I've been reading the news the last couple days. Did you and those you know in
your local area make it through the floods OK? (I don't much know Kentucky
geography, but I know that's your state).
Please take as much time as you need.
Thanks for your concern – Louisville is fine. We did receive a great
deal of rain, but no flooding around here. They really got hammered out
to the east of us, however (a fair number of fatalities) – reminding me
of the places that got flattened by those tornadoes to the southwest of
us last year.
I'm very grateful to the Lord for His protection!
*[note: at last report there were still many people missing and entire areas still cut off; prayers appreciated, especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ who may be in distress]
Doc, why do you tell me to read your site specifically? I know you say there aren't many places that preach Truth these days, but are Ichthys and Bible Academy really it as far as you know? And i assume the Peter series is kind of the spiritual "milk" of your site, is that why you told me to start with it?
I never tell believers they can't do this or that, especially when it
comes to something like this.
I do recommend what is good and I don't recommend what is bad, however.
Are there some other decent places out there from which a believer could grow spiritually? Perhaps. It's just that whenever I investigate something else (and I don't have a lot of time – and zero need – for that), there is always some fatal flaw.
If my friend is cooking a perfectly good cake, and I am cooking a perfectly good cake, naturally I would recommend him or me to you if you want a good cake. Why should I recommend a cake-cooker who may have a dead rat in the middle of every cake?
You're responsible for yourself. If you diligently give your attention to Ichthys or Bible Academy (or both), I'm certain you can grow spiritually and be benefited without any negative effects from either ministry. I'm not prepared to make that claim about any other ministry I presently know of. So I don't recommend them.
There are a lot of cakes with rats in them out there – or worse.
Hi Bob, Hope you are well on all fronts! We are bumping along OK, waiting for our eventual rescue, "that Day" we are eagerly waiting for (fast approaching)! Will be glad when "all this" is over to get away from all the madness of "this day" (not a favorite topic for anyone "these days".....I take note from the "anxiety" from some of the weekly Ichthys emails)! In the meantime, this morning, I was studying your section on "Baptism: Water and Spirit". Boy, I really got "ticked off" by the correspondent on ques. #5. But I was really impressed by your cool, calm and collected response! (excellent exegesis BTW as it always gives a boost for my understanding of all these matters.....so important!). I wish I could be as calm when "under fire" from narcissists like these! (another "thing" I need to work on !). It never ceases to disgust me more (per past personal experience), how "false teachers", in their "humble pride", can become the self-titled "watchman for YOUR betterment", trying to help YOU to be straightened out from YOUR error, so as to avoid the pits of hell! ( thus, my riling rub!). Just have to realize these hucksters are really "the pot calling the kettle black"!.... have my doubts they will ever figure this out (they can never "feel" something could be wrong with them!). Anyway, I'm feeling pretty calm now about it all, when put in the proper perspective. I really appreciate how you operate, in a truly humble fashion, when trying to communicate (possibly) conflicting ideas with others. Whatever the discipline, it takes a lot of research and "homework" to gain any expertise. And practice is beneficial to supplement any endeavor, to gain the upper hand, in whatever one is trying to accomplish. Your ministry is a godsend for all of us who love the "real" truth of these matters! (rightly dividing the word or truth - 2 Tim. 2:15). Thank you for your example, and all the hard work you are doing for us! I know you are up for some great rewards from our Lord for this endeavor, to help us gain the upper hand for "real" spiritual growth! OK enough now!....back to where I left off.... ques. #6 and beyond. Praying for you day by day, Bob. Please let me know of any special prayer requests? Thanks for your prayers for all of us here too! All the best! Your friend in Jesus,
Thanks for the update. Good to hear that things are alright out there on the
"left coast". And thanks for your encouraging email and good words too!
You really nailed the interventionist "teachers". This is one of the dangerous trends of Laodicea, even among putatively Christian organizations, namely, "accountability" – which means individuals of questionable spiritual status seeking to weigh in on every decision large or small their parishioners make. Talk about the quickest way to create dependency and scuttle any genuine spiritual growth! That sort of process in any group is one of the clearest warning signs that a Christian has ended up in the wrong place (no cult is ever without it).
I do keep you and yours in my daily prayers and am grateful for yours as well. I could indeed use some prayers for increased enrollments in my classes, especially in Greek. Times have changed and so have the generations and the demography. Even though I've done more this cycle to recruit than ever before – by a long shot – I'm looking at very low numbers. I've never had first year Greek cancelled before and I'm hoping to pick up a few more students before things kick off next month . . . but they're taking their time showing up and registering.
Pretty hot here in KY! Guess it's a mark of my age that I don't mind 90+ as much as I used to.
Back to Peter #41 now! [now posted at the link]
OK, Thanks for bringing up the concern Bob! I'll be sure to ask our Lord ("where two agree") that the Father will give you the necessary increase! We both have faith that He will provide (one way or another) because we believe His Word.( e.g., Matt. 7:7-8; Matt. 18:19; John 14:13-14; John 15:7, 16; John 16:23-24; James 1:5-6, 17; and much more, I'm sure!). So thankful for His Providence in matters big and small! We can both agree on this! (Rom. 8:28). Pretty hot! - this is not in my "where two agree" category! I really do like it in the 70's range much better (maybe if I were in my 90's I might not mind it in the 90's?). But then again, if your calculation is correct (2033 ? ) then that 90's situation would be moot, and I believe your teaching / calculation is correct. We all will be much happier at that point! (a new "ageless birthday" under perfect conditions, so to speak). Amen, come, Lord Jesus! As for the "left coast", I left it long ago, even if I don't think the "right" is the "right coast" either. "Geography" in this "climate change environment" leaves no safe place to be anywhere on planet earth, except by staying close and "listening" to our Lord. I heartily agree with you that politics is the devil's game......and he's ramping up the game (in this 4th. quarter) in all areas big and small, especially to distract and deceive the "very elect", if possible. (have to remember to keep the "armor"on at all times!). If it be our lot to be here when all hell breaks loose, we know He has us covered completely! I'm very happy to know the Father has "elected" a new King to straighten out "The Mess", and His term in office will be a perpetual one! We've (all believers, that is) "voted " for Him, and we will all be eternally grateful for His tenure in office! Really looking forward to His Reign..... there will be no more "shortages"......problem solved!.....The Government upon His shoulder" ( Is. 9:6). Finished up studies on the "baptism issues" (very helpful to get the "real" picture of it ....i.e., one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.....and "forget" the ritual stuff!). Easy to get side-tracked if we're not careful!..... and for what "good outcome"?.... No, I'll pass!....and try to stay with the "important stuff"! Back to Peter #41?..... I didn't know it was on the horizon......something more to look forward to! Looks like I'm getting further behind .as usual!......not sure I'll ever catch up? Anyway, I'll leave it here for now, so I can have a chance to catch up! Hope you are well, and will get some well deserved rest as you trudge forward! Your friend in Jesus,
Thanks for the prayers!
Hah! 90's indeed. For all our sakes, if that is the ratio, let's hope none of us cracks the century mark!
It certainly is the case that there is already no safe place. The Huguenots found places of refuge, but I can't think of anywhere nowadays that fits the bill. For a long time I had my eye on Australia, but their intrusive government actions during the shutdowns makes the USA look like it's 1776 all over again by comparison. So we are where we are. That makes things a good deal simpler. Like Forest Gump said when he was told that money was no longer an issue on account of his material success, "One less thing to worry about".
The game is ramping up indeed. Speaking of games, I time myself watching the news to see how long I can go without talking back to the TV set – then I turn the channel or, better yet, hit the off button. I'm trying to get to ten minutes.
So we have plenty of opportunities to practice before the real "show" begins.
As to catching up, just keep plodding along slow and steady, my friend – that is what wins the race.
Keeping you and yours in my daily prayers as well, my friend.
Hi Bob, Yeah, I've come to the same conclusion that there are or will be no safe havens left on any coasts, anywhere. "Hide and seek" will be a relatively easy game for the "powers that be '' to find anyone who thinks they have found that perfect hiding place! I have to admit I HAD contemplated that very idea of a "disappearing act" ~50 yr. ago to avoid the coming tribulation.( I won't tell you where.....it's "top -secret", OK!). Please, remember me if you ever get "in a pinch", OK? As you say "we are where we are"......I think you're right, and I have "recalibrated" my thinking also. I'm left with "I'm just going to trust that God has "everything" all worked out".(Rom. 8:28). That makes it far simpler for sure! Look at what He did for a whole host of His people in the past (quite a cloud of witnesses, delivered in one way or another!......pretty amazing miracles!....and some are in the 3rd. Heaven presently, just waiting for the Resurrection to take place, starting the "final act" of human history....the Millennial Kingdom!). Also, fast forward ~7 1/2 yr. - what about the special protection, out of harm's way, in a "secret haven" in the desert for His people upcoming .... a miraculous secret hiding place, with NO hide and seek allowed! So we have to conclude - if God is for us "who can be against us". (the simple truth of the matter!). We'll see and know what to do, if we acknowledge Him, He will direct our path. Our plan A, when it fails, might lead to plan B... so we have to rely on Him to to get to that "safe place" in any case. His intelligence is the Highest, far beyond what we could ever imagine. So we all need to stay "tuned in" for any "sig alert bulletins" from Him. (mixed messages from mainstream media, or supposed friends won't cut it!). Keep your "radios" on, dialed into His channel! This emergency will pass, after Tribulation! As a side note, one curiosity that I have / had is that escape command - "Flee Babylon!". Having been "cancelled" how can you flee with NO means for money, passport, public transportation ticket, etc. I remember reading "Kon Tiki" when I was a young lad, but I'm pretty sure at that future date and age a "raft trip" would not be in the offing! So, again, I'm left with remembering that God has all the details worked out! We'll be fine! Back to plodding, before the plot thickens! I hope you're having a great summer! Praying for that Greek ship to come in for you, Bob! Your friend in Jesus,
I have wondered about that myself. So much we don't know about how things will
pan out precisely that the old observation "all speculation is in vain" seems at
least partially to apply. One thing to point out is that this disadvantage of
living in mystery Babylon (i.e.,
the necessity to flee) may be balanced out by the potential advantage of the
place being a sort of "safe haven" before that event by reason of the fact that
it is antichrist's ruling dominion – until he sees fit to destroy it. The
picture painted by Revelation chapter 18 is one of luxury and excess . . .
before destruction. So perhaps some of that will trickle down to believers who
refuse to be marked, including enough wherewithal available after the beast
temporarily disappears to afford an exit. We will see. Until we are on the boat
(no rafts please!), we will have to do as you recommend: ""I'm just going to
trust that God has "everything" all worked out" (Rom. 8:28)." Better advice I
Thanks for those prayers, my friend! I'll let you know how things turn out (still over a month to go before classes begin).
Hi Bob, That "perhaps" would take some of the pressure off in the interim, even if it's crumbs instead of luxury and excess. Beans on the table would be better than nothing, even though it's not my favorite fare. (beggars can't be choosers, so we'll take "it's beans.... again"!). A lot in the "wait and see" category, so we'll only see what's in the store when that time arrives. In the meantime, for today, we'll keep praying that the boat will turn up for you. Have a good one, Bob! Your friend in Jesus,
I'd rather have beans than broccoli! But I'm sure I'd even be very
grateful for broccoli if I were hungry enough.
We'll find out about all this in due time. But the second advent will occur right on time. And no one and nothing in the entire universe can slow it down by a single second. We already have one foot on the other side and we're holding onto Jesus' hand, just waiting for Him to pull us over. From wherever we are, it's just a short arc over on the rainbow until we see God's rainbow glory, just the blink of an eye. And if sometimes it seems longer than that, we know by faith that once we are on the other side none of these former things will ever again "be remembered or come to mind" (Is.65:17), so wonderful will that other side be.
Meantime, a plate of beans will be just fine.
Hi Bob, This is certainly great news to know all this! i.e., the best future news to anticipate---our ship comes in, brought safely in, after charting through some rough waters by Captain Jesus! Truly amazing to make it safe on the other side..... at Home..... surviving the last great conflict! I'm glad He has it all worked out!......as long as we keep our faith intact. We'll never forget what He's done for us......and all our past troubles will be forgotten..... good news indeed! Also, I hear the food on the other side will be great there too, with a multitude of delicious fare to choose from! All in due time......in the meantime.....waiting for our Blessed Hope! I just noticed I wrote all this with exclamation points?! Have a good weekend , Bob! In Jesus,
There IS a lot to be excited about!
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
James 5:7-8 NIV
If the second advent was "near" back then, its VERY near today. That is truly
the perspective we're going to need to navigate the last seven years, seeing
them (as much of them as we personally will have to pass through) as a mere
blink of the eye until all the glories you rehearse are revealed for us is the
God is able to bring us through in the meantime, even without us scrambling to find a safe hide (but please don't kick me out if I happen to come across your secret!).
I was curious as to when you wrote the Satanic Rebellion and Coming Tribulation bible studies? Have these series been available since the late 90s?
The SR series was written
in the 90's. The CT series
mostly in the 2000's and finished in 2010's. The
Basic Series is an expansion of
an outline of studies for some face to face Bible studies in the late
80's, but was only recently completed couple of years ago. Just finished
the Peter series! Stay tuned
for what's next.
Hope this helps!
Indeed I am up late now thinking things over..
I have made good spiritual progress recently but I was foolish to not prepare for an attack because of it and I fell afoul of it and really lost my temper and fell in the flesh over the last two days and that was all because of that stupid walk I did and then came back to two __ men trying to break in next door (wondering where the drugs are) and I really gave them a mouthful of sass as that walk put me in a foul mood. That led me to lose my temper a few times. I really unraveled and feel really bad about the whole thing.
I have confessed and now I am moving on with my progress again and picking up where I left off.. I realise that any spiritual growth will be met with opposition and this is NOT to be then fought in the flesh! It has to be fought in the Spirit also through prayer and trust and faith and keeping on.
I am seeing my weak spots and chinks in my armour. It has also taught me not to be boastful or prideful of Spiritual growth as the glory is for Him alone. The increase is His and He is my boast.
Indeed I am glad to know that the problems around us in the flesh are terrible odds as it makes even my stubborn flesh know when I'm licked! Just like Pharaoh against the Israelites. So as always, it is deliverance from this is what we are waiting for.
When I went through that horrible time at that university, well my world view was smashed to pieces then. I see this as a smashing up of a world view for the whole world! So that even the most complacent and spiritually dead person will not fail to see how unfair, insane, crooked and evil it all is here. Hopefully anyone who sees this will choose wisely. Take it from me Bob, once that worldview is smashed (that the world/people are good/ I am good) then you can never go back to really believing it again but you can of course lie to yourself about it and bury the truth.
I'm appalled at how long it took me to seek Jesus considering all the horrors that surrounded me. The important thing though is that I am in Him NOW and this is where I want to remain until I leave here. Obviously it will take effort to maintain that position in Him and the more effort I expend now, the greater dividends during the Tribulation. Like you said before, no one will regret the time they spend studying and growing closer to the Lord! Amen!
Thanks again Bob!
I'm not worried about you, my friend!
It is a typical thing for advancing believers to be very hard on themselves for minor course deviations, and then recall the huge course corrections made when we finally got positive to the truth. So it's good to pull oneself up short when we do stumble (and we all stumble: Jas.3:2). Remembering "how it was" at such times in the past is also good because that helps us not to despair now – we are now fighting the fight and things are of an entirely different order now. Controlling the tongue is difficult. No one does that perfectly. Those who are trying – and recognizing and confessing their failures – are at least "in the fight".
So keep fighting that good fight, my friend, and please do not let a couple of momentary mistakes color everything. That is the real danger at such times, namely, overreacting to a mistake and letting it put you off your good course overall.
And don't forget to make your daily Bible study a top priority because all progress depends on continuing spiritual growth.
Keeping you in my daily prayers, my friend.
Things have settled down again and I am taking off where I left off
I know this is a curve ball pitch but what does the Bible say about the idea of "divine right of kings" or the "divine right to rule"? I know many of the flags in this country bear the motto "Dieu et Mon Droit". Just been thinking of this given the unpopularity of the British Royal Family at the moment. Is this divine right only for the kings of the Jews or all kings of the world?
I know that Peter writes we should honour the King so presumably that still stands even when we are under tyranny or corruption.
I was also wondering about the putting the hand under a patriarch's thigh when saying an oath. Where does this practice originate from? Is that why today the Royal Family here have the "Order of the garter?"
Many thanks in advance my friend!
Hope this finds you well!
There's no such thing as a king directly appointed by God Himself, except in the
case of Saul first, and then David and his dynasty thereafter. And even so, it's
not really the same as that medieval confusion you refer to here.
The Bible does say to "honor the king", because whatever authority gets established only does so because God allows it (Rom.13:1). This is true of evil kings as well as good kings and all others (and all other forms of government) in between. So no boasting before God here – and no basis for proclaiming such a right – because God can take it away in the blink of an eye (as He did in the case of Saul).
As to the oath, that was apparently a custom of the time to demonstrate the importance of an oath. It's not divinely prescribed – anymore than is our custom in this country of swearing with one hand raised and one hand on the Bible. Both customs convey essentially the same thing, namely, to affirm the seriousness of the oath and the genuineness of its acceptance.
Zachary is a former friend of mine and a Messianic who believes we have to follow the Torah laws and denies the Trinity, and thinks all non-Jewish holidays are pagan. He truly believes himself to be a humble follower and signpost towards God. I've tried desperately to lead him to Truth and even to your site but he hardens his heart in response to all my attempts. Only God can help him, and I'm asking you to pray for him. Also, he thinks you're a "feel good" preacher despite never looking at your website.
I've said a prayer for him.
During the Tribulation, many Jews will turn to the Lord under the ministry of Moses and Elijah and the 144,000. Before then it is the rare Jewish individual who will accept Christ (Rom.11:25), but it does happen, and indeed we should pray for them.
This person isn't Jewish, he's Messianic, which means he's a Christian who believes we must follow the OT Law.
As to "which means he's a Christian who believes we must
follow the OT Law" - not necessarily. It means he's a gentile who
believes that falsehood. You said that this group "denies the
Christians, the way I use the word, are believers in Jesus Christ. If you don't believe in the deity of Christ, you don't believe in Him (as many Messianic groups do not or are at the very least very "fuzzy" on the issue).
Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
1st John 2:22-23 NIV
First, comments. Today's post, 1/8/22, seemed to be concerned mostly with abortion and life in the womb. I've come to the conclusion that if God knows the end from the beginning, then he knows who will and won't abort. I think abortion is wrong so it's moot for me. Especially when an aspirin tablet held firmly between both knees is 100% effective birth control. But it's not up to me to judge.
I agree with your comments on getting involved in politics. I haven't voted since the '90s when I saw that it was all meaningless. If governments are instituted by God, as I believe they are, then we are being severely punished. It doesn't appear that we're learning.
My question: I am having a bit of trouble reconciling Peter's vision of the tablecloth descending from heaven full of all kinds of creatures with the elder's recommendation that gentiles abstain from blood and things strangled. Paul even said, eat anything sold in the "shambles" aka market. I understand the injunction against blood and strangled. Blood in a corpse turns nearly black in just a few minutes. So I would imagine outside the body, for things like blood pudding, it would as well. Not very appetizing.
Then, too, the Lord said that nothing that goes into the body defiles a person, it's what comes out of his mouth. Surely, the apostles were there to hear that.
Was the elder's prohibition because they hadn't fully understood at the time? Or was it because they were imposing a Jewish outlook on gentiles? What am I misunderstanding?
By the way, your response to question #1 was the sharpest I've read. Good for you. He deserved it, I think.
I pray all is well with you and yours.
Agreed. You don't have to believe a false doctrine to think that unnecessary
abortion is wrong.
Agreed. We get the government we deserve. Since that is the case, the fact that the awful government we have is not ten times worse (so far) is a matter of abounding grace.
Yes, that is correct. The book of Acts explains how things were, not how they should always be (a very common misconception; see the link). Everyone in those early days had a steep learning curve to climb. Peter was not perfect in his up-take. Consider the fact that he had to have a triple lesson from the Spirit before ministering to gentiles (Acts 10:9-23), and then latter still allowed himself to get caught up in legalistic hypocrisy (Gal.2:11-14). Even Paul had an emotional weakness for the Law, continuing with water baptism at first (though he seems to be the first to get that one straight), taking oaths himself (Acts 18:18), going to Jerusalem to be there for the festivals in spite of a direct Holy Spirit prohibition, and then allowing himself to participate in vows and sacrifices to prove that he "followed the Law" (see the link; he is one of the greatest believers of all time and far above us, so we say all this with due humility).
Paul goes into detail about this issue you ask about in Romans 14 and also 1st Corinthians 10. The bottom line is that everything, all food, has indeed been cleansed – as our Lord said at Mk.7:19, as the Spirit told Peter, as Paul also says directly (1Tim.4:4). But those of Jewish tradition have a different attitude, one that is not necessarily contrary to grace, one that can serve as a bridge to unbelieving Jews, one that gentile believers are told to respect. So that is what we do. We try to avoid giving offense, but we also do not let ourselves be bullied into absolutely and at all times doing things we feel are wrong for us or giving up things we think are right for us.
I'm keeping you in my prayers, my friend.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Thanks for the clarification and for your prayers. Perhaps I'm learning after all.
All the prayers for me have helped. Adjusting to the loss of a daughter has been up and down but much different than adjusting to the loss of my wife. I'm spring garden planning and occasional garden prep as weather permits, It helps keep my mind occupied. The news, doesn't and in fact, makes it worse. The ding-battery out there in the world strikes me as insane with trans-gender perversion, the promotion of homosexuality and the hysteria over climate change (which it's been doing twice a year for at least 70+ years.) I can't afford to spend time thinking about it all.
Thanks again for your prayers.
In our Lord Jesus,
It can't be easy. I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers, my
Yes, the "ding-battery", as you so eloquently put it, is setting new land-speed records for idiocy daily. It really is amazing that we are "still here". How much longer can "all this" go on is anybody's guess, but not too much longer, I don't think. So a short eschatological clock fits with that.
Thanks so much for keeping me in the loop.
First day back went OK today. Colleagues up in arms about Covid and not being allowed to "go remote"; students were fine with being back.
Glad your first day back was decent. I don't understand the covid hysteria. Yes, it's bad - - yes, it kills a very few, my daughter among them, but the omicron iteration seems to be no worse than a cold. I think if I were forced into remote learning over a cold, I would demand a refund. But then, I'm a lot grumpier than I was in my 20s. I hope you're not required to wear those useless face diapers.
I have to confess, I hope the day comes soon. I've learned that we need to be careful of what we ask in prayer. Sometimes prayer is answered in ways we don't anticipate. So I'm just hoping, not praying. Still, the world I knew is gone. I'll never see it again.
In Jesus Christ,
I believe solidly in prayer – the Spirit knows what we need and helps with all
that misinterpretation (Rom.8:26).
Turns out the kerfuffle at U of L made the paper. Here's the link:
"I have to confess, I hope the day comes soon." Amen!
Keeping you in my prayers every day, my friend.
I used a poor choice of words. I too believe in prayer but the taste of the scroll, sweet in the mouth but bitter in the belly, was running through my mind. The Lord's prayer is essentially praying for the same thing. Thank you for reminding me of Romans 8:26. If I frame things as badly in prayer, I need His intercession!
The U of L article read like there was a lot of emotional hand wringing and flag waving. Do you also have that critical race nonsense there, too? I would think the diversity of staff there would refute that crazy notion. It does look like a beautiful campus though.
Thank you for your prayers. You and yours are in mine as well.
Most of my students seemed happy to be there – and I was only missing a
very small number today just like Monday. So, so far so good!
This is a college campus, so we have our fair share of what you might expect. But I stick to my own knitting.
We ALL need the Spirit's intercession. So keep on praying, and let the Lord sort it out (1Thes.5:17).
Thanks for YOUR prayers!
Wow! It seems as if Satan won't let them be. I will continue to keep her and her family in my prayers. It was a joy to see the news that she is no longer in a cast and I was especially happy that she was upbeat about things. It was very good news for me.
I spoke with the leader of the church during the week and was reluctant to put the church in a difficulty so I agreed at first to go on and help with opening the account they wanted me to be signatory to. But I made up my mind this morning that I didn't want to be tied to the church, so I texted him to say that I couldn't help them. I also mean to take a few liberties to keep myself from losing hold on the truth. I won't be so careful to go to church as before. When I need to detox or something, I'll stay home. I'm also thinking that I'll go check out another branch that I'm given to believe is large enough to let me sort of disappear into. I've decided to do things now with little apology to anyone if I find it useful for my spiritual pursuits.
Thank you very much, Sir, for your encouragement and the prayers in this matter. I'm very hopeful that things will finally resolve there in the very near future (the end of this month possibly?).
I have three questions right now:
1. A teacher doesn't have to be afraid that they could be misleading their brothers and sisters if he is being diligent in study and sensitive to the Holy Spirit in the absence of a forum where he can discuss his thoughts on interpretations with other teachers, does he? Not that I find the forum a problem, right now; I'm thinking of the future and settling into the role of a pastor-teacher. Also, he does not need to present his positions as debatable to those who hear him in order to be humble or willing to accommodate the possibility of error, does he (per 1 Peter 4:11)?
2. In Ezekiel 44:23, the passage says that the priests in the Millennium will teach God's people the difference between the holy and the common/profane/unholy. Some translations say "common," some "profane," some "unholy." Am I right to think that the Hebrew there might accommodate all these ideas? My feeling is that the common does not necessarily need to be profane or unholy but might instead or also speak to those things in our lives that are neutral and should not be treated as if they have some spiritual value in and of themselves. What do you think of that, Sir?
3. In Hebrews 4:12, I know that you translate it as dividing between the spirit and its earthly life, and I see no error in that. I wonder though if that accommodates a similar separation as in #2 above. I am thinking that, for example, in our growth in the truth, we get better at keeping our true spiritual concerns distinct from the earthly concerns that everyone shares whether they are believers or not. Would that be a worthy application of that verse?
Keeping you in our prayers here.
Your student in Jesus
I'm very happy to hear that you're not going to allow yourself to be pressured
into doing something that rightly makes you uncomfortable. Seems that this sort
of pressure, compromise, bad feelings are what "church" is all about in
Laodicea, only different flavors of the bad stuff in different denominations.
1. This is not a debating society. Different pastors have different styles. You have to find the right one for you. But kowtowing to the rebellious elements in your congregation is a recipe for disaster. I like to think that "with the reasonable" I have shown myself reasonable. But I've never been willing to compromise with the truth, so eventually when the "reasonable" get a swollen head, I've had to push back, and that has led to breaches. My mentor, Col. Thieme, would explode in a massive first strike all over anyone who even hinted at pushing back. If you're a military type, you're used to that; others have problems with that approach (we're all different). The main thing is that this is not about us; this is about feeding the sheep of Jesus Christ. We do that the best way we can; we don't allow a few unruly sheep to butt the others out of the way and muddy the waters.
2. The truth is holy; all else is profane. Believers are holy; unbelievers are profane. All that represents or symbolizes the former of the two pairs is holy; all that represents the second set is profane. All applications I would make would proceed from this.
3. Ezekiel's regime is to a certain degree a return to the Law for ceremonial reasons, written at the time to those under the Law. The whole purpose of Hebrews is to show how the Law has been replaced by something better, something real and not just symbolic, the new covenant for the old, the New High Priest for the old, etc. So I would rather say that OT scriptures point forward, if rightly understood, to, e.g., the truths outlined in Hebrews (and the rest of the NT), rather than the other way around.
Plenty of drama at the uni (here's a link: https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/education/2022/01/10/university-louisville-threatens-punish-staff-who-teach-remotely/9160679002/).
Keeping you and your families in my prayers too, my friend!
Thank you for your answers here. And also for that link you sent. I'm not sure what to make of all that! I want so much to have work that takes me out of the house both for circulation and better separation of duties, and others want to have everything in one basket and be isolated in this manner from others? I suspect that they won't want that after a while! Or maybe it is part of the deterioration that is heading for the Tribulation.
I am attaching a document for your thoughts. I was wondering what you might think of my use of those two passages I asked about. Your answers make every sense to me: It is certainly what I have learned from you. I thought that I might use those passages to drive home the point that while we must use all earthly things in a godly way, there are things that in themselves have no spiritual value, therefore we are not to make more of them than what they are.
Your student in Jesus
They're afraid of getting sick. When you have nothing but this rotten
world and when that is seriously threatened, it creates all manner of
pressures that mature believers have a hard time identifying with.
Good piece! I don't have any problem with you applying these passages in this way.
Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.
Many seemingly extremely worldly and even to some, satanic games have taught me
valuable lessons spiritually, and I believe God is to thank for that.
Do you believe God really taught me some lessons through these games? He can use anything for His glory, right?
I've never been a fan of "looking for gold nuggets in the mud". That is
how Jerome described reading the Apocrypha. A similar situation:
something mostly awful wherein SOME say they have found value.
But isn't it better to go right to the source of all value immediately? If you need a box of nails, isn't it better to go to the hardware store than to drive several hours to the dump and dig around in garbage all day in hopes of finding a single one?
I recommend sticking with the Bible . . . and good Bible teaching.
I was just trying to talk to dad about how the love of money corrupts
people and he said that he thought that the striking down of Ananias and
Sapphira was an act of violence against them (he saw this chapter
depicted in a painting). I was trying to tell him the violence they had
done themselves, that they were basically lying to the Holy Spirit and
that they were dead (spiritually) already and so another day on earth
would be of no use to them or anyone else. I tried to tell him the
severity of their action (or inaction) and then he said "I thought He
was a forgiving God".
Is there a better way of explaining the lesson behind this event?
Can I also please add another prayer request?
An old school friend of mine, her parents are having a terrible time.
Many thanks my friend!
The Ananias and Sapphira story is an odd case. It happened, but many things happen in the book of Acts which don't continue to happen. This was at a time when the church at Jerusalem was having "all things in common", which is NOT how things are supposed to be going forward. Also, this was right at the inception of the Church Age and the very first incident of believers with the Spirit rejecting His guidance in an over public way. We might compare the putting to death of the man who gathered firewood on the Sabbath right after the giving of the Law at Num.15:32-36 – something else never recorded as having happened in such a way.
So God handled this special case in special circumstances in a special way – to demonstrate the seriousness of rejecting God's authority, God's provision, and the Spirit's leadership. An inaugural lesson in the folly of disobeying God in such a high-handed way.
We can learn from this what not to do, but we shouldn't get exercised over what happened. Plenty (the majority?) of believers since have done similar or worse things and not gotten struck down. But at least this story teaches us to be grateful for the grace and mercy God has shown us in forgiving us though doing similar things.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 136:3 NKJV
[email about staying close to the Lord under particular pressure: omitted by request]
I'm very happy for your relatively easier week.
I survived mine as well and am feeling some better today. I think all will be well after resting up this weekend. Very cold here!
There really is nothing better than walking closely with the Lord. That is the place of peace and of quiet power. The more consistent we are with growth AND application of what we have learned and believed, the more often we will find ourselves in the special "good place".
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
Holding onto that peace and walking with Jesus in "faith rest"
(Heb.4:1-10), is our fulfillment today of the fourth commandment – not a
once a week thing but an all the time thing, trusting the Lord every
step of the way, keeping our eyes on Him, looking toward the glorious
eternity soon to come.
Keeping you in my prayers.
I have a question for you, Doc.
Why? Why does God only help those who try to help themselves? Does He not help the helpless? Is He not a loving and gracious Lord?
Of course God helps the helpless.
And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2nd Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV
You do have to be willing to be helped, however, and to grow spiritually
to the point of being able to have the same perspective Paul
demonstrates above, trusting the Lord completely, even when things do go
wrong, understanding that our "help" doesn't necessarily come in the way
the world expects.
In terms of "help" in the battle against sin, when the Spirit tells you in your heart "do this" you should do it, not the opposite; when the Spirit tells you in your heart "don't do this' you should refrain, not engage.
The Lord is our Shepherd, but we have to be willing to take up our crosses, deny ourselves . . . and follow Him.
I was reading this: "Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests
always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But
into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood,
which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;"
what about willful sins one regrets/repents of later?
I wish I had stronger faith. Do you know I am always doubting and fearful that I misunderstand something in the Bible (actually there are lots of things I know I don't understand). It is like a sickness the doubting. And sometimes I wonder if I were to stop doing good works, or only did a very few, would that make me no longer saved?
Here is a joke: I had an hour of overtime, but lost two hours when we evacuated the building due to a fire (paid hours as we didn't know it would be that long).
PS: Actually I do have a real Bible question. I have heard the sacrifices for Moses' law was only for unintentional or ignorant sin, not for intentional ignorant (say someone knowingly did a sin and then regretted it), is that so?
Let me assure that Christ died for all of our sins, and that we are forgiven all of our sins whenever we confess them:
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Psalm 32:5 NKJV
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1st John 1:9 NKJV
Also, we are saved by putting our trust in Jesus Christ.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:5 NKJV
We are all learning more about the Bible every day – or we should be! So there's
no shame in not "knowing everything". The point is to keep at it, keep believing
the truth you are taught, keep applying that truth to your life, keep passing
the tests that come, and help others do so as well as the Lord gives you
spiritual opportunities to do so.
Keeping you in my prayers – the job in particular.
What if we don't confess them because we forget?
Thanks for the prayers.
It doesn't matter if you forget some sin. If we confess, as 1st John 1:9 says, He cleanses us from "ALL unrighteousness". Remember too that confession is part of the Lord's prayer, a prayer which we really ought to be saying every day – and meaning it:
"And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors."
Matthew 6:12 NKJV
"And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us."
Luke 11:4 NKJV
I understood it as us having to confess every individual sin, not just sin in general, that is what I meant. Maybe I misunderstood.
We do confess our sins as we know them, but if we know anything about sin, we
understand that we sin far more than we realize (see
the link), so the blanket confession of sin is important and that is why it
occurs in the Lord's prayer.
Refusing to confess a sin we are aware of would be a mistake, but God is not an accountant. He is wanting us to respond to Him with a humble heart, not participate in dead ritual.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 51:17 NKJV
As long as we are honestly approaching God in faith, He does forgive us
everything whenever we confess (1Jn.1:9).
The details can be found at the following link: BB 3B: Hamartiology: the Biblical Study of Sin
I pray all is well with you. It is great to email you and talk to you outside. If you don't mind, continued prayer is needed. I am entering the job market and like in all aspect of life, I need the Lord here as well. So your prayers are appreciated that He would place me in an environment that glorifies him and edifies me.
God bless and take care.
I've been praying for you to have your livelihood restored . . . for a
long time! I will continue with this until we get that good news.
Great to hear from you over regular email as well, my friend!
Thank you Dr. The hardest thing is really employment. I have a BS degree in
Information Technology and extensive analytical background but the 4 year hiatus
is an issue. I might have to start fresh all over again.
Do you still post weekly emails? Meaning, do you still send notifications or do I have to check on the site every week?
Nothing is impossible for the Lord. I'm keeping this in prayer.
Yes, there are weekly postings at the link: emails. This week I posted the latest in the Peter series (#38) [note: series now complete with #41]; whenever I do a major posting, that bumps the email postings for the week (limited time AND it's good for email readers to read the major postings which are, after all, more important if less "fun"). I do have an RSS feed to "announce" these weekly updates, but most browsers nowadays require an add-in or add-on in order for the RSS function to work. I only send out personal emails for major postings, and I'm slow (and not comprehensive) on getting to those.
Thank you for the answer and thank you for the quick response.
On sermons, it is very rare I ever heard one I liked. I was the annoying one either off in my own world or asking lots of questions in the smaller groups. I actually would feel frustrated listening because I couldn't just imbibe it just because they were saying it and needed to check but couldn't (because I had to sit and listen to a long speech, and it would just take more time later, whereas I could spend all that time both on Bible reading itself and get more out of it). And maybe good Bible study. I actually used to kind of fear I was disrespectful, but I could not budge on that point. Well anyway thanks again for your help. I do appreciate it.
Sermons are toe-jamb, for LOTS of reasons (not the least of which is that they never actually teach anything valuable). For more on what the present local church should look like, please see the link: in BB 6B, section II, "The Local Church".
Good Afternoon Dr.
I was a “Pentecostal Christian” for many years, as a matter of fact I was brought in the movement.
I was silenced and excommunicated for challenging what the organization teaches.
Looking back now I have been thinking …..would it be safe to say that only the Roman Catholic has done more to hurt God’s church than the Pentecostals?
You've got a point there!
Emotions are necessary and we enjoy them – but best not to let them do the driving. Charismatic organizations, from the bad to the worse than bad, all seem to put emotions in the driver's seat. That is an obvious plus when it comes to getting people in the pews – because it is more fun to carry on than to sit in silence listening to some very boring sermon. But it's no more beneficial spiritually. In fact, in my view, it's even worse. Because the person in an old line church who doesn't like pointless ritual and who doesn't like boring and pointless sermons at least knows they need to make a change if they ever want to get somewhere spiritually. But the person in the charismatic swamp is told by his/her emotions that "this is it!!!" . . . initially. Eventually the flush of emotion will wear out and many more doubts and other problems will emerge than was the case in the "stodgy church". But where does the person turn then?
I'm glad to hear that you were rescued! God always seeks out the lost sheep . . . who are willing to be rescued.
You are very welcome at Ichthys.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hello Brother Bob
Got a question You have any lessons on the matter of denomination and non denomination.
Reason why I'm asking there's such a big division in so many churches because of this seems like all these churches don't want to get together because of different beliefs you're all separated you know what I mean. If we can all come together in agreement I believe God can move and great big way I would love to see you as an example assembly God, Baptist Church, full Gospel Church, Christ the King Church, Church of God and so forth with all agreed to work together and allow each other to preaching each other's Church. I'm working in the church in the state of Maine and I expressed to the Church of the pastor my goal is to get her the pastors different churches to preach in each other's Church coming together as one reaching the community so I'm just checking you have anything that could help me thank you
Good to hear from you as always, my friend.
If it's a question of "preaching sermons", I suppose that could do no particular harm – because sermons rarely if ever have any serious truth in them. They're delivered mostly for their entertainment value after all, some good stories, some emotional high points to get people to declare "Amen!", but not enough content to keep a bird alive in terms of spiritual food.
Denominations are pretty much an abomination. There is no biblical mandate for them. They are man-made – like the original denomination, the RC church – and suffer from that origin terrifically.
The Church of Jesus Christ consists of all who are born again, born from above, believers in our dear Lord. But a church or collection of churches may or may not have a large percentage of believers. People join churches and denominations for all manner of reasons, tradition, fellowship, nodding to God, etc. Just as there are plenty of RC communicants, and very few of them can possibly be saved, so with Protestant denominations – only the percentages differ.
The point is that real, biblical assemblies exist for one purpose only: to disseminate the truth of the gospel, by which of course I mean the "full counsel of God" (Acts 20:27; cf. Acts 20:20), all of the truth in the Bible. But once believers combine into a formal "church", other priorities always come to the surface: hiring and maintaining a pastor, organizing all manner of activities, increasing membership, socializing, and of course "the building". Eventually, it all seems to come down to "the building". To keep it up, build it bigger, build a bigger one, we need more people to come, more people to work, more people to give . . . but what about their spiritual growth? That top priority – in God's eyes – always seems to be the first one to get short-shrift. All one needs to do is attend almost any Protestant church, the independent ones but especially the denominational ones, for a short time to see that this is so.
If your own church has a pastor-teacher who is actually teaching the truth in enough depth and quantity according to correct doctrine for folks to grow spiritually, then you have a real gem. I would be loath to saddle such a man with additional responsibility of teaching elsewhere as well – and if I were him, no way would I allow other pastors into my pulpit who would likely water down the truth or maybe even teach things that were not true.
As to the parishioners of those other churches, if they were really interested in the truth, then they would seek and God would help them find – possibly your church (or some other place or venue where they could really grow).
There's a lot more about this a the link in BB 6B: "The Assembly of the Local Church".
Written in the love of Jesus Christ,
I cannot adequately express my gratitude for your ministry. I study that website every single day and am still anxious to learn more the next day. Thank you seems so cheap, but thank you.
I have been studying the "Coming Tribulation" for the second time. I came across something that (though insignificant) you might want to review. In Section VII. The Great Persecution: (Revelation 14:1 - 15:8) in the paragraph just before "1. The Martyrdom of the 144,000: (Revelation 14:1-5)" there is what I believe may be a small error. The sentence reads: "In short, though we may be forced during those dark days ahead to "make hay without straw" for what seems a never-ending stretch of time, we should recall that in the analogy of the days preceding the Exodus, Pharaoh, a type of antichrist, was really making the Lord the issue in this persecution (cf. Ex.5:17)." I could be mistaken but I believe the phrase "make hay without straw" should be "make bricks without straw" or "make the same number of bricks but from now on you provide your own straw" which we find in Exodus 5:7-9 where is says "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies." This email may be completely incorrect which would embarrass me immensely, but if it is correct I thought you might want to be made aware.
Anyway, I thank you for your years of dedication and hard work. It has changed my life completely. I will continue to pray that God will continue to give you insights to share with us all. Amen.
Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words, my friend! They mean
a lot. Thanks also for your editorial help. Yes indeed this is a mistake
on my part – fixed and updated. Appreciate it!
And thanks for those prayers!
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Do you understand the Catholic theory of salvation?
I understand that it only leads to hell.
I'll pray for you and for ___, that God give you more grace.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
I prayed for your salvation for a long time, but regrettably it was apparently
I really suggest you read the Bible – and listen to what it says: the passage you quote demonstrates clearly enough that what you wrote in the previous message was dead wrong.
"Grace" is not magic pixie dust sprinkled by the pope. Grace is God's favor, freely given to anyone who accepts Jesus Christ by faith.
I know you are really busy (genuinely so). I have seen clips from
decades ago and like how everyone is so calm and collected. Which is how
I think one ought to be, not overly emotional as I was being (just that
emotion has its place, but now we just bleed every emotion everywhere
anytime in a disordered way). I also was a bit down on myself because I
don't even trust news stories because who knows if they are lying or
not. One could be getting upset over something that isn't even true in
I did stumble over the weekend. I did repent. I was realizing something. When you start to see the bad effects of straying ... well let me start by saying the first decade or two one realizes that He tells us no, not to keep us from good things, but bad ones (we just have limited knowledge and experience. But that wasn't where I was going with this. What I was saying that after you realize this, and then you start to see the negative effects (at least in others, but also in yourself), and you see that sin is poison, I got the thought in my mind that the one trying to get us to do it must really hate us (or be really stupid-i.e. ourselves). I know, breaking news, Satan hates us. But I think a lot of people really don't realize that us humans do have a real enemy out there who would kill and harm us if he could. We don't live like we think that. And that verse where our Lord says that he was a murderer from the beginning, I find it very comforting. Partly because it means He knows what's up and is very direct and clear about it, and it sounds protective of us. And the other thing is that, even in the human world there are lots of people who try (sometimes successfully) to talk their way out facing consequences for evil that he does). And whenever I see that I think that our Enemy must be far more skilled at it, and even he can't prevent the Lord from seeing the truth. (Am I making sense?)
I do remember the '60's when a lot of things got burned down and there
were a great many riots – pretty emotional times overall.
On sin, it's true that the devil tempts us. But since we have a sin nature, it's not difficult to trip us up, especially in the early innings of the Christian life. God tells us the truth: "Don't eat of that tree!" And He tells us why not: "You will die!" Then the devil says, "C'mon! Look! It's attractive! And besides, you'll be happier and better off!" All lies. Lies in what we see with our eyes, lies in what we feel in our hearts, lies in what our flesh motivates us to do – and lies that resound in the satanic system in which we are immersed. And just as soon as we DO sin, we realize all that . . . afterwards . . . just like Eve did . . . afterwards (same goes for Adam but with less reason for any excuse).
So you are spot on in your analysis: God is looking out for our good when He tells us "no!", rather than trying to keep us from something good. The latter is what Satan intimated to Eve, but it was a lie.
We're always better off trusting God – and obeying Him.
In one of the emails this week someone wrote to you about how they could refute some false teaching on YouTube. I know that some Christians try to do this but it's something I've never done or even thought to do. I think a lot of my time could be wasted trying to do this with people who aren't interested - pearls before swine. I know that for me personally it's not really "my thing" and I could use my time in much more useful and productive ways. But then do you think that for other Christians this could be a form of ministry? I'm not sure - just wondering what you thought.
I really appreciate all you do for us, Bob!
It's a good question. I've always allowed as to how there are legitimate
"apologetic ministries" . . . and also always made clear that Ichthys is not one
I think there is value in standing up for the truth in the public square, but it is definitely something a person has to be called to. If it's not "from God", both in the gifting and in the leading into ministry, it can degenerate easily into rank polemics. I've got some things on the site about this (see the subject index under "apologetics").
There are a million ways such a ministry might potentially be done, especially now that everything is out there in cyberspace for the most part (no need to print up pamphlets and distribute them to passers-by). It's not my cup of tea, but we all have our own gifts, and we are all called to different ways to ministry in the "multifaceted grace of God" (1Pet.4:10).
Yes, I've heard you very often say that Ichthys isn't an "apologetic ministry".
There have been a couple of occasions where I've been reading the comments section on a website and I could tell that someone was searching for the truth and I felt a strong urge to tell them about Ichthys. That's something I would do whenever the Spirit was leading me to share it.
I read some of the emails today under "apologetics" and they're really interesting. I completely agree that it's something a person has to be gifted to do. I don't have that gift but I have had to stand up for the truth when talking to my friend and I've had some good talks with a family member about Christianity. He's fired questions at me and sometimes I could answer him straightaway and other times I've had to do some research and get back to him. At least he's open to having discussions. He told me today that he has listened to debates between Christian apologists and atheists - he says he still doesn't believe in God. He leans more towards scientific explanations. It won't stop me from continuing to pray for him and the rest of my family. I don't worry - I trust the Lord. It's the Spirit that does the work anyway - not me. ___ shared some things about why she doesn't believe in the God of the Bible anymore. It was early on when I came back to the Lord and I couldn't answer her very well back then but I know that I could now. And I know exactly where I could point her to the answers at Ichthys. But a person has to be open and ready to hear the truth. So even if we haven't got the gift we still need to be prepared to share what we can when the opportunities arise with the people around us.
I've been watching the Ukraine/Russia situation on the news and I'm praying about it too. I've been reading in CT about the restraining ministry of the Holy Spirit. What is happening today and the wars in the past are nothing compared to what it will be like once the restraints provided by the Spirit are removed. But we're blessed to belong to the Lord, have the Spirit in us and have His power and protection to help us through whatever we have to face.
It's another good reminder to continue on with my spiritual growth and study of the Coming Tribulation.
In our dear Lord Jesus
I'm very happy to hear that you've been able to have some substantive
conversations with your family. We'll be praying for results (they often
don't happen immediately: the seed planted may need to germinate a bit).
"That's something I would do whenever the Spirit was leading me to share it." Amen! That's the key. We all need to get good at listening to the Spirit. And, yes, there's a difference between bumping into a situation accidentally (no accidents in the plan of God) on the one hand, and going out and actively seeking such opportunities (the latter would seem to me to be the province of the gift/ministry).
-Dear Dr. Luginbill-
I so appreciated your response! Primarily because I, like others of the redeemed so want the Gospel to be effectively proclaimed to the ends of the earth. I must admit that historically I had a very narrow focus that was mainly centered on scriptural rebirth, with little thought about effective follow-up.
We reside in a small rural town in central Minnesota that is definitely spiritually luke-warm, at best. We recently read a news article in the local news that the new Episcopalian female priest, and her spouse are now in residence the local area. We do have a local “ministerial group” of which our minister is part of. At last weeks Bible study I enquired of our minister if he would work with other local ministers to use the Biblical model of discipline and warn this illegitimate clergy and her non-biblical spouse that they were in violation of scripture, (on several accounts) and need to repent. I was shocked at the apathy of our minister as well as most of the others in attendance. I sometimes wonder if figuratively, there are 7000 who have not bent their knee to Baal, where they are?
Please keep up the good work of Ichthys – it is blessing myself and many others!
It's my pleasure, my friend!
As to your question, the 7,000 are out there – but you aren't going to find many of them (perhaps any of them) in traditional churches. Why not? Because traditional churches are by and large (actually, nearly unanimously) not interested in teaching the truth of the Word, so there is no spiritual advance. And when there is no spiritual advance, all manner of crazy things happen. Going after such crazy things directly to fix them is very much a case of attempting to treat the symptoms, as if putting salve on bubonic plague boils is going to cure the disease when in fact it will only distract from the real problem and the real cure.
So I always recommend aggressive commitment to personal spiritual growth, growth on a broad front (i.e., devoting oneself to learning the entire counsel of God, not just areas of immediate personal interest), consistent growth by daily intake of good teaching, the larger the quantity the better (that's what Ichthys is for).
Given how close we are to the end, that advice is especially salient.
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I am trying to decipher the Sacred Name of God from the Hebrew characters of Yud, Hey, Vav, Hey into the meaning in English. I have an ancient Hebrew character chart alongside a Modern Hebrew character set. Specifically, can you explain in terms that you know I can understand, how to go about this task? I know the Hebrew characters have a certain meaning for each of the characters of their language. I just need a little advice that will get me on the right track.
I have always been fascinated with different languages and their etymology.
Appreciate any help you can provide.
Thanks so much,
Blessings evermore be yours,
Individual Hebrew letters are used for numerical designation in a way
similar to the Greek numbering system (e.g., Aleph = 1, Beth = 2, etc.).
They were also originally pictograms (e.g., the Aleph means and stand
for an ox head with the cross bar representing the horns and the
inverted V the ox head), but these have no transferable meaning at all
in terms of biblical interpretation. I have seen some mumbo jumbo
mystical attempts to infuse such meaning into various Hebrew letters and
letter combinations both by making a big deal out of representative
numbers and also through the pictogram approach, but these methods are
both basically variations of Kabbalah, a Jewish mystical system of
interpretation from which any wise Christian will stay away.
In terms of what the tetragrammaton means, here is what I have written about it in the past:
Jehovah and Jahweh are the two most well-known English vocalizations of what is often called the "tetragrammaton", i.e. the four consonant name for the Lord explained in these verses. In Hebrew, יהוה, (yhvh) is traditionally vocalized as `adonai. The divine name "Lord", explained in these verses as based on "I am/shall be", can potentially be derived from either the Hebrew verb "to be" or the verb "to become" (very close in the Hebrew). Likewise, the form יהוה is a unique form which appears to be a cross between an imperfect (indicating repeated action irrespective of time as in "I shall be/I am") and an infinitive absolute (summing up the meaning of a verb at one throw: "being/becoming"). Thus it is clear enough from the Hebrew context and verbal forms that "the Name" is a declaration that the Lord is the very definition of being and existence without regard to time or phenomena. Q.E.D.
In Jesus our dear Savior (whose Name means "YHVH saves"),
Only just heard about this bizarre news item, your side of the pond. This is a very sad and disturbing read.
Notice how they call JFK Jr a saviour. Interesting considering that his father did die from a deadly head wound.
Something for your ministry to be mindful or at least aware of. Many Evangelicals have been sucked into this QAnon business as well as being enamoured with changing the political system and Satan's system themselves. The movement has spread abroad rapidly and gathered up all locally grown conspiracy theorists into it like a giant snowball. It makes a mess of true Bible Eschatology with loads of weird predictions and prophesies. Just like any other cult. It is becoming a huge phenomena though so one to be aware of.
The weird thing is that those "Q drops" actually stopped 8 Dec 2020 but now the people who follow it have continued the mantle so to speak and keeping faith in it which shows how easy it is to brainwash people into doing truly bizarre and terrifying things.
I don't follow such things anymore but I do keep an eye on such things from time to time as I do think "Conspiracy Theory" and the "New Age" will play big roles in the oncoming deception/ enablement of error. Especially considering that they are both merging now to form "Conspirituality" or as one person coins in "Pastel QAnon".
I had a look at the article. First thing, it said that the place was
"packed" . . with OVER a 100 people!!! Excuse me, but that's a little
like saying, "I make OVER two dollars an hour!" A hundred people at a
political rally isn't enough to even call the press – unless they are
burning and looting (these few people we're standing still, holding
Secondly, the picture (the only evidence) presented showed only TWO people. If there really were "a packing", it's hard to see how the photo might have only captured TWO people – who weren't standing particularly close together either. There was a third man, but he seemed to be a spectator (looking on, not holding a sign). Given the lack of professionalism in our media these days, one can be forgiven for suspecting that two became 100 more for the sake of a minimum number thought necessary to publish the article than as a result of any honest head-count.
Based on recent history in this country, we might hypothesize that the two consisted of one FBI informant and one mentally ill individual said informant had "cultivated". Informant: "Let's go picket the site of the JFK assassination!" Dupe: "OK".
If I were going to wax conspiratorial, I'd liefer think that the media is trying desperately to keep this "Q-anon" thing alive for readership/viewership purposes (and some ulterior motivations as well, perhaps).
Christians need to be discerning when it comes to any sort of conspiracy theory or report. Best way to do so: don't read it / watch it in the first place.
Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!
Yes indeed, I couldn't get the photos on my phone as my IPhone 5s has bit the dust now so I had to "trust" the story. Silly me. Should have been in the National Enquirer instead then!
Joking aside, I do think the whole conspiracy theory/ new age will play a part in the end time deception/ enablement of error as it is literally everywhere at this point. Of course though, I am not tied to this view but I would think it odd that the enemy would shift tack so close to the end given the amount of time and energy he has obviously invested in these things. It's like the lie in the garden of "you shall be as God". That lie is still very much current and at the very heart of the new age (it always was). Bill Johnson told his congregation at Bethel "you are little gods". Bethel is a joke we all know that but it is an insanely popular place in these Laodicean times.
If Satan is any kind of tactician, he would more than likely go with something that is tried and tested and had a solid track record of working before. The lie in the garden is exactly that, just as effective and seductive as it was thousands of years ago.
I sometimes wondered whether he would pull out something from his back pocket like a wild card that none of us are expecting and I guess I have been hyper vigilant over that not wanting to be deceived. It wouldn't make sense to do this though as everything will be riding on pulling it off as he will only have a limited time to do so but he has had six thousand years of time to make propaganda for this "moment". Obviously his game plan has seen some twist and turns over time and he has had to factor those in even despite having more intelligence than us humans. He really didn't understand what the crucifixion was all about at all until it had happened. Maybe it was only at Pentecost that the penny had dropped for him. Obviously he would do everything he could to stop the crucifixion now but it's too late.
I guess we have to just sit tight and wait and see what it will actually "look" like but as long as we stay in the Word and grow and believe and apply all we know then we WON'T be deceived. I guess I sometimes get worried about that and that is why it is tempting to keep an eye on what the enemy is doing.
I have realised recently though that even if I was ignorant of Satan's devices then as long as I am growing and maturing and staying in the faith then I won't be deceived. If I pray to my Lord to not be deceived (as I often do) then He will protect me from deception.
It's funny to think that people in the past and even now may pray for riches or a long life! I constantly pray for discernment and humbleness as there are two things that absolutely terrify me: 1) being deceived by the antichrist 2) that my heart will harden or my love will wax cold.
You see Jesus Christ is all I have and the thought of ever losing Him is not something I wish to contemplate so forgive my hyper vigilance over this conspiracy thing. I just don't want to be caught "off guard" as it were.
I do know though that your ministry and the Word and being guided by the Holy Spirit and having regular communion and prayer throughout the day is all for the good and my growth. I know that Jesus will not allow those who love Him and truly seek Him to be deceived.
Was also just thinking of how people value a long life here and that people think it great if a person lives to a hundred years (despite the lack of quality of life/ health/ mobility/ cognitive function.)
Was trying to do the maths on this (not a strong point anymore).
So if 1000 years = 1 day
Then how much time would 100 years be?
Would you divide 1000 by 100 which is 10. So would that be a tenth of one day?
That would be 2 hours and 40 minutes. That makes sense, a tenth of a thousand years is a tenth of one day.
So that would mean that this figure that many people are in awe of (living until hundred) will only be 2 hours and 40 minutes of the one week of human history. Even more galling is that it is 2 hours and 40 minutes in the face of eternity! Barely a blink of the eyes!
If someone gave you unlimited resources to "make your own paradise" but you would only have 2 hours and 40 minutes not only to "make it happen" but also to enjoy it, would you even bother trying?
An occupational therapist I once had told me to "keep your eyes on the prize!"
Well, Jesus Christ is the prize so I will endeavour to always keep my eyes fixed on Him going forward, day by day! Amen!
Wonderful! And even if it were the other way around, what is a thousand years – or a million years – compared to eternity? One thing all such time periods have in common, however long or however short, they WILL come to an end. As my dear departed dad used to say by way of encouragement, "everything is always eventually over". But not OUR eternity! Not New Jerusalem! That really is the folly of the here and now crowd. Doesn't matter how much in the way of power, fame, possessions, pleasures, money they accumulate down here, they "ain't takin' it with 'em" – and their day WILL come.
Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.
Psalm 49:16-17 NIV
"I have realised recently though that even if I was ignorant of Satan's devices then as long as I am growing and maturing and staying in the faith then I won't be deceived." Good for you – that is the main point. This is no doubt one reason why Revelation gives such specifics about the mark of the beast, namely, as a fail-safe for even the most marginal believers. Anyone with a lick of biblical sense will recognize very early on in the Tribulation – well before the mark begins to be given after the mid-point – who antichrist is. But on top of that, we have the litmus test. So no believers will be deceived, not if they are willing to suffer for Christ whatever we may be called upon to suffer rather than to worship the devil instead.
"If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.
Revelation 13:10 NIV
I know you don't like Christian bumper stickers and the like (your "This ox-cart is bound for heaven" had me in stitches).
However I did see a T shirt today being sold online that made me beam. It said.
"Normal" isn't coming back. Jesus is.
Of course that person probably erroneously thinks . . . "before the Tribulation via the rapture".
There are many rumors of global nuclear war being right at our doorstep. But I have nothing to fear in Christ. Even if this world is somehow blasted into oblivion before Christ returns, we and all the other saved will still rejoice eternally in Heaven.
I wouldn't worry about nuclear war, though. I'm no prophet, but if something like that happened, it's hard for me to see how the world could recover sufficiently in anything like the short amount of time before the Tribulation begins.
We can't control what goes on in this world. But blessedly we don't have to worry about it because the plan of God is perfect and has taken everything into perfect account – including our own lives and situations. That is the truth, regardless of what our eyes and ears and emotions and "anxious thoughts" may tell us (falsely) to the contrary.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 91:14-16 NIV