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Question #1:

I very rarely send anything with the comment, MUST READ! However, this is one of those extremely rare exceptions. It could justifiably be subtitled, REALITY CHECK TO THE WESTERN CHURCH

Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church - CHINA

Today, December 09 2020, marks the two-year anniversary of the raid on Early Rain Covenant Church, in which Chinese authorities jailed more than 50 members and detained dozens more. Although most of these Christians have since been released, Pastor Wang Yi and Elder Qin Defu remain in prison. Pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to nine years and Elder Qin Defu to four. Other church members continue to suffer threats and harassment by authorities as they are still officially forbidden from meeting together. Please pray for this church and for their families, as they bear this reproach for the sake of Christ. Below is the letter Pastor Wang Yi wrote to be published at his arrest. May his words continue to encourage and convict us.

My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience:

On the basis of the teachings of the Bible and the mission of the Gospel, I respect the authorities God has established in China. For God deposes kings and raises up kings. This is why I submit to the historical and institutional arrangements of God in China.

As a pastor of a Christian church, I have my own understanding and views, based on the Bible, about what righteous order and good government is. At the same time, I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the Church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience. But changing social and political institutions is not the mission I have been called to, and it is not the goal for which God has given his people the gospel.

For all hideous realities, unrighteous politics, and arbitrary laws manifest the Cross of Jesus Christ, the only means by which every Chinese person must be saved. They also manifest the fact that true hope and a perfect society will never be found in the transformation of any earthly institution or culture but only in our sins being freely forgiven by Christ and in the hope of eternal life.

As a pastor, my firm belief in the gospel, my teaching, and my rebuking of all evil proceeds from Christ’s command in the Gospel and from the unfathomable love of that glorious King. Every man’s life is extremely short, and God fervently commands the Church to lead and call any man to repentance who is willing to repent. Christ is eager and willing to forgive all who turn from their sins. This is the goal of all the efforts of the Church in China – to testify to the world about our Christ, to testify to the Middle Kingdom about the Kingdom of Heaven, to testify to earthly, momentary lives about heavenly, eternal life. This is also the pastoral calling that I have received.

For this reason, I accept and respect the fact that this Communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily. As the Lord’s servant John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.

At the same time, I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the Church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian Church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws.

But this does not mean that my personal disobedience and the disobedience of the church is in any sense “fighting for rights” or political activism in the form of civil disobedience, because I do not have the intention of changing any institutions or laws of China. As a pastor, the only thing I care about is the disruption of man’s sinful nature by this faithful disobedience and the testimony it bears for the Cross of Christ.

As a pastor, my disobedience is one part of the Gospel commission. Christ’s great commission requires of us great disobedience. The goal of disobedience is not to change the world but to testify about another world.

For the mission of the Church is only to be the Church and not to become a part of any secular institution. From a negative perspective, the Church must separate itself from the world and keep itself from being institutionalized by the world. From a positive perspective, all acts of the Church are attempts to prove to the world the real existence of another world. The Bible teaches us that, in all matters relating to the Gospel and human conscience, we must obey God and not men. For this reason, spiritual disobedience and bodily suffering are both ways we testify to another eternal world and to another glorious King.

This is why I am not interested in changing any political or legal institutions in China. I’m not even interested in the question of when the Communist regime’s policies persecuting the Church will change. Regardless of which regime I live under now or in the future, as long as the secular government continues to persecute the church, violating human consciences that belong to God alone, I will continue my faithful disobedience. For the entire commission God has given me is to let more Chinese people know through my actions that the hope of humanity and society is only in the redemption of Christ, in the supernatural, gracious sovereignty of God.

If God decides to use the persecution of this Communist regime against the Church to help more Chinese people to despair of their futures, to lead them through a wilderness of spiritual disillusionment and through this to make them know Jesus, if through this He continues disciplining and building up His Church, then I am joyfully willing to submit to God’s plans, for His plans are always benevolent and good.

Precisely because none of my words and actions are directed toward seeking and hoping for societal and political transformation, I have no fear of any social or political power. For the Bible teaches us that God establishes governmental authorities in order to terrorize evildoers, not to terrorize doers of good. If believers in Jesus do no wrong then they should not be afraid of dark powers. Even though I am often weak, I firmly believe this is the promise of the gospel. It is what I’ve devoted all of my energy to. It is the good news that I am spreading throughout Chinese society.

I also understand that this happens to be the very reason why the Communist regime is filled with fear at a church that is no longer afraid of it.

If I am imprisoned for a long or short period of time, if I can help reduce the authorities’ fear of my faith and of my Savior, I am very joyfully willing to help them in this way. But I know that only when I renounce all the wickedness of this persecution against the church and use peaceful means to disobey, will I truly be able to help the souls of the authorities and law enforcement. I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the Church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.

Moreover, I must point out that persecution against the Lord’s Church and against all Chinese people who believe in Jesus Christ is the most wicked and the most horrendous evil of Chinese society. This is not only a sin against Christians. It is also a sin against all non-Christians. For the government is brutally and ruthlessly threatening them and hindering them from coming to Jesus. There is no greater wickedness in the world than this.

If this regime is one day overthrown by God, it will be for no other reason than God’s righteous punishment and revenge for this evil. For on earth, there has only ever been a thousand-year Church. There has never been a thousand-year government. There is only eternal faith. There is no eternal power.

Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me.

Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the Gospel to them.

Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.

And so, respectable officers, stop committing evil. This is not for my benefit but rather for yours and your children’s. I plead earnestly with you to stay your hands, for why should you be willing to pay the price of eternal damnation in hell for the sake of a lowly sinner such as I?

Jesus is the Christ, Son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us.
He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever.
I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this.

I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.

Response #1:

We will be praying.

Question #2:

Well Dr. I hope you and your students have some needed rest during this time. Adjusting is difficult for anyone but let alone someone in your profession who loves the hands on experience with the students. If your classroom experience is similar to your writing, rich and educational, I know the students are blessed to have you.

As far as us here, life has been affected because some of the normal routines of life has been interrupted, primarily visits and the ability for inmates to travel closer to home. It has been well over 7 months or so since a visit and when they do start visits, it shuts down again because of the virus. As inmates, we don't travel so the only way we get the virus is if staff brings it and that is where 100% of the inmates in the BOP have received the virus from. Not only visitation is affected but you are on modified operations meaning no working out or even leisure time, stuck in your cell or dorm. But I have been blessed with work outside in food service warehouse so i am able to get out and be productive and not stuck in a building.

They told us the vaccine will be available to take this week or next week and it is not mandatory. I am not interested in taking it. The Lord has kept me safe from the virus and I believe he will continue to do so. Also, as inmates you just don't know what they will inoculate you with so you have to have wisdom on that score.

I am reading the current weekly posting and I do believe it is a test run for the mark of the beast because I can see where society can limit your freedom if you decide not to take it.

Thank you and you and your family are always in my prayers.

Take care and may the Lord continue to bless you real good.

Response #2:

We heard on the news today that a couple of English recipients had allergic reactions to the vaccine and that anyone who has had reactions to vaccination should probably refrain. That includes me (reaction to flu shots; same happened to my mom). I'm happy to hear that the place you're in hasn't become a hotbed of infection – that has happened elsewhere – but I'm sorry to hear that your visitation has been curtailed as a result. I'll add this to the list.

I think you're very right that at least we believers can learn from this. People who say things like "If I had been in Germany in the thirties I would never . . . " are proving by their willingness to accept anything as true and do anything the government says is necessary are only kidding themselves. When it's a matter of real personal cost to refuse, that will be the "truth teller".

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi Bob,

"Enjoy digital versions of your paper receipts"

Saw this on our computer today – the ground work is already being laid unbeknown to so many. How much more to follow – at least those who understand know what’s happening. Thought you’d be interested.

As always my dear friend.

Response #3:

It's another step. However, I remember when credit cards were first introduced at grocery stores and some folks thought it was the beginning of the end. That was a LONG time ago now. One could also say that the shift to paper currency which is obviously valueless . . . except if people are willing to accept the value printed on it – was another such step, such as shifting from the gold standard, retirement of silver certificates, etc. Even coinage is not without its problems historically. Our quarters over here have serrated edges – a hold-over from antiquity where the stamped coins made use of this device to make it harder for anyone to shave off little bits and thus make a profit from devaluing anything that passed through their hands. And what about the purity of the gold or silver in the coinage? During the late Roman empire, silver coinage was notoriously debased by added a silver covering to bronze coins. Forgery also goes way back. It's all about trust in the end. That is the only reason why "bitcoin" has value – because people believe it does. If that trust evaporated overnight, so would its value. And if our "digital proof" – not just receipts but everything we have that exists only in electronic form somewhere – were to be subjected to a huge EMP event, now wouldn't that make things interesting?

Believers are going to have to be flexible about all this and try not to worry but instead trust the Lord that He has all of this in hand – which He does of course. He has never forsaken us and never will. So all such potential threats to our personal security should be pushed to the back-burner of our hearts. Jesus Christ is our security – our ONLY security . . . whether we are walking in recognition of that truth or not.

For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
But the LORD upholds the righteous.
The LORD knows the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time,
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
Psalm 37:17-19 NKJV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Thank you doc I greatly appreciate your efforts and hard work Sorry for the late reply. I hope you're doing great in this triumphant moments especially the recent tensions in the political/economic world.

From these ends we're all doing great by God's grace and mercy

Response #4:

Glad to hear things are OK in your part of the world, my friend! It's been a rough time for many of our brothers and sisters around the globe. I'm happy to hear that you're being kept safe "in the eye of the storm". The same is largely true for me – God has protected me and delivered me from the worst possible consequences and I've only experienced a little bit of "turbulence". So I can't complain (or shouldn't, in any case). But then, no surprises there since He always brings us through on the water or through the water, one way or another, as long as we are holding His hand tight, we WILL get through.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dear Bob,

Don’t rule out Hanukkah as a potential start time of the Tribulation. Last night I was led to research Hanukkah and here is what I found.

Message of Hanukkah: Triumph of good over evil. Hope in the face of tyranny and darkness.

What does the word Hanukkah really mean: “primarily describes a new beginning or the initiation into a wholly renewed situation. As such, our name means New Beginning or initiation.”

Definition of initiation: commencement, launch, beginning, starting

What does the #8 (8 Hanukkah candles) in the Bible represent: new beginning meaning a new order or creation “Eight is the number of salvation. It is the number of Christ, of the resurrection, and of the Second Coming.”

Since Hanukkah started today at sunset...and ends Friday December 18th at nightfall, we are still in Autumn (the Fall) which matches your time frame.

Bob, things are so messed up right now, not just here but all over the world. Wrong is rewarded and right is punished. The lie is passed as the truth and the truth is discredited. We have pestilence, civil unrest, famine and war (4 horsemen) going on. I for one am hoping for an early start to the Tribulation! If your timeline holds true, I will be 90 when Jesus comes back...which isn’t impossible (my mom made it to 92)...but earlier looks good to me.

Come Lord Jesus!!!

Response #5:

Always great to hear from you, my friend, and thanks much for this interesting email.

It is a blessed prospect, namely, of the return of our Lord being that much closer (even if it means a lot of trouble much closer as well). However, this festival is only mentioned once in the Bible (the "Feast of Dedication" mentioned at John 10:22), and was never part of the religious calendar. It's more along the lines of "the 4th of July" since it represents the victory of the Maccabeans in expelling their Syrian rulers (which happened between the two testaments). So actually Purim has a greater claim on biblical legitimacy.

I would be VERY happy to have the Lord return this afternoon! I'm only relating what I've been given to see from the scriptures, and on this point I've never made a secret of the fact that it is an interpretation based upon a number of variables all of which would all have to be correctly interpreted for the dating suggested to prove true. I still have no reason to doubt it, however . . . even though I'd be overjoyed to be proven wrong by events!

Wishing you a truly blessed Christmas in Jesus Christ!

Bob L.

Question #6:

Greetings! I've been reading Christian history lately, in which some writers say Christ will return after 6,000 years. If we use Usher's dating of the world, creation began in 4004 BC. Being in 2020, we would say it's now been 6,024 years. How does this affect the Millennial Day Theory?

Thank you for your time, and may God's Spirit continue to be with your spirit!

Response #6:

Good to make your acquaintance.

The "seven days" are the overall pattern. But there are additions. For example, the time that Adam and Eve were in Eden before the fall is not part of the count (some 45 years; clearly, our first parents did not "fall" immediately); the lifetime of Christ is not part of the count (33 years); and the rebellion at the end of the Millennium will surely take some years – for the devil to enlist the unbelieving population of the world and assemble them at Jerusalem – not part of the count (cf. Rev.20:3: "till the thousand years were finished").

To the particular point, the 7 plus 62 weeks of Daniel 9 run "until Messiah the Prince (arrives) – i.e., the beginning of the first advent; however, the 70th week begins after He is "cut off" (He was crucified, died for our sins, and was resurrected at the age of 33). This not only demonstrates the claims of the first paragraph, but importantly it also shows where the start point of the two millennial days of the Church Age should begin, namely, with the cross and resurrection, the "conjunction of the ages" as Hebrews has it (Heb.9:26).

What all this means is that the second advent should take place in 2033, two millennial days after the Church Age begins at the first Pentecost after our Lord's ascension. The only questions really are 1) is 33 A.D. the correct date for the crucifixion/resurrection? And 2) will this pattern be adhered to by the Lord? In regard to the second, I see no reason why not. Indeed, our Lord tells us that "the days" would be shortened "for the sake of the elect" (Matt.24:22; Mk.13:20) – indicating that there is in fact a very particular schedule which is only going to be varied by some days, not even months. In regard to the first, I have been over the historical details many times, and I am convinced that the date is correct – or at least far to be preferred to all other possible dates (you can read about recent question at the links: "Eschatology Issues XXXXV" and "Eschatology Issues LI" [beginning with Q/A #5]).

In Jesus Christ our current and coming King.

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your reply, you always amaze me of your quick responses as busy as you are. Thank you.

My goodness it sounds like you are overloaded with school work, it has to be a challenge and I don't think I want to even try to imagine....if I did my head might explode. __ says hi, he still manages to read your stuff every morning. As I sit here emailing you your readings are sitting right next to me on the couch. I'll take a picture and attach it...lol. He loves them....every it of it.
Thanks for the info. It's funny you mentioned him. I almost fell off my chair. When I was emailing you yesterday his name came across my mind. When it did I thought well maybe he would have some biblical study for children. I didn't think of school curriculum. I will most definitely contact him. Thank you!!

___'s friend rode down to ___ with us. He needed a ride down to pick up a truck. This friend was on a kick a few years ago about the earth being flat, now he is on a kick of how he needs to help others believe in God through scientific evidence. They debated for hours on the journey down. I sat in the back seat listening. I had a really hard time not getting involved in the conversation mostly because his friend is very difficult to reason with. He is also good at spinning stuff and before you know it he has you in the corner. The more I listened I could see that it wasn't really his goal to help others believe in God but it was himself that he was trying to talk into believing....and without some sort of scientific evidence he was struggling. I finally had to say something. I said...so if someone asked me what proof I had God was real I wouldn't feel the need to prove anything especially scientific; I would just tell them He created this world, it's that simple. Were cruising on it right now...80 miles an hour...God made it very simple. He doesn't want it to be difficult; we do that on our own. He paused and then went back to science.

How are you doing with the whole Covid thing? We are handling pretty good. I got attacked the other day from pulling my mask away from my mouth as I was trying to ask a question where a product might be at a health food store. The clerk couldn't hear me and I was sucking the material into my mouth so I just barely pulled it away still keeping my nose and mouth covered. She apparently didn't like it and insisted I NOT pull my mask away, pointed her finger at my face with some negative energy and then asked me what she could do for me. I told her no thanks and walked away. We went to the front of the store and immediately checked out. While standing in line she came by again and approached us asking if she could help. __ kindly turned to her and said no thank you. I made no eye contact. As we walked out the store __ said welp she will think about that all day long...lol..

___'s mom volunteers her time at the second hand store. When we were visiting for Thanksgiving she was showing me these face shields she requires the helpers to use. She put one on to show me. __ happened to be in the room. He looked up and said that makes no sense: the virus can just go underneath the shield. She looked at him and said yip probably. She put shield away and there was no more talk about it. Love the common sense they have. __'s family is all about Trump, politics, mask, news etc. We were there for 3 days. Had a nice visit but sometimes enough is enough.

Thanks again for the contact. I'm going to get right with it. Have a wonderful evening.

Response #7:

Let me know how that turns out. I think our friend could actually market his curriculum, so I know it'll be useful for you guys.

Some people love to talk. I love the way you cut through the nonsense, my friend.

That's a good story. The Covid thing sure is bringing a good deal to the surface. I think a lot of people in this country would fit right in – in East Germany or similar societies. It really is too bad. But it makes you realize that most people falling in line during the Tribulation is not a great stretch.

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

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #8:

Thanks, Bob, for the prompt. I will certainly have a look at the new material.

This is my last year of full-time teaching. I will retire in May. This semester I teach four courses online, so I don't go to campus anymore at all. Same next semester, so the only reason I have to go to campus is to clean out my office. That will be a chore.

So far we have dodged the plague. My two sons and I recently got negative test results, and my wife is well, though she hasn't been tested.

I pray that you and yours are well.

Response #8:

Yes, all this "unpleasantness" has caused a lot of my retirement-age (and past) colleagues to retire.

Hope you enjoy it! I'm sure you've already got lots planned and on your plate.

. . . and I DO know what you mean about cleaning out the office. After thirty years of collecting stuff a thermite grenade should do the trick in my case. Otherwise, I'd probably have to hire movers . . . or a junk hauling service.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hi Robert,

I’ll be sure to read it. Just want to say that I’ve been assessing my walk with Christ lately with the insanity going on, and need to thank you for your guidance and mentorship. I have few people in my life that have been a source of that fellowship that we know deep in our hearts are common to us, and you certainly are one for me. I pray for you and your family in these turbulent times, and truly believe in my heart that our Lord has great rewards and plans for you.

Thanks again!

Response #9:

Thanks so much for this – I greatly appreciate it, especially those prayers!

Happy Thanksgiving!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Dear Teacher

How have you been, Sir?

This is starting to look like an about a weekly affair writing to you, but when I'm not just too tired to handle writing as it is in my heart to you, then there's something. I threw out my back on Tuesday morning just as I was ready to go to keep my appointment at the doctor's. It was pain like I don't remember ever having. I still dragged myself to the hospital to avoid having to reschedule the appointment again. I was really in no mood to delay it any longer. It still cost me half a day of waiting to see the doctor in pretty intense pain. I had to lay down when I got home and stay in bed for a lot of the next three or four days. Yesterday was the first time that I went out. I feel a great deal better now. There's still a dull pain in my lower back and around my hips, so I try to be careful with my movements still, but it really is way better than it was a couple days ago or so.

I heard on the news today both that pro-Trump demonstrators clashed with anti-Trump protesters in the capital and that Trump insisted that the election was rigged. I'm praying that the Lord keep everything from melting down, so that you and others of our number will be kept in safety and peace. It does seem as if Satan is trying to force the calendar to move up. Even here, there are still noises that suggest that some people aren't all that done with the protests of some weeks ago. A whole city in our MidWest is right now in a lot of trouble because of a gang war in one part of it that has cost the lives of three policemen including a ranking officer and a number of civilians too. It's an unpleasant affair. Ethiopia is looking like it is on the verge of a civil war too and one that might involve Eritrea too. I'm sure that the Lord has it all in hand. Everything will come right on schedule and He will see us all the way through it.

I hope to write some more in the coming days. I'm attaching my latest installment for the series I'm writing. Please let me know what you think of it. If it is good, please post it too.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #10:

I'm sorry to hear about your back, my friend! Back injuries are the most annoying – because you can't really do anything (at least with a bad knee you can limp around).

Scary reports about your country and region. Yes, we know the evil one is at work – but he has always ever only been playing righting into God's hand. Whatever happens to us personally is already written into the perfect plan, and it is a "working of all things for the good" since we do love Him more than our lives. So we have to be very careful to "deny ourselves" and "pick up our crosses" as we "follow Him", dis-investing as much as possible from connecting to this world emotionally – it's all going to be destroyed, after all; being ready to plant our crosses and be sacrificed for Him at any moment (a painless deliverance no doubt as opposed to what He did for us), and get cracking with doing whatever He has for us to do. Simple to understand; not always so easy to carry out, especially when we are understandably distressed by what we have to see and cope with – and physical troubles certainly don't make this any easier.

Good job on the writing as usual, my friend! You are developing a nice library indeed!

Keeping you and your families in my prayers daily.

Take care of that back.

In Jesus our faithful Savior.

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Teacher

Happy Thanksgiving, Sir. I have very much to give thanks for. Among the greatest of them is you and your precious ministry. I am thankful to the Lord for keeping you, healing you or otherwise enabling you to continue to function so well. I am thankful to the Lord for preserving the peace in your country so that you have that much less to worry about.

Your student in Jesus

Response #11:

Thank you, my friend! I appreciate it.

As to peace, well, I guess we'll see about that. The fact that oppressors aren't opposed does not mean that they will graciously remove their boot from one's neck. Usually it means they'll stomp down even harder – and then things can REALLY happen fast. I'm a notoriously poor prognosticator, however.

I do know that I'm thankful for your friendship, your good words and for your prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hello, Bob,

I'm still in CT and Revelation. Questions coming to surface that don't seem to be clearly answered in CT are 1) Do we have Nicolaitans extant today? Your description in CT2A seems to indicate we've been living with them ever since, And 2) Are the rewards to overcomers in the churches/eras (Rev 2&3) specific to them or applicable in general to overcomers in all churches and eras? The sense I get from the English translations, both KJV and NIV suggests a general reward. I see all aspects of the seven churches in Christian denominations today.

Of course, I don't believe people have changed in the past 2.000-6,000 years, either.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #12:

On the Nicolaitans, we certainly do have today the trends they represent: the entire modern church-visible is doing what it's doing in order to gain followers, workers and donations. So it is doing what "people want". And it is introducing all manner of false practices precisely because people want them. Just look at how various social causes and societal judgments in favor of biblically condemned practices and lifestyles have become "canon law" in many churches and the rot is growing all the time.

As to the rewards, this subject is covered in detail in CT 6: The judgment and reward of the Church (at the link). For the most part, the rewards promised to each of the seven churches are available to all; the Lord tailors His remarks to meet the particular situation of each Church era. Some things are unique, however. For example, not every era had to face the issue of martyrdom to the extent that Smyrna did, and only Philadelphia is promised to be kept from the Tribulation. So, yes, it's not as if either the problems or the characteristics of the seven churches aren't present to one degree or another at every time – but it is the case that the description our Lord gives to each era is the dominant set of characteristics for that particular time period. We certainly see that with Laodicea where I would hope the "lukewarmness" does not apply to serious readers of Ichthys – but it definitely fits the overall picture of our time like a glove.

And I certainly agree. People haven't changed – except to have gotten less talented and somewhat stupider over the centuries (a natural process of degeneration after expulsion from Eden).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your explanation. I reread CT2a prior to writing, re Nicolaitans, and this time it struck me that it is exactly what we have going on today. (Sometimes, I'm a bit slow to catch on.) You added a dimension I hadn't considered before.

I haven't got to CT 6 yet, but the doxology (is that correct?) in the letters about he who has an ear seems to apply to all. In fact, I'm taking all occurrences of that phrase the same. Christians in other countries are suffering many of the things described in the letters to the churches, like martyrdom -- which will be coming soon to a neighborhood near us. Many of the same failings I expect to manifest in the near future.

I doubt your regular readers are lukewarm. I can generally recognize from their style who the regulars are and those who have an axe to grind or an agenda. The later goes away reasonably quickly.

"...except to have gotten less talented and somewhat stupider..." So true. A co-worker once said to me while I was in a rant about the lack of common sense, "Common sense is nothing more than the sum total of our experience." That insight has remained with me for the past 30 some odd years. It concerned me back then but it is frightening today. I think the world has passed me by. Maybe that's a good thing...

Thanks for your explanations.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #13:

That's right! We're supposed to "hear" it all – this book is for the entire Church at all times, and there are lessons to be learned from each church era description: if the shoe fits . . .

Praise God for spiritual common sense!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hello, Bob,

Thank you for your warm thought. The older I get, the more I have for which to be thankful. Your friendship and ministry especially. I hope your Thanksgiving was happy and enjoyable.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #14:

We had a great one! Hope you were able to get together with your family as well.

"The older I get, the more I have for which to be thankful" – It's certainly a mark in your favor (as well as a measure of spiritual growth) that this is your attitude instead of grumbling about the rapidly multiplying complaints we "more seasoned" Christian soldiers tend to have.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your congrats! I went on my favourite walk this morning - the sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze - it was lovely! I feel so much better for getting out into the fresh air - much more energy.

I'm happy to hear that attendance was a little better yesterday. Mondays seem to be a struggle - did you have some more of that English sunshine?! So just a full week next week and then will you be winding down for Thanksgiving? I'm pleased that you'll finally get a very well deserved break after all the hard graft you've put in this semester.

How is the knee coming along? And your eye?

__ is happy and well again today. She's keeping her head down and working hard [after Covid infection recovery]. She still can't smell anything and I think this is something that can take some time to return. Could you please pray for healing here. I'm so grateful to have you on board with us. Thanks for all your support and encouragement and prayers throughout our two weeks of "adventure".

You wrote, "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". It really has been a blessing this week to see how the Lord has answered our prayers for me and my family and for my fellow believers too.

Hope you have a good day tomorrow.

Your friend in Jesus

Response #15:

Wonderful that you are able to get outside again after the quarantine. I think it would drive me batty to be stuck inside for very long if I wasn't actually feeling sick. A few years back we had an ice storm followed by freezing temps and you really did take your life in your hands even to attempt to walk outside – lots of terrible falls by those who tried it. Eventually I took to running up and down on the street in front of the house in the ruts the cars had made (and gingerly stepping aside for traffic).

Knee is some better (not back to jogging form yet, however). The eye is pretty much back to normal or as much as it will be (took a little step down I think). No rain and actually a nice start to the week but it's getting colder tonight. I've encouraged all my students through email to try and make the last week, a full three day week (the following Monday is an admin day, no teaching), but we'll see how that goes. There are almost more "stories" than there are students this semester, and it's a tricky business trying to keep them all straight. I'll have to make adjustments for next semester. We're apparently not going to get any respite any time soon.

On the ministry front, I've only just nicked the notify list for BB 7, but I have started in again (slowly) on Peter.

I will continue to keep ___ and you and the rest of your family in my prayers for this and all other things as well!

Thanks for your prayers too, and for all your encouraging words.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Bob,

Yes, I think that isolation for you would definitely send you batty, bonkers and nuts! I love your determination in still finding a way to run in those freezing conditions. I coped okay up until the last couple of days when I suddenly felt like I needed to escape.

I'm happy to hear that your knee and eye are some better. I'm keeping this and your students, next semester and everything in my prayers for you.

I've got some more lovely things to share with you. __ forwarded me a message __ had sent and it was one of those many "encouraging" quotes you can read on the internet, cards etc. but right at the bottom it had # Isaiah 43:2. I said it was a lovely message and mentioned that the little bit at the bottom was a Bible verse. Then "Please do say thank you to Bob for his prayers and concern for me". So I typed out the verse and sent it to her - and I said that even if __ didn't realise it Isaiah 43:2 it was a very good verse to send. Who knows, __ might even be a believer - I really don't know. But what a great opportunity the Lord opened up for me. I went on to explain the meaning of the verse. Not in a preachy kind of way but just as we as Christians see it.

I said that this verse in the Bible is God telling us that no matter what hard times we go through in this life - whether it's illness or being treated unfairly or harshly or losing one of our friends or family members or our jobs etc. that we are not on our own and that God is always with us. We don't have to be afraid of anything or anyone, we don't have to struggle on our own because when we believe and trust in God He is right there by our side and He will protect us, encourage us, help us and give us the strength to come through those hard times in our lives. He will hold our hand and lead us through because we are His children and we are precious to Him and He loves us.

I said He has certainly done this for me many times in my life. So it was another opportunity to plant a seed and I know the Spirit will move in His own way and time.

[omitted]

And it's great that you're back working on Peter!

What a week that was! Full of blessing and answers to prayer and opportunities to plant some seeds. I totally forgot that __ has just got better from the virus, had been shouted at at work and had all her money stolen. I think I need another lie down now!

Wishing you a great weekend and keeping you and yours in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Saviour

Response #16:

That's great news! God is good! Keeping you all in my prayers.

Survived the week. By the skin of my teeth – though Job 19:20 actually says "with the skin of my teeth" – meaning that's all the skin he had left!

Some weeks I feel more "skinned" than others. But we are getting close to the end. Next week will be challenging, but there's some R&R on the other side.

Prayers for you in getting back to work as well. Sure hope the virus subsides over there – it's peaking here pretty bad.

Stay safe and healthy! You've already had a close call, but with the Lord, a miss is as good as a mile.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Psalm 91:7 NKJV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob,

Only one more day to go before the weekend and I'm hoping you're not feeling too "skinned" from your challenging week! How has attendance been this week? Hope there's not too much more for you on the committee now.

Thanks for your prayers for us. ___ has had another good week at work. She still can't smell much but thought she had a very slight whiff of something the other day - so that's a promising sign.

I survived my first days back at work too and staying safe and healthy! And not forgetting Psalm 91:7.

I've had some really lovely time with the Lord and reading the Word this week.

Hope you have a good day tomorrow and keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Saviour

Response #17:

I figured you were back to work – good to hear that you've survived it!

Things are apparently going from bad to worse with Covid over here. I know of at least two students (not mine) in their twenties who are presently in hospital, and I'm getting a rash of emails from my students about have been exposed – or being exposed to someone exposed, etc. In any case, the KY Governor gave out guidance to shut things down next week if possible and we got that same "suggestion" from Provost and Dean – so since I was only doing an admin day on Monday ahead of Thanksgiving, I cancelled it and will hold the last day of class tomorrow. Can't say I'm sorry about putting this semester out of its misery a tad early. I sent out all the materials I was going to hand out tomorrow last night, so the students will all still have the opportunity to finish off the old fashioned way – with pencil and paper – if they get cracking today and hand it all in tomorrow. Otherwise, I expect to be inundated with email attachments over the next week and a half.

The CDC also urges everyone not to travel for Thanksgiving next week and spend it with only one's household members. In Michigan, I think they're making that a legal matter. One of my relatives has thus cancelled Thanksgiving dinner (only 5 allowed) . . . and is instead having a memorial service for "Tom Turkey" (30 allowed for funerals).

Good to hear that you're got some "quality time" with the Lord, my friend! That' is REALLY making lemonade out of an unexpected delivery of lemons.

Thanks for the good report about ___ too. Keeping you all in my prayers – and thanks as always for yours very much!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Bob,

I'm so sorry to hear about all of this. I've been keeping the students with Covid and all those you have mentioned to me in my prayers and will continue to pray for them. You and your family are in my daily prayers too.

I understand about all the emails you're getting. I had a lot of emails and text messages and one phone call from the test and trace after being in contact with ___. I'm very thankful to the Lord that ___ didn't end up in hospital and that none of the rest of my family got the virus. It could have been a whole lot worse so I thank Him for His protection and for answering our prayers.

I also understand the situation with Thanksgiving and not being able to spend it with family from other households. The lockdown here is due to end on December 2nd but it could continue for a while longer and we could still be banned from mixing with other households to "save Christmas". We just have to wait and see what the government says. They hope that by taking "tough action" now they'll be able to allow families to be together over Christmas. But then after Christmas we'll probably be back to the restrictions again. Positive news though about a vaccine - maybe that will eventually help to get us back to some kind of "normality" - for a while anyway until things really start to heat up in the coming years.

I hope today went okay for you and I'm very glad to see an end to this semester for you too. There's no slowing down for us at work. Apparently if we've been in contact with a patient or member of staff who tests positive we don't have to self-isolate (unless we get symptoms) because of all the PPE we are wearing the whole time. So that's a bonus. I had to self-isolate by law after contact with ___.

There's a possibility I may have some hours cut at work but I'm not worrying about it. I'm grateful for what I do have and I'm taking it all to the Lord in prayer. He knows the situation and what's best for me and I trust Him completely. I know He will look after me. (Matt. 6:33, Romans 8:28)

Yes, if I didn't have time with the Lord then I'd go nuts with everything that's going on around us. Even if I don't get time to study more deeply as long as I'm reading the Word every day the Lord is feeding, encouraging, guiding and blessing me.

I hope and pray you have a good weekend and get some rest too. Please stay safe and healthy. Keeping you all in my prayers.

Your friend in Jesus

Response #18:

Thanks for your prayers, my friend – got through today just fine. Lowest attendance so far in all classes. Of course, I had sent out the last batch of assignments via email last night (so they didn't need to come in today to get them), and had also told them that if they felt uncomfortable they didn't have to attend – so many didn't. Can't really say I blame them. Now it's just grading for me and prep for next semester. Looking forward to getting a little rest too! Asked my students who did come in my second year Latin class what they were doing with extra long break and got some interesting answers. Best one: creating a pod-cast and becoming famous.

I do hope ___ gets back to 100% soon. One of my students (a retiree) told me today that her physical trainer had a very hard time after contracting Covid (just shy of being hospitalized) and that his sense of taste was accentuated, not lost, so that something a little sweet tastes intensively sweet now. What a weird bug (probably not a coincidence).

Yes, I hope you'll be back to some sort of reasonable situation for Christmas. I don't really think locking us down is doing a bit of good. Throwing people in jail for walking their dogs as they are doing down under is clearly insane. But then there's a great deal of insanity going around these days, and my country is definitely not immune from it.

Heard at our faculty assembly today that the university actually had a big surplus this semester and that enrollments are on track to be fine in the spring – but no word about restoring our retirement contributions (typical). Blessedly, I have a great retirement condo already paid for in full . . . in New Jerusalem.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Dear Professor

I am glad you take a similar view to my late father. He liked a bit of meat on the bones, saw skinny as deprived (although he was quite light until he reached retirement) and so he chose my mother, who did carry a little extra weight, right to the age of 93, outliving my father who was 82. I wrongly assumed mum would go first but Dad said no, “she is as strong as an ox”. His country bordered Italy so he obviously was also influenced by the pre WWII thinking.

I had a laugh out loud reading your AFTER dinner remark - went down well with my after dinner mints - dark chocolate actually, which was also a favourite staple of my mother. Wasn’t much of it in Australia after the war, so her mum used to send her dark chocolate from Germany. I am really hoping to meet mum and dad again in the resurrection. Only met mum’s mum once, in Berlin in 1978. Strange, I really miss her too. She attended a church and I am hoping the reunion will be joyous with her there too. Of course to be there requires us to love God above all else.

[omitted]

Thank you for your Ministry, and your prayers. I will always be indebted to you for your diligent service in our Lord Jesus Christ. What an “astonishing” thing that there are not many decent ministries teaching the truth, though God can and does work wonders and miracles with a very little army of true believers in His Son. Also you are arming those that you minister to with the tools to take on the whole armour of God. I know it may sometimes seem frustrating for you to see such slow uptake and progress and perhaps it may take the Tribulation’s refining heat to truly move believers off the lounge (do you say sofa or couch?). We certainly have little to no excuse.

___ just texted me on whether I have looked up as to whether Joel 2:12-32 lines up with Revelation 9:1-12. I haven’t looked yet. Been busy. I will look tonight. He had also asked if I had found any explanations on ‘other’ sites [ knows I frequent Ichthys]. He believes there will be an another outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation. I suppose (without having first looked) what comes to mind offhand is the Ministry of the 144,000, and Moses and Elijah.

Thank you again. (Including for the laugh).

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #19:

Did you mean the locust in the first part of Joel 2? The last part of the chapter has to do with Armageddon.

I'll say a prayer for ___.

I will wish you a happy Thanksgiving even though I realize it's not a "thing" down under (the Canadians have it but earlier than us in the lower 48). I'm thankful for you, my friend!

BTW, as long as I don't have to stop lounging on it, you can call it a couch or a sofa over here as well (my parents called it a "Davenport").

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

I'm so sad to hear this. I hope you're okay and feeling a little bit better today. I'm not surprised though - you've been carrying a massive load this semester and you're only human at the end of the day. It seems you've been everyone's teacher and counsellor - sheep and uni students too!

Sometimes we keep going and going and think we're okay until there comes a point where our bodies send out the warning signs and let us know it's time to ease off and have a rest. I've had that a few times and if I don't listen quick enough I get flattened - I must be very finely-tuned or something!

I think the holiday has come just in time for you. I hope you can try to switch off from work now and get lots of rest. I know you'll feel much better for it.

I'm back to work tomorrow - the few hours I have left! Never mind - I'm sure things will pick up again soon. The manager said these short Friday's shouldn't last for too much longer now. So I'll make the most of the time while it's there. I seem to have the opposite problem to you. Mind you there's always plenty for me to do at home. All that lovely washing and ironing and cooking and cleaning and demolishing walls and painting and decorating and . . . I don't tend to do it all in one day though - I'd much rather read my Bible and Ichthys.

I'm always here for you if you need any help, support, prayer!

At least "turkey day" is nearly here!

Your friend in Jesus

Response #20:

Thanks for your concern, my friend! I am planning to take your advice. Got a touch extra sleep last night, and we got the shopping done for the "feast". I really need to take out the front yard (after two freezes it is a mess) but it's supposed to rain tonight and all day tomorrow, so that's on hold until at least Friday. Can't say that I'm upset about that!

You made me laugh with your "to do list": "washing and ironing and cooking and cleaning . . . and demolishing walls"! Given the state of this place, it could do with a bit of demolition too, I fear.

Hope work went well!

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

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hi Bob,

Yes, I love a good wall to demolish - it's much more exciting than the ironing. You just have to make sure there's something holding up the ceiling before you get stuck in!

I had a good day at work today. I worked with the boss and we had some lovely patients in today and had a few laughs with some of them. It all helps to get us through the day. Having my tight mask glued to my face doesn't seem all that bad anymore. I've kind of got used to it. We just have big dents in our faces when we take them off. Like we've been run over by one of those buses you keep trying to dodge! The dents iron out after about half an hour - till the next bus comes along.

We have the radio on at work and they've started playing all the Christmas songs but this year they're not driving me bonkers (yet!). It's something nice to look forward to after such a rough time for everyone. They were playing good old Bing Crosby - "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" and "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" (can't see it myself). The PM says we can have a max of three households meet up together over Christmas. They're calling them "Christmas bubbles" - makes a change from "baubles" - just for five days from December 23 to 27. So that's something positive. I think they'll lock us up again after that - can't be having too much fun!

Great that you're all stocked up for tomorrow's "feast". It's a great time to have a highly sensitive "schnoz" while the feast is cooking away.

Keep taking good care of yourself, Bob. Wishing you and your family and wonderful Thanksgiving! I really do hope you have a lovely day.

Keeping you all in my prayers and thanks so much for yours too.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #21:

Good to hear that work went well for you – but those masks sound positively dreadful!

If I ever go in for house-flipping, I'll definitely sign up for the demolition crew. I'm pretty good at that (USMC training); not so good at putting things back together and having them look like anything afterwards (master of what we call over here "red-neck fixes").

Sorry to hear about the muzak you're subjected to at work! I don't have that at the uni, obviously. It would make me batty to have to listen to that stuff hour after hour. People usually look at me like I'm from Mars when I tell them that I'm not partial to listening to music any more. But it is true that I mostly avoid it now. I don't like the emotional manipulation and I don't like hearing the words. Instrumental stuff is only bad on the first point, but still. And of course it's all impossible to avoid (I do go to the grocery store and on the telly even the news has their themes) – so no need to deliberately partake to be inundated it. In the course of a normal day there's usually plenty to detox from without subjecting oneself to even more of the stuff. I think I'm rather going to enjoy singing the Lord's praises with you and the entire, perfect, complete Church in New Jerusalem, however (somehow, "White Christmas" doesn't really compare – let alone "Tie a Yellow Ribbon", etc., etc.).

Here's wishing in advance that your coming holiday "bubbles up" nicely.

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #22:

Hi Bob,

I haven't been to work today but it's been a mad day - a mad week to be honest.

Thanks for your prayers. Is it just me or are things with family never quite straightforward? Anyway, just so glad I have the Lord to lean on.

Take care.

Response #22:

"Is it just me or are things with family never quite straightforward?" "Family" is often a "tough one" (cf. 1Cor.7:28). No doubt that will be even more true once the Tribulation begins (Matt.10:36). As crazy as things are now, they won't be better once that balloon goes up.

It was a perfectly lovely Thanksgiving! I'm very grateful for that – and for all the good things the Lord has done for me – placed in even starker relief than normal given the present unpleasantness.

Thanks for your prayers too, my friend!

In Jesus.

Bob L.

Question #23:

Dear Professor

It would be a grand understatement to say we are grateful for you. Losing your life for Jesus has brought great hope for all of us out here in the world. We are grateful you do this for Him and us.

“Feed my sheep” is exactly what you are doing at this crucial time. This applies to those of us who feed on the Ichthys pasture directly, and I did notice ___ asked what I thought of those 2 scriptural passages (Joel 2:12-32 ; Revelation 9:1-12) and any sites or books that I visit (him knowing I call Ichthys “home” is telling), that can shed any light as to whether they are referring to another outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation? I have read these scriptures he refers to. The only way that I could interpret an outpouring of the Holy Spirit is that the believers are protected from this woe in Rev.9:1-12. A very welcome and blessed protection through The Spirit.

As for Joel 2:12-32; v28-29 indicate a pouring out of The Spirit. It seems to occur during The Tribulation? I looked up the Translations tab but there is nothing listed under Joel 2:28-29. I will keep looking around. ___ said he believed there would be one more outpouring of The Spirit before Jesus returns.(i.e. during The Tribulation). Later his actual text question was; Joel 2:12-32. Does it line up with Rev.9:1-12?

The whims of the weather. Not long ago the harvest stopped because of rain. Today it is stopped due to a total harvest and vehicle movement ban because of the heat and strong winds.

hank you for the Happy Thanksgiving thoughts. Certainly hope yours will be a happy one. I would gladly trade in the Halloween that has gained a following over here, for a Thanksgiving celebration instead. However, knowing the poly-tickle correctness doctrine here, the celebration would not honor our God and Lord Jesus. It irks me no end that Jesus’ holy Name can be blasphemed without a care, while we are simultaneously asked to revere other faiths, worldly beliefs, dogmas, science, fairytales and traditions of dubious character. These are taught in our schools and all children are expected to show reverence for all the above. I know people who are required to study this tripe to enable them to gain government employment enduring great stress of having their mental sensibilities bludgeoned. Some resorted to medication to struggle on. Others gave up and now work in menial jobs - not for lack of talent, ability or compassion.
These people work with children and have found to their great dismay that all this “learning” has not benefitted vulnerable children, or indeed themselves, and I know some dedicated workers who resigned, because of all the poly-tickling, zest for power from their senior staff/ SUPER advisors, and that they were berated for doing what the ‘doctrine” was claiming to achieve; “the interests of the child are paramount”. I will have to once again defer to my old bosses remarks: “We DO tell lies and ARE susceptible to bribes”. (He was form the “honest” generation = admitting the obvious). Schools and child “care” centres may not have ever been totally adequate, but I am dismayed at the tripe on the enormous curriculum (coercive).

I have also noticed the subtle primary inclusion into some TV shows that we watch (used to), where quite endearing characters have now had blasphemy scripted into their lines. The only exception was “Father Brown” about a Catholic priest who solved all kinds of mysteries that baffled the police. That show was a great advertisement for the Catholic Church (a lot of bad publicity in the real world to attempt to counter).

The media is doing a great deal of the conditioning for the evil one. You would not think he would need any help with enticing the sin nature to further depravity. It is designed to further degrade those already trapped and to normalise the blasphemy amongst those still having some semblance of respect for our Lord. I believe these things are allowed to happen to condense human history into its 7 days while allowing us to make the choice we really want, also to alleviate the grind of a slower decline to the same inevitability. One could go on, and does. What you could barely see at the beach is now worn by teenage girls at school. The news and weather presenters present their bodies along with, and at times, in lieu of, real news, but as long as we respect all this we are poly-tickle correct. That tickle makes people jump to all manner of incorrect actions and conclusions.

Galatians 5:17a
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other,...

Definition; poly-tickle = laughable.
Psalms 2:4; 37:13

Back in another life as a mormon, a colleague at work jestingly referred to me as PVC (suppose I had to cop it for being in a man made religion). But poly pipe is stronger and used to greater effect (a farmer I know even uses it to kill snakes), analogous to the political correctness nowadays - hailed, but still man made. One is made to pay for not revering the man made, being falsely accused of being snakes. John 16:2 What does God think of the man made religion? (Refer to the Definition and Psalms above). As sad as man made is, and degenerating even more rapidly, we have the truth and assurance through faith in our Lord’s words (above).

If you have any thoughts on ___’s question, I would appreciate them.

Thank you for your time and talents generously shared.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #23:

It's natural to want to connect up the locust in Joel with those in Revelation 9, but personally I don't see it. In Joel, they are 1) literal locust which 2) represent the armies of antichrist at Armageddon. But in Revelation 9 they are demons which are given locust bodies for carrying out the fifth trumpet judgment. I will say that there is a connection in terms of plague/locust/end times, so that Joel gives a frame of reference for Revelation 9, but the former is not literally fulfilled by the latter.

In terms of the pouring out of the Spirit in Joel 2:28-29, it says "afterwards" in v.28, and the main fulfillment of that is during the Millennium; secondarily this is fulfilled at Pentecost (as Peter was given to see); tertiarily there may very well be the empowering of such gifts during the Tribulation beyond the 144K and Moses and Elijah (who will certainly have this), but scripture doesn't say much more about that (we shall have to wait and see). The fact that v.30 returns to the Tribulation is very typical of OT prophecy which moves with alacrity back and forth between events. In vv.26-27, right before the "pouring out of the Spirit" prophecy, the Lord had promised extreme blessing and this is clearly millennial; after the four verses of future encouragement, Joel is given to go back to describing the events preceding the Lord's return.

Thanks as always for your other insights. I think it is true, sadly, that the current generation now growing up is being done a great disservice in terms of their education. Teaching freshmen first year Latin, I certainly see that even when it comes to basics (let alone "truth"): after twelve years of English classes, they don't know what a participle is (e.g.).

We are ALL about to get a real "education" in very short order I fear.

Your friend in Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #24:

Dear Professor

thank you for clarifying those scriptures in Joel and Revelation. I am going to your ‘Translations’ Rev. 9:1-12 to reread this passage. Such a wonderful blessing to receive guidance from you.

I will also have to look up basic English terms like participle. Can vaguely recall hearing about them at school. Not understanding the basic mechanics of English was a big reason for me quitting school in junior high. Not to despair. Schools are now promoting learning in areas to make students ready for the “real world” - things to come. Yesterday my wife got a phone call from a school teacher/nurse saying: Your (10 year old) son got upset and rushed out of the classroom, he is very sensitive. The other children didn’t berate him but were very supportive. We are doing a segment on “changing bodies as we grow. Perhaps your son is not ready for it and can sit it out.” I took the phone and said that is a very good idea.

The form was only sent home the day before and I had thought we had more time. When our son got home he said “they (the children) may think it (explicit sex “education”) is something to giggle and laugh about, but I don’t think it is the least bit funny! I don’t want to do that class!”

Last night a friend said that in his son’s first year at university “various approved lifestyles” were not only taught, but encouraged to experiment, to participate! (I.e. homosexuality, lesbian, transsexual). The education system has really got on the front foot to pound home the acceptance/teaching/promotion of this “important stuff”. Perhaps they are doing the same with ‘participles’ - if indeed there is any time left after they have pounded home their “basics”.

The system seems almost into full swing in promoting evil, and individuals not wanting to be part of it are in the minority. I can not recall getting any “sex education” at school at any stage. How deprived were we then. Or is it, how depraved are they now? Perhaps I am out of step with the modern world? I mentioned before that our Primary school assemblies were dignified services singing ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. Today’s High School assemblies need to be approached with caution as sometimes troupes of scantily clad female students perform erotic dances to the raucous applause and wolf whistles of the male students. Never believed I would see this degeneracy occur in our schools in my lifetime.

Just now my wife is reading the invite/spiel for the government end of year “family” work party at the bowling club. Invite is replete with admonitions to behave, not drink to excess or say nasty things about your boss, no sexual innuendo or advances, profanity and on. No wonder, given the total confusion “taught” today.

A friend of mine had a certain man (friend of his) say to him that he would like a house of his own. My friend said to him that he could own a house just like his. Get a job, get a bank loan and pay it off - the same as I am doing. The man stared at him in unbelief. We are all equal, just some are more equal than others (hence the thinking that he should not have to work to receive the same, or much more preferably, superior benefits than the worker). Having said that, many that do not work live in superior accommodation to ourselves. Bring on the Millennium. Isaiah 65:22

You don’t have to be mad to live here - but it helps.

Thank you for your Ministry of sanity. Certainly needed for the enduring battle we are in and hotting up.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #24:

Scary times indeed, my friend. So glad I'm not having to grow up with all this. Particularly repulsive to contemplate in retrospect was the high school dance performance business – as I went to a rather rough all male technical school.

My sense of this country is that at least half of it is willing to work hard for what they want – unfortunately for a large percentage of that half, they are being put out of business and out of jobs by state and local governments who reject and suppress the real science (which tells us that masks mostly don't work lock-downs make it worse), and worship instead at the feet of the pseudo-science which suggests that taking away individual freedoms is the way to go, irrespective of efficacy. I'm grateful to have a job.

"Bring on the Millennium." I can't say as I know the details, but I'd be willing to bet "dollars to donuts", as we say, that while the Millennium will be dripping with prosperity, laying about won't be tolerated – that's the biblical ethic, after all.

"You don’t have to be mad to live here - but it helps." I think that is more and more the case around the world. Another level of the flexibility testing we're getting in preparation for what's coming, I suppose. We are blessed to have the truth to get us through, however, the Word of God "just as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the Morning Star rises" (2Pet.1:19). Looking forward to that glorious morning when all the madness will be melted away like the morning mist by the glory of the Son of God.

Your friend in Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #25:

Dear Professor

BTW, I asked our son if he knew what a ‘participle’ was. Answer: “They don’t teach that sort of stuff at school”. (At least not yet).

With the curriculum crammed with all descriptions of the "poly-tickle tripe" there is little opportunity to teach much of substance. It may sound funny, but this "PTT" is constantly bombarding our small children. Many do not have any counter balancing teachings - in fact are prohibited by law from receiving such in government schools. You can still get a Catholic education at a private school here in town in primary school. I asked a student whether they had heard of paradise or hell. Never. Must remember to ask them about Jesus next time. Care must be taken of what one says, if one likes to eat, have a job etc. (even now)

You must be pleased to have a reasonably ordered work place. Here at the moment in the high school is bullying, back stabbing, stressed to the eyeballs, absences. And this is among the teaching staff! Students scenario is similar for some. The pastor’s child had to shift to a city school to get away from the bullying as the school did not “see” any problem. Some of this non seeing relates to retaining funding for certain groups who were the alleged perpetrators. PTT is used to exterminate any concerns for justice for the victims - and of course the school retains significant government funding for these groups and avoids having to deal with the powerful government funded affiliated self interest groups.

The media would love these types of stories to play the race card, so schools can not afford that image, but we CAN afford to rid the school of a diligent student, whose plight we are not interested in (keep in mind the system dogma, “the rights of the child are paramount” = we do tell LIES). The bullies in the satanic system (using the force of the state) are being primed to get into full swing. The powerless students being forced out of school now, are just a tidbit of things to come, getting worse by the day, forcing people even now to make the choice to “stay or leave.” (Jobs and schools)

From scripture we know this will escalate to making SURE all opposition is quelled, Rev.13:16-17. (BTW from early December our state government is making the ‘Q’ card app MANDATORY, to register you at shops, cafes, hotels, places of worship, etc - do you want to eat, meet?). Talk about preparation for the mark! Bow to the preps now.

Also for those still holding out we have “..... whoever kills you will think he is offering a service to God”. John 16:2. Also Jesus words in Matt. 24:9-10. Mark 13:12-13. Rev. 13:7

To me, all these everyday experiences show that the time is soooo short! He that endures to the end will be saved. Mark 13:13. Means we live the 5 wise virgins life now - oil for the dark night time of Tribulation.

John 6:27. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God has set his seal. ESV

I didn’t mean to carry on; was just going to send you the first BTW top of page, but all these current happenings are seemingly flowing unrestrained now. What will it be like once the Spirit moves out of the way (of the antichrist)?

Jeremiah 12:5 NKJV
(see link ichthys.com/emails/eschatological issues LII/ Response 1)

Thank you for the Ichthys site. We need every bit of it to understand the warnings of these last days. Numbers 15:39-41.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #25:

You make a good point that fear of being "cancelled" is a good parallel to and probably good preparation for dealing with the persecution that will come the way of all who refuse to take the mark. Refusing to adhere to the nonsense today merely requires a person to hold their peace (most of the time), but refusing the mark will be very obvious to all.

For all of us who had trouble imagining how bad the Tribulation would be from that point of view – before the present triple catastrophe (plague, insurrection, coup d'état), we are certainly getting an education on that score! Great preparation! I pray we don't forget once things return to normal (assuming they ever do), and also that we don't revert to business as usual but are able to retain our determination to be as prepared as possible for all that is to come.

Thanks much for your insights and encouragement, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Dear Professor

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving dinner.

I am finding that by teaching I am coming up with questions myself.

The Seven Churches Then and Now

Q1. At the time of John writing to the then 7 churches the traits of all the 7 churches were manifest. How then do we say it is the Ephesus Church age? (70 to 82 AD)

Q2. In today’s Laodicean age are the traits of ALL the 7 churches evident in the world, particularly in the anti church establishment? (Cults particularly and also believers who believe all sorts of “nice stuff” like OSAS and pre-trib rapture). The cults are out of the ball park, the “nice stuff” group are barely tepid.

I do take it that now the dominant position amongst believers IS a lukewarm affair, and not one of being TRULY “in love” with the Lord and His Word.

Last night one of our regular families couldn’t make it at the last minute. My ex farmer friend came for the first time. Great to see him. I did hand out the “outline” (four pages on the 7 Churches all completely copied and pasted from Ichthys), so people can get a start for next lesson on reading from your site should they choose to. Also we had a brief look at the Ichthys site and some of the features and how to navigate.

Seeing I tend to a bit of a scatter brain approach, I have been prompted by the Spirit to have a review of main points of where we have been at the beginning of every 3rd lesson. Will list these at the top of the page, starting the lesson after next.

I wanted to address some common misunderstandings that I notice among some believers, such as “mere” knowledge versus and “replaced” by “love”. They tend to “explain” love as what motivates us, saying if it comes from a pure heart from God (this already confuses me) rather than from a hidden pride to appear “nice” to ourselves and others, this is love.

But how would we know for sure what motivates us? Gen.6:5; Prov.3:5; and especially;

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick, who can understand it”?
Jeremiah 17:9 ESV.

The “replacement by love” therapy doctrine, I suspect will be a trump card for antichrist against many who then believe it - seeing they already believe it - and that they can discern what love is. (See above Jer. 17:9). The only safe path is the Word, the Bible; no matter what our eyes and ears; and especially our hearts are telling us. (Where have I read that before?).

God is love. The Word is Jesus. We love Him by loving His words in the Bible and helping others do the same. Naturally it follows we should want to do good by our neighbor. Temporal help is commendable when it is done to glorify God and exalt His Word. You can feed sea gulls who then may also feed at the rubbish dump. Only by feeding on the truth alone is the love of God manifest in our lives.

Thank you for your dedication to the truth.

In Jesus the Truth.

Your student

Response #26:

Yes, thanks, and still eating it (in spite of getting the smallest turkey we could find)!

Q1: Not sure I understand. John died right before the beginning of Ephesus (68/69-ish).

Q2: I would say that many of the things mentioned in the seven letters can be found at all times; the point is that the things mentioned are particularly characteristic of the seven eras specifically. I.e., you wouldn't want to say that no one has been lukewarm in the Church before the mid to late 19th century – but it has the dominant characteristic since, and noticeably so.

Congratulations on your second session! That means something. I had a roommate in graduate school who used to say "Only if you do it twice does it count as 'exercise' " – I think in large part that goes for ministering the truth as well. So you are now "official".

Keeping you and your ministry in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Glad to hear it Bob!

We have to take these moments and be grateful when they come because as you said we don't know what comes next but we always have assurance and trust in our Lord don't we!

I have fantastic news! ___ is now back at home! It was a very close call as she actually developed pneumonia on top of Covid, so she really is blessed to be alive! Praise His Holy name! All glory to God!

She was moved to tears knowing that brothers and sisters in Christ were praying for her through your ministry. She is so grateful for that. The social services have replaced her stairlift and now looking to change her bathroom because it was a fall in the bath that started all these problems.
It's always the same when people get older, many people go downhill fast after a fall so we should all be careful where we tread!

It's a shame that she has to quarantine now for two weeks but she is so glad to be in her own home, she won't mind a bit. She has meals on wheels delivered to her also.

I hit a bit of a low spot again what with everything piling up and then the whole street had a power cut to boot! Thankfully it was quickly restored after prayer. I am realising now just how important and powerful prayer is!

I'm back in the fight again now though. The enemy tried to tempt me back and make me feel bad about my material poverty but then I read your chapters on "myth happiness" in your Satanic Rebellion series and it really helped me to battle back against temptation. Alongside your work on Peter's Epistles concerning suffering, it helped me so much at exactly the right time.

If only my sister would read and understand about "myth happiness". She is desperate to get back to work despite her injuries being worse than she has admitted to. I think being laid up at home makes her contemplate her mortality more and she needs the distraction of work to forget. I'm afraid she is not heeding this and instead doubling down on her previous position of making her job her whole life and her very being.

Please pray for her that she sees sense. It seems every brush with death that she has had (she has had a few now) only makes her grasp at the brass ring ever more furiously. I think she feels that here and now is all we have.

I am trying to be a witness through my life as talking about the bible has made my family turn cold. The problem with this is, the only witness they would understand would be a worldly one of success. I fear they would only listen to me if I had money and all the trappings and then I would only be an advertisement for the enemy and his kingdom! They only see my poverty and my smallness. I only hope that in time, if they can see that I can have faith even when things grow bleak and have joy even when I have nothing of earthly value and show them kindness and forgiveness even when they argue or be impatient around me that this will make them "wake up" to my spiritual reality.

I hope soon to get a draft done for my video on Salvation and I would be much obliged if you could look over it for me Bob.

Many thanks my friend!

In Jesus,

p.s.
I read John 17 yesterday. Isn't it stunningly beautiful and such a comfort to read, know, believe and trust?

Response #27:

Sorry for the delay on this one – posting day Saturday I rarely get to emails.

Great news about your Aunt!

I do promise to keep your sister in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Thank you for the update! I'm currently reading through your Peter lesson plan, so I'll have to dive into this one next.

Always grateful for the resources you provide. The Lord has spoken to me through your writing many times.

Thank you for your obedience and diligence.

Best,

Response #28:

Thanks!

I appreciate your good words very much.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Bob,

I am making good progress. I have almost finished all of " The Coming Tribulation". It's a lot of reading but well worth the time. Extremely well done.

My primary prayer in recent years has been for wisdom and knowledge and my prayers have certainly been answered. When you sincerely seek it, the Lord will pour it out.

I have a question. Have you ever read, "The Time of the End" by Tim Warner. I have put a link to it below. He comes up with a similar date for the 2nd Advent as you do. The Book was written in 2012 and he said it was about two decades away, ie. 2032. I read this book in 2018 then passed it on so I can't remember all the details of how he came up with this date. If you expand the Amazon description there is a summary of how he does it. Not sure if it is the same method you use. What are your thoughts?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1481074598/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_image_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Response #29:

Good to hear from you – and thanks for the positive words about CT!

I've never heard of this fellow or this book and it's not really possible to tell from the Amazon blurb precisely how he derived the date, but the essence of it does seem to be the 7,000 year "millennial day" interpretation (at least he mentions 2,000 years). The other things he talks about in the blurb are all elements to consider in positing a date for the second advent, but how the details are actually treated tells the story (I'd have to read the book for that).

Being ready for the Tribulation would seem to be salutary in any case, especially since all that's going on in the world surely indicates that it can't be terribly long now until the Tribulation begins, whatever the precise dating turns out to have been.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Dear Brother Bob,

I just thought I’d let you know that I have finished my first reading of Bibliology, as I thank the Lord for you and your ministry. I am sure that this last part of the basics series will edify our brothers and sisters, just as it continues to edify me along with other Ichthys materials.

One of my most-liked portions which articulate the humble and reverent attitude towards Biblical truths that distinguishes your teaching ministry:

“...The Bible is not a lump of malleable clay which may be molded into anything the reader desires; rather it is the instrument in the Potter's hands to mold us as He desires – when we are willing to be molded into His image. The Bible is not a blank canvas unto which any image may be painted to suit the reader's pleasure; rather it is a brilliant and infinitely detailed depiction of all that is worth knowing painted by the Great Artist Himself for the benefit of all those who are willing to open their eyes to the truth. And the Bible is not an empty vessel into which may be poured whatever the reader fancies; rather it is the ultimate repository of all God's truth for those who love Him, capable of filling the emptiness of our hearts and souls to the brim through the Holy Spirit who illuminates that truth for us.”

This serves to remind me to maintain the same attitude in reading and studying the Bible. Thank you for your wonderful work in the Lord.

Keep safe, my dear teacher.

Your brother in Jesus our Lord and Savior,

Response #30:

Thanks for your encouragement, my friend! I'm so happy to hear that your are getting something out of it. It's not the "usual" sort of approach for this topic, but it was the one that the scripture itself and the Spirit led me to adopt.

Good to hear that it works for you!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #31:

Thank you, Bob!

Our home’s Open House is tomorrow. We’ve had 4 showings in the first 10 days of listing, but most people seem to want a newer home (not our 122-year-old historic house. Ha)

My stress has been through the roof with managing so many moving parts, and my strange health symptoms have come back with a vengeance. I have been struggling to get in the Word these past few weeks. I know that is most of my problem!

In Christ,

Response #31:

You're very welcome – please keep me informed.

Hope the open house went well. I'll keep that in my prayers.

And please try to get some rest . . . and remember to "cast you cares on the Lord", because He will carry whatever you can't manage yourself.

Cast your burden on the LORD,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22 NKJV

Prayers for you health too, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #32:

Hi Bob, thank you as always for your prayers.

Based on my elevated resting heart rate, my primary care sent me to urgent care. [details omitted] I know all of this is exacerbated by stress, so I’ll do my best to minimize that.

Moving, packing, and getting the old house ready for listing probably didn’t help me this month. With the house, we’ve had no serious interest these first 2 weeks, but I’m trying not to worry. Trying. You know the worry/anxiety is a struggle for me. I find myself giving things over to God almost every second! There always seems to be a thought or worry popping up. I’m sure it will get easier with time.
The enemy can take a hike. Prayers I can get some sleep.

A friend reminded me that God already knows all our days...worrying about which will be our last doesn’t change a thing.

Thank you, friend!

In Christ Jesus,

Response #32:

Thanks much for the update, my friend. I'm glad to hear you didn't have Covid!

I'm also encouraged by your spiritual resiliency. That is exactly what growing believers do, namely, re-orient to the situation through the truth whenever they get rattled (and there is plenty in this world capable of rattling us). We will get "knocked off the high ground" regularly because the devil is a master of the counter-attack. So we need to make our peace with charging back up it every time we find ourselves back at the bottom. This life is a fight to the finish, but in Jesus Christ we are "more than victorious" and greatly rewarded in the end.

I'm keeping your health in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior.

Bob L.

Question #33:

Hello Dr.,

In your DropBox you should find the following audio file: BB-7: The Word of God/Revelation pt.1

Hope your getting along ok in the “new normal”. We’re doing ok here. I don’t frequent the business establishments as much these days and I stay out of the office at work as much as possible due to mask requirements, the whole thing doesn't sit well with me (the lies spread by the MSM, bad science, alphabet institutions, all designed to control us). I understand the right of a private business to ask that I wear a mask, and I do, but I don’t like it (does more harm than good). I can’t help stop thinking that when the two witnesses arrive on scene the “real” plagues will be here and that’s when it will get very “real” for sure. That’s not to say that “the powers that wanna be” won’t unleash something more horrendous on us in the future, only God knows, and He is in control.

BB-7 is great stuff, thanks for letting me continue with the audio files. Like you, I’m looking forward to getting “all this” over with. I read the brothers alternate interpretation of the half hour of silence, but I respectfully disagree (although a good argument). It may be that I’m subject to wishful thinking (wanting to get this over with and get the millennial kingdom started), but the 2026 timeline really does seem to make more sense, however, we shall see.

Hope your holiday season is is a pleasant one. Here’s wishing you and yours all the best! God willing, I’ll be in touch soon.

Rev. 22:20

Response #33:

Great job as usual, my friend! Up and posted (link).

I happy to hear that you are doing well. I'm am keeping you in my prayers. I really appreciate your godly attitude and your crisp, clear spiritual common sense. We could certainly use more of that these days.

Yes, sooner rather than later would be my choice, but God's plan is perfect. We'll just have wait a bit longer to see the specific mechanics; blessedly we already know the general outlines – and that is a great comfort, especially with all the silliness going on around us these days.

Finally buttoned up the semester Friday (11/20). In spite of nurse-maiding my students and dragging them to the finish line, I still have about 10% incompletes. It was a wild last week for me. Assignments flying in from all quarters in more formats than I knew existed. Just figuring out a system to try and keep up with it all took time. And lots of emails back and forth. Bottom line: what takes a half a day normally took about ten days to get done (with some things still lopping over). I'll have to make some changes for the semester to come, but I'm not going to worry about that next week. I'm taking a little time of to catch my breath and also to catch up on a few things that have been hanging fire during the "Covid semester". And if the university decides to delay on-campus instruction past the already late start date this January, that will be really "interesting".

Thanks for your prayers, my friend!

Always great to hear from you.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #34:

Bob,

I can enjoy the sweet rest of the labourer tonight! Another day of getting a lot done.

I'm in battle mode every time I get up now. Good training for end times. Maintaining God's Grace under fire!

I'm keeping my eyes and heart on the imperishable crown!

As ever thank you for cheering me on in the race my friend!

In Him,

Response #34:

I'm thrilled to hear your positive attitude, my friend!

Keep running the good race!

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #35:

Bob,

Hope your holiday weekend is going well and thanks for your website and friendship over the years. Enjoying a mild stretch of dry weather here as long as it lasts.

Looks like it might be a tough winter with the shutdowns and madness of the incoming administration looming. Have to continue to remind myself that God is in control. Stay safe and I also hope your job is going well.

In Jesus

Response #35:

Thanks for checking in!

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

Whatever happens "in the world", we are NOT "of it" . . . even if we are temporarily "in it".

I keep you and your family in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #36:

Thank you answering the question Mom had on the tribe of Dan and The 144,000.

What are your thoughts on the Covid-19 vaccine that some say is available now from certain companies? Does it tie in with the ‘mark of the beast’ in any way. I know we are living in the last days and Jesus’ return is imminent (any day now). I Know this subject is a sensitive issue for many believers. Would You share your thoughts?

Thank you,

Response #36:

You're most welcome.

Our Lord will return – but at the end of the Tribulation. That is when the resurrection takes place (link). Also, it's quite clear that the Tribulation has not yet begun. As bad as things are, they will be much worse once it commences (and scripture tells us of worldwide signs that will be impossible to miss that will herald its arrival: e.g., Rev.8:5).

The mark of the beast will be a tattoo on the head or hand, not a vaccine. And taking it will entail and signify pledging allegiance to antichrist and the devil and disavowing God the Father and Jesus Christ. This will be made very clear, moreover. So no one is going to "accidentally" or "inadvertently" take the mark. Indeed, we are given the "six hundred and sixty six" litmus test to take away any excuse.

I will say, however, that pressures to be vaccinated – even though it may seem an unnecessarily risky thing to do with such an unproven commodity – are at least parallel to the pressures to be faced regarding the mark. In both cases, it may be that individuals will in some cases suffer for refusal. The difference is that in the case of the vaccine, acceptance or refusal will not be a spiritual matter, at least not directly, while taking the mark is concomitant with damnation.

For more on questions about this vaccine and related subjects, please see the most recent "Eschatology Issues" postings where these matters have been discussed for several months (link is to the "previous postings" list).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #37:

Brother Bob…Thank you so much for answering and clarifying this issue for us. This is the ‘sign of the times’ and the ‘time of the signs’ for this weary war torn and sinful laden earth. We sense a urgency to assimilate all we can about God and the Lord Jesus and His powerful Word, the Bible. Some say it’s the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth……Book. We pray you and your family have a Wonderful and Blessed CHRISTmas day and Season.

In our love and His,

Response #37:

My pleasure!

Nice acronym! Of course it could also stand for "Basic Instructions Before [the] Lord's Enthronement [for His millennial rule]". After all, some of us will still be here when He returns.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #38:

Dear Bob,

It gave me a great deal of pleasure reading in Q#11 that someone else followed the Spirit's guidance with outstanding success. An uncommon reaction for me. I hope more believers follow their lead.

It appears Satan is marshaling his troops. Qantas Air has announced that all international travelers must show proof of vaccination to board the aircraft. The president of Qantas said he expects other airlines to follow suit. From this, I expect it will expand to all public transportation, driver's license renewal and then to retail businesses. I'm beginning to wonder if the Mark of the Beast isn't the future universal pass from all the restrictions coming in the next few years? My assumption had been that the prohibition began during the second half of Tribulation though I don't remember reading anything in Revelation that says that.

A recent article in the Johns Hopkins student paper "The News-Letter" by Genevieve Briand a professor of statistics and economics walked through the CDC data and showed that the total death rate with COVID stayed the same as before. In addition, she showed that deaths from non-COVID causes declined as COVID deaths increased. The paper was promptly retracted. There are so many contradictions surrounding this subject that it's difficult taking it seriously. I don't doubt there's a bad bug going around (as it does every few years) but the death toll is much less than previous pandemics. At the risk of being labeled a conspiracist. I have to wonder what else is behind it and what role the vaccine will actually play. Unlike other pandemics, this is a worldwide justification for draconian restrictions with Marxist overtones.

I expect before long, and I'm seeing some of it now, people will get tired of the nonsense and rebel. As the rebellion grows, so will the restrictions, lockdowns and curfews. Climaxing with the appearance of the anti-christ who will have the "perfect" solution. I'm beginning to see what you meant by "amused disgust." This isn't particularly the way I would choose my amusement but you have to admit, the show is exciting.

Otherwise, it appears most of your correspondents are coming to the same conclusions as me. I'm quite curious about why the Spirit is directing people to Texas. I know that's not a question you can answer -- or probably can't, but I would like to see a gathering of the Church here. Tactically unsound but spiritually good.

As our Lord says in Matthew 6:34 "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." That's more true than I realized.

As a brief side note, the Spirit also offers protection if one listens. I always tell my grand kids, never to put their hands or feet where they can't see. (Even though they ignore me most of the time.) One afternoon while picking up an overturned pot, I grabbed a pregnant black widow. Fortunately, I killed her before she killed me. Not long afterwards coming back from the garden tired, I was passing a wood pile and nearly stepped on a rattler. My foot was raised about to step down when I saw it and I bounced around on one foot like a drunken Celtic dancer until I fell down beside it. It was coiled and ready to strike though there was no warning hissing. It decided to leave me alone and by the time I came back out with a shotgun, it was gone. This was a quite pointed lesson in trusting the Spirit.

Another poignant reminder to "eat my own dog food." I pray all is well with you and yours and your days at Harvard on the Ohio are safe and rewarding. Stay well my friend.

Yours in Jesus,

Response #38:

You're correct about the marking. The full "revelation" of antichrist – his outright claim to be God – doesn't happen until his putative "resurrection" and session in the newly rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, all of which events take place at the Tribulation's mid-point. That doesn't mean that we won't be seeing all manner of nasty things before that – we're seeing some pretty nasty things right now!

Vaccination proof needed to fly – another good excuse for me to stay off of airplanes.

I'm sure Texas isn't perfect (no place is). Your descriptions of your own neck of the woods (grasshoppers, snakes and spiders, just to name a few highlights) leave me personally somewhat less than giddy about the prospects of moving there. But there certainly are WORSE places (especially of late).

Battling through the tail end of the semester here. I didn't really anticipate what several hundred emails from students coming in at the same time – all with questions, problems and materials in all different formats, some partial, a few complete, and all individually problematic – would mean for my last week. Live and learn.

Thanks for your great observations and insights as always.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus.

Bob L.

 

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