The Price of Freedom Revisited
It is obvious even to the casual observer who occasionally listens to news reports that we are living in the “perilous times”, which the apostle Paul prophesied. So, even though the corruption of our times in our own country, as well as worldwide, is distressing, we can rejoice in another accurate Biblical prophecy that is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Here is what Paul wrote to Timothy during his (Paul’s) last days on earth before being martyred for this faith:
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV).
Now please consider this prophecy in view of the July 3 issue of “The Times and the Scriptures”, which our friend, Norm Fox, does a masterful job of editing and providing:
“The ‘Declaration of the United States’
“What American Christians owe to our biblical roots”
from Backgrounder #33, The Declaration of Independence
“The United States of America became a self-governing nation on July 4, 1776 by declaring itself to be so in a document originally called the Declaration of the United States (later more commonly called the Declaration of Independence). The Americans would next be required to defend their declaration with an astonishing military victory over the British Empire, the global superpower of the time, and then to write a Constitution describing their new government in practical terms. The nation existed, however, before either of those goals was achieved, on the strength of the Declaration of Independence which was and is the foundational document of the nation.
“The essay falls into three major divisions, the first of which asserts that the rights of mankind are an eternal gift of an eternal God, and cannot rightfully be abridged by human governments. Indeed, these rights include the authority, in extreme cases, to prudently “throw off” a government that usurps the authority of deity and denies the God-given rights of its citizens. The second section charges “the present King of Great Britain” (George III) with at least twenty-six specific abuses – some count as many as thirty. The third lists several peaceful appeals made by the American colonists to the British government, describes how those entreaties had been spurned, and finally declares independence with an appeal that God may verify the righteousness of the declaration…
“Two strong phrases in the final section were included by their powerful consensus over the objection of Jefferson, who considered them unnecessarily theological. They are “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions,” and “with a Firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence.” Even these expressions were compatible with Jefferson’s thinking. Five years later he would write, “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever…” Jefferson himself composed the famous references to God in the declaration’s first two sentences. Legitimate nations, he wrote, are entitled to exist because of God’s authority (see Acts 17:26) expressed through “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” [and] “all men are created equal” by this God, and “endowed by their Creator” with rights so intrinsic that they can neither be justifiably taken away nor surrendered (the definition of “unalienable”).
“Thus, America became—and remains—“the only nation in the world founded on a creed” in the words of the British writer G. K. Chesterton. That creed, he says, “is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence.” The “dogmatic” element is most clearly seen in the sweeping statement, “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” which introduces the bold assertion that God not only exists (see Heb. 11:6), but has purposefully made human beings and gifted them equally with rights.
“Scholars have observed how clearly this statement echoes the Apostle Paul in Rom. 1:19-20, “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Both writers claim the existence of God is obvious, and use that “self-evident” fact as the foundation for a significant doctrine without offering proof of its truth, for proof in both cases was unnecessary.
“As a political doctrine, the Declaration’s claim that “all men are created equal” was substantially new, but the same spiritual principle pervades the Bible, especially the New Testament, nowhere more clearly than in Gal. 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
” … Keep in mind that the Founders used the word “truths,” and meant that such things literally existed. Our modern age does its best to dismiss the possibility of transcendent truths, or of “laws of nature and of nature’s God” (see Ps. 119:44-47), or of a personal “Creator” of each individual (see Gen. 1:1, Ps. 139:13-16), or of a “Supreme Judge of the World” (see Gen. 18:25, Ps. 94:2, Acts 17:31), or even of “Divine Providence” (see Gen. 22:14, Ps. 65:9, Phil. 4:19). But the Continental Congress believed in all these truths, and structured our very right to nationhood on them.”
“Mississippi judge defies marriage, logic, laws of God & man”
“In an unusually aggressive and insulting federal court order that defies “nature and nature’s God, US. District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a ruling, apparently just after the clock had struck midnight on July 1, overturning the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act scheduled to take effect that day. A bipartisan majority of 67% to 33% in the Mississippi legislature had passed the bill in April and it was signed by Gov. Phil Bryant (R).
“This continues a string of recent victories for radically “progressive” judges defying logic, history, and physiology to rule that American culture, religion, and law have been dead wrong for centuries on marriage. If Judge Reeves is upheld on appeal, the nooses around the necks of churches, businesses, wedding providers, public officials and schools, will tighten even further. Travis Weber of Family Research Council says the judge declares the MS law “a violation of the Establishment Clause, despite the fact that it imposes no coercive religious requirements on anyone!”
“3rd ‘gender’ recognized by Oregon judge and more is coming or here”
“In Multnomah County (Portland) Oregon, Circuit Court Judge Amy Holmes Hehn has declared that 52-year-old Jamie Shupe is legally neither male nor female, but “non-binary”. Surgically rendered “transgender”, Shupe has applied for a driver’s license that will acknowledge his new legal status, which the Department of Motor Vehicles seems to be on its way to officially recognizing.
“Paving the way for this extraordinary ruling was a lawsuit last year that resulted in Gresham-Barlow School District near Portland being successfully pressured to pay a ‘non-binary’ grade school teacher $60,000 for alleged harassment from co-workers after insisting on being called ‘they’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’”.
The Times and the Scriptures, 948 Darlene Ave, Springfield, OR 97477, www.timesandscriptures.org
Prayer for America
Consider the pertinence and power of the “Serenity Prayer”, which we have under our mantle as a reminder. Don’t we all need to pray for both wisdom and courage “in times like these”?
Below is my Prayer for America – Will you pray it with me?
“O Lord, Our founding fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. Some of them did pay with their lives, some of them saw their sons slaughtered on the battlefields of the Revolutionary War, and most of them did lose their fortunes and their property because they would not sacrifice their sacred honor. Many witnessed their houses and property burned by the enemy in spite for the stand they took – but stand they did! They stood for truth and liberty. Since that fearful time and those fateful battles, multitudes of American bodies lie buried, often on foreign fields – bodies of those who also paid the ultimate price to protect the liberty we now enjoy. Remind us often, Lord, of the price they paid that we might be free. Remind us that freedom is not free. Remind us that the price of freedom is vigilance and responsibility as we face the enemies of our freedom – both those on the outside of our borders and those, who like termites, are eating away our freedoms from inside our government, educational, scientific, religious, and media institutions. O Lord, give us courage to stand against the enemies of truth, righteousness, and liberty with the strength and courage of our forefathers. And please protect us from another bloody revolutionary war or civil war! (What is civil about war, anyway?)
Most of all, O Lord, remind us of the ultimate price Jesus paid for our freedom from sin – its penalty, its power, and finally, its presence. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
In the Name above all names, Jesus. Amen.”
We are racing towards the showdown of history! Are you ready? “Prepare to meet your God!” Amos 4:12. If you are prepared, are you helping others prepare?
Are we witnessing for Jesus? Praying for lost souls to come to Christ? Sharing with them our hearts, plus literature, books, CDs and DVDs that expose them to truth and the gospel? Paul wrote: “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord – we persuade men!” 2 Corinthians 5:11.
Can You Imagine?
Can you imagine what would happen in this depraved nation if the sleeping giant wakes up before it is too late? The number of professing believers in America is huge! Statistics indicate that 58 to 60 million Americans profess to be “born again” believers in Jesus Christ. Let’s heed the call!
“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:11-14 (NKJV).
What would happen to America if only 10 per cent of professing believers became bold witnesses for Jesus? Statistics also indicate that 95% or more of professing believers never witness to others about their faith. What if we truly study to show ourselves approved unto God? What if we concentrate on learning how to be more persuasive – not for selling products, but for sharing Jesus – our only hope!? What if we get serious about Peter’s instruction to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts and always be ready to give an answer to every man who asks a reason for the hope we have – and do so with a humble spirit and reverence. (See 1 Peter 3:15). What if 6,000,000 of us in America were radiating such peace and joy in the midst of troubles, trials and threats that people around us began to ask us a reason for the hope that is in us? Can you imagine? Will you pray for this awakening with me and thousands of others?
What would happen if we would adopt the apostle Paul’s life purpose. He stated it clearly in Colossians 1:28-2:3: “We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me. I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (NIV).
What if we would adopt life principles that correspond with the life purpose and zeal of the apostle Paul? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Faith, hope and love from a pure heart.
2. Listen, listen, listen to the Holy Spirit and move in the stream of His power.
3. Seek God’s wisdom and balance in all areas of our lives.
4. Excellence in our work – especially teaching and preaching.
5. Perform every day’s tasks with joy. Be glad for all that God is planning for us.
On the Lighter Side – More Trinity Quotes
At lunch a few days ago Trinity slapped her forehead and exclaimed, “I’m so agnosted!” We have not yet figured out if she was feeling both annoyed and exhausted – or if she was feeling like an agnostic who was exhausted.
As I was contemplating this, I realized that an agnostic has good reason to feel exhausted – like a dog chasing his tail. The agnostic keeps running around and around with his repeated routine, claiming that he doesn’t know if God exists – but “He was there all the time.” (Gary S. Paxton wrote and popularized a song by that title. The agnostic keeps running from God, even though he is without excuse.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world 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, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…” Romans 1:18-22 (NKJV).
Don’t you feel sorry for those who are running from God – hiding from God – in order to chase their own lusts and fantasies without His interfering commands? Does feeling sorry turn to compassion when we realize the futility of their frantic flight? Solomon came to realize about life lived “under the sun” (without God): “And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11.
Perhaps Trinity Hope does get exhausted from her hyperactive imagination. Shortly after her “agnosted” quotation, she began telling us about seeing a movie when she was 16 (even though she is 5 now) – and a man in this movie was putting toppings on his ice cream – including peppers, jalapeños, teriyaki sauce and marshmallow juice! (Are you feeling exhausted yet?)
Lord, we recognize that we are all prone to exercising an overactive imagination in making assumptions about what other people are thinking or succumbing to the temptation to read into Your Word what we imagine and want to hear, instead of what You actually say. Also please protect us from reading into our circumstances messages that we want You to tell us.
From Our Mailbox
“I always enjoy receiving your letters. It feels as if a sparrow suddenly landed on my path, distracted me from my silent self-talk and said, ‘Hello! Look up and see the wonderful world around you.’ It makes me wake up and get distracted from work, deadlines, texts, computer and daily routine and see the world around……”Isn’t it wonderful that we can share back the joy we receive? I’m so glad God created joy to be contagious!” – Inga Chystyakova
“I’m not a prognosticator, but maybe God is moving within our country, and we surely need Him with this scary election cycle approaching rapidly. God has blessed you both and I pray He will continue to do so and more.” – David Black
“Thank you for writing to Dr. Dobson. It was a pleasure to hear from you once again. In the midst of an accelerated travel schedule, he has asked me to send a reply on his behalf, which is my privilege to do.
We appreciate you taking the time to send copies of your May and June 2016 “Overseas Outreach” newsletters. Your articles about your background, biblical tribute, and fathering undoubtedly have been an encouragement to your readers, and your willingness to address the politically oriented topics (i.e., marriage and the “transgender” fiasco) is commendable. In addition, Dr. Dobson was encouraged by your acknowledgment of his influence in your life and mission work. As you may be aware, his dual goal over the course of his ministry has been to bring honor to the Lord and help individuals and families in any way that he could. He was humbled by your affirmation that God has used him in this manner in your experience.
Before closing, we want to assure you of our prayer. In response to your request, we have remembered you before the Lord, asking that He will provide financially for the school and ministries you mentioned, that He will oversee Paul’s safe return to India upon graduation and his witness to his friend, that He will establish the church plants in which Zhenya and Natasha are involved, that He indeed would bring about the spiritual awakening of which our world is in such need, and that He will guide the planning of and preparation for your upcoming Ukraine mission trip. In addition, we have prayed that God will deepen and sweeten your relationships with Him and with one another, and that He will provide for your needs in concrete ways.
Again, thanks for your note, newsletters, and prayers on our behalf. If we ever can assist you in any way, please let us know. May the Lord richly bless you and your loved ones, and as John wrote, our desire is that “all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (3 John 2).
Sincerely, David Harleyson”
“I am constantly giving thanks and praise to God for how awesome He is! Your generosity and blessings on this ministry have not only provided this Chapel with great resources, but I am starting to see the lives of some of the residents in here change as a result of having a copy of your books. I am in the process of collecting a bunch of testimonials from those who have read the books. I would love to share with you the impact that these books have had on these gentlemen. So far I have a handful, but I want to send you and your organization a bunch of testimonials. Most importantly, this all gives God honor and glory, where it all begins and ends. Because of this, we are undeserving recipients of the blessings that God then bestows upon us as His humble servants. I have completed reading the books, “More Than Conquerors”, “Ready To Give An Answer”, and I am starting on “The Evolutionist’s Dilemma. I will be sending you a personal letter soon, giving you a personal review and thoughts. I have much to share with you.
Also, please keep our ministry in your prayers, as we are currently searching for organizations and individuals who are willing to donate Praise & Worship CD’s of contemporary worship music. Some organizations we would like to receive donations from are WOW Worship, Songs 4 Worship, iWorship, and others. The Praise & Worship ministry is working hard every day to provide quality worship services both spiritually and musically.
We are continually looking for ways to expand our ministry, as well as finding other organizations who are willing to assist this ministry grow exponentially. My continual prayer is that the Lord blesses you and your organization exponentially. We need more laborers such as yourself in this world. ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few!’ Thanks again and God Bless! – Bryon Mansley #709-161, Dept. of Christian Ministries, Ross Correctional Institute.
It is a real joy to hear about your coming to Kharkiv this fall. Your visits are real blessings from God for many people, including me. At the same time, they are serious challenges as the intensity of your spiritual activity is a sort of a tuning fork… for us whether we like it or not…..
God bless your ministry and journey with His holy power and miracles!
Yours in Christ,
“Your letter is beautiful as always. I’m always inspired by reading your words.
I started into your excellent book “Millions of Miracles” and was totally enjoying your comments… then the past two and a half months I’ve finished a stint substitute teaching for a high school English teacher at a Christian school in Katy, Tx…..I’ll pick up your book again and enjoy completing it.
Praises & Prayers Requests from Zhenya Molodchy’s recent update:
At first we will share a prayer request which was not answered yet! We need to pray for peace in Ukraine. Situation in Donetsk and Lugansk areas is not settled yet. The tension is still present and there is no intentions made to restore Ukraine’s original boundaries. Please, lift up Ukraine in your prayers! The rest of our prayer requests were answered in a great way.
1. Natasha was invited to take part in summer workshop arranged by American Embassy in Kiev. This is an outstanding event in her growth as the head of University’s English Department. The theme of the workshop summer training is devoted to American Political language.
2. We were very much involved in helping to plant a new congregation in the town Valki, which is 50 km from Kharkiv with the Messianic congregation. I (Zhenya) was blessed by preaching in Messianic congregation on the day of Pentecost.
3. Our friend, University professor, Volodya Lipov was baptized on the Day of Pentecost. The seeds which were planted by Georges Carillet, Sergei Golovin, Rick Deighton, Linda Gray, and many others gave growth to faith in his heart and Vladimir manifested it in baptism by immersion on the river. God blessed us to participate in a baptismal service with Messianic church.
4. Yan successfully finished this year at music school and Masha has graduated from the art school.
5. By provision of many of you we were able to pay off completely the car God has provided for our ministry and family use.
Praises & Prayer Requests
1. Answered Prayer! As you view this picture of Volodya’s baptism, please praise God profusely – for not many are saved out of the academic (intellectual elite) – but some respond in faith. Pray earnestly for both Volodya and for Zhenya because the spiritual warfare is intense. (Satan doesn’t give up easily!)
In our April letter we shared this about Volodya:
Volodya is a professor of economics, an author, and was one of my first 2 students in the city of Kharkiv (for improving English and learning the Bible). He also came as a presenter to the Man and the Christian Worldview Symposium in 2008 at my invitation.
2. Dave Adams is senior minister at River Hills Church in Gresham, Oregon – our original sponsoring church for Overseas Outreach. Dave is battling leukemia – and in March when we visited with him and his wife, Tammy, his health situation was looking much better. However, we recently received the following note from Tammy:
“Dave’s health has taken a drastic turn for the worse. In the last 2 weeks, he has had 2 blood transfusions. They are giving him temporary and minimal strength…..We have an appointment on 7/5 with OHSU transplant team to see if Dave is even a candidate for this procedure. His Dr. is not very optimistic that he will be. Whether this is to be or not, we do know that this Battle belongs to the Lord. We will not be afraid or discouraged. He is fighting for us. Thank you for your faithful prayers. God is listening.”
Please pray earnestly for these special friends – dedicated servants of our Lord Jesus.
3. In April we requested prayer for my cousin’s wife, Joni Miller, who had recently gone through surgery for cancer. Just a few days ago, we received an update from Steve, asking for prayer once again as Joni had to have another major surgery. Please pray for complete recovery for Joni.
4. On July 7th Della’s cousin, Jan Baimbridge, also had surgery. She has a pacemaker, and the last time she had surgery, they were not able to complete the surgery because her heart stopped, and they had to revive her. This time they monitored everything more carefully, and it went well. She hopes to get to go home by tomorrow (7-12-16). Please pray for complete recovery for Jan.
5. The land that we love is critically ill. Please earnestly pray for her recovery! Pray for a vast spiritual awakening! Jesus is our only hope!