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Eschatology Issues LXI

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Question #1:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I have begun to review again your study on Christology and I noticed something in these verses:

Revelation 12:5 the use of the words "caught up".

1 Thess. 4:17 the use of the words "caught up".

Luke 24:51 the use of the words "carried up"

1. The child "caught up in Rev. 12, being the Lord Jesus.
2. In Luke 24, the words "carried up" being used to describe the ascension of Jesus into the third Heaven.
3. 1 Thess. 4 "caught up" is used to describe the believers being taken to the third heaven.

I was just wondering why the use of different words in these three scriptures. Rev. 12 caught my attention as I was reviewing your study, which made me remember the other two verses. As always, I am just curious and know that you will fulfill my curiosity.

Another scripture that I noted was in 2 Cor. 11:3, which to me expresses why the "church/Body of Christ" is in the shape that it is.

" 3I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ."

I believe that this verse summarizes exactly what is wrong with the church today.

What are your thoughts on my thoughts?

Thanks always for your great help and prayers.

God's blessings to you always,

Your friend,

Response #1:

The first two passages listed (in Revelation and 1st Thessalonians) both have the same verb, harpazo (different tenses). The putative form in Luke 24:51 is a different verb BUT that part of the verse, "and carried up into heaven" (KJV) is NOT part of the Bible but a latter addition. Our Lord did not ascend at this time but later (after 40 days total following the resurrection: Acts 1:3). No doubt this was added by some well-meaning scribe who found the end of the gospel unsatisfying – much in the same way that there are many apocryphal additions to the end of Mark.

Great comment on 2Cor.11:3! Of course willful ignorance always enhances deception. Eve's addition to what the Lord had actually said, "nor shall you touch it" (Gen.3:3) shows at the very least that she hadn't been paying enough attention.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #2:

Just found something else out that joins up the dots somewhat. These two genetic engineering "vaccines"' are about Transhumanism or another phrase for it is "humanity plus". Klaus Schwab who runs the World Economic Forum calls this the Fourth Industrial Revolution and look what one of the things that will be part of this Transhumanism = genetic editing

https://www.weforum.org/about/the-fourth-industrial-revolution-by-klaus-schwab/

He has said that the Great Global Reset began in June last year and said the pandemic was the perfect opportunity to bring his goals into place.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/now-is-the-time-for-a-great-reset/

Apparently Charles Darwin did not want to put the connection of humans and apes in his Origins of the Species book but was forced into doing it by Thomas Henry Huxley

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Henry_Huxley

So the theory of evolution was always about getting rid of God and promoting Transhumanism. Look at this quote from Julian Huxley his grandson: "[I supposed the reason] that we leapt at the Origin [of Species] is that the idea of God interfered with our sexual morés." Julian Huxley was a evolutionary biologist AND eugenicist. He actually coined the term "Transhumanism" himself! So eugenics and Transhumanism are linked then.

Then look at this site..
https://www.huxley.net/transhumanism/index.html

See how his quote is taken from a book called "New bottles for new wine". What does that remind you of? Mark 2:22 These people know about God, they reference Jesus' own words. They are in deliberate and knowing rebellion against God and they want us to all be a part of their designs on altering humanity so that we merge with machine. These vaccines are only the beginning of this.

Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World. Interesting how this Medical Journal links this book directly with the mRNA vaccines!
https://pmj.bmj.com/content/early/2020/12/31/postgradmedj-2020-139572

Some more info Bob.

Boris Johnson (right wing uk) is using the same slogan as Biden (left wing USA). This slogan is "Build Back Better". Someone pointed out that the lower case initialisation of this mantra is "bbb" which looks a lot like "666"..

They are both singing from the Klaus Schwab hymn sheet it seems who is the dark mastermind behind "The Great Reset" and the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" which in laymans terms will be a redistribution of wealth while the elite remains untouchable inside a technocratic and Transhuman dystopia. So that means the middle class will no longer exist and we will all be poor. This is what he is all about..

"Schwab set out this agenda back in 1971, in his book Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau (Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering), where his use of the term “stakeholders” (die Interessenten) effectively redefined human beings not as citizens, free individuals or members of communities, but as secondary participants in a massive commercial enterprise. The aim of each and every person’s life was “to achieve long-term growth and prosperity” for this enterprise – in other words, to protect and increase the wealth of the capitalist elite." So erm.. basically serfs then! So basically neo-feudalism then?! Boris is now pushing the "Green New Deal" which was also the pet project of both OAC and Bernie Sanders, so basically blue, red or orange polka dot..they are all now puppets for organisations such as the WEF (World Economic Forum) and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) which are basically unelected elite think tanks and private Banksters who tell nation states what to do. Notice how Covid has made the WHO into a health czar for the whole world. We don't vote these people in, in fact it doesn't seem like there is much point voting now whatsoever. It's satan's hand under the puppet after all! The World Economic Forum said that by 2030 "You will own nothing and you will be happy".

Looks like we'll all be sharing the same bicycle in the future!

In Jesus,

Response #2:

I'm not into bicycling any more, so you may have my turn if it comes to that!

What I'd most like to point out about this and your previous email is that even if all of the worst things reported are true and not at all embellished (that would be a rarity), just because some human beings are planning it doesn't mean it's going to happen. God is in control, after all.

Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
Speak the word, but it will not stand,
For God is with us.”
Fear God, Heed His Word
For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:
“Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’
Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy,
Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.
The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow;
Let Him be your fear,
And let Him be your dread.
Isaiah 8:10-13 NIV

Even if the whole world were hell-bent on "transhumanism", the Lord would not let that stand, any more than He let the tower of Babel stand. In any case, something like turning the whole world into robots has got to take a bit longer than a few years, even if all were willing – and the Lord will be returning soon.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

This is a prime example of why people need to resist the HUMAN urge to be as the secular news, BE FIRST and worry about the accuracy later, if at all! DON'T JUMP THE GUN!!!
"Look how things are lining up in the Middle East under Trump!" "All the necessary pieces are coming together through miraculous peace treaties never thought possible before!" "We are on the verge of THE PEACE TREATY which will set the stage for the final 7 years!" And, we might as well top it off with, "Donald Trump is the Antichrist!"
We should know by now how quickly things can change virtually in a day, or in one election, from one administration to another. Things can fall apart just as fast, and usually much faster than the time it took to come together. A nation can be born in a day. An empire, a nation, a system can be destroyed in a day. A king can be replaced in a day. The Day of the Lord and all of the events associated with it will occur in a day.
Yes! Jesus made it a point to say, "I tell you these things in advance." We are to be knowledgeable about the prophetic timetable, but we are to be sober in our attitude in order to proceed with caution and prudence. We must learn to wait on God to the point where, as Jesus told us, "When you SEE these things!"
I'd say that pretty well "takes the guess work" out of the glut of insatiable prophetic speculation and mysteries, which has become a veritable multi-million dollar industry---False prophets making a profit from the prophetic. Now, that's an abomination that most don't recognize right under their noses!
If we would only, but critically, listen, be still, watch and pray and not run with bits and pieces of second hand information, conspiracy theories, rumors, gossip, inside scoops of clandestine operations, the "prophetic words" of alleged prophets, who should more accurately be described as fleshly soothsayers.
Those who erroneously claim to be called our versions of "Chicken Little" and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" are confusing, distracting and dulling the senses of the Body of Christ. Sooner or later they are going to be hit with "The Mother of All Ministerial Practice Law Suits" from the Supreme Law Firm of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit." And, don't think that those who aided and abetted them will be completely exonerated, either!
Isaiah 8:12-13 - “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ Regarding everything that this people call a conspiracy, and you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the Lord of armies whom you are to regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread."
Jeremiah 23:9-40 - False prophets described and denounced
Matthew 24:6 - "See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end."
Matthew 24:24-25 - "For false christs and false prophets will arise and will provide great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance."
I Corinthians 14:33 - "for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace."
II Thessalonians 2:3-5 - (v. 2 - "that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit") "Let no one is to deceive you in any way! For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?"
II Peter 2:2-3 - "and in their greed they will exploit (make merchandise of) you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep."

Response #3:

Thanks Fred!

Question #4:

Hello Bob,

Yes what you say is all true and the scripture is perfect.

I'm sorry to seem to flip flop on these things like vaccines and the so called New World Order theory. Like you said these may be fiendish plans but may never come to fruition.

I realise that the more I look at the world the more I see increasing shades of grey but when I look at the Bible I see black and white, darkness and light. The thing about the truth is that it is singular. There is only one truth and that is Jesus Christ. The enemy is the father of all lies and a liar needs to make billions of different lies, one for every person on earth. Jesus only needs to say one truth for all because there is only one. When we know the one truth, we then have to adjust to that truth and to accept it but Satan gives a lie that suits our personality (even one for every day and every outfit). I guess that is what is so appealing about a lie, it suits us. It tells us what we want to hear in our fallen state: that we are perfect as we are and we do not need to change, so back to our sins we go and many die in them because they happily believed one of the billion lies that Satan told them.

The deceptions that abound at the moment are ridiculous. I think of it as like those "Russian Dolls" only with these lies, you never get to the smallest lie, they seem to do go on forever but I guess Satan had a head start on us and I guess if you lie with your every breath (whether he has been around for thousands or billions of years), that's a lie every second so we will never untie the lies so why even try? And even if we do get to the smallest doll and find the lie that started it all ("Ye shall not surely die!") why would that even be a moment of triumph when we look down to see that it is only a lie in our hands.

I sent you these things as they are supposedly "on the horizon" for us. They may be what is in store for us before the tribulation but may not be. As I've said before though, I do keep smelling a rat about this...

Satan usually works by stealth and deception and lies are his main weapon. It seems plain stupid for someone usually so full of guile and treachery to leave the blueprints of his master plan scattered all over the floor at the eleventh hour for all and sundry to spot and sound the alarm about. As if he has suddenly got sloppy in his old age!

All this stuff: NWO, Illuminati, WEF, Bill Gates et al.. Isn't it all a bit obvious? I mean they are telling us to our faces that they are evil aren't they? I would even go on to say that they are ornately and ostentatiously evil. There is no subtlety to any of this at all. They might as well all wear a black cape, be moustachioed and laugh "muh huh huh" whilst being called "Dr.Evil" or something.

They are too arch, like a cartoon villain. This is not how Satan operates.

2 Cor 11:14
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Satan is no dummy. Look at how many people he has wooed into various false religions with his false light? Millions have been deceived by the Catholic Church because it all sounds great on the surface. It is only the light of scripture that shows how false this is. How many people have been killed trying to expose the Catholic Church during the reformation? Surely that is truly evil and yet it could be wearing white vestments and saying "religious" words all the while.

Satan is subtle, he is not obvious. The whole pitchfork and horns is not his style at all and that is why he is as dangerous as he is.

I have been harmed many times in my life. The people who harmed me the most were the ones who duped me. They pretended to be something they weren't, they pretended to be nice and kind. They pretended to love me and have my best interests at heart. This is the biggest danger, the wolf in sheep's clothing. I would say this type of wolf is more dangerous than a regular type of wolf for the obvious reason, there is no warning for they are in disguise. They have taken the form of a friend, a harmless dove.

Notice how cults work is exactly the same way an abusive relationship works? An abusive relationship is merely a cult of two people: the abusive cult leader and his/her abused follower. All cults, whether of two people or two thousand, begin with the same tactic: "lovebombing".

Lovebombing is when a person promises you the earth (but unlike our Father) have no intention of delivering (because how can they?) It is about showering you with attention and praise. It is about mirroring you: copying your tastes, your values and even your behaviour and mannerisms. It is pretending to love you, hear you, care for you and support you. It is about seeking out (like a heat seeking missile) everything you care and hold dear (to mirror and imitate you to gain your trust) whilst pinpointing your vulnerabilities and weak spots and making a note of them (to use them against you: to undermine your self confidence and trust in others at a later date). It is basically the cruelest form of warfare there is as nothing is off limits, no depths too low to plumb. There are no gentlemanly rules or sense of fair play at all. There is also a technique used in Lovebombing called "future faking", where an individual or group intimates a rosy and ideal future scenario where you will have all the things you ever wanted.

This is the true face of evil, the true character of Satan. Just like with Eve, first he comes as a friend and tries to gain your trust. He plants a seed of doubt and suggests that the people you already trust mean you harm and only he really understands you and cares for your needs. This is how an abuser and a cult works also. They seek to exclude you from your family and friends and those who you love and trust, just like Satan lured Eve away from God by getting her to doubt that God had her best interests in mind. Satan had found this tactic to work previously with the other angels who rebelled with him.

I feel that studying how cults and abusers work gives a good insight into how Satan truly operates.

We have been primed for hundreds if not thousands of years to look for a hero and wait for a rescuer. All secular myths and narratives are about this. The caped crusader frees the damsel in distress from the evil villain. Seeing as most of the world has rejected the one and only true saviour Jesus Christ, the caped crusader who will come to save the world from all the villains will be the Antichrist.

So it shouldn't be surprising that the world is full of "James Bond style" villains right now. The ones who tell the world that they are evil, that tell us that we will be their slaves and boast about killing us or locking us up, who threaten to censor us or force us all into a technocratic nightmare. Though it is actually James Bond we need to be wary of because he will be the antichrist!

Another thing I have noticed about manipulative abusers is that they don't leave a person time or space to think things over. They tend to crowd you and rush you and bombard you with either attention or information so that you can no longer think clearly. They always try to hustle you into making a big decision without thinking it over or consulting other people. The reason they are always in a hurry is that lies tend to age badly. The truth is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. A lie has a time limit and an expiry date and a liar knows this. They know that the longer they are hanging around with the same lie in their mouth, the bigger the risk of their mask slipping. The only way a person can prove that they are true is OVER TIME. A liar knows this and that is why they will disappear pretty quickly if you prefer to move slowly.

I think about God and how wonderfully patient He is. He also wants us to be patient with Him too. Because God is true (and all men liars), He has no need to prove himself and is not worried about time revealing anything other than how true and perfect He is! For time is the great revealer after all! Even though He doesn't need to, God will and does prove His faithfulness again and again and again. How long do you need for God to prove Himself faithful? God could ask you "how long have you got?" God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow for all eternity. Because God is as true as He is faithful. One that is faithful has no fear of time revealing all. For time will only reveal how perfect God is more and more!

Satan however is the exact opposite, he has to work stealthily and at speed. The antichrist will only manage to keep the mask in place for three and a half years before he lets it slip. By then everyone will be happily drinking his Kool-Aid, heavily spiritually, emotionally and financially invested in him and his lies (again like all cults and abusers).

Be wary of the ones who are drawn in broad strokes as mastermind criminals and villains (they have to make it obvious and spell it out to those who are a little slower to pick up the obvious) but be MORE wary of those who claim to SAVE YOU from them!

Remember the techniques that cults and abusers use. The real villains hide their evil intentions and disguise themselves as friends. Anyone who tells you upfront that they are a villain are easier to avoid and are more than likely a smokescreen for the villainous "hero" who will come to pretend to rescue us all!

In Jesus,

Response #4:

Excellent points, my friend!

"You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."
John 8:44 NKJV

As posited in the CT series, six hundred and sixty six are the "ways" to enter antichrist's religion – but there is only one Way unto salvation (Jn.14:6). The truth is pure and it is simple – and we know it when we see it or hear it (Jn.10:27; cf. Jn.10:4-6).

If we are listening to our Shepherd, we won't be deceived by the false shepherds nor fall victim to the wolves in sheep's clothing. It's all about our obedient response in the end, and preferring the truth to the devil's false promises as you so wonderfully lay out.

"You will surely not die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that on the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God [or "gods"], knowing good and evil."
Genesis 3:4-5

Most people want to be gods. Satan certainly did. The problem (for them) is that there is in truth only ONE God – and never ever will or would or could be another.

"I am the LORD, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me."
Isaiah 45:5a NKJV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

The following was written in 2002, but one year after 9/11. Compare this little observation to all the recent "Thus sayeth the Lords" and determine which is the more genuinely prophetic...
America’s Spiritual Awakening: A Post-Mortem
How quickly this nation’s alleged spiritual awakening “has gone the way of all flesh.” The events of 9/11 simply stirred this “sleeping giant” just long enough to reach over, turn off the alarm clock, roll over and go back to sleep. Was America’s invocation of God’s Name simply for the purpose of receiving temporary relief until she was able to return to business as usual?
When Pharaoh finally allowed the children of Israel to depart Egypt, there was no repentance, only the desperation of seeking relief from God’s plagues, or judgments upon his kingdom. It is worth noting Pharaoh’s final words as he instructed Moses to take his people and depart, “and bless me also.” He had no heart towards God, yet he wanted His blessing. Most of us are familiar with how quickly Pharaoh returned to “business as usual.”
For America, God consciousness faded long before the lettering on our bumper stickers, which proclaim, “God Bless America!” Like Pharaoh, will America be destined for even greater judgment for lack of true repentance? Maybe when we see bumper stickers which read, ”America Bless God,” can we expect to experience true spiritual awakening. But then, “Judgment begins with the Household of God.”

Response #5:

Good points, Fred!

Question #6:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

In Luke 18:8b, Jesus says: "However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?

Since this verse is referencing the "Second Coming" of Jesus Christ, would it be improper to say that the answer to this question is a definite no?

All of us believers would have already been removed by the "First Resurrection" before the Second Coming, so what remains on the earth are those unbelievers who have made it through the Tribulation and have not taken the Mark nor worshipped the beast.

Am I correct in my assumption?

Thanks always for your help and insight.

Blessings to you with Grace and Mercy, Love and Peace.

Your friend,

Response #6:

It depends on what "returns/comes" means precisely. We believers will be resurrected . . . AT the second advent as part of it (not before). So I take this verse to mean that maintaining faith through the Tribulation so as to be found faithful at the glorious moment will not be easy. But with God, all things are possible. He will get us through – even the Tribulation – if that is what we have been predestined for.

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

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Dear Teacher

Thank you very much, Sir. The joy of being alive is possible for me because of your work for the Lord and because of the gift of __'s patient love too. I'm thankful for both of these gifts.

[details omitted]

As much as I don't care for the current unpleasantness or the future one, I do like that we are heading for a resolution of this long war that humanity has been at the center of. I have never really wanted a long life in this world. Only finding the Truth and a partner who actually wants to share in it with me made life desirable. I didn't know that I could ever look toward the future in this world with any anticipation of pleasant and godly experiences, but now I do. I'm thankful for that, but I really hope that things work out as I have learned through you. To move on to a perfect eternity is far more desirable to me than to endure even the most pleasant experience of this life. Time here in this world for me is only meaningful in so far as it provides me with an opportunity to qualify for the greatest rewards, and I don't even use it well – yet another reason why I would rather just be done with it sometimes.

I'm thankful to the Lord for keeping watch over you. I'll continue to keep you and yours in my prayers.

Your student in Jesus

Response #7:

I love your godly perspective, my friend! And thanks as always for your very kind words. Still, I am distressed about the situation with your ___. For it is worth, I think you are handling it and the potential distraction of it very well (better than I would).

Keeping you and and your families in my daily prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hi Bob,

What verses formed your basis for connecting each tribe to a gemstone in the structuring of the New Jerusalem wall? How did you know that Sardius = Judah, Jasper = Gad etc.

In our Lord and Savior,

Response #8:

Read the discussion in SR 4 about this (at the link: "The Jewels on the High Priest's Breastplate"). There is a relationship between these jewels and the tribes based upon their encampment order. That has to be straightened out first to figure out which tribe is matched with which gem in Hebrew. The interpretive problem from that point onward is to figure out what the Hebrew gemstones actually are (not an easy task, I might add) and how they relate to the Greek names. One has to take into account what the LXX of Exodus 28:17-21 and 39:10-14 says but keeping in mind that the names in Revelation do not necessarily exactly follow the LXX's lead. Still, it is possible to determine this by process of elimination and understanding the ordering.

New Jerusalem's gates are enumerated counterclockwise: east to north to west to south; but John's tour of the gates began on the east (the highest ranking side), and proceeded counter-clockwise to conclude on the south. On top of all that there is a serious textual problem on this in Revelation where it is not clear from most of the versions that this is the case.

Finally, we may add to all this that identification of all ancient natural world items (species of birds and plants and anything geological and also geographical) with modern equivalents is VERY problematic. People in later times knew the names from the Bible and from Classical texts and often assigned them to different things that they may have assumed were the same but were in fact NOT the same (that accounts for many of the Greek/Hebrew names being different from the English names I and others give them).

So since in all of the renditions in the Bible there is an order which cannot be violated, one first has to understand the ordering and use that info to put all the pieces into place. Judah being a Sardius is one of the easier identifications because the Greek σάρδιον / sardion and the Hebrew
אדם / `odhem, both refer to red gemstones, the Greek by identification and description of this word in the sources, the Hebrew also by the etymology (cf. "Edom" which has the same root consonants). We link these two together through comparing the gemstones on the high priest's breastplate with the order of New Jerusalem's gates (mentioned above but no easy task to figure out in the first place). Long story short, Judah is the first gem on breastplate (upper right / left as one looks at it) and the first gate of New Jerusalem; etc.

As I say, if you read over the SR 4 discussion carefully first, and then the CT 6 one, then compare the Greek and Hebrew names (they are given also in the CT 6 synopsis), you'll be able to see how it works.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hello Dr.,

In your DropBox you should find the following audio file:

The Nature, Perfection and Inspiration of Scripture pt.1

Life is interesting these days and not without it’s stresses - to say the least. On the upside I've found that our present set of circumstances have provided several unique opportunities to witness to individuals concerning the Truth of our Lord and His Word, not to mention it’s all good training for the coming tribulation (as you’ve written many times).

Hope you are getting along ok. Got you in prayer here daily.

All the best,

Rev.22:20

Response #9:

Thanks so much for the latest offering, my friend! Uploaded and tested.

I'm also pleased to hear that you are finding new witnessing opportunities. That's wonderful news. I find myself bumping into less and less people with "all this". Today, the university was a ghostly place. Lousy weather, cold and rain, Monday, yes, but almost no one walking around the Humanities building other than me and a handful of students (low attendance too).

I love it when people find the "silver lining", so keep up the positive attitude for Jesus Christ, my friend! You're an encouragement to us all.

Keeping you guys in my prayers daily.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Dear Professor

Great to hear from you as well. I am more on the absolute necessary projects, though I’m a bit slow this morning. My ex farmer friend gave me a lesson in fence fixing yesterday (after I had already done a days work on the shed framing), so a bit sore today. We joke (though it is mostly true) that we are decrepit old blokes trying to do young blokes work.

Considering we have been dealing with the usual “curly doctrines” (rapture,OSAS,) at our little Bible Fellowship somehow the topic of Annihilationism came up. Later he sent me a text with the “evidence”, quoted below:

“Corinthian 1:35-50 [which I could not find; perhaps he meant 1 Cor.15:35-50?]
Coupled with Genesis 3:22-24. No evil can take from the tree of life equals no eternal life as I understand it. Enjoy bro”
End text quote.

I must admit to not following the premise that this says there is annihilation for unbelievers.

I had been reading from your Subject Index and found that some of the long winded “explanations” of proponents of Annihilationism (often in the small print) done my head in. A hard slog for a plain brain. This false doctrine is a comfort to many who worry about their loved ones who emphatically deny salvation through Christ. They falsely believe those will not have to suffer for eternity - whew, what a (false) relief!

I view it as an extension of the Comfort Foods false doctrines of Rapture, OSAS. All viewed as “easy outs”. A friend who is a believer but says he doesn’t think he will make it, says that he will go to sleep so won’t know anything anyway, so it won’t matter. No existence in any form. He finds that kind of comforting. False “comfort doctrines” certainly have their appeal to the natural man. Some seem to convince themselves of them and if the first don’t work (rapture), the second might (OSAS), if even that fails - or the person’s faith fails in Tribulation, the third false comfort “option” (Annihilated) is a fall back semi-comfort position.

There ARE very many scriptures which teach eternal life AND eternal punishment. I am mindful of your observation that sometimes people cite heaps of scriptures to no avail, so I will just mention a few.

Matthew 25:46. “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” ESV [plain speaking, no resorting to riddles].
Revelation 14:9-12 [no rest day or night]; 20:10 [beast and false prophet, devil tormented forever] 20:15 [ANYONE’S name not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire]
Mark 9: 47-48 [torment lasts forever]

Please correct if I am off course with any of this, as this is what I will be presenting at this weeks Bible fellowship.

Oh, if only the “comfort doctrines” were in play, we could watch Disney movies all day!

I don’t know anything about the subject, but ___ said that Biden was sworn in by the west wall (something to do with Cyrus and the eastern mystic gods - whereas Trump was done at the entrance steps). He said all the original players in the USA constitution were Freemasons who hold to the eastern mystic religion. May not have a lot to do with the price of eggs and probably not your area of interest/concern.

A few days ago I did manage to have a rusty nail pierce my leather work glove and cut the back of my right hand. The failing light and leather glove also somewhat obscured the blood stain and contained the blood while I kept working in the semi moonlight. A good reminder to wait for the full moon before moonlighting.

Next day ___ noticed my scruffy bandage and asked had I had a tetanus shot - I forgot about those. Later, as I was on my way back out to the paddock, the bakers wife (I had called in for a pie) asked me the same question and STRONGLY suggested I go to hospital emergency to get a shot. The nurse also cleaned up the wound and I went home where my wife said someone is looking after you (God), because you are not looking after yourself.

All this brought to mind the covid conversations on your email postings and the whether or not to get the jab. We can rest assured from what I heard from one health person on the media, that it will NOT be compulsory, though people in certain occupations may be REQUIRED to be jabbed as they work in areas where they can easily transmit to vulnerable persons, children may be great spreaders of the new strain so they may NEED to be dealt with (I don’t think they are sure it will work on new strains -and annual shots may be the go if they do/don’t?), then travel WILL require a covid vaccination certificate, and supermarket staff need to be protected (the best way is to include their customers in vaccination).

Who doesn’t like to eat occasionally? Nice to know you won’t need the jab if you DO decide NOT to eat! Free choice for ALL - after all.

I believe that a similar choice will soon be available in another format. I am not equating the two, though I think at the least, the grooming makes the worship and zeal that you rightly point to, all the easier to flow “naturally” when the mark of the beast arrives - the current proposed “choice” a false type of preparatory “gospel”. Of course most would grab for the mark anyway. This “preparatory gospel” may be more designed to groom now, and entice soon, marginal believers (initially) and the elect (if possible) to follow antichrist through miracles the false prophet is allowed to perform in the sight of men.

A well spoken British health and/or media spokesman, talking to ABC radio was such a measured responsible voice that I immediately felt respect for what he was saying. Much comfort to listen to a voice of reasoned calmness. He seamlessly wove into his articulate answers that the real problem is of course over population. He naturally flowed to the next aspect without the reporter even asking for elaboration on this point.

Always a comfort to listen to such voices. I am not sure at this stage whether to add this rendition to the “comfort doctrines” above, promoted by religionists (though the “radio doctrine” is, in any case, definitely a worldly doctrine).

Prudent to not take everything on face (or fake) value. These are the last days where DECEIT will break new bounds.

Thank you for your interest in us out here in the world (same place you live in), but endeavouring not to be of the world. I will also be rejoining the work routine next week.

A great blessing to have your Ministry teaching the truth at this VITAL time.

Hope things are going well for you in the new school year.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior

Your student and friend

Response #10:

Glad to hear that you are getting things done, my friend. Too rainy and cold here to even think about anything outside – except to get as quickly from point A to point B while trying to stay dry in the process. Saw something telling today. Walking into work through the wind and the rain in near freezing temps today I passed about a dozen students. They were all wearing masks (what's the point of that outside in these conditions?) . . . but none of them had umbrellas and they were getting soaked. Covid, after all, is not the only "bug" out there to be concerned about if a person catches a chill.

I love the "comfort doctrine" analysis. Hadn't thought about it that way before but indeed this is right on the money! These are all convenient lies, fantasies people delight themselves with in order not to have to face and deal with reality. That is dangerous at any time and in any sphere of life. How much more so is that not the case with critical, biblical truths when the Tribulation is right around the corner! It's always better to know the truth, even when it is not necessarily what we would prefer to hear.

Blessedly, this is ALL over eventually – and not to long from now for us.

Hope you'll be able to get a little R and R before your work starts up again, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Hello, Bob,

This weeks email posting (Eschatology Issues LX) raised a question I hadn't considered before. What happens when these vaccine created proteins cross the blood/brain barrier? Could that change personality? Could someone lose their faith or commit sin(s) under that influence and not repent? Could it cause behavior similar to an addict who robs and steals to support his habit?

Specifically, would actions and or beliefs changed under those conditions result in the loss of salvation?

These mRNA vaccines go directly into the blood stream which will quickly pass the blood/brain barrier. I don't see how that's avoidable. I'll have to ask my microbiologist. I'll let you know what he says, though I don't think anyone has looked at that. But I do have to add that Isaiah 5:20 comes to mind.

I pray all is well and safe with you and yours.

Yours in Jesus Christ,

Response #11:

I think it could kill us. But I know it can't take away our free will. At some point we have to have faith that the Lord is not going to allow something of no particular spiritual import to have that kind of disproportionate eternal effect. That's not the Savior I know.

Do feel free to pass along whatever your friend has to say, however. I know of several readers who benefited from his previous input (myself included).

Hope you're staying warm and safe out on the prairie!

In Jesus our dear Lord.

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

The questions I asked: "The vaccine goes into the blood stream rather quickly and I would suppose, also crosses the blood/brain barrier. Has anyone looked at what affect that may have? Also, if mRNA is manufactured by cells, do we know it and the created proteins would die with the cell? Would the cell manufacture modified mRNA until then?"

Here's what he answered:

"Not sure what is known about nervous system infections from crossing the blood-brain barrier. It does end up in other organs other than the lungs, especially the heart and kidneys. As far as the mRNA and spike proteins, cells have great mechanisms for cleaning house. The mRNA are not particularly long-lived, so they are cleaned out reasonably quickly (can’t give you a definitive time frame). Once the mRNA is gone, the spike proteins are no longer produced, so they are ultimately cleaned out as well, but not before those proteins elicit spike-specific antibodies. Part of the reason you need two doses of the vaccine is to maintain the levels of the spike protein long enough to elicit the maximum antibody response. This vaccine is so much easier on our cells than the virus would be. Replicating viruses produce lots of mRNAs and spike proteins but also hijack lots of other cell processes."

Clearly, I'm in way over my head on this issue. Maybe the vaccine's not so bad after all.

All is well here on the prairie and warm for January. My figs and pomegranates may even fruit this year. Too wet, for a rare change. to do any tilling but I'm thankful for the water.

In Jesus,

Response #12:

Wet here too! And cold! Got a bit soaked today and chilled to boot, but a little hot soup and rest after work and I seem to be good as ever.

"Maybe the vaccine's not so bad after all."

It's that "maybe" that concerns me. And now we hear that there'll be a "booster" since the original (which few have gotten yet) won't do the trick on its own versus mutations . . . of which there are more every day.

Guess we'll all find out sooner or later, one way or another. But I'm not confident in the "happy talk" that is coming from all media. I'll save my confidence for the Lord, trusting that He'll see me through whatever betides.

Thanks again for sending this along, my friend! It is helpful and it does contribute to our necessary base of knowledge, even if, as you say, most of this stuff is over our collective heads.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Thanks for this Bob!

Before I received your reply as was looking over your material myself. I also noticed that there was a conference on all these hyper Charismatic teachings held by John MacArthur called "Strange Fire".

What I gleaned from the conference was that a lot of the extreme teachings is not actually the fringes of this movement but the very heart of it. Moderate charismatics are actually at the fringe and the hyper charismatics who seemed to have dispensed with the bible altogether seem to be the rule rather than the exception.

I am going through your links now and they are very thorough! Thank you!

I want to share a few more details of my experience as it may help others as it was very troubling! This Reverend suggested that although I was saved, I hadn't received the Baptism of the spirit and he claimed by praying over me, that he had actually asked for that for me. Is that not blasphemy? Surely it is God that imparts the Holy Spirit to people when they have faith and not something you can demand from God as though God were in our service not the other way round?

He insinuated that I was in some sort of spiritual hinterland and without the Holy Spirit because I wasn't speaking in tongues and this really alarmed me! He separated the baptism of the Spirit from the moment of coming to Jesus in faith. Isn't that really dangerous? He claimed that I only received the Holy Spirit at the point after he said the prayer not at my point of faith which is years ago now! Because he was so certain that I had received the Holy Spirit BECAUSE of his prayer and "asking for it" rather than my automatic receiving of it based on my faith in Jesus Christ! Isn't this actually a blasphemous removal of Jesus Christ from the one true baptism?

I am kicking myself now. When he asked me if I had been baptised in the Spirit (after he had asked if I had been baptised in water) rather than confidently shouting YES instead with concern I said "how would I know". But I KNOW based on scripture that I have the Holy Spirit. I hope that I am showing the fruit of the Holy Spirit when I walk in the Spirit.

Bob, have I blasphemed the Holy Spirit by saying this and then allowed him to pray over me for this? He made it sound as though the baptism of the Holy Spirit was something that had to be asked for. I have never asked for it because I assumed I already had it through faith and so he made me confused. He also asked me about feelings and that you know these things through feelings and so I began to doubt whether I had had the "right feelings" and so I started to panic.

It was awful as I felt cornered and because of my past of being abused by people and wanting people's approval, I suddenly was being forced into saying a prayer I didn't want to say in front of him. Even my own prayer wasn't enough he actually told me to "plead the blood" and now I am really scared that I have prayed a prayer that is both blasphemous to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I have prayed for forgiveness and now worry that this is the unforgivable sin, to tell a person that you don't know you have the baptism of the Holy Spirit when you already know you have the Holy Spirit. Have I not denied the Spirit's witness?

I am really scared now that I have blasphemed the Holy Spirit by somehow doubting that I have had the baptism of the spirit. He put so much doubt in my mind and I was actually frightened that I hadn't had the baptism because I wasn't speaking in tongues. He then "spoke in tongues" which sounded like a low and groaning form of Arabic and I had that moment of doubt that it was the Holy Spirit but THEN I was terrified in that moment that denying his "tongues" was the Holy Spirit was actually the "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" so I was spiritually checkmated so to speak. If I denied what he was doing was the Holy Spirit then I was attributing it to Satan which is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and now that I have allowed him to pray this prayer for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and to "plead the blood" that I have blasphemed the Holy Spirit whilst being in a state of guilty confusion and ignorant fear!

For me now, this feels like spiritual abuse and is exactly how a cult leader operates. He had the audacity to say that my prayers were not correct and that I had to parrot his own words and now I am very worried at all of it.

What should I do? I'm really frightened about the whole thing and worry I won't be forgiven.

In Jesus,

Response #13:

part 1:
I'm off to work so I have to be very brief.

1) This is just what the charismatics do!

2) You have NOT 'blasphemed the Spirit'! That is rejecting His witness about Christ and refusing salvation (link).

3) You DO have the Holy Spirit. All believers do (Rom.8:9).

4) Let Him comfort you – and take heart that instead of being sucked into this horrible movement for who knows how long to come (as very many have been), only to come out bruised and battered in the end, you have instead seen through it quickly.

5) Think of this as an inoculation: it may sting a little, but it will prevent you from being deceived in the future.

I'll write you back more later tonight.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

part 2:
What I wrote to you this morning was short but exactly what I would have written with more time to think about it. Please don't let this throw you off. Chalk it up to experience and move on. Almost any Christian who is serious about the Lord and interested in spiritual things and who's also never bumped into one of these sorts before is going to be a bit vulnerable to a "reverend" who says "you may be saved but you haven't had the 'baptism of the Spirit' so you don't have the wonderful experiences I am having". They actually seem to believe this as well. But in the end it's all hen's teeth. Best link for what the baptism of the Spirit actually is (as opposed to refutations of false claims) is in BB 5: "The Baptism of the Spirit".

You wouldn't have the joy in Jesus Christ you do without the actual baptism; and no amount of working oneself up into emotional states is going to ever be able to compete with the quiet and peaceful confidence and encouragement that "still, small voice" of the real Holy Spirit gives us.

No worries. Nothing to see here! Move along . . . and forward.

And one final point. If a believers, even "pastors" of a sort, can be so powerfully deceptive and occasionally "get to us", how much more the anti-Christ and his false prophet with all of their signs and wonders? It will be enough to deceive "even the elect, if that were possible" (Matt.24:24). Blessed in your case and in my case and, I certainly hope, in the case of all those who make us of this ministry, it will NOT be possible.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for this. I am feeling much better now and now I can label what was happening, I can see why it happened. It seems that I have had an experience of the Charismatic first before actually knowing who they are and what they're all about so it was shocking to me as it was a doctrine I have never heard of before so it did throw me a bit! I was blindsided by the language he used and his unwavering confidence in this "new doctrine" he had. I should have been a Berean and asked him where in the bible does it say that but instead I was a rabbit caught in the headlights!

So Catholics can be "Charismatic" too then! It figures. They are quite keen on building doctrine on one misinterpreted verse in the bible and then really running with it! Look at what they did with Mary!

Reading around this it seems that they read "tongues of angels" in 1 Cor 13, not as an example of Paul's hyperbole but as an actual literal "angel language" or "prayer language." There are terrified people online, both old and young in agony straining themselves to have this "gift of tongues". Another verse they think qualifies this as an unknown tongue/ language of the non-human variety is
1 Cor 14:2.

It seems that they either claim that the "tongues" is actually this angel language (that apparently is so holy that "Satan can't understand it". Their current claim). Another camp of them say there were two types of tongues: this angel language and the ability to speak in a foreign language.

I think that when contemporary Charismatics refer to "tongues" they are usually referring to this "angel language" rather than a foreign one. (To be honest though I may be wrong as my research on this was brief as I find this stuff quite worrying to read.)

It seems convenient if they claimed it wasn't a human language and so only God would understand because then it would be impossible to disprove it! That isn't how God works though. He is not the author of confusion so I fail to see why God would communicate like this.

All this seeking signs and experiences does not seem wise to me.

Matt 12:39
He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

John 4:48
Unless you people see signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."

I know there are rich and deep meanings to Pentecost. Wasn't it fulfilment of prophesy too? I am starting to realise that miracles are to aid ministry and are signs for the unbeliever and are always purposeful.

All of this has made me look at miracles more intently. Would you agree that what people say are miracles today are more likely to be the providence of God? John MacArthur said that a miracle actually breaks through the natural laws by a supernatural means that defies any other explanation whereas providence is God changing things for us whilst operating within the natural laws. Would you agree with this distinction?

I don't understand why they practice these "tongues" in churches as it was meant as a sign for the unbeliever and for missionary work (from my understanding).
The problem with Charismatic churches putting on these displays, when unbelievers see it, they are not in awe and then believe, instead it draws mockery and derision.

Also there will be plenty of lying signs and wonders during the tribulation and after all the antichrist will be a "charismatic" leader!

MacArthur said that the Charismatic Movement has brought nothing good to Christianity whatsoever. He said their theology is terrible because they do not seek scripture and their claims of saving people in their millions means nothing. What are these people actually believing in when they do an altar call? This man I had this run in with claimed that his prayer "baptised me in the Spirit". He has no way of proving that but I can disprove that it was something he did himself by using scripture. A person trapped in the Charismatic Movement without the guidance of scripture can literally believe anything just from peer pressure. You then add the postmodern rubbish from the Emergent Church with their ideas that there are is objective truth and that nothing can be known for sure and you have a recipe for not just a spiritual breakdown but a compete mental breakdown also!

I have learnt so much from all this. I suffered something for a few hours and then on for a day or two rather than for years! I am so grateful for that.

God caught me sleeping on the job so he has given me a little kick so that I get back to work. I realise that to have your faith attacked when your defences were down and slumbering is a very alarming experience so now I am back to read, study, apply and WATCH!

In Jesus, who we have not seen and yet believe,

Response #14:

You've gotten the "lay of the land" very quickly, my friend. Good for you!

Yes, "angels' tongues" are just that, angelic languages for angels and only for angels, at least until the resurrection. What would be the earthly point of us being able to speak in any language neither we nor any other human being understands (1Cor.14:7-11)? But now – news to me – I hear that this is so so that we can reproach demons?! That is the most dangerous sort of nonsense. Our combat is not with flesh and blood, true (Eph.6:12), but our weapons for that warfare are also not fleshly (2Cor.10:4). We fight the fight by doing what is right, looking to the Lord day and night, focusing on the truth and helping others do likewise – and NOT by trying to have communion with things we cannot see and have no part in directly. That was the end of Saul, after all.

Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:31 NKJV


And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.
Leviticus 20:6 NKJV

When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?
Isaiah 8:19 NASB

"And I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more tellers of fortunes."
Micah 5:12 ESV

As to miracles, well, the plan of God, everything that happens, is a miracle – a "little wonder" and actually an immeasurably large one. Here's a link to where I have written about that subject and how to classify such things. God can do anything. People are amazed when He does things they don't expect or think possible – but not enough, for the most part, to change their ways. If they didn't repent at the teaching of our Lord – and the miracles He performed – there's no point in putting stock in such things. The truth is what's important. There's no power like the power of the truth. That is what the world misses. That is what the charismatics miss – to their great disadvantage. But when the anti-Christ and his false prophet begin to do such "signs" – which seem to me to fit pastor M's definition, believers need to be prepared to turn their back – and believe the truth regardless of what they see with their own eyes.

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand."
Matthew 24:24-25 NKJV

In the One for whom nothing is too miraculous, our dear Savior who bought us with His own blood, Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #15:

Bob,

Great, I definitely got the sense from all the emails that things were going well. It's definitely a weird time for people in academia, I guess. I am graduating in May so it will definitely be an unusual final semester for me. I'm ready to be done with classes for once but now have to think about what kind of job to get. I'll be heading back home later this week.

With the family stuff, it definitely has gotten a little better. They still don't really understand, but that is understandable. They still treat it like it's any other thing I do, but I'm still able to do it without too much opposition. I'm glad that they are kinda on my side because they are willing to help with the job stuff. To be honest, I really don't need a lot of money once I graduate, so I'm thinking about how to minimize my work time in order to maximize my study time. While I do have some trouble going hours on end studying, for example, I do feel that I should be buying as much time as possible to grow. It makes no sense for me to get a laborious job that will take up a lot of time and energy and that does not provide a lot of spiritual benefit. The problem is that it's hard to find jobs that do not require a lot of you. Overall, my parents have been helpful in talking about it because they don't really mind what I do. On the other hand, if I were to start my own small business or something, that would definitely not necessarily be a "smaller" commitment.

Like I said, I've been keeping up with my spiritual growth. I'm currently reading through the Coming Tribulation series and am going through Curt's Daniel series [link]. Daniel is really just a great book. I'm about to get to Ch.7 so it should coincide well with CT since I'm reading "Antichrist and his Kingdom". I've been a little lax with my individual Bible reading because I think sometimes I read something and then immediately forget a lot of it, so I have to get better at it. Regardless, I'd say I've been averaging 3 hours a day or so on this vacation, so I've been staying fairly disciplined. That said, I often feel that I should be doing even more. The reason I've had trouble is due to some lingering sleep and cognitive problems where I feel that I just don't process and retain all the information I learn the best I possibly can. It's hard to explain, so it's kinda a whole other discussion. But once I go back to school I'll have to continue managing everything.

Anyway, this is a lot, but it has been a while.

In our Lord,

Response #15:

Thanks for the update! I'm happy to hear that your family has more or less made its peace with you loving the Lord first and foremost. Perhaps they'll even turn out to be more responsive down the road – I'm certainly praying for that.

I'm impressed by your dedication to the truth, my friend! Any thoughts about ministry going forward? You certainly have the necessary commitment and discipline. I'm sure you've discussed this with our friend.

Charting the course forward is never easy, and in Covid times, I would imagine it's a lot more problematic. But the Lord is faithful, and I know that your obvious love for Him is not to no purpose.

" . . . for them that honour me I will honour."
1st Samuel 2:30 KJV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Bob,

Yes, I've definitely thought about ministry options a little bit, but I'm also not entirely sure what it would be. I still feel that it's gonna take a little time for me to figure it out. If I decide I want to teach the Word, I'm really not anywhere near ready to do it. On the other hand, if I decide to do more evangelism-based stuff, I'd have to figure that out as well. I've definitely talked to our friend about all of it because I know he's hard at work growing and studying. I enjoyed watching his YouTube videos but I guess he decided to change course a bit. It's also amazing how he managed to create his business and how God has just worked everything out for him. It makes me think about what to do because, like I said, I still don't know what I'll do once I graduate. That's kind of where my head is right now.

All the best

In our Lord,

Response #16:

I very much enjoyed our friend's videos as well!

It is wonderful how the Lord did and continues to work things out for our brother. He does the same for us all, don't forget – we just have to trust Him and wait on Him. I'm confident that with your excellent approach to things, everything will be made clear in due time.

Keep running your good race, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Interesting article; may be the basis for the set up for the antichrist creating Babylon, though I think he will turn the currently developing system on its creators to the great approval of those who will have suffered under it; still think he’ll be seemingly rightist in the beginning as the current power folks really hate Christians and Jews; something will happen to bring him into prominence and many will follow for pay back time to their previous tormentors; he may even institute forfeiture of his enemies’ property and wealth like the Romans did and distribute it to others to win favor; imagine Bezo’s billions being given to military families, then they being asked to swear allegiance to him personally; what a wild time we’re in

https://spectator.us/topic/oligarchy-america-rome-athens-jeff-bezos/

 

Response #17:

Great article. Every point I had in mind on the theme the author eventually got to. The only potential criticism I would have is not putting enough emphasis on the role of the media in expanding this cabal's power.

Your scenario is plausible [current changes in how the military is being vetted for "loyalty" and treated generally now reinforce it]. The status of the military in effecting the "change" is one I can't fathom in either case. Not sure it will play the out-sized role it did in Roman times. But add that to the LONG list of things I don't know. As Niels Bohr said, "Prediction is difficult, especially about the future" – and that is so true that old Niels didn't actually say it.

Question #18:

Thanks Bob, your email means such a lot to me and there's absolutely nothing ruptured here! It's all very good as usual.

I hope you had a good day at work today. I managed to get to and from work safely in the snow. It looked so pretty yesterday but having to drive in it isn't so much fun.

I agree with you that thinking and talking about the vaccines is very draining. But I'm very grateful to you for your guidance and for walking alongside us with this even when it's such a difficult decision for you too. I think you're doing the right thing now by waiting as long as possible. Best not to have it through persuasion or because everyone else is doing it - you've got to be at peace with whatever decision you do come to in the end. If the one I've had doesn't turn out to be very effective then I don't think at the moment I could be bothered having a different one!

Anyway, talking about getting out into the yard again is much more pleasant! Even though it's still a few months away for you it's something to look forward to. It will do you good. I forgot that your old lawnmower had died - it'll be nice to have a new one. Hopefully it should make life easier for you too.

I better stop waffling now. I'm on to SR part 5 now and it's so good. It doesn't stress me out or give me brain ache like Covid, vaccines and lockdowns!

In Jesus our dear Lord and Saviour

Response #18:

Thanks for the encouraging email, my friend. I greatly appreciate it!

Very rainy and cold here too. Difficult Monday! Should be grateful it wasn't a few degrees colder because all this rain could very easily have been snow. No sympathy now for snow-commuters . . . because U of L is looking even more deserted this semester than last with most of my colleagues teaching remotely. The hy-flex class didn't go so hot as my tablet and pen wouldn't work on the very old Mac installed in that room, and I didn't have the admin rights to login and download a driver. But I made do. Attendance wasn't bad for first year Greek, but only a third for the next class (very unusual), and I'm going to have to do something about the hy-flex class's attendance too. Only about half in my last class, but I did receive a flurry of half a dozen emails or more letting me know WHY they couldn't come today. Anyway, I made it home safe and not too wet. A little hot soup and a rest and I'm good to go. Nice not to be having to go back down until this system passes us by and the sun comes back out.

Glad to hear that you made it through your commute OK as well. Sorry about the sore arm. From the sound of your reports from co-workers, it could have been worse. I need a haircut too. Shops are open here (by appointment), but it may be a minute before I get around to it. At least I'm not growing a beard!

Keeping you in my prayers – and thanks for yours!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hi Bob,

Sorry to hear about your hy-flex class not going so well. We use computers at work and just recently we've had new tablets and pens to use as well. Sometimes they feel like working and sometimes they don't. The patient has to write their signature on the tablet which is a bit of a struggle sometimes - it ends up looking nothing like their signature. Writing their signature with a normal pen and paper only takes a couple of seconds but using these tablets takes soooo much longer!

It can't be easy for you dealing with these problems while still trying to teach your students everything you need to. I wasn't surprised to hear that U of L is looking even more deserted this semester. I'm sure you must get quite a variety of reasons why students aren't coming to class - maybe sickness or having to self-isolate. There must be a lot of fear of the virus as well.

I'm so very grateful to the Lord that even though we're living amongst all of this we have Him to lean on and to help to carry us through. While the world is panicking and fearful we can have His peace in our hearts. It doesn't mean it's easy for us and we still have our struggles but we know we'll be okay no matter what because we belong to the Lord. We have somewhere else to focus on too - our heavenly home. And using this opportunity now to store up our treasures there.

Hopefully a few more unbelievers will look up to the Lord and realise how much they really do need Him. And for us believers it's very good. I know I'm learning some very valuable lessons. I know my weaknesses and the Lord has shown me a few more! I'm being stretched and tested and I'm learning to rely and trust Him more. It can be uncomfortable but things that are good for you don't always come easy. I'm embracing it so the Lord can shape me and build me up even stronger and reflect His glory even more. How amazing that this is the power of Christ at work in our lives - and we can have the joy of experiencing this even in the most difficult times. Our God is so good! (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Praying for you and your family - thanks so much for yours too!

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #19:

I heard from our IT person that it's fixed – I'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out if that is really so [not, as it turned out]. Then there'll be other issue to work out if it is. Seems there's never a "one program" solution to any simple problem. Putting my quizzes for our remote day up today, I found out that there is still no Greek font on the application, and loading a new font is trickier than sending a rocket to the moon – and less likely of success for all the effort. Also, my work-around, plugging in screen-shots instead, has been limited from what they had before (improvements, don't you know). But we endeavor to persevere.

Thanks so much for your wonderfully positive attitude, my friend! We're only down here for the blink of an eye, after all. As long as we are doing what the Lord wants us to do, and putting a little something in our heavenly treasure chest day by day, we can count the day a success – and look forward to that wonderful LAST day when we finally see Him face to face (Phil.1:21).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

How was it today? Was it all fixed? It certainly sounds very challenging for you. Keep persevering and I'll keep praying for you!

Busy day at work for me today but a good one - and all the snow has disappeared now - phew!

I LOVED your last paragraph. I'm going to write that one down and remember it. Also the verse - Phil. 1:21 - I can't wait - it's all getting to be a bit of a drag down here now.

Keeping Philippians 4:8 in mind too right now in these difficult times.

Hope you have a good day tomorrow, Bob. Keeping you in my prayers!

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #20:

Today went well, but the problem wasn't fixed. Which is to say that the "problem" was fixed (driver downloaded) but the drawing tablet still didn't work (actually worked worse – before, the pen moved the cursor and didn't write; now it doesn't move it). Still, I did a passable job drawing Greek with the mouse. Still have some fixes that need to be input and the system is problematic, but a good thing I was able to do what I DID do - because today I had three out of seven students – but all online (some tell me they're listening to the recordings). It's OK. Covid you know. We push on. Other classes were low in attendance too, though first year Greek has been, so far, better than the end of last semester. I think the students get burned out quicker than usual wearing masks and walking around a nearly deserted campus. Trying to give them SOME college experience, but swimming against the tide, I fear.

Glad your snow is gone. Ours is just coming down right now! Very happy that I don't have to attempt any sort of commute until Friday.

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

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hello Bob, thanks for writing out your thinking on this and also pointing me to the link in SR part 4. As I seek to understand the Bible, it's important for me to learn the basis of the different things you teach, and I appreciate you laying that out for me here.

I have a question about the burial and killing of the antichrist. We know from Revelation that antichrist will go into the lake of fire alive when Jesus Christ comes back:

Revelation 19:20 (NASB) 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

Isaiah 14:19-20 lines up with Revelation 19:20 where it describes antichrist not getting a burial and killing his own people. Although it does say antichrist is “cast out of his tomb”, which I’m assuming means that he will never get a tomb in the first place?

In other Old testament accounts of antichrist’s death, it makes it sound like he is physically buried. In Ezekiel it says,

Ezekiel 39:11 (NASB) 11 “On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the valley of Hamon-gog.

From my understanding I thought that antichrist and the false prophet will be disposed of before the slaughter of the armies at Armageddon. This verse makes it sound like he is killed along with his army and then buried rather than chucked into the lake of fire straightaway.

Also, in Habakkuk 3:13b-c it says “You struck the head of the house of the evil to lay him open from thigh to neck. Selah.” (NASB)

Again, this seems like a case of Jesus Christ physically killing the antichrist, but in Revelation 19:20 it says he is thrown into the lake “alive”. Perhaps this is a case of Jesus Christ mortally wounding the antichrist similar to his wound after the second campaign? Then after Christ awesomely humiliates him, he will chuck him into the lake of fire?

Unger might also provide a solution by taking the KJV translation which instead of translating “him” open from thigh to neck, it translates it as laying the “foundation” open thigh to neck, which would be referring to antichrist's armies.

I know that Scripture never contradicts and that there always is a solution, so I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction in putting these passages together, especially the Ezekiel one. Thanks!

In the grace of our Savior

Response #21:

Here's how I translate the Habakkuk passage:

(13) You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. Selah (14) With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding.
Habakkuk 3:13

On the Ezekiel passage, "giving him a burial place", you are correct, does not result in antichrist being placed in the dirt – but his entire multitude is slaughtered in that place. So his fate and their fate are linked. And he does meet his end there – which is what this phraseology means, after all. They all die NOT of natural causes. So this is a way to say that this is where they will be slaughtered. After all, we can't expect Ezekiel to have to explained the precise end of Gog as antichrist with a long footnote. We'd love such explanations, but that is not how the Bible was written. Progressive revelation means that we are given things incrementally over time. So we don't find out about the precise fate of the beast until the end of Revelation.

On the Isaiah passage, this one has a triple fulfillment: 1) the devil; 2) antichrist; 3) the last king of historical Babylon.  Progressive revelation and multiple fulfillment of prophecies are biblical realities.  After all, there turned out to be two advents so that many prophecies related to our Lord double (e.g., riding the colt on the triumphal entry into Jerusalem but also when He returns) as well as not so clear before the fact of their fulfillment.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Hello Bob, I'm trusting and hoping all is well. I was pleased to hear that everyone had a good break and enjoyment at Thanksgiving and Christmas. God is good! My wife and I had a good time and great food as always, though no in person contact with family/friends. Being retired and living on a small acreage in the county, we are blessed to be where we are, out of the "humdrum" of the world. I am just recently coming through another test/trial, having been "hit" with a severely painful condition, which is finally getting under control, with stronger pain med. and much prayer to/from our great Physician. Our Lord is making intercession for us, and I greatly appreciate not having to deal with the pain that lasted >6wk. So now I can move on till something else comes. Not sure why all this is happening, but I think God has allowed this for a good reason, a faith test I guess ( James 1:2-4). I'm coming to the conclusion that we don't need to know "too much" because He has all things in control all the time, even when things look bleak or perilous. We belong to Him and He is and will always get us through no matter what treachery, peril, or trouble of any kind comes upon anyone of His children. Our trust lies 100% in Him! All the "chatter" that is going on, with the concomitant confusion it has imparted is certainly a call for all believers to draw closer to our Lord. I remember a time, back in 1996, going through what at the time seemed like an insurmountable "battle" till I read 2 Chron. 20:1-30 whereupon I received such great victory and peace from our God. Our reality is "in Him", and He makes us "conquerors". Truly the battle is not ours, but God's." Ye shall not need to fight this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you......" (2Chron.20:17). We all know things are ramping up to the darkest time in human history, but I am certain that with our eyes upon Him we shall overcome every obstacle and arrive in his "rest" on the other side. This is definitely a time for unity of His Church, as we prepare for this final "battle", staying strong in the faith! We will be going to Jerusalem with joy; for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies.( 2 Chron.2:27). I'm very encouraged, and pray all His children will be also, and stay in the fight for the victory and praise of the One who won it. His mercy endureth forever! We will be celebrating Him forever!

On another note, Bob, I wanted to let you know I concur with the fellow from Australia (per a previous email post) as to your credibility. I also appreciate his candor, testimony, and wisdom. I must confess, given my "background," I was a "leery Berean" when I first stumbled onto your site ( not sure how this happened, but I think God was involved....He knows how much I love the Truth). Anyway, after doing my "due diligence", I have confirmed that your teachings are correct and your approach in disseminating these materials, without unnecessary speculations, is a huge benefit to all of us. Thanks to you for all your hard work in sorting the Truth out so we can grow in His grace and knowledge. Christ is building His Church, and I'm glad to be a part, even if I'm a "foot". Your friend in Jesus, the One who made us His through the greatest victory of all times,

Response #22:

Where would we be without our feet?! If I only had one instead of two (it nearly came to that in the USMC after my run-in with that M-60 tank), I can't even imagine how I'd function. If I were missing one, I'm sure I wouldn't say that it was "only a foot". We need all our parts; and we suffer when we're missing any or when any are ailing.

Speaking of which, I'm sorrow to hear of your continuing struggles, but I have to say that your good attitude is quite an encouragement – and a prod to try and do likewise when things are aching or not working as they should. So part of "the reason", I would suggest, is the good witness and encouragement you're giving to others. Or as Paul said . . .

If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
2nd Corinthians 1:6-7

Encouragement IS comfort – and I thank you for your great witness and excellent example, my friend.

I do promise to keep this on my list when I pray for you and your family daily. Thanks also for your very kind words! They are a great encouragement as well.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

And thanks for your insight and encouragement when I was languishing in my " Jr. Job" situation. Things are improving on that score, so thanks for your considerate prayers for this as well as the other messy issues! I am keeping you in prayer also...it is so needful for all of us in "the Body". The reference, coming from your own personal experience as well as Paul's "take", are making this situation crystal-clear. Your "season ending" injury must have put you in a deep depression at the time, Certainly it would have been an extreme challenge for an experienced foot surgeon, along with a painful, lengthy uphill battle with rehab. for you. I hope this injury is not causing any chronic agony presently or in the future. 59 yr. ago, at age 12, I had the misfortune of getting my right thumb caught in a huge hinge, smashing the two bones and cutting the tip off. It was a lengthy surgery, followed by 3 days in the hospital, on morphine every 6 hr. The Dr. said that it would be a 50-50 chance that the operation would save my poor thumb. I had to get the dressing changed every 3 days. It looked horrible, stinky black flesh for a few mo. And then, miraculously, the ugly flesh sloughed off and pink new flesh appeared Thanks to the power of prayer, and a loving merciful God! Best of all my "rebuilt" thumb is working pretty well! I was looking at the testing part of your study of the Christian walk when I came upon the "count it all joy" ref. from James 1:2-4. I really got a "booster shot" from your comment that we have permission to "feel good" and rejoice in this testing of our faith ( my situation at the time). I feel confident, after receiving this " truth vaccine," that it will be 100% effective, and last a long time, with absolutely no adverse side-effects! As far as that "other vaccine" goes I think it might be a bit hasty to get it right now... maybe down the trail...no incentive yet. We will see....time will tell, as it usually does. Have a great day, Bob! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #23:

For the record, it was actually my ankle – and the doc at Ft. Knox rebuilt it really well! No problems with it since, even if the range of motion is a lot less than the other side. I do wonder if my problem with the knee on that side isn't related though (the breech under hydraulic pressure caught the thigh just above it and pushed down on the ankle with enough force to crush the ankle into multiple pieces). The steel pins seem to be holding up nicely, however.

Great story about the thumb! I too can vouch for our Lord's faithfulness. While I am appreciative of the doc's efforts, it hasn't escaped my notice that if the guy raising the main gun had kept it up a fraction of a second longer, I'd have been crippled for life. God is good!

And thanks for your contagious enthusiasm, my friend! That's the kind of contagion we need nowadays!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Hi Bob, We are surely appreciative of our doc's efforts, and can see how, behind the scenes, God's Divine intervention has/is playing a supernatural part as well. These situations are not mere coincidences, thanks be to Him!! Your "alternative " outcome is proof of this. I'm truly amazed how "big" God is in how He interacts with us on an individual basis, not knowing the count (10-12 billion perhaps?) since Adam. Saving me was the greatest 'Gift" (thank you, Jesus!) of his "Providential Interference". The Holy Spirit conviction and my response of "yes" was all it took! Later on a revelation came to mind after He reminded me of the times while I was foolishly cruising through life without Him. My life was hanging in the balance so many times, a fraction of a second from death. Without His merciful intervention, during those times, I'd be existing in "Torments", awaiting the final destination of "the Lake of Fire". Those near death experiences (ex:. the bullet coming up through the floor, just missing my head; the "turn" of logs that swept over me that would have knocked my head off; the dynamite charge that went off too soon, before I could get "cover"; nearly falling off a 2 story bldg.;....and the list could go on!) But God loved me so much and I can never thank Him enough for the patience, love, grace, and mercy He has bestowed on me. He is not a respecter of persons, plus He is a rewarder of those who are diligently seeking Him. I owe my whole life to Him, am planning on persevering in faith, continuing to drive straight for the tape, towards the prize. The past is over...the good... the bad... the ugly. As you have taught us, Bob, the best thing to do now is to keep on progressing with spiritual growth to gain us the "muscle" that will be necessary to navigate in the soon to appear "Tribulation." Thanks for helping me to stay focused! Your friend in Jesus,
p.s. Should have "proof read" the note : Providential intervention, not interference. Our free will is not interfered with, that is our choice. Have a great day, Bob, and I 'll be checking in on the emails tomorrow night Your friend

Response #24:

No worries – I miss things all the time even when I DO proofread. In any case, I'll take "providential interference" any day!

Thanks again for your strong testimony, my friend! None of us could last a day down here without the Lord. But with Him, we'll be here and soldiering on just as long as He wants . . . and as long as we are willing to keep trusting Him.

In Jesus Christ or faithful Savior,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Hi Bob,

"I will ascend heavenward": Not "to heaven" as we have seen (see section II.6.a above). The primordial Eden, it will be remembered, was on earth. Furthermore, the "heights" of the mount of assembly were apparently dizzyingly high so as to make this expression quite apropos (see "above the heights of the clouds" immediately below, and compare the massive dimensions of the New Jerusalem, some fourteen hundred miles high: Rev.21:16).

Hi Bob, do you interpret that the mountain of God in the New Jerusalem reaches 1,400 miles in height so that the New Jerusalem is basically one gigantic mountain gradually going upwards with God’s throne in the center at the peak of the mountain?

Snowy day here.

In our Lord and Savior

Response #25:

While I do suspect that the center of New Jerusalem will be greatly elevated (see CT 6 at link below), I don't have any idea how high it will be. We know the dimensions of the city proper, but how much of the height is "air space" isn't made clear. The holy of holies is the model / type, and we know that the roof was 20 cubits above the floor or thirty feet. That is very high ceiling and it was not necessitated by anything actually in the holy of holies where a pries of average height would stand well above ark and the mercy seat. This is one of those things we'll have to wait and see about, I think (fore more on this, see the link: "the measurement and design of New Jerusalem").

We got an inch last night just as the three inches from Friday were melting along with the ice. Wasn't able to get my full "constitutional" this morning as the hill was too treacherous to risk. Maybe it'll have melted enough by tomorrow to get back to "regular order".

Hope you're doing well, my friend. I've gotten a few emails from our friend lately. We both miss your "crash course"!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Hi Bob,

I am sure you have answered this question before, but I could not think of a place to look for to find it.

If God is in the third heaven to keep Himself holy and unstained by sin (the reason pre-cross believers dwelled in paradise and the place where He went after satan's rebellion), why does He allow satan and his demons to assemble with him considering their sinful ways?

In Jesus our Savior,

Response #26:

Yes, I get this question a lot. I think there's a response on it in one of the more recent email Eschatology postings too. In a nutshell, we are in the midst of a conflict between the devil who revolted and God who is crushing the revolt in the perfect way – a way in which there is more blessing on the backside than there was in the beginning (through the creation of mankind). Since mankind is the means God is using to refute the devil and restore wholeness, there must be a way for the niceties of the battlefield to be adjudicated, and that happens in the presence of God. We may think of this as a truce wherein the two parties – totally unequal here – communicate. In the case of this conflict, however, God uses these occasions to allow the devil to present any accusations he pleases, and then to refute him (as in the case of Job). This process will end in the middle of the Tribulation when Satan and his angels are finally confined to earth . . . in anticipation of being confined in the Abyss at Tribulation's end. But as to the holiness of God, the four cherubs who replaced Satan – backed up by innumerable elect angels – protect the sanctity of God at all such times. God is capable of communicating with the devil – on His terms and in His special venue – without it profaning His holiness in any way. Something similar will happen at the Great White Throne in the last judgment. The habitation of God is now in the third heaven for precisely this reason of separation, but God's separation has never been isolation – praise the Lord! He has always been intervening on our behalf, and is here presently for our help at all times. That, after all, is the plan of God in essence, based on the intervention of interventions at the cross.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:

The NHS has just offered me the vaccine. The reason I have been offered it early is because I used to have asthma but don't actually suffer with it anymore. I'm not sure whether it is the Pfizer or the Astra-Zeneca one so even if I looked into each one again, I won't know for sure which one I'll be getting so the research won't help me.

I have to let them know yes or no so then someone else can have it if I say know. ___ was on the phone this morning really annoyed that a relative in another town has been offered it. It was sad to hear that my relative Sue was "dancing for joy like a schoolgirl" when she found out. Pity she doesn't feel that way about Jesus and salvation!

My family would be hopping mad if they knew I had refused but then again they'll be hopping mad when I refuse the mark of the beast. It might be good for me to learn how to cope with them being "hopping mad" about my decisions all the time. Especially if these decisions are for God rather than the flesh and the world. I am a God pleaser now, not a people pleaser. I hope in time they will be hopping mad ABOUT the mark of the beast, not at those who refuse it!

The Holy Spirit has said one word on the current crop of vaccines "WAIT!" so I am going to wait. Hopefully the more traditional style vaccines will come at some point and then I will seek counsel again.

Today I received both "The Kingdom of the Cults" book and also "Strange Fire". I was also interested in an exhaustive documentary on YouTube on the Emergent Church and the Charismatic Church called "Wide is The Gate".

I finally found out what "Ancient Future" faith means, it is Catholic mysticism like the "desert fathers"which involve various monastic practices that have nothing to do with the truth at all. This movement is also creeping in. Apparently it is for the young people who find traditional Protestantism "too dry" and find the seeker friendly churches such as Hillsong "too superficial". So instead they seek churches that give them a "profound mystical experience" such as contemplative prayer or walking Loyola's "Prayer Labyrinth".

. . . . . . . . . .

False alarm!

It was a scam phishing email that directs you to a site that asks for your bank details!!
Apparently there are scam SMS messages going around on cell phones too so be careful!

__ told me that there has been people knocking on old folks' doors and giving them phoney vaccines for money! Scary stuff!

My parents said that they are now "desperate" for the vaccine so they can have a few more years here. Never good to be desperate for anything of this world!

Just another vaccine related update. The recently touted Novavax is also experimental "biotechnology". Looks like it will be a wait to get the traditional type of vaccine.

In Jesus,

Response #27:

Glad you didn't fall for the scam! I hear people over here are also clamoring for a dose and calling hundreds of numbers trying to get one. Whenever there's that kind of panic buying, scammers always have a field day.

In terms of waiting, since they're telling us over here that "it won't matter" even after vaccination is widespread: we'll still have this horrible "new normal" forever anyway, I don't see any incentive personally (unless and until they start penalizing the non-vaccinated).

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Hello Bob,

I hope you are well. My parents have dates set for their Covid jabs, the 9th of Feb. They will only know which one on the day. I will be praying for them on this day that the enemy does not harm them through them. Please could you pray for them also?

I've almost finished the excellent series on false teaching "Wide is the gate" and have been reading the "Strange Fire" book.

I was crying again tonight about the proliferation of false teaching and teachers. I don't know how anyone can deliberately lie about such an important issue, THE most important issue, the reason we are here after all. Do these wolves not fear God at all? What possible reward could the enemy give them that could compensate them even momentarily for their eternal fates in the lake of fire! They must be crazy!

I know Jesus and I love Him more than my own life. I don't know how anyone could fake faith or lie about knowing Him and loving Him. It is such a huge betrayal of the sheep who trust these false teachers. I see the congregations of these mega churches and presume they are there for the lust of the flesh: the prosperity Gospels et al. However, I cannot underestimate the lure of being around so many other people. It must be comforting but I know I could never have that and even if I was there surrounded by people, I would know it would be false and would have to leave. I couldn't bear to hear it. It is a lonely life standing for the truth. I know that it will be even lonelier during the tribulation and we will be really tested over our need to be drawn to the false fellowship of large crowds. The rejection I have already received over standing up for the truth against various groups and people I have been involved with is good practice for those times. I can imagine the pressure though to be really ramped up what with the food, economic, domestic, military, familial and church visible situation of the period. It is good practice at the moment to keep our heads down in our bibles, keeping our eyes, ears and hearts on Jesus and ignore the current distractions of the world as much as we can. I'm completely with you now that getting involved politically is a 110% mistake and a temptation that all believers must avoid, avoid, AVOID at all costs. As people say: left wing, right wing, same bird!

I often see others say the same thing. A person on France saying they are surrounded by unbelievers and someone in Sweden saying the same thing. I guess we all feel like this these days. Maybe it has been like this for a long time.

I'm not sure if I agree with everything that MacArthur says either. Someone claimed that he believes in limited atonement and that we can be forgiven for taking the mark of the beast. Was also shocked to hear that Sproul practiced infant baptism?

Are they all false? Are they all wolves?

It really grieves me it really does. My faith means so much to me and the truth is everything to me. I know that I am not experiencing any real persecution right now but it does get very lonely at times.

In Luke 18:8, Jesus asks will He find faith on the earth. Is referring to the fact that all believers have been killed or that they have all apostatised or both?

I always like to think that if I was alive when He returned that I would be determined to shout out "Yes! I still believe!"

Following on from Luke 18:8, is Matt 24:22 about the "flesh" of believers or human flesh in general. I wondered if these two verses are connected and prophesy that most if not all believers will be killed.

I listen to my audio bible every night before I sleep. It is such a great comfort. It's amazing to think I will be spending eternity with people like Moses, Peter and Paul! Then again will that even be a marvel as I will be face to face with my God and Saviour!

It is tough to have to wait for these things. I'd sooner be there tomorrow than here as other than loved ones, there's nothing I would miss here. I just don't want to go empty handed with lots of burnt stubble.

All this false teaching and the end times getting closer and closer just makes me all that more determined to learn and grow and share with others! Amen!

Your friend in Jesus,

Response #28:

"Left wing, right wing, same bird!" Never heard that one before, but I love it! So very true. Although "dragon" instead of "bird" would be more correct.

As to your very reasonable bewilderment about the motives of those who proffer false teaching, I can only repeat that the devil is the father of lies (Jn.8:44), and the very first person he deceived was himself.

"Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor."
Ezekiel 28:17a NKJV

Arrogance corrupts the heart and completely so if left unchecked. Once that happens, arrogance rewrites what is true and not true – to the benefit of the lusts of the arrogant person's heart. The next step is to convince others – because if the truth can be put to death on a large scale, then anything is possible (Gen.11:8).

After all, it's madness to assume that God could be dethroned! But that is what Satan has been busy with trying to accomplish since his revolt began.

While no one is perfect, and while I would not want to subject all other Christians or teachers to a series of litmus tests regarding true doctrine, I do suggest staying away from people and ministries where they clearly have things wrong, especially when the things they have wrong are of no small moment. In terms of mega-churches, one could attend most of them for a good long time without being too terribly offended since they are not generally purposed towards teaching the truth for spiritual growth. But it is true that beliefs come out even in pabulum presentations, and whenever what comes out is depressingly wrong, it always gives me a moment of intense nausea. So I'm not darkening their doors personally. Where money is at the core, it's usually a sign that the core is rotten. If they're constantly appealing for money, that is a signal to me. And what do they want it for? To build and grow and expand and hire more of the same for the same pointless purposes so that they can ask for even more money – of which there will never be enough. I'm very grateful to the Lord that He has allowed me the means to keep Mammon out of the equation at Ichthys. I know that many readers would love to have traditional books in hand, but the problems with that are large – and I also have to say that just on the basis of typos I'm glad nothing went into hard print last year, let alone twenty years ago.

"I'd sooner be there tomorrow than here" – Amen! But like you, I'm not keen to even ask for anything the Lord doesn't have planned. If we have jobs to do in the troubling time soon to come, we best make our peace with doing them – and with gusto – in the hopes of a good reward.

On Luke 18:8, this is our Lord's way of expressing how difficult it will be to maintain faith during the Tribulation. As the Great Apostasy demonstrates, many believers will not do so. But we also know that a great many will survive to the end, in spite of the difficulty and also in spite of the Great Persecution, because many will rise to meet the Lord in air without having experienced physical death (1Thes.4:17).

On Matthew 24:22, that is indeed referring to the fact that if the Tribulation were to be allowed to run its full course of longer, in the end all of humanity would be wiped out. As it is, earth's population will be greatly reduced. We don't know before the fact by how much, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if only ten percent make it through or even less – and of course that number will be further greatly reduced by 1) the living resurrection, 2) Armageddon, 3) the baptism of fire (of all who took the mark). So in terms of how many non-resurrected start off the Millennium, that will be even less. But we do know that the return to Israel will be substantially large. Nevertheless, we are no doubt talking about millions (in terms of aggregate survivals) rather than billions.

Blessedly, we believers will be enjoying the Millennium in perfect new bodies, so our perspective on all that is and will be wonderfully different.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Thanks for this Bob!

Yes I was just thinking aloud. I've never been good with crowds and always been suspicious of mob mentality (the madness of crowds and all that). Even in my secular days I never enjoyed big concerts, festivals or sporting events. I used to get panic attacks if I felt surrounded! Was trying to understand the mass appeal of these churches from an outsiders' perspective. I guess I have always thought that a herd mentality was a dangerous thing and always preferred the quiet were I can go and think for myself without the pressure of peers or going along with the group. I guess this makes me a little anti-social but I guess it will be the sociable types that will suffer the most during the tribulation seeing as all social contracts will be controlled by the mark of the beast system.

I was looking at Schuller's Crystal Cathedral the other day. I'd never heard of either until now! Apparently the Catholic Church have bought it.
It looks like something from the Wizard of Oz!

It's funny because I know next to nothing about the evangelical movement. I don't even know what makes them different. It's been an almost vertical learning curve to learn all this as a newcomer. I guess that is why many immediately want an established body they can join because all the "options" and "denominations" are bewildering.

Coming from Catholicism, I knew I didn't want to go from one type of religious system to another. That is all the church visible has to offer though. So I'm pretty much done with that system.

It's a shame about MacArthur and Sproul. I've only just found out they are Calvinists. Sometimes a ministry has sound apologetics but then their teaching ministry is flawed and you get into one by reading the other.

I agree with you that Calvin didn't go far enough but at the same time he had a huge battle on his hands so it is amazing he made as much of a break as he did.

So I'm happy to stick with yours and Pastor Omo's ministry and my Unger commentary books that you recommended to me.

So you think the false teachers actually believe they are right and doing God's work and just deceived and blinded by Satan and therefore themselves? Do you think any of them are deliberately working for Satan knowingly and trying to damage the church from within like a double agent?

It's funny but it has occurred to me that the ones who deceive the most and the most deceived themselves. Do they expect Satan to dethrone God and give them a piece of the kingdom after? Do they believe they can rule in hell? I can't even begin to understand the lunacy behind this!
Have they not figured out that heaven is only so because God is there? If they got what they wanted, everlasting life in an "Edenic" paradise without God (look at that awful Lennon song "Imagine") it would become hell in a nanosecond.

Considering a lot of these people are the movers and the shakers in this world, they are not very bright are they.

In Jesus,

Response #29:

I would shudder to call Schuller an "evangelical", but perhaps it's the correct designation. He was more in the line of a new iteration of traditionalism. A rogue Presbyterian or Episcopalian or Methodist or generic Calvinist. Hard to tell since I don't think he was ever much interested in theology; pop psychology, rather, "power of positive thinking" in the vein of Norman Vincent Peal. But it does also show that building-worship is part and parcel of this mega-church phenomenon just as it always has been with Catholic cathedrals. In the Greek Orthodox tradition this is even put out as a virtue, the church building supposedly representing heaven.

All cults and false teaching and false teachers and false groups always have something to offer, something the customers "want", and the more of "it" they have, the more successful they generally turn out to be – success in worldly terms, of course. Success is bigger buildings, larger crowds, growing numbers of adherents, growing "buzz" and fame – and OF COURSE more money coming in. Ultimately it's all about the money.

We may have nothing – or next to it. But we actually have the Lord and His actual truth. And there's NOTHING better than that!

Blessedly and justly, moreover, we will be rewarded for actually doing what the Lord would have us to do in diligently growing spiritually, determinedly walking forward with our Lord closer day by day, and sacrificially helping others to do the same as our Lord has charged us and gifted us to do. But these others, how many of them will even BE in New Jerusalem?

So it really is all madness out there in Laodicea, especially for those who are worse than lukewarm. But embracing such madness is always a choice.

Keep fighting the truly GOOD fight, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Sorry to bother you Professor Luginbill-I just have a quick Greek works question. I was reading a modern retelling of Beauty of the Beast and the main female is over educated, and at one point talks about things like the "unexpurgated Ovid". What does that kind of thing mean? Do the books in the original language-do those selling them alter the texts to keep out offensive things? Or just the translations? Does that phrase mean anything special to you?

Did I ever tell you about my job? It is all on computers [omitted]

Respectfully,

Response #30:

When it comes to works like Aristophanes' comedies (and some of Ovid's stuff), modern editions often do censor particularly "colorful" things. "Expurgate" is from Latin; a fancy way of saying "clean up". It's always a question when it comes to using words that may not be in common parlance. I (apparently) use a great many in my teaching that student's haven't heard before – and it's getting worse as time passes. Not that I'm getting more obscure (not sure that's even possible!), but times are changing and many phrases and words that were once well-known are falling out of the lexicon (NO one in my first year Latin class had ever heard "pulchritude" before when I used it the other day as a way to remember the adjective pulcher). And I confess that there's a lot of "new" vocabulary in the world of RAP that I'm not conversant with – in spite of four plus years in the USMC. If a person uses a word or phrase they just learned, knowing full well that others are unlikely to understand it, that is silly. But if we use legitimate words and phrases that won't necessarily be understood by everyone but which "fit the bill" (I was tempted to say, "is the mot juste"), then I don't see anything wrong – or arrogant – about that. Still, we do have to keep in mind that if we're trying to communicate, we do need to tailor our efforts somewhat to the audience we're trying to reach.

Sounds like an important and interesting job! I can also see how an unjust boss could easily load someone down with more work than it's possible to do well in the time allotted. A good boss would understand how important doing such a job well and not cutting corners (on account of being pressured) really is.

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #31:

Dear Professor

Firstly a big thank you for your wonderful Ministry and for your complete faithfulness in providing for our Lord’s sheep scattered around the globe, yet together in the Spirit and the truth of the Word.

Our Saturday Bible fellowship went well, though one brother could not make it and after the meeting I learnt one attendee left because something that was discussed or mentioned re-triggered an emotional reaction to a past trauma. May have been a scripture that was read - I am not sure. I may need to follow it up. I do not know the family very well so talking/listening and getting understanding (while endeavouring to stay within what they are comfortable to share) could help.

Yesterday (Sunday) 6pm, a 5 day Covid lockdown of Perth and the South West came into effect shortly after being announced by the Premier. I only turned on the news because my employer rang to say some of my bus students may be “over the border line”. Work said they would contact all the parents affected so I need not worry that I would be picking up goats instead of sheep (my interpretation of words - not theirs).

Morning chit chat with bus drivers was interrupted by the office at the high school ringing and saying that I had had some goats on board. The school was ringing the parents (who live out at whoop whoop) to come and take their kids home. I got chastised for picking up another 3 students at my starting point - their mother assured me they lived this side of the “border”. The school is going to “blow up” a map to try to ascertain whether they come from the “safe” side of the road. Their neighbors kids (staying with the goat analogy) are definitely NOT sheep, even though their letterboxes in the village are side by side. School rightly pointed out that they do not make the rules - the Premier does (he’s on the radio news right now). A bit of a slip up in hotel quarantine where a young security guard tested positive.

Toilet rolls have again raced out the supermarket doors along with most other goods leaving empty shelves - and many panic buyers with nothing to buy. Masks are mandatory in the lock down area ($1000 fine currently on offer). Oops; though not a lockdown in our area yet, I need to find some Jessie James gear - whip of the tongue changes things instantly. Though even now we cannot go over “the border”.

I have moved the bus to its new depot which is in the industrial area so I need to buy a few things to keep the bus in order. Of course the Baptist pastor loudly broadcast in the cafe, my “Mexican border running“ activities. Apparently he also reckons I would have to travel on the incorrect side of the road at my turn around point to stay “legal”. The pilot/bus driver reluctantly sold his plane last week to a persistent buyer offering him above what he wanted, even though he did not have it on the market. Says he can afford to retire now as a private plane is costly to maintain. He looked sad.

Yesterday my young son was wondering how long we would go this year before covid capers interrupted normal life - turns out day one of the new school year. Is he to blame for wondering out aloud and being answered immediately ? Most of the state’s students have another week’s “holiday” - at home only. Wheatbelt students (mine included) went back to school today.

Hope you are doing well over there in Kentucky. Keeping you and yours in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student (sheep)

Response #31:

It's most reassuring that the virus down under is content to stay on the correct side of these boundary lines. We have similarly well trained bugs here in the states, requiring one side of a state line to lock down completely while allowing the other side to ignore it. Too bad our sheep and goats are so easily cowed.

A month or so into the term my students are already getting burned out of coming to class with masks on. I would normally see fall off of enthusiasm at this point in the spring, but I think the fact that for many of them my class is the only one not taught remotely makes the snow and ice we got last night and are still suffering through today all the more intimidating – or all the more conducive to turning the alarm off and rolling over in any case. They are paying for it, so I continue to "stand and deliver". U of L actually had an uptick of enrollment in the spring, but not in Arts and Sciences. We were the black sheep, if I can still say that. I think we're also teaching a higher percentage of remote classes – so that makes sense to me. I find it hard to be down on my students for professing a desire for face to face instruction but then being reluctant or at least bad about actually showing up. It all makes a certain amount of sense, even if it does make my job of trying to teach them something pretty difficult. I could stream and tape all of my classes now, but the attendance record and overall performance of the upper level classes where I did make that an option leads me to believe that it would have just made things worse [ended up doing it starting this week]. Now student sheep can roll over in bed into goat-land, comforting him/herself with the thought of listening to the video later . . . which of course they never get to (and it wouldn't be half as good as being in class in person even if they did).

I should sell my private plane too. First, must remember where I parked the blasted thing.

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

In Jesus the Chief Shepherd.

Bob L.

Question #32:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your update. Sounds like a hard slog, though I am sure you inspire your students with your diligence and expertise. I had great respect for my maths teacher who was in the same age league as we now find ourselves in. Some fond memories last forever, even for ol’ timers like me.

My pilot colleague delivered his plane to it’s new owner who paid for his return flight to Perth. My colleague looked after his plane meticulously - he had built/bought a hanger for it at the common airports he used to visit. The new owner asked him to stay a few days but pilot just wanted to leave right away so the pain of the deal was over. He boarded a small passenger flight, looked out the window, and there was his moments before prized possession sitting on the tarmac - out in the open! Hard to bear.

If only you would park yours in it’s hanger. Easy to find and protects it from the elements - then on selling you might get above asking price as well.

Our covid vaccination programme is meant to begin sometime In February. I am not decided yet whether to have it though it may become a requirement - it’s initially going to be voluntary, supported by a big budget advertising campaign - though sudden pronouncements are becoming the norm.

Last night I watched a Four Corners ABC programme on the events of February 6 2021 in your nations capital. Very disturbing watching and listening to what sounded like lynching chants from the mob once they had smashed their way into the legislature building. One can see how prophecies of the last days and antichrist can occur suddenly. We need to keep close to our Lord to endure what is to shortly follow.

There is a big bushfire in the Perth hills with some houses lost already. The owners of the bus company evacuated to her daughter’s place and are waiting to return to see how their property fared. They only shifted to their property fairly recently. I will wait until I know their situation before I think to ask for equipment I need for the depot.

The USA has signed this big trade deal with China who are taking huge amounts of corn. I hear from one climate expert that with a drying climate Australia might become a net importer of food. Kelloggs cornflakes may become much more desirable here in future. The driver of the bus bringing students from over the “border” just rang to see if I was going the full distance - yes, but only sheep and not goats are getting on. He cannot pick any of his students up until at least next Monday, so has an extra week’s “holiday” along with his students (students in “lockdown” at home) - excluding any sudden new vocals. No new cases to date so we are hopeful. Also the Lord has blessed me with being able to work this week.

I just thought how you might be able to build a snowman with your students at U of L to involve in your classics “classroom”. Just a thought - they say it is sometimes better to bring things out into the open. Something they will remember. [perhaps I will not want to know what you think of this “bright idea”].

Thank you for your life lived for Him so that we may be led to the truth, live it, and share it with others. A long way to go to where I need to be and the time is so short and getting more interesting with everything including the numerous vocal pronouncements.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

In Jesus the Word of truth.

Your student

Response #32:

It's better to have a hard slog than no slog at all! So I'm very grateful to the Lord for the job.

Of course the only plane I actually own is an old somewhat rusty one I occasionally use for taking a little bit of the edge off of doors and such (might bring a quarter at a garage sale).

On account of the rain, not enough snow left for a snowball today, let alone a snowman. In any case, students would have to stay six feet apart from each other building him while wearing masks. Doesn't sound like much fun. Also, difficult to teach Greek or Latin that way. They come so rarely now (two out of three days officially and of course they're having a hard time of it so they don't show as they should), that I hate to waste any time I do have with them.

Thanks for the US news too. We are being spoon fed here only things thought "important", so I hadn't heard about the trade deal. In fact, I only heard by accident that we apparently invaded Syria last week (part of it, any way). Not something the news media seems to think it's important for us to know. If I didn't know we weren't yet in the Tribulation, I'd suspect we were in the Tribulation. I am getting less and less keen on experiencing it first hand, however. We ALL have a long way to go in terms of preparing if that turns out to be our lot.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #33:

Dear Professor

In earlier days I thought it might be an adventure to live through to the 2nd Advent of our Lord. Nowadays I am thinking that living through the Tribulation is unthinkable.

My employer sent through a photo of their paddock. Doesn’t look too bad so I am thankful their house was spared. 5 of their neighbors had their homes destroyed by the fire and at last report 71 homes lost. Evacuation has taken priority over the Perth Covid lockdown with families having to flee and are now grouped together in evacuation centres. Perth is full of smoke so I am grateful not to be there. I used to work in Wooroloo where the fire started. We lived in one of the shires affected by the current blaze. That was all in a former life. Hopefully we will be rejoicing in a new life to come. Nice to have the bad stuff over and done with.

Bible study recommenced; started at the beginning of John last night. __ and family having a hard time with the circumstances of his daughter having a stillbirth which according to the autopsy was due to infection which was not treated on presentation to medical staff. ___, their pastor’s wife has exhausted chemotherapy options and is on some other “treatment”. The pastor is having a hard time coping with everything.

My neighbor just told me that the EU has banned sending vaccinations to other places, including Australia (one for the conspiracy theorists to latch onto), as they need to treat their populations first. I can see that point, especially as we have such low infection rates due mainly to our isolation/quarantine measures. So it may take much longer to dish out all the jabs we were anticipating to start this month.

Mentioning the 4 Corners programme to a friend, he immediately responded with “the BLM movement started by the ‘other side’ (Democrats) has resulted in many more deaths of black people”. Your point of trying to pick sides - of supporting the “goodies” verses the “baddies” is indeed problematic and will probably become more so. As it was, seems there was not a lot to go before civil war ignited.

Total fire ban for most of the southern part of the state today as resources are exhausted. No grinding, welding outdoors and there are restrictions on vehicle movements in paddocks.

No social distancing on my bus and no masks. Have found a packet of ten to share at home should the order be given. You are required to wear them in Perth when you go out for shopping or on your one hour of exercise within 5 km of home. You could still do your jog - I run around (drive around) in the bus every day but hasn’t stopped me gaining weight. Hopefully the 5 day Perth and regions lockdown will be lifted this Friday 6pm. No new cases found so far.

I am grateful to our Lord blessing us with all we require and more.

Keeping you and your family and Ministry in my prayers. What a great blessing you are to us all.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student and friend

Response #33:

We actually did get news of the fires over here (one thing cable channels love to cover is any sort of fire or disaster). I'm very happy to hear that you are not directly affected.

"Nowadays I am thinking that living through the Tribulation is unthinkable." Amen! Unfortunately, we do have to think about it somewhat – but in total faith that if it is our lot to go in and go through, the Lord will help us get through, at least to whatever point He wants us to reach. Everything down here is temporary anyway, liable to "go up in smoke" with a change of the wind. We only imagine through the madness that is in our sin natures that things are durable. Give it enough time, and nothing is. And very often in the course of history, "enough time" has turned out to be "no time at all". It will be interesting to see the elites of the new oligarchy reduced to nothing but ashes. Having nothing is a sort of blessing, as my maternal grandmother was fond of observing.

Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city,
Whose merchants are princes,
Whose traders are the honorable of the earth?
The LORD of hosts has purposed it,
To bring to dishonor the pride of all glory,
To bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.
Isaiah 23:8-9 NKJV

Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”
Revelation 18:21-24 NKJV

For us who have next to nothing, "fleeing Babylon" when the command comes, not even going home to retrieve our coats, will a good deal easier for just that fact.

Great to hear that you are still on it with your Bible study, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #34:

Thank you for your reply. Your words and the scriptures you cite are a reassurance of our Lord’s complete faithfulness and love, and especially to realise we will be here for as long as the Lord has determined.

After reading from ‘Mark Questions’:
Mark 4:41 “... and they were filled with great fear” ESV (after he had calmed the storm).
Q: Is it the Apostles who asked Jesus if he cared that they perish in the storm?
Q: Is it Jesus they are then afraid of? (cf. Matthew 8:27 which says ‘marvelled’).

The next question came up (from me) at J’s Bible study.
Q: What does John 4:14 mean?
Q: Does it refer to a one off “drink”?

We are told to continually drink from the Word of God. This seems to be similar to needing the physical water for our physical bodies daily, just as we need to drink of the spiritual water daily for our spiritual bodies. I see that once we have found Jesus, Him and His word are what satisfies our spirits, yet we still need to “drink daily” this spiritual food from scripture and prayer.
What is the explanation; I do not quite understand here?

Another day of total fire bans. Strong winds started again. With the aircraft brought in from the east, thousands of tons of retardant dropped in a line managed to save (at least for now) the Shady Hills community. There is flooding some hundreds of miles to the north and the hope is that the weather system will move south and put out the fire. No human lives lost which is indeed a blessing.

Somewhat ironic that some of the news you don’t hear in the USA we get from the USA! Via our media speaking to relevant authorities in your country. Then again, the partial invasion of Syria by the USA I did not hear about. Strange times indeed.

We are wondering whether Google will pull the plug on Australia. Our government and Google in dispute over payment to news organisations for news content. I don’t know whether that would mean that this gmail address and emails would cease and be lost? Or just the search engine access in Australia? Just in case Google carries out the threat, you might receive emails from different addresses. Or who knows how long our electronic communications will prevail into the near future. As you say, nothing is permanent in this world. Strange times aren’t so strange - in many ways, same old, same old (natural man). The accelerant, however, may be much more akin to the present hot gusty winds fanning the bushfires here. Waiting for the rain while the country burns.

I am thankful to have the blessing of having access to your site.

Keeping you, your family and ministry in my prayers.

In Jesus for whom we wait.

Your student and friend

Response #34:

Mark 4:41: Yes, they did not "get" who Jesus was, even if Peter did understand it intellectually. We should not be too hard on them, however, because if we really "got" who Jesus is, we would never be afraid of anything in the least (as well as many other positive benefits). Learning just how BIG God is constitutes a large portion of spiritual growth – and since He is infinite, that process will never come to an end (probably not even on the other side).

John 4:14: This is speaking of salvation. We do need the water of the Word daily. But the Word that saved us was a one time thing – as long as we don't let it depart from our hearts. This is analogous to what the Lord tells Peter about the footwashing incident in John 13, distinguishing between salvation washing and the washing of confession; analogously we need a salvation drink of the truth of the gospel – and then plenty of drinking of the truth ever after.

It wouldn't be the end of the world if Google pulled the plug on the US! In terms of email, with big tech shutting down everything else, many have opined that email will be the next thing to be sternly regulated. We'll use the work-arounds the Lord gives us if so.

I'm keeping you and your place in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #35:

Dear Professor

Thank you for your answers to my questions. Mark 4:41: Until recently I had not considered that the Apostles were afraid of Jesus. I certainly understood that they were afraid of the stormy seas - then they were afraid of the solution, the one who had power over the elements. I can see that it would be spooky witnessing such power and control coming from a “man”. I wasn’t being hard on them, rather seeking more understanding and now almost “get it” (the one verse) myself.

It is fairly obvious how small we are, with death coming to all. Amplifiers such as our current bushfires and gusty winds make it even more starkly obvious, especially as today the weather is cooling and all of us have the hope of rain to douse the inferno. 81 homes lost to date. The Australia government and Google are having much more friendly chats today so it seems I may yet keep this email address for a little while.

There were a few things that I was thinking to talk to you about, but because of ol’ timers they have slipped my mind - bit tired the first week back into the early morning routine. A bit annoying - like trying to recall a dream (some understanding here for Nebuchadnezzar’s frustration). If only I had another week or two of holidays maybe I could have got those big projects under control.

No new cases of covid here so it seems the lockdown will end 6pm today. Restrictions still in place. Those “over the border” are required to wear masks. Be interesting on Monday when those from over the road join us from the “safe” “States” who are not required to wear masks, bundled into the school bus together. So far I haven’t heard anyone on media or anywhere ask this question and I haven’t either. On my namesakes bus are all over the border so be interesting at school seeing how the masked and unmasked get along. Also I haven’t thought of asking him about it - though he has asked about my border(line) operations this week.

I am waiting for the official “jump how high” command. Could come at any time, day or night - last night’s announcement started at about 830pm. One is required to be continuously glued to the screen, radio waves and perhaps the next type of app allowing for rapid response.

Of course we all need to sign in at shops, businesses, churches - basically everywhere, with our Covid safe phone app, or register our details with pen and paper for each premises we visit to allow for tracing of any new outbreaks.

Be nice to get back to normal sometime but we are told that we never will. Meanwhile we will continue enjoying the things that are permitted. We are still in the good times, before the storm.

Praise God for all His blessings now.

In Jesus our master.

Your student and friend

Response #35:

"I had not considered that the Apostles were afraid of Jesus" – they were certainly awe-struck on this occasion on account of what He was able to do (but they also had very short memories).

"It is fairly obvious how small we are" – it may be obvious, but it seems to be very difficult for human beings to internalize. God is infinite, "bigger" (though there is no right word for it) than the universe to in infinite degree, yet human beings tend to imagine Him rather small and far away – when they imagine Him at all. This seems to be part of the free-will apparatus we and the angels share. After all, Satan was in His presence, but a certain degree of His glory and extent (another inadequate word) must have been veiled for the devil to imagine he could somehow defeat God! And human beings, who should know that "death is coming to all", tend to live as if they personally were an exception to that nasty rule. It really is amazing how "big" human beings imagine themselves to be, how important, and how nearly immortal too. This is part of the madness that we are born with in these bodies of sin.

The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.
Ecclesiastes 9:3b NIV

A big part of spiritual growth in coming around to a small measure of humility where we start to reverse in our hearts this "Me big / God small" fallacy of thought with which the human race is naturally afflicted. Bushfires and other disasters and personal tragedies ought to have some effect there, but one should never underestimate the power of free will to harden the heart – to the point of blaming God for whatever goes wrong (about the only time many people ever even give Him a thought).

"Be nice to get back to normal sometime but we are told that we never will." These people who are fond of "telling us how it is and how it will be" are going to meet their end much sooner than they imagine. In the states, we have a phrase going back to WWII, "Tell it to the Marines". All these "wise and powerful" individuals will have a chance to "tell THAT" to the Lord in just a few short years. This – and the judgments from Him that will precede His return – is a solace that all believers have a right to embrace. Evil WILL be refuted and justice IS coming.

(5) [These tribulations which you are enduring] are evidence of the righteous judgment of God in His [judging] you to be worthy of His kingdom on behalf of which you are also suffering. (6) Since indeed it is just for God to repay with tribulation those who are subjecting you to tribulation, (7) and to give you who are being distressed relief along with us at the revelation of our Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, (8) wreaking vengeance in a flame of fire upon those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power, (10) when He comes on that [great] day to be glorified in the midst of His saints (i.e., resurrected believers) and to be marveled at among all those who have believed – as our testimony has been believed in your case.
2nd Thessalonians 1:5-10

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

In Jesus our dear Savior, the righteous Judge of all.

Bob L.

Question #36:

Last thing. I was looking at the most luxurious cars and apartments. And I thought 'this is what people give God up for?' It is so underwhelming. None of it is appealing. Of course nothing is worth losing Him; it is just that I certainly didn't expect such a low level of nothing.

Response #36:

Esau gave up everything for "a mess of pottage". You are right, NOTHING would be worth losing Him. And whatever people trade out for, a little or a lot, is only "a mess of pottage" in the end.

(26) What point is there for a man to come to possess the entire world, if he should then come to lose his life? Or what can a man pay to regain his life? (27) For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay every man in his own coin.
Matthew 16:26-27

Praise be to our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for whom we have given up everything temporary but through whom we have everything eternal!

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