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Spiritual Warfare VII

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Question #1:

Thank you for your response Dr. Luginbill.

Is it possible for people to make deals with the devil/demons for fame/wealth/power?

Response #1:

Since we cannot see the devil nor demons, it seems unlikely that anyone who is "making the deal" is doing so with any demon, rather than in their derangement only thinking so in their head. Besides, the devil and his agents do only what they think is beneficial to their cause. They don't care about any human being; they just use those who are willing to be used and discard them when they are no longer useful. So whatever "deal" a person may assume they've made – even if in fact someone somehow like the mythical Faust did manage to get a signed contract from Satan – it is the height of self-delusion to assume that the devil – who betrayed the Lord Himself – would have any intention whatsoever of honoring such a bargain except for as long as it suited him to do so. And you can't sue the devil, after all.  Part 4 of the Satanic Rebellion series, "Satan's World System", is a good place to start on these issues.  And here are some more pertinent links:

Spiritual Warfare VI

Spiritual Warfare V

Spiritual Warfare IV: Demons, Demonic Influences and Satanic Methodology

Spiritual Warfare III: Peter's 'Angel', Saul's Death, and Strange Events

Spiritual Warfare II

Faith, Hope and Love: Virtue in Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

In Jesus who has delivered us from the realm of darkness into the kingdom of His glorious light (Col.1:13).

Bob L.

Question #2:

A. is it legitimate to command an angel?

B. is it legitimate to speak to powers and principalities?

Response #2:

No, we can have no direct contact with angels, and it is wrong to try and have any such contact: the only ones who might respond are fallen angels and that could lead to no good. And neither they nor elect angels would obey us. That will continue to be the case until we are in resurrection. Things that apostles did in the book of Acts are no longer being done today (even if some people are pretending to do them; see the link). Apostles had special apostolic powers that no one else has; and the period of the early days of the Church was one of the bestowal of special gifts to make up for the lack of a New Testament which was still being written. We are better off with the New Testament than with such gifts (as Peter suggests: 2Pet.1:19).

You might have a look at these links:

Spiritual Warfare VI

Spiritual Warfare V

Spiritual Warfare IV: Demons, Demonic Influences and Satanic Methodology

Spiritual Warfare III: Peter's 'Angel', Saul's Death, and Strange Events

Spiritual Warfare II

Faith, Hope and Love: Virtue in Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

Satan's Tactical Doctrine (in SR 4)

Satan's Tactical Methodology (in SR 4)

In Jesus our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Dear Teacher

I was having a conversation this evening with the young man who lives with my parents now and it turned on the issue of sorcery, namely, how effective appealing to demonic powers can be. I remembered 2 Kings 3:27 then and wondered if it might have been teaching about such a thing. Am I right in thinking that there was some sort of spiritual intervention because of the Moabite king's sacrifice of his heir or might the murder have just motivated the Moabites to fight back so hard that Israel turned back and left?

Your student in the Lord

Response #3:

Just saw your excellent reply to our friend (I just replied to him as well). I'm glad you got in touch with him, and I hope this will turn out to be beneficial. I'm always guarded in the early going, however. I'll forward you the email I sent him.

As to the passage, it's a vexed textual problem, but of one thing I can assure you: demons have no power in turning away believers from righteous actions. Any power they do have is only that which has been allowed to them. And anything they might ever "do" for a human being would be out of the most intense self-serving motives. It's incredible to me that people who want contact with evil don't understand that obvious point. Like making a bargain with a thief and expecting him to be honorable towards you (alone) and not rob you too at the first chance. But arrogance always blinds the eyes.

I hope you are doing well, my friend! Keeping you and yours in daily prayer.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Dear Teacher

Thank you very much for the encouragement, Sir. I will try to do the same. I actually started behaving that way after I began learning from you but I made an exception with him and our friend. I will be more careful about that in the future.

About my question, I was wondering if it is possible that Satan uses his role as the accuser of the brethren to grant the users of sorcery their desire. If perhaps the Lord were to grant him the right to test a believer, it may seem to give such people what they want. Is this a biblical position to take?

Your student in the Lord

Response #4:

You're always most welcome.

On what it's possible for the devil to do, certainly if allowed to do so there's no limit to what he might try. I don't think this is tied in particular to his penchant for accusing us. I would only counsel to go easy here because 1) we only know what is in scripture (it's safe to assume that the witch at Endor was being empowered by evil forces, but there isn't a great deal on the subject as you've posed it); 2) people have a tendency to run with such things far beyond what scripture authorizes; and 3) in my opinion it's better for believers to think LESS about demonic activity, and not more – and so I would be loath to do or say anything which opens up the "more" gate. After all, we are powerless to see it or do anything whatsoever about it. We trust that the Lord will not allow anything untoward to happen to us in this regard, so we can confidently go our way and concentrate on dealing with what we can see. And, finally, even if this were all true, there's no telling that person 'A' who claims to have such abilities / connections really does. We're just all better off staying far, far away, and telling anyone who'll listen to do the same.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Dear Professor

I hope your health is improving and your load bearable.

I had have been thinking of a scripture that I was not sure where to find, but thanks to the Baptist Pastor I have downloaded a free phone app tecarta.

1 Timothy 4:1. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”
(Also see 1 Timothy 4:1-16)

1. I was wondering firstly; does “doctrine of devils” include ALL false teaching, including some of what is preached from many claimed “Christian pulpits”.
Would the “Pre- Trib Rapture” and Annihilationism be “doctrines of devils”?

2. “Depart from the faith”, seems to indicate leaving the faith.

Verse 7 refers to “profane and old wives’ fables.
There is counsel to refuse these and “exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”

Having read much of your writings AND searching the relevant scriptures you list, the above “doctrines” seem to fit Verse 7 above, perfectly.

No need for any quick reply on this one. I was just wanting clarification, so as I do not go barking up the wrong tree. Of course, I always endeavour to invite the Spirit when I communicate with others who believe in these “doctrines”. I also desire their salvation, as I do mine.

There are different people I sometimes meet, especially now, who are new to the faith, and have somewhat vague ideas of the truth, and I would like, if possible, also to prevent them from being indoctrinated into false doctrines by the preaching of these “more mature” religionists.

I since have renoticed in your series in PE 27 that Tribulational Security is one of three false doctrines that threaten faith. As some hold these “doctrines” precious, I am considering mentioning that these are “doctrines of devils” to prompt or jolt the “mature” to examine the scriptures, and also to warn new seekers who come to their churches, that they need to see what scripture really says before accepting “doctrines”.

I am endeavouring to raise the issues without raising the ire of those who see things differently - until we all come to a unity of the faith. At some point, it seems necessary to call these “doctrines” what they really are (“doctrines of devils”).

These sorts of thoughts have been going through my mind for quite some time; I have not wanted to offend anyone, and perhaps a little progress has been made, so I will keep praying to be able to say what the Spirit prompts.

I do always hope that all will come to a knowledge of the truth, (including those that believe). I was hoping that if the pastor knows the truth, he will be able to also protect his flock from these fables. Also means I have only one to convince, and not a whole congregation. There seems to be only a few believers that I associate with, that approximate with all your major teachings on gospel subjects. I am hoping and praying for a change.

It is hard for me to believe that they believe what they do - yet I also believed for decades in “doctrines of devils” (promoted by the mormon cult). I therefore also must have hope that others will come to the knowledge of the truth.

What is unsettling at times is the thought that one third of all true believers will apostasize during the Tribulation. Is it possible that those who believe in “doctrine of devils” will be more susceptible to apostasy, or are these not counted as believers in the first place? (Just wanted clarification on this point)

I have been prompted to reread about some of this in CT3A.

You have written about all this, so no need to answer any time soon.

I remain grateful for your most gracious ministry

Response #5:

Always good to hear from you, my friend, and thanks as always for your kind and encouraging words.

As to "doctrines of demons" and "deceiving spirits", the latter certainly includes false teachers (that is the primary meaning), while the former includes all false doctrine. The critical point in the verse is the one you note, "depart from the faith", and the verb there is aphistemi, the verb from which the noun "apostasy" is derived. So this is talking about the trend in the latter times toward falling away from the faith entirely through giving allegiance instead to satanic lies taught by teachers in Satan's employ. Primarily then, this is talking about the Great Apostasy (link), but in terms of application it is certainly a trend active today in Laodicea. Yes, the "pre-Trib rapture" is one of the three I list as threatening faith; that is primarily because of the shock to the system all adherents are going to receive when they find out that it is not true on the other side of the Tribulation's starting line. Not that it is edifying before that; just the opposite, of course: all that is false undermines the edifice of the whole.

Christians should esteem and seek the truth with their whole being, because that is the only way to love the Lord with all our entire "heart and soul and mind and might". Without the truth, there is no true love.

So keep up the great work for the Lord, my friend! I always draw great encouragement from your evangelistic efforts on behalf of the truth and Jesus Christ who is the very truth, the Word of God.

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #6:

Hi Bob,

Hope you had a good weekend!

I wanted to ask you something, Bob that's confusing me a bit. I read in hamartiology that a "perfect, holy God cannot have direct contact with anything or anyone impure." I understand this from our point of view where that barrier can only be removed through the saving work of our Lord Jesus. But then I keep thinking about what I learnt in Angelology and how Satan is still allowed access to the throne room of heaven to accuse us before God. And that just as the elect angels appear before God at certain appointed times so too there is evidence that the fallen angels on occasion present themselves before God. So I'm not sure how that works in these situations when Satan is impure but is having contact with God who is perfect and holy in heaven. I always think there must be a pretty tense atmosphere up there sometimes with Satan still being allowed to hang around!

Thanks as always for your help, Bob.

Your friend in our Lord Jesus

Response #6:

On the "devil in heaven" question, it is a difficult one and one I've fielded before. It has to do with the parameters that God has laid down for the adjudicating of the conflict we are presently in, and that includes – for now – allowing Satan into His presence to, among other things, hurl accusations at believers. Think of it as a truce situation on a battlefield where two parties which would normally be pulling out all the stops to kill each other stop temporarily to parlay for one reason or another. The cherubim, four replacing Satan, serve to protect the holiness and sanctity of God, so there is no pollution or compromise (and of course as God it is impossible for Him to actually be affected in such a way). Here are two links on this which will lead to others: "The Devil's Access to the Presence of God" and "Angelic Issues IV:  Satan's Revolt in the Plan of God".

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #7:

It’s been a while hope you are well. Could you give me scriptures I could look into that prove the bible is not a magic book. Someone argued with me recently that psalms is a book of spells? I had no idea there was this alternative view this is what they wrote :

“The entire book is full of people performing magic. So yes, it is. The book of psalms is a spell book as well. God doesn't forbid sorcery or anything of the kind. The Bible is an entire book of people using sorcery FOR god and man. People who interjected and wrote in the Bible much later decided they didn't want other people having power so they said magic is bad mmmkay? Like they added a lot of stuff to subjugate people, which is clear whenever earlier texts and manuscripts are found. “

I don’t believe this at all I just don’t know where to start looking to refute this with the scripture which makes me sad and confused. If there’s something you’ve written on the website that covers this please direct me to such link. The discussion had started as I had said that tarot or anything similar does not fall under the doctrine of Christianity but people for some reason have this belief that they can serve God and also practise Wicca, new age beliefs etc and this is not true.

Response #7:

Dear Friend,

I can't imagine why you'd be "confused".

All you have to do is actually read the psalms to see that there nothing even remotely like that in there . . . anywhere. The few people in the entire Bible who try to perform magic are always clearly evil (such as Pharaoh's magicians) and are always defeated by the power of God.

It's hard to refute a negative like this (as in "prove to me that the moon isn't made of green cheese" without being able to fly the person to the moon). Ask this person for a single scripture that purportedly teaches anything of the kind. Then you will easily be able to point out to him/her the lies being told about it.

So, speaking of Psalms, here's an appropriate one.

You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue! Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living.
Psalm 52:4-5 NIV

In Jesus the Lord,

Bob Luginbill

Question #8:

Hello Dr. Luginbill, I pray you are well and may God bless you and your ministry

Just wondering, about the number of angels on each side of Michael and Satan. Who is outnumbered and how do we know?

Thanks in advance

Response #8:

Hello Friend,

His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.
Revelation 12:4 NKJV

Since in the context the devil and his angels are thrown down to the earth (Rev.12:7-12), and as angels are commonly referred to as stars, this has generally been interpreted to mean that Satan induced one third of the angels to revolt – and I concur in that interpretation. There are other deductive reasons to believe this (the information is woven into parts 4 and 5 of the Satanic Rebellion series, q.v.).

So to answer your question, the devil is outnumbered, but we shouldn't assume that the third defecting to him were not more warlike individuals generally speaking. We'll have to wait until we're on the other side to get the details on that, but as any Christian can testify, they're putting up a tough fight. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ has already won the victory, and His Church will prevail.

And I tell you that you are Peter [the little rock], and upon this [mighty] Rock (i.e., upon Christ Himself; cf. 1Cor.3:11) I shall build My Church (cf. Dan.2:44-45), and the gates (i.e., the fortified defenses) of Hades (i.e., the devil's kingdom) will not [be able to] resist it.
Matthew 16:18

Thanks for your prayers, my friend!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

I have read two Bible commentaries which theorized that when all of the fallen angels are replaced in number by souls that are saved, then Jesus Christ will return to earth to set up His kingdom. Do you give any credence to this statement or debunk it?

Yours in Christ,

Response #9:

I have a lot about this in the five part Satanic Rebellion series (link). To give you the gist here, since the role of mankind in the plan of God is to refute the devil and replace him and his rebellious followers, the Church will replace them one for one, while the Millennial believers will constitute Christ's double portion. So, since the fallen angels are one third of the whole (Rev.12:4), the end result will be an equal number of elect angels and saved human beings in the eternal state.

I would certainly quibble with the idea, however, that the Millennium is waiting on this happening. The plan of God has everything perfectly set up, and the Tribulation will arrive right on schedule (very soon now). But it does just so happen that at Christ's second advent return, when the Church is resurrected, that the number of the members of the Body of Christ will precisely equal the number of angels who followed the devil. It's the cause and effect inference I find misleading here, as if we might advance the time-table by doing more witnessing or delay it by doing less, e.g.

I am very surprised to learn, however, that you have some commentaries which also advance this teaching, even in a warped way (I've never personally seen or heard of it anywhere before). Would you mind sharing the titles / authors with me? Thanks!

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #10:

When satan is bound for 1000 years. Nothing is said about the third of the fallen angels. Are they bound with him?

Response #10:

Good to make your acquaintance.

Yes indeed – and resurrected believers apparently have a role in the process. See the link:  The Participation of the Resurrected Church

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob Luginbill

Question #11:

Thanx for the reply

I am a bit isolated and need to fellowship

But I came through the whole shabang of churches and have to unlearn a lot I typed in at google reborn Jesus loving fellowship and all I get is dating sites; not surprised though. In His time He knows my frame. Keep fighting for the truth

Response #11:

These are common complaints on behalf of many who make use of this ministry, both the problems and false teachings in Laodicean churches that have to be unlearned, and also the paucity of Christians out there who are likewise willing to do so (a lot on this at the link in BB 6B).

The Lord knows your needs. Sometimes we do have to wait a minute for these needs to be fulfilled. I appreciate your good witness in being willing to wait and trust Him. That is exactly the right approach.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #12:

Dear Dr Luginbill,

Do you have any ideas as to why the Enemy got only a minority of angelic type beings to follow him, but got the majority of humans? I was just thinking about it, and wondered.

I hope you are well. I am becoming more human (suppose I should say healthy psychology) as time passes. God treats me so well, too.

Can I ask what you think or make of something? It is not directly related to the Bible, though one might say tangentially it is-but I won't waste time on that. There is something about my generation's cohort, and younger that I have noticed. We seem to live very virtually with screens and constant music, and I almost wonder if it isn't partly a coping mechanism and fill in for the fact many of us don't have lives, and weren't taught how to live. We can't cook, can't dress ourselves, can't clean, don't know etiquette, don't have families or close friends; and so spend our time playing video games or watching shows where we can have those things. Now, I know there are people my age and younger who do have the real thing, I just mean as a general trend, and some have some of these things. But it isn't like in your day where the parents were expected to actually raise the children to be adults and ensure they got there. I don't want to be bitter against the people just older than me who chose not to do this, I am learning on my own, but I don't know how pathetic it is when I myself go into the virtual often. It is hard to learn it all on your own as you go, though. I don't know.

I am thankful to God, because I can have a Life even though those other things I said-I can have Life now, reading the Bible, and praying, and trying to obey Him. I just get frustrated sometimes with what I said before.

Response #12:

God is indeed good – amen!

Every generation is different, and things are changing in this world faster than ever before. You have managed to do well despite the obstacles you've had to overcome, and you are running a good race, giving a good Christian witness. That is all any of us can do – regardless of age, generation, worldly circumstances or whatever.

As to your first question, I suppose we can look on that as surprising. On the other hand, given just how much angels knew – and the fact that they did not have sin natures – one could also see it as surprising that so many followed the evil one in a rebellion against God which seems so obvious that they could not win (arrogance is a great deceiver). And in terms of human beings, it can also be seen as surprising that so many choose to trust in the Lord without ever seeing Him in person, and given the fact that sin infests our bodies and we are awash in a world of sin and evil. What both situations have in common, whichever perspective a person wishes to take, is that God has worked this all out perfectly so that each free-will creature He created has had a full and complete and perfect opportunity to choose what we all really wanted: to give ourselves to God the Father and live with Him and Jesus Christ forever, or to be our own gods in despite of Him, regardless of the consequences.

Hope you had a good weekend.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hi dr,

I hope all is well with you and your family. Thanks again for the continued email postings. I appreciate it. In Daniel 10:12-13, the person speaking is that the preincarnate Christ or another angel? If it is the preincarnate Lord, why did he allow the prince of Persia to restrain him? Curious

Thanks for your response.

In Christ Jesus our Lord

Response #13:

You're very welcome my friend!

This is an elect angel, an angel of high rank (most likely an archangel); this passage is reflective of the unseen angelic warfare that is swirling around us invisibly at all times – and a reminder that the Lord is always in control of that warfare too, since the restraint was only temporary (cf. 2Ki.6:17). There's a good deal about all of this sort of thing in BB 2A: Angelology (link).

Keeping you and your family in my daily prayers.

In Jesus our Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:

Dear Professor

Thank you for attending the Jeremiah part of your Index so quickly. I will forward it to you for now.

There is no trip. I am doing all that secular stuff on the home dining table.

It is always uplifting to engage with your site for the scriptural understanding it provides. There is so much benefit to me, and indirectly with those I “rub shoulders” with, who have different views, such as last night at our Bible study of Daniel. They are all in the same church fellowship; I am the lone one flying the message from the Ichthys Ministry.

“Interesting” stuff listening to the pastor's wife's views of amilleniumism, my reply of we are definitely not in the Millennium; a Tribulation to happen first. She said she may be pan Millennium (wait and see which way it pans out). I am grateful that, where as once I would be vehemently opposed, they now listen to my view, as I say that is what I read in the scriptures (of course with the excellent teaching at Ichthys).

She said that she and her pastor husband while building their straw bale house, listen to some CD which explains that Elohim is a counsel of beings that God meets with. They make suggestions, and if it is a good one, He says, “We will go with that”. This is because He allows us to rule - that is why we were created - we share this rule now on earth (aMillenniumism?). She quoted something about , now the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our God. (A lot of confusion out here).

Just a question that came up last night at the meeting regarding Daniel 4:8-9. Some versions have a capital ‘G’ for

(8) “......,he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods - and I told him the dream, saying, (9) “O Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too is too difficult for you, tell me the visions of my dream that I saw and their interpretation.

Where should there be capitals?

I had several other questions:
1. Why does Daniel allow himself to be called Belteshazzar (after the name of my god)?
2. Daniel the chief of the magicians?
3. The spirit of the holy gods (small ‘g’) is in you?

No hurry for answers. They are all looking up their Bible commentaries and stuff to find an explanation for next week.

Thank you for all you do in your Ministry.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior

Response #14:

Thanks for the index file (uploaded).

On Daniel, as to capital letters, this statement (Dan.4:8-9) is made by Nebuchadnezzar, so a translator, interpreter has to get into his head to see what he might have meant at that time. The first instance "according to the name of my god" seems to reference "Bel" (Baal), which was "his god"; since it is singular in the text (according to the MT vocalization at any rate), lower case seems right. The second instance, "in whom is the spirit/Spirit of" can go either way. As you know, 'elohiym is a plural, of majesty when referring to God, but truly plural when referring to pagan gods. Many versions have Spirit and God because Nebuchadnezzar was a believer when he reported this, and Daniel certainly did have the Spirit of the one true God within him. That is how I understand it (but the discussion lets you see how some would not have caps).

1) Daniel was a eunuch and a slave and had not much choice in the matter if that's what his masters wished to call him. Also, it's far from uncommon for people in a trans-cultural situation to have a different name in the new culture. Many Chinese people I've known have an "American name" which is different from their Chinese name (not all, however). I suppose Daniel could have put up a fight, but that is a judgment call we were not in a position to evaluate. He must have decided that there were "better hills to die on" and that turned out to be the case.

2) Daniel was the head of these "wise men". Etymologically this word means "sacred scribe" along with its cognate in Hebrew. The word "magician" comes from Greek magos from which we get the "Magi" who come from the east to worship the new born king of Israel in Matthew's gospel. These were "scholarly descendants" of Daniel, and both terms refer to the "wise men" of Babylon. They could be called "scientists" inasmuch as they were as much astronomers as astrologers. In the ancient world, the line between science and magic was blurry – just as it is today, in my opinion.

3) See first para.

Thanks again for your help!

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #15:

[question about which mythology story is correct]

Response #15:

I've always disliked mythology (sorry). The Bible is inspired and there is only one truth which never changes. But what I can tell about Classical mythology is that there is almost never a "correct" answer because every new poet was free to change things around – the way they do in "comic book movies" today. So there are things that are accepted and for which change would not be accepted (e.g., you can't claim there was no Trojan war or that Troy never fell), beyond a bare bones narrative anything goes (went).

In terms of what people believed at that time, that would be a hard question to answer even if applied to today: "What do 21st century Americans believe about God?" Answer: "It depends on the person". And if it were posed two thousand years from now, it would be harder still.

Blessed, we know what we believe – and IN WHOM we have believed, dear Lord Jesus Christ,

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

Once heard a person who seemed to be knowledgeable in this area say that demons can't possess a Christians mind but they can change the chemistry in our brain so that we will yield to a temptation or other wise be influenced negatively.

For example in the Scripture, the Devil tempted Jesus to think about gaining things thru supernatural means Matthew 4:1-11.

Do you agree with this assessment?

Response #16:

I guarantee you the devil was not able (or allowed) to "change the chemistry of Christ's brain" – nor ours either. Scripture does not give us as much information as we would like about what demons et al. can and cannot do (and also even more importantly what they are allowed to do or not), but there's no indication I can see from scripture that anything like this is the case.

Temptation is a universal constant within the human race. We get better at fighting it when we fight it – and as we grow spiritually. If we don't grow and if we don't fight and if we make a habit of giving in, we will be easier marks. That is why all of us need to commit ourselves to "resisting to the point of blood" when it comes to temptation of any sort (Heb.12:4). Scripture is also very clear that life is all about faith and choice – faith being the true choice of choosing to trust the Lord. Free will is what all of this is all about; it makes no sense to allow the devil and his minions to be able to take that away. So blaming our failures on the devil is merely a dodge to avoid responsibility for we ourselves have done or have failed to do.

On the other hand, it is true that WE can harden our hearts and that WE can make ourselves more susceptible to temptation; but as long as we are alive we can also do the reverse. The man possessed by a legion of demons was still able to run to Christ and seek His help, after all. Better we turn to Him with all our hearts long before that.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #17:

Hi Bob and family,

Just a quick question. I’ve been thinking on Hebrews 13: 1 & 2 very much of late as I would like to write another article on that scripture simply because of the beauty in that scripture. I am wondering, because it’s in the N.T., can it be taken literally in this day and age (I tend to think so) or is it only a metaphor in that angels could be also to mean as a saint or a messenger?

In other words to break it down, we might often unknowingly meet another believer by chance and that we should always show kindness and respect to all. I also understand that in this day we should remember Matthew 10: 16.

I can’t remember if you’ve addressed this question before in emails or ichthys and I am interested to know your thoughts on that scripture.

Hoping you are well and as always dear Bob, with brotherly love,

Response #17:

I don't think I've ever discussed this passage before. The passage "says what it says" and we know of instances in the OT where indeed those entertained were angels even though this fact was not known at first (e.g., Lot in Sodom). So what is said is true, but of course that does not mean it's happening now – and certainly not that it would be a regular occurrence even if it were (it certainly seems to have been extremely rare in biblical times).

But the application of the passage is clear enough as you see: we can't know why the Lord has led others to us, but we certainly can treat them with Christian love (and should), remembering that His plan is perfect and that there are no accidents in it. One small caveat here: this principle does not abrogate the need for us to be "wise as serpents" in our dealings with others. There are wolves out there too. Discernment also has to be used, spiritual common sense, to avoid being exploited by those who are definitely NOT "angels", literally or metaphorically.

On the point of surviving the first week back (busy because of visits and other complications), so thanks for your prayers! Hope you and yours are doing well – keeping you and your family in my prayers daily as well.

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Hi Bob,

I have made an addition to the text that I had thought of before I had finished the article that I wanted to include in it as it is a beautiful piece of scripture. I was annoyed with myself for not remembering it when I read it though before sending it. I hope you will understand my sending it again.

Response #18:

Good to hear from you, my friend.

On angels, Hebrews 13:2 says it did happen; it doesn't say it still will or can happen. In any case, how would or should a human being be less in God's eyes than an angel? Seems to me a human being is "more" in the sense of possibly needing help (angels need no help).

Your relation of the TIA incident is a perfect parallel to the Samaritan story our Lord tells. For key points about that passage please see the link. You were clearly no threat to anyone and clearly needed help, nor would the help needed be likely to have been particularly onerous or expensive. Not helping someone in that situation is egregious – especially an elder (spoken like an incipient elder!).

However, I'm always leery of leaving the points in the link unsaid. In my experience of sermonizing, far to many preachers use this story of the Samaritan to induce guilt AND to encourage behavior our Lord wouldn't sanction – He was careful to use the example He used for a reason. If a woman drawing the wrong conclusions from comments I made about this incident stopped to help some seemingly stranded motorist at night and became a victim, I don't know if I could ever forgive myself.

Hoping things are going well for you and your family, my friend!

Keeping you in my prayers daily.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Hi Bob,

Looking at it again I’m thinking this is better.

Please, there is no hurry so at your leisure.

Response #19:

Thanks for this. When you have it on "hub", send me the link and I'll link on the Specials" page.

Also, saw and remembered today that Rahab "entertained 'angels' " – meaning the spies; James 2:25 usually translated as "messengers" but the Greek word is angeloi . . . because in Hebrew and Greek both an "angel" is literally a "messenger" (of God). We only have it as a technical term in English (but Greek and Hebrew don't distinguish).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:

[lengthy self-criticism omitted]

Response #20:

You're always most welcome, my friend.

The evil one puts all manner of traps into our path. It's the rare individual who can sniff them all out and so avoid them all – and I have yet to meet that person (or to read about him in the Bible – Daniel, maybe . . .). I'm sorry about the loss. One thing I can certainly identify with is that it is very common for us to be emotionally rocked by something or other and to then let the dis-ease which results color everything else. In fact it's typical human behavior. But we believers understand that none of this really makes any difference. Only what we are doing for the Lord in growing, progressing and producing is of any lasting consequence. The rest of life is laughably insignificant.

That, of course, is not how it FEELS down here on planet earth. But our departed loved ones and other believers watching from above are certainly rooting for us to realize this truth more and more. The Lord has it all planned out, including making up for all losses, including recovery from all stumbles, including abundant joy and peace right here at hand, if only we are willing to pick it up when things go sour in the world. And that is what we need to do. Pick it up.

No failure or disaster or loss has any real weight compared to the least reward we will be receiving for the least thing we have done for the Lord in this life. It's not even close. And nothing that happens on this earth can take away from us that least reward – or anything we've earned by faithful service to the Lord. As long was we make it to the other side, all the treasures in our heavenly chest are safe and sound, and will delight us for all eternity. Even if we failed today. Even if we suffered loss or disaster today. Even if it really was ALL our fault. The only thing letting ourselves get upset about these things which genuinely are upsetting, especially to those who have no hope, can do is to keep us from adding more treasure to the chest until we get around to picking back up the peace that is our heritage as those who belong to Christ, rekindling the joy that all He has done for us and all that is to come demands, and refocusing on the hope of resurrection and reward that is the point of this race we are running.

(9) So there does remain a "Sabbath day's rest" for the people of God. (10) For he who has entered into [God's] rest has himself ceased from his works just as God did from His own. (11) Let us therefore be eager to enter into that [continual and spiritual] rest, lest anyone fall [from grace] following the same pattern of disobedience [as the Exodus generation did].
Hebrews 4:9-11

This is our duty. In fact, it's a commandment (commandment #4 as we are to apply it in the Church Age).

Keeping you in my prayers always, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior – who is our peace, our joy, and entire hope.

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hey Mr. Luginbill. Thanks for all of the help so far. I was recently reading about NASA’s Mars 2020 mission & people have been talking about life on other planets. Does the Bible say anything about God creating life on other planets? Is it possible from a Biblical perspective? It’s a very confusing topic for me. If we somehow do find some form of life on Mars, how should a Christian react to such things? Of course it COULD be a hoax as well. Thanks man.

Response #21:

Your very welcome.

"We" landed on the moon in 1969; a couple of forays after that. 50 years later nothing of the sort has happened again. So I doubt that any serious space travel is going to take place in the next 14 or so years before the Lord returns.

No, there aren't "space aliens". That is impossible. When Satan rebelled, God allowed him and his to run riot on the former divine HQ, namely, the earth; this went on for a while (eons, it seems), but after a long enough time had transpired to let all the angels see that nothing whatsoever good would ever come of the devil ruling the physical universe, God devastated it in an instant, blacking it out and inundating it with the soon frozen Abyss. No life could survive that. Restoring the universe somewhat and the earth particularly in order for it to sustain life for the new species which would replace the devil and his angels, namely, "us", was done in the six days of re-creation, with the seventh a day of rest, the seven in toto forming the pattern for how human history would play out. So while the age of the universe is unknown, there has only been life anywhere in it after the devastation for six thousand year now. And that only "intelligent life" in it (meaning those possessed of the image of God), creatures created by God Himself, are the angels and we human beings.

The Satanic Rebellion series (at the link) deals with all these matters from top to bottom (I recommend it).

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

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