and give us the promise of eternal life. It's really only these things that will get us through. I'm so thankful to God I found your website before this time and opened my heart to what he was saying to me through you.

In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Response #31:

Thanks!

I very much appreciate this encouraging email – and I am also grateful for your love of the truth, my friend.

Thanks for those prayers! Always needful and much appreciated too.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #32:

I look forward to reading BB 7! Thank you for watering the seeds of my faith. I am getting all the benefits from your time, obedience and self discipline. I am also listening to Bible Academy.

I have so much to learn and do pray for the ability to share your website and speak it to others. In Romans 16 Paul has a list of people he is thanking and greeting. If I had a similar list of people in my lifetime who greatly contributed to my faith, your ministry would be on my list.

I will continue to pray for your health, job and ministry.

Response #32:

Thanks so much!

I greatly appreciate your kind words.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

 

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