The Day of Pentecost

         When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. [Acts 1:13-14]

         Every Christian must have a personal Upper Room experience. Pentecost is for every believer. The entirety of the Lord’s ministry in its full extension leads directly to it.

         Many voices continue to insist that this experience is no longer available or exists, or that it ended in the first century. This defies a very clear historical record since that time.

         It is only the enemy and all who follow him who claim the experience of Pentecost and the actual infilling of the Holy Spirit as clearly illustrated in the Book of Acts is something Christians must shun and refuse to partake of, which gives him the advantage.

         The enemy does not want anyone filled with the Spirit of the Lord, because he knows such an experience creates a very powerful disciple who can wreak havoc upon his kingdom. He has thus successfully convinced the vast majority of Christians and Christian leaders throughout history to join him in opposition to the Upper Room experience, so that the vast majority of Christians will be denied the possibility, and therefore keep them spiritually weak and non-equipped to engage in spiritual war against him.

         One can only wonder how it is possible that a “Christian” leader can counsel his own flock with the counsel of the enemy. If your spiritual experience has yet to look like the experience of Acts, I strongly suggest you seek the Lord Jesus with all your heart. If you really want this Spirit-infilling, do as our forbears were taught to do. Find your own Upper Room, fast and pray, and ask the Lord Jesus for the exact experience of the early believers. The Lord needs strong, powerful disciples to storm the gates of hell and He has made a way for that to happen.

         Today is Sivan 7, the actual Day of Pentecost. It is exactly 50 days from the anniversay of the Lord’s resurrection. Almost 2000 years ago the following is the account of what happened then. May it happen in these days for us all.

         We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening.

         When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:1-4] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Suppression: The Forces of Hell at Work (2)

         For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 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. [Romans 1:18-20] [1]

 

         “Did you know that people who violate the Golden Rule go to hell?”

         “You mean if they violate it willingly and habitually.”

         “Yes. In the sense that violating it is part of the code they live by, in that keeping the Golden Rule disallows the possibility of their success in this world by their estimation, and hence keeping such a “mythical” rule is senseless.”

         “But that’s the argument of a selfish person.”

         “Yes it is, but they don’t acknowledge that, because they see what others call selfishness as one’s required pathway to survival and success.”

         “Meaning that looking out for number one is a self-preservation requirement that all intelligent people recognize as a must and as perfectly honorable.”

         “Right again, except, again, they are blind to their own selfishness and have written their own rules to benefit themselves, and then codified it as something all right-thinking people should accept.”

         “Which is why the Lord Jesus has always had a hard time in first convincing His disciples-to-be to see things the right way, and that selfishness is anathema to brotherly love.”

         “Right. Meaning that selfishness and violating the Golden Rule is exactly why Cain killed Abel. Abel was a keeper of the Golden Rule.”

         “What does any of this have to do with suppression?”

         “The work of the Lord Jesus was suppressed. But guess by whom?”

         “By the Pharisees and other religious leaders, primarily.”

         “And why?”

         “Because they were threatened by Him.”

         “But the Lord had no evil intent toward them whatsoever and never violated the Golden Rule regarding them.”

         “They were threatened by Him because he exposed their evil hearts.”

         “And yet the people in general had always seen those religious leaders as God-sponsored and upright, and for the most part believed in their false religious garbage.”

         “And that was because the religious leaders had cornered the market on religion and religious expression, and had created harsh punishments for those who rebelled against them.”

         “So people were intimidated.”

         “Of course. It’s the way of this fallen sinful world. People set off in life to climb the pyramid of success and invariably come upon junctures in which they must violate their conscience in order to proceed. They compromise. Then they no longer listen to their conscience once success arrives. They build their future on a foundation of moral compromise and violation of God’s commands, and as long as the money keeps rolling in they keep doing what they feel they must in order to maintain their success and achieve greater success.”

         “But why don’t they ever think about what comes after this life is over?”

         “In too deep. Too late to change. And, of course, they have convinced themselves to believe their own lies. They also find that it is very helpful to hang around people like themselves to keep any possible conviction of their conscience far, far away.”

         “But isn’t conviction actually their friend, in that it leads to repentance?”

         “One would think so. But once violaters of the Golden Rule taste success and get away with it they no longer perceive the possibility that pay day is coming. Some actually come to believe a reward is coming.”

         “The Pharisees?”

         “All fake religious leaders. It is why all the false religions of mankind, including the many false forms of Christianity, always end up with the two goals shared by the great evil elites in league with the devil—power and money.”

         “So if false religious leaders, including all the ones who appear benign and harmless, and perfectly acceptable, perceive their religious enterprises as threatened, they will fight back against those they perceive as enemies.”

         “Yes. They will indeed fight back. And they will demonize all who do not believe as they do. And they will suppress their work. Why else did the Pharisees try to kill the Lord Jesus in the very beginning of His ministry? Why did Roman Catholics over many, many centuries murder perhaps millions of those who they called heretics? Why did so many Protestants kill so many non-Catholic dissenters, engaging in the exact dynamic as the Catholic inquisitors? These were obvious gross violations of the Golden Rule, God’s command.”

         “And why don’t the Catholics and Protestants of the present condemn those of their own religions who did this in the past?”

         “Because to do that would be admitting guilt. And regardless of fake overtures that appear as apologetic, they can never condemn the past guilty ones properly and correctly without condemning themselves.”

         “So they suppress.”

         “Yes. They suppress. They treat real Christians with indifference. They hate with a smile. THIS is what you are going to have to see and fight through. Once religious leaders are compromised by money and power, they will fight the very Lord Jesus they claim to serve and suppress the work of His people at all times in order to protect themselves and their faux religious enterprises. In this they have compromised themselves with a false gospel and violate the Golden Rule for the sake of power and money in this world.”

         “And condemn themselves to hell.”

         “Yes. Though they are blind to it. They have discovered it is very easy to suppress and hopefully eliminate the Lord and His people if they merely violate the Lord’s commandments in the process. They justify their sin as a means of protecting themselves and all they have gained.”

         “When they should be hitting the deck in repentance.”

         “But people don’t repent when enraged by hate. And they don’t repent for sins they don’t think they have…”

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Suppression: The Forces of Hell at Work (1)

         “I  don’t know. I just can’t figure it out.”

         “Figure what out?”

         “All the effort…”

         “What are you talking about?”

         “I’m talking about all of the effort we put forth. All the work…”

         He paused, as if trying to find the energy to go on with a line of thought he had traced out so many times before, that always ended in the same place, a place where nothing made much sense at all.

         “We work so hard and it seems we rarely get much done. I’m working twice as hard, three times… But it’s like pulling teeth. There is so much resistance, apparently. There is always such a backlash. It is so hard to figure. Why is there such a fight against our work? The level of vitriol just doesn’t fit.”

         His older friend said nothing. He turned from looking at him and stared at the ground, knowing the usual words of counsel would have little effect. After many seconds of silence, a thick silence filled with the proverbial Why’s and Woe’s of his friend and the desire to receive and provide a fitting answer, a word came.

         “Suppression.”

         “Suppression?”

         “Your work is being suppressed.”

         The younger man wondered at the idea. Why would anyone want to suppress his work? It wasn’t sinister, or…

         “The devil doesn’t like what you’re doing.”

         “I know that. That’s no secret. It’s all…”

         “You don’t quite understand. The devil has these people…”

         The older man was not really all that much older, only about five years, and had taken on the role of older brother to the younger man. He was much wiser and much more knowledgeable of spiritual things, though. He was perhaps thirty years older in that sense and it gave him the aura of being almost a father figure.

         “The devil has these people. They are bound to serve him. There are bound to stop you.”

         He wondered if he had said too much but quickly discounted that notion, knowing his younger friend had reached a point when he needed a clear answer and strong counsel regarding the fight at hand.

         “Evil was here first. It had already staked a claim. We’re contesting that claim. They don’t like that. They see us as attacking them, that we have no right to do what we’re doing. They hate losing…”

         “Seems to me they’re winning. They’ve got the whole blasted planet.”

         The last words trailed off as the weariness in the young man began to bleed through.

         “Why doesn’t God help us more? Why does the fight have to be so strong? I just don’t get it.”

         “You don’t get it because you see yourself as playing by the normal rules, that life is fair or should be, and that goodness should win out rather easily, and that evil just can’t be that evil.”

         He paused again. Both men stared ahead at something that wasn’t there, the younger man settling into a rare disillusionment, the older waiting for his words to sink in. He stared at the ground, strong, a slightly contorted look on his face, very slight, but showing the gravity of the moment. Many men never get past this moment. They give up though they continue on, no longer believing that the victory they seek will ever really happen to the degree they hope for. They are all in when young and fresh and excited about the future but become slowly bedraggled in their spirit for want of achievement that just won’t come.

         “You have to fight through it. You knew it would be hard, but you didn’t realize how hard. And even after trying harder it still didn’t work to your satisfaction. You know that in other pursuits you would have achieved so much more by this time and it bothers you that the work you are attempting appears next to impossible. Especially after you feel you have given it everything you have.”

         “Suppression?” The young man thought long and hard and said it again. “Suppression?” My work is being suppressed?”

         “Uh, YEAH.”

         “Wait. I know that. But not to this degree. I am… I’m just one man. Why is the devil so concerned about what I am doing? I’m nobody special.”

         “Well, actually you are, and it actually isn’t about you or your desires. You have signed up with the King of kings and the devil hates the King of kings with a passion no human being knows, and is also deathly afraid of Him, and knows his vast evil kingdom is always hanging on a mere thread regardless of outward appearances.”

         Continuing, he said, “Every young buck who wants to change the world and set the world on fire with the Gospel reaches this point where you are presently at, and realizes, shockingly, that it is going to be a lot harder than he ever imagined. It will even come down to fighting for survival. You don’t know what I have suffered to get to where I am, and I spent years trying to figure out why it all had to be so hard, and why it seemed as though God called me to do a job and then disappeared.”

         “Yeah…” The younger man’s words trailed off…

         [To Be Continued.]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

The Prophetic Word—The Gift of Prophecy

         In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul clearly places special emphasis regarding spiritual gifts on the gift of prophecy.

         It is as if he thinks it is most important. On the face of it, this makes little sense. All of the gifts are obviously important and necessary.

         Perhaps this is one of those teachings of Paul that some so-called Christians like to put in a separate category. You know, the ones they have a problem with because they’re either unwilling to understand or too rebellious to accept.

         Let’s review the verse in question:

         Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. [1 Corinthians 14:1]

         Paul certainly has the priorities right. Love must always come first or the ministry process will not work. This has everything to do with putting the Lord first in all things, but also because the Lord is Love, and love never fails.

         The second thing he tells the Corinthians is to desire earnestly spiritual gifts. These are actually spirituals, or “spiritual things,” since the word “gifts” does not appear in the original Greek. The Greek word is pneumatikos and is defined as that which is spiritual, or pertaining to the spirit. These pneumatikos are referenced in the twelfth chapter of First Corinthians:

         Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

         Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

         And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

         There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

(1) For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit,

(2) and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

(3)  to another faith by the same Spirit,

(4) and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

(5) and to another the effecting of miracles,

(6) and to another prophecy,

(7) and to another the distinguishing of spirits,

(8) to another various kinds of tongues,

(9) and to another the interpretation of tongues.

         But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. [1Corinthians 12:1-11]

        The nine spirituals listed above are directly connected to the Spirit immersion of Acts Chapter 2. In fact, they are the result, or effect of the Spirit of God working through believers.

         In 1 Corinthians 12:6, the Greek word energema is translated in the NASV as “effects,” and in other versions as “operations, working, or activities,” and is explained as spiritual things energized by God for His purposes.

         Many people have discounted this direct association primarily as a way to discount the Acts 2 experience since they personally oppose it. But this is grossly incorrect. I say this so people will no longer be deceived by false teaching. Pneumatikos are given by the Lord Jesus to His people for service in the kingdom. One of these is prophecy, and without prophesying, the Prophetic Word would be absent.

         The third directive Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 14:1 is to pursue especially the gift of prophesy. I use the term “prophesying” because spiritual energema have to do with function. If they are not being used, they effectively do not exist.

         There is the potential for spiritual pride within individuals who believe they possess gifts and are thus worthy of greater honor, and consequently appropriating titles for themselves based on what they think is a resident gift.

         However, the gift shows itself by our use of it, or its functionality, not because it is added as a title to a man-made spiritual resume. It is much more correct to state that a person functions in the gift of prophesying rather than that he is a prophet. Yet, it does not mean that a believer cannot be characterized as such if it is obvious that he functions on a regular basis in that particular place of service. This point is more important than one might think due to the desire of so many false prophets within Christianity who are more concerned with their standing among men than before God. They like the high places and open doors that come with titles. They also very much like the money than can be derived from their position.

         Real prophets, however, like real apostles, know that serving God according to their calling means that they will be treated the opposite of the false prophets. Paul states several times the perils of true apostolic ministry. It appears oftentimes that the Lord has thrown them into an evil world without much concern for their welfare. The apostles and prophets of the first century suffered greatly in their walk with God though they were very close to Him, leading us to surmise that the “initial” ministries are subject to often greater persecution, just as pioneers have it the hardest compared to later generations. False prophets, particularly those of the present, cannot relate to this and reject the entire idea. The apostles and prophets of the first century often did not know where their next meal was coming from, and that is the way God wanted it.

         For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.

         To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. [1Corinthians 4:9-13]

         Does this look like any ministers you know? (They would never allow Paul in most pulpits in America and certainly not on Christian television.)

         We must never forget as real disciples that the Lord has chosen for us a walk of faith and obedience. This is characterized as “Go here, do this.” What about the next step, one may wonder? The Lord almost always reveals the next step after a person has completed the prior step. Therefore, being a “prophet” cannot possibly be a static, entitled position associated with high standing among the Christian elite and with popularity among people in general, but one of obedience to God (not man) and functionality.

         Again, since there are nine energema, or effects of the Spirit, why would Paul single out prophesying as seemingly the most important?

         We must look at the context. He was referring to what was taking place in meetings of believers in first century Corinth. He was simply trying to explain that in open meetings it is better to speak in an understandable way, so that proper communication takes place.

         Speaking in tongues is all fine, good, necessary, and scriptural in individual prayer or prayer meetings, or in an open meeting if an interpreter is present (Paul himself wrote in verse eighteen, “I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all.”) Otherwise, it is largely a waste of time for the group as a whole in community meetings when people need to hear from God.

         Prophesying, on the other hand, is a Word from God spoken in the language of all, or pretty much all, and subsequently edifies the entire group. Thus, the Prophetic Word is that which is spoken by the inspiration of God and by the power of his Spirit to benefit another, and oftentimes many others.

         Moreover, groups of real believers usually contain more than one person who functions in the gift of prophecy, or should, and should thus take turns, though in polite order (see 14:29-32).

         The reason for all of this is to allow the Lord to speak to His people. If it is attempted through a way contrary to this model, or if another method is formulated which is actually in opposition to it, it generally means that the Lord Jesus is no longer in charge and has been subverted by false believers who have circumvented His authority. And if the group allows this, they are also guilty partakers.

         It should not be difficult, then, for an objective observer to note that traditional Christian church practice, regardless of denomination, is usually much different from that of first-century believers.

         This is why, for those who violate Scripture, the Prophetic Word has ceased.

         Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. [1 Corinthians 14:39] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Happy Fourth Birthday, Real Christianity!

         The great blessing of this blog is communicating with so many awesome people hard at work for the Lord Jesus! Very encouraging! Thanks to all of you for reading.

         Real Christianity is now four years old. I have posted 280 articles.

         You can locate every article prior to this year through the above Article Archives tab, organized both by category and calendar year.

         There is also the Reader Favorites tab right next to it listing links to the 30 most popular articles.

         All 2015 posts are in the Latest Articles—Feed Your Spirit column to the left (scroll down).

         On the top left is the About the Book tab which gives a brief description of the book I wrote that this blog is named after, as well as many comments.

         Speaking of which, there have been many excellent comments made by you guys through the years, including as of late, which are greatly appreciated. Actual real Christianity involves real community and all of us must communicate what the Lord has put on our hearts. The one rule I have is obey the Golden Rule.

         In my recent posts we have discussed the presence of spiritual strongholds and spiritual blindness. Loyalty is a great quality but loyalty to the wrong thing will cut one off from greater truth. One way or the other, for the real Christian and dedicated disciple, the Lord Jesus will eventually strip away everything from one’s knowledge base that is not true. THAT is a painful process. But much more painful is the loss of brothers and sisters who refuse the process.

         This dynamic is certainly Biblical. God sent prophets to correct Israel and Israel responded most often by killing them. Yikes. That’s a fine how do you do. We see it in the New Covenant also in the life of Paul, who suffered greatly at the hands of detractors. We apparently must be reminded continuously that all the original apostles except John died violent deaths at the hands of spiritual enemies, and this, of course, happened to the Founder as well. It is apparent they always put truth above togetherness, which is not at all the same thing as New Covenant fellowship, or koinonia.

         Perhaps that is why most Christians settle into denominations and/or denominational beliefs and forego the journey into greater truth and a closer walk with the Lord. Perhaps most Christians would rather surround themselves with a congregation of “like-minded” believers. The spiritual frontier is tough, and rejecting the spiritual frontier for a comfortable parlor back east is more socially acceptable. Rejecting an ever greater understanding of the Lord’s real curriculum—the real Word of God—that is not added to and subtracted from by religionists with an opposing agenda is much more comfortable.

         And then there is the absolute unwillingness to do the equivalent of what the rich young ruler was supposed to do. The Lord told him to sell everything he had and give the money to the poor and the man refused. So do Christians refuse the fact that they or their leaders, dead or alive, are wrong in some way. They would rather support a false belief and the mere humans who inspired them than scrap it all and learn directly from the Lord Jesus. Why is there this all-consuming need to stay grabbed on to a deteriorating life raft in a stormy sea while continuously rejecting the Lord’s seaworthy ship?

         It has been said that the price of freedom is death. Not only will the TRUTH make one free, it will also cause spiritual attacks, some quite severe. It caused the Lord’s death, but praise God He didn’t stay dead, and because He rose again we can all rise again, both in the here and now and forever.

         The TRUTH will cause backbiting, slander, gossip, and rejection. It will bring about a strong reaction from evil, unregenerate flesh. The flesh hates the TRUTH and is convicted easily. Most people would rather rage against the TRUTH, fight it, and go to hell than surrender to the Lord.

         There are a few well-intentioned Christians who think the receivers of these evil things are somehow responsible or have a screw loose, as they take a purely non-spiritual approach to perceived remedies. Their arrogance is solid, often off the scale, and they are sold out to any number of false diagnoses and relative witch doctor remedies.

         “Tell me, Jesus. How does it make it you feel when people hate you? Ahem, ahem… Does it bother you that people think you’re fake? Ahem, ahem…”

         But the Lord Jesus stated very clearly that whatever His enemies do to Him they will do to His disciples. It is therefore not the fault of the disciple to be the recipient of evil. It goes with the territory.

         It is enlightening to know that the Lord Jesus was and is rejected more than any man. During His time among us He was:

  • Accused of being an illegitimate child
  • Accused of being a glutton
  • Accused of being a drunk
  • Accused of being crazy, including by His own mother and siblings
  • Severely second-guessed by none other than John the Immerser
  • Accused of being demon-possessed
  • Accused of being a false prophet
  • Accused of being a false teacher
  • Accused of being a false messiah
  • Rejected by everyone, including His own disciples and close apostles
  • Rejected by the entire religious establishment
  • Rejected by His nation
  • Rejected by the world
  • Killed illegally by demon-possessed religionists whose father was the devil and who did everything in their power to rid the world of Him, including lying, cheating, character-assassination, and threatening Pilate to the point that the otherwise very strong man and Roman leader was reduced to a wimpy sissy completely under their demonic thumb. Their power trumped Roman power. Think about that.

         We could go on. The point here is that the devil threw everything he had at the Lord and not only did none of it work and never stopped Him, the Lord actually worked that much harder and fought all the more so that we could all be set free from the evil around us.

         He was thinking of you and me.

         Regardless of everything against Him, HE WON THE VICTORY.

         He never quit, would never quit, and walked right through all the sordid slinging flying garbage and innuendo that came His way to the great disillusionment of His many detractors. They wanted Him STOPPED but could not get the job done and it frustrated and scared them to no end.

         Therefore, one of the clear marks of a real Christian must be the same. One must have the same experiences. And one must overcome them all.

         We are fighting a spiritual war. If you want the Lord to be proud of you, you must fight. You must go forward. You must attack the enemy. You must overcome. You must do the job He put you here to do. And we will overcome if we do things His way, even in the face of the most vile and disgusting attacks, often at the hands of “friends.”

         The Lord found out who His friends were. They were the ones who repented. They were the ones who returned. They were among the relative few who showed up for Pentecost. They were the ones who put their lives on the line.

         We are getting closer to a time of Christian persecution in America like this country has never seen. We are also getting closer to the greatest Great Awakening this country has ever seen.

         You must remember, though, how things will go. At first, many people will appreciate it. Then, with the advance of greater truth, the resulting conviction, and the lack of desire to repent and accept the TRUTH, they will begin to get miffed. Then, they will do an about face and turn on you like a rabid dog. This process is perfectly captured in the following account:

         And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

         And He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we heard was done at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’”

         And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown.

         “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

         And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. [Luke 4:22-29]

         They loved Him and spoke well of Him but moments later tried to kill Him. Go figure. They failed to kill Him then and failed in every other attempt also. They only succeeded in finally murdering Him because He allowed it FOR THE SAKE OF OUR SALVATION.

         “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.” [Luke 6:26] [1]

         At some point, a Christian will have to make this connection and figure it out. Until then, such a one is subjected to deception by false prophets (alive or dead).

         Whatever the case, I am most thankful for all of you. We have much to do. May the Lord Jesus bless you abundantly.

         Onward.

.

         If you’re interested in gaining some perspective regarding the last four years, I’ve included links to each prior anniversary, as follows. Thanks.

         Happy First Birthday, Real Christianity (5/10/12)

         Happy Second Birthday, Real Christianity (5/10/13)

         Real Christianity: Three and Free (5/10/14)

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Dancing With the Devil

         Why did the Lord Jesus continually warn us about being deceived? Why did He continually command His disciples that if they would be His disciples they must stay very, very close to Him? Why did He command His followers to obey Him, and Him only, and no one else?

         The obvious answer, though only obvious to a few, is that the devil is a lying deceiver and hater of the first caliber, and that the only antidote to his lies is Truth, and Truth only comes from the Man who called Himself the Truth.

         In other words, without the Truth, you’re on your own.

         And since the devil has no need to fight those not against him (the majority of the world), he concentrates his attacks on Christians.

         Why is this the case? Simply because the devil won’t waste his time with peripheral people and issues that do not directly affect his central modus operandito stop his one and only mortal enemy by attempting to corrupt and hoodwink those who claim to be His followers.

         As the Lord Jesus Himself was tempted by the devil, and in a very major way, every Christian will also be tempted by the devil.

         But not all Christians will pass the test.

         It should be obvious when researching general Christian history that most Christians fail the test. They fail the test the same way Adam and Eve failed the test. They end up serving the devil whether they know it or not. The Lord said you will know them by their fruits. This is why unreal Christians are included among the deceived.

         The devil is essentially a keystone predator. He has no natural enemy that can touch him or do him any harm whatsoever, except for one. The devil runs roughshod over this world doing whatever he wants to do, destroying, stealing, and murdering. He was here before we were. He knows the landscape. The apostle Paul called him “the god of this world:”

         And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2Corinthians 4:3-4]

         Consider that statement—the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving.

         Why? How? And how does he have this power?

         It must somehow be according to the will and plan of God.

         But consider how far-reaching that power is, that the devil has the ability to blind the minds of EVERYONE who does not believe, including unbelieving “Christians.”

         What constitutes an unbeliever?

         An unbeliever, from the New Covenant perspective and writings, is anyone who does not honor, trust, and obey the Lord Jesus as one’s sole Master, Rabbi, Shepherd, and Savior. And if one wants a pure description and illustration of real New Covenant believers in action, one must read the Book of Acts.

         It is there where one will discover the evidence that constitutes a real believer, the dividing line between believer and unbeliever, and deduce the presence of unbelievers who masquerade as believers, whose minds have been blinded by the god of this world.

         Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. [Galatians 6:7-8] [1]   

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!)

GREAT AWAKENING ALERT        

         In light of my most recent post, What Was In The Village? (link), many excellent comments were made in answering that question. For those who haven’t read it I encourage you to do so, and suggest you read the comments as well.

         In the following two articles listed below, I further identify what was in the village of Bethsaida in the Lord’s time when He had to lead a blind man outside of town in order to heal him. There was something located in Bethsaida that made it not possible for the healing to take place there.

         Many of us can identify with this phenomenon. The hindrance is much closer than many of us realize. The following articles reveal this. I strongly suggest we read these articles both for the knowledge therein, but also to get free and set others free.

         There is much the Lord Jesus wants to do and can do, but many think He has blown them off or won’t answer their prayers. In reality, Strongholds are present in places where we have grown comfortable and must be destroyed in order to first eliminate the deception regarding the Lord’s intentions (or perceived non-intentions), and secondly, eliminate the actual hindrance that keeps the Lord from working.

         Once a particular Stronghold is identified, we can do battle against it, but it’s difficult to fight against an unseen enemy or one we do not even know exists.

         In others words, if we want the miracles we seek, we’ll have to take the Lord by the hand, let Him lead us out of Bethsaida (in our blind condition), and go with Him to a spiritual location where He has full authority…

LINKS:

STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!) Part 1

STRONGHOLDS (Don’t Confuse Me With Facts!) Part 2

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

What Was In The Village?

         And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, “Do you see anything?”

         And he looked up and said, “I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around.”

         Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.

         And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.” [Mark 8:22-26] [1]

 

NOTICE THE FOLLOWING:

1) There was a blind man in Bethsaida

2) He was brought to the Lord Jesus

3) The Lord took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village…

 

         What was in the village?

 

4) Outside the village, the Lord spit on the blind man’s eyes

5) The Lord then laid His hands on the blind man

6) He asked the blind man if he could see anything

 

         What was in the village?

 

7) The blind man LOOKED UP and said he SAW men like trees walking around

8) The Lord laid His hands on the man’s eyes and his sight was RESTORED

9) The Lord told the man who was blind to go straight home and DO NOT ENTER THE VILLAGE

 

         What was in the village?

 

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Be Encouraged (3)

         In order for the Lord Jesus to make a reset, a reset must first be made in the life of an individual who desires a reset by that individual and by no one else.

         The latter reset, the one by the individual, is a choice. That’s all it is. It is an appeal to the Lord for help. The individual has no power to actually make any changes in the spiritual world to overcome the effects of the material world since he or she is limited to making choices that create change only in the material world.

         Until repentance, one is in jail and often does not know it. And with no desire for real repentance one is free to exist without God.

         The material world is limited. It is finite. There is only so much a person can do. And when a person is beset with the result of past sins and slavery to sin one has the added bonus of an allegorical albatross around one’s neck and a ball and chain on one’s foot.

         Not good.

         Some people notice this though maybe only in a foggy sense. They know something is not right. Something doesn’t add up. They exist in the midst of an illusion and false construct and are made to do things that do not satisfy their hearts.

         So they search. These are the smart ones. The ones who are not smart decide to simply live for this world.

         The smart ones who search must want THE TRUTH whatever the truth happens to be. They are looking for the keys. One must desire the means of escape even if the means is uncomfortable, socially unacceptable, a destroyer of one’s pride, and sure to cause trouble.

         So, whoever refuses the above probabilities need go no further…

 

         Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 3:4]

         This is a very powerful statement. Let’s read it again:

         Whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. [James 3:4]

         Did you know this principle applies regardless of group size or official capacity? It applies to an individual just as it applies to governments and ruling institutions.

         Quick questions:

         Was the Roman Empire an enemy of God?

         Can a “church” be a friend of the world?

         For further insight and clarification, let’s look at the fourth chapter of James in context:

         What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

         You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

         Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us?”

         But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

         Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

         Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

         Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. [John 4:1-17]

         The last verse speaks of a violation of conscience. Everybody has a conscience. No one has an excuse. God judges the heart.

         But have you noticed a person has a much greater chance of surrendering to the Lord Jesus if he or she has not already surrendered to a group?

         Peer pressure is a killer. A government makes a bad law and everyone obeys it because they are afraid to stand up against it and invite the government’s wrath. Religions have codes that all within them must obey or they will be deemed a slacker and many obey codes and rules they do not agree with simply because they do not want to be characterized as a slacker and lose their standing in the group. People who belong to whatever culture must obey the expectations and ways of that culture or the culture will turn on them.

         So we can see very clearly that the Community of the Lord Jesus is obviously made up of people who did not fit elsewhere. It is made up of strong-minded and strong-willed people who love the truth and will stand up for it regardless of personal cost.

         And the greatest personal cost is always rejection from the prior group, the members of which are compromised by a lack of love for the truth, a heart with little or no courage, a desire to make it in this world at the expense of the next, a love of money, uncontrolled lust for things material, a desire for social prestige, and weak capitulation to any strongman who demands to rule them.

         America, for example, was once a nation of strong individuals. Individualism was the very thing that made this country great. Strong groups are made of strong individuals.

         Does anyone wonder how the Lord Jesus was able to stand up against virtually everyone and every group who all saw Him as a malcontent and deviant? Or how the early disciples faced so much persecution willingly without surrender, even to the point of death?

         These were strong people. Real Christians are the strongest people on the planet simply because they are the most persecuted. They are hated without a cause. They are seen as deviants. They are culturally unacceptable. They don’t fit anywhere but in the Kingdom of God. They will have no master of any kind whatsoever other than the Lord Jesus. They are sheep of His pasture and no one else’s.

         Be encouraged. The Lord is THE ROCK and His children are rocks.

         Rock on.

         “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

         “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:10-16] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

Be Encouraged (2)

         There are people in this world who have never done anything wrong other than be a human being prone to sin and yet have suffered terribly. Through no fault of their own or choice made on their own they exist in this world under very challenging circumstances. Some people have suffered horrendous wrongs and have never received even the slightest modicum of justice.

         Mature people learn early on that this world is not just. One can delude oneself all day long if that is one’s choice and insist in little kid fashion that all is fair and all is being taken care of and everything will be okay and all will work itself out and I am a good person and on and on.

         In reality, however, some people know that evil—great evil—tremendous evil—exists in this world and that they have become its victims to various degrees. Tell an aborted child who just made the trip to heaven that there is no evil or that everything works out in the end. Tell him or her that the choices made by people to tear his or her tiny perfect body apart and end his or her one and only chance at life that justice always prevails.

         Tell victims of unjust wars—and 99% of all wars in human history are without doubt unjust and happened only to satisfy powerful people and gain them more wealth and power—that unjust wars do not exist and it’s just your tough luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tell victims of murder, rape, robbery, and the unjust confiscation of their lands, property, money, health, and desire to live after such wanton destruction by people with absolute power and absolutely no heart have destroyed everything they have that justice always prevails.

         The fact of the matter is that justice in this world is not blind, is applied selectively, and most people are not selected. The rich and powerful, however, are always selected.

         Then remember the very clear teachings of the Lord Jesus:

         “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33]

         “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.” [Matthew 24:9]

         “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.” [Mark 13:19] [1]

         The Lord spoke of a tribulation birthing process in which birth pangs will begin and increase exponentially. In other words, the evil present in this world will grow even greater, and even to the point in which it appears nothing, including His own people, will survive.

         But lest one believe that tribulation has not always been here, consider what happened to the Lord Jesus—a perfect Man who never did anything wrong. Or consider what happened to His selected apostles and so many of His disciples. They did exactly what He told them to do and suffered as a result. It tells one that evil certainly exists and if one dares to challenge it one will pay. But if one never challenges evil then evil wins without a fight. It has been the victory of evil to merely intimidate and threaten without ever having to carry out such threats in most cases since most people have no courage.

         But the Lord told us to be courageous, to receive His courage, and to be encouraged. Despite all the evil present way back then the Lord Jesus won anyway. The early believers won anyway. And we in the present can and will win anyway.

         There is nothing the Lord Jesus cannot do but we must always remember that this world in not heaven and it is unjust. The Kingdom of Heaven resides in this world and it is certainly just. It is just because it is run by a just King. It should therefore be obvious that in places where justice does not prevail, the Lord Jesus is not King.

         To the extent that the Lord can, since He is limited by our faith and obedience, He can certainly fix things. Here’s how:

         (1) Repent of all sin, evil deeds, disobedience, and hate.

         (2) Forgive everybody for anything they have ever done no matter how evil.

         (3) Love everybody, even your enemies.

         (4) Surrender your entire life and everything you possess to the only just King, and pledge yourself to full obedience to Him. His justice will then prevail in your life. Part of this process (though many will reject it), involves a proper water immersion response. And if someone thinks this is not necessary or superfluous I must remind one that the Lord created it, it is all over the Book of Acts, and both the Lord and the early believers thought it was very important. If one can somehow look beyond the surface one will see why.

         (5) Allow the Lord Jesus to fill you with His powerful and loving Holy Spirit so you can have power and strength and might to both fight the good fight of faith to the greatest extent using a power not your own but also to be empowered to minister in powerful ways for the benefit of others who have been victims of evil and to be enabled to overcome all things.

         The mark of a real Christian is being a selfless agent of God being used to overcome the evil and injustice of this world using any and all means possible and to properly arm oneself with all that may be required in order to set people free.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Be Encouraged (1)

         The Lord Jesus will return again soon. He will set everything aright.

         He brings everything to pass precisely at its time; He also puts eternity in their mind, but without man ever guessing, from first to last, all the things that God brings to pass. [Ecclesiastes 3:11 JPST]

         We sometimes find ourselves in the middle of an impossible challenge. Yet, many of us also know that, with God, all things are possible.

         Here is the test of our faith:

         The Lord God is righteous. He created everything. Mankind has rebelled against God and sinned. Mankind has brought gross corruption to this planet. The corruption continues to grow exponentially. God has never left the planet, but has been outvoted. It does not mean that He does not remain all-powerful or that He cannot act. It merely means that one must choose. One must develop eyes to see. One must know that God cares and has solutions.

         But one must also know that because of the extreme interconnectivity of everything on the planet, anything done affects other things unseen, and as is often the case, the “solutions” of sinful rebellious humanity only make things worse.

         The people ruling this planet making the biggest decisions affecting the most people are not righteous whatsoever, and are indeed the opposite of righteous. They are in league with the devil. They have agreed with a diabolical covenant that has as its foundation two basic tenets:

         (1) The devil is the god of this world and everyone had better recognize it and obey him, and

         (2) Those who surrender to him and honor him the most receive the greater benefits.

         Hence, if a person is sold on this world instead of the Kingdom of God, if one loves mammon, if one loves imbibing the lusts of sinful flesh, and if one cares little or nothing for a God-given conscience that warns one of illicit behavior and the certain eventual results thereof, then one will end up falling directly into the devil’s trap.

         However, because of the nature of the devil’s sly and deceptive game, a person on the wrong path never knows the full extent of a trap being set or that he or she is heading directly for it. It is only afterwards, after one has been trapped and is beset with the terrible effects of the imprisonment thereof, that one recognizes one has been deceived.

         It should be obvious, therefore, that the best, most influential, and most successful human agents of the devil are those which appear as the very opposite and are in positions of well-accepted authority. Looking up to them, listening to them, obeying them, and even following them leads one to the very trap we have thus discussed.

         You will know these people because they never acknowledge the absolute authority of the Lord Jesus. Never. Not even the so-called Christian religious authorities.

         This should open a few eyes but such is a rare event. If the Lord had to actually appear in all His powerful radiance to the murderous, hateful, ultra-religious Phariaical Saul to get his attention, even to the point of knocking the little weasel off his horse and on his backside, what makes everyone else so special? The fact is that the Lord most often has to do the same thing to every one of us to gain our attention and eventual salvation.

         Of course, there is no possibility of being deceived by the fake shining agents of the devil if one follows the Lord Jesus, who is God and has revealed Himself as God. Yet, strangely enough, He is not perceived as God, as the one supreme leader of the Universe, even by most Christians, because of the devil’s deceiving influence, and this is why most people never really submit to and exclusively follow the Lord.

         It is the rejection of the Lord Jesus that causes the acceptance of false leaders and their false agendas. It is the acceptance of the Lord Jesus as the Master and sole authority of one’s life that causes complete rejection of anyone and everyone else who would stand in His place, especially those within the religious realm, and especially those within the “Christian” religious realm.

         Most Christians fail and their lives never come to full fruition simply because they have accepted other leaders as the sole authorities in their lives rather than the Lord.

         Those who never fully accept the Lord Jesus do so at their own peril. Until the trap is sprung they never see it coming.

         As the apostle Paul recounted his first meeting with the Lord to King Agrippa, he included some incredible words of the Lord Jesus which explain perfectly our world situation and why so many are in absolute darkness, including himself prior to that eventful first meeting:

         “While so engaged as I was journeying to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests, at midday, O King, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining all around me and those who were journeying with me.

         “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

         “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.

         ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,

         ‘To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’” [Acts 26:12-18] [1]

         If a person has never experienced a great trap-freeing experience as the apostle Paul did—if one has never been born again spiritually—then one remains in the trap, otherwise known as the dominion of Satan.

         And one remains deceived by some very influential people who have actually embraced the dominion of Satan because of the earthly benefits they have been granted. For most people, of course, there are few benefits or none at all.

         And this explains everything.

         In Part 2 we will look further into how the Lord Jesus can fix things, rearrange things, and set things aright in order to bring blessing to His children.

         Be encouraged.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Unreal Christianity: Hamsters on a Spinning Wheel

         You’re in a cage. But you don’t know that. Your perspective is as limited as your spiritual geography. You have been taught over many years by fake smiling faces to get in your cage, stay in your cage, get dumb, stay dumb, don’t think, don’t express, stay within yourself, and be in prison…

         It’s called a clergy spirit. Clergyites must control. Without control, clergyites have no reason to exist, cannot exist, have nothing to do, and have no reason for being.

         But give them something to control and their brains suddenly start coming to life like an extravagant outdoor Christmas lighting display.

         What must they control?

         People. Always people.

         And the results of their obsession and control is obvious to everyone with the real Light of God outside the cage and off the wheel.

         “Hey Mommy, what are those people?

         “Well, Johnny. Those are unreal Christians.”

         “Why are they in that cage and going around on that wheel?”

         “Well, Johnny, it’s because they think they’re going somewhere.”

         “Where do they think they’re going?”

         “Nobody knows, Johnny. Nobody knows. And neither do they…”

DECEPTION OR DISEASE?

         The obsession of the clergy is not classified as a disease. The even greater obsession of obeying the clergy is not classified as a disease either. The reason is twofold:

         (1) All things behavioral found in the institutional religious camp are not classified among psychological problems and diseases because such are perceived as faith issues with deep-set and often generational stimuli at the core of one’s being which must be respected since change is rendered next to impossible.

         (2) The clergyites are an extension of political and statist controllers who know that control in general is a must in order for the ruling class to stay in power, and they perceive religious leaders as serving a very useful purpose and are therefore respected.

         This is why clergyites in general are always respected by society in general without even knowing why this is the case or why no one ever questions these people on their control techniques and apparatus. And if you think asking questions of hamsters in a cage on a spinning wheel will get you anywhere you would be wrong because it’s something they cannot explain either.

         Religious practices contrary to the teachings of the Lord Jesus are thus seen as “the right thing to do” without even knowing why one is doing it. One might think they have an answer early on regarding the hoped-for results or perceived results of their religious actions and protocol but such hoped-for results fade over time and are never actually actualized.

         In time religious people then become stuck in their rote behavioral patterns and get closed-mouthed and closed-minded about it and will even become quite belligerent with anyone who may question their strange acquiescence to controlling controllers and the process of cramming their otherwise brilliant minds into a space the size of a tiny med bottle and living by the spirituality-killing meds within the tiny bottle.

         Why does one not see that such behavior is the exact opposite of the behavior exhibited by those in the Upper Room on that first Day of Pentecost or by all of those real disciples throughout the early years of the Lord’s community?

         Why can’t they perceive that their stifling and incoherent behavior is the result of a different teaching mechanism (false gospel) and is nothing whatsoever like that which the Lord Jesus taught about and brought to this world?

         Why can’t they understand the simple concept that ultra-controlled behavior is the result of ultra-controlling controllers?

         Why has the other side of the action-reaction principle become invisible?

         Why can’t they see the other end of the harness to which they are attached?

         Why can’t they perceive the wizard behind the curtain?

         “I don’t know why I do what I do. I only know I do it. I must stay in the cage. I must stay on the wheel. I must go round and round…”

RELIGIOUS SLAVERY

         Regarding actual hamsters, we know why they run within a spinning wheel in a cage: They’re in jail.

         They have energy. They must move. They were created to be free with a large range and a purpose in life but all of that has been stolen from them. They exist purely at the whim of their owners who are somehow gratified by having such little pets over which they can watch, control, take care of, and be amused by. Now, if one could only harness the energy of the spinning wheel with the hamster in it and put it to some practical money-making use the circle would be complete.

         Does this ever happen with humans? Does it ever happen with religious humans? Are there people in this world who actually have the desire to make money off of other people? Are any of these types found in religious circles? Do some religious leaders see their “flock” as mere living wallets from which they extract their living and build their enterprises?

         When one removes all pretense, this desire to control and use people is boiled down to being nothing more than slavery. And those evil people who have believed in and practiced slavery throughout history had only one objective, and that was to use other human beings for their own purposes. Thus, it should otherwise be obvious that there is a thing called religious slavery.

         Just like breaking horses and hitching them up to wagons or throwing a saddle on them, people have their breaking points when they finally give up, give in, and surrender to some form of slavery so they can get along in this world. They would rather be free but see real freedom as a practical impossibility and eventually give up all hope of ever having any real life and freedom and become jaded and redneck with regard to the possibility.

         They may know somewhere way down deep in their heart that there is or was a way toward something better that their hearts used to believe in and strive for (spiritual freedom) but having failed repeatedly to find it and because they see all authority figures as exalted superiors who tell them no such way exists, they give up hope and become stoic lumps of humanity with closed minds and mere superficial outward expressions that mask their inner desires of something better.

         This is what fake man-made religions do to people, and all of these fake man-made religions are controlled by some form of clergyites, which makes religious controllers the guilty party though most see them as benevolent, innocent, highly advanced, and loving gurus doing the “right” thing.

THIS IS RELIGIOUS DECEPTION OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.

         It is the very thing and the most diabolical thing the Lord Jesus came to free us from and also that which He had the greatest fight against. It was the clergyites of His day that caused Him the greatest problems and who were always trying to kill Him. They both knew they could never exist together since the clergyites had stolen His place of authority for themselves and would never give it up. They were full of the devil—literally.

         Those evil people eventually succeeded in His murder, but only because He laid down His life for all. All their prior attempts had failed miserably.

         The Gospels are thus SHOUTING at us all to watch out for those guys who want to control one’s spirituality and stamp it with their own false garbage. Their objective is never to turn you on to the full revelation of the Lord Jesus and allow you to be completely free in Him but to make a brain dead religious slave of you and get your money in the process.

         “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]

         But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

         And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. {pernicious ways: or, lascivious ways, as some copies read}

         And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. [2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV]

LIGHT EXPOSING THE DARKNESS

         Until the Lord Jesus came to live among us 2000 years ago the devil had remained very successfully hidden.

         Then, THE DEVIL WAS SUDDENLY EXPOSED. The Lord Jesus tore down the curtain of illusion and revealed all the evil people submitted to the devil as well, and this is a major component of the real Gospel.

         When the real Gospel is preached, the Light of God shines in such an all-pervasive way that the devil and his people cannot hide, have no place left to hide, and all the little unseen spaces where the cockroaches usually hide are suddenly lit up like airport runways blinding them by the Light.

         Hence, the actual effect of the real Gospel chases the devil and his people to places they can no longer find to escape the Light. They are the ones who are then relegated to, and are supposed to be relegated to, a spinning wheel to nowhere in screaming fearful flight of a Light they cannot shun and an objective to hide that can never be achieved again.

         “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

         For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” [John 3:19-20]

         THIS LIGHT IS WITHIN THOSE WHO ARE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND WHO ARE CALLED, COMMISSIONED, AND EMPOWERED BY GOD TO SHINE THE LIGHT, TESTIFY OF THE LIGHT, PROMOTE SPIRITUAL FREEDOM, REVEAL ALL DARKNESS, AND EXPOSE THE DEVIL.

         In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

         The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

         There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

         There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

         He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

         He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

         But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:4-13] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Presence of the Devil (2)

         The Word of God says the devil is the accuser of the brethren:

         And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.

         And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

         Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

         “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.

        “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” [Revelation 12:7-11]

         The devil gets riled up pretty easily. If he acted like an ass in heaven he will obviously do the same on earth, and has, and always has, and continues at present.

         He hates God, he hates the truth, and he hates real Christians.

         The above passage is abundantly clear regarding the ongoing personal attacks the devil levies against the Lord and real Christians. He is constantly on the offensive attacking attacking attacking—using whatever means he can in the ongoing attempt to assassinate character, destroy honest people, and bring railing accusations that most often have no merit whatsoever.

         He reminds one of some spoiled rotten smarmy little high school freshmen who doesn’t know when to shut up and needs to be taken out somewhere and get the hell beat out of him for his own good and that of everyone else.

         I think most people know people like this. In most cultures of the world people like this only survive if they manage to gain a lot of power of some sort, and such people know they otherwise have no chance so they do whatever they must to gain power, so they can attain a base of power, so they can have a certain level of protection, so they can then engage in what drives them—attack attack attack—accuse accuse accuse—everyone’s an idiot but them—if only they could rule the world…

         Short of that, these people often must settle for their own little limited fiefdoms, the best of which are found in the realm of religion.

         And there you have it—the devil is really into religion. He is a religious legalist of the very worst kind. And when he manages to train and send forth his own well-taught disciples, one can see in them exactly that which resides in him—these religious legalists are the biggest jerks that ever wore a human skin suit.

         “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:44] [1]

         Though full of the devil and possessing a heart record that smells like the worst rancid decaying herd of rats in a wall cavity, it never stops them from bringing accusation after accusation after accusation. It would be good if they could look in a mirror and accuse themselves and then suffer the ongoing exponential effects of a mirror in a mirror in a mirror attacking themselves to the point of ongoing destruction like that of the Ozian wicked witch, “I’m melting! I’m melting!”

         That would be pretty cool to see.

         But in reality they don’t do this. They simply pick out people who are the very opposite of themselves, starting with the Lord Jesus and extending to real Christians, and make a life of attempting to tear them down through unlimited accusation.

         It never worked against the Lord Jesus. In fact, it dovetailed with His plan of redemption. In further fact, accusation helps real Christians get better and grow in spiritual strength.

         It’s like living long before the age of modern weapons when warriors had only the crude implements of protection such as spears and arrows, and who went hunting the alpha male keystone predators—hunting the hunters—who went after powerful male lions who had been terrorizing their village. They found a way to attack and defeat the best and most ferocious hunters on the planet that no others had any chance against.

         This is exactly what the Lord Jesus did to the devil.

         It is exactly what He calls His people to do also.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

THE PRESENCE OF THE DEVIL (1)

Easter Idolatry (and Something About a Resurrection)

         Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of “Christians” would rather dispense with any and all work regarding study toward truth, it still boggles the mind at least somewhat that so many can be so fooled so willingly, and be so stubborn in insisting upon the embrace of what should be clear idolatry.

         When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, in whom he had a strong hand in placing in ministry, he stressed upon him the necessity of staying on top of things spiritually. He taught him exactly how the devil liked to muddy the waters and confuse people with false concepts and dumb traditions whose desired effect was the same, in that “Christians” would end up confused and ignorant. Thus, he told him,

         Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

         The enemy of our souls is very crafty in that way, especially when it comes to religious traditions, and none more so than the purely traditional religious holiday of “Easter.”

         The strange combination of fertility symbols—bunny rabbits and chicken eggs—is pure testimony to the fact that traditions can get really weird and should give people an idea of just how weird the devil is and how weird people can get.

         People color, decorate, and hide Easter eggs for later finding every year and no one really knows why they do it. Few really care about this weird combination anymore and refuse to do anything about it, even after the tradition became weird to the point that the Easter Bunny laid the eggs. But when so-called Christians not only accept it en masse but combine it further with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it gives further proof that the minds of religious people are not so different from the minds of drug users.

         It was back in 1966, when a different Timothy, the LSD guru Timothy Leary, first advised his young charges to “Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out.” Leary claimed he got this expression from another man of the times, the expression guru Marshall McLuhan, a man way ahead of his time who also coined other terms such as “the medium is the message.”

         Of course, the devil was aware of this little factoid for a tad while longer than Mr. McLuhan and used it well in every religion he ever created. The idea that the actual message is not at all a message but the delivery system itself is what makes false religions so diabolical.

         It is obviously apparent that the proponents of and believers in false religions do not understand that they have become part of the sinister plot by voluntarily engaging in the stage play—the spiritually meaningless religious participation pageant—that makes them guilty of not only completely missing the real message but making the medium the message.

         What is this medium? And what is it specifically when it comes to false forms of Christianity? As I explain in defining a real Christian, I will also explain by defining Unreal Christianity:

         A real Christian is anyone whose spirit becomes fused with the Spirit of God:

         But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [1Corinthians 6:17]

         Every real Christian follows and obeys the Lord Jesus as His Master, Lord, Shepherd, and Teacher.

         Therefore, Unreal Christianity is composed of all other “Christians” of varying stripes who merely claim the name without fulfilling the above requirements. As a result, Unreal Christians are obsessed with the medium, the expression, the pageant, the stage production, the repeat-after-me rote repetitions, the formal geographic gatherings, and the religious routine.

         This cannot help but make them part of an idolatrous practice, though benign in appearance, in that they worship the higher Christian class with all the brass and the shallow and meaningless routine of religion.

         This is actually no different whatsoever from the incredible influence Timothy Leary gained over hundreds of thousands who obeyed his pronouncements and actually did turn on, tune in, and drop out. Religious “Christians,” however, had already been doing that very thing for centuries. Untold millions remain turned-on to surreal counterfeits of the Lord’s original, tuned-in to the religious gurus thereof, and have effectively dropped-out, by their own choosing, of the Lord’s real community.

         It is for this reason that we still have this false idea of a large rabbit laying Easter eggs and why no kid in America sees anything aberrant about it, and also why grown up “Christians” see nothing aberrant about mixing this weird stuff with the Lord’s resurrection.

“EASTER SUNDAY”

         “Churches” all over America will not be celebrating the day of the Lord’s Resurrection Sunday but will instead be celebrating “Easter.” Some will celebrate “Resurrection Sunday.” This is good terminology though the majority has fought its acceptance now to the point that few ever try to use it as before. No, Easter is the overwhelmingly insisted-upon approved term for this day, for without it there is no pageant, and without the pageant there is no medium, and without the medium there is nothing, since there is no actual message beyond the medium.

         Though only a few care, the origin of this term should nevertheless be looked into.

         Longtime readers of this blog know that there is much to gained from the Lord’s actual calendar. I have written extensively on the topic. Our current Gregorian Calendar is worthless from a celestial viewpoint since its months and years have nothing to do with the actual movements of the sun and moon. From where did it originate? It actually originated from the same people who gave us the “Easter Holiday” (Latin: Pascha)—Both were invented by the Roman Catholic Church.

         With all the other changes from truth 17 centuries ago, this was yet another. In creating his new hybrid syncretic religion, Constantine I simply appropriated a very well known and practiced springtime pagan festival that had been around for many centuries in many cultures for his own purposes.

         It was the consistent modus operandi of the Catholic religion to appropriate local customs of religiously subjugated people, change the names of said customs but keep the dates and culturally significant aspects, and then adopt them as official. In this way the people still had all their pagan holidays, though renamed. They were forced to adopt the Catholic religion and honor its magistrates, but otherwise felt comfortable by maintaining their pagan religious traditions.

         It was a perfect compromise. The Catholic Church, like the Roman Empire, subjugated cultures through religious force, whereas Rome had previously done the same through military force. Rome never cared about what anyone believed in detail or what they practiced. All they cared about was that the people they subjugated and enslaved honored the Roman emperor as God, obeyed Roman laws, and paid all tributes and taxes. The Catholic Church did the same: The Pope must be honored as Supreme Pontiff and Vicar (substitute) of Christ, all Roman Catholic religious practices must be honored, and all tribute must be paid.

         None of this, of course, had anything to do with the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus or worship of Him. It was all about religious control. And this is the origin of a pagan festival with “Christianity.”

         Easter was the Anglo-Saxon name of an ancient pagan goddess of fertility who was worshipped in the spring of the year and was also related to the sunrise, like many various sun gods of the ancient world. The pagan festival had a common origin and purpose, though many later cultures had various names for it. The exact term is traced from the Middle English estre, from the Old English eastre. Going further back in time, eastre is related to a common female goddess known to all ancient cultures by different names.

         The Lord Jesus and the original community of believers never practiced such a pagan holiday or any other, and all calendar events were based on the Hebrew lunar-solar calendar. The Lord was actually crucified on a Thursday, on the Hebrew date of Nisan 14, and rose again on a Sunday, on Nisan 17. Due to the moveable feast decrees of the early Catholic Church at Nicea, the actual dates no longer applied and a false structure was adopted so every year would involve the same days. This was all done for the sake of religious control since so many millions of coerced converts had to be adapted to a systemized annual structure.

         Hence, the days in questioned had to be condensed. The Wednesday evening “Last Supper,” which actually also fell on Nisan 14 (the Hebrew day date began every sunset), was moved to Thursday, the Thursday death of the Lord was moved to Friday (Good Friday), the Hebrew Sabbath became “Holy Saturday,” and Nisan 17, the day of the Lord’s resurrection, became “Easter Sunday.” These days remain the same every year though the dates change annually on the actual celestial calendar.

         For example, the official full moon took place this morning (April 4) at 7:05am CDT which marks the exact middle of the lunar cycle. Today is Nisan 15 on the Hebrew calendar. Sunday is Nisan 16. Nisan 17, the actual anniversary of the Lord’s resurrection, is Monday.

EASTER TRADITION OR RESURRECTION POWER?

         Even though we have all of this historical background readily available, it is a clear testimony to the power of pagan tradition, religious rote, and clergy control that the idolatry of Easter continues to coexist with the Lord’s resurrection. Mere pagan religious rituals and customs continue edging out the reality of the resurrection and what it must mean directly to each and every person, in that every real Christian will also experience the same resurrection as that of the Lord one day.

         The early believers associated the spiritual power of the Gospel they preached with resurrection. It is to the same degree that the Easter Christians have little or no spiritual power since they honor the Lord’s resurrection from death in name only and rarely or never identify with it personally. These people generally do not believe in being born again, even though the Lord said it was a must, and what is new birth but a resurrection?

         Since the raising from physical death by the Lord Jesus is the greatest event in human history and proves everything about real Christianity, it should not be forced to coexist with anything. Like everything else practiced by our original forebears taught directly by the Lord, we should all return to the simpler, honest, and much powerful spiritual practices they engaged in for His sake and for the sake of the truth.

         Regarding the subject of this article, we are left with two choices:

         (1) “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:8-9]

         (2) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11: 25-26] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Earning Money to Bless the Lord / Discerning Those Who Bless Themselves (3)

         It must be mentioned that the Lord certainly accepted donations. He denied that possibility to no one if their heart was right. He obviously knew the BEST ground was His ministry, and it still is. But He never put Himself in a place where He was dependent on the giving of others.

         Many “ministers” don’t know what it is to work, but they know a lot about taking up offerings. They all made straight A’s in that course in Bible school or seminary. Taking up offerings is Biblical, of course, but it must be in accordance with the way the Lord did it and by His direction, and for the proper purpose.

         But many preachers refuse to preach the real Gospel, are not Spirit-filled, and are thus not capable of engaging in the required spiritual work necessary for all real ministries.

         Thus, they have no choice but to be beggars since they have no other means and certainly no spiritual power, and many also refuse to work. They end up calling what they do their job so as to appear to work. Would that we could all have such a “job.” I don’t say this to belittle real ministers who work all the time at whatever is required, but toward those who will only work under their conditions.

         Wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do when we needed money was take up an offering? A mere handful of people are apparently afforded this pleasure but 99.99% of all Christians must get their money the hard way—they must earn it.

         And we all know when some preachers need their tithes and offerings they will let everyone know it post haste. They cannot make their enterprises work if the congregation does not work at earning what they need.

         Why does it appear as if the Lord Jesus blesses those few who don’t earn it and not the vast majority of His children who do? Why are those few so special? Why is it okay for them to operate in violation of the way He operated and yet be blessed anyway?

         The answer is simple. These people have done an end around and bypassed the required mandatory hard work and dispensed with doing their half, and convinced other people to do their half for them. Instead of earning money the way the Lord did they tax their congregations for it, and that’s what the tithe has become in most places—a TAX. It is a coerced tax with a different name. And it is taught (insisted upon) that if one does not PAY THE TAX the Lord will not bless them. They even scare the hell out of people by telling them God will get them, ruin their lives, and even destroy them if they don’t pay.

         “Just give us the money and no one gets hurt.”

         These guys have turned tithing into a racket, putting the squeeze on people and threatening to destroy them if they don’t fork over the protection money.

         “If youse don’t do what we say and pay us we’ll sick the Angel Vinnie on youse.”

         I understand the scriptural truth of the principle of tithing, and I have certainly been blessed. But the real blessing only comes if the tithe is GIVEN, not paid, because the tithe is not a tax, and it must be given to the Lord Jesus, meaning He must direct it. It IS His money, by the way.

         Many preachers cannot preach that, however, for fear of donations drying up and hence losing their jobs. Yet, all real ministry only works if gifts are given free of charge with a good heart expecting nothing in return, and that includes giving tithes and offerings, or any monetary gift.

         So, if you want to bless someone monetarily or materially, clear it with the Lord first and then bless that person, ministry, or organization. But if one has to be forced into forking over their cash there is no blessing whatsoever. (This explains in part why so many tithers never receive any increase.)

         But concerning the ones doing the forcing—those “legally” allowed to take up donations—they can apparently be blessed to their heart’s content. It only depends on how much they are willing to do to rip people off in the guise of legal “donations.”

         And if you’re wondering how particular people manage to do this with a straight face and with absolutely no reservations, it can be summed up in the following principle:

         Being pretentious and being dishonest ALWAYS go together. In other words, for the sake of this particular discussion, all religious posers are rip-off artists. Every single one. And the more a clergyite has to dress up to fake you out the more he will corrupt the correct giving process to rip you off.

         So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.

         Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

         And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, “HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.”

         Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.

         Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.

         Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! [2Corinthians 9:5-15] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 3 of 3)


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Earning Money to Bless the Lord / Discerning Those Who Bless Themselves (2)

         The Lord Jesus did not get all the money He would need by asking other people for it. It started with gifts from the Magi when He was a child, which was obviously used properly. He likely never took up offerings before His ministry began. He did not use telethons. He did not strong arm good-hearted Christians to bless Him.

         Instead, He went out and worked quietly for many years with his own hands and His own strong back, sweating through the days doing hard labor building stuff.

          This is something ninety sum-odd percent of all pastors, priests, denominational higher-ups, religious hierarchy high hats, and ministers, especially the television variety, never do. They must all consider earning their money in such a way to be beneath them. One thing is for sure, however:

          There is a spiritual theorem in effect that essentially illustrates a clear connection between a certain type of person’s lack of desire to gain funding the Lord’s way with a great desire to shamelessly demand donations their way. These people have mastered the craft of manipulating others to give and thus, have no need of earning money like everyone else. And with so many Christians conditioned to give unconditionally, getting donations is a piece of cake if one possesses the “proper” credentials.

          They used to call these guys confidence men. They’re actually con men on steroids.

          This is one more clue toward differentiating between the real and the fake, especially in light of Paul’s statement in light of the Lord’s statement:

          “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” [Acts 20:34-35]

          Paul said the strong must financially support the weak. The Lord Jesus said we must give to the poor. Could it be we’re giving way too much money to the wrong people? Could it be that there are many honest and gifted ministers of the Gospel who must work full time jobs earning money because they are seen as non-ministers? While the fakes taking most of the money are seen as real?

          Some ministers do earn money, however, to support the ministries to which they are called. They have no choice. They will never quit on God. I have one particular friend who served for many years as a pastor and builder who did both. He worked a full time job in construction and also worked full time in ministry as a pastor. It can be done, and often must be done.

          The Lord Jesus set the right example, though what He did is not necessarily applied to all. Some people are called into ministry without much of anything, but only a few understand what a real calling entails. It does not mean one begins by subsisting on donations right off the bat.

          When the Lord calls His people into ministry, AND HE CALLS EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS CHILDREN TO SOME FORM OF MINISTRY, it is only the beginning. It took Him three and a half years to train His own men. There is the initial call, but there is also a preparation period that often lasts many years. Real Christian ministers know this. There is a price to be paid. He expects us to understand that we must do our part to provide for said ministry.

          In general terms this works out to a fifty-fifty proposition. He will not provide any more for us than what He already has until we first provide for Him. He began the process by giving His entire heart and life to us free of charge. It continues with each of us doing the same for Him. This giving of hearts is what makes for an actual blood covenant—the New Covenant.

          Christians who never do this are not real Christians. 

         Concerning earthly material needs, the Lord Jesus has already started the process for us by providing each of us with a human body within which we can be housed and from which we can operate. These bodies are given by God free of charge. Their creation is miraculous. People plant the seeds and carry the babies, and carrying a precious baby to term is not at all easy though extremely rewarding.

         Yet human beings cannot create human beings without the miraculous power and ability of God. We can only do our part, and both parts—God’s and ours—are required. God has His role and we have ours. And He will certainly help with parenting if we want His help and guidance.

         Regarding all the things we need in this life, God also blesses us with the initial seed to get started as well as the strength to gain more. He arranged things in such a way that His many gifts can be combined with our own to produce blessing.

         It is the same with ministry. We do our half, God does His half. God provides what we can never provide and we provide something God can never provide without us. He cannot do our work and He won’t try to do our work for us. It is OUR work. He gave it to us. It is a gift. Ministers who understand this understand that they must first give their half toward the process, without which God’s half—His gift (seed)—can never be effective.

         In the beginning, a new minister shows good faith and a good heart by thus not asking God to provide any more than He has already provided and by not asking others to provide, but by first providing for God and others his own gift (seed), just as the Lord did. By this one proves their heart for God.

         Giving is what starts the process just as planting a seed starts the process.

         And speaking of seed, the best seed to give with the highest yield is seed we have created ourselves with God’s help through the process of earning it doing our own labor with our own hands. If one plants this seed according the Lord’s direction, which obviously requires giving it to Him first, one will receive a high return. This process is achieved by utilizing God’s granted portion as well as our own, and by giving this seed with no strings attached.

         Though we cannot help but mentally acknowledge the fact that we will receive a good return, selfish raison d’être cannot be our motivation. If we plant good seed in good ground and nurture production, just as a farmer does when he plants a crop, we will see a good ministry result. But the proper motivation is to minister to others by giving freely and cheerfully. The Lord taught this.

         “Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8]

         How do we give to God?

         “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

         “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” [Matthew 25:37-40] [1]

         One must remember that all of the above needs are not only practical needs but also spiritual needs. The Lords real community gives both.

         So, unlike the plague of prima donnas who think they’re better than everyone else and deserving of coerced money—those who have no problem at all putting the pressure on anyone but themselves for funding—the Lord Jesus never put pressure upon anyone to render His living, whether it was His close disciples or general followers.

         He began by putting pressure on Himself. This is also how all real ministers of the Gospel operate. They put the pressure on themselves to make it work, and once they have achieved something in God’s eyes, He will also give toward the goal doing His part.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 2 of 3)


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Earning Money to Bless the Lord / Discerning Those Who Bless Themselves (1)

         In the Gospel accounts, the Lord Jesus often talks about giving money to the poor.

         Does He ever talk about giving money to ministers?

         Real ministers of the real Gospel never demand pay for the work they do. They never demand the attachment of a donation to the word they teach. They never associate preaching the Gospel as a means to making a living. They never coerce people into giving, manipulate hearts toward that goal, or summon the specter of guilt to fall upon the undecided in yet another effort to extract their money.

         Those who do will have hell to pay, because they have allowed themselves by their own lust for the funding of their enterprises to be deceived into believing they are more worthy than the people whose hard-earned money they covet.

         Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. [2Corinthians 9:7] [1]

         One will notice when reading the Gospels that the Lord Jesus knew how to stretch a denarius. He got a lot of bang for His buck. There was never anything wasted. There was no extravagance. There was, however, sleeping on the ground, traveling far from home, and being thankful for the good will of others whenever such good will was given. Whatever the case, however, whether the Lord had any money or not, nothing stopped Him from His purpose. He had a job to do, a duty to accomplish, and was, as some say, on a mission.

         He was and remains the greatest individual of all time with the greatest amount of willpower. Like anyone else, He learned it. He earned it. He is the only actual unstoppable Irresistible Force. He is also the only actual Immovable Object and spiritual Rock. By way of illustration, the entire Universe will surrender and cease to function and will admit defeat and give up while the Lord Jesus continues being resolute, determined, and on task.

         He is driven by love for us all. He fights for His people.

         This is the real King, the real God, the one real Christians follow. He is not for the soft, the easily intimidated or swayed, or those who refuse the rigors of real discipleship.

         He has an iron will.

         Thus, one will never find the Lord Jesus stopped or stymied for a mere lack of funding, or see Him stoop to demanding payment for spiritual services rendered as a means of funding. If anything, and if all money avenues are dried up and blocked and no one helps Him whatsoever, He’ll just go to work with His hands and earn His own dough. He calls His followers to do the same.

EARNING HIS OWN SUPPORT

         In fact, that’s exactly what He did His entire life before beginning His ministry. He worked very hard for many years with His own hands, quietly and unknown. He blended in with society to the point of complete obscurity, never giving any hint to the outside world of His future mission. Until He went public at age thirty, the Gospel accounts only speak of Him as a baby, a very small child, a twelve year-old, and then nothing more for eighteen years.

         And the outside world who knew Him as a nobody was pretty much everybody beyond Joseph and Mary. The parents of John the Immerser, Zacharias and Elizabeth, also knew in the relatively brief time they were still alive at and shortly after the birth of both John and the Lord. The latter couple were advanced in years and even more mystery surrounds the life of their son before his ministry. These were about the only people aware of whom the Son of Joseph and Mary really was and they knew there was no sense talking to anyone about it.

         Though traditionally, the Lord was thought to be a carpenter, a man who works primarily with wood, He was more accurately both a carpenter and a builder, in that He constructed things using a variety of materials. He provided not only for Himself, of course, but also for His mother and siblings, especially after the death of Joseph, since He was the first born. He did all this while also preparing for future ministry.

         But as importantly, He spent these years building up the necessary funding He would need for His earthly ministry. And unlike the modern day paid located minister who subsists from the wallets of his congregants, the Lord Jesus did the exact opposite. He did something most ministers see as impossible and completely uncalled for:

         He set the proper example by also providing for the needs of His twelve chosen ones and their families.

         One never hears this fact preached probably because it is far too convicting for those who demand money from those they preach to. There is no way the Lord would tell those twelve men to quit their livelihoods and the means to provide for their families and come follow Him, thus leaving their wives and children in the lurch, without also paying their way. Such a demand upon His disciples and their families would be 100% asinine, and the Lord never did it. But many “Christian ministers” would have no problem doing it, just as most ministers prefer congregants with money. And this gives us a direct clue into the main differences between real ministries and unreal ministries:

         Real ministries and spiritual communities are led by the Lord Jesus, are empowered by His Holy Spirit, and are unified by adherence to His teachings and love for Him and one another.

         Lacking the above, unreal ministries must be led by someone other than the Lord, must be empowered by something else, usually money, and must be unified by religious control and belief systems other than the pure Word of God.

         The twelve original apostles needed to be with the Lord Jesus 24 hours a day to learn all He must teach them. He was their Rabbi. Thus, they had to quit their jobs. Thus, they had no money coming in. Thus, the Lord had to provide for them.

         There is no other plausible method of financial support if one must build a foundational ministry team destined the change the world, especially one composed of hard-working blue collar tradesman and societal misfits without any savings. These men also greatly respected the Lord because they all knew He was a real Man like they were, but so much more, and could outwork any of them any day of the week.

         On the flip side, unreal Christianity has transformed the real Lord Jesus into the image of a sissy. Tell me, why would all those hard-working hard-living guys give up their lives to follow a sissy? Maybe the false sissy image of the Lord is actually a reflection of the unreal ministers who created it. The fakers obviously cannot handle the real Lord Jesus and thus want no part of Him. They could never stand up to the required discipleship and they thus reject Him outright. His missing presence perfectly explains dead churches.

         So imagine the Lord Jesus working with His hands all those years to build up enough funding to provide not only for Himself but also however much money it would take to provide for perhaps as many as sixty people for a period of three and a half years or so (counting an average of three children per apostle).

         Add to that the Lord also providing, after the death of Joseph, for His mother and probably as many as seven or eight younger brothers and sisters (we know He had at least four brothers). That’s about seventy people all together. That’s the same amount of people comprising Jacob’s extended family when they all moved to Egypt during the famine to live with Joseph. Coincidence?

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 1 of 3)


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

“If Isaiah Said That He’s A Liar!”

         If you had to pick one single Old Covenant verse of Scripture that proves the utter fallacy of a later all-encompassing man-made doctrine ascribed to by most Christians, it would be the following:

         For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. [Isaiah 9:6]

         Here we have a direct prophecy from one of the strongest and most prolific prophets revered by all, whose pronouncements are loaded with prophetic content that later came to pass exactly as proclaimed.

         This man was quoted by both John the Immerser as the Lord’s forerunner, and also by the Lord Jesus Himself during His ministry among us. The Lord quoted Isaiah extensively. In fact, the Lord quoted Isaiah’s words in stating that He was the long-awaited Messiah.

         This prophet’s words are used by Philip and Paul in the Book of Acts, and Paul quotes him many times in the Book of Romans, considered by many to be his best and most profound teaching epistle.

         There is no doubt among honest Bible scholars that the truth within the truth that Isaiah continued to preach regarding the future Messiah was that the coming One would not be a mere man—He would be God:

         But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,

         “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

         Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

         “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,”which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”

         And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. [Matthew 1:20-25]

         In this passage, Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14. This word Immanuel only appears twice in the Old Covenant writings, and both are in the Book of Isaiah. The word refers to the coming Messiah. And Isaiah said the Messiah would be God.

         Though this may appear clear on the surface and though the Lord’s Name means YHWH-Savior, the above passage from Matthew presents a challenge. For from it we learn that the Father of the Son is the Holy Spirit. Huh?

         Now, if you want to get into a heated argument with any Bible-believing descendant of Abraham at any time in history but especially since the time of Isaiah, tell him or her that the following foundational passage in one of their revered books is actually not true:

         “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” [Deuteronomy 6:4] [1]

         This very passage contains the great truth that divided the Hebrews from every other nation on the planet. No other nation believed in one God, but a multiplicity of gods. This is the heritage of all ancient religions, the greatest of which stemmed from the greatest empires that ever existed on the planet.

         Does anyone think the ancient Sumerians or Egyptians were ignorant? If so, how did they manage to build such powerful empires? How did they manage the brilliance that brought forth so much knowledge into this world? The Sumerians are credited with creating civilization! These laid the foundations for later greater empires, namely the Greeks and Romans, who were possessed of some of the most brilliant people to ever walk the planet. So much of our knowledge is gained from them.

         And they all believed in a multiplicity of gods.

         But not the Hebrews. Never the Hebrews, not until they lapsed into their backslidden condition. Regardless of their many falls into sin and idolatry, their ancient Scriptures continued to consistently and overwhelmingly refer to their God as a single individual. They had to fight constantly to put forth such a view, since all other nations believed they could not be more wrong (“You one god morons!”).

         Thanks to the Hebrew remnant, the truth of One God was preserved. We now can refer back to these historical documents and we even know when they were given. Suffice it to say that Isaiah the prophet was one of the strongest of voices who gave no quarter regarding this truth, and brought it farther along than perhaps any other prophet since the prophet Moses. And it was Moses who gave us Deuteronomy 6:4 as quoted above.

         Also, we must keep in mind that the purveyors of God’s great truths—the Old Covenant Hebrew prophets—were most often rejected and castigated by their own people. The ancient Hebrews put Moses through hell. Many of the Hebrew prophets were murdered by other Hebrews. They were often treated like garbage. Yet they held fast and proclaimed the truth of God come hell or high water, or a posse with a hanging rope.

         Now, it is one thing to attribute to God the fact that He is one, but it is quite another to refer to that same God as the coming Messiah, which is exactly what Isaiah did. Isaiah made the claim that a Messiah would come—A Human Being—A Man—and that this Man would be God Himself, otherwise known as YHWH or the Great “I AM.”

         That’s pretty bold.

         And it pretty much destroys a later man-made doctrine, a doctrine formulated through bypassing the heart and spirit and by banking on mere substandard mental processes with zero revelation from God in an attempt to make everything jibe with regard to philosophical reasoning, existing tradition, and man’s very limited intelligence.

         Isn’t this exactly what the brilliant Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman priests and philosophers did in their completely failed but accepted attempt to proclaim deity?

         It was these brilliant religious men, beginning with the ancient Sumerians 5,000 years ago who invented what were later referred to by the Romans as “triads,” in which the three most powerful and popular gods were lumped together into a single entity. Every ancient pagan religion had their triads, and the membership of each often changed with the blowing wind.

         But the ancient Hebrews knew for a fact that all those brilliant pagan theologians of the ancient world had no idea who God really was. The Hebrews knew who their God was, and they knew He was THE God and the ONLY God. He proved this many times by all the miraculous things He did for the tiny nation and by the love He expressed for it.

         The ancient Hebrews also knew who the pagans did know. They knew those guys didn’t just make up all that stuff regarding their religions and all the gods they worshipped. They knew those pagan priests were intimately knowledgeable with the demons who gave them their power and knowledge. And they knew it originated with the rebellion in the Garden.

         The revelation of one God was the most radical belief in all the ancient world and we must give credit where credit is due, to our Lord first in that He founded a people who would initially honor Him, and to the ancient nation of Israel itself for proclaiming Him.

         As a result of YHWH revealing Himself to the Hebrews and by the Hebrews revealing YHWH to the world, the light of God outed the devil for the poser he is. The adversary was exposed. The devil could no longer exclusively deceive everyone that he was the ruler of the Universe. It made possible the removal of the dark cloud in the minds of men that had enshrouded them ever since the eating of the forbidden fruit. This explains all the spiritual warfare since those times, and why much of Christianity has lost that war.

         By the way, if you’re wondering about the title of this article, it was uttered many years ago by a Bible-believing Christian who was first confronted with the fact that Isaiah claimed the Lord Jesus was not only the Son of God and the Messiah, but YHWH. This man had never in his life heard of that verse or any such thing. He got very upset when presented with the clear truth of Scripture as stated in Isaiah 9:6. It was obvious he had more man-made doctrinal teaching than actual Biblical revelatory knowledge, and it seriously messed up his thought process.

         Confronted with God’s truth, and being completely unable to make it fit with what he was convinced was true, the only retort he could come up with was that Isaiah must have been incredibly wrong. Hence, “If Isaiah said that he’s a liar!”

         You don’t suppose Isaiah’s truth also played a role in the Lord’s crucifixion, do you?

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

First Day of Spring and Signs in the Sky: The Awakening Advances

         Today, March 20, 2015, is the actual New Years Day.

         It’s the first day of spring and begins the season of new life.

         It is also a day filled with celestial signs pointing directly to current world events and the American spiritual climate.

         Unlike the frozen spiritual tundra of the great white north where snow continues on Friday (see Tuesday’s post), and where Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles Finney have long since been effectively rousted from their graves and kicked out of town, there are actually places in America where the Lord Jesus is honored and obeyed.

         Regarding the former reference, John WyCliffe (c.1324-1384), the Morning Star of the Reformation and the man who first translated the Bible into English, suffered much persecution in his life but also in death. This may be difficult to fathom but hatred for this man’s work by the Roman Catholic Church was so intense that forty years after his death, his remains were exhumed from his grave, crushed, burned, and scattered in the River Swift.

         Has not the same happened to the work and reputations of the men mentioned above? And of course, to the Lord Jesus Himself?

A NEW SEASON

         Regarding today, the day is otherwise known as the vernal equinox. On this day the planet levels out in its tilt as it does twice each year—it is the time when the most direct rays of the sun fall on the equator. In March, it signals the end of winter darkness and the beginning of the shift toward ever more direct sunlight for the Northern Hemisphere.

         Spring officially arrives at 5:45pm Central Daylight Time on Friday.

         But this is only the beginning of the beginning.

         There are many other celestial events taking place. Their simultaneous occurrences make this an extremely rare day and portend major change on the cyclical front.

A NEW LUNAR CYCLE

         In addition to the first day of spring, March 20th is also the day of a new moonthe beginning of a new lunar cycle. The new month officially began at 4:36am CDT early Friday morning. It is relatively rare to have a new moon on the same day as the beginning of spring.

         Yet, we’re only getting started. These events also signal the beginning of yet another cycle, one which corresponds to dovetailing the sun and moon into a workable calendar:

         235 lunar cycles (months of 29.53 days) fit almost exactly into 19 solar cycles (years). This period of 19 years is what some ancient cultures, including the Hebrews, used in their lunar-solar calendars, which incorporate:

(1) 7 years of 13 months (intercalary years) for a total of 91 months, and

(2) 12 years of 12 months totaling 144 months.

         These combine for a total of 235 months in an overall 19-year calendar which links the movements of the moon with the movements of the sun. Here’s the math:

         365.24220 (days in a solar cycle)  x   19 years   = 6939.60180 days

           29.53059 (days in a lunar cycle) x 235 months = 6939.68865 days

         (This is a mere difference of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 4 seconds over the 19 years. Pretty close.)

         But wait! There’s more!

FIRST DAY OF THE HEBREW MONTH OF NISAN

         Friday, March 20th is also the first day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar! This is an extremely important day and has great significance in both Hebrew history and in the life of the Lord Jesus.

         Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.” [Exodus 12:1-2] [1]

         Nisan 1 is the first day of the first month of the festival, or ecclesiastical year. Most of the springtime Biblical feasts occur during this month. It was the exact day the tabernacle in the wilderness was first erected. It was also the month when our Lord died and rose from the dead.

         [Please see the links following this article regarding the month of Nisan for much more detailed information on the prophetic events of this season.]

A NEW SUPERMOON

         Along with these preceding events, the new moon beginning on Friday morning is also a supermoon, meaning that the moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit and must also be either full or new (in this case new and thus completely dark). (When a supermoon is full it appears approximately 15% brighter.)

         But wait! There is still more!

A NEW TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

         On this same day, March 20, 2015, a total solar eclipse took place as the new supermoon passed directly between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out the Sun’s light. The eclipse began about 3am CDT.

         The full eclipse was mostly visible in the northern Atlantic and far northern Europe. It ended over the North Pole. Scotland experienced about a 95% darkening of the Sun, Germany 82%, and Italy about 50%. A partial eclipse was seen in Europe, North Africa, north-central Asia, and the Middle East. The eclipse was not visible in America, however.

         How rare is it when a total solar eclipse happens on the first day of spring? It’s relatively very rare, in that the last one to occur happened in the year 1662. That’s 353 years ago. However, there will be other spring equinox-total solar eclipses in the near future, the next one in 19 years and two more, strangely enough, at 19-year intervals in 2034, 2053, and 2072. These are repeating 19-year cyclical events normally happening in sets of four or five.

         As it happens, we had a 353-year period from 1662-2015. This will be followed by three 19-year periods in succession, 2015-2034, 2034-2053, and 2053-2072 which also correspond to the 19-year celestial lunar-solar calendars.

FIVE CONCURRENT CELESTIAL SIGNS

         The supermoon occurring at the same time as a total solar eclipse is more of a rarity than the spring equinox-total solar eclipse happening concurrently. That all three happen on the same day is exceptionally rare. And when the other events happen as well, with all their individual spiritual portents, this is a rare time indeed and very much worth paying full attention to and praying about, especially regarding the Great Awakening.

         Wow. Almost done.

SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE—WHAT TO WATCH FOR

         Regarding the number 19, it is the 8th prime number, and 8 is the Biblical number of resurrection and regeneration, and a new beginning. This is a great number, and a highly spiritual number with regard to spiritual awakenings. Keep in mind that the Lord’s resurrection could only happen after His death, and that spiritual awakenings only happen after much repentance, which is representative of death.

         Great Awakenings are always associated with persecution as well.

         The number 19, however, rather than the joy of number 8, is a different story. It is associated with rebellion and judgment, as well as spiritual trials and suffering. According to noted Bible scholar E.W. Bullinger, it is a number connected with Eve and Job. Putting these two numbers together at this time when so many rare celestial and spiritual events are occurring only furthers the proof that we are sailing into uncharted seas.

         NOW WATCH THIS: Early Friday morning in the pre-dawn darkness, the moon became new, meaning that it was completely blacked out from receiving the light of the Sun.

         It then passed in front of the Sun from our viewpoint here on Earth, completely blacking out the light of the Sun.

         Associated with these two black-out events will be the last waning hours of the season of winter, a season noted for cold and darkness. Death arrives for the winter of 2014-15 at 5:45pm CDT on Friday evening.

         Then, a second later, just as a new morning follows the end of night, the resurrection life of a new season will spring forth! At that point the darkness of the solar eclipse will be history. The moon will start gaining more light on its way to becoming full.

         A new Day will dawn, and with it we will cast off the cobwebs and deadness of a long winter’s sleep.

         The same will happen in the spiritual world, known very well by our real Christian forebears of the first century, and also by those courageous men mentioned above.

         Regardless of cold hearts and unreal brethren, the Awakening advances.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

New England’s Avalanche of Apostasy: Snowing Over the Pilgrim’s Progress

         The northeast has had an exceptionally snowy winter. And it’s not over yet. Residents have experienced cold and snow way beyond the norm in an ongoing series of repeated winter storms and blizzards blowing in with gale force winds, much of it concentrated on the inner coastal areas of New England.

         The city of Boston has set new all-time snowfall records. The area’s snowfall is greatly out of proportion compared to other usually more prolific geographic snowy spots known for large accumulations and relatively high averages. Is all this random?

         Boston set a new season snowfall record on Sunday, measured from July 1 to June 30, with just over 9 feet to date. This had never happened before in official recorded history. The city also set by a large margin a new all-time winter record, and destroyed the previous monthly record with 64.9 inches in February, eclipsing the old mark of 43.3 inches set in January of 2005.

         The official measurements date back to roughly 1870. Unofficial record-keeping dates to the 1700s. There is no way to know for sure what the actual records are from the time of Boston’s founding, but residents of the Boston greater metropolitan area, which adds up to about 7.6 million people including commuters, have seen the record snowfall firsthand and generally refer to this as the worst winter in memory.

         Boston was founded in 1630. It could certainly be the case that the new official records were exceeded in all that time, but comparing the snowfall totals of the last 145 years gives a good indication that the current snowfall has been decidedly extreme. The previous annual record was set two decades ago. The snowfall is increasing at what appears to be an exponential rate with new records being set at shorter intervals.

         Adding this to all the other strange weather patterns happening in recent years all across the country tells us something is up. Other records are being broken as well. There is no comparable data for many of these events in recorded history and therefore no portent of what is to come, but it does not look good.

THE ARRIVAL OF THE PILGRIMS

         And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. [Daniel 2:21-22 KJV] [1]

         In 1620, the English Separatist Christians, also known as the Pilgrims, landed at Plymouth Rock. They were the first English settlers in the region and founded Plymouth Colony, the second colony in America.

         These believers had suffered greatly for their faith while in England, and even had to flee to the European continent to escape persecution before coming to America. The Separatists had withdrawn completely from the English state church—the Anglican—many decades before, due to strong beliefs in pure New Covenant teachings. They paid for it severely. Many lost their lives and were imprisoned long before later brethren made it to these shores.

         There is confusion regarding the many denominations of the English Reformation of the 1500s, such as the Presbyterians, Puritans, and Separatists, but it was the latter group that the Lord had chosen to get to New England first.

         The Puritans were relative latecomers to America and had always insisted on keeping one foot in the official Anglican Church. They proved their lack of resolve by not only succeeding in avoiding much persecution, but also waiting for others to do the heavy lifting and putting forth a strong witness. Once the ocean highway was built by the pioneering Pilgrims they began infiltrating Plymouth Colony and the Boston area in droves.

         Thirteen years before the Pilgrim landing, in 1607, it was the Anglicans who began the first English settlement on the American continent, but this was to the south in Jamestown, Virginia. The Jamestown settlement experienced great hardship and was actually abandoned briefly in 1610. It had a purely economic motive rather than the spiritual motive of Plymouth.

         Regarding New England, though the Separatists were obviously the group closest to the heart of the New Covenant and the Gospel, they were soon overrun by all the others who later ventured to America. Still, they laid the initial spiritual foundation. The Puritans overlaid the Pilgrim’s foundation with their own, which included an ecclesiastical culture and governance, much legalism, and the aforementioned connection to the hybrid high church Anglican assembly. Nevertheless, there was a strong Christian presence in the New England colonies overall and the Puritans eventually distanced themselves from the Church of England.

THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING

         The first American Great Awakening began a century later in late 1734 in Northampton, Massachusetts in a small church community led by Jonathan Edwards. It eventually spread like the proverbial wildfire throughout the northern colonies and later as far south as Georgia. This proved to unite many of the members of the various denominations, though the old school Christians fought the revival tooth and nail. The Awakening proved to be the initial unifying force of the young confederation of colonies that a few decades later rebelled against harsh English rule and won independence in the American Revolution.

         It must be noted that the Revolution against the English throne had achieved in the secular what the Separatists had achieved in the Spirit. Both parties made the decision to risk everything and attempt an impossible goal. Both were driven by something otherworldly beyond the natural scope. Without those strong disciples of the Lord a century and a half before the Declaration of Independence was signed—those who were willing to risk it all in bringing the Gospel to a new continent—there would have been no American Revolution, no freedom, and all the blessings of God made possible since.

THE SECOND GREAT AWAKENING

         The Second American Great Awakening in the early 1800s spread rapidly primarily under the preaching of Charles Finney beginning about 1825. The next ten years were his most active as a revivalist. Again, God’s choice was not conventional. Though a Calvinist, he rejected much of the Old Divinity Calvinism, and preached against strict Predestination, proving that the doctrine of some people being born for heaven and others for hell to be heretical.

         Finney caught much flak from his detractors during his ministry. He was a strong advocate of preaching against sin and demanded repentance, exactly as had the Lord Jesus and the early believers. Jonathan Edwards had done the same. Both of these men were humble and unpretentious. Both fought against great odds. Both were seen as odd.

         Finney preached thousands of messages in revivals throughout his life and also founded Oberlin College in Ohio. His revivals were primarily located in upper New York state and Manhattan.

         The First Great Awakening of Jonathan Edwards’ time had spread throughout New England, New York, and Pennsylvania.

         The Separatists Pilgrims had established Plymouth Colony, which at its height covered most of the southeastern part of what is now the state of Massachusetts. This colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

         There is no doubt that great spiritual happenings were a matter of course for the greater New England and northeast region. The people there had been abundantly blessed by God. Later history, however, reveals the unfolding of a spiritual disaster.

SPIRITUAL SNOWSTORM?

         What has happened to the great Christian presence in the Northeast? In the region where great revival fires spread and untold numbers of people were saved there is now a general spiritual coldness, distance from God, and a growing hatred of real Christianity. As the record snowfalls of Boston portend, the hearts of millions have grown cold in an ever increasing spiritual snowstorm.

         Could the snow records be a sign? Could it be that the record snowfall is a clear indication of the great apostasy of the region?

         Boston’s snowfall record goes back to the beginning of official record keeping in about 1870. Charles Grandison Finney died in 1875. Coincidence? How could a place with such a powerful Christian spiritual history become the very opposite at present? What is the cause of the northeastern states’ descent into such a freezing cold spiritual condition?

         In looking once again at the impossible journey of the Separatist Pilgrims almost 400 years ago and the great spiritual foundation they set, and also at not one but two powerful Great Awakenings that shook the northeastern part of the country, it should give all believers serious pause over what can happen when people drift away from God. The spiritual temperature in the region is matching the frigid winter lows but remains constant all year long, and has resulted in a relative spiritual ice age.

         Keep your seeing eyes peeled. After just witnessing the greatest all-time snowfall upon the exact land claimed for God by the Separatists four centuries ago, there are not only warnings to be heeded but signs to be sighted.

         Something tells me the present early stages of the Great Awakening will not be having any breakouts out in Boston.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Christian TV: Entertaining Actors Unaware

         Many billions of dollars have been spent on Christian television over the last few decades with little overall effect on the spiritual condition of the country, though a few have greatly benefitted.

         By this it should be obvious that money never drives real revivals and actual spiritual awakenings. Neither do popular personalities. Great Awakenings are always brought forth by the Lord Jesus through very humble people on a grassroots level, often with minimal financial support.

         Appearing on major Christian television networks, these major personalities have major backing by tens of thousands of people who support each of them unequivocally. In essence, these personalities are idolized.

         They are never questioned. Their backers have long since been persuaded by the demands of their religious culture to be silent and absolutely supportive. Their backers have been taught to believe that these personalities are standing right next to God Himself, are spiritually special, and are “God’s anointed.” Maybe some are.

         Television is the perfect medium for these personalities. However, before they could ever appear on television, they must have first proved to be able to gather large crowds of solid supporters who never question anything they do or teach, though the majority of these personalities do not teach the fullness of the New Testament.

         Here is a sign—a clear disclosure for anyone with eyes to see.

         How is it that these personalities do not typify and better represent the example of the Lord Jesus as clearly illustrated in the Gospels? They do not seem to look like the Lord Jesus or any of the original apostles and disciples of the Lord. In fact, they sometimes present themselves as the complete opposite.

         In further fact, some of them by their very example apparently live by the motto, in referring to the Lord Jesus, “He must decrease while I must increase.”

         Uh Oh.

WHO’S FOLLOWING WHO?

         In order to be successful, they had to create not disciples of the Lord Jesus, but their own followers. Their followers are not necessarily followers of the Lord and are usually not His disciples. Why? Because it is obvious that the Lord Jesus is not their primary focus and that they do not answer to the Lord but to these personalities they have chosen to be their leaders.

         Once these personalities have gained a substantial following, they are allowed to be on television because television programs can only be successful if people watch. Having a built-in following already insures that a sizable amount of market share can be gained and can be used to build upon.

         Some prove to be not quite ready for primetime. Some fail their opportunity. It could be because they are too honest and too real.

         Others, however, fit the television medium perfectly. As a result, they are followed by even greater numbers of people, huge market share is gained, and donations rise exponentially. These people are thus gold to the network. They are what make the network successful.

         Remember how the Lord Jesus described Himself? If one wants an accurate description of the Lord, it can be found in the following:

         “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:29-30]

         Also, remember how He was kicked out of the synagogues and was fought by organized religion? And how the religious elites and controllers of His day hated Him? And how they finally had enough when He cleaned out the money makers from the temple?

         Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple.

         And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS?’ But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”

         The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching. [Mark 11:15-18]

         This account adds to the former description of the Lord Jesus. From it we can see that in addition to being gentle and humble in heart, He can also astonish people and make religious leaders afraid of Him.

BRAZEN IMAGES

         The Lord would probably not have been so effective within the deemed requirements of the present Christian television medium. Here’s why:

         People do not want television to reflect reality—even “reality shows” are at least partially scripted (fake). People want television to be entertaining, including Christian television. They want it to reflect fantasy. They want it to be a hyped-up, better-than-this-world, fictional adaptation of reality. And because these major Christian television personalities had already proven themselves to be entertaining showmen by the performances they put on in their churches every Sunday, it makes it possible for them to do the same on television.

         It takes much training to look at a television camera and talk to it as if one were talking to another person. Some are not so good at this. There are television news readers, usually local, who have not quite mastered the concept. They talk to the camera well enough to have their job, but they do not appear so convincing. When a person watches them one can see that the news readers in question are certainly looking at the camera but appear to be talking to the camera instead of talking to the television viewers.

         Major Christian television personalities do not do this. They have mastered the craft of appearing sincere while talking to a camera either with an audience or virtually alone in a studio. If they can get people to identify with them and watch them and listen to them intently as if they were actually talking directly to the person watching on television, then they have mastered the art of communicating through the medium of television.

         This mastered art makes them primarily actors, not preachers of the gospel.

         And everyone knows that the best actors are those who give the most convincing performance.

         “…But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments.

         “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men…” [Matthew 23:5-7] [1]

         During the Lord’s time, the chief religious actors were the Pharisees. How do we know this? Because the Lord Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, and the meaning of the word hypocrite is, “an actor, a stage player, a dissembler, and a pretender.”

         According to the major Christian television networks that exist because of these major Christian personalities, (1) Image is everything, and (2) Biblical truth is not as important as monetary success and maximum viewership.

REAL CHRISTIANS DON’T GO TO CHURCH TO HAVE CHURCH—THEY ARE THE CHURCH

         It is obviously the same with many churches and denominations. It takes large amounts of money to make a religious enterprise work. It takes the purchase of real estate, much of it very high value. It takes the building of large very expensive structures. It takes the paying of very good salaries. Christians are conditioned to believe that Christianity simply cannot work or function without the preceding and without very large amounts of cash.

         To that end, congregants and adherents of their respective denominations must be put upon to constantly support the enterprises with much time and much money, though most of the money goes to mere material outlays and most of the time is spent going back and forth several times a week attending the “services” in the buildings we call “churches.”

         The Lord Jesus never bought real estate for ministry purposes.

         He never built a church building.

         He never commanded the building of church buildings.

         Neither did any of His original disciples.

         The first official church buildings were built three hundred years later.

         Therefore, one must attempt to figure out how something so foreign to the Lord and the first Christians had become traditionally indispensible to later church folk. What spirit is being honored here? Who are these people trying to impress?

         The Lord Jesus spent most of the donated ministry funds on everyone and everything but Himself. He purposely put Himself at the very end of the line in the use of ministry funds and allowed Himself only the very barest of the bare necessities.

         Pharisees did the opposite. Major Christian Television Personalities often do the opposite. Many church leaders often do the opposite.

         Rather than obeying the Lord Jesus, they have joined the “successful ministry profession,” and simultaneously the “religious acting profession,” since you can’t have one without the other. Both require large amounts of money, so the raising of money through any means possible is vitally necessary to the existence and maintenance of both professions, and has become a ministry of its own.

         That’s why there are “religious telethon ministers” whose primary duty is to raise cash by manipulating as many people as possible using any means possible to get as many donations as possible.

         On top of all this, the owners and purveyors and on-camera personalities of these enterprises use fear tactics against anyone who might question the necessity of their enterprises and the sincerity of its movers and shakers. Those who don’t go along with their shenanigans are attacked and labeled as something ungodly, which is another great trick of the devil.

         The Pharisees used this exact trick on the Lord Jesus many times—“If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” [Matthew 10:25]

         Remember, the above dynamic involved an attack by institutional, traditional, mammon-serving religious leaders and their followers against the Son of God, who appeared as a total radical by comparison. The amount of conviction He brought to them by His perfect example was off the scale.

YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON

         Because correct teaching is deemed less important to the enterprise and is even frowned upon since it tends to greatly decrease market share, mass viewership, and especially potential donations, the major Christian television personalities only engage in what is popularly accepted by the majority since that is where the money comes from.

         They also bow at the altar of all-inclusiveness by accepting non-believers and legitimizing “Christian” cults. They stay away from divisive issues, both social and political, but most often never address any strongly convicting New Covenant truths that are sure to cause problems with their real agenda.

         Every good business owner knows the customer is always right and one must always honor the clients that make one’s business successful. That is why many ministers know one should never tick off the donor base. And whoever has the most money to donate and influence to grant, regardless of their spiritual condition, must be doted on and given a greater stake in the organization and interaction with those at the top of the pyramid.

         Regarding such behind the scenes actions, the truth is usually not possible, whether it concerns real intentions and motivation, or why they shy away from preaching the full Gospel. They appear as seasoned politicians, expertly deflecting everything beyond the script with sincerity and smiling faces, knowing that as long as they have their financial backers everything will be fine. As a result, they are rendered largely untouchable regardless of scandal or the hint of one. Most may be as honest as possible within a not so spick-and-span industry, but many are at least guilty by association.

         And instead of rebuking those among their ranks who are involved in questionable behavior and refuse to toe the New Covenant mark, they rally to the side of the guilty parties who sometimes remain unrepentant. They know the light may be shining on them one day and they’ll need the support of their allies.

         Quiet on the set.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

UPDATE (3/13/15): The AP reports that a major Christian television personality, a man who claims he can garner $100,000 for a speaking engagement, needs your help. He needs $65 million dollars for a new luxury jet. Seriously, I do not make this stuff up…

The Perfect Law of Liberty: Our God-Given Rights

         And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,

         “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”

         And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

         And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” [Luke 4:16-21]

         Though there are many proofs of real Christianity, and though the Gospel accounts, the Book of Acts, and the New Covenant letters reveal very clearly these many proofs, it has not stopped the enemy from denying them.

         The greatest proofs of real Christianity are Freedom:

         “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” [John 8:36]

         And Liberty:

         Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [2Corinthians 3:17]

         Yet, the deceiving words of the devil as spoken to Eve against the freedom and liberty of the Lord are always in play: “Indeed, has God said?” [Genesis 3:1] [1]

THE TRUTH AND THE LIE

         Of course, God has certainly said, but it is just as certain that the devil is a bald-faced liar. He lies as a matter of course. His game is all about illusion and deception, saying one thing but meaning another, promising one thing and doing another, and having a veritable field day with the gullible and ignorant. He is also a hater of freedom and liberty, loves absolute control, and the last thing he wants is for Christians to be free, to think free, and to live free.

         But not so with God. The Lord Jesus is into liberty, not slavery. Unlike the devil and his fallen ones, God never uses force to make people behave or adhere to His curriculum. Real Christianity is completely voluntary. And unlike the faux bros, the Lord Jesus does not demand that we all sit down, shut up, and do what we are told. Whoever advocates for such is advocating against God and is in league with the enemy.

         Though it is definitely the case that the devil will twist Scripture and use his twisted versions for his own illicit purposes, it is always for the purposes of enslavement.

         Prior to the corruption of humanity and of the principles of freedom, God created people to be free. He founded a document in the form of His Living Word that was later committed to paper. The Word of God is a document that advocates for the liberty of all, though only a few actually believe it and apply it correctly.

         Everyone else uses the Indeed, has God said? version. 

GOD-GIVEN INALIENABLE RIGHTS

         After James Madison wrote the United States Constitution, some of the representatives objected that there was nothing within the document that spelled out the basic rights of Americans. Others said our basic rights were spelled out in general terms within the Constitution itself, though not mentioned literally and specifically.

         But this was objected to on the basis that legal rights cannot be implied and must be codified. These objectors insisted that individual liberties and prohibitions on government power must be listed in clear language.

         The objectors got their way. The proponents of liberty won the day. As a result, we have the first Ten Amendments to the United States Constitution, which are still very much in force today, and are otherwise known as The Bill of Rights.

         These are God-given rights (not government-given, a devil-inspired notion), and are lawfully possessed by all citizens of the USA.

         And though these individual rights are often disparaged, reduced, limited, lied about, removed, and even destroyed, such attacks always originate from the haters of liberty and thus, the haters of God.

         We are living in a time when the attacks upon liberty and clear violations of our Constitutional rights are continually ramping up ever higher without present remedy, and those responsible are in collusion and emboldened by a decided lack of resistance among the citizenry.

         One must never forget that freedom was paid for with blood. Our Lord Jesus paid the ultimate price for our spiritual freedom. Our American forebears, the greatest patriots, also gave their lives for every freedom listed in The Bill of Rights. Our liberty has not come cheap. If one wants freedom, one must live for it and fight for it. It is apparent that we must learn this truth yet again. It is each generation’s responsibility.

         It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. [Galatians 5:1]

         If we want to keep our God-given rights, we must claim them and use them, or we will certainly lose them.

THE BILL OF RIGHTS

AMENDMENT 1

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

AMENDMENT 2

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

AMENDMENT 3

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

AMENDMENT 4

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

AMENDMENT 5

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

AMENDMENT 6

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

AMENDMENT 7

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

AMENDMENT 8

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

AMENDMENT 9

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

AMENDMENT 10

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Empire Strikes Back: Obstructing the Awakening

         “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]

.

         I wrote the following on a friend’s blog recently:

         Repentance always precedes individual salvation.

         National repentance always precedes national Great Awakenings.

         Speaking the real Word of God reveals truth,

                  Which reveals sin,

                  Which causes one to see their sin,

                  Which brings on repentance.

         Real Christians must have the courage of their convictions and beliefs and speak forth because preaching, teaching, speaking forth, and writing about the truth begin the entire process.

         Otherwise, repentance never happens, people remain spiritually blind, unregenerate, believe lies, are deceived, and die in their sins.

         Regarding truth, who else is going to reveal the truth of God’s Word but real Christians?

.

REPENTANCE ANYONE?

         Since the driving force of every personal salvation or Great Awakening is repentance, two of the main reasons hindering the current Great Awakening in America are:

(1) The very sad fact that mass numbers of Christians in America are guilty of pure idolatry in several forms but mainly because of the ridiculous worship of vain Christian “leaders” past and present rather than worship of the Lord Jesus, and

(2) A complete, utter, total, and stubborn refusal to repent of the many questionable and/or what should be obvious false teachings and beliefs of said “leaders,” as well as the acceptance of historical and current false narratives which serve to put many Christians in bondage, blind them to the truth, and weaken their resolve, which makes them anti-disciples and followers of frauds rather than the Lord.

         False doctrine within general Christianity has always been a plague from the very beginning, and we have the apostle Paul’s writings to attest to the fact that false doctrine existed then and would greatly increase:

         For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.

         No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

         Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. [2Corinthians 11:13-15]

         I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. [Acts 20:29-30]

IGNORANCE IS BLISS

         Americans love their denominations and man-made doctrines which would otherwise be obvious as such but are instead hidden in plain sight. They are hidden because many Christians, on their own respective planets, have become convinced that what they have is the best that can possibly be though it consistently fails to pass the evidence of truth test, and have become satisfied with substitutes and counterfeits and thus weak toward further searching because:

         (1) Many Christians have been hoodwinked (brainwashed) into believing things that are not true for the sake of an ulterior agenda by false Christian “leaders,” and

         (2) Many Christians do not have the courage to stand up for and speak out on the actual truth of God’s Word for fear of being seen as a deviant among their religious culture and rejected by it, and

         (3) Many Christians are invested up to their eyeballs in a false narrative and most fail to acknowledge this or leave their organizations that push false doctrine even after they know or suspect it is false doctrine, because to leave or acknowledge the false doctrine or confront their false “leaders” would cause them to lose their entire investment in the enterprise which many people have spent a lifetime establishing.

         This is why those who are most invested are those who are least likely to repent and get right with God, which is exactly why the Lord said prostitutes and tax-collectors would get into His kingdom long before any clergyites or their followers.

OBSTRUCTION—CONVICTION

         Until the hindering and obstructing “Christians” in this country have the guts to admit they are wrong about so many false beliefs created by unspiritual false “leaders” whom they follow instead of the Lord Jesus and their resultant watering-down and making of no effect the Word of God, their stubborn lack of repentance will slow, hinder, and restrict the Great Awakening process until they finally surrender to the truth or quit on God (I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot…”).

         But since the Great Awakening has already begun, it is also the fact that a very powerful and strong conviction is presently in the works for the sins of “Christian” idolatry, laziness, lack of discipleship, worldliness, being sold out to the serving of mammon, a refusal to preach the truth, fearing for one’s social, cultural, family, or church standing, looking out for number one, and an overall dissing of the Lord Jesus, His teachings, and the full truth He longs to bring forth.

         My warning to all who claim to be Christians living in America at present is—JUDGMENT BEGINS WITH THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD.

         For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? [1Peter 4:17-18]

         We are past the point of the Lord being patient with fence-sitting clergy-following “Christians” to any further degree. He has great plans and is determined to make them happen. The pressure to conform to His truth is ramping up. It is time to choose sides. That which is hindering is being exposed.

         But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

         For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” [Ephesians 5:13-14]

         Repentance is the only answer and will serve as the only form of relief.

         And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

         “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

         “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

         “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

         “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 18:9-14] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Remember the Alamo

Image Via Wikipedia

         In the pre-dawn darkness 179 years ago this morning, the courageous defenders of the Alamo were attacked and eventually overwhelmed by thousands of Mexican troops after a thirteen-day siege.

         They knew what was coming but defended their ground. Expecting major reinforcements early on, they all came to realize with each passing day that less than sufficient support would come to San Antonio, yet they realized they still had a direct role to play in the fight for Texas independence.

         In what is considered “A Masterpiece of American Patriotism,”[1] Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis penned the following:

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World:

Fellow citizens & compatriots—I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken—I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch—The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country—Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis

Lt. Col. comdt

P.S. The Lord is on our side—When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn—We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels & got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.

Travis

         A mere fifty-five years after the battle of Yorktown in which American Patriots defeated the British and won the Revolutionary War, the battle of the Alamo is the most celebrated event of the Texas Revolution.

         It represented a sacrificial fight for liberty in that every defender gave his life fighting against incredible odds. Greatly outnumbered, the men fought courageously and valiantly against the forces of an arrogant little dictator whose hubris later caused him to lose a vast and rich territory to men fighting for liberty, much like those of the earlier Revolutionary War.

         The Battle of the Alamo allowed for the gathering of Texian forces to the east under the authority of Sam Houston and bought time for a final victorious battle against Santa Anna on April 21st at San Jacinto, east of Houston, where Texas independence was won and the Republic was born.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Historian Mary Deborah Petite

THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD IRANIAN

         By some current estimates there are over 400,000 Christians in Iran. Past estimates from a few years ago put the number at about 100,000. Regardless of exact figures, it is a fact that there is a burgeoning underground house church movement in Iran and it is growing stronger every day. It is relatively new but growing fast.

         Most Christians in the West do not know this or consider it, but God is certainly doing a powerful work in that country. The core of this movement is composed of former Muslims, who, even though they know it is against the law to convert to Christianity are doing it anyway. It often costs them everything, even their lives.

REVOLUTION IN IRAN

         The pro-west Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, had been in power in the country since a 1953 coup d’état sponsored by the UK and the US. He was later overthrown by the internal Iranian Revolution of 1979. At that time, there was a sudden rise in America of extreme hatred for Iran.

         During the revolt, several American Embassy workers had been taken hostage by said revolutionaries. Ted Koppel started doing reports each night on what became known as the hostage crisis and these reports eventually turned into the news program Nightline which continues today.

         Amid all the hatred and the derogatory references to the “evil Islamists,” or “rag heads,” a new perspective was formed in America. A dividing line was crossed, and this dividing line even included Christians. Because of the Iranian Revolution it became culturally acceptable and even patriotic to hate not only Palestinians due to their clash with Israelis, but Iranians and Muslims in general.

         I remember a popular song parody back then, sung to the tune of “Barbara Ann” by the Beach Boys:

         We never bombed Iran then, but according to the way the US Congress and Senate were cheering Benjamin Netanyahu and giving him repeated standing ovations two days ago, the bombing looks to commence shortly.

         I mention all this because America can trace its current dislike of Muslims back to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Of course, the new leaders of Iran hated America also and referred to it as “The Great Satan.”

         Those were fighting words.

         The world has never been the same since.

         Three years ago I wrote a couple of articles called The Christian-Muslim Hate Fest. You can find the links at the end of this article.

OF SOVEREIGN NATIONS AND WORLD EMPIRE

         Geopolitics is a very complicated thing and changes on a daily basis. Riding herd on such is often impossible. Every nation has its own agenda and must fight to stay alive, stay strong, maintain and increase market share among trading partners, and defend itself. When sovereign nations engage in what they believe is the proper course to take for survival and growth, other nations may disagree. But because trading among nations offers great benefits to trading partners, such partners often put lesser desires aside for the sake of those benefits.

         Diplomacy exists so the leaders of nations can talk things out, hopefully reach agreements, and remain partners. But in mankind’s history it has often been the case that agreements among nations cannot be reached. These nations may choose to simply cut off all trade and leave it that.

         Or they may choose to go to war.

         It has also often been the case that powerful nations who don’t much care about the sovereignty of smaller nations but do covet said nation’s natural resources make ulterior moves to gain said resources. If the smaller nation chooses to not trade, the more powerful nation will simply up the ante and sometimes go to war to attain the resources. This is how empires are built.

         The ancient Romans were masters of this process. In time, increasing their environs became relatively simple for the Romans.          

         They would tell a particular country that it had two choices: “You will either submit or we will destroy you.”

         “If you choose submission and surrender, we will take over your country, become your new rulers, and own everything. We will establish high taxation rates, use your people and resources however we see fit, and add you as conquered foes to our ever-burgeoning world empire.”

         “If you refuse to submit you are choosing to fight us and we will consider that a declaration of war against us. We will respond by killing your best people and enslaving the rest. Then, we will establish high taxation rates, use your people and resources however we see fit, and add you as conquered foes to our ever-burgeoning world empire.”

BREAKUP OF SOLOMON’S KINGDOM

         A thousand years before the Roman Empire in ancient Israel, King Solomon had appropriated similar tactics to build his personal empire, using his own people during what many Christians and Jews see as his glorious reign. Though he established a great monarchy, he also sinned to his heart’s content, which allowed for it’s soon destruction. The great nation of Israel imploded and was divided in two. This was largely because the northern tribes rebelled after Solomon died, seeking to free themselves from his subjugation, though God certainly had a hand in the division and announced it beforehand through a prophet.

         Remember, God never wanted Israel to have a human king in the first place since He was their King, but Israel rejected Him. He told everyone what would eventually happen though, and how their great rebellion against Him and their resultant great sin would destroy them.

         As a result of the division, the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Israel became hated enemies and many wars were fought between them. A couple of centuries after the split, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was attacked and defeated by the Assyrian Empire, and the people were taken captive as slaves and dispersed to other places, using the very tactics later used by the Romans. The Northern Kingdom was no more forever.

         Centuries later, the geographic area of the formerly Northern Kingdom of Israel was divided further by both culture and religion. The northern area became Galilee, where all the original apostles except Judas hailed from and where the Lord Jesus grew up in Nazareth.

         The southern area of the formerly Northern Kingdom became the home of the hated Samaritans who were seen as mixed-breed and half-breed Hebrews, to a greater degree than the Galileans. The Samaritans believed in the Pentateuch as God’s Word, or the first five books of the Law, but did not consider the rest of the Old Covenant. The Samaritans and Galileans had both religious and cultural differences and neither cared for the other.

         To the south of Samaria, the formerly Southern Kingdom of Judah had devolved into Judea and had long since been taken over by kings of other nations. During the Lord’s time all three—Galilee, Samaria, and Judea were ruled by Rome.

         The Judeans, composed largely of the kingly tribe of Judah, the priestly tribe of Levi, and what was left of the tribe of Benjamin, hated the Samaritans. The Judeans considered themselves the only remaining pure Hebrews, or Jews (Judah). The tribe of Judah had always been the dominant tribe among the twelve. It was the tribe of David and Solomon. It was also the tribe of the Lord Jesus.

FIRE FROM HEAVEN

         Late in His ministry, the Lord made plans to travel from the far north in Galilee to Jerusalem, the capital city of Judea to the far south. He would attempt to travel through Samaria:

         When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem.

         When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

         But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” [Luke 9:51-56]

         Right here we see yet another big divide. Why was it okay, many centuries before, for Elijah to call down fire from heaven to consume his enemies but not then? And why did the Lord tell James and John, His own trusted disciples who had been with Him and were taught by Him throughout His ministry, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of?” These men believed in the prophetic writings and certainly revered the prophet Elijah. And Elijah had even appeared with the Lord and Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration.

         Like other things in the Lord’s ministry that departed from what was perceived as the norm, this was a curious statement in the ears of His men. What “spirit” was He talking about? Their belief system at that time had obviously become infused with current cultural beliefs that had no standing in God’s Word or agreement with it. They believed, especially since they did not identify with the Samaritans, that they would be doing the right thing by destroying them with fire from heaven.

         But the Lord said the spirit that inspired them was not the Spirit of God.

         Could it be the same at present with so many Christians wanting to obey a spirit that is not of God? Why is such an attitude accepted and honored even though it violates the teachings of the Lord Jesus? The Lord was obviously more concerned about the Samaritans and their salvation than He was about going to war with them or killing them.

THE GOOD SAMARITAN

         He even taught in one of His parables that it was possible to be a good Samaritan, something most Galileans did not believe and from which the Judeans recoiled in shock and horror, especially when the Lord said the two Judeans in the story, who were otherwise seen as exalted followers of God actually failed God and were instead followers of that “other spirit:”

         Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.

         “And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

         “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

         “On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”

         And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” [Luke 10:30-37] [1]

         There are three types of people in this story:

         (1) Evil robbers who stole the man’s stuff, including all his clothes and beat him almost to death, violating completely the Golden Rule.

         (2) Those religious ones of a high reputation who refused to get involved and help the victim because they were on their way to church and considered their religious practices and reputation of much higher value than helping a fellow human being. Like the robbers, they also completely violated the Golden Rule by refusing to love their neighbor, simply because they did not consider the unfortunate man their neighbor.

         (3) Those who are looked down upon by most of society including religious society but actually perform the will of God, have hearts of compassion and mercy, and obey the commandment to love their neighbor without even seeing it as obedience to a commandment but simply as a natural response to help a fellow human being, regardless of nationality or religion.

         The Lord is not calling for fire from heaven.

         He is calling His people to compassion and mercy.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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FOR FURTHER READING ON THIS SUBJECT SEE THE FOLLOWING SERIES FROM THREE YEARS AGO (FEBRUARY 2012). IT PROVIDES EXCELLENT IN-DEPTH BACKGROUND INFORMATION LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR WAR WITH IRAN. IT ALSO PROVIDES INFORMATION ON IRANIAN CHRISTIANS, THE AWAKENING IN IRAN, AND THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE THEY FIGHT DAILY. PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM:

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 1)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 2)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 3)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 4)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 5)

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THE CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM HATE FEST:

The Christian-Muslim Hate Fest (Part 1)

The Christian-Muslim Hate Fest (Part 2)

Messiah Netanyahu?

         Benjamin Netanyahu, the current and a former Prime Minister of Israel, will address a joint session of Congress today. He has an agenda.

         The agenda is somewhat lost to many since it is couched in the usual deflecting political stage play, complete with a good guy-bad guy theme and the perception of the sheriff in a white hat riding into town to restore sanity and justice. The thespians in question should be credited with a good show so far.

         The underlying agenda, though denied, has everything to do with making sure Mr. Netanyahu is reelected in a couple weeks so ongoing intricate Middle East and world plans work out better than they have to date. There are many very powerful geopolitical undercurrents in play, and the hopes of American Christian Zionists are especially sought.

         According to American Christian Zionists, the nation of Israel, a loyal American ally, is often seen as much more. In fact, some believe there has been much mystery, strange happenings, and even claimed miracles swirling around this nation, and has been ever since the modern state of Israel was created by United Nations decree in November 1947.

         I remember reading about one such claim which supposedly happened during the Six Day War when a mass enemy retreat ensued because they saw a giant Moses many stories tall out in the desert.

         I don’t think there were any Moses sightings at the UN, though. Speaking of which, American Christians in general do not much care for the UN but without it there would be no Israel. But much more than the United Nations, there would certainly never be a modern state of Israel without the direct involvement of the United States of America.

         In addition to the magical mystery tour, American Christian Zionists have also formulated systematic apparent proofs that God is 100% on the side of modern Israel, is always on the side of Israel, and will always be on the side of Israel regardless of anything not so good the nation of Israel ever does.

         (Don’t tell them, but God has secretly been saving Muslims by the tens of thousands for many years now, so it looks as though the Lord Jesus must somehow, inexplicably, love them too.)

         Palestinians are seen by some among American Christian Zionists as mere human chattel always in the way of greater plans, who are hopelessly, to every man, woman, and child, tied in to Middle East terrorism and are obviously so evil it is only pure and right that they should all be wiped out or moved in mass out to the desert or some Muslim country or driven into the ocean and drowned. This thinking supposes that if the poor Palestinians and evil Arabs were not there then Israel, the Middle East, and the world itself would be a much better place. This could not be more racist but has become culturally acceptable.

         Granted, the proponents of Islam are often anti-Christian and sometimes violently anti-Christian, but so is the American left. So are communists and some Hindus. If one chooses to look through a lens of Holy War, as during the Crusades, then sure, “Christians” must go to war. Yet we just got through with Black History Month and the emphasis on Martin Luther King and the non-violent approach he adopted, which worked pretty good. But didn’t the Lord Jesus have the same approach? I know. Too naïve. Like when Ron Paul got booed during the 2012 presidential debates for invoking the Golden Rule.

         To gain the proper perspective without not acknowledging the evil deeds of all, do we need to be reminded that Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, who were responsible for about 100 million deaths last century, were not Muslim? But because all Muslims are seen as the boogyman and the only ones who ever do any evil in the world and are incapable of doing anything good, the ACZs seem to wish that Muslims would all just go away forever.

         Thanks goodness the Lord Jesus has other plans. What these American Christian Zionists apparently don’t know is that underground revivals and much new Christian activity is happening right now in places like Iran, so to destroy Iran is to destroy fellow believers. What if God has plans for Iran like He does with China, which is on track to become a Christian nation? (As it appears at present that America is going in the opposite direction?)

         Because so many in the American Christian Zionist movement equate the modern state of Israel with the ancient nation of Israel that was destroyed in 70AD, they also apparently see these Palestinians and Arabs and Middle Easterners that have been there for a few thousand years as the hated Canaanites and Philistines of ancient times and deserve nothing short of annihilation.

         All nations have the right to defend themselves and in that sense the nation of Israel had every right to fight back against the people of the Gaza Strip last year. The only problem is that the very few people who were doing the attacking from Gaza caused all the thousands of innocents there to suffer disproportionately. For those of us who followed that story and saw the pictures and destruction in Gaza, and the mangled bodies of women and little children who were obviously of no threat, we know there is much more to the story.

         In fact, the majority of those who live in Gaza are scared to death of the organizations controlling it and them, and they know they must remain silent or they will suffer from their own before any Israeli bombs may find them.

         Israel is a sovereign nation. But so is Iran. Israel gained nuclear weapons at least a half century ago but never officially acknowledges them. Many people are convinced that if Iran ever builds its own nuclear weapons they will use them immediately against Israel. I can guarantee you, though, that Israel will never let that happen. They’ve already bombed Iran a number of times and killed some of their nuclear scientists. The Israeli threat to bomb Iran has been going on for many years.

         But even if Iran builds the bomb the odds that Iran would ever use it are almost zero because they have much more to gain by simply having it. It is about 99% more likely that Israel will bomb Iran before Iran ever attacks Israel, so such fears are completely unfounded. Therefore, the current agenda is about something else entirely.

         Middle East history is an extremely complicated story and has been, in its present format, for over a hundred years. Whoever forms strong opinions about what goes on there had better do the necessary study and research in order to get the full truth as best as it can be attained, rather than simply depending on seconds-long sound bites from the major media, or television and church propaganda. If one does not know by now that the major media is bought and paid for and the content coming forth controlled and that most is agenda-driven, then one will certainly never arrive at the full truth and will be deceived.

         It always makes me wonder about the true motivations of such “Christians.” The Lord told us to go out into the world and make disciples. He told us to love everybody. He invoked the Golden Rule. But such is seen by many as hopelessly naïve and ignorant. Governments have their job to do and the Lord’s people have theirs. But the fact at present is that the two have strangely merged, which means it is now culturally acceptable to be a Christian and hate Muslims, or be a Christian and choose war and more war, or be a Christian and feel compelled to support unequivocally a nation that is not Christian rather than their own.

         I am an American. I love my country. I also appreciate Israel as our nation’s ally. However, it concerns me that some American Christian Zionists care more for the nation of Israel than they care for America, their own country. Why do they believe everything in their lives hinges upon how they perceive the modern state of Israel, and that if they don’t honor Israel 100% then God is going to get them? A particular verse of Scripture and others with the same idea has risen to the very top in this regard and is often quoted as one may quote John 3:16 or any of the many New Covenant salvation verses:

         “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” [Genesis 12:3]

         “Cursed be those who curse you, and blessed be those who bless you.” [Genesis 27:29]

         “Blessed is everyone who blesses you, and cursed is everyone who curses you.” [Numbers 24:9] [1]

         Yet, the Lord Jesus states that a person MUST be born again. “Yeah, but that does not apply to Jews,” some say. Yet, the man the Lord was speaking to was a member of the Sanhedrin, and the Lord’s entire ministry was to His own nation! Did they think that the Lord Jesus was not blessing them and was thus cursed? Did it not appear by His death that He was cursed? Did He fail to properly “bless” and respect Israel? Did God get Him?

         There is a decided disconnect here, and such disconnects are usually the results of subversive actions. Let us not forget what the devil told Eve.

         Why do American Christian Zionists believe that God is judging America severely and has judged America severely simply because this nation has apparently done things that did not honor and bless Israel appropriately and properly? American is still giving Israel many billions in aid. Does all that aid for the last sixty-plus years not count?

         I’m not going to go back and review all this stuff, but why have so many of the recent natural disasters in America, such as Hurricane Katrina, mass tornado events, the Gulf oil spill, Hurricane Sandy, the bad economy, and others been blamed entirely on some slight against Israel?

         I’m thinking, wait, hold the phone, America has plenty to be judged by God for without having anything to do with Israel. Evil Middle East terrorists have been stepping up their propaganda campaign by first beheading a few foreigners, then setting a man on fire, then decapitating several Egyptian Christians. These are obviously horrendous crimes and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

         But Americans have been killing innocent babies by the millions for 42 years and very few people care in the least and this is almost never reported, not even by the supposed Christian Conservative voice of America, Fox News. These victims are innocent children who also have the indignity of being referred to as mere globs of tissue but are often sucked out whole and show forth as perfectly formed though tiny little babies. Are the advocates of these mass murders in any way similar to any other types of murderers?

         It would seem to me that if God needed reasons to severely judge America He wouldn’t care so much about whether or not we show a foreign nation proper respect, but target only what this nation does to innocent children.

         Over 50 million. Over 50 million. Over 50 million. Over 50 MILLION. Over 50 MILLION. Over fifty MILLION. OVER 50 MILLION. OVER 50 MILLION. OVER 50 MILLION.

         And of course there are a few other things that God might find cause to judge America for, such as mass pornography, filthy movies and television shows growing more so, an ongoing and increasing glut of adultery and more than half the country sleeping with whoever they want to, whenever they want to, and however they want to in complete and utter violation of every law God ever made concerning such behavior. It was mentioned recently that STDs are way beyond epidemic conditions and cures are running out, as certain bacteria and viruses are increasingly mutating to cheat death, but the bad behavior does not stop.

         Would either of these be enough for God to judge America severely? Well then, how about the fact that Americans continue to vote into office lying cheats and sellouts who only care about themselves and their money masters and basically tell America and Americans to go straight to hell? They are obviously serving mammon and not the citizens whose tax money makes the country work and whose votes put them in office, and they are certainly not serving God. Hate to burst one’s bubble, but these are both Republicans and Democrats and they have been running the country into the ground for a very long time. Otherwise, for example, how does one explain 18 TRILLION DOLLARS OF DEBT?

         You think maybe God is just a little ticked off because lazy voters keep electing evil people?

         Apparently not. All the judgment must be because we do not show Israel the proper deference and respect. One must wonder then, just who the people of God actually are, and why the Lord ever had to die on our behalf. Doesn’t the New Testament make the clear claim that real Christians are the Lord’s people? Is the New Testament wrong? Was the apostle Paul wrong? He wrote about this subject often. I suggest we take a look at some of his work regarding the blessing/cursing of Israel dogma:

         For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. [Romans 2:28-29]

         For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 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. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29]

         According to Paul’s writings, people should actually be blessing real Christians…

         Notwithstanding such New Covenant facts, the Prime Minister of Israel has arrived on these shores and has been played up as a great knight in shining armor, and because American Christian Zionists seem to hate the president of the United States at least as much as they hate Palestinians and Muslims in general, this visit is somehow seen as a momentous event as if God Himself sent Mr. Netanyahu.     

         It might be necessary to point out, though, that Benjamin Netanyahu is not a Christian. He does not honor the Lord Jesus as his Savior. So why do American Christian Zionists honor him as some kind of Savior? I’m sure he’ll have many good things to say. He should be respected as the leader of one of our allied nations. There is the concern, though, that he will end up further influencing this country with his nation’s agenda, and causing American policy to become his own nation’s policy to an even greater degree.

         Israel is an ally in the Middle East, though we have other allies there, most notably Saudi Arabia. But the last time I looked, Israel doesn’t go around beheading people, has a democratic form of government, and allows for a relatively incredible amount of religious freedom in that part of the world. And though there are still spiritual fights going on, Messianic Judaism has also been accepted.

         Nevertheless, Americans better start caring about America. Americans better start caring more about who they put in power. And above all, America better start repenting and obeying the Lord’s commands to love one another, because judgment is definitely here and growing.

         But judgment has not come because America has dissed Israel and Israel can certainly take care of itself. Some remain undeterred, however, and would just as soon make Mr. Netanyahu Mr. President.

         Regarding that which Christians should actually want (like a Great Awakening), wouldn’t it be great if someday an American Bible-believing Spirit-filled real Christian were allowed to address a joint session of Congress? Wouldn’t it be great if the Lord Jesus could?

         That would put things in proper perspective. If only.

         Oy!

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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FOR FURTHER READING ON THIS SUBJECT SEE THE FOLLOWING SERIES FROM THREE YEARS AGO (FEBRUARY 2012). IT PROVIDES EXCELLENT IN-DEPTH BACKGROUND INFORMATION LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR WAR WITH IRAN. IT ALSO PROVIDES INFORMATION ON IRANIAN CHRISTIANS, THE AWAKENING IN IRAN, AND THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE THEY FIGHT DAILY. PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM:

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 1)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 2)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 3)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 4)

Iran In The Crosshairs (Part 5)

The Great Awakening (and Ruined Reputations)

         I have noticed, since I removed my former cheery greeting at top left—“Thank You for Visiting. Your Reputation is Ruined,” with the current greeting, “We’re in the Early Stages of a National Great Awakening”—that it may be possible for ruined reputations to be further ruined.

         Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Your thoughts are welcome.

         Yet, I remember that day in early September of the year 2010, going on five years ago, when I received afresh that particular revelation. I had just begun writing a paper on the subject. I saw it very clearly. I asked friends what they thought, if they saw any evidence of such an event in the making. I asked friends in ministry. No one saw anything.

         But I know what I heard once again, after first hearing it many years before. I wrote about it in Real Christianity, and I recalled so many who had been talking of such for many years and even decades. I was reminded of how the religious people of the Lord’s day missed His arrival completely, and that even His own disciples in the early going had no clue who He was. Even after His death many of them remained clueless for a while. They had to be rigorously shaken out of their slumber and unbelief.

         You might want to pay attention to this because the Great Awakening will not come forth through the medium of unreal Christianity. Indeed such will fight it and will fight whoever is for the Lord Jesus and thus against them.

         This current Great Awakening is being driven by TRUTH.

         The Pharisees of the first century, that is, the organized official front of the most accepted faction of Jewish belief at the time, not only did not see and did not believe, they insisted repeatedly that the Lord was a charlatan and a false prophet. They hated the fact that so many of the people had succumbed to following the crazy man. They also had rejected John the Immerser. In fact, the organized official front of Jewish religious belief at that time rejected anyone and everyone but themselves, and they maintained their power through force and fear.

         The Lord Jesus never did this. Never. He also never went out of His way to collect converts through spurious means or attempted to build anything material in which to house them (though He was formerly a carpenter). John the Immerser never did this either. Nor did the Lord’s disciples.

         Why?

         It should be obvious.

         I remember a popular book of about fifty years ago entitled Black Like Me. It was about a white man, a writer, who wanted to find a way to go undercover to see how black people were actually treated by some white people. He decided to burr his hair and dye his skin very dark and pass himself off as a black man. It worked. He went out on the streets as a black man and what he discovered shocked him. Used to being treated well, he was suddenly treated very badly.

         This is how it was with the Lord. His “people” praise Him from afar but when they actually meet Him and see what He is really all about He gets treated very badly. As I’ve said often on this site, “Christians” are notorious for this, as were the Pharisees as a group notorious for hating everything about Him. Their problem was that their concept of God did not come close to matching up with the real God, the One who actually showed up among them. They continued to honor the concept—the false image—rather than the real Person.

         It is exactly the same with Truth. The Lord Jesus cut right to the heart of the matter concerning truth when He stated very simply but powerfully, “I AM the Truth.”

         And He is, of course. And they murdered Him for it, of course.

         His reality destroyed His enemies’ false conception of truth.

         His teaching destroyed their false teachings and takeoffs on the Torah.

         He came to make everything right and set them straight, but the elites rejected Him. They paid no attention to the real truth. They did not want the truth. They hated the truth. They repeatedly found fault with Him and His teachings. They had been overcome and brainwashed by false doctrine.

         Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why they hated Him so—He was destroying not only their false concepts, interpretations, doctrines, dogmas, and organization, but in the end, began threatening their money.        

         And if there are two things that unreal Christians care about more than anything else, it is (1a) their money, and (1b) their religious reputations, both of which allow for their false organizations, impure teachings, and power to deceive.

         Real Christians may do whatever they want, but according to unreal Christians, they must never reveal truth that destroys untruth accepted, worshipped, and honored as truth, and they must never do anything in any way, shape, or form that may appear as an attack on their religious wealth.

         Hence, reputation and money are MUST HAVES for the unreal brethren if they are to exist in this world (and they are quite arrogant about it), whereas we have the early historical record that real Christians with NO reputation and NO money turned the world on its left ear and managed to convert the brutal Roman Empire.

         And currently, there is such a surfeit of wealth and false doctrine one can hardly breathe without offending an unreal Christian. It again brings to mind what the Lord said about rank sinners getting in the door long before the few religious elites who might manage it. Most will not. Ever. They will go to hell offended with their reputations and money intact.

         He said the following to the chief priests and elders of the people who questioned His authority while He was teaching in the temple:

         “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:31-32]

         This is why the Lord had to up the ante. This is why He took it upon Himself to visit this place directly after having sent so many messengers before Him. They were all killed and rejected. Yes, that’s right. That’s what happened to them. The Lord Jesus said exactly that.

         But would the current inhabitants of the nation whose members claimed to be His followers for so many centuries who killed all the prior messengers also kill Him?

         People who have no love for the truth have no love for the Lord Jesus, because He is the Truth. But until they actually meet Him and discover who He really is, they will think they love Him. They will think they are serving Him. They really believe they have it right. And because of that they must protect their reputation, their religion, and the money they derive from both, because without these they have nothing at all.

         And this is obviously very true. It is why the Lord Jesus demands that we give up all in order to follow Him. We must give up false renditions of His teachings. We must surrender false concepts of His Person. And we must jettison our money and reputations if they keep us from Him.

         He is not out to make us poor. Rather, He is out to rid us of anything and everything that keeps us dependent upon such things and from a close Fatherly relationship with Him, and to that end He was willing to give His life and did. He called this the greatest love. All who are not willing to do the same will automatically accept a substitute and counterfeit whether they want to or not.

         His early disciples learned this and accepted it. They were at once absolutely and completely rejected by everyone else and it would have been a cold lonely life if the Lord had not also commanded them to love one another and be a family. He commanded them to be a loving community doing whatever they could for one another, but to mostly support one another and accept one another and love one another.

         If there is one thing that defines an unreal Christian it is an institutional pronounced lack of this love.

         The more one buys into the ultra-organized, clergy-dominated, religious reputation-insisted upon, wealth-oriented, surface-oriented, control-oriented, and dumbing-down of followers-oriented method of the Christian Pharisees, the more likely one will never know the real truth and consequently be in bondage to lies and deception without ever knowing it.

         Now, with reference to my former greeting on this site, I knew the second I joined up with the Lord Jesus many years ago that my worldly reputation was shot forever, not that I necessarily even had one then, and I had many people, Christian and non-Christian (but mostly Christian) reminding me of it all the time. Should I restore my former greeting?

         Regarding the Great Awakening, we must open our eyes and break out of any restrictive and blinding religious drudgery and routine we may be bogged down in. Some of those I talked to four and a half years ago have since come to agree with me, and claim they are indeed seeing signs. Maybe the signs are subtle. Maybe some are looking for the wrong signs. Maybe some are doing nothing to help bring it forth.

         Remember, those who claimed to know God best before He came here two-thousand years ago were the ones who knew Him the least and not at all. They rejected Him outright. Let’s make sure we don’t fall for someone’s false agenda or false narrative, all of which have to do with the maintaining of power and wealth. But I caution all, if you decide to follow the real Jesus—God with us—the unreal among us will let you know post haste that you’re an idiot, even if all you ever do to incur their wrath is decide to never join their club or to leave their club.

         But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. [Galatians 2:4]

         Oh, and two more things—rather than being packed together like proverbial sardines, real Christians might get used to the social distance incurred upon them because heaven is vast and wide with huge open spaces where no premium is placed upon space restrictions—and real Christians might also get used to the Lord Jesus being in control, in which the first thing He does is grant the freedom to worship and serve Him the right way, the way He placed upon our hearts, which results in a lot of fun and expression, and the freedom to develop into mature disciples never otherwise granted.

         Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [2Corinthians 3:17] [1]

         This is why there is a national Great Awakening in the works. It is His doing not ours. Yet, it is not something He is merely dictating. He is responding to the sincere heartfelt prayers of millions of His people over many decades who desire the truth and spiritual reality. He is pleased that so many have moved on from unfruitful methods, having grown tired from doing things the “right” way but seeing no results, and are determined to live and practice their faith as the originals did—those who turned the blasted world upside down.

         He also responded two-thousand years ago, and at that time it was also to the remnant—and the remnant had it tough in the early going just like He did, and just like real Christians do now—but they prevailed and eventually spread the real Gospel all over the planet.

         This is our current calling as well. We live in a time of anticipation and hope in which so many have given everything and suffered all things to light the way to this point in history.

         Let us hope future generations see us as we see those real and faithful ones who helped bring forth the Great Awakenings of the past.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

♫ Kenneth, James, and Joel ♫

(Sung to the Tune of “Abraham, Martin, and John” © Dick Holler)

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(Sing Along With Above Karaoke)

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♫ Kenneth, James, and Joel ♫

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(0:21)

Has anybody here seen my old friend Kenneth?

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He’s fooled a lot of people

But it seems the fooled, they move on

You know, I just looked around and he’s gone.

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(0:54)

Anybody here seen my old friend James?

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He’s fooled a lot of people

But it seems the fooled, they move on

I just looked around and he’s gone.

.

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(1:36)

Anybody here seen my old friend Joel?

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

He’s fooled a lot of people

But it seems the fooled, they move on

I just looked around and he’s gone.

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(2:03)

Didn’t you wonder about the things that they stood for?

Didn’t they try to make a fool of you and me?

And we’ll never be free

Following them, if we follow them you see…

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(2:29)

Anybody here seen my old friend Francis?

Can you tell me where he’s gone?

I thought I saw him walking up over Vatican Hill

With Kenneth, James, and Joel

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© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Reality of God’s Relational Love: Thus Speaks the Heart (2)

         Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:38] [1]

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         (1) Real repentance is a type of sacrifice. It is also an apology to God. It is the means for gaining the remission of ones sins. The blood of Jesus is applied at repentance.

         It is doing a 180 degree turn-around and walking away from sin and rebellion, and toward the Lord Jesus. Through the expressing of genuine sorrow for one’s sins and especially for one’s sinning against God and one’s distance from God through one’s own willful actions, it allows the Lord to completely cleanse the heart. It allows the Lord Jesus to circumcise the heart and wash away all sin from the heart with His redeeming blood. This is the beginning of the new birth. It is wholly transformational and a complete change in soul status. Repentance is death to the old.

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         (2) New Covenant water immersion is indicative of an outer form of giving one’s self completely to the Lord Jesus and puts Him in charge of the heart. It furthers the remission of sins in the sense that it acknowledges the work achieved by the Lord on the cross, without which the forgiveness of sins would be impossible. The apostle Peter put it this way: …Baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,)… [1Peter 3:21 KJV]

         In the original community of the Lord Jesus this was demonstrated outwardly in public for all to see through water immersion in His Name—the Name of Jesusthe Name above every name. Water baptism is both a burial of the old and then an outward demonstration of resurrection and new life rising and coming forth. By invoking the Lord’s Name, the candidate is demonstrating one’s allegiance to the Lord Jesus and no other. A person states one’s desire to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus and follow Him just as the original disciples did, and become a member of His community the same way they did. If one refuses this immersion and the invoking of the Name of Jesus, how can his or her heart be right toward Him?

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         (3) Once the candidate for inclusion in the Lord’s community has properly repented and has undergone full water immersion to illustrate an outward representation of an inward spiritual change and identify the Lord Jesus as one’s Master and Teacher—once the heart is cleansed and redeemed by His blood and is circumcised—the Lord is enabled to fill the cleansed heart with His Holy Spirit.

         This gift of the Holy Spirit was promised by Peter at Pentecost and is available to all who obey the Lord accordingly. He said it was for every succeeding generation until the Lord’s eventual return for His community. The infilling of the Holy Spirit enables miraculous works and signs. The New Covenant writings are clear that without the evidential miraculous works and signs, there is no actual infilling of God’s Spirit.

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         (4) By cleansing and circumcising the heart through the candidate’s surrender to His authority and power, the Lord Jesus tames the person’s tongue and one’s speech becomes cleansed (see James 3:8).

         This means that all speech flowing from the cleansed heart is as seed from a holy spiritual place rather than the prior sinful place. It is the difference demonstrated by Abel and Cain, in that since Abel was righteous he always made the proper sacrifice. All that came forth from him was spiritually good since he had a good heart toward God.

         And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

         Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” [Genesis 4:2-7]

         Cain could do nothing right spiritually and everything he tried was wrong because his heart was wrong toward God. He had no power with God. God had no regard for his offering. Cain was essentially spiritually worthless. He could never bring forth a proper sacrifice until his heart was right and he never made that choice. Because of this, he substituted dead religion and a mere form of godliness due to his refusal to obey God. This is the highest form of rebellion. Abel is a type of the real Christian. Cain is a type of the unreal Christian.

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         (5) The outward sign of receiving the Holy Spirit into a cleansed, circumcised heart is a yielded tongue—the last member of the body to surrender to the Lord Jesus and the first to demonstrate His indwelling presence.

         As a result, a person’s speech becomes a vehicle for God’s glory and ministry. One’s speech is a person’s most powerful asset and ability in the three-dimensional world. The Lord said we would be judged by every word we say. Unclean speech proves an unclean heart and also proves that the Lord Jesus is not in control. Cleansed speech proves a clean heart, but it must be emphasized that speech without bad words does not necessarily prove a clean heart or indicate the infilling of the Holy Spirit, but speech that is both clean and contains the power of God.

         The early believers were speaking forth miraculous things, such as speaking languages they had never learned, prophesying through the power of God, being used in healing by speaking the Name of Jesus, and praising Him supernaturally. Their words had a powerful effect and affected great change.

         Because they were filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of the Lord Jesus, they had God’s authority over all things spiritual. This is why they were able to take authority over the devil and demonic influence through the power of the Name of Jesus and work miracles. This power was granted to every member of the Lord’s community, not just the apostles. It remains available for anyone today who properly follows and obeys the Lord’s order and method of discipleship.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Reality of God’s Relational Love: Thus Speaks the Heart (1)

         God’s love is relational.

         If one is filled with the Spirit of God one expresses godly love toward others.

         Why? Because as I relayed in the former series, On the Threshold of Heaven, God is love. This means God is loving. All the time. Toward everyone. It is His nature. It is impossible for God to be unloving because God cannot be what He is not.

         This fact should not be so hard to ascertain.

         God is love.

         Some people, however, are impossible to love because they never give love, not to anyone, and certainly not to God. So it’s not the Lord’s fault if people don’t love Him back. It’s like talking to a wall.

         The results of this lack of love among so many is readily apparent. We see the results everywhere. Everyone on the planet, regardless of political affiliation, culture, belief system, religion, or perspective, knows that the human race in general is capable of engaging in some pretty bad stuff, stuff that is not loving and has nothing to do with love.

         There are people who greatly appreciate this planet. They do not like what has happened to the planet. They are against all the pollution and chemical poisoning and destruction of species and habitats, and argue very strongly that we as a race are slowly destroying our only home and better get our act together.

         I agree with them 100%.

         I support them 100%.

         And I believe God is without doubt on their side of the argument. He doesn’t appreciate His planet getting trashed either.

         Imagine if someone were to pollute their own house or backyard—the yard their innocent unknowing children play in. Imagine if a person poisoned their domicile and never cleaned it. Imagine if someone never took a shower…

         Pretty bad, I know. Some people are like this. But the clear fact is that humanity as a race is exactly like this. It’s what we do. All one must do is look around. According to the apostle Paul, the planet is groaning under the weight and pollution of humanity:

         For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. [Romans 8:19-22]

         We know the planet is filled with pollution. We know there are people living on gigantic mountainous trash dumps in places. There are whole societies that either do not have the knowledge or resources to live better, or simply don’t care, and they live in filth. And because of that their bad consequences are off the scale. We must help them.

         I saw a show the other day about the tuberculosis epidemic of a century ago. People who lived in polluted cities all crammed together and getting their lungs full of bad bacteria were dying in droves. Some people thought their health might be better served if they got out of the dirty city and into the open countryside with fresh air. Some got better. Amazing! What a coincidence.

         It used to be said that cleanliness is next to godliness. Many people take great care in their appearance and grooming. It takes work to keep one’s place cleaned up, organized, and in good repair. Life is much, much better when one lives in a healthy environment.

         But regarding the planet, we as a race are creating so much garbage, industrial waste, and extremely dangerous and disease-causing byproducts with no place to put all this junk that it must result in something eventually too evil to imagine.

         Even though we have made great strides in the last fifty years from a time when America was especially extremely polluted by a bunch of unthinking nitwits who only cared about their own greed, the planet itself is presently being polluted by so many other industrial nations with no plans to keep it clean that the earth is quickly becoming the equivalent of a massive trash pile.

         I could go on. People have bought into the lies of the hiders and distorters and refuse to face facts or do anything about it.

         But what about human bodies? Why are diseases and sicknesses going through the roof? Why are so many people ill and dependent on pharmaceutical drugs to stay “healthy” and alive? People do very well to groom themselves outwardly but many inwardly are pretty messed up.

         We must get healthy without AND within, and not merely put forth the outer appearance of health. Some people think it’s better to look good than to feel good. That’s why we have massive landfills that grow like their own hill country and are eventually covered up with a layer of soil and grass to appear somewhat good, but we know what’s underneath.

         Maybe it’s the best we can do.

         But have you ever noticed how nature in and of itself recycles everything? Natural waste is transformed into more pure nature. Take humanity off the planet and it’s a perfect ecosystem lasting for billions of years.

         No major mammal, or fish, or bacteria, or any other organism can mess it up.

         NATURE IS SELF-CLEANING.

         It should be obvious though, that humanity is not. Humanity in general pollutes. Many of us try very hard to keep things clean. Many succeed. But until everyone gets on board pollution will continue.

         Was there pollution during the Lord’s time? Undoubtedly. Yet, the Hebrews had been taught by God in their early history to be clean, and the Lord codified within the Law of Moses exactly what that meant.

         He gave them laws regarding personal cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation. He was very specific. It’s in your Bible. The majority of Christians have always traditionally rejected these laws to their own peril. His purpose toward cleanliness was designed to keep individuals clean and also so the community as a whole could be clean. Because of this, the ancient Hebrews were perhaps the cleanest people on the planet—as long as they obeyed the laws.

OUR HEARTS

         When the Lord Jesus came, He certainly touched on these things, but the one thing He was most concerned about cleaning up was the human heart.

         In our day, many people are having increasing problems with their physical heart. Because of bad diets and self-pollution (eating chemicals, smoking, ingesting drugs, etc), hearts are being stressed in a major way. Arteries get clogged up. The heart is a blood pump and must work at peak efficiency and all parts must work correctly. People should know to take care of their hearts instead of taking them for granted.

         But much more important are our spiritual hearts. All of the pollution within a human being eventually ends up there. That’s where it is deposited. The spiritual heart is the final location for all the bad stuff. It has nowhere else to go.

         The uncleansed heart is exactly the same as a parcel of land with a little landfill on it packed with garbage. All expressions coming forth from a person come through this polluted place to one degree or another and influence anyone in the vicinity.

         How?

         Through SPEECH.

         Through our VOICES.

         It is through the mechanism of our SPEAKING that brings forth whatever may be resident in our hearts. Our words reveal whatever is hidden there:

         “…For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

         “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.

         “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

         “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” [Matthew 12:34-37] [1]

         Based on this, it is imperative that our speech be cleansed.

         But our speech can never be cleansed until our hearts are cleansed.

         And it is only when our hearts become cleansed that God is able to tame the tongue…

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

[Please bless others with these messages according to whatever the Lord may place upon your heart. Thanks.]

On the Threshold of Heaven (5)

      The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.

      To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

      Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

      So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

      He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

      And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

      Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

      When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. [Acts 1:1-14] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

On the Threshold of Heaven (4)

         What is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

         What is the proof?

         Some people believe that being Spirit-filled is an apparent non-event in that they have no clear recollection of when it happened in their lives though they claim the experience.

         Some are taught that they are filled with the Spirit “by faith,” again, that there is no actual evidence, or that they are automatically filled somehow when “they become a Christian.”

         This is what I refer to as being Spirit-filled by osmosis, in that one is somehow filled through effortless, unconscious assimilation in which no actual choice was ever made, there is no recall of when the event happened, and the process cannot be classified as experiential.

         That’s kind of cool when you think about it, but it’s not New Covenant. It is not New Covenant whatsoever.

         The following is New Covenant:

         When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:1-4]

         I remember hearing a statement by a very famous evangelist’s wife who made the claim that she had always been saved from the time of her earliest memories. Apparently, she never had the born again experience the Lord said is an absolute requirement for entering the kingdom:

         Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

         Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

         Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:3-7]

         Let’s do the math:

(1a) Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

(1b) Unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

         In this passage, the Lord Jesus is making a very clear and what should be an obvious reference to two distinct births. This is why Nicodemus, somewhat confused, answered in the weird way he did. He clearly heard the Lord say that there must be a second birth, one that follows the natural birth from one’s mother. But the Lord said it in the context of entering the kingdom.

         Now, this begs the question:

         Is it possible to “be saved” without entering the kingdom of God?

         If the answer is no, then anyone who is not born again is not saved.

         If the answer is yes, then one can be saved without entering the kingdom.

         There is a problem with the latter possibility, however. Have you noticed all of the references in the Lord’s teachings and parables concerning the spiritual concept of either being inside or outside the kingdom? Or being sheep and not goats, or wheat and not tares?

         Here are some examples:

ONE:

         “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:20]

         From this, it is clear that the scribes and Pharisees were outside of the kingdom: NOT BORN AGAIN.

TWO:

         “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” [Matthew 6:33]

         In this passage, the Lord equates being righteous with being in the kingdom, which signifies righteousness outside the kingdom as not being possible. If one must seek the kingdom then one must be outside the kingdom while seeking it. If one must seek righteousness it must be that one is unrighteous before one gains it. If one is outside the kingdom and is unrighteous, then one is NOT BORN AGAIN.

THREE:

         “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” [Matthew 7:21]

         Here we have the requirement of doing the will of the Father in order to enter the kingdom, meaning that those who fail to accomplish the will of God must be outside the kingdom (regardless of the apparent appearance of their miraculous works), and are thus NOT BORN AGAIN.

FOUR:

         “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [Matthew 8:11-12]

         Here is a very clear indication of either being in or out with no in between. In this case, the natural “sons of the kingdom,” that is, such natural descendants of Abraham, are not only not in the kingdom and will never be in the kingdom, but they will be cast into outer darkness and are obviously NOT BORN AGAIN.

         From the record in the Book of Acts, being Spirit-filled was an experience, an event. It was never some sort of mystical wishy-washy don’t-know-when-or-how-it-happened occasion. Such a thing was not possible.

         Remember, we are talking about the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD entering and filling a person for the very first time. And the Lord said it was like a birth. And everyone pretty much knows when a baby is being born, especially, I would think, the mother and the baby. There is no way such an experience can happen without the recipient’s knowledge or even those in the vicinity of said recipient.

         The event of the original Day of Pentecost kept happening again in Acts at subsequent times with different people. By studying each and every recorded historical event when people were filled with the Holy Spirit, it should not be that hard to come to a conclusion regarding consistent evidence.

         Here is the key to that evidence:

         Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.

         So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

         For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.

         But no one can tame the tongue… [James 3:3-8] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

On the Threshold of Heaven (3)

         Everybody loves love. God is love.

         But God sure gets a bad rap for some reason.

         I think it’s because of all the fakers and pretenders and judgmental protectors of silliness who are much more interested in unlovingly invoking their version of proper doctrine, religious protocol, and denominational differences than in simply loving one another the way the Lord told us to.

         And as far as I can tell, there is no discrimination regarding who is qualified by God as a love recipient.

         The Lord Jesus is truly a lover. He is a lover of us all. He loves people. He loves being around and with people. He greatly enjoys our presence.

         How do I know all this? And what gives me the right to make such pronouncements? I think it’s because the written Word says these very things. I think it’s also because an in-depth study of the Lord’s actual teachings prove it.

         It can very easily be argued as well that the first community of the Lord was composed of people who knew how to love and did love. They loved one another just as the Lord commanded them to.

         Now, why would the Lord Jesus have to make such a commandment? Why must one be commanded to love? That sounds oxymoronic.

         But I think it may be because some people, in general terms, have a tendency to not love, or to not be consistent in loving, and to find ample reasons why they should not love, and to turn not-loving into an unstated practice of its own and buy into that practice.

         It could be because people learn at an early age to be defensive and protective of self, since so many people practice not-loving.

         This is most likely the reason why the Lord had to command us to love. The command is a necessary stimulus to overcome the affected proclivity to not love.

         “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]

         Loving one another in the community of the Lord is proof of discipleship.

         It follows that a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit is also filled with love since God is the Holy Spirit and God is love. It also follows that unloving Christians are unreal Christians and do not have the Holy Spirit.

         Read the following very carefully and take notice of all the references to these things. I have included deduced statements but there are others. See how many you can find:

GOD WAS IN THE EARLY BELIEVERS

         You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

KNOWING GOD ALLOWS ONE TO KNOW TRUTH FROM ERROR

         They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

THOSE WHO ARE BORN OF GOD LOVE GOD AND PRACTICE LOVING OTHERS

         Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

         In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

THOSE WHO ARE BORN AGAIN HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD

         No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

         We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

PERFECT LOVE RESULTS IN SALVATION

         By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

         There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO LOVE GOD AND HATE ONE ANOTHER

         If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. [1John 4:4-21] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

On the Threshold of Heaven (2)

         What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? First of all, one must distinguish between the Old and New Covenants.

         We picture Old Covenant prophets becoming suddenly anointed of God. We see them grow strong and bold, and begin making powerful pronouncements regarding the will and desires of the Lord. Indeed, those men were God’s spokesmen. They were the Lord’s chosen, anointed, and discipled vessels who paid a tremendous price—a very high personal cost to engage in their calling.

         It was often them against the world, and just as often one man against the nation of Israel. It is a sad thing but an obvious historical fact that the prophets were usually hated, rejected, and thought to be complete morons and idiots who refused to just go along to get along. They made people feel uncomfortable.

         And that is exactly how the Lord wanted it.

         It was God who was speaking through them, and God often had a lot to say about the evil practices and very sinful nature adopted by His chosen people. He refused to let them go without letting them know how wrong they were. And because His people could not get back at Him personally they took it out on His prophets.

         We often relate John the Immerser, the one the Lord Jesus referred to as the greatest man ever born of a woman, to the New Covenant. But John was actually the last Old Covenant prophet. Further, he bridged the gap between covenants in a sense, being the Lord’s forerunner and preparer of the people’s hearts:

         As they were leaving, Yeshua began speaking about Yochanan to the crowds: “What did you go out to the desert to see? Reeds swaying in the breeze? No? Then what did you go out to see? Someone who was well dressed? Well-dressed people live in kings’ palaces.

         “Nu, so why did you go out? To see a prophet! Yes! And I tell you he’s much more than a prophet. This is the one about whom the Tanakh says, ‘See, I am sending out my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.’

         “Yes! I tell you that among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than Yochanan the Immerser! Yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he!” [Matthew 11:7-11] [1]

         Imagine that. Some may think that because they are a Christian they are somehow greater than John the Immerser, though such a thing obviously does not compute. John moved an entire nation!

         Therefore, there must be something more that nominal Christians do not partake of, since there is often absolutely no evidence of anything spiritually powerful in their lives that would indicate they are residents of the Lord’s Kingdom.

         Most Christians do well to occupy a place in a pew, and are made to do it by usually not well-meaning reverends who would rather have firm control and regimented order for their congregants than liberty and maturity in the Spirit, and the free-flowing ministry of the Lord Jesus in charge. And church-goers are forced to think this is the right thing to do.

         But most Christians have little or no power with God and look like nothing even close to John the Immerser. And it is never kosher to simply make a weak mental assent to a supposed but unexplainable “fact”—(“I, a Christian, am greater than John the Immerser”)—without some serious evidence to prove it.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Jewish New Testament. Copyright © 1989 by David H. Stern.

On the Threshold of Heaven (1)

         Currently, in such tough times for so many believers, we must all know that our Lord Jesus is still in charge.

         For those who are filled with His Spirit, there is a goodness and brightness in their being, though unacknowledged by many.

         The presence of the Lord within them which they experience at present is what the apostle Paul called the earnest of their inheritance.

         It is the witness, the pledge, the sign, the guarantee, and even what may be termed the first installment or down payment of His Holy Spirit.

         Just as our Lord was the First Fruits, so is His Holy Spirit within real Christians on this planet the first fruits for them of what is to come.

         The exact experience of Pentecost is currently available to all, and many millions all across this world have and are experiencing His presence, and it gives them strength and joy and hope until the full arrival of the purchased possession.

         For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. [Romans 8:22-23] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

RISING AGAIN…

         The world was dark and cold. Defeat had become a matter of lifestyle, of accepting a great wrong against one’s hopes and dreams with no way to overcome the pain.

         And it was certainly pain, the kind of deep pain stored in the depths of one’s heart that it seems can never be excised no matter how hard one may try.

         There were “leaders” who had come along who claimed they had answers but their efforts never went anywhere, even though a few had gained relatively large followings. Yet, no matter what particular hope had come down the road and into the hearts of the defeated, though briefly, the light shined for merely a moment and was gone.

         It was as if the whole world was against each person, and that each person had no way to strike back effectively. The great pain carried by most was the pain of a defeat so strong and overwhelming that they must simply surrender to it and find a way to make life work.

         It is one of the most difficult things to deal with and make sense of, and in all probability the most difficult. People were created to overcome, to stand tall, to fight and win, to work hard and get things done, to put their heart into alleviating a problem, and to let nothing stand in the way of their freedom and success.

         Yet, the nation was broken. It had long ago been taken over by a brutal regime that had little or no compassion, and certainly no concern for the individuals who lives were essentially destroyed and enslaved. People kept working hard—they had to—but they were only working to stay alive. Survival was the big dream, or actually, it was the attempt to stay mentally tough against so much misfortune and no hope for the future. This “survival” was the manner in which one was forced to attempt a win, the way a starving man may grab at crumbs in hopes that he may find a piece of bread, and then, just maybe, something more.

         But it was the seeking of something more substantial that caused the greatest depression among people. If they could only just give up and accept a less than good life, a less than average life, or even a mere subsistence level life, then maybe that pain would go away. Maybe if they just gave up on dreams that kept stirring their hearts but never, ever came close to reality, then, and only then, could they maybe smile a weak smile and somehow be content with their lot.

         It was not to be, of course. No one can live like that for very long without finding alternatives to bleak reality that somehow make reality possible to stomach. It had all been going on for so many years and decades. People could actually no longer remember any actual good times but they still had the misty sagas that old people told on occasion, when long ago, their people lived in victory and strength.

         In a way, such stories, real or imagined, kept a spark alive but only a few really thought it could ever grow into anything more than that. So many people had tried for so long to overcome it all…

         Their houses had been broken into and ransacked. They were forced to vacate not only their homes and fields that they had worked so hard at building, but whole towns. Communities were destroyed. Industry was destroyed. The means to build it all back was completely removed. These evil despicable hell-bound demons in human form had decided that total destruction was the answer, and in their zeal to eliminate those good people they falsely characterized as evil, they had become evil incarnate.

         Their sweeping victories, however, gave them the aura of somehow being on the winning side, and that their grossly evil behavior was somehow justified even by God Himself. It was as if God had turned from His righteousness and honor, and sided with the devil, and that any unfortunate ones who fought the invaders would be crushed by God because the good people were characterized as being the devil.

         Why would God do this? Why would He side with evil? Why wouldn’t He help these poor destroyed people? Was their sin so great and the obvious sins of these invaders so unacknowledged that the entire cosmos had gotten turned upside down?

        As their lives, hopes, and dreams were destroyed, they remembered their Scriptures, the sayings of their holy book. They remembered the words that seemed to fit so clearly—

         Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight! [Isaiah 5:20-21]

         The confidence level of the invaders had grown exponentially the more they destroyed the land and its people. As the proverbial sharks smelling blood and swimming swiftly to the kill and engaging in a free-for-all bloodbath, so did these so called liberators fall into the most heinous of crimes. Looking past their own sins and thinking themselves as holy with justified and God-breathed righteous anger, and even as agents of proper judgment, they raped and pillaged and burned and murdered, and they exulted in it, they enjoyed it, it was a tremendous opportunity to release their evil passions like hardened, reprobate, insane criminals escaped from the worst penitentiaries.

         How could agents of supposed good engage in such incredibly sinful acts? And why do monuments built for their leaders exist to this day—statues and bronzes beholding their evil glory?

         As the majority of those in the Lord’s day who judged Him falsely of evil and agreed with His death sentence and torture, so do so many still to this day claim the side of righteousness while engaging in or fully supporting the most evil of deeds. They refuse to acknowledge the gross violations of the Lord’s teachings. It is a justification of the worst forms of hate and all that stems from it.

         It must be understood that the thundering hooves supporting these invasions never stop. They continue on in subjugating others, and others still, and overcome the innocent, and rob them, and destroy them, and justify it all.

         But the day will come when their juggernaut will come face to face with a higher power, the very power they had previously claimed was on their side, and they will at last meet their match, and so much more.

         In their current state, the subdued cannot imagine anything to change it, for evil has gained such a stronghold over them, and they are so small and outnumbered, and apparently defeated. But they remember what always follows, what comes next, what the prophets said about the righteous and faithful people, and it is then that the tiny spark in their deepest heart glows brighter:

         Evil is always stopped. It is only a matter of time. The temporary never survives against the eternal. Dishonesty, lies, deceptive agendas, fake historical accounts, and false narratives never defeat Truth in the long term. And the evil ones who ride high in their day and get away with so much will all eventually pay the price. Their time will come to an end. Their earthly kingdoms, like all previous earthly kingdoms and empires, and all their sordid gains will fail and come to nothing, and can never be translated into eternity.

         The real kingdom, though—the eternal kingdom of the Lord Jesus, inhabited by those who love Him and obey Him and are called by His Name—it will continue now and throughout eternity. And regardless of the pain and the many losses the Lord’s people have suffered upon this planet, their fate is good and bright—they will live forever in their eternal home.

         And one more thing: Those places and regions of the earth where the devil has historically wreaked the worst havoc are often the same places from which the Lord later brings forth the greatest Great Awakenings…

         “THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” [Matthew 4:16] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Rewards of Discipleship and Real Abundance

         When we think of rewards we usually think of prizes or gifts based on a good deed: Lost Dog—$20 Reward.

         In the Old West, bounty posters were tacked up in various places announcing rewards associated with catching bad guys. Bounty hunters made a living off such rewards.

         If you were punching cattle, though, you didn’t get a reward—you got your pay. You received wages.

         The distinction between these two—rewards and wages—was based in the former sense on the difference between being an independent contractor and being an employee. Hiring on with a ranching outfit usually meant working for an indefinite amount of time for a set wage within that time, be it a certain amount per day, per week, or per month. If a man wanted steady work it would be for comparably lower pay, and often very low pay.

         An independent contractor, on the other hand, took on the risk of solely providing for himself. The reward, if he got it, was not based on an hourly wage or weekly rate, but on whatever the contract had stipulated. An experienced man could earn more money in less time. For the most part, the reward contract was non-negotiable.

         The Lord Jesus told many stories about such non-negotiable rewards, though they are often thought of as being mere wages.

THE LABORERS IN THE VINEYARD

         The parable of The Laborers in the Vineyard comes to mind (Matthew 20:1-16). Each worker was given the same pay regardless of how much time each actually worked. It appeared to be a daily rate at first and was specifically identified as one denarius. However, it became less of a daily rate as the day went on. Also, the pay was not identified when the second and third groups were hired as the day advanced. Later, the pay could be characterized as an hourly wage, but only by the last group—those “eleventh hour” workers who toiled only during the last hour of the day.

         Which was it? Was the pay wages or reward? The landowner mentioned something later about being generous. The first group that worked all day got pretty ticked off since they worked all day and the others who received the exact pay did not, even though the denarius they had agreed upon that morning when hired was a daily wage at that time. Why did the landowner pay the same mount to all regardless of time worked?

THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

         There are also rewards based on specific conditions. One may think of The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). In this story, three men were entrusted with large amounts of money upfront with the provision to use it to make more. This financial arrangement was not only the promise of a reward, but the reward would be decided upon by the grantees that did the work. The contract was non-negotiable but also open-ended and conditional.

         The initial amount given to each was based on their respective ability:

         To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. [Matthew 25:15]

         Though the word used here—ability—is used by the majority of Bible translations, it is not necessarily the best translation. The Greek word is dunamis. This word is primarily translated as power, but is also translated as miracle, miracles, and miraculous powers. It is an indication of personal strength.

         Each of the men was invested with an amount of money based on their personal strength and potential. The first man was given five talents because he possessed more strength, ability, and power than the others. At first glance this may seem unfair, but the master expected more from those who had more, since such people had greater potential for greater productivity and fruitfulness:

         “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” [Luke 12:48]

         We notice in this story, however, that the two men who did a good job by doubling their money gave what they made right back to their master and received—you guessed it—even greater rewards:

(1) Since they were faithful in a few things, they would each be given charge over many things, and

(2) They were blessed with entering into the joy (delight, gladness) of their master.

         It is obvious that the money these men made was not mere wages but reward with the possibility of greater reward. They invested wisely in such a way that there were ongoing dividends, or fruit. It is also clear that wages are their own reward, and once one cashes his paycheck and spends it the transaction is complete, unless one uses some of the money as financial seed.

         But there is another very important component of this message. All three men had great respect for their master. They understood they were given a great opportunity they would likely never receive again. They took it very seriously. However, the focus of the two who were successful was not on personal gain, but on their master’s gain. The third man with the least ability who was given one talent was focused on himself, and because of that he gave in to fear and buried his talent. His talent was thus unfruitful, and though he returned the money fully intact to the master, its potential was never realized. As a result, he was fired (literally).

ATTITUDE TRUMPS ABILITY

         As the man given one talent, some people may think, to begin with, that they are not quite so blessed in this life or that they have few talents or abilities. But the parable says such is not true at all. Concerning the man who was fired and why he was not successful, it was not his abilities that were deficient but his attitude. Everyone has the required abilities to be successful, but only a few make the choice to have the right attitude.

         The correct attitude is one of respect, humility, determination, and resoluteness. The master was looking for people who would never give up, who would show courage and tenacity, who would get the job done come hell or high water, who would always overcome their fear or anything else that may hinder success, and work as hard as it took to achieve the objective.

         In short, he wanted people who would simply not be denied and who lived by great faith—he wanted winners.

         Winners are people who never give up until they win.

         They do not have to be greatly gifted. They may be marginally gifted. But they must use whatever they have no matter how small. (Think seed.) The intent is to take whatever one has been given by God and increase it, whether given a large amount equivalent to several years wages (a talent), or less.

         Remember the story of the widow’s mites (small copper coins—see Mark 12:42-44). That poor woman only had two barely valuable coins but gave both into the Lord’s treasury. It was not the monetary amount that impressed the Lord Jesus, but that she gave her all. She gave everything she had, and hence, more than any of those more successful people who only gave a token easily affordable amount from their increase.

         The Master wants people who give their entire heart.

         How many true stories have we heard of people starting out very small and making it big? We must first submit ourselves to the Master, use whatever we may have been given, use it correctly, and produce the fruit thereof. We know from the parable that the guy who did nothing received nothing. He returned nothing more to his master than what he received. He was unprofitable and thus received no pay, no wages, and no reward.

         Those who consistently give their whole heart according to the will of God in obedience to Him, however, are forever fruitful. They will bring forth abundance.

REWARDS OF DISCIPLESHIP

         “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.” [Matthew 29:25]

         Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:11-12]

         “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 6:1]

         “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:2-4]

         “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:5-6]

         “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” [Matthew 6:16-18]

         “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [Matthew 6:19-21]

         “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” [Matthew 10:40-42]

         “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.

         “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

         “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

         “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.

         “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Luke 6:31-38] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

LIGHT in the Midst of Darkness: From Repentance to Joy

         People blame God for a lot of things though He is never to blame for anything. Some blame Him for everything. But we certainly cannot blame Him for not warning us.

         We are living in a time characterized on many fronts as the quick approach of a point of no return. Correction is no longer merely suggested but demanded. The actions of rebellious sinful humanity on this planet can no longer be sustained. Sinful people have gotten away with so much sin for so long it remains incredible that the Lord has not yet brought great judgment to some.

ABORTION—THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (IN THE NATION)

         As I’ve said many times before, one can gauge the incredible sin content in America by merely taking a look at abortion statistics. The heart of America as a country has grown so cold and so weak that only a relative handful of folks acknowledge the incredible evil regarding over 50 million innocent lives murdered in cold blood with no refrain and little remorse.

         The vast majority of those in elected or appointed office in Washington DC—the people with all the power—never does anything about ending abortion on demand and haven’t in 42 years. A few talk about it but that’s as far as it gets. And the people who elect them obviously don’t care because they keep electing them.

         The vast majority of “Christians” don’t care either. And rather than get the required number doing the right thing to fix this incredible evil, many Christians spend their quality time instead doing things like wondering if they should vote for pro-abortion candidates who mean business and keep the killing going, or voting for liars—those who merely talk but never do and are just as complicit in the evil.

         The Lord may say at the judgment, “Why did you keep voting for baby killers?”

         Abortion not only kills innocent lives, it panders to the raw lust of people who can’t control themselves and use abortion as their main method of contraception. It creates dark selfish hearts with righteous exteriors, and as such people gain the majority, they exhibit less resistance toward applying the necessary corrective.

         The point here is that any nation who routinely kills its innocents in vast quantities with no remorse is worse—WAY WORSE—than the pure evil of mass murderers like Mao (40 million), Stalin (30 million), and Hitler (untold millions).

         And the people of such a nation will keep not correcting a very clear gigantic obvious wrong because they simply do not see the problem in it, will not do what it takes to fix it, or are benefitting from it.

         Think about that. The babies cannot defend themselves in any way and the babies’ defenders are seen by the majority as deviant idiots. The babies are classified as non-persons and thus have no rights. These multiple murders are NEVER broadcast on the news which results in an “out of sight out of mind” scenario. The majority in America prefers this head-in-the-sand status quo and unless proper change is affected in this society by the comparative few the whole thing will continue on until seconds before going completely off the cliff.

         Many people know better but are emboldened in their sin because there is no current reaction to their illicit action.

         Yet.

         It is always a matter of time for things to get sorted out. Payment will always be made. It is a sad thing, therefore, to see people allowing themselves to be lifted up in pride and taking on a bulletproof attitude. They incorrectly discern that nothing bad will ever happen to them as a result of their sin since nothing bad has happened to them so far. The only reason they appear to be bulletproof, though, is simply because there are no karma blowback bullets heading in their direction.

         Yet.

         History tells us what always happens.

         But beyond that, and much more importantly, God always warns us what will happen if we take the wrong road.

THE ANSWER ACCORDING TO EZEKIEL

         The following passage from the prophet Ezekiel, who lived in the sixth century BC, teaches us that some things never change. The Lord used this man and spoke through him not only to warn His people of what will happen to them because of their wicked actions, but also to differentiate between right and wrong, and reveal that blessings will follow righteousness.

         He warned His people as a way to correct them and get them on the right road. The last thing God wants to do is bring judgment. He is loving, kind, and extremely patient.

         Read the following carefully. It contains much truth and many answers that can be applied to our present situation:

         And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

         “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman,

         and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people,

         then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.

         ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life.

         ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’

         “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.

         “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.

         “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.

         “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have spoken, saying, “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?”’

         “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’

         “And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, ‘The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’

         “When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die.

         “But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness,

         if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

         “None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live.

         “Yet your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right.

         “When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he shall die in it.

         “But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them.

         “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.” [Ezekiel 33:1-20]

SEEK, AND YE SHALL FIND

         We are in a sense living in the best of times and the worst of times. Bad things are piling up because of so much sin and rebellion. All of this stuff will have to be paid for. Judgment has come and must continue, and more is certainly on the way.

         But at the same time many millions of real Christians in America are doing the right thing and blessings follow them. They have favor with God. They are blessed with grace. They love the Lord Jesus and obey Him. It does not mean that God spoils them or indulges them, but that He loves them, protects them, and strengthens them

         If you find yourself in a place where you feel you just don’t have the strength or the faith to get beyond not so pleasant circumstances even though you have tried and continue trying, it does not necessarily mean you cannot. It could be a timing issue. It could be that you are making progress but you don’t see it or are not satisfied with the progress you have made.

         Be strong. Seek the Lord. Stand in faith. Continue to pray. You will either successfully climb over the mountain, journey around the mountain, or possibly tunnel right through the mountain. All of this takes much effort and time. It might take a while. But one thing is always true:

         So He told them this parable, saying,

         “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

         “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

         “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’

         “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [Luke 15:3-10] [1]

         Notice that finding the lost sheep and the lost coin took effort. It took unending effort until the discovery was made. The operative phrase from the preceding passage is “until he/she finds it.”

         The effort must be extended until the objective is achieved.

         It begins with repentance.

         It ends in great JOY.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Judge Not: The Upshot of Carrying One’s Cross

         Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” [Matthew 16:24]

.

         Real Christians, like their Lord, always end up getting crucified. Let Him explain:

         “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

         Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

         Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [Matthew 5:10-12]

         According to these difficult teachings of the Lord, the following are the real credentials of real believers:

(1) Real Christians will be persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

(2) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be insulted.

(3) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be persecuted.

(4) Real Christians, because they have committed to the Lord Jesus and follow Him, will be falsely accused of all kinds of evil.

         The Lord then taught that real believers are not to strike back in kind, but take the shots that come their way.

         This means that when one is insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused for being a real Christian, one is to take the insults, persecution, and false accusations without returning insults, persecution, and false accusations in kind. One must not throw another log on the fire, thus escalating the war of words, but pour water on it instead.

         This is certainly a form of crucifixion.

         Keep in mind that the Lord was even being insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused while He hung on the cross:

THE MATTHEW ACCOUNT:

         And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

         In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

         The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. [Matthew 27:39-44]

THE LUKE ACCOUNT:

         And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”

         The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

         Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

         One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”

         But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” [Luke 23:35-41]

         And there’s the point.

         If the Lord took all of that abuse while hanging on a rough wooden cross with spike nails in His hands and feet and suffering excruciating pain most of us will never know and still managed to say, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), then it is certainly possible to obey His teachings regarding insults and false accusations.

LIKE ONE FROM WHOM MEN HIDE THEIR FACE

         We must know that He was insulted repeatedly all the live long day throughout His entire life and especially during His ministry. He had ample reason to strike back in kind but never did, not even from the cross.

         Did He have the ability? Most certainly. Could He have climbed down off the cross? Without doubt. Could He have whipped any of those accusing pansies in a fist fight? I have no doubt He could have.

         But He didn’t. And it takes a MUCH bigger man to take abuse without returning it. He took it all and never struck back because He had a MUCH higher goal than simply winning stupid arguments or defending one’s “honor” or reputation:

         He wanted to ransom the souls of humanity.

         “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

         “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:44-48]

         The Lord Jesus not only taught this truth, He lived it. And He commanded all of His followers to do exactly the same.

ANTI-DISCIPLES

         Yet, “Christians” are some of the most easily offended people on the planet. It does not take much for certain “Christians” to become extremely angry. There are those who insist they are Christians but are as judgmental and condemning as the day is long. Some will betray another in a heartbeat.

         For many of these there is simply no impulse control whatsoever. The devil can play them like a drum whenever he feels like it. They are ready to fight in a split second. What is more, such people are proud of their desire and ability to insult and accuse in kind, not knowing or apparently caring that they are doing the devil’s work, especially if they engage in the inevitable maiming and murdering that results from being offended.

         Others may exhibit great impulse control and give forth the appearance of godliness. That is, until they feel slighted in some way and then all hell breaks loose. As long as they are never challenged there is no reaction, though many such perceived “challenges” are never personal and have no bad intent.

        They may think they are defending the truth, but they are actually egregiously violating the Lord’s commands, especially the love commandment.

         But for the real Christian, when one is insulted and falsely accused, often by other Christians of course, one does not strike back in kind though one may certainly want to, and though one may certainly do so very effectively.

         Instead, one must allow himself or herself to be crucified.

         It is the picture of a crazed little runt poking a giant hibernating grizzly bear with a stick and continuing to do so since he is getting away with it. In time he grows ever more bold. But the day will come when the bear will wake up. At that point the little man better have an exit plan.

JUDGMENT LOOMS

         All those who rejected and insulted and made fun of the Messiah when He came found out forty years later that crucifying Him actually meant they were destroying themselves, and the same thing eventually happens to all who persecute the Lord’s children. It’s what happens when the cure is rejected.

         Better to judge ourselves than judge others:

         Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test? [2 Corinthians 13:5]

         Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

         But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

         But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

         There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

         For there is no partiality with God. [Romans 2:1-11]

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         “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” [John 12:47] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Here Comes the Ark—2015 (Part 4)

EXCERPT FROM PART 4:

         Proper sacrifice was the answer. Repentance is the first part of the equation. The circumcision of the heart is at the heart of the New Testament. The preaching of the cross is core, foundational, at the nucleus thereof, and points directly to what salvation entails. Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness… [Hebrews 9:22]”

Link to Part 4:

Here Comes the Ark (Part 4)

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Here Comes the Ark—2015 (Part 3)

EXCERPT FROM PART 3:

         “In Part 2 we learned that Jerusalem was not prepared for the manifest presence of God, any more than many Christian congregations and groups in America are ready. David’s original plan was well-intentioned but not even close to the Lord’s protocol. It seems that in our many and varied attempts to do something for God, we fail to inquire of God, either whether we should do a particular thing, or regarding the method we employ in doing it…”

Link to Part 3:

Here Comes the Ark (Part 3)

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Here Comes the Ark—2015 (Part 2)

EXCERPT FROM PART 2:

         “At present, God is still waiting for us to get our act together. He is waiting for a full expression of honor toward Him. Traditional American Christianity may have credentialed clergy, many schools and seminaries, about a million church buildings (some incredibly state of the art), television studios, stations, and networks, a powerful radio presence, hundreds of billions of dollars in net worth, and the vast majority who profess Christianity.

         But all we do has made little difference in the overall scheme of things. The only hope for America is the Lord Jesus. Because we still lack the desired presence of God, it proves our collective irreverence and lack of respect for Him. We are content without Him in His full strength and power. This proves an absence of general servanthood and proper worship…”

Link to Part 2:

Here Comes the Ark (Part 2)

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Here Comes the Ark—2015 (Part 1)

         In May of 2011, about two weeks after I started this site, I wrote a 4-part series entitled “Here Comes the Ark.” It was written in part to both prepare for the coming Great Awakening in America and become knowledgeable of it.

         Before the Lord can bring someone to full salvation there must be repentance. And before that He must prepare a person’s heart.

         It is no different when He desires to bring an awakening. All great movements of God include a preparation time before the outer movement is seen. Sometimes the time of preparation takes decades or more. It is no different at present.

         Though several great movements of God have taken place in America, the first was the Great Awakening of the 1730s-40s. It helped prepare the nation for the American Revolution, which led to the creation of a country with the greatest spiritual freedom in history.

         As you read the following article, which remains just as topical and relevant, consider what must be achieved, how long the Lord has been working on it, and your own personal role.

         Please feel free to add to the discussion.

         Here’s the link to Part 1:

         Here Comes the Ark (Part 1) 

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Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 3)

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 1)

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 2)

PHARISAICAL FAKERY

         In began in ancient Sumer at the dawn of civilization.

         The Egyptians mastered the craft.

         It extended through the major cultures and empires of the world, culminating with the Romans in a purely pagan, non-Biblical sense.

         The Romans built upon the prior foundations of Greece and Egypt primarily, and confiscated from those and other prior cultures the highly defined pagan image-making art of ancient times.

         The nation of Israel had also long since succumbed to the practice of idolatry over a thousand years before, but it was the highly developed religious image-making and pretension of the first-century Pharisees who formed a false syncretic hybrid of Torah-ism and demon worship to the degree that the Lord Jesus called them “of their father the devil.”

         This Phariseeism was later used in Christian forms, one principally which still exists today, and formed the basis of the Christian image-making of the present. And rather than only forming idols of wood, metal, or stone, these fakers have followed the devil’s lead by also creating fully evolved human idols worshipped and followed every Sunday morning and on televisions nationwide.

         Indeed, television has become the perfect medium for such idolatry, though outside of television there has existed for many centuries an ultra-religious ceremonial and liturgical pageantry within particular denominations that has captured the minds of millions and deceived them away from the full expression and knowledge of the Lord.

         The entire effort of these false Christian forms and formats, as related to the Lord’s original, results in nothing more than shallow religious “showtime” using well-compensated religious actors, exactly as did the Pharisees, whom the Lord referred to as hypocrites (devious religious stage players).

         The Pharisees were fakes. They were not concerned with growing spiritually closer to God but about gaining earthly power and wealth. So are many “Christian” leaders and celebrities. If anyone actually believes that such “ministers” one sees up front and center are real, and that they are just like their stage (platform, pulpit) persona behind the scenes in regular life, such people are grossly deceived, and it illustrates how easy it is to manipulate and lead around by the nose those who refuse to fully surrender to the Lord Jesus.

“IT IS THE SPIRIT WHO GIVES LIFE; THE FLESH PROFITS NOTHING.” [John 6:63]

         Of course, there is nothing whatsoever fake or disingenuous about the Lord. And His rejection and death was in part because He obeyed the Torah commandments against idolatry and that He rejected false image-making. In essence, He appeared to be much less than whom He really was to a people well-conditioned to submit to religious masqueraders. To the majority, the God of the Universe simply did not look the part unlike so many religious fakers who did.

         …For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness… [2Corinthians 11:14-15]

         Christian religious image-making of the present has certainly gone mainstream but also mandatory if one is to receive market share, popularity, and reach the primary highly-coveted fundamental goals, which remain the same:

(1) An outlet for one’s vanity, narcissism, and pride,

(2) Greater advantage and influence, and

(3) Wealth.

         Therefore, Christians in particular must always remember that—

One’s eyes can certainly be deceived (and often are)

One’s perceived correct Biblical beliefs can certainly be inaccurate (and often are) through the power of a false gospel, and

One can certainly become a dupe. It has happened to millions, and such millions are growing exponentially. Those without spiritual eyes to see who have no love for the truth cannot help but be fooled. [See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12]

         These are victims of higher powers masquerading as something real—false lights of shining fakery and carefully-crafted graven images of the human kind.

         One thing such victims all have in common is they don’t know they are deceived, are often willingly deceived, and strangely, stubbornly insist on supporting the unreal rather than the real, even if it costs them their eternal souls. It is pure idolatry, and the antithesis of the purity and reality of the Lord Jesus.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

         The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

         I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

         He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 2)

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 1)

CULTURAL CONFORMITY

         The historical and American culture-changing Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960 (see video at end of Part 1) proved that what once was, was no more. A great transformation had taken place. Life got “modern.” The organic became the cosmetic. The country shifted dramatically from the spiritual to the material. Depth gave way to shallowness. Image-making became a priority.

         Keep in mind, however, that this was also the beginning of the Holy Spirit outpouring throughout denominational Christianity. Pentecost was pouring into places where it had previously been blocked. Thousands of denominational Christians were being filled with the Spirit like hundreds of thousands of Pentecostals before them. This outpouring also eventually reached the American Catholic Church. Many priests and nuns were becoming Pentecostal. It began the great Catholic Charismatic movement.

         But, of course, almost all of this wonderful spiritual history was not being reported by the few major news outlets that had succumbed to the phony dog and pony political show before them. It became obvious to anyone with spiritual eyes and ears that the major media became nothing more than a corporate entity doing the bidding of elites deceiving the country. As the dominance of the television medium increased, so did the power to use it for the sinister purposes of swaying the country toward a hidden agenda for the personal gain of those in power.

         Cultural conformity was forced and enforced, even more than in the 1950s. For a typical example, over half a century ago, IBM mandated a black pants, white shirt, black tie image for all workers as a statement of corporate uniformity. Professional dress became the model for emerging corporatism. Any and all forms of dissent were perceived as anti-American though the country was founded upon dissent and revolution.

         But suddenly, unbelievably, the perfect created image was destroyed. Naïve, idyllic America became an all too real nightmare. An American president had been savagely murdered under mysterious circumstances. Militarism and the destructive Vietnam War were in full swing. The ridiculous attitude of “my country right or wrong” became a compulsory slogan as an end-all be-all instead of doing the right thing to correct gross wrongs. Race riots were breaking out.

         Such coercion toward a regimented “follow-orders” populace created what was then known as the generation gap in that young people, still very much American at heart, rebelled against the fakery, the overbearing political correctness, religious redneckism, and the emerging military/political/corporate glom being forced upon the populace.

         Amidst all this, most Americans had no idea what was causing all the change or that they were being played. They did not see the actors behind the curtain. All anyone knew was that it seemed like the country was exploding.

         For they sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind. [Hosea 8:7][1]

KEEPING UP APPEARANCES

         It had been almost another half century since the dawn of public relations imaging and methods, and American individualism took a hit. It was a time of “Keeping up with the Joneses,” a popular expression of the day, when the middle class expanded and most were concerned with doing whatever they must to appear as solid, successful citizens and within a higher social strata.

         Bucking the system was opposed by the majority as something inherently wrong without noticing that “the system” had gone terribly wrong. “Keeping up appearances” was preferable to taking on the persona of the early American patriots to fix the country, and such image-consciousness was no longer only for the wealthy but for everyone who wanted to be well thought of.

         One’s presented image took precedence over one’s spiritual stature.

         Therefore, much of what happened in the counter-cultural 1960s was an immoral over-reaction against the heavy-handed authoritarianism of the day, in which those in charge were often terribly wrong though they insisted they must be honored, respected, and obeyed anyway. Most Americans did obey only to discover years later they were wrong to do that. Their outer redneckism of the time veiled a yellow, selfish heart. They bought into the lie.

         Image-making was so pervasive it became unconscious.

         Yet, centuries before the changes of the last one hundred years, there was a group of people who had mastered the craft of image-making and became extremely successful in its use. And it seems that whenever we reach points in history in which false imagery reaches its zenith, all hell breaks loose.

         In Part 3 we will look at the greatest manipulators of all and the sinister methods they use so well.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

  

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 1)

         It is fairly easy for the non-deceived to spot faux religious leaders.

         Such are the ones with perfect outer images who have mastered the art of staying in character.

         They also dress very well for the part.

         “‘Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’” [Deuteronomy 27:15] [1]

         I remember hearing a message by a man principally involved in marriage ministry who also pastors a large congregation. This man was talking about how God created men to be wired visually regarding their attraction toward a mate.

         He then began talking about how enhanced photography and facial makeup allow some women to look much better than they actually do. When such methods create an image, it is simply not real. He said married men often fall into temptation comparing such pretty faces to their wives, who feel they cant compete.

         Regarding even the best looking professional super models he said, “Don’t be concerned about not looking like that. They don’t look like that…”

         Now, it is certainly okay to want to look our best, but some strive to vastly improve on the Creator’s handiwork and attempt to look not just their best but better than the rest, even if it means cosmetically transforming in the extreme their actual, God-given appearance. And the ultra use of cosmetics, plastic surgery, and photographic tricks to assist in that process is no longer necessarily an option for many, though it is a relatively recent innovation.

 CONTEMPORARY IMAGE-MAKING

         The first crude camera photograph was created circa 1826-27, going on two centuries ago, and the vast majority of ladies in developed nations never wore makeup until maybe 50-60 years ago. Now, of course, the percentage of women who wear makeup to some degree or another has advanced dramatically, and photography has advanced to ultra high definition video. By comparing the oldest photographs from the 1800s and portrait paintings centuries older, one can see the great advances made both in mechanical media and also culturally accepted (demanded) cosmetics.

         Technology has presently improved to the extent that a person’s image can be dramatically changed, and it can generate quite a shock when such people are seen outside their usual doctored images. This often happens with celebrities who spend a lot of time behind a camera, but this is not always the case.

         For instance, there is the true story from a few years ago of a longtime pastor who, during the middle of a big Sunday church service while preaching, suddenly ripped off the hairpiece from atop his head.

         The entire congregation was blown away. He had been wearing hairpieces for so long most of the people there had never known he was bald. It probably took a while to get used to the “new guy.”

         Because there are currently so many false images in the world, and because people become so used to seeing created images, the actual person underneath is often unrecognizable and by comparison obviously inferior.

         This has caused two things: (1) Very high artificial self-esteem based on the use of excellent effects to enhance one’s natural appearance, and (2) Very low self-esteem for those who cannot compete for whatever reason.

         It is most likely that such a wide divergence of image did not exist in the days when all women wore no makeup, save for a tiny percentage of royals and the wealthy. This provided for a level playing field though some had greater natural beauty than others.

         Today, if people choose to transform their image using whatever means, the outer image thus created is obviously different than what their actual natural image would be otherwise.

         If some of these people also dress very well, learn how to present themselves very well, say all the right words and phrases, and effect fake smiles and attitudes that appear real, outside observers will certainly be faked out, especially if they’ve never seen such people sans their carefully crafted image.

         What’s going on here? Why do people want to engage in such image-making?

         It usually boils down to three things: (1) Vanity, (2) Advantage, and (3) Money.

CREATING A PERSONAL BRAND

         It is a matter of social acceptance. It is a matter of dispelling any doubts concerning one’s character and motives. It is a matter of putting forth the look of success and proper reputation.

         It is also a matter of competition. The better one looks and the more one is accepted, the more one rises in one’s society (gains in popularity) and the better one feels (an ongoing endorphin rush), both of which results in greater pleasure and high self-esteem, though the danger of creating great pride exists based simply on a less than honest outer image. Also, more doors will open. More open doors mean receiving more opportunities, earning more money, and even attracting a better mate (or multiple mates).

         Of course, Hollywood figured this out going on a century ago. The creation of “movie stars” was not possible without stage lighting, makeup, superior costumes, camera tricks, and etc. And once such stars were created, the movie-going public attended theaters all over the country in droves which made for an interesting phenomenon regarding people worshipping people.

         As the medium grew more sophisticated and color film was invented, image-making went through the roof. Nice looking people became extremely good-looking people. The eventual fake image of these people became the standard image, since so few were seen in the real world under normal conditions. When they were seen for how they really looked, however, the contrast was obvious and often scandalous.

         Many mainline Christian denominations preached against makeup and what they might term “unholy clothing” for decades in a vain attempt to keep Hollywood from invading the church. But after World War I, the advent of moving pictures, and the comparatively decadent “Roaring Twenties” when greater wealth and material goods became available, the cat was out of the bag.

         It would take another quarter century, another World War (including the immoral influence of other cultures), and television before America became transformed forever into an amoral image-based society.

         The Kennedy-Nixon presidential debates, the first televised debates, proved this transformation in 1960. The visual contrast between these two men was stark in that John Kennedy presented a much greater televised image than Richard Nixon, though many who only listened on radio thought Nixon had won.

         It was primarily John Kennedy’s carefully crafted superior image that eventually won him the presidency.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

“Kennedy and his people were the master manipulators of television:”

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 2)

Graven Images of the Human Kind (Part 3)

The Worst Violators of the Golden Rule

         God is LOVE, and love is what makes the whole thing work. His entire kingdom is based on love and on His people loving one another.

         Love must be expressed. It must be shown. The Lord Jesus commanded us to love.

         Yet, there remains a giant disconnect regarding this clear command and it stems from the false teachings of those who falsely represent the Lord.

         John said it this way:

         If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. [1John 4:20-21]

         We know, though, that God showed up among us, and did His best to teach us all to love, and did love. But this world exposed itself for what it really is by what it did to Him. He was murdered, as was Abel, by His own.

         By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. [1John 3:10-12]

         There are thus two different types of people in this world: Those who love and those who hate—those whose deeds are righteous and those whose deeds are evil. And much of the evil perpetrated upon the righteous is done in a backhanded manner by any number of duplicitous Cains and Judases, exactly as it happened to Abel and the Lord.

         Thus, if one cannot handle multiple knives in the back traveling the Christian way, one will never make it to heaven.

         Though the expression “backstabbing” originates much later in history, the proverbial illustration of betrayal by “loved ones” might presently be seen as certainly one of the wounds suffered by the Lord, as those suffered during His crucifixion. The Lord Jesus was not only betrayed by His people in general, but specifically by one of His own men—a disciple He selected—and it is not necessarily true that Judas was personally destined to betray Him.

         Someone would, of course. Such was prophesied in holy writ long before. And Judas Iscariot became that man. And the Lord warned us that such vile two-faced betrayal would also happen to His disciples.

         The apostle Paul was betrayed. And though it is not necessarily recorded, all of the original eleven were undoubtedly betrayed in some way by other “Christians.”

         Indeed, “Christianity” in general has certainly betrayed the Lord Jesus. His pure and complete teachings are most often picked over and particular parts here and there are selected as appropriate while much of his curriculum is rejected as unpleasant and non-applicable.

         Denominations make their own distinct choices and build up unique “statements of belief” to make sure everyone knows just what it is they choose and what they reject. In other words, instead of simply stating that “We believe the full teachings of the Lord Jesus, support them, and apply them to the best of our ability,” they actually only support what they deem supportable.

         Excuses are made for all they reject, citing various explanations and flawed reasoning, and when such is done over a few centuries, their man-made doctrines become etched in stone. And when the inevitable revisions come, they always remove more of the Lord’s pure teachings and adopt more man-made teachings.

         And incredibly, most Christians not only end up believing and supporting false doctrines, they effectively insist that it is not they who are wrong, but the Lord Jesus. Or the Bible. Or people who do not believe as they do.

         This is the mark of closed-minded religious exclusivism. Such belief systems create hardened, hateful hearts regardless of outward expression. And such hearts routinely violate the Golden Rule.

         How ironic is it then, that the worst violators of the Golden Rule on the planet are “Christians?” And how strange is it that the most likely individual to engage in backstabbing a Christian is another Christian?

         Now, for all those who have never been betrayed, you might want to recheck your beliefs, because the Word of God says that two things will certainly follow real believers: The first is signs, wonders, and miraculous evidence of the real Gospel when properly presented and lived out, and the second is persecution, highlighted by the enemy’s favorite method employed well by Judas.

         Concerning the evidential conduct of real Christians, the Lord said:

         “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” [John 13:34-35]

         The above was an addendum to the following:

         “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

         And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

         “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:36-40]

         And to make sure everyone fully understands the concept and that a Christian’s love for others must be universal, He taught:

         “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

         “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:43-48] [1]

         In all of this, we see that there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for disobeying the Golden Rule, and that it must be extended even to one’s enemies who engage in persecution, especially if the persecutor is a former trusted one who took advantage of a lack of defense by the one who loved and shot his or her friend in the back.

         And to show how incredibly vile this practice is—this violation of the love commandment—and that it is most often found in the realm of religion, “Christians” who make personal attacks (anti-love) on fellow believers, acting as if they have somehow garnered the spiritual high ground and that those they attack and condemn are worthy of such, often have no remorse whatsoever for their actions and never repent.

         Indeed, they believe they are fully justified to lash out at whoever does not believe according to their “different gospel.” In this, they are more evil than Judas Iscariot.

         At least he went out and hung himself.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Happy New Year?

 

         Today is the day we celebrate the beginning of a brand new year. In that regard, may 2015 be a blessed year for all.

.

         In reality, though, this particular day is essentially meaningless regarding actual new beginnings.

         Even though the civil calendar we presently use (the Gregorian), contains 365 days, it otherwise has little cyclical bearing on celestial events. Nevertheless, it begins today, January 1.

         Ancient calendars were originally based on such celestial events, primarily the time it takes planet Earth to travel around the Sun. Yet within that cycle was an earlier calendar—smaller cycles regarding the time it takes the Moon to travel around the Earth.

         The former is referred to as a solar calendar and the latter a lunar calendar. Their significance is that one can actually refer to something tangible, and in the above cases, something very powerfully tangible, to order the passing of time.

         Though our current calendar is divided into twelve months and fifty-two weeks, it remains a mere abstract construct in relation to the actual celestial cycles. Hence, January 1 is largely meaningless from a celestial perspective.

         Regarding the actual first day of the calendar, common sense tells us that the year, divided up into four seasons, would naturally begin with the season of new life, the spring. The end of winter and the beginning of spring constitutes the actual beginning of a new solar cycle from our perspective, though this differs regarding on which side of the equator one lives.

         The ancients had figured out that a year lasted 365 days. They figured out that lunar cycles, or months, lasted 29-30 days. We now know that such cycles can be calculated further to 365.2422 days and 29.53 days respectively.

         The late Sumerians and later Babylonians managed to combine both of these cycles into a single calendar, a lunisolar calendar. This calendar was later adopted by the Hebrews during their Babylonian exile after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586BC.

         It was discovered that 235 lunar cycles fit almost perfectly into 19 solar cycles. This results in 12 years of 12 months, and 7 years of thirteen months. By installing an additional month every third year or so during the 19 years, one arrives at an overall cycle (19 years) encompassing both the solar and lunar cycles and what is essentially a perfect calendar based on celestial events, in which one can mark time by the actual movements of the sun and moon.

         For example, the actual current lunar cycle or month began with the new moon of December 21, 2014 at 8:36pm EST. There will be a full moon on January 4 which constitutes the exact middle of the lunar cycle. Therefore, like the solar cycle, one can see that January 1 also has no bearing on the lunar cycle.

         The present Hebrew calendar is lunisolar, but does not actually line up perfectly with exact lunar cycles since it is calculated based on when a new moon is sighted with respect to “evening and morning.”

         For example, today, January 1, is represented on the Hebrew calendar as the 10th day of Tevet. Tevet is the fourth month, since the Hebrew calendar begins in the autumn of the year. And rather than the full moon of January 4, 2015 (11:53pm EST) falling correctly on the 15th day of the lunar cycle, it is shown as falling on the 14th of the month on the official Hebrew calendar (after sunset).

         Calendars based specifically on celestial cycles used to matter very much. They were necessary for the right times regarding planting and harvesting.

         Spiritually speaking, could it be the same? Remember, pure astronomy is not astrology. God created celestial events and cycles. The Universe in this sense runs like clockwork. The more one studies such cycles, the more one discovers an absolutely perfect system which demands an extremely brilliant intelligence. These are not just random cycles, but cycles within cycles to the effective infinite degree.

         Also, because we know that God, in His Word, makes thousands of references to time and cycles, as well as numbers, He no doubt has a reason for it. But if that reason is to be discovered, it can only be discovered by using His actual calendar rather than a man-made abstract.

         Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth;” and it was so.

         God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. [Genesis 1:14-18] [1]

            © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Mary Did You Know?

         Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. [Matthew 1:18] [1]

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         From the very beginning, the Lord demanded that His followers believe in and be a part of miraculous works. His very birth was a miracle!

         But His mother Mary had to carry with her for the next thirty years the powerful and painful fact that pretty much everybody but Joseph believed she was an impure woman trying to present herself as pure.

         It did not matter how much she protested all the disgusting innuendo that followed her constantly. No one other than her husband believed her, and possibly a few others. But these few, if they actually existed, had very little impact on lessening the pain that unbelief caused her. And the only reason Joseph believed was because an angel kept appearing to him giving him spiritual facts he could otherwise not see.

         Imagine your entire town, your relatives, your “friends,” the people you attended synagogue with, and effectively the entire nation of Israel not believing a single word you say in defense of yourself. You know God asked you to do a very difficult thing and you showed zero hesitation in accepting the assignment and the great challenge it represented. You learned quickly that when God said a nation was blind He meant exactly that: ISRAEL WAS BLIND.

         Mary knew in her heart based on her own very hurtful experience that the same thing would happen to her Son—He would be rejected as she was rejected. Most of His own countrymen would never believe Him. His own family would reject Him! None of His brothers and sisters were at the foot of the cross. Only one of His twelve disciples was there, and one wonders if John was at the cross in part because he was given the mantle of taking care of Mary.

         But long before then, while the Lord was growing up, Mary still had to find a way to live with unbelief all around her and everyone whispering and shaming her everywhere she went. It was obvious to all in their spiritually blind and willingly sinful state that the Lord Jesus was certainly illegitimate, and because he did not favor Joseph someone else must be the real father. And everyone probably had their suspects.

         But Mary, the wonderful, pure, and blessed mother of our Lord, soldiered on. She was presented with an extremely difficult lifelong task and was determined to fulfill it. She honored God. She gave her word. She considered herself greatly blessed. And most of all, God needed her!

         In this wonderful time when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, our Immanuel—GOD WITH US—let us remember the great accomplishment of Mary—Miryam. Let us remember how she remained faithful to God for the duration no matter the pain and rejection she suffered. She did an excellent job as a wife and mother. Is it possible, though, that anyone ever cried more tears? She was holy and obedient and showed great resolve regardless of all the ubiquitous malicious gossip and unbelief.

         And when at last her loving Son did that first miracle at the Cana wedding she could finally feel some relief. She could proudly say in clearing her name, “I told you so! Now will you believe me?”

         Some did. Most did not. Even miraculous works did not change their dark sinful minds.

         But Mary knew. She always knew.

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

If We Love Him We Will Obey Him

        For those faithful readers who have read the articles on this blog for a while, you know I must write about what is wrong in order to attempt to illustrate what is right. What the Lord Jesus did during His ministry was right. What His hand-picked men did after Him was right.

       The original apostles ushered in real Christianity at the very beginning and spread it throughout the then-known world in faithful adherence to the Founder’s vision.

         Some may want to call original Christianity a movement, and it certainly is in a sense. Others may see it as simply one more religion begun by a Man who saw a great need for helping people with a better life.

         In reality, however, God had an overall plan from the beginning of Creation and part of that plan involved bringing forth truth and reality. Why? Because the enemy of our souls brought in lies, deception, temptation, and sin. And the very heart of the Lord’s teachings is to set us free from the effects of those evil lies, deception, and sin and bless us with His Truth, Life, and spiritual freedom.

         Therefore, it must be the goal of every real Christian to do exactly the same. In this regard, the Lord Jesus made the concept very clear when He stated:

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

         “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:12-18]

         In this passage, the Lord mentions the Father, the Son, and the Spirit of Truth, or the Holy Spirit. He then identifies Himself as the Holy Spirit. He also repeats the very message of YHWH in the Old Testament, as when God stated the following at the giving of the Ten Commandments:

         Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” [Exodus 20:1-7]

         A big part of the Lord’s teaching was properly identifying God and God’s real teachings. Why? Because the Pharisees, predominantly, had so muddied the waters with their own false teachings interspersed somewhat with God’s real teachings.

         But the one prevailing evidential component the Lord Jesus used to identify Himself as God and confirm that His teachings were correct as opposed to the false religion of the Pharisees or any other was His operative use of miracles both to help others and confirm that His Word was God’s Word.

         In other words, if the miracles, healings, release from demon possession, and other great spiritual works were not there, then neither was He or His real Word.

         Now, contrast everything you just read with a typical Sunday morning at your church and tell me both are the same. For most of you, you simply cannot do it. And this reveals that the majority of Christianity in this world, regardless of perceived good hearts and good intentions, is either incorrect or greatly lacking.

         And further, if you want to know the central reason for this, it is a matter of authority, in that someone or something else is in charge instead of the Lord Jesus. Again, He stated very clearly the following:

         “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. [John 14:15]

         (If you don’t love Me you will not.)

         “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” [John 14:11]

         (Even if you cannot perceive that Jesus is God, believe Him because of the miracles.)

         Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

         Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’”? [John 14:8-9]

         This statement, of course, takes us right back to the Exodus passage. The Lord Jesus would never and did never teach anything against the Father (God/YHWH) or anything in addition to the Father.

         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. [Matthew 5:17]

         What He did was teach the same curriculum but as a human being among human beings as not only an instructor but as our example.

         This is why He said His real disciples would perform just as He did. Anyone who does not is either not a real disciple, a very young or immature disciple, or possibly unclear on the concept. But once “no miracles” Christianity was established and institutionalized it became conventional and real Christianity thus became unconventional, and thus ostracized and maligned, just as first-century Phariseeism maligned the Lord and His teachings.

         In other words, if Major League Baseball (the highest league on the planet) was easy, anyone could play it. The fact, however, is that it is very, very difficult and only a fraction of exceptional ballplayers ever get there or play well for an extended time at that level.

         Most of that which passes itself off as Christianity is mere T-Ball at best and thus has very little or no impact on this fallen world of sin, which is a terrible thing once one considers the extreme price the Founder paid and the price paid by all real believers throughout history who often gave their lives.

         2015 will be a pivotal year. The Great Awakening in America will advance. But already, many who would have otherwise participated cut themselves off due to their disobedience, lack of faith, lack of love, and preference for a different gospel. This had to happen for the purpose of clearing the ranks just as was done in the story of Gideon’s army which was reduced by removing 99%.

         Just as the Lord Jesus had tens of thousands of followers during His ministry but only managed to gather 120 for the Upper Room Experience at Pentecost, He does not necessarily need great numbers. He wants great numbers in the sense that He loves and wants everybody. But He can certainly make do with a small team of dedicated members willing to obey all of His commandments. His final team will be just that because He said only a comparative few would find the real Door and complete the real path.

         To be a real disciple of the Lord, one must be worthy and willing to accept the challenge. Our Lord paid the greatest price for this very reason. He needs our help. A fallen world is crying out for reality, truth, and salvation.

         “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” [Matthew 10:37-38] [1]

         As His disciples, let us all make a greater effort to exalt the Lord Jesus, put His real Truth on the map through our ministry to others and one another, and illustrate by our spiritual example a pure reflection of His example.

         Thank you for reading. Be blessed and Merry Christmas!

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.