Ichthys Acronym Image
Ichthys home navigation button

Eschatology Issues LXIX

Word RTF

Question #1:

Dear Bob,

Again, thank you for your weekly emails. I benefit greatly from them.

I got the impression from some of the questions that people wanted a sign. Since moving out into the country, I've seen that this is absolutely true:

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse...

During my years in cities I couldn't see that. Pressures of life and supporting a family, I guess. Looking back today at those years, it was there in front of my face though all the time. I was too occupied to see it. Now, it seems miraculous – or magic – the way all God's creatures are cared for. My girls (the bees) have been gathering nectar and pollen since February, storing food for the hot, arid summer. Wild flowers down here on the prairie are magnificent and all over the place -- nothing like up north. Wildlife has been fed through the winter and has returned healthy (no rattlers, yet.) The rabbits are fat and healthy. Plants all survived with little damage. My only loss from the Great Texas Freeze of '21 was one persimmon that was on it's last leg anyway. I have no doubt we'll be taken care of.

Thinking about Revelation 20:4 and the saints beheaded for their witness, it occurs to me that beheading would also be one of the easiest deaths. We would bleed out in a hurry. Western cultures have developed more sophisticated and painful ways of "population reduction," though. Just not as horrific.

I question the gene therapy masquerading as a vaccine that seems to be killing an alarming number of younger people. I question all "vaccines" designed to prevent a virus that has never been proven to exist. According to CDC, it was assembled with only 37 fragments (how they knew that, was not specified) out of an estimated 3,000 in the cataloged covid RNA, colds, flus, etc.. (7 known variants before the last "mutations.") I'm told it's SOP in microbiology.

I don't think any of us will avoid this nonsense. Now that our Gesundheitsführers and elected Führers have seen how easily we can be controlled, it will never go back to "what it was." In truth, I remember the '50s and '60s and they will never return, either. I can't help but notice that, even though Texas has eliminated covid restrictions, many businesses are still adhering to the restrictions. Probably because of fear of lawsuits. It seems obvious to me that our next door neighbors and family, who seem to support this, will bring on the pogram. Just as scripture described.

On another note, I've come to realize that, if God is light and no darkness resides in him, there will be no time in the New Jerusalem. Time as we know it depends on the earth and sun. If there is no dark in New Jerusalem (or the third heaven) and the gates will never be closed, there can be no time. Ergo, a day is as a thousand years is an euphemism for earthbound believers.

Note also, oats provide most of the nutrients that prevent the mythical covid. Also, it's the glue that holds black bean burgers together. A substitute for meat? No, I had a lamb neck chop for dinner the past couple of nights, but certainly worth a try. It's not a manufactured "veggie" burger by any stretch. Grills well, too.

In any event, these are just thoughts whether relevant or not.

Stay well and safe. my friend. You and yours are in my prayers daily.

In our Lord,

Response #1:

As I've probably mentioned to you before, if you ever catch me eating an "oat burger", you'll know that the apocalypse has begun. I do like granola bars, however.

In terms of how we might be martyred, while Revelation 20:4 does say that, I don't believe we can exclude other possible means of terminating believers during the Great Persecution. But however we are to be taken from this life, I guarantee you that just as we are told not worry about "what to say" at our trial, so also the Lord will provide for us to leave this world in a way that we can endure. After all, He kept Daniel's three friends from even being singed by the fire (and Daniel from even getting a scratch from a lion). He can keep us from harm, and He can keep us from having to suffer beyond what we can bear if so wills the will of God that we be martyred to glorify Him . . . and He most definitely will.

The problems with the vaccines are apparently manifold. But it's becoming more about obedience now than it is about any scientific or medical realities. A harbinger of things to come no doubt.

On eternity, we really don't know. It's true that there will be "no more night", but I also find this:

On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
Revelation 21:25 NIV

On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.
Revelation 22:2b

From these passages I glean that while there won't be night (or probably any need to sleep), there will be sequence which, for want of a better word, we can call "time" – even if it will be different in every important way from what we are experiencing now.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hi Bob,

Still unclear to me is, if believers living and dead are resurrected to eternal life, why trees of life unless it's just mighty tasty fruit. Perhaps the time sequence will be measured by the fruit? Also, just two trees? Or two different types of trees down the length of the stream. Why will nations need healing if the New Jerusalem is inhabited by believers resurrected to eternal life? For that matter, why nations?

As far as martyrdom, I'm beginning to want it done with if it must come. I agree with you that it'll be staged for show. I think the "show" will be a continuation and amplification of the covid kabuki circus. In fact, the censorship and "social distancing" aka isolation of us irredeemable deplorables will only intensify.

I wasn't referring to "oat burgers." Or God forbid, commercial "veggie burgers." I was only observing that oats provide a glue to hold black bean burgers together. While I'm still very much an omnivore I would rather get my zinc, B1 and many other infection protective nutrients from beans rather than pills. Oats compliment and supplement those nutrients. Besides, you can't grill or put ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions or tomatoes (lettuce, cheese and special sauce?) on granola bars. Don't think of them as "bean burgers." Think of them as fritters with benefits. Serve with pulled pork and a garden salad. (Yes, you have mentioned your distaste for non-beef burgers before:)

Yours in our Lord and the bounty He's provided,

Response #2:

I write about the tree(s) of life in New Jerusalem at the link. In a nutshell, in resurrection we will not be deprived of physicality, just all of its present negatives (and with many added positives; see the link). The tree as I have posited it is in fact a huge forest of tree(s) which flank both sides of [each branch of] the river(s) which proceed from the center of the massive New Jerusalem, exiting, I surmise, through the twelve gates and watering the surface of the new earth much as the four rivers which exited Eden did. Just as Jesus deliberately ate food after being resurrected – to reassure the disciples about Himself and the nature of the resurrection – we will do so as well, notably at the great victory banquet of the victorious Lamb in the early days of the Millennium (Is.25:6). Resurrection is not less. It will be more in ways we cannot as yet even imagine.

"As far as martyrdom, I'm beginning to want it done with if it must come." – Amen! Here's hoping that if such is our lot, we will go in the first wave, right after the 144,000.

I do like beans. But you might have to wait til kingdom come to see me putting them between two pieces of bread.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your explanations. After reading the links, I completely misunderstood and didn't even know about the 12 streets though in hindsight, it should have been obvious with 12 gates. Reading your explanation of the trees and it's fruit brought to mind a question I've meant to ask for some time:

In the tabernacle and temple were representations of pomegranates which seemed contradictory to the injunction of "no graven images." (Graven images, I suspect refers only to idols.) Inside the pomegranate, there are divisions which I've never counted, that are packed with arils -- a delightful nut surrounded by sweet flesh. The arils are packed in quite tightly and cumbersome to remove. What did pomegranates represent? Do you suppose they will be part of the 12 fruits? A pomegranate is naturally a bush rather than a tree. Would that qualify as a "tree?" (If my pomegranates produce again, I'll be sure to count the divisions.)

Yours in our Lord,

Response #3:

Interesting observation about pomegranates and their trees. Never really thought about it. Of course 1) there are other representations in the temple too: palm trees, flowers and cherubs (e.g., 1Ki.6:29); and 2) it's not just in the temple but also on the priests' robes that we find this decoration (e.g., Ex.28:33). I don't think the fruit itself (nor the tree/bush) are described in the Bible, so it would be interesting to know more, but I do think these are merely decorations, the sorts of things one expects (from an ancient Mediterranean perspective) to find in a paradaisical place.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

It's one of those things that's bothered me for quite awhile. Both pomegranates and dates (the palms?) have unique health properties and are loaded with nutrients. Most of which are proof against infections, coincidentally. It also appears that the Lord, when punishing Israel, killed the pomegranates and dates so I suspect there's more to it than just decoration. E.g., around the hem of the priest's robe were bells (which makes sense as summons or warning) and pomegranates with their remarkable health properties.

Do you know of anything in Jewish tradition about pomegranates? Sadly, this may be one of the many things I will have to wait till later to learn.

My persimmon, BTW, that I thought bit the dust in the Great Texas Freeze of '21 appears to have survived. I don't know how many others have experienced this, but I suspect divine protection at work. Romans 1:20?

Yours in our Lord,

Response #4:

"Do you know of anything in Jewish tradition about pomegranates?" Even if we did find something there, since it's not in the Bible, we couldn't put any particular trust in it.

Good news about the persimmon!

Keeping you and yours in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Hi Bob,

It's my pleasure! I know I've said all these things to you before but I just wanted to say thanks again. It's great to know I've helped you along the way too - that's even more important to me.

When I looked back the other day and realised it was three years since I first wrote to you I couldn't believe how fast those years had flown by. It made me think about how it's going to be the same in these last few years running up to the Tribulation. They're going to fly by and so we need to make the most of the time now to prepare as best we can.

Things have been pretty busy here. I definitely knew I had muscles when I woke up this morning! There are distractions going on around me and possibly more to come . . . [omitted]

In terms of the unbelievers around me, it feels like I'm on that different planet to them again - remember when you said I'm on "planet reality". Sometimes it feels so strange, - that feeling just gets stronger and stronger but I'm pleased because I know that this is a GOOD thing. I know the stronger it gets the closer I am to the Lord and the further away I am from the things of this world. Our Lord tells us in Matthew 6:19-21 not to store up treasure for ourselves on the earth but to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven . . . for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. All I can say is that Jesus is my treasure. And all I have to do is to read Ecclesiastes to see how "utterly meaningless" all of their striving and working is. And even more so now we're so close to the Tribulation. There is no meaning or purpose in life without the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 2:4
I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself;

Ecclesiastes 2:11
Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

So the Lord is close to me and guiding me and encouraging me to keep my eyes fixed on Him and to keep doing everything He asks me to despite everything that is going on around me. That I mustn't allow anything to distract me especially as we're getting closer and closer to the Tribulation. He can see everything and He's taking care of me and helping me every step of the way and I love Him for that! I just feel that is so important - the devil will throw all sorts of things at us to distract us but it's important that we strive to keep our focus on the Lord and keep encouraging each other and preparing for the tough times ahead.

How are things going with you, Bob? How did your students get on with handing in their assignments? Hope you're managing to get some rest too.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers and thanks for yours too!

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #5:

Life can be VERY distracting. Our dilemma is that we are here in this world and do have many obligations and responsibilities. We can't very well just ignore them because the pressure is on – and of course we also can't afford to ignore the Lord. Heaven forbid! I'm struck that when our Lord was in various busy times, healing to the point of not having opportunity to eat, very often He would go off on His own to some deserted spot to pray – because HE always kept up on ALL His obligations, no matter what. Of course the rest of us are not at that level, but whenever we do manage to carve out time and energy for what is really the most important thing in spite of terrible pressures to do otherwise, even at the cost of necessary rest and relaxation, that is a great spiritual victory. The problem with "life as we know it" is that there are plenty of pressures which could/would easily eat up every ounce of energy and time we have leaving room for nothing more – and the demands of these pressures still not be satisfied. We've probably all had jobs and been in situations like that before. At such times we really do need to triage, put in enough for what is really important, and leave the consequences to the Lord. The two extremes to avoid are 1) getting totally immersed in legitimate worldly responsibilities to the complete neglect of our spiritual ones; and 2) using our spiritual responsibilities as an excuse not to do the other things we are indeed responsible to do. Is it a difficult balance sometimes? Indeed! And often a difficult fight. But mature believers learn where the lines are . . . and learn to trust the Lord to help them through it all. He always grants victory to those who are walking closely with Him.

So kudos to you for seeing through the fog and holding tight to what's really important, even in the face of having to cope with many necessary things. If it's not our families, or our jobs, or our health, or our finances, or our homes, it'll be something else that cries for our attention.

The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
Proverbs 30:15-16 ESV

Grades are in! I only had a handful who totally disappeared, and my plan to build in a few days slack for the slackers paid off in most cases. So I'm happy about the way it worked out – and delighted that the Covid AY is OVER! Still have to engage with the French search, still have to send out some high school awards, and I have to go through the hiring process for my Latin part time instructor next fall – then it'll be on to summer research and fall prep.

I spent the last two days putting in the gardens. You wrote, " I definitely knew I had muscles when I woke up this morning!" Well that's the difference between our ages: I definitely have been reminded that I have joints, top to bottom. But I've got things in a good state, taking advantage of two very nice spring days, and with rain coming in for the next two days or so. I heard, however, that our "17 year cicadas" are due to be back this year. Hoping they're wrong or that this "brood" takes a holiday. Last time they ruined our butterfly bushes and our zinnias and did a lot of damage to all of our trees and plants. And they are so numerous there's little to be done. I suppose one could cover the butterfly bushes, but then the poor butterflies can't get to them either, and they also suffer when these little monsters show up. We'll just have to see what happens.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers every day, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hi Bob,

Thanks so much for everything you wrote and especially for reminding me of our Lord's example. It's very helpful and encouraging.

I think if life does get busier for me soon then inside I feel very protective towards my spiritual responsibilities. Getting the balance right can be very tricky but I was thinking about how important it is to try to keep that spiritual momentum going. And so that's what I'm determined to do. For the Lord to grant me that spiritual victory! But to continue to help and support and be a good witness too. Life is very busy isn't it!

I'm so happy to hear that things worked out well with your students and it's absolutely brilliant that the Covid AY is over! You'll be very glad to see the back of THAT one! And you have a French search now - I remember last time it was a German search. And are you getting a Latin part time instructor? That will be great - it means you won't be on your own doesn't it?

We've had some lovely spring days here too but rain on and off today. My muscles have calmed down now - how about your joints? How's the left knee? Are you able to jog a little bit now? I keep it in my prayers! Those cicadas sound nasty. So interesting though - we don't get anything like that over here.

Thanks so much for your prayers - I appreciate them very much. Keeping you and yours in mine too.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #6:

I don't think this search will be as onerous since we were hiring for a permanent position in the German line, but this is just for a one year term position. Yes, I'll have some help, but my part-timer couldn't actually teach the last two years, first because of low enrollments in her classes, and last year because of Covid (she is elderly and doesn't have the tech at home to teach remotely).

I do admire having the skills and gumption to fix up places pretty much all on your own. I don't have the motivation (or the time) – even though this place could use a good deal of work. Better yet, if someone called in a drone strike while I wasn't here, that would take care of most concerns.

Knee is gradually improving. I'm doing walking alternating with light jogging at present. I have to be careful not to aggravate the injuries at the same time I'm trying to push myself back into better shape. A delicate balance, it seems. I got into this mess (with both mechanical problems) by pushing when I should have let up.

I'll keep you in prayer about the concern. From my perspective, you're already doing a lot! I could probably have wrangled a summer school class, but that would have shot my already lagging research right in the foot.

Always appreciate you good and positive attitude, my friend! Reminds me of Romans 12:11.

Keeping you and your family in my daily prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Dear Professor

Re: Baptism: Water and Spirit X

Thank you for the above email posting of just over a week ago. I would have wrote earlier while it was fresh in my mind but I have been unwell for a few days and under the pump a bit at work. (Oh would be nice to be blessed with good health like one of your recent correspondents). Has actually continued a hard slog up to time of writing.

The water baptism issue brought to mind “By what Authority!?”; that the actor playing Satan, demanded in the Mormon temple, when he was told to depart by “Peter, James and John”. [if I could find it I could send you my “line of authority” card (wallet card size) in the “priesthood“ granted to me from the Mormon church.

They say that the priesthood “traces back” to Jesus giving authority to Peter James and John, (and also John the Baptist returned to bestow the lesser Aaronic priesthood which includes baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; so you can see where the Mormons claim the “true church” has to be EITHER the Mormons (who say authority has been restored through Joseph Smith), OR the Roman Catholic Church who claim an unbroken line of authority through their priesthood and line of popes. Though the mormons believe the RC are the great and abominable church!
The mormons have watered and weaselled a fair bit on this one in order to be accepted as a Christian religion, yet mormons still claim to be the only true church with the only legitimate water baptism - yet say some from other faiths will be saved. How is that possible? Read on.

While Mormons use this “line of authority” from Jesus to Peter, James and John, then “restored” in the “latter days” BY Peter James and John to Joseph Smith the founder and “prophet” of the Mormon church to claim they have the ONLY legitimate priesthood; it does raise the vexed question of water baptism.

IF water baptism were a requirement for salvation, HOW would one interpret WHO is “authorised” to perform it? Or can ANYONE perform it because of WHAT reason? HOW do we know if the water baptism is legitimate? [By WHAT authority is it performed?]
We know John the Baptist was called to this calling as Jesus went to John to be baptised. BUT can ANY person or brand of Christian faith legitimately perform the water baptism.

The thief being put to death is told by Jesus that he would be with Him today in paradise. When I pointed this out to a legalistic baptist as evidence that water baptism was NOT required for salvation, I was told that the thief “must have been baptised previously in water in order for Jesus to be able to say this”. Following the baptists line of unreasoning allows no room for deathbed repentance or even for those, especially the elderly, who may live in areas with little water, to be saved. The question then arises “what about those who lived before Christ and die without water baptism?” Are they doomed for lack of water baptism? The great prophets did not receive water baptism and yet are saved. The Mormons have an “answer” to this by claiming that ALL will have the water baptism performed vicariously for them by proxies in mormon temples around the world. This is going on now and they claim will be the major WORK that will be completed in the millennium in the thousands of temples then upon the earth. They already baptise for the dead now. Some who have found out about them doing this for their dead relatives are now complaining that they do not believe in the mormon church nor would their dead relatives want this done “for” them.

Though mormons do bring up a legitimate point: “who (if any) are permitted/authorised to perform this WORK of water baptism. “By what authority?”

Since there is no evidence for the Mormon claims as these “visions” were to Joseph Smith we are still left with the same question, “who legitimately can water baptise another person?” How can a person be sure they have received the correct water baptism?” Or is this WORK not a requirement for salvation?”

Though I was water baptised in the Orthodox Church when about 3 or 4 years old (didn’t have a clue what was going on but felt scared and humiliated), and then as an adult into the Mormon Church, I now do not believe any of these water rituals saved me.
Rather what saves is believing in Christ and enduring to the end. Only the Spirit does enable us and help us endure.

[omitted by request]

We have our fellowship tonight in our home and blessedly the Spirit has helped me cut my way through the tares of life to enable me to present a lesson almost wholly from your “Theology: The Essence of God.”

I am thankful for your prayers. Keeping you in mine.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student and friend

Response #7:

Very nice reductio ad absurdum of water-baptism. The "by what authority?" angle is also quite good. People who look to human authorities instead of directly to Jesus Christ certainly OUGHT to feel uncomfortable about that at the very least.

I'm sorry to hear of your health issues my friend. A bit under the weather here as well. Took a bad tumble out jogging the other day and got badly scrapped up on both arms (left forearm in particular will take a while to heal up), both knees, right hand, and a bit of "concrete surfing" with the face and head as well. By now, however, the old face is already such a mess that only someone who's been around me could tell what's new there. Some over-extension of muscles in the right thigh and both upper arms as I braced for the fall. Guess I'll have to be doubly wary of potholes and the like from now on. Tripping when jogging is part of the game; it happens every few years or so, but this the worst landing I've had in a while. Blessedly, nothing is broken! Everything else is well slathered with triple antibiotic ointment. It did take a little out of me. Rain predicted here for the next few days so I'll get a breather on that score no doubt in any case.

I'll be sure to keep your work concerns in my prayers, my friend. Another fine illustration of how bureaucrats can easily make up stupid rules . . . and even stupider ones . . . for the rest of us to have to deal with, and then have no flexibility when someone finds a problem or a better or safer way. The millennial administration will be better.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hi Bob,

Your stories are wonderful and put a much needed smile on my face! Your friend's off-limits parlour sounds uncanny! I wonder what type of guest would be allowed beyond the velvet ropes? Passing dignitaries? Royalty? The Cops? It reminds me of all the times on American tv shows I've seen people sitting on the sofa with some uncomfortable looking plastic wrap all over it, something I have never seen before over here.

That's what happens when an object "owns you" instead of you owning it. I'm reading about this at the moment in your study on the Satanic Tactical Doctrine: the lie "I don't need God". This leads to the worship of "things" over God. I agree that we are created with a capacity and desire to worship. When God is removed and barred from our lives that hole left unfilled gnaws away at us and we have to fill it with anything and everything that is utterly worthless. I'm sure that is why people become addicts. It's not just drugs and alcohol though, people become addicted to objects, buying, celebrities, sports, pornography, religion.. You name it. The more they have of "whatever" (drug of choice), the more empty they feel. It's because only God satisfies that need. We need God!

I remember some friends I had in London and they were so desperate for constant attention from people that whenever they didn't get their "fix" they would often go into a complete meltdown that was shocking to behold. What felt strange was that the more they got from people, the more they demanded. They would literally drain people dry of time, attention, love and resources and then when you were on the floor with nothing left to give they would stomp about like a spoiled toddler demanding even more. I used to say that people like this had a "black hole of need" inside them. The more they were "fed", the more their monstrous appetite grew until they devoured everything in sight. I realise that these people have fallen into the second category, the second lie: they believe that they ARE God and this is why they demand worship from people. The irony is that they believe that if they gain worship they will feel whole and sated but it is actually their own worship of God that will satisfy them.

I realise that God is the cure of everything! Death, sin, depression, anxiety, despair, loneliness..everything. Most people have turned their backs on the ONE who helps, who heals, who satisfies.

I agree, people who have not built on the rock but instead the sand, their lives and hopes are held up by gossamer thread. Maybe I was aware of that when I saw the "perfectly kept house". I remembered also what you wrote about people needing money for upkeep of property and that would necessitate the mark during the tribulation. I realise that being further and further down the broad road will make it harder and harder to turn back and I guess people who invest so much in the here and now will feel it's a sunk cost if they turn back. Turning away is repenting though isn't it.

Things are impossible for man but not for God. I will continue to pray on this.

The more I study the less I feel I am of the world. That poses problems when we are surrounded by those who are all about the world, especially the ones we are closest to. I will take comfort from the Lord though, in His Word and your ministry.

Marana-tha!

In Jesus,

Response #8:

Thank you for your wonderful and godly perspective, my friend!

Yes, it's not a problem needing a "shrink" to resolve if a Christian begins to feel uncomfortable in the world as if we don't belong here. Because we don't, in fact. Not with its present ruler, we don't. That is what our Lord told us. We are in this world, He left us here for a reason, but we are not OF this world (1Jn.17:14-16). Our King is in heaven and His kingdom is where our true citizenship resides (Phil.3:20). We have wonderful houses/homes – much better than the best here on earth – in New Jerusalem (Jn.14:2). And that's where we're looking forward to living, in the glorious light of the Lord forever (Jn.14:3).

So what if things aren't the best for us here and now? If they were, it would probably diminish our zeal for the Lord. That right there explains the "tune ups" we all need from time to time (even though none of us ever enjoys testing). It's good to be able laugh and shake our heads at such rubbish on this side of the great divide. Because if we hold to our good course, we're going to glorify our Lord and earn a good reward.

Hold you good course! I'm confident in you receiving a "well done!" for our dear Savior on that day.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hi Dr.

I pray all is well with you and your family and ministry. All that pertains to you is in my prayers. Quick question? Are you a dispensationalist? If not, why not?

Just curious.

Thank you and God bless

Response #9:

It all depends what someone means by that word. As I have written pretty extensively (it's in SR 5 and BB 2B for example, and lots of email postings, e.g, "Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church I" and "Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church II"), traditional evangelical "dispensationalism" exemplified by the likes of the Scofield reference Bible very much over-does the distinctions God has made in the eras of human history. For one thing, they concentrate on the eras themselves whereas the word "oikonomia" in the Bible is speaking about the way that the truth of God is "dispensed". One major problem with traditional dispensationalism is the great gulf it sees between Israel and the Church. In fact while we are in the Church AGE, and while the way in which the truth is being dispensed now – the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God and pastor-teachers – is different from the way it worked in Israel where prophets prophesied and the Law taught via symbols, ALL believers from Adam and Eve to the present day are part of the same Church / Assembly of Jesus Christ.

To sum up, traditional dispensationalism sees differences between believers (and sometimes in the way people are saved at different times), while the true view understands that 1) we are all "the Church", 2) that salvation has always been the same, and 3) that only the way in which the truth has been presented (because of progressive revelation before and after the cross) has changed.

There's a lot about this also in BB 6B (section I B).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Dear Teacher-

Although out of touch lately, I have not been absent from Ichthys! You and all of the brothers and sisters who “meet” there have been in my prayers, and I have continued to read the email postings with great interest.

Many times I have thought to chime in on different matters, but my hand was always stayed. But in the latest postings you mentioned not caring for the writings of Spurgeon, which sparked some concern within me, as one of the Bibles I have (and read through some time before encountering Ichthys) is one which includes selections from his commentary and sermon notes throughout. I wondered if you would mind elaborating a bit on why you don’t care for his writings - if it’s just a preference matter, or if there is some greater concern.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus,

Your student,

Response #10:

Good to hear from you!

I'm always happy to hear from you. On Spurgeon, apologies if you are a "fan". I knew lots of guys in seminary who were. Most of them were Baptists. I really haven't read that much of S. but everything I have read was not "my cup of tea". It's certainly no problem if you have a different view!

Baptists believe in water-baptism and church membership, in pre-Trib and in "once saved always saved". I never saw anything from S. to lead me to believe that he had any uniquely different views here.

Another thing I got from the sermons I perused and also from his "Morning and Evening" book was that he was given to the same sort of devotional sermonizing that is typical of most Evangelicals today regardless of denomination, short on content and big on emotion . . . and leaving the listener / reader with a hollow feeling after the emotion subsides. Sort of like eating cotton candy. It's large and pretty and is initially sweet – but it's like eating an "air sandwich" which dissolves into nothing and leaves a bad taste . . . with no nutritional value.

But if you are getting something out of his notes, I don't have a problem with that. He was a prodigious producer and I don't pretend to have seen even a small fraction of his work.

Thanks for your prayers, my friend. I've been keeping you and yours in mine daily as well.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Teacher-

Certainly no need to apologize! I can’t claim to be a fan of Spurgeon myself, having only encountered a few devotionals from the “Morning and Evening” book and the commentary selections in the Bible I mentioned (didn’t get anything from the sermon notes part of that). It’s been a while now - and last year brought significant spiritual growth, especially after finding Ichthys - but they seemed to serve my “lighter” needs of that time. It’s entirely possible I wouldn’t glean as much now. Seeing that you didn’t care for his writings made me concerned about what I had already consumed and made me consider that I might do well to avoid a “second helping” - perhaps tied to a broader effort to rid myself of some things that no longer serve my needs. Thank you for taking the time to elaborate!

Your talk of “devotional sermonizing” made me think of something else: It was actually a lot more work to get and hold onto something worthwhile from “going to church” than it is to simply immerse oneself in the Bible and go forth applying what is learned! It was so difficult to let go of the familiar and what I was used to think was necessary when I began to feel that nudge of the Spirit; I didn’t see the unnecessary burden that would be removed once I took that tiny step of faith.

Thank you for your prayers! Would you also please update the prayer request on Ichthys?

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

You student,

Response #11:

No worries, my friend!

I'm very pleased to see your continuing spiritual growth. The truth always leads in the same direction, and you are headed there at cruising speed!

Prayer request update posted.

Thanks for your prayers too!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob,

Just another quick question. I'm studying Romans at the moment. It is a very profound and weighty epistle. The conversation came up with my parents about homosexuality and whether there is a choice or not. Is there a Godly way to respond to any discussion in this particular area or is it an area that it is best not to talk on? It's such a hot button topic and I am conscious of not wanting to be supporting of this but also do not want to be seen as hateful. I am more and more conscious of the witness I give others so I want to know how best to address this emotive area with a Godly perspective.

Such questions point out my immaturity. I still respond "in the flesh". I'm struggling to give way to the Spirit. Does this come with time? I'm getting better with deeds but my tongue and thoughts really undo the progress I may think I'm making. It's very humbling. I've always been a blurter! I realise that when hurried or stressed I always give way to the flesh and then feel terrible after. I'm wondering whether it is better to say "no comment" to certain things at the moment until I grow in maturity. These days there are so many inflammatory topics of conversation that I seem to let more and more talking drift by me without any response.

Should I weigh in on things when people go against scripture or should I just stay quiet?

Many thanks in advance my friend!

In Jesus,

Response #12:

There is general advice about this in scripture, e.g.:

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
Proverbs 17:28 NIV

But there is a time for everything, and a time to speak up also. Spiritual growth builds discernment – along with the self-control to heed it. I have certainly seen such growth in you, my friend! So maybe your discomfort with yourself is just a mark of growth wherein you are now weighing things you wouldn't have thought twice about before.

As to the specific question, as I often point out, we all have sin natures, and our sin natures are differently disposed. Sin is sin, however, regardless of our dispositions. A person who is completely inclined to be heterosexual is not for that reason given dispensation to engage in normal heterosexual activities outside of marriage. So being tempted to something is one thing. Doing it is another. Saying, "I am normally heterosexually inclined" may be a statement of fact; but even if it is true that does not mean that acting on the inclination in an ungodly way is not sinful – it certainly is, and dangerously so (1Cor.6:18). As there is no such thing as an actual marriage (in God's eyes) that is not heterosexual, those who are otherwise inclined, and however otherwise so, might state their inclination as a fact, and it might be a fact, but that doesn't magically give them the godly right to engage in sinful behavior. It is permissible to be celibate, after all. Plenty of heterosexually inclined Christians are celibate.

However, I try never to make these sorts of things "the issue". THE issue is "what think ye of Christ?". Anyone who turns to Him in truth and determines to follow Him will naturally be led to repent of all that is foul and evil in their lives, whereas merely whitewashing the tomb from whatever motivation never accomplishes anything.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Dear Professor

Sorry to hear about your tumble. Hope you heal up well. I will keep you in my prayers.

On the radio they were saying about the 4 metre swells at the surfing championships down on our coast being a challenge for competitors but I can imagine concrete surfing is much worse!

Ageing a bit of a talking point at the cafe this morning and __ (who I hadn’t seen for awhile) later text me a video of a gentleman in our age bracket getting out of a very low slung sports car and having to crawl to the back of the car in order to grab hold of the rear tyre to pull himself to his feet. He was laughing at his own absurdity of being unable to get to his feet and hand slapped the pavement in his good natured exasperation. Unfortunately this is where or nearly where most in this group are. On __’s request I forwarded the video to my pilot friend who I think may have bought up the topic by saying he had a maximum of 10 years of being able to still do things before the wheels completely fall off. Both ends of life we end up crawling!

I had to give up jogging donkey years ago. Finally in my 40’s I went to a specialist about my constant knee pain and was informed that the shape of my leg bones (out of alignment) put constant pressure on my knee and short of breaking the bones and trying to straighten them out, all I could do was some simple leg exercises and not jog. I continued to cycle in the city but since moving to the country and being busier than ever (it wasn’t the plan) I am rarely found walking though it would benefit me. Yesterday I spent about three hours digging a latrine into hard gravel with a pick mattock and found out how out of condition I am - used to do it with relative ease not that long ago. (I am a greener greenie than a greenie). My crook shoulder has clocked up the mileage and let me know.

We had our fellowship on Saturday night which I unashamedly almost entirely printed out from your website and informed everyone. I had Ichthys and Bible academy on the screen so they could see where I was coming from. My wife has started again to listen to Curtis’ videos.

Last week government “conservation and land management“. CLM managed to exterminate all the numbats in one of only two remaining sites in this state where the numbats lived in a nature reserve, by dropping fire from a helicopter and surrounding them in an inferno. The ex farmer at the cafe said that a few years ago a person was fined by CLM for breaking with his hand a twig that was blocking a walking trail. A citizen here would likely be in jail along with a hefty fine for doing what CLM did.

Many farmers also were taking advantage of the still weather to burn their paddocks in preparation for the rains and it was hazardous driving through the smoke. On Albany Highway a road train smashed into the back of another road train which had slowed down because of poor visibility - second road train driver couldn’t see any reason to slow down - shunted the trailer in front up off the road. All caught on the dash cam of the police car with blue and red lights flashing to warn drivers. Amazing the police car wasn’t totalled. The shunt was very straight up and down - also fortunate for the farmer in the Ute driving slowly along the other side of the road and monitoring his fire. Smash is on Great southern facebook. Good thing I don’t travel that part of the highway though I drove through plenty of smoke that day.

Covid Capers: We have a travel bubble with New Zealand with only minor breakouts. A week ago there was a positive case in Perth emanating from hotel quarantine (ALL cases so far have; this was from someone from India I think). Our Premier announced on Friday about 245pm (good thing we are CONSTANTLY glued to the media) that everyone in Perth and Peel were confined to their houses and only allowed out to shop or exercise a maximum of one hour (with masks on) for the next 3 days...EXCEPT if you manage to get out of Perth (a long weekend holiday) before midnight (after that you turn into a covid pumpkin) and EXCEPT those that had booked to go to the football and basketball stadiums that night, as long as they wore their masks. After this the highways were chokers with suspect covid escapees (not covid pumpkins due to jumping out from amongst them) to the county, some of whom even wore a mask. Of course they all mixed with the rest of us BUT the COVID virus obeyed all the rules - they are hoping!

The next day, after they had allowed the previous huge slab of the population to leave the city DURING the infectious breakout, only 75% capacity sporting crowds were permitted (Covid hates the number 75); and then this last weekend they banned all crowds from games just 2 hours before the start (covid was changing the rules again). There were buses full of people from the country who had to return to base and the games were played without crowds. What a fiasco. It certainly helps if you are mad already! Nonsense IS the new normal! We are commanded to comply with the nonsense.

Like the Toyota car ad says :are we nearly there yet?” Answer: Definitely! If you are NOT there with us beware of the “twig fine” and more. Well at least they arrested a young woman in Perth for refusing to wear a mask. A token sin offering (scape goat as we say) for them PERMITTING the hordes to roam far and wide AFTER the outbreak, which only escaped from official quarantine after all.

No wonder I am feeling a little more than a bit off. Can’t make any sense of much of anything they say nowadays. Except to think maybe it is death by design, though I doubt whether the captains know what they are doing or what to do. The blind leading the blind.

“........ And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:10b ESV

We are probably not fully at that particular point of that scripture yet: though we are definitely nearly there! A good thing we have Jesus’ words in scripture and the Holy Spirit to help us through. Thank you for your Ministry. Praying for your rapid healing. Keep it easy.

Your student friend in Christ Jesus.

Response #13:

At least I was able to get up without too much trouble. Got scraped up rather nicely once or twice being dragged along the bottom while body surfing in California as well (wasn't the best at that either), but concrete does a much better job of it.

Not reduced to crawling here yet, but I do sympathize with the fellow in the sports car. Wish I had got an SUV instead of a sedan the last time I bought a car.

Crazy government seems to be ubiquitous and is no doubt a necessary prerequisite to the worst government of all time soon to come. Blessedly, we have to keep in mind for our sanity's sake, that this will be followed by the best possible government – and we will be part of it.

They've gotten about 1/3 to a 1/2 of the people here vaccinated and many more have caught or been exposed to an immunity building dose of the virus. Cases are down, but the powers that be are not eager to take their feet off of our necks. Now we're being told by some that we'll "probably never achieve herd immunity". Not that it matters since the rules and the terminology and the "facts" all change day by day to fit the narrative de jour.

Thanks for your prayers – you're in mine daily as well, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Dear Professor,

I continue to be amazed that you give so freely of your works and are still owing on your car. I know we are blessed beyond measure because of your generosity.

When I occasionally look at You Tube and see teachers/preachers and evangelists doing very well financially I can not help but think that your works are much more thorough and revealing than anything I have seen out there. I suppose one would have to buy their books and tapes to see whether they have much else to say, though I don’t see the need when the best is at Ichthys.
For instance, the little Irishman, John Lennox, employed at Oxford does a great job at debating atheists such as Christopher Hitchins and Richard Dawkins. I admire John’s courage, starting back when he was a youth, in standing up for his faith in Jesus, despite the pressures to conform or get out of academia. John, I think, is now in his late seventies but has previously travelled a bit to proclaim the truth - I found out through You Tube that he even came to Perth years ago to address and encourage youth in the gospel.

However, I haven’t noticed anything out there that comes within a bull’s roar of your writings - perhaps only copyists who use your texts to expand their own teaching. I will be one of the multitude applauding your rewards in heaven. How blessed to have been granted the grace to feed at Ichthys. Perhaps the reduction in readers might be due to them having downloaded your materials to read offline.

Yesterday morning it was raining when I opened the gates in the dark (car headlights for light) to the bus depot. Lots of water at the gates so I hopped over, slipped on the mud and plopped down in the mud using my right arm to halt a complete mud bath. Muddy jeans and a bit of a sprained wrist and fingers but managed to plod on with work. Sure beats a concrete landing! Hope your wounds are healing fast.

Today it is not raining (decent amount of fog on the roads this morning) so I am off to see if I can do a bit of outside work in my break before the bus run this afternoon and the rain returns tomorrow. The farmers are delighted with the start to the season and I thank our Lord for Him blessing us all with water.

Keeping you and your health and healing in my prayers.

In Jesus our Lord.

Your student and friend

Response #14:

Hope you are feeling better! I'm nearly back to normal. Most of the scrapes have crusted up sufficiently to think about getting back to the yards next week (weather permitting – more rain coming in the forecast). All the plants and bushes and trees are doing marvelously well – and now we hear that the 17 year cicadas are coming! Last time they sucked the life out of all the butterfly bushes and anything not very sturdy. It'll be a real shame if it does happen again. I have seen cigar shaped perforations in the ground when I've overturned the soil. Just hope it's not as bad as last time. At least this will be the last one I'll every have to deal with if the DO come! The next nasty locusts of Revelation will be aimed at unbelievers.

Got my French search work pretty much done today. I'll have to go over it all once more, maybe tomorrow before our big college assembly. Then it'll be one committee meeting Monday (a long one), then video conferences with the short list of candidates we select, then meeting to decide on the winner. At least it should all be done before May is much more than half gone, and this saves me from a two year hitch on personnel in the fall/spring. So it's worth it.

Thanks for all your good words and prayers, my friend! Keeping you and yours in mine as well.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Dear Professor

Pleasing to hear you are healing. Your holidays don’t quite sound like holidays. I hope you get to enjoy your garden without too many visitors. Last time the hoppers came through here they ate anything green, even inorganic stuff.

Wrist a little sore but otherwise fine. The quick little job I planned for my in between bus runs got subject to the best laid plans of mice and men rule. Sunny skies to clouds and rained twice catching an opened lid Ute canopy full of stuff for a couple of cleansing washes. Manufacturers have done a good job of ensuring open door lids channel any and all water into the tray you want to keep dry. Weather apps should also be taken with that pinch of salt.

Not much covid here; which I am thankful for.

Thank you for your Ministry. Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus our Lord

Your student and friend

Response #15:

Once I get this last batch of work out of the way, the end of May and most of the summer should be pretty enjoyable. I have to work into a good summer routine, however, and that has not been possible yet. Bouncing off the pavement set me back a bit too, but a week later, I'm mostly healed up. Good to hear that your wrist is not broken!

I don't see any Covid problems here either – except for the man-made ones. My brother just told me about an acquaintance who died after getting the vaccine. He had heart problems and other medical problems and no issues with the vaccination per se . . . until a little later.

Thanks for the update, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:

[omitted]

Response #16:

Seems to me you have figured out the reasons for your reaction very well. That doesn't mean that we can immediately put down all our emotional upheaval when such things happen. But we put it all in the Lord's hands in prayer and immediately feel better about things like this.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Psalm 55:22 NIV

The Spirit always comforts us at such time – but we have to commit ourselves to His help and guidance by seeking the peace that is our new-birthright in Jesus Christ (2Cor.1:3-7).

I have been praying for your ___'s deliverance and will continue to do so.

And just remember, we who belong to Jesus Christ have a perfect place just right for us in New Jerusalem.

(1) Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in God [the Father] – believe also in Me. (2) There are many rooms in my Father's house. If there were not, I would have told you. For I am going in order to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I shall come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also.
John 14:1-3

Keeping you in my prayers daily as well.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

[omitted]

Response #17:

Not at all! I'm always very happy to hear from you, my friend!

I hear what you are saying. There are a lot of dysfunctional people out there who are like this. In fact, most of the world's unbelievers have this tendency, but some more than others.

I think your plan to dis-invest from being overly concerned about the things of this world is a good one. We all need to do this, after all. Problematic family can therefore be seen as a sort of "bonus" in that they "help" us with this process.

You're doing well, my friend! Keep running the good race for Jesus Christ!

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hello Bob,

Up until now, when I started reading scripture in light of today, I thought I understood it. Now, I'm not sure.

Is Isaiah talking about Babylon then or now? The rather abrupt segue to the description of Satan makes me wonder if the King of Babylon then was (as was Tyre) Satan or just controlled by Satan? Is Isaiah talking about Babylon then or in the later days (which seems likely?)

What I'm discovering, if I'm not off-base, is that scripture gives prototypes. E.g., Ahab and Jezebel I believe are realized today in Biden and Kamala as the prototypes have in the recent past. I grew up in the '50s and '60s, (free love, sex and dope) and I've never seen the promotion of perversion like today. It seems though, as Solomon said, what was will be and what is has been. It makes me wonder what really went on in ancient Israel.

I think prophecy is being realized in front of our eyes. The mask mandates, immunization passports and ostracization of family and friends over the magic vaccination, seems a prelude to the mark or at least, it's part & parcel of what's coming. People seem anxious to conform and to go along.

I don't have much hope this country will survive -- rather, I'm not sure it has.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #18:

Short answer on Isaiah 14: it is not uncommon for prophetic passages to have both a near term and a short term fulfillment (I call the most frequent example of this "the Day of the Lord paradigm" where contemporary impending judgment is explained by reference to the eschatological counterpart; link). The passage in Isaiah you ask about is unusual (but not completely unique) in having a threefold fulfillment: not just contemporary and future, but also pointing to the past (in referring to the devil's fall).

In terms of what we see today, especially considering how things have changed with such lightning speed over the past year and a half, I would be very wary of drawing too many conclusions based on what we see now – with five and half years left and with the pace of change still accelerating. Then too there is the point that once the Holy Spirit's ministry of restraint is withdrawn when the Tribulation begins, things will move even faster, and unimaginably so. So there is enough time for things to reverse and turn upside down completely between then and now, and do so doubly in the Tribulation's early days. It's important, therefore, not to commit to any particular interpretation of just how these things are going to work out in the near future. We do know the generalities, but the beast has not yet even been revealed, so a great deal may change between today and the day when the darkness falls – and most certainly will.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.
p.s., I don't think you're going to be plagued by those 17 year cicada swarms down there. We got them in Louisville back about 17 years ago (couldn't swear to the exact year), and they were everywhere, devastating a lot of great plants (butterfly bushes and just about anything with a soft or semi-woody stem) and doing great damage to the trees as well. Not to mention depriving us of decent sleep all summer long. Hope it's not as bad this time!

Question #19:

Hi Bob,

I thought the devil was cast to earth during the Tribulation. Is the passage speaking of Satan's fall from grace if it was in the past? In Job, he enters the presence of God after walking to and fro in the earth.

Sorry about the locusts. We don't have the 17 year locusts or at least I've never seen them. We do have cicadas which kick up a racket from time to time. It's the grasshoppers that destroy plants, though curiously, only garden plants. C'est la Guerre...

By the way, how did your French search go?

In our Lord,

Response #19:

That's right – this passage has to do with the pre-Genesis gap fall of Satan. The devil lost his position in the third heaven and only shows up there for conferences et al. During the Tribulation, he and his will be entirely sequestered on the earth.

Sorry – they are cicadas, not locusts. But they do destroy butterfly bushes, foxgloves, lots of plants.

French search gets cracking big time on Monday.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20:

[omitted]

Response #20:

I can only address this with you from a biblical point of view (obviously), as I have no professional qualifications regarding all of the alphabet soup of conditions out there nowadays.

First, I would say that I don't know of any believers who are positive about the truth who don't have problems of motivation and emotional upheaval from time to time. I also wouldn't want to say that this gets better as one grows spiritually. What really gets better is our ability to cope with these sorts of issues. We learn over time as we walk with the Lord that He is sufficient for all of our needs and troubles, and that this sufficiency does not change with the circumstances – even when things go bad (and things do go bad); nor does it change with our emotional situation – even when that goes a bit haywire (and that happens to everyone from time to time). What we learn is that how we feel doesn't matter; what we think, say and do does matter. We learn that nothing we may see or hear or feel really has meaning – apart from Jesus Christ. We are here for Him, and He has things in control, even when we do not (and we do not, even when we may think we do).

So, secondly, the reality is that we will be fighting to regain the high-ground of hope and peace and joy as long as we are in this world – except for those wonderful times when we have captured it. On those good occasions, we will be fighting to hold onto it. Walking with the Lord takes effort, therefore, but it is a counter-intuitive sort of effort. It requires us to trust Him to do everything, even as we do what He we know He wants us to do. This is an important point. So when we read the Bible, we let the Spirit illuminate it for us. But we still have to read it. And when we read it, we have to be careful not to think or feel that we are putting in the effort because we are only responding. To have true peace, we have to cease from our own works (Heb.4:10); but that doesn't mean that we should not be striving with everything we think and feel and say and do to be the kind of Christians our Lord wants us to be. We have to cast out fear and cast out pride, and courageously move forward even as we become more aware with every step of the journey that the Lord is doing all this for us, and that we are only allowing ourselves to be used by Him.

Once we let go of ourselves and put ourselves entirely into the Lord's hands, things get simpler – and they get better. But that doesn't mean that the fight ever ends. We are going to be challenged by the evil one, by every bit of the world system he has set up, including his very many allies (some of whom are close to us, no doubt), and by the sin nature within us. But the Holy Spirit is God and can handle all of this with no effort – as long as we allow Him to do so.

So trust the Lord. He has this – and everything else – well in hand. Don't worry about how you feel. Don't worry about anything. Just keep thinking and saying and doing what you know is pleasing to the Lord, and He will bring you through this dark valley, even though it were the valley of the death shadow.

On the other side, all this will turn out to have been well worth the angst – and whatever other price we may have to pay before this is all over.

I am keeping you in my daily prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

[omitted]

Response #21:

I think you're doing well. There is a LOT of flak out there for believers who are doing what they should be doing, and an extra measure of it for those who are preparing for ministry. So persevere.

Here are a couple of recommended links:

Satan's world system (in BB 2A)

Who controls our thoughts and emotions?

The Battlefield Within

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Hi again Bob,

A very quick OT question. What does Jonathan mean in 1 Samuel 14:6? Was it God who killed the Philistines alongside Jonathan, through him or for Jonathan. Was Saul a complete unbeliever then?

I am really enjoying my Bible reading with Unger commentary. The Book of Ruth, though short, is exquisitely beautiful!

Something else I've just found...

The Wijngaards Institute
claims that translating Leviticus to mean that homosexual relations are forbidden is a "mistranslation".

https://www.wijngaardsinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Wijngaards-Institute-Report-launch-briefing-30.4-.pdf

I guess this is further deceit so that they can argue further that "no the Bible really doesn't say that" and that anyone who still does is a hateful bigot. I also notice they centre on Leviticus only so they are actually pulling away the Old from the New Testament.

It's as though they are saying we need to keep the OT but acknowledge its "mistranslation" but not even mentioning the NT's revelation at all suggests they have already discredited it as inspired. I really think they are trying to separate the Bible and get rid of the New Testament and therefore try to erase the Gospel message from society altogether and therefore Jesus our beloved Saviour and therefore Salvation itself! No doubt this will lead to Judaizers and being forced under the Law again (or the Noahide law).

I've noticed this tactic being used elsewhere before. I've read that they claim the NT is "anti-Semitic".

https://pulpitandpen.org/2018/11/24/jewish-leaders-demand-bible-publishers-print-anti-semitism-disclaimers-in-new-testament/

I wonder if the Antichrist will outlaw the New Testament altogether and keep the OT and claim to be the fulfilment of it.

Wondering what your thoughts are on all this?

Your friend in Jesus,

Response #22:

1st Samuel 14:6 is an interesting passage. I certainly would be reluctant to seem to "put the Lord to the test" in any such way, but here we see that Jonathan had faith in the Lord to an exceptional degree so that it was not arrogant but wonderfully humble. He trusted that the Lord could bring about this great deliverance – and so He did.

Re: online: I've always tried to follow the policy (not 100% successfully, mind you), of never putting anything in an email (or online) that I would be uncomfortable being printed on the front page of the NYT. It amazes me the foolhardy things people post and paste on publicly accessible "fora". Would that it would be just that easy to erase unfair things OTHER PEOPLE say online about oneself.

As to the document claiming that Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 and Romans 1:26-27 do not mean what they say, this is of course ridiculous. The Nazis famously edited Nietzsche to make him more sympathetic to them by taking out many occurrences of the word "not". It would take that type of "editorial creativity" to make these passages – which of course are not the only ones in the Bible condemning same-sex sexual behavior – mean anything else than what they clearly mean on their face. My question is, if a person has thrown off all concern for God to justify engaging in such behavior, why should they care what is in the Bible? This sort of exercise is most harmful when directed against those who have yet to be corrupted:

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die."
Genesis 3:4 NKJV

Of course, why we who are believers should care what the RC church thinks or teaches or says is also a mystery to me.

My bottom line on this issue is that we are all sinners and that we all have sin natures prone to various temptations. When we believe, we turn away from the world and, with the Spirit and growth in the Word, we get better about resisting whatever temptations are most difficult for us personally. Giving in to temptation is a recipe for divine discipline and impeded spiritual growth. JUSTIFYING behavior we "want to do" even though we know it is wrong is a recipe for apostasy or the sin unto death.

On the NT being anti-Semitic, it should be pointed out that it was written entirely by Jews (I believe Luke to have been Jewish as well). I didn't find any passages mentioned in the article. The claim that "these include the blame of Jews for the death of Jesus" could only be made by someone who hadn't really read the gospels themselves closely. RC's in particular often say silly and dangerous things like this, but the gospels themselves make it clear that 1) the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem were, out of jealousy, responsible for pushing Pilate into crucifying Jesus; and 2) of course it was essential that our Lord be crucified for any of us to be saved – so that RC and such Jewish leaders alike don't have the foggiest about the actual plan of God for salvation. If they've actually read the NT, they've completely missed its main point. So I wouldn't be surprised if the beast does not ban the Bible. The RC church banned it for centuries, but come to find out that allowing people to read it made little difference because few did and few who did paid little attention to what it actually says. I don't expect that to be different in the Tribulation.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Hello again. It's nice to be able to communicate with you again. I've had my first year of college and it has been pretty rough, especially with covid. I haven't forgotten about you or your ministry, though. I would like to make a request: could you pray for my father? He recently found out that he has a cyst or lump in his kidney and he was saying that he's not sure how long he's still going to be alive. I'm hoping that the cyst may be benign or that the doctors will be able to remove it.
Thank you for your time.

Response #23:

Thanks for the update – yes, I think this was the roughest year in my career as well, and I know it was even harder on my students. Hoping for better things in the fall.

I have said a prayer for your dad and also added a prayer request for him at Ichthys.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

I was a bit depressed earlier, but I am okay now.

Response #24:

Sorry to hear that you were a bit out of sorts.

I think that happens to us all from time to time. As I often say, we believers have a right and an obligation to live our lives in the peace of Jesus Christ, but that peace is often challenged. Sometimes we are joyous as we look forward to the hope we have of all the wonderful things to come, but very often life is difficult and it's hard to be joyous. At such times, we need to focus on the future all the more, learning to esteem this world less and less. After all, in Christ we have been crucified to the world and the world to us (Gal.6:14). When we begin to reclaim that godly perspective, counting the world and our lives in it as transient and unimportant in light of everything to come, focusing on doing what the Lord wants us to do in hope of great eternal rewards, it is amazing how the clouds often dissipate and the joy does return. When we stop focusing on how we are feeling, it turns out we generally start feeling better!

I'm glad you're feeling better.

Keeping you in my prayers in Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #25:

The Bible is more important than a lot of that other stuff.

Response #25:

"The Bible is more important than a lot of that stuff."  Amen!

We are all going to be standing in front of Jesus Christ's judgment seat in no time. And then it really will be obvious just how "all that stuff" that had nothing to do with the truth was insignificant in comparison. So keep running your good race for Him!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Hi Bob,

It's interesting that you say it's the behavioural sciences that are expanding more so than in the Liberal Arts. There's a lot of talk these days about people's "mental health". Have you noticed that too? It seems to be the "in thing" even before Covid came along. Not that mental health problems aren't real - but the world seems to be going on and on about it a lot more now. When I was younger it seemed that people did go through some very tough times but they just got on with it. Nowadays every tiny thing seems to be turned into a big "mental health" issue. Maybe it's just another turn the attention inward on "Me" thing. Another distraction from looking outward and upward to the Lord and living for Him and helping others to live for Him too. I just have a feeling that it's another thing the devil is expanding and using in these last days for everything he's trying to achieve. Have I got anything right here, Bob? What do you think about it?

I do understand that others have been helped by psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors which is good. But speaking only from my own observation, these "therapies" never did a thing to help anyone I know.

When my __ found out recently how badly my health is affected when I'm around __, it was suggested that I might need some "therapy". It's always the first thing suggested for people. It was quite comical to me! There was never any talk of that when I was going through abuse as a child so it's a bit late in the day for all that. So if someone else has a personality disorder or whatever, then I need therapy to "fix me" so that I become immune to the abuse. Great solution for all concerned!

I don't need therapy - I just need to listen to what the Lord tells me in His Word and keep my distance from abusive and ungodly people who are very harmful to me and I've felt more at peace and healthier in all ways since I have done this. I thank the Lord with all my heart for this.

Don't worry about me, Bob. I won't allow myself to get sucked down that black hole again. I will need to fulfill my responsibilities but I'll be very careful in how I go about this. It's all starting to bubble up now and I see some very tricky times ahead but I know that the Lord will help me through - He always does.

I'm studying Ezekiel now and CT. I think I need to plan my study a little bit better to make sure I'm getting enough of everything in each week. It's the most important thing for me to focus on while all the other noise and stuff is going on around me. Life is busy and crazy and I'm very tired but I'm plugging away at it and life with the Lord is the greatest blessing I could ever have! If I didn't have the Lord I'd be nuttier than a fruitcake.

I think I better give you a rest from all my news now. That's not even the half of it but I'll spare you the rest!

Take care, Bob and I'm keeping you and yours in my prayers.

In Jesus
p.s. post all of this if you like, Bob. It might be of some help to others.

Response #26:

Once again, I think you have nailed it. Instead of seeking what the Lord wants from us, seeking to "fix" our own problems – which is a natural enough desire – does point to "ME" instead of "THEE".

It's pretty ironic that when others have serious problems (or are just seriously being abusive from selfish motives), those on the receiving end of the abuse are deemed the ones who need therapy. Sort of like the Nazis making the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto pay for a wall around it because in their prejudice they were afraid of them spreading typhus.

We're actually in the middle of a struggle in the college with the psych people who want to discontinue their B.A. for only B.S. degrees. This leaves a lot of our dual degree students in the lurch – it also reduces the language requirement from two years to one for a huge number of students. Come to find out that our monstrously large psych dept. doesn't even train people for therapy at all! They are doing the "scientific studies". The school of Ed handles the therapy end of it. I might have told you that one time I mentioned to one of the "brain science" people that since the human brain functions on/with language, this must be a core concern of their efforts to get to the bottom of how the physical brain and also the psyche work. He told me that they do not concern themselves with that sort of thing at all! He was mystified that I should think so! My small level of respect for those disciplines evaporated completely at that moment.

There is NO doubt that the alphabet soup of mental/emotional conditions and problems has multiplied dramatically over the course of the last few decades and seemingly has picked up speed in the past year and a half. No doubt, hard times put people under stress, and that, without the inner spiritual resources that being a growing believer provides, such stress can make people malfunction and break down in ways that they wouldn't have done, absent the stress. But I really don't see how it helps to be telling people that they have "condition X" – which can probably never be cured, only managed with great effort and expense. Seems to me we're only giving them an excuse to continue to malfunction and feel sorrow for themselves (while claiming sympathy from others). Another problem, it seems to me, is that when EVERYONE is sick, those who really ARE sick lose out, both in terms of the help they might otherwise receive and also in terms of considerations they might need a lot more than others who are actually NOT sick (just needing a good kick in the posterior) or only slightly off kilter (kicks seem advisable here too, to me at least).

We all have emotional struggles. Doesn't make us sick. Just makes us human. Christians have a great advantage in the Spirit and the truth to cope – but only if they take advantage in a godly way.

Thanks for your willingness to share, my friend! It's gotten to the point that correspondents and people I meet who do NOT have XYZ-syndromes are the exception.

Forgot to thank you for the help with the typos! Greatly appreciated (corrections made and uploaded).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Hi Bob,

I hope your meetings went well yesterday. We had a busy day. There's lots to do but we've made a good start.

When you said that you mentioned to one of the "brain science" people that the human brain functions on / with language could you explain to me a little bit more about what that means (sounds like my own brain isn't functioning!). I was going to write something to you about that but I want to make sure I'm understanding it properly first. And then you went on to say that this must be a core concern of their efforts to get to the bottom of how the physical brain and also the psyche work.

There's so much I could write about all of this that I don't know where to start! I think we can all handle our emotional struggles better when we have an abundance of God's truth (believed) in our hearts and we're walking closely with Him. I think this is where unbelievers would really struggle because the spiritual part of their "mental illness" isn't being addressed or taken care of and so they're not going to be able to cope or find any healing.

I hope your wounds are healing up well, and that you've had a good day.

Keeping you in my prayers!

In Jesus

Response #27:

Meeting went quite well. We'll be interviewing candidates Friday and Monday, so a little respite for the rest of the week until then. Did some running around today; library run tomorrow; termite inspection Thursday. Once we select a candidate it'll be time for me to get my Latin PTL hired on too. Then I'll be down to "summer routine". Nasturtiums are popping now too. And I'm back to about 90%, so thanks for your prayers!

On the language element, how can a person think and not think "in a language". People who learn other languages always remark that they are "thinking differently" in that new language. The point is, we don't/can't have complex thoughts without recourse to language, even when we are not putting things precisely in words – and we certainly can't express our thinking in any detail without words. To me, language is such a fundamental part of the entire thought-process that I found ignorance of that basic fact by those who have created entire disciplines around how the brain and the emotions work completely flabbergasting.

I absolutely agree with your point about the superiority of the spiritual aspects of course. That is really the central place where present disciplines break down entirely. In centuries past, it was understood (by some at least in academia) that God was critically involved in everything. But today, they take it "on faith" that we are just a mass of materialistic goo. Since we do have a human spirit, however, and since that is the real "us", their chances of ever getting close to the real answers absent consideration of the spiritual side of human beings are absolutely zero.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:

Hi Bob,

I'm happy to hear that everything is going well for you and you're getting a little respite. I'm VERY happy that you're back to about 90% too!

Thanks for explaining the language element to me again - I understand what you mean now and it's absolutely true! How strange that the "brain science" person couldn't get something as obvious and basic as that.

For some reason it got me thinking about James chapter 3 and how he talks about the tongue being a fire. I thought about how words (language) can affect someone so powerfully for good or for bad. I know all about this from prior verbal and emotional abuse and the terrible affect it has had on me and others. Although the tongue is only a small part of the body it has huge potential to cause damage to a person mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually for the rest of their life.

James 3:6
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and set on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

James 3:8-9
But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;

Only the Lord can truly heal us. Although I still have the scars and still have my weaknesses I'm close to the Lord now and he has shown me His perfect love for me and is continuing to bring healing to my heart.

Psalm 27:10
When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me.

It doesn't matter if a person was abused and then goes on to abuse others. The Lord has given all of us a conscience and we know right from wrong behaviour and we have also been given the free will to follow that conscience or ignore it. We can choose to sin in our words and actions towards others or not to.

Thanks for all of your prayers for me and my family. I'm praying to the Lord for wisdom and strength and I know that everything is going to be okay.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers too.

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #28:

It's a good point about "the tongue" and the harm that words can do. The tongue has a tendency to hijack the brain in service of the sin nature for a direct expression of negative emotions when we let it – and it can be very hard NOT to let it sometimes. As James also says . . .

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
James 3:2 NKJV

Yes indeed, bad parents have good children, good parents have bad children, good parents have good children and bad parents have bad children. The differentiating factor is the free will of the children – who are blessed and helped if their parents are good (but they still have to make their own decisions). Environment plays a role, but free will is the determining factor always.

Went down to campus today to do a library run, gearing up for summer research. Today, our chair called an emergency meeting of the French search committee along with the Planning and Budget committee (I'm on both) and told us that the Dean's office is requiring us to cancel one of CML's four searches for one year replacement positions. ASL (sign language) has two, Spanish and French each have one. Long story short, it was clear when everything was considered that French had the least claim on a full time position as its numbers are very low, especially in comparison to ASL and Spanish. I give our chair credit for letting us hash it out though. In the past, chairs would decide this kind of thing on their own without input. Speaking of numbers, in Greek I have only 3 signed up for first year and only 2 for second year. We all were of the opinion that one of the reasons for the low numbers in all CML classes across the board is the "wait and see" attitude our students have because of the situation generally and the uncertainty about the fall (regardless of university pronouncements). So it may be that I'll get enough students in time for Greek not to be cancelled. On the other hand, I can't ever remember it being so low at this point (and I did more outreach and advertising this year than I've ever done before as well). If they do cancel, I suppose I'd have to take my PTL's Latin section instead. So I'm a bit reluctant to put her through the hiring process just yet. So I am "wait and see" too. Our chair hasn't said anything to me about this yet, but . . . At least the Latin numbers are good.

Keeping you and your situation in my prayers.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #29:

[omitted]

Response #29:

I have no problem with not enabling someone else' bad or self-destructive behavior. I think that is wise, in fact. Inventive people can find all manner of clever ways to destroy themselves, if they've a mind to. They don't need our help.

Thanks for those "Greek prayers"! Enrollments are still low, but the good news from the CDC here last night has me jumping for joy! Even our overly cautious governor has been forced now to end the mask mandate and open 100% . . . on June 11th. Clearly, there's no reason to wait, but that's OK. That's still over two months before classes start. I think the dissipation of the disease which forced this about-face will be breaking through even the hardest heads by then. "They" really did scare people, though. I saw a number of young people out in the beautiful May sunshine today wearing masks (?!). Their bodies may never have suffered from Covid, but it'll take a while for their brains to heal. So it always is with those who have no confidence in the Lord. But tonight I am praising Him! It's over!!! Or close enough. Things will be getting back to normal in spite of all the curmudgeons who've apparently enjoyed this insanity. And I think that augurs well for Greek.

Thanks so much for those prayers!

Keeping you and yours in mine every day.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #30:

Hi Dr.

I pray all is well with you, your family and your ministry.

I have a question. I was listening to a bible study on the radio and they state the 1000 years is not literal but symbolic. They state the number is used to mean a "large amount of time or quantity" for instance "the Lord owns cattle on a thousand hills" as an example.

Am i correct to assume someone who doesn't take the Millennium as literal 1000 years is amillennialist?

Thank you very much and God bless

Response #30:

That's correct. Amillenialism is the position of the RC church and most Calvinist derived denominations as well (along with most of the other original Reformation denominations like the Lutherans). Calvin and his successors didn't have the time or interest to reconsider how the RC church had corrupted biblical teaching on eschatology. They were too busy fighting for their lives and for basic truths about salvation by grace vs. works. Unfortunately, later generations in those denominations didn't bother with it either (or with much of anything else that Calvin hadn't addressed). Here is something I have written about this:

As to the Millennium, that thousand year period is mentioned directly in Revelation 20:2-7, once in each verse for a total of six times. The Bible only has to say something once for it to be true; here we have it six times, each in a way that has to be taken literally or else throw out all common sense in the hermeneutics of biblical interpretation. There is more than this, of course: there are seven days of re-creation in Genesis chapter one, and seven days of human history, six, in any case, have already taken place (nearly so in the case of the one we are in, number six), and it is easily demonstrable that the have lasted a thousand years. And since we know that the Sabbath is a time of rest, and is literal, so we can postulate that the seventh millennium will be so as well. As Moses affirms and Peter repeats (in the context of the end times), "one day with the Lord is as a thousand years" (Ps.90:4; 2Pet.3:8). Why have a Millennium? Putting aside the fact that there are plenty of things in the Bible and God's economy of things about which this question could probably be asked by many who have questions and doubts, the Millennium is necessary to fulfill all of the many promises to Israel given throughout the Old Testament, promises that have not yet been fulfilled and which, by the very nature of them, could not be fulfilled once eternity begins and all believers are resurrected – just take the regathering of all Jews to Israel and the very specific promises in the latter chapters of Ezekiel for starters – and then there are all the promises to and about the Messiah.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #31:

I sent this letter off this morning to two local pastors who have known me for several years:

Needless to say, I have much to say about this just I have had in the past mostly falling on deaf ears. The vast majority of the church will repeat the history of the church as they did in Nazi Germany, with only a remnant-----and it is always but a remnant you know, who will do as God has, not suggested, but has commanded the church to do.

Brethren! I'm almost 70 years old!!! Do what you can while you can! We are responsible for what we know and you both already know too much to claim as many German's claimed after the war, "We didn't know!" This time around there will be no "after." I appeal to you and others in your sphere of influence, make a way and open doors to me, at least in our "Jerusalem." But, I certainly would welcome doors into "Judea, Samaria and the outer parts of the world."

"The Church is Asleep at the Wheel." The SBC is preoccupied with holding up those Convention Business, policies, strategies, numbers, sightseeing tours and golf tournaments; "playing the fiddle while my Jewish People, God's People are once again being looked upon a s kindling to be burned. Better they should take those stupid cards and burn them and deal with the real pressing matters at hand!

"Sorry!" We can't fit you into our agenda" won't cut it anymore, as if it has all this time. If these incidents are happening in America of all places, well, you should be able to fill in the blank. I've been trying for years to tell you and anyone willing to listen or felt they had the time to listen that this was coming, and coming soon.

Crisis always reveals character. We have now entered the early 1930's. Will you reenact the majority of those times or the remnant? You are long since past claiming, "We didn't know!"

Rescue those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to the slaughter, Oh hold them back! If you say, “See, we did not know this,”

Does He who weighs the hearts not consider it?
And does He who watches over your soul not know it?
And will He not repay a person according to his work?

https://www.foxnews.com/us/us-seeing-wave-of-textbook-anti-semitism-amid-israel-gaza-tensions

Response #31:

Thanks for this!

Sounds like we are about the same age. I was just talking to one of my old USMC buddies today about how things have changed since we were young, and how that anti-Semitism really does seem to be dangerously on the rise in this country.

Any truly "Christian" ministry worth its salt will be vigilant against any hint of anti-Semitism and careful to instill that vigilance into those it ministers to. This ministry, Ichthys, as always been intolerant of anti-Semitism – because God certainly is!

"I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Genesis 12:30 NKJV

In Jesus the Messiah, our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #32:

Hello Bob,

I hope you are well and that your classes have resumed some form of normality? I guess you’ll be having a summer break soon.

Could you comment on Ephesians 4:8 and following ? There are many interpretations of this and I find them a bit confusing.

Thank you

Response #32:

Always good to hear from you, my friend.

(7) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  (8) Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.” (Ps.68:18)
(9) Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
Ephesians 4:8-9 NIV

This refers to the fact that our Lord's victory at the cross, officially recognized by the Father at Jesus' ascension, session and glorification, bestowed on Him the ability to send us the Holy Spirit and also all the spiritual gifts connected with the great gift of Spirit baptism.

"But, I tell you the truth, that I go away is profitable for you, because unless I go away the Encourager (comforter/counselor) will not come to you; but after I make my way [where I am going], I will send Him to you."
John 16:7 (cf. Jn.14:22; 14:26; 15:26)

It is the Spirit we all receive who assigns us the spiritual gifts referred to at Eph.4:8ff. (1Cor.12:4; 12:11). Link for more.

It is true that this is a quotation from Psalm 68:18 where it says "He received" gifts, but that is not a problem. It is not uncommon for NT writers to do this, namely, under the inspiration of the Spirit to apply OT scriptures which do apply in special ways to the mystery era of the Church Age to which the OT prophets were not privy (cf. 1Pet.1:10-12). Psalm 68 is a prophetic description of the victory of the second advent and its aftermath. Paul applies this verse to the victory of the first advent and its aftermath, and that is the basis for the difference: at the 2nd, the Lord will receive obeisance from the world; following the first, He empowered His Church to do battle in His stead until that return. So we receive gifts in order to engage in the struggle; when it is over and He returns, He will receive the 'gifts' and the rulership . . . in which we shall all share.

If you are asking about the "ascended / descended" part, this is a reference to our Lord's descent into the paradise below the earth during the time between His giving up of His spirit on the cross and His resurrection on the following Sunday morning (cf. Lk.23:43). Peter also talks about this and adds the additional detail that while He was there our Lord also proclaimed His victory to the fallen angels who are confined in the adjoining Abyss (1Pet.3:19-20). Link for more.

If you are asking about "taking captivity captive", this is a reference to the liberation of the "captives", that is, the believers who were in paradise below the earth before the cross. Once sin was actually paid for, there was no more need to keep these departed believers sequestered (cf. Rom.3:25). Our Lord took these believers with Him when He ascended to the third heaven, and that is why now after death all believers are in the presence of the Lord and not in Hades/paradise below as was the case before the cross, resurrection and ascension of Christ (Jn.13:36; 14:3; 17:24). Link for more.

Summer is here, so I'm getting busy with my research. Things are supposed to revert to "normal" for classes in the fall, but we'll have to wait and see. That is what the students are doing. VERY low enrollments across the board as students wait to see what develops. Don't think they were too happy with the masks and the social distancing – and especially not with the majority of my colleagues who conducted classes remotely. Many of my students told me that mine was the only class they actually had face-to-face on campus.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers daily.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #33:

Hi Bob,

Thank you SO much for your prompt reply.

It is as I thought but there were other commentaries that made me a bit uncertain as to whether I had got it right. My late pastor used to say that when he got to heaven he had a lot of questions for Paul on some chapters of Romans and that he couldn't wait to meet him. Well I can’t wait to meet you there because although I know we will all know everything perfectly, it will be nice to chat in “person”.

You are my go to person when I’m in any doubt as I trust your instruction and I thank God for you and your ministry.

As for Covid…we spent 5 months down in Mexico. Since retired, we can’t face the winters here and I’m so glad we were there as there was hardly any mask wearing, we were in the fresh air, learning a new language and didn’t watch the news…ever!! My grandchildren had a horrible year of no school except for online. No sport, no church, very unsettling but I suspect you and I would agree on many of the “regulations” regarding this.

In Mexico, the church we attend was open all the time and we were able to enjoy worshiping with other believers which is a treat as we have never found a church here where we felt “comfortable”.

As for my __, as far as I know he is still unsaved but I pray for him every day ( and I thank you for your prayers regarding this). He has reached out on the odd occasion and I am going to SA in September so will see him then. His health is not good and he looks like a lost cause but I know there are no lost causes with God .

Stay well and enjoy your research this summer.

Response #33:

Thanks so much for your kind words, my friend.

Mexico sounds pretty good! We hear "other things" about cartel territory however. Guess like any other country, you have to know the lay of the land and pick your spots.

Yes, I think we all would have been much better served by treating this thing as a bad flu and telling the elderly to take extra precautions, but the CDC doesn't phone me to ask my opinions. We're hopeful of being back to normal at U of L in the fall. Working on things already, even though it's supposed to be my vacation AKA time to do research.

I promise to continue keeping ___ in my prayers. "there are no lost causes with God" – Amen!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #34:

Dear Professor

Please feel free to edit or leave out anything or everything. This is more of an update for your information than a posting piece - though I do believe we should avail ourselves to as much knowledge as is possible to balance the mass propaganda (aka, weapons of mass deception). Much of what the folks in the world experience never makes it into the media. The satanic system is working overtime to conform the masses.

Just an amendment to my observation of other ministries I have viewed online. And some of them are quite good and serve a need. When I return to read your thorough teachings the comparison should more accurately be that they don’t come within prairies full of bulls roaring to your Ministry. IMHO. We are blessed to have your teachings in these very last days.

I was impressed to see your correspondent at your latest posting give his explanation of the strait and narrow way and also steering people to Ichthys. His is a good desire to serve the Lord. A benefit of genuine seekers in coming to your site would be to study the word on a non commercial site as Ichthys and also Bible Academy Online are solely concerned with teaching.

Covid Capers: (admittedly mostly snippets I heard while driving the car or bus). On Radio National on Sunday morning an interview with someone of authority on the subject was saying that in Africa the EXCESS of people dying from other diseases and conditions (because of the focus on covid only) will far exceed what lives would be lost to covid. Also because the population is overwhelming younger, not too many would die from covid but plenty will die of otherwise preventable diseases due to the now neglect in these other areas. Another point he stated was that it is clearly shown that when economic activity and income is lost the death rate climbs accordingly. The long term effects of this will be much more devastating in lives lost than the lives saved through lockdowns.

In Australia we are told it is a mistake to equate the healthy people dying after receiving the covid vaccine with the vaccine.

Close to home, my farmer friend’s mother and father are both very sick after vaccination and have been for 3 weeks, while his friend’s father got so sick after vaccination that he is now in hospital. update: sadly his father died of a heart attack on Thursday. He was 84 but was in excellent health up until the jab. He and his wife removed a large tree and carted it away days before receiving their jabs. She was seriously sick after her jab so that her husband was worried about her, before he himself died within a week of his jab. None of them had covid but had the vaccine. My friends parents are normally healthy.

From the authorities - nothing to see here - actually none of this is reported. They only report the very rare cases of blood clotting following vaccination while saying the risk is minuscule compared to if they get covid. Well they would be well, if it weren’t for the vaccine, instead with the vaccine they are dead. Dead from the prevention - when there is not even any covid disease in our community. You are permitted to die from the “cure” of a presently non existent disease! I believe the Astro Boy (Astra Zeneca) vaccine is causing most of the grief, as the Pfizer is in short supply or has run out. __ has had no problems with the Pfizer (so far).

On the radio a comforting motherly voice said we have no need to worry about the vaccine becoming compulsory- be assured that they will not. However, she continued, the vaccination may become mandatory in certain situations and if you want to work in certain occupations such as teaching or other jobs where you come into contact with people, or you want your children to attend school or childcare. But, she continued in that very reassuring motherly voice, being mandatory for certain jobs and for say travel, education etc is far different than being made compulsory. Compulsory is where people force their way into your home and hold you down and put the jab into your arm against your will. This, she assured listeners, will not happen. No compulsion here (nothing to see here).

Of course family tax benefits withheld from families (majority of families rely on these to feed their children and to pay their bills) have been used for this purpose before and may well be used again, she continued in her sweet voice. Where do they get these sweet motherly performers from! Brings to mind the craftiness of the antichrist to come!

I can hardly believe I am hearing such obvious deceit and cunning being bandied around on prime ABC radio media. Sounds very much like these people are warm up performances for their main actor to follow (antichrist). They are cloaked in characteristically noble robes in the best possible light but what they speak is deceit hardly even veiled. Image of the “forked tongue” readily comes to mind (antichrist/false prophet).

For any that see through this plain deceit, it seems that it is designed to “do your head in”. Others just blindly follow. Keeping sane in an insane society is indeed taking much more spiritual effort nowadays and will presently certainly stretch the fibres about the cranium arena to it’s absolute limits.

[omitted]

We have our fellowship tonight so I had better go review what I am going to teach from your materials. Continuing with Theology: The Essence of God. My wife is continuing her listening to Curt Omo on Bible Academy online - Daniel at the moment.

Thank you for your wonderful Ministry.

Keeping you in my prayers.

Your student and friend in Jesus

Response #34:

Doing well here!

Thanks as always for your good words and prayers, also for your most informative updates and commentary. No doubt this plague has caused irreparable harm around the world – the unwise reactions to it far more than the so-called plague itself. The collective psyche of unbelievers here in the states has been clearly damaged. Given the "all clear" a few days ago, many seem to want to continue to huddle in their bunkers. Everywhere masks. And the CDC director is getting flak from all quarters for finally acknowledging some part of the truth – that masks don't work and that if someone is vaccinated and IF that works there is doubly no need for them – as if this is some kind of heresy, an assault on the new religion of science-is-what-we-say-it-ism.

But more crocuses here despite all that. While some major stores are pretending nothing has changed and while our guv has decided that the truth only applies thirty days out, our local store had a new sign today: "Masks recommended"! Didn't see anyone in there without one, however – myself included, to avoid giving offense.

It will take a little time for all this new version of the truth to sink in. The citizens of Oceania were quicker off the mark in Orwell's book. The bottom line for me is that by mid-August when classes start up again I'm very hopeful of all the nonsense having been dumped overboard de facto if not completely de jure. Hopeful that some of this change will begin to make its way down under soon too.

Prayers for your Bible study, your back and your bus forthcoming, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

 

Ichthys Home