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Question #1:

Dr Luginbill,

How have you been? I haven’t checked in with you in quite some time and just wanted to say hello. I hope the university isn’t overworking you and that you aren’t having to deal with the politics of all of that too much.

Can’t help but notice a disturbing trend of anti-Christian rhetoric these days. And of course the world does not distinguish between the words and deeds of Christ’s bride vs the words and deeds of various cults that are nominally Christian. We can only pray that those that are His are sheltered from the storm for as long as is His will allows, so that we may prepare. I also pray that our brothers and sisters will not get too wrapped up in the current political climate. There’s only one hill I’m willing to die on metaphorically, and that hill is not a political one.

Keeping you in my prayers Bob.

Response #1:

Great to hear from you, my friend!

Work at the uni has gotten a LOT more difficult in recent years. Part of that has to do with the doubling of the workload on account of Covid (that has slacked off, praise the Lord!). Part of it has to do with how academia has gotten more and more bureaucratic not only in the administration but seeping down into every level of teaching and research (we're starting to mirror El-Hi education in that respect). In terms of politics, I keep to myself, but it is difficult. My last merit letter (we get evaluated yearly) was talking about "Prof. L." and how he did thus and so, then it said "they . . . ", referring to me. I thought this was a typo, but the "they" and "their" and "them" continued – and I realized what was going on. To be honest, I didn't even "get" this 3rd person plural thing before that. If there were more than one of me, maybe this additional load would be easier to bear! Most of the extra work is not political just a lot of reports and added layers of "stuff" we have to do which was not the case when I started out "a few" years back. If it had been like this then, I might have become a plumber instead (not that I would have been a GOOD one, mind you).

But I am SO grateful to the Lord to have this job, this way of earning a living while I do this ministry at the same time. If I had gone into plumbing as my "tent-making", I doubt I'd be as far along with Ichthys as is the case now.

Health is good, classes made this fall, sun is shining – God is good!

How are things by you?

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Things are good here. I certainly have some stressors in life, but overall good. I’ve been struggling with some vertigo that can be pretty severe at the worst times. Also my finances and tax situations are stressful.

But my health has been so much better, and I praise The Lord for that. I still love my house and all of the wildlife in the woods that surround my house. Some of that wildlife will hopefully become delicious protein-rich venison in a couple of months. And I can’t complain about my job. I actually enjoy it most days.

So overall I’m very blessed, and finally having some calm after all of the storms I have endured.

A lot of my family members are teachers, so I have heard some horror stories about bureaucracy and the ever changing pop cultural influences that really amount to false religion. I don’t know how you do it. But hang in there.

Response #2:

Here's hoping you bag a deer (or two? limits there?).

Sorry to hear about the finances and the vertigo – I'll put that on my personal list.

As I just wrote a former colleague, yes, it is a rat race – and the rats are getting bigger and faster while I seem to be slowing down! But God got me through the prep for this next year (starts Monday), and I'm very grateful that my classes made and that I am ready to go. God is good!

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.
*[p.s., many thanks to all of you out there who had me in prayer about enrollments; enough students signed up for Latin and Greek that none of my classes were cancelled; I'm VERY grateful to God – and to all of you who prayed for me. Thank you!]

Question #3:

Hi Bob,

Yes, indeed, I get out at sunrise for my walks -- including getting the mail which is a half mile round trip all by itself. Curiously, it is slowly improving my lower back which I screwed up in the 7th grade trying to impress a girl. (It didn't work. I can no longer remember the girl or what she looked like but I'm reminded of the back pain daily. Too soon old and too late smart!)

From your explanation of the Tribulation, it doesn't sound too much different than today except until the very end. Famine isn't as bad, yet. I was thinking yesterday of the many times the Lord said He would withhold rain for the nation that sins. (Eastern Kentucky or the Northeast, notwithstanding.) I've only mowed once this year so far. In 38 years in Texas, I've not seen it this bad though the dustbowl years were probably worse.

I pray your Greek student protects your class. Do you know, yet, about your Latin classes? I read in drive-by headlines that college enrollment is declining.

Only political comment today: Revelation 18:2 seems to be a perfect description of DC. Is it possible that only DC is later day Babylon?

In our Lord,

Response #3:

I imagine there are few of us who don't have some scars from youthful indiscretions. Looking back, it's amazing that many of us are still alive and kicking!

Things are troubling now, but they will be much, much worse during the Tribulation – just not so bad that human life is entirely extinguished before the Lord returns. It's difficult to adjudge before the event. I doubt that few in Europe or Asia could have realized ahead of time how bad things would get during WWII – but even through so much unprecedented destruction and even though millions upon millions died, most survived it. The Tribulation will be along those lines, I'm thinking (only worse, with most NOT surviving it).

Last I checked, we were OK on Latin (though lighter than years past). Yes, we are headed for a "demographic cliff" in terms of college enrollments, less college age individuals in total coming into the mix over the next five to ten years. On top of that, many males are deciding not to go to college (especially with a surfeit of the sorts of jobs in construction, repair, factories, etc., that have traditionally attracted young men). Add to that the penchant for "a degree that will get me a job" and the decline of any interest in history, let alone ancient history, and you see the challenge Classics is facing nationwide. There are other problems too. But nothing is impossible for the Lord – and so here I am, still.

It's a nice thought to think that only the capital would end up being "Babylon", but "city" (Greek, polis) in the ancient world refers not always just to an urban area but more often to the state and all of its territory. E.g., the Greek word for "urban area" is asty, and in terms of Athens, the asty was the city of Athens proper, the polis was the entire territory of Attica (much of which is mountainous and uninhabited even today).

We'll find out the details soon enough. Meanwhile, we know more than enough to motivate us to keep preparing for whatever may betide.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend – thank you so much for yours!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Hi Bob,

I suppose you just had to burst my pleasant little bubble. But down deep, I know you're right. I've worked in NYC and San Jose and I see little difference. (And that was quite awhile ago!) Considering the characteristics of modern day Babylon, it will probably be much of North America. How we get out of that when the call comes is a mystery to me.

When I had hiring responsibilities, I interviewed many who had a degree in something irrelevant to the position I was trying to fill. Their answers to my questions and the way they reacted to me told me whether they would be an asset or a liability. Amazingly, my judgments were generally good though there was at least one spectacular failure. I was also in a firing position. It bothered me when I had to do that. What I most sought were people who could think! Not as common as you would suspect. Not even in the skilled trades.

Speaking of WWII, a woman who was a waitress at a restaurant my wife and I were fond of was a German who was a child during the Berlin bombing. We became good friends over time. Her stories of walking through the streets of Berlin, the smells and seeing body parts in the rubble are with me yet today. I imagine it's much the same in the Ukraine. As it has always been in all wars.

I think the one area where you and I may disagree is this - I don't see the Tribulation starting with a sudden change. I think it will be more of a gradual build-up where the Beast steps in and says, "Enough. I have the solution." Given what people are willing to accept, I think most would go along with it and see him as the Trump that never was. What ever worldwide trumpet blast is heard, the scienticians will have a plausible explanation that will satisfy most people. Possibly global climate change or Putin's doings. I must defer to your better judgment, but I don't see the current trends moderating.

Is any recruit prepared for his first combat experience? I think we can prepare as best we can but faith and the Lord are the only things that get us through the coming years. Maintaining that will be the challenge.

Enough idle speculation. Please let me know about enrollment.

In our Lord,

Response #4:

First off, thanks for those prayers! My Greek class "made" – and so did everything else. I am very relieved not to have to be scrambling around making changes to my contract at the last minute, and, if first year Greek had gone by the boards, well, that would have meant no second year Greek next year. So thanks for those prayers! They were answered – God is good!

As to getting out of Babylon, I guess there's always the bus. If it came to fording the Rio Grande in the opposite direction, it would be worth it, given the consequences of disobeying the command. But of course we have faith that even though we can't see it now, it will be provided for (Gen.22:14). I'm quite sure the children of Israel had no clue that God was going to split the Red Sea for them. That was such an amazing deliverance that most people today, even many Christians, have a hard time accepting the truth of it. But it did happen, just like the Bible says. And it will happen for us too, that is, the equivalent, if need be – as long as we are willing to trust the Lord and "pass through" whatever sea He splits open for us . . . and even if we have to swim the Rio Grande.

As to "gradual", I don't think the Tribulation's time line allows for that. From what I've pieced together (see CT 3B), antichrist needs to be accepted as ruler of Babylon almost immediately and then take control of revived Rome very shortly thereafter. After all, he is ensconced in Jerusalem as Satan's world regent after a bare three and a half years.

As mentioned previously, the removal of the Holy Spirit's restraining ministry will contribute to the rapidity with which people accept the lie and be willing to accept the beast (see the link).

(8) And then the lawless one (i.e., antichrist) will be revealed, [that same one] whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and destroy when He appears at His [glorious] return – [that same lawless one] (9) whose appearance [will come about] through Satan's empowerment [and will be] accompanied by every [sort of] false miracle, both signs and portents, (10) and by every [sort of] unrighteous deception [designed] for those who are perishing, [namely those who will believe these lies] because they did not open themselves up to the love for the truth so as to be saved. (11) And for this [very] reason God is going to send upon them an empowerment of error so that they may believe the lie, (12) in order that they may be condemned, [even all those] who have not believed the truth but have [instead] approved of unrighteousness.
2nd Thessalonians 2:8-12

Hope you are doing well, my friend. Thanks again so much for those prayers!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Congratulations! I'm so happy your classes have been confirmed. I don't know how much good my prayers were. Maybe along with everyone else. The Lord is our shepherd.!

Hmm... The Rio Grande is, best case, 300+ miles away from here. I never thought of a bus as an instrument of God but I see no reason it couldn't. I still don't think I'll be here for the Tribulation, but whatever the Lord wills is fine with me.

What you say about the Tribulation corresponds with what I've read in scripture. I don't doubt scripture -- but I sometimes doubt my understanding. After all these years, I still gain understanding every time I read the Bible. Maybe what I'm seeing is just the softening up and the conditioning of people to accept the coming "new world order." Bob, we are certainly getting softened and, I suspect, conditioned.

I note that the unusual occurrences in the skies could very well be the early testing of the holographic technology I read about some time ago. It's probably the same with the UFO sightings which do things no living organism could survive. Lying signs and wonders already? More conditioning?

Given what you've written and said, this election and the 2024 election should be a watershed. Whomever is elected, will be in control when the Tribulation begins and technically the leader(s) of Babylon.

Congratulations on your classes.

In our Lord,

Response #5:

Christians often underestimate their prayers. The believers in Jerusalem were praying for Peter's release from prison and as a result he was miraculously delivered – and they couldn't believe it when he showed up (Acts 12:11-16)! And in my experience, it's often the ones who say something like, "I don't think my prayers reach very high" whose prayer percentage is excellent . . . when they do get around to praying. So thank you for your prayers!

God empowered Samson to defeat an entire Philistine army with the jawbone of an ass, so I wouldn't refuse a bus. So many unknowns before then, however. I wonder about imprisonment and/or martyrdom, for example. Either of those eventualities would stir up the mix.

Yes, things are getting pretty soft. All the more reason for those of us who are walking with the Lord to take full advantage of the time and opportunities we have now to "toughen up" spiritually for what lies ahead. If we truly fear the Lord, we truly have nothing to fear from anyone or anything else – but that takes some growing.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 56:3-4 NIV

All of the weirdness that is taking place is playing its role, no doubt. But I would resist getting too excited about specific reports or events – or elections. If past experience is any guide, my best guess is that when these things do begin to happen in earnest, there will be much that will surprise us – and defeat most if not all prior expectations. That doesn't matter – as long as we are ready.

Thanks again for those prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hi Bob,

"That doesn't matter -- as long as we are ready." And therein lies the rub. Can we ever be ready until it hits the fan? I think I'm reasonably safe since I don't think I have long on this ball of mud but you and yours as well as my family have a much longer row to hoe.

Actually, the jawbone of a politician could possible defeat... Well, never mind. I think there is much that surprises us today. I'm surprised at the reaction to the Roe ruling. I suspect that when the very few righteous kings of Israel or Judah destroyed the idols and high places, the reaction was much the same. Nothing has changed. Has it?

I try to not get exercised over current events -- and I'm getting better at ignoring them. The only headlines that get my attention anymore are things that would directly affect me. Most of them. though, turn out to be bogus.

The question is: are we ready? I wonder. I have no way of knowing the way others think, but it looks to me that very few are ready. Bob, I'm not sure I'm ready.

You and yours are always in my prayers.

Yours in our Lord,

Response #6:

Readiness is an individual thing. We can always use more training; but at some point the balloon goes up, ready or not.

Meeting went long today but our chair was merciful in letting us go at a reasonable time.  A few things new on my plate, but our chair is very good and quite professional.

Hope you are doing well, my friend.

Keeping you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

A person I met years ago contacted me and asked if i would listen to her 3 teaching tapes, and I agreed to do that. But first, a bit about this person. She claims that since she has been saved, she has not committed any sin? She has an old time Pentecostal manner about her along with her mother. She is a KJVite only advocate, if that makes sense. She is also wanting God to use her in "signs and wonders and miracles", and she tells her audience the same things they should desire. But what about the Gospel? She has been teaching Matt. 10:23. After listening partially to her teachings ??, I sent a few comments to her, and I told her not out of criticism but out of helping her, trying to. She focused on the subject verse as if it applied to us today. So I read Matthew 10 from the beginning to get a context, and I believe she took this verse out of the context.

1. Matthew 10 verse 1 Jesus empowers His 12 disciples to cast out unclean spirits, and heal all manner of sickness and disease.

2. Matthew 10 verse 5 Jesus commanded His disciples to "Go not in the way of the Gentiles, and not to go into any city of the Samaritans.

3. Matthew 10 verse 6 Jesus tells them to go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

4. Matthew 10 verse 23 Jesus is telling His 12 disciples only when they persecute you in this city, flee into another.

First, these verses that I quoted above do not fit the context of application to the present day disciples.

Second, beginning with Verse 24 to 42, I do believe apply to us as Christians.

Here are my questions:

1. What are your thoughts on my critique on items 1 to 4? Am I thinking straight?

2. I told her already about "context" , but she is "set in her ways"....

3. She claimed that God called her to teach His Word, but?, This does not fare very well. She does not take advice from others. I have known her for at least 30 years and she has not changed.

4. As I said, she is one of those Hard-Shell pentecostals

I am trying to be a help to her, but......

Thanks again for your comments and affirmations.

Blessings to you always,

Your friend,
PS. This is another one of those kinds of characters I encounter, but I do enjoy trying to help in any way I can. But sometimes......Oh well, God knows me!

Response #7:

You have your work cut out for you there!

Of course, you are right on the money as usual.

The twelve and the 72 were specially empowered to go to "the lost sheep of Israel" as part of the ministry heralding the first advent of the Messiah. As such, they prefigure the 144,000 (of which they are both multiples and who will also evangelize Israel in pairs) who herald His second advent – just reading our Lord's instructions to the 12 at Matt.10:16-21 demonstrates clearly enough that those words clearly applied to the future 144K.

To be a member of any of these three colleges required/will require 1) being Jewish, 2) being male, 3) being specially chosen by Jesus Christ for these specific missions. Personally, I only qualify for one out of three. We don't need to be feeling down that we are not part of these groups. We all have spiritual gifts AND a ministry chosen for us by Jesus Christ (1Cor.12:4-5) – if we are willing to grow up spiritually and enter into it.

The other things you mention are typical of this group. Claiming no personal sin (in spite of 1Jn.1:10); claiming no need of teaching (in spite of Eph.4:11-16 and MANY other passages [link]); seeking to be involved in things which were only authorized for a short time during the pre-canon period of the Church Age – and having blinders on about the Bible which is the whole basis of what we believe (i.e., the KJV is great, but it is not perfect and has noted deficiencies on account of being translated from inferior manuscripts).

So while I applaud your efforts, my friend, you seem to me to have an uphill climb there! But we respond to the "cases" the Lord puts in our path – as long as it is profitable to do so, at any rate.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hi Bob,

I've started CT - Part 3B today so I'll keep pressing on with that. Love all of your teaching, Bob!

I'm very thankful today for some slightly cooler temperatures. Cooler tomorrow still and we might get some rain too. Our God is good!

In Jesus

Response #8:

Much better weather today here as well. And finally the butterflies are arriving. Two huge monarchs, two huge yellow swallow-tails all at the same time in the front yard. Plenty of humming birds and yellow finches too (they pick at the sunflower heads perched upside down), so the "pollinator garden" has paid off again. The flowers are particularly lovely this year, so it would have been a shame if no "customers" had shown up.

And great news today! My Greek class did "make". I have plenty in all of my sections so no cancellations this year – which means next year my 201's will not be eliminated.

Also good news: the sign was wrong and road closure was for the cross street which does not affect main flow to the university so I won't have to do a long detour the first week of classes.

So thank you for your prayers, my friend! God is good and He has worked all these things out. I know in my heart that these things are "little" – since everything down here is in actuality very small if it is not directly related to salvation, spiritual growth, the truth and the Church of Jesus Christ – but we do need these supports and victories, I as much as anyone, and I appreciate very much your prayer support.

Good to hear that you'll be into CT 3B now – it's the center-piece of the series in many ways.

Keeping you and yours in my prayers too, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Hi Bob,

It was lovely to read all about your garden - it sounds beautiful! I haven't had as much time to do a lot in my garden this year but I've really appreciated what I have had. I've enjoyed the robins this year. I had some live mealworms in a plant pot saucer - the robins absolutely love to eat them. I sat on the garden bench with the saucer of mealworms beside me and the robin eventually plucked up the courage to come and eat a couple and take a few more in his beak and fly away with them. Another time, the saucer was on the ground next to my feet and the robin hopped onto my foot to get to the worms. They push off quite hard to fly away again. He got brave enough then to balance on the edge of the saucer while it was being held and take the worms. Maybe one year they'll be brave enough to take them from my hand. Just that I'm not too keen on the thought of having mealworms wriggling about in my hand! Might have to get some dried ones. I love robins!

I haven't seen many butterflies yet but I did have an elephant hawk-moth cocoon in the garden. I had the pleasure of seeing it a couple of days later when it had just emerged out and transformed into a moth. They're really pretty. It was bright pink and a golden olive green colour.

The water lilies in the pond have been lovely this year and the sweetpeas are beautiful too. I absolutely love their fragrance. I cut a few and put them in a little vase in the house - they look really pretty. It's all the Lord's beautiful creation!

I'm so happy to hear about your Greek class and the road closure situation too! They might only seem like "little" things but I still love them because the Lord can use those "little" things to bring about answers to our prayers. This only increases our faith and joy and praise and glory for the Lord - and that is a BIG thing! Even the little things are a test of our faith in Him and His promises to us like Matthew 6:33 and so they ARE of spiritual value to us. That's how I see it. The Lord is interested in every single detail of our lives - the big and the small. And whatever is a concern for you is a concern for me too. We all support each other in prayer and now I rejoice with you in the Lord's answers to our prayers. I've seen how the Lord has worked these things out for you before and I praise Him for doing it again! Thanks for sharing, Bob - it's done me good too!

I'm so pleased to see some rain tonight and a cooler night too. Should sleep a bit better now!

Thanks for your prayers too!

In our dear Lord Jesus

Response #9:

Great words! Thanks for your report as well. Ponds are great – but a lot of work (filled in the huge one in the back yard several years ago – ground is still settling a bit; it's got mostly sunflowers on it this year).

I'm pretty happy with things at the moment as well. Got my classes mostly prepped. Big faculty meeting tomorrow.

I'm actually almost looking forward to the new semester now. We'll see how long that lasts!

Meanwhile, starting to dig into the "new project". Things are going well. As soon as I'm relatively sure it will pan out I can let the cat out of the bag. Probably need at least another month of research and teething-in first. I had originally thought to do a harmony of the gospels, but after initial research I realized that it was unlikely to be concluded before about 2050 (so, problems with that!), and also most of the material has been covered at Ichthys one way or another and in one way or another (for instance, there is a "life of Christ" in BB 4A). Glad I didn't openly commit to it before I figured out that there was a better "next step".

Thanks for your prayers and your help, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

What is the interpretation of "there are some of those who are standing here will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom."

I am trying to understand how this can be, that the disciples who were with Jesus, would not die until they wee Him.. etc.

Appreciate always your responses.

Thanks again,

Blessings to you always,

Response #10:

Good to hear from you, my friend.

This comment was referring to our Lord's soon-to-come transfiguration which was a preview of His Second Advent. The three synoptic gospels all mention this but describe it a bit differently in each:

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Matthew 16:28 NASB20

And Jesus was saying to them, “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God when it has come with power.”
Mark 9:1 NASB20

“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:27 NASB20

In all three cases, in the very next verse, our Lord is said to take the inner circle of disciples (i.e., the "some") up to the mount of transfiguration (Matt.17:1; Mk.9:2; Lk.9:28), so this remark you ask about was definitely foreshadowing that event. Jesus' appearance is then "transformed" into a glorious one such as He will have when He returns, and there He speaks with Moses and Elijah, the two witnesses who will herald His return (see the link).

Hope this helps! Do feel free to write me back about any of this.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:

Doc, I discussed the Commandment not to make graven images with my sister just now, who's an atheist, and I told her that it means don't make pictures or statues or whatnot of what you think God looks like, and especially don't worship those. I completely forgot about the whole no idols of other gods thing, but I would have told her if I remembered. I told her this can apply to the Holy Spirit and even Jesus along with the Father, that when people take the dove symbolism of the Spirit and misinterpret that as saying that's what He actually looks like, that's violating the commandment not to make graven images, essentially in their heart. I even told her that taking a depiction of Jesus and saying that's what He actually looks like is violating it too, with the possible exception of the description of Him in Revelation.

Did I mess up some info here? Is any of this right? I was only telling her what I believe about it, but I forgot to make sure that's what's actually true...if I'm wrong I'll correct this with her, I swear I'll do my best not to give any false info about Scripture from now on. [omitted]

Response #11:

I don't find any particular fault with your representation of things per se, but I do think that it's not a good idea to be talking to unbelievers about sin, especially not about detailed applications of the scripture which are not patently obvious to everyone.

Unbelievers need to hear about the grace of God in Jesus Christ. They need to hear that there is an answer to death – life eternal in Jesus Christ – that there is no need to fear what is coming if only one turns to the Lord.

Obviously, "hell" is something everyone wants to avoid (and all unbelievers in their heart of hearts know its coming, even "atheists"); obviously, sin is something everyone knows is wrong (even if this is also a truth which many unbelievers suppress). But what unbelievers need is Jesus Christ.

When it comes to people who are drowning, we can worry about their haircuts, style of dress, whether or not they have bad breath or have paid their taxes . . . AFTER we pull them out of the water.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
Matthew 6:33 NKJV

So make sure unbelievers you're speaking with understand the "good news" first. After they are saved, we can worry about helping them come to the truth in all other matters.

"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!"
Acts 16:31

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Hi Bob, I'm glad for your kind "no worries", so now I can calm down and cool down. Hot dogs!.....they probably do have some suspicious ingredients in 'em. (maybe even a little "factory dust"?). I heard that just eating one hot dog takes 5 min. off your life. ( get those calculators out!). But then again, if you eat five fruits and vegetables a day maybe you could shave off some of those lost minutes? I wonder if they will do a double-blind clinical study to get to the bottom of all this? Those lost minutes don't have me too worried.....I eat pretty much anything I like, even though some of the fare is not optimal, according to sources. (1 Cor. 10:23; 1Tim. 4:4). That hot weather you are experiencing is coming our way next week! Fortunately, we have A/C, like you, to make it more comfortable to get through it. (not usually an issue in our neck of the woods). Our power usually goes out in winter, not summer, but either way we're talking about some serious discomfort! Our neighbors just "bit the bullet" and had a stand-by generator installed. Pretty pricey at $11.5K, but it would be nice to have heat, water, hot showers, lights, etc,, and not have to suffer without for who knows how long?, before the crew can get the grid up and running again (on our wish list for now....a lot of $!). So, for now, I'm praying for protection from the "unthinkable", for both of us, as well as those "other impacted folks", that I read about from the Ichthys correspondents. I hope you get that rain, and stay cool in the meantime, without having to acclimate too much, Bob! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #12:

No worries at all indeed, my friend! Your good heart for the Lord is very clear (everything else in life is mere superficialities).

Five fruits and veggies a day! That's my monthly quota. Probably explains a few things.

We've been blessed not to lose power in the winter here. If that happened, turning off the water and temporarily finding some place else would be the only option if it happened during our sub-zero stretches. Louisville is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter – but not nearly as hot and cold as other places in those seasons. KY is the "quintessential border state". Fall and spring are short but nice.

Thanks for the prayers and good wishes, my friend! We have set some records, I hear, but the forecast is for rain and lower temps (80's) starting tonight.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hi Bob, Don't worry about those expert nutritionists! (RDA on fruits and veggies). They seem to always be "moving the goalposts" to attain the goal of "perfect health"! My non-professional recommendation (with all disclaimers to explain an opposite outcome!) is to, somewhat "cautiously", eat whatever you like, without an overly obsessive regard for longevity or bodily performance. We're not "in training" for the Olympics, are we? Remember: don't eat the whole pizza, or that dozen donuts, etc., in one sitting, by yourself.....then you'll probably be OK?....even a hot dog or two probably won't kill you within 5 min., especially if it's possibly "kosher"?). We'll probably never get to that perfect RDA anyways! Just in case, to keep on the "safe side", I do take a few vitamins---A, B, C, D, E, and so on, along with some supplements with trace mineral elements, to bolster the immune system. When you get a system breakdown, and do get sick: then prayer, rest, water (tea or coffee is OK), chicken noodle soup (plain broth also OK), OTC pain meds (anyone of several is probably OK), etc., will usually get your system back on track, for another (hopefully long) run. But in the long run, however, "we're all gonna die".....so we have to keep that in mind as well. (remember what Solomon said?!). As far as temperatures go, too hot or too cold can definitely present serious problems ----in the physical realm as well as the spiritual realm. That borderline "border state" situation in KY has its pluses and minuses, and I pray you won't have to endure too much stress in the event of a "bad" fluctuation, too much + or -. We count our blessings when things are "nice", and take comfort in Him when they aren't. He is aware of all the "uncomforts" we are / have to go through, and this is where our real comfort lies. (because He cares, and He will NEVER leave or forsake us!). Physical and spiritual storms will inevitably come, but He will ALWAYS help us in our time of need, IF we keep trusting Him ........this is our ultimate blessing! I found out that "borderline" lukewarm is acceptable for physical comfort, but not so spiritually.....So I'm trying to "keep it hot". I no longer have a "borderline personality" disorder, with those "bad mood swings", because now I have the mind of Christ! (1 Cor. 2:16). This change in my thinking has / is making a better life for me, and I hope to live it, going forward, to honor Him. (my "reasonable service"-Rom. 12:1; also Rom. 13:14). Hope you are comfortable and well on all fronts. On the latest Peter posting, thank you for another wonderful present to all of us! I was in construction for over 40yr., and all the stuff that was built will be burnt up (a physical reality). But all the stuff you have been building for our Lord, for well over 30 yr., will never be burnt up! (a spiritual reality). Your commitment, endeavoring to "dig up" the truth to present to us, is very much appreciated by all of us who love the truth! It is / will be up to us to emulate your example, as Paul said: "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ". (1 Cor. 11:1). May we all keep in our "remembrance" to be "standing fast in the truth you have received" from your commitment to it for us! (2nd. Peter. 1: 12-15). It is ALL to His Glory! Now, I will unwrap and study the present you sent. Thanks, again for your wonderful ministry! I pray you will never retire! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #13:

ABCDE – did you forget the F?

Kosher dogs are pretty good indeed!

Not the whole box of donuts?! Where is the fun in that?

On expert nutritionists, next thing you're going to tell me is that this is not exact science. Pretty soon we'll be doubting climate change. Then 2000 will role up and we'll all be under water.

Your good words and encouragement are much appreciated, my friend!

No plans to retire from anything any time soon – except maybe feet first if that's the Lord's plan.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Hi Bob, Well, actually no, I didn't forget the F. In this instance F stands for Folate which is aka Vit. B-9 (I kid you not!), so B is there, taking care of the F. I had to look it up to be sure. You wouldn't need to take it as a synthetic supplement (folic acid), because it is readily available in nuts, oranges, bananas, melons, strawberries, and in some "fortified" pastas. Either way, you should be good to go. "They" claim that 400 mcg. is the RDA (here we go again!) which translates for me to "a very small amount", I'm guessing! Speaking of boxes of donuts, Mom told me that when she was pregnant, with yours truly, she went down to the local bakery and bought a dozen donuts, brought them home and ate them in one sitting! Maybe this is why I developed a sizeable sweet tooth myself? ( any correlation here?). Anyway, I'll let you decide for yourself where to get your RDA on this. Pick your poison, but try to go for a moderate intake! .....then you should be OK. So much for nutrition, for now. Some climate change is better than others, no doubt! Why is 2000 in the mix? Should I tie up the canoe to the back porch to avoid swimming for it? Let me know what you think, so I can be ready, OK? In the meantime it's one foot after the other. Have a great week, Bob! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #14:

Good to know. So the next time a student complains about an "F", I can tell them, "Well, it's really a kind of 'B' ".

Donuts are on my present "do not buy; eat and you will die" list, but they are awesome.

2000: The world was supposed have ended in cataclysm if emergency "green" policies were not enacted . . . 25 years ago, or so. The world did not cooperate; time to update the model! Now it's 2035 we need to fear or something like that. They're not exactly far off on that one, but a different sort of "end" to all this is coming, praise the Lord!

No plans to buy a canoe, but I did get canoeing merit badge in the boy scouts and got passably good with a kayak (managed to Eskimo roll one). Failed basket-weaving, however (no kidding).

Watching my foot placement here too, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hi Bob, Well, I'll "B"! That "2000" really had me baffled. Thanks for the explanation. I didn't have a TV during those years, wasn't listening to too much news on radio, and I didn't get the paper, so I missed out on a lot of important scientific information, evidently. Now I do have one, and have been listening to some of their "drift", but as usual, I just can't believe most of it. I'm not a "conspiracy denier", and I didn't graduate from Whatsa Matta U......so whose eyebrows will lift and whose eyes are supposed to roll? Sorry (for them), but I do have a real skepticism for those "bad" scientists (not all are cult leaders), who never can put any faith in God, and then go on from there. They are certainly free to believe what they want, however you and I know this will be very "beyond troubling" for them, unless they change their hypotheses, theories, in order to "try" to reach their exactly always-changing impossible conclusions, with God out of the "equation". Boy, are they going to be in for some serious heat, if they refuse to get this right! And that is seriously NOT funny! I'm certainly not bunching "good scientists" into the batch, but we should be wise enough to NOT take any advice from "fools"! (Psalm 14). They can't / won't answer the basic question: Who made you? I'm pretty sure they did graduate from Whatsa Matta U., summa cum laude! So we are praising our Lord for being in "the generation of the righteous" (v. 5), waiting for an end of the "foolish madness" they are trying, to no avail, to foist on us. My boat experience has been limited. Dad and I used to row around on Reed Lake in a 12' row boat, many moons ago. But __ bought a canoe, from a former boy scout (I think), at a garage sale in town, a while back. Haven't taken it out on a maiden voyage yet, but maybe we'll take it out on the lake one of these days? We'll try not to roll it! (life jackets on, just in case!). 2033 is looking better all the time! That good Day is coming, for all who love His appearing! Best regards, Bob! Your friend in Jesus,

Response #15:

Maybe I have the year wrong. But I know for certain that by now we all ought to be underwater according to the dire warnings of years past – all of us not zapped to death by the cosmic rays that got through the depleted ozone layer, that is. This stuff is a combination of religion and "1984": a religion in that you just have to believe it even though it makes no sense, and "1984" in that the party-line changes all the time and you have to be willing to believe the new one at the drop of a hat. It's always amazed me that people who refuse to believe the truth are always willing to believe things that are not only not true but so obviously untrue that the faith necessary to accept the falsehoods is far beyond what most believers deploy towards the actual truth.

I stay out of the water these day. About the only major water we have around here is the Ohio and it suffers by comparison with the Pacific in every way.

Looking forward to "better dates" myself too, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Hi Bob, Your year and exact date won't matter! We do know what really matters, i.e., believing the Truth that our Lord has given us - Himself! He's our only Way to escape being "underwater" and keep our Life instead! Thanks to our Lord, for Everything! I forgot about that possibility of getting zapped to death by rays coming through the depleted ozone layer.....wonder if spf 30 sunscreen stops any deleterious effects, or maybe special helmets? As to your apt description (religion & "1984") that is how I see this playing out for "them" also. It's a no-win "Catch-22" "prisoner's dilemma" paradox .... hard for them to calculate things, to escape the shaky falsehoods they believe, leading to a no -win "situation(s)" down the trail. I had that same thought about how "God-deniers" could have / maintain such a strong delusional faith, that far surpasses the simple true faith that we believers are employing. Lying wonders, coming up soon, will further complicate things for people empty, or not strong in The Faith. Loving their truth is attributed to / by "heart disease" for sure, but fortunately, there is a possible "cure" (if caught early enough) for those who decide to receive the Gift, through faith in the Truth! It is the ONLY "treatment" available, so I hope they will take advantage of this faithful decision.....for a full recovery! No medical insurance needed.... just call on Him and He gives the "cure" automatically! It worked an amazing Wonder for us, who have made that life-changing decision.... a new creature in Christ! (full recovery!). Thank the Lord, for the simple faith necessary ( He is the originator and completer of our faith!). He that endures (intact faith) until the end shall be saved! Hope you're able to stay cool through this heat wave. A swim in some cool pristine water would feel pretty good right now, here at 90 degrees! .....maybe a cool shower instead? Have a good one, Bob! In Jesus,

Response #16:

"Lying wonders, coming up soon, will further complicate things for people empty, or not strong in The Faith." THAT is a very important point for us all to remember:

"For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect."
Matthew 24:24 NASB95

When putative "proof" is provided during the Tribulation – and it will be genuine, supernatural activity, only deriving from the evil one and his henchman and NOT from God – I shudder to think how "gung ho" these types will become.

It's going to get mighty interesting. I think we have to develop that stance – as you are clearly doing. Namely, watching "all this" with the realization that, no, as you say, we do not actually have "a dog in this fight". We are fighting our own, much more important fight.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV

Our fight is the spiritual warfare of keeping our eyes on Jesus and following Him with what He wants us to do regardless of what goes on in the world. He provides the manna, He sees to it that our sandals don't wear out, He drowns any Egyptians that get too close. All we have to do is keep following and trusting – and carefully avoid any hint of grumbling or complaining, remembering why we are here and whom it is we serve.

"That good Day is coming, for all who love His appearing!" Amen!

Thanks for your prayers and good words as always, my friend!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob,

I just finished Kings 1&2 in which, after a brief overview if the particular king, asks, "Is it not recorded in the chronicles of the kings of Judah or Israel? I don't remember any indication of Chronicles 1 & 2 being split between Israel and Judah. Are Chronicles 1 & 2 divided by Israel and Judah?

There was a whole lot of begetting going on which produced people that I don't recognize and can't really see how they're relevant. I realize it covers a lot of time. Am I missing something important in glazing over reading these begat lists?

One name I did recognize was Peleg. Should I understand anything more in that than the earth was divided into nations?

Also in the news:

"UT, Texas A&M researchers develop e-tattoo that can continuously monitor blood pressure"


This may be a hint of things to come. If this is successful in monitoring blood pressure, what else will they be able to monitor? Will we know if it's successful? Who will get the data when it's all said and done if it is? Whether this relates to the Mark or not, it's a concern for those getting tattoos today. Or, it could be nothing more, as many of these announcements are, than a prelude to a grant proposal.

On a completely unrelated food note, bean fritters freeze much better than zucchini fritters. Bean fritters are better for breakfast and can be seasoned like your favorite type of sausage. They're almost as enjoyable, for me at least, without anything getting stuck in your teeth -- which, for me, is not enjoyable. Just a thought.

In Jesus,

Response #17:

Kings and Chronicles have different purposes (please see the link). The gospels overlap as well, but we're blessed to have them all since, as in the case of these two sets of books you ask about, they provide somewhat different information.

Genealogies are one of those things which can make people's eyes glaze over, it's true. But I assure you that everything in the Bible is important and there for a reason, even if we don't necessarily see it at first glance. I have gotten a lot of important info out of sections like these over the years. For example, the genealogies that support those of Christ and establishing the line of the Messiah, both Joseph's legal line and Mary's genetic line, are very important (see BB 4A). Also, without the genealogies we wouldn't be able to reconstruct the time line from Eden until today and wouldn't see the evidence for the seven millennial days as clearly. I do acknowledge that there probably are better things for a believer to do in getting through daily Bible reading than to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to suss out information from these sections in Kings and Chronicles, but they are important, even if not obviously so. Getting a handle on what is in the Bible and where is only possible by way of diligent and repeated Bible reading. I've always recommended more time on the NT than the OT and more time in, e.g., Psalms, than the two books you're asking about. But knowing your Bible through and through pays dividends over time. Just as one probably doesn't understand all there is to understand about, e.g., the book of Ephesians, the first several times through – but is helped by a general knowledge of the content when verses are quoted in Bible teaching – so it is with all scripture.

On the "news", there's no end to the techno-developments nowadays, and they all have potentially nefarious applications – just as the invention of smelting did. How this and other "new things" will affect the texture of the Tribulation and antichrist's policies and their implementation is as yet unknown. That is no doubt why Revelation (and the other passages of scripture which deal with the period) give us generalities: as believers, we need to know the truly important things, and everything we truly needed to know is in the Bible.

Best wishes with your freezing! When I freeze something, generally it's just a way-station to throwing it out sometime in the future.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Bob,

I have to admit, I'm glazing over. I understand that it's all there for our benefit, but our Lord is a fait accompli. I see the importance of genealogies for those believers waffling on the truth, but, I've accepted the fact. Still, I read and consider.

I do agree that familiarity with all of scripture is important, which is why I periodically read cover to cover. (I understand more every time I do it!) It helps to understand letters like Ephesians, as you pointed out. But I have to admit, the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. This is the first time in my life, I've learned and known less.

Is it possible that, if we are grafted in, we will become adopted into that line? Or do we start a new line?

As far as news, it's just one more flag up the pole. I have come to the point where I disbelieve and distrust anything I hear or read -- particularly if it comes from government or "scientists." Of course, I no longer have a dog in the hunt so it's largely macht nichts to me. I just don't care anymore. It is, however, significant to me to see how all that's described in Revelation is coalescing.

Freezing -- I really wasn't trying to proselytize you. I cook for one, so I'm a fan of things I can take out of the freezer, throw in a skillet and eat. Particularly for breakfast when I'm not at all in the mood to do a lot of work. That was just an FYI.

In our Lord,

Response #18:

Some things are definitely more important than others. That's why, when asked for advice on this, I never recommend ONLY reading the Bible straight through – because with that approach the more important things would not receive the repetition they deserve and we need (link on that).

"the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know" - isn't that the truth! And with every field of human inquiry as well . . . at least for everyone who remains curious and is able to fend off getting arrogant, just because they've learned one or two things. Ignorance and arrogance frequently go hand in hand, and a little knowledge is sometimes worse than none because it begets the later very easily.

No worries. I'd rather freeze something than take a flyer on canning or otherwise preserving. Both sides of my family did this regularly "on the farm" in days past, but they knew what they were doing. I'd probably die of botulism if I tried anything like that. Happily, plenty of canned stuff at the grocery if I want/need to go that route in the near term.

As to not caring, that really is a virtue – when it comes to things that we can't really control.

LORD, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Psalm 131:1 NKJV

If we're going to have peace as bad as things are, getting worse all the time, and with the worst yet to come, we're going to have to learn how to let all these unimportant things go, everything "too profound" for us out there in the world we can't control – and stick to our knitting instead, doing what the Lord wants us to do, as we wait for Him to return.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Philippians 3:20-21 NIV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hi Bob,

I rarely read the Bible cover to cover. Only after bouncing around following lessons. For me, it helps putting things in perspective. Thank you BTW for Peter #41. You gave me new insights and understanding.

I have to admit, in my salad days, I was accomplished in what I did and confident of my experience, abilities and knowledge. As time has gone by, however, it's all expired as worthless. I no longer have anything of value to offer. Except maybe to the grandkids and son-in-law and they don't much care for my experience or knowledge. Even my computer skills are pretty much worthless today.

I'm not complaining, mind you. It's just an observation and an example of the hubris we all suffer. It is, I think, instructive and applicable to our life in the future. How will our past skills be of value in the millennium?

One question you stimulated in Peter #41 (not at all Bible related) was your your comments on mockers and scoffers and later your opinions of Gnostics. That started a train of thought which lead to Fauchi and Birx which led to a term I heard in the Back Bay of Boston years ago -- "golem." Is it Yiddish as I assumed or Hebrew? I could never tell the difference. If Hebrew, is there a legitimate plural? It doesn't feel right considering Fauchi and Birx as golems.

On preserving, I have the tools for canning, but I've found drying and fermenting much safer and preferable. Kraut, e.g., is something I make continually. Just fermenting with a 5% brine works wonders. I season with juniper berries and bay because I have both growing out here. Use whatever herbs or spices you choose. The Lord has provided it all. We just need to learn how to use it.

I pray you're doing well up there in the heat and humidity.

In our Lord,

Response #19:

You're most welcome – thanks for the encouragement!

Anyone who lives long enough lives to outlive earlier expertise. I wouldn't be much use as a Capt. in the USMC today.  I could be a General, though, as long as politics were not involved (LOL on that caveat). Seriously, anyone who's been out of the service even only a few years would be amazed at how much things have changed if they went back in. Things don't stand still in any technical field, especially not these days.

But, blessedly, biblical truth never changes – and epignosis never grows old. It is a good idea to keep affirmatively "remembering" it though, as that last chapter of Peter emphasized.

There is a Hebrew plural of golem, but in English usage people usually just add an "S". The whole idea is not a biblical concept, however, not what you're referring to here.

We're supposed to have some rain and cooler temps here (wishing the same for you).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I hope this finds you and yours well. I've appreciated your ministry as my husband and me navigate these Laodicean days.

I've found myself in a difficult dilemma, and have wanted to proceed cautiously in making any major decisions given my tendency towards a sensitive and overactive conscience - one which I'm not sure how to more quickly calibrate aside from continuing to study the Word and waiting for the Lord to help correct it.

I've been pursuing to honor the Lord in living, but I'm at a loss as to what is Biblically true when it comes to "systemic" or "collective" ills. I've already been trying to purchase foods and items consciously - second hand whenever possible especially if ethical origins are dubious, but even then that's fooling myself.

Whether it's cell phones, laptops, oil, vehicles, or anything else, somewhere along the supply chain there was likely an evil perpetuated. Perhaps this isn't always consciously known as fact, but given the amount of information this day in age we can generally understand most industries are not morally upright. Aside from going off grid and living in a cave, it seems as long as I'm in society I'll somehow be complicit in sin.

More specifically, this all started because I learned of the HEK fetal cell line (kidney tissue was taken from a deceased child - either aborted or miscarried for reasons other than this cell line- and propagated for use to this day in testing in virtually all medication).

I've notable health issues that impede basic functions (nothing terminal though needing treatment and "incurable"), and am unable to take the needed medicines with a "clear conscience". Moreover, I've been questioning if this means even in the most extreme cases I couldn't take any medical intervention since that industry has done some evil things in the name of science.

I don't want to swing to one pendulum end as a self-righteous martyr (at the expense of my family), but I also don't want to make excuses for my own comfort and security in this day of lukewarm compromise when I ought to take a stand.

I appreciate your consideration in reading this.

PS I have been searching through your site for related content above and still had remaining questions. I apologize if I missed related email responses.

Response #20:

Good to hear from you, and thanks much for your good words.

This is a topic which has come up from time to time, mostly in email response pages that have dealt with foods or vaccines (checking the last year or so worth of "Eschatology Issues" postings will bring most of these up; here's one link that directly addresses your question).

As I usually say at these times, of course this is something that concerns us all to some degree. No one wants to put any food or medicine in their body which would be unhealthy for whatever reason. And no one wants to be a willing participant in any sort of exploitation of others or to partake/support of anything that is produced with anything horrific or in horrific ways.

I think this passage of scripture is one of the most applicable to this "problem":

Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.” If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.” “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1st Corinthians 10:25-31 NKJV

This situation seems to me to be dead-on similar to the dilemma which confronts us today. No matter how awful the backstory to whatever we are worried about eating or buying may be, can it really compare to eating food with blood in it which has been sacrificed to idols? Maybe it can compare, but it certainly can be no worse (these practices were specifically forbidden even to gentiles by the Jerusalem council: Acts 15:20; 15:29).

Yet Paul tells us that we should not trouble our consciences about such things. And that, indeed, the only godly consideration we need worry about is the weaker conscience of fellow believers who might be tripped up seeing what we are doing.

To apply this, if a brother or sister was genuinely upset about the sneakers I was wearing because they had been produced via exploitation and slave labor, it would be incumbent upon me to take that into consideration. But it is not incumbent upon me to worry overly about that potential "problem" if I need a pair of sneakers so as not to go barefoot as I carry on in this world, running the race the Lord has given me to run.

No doubt some of these things are far worse than others. No doubt some of these things are much more obviously true and much more obviously horrific than others. What I see from scripture, however, is no mandate to track these things down; in fact, just the opposite.

A believer could easily paralyze him/herself with this issue, especially nowadays. Being "Simon-pure" on the issue, moreover, is absolutely impossible. In the link above there is a reference to the famous "I, Pencil" essay wherein Leonard E. Read documented the very many processes and venues for the materials and the production of a simple pencil. Although it's not the purpose of his essay, it should be clear to anyone reading it that the provision of materials for a pencil and the various processes necessary to produce it are so geographically widespread, so numerous and so complicated, that it would be impossible for anyone to say that the pencil he/she is using is an "ethically untainted" one. And if that is true of a pencil, how much more so for virtually any product we might purchase today in the world's interconnected economy? We might be able, by devoting most of our waking time and energy to the issue, be able to sort out a lot of such "compromised" materials; but I rather suspect that instead we would find virtually everything "tainted": only the degree to which that were true would be at issue. Even if we were to "grow our own" in terms of food, where did the seeds come from – originally? If that tomato seed came from a tomato that was cultivated by machinery for which some parts had their origin in China . . . etc.

So while I don't fail to understand the qualms people have about these things, that they are being stoked online and in public discourse strikes me as yet another avenue the devil is using to distract believers from what is really important. Because, after all, if a brother or sister devotes a lot of time and worry to this issue, that is certainly energy and time which will not be used for reading the Bible, for prayer . . . and for the spiritual growth without which said Christians are not going to be prepared for the Tribulation.

When the Tribulation does get rolling, I rather think that we are going to be very grateful for any potato, e.g., we can get our hands on – and won't be inclined to ask too many questions about where it came from.

Do feel free to write me back about any of this.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hi Bob,

In Genesis 32:11 I read: "And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds..."

They were going to Egypt to buy food. It doesn't sound like much of a famine to me -- at least not as I understand famine. What is the meaning of the word from which famine is translated? If that's an accurate rendition, then what was considered to be famine at the time? Was it simply lack of grain?

The whole episode of Joseph from being thrown in the pit, sold into slavery and becoming master of Egypt is instructive for today. Add the parallel message of Job and the rise of David from shepherd to king, and it seems it's written for our instruction and encouragement not only through current trials but through the Tribulation as well. Maybe I'm reading too much into this but it seems to fit.

A neighbor was having angst over the current situation and I was able to remind her of the story of Joseph which seemed to bring her some comfort. She is a believer but also gets wrapped up in family, outside obligations and current events.

For what it may be worth, I am beginning to see the humor in current events.

Yours in Christ,

Response #21:

It's a good point. But we have to remember that nomads had to have some reserves, because otherwise for them going from some to none could happen very rapidly. Also, this family was a moving city. They had many slaves and servants, and much livestock as well. So it is more than possible for them to have had enough to send down some gifts but to still have been flirting with disaster if the famine continued without relief and resupply.

Absolutely these things are pertinent and applicable today! As Paul says:

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 NIV

And as our Lord said,

"Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”
Matthew 13:52 NKJV

Good job on encouraging others even while you are hurting yourself! You make me proud to be your friend in Jesus Christ.

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #22:

Dear Teacher

How have you been, Sir? I have been quite well. It's been three weeks since our friend started tutoring me on programming. It's been so good that I don't have words for how grateful I am that the Lord gave this opportunity to me.

On the marriage front, my family has proposed a date. We should hear soon.

I'm not sure if I've told you that my plan now is to try and get a job in the US, Canada, or Europe when I complete my training in programming. I want to use that to get a visa to migrate. I hope that works out this year. The US would be a miracle since I would expect any company that sponsors a visa for an immigrant software developer to be doing it for a senior software developer at least, not for a junior like I would be fresh from training. Canada or Europe may be different though. I'm not crazy about either (not a big fan of authoritarianism obviously), but the idea is that if the US doesn't work, then a couple of years of experience and an expansion of skill in either place might help me move to the States eventually.

That's all for now, I think. It would be a joy to be able to send something new this week for my page on the website. I wonder if I will manage it, but I hope I do.

Your student in Jesus

Response #22:

I'm very pleased to hear that you're making such good progress, my friend! Given all your many talents and skills, and the background you already have, I would be surprised if you are not very "saleable" soon. Keep up the good work!

I have a number of very good friends I only hear from or write to once in a long while, so don't trouble yourself about that! You've got a lot on your plate.

Happy to hear the marriage is coming along. Things are complicated in your country!

I do hope, and am praying, that once married the two of you will be able to emigrate someplace good. I know that the Lord will work that out just right – to just the right place, even if it's not the first choice. Believe me, Louisville was NOT my first choice (or my 10th, etc.), but it has turned out to be a blessing . . . for the accomplishment of this ministry.

In Jesus,

Bob L.


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