Ichthys Acronym Image
Ichthys home navigation button

Eschatology Issues LIII

Word RTF

Question #1:

Dear Bob:

Have you read this evaluation of Gender Language regarding the NIV 2011?
http://www.bible-researcher.com/cbmw.niv2011.2.pdf

It seems that a lot of the Gender-Neutral Modifications to make the Bible say what it doesn't mean in the Gender Neutral version or TNIV has been retained. Slanting the translation

As if the presence of Men in Authority or in Combat is somehow objectionable and hence the translation modified the meaning of the text to suit our times.

What do you think?

Response #1:

I've been a critic of the 2011 NIV – and the sneaky way it was introduced – ever since it came out.

Here are a couple of links for my take on that issue:

NIV 1984 vs. 2011 "switcheroo" (several postings in a row)

Translations compared (in BB 7)

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

I suspect the gender-neutral translations was to enable arguments for women in combat and to be Pastor-Teachers too. Contrary to scripture as it is meant to be translated.

Some nefarious people were no doubt involved in somehow getting into the Bible translation committee to subvert the church.

You think that is the case?

Response #2:

I would not overestimate the NIV's influence on any of these things. There are lots of Bible versions, and I suspect that most places where this is a favored translation would tend to be out in front of the translation and even worse on that score. For although I do like the 1984 NIV, even that one had a (somewhat undeserved) reputation for being theologically suspect so that more conservative churches and denominations are not apt to have been much affected by the change.

Rather, I would suspect that this has to do – as most things do – more with money and politics than with anything else. If your item which you sell for money becomes politically incorrect then you stand to be shunned by certain groups and people ("cancelled" recently and attacked with the objective of annihilation!). Sales suffer. On the other hand, if you can appeal to said people and groups, you might sell more of your item (which is what your business is really all about, even if you present yourself as doing some sort of Christian service). Here's the dilemma: how to avoid the trouble and expand your audience without making other people mad and hurting your sales from the other side? The answer the NIV folks came up with was to make the change secretly. Whether in the end this worked, I suppose time will tell. I personally rather suspect that it alienated those who liked the 1984 version without gaining them much purchase (or many "purchases") from people who probably don't read the Bible anyway.

For anyone who is seeking the truth, there are plenty of other versions out there (and most of the 2011 NIV changes are just silliness and watering down in any case); I also like the NKJV.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

You wrote: "Here's the dilemma: how to avoid the trouble and expand your audience without making other people mad and hurting your sales from that quarter? The answer the NIV folks came up with was to make the change secretly."

The fact that they did this secretly made this extremely suspicious and is likely hiding a malicious motive. Since they were acting as agents of Satan I pray that God will deal with this kind of thing with the Justice that it deserves.

I find this thing really infuriating. Especially when Wolves tries to subvert the truth. And even to try to deceive the elect by doing it so sneakily.

I would be inclined to believe this angle more if they were doing it opening

Response #3:

Satan employs anyone and everyone he can. No doubt that there are "malicious motives" on the devil's part – those are the only kind he has. As for human agents, when they do things out of self-righteousness, cowardice, political correctness, fear, venality, arrogance and stupidity, they are furthering the devil's cause every time. Only by acting for and through the truth is there resistance to the system that the devil has set up in this world and is fostering at every turn – as he has been ever since his temptation of Eve. This is why God's system of law and nationalism is so important, because – other than believers in the world responding to the truth as the preservative "salt" of any nation – that very law and nationalism is the only bulwark against the devil's system (see the link). The fact that we see this general truth God has given to all people challenged daily (the family, marriage, property rights, freedom of every sort) is nothing new. The level of assault upon it is obviously growing and will burst forth exponentially during the soon to come Tribulation. In that scheme of things, some venal and cowardly Bible publishing group is pretty small potatoes – but it is certainly part of the overall trend.

I do share your indignation with all things of this ilk, and our righteous anger is no doubt going to be piqued more and more the closer we get to the end – by all manner of things that are happening in this country today. At such times, we need to remember that God is in control and that our anger "does not accomplish the righteousness of God" (Jas.1:20). It's not good to "fret" about such things (Ps.37:1ff.; cf. Ps.73:1ff.) as if we could do anything about the wicked – especially the evil armies we cannot even see . . . but God knows their day is coming, and we need to take comfort in that (Ps.37:13).

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 Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Dear Dr Luginbill,

How are you doing? I have been doing well mostly. I think I am definitely still on my -getting healthier- track. I am excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Love the holidays (though I usually go all hermit), but not the cold.

I found out my last name comes from the word 'heart' in Gaelic and is from the Latin Cor mundum crea in me, Deus (the "Cor" part vs Gaelic "O Croidheagain/croidhe". Of course looking at it now, it also superficially goes with the 'crea' but the meanings aren't a direct match.

How you are doing? I hope you are well. I read you and your family are keeping flowers; that is very nice! What kind do you/you guys like?

Response #4:

Fascinating about your name! Mine has a number of "popular etymologies": "overlook" ("looking-knoll" a bit more literally) seems the most likely – not as good as yours, that's for sure!

Things are going pretty well, at present – thanks for asking. Planting nasturtiums in the front yard (it has a slope down to the sidewalk) is a tradition now. They got hit hard by a freeze about two weeks ago – killed about 90% but they have been staging a comeback. Sad, since tonight another freeze is on the way (and that will be that). So they will look horrid until I have time off enough to clean it all up the week after Thanksgiving (I enjoy that holiday very much too and am especially looking forward to it this year with all we've been through).

Good to hear that you are feeling better too!

Wishing you a great holiday time!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Bob,

Thank you for the notice. It is amazing how much you can get done. We pray that our Lord will keep you safe, so we can enjoy your teaching. A question; how did you come to the conclusion that mankind was a replacement for the lost angles?

Response #5:

Good to hear back from you, my friend! Thanks for the good words of encouragement.

As to your question, it has to do with the ratio used in scripture about the 1/3 and 2/3s of the rebellious and loyal and how that computes figuring in the Church and the friends of the Bride to make a complete whole (this theme is salted into and throughout the entire SR series where the applicability of it over and over again in human history as divinely ordained and in the angelic conflict in particular constitutes considerable confirmation; see especially the link: "the Jewish ceremonial calendar").

But to be absolutely honest, I study and Lord leads me to things through the Spirit. That is to say, I can't attribute any of these teachings to any sort of talent or "brilliance" on my part – far from it. It's more like the following:

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

In other words, God has an excellent sense of humor (Ps.115:1).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Dear Teacher

How is your knee now? And have you caught a break at work yet? How is everyone?

I also have news. Our friend arranged for two people to send me some financial support for a while. I spoke with both this past weekend and we had good conversations. That was a real relief. I am hoping that the writing works out, but I'm doing my best not to get too anxious about it. It feels really comfortable, so I have high hopes for it. Still, I know that it is the Lord whose knowledge and plan is perfect, not me, so I'm open to whatever He brings.

I am attaching the discussion on the Canon and the Septuagint that I had in 2018 and wanted to show you. It is much longer than any I have sent in the past, and although it is a big request, I do wish you could take some time to edit it or something for me.

I see what you mean about doing something, even if only a little bit, everyday. I looked at my page at Ichthys the other day and I was thrilled to see all the material on it (link). I actually started from then to think that I do have ministry going right now, so the whole idea that I will only have one when I have my own website suddenly became strange. It helps to think that way, because I'm working now to make sure that I'm putting stuff out every week, even if it isn't a massive, comprehensive study of the Bible. I know that what I'm doing now isn't big, but I'm just so happy to be doing it at all. I'm a little more confident everyday because of John 15:2 that I will yet write of deeper things in the Scriptures for the mature believers who are more and more able to handle "strong meat." I just can't forget reading how you explained the 153 large fish of John 21. I remember wondering how you could tell that there was any symbolism there at all, since in the Lord's parables, some things are there not because they were a symbol of some deeper meaning, but merely as part of the furniture of the parable. How could I get to the point of seeing these things, I wonder?

Just thinking and talking about Bible issues it is delightful. It reminds me how much time has passed for me. So much has happened and is still happening that it feels like rediscovering the joy of these promises and the hope that we have.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us. We keep you in our prayers too, Sir.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #6:

That's great news, my friend! A real answer to prayer!

As to the 153 fish and related issues (link), if you read over that response you'll see that I always approach numerical interpretations and anything approaching numerology with a grain of salt at least. Part of that has to do with the fact that I am averse to looking for number-theory solutions where the text doesn't invite that – giving a number to the catch of fish does seem an odd thing to do if it were not somehow significant, but as mentioned in the posting at the link, it may just be that John is using this to bring home the reality of a historical event – and a genuine miracle. On the 3/12s and 9/12s, could you tell me where you found that?

As to "where these things come from", I wish I could say that they are the result of incredible talent combined with a great deal of hard work. In reality, I do plug along at studying and teaching . . . and the Spirit leads me to things. I'm sure I don't deserve it, so that is difficult to explain to people. Whenever I have a particular insight into the truth which is easily susceptible to "where did he get that?!", I'm aware of the (potential) reaction, but I also feel obligated not to disown what the Spirit has revealed. So honestly I don't much care if others are not impressed by whatever defense I may make of such things (I do feel myself obligated to lay out the process and the evidence for all such interpretations) nor do I care if "no one ever said this before!?" My job is to study and teach and to share whatever I've been blessed to learn – believing it myself and encouraging others to do the same. There is enough of this posted to Ichthys over the years that readers can judge the individual parts from the totality of the offering – if they really do have the corresponding humility to accept what the Spirit has (clearly) led them to.

Everyone is fine here – thanks for your prayers (they are no doubt instrumental in that with all that is going on!).

How is your back?

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Dear Teacher

My back is almost 100% now, Sir, thank you for asking. I'm able to sit and study and work on my writing plans. Have you improved in your knee and eye?

Your student in Jesus

Response #7:

Great news about your back! ! My eye is better (as good as it's going to get, I think), and the knee is continuing to recover slowly. Really what I need to do is lose weight – a little harder done than said, especially with nothing much going on because of Covid. KY is going into a semi-lock-down with the new spike. More students I know of getting it, and some even being hospitalized in spite of being young. Looks like I'm losing my last day of class – Monday next. I had already set it out to be an admin day so it's no loss of actual teaching.

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

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Dear Teacher

I wish your eye could be better. And I can imagine that losing weight would be hard if your knee is still giving you trouble. I'm glad that the new restrictions won't make life in the classroom that much harder for you now that you've pretty much finished your teaching for the semester.

Always very grateful for your prayers, Sir, and keeping you in ours too.

Response #8:

Well, things are tough all over . . . the entire globe. Tomorrow will be my last day on campus for a while. CDC is telling everyone in the US not to travel for Thanksgiving or to have it apart from household members.

Thanks for your prayers, my friend!

I'm keeping you guys in mine as well daily.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hello again Bob,

I am sorry to bother you again. I wasn't intending to have a long back and forth and take up so much of your valuable time as I know a great deal of people write to you and lean on you and that you do all this in your free time when you are not busy with work, your ministry and your own life besides (I don't know how you do it, it is a miraculous feat.) So I don't take your time and efforts for granted. I don't have anyone else to write to though who can help.

After I read your email last night.. Things have gone worse almost overnight. [details omitted] I know that we are not to say to God "Why is this happening?", "Why me?" I am fighting against asking this. Why is all this happening though?

What worries me is that when I am under fire, it blots out all the training that I have already had. It's like feeling secure in military training at camp only to complete lose my bottle on the front line. To find myself shaking with a bayonet in my hand and not knowing anything as though all my training has evaporated and I don't know what to do.

I know you said good offence and good defence. I am studying your Peter series and it directly deals with what I am going through.

I read so much about spiritual warfare and yet when it in it, I do what Peter says we shouldn't do and wonder "as if something strange has happened". I do think it strange! I guess this is also a sign of lacking in the faith department.

I also feel bad that I am like the doubting Israelites complaining when the going is less than rosy.

I know all this but do I KNOW IT know it? I feel such a rookie at the moment. If I struggle while the grass is green.

[details omitted]

I'm sorry if this is all over the place Bob. I am reeling at the moment as everyday brings bad news presently. ____ have already said that they feel as if they are already in hell. There have been days of late Bob, when I know that feeling only to well and yet the worst of our troubles, the tribulation, has yet to begin. It is sobering if not frightening now to think of how bad it will be, given how bad things already are and we aren't even there yet.

In Jesus,

Response #9:

It's no problem – I'm always glad to hear from you, even if your news this time is not so great.

I hope your health bounces back quickly (and will pray for that) and that you can nip this infestation in the bud quickly. Also that your sister will be OK – a bit of a miracle that it didn't kill her! Maybe it will get her attention and be God working out things for good. Your parents being "on the warpath"( as we politically incorrect types are wont to say over here) seems to be nothing new. The fact that your uncle is NOT sick in that facility when all around him seem to be is also a blessing.

So your are getting some serious flak – but it's not enough to blow you out of the sky. So "fly on".

The evil one is restricted as to what he can do to us. We know that for a fact. On the one hand, he would kill us all if he could in a New York minute – and that would be the end of the conflict with him winning. So he's not allowed to do that. Also, he is continually accusing us before the Father and the Son – trying to get permission to do more harm to us . . . meaning, as with Job, he needs that permission to do so. But we know that God NEVER allows us to be hit with anything that will destroy us or anything that will be more than we can actually bear (1Cor.10:13) – which of course is exactly in line with His perfect love and perfect character. So everything that DOES happen is absolutely part of the perfect plan of God . . . which has our perfect and best good in mind at all times.

We don't always see that when the flak is coming in fast and furious, of course. But we need to train ourselves and understand it and try not to take all this too personally. We are down here as representatives of Jesus Christ. The devil can't attack Him any more so he attacks us. And the Lord lets it happen for all manner of reasons, many of which we will not be privy to until after the resurrection – so we have to trust Him. For we do know that He loves us and that we are down here on a mission for Him, not for our own purposes.

It's very easy for believers, even good ones, even mature ones, to find themselves "upside down" on THAT point from time to time – it happens to us all. At such times when we are doing things like "asking why?" or bemoaning our lot, we need to remember that this is a war and that we are soldiers in it. It we are being given the opportunity to show our mettle, that is a positive and not a negative thing (link). And if we are reacting rather than responding, well, a good help to get our thinking back on track if we have been lurching over to the "life is what I make of it FOR ME" side of the road instead of hewing to the "I am only here for a short time for the glory of Jesus Christ" center of it. And when we come to the realization of where things really are for us, it's best just to straighten out and start flying right again, not worrying about the fact that we needed a minor course correction. That looking backward is never helpful. And oh what a glorious future is out there AHEAD of us, regardless of what lies behind.

(13) Brethren, I do not consider that I have already acquired it. This one thing only [do I keep in mind]. Forgetting what lies behind me [on the course] and straining towards the [course] ahead, (14) I continue to drive straight for the tape, towards the prize to which God has called us from the beginning [of our race] in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our dear, loving and faithful Savior.

Bob L.

Question #10:

Thank for such encouragement!

That has really lifted me! I realise that now that I am on my feet again and ready to fly on, I will humble myself to the Holy Spirit and take His lead. When I usually get back up, it is usually in the flesh. If I take the Spirit's lead, I am letting the Potter mould me into a vessel that He can use because I know that He resists the proud!

Someone once said (maybe Corrie ten Boom) that when she kneels to pray in the morning, she doesn't go to Him with a shopping list but reports in for duty. She also said "When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer."

He sent His only precious son to die for us when we were dead in sin, so how much more is He for us now!

I'll fly on now my friend!

In Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords,

Response #10:

I'm glad that you've put this together! Yes, it seems to me that this is a test you are getting. When there's no particular reason for some huge influx of divine discipline – we generally know when we've got THAT coming because it almost always comes close on the heels of whatever major failure initiates it – then we can be sure we're getting is not discipline but a test. Important at such times NOT to look WAY back in the past and attribute trouble to some sin long gone and long ago confessed; important also NOT to get upset and mad that this is happening "to us!"; BUT instead to remember that this is all temporary, that the plan is perfect, that God loves us, that He has only the best in mind for us, that all tests are always over, and that things go better when we trust the Lord – and the more we trust the better they go. As my dear dad always used to say, "everything is always over".

So you are handling this nicely!

Keep fighting the good fight, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Bob:

Here is an example of Satanic Persecution that would be applied to Christians instead of the Death Penalty in order to destroy their very Salvation:

"For the latter, the Pitesti experiment was invented (termed "re-education" by the Securitate). The most barbarous methods of psychological torture were applied to "recalcitrant" young prisoners, with the object of making them reciprocally humiliate each other, physically abuse each other and mentally torture each other. Victims were transformed into executioners; prisoners were tortured by their own friends, by their fellows in suffering. The purpose: "re-education" through physical and psychical destruction, the transformation of young people into atheists, into informers on their friends.

Examples of psychological torture: a) On Easter Night, prisoners who refused to make a total self-denunciation (to tell everything that they were supposed not to have declared during Securitate interrogations) are forced to take a "holy communion" of faecal matter; b) Those suspected of having concealed information about participants in anticommunist actions have their heads thrust by their torturers into chamber-pots full of urine; c) Prisoners are forced to spit in the mouth of their anticommunist leader, in order to force him to revenge himself by unmasking them; d) On Christmas Day, a prisoner is forced to go to stool on a bedpan, to "symbolise" the nativity of Christ, while the other political prisoners are forced to kneel and cross themselves before him.

"The delirious imagination of Turcanu [the head of the torturers - editor"s note] was unleashed above all when he was dealing with students who believed in God and who strove not to renounce their belief. Thus, some of them were "baptised" every morning: their heads were plunged into a bucket of urine and faecal matter, while those present chanted the rite of baptism. This went on until the contents of the bucket began to bubble. When the recalcitrant prisoner was on the point of drowning, he was pulled up, given a short respite in which to draw breath, and then submerged once again. One of those thus "baptised", to whom the torture was systematically applied, acquired an automatic reflex that lasted for some two months: every morning he would go and plunge his own head in the bucket, much to the amusement of the re-educators." - Virgil Ierunca, ibid.

Ultimately, the majority of those "re-educated" ended up by admitting that they deserved all manner of abjection and that they could only be partially rehabilitated, they themselves becoming the torturers of new inmates. For the slightest hesitation, they were subjected to torture once more.

This diabolical operation of depersonalisation and moral assassination commenced in December 1949 at the Pitesti Penitentiary, and was continued, at a lower intensity, at the Gherla and Targu-Ocna penitentiaries. The Pitesti experiment is regarded as unique in the panoply of methods designed to destroy the human person.  http://www.thegenocideofthesouls.org/public/english/the-pitesti-experiment/

If the Satanic Authorities put the great Saints of the Great persecution to death. Then it's Deliverance. But torture of this magnitude in order to make believers Atheist is an even worse fate.

Response #11:

Sounds a good deal like what is going on in the Xinjiang camps right this moment. Of course the targets there are Muslims.

I wouldn't worry about this sort of thing. The Lord is eminently capable of keeping us out of such situations – nothing ever happens in this world without Him allowing. And if He does allow us to undergo unspeakable torture, then you may be absolutely sure that He will also give us the grace to get through it – with our faith intact. The worst thing any believer can do in any situation is to imagine that it will escalate into something he/she cannot handle or that it will never end until he/she is consumed. For even if we are called on to endure martyrdom, then said martyrdom that the Lord allows us to undergo will be to the glory of Jesus Christ and result in a sure and certain eternal reward – as long as we stay faithful to the end. And we can rest assured that He will help us get through it and that it will not in fact be something we cannot handle – as the worse fears of our imagination and the goading of the evil one suggest (Daniel's three friends were thrown into the fire but we're not even harmed, let alone allowed to feel pain). So imagining HYPOTHETICAL situations we are NOT in fact facing or fearing things that are NOT in fact on the cusp of happening is merely to submit to the devil's tactics, of which fear and guilt are often the key ingredients.

John 21 - some abide some are martyred after the pattern of Peter and John - we have to go with our Lord's decision on the "what is it to you?"

In our dear Lord Jesus – from whom comes deliverances from death (Ps.68:20),

Bob L.

Question #12:

Dear Bob:

Thanks for the encouragement. Onto another question. I believe that when Mankind rebels at the end of the Millennial Reign. Why the Saints gathered at Jerusalem in the 1st place. Despite the fact that Jesus can easily order his servants to easily destroy the rebel armies thereby crushing the revolt.

What do you think?

Response #12:

Our Lord very often does things in ways that make the spiritual lessons very clear – even though He could have done it much more simply and quickly. Consider the exodus, how long it took, ten plagues before Pharaoh relented so that even Moses got frustrated (Ex.5:22-23). And then of course the Lord incited Pharaoh to pursue and instead of destroying him and his army immediately made the people of Israel wait by the Red Sea . . . until He parted it and led them safely through. Then He destroyed the enemy. In the process of all this, we get to see that the evil are truly evil and would never change if they had any say in the matter (Ex.9:16), and we also are shown who really trusts the Lord and is willing to wait on Him for deliverance and who is not.

In the case you ask about, the reaction of the population to Satan's temptation will demonstrate so much about the human heart and will reveal the true intentions of all. It will also be the ONE time that millennial believers can demonstrate their courage and faith under pressure – since otherwise the Millennium will be a time of perfect peace and prosperity:

"Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ "And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ "
Matthew 25:34-40 NKJV

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hello Sir,

My son is doing fine Sir, he is now 8 years old. He said he is going to start reading the Bible from today, he has already taken my old copy of the Bible. He is fighting thoughts of fear with prayers. I am able to spend more time with him as he has only online classes and hasn't started going back to school since March.

My wife is closer to believing in the Lord more than ever. The other day she met a Christian women at our shop who expressed a keen desire to pray for her salvation, and they are good friends now. This lady often comes to meet her and is looking for born again Christians for fellowship and Bible reading so I told her about Ichthys. She is the first believer I have met face to face since I started believing in the Lord. Both this woman and her husband have just shifted to our area as they lost their jobs in the previous city because of covid lockdown.

I was hoping to give you some good news about our financial situation, but I have none. Lord has made sure we have food on our table every day. One day at a time. one good thing is we did not get any nasty "surprises" because of this pandemic. It's been the same since and before lockdowns.

I have been praying for your strength both physical and spiritual.

In Him,

Response #13:

Hello my friend,

Eight! Wow! Time does fly by, doesn't it? Great news that he is reading scripture – and also wonderfully encouraging news about your wife! I'll be keeping them both in my prayers.

Praying also for things to go better for you, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Thank you so much, Bob. This was well-timed. (Thank you, Lord)

I’m sitting on our downtown porch. This is to be the last night in our home. Movers come tomorrow morning. We still have plenty of work to do here on the house, and there will be several days of clean-up and purging items and cleaning .... but tonight is the last night my family will sleep here. Bittersweet for sure.

We both know we desire land and a farm to raise our daughter. (I know we may not get much going before Trib begins). We were okay with the apartment when we thought we were getting the land and the apartment would simply be a quick stop-over while we were building. Now, with no land And no prospects, I’m feeling uncertain that this is the right move. But I think the Lord is asking me to trust him with this leap, this transition.

Thank you for the encouraging story from your friend, Bob.

I know I need to trust His plan for me and my family. Pray and Trust.

Thank you, as always, my friend.

Response #14:

Glad you found this helpful! I have another correspondent whose travails you've probably read about – they lost multiple bids in California and are now settling in Texas (they should have closed on their new home by now, but I'm still waiting to hear about that).

Yes, around here we calling moving "the M-word". If I never had to do it again it would be too soon (they'll probably have to take me out of this place feet-first).

Being human, it's difficult not to have second thoughts about all major decisions, but from where I sit, it sound to me as if you have the right attitude about all of this, my friend. So keep trusting the Lord – He will work it all out together for good . . . because you love Him.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

I feel compelled to offer this after reading about one of your correspondent's land problems. No. 6, I believe in "Eschatology Issues LII."

Before I was lead to my little patch of prairie, I prayed for fertile soil and reasonable water depths. (Around my neck of the woods, well depths are between 400 and 900 feet well below what an hand pump or windmill can manage. Most land is rocky.) I was lead to this place in the second year of my search. Sadly, I rejected it because I didn't like the looks of the lane entrance. I then looked and looked, putting in three offers and losing all. One even counter-offered with a 20% increase. I was about to give up after five years. This place was the last one on the market.

Rather than fold and cash in, I felt I needed to at least look. What I found looked like the answer to my prayers. Soil was good. (I should have prayed for guidance on how best to use it.) I put in an offer below what the owner was asking and he met me half way. I accepted. Later, when I had the well drilled, the driller hit water in the main aquifer at 120 feet. My prayers had been answered and I would have enjoyed this three years earlier if I had been quiet, listened and trusted more. Lesson learned.

As a side note, my place was the very last in a six or more county area with no restrictions on use. Within a couple of months, the price per acre nearly doubled and five years later, there has since been no equivalent on the market. In the intervening five years, land prices have risen to the point I would barely be able to afford twenty percent or less of the acres I bought.

So, I would encourage your correspondents to pray and to trust. The Lord was patient with me and waited out my bumbling and fumbling to grant my request and, given the subsequent rise in land prices, ensured my prayer was answered in a way I could afford. It's not possible this was dumb luck or skill on my part.

Share this with your correspondent or not as you see fit. The only real value is to say, "Trust in the Lord and don't give up or despair." In essence what you said. They're not the only ones who have gone through this and they're certainly not alone.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #15:

Thanks!

I've got my own story on that sort of thing too. I overpaid – WAY overpaid – on a mobile home as base of operations when I was getting my second degree in Illinois after the USMC. If I had been just a bit patient, I would have been a lot better off not only for the next few years but definitely when I went off to California to go to seminary thereafter with almost nothing left (on account of my poor decision). So there are consequences to going too fast as well as to going too slow. Trusting the Lord and listening to the Spirit is the commonality in all good decision-making – and we can all afford to get better at THAT! But God is gracious and merciful: He got me through it all even so and He worked things out for you even so. God is good!

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hello Bob,

I'm happy it was of some help. My first thought was nobody needed my war story but the Spirit kept urging me. I'm glad I listened.

All is well here on my little patch of prairie. I pray our friend finds his land and finds as much peace there as I've found here.

I hope all is well with you. You and yours are in my prayers daily.

In our Lord,

Response #16:

Thanks!

It's a blessing to this ministry and to those who access it that you ARE willing to share – and not take offense at having your good words shared.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Dear Prof, trusting God that you are doing ok, all things considered: health, academics and ministry. We keep praying for you.

I wish to thank you for the counsel you gave concerning politics. I took your counsel and generally switched off. In fact your advise came at the right time. I was not only minimally perturbed but was able to counsel others with the same counsel you counseled me. I was able to be detached from it all to a large extent and thus able to think clearly. In fact I saw what happened as an avenue to make some spiritual inroads into some people to help them. Even if the results are reversed later, it has helped to encourage myself and others to focus more on what is important now.

After that day of my speaking in the church, I noticed that the leaders have switched off and no one wants to go near the issues of the end times. Well the same God that opened the avenue will still open up other avenues, but I'm glad I was able to sow quite some seeds. Who knows when they will germinate. Maybe when I'm not there! As it is now.

Actually I'm with my daughter as she attends her special school (which is very far from my base). When I tell people that I'm enjoying God's mercy, many don't understand what I'm talking about. They look at the trouble I've got but I'm looking at Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. I'm so grateful to God for holding me with His hand of righteousness. Though it has not been easy. I recently was kind of getting fatigued but I encouraged and am still encouraging myself in the Lord. Rereading your letters to me and emails on Ichthys and communication with our friend have also been a big blessing to me. I pray to grow to where I will not faint in the day of adversity. My health too has not been as good but the Lord is helping me. I just need enough to do His will anyway.

Sir, please I want your opinion: Can you say we are in the period that both the wise and foolish virgins slumbered? If not, when will that be?

Dear Prof, once again thank God for you and Ichthys. Will keep praying for you and yours and Ichthys brethren. Thank you sir.

In Him who through faith and patience, we inherit the promise.

Response #17:

It's always a pleasure to hear from you, my friend. Your godly attitude and clear spiritual perspective is always so refreshing – and especially needful now when Covid and politics and all manner of lies and evil are souring things as never before, at least not in my lifetime.

Indeed, we have to find our joy in Jesus Christ and in all the glorious things to come. He will deliver. He will bring justice. He will reward all those who are genuinely following Him in the way He has ordained, to deny ourselves, pick our crosses, and follow Him wherever HE leads – not where we would rather choose to go. And if we are walking with Him, holding fast His right hand, we have nothing to fear whatsoever.

"Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

Please take care of your health. There are many odd things about this disease that make me wonder about it. The better rested we are, the better we can combat it no doubt. All "this" stress and trouble piled upon the actual dislocations and the normal stresses and problems of life make us somewhat more physically vulnerable, so please take pains to care for yourself, my friend – and to renew your strength in Him (as you are doing and helping others to do as well!).

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31 NKJV

So keep waiting on the Lord. He will make the righteousness of your cause blaze forth like the noonday sun (Ps.37:6).

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

In Jesus our powerful Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Dear Prof,

As usual you give me a shot of encouragement in the arm and I'm grateful. Thank you for the counsel and prayers. I will still however press you on the question I asked "Sir, please I want your opinion: Can you say we are in the period that both the wise and foolish virgins slumbered? If not, when will that be?" I know in the parable, the extra oil became functional when the bridegroom was announced (Matt 25:6 reminiscent of Rev 11:15) and they had to go into the darkness (great tribulation) using their light (faith) to withstand the onslaught (even unto death) by Antichrist to get to the Bridegroom (Matt 25:10 reminiscent of Rev 19:7). Would you say the period of slumber is now or the time of the first half of the tribulation or both? Why should the wise virgins sleep? (Thank God they were prepared). I know the answer from the parable but is there a deeper meaning? I always personalize these scriptures and that's the part of the parable that scares me! Will I slumber? What if I'm not prepared and then slumber?

Prof, I'm trusting in the Lord for every step and I know one will have the Spirits witness so it's not really worrying me but in my interaction with others, very, very few have meditated on all aspects of that parable and have "bombarded" me!

Waiting on your answer sir.

Thanx again.

Response #18:

It's always my pleasure!

As to the parable of the ten, when it comes to parables, not every single element is meant to have great significance. That is a common mistake made in the interpretation of parables. We might well ask from this if only women will be saved? Or will only virgins be saved? Or must we be in close contact with a like number of unbelievers to be saved? Or if we aren't paying money for our "oil" are we lost? One could go on . . . and some interpreters DO go on . . . and on and on and on. The point of the parable is to have enough oil in the lamp to make it through the night. Application: be prepared for the Tribulation by making sufficient spiritual preparations. That is what the parable means. The fact that they fall asleep – all of them – is merely to demonstrate that the night is long enough for that to happen, and in the parable to allow for a situation where the five didn't realize they were running short of oil until it was too late. We don't want to be in that boat, so we are making spiritual preparations now.

In short, you are doing things exactly the right way, my friend! Look to the scripture with confidence in the Lord and do not allow this or that verse which, on first perusal, may in your deepest fears seem to condemn you. Believe me, the devil is VERY good at using guilt and fear to throw stumbling blocks in the way of believers, even advanced and advancing ones. I do commend you seeking out the truth on this point in a godly way. I cannot tell you how many over the years have come to this ministry completely distraught over this passage or that which they imagined condemned them when all the time they should have been trusting in the Lord to give them an answer – and even after they get it, they often won't accept it. So I praise the Lord for you, my friend!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily – and as always thanks so much for yours as well.

In Jesus Christ our faithful Savior.

Bob L.

Question #19:

My dear Prof,

Thank you for the prompt answer! I'm ok with what you wrote. Please permit (and pardon if applicable) my ramble:

Usually in the parables we can't take them literally but as representative of something Christ is trying to point out or else one would have concrete thinking (as a child does) as opposed to abstract thinking (correctly as adults). Even the use of money to purchase the oil (in my view) is representing the fact that: for you to purchase, you must work and the work you must do here is spiritual preparation which, my dear Prof, is a lot of work! The more the preparation, the more oil (faith) accrues to your account (not that you have to go and buy faith!), but one must be totally committed/devoted to spiritual preparation in growth and production. Though I like reading scriptures, I discovered i must fight -tooth and nail- to ensure consistency. I fail in that sometimes but I have to get right back up especially when I think of how little time there is, how slow I can be on the uptake and I don't want to be like the foolish virgins! And there's always the "little" matter of not wanting to disappoint God and my Prof! I'm not looking for motivation!

Anyway that last part was in the lighter mood (though serious). (I know from your writings that you have a healthy sense of humor!) You and our friend are my outlets for thinking aloud sometimes and I better think aloud to my teachers so that I can be corrected! Thank you sir for being there for me. Such a comfort that God gave me!

In Him

Response #19:

I like your "oil application" – that is an example of something directly related to the parable and to the point of it; my issue is with interpreters wringing their hands over "furniture" that is just there for the story to "work".

It's a pleasure to have you as a brother in Christ – and as a friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I have a comment on the above-referenced verses and would like your comments on it.

Isaiah 14:12-17.
“ 12“How you have fallen from heaven,
O star[Lucifer, as if he was] of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
13“But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars[angels] of God, Dan. 8:9-10.
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
14‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’ Compare to: Genesis 3:5.
15“Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,Luke 10:18.
To the recesses of the pit.

1. Since these scriptures have already taken place, did this happen in the pre-adamic world and is the reason for the earth becoming formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep, all because Satan having inhabited this world and made it so. This looks like it is referring to pre adamic age.

Thanks again for your comments:

Blessing to you always,

Your friend,

Response #20:

Yes, this passage is historic, but also prophetic. It refers both to the fall of Satan which occurred within the Genesis gap, and also to his being cast down to earth at the Tribulation's endpoint. We see multiple applications of many prophecies in scripture, and this one is a prime example.

Hope you and yours are getting along fine, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dear Brother Bob,

Congratulations on completing your Bible Basics series! I’ve been meaning to congratulate you earlier but have been a bit busy doing work from home. As you know, for several years now, Ichthys remains my sole source of spiritual instruction, apart from Scripture itself. I pray for you, Ichthys and our brethren and am glad to hear that you tested negative for COVID twice. Also that you are coping with some health and job-related challenges.

Thanks to your prayers and also that of our brethren, I am doing fine and have kept sane after staying home almost 24/7 daily since March. The Lord has blessed me and my family with the protection and resources we need for this pandemic (online shopping included) and even before that.

I will continue praying for you, Ichthys and our brethren.

Just an update, I am keeping up with the spiritual growth offense as best as I can and trusting the Lord in all these. Doing some re-reading of Peter Series. Also, studies you reference in your email postings. Sometimes I get too absorbed in the referenced studies that it takes me more than a day to finish the weekly email postings.

Now reading Special Revelation portion of Bibliology. Congratulations again my dear teacher! Please do keep safe and take care of your health always. Stop, look, listen and watch out for those buses you often mention.

In Jesus our Dear Lord and Savior,

Response #21:

It's a pleasure to hear back from you, my friend.

Thanks much for your congratulations! I'm very happy to hear that you are doing well in spite of all the troubles, and also that you are continuing with spiritual growth in an aggressive way. Good for you! That is the kind of "absorption" we all need!

I certainly am also finding that the "working from home" portion of my job here in the states (I also go in three or more days a week) has turned out to be a lot busier and more onerous that being able to leave everything down on campus. I for one will be overjoyed to get back to "normal" . . . if that ever happens.

Keeping you in my prayers every day, my friend!

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Brother Bob,

Thanks for your continued prayers and for your labor of love in Ichthys for our Lord, to feed us, His sheep, with solid food. I continue to have my fill through your studies, taking advantage of work-from-home during this pandemic. Feasting on Bibliology now, in addition to my re-readings.

Congratulations and my thanks once again. Keep safe, my dear teacher and brother.

In Jesus our Dear Lord and Savior,

Response #22:

Thank you!

Question #23:

Ok thanks for the clarification on Matthew 24:1-2. Why does Jesus use these verses then to point forward to the end times if they were to be exclusively filled in the contemporary term rather than the near term + the long term (the characteristic of prophetic foreshortening)?

In your pre-trib rapture rebuttal you cite 1 Thessalonians. However your description of the chapter is opposite to what we discussed.

In your description of 1 Thessalonians you say ... "1st Thessalonians 5:1-11: In the chapter immediately following Paul's supposed discussion of the pre-tribulation rapture, the Thessalonian believers are told not to worry about the exact time of future events (v.1), for "the day of the Lord" (i.e., the 2nd Advent) will come "like a thief in the night" (that is, without warning)."

But in 1 Thes 5:4 we agreed that Paul does establish that contrary to the world the Thessalonians do know the timing of the resurrection because they do know that the apostasy and the lawless one have to come first so it will not come upon them like a thief in the night. Even accounting for your wording "exact" it still goes against the grain of what Paul is saying -- he is setting up a contrast of not-knowing among unbelievers and knowing among believers so that for one group Jesus will come like a thief for one group and not like a thief for believers. I was under the impression that verse 1 means that Paul has already told them about the progression of the "times and seasons" (i.e the information repeated in 2 thes 2) and should not need to tell them again rather than you description above: "told not to worry about the exact time of future events" and will come "without warning"

Please help me with this one because it has great import because I cannot see both interpretations being right especially when this is so important to get Acts 1:7 correct as well.

In our Lord

Response #23:

I'm back up online with email again – but one of the side-effects of reconfiguration is that my replies are now at the bottom of the string – maybe I'll come to like this [fixed now].

As to "why?", 1) our Lord said what He said in Matthew 24:2 because the disciples were clearly impressed with the imposing nature of the structures in the prior verse, and they wouldn't exist in very short order (less than four decades later); 2) He then moves on to the end times because they clearly ask Him about that subject (confusing the near term events to come with the far away second advent related events):

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Matthew 24:3 NKJV

As to Thessalonians, I've heard that objection before but it's hard for me to credit:

1) Paul tells us about the resurrection (1Thes.4:13-18).

2) In doing so, Paul tells us that we know when it will take place – at the end of the Tribulation (1Thes.4:14-16).

3) And He tells us that while we know all about these things which comfort us (1Thes.5:1-2), unbelievers will be taken by surprise – because they don't have a clue about what is coming (1Thes.5:3).

Everything else seems to me to be reading things in here which don't actually occur. Just because we don't know the exact, precise "day or hour" of the second advent doesn't mean we won't be able to read the last part of the Tribulation "like a fig tree" and have a very good idea when the return is drawing near. We will – while unbelievers are not even thinking in these terms.

And as to knowing, well, the Lord Himself told us that the Spirit would be outlining those future events for us:

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."
John 16:13 NKJV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Hi Bob,

On 1 Thessalonians and the 3 points, yes I totally agree! I'm not posing an objection. I was trying to point out to you that your own description of the passage in the Peter series (3 false doctrines) contradicted your stance on this passage.

In your description of 1 Thessalonians you say ... "1st Thessalonians 5:1-11: In the chapter immediately following Paul's supposed discussion of the pre-tribulation rapture, the Thessalonian believers are told not to worry about the exact time of future events (v.1), for "the day of the Lord" (i.e., the 2nd Advent) will come "like a thief in the night" (that is, without warning)."

The Thessalonian believers are told not to worry about the timing of the return of Christ because it will not come like a thief in the night for them unlike the rest of the world.

In Jesus

Response #24:

I personally also "don't worry about the exact time of future events" either, and I don't see that as any sort of contradiction. If we find ourselves in the Tribulation, we will have a pretty good idea of when things will be happening with all scripture has to say about those seven years and the sequence of events therein. But if we survive the bulk of it and get to Jerusalem before Babylon is destroyed, we still won't know the "exact day or hour"; we'll have to read not the tea leaves but "the fig leaves" to know that it is close. We're not supposed to worry about anything, but the Thessalonians were being given false information and so they were worrying as a result because it would have been very disturbing – if true – and that is why Paul had to straighten them out in these two chapters (which probably should not have been divided when they were split up in the 17th century). But we today are very grateful that Paul was moved to explain all this because it is wonderful information and guidance for us to have today as well – and will be more so during the Tribulation.

So I'm scratching my head looking for a contradiction. If you still see one, do me a favor and approach this like one of my friends told me to do a while back: "Please explain this one like you were talking to an eight year old".

In Jesus,

Question #25:

Hi Bob,

I'm not in a good enough position of understanding to explain as if my audience were an 8-year old so let's just leave it, and move on if that's ok with you.

I have a question on the parable of the sheep and the goats. This parable has a lot of information that indicates it is speaking of the Great White Throne judgement.

However the one tricky verse is actually the first one when Jesus says Matthew 25:31 (NASB) 31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

The first half of this phrase makes it seem like it is speaking of the second advent.

Why do you think that initial part of the verse is in there? Is it because Jesus will go away for a short period to allow the gog and magog rebellion to occur?

In our Savior the Lord Jesus who is so good to all of us,

Response #25:

OK, no worries (happy to revisit that one if you want).

On Matthew 25:31, I understand it in the following way: "when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him (second advent) - [Millennium interpolated here] , then (i.e., at the Millennium's end) He will sit on His glorious throne . . . ". This sort of expression of eschatology, wherein future events are telescoped, is common throughout the Bible, especially prior to the coming of the Holy Spirit after which the Church Age commences and it is then explained in the epistles (link on that). Our Lord's contemporaries didn't even know about the Church Age (except to understand that there were things to come which didn't fit their model; cf. 1Pet.1:10-11).

When teaching, it is often not the best approach to try and teach everything at once and start putting in verbal footnotes (such as, "of course you know that the Millennium will come in between, and also the judgment of Israel on her regathering, not to mention also . . . ), and so the Bible is written as it is written (and not like some multi-volume academic history – praise God!).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

It's so good to hear from you. I've been meaning to email you about everything that's going on in the world, but I haven't because I hate to burden you with my troubles. I know you're busy at the University, and I'm sure many people have written to you about current events. I didn't want to contribute to you getting buried in even more work. I've been keeping my mouth shut lately in my personal life (probably for the best if I'm being honest) but I've been thinking a lot. I have a lot to say, and I would like your guidance on many things, so please forgive me in advance for the lengthy email.

My mom is well enough to stay home now. She has improved tremendously. A year ago, she was bedridden and constantly in and out of the hospital; but now she's able to walk (slowly and with the help of a cane) and can mostly take care of herself. She's lost a lot of weight, which has helped her overall health. The doctors say that her liver is stable for the time being. But just in case anything goes wrong, they've put her at the top of the list for a transplant if she ever ends up in the hospital for liver failure. Hopefully it never comes to that, but it's nice to know that she has that option if she ever needs it.

I couldn't be more grateful. It's an answer to prayer to see her happy, hopeful, and relatively (compared to a year ago) healthy.

As for me, I've been working at as a bank teller. I'm enjoying it so far. I don't care for their stance on most political issues ("woke-ism," virtue-signalling, and other faux-moral so-called "progressive" nonsense). I'm not fond of how people and most large corporations right now (including the one I work for) claim moral superiority by pandering to popular opinions. But so far I haven't been "cancelled" for my "dangerous far-right conservative" mindset (I don't characterize myself this way, but that is how the world would view me I suppose).

I don't look forward to whatever the future holds for Christians in the coming tribulation. I think maybe it was you that said, "Don't worry! It's all just going to get worse."

What crazy times we live in. I don't remember it being this bad when I was a child, but maybe I just wasn't mature enough to realize the evil going on around me.

It's been particularly disheartening for me to watch many of the people I grew up with drift further and further away from Christ. For instance, many of my peers have spoken up about their thoughts on George Floyd's death, and while I also believe his death was a tragic accident, I don't agree with the world's reaction to it at all. First of all, I don't know of any passage in the Bible where it says "thou shalt violently riot in response to social injustice." Secondly, I don't believe we are privy to all the facts of whatever happened between Floyd and the officers, nor is it wise for anyone to pass judgement on a situation that none of us even witnessed.

I'm discouraged at how many of my peers, some of whom even used to call themselves Christians, are condemning the church for not speaking up enough about racial issues. I will never belittle another person's (or race's) hardships. And I do believe that people discriminate based off of another person's race, sex, etc. But I believe that with the help of the Holy Spirit, and only with His help, is it possible to overcome our own personal biases. What's wrong with the world is not "racism." Our sinfulness is the problem. I'm not saying that racism isn't evil. But this world belongs to Satan, and no amount of rioting or protesting is going to solve anything. It's only the power of the Holy Spirit that can change people's hearts.

I normally try to keep quiet about racial issues when my peers bring them up. But my personal belief is that the devil will use racial tensions as a distraction in order to promote chaos and to possibly even "lead astray the elect." The greatest commandment is not "anti-racism." It's to love the Lord first, and the second is to love our neighbors as ourselves.

And there are a great many Bible verses commanding us to treat foreigners kindly specifically because the Israelites were foreigners (the minority) in Egypt. So that distrustful, racist attitude towards other people stems from our sinful natures.

Our citizenship is not of this world. As Christians, we are all foreigners in this world. The world is made up of Christians and non-Christians; it's not a racial issue. And for the church to make race the "greatest issue" is a mistake.

Racism is evil. But it is an evil that can only be overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit. That is what the church needs to say about this issue.

You know what else I find sad about the state of church in the US? Their shameful reaction to the government's COVID19 regulations. I'm like many of your readers on Ichthys in that I don't regularly attend a church anyway, but how can they justify themselves before God for this? "Do not forsake assembly of the saints" unless the government tells you not to? The abortion clinics are allowed to stay open, but not the churches? Rioting is safe, but attending church in person is too risky? It's as if the church and our nation no longer even pretend "in God we trust."

I think that John Macarthur was brave when he took a stand, but other churches have condemned his actions as rebellious. This makes me believe that they will be the first to take the mark of the beast, and they'll justify it by saying the state "told then to do it."

Maybe it's my rebellious sinful nature that's speaking here, but it doesn't sit well with me how compliant the church is. I'm not saying they should go out and riot in the street – far from that. But they should definitely take a stand like John Macarthur and continue to meet in spite of what the government tells them to do.

I haven't even talked about the insanity surrounding the recent presidential election. I'll save that for another day.

How have you been, Dr. Luginbill? How are things at work? How's your family?

In Him,

Response #26:

Thanks so much for the update – GREAT news about your mom! I have been praying for her so this is a real encouragement (will be keeping up the prayers). Good to hear too that you have found your way to gainful employment in spite of the trouble with your industry on account of Covid. There are problems with ALL employers. If you had gotten the other job, I think you might have found that evangelicals can be VERY intolerant as well (that has certainly been my experience). We give Caesar Caesar's due and save our best for the Lord, come what may.

I do think MacArthur's decision was courageous, but having seen a good deal of his teaching over the years, I'm also thinking that his flock might have benefited from a break (maybe some of them would have found Ichthys?).

As to the rest of your epistle, it reminds me of the 60's/70's. At that time, privileged young white people were also in the process of rebelling against authority and found their cause in peace vs. war (of course not wanting to go off to war personally had a lot to do with that). At that time, they proclaimed "peace!" with little regard for what dismantling the armed forces would mean; they attacked the military and spit on servicemen. Now, they're proclaiming "justice!" with little regard for what dismantling the police forces would mean; they attack them and spit on the police officers. In both cases, it "feels good" to be so "righteous" and have a "just cause". Being part of a mob is also very empowering (the Communists and Nazis knew all about that). But this time the difference is that this "cause" and the privileged young white people who have embraced it are making common cause with the powers that be – instead of being at odds with them. Or, better put, the powers that be (government bureaucracy, big tech, corporate America, the media, academia) are making common cause with them. That leaves the poor few in the middle who aren't the direct "beneficiaries" of the "cause" (although I used that word advisedly because this sort of "help" almost always does more harm than good in the end for the putative "beneficiaries"), and who also aren't benefiting from the deflection of the anger and energy of these elitist young people (which might otherwise be directed at them) . . . to be the targets; since, not being "part of the solution", WE must be "the real problem". This is very reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution in China. They just haven't brought out the dunce caps and reeducation camps yet – but give them time.

We Christians who see what is happening from a higher, biblical perspective understand that the evil one is behind all of this, of course, and getting the few dedicated Christians in Laodicea upset (or even persecuting them) is certainly a big part of all this (not to mention keeping some who might otherwise become motivated to seek the truth distracted from that primary goal). I think it's also clear that "all this" is certainly also laying the ground work for antichrist's takeover (just how that will happen, I certainly cannot say: see recent "Eschatology Issues" postings for some godly speculation on that).

For positive believers like yourself, it's never been more vital to emotionally dis-invest as much as possible from all this (total dis-investment is probably impossible while remaining "in the world": cf. 1Cor.5:10), and instead to focus as never before on spiritual growth, progress and production. We can see the truth of what is going on, but we need to remember that God sees it too – and more to the point that it couldn't be happening without Him allowing it and that He is allowing it for a purpose. The plan is perfect. We need to focus on our own tiny little part of it – and to the extent that there are so few believers who are doing what the Lord has called us to do, that is a very important part indeed. That is also the best approach for our own eternal blessing and present sanity – and the only way really to please Jesus Christ.

I'm bumping along (recent postings also give details on that – probably too many) – thanks for asking!

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

In Jesus Christ the One who is in total control of everything.

Bob L.

Question #27:

I appreciate your continued prayer. And thank you for your support with the job. I wish that it would've worked out, but they told me that they were going to place a preference on candidates who already live in the area since it was an on-call position. I think they would've hired me otherwise. It's too bad, because it seems like an honorable organization. But I will follow where the Lord leads me.

[details about the challenges for a Christian working in the prior industry omitted]

I need to follow your advice and emotionally deinvest from the world. But I'm having difficulty figuring where to draw the line between becoming a hermit and becoming friends with the world. I know I need to be somewhere in between. I've been leaning towards the hermit lifestyle lately mainly due to pandemic restrictions.

For Spiritual growth, I pray constantly, I read Ichthys every Saturday, I listen to the Bible or Alistair Begg's sermons in my car, and I have a daily NT and OT passage from Bible gateway conveniently sent to me email. On my "to read" list is your recently finished Bible Basics series. I also have been taking advantage of all the sermons that are available online now every Sunday. I know your opinion on most sermons, but I only listen to Bible teachers who pass the "sniff test."

I love reading the New Testament. It's much easier to understand than the Old Testament and it's much more positive and uplifting. I sometimes get frustrated when I read the Old Testament because it's so much more confusing. I get all the names mixed up... especially when it's like "And So-and-so of the Such-and-such tribe met with So-andSo of the Somethingites who was the son of This Other Guy" and then I'm lost. I know it's important because it provides historical context, and I know that everything in Gods word is profitable and is there for a reason. But sometimes it's so hard to follow! Am I a horrible person?

I also read the news too much. It doesn't help my emotional state, that's for sure. But I appreciate the comparison you made to the riots in the 60s and 70s. It's a helpful and ironically comforting reminder that there is nothing new under the sun. The same evils get repeated every generation as if they're making some great stand, but it's really just more of the same – and never outside of God's control.

I never cared for John MacArthur's teachings either, until he took a courageous stand. That's a good point ... they're probably better off without his teachings for a time. Ichthys is much better.

Thank you again for your prayers. I keep you in mine!

In Him,

Response #27:

Sorry to hear about the job. At least I'm sure you wouldn't have gotten the same sort of flak that occasionally came your way with the other employer. Still, evangelicals are "funny" sometimes (and not in a humorous way), so I have to say that I was concerned about it – they never contacted me, by the way (I certainly would have given you a rave review in any case).

There is a sweet spot somewhere between hermit and lover of the world. Hard to find sometimes, especially with all that is currently going on. Jesus told us to 1) "deny ourselves" – which to me means just that, namely, paying no attention to our emotional ups and downs caused by circumstances near or far and asking only what He wants us to do whether we "feel like it" at the moment or are "upset" or not; 2) "pick up our crosses" – importantly related to the former: He gave up His life for us and we need to be ready to do the same for Him at the drop of the hat (in response to Him, though clearly not anything like what He did); if we have that attitude, this world will of necessity mean less and less to us since we are ready to leave it behind any time to the glory of God; 3) and "follow Him" – meaning following in His footsteps of a leading a life which is devoted to the truth, asking what He wants from us and doing it, letting the Spirit guide us wherever He wants to take us and not resisting, getting "cracking" with what we have been placed in this world to do.

Genealogies are tough to read; what I try to remember when reading them: 1) as you say, it's in the Word for a reason; 2) how wonderful to have one's name memorialized in the Word for all eternity (but sometimes the opposite: e.g., Ezra 10:18ff.); 3) we too are "in the book" . . . of LIFE – and we're happy that the Lord is not speed-reading through that one! I also always advise everyone reading the Bible to spend rather more time on the NT than the Old (splitting up rather than reading through from front to back; see the link).

For what it's worth, I think your approach is fine. I think that I had asked our friend to send you an invite to the Ichthys' online group. Wondering if you ever got that. I'd be happy to ask to have another request sent if not and if it's still something you'd be interested in.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Thanks, Dr. Luginbill. Yes, I did get an invite. I keep up with their posts every now and then. I think they have a zoom meeting every Saturday that I've been meaning to attend, but something always comes up. Hopefully I can make it this weekend. They're a nice bunch. His posts are sounding more and more like yours. That's a good thing.

You're probably right about __ and pretty much any evangelical organization. I also applied at __ as a copyeditor, but then I learned that they're responsible for publishing the Left Behind Series and the New Living Bible translation. And if I recall correctly, __ was founded by Billy Graham, who's teachings were troubling. I think it's probably for the best that I didn't get either of those jobs.

The company I work for now has such backwards policies. I had to sit through a training session on "gender issues." It had a whole section on referring to a pregnant woman as a "pregnant person" because you don't want to assume their gender. I guess men can get pregnant now? Evolution works in mysterious ways.

My company has a very strict policy on mask-wearing. Which is fine; it's biblical to obey authority unless it goes entirely against God's word, so I don't disobey their rules. But I personally don't think that the science behind mask-wearing is conclusive. The CDC changes its mind about masks every few months. I keep my thoughts to myself though. But in a discipline that teaches that humans are descended from apes, masculinity and femininity are an illusion, abortion is not a heinous evil – I don't view it as infallible, as so many seem to do. I don't understand why the church doesn't raise more doubts. I hate being an outcast for doubting so-called "science," but I'm going to follow my conscience.

I had a childhood friend of mine recently get tested for COVID-19. Her test came back negative, but they told her that she still had coronavirus because of her symptoms. That makes me think that a lot of the "positive" cases are inflated. If the testing is faulty, and evidence for mask-wearing is still mixed, why does talking about that immediately get you flagged as a "conspiracy theorist" spreading false information? It makes me think that it's all about control...but I try not to say anything. Apparently you're trying to spread "misinformation" by daring to doubt the so-called "experts."

I'm trying not to get frustrated with it all. I know we live in a time where they call evil "good" and good "evil." I try to stay silent when these issues come up in my personal life, but it's hard to hide my distaste. And it's hard to be called "evil" for trying your hardest to live your life according to God's word... I know I shouldn't let what other people say get to me. I need to focus on pleasing the Lord, and I can't pay attention to what other people think or say about me. And I know that there are Christians in other countries who have it a lot worse than I do. I keep trying to remember that "loneliness" is hardly the worst persecution Christians can face.

I'm trying to focus on my eternal reward.

I know that I'm blessed because I live with my family who are Christians. But I hate having to live at home. Sometimes it feels like they're condescending towards me as the "weaker vessel," but I know that they love me and (more importantly) they love the Lord. I think this is where I'm meant to be for now. I'm not happy with it, but I'm trying not to "resist" wherever it is the Lord wants me to be. I'm going to keep praying for guidance.

In Him,

Response #28:

Oh, okay – just wanting to make sure (thanks for the update).

Yes, as mentioned in postings at one point or another, I have seen and known of evangelical organizations being less gracious, less fair, and exceptionally more self-righteous in their dealings with employees than secular ones. Besides, who knows what opportunity the Lord won't open up for you going forward?

"Pregnant person" is a new one for me (pretty funny)! I suppose all that is coming my way too – or maybe I just haven't noticed; we are into self-selected "pronouns" now . . . which I thought I understood since grade school but now I'm not so sure. I find myself talking with people less and less – and more circumspectly.

The whole Covid thing has been "interesting" indeed. Despite rolling my eyes, like you, I follow the rules (mostly). I'd like to make it as difficult as possible for them to fire me if they ever have the inclination. And what you say about science becoming a new religion is certainly true – just as technology has become the new "magic". They don't suffer heretics well (here I am keeping my mouth shut again). It does make one long for the Lord's return and comeuppance that is coming . . . and the resurrection AND the reward – Amen!

It's never easy, being home. That probably never changes. In her 90's my blessed mother (whom I dearly loved and who was good to me beyond expression) was still occasionally recalling things I did as a teenager – over half a century later. To some extent, the impressions of those we grew up with never changes. But God knows "who we are now" and He deals with us on that basis – praise the Lord!

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Need help with rev !!:13 – the 7,000 killed. It looks like either non believer or demonic are killed. Is this 7,000 part of satan's locust army.

Any insight would much help

Response #29:

Good to hear from you.

There is no indication from the Greek text that these individual are demons or demonic – but you are probably correct that they are unbelievers.

This earthquake, taking place right after the departure of Moses and Elijah, that is, right at the Tribulation's mid-point, will occur just before the Jewish believers flee to the desert, and we are no doubt to understand that the disruption it causes will be instrumental in helping them escape (more about that at the link).

By the way, I also wanted to let you know that "Bible Basics 7: Bibliology: the Study of the Bible" has recently been posted (at the link).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Hi Bob,

I just wanted to thank and congratulate you for BB7! As always I remain amazed by your dedication to the Lord and for the wonderful 'food' you are serving to us sheep. I have been praying that our Lord will keep us all safe through every obstacle and deliver us from/through every affliction or trouble that has and will be heading our way. I notice from the weekly emails that we're all getting pummeled in one way or another. The anxiety from "all this" can disrupt us so easily, yet we know that in the end all things will work out for good ( Rom. 8:28). I'm truly grieved by all that my brothers and sisters in Christ are enduring, but I also know that as long as we don't faint the ultimate victory will be won. I found some peace today by reading Phil. 4:4-13.

BTW, Bob , how's the knee, eye, back/hip, and other issues going? These afflictions can bring us 'down', but I pray that you are gaining and moving forward, with our Lord's help. I know, after coming through my last 'battle' with cancer, that I am immensely grateful to the Lord along with all the prayers from you and others. Presently I'm recovering from my old shoulder and hip/back issues (never a dull moment, I guess!). Anyway I did manage to get the squash and beets harvested and roto-tilled the ground, which no doubt led to the aggravated condition. On another note, Bob, I had a chat today with one of my sons, and I was able to bring up Bible study with him, whereupon I gave him your site address. I was pleasantly surprised and thank the Lord for the opportunity. He is presently out in the 'weeds' but with God all things are possible. He asked me where to start, so I would like you to let me know, so I can let him know. Thank you. Your friend in Jesus,

Response #30:

It's grand to hear from you!

Great insights here. Yes, we are getting "pummeled" at present, but I'll bet it's more like the "pummeling" of basic training as opposed to the actual shot and shell of combat. Not to minimize what any of us are going through, but I do suspect that once the Tribulation begins we may look back to this disruption as "the good old days". In any case, it is certainly good training for us to get into the habit of looking to Jesus Christ and maintaining our eternal perspective – otherwise we would be tempted to go nuts (like the rest of the world seems to be doing).

I am doing better on all fronts – thanks for asking. I'm hoping for the knee, which is doing a glacially slow mend but is noticeably better week by week, to be able to tolerate some very slow jogging by the end of the month (we shall see); the eye is pretty much back to normal, and the psi-joint a minor "carking care" at this point.

Glad to hear that the crops have come in well! It must be quite satisfying to grow your own food. I certainly admire that. So your "food" comment is all the more appreciated coming from someone who knows just how hard that is to do.

Great news about your son! I'll put him on my prayer list (your daughter is certainly there). Keeping you two in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #31:

Very good to hear "things' are getting better. Ah, yes, 'the good ol' days'. That gave me a chuckle! As far as the raising of the food situation goes I didn't want you to get the idea that we're totally self sufficient in that dept. It's more of a hobby, though certainly a beneficial one. Perhaps when that "black horse' shows up it might become more than a hobby! BTW the garden did well this past summer, and ditto for the fruit trees and berries. I thank the Lord for all this. He sure is good to us! Thanks for your prayers on all fronts. Keeping you in prayer also. Your friend in Jesus, the One who loves and cares about us the most,

Response #31:

Well . . . quite a hobby to have all this in train! The day may come when this is more than that. Growing up in rural NH on a farm during the depression, my mom always used to say that they and everyone else around were terribly poor – but they always had plenty to eat.

How much more will that not always be the case for all for whom it is true that "the Lord is my portion" (Lam.3:21-25).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #32:

Amen, that's for sure! Similar situation for my mom in rural western Pa. and my dad in western Wa. state. I've always appreciated the way they made things work out even though we were not well off monetarily. Their example helped me also to 'plow' through life and be grateful for having the basic needs met. I'll never forget the love that we shared and the way that we cared when we're gone, long gone. Have a good evening, Bob. Your friend in Jesus,

Response #32:

Thanks!

Question #33:

Hi Bob,

I hope you had a good weekend and managed to get some rest. I'm praying for your correspondent's relatives who are unwell with Covid and for those you have mentioned to me as well.

[omitted]

Thank you for your prayers for me and my family. Keeping you and yours in mine too.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Saviour

Response #33:

I just received this from our friend: "Wonderful news! Prayers have been answered! __ has been moved from intensive care to a regular ward to recover. She seems to be out of danger now and is getting stronger! Please pray for her continual recovery." So your/our prayers are being answered!

I'm thrilled to hear about your daughter (like you, a bit perturbed that she is sallying forth so soon again, however), and I'm glad to hear that you are still testing negative. I hear you about the stress. I think people everywhere are WAY more stressed than usual, and you know that has to be a contributing factor. Also, I have experienced and I have noticed / heard of many others too experiencing strange symptoms and then they go away. Makes you wonder if there aren't mild cases of this weird disease which don't give positives. It seems to be some hybrid bug and possibly mutating too. So just because you got a negative test doesn't mean you haven't been wise to back off and take care of yourself.

Thanks for all your good words and encouragement as always, my friend! I'm also happy to hear that isolation hasn't been a horrible ordeal for you (yet); it would have been a disaster for me at the moment. Two more weeks and it won't matter again until January. So thanks for those prayers too! I also appreciate your application of the truth to all that you're going through. We all need to get better at that. No doubt that's part of the reason the Lord is allowing all "this" to be happening. Good training.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #34:

Hi Bob,

That's great news about our friend's aunt! Thank you for letting me know. I will continue to pray for her and for the rest of the family too.

I'm so grateful for everyone's prayers for us too.

[details about undue harassment at work not following precisely arbitrary CV rules in order to comfort a co-worker omitted]

I thank the Lord too that you've managed to avoid isolation. I'm SO looking forward to you reaching Thanksgiving!

The Lord is looking after us all - it's a bumpy ride but He's holding our hand and bringing us safely through.

We'll keep "lobbing" those prayers up for everyone!

Your friend in Jesus

Response #34:

Thanks for the report?!

I think this all certainly proves that the reaction to the virus is in many cases far worse than the bug itself. I certainly don't want to minimize the damage it is doing and could potentially do physically, but it seems to me that the psychological damage – and the moral damage – we are doing to ourselves has been far worse and is going from worse to worse. Three cheers for your daughter who did the right thing and did not let herself be browbeaten into submission for doing the right thing. What are these crazy rules, anyway, the Gospel? I think not. They are not even legitimate Laws. They are made up rules, concocted by bureaucrats who never even gave the time of day to thinking about the ramifications or how they would play out in the real world in real life – and they are turning us all into STASI informants. Honestly, could life in East Germany have been much worse? No reeducation camps yet . . . but. Anyway, I certainly hope that I would have been "stand up" like your daughter in a similar situation – and I would not be inclined to apologize. I also have to admit to a certain bout of amnesia coming on in regards to anyone I may have been in contact with in case a "tracer" should call me up.

Praise the Lord for you too and for your godly perspective on all this. Without a few Christians out there who have not "drunk the Kool-Aid", I think I would go bonkers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #35:

Hi Bob,

Thanks so much for your support and kind words and prayers for my daughter and me. She's had a MUCH better day at work today and is much happier too. She's had a lot of support and encouragement from a colleague she gets on very well with which has really helped her.

Like you say - all these rules are not even legitimate Laws and in some places of work impossible to carry out 100% of the time. All we can do is our best.

I've served my time - my fourteen days are up and I'm being released tomorrow! Going by the test and trace rules I could go back to work next week and come into contact with a member of staff or a patient who tests positive for Covid and then that's me locked up again for another fourteen days. If one member of staff at work tests positive then there's a strong possibility they'd have to shut the whole practice down for two weeks. My boss has already said that this is a big worry for him. I do understand what they're trying to do and the importance of trying our best and doing our bit to protect ourselves and others but I've also seen how the whole test and trace thing can cause chaos to workplaces and people's lives as well. It's very tricky.

You're right that people are WAY more stressed than usual. We've noticed in work a huge increase in patients coming in with pain in their jaw or facial muscles or headaches and all kinds of other symptoms that are being caused by them clenching or grinding their teeth. They do this when they're stressed and often don't even realise they're doing it. Some people do it in the day and most in their sleep at night. I keep thinking there seems to be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth going on here right now let alone you know where. We give patients night guards to wear over their teeth at night which are specially made in the lab to fit their teeth exactly and it helps to reduce the pain. Some patients come back needing a new one because they've chewed right through the old one!

But while the government is frantically trying to control the spread of this virus by trying to control what people do - we who love the Lord and belong to Him know that HE is in full control of everything and that we have absolutely nothing to worry about. They say this vaccine could be the "answer to their prayers" and they put their hope in a vaccine. I put my hope and trust in the Lord and He has brought healing and strength to my daughter when she had the virus and to me when I was struggling with my health. He has provided our every need throughout all of this so far and I know He will continue to because He is faithful. My faith is stronger through believing His Word and seeing His answers to our prayers.

So I thank Him for this training in preparation for the harder times to come. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . . (Romans 8:28). It doesn't matter what is going on around us in this world or how hard things get for us personally and for the ones we love - we just have to hold His hand tightly and He is right there with us leading us safely through.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Saviour

Response #35:

Congratulations on your "getting sprung", my friend! Here's hoping you don't end up back in quarantine any time soon. The rates are rising here in the US (and in KY) as well. All very annoying. But I did have a little better attendance today (would be hard to be any worse than it was Monday). Next week is a full week and then things are easier. I'm essentially done with my committee work and I plan to knock out my last three exams tomorrow. Looking forward to a bit of a break . . . and I definitely do NOT need to be spending it in isolation (so I'll be very careful about answering the phone for the duration).

Glad to hear that your daughter has taken this all in stride – she has a good example of that from her mother. Interesting observations about your patients too. Stress comes out in all sorts of interesting ways, most of them not good. But as I'm becoming fond of saying, this is all good practice for believers. The more we can learn to let all this roll off of us like water off a duck's back, remembering that the Lord has it all in hand, the happier we will be now and also the better prepared for what is soon to come.

Thanks also for your wonderful testimony to the power of faith! We believe and have our prayers answered and as we grow all of that swirls around in an ever ascending virtuous circle as we grow closer and closer to the Lord as a result. What a blessing not only to experience that ourselves but see it also in our fellow believers who are likewise fighting the good fight! Encouraging and being encouraged in turn through the truth – that is what the Christian life is all about.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.
 

Question #36:

Dear Professor

Hope things are settling/going to settle down for you shortly, on all fronts. Your health wise, work load and 'poly tickle' (once a President is settled in the house).

We are doing well here as far as Covid 19 is concerned. Victoria bumped up the national statistics, claiming 8/9ths of the death toll. Now new case numbers are next to zero in all states, the travel restrictions have been mostly lifted. You just need to download an app if you go interstate and re-enter WA. (Don’t need an app to leave the state). No isolation required except for Victorians and NSW’s who can self isolate here 14 days. Of course we have had no travel restrictions in WA for most of the covid episode.

Be interesting what happens now the borders are relaxed. For Australia, at least, 907 deaths from covid are considerably less than our normal seasonal flu toll of thousands. I suppose another reason to be called the “lucky country” (so far).

Downside of overseas travel ban for Australians, is that a few years ago my son and I went to a place in WA for a break for 3 days and hardly met a soul in the town. Now my wife would like to go, the place is packed to the rafters with WA and interstate visitors and we will be crammed into a small spot in a caravan park. Great place to share germs.

So things are going pretty well in Oz - on the temporal front. Still can’t get enough Aussie dole recipients to work and the government is bringing in people from the South Pacific islands to pick the crops to keep us fed. We were close to going hungry - or at least paying exorbitant prices. A bit late for some producers who already haemorrhaged cash for want of workers. I hope there are some shop assistants still working in our holiday town. Some of the work is normally done by overseas backpackers, who are prevented from entering at the moment. The German woman I wrote to you about some time ago, was one of these backpackers and worked as a shed hand on a shearing team. Can’t get nearly enough shearers either. Would you believe our unemployment rate is still very high but coaxing them off the couch hasn’t worked, despite the cash incentives and retention of their dole money to boot. In this country, “Wouldn’t work on an iron lung” used to be a term reserved for the odd person who worked hard at not working.

Our son and some of his mates are working at the grain bins, a couple of hours away from here. He didn’t come home on his last day off - had a sleep in there instead. By the time he drives home after work and sleeps in the next day, it’s time to drive back again, so he just stayed there. They do work long days there except for when rain interrupted the harvest.

Will do a little report on our meeting last night, next email. This one was meant to only be about the chart. Keeping you and your wonderful Ministry in my prayers. Thank you for your diligent attention to it. Blesses us immensely.

In Jesus our Savior.

Your student

Response #36:

Good to hear that you are well and that your area not much affected at present. Like most bugs, it seems to do better in the fall and winter with more inside contacts, so I certainly hope that things will not get any worse and the spring rolls along down there quickly.

Things are quit up in the air over here. I'm pretty confident that the university will not try to go to a shut-down this semester since tomorrow starts the last full week. We had already planned not to come back in person after Thanksgiving; I only meet with my students on the Monday of that week and it's for admin purposes only and no teachings, so if I can get through this Friday, it's all pretty much "in the bank" [Monday ended up being cancelled]. No one in my immediate network has contracted the virus as of yet (it is admittedly a very small group) but the numbers are way up in KY [multiple students now have come down with it, several hospitalized]. One hopes things will calm down before the start of next semester – we do go back a little late so there is time for things to get better (or worse). Can't even contemplate the prospect of an online only semester next spring.

I don't know for certain, but I have a feeling that our "dole" is a good deal less generous than yours – normally. They did enhance it in some of the bills passed earlier this year (and some businesses were complaining that they couldn't get people to come back as they were making more than they'd be earning from working), but that stuff has all run out and I don't see it getting reinstated (unless the dems win both seats in Georgia in the January runoffs). I'm just SO grateful to the Lord to have a job through all this! All things considered, the semester didn't go too badly – of course it's not over yet. Got through my chairing of the personnel committee in good shape. Still a few minor things hanging out there, but I'm looking forward to NOT being on it in the spring (my "pound of flesh" for volunteering to head it up when no one else was willing). Looks to be a "hunkered-down" holiday season here – fine by me as that is my normal SOP in any case. People are getting weird. Walking today (knee still not quite up to jogging) we had a front coming through and 40mph wind! But that didn't stop one fellow from wearing a mask while he took his constitutional (!).

*Great report about your Bible teaching, my friend! It is a great blessing from the Lord to have any group of Christians willing to sit there and hear the truth – and from your report and from you materials it is clear that you gave them just what they needed, and plenty of it! I'll certainly be keeping you in prayers for this going forwards.

In Jesus Christ, the Chief Shepherd of the sheep.

Bob L.

Question #37:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

It’s good to hear from you. It’s been quite a year. Given all that is going on in our nation (the pandemic, the insane push toward socialism, violence, the economic shutdown, social unrest, fear-mongering, political strife, dishonesty of the fake-news mainstream media, censorship by tech giants and social media outlets, freedom-ending Draconian measures and laws, the push toward globalism , and natural disasters), I hope that all is well with you you and your family.

Can the rapture of the church, which is imminent, be sooner than we think? As the Bible’s timeline tells us, first there will be a one-world government, a ten-ruler confederacy, and finally the global ruler ship of the Anti-Christ. Even so, come, LORD Jesus!

Thank you for the update. I really appreciate it. I look forward to reading it. May God continue to protect, shine His light, and bless you, your family, and ministry.

Regards,

Response #37:

Nicely summarized. Though I have to admit I felt like I needed a nap after processing it.

As to your question, I think if you read into the site a bit more, you'll get the answer to that. Simply put, the resurrection of the Church happens AFTER the Tribulation, and not before (see the link which will lead to many more). But rest-assured that we will know when the Tribulation has begun:

Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
Revelation 8:5 NKJV

Worldwide events – hard to miss, I should think.

As to how much happens BEFORE the Tribulation begins, I think it's fair to say that we are seeing the groundwork being laid right now, but it's difficult to judge the timing from that: some of these trends have been in train for a very long time on the one hand, and, on the other, events will move at break neck pace once the Tribulation does begin, so there's nothing that absolutely has to happen before the fact – and no prophecies to fulfill before the events in the verse cited above take place.

For a consideration of the likely timing, see the link:  When will the Tribulation begin?

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

 

 

Ichthys Home