I wanted to say how much I can relate to your correspondent whose friend is studying the enneagram. As you know, I have a friend who through her church began contemplative prayer, imaginative prayer and other "spiritual disciplines". Then went on to train to be a "spiritual director". I came across the enneagram and after reading about it I wondered whether this was something else my friend had gotten into. I mentioned it to her one day and sure enough she knew all about it, could explain it all to me and thought there was nothing wrong with it.
Like your correspondent, I have tried to warn my friend that this has nothing to do with the Bible and is dangerous stuff. I told her that I had been involved with new age teachings before I came back to the Lord and that what she was doing was exactly the same but with the label "Christian" slapped onto it. She said that we would have to "agree to disagree". She said there's always someone out there who will criticise it and that they were only "tools" to help us grow closer to the Lord and to grow spiritually. That was her desire but sadly she has moved away from the truth of the Bible and she's found a substitute.
From the small amount of research I've done on the enneagram it seems to be assembled from occult, mystic and psychological concepts and filtered through Roman Catholic teachers. I read one of the reviews for the book called "The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery" and the person wrote that it is a great read for anyone who wants to grow in their knowledge of themselves. So it's just another thing that is concentrating on self again. Self-focus - self-absorption.
The first verse that came to mind when I read that was 2nd Peter 3:18 - Now grow up through the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As you said in your response, we are called to deny self, pick up our cross and follow Him in spiritual growth, progress and production. All of this other rubbish is looking to man-made exercises and to self and is moving people further away from the Lord rather than closer to Him. It's a denial of Biblical sufficiency.
I'm continuing to pray for my friend and will always be there for her and I've said a prayer for your correspondent's friend too. But I do agree with your correspondent that ultimately it's their choice and their responsibility.
Back to work tomorrow - a four day week this week. The weather is a little cooler and I'm very thankful to the Lord!
Keeping you in my prayers and thanks so much for yours too.
In our dear Lord Jesus
Four days is a lot, especially wearing all that PPE. I'll say a prayer
for you to make it through.
It does amaze me that "believers" can embrace the enneagram nonsense and related trivialities – which are more than just trivial if a person takes them seriously. Focus on self vs. focus on the Lord and the truth really is at the heart of it. But that is what all lies are, namely, turning truth inside-out for the benefit of self.
"It's a denial of Biblical sufficiency" – Amen! Too many Laodicean Christians are looking elsewhere than to the Bible, the one genuine font of the truth on this earth, whenever they want guidance et al. A recipe for spiritual disaster if ever there was one.
Keeping you and your family in my prayers, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you for sharing the piece I wrote in the last email posting.
I just finally finished Peter #34. Had been reading it on and off for the past several weeks. Not an easy read for me, but definitely something I deliberately need to hear. Thank you very much for that work, Sir. I'm just hoping now that it will produce fruit in me.
I recognize that I have free will and therefore can make the choices that we are called to make, but my life, especially until I came to Ichthys more than three years ago has been one of willing and not doing. It was pretty frustrating.
From where I stand, that has changed a great deal, but there are still holdovers from the past. Paul said that he was striving with all the power that Christ worked in him. That tells me that it isn't that we just sit on our hands and the Lord does it all, rather it is that we actively do the things that we are called to do calling upon His own strength made fully and powerfully available to us despite our seemingly overwhelming weakness.
So, as far as the Bible is concerned, I have no reason to be depressed or afraid when the Lord calls me to do something. I don't need to be able in my own self to do whatever it is. I just need to get out and do it and His power will be available to me as soon as I need it and to the degree that I dare to do what He calls me to. It really is like stepping out of a boat to walk on water. We simply can't succeed at that endeavor. But if the Lord tells us to do it, then we can be sure that we can do it if we are willing to do it at all.
It is a lesson that I suspect will yet take me a while to learn. I don't like the learning curves that I have to climb all the time to get to doing things right, but I am slowly making my peace with them. Progress is progress. An absence of progress is no progress. Even if there is only a little of the former at a time, it is something even to the Lord Himself who calls us to perfection. So I'll try to not give up when I see how high the mountain I have to climb is.
I had a better day writing today than I have had in a while. My head is also clearer after talking to myself through recall of Scriptures and what the Lord has already done for me. I needed to remember that worrying is destructive in nature, not therapeutic or productive.
Working on a new installment here. I had hoped to send it in this past weekend, but I didn't make it. I'm aiming to send it some time this week.
Keeping you in our prayers here.
Your student in Jesus
The teachings of scripture bring us all up short – if we deign to give
them the attention they deserve. As I often say (and as my mentor Col.
Thieme always said), the only difference for pastor-teachers is that we
experience it before everyone else and in private.
Your analysis is spot-on. As long as we are on this side, there will be learning curves to climb. The more we are willing to respond to the Lord, the more He will give us to respond to. That really is a blessing, and we need to be careful to be grateful rather than to fall into a pattern of self-pity about it. After all, "all this" is only the blink of an eye. That was true before the flood when life-spans approached 1,000 years. It's certainly true today when the Lord will be back in just over a dozen years (calculations proving correct, that is).
So keep fighting the fight, my friend. And remember, we only have to tackle one day at a time.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I got your email saying you will be praying for me. I do have some prayer requests. My family is a great concern for me. All of them are non believers. My daughter is an atheist and practices witchcraft, and is a recovering alcoholic. My two grandchildren's father is an alcoholic and has been separated from my daughter for years; he is a Wiccan. I also have twin granddaughters of another father. Two months ago I had to get an apartment with my daughter. She left this one as he was abusive and I am babysitting my great granddaughter when she is working. Pray also for my strength and energy. Thank you so much, in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I will be praying for your family too.
I've also put up a prayer request on Ichthys for you (at the link). Let me know if you want it changed in any way.
The Lord has given you a lot of work to do! I'll be praying for you for the strength and guidance to do it.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
What you shared on the prayer requests is fine. I will let you know any updates. In my previous emails I forgot to mention I have been listening to Bible Academy for some months now. Today when I read your Saturday email postings, I saw Curtis Omo was in hospital with some heart issues. I've been praying for him and hope he is doing better.
In our Savior, Jesus Christ
I just heard from our friend that he has been diagnosed with Afib and will be getting more testing tomorrow.
I shared with him that he's in your prayers – which I know will be an encouragement. Thank you!
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I have attached some comments from another believer who lives in the Philippines and is part of our Bible Study group of 7 that I am hosting every Wednesday evening. He had the following comments on the subject of Eternal Security based on a comment that I had made during this Bible Study. I have included his comments below and am asking for your review of what he has written. This was his reply to my response to his remarks that were made during the Bible Study. I have already shared with him two of your studies on this subject but to no avail. I seem to always get these tough ones. But I kind of enjoy helping these kind. Here are his comments:
Thank you for sharing your view regarding losing one’s salvation. Many believers are greatly divided upon the question “Can Christian loss or not loss their salvation? There are those who say that they can loss their salvation, so they have to go to repentance again and again if they fall away. Others say they cannot lose their salvation through sin, but they can walk away from their salvation, and there are those who believe that salvation begins at the moment of conversion and continues for all eternity. I hold to the view that salvation begins at the moment of conversion and continues for all eternity, for the following reasons: First, External behavior [outward appearances] can be deceiving. There are those who profess that they are following Christ but when their faith is tested, they just turn away from the faith. For example, Judas Iscariot. He was one of the twelve called by Jesus and for three years, from all outward appearances, he was a true follower of Christ. Yet, in the gospel of John it says, “Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!" [John 6:70]. Jesus characterized him as a devil. In the Book of Acts chapter 8:9-24, the people of Samaria were amazed by the magic that Simon Magus practiced. Looking at vs 10, 12 & 13. (Acts 8:10) and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is rightly called the Great Power of God." [From his external behavior]. In verse 13 when he heard the preaching of Philip he believed and was baptized. (12) But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (13) Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw. Simon belief was motivated by purely selfish reasons and could never be considered genuine. In verse 18 “when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,”  saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” When rebuke by Peter [vss. 20-23] for offering money in order to have the power of the Holy Spirit, he asked Peter [vs. 24] to pray for him to the Lord, that nothing of what Peter had said may come upon him. Simon Magus was fearful but was unwilling to repent and seek forgiveness. All he wants was to escape the consequences of his sin. Like some Jews before and even today there are people who, like Judas and Simon Magus have tasted the goodness of God yet turned away from his grace. They only acknowledged Christ with their lips, but their apostasy proved that their faith was not real. (1 John 2:19) They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. Second, Eternal life does not begin when we die but at the moment of conversion when we put our trust to the finish work of Christ and embrace Him, the Savior who died in our place. Assurance of eternal life constitute the first Christian certainty. Jesus said, (John 10:27) “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. The apostle John wrote his gospel to bring unbelievers to faith. (John 20:31) But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. And he wrote the epistle to give believers confidence that they possessed eternal life. (1 John 5:13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so `that you may know that you have eternal life. John assured believers that since they adhered to the fundamentals of the faith, their salvation is sure. Finally, there are so many passages in the Bible that testify to the security of the believer. Jesus assurance to those who believe: (John 5:24) "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. The promise that Christ will keep us firm to the end: (1 Corinthians 1:8) He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God guarantees to keep us from falling: (Jude 1:24) To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy. Ephesians provides the surety that: (Ephesians 1:13b) “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, (14) who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.” Lastly, Jesus’ declaration regarding his own: (John 10:27) My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.
Thanks so much for your input, Your friend,
This is a pretty typical defense of OSAS, and my guess is that he ignored all of
the scriptures you sent to him. That is what all OSAS-ers must do, namely,
pretend that all the scriptures which clearly link salvation to faith and which
clearly warn against turning to evil behavior as a threat to that salvation –
because sinfulness weakens faith – do not even exist. Or they explain them away
with the circular argument that because OSAS "is true", therefore these verses
must mean something else.
1) On "appearances can be deceiving", the fact that a person, like Judas, e.g., can appear to be a believer and not be does not at all mean that the 1/3 of the Church prophesied to apostatize during the Tribulation are "really not believers". It's a non sequitur which is only designed to put a fig leaf on the obvious fact that we all have known and know of believers who have turned away from the Lord later in life for one reason or another. The fact that they turned away does not mean that at one time they were not His.
2) Focusing on "eternal" and drawing derivative (and false) conclusions from assumptions made about the word is a typical thing to do in theology – which is why I prefer the Bible. The fact that "eternal" means forever does not mean that our possession of "eternal life" cannot be lost. Indeed it can be. As e.g. John 3:18 states very clearly, those who ARE believers have eternal life – not those who WERE; those who WERE, and now are NOT are not saved – for no unbeliever has eternal life. There's no getting around this truth. It's all about faith and free will – which are one and the same. We don't lose our free will once we are saved. Indeed, we are left here for the very purpose of testing it to see if it be genuine, and, if it is, to demonstrate how much we are willing to trust the Lord as a basis for eternal reward. There are many faith plants which start out growing fine, but then are parched by life and die out.
"Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away."
Luke 8:13 NIV
Very clear. And unanswerable in any meaningful way by OSAS-ers.
3) Passages which testify: These verses do testify to the absolute security that BELIEVERS have in Jesus Christ. None of them say, "and even if you end up denying the Lord, you'll be OK". Indeed, there are dozens of passages which say just the opposite (see the link for a few).
This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
2nd Timothy 2:11-13 NKJV
Who are the "we" if not believers? But if "we" deny Him, we are lost.
Perseverance is all about persevering in faith.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I pray all is well with you and your family. the first day of the bible study "Seven Days of Human History" went really well and thank you for all your hard work. Without your hard work, I would have not known these truths or even be able to explain. May the Lord continue to bless you.
I am working on sending you the materials including portion of my Roman studies. As far as your materials, I gave you the credit. It was mostly all copyist work but I just rearranged it for presentation.
Thanks again and May the Lord continue to bless you, your family and everything you hold dear.
Congratulations! I'm so thrilled to hear that you are bearing fruit in
spite of the great restrictions you're having to endure. I rejoice in
your good work and I look forward to cheering you at the judgment seat
of Christ when you receive your well-deserved reward!
Keeping you in my prayers for continued progress and success in this important ministry.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hope you are coping with the cicada plague (another ‘c’ plague). Let me again give you thanks for your Ministry. It is so important to know the truth so we can be free in Christ Jesus. Without you I would still be fumbling around looking for answers to lead the way to eternal life. I know they are in the word but it is important to have things explained by someone who is dedicated to the truth and knows Hebrew and Greek - as you certainly do. Indebted so much to you.
If I don’t happen to write to you in any month you can assume I have been shut down. So this is a thank you in case ANY of us goes “offline” though I are not expecting it soon. Listening to Curt’s “Daniel series” has me thinking there is enough there for the thought police to act upon. When even “unconscious micro aggression” causes such hatred today, what rage will actual words of truth provoke? I kinda think that your explanation is a little more nuanced when describing the king of the north attacking the king of the south. Whenever I have spoken with Muslims (not for quite awhile) I have tried to emphasise that the actual victor in those battles is the antichrist. This at least shows them that the king of the south is not their answer - nor the king of the north - but the King of kings IS the answer. We do love and pray for all people, however the gospel is divisive, simply by Jesus proclaiming He is the only way.
A-Establishments worldwide have intimidated, persecuted, prosecuted and jailed doctors for carrying out their Hippocratic oath by treating covid patients with safe drugs that had excellent results for the patients B- False paper published in the Lancet to discredit Hydroch-. Without any of the standard reviews and checks required for everything else. C- On day 1, day 2, and day 3 after their v- 4000 Americans died; 10,000 Europeans (the cut off is 25 deaths for any new treatment method to be discontinued). D- children 12 yo and older can request the v- without parental consent E- “policy” is to leave people untreated at home until they can’t breathe then send them to hospital to isolate and die (creates FEAR and PANIC) F- 2nd biggest manufacturing plant for Hydroch- in the world burnt down. G- mercenaries in Africa destroyed pharmaceutical supplies H- It is ALL about the v- and NOT the cure (see E above) I- treatment consists of a combination of drugs and vitamins (just like AIDS requires) J- healthy under 50’s normally need no treatment Huge worldwide campaign to NOT treat infected people. (Contrary to the oath doctors have taken). K- Something like 99.9%of people who are not in nursing homes would survive without treatment L- v- may have the effect of creating super bugs that really will be catastrophic. What we have here is a definite primer to separate those willing to be marked and those who are not - though compulsory v- has not been ruled out here - particularly if you desire to travel, work, gather, (eat?).
Saw __ yesterday - had the v- ?- yes- how goes it? - 4 days extremely sick and in bed, felt a little better but only saw that traffic was ALL coming from the left, nothing to see on the right (NOTHING to see here!), so I stopped driving for another week until I could see both sides again. A co-worker had his on Thursday and not as severe as __ but has been unwell since then till now. Perhaps we have a batch of “bad dates” in our area. At least this Covid Caper may have awoken some others out there to not trust the establishment and hopefully have a nose tuned in for smelling the two Biggest Rats yet to emerge. Gives us the opportunity to alert them to the smell test. I am trying to do it via some who are not completely hostile to the gospel.
Thank you for the good news that God is in control. Should encourage us to be discerning because the days ARE evil.
Your student and friend
A little under the weather here last night and today. The nice thing about
working out is that if you take a day off your body has those extra resources to
fight of whatever. A little rest and chicken soup (literally) some C and D3 and
feeling better today. Another does of Covid? Who knows. A good tune-up in any
case (beats the
v- in my way of thinking about these things).
Cicadas now have pretty clearly passed their peak, so thanks for the prayers on that too! Haven't noticed any serious damage to anything we consider valuable, though a lot of the younger trees in the park really took a hit.
Things continue to be busy here in spite of it being the summer. I hope to have another go at my research later this week or surely next. Time is running!
Thanks for the updates and for all the good words, my friend. Keeping you and yours in prayer daily.
Maybe antichrist will be a lefty using this process, but I have to
wonder how many of these types are truly believers; could they add up to
1/3. Oh well, just more evidence of Laodicea times.
Those wanting to do great things for God should be preparing for what’s coming, not thinking they’ll overtly change the current of history. All this looks to me like laying the grounds for a tribulation society. We may be put temporarily in the public square by circumstances on our respective way out of this life or on the way to imprisonment.
Exactly the way I see it too
Thanks for the link!
It can be hard to tell about who really is a believer these days (being in the indistinct camp will not be a plus when the pressures are on to apostatize during the Tribulation).
It reminds me of that old joke: "Everyone else is a bit odd except for me and thee – and sometimes I'm not at all sure about thee".
Personally, I stay out of the square at all costs.
I am a Christian and follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I love him
with all my heart but lately I’ve been concerned with the way the world is with
the current covid 19 crisis going on and everything else going on it’s tough
times but we have to stay strong and trust in God and Jesus to get us through
this also I’m concerned with date setters for the rapture many you tubers you
can look them up such as dunamis333 God a minute and Barry awe they have set
dates and claimed that the rapture is soon and around the end of March on
Passover. Do you believe this and will it happen or no since nobody knows the
day? please get back to me when you can may God bless you and your family during
these difficult times also look up this YouTuber names the wackadoodle Samoan he
claims the antichrist may come
They claim the rapture has to happen June 25th or by the end of June due to the parable of the fig tree do you believe what these people are claiming and will it honestly happen or no they also state We are on the cusp of the rapture and that June 25th it could happen due to UFO Info Being Released Do You Believe What These People Are claiming about this and also they claim the violence in Israel is a sign a huge sign of the rapture and that we are on the cusp of the rapture they claim the UFO Info could be the lie/set up to explain the rapture do you believe this or no?
Good to make your acquaintance.
I won't pretend I've read every word of these rather long emails, but I
have the impression you want to know about the date of the Tribulation
and the "rapture"?
First, there is no pre-Tribulation "rapture". All of the passages in scripture which speak of the resurrection (such as 1Thes.4:13-18) are speaking about our Lord's return at the second advent. That is when the resurrection takes place, namely, after the Tribulation, not before (here's a link that will lead to many others: "The 'Rapture' and other Eschatological Issues").
Second, the Tribulation has not yet started. When it does, it will be unmistakable:
When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.
Revelation 8:1-5 NKJV
The seven seals seal up the book of Revelation, the book of the
unveiling of Christ (which is what apokalypsis means); when the last
seal is opened, the Tribulation begins. When it does, the "noises,
thunderings, lightnings, and earthquake" will be heard and experienced
around the world – there will be no doubt.
Third, as to the date of the Tribulation, just as the world was re-established in seven days, so seven millennial days have been ordained for human history. The last one, the Millennium, is a thousand year day of rest, just as with day seven in Genesis chapter one. So we posit six other thousand year days of which two were the age of the gentiles and two were the age of Israel (from the genealogies and chronological information in the Bible it is possible to see that approximately four thousand years preceded the birth of Christ). Our Lord died on the cross for us and was resurrected in ca. 33 A.D. Therefore we can posit that the two remaining millennia, the Church Age, will end in 2033. That is when our Lord will return. So the Tribulation will likely start seven years earlier, in 2026.
This is short-hand for many voluminous studies at Ichthys. Best place for a quick recap of all the end times teaching at this ministry is Bible Basics 2B: Eschatology (at the link).
Hi Bob and family,
I was laying awake last night and I was thinking about the millennium and wondering if it will ever be written about during that time as another book to be added to the Bible. It may be just fanciful thinking but knowing that Jesus will be here and reigning during that time, it would stand to reason that there will be much that Jesus will say and as the things He said in the N.T. are documented, I wonder if someone will record the events in the millennium. The Millennium Book – that would be an interesting book wouldn’t it? The Bible is short on how the millennium will play out in full – we know a little but as it is yet future history we don’t know it all.
Just an interesting thought and I’m wondering what your thoughts are?
As always my dear friend,
I certainly can't be dogmatic about things that are beyond our ken at present, but it seems to me that the Bible is the perfect book as is. Also, I find this in scripture:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
Revelation 22:18-19 NKJV
In Jesus our dear Savior,
No reply necessary. I don't particularly like this woman's schtick, but I've followed her from time to time because it interests me what people ate before Proctor and Gamble. I seriously doubt archeology can recreate life 2,000 years ago but at least she's looking and trying. I've also learned there's no such thing as "Italian" cooking. There was no "Italy" until recently and even today. every region seems to have their own cuisine. All good, but different.
On a side note: as predicted, the casualty rate of the v- is now spun as "mutation Delta." First there was Corona virus Alpha, the original flu. Then there was corona Beta, the lock-down casualty rates. Then corona Charlie, the casualty rate of suicides and now, corona Delta to cover the casualty rate of the v- I have no doubt there will be a corona Echo, Foxtrot, Golf and so on until the Show starts.
Jeremiah, I think, is a good indication of where this country is today and what we can expect in the future. In a careful reading, ancient Judah appears to be as evil as we are today with few differences. The Lamentations would suggest where we are headed.
I may be over emoting – or getting exercised, but if we don't change, which I don't think will happen, we will not go gentle into the good night. Jeremiah 14 seems to describe what is going on in the US today – at least the first part with the drought and shortages. And still, we don't repent.
Otherwise, I hope your bug issue is winding down and your enrollment rate is sufficient. It's been an interesting year here. The grasshoppers seem out of control and the harlequin bugs have devastated my cabbage and collards. I need some chickens.
I pray all is well with you and yours up there in greater metropolitan Louisville. Note Brassicas can many times recover – but later in the year. I hope your butterfly bushes survive.
In our Lord,
Yes, there's no telling what will happen. But around here, things seem
to be returning to normal. A lot of people are still very scared,
however – that's obvious. One of the things that has most amazed me
about this whole experience is how easy it was to terrorize the majority
of the population. Makes you wonder how this country would handle it if
something REALLY terrible happened. But in any case, there doesn't seem
to be any appetite for ever shutting things down again as just happened.
I don't think everyone would lie down and just take it like last time.
Doesn't matter if 50% would. So we need to be on the look out for "new
things" – like declaring everyone who's not into virtue-signaling a
potential domestic terrorist.
In terms of Jeremiah, God can do anything. But again, we are not a "Christian nation" (biblically there is no such thing) and are in no way comparable to God's Israel (the present nation-state is not at all the same as the nation God planted . . . and disciplined by uprooting). Add to that the fact that there are only a few years left. I have little doubt that present trends would spell historical disaster left to progress for several decades more – but we don't have that long. Also, Babylon is prophesied to play a pivotal role in the Tribulation. I do admit that it's a bit difficult to see how current events are not moving in the opposite direction, but as I've said more than once, when the Tribulation begins, things will proceed at break-neck speed. We've seen in the past months how quickly things can change in our modern techno-world. We have no idea how much more so that will be the case once the Holy Spirit removes His present restraining ministry.
One thing to remember is that the beast will quickly assume control not only of Babylon but also of revived Rome – that includes most likely Russia. This gambit would leave China virtually isolated.
It should be very interesting to watch . . . if the Lord leaves us here a few more years to see it.
Cicadas seem to be "done" all of a sudden! God is good!
Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Are you suggesting that God fed and took care of the Judeans? I always wondered about that and it makes a certain amount of sense since the Lord said that those going into captivity (willingly, I assume) would live. If I remember my history, armies foraged or pillaged their food and water when on the march. That the Judeans, which were probably a sizable population, could do that at the same time seems improbable.
The changes I see -- or rather read -- suggests to me that everything is moving at increasing speed. In fact, the trends today, I think, will intensify and become a major part of the Tribulation. A headline I saw recently claimed that the Biden administration (such as it is) announced plans to encourage and simplify friends and family members to turn in non-conforming individuals. Since evil has always been with us, it seems reasonable that the evil tendencies we see today will only intensify when all restraint is removed.
It seems I've been made an illegal alien in my own country.
Thank you for your prayers. You are in mine daily.
In our Lord,
Not sure about the context of this question (I certainly don't remember
suggesting this), but it is true that the Lord took care of the exiles
to Babylon (cf. Jer.29:4-7).
It's a hallmark of revolutions to inform on others to protect oneself. We do have guidance on that:
The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.
Psalm 12:8 NIV85
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Proverbs 22:3 NIV
Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
Isaiah 59:15a NIV
*Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times, for the times are evil.
Amos 5:13 NIV
(20) Get out, My people. Go into your rooms and close your doors behind you. Hide yourselves for a little while until My indignation has run its course. (21) For behold, the Lord is about to come forth from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. And the earth will reveal the blood shed upon it, and conceal its slain no longer (i.e., the persecution of believers will be punished).
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I apologize again. It was the end of a cascade of thoughts starting with Israel being special. Which made me wonder about the parallels of the exile to the Exodus. You answered the question, though, thank you. It does seem miraculous. From Jerusalem to Baghdad is about 650 miles. The most they could have done and still make something to eat is 16 miles per day which curiously is equal to 40 days in transit. Of course, that assumes that the ruins found outside Baghdad was Babylon as they theorize and the Israelites stopped there..
All of the quotes ring true today, but Amos 5:13 is one I'm taking more and more to heart. Particularly since I have a tendency to vocal outbursts. It hasn't happened for a long time, but I've avoided provocation, too.
Speaking of getting out, (a rhetorical question,) if the US ends up being end days Babylon, and Texas secedes prior to the start of the Tribulation, do you think Texas will be caught up in the destruction?
As a secondary question to the first, at what point are Christians grafted onto the vine? From your earlier thoughts, if I correctly understood, we are already and will enjoy a similar protection to what the Lord provided Israel.
How's your enrollment coming along?
Yours in Jesus,
Ezra 8:21ff. has a short account of the return journey, to give you a brief
I think the odds of Texas successfully seceding in the next five plus years are minimal, so I'll blow up that bridge when I come to it.
Enrollments are moving slow, especially in Greek, but I am up to six in that class. Prayers appreciated! [nearly doubled as of 7/24 – thank you everyone for your prayers!]
Keeping you in mine, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hi Dr L,
How are you doing? Are you still working on your garden and running? You don't have to say if you don't want to of course.
Well I finished Anabasis. What do you think of that work? I liked it, and there is insight in some of the things written (like when Xenophon considers the cons of taking command), but at times I almost felt it was too polished in certain ways to favor the Greeks or Xenophon. Also I like how religiously devoted he was, though unfortunately not the true God. I decided to do Agamemnon by Aeschylus next.
When I read, some stories . . . [omitted].
I have the second v- this next week (work said we could stop with the masks if we did it, so...).
Anyway, please take care,
PS: I mean one of the first thoughts that would occur to me if someone was trying to hurt me to such a degree, in the process of defending myself, is how to ensure there won't be a repeat. Is that wrong? I don't know. I mean I don't know that I have ever hurt someone physically, this is just hypothetical.
Had a bit of an off week. Possibly re-exposure to Covid; if so,
antibodies kicked in quickly. I didn't get as much walking and partial
jogging in as had been the case the week before. But I am hanging in
there. Plenty to do on the house, garden, and of course at work. Busy
Didn't realize you'd gotten v- . Did it cause you any trouble?
Congrats on finishing the Anabasis! That is no small accomplishment. Aeschylus! One of the best professors I ever had taught us (a few undergrads and a lot of grads) Aeschylus back at the Univ. of Illinois in the early 80's. Still remember him saying that he was doing us a favor: "Some time in the future you'll be reading something in Greek and say, 'boy, this is hard . . . but it's not as hard as Aeschylus!' "
As to what characters do in any literature, I wouldn't pay it any mind. On that note, it's never profitable to be thinking out "what I would do if this or that", because "this or that" never ever happens – at least not in the way we imagine. Better to keep growing spiritually. If we are walking close to the Lord, we can rely on the Spirit to make us "strong and courageous" whatever happens, and also to give us the wisdom to make the right calls.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I hope you are well.
A post in your emails that stated that God purposely created those that would reject him, with their own free will...in order to reserve a perfect number of saved and the rest damned...that there is only so much room (and no more) in Our Father’s house.
This grieved __ as he’s been trying to shake off a disturbing perception created by some hyper-Calvinists that he was exposed to. Please remember us in your prayers. We’ve come to a little hurdle and prayers would be a blessing.
I understand that this information must be true, although it is a little bit difficult to understand and accept...in Romans, it does tell us that God could make some vessels for wrath and some for mercy. I am paraphrasing of course.
I had understood it to be God telling us that He is God Almighty, and we creatures have no right to question His authority. Although I’m had not realized that this was actually so, that He does make some vessels for wrath...I am inclined to believe there is more to it than I can understand and grasp.
God is love and mercy all who cry out to Him, He will save. Isn’t this so? I understand now, that He is also demands Justice. Having left Catholicism, I see things quite differently now.
I admit I am crying out now, I believe, and very much hope that God is working even though the person going through all this doubt and worry, cannot see it.
Again, thank you for you time and your ministry.
I hope we all meet in Heaven some day.
Always good to hear from you, my friend.
When you write, "that there is only so much room (and no more) in Our Father’s house", I'm very sure I never said this – I certainly don't believe it. Our Lord says just the opposite in fact:
"In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
John 14:2-3 NKJV
So the "vessels of wrath" are so because of their own choice – not a one time
with no possibility of turning back choice, but a consistent, determined and
repetitive reinforcement of their choice to reject the Gift of Jesus Christ all
the way to the end of their lives.
As I often opine, I am convinced that at the last judgment it will be made clear to all that every unbeliever is so out of a determined choice and bent of heart set so deep that in a thousand life-times no different choice would be made, and that God did in fact present every unbeliever with the perfect life-circumstances to change and repent – this is the perfect plan – and yet they did not.
So no brother or sister in Christ should allow themselves to be tortured by false teachings which suggest in any way that actual believers – those who DO believe in Christ – are somehow "lost" because of past actions or bad behavior. If that were the case, then we should all say with the disciples, "Who then can be saved?" But what does our Lord reply? "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matt.19:25-26 NKJV).
"God is love and mercy all who cry out to Him, He will save. Isn’t this so?" Amen! So it is, and so I teach and have always taught. The justice of God in judging sin is completely satisfied by the cross. That is the genius, that is the awesomeness of the plan of God. All WE do is accept the Gift.
It is astonishing to me that so many refuse the Gift. It is infuriating to me that so many confuse these fundamental truths with false teaching.
In Jesus Christ our dear Savior and the Savior of the world.
Amen, All glory, praise and honor to The Lord of Lord and King of King’s, Jesus Christ or Savior!
Thank you for your kind response.
Question: Is there an example in the Bible of someone turning away from God and returning, only to struggle for years before being restored to hearing Gods voice and being assured of their standing with God that they haven’t lost the Holy Spirit.
The way I understand it is that if one does stray away from The Father, he will find himself in a wounded state and for this reason he may not hear the voice of The Father as clearly and intimately as before he strayed. Hearing the voice of The Father would seem distant...I don't think this means that the Father has left him for good...I should hope that the child that strayed would be left with some assurance of their standing and not just guessing for so long, even though the voice of The Father is there, though distant...However, it is more that my knowledge and experience can figure out.
David had to live with hearing God's voice distant and far-off for quite some time, yet he was assured of God's love and mercy for him. What about when one does not seem to have this assurance..? Perhaps it is a disposition that tends to worry that is the culprit...?
What is your take on this situation?
God is gracious beyond our understanding, and He gives us all the grace
we're willing to accept. If we stray from Him, if we sin, if we stumble,
He disciplines us fairly according to our deeds, but only as a loving
Father dealing with those He loves dearly. And just as soon as we get
back on the right track, we can experience all the joy and the peace we
can handle. As we grow, we can handle more. As we grow closer to Him, it
gets better and better.
So if there is any fault or hindrance, it's always in us, not in Him. You mentioned David. My read of David is that he was always VERY quick to come back whenever he strayed no matter how far. He clung close the Lord all His life, and the joy that produced is evident in all of his psalms, even when he is clearly hurting or in trouble. For Him, the Lord is a friend as well as a Master, someone close who loves Him. That is the way it is in fact for us all. But we have to accept that truth and embrace it. How do we do so? By consistent spiritual growth and aggressive application of the truth we have committed to believe and love. We have the Holy Spirit to help us – dwelling in us. Something David had too but as a special gift whereas all believers today have this precious gift. How few make proper use of it!
We can be as close to the Lord as we desire. The question is, do we really desire it? That is shown by what we think and say and do every day, every step of the way. None of us is perfect, for certain! So we all can make improvements here. But we have to want to do so and we have to be willing to invest the effort. And it does take effort. Not the "works" effort of the world, but the commitment to faith-rest where we aggressively trust in Him, rely on Him, esteem Him and His Word and His truth, denying ourselves, picking up our crosses . . . and following Him. It's all about faith.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
That is the God that I’ve always thought was there. The God you speak of...I
believed and felt Him there but couldn’t grasp Him as close as I would like. I
haven’t read much the Old Testament myself, yet. I’m on my 2nd time reading the
New Testament. I’m on Romans right now.
I’m just going by what was shared with me about David...I’ll pray for continued growth and healing for my dear one, I know you’re praying, too. God is merciful and loving, He shows this over and over...and over. Blessed be His name. It seems there does need to be spiritual growth there...
On another note: I’ve always thought I was God’s child but now that I’m out of Catholicism, I hear testimonies from Christians being “born again” and knowing the moment they receive new life and salvation, even 2 people I know and never dreamed would ever covert to Christianity when they really were from a family of pagans to the core as well as being Catholic as I was...
I have experienced things somewhat similar, feeling The Holy Spirit, but not really like they all say they have. I’m talking about sincere testimonies from people like Pastor Charles Lawson and David Wilkerson...I believe and hope I’m on the path to being born again. I do wish we had a Christian congregation...I’m sure God will provide this in time, too.
I read bits an pieces of the Old Testament as a young teen and my early 20’s. Most of what I read was way over my head and confusing but I fell in love with God when I read the dialogue between God and Abraham...I was blown away and fell further in love when I read The Gospel of John. I got discouraged from pursuing any bible reading when I saw so many different bible versions and then the Catholic Church saying I needed the church to guide my interpretations, etc.
God is patient and He’s given opportunity to read His word now, years later. He’s given me a son to explain to me why I should read the Bible myself and he even purchased a good bible for me, encouraging me to read and spend time with God to get to know Him.
I never thought it possible that a person could hear God’s voice so clearly like in the Old Testament but I hear testimonies from Christians saying God told them this and God told them that...so I’m believing it’s possible.
Again, thank you for your prayers and guidance.
We are praying for you and your ministry.
God bless you,
I've never heard the audible voice of God either – but His words come through
His Bible loud and clear in the Holy Spirit.
Many great believers have no idea exactly when or how they were saved. I wouldn't worry about testimonies that describe different experiences. The Christian life is not about experiences. It is about the power of the truth and of the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit working God's will through us to the extent that we give ourselves over to the truth in trust and belief.
From what you have described, it sounds to me as if you were saved early on, and that God gradually weaned you away from that false religion.
Also, I would be VERY wary of anyone who says "God told me to do thus and so". That is NOT the way God is guiding us at this time. He has given us the entire Bible, the indwelling of the Spirit, and spiritual gifts. I'm not saying that He can't speak directly to people; I am saying that in my reading of scripture that is generally inconsistent with the present way He is directing things in the Church Age. I can say for certain that such things are claimed FAR more often than they are true – at the very least.
I am continuing to keep yours in prayer as well. Some people just take longer than others to work through past issues. We have to be ready to come around fully to the truth.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Good morning, Bob.
Thank you for your time. I can imagine how valuable it is. It does get confusing hearing so many different opinions and beliefs.
When I did your study last year, It was edifying, encouraging, and informative-for sure. Since then, I have heard different testimonies and opinions...
I have begun your Peter Series #34, this morning. I guess the most important thing is our own personal relationship with Christ or Lord.
Would like to let you know __ really is moving forward with God's grace. Praise God. Also want to let you know that God has used you in a special way.
May God's blessing be on you, your family, and your ministry, always.
"Since then, I have heard different testimonies and opinions". There was something posted yesterday about "one teacher or many". In my view it is a problem to be doing what I call a spiritual "Smorgasbord", taking a little from here and a little from there and then being the referee. God did not make referees. He made teachers and students. And to the extent that authority is rejected, even if subtly, then no learning can take place – because only what is true and is believed is used by the Holy Spirit. So while I endorse Curt Omo's Bible Academy, for example, I certainly would not recommend cruising the internet looking for contrary opinions.
In the first place, a believer without the gift of teacher – and even one with
the gift who is not prepared to teach yet – does not have the ability or the
capacity to judge correctness and incorrectness on all individual points of
truth. Rather, God has given all the ability to tell the difference between a
good tree and a bad tree (i.e., the "fruit test"). Believers who want to grow
seek a good Bible teaching ministry – and those who truly seek do find. Once
found, however, abandoning it to go in search of other different tasting fruit
is usually a mistake. As long as one is being fed, one should as a rule stick
mostly with the ministry that is doing the feeding. If another ministry is
causing "spiritual indigestion", then that is a sure sign that it is to be
disregarded – not used as a reason to disbelieve the good things the good
ministry is offering.
Believers in this present age have the right to choose the ministry that suits them best. But failing to choose is in itself a choice, and never results in spiritual growth.
You're always welcome here, my friend!
I appreciate you in the Lord.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Good to hear you are feeling better. Hope you can relax a bit on your summer break.
I have had a cold though the usual fallback of vitamins, rest, paracetamol, and I am also feeling much better.
Continuing with your study of Theology with our little fortnightly Saturday group. Surprised to see many cars there last week - turns out the host combined his son’s birthday party with our fellowship. All was good as we went into a separate room for our study while the other guests continued to feast on pig on the spit etc.
A 9 yo of one family joined us and read very loud and enthusiastically any scripture we let him. Strange combo - his father RC and his mother Buddhist who stayed with the feast while their son joined us. He is an excellent reader for one so young. Before our meeting they called upon me to give thanks for the food (I think because I was the oldest person there - I tend to forget about age difference and was waiting for the host to offer praise).
You have a vast amount of material that will keep us going for many, many years. I also took the chance to share your email responses to our questions with the group. Thank you for those very valuable answers.
There are various scenarios that could emanate from the Covid capers [looney tunes] that the antichrist could use - and in ways that may be opposite, composite, or perhaps unimaginable to what we now think.
How do you think China (topical) will fit into the timeline - dealt with before Tribulation or preserved in full power to come with the kings of the east to Armageddon? I realise things can change rapidly so that despite any wars and rumours of wars, these preliminary wars could settle down for the antichrist to yet come in a time of “peace”. Just a thought to which I do not expect a response in the short term, but rather later on when it is convenient. One thought: was it possible that it might be covered in Matthew 24:6; cf. Mark 13:7; Luke 21:9? That then would be before antichrist takes on the king of the south?
I notice that some sites are advocating that we download Parler as way to get a more balanced viewpoint on issues including the planned demic. Scary to think that people have been isolated and their career destroyed because of a different viewpoint to the officially mandated narrative. Seems almost all the tactics used by subversive regimes are being used against “dissenters”.
[I still find it difficult to comprehend all this madness that is spewing out of officialdom - and that people actually believe it. Cleverly designed to break you down if you DO notice the absurdity - but we with the Spirit will be strengthened].
Glad your garden has survived those critters having their own “pig on the spit” feast.
I will try to make this the last email for a couple of weeks so as to let you get on with other things. I pray God will protect us from all the wiles of the evil one.
Thank you for your Ministry of truth.
Keeping you and your Ministry in my prayers.
In Jesus our Lord.
Your student and friend
Thanks for those prayers. Keeping you and your family in mine daily.
I do recommend downloading Ichthys. I have ZIP files of everything posted (at the link) to make that a bit easier. We can't really have any idea when and how comm will close down, but I certainly expect it to do so at some point in the seven years.
The "wars and rumors of wars" refer to what will happen during the first half of the Tribulation. China is a conundrum. They don't seem to "fit" with what we know of the Tribulation, but it's also true that things can change rapidly. When we were younger, it seemed that Japan was taking over everything economically. In terms of military power, Russia was only a hairs-breadth away from launching an overland attack that would easily swamp Europe. Either place, both enigmas for how the Tribulation will play out at present, could be reduced to impotence overnight through political upheaval, for example. We will find out – if the Lord leaves us here to do so. In the meantime we can have total confidence that what the Bible DOES say about these events will play out precisely according to plan.
Write any time, my friend – always good to hear from you.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Thank you for the good news on Curt. We lay in bed with our young son last night and listened to a couple of episodes of Curt’s on Daniel. As we have been slack on reading with our son, the video was a good way of resting the weary eyes and still hearing the word.
Thank you for the clarification of “wars and rumours of wars”. I am sure if I had paid closer attention when I first read your writings on this there would not have been the need to ask you this question. I must recheck that I have downloaded all of your Zip files. A good idea to have them on several storage devices in case of malfunction of one. One might still be susceptible to inbuilt “upgrades” in computers to smoke out “undesirables”, so as much knowledge in the scone and a good Bible are essential too. After that … well, it is all in our Lord’s hands.
Cold and frosty this morning. Only 3 days until the winter solstice and then our days begin to lengthen which will mean not so much staring into the sun/fog on the early morning horizon ferrying the students into school. Enjoy your warm weather while you can. Radio phone lines went ballistic this morning at the suggestion that all aged care workers be compulsory v- . Quite a few doctors and nurses are holding out because of the unproven technology, so the authorities thought to put the screws on the lower paid workers instead who really need the income - though 1 in 3 say they will resign if forced to take the jab. They already take a compulsory flu shot every year.
Second issue floated to test the waters was to ban all wood burning stoves. That brought a defiant response especially from people in rural areas where the heating and cooking rely heavily on the renewal wood resource, and electricity can go down for days.
Thank you for your encouragement in the truth. It is a great boost. I will still be looking for that one way ticket to Jerusalem pre mid-point, though it seems at the moment that only certified v- ers will get their passports stamped “good to go”. I am hoping that they might want to get rid of a few of us on a special flight though I are not sure whether Israel will let the “unmarked” (with C-Vax) in. All this is of course if I am even still around at that time.
God’s plan is perfect (as you have often reminded me). So I will be content with that.
Keeping you and your wonderful Ministry in my prayers.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.
Your student and friend
My pleasure as always, my friend.
Banning wood burning in an entire country. That really does get my attention. What would we have done in the boy scouts? Don't your native peoples get an exception? And how to enforce it? Used to be in this country large smoke plumes in remote areas were a sign of moonshine being brewed – one had to keep the smoke suppressed for fear of "revenuers". Now ALL smoke is a sign of "crime".
I've heard that it's only about 50/50 or less for health professionals in this country being v- as well – except where they're being fired if they refuse. I think that is good circumstantial evidence for people in the know realizing that there are a lot of unknowns.
Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Interesting that yesterday you mention the CC (China Cunundrum). Today, on my crackly radio reception on RN Breakfast was an interview that might shed some light on the matter. It is suggested here that the writing may already be on the wall for the collapse of China. Seems as though Gordon Chang, for one, will not be surprised if China falls in the next few years.
I write to show that at least someone IS expecting China to fall. For the details/facts he uses, I would have to read the book. Perhaps a reason China doesn’t get a big billing in the scriptures? I don’t know.
Winter solstice today and cloud cover from horizon to horizon, so the low sun was not shining in my eyes this morning. I notice there are storms in the USA too. Hope they avoided your street.
Thank you for so kindly sharing your Ministry and support.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior.
Your student and friend
Good to know your government hasn't moved the solstice too.
We're getting some rain right now, but it's very welcome on these hot days. Saves watering the flowers for a day or two.
I for one wouldn't be surprised if China collapsed, but the opposite wouldn't surprise me either. I've heard of Chang and this book before. They also have a demographic issue over there with too many men and not enough women as a result of the "one child" policy, but whether that will factor into a meltdown in the near term is impossible to predict – as with much about the future, come to think of it.
Wishing some warming in the near term, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Thank you, Bob.
Hey, dad is doing okay. It’s been a whirlwind last 5 days. Dialysis diets are very strict + the diabetic restrictions. We are thankful that he has made as much progress as he has! Just still praying that the original infection is gone and that the kidneys might return to where they were pre-surgery.
So many changes for my parents — praying for peace and comfort during all of this.
I’m trying to praise God in the storm and trying to evangelize to my parents during this time.
Have been feeling a sense of urgency about my parents’ salvation. I can’t tell if that’s the enemy trying to torment me and tell me they’re not saved, or if it’s a nudge I should be following. I know we don’t truly know another’s heart, but can we have at least some confidence in our loved one’s salvation? My dad sang in a gospel group for years, active in church, and tells me he prays all the time — but yet I don’t see him read his Bible or have a hunger to grow. My mom was raised Catholic. She stopped attending Mass during covid last year. I’ve had some loving talks with her recently about my concerns with Mary and Catholicism. She’s been defensive, but she’s also noted that I’ve given her a lot to think about. I often don’t know if I’m evangelizing or just nagging! Holy Spirit leading or is it fear calling the shots?
I hope you’re having a good summer, Bob. I really need to get on your website to see what’s new with you and Louisville.
Thank you for your prayers, my friend!
Thanks for the update. You really have been through it! Not to mention
I'll continue praying for his health and healing. A whole lot of people seem to be developing diabetes lately – of one type or another. Maybe it's just my demographic.
It's always a judgment call, witnessing to family. On the one hand, we want them to be saved, AND we certainly don't want them lost for lack of witnessing on our part. On the other hand, it really is possible to overdo it too. There's a right time when people are receptive. If we hammer them too often, naturally they'll be trained to stop listening. God is in control of everything, we know, and He knows our hearts entirely. So we make the best decisions we can, and count on Him to work it all out for the good.
I am working hard on ministry, but taking a more patient approach to
publishing. I found a commentary guide by an old Talbot professor Jim
Rosscup. It has been a gold mine so far. Also Cyril Barber's old guide
has been helpful. I have been finding some conservative evangelical
commentaries on various books that are quite well done and have been
beneffiting alot in my ministry prep from these resources.
In the Lord
I had classes with Rosscup and Barber at Talbot. One of the other guys preparing
for ministry (don't know if he's on the forum) told me some time back that he
had found videos of some of Rosscup's classes and was watching them. My mentor,
Col. Thieme, produced probably north of 10K hours of taped lessons, but I don't
think he every let anyone video-tape them even when the tech got better towards
the end. That's too bad because he used an overhead projector to illustrate his
points. Times have changed!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
How can we accelerate the dissemination of the gospel as we are fast
approaching the start of the 7 years tribulation.
What are the subjects to start with?
"We", meaning believers who are serious about the Word of God, ought to
already be doing what the Lord wants us to do. If we're not, then we
need to pull in the slack. Preparation for the Tribulation IS spiritual
growth – and walking closer to the Lord day by day in applying the truth
we've learned (then helping others do so through ministry). We can all
do more, but we all ought to be working into doing more anyway. The
coming of the Tribulation does add a bit of extra incentive – or should
– but I'm not one for "special programs". We do what we should do every
day, day after day, as long as it is called "today". At least that is
the standard we try to live up to.
I will also say that all the recent troubles, instead of stimulating interest in the Word and getting believers fired up for the truth, have seemed to have caused some kind of "shell shock" and a setting in of a certain amount of apathy. Exactly the opposite of what I expected (I'm notoriously bad at predictions). Ichthys traffic numbers are way down and gradually sinking.
The Lord knows how to get through to those who belong to Him – or are willing to be His. Our job is to be ready to help them through the ministries we've been assigned when He brings them to us. The way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if that happens mostly after the Tribulation begins.
So we have a little respite. The best thing, in my view, would be to use the opportunity not for some crash program now launched into a vacuum, but in personal preparation for the time when the Lord is planning to move the hearts of the complacent. It will be hard to be complacent, once the Tribulation begins.
In Jesus Christ our Lord,
I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you yesterday. Court went well. The neighbor didn’t show, of course. The judge extended the order for 5 years. I was hoping he would make it permanent but hopefully this will be resolved within 5 years.
Now that I have the new order in hand, I am writing a letter to the homeowner and one to her management company stating that if anything else happens on the tenant’s part, they will be hearing from our attorney. Mom and I have been more than willing to work with them both to resolve this situation but they have failed to do their part. The management company was hiding behind the eviction moratorium and that will expire in our state on June 30th. Maybe he’ll just move out in the middle of the night.
Mom and I can’t thank you and everyone else in the Ichthy’s community who have been praying for us and our safety. It means so much us!
That's good news! Once the moratorium is over [extended now through 7/31], I do
expect that the management company will begin to be more concerned about the
legal liability they're building up. At this point, with all you've documented –
in the court system – they would be toast if anything happened. But we praise
God in advance from preventing any such "anything", and trust Him to bring this
to a good and blessed conclusion.
I pray for sooner rather than later, but as always, we have to wait on His timing.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:1b-3 NIV
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you for your reply Mr. Luginbill. It means a lot to me and has brought me
While we are still talking, I wanted to run a question by you. Is telling someone to ask God to come into their hearts to save them presenting a false gospel? You and I both know that we receive God's gift of salvation by putting our faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, that He was the Son of God sent by the Father who died on the cross to pay for our sins. That is how I was saved and that is how I teach it. However, I have heard it said before that you can't receive Christ by asking Him into your heart because we have to go to God- not Him to us. Asking God to come to us removes the individual's responsibility of going to Jesus and believing Him. What would you say to this? Would that be considered a false Gospel?
Appreciate your time and concern in all this.
Your brother in Christ,
On "invite into your heart", that's clearly NOT in the Bible. This is
(by now) a very old fundamentalist evangelical approach. My old mentor
inveighed against this terminology often. It can be misleading, so I
would never put things that way. I don't really even understand what's
it's supposed to mean, exactly, so you can imagine an unbeliever being
confused. We know what the Bible says (e.g., Acts 16:31). Like you, I'm
sticking with that.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Ok, I'm sorry. There is one more thing I wanted to ask you, Professor. I am well
aware of the whole lordship salvation controversy, especially the debate that
went on between John F. MacArthur and Charles Ryrie. I don't agree with lordship
salvation if what is meant is what I think it means. I think I hear you say it
depends what someone means by "lordship salvation." Below is a relatively short
link where Macarthur discusses and defends his view on it. Would you consider it
highly inaccurate? Would you consider it heresy, or is that too strong a word. I
know we talked about that term and how we need to be reserved with it. But I
want to know what you think of MacArthur's view on this. Would you consider it
dangerous to the faith? A threat maybe? I post the link below.
I don't want to get into quibbling about definitions, especially when they are
theologically derived and do not relate directly to anything actually in
Romans 10:9 NIV says "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Misinterpretation of this verse is the genesis of "lordship salvation". So you are right, it all depends what is meant. If what is meant is "believe and be saved" fine; if what is meant – and this is usually what people who "preach" this mean – is that a person has to make a verbal pronouncement of Jesus' lordship to be saved, that is heresy. It's not what Romans 10:9 says and it is certainly NOT what it means. Here's what I've written about this (in BB 4B):
The lie: "It is necessary to acknowledge Christ as 'Lord' in order to be saved". The truth: Jesus Christ is Lord, and the truth of His deity is an important part of the gospel which all who are given to understand it by the Holy Spirit accept as part of their exercise of saving faith. No separate, public, demonstrative proclamation of this fact is necessary to be saved, and to the extent that a person relies on this or any other false addition to the gospel as the basis of their confidence (whether included on this short list or not), to that extent their salvation is problematic, because no one can be saved by works (Jn.6:29; Eph.2:8-9).
In Jesus our dear Savior,
p.s., just FYI, I would be very careful about accepting anything either of these two individuals have said or written without careful vetting.
So nice to hear from you! I’m doing ok. This has been a rough month; My
son's 25th birthday would have been Sunday and we are having a party for
him. I go and see him every day and take him flowers and water the ones
there. A neighbor planted a tree there for him and yesterday; it’s
beautiful. He impacted so many people‘s lives in his short life and he
had no idea. People still write and put pictures on his Facebook page. I
Thank you so very much for thinking of me. I think about contacting you from time to time, but I haven’t. Maybe now I will.
I do have something that bothers me…why can he look down here? He can’t be with us, he can’t help us…what purpose does looking down on us serve?
Thanks for the uplifting report!
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (i.e., the departed believers of Heb.11:3ff.), let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
Hebrews 12:1 NKJV
As to your question, scripture does suggest (as previously indicated) such observation by angels and departed believers. As to "what purpose?", first, even if we don't see that, well, there is a lot we do not yet understand, especially being on "this side". I would surmise that the playing out of the plan of God and the conflict in which the world is actually engaged (unbeknownst to most people) is a matter of great interest in heaven – and demonstrates God's faithfulness and wisdom at every turn (Rom.8:28).
. . . to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 3:10-11 NKJV
To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.
1st Peter 1:12 NKJV
Hi Dr. Luginbill,
Thank you for your amazing website as it's nearly impossible to find good exegesis with regard to eschatology. I would like to join your Ichthys Forum to communicate with other Christians and hopefully grow my faith and knowledge.
Btw, I read your CV and I also went to UIC and currently live in the UIC area!
Very good to make your acquaintance!
I haven't been to Chicago in years, but they were formative years.
I'll pass your request along to the moderator.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I think I have also been ground down by the inability to evangelise to my family. I have completely hit a wall with them. I tried to explain who the prince of this world is and his satanic system he has here on earth but they think that it is crazy talk and doggedly refuse to believe that Satan exists. I have then tried to warn them of the end times and the antichrist deception that is coming and they just mock and say that every few years someone says the "end is nigh" and they don't believe this either. What is most upsetting is that when I tried to tell them the Gospel. I thought it understandable that they thought Satan and the end times was depressing and scary so instead I focused on the Gospel.
What has been the most shocking and disheartening is that they even quibble over the Gospel message. They simply don't appreciate why Jesus came here in the flesh and why He gave His precious life to save us. They think that the vast majority of people here are mostly "good" people with only the few "bad" persons scattered here and there. They hate the narrow path of salvation. They believe it should be for all no matter what a person believes. They always use the "kindly atheist" example. They say that they see "good works" being done by all kinds of people of different faiths every day.
Also alarming to me is the New Age words and concepts creeping into what they say. They say things about a "good force" we can "tap" into and that it is there for everyone. That I had this within me EVEN BEFORE I was saved. __ said "You've had it all along but you are just tapping into it now!" ___ yesterday called this the "Jesus force" that is available to all and that we all have "the Christ within". This is EXACTLY how new agers talk and it terrifies me because this is no doubt EXACTLY how the antichrist will talk too! They are already primed for accepting the antichrist and it grieves me so much.
I never thought the Gospel message could be so reviled and downgraded. I have been pigeonholed as some sort of elitist or "purist" for insisting that Jesus is the only way. They think it silly to suggest that things like Yoga and Meditation can be very spiritually dangerous. I guess they are of the opinion that if it feels good and looks good then it is good.
I have completely been worn down by this as they have rejected the message wholesale, all of it. I was naive to think the Gospel would be seen as Good News by them. I don't even know how they see Jesus anymore. A wise man? Ascended master? A God amongst many? I shudder to think.
It has been very depressing to me. I don't know what to do about it anymore. I will continue on the narrow path myself and pray for them. I will try to witness with my life and plant seeds whenever I can. Maybe I have been guilty of bible thumping and being doom and gloom in the past but it has been a shocking revelation to me that the Gospel just isn't seen as Good News to them at all.
___ has fallen deep into the satanic lie of "Quantum physics" thinking we "manifest reality" and live in a simulation. This again is obviously satanic new age/gnostic lies. __ has doubled down on Mary and Saint worship. Praying to the dead, purgatory, universalism and good works. __ believes in humanism and the goodness of people and nature and is more and more new age in her talking.
My extended family is just as blind. Every year my Catholic relatives send me more and more occultic presents as if they are trying to recruit me into their beliefs. I get dream catchers and crystals, statues of angels and this year they gave me "the tree of life" to wear round my neck.
I've hit a complete wall and now I wonder whether when I talk to them, am I doing more harm than good. I've tried to just stick to Jesus and even that is becoming more and more problematic. What else can I say if even Jesus is a problem and a stumbling block for them? They now visibly bristle whenever I touch on Christianity even inadvertently.
They hate the doctrine of sin, they hate the need for faith, they hate eschatology and they seem to hate the Gospel too because "most people are good enough already" and the Gospel excludes the kind atheist and the good Muslim family next door.
I've tried so much and so hard but the fact is that they love the world, they love their lives here, they think they are good people who don't need saving and they love the lies that Satan tells them. Their hearts are so hardened to the truth that it is impossible to plant seeds. It has come to the point where they have said "all religious talk is now banned" as they say it upsets them too much.
They believe that faith should be kept private and should not alter a person's life one iota but be a once a week church thing so that a person can still remain a respected person within (Satan's) society and be well loved by the world.
It has made me become very quiet and introverted. I don't want to be a stumbling block to faith so I am staying quiet until I am led by the Holy Spirit. Their hearts will need to soften even just a tiny bit for the truth to come in. Is this what I should be praying for then? The softening of their hearts? The ground is so rocky and hardened that no seed can sprout there. I know that nothing is impossible for God though.
I know that they are not rejecting me but the message. To be honest I would rather it was only me they were rejecting. Unless God changes His plan to fit with their stubborn and hardened hearts (by removing the need of faith and the doctrine of sin), they will not be convinced. I have reached an impasse with them.
So I will have to keep it to myself and continue to pray and witness the life. If things change in time and their hearts soften then I will try to plant seeds when the Spirit leads me to.
Please pray for my family.
It's good to hear that you are getting back "into the fight". Keep
growing, accessing good Bible teaching, reading your Bible, praying –
and making every effort to walk with the Lord in peace.
This last point is doubly important when we find ourselves being oppressed and depressed by the secular forces around us.
I think your conclusions about your family are correct. You are doing YOUR job. But you can't force people. If and when they come around, it will be because they decided to do so – with some prodding from the Lord AND because of your good ministries to them. We do what we can; we leave the rest to the Lord who always respects the free will of all.
Thanks for your insightful comments about new ageism and the like. It's important here also not to let what we see happening upset us. God is in complete control. We know that. But if we let ourselves get upset we're not applying that as we should. So if we watch "the news", for example, we cannot help but be offended by the horrible course the world is on, by all the lies and all the propaganda for the devil. But God knows all this better than we do of course; and He has foreordained the end of it all too. We human beings think we have some control. In fact, we're only here to decide 1) who is going to be standing on the right hand and who on the left at the judgment; and 2) for those on the right, what our rankings will be. The world can't be fixed. It's all going "to hell in a hand-basket" in a few short years. But the Lord will be back in the blink of an eye, and we who believe will either already be with Him . . . or see Him return. After that, it's all bliss.
So stay vigilant, stay sharp, keep fighting for the truth when the opportunity presents – but relax in the Lord always, keeping your focus on what is to come, not on what is happening here and now.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:6-9 NKJV
Keeping you and yours in my daily prayers.
Your friend in Jesus Christ,