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Question #1:

Hi Bob,

I just saw a video of Emanual Cleaver (democrat and United Methodist pastor) who opened congress back in January with a prayer to Brahma who he claimed was the "monotheistic god" we all pray to! He closed the "prayer" with Amen and "Awoman"!

I guess we will see a lot more of this kind of flagrant blasphemy more and more over the next few years. I still get shocked when I see things like this. It's a horrible feeling having these shocks again and again but I'd rather retain my ability to be shocked than be desensitised.

In Jesus, who will not be mocked,

Response #1:

What? The US Congress as a hotbed of blasphemy, heresy, worldliness and generally satanic viewpoint? I guess I am desensitized since I am by no means shocked. Then again, I live over here.

Yes, I think it's very true that "we ain't seen nothin' yet".

Marana Tha, "May you return, O Lord!"

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hi Bob,

I guess it IS worse in America than England. There were times when I daydreamed what it would be like to live in America and be surrounded by so many Christians but now I know it's mostly Laodicea over there and that the bad stuff is REALLY BAD. As the saying goes though, when America sneezes, England gets a cold. So whatever your country does, our country soon follows the lead like an embarrassingly obsequious lap dog. Unfortunately this is probably tame compared to what is down the road for us all.

I have been a little lacklustre of late. Tired and worn down by the latest national lockdown we are all under. It is awful seeing my loved ones struggle with depression and despair but I am determined to keep on keeping on!

I'm sorry my writing on Salvation was very sub par. I will go back to the drawing board and look at your resources to do better. I realise that the central doctrine of Salvation is so important that I am happy to slow right down and study it thoroughly before I make that video. It will be worthwhile to do this not just for the video that hopefully will benefit others but also myself!

I've just been reading about Caleb and Joshua. So inspiring!

Numbers 14:8-9
If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

It would be wonderful to get up everyday in the Spirit!

Marana Tha!

In Jesus,

Response #2:

In the era of Laodicea, all places have their challenges. I don't know of a single place on earth where a believer might hope to escape to anymore to avoid oppressive government interference – maybe Antarctica (bad idea that, however: I mean, what would I eat [not fond of fish]).

Please don't get down on yourself for feeling a bit out of sorts. I think everyone has gotten worn down at least to some degree by the constant push and pull of all these unusual pressures which fell upon us with a vengeance and all at once, it seems. We're all a bit tired and worn down. But we keep punching.

Also, I thought your piece was very good! I only had that one quibble – it's a difficult thing to phrase. And I think you have essentially the right approach: when it comes to the gospel, short, sweet and to the point is, in my opinion, the way to go. My major complaint regarding most famous evangelists past and present is just that, namely, that they have tended to take the opposite approach, either "preaching sin" ad infinitum (but the gospel is "GOOD news"), or preaching some lengthy sermon (but the truth beyond the gospel is for believers, not for those who need to be saved first before being able to receive that further truth).

And we DO get up everyday in the Spirit – or at least WITH the Spirit . . . and it's usually a challenge to hold onto that high ground of joy in the Lord. In New Jerusalem, it'll be no problem at all. Until then, we're in the fight.

You are courageously "entering the land", my friend! Be pleased to keep it up.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi Bob,

What's your take on alien technology? I'm hearing a lot about alien technology lately, one being Med Beds. You can find this on the internet

Just curious.

Thanks Bob. In my prayers also

Response #3:

On your question, since there are no aliens, no non-human free-willed creatures (except for angels, elect and fallen), there isn't any alien technology. But I have no doubt that the evil one wants to promulgate this mythology the same way he advances all other sorts of mythology – AKA "lies". Because whatever it is, the lie is always calculated to support his agenda; only the truth is anathema to it.

A couple of links:

War in Heaven

Aliens, Antichrist and Eschatology

Space exploration

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend! Thanks so much for yours!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

1) Continuation on our discussion on the length of the Tribulation: Can you tell me if any parts of my understanding are incorrect concerning the Tribulation “short-timer”?

a) The tribulation as it stands will last 7 solar years and be shortened for the sake of the elect (2 X times, time, and a half).

b) Moses and Elijah are said to minister for 1,260 days so they will enter the scene 17-18 days in, that way the first half of the Tribulation can be a full 3.5 years.

c) The Jewish people will be fully regathered 1,290 days on the dot from the start of the Great Tribulation (standing of the abomination that causes desolation) and will be protected for 1,260 days in the wilderness. We don’t know however if this protection starts right at the jump of the Tribulation or a week or two in. If the “wilderness protection” starts immediately then we can infer that the Tribulation has to end 17-18 days early given a 1,278-day, 3.5-year solar calendar. If the wilderness protection starts 10 days in, then the Tribulation will end approximately 7/8 days before the solar calendar is up.

d) The tribulation will last 1,278 days + approximately 1,260-1,270 days = 2,538-2,548 days total give or take.

2) Given that the Israelites were 2.5 mm (give or take) during the Exodus, and the Jewish age lasted 2k years this would mean the proportional interpretation from the ceremonial calendar estimates way less gentile Christians than one would think. Let’s say the Israelites average 10 million people a century and 80% were believers then over 2,000 years we have approximately 200 million Israelite believers (obviously this is a pure guesstimate). Then if gentile believers are 3 times that size, we have 600 million gentile believers, and 800 million total believers in the Church. That is small! Am I underestimating the total number Jewish believers during the Age of Israel? Or is it that the eras of Sardis and Laodicea are so bad that there are far fewer believers than most think?

I realized my math was off -- but I'm still curious on your thoughts for this ballpark estimate and its relation to the ceremonial calendar.

Glory be to our Lord,

Response #4:

I certainly agree with the Tribulation lasting seven years (it's Daniel's 70th week: Dan.9:24ff.).

On 1b), the first half of the Tribulation is indeed three and a half years long; Moses and Elijah are clearly martyred at the mid-point of the Tribulation, but the beast's "war" against them is more than a day long; and their bodies are displayed for multiple days. I wouldn't want to say how much before or after the exact mid-point this all takes place; certainly not long, but not possible for us to pin down to the day. On c) we have a similar issue; the 1,290 runs from erection of the statue (and proceeds into the Millennium). That probably doesn't take six months, but it also probably doesn't happen in a single day; we don't know the start day for its construction (based on a); and we don't know exactly how long it takes to build it; also certainly not long, but also not possible for us to pin down to the day. On d), so based on the above I wouldn't want to make this sort of calculation. We have the general time frame, and I'm grateful for that.

2) Is this a "math" question? If so, you're definitely asking the wrong person. In terms of the theology, we really don't know how many Israelite believers there were during the Jewish Age (or Jewish believers during the Church Age), and we don't know how many believers there are today, for that matter. I can tell you that the number of genuine believers I've run into in my life has been small, even in the course of this ministry. There are supposedly over two billion "Christians" in the world today, but what percentage of these individuals who are traditionally connected with groups which are Christian in name are actually born again, born from above? We just don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the percentage is far smaller than we would hope it to be. So more so than on question #1, the starting and ending numbers are so much in flux potentially that I'm not bothered by this (of course, since it's a "math question", I would have to understand it first to be bothered by it, and that is a stretch where yours truly is concerned).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hello again Bob,

I need to tell you something Bob. I'm not sure if I've told you this before fully but I now think it important. I am now of the opinion that most of psychotherapy uses occultic methods and "new age" teachings. It makes sense in a way as what else do they have? They don't have the truth which is Jesus so all they can do is peddle satanic snake oil after all!

Excuse me if I have told you this before but I have a new understanding on an old experience as it were. None of us know what Jesus looks like. The bible never gives us a physical description and there are obviously good reasons for this. Like you said before, it's on a need to know basis and people are prone to focus on the wrong things just as people have ended up being overly focused on angels for example. So even though we don't know what Jesus looks like, we THINK that we do. Why? Because we have had hundreds of years of paintings, icons, statues, films, cards, even cartoons, comics and cuddly toys depicting the SAME likeness of the same person and we are told that this is the likeness of Jesus even though we have no idea what He looks like.

Couldn't this be a part of the deception? What if this was the exact same likeness of the antichrist? Wouldn't this aid in deceiving people more readily as people have accepted this likeness to be true despite the lack of biblical evidence? It's interesting the purported physical evidence of Jesus' likeness is the Turin Shroud which is a relic of the Catholic Church. I find it interesting how this likeness in the shroud is the same as the typical likeness found in ALL representations of Jesus bar none!

So now I have a personal experience to add. When I was still a baby Christian, ___ wanted me to do a "visualisation" exercise. I had no idea that this was an occult exercise and that people in the New Age do these things called "channeling" to contact "ascended masters" which is basically fallen angels! I had no idea of any of this at the time. The sad thing though is that the Holy Spirit told me not to do it but I shamefully ignored the Spirit's prompting and did it anyway even though I felt worried about it. (I have noticed recently that the emergent church is using things such as meditation, yoga and visualisations and all of this is about contacting demons basically).

When I did it, I "visualised" the inside of my body and saw red and then saw this person who I thought was Jesus. I even said to __ laughing with relief "It's okay! I can see Jesus so it must be alright!" So how would I think it was Jesus? Well it looked exactly the same as the Jesus I saw as a statue in my local Catholic Church as a child. They call this image "the Sacred Heart". Well this is what I saw and he was wearing red robes and had long hair and a beard. This Catholic image of Jesus is identical to the one that appears in hundreds of years of fine art and popular culture. So like most people I have been programmed into thinking this is what Jesus looks like (despite total lack of evidence).

Obviously Jesus would not have anything to do with the occult or an occultic method of contacting Him but I didn't realise this at the time as I didn't know visualisations were occultic.

[details omitted]

Quite a while passed and I was still doing research into conspiracy theory but also looking at testimonies of people coming out of the New Age. I then stumbled on an image that really shocked me. The New Agers claim to contact an "ascended master" called Sanat Kumara or sometimes Sananda Kumara and these entities are described as looking just like this popularised image of Jesus! Notice Sanat is an anagram of Satan.

They sometimes call this the "twin flame" and what is even more disturbing is that it has a male and female aspect, the male being red and female blue. They say the female is actually "Venus" and she is dressed in blue. They also claim she is the "Virgin Mary". They have this in freemasonry too as the "two pillars" of supposed Solomon's temple, one representing severity and one mercy. In the Catholic Church Jesus is represented by red and severity and Mary is blue and mercy.

If you look at all the "Marian" apparitions to Catholics, this supposed "Mary" represents herself as "merciful" and she always represents "her son" as being "severe". She claims that she withholds the heavy arm of judgement from her son and that she is the mediator between mankind and Jesus. Of course this is nothing less than blasphemy and shows you the true nature of these apparitions. I know that ___ has done a lot of research on the Marian apparitions.

So if these two entities, these two claiming to be Jesus and Mary can be contacted by occultic means and look exactly like Catholic iconography, it reveals to us exactly what these entities really are! They are demonic imposters trying to take people away from the true Gospel
and the real Jesus Christ!

So the Mary of Catholicism is not the biblical Mary but actually the "blue flame" or Venus. Also the Jesus of Catholicism is not the true Jesus Christ either as instead it is this "red flame" Sanat Kumara entity that the blue flame must control!

So categorically Catholicism has nothing to do with Christianity whatsoever. As it is another Jesus they follow altogether, another Christ, another Gospel.

Matthew 24:5
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Galatians 1:8
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

I have noticed that this male/ female god/ goddess is in most of the false religions including witchcraft. It is what that black and white yin/yang symbol represents. There is a tendency to believe that there needs to be a balance of good and evil to balance things out like black and white or blue and red or mercy and severity. The horrible thing is that they even believe evil must be done if there is too much "good" going round as though it were all a fine moral balancing act around us controllable by humans! (Incidentally red means sun god and blue means moon goddess so that would include Islam as well as their religion is based on moon worship hence the crescent moon symbol.)

There really isn't anything new under the sun. Same fake gods and goddesses with the fallen angels behind them that people have been falling after for thousands or years.

I have wanted to talk to you about this for a very long time but it was a very disturbing realisation. I realise how important to share all of these findings with people who are willing to hear it and to warn the people who visit your site though.

I've noticed a kind of pride in people who spend their time chasing these false gods and goddesses. I noticed my sister speak proudly about "Shiva" just because she had been doing Yoga for sometime. ___ and a friend getting really passionate about "Mary". ___ getting all fired up talking about "Hermes" one day. It's quite shocking to behold. I realise that the longer a person spends in spiritual darkness and the further they go chasing after false gods the more hateful they are towards our Lord and Saviour. Someone wrote snidely once to a Christian online "Are you in one of those Jesus only cults?" I guess that being a description of Christians who rely on Jesus alone rather than the traditions of men, an extra biblical book of dubious origin or a strange goddess entity lurking in the background only to then dominate at a later date. The other day my __ stormed in disgusted saying "Did you put all that Jesus stuff on my YouTube?"

It's heartbreaking Bob how deep this deception goes but I am now understanding that all these people are complicit in it, they know it is a lie but they love it anyway. They have the same external, internal and special revelation before them that I have and yet they still reject it.

When I tried to prompt __ to read the bible she said "I'm too old to change religions now and I'm happy with what I've got". When I tried to warn __ about the coming antichrist he just said "You tell us when he comes and we'll then listen to you".

Like you said, I'll keep praying for them, carry on studying and applying the truth to my life and try to witness to them through my life.

I apologise for such an enormous missive but I thought this important information to share. Whether any of these things will play a part in near future events will remain to be seen.

In Jesus,

Response #5:

I'm very grateful to the Lord for all He's delivered you from, my friend! You're certainly not alone, by the way, in having to be helped out of all manner of various and sundry false paths and dead ends – that in my observation and experience is the common testimony of most believers who are now truly fighting a good fight for Jesus Christ (myself included).

Indeed, visualizing things and seeking out visions is a mistake. I deliberately did not see (nor have I seen) that "Passion of the Christ" movie . . . because I have spent the better part of a lifetime trying to get close to the REAL Jesus Christ. We know Him even though we don't see Him (cf. Jn.14:9; Heb.11:27).

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29 NIV

I am and will be praying for you family for all these matters. I too have a lot of people in my circle and/or known to me who've gotten one vaccination or another. I haven't "gotten the call" as there are so many scrambling for it now. Despite family pressures, I'm leaning towards holding off . . . if I can (I DO need this job). On the one hand, if what those warning about potential problems with it are right, that won't be clear until next winter probably; on the other hand, the thing is likely to die out by then no matter what. The Athenian plague (far worse than this) came back the second year but at a greatly reduced level of ferocity and died out after that; the Spanish Flu similarly; in fact, I don't know of any epidemics that haven't followed the same pattern. But of course now human beings imagine themselves in control of things. Human arrogance truly knows no bounds. The idea, for example, that we can control the climate, for good or for ill, shows a complete lack of appreciation of proportion divorced from all physical reality. If everyone in the world stood together on the Isle of Wight, there would be room left over . . . and of course nothing at all over their heads about six feet or so up. Do people really not understand how big, e.g., the Pacific Ocean is?

Keep up the good work on your incipient ministry, my friend! Happy to link once you get it up and running.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for this.

Recently I have had renewed strength in my faith. I started to have anxiety again and feel panic firstly about my loved ones taking this vaccine but also felt fear about not having the strength to get through the tribulation. I've worried about it being so horrific that I will be paralysed with fear and not be able to go on but then I realised with continual study, belief and application of the Word that I can trust God 110% with everything in my life and everything in everyone else's life too.

God could stop Covid tomorrow but the fact that it is still here shows that it is part of the bigger plan. I'm sure it has brought people to faith for fear of their own mortality. Similarly, if there is anything malevolent in these vaccines then God can easily deal with that too. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead days afterwards. He tarried before He did this as it would give God greater glory. It is like when the Apostles asked Jesus about blindness caused by sin

John 9:3
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

And about Lazarus

John 11:4
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

The enemies' minions are very visible, especially at the moment and their exploits are writ large and their boasts promoted by the beast system and his mouthpieces all day long ad nauseum.

God's work and ongoing plan is going on continually through us, amongst us and around us. It is invisible though because if it wasn't, it would be so overwhelming proof of Him that it would ostensibly negate our free will faith choice in Him.

I have come to realise that there is only two ways of learning in life: wise counsel or bitter experience. We have very wise counsel in the Bible. The more we trust God's wise counsel then we will do the things we should and avoid the things we shouldn't. The bitter experience we have when we ignore wise counsel and the promptings of the Holy Spirit are the consequences of sin but even when we sin and do the things we should not, we have Jesus as our mediator and as you have explained in your Peter series, when we suffer through general suffering or satanic attack or for reasons of discipline, as long as we have confessed our sins and have fellowship will God, He will always be by our side getting us through whatever tribulations we have as our loving Heavenly Father.

We can trust God more than what our eyes can tell us, after all at the beginning of the tribulation period there will be "lying signs and wonders" which will fool many eyes. Whatever happens to any of us will be in God's hands. We can boldly approach the throne now that we are in Christ and He always answers prayers but we need to be patient. If He seems to "tarry" it may be to test our faith (and as you pointed out, spiritual growth is impossible without testing). At the same time it may be to be glorified in the works manifested in us and others when we wait on Him. Moses tells us to wait on the Lord and the Lord will fight for us, we only need to be still.

We see rioting and noise all around us but we should ignore what are eyes and ears are telling us as they are distractions from our enemy. We need to wait and be still and carry on reaching out for the Lord in our faith, spiritual growth and production.

We can then give the wise counsel we have learnt and trust from the Word and the Spirit to others but then they must use their free will choice on whether to trust this wise counsel or go their own way. Going our own way always leads to bitter experience. We must pray that the bitter experience of the people around us leads them to the wise counsel that can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ. Holding on to the truth that it will all be for good in the end keeps me keeping on. Whenever my phone switches on, the first thing I see are the words "Count it all for joy".

Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The thing about the vaccine is that it may well help protect against Covid and may protect someone getting seriously ill and dying. Even if it really does all the wonderful things it says it does, death still happens. There is no vaccine to prevent death full stop. Only Jesus has overcome death and after all He is the resurrection and the life!

John 6:68
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Praying and hoping that the illness and fear of death around people pushes them to seek an answer to death and so onwards towards the words of eternal life.

In Jesus, the resurrection and the life,

Response #6:

"God could stop Covid tomorrow but the fact that it is still here shows that it is part of the bigger plan" – Amen!

"There is no vaccine to prevent death full stop." That of course is the key point. People scramble to stay alive – and yet death comes to all. As I often say, part of the tyranny of the fear of death exploited (Heb.2:14-15) so assiduously by the evil one and his system is the myth embraced by nearly all unbelievers that somehow THEY are the exception. And they keep on believing that myth . . . right up until the end. Or at least they LIVE as if they believed it. Rationally they know it's a lie – but if they believed the truth, why would they not do the rational thing and seek the only solution there is to death? It all goes to show what is really going on in the hearts of most human beings and has been since the fall. The only thing more horrible to them than death is the idea of bending their knee to God Almighty and deigning to accept His great Gift of Jesus Christ. This is hard for believers to understand. But then again no truly humble person can ever be expected to fully understand the mindset of the truly arrogant (Jer.23:28). And that – refusing Jesus Christ – is the epitome of arrogance, even if some of those endowed with it seemed ever so saintly in the eyes of the world.

(26) From one man he created all the nations of mankind – that they should come to inhabit the whole face of the earth. He fixed and determined the specific times and extent of their habitations, (27) to the end that they should seek out this God, that they might go in search of Him and so might find Him – for He is not far off from any one of us.
Acts 17:26-27

Thanks as always for your sharp spiritual perspective, my friend! Indeed, it's good for everyone to be aware of pitfalls, and knowledge of ones they have yet to fall into is actually very helpful . . . for those prudent enough to take warning (Prov.22:3; 27:12).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Dear Bob,

Excellent post this week. You explained things I'd not considered before. Some of the questions were also enlightening. One of my disabilities from being a system engineer is that I take too much literally at face value. I'm getting better but it's an uphill battle. I'm reading scripture more slowly to counter that.

Thank you!

Also, Psalm 79? I though Asaph was a contemporary of David whose reign transitioned seamlessly to Solomon. What was the invasion and destruction Asaph described?

Not to be a nitpick, but -- #2 "...while were sitting..." Is an apostrophe missing or did you mean "while we were sitting?" Also #16 "...perfect at this man... or "perfect as this man?"

Now that my eyes are going south, I read more slowly. Days past, if the ascenders and descenders were in the right places. I normally read print correctly though in old days, I used the same concept with vocables in writing radio advertising. Vowels were almost meaningless. If carefully crafted, the words would say one thing when read or heard in a calm environment but when in a distracted situation, like drive time, those words could say something entirely different. I don't listen to much anymore because of that.

BTW, in last weeks posting, a correspondent made the comment that it must be difficult writing Greek with a mouse. There used to be apps that allowed input via stylus. Your IT staff should know about this and you should have it available now. Though I don't imagine writing Greek characters is all that easy either way.

Stay well, warm and safe.

In our Lord Jesus,

Response #7:

Thanks for the encouragement! And thanks for catching this typo (corrected) – at least that's one thing I'm good at making.

While most people take the attribution in these Asaph psalms as to applied to his descendants, I take them to be prophetic.

Yes, we ought to have a stylus connected to every in-room computer. The one I use most often is in a room that "belongs to" my department, and the old MAC in there can't seem to marry up right with the stylus and pad I have (have tried a number of things, but I don't have admin rights and our tech couldn't get it to work either). Getting these very inexpensive pieces of hardware in place is on the wish list I've provided to the college IT committee, but I'm not holding my breath. IT essentially wants everyone working off a laptop and won't even allow desktop purchases anymore. But that's just one more thing for me to drag around, get damaged and/or stolen, so I've resisted going that route. In any case, drawing with my finger is even worse on a little pad than drawing with a mouse.

Glad to see it's warmed up down there finally!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hello Bob,

I never thought about them being prophetic. Thank you again! My understanding is that everything was peaceful in David and Solomon's reign then things went downhill again. It seems like the trend of a righteous ruler and then a string of evil rulers is a pattern that persists to this day. When the Lord told Samuel, "here's the king you will get." he described almost, if not every ruler since. While troops and staff don't run beside his chariot, they still serve in the same subservient way. And we certainly know who the ruler is, at least in the short term. I'm continually amazed at how relevant the Bible is to today's milieu. Psalm 58 has been rattling in my head now for weeks.

On another note: You've seen my "Oops" in what I type. The last computer I bought has a small Microsoft keyboard and I'm forever making typos. (Plus, the misspellings.) My hands are used to a full sized keyboard which apparently doesn't exist today. I've tried to interface a full sized keyboard unsuccessfully. And to think I used to do that for a living. Do teachers still use blackboards (or green or white boards) or has everything gone to slide presentations?

I bought my replacement computers from PCDirect in Austin who refurbishes Dell PCs and resells at delightful prices compared to new hardware. They ship all over the country. The have been extremely reliable. I'm sure there's an Apple analog if you or your IT gurus search for it. For what it's worth, don't take your IT staff's word as final. Bit Flippers have a tendency to talk like the Pope so you'll leave them alone and not pull them from their comfort zone. I was hired for a lot of contract work because of that.

I hope and pray all is well in old L'ville. Years ago I read a book titled something like "Follow the Spring" or some such in which the author recorded the six week progression of spring from the deep south to the north. It appears to me to be accurate. So, since we've had days in the 70's off and on over the past week, your spring should be not much more than four or five weeks away.

Climate change is about to happen again!

Yours in our Lord,

Response #8:

That's funny!  A hundred and fifty years ago, Mark Twain could jest that "Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it" – now that seems like a political action statement. People really are arrogant to think that the season are in their control when they can't even make a single hair black or white – except by artificial measures which only mask the truth.

Our university has a contract with Dell and only buys their computers (unless a person is an Apple user where they then sometimes make exceptions). But good news! And old student of mine who now works in IT came in and fixed the cameras today! Took him less than five minutes . . . after banging my head against the wall all semester. Turns out you just have to find the right wall! God is good!

Sorry to hear about the keyboard issues. I'm using one with the paint gone from half the characters. Last time I upgraded computers at home (been a minute now) the new keyboard had all the up/down/home/delete etc. keys in different places so my brain couldn't quickly do the things I'd been doing for years. I'm not totally averse to learning new tricks, but not when there's absolutely no purpose to it.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I have been studying your study on Revelation chapter 9 and this caught my eye.

"While the exact location of the shaft leading down to the Abyss is not mentioned in our context, it is possible that the invisible entrance to Tartarus is near this very location, namely, at the great river the Euphrates, in relatively close proximity to the ramp that leads upward (making the choice of directions for all creatures all that much more symbolically clear)."

Are you referring to the ladder Jacob saw in a dream when he went toward "Haran"? Is this referenced in Genesis 28:10-14? It says Jacob "went to a certain place, and spent the night there". I looked up "Haran" and found the explanation that says this place was in Mesopotamia, which says: Mesopotamia is a term used to refer to a medieval region located on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, which now lies in the modern-day Middle East. The region corresponds to most parts of modern day Iraq as well as parts of Iran, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey.

My question: Is Haran where Jacob went towards, the place you are referring to in this study? It would seem to fit your remarks about "the going up" or "the ramp that leads upward", or is there another explanation because I am way off base here?

Thanks so much for all the time you spend answering emails on a daily basis. The other thing that intrigues me is what verse 13 where the LORD says to Jacob in the dream: "the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants".

Blessings to you always,

Your curious friend,

Response #9:

Jacob went towards Haran from Beersheba – which is far to the south. So we don't know exactly where Luz / Bethel was (it's usually a mistake to take modern equivalents as being correct for ancient place locations).

The upwards ramp was / is at Bethel (which is somewhere 'in the land'); the shaft of the Abyss is on the Euphrates which is, as I say, "relatively close" – in the sense of also being on the border of the land in the eschatological outer boundary of Israel.

Always good to hear from you, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Dear Professor

I hope you are doing well in the cold and that your classes are working out for you.
Thank you for your Ministry. I am continually amazed that we are blessed with such excellent teaching, especially considering the Laodicean age in which we live. I believe yours is a critical work that has helped us live more for Christ now and given us the opportunity to prepare for the extreme difficulties about to commence. Even now there are situations I find uncomfortable and challenging to live through.

I notice Curtis has a lesson entitled: God’s Plan: Globalism; Green New Deal; Why Christians should be involved in government; The righteous line: From Adam to Noah, Seth to Abram.

I have not listened to it yet as it is over an hour long and I have been busy. Also I prefer the ichthys.com set up of text that I can readily refer to. Some people would find his method works well for them. I have mainly used his written portions. Will try listening to it in the car on a city trip if the internet holds out or am able to download it first (the download got lost on my iPad so will try the phone).

We do have examples in scripture of strong believers being involved in government; Daniel and Joseph come to mind, though they seem to have had it come to them rather than they actively seeking after it. Do you see a difference in being involved in politics to being involved in government? Especially in respect to the time we are now living?

Each of us, if we do not grieve the Holy Spirit, will be led to what is the right and proper course for us individually. I wanted to give you a break from answering my emails so I have tried to let others have their say as it is refreshing to read of others experiences, knowledge and perspectives.

Burglaries have been on the increase in our small town and my wife’s work keys along with a little cash etc, got taken out of her car two nights ago as we slept. Second time in a few weeks our street has been targeted. Hard feeling love for these people even now, so I am concerned about the “cooling” to come. If the lawbreakers are children, even when apprehended a tut tut is about the extent that can be doled out. A modern Mercedes car that was broken into a few weeks ago in our street, managed to film the offenders but film quality not good enough in the dark. Someone also had the same issue with fotos taken of the offenders the same night with their mobile phone, so no positive i.d’s. No doubt some will make use of covid mask cover so that no one is guilty - except of course the innocent. The internal strife of the Tribulation will be really testing along with all the other adversities.

Getting closer to D(ecsion) Day for the covid shot - whether one really wants one’s job, or for that matter, perhaps whether going “airgan” is the “healthiest” choice - a couple of notches up from Novak Djokovic’s vegan diet that has seemed to have helped him to so many world tennis titles. He has not taken a vaccine, and would rather not, unless it becomes a requirement for him to compete on the world tennis stage.

We pray that we all have the mercy of God for what we need to endure to the end.

Praying for you and yours and your Ministry.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #10:

Do let me know what you decide on the vaccination front. I've known a number of folks here now who've had it (and correspondents too) without any serious side effects (after the first day or so, any way). I'm concerned as you know about follow on issues some people with credibility are worried about. They're beginning my "traunch" here at U of L. It's competitive to get it, so no worries about being pressured just yet. The schedule is up for the fall and I rejoice to see that "moving to hybrid" is put as a possibility "if the pandemic continues" – so were are setting up for a normal semester. Color me thrilled about that! Rates are down in KY even though vaccination is in the early stages. I suspect this plague will go like the one in Athens – and the Spanish flu and all the rest – namely, burning itself out in a year or two.

I have no problem working for the government. I do myself (in a manner of speaking, since U of L is a state university). And I did myself in the past too (the USMC is, after all, a US govt. concern). One of my best friends works for a federal prosecutors' office, and my stepson is a public defender employed by the state of New Mexico. In fact, in this country at any rate, "the government" is probably the biggest employer by a country mile – especially if you count in government on all levels. That's a very different thing from politics, in my view. In fact, in my humble opinion, government employees would be wise to stay out of politics as well, especially in the conduct of their jobs. I certainly do that. More and more, I'm aware, there are many (way too many) who are more than happy to bring their politics into their government jobs, and vocally and unabashedly so. I'm not in favor of that . . . but no one is asking my opinion (which is probably a good thing, come to think of it).

Sorry to hear that crime is up down under. It is here in the states as well. In my neighborhood, we've had a plague of catalytic converter theft (apparently they lust after the small amount of silver therein so they saw them off of cars parked on the street in the middle of the night). We've also had a wave of car-jackings city wide (don't know of any or anyone affected in the immediate vicinity but some have happened very close to here). Hoping that "when and if" normality returns, that will be get tamped down too.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers, my friend – thanks so much for yours (and your good words as well)!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Professor

I am not under the pump at the moment for vaccination just yet, though working in close contact with school children may be given the “option” fairly early in the piece, especially considering my age. Along with some others I am concerned that this new technology has no history. Might be ok or ... (I read some of those links one of your readers listed last posting). Also I am not yet sure what the “option” will be; want the job - comes with the jab? As mentioned, a completely vaccine free Djokovic may take it to keep his well paid job.

Couldn’t wait so I got into some dishes etc and listened to Curt’s ‘God’s Plan Lesson 17’. He goes through the common objections to being involved in politics in order to show that in his opinion they are not valid objections. His thinking probably aligned more closely to mine before I came to Ichthys as I was critical of JW’s who refuse to vote for any “man made“ government. [JW’s get their name ticked and then lodge an informal vote = vote doesn’t count]. I do vote (it is compulsory here) and I try to make it count for the candidate of my choice, having regard to other factors. Sometimes they get in and sometimes not. I do not get involved any more than that, through lack of inclination, ability, and especially as the time is short I feel I am way behind on spiritual preparation as it is. Last thing I need is to be tripped up on “curly” issues, particularly as the mouth sometimes/often opens before the brain gets into gear. With PC (poly tickle correctness) I am sure the experts would have no trouble laying snares for unwary players like me and use this against all Christians. I respect those who do try to do the right thing in politics/government. Tough going.

Short bits: Attended Bible study last night. A newly moved in couple were there. __ also there.  Our Saturday lesson that I had prepared a summary for 4 chapters of Daniel ended with Chapter one as we run out of time. __ and his wife travelled across the newly opened (just before newly covid closed) “border” to join us. A friend said our recent crime spike is due to a government department getting rid of problem people in the city and sending them to us. Great how they “solve” problems. A “paradigm” shift. Questioned on the radio about the freeze in the USA, our weather bureau man said that it is a ‘weather event’ to be distinguished from the global ‘climate’ warming of the planet. [So no worries there, it is the heat you need to be concerned about]. We have cooled off again - perhaps it is the back draught of all that ice up your way cooling our northern hot tropics air to send down cool rain down south here. [now I am on my way to getting a PC place at the bureau].

I heard a town down this way broke it’s March record for rainfall for the whole month - on just the first day. It is usually very hot and dry down this way this time of year. We have had a handy second drop of around 20 mm, along with the back patio gutter coming adrift. The apricot tree had filled it with leaves so the gutter swung downwards loose and flooded and then mudded the paving. Must get out there now for a look see how to fix it. Also keep getting caught without firewood as it usually doesn’t need lighting until May. Such are the consequences here of the warming cooling us before the time! And with the thunderstorm, ABC and SBS signal dropped out simultaneously yesterday just before the climax of ‘Mastermind’ - so I missed the result.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student and friend

Response #11:

Things really are different down under! Can't imagine being compelled to vote. Sounds like the old Soviet Union.

Yes, more and more are getting vaccinated here. Haven't heard any horror stories. As you say, it may be OK – or . . . We'll just have to wait and see (which is my plan at present). As mentioned previously, U of L has not made it mandatory . . . because it is "experimental".

Your "paradigm shift" sounds more like a "perpetrator shift" to me. Something else that wouldn't happen over here – we just are letting people out if they meet the criteria (as in "were involved in 'social action' crime") and letting them go where they please.

Glad to hear that you're hanging in there with Bible study!

Wet weather here too of late. Basement a bit flooded, roof a bit leaky. We persevere.

Thanks for your prayers, my friend! Keeping you in mine.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Dear Professor,

I just wanted to drop a brief note to say you are firmly in my prayers and I hope all is ok with teaching and ministry. How have you been doing?

Making my way through your Bibliology series in between managing the business as best as I can!

Your student in Christ,

Response #12:

Great to hear from you, my friend!

Happy to hear that you are keeping busy with the business and also BB. I would imagine that managing a business with so much of it online now is difficult. I can tell you that teaching the way I'm teaching now – both in the classroom and streaming with the computer at the same time and having to keep up with students "out there" as well as "in here" – is a lot harder and a lot more time-consuming because of the out of class portion.

Are you back in Scotland? How's your brother doing?

Thanks for those prayers – I keep you in mine day by day as well along with your brother and family.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hello Professor,

Yes you guessed it right! Although I have the utmost of respect for people like you who are managing the hybrid delivery of classroom and online teaching. Doing this simultaneously in the classroom is something I have never heard of… I can only but imagine how much more time-consuming and somewhat strenuous it is, accommodating the in-person and virtual class. Like you, I much prefer in-person teaching. If remote, I actually prefer emails than video calls. Although when it comes to teaching, I imagine it is emails + online delivery + added preparation for online material! I pray that the situation gradually improves for your sake and reduces the burden on you.

I am still back in Scotland (Arbroath, East Coast) and so is my brother. He is keeping well thank you and recently came back from his 6 month deployment in ____. Through God’s grace it was relatively straight forward from the sounds of it, although he had to treat a US casualty very sadly. I got the sense when out there on the field, there are some hearts that may be primed for receiving the Gospel, especially with death so undeniably in front of them.

Thank you for all your prayers Professor. Although I don’t email as regularly as others, I still remain very in touch with Ichthys on a daily basis and appreciate all the wonderful material you post in your labour to feed the flock, to grow and produce spiritually, fulfilling God’s will in our lives.

Response #13:

Thanks for the update!

I'll continue to keep you and your business and your brother and family in my prayers, my friend.

And thanks for those good words and prayers of yours as well.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Thank you for this Bob!

Yes I am indeed slowly on the mend! It has humbled me though. I think that I said before that when I feel the weakness in the flesh, when I come through, in the past I have tried to draw strength "from the flesh" but the flesh profits nothing. The "strength" from the flesh invariably leads to sin. Typically I "think" I am strong again but realise that I am barking at others, impatient when others are slow or stumbling and see this as "strength" because this is what the world sees as strength. __ does the same thing, thinks she's strong because she is able to be bullish again (she picked this up from her mother too!)

This time I have learnt to stay humble even when I recover from pain whether it be emotional or physical pain. I no longer look at self reliance that the world encourages but God reliance, God dependence.

Maybe I still need these reminders from God about seeking strength from Him not the flesh. There are still sins that I really struggle with. The "deed" sins can be controlled fairly quickly by avoiding the obvious sin pitfalls but the thoughts and words are so much harder! I realise though that the thoughts leads to sinful speech so if you can battle it out on the battle field of the mind then the speech will reflect this.

I no longer see sin as something desirable that God prevents me from enjoying (I've realised that most unbelievers see sin this way). Instead I see that I have been freed from the curse of sin as sin is a tyranny and spoils everything in its wake like a cancer.

It's wonderful to be guided by the Spirit. It is real everlasting joy and the peace that I feel when I give way to the Spirit is incredible.

Today, as I have felt the pain dissipating and regaining my energy and confidence, I have prayed to Jesus to keep me humble. I want to walk in God's strength not my own. I realise that God's strength is the polar opposite of the flesh's idea of strength. The flesh's idea of strength usually involves tyranny over others. The idea of survival of the fittest. God's strength is in His mercy, His patience and loving kindness.

It is not easy to stay humble. The flesh always gets in the way. It is a terrible thing, pride.

Being vulnerable reminds me of the past, of being bullied. I guess that is why I quickly try to get "strong in the flesh" to protect myself from others when they see me weak but I realise that God gives us strength that makes human strength into a weakness. Throwing our fleshly weight over others is no strength at all but a weakness, an overcompensation from the fear we feel when vulnerable.

I am learning to feel this vulnerability and not flee from it in fear but glorify God through it by acknowledging how much I need Him, that I have nothing without Him and that all good comes from His hands. That is VERY humbling indeed but when God is our father, it is a delight to be humbled and an honour to worship Him!

Any other strength comes from self worship but only God is worthy of worship. So yes I pray that Jesus keeps me humble and that I never forget who I have my strength, my health and my blessings from. That I am always reaching upwards towards Him.

Your friend in Jesus,

p.s your dedication towards emailing others so swiftly is such an inspiration to me. I still struggle with a lot of social things even with people I've known for a long time. I have been notorious in the past for letting correspondences and friendships slip due to social anxieties. Your constant devotion to your friends and brethren in Ichthys has been a real light for my feet, reflecting Jesus' patience and generosity. Thanks again Bob. Your support means more to us all, more than you'll probably ever know! Hoping you and your loved ones are keeping well and safe.

Response #14:

Yesterday was ultra busy – finally launched Peter #34 though! Still, I'm sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday, especially in light of your kind "p.s.".

"It is not easy to stay humble" – Amen! But God certainly helps us with that! And so does life – if we are slightest bit attuned to reality.

I'm very happy to hear that you are on the mend, my friend, because I was getting concerned about you.

Keeping you in my prayers daily – and thank you so much for yours as well.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I am studying CT 1, Part IV titled: "The Biblical Sources for the history of the Tribulation." Specifically, "b. The "Day of the Lord" Paradigm" section.

I just wanted to tell you about the part where you address the verses in 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
Long before I studied this part of the document, I developed a document explaining the meaning of 1 Thess. chapter 4 & 5, and 2 Thess. 2, to another, died in the wool pre-trib rapture believer.

I said basically the same you stated in your teacher, not knowing that you had this in your teaching. So, what your teaching has accomplished for me through the Holy Spirit, was to validate and give credence to what I had previously written and sent to this brother.

I did not know that later, I would find the same thing in your teaching.

All I want to say is: "Glory to God" and I thank the Holy Spirit for using you to confirm what I had written and sent.

The more I study, the more amazing God is. The Holy Spirit is truly guiding me, and I am learning so much from your website. I study on the average of 4-5 hours daily 7 days a week.
I just can't seem to stop, and I really don't want to. I do want to be prepared when the time comes that I am called again to do His work, in His plan for myself. You are playing a major role in God's plan for me, and perhaps you don't realize it. You are truly one of God's precious servants.

Eph. 3:20-21.

God's continued blessings of joy, peace, grace, and comfort be with you.

Your friend,

Response #15:

Thank you!

It's always a great blessing when two who are "studying to show themselves approved" come up with exactly the same things from the Word – because, after all, that is what ought to be happening all the time – and more and more as we circle ever closer in on the truth (rather than much of Laodicea which is spinning away every farther from that blessed center in far too many cases).

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

In our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Dr L,

Normally I have a general rule to stay away from fiction that has Satan or angels or gods in it. But anyway with reading Classic Greek, you cannot get away from their gods. And I don't feel guilt reading that stuff. I did feel guilty reading this modern take. I don't know how it is different reading this story.

Response #16:

It's impossible to have anything to do with ancient Greek and not be exposed to paganism. But since we don't have any use for that (just like the believers of the New Testament), I don't think it's the same issue as when people actually believed it and it was THE religion, hostile to Christianity in the bargain.

As mentioned in the latest posting, we're in this world, but we're not of it (Jn.17:14; cf. 1Cor.5:9-10). We can't leave it until the Lord takes us home – or returns for us – but we can guard our hearts and minds in the truth. I think it's easier to ignore and count worthless the paganism in ancient Greek literature than it is all the negative influences in almost any modern movie, even "Disney movies" and the like.

Hope you are doing well! I see the sun finally came back out down there.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

You know you said recently that He brought me out of it. And He did, but it was more than what I think most people mean when He brings them out of something. It wasn't just an awful environment, but like a darkness of the mind that can't quite be articulated. Don't know how to explain the lack of knowledge and the powerlessness and the despair. In my case it was from dark to light. Hope that makes sense.

Response #17:

Most believers who are truly fighting the fight for Jesus Christ have gone through some very tough times in the past. One of the things this does for us is to give us a greater appreciation of what the Lord has delivered us FROM – and how great and gracious He is to have done so.

In Jesus Christ in whom we boast,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Dr.,

I have a question. What is the scriptural way to grieve for the passing of a loved one who is not saved? My cousin passed away suddenly. He was younger than I was. I tried through the Spirit to talk to him about the Lord to no avail. Since I have been away I don't know about his salvation. I could be highly surprised come that day. But I do pray for my relatives for their grieving process but more importantly that everyone involves know that it is appointed for man to die once and then face judgment. It is so real and an abject lesson to all my family members, young and old, that at anytime your soul will be required of you.

How does a believer mourn about the death of an unbeliever? Scripture doesn't specify so your godly advice is welcome.

Thank you and may the Lord God bless you real good.

Response #18:

We are told to "grieve with those who grieve" (Rom.12:15), but to me that means that we are to feel sympathy with those who are hurting and empathize with them – even if we did not know the departed and so have no particular feelings for him or her.

In terms of those who pass whom we did know but about whose eternal status we are unsure, first, if we have suffered a loss, it's entirely legitimate to feel emotional pain about that. Even our Lord Jesus "wept" at the loss of Lazarus. I won't say that's something we can't control to some degree (and we certainly need to keep it within bounds), but we are not robots and God does not expect that of us.

We can't actually know about some people. If we've given them the gospel personally or if we are well aware that they have had plenty of opportunities to respond to the Lord, well, we can't know what has gone on in their hearts. As I have said in the past, I'm convinced that there are very many "death bed" conversions, even if we don't know about it on this side. Staring eternity in the face, I am sure that many have FINALLY committed themselves to the Lord, seeing that time had run out. People in this world, unbelievers, behave mostly as if they will live forever. They know they won't but they suppress that truth and act and live as if it wasn't the case that they will die . . . eventually. When "eventually" is right at the threshold, we know of plenty of cases where that has turned the person around. And I would guess that there are many more we don't know of where that has happened as well.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Dear Teacher-

I just wanted to drop a short note to congratulate you on your completion of the next installment of the Peter Series. How do you manage to complete such work with everything else on your plate?! It is amazing what the Lord can make of our slow-and-steady efforts, isn’t it?

Having completed an initial quick read, this section seemed an especially timely message and has already given much food for thought and some gentle rebukes. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves for a deeper dive!

May the Lord continue to bless you in your efforts, and continue to bless others through your ministry at Ichthys!

Your student in Christ,

Response #19:

Thanks for this!

We all "take our lumps" from the Word of God – if we are willing to listen. Pastor-teachers just get theirs ahead of those they teach (while they are studying).

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

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hello Doc!

Hope you are doing fine in this so-called New normal, the Lord is able to see us through every kind of situation that comes our way.

Bob, something is not clear with me, try to read science, I even get lost in the forest of discoveries and so-called theologies, read the Bible, it's a hard way to for up racial ethnic groups.

Do we have clear biblical grounds as to why we have a Man in different colours or races, or was Adam made with all these characteristics, what has happened?

Yours in Christ,

Response #20:

Thanks for your concern, my friend. I know that you are going through some tough times in your country too! I do keep you in my prayers.

The Bible has virtually nothing to say about race. That is understandable. I think it is fair to say that much of the current obsession with race has to do with the US and the US experience and the way certain forces are capitalizing on that for political reasons in modern times. But in the ancient world, slavery had nothing to do with race. In ancient Athens, for example, a black person would be rare and assumed to be an ambassador or a merchant etc., but someone with blond hair was assumed to be a slave, all other things being equal, because that quality was rare among the Classical Greeks but common in northern people who, if they were in Athens, usually were so because they had either been enslaved or sold as slaves. But Athenians could be enslaved too – if they lost in warfare (as was the case with the survivors of the Sicilian expedition); and slaves could be liberated – if their services were needed (as happened when the Athenians had a manpower shortage and needed men to row for their navy in the late innings of the Peloponnesian war). In Rome, many slaves earned their freedom (through hard work and industry – if they were fortunate enough to be in a situation where that was possible) and their offspring became Roman citizens in the third generation. Race had nothing to do with it.

The Bible has a lot of information about the division of peoples (e.g., Gen.10:1ff.) and the genealogies of peoples close to Israel (e.g., the Edomites: Gen.36:9ff.), but since those early times, anyone with any basic knowledge of history understands that there has been a massive blending and mixing of peoples throughout the world to such a degree that there is no such thing as a "pure race" – not even close.

Not that it matters. From the divine point of view, there are Jews (descendants of Abraham) and there are gentiles. That is the only worldly "racial" division that matters to God. And it is only worldly – because all gentiles who believe in Jesus Christ have now been grafted into Israel (Rom.11:1ff.) and will in eternity be part of one of the twelve tribes, but all who are Jewish by physical birth alone and refuse to believe in Jesus Christ will be shut out of the kingdom (e.g., Lk.13:28-30; Rom.9:6).

So again, on this issue as with so many others, believers in Jesus Christ find the spiritual realities different from the worldly, political ones – and are well-advised to "stick to their knitting" and continue with spiritual growth, progress and production. For God is no "respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34; Rom.2:11; Eph.6:9; Col.3:25); but He loves all those who have been born again through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Dr. Luginbill,

What do you think of these two articles? Have you responded to such criticisms in your emails or perhaps writings before?

http://adrenogate.net/wp/2021/03/08/i-know-this-will-surprise-you-but-jesus-is-a-pagan-term-for-the-horse-and-likely-means-the-mark-of-the-beast/

&

http://adrenogate.net/wp/2021/03/02/the-cross-deception-and-the-nazarene-code-shroud-of-turin-deception/

They are pretty out there but I've heard similar arguments from atheists. Believe it or not these types of things are making rounds in Christian circles. Saying Jesus isn't the Son's name and is a pagan word, saying Yahweh isn't the Father's name, and stating the cross is a copy of other religions. He states Jesus was executed on a staff as you can see in those pictures.

Have you come across this and what is your response to it? I think the most absurd one is that Jesus equals 666. It is hard to find your way around it however and it has a lot of people convinced. I was actually sent these. Your response?

Thanks.

Response #21:

These are ridiculous, of course – as all believers who've spent any time in the Word will realize immediately.

On the first one, with a little inventiveness and stretching of things, I could make your name (or mine) = 666. The variations and possibilities are literally infinite, especially if one allows in the figuring for using Arabic numerals as well as the three ancient systems of calculation at time of writing (Roman, Greek and Hebrew). That is why the Bible does NOT give us the 666 test (which, by the way, is a NUMBER and NOT a visual representation – they didn't have Arabic numerals at that time [see the link]) as a way to identify the beast from a lineup, so to speak; this is a litmus test for the ACTUAL beast.

In other words, when the beast is forcing people to be marked, if any Christian has any doubt about it AT THAT TIME, he/she will easily be able to calculate that individual's name for confirmation (which, by the way, will only be necessary for very weak and conflicted believers at that point).

On the second one, the word 'stauros' in all of Greek in the context of Christianity since the first century means "cross" and not "stake". We are told by the Lord at Matthew 24:30 that "the sign of the Son" will appear and all will see it – but while a stake cannot be any sort of sign, the cross definitely is.

The devil is always spreading lies. Best to give them a wide berth.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dear Professor

Hope you are coping better than adequately at U of L. We are so blessed to have you working in your Ministry at this critical time to help us prepare for the extreme challenges to confront us all shortly. Those long covid nose probes look like they could cause you any number of problems on their own! Thankfully, so far, I have avoided being poked and prodded up the snout. Like yourself, I am hoping for a bit of calm to prepare before the storm hits. I am thankful to your readers contributions and your answers. I plan on using your latest answer at Q13 in our Daniel discussion this weekend at our fellowship meeting.

As far as how the wisdom of the world is going one sees patterns of suggesting the outrageous or extreme solutions to “just put it out there in the arena”; then the “unthinkable” adoption of the same a little down the track.

In how the world is going: we see the eminent forwarding suggestions as solutions. (Following from The Australian newspaper, cut and paste)

A proposal by one of Australia's top police officers to use phone apps to record sexual consent has been branded "naive".

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the country needed to modernise ideas around "positive consent" where consent is "active and ongoing throughout a sexual encounter".

"Intimate violence particularly against women is a real problem crime for us at the moment and we need to find a solution," he told ABC Radio Sydney today.

Commissioner Fuller acknowledged the app might be "the worst idea I have all year", but said COVID-19 had shown the importance of adopting technological solutions.

"If someone told me two years ago that we would have to sign in our phones every time we sat down at a restaurant, I would've laughed at them," he said. (End paste)

[indeed most people would have - now it is baa baa sheep, most people have the app and use it to register every time, everywhere] [and there, COVID- 19 crackdowns have served their purpose in paving the way to even more “solutions” ].

Before my radio stopped working (due to “improvements” being installed) an eminent writer, speaking on ABC radio, said studies had shown that we need 1.6 earths for our current population/consumption levels. With some of the developing world to progress to our affluent level it will require 3 earths - but we only got one. The obvious solution is a drastic reduction in population. One country’s leader got it “right” when he said that the best thing you can do for your country is to actively work towards your retirement at 67 yo and your death within the following year! (This one did perturb Philip Adams a bit as he is 80 yo).

[at this time I pray for the people of Myanmar. This does seem to be a crushing of the legitimate government by the military. The usurping of legitimate government seems to be the way antichrist will come to power - though we do not yet know exactly how he will engineer this and initially, at least, become a popular figure for many].

Over here the protests for different causes are bewildering (at least to me). The mob holding placards “hang all rapists”; “destroy the patriarchy”. Not dissimilar mobs in the past had placards “end capital punishment” and the like. Same mob mentality use the covid safe app to “save lives” but in the mob gathering no need “lives don’t matter that much”; no need for social distancing. Numerous times the social distancing laws have been flouted in the name of “just (just us) causes”. However, individuals who are not part of a social campaign mob have been jailed for breaches of Covid rules. Oh, to be part of the mob! Not that difficult to get a mob mentality going now - how much easier once the devil’s expert is unrestrained where there will be even greater clamouring to be a “legitimate mobber” in “legitimate causes” against all who are labelled “evil”. [the population issues will indeed still be there, though the pendulum swinging violently to the other side]. (Mark 13:20). The word “solution” is a haunting reminder of Hitlers “final solution”. Oh that people would remember history, but sadly not.

That’s enough of the worldly wisdom issues, except to say I was thinking of starting up a mob protest entitled “end mob protests”, though the thought of the other side’s counter; “end, end mob protests” caused me to peter out (pun intended) before I reached the serious planning stage!

We are thankful for your Coming Tribulation series which gives us much greater understanding of times ahead and the need to spiritually prepare.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior

Your student

Response #22:

Well, Australia is "between" the US and China (so to speak), so I suppose it's not surprising that you are adopting the worst of both. The pace of change is indeed something that anyone in middle age (or a tad more) will recognize as appallingly fast – especially since the changes are all for the bad; even the tech is going so rapidly to the worst possible applications that there doesn't even seem to be much "honeymoon" for the nifty new capabilities.

We don't get the "population control" push much here in the states. That might be a China proximity thing too (and Asia in general). There's a good deal of open space in the states, even in the older more populous ones (upstate NY and PA come to mind) – too much for anyone here to take that seriously (if they do, they only need a short trip to Canada to disabuse them of the notion). As I like to point out, the entire population of the world if standing shoulder to shoulder could easily fit into one corner of Tasmania, so it does seem to me a ridiculous argument. Of course, if they had to stand six feet apart . . . (two meters for those countries unduly influenced by the French revolution) . . . that might make a little difference.

I love the end "end-mob-protests" protest by the "legitimate mobbers" – all wearing three masks six feet apart and dripping with sanitizer no doubt.

You shall not follow a crowd to do evil.
Exodus 23:2

Another nose mopping on the schedule for tomorrow afternoon – but the LAST one (ever, I hope). I'll be off campus in April before the mandatory test window closes.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Dear Professor

Well, having listened last week to the expert intellectual on Philip’s program advocating a cull in world population, a professor on radio today warned of falling living standards in Australia if we do not reverse the decline in population here due to the Covid restrictions ( no immigration at present - Aussies much prefer phone apps to having babies -see previous email), which will result in fewer people paying taxes requiring a reduction of services.

You would be shocked to hear what is envisioned to be included in the sexual consent phone app that would be applicable to all people - married or not. How anyone could even think up this stuff - though the inspiration came from the covid safe app that is now mandatory to use at each and every premises we visit, or else we must sign in and write our details down everywhere we go.
With the suggested sexual consent app every detail would need to be agreed to in advance with the app option of terminating consent at any time during intimate proceedings. Bad luck for honeymooners who leave their phones at home while they holiday (no exception for “law breakers”). No doubt the girl and boy who often kiss at the back of my bus are tech savvy so it would not be a problem for them. As the police officer said, you would have laughed at this suggestion (covid safe app, would be better titled Big Brother is Watching) 2 years ago - now it is “normal”. The more “normals” we accumulate will result in, as you say, more ill use of technologies, and “roboticals” in lieu of real people. Should you give your wife a peck on the cheek, I fear there are those who would dob you in for law breaking, if you have forgotten to pre log your intentions and have got approval on the app from the recipient! What if the peck looked more like a kiss to a diligent law abiding by stander “friend” with an agenda (our lawyers are overworked as it is).

The above seems absurd and “unlikely” (at least in the next week or so) to become law, but there is much evil out and about using bad experiences as a premise to “fix things properly and for good and forever”.

On a similar theme some friendly advice for new recruits? (Cut and paste follows)

Freshly-recruited female army cadets say they felt “uncomfortable” after the Chief of the Australian Defence Force gave them some shocking advice on how to ‘avoid’ being sexually assaulted.

During an address to a new cohort of young ADF Academy members, General Angus Campbell told first-year cadets they should avoid making themselves “prey” to sexual predators by not being out late, alone, drunk and attractive.

He said the group must be aware of the “Four A’s” – alcohol, alone, attractive, and being out after midnight, The Canberra Timesreported. (End cut and paste)

For his comments he got castigated in the media as “victim blaming”. His critics no doubt content with “creating victims”, rather than protect them from the sin natured prowler, so as to continue their own incessant rage.

These are just some from the heap of “enlightened world’s doctrine”. They NEVER stop pushing their barrows until they believe everyone is enslaved - to them.

Besides the horrible events to occur shortly, who would want to live in an app soaked and evil controlled environment anyway?

Thank you for your encouragement to learn, grow, endure and encourage others to do the same. I do choose to like those words.

Keeping you and your Ministry in my prayers.

Your student and friend in Jesus

Response #23:

I guess people without cell phones are in a real pickle.

Things really are going "bonkers" in your neck of the woods! Same here, I guess, just fighting on different fronts at the moment.

We have a saying here, "nothing good every happens after midnight" – guess you can get "cancelled" for that gem nowadays!

Yes, I'd be very happy to be at home with the Lord – which is "better by far" (Phil.1:23). But we all have our marching orders from the Lord, and it's not about what we may want. The sooner we digest that one, the sooner we can have real peace in Him, no matter what my come.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

My Prof,

Calvary greetings sir.

One Pastor wrote this a couple of days ago : "We've reached the point in time when the unimaginable has taken place, i.e. the theft of an election. This genie won't go back in the bottle until the time of Christ's millennial reign and another form of holding elections has been created"

I was like: Who said there will be elections at that time??!! Offhand the parable of the talents in Matt 25 comes to mind. Also Rev 20:4. Those don't look like no elections! (to use American English!). Maybe Jesus might send you to Greece to contest elections there!!
But seriously Prof, what do you think?

In the emails of last Saturday, I like the chess analogy in explaining predestination vs free will. Interesting to me.

How's the cold over there? Hope that Pastor Omo and others are recovering from that nasty spell. Keeping them in prayers.

Can't kid you that I'm totally calm about ___ but I've put my trust in Him who holds the hearts of kings in His hands and directs whichever way He wants. All glory to God regardless.

Thanks Prof

Love you in the Lord

Response #24:

Christians have an election – the one conducted by God in eternity past and codified when we respond to our calling by putting our faith in Jesus Christ (link). But that's the only election the Bible is concerned with (as you rightly suggest). I always tell believers not to fret themselves over politics. It doesn't do any good and can do a great deal of harm. God works things out His way. If a people/country have a bad government, it's because that is what they deserve – or at least it's a test. But the believers in any country are protected by the Lord, come what may. And we are the salt the preserves our nation – or at least that is what we SHOULD be. Laodicean salt is a good deal less "savory" than in Church eras past, for the most part. All the more reason why we who understand the truth should make it our purpose to concentrate on that truth and on doing what the Lord wants us to do.

It's getting spring-like here! Daffodils are up and the trees are budding. Won't be long now and we'll all be complaining about the heat (not me, though – don't mind the heat; it's the cold I can't take).

Keeping you in my prayers about ____


In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Hello--Remember 4 years ago when you explained this stuff to me, about the Hebrew phrase for "between the twilights"? As to when Jesus was really crucified? Well, some guy on the Lutheran board on CARM--maybe the same one you wrote in response to over 4 years ago, but I don't know--is bringing it up again. Apparently, two different Lutheran Scholars--one from my LCMS and one from the WELS synod, (both of whom I think are deceased) differed slightly in what they think the meaning of beyn ha'arabiyim (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּֽיִם) is.

Anyway, I reposted what you said this phrase means, that you told me, over 4 years ago. Well, this is this guy's response to that:

"Regarding "between two evenings" (i.e. Hebrew phrase beyn ha'arabiyim (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּֽיִם), Bob L. wrote,

[https://ichthys.com/mail-bible-interpretation7.htm – Response 5

“As to the reason for this particular expression, the first "evening" is sunset; the second "evening" is darkness; our twilight is "[the time] between". ]

* Dr. Bob L. firmly stands in the (LCMS) doctrine – Position (1) in my illustration (i.e. [the time] between sunset and darkness)

But wait, Bob L. also wrote,

[https://ichthys.com/mail-Aspects-of-CrucifixionII.htm – Response 2

“The phrase occurs first at the references given: Ex.12:6; 29:39-41. The Hebrew phrase is beyn ha'arabiyim (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּֽיִם). It means literally "between the evenings" and "twilight" is generally how this is understood since the sacrifices are known to have been conducted just after sunrise and just before sunset, that is, at a time when it was neither "night nor day" from that point of view.”]

He wrote: "The Holy Spirit never contradicts the Holy Spirit (i.e. Jesus Christ and Dr. Martin Luther would agree, i.e. both experts on Holy Scripture), yet one can clearly see that Lutheran doctrine does contradict Lutheran doctrine, and Bob L.’s expert doctrine does contradict Bob L.’s expert doctrine, on this “specific” meaning of the Hebrew phrase [beyn ha'arabiyim (בֵּין הָעַרְבָּֽיִם)]! (i.e. Ephesians 5:11-13)".

So he claims you are contradicting yourself, but I don't see it. He was also wrong about what a Bible verses says, but even when I proved it, he will not acknowledge it. I just wanted to see if you could clarify for this guy the seeming contradiction in your writings.

Sorry to bug you. I just want to show this guy that he isn't God's gift to exegeting the Bible.

Response #25:

Sorry if I confused some of your readers! I do that to my students all the time. As I often have occasion to say after attempting to explain some difficult grammatical concept in Latin or Greek, "Is everybody confused now?" (lots of heads shaking affirmatively) "Then my job here is done."

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

 

 

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