Discipleship Under Richard

From the time I came to know the Lord in 1991 until his death in January of 2017, I had the distinct privilege to disciple under Richard D. Eutsler, Sr. Much like Timothy, who discipled under the Apostle Paul, through discipleship I came to fully know Richard’s doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions and afflictions. See II Timothy 3:10-11. Richard likewise came to know me as I chose to bring every aspect of my life before him for examination that I might know whether my actions were wrought in Christ Jesus or not. As a result, I grew rapidly in the Lord and ultimately came to take over the reigns of the ministry the Lord gave Richard when he passed, much like Timothy did Paul’s. {See www.thefishermenministry.org }.

Discipleship under Richard was a many splendored thing. For my first two years in the Lord, I lived in Richard’s house. During that time I observed how he ran his house, loved his wife, trained his son and daughter and ministered unto all those the Lord brought through the door. I also worked closely with him as he started a computer consulting firm called Dog River Business Solutions. Other than when I was doing legal work (which was my full-time job), I was pretty much with him (by my choice) all the time.

Frankly, most everything Richard did and all that he taught me was the opposite of what I had learned. This was quite the shock to my system.

(Bear in mind, I was a magna cum laude graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center; held a decree in chemical engineering from Cornell University; had worked in high and lofty positions in both industries; and traveled extensively around the world, including stints working overseas in Peru and Holland. Richard, by contrast, was a high school graduate who had been kicked out of the only seminary he ever attended and had no money, assets or any other worldly thing.)

When I entered discipleship, Richard told me that I was under everyone in the ministry. In fact, he told me that even his dog had more discernment than me. Embracing whole heartedly his assessment, I learned from everyone. At the time, we had three Bible studies each week, coupled with Wednesday evening and Sunday morning services. Some were led by Richard and some by ministers he was training. I learned from all. Even the children taught me and I found watching the dog to be particularly beneficial.

Specifically, every time one of my Christian brothers or sisters entered the house (even if they were only out long enough to remember they forgot something and immediately turn around to go home and get it), the dog rejoiced leaping, teaching me what it looks like to “delight yourself in the Lord”. By contrast, when someone came in with a demonic spirit, the dog would growl and I knew to pay attention as this ought to be interesting.

Within a very short time, I realized that pretty much everything I had ever learned was wrong. It all came to a head one day.

“Richard,” I asked as we were driving somewhere, “is everything I ever learned wrong?”

“No.” Answered Richard.

Immediately, the Lord quickened to me that the problem was that I did not know what things I had learned that were right and what were wrong. Right then, I determined to bury it all and trust the Lord to rebuild me from scratch in accordance with His will. This is truly what it means to receive the kingdom of God as a little child. Mark 10:15 & Luke 18:17.

In my case, the burial was so complete that a year later, when my brother in the Lord Charles Hocker joined the fellowship, he would often talk about political issues that formerly had dominated everything I did or thought about. Now, I had only the faintest recollection of once knowing something about what he was talking about, but could not put my finger upon it.

During that time, I chose to cleave to Richard’s counsel and follow his ways, whether I understood or not. In so doing, I chose a radically different course from my worldly training or that of Richard’s other disciples. My choice accorded with the Word of God. See Philippians 3:17, Hebrews 13:7, I Corinthians 2:1-5, 4:14-21 & 11:1. As a result, I grew rapidly in the Lord – often to the envy of my Christian brothers and sisters and the horror of those who knew me in the world.

Many were the times, during those first two years in Richard’s home, when he would call me to a ministerial meeting he was having with someone. Drawing on Richard’s instruction of how he preached under the anointing by praying in the Holy Ghost and then ministering the interpretation unto the people, I would pray and ask the Lord to search the heart of the person that we were ministering to, guide and direct my spirit in prayer and in battle on that person’s behalf and to give me the interpretation of those prayers as He gave me leave to minister the interpretation unto the person. Often, as the meeting would begin, Richard allowed me to take the lead in ministering, under his watchful eye, intervening as he saw fit. He also gave me the opportunity to preach, lead worship, run Bible studies and do many other ministerial tasks.

A few years into my walk with the Lord, Richard started The Liberty News (a tabloid style bi-weekly newspaper) and the Eagle Radio Network (a satellite side band radio network) to speak to current events. It was then that the Lord brought back to remembrance all of my former worldly knowledge in a rush. Only now, it was different. It was as though the Lord took all that worldly knowledge that I had learned from my youth up and overlaid it with transparencies that gave it order so that I saw the same information, but from His perspective. To this day, those insights continue to inform and guide my inquiry into most every, so-called secular topic, from science, history and the arts to my practice of law.
Over the course of the more than 25 years that I discipled under Richard, the nature of our discipleship varied. As I said, I lived in his house for my first two years in Christ. When Richard went out with our revival tent in 1993, I wanted to go with him badly, but he told me to stay in Vermont and set me under another minister in the fellowship. When he returned home in 1994/95, I listened enthusiastically to his stories of life on the revival trail, but turned my attention to working closely with him on The Eagle Radio Network and Liberty News Service. In 1996, when he moved to South Carolina, I remained behind in Vermont again – running my law practice and a year later, taking over Dog River Business Solutions, the computer consulting firm he had started back in 1991. After his departure in 1996, Richard returned to Vermont periodically to teach and conduct revivals, but I did not have regular communication with him for many of these years. That was a sad thing to me, but important in my development in the Lord.

I say important in my development in the Lord because ultimately our faith must be in Christ alone. It is far too easy to depend upon the person you can see (in my case Richard), rather than the Lord who you cannot see. That is idolatry and of no value to Christ at all. Jesus gave me Richard, just as He gave Timothy, Paul; Joshua, Moses and Elisha, Elijah. The purpose of a discipleship relationship is so that the disciple comes to know the Lord and His ways so that the disciple can walk in the Lord’s ways just as the one training him or her does.

In 2001, Richard turned over the reigns of both the Vermont and New Hampshire ministry to me. When that happened, he and I began to talk almost daily once again. This was important for both of us. For him, it helped him to keep his finger on the pulse of what was going on in the fellowship. For me, the process of giving account for each individual in the ministry and my actions helped me stay on the straight and narrow, receive confirmation and/or correction as need be, and obtain the guidance I needed on the more difficult matters. That relationship essentially continued until Richard’s death on January 4, 2017.

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