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Eschatology Issues XCIII

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Question #1:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 KJV

Can you give me the Greek definition of the word "perish" in the referenced verse?

Seems to be perhaps a mistranslation or a lack of a better English word.

Thanks so much as always.

Blessings to you always,

Your friend,

Response #1:

The Greek verb is apollumi which means in the active voice "destroy", and in the middle voice as we have here it means "to be lost / die / be destroyed". So "perish" is not an awful translation. The question is, what does it mean? Clearly, since the alternative is life eternal, it means to be cast into the lake of fire – the second death.

If you're asking whether or not the verb necessitates or supports annihilationism (link), it certainly does not . . . and after all, the lake of fire is called "the second death", even though being cast therein does not end existence or suffering; quite the opposite.

"Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Mark 9:46 KJV

Hope you're feeling better!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Well, this past night and morning were not too good. Had lots of nausea.

This morning I was thinking about the word "perish" and came to the conclusion that it was talking about the second death, etc.

I am familiar with and have studied from you about annihilationism, but I wasn't questioning that per see, but what the word really means.

We both agree with what the meaning of the verse is.

Thanks so much for your concurrence, and for what God revealed to me this morning.

I am always appreciative of your opinion.

I cannot express to you in words how much I have learned in the past 7 years from your Website.

May God bless you and keep you in His Grace, Love, and care always.

Your friend,

Response #2:

Sorry to hear that the reaction isn't completely over, but it sounds as if you're making progress. I've noticed after being vaccinated that things like this seem to be hitting everyone harder than before. But in my own case, the after-effects are diminishing gradually.

Thanks for all your good words, my friend!

Keeping you and your wife and family in my prayers daily.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Hello Dr Luginbill,

Thanks so much for your prayers, they really help.

Today I had a visit to the Dr. and the wound looks really good. Nausea seems to be subsiding, and I have happy about that. Can't lift the arm above my head for at least 6 weeks so the leads that have been put into my heart can become firmly fixed; my body will do that. It is amazing on what it does. I return in 3 months to have the pacemaker checked.

It takes me a bit to go to sleep sometimes because I lay there wide awake thinking about scriptures I've read.

The other night I woke up and 4:00 A.M. and lay there thinking about John 3:16, knowing that God was revealing things to me.

I just finished a teaching titled "Perhaps you think you know John 3 Verse 16?

I get this impression quite often and I know that the LORD wants me to develop a teaching on what He gives me.

Again, I appreciate very much your prayers, and your advice and guidance..

The LORD's blessing upon you always,

Your friend,

Response #3:

Great news!

I'm also happy to hear that you are seeing the "more" that's there in every verse of scripture. It's always there . . . if we take the time to look for that "more". Also good to hear that you're doing so in the middle of the night instead of fretting about sleeplessness. A very good thing to do.


Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2 NIV

I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
Psalm 16:7 NIV

At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
Psalm 119:62 NIV

Thanks for your prayers too, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Dear Teacher

How does Genesis 9:20 read in the Hebrew? My instinct is that Noah was starting a career in farming for the first time or that the whole vineyard business was the first time that had ever been done.

I realize that fermentation was only happening for the first time, so I'm not asking about that at all. I'm just curious about the language of the verse. I am trying to figure out what Noah was doing for the first time there.

PS. I imagine that it could also be speaking of his resumption of previous farm work, but is that a legitimate possibility?

Response #4:

The verb chalal in the hiphil stem usually means "begin" and usually takes an infinitive; here, however, it takes a conjugated verb with a resumptive waw, so "he began (as a farmer) and he planted" is apparently equivalent to "he began to plant" (there is a good parallel of this construction at Ezra 3:8: "began and . . . appointed"). The first verb here is really adverbial in nature to the second, so this really has the sense of "the first thing Noah did, as a farmer, was to plant a vineyard" (same in the parallel: "the first thing they did was to appoint"). So the meaning really isn't "was the first [ever] to do it" but "did it as the first thing he did".

Whether there was viticulture previously we cannot say definitively, since this is the first mention of vines, wine, grapes in the Bible. But I would be surprised if it was the first occasion. After all, human beings developed cities and metallurgy very early on – within the lifetime of Adam and Eve – and Cain was already very proud of his agricultural achievements. Of course, without the alcohol (fermentation – which caught Noah by surprise – only occurred after the flood with great many changes that cataclysmic event produced; see the link), viticulture would probably not have been as exceptionally prized as was later the case.

Praying for your health, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Thank you very much, Sir.

That's a big help. So, absent an argument for innovation, there can be one for industry. There might also be one for sensibility.

So, what I'm seeing is that while there isn't much to say that the economic prowess of those early believers was any different than at any other time in history, Noah does show that believers then could be quite intelligent about economics even if it wasn't so important that it would be used to describe them the way that tent-making/nomadic farming (that's another question, by the way), music, and metallurgy were used to distinguish Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain respectively. Do you hold that view, Sir?

"The father of all those that dwell in tents and keep livestock" sounds a lot like nomadic animal herding. But I wonder if that fits with this time in human history. What do you think about it, Sir? I am thinking that the only alternative to this idea is that Jabal pioneered a certain settlement style, that is, he was the first that made tents and lived in them. Not sure that that makes very much sense.

Thank you for persevering in prayer for me, Sir. I am deeply grateful for that. And I try to be consistent in prayers for you and yours too.

Response #5:

I don't know that I would make sharp distinctions based on this limited information. Before the flood, we are told that there were cities, there was agriculture, there was metallurgy and culture, and there were nomads – not much different from what we see after the flood, except for the lack of nephilim before and various changes – such as the presence of fermentation and the coming of seasons – which the flood brought about (see the link).

Thanks for your prayers too, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hi Dr,

I know you have extensive writings on Giants in Joshua and how they are or are not related to the Nephilim of Genesis. The question I have is and I can't seem to recall, how were there giants in the manner of the Nephilim when the whole world was flooded. How could have they survived? To me nothing survived so that tells me they just were "big men" as we defined big. We have professional basketball and football players who average 6'4 or more and weight 300ibs. So to me the term "giants" means individuals who were bigger and taller than normal. In Goliath case, he was also abnormal with or had a physical deformity (i.e., 24 fingers and toes).

Thanks and let me know if I am on the right track.

In Christ Jesus our Lord

Response #6:

You're exactly correct.

The ten cowardly scouts called the very "big men" they saw in Canaan, "Nephilim" – to frighten the people to make them as scared as they were. But them calling these human beings "Nephilim" at Numbers 13:33 does not make it true. They were bigger than normal, but not bred by fallen angels. See the link.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hi Bob,

An interlocutor in a discussion about the Nephilim in Genesis 6 didn't buy this explanation from SR5:

In the verse above [Gen.6:4], the extraordinary nature of these creatures is directly related to the fact that they are the progeny of the "sons of God", a mention that makes little sense if these "sons of God" were normal human beings. The etymology of the word naphiyl (Hebrew: נפיל; Nephilim is actually the plural) is also enlightening. The root, naphal means "to fall", and the qatiyl noun formation is passive in nature here (as is generally the case; cf. `asiyr, אסיר, "one in bondage" or "prisoner"). The meaning "fallen ones" is directly in line with our understanding of the passage so far, for the Nephilim were a) "fallen" from the ranks of pure humanity; b) the offspring of fallen angels; and c) fallen in the spiritual sense as well, giving no indication of desiring a relationship with God, a conclusion to which we are forced by their failure to respond to His gracious 120 year delay of judgment (for only Noah and his family entered the ark).

He said the parallel example doesn't work because binding is transitive, but falling isn't. Basically, "how can you have a passive form of an intransitive verb like 'to fall'?"

Of course, the Greek middle voice sometimes expresses things along these lines, but Hebrew doesn't have a middle voice. The reflexiveness of the Hithpael isn't quite right either.

The wider conversation is me attempting to convince my interlocutor that the word Nephilim has nothing to do with physical size, so that all the half-angel hybrids were wiped out with the flood (with none after, pace Rephaim etc.).

Apparently, the Aramiac, Coptic, and Middle Persian support the "giants" reading (and I guess implicitly, size). Although of course the giants of the Gigantomachy were not necessarily monstrous. Some of this usage may be from attraction in the LXX though, of course.

My friend is a linguist, so that's why the conversation trended this way. Any thoughts on what to make of this "intransitive verbs can't be passive" (and particularly, this case here)? I'm too rusty to be of much use myself.

In Him,

Response #7:

Passive is perhaps not the best word to use in grammar-speak, but people understand it. "Stative" is better, but average people usually haven't heard and don't understand that term.

All renditions of nephilim as "giants" go back to the Septuagint using that Greek word – because those translators either had to transliterate or come up with what they felt was a cultural equivalent (and we've been living with that misguided rendering ever since).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hi Bob,

And so we would then reframe things in terms of "well, there's no problem with intransitive verbs being used statively", right?

In Him,

Response #8:

That's right.  This is often also called "quasi-passive".  It occurs a great deal in Hebrew. Also in Greek.  Greek, for example, uses keimai often as the passive of tithemi, but technically it's a middle voice form ("quasi-passive").

The point of using the word "passive" for this description of the nephilim is that the term deliberately begs the question of the unnamed cause of the state (i.e., demon involvement) rather than merely focusing on the state itself (being not fully human).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hello Prof.

How are you sir? Small question, does the word "Nephilim" have any gender connotations in Hebrew? I have checked SR #5, and the discussion there does not touch on the sex of these offspring of demons and human females. I know also that the antichrist and the 10 kings will be males; but did the Nephilim of Gen. 6:4 have mixed gender, like us?

I am nearing the end of my translation of Peter #35 in Kiswahili; I am on page 48. Next will come typing and proof-reading. Hard, but wonderfully pleasurable work!

I am going to ask for your prayers on my current situation. The rains that came in the end of January lasted only about 3 weeks, to mid-February. We have not had any rains since then, and all the crops (mainly maize) that I planted at that time have dried up. We are now in severe drought. I have a small miller-huller that used to earn me some upkeep, along with farming maize and sunflower. But the miller-huller does not make me money now, and the situation will only get worse in the coming months. Doc., I do need your urgent prayers on this situation.

My prayers are always with you, sir.

In Jesus our coming King,

Response #9:

The word Nephilim is masculine, and so are the other two words used to describe these hybrid creatures in Genesis, "mighty men" (giboriym) and "men of renown" ('anshey hashem).

However, it is certainly possible that some of these were women since Hebrew uses masculine plurals as a default for mixed groups (so I couldn't dogmatically state that there weren't any such female Nephilim).

Good news about your translation ministry!

But I am concerned to hear about the drought. I have put up a prayer request for you about this at Ichthys and will be keeping it and you in my prayers on this matter.

Thank you for your prayers too, my friend – and thanks for keeping me in the loop.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Good morning Dr. Luginbill:

I hope that you are doing well this semester. We are doing good - and my dad's hip is slowly healing. Praise the Lord! I am so thankful for those who have prayed for him over the past five months. We are so grateful!

A couple of questions that are unrelated:

1). Will the beast and the prophet know that they are Nephilim? It may be a silly question - but in reading this past week's postings it also had me wonder and beg the question - did the Nephilim know that they were the sons of fallen angels?

2). I had a conversation recently with someone coming out of a former abusive marriage, and we talked about Paul teaching that it is better not to marry, which I stated was to our benefit and to lessen our distractions in order to devote more time and attention to our spiritual growth and personal ministry. This confused her and she asked, "then why does God encourage us to multiply (with marriage a given)?" She felt it was a mixed message - and I could see her point. Obviously God's encouragement to multiply (children are a gift from the Lord) are for those who do choose to marry.

Thoughts?

Thank you for your time, Dr. Luginbill.

In the name of Jesus - our dear Savior and coming King-

Response #10:

Good to hear from you – hope all that "house drama" is well in the rear view mirror now!

1) It's an interesting question, but I'm not sure there is any way to do anything much but speculate about that. There are no conversations between nephilim and demons recorded in scripture – but I wouldn't be surprised if that happened (or that many of them were possessed). We just don't have any details. Scripture is not too big on the details of what people are thinking (with some exceptions); mostly we're left to make deductions like that from their deeds (or occasional direct statements about people in scripture). In all the references about antichrist in the Bible we never see him speaking, so it's hard to judge about that, let alone the other ten kings who are probably Nephilim as well. The main thing is that they follow the beast and that the beast follows the devil. It's hard for me to imagine that he and the false prophet wouldn't know, but that's just a deduction.

2) On "be fruitful and multiply", it's good to remember that this command was given to Adam and Eve while still in the garden and before they fell. That doesn't mean that it is wrong now for people to have children. Not at all. But I think that takes care of the "mixed message" quibble (having children in paradise vs. out of paradise are two different things – clearly).

That command is never repeated outside of the garden. Paul says that he wishes every believer would remain unmarried (1Cor.7:1; 7:7), but that on account of us being who we are, most should get married (1Cor.7:2), and that then neither party should deprive the other (1Cor.7:5). In the same vein, he also does say elsewhere that young widows should marry and have families (1Tim.5:14), i.e., to stay "out of trouble".

So being single is acceptable and even better than being married for those few who can handle it – given that we are now all sinners and not in Eden; but given that we are all sinners and not in Eden, getting married is better for most of us since most of us are not capable of being single and staying out of trouble.

I believe it was Mark Twain who said something to the effect that this command, "be fruitful and multiply", seems to be the only one given by the Almighty for which the human race in general has ever shown any particular enthusiasm.

Good news about your dad! We'll keep up the prayer.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Dear Teacher

Does this passage mean what I think that it means?

27 Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.
Proverbs 24:27 (NASB)

Your student in Jesus

Response #11:

What do you think it means?

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:

That priority should be placed on earning a living before starting a family.

I also consider that it addresses the man (since he is the one who would be building a house) and that it might say something to having a clear idea what sort of family the man wants to have.

Response #12:

That's a good application: a man is responsible for supporting his family, after all.

In the ancient world, most essential productivity took place "outside", so, yes, this part refers to making a living; "inside" would have to do with anything non-essential (such as decorating the inside of one's house).

This is the biblical way of saying, "first things first". It doesn't make sense to stay home from your job for a week to catch up on maintenance and yard work . . . if that causes you to lose your job – because then you will lose your house too.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hi Bob,

This post was particularly helpful for me. [omitted]

One major concern raised in the post was the desire to acquire a gun for defense. While I whole heartedly believe having one and not needing it is much better than needing one and not having it, I would urge folks who want one to get some good training and experience before needing it. On most shooting ranges, where permitted, there are always a few old hands but many gun store Rambos. People can tell which is which by the way they handle their weapons and act. Pick one of the old hands for good guidance and practice! Train the body to do the right thing because when things hit the fan, thinking about the right steps is dangerous. Memorize and practice Cooper's 4 rules. Don't rely on Hollywood or prosecuting attorneys for good examples.

No one who has seen what a bullet can do has any desire to shoot anyone. Handling a firearm when adrenaline is high and sphincter is in the throat is radically different than what's shown in the movies. It's easy to miss at three feet.

I'll get off my soapbox, now.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #13:

There is plenty we don't understand on this side – but we who are mature trust the Lord and endeavor to do so completely just as we know that He is absolutely faithful to us, whether we can see it or not in any given situation.  For what it's worth, I think you are handling this very difficult situation wonderfully well.

"Don't rely on Hollywood or prosecuting attorneys for good examples." I could almost imagine you were British with that understatement!

With the latest mass shooting, there seems to be a renewed push not for safety but for gun control . . . which doesn't seem to be making much headway.  That is one thing that may seem to make the advent of Babylon and antichrist's complete control of her seem unlikely, namely, the large quantity of firearms in private hands in this country. But what if antichrist arises from the right, not the left? In such a case, when only a very few dedicated believers are not flocking into the beast's "Christian" religion, one could easily see how the majority of those who are armed might be enlisted into a sort of a putatively "Christian" militia – using their weapons to take arms away from any and all who are not following antichrist (who is calling himself "Christ", after all).  If such is the case, the large population of gun owners could be a net plus for the beast rather than an insuperable obstacle.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Happy to hear your teaching is going well and that you are healthy. When I saw you were trying to stay healthy taking OJ and chicken noodle soup I felt I needed to contact you. Although those are of some benefit you really need to be taking supplements, i.e Vit D3 5000 units daily, Vitamin C 2-3,000 mgm daily, Zinc 50 mgm daily and Quercetin 800 mgm daily. Although this may sound like a lot of pills, especially if you don't take anything now, but you can find these supplements in formulations having to only take one or two per day. There are several products on Amazon if you so choose to check them out. This is not medical advice just some food for thought.

Some of the studies found that when Covid was first identified and people were admitted to the hospital and at that time many were dying, their Vit D level was below 30. Most people do not get enough of this vitamin, actually a hormone, and is your super power horse for a healthy immune system. Levels should be between 30-100 and those who study this virus feel levels should be between 60-80. You can get some from sunshine but one would have to be outside with exposed skin for several hours a day as your skin when exposed to sunlight turns it into Vitamin D, it is not a bad idea to get it checked yearly. So when you do not have a healthy immune system one is much more likely to get Covid and once you get it to not be able to fight it. In addition Vit C is essential and Zinc and Quercetin to help get the other 2 into you cells to fight any virus.

Also, even if you have the so called vaccine, it really does not qualify as a vaccine because it does not prevent one from getting the virus, that is why so many people are now getting the Delta variant. People having taken the jab reduce their immune system with the first by 20% and the second, if taking Moderna or Pfizer jab, by another 50%. So now Fauci wants a booster and perhaps one every 6 months. People will have zero natural immunity to fight disease if they keep this up.

Just a side note. The protocol that Fauci put in place for all hospitals in the US were they had to give Remdesivir, put someone on a vent, give Vancomycin and isolate in the ICU. Remdesivir was in a clinical trail four years ago for Ebola. It was to be a year long trail but after 6 months the study had to be stopped because 52% of the patients died with multisystem failures. This is exactly what happened to the many patients in the ICU. They didn't die from Covid but because of this treatment. It was never approved for treatment of this virus.

One of the things to be noted is that when you watch any of the main stream media they are almost always brought to you by Pfizer. It is no wonder that they are not telling the truth about these jabs as they are being bought and the almighty dollar does their biding.

My son, who is a doctor in Indiana may lose his job because the corporate large hospital system has just mandated that all employees have the jab by December 6 or lose their jobs. He has filed for a religious exemption, as have many others, but he is not sure if they will honor it. He has seen too many side effects from the jab, many young men. Just recently sent a 20 year old to ICU who died of cardiac issues, a 17 year old with heart complications and others. So, seeing the bad effects he refuses to take it. So unfortunately his career as a physician may be over!!!

Well, Dr. Luginbill, I did ramble on quite a bit just to tell you to take some vities. But do consider it because you are around a lot of young people. I certainly can not tell you what to do, but if at all possible do not take another jab. And DO NOT mix and match with another companies vaccine.

I find this evil of first the release of this virus and the sudden magical vaccine waiting in the wings to be the be all cure all is highly suspicious. The four companies making the vaccines are, I've heard, making combined over 93 million dollars a day. The past FDA administrators sit on the board of Pfizer, very convenient to give approval for their vaccine.

OK, I am done.

I do hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving with your family. Do so appreciate your wonderful site, Ichthys.

In His precious name,

Response #14:

Thanks for the advice. I do take lots of vitamin D (in addition to trying to get outside for exercise daily). I think I'm in pretty good health and, believe me, have no intention of getting a booster. At present, there is not even a contemplated regime here that would make it possible to find out who's had one and who hasn't, and we still have about ten percent of faculty who haven't gotten the first shot – they're the ones under the microscope at the moment.

I appreciate your concern, my friend! How is your daughter doing? Keeping her and you in my daily prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi Bob,

I'm so sorry - was it Thanksgiving for you yesterday? If it was then I hope you and yours had a lovely time. For some reason I was thinking it was next week.

The NHS announced some more changes yesterday for how we will work with the Covid situation now. We're all a bit confused by it at the moment and we're having a meeting about it next week. It sounds like they want to pretty much return to normal at work. We're not sure what that means for us with the heavy masks. It might be a case of us deciding whether we want to wear them or not but I'm not sure whether I've got that completely right yet. There's no way we could all wear them for longer that's for sure. So things are probably going to get busier at work now. It's funny how they've just announced the changes and then today the news is reporting about another new variant.

It's interesting how they've made the vaccine mandatory at U of L now. Exactly as you said it would be! So you made the right decision Bob, just at the right time.

I hope all is well with you and you're having a good rest.

Thanks so much for your prayers for me and my family (especially their health right now). Keeping you and yours in mine too.

Have a lovely weekend.

Your friend in Jesus

Response #15:

It will be interesting to hear how your NHS works things out for your office. In my experience, bureaucracies always end up making things progressively worse (they have a special talent for that). At U of L, they're constantly adding new "executive vice presidents" for thus and so where thus and so are superfluous; but the new levels justify their existence by giving us more busy work that takes away from our core functions – meanwhile they could have given us a raise or hired for the many open faculty positions we have instead. So it goes.

Thanksgiving was great! Still stuffed (and still stuffing). I'll have to run a Marathon on Sunday to get back into the groove for work!

I'm very thankful for your friendship!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:

I sometimes play a video game called Sonic Adventure 2. I mainly play it for the virtual pets you can raise in the game called Chao. A Chao is my profile picture by the way. Since I have real pets, should I be spending my time on this?

Response #16:

Apart from our Lord, no one has ever had a perfect application of spending all their time and energy on things which are actually good from God's point of view (the apostle Paul seems to have had the next best record here).

I wouldn't beat myself up about something that is not inherently negative – except for the choice of doing that or doing something truly good – just as long as it doesn't stop you from a good application of spending what time is needful every day, namely, to pray, to read your Bible, and, most importantly, to grow spiritually through attention to substantive Bible teaching.

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16 KJV

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
Colossians 4:5 KJV

Question #17:

Dr. Luginbill,

I'm afraid I am unable to find your weekly emails. When I click on your email link (https://ichthys.com/e-mails.htm), it seems that I am getting a Bible study instead. Was this your intention?

Response #17:

Yes, this was intentional. Whenever I finish up a major study, it takes a good long time to process it and post it, so I offer that up for "Sunday morning fare" instead of the email postings, doing so on the same page, because that is where people look for new material.

Incidentally, this posting (Peter #37 link; n.b., #38 and #39 also now available) was a bit of a milestone. When I first moved to a "study by mail" mode when my little Bible study group in Irvine split up and went our separate ways back about thirty years ago, it was this Peter series that I started on. Now I've finally finished the first epistle! It took so long because when I was doing the early verses, I needed to stop and take time to explain particular principles when they came up. Then, I didn't have a "Basics" series (or a "Coming Tribulation" and "Satanic Rebellion" series) to direct readers to as reference. Everything had to be done from scratch. Now that I've completed all the ancillary series, I can just footnote to them and keep on track with the verse by verse.

Thanks for noticing!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Thanks Bob,

And thank you for your kind words about my growth as it is very validating and encouraging.

It's sad but I am getting a lot of flak from my family about studying the Word and pursuing spiritual growth right now. They think it is a huge waste of time, a folly at best or the obsession of a crazed mind at worst.

There may be a concerted push from them in the future to try to take me off this path. I know that they can't do that but they can humiliate me and mock me and make me feel worthless while I press on. You see unless I become a big wheel in the community or I am feeding the poor or becoming a Carmelite nun or doing something visible that gives me a social status and standing then all my efforts appear to them to be pitiable and worthless.

My mum keeps saying that I should be "doing something to show God's love" and yet when I ask her why Jesus died on the cross she cannot give me an answer. She simply cannot understand the Gospel. She cannot accept the need for atonement, the wages of sin. It's all about "doing something". Studying the Bible is totally worthless to her. When I tell her I would like to prepare for ministry, unless it comes with vestments or flights to the Vatican or a church that can marvel the congregation, then what is the use?

I understand that I am not here to please people because if I was, I wouldn't be a Christian. It does hurt though, being rejected and pitied by your family.

p.s. I did manage to talk to my mum today and I was led by the Spirit while I talked. I told her the folly and the temporality of this world and that we all need an answer to sin and death.

I managed to tell her how much Jesus means to me and how important He is, more important than all the worldly affairs, ambitions and achievements put together. I told her that the cross is the crux of all humanity and all living and even the reason why we were created in the first place.

I also told her the sufferings of Christ and that it will be an inevitable part of any Christian's life (especially during the Tribulation), that suffering is the norm not the exception and that very few Christians who are truly "walking the walk" will be esteemed, celebrated or lauded. In fact the direct opposite treatment is actually true.

p.p.s I was also trying to give my sister a pep talk about management struggles she has and trying to keep it "biblically sound". She said she was struggling and so had to "dig deep". I didn't really understand what that meant and I googled it and it seems to be a new age term that is also linked to the whole "remember who you are" and "you have the power" type stuff.

It's all that gnostic new age stuff that we have God within and we are already God ourselves. My sister already said that she thinks Jesus is already in everyone so I am trying my best to plant the seeds of truth whenever I can. It isn't always easy against a billion dollar juggernaught "human potential" movement on every tv, magazine, blog or YouTube video out there!

I only hope that once a person sees through the manufactured hype that the truth will one day chime out as clear as a bell on a quiet morning!

How was your holiday?

In Him,

Response #18:

Good for you in your witnessing to your family. Family members can be both the most difficult for us to witness to and also the toughest nuts to crack – because they know us (or think they do).

The only positive thing I can say about this new age crutch your sister is leaning on is that of course it is a hollow reed – it WILL disappoint her, whereas the truth never will.

I appreciate you staying strong in the faith in spite of all opposition, my friend!

T-day was nice here – a bit over-stuffed, but dieting (a little) today and got some good exercise. Back to teaching tomorrow so that will help to shake off the tryptophans as well.

Our friend (you may have met him on the forum?), lost his only daughter over the weekend after a long time in a coma on a ventilator. Prayers appreciated.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Dear Dr Luginbill,

What do you think about books by C.S. Lewis. I have to say, I liked it as a child. But reading now with more knowledge, it really smacks me in the face when the main characters (many are stand in for believers) says "by Jove", because now thanks to Greek I realize they are saying "by Zeus" and wow. Though I read that Jove in Britain is more like saying 'by God' but, still that isn't much better, is it/ I also don't know about representations of the Lord in any form. (Whether in writing, or in pictures on the wall). C S Lewis does seem to believe and write in that one could serve an imperfect version of Him in serving in another religion; I think this is bordering dangerous ground. I mean I know Herodotus seems to like to say that so many of these gods are the same under different names, but each one has its philosophy that is not compatible with the other. As far as I can tell.

On the other hand, I think there are good truths in it. He writes his characters more as flawed humans and with an eye toward seeing things like a child. He also says that part of putting away childishness is putting away the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up (and then follows using fairy tales as an example-that he reads them in old age).

Anyway, if there are good truths, are they enough to outweigh any of the bad?

Just wondering what your thoughts were. There is a lot of doctrine underlying his writings that I don't think are immediately obvious. And the fact that it is fantasy worlds makes it more difficult to pin it down, because the structured that the doctrines are written into are so unclear.

PS: for Thanksgiving I cooked a dinner from scratch with two older ladies (and now have notes) of everything from homemade pumpkin pie with cream we whipped up (and it was so good) to the softest mashed potatoes.

Response #19:

To say that there are doctrinal issues with C.S. Lewis is a major understatement. Maybe that's one reason I never got into his work.

One big difference between reading him or similar "Christian authors" is that when we are reading Herodotus or another secular author we recognize the pagan perspective and are not influenced by it so much since we have completely rejected that point of view. But the errors in the work of someone like Lewis who was a "noted Christian" have a sneaky way of infiltrating our thinking – in the same manner as favorite hymns where their doctrine is "off". This makes me even less interested in reading this sort of thing. But you have the spiritual maturity to see the good from the bad if you're inclined to read him.

Glad to hear you had a nice Thanksgiving! Great one here as well. Still a big foggy from all the turkey.

Back to the grind tomorrow.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hi Bob,

Thanks for letting me know about our friend. I'm keeping him and his family in my prayers.

The pub you heard about where the folks got stranded was Britain's highest pub in North Yorkshire (1,732 ft above sea level). The last ones left yesterday after snowploughs cleared the road for them. I read that they all became quite friendly and exchanged phone numbers and some want to return to have a reunion next year! On the news tonight they were saying there's still 30,000 households without power. They've gone five nights without electricity and apparently it's the worst mass outage in decades. So it's been a nightmare for some poor folks.

I've got some extra days booked off over Christmas so I should get a nice break. Can't believe it's come around so quickly again.

We had our meeting today at work and as far as the PPE goes we still have to wear our plastic gowns and visors but we can choose now which mask we want to wear. We don't have to wear the heavy masks if we don't want to - just the usual lighter ones we wear throughout the day. There are other changes that will make life a bit easier for us now too. So I'm pleased about it but there are a lot of my colleagues who aren't very happy about it. I think the sudden change has made them feel quite vulnerable and they said they feel anxious. I don't think omicron being on the scene has helped but I heard the same as you that the symptoms are actually milder.

It's the usual fear thing creeping in with my colleagues. I'm sure they'll get used to the changes eventually. It's a case of having to because we can't stay like this forever - we have to try to move forward to some sort of "normality" again. I think things will really begin to change in the new year. I think those who choose to continue to wear the heavy masks are going to find they're having to wear them for a lot longer in the day than we already have been. There's no way I could do that - especially in the summer.

So it's progress but I know they can just as quickly change back again depending on how things go with the virus. Hopefully they won't.

Thanks so much for all your prayers, Bob. I hope everything is going okay for you at work too. Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus

Response #20:

Thanks for the update.

Power outages are pretty common here in the states. Most of the transmission lines are on poles and we get a lot of windstorms over here pretty much everywhere. About a decade before I arrived in Louisville, a tornado took out most of the big trees in Cherokee park (where I take my daily constitutional) – and not a few houses on the outskirts. And about ten to fifteen years ago, we were without power on my street for over a week. Not eager to repeat that! Still remember cheering and applauding the crew that finally put our line back up.

Yes, there's a lot of fear. That's the only way I can explain much of the behavior over here. It makes you wonder how paralyzed things would be if this disease were as deadly as some of the plagues in the past and if the deaths had been in the tens of millions instead of tens of thousands. I do like your optimism though! I'm hoping too that it "can't continue on like this". However, from what I have seen in my life (and read in history), the capacity of human beings to act stupidly should never ever be underestimated.

It's all good prep for the Tribulation.  We believers are going to have to be practiced at keeping our eyes on Jesus and the blessings on the other side of that tough time in order to get through it.  So the more we have to do that now, the better we'll be able to keep our eyes on the prize then.

Thanks for those prayers! Keeping you and yours in mine daily as well.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hi Bob,

I was thinking again about that storm last weekend and seeing on the news how rough the sea was in the high winds and the waves crashing about.

I've been reading Daniel this week and it reminded me of a verse I had just read. Daniel 7:2.

Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea".

That's just what it seemed like to me - the four winds or angels of heaven stirring up the sea. These are symbolic in scripture and even though it was just another storm at the weekend my thoughts are always on the biblical side of things, seeing things from God's perspective.

The worst stirring and shaking up are yet to come in the very near future with the Tribulation. It's all in God's perfect plan. I can't help but see these natural events and think about the supernatural events to come and I think that's a good thing. Just another way of being in that mindset and being alert and prepared.

Our storms, tornados, power outages, viruses and diseases are tiny inconveniences compared to what lies ahead! But . . . if God is for us, who can be against us?

Your friend in Jesus

Response #21:

What a wonderful perspective!

Jesus Christ is right here with us, and we're supposed to be walking in peace with Him, "thinking of the things above" (Col.3:2). It's always a blessing when we do so, and when we see other believers doing so as well (2Jn.1:1-4).

We're all going to need to hold tight to that perspective – and to the Lord – when the balloon goes up.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #22:

I was just reading a bit of Job and realized I am still not there yet. The way the Lord and the Adversary talks, I am not sure how to explain my thinking when I read it...[omitted]

Response #22:

Everyone who reads the Bible in the Spirit will always be coming across passages they don't completely understand, and – if they are honest with themselves – passages which point out or bring to mind our shortcomings.

We do have to guard against misinterpretation, so if there is ever anything one is unsure about, well, that is where Bible teaching comes in (or should). So while it can be painful, more Bible reading is always better than less. Same thing for accessing Bible teaching!

Hope you have a good and restful weekend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #23:

Chanukah nearly invaded Thanksgiving this year (attribute that to the Hebrew vs Gregorian calendar conundrum), and Christmas happily remains upcoming shortly (and the toy industry so loves that holiday for obvious reasons).

Meanwhile and particularly during these tumultuous times we’d do well to not miss or overlook ignore any of the above. “Holiday” gets its roots from holy day. There’s a blessing attached to them.

Thankfulness is an attitude and component of true success. (Psalm 50:14-15) Chanukah reminds us all of God’s faithfulness to His people, celebrating a deliverance from oppressive conditions for the faithful, at this time on earth inviting us all to faithfulness.

And Christmas (even if the birth-dating is inaccurate) celebrates the way-earlier prophesied arrival of the Savior of all men, all nations.

We want to wish everyone the very best this holiday season. Friendships, partnerships, working relationships, all that kind of stuff – are special, spectacular and most appreciated.

May God bless you all going forward into 2022.

Response #23:

I'm thankful for you, my friend!

Question #24:

And I for you, Bill. Lord bless you mightily.

I sent out the email “Holiday Greeting” early so I could still be timely for all the Jewish folks in the industry. Some of their responses are spectacular. Some are in Israel, seriously sensing the times, although still with a veil over their eyes, not understanding the plans of the Lord for the world, particularly His covenant people. I am blessed to be able to speak to them as one of them.

Best greetings. Next year in Jerusalem,

Response #24:

I appreciate your stalwart witness for the truth, my friend! As I often point out to interested Christians of a gentile background, it's always very much better for Jewish Christians to witness to those of Jewish background – for reasons which to my mind ought to be obvious. There is a reason why the 144,000 will all be Jewish, after all.

Keep up the good work for our Lord, my friend! Wishing you a blessed set of holidays.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #25:

Agreed. Some of those emails went to Jews in Israel. Spectacular responses. The shaking work is working. Yesterday there was a UN resolution ripping on Judaism as well as Judaism in their claimed city of Jerusalem. I'll send you the link I was sent. I haven't seen this news in American news. We're too busy festering in our own national sin.

Amazing days to be addressing the Jewish people. Hag 2:6-7 days.

Bless you Bob

Response #25:

I'm thrilled to hear this!

Thanks for the grand report.

Keep up the wonderful work for Jesus Christ!

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #26:

Hello Bob,

Hope you are well.

Just a quick message to let you know that I cannot access your site at the moment. It takes forever to try and load and then gives up.

You see I check your site out multiple times a day every day now and it's usually the first thing I do is listen to an MP3 while I'm getting up.

The last few days have been slow but today it won't connect at all. I've tried it on my IPhone via Safari, __'s android phone via Google Chrome and I'm even having the same problem with the laptop via Opera and Google Chrome.

Hope everything is alright your end. We do have Storm Barra here at the moment but other sites seem unaffected.

In Him,

-----

Hey Bob,

As of 14:52 GMT, Ichthys is now up and running again!

In Him,

Response #26:

Thanks for watching out for me!

The server has been acting a bit "batty" today. Have no idea why. The company I use is normally pretty good, but they are very big and not especially responsive. There has to be a demonstrable "no go" problem to get their attention and to get them to do anything about it.

I'm happy to hear that you're able to access the site again.

I appreciate the help!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #27:

Hi Robert,, I hope you are well.

Long time since we talked. I hope your health and situation are very good.

Just wanted to drop you a line that several things you have said to me still resonate. You have been an influence for me for many years.

Hope you are keeping up the fight like Saint Paul.

Response #27:

Doing well, thanks very much for asking! Tornadoes missed us here, which is a blessing.

Hope the same is true for you. How is your boy's health?

Since I sent you this email, I've finished the next installment of Peter as well. So now the entire first epistle of Peter is now available online at Ichthys – a project I started in graduate school over three decades ago!

Hard at work on 2nd Peter now!

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend. Thanks much for your kind words.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:

My son is good, thank you for remembering Robert. I will continue to check Ichthys and pray for you too. Hope all is well and good for you daily. I really want to get closer to the Lord.

Response #28:

That's great news!

"I really want to get closer to the Lord." Amen! That's what "this" is all about. Ichthys is at your service.

Keeping you in my prayers. Thanks for yours as well, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #29:

Hello Professor

I don't know if you are aware that in my mind, finding a spelling error of yours is like a golden ticket to me. I have heard they exist through reading the email postings yet I have not found any. I don't think this is a spelling issue but just a wrong word. I know you typically say grow, progress and production so this one jumped out to me. I have been wrong before though. We are re-reading Peter 35.

So glad to hear you were kept safe from any storm damage.

Oh, also to update you on my son, right after our last email he contracted covid. We ended up getting my granddaughter the day he started feeling ill. We kept her for 3 weeks and did not get sick. He had a rough go but we treated him with the FLCCC protocol (ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies) and most importantly prayers. He is fully recovered and still dieting, down 20 pounds at least and blood pressure getting better. I should have contacted you for prayer but I failed to in all the commotion. I did get it to the forum. We are so blessed to have you and each other.

In Christ Jesus our Lord

Response #29:

Good job you! I meant to write "production". Change made. Thank you! And you made my day by "not noticing" spelling errors and other typos of which I make plenty (I leave often out "the" and various prepositions often, write "you" for "your" and vice versa, etc.).

Updated prayer request for you on the site – and I will keep your boy in my prayers.

Thanks too for your concern. People southwest of us REALLY got hit hard.

Keeping you your family in my prayers – thanks so much for yours too!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

 

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