Ichthys Acronym Image

Home             Site Links

Mutual Encouragement in Christ XIV

Word RTF

Question #1:  

Doc, I made a big mistake again...I watched some videos and read a bunch if comments on the far Left culture I'm this country, and how they're exposing kids to all these horrible things because they think it's letting them find their true identity...I was so disgusted by it...I started hoping they all go to Hell with no chance of ever even hearing the Gospel...then when God reminded me that Christ died for all...[omitted]...at least now I understand what you mean when you say politics is spiritual suicide. I know, confess to the Lord, not to you, but I just wanted to tell you that I've learned my lesson when it comes to trying to get involved with politics.

I won't give up hope as long as the Lord lives. Even if I do fall into utter despair, the truth of Christ and His work will being me back.

Response #1: 

It's good to hear that you are getting better at fighting this fight. Good for you!

As to politics, just remember that the first politician was Satan (link). He got one third of the angels to "vote for him" instead of staying loyal to the Lord, to choose him as their leader instead of God – and to damn themselves in the process. The most successful human politician in history will also be the last one: antichrist (link). He will get the world to follow him – with some notable exceptions, namely, believers who value their eternal life and love Jesus Christ more than anything or anyone. Politics really is "the devil's game" – literally and originally.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:  

Dear Dr Luginbill,

Some years ago I downloaded a paper you wrote titled: The interpolation "Father forgive them" is not a part of scripture. I still have the whole article, with which I wholeheartedly agree. I noted at the end of the paper, which was one of a number on this topic that I copied and pasted into Word documents at the time. However, I can no longer find it at your site, but may have missed the reference, because Part 4A is a very long and comprehensive study.

I notice that the NET Bible includes the interpolation in squared parenthesis and has a reasonable footnote on it. It's one of the very few modern English Bibles that cares to comment at all. Sorry to bother you, but I would really appreciate your response.

By the way, I'm an 82 year-old, retired professional engineer, born in London during the Battle of Britain. I've lived for most of my life in Australia, as well as travelling extensively to many other parts of the world. My last stint overseas was teaching English in China for two years at a university in Nanjing (2002-2004). I'm currently living in Australia with my beautiful wife Joy, who I married about a year after getting back to Australia from China. We live, and will almost certainly die here, in rural Queensland.

Abundant blessings,

Response #2: 

You'll find this at the following link in BB 4A: "The interpolation: 'they know not what they do'".

Let me know if you have any difficulty with the above.

Thanks for the background. Good to hear that you are still going strong, my friend! I know the last few years have been challenging "down under" as well.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Many thanks Bob,

When I couldn't find the section again, I was concerned you may have removed it. Praise God, you have not.

We are certainly living in an insane world now but I wouldn't miss it for quids, as we say in British English. In our senectitude (see attachment if you are not familiar with the word), we are living on a friend's 100-acre property, which is becoming an end-time community. We live in a converted bus and an associated "common room." Up to very recently, I have done an enormous amount in developing the site, to make us as comfortable as possible, but due to age and now some physical limitations, I am not able to do as much as in the past.

The owner, was the pastor of a church in a place named Goombungee about 7km from the property, and was sharing the truth of what was happening in the world. Two thirds of the congregation decided they didn't want to hear the truth, so left. We were not prepared to go along with the COVID rules and morphed into two house churches, one of which meets weekly here on the property. We have had others join the group for short periods but leave again when they disagree with our stance or are not given enough "honour."

The thing I love about the meetings in the main house here is that we have children from a few months old to geriatrics like me. Everyone participates. Some of the children are being so fast-tracked by the Lord that I'm gobsmacked by their insights and maturity.

We will be upholding you in prayer.

Much love and appreciation,

Response #3: 

Thanks for that update, my friend (FYI: "senate" comes from the same root – which explains a lot over here).

I have heard about the insanely restrictive Covid policies in Australia. Meanwhile over here with our shutdowns we wrecked our economy, ruined the lives of millions of kids . . . and locking things down in the Draconian manner employed didn't stop a single person from getting the virus, it seems – though it did destroy hundreds of thousands of small businesses.

Thanks for those prayers!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:  

Dear Brother Bob,

Thank you for this email. I am excited to start and complete this new study, having finished reading the latest additions to your Peter Series.

Congratulations on the 25th anniversary of your online ministry. I am personally grateful, as among those members of Ichthys community who silently continue to benefit from your Bible teaching ministry and also silently join you in prayers on behalf of everyone in our community.

Despite my silence, please be encouraged that your counsel and your work are not in vain with me, your student. I continue to be in this good fight of faith with our brethren, regularly studying and praying with you all.

Again, thank you and congratulations.

In Jesus our Lord and Savior

Response #4: 

Thank you!

I greatly appreciate all the kind words.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:  

Sir. I must tell you that I cannot wait to meet you in heaven. Your writings have caused me to become rich in understanding of the God I’ve come to know and love through the knowledge imparted to me by Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Your teaching have blessed me and enabled me to earnestly seek His truth. I thank Him for you. I truly do. Thank you for loving the world with His heart. You have been chosen for this purpose and it’s beautiful to be over here and observe.


Response #5: 

Thank you!

Your good words here are greatly appreciated.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Dear sir,

Thank you so much for the 3 references you directed me to from your site regarding the eternal security question. They were so helpful for me to see how you handle peoples objections and present scripture clearly stating otherwise.

What I have observed and you specifically referred to in several places, is the strong correlation or maybe causation of Calvinism in this whole debate. I have long wrestled with these 2 opposing concepts, Calvinism and Armenianism, and after fatigue and frustration in resolving them, have accepted the position that maybe they are both correct but I am not smart enough to reconcile their differences!! I have brushed the conflict aside with the statement that both are correct in what they claim but incorrect in what they deny. (I cant remember who is credited with that statement!) I whole heartedly accept that God in his sovereignty has created "little gods" and given them free will to chose, and with that privilege, suffer the responsibility of wrong decisions and judgement. I guess where I am going with this is 2 fold. First, what is your position on where Calvinism overstated or exceeded its scriptural basis, if it has, and how do you present that to our Calvinist brothers? Secondly, how do you respond to the Calvinist explanation of 1 John 2:18 & 19 when it states they were never part of us??

I presume you have addressed this scripture already in previous arguments but did not recognize it in what I have read this far.

Thank you for your patience in responding to my inquiries and especially thank you for your website ministry to discern, defend and present truth even when moving against the tide.

Blessings in JESUS,

Response #6: 

I think I would put it a bit differently saying that they are both WRONG because they both exclude and fail to take into account the other side of the issue: yes, we have free will; yes, the plan of God has ordained everything (including our free will and our choices). Best link for where I discuss this issue of divine sovereignty and human free will is in BB 4B: Soteriology; see especially under "Free-will Faith and the Will of God".

As to scriptural objections, there are plenty on both sides where they choose to pick out scriptures which emphasize only one facet: we believers have been elected – because God elected us based upon our response to Jesus Christ. We still had to do it; He knew that we would do it and incorporated all those variables into His perfect plan. It's important to note and to remember that there is only ONE plan, the one perfect one. There are no actual hypotheticals or "what ifs". Absolutely everything that happens was the only thing that could happen – and it / the plan / history contains every choice and decision we've ever made or will.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:  

Dear Professor,

Your paper on the "3 False Doctrines Which Threaten Faith" (link) I found so insightful and revelatory and struck a strong chord of agreement as I have had a similar thought transformation to yours in the last 10 years of my spiritual walk. I would like to know if you could please direct me to a resource or one of your selected works that explains or handles some of the most commonly used scripture listed in support of eternal security. I tend to interpret most of these as being descriptive of the faithfulness of God, but would like to hear your thoughts and see how you determine or conclude why they do not indicate or suggest eternal security.

Thank you for your efforts to discern and teach Gods word and for sharing these insights with His sheep.

YBIC, searching after Him,

Response #7: 

Thanks for the good words, my friend! The issue is treated at various places at Ichthys. Here are three major links subsequent to the one you read:

The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security I

The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security II

The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security III

Do feel free to write me back about any of the specifics.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #8:  

Hi Bob,

I hope classes are going okay and they haven't dumped on you yet again now that you have had successful contract talks. How is teaching going this semester? How's the hip holding up?

On the image and likeness topic: God implanted eternity into the hearts of man. Thus, does every human (of mental capacity) believe something about their purpose for life/origin of the universe. For example if one rejects the truth (Christ), is it correct to say that the person must fill the universally implanted vacuum in their heart with both an origin story and a purpose for themselves. Basically, I'm curious as to whether a person can reject the truth and then believe in absolutely nothing or does a universal belief void exist that must be filled (either with the truth or a lie)? So in essence, all humans by default must have faith in something in regards to purpose/origin (our image)?

I've read the purpose of man series. But, this is still a tough concept to grasp for me.

In our Savior, Jesus Christ,

Response #8: 

Doing well here, my friend – thanks for asking.

Everyone knows that God exists because of the way we are made and because of natural revelation (Ps.19:1ff.; Rom.1:18ff.; cf. Acts 17:24-27). And the way God made the world has a direct link up with the heart of everyone – eternity in the heart (Eccl.3:11). God made us to see from the way He made the world that He exists: "His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Rom.1:20 NKJV). But after coming to "God consciousness", most people in the history of the world have not been interested in responding to Him and to His truth. Since death and sin and judgment are difficult to bear psychologically without the solution God offers (of eternal life in Jesus Christ), creatures with the image of God have the ability to harden their hearts (see the link); that is, to create their own truth. This may be some system of falsity already in existence (such as a religion or a philosophy), or it may be entirely something of their own making; usually it's a combination of the two. What all such things have in common is that they are NOT true; all such "exchange the truth of God for a lie" (Rom.1:25). Scripture describes this as "vanity" (Rom.1:21; cf. Rom.8:20; Eph.4:17; 2Pet.2:18), which is essentially a vacuum in the heart which must naturally be filled by something else: all manner of foul and untrue things. As I like to say, when the truth is rejected, a lie of some sort must necessarily be accepted in its place.

Have a look also at BB 4B: Soteriology, where all these matters are discussed in depth (link).

Hope this helps.

Keeping you in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:  

Hi Dr. Bob,

I hope you're doing well?

I've been reading some of your materials and it has really been a blessing to my life. However, I have a question concerning spiritual maturity. How does one mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ, and how can progress be tracked?

Eph 4:13


Your Student in the Word through God Almighty

Response #9: 

Good to make your acquaintance – and thanks for your encouraging words.

As you probably already know, BB 6A: Peripateology, is all about this subject [link]. That's where you'll find the long answer. The short answer is to continue growing through attention to the truth of the Word of God, continue to apply what one has learned and believed as we walk through this world with Jesus Christ, and take pains to help others too in accordance with the gifts we've been given "as good stewards of the multi-faceted grace of God" (1Pet.4:10). That is the way to the three crowns (see the link).

In terms of "tracking", as one of my old profs, a football fan, used to say, "Wouldn't it be nice if in life there was also a scoreboard where we could look up and see how we were doing?" Not so sure about that myself. As Paul says,

For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
1st Corinthians 4:4-5 NKJV

"Where we are at", therefore, is something that the Lord works with each individual believer on and about. I will say that this recent unpleasantness of lockdowns and hysteria is certainly giving us all a good measure of just such evaluation as we can easily see how we are handling it, whether trusting Him or not, and to what degree. In terms of us as individuals, the maturity tests that come into our lives are meant to demonstrate how far we have come in our walk with Jesus (cf. Jas.2:21-24; Heb.11:17-19).

From the tone and content of your email it sounds to me as if you are on the right track. So keep persevering in the truth, my friend! That is the way not only to stay safe in our short time in this world, but also the way to glorify the One we love more than life, our dear Savior Jesus Christ.

In our Lord.

Bob L.

Question #10:  

Dear Bob:

Jesus in the Gospel of John states that "I am in the Father and the Father is in me" (John 14:11)

Does that imply that God the Father also experiences everything that Jesus experiences as if he is in Jesus vicariously even whilst being a different person and vice versa? As if God the Father experiences the humility of Jesus even as he is the Most High and everything else that Jesus went through?

And this peculiar passage seems to suggest that as Jesus ascended to Heaven to God's Throne he regained his Omnipresence and he thereby experiences everything as he is in everything (Ephesians 4:10). From the smallest Quanta of reality Jesus experiences them all as he fills them.

Would like your thoughts.

God Bless

Response #10: 

On the one hand, God is God and has always been and always will be, sharing in the Trinity absolute omniscience (which in any case is a characteristic relating to time and space; see link).  God is infinite and not limited in any way (link).

On the other hand, Jesus did take on true humanity and wed Himself inextricably to THIS creation – a truly mind-boggling and blessed thing! During the first advent, He limited Himself, the doctrine known as kenosis (link), in order to live a true human life in every way despite His absolute uniqueness as the God-man so as to be an acceptable sacrifice for our sins.

That is as much as I would be able to say regarding your questions, not wishing to "go beyond what is written" in this regard.

So to me, this passage you ask about, John 14:11, sums up and teaches the absolute oneness and unity of the Godhead (link).

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #11:  

Dear Sir,

Yes, it's me again, but this time I have come in through the front door ! I have a question for you concerning a phrase that you use quite a lot in your writings "spiritual growth". Could you possibly open this phrase up a little ( unless you already have provided an answer in your writings, then maybe you could give me the correct heading so that I can follow your teaching further ). When I see the phrase "spiritual growth" my first impression or thought is "transformation". But the term "spiritual growth doesn't" really grab my attention, it almost seems a bit vague, a bit nondescript. To me it seems to have some different meanings, such as,
A person who whilst having a definite Christian witness and character even an excellent character, is pursuing the study of God's word, even of God himself so as to become like unto God in his own spirit and thereby living out the correct living towards others,
An emptying of the self or soul life and a discarding of all hindrances (only with God's help) so as to be empty, thereby having plenty of space for God to fill us up with his Spirit, the result being "spiritual growth"

Do you think that the phrase or word "transformation" serves the same purpose as "spiritual growth"?

I was thinking of 2 Corinthians 3:18 where the apostle talks about beholding the Lord and being changed into the same image (some translations use transformed instead of changed) and so to narrow it down I guess my question is, are you talking about growth in the knowledge of the Divine Life or an actual metabolical growth in the Divine Life.



Response #11: 

Now grow up through the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
2nd Peter 3:18

Peter tells us to "grow" and he is certainly not talking about physical growth; that is why I use the terminology "spiritual growth".

Believers grow through learning AND believing and then applying the truth. The more genuine truth learned, believed and applied, the closer to Jesus Christ we can get. There are plenty of Christians out there with knowledge. Even unbelievers can learn a great deal about the Bible. But only what is actually true is of benefit and only what is believed. Belief converts gnosis into epignosis, the "full knowledge" that the Spirit uses to guide our steps and build our relationship with Jesus Christ. Spiritual growth can be difficult to comprehend . . . until it is experienced. It does involve the transformation of our thinking (Rom.12:1-2), and it is followed by progress in the spiritual life as the Lord brings testing which only those who have grown to a certain place can pass. Spiritual growth and spiritual progress are, ideally, followed by spiritual production, and it is the accomplishment of these three phases of the properly lived Christian life which result in the three crowns of reward, righteousness, life and glory.

There is plenty about all this all over the website, but the most concentrated and thorough study is BB 6A: Peripateology (at the link); you could also check the subject index and also the list by title of previously posted email postings.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:  


I've been archiving my old emails to you and I just wanted to let you know that I think I now know the answer to my first ever question to you..

You know I come from a very dysfunctional family centred around my ___'s disorder. Well my first question to you was about ___'s boyfriend and that I thought him a bad influence and controlling of her. Well that hasn't changed I'm sad to say and the grip has tightened over the years but I think I have now figured out "why".

Of course the general answer is mankinds' sinfulness but I think I have managed to pinpoint more closely what is going on.

I think what often happens in marriages/romantic relations and families when they are not under God is that someone else fills the role that God should have. So often it is the husband or father who "becomes god" in that relationship or family. It also happens in matriarchal families where the woman "becomes god".

What I have noticed in these marriages and families is they operate EXACTLY like a cult does. There is a "he/ she who must be obeyed" and this head makes up rules that become law and violations of these laws (which usually have nothing to do with God's law) invoke huge punitive measures vastly disproportionate to the so called misdemeanour made.

These rules/ laws are often randomly made and changeable dependent on the whims of the so called "god" in charge. These family and relational systems are invariably tyrannical and abusive. Why? Because the true Lord and God is nowhere to be seen in this picture and because God is love so you cannot have love without God.

These structures can only stagnate and worsen with time because all sinful mankind and the marred creation is entropic since the fall. Only through Jesus can creation as a whole be restored and made better than before just as we all now are being redeemed and restored individually as the Body of Christ.

As these so called heads have refused God's rule and have snatched that role for themselves the whole relationship and family orbits around these idolatrous sinners. After all if we are more fearful of our husbands/wives/parents than we are in awe of our Heavenly Father, is this not idolatry?

In a cult, the leader becomes "god" in not only his own eyes but to every member of that cult who seek to follow his/her every rule and to obey him. In a sense, is this not worship?
Only God should be worshipped.

I realise that I was raised to worship __. About her boyfriend, I know that it was an unfair question but as a younger believer out of exasperation I asked my sister "Who do you love more: God or ___?" and she said "___".

I shouldn't have asked that I know but it actually proves my point that this is actually how most people live now. Their husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/mother/father and in some cases even the children become a golden calf for them. I was moulded into this idolatrous and ungodly way of thinking by my parents and so when I got older it isn't surprising that I was drawn to these controlling types of people who acted as though they were a god.

It's interesting that they often describe a romantic relationship with someone with a personality disorder as a "cult of two" because the "leader" often cruelly demands unquestioning loyalty and obedience at all costs. Their romantic other being the "follower", their worshipper and eventually their slave!

I have seen this happen a lot in modern day relationships and family dynamics though I imagine this has been the case since the fall

Of course feminism is completely wrong but I see that some women have been drawn to it as they saw their fathers, brothers and husbands act as though they were a god, throwing their weight around and being abusive, tyrannical and violent (also these behaviours have historically been exacerbated by drunkenness).

Why would this so called "god" be drunken? Because he is miserable, because sin is miserable and deep down he knows he isn't the true God and never will be.

So these little cults all over the place can only ever get worse with time.

There is only freedom in Christ. So whether it is the SDA, the RCs, the Mormons or even a godless, idolatrous marriage or family unit.. It is the same answer for all. Only a family or marriage founded on the rock of Jesus Christ can last and be happy and fruitful just as only the true Church and all the true lively stones can ever be truly joyful and productive in this life!

Amen and amen!

In Him,

Response #12: 

"I have seen this happen a lot in modern day relationships" – it's out there, that's for sure. But I wouldn't want to characterize all non-believer to believer marriages this way because they're not all this way. I will allow as to how that as societies are continuing to degenerate on the cusp of the Tribulation, dysfunction is certainly well on the rise.

Also, just because two people are genuinely believers doesn't mean that they're going to have a wonderful marriage. It doesn't even mean that the marriage will work. Marriage in my observation of things is a very difficult lift, and more so in recent times than in the distant past because of all the increasing societal pressures. But we have that from scripture as well:

But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
1st Corinthians 7:28 NIV

We who believe are blessed to be able to look forward to a time where none of this matters, moreover. And that will be blessed.

"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven."
Matthew 22:30 NIV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:  

I suppose for me the temptation is more along of the lines that He wouldn't take care of me, I mean to say...I have been on the edge a lot in life of not having what I needed. Which is not the same as actually not having what I needed (being on the edge vs being there). The idea that I am allowed to do things most people consider basic, and that He isn't cruel and other things, I know I am not expressing myself well. I mean it is a wonderful realization that He is generous and good (though I am still learning what those things actually mean). It gets better and better, more and more.

Anyway my head hurts a bit but not too unbearable.

Response #13: 

Yes, God is good!

And He never ever lets us down.

Being on the edge is an opportunity to trust Him – because He never lets us go over. Whatever happens we can take in stride because we know that the plan of God is perfect and that He is perfectly loving to us and faithful to us. It's harder to trust when we are on the edge – but that is the whole point. The more we commit ourselves to trusting Him "no matter what", the more we grow. We may not be at the point where Abraham was, willing to sacrifice the son of promise he had waited for for so many years – because he knew through faith that God would work it out (Heb.11:19) – but we can certainly start trusting Him with smaller things, and work up to the bigger ones. Having already been on the edge many times, we need to remember the deliverances God has wrought for us to inspire us to be confident that He will do it again – as many times as we need until His kingdom comes.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #14:  

Doc, why is society obsessed with the so called"7 deadly sins"? Yes Greed, Sloth, Lust, Gluttony, Wrath, Envy and Pride are all sin and can be quite destructive, but so can any sin if it's left to fester. I know the idea of "7 deadly sins" comes from Catholicism, but why are these ones so focused on?

Another question, why so some people "identify" as a made up gender the're not? i'm not just talking about people who are a man or woman and claim to be the opposite, there are so many "genders" that aren't male or female people say they feel like they are...why?

Response #14: 

On the second question, this seems clear enough to me:

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:27

On the first, while I'm happy to answer your questions, my friend, my expertise and gifting is in teaching the Bible. When it comes to what evil people do, whether in religion (like the RCs) or society (your second question), about all I can say is that it has to do with the devil and his world system, designed to distract people from the truth (much more about all that in SR 4 at the link).

We who believe in Jesus Christ and who thus know what is important and what is not are very well-advised to keep our focus on the truth, spiritual growth, progress and production for the Lord, while dis-investing emotionally as much as possible from what goes on in the world that has nothing really to do with us. What the unbelievers do is really none of our business. It is true that what they do does affect us on a visible level, but the Lord protects us if we are walking close to Him. So let us endeavor to do that as best we can. We are in this world, but we are not "of" this world (Jn.17:14).

In a very short time, the Lord will return, all evil will be destroyed, and we will be resurrected to share with Him in His 1,000 year kingdom of perfect rule under the perfect Ruler. Until then, we may have heavy hearts about what we see transpiring in this country and in the world, but we need to remember the following:

The LORD executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
Psalm 103:6 NKJV

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
Psalm 103:11 NKJV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:  

Greetings Doc

For quite some time I have longed for a person who could explain the book of Hebrews in this sense, what an awesome revelation and experience to really explain and separate the mystery and confusion surrounding this book.

You've done justice doctor and just as Paul's times, I am clearly starting to see the very things Paul laboured to teach against also creeping back with much greater influence. Not an easy thing to do but you've once again disfranchised the brick and mortar church business as well as TV club church's. Your ministry is as destructively sure and true as Paul's but also effective in refuting many wrong doings happening.

As hard as it is to believe the truth is right, simple and plain, no other way than could all you've explained be taught other than this - bravo my senior man (Cpt).

Response #15: 

Thanks for these encouraging words, my friend!

It always does me good to hear when readers are benefiting from this ministry and being helped to steer clear of places which are problematic or worse. Seems like there ought to be a lot more workers in the vineyard nowadays, especially as we see "the day drawing near" (Heb.10:25).

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
Luke 10:2 NIV

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:  

Dear Dr. Robert Luginbill,

Thank you very much for letting me know new course! I am looking forward studying it. We are blessed with your writings.

I have just uploaded to my site SR3 Japanese translation (https://darktolight.jp/ichthys/ ). We are working on SR4 now. Studying them and sharing them with others are pleasure to me.

Thank you very much!

Response #16: 

Thanks for the update!

And thanks for the encouragement.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:  

Dr Luginbill

Thank you for you sharing your dedicated work and knowledge.

Just read through your Introduction to Hebrews which certainly is a timely reminder for ‘us on the cusp’ (of the Tribulation) as compared to the preparatory run we now seem to be experiencing - the evil meaning it for evil but God meaning it for our good.

While the 7 good (preparatory) years are not specifically mentioned in scripture, the example of Joseph in Egypt shows God does allow us to prepare sufficiently for the trials ahead. 7 good, 7 bad. Then exquisite joy for those who endure in faith to the end. No doubt the Pharaoh is here now in the pot/plot but with the lid on.

So far the crude dummy run by the evil forces in this world seem to me to be a shadow (a dark one) of the real evil to soon follow. May 2023 then, would be the next major dark shadow (even if they call it light) “earth shaking” movement. Three and a half years since the original “earth shaking” December 2019 plot that has killed and destroyed many lives and businesses and empowered the evil in their control of the masses. Notably at the 3 1/2 year mark the coronation of the king of the UK occurs. He is a globalist and fanatic on the environment and mentioned how ”when he comes” (referring to the beast to arrive shortly?) he will need corporations and trillions of dollars to “solve” climate change and we need to get behind him. (kings seem to want to aggressively support the beast).

Coincidentally our next budget is also in May 2023 where it is predicted more woes than the present budget which present one looks to a 56% rise in electricity costs and 42% for our gas costs within 2 years (unless the government steps in). So much for the cheaper “green energy” transition. Read opposite government/globalist propaganda and usually you hit the nail on the head. And price hikes across the board with no or little wage rises. Their (globalists) “agenda” is proceeding rapidly.

Digital ID - I already have to ignore this request by government every fortnight - when will they absolutely enforce it? Many or most have converted to digital so the following steps will make it easier to sport the tattoo soon to be in vogue (compulsory halfway through the real Tribulation) and even indeed seem to interest people now as we are conditioned to believe it will be “the answer” to the massive cyber crimes being committed. Deliberate conditioning of the masses no doubt.

Will be “interesting “ to see how closely the three and half year mark (could also be interpreted as a sad pun) will shape the 2nd half of the dummy run. And whether after much difficulty there is “peace and security “ before …. The real earthquake!

Well that would also fit with your estimation of the start of the Tribulation. Of course, we both may be out in our counting or even out by the count. No telling when our time is up personally.
A friend at 83 is in hospital on dialysis and not expected to live much longer. He is a believer and fond of the KJV and the Psalms. He was the ex policeman that sometimes met at the cafe but haven’t seen him for ages though some have kept in touch with him. (of course I was also banned for a time for being “non compliant “ to mandates). I am still not fully absolved and still out of a job.

Everything is certainly looking, acting and smelling distinctly much more like a rat than ever before. To my understanding it all comes to Faith (love); or Fear (hate). Certainly to endure to the end requires the first. The Word and the Spirit is what we need to endure with courage in faith until the end.

I pray each of us is granted the courage to live by faith.

In Jesus our Savior.

Response #17: 

It's my great pleasure, my friend.

If we're to get seven years of plenty before the Tribulation, then it would seem that we must be a lot further away than I suspect we are. It would have been nice. As it is, things have seldom been worse and, as you say, getting progressively darker. That may be a necessary preliminary to the complete upending of everything decent which the Tribulation will see engendered.

I've been keeping you in my prayers, my friend. Hope things have been going OK for you and your family. Bumping along here.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:  

Hello, Dr Bob!

Thank you for the email sir, and warmest congratulations for the ichthys achievement and for the recent Hebrews series introduction post. Your dedication to the truth and the Lord is an inspiration to us!

How have you been, sir? Been years since my recent email. I wasn't able to report on the update of our present situation as pilgrims here on our tiny corner of the devil's world - it is "more of the same". We (just me and my family) are following the ichthys.com email posts, though, the prayer requests, and thanksgiving and praise notifications. Next to our Lord's Word, these weekly posts and recent Peter series additions and Hebrews series introduction are also our source of needed encouragement, seeing believers go through quite similar difficult experiences while anticipating the coming of our soon appearing Savior and King, the Lord Jesus. We are forever indebted to you and your ministry, sir, in guiding us towards a meaningful and truth-based relationship with our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.

Regarding my and my wife's workplace witness, we don't expect to be able to minister as our Lord's representative to both unbelievers and believers. There is no obvious difference between them based on the values seen in their life choices and priorities. As to our sons, because they admit to having no religious affiliation, they are constantly recruited by different groups in their school.

Personally, sir, I feel tired and wish the Lord take me home to be with him. My job may be temporally necessary but is spiritually pointless in my view - this world is nothing, He is everything. My desire to live a life pleasing to our Savior is what supports me.

Keeping you in our prayers, dear brother sir.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Response #18: 

It's wonderful to hear from you, my friend. I had gotten concerned about you, knowing the difficult place in which you live and the difficult situation too. I'm overjoyed to hear that you and your wife are both gainfully employed and are persevering in spite of all trouble. THAT is a fine Christian witness, in and of itself. I am finding more and more that just this, the witness of the life, is the one which believers in Jesus who are also truly committed to growing, progressing and producing for Him are being called upon to manifest. So please do not get discouraged!

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
1st Corinthians 15:58 NKJV

The Lord will be back soon! Marana Tha! "Oh our Lord, return!" (1Cor.16:22). Then . . .

. . . you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
Malachi 3:18 NIV

Keeping you and your family in my daily prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #19:  

Hi Bob,

I just finished your introduction to Hebrews. (Had to do it in chunks for my poor old eyes.) The paraphrase of the whole book was brilliant, in my estimation. I've not read you doing that before. It gives a frame of reference for what I expect to follow. I followed along with KJV and NIV and can't find any fault.

I thought I had a reasonable handle on Hebrews, but you taught me much in the introduction and broadened my understanding. So far, this looks to be your best work to date. Thank you.

On another unrelated note, I notice a remarkable similarity between Psalm 18:8 and Job 41:19-21. It raises some interesting speculation: was that a common expression or did David write Job? Speculation is only curiosity, It doesn't change scripture. Contrary to Job 41, people now have "support" alligators. I've never heard of a support crocodile. That lends support to your notion that crocodiles were what Job 41 referenced.

I pray all is well up there in "Luivle". I look forward to your next installment of the Hebrew series. I will be sending this introduction off to friends; some of whom I've written about before. I hope they read it and consider it.

In our Lord,

Response #19: 

Thanks for the encouragement, my friend! Much appreciated.

Yes, this is the first time I've done an extended paraphrase like this. I honestly think translating is easier. One can do a defensible translation without understanding the text as most of the major versions prove over and over again.

Good catch on Psalm 18. That is clearly an anthropopathism and one couched in the same sort of poetic descriptions as the Job passage – which we are obviously not meant to take literally.

Things are pretty good here, but very busy. The job has gotten tougher over the years. Lot's more layers of bureaucracy and admin tasks to do that in the end have nothing to do with teaching students. But the Lord sees me through. Thanks for those prayers!

Keeping you in mine too, my friend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:  

Hi Bob,

I can imagine straight translation would be easier, but the paraphrase is a great tool to promote understanding. Most particularly for those who use the KJV. I'm somewhat used to the KJV, having been a great Shakespeare fan. but I still have to do some digging. Please don't give it up. I believe it will help people understand who might otherwise skip over or just skim.

Your introductory remarks are the reason I don't waste time with other commentaries. Everyone has an opinion. You are the only one I've encountered who backs up assertions with scripture that I can check. So I trust the Bible and you. In checking KJV and NIV against your introduction, I found nothing to raise issues with your paraphrase. As far as my understanding goes, which admittedly is somewhat limited, you were dead on the money. And revealed things I'd not considered before.

I think your paraphrase is of great value. I encourage you to continue this new tradition, challenging as it may be. I hope you get similar comments from your other corespondents. I think most would agree.

I'm sorry to hear abut the situation at U of L. From what people tell me, everyone is in a strong defensive position. Bob, this is not the world in which I grew up. It's disheartening.

Stay well. You and yours remain in my prayers. Thank you for yours.

In our Lord,

Response #20: 

Thanks for this, my friend. I appreciate the encouragement.

It's important not to be disheartened. Babylon cannot be saved. Rather, we need to be rethinking the way we think. We need to be living in the reality of New Jerusalem right now, even though we're only on our way there. We need to be walking the rainbow bridge to our glorious future, high above the noise and the churn, the "sound and fury", holding our Lord's hand tightly, holding onto the anchor (Heb.6:19), rather than fighting it out in our hearts down here in the mud.

The Second Advent cannot be delayed, not one minute. The same thing goes for the resurrection, for the Judgment Seat of Christ, for our rewards, for the Millennium, and for the glories of New Jerusalem which will be our home forever. And the really great thing about it will be our oneness as Christ's Bride and our being with Him and the Father face to face. Revelation doesn't emphasize that – no doubt because we cannot yet appropriately appreciate either side of that wonderful prospect, but it does behoove us to try.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend – and thanks again for the good words.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21:  

Hi Bob,

You're right, of course, though truthfully, while I know it will be infinitely better, I'm unable to imagine what resurrection and the millennium will feel like or be like. Let alone New Jerusalem. It has been my belief for years that we two-leggers can only imagine one step past our knowledge and experience. In my experience, that seems to hold true. I just simply trust. There's so much I don't know and so much I can't that I just accept that it will be so much better. I look forward to it.

It's difficult to not be disheartened. While I don't watch TV or listen the the radio, I do scan the news headlines for what little is relevant and the headlines alone are enough to disgust me. Two-leggers are one of a very vew species that foul their own nest and we seem to have done that in spades. If aggregated, daily casualty reports exceed that during the height of the Vietnam adventure. Perverts are coming out of the cracks in the walls, some headlines are vulgar -- and on and on.

I completely accept Ecclesiastes 7:10. "Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this." But that doesn't ease the sadness over what's being done in and to our world today.

I keep trying, my friend. I hope all is well up there. Thank you for your prayers. You amd yours are in mine.

In our Lord,

Response #21: 

It's good to keep in mind this verse and the myriads like it in scripture:

The LORD executes righteousness
And justice for all who are oppressed.
Psalm 103:6 NKJV

If that is true in this sinful world for believers (who are the Lord's prime concerns) – and it is – how much more so will this not be the case when Jesus Christ reigns . . . VERY shortly.

(8) But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is from eternity to eternity, and the rod of your kingdom is the rod of uprightness. (9) You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. For this reason God your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions (Ps.45:6-7)”.
Hebrews 1:8-9

Justice is coming, soon. I wouldn't want to be in the shoes of any of the wicked people in this world when the Lord begins to mete out vengeance and just recompense to those who are "destroying the world" (i.e., morally, not "environmentally": Rev.11:18).

But God drags away the mighty by his power; though they become established, they have no assurance of life. He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways. For a little while they are exalted, and then they are gone; they are brought low and gathered up like all others; they are cut off like heads of grain.
Job 24:22-24 NIV

And we will be there to see it all.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #22:  

-Hello from Minnesota-

Since my secular retirement two years ago this past March 16th, I decided to spend more time each day trying to get to know the Lord better by reading more and varied Bible commentary from several different protestant teachers and theologians (mostly reformed), after my daily scripture reading. To be honest I’m both shocked and bewildered at the scope and degree of disagreement that exists within the protestant ecclesiastical community as to what scripture teaches. I think that my confusion is further compounded by comparing the different English versions of scripture. When I skeptically read the following article https://christiannewsjournal.com/kathie-lee-gifford-to-fully-understand-the-bible-we-need-to-read-the-bible-in-hebrew-or-greek/#.Y1UNkPzMJPZ about understanding Greek and Hebrew language, I thought that certainly I could trust well-known English Bible translations to get an accurate perspective on what scripture is teaching, when supplemented by respected commentaries. Now I’m not so sure?

How can well educated Bible teachers and theologians disagree to the extent that they do? Doesn’t ANYONE who teaches Biblical Theological and doctrine have any degree of humility to admit that they simply are not sure exactly what God was communicating in most sections of Scripture? I have trouble believing that my limited “private Biblical interpretation” is what God wants me to believe when there is so much disagreement between far better educated and skilled expositors than I.

Before I pass from this world, I would like to have a high-as-possible degree of peace and confidence that I am certain about what most of Scripture is communicating. How can I find personal confidence that is absolutely reliable? Who do I trust? I know that the Holy Spirit instructs and helps those who seriously seek wisdom, but why is there so much variation with, and “I know that I am right” confidence in every single church denomination magisterium?

Thanks for considering my questions.

In Christ Jesus, our blessed and only savior,

PS: I don’t rely on Hollywood to gain accurate Biblical insight!

Response #22: 

I commend you on wanting to find the truth, my friend, and for your perseverance therein. But I do wonder about your method. This is what Jesus told us:

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."
Matthew 7:15-20 NIV

If you find a tree producing bad fruit, no need to agonize over it. Just have nothing to do with it. On the other hand:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

In the history of the Church, from Adam and Eve until the present, there has never been a single instance of the Lord failing to provide the cool and refreshing waters of the truth of the Word of God . . . for any and all who really wanted them and demonstrated that desire by searching them out.

I have no doubt that you too will find everything you need to grow spiritually. But when and if you find a good source you deem acceptable, it is necessary to 1) stay as true to that source as you can, not "Smorgasbording", as I call it, attempting to patch together "truth" from a variety of sources that disagree; that only leads spiritual dyspepsia; 2) actually commit to believing the truth you have been taught: knowing fourteen interpretations of a given passage, for example, won't help you a bit, not even if one of them is correct (no guarantee there), unless the truth is mixed with faith:

For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
Hebrews 4:2 NKJV

Yes, ideally the church-visible should have been zeroing in on the truth all these years, but in far too many cases it has became spiritually moribund through irrational loyalty to tradition even when tradition was clearly wrong to any reader of scripture. It has been the purpose of this ministry from the start to cut through these sorts of obstacles and seek out the truth no matter what. How well that has been done is up to individual readers to decide. If Ichthys gives you indigestion, then best to go elsewhere. But if it is sweet to the taste and stands the test of time, well, the ONLY way to grow is to believe the truth, and no Christian can DYI it on that important score.

So my advice is to trust in the Lord that He will give you exactly what you need – which He most certainly will, if you ask in faith.

You are very much welcome at Ichthys any time, my friend.

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #23:  

Good Day Robert,

Thank you for the update.

I had a few questions for you. Regarding Israel, at the cusp of the beginning of the tribulation (Fall 2026) and even until now, during this time period will the nation of Israel awakened to their true identity? The nation of Israel and the 144,000's ministry that is geared towards waking up Israel, how does that play out and who today makes up the tribes of Israel? Also if the New Jerusalem has 12 gates for the 12 tribes of the children of Israel where will the other nations be during that time?

I look forward to your response and I hope that you are well.

Response #23: 

These questions are all covered one place or another in the Coming Tribulation series (link), but I'll give you the gist here.

When it comes to Israel, there has always been a "remnant according to the election of grace" (Rom.11:6). There have always been Jewish people who are believers, though just a small number at present as long as "this generation" endures (see the link). When Moses and Elijah and the 144,000 conduct their ministry, many unbelieving Jewish people WILL turn back to the Lord – but still not nearly the majority. When the Lord returns, many will repent at seeing Him return, and all will be restored to the borders of the land of Israel (e.g., Ezek.36:24), but even then there will be some hard core individuals who will refuse to believe even so; they will not be allowed to enter. So that millennial Israel, ruled by Jesus Christ, the Ruler of the world, along with His regents (resurrected David as king of Israel and the un-resurrected prince), will begin with believers only. During the Millennium, the proportions of Jewish to gentile believers which currently obtain will apparently be reversed.

Israel is the ultimate organization for the Church of Jesus Christ (see the link). New Jerusalem is described as "the Bride" (Rev.21:2; 21:9) – which means that it is the home for the entire Church, Jews and gentile believers both, for you and me and for every believers since Adam and Eve until the second advent. The Friends of the Bride, the millennial believers, are the ones whose homes are outside of New Jerusalem, but they enter in to celebrate with us at regular times.

In terms of who is of what physical tribe today (in eternity, there will be a reorganization with gentile believers such as us being assigned tribes based upon our performance for Christ in this life), this may not be known to individual Jewish people, but it IS known to God (see the link).

Hope this is helpful. Please see the links – and do feel free to write me back.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #24:  

Hello Dr.,

Thanks for this, and not to worry, no missing it here! I was planning on contacting you this week myself. Currently I’m finishing a refresher on your Bible Basics and following along with Pastor Omo in Revelation and Zechariah as well the weekly postings at Ichthys, daily Bible reading and “keeping my feet clean”.

Also, I want to thank you for your prayers of “blessings at work”. Back in June I had to inform my boss that I was in the interview process for another job and he wanted me to give him a number to keep me where I am, I gave him a number and never heard anything back until about a week ago. Apparently him and our Director have been working all this time with HR to give me a bump up, and it finally came through. Also our new City manager gave the entire City staff a compression raise, so even though the other jobs didn’t work out I’ve kept my current job with 20 years of benefits intact (I earn a good deal of time off), so with the raises, financially I’m doing slightly better than I was before all this inflation hit ( just enough to keep our heads above water). Added bonus, the attitude around the office has improved (for now at least). Perfect example of the Lord working things out quietly behind the scenes for those who trust in Him. Also, I’ve noticed an improvement in memory, God is good, and I thank Him for all of this, and you and any of the readers of Ichthys who have offered a prayer. I am having some other health issues but the Lord has all that under His watchful eye.

How are Sir? I’m really looking forward to going through the book of Hebrews you. This an answer to prayer as well, I’ve been asking the Lord for something to do, and here it is. Thanks for all you do! Looking forward to the day we can fellowship face to face in His kingdom. Who knows, maybe we’ll bump into each other in a FEMA camp one day! If they’re cutting off heads you might want to get in line in front of me because mine is so hard it’ll probably dull the blade. Got you in prayer here daily. I’ll be in touch soon.

All the best,

Rev. 22:20

Response #24: 

That is GREAT news, my friend! I know that raises which don't keep up with prices are a mixed blessing, but believe me when I tell you that they're better than nothing at all. I'm happy to hear that your solid work ethic has made even those who are not necessarily "stand up" think twice about letting you go somewhere else without a fight. That is rare these days, so, good for you!

Things are OK enough here. The job is getting more difficult by the day. Don't know that I'd have had the patience if things were like this forty years ago. But the Lord gets me through – aided greatly by prayers such as yours, so thank you!

At least we haven't gone off to "camp" just yet!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #25:  

Thank you, Sir. I will continue to pray for you here so that you get through this time in one piece.

I'm trying to be careful here too. Of course we can't really avoid going out here because our income and credit system is not so good that you can afford to avoid going out. In fact, my phone and laptop were dead from last night until this afternoon because we had a power outage, so I had to go find a place to charge my phone at least. I also had to go shopping today too for some supplies that I'm out of. But I'm trying to do what I can to stay safe.

My rent is due at the end of next month, but this place has not been particularly easy to live in. Today, we had a snake in the well that I had to pay someone to extract and kill for us (we don't have any way of safely releasing potentially deadly creatures of that sort here). That is the third encounter we've had with a snake in the compound. The rains have returned too, so it's going to get especially cold again very soon. In short, I'm hoping to move to a new place, but I don't see how that will happen by anything short of a miracle. A friend who finally committed fully to Ichthys in recent months offered to send me the rent when it is due and he has been a very remarkable support over the past few months as well. I hope to be able to make up the money and move out, but I'm not insisting on that. If the Lord provides for him so that he is able to do as he has promised, then that is enough for now.

Thank you for your constant encouragement and prayers for us, Sir. We continue to keep you in our prayers.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #25: 

It seems you face one trial and test after another, my friend – but the Lord ALWAYS brings you through! And you ALWAYS trust Him to do so! That is amazingly wonderful.

It's a pleasure to know you and to be able to pray for you.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91:4 NIV

In the One who is able to deliver us from snakes and famine and need and shortages and viruses – and whatever else may betide – our dear Savior Jesus Christ.

And thanks so much for YOUR prayers!

Bob L.

Question #26:  

Dear Teacher

Thanks very much, Sir, for your very encouraging words. It was very great help to read them. Of course, I am not nearly as good at handling tests as I'm sure that I should be. But I am trying to get better at demonstrating to the Lord that He is worth everything that one must endure in this life. I'm grateful that He thinks me worthy of facing these tests. I hope to come through them in the end sanctifying His Name.

I am blessed beyond words to have you, Sir. Thank you for being there, praying for me, and always encouraging me. I am privileged to pray for you too.

I'm sorry I didn't write back yesterday. We had another blackout and my phone died. I only charged it again this evening when the electricity was restored. We're on a total lockdown from this new virus now to allow the government to fumigate the entire state. We won't be free to get out until Thursday next week.

Your student in Jesus Christ

Response #26: 

It's my great pleasure, my friend. Your determination in the spiritual fight has been a great encouragement to me since first we met.

That is a long time for a total lockdown! We're supposed to stay in here as much as possible, but it's permitted to go out for necessary shopping and to get exercise, etc. I think it would be difficult to enforce such a thing over here. Then again, no one saw all "this" coming.

Stay safe and healthy, my friend. Keeping you and your families in my prayers daily.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:  

Thank you for your quick reply. Yes you are right. It's a bunch of testing. I'm thankful to not be in that place of stress and unhappiness over all this nonsense going on. We are actually completely calm and doing very well. We have been through so much in the past 7 years that this is nothing. I'm actually kinda excited, hopefully that doesn't sound bad and I'm not saying it as I know many will be suffering in some way or another but it's hard to explain. I would never tell any one else that but all this going on just gives me hope that it's signs of the beginning of change to the beginning of the Tribulation. We're getting closer and even though I'm not looking forward to the strain of those hard times it's comforting to know it's getting closer to the end of all this. I don't ever turn on the news or listen to all the lies but I did today. I watched the president talk about all this. I can see the lies and deceiving. I think we are in for some big changes in the near future and all I can say is I'm so thankful for our Savior. This time we are going to go through here in the next months is nothing like what it's going to be in a few years ahead and during the Tribulation. I already see the people struggling now and this is nothing. I'm so so thankful for what we have been through in the last 7 years to be able to see what's happening now. What a blessing. I guess that shows how you should always be thankful for your testing and trials because God knows best.

__ didn't get the job. Kinda bummed but it is what it is. He hopes to go take his test again this week and pass. Not sure yet how work is going to go. Unemployment runs out in a few weeks... although the way this virus is rolling they may extend that. If that's the case it may just give us enough time to get the business rolling if the virus doesn't stall it. Time will tell. We are just going to roll with it all and I guess worse case we will be homeless, nothing we don't know how to do...in style with a smile..ha ha!!

Well hope your online classes go well for you. You probably already have your computer geeks to help you out but if by chance you don't my kids would help you with that. ___ said his compnay is having all there employees work from home so he is running his job from his home. I told him he can come here and work....it didn't work too well for me. __ are coming in for a few days. Excited to see them. I think we will play games and make bon= fires--.gonna be fun...kinda like this virus thing..lol

Kids are still in school here and we still have toilet paper. Probably the last place in the US operating normally but I was in the grocery store today listening to employees talk to each other. I could hear fear and anger. I have a feeling the virus is working its way here.... as in the empty stores and closed schools. I give it a few more days. By the way, it was a few months ago I started to reread The Coming Tribulation. I'm loving it!! Gives me much comfort knowing when we have these shake ups it's all going to be okay We are getting closer... yippee.

Well it's always good to chat with you my friend. During all this craziness if you need anything let us know....I bet the emailing will still be working

Response #27: 

I'm sorry to hear about the job – I was praying for that (it seemed a "natural"); but God has His plan – which happens to be perfect.

This is a wonderful email from you! You made my day, absolutely! It's so encouraging to hear you being so "strong and courageous" in the face of all these challenges. That is exactly how we are all supposed to be. Good for you, my friend! Your Christian character shines through. We can learn from you.

Tomorrow is "the day" we go remote and will no longer be on campus teaching. A new experience for me but also for my students. Dry run with my old Latin PTL went well today. There were some initial connectivity issues but we worked them out. I emailed all my students and told them to expect that the first third of the class will probably be spent with "can you hear me NOW!?" issues. But I'm very pleased with where things stand this evening, especially seeing as how six days ago we first got word that this would happen and I had never even heard of these different applications before (nor did I have a microphone or a camera or a drawing tablet). Lots of new expensive toys. We'll see how well they work tomorrow. I'm sure the Lord will work it out, regardless of glitches.

After a few days of it, it'll probably become "old hat". Then maybe I can see about getting caught up. As to secular research, not sure how I'll be able to do that from home since all the books I need are at work, in our library, or in other libraries (which are shutting down). Guess I'll play that one by ear as well.

Thanks for all your prayers, my friend! Keeping you and your family in mine daily as well.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28:  

Hi Bob,

No, I'm not working five days a week but I do think about others like yourself who do. I remember how tough it is so I'm always thinking of you in my countdown to the weekend. I'm only contracted for two days a week but I always work extra days for them when they need me to cover sickness, holidays etc. So most weeks I've been working three days which for now is fine for me.

They asked me if I could cover an extra day for someone this week which would have meant me working four days. I had to say I couldn't do it this time because the hospital advised me to be gentle with my foot until it's better. Even to work three days is hard for me right now but I can do it. I don't exaggerate about the pain, I don't even talk about it at work - I just get on with my job. They didn't say much to me at work yesterday and it was obvious that it hadn't gone down too well. But I just ignored it. I was the same with them as I always am and got on with doing my job and looking after the patients. I worked with my boss and he was absolutely fine with me. We get on great with each other. It's the manager whose feathers I ruffled by not saying "yes" to the extra day. They wanted me to cover for someone who was off sick with a cold when they can see me struggling up and down the stairs at work.

I've helped them many times and worked extra days for them. I don't mind doing this at all when I haven't strained ligaments and things like that. It just seems a shame that the one time I say "no" they don't like it. They very easily forget about all the other times when I've said "yes" and helped them out.

But it's just the way of this world isn't it, Bob. I've noticed this a lot very recently whether it's with work, family and friends. If people don't get what THEY want or you don't say what THEY want you to say then they don't like it. It's all about me, me, me.

It doesn't surprise me though. People are selfish in this world - they look after number one and that's because number one is all that's important to them when they have no time for the Lord. I can't help always thinking about these things from the spiritual perspective. It's only going to get worse and as small as these things are right now I'm getting some practice at dealing with it in a godly way. It's what I need to toughen me up and shape my character because it will be MUCH worse in the Tribulation. People who don't know the Lord will be horrible - lovers of themselves, ungrateful etc. etc.

I often think this, that if it's bad now just wait until the Tribulation. When I first went back to work after four years and heard someone take our Lord Jesus' name in vain it hit me really hard. But now I hear it constantly at work from staff or sometimes patients. Since I came back to work I've never heard so many people so often take our Lord's name in vain and I always think this is another sign of the times. You get all the other usual bad language as well and although I don't really like listening to it I just accept it now. A lot of the time it's the women at work who look after their outward appearance very well which is fine but what comes out of their mouths is foul - not very attractive at all! They don't seem to ever think about it in that way. One of the dentists is homosexual and married to another man. I don't treat him any differently (I never would anyway), I treat him as the Lord would want me to treat everyone but I couldn't even begin to tell you the kind of things he talks about at lunch time. It doesn't seem to even enter his head that some might not want to listen to it. But then in this day and age it's all about being "loud and proud" about it. This is Satan's world after all so why would we expect it to be any different? There's no point getting all namby-pamby and upset about it - we'd better get used to it and prepared for it to get much worse. At least I know we're only passing through. We don't belong in this world and one day soon we'll all be together with the Lord. Everything we see and hear will be pure and beautiful.

When I get injured or whatever it always makes me determined to come back even stronger. As I've been struggling up and down those stairs I'm thinking once this thing is better I'm going to strengthen up again and the stairs will be a doddle. And I will, Bob - I really will.

I've been stretching my foot and putting more weight through it and it's actually helping it now. So it won't be much longer now. This is easy compared to my knees! But like my knees, it's not just about physical strength it's about learning to trust Him as He brings me through this and making me spiritually stronger and more mature. I'm not a wimp - I'm a child of God and I'm strong in Him.

Ephesians 6:10
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

It's FRIDAY tomorrow, Bob! Take care.

Your friend in Jesus

Response #28: 

This is wonderful, my friend! It's great to see you fighting the spiritual fight in such a marvelous way. Working at the dentist seems to be a lot like being in the Marine Corps! You have to put up with all manner of secular stuff from the people you're in close contact with – but you don't have to like it or accept it personally. I think the toughest part of this sort of thing is the "do I or don't I" about saying anything. In a secular job, the latter has to be the default position for spiritual safety. And in most cases these sorts are not going to be helped by us "making ourselves a prey" (Is.59:15; cf. Ps.12:8; Prov.28:12; 28:28; Amos 5:12-13). So it's wise to keep the powder dry for the RIGHT moment . . . and the right person. We are not in these jobs for evangelism; we are keeping body and spirit together for the service of the Lord in the real jobs He has given us. If we get a chance to verbally show the flag, great; but never underestimate the witness of the life. A Christian who is loving and stalwart and honorable in all he/she does and says always makes an impression – a good one too (seldom the case with legalistic hyper-correctors).

Yes, people are ungrateful. No surprise there. They generally are not impressed by the fact that Jesus died for their sins, paying the total redemption price for them so they can be saved if they deign to accept the salvation Jesus has paid for. But mostly they are ungrateful for the life they've been given, for the health and the wealth and the protection and the deliverance God has showered on them even though they pay Him no heed (Matt.5:45; Acts 14:17; cf. Job 21:14; 22:17). They are quick to blame Him, however, whenever anything goes sideways in their lives.

So it really shouldn't surprise us if they're ungrateful to us for small favors, since they reject ungratefully the Gift of gifts.

But we are human, so we do have a tendency to get our feelings hurt. At such times we always need to remember: "All this is about Him, not at all about us; we merely work for Him" (Phil.1:21).

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Ichthys Home