During trying times – when facing tribulations, troubles, tumultuous trials – people often turn to the Book of Revelation for a peek into the future (perhaps because they don’t know a palm reader or Gypsy lady with a crystal ball). I don’t want to indict you or discourage you from studying “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” but I do want to offer you a better motive for delving into Almighty God’s capstone manifestation of marvelous mysteries in the unveiling of the Master! Why not humbly ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your question, “Lord, what would YOU have ME to do?”
Another suggestion is to seek the wise counsel and insights of the diligent Christian scholar, the late Robert A. Lowery, condensed into his book, Revelation’s Rhapsody: Listening to the Lyrics of the Lamb (How to Read the Book of Revelation). I offer you a taste of such insights by sharing the concluding paragraphs of chapter 1 and the last two paragraphs of chapter 2:
“First, we must honor the principle of humility. We not only study Scripture, but we must submit to Scripture. In the final analysis, Scripture is the subject, and we are the object. God speaks, we listen and obey. We must strive to approach God’s Written Word with the willingness to allow God to impose his agenda on us so we can hear his Word and, therefore, live faithfully in His world. This is painful at times because of our arrogance. Some people are so puffed up when they study Scripture that they are rarely hindered or humbled by the difficulties and complexities of a book like Revelation. Their approach confirms the truth of another observation by Chesterton: ‘The simplification of anything is always sensational.’ Unfortunately, some approaches to Revelation, especially the ones that lead to date-setting and interpreting the book only in terms of our day, lead to sensationalism. It is a luridness that is based on a simplistic, yet flawed, reading of the book.
Second, the principle of honesty needs to be kept in the forefront. Integrity demands that we change our beliefs as well as our behavior when a better understanding of Scripture demands it. As a student of the Bible, I have had some of my long-held views challenged, and I have had to reject some cherished interpretations. I have done my best to resist the temptation to impose a system on Scripture. Truly, Scripture should shape any theological system we hold. It takes courage to acknowledge when we have been wrong in our interpretation of the Bible. But that courage is a part of what it means to know that the disciple’s life is a life of hermeneutics.
As I conclude this chapter, I want to remind you that you do not need to be a college or seminary graduate or Bible scholar to understand Revelation. You need to be a disciple of Jesus who has three characterstics: (1) a desire to know God’s Word, (2) a willingness to learn and use sound principles, and (3) a passion to come humbly to the text, fervently desiring to hear God speak.
If we want to listen to God’s music as recorded in Scripture, we need to be taught how to listen. Just as important, we must desire to listen to heaven’s music on its terms, not ours….
Revelation provides a grand, symphonic finale to the Bible taken as a book or as one great narrative. And it corresponds nicely to Genesis. You have ‘protology’ (the first things) and eschatology (the last things). Even though God’s purposes in the beginning were defiled by sin, God will have his way. In the beginning there was the garden (Gen. 2:8), the tree of life (Gen. 2:9), and a bride and a groom (Gen. 2:21-25), and so there will be when Christ comes a final time (Rev. 22:1-5). In the beginning there was the serpent (Gen. 3:1-4, 14); in the end, the serpent will be crushed (Rev. 12:9; 20:10).
If we are truly followers of Jesus the Lamb, we must listen to the lyrics he has provided John. The Victorian poetess Christina Rossetti’s last sentence in her devotional commentary on Revelation sums up the role Revelation plays as well as our responsibility: ‘We have heard enough when God ceases to speak; we have learned enough when we have learned to do his will.’” (Quotations used by permission.)
This book was published in 2006 by College Press. To get your own copy, check with www.collegepress.com, or call 1-800-289-3300. Or you may find a copy at thriftbooks.com, amazon.com, etc. – or borrow one from a friend or library. It’s worth the search!
Freedom Vs. Tyranny
Someone has accurately observed that when elected officials and bureaucrats fear the people they represent – there is freedom, but when people fear the bureaucrats – there is tyranny!
What Can we Learn from a Three-Year-Old?
Recently, I stopped by to see Sandy, and her daughter, Cheyenne, was there with her three-year-old daughter, Ellivia. It was neat to see three generations side-by-side in Sandy’s dining room – but it was quite an adjustment to recognize that my daughter is now a grandma! 😊 (I’ve recovered!) Cheyenne was trying to teach Ellivia how to say her middle name – Cheyenne Leigh (pronounced Lee), but Ellivia kept saying Cheyenne Wee! After the third or fourth attempt, Ellivia stopped trying and started singing, “Jesus loves me – this I know, for the Bible tells me so!” (Was she trying to tell us: “Jesus still loves me – even if I can’t pronounce Mom’s name!”) 😊
If you are frustrated and struggling with some form of inadequacy, you may want to consider breaking the frustration with a song! Maybe we never outgrow: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!”
Personal Letter to Boise Mayor Lauren McLean Now Open to You – Please Pray!
Dear Mayor McLean,
I am writing to you, not because I fear you, but because I fear for you and for those in your jurisdiction that you are manipulating with Marxist style mandates.
I fear for you because if the Marxist/Mafia agenda does accomplish the total overthrow of this republic, which was founded on Biblical Christian principles (which is verifiable beyond a reasonable doubt), you may be “thrown under the bus” by the powerful media moguls who will be clamoring for total control. This has happened time after time in the countries where Marxism has conquered – and those that the powerful elite considered the minor players (useful idiots) have been eliminated (murdered) along with the multitudes of courageous individuals who opposed their agenda.
Are you aware of the historical fact that Hitler and Stalin were comrades who worked together for a time – and that Hitler learned much about building and using concentration camps to execute multitudes of opponents and “useless eaters” from Stalin? Yes, Nazism was the National Socialist Party, and was simply another expression of Marxism slightly different from communism. In every country where Marxist ideology (with its promised illusion of utopia on earth) takes over, multitudes are murdered, and the country is made equal! That is, equally poor, except for the ruling elite, who live like royalty in lavish luxury. Also, the Mafia and the Marxist elite are often one and the same. Mayor McLean – you are playing with fire – and when you play with fire, you are very likely to get burned!
Why am I writing to you about this? Because I care, and care deeply, about the threat of Marxism to this nation that I love, to the city of Boise, which I also love, and I care about you. Why do I care about you? Because my Lord Jesus Christ taught me to! As a result, I see you more as a victim than as my enemy. Satan is our real enemy!
You may be wondering what credibility I have for my assertions. Here is a portion of my background:
- I am now 77 years old and I have been examining atheism and Marxism since my high school years.
- I have personally seen the leftover devastation of Marxism/atheism in country after country in eastern Europe and the Middle East. (Atheism is a hopeless philosophy, so the hopeless try to drown their problems in alcohol and drugs – leaving broken homes, broken hearts, broken lives, suicide, and multitudes of orphans.)
- For over ten years I was a presenter for the “Man and the Christian Worldview” symposiums and conferences in Crimea, mainland Ukraine, and Russia. At the symposiums, those of us who were Christian presenters were usually outnumbered two to one with Marxist/atheist scientists and professors who were also presenters – but we saw some amazing changes in attitude and worldview with some of them who encountered solid evidence for the Biblical Christian worldview presented with the grace and truth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, I am writing to you to offer you a better way than the dead-end delusion of Marxist ideology (philosophy). May I introduce you to Him, Who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life? Please RSVP. Are you aware of the fact that the historical evidence for the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is solid beyond reasonable doubt? Part of the evidence is in the brochure, Why I Believe in God.
Respectfully yours & His,
Who Was Karl Marx? Why is His Philosophy Evil to the Core?
Karl Marx was an Israeli young man who noticed hypocrisy in his father because he changed his religion from Judaism to Protestantism for economic reasons. Karl rejected religion and threw God out with corrupted religion (as in the proverb “threw the baby out with the bath water”). Karl Marx developed his own corrupted viewpoint into the philosophy that carries his name and contends that economics are the basic motivation of human beings and class struggle is inevitable to overthrow the ruling elite. Three of his proclamations are at the core of his distorted philosophy:
1. “Religion is the opiate of the people!” 2. “From each according to his ability: to each according to his need!” 3. “Redistribution of wealth!”
The last two of these easily appeal to idealistic college students (especially when promoted by popular professors), and easily lead them to adopt the first as well – so they can reject God’s rule and God Himself from interfering with pursuing their perverted passions.
The subtle hook in the second is that it does not tell who determines who has the ability and who has the need!
Another basic principle of Marxism is that “the end justifies the means.” This is clarification of their double talk in calling good evil and evil good. Why? Because in their ideology of creating their own utopia on earth by fundamentally transforming every nation into a socialist (communist) society, anything that helps in the progress of their progressive plan is good. They think that to lie, cheat, steal or murder is “good” if it moves their agenda forward.
Therefore, they are willing to partner with one religion to destroy another. Specifically, the Marxists are using Muslim terrorists to forward their agenda because both of them hate the Biblical Christian worldview and hate America because it is the nation founded on the Biblical Christian worldview. Also, they both hate Israel!
Marxism ends up making everyone equally poor except the ruling elite (who rule with an iron fist and live like kings) – and in the “inevitable struggle” to gain control, the idealist fighters for “equality” become ruthlessly cruel in their battle for conquest. Why did I write in a previous letter that I believe “Marxism is evil to the core!”? Here are my reasons:
- Rejection of God is a core principle of Marxism.
- Marxism is the basis for both Nazi philosophy (National Socialist Party of Germany) and Communism.
- I have personally seen the poverty, hopelessness, entrenched bribery, and corruption of society left behind by Marxist philosophy in country after country in Eastern Europe.
- If you want to clearly understand what Marxism produces, consider these three prominent historical dictators:
- Adolf Hitler – whose cruelty and brutality murdered millions in his pursuit of power.
- Joseph Stalin – whose cruelty and brutality murdered tens of millions in his pursuit of power.
- Mao Zedong – whose cruelty and brutality murdered even more tens of millions.
The worst mass murderers in history could not have done what they did without the writings of “progressive,” perverted philosophers like Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud. No wonder the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spiritsof the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Colossians 2:8-10 (ESV)
Should Christian leaders be ignoring the Marxist take-over of America “because we don’t want to be political”? Remember that when a spiritual/moral issue becomes political, it does not stop being a spiritual and moral issue!! The Holy Spirit also inspired Paul to write: “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:6-11 (ESV)
What are you doing to help wake up and rescue your friends, relatives, and neighbors? Are you letting the light of Christ reflect from you to “rescue the perishing, care for the dying”? Jesus, our Savior, is mighty to save! Remember, false philosophies survive and thrive through deception – outright lies – such as, “Christian leaders should never speak of political issues!” Also, please remember that when a spiritual and moral issue (like abortion) becomes a political issue, it does not stop being a spiritual and moral issue!
A Reason to Hope
“Where there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present.” – John Maxwell.
“The great thing is to be found at one’s post as a child of God, living each day as though it were our last, but planning as though our world might last a hundred years.” – C. S. Lewis.
From Our Mailbox
“Rick, thank you for sending this to me. The letter to the Mayor and the summary of Marxism are both very well done. I will pray with you for her heart to change and for the Lord to be glorified. . . these are perilous times. . . bless you for your bold efforts. – Stephanie Lane Hostetter”
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“God Bless you Rick, your letters are brilliant and biblical, right on target. We must stand against this evil that is destroying Idaho and America! Thank you, thank you; Charles Crane”
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“Of course you can quote me. And I do seem to remember you comparing me to Barnabas, the son of encouragement and it is an association that is honorable. . .I think encouragement is very important. . .in this life we need each other and the Lord has given us each other as family!! HE is our rock and fortress and we are his hands and feet. . . Yours and His, Stephanie Lane Hostetter (I have borrowed that greeting from You. . . it is good! Thanks!)”
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“Dear Rick, thank you for the poem and your thoughts on the Marxism, American politics, and Trump! There is a hidden poet in you haha. I am praying for the points you mentioned and yes, I am happy to be your ‘consultant’ to comment on and pray for the materials you send in the future.
I am currently in the process of downloading a whole bunch of videos, articles, and stats from the internet before they get completely censored by the big tech and media. I want to create a database of evidence and proofs for a wide range of topics including the reliability of the Scriptures, Marxist infiltration, lies about the fake pandemic, climate change and others. After much thinking, I concluded that the time spent on this endeavor is worth the outcome. Often times we find young (and even older) Christians falling into confusion, questioning the veracity of the Scriptures, and/or mixing the biblical teachings with empty philosophies because they believe what they are being told about issues like the ones I mentioned above. So, being able to present evidence to show them what is true and what is not, could help at least some to turn away from those deceitful philosophies.
Since tech censorship and monitoring is rampant, I have already moved away from using Google Chrome and Microsoft edge browsers. I stopped using Google for searching online. I am using “duck duck go” search engine. I am also planning on moving away from Gmail soon. I created a new proton mail account and will eventually transition to proton mail completely. At the moment none of this cost me any money but it may, eventually, if I try to make the evidence I have available to public through my own server and database instead of using big tech’s platforms.
Pray for me to keep my eyes on Christ as I do all these. Moreover, pray for me to grow in holiness… I have been spending more time with the Lord in prayer and the study of Scriptures in the past few months.
Thanking God for our friendship! Yours and His, Paul.”
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“Thank you so much, brother, for your care and prayers! Both Lena and I are practically well now. (Note: Sergei is referring to Lena Lu – his secretary and director of operations.)
By the prayers of many I experienced God’s guidance through it all the time. I made two Covid tests when got a fever, and both were negative. But the experienced pulmonologist we came to diagnosed the Covid-caused pneumonia (the blood tests made after the crisis phase proved she was right!). However, Covid clinics (several biggest ones were given for Covid patients only) did not accept me because of the negative tests, others did not take me because of the Covid diagnosis. We had no idea what to do. But the same day we got messages from several qualified doctors who happened to be subscribers to our ministry resources and urged me to not go to clinic by any means since it would be the death sentence for me. The same night a lady who used to be our volunteer in Russia more than a decade ago (we never communicated since) called us out of blue. Now she is a leading immunologist in Russia. For two weeks she was on the line with Olga instructing her step by step what to do next in my particular case. That was real life saving guidance from the Lord, Who sent His online angel in the proper time! As well as unexpectedly but immediately we found a nurse in our neighborhood who was able to come twice a day for making a dropper. Now I am much better, off the medication except the anticoagulant, doing breathing exercises and taking oxygen several hours a day. By miracle we were able to get an oxygen concentrator, while they are practically unavailable due to the great demand. And the biggest miracle is that no one else of the family got infected despite we all were staying together in the apartment – Zhenya and Dasha, the daughters, were doing their work and study from distance.
In general, the situation with the pandemic is really bad in our part of the world. The quarantine (almost lockdown) was applied by the government in proper time at the spring. It was a proper measure, though it undermined the country economy considerably. Nevertheless, as soon as people became unhappy, it was untimely cancelled because the regional governments elections were upcoming, and the ruling political party did not want to lose its rating. They lose the elections any way, but the pandemic situation is close to disaster now. The clinics are overcrowded, the personnel is short, stressed and 30% got infected. They are able to give attention only to the hardest patients, the rest are laying in beds without care. The medications and oxygen are in deficit. The clinics are able provide oxygen treatment to people only 15 minutes a day per person (bringing them from all the floors to the one the pipes are attached to). Couple clinics experienced oxygen tanks explosion. A case became well known about a father who gave his 15 minutes to his son and died. The amount of the infection cases and the deaths is growing day by day and the government considers another lockdown now. They are talking about making it on the holiday period (Western Christmas – New Year – Eastern Christmas) for reducing the economical impact…
Thank you very much for sharing great articles from the Acts and Facts magazine. Actually, if you would like to have it in better quality (PDF) I have attached the issue, so you could share it with others as well. ICR made all their issues available for download at https://www.icr.org/home?module=articles&action=search&f_typeID=7.
May the Lord bless you as abundantly as you are blessing for many! Yours by His grace, Sergei” (Golovin) – Founder/Director of Christian Center for Science and Apologetics and regional director for Good News Productions, International for the former Soviet Union nations.
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“Rick, thank you a lot for your monthly newsletters. I do appreciate your sending them to me. Your thoughts expressed in your most recent newsletter concerning all of this turmoil over the Covid virus mirror my thinking precisely – thank you. What a joy – what an assurance – to know that no matter how the media or other sources distort such things – no matter how much evil forces are using this to their supposed advantage – that my Dear Lord God is still on the throne over this universe and is still actively at work and in control. Through all of this – may He be glorified – may Jesus be lifted up – may many come to the foot of the cross for salvation. I am continuing to pray for your wife Della’s health needs.
~ Ken Morris”
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“Dear Rick and Della, it was such a joy to read your newsletter update! Natasha and I are very happy for your life and influence. We saw many good thoughts in the letter to talk over with you and agree with you. However, two more things we would like to mention in this response.
First of all, we appreciate Della’s corner which made the letter very beautiful in connection to your wedding anniversary. Our best congratulations to you. Thank you for being Rick and Della, God’s faithful servants all these years. It was a great privilege for us and blessing to know you and grow with you! We wish you many more blessings of ministry together. Let the Lord continue to lead you and bless others through your life. Let the Lord bless richly your family, children and grandchildren. Let the Lord bless the area where you live and give you both more joyous moments of His presence in your area.
Second thought that we really liked is that we really take Bible seriously rather than literally. It is very important to see God in the Bible rather than use Bible in creating our own god.
Blessings of the Lord Jesus, Zhenya and family”
Thank you, God, for our Friends!
Rick & Della