In an email response you stated this: "I do think that James 1:5 not only does indicate that God answers our prayers, but also that we can indeed come to Him with requests for understanding and strengthening of faith (just as we ask Him for any manner of needful material things)."
I thought asking God to strengthen our faith is a violation of the free will principle of faith as our one sole responsibility? I thought this was the one thing that God won't do for us? I'm excited for this answer because frequently I see that you treat spiritual growth (increased understanding of believed Scripture) as a synonym to increased faith. And I wondered if God could increase our understanding of the Scriptures through the Holy Spirit's ministry then isn't He de facto also strengthening our faith simultaneously.
On the one hand, we are responsible for what we are responsible for. On the other hand, just about anything you might imagine where we might have a need or feel a need to pray probably involves our free will one way or another, even if only our past actions. If we refused to pray about anything where we were responsible for doing our part too, I dare say we'd almost never pray at all. I know people like that, by the way. I would say that here as in many areas of application there is a "sweet spot" between never praying on the one hand (because we feel we should do our own job and handle it ourselves) and praying for all manner of things that really do rest more on our own shoulders than on the Lord's. If a student has a big test coming up, somewhere between not praying about it all and praying in lieu of studying would be the sweet spot of accepting the responsibility for studying and asking God to help us do a good job as well. We get better at praying and knowing what to pray for and how as we grow spiritually (1Jn.5:14). But of course faith can grow, and while we can't reasonably ask God to be spiritually mature without doing anything about that ourselves, we sure can use His help in the process. At 1st Thessalonians 3:9-13 Paul prays for the advancing faith and increasing love of the Thessalonian believers – even though he surely realized that this would only happen if their free will was involved.
Since the Jewish calendar was 360 day years. How could this affect historical dating using OT figures? The millennial day theory and accurate dating on the tribulation relies on an exact calculation of years. And since the Tribulation will last 7, 360 day years, what's to say that the lifespans of OT genealogies weren't also in this 360 day year format? I'm not sure if I'm asking the question right here, so please let me know if I need to re-phrase.
The calendar was actually matched to the year with the additional days
"intercalated". It was not uncommon in the ancient world for calendars
throughout the Mediterranean world at least to have additional months
added when the calendar got out of sync on account of the difference of
days between twelve months and the solar year. Please read the section
SR 5 "The Age of Israel" at the link.
On 360 days, we also find 1,260 days and 42 months each for the two halves of the Tribulation (link). I think this has to do with the intensity of the period where things are counted closely, sort of like the "short-timer" calendars everyone in the military has when on a difficult deployment to "count down the days". And, after all, "those days" will be shortened somewhat "for the sake of the elect", so that it ends up being slightly short of seven years in the end (Matt.24:22; Mk.13:20).
In your CT series, you said, "the shifting of the "Lord's day" from the Saturday Sabbath (the seventh millennial day in history's seven day structure) to Sunday, is indicative and evocative of this "new day" that will never come to an end (Rev.1:10)." Can you provide some context as to why Church tradition has shifted the Sabbath from the 6th day of the week to 7th day of the week. (I know that we have a moment to moment rest with our Lord but John still does say that he was in the Spirit on the "Lord's Day".
That's right. It's not just a matter of later tradition. Since John calls the first day of the week, the day of our Lord's resurrection (the significant event that marks the shift), "the Lord's day" at Revelation 1:10, we can say that Sunday already had some special significance in the times of the apostles, but of course, every day is the same in God's eyes, and the investing into Sunday of the previous "Sabbath" significance of the Saturday under the Law is a Roman Catholic invention, sadly continued in the Protestant world in spite of the Reformation.
Mark 8:12 (NASB)
12 Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Question: Hasn’t Jesus given the Jews many signs to “chew on” so to speak? Why does He say “no sign will be given”? You wrote:
"So while the defensible rendering is the way most versions go, it loses a lot in translation, becoming merely a negative statement, when in fact the idea is "your negativity and unwillingness to respond to the truth you are being given while whining for signs to amuse you is a symptom of the spiritual rot which is going to result in nothing good very shortly" – or something similar."
I understand your translation but I still don't see why our Lord says "why does this generation seek for a sign?" and that "no sign will be given" because He has provided so many signs to the Jews already. Is it one big whammy kind of sign like making the moon fall down that they are looking for -- a show of undeniable raw power? Even still to me making the blind see or a shriveled hand heal up in front of their faces seems pretty undeniable.
On Mark 8:12, you are certainly correct, but it is interesting that "this generation" of hardness – which endures until this present day (see the link) – did anticipate something massively large (like destroying the Romans with fire and brimstone, then bringing in the kingdom so they could enjoy prosperity). After feeding the five thousand, the people following the Lord say the same thing, after all:
So they asked him, "What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: "He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' "
John 6:30-31 NIV
So, clearly, miraculously feeding 5,000 people with next to nothing was not enough for them, because it didn't accomplish what they wanted: the crown without the cross, right now and without any spiritual revival on their part. One could thus translate to capture the meaning, "no SUCH sign will be given".
Thank you for reaching out to me last week. I hope all is going well with you. I just wanted to let you know that you have been such a blessing to me via your website. I look forward to looking at your updates every Sunday. I also look at prior postings when I am needing help. I also have been studying your Peter Series.
I hope that I can be a blessing to others like you have been to me in spite of all the mistakes I have made and the sins I have struggled with over the years.
I have 2 viewpoints that differ slightly from yours but I don’t make it a big deal because we agree on the essentials.
I go back and forth on Eternal Security. Some verses seem clear that once we are saved that we are sealed unto the day of redemption. Other verses imply that we can walk away from our faith if we so choose. I really struggle with this.
Pre-trib Rapture: Honestly I am Pre-Trib, but I understand some believers have other view points like you do. (Please don’t hold that against me lol!) Whether the Lord comes back before the Tribulation begins or He comes back in the middle or at the end my best approach is to be ready for the Lord at all times.
God Bless and keep up the good work!!
Thanks for the update, my friend, and for your encouraging words.
The Lord makes use of prepared people, so keep on pushing forward and I wouldn't be surprised if He opens up just the right avenue of service for you.
On the two points, we're going to find out for certain on the second very soon now – and that will also reveal the truth of the first shortly thereafter when the Great Persecution and the Great Apostasy take place.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Day of the Lord: I find it astonishing that church people don't understand that phrase "in that day " Isa 17:9 or on that day, or The day of the Lord. The content is not about Sabbath or the 7 th day its referring to the day of His return: see more on Isa 26: 1 Isa 27: 1 and v 2
You're welcome – and you're so right! The passage I most wonder about in terms of how believers who read it can't understand this issue of the second advent being the only return of our Lord is Matthew chapter 24, e.g.:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
Matthew 24:29-31 NKJV
Hard to read carefully and reconcile with their false view of
People will believe what they want to and be determined to look no further if they're not truly interested in the truth.
Thank you for your reply. I appreciate there may not be an adequate answer to all of our questions in the here and now, and we may have to accept what is written in scripture. What is not addressed we have to take on faith and trust in our Lord. This, of course, does not mean that we do not wonder about these things and whether there might be an answer somewhere in the scriptures.
Another thing I have wondered about was:
Q1. It seems to me that it was inevitable that human beings would “fall” as Adam did? From the numerous verses such as Deuteronomy 4:39, we see there is only one God. All human creation was bound to fall short of the mark. Even Jesus in human form was made a little lower than the angels. Ps.8:5; Hebrews 2:7; 2:9. He had the power to win due to His heavenly status as God. God was not going to make other Gods as there would then not be a perfect family of God. Of necessity this seems like the only way to have a perfect eternity, with each person being content with our allocated “position” while being united through the Love of God through His infinite sacrifice.
Q2 (statement). Seems that the creation of so many beings doomed to an eternity of misery was also a necessity in the plan? I do feel sad that this is so. Especially that those destined to misery are an essential part of the plan, and in looking at Romans 9:21 were doomed from the very beginning?
I have read explanations of free will choice which doesn’t lessen the anguish of thinking they really were doomed to fail from before the beginning of creation.
I have read Revelation 7:17 and 21:4 and wonder if any of those tears will be for the ones destined to misery forever. This is a difficult concept for me to grasp at the moment.
I have read where you say that it is their own free will choice to reject God, yet those lumps of clay seemed doomed from before the start. There does not seem to be a way of it being any different. I do hope there is an answer in eternity as to why things had to be as they are.
The CV 19 episode seems a little primer to remind believers of the nasty side of human nature (the worse yet to be revealed). The US president was reported to invoke special powers to force companies (and individuals?) for requisition of their goods and services for national security. With the panic buying, rationing does seem not a bad idea at the moment. It seems that the timeline you have printed may be close to the mark.
Thank you for your gracious sharing of all your writings. They give me such hope and confidence, especially now, seeing the ”primers” revealing human nature.
I am praying for you in your online academic lessons, and for your gospel Ministry.
In Jesus our Lord.
Your student and friend
"Seems that the creation of so many beings doomed to an eternity of misery
was also a necessity in the plan?":
As I often say, God is perfect – far beyond our ability to comprehend that perfection. Therefore of necessity His plan is perfect. And there is only ONE plan, not many hypotheticals. The gift of Jesus Christ is more than sufficient to demonstrate to us that this is so – for the Father sent His Son to die for the sins of the entire world. And He died for those who reject Him as well as for us who do not. So in terms of sadness, I am sad that Jesus had to pay that price for those who end up spitting in His face – so that you and I could be saved. But to be honest I am deliriously happy to have been created AND to have been saved! Only the perfect plan from perfect God paid for in full by His perfect Son could have effected that for you and me. As for the others, they were paid for but they refused. What can anyone say about that? If I mortgaged my house to pay someone's bail and the next morning when they got out they killed my family and burned my house down, I don't think I'd be sad that they were likely to be rearrested and convicted. How much worse to reject the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
As to how people are reacting now, and especially the laissez faire attitude of rapture-fallacy believers, this is the case with all false religions too: people kidding themselves by believing comforting things that are not true. But we know that they are going to be wildly disappointed. And as far as the Christians who think they'll avoid the Tribulation are concerned, we can also be sure that the Holy Spirit is telling them differently, but that they are paying no attention. This present trouble SHOULD be getting their attention, but it is what it is.
Thank you for being such a stalwart believer in and advocate for the truth, my friend! You inspire me.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you so much for your response. I needed that shot in the arm. Makes me remember how blessed I am to have “found” you and your Ministry and the grace that abounded for this to occur!
I was taking it on faith that things are the way they are and that God is perfect - yet it is so good to receive an explanation from you. I can’t remember how young I was when I first heard/read that Jesus said He was the Way the Truth and the Life, though I know I believed Him then and always have ever since, not withstanding not living as a believer ought. It was sometime when I was in primary school that I have memories of this, though my father (perhaps even prior to this) liked to talk about how Moses communed with God. Dad’s face “lit up” with delight as he explained this to me. I believed what he told me then.
Keep it easy.
God is good!
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior
Tell me, how is your son doing? I keep him in my prayers too.
Are you still driving the bus? They've closed all the schools here.
Your friend in Jesus Christ,
Dear Dr Luginbill,
In Exodus 17, while did God make it so that it depended on his arm being up in the air ongoing?
Great talking to you! Let's pray for the people losing their jobs right now.
I'm doing OK. This online teaching is really wearing. Without the energy
and the feedback, I think in the early going here it's at least twice as
much of a load to teach a synchonous online class. But I do seem to be
getting the hang of it, figuring out what works and what doesn't, and
honing my audio-visual computer instructions skills (who'd have thought
all that necessary a month or so ago?). If my students continue to put
up with me, it'll all end OK in about four weeks.
The victory depended on God entirely – but the staff represented His power (remember He empowered it for Moses in the administration of the plagues upon Egypt). This is a good example of how we need to depend on God . . . . BUT we also have to do our part. We want to be secure in our jobs? OK, that depends entirely on God – but if we stop doing a good job, then we are letting down the staff.
Amen! It's a blessing from the Lord to have a job.
Hope YOU are OK – keeping you in my prayers daily.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Can you humor me and tell me if it is mostly a guy thing to be more
verbal and physical and energetic? I mean the sort of taking hold of
things around them and making it work and responding to threats and the
rest? I really want to know! I do admire the ability to not be emotional
at least, and rational in tough situations, though I don't know if that
is suppression or genuine less emotion.
Something you might find interesting: psychologists say that in the societies that have done the most to equalize everything between the genders, there ends up being MORE inequality (women tend to group MORE in certain fields not less and vice versa). Which makes you think it is harsh environments or circumstances that forge a lot of the tougher type women. But please do answer what I asked above.
God will take care of everything. There is a verse that always comes to my mind when I ask myself if I should be more worldly ambitious: Jeremiah 45:5. To some this might sound harsh, but it isn't. All we have had so far is more than we deserved. And we are already guaranteed much more in the To Come.
So, on the first question, it is sort of like when Israel freaked out a bit at the Red Sea and then were told to go forward...to act out the faith. Obviously the moving forward had nothing in and of itself to do with the miracle. But it was acting out the faith (almost in a sense make the faith real by doing). I really pray that I will have strong enough faith when the time comes.
I look forward to that Day Beyond.
Yes, that's it! Acting out of faith. When the Lord
told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, obviously He didn't need that nor would He have
benefitted by it – but it did give Abraham an opportunity to demonstrate that He
trusted the Lord in fact and indeed more than what his emotions were telling him
On your other question, we're all individuals to the Lord, and these sorts of "natural" tendencies mean nothing to Him. What matters to Him is our faith and obedience, whether or not we are growing and applying the truth and helping others do likewise. On that score, in my humble opinion you are on the right track. So keep fighting the good fight in the way the Lord has led you to do so! You are absolutely right: it's what comes next that counts, and there's a lot about that we don't know – except that we DO know that many women will outrank many men . . . because of their spiritual performance in this life.
(10) According to the grace of God given to me like a wise architect I have laid down a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each one take care how he builds upon it. (11) For no one can lay another foundation except the One that has been laid down: Jesus Christ. (12) And if someone builds upon his foundation with gold, silver, and precious stones, [or] with wood, hay, and stubble, (13) [in either case] his work will be made manifest [as to its true quality], for the Day [of judgment] will make it clear [for what it truly is], because it will be revealed (lit., uncovered) with fire. And the fire will evaluate (lit., "assay") the work of each person as to what its [true] quality is. (14) If anyone's work which he has built [on his foundation of faith in Christ] remains (i.e., is not burnt away by the fiery evaluation), he will receive a reward [for it]. (15) If anyone's work is burnt up, he will suffer the loss [of any potential reward for it], but he himself will be saved – but in this way [just described] as through fire [which evaluated his false works as worthless and burnt them up].
1st Corinthians 3:10-15
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1st John 3:2 NKJV
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Yeah, now that I consider it, it is better to focus on faith than one's
'issues'. Faith is really all you need isn't it? And I think Moses would not fit
the modern definition of 'leader' with his humility and caution (? is that what
we'd call it). Not that I think whoever (human) it is that makes the criteria
knows what they are talking about anyway.
So soon isn't it? Life is an hourglass, and so soon the sand will run out. Adam apparently got 900 years! But you and I really are just a blink away. (Well 900 years is a blink too in the grand scheme). But especially 80 years.
Praise God we don't have to be here that long! 70/80 is MORE than enough
Yes indeed, we are saved through faith, preserved through faith, and move forward in the plan of God for our lives by responding to Him in ever greater trust.
Moses was a great leader – because he listened to the Lord and obeyed Him (except for that one time).
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Good morning Dr. Luginbill, From last weeks emails it sounds like you
are getting the hang of on line classes. My grandchildren are all having
to do this and I feel so badly for them. My granddaughter had just made
varsity softball her first time to try out, played one game and now this
situation. Other grand kids where going on a cruise for their senior
vacation and now this. It really makes me sad for all of them to have to
miss out in these special years of high school. I am sure all
grandparents are feeling this way too.
Do you think that this vaccine for Covid 19 that they are rushing to get out and have all of us world wide have to take and perhaps get a number so they can know that we took it is just a precursor for the mark of the beast? Not the mark itself but to get everyone on board to 'do want is right', help all of humanity defeat this pandemic, be a good citizen of the world etc. I for one never take any vaccines so I may be out of luck if I refuse and have to stay at home. But that is not really why I emailed you.
My sister emailed a picture from her phone that showed in her bedroom a bright white light that streaked across the picture and she titled it "spirit orb". I knew she was thinking it was her recently deceased husband but didn't acknowledge that but asked her what did she think it was. She said she thought it was __. He is the one I was concerned about when I emailed you a while ago, blessing to you Dr. Luginbill for being so available for all my frivolous questions, that I was not sure he was a Christian. From my understanding and according to Paul "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" so I don't see anywhere in scripture that a spirit orb from a deceased person who be a light streaking across a picture. Scripture tells us we will return with Jesus when he comes to defeat the evil one and evil of this world and not flitting back and forth. The internet talks about such things as demons or angels or deceased persons. Would appreciate your thoughts on this and scripture for support of this or not.
Thank you and have a blessed day,
Good to hear from you, my friend. I certainly hope that you and yours are doing well in spite of the current unpleasantness. I am coping. For more on that the most recent email postings say a great deal:
Eschatology Issues XXIX
Eschatology Issues XXX
Eschatology Issues XXXI
As to your question, you are correct: the human spirit, created by the
Lord at the point of birth, is the real "us" which contains the image of
God. When we depart this earth, we are taken (since the cross) to the
third heaven and given an interim body – since the spirit was never
designed to be bodiless; we receive our ultimate home for the spirit,
which is "us", at the resurrection (see the links:
"Interim state" and
"Resurrection of the Lamb's Bride").
Unbelievers are taken immediately to Torments in Hades to await the last judgment.
But in neither case are spirits ever visible to others nor do they "stick around" here on earth for even a second after death. That doesn't mean there isn't superstition about the subject (Acts 12:15), but the fact is that even being "absent from the body" only means "this body" and doesn't imply or say that we don't have a "tent" for the interim (we most certainly do).
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Good morning and thanks. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything of my understanding of what scripture says. I do like it when your weekly emails talk about eschatology. I imagine that here on out things will just keep getting more crazy and normal as we use to know it will change and get worse until that glorious day when we will all be with our Lord. As resurrection Sunday approaches I will bear in mind what He did for us to pay the ultimate price for our sin and know how blessed and thankful I am that I am His child. I am thankful for your site and appreciate you. In His blessed name,
Tune in on Saturday / Sunday – likely to be more of the same.
I appreciate your encouraging words.
Dear Dr. Luginbill,
Thank you for the email and announcement of Bible Basics 7: Bibliology: the Study of the Bible. I immediately perused your theological manuscript and am extremely impressed with your ability to communicate truths from the Bible. You have the excellent skill to analyze and communicate Bible information and concepts in a manner that is achieved without great effort. Your essay is facile to understand and remember.
I also thank God for your willingness and your ability to prove all things; and hold fast that which is good. I was a leader of a large group of retired men (thirty-five) and many of them only preferred to study apologetics.
I have read thru the Bible twice and study the Bible daily. At this point in my walk with the Lord I am surveying the deeper things of God and daily find new nuggets of truth from the Holy Scripture.
Thank God for you--the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did.
Presently I am reading the Gospel of Mark and came across an interesting passage of scripture.
Mark 1:9-10 reads,
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the
Spirit descending on him like a dove.
Is heaven a fourth dimension that exists parallel to our space time continuum?
Thanks for your encouraging words, my friend!
As to your question, I suppose that is not the worst way to think of it. The third heaven, the present H.Q. of the Father, cannot be accessed or seen or discovered or detected by any human means. On the other hand, those who are given access, the angels and departed believers (in interim bodies) seem to speak and act there in a way that is comparable to what we find here on earth (without sin or trouble, however). The Bible describes an "above this creation/kosmos" and a "below this creation/kosmos", with both venues being "outside" of "this world", rather than existing in a parallel fashion. I have a conceptual chart of this at the link, "The Geography of Heaven and Hell".
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
What is your view in the KJV about Isaiah 45:7?
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Isaiah 45:7 KJV
Evil had to have already existed when Satan disobeyed God, didn't it.
God allowed evil to exist because making and angels have free will. I don't think that a person has free will if they have only one choice, that is where there is no evil available.
Can you elaborate on this subject of evil and how did it come about to exist?
Creatures are the source of all sin, evil, and rebellion, not God.
"Evil" is not a "thing" the way theology thinks of it. Evil is what people (and some angels) do. In Hebrew, it is "bad"; i.e., there is no special word in the Bible for our concept of evil. Even in the NT the "evil one" is the "wicked/nasty/bad" one.
Isaiah 45:7 is speaking of how God deals with His creation. He did black out the universe prior to Genesis 1:2 . . . but that was in response to creature rebellion, so in that sense the darkness did come from Him, but as a reaction to those who had rejected the light. Originally, all was light.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
1st John 1:5 NKJV
This sort of confusion which arises from creating concepts and categories which
do not accurately reflect what the Bible really says – and then producing
derivative theology from those human constructs – is one of the reasons I
despise (traditional) theology – but I do love the Bible and God's truth.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I'm having second thoughts on my evangelising method.
I realise that I may come across as feisty or combative, self righteous or just plain arrogant. I know that my last letter to my friend in the new age was arrogant and a whole lot of "sorry not sorry" attitude. I know that if I received that email I would've thought "what a jerk!" So I want to put right what I put wrong.
I don't want to become a bible thumping firebrand that does not show Jesus' love to people. I know that causes more harm than good. Jesus was perfect at showing love, forgiveness and mercy without compromising one jot or tittle from the truth.
Please help advise me how I can be more humble when witnessing to people without watering down the message?
My general rule of thumb is that witnessing is better than not witnessing (as long as we're not throwing pearls to the pigs). Secondly, we always have to remember that it is the Spirit who does the actual witnessing, using our words to convey the truth (if we are sticking to the truth). Third, that it is never a question of our method, approach, rhetorical abilities, friendliness or whatever – people respond to the Spirit's message if they are willing; nothing we do can make them become willing . . . or keep them from being saved, even if we are being "jerks", as long as the gospel is proclaimed.
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.
Philippians 1:15-18 NIV
That said, of course we do want to do a good job. Here's one link at
Ichthys where some of these things are discussed (and there is a list of
other links at the bottom of the file):
Evangelism in Principle and Practice II.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you so much Bob my friend.
I think I will put the witnessing to the people in very deep error to one side for a while. I will keep praying for them for the Holy Spirit's witness.
I will try to plant seeds along the way but I want to now get my head down and study to seek growth. Amen!
I keep praying for you every day!
I really think that this is "the ticket".
Keeping you in my prayers – and thank you SO much for yours!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I was watching a few lectures by this now-famous psychologist who was
talking about women and careers. And he mentions that one of his
experiences was working with law firms for a decade trying to help those
firms keep their women. Did you read that? Keep them, because the highly
conscientious partner-by-30 women all want to leave. And Dr Peterson
explains that they realize as a partner at 30-the women realize-that it
is just 80 hours workweeks, and those women just decide that is insane.
Who would want to do that? And he explains that the rational thing is to
not just work all the time, but to have other things. Like maybe a
family, and this goes for both men and women. Just that there are a
small group of men that are insane (his words) and just work from when
they wake to when they sleep. So the question, he says, isn't why aren't
there more women in power. But rather why are there any men who are
insane enough for that. And he makes some other wise insightful points
in a number of his lectures.
I don't think psychology is a total loss, but we shouldn't weigh too heavily on it. Sorry if this is close to a what-if, I just thought you might find this one interesting.
Our culture does not explain this to girls when they tell us to go for man's careers. They should. Because imagine if these deadly women have been told this when they were younger, they wouldn't have spent so much of their life in the wrong direction.
It did help me to understand this so that I am content with my job. It is easy enough that I can do the Greek and Bible and et al, since I knew I likely wouldn't get a career out of those, I'd rather have them than a career that takes all my time and so not have them.
I don't think it takes a degree in psychology to realize that if a person works and does nothing else, the "success" that might be achieved (no guarantees) is unlikely to compensate for the physical and emotional toll that leading such a life will produce. That is true regardless of gender, and true even for unbelievers too, since everyone has emotional needs and also the need for physical maintenance and rest.
People can handle a certain amount of such "load" when younger – that is why
wars are fought by the very young: there may be a very, very few older persons
could handle the stresses of combat – but less and less so as the clock ticks
I think you are right on the money vis-a-vis psychology: it can perhaps help some people, but believers are always better off finding their strength in the Lord and their guidance in the Bible through the Holy Spirit.
Have a good week!
I'm not an expert on predictions either but I do think God has gifted me discernment as I have prayed for this many times. I think you are right that we can see something on the horizon and have fear but once we reach the place we saw from a distance then the living reality of it can be different from our first fearful impression. They may be a broad overarching theme to the times we pass through but they may not affect us or our loved ones directly. So it is good to only "blow the bridge up when we come to it" as you have said.
There is enough evil in one day and so we live day by day with faith and in hope. We meet each challenge we have with growing faith and we help all those around us and pray for others as well. I remember Jesus saying that worry does nothing indeed it is pointless. Whatever happens to any of us believers, He is always faithful and will always provide. Everything here that is not God's Word is darkened and clouded by the lies of the enemy anyway. Even our own eyes can lie to us! My eyes were darkened for most of my life, I couldn't see at all until Jesus gave me my sight!
Everything that will happen we have already been forewarned of by Jesus. I think the devil is constantly trying to edit and add to the Book of Revelation so we should never listen to his alterations or addendum! I keep thinking all the time that Satan has his own eschatology and he calls it Conspiracy Theory. He also seems to be pushing his own end times timeline which seems to be exactly seven years earlier than the Biblical one! Plenty of people are falling for this one, ignoring what the Bible says and rushing the timeline.
Something I've thought about today about faith. You know when Jesus talks about the mustard seed and moving mountains... Is it true to say that God only responds to faith? And that the more faith that is required, the greater the response from God? Not to say that God cannot work without faith because He doesn't need anything from us but that this is how He acts, always as a response to faith?
When the Israelites were trapped between Pharaoh and the Red Sea, is it true to say that only Moses had faith then? Is it also true to say that Moses was a man of tremendous faith and that he responded to the tremendously awful test with tremendous strength of faith and God responded to His faith with a tremendous deliverance that not only delivered on the promise but in an awe inspiring fashion. Also the deliverance from the test was far greater than the test itself.
This got me thinking. Every time Jesus worked a miracle, He always asked if people had faith first. The more faith that was being asked of the person, the greater the miracle. The blind man had to believe that Jesus is God as only God can cure blindness. He was asked to have faith in Him and that his sight be restored.
The cripple was told that his sins were forgiven. When he believed that, which was faith in Jesus being God (because only God can forgive sins), he could pick up his bed and walk. Jesus asked which is greater, to be able to forgive sins or to cure a lame man.
With faith, God can deliver. The larger the suffering/ testing, the greater the faith that is required to be demonstrated, the greater the deliverance will be!
It took great faith for Abraham to believe that his son would be given back to him after being sacrificed. It took great faith for Noah to believe he would survive a worldwide flood. It took great faith for Moses to believe they all would be delivered.
I realise that before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus asked Martha if she believed in Him. So then, is a miracle a response to someone's faith and an outward sign to unbelieving onlookers?
Martha's testing and suffering was great. Her brother had died. She said she believed that Jesus could stop him from dying but Jesus was asking her whether Lazarus could be brought to life now even after this time. More was being asked of her in faith. She did believe in Jesus and so she had the greater faith from believing a sick man could be become well, to having faith that the dead can live again. Jesus delivered on her faith in spectacular fashion. The deliverance was greater than the problem and exceeded Martha's faith filled expectations!
So in summary
the greater the testing (suffering)= the greater the faith being asked of us=
the greater the deliverance God will deliver to us.
So back to the mustard seed. It only takes a small amount of faith for God to do a tremendously large thing. Impossible for us, possible for God. If we believe God can move a mountain for us than God will move a mountain for us. Obviously the mountain being in our way would need to be the main part of our testing. I know the mountain is a symbol for any large insurmountable problem we have but at the same time we know that God can move actual mountains if it was His will (won't He be moving mountains in the Tribulation period?)
So it is always about a response to faith and that is how we grow through testing.
Wondering what your thoughts are on this my friend?
Well said, my friend!
My only caveat is that I would resist reducing this to a formula. There is too much we don't know. We don't really know how much faith we have or are deploying, except in general terms. Our faith grows incrementally – just like the mustard seed. If we stick with it, it will become a large tree in the end. It is certainly true that God respects those who have dedicated themselves to be close to Him beyond all else.
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
James 5:16b-18 NKJV
So, yes, if we want to have a positive impact for those we love, then
the best thing we can do is to grow closer to the Lord day by day –
which means, again, it's all about spiritual growth: learning the truth
and believing it, then applying it IN FAITH.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
That is an answer to prayer. I'm very happy to hear that things are going so well.
Yes, it's amazing. Although it may be for different reasons, there is crazy inflation here too. Food costs a lot more than before, to say nothing of repairs and other costs.
Thank you for your constant vote of confidence, Sir. I did come to the point of just wanting traditional employment. The sense of responsibility and a certain constancy became very attractive to me. I am only going down this route now because it doesn't seem like I have much of a choice. I don't find that I hate it and I don't feel sorry that I "have to" do so, but I know that I would prefer to have the structure of employment rather than a self-imposed structure.
Thank you so very much for the advice. It helps tremendously. I think that it helps me settle that question finally. I have been leaning toward a similar model to yours, but I didn't miss the fact that it seemed like the trajectory of my life essentially made me only good at Bible teaching. This writing thing was a surprise, but the whole idea of building a business out of it is daunting still. I'm trying to do it anyway. It would be a joy to be able to provide adequately for my family and still do the work I have been called to.
How is everyone?
Your student in Jesus Christ
Everyone is well and things are going well here health-wise and also at U of L.
This morning I had ten signed up for first year Greek, so I'm confident that
this most vulnerable course is now "off the chopping block". God is good!
Wouldn't we all like to have ministries that support us! But there are down-sides and drawbacks to those as well, especially if the "supporters" turn out in the long run not to be the good, stand-up Christians dedicated to doing what is right we had hoped. That type of person is rare enough in Laodicea, let alone finding a large enough group of them in one place to support a teaching pastor and his family. There are temptations and trials and tribulations to those situations. I'm pretty sure I've gotten more done the Lord is actually pleased with this way than would have been the case the other way. In any event, we don't have to worry about that at all, because He will lead us into the situation He has for us by His Spirit -- if we are but just willing to listen and respond.
"It would be a joy to be able to provide adequately for my family and still do the work I have been called to." With God's help, if that is His plan – which I believe it is – you will do so! I'm certainly praying for the same.
Thanks also for your help with our brother.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Just found out that a Listerine mouthwash reduces Covid viral load by 90-99%! You can also get the same effect from 1% Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo mixed with water as a nasal wash!
Maybe good to know! Bet you didn't realise that you'd be squirting Johnson and Johnson up your nose now too!
Hope you are well Bob. I'm glad to say that I've bounced back through the Lord and ready to finish strong!
Wow! If that's true, we ought to be distributing
bottles of mouthwash, not masks!
I'm doing well, my friend – and VERY happy to hear that you are doing well spiritually. That is what it's all about.
Keeping you in my prayers,
I read that link and didn't realise that Paul went through with the temple sacrifices. Was his imprisonment a divine punishment for doing that then?
Today is the first time I have awoken with a genuine fear of God but I know that this is a good thing. For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So when the Lord speaks of reaping what we sow and living by the sword and dying by the sword, is He talking about divine punishment as a result of sin?
God doesn't change does He, so reading the Second book of Chronicles is as applicable today as then. Ataliah committed treason and murder when she killed all of the seed royal to ascend the throne. When Joash was crowned and she discovered this she said it was treason which is ironically what she had already done! She was then killed outside maybe even the same way she killed the royal family. There is poetic justice in this and indeed she reaped what she sowed and died by the sword after living by it. Would things have unfolded differently if Ataliah had repented?
Romans talks about us becoming a slave to what we obey. Would you say that this verse has a parallel with living by the sword and reaping what we sow?
I think that there are sins of the tongue that I commit, that I have confessed but then quickly done again and now I am fearful of this but I think this Godly fear is good to have. I know from finishing Chronicles that God was quick and eager to show mercy to those who sought His face and repented.
I know believers are tested but aren't unbelievers too? God tried to get my attention a few times. Indeed I was being tested very severely which then caused me to fall on my knees and beg for God's deliverance.
With this in mind, I was thinking of my ___. He has been in the habit for years now of mocking people he works with. Even my ___ who usually defends this as schoolboy humour is now concerned that he is still doing it whilst going through this awful time in his job. Could this be "reaping what you sow"? Sometimes in meetings he is being talked down to in a mocking way. I realise that he is experiencing first hand what he has been doing for years.
So the good news is that if he turns to Jesus in faith then he will be forgiven and delivered. Do you think that prayer from the person directly involved is more efficacious than prayers from others? Can only believers be delivered or unbelievers too when believers pray for them?
It has made me fearful now of my own sins. I am really starting to look at the sins of the tongue that I still commit and it has made me fearful. I feel very committed about the sin in my own life and I know that the more I keep my eyes on Christ then I will choose the Spirit over the flesh.
I am behind with my bible reading goals but by the end of this month I will be on target again and can resume study through your ministry.
It's a struggle for me at times not to be tempted to "right wrongs" in the flesh and to trust the Lord instead but this is what I want to do. If I get bullied or mocked for following God then this is a good thing and a time to rejoice not to resist or revolt against. I am slowly learning this obedience and submission under God and I realise the more I do this, the easier familial relations are! Amen!
There is great joy to be had from humbling ourselves before God. I delight knowing that there is no place away from God just like David knew. It is good to know that I should only fear the Lord of hosts! There is great comfort in that!
It's certainly good to fear the Lord (Ps.19:9)! By which we mean the reverence, respect and awe of the sort we would imagine having before a perfect, perfectly just, and perfectly loving human father.
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Hebrews 12:7 NKJV
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15 NKJV
Just as we wouldn't have to be constantly looking over our shoulders for
fear of horrific discipline for minor offenses in the case of a very
good human father, so we shouldn't over-react in anticipation of
discipline in regard to smallish sins when it comes to our heavenly
Father. True, no sin is truly "smallish" since Christ had to die for it;
true, we ought to be "perfect, because your heavenly Father is perfect"
(Matt.5:48); but we do commit smallish sins all the time; if they are
needing to be corrected, especially as part of a pattern, then the Lord
is good at getting our attention – and without catastrophe. A good human
father might only need to say, "Ahem!", to make us realize we are
getting out of line, after all. So it's best to focus on the positive,
not the negative, and to be quick to confess, even doing so as a part of
our regular application of daily prayer – because we often commit sins
we don't even realize (especially of the mental but also of the verbal
In terms of unbelievers, they are not "sons and daughters" so the Lord comports Himself differently towards them: they do not receive loving divine disciple. But they do indeed often "reap what they sow" (the "sword" part being an extreme example). Often what we see are direct natural consequences. When unbelievers fall afoul of these, they have no Advocate in heaven to urge their relief (1Jn.2:1). How good it is to belong to the Lord!
Always a blessing to see and hear of your growth and progress in the Lord, my friend!
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Yes I should always remember God's love for us as that is the very heart of the matter isn't it! After all God IS love! I remember trying to witness to that very legalistic church who had made a legalistic system by cobbling together "rules" they thought they had read in the book of acts and epistles (headcoverings, no musical instruments, no wives talking and rebuking at the drop of a hat.)
The young pastor, I felt really sorry for him when I said the church was not for me after an interview with the elders. I realised even then the freedom I have in Christ and that their church wanted to take it away from me. I gave him 1 John 4:7 to mull over as their church seemed to completely lack love.
Isn't it wonderful when two chapters we are studying really sing together even though they are from the old and new testament! I was reading in 2nd Chronicles about the kings who sought after God and did what was good in God's eyes. Beautiful to read that God harkens to a repentant man's cries! At the same time I have just read in James 1:19
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath."
I have realised that in James it is exhorting us to be swift to hear because God is always swift to hear. It makes me cry with joy to know that, that He rushes to hear what we say when we turn our face towards Him!
I love reading this chapter about Hezekiah turning his face to the wall and praying, it is so tenderly captured.
2 Kings 20:2-6
Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, 3 “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 5 “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. 6 And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.”
Isn't that beautiful that God hears our prayers to the wall and sees our tears! I think this is a chapter I want to keep in my heart as it is very dear to me!
P.s. what do you think of "Israel and the Nations" by F.F. Bruce? I'd like a book that can help me understand Israel's history.
In Jesus, Our Loving Saviour,
Amen! We would be respectful of a perfect human father who was ever so dear to
us; we would be cautious about angering him, but we would never be terrified of
him – that is the way I see it. The human family was created by God as a model
for us to learn from, and we learn from good ones (emulating our Father) and bad
ones (because they show by negative example what a perfect one would look like).
I've never read Bruce's book (I do have others by him). I will say that there is very, very little that may be known of Israel's "history" outside of the Bible . . . and also that most books, especially "scholarly books", which attempt to "expand" what we find in scripture, mostly seek to "correct" the Bible based on nothing other than speculation and questionably interpreted archaeological finds.
On Hezekiah, I've always considered this prayer (and this attitude) as a "tell" regarding his not quite up to par spiritual maturity. To be honest, if the Lord told me I would be coming home, I would be jumping for joy, not asking for more time (cf. Peter's calm acceptance: 2Pet.1:13-15)! Of course, we're facing the Tribulation, and who wouldn't prefer to be able to dodge that? But at all times, being with the Lord is "better by far", as Paul noted (Phil.1:23); he was "torn" about the possibility, not because he was clinging to life but because he knew that people down here had need of him.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Yes I see this now as you say that he was immature to cry for his life and given what he did afterwards (giving the enemies a guided tour and complete inventory) was more evidence of this. He also needed to see the shadow as proof of healing whereas the Centurion only needed to hear Jesus say the word. It is Isaiah who is our spiritual example in this book isn't it. Hezekiah had weak faith amongst people who had no faith at all but Isaiah is the real example.
I guess I explained myself badly as it was God's response I was in awe of not Hezekiah's.
What I personally got from that scene was how God responded to Hezekiah not the other way round. Hezekiah's tears reminded me of a child crying but after all we are children in God's eyes (Hezekiah was a spiritual child wasn't he.) I probably can't judge him too harshly as I cry a lot these days too. What is different though is that Hezekiah wanted to live longer and God gave him 15(!) more years. I cry because of the world being like it is because of unbelievers and being here when I'd rather be with God. I recognise my own spiritual weakness in Hezekiah.
It was just a beautiful confirmation to me that God hears all our prayers and sees our tears. I was looking at God in that situation not Hezekiah. Even though his wish to remain on earth was folly and vain, God listened to his sadness and gave him more years even though that wasn't the right thing to ask for. That scene illustrates for me God's incredible patience, mercy and love for us. He has to suffer us going the wrong way and being foolish all the time and yet he gently listens to us and answers our prayers even when we ask for spiritually immature things!
I avoid any secular books on the bible but I thought Bruce was an evangelical and writes from a Christian viewpoint but if not, I won't bother. I know that there are also Christians out there who write books and wish to rope a lot of things together like Wyatt and I know you're not a fan. No problem, maybe I need to work out a timeline on paper based around the bible and the Unger commentary.
You certainly have a point about the Lord answering Hezekiah being a
very encouraging thing.
It's hard to say sometimes about individuals in the Bible based on only a few episodes, but your characterization is probably correct.
I do have some books by Bruce. He was a scholar in the true sense; he was clearly religious; just whether or not he was born again, born from above, is not clear to me from what I've read from him. At least I can say that whatever you read from him will represent reasonable scholarship (as opposed to liberal theologizing masquerading as scholarship).
Yes indeed – we all need the Lord!
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Hello from Ohio, brother Bob.
The Lord brought you to mind today as I was looking to see how much rain was coming our way. It seemed to be coming from you in Louisville. Even tho we are miles apart, our God seems to be keep us connected. I pray all is well with you and your family. It seems that change comes in the twinkling of an eye than I have ever seen before. It reminds me to hold fast to what I know to be True as the deceiver and his half truths has overwhelmed the media. But then as I looked out my back window And see a turkey and rabbit passing through and humming birds at the feeder. God is still on his throne and in control.
God bless you brother, your ministry , and your day. Hoping one day we all will meet again over coffee.
Your friend in Christ
Great to hear from you, my friend. You've got some great wildlife right out the
back window! We're getting a lot of butterflies this year (of course we plant
for them). God's creation really is astoundingly beautiful and complex. I don't
understand how anyone of moderate intellect can consider it and not understand
that there has to be a Creator.
We haven't gotten a lot of rain here – guess it's mostly passing us by, though we could use some. You have my permission to send it back!
Thanks for your good words of truth, my friend.
You're nearly through your first week back and that's important to me and I'm thankful to the Lord.
Thank you for your plentiful prayers for me. I really need them.
I hate it when people use God. When they ask me to pray for them when they're in trouble and the Lord answers my prayers and they take it and then continue to live life as they want to without a single thought for Him. Sometimes I feel used by people too. People are very wrapped up in themselves and in getting what they want and if they don't get it they can turn on you. They can be oh so nice when it's all going their way but as soon as you make a decision that's best for you and not them then you see a whole different side to them. Even those who you thought were so kind and gentle and caring.
I am FAR from perfect but I'm not here to make life easier and better for them when they're suffering the consequences of their own self-destructive choices. I don't mind helping when and where I can but I'm really here to point them to the Lord if they're interested - so far none of them are.
I've been too nice and too soft and felt guilty when looking out for myself and my own health. Satan's old guilt trip again. But things that you've said to me in the past and just recently are slowly beginning to sink in and I'm getting better at setting some healthy limits. People don't always like it - in the same way they don't like it when I stand up for the truth but it's something I need to get more used to. And be strong and confident in my decisions and not weak. Being a believer doesn't mean being a people pleaser - our Lord certainly wasn't.
I can't wait for the Lord to return, Bob.
I'm glad to hear this. Mature Christians learn to listen to the Spirit rather than to their emotions. "Being a believer doesn't mean being a people pleaser - our Lord certainly wasn't." Amen! We are here to please the Lord Jesus Christ, not ourselves . . . and certainly not other people (n.b., 1Cor.9:19-23, e.g., is about reaching others for the Lord . . . to please Him).
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 NIV
Thanks for your prayers too! Things are moving along nicely now,
although I've lost a few students. It does seem that some are opting out
with the Covid peak throwing a scare into them.
"I can't wait for the Lord to return" – double amen to that, my friend!
In Jesus our dear Savior,
I had been considering going back to church physical just for the fellowship.
And I was trying to find a denomination that didn't seriously compromise in some
way or another. Women ordination? Idolatry/statues? Acceptance of homosexuality?
There seems to be few to none. It looks the Southern Baptist Convention holds
closer to the Bible than most of the others on these.
And then I saw this:
You don't have to read it. But apparently there was a massive expose on a lot of sexual abuse cases all over multiple churches. Now a few, I won't buy, because I know women lie. Sorry but they (we?) do. But this many is more difficult to ignore. And in this article it mentions the denomination disfellowshipping a church who knowingly employed a registered sex offender as a pastor. This was the very first issue I ever emailed you about. That it seems like many churches will throw everyone under the bus for society's lowest-in-morality people. It is one thing if someone did evil things and repented and is following God and is just another member. On that certain theological level we are all in that boat. But I think certain actions should indeed bar you from certain positions in the here and now. I can't see Paul asking men and women to put their daughters and sisters and even elderly women in risky situations as they just try to get access to the church (in general). If it were babysitting I think the issue sharpens into clarity. Just think of that on a larger level.
Maybe I am harsh (or wrong, because I know I am not the Decider or anything)? I am sorry if so. It is just that I have been on the wrong end of abuse and abandonment for all of my childhood and part of my youth so maybe I am oversensitive about it. I just see it as them putting that one person's feelings and being over the feelings and being of literally everyone else. Who died and made them king/god that they are that important that everyone else takes second below them? The community matters too. I am hard of hearing and should never be a pilot. I would NOT like it if society decided to allow hard of hearing people to be pilots to prove some point, and risk everyone else just for that one or few person's. Am I wrong in thinking these things?
I guess at least their attitude toward it is that it is bad (sexual abuse), and that is not the same as all these other churches whose attitude that women ordination and the rest are good. Maybe I will try a Baptist church, I don't know.
On the Bible teaching though, it was very rare in a physical church that the teaching was good enough to hold my attention (no offense, I think part of it also is that I am just one of those people who need see how it all works for myself, and if that part isn't provided, I can't automatically take it as Truth, and maybe since that type of attitude isn't common that isn't how most teach (which, it makes sense to teach to your audience in general)). But I do sense with yours, even on a lot of stuff I am unsure about, there are good points; I do get the sense it is good for spiritual growth (which is more than I can say for most sermons I have heard, no offense to them, again part of it may be the style and personality conflict).
The only place I've ever been to in Houston is my old mentor's church, Berachah
(I think it's somewhere over near the Galleria, but that was a LONG time ago).
You might ask our fried Curt Omo of
Bible Academy (which I recommend, by the way, over any physical church I
We all want social life with other believers who love the Lord like we do. Thing is, people 'go to church' for other reasons than that. I couldn't recommend the Southern Baptists. They are very legalistic . . . about things that aren't even biblical. I suppose that's somewhat better than some of the opposite tendencies you mention here, but it's not positive. They also tend to take biblical teachings about women and use them in misogynistic ways – at least that is the effect of how they tend to apply them (I've seen some of that here as they have a seminary in Louisville).
I do know that God gives us everything we really need (even if not everything we THINK we need), and that He always hears our prayers.
I mentioned the forum in my last email; some of the people I know who are on it do seem to be getting some good interaction with other believers through it.