Reflection on the Election
On November 7th, as I was struggling with deep disappointment and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, God directed my attention to some passages in the book of Daniel that I believe are very pertinent. This is the context of how God was dealing with the proud and pompous potentate, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon – who thought he was the ruler of the world and deserved to be worshipped. Following is a portion of what Nebuchadnezzar wrote after God humbled him and brought him low:
“Nebuchadnezzar the king, To all peoples, nations and languages that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. I thought it good to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked for me. How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation…..In order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men.” Daniel 4:1-3 & 17 (NKJV).
The King James Version says “the basest of men.” Amen. God is in control. I’m reminded of Solomon’s words that “there is nothing new under the sun.” As it was in the days of Daniel, about 2600 years ago, so it is today.
Nebuchadnezzar became a God-honoring believer and his letter concludes with these amazing words:
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to abase.” Daniel 4:37 (NKJV).
How did God punish and prune Nebuchadnezzar for his pride before promoting him back to his position as potentate? He knocked his sense out in order to pound some sense into him. Nebuchadnezzar went from insomnia to insanity to insight! (I thank Chuck Swindoll for this insightful observation.)
Here are Daniel’s words to Belshazzar in reminding him of his grandfather’s experience:
“O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses. But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this.” Daniel 5:18-22 (NKJV).
Note that God punished and pruned Nebuchadnezzar by making him a wild man and sending him out to live with the wild donkeys. Please fervently pray for our “president” to have the pride knocked out so he becomes a bona fide bold believer! God did it with Nebuchadnezzar – He can do it again!
What Shall We Do?
Today (November 8) is my birthday, and I’m feeling fully recovered in my attitude – although I admit that I had quite a struggle with my attitude after the initial deep disappointment. In fact, when Della said, “Good Morning” to me yesterday, I replied, “Is it?” Then I told her, “We have to recognize that we are now living under an entrenched Marxist regime!” (So much for giving my wife an encouraging word! I nearly drove her into deep depression – a condition many Biblical, true disciples of Jesus may be battling.) So, what shall we do? I believe the Word of God gives us clear guidance.
Here are five very potent principles for producing progress in perilous times and pernicious temptations:
1. Pray 2. Prepare 3. Proclaim 4. Persuade 5. Persist
1. Pray – not only for the conversion of our “president” – who thinks he is our potentate – as evidenced by 923 executive orders (compared with an average of 30 each from all other presidents), bypassing Congress and trashing our Constitution– but continue to pray fervently for another great awakening and millions of conversions. And pray for boldness, as did the apostles and early Christians in Jerusalem. God answered dramatically by shaking the building where they were praying. “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31 (NKJV).
2. Prepare for persecution and expect hostility beyond the lawsuits, scoffing, mocking and ridicule of Christians and Biblical morality that has already become common on sitcoms and in society. There are already 55 nations on earth with violent hostility toward Christians, and we can logically expect America to be #56. Remember that Peter was writing to persecuted believers when he said, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:15-17 (NKJV).
3. Proclaim the truth of the gospel and the marvelous works of God. Remember the words of Peter and John when threatened by the ruling authorities of Israel. “And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’” Acts 4:18-20 (NKJV).
4. Persuade people persistently as Paul did. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” 2 Corinthians 5:9-11a (NKJV).
5. Persist in faithful, joyful service to our Sovereign King of kings in spite of temptations, trials, troubles and tribulations. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV).
James wrote to persecuted believers: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:2-5 (NKJV). Remember Jesus’ powerful promise of peace: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV).
Remember also that even though we have just experienced a vitally important election in the destiny of our country – it is NOT the most important election. The most important election took place before the foundation of the world! Paul wrote to the persecuted believers in Thessalonica: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 (NKJV).
Our friend and co-worker in our lighting business, electrician Dave McClellan, mentioned to me: “One thing Obama said is true – but not what he thinks. He said, ‘The best is yet to come!’” Brothers and sisters in Christ, the potential is pending for us to rise to the challenge. May historians someday look back on us and record, “This was their finest hour!” Yes, the best is yet to come! However, we must recognize that before the resurrection, ascension and coronation of Jesus, came the agony of crucifixion. Also, for us the cross comes before the crown. Consider how God works in molding a man.
Molding a Man
“When God wants to drill a man, and thrill a man, and skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed, watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him, and with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks when His good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses, and with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him to try His splendor out –
God knows what He’s about!”
Let’s remember all the things that have not changed since this latest American election – complements of Victor Knowles, who sent them to us.
Ten Things That Will Still Be True on November 7
No matter Who is Elected President of the United States
1. Almighty God will still be exalted on His throne, reigning over all.
2. Jesus Christ will still be Lord of lords and King of kings.
3. The Holy Spirit will still be doing His work on earth.
4. The kingdom of God will continue to trump all other kingdoms.
5. The Bible will still have all the answers to the great questions of life.
6. Prayers will still be uttered on earth, heard in heaven, and answered according to the will of God.
7. There will still be singing, and the songs we sing will encourage our hearts.
8. The gospel will still be the power of God unto salvation.
9. Faith will continue to be the victory that overcomes the world.
10. There will still be room at the cross for all who come to Christ for salvation.
From Our Mailbox
“Vlad met a sweet girl named Ira and they fell in love. But there was a problem. She was a Christian, and thought their relationship needed Christ. But Vlad, like many in Ukraine, was a doubter who knew about the Gospel, yet he was not transformed by it. Ira told Vlad about Jesus all the time, but the cross of Christ was foolishness to him. He knew he could not pretend to believe, just to keep Ira’s love. And he knew that his colleagues (he is a physicist) would laugh at him.
From childhood, Ira had known Sergei Golovin, director of the Christian Center for Science and Apologetics in Simferopol (and LATM’s field partner in 140 Russian book projects). She phoned him. “Can we meet and talk to Vlad?” Her motives were mixed, to be sure. She wanted to be happy with Vlad, and she wanted him to be saved in Christ. And she thought, to be together in marriage they needed to be together in Jesus.
The three talked for several hours, Sergei said, about the veracity of the Bible, and particularly about Genesis from scientific and historical views. Talk soon moved to the issue of sin and humanity’s fallen condition, and to God’s offer of redemption. Sergei chose two books to give to Vlad from the many that LATM has helped publish, What We Believe In and Why Jesus Only.
Vlad called Sergei that same night. “What hinders me from being baptized?” he asked. “If you believe with all your heart, you may,” Sergei replied. “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God!” Vlad said. They met the next morning at the church building, and Vlad was immersed into Christ.
Sergei wants us to “Pray for Vlad, our new brother in Christ, and for his and Ira’s long and faithful walk together!”
Left: Sergei enjoying the
opportunity to baptize Vlad.
Right: The New Vlad!
Doug Reed Literature And Teaching Ministries, www.latm.info
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Yes, Praise the Lord! It is so exciting when God answers prayer in ways we had never thought of. One of my favorite scriptures is Isa. 65:24: “Before they call I will answer and while they are still speaking I will hear.” Something happened over the weekend that reminded me that God is protecting us many times when we don’t even know we need protected. You may have read about this in the Joplin newspaper, but you don’t know the “rest of the story.” For those of you who have not heard the news. There was a man staying in a motel in Miami, OK. He had been there two weeks and had told the maids not to bother cleaning his room. They became concerned after 2 weeks and so either called the police or went in while he was gone. The man was making bombs and he had a list of 48 churches that he was going to bomb. On that list was First Christian Church, Miami, OK. Can’t remember if they arrested him Sat. night or early Sun. morning. Nevertheless, I was sitting in church with Mary Duvall at First Christian Church, Miami, OK. Thank you Lord! …..
God is Good. All the time.
(Responses to October Prayer Letter)
This is an inspiring newsletter. The seeds you planted are coming into bloom. The lives you invested in are now reproducing. “Well done” my friend! God’s Word you proclaim is not empty, but is accomplishing the desires of our Lord!! Your ministry is succeeding in ways that only God could accomplish!!! “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isa 55:11).
Blessings to you and Della!
Thanks for your newsy “Prayer Letter.” You hit the nail on the head with the words by Michael Savage. Obama has no place for God in anything. The update on the missionary work in Ukraine, Russia, etc. was exciting. Praise the Lord for committed Christians sharing the gospel around the world…..
Last week I was involved in organizing East European Leadership Forum. Dr. John Lennox visited us and was a main speaker. We all got a lot of interesting lessons and experiences. Some foreigners came to take part and I shared with them sets of books in English Paul Abramson supplied us 1 year ago. They were surprised and thanked me. Russian speaking guests got Rick Deighton’s book “Ready to Give an Answer”. I handed out about 300 copies.
1. Please pray for the children of Ukraine. There are tens of thousands of street children and “orphans” because of such widespread drug and alcohol abuse, and now they are facing the bitter cold winter weather just ahead. If you want to do something tangible to help, you can send an offering to help Anatoly and Larrisa Schalbyetski complete their bigger house to accommodate their growing family of children they rescue. Half of their old house had been demolished in May so they were living in half a house (overflowing) while building the new one.
2. Pray for Zhenya and Natasha Molodchy also, as they struggle financially to pay for added expenses with a new baby.
3. Please pray for additional funds for Georges and LaVerne Carillet. Following is an excerpt from a recent letter we received from them after sending a gift for their ministry – which our Overseas Outreach donors made possible.
“We cannot convey to you just how important your gift is to our ministry. We are at an all time low on monthly income, especially related to budget. Your gifts provide LaVerne and me with our salary and working funds, and more. We multiply our ministry through our coworkers who are supported by your gifts too. You enable Yevgeny & Olya to teach Bible courses for CIU and English courses for our partner university. You enable Natalka to teach Bible and ministry to both our degree and non-degree students, and to coordinate our Impact program (which is our ‘missionary’ training and outreach to other universities in Simferopol). You provide us with Anastasia, our office manager who is also our assistant academic dean and librarian. Your gifts support Vika, our receptionist, researcher, PowerPoint creator, typist, assistant for correspondence and independent Bible students, and more. I also have some very part time bookkeeping assistants…..
I hope you can see that you are making a wise and eternal investment….”
If you want to send a Christmas offering for any of these worthy co-worker families in Ukraine, we will be glad to pass it on to them. Any amount helps.
Also, I ordered extra copies of the very powerful and clarifying DVD, “Obama’s America 2016”, and you may request a copy when you send a donation of any amount to Overseas Outreach.
Yours & His,
Don’t Let an Election Steal Your Song!
“Don’t let an election steal your song! Remember God’s greatness; rejoice in God’s goodness, rely on God’s grace! A Christian is not to be a morose pessimist, nor is he to be a naive optimist – he is to be a God-glorifying realist.” ~ Adrian Rogers
Let’s be glad for all that He is planning for us!
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” Psalm 107-1-2 (NKJV).