Sorry to bother you, but I have another question. In eschatology (2b) page 345 you were explaining Matt. 22:8-14. You said that the banquet is the millennium, and the "good and bad" represent the entrance into the 1000 year kingdom of unbelievers as well as believers (everyone who survives the tribulation, minus the baptism of fire.)
I'm confused because I though Jesus begins his millennial reign with a pure Jewish stock (those who chose for him in the judgment in the desert; I think Ezk 20?) And of course this includes children that are to young to make a competent decision.
Question is, how are their unbelievers here? Are their any gentiles here (i.e., what happens to gentiles who didn't take the mark), and other unbelievers at the beginning of the millennial reign? Or, are the unbelievers in the parable those who grew up and ultimately rejected Christ?
Thanks for your help!
This (i.e., what I've written) does express my understanding of the
this other link as well).
The banquet is the Millennium. At the end of the Millennium we know that there will be many unbelievers (in fact, no doubt, the majority of the population . . . in spite of a thousand years of perfect environment: cf. Rev.20:7-10).
As to events immediately following the second advent, since all believers will be resurrected, the Millennium technically starts out with only unbelievers. Now it is true that many Jews who see the Lord return will believe on Him right then and there (too late to be part of the Church's resurrection), but they were unbelievers before the return (else they would have been resurrected with us).
Everyone participating in Armageddon on the side of the beast will be destroyed. Everyone who has taken his mark will be eliminated in the "baptism of fire". Coupled with the massive death toll of the Tribulation before those events, and adding in the fact that all remaining believers are resurrected at the return of Christ, we can certainly expect that few (relative to the numbers of the world's population at the commencement) will survive out of many. But there will be unbelievers who do not take the mark. For one thing, the passages which describe the return of Jews to Israel under Messiah's aegis certainly make them sound numerous. And if there were numerous Jews who did not take the mark, then we may assume no small number of unbelieving gentiles who similarly resisted. If "only" one billion out of seven or so survive all of the above, it would be a massive loss of life, yet still sizeable numbers to begin the Millennium. The number may be significantly less than a billion (I tend to think so), but large enough so that all the prophecies will be proven exactly right.
In terms of the messianic kingdom of Israel, you are correct that it will begin with only believing Jews. That is why the return comes first "to the desert" and there the apostles will judge the twelve tribes. All who still at that point have refused to receive the Lord as Messiah so as to be saved will not be allowed to enter the land of Israel (see the link, in CT 5: The Regathering and Purging of Israel).
Hope this answers your question!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
As I was reading through your article on "The Resurrection" you state the following:
The Time of the Resurrection: Resurrection is the destiny of all human beings. Therefore the resurrection occurs in two distinct categories: the rising of the unrighteous and of the righteous (Dan.12:2; Heb.9:27).
1. The Unrighteous: The resurrection of the unredeemed occurs at the end of human history immediately prior to their evaluation at "the great white throne" (Rev.20:11-15). This resurrection is therefore part and parcel of the final disposition of those who reject Christ in this life, and, as such, it is an integral part of the gospel (Acts 17:31; 24:25).
To this end, with specific respect to the resurrection of "ALL" of the "unrighteous/unredeemed" dead the Scriptures you cite make no mention of a thousand years gap as you infer between ALL the righteous and the unrighteous dead. As such, Dan. 12:1-3 nor Jn. 5:29 does not actually declare a suggested millennial gap either.
Meanwhile, Rev. 20:5 only declares that the "rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years are complete". The emphasis then must reside on the actual interpretation of the word "rest" and to whom it actually applies. ALL those both before and throughout the millennial, or only those from the millennial subsequent to Christ's second advent?
That being said, would you agree that a post resurrection of "ALL" the unrighteous/unredeemed dead subsequent to the millennial is then predicated on speculative inference and not actual stated Scriptures?
Your kind clarification to this concern will be most appreciated.
First, in terms of Revelation 20:5, the part of the verse you quote is
NOT part of the Bible but a later interpolation (see
As to the judgment of resurrected unbelievers, read Revelation 20:
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then [i.e., after the Millennium] I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
Revelation 20:7-12 NKJV
So this judgment of all unbelievers occurs after the 1,000 years indeed.
Thank you for your kind response.
With respect to the omission of Rev. 20:5 from the Codex Sinaiticus vs. the KJV, there is no interpretative effect in relation to a literal reading of Dan. 12:1-3 and Jn. 5:29, regarding the resurrection of ALL the unrighteous dead at the second advent of Jesus.
Meanwhile, Rev. 20:7-12 does not reveal, aside from a speculative inference, that a resurrection of ALL the unrighteous dead is inclusive of those from the millennial exclusively or whether those from the beginning of mankind and the millennial are included as well.
Therefore, based on actual Scriptures and absent any inference, can you definitely state that Dan. 12:1-3 and Jn. 5:29 cannot reveal a resurrection of ALL the unrighteous dead at the second advent of Christ?
Your kind attention will be most appreciated.
As to Revelation 20:5b, to reiterate, it's not in the Bible.
As to Dan. 12:1-3 and Jn. 5:29, it is typical for scripture to treat subjects in their totality. Just because Daniel and John speak of the resurrection in general terms does not in any way necessitate us to understand that all the righteous are resurrected at the same time; we are not (see below); but the unrighteous certainly are (Rev.20:7-12).
As to, "Meanwhile, Rev. 20:7-12 does not reveal, aside from a speculative inference, that a resurrection of ALL the unrighteous dead is inclusive of those from the millennial exclusively or whether those from the beginning of mankind and the millennial are included as well", with all due respect, I cannot understand this sentence. If you mean to say these verses don't show that the dead are judged at this time (meaning unbelievers), I will respectfully have to disagree.
As to the resurrection of the righteous, we do have it from scripture that this does not happen all at once:
(23) But each [will be resurrected] in his own echelon. Christ [is the] first-fruits (i.e., the initial person and echelon of resurrection). Next [will be] those belonging to Christ at His coming, [all believers at the 2nd Advent]. (24) Then the end [of human history, the resurrection of millennial believers], when He will hand the Kingdom over to the Father, after He has brought an end to all rule, all power, and all authority (i.e., hostile human and angelic control). (25) For He must rule until He has placed all His enemies under His feet.
1st Corinthians 15:23-25
Jesus has already been resurrected (phase one); we, the Church, will be
resurrected at His second advent return (phase two); the millennial believers
will be resurrected at "the end" of the Millennium (phase three).
In any case, the Church had to be resurrected before the end in order to share His millennial reign as promised. The dead, the unbelievers, need not be dealt with until it's all over.
This is what I teach from scripture in a nutshell. If you want the details, here are three links for you:
The Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride
The Resurrection (in BB 2B)
The Resurrection (in Peter #20)
Thank you for your kind response.
Please forgive my poorly worded explanation.
Here is what I was suggesting based on a literal reading of the texts...
1. There will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous dead at the second advent of Christ. The righteous dead first... Dan. 12:1-3; 6-7. and Jn. 5:29.
2. There will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous dead post Millennial, including only those who have died during the Millennial. The righteous dead first...
To this end, as stated before with respect to Rev. 20:11-15 one must "infer" that ALL unrighteous dead from the beginning of mankind are actually included in a post Millennial resurrection. There is no mention whatsoever in these cited passages of just how far back in time those who make up the company of unrighteous dead come from.
Meanwhile, please note what one angel asked the other angel in Dan. 12:6-7. "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders...it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, ALL these things shall be finished."
Notice in the above cited passages of Dan 12:6-7 that one of the angles wanted to know just when ALL the revealed WONDERS of Dan. 12:1-3 would be completed - not just part of the wonders but ALL of the described wonders. As such, there was no mention whatsoever of an additional millennial of years subsequent to the second advent of Christ before the resurrection of the aforementioned unrighteous dead of Dan. 12:2. Hence, it was to take place at the second advent of Christ - subsequent to the Great Tibulation.
One would hope this messenger angel knew what he was revealing to the other angel.
Until His Trumpet Sounds,
As mentioned, scripture often takes eschatological events in synopsis, and that is the case with the passages you mention. The "Day of the Lord" turns out to be the entire Millennium with the Tribulation being the doorstep of it, for example (see the link).
(2) For many who sleep in the dust will awake, some to eternal life, but the others to shame and eternal separation [from God].
This doesn't say when and it doesn't preclude a three phase resurrection of the righteous – and it certainly doesn't indicate a phased resurrection of unbelievers.
(6) Then [one of the two other angels] said to the man (i.e., the angel) clothed in linen who was [suspended] above the waters of the river, “How long [will it be] until the end of [these] astounding things?” (7) And I heard the man (i.e., the angel) clothed in linen who was [suspended] above the waters of the river. He raised his right hand and his left hand to heaven and he swore by Him who lives forever and ever that it would be a period [of time and] two periods [of time] and half [a period of time] (i.e., the three and one half years of the Great Tribulation), and that [just] when the power of the holy people was being completely crushed, [all] these things would come to their completion.
The "completion of all of these things" might seem to indicate "all" of eschatology . . . but then there would be no Millennium. What Daniel wanted to know about – and what the angel tells him about here – is the completion of the Tribulation (that is what the "time, times and half a time" refer to), not to everything else that will happen until the end.
"Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear his voice and come out — those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of condemnation."
John 5:28-29 CSB
Again, there is nothing in our Lord's words here to rule out that in the case of the righteous there will be three phases of resurrection (which is directly taught by 1Cor.15:23-25). As with Daniel, so our Lord was speaking to believers who did not yet know about the Church Age (it was still a "mystery" teaching), and therefore to whom a consolidated (rather than a differentiated) picture was appropriate. But in biblical interpretation, especially in eschatology, the fact of a consolidated picture does not obviate the truth of a differentiated one through mere inference (see the link: "Hermeneutic Issues") – and especially not when that differentiated picture is clearly taught elsewhere (1Cor.15:23-25).
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:11-16 NIV
On the one hand, everything about the above passage seems completely comprehensive: the throne, the passing away of the heavens and the earth, "the dead, great and small", the books of judgment, the sea, death and Hades giving up their dead, and the termination in the lake of fire. On the other hand, there is no other place in the book of Revelation where the unbelieving dead are said to be resurrected and judged – this is the only place. In fact, the only other extensive treatment of this last judgment, the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew chapter twenty five, likewise gives no indication of any other judgment of the unrighteous. You may say that is so of the believer 'sheep' as well – and that is true; however, 1) as mentioned, our Lord is speaking to believers who do not yet understand that He is not on the point of bringing in the kingdom, but that instead there is going to be a two thousand year delay for the filling in of the Church (it would take the ministry of the Spirit to reveal these "mystery" teachings; e.g.; Jn.16:13-15); and 2) there are ample scriptures since given by the Spirit which indeed "make these things known" to us, showing us that the Church is resurrected at Christ's return, and not at the end (when all unbelievers and millennial believers will be resurrected), e.g.:
(15) For we tell you this by the Lord's own Word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord (i.e., the Second Advent which brings the Great Tribulation to a close) will not precede those who have fallen asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the archangel's blast on the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first (in resurrection), (17) then we who are alive and remain will be snatched up together with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and in this way we shall always be with the Lord.
1st Thessalonians 4:15-17
(50) But I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (i.e., live in eternity with the Lord), nor can corruption inherit incorruption (i.e., we need the resurrection to live forever). (51) Behold, I tell you a mystery: not all of us will fall asleep, but all of us will be changed (52) in [that] moment of time, in the blink of an eye, at the final trumpet blast. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise incorruptible, and we too (i.e., believers still alive) will be changed [at that time (i.e., the Lord's Second Advent return)].
1st Corinthians 15:50-52
So I believe that the shoe is actually on the other foot. To wit, since
scripture clearly teaches a phased resurrection of the righteous, but
says nothing about any such phasing of unbelievers (which is also
unnecessary since the Church needs to be resurrected to share Christ's
millennial reign as per His promises to us but there is no need for any
disposition of unbelievers until history's complete end), and since the
major passages dealing with the judgment of unbelievers are tied
directly to the end of history, we should not assume or infer such a
phasing without a direct scriptural teaching in their case – and there
is no such scripture extant to indicate it.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I had a question asked this afternoon concerning the subject.
The question asked was "Will we all be equal in heaven, or will some have bigger mansions, etc.
My answer was:
1. All believers of course will have eternal life and enjoy heaven the same.
2. As to the status of who will have the bigger mansion, I could not answer, for to my knowledge there is nothing that I could recall in scripture.
3. I did respond verbally and said, there will be varying degrees of rewards given, as I see in the Parables, such as the Parable of the Minas, etc.
4. Scripture also says"Because you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many. Perhaps this is referring to the greater responsibility we will be given in the Millennial?
Can you give some advice on how to answer the question?
Thanks for your great help as always,
Blessings to you always,
I think you answered this question exactly right, my friend!
There is of course the parable of the workers in the vineyard in which each receives the same payment regardless of the length of time worked, but that parable is told by our Lord to emphasize the "first shall be last" principle – that is what frames the parable; as a result, the equality there is equality of salvation – regardless of when one was saved or under what dispensation one was saved. Every believer will have an equal share in Jesus Christ, a resurrection body, a place in New Jerusalem, access to the tree of life and river of the water of life . . . and no doubt many other things as well of which at present we have no inkling. And that really is the main point about eternity. Having eternal life in a perfect body will be so dramatically different from what we are experiencing now, that scripture consistently describes eternity as an absence of negatives: e.g., no more hunger, no more thirst, no more toil in the sun or scorching heat (Rev.7:16); no more tears, no more death, no more mourning or crying or pain (Rev.21:4); no more night (Rev.22:5). If scripture tried to tell us about the wonderful positives of eternity, on the one hand we would probably not be able to understand for lack of a frame of reference, and on the other hand it might sap our genuine motivation: we do want to be rewarded but we are not mercenaries; we are doing what we are doing because we love the Lord.
There are differentiations in reward (see the link); but what these will entail in practical terms (if that is the right word) is unclear at present. We can be sure these differences will be wonderful for those who possess them (forever), but it also seems clear that in eternity no one will be miserable or sullen or regretful or disappointed or unhappy or jealous or any given other such negative emotion: even the very last in line who receives his/her portion on the wall of the ward of Dan will be gloriously happy for all eternity.
So will some have bigger "digs" than others? I suspect so, but cannot say for certain. What I do feel confident in saying is that if "your estate is bigger than mine", I won't resent it and I won't for that reason be any the less happy with mine – even as you delight in yours. To people living "in the world", these are already impossible things to comprehend. As I say, the eternal frame of reference, with no death and no dearth and no sin nature will be so much different from what we are dealing with now as to be of a different type, not just a different magnitude.
And the blessing that will – I believe – surpass all others will be our enjoyment in perfect unity of complete Church of the presence of Christ and the Father face to face as one forever.
But I will see your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with your presence.
Psalm 17:15 CSB
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I am currently leading my Bible study group through eschatology (2b) and we are up to the judgement of the sheep. One of my students had a question I need help with. In Matthew 25:31 it says that when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Then it talks about the separation of the sheep and goats. His question is, if Jesus is already here during the millennium, why is he coming again in this passage if its talking about the end of the millennium. I think it has to do with the passage "and all his angels with him", because we don't see them directly involved in the millennium, (and unbelievers are being judged and we know that occurs at the Great White Throne judgment), or am I confused? So what does it mean that he is coming in all his glory?
On a side note, yesterday my county sent several stations mutual aid to Frederick County, MD for the house fire, and a Captain from their county fell through the floor of a house, into a basement on fire and unfortunately died. My station (different shift) is still on the scene today helping with the investigation as to what went wrong. Prayers for all appreciated!
Scripture often views things in synopsis form, especially future
eschatological events. A good example is Daniel 12:1-3 where it might
sound as if there is only one phase of the resurrection, but we know
that our Lord has already been resurrected and that we will be as well
when He returns, before the Millennium (Paul also explicitly teaches the
three phases at 1Cor.15:23-25).
That is the sense in which I take Matthew 25:31ff, namely, of a synopsis that is focusing on the point to be taught rather that being concerned with many other details (which may concern us but which may also be known from other scriptures). Verse 31 is our Lord taking command and ruling for the Millennium. The Millennium is the process of separating the sheep and the goats. We see that too in the parables of the wheat and the tares and good and rotten fish. Scripture presents the overall picture but it is a process. The judgment does come at the end.
In any case, for the sheep and the goats to come earlier, there could be no Millennium, because the eternal state for believers and final judgment for unbelievers follows immediately.
"And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Matthew 25:46 NKJV
Hope this helps! Keep up the good work for Jesus Christ, my friend!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Thank you Professor! I was wondering how if the sheep/goats occurs earlier, how
do we account for the folks in the millennium (not to mention your other info in
the study). So thanks for the help! Not easy prying people (me included,
although you convinced me) from years of believing what we always been taught! (PTR)
Have a great evening!
I'm sure you've explained the Daniel verse before, but if you could point me to the explanation, I'd appreciate it. I don't understand Gabriel extending the 1290 days by an additional 45 days. I missed something along the line. I've never understood this.
Additionally, calling for speculation, Ezekiel 14:13 records the Lord saying that because of the land's sin, He'll "break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it." Considering current events and government actions in this country, why should my understanding of this verse be limited to Israel? It looks like the drought in the western states is only worsening and it probably won't be long before livestock is dying or being killed due to the cost of shipping in feed from steadily increasing distances and lack of water.
Yours in Jesus,
You can find my explanation of this passage at the link: "What is the meaning of the 1290 days versus the 1335 days in Daniel 12?"
On interpretation of contemporary events, it is certainly true that on the one hand nations which are evil can expect the opposite of blessing from the Lord whereas nations containing a remnant of believers acting as "salt" preservative are often blessed and delivered when they are otherwise seemingly undeserving. When we add to this picture the fact of the principle that "bad things happen in life generally" and also the fact that Israel was held to a much higher standard than any other people or nation before or since, it makes it very difficult to fine tune any such interpretation. That is to say, if California is blessed with a budget surplus of mammoth proportions, it might be due to sound administration – or it might be because the Lord is blessing them on account of a remnant of believers living there and in spite of everything else. Whereas if California suffers under drought and fire to an unprecedented degree, it might be due to climate vagaries – or it might be because the Lord is cursing them for oppression of the remnant. Or it might be a combination of these and other factors. We cannot know without a direct prophecy. The one you cite was specifically for Israel of the time. What we can say is that God is in control of all things and nothing happens by accident. So believers always need to rejoice in blessings and look to ourselves first in times of cursing, trusting in the Lord to bring us through, and being determined to do our bit to be "salt" regardless of what others are doing. We will get the answers to all these questions on the other side. In the meantime, we DO know what it is we personally are supposed to be doing day by day.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
In the link you say the 45 day period was parallel to the time it took for the Israelites to cross the desert, to occupy and conquer the Promised Land. (Or words to that effect.) Where in scripture are we told how long it took to conquer the Promised Land? (And then the Israelites never completed the mission.) I'm not sure I see the parallel.
Are we also in a similar time of purging? Should I then understand that, in terms of protection for the "salt," it will be parallel to the original diaspora when we're told to come out of latter day Babylon? Are we now in the desert of nations and being winnowed or does that come in the Tribulation?
I apologize for these somewhat disjunctive questions -- I'm still processing.
Yours in our Lord Jesus,
Based on Joshua's words:
"And now behold, the LORD has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the LORD spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today."
Joshua 14:10 NASB20
The Exodus is a biblical parallel to the Tribulation (see
the link); so coming out of the Exodus in a period of 45 years is parallel
to coming 45 days out of the Tribulation. At the conclusion of both there is
rest. True, it's a parallel only (not meant in scripture or in teaching to be
identical in all details by any means); but since the Bible provides it, I'm
responsible to mention it. I would teach the interpretation the same way even
without this parallel.
As to where things stand now, there are no biblical prophecies for the events of the mystery age, the Church Age (other than the seven churches which give trends rather than particular events). I do think it is fair to say that some of the troubles we are experiencing at present have to do with helping us who believe to prepare, to become a little less lukewarm and a little more red hot . . . so that "the day does not find us unawares" (Lk.21:34).
Your friend in Jesus Christ,
This is why I rely on you so much. The Joshua 14:10 verse never registered with me -- I understood it as, "I worked this long and now I'm this old." An elaborate way of saying, "I was 40 when all this started." You know, if we keep this up, Bob, I may actually learn how to read the Bible.
I don't know if I'm red hot but I am scared to death of the coming trouble and taking our dress rehearsals deadly seriously. I'm not the evangelical type; I've failed miserably in previous attempts but I am introducing more of these warnings into my normal conversations and, so far, the Holy Spirit hasn't constrained me as in the past. With His guidance, I'll continue until told to stop.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about our current situation as it relates to scripture -- especially Ezekiel and Hosea where the Lord spells out the indictment quite clearly. It's very hard for me to see the difference between now and then. I'm coming to understand that the punishments of Judah and Israel were actually prototypes for today and the Tribulation. I had understood it as the other way around and hadn't really associated the two with the Tribulation.
Is it known how many boys vs. girls were sacrificed in ancient times? I don't recall anything Biblically that said. What about ancient Greeks and Romans?
This isn't really a spiritual issue as much as curiosity comparing today's abortion trends with those of years long gone. Is there any difference between abortion and sacrificing children to Molech? Is "a woman's right to choose" the new Molech (or is Marxism?) The overriding general question for me is, how does today compare with ancient Israel psychologically and emotionally?
Yours in our Hope to come,
One of the things that will make the Tribulation so much worse is the removal of
Holy Spirit restraint. As hard as it may be for students of history to accept,
things have been "relatively" restrained so far; that cap will come off in the
Tribulation. Also, the "empowerment of error" will intensify the zeal with which
unbelievers commit themselves to the devil and his antichrist. See the links: "The
Restraining Ministry of the Holy Spirit" and "the
empowerment of error".
As to sacrifice, this was mostly a middle eastern phenomenon from what we know of the historical record. Israel was influenced by Mesopotamian cults (such as Moloch and Astarte) and these did employ child sacrifice very often. There is some small evidence of human sacrifice in Roman culture very early on (not of children), but it was quickly stamped out. The other major western example of this had to do with Druidism. The Gauls were very much into mass immolation in religious ceremonies but also not of children.
I'm no defender of abortion. It is fair to say, however, that fear and selfishness are the gods related to that horrible practice, not actual paganism/demonism. Those in biblical times within Israel and without expected benefits from their gods for engaging in these terrible practices.
Thank you for the links and your explanations. If I could ever read all you've written, I would rarely ask questions. Valuable insights on the Spirit's restraint and seals. I have to admit that I may be overreacting now when the disaster coming will be worse, but I see elements of Vichy France, combined with Nazi Germany and Jacobin France in the world today. It's already frightening.
I still believe that a bloody civil war is coming here which I don't believe stands a chance of succeeding for we lesser Marxist states. Something will be done to stop it. That something probably worse than the war as it was after the last civil war. It may even begin over the covid hysteria. The radical left wingers are already calling for the jailing and execution of anti-vaxxers though admittedly they're from the fringe. When does the fringe become mainstream? Considering how many Germans turned on the Jews after the Reichstag Fire, a documented false flag. and Nazi invective, it looks like we're headed down the same road.
I think my major alarm is caused by the many historical trends converging today. I thank the Lord daily that I've been led to a quiet corner of nowhere to, hopefully, live out my days. It's all good practice for the Tribulation.
Yours in Jesus,
You may have a point, my friend! I stopped trying to prognosticate a
long time ago. As Niels Bohr famously didn't say, "Prediction is
difficult, especially when it involves the future". That has been my
life experience. As I infamously DID say, "It didn't turn out the way I
expected." (Jr. HS year book quote of quotes). That pretty much
describes my life, for good and for bad and for in between. So I'll
leave predictions to others. In any case, our job is to keep learning
the truth, keep walking with the Lord, and keep helping others do the
same for just as long as He leaves us down here – no matter WHAT may
happen. And who really knows what may happen? We know what's in the
Bible, and we "credit" that. "Everyone else pays cash".
Looking forward to visiting you in your place in New Jerusalem – and of that I am certain.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Good morning sir,
What is the spiritual interpretation of:
1. 70 years in Jeremiah 29:10
2. 70 weeks in Daniel 9:24
3. 62 weeks in Daniel 9:26
4. One week in Daniel 9:27
5. 1345 days in Daniel 12:13
Here is how I interpret these passages:
1) The 70 years in Jeremiah 29:10 is the literal time of Israel removed from the land in 586 B.C. until their restoration seventy years later (the seventy years also representing the seventy years of Jubilee or Sabbath Rest which the nation never performed).
2) The 70 weeks (link) are the entire time remaining for the Age of Israel at that time, where each day therein represented a year (so, 490 years).
3) The 62 weeks are the space of years (442) between the decree for rebuilding Jerusalem (ca. 443 B.C.) and the birth of Christ (see the link).
4) The one week is the Tribulation (the only period of the seven weeks not already elapsed; see the link).
5) The 1,335 days is the length of time between antichrist's pollution of the temple and session therein and its purification following the second advent (so it proceeds into the Millennium for a period of several months; see the link).
Good afternoon Dr. Luginbill
How are you today.
I have three quick questions,
According to your studies you have cited where the church age ends in 2026; Why then will the church still be here in the 7 years Tribulation.?
Why would some of our Brethren be in heaven unscathed while host of us are on earth during the Tribulation going through “Hell’ to save our lives?
Why is the church not mentioned again after revelation 3 if I am correct?
I have being reading your work and I believe you are one of Gods chosen so I respect your judgements but I just want your clarification of these thoughts
To take these in reverse, John in Revelation uses the word ekklesia in
the main to refer to individual churches – and individual church eras. But that
he refers to the Church without using the word is clear since he speaks of the
"Bride of Christ" in e.g., Rev.19:7. In fact, whenever he speaks of believers
throughout the book he is speaking of the Church. The Church is composed of all
believers from Adam and Eve until Christ's return.
As to some of us unscathed in heaven, believers have been persecuted since the beginning, so it is a matter of degrees. Many of those waiting on events above were martyred, after all. If you recognize that there is no such thing as a pre-Tribulation "rapture" of the Church (see the link to begin studying if you are of another mind on this: "No Rapture"), then of course we understand that the resurrection occurs when Christ returns. How would those who believe on earth not be part of the Church? And of course members of the Church are resurrected at His return while yet alive (1Thes.4:13-18).
As to "why would the Church still be here?", the previous answer gives some of the reason: where else would we be and how? The way I have always approached studying the Bible is to let the Bible speak and direct through the Spirit, rather than developing theological systems and rationales which then produce dogma (taking the latter approach is the reason that there is so much false teaching around). So, "it is what it is". If I am forced to try to explain why it is what it is, I would say – as I have in these studies many places elsewhere – that the final seven years are an overlap between the age of Israel and the age of the Church wherein Jewish believers regain the leadership. We are all part of the Church, after all. So how would, how could Jewish believers saved during the Tribulation not be part of the Church since they are resurrected like the rest of us on Christ's return? For an explanation of the overlap, see the link.
I would advise you to keep reading. As I have often observed, while readers may have issues with individual issues such as this, when they take in the entire collection of studies, it becomes apparent that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That is to say, because it all hangs together, there must be a reason for that.
Please feel free to write me back about this.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Is it pointless to have hope for God helping you even when you believe
He can but know He'll do whatever He wants in the end?
Good people die or suffer. Bad people live or prosper.
Christians are cursed. Atheists are blessed.
It seems all relative. In the beginning, I had faith that'd He help me and my family. I had faith that I go through trial and tribulations so He's made stronger in our weaknesses.
I don't have faith He'll for sure help me. I have faith He'll do whatever He wants. It is His right to do so of course. He's God. He's all knowing. He's perfect.
So when people pray for stuff to go away or for help I believe that could and often does contradict what God wants. Do we stop to ask what His will is in our moments of suffering?
Therefore, I lack hope that God will help me. I have faith that He can. I do not have faith that He will because I don't know His will.
You really need to read Psalm 73, my friend! The Psalmist has the exact same complaint as you . . . but then he has a revelation after committing the problem to the Lord:
When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.
Psalm 73:16-17 CSB
We believers are looking forward to our ETERNAL reward, not to things down here . . . because they end in dust and death for all. But we have life eternal, and we will be richly rewarded, if we deign to persevere.
(5) He who, in spite of weeping, goes forth in resolution, carrying seed to sow, (6) will doubtless return rejoicing, bringing in his sheaves.
So don't despair of doing what is right! Growing in the truth and
helping others do the same. In this there is GREAT reward (see
And don't forget that NOTHING is impossible for the Lord – we just often have to wait patiently for His deliverance. That is the test of our faith.
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.
Psalm 102:2-3 NIV
I will say a prayer for you, and I have put a request for you on the
In Jesus our dear Savior,
So very good to hear from you!
I think about you often and speak of your writings w folks so inclined. Many thanks.
Friday through Saturday evening are particularly time consuming as I prepare, present and then finalize for podcast a teaching series. I am done now for two weeks (sneaking one weekend off!).
Great to hear new writings are available on your site.
Toys and games are thankfully up a good percentage this current tough season – people want to interact w one another and games provide a comfortable format for gatherings. We have a cute little duck (WADDLES THE WADDLE DUCK) at Walmart that is also doing well, along w some other products, besides UPWORDS. And yes, UPWORDS is doing well.
God bless you and do know that I am indeed praying for you, friend.
Send me a link for your podcast, if you don't mind.
All link and info for my studies can be found at: Itunes Podcasts or via the free (iphone or google) app Podbean. Search EZ3728.
Writings (which have been sadly sparse as the past three teachings have deserved and required a most all my research/reading/prayer/writing time: Isaiah, Revelation, Daniel. However, there’s some writings at www.ez3728.com (an Ezekiel scripture address, obviously!).
There’s also a Facebook page EZ3728.
Although I know and recognize that the Lord is in both, my time is split between a professional product invention and development career, and Kingdom ministry – much of it being teaching and ministering to ministers/ministries. I have no complaints of course, although I clearly see myself more fired up re what truly counts: Kingdom.
That said, it is thrilling to see how the Lord has worked and continues to work in my professional career activity. I’ve been able to speak to, speak into, pray for and pray with some major industry personalities, some whose lives have radically been transformed by our Jesus. One Vice President of product design prayed w me in New York City, in the lobby at the Toy Building, on September 10, 2001. They have been serving our Lord since then!
If you are interested in seeing a bit of what my company has been blessed to invent, here’s a link for you. It’s not everything. We did NOT invent WEEBLES – we developed that product line for Hasbro, but it had been invented earlier. All the others are our inventions:
Blessings to you, friend. Thanks for staying in touch. I promise to do that same. And Kentucky is not that far from Tennessee. AND we have a pretty young married couple in Cadiz (the hubby being the son of some dear friends in CA) who would love to see us. It might justify a trip to your state.
I took the liberty of posting links to your site and feed on Ichthys.
Thanks for the update and info, my friend!
Keeping fighting the good fight.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Well bless you for that. I oughta do the same if I can figure out how! One of my desires is to be writing more frequently, and not just writing for the Saturday AM bible group. As you well know, part of our journey is discovering the freshness of His spirit in what you delve into, and also in how you are particularly divinely wired to minister. I’ve spent about 30+ years of my walk reading/teaching/exhorting live – w some incredible fresh results and some glorious events taking place as I ministered. I live for that. Meanwhile this past 2-3 years has necessarily taken me into the arena of deeper diving, and written preparedness. Unless the Lord directs me otherwise, my heart is for that live-event read/teach/kind of thing, and then writing and posting writings. We shall see! That would get me back into the blog website www.ez3728.com more often, and I’d refresh my skills, and certainly post a link to your superb and so well documented writings.
I so very much appreciate your heart and your skills and giftings, and how you’ve dedicated yourself to the King and the Kingdom. I know I know I know you are imperfect and all that stuff – that’s all of us. But I can say you are a man of God who loves His God and trembles at the word. It really doesn’t get better than that.
Interestingly, for years as I tried for Israeli citizenship (I am 97% Jewish/Middle Eastern per those DNA tests – all you need to be for Aliyah is 1/8 Jewish). I very carefully cultivated a most low-key ministry profile to try to avoid the obvious (particularly in these days where everything gets posted everywhere, and wherever one speaks or ministers there’s countless cell phones, cameras, etc.) There was a season when I was under investigation by Mossad. Seriously. The ultra orthodox are positioned as the gatekeepers for Israeli visas, work permits, citizenship applications, and they do all they can to filter out Jews who love their very own Jewish Messiah. I love the country, I love the people, I love our Lord.
Years ago I would have requested no links anywhere, please. At this point in time, both in my ministry and in the acceleration of events on earth, I am quite fine w it!
Thanks so much for the background info. Quite fascinating!
I sympathize with your desire. God clearly had a purpose for you here. And who knows how the deck will be shuffled once the Tribulation begins?
No worries about the reciprocal post. I have no idea how to do a podcast myself. We learn how to do the things that are necessary for us to do. As fast as tech, software and basic applications change, becoming expert on purpose at anything technological which is peripheral to what we are about is probably a waste of time – because it will change before we get around to employing those skills.
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Sorry for the delayed response to your email. Yesterday was quite an amazing day involving a houseful of people – some of which we had not known til recently – actually blood family! It’s a long and glorious God-story. He is so good.
You are correct in your analysis as to why I am here in the States right now. Although our plans had at one time been to start spending perhaps 70-30 time (70-US/30-Israel) and then increasing, it’s understandable why I’m here now. Nearly 50% of the Jewish people live in the States, and that is a great harvest field as the Lord lovingly and also firmly and intentionally begins tightening the screws a bit to get them to the place of prayer, so that their hearts might be turned to Him. He is faithful in His covenant (as you well know). I’ve been blessed to have a sound position in the lives of a good number of Jewish business folks here. And a good number from my very own family have come to their Messiah. So I am well w the plans and purposes and timings of the Lord. The word of the Lord assures every Jew where they will end up. (Isa 11:12, Ezek 36:10)., In the Land. No one will hinder that plan good and final plan.
Yep – we have some wild days upcoming. I often use the metaphor of a pot just now beginning to boil. A bubble here, and then another, then another. It’s not boiling quite yet, but the trend is obvious. God is so good as to point and press His people into awareness and preparation through intimacy.
Bless you. I trust you are doing well. Yes?
When Moses and Elijah return, perhaps you will have an opportunity to head to Israel. Those will be exciting times indeed. I know more than one gentile who in contemplating the Great Tribulation would love to think that the mid-Trib escape to the desert sanctuary discussed in Revelation chapter twelve might be open to them as well. Meanwhile, you are doing the work of the 144,000 before they are even revealed! I rejoice to think of your great reward before the Lord on that day!
(35) "Haven't you been saying, 'There are still four months until the harvest comes.'? Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already ripe for harvesting. (36) He who reaps is receiving a reward and gathering grain for eternal life (i.e., bringing those who respond into God's family), so that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together."
John 4:35-36 (cf. Matthew 9:37-38; Luke 10:2)
In Jesus Christ our Lord,
Can I safely understand Ezekiel, that Daniel, described as occupying the throne in the millennium, refers to Jesus as Joseph refers to Judeans? Ergo, the descendant of? (My only real question.)
The Marxists are calling for the deprogramming of all who disagree with them. Have we not seen this several times in history before? Are we that numb to it? Or did we never learn history?
Considering "Eschatology Issues LXXIV" #8. I agree. I believe that the coming years and into the Tribulation will be strongly Marxist. I believe that the antichrist will be presented as the great reconciliator of our differences. There is, coincidentally, a strong resemblance to Marxism in the RC church. Is that a coincidence? If Rome is revived, what role will the RC church play? Wasn't the Inquisition an attempted reconciliation?
Idle speculation. It will be what it will be. I pray all is well with you and yours. I hope your bugs have abated. Mine are devastating this year for some reason. C'est la guerre.
This is the way I believe the image of the beast will be managed. Rev 13:15? Of course, I may be looking at the future too simplistically and I don't discount the supernatural. But we've already made it possible without it. With 5G satellites, the animated image would be available world wide in near real time.
If the reports of 5G dangers are true, it would certainly fit in with the killing of 1/3 of the people. The frightening aspect of that is that the 1/3 killed will likely be after the start of tribulation. The death count from current convenience "benefits" from the scientologists, I suspect, is over and above the 1/3.
People are lining up for this nonsense. There won't be many left when the Mark is required.
Bob, we are truly living in "interesting" times.
Yours in Jesus,
Here's what Isaiah says:
I will make man scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir.
The one third in Revelation 9:18 refers only to the casualties from the "second
woe" (the sixth trumpet judgment). There will be many deaths from the preceding
judgments – and from the terrible trends of the Tribulation generally (as
outlined in the first four seals, the "horsemen") . . . and we haven't ever
reached the Great Tribulation at that point yet. What transpires in the last
three and a half years will be far worse. The buildup of mortality from plague,
famine, war and lawlessness, the one third of the Church martyred, the seven
bowl judgments and the deaths they produce, and of course Armageddon and the
baptism of fire. Rare as gold indeed! I would be surprised in 1% of the current
population survives to enter into the Millennium (believers who make it through,
of course, will be resurrected).
As to the hologram, I wouldn't be surprised if that is used for "remote ritual and persecution" (as I have opined before). The actual image of the beast will be something pretty spectacular (in the eyes of the unbelieving world, that is) – horrifying to us who believe.
(11) And I saw another beast (i.e., the false prophet: cf. Rev.16:13; 19:20; 20:10) rising up from the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. (12) And he [will] act with all the authority of the first beast [while] in his presence, and he [will] make the world and all its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. (13) And [the beast's false prophet] [will] perform great miracles (lit., "signs"), even making fire come down from heaven to the earth in front of everyone. (14) And he [will] deceive those who dwell upon the earth on account of the miracles (lit., "signs") which have been given to him to perform in the presence of the beast, even commanding the inhabitants of the earth to make an image of the beast, [that is] of him who received the [deadly] stroke of the sword and [yet] came [back] to life. (15) And it was given to him to provide a spirit for the image of the beast so that the image might speak, and [it was also given to him] to bring it about that as many as refused to worship the image of the beast might be put to death.
We can't know what will happen before the Tribulation begins. It would be nice
to have some respite. Then again, we don't want our brothers and sisters to
become complacent. Whatever happens, we will be witness to it . . . as long as
the Lord keeps us here, that is.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
p.s., "Or did we never learn history" – I find my students don't know any history (or much English grammar, for that matter). I think that trend is accelerating, and we see in our society that anything approaching accuracy or balance in history is being run through a Marxist washing machine first (so on second thought maybe it's not so bad that so many today aren't paying it much heed).
On Daniel, I'm sure you meant David (Ezek.34:23-24; 37:24-25). I take this literally. There will be a Great King over all the earth (the Lord Jesus Christ), a titular king over Israel (David), and an administrative regent who will be descended from the Davidic line (he is the one spoken of in e.g. Ezek.46:16-18).
Thank you again! I have a lot of trouble keeping it all straight. I hope I'm not bothering you too much. If so just tell me and I'll sit down and be quiet.
Speaking of things to come, I'm also having trouble envisioning the temple as described in Ezekiel. Has anyone built a model or drawn it all out? Can I safely assume that this is one of the parts of scripture that will not make sense until the time comes?
Yours in our Lord,
Most study Bibles or Bible dictionaries / encyclopedias have representations.
One thing I can tell you is that if you compare translations you will quickly
become confused. The Hebrew descriptions of measurements and architectural
features are not so easy to decode – so that many of the pat sounding
descriptions are guesses. I've always found such descriptions in Greek and Latin
(Hebrew too) quite confusing in any case as the ancients don't see things the
same way we do. But we don't have to worry that there's no blueprint. Moses and
Elijah will have it completely figured out, so we'll see the basic outline soon
Then I don't feel so bad. The NIV85 notes claim the cubit was about 18". I always thought the standard cubit was more like 25-27". From your explanation, I suspect nobody really knows with any degree of certainty. Is there anything left of the second temple of which dimensions in cubits are known, which has been or could be measured in feet or meters?
Yours in Jesus,
There's nothing left of the second temple . . . that is known about. You
may have heard of the "wailing wall"? That is believed by many to be
part of the foundation but is actually a retaining wall for the temple
mount. Because the mount is an Islamic holy site, there aren't the sort
of excavations taking place which could uncover the remains of the
It's nice to hear from you. I pray you are doing well! I always appreciate the teaching on your site. I was looking at the piece you posted about marriage and this quote really stuck out to me:
"No better biblical definition of a marriage which is good in God's eyes exist than of husband and wife supporting each other's God-given roles in order to do what we are all really here in the world to do, namely, to grow spiritually, walk ever closer with the Lord, and fulfill the personal ministries we have each been severally given."
This is so crucial, and it is barely taught in churches. My church teaches it, and my wife is a testimony to that. We aren't perfect, far from it! But we each know our biblical roles and that are obligated to fulfill them by God's grace, and our church encourages us in this very frequently.
Our culture has essentially inverted the biblical role of the sexes through its promulgation of radical feminism and sexual libertinism. I think it has seeped far down into the fabric of evangelical culture at this point; many would deny it, but now that I go to a church that does emphasize the biblical roles of the husband and wife, it's clear how culturally out of step that teaching is even among mainstream, evangelical churches.
I do read through the questions and answers from time to time. I like reading the questions about eschatology. Something that has been stewing in my brain for a while now is the recent advent of digital currency -- really, digital transformation as a whole being utilized as a culture shaping tool has been on my mind for quite some time. This of course has been catalyzed and exacerbated by the recent pandemic. I wonder what really happened with that and how it really began. There are many signposts that it was no accident, but I digress.
Moreover, I am starting to see how these sorts of digital/nanotech advancements are going to enable and probably culminate in a centrally controlled, global digital economy to which all persons will be compelled to enjoin themselves at the behest of the biblical antichrist. I really have begun to see this specter of a global digital control system as a mimicking of the attributes of God -- omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, etc. -- through big data, global networking systems of communication, and block-chain technology. Of course, Satan can only mimic God. He can't actually embody all of God's attributes, but he can virtually, and why not? We are ever more tethered to the virtual world rather than the real one. There is a concept called the "internet of things" which describes the interconnectivity of devices and objects through digital networks. What follows from that is also the internet of persons, in which all people are essentially enjoined in the same way -- not just by signing up for a social media account, but actually functioning more like digital bits and pixels in this grand globalist mosaic of false unity under false pretenses, under a false Christ.
There's much more to be said, but I will cease rambling. If you have any thoughts regarding any of that, feel free to express. I think about it often because I work in the fintech world, so I get hammered with digital transformation messaging every day.
I get the sense that we are very close, imminently close, to the advent of this system and that we must cling to the cross of Christ in order to overcome.
Thanks for your good words and godly commentary. It is a very tough time for Christians in this culture, that is for certain. Reminds me of this verse:
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2nd Timothy 3:12 NKJV
As all things digital, it is all a bit spooky. On the other hand, "money" doesn't make a great deal of sense however construed. Why I should do anything for some worthless pieces of paper is a mystery. An even greater mystery if they are just numbers somewhere out in cyber-space, especially if they don't even represent anything even approaching reality but were – literally – just made up out of thin air. On crypto, I find I'm in agreement with Warren Buffet (for once): "rat poison". Digital "real estate" and NFTs make even less sense to me. Still, things have the value people are willing to ascribe to them. We Christians know that everything in this world is mere dust, so whatever means the world wants to use to exchange dust for dust is the world's business. We have our treasuries in heaven where no moth nor rust nor thief can touch them.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
Matthew 13:44 NKJV
During the Tribulation, one can easily see how all "legitimate commerce" could be controlled. But as the means of exchange mean nothing, it may very well come to be the case that an actual can of tuna fish well past its sell-by date will come to be worth many "bit coins". In any case, we can be confident of the Lord's provision for us who love Him, regardless of how difficult that may look at present – nothing is impossible for Him.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Greeting Dr. Luginbill!
My friend speaks highly of you and gave me your email address. We were discussing Luke 22:35-38. I am confused because the text of these verses seem to imply that there is a time for war/battle. It's almost a call to arms. I just started my walk with Jesus in earnest this past year. Before I lived for this world while calling myself a Christian. Since COVID I have become anxious to understand scripture. I regret wasting so much time pursuing every earthly goal while avoiding what matters most ..I need to know what God requires of me and I know the answers are all in scripture. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Good to make your acquaintance.
The meaning of "buy a sword" in the context you ask about is for the purpose of protection. In the ancient world, travel was dangerous, much more so than in the US today. It was simply suicidal to travel without company (a caravan) and without personal protection. Look what happened to the poor individual whom the good Samaritan helped. Here is what Paul says about his travels:
I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren.
2nd Corinthians 11:26 NASB
So this passage, Luke 22:35-38, has nothing to do with war or the military. Not
that there is anything wrong with self-defense nationally any more than there is
personally. Crime and violence are sinful, and certainly any nation which adopts
a policy of cruel exploitation of weaker neighbors is likely to suffer the
consequences as well. But individuals are allowed to protect themselves (see
the link), and reputable governments are responsible for protecting their
citizens, from crime internally and from attack externally (see
the link). The latest posting in the Peter series, #34
(at the link), has a good deal to say about the issue of Christian
responsibilities regarding government.
I also want to encourage you in regard to "Since COVID I have become anxious to understand scripture." Good for you! No doubt one of the main reasons that the Lord allowed all this was to set a fire under His people for just this purpose. I don't see that many have responded [update: Ichthys traffic yesterday, 8/14/21, scored an all time low] – but you've made my day with your positive attitude to the truth!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
How are you coping with the heat, Sir? Been praying for you in it. Is your writing faring well or have you already concluded it? How have things turned out with acting for your department chair? Did the plumber come after all? Such things are not often reliable here.
Thank you for the very high praise, Sir. It is actually because of your comments on my writing and our friend's confidence in it that I was willing to start considering a career in it. Even though I didn't consider writing a career earlier in life, when I did start taking it seriously, I wasn't particularly confident in my skills. Now I am. My website is all done but for our friends' vetting. I'm waiting to hear from them to begin using it to sell my writing services.
I took your advice and stopped pushing at the COVID-19 white paper. I did write a guide for deciding on the vaccine after all for want of something to write for a sample, but that's it. Attaching the two samples here.
Like one of those whose email is on the last posting, I feel dislocated spiritually. Not that I have been doing much differently. There has been the occasional failure, but that seems to be growing less and less now. I have had days when I woke too late to get to my Bible-reading because of a late night, but that doesn't seem like enough of an occurrence to explain the feeling of dislocation. More than anything, my concern is whether I have lost the mental ground I used to have where a lot of my conscious thought seemed to be filtered through the Bible's teachings. I feel more and more like I'm adapting to life on earth too much. The more I have "come out" to life here on earth, the more I have felt like I'm changing in ways I probably shouldn't be.
There are times when I feel like this is how it should be, that I shouldn't be as disconnected from this world as I was in the past. But I also worry that my exposure to it is changing me spiritually, like I have more weeding to do all the time now and it exhausts me to keep on top of it all the time.
I have even thought again about focusing ok Bible teaching and forgetting about pursuing a secular career, but however I think about it, it just doesn't seem to me to work. I feel very unbalanced having to depend on others in that way. I want to work for a living for myself and joyfully give what I have received with no expectations or desire for support from those who benefit from me.
I'm very sorry that I take so long with communication these days. Whenever I think about what I have to do, it's a struggle not to shut down and not one that I often win.
Your student in Jesus Christ
Doing well here. Things have been quiet on the work front, so it seems
I'll at least be able to get a minimal necessary research contribution
completed before the month runs out (and possibly more than that).
Yes, I got my leaks repaired and am quite happy about it (but it was very expensive . . . as everything seems to be now).
I'm happy to hear that you are on the cusp of giving this new career idea the full "launch"! I'll be keeping that in my prayers for certain. I've never been any sort of an entrepreneur. Not even in looking "outside the box" in terms of employment – of course I've never needed to be. My brother did quite well in not going the traditional route. I certainly hope the same will be true of you, my friend. You are a man of prodigious talents and God is with you, so I am certain that He will lead you into just the right path. Your job is to listen. No one can do that for you. You certainly have a lot of responsibilities. I'll be praying for that too.
It is an interesting balance. Mistake on the one side: sit down on a park bench and do nothing. Mistake on the other side: tear one's hair out in frantic activity as if God was not concerned with us. In the middle, we learn to do due diligence in all things, spiritual and temporal, even when it is very hard, but in peace because of the Spirit's power in helping us and God giving us success, not our own power.
For by You I can run against a troop,
By my God I can leap over a wall.
Psalm 18:29 NKJV
Blessed be the LORD my Rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle—
Psalm 144:1 NKJV
Or, as Paul puts it . . .
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2nd Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV
(12) I know how to handle humiliation; I also know how to handle prosperity. I have learned by experience in each and every way how to handle being abundantly provided for and being impoverished, being in prosperity and being in a state of deprivation. (13) I have the strength to endure all [extremes] in the One who empowers me to do so.
As to "I have even thought again about focusing on Bible teaching and
forgetting about pursuing a secular career", while I have often prayed
that if it is God's will for Him to open up a church situation for you,
the problem of course is that in the late innings of Laodicea,
"churches" are not generally interested in the truth. Starting your own
from scratch would require great material sacrifice – such as Paul and
co. endured, working with their own hands for their own support rather
than burdening the new converts. For that to work, the Lord would have
to be calling you to that in a particular place. I don't think it syncs
at all with being married and starting a family. The alternative is to
make a living and do ministry with the other half of your time and
energy and resources. That's also difficult being married, but not
impossible if your spouse shares your heart for the Lord.
I'm keeping you both in my prayers daily, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
I just read a bit of an article on the increase in drug overdoses (and it was already higher and higher before, wasn't it?), and one of the things they say is that the increased isolation is a problem factor (no one there to call EMS).
Just yesterday I had a wave of depression, and I almost felt that I got the message of being a fighter. And part of me thinks it is stupid to need to think that about daily life. But there must some serious stuff for so many people to resort to drugs to the point of death (they were also saying a portion is that people use it to cope with all the #$%@! going on).
Anyway, I do hope you are doing well.
For those of us who do find our full sufficiency in Jesus Christ and in the
truth of His Word, it can seem very strange that some people need drugs,
alcohol, and all manner of other crutches to get by – or else get thrown into
such mental problems of despair and the like that they give up or stop
functioning. Of course we all have down times when we have to re-motivate
ourselves with the truth. But we have the Holy Spirit and the entire Bible to
help us with that, so that if we just try a little bit to do so, we find
ourselves back in the saddle almost right away. This is hard for non-Christians
to understand, but it also is part of the reason we don't see the world like
everyone else does. We are looking towards a wonderful new reality in
resurrection where none of this #$%@!, as you put it, will ever exist ever
Hope your week is going well!
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
Well, here is another puzzling scripture so I am asking for your guidance as to what it means.
The commentators I have researched don't leave me with any satisfaction at all.
So many different opinions....ugh
About 40 years ago I read a book written by a person who knew Hebrew. He stated that verse 3 of Genesis should read: "Then God said "Let Him be the light, and it was so.
So here are my questions:
1. Is his Hebrew correct by saying the verse should read "Let Him be the Light"?
2. Is this considered an "Anthropomorphism" when it says "God said".?
3. Who was God speaking to if He spoke audibly?
4. Could this "Light" be Jesus, for the scripture says that He is Light?
5. Is this "Light" super-natural?
6. If the light is not Jesus, then what is it?
As I was praying this morning I began to think about this, but did not arrive at an answer that satisfied my curiosity.
Strong's is also not much help, as he says God is the light of Israel?
I am keenly aware that languages when translated into English, can create problems with understanding what sometimes cannot be expressed, as it loses it's meaning. I know this as a fact because we study the Bible both in German and English, and there are sometimes differences.
Thanks so much for your help as always,
Blessings to you and grace be upon you.
As to this alternative "translation", it's not correct.
First, since God is speaking, if He were speaking about Himself and this were the meaning, it would say, "Let Me be light", but it is a third person form.
Secondly, God IS light (1Jn.1:5); Jesus IS light (Jn.1:9). God does not need to "become" what He already is.
Third, the context here is the darkness of judgment which suffused the entire universe as a consequence of Satan's revolt. The re-creation of light was a deliberate sign of hope and of differentiation between the evil which had been judged and the light which would in the end completely replace it.
Just when you thought you'd heard 'em all!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I am falling with the door into the house!
a) Your explanation regarding Israel's 'ultimates' give me the belief that you are defining Christ our Savior as being subservient to who we are in Him to who you define us to be in Israel. ( We are rooted and built up in Him (Col. 2:7), and we have one Mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). 1 Kings 6:31-34 presupposes Christ?
b) Israel is expressly identified as branches (Rom. 11:17) and the branches will be grafted in (Rom. 11:23) when faith is applied.
c) The fathers of Israel expressed faith in the promise, the seed (Gal. 3:16-17; Eph. 3:6b) and this gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) is the 'root' that saves, according to the election of grace (Rom. 11:5, 28). For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father (Eph. 2:18).
d) Christ is the 'ultimate' who makes both the 'branches' (Israel as nation/flesh) and the 'wild branches' the Gentiles a new man through the cross (Eph. 2: 14-16). By faith both entities are now rooted in the promised Seed ( Gal. 3:16-17) to reiterate that our ultimate completeness is because of the Lamb that was slain (Rev. 13:8b).
e) Tribalism is a worldly matter and not part of the new man according to the image of Him, but Christ is all and in all (Col. 3:10-17). The reference of the eight 'ones' in Ephesians 4:4-7 are received by grace according to the measure of Christ's gift. Our dependency upon Israel is not listed in this passage.
Our perspectives are very different and I do not expect you to respond. The Lord Jesus Christ is the sole and only standard for my belief in being perfect (Rom. 8 defines my position in this regard).
In Christ alone,
I don't understand your #a (you don't seem to understand what I've written).
On #b, Israel is the tree; the branches broken out are unbelievers only.
On #c, I don't find any scriptural basis for the allegory you are constructing.
On #d, I have no problem with this; this is what I teach – except for the "rooted" analogy which I don't find this way in scripture (compare Eph.3:17).
On #e, I've never taught tribalism; but in terms of the prophets and apostles all of Israel being the foundation of the Church, that is in the Bible after all (Eph.2:20).
I'm not sure what the basis or the point of these criticisms is . . . except perhaps to produce some separation of Israel from the Church as is a common fallacy in evangelical teaching: Israel is the good olive tree, the stock and stem of the Church, into which we gentiles are blessed to have been grafted by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I realise that this string of emails is going round and round in circles a bit and saying the same thing. I'm just coming out of this low and distressed mood I have been in that has confused me and muddled my thinking. Today is the first day I've been studying your site again. I was listening to the Satanic Rebellion on MP3 and it has really helped me. I am at the part about the fall of man.
I have felt surrounded of late with trials: family disputes, __ dying, all this Covid chaos and I have really lost my bearings and fallen down. I am disappointed that I have been failing quite a few of the tests God has given me of late but I am determined to go on.
I see now how terrifying a prospect apostasy is. The wickedness in my own heart is to be feared the most but I am so glad to be given a new heart. In Romans 8:38 Paul wrote that nothing can separate us from the love of God but what is terrifying is that we can, and people do, walk away from it.
I know this now all too keenly. You see I've had a recent trial and I have failed it. I was not spiritually prepared for __'s death. In the past I have always been terrified of death and ran away from it and tried to blot it out. When family members died in the past, although I was heartbroken, I had some justification to myself that it won't happen to me or the people nearest me. Of course this is folly but because until then death has always happened "in the next room" at a distance. I never saw it up close before.
With __ it was so sudden that it really made my head spin. I found myself feeling angry and the enemy immediately tried to tempt me to be angry with God to blame God and ask Him "why would he do such a thing?" The enemy even wanted to tempt me to believe that God is not good because of this and that is evil instead.
I love Jesus so much, my life is meaningless without Him.
It has really shocked me how unprepared I was spiritually. I understand that death of loved ones can either lead people to faith or destroy a person's faith. I did not expect it to severely challenge my own. It was an awful experience that I never want to go through again. I only want to respond with faith to all these trials because the thought of being without God for all eternity truly terrifies me. I realise how truly dangerous our hearts can be! The idea that we all could turn away from God absolutely petrifies me to be honest.
I've been reading your emails about the unforgivable sin and the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. So there is only one unforgivable sin then, the denial of Jesus Christ and to remain in that denial until death. The mark of the beast then would be the ultimate denial of Jesus Christ, a flagrant one considering the divine warning. So again the mark of the beast is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said that blasphemy against Him will be forgiven but against the Spirit it will not. So that means that all unbelievers right now are blaspheming the Holy Spirit by ignoring and denying the Spirit's witness. When they become believers then they are no longer blaspheming the spirit. So blasphemy of the spirit is not a once said out loud thing but a continual position of unbelief.
I know that God wants all to be saved. He can always graft us back in. People make this "unforgivable sin" into something that is an "extra" thing that doesn't align with scripture or God's character.
Peter denied Jesus and yet no one can deny his stature as an Apostle. David feigned madness rather than trust God. I realise that my faith is being tested so that I will go on to have stronger faith and have learned from my failure.
I have had the enemy try to make me think evil towards God before and it terrifies me. If I agree with this in my heart for a moment is that it for me? The enemy is always around me when I am at my most vulnerable and weakened. Always waiting for me to slip so he can report back on me. Sometimes it feels relentless.
Another thing, if it is the Spirit's witness that points to Jesus' deity then it is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that enables and strengthens faith. So when the Holy Spirit restraint is removed, will that mean no one will be able to turn to Jesus in faith at that point? Is the ministry of the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit itself removed or just the restraining aspect of ministry?
Thank you for your continual ministry and support my friend.
No worries. I'm thrilled to hear that you are back in "study mode". This is SO
important. It's easy to delude ourselves with the thought that "we know enough",
but in truth if we're not moving forward, we're drifting backward. We all need
daily communion with the truth – myself included – and the more the better.
Ideally, we are walking with the Lord at all times, and reinforcing that walk
with Bible reading and Bible study abundantly every day. Like getting off of
one's meds, it may seem for a few days or even longer that it makes no
difference – but in the end, if they are needful, it will make a great deal of
difference. Unlike meds (which may or may not be truly needful or helpful in
particular cases), the truth is our life's blood as believers, and we need to do
all we reasonably can to keep it flowing.
Forgiveness of any and all sins is absolute for all believers who confess them (Ps.32:5; 1Jn.1:9); please see the link: in BB 3B: "God's Forgiveness of Sins".
The Spirit's restraining ministry is a special ministry (see the link). He does not leave us believers forlorn when the Tribulation begins; He will be in us until the end (Jn.14:16-18).
It is not uncommon for believers to be greatly upset by the death of those near and dear. Grief is real and grieving is legitimate (cf. Jn.11:35). Believers with a good deal of spiritual maturity recover more quickly, but none of us needs to be remorseful for being distressed. Positive believers keep fighting the fight – as you are doing.
Yes it really all is "serious business", but while we who appreciate that can witness to others by our words and by our example, everyone makes their own decisions down here. And Christ died for the sins of all so that all would have that right to choose.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hey Dr. Luginbill,
I wanted to write you back and let you know now how I'm doing with everything I'm working through. It's definitely been a tough past month and a half so there's a good amount on my mind.
I know this is a lot, but it sums up most of what I've been going through recently.
Please give me your thoughts. I might have some more to add later but for now this is enough.
In our Lord Jesus,
Thanks for keeping me informed, my friend.
I'm happy to hear that you are recovering, and also that you are not allowing yourself to be unduly influenced by secular theories. Headshrinkers are sometimes able to treat symptoms, but only God and His truth can ever really address underlying causes. The fact that you embrace God's forgiveness and also are able to forget the past puts you light years ahead of any unbelievers your docs have ever treated (and way ahead of your docs as well).
Life is not easy, and the Christian life is very challenging. But God also gives us the help and the resources to cope with whatever He brings our way. When you say that you "relied on the Spirit", it's important to point out that we have to do so God's way, not in ways we imagine. This is a large issue since most of contemporary Christian groups, the charismatics in particular, have got this completely backwards. The Spirit's influence on us is always through the truth and its power, acting on our consciences and empowering us through guidance and encouragement – in the truth we have learned and committed to our hearts by believing it. We can't dictate to the Spirit how He will do things, but that is a very common mistake (as mentioned). We have to accept the guidance and encouragement He actually gives us, and this is ALWAYS proportionate to the spiritual growth we have achieved and to the truth we have put in our hearts through studying it and believing it and becoming conversant with it through much application of it.
As believers in Christ, we do have a right to be at peace at all times (Is.26:3; Jn.14:27; Rom.5:1; Col.3:15; 2Thes.3:16). In fact, that is an obligation for us (our Church Age application of the fourth commandment: Heb.4:1-11).
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.
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
As believers in Christ, we do have a right to be joyous at all times (Ps.33:1; Jn.17:13; Rom.14:17; Gal.5:22; Phil.1:25; 1Pet.1:6-8). In fact, this is also commanded us.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Philippians 4:4 NKJV
As believers in Christ, we do have a right to look beyond this present vale of tears to the glories beyond when we will rise and be with Christ and each other in resurrection forever. That is our hope, and that too is something we are commanded to focus on (Rom.5:3-4; Tit.2:13; Heb.6:16-20; 10:23).
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4 NKJV
Note that in ALL of these instances, it is through being reminded of the truth
we have believed – and, importantly, through reminding ourselves of it – that
the Spirit encourages and guides us by means of that same truth.
There is a great deal at Ichthys, especially in the weekly email postings, about the mutual encouragement we believers should be lending each other and about how to encourage ourselves when the chips are down.
And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
1st Samuel 30:6 NKJV
This is what we all need to learn to do. And we can't do it without the Spirit.
We can't do it without the truth that the Spirit has made real to us in our
hearts as we believed it. But we are responsible to engage in this process. That
is our function of choice and free will. No believer, not even a David – who
also had the Spirit as a special unction – could or can do this without
engaging. In other words, it takes "work" – work which is NOT "work". That is to
say, it takes giving our will over to the Will of God in the first place as we
learn, in the second place as we grow and progress, and in the third place as we
recall and apply important truths when the pressure is on. God gives us all
these things and victory in all these things (He is doing the WORK), but we have
to engage through FAITH: belief in the first place and believing the truths
we've learned and applying them under pressure in the second place. When we are
relaxed under pressure, trusting the Lord to get us through, even as we are
doing what (often little) we can with what He has given us, we are fulfilling
the mandates of rest and courageous engagement at the same time. That is the
sweet spot. Getting off into seeing it being all on our shoulders on the one
hand or expecting God to do everything without any response from us on the other
are the two misapplications in the ditches on either side of the right road.
None of us has any need to feel bad about our failures in this regard. No one, not even David or Moses or Elijah, has a perfect record. Instead of looking back, whenever we fail or fall, we get back up through God's help and get back into the fight – letting Him do the fighting even as we wield the sword of truth (Heb.4:12); that is the Spirit's sword (Eph.6:17), and that is how we fight this fight – through the truth.
Keeping you in my daily prayers, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Just a quick question. Is the mark of the beast damnable because it is THE unforgivable sin or because anyone who takes it will be an unbeliever and so not have saving faith and that is why they are damned? (Isn't unbelief the unforgivable sin anyway?)
I know that all sins can be forgiven accept the unforgivable sin which is a denial of the witness of the Holy Spirit. So in this way, taking the mark will be an ultimate form of denying the Spirit's witness and so is the unforgivable sin.
I saw someone saying that it's not that it can't be forgiven it's just that people who have it won't want to be forgiven as they don't have saving faith.
So is it better to say that the mark of the beast Is THE unforgivable sin that Jesus talks about or a unique sin that can only be committed during the tribulation period that is also damnable.
Some people talk about it as though it's an extra out of the ordinary unforgivable sin that is unique due to this time period but isn't it just the same unforgivable sin that is always evident, namely the rejection of the Spirit's witness of the truth (calling the Spirit a liar).
Obviously there is absolutely no way I'm ever going near this mark and I agree with you that this is something to break fellowship over (I can also see how the marked will want nothing to do with the unmarked at the same time.)
So what I am driving at that it is impossible to be saved beyond that point and that damnation will occur immediately after so there is no time for salvation even if it was available?
It is a literal point of no return and no salvation. That would mean that taking the mark IS the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
So is it a case of don't want to be forgiven or can't be forgiven?
Matthew 24:24 says "if it were possible to deceive the very elect". Does "if it were possible" mean not possible? Or does it mean the elect can be deceived? Is it saying that the lying signs and wonders are so convincing that it could even come close to fooling the elect but it won't?
The "were" in Matthew 24:24 is the way in English we represent a contrary to
fact condition (which is what we have here in the Greek). So, no, it is not
possible to deceive the elect, but our Lord's phrasing of things in this way
does mean that the deceit will be at a level never previously seen or imagined
(quite a statement indeed for consumers of contemporary "news").
The "unpardonable sin" is the sin of rejecting the gospel (see the link). No believer will take the mark of the beast; taking the mark will be proof of a person's unbelieving status, whether it is of longstanding or of a former believer lapsed into apostasy. In the case of the Great Apostasy (link), it is the lapsing that is the real problem; taking the mark merely offers confirmation. So over-focusing on the mark as a "problem" is mistaken – as if, were we only able to keep people we care about from getting the mark, they would be "OK". If it comes to taking the mark, the damage has already been done. And consider that there will be a miraculous worldwide warning against taking the mark (Rev.14:9-11) – not to mention that the Bible is very clear about the consequences.
As to "it is impossible to be saved beyond that point and that damnation will occur immediately after so there is no time for salvation even if it was available", no believer will take the mark, and all unbelievers who take the mark would/will never repent of their rejection of Christ. So it is a moot point and a null category.
In short, I wouldn't worry about it. As you say, there is "no way" we who love the Lord would even consider it. The fact that scripture is so adamant about it and gives such crystal clear information along with a contemporary miraculous and impossible-to-ignore warning is a clear reflection of the mercy and justice of God on the one hand – and of the absolute hardness of heart of those who reject Him and His truth completely on the other.
In Jesus our dear Savior whose mark is on us – the seal of the Holy Spirit,
I'm very glad to hear you're doing better.
I just wanted to say that in Part 1 of CT, I love the quick overview or "highlights" of the other Old and New Testament books and what is written in them about the end times.
Books like Isaiah aren't easy but how you've listed the chapters and written something very brief about them is so helpful for me. So thanks Bob - although Revelation is the main book this overview is so useful to have too.
I'm keeping everything work related in my prayers for you.
Keep taking it easy, Bob.
Thanks for the shot in the arm! Er... in a good way.
Glad I got the other shot when I did. Don't think I would have wanted to have to be teaching over the last couple of weeks. I made good progress with class prep today, but I'm glad I have tomorrow and most of next week (what time is not being taken up with meetings) to be able to put on the finishing touches.
Still unclear what U of L will do, but I suppose that is a nation-wide "problem" at the moment.
[update: mask mandate is in at U of L, but not social distancing in seating, so no need to scramble the schedule, AND I don't need to wear it while I'm lecturing – God is good! Thanks for your prayers!]
We have to be ever flexible about the things of this world which in the end are unimportant, and unbending when it comes to the truth which is eternal.
In Jesus our dear Savior,