Please help me. I confessed Christ 30 years ago. I have dealt off and on with willful sin. I felt very strong conviction for the years of struggling about a year ago. I repented and changed but have not had any peace since. I am extremely ill possibly to death. I am in torment and evil spirits talk so fast in my mind. It never goes away. I am always afraid and can hardly eat. Constant torment I feel like I am in hell with no hope whatsoever. I have strong fellowship but most are so frustrated with me. I stand on the word but the mental torment never leaves. Is all I want is God but he never steps in. I can't sleep at all without medicine. Is their any help you can offer? I beg him night and day for the torment to end. I know the cross is enough but I am still tortured. No peace no comfort no change at all. I am pretty much bedridden with terrible stomach issues. The medical field can find nothing wrong wrong with me but I believe it's spiritual. The mental torment starts when my stomach gets really hot and moves around. It moves up to my head my mind gets fuzzy so it's hard to think and pray and the voices start in again. I felt like I would go to heaven through much of the year but the last 3 weeks the mental stuff began. Voices, foul thoughts, condemnation when I read the Bible and listen to christian music. Is all I want is God that's all I care about but I just keep getting worse. I am losing weight fast and at one point down to 79lbs. I know what you say about Hebrews and willful sin but I don't know how to repent more than I have. Is their any hope left for me? I raised my kids with Christ homeschooled and they are following him. I left the church years ago and am in a small group of very strong Christians. I am a women my husband is not saved and God honored our home even though it was not ideal. I was chastened 20 years ago for sin but not as harshly as what I am dealing with now. I want God so bad but it seems he may be done with me. I feel like I am going to go crazy unless something changes but it isn't it's getting worse. I cannot eat enough to survive. God is only love and I beg for him way and night. Have I no hope? Has he left me forever even though I'm still alive? My heart craves him I only want him to let me serve him completely. I tell him to search my heart It only desires him. I try daily to stay by him but the fear of doom just increases. Is their any hope? How can U possibly fight this evil without him? I feel satans strongholds and have searched my heart over and over for a year. As he shows me things I change them but not even sure he is showing me or if it's just conviction from the past. When this started I had a super strong conviction almost like a bang in my head and it made me extremely frightened I repented and quit sinning. Maybe that is when the Holy Spirit was done with me. David Wilkerson says that God can decide you will never be useful to him so he will just let you go in this life. I just want to prove to him that I want to offer something I beg he lets me love to show him. I am saying this without because it is so true. I have had all hot taken from me. I am to ill to participate in anything and can't enjoy anything. I am like a walking dead person. I have nothing to offer anyone. My youngest son has been by my side for the entire year but he says I am so weird and down I don't seem like the same person and I see him badly hurt and drawing away. What is wrong with me? Where is God. I plead him 24 hours a day. Where is my precious Jesus.? Why would he leave me in torment and possible death. Is there anyway you could respond to me ?
Apologies for the delay. This is a personal ministry. I support it by working a full time job the Lord has supplied, and sometimes it can take a day or two for me to catch up on emails.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are saved:
"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
John 3:18 NKJV
These are our Lord Jesus Christ's own words. There is no doubt about it.
If you doubt it, you are thinking about it incorrectly. Jesus went to
the cross and suffered in the darkness for all of your sins and mine.
They have already been paid for. They have already been forgiven. But it
is your job to trust Him that what He says is so IS so. There will
always be plenty of flotsam and jetsam in our fleshly hearts desiring to
fight the truth. Our emotions are all too eager to fight the truth. The
world and the evil one and his forces are very much interested in
fighting the truth.
But the truth is the truth. And Jesus Christ is THE truth.
You believed in Him for salvation. Now it is time to believe everything He tells you for your peace and growth. Please understand. What you believe or don't believe is in your power. You have the free will faith to accept and hang onto the truth . . . or not. And this is NOT about emotions. How you feel is immaterial. How you feel is, for those who are not at an apex of spiritual growth and maturity, usually counter to the truth – and often even for those who are where they should be spiritually.
How to tackle this? There is only one way. Not just reading the Bible. Not even men gifted with the gift of pastor-teacher can advance spiritually just by reading the Bible – until they have been diligently prepared. All of us need good, solid, orthodox Bible teaching to grow spiritually. And spiritual growth is the ONLY way forward, the only way out of being tossed to and fro by the forces of the world, the flesh and the devil (Eph.4:11-16). Christian music is something I would recommend against because it is all about emotion and its lyrics are often subtly incorrect and therefore potentially dangerous – at least until one attains a measure of spiritual maturity and biblical, doctrinal understanding so as to separate wheat from chaff.
Ichthys is devoted to the task of helping Christians grow, and you are very much welcome to any and all of the materials present here. I also highly recommend Bible Academy (at the link). Please do understand, however, that the kind of spiritual upheaval you are experiencing cannot be cured on a symptomatic treatment level only. It requires commitment to a disciplined course of spiritual growth through (ideally) daily Bible study, complemented by personal Bible reading and prayer. And above all, it requires trusting the Lord, that He IS good, that He IS for you and offering to help you – which He most certainly is.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18 NIV
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savor,
Thank you so much. I could hear just feel some comfort or peace I feel I
I feel like he has left me because of what most people say about Hebrews and long standing off and on willful sin. It is killing me to think I will not be with Jesus. I wish he would give me any comfort.
Yes I need to trust much more instead of thinking God is a tyrant. Hebrews and willful sin is what is destroying me.
Do you ever talk to someone on the phone?
I'm not able to conduct this ministry over the telephone, but I do try to get back in a reasonable time to folks who write via email.
Please remember, Jesus died for all of your sins already. And God forgives you if only you confess your sins to Him (1Jn.1:9)
Here are some links on Hebrews:
Are those in Hebrews 6:4 who "crucify the Son of God afresh" lost?
No, Hebrews does not teach that you lost your salvation.
The grammar of Hebrews 6:6-4
In Jesus our dear Savior,
Now I am having trouble reading the Bible without feeling condemned? I want to feel God so bad. Having mental problems because of it. Can you help?
Many Christians have these same troubles, so I would really recommend that you read some of the encouragement pieces at Ichthys. Here are a couple of links which will lead to many others:
Fighting the Fight XI
Believers in the World IX
Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation IV
Also, let me point out that in essence this is a matter of faith. God
says Jesus died for you (1Jn.2:2; Col.2:14); and He says He forgives
you when you confess (Ps.32:5; 51:1ff; 1Jn.1:9); and He says that He
loves you (Rom.8:37; Col.2:4; 5:2; 1Jn.4:10-11; 4:19); and that He is
working everything out for you for good (Rom.8:28).
God tells you only the truth. But it is up to you to BELIEVE that what He says is true . . . no matter what your feelings may tell you. As I said before, your emotions will come along, but only in time after a committed program of spiritual growth.
Jesus Christ died to save you. He is not looking to condemn you. I urge you to stop condemning yourself. This is not what He wants. He wants you to grow and to know His peace and His joy.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Please help me if you can. Evil is attacking me. When I pray read the bible or lien to sermons my stomach swells and movement throughout. My head gets pressure burning back and I can't think well. In bed my legs stiffened and raised slightly. Anytime I say Jesus it happens. I feel evil at times and reading the Bible etc. Is harder than ever. Is there any hope left for me? I feel no fellowship with God still.
There is one "R/x" for us all whenever we are spiritually out of sorts, and that is paying attention to good Bible teaching. That is, listening to the truth – but then also BELIEVING the truth. Faith means trusting the Lord that He is with us, for us, loves us, and is in the process of delivering us. He most surely is. But it is up to us to believe that this is true.
Did you know that many of the postings at Ichthys are now available as MP3 audio files (click the link)?
Trust the Lord and listen to the still, small, powerful voice of the Holy Spirit and He will lead you through this valley of darkness into His glorious light.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
I have chosen the cross over spiritual death. Willful blatant long term Sin almost stripped me of believing God would forgive. I am still struggling for my mind, spirit, and physical life. All were almost dead and feeling like I'm going mad. Today has been a little better I pray that it will remain. I cannot explain to you what your webpage on Heb. and willful sin helps me to stay in the battle. It IS about faith and not sin. I believe that now. I was begging God for peace but I think you have to trust first. Please try to understand how much hope you have given me. Almost all others preachers and internet information on Hebrews had me damned. I am forever grateful and believe there is hope for even me who truly deserves none.
Thanks for your good and encouraging words!
When it comes to deserving, NONE of us deserve anything. That's what grace is all about: we are saved entirely by God's favor by means of His sacrifice for us in Jesus Christ accepted through faith.
I want to encourage you to start reading into this ministry on more than just this subject. Long-term peace is produced by spiritual growth which can't really be tackled on a narrow front. I usually recommend the Peter series as a good place to start (at the link) – but reading the weekly Q/As isn't a bad habit to get into either.
Yours in our dear Savior without whose death on our behalf all of us would have been condemned.
Hi again Bob,
I was thinking about what you have mentioned before about witnessing to family as being "the hardest nut to crack".
I may have said before that becoming a Christian has not only changed myself but all of my immediate family and friends. They have reacted to my change in quite surprising ways. It has brought to the fore their own beliefs and lack thereof.
I realise that my family's faith is a hodgepodge of Catholic Christian symbolism, secular humanism, universalism and westernised eastern philosophy. The most pernicious of them all being the philosophy of "positive thinking". I am not completely certain of this but I think the terms positive and negative come from Buddhism.
Whenever my family see me struggle, they often blame it on my faith. They have even said that faith should "only bring positivity" and that if it doesn't then there is little point to it! Positivity equals happiness and negativity equals sadness.
I know this is nonsense and that the reality is that life for a Christian in the devil's world will involve suffering but suffering is now seen as "negative" and therefore "bad". I don't know how these weird beliefs have crept into my family but now it has them by a stranglehold.
Negativity and positivity are the only markers or targets to make. It also seems to be about being positive or negative for the benefit of self and others and doesn't include God at any point. It seems God is only called upon for the big stuff when positive and negative thinking fail. I know that it is impossible to have a relationship with God this way.
I know that the answer is prayer and complete reliance on Jesus. As I grow and study, I will be a stronger witness.
What they fail to understand is that my faith does not make me unhappy but being in the world often does. My faith sustains me and gives me hope so they have it completely the opposite way around. Although I would rather have gone to be with Jesus right away, God has a plan for my time here and I want to go the distance, to endure and overcome and give God glory.
I guess that lovers of the world cannot understand why anyone would be depressed by the world and maybe this is a threat to their own perceived safety and comfort. It is easier to question something that we ourselves do not possess rather than shake the very foundations that are own lives are built on. (Why would Catholics tell me to give up my Christian faith though?)
I have already told them that positivity and negativity are both "doctrines" of Buddhism and have no place in a Christian's walk. They may seem benign and harmless terminology but the philosophy behind it is anything but. It can only lead to confusion. I have also been prompted to ask them where did they pick up these philosophical viewpoints. It surprises them when I ask them to think critically about something they have uttered. A great number of people spout things they have read or heard others say without remembering the source or the time they first adopted these viewpoints. It alarms people when they realise that they have adopted models to mould their lives around without deep understanding of the belief itself or recognition of them ever adopting it at a specific point in time.
Some of these modish philosophies seem to attach to people's thinking as though they were there from the beginning. I am often accused of thinking and analysing things too greatly and yet most others do not think of anything at all and pass through it in blissful ignorance until they fall into a ditch.
No one in their right mind would make a financial investment through a small ad in the newspaper and yet the same will entrust their life's philosophy to a few magazine articles.
Such is the lure of Satan's pop culture. He has deviously found a way to insidiously plant harmful philosophies into people's minds without them seemingly knowing. Isn't ignorance a choice too?
I notice that when people live without the truth, they have a spiritual hunger that never goes away and is never sated. Most try to fill this gap with material stuff and still go hungry. Others recognise that this is a spiritual need but because they do not have the truth they will grab the first thing that is close to hand as a quick fix. Unfortunately, Satan is well stocked with spiritual paraphernalia to please any taste, season or situation. He is well stocked with everything, everything except the truth that is.
Eastern religions and philosophies have seemingly played a huge part in the dismantling of Christianity in the West, be it through exercise (Yoga), mental health (meditation) and philosophy (positivity and mindfulness).
It's frustrating as when I try to engage them, their views and beliefs are all over the place. A huge messy muddle. A mix of heretical teachings and secular psychobabble. We're living in an age of "pick and mix" belief systems. Like a smorgasbord of religion, you pick up a plateful of whatever you have an appetite for and leave the rest as unsuitable for your palate. It's easy to see how the end time one world religion will be a wishy washy syncretism. People have been primed for this for a long time.
It's incredible how much hybridised faith has become. Just as people now can have an electric oven with a gas hob, they think that a relationship with God can be bespoke, made to measure and fit into their lives. People want God to change to accommodate their lives rather than the other way round.
It's about whatever works in the moment, whatever is easy and convenient and feels good. If it is challenging and requires effort, then forget it.
People claim we live in a post-truth world. They also say it is a post-Christian world without realising that this is one and the same!
There is only one truth and the truth is Jesus Christ who is "the way, the truth and the life".
I love my family and I want to be a good witness to them but I realise my current shortcomings in terms of ministering the truth. I will carry on in prayer and spiritual growth and live my faith for them to see themselves until I am in a better position to parry against false teaching and influence from worldly religions.
In Him, the only way to our Father,
Thank you for this wonderful email, my friend!
The one perspective I would want to add here is that while believers do suffer, we have the right – and the obligation – to experience the peace of Jesus Christ when we do, absolutely confident in the Lord that He is working it out for good perfectly, and staying focused on our hope of resurrection and reward:
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:19-20 NKJV
Spiritual growth is the key to all this, so while prayer and Bible
reading are essential, I want also to encourage you to keep reading into
this ministry. "BB 6A: Peripateology: the
study of the Christian walk" has a lot to say about all these
When our friends and family see us struggling – BUT also see us strangely peaceful and at times even joyous amid the trouble – they can't help but see that there is power there.
Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.
In Jesus Christ our dear Savior,
That's great news!! Thanks for letting me know. I'm so excited for you.
Thank you, hope it all closes at the end of the month. It will be nice.
Your right, it's going to be work but it has to be better than starving. I'm real excited to have my husband as a partner. I'm hoping things pick up so he can move into it quickly. He did put in for a job just in case this takes more time. Who knows if it will pan out but either way he said he isn't going back to working with the ungrateful. I'm completely relieved because I was at my breaking point of standing in the back ground behaving myself. I think he reached his as well.
It's going to be an interesting next few years. I sure hope that we don't get so busy that we don't have time to read.
Thanks for all your support and friendship!!
God is working this all out together for good.
I'll certainly be keeping it all in my prayers.
The Lord brings us through fire and water – but He never forsakes us.
In Jesus Christ our dear Savior,
Good to hear from you. Yes, by and large I wobble from time to time and go back and re read what I have in scripture to lean on, and often then find something else to worry about, which is what we know I’m like! I soldier on determinedly. I have to admit I don’t always feel sure I’m on the right path. Not 100% sure. That I’m faking it till I make it, but I’m much better on the whole, emotionally. Because I have more strength to ignore that fear and soldier on. Love is not yet perfected in me, that’s what it is! Thank you. And thanks to you. I can rest only on what I believe the Word says, looking always for consistency. I'm tempted to rehearse it to you to see I've got it right. You’ll be pleased to know I’ve deleted it!
I made another discovery, I think since I last pestered you....I have a fairly long list of physical problems, which are a trial. My overblown adrenals produce an excess of a hormone called aldosterone, which can’t be treated other than by a drug to block the receptor sites. However, aldosterone is still present in excess and I read it causes heightened anxiety and depression! (My endocrinologist is only focusing on controlling my blood pressure.) It helped to know those galloping feelings of dread as just that, physiological feelings. I’m allowed to ignore them. Or at least the strength of them. Tough, unlikely to change except for the worse, (my adrenals probably continue to get bigger) but I now see something of my enemy. My problem is that if what might normally feel like a guilty conscience is stuck on overdrive, I need other ways to find my way. And it does drown out the still small voice rather.
How wise to know we should not experience our faith as mere feelings! Subjective faith would be so dangerous for someone like me. I’m so grateful for God’s Word.
I shall look at BB 6B with interest, thank you!
God bless you and thank you for all your hard work
Thanks so much for your encouraging email! I'm so happy to hear you
doing well spiritually in spite of these physical challenges. Of course,
it's always a fight, right to the finish. But I rejoice to hear that you
are fighting it out with good humor and courage, regardless of
opposition. Good for you!
Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you Bob!
Furthermore for all your research and studying to bring this well organised knowledge to those of us who’d never put it all together otherwise. Such a gift! And the time you took to patiently council me. God bless and keep you
You're so welcome!
We made it to the weekend! I love the Bible verses you gave to me. I looked them up this morning before I went to work and they're perfect for this situation. Today was a very busy day at work but everything was absolutely fine.
I understand what you mean about "do I or don't I" say anything. In my case I'd rather not have to listen to the bad language and the other unpleasant things they talk about (mostly in the staff room at lunch time) but it doesn't shock or surprise me. It's just that I love the Lord and I have absolutely no desire to join in with their conversation. I've never felt the need to say anything about it to them because like you say I'd just be making myself a prey. It wouldn't change anything - it would just make things worse for me.
I get on really well with everyone at work and if the conversation is clean then I'll chat along with them and we do have some laughs together too. If it turns bad then I always make sure I have my mobile phone with me, I let them get on with it and I sit quietly and read my Bible app or Ichthys or your emails to me or even just the news. They don't even notice because everyone is always on their phones anyway. When the nicer weather comes I'll probably go out for some fresh air and sit in the park and read.
I agree with you too about never underestimating the witness of the life. I just try to love them as the Lord commands me to and to work "as unto the Lord". You know how I started work on a temporary contract and then I found out they were going to offer me a permanent contract, well one of the nurses told me recently that just as my temporary contract at work was coming to an end they went to my manager and said, "You've got to find some hours for her somehow, you've got to keep her, you can't let her go". That was the Lord and I give Him all of the glory. He answered our prayers too! That is what the Lord and the witness of the life can do. I'll always be open to any real opportunities that ever come along to verbally "show the flag" too.
I wanted to ask you something that I don't quite understand fully. In what way do certain things affect our spiritual wellbeing and safety? Is it the same as how we are affected mentally or emotionally? I'm not quite sure.
Thank you so much, Bob, for all of your help and encouragement and I'm keeping you and yours in my prayers as always.
Your friend in our dear Lord Jesus
Thanks for your encouraging email, my friend – and good to hear that you
got through the week too. I did as well; good classes today (even though
only 7 of 23 in first year Latin today). Finished off with a "faculty
assembly" all about budget and enrollments. I find such things very
disagreeable, so secularly focused on things of this world and an
unbeliever viewpoint that I need to "de-tox" when I get home. You're
email is tonic for that.
What I meant/mean is that even though we have grown up spiritually and may be quite mature, it doesn't mean we're still not human or that we don't have chinks in our armor. Think of Moses, David and Elijah, all being royally set back by momentary "mistakes" – they were "doozies" but it only takes a second to make one. And when it comes to us lesser mortals, there are people and situations that do us no good to be enmeshed in on a regular basis. Anything in the past which was associated with being in a spiritually bad place is likely to work to bring us back down to that old bad level if we get too close. It's like alcoholics or drug addicts hanging around with their old buddies. They might be recovered enough not to completely revert immediately, but no good is going to come of that sort of association. People from the past are particularly dangerous in a spiritual sense, especially if the liaison we're getting back into is voluntary. If we have no choice, the Lord will help us – and we will be disposed to protect ourselves. But if we are putting ourselves in harm's way of our own free will, that's never a good idea. And it doesn't help that we're rationalizing the reasons why we're doing it: "I'm 'witnessing' to my old girlfriend/boyfriend", e.g. If we've been given distance by the Lord from bad and toxic situations, we ought to honor that and appreciate that, seems to me, and not mistakenly think that now we have become invulnerable. Moses, David and Elijah attest to the fact that we have not.
Your friend in Jesus Christ.
Dear, dear Prof Luginbill, how are you and family sir? Trusting in the Lord that
you are doing ok. I'm home. I wish to thank you and all brethren for all the
prayers that were engaged in on my behalf. It was one of the things that gave me
joy! I'm sure the prayers of the Saints prevailed and that's why I'm home.
Sir I wish to thank God for the experience and for you. Immediately I entered the place I had a focus. To ask God why and to resolve to draw close and access Him. I spent the time reading and memorizing scriptures. Many scriptures came alive to me while I was there. I reread Satanic Rebellion (SR) and Coming Tribulation (CT), praying and actually ministering to some people. The place is a veritable ground for the gospel. Also got into a number of discussions/arguments (one-sided really!) concerning scriptures with some men of God. Sir I did not realize how much the Lord has invested in me for some time. I pray He will get a full yield on His investment! (Production!). I'm in reasonable health though i took a bit of a bashing which I did not realize till I got back home, but I can't complain because God has been merciful to me. I'm resting at home.
Your library has been invaluable to me. At home I read on my iPad but it's not allowed in there (nothing electronic) so I told my wife to print them all out for me. In fact I will have to print more! I am so blessed to have met you even if not physically.
In fact I now understood SR and CT as if I never read them before! I realized that before I went in there, I was unconsciously fighting myself not to believe that the book I wrote was wrong in many aspects. That was why I was always asking questions! While I was there CT looked so easy and simple that I felt ashamed of most of the questions I used to ask you and our friend! I've finally thrown my book (which I had thankfully not sent out yet) into the trash can. The truth has set me free!
God used that place to begin to teach me about endurance and patience (which I need badly!) In fact sir I know this sounds unbelievable but if not that I had a family pining for me, I would have wanted to stay for more dealings of God even though I did not have my usual comfort but it was not too bad because I was not focused on my comfort at all! I know like I know that it was the will of God for me to be there for the time I spent there.
The place is a training ground for growth in the Lord, what with all the terrible, unsavory and not so bad characters there that I came in contact with. I was able to minister to some of them physically and spiritually and encourage some others along the Way. In fact I had to leave SR 1-5 with the senior pastor! He was devouring it before I left. We had some discussions at first in which he threw away his pretrib stronghold and latched unto the correct doctrine of the resurrection and demanded for more! I hope to go on visits back there. In the process of ministering, I myself understood these things more and received encouragement from the Lord. I also understood that divine discipline could blend into "all things working for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose" if you turn back fully to the Lord which I am trying to do.
Prof thank you once more for the good work the Lord is doing through you. Only eternity can tell the results of your obedience. Once again I wish to thank you and the brethren that have been praying for me. The Lord will raise up help for us all in the day of need.
Help me thank our friend, he really encouraged my wife on phone (we live quite some distance apart). God blessed me with a wonderful and resourceful wife and I'm so grateful to Him. She is also going through your library. I pray we keep drawing closer to Him everyday.
Sir, God bless you and yours and cause you to finish your testimony in the face of any Satanic opposition: In the unfailing name of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus.
Longing to hear from you.
Your younger brother in the Lord!
Congratulations, my friend! That is a real answer to prayer! God is so
I'm greatly encouraged because of the good witness you were able to bring to that place, the fruit of the Spirit you produced, and enthusiasm for the truth that has set you afire in the Spirit of God.
Our friend is wonderful, and he has been a very great blessing to me as well as to you. I will be sure to pass on to him your good words.
I also very much appreciate your enthusiasm for this ministry and these writings, but I do have to point out that anything truly good in them is the work of the Spirit (I "own" any mistakes and all ponderous prose).
The Lord is clearly preparing you for further ministry and for all that is to come. We can all learn from your experiences and more particularly from how you handled this situation. Looking forward to posting your good report sooner rather than later.
For everyone who has been born from God overcomes the [devil's] world. And this is the victory that has overcome the [devil's] world: our faith [in Jesus Christ]! For who is the one who overcomes the [devil's] world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1st John 5:4-5
I appreciate you in the Lord, brother!
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Dear Prof, Calvary greetings. So glad to hear from you. Thank you for
your encouragement. You may not know the kind of roadblocks set up to
ensure I would not get home. I discovered that there is a lot of
conspiracy against me even in higher places than I thought. In fact I
happened to be collateral damage in this case! But praise God, He used
this to work for my good of becoming more like Jesus.. Rom 8v28-29
I learnt one thing from you: not to take these things personal.. 1Pet 4v12. The Lord who took me to that place and opened my eyes will fight for me. It's not about me but all about Jesus. It's His battle. It tells me that there is stuff coming ahead that Satan does not want me to bear the testimony of Jesus for. That why I will not joke about the prayers of the brethren and spiritual growth/production. Mine is to be in obedience to His commandments.
Thanx for the privilege of sharing my experience with the brethren.
Thank you for your love in Christ sir
In Christ who made us to have hope that does not disappoint.
I'm thrilled to hear how you handled this very difficult situation.
You are an example to us all, my friend! We can all learn not only from your experience but more particularly how you navigated it with the truth – and in trusting Him who is the truth.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
The fiery ordeals continue. I don’t know how much more I can take. My mom has been having lower abdominal pain for several weeks. She had a CT scan last week that confirmed she has a mass. She’s going for a biopsy today. She had uterine cancer in 2004. Also, she's under heavy pressure at work.
On top of that, we had our taxes done and my mom found out that since dad died she’s no longer married, and she invested some in the stock market last year, she now owes the government $5000.
On top of that, I just found out today that my friend has esophageal cancer and is going to need surgery as well as chemo and radiation. He’s Jewish and I’ve been witnessing to him consistently for the last 8 years I’ve known him. Every time I would make progress, he’d change the subject. I finally had him read Isaiah 53 last fall and he was blown away by it and said he’d get a bible and start reading—but he didn’t. I think I’m just going to mail him one next week.
On top of that, last Wednesday night our internet went down. and I work from home. I was without internet for 5 days. I went to my uncle’s house to work, but I was greatly slowed down and am now behind with work.
On top of that, I got the data recovery back for my old hard drive. It was a partial recovery, so some of the files are good, some are lost forever, and most lost their locations and filenames so I have all these files with random numbers as file names to sort through, opening each one to find out what it is and if it’s anything worth having been recovered. There were a handful of files that were recovered completely that made it worth it, however it cost around $1300.
On top of that, I had hoped to write to you about the fact that my mom and I booked a trip to go to Israel in May with a group led by Dr. Michael Brown (about whom I’ve told you). But now between my mom’s health and this coronavirus I don’t know if that’s going to happen. It’s a good thing we got insurance. If we do go, I’ll have some questions for you about what to do, e.g., when they take us to Migdol and say “this is where Mary Magdalene was from,” or when then take us to Mt. Carmel and point to Megiddo and say “this is where the Battle of Armageddon will take place,” or when they have everyone get water-baptized in the Jordan River. But all of that is the least of my concerns right now.
I don’t remember right now if there’s anything else crazy going on, but that’s a quick summary.
As always, your prayers are much appreciated.
In Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
Thanks for the summary. Sorry to hear about all the flak. It does tend
to come in batches. I'm sure the evil one has something to do with that.
As to "I don’t know how much more I can take", I am very confident that you can take whatever it is the Lord brings your way. He never puts anything on us we actually can NOT take, but to our limited human perspective it often seems that way. That is where we have to be careful about the complaining and instead give ourselves over to aggressive trusting. Or as my buddy Curt Omo recently says, we have to "wait hard" for our deliverance (more at the link: Bible Academy). It always comes – because our Lord is absolutely faithful. The only real question is, will we be found trusting in Him solidly when it does.
I'm sorry to hear about your mom. I'll be praying for her and her condition. Nothing is impossible for the Lord. This is a real concern we have to put in His hands. I'll also say a prayer for your friend. I'm sorry to hear about this too, but perhaps this is the way the Lord has planned out to get his attention finally. It's better to go through something like this and be saved as a result than to have a great life and end up in the lake of fire.
As to the other issues, there is always flak on the job, it seems. You have proven that you can handle that. If you are behind, you will get back to even; I'm praying for your job and your mom's too.
Some of the other things are, objectively viewed, not on the same level really. But this is something the devil knows too, namely, sometimes it's the straw, the last straw, that proves the most effective. Elijah endured everything, but then let a threatening letter throw him off. Moses endured everything, but then let one more complaining episode cause him to lose his cool with disastrous results. We likewise, emotional creatures that we are, have to recognize when we are walking through a death-shadow valley and remember that we are particularly vulnerable in such times – and that we might react too much to a small thing on account of the load we are carrying.
I hope your trip comes off OK, but if not, well, the Lord knows what He is doing. The plan is perfect. If it's not His will for you to go, then we know that there is a good reason for that, even if we don't know specifically what that reason is. I've managed to prosecute this ministry without ever seeing the "holy land" in person. Guess it hasn't hurt me too much.
Praying for some light to break through the clouds for you, my friend. As a good Christian friend of mine remarked recently, just because it's cloudy doesn't mean the sun has gone anywhere. God is right there at your right hand. And He will see you through.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I mean partly my fault because I stopped doing as much work. So it is
partly my fault. And then my manager got mad and criticized me, and I
emailed HR. But I do believe God takes care of us through our mistakes.
But do still please pray because I have been crying, not sure how I will
make it. I am afraid I don't have the faith to make it in life. If not,
for God, I would have killed myself a long time ago. Because it is hard
to be isolated and trying to survive, and the anxiety hurts.
But I do have faith. Please pray, and thank you for your prayers. I will pray too of course, for you too.
You have what it takes – believe me!
Elijah and Moses were / are two of the greatest believers who ever lived – but they both over-reacted to a shock event. So that can happen to us all and we have to beware of it. As a wise man once said, "Never EVER quit on a bad day" – because we all have them. Amen!
God is with you. Be a witness for the Lord. Let them see what a powerful faith can do.
I will definitely continue to pray for you, my friend.
Your friend forever in Jesus Christ,
How are you and your family doing? Do you have the Coronavirus in your area yet? Mom and I are doing ok so far. I am concerned about her because she is 88 and has asthma. I am still having to work and I take extra, extra precautions not to bring it home. We don’t have any verified cases in our town because they are only testing the folks that are older or have underlying health conditions at this time. I spoke with a nephew today who lives in town and he’s been sick with fever, cough, chest heaviness and over blah feelings. Sounds like CV and I’m sure it’s here. The governor hasn’t shut down my industry, so I wouldn’t be able to collect unemployment. I know God will provide and I’m torn about not going back to work. Have they closed your university? I often feel like this is a sneak peak into what the Tribulation might be like. People losing their minds and cleaning out toilet paper and water, meat, diapers, etc. The government can just shut you down with a word. People primed and ready for the antichrist. People ask me why I’m so calm during this and I share Jesus with them.
I wanted to give you a quick update on things happening here. We are having some very nice weather, so the neighbor Is outside more. Last Wednesday he was out in the back yard with a friend in the early evening and he was drunk. The friend was working on waxing a snowboard and wasn’t really paying attention to him. The neighbor was screaming and talking loudly, which got my attention. I watched for a few minutes to see what he was doing. He went to the garage and got a gas can, poured it on his big fire pit, lit some twigs on fire and threw it in. Great flames shot up, sparks went everywhere and smoked rolled out of it and right into our house because the wind was blowing. Mom couldn’t breathe. I called the fire department and they put it out. I was expecting retaliation but nothing happened. This Wednesday he had people over—even though there is a ban on gathering. Last night when I got home from work, I opened my car door to the foulest language imaginable. He was drunk and talking to someone on his speaker phone. I have called the management company for the house, since the landlord turned it over to them, and have reported that he is being a nuisance again but they still haven’t done anything about it. I am really trying to be patient and wait on God for deliverance, but it is wearing me down. He’s always outside and drinking, smoking (blows onto our property), and foul language. I don’t feel safe even with a 6’ fence between us. We can’t sit outside and enjoy ourselves. We’re making progress with our projects and getting the house finished. We’d like to be able to enjoy it! I have prayed and begged to God to remove him or shut him up or something, but nothing. We get down in the dumps and I feel like a prisoner in my own home at times. It can get very depressing. I love being outside and now we rarely go out.
Mom and I are keeping you and yours in prayer. Stay safe!
Thanks for the update – although I'm sorry to hear that this "situation"
is continuing. I have been diligent in praying for you on this and will
continue. Continue to have faith: the Lord never lets any of us down.
And this test has indeed prepared you: "People ask me why I’m so calm
during this and I share Jesus with them." Amen! I am so very proud of
you! That is the perfect fulfillment of the 1st Peter 3:15 mandate to be
ready to "give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope
that is in you". We should all be as stalwart as you!
The CV is not known to be widespread here but there have been cases and a couple of deaths. But absolutely everything has been shut down and I am teaching my students online for the first time in my life. It is WAY more work than teaching in person (at least in the early going), but the Lord is getting me through it.
Yes, doing fine here. Although everyone else I know and hear from in this neck of the woods is already going stir crazy. Imagine another couple of weeks! Regardless of when the hysteria and the threat pass, it's all a good litmus test for our present spiritual status. If we are walking close to the Lord, times of pressure can be wonderful despite the added load; otherwise . . .
Thank you SO much for your prayers, my friend! Keeping you in mine too every day.
Best to your mom!
Hi again, could you help me with another question I have. I have been having certain thoughts coming in my head along the lines of "if I do a certain thing then I'll go to hell" or "if I do a certain thing something may be taken from me." I have wondered if I have OCD. Could you help me with some of these thoughts.
I hope you'll be relieved to know that this is something that many Christians struggle with. If you start reading through the email postings at Ichthys, you'll see a great deal of this. Bottom line: we have a right to reject bad thoughts. If we feel we've been complicit in any way, confession always results in forgiveness and restoration of fellowship with the Lord. And remember: you have the Holy Spirit residing in you, and He is God! So all you have to do is give yourself over to His leadership and influence and this "problem" will take care of itself. Of course it may take a little practice but that's OK. Here are a couple of pertinent links:
Who Controls our Thoughts and Emotions?
The Battlefield Within: Fighting the inner spiritual Struggle.
Fighting the Fight II: Struggling with Sin, Doubt, and Severe Testing
Fighting the Fight I: Accountability, Faith, Sin, Forgiveness, and Reward
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I've tried meds. I've tried therapy. nothing works. only God can save me from this despair...but God only helps those who are willing to help themselves, and im helpless against the voices and demons that torment me. I might as well live the rest of my days in this despair and try to scrape up any happiness i can from the World...I still believe in Christ, and trust Him alone with my soul, but I can't trust Him with much else if He only helps those who help themselves somehow, which I literally cant.
"I'm helpless against the voices and demons that torment me" – NOT true! You have the Holy Spirit inside of you. The Holy Spirit is God. God is more powerful than all the demons and their commander put together . . . to an infinite degree!
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1st John 4:4 NASB20
Of course, you have to believe it, accept it, and act upon it. This you CAN do, if you are willing. If you are willing to take pills, why not be willing to listen to Bible teaching . . . and believe it?
(16) But I tell you, walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out what the flesh lusts for. (17) For what the flesh lusts for is contrary to the Spirit's will, and the Spirit is opposed to what the flesh lusts for. Since these are diametrically opposed to each other in this way, what you are doing is not what you yourself choose. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Be pleased to let the Spirit guide you. Listen to Him, and follow Him.
Read my last email also.
If only there was a way to return to the past, to meet my past self when I was a kid and preach the Gospel and sound doctrine to him then, to get him on the path to God before I lost my emotions and spiraled into the pit of despair that is the torment of demons. Alas, if there is such a way, it's probably a demonic illusion rather than actual time travel. And that just won't do. I only wish I could weep over my abominations and my mistakes, but my heart is hard and dead as steel
I've forgotten if I asked you this before but...I'm emotionally numb. I can't really feel emotion, at least not outside of the most mild and weak occasional spurts. I can't feel truly bad about my sins or feel good about the good things. Will Jesus heal me of this pestilence in this life? If I faithfully follow Him?
1) There's no going back – and that is a GOOD thing. We have enough
trouble with today without worrying about tomorrow or yesterday; keep
your focus on TODAY
2) How we feel is unimportant; if we persevere in spiritual growth, we will, in time, begin to "feel" better, most of the time, but we also learn to persevere regardless of how we "feel" (see the link).
3) If you are still alive, you can make changes, throwing out the bad and embracing the good; if you've dug yourself a hole, first, stop digging; second, start climbing out. It does no good to wring your hands about being in the hole; take measures to get out of it.
Praying for you
There are some people who say that there's scientific proof that time travel, even to the past, is possible. That gave me hope of being able to change my past at first, but then I realized it doesn't matter. Even if there really is a way to return to the past and even change it, Christ will return long before anyone figures it out. And now I realize that that would just let anyone do anything to the past, and that would destroy God's plans, which cannot be. I find it much more likely God made it impossible to return to the past and there is no way. But like I said, if there is a way, Jesus will return long before man figures it out.
There's no going back. There's no time travel. There's only one Plan of God. It's all been decreed; it can't be "un-decreed". We all make mistakes. Better to spend five minutes dealing with where you are now than five years agonizing over something that can't be changed. God is merciful. God forgives. Don't look back. Get up and get moving forward.
Before you read my last email, I just wanted to say, I was a bit too harsh. also, if what I say in it proves me to have never been saved, or even reprobate and/or apostate, I myself am questioning whether saying these things was worth it. who knows, maybe a savage, merciless, pitiless rebuke is just what I need to get me on the track to spiritual growth, or even to salvation. regardless, thank you for everything, doc. may we both see each other on the other side of those glorious gates of the New Jerusalem.
And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.
1st Kings 18:21 NKJV
Wow, that's not what I expected. you know, I wonder if I'll end up dying by the
sin unto death before the tribulation comes. Do I even believe? I know it sounds
like I'm beating a dead horse here, but I can't seem to be sure of my salvation.
I know you say if you believe you're saved, but what needs to be believed again?
Also, one last thing before you read my last 3 emails: is roleplaying bad or satanic? does it summon demons?
It wouldn't be something I would want to be involved in. When it comes
to cultural activities of any kind, none are godly good by definition:
some are only mildly problematic, some are more so to the point of
needing to be careful about over-involvement (or perhaps any
involvement), some shout "stay away!" very loudly to any Christian who
is listening to the Spirit at all. Anything that blasphemes the Lord
falls into that last category in my view.
It's impossible to live in this world and avoid exposure to cultural influences, all of which are involved in the devil's system to one degree or another. We can't go out of this world and we shouldn't try (1Cor.5:10). Keeping evil at arm's length is something all Christians need to learn to get good at. Embracing it is not the right way to go about it.
These are judgment calls, when it comes to specific games, movies, operas, sporting events, books, etc., etc. Believers who are following the Lord closely in the Spirit will be better at making the right decisions than those who are not – at least they can be. After all, what we really want is to please the Lord and win a good reward – or at least that is what we SHOULD want.
(12) [It is] not that I have already gotten [what I am striving for], nor that I have already completed [my course]. Rather, I am continuing to pursue [the prize] in hopes of fully acquiring it – [this prize for whose acquisition] I was myself acquired by Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I do not consider that I have already acquired it. This one thing only [do I keep in mind]. Forgetting what lies behind me [on the course] and straining towards the [course] ahead, (14) I continue to drive straight for the tape, towards the prize to which God has called us from the beginning [of our race] in Christ Jesus. (15) So as many as are [spiritually] mature, let us have this attitude (i.e., of focusing on our spiritual advance and reward and not getting hung up on what lies behind: vv.13-14), and if in any matter your attitude is off-center, God will reveal that to you (i.e., assuming you are mature and are advancing as you should). (16) But with respect to the progress you have made, keep on advancing in the same way!
Stop wandering. Start following.
Doc, I'm wondering, if fantasy is so bad, why did you permit someone to watch a fantasy show in one of your emails? or are you just forbidding it to people who used to be in the occult?
I never "forbid" or "permit" anything – that's the Lord's
job, not mine.
If you ask me about doing something dangerous, it is my duty to tell you it's dangerous.
brutally abused and tortured one, trying to kill it...yeah, the game let's you abuse and hit your Chao. And I pretended one was the personification of my severe mental illness, brutally bashing and hitting him over and over and over...Don't worry, like I said, this wasn't a real living creature, it was a digital virtual pet that isn't alive in any sense. Much less the Biblical sense. I just felt even worse during and after it. I know this is far from the worst thing I've done, but I feel like confessing this to you.
God is the One we confess to, not other human beings.
Also, the more we grow spiritually, the less we are deceived by our emotions. How we "feel" is not the issue. What the Spirit is telling us is the issue.
[omitted back story]
I try to stay away from watching such things – not to say I'm perfect by
any means (sadly far from it).
This is a matter of personal application. If the Spirit is telling you it's not good for you, the best thing to do is to listen to the Spirit. Since we're not talking about something that is definitely bad (sin) or definitely good (spiritual growth, progress and production), then this falls like so many other things into the area of choice: how do you want to use your time? We all need some R&R, but some things are better or worse for us than others (and every believer is different). We have to choose how to use the most valuable resource we have:
. . . redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:16 NKJV
Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.
Colossians 4:5 NKJV
I've decided to stop with the silly despair and make up my mind. I'm giving God 7 days to prove Himself, before I give up hope forever.
The psalmist (David) begins:
How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
Psalm 13:1 NKJV
But the psalmist (David) concludes:
But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:1 NKJV
Have a little patience. Have a little faith. And be careful never to put time limits on God or put the Lord to the test.
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
Matthew 4:7 NIV (cf. Deut.6:16)
Doc, I'm scared I might end up actually acting out on my vile temptations and compulsions, like I might end up actually worshiping satan or doing a satanic ritual. what do I do?
You have free will. Be pleased to use it to listen to the Spirit and continue to grow spiritually. Nothing in this life happens accidentally.
Respond to my last email if you want, but just remember that answering
this one is FAR more important:
I feel like a waste spiritually. I try to pray to escape the torment of being tempted give glory to demons, and I can't even do that right. I always end up unintentionally incorporating something evil into my prayer. I try to read the Bible, but am unmotivated and it doesn't help anyway. If anything it just makes me feel worse after reading Scripture or teachings from Ichthys because I get super bad thoughts about God or devil worship or sex during it. What's the point of my life, my entire existence if I can't glorify God? can't glorify my Lord and Savior? am I just not trying hard enough? I need you to pray for me Doc. Pray the Lord will get the motivation I need to power through this depressing miasma of sin and heartache. Every second of every day we spend in spiritual growth counts, since we're so close to the Tribulation, right? well...I need to get moving then. Also, about that whole argument I had with you about obeying the law, I'm sorry. I realize God is in control now and that everything that happens is for our good. I hope you can forgive me.
Don't worry about me. God always forgives – when we
confess in true repentance (1Jn.1:9; cf. Ps.32:5).
Plenty of people have this mental battle. Being tempted is not a sin. Eventually, if you start taking spiritual growth seriously, this battle can be fought effectively – to the point where it is not a constant thorn in your side.
I'll give you a few links, but I reiterate that spiritual growth has to be broad-based (i.e., it can't be achieved by only focusing on issues of particular interest and special concern):
Who Controls our Thoughts and Emotions?
The Battlefield Within: Fighting the inner spiritual Struggle.
Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth I
Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth II
Dear Bob L,
I had a question about a verse that has really frightened me to the core. I was trying to figure out how to post it under your "have I lost my salvation?" thread, but I cant figure out how to do that. I have read most of all the questions and your answers under the 3 sections. it has really been a great help with my faith, especial the 2 passages in Hebrews that I had struggled with. my question was if you could explain a verse in romans chapter 8 for me?
Romans 8:13, NIV: "For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live."
other translations I have read say "you will spiritually die", or will surly die.
How does this passage relate to someone who has trusted in Christ as their lord and savior but then latter had gone down a bad path of sin for quite a time. I have recently repented of those many sins and I'm getting back in his word and prayer. I recently read this verse and it felt like a knife was going into my chest. I felt lost forever and am struggling with it, something I wish no one would ever have to go through. the only thing that is helping me sleep at night is his promise in 1john 1:9 especially the "and cleans us from all unrighteousness". I could really use your insight on this verse in romans. thank you for your time and I eagerly await your response.
Good to make your acquaintance. I'm happy to hear that you are growing
and recovering spiritually through the Word of God. Nearly every
believer worth his/her salt I personally have ever had much to do with
has had a "prodigal son" time. We would all be lost if there were no
forgiveness. Blessedly, our God is a God of forgiveness. Never forget
that Jesus has already paid for all of our sin, large and small, past
and future, forgotten and remembered, the ones that bother us and the
ones that don't: the smallest sin of all, the one we never noticed, the
one we would be hard pressed to believe is actually a sin, would be
enough to condemn us to hell forever. Blessedly, however, Jesus died for
that least sin – and for our greatest sins . . . and for ALL sin. And we
are forgiven whenever we turn back to Him and confess.
Obviously, the only safe path is the strait and narrow one directly up the high road to Zion, following Him closely through the Spirit and the Word of God. That is really what the verse you ask about is all about. If a Christian abandons the truth and turns back to the world, it won't be long until his/her faith begins to erode. Just as we build up our faith through sanctification and spiritual growth, so we degrade it by giving ourselves over to a life of sin and ignoring spiritual growth (the two always go together both ways). So if we live according to the flesh, we are going to die – one way or another; that is to say, those who turn away from sanctification and growth will either 1) apostatize (i.e., their faith in Christ will completely die out and they will revert to being unbelievers because they no longer have any use for the Lord and the truth; that is usually a slow process); or 2) said believer will not be willing to let go either of faith in Jesus Christ or of their sinful lifestyle. Jesus does not allow bad witnesses like that to go in this world forever, so for such individuals the sin unto death – a painful exit from this world – is the result (the person does not lose salvation in this case; see the link: "Apostasy and the Sin unto Death").
You clearly love the Lord – so you are a believer, and all believers are saved (e.g., Jn.3:18). More than that, you have returned to Him. And like the prodigal son who deemed himself unworthy to be called a son – but was embraced lovingly by the father happy to have him back – so we are rightly humbled when we do return from a "journey to a far country". But do not doubt that He loves you – He died for you.
What now? It's very important to recognize at this point that merely refraining from gross sin is only a preliminary matter. We are all called by the Lord to do His will for us in the world. And for each and every one of us that entails: 1) growing up to spiritual maturity; 2) progressing in our walk with Him, passing the tests that come to the spiritually mature in order to refine and demonstrate our faith; 3) helping others do likewise through the ministry to which we will be called as mature believers.
So while I do encourage you to explore the files at Ichthys which speak about the particular problem that concerns you (there are plenty of others), what we all need is a broad-based approach to learning the truth. We need to embrace the entire "curriculum" of biblical truth. Ichthys is designed for that (starting with the "Peter series" is not a bad idea). I also highly recommend "Bible Academy" (at the link).
Spiritual maturity and continued growth in the truth is really the only way to free oneself from the winds and waves of false teaching that so dominate our Laodicean era of the Church age (Eph.4:14).
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,