In email number 17 you wrote-
"We don't know how much time is left. I'm confident that the interpretations advanced at Ichthys are solid, but they are interpretations."
I'm struggling to understand this. I am confident in your interpretation as you are but I think and speak of it as facts. I do know you have said that the Lord can make any changes that He would want but until He makes those changes then we would have to go with what is given. I trust the Lord, His Word, and I trust that you have been given a special dose of gifting that is only matched by your willingness to follow the Lord and the work He has given you to do. How can you say we don't know how much time is left?
Please straighten me out here.
In the Lord
I very much appreciate your confidence in me, my friend!
We believers put our confidence in the Word of God, and that is what I try to do and try to help others to do.
As mentioned, the putative date for the commencement of the Tribulation, fall of 2026, is not in the Bible per se. This is a calculation I have made based upon what the Bible contains in terms of prophecy related to those last seven years before our Lord's return. I do think that I have made it clear that on the one hand I do think that the interpretation is correct; but on the other hand I have also always made it clear that this is an interpretation based upon certain assumptions – ones in whose accuracy I also believe but assumptions nonetheless. In other words, this is a different order of teaching compared to things which are directly expressed in scripture (the deity of Christ, to take one of many examples).
It is my duty as a teacher of the Word to teach what I have found and what I believe – if I didn't believe it, I wouldn't teach it. On the other hand, it is also my duty to make it clear just what the underpinnings of the things I teach are. That is what I have done with this particular point.
There are many out there who say "well, we just don't know anything about the date", and leave it at that. That may be safe, but it is disingenuous if the teacher really does know some of the pertinent facts which do lead to some difficult-to-avoid conclusions. There are others out there who say things like "this is the date, no ifs, ands or buts". That is very reassuring for listeners and gives a patina of consistency, but it also fails in the duty to give those listeners the whole truth – which in this case means that there are some factors (assumptions) which affect the interpretation which can only be assumed as correct. And even if the level of confidence for all of them is very high (such as in this case), it would be equally disingenuous not to point those assumptions out and discuss the issues involved with them. This is what I have tried to do (see the link).
In reading your email it occurs to me that it would be better to say, "We don't know WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY how much time is left". That would better express what I meant and was trying to say. So I've changed it (thank you!).
I hope this addresses your concern – please do feel free to write me back about this.
My pastor made an insightful comment regarding controversial prophetic issues. He said that prophecy is not so much about predicting the future as it is about recognizing events that have either already happened, or when the events occur in the future. Maybe a subtle but, I think, useful distinction. This, I think, makes it less critical that we get every interpretation absolutely right. And not at all to make light of any prophetic event, past or future, but the future will happen regardless of what I think!
With that attitude in mind, I would ask your opinion on (Rev 17:18) “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” And (Rev 11:8) “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.”
It appears that every use of the phrase “great city” in Revelation is referring to Jerusalem. 17:18 is most definitely talking about the Mystery Babylon. In 11:8, it clearly defines “great city” as Jerusalem “where are Lord was also crucified”.
This seems a strong evidence in favor of Jerusalem as the Mystery Babylon rather than the USA?
What are your thoughts on this?
Revelation 11:8 is definitely Jerusalem. But there we are told that we
are talking about "the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and
Egypt AND where our Lord was crucified". In other words, we are not left
in the dark about which "great city" this one is; this one is Jerusalem.
Also significantly it is NOT called Babylon. After all, the
tribulational "Babylon" is mystery Babylon – that is not its actual name
but its spiritual name, akin to calling Jerusalem "Sodom and Egypt"
because in both instances these titles express spiritual realities
rather than giving specific geographical designations (mystery Babylon
cannot even be in the Mideast, for example, just as Jerusalem is neither
in Egypt nor in the Dead Sea plain).
On the other hand, these same descriptors used of Jerusalem in Revelation 11:8 are not present in the description of mystery Babylon in chapter seventeen. In the final verse, that great city is said to have "dominion over the kings of the earth". Such has never been true of Jerusalem and will not be the case during Babylon's heyday. Also, in the next chapter, Babylon is completely destroyed for all time. That is certainly not true of Jerusalem which will be the place to which our Lord returns and also His capital city during the Millennium. So the two are both "great cities", but they are not the same city and not described in similar terms; rather they are in fact clearly distinguished. There are many other things about mystery Babylon which do not fit with Jerusalem and vice versa but hopefully the above will suffice (see the link, "Characteristics of Mystery Babylon").
As to prophecy, I would put it slightly differently. We can know the general outline of the events ahead of time without necessarily knowing or having a good feel for the texture and depth of detail which experiencing them first hand will provide. For example, I can understand about the demon locusts from what the Bible says, but the experience of friends and neighbors who are not believers suffering from the stings and what that will do to daily life can probably not be fully appreciated before we see it with our own eyes. Much of what the Bible says about the end times – and the Bible says much about the end times – is similar: we have a framework of events; the "meat on the bones" we will have to see with our own eyes . . . if it is the Lord's will for us to live long enough to do so.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Thanks for elaborating! One of the wonderful things about all the prophecies in
the Bible already fulfilled, particularly in Daniel for me, is that it builds my
faith to think if all those things were fulfilled, those still to come will
certainly be as well!
A quintessential human question is “why”? In fact, one of the blessings promised from reading Revelation, I think, is the advance knowledge and comfort that will bring if we are around to see things play out. More importantly, knowing the purpose of future events puts my mind to rest and fixes my resolution to keep the faith come what may.
We are using your Peter study to work our way through the book with our small group of couples we host in our home. Not in anywhere close to the detail of your study, since we read through a chapter each meeting and discuss, but certainly to give additional insight.
BTW, I like how you’ve broken it up into multiple lesson chunks. Now if we can just work on those eternal paragraphs!
Thank you for your labors!
Yes, it is very comforting to be reminded that God is in complete control -- with everything planned down to the smallest detail. We've got nothing to worry about . . . even if we need to be careful about persevering through it all.
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus . . .
1st John 1:9a NIV
Suffering here in this life; bliss in the kingdom soon to come; patient
endurance, perseverance, holding on tight to our faith regardless of whatever
may come is what takes us from the one to the other.
Hah! It's true: I do love my long paragraphs. But I'm sure you meant "referencing eternity" rather than "going on forever".
In Jesus our dear Savior,
LOL, yeah, we’ll go with that: “paragraphs of eternal value”
A couple more questions on this topic: The imagery of the term “harlot” or “prostitute” is used significantly in the OT to refer to Israel. Hosea famously, at God’s direction, pursued a relationship with an actual woman who behaves as a harlot. This is to illustrate how Israel behaves towards God and, more importantly, how God behaves toward Israel. Revelation shows Israel as a woman, giving birth to the male child who seems to be Christ, pursued by the dragon but saved in the wilderness. Is this a different woman than the great harlot of Revelation? Or given Israel’s long history of unfaithfulness, just the ultimate manifestation of her final rejection of God’s Son? Israel's modern slogan “Never again” seems to mesh with the harlots insistence in Revelation that “I sit as a queen, I am no widow”.
What would you consider to be the identity of “the great city” in this verse?
Revelation 16:19 (ESV)
 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.
While Israel/Jerusalem currently, right now has less figurative dominion over “the kings of the earth” than other great cities like New York or London, when the anti-christ does make his appearance as the pseudo savior of Israel, and if Israel embraces him as such, his seat of power based in Jerusalem, with all the defacto power he will wield, would give Jerusalem a strong sense of that “dominion over the kings of the earth”. I suspect many things will change geo politically before all this shakes out, so that many scenarios are possible!
To further speculate, I even wonder if the dominant and out-sized influence of the USA will be completely demolished either from within or from some natural disaster such as the Yellowstone super volcano, so much so that the power wielded by her will vanish. This would allow the locus of eschatology to revert to the Mediterranean and middle east and the events focused there allowed to play out unmolested by the western super-power.
Thanks for your time.
The Woman in Revelation chapter twelve represents believing Israel, the
source of the Child who is Christ. She flees to the desert under
persecution from antichrist and is succored by God. This symbol
represents the Jewish believers who responded to the ministry of Moses
and Elijah, and the 144,000. So there are two women – and the contrast
between them, namely, believing Jews on the one hand and the great
prostitute, mystery Babylon on the other, couldn't be more stark.
As to "who/where is Babylon?", that is a question taken up at length in the CT series (see the link). Suffice it to say that three of the four quadrants of the world as the Bible divides it up are mentioned in eschatology (east, north, and south), but not the west or the "islands" – this means that Babylon must be in that remaining quadrant and so is most likely the USA of the Tribulation (there is no mystery Babylon yet and won't be until the Holy Spirit's restraint is removed at the beginning of that seven year period). Babylon is said to be "the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth" (Rev.17:19 ESV), and at present it is difficult to see what other nation could possibly have the potential to fit that bill. The manner of antichrist's rise – Babylon is his base of power, while Europe, the revived Roman empire, is his first major acquisition – also seems to demand the mentioned identification (see prior link for more details).
In terms of Revelation 16:19, the "great city" here is Jerusalem; the "great cities" (plural) are other large metropolitan conglomerates throughout the world; and Babylon is Babylon – not just a city but a large country. The Greek word 'polis' can mean a city per se but more often means a country as in classical times when city states were the rule.
In terms of the demise of mystery Babylon, as described in the verse we are discussing here (and more so in chapter eighteen), we know from collecting all the scriptures on the subject that she will be destroyed by an invasion of antichrist's forces; that is, by human agency (see the link), albeit instigated by the Lord (Rev.17:17). Before that time, antichrist's involvement in the two campaigns involving the forces of the mid-east and west have everything to do with Babylon (but she is destroyed before Armageddon).
In Jesus our dear Lord,
Just checking in to see how you are and what you've been up to? How are things in the US in general and more locally? I hear that vax mandates are coming into force there. How is the Uni and how is you?
I am just slowly trucking on with the same old but also with a new spiritual clarity and peace that I told you about before. I know what I need to do and now moving about to get it done! I am not worrying or getting het up the same anymore and instead focusing on the main prize.
Also was wondering what the difference is between Biblical and Systematic Theology? Is Systematic Theology what you have on your site?
Is it worth having a Theological dictionary of terms or is it best sticking with your site? I've noticed most newly published books are more liberal in teaching. I bought so many books when I first started reading the bible and some of them now I hardly look at and wonder if the interpretation is correct as when I was a baby I didn't even realise that was "a thing".
Anyway, I am keeping you and yours in my prayers my friend!
I am bumping along. There's no mandate at U of L but a lot of friendly pressure.
If we get to 80% vax rate, we get to dump the masks (so they said); we're at
about 70% total at present, faculty/staff in the 80's +, but students only at
about 67%. That's still pretty impressive since it wasn't half that rate at the
beginning of the semester. So I expect that the administration's promise will be
put to the test. I haven't heard much about many bad cases in the last couple of
weeks nor any more rumors about going remote. I think everyone now realizes that
the university would have a hard time recovering from another blow like that,
especially if every other school isn't doing likewise. I do have a number of
students who are ill with one thing or another and today the attendance was VERY
light – but it's the Friday of a short week and those are always the hardest.
We'll see what next week brings. My brother has recovered from his bout with
Covid but my niece is still under the weather (prayer appreciated). They live in
Michigan, a fair distance away from here (think London to Edinburgh).
I know what you mean about the books! I've found in my life that some reference books turned out to be worth the price paid, but most of the books I bought have been collecting dust for the last forty years or so. Commentaries have proved particularly worthless (with very rare exceptions). In terms of your specific question, it would depend on the book and also the purpose you have for it. Any conservative Bible dictionary would have all of the important biblical terms included. Kittel's multi-volume, multi-author "Theological Dictionary of the New Testament" is perhaps the most disappointing purchase I ever made.
Systematic theology is what you have in the Bible Basics series, taking things by topic. "Biblical Theology" is in the eye of the beholder. It's sometimes considered to be the examining of the "theology" of a particular book or group of books or biblical author . . . as if that would yield a different result from looking for truth Bible-wide. Of course if one "does it right", there wouldn't be any difference, merely a bit of myopia from considering ONLY the info in, say, the Thessalonian epistles – whereas Paul (and the Spirit) assume that readers/teachers have the rest of the Bible as well. Coming Tribulation might be considered "Biblical Theology" by some since it focuses on the book of Revelation, but the definitions of this term are flexible – obviously, the CT series does NOT restrict itself to the info in Revelation; just the opposite.
Happy to see you holding to this good course, my friend! Keeping you in my prayers daily.
Just a really quick note. I hope this finds you well. Recently I have been trying to ignore all the madness around me and instead focus on the Word whenever my mind wanders and wants to worry. The more I do this, the greater the peace I feel. I have also been leaving all my worries and fears in His hands and been trusting Him with all the things I have tried before to control myself. I have felt that peace in my walk because of it.
In recent times I was depressed and frightened because of how bad things are but today I felt that tomorrow will be another day closer to Him, another day to learn more about Him and another day to trust Him more and another opportunity to grow and mature and bear fruit!
p.s reading your encouraging emails that you sent to me in the past in this week's emails really raised me up when I was faltering. Thank you my friend!
Good for you! That is exactly the approach we're supposed to take, namely, resting in the Lord and not being overly concerned with this world. Getting the balance right takes spiritual growth and determined application, and even when we've gotten it right it's very easy to have something happen in our lives that knocks us back out of balance. But the more consistent we are in working at "letting the Lord do it", the quicker we recover when we do lose our balance temporarily. It's no good being hyper-concerned about this world and our lives in it. We aren't going to last forever and neither is the world. We can't "fix it" and it's also no good trying to escape the world – that can't be done either (plenty of monks have tried it to no avail whatsoever, only making things worse). But we don't need to go to either pointless extreme. We are sojourners here and the Lord is directing our journey, supplying us with whatever we need along the way.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NIV
Peace in the midst of trouble. That is the sweet spot of Sabbath rest to
which all Christians are called – but unto which nowadays far too few
attain. And we could all do a better job of it!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
In your DropBox you should find the audio files for Peter #35. These five audio files cover the entire lesson, start to finish, nearly four hours of audio (link). I’ve gone through Pastor Omo’s (link) teaching on Proverbs recently and also spent time on a refresher going through your Peter series finishing up with #35, all good stuff!
Not much new to report here, just life as usual. You mentioned in one of your postings a couple of weeks ago how life, family, work, ect., have a tendency to build up from time to time (all at the same time) how true that is. It’s been a hectic couple of months around here, but things are quieting down for now. Other than that I’m just plugging away one day at a time, watching this clown-show that is being put on by our benevolent stakeholder capitalist controlled elite, not quite convinced that they have our best interest at heart, even though they assure us otherwise.
Glad to hear that you haven’t suffered any major side effects from the vaccine. Like you I just recently went through what I believe to be my second bout with the virus. I haven’t been vaccinated, but if it gets to the point where I can’t work or shop I’ll get it. I have no fear in the “jab” (the Lord’s will be done, whatever the outcome) I just find the way it’s all being handled highly distasteful, which makes me distrustful.
How are you Sir? I have fellowship with you on the “bad knee” these days. I took a ten foot fall off a hill onto a gravel road a month ago and landed on my left knee, messed it up pretty good, it looked like a jumbo burpee tomato. This is the same knee that I ran a chainsaw through a couple of years ago and blew out in a squat rack a couple of years before that. It’s sore and stiff, but, (as they say in New Jersey) what are you gonna to do? Hope yours is better than mine!
Got you in prayer daily.
All the best,
Great to hear from you, my friend – and thanks so much for the new MP3's!
Uploaded and tested AOK.
How did your family visit go? Were you able to get things set up or did the knee put a hitch in that giddy-up? Mine is doing OK. It's dawning on me that it may always be a background noise issue I have to keep up with. We endeavor to persevere.
Could be worse. My former colleague busted her left arm in six places up and down and compound at the wrist along with fracturing two vertebrae. And my brother came down with a bad case of Covid. Blessedly now he's feeling 'about 80%' and the temperature is finally gone so that is good. My niece got it too – chills but no fever so far. She's staying home from work (would have to do so in any case). I've been a little under the weather here as well, but Labor Day came at a good time. I bumped through all the weekend chores including posting but took it easy today. Light day tomorrow; some duties, but I should be back in the pink for Wednesday classes. Lots of people sick around here, and apparently the vaccines are no magic bullet – 'quelle suprise'! So I think we're all getting dosed and re-dosed over and over again, and the masks don't do anything to help, obviously. So keep getting extra rest and vitamin D! I also recommend the chicken soup.
Keeping you and your family and that nasty knee in my prayers.
Your friend in Jesus Christ,
Bob L. p.s. – two of your MP3's were top ten hits on the website this last month, so people ARE listening.
Hi Dr. Robert,
There's a question that was asked to me, it was about the eternal security issue. She used the parable of the Prodigal Son which she said it talked about unconditional love of God toward His children and compared it to salvation and she said that no matter what happens, the relationship between God(Father) and children (us/ the son). Is this correct? Because, it seems like it's wrong I just didn't know what to say.
As I recall, in the parable, the prodigal son CAME BACK. Of course, if we
repent after we go off to a far country, God will forgive us and take us
back into fellowship.
Apostasy is about those who REFUSE to come back and as a result they fall away.
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
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Thank you so much for your prayers Bob!
Yes I can see now how hard things are going to get, it will be the ultimate test for all of us.
In other news, the UK government is now fencing off all green spaces. Literally overnight the exact same green fences have sprung up around commons, playing fields and parks. It's probably the biggest land grab we have ever seen. They are either selling off the land to build more houses or they are privatising the land so that it is either "for hire" by private organisations or locals can pay a yearly subscription for the privilege of walking on grass and between trees. Some places however are now permanently closed off to the general public.
One of my dad's few pleasures in life was walking around some playing fields at the top of the street where he grew up. He has walked on them for 70 years and now they are completely fenced off due to "anti-social behaviour". The same excuse has been used to fence off more and more playing fields over the whole of the UK.
It won't be just that there will be an increase in overall nastiness and depravity but also what is happening is that the few legitimate pleasures in life that people use to forget about the horrors are now being taking away en masse.
If you also see that families are being set against each other, jobs are scarce and have hostile work environments and the threat of food shortages hanging over us all, it all paints a very grim picture. After all, work, food and family are legitimate pleasures. What happens when these pleasures are taken away and all that is left are culturally approved "abominations"? That is what seems to be happening here.
I am sorry to seem so bleak. One of the few worldly pleasures I still retained was enjoying walking in our Lord's creation among trees and flowers and wildlife and now the UK government are taking it away from us because they deem us unworthy of such a honour.
I can see how spiritually taxing this will all become and it will be tempting overwhelmingly to fight back in the flesh so I am really doubling down on study and spiritual growth. Like you said, the muscle needs exercise or it will atrophy.
I take great pleasure from the Word and reading your ministry. Even on the days I feel tired or low, if I push myself to do it, it is incredible the difference it makes on me! (And yes I will push on with the job as that will give me pleasure and opportunities also.)
So my advice is to run and walk in the greenery now as it will be soon taken away and no doubt the antichrist will entice people back into these green places again someday, if you only take his beastly mark.
You're most welcome, my friend.
Here is something I read in scripture:
The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
Revelation 8:7 NIV
So I don't anticipate that nature walks will be much in vogue during the
Tribulation. Also, I think we'll have much greater problems to deal
with. It will be a nasty time, one which probably any of us would rather
avoid – if we "had our druthers". But these decisions lie in the lap of
the Lord. As long as we are walking with Him and doing daily what He
wants us to do, we don't have to get upset by anything – because we know
in our hearts that down here there really is nothing . . . but on the
other side we have everything.
Bob thank you for that Godly perspective! There is little of this world that I hold onto and now you have shown me what I need to also let go of. Really we need to go into soldier preparation mode these last few years because the Tribulation will be the closest to hell that we will ever experience. It will make everything we have been through so far look like a walk in the park!
Thanks again! I'm knuckling down now and putting away childish things so that I can be as ready as possible and also able to help those around me and witness to them. Whatever we go through though, no matter how hellish, God will always be with us and He will never leave us or forsake us, Amen!
Had to look up what a druther is! Is it same as a drather? I thought for a moment it was those long pants you put on when you wade into the water goin' fishin!
A penny has dropped for me this morning! I think that "conspiracy theory" will play a big part in the great delusion or enablement of error. Obviously I can't know for certain but I can see all the groundwork that the enemy's minions are laying down around us.
Please warn your readers that Conspiracy Theory is satanic. It is a form of brain washing and it takes a huge amount of time and effort to get one's eschatology and biblical mindset right again. The only way to do this is to be consistent with Bible study and your ministry and keeping close fellowship with our Lord. It's very, very dangerous though and at some point I would like to write an in depth rebuttal of Conspiracy Theory for your ministry to prove that it is actually antichrist. It was actually what you wrote to me just now that pushed the penny to drop. You reminded me that the Angels are commanded to burn up all the grass and the trees in the tribulation.
The thing is, the conspiracy theory movement says the following:
1. That the Illuminati (Rothschilds et al) control the world and they are the evil ones
2. That this is a Jewish conspiracy against the world
3. That these elite are the only evil ones and that we are good
4. That there is no saviour returning for us and that we must save ourselves through Gnosticism and remembering "who we are" in that "we are all god"
5. That the Illuminati will reduce the world's population as written on their "Georgia Guidestones"
This is the thing that you CANNOT separate from the Conspiracy Theory eschatology
1. It is anti Jewish
2. It is Gnostic
3. It is a complete inversion of the Bible so therefore it is anti bible, anti God, anti Christian
4. If Christians defend Jews and Israel then the population will believe that WE are the Illuminati!
The crazy thing is that the "Georgia Guidestones" says that the Illuminati will reduce the population but it is actually God who will allow this to happen. So if we go against this, aren't we going against God? The Guidestones was put there by someone called R.C. Christian which is probably a reference to the "Rosy Cross" or "Rosicrucians" but many may see it as being put there by a "Roman Catholic Christian" or they may wrongly believe that Rosicrucians are believers.
See how it is all inverted? I was shocked to find out that Gnostics believe Satan/ lucifer is good and that our God is not. So Gnostics are basically satanists then and as I know now that all conspiracy theory exponents are all Gnostics then you can basically identify the whole thing as satanic!
Much ink has been spilled over the Illuminati being headed by the Rothschilds. The thing is, they claim that they continue in the Judaic faith and still believe in our God. So because their much reported machinations are seen to be evil, people are already believing that Judaism is evil and so by extension they will say Christians are evil too. In fact many people are already saying this. They are calling Christians away from following the Bible and instead to embrace this dominionist theology which pushes an aggressive patriotism which can only be more and more useful for the antichrist given time. They are also anti Jewish who push dominionism because they believe in conspiracy theory, that it is the belief that Jews want to overtake national sovereignty globally.
The more and more people believe that the threat is a Jewish/ Judaic one, the more likely the same people will see the Bible as being evil and that will obviously mean us too. I can see it happening and this may play a part in the great apostasy. If Christians are brainwashed into thinking the world is controlled by a Jewish/ Judaic plot to control the world for evil means then I can imagine it affecting how they read the Bible, how they view God's choosing of Israel and can only lead to a ship wrecking of their faith.
Already Conspiracy Theory has threatened my faith a few times because it does not run parallel with a Biblical worldview but instead undermines it! The religion behind Conspiracy Theory is Gnosticism which comes under the umbrella of "New Age" which still teaches the serpent lie in the garden that we are all divine! In fact a closer look at New Age reveals that snake worship is actually a huge part of their religion. An example of this is the Kundalini awakening which is the belief that a snake is coiled around the spine and when you awaken this it will eventually open all the chakras and the "crown" chakra or pineal gland, when opened leads to a person "achieving godhood". See the direct connection? The serpent awakens you into realising you are god!
(As a side note, I think the purpose of this plandemic was to get people into conspiracy theory and to eventually let the "serpent" open people's crown chakras. After all Corona means crown doesn't it. The whole thing seems to have been an elaborate "initiation" into their mystery school religion.)
At some point I would like to put this together in an essay so that people can see this for themselves.
Thanks again for your prompting in the right direction. Again you have shown me how cancerous a mindset Conspiracy Theory is. Like I have said before, it is satan's version of Eschatology.
(p.s. I suspect there will also be another "Marian" apparition who will verify the antichrist as being the awaited Messiah. I have noticed that this apparition is specifically anti-communist so that makes me suspect even more that the Antichrist will be from the right wing, nationalist and freedom loving side rather than the anti-democratic, global communistic dictatorship we have been led to believe and fear the most. The apparition at Fatima expressly mentioned warnings against Communism and Atheism. As we know these are fallen angel deceptions, it is important to note the political viewpoints these apparitions advances.)
A "druther" is a "drather' with a southern accent.
Thanks for this. There are plenty more conspiracy theories out there; you've only broached the tip of the iceberg. The thing is, those who have the money and the power of course work to hold onto it, and of course there are continual "palace intrigues" in their ranks as well. Everyone who is anyone and everyone who wants to be someone is in on the conspiracy – it's run by Satan, after all.
You're on the right track in realizing that God is the One who is really in control and that nothing can happen without His say-so – and in fact everything is part of the perfect plan. Being upset at the horrible realities of this life while natural is something believers have to fight against. This world is not going to endure. And in fact, the devil has only a few more years to exercise any influence at all in this world and then he and his will be done forever (with the brief exception of the end of the Millennium, of course: Rev.20:7-10). So whenever we feel ourselves getting sucked in to being upset and looking to ferret out the perpetrators behind the scenes – or oppose the ones in front of the curtain – we need to remember that it's going to get a whole lot worse very soon. Survival during the Tribulation is up to the Lord, but navigating it successfully with faith intact (whether we're called to be martyrs or not), will require a high degree of emotional disinvestment from the world at all levels. No doubt much of what is happening now is for our benefit to help us prepare. All the more reason to learn how to ignore it rather than getting into the deadly pattern of reacting to it.
Thank you Bob,
Yes I agree and see now how spiritually dangerous "reacting" in the flesh is to our faith walk.
The good thing is that I actually feel an overwhelming nausea about Conspiracy Theory now. It's the same feeling I get when I think of the Catholic Church or anything connected to the Occult or New Age. I also feel the same way about all that Charismatic business, all of it just turns my stomach. It's like looking at a glass of stagnant water and being told you have to drink it.
Jesus gives us living water though. Once you know the truth, all the false things are very repugnant to look at, I feel it very viscerally. I've noticed that the more I mature and grow, the more I am repelled by all falseness through discernment. I actually pray for the Lord to give me discernment most evenings before sleep.
Hopefully one of the last things I will say about this subject for a good long while, there has been rumours of a complete blackout one year in September. It may last for 10 days and will mean the electricity, Internet and media will go down for a while. Hopefully nothing will come of this but please do have torches and candles ready just in case it does happen this September.
Thanks for your guidance Bob. It's terrifying the hold all these lies have on people. It such a relief to be safe in Jesus Christ. Such a relief to know He will never change or leave me.
Sounds like a plan!
As to blackouts, I live in Louisville where all the lines are still on poles so that the power goes out whenever a tree blows down – and they love their trees around here. So I do have a few "torches" in reserve.
"It such a relief to be safe in Jesus Christ" – Amen!
In our dear faithful Savior,
I recently had another revelation that what I thought I understood, I didn't. (Seems to be growing more common.) Revelation 22:11 reads:
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
I always understood this to be a millennium related but it occurred to me that the Lord was speaking to John in about 68 AD. So, my question is, has that applied for the last 2,000 years? What does that say about prayer for evil doers?
On a similar note, the Lord excoriates the Pharasees in John 8:44. Is my understanding of the Pharasees that they were in the ruling elite correct? The majority, as our "progressives" appear to be today? It certainly seems to apply in today's world.
I pray all is well with you and yours. It was a disappointing gardening year here. Hope, though, springs eternal.
Yours in our Lord Jesus,
As to Revelation 22:11, it has applied ever since John was given to pen the words. As to what it means, I can't do any better than what I wrote in CT 7:
The angel's permissive command in verse 11 is also meant to emphasize the imminence of the end times and to encourage us in our proper application of the Word of God thereby: there is not sufficient time for vacillation; these dramatic events are about to transpire so quickly that no believer will be able to count on having the opportunity to behave like a spiritual yo-yo and still be prepared for what is soon to come – and it is likewise pointless for unbelievers to flirt with salvation without a genuine and whole-hearted commitment, so short is the time (v.11; cf. 1Cor.7:29-31).
So the command is to the two groups as a whole. I don't think it
precludes prayers on behalf of those who are not headed in the right
direction; what it does do is tell those individuals that unless they
straighten out, they'd just as well double down on doing wrong.
As to John 8:44, our Lord's remarks are addressed to "the Jews" (Jn.8:22), not exclusively to the scribes and Pharisees (Jn.7:53 - 8:11 is not part of scripture but rather a very late addition). "The Jews" in John often refers to the unbelieving residents of Judea and may or may not be meant to be specific of the ruling class. In my experience and observation, lies rule the world, the devil's world, that is. Especially nowadays, unbelievers who act with honor and integrity are an ever decreasing set of people – not that most believers today behave much better (sadly)!
Thanks for your explanation. This is another example of me thinking I understood what I didn't understand. It does seem like lies rule the world and has from Genesis 3:5 onward. It's very difficult for me to see the difference between the Lord's condemnation of Israel and Judah and similar behavior today.
Yours in our Lord,
As to "It's very difficult for me to see the difference between the Lord's
condemnation of Israel and Judah and similar behavior today", the main
difference is that Israel was God's nation; the USA is just a nation, regardless
of what divine honors we may choose to arrogate to ourselves. So we fall under
the rules for all gentile nations, namely, there are consequences for actions –
abuse of Jews and Christians being one sure way to bring unwanted attention from
the Lord; and if there is a remnant of believers, then they do act as "salt" for
the nation in question's blessing and preservation (depending upon how big and
how good that remnant is).
It is true that over the centuries the USA has had a somewhat largish number of Christians who seem to have been genuine believers (although the percentage of the actual "born from above / born anew" is somewhat difficult to approximate). This no doubt explains the blessings we've received historically. If the remnant is dwindling, both in quantity AND quality, which certainly seems to be the case, then of course we can expect rather less blessing by association and rather more judgment for outrageous behavior than we might otherwise have received. So the results may be similar, but the mechanics are somewhat different. For one thing, God completely scattered the Jewish nation on more than one occasion but it will be regathered again as well; if the CT version of interpreting future events is correct, once Babylon is destroyed, that will be that (see the link).
In Jesus our dear Savior,
It's interesting to note that the abuse of Jews and Christians (or
anyone who doesn't believe like they do) is coming under increasing
rejection. Maybe not under direct abuse, yet, but I believe it's coming.
The vaccine religion caught me completely off guard. People are losing
friends and family over vaccine status. Probably a sign of things to
come. While I expected it, I didn't expect to have dress rehearsals this
soon. Bob, I'm getting tired. I'll be happy when it ends.
Yours in our Lord and Savior,
If you mean that persecution is coming, I think you're correct. If we
are talking about the Tribulation, well then I KNOW you're correct.
On "losing friends", I have lost a few by trying to be open minded and careful and balanced about how I've discussed and approached this issue. Perhaps this is for the best. Anyone who would break fellowship over vaccines or politics or sports teams or anything of the sort is not walking in Christian love.
Take a breath and a break, my friend! The Lord will see us through – have faith in that . . . and in Him.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV
Your friend in Jesus Christ,
Thank you for your comforting words. And thank you for your prayers. I pray many times a day but trust the Lord will deliver us all.
The losing friends business is, I think, indicative of what we can expect and possibly a precursor to civil war. The religious fanaticism is unlike anything I've ever seen. The insanity is tiring.
Yours in our Lord Jesus,
It's ALL tiring, isn't it?
We need to be careful to get sufficient rest . . . and to make sure that we are resting in the Lord every step of the way, relying on His strength and not our own.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
This is more a personal question rather than biblical but wanted to know if exploring quantum physics, electricity in the body and sound therapy with tuning forks (I know that sounds kind of far out there) is outside of what Jesus would want us involved in. I heard a MD who had very serious health problems and debilitated to the point he could only get out of bed for about 3 hours a day and could no longer work. He decided to read everything he could on cells, the body, electric therapy etc. and through all that realized how complex our bodies are that alkaline and acid ph balance was very important in a healthy body and eventually he was able to get healthy again. This led to further exploration as my daughter has chronic lyme disease and for a young woman is getting worse. To a mother this is heartbreaking and when I read or hear something I explore it.
There is a lot of information coming out about quantum physics, med beds, electric body/electric health, sound therapy with tuning forks etc. My question then is it against what God would have us explore for healing since he is the Creator of all things including electricity in our body, cells, soul, and our very being. Before I research to much in these areas looking for some help is this a dangerous path to tread?
I value your opinion on this matter.
Blessings in His precious name,
I'm no physicist, but quantum mechanics seems to have some basis in
reality (not at all sure about "string theory"). However, some of these
other things are really "out there". Whether or not there is anything to
them, I couldn't say, but I would be skeptical – especially on the
"med-bed" thing which, if I'm not mistaken, is supposedly linked to
"alien technology" and we know that there are no such thing as ETs.
I surely understand a godly desire to help those we love get well, and there certainly are a great number of conditions (and they seem to be growing) which are hard to diagnose and harder still to cure.
I would not underestimate the power of prayer. I don't say that to suggest that all reasonable medical alternatives should not be pursued, but I do know that if we are primarily relying on the Lord, even as we make proper use of legitimate help He has provided, things always go better.
I will keep your daughter in my prayers, and I've just put a request up on Ichthys for her as well.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
You are an impressive and prolific writer!
I am quite confused about some of your perspective, though- which (from my likely flawed reading) seems to deny the existence of Free Will.
For instance, you mention "Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and many nations and tribes large and small were used by the Lord in Old Testament times to scourge His people"
How would God control these nations without violating the Free Will of their inhabitants?
Similarly, you mentioned
"Nazi Germany stand as vivid reminders of the results of active anti-Semitic agendas. It is well for those who follow Jesus Christ to consider that, although the suffering of Jews in this Church Age may be the result of divine visitation (according to the same pattern of chastisement to turn His people back to Him in truth),"
Was it the anti-Semitic agendas perpetrated by a 97.5% and 97.1% "Christian"
nation that was supposed to sell the Jews on Jesus being the actual Messiah? (
And by agenda, I guess we mean the Holocaust. ) Was it God who made their agenda
anti-Semitic by planting the seeds for that much earlier (during the Crusades,
and to an extent possibly before Christ was born).. or did God somehow
mind-control the Nazis directly? Either way, it seems to me a violation of Free
Will. Obviously, being God- he can do whatever he wants. Which I guess includes
lying and wiping out just about all humans alive and honestly, a really
ineffective way to promote conversion. Please explain that, if or when you get
some free time.
A one sentence answer is fine. I apologize for having such a hard time understanding this. Thanks!
Good to make your acquaintance.
First, here's the entire paragraph (which will make more sense read as a whole):
Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and many nations and tribes large and small were used by the Lord in Old Testament times to scourge His people when they strayed far from Him, but always with the purpose of bringing them back to Himself, and never to utterly destroy them. In each instance, it was the oppressor who was, in the end, chastened far more severely than Israel, the original object of wrath. In modern times as well the examples of Russia (imperial and communist) and Nazi Germany stand as vivid reminders of the results of active antisemitic agendas. It is well for those who follow Jesus Christ to consider that, although the suffering of Jews in this Church Age may be the result of divine visitation (according to the same pattern of chastisement to turn His people back to Him in truth), the consequences for those used in such a capacity remain dire indeed. Disputes between the Lord and Israel are very much a "family affair" and so, as in the analogy, it is wisdom to avoid becoming involved.
Second, if you are asking about the issue of free will versus God's
foreordaining of history, that question is usually broached regarding salvation,
so I have covered it at this link:
to save you". In a nutshell (a tiny one), God is smart enough and powerful
enough to know ahead of time what everyone will choose to do and He produced the
one perfect plan which allowed them their free will choices. In terms of
nations, God uses whatever means He pleases in the working out of the perfect
plan, and without violating free will ever. In fact, it is only because of the
perfect plan – which provides the envelope of time and space and ability to act
– that the exercise of free will in the image of God we possess is even possible
(more at the prior link).
Third, I find your last, large paragraph confusing. There is no such thing as a "Christian nation", and I can assure you that neither during WWII nor today is any nations anywhere near 90% "Christian". Of course by "Christian" I mean individuals who are saved, born again, born from above – NOT members of churches or religions. In the history of the world since the cross and resurrection of Christ, the vast majority of people who have styled themselves "Christians" have not been believers at all. This is what I call the difference between the real Church of Jesus Christ and the "church visible" of organized religion. I would venture to say that today, the percentage of Christians-in-name-only has never been larger.
Speaking of free will, God, being perfect, knows exactly the best way to reach the hardest heart. So whatever has happened in history has always been perfect – even if in our arrogant humanity we are quick to find fault with God out of an abundance of ignorance.
Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.
Psalm 40:5 NIV
In Jesus Christ our Lord, the One and only Savior,
Dear Brother Bob,
Congratulations on the completion and publication of #35 in your Peter Series, my dear brother and Bible Teacher. I cannot stop thanking the Lord for you everytime I recall that I had my spiritual rebirth as a believer in the Person and Work of our Lord while I was reading this Series, some years back.
I downloaded the pdf for 35 as I was having problems connecting to Ichthys.com website. As always, your work in the Lord is very much appreciated and admired. Just thought of sending you my thanks while taking a break from reading this latest of the Series.
Will continue praying for your good health and Ichthys.
Yours in our Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Sorry to hear about the internet problems – or was it just Ichthys? Glad to hear
that you found a "work around" in any case.
I appreciate your good words, my friend.
Keeping you and your family in my daily prayers. Thanks so much for yours too!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Your encouragement is most welcome at a time that I am grieving the loss of my old life in the USA. For family reasons I have lived in the UK for almost 10 years since I retired. I don't want to be a whiner, grumbling and complaining when in fact I have been greatly blessed. At 76, I have not caught COVID-19, and British healthcare is free.
Still, there is a loneliness that I am learning can only be relieved by God himself. I am working with the Holy Spirit on detaching myself from idols-things that have habitually been a greater source of excitement than God. Some things like my interest in severe storms-can be still practiced in moderation, for the heavens declare the Glory of God! The Psalmist agrees with me!
But with my main sources of idolatrous excitement fading away (as John says, They must decrease and Jesus increase) my goal is to learn-(this may sound strange)- how to really believe that I'm actually going to heaven! To close the gap between my present level of excitement and what I need to have. The thing I struggle with is Jesus looking at me and seeing every little thing I do. I think Jesus looks at me with a mix of sternness, compassion, and kindness. Perhaps like He looked at Peter after Peters denial. I want to keep a clear conscience before God and man.
I don't want to be ashamed at His coming, It seems that the only way (since there will always be some sin to be cleansed) is to latch on to Hebrews 10:14: For by a single offering he has perfected forever (past, present, future) those who are being sanctified.
While not going all the way towards unconditional eternal security I believe that as long as we really want a relationship with Christ, we have one. We are not robots, there is a synergy between Gods action and our unmerited response. I picture it like our breathing oxygen: we are wired by our Creator to desperately need to keep breathing. Spiritually we desperately need to breathe the oxygen of His Grace in Christ. As CS Lewis points out, spiritual life can be lost by suicide (apostasy) or neglect, much the same way as our physical life can die. Hebrews 11 tell about all that the Old testament saints endured as they persevered through incredible trials.
I hope you find some of my blogs interesting to read-
I appreciate the update and the thoughtful commentary.
We are here for the Lord. He and His truth and His people are really all that matter. Everything else is so much dust.
I know what you mean: we all fall short. But we have to guard against letting that fact keep us from fighting the good fight right now today as long as it is "called 'today' ". We'll all have a bit of a bonfire when we are judged – that will be soon enough to be concerned about that (1Cor.3:11-15). What should concern us here and now is putting something good in our heavenly thesaurus every day (Matt.6:21; Lk.12:34), so that once the fire subsides, there'll be plenty of "gold, silver and precious stones" left for His glory and our eternal benefit.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hello once again.
My Dad will be having his surgery on the 26th and I am going to be praying that it goes well. The doctors determined that the lump was indeed cancerous and they are going to remove his kidney. He has also been having some issues with his bladder, which has been causing him quite a bit of pain. Please keep him in your prayers.
I was also hoping to ask you another question. My family has been wanting me to go back to church since I have not been going for a while. This has been a church that I have went to since I was very young, but recently I have been pondering whether or not I should go back. One of the things that I have been thinking about is that the church has a female preacher. She doesn't preach every church service, as there are other preachers who are male, but she will sometimes go behind the pulpit. Do you think I should attend some services? Thanks for the help.
I've updated your prayer request at Ichthys and have said a prayer for your dad
As to your question, it's not the sort of place I personally would be likely to go. Why do people "go to church"? The biblical reason for assembly is to learn the Word and mutually encourage each other in the Word (which is impossible if the Word is not being taught). No woman has the gift of pastor-teacher, so no edifying teaching will be forthcoming there; but any man who is co-pastoring in such a situation is unlikely to have the gift himself . . . in my opinion (I know nothing about this church) – and there are certainly also plenty of male-pastored churches which are none the better for the gender of the one "preaching".
It's always a question of the fruit test. If the tree is producing good fruit, fruit from which a person can actually grow spiritually, then much can be overlooked. But if there is no fruit or, worse, bad fruit being produced, then any believer wanting to grow needs to find a better tree. Most churches today in the era of Laodicea are not producing any fruit at all. They meet for "fellowship", music, ritual, social action, charismatic excess . . . for all manner of things, EXCEPT teaching the Word of God in a correct, orthodox way in enough substance and volume for spiritual growth to occur. One can search a very long time for a place where the general Laodicean rule of thumb is not the case; if such a good place is found, one should consider sticking with it (at least until a better tree is found).
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
Matthew 13:45-46 NKJV
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Nice to hear from you. Thanks for pointing out about the weekly email questions and answers etc.
The Peter lesson #35 however isn't really relevant to me as I'm not married.
But I do occasionally check the site for other things.
Hope you are well. Take care.
Yours in Christ.
Actually, only the first part of Peter #35 has anything to do with marriage; the other two longer parts cover the remainder of 1st Peter chapter three which is all about the suffering we all endure and the means to get through it, following the example of Christ (see the link).
I hope you are well and having a good break (maybe doing yard work?!)
Just checking in to say that I continue to pray for you.
I am much in the Psalms these days, for some reason and Psalm 46 is particularly meaningful in the times we live in !
We don’t attend a church here, having “tried” them all but I do miss the fellowship that we had in South Africa.
You may have heard about the rioting, looting and murder going on there but interestingly, SA has always been a Christian nation in that the name of God is held high and until very recently, all schools had mandatory bible classes as part of the curriculum.
During the unrest and upheaval it was wonderful to see people of all races coming together to pray publicly and to sing praises.
I know God honours that.
I am hopefully heading to SA at the end of August to spend some time with my daughters and grandchildren. Thanks to Covid, some of us have been “stuck” in other countries, Ireland, Scotland and Canada and t will be great to be together again for we never know how much time we have left here.
I find the panic about Covid interesting . Unless I am mistaken, people are terrified of dying which makes the harvest ripe !
Great to hear from you!
I'll say a prayer for a safe trip for you. Good to hear that you are finally going to be able to travel.
The Psalms ARE wonderful – love #46 myself.
Too hot here at present for working in the yard. I have to jog just after sunrise at present or it quickly becomes too hot to even think about. We're supposed to have a cool front coming through tonight . . . finally. Of course it's a "relative" cool (80's vs. 90's), but we'll take it.
Down to my last couple of weeks before classes begin. Thesis defense committee tomorrow, then I'll have to give over on the research and commit to class prep for the duration.
Yes, they've done a rotten job all around in addressing this pandemic, from origin to every single policy since. The only thing they have excelled out is scaring the Dickens out most people. It's so good to have a higher hope!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Thank you very much I'm doing good I moved to the state of Maine and am enjoying this beautiful place. I do not believe I received an email on Sundays? Do you send them or do we go to your site? Have a blessed day and it's good to hear from you I often wonder how you been doing.
Doing fine (there's a lot of personal info in the weekly postings).
Haven't been to Maine in many years, but I remember it as a most beautiful place, especially on the coast! And how I love lobster and friend clams! Pretty cold in the winter, though. Come to think of it, it wasn't too warm in the summer when I was there!
The emails are Q and As which I post in a batch on late Saturday to be available for Sunday. Here's the link to the page where the new ones occur: Ichthys Emails; and here's a link to the list of previous postings (which go back many years now).
Do you know, I don't know how people survive without God and the Bible.
I really don't. Every time I slide on the Bible reading and Bible study
and Greek, I can feel what chaos it is without any guiding Light to
ground you and give you sense so you don't do harmful stupid things-so
that you even know what harmful stupid things are. How do they survive,
I got an ___ account and when they did the personality thing (it was a test I wasn't familiar with), they said my masculine side is much stronger than my feminine side. Well. I really don't know if I take it seriously, because it seemed to think being practical and upfront (sometimes for me) and assertive (once in a while for me-I have learned that one over time) was masculine. And maybe it is masculine to weigh heavily on that. But you can only really be so submissive if you have a man -father/brother/husband-to do the protection and assertiveness for you. Or then you will be a doormat. Well you might be a doormat anyway if the man in your life is not so great.
I also had a realization (happy one): for a while I was wondering what purpose women have in the future with no marriage and kids (because we tend to be very bound up in our families), and I realized that with the Christian family you can still be nurturing and that sort of thing. Plenty of people don't have kids but mother their niece/nephew or are supportive of friends, etc. It was just sort of a freeing thought.
"I don't know how people survive without God and the Bible" –
Amen! I don't know HOW unbelievers do it either. Or how Christians are
able to bump along without serious truth. We should thank the Lord from
the bottom of our hearts that WE do need Him ever so much.
I wouldn't worry about pop psychology (or, actually, any psychology). We have the Bible and it is the truth, and we have the Holy Spirit in us if we want to learn and appreciate and apply the truth.
I rejoice that you (and all of us who belong to Christ) no longer have to look back to the abuse of the past but can look forward to the glories of eternity.
I hope you're feeling okay and that your class prep is going well so far. Great that you managed to get your article sent off.
Any more developments from uni? I'm sorry to hear about you having to wear masks again. If they say you have to teach in a mask then I think that's a big mistake. Your students would struggle to hear what you're saying and it would be hard work for you. We have that problem at work especially when we have our bulkier masks on. The poor patients struggle to hear what we're saying sometimes.
I really appreciated questions # 20 and 21 in this week's emails. I'm in agreement with your correspondent and very grateful to them for what they have written. They wrote down everything that I wanted to say (and some of it I have already shared) but they wrote it in a much clearer way than I could. One thing that does distress me is that there is a LOT of misinformation out there about the vaccines and the virus and if believed could be very harmful to people. We need to carefully sift our way through that too so I'm happy that your correspondent mentioned this. The Lord will help us all to navigate our way through this and make our own personal decisions. Please say thank you to your correspondent for me, Bob.
Your advice is very good. Do your homework, pray about it, act in faith. Last part VERY important (Rom.14:23). I did all of this and I made my decision very early on to have the vaccine. Even with all the horror stories flying around about it, the Spirit's guidance was crystal clear to me and I trusted the Lord completely for His care and protection and He gave me peace.
And for those who have made a different choice to me and have shared their thoughts about it as well, I thank them with all my heart for their love and concern and for looking out for me too.
We all belong to the Lord and we don't act like those in the world. People in the world will blame, complain, shame and criticize others. We who love and belong to the Lord show grace and peace to those who come to a different decision to us.
I'm still plugging away at CT - spending some more time on it tonight - real good stuff!
In our dear Lord Jesus
I'm a bit under the weather as I got caught out in the rain jogging yesterday.
God was looking after me though. I felt a twinge in my bad knee just as I was
coming up on my short cut, so ended early. Had I gone on, I really would have
I do somewhat regret all the space devoted to the vaccine issue at Ichthys, but it was something so many had questions and concerns about. In any case, as I've always maintained, it's not a spiritual issue. I agree that shaming people either way or looking down on a brother or sister either way is wrong. We make our decision before the Lord, we stick with it – unless circumstances and information change. Truth is absolute. Practical situational affairs in the world are always subject to change and we are not well advised to stick to previous approaches purely out of stubbornness.
We've still not been told about teaching in masks or social distancing in classrooms [update: no masks when teaching; normal seating; in class learning – thanks for the prayers!]. Saw today that there's been another big leg up in cases, so that's not good – coming at just the wrong time. Faculty are debating whether or not to have fall meetings virtually now. So that's also a trend that might push us into remote posture. I'm certainly hoping not, but I know well enough how to do it now, so I'll roll with whatever comes. The bigger problem is the ensuing loss of enrollments that will surely follow – and just as some of our disgruntled former students were beginning to stick their toes back into the water too.
I'm sure I'll know more in two weeks – because classes start two weeks from yesterday!
Thanks as always for your good words, sound judgment and encouragement, my friend!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
How are you doing? Just like to get your thoughts on whether a Christian church should mandate its workers or congregations in getting the covid shot?
My sister-in-law's church is requiring all those who serve in any capacity in the church to get the covid-19 experimental shot. I think as part of the Body of Christ, churches do not have such authority or Biblical foundation in making such demand on those who are serving. The Bible has clearly stated the requirement of being an elder and deacon, but medical treatment is probably not one of the requirements. I think this going to be a very real questions for many churches real soon. They would be pressured to require the shots for ministers and workers first, then for all congregations. So just want to hear your thoughts on any Biblical foundation for churches to require its members to receive an experimental medical treatment?
Thank you for your time!
There's a lot about the vaccination issue at Ichthys (see the last
year's worth of "Eschatology Issues" starting with this week's posting
at the link; previous
postings may be found here).
In general, I agree with your assessment. It's certainly not something I would do. However, "churches" which have physical plants and paid staff are not biblical in any case, neither are denominations or quasi-denominations which often have such creations, so it never surprises me when they do non-biblical things. The only reason that a "church" could have such power is by virtue of providing paychecks for their workers whereby they may be coerced (and there's nothing like that in the New Testament).
I haven't heard of congregations being told they must be vaccinated. That would be quite a stretch in terms of enforcement. Do they mean to "put them out of the church" if they do not go along? Again, it's only because of membership (which is unnecessary if there is no property, no dedicated building), that such a thing would probably even be contemplated as possible.
If vaccination were required by the government of all citizens on pain of prosecution, there might be a case for the above – although that would also presuppose that such a decree would be legitimate somehow (hard to see that).
Lot's of hypotheticals here. Please see BB 6B: Ecclesiology: the Biblical study of the Church for the details.
If it were me, any "church" which went in this direction would be a place with which I would soon part company. I'm not sure how any place that was actually teaching the truth of the Word of God in depth – the only reason to have or to go to a church in the first place – would ever come up with such a policy.
Just when you think you've heard everything!
Hope you are doing well, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Savior,