I’m reading a book about a Christian minister in the early to mid-20th century conducting evangelistic meetings and starting churches. In tents.
ATTENTION TO TENT MINISTRY INTENTIONS
This is nothing profound or out of the ordinary, of course, since big canvas tents had become the norm of sorts for large evangelistic meetings by mid-century. They were also used by those sent to start new ministry works in various small towns and locations throughout the country. If one had a tent he could carry it around on a trailer with the other stuff necessary for holding services. Once the minister secured a location on which to set up the tent it didn’t take long to begin holding services. The tent itself would often act as free advertising. When the people of the town saw the new curiosity, like a traveling road show or entertainment spectacle, they were often drawn to it since the interloping tent attraction added a new level of excitement in a hum drum existence. The minister to which I am referring did much of his early work in the late 1920s and into 1930s during the Great Depression. He was not only offering the Gospel of salvation to the locals but also giving them hope and inspiration.
He later revealed his method for starting new churches. He would visit a new town, usually of the smaller variety and sometimes in out of the way places. He would set up his tent, which often included a platform to preach from, maybe do a little additional advertising around town, and then commence with holding services. After a few months of steady work holding consistent meetings and growing a regular congregation he would set up a pastor to take care of the folks while the folks compensated the new pastor with a living. Then he would move on. It would take a certain quantity of people giving a necessary amount of money to support the pastor depending on the situation and his needs. To replace the tent, a local building would be appropriated for either rent or purchase depending on the circumstances. If all continued to go well regarding growth and expansion the new church start would be able to eventually build a new church building to call their own.
This was a difficult effort overall if the church start minister was not connected to an established deep pockets denomination from which to draw support and financing. Anything the Lord created through him must have been greatly satisfying, since he was starting from scratch, especially since his preaching method, doctrine, and ministry emphasis was on the salvation of souls, which was usually not the emphasis of the mainline churches. Such tent ministry methods were sometimes or frequently seen as deviating from the Christian norm and were somewhat disdained by both local anti-Christian forces who often got stirred up and provoked rather easily, as well as by the local denominational church pastors who may have seen such efforts personally intimidating, a threat to their authority, and an invasion of their turf.
It is why this particular minister and those like him saw Christian ministry not as business as usual but one much more in line with the New Covenant practices of the Lord Jesus. They got their ideas from the New Testament. Thus, they saw themselves as certainly different from the norm but were not so untraditional that they would not later adopt the same formats of those churchmen and traditional Christians opposing their early efforts.
BEHOLD, I WILL DO A NEW THING
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]
These new ministers of the Gospel were part of a new wave breaking upon America as part of a Great Awakening movement that had its roots primarily in the 1906 Los Angeles Azusa Street Revival. The people of that time associated with the movement were more than willing to step from traditional methods and go out on large limbs of pure faith to honor the Lord. And He blessed them for it.
The majority of Christians today cannot identify with that movement or what those people went through to assist the Lord in bringing forth new Light. Their emphasis on Pentecost and Book of Acts happenings took a tremendous amount of courage and demanded a willingness to have one’s Christian reputation destroyed. As John the Baptist facing off against the Pharisees, they had to put up with unending attacks not necessarily from local yokels in general, though that was surely the case, but primarily from status quo Christians in high places and their unthinking drone army of pew-worn sycophantic lemmings. Whatever Christian norm had been established at that time by the current generation was seen as the norm from which no one should deviate. Of course, necessary deviations from such established traditional sleepy time norms must happen anyway if the real Gospel is to be preached, otherwise there would never be the proper spiritual corrections and ongoing restoration toward the pure New Testament prototype.
DID THE APOSTLES USE TENTS?
And this is where it gets interesting. The minister tent user of which I speak and whose book I’m reading who held a great many tent crusades et al in his time over several years was not actually engaging in a pure New Testament effort after all because the big top model was relatively recent. I’m not sure what minister first used a tent for ministry purposes and I don’t feel like doing the research but one wonders if the idea came from the ever present traveling circuses of bygone years. I’m sure big canvas tents were used for more than just circuses but I think said circuses indeed captured the market on the imagination since pretty much everybody back in the day associated circuses with giant tents filled with lions and tigers and bears and acrobats coming to town. It was only a hop and a skip sans the jump to put the proverbial two and two together and manifest a flashing yellow light bulb over one’s head toward the big ministry-minded voilà: We can use tents in ministry!
It was certainly a good idea and maybe a great one. Except for one little problem. It was at heart a mere variation on the standard model of the local church building. As I said, if the tent ministers/ministries were successful, the people they gathered would eventually be housed in something more permanent than the transitory tent which makes the tent a kind of halfway house toward the standard church house. So the question regarding the Early Church and its non-use of permanent meeting buildings would also apply to the big tents of past crusade fame. You see, not only did the early believers never have any permanent church buildings as we know the term, they would also not use big tents if indeed big tents were available. Now, stay with me here because there is a point to this, hard to figure though it may first appear.
HOUSE TO HOUSE
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart… [Acts 2:46]
The private home was their preferred meeting place. It was essentially their only allowable meeting place. The New Covenant Scriptures are filled with references to houses being utilized for meeting places. The apostle Paul mentions them often and that he taught “from house to house” (Acts 20:20). This means the term “church house” has an entirely different connotation from their perspective. Rather than it being a public Christian meeting house which Christians attend from without as it has been throughout much of western history, the original church houses were actual church houses—they were private houses that Christians lived in that Christians also used for ministry meetings. This was the case in the very beginning in Jerusalem and it remained the case for roughly three centuries. The exact model was used throughout the Gentile world within the Roman Empire.
Regarding overt persecution from the state, in the early going until the emperor Claudius was ousted in 54AD and Nero came to power, the Gentile Christians got a pass because the Romans considered them a Jewish sect and the Jews had already been granted an exclusion of sorts from practicing the Roman religion and participating in the emperor cult. One reason for this was their many centuries-old religious practice that far predated Roman times which gave them an effective grandfather clause. That and the fact that Jews made big gigantic huge earth-shattering trouble at any appearance of attack against their religion or when obedience to Roman religion was put forth or even suggested.
The time came however, when the Gentile Christians could no longer fly under the radar though they sincerely attempted to always “follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:4). Part of the reason for that was those same unbelieving Jews who professed holy hell when their religion was slighted had no problem doing the slighting themselves against followers of the Lord Jesus, most especially if they were fellow Israelites. It was also quite problematic that the more vocal and hard core branch didn’t stop at mere slights but proceeded to destruction and murder. In other words, the unbelieving Jews were blessed with effective freedom of religion and respect by a Roman government which could otherwise be quite brutal but they refused such freedom of religion to their brothers following the Lord Jesus and the many Gentiles following Him as well.
Thus the Romans were not the persecutors in the beginning. They were sometimes influenced by unbelieving Jews undercover to go after Christians as was the case recorded in Acts Chapter 12 when Herod Agrippa had the apostle James unlawfully executed, and “when he saw that it pleased the Jews,” he planned on murdering Peter also. Both of these men were obviously solid Israelites but no matter.
It was nutbag Nero who later jettisoned the peaceful policy of Claudius (41-54AD) toward the Christians, a period when real Christianity had flourished in the empire. It was on Nero’s sordid watch that the first major Roman state persecution broke out against Christian believers. At that point the home fellowships in Rome and other areas had to take extra precautions not only because of Nero’s madness and the antichrist influence upon him but also because Christianity was now seen as something entirely different from first century Judaism. Its growing numbers and influence appeared threatening. Christians soon became Roman public enemy number one and convenient scapegoats.
Therefore, even though real Christianity had gained great early success and had much freedom to meet relatively unmolested in their homes over a wide stretch of territory throughout the Roman Empire, there had certainly been insufficient wherewithal to create actual Christian meeting houses (though they saw no need for such and even likely perceived what we termed church buildings as counterproductive), such buildings became impossible after the start of Nero’s persecution.
Yet, as it was, after the early glory days in the 30s AD when persecution and famine broke out in Jerusalem scattering the seed of the Gospel to the four corners, the same in essence had happened in Nero’s time (54-68AD), as Christians were forced to grow ever more vigilant, spiritually strong, and able to travel. And they had to travel light. This still required meeting in small groups in homes as the best way to stay undetected in part and be seen as peaceable law abiding citizens of no threat to the state or their neighbors. To construct an overt large building to meet in would be seen as an affront and would be out of character anyway. The plan they were taught by the Lord had always worked very well as it had for Him. Remember, though the Lord sometimes ministered in synagogues there came a time when He was no longer welcome. The same thing happened to the apostle Paul in his early ministry who often started in the local synagogues teaching the Good News to his brothers. He was often warmly accepted early on and gained converts but eventually the unbelievers there created such a terror he had to move on.
For the early believers, ministry was not bound by convention but simply a matter of shining their light, witnessing, assisting the Lord in saving souls, helping and loving others, teaching the Gospel when open doors and hungry hearts presented themselves, keeping a relatively low profile when necessary, and most importantly, being vessels filled with the Spirit of God and praying others through to the same experience.
THE REAL TENTS
For the Early Church, Pentecost was essentially an everyday affair. Real Christianity started in a private home in Jerusalem in an appropriately named Upper Room and continued with that format everywhere it traveled. The first many generations of Christian believers had no church buildings or large canvas tents. They had next to nothing of what later Christians, including today’s, deemed indispensable. What they had, however, worked wonders. It did so because their ministry model was organic and close to the people.
The closer we get to their model at present, the more we will be like them and the more spiritual success we will have. Rather than insisting on traditional largely non-productive, unworkable, unbiblical ministry models and watching the culture and country fall down all around us as a result, not to mention millions of souls being lost due to such models never caring to reach them, it is high time we get this right and do things the Lord’s way. Humble servitude always works. People need the Lord.
“Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8b]
At the end of the day, the only real church buildings, the only real tents, are our own bodies—spiritual temples—each of which should be dedicated to the Lord Jesus as a welcome home for His Holy Spirit. This is the actual New Covenant model—individual spiritual temples built up into one large spiritual temple composed of all real Christians, exactly as our spiritual forebears believed, taught, and practiced. They placed a very high priority on believers being filled with the Holy Spirit of the Lord. We see this referenced repeatedly in the early history of Christianity at Pentecost, immediately after Pentecost, and throughout the Book of Acts record over the next forty years. Receiving the Spirit of God was AN EVENT. It never happened by osmosis and never happened “by faith” without powerful empirical evidence witnessed by others.
The one common denominator evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, through the process toward total submission, was the surrender of the last rebellious holdout of the human body—the tongue.
Thus, the early Community of the Lord Jesus was composed of brand new, spiritually clean, holy, set apart for service, mobile temples filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord alluded to this future standard repeatedly during His ministry in the gospels. The New Covenant epistles, especially those of Paul, also mention this truth. He taught on it. He refers to believers who have experienced it. In the middle of these two we have the Book of Acts which illustrates the experience in real time. The major problem with much of Christianity is that it skips over Acts and goes straight from the gospels to the epistles. This causes non-Spirit-filled Christians to identify with the content of Paul’s letters as though it applied to them and causes them to think they are Spirit-filled when they are not.
In the following passage, the apostle Paul identified the real Christians of his time not according to Christian religious tradition, but according to OT Scripture and as those who had fully experienced Pentecost. A separation and dedication was called for then as it must be now:
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. [2Corinthins 6:14-18]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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.
It is a direct result of the false clergy-laity divide. Once that precedent was set, local one man rule quickly followed. Most insist on the “pastor” title.
Everybody calls them pastor. Next to no one ever questions the title nor the position of the title holder. Much worse than this, next to no one ever does any New Testament research on this particular term to verify its legitimacy. Like so many other things regarding traditional Christianity as opposed to the Lord’s original model, the pastor title and one man rule has been successfully embedded in religious concrete with nary a fight. Though it has no legitimate reason to exist, its presence proves the further presence of misinformation by design and millions of Christians unaware of the truth. Those in control would rather not deal with any Biblical truth that challenges their position.
THE LORD’S ACTUAL MANAGEMENT MODEL
For those interested in what the New Testament actually teaches about the Lord’s original model, the following four points explain it succinctly:
- The New Covenant Communities were each ruled exclusively by the Lord Jesus through the medium of His Holy Spirit.
- He appointed men under His leadership to supervisory places of service. These men were generally entitled elders and overseers.
- He appointed other men to associate places of service generally entitled deacons and ministers.
- Each Community was supervised by a group of elders and never by one man.
I have researched this topic for decades and written long papers. I have done exhaustive New Testament studies on the subject. Because I must be relatively concise with this article, I will explain and clarify, though briefly, the New Testament facts regarding the pastor title and position, and why the issue matters. I will be quoting from my book Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church (which contains much deeper research). Each book excerpt will be indented to differentiate it from the post text. Keep in mind that the words pastor and shepherd are not synonymous:
As mentioned previously, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen, which is translated as “shepherd” on every other occurrence of its use. “Pastor” is originally a Latin word and means “herdsman,” which is defined as “a manager, tender, or breeder of livestock.” Though “herdsman” and “shepherd” might appear identical, there is a difference. The Good Shepherd, for example, cannot be identified as a mere manager of livestock, but only as a caring shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. A herdsman, or pastor, is actually more similar to a hired hand in the sense that livestock is seen as a commodity, and the level of personal care is much lower than that of a true shepherd. It is in Ephesians 4:11 that we find the only occurrence of the word “pastor.” If the translators had used the word “shepherd,” as they should have, we quite possibly wouldn’t have today’s “herdsmen” in authority over God’s people, but true shepherds who assist the Great Shepherd. 
Again, the word “pastor” is mentioned only once in the New Testament and is translated from the Greek word poimen which is defined as “shepherd.” This Greek word occurs 18 times in the New Testament. Why is it translated as shepherd 17 times instead of all 18? There is absolutely no legitimate reason for this. Since the original King James Version of 1611 was written with a strong authoritarian bias per the king of England and his translators, this was their chance to insert an authority word since the word “shepherd” is disdained by authoritarians as weak and essentially useless for instituting rule. Of course, the Lord Jesus was never referred to as “Pastor” nor were any of His disciples. He was, however, addressed often as Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd not the “Good Pastor.” We must follow His example:
A real pastor is nothing more than, and nothing less than, a shepherd. Many of those who represent themselves as pastors today are anything but. There are many preachers who desire a nice, steady job and a “Pastor” title. There are also quite a few homesick evangelists who would rather settle down in one location to do pastoral work instead of attend to their callings. It should be obvious that the only real pastors are those who are functioning as pastors, that is, caring for and shepherding God’s flock according to God’s will. There are undoubtedly many people who are called to be shepherds who are not serving as such, or else the Church would be in a lot better shape. Most of these are probably wasting away on pews because they don’t feel qualified when comparing themselves to the multi-credentialed big boys in the pulpits. 
Because a great many of our so-called Christian leaders refuse the original New Testament management model of the Lord Jesus, might they also be engaging in other violations? If their desire is to rule over the flock instead of shepherd the flock, their spiritual condition doesn’t really matter. Perhaps this is why so many Christian leaders, including those with a pastor title, seem to always be engaged in some form of hidden sin:
Through deception, each of us can become blind to our own sin at any given time. No one is immune from this possibility. The most susceptible are those who have such a high opinion of their worth and stature the very idea of their fallibility and sinful tendencies escape them. Such “right” supremacists would no longer think it possible to be unaware of or compromised by their own sin than they would think anybody else could possibly serve in their place. When this high-minded attitude is resident within professional Christian leadership, it serves as an obstructing hidden sin against abundant living for those in their care. Hence, it is far too often the case that those who lead congregations do so according to their own will since they are not fully obedient to the will of God. This is not the picture of Jesus working through a person, but a person working of his own accord.
Therefore, many spiritually hungry and unfulfilled seekers of life have unknowingly committed the sin of appropriating for themselves leaders other than Jesus. The Lord makes it very clear that He is the only Good Shepherd, and though a believer may gain assistance from a person of more mature spiritual standing, such a person must never occupy the foremost place of authority in a believer’s life. Such facts bring us to the sad conclusion that many Christian leaders and/or pastors are not true shepherds at all, but mere hired hands. They might indeed care somewhat for those in their congregations, but they certainly don’t possess the same level of care as the Good Shepherd. As hired hands whose salary stems from the pocket of their congregations, they can get by without being tapped-in to God’s payroll and yet maintain their ministerial credentials. The shepherdless sheep, however, are not quite as artful and are often scattered by the wolf. 
HOME GROWN WOLVES
While churches have been hyper-sensitized to all manner of possible minor deviations from doctrinal and cultural protocol arising from the congregation and (Aghast!) mysterious visitors, no one ever looks in the other direction. The dude in the pulpit is thus most often immune. He is rarely queried. As long as he gets the denominational doctrine right people look the other way. This would explain the previous passage regarding sin in high places. Where then, would the enemy strike? Would the enemy seek to clandestinely enter the well guarded congregation, the laity class, where every member must always toe the mark and squeal on those who don’t? Or would he attempt a takeover by going after those high and lifted up with little or no accountability that control the operation? We should all know that the devil will always try to gain control of the few in control in order to control all. This is yet another reason why such false Christian authority positions are highly vulnerable to temptation. It is the opposite, of course, with legitimate, accountable, and transparent Christian eldership groups. These men act in the service of the Lord Jesus and not only watch over the flock but each other as well.
Could this be why the clergy boys double down and also establish protective manned check points toward their hidden ivory towers? And condition the congregation to never question “them that have the rule over you?” Do they set up all this protection to keep people from finding out what they really are and what they’re really up to? This is a far cry from the way the Lord Jesus and His followers ever conducted themselves. The “One Man Show” Ruling Paradigm has thus done great damage to the Lord’s management model and has had a devastating effect on what could have been regarding American Christianity’s positive impact on the country. The enemy has gained a beachhead:
Christianity in general has become too stodgy and complacent to be changed by Him in any appreciable manner, since the will of the people for His control is greatly lacking. Revival and/or renewal do not address the root of the problem, and this consequently demands a new approach. The people who are at least trying to obey Him in this regard are finding some success, and their new-found fresh spiritual forays contrast sharply with conventional methods. It is in comparing the two that we discover a glaring truth.
When the splitting of community became official, it easily did more to thwart God’s plan for evangelizing the world than anything else man has devised. The reason why is simple—ninety-something percent of the membership was removed from the process. The “laity” was deemed unqualified for officially ordained Christian service and, consequently, unworthy of receiving God’s call. Yet, there was a time when all believers heard the call of God, and each person heard it from Jesus Himself. At the present, due to the entrenched tradition of the clergy-laity division, many Christians never consider the possibility of devoting their lives to God because they have been made to think that God only chooses certain rare holy ones for His work. If this is true, the Lord is breaking His own commandment by judging a good many people as unqualified before they ever get a chance to prove themselves.
The only thing which actually disqualifies a person from ministry is the same thing which disqualifies him from membership in the Church, and that is simply a lack of full commitment to the absolute Lordship of Jesus. There is nothing inherent within any sincere believer which disqualifies him or her from the Lord’s service—somebody else’s service yes, but not the Lord’s. Every Christian needs to know that all legitimate calls to ministry come only from the Lord, and each should be encouraged to find his or her place of service. There are abundant ministry needs to address, very few who feel worthy to address them, and many who were discouraged from entering the Lord’s service by inept ministers who were more than likely never called themselves, at least, not by God. 
ESTABLISHING DOMINION THROUGH ARCHITECTURE
Why are church building interiors arranged like theaters, auditoriums, assembly houses, and ancient Roman amphitheaters, with platforms and stages, and lecterns and pulpits? The Lord’s original apostles and the entire first century Christian Community never appropriated any of these. Instead, theirs was an organic fellowship utilizing available organic means. For example, they never had any central meeting house but always met in private homes. They took care of one another. What one lacked another provided. They steered clear of any institutionalism, prideful shows of earthly power, or dominance over the people dogma precisely because they were spiritually powerful humble servants, exactly as their Lord commanded them to be.
This question of church buildings thus pretty much answers itself for those paying attention. To go along with clergy dominance, it helps to create imposing material representations of said dominance. The people need to know who’s in charge. It began about 1700 years ago with the first “cathedrals.” They simply transformed Roman government structures for Christian use and then continued with the government model to showcase their rule over the people. Never mind that the Lord Jesus never engaged in such earthly nonsense. When did the Lord and His men ever advocate for the building of static church buildings? There were no church buildings for three centuries and the early believers managed to turn the world upside down anyway. The Lord’s kingdom was and remains a spiritual kingdom devoid of the mandatory trappings of earthly kingdoms.
Also, when did the Lord Jesus ever act like a duded-up ruling potentate preaching down from on high to the lower class? Is He not the most humble Man who ever lived? Did not the Creator Himself choose to present Himself that way? Why did God enter this world like everyone else, as a mere babe? Is He teaching us something with His perfect attitude? Is He not our perfect example?
There is a massive disconnect in this area. When presented with such information most Christians simply stare and say nothing or get angry and go into defense mode. This is highly unfortunate. I am not saying that good is not being done in traditional Christian settings. But such tradition has most often been a huge drag on what could otherwise be accomplished. And nothing subverts the process more than a solitary strong man in control dictating anything and everything, and building according to his vision instead of the Lord’s vision. These ruling pastors (and this is a perfect grammatical definition) are most often working in direct opposition to the Lord Jesus rather than working in concert with Him. The Lord is thus forced to support them in part because of the limited good done in such places since they are on balance better than nothing at all.
STUDY TO SHEW THYSELF APPROVED
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]
Imagine rightly praising your first grade child for doing well in his or her school work. Then imagine the idea of praising him or her when the child continues to operate on a first grade level in the second or third grade. Then think about what happens when kids are passed on to the next grades when they never complete the required course work for their previous grade. You will eventually have some really ignorant children and teenagers that simply cannot handle the work which the grade they were passed to requires.
Did you know we have an absolute epidemic of ignorant children in schools? That we have ignorant teenagers actually graduating from high schools? That some of these are actually attending college? In the early years of this country, roughly three centuries ago, children were learning new languages. They were reading the classics at early ages. They were reading the Word of God and understanding it. They had difficult course work but many were mastering it. Have you seen the bright but disciplined children in this world mastering musical instruments? Have you noticed how some children learn practical work at early ages and later become masters at their trades?
We do a great disservice to children by allowing them to be dumbed down rather than instructed properly toward higher levels. How many people notice the miracle of very small children somehow learning complex grammar and language at the age of two to three years old? How did their grasp of grammar and vocabulary suddenly shoot through the roof? The so-called experts have no answer for this. It defies evolutionary thinking. It is impossible that the children learned it on their own. It is not possible to teach it. They acquire a great amount of information and ability at an extremely young age and begin working out complex problems when they should not be able to.
Then they are placed in “schools” with extremely limited learning environments with forced low common denominators that cause their revved up rocket engine minds potentially taking them into outer space to be downgraded to virtual Model T’s and in other cases horse and buggy technology that make it difficult to get on down the road and impossible to travel any appreciable distance. Rather than continuing toward epic flight they are forced into slave galleys pulling at oars to support the institution and its parasitic inhabitants and leaders instead of the other way around.
This exact dynamic has transpired in American Christianity. The arrogant clergy boys and their sycophants have created institutions that serve them instead of serving the people. The people suffer. Christians never get the teaching they need or the Biblical and spiritual knowledge they require. These Pharisaical leaders almost never create a single disciple but maintain dumbed down “congregants” who rarely progress and are next to worthless spiritually. Most American Christians have never had a real born again experience. Most have never read the Bible. Most are Biblically illiterate. Most have a dirt foundation with a future fall. It is almost never the case that such eternal church-going Christians cannot learn or be properly discipled as the Lord clearly commanded. It is that true discipleship is at odds with the traditional curriculum. Keeping the congregation dumbed down and under control is a much better management model because it’s a much better business model. It is better to keep everyone in elementary school perpetually to keep them coming, giving their money and support, and maintaining the rule of the clergy and local “pastors.” The last thing they want is people doing things the Lord’s way. I mean, if everybody developed as real ministers of the Gospel and actually graduated, how could that be good for the local church?
SUPPORTING THE COUNTERFEIT
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46] 
Why is it that most Christians never properly compare the Lord’s ministry style with their own and comprehend the night and day difference? Is it simple cognitive dissonance? Why do so many Christians look upon the Lord Jesus, the original apostles, and the first century Church as primitive and even wacky, and their methods those of a long dead culture that could never work in the present? The reality of the matter is that the Lord’s management model, which is the perfect model, is rejected not because it doesn’t work or cannot work but because it conflicts with what Americans Christians have built in its place.
Why do so many Christians support the Pastor Paradigm? Why does the majority continue to insist on supporting a failed model? The official model is a counterfeit substitute that falls short on many levels. It is why American Christianity in general continues to deteriorate and lose influence. Look around! America and Americans are suffering! Real Christianity is under attack! It is only the current Great Awakening which largely exists outside official channels that is allowing for a vehicle through which the Lord can work. Sound familiar?
They refuse the Lord’s full authority, refuse His perfect management model, and refuse to allow the infusion of spiritual life that so many are desperately praying for. For them it will always be business as usual.
“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 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 23:8-13]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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.
This erroneous idea, with serious implications, is due to an incorrect translation in the KJV.
Yes, I know this may be shocking for some. There are errors in the Bible? Well, let’s call this particular one a transmission error. Here are the two verses in question in the King James Version:
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. [Revelation 5:10]
Here are the same verses in the New American Standard 1995:
And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” [Revelation 5:10]
I could go farther into this using the Greek words but the NASB95 is the correct translation (along with other versions). You may ask, “Why is this important?” Well, for one thing, the New Testament consistently states that the Lord Jesus is the only King. Nowhere else does it say He has sub-kings under His authority. This would otherwise be a common sense issue. Secondly, these are the only two verses in the KJV in which both words occur. Third, there are no other verses stating that believers are kings.
And then there is a fourth issue. You see, this verse and others like it in the KJV along with this Bible version’s strong authoritative bias, assisted in giving rise several decades ago to Dominion Theology. If you have not heard of this or know it by a different name I suggest you do some minor research. I happened to be in the thick of it when it came to the fore in the 1980s and am well aware of its harmful effect and deceit. It is just one more false notion that Christians accept wholeheartedly because they trust their church or pastor and are often not even aware of such things. I will not get into it here in this brief post but again, a better understanding and greater knowledge of New Testament Scripture will keep a believer much better informed and prepared for such false notions and deceptions.
Now, in Colossians 4:18 the apostle Paul uses the term “kings” in this regard also but in a sarcastic manner. He proves my point. Why don’t we let him explain this issue which also existed in his time and broke out among Colossian believers? In the following passage Paul also reveals what real ministry is about as opposed to that of the highbrow clergyites who deem themselves superior (sound familiar?) and by it lead people astray:
Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
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. [Colossians 4:6-13]
THE ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT LITERATURE
The written Word of God as originally delivered was accurate. It correctly communicated the truth of the writer. We know this in part because of the powerful impact the New Covenant writings had on the first-century world. These writings changed the course of history, as it were, as no other literature had ever done before or since. Millions of lives were changed for the better in dramatic fashion. The salvation of souls spread far and wide. People were transformed spiritually and received great otherwise impossible promises coming true in their lives exactly as the Lord Jesus had promised.
Much of this Good News in the early going, however, was not due to the written word but the spoken word. People received the Gospel message primarily through the oral transmission of highly anointed witnesses sent forth by God into a dark world straining under a great burden of sin and depravity. Most people were wearing the yoke of slavery, were under the heavy hand of dictators and evil authoritarians, and were struggling to survive. The Good News arrived as a shining beacon of hope. The message was different than any other preceding it and proved its legitimacy and genuineness by actually working and bringing forth exactly what it decreed.
Remember, the Lord spoke of “spiritual words.” He claimed there was “life” in the words He spoke. He said His words, or Word, had the power to overcome evil, break bonds, and greatly transform lives for the better. No other words had this power or inherent ability:
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” [John 6:63-65]
We see by this passage, however, that though His Word was potentially spiritually transformative, it must be activated by belief. His Word does not work otherwise.
What follows is the definition of the original NT Greek word translated into English as “believe” which, if properly and wholly applied, activates the ever-present fruitful Word of God:
Strong’s Greek #4100: πιστεύω pisteúō (pist-yoo’-o); from G4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ):—believe(-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.
Intransitive, to think to be true; to be persuaded of; to credit, place confidence in;
Universally: The thing believed being evident from the preceding context,
Specifically, in a moral and religious reference, “the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of his soul”; thus it stands:
Absolutely to trust in Jesus or in God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something:
Of the credence given to God’s messengers and their words, with a dative of the person or thing used especially of the faith by which a man embraces Jesus, i.e. a conviction, full of joyful trust, that Jesus is the Messiah — the divinely appointed author of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God, conjoined with obedience to Christ.
We see then, that though the Lord Jesus is the most powerful Person in the entire Universe (no contest), has all authority in heaven and earth, is the greatest Champion of all time who has defeated all of His evil enemies (who are deathly afraid of Him), and that His holy Word is powerful, spiritually beneficial to the nth degree, and potentially greatly transformative, He presents Himself in His initial interaction with people as a gentle humble Man speaking an appealing message of love, life, and hope:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 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 11:28-30]
In essence, the Lord Jesus is the antithesis of a jacked-up duded-up Pharisaic empty suit authoritarian as illustrated by any number of religious or secular potentates who major on externals and personal accoutrements and have little effective regard for those over which they rule, much like the false apostles Paul referred to. Don’t ever forget that humility is a giant spiritual door while pride and arrogance is a concrete wall.
RULING AND REIGNING?
Many years ago I was doing my usual Biblical research and came across an in-depth study article, quite long as I remember, regarding the King James Version of the Bible. The author claimed this Bible version held a very strong authoritative bias. I was not surprised but certainly intrigued. The KJV was commissioned by the king of England, the translators were working for the king among the trappings of the court, and they made ample use of William Tyndale’s initial English translation of roughly eighty years before (for which he was burned at the stake by the English king, somewhat ironic, no?). King James had made sure that this new translation would be one that “properly” conveyed respect for authority in general and specifically for kingly and clerical rule. It was his intention to further the cause of the new hybrid Anglican Church and the supreme religious authority thereof. This high handed attitude of the Church of England is what drove the persecuted Bible believing Separatists from the country. The good news is that they eventually landed in America and established Plymouth Colony in 1620. You know the rest of that story.
PRIESTS YES BUT KINGS NO
In truth, the Lord’s people are priests but not kings. There is only one King in His Kingdom—the Lord Jesus. This misunderstanding is derived from our fore-mentioned bad translation in the KJV. Also, we must be careful of the encroachment and excesses of gross authoritarianism. There is no verse in the New Testament that claims the Lord’s people are to “rule and reign.” His people certainly have a level of spiritual authority and must exercise it, but their authority is always subject to the Lord’s highest authority. One cannot “reign” in life over spiritual death unless one is fully subjected to the one who has defeated sin and death (Romans 5:17). One can only “reign” with Him, that is, because of Him, by Him, or through Him, but never as a king and only as His subjects.
The Lord grants to His people spiritual authority over His enemies but His people must always be cognizant of what this actually entails. It has nothing to do with kingly honor or ruling over physical, material, or geographic kingdoms. It has nothing to do with the usual trappings of such in which sinful people lord it over others. This evil spirit and attitude came to power centuries ago within certain denominations and transformed willing impersonators into religious authoritarians ruling over people. There is no such rule in real Christianity except the rule of the Lord Jesus. Under His authority each and every one of His people are exactly equal. Some obviously have greater spiritual maturity. Some are developing into such and will get there in time. Those who are spiritually mature and have the evidence of it should be respected as elders but must never be seen as anything more than a fellow sibling.
It is the same regarding the priesthood of the believer. All real Christians are certainly priests but the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest.
He is also the only King of kings and Lord of lords.
© 2023 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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.
Unrepentant sinners never care to count the cost. They never care to look down the road. They never perceive the future consequences of their actions. They seem to live only for the moment and let tomorrow “take care of itself.”
There are many Biblical passages which speak to the fallacy of living in such a way. The Lord Jesus taught very much on the subject. In fact, the subject is so widespread and all-inclusive, one should always be cognizant of what one’s current actions will turn into when his or her karma chickens come home to roost.
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… [Galatians 6:7-8]
Every day we are planting seeds. Each decision we make and act on is a seed that will manifest in something. It therefore stands to reason that we should all concentrate on making good decisions, on doing good things, and on planting good “seeds” so we can later have good outcomes.
…But the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. [Galatians 6:8-9]
There are consequences in every single action we make. Like the proverbial ripples in the pond, what one does today will spread into tomorrow and next week and will continue “paying dividends” far into the future.
It is therefore mandatory that we know what is good and what is bad, so we can avoid planting bad seeds and concentrate on planting good seeds.
If we are always doing good deeds, the fruit of the good deeds will constantly be coming forth. Something good will happen tomorrow or the next day and it will be because we planted good seed and performed good deeds.
Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh. Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. [James 3:12-13]
However, those who do good must also be aware of the presence of evil in this world. Evil hates the good and goes to war against it. So one may do many good things and have the fruit of that good come forth, but also attract the attack of evil for doing good. Such evil is not the result of one doing good, but the result of being attacked by evil for doing good.
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. [1 Peter 2:12]
Unrepentant sinners are those who join forces with the dark side whether they know it or not. In fact, most of these do not know they are in league with the devil because they are deceived. And many are self-deceived. But in most cases it does not mean their conscience is dead. They deceive themselves into thinking their sin has no consequences and thus, not only continue to sin but develop a sinful lifestyle. Their personal culture and way of life has sin infused throughout it, and they actually believe their sin is good, and thus, not sin.
This is willing deception of the highest order.
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!
Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!
Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble and dry grass collapses into the flame, so their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. [Isaiah 5:20-24]
As an excellent example, this is why millions of American Christians believe ripping apart a living, breathing innocent baby is a good thing.
Logic teaches us, through the basic form of the argument structure, the following:
PREMISE 1: Polls continually show that the vast majority of Americans refer to themselves as Christians.
PREMISE 2: America is supposedly a Christian nation.
CONCLUSION: Therefore, American Christians are pro-abortion, and have consistently supported abortion rights for over forty years, in that abortion, totally and completely illegal and immoral in the eyes of God, still exists as a legal and moral choice in this country.
If the conclusion is false, then one or both premises must be false. If either premise is false, America is not a Christian nation, and the giant majority that claims Christianity is not composed of real Christians. Since the facts of abortion are true, and since real Christians oppose abortion, it must be the unreal Christians who support it. And it must also be the unreal Christians who have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Doctors have advised thousands and thousands of parents that their unborn babies have such severe defects they should abort the pregnancies. And millions of parents-to-be have been counseled that babies on the way, physically impaired or not, are terribly inconvenient. Consequently, such parents have aborted their babies thinking they were doing the right thing, though they had to bypass a God-given convicting conscience. Many have regretted such decisions ever since.
But many parents have also refused such advice, trusted God, allowed their babies to be born, and such babies end up bringing great joy to their parents and the world, grow up and become good, productive adults, and are ever thankful that their parents allowed them to live.
Abortion is an extreme example, maybe the most extreme. But such an example gives perfect perspective to the “evil is good” mentality spread throughout the country and this fallen world.
Doing good is not necessarily easy. But deceiving oneself into sinning without repentance or recognizing the sin makes doing evil very easy. Such people have circumvented the one check on their bad behavior—they have removed their will/conscience from the equation.
Picture the ultimate running-with-scissors scenario. Picture one knowing full well what their evil behavior will manifest in but keep doing it anyway, over and over again.
And because of their disregard of goodness and light
And not living according to what is morally right
God makes it simple to sin to their hearts delight
By giving them a reprobate mind of blind and blight
And they begin to believe in, practice, and teach the most idiotic things ever known to mankind. They become complete and total doofuses—total fools unto themselves, though with an arrogant air and the perception of intelligence.
And they hang around with like-minded people—those who are also willingly deceived. And they fight for evil. They join forces with the devil and not only do they not care or see, they laugh at the thought. And they think God is an idiot. And they think God’s people are idiots. And they laugh at those who try to rescue them.
They will not be laughing in hell.
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. [Romans 1:28-32] 
In other words, such people know they are doing wrong but are compelled to continue sowing bad seed with no remorse or repentance until they can no longer feel remorse or desire repentance. What else can this be but willing self-deception and an enthusiastic eagerness for endless sin sprees? And why should there not be justice for such crimes? Others may call them victims or place the blame anywhere but where it belongs, but God calls them what they are—those who love sin.
For most, justice will come after death. And they will not be able to defend their evil deeds.
Therefore, the idea that sinners are completely unmindful of and completely deceived regarding their bad seed and resultant bad fruit does not hold water. They know. And they know they will pay. The problem is they simply don’t care. They possess a self-created apathetic heart of darkness.
Nevertheless, though the result of their sin continues to erupt like a mad volcano spewing evil and misery all over the land, the Lord, in His great love and compassion, still tries to reach them…
Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you. You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors, therefore a tumult will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed… [Hosea 10:12-14]
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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.
Sin is not only a destroyer, those under its power are also prone to colossal deception. It is why so many refuse to trust the Lord Jesus.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7: 13-14]
THE LORD’S MISSION
No one is more loving or kind. No one is more willing to sacrifice on your behalf. No one gives His heart as He does. He will do anything to save you. He has proven this by His perfect life and sacrificial death. His goal was to defeat sin and thereby set people free from its power. There was only one way to do this. He risked everything in the process. How so?
What most Christians fail to consider are the immense implications of His mission. In order to defeat sin He would have to live His life entirely free from sin. He could never sin, not even once. If He did He would suffer the penalty of sin which is spiritual death.
Once the Lord God decided to become a Man, to pass into the realm of humanity as one of us and enter into the greatest and riskiest mission of all time, He knew it meant putting the entire Universe including the celestial environs of heaven up for grabs. If He failed the devil would gain everything. If the Lord sinned, if He violated the Torah, even only once, and even only in a minor way, He would no longer qualify as the perfect unblemished Sacrifice Lamb. That would mean there would be no Savior. It would mean there would never be a Savior. That would mean He would go to hell. It would also mean we all would go to hell. There would be no way to get around it. The apostle Paul would never write, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Death would win. It would forever sting the heart of all. Human beings would be but a memory. God would be a memory. The devil and his evil henchmen would rule forever.
Thus, we must always be cognizant of what was at stake. The Lord’s life/mission was obviously the most fundamental and crucial aspect of our potential salvation. No one can even imagine the immense pressure the Lord was under. These were monumental implications. The prodigious power of sin and the temptation thereof is such that no human being has the ability to ever come close to defeating it. It is by far the greatest disease known to man. Sin is simply far too powerful and human beings are far too weak and prone to temptation to ever have a chance against it on their own. Once Adam sinned he released this sad inability and weakness, this incessant persistent flaw, upon all succeeding generations. Once sin entered the realm of humanity it put everyone at risk of eternal damnation.
Prior to the Incarnation, with Himself as the only possible candidate, the Lord God knew He must be the first human to defeat sin. He knew He must be the first to never give into temptation, to never be deceived by the devil, and to never be betrayed by His own flesh. Setting a perfect example, He would never choose this fallen hell-bound world and its absurdly temporary pleasures over the spiritual purity of heaven. He must be successful in opening a spiritual door to eternal life for all. He would be that Door.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15]
Humans were not bound by sin in the very beginning, of course. Adam had authority over sin. He had authority over death. Hell had no hold on him. He was absolutely free and lived in paradise. The Lord created Him above all Creation which included the devil. Adam had greater power than the devil. Adam ruled over the devil and all his fallen angelic cohorts. He was the king of the Garden, second only to God. The objective was for the Lord God, through Adam His human agent, to spread His righteous dominion throughout the world defeating the devil one step at a time and eventually eliminating his dominion here. God’s pure, holy, righteous, and loving dominion as it existed in the Garden would replace the devil’s evil dominion across the planet. The way Adam would accomplish this would be to continually cultivate and keep the Garden.
I wrote the following passage in my book Real Christianity in reference to Naboth’s Vineyard. You can find his story in the Book of 1Kings, Chapter 21. His Vineyard is a perfect spiritual type of each real Christian’s individual ministry and purpose. The spiritual significance is the same as Adam’s Garden:
One would do well to understand the creative power of one’s own vineyard. Every believer has a destiny to fulfill, a purpose for being here. Each person has a vineyard and is commissioned by God “to cultivate it and keep it.” The believer’s cultivating and keeping of his vineyard is his reason for existence. To cultivate is to prepare, to work at, and to foster growth. To keep one’s vineyard is to guard it, to preside over and protect it, to secure and maintain dominion, and to be individually responsible for its yield. It is that which gives purpose, it is his or her place in the body—the place where God dwells. [Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]
Well now, without looking too far into this, one should be able to immediately ascertain the devil’s strategy. Adam was the sole link between God and His dominion on the earth. Adam was outstandingly faithful to his mission but was only successful at continually achieving it day by day by fully focusing on God first and on his cultivating and keeping.
He was also fully aware that he must never engage in any activity that would subvert it and by which he would lose the strength and wherewithal to achieve it. Such spiritually unfruitful activity, the one and only “Thou Shalt Not” he received from God, is fruitful nonetheless though in the evil realm and is actually represented as forbidden fruit existing within Adam’s own Garden, a reminder that even in his earthly paradise there existed temptation and at a given point in time, a tempter. But not to worry. Adam was fully aware of this. The Lord taught him well. He trusted God. He obeyed God. Under these circumstances he would never eat the fruit of the Death Tree.
Remember, the devil did not need to defeat the Lord God, which he could not do anyway; all he had to do was defeat Adam. Yet he knew, of course, that this was a virtual impossibility. He knew he could never convince Adam otherwise. Perhaps he had tempted Adam on occasion, maybe many times. It did no good. Adam’s bond with God with far too strong and unyielding. And no, Adam wasn’t duded up with body armor or armed with automatic weapons that could perforate the devil in seconds and cut him into a thousand pieces. Such weapons have no power over angelic beings (hell’s angels) of the spiritual realm. The only method for defeating and taking authority over the enemies of God, demonic entities, and sin is by gaining and using the Lord God’s spiritual power and by living in a state of no sin. As long as Adam never sinned he would maintain his complete dominion over the devil. He would continue honoring God, serving God, living for God, and increasing God’s dominion. He would continue RULING OVER the devil forever. Though certainly a potential weak link compared to God, Adam was effectively no weak link at all. The devil was flummoxed by this. (Keep this in mind as you consider your own discipleship.)
For however long it was, when Adam remained alone with God he remained successful. He continued faithfully in his work. But eventually, he became aware of something missing, an awareness he could not initially explain or understand—he became lonely. He realized that he had developed a desire for human companionship. He sought God over this issue. The Lord, not feeling slighted in the least, responded by blessing Adam with his next greatest gift. You see, Adam’s future mission must include others. Not only must the Garden be fruitful—Adam must be fruitful. Not only must the Garden continue producing beneficial fruit of every kind in great amounts and continue to expand, others must come forth to assist in Adam’s “cultivating and keeping.” He must have faithful human offspring to assist him in defeating the evil forces pressuring the Garden borders from without while he expanded them outward from within. Adam was meant to be a spiritual patriarch of a great righteous clan. He was destined to grow from miniscule beginnings in a tiny obscure Garden amongst the wilds of nature and the evil dominion of the devil to a worldwide Garden covering the earth with no room for evil and no place for the devil.
To achieve this he would need help, a lot of it. The overall mission was far too grand to achieve alone. He would especially need someone very close. One cannot be a patriarch without a strong loving matriarch. Of course, rather than the future, Adam primarily had the present on his mind at that particular time. And rather than thoughts of a future matriarch and kids and family, as wonderful as such thoughts were, he was thinking more along the lines of an extended honeymoon. God did not disappoint.
The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” [Genesis 2:22:23]
Eve was God’s crown of Creation. As far as Adam was concerned, God saved His best for last. For both, it was love at first sight. A holy covenant between these two was formed. God officiated as both a covenant official and a wedding preacher. He explained what love was, what it meant to be husband and wife, and what was expected of each for both one another and the future. He also taught them about working together, about ministry, and about cultivating and keeping. Because Eve was essentially born into an existing situation God explained what her role would be.
You see, Eve was created to be Adam’s one and only fully supportive side-by-side loving companion in holy covenant with him. She was Adam’s ezer kenegdo, a “helper suitable for him.” She was not equipped to rule except as part of Adam’s rule and must yield to the one she was created to serve just as Adam yielded to the One he was created to serve. Also, she was not equipped in the natural to as great a degree as Adam to perceive spiritual dominion and what must be done to gain it and maintain it. She was not created primarily to be a warrior but a nurturer. She was there to stand with Adam, to support him, to assist in easing the pressure of responsibility upon him, to be forever by his side and work alongside him under his authority. Her gifting and nature would be a tremendous benefit for Adam, aiding him to assist in maintaining his strength and continuing onward. He would become a much better and spiritually fruitful man due to her love and support. He would, of course, also love her and shelter her and protect her. He would cherish her. It was to each other’s benefit to provide what the other lacked and needed the most within the realm of their humanity. These two were destined to be on the forefront of spiritual battle and would need every bit of each other’s support, care, and encouragement. They were dependent on one another. They must be true. They were the only people in the Garden.
As long as their covenant union remained intact the devil would continue losing and continue losing ground. The wicked devil, a being of great darkness and evil, therefore must find a way to subvert this covenant marriage and especially this new person, this innocent beautiful woman.
The creation of Eve presented the devil with a new opportunity. Once Eve inhabited the Garden the devil planned on applying the exact initial strategy against her as he had with Adam. He would operate on the sly. He would find a way to bypass Adam. He would do an end around and hope Adam would never suspect anything. He determined to catch her off guard and meet with her alone away from Adam’s protection. It wasn’t simply because she was a new opportunity for him but because he had noticed a weakness in Eve he could exploit, a weakness Adam did not have.
Though the devil ruled the planet and had the run of it in the spiritual realm ever since God cast him out of heaven, he only had dominion here and nowhere else. And he didn’t appreciate the new invaders invading his turf. The devil hated the Garden. He hates everything pure and holy and righteous. He obviously opposed Adam’s mission from day one knowing exactly what it represented. He knew it was spiritual war directed against him but his counter offensive against Adam had been completely ineffective.
What the devil attempted with Eve is what he attempts with everyone. His goal is to corrupt, to change whatever is good, wholesome, and honorable into something immoral and sinful. Adam’s only chance was staying close to God. With him, however, it was not mere chance; Adam was very close to God and would never, ever betray Him.
The devil knows all too well what happens when a person becomes dedicated to God the way Adam was initially. Such people—real Christians—are a never ending headache for him. They’re a pain in the neck, a thorn in the flesh, and an endless succession of punishing left jabs and jaw-breaking right crosses pounding cranium and midsection, leaving ribs broken and face a bloody pulp, and all this before the sweeping left hooks slam upside his head, contorting it grotesquely, and knocking him clean out of the ring. These real Christians unrelentingly stand up for the Lord Jesus and His righteousness and thereby inflict ongoing damage to the devil’s workings. They do exactly what Adam did when he was right with God.
Though the devil fights them, they have the wherewithal through the Lord’s Holy Spirit to successfully fight back and thus engage their enemy every step of the way. They pray. They fast. They stay “read up” on the Word of God. They stay filled with the Holy Spirit. They remain revved up on full oil lamps. They invade the enemy’s dominion. They rescue lost souls. They witness. They tell others about the Lord. They preach and teach the Gospel. They uncover lies, false doctrines, and false narratives, revealing them for what they are. THEY EXPOSE THE DEVIL AND THE LORD’S HUMAN ENEMIES. They do exactly what the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to do:
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” [Luke 10:17-19]
EVE’S WAVERING TRUST
Though she did very well for a while, maybe a relatively long time, the day came when the devil’s temptations and tricky wordplay began to at last find their mark. On a particular day, not unlike any other, she happened to have a weak moment. This happens on occasion to all believers, of course, and demands an immediate adjustment. One must quickly pivot back in God’s direction. I would think Eve had done this many times. She was not unaware. And she certainly was not unaware of temptation. Well, she suddenly pivoted alright, but in the wrong direction.
She started perceiving the Lord God as someone holding out on her. She felt she was being dishonored. She tired of her apparent secondary place. Mostly however, the devil had finally convinced her that Adam was no longer worth honoring or serving. Why should she be this so-called ezer kenegdo? Why should her life be a mere side by side support to Adam’s life? Shouldn’t they be identical? Shouldn’t they share top billing? And for that matter, why should she actually serve God? Is He really what He claims to be? Why are we stuck in this Garden? Why can’t we venture forth outside these Garden walls and check out the scene beyond? What else is out there? Maybe this serpent isn’t so bad after all. Maybe this tree, this big beautiful tree, filled with beautiful fruit that looks quite delicious and nurturing and is likely even better than all the rest of the fruit in this Garden is actually a very good thing, a wonderful thing, and something that Adam and God are keeping me from enjoying. Maybe if I do eat this fruit that for some strange reason they don’t want me to eat I can not only attain the authority of my husband but actually have him serve me! And maybe I can even be like God! Give me the papers. I’m signing…
TRUST MISAPPLIED: THE FALL
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” [Genesis 2:16-17]
Adam didn’t have to eat the forbidden fruit. He knew better. God had always warned him. God warned him for a very good reason. He could never explain the full implications and outcome of such a vile deed because Adam, in his purity and innocence, would never understand anyway. Rather than know, then, Adam would have to TRUST. This is what faith is. It is not just faith, it is pure faith in the Lord God. It is faith in believing His words, directives, teachings, and commandments. It is trusting in Him that He knows best and we therefore must obey and comply. It is for our own benefit but also His and our relationship. And this faith, this trust, is not just faith in a generic “God,” it is faith in the Lord Jesus who is the express image of God.
Those who trust in “God” but refuse to trust in the Lord Jesus are not actually trusting in God at all. They don’t even know God.
Yet, Adam knew God. And he trusted Him completely. But he was suddenly presented with a different dynamic. It came out of left field and he had a big problem processing it. As the one who had to keep everything intact, he was challenged with fitting this new puzzle piece in—it was large and unwieldy and appeared unsuitable to the Garden environs. In the effort to contain it all Adam lost sight of his main objective, part of which was to not try to fit things in that simply didn’t belong, that were not at all good for the overall setting.
His main problem along these lines (understatement alert) was what to do about Eve. She had already eaten the fruit. She never prayed about it. She never asked his advice. She just did it. And now she was a different person. Her internal beauty had faded. He still wanted her, of course, but he also wanted God. How could he have both? Somewhere around here is where Adam began losing his trust. He was no longer completely sure about the Lord. He had strayed into onset unbelief. The new dynamic threw him. It was something he never thought he would have to deal with. In his final analysis, he decided that the only way to make it all work, to please God, to please himself, to please his wife, and keep everything intact and all included, was to join up with Eve in her new endeavor instead of showing her the door. This way he could keep her. God would understand…
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” [Genesis 3:8-13]
SIN CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
Adam failed. He failed at his mission. He was defeated by a far lesser foe. The original dominion plan was lost.
This required another Adam. A future Adam. A final and only remaining chance Adam who must be successful, though also under the commandment to never sin and thus maintain power over the devil, and the world, and the flesh, and temptation, and the grave, and hell, and death itself. He would be the last Adam:
So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. [1Corinthians 15:45]
He would also be the firstborn of a new paradise, an everlasting spiritual Kingdom:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]
The God Adam knew was the only God there is, the One who dwelt in heaven in the far reaches of a glorious celestial realm. But this God also walked in the Garden. This is not a mere euphemism. Adam and Eve heard the sound of His walking. They also talked to Him. Directly. This was not a theophany. It was not a disembodied Spirit. They heard His voice. They saw His face.
Yet now, somehow, something terrible had happened. Adam was now on the other side of a former spiritual relationship. Fear had replaced faith. His purpose had drifted away. His mission had ceased.
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]
How is it that the devil has the power to blind the minds of the unbelieving? Could it be because unbelief is a sin? Could it be because those who willfully dwell in sin are under his authority? Is it because they cannot bring themselves to trust someone they cannot perceive? Do they not perceive Him because they are under a trance? An enchantment? And is this not due to the great power of sin? The fact of the matter is that sin causes spiritual blindness and a break in relationship with God. The only way to be reconciled to Him and have the spiritual blindness removed is to first have the sin removed. And the only way to do that is to turn from sin and seek the Lord Jesus since He is only one that has the cure.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8]
One must desire an actual relationship with God. One must no longer justify sin or dwell willingly with sin but repent of sin and cease from its practice. One must become pure in heart. When a person is cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, which pays for all sin, it washes it away. It scours out all the sin from an individual’s life all the way down to the infinitesimal DNA level. Then an amazing thing happens—spiritual seeing happens—spiritual sight is created. The thick colossal deception one has been subjected to is overcome and removed. Though one may never see the Lord God with the physical eye one can nonetheless see Him with spiritual eyes. One becomes aware of His holy presence. One discovers that the Lord Jesus actually exists and is the source of all Life and blessing.
One receives the revelation that Jesus is the Lord God. He is the One we all have been searching for. He is the One who longs to rescue and save all who desire Him.
And one knows He can be trusted to the nth degree.
Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” [John 2:28-29]
BLESSING BORN OF TRUST
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. [Proverbs 16:16-20] 
© 2023 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I hit the ground running in January 2022. It was a great start to my most productive year yet. And now, in these last hours of the calendar year, I will end with post #80.
TO MY FAITHFUL READERS
Thank you for your spiritual support. I appreciate each of you taking this annual trip with me. A writer is not much without faithful readers. You have given me much of your time in reading and also added much with your valued comments.
It has now been twelve calendar years. I started this site on May 10, 2011. I also hit the ground running then and wrote 64 posts in less than eight months. By May of 2012 at the one year mark my total posts had grown to over 100. My total posts to date are right at 800 and exceed 2500 pages. I consider this quite a consistent accomplishment and proves my faithfulness to the work the Lord has given me to do though what I do here is only part of my overall work. Also, a great many of these posts required much research, multiple drafts and edits, and contain spiritually mature, sound Biblically-based and topical material which many Christians either cannot handle or don’t care for. This limits potential readership by a large margin.
Though the last twelve years have been good overall, for which I am most thankful, there were also several extremely challenging times. 2022 was one of those. We all go through such. Like many of you, though, I stayed faithful throughout my travels over the years and kept up my work regardless of circumstances.
Regarding my site, I have used the same WordPress Theme since the beginning. It’s old and outdated and whatever but still works for me. Some of you may recall the notice I put on some of my posts asking you to please not read my posts at the WordPress Reader but at my site. I work hard at trying to present the best posts I can (though my Theme will no longer allow me to justify the text) and the WP Reader does a very bad job of reflecting my work. So I ask again, please read my stuff at my site. On the far lower left is a widget containing your comments and additional material. There is also a long list of my current posts on the left. If new to the site please review. I also post my books for sale in the left hand column. At the top is access to all my posts.
Though I have no means of receiving funding on my site I do ask for your prayers toward an increase in income. There is much I need to do but have limited resources. This year was especially challenging in that area. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
We now live in different times. We are way past the “times that try men’s souls” phase. America is now a different country. Some say it is no longer a country. The America many of us knew is long gone, with the wind so to speak, and is essentially dead. The Great Awakening was sent by God to wake people up and in part keep the fall from happening but most have stayed fast asleep and prefer it that way. It is much easier than facing the facts, doing research to prove the facts, and standing up for the Lord and against the devil, his henchmen, and a degenerate culture. At the end of the day it is every man for himself in the sense that you are the only one you can control.
There has been a great incessant effort over at least the last twelve years to find the truth, know the truth, and tell the truth but has done little good for the most part. Half the country will never change it seems. It is lost in a strange neverland. Another large percentage continues to hang out among the yellow stripes and dead armadillos taking far too long to decide and merely bickering over things that don’t matter anymore. This leaves about a third, maybe. Maybe 30%. In reality, though, even among the committed, many have only so much time and resources. What remains is a core group of Americans, a small group, absolutely dedicated to the Lord Jesus and determined to serve Him, work with Him, fight the spiritual war with Him, and shed the Light of His true Gospel.
Call it the American Remnant. They know they MUST be salt and light. They know they MUST fill up their oil lamps and keep them filled. Much more effort toward this is required than in the past because so much has been saturated with evil and said evil causes a greater drain on one’s batteries. The country as a whole continually ceased living for God by degrees and refused to stand up and fight against encroaching evil which gave evil an increasingly greater foothold. America, a once great nation, went from spirit to flesh to sin to death.
Therefore, it is no longer about saving the good that once was but is now about resurrection and the remote possibility thereof. But unless you’re the Lord, no matter how much you try you can’t revive a dead guy. America has thus become a national Ichabod. The glory has departed. I said this would happen twenty-five years ago. I put it in writing:
IS AMERICA A CHRISTIAN NATION?
The price of compromise has been great. The United States of America is supposedly a Christian nation. Polls constantly show that at least ninety percent of the population refers to itself as “Christian” of some form or another. Yet, there is blood in the streets; there is an increasing number of kids who can’t learn; much of the population has discarded the idea of monogamy and have become so hedonistic in their relations they could learn morality from the example of numerous animal species; and diseases are coming out of the woodwork and running far ahead of treatments.
The country is enormously successful monetarily, especially compared to other nations, yet we are up to our ears in debt, and we fight from paycheck to paycheck to keep our head above water. For a Christian nation, something’s not right; someone’s dropping the ball. Illumined by the inescapable fact that we have churches on every street corner and airwaves saturated with Christian television and radio (these terms are used very loosely), we are in ridiculous shape if we are indeed a Christian nation.
I submit that we are not a Christian nation, not because we don’t consider ourselves Christian, but simply because we do not uphold the teachings of Jesus or live according to them. Instead, we live according to the twisted teachings of impostors, rogues, spiritual eunuchs, and pretenders. Professional clergymen are wholly responsible for bringing Christianity in America to this point since they are the ones who are largely responsible for teaching and interpreting the words of the Lord. If they were doing God’s will from such lofty places of authority, shouldn’t the effects show up in society as a whole if our society is indeed Christian?
If the ruling clergy class has been mandated by Jesus to be the movers and shakers of His teachings in this country, it has apparently messed up. Whatever guilt they do carry they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge, which makes correction impossible. This is why God is removing them—they refuse to act wholly on His behalf. And if you don’t think this is true, that they’re becoming history, check the stats. Their numbers are dwindling in this country, while the numbers of “nobodies” who simply want to do God’s will are rising dramatically.
Will America be saved? No. But when certain people get out of the way and other people mature en masse, hundreds of thousands of hungry souls will find salvation, and America’s greatest great awakening will take place. [Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church ©2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]
To refresh your memory regarding Ichabod:
Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’s wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.” [1Samuel 4:19-22]
You will become more cognizant of this in the coming year. Though most will never see spiritually, of course, those who grow closer to the Lord will gain greater spiritual eyesight and see things they never saw before. And it will all make sense. The Lord needs us to have spiritual eyes and ears. Our work with Him is impossible otherwise.
World War is now upon us. Great division is here. Corruption has erupted. We have a Christian Tower of Babel. The entities which once served to act as checks and balances have become derelict in their duty. The forces of Antichrist have gained great ground. The only hope now is ongoing unrelenting victorious spiritual warfare.
I suggested back in March the following: In light of what is coming, every church in America should be having 24 hour daily prayer meetings with all members on their faces before God. That has not happened. In fact, Christians in general have become even more lackadaisical. Like the other sellouts in control in secular realms, most Christian “leaders” in control have also sold out. And like the others, these Christians, a majority, have also done a great job of covering their great sins. Most Christian activity in America is now largely simply going through the motions with no true spiritual motivation toward great gains and big victories. Most churches and ministries are purely institutional status quo outfits intent on doing what they’ve always done, lost in greater ineffectiveness and bound by money and dead tradition. The majority of churches and church “leaders” are not living in the spirit but walking in the flesh. For these, again, the majority, there is no hope of saving the good or of revival. That leaves only resurrection. And the odds are greatly against that.
THE ALWAYS EVERY TIME SOLUTION
So what to do? As always, I suggest seeking the Lord Jesus. More than you ever have before. I suggest, again, that we thoroughly immerse ourselves in the Book of Acts. This historical account teaches us what the greatest Christian generation did, how astoundingly successful they were, and exactly what we must do to be like them and have the spiritual success they had.
I will warn you in advance, though, those of you who may not know, that you will get stiff resistance in doing this. The world and culture will fight you every step of the way as will the devil and his minions. The greatest fight, however, will be with Unreal Christianity and the flesh, both of which hate and reject what is presented in the Acts of the Apostles. Though our spirits cry out for salvation and freedom and love and joy and peace and spiritual victory, our flesh knows all those things come with a price and many simply won’t pay it. They would rather find easy counterfeit replacements to assuage their conscience and fool themselves into believing they’re obeying God or are right with God.
Regarding our immediate future, then, I say turn to the Lord Jesus all the more. He is the only one we ever had a chance with anyway though many discover this only after eliminating everything else after seeing that all of it fails to deliver.
2023 will thus be the worst of times and the best of times at the same time. You will continue to see evil things you never thought you would see and wonder how in the world we came to this. Some of you will also see the increasing miraculous happenings of the Kingdom of God. The Great Awakening will continue and force the enemy’s hand. The enemy will overact and accelerate his efforts. The Lord will bring victory where He can based on our compliance with His will.
WALK IN THE SPIRIT
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [Matthew 26:41]
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” [John 3:6]
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” [John 6:63]
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. [Romans 8:5-8]
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. [Romans 8:12-14]
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. [Galatians 4:28-29]
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. [Galatians 5:16-18]
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 6:8]
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. [Ephesians 6:12]
For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. [1Peter 4:6]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
This post concludes our series on Mary. I hope you enjoyed the content and a closer look into her young life. She was one of the most influential and important persons who ever lived. Some say her life was second only to the Lord.
It was the result of a choice she made. She chose to honor the Lord and obey the great summons. So it is for every single person who answers His call. When presented with the call of God, each of His true followers makes the hard call to obey the Lord’s plan rather than any of his or her own, regardless of cost. Of course, the benefits thereof greatly outweigh the resulting persecution associated with it. Mary certainly had her share and much more than most. Indeed, as the apostle writes:
All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. [2Timothy 3:12]
Though most of us are very well aware of the following passage from the Gospel of Luke, we must note that it was authored by a man intent on including all the information available on the Lord’s birth including as much detail as possible. Nevertheless, his account remains relatively brief and written in a clean distinct style.
Please note the detail. Imagine being there as the great event unfolded, perhaps as another pilgrim on the road or a resident or visitor on the busy streets of Bethlehem. Imagine being one of the shepherds on that holy night. They experienced celestial events and angelic visitors they could never forget and likely retold their stories often.
Then, ponder, as Mary did, all the events in your life regarding the Lord Jesus, His love expressed to you, the salvation He gave to you, your calling and ministry which He gave to you, and the many occurrences associated with walking it out. The older we are and the more obedient we have been results in a longer list of achievements and experiences in which we have seen the Lord work wonders that never otherwise would have been. How much more could He have done if there was more compliance and obedience toward His will in this world? How much better this world could be if we did things His way.
Sadly, most people never choose as Mary did. Most choose the relatively short selfish path that will end at physical death. However, for the few who make the hard choice, the great choice, the best choice, their lives will be spiritually fruitful and filled with the strength, spiritual ability, faith, and favor of the Lord in which nothing according to His will will be denied them. Victory is theirs despite hardships and suffering. Spiritual achievement continues. And when this life is over the wonder of eternal life awaits.
As I write on this Christmas Eve of 2022 those paying attention know well that the world at large is growing ever more dark. Sin is abounding. Degeneracy has descended. But in the kingdom of God all is bright. Miracles are happening. His people are being blessed and taken care of. He provides their every need. And their love of the Lord increases their determination to serve Him and fulfill their call.
This great desire is encapsulated in the Christmas Story. May we all strive to be as Joseph and Mary were on that cold night almost 2,000 years ago in a crude dwelling under a bright full moon when the greatest promise of all time became a real event. Those outside His kingdom need our help. Those within need our encouragement.
As Isaiah wrote 700 years before the Lord’s birth,
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 see clearly that our Lord Jesus is not only the Son but the Father. He is not only a Man but God. And He was once a mere Baby in a Manger.
I value and appreciate each of you, my regular readers, who I have been blessed to have and know, many of you for several years. I also thank any and all visitors for stopping by.
All praise and glory to our Lord Jesus, the Great One who makes it all happen and who chose to enter this world the same way we all have, in a state of innocence and humility.
He is our Greatest Gift. May our lives reflect His.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.
The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. [Luke 2:1-20]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There was an unknown circumstance in Mary’s young life that spoke of great humility. We don’t know what this was exactly, and Luke does not elaborate. But there are directive clues. Read on:
The following is from Part 1: There is something else here that Luke’s narrative hints at which he does not delve into, possibly because he knew his audience was aware of whatever particulars were involved with Mary and the circumstances of her humble life.
In the very beginning, after initially being told by the angel Gabriel that she was highly favored and the Lord was indeed with her, Mary became, depending on the translation, troubled/disturbed/perplexed. The Greek says greatly agitated. She wondered where this extraordinary greeting came from and what it could possibly be about. One senses she thought it must be meant for another, that the joyous messenger must have the wrong house.
In answering a faithful reader’s comment on Part 3 when I first wrote this series two years ago, who said of Mary, She must have indeed been a highly intelligent, spiritually sensitive young woman, I wrote the following:
“Yes. A perfect choice. And she had to somehow come to a quick understanding of this fact though her humble nature would otherwise preclude it. She had to look beyond her humble circumstances and do her best to see herself as God saw her. He needed her. He wanted her to be the one. Here we have a good look into the counterintuitive nature of humanity. If Mary had previously thought herself as the best choice she would be disqualified, since that would reveal the presence of sinful pride. But if she thought herself unworthy and could never be persuaded to the contrary she would disqualify herself.”
Why did she feel so unworthy? And why did she refer to herself not once but twice as a bondslave? I mentioned this in Part 1. The Hebrew word for a female slave is shiphchah. The Greek word used here is doulos, which speaks directly to a slave of the basest order and is used throughout the New Testament. One gets the idea that young Mary was somehow familiar with such status.
It is also quite interesting that the New Testament never mentions any interaction with Mary’s parents or possible siblings. We know her father’s name was Eli (Heli), from her genealogy in Luke 3:23, but there is never any mention of her mother or her mother’s name. It appears they were no longer around. It is also evident that Mary was an only child. Imagine that. There is also a distinct possibility that Joseph, her betrothed, was her father’s adopted son, as alluded to in the genealogy. This was actually a Hebrew tradition going back centuries for men with no natural male heirs, so the idea isn’t so far-fetched. Any or all of these challenging life circumstances might be the cause of her feelings of unworthiness, but there is yet another, and it is here where we shall gain even greater understanding of the well known verse, “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1Samuel 16:7).
There is a Greek word that only occurs four times in the NT. It only applies to two specific people in the NT. Those two people are the Lord Jesus and His mother Mary. The word is tapeinosis. It is defined as “lowness, low estate, and humiliation.” Regarding the Lord it appears in Acts 8:33 in which the author references Isaiah 53:8. Here are both verses with the translated English word underlined:
“IN HUMILIATION HIS JUDGMENT WAS TAKEN AWAY; WHO WILL RELATE HIS GENERATION? FOR HIS LIFE IS REMOVED FROM THE EARTH.” [Acts 8:33]
By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? [Isaiah 53:8]
Here is the verse that references Mary, again with the translated English words underlined:
“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.” [Luke 1:48]
The Hebrew word is otser. It is defined as “restraint, coercion.” It is translated primarily as “oppression.” It refers in a sense to prison or being a prisoner. This indicates a form of slavery. Mary did refer to herself as a bondslave. This speaks indirectly of possessing a particular humble state or condition and we now have a better understanding of what that was. Isaiah chapter 53 is an OT prophetic picture of the Lord Jesus. Here is the verse that ties both Son and mother together:
He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. [Isaiah 53:2]
In addition to this appearance circumstance shared by both mother and Son there is a much greater condition shared by both. These two people had extremely high character quotients. Of course, there is no comparison between the Lord’s character and that of Mary (or anyone else) in that He is God and is perfect. But regarding their humanity, and because both were exceptionally concerned with their spiritual standing and desired greatly to have as sterling a standing as possible, it was enormously difficult for them to answer the call because their respective callings would serve to destroy their outwardly perceived good character.
Mary was a chaste virgin with perfect spiritual credentials. She was obviously not without sin and thus required a Savior like everyone else but had striven in her young life to obey God and follow the Law of Moses. She was likely the very best at this among young women of her generation. Her heart was right and this is why she was chosen. But being chosen to be the mother of the Lord would also subject her to endless gossip and the wicked mockery of unbelievers who would believe her to be a gross sinner. This would destroy her sterling reputation among all those who rejected her claims of innocence and the highest of callings. Yet, she accepted the mission anyway, knowing it was always far better to serve the Lord than to decline the calling to protect one’s reputation.
This is one reason why many people never answer their callings and even reject salvation. They are far too weak to handle any affront by society to their public character and artificial social status.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Prior to her visitation by the angel Gabriel, Mary was burdened by an undisclosed life circumstance. We gain further clues of this by her reaction to Elizabeth’s powerful prophetic message.
To set the scene for the next historical interlude which bears upon the foundational Gospel account after her journey to Judea to visit Elizabeth, we must acknowledge the fact that, according to Luke’s account, Mary had yet to speak to anyone about the great news.
She had left Nazareth in a hurry, almost immediately after she had consented to God’s plan. The Holy Spirit had indeed descended upon her and she was overshadowed with the power of the Most High. A miraculous conception had taken place in her womb! She had told no one, not even Joseph. Her elder relative Elizabeth would be her confidant. As the many repercussions played out in her thinking, Mary had remained amazed but laden with knowledge that no one else possessed.
GOD’S PERFECT TIMING
In Part 1, we covered Luke 1:26-38. In Part 2, we covered Luke 1:39-45. There are several components of the narrative within these verses to be addressed. The first thing we must do, however, is address the timing of the events. The angel Gabriel had told Mary that Elizabeth was already with child and in her sixth month. The human gestation period is 280 days, which is almost exactly 9.5 lunar cycles. An exact 9.5 moons would be a half day longer. Here is the math: A lunar cycle is 29.53059 days. Multiplied by 9.5 the gestation period would be 280.54 days. Since we know the Bible grants much importance to the number 40, it is not a coincidence that 280 is 40 times 7 (another significant number). Regarding the number of days into her pregnancy for Elizabeth at the time, it was somewhere between five and six months because Luke’s account says she was in her sixth month. She had yet to complete her second trimester.
I submit that it was exactly five and a half months and during a new moon.
It should have taken Mary less than a week, probably about five days, to get to Elizabeth’s house in Judea from Nazareth since the journey was at least 70 miles as the crow flies but maybe 80 or more considering the roads and terrain. Luke does not tell us the town or Mary’s specific destination in Judea. This was also during the winter rains though most of the precipitation was in the north. We have no knowledge regarding who may have accompanied Mary on the trip. There is no mention of Joseph. Would she have gone alone? From the narrative it certainly appears that she was alone when greeting Elizabeth.
Regarding the time of year, my research has long indicated that the Lord was born in the autumn. I believe it was likely on the 15th of the month of Tishrei on the Hebrew calendar, which was the first day of the weeklong Feast of Succoth (Tabernacles / Booths) and during a full moon. In 2022 this day fell on October 10. We have a hint of this as the Lord’s birthday in John’s gospel. The word “dwelt” in the following verse is from a Greek word meaning “to fix one’s tabernacle or tent:”
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14]
Tishrei was the seventh month of the ancient sacred calendar adopted originally by the Lord during the time of Moses. The spring is the natural beginning of the year and was also the time of the Exodus and the Resurrection of the Lord. It is thus quite clear that the spring feasts are first and then followed by the autumn feasts. Tishrei later became the first month of the civil calendar and begins with Rosh Hashanah, the “head” of the year which is considered the Jewish New Year. This can get confusing, of course, but for the purposes of this study I will number the months as beginning in the spring from the vernal equinox.
Since the Lord was likely born on Tishrei 15 in the autumn, it would mean the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary nine and a half months before, during a new moon on the 1st of Tevet, the tenth month (if it was a twelve month year, which was most probable). Tevet occurs in Dec/Jan. From this we get a clear timeline of these two miraculous pregnancies of Elizabeth and Mary:
YEAR 1: John was conceived in the summer on the 15th of the fourth month during a full moon.
YEAR 1: The Lord Jesus was conceived in the winter on the 1st of the tenth month during a new moon.
YEAR 2: John was born in the spring on the 1st of the second month during a new moon.
YEAR 2: The Lord Jesus was born in the autumn on the 15th of the seventh month during a full moon.
After Elizabeth’s greeting and anointed word, Mary responded once again, as she did to Gabriel, with amazement and great humility. It was no insignificant response but revealed a woman of strong intellect, spiritual grace, and much insightful knowledge of Scripture for one so young. Her words reverberate through the centuries illustrating the profound nature of the Lord’s great plan and her own unique circumstances. We don’t hear much from Mary ever again but the following passage is filled with spiritual portent and the faithfulness of God. He has come to His people:
And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.” [Luke 1:46-55]
Luke tells us that Mary stayed in Judea with Elizabeth for about three months after her arrival. The two would have had many long talks. As I stated earlier, Elizabeth was Mary’s only confidant. She was the only one who would have understood her circumstances because she had the same circumstances. These two ladies would have discussed all the implications of what they were presented with and how best to deal with the outcome and responses of others, especially as how it affected Mary. She still had to tell Joseph. She had to tell her parents. How would they react? She knew how everybody else would react and it was a hard pill to swallow. The time with Elizabeth was cherished because she gained the support she would need, to build herself up, and prepare for the coming storm of controversy.
And Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home. [Luke 1:56]
One would think Mary would have stayed for John’s birth. We are tempted to add to the narrative and think she must have stayed, but Luke did not present it that way. With regard to why she left early, the calendar gives us a direct clue: It was now the early spring. The first month of Nisan had arrived. The spring feasts, to which Mary had remained faithful her entire life, were upon the nation. Passover week would be happening very soon, within about a week or so. Did Mary leave a few weeks before John’s birth to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem?
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
The conventional perception of the mother of our Lord is off. It is way off. She is commonly depicted in religious art, iconography, and statuary as European, and often northern European.
Knowledge of her Hebrew heritage among Christians is largely lost. Even her actual name is mostly unknown. The name Mary derives from the Judeo-Aramaic variant Maryam, from the Greek Mariam, which was derived from the original Hebrew Miryam, the name of the elder sister of Moses and Aaron (which is translated into English primarily as Miriam). New Testament readers know this was a popular name for Hebrew women at that time, as there are several with the name in the Gospel accounts.
As a young Hebrew maiden of eastern Mediterranean stock, she was likely dark complected with dark hair and Semitic features. Semitic refers to one of the three sons of Noah—Shem—whose descendants predominantly populated the Middle East and still do today. We know from early OT accounts that the ancient Hebrews shared their DNA with many different ethnos of the greater region, including the Canaanite tribes. There were also the two great disruptions to the nation when the ten northern tribes of Israel were deported to the east in 722 BC followed by the Babylonian captivity of Judah 136 years later. The three remaining tribes of the latter—Judah, Levi, and Benjamin—were removed to Babylon for 70 years. They were allowed to return but many chose to stay. The lands of Israel and Judah had been repopulated somewhat by foreigners in the interim, especially the Samaritan region. The land was then ruled by a succession of Persians, Greeks, and Romans. It is therefore difficult if not impossible to arrive at a definitive Hebrew nationality by the first century AD.
Even so, we do have two extant genealogies of our Lord Jesus from that time, both of which stem from the tribe of Judah and feature the persons of Abraham and David. The genealogy of Joseph the carpenter in Matthew’s gospel descends through King David’s son Solomon, the third and final king of a united Israel. After Solomon’s death the kingdom split into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah. Luke’s gospel contains the genealogy of Mary, which also goes through David but by his son Nathan, Solomon’s brother. This family tree divergence took place over 900 years before the Lord’s birth. The last of the Hebrew kings of the Judaic line ceased with the Babylonian captivity in 586 BC. Zedekiah was the last king of Judah, but was somewhat illegitimate in that he was installed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC after the siege of Jerusalem. The king before Zedekiah was Jeconiah (AKA Coniah, Jehoiachin), who was carted off to Babylon a prisoner in chains. This is what the prophet Jeremiah said about him:
“Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out and cast into a land that they had not known? O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.’” [Jeremiah 22:28-30]
The Hebrew monarchy was thus abolished. There were no more kings. No one could ever again qualify. Joseph the carpenter’s line included Jeconiah and he is listed in Matthew’s genealogy. Nevertheless, it was established that Joseph, the legal stepfather of the Lord, could trace his direct lineage to Solomon and David. Mary’s genealogy could also be traced directly to King David. This means the Lord Jesus had a legal right as king through Joseph and a biological right through His mother. Though the monarchial birthright was essentially revoked by Jeremiah’s prophecy, this did not apply to the Lord Jesus because he was not a blood descendant of Jeconiah. Thus, the only possible way the Davidic line of kings could be restored, even after a six century interval, would be through the following:
“Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” [Isaiah 7:14]
GREETINGS FROM THE WOMB
As described in Part 1, Mary was soon on the road south to Judea to visit her relative Elizabeth. The two women were anxious to share the great news of their pregnancies, both of which were only possible through direct miraculous means. Elizabeth was greatly humbled in her long life of barrenness but maintained her faith regardless. Mary was also burdened somewhat by an undisclosed life circumstance. Here we have the young and the old, both of whom must deal with the inevitable gossip of unbelievers, yet blessed abundantly as major players in the great plan of God for the salvation of Israel and humanity. But besides these two who knew each other well, there were others who met for the very first time:
Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” [Luke 1:39-45]
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
She was given the opportunity to be the mother of Messiah—the Son of the Most High. She accepted without question, filled with wonder, in humble awe of being chosen.
In reading between the lines in the initial Gospel references to the mother of our Lord, we happen upon facts otherwise escaping our notice, primarily, her humble origin. We already know her hometown was not the greatest of places, as none other than one of the twelve, Nathanael Bar Tholmai (Bartholomew) articulated,
“Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” 
The rustic community is never mentioned in any of the Old Testament writings, meaning it had yet to exist then, suffered utmost insignificance, or was known by a different name, one of which might have been “white town” or a variation, named after the ready supply of limestone rocks in the area. Nestled among the lower hills of the Nazareth Range in the ancient tribal land of Zebulun, the city lay about halfway between the seas—the great Mediterranean on the west where sailing ships launched for far-off lands, and to the east, the indigenous, often mysterious Sea of Galilee, loved freshwater fishery of the locals.
From the little we know, Mary was likely born is this little village by the cliffs in circa 18 BC. This was during the early years of Augustus, who became the first Roman emperor in 27 BC, and the local reign of the ruthless client-king Herod the Great who had gained power a decade earlier. How she or her family arrived in the area is lost to history. Though Nazareth was within the small area originally allotted to the Tribe of Zebulun (the tenth son of Jacob and sixth born to Leah), Mary was actually a distant descendent of King David of the ruling line of Judah. Her connection to the latter tribe is somewhat problematic for a Galilean from the north due to her clear connection to relatives in the territory of Judea south of Jerusalem. The unknown story of her family’s transplantation is an intriguing one.
We know from the later annual pilgrimages made by the holy family to Jerusalem for the feasts that young Mary likely also made such trips as a child growing up, probably as part of small caravans. She was thus familiar with the territory and probably looked forward to such opportunities to see the great city and visit family. Journeying from the north in Galilee, one would traverse the disparaged Samaria, sandwiched between Galilee and Judea, and venture through the ancient tribal areas of Issachar, Manasseh, and Ephraim in the process, and lastly through the allotment of Benjamin on the approach to Yerushalayim which was located on the southern edge of his tribal land.
The eastern border between the two famous territories of Benjamin and Judah actually runs north and south along the Kidron Valley. The Kidron divides the city of Jerusalem in Benjamin’s territory to the west from the Mount of Olives in Judah’s territory to the east. The southern border between the tribes is divided by the valley of Hinnom which was immediately due south of the ancient city. Beyond these two natural demarcation lines was the fatherland of Judah and the ancestral land of King David to which Mary and her family sojourned frequently. It was also the ancestral homeland of her new husband Joseph, the strong but tender carpenter, chosen also as she was, and suited well for the calling.
AN ANGELIC VISITATION
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. [Luke 1:26-27]
Luke makes it clear in his definitive account that Mary was a virgin when the angel Gabriel revealed to her the plan of God which would soon go into effect upon her consent. She was betrothed to the carpenter, meaning the marriage was not yet fully contracted, and both were honorable and chaste. It is often not acknowledged that young Mary had a choice regarding the Lord’s plan for her life. We all have a choice, and for everyone there is a plan. Notwithstanding the discipline required to live and work for the Lord according to His will and not our own, any other plan created and chosen by a person is always inferior to His. Mary understood this. It is why she replied to Gabriel with no hesitation in her heart:
And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. [Luke 1:28-38] 
Mary’s use of the word “bondslave” is not without import. It is from the Greek doulos and is defined accordingly as a female slave without any ownership rights of her own. This word, also translated as bond-servant, is used throughout the New Testament denoting the pure servanthood and dedication to the Master by real believers. The Hebrew equivalent for a female servant is shiphchah and has an ancient etymology dating to the book of Genesis. Though we often fail to perceive, in these brief Scriptural renderings, the full connotation and significance of the choice she made, Mary knew exactly what she was doing by deciding in the affirmative. She understood the gravity of the situation, the ramifications thereof, and that it was a lifelong commitment.
But there is more. Mary alluded to her current state of life before the angelic visitation as thoroughly humble and insignificant. We see this first in her initial reaction to Gabriel’s greeting when he referred to her as “favored one” and said the Lord was with her: But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. She was also afraid, probably for the same reasons you or I would be startled at the appearance of an angel. It was more than this, however. She was concerned about what it meant for her life and, in those first few seconds, that she was in no way worthy of such an astounding visitation and calling.
Why did she feel this way? There is something else here that Luke’s narrative hints at which he does not delve into, possibly because he knew his audience was aware of whatever particulars were involved with Mary and the circumstances of her humble life.
In Part 2, I will continue delving into such lesser-known particulars. We will look closer at Mary’s upbringing, family, and momentous visit to her elderly but expecting relative Elizabeth, also a chosen woman of the Lord who found much grace in His sight.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 John 1:46
 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.
Three years ago at this time I wrote the following six part series with the above title. I will repost each part at intervals until Christmas. Blessings to all
Hello friends. I hope all is going well for you during this special time of year. I started a new article with the above title early in the week and it has expanded beyond one posting. I am giving you all this head’s up that I will be posting Part 1 soon.
Mary is one of history’s most intriguing figures and it is especially that way for Christians worldwide. Even so, there is little historical material regarding her life. Perhaps this is why there is so much traditional information which actually has no backing in Scripture. However, within the extant Scriptural material we have there are many captivating clues about her life that lead to greater knowledge. This is what we will be sharing with one another in this series.
Thanks for reading. In the meantime, blessings to you and Merry Christmas!
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Okay, here’s what the Lord’s going to do. He must go stealth. The enemies are always waiting at the doors and ready to pounce. He will bypass them. He will go in under the radar. They will never recognize Him.”
[If you are reading this at the WP Reader, please read at my website. Thank you.]
“But that’s going to make things very difficult for the people He chooses to work through.”
“Yes, but they love Him. They know what they signed up for. They will answer His call.”
“It would seem some would never answer that call. They may even think it was the enemy. Anything that would cause so much discomfort, rejection, and pain may be seen as coming from the wrong source.”
“Yes, but that is only true for those who don’t really know Him. The ones who hear His voice, well, they will certainly act. They will obey. They will know it is not because He doesn’t love them or is purposefully causing them to sacrifice so greatly without a higher purpose somehow being involved.”
“How does He manage to do this?”
“He speaks to their hearts. He shows them things in their spirit. It is a form of communication that escapes detection from outside sources, and those who receive cannot even readily relay what it is they hear because they sense no one will understand.”
“So they act.”
“Yes. They act. He knew Mary would act. He knew she would obey. It was completely her decision, of course. But that’s what a calling is. It is not only the Lord telling people they have been chosen or called into a particular service, it is also that He already knows they will say yes. They say yes because they hear His voice and love Him, but also because they know deep within that the calling He gives them answers a very deep need and desire in their hearts. They want to serve, but they want it to be right. Many serve incorrectly, thinking they are serving Him, but never get the satisfaction they desire or that deep feeling in their hearts. They feel like they are working very hard but not getting anywhere. This never happens with Him. Those who hear His voice and obey know something substantial happens when they do. They know they are entering an area in which their soul is satisfied, filled, and blessed. Mary knew this.”
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. [Luke 1:26-38] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Hi. I’m Mrs. Jones. I sit in the third row every service, and…”
“I know who you are Mrs. Jones.”
“Well I know that but I wanted to make this official because it is an official thing we are doing here isn’t it?”
“Okay yeah go ahead.”
“Well, I think you should preach on the things that make people feel good but not so good that they won’t get the message, okay?”
“What does that even mean?”
“It means you should preach real good but not get too off or wacky.”
“Well, I think you know what I mean so you just do that…”
“Pastor, I think you should be cognizant of the fact that people work hard and are busy and need things that are strong but not so strong that it adds to our burden okay? Because life has many burdens and…”
“What do you mean ‘Preach strong?’”
“Okay, I mean strong like in doing it in a way that we get a good message but not something weak but good. You know, strong.”
“Okay, strong. I’ll try that. Next.”
“Pastor Bailey I really like that you are giving us this opportunity to tell you what to preach and, no, wait, not tell you what to preach but suggest, er, to tell you what we would like, or need, er…”
“So what is your, uh, suggestion?”
“So, my thing is I like those kind of Scriptures that are like verses of poetry, you know? I really like those especially because they look great on little wall plaques or bookmarks and I like when I can go to church and picture in my mind mountain vistas and seascapes and scenes of nature. So I think poetry verses are good.”
“Poetry verses? (Are you for real?) You mean Psalms?”
“So, I don’t know what that is but if its poetry verses then I guess yes…”
“Sigh… Next. Please.”
“Pastor, I think you do a great job but we need more teaching! I like real teaching so we can get in deep! Are you familiar with Matthew Henry? Now he could get in real deep and we could all learn…”
“You want me to read Matthew Henry Commentaries from the pulpit?”
“Well no, not especially, but like that, because we need real teaching!”
“Okay, thank you. Real teaching. Please close the door behind you. Thank you… What do we have so far Jennifer?”
“It looks like you are supposed to preach things that make people feel good but not so good that they don’t get the message. Nothing wacky. And it must be strong but not too strong because people are tired. And, oh, it must involve poetry verses and also be deep teaching. Deep. Teaching. Got that?”
“Are you sure this is in the contract?”
“Page 16, Clause 3.”
“Do I have to listen to anyone else tonight?”
“Only one more. It says you must seek five new members each week.”
“Yes. I’ll get the last one… Who’s next out here?”
“Okay, come in…”
“Here’s what I think. I think you should preach whatever the Lord puts on your heart.”
“Do I even know you?”
“Okay. So you’re new. Hi. I’m George Bailey, er, Pastor Bailey. Good to meet you. Your name?”
“I’m Clarence. And I know all about you! What’s important is that you obey the Lord. That’s my advice.”
“But I have to obey all those people! It’s in my contract.”
“I know, but…”
“And next week it’s five more! And then the next! I can’t do this! I must be off my nut! This can’t be happening! I wish I was never born!”
“Oh, you mustn’t say that! …Wait. …You know, I think that could work! …Okay, you were never born. You don’t exist.”
“Don’t exist! Wait a second! This all sounds familiar! Are you some kind of angel or something?”
“Great! Now you’re the new pastor too! Later! Don’t hold my calls, Jennifer…” (Slam)
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There are dedicated Christians who go about their effective work for God in total anonymity. This post is about their ministries.
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They move mountains. They assist the Lord in maintaining lives and relationships. They do their work in secret. They are not in it for recognition or glory. They know that such an attitude would stymie their effectiveness. These are people who go about their spiritual work in such great dedication that they always plow ahead regardless of circumstances. They know the people they help need them and their work and are dependent upon them whether they know them, acknowledge them, appreciate them, or are even aware of what they do and have done. Recall the Lord’s teaching:
“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]
How many of us have been blessed by such selfless people and don’t even know who they are?
THE REMARKABLE POWER OF GOD
I remember a prayer story from my early days as a new Christian. I’ll get to that later. I was just a rookie but was absolutely enthralled at the prospect of God’s spiritual power working through human beings. In my short time to that point as a new believer I had already seen and experienced the undeniable outworking of His power. The greatest thing I saw at that early date was the magnificent transformation of a couple I knew who were instrumental in my salvation. What had happened to them?
I heard the stories. These were people I respected in my young life, people I hung around with. I hadn’t seen them in a short while but heard they had gone off the deep end. Something about a church. They had joined a church? I could hardly believe the reports. The next time I saw them, in a visit to my apartment, I saw two different people. I noticed right away that they were filled with some kind of happiness and energy. They were exuberant, smiling. It wasn’t due to the usual when a friend greets a friend. Something was decidedly different. Then, after a while, they began trying to explain what had happened to them. And they began witnessing. My great mood suddenly vanished…
The meeting didn’t end well. I basically told them to stop, to back off, or leave. They grew sad. And they left. Now, if this was just some sort of shallow sales job the way it is with some of those notorious witnessers who try to convince a person of the validity of their religious tenets it would have been different. Those kinds of people have no power with God. They thus have no real spiritual love. They essentially subsist on intellectual arguments or quote particular Scriptures to set the tone for a necessary choice to be made. They do this through stating their superior position juxtaposed with the lower position of the witnessee who stands in need due to his inferior condition. And while an aspect of this form of witnessing is correct, the attitude, purpose, and desire of those who “witness” this way are most often not.
I later discovered that those who the Lord worked through to bless me with my initial Gospel witness were undeterred and had decided to continue on in the fight. They were not satisfied with one short meeting that started out great but went bad. Though they were brand new to the faith and personally hurt by my negative response (though in my defense it was all so very strange and they were pressuring me to make a decision), they decided it wouldn’t end there. They went back to their church. They enlisted the big guns.
They told everybody to pray…
Their prayers proved to be my undoing. There were people in that little church who prayed for me but I never knew who they were. Though I knew later on that my friends were praying and maybe another one or two were, the subject was never addressed. Others had prayed some powerful prayers. There were strong collective prayers. They moved mountains. Long story short, after three months’ time their prayers worked to perfection. I came to full salvation in Jesus.
THE PRAYER STORY
After being settled in as a new Christian I began learning about historical New Testament happenings I was never previously aware of. I was raised in a Christian home but belonged to a denomination that didn’t put much or any emphasis on the Bible. As a result I had very limited knowledge of the New Testament. I certainly had no practical knowledge of how real Christianity actually worked so the things I began learning about the New Covenant Scriptures were somewhat shocking. Most Christians have a very limited understanding of the New Testament, usually confined to the basic Gospel story. When I began to learn what was actually contained in Paul’s letters regarding the operation of meetings, the gifts of the Spirit, and the actual history of the first-century Community of believers as told in the Acts of the Apostles, a whole new world opened up to me. I also experienced the actual operation of the gifts in our meetings. Then I learned about actual prayer and especially intercessory prayer. I learned how powerful the latter could be and how necessary it was. I became aware of the following story:
Somewhere in the mission field overseas some believers were driving a vehicle over relatively rough terrain. The car or truck, I can’t remember which, slipped off a bad mountain road. If not for some brush and mostly a particular tree stump the vehicle and the people in it would have suffered a terrible fate. As it began to slide down a steep descent just off the road the car immediately became temporarily lodged upon the tree stump. The Christians in the car could not exit safely. Of course, they began to pray.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Lord alerted a prayer warrior. This was a person used very often for intercessory prayer and knew the drill. The feeling came over her that it was time to pray. The anointing became very powerful. The woman, seeking relief, went to floor. She then grabbed the nearest table leg and held on for dear life while she prayed in the Spirit. In the midst of an extreme spiritual battle she prayed intently while holding on as if it was vitally important that she did so. After a length of time the anointing lifted and she knew the prayer time was over and whatever needed to be accomplished had been.
Meanwhile, in another part of the world, the occupants of the car hanging perilously, restrained by a mere stump which might or might not be able to continue gripping the ground, had also been praying. The car never fell. It stayed glued to the tree stump. The stump held. They had somehow managed, against all probability, to safely exit the car. It was later, when these people happened to meet up again, and in comparing notes, that the two parties discovered how the Lord had worked. The woman’s powerful intercessory prayer had assisted in the saving of the missionaries.
I have read of several stories like this. There are Christians who keep detailed prayer journals which also sometimes contain answers to their prayers. It is a wonderful thing to see such answers to prayer, some which come years later, as the Lord creates the circumstances for people to meet again after often “chance” encounters.
YOU MAY NOT BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED
A coincidence is when God wants to remain anonymous.
While writing the last section I received a message on my phone. It was from an old friend. A text from out of the blue. I had not been in contact with him for many years, over a decade. They live in a different part of the country and we had spent much ministry time together. As it turned out he still had my number on his phone which means he either still had the same phone which I would think would be highly unlikely or had transferred all his numbers. I no longer had his number. I‘ve been through several phones since the last time we had been in contact. I decided that his text wasn’t just a random event. I mean, here I am writing about such things when he happens to contact me after a dozen years?
Maybe half an hour later I decided to call him. He was doing some chores outside. We talked briefly, only a few minutes. It was great catching up and he said he would call me back later on after he completed the necessary chores. But in that brief chat he told me that his former pastor who I also knew very well had, in the interim, heard from God about three years ago to make a ministry move. He and his wife had left the fellowship they had served for many years and, are you ready? …They went into the mission field.
This was no run of the mill coincidence.
I ask those of you who like to pray, any of you who are prayer warriors, and those in intercessory prayer ministry, to pray for this couple in the mission field. I also ask that you would pray for my friend and his family. There is also an urgent unspoken need of someone I know that requires prayer. Thank you.
And thanks to all the dedicated ones who operate powerfully in obscurity for your vital service to the Lord and fellow believers, whatever it may be. You are MOST appreciated. Keep up the great work!
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
In the 1590s English Separatists and dissenters were finding life in England ever more difficult. Several were sentenced to hanging in an enhanced effort to kill off the movement toward spiritual liberty.
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Laws were passed that made exile to the European continent the punishment and death if one ever returned. England would thus stop at nothing to rid itself of unwavering Christian reformers. There was no going back for those who had gone so far with God. Queen Elizabeth was determined to wipe them out and the level of her persecution continued until her death in 1603. She had no heirs and her passing thus ended the generational line of the ultra-dysfunctional Tudor monarchs.
The new king was James Stuart I (1566-1625), the then present king of Scotland under the name of James VI. He had ascended the Scottish throne at a mere thirteen months of age in 1567 when his mother, Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587), had abdicated. As “King of Great Britain” James I united England, Scotland, and Ireland under his leadership. Though his mother was a loyal Catholic, James was raised as a member of the Protestant Church of Scotland. The developing church was attempting to continue the reform movement began a decade earlier by essentially removing all things Catholic, but James obviously felt more comfortable with those men manning church offices whose ecclesiastical nature lent them to monarchial rule.
Of course, that’s what bishops and ruling prelates are by nature and why such offices were created. The Presbyterians were setting up a national polity in which churches would be administered by the Biblical model of elders and overseers, which simply does not mix with monarchy any more than does oil and water. The comfort level for kings had always involved close trusted ones, be they civil or clergy, and James was thus not prepared to get on board with the movement toward spiritual truth. In becoming king of England he had quickly embraced an anti-Puritan sentiment, which gives one an idea of his treatment of Separatists and other dissenters who continued pushing for reform and refused to conform to non-Biblical tenets. The Puritans still maintained membership in the Church of England and had consequently escaped the larger wrath of Elizabeth, but the heat began rising. Yet, regardless of the new king’s negative attitude toward them, it was their own compromise and apprehensive middle-ground approach that relegated them as unfit for the spiritual frontier. They were not of a mind nor possessed the strength of purpose to be used of God in the necessary major way as those Separatists who had given their all. The Puritans as a group had remained far too connected. They were unqualified as pioneers.
After Elizabeth’s reign of terror, it seemed there remained only one Separatist church community in all of England. Located in the hamlet of Gainsborough, most of its members had fled to Holland two years later. There remained a few holdouts of this group in the town of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, and it is here the story gets interesting. In Scrooby there lived a man who became postmaster there in 1590. He had attended Cambridge in his youth and later became greatly interested in the new Christian reformation movements. By the early 1600s he had taken under his wing a young man from Austerfield while ministering in the Scrooby area as a reforming Puritan when persecution raised its head once again. A group of perhaps 50 were meeting secretly at Scrooby Manor, having managed to cobble together a small community from the remains at Gainsborough, when the decision was made in 1607 to break ranks completely with the Church of England and establish themselves as Separatists. Thence began the great adventure.
The two men were the postmaster William Brewster (c.1566-1644), who would become a leading Elder at Plymouth Colony, and his young protégé William Bradford (1590-1657), the future Governor thereof. These two were undoubtedly placed together by Providence. Bradford’s father died when he was only a year old and his mother when he was seven. The orphan was forced to live with several relatives in the interim. He met Brewster at the meetings of the Puritan Richard Clifton when only a young man of about twelve and at last found an appropriate father-figure. From this he received a better upbringing and someone to direct his already keen interest in the Reformation movement.
The restrictive spiritual atmosphere in England was such that the young congregation decided they must leave the mother country and sail across the channel to Holland to live according to their convictions. Yet, as another indication of the severe trials and fight to come their way, they were robbed of all their possessions by the officers of the ship they hired and imprisoned for attempting to leave England illegally. They remained undeterred, however, and were able to make their getaway the next year, finding peace and religious toleration in The Netherlands. After a year in Amsterdam amid the bickering of two other congregations, they moved to the city of Leiden, approximately 100 strong, and settled into a peaceable and productive life.
One can see by the trials they faced and tests they passed that God was preparing them for a much greater mission. Others had disqualified themselves for one reason or another, be it a lack of faith, selfish attitudes, inability to work together, or loyal connections to the state church, which prohibited a lack of complete loyalty to God. Those connected, as the Puritans, had not considered their inevitable betrayal through their association with ecclesiastical authority and the throne or the temptation of looking back. We see the same thing in the ancient history of the Israelites when God had to remove all Egyptian influence and fleshly nature from His people through their wanderings in the Sinai desert.
These Separatist future founders of the American Plymouth Colony had proved their loyalty to God by both their obedience to Him regardless of greatly challenging circumstances, and also their complete separation from the world.
In Leiden, Brewster began publishing books for sale in England and was soon under arrest by English authorities in 1619, who had accused him of the same crime as William Tyndale—printing up non-official religious works that did not toe the mark of the accepted Anglican confession. The Dutch government agreed with England in a political move and confiscated the printing equipment. Brewster was able to escape to England and hide out. It was during this time that plans were made to make the most radical move of all—securing a land patent from the London Virginia Company.
The community as a whole had become very concerned after ten years of relative comfort and security in Leiden that their children, if allowed to grow up and become established there, would lose both their English heritage and Christian beliefs. The Netherlands was a free pluralistic nation by comparison to England, but the resultant freedom also gave place to a more open mindset regarding moral values and sin. It occurred to the group that the time had come yet again when they must move on if they would maintain their walk with God. Their willingness to suffer so many trials for the sake of the real Gospel had undoubtedly impressed the Lord. Due to their relentless attitude toward holy living and walking in God’s new light, rather than fighting against the movement or holding back like almost every other group, they had become the chosen ones to take not only the Gospel to America, but a community form much closer to Scriptural intent.
The 180 ton Dutch cargo vessel Mayflower was hired in London and sailed to Southampton on the southern coast of England in late July of 1620. Most of the Pilgrim community remained in Leiden, Holland and bought a small ship called the Speedwell to take them to Southampton, from which both ships would sail across the Atlantic to Virginia. The second ship proved unworthy of the journey, however, having leaked on the trip across the English Channel, and after repairs, began leaking again at the start of the great voyage. Stopping at Dartmouth, repairs were made a second time. On their second attempt at the Atlantic crossing, as they reached the open ocean after having traveled roughly 300 miles, the Speedwell continued leaking once again and the Pilgrims were forced to return to England. Many of the passengers had become so tired and frustrated they decided to stay home. Here was yet another test of heart and a further winnowing of the passenger list, from about 120 to 102. Of these, approximately 40-45% were members of the Leiden congregation.
They decided to scuttle the second ship entirely and transfer all their goods and supplies to the Mayflower, making for very cramped quarters and a much less comfortable trip. After losing about forty days, the Mayflower finally set sail from Plymouth, England on September 16 (Gregorian calendar). The second half of the ocean voyage was very rough, having hit the severe northern Atlantic storm season, and piled yet more discomfort and trepidation upon the passengers. Imagine the battle these Pilgrims had with doubt and second thoughts, crammed together in a freezing ship tossed forth like a cork on the frigid seas.
After 66 long days, the sturdy ship arrived intact off the coast of America around November 21, 1620. During the long and fitful journey there was one death but also one birth. The colonists’ destination was the mouth of the Hudson River, part of Virginia at the time, but the captain first sighted land off the coast of Cape Cod. In the attempt to go south the elements were again against them, almost causing shipwreck. As if by divine hand they returned to Cape Cod and dropped anchor. With great courage and whatever stamina remained as the biting cold winds of winter descended upon them, parties were arranged to explore the land for a suitable settlement site. By the next summer, 50 of the original 102 passengers had perished, the majority over the harsh winter, and most of them from disease contracted during the voyage.
From these extremely difficult and humble beginnings Plymouth Colony was built upon the hope and grace of a committed people and the Lord Jesus. Having served as willing pioneers and taking the full brunt of the battle, many more parties were soon making the trip across the Atlantic and adding to the new colony. In time it became a routine crossing peopled primarily by English Puritans who began spreading out into the wilderness. In time the Separatist Pilgrims became greatly outnumbered, though their spiritual stand and way of life had a decided effect on later arrivals.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on this day 59 years ago at 12:30pm. It was the result of a conspiracy.
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I wrote the following on November 22, 2019:
I remember when it happened. As was my routine, I had gone home for lunch. My grade school was within easy walking distance.
It was getting close to the time when I should be heading back. I was sitting right in front of our small black and white television. My mother was a few steps away in the kitchen. Suddenly, whatever I was watching was interrupted. There was a news bulletin. One could almost sense the haphazard effort of the station in relaying the shattering news while trying to maintain professional decorum. A man with a strong and hurried voice began speaking. The president has been shot…
The United States of America changed forever on that fateful day. After 56 years, the majority of Americans know the official story is full of holes. This was proven early on. But a very strange thing happened. Though evil people were having their way, Americans insisted on supporting the official narrative. As more truth leaked out regarding what really happened, and as many knew in their gut something was not quite right, it became one’s patriotic duty to do the very opposite of what should have been done.
This let those in control know they were in good shape. The country was in their hands. They could do whatever they wanted and would not only get away with it but would never even be questioned. Everything changed at that point. Fast, dramatic change ensued. Regarding the country, it was all for the worse. In the space of less than four and a half years our president was murdered in cold blood right out in the open in the bright sunshine in a gruesome display. His brother, who surely would have become president in 1968, was also killed right after securing the Democratic nomination. Martin Luther King was also murdered by a sniper two months earlier. Each one of these cases involved much subterfuge and unanswered questions. Quick verdicts were reached in the official narrative. The vast majority of Americans went along with the official stories though many had private doubts. What happened to the country?
THERE WAS ONCE A REVOLUTION
Throughout the period of the 1760s to mid-1770s patriotic American colonists grew increasingly concerned about the great lessening of personal liberties and the increasing power plays of a distant British government. These people were a relatively small minority. Most American colonists were full-bore Tories who either supported the King and Parliament without question or were too apathetic and ignorant to care one way or the other. By the time independence was declared these three groups comprised roughly the same percentage. Only about a third of Americans were willing to commit themselves fully to the cause of outright revolution to secure their individual liberties which had been under severe attack for several years by those who saw their control weakening and who must strongly reassert its position of rule to overcome any notion of freedom from said rule.
How did only a third manage to overcome the other two-thirds? It is fully understandable that the third of Americans which fully supported the British overlords did so to protect their wealth and social standing. People like this are cowards at heart. They have little or no concern for others, those who make up the majority, who are on the outside looking in and do not share in their upper class stature. Their lives are not about higher ideals and ideas but merely a social position brought on by comparatively greater wealth and the desire to make friends with power—those who would advance them in their careers and protect their higher place in society.
Regarding that other third, the apathetic group, these people are also well-represented in history. They are those who never stay informed, don’t care about truth, will stand for nothing of any real importance, are willingly ignorant, and are basically only along for the ride. They like floating down lazy rivers. They find the whole idea of taking a stand for higher values and ideals ridiculous. They have no understanding for laying good foundations for future generations. They can barely see beyond the end of their nose. The present is what they care about, just like the Tory group, but they don’t care about it enough to make any attempt to excel.
Back in the 1960s the generation in charge still held to the false notion, “My country right or wrong.” The most insane occurrences were taking place all around from day to day and it seemed that most would insist on keeping a stiff lip and hard face refusing to question anything. Had they been brainwashed? Why could they not see the evil? Why did they continue to support those in power who were violating the Constitution on a daily basis and doing whatever the hell they wanted to insure that the rich and powerful gained even more wealth and power?
King George III and the British Parliament never came close to the violations inflicted on America less than two centuries later. It has only gotten worse since. We now live in a semi-surveillance state in which our God-given rights and freedoms have been seriously curtailed by the very entity supposedly existing to insure them. Where are the real American patriots? How many are left?
Exactly 56 years ago powerful people conspired in the dark to remove the President of the United States because he refused to go along with an ongoing sinister plan to run roughshod on We the People. They were willing to kill him in broad daylight to achieve their goal.
And they got away with it.
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I wrote the following on November 22, 2020:
It has been exactly 57 years. An American President was brutally gunned down by an evil element in Dallas, Texas. That evil element gained great power that day. It has only increased in power since.
One can always tell when evil has gained a foothold: Evil unlawful acts not only proliferate but have no remedy. No matter what one may do to overcome the evil nothing works. It may be stopped temporarily. There may even be modest gains against it at times but such minimal losses are often quickly gained back. Exponentially speaking, evil continues on an upward trend.
At last a few bright people figure out that the reason for evil’s upper hand growing greater is because it is being fed. Somehow or another evil has gained access to great funding and support. These few bright people then figure out that evil is gaining this funding and support surreptitiously. In other words, otherwise good people have been deceived into supporting an evil element. Such good people are not so wise because only the unwise allow themselves to be fooled continually.
This is why, in Old Testament parlance, God always sent prophets. The prophetic voice was clean and clear. It was strong and unwavering. It was sent to shine a Light on TRUTH. It was sent to wake people from their spiritual slumber. Through the prophetic Word, the Lord Jesus identifies good and evil. He tears away the cloak of deception. He reveals the evil element behind the curtain.
When the unwise but otherwise good people then understand that which comprises the evil element, they cease supporting it. As its funding and support begins being cut back it no longer has the free ability to wreak havoc as before. In the effort to save itself it uses that much more of the only weapon it possesses: More evil. —More sin, more lies, more cheating, more obfuscation, and more dissembling. By this it only reveals itself all the more.
We are living in the days of a Great Awakening. Pay attention.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
In 2021 on this date I posted a compilation of the preceding two posts from 2019 and 2020. Before proceeding with today’s 2022 post I will add a comment I made in the 2020 post:
Yes. Times have changed radically over these last 57 years. Regardless of President Kennedy’s flaws, he was aware of a great evil element and did all he could to successfully fight it. He saw that it threatened great evil for the country. He had limited success against it but was making progress. In the end he was simply overwhelmed by it with too few standing with him. And of course, evil being what it is, the evil element had no reservations about murdering him in cold blood if it came to that. And it did. Everything immediately changed for the worse that day. It was the end of America as we knew it. The American people in large part never caught on, but this is changing.
“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 tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:44]
As you can see, I established an annual tradition regarding our remembrance of our former President John F. Kennedy beginning in 2019. This will be the fourth year in a row. It was on this day, November 22, 1963, that JFK was murdered in Dallas, Texas. It was 12:30 in the afternoon. Though the day began with a dreary overcast and rain it slowly began to clear up as the morning progressed. By the time the President’s plane landed at Dallas Love Field the day was transformed into bright sunshine. There was much excitement and joy in the atmosphere. Little did the people know that an evil element, unseen to all, had been planning a brutal assassination for what was likely months.
Regardless of the various theories regarding the conspiracy that took the President’s life, the most plausible ones have much in common. There was certainly a secret cabal that had been cobbled together. Each participant had its own reasons and motives. As always, however, as I have often mentioned in these pages, the primary motive for such always boils down to power and wealth. The power and wealth of some very powerful and wealthy individuals, some at the state level, had been threatened. Such people operate largely in secret though their outer façade may be well known. Most people do not understand that there are always primary hidden agendas. That which is presented on the surface is mere cover for what lies beneath. What you see in the major media is mere window dressing designed to obfuscate and lead people off in the wrong direction. It is a deception game.
Remember, the greatest lie the devil always tells is that he doesn’t exist. Remember also that a major part of the Lord’s ministry was exposing the devil and his scurrilous hidden machinations. Evil always operates in the dark because it must. Otherwise its cover is blown. People catch on. Most people, sadly, never catch on and are easily deceived. It explains why the enemy gets away with his ongoing crime spree. We are talking multiple generations here. If you have never considered this side of history—actual history—you have work to do.
A great many authors have written a great many books about the assassination of President Kennedy over the last 59 years since the terrible event occurred. Some have gotten pretty close to the truth. When one reads these books and continues keeping up on the subject as new light comes forth it furthers one’s understanding of how and why it happened.
It is the same when one reads the accounts of the murder of the Lord Jesus. Of course, the word “conspiracy” and the term “conspiracy theory” have been branded by the perpetrators of such conspiracies as silly and foolish and used only by the screw-loose crowd. But the Lord Jesus was certainly murdered as the result of a conspiracy.
The religious leaders who controlled the synagogues, the Pharisees, wanted Him dead pretty much from day one. They hated everything about Him. This explains who they were working for and were aligned with. Remember, the Lord’s own people in Nazareth, the people who knew Him well and among whom he grew up, tried to kill Him the first day He preached there. (“Welcome home. Good to see you. Wait. What did you say?! It’s off the cliff with you! Let’s get Him!”) There’s a fine how-do-you-do.
Those who controlled the temple complex also came to hate Him once they understood more about Him. The wealthy Sadducees had become hopelessly corrupt by that time. They were closely aligned with the money power and Rome. It took them decades to arrive at such a place. The priesthood was also corrupt. It had become so corrupt that a large element of the Zadok priesthood, over a century before, had pulled up stakes and left Jerusalem entirely. These became the Essenes. They set up shop out in the wilderness by the Dead Sea, wanting nothing to do with the corrupt city or temple.
The deciding blow of the conspiracy against the Lord came when both the Pharisees and Sadducees, ostensibly religious but both great lovers of money, who had already conspired together, also conspired with the Zealot Party, which comprised the terrorist arm of the nation. The Zealots were murderous ideologues who would stop at nothing. They hated and despised Roman authority. They were pledged to throw off the yoke using any violent means possible. Once these people were brought on board the Pharisees and Sadducees were virtually assured of success. They did not realize at the time, however, that they had made a deal with the devil, so to speak, that would come back to bite them later on like an enraged rabid dog. It was primarily the Zealots who eventually caused the destruction of the nation.
How is it then, that these three great powers who conspired together, those that essentially possessed all the wealth and political power of the nation, could end up losing everything less than forty years later? It all came to an end in 70AD. The original city of Jerusalem and the great temple were both reduced to rubble. The entire place was wiped clean. The only structure remaining was the massive Roman Fort Antonia. The Roman emperor Hadrian built an entirely new city only sixty plus years later. Nothing that presently exists of the current city of Jerusalem, other than Fort Antonia, existed at the time of the Lord. It was a total annihilation, just as He had prophesied.
Thus, their great conspiracy ultimately failed. It succeeded in that they did conspire to kill the Lord Jesus and did kill Him, just as did the conspiracy to kill JFK had succeeded. The problem with the former conspiracy was that the Lord Jesus didn’t stay dead.
It could be that America won’t stay dead either.
© 2022 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Look. Here’s the problem. It’s like we have to follow a script. It’s like we are limited in what we can do in ministry because of Scriptural parameters.”
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“What are you suggesting?”
“Well, I don’t feel I am suggesting anything, I don’t think, but merely pointing out the problems that arise from always having to keep reverting back to Scripture, as in, well, ‘the Bible says this’ or ‘the Lord said we must,’ or ‘we have to apply this Biblical directive…’”
“You think your ministerial work is suffering because you invoke Scripture?”
“No, no, not necessarily, but because, well, because I think there are other applications that probably work better in some instances, and…”
“But don’t you realize that the application of Scripture, especially the teachings of Jesus, is exactly that which provides solutions?”
“But does it always? Sometimes I’m not so sure. I’ve seen…”
“Are you having a personal crisis regarding your faith?”
“What? No, no, I just think that, that, well, that sometimes I want to help someone get through whatever they may be dealing with and show, you know, my heartfelt sympathy or concern, and, I think that trying to quote Scripture at such a time is, just, not working, or won’t work, like it’s being cold.”
“My goodness. How long have you been doing this?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’ve obviously been attempting to minister to people while also holding a clear lack of faith in Christian teachings. Do you not see this?”
“No! No, that’s not it. I know the Scriptures are the Word of God but I feel like I’m hitting people with a book, like I’m merely parroting verses and passages instead of reaching them at the point of their need, and showing sincere concern, and…”
“Did the Lord engage in ministry in such a way?”
“Well the Lord was certainly right there and touching hearts, and…”
“Yes! Yes, that’s it. He showed compassion. He granted mercy, He…”
“He watered-down the Law of Moses because that might help people not feel offended?”
“The Law! What?”
“You have a problem with the Law!”
“Wait. We’re Christians! We honor the New Covenant not the Old! We…”
“The Lord Jesus was never against the Law of Moses! The Lord actually fulfilled the Law of Moses! What is wrong with you?”
“Why are you getting so upset?”
“Because you have obviously gone off the deep end and need strong correction! How long have you been carrying this lack of respect for the Law?”
“But Paul was always talking about the deficiencies of the Law. It’s throughout all his writings.”
“You’re exaggerating. Paul spoke of the New Covenant superseding the Old Covenant but he also strongly defended the Law of Moses! Yes! The Law as delivered originally by God through Moses was certainly not deficient but was simply in need of its final fulfillment which could only be done by the future Messiah. To state that the Law was deficient or that there was a problem with the Law is grossly incorrect.”
“Okay… I’m thinking… I’m wondering where I picked this up…”
“It could be through a simple misapplication of Scripture.”
“Yes… But no. I must have received my understanding of the Law through those New Testament passages which refer to the Law in a negative sense.”
“Then you have an incomplete understanding of Scripture and need further teaching. Or you could have received it through the teachings of others in that regard.”
“But that, that would indicate that there are Christian teachers that get it wrong.”
“Yes. And what else is new?”
“No, I don’t mean… I mean, that they are doing it deliberately…”
“Which would mean exactly that or that they also have been deceived by a false teaching regarding the Law. They are doing what they think is right or…”
“Or they are not deceived at all but are deliberately teaching something that opposes the Scriptures…”
“Yes. Some are deceived. But some are agents of the enemy who have infiltrated our schools and churches.”
“How do we… What do we do?”
“First of all I appreciate the respect you are showing an elder. All real ministers of the Gospel at some point come across this sad state of affairs, this deceptive invasion, usually when they’re relatively young, as yourself. I discovered it when I was a young minister but I had no elder to help me out. I’m glad you came to me. Secondly, what we do is what any real minister of the Gospel would do. You know the answer…”
“Study to show yourself approved.”
“Exactly. Paul knew so much, so much more than he could readily share. People have to be able to receive it… When he wrote those words to Timothy he knew that Timothy, though relatively young, had gained enough maturity to know what to do.”
“Even if he didn’t fully understand. Like me. Right now…”
“But again, Paul knew Timothy would know what to do and he knew he would work very hard to succeed. And would do anything he must.”
“Timothy had to study. He had to read the Word. He had to pray.”
“That’s right. Real ministers know they often don’t know so they work very hard so they will know. That’s how they learn. It’s an ongoing process. The Word of God is Truth. It is filled with spiritual truths. It is our job to work hard at finding those truths. Then we can apply them.”
“That’s what I thought I was saying at the beginning of our conversation.”
“Well, you were seeing that merely relaying Scripture or quoting verses was kind of, kind of wooden, in some instances. You want to connect with people on a heart level instead of simply give directives toward the written Word.”
“Then don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. You can minister all day long but it will be worthless without the Word of God. And I specifically mean the teachings of our Lord. His teachings were pure and they were purely delivered. He never ministered without the Word. It would have been impossible anyway. He is the Word.”
“So I need to study. Wait. Can I see your Bible?”
“Okay… I need to read this… Here it is: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”
“There’s a lot there.”
“He has given us His Word.”
“He trusts us with it.”
“It’s a high calling.”
“And I feel ashamed, but not like, I mean, I know He understands. But I must work harder. I must be diligent.”
“It’s the only way. We only have so much time. And we have to get it right.”
“I need to focus more on the Word than on someone else’s teaching of the Word.”
“Well, there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. We just need to always make sure that our primary Counselor is the Lord Jesus. He will confirm the truth but also reveal untruths. For every untruth there is a lack of spiritual freedom. If you collect too many they act as chains tying you down. You came in here with a burden. We had to fish out its cause.”
“Thank you. I thought I knew what I was talking about.”
“You got a hold of some bad information. It wasn’t intentional. You see, if a believer gets some bad information in the context of Biblical teaching but doesn’t know it’s bad, and accepts it as truth, the only way to ferret it out is by reading and studying the Word. The more you read and study the Word the more likely it will get exposed. It is the Living Word you know. The New Covenant Scriptures were divinely inspired by the Lord and are actually alive. They will do the work as long as we do ours.”
“They didn’t even have written New Testaments in the beginning…”
“But they had Spirit-filled anointed preachers and teachers. There were a great many of them. They came to maturity rapidly.”
“And they handled the Word of truth accurately…”
“That’s right. And when they got it right the Lord confirmed what they taught with signs and miracles. Those miracles had a dual purpose. They acted as endorsements—a sign of approval.”
“That was the proof.”
“And if they were somehow wrong…”
“No miracles. No attesting signs.”
“Wow. The written Word is a deliverance mechanism…”
“Well, yes. That is why it is so important that we get it right. We are charged with delivering the Gospel as He delivered it. When we do we get the results He got. The originals got it right.”
“On a colossal scale.”
“So you see why it is so important to never let anything foreign or false enter into our curriculums because they act as a drag on the power of the Word.”
“So a great many ministers want to get it right and many are very strong about teaching what they believe is Scriptural truth. They insist on their versions and doctrines. But they never test their teachings against the only proof that would confirm them. They are satisfied without proof.”
“Yes. Many Christian teachers never put their teachings to the Scriptural test. Instead of seeking God’s confirmation they get their confirmations from others. They seek the approval of others.”
“They mainly seek the confirmation of the congregation. Oh boy. You don’t want the church folks on your back. Or they seek the confirmation of their betters, their higher-ups. Whoever’s paying you. Whoever’s giving you permission to preach. That’s who most ministers are trying to please. …Yes, I get it. We must seek only the Lord’s confirmation. It’s the only way to know we’re getting our teaching right.”
“You mean His teaching.”
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
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THE FATE OF EVIL
All evil will be judged. Everyone and everything associated with it will be dealt with. Those who join up with evil and make the free choice to be connected to it and engage in its practices, whatever their reason, will suffer the same fate. The time will come when all evil and all evil people will be judged, sentenced, and cease to exist. Evil will never make the transition to eternity. It will be incinerated.
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:28]
“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” [Matthew 25:32]
The Word of God reveals a clear dualism. There is good and there is evil. There are the righteous and there are the unrighteous. There are sheep and there are goats. There is wheat and there are tares. Every human being who has ever existed or ever will is in one group or the other. There is no middle ground.
The Word of God also defines sin. No other definition matters. Any other definition is false. Therefore whoever makes the choice to live according to God’s commands knows that God is the sole Author of His commands and made them for a reason. A person has no choice, then, but to accept God’s parameters for living. One cannot make up his own rules and be right with God. He or she cannot choose some of God’s commands and reject others. His commands have already been established. Thus, it is simply a matter of a person living for God to the full or not living for Him at all. Again, there is no middle ground.
When God gave the Law to Moses He made no provision for alteration. There was no amendment process. He never allowed for the later “Oral Law” which corrupted His Word (and is still in effect today). His Laws were not suggestions. They were not experimental applications seeking personal and societal solutions. God already knew what worked and what didn’t. He already knew what was evil and what was good. He already knew what good and acceptable behavior was and what behavior was evil and unacceptable. He didn’t need anyone telling Him what He already knew. He didn’t need someone with an extremely limited level of knowledge and life experience telling Him what He had known for multiple centuries regarding the behavior of human beings. He created human beings. Every human being who has ever lived has an extremely limited level of knowledge and life experience compared to God. The same holds true for generations. Entire living generations of human beings existing at any one time are collectively grossly inferior to God. It is therefore laughable for anyone to suppose he or she knows better than God. An honest courageous person thus understands that the best way is God’s way, that God knows best, and that all one needs to do is do one’s best to trust God, obey His commands, and live for Him.
The dishonest rebellious person, however, refuses to accept this course of action. Such a one would rather submit to his or her own will or that of another rather than God. Consequently, he or she will question God and will question His commands. He or she will attempt to eliminate some or all of His commands, accept what he or she happens to agree with, and will refuse to accept the rest. He or she will desire to modify, alter, amend, change, or revise God’s commands to suit himself or herself not understanding or caring that such is a purely selfish course of action which can never be applied universally. The only universe such people care about is their own. The dishonest rebellious person, then, is not concerned with pleasing God but only pleasing him or herself. He or she does not care about an actual relationship with God. If the only way to be right with God and have a good relationship with Him is to obey His commands, such individuals would rather not be in relationship with Him at all. Their personal freedom, including the freedom to sin, is more important to them. They are thus contemptuous of God and His commands. They will violate any law, rule, or social more, usually to the degree they feel they can get away with (because most are cowards at heart), for personal pleasure and enrichment.
This is exactly where corruption originates. It starts small and grows over time. When a person commits sin for the first time, always at a young age, his or her future course depends on how the sin is dealt with. Though God has blessed humanity with a working conscience which convicts a person of sin and which assists in one learning right from wrong, some people learn to reject the conviction of their conscience and eventually deaden their conscience to the point that they have no problem with sinning and engaging in ongoing sin. This is an otherwise obvious form of mental illness but when everyone else is mentally ill the mental illness does not register. When everyone else in one’s chosen group rejects God and chooses sin, are they actually living in sin? From God’s perspective the answer is yes indeed, of course, but from the perspective of those within that sinful group, society, or culture, since everyone adheres to the same principles and beliefs and behaves the same way, there is no comparative by which to judge. The people therein are therefore unaware of any acceptable alternative since they reject the possibility of all others and remain smug and secure within their own group and are constantly confirmed of one’s rightness by each other.
In other words, if all the animals in a particular enclosed pasture are goats, then goat behavior is perfectly acceptable because no one there will ever challenge goat behavior because everyone there is a goat. Goat behavior thus becomes the norm and any animal not a goat is perceived as a vile deviant that must be hated, rejected, censored, cancelled, ripped off, run off, and/or murdered, likely with malice. (That will teach them to mess with perfection.)
As another case in point, Cain and Able had a difference of opinion. Abel loved God, obeyed God, honored God, and served God. Cain did none of those things. Since Abel had love in his heart, he had the ability to put up with Cain’s sin and bad attitude. He had no evil intent toward Cain. He knew it was not his place to do anything about his brother except do his best to remain positive about him and pray for him. Cain, however, had no such ability or attitude. He grew to despise his brother. He was jealous regarding Abel’s walk with God. His hatred for Abel’s excellent attitude and good behavior grew until it reached a boiling point. Rather than repent, change, conform to God’s will, and eliminate his bad attitude and sinful lifestyle as well as create a happy union with both God and Abel, Cain chose instead to violently murder his brother and thus eliminate him. He did this in part to create his own “pure society” playing by a different set of rules in opposition to God’s Kingdom.
He also did it to remove the source of his conviction.
This is how it always happens. Rather than accept and conform to God’s perfect universal commands for living, rebellious sinners who oppose God make their own set of rules which benefit themselves and force everyone else within the range of their influence or authority to conform to them. Since all such subsets of rules are insufficient and even immoral and fraudulent compared to God’s, and since any number of such societal subsets exist simultaneously, they cannot help but spawn greater hate and ever-greater division. Some such societies and cultures will gain greater traction and overcome others. This allows for a strongman or chieftain to arise who plays the part of God and battles other such chieftains. The end result is incessant killing and perpetual warmongering. It is the end result of rejecting God and His commands. It is Cain killing Abel on an ever-increasing scale. In time, eventually, the pack of evil, selfish, unrighteous cowards will wipe out all the good, unselfish, courageous, righteous ones. The evil will eliminate the good from the earth. The goats will win. Sound familiar?
Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. [Genesis 6:11-12]
BEYOND THE POINT OF NO RETURN
I remember when I was a kid and learned about what happens when one flies an airplane too far out to sea with no opportunity to refuel. Once the pilot reaches the point of no return he will not have enough fuel for the return trip and is doomed. And I wondered why anyone would do that and not make sure it wouldn’t happen. I also remember a small factoid regarding the Japanese kamikaze pilots bombing American ships out to sea in WWII: They were only given enough fuel to make it to the target. Those guys were so dedicated, and they only chose the most dedicated, that they wouldn’t have turned back anyway. But just in case…
The same holds true for societies and cultures. Those who research the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, for example, become aware of certain societal signs to watch for which indicate the downward slope of a nation in decay. I studied this a long time ago and was certainly intrigued by seeing those exact early signs in my own country at that time. America was starting to look just like Rome in its declining phase. Things have grown steadily worse since then, much worse than most people would have ever thought, and we are now in the exponential days in which cultural decay is proceeding rapidly. There are no longer any sufficient societal checks to keep the inevitable from taking place. America has gone beyond the point of return.
People who used to have high moral standards have allowed their morals to slip. Many formerly strong people regarding societal mores have allowed themselves to be overcome by the upcoming lawless culture. They used to know what sin was and stood against it but stopped standing and laid down. Salt and light is at an extremely low ebb. Many in the older generation who had much better morals and a Biblical worldview have grown tired of standing against the incessant onslaught of sin and corruption. It is such that no one has escaped it. Evil has come against every segment of society. No one is immune.
Even many Christian ministries and churches have gone the way of the world. A majority have adopted whatever new cultural mores have come forth, mores which oppose real Christianity. A new agenda has replaced the former. Rather than living for the Lord and accepting, believing, and practicing the full Gospel, the new agenda calls for mere financial survival and ministry in general is now tailored toward making money and serving mammon. Sin, even egregious sin, is rarely or never addressed. This is just a fact. It cannot be denied. Money is now first. This means, according to the statement by the Lord Jesus, that most of Christianity is not serving Him but serving wealth. This means there is no longer any effective witness from American Christianity against the wicked traditional servers of money. These two used to be at loggerheads but now are joined at the hip. One has an infinite supply of ready cash and the other needs increasingly greater amounts. American Christianity has thus grown as corrupt as the corrupt ones it used to rebuke. There is no longer any effective rebuke. And this is in part why the evil ones are presently going in for the kill.
American Christianity in general grew weak and corrupted because it kicked out the strong honest Christians it could not control who were trying to save it.
The same thing happened in the secular and civic realm. Those trying to save the country clashed with those trying to destroy it. I revealed this destruction protocol in my prior post though few of you read it. I understand that such articles are not popular. I suggest to those who have yet to read it to take a look, though. I told you in advance. Yesterday marked another one of those points in history in which everything is made clear to those paying attention.
Regardless of this present darkness and the corruption therein, however, the Great Awakening continues. Praise God for that. May many more wake up and get right with God.
Otherwise, consider the following:
“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.” [Matthew 5:13]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord Jesus mentioned the devil often. He referred to him as a destructive force. The devil hates the Lord’s covenant. He is a covenant breaker and a covenant destroyer.
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“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” [Matthew 19:6]
Those who destroy covenants created by God are aligned with the devil. When the Lord Jesus brought forth His perfect covenant model the devil immediately went to work against it. He knew such a model meant death and destruction to him so he did his best to bring death and destruction to it. The apostle Paul stated what would happen at a certain point in history:
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. Therefore be on the alert… [Acts 20:29-31]
This is how the devil always works. And he must do it through humanity. What kind of people are these who pledge themselves to doing the devil’s business? We may imagine them to be a relative miniscule few, extremely abominable and evil. While this is true of those at the very top of the pyramid running the world vowed to the devil’s authority—in full covenant with him—most of the people involved appear as mainstream to the unaware sleepers and hide their evil status expertly through false façades, appearing as normal as anyone else and even as morally good and culturally superior. It is the ongoing masquerade of one’s visible betters in apparent control, but compared to their hidden higher ups, the talking head storefront jockeys are mere pawns in the devil’s hierarchy.
COVENANT AND UNCOVENANT
The world we are born into is made to appear as something other than it actually is. Starting at an early age, before anyone has the ability to correctly discern reality or even be aware of the world at large and how it actually works, people are deceptively instructed to make covenants with apparent innocuous entities that are not in covenant with God. This is obviously never spiritually beneficial for anyone but the lack of knowledge of the true intent of such covenants is beyond them and also beyond the lower level lackeys instructing them. In essence, we are made to make agreements with authoritative organizations, cultural beliefs, and religious practices while having no idea of their origins or agendas. People simply do not understand that they have been subjected to programming, that there are hidden programs and programmers, and that such programmers are subject to higher controllers with evil agendas. If this scenario sounds far-fetched we need only look to the gospels to verify it. The Lord reveals it right here:
And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” [Luke 4:5-7]
The existence of such a passage of Scripture causes many Christians to question Holy Writ. How could such a thing be true?
How could the devil control all the kingdoms of the entire world throughout time? And who was it exactly who gave all these kingdoms to him? And how is it exactly that he has gained the ability to give partial control of any or all of his kingdoms to anyone he chooses?
This was the deal he was offering the Lord. Maybe he never tried to make such a far-reaching deal with anyone else. Maybe he has only made much lesser deals to certain people throughout history in that they would control only continents or regions or large cities or other non-tangible kingdoms. In all of these, though, as it was with his proposed deal with the Lord, the one overall caveat would be that he, the devil, would be recognized as the supreme authority to which one has dedicated his or her life. The people making such deals would have to bow down and worship him and do anything and everything he tells them to do. This obviously speaks of covenant. It is making a deal with the devil to gain the power, wealth, and goods of this world which one would not otherwise be able to gain.
Imagine then, how many well-known people there are in history and at present who have signed on with such demonic deals and made such covenants. What was the Lord going to gain if He made the deal the devil was proposing? From this we can surmise those who existed who have made such deals. We can also surmise those currently living who have made such deals. Who are those ruling over large “kingdoms” whether tangible or not? Whether unseen or not? How did they gain such rule? How did they gain such great wealth and power? Who opened the doors for them? How else could they have gained it? If it all belongs to the devil, the one the Apostle Paul referred to as “the god of this world,” then it only follows that those in positions of great power with great means have only gained their exalted places and status by the devil gifting it to them in exchange for their acknowledgement of him as “god,” their worship of him, and their obedience of his dictates. They owe him everything because everything they have and have become is due to him.
The following is a good illustration of how this works:
Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” [John 18:33-37]
…And he entered into the Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate *said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” [John 19:10-11]
These passages reveal the nature of this world. Remember, the Word of God clearly states that we all live in a fallen world, on a sinful planet, and that while the Lord Jesus certainly has all authority in heaven and earth, He is not in covenant with those who oppose Him. He is not in spiritual fellowship with unrepentant sinners, with the rebellious, and with those who put their faith in sinful flesh, this world, or the devil. He obviously is in no covenant with those who have made unholy covenants with the enemy. And while there are a great many kingdoms in this world there is only one holy spiritual kingdom in this world and He is the sole King of that kingdom. He has instituted human government for obvious reasons but when such governments become corrupt they no longer function per His design.
How sad it is then when the majority of that which is called “Christian” in this world is also not in covenant with the Lord Jesus. The majority of that which is called “Christian” creates their own kingdoms and covenants and while they invoke His Name they do not fully obey Him, do not do His will, do not teach the real Gospel, and are not part of His spiritual kingdom. They look legitimate on the surface but are actually non-spiritual entities not created by Him. They are spiritual deep fakes. These false Christian entities are included with all those other earthly kingdoms existing in opposition to the Lord. We know this in part because they have acquired the same benefits as the other sellouts: Wealth (for some, great wealth), territory, worldly authority, control, cultural acceptance, and elevated status. The Lord Jesus never had any of these things. His early Community never had any of these things.
Consider the following:
Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God. [Luke 16:14-15]
“…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”[Matthew 6:21-24]
(Wealth: Greek: mamonas, from Aramaic mamon (mammon); i.e. wealth, etc., personified as an object of worship.)
This is why the faux bros within false forms of Christianity, like the original Pharisees, say one thing but do another. They talk the “talk” very well, enough to fool and deceive many people and even deceive themselves, and some are much better at the “talk” than others, but they simply do not walk the “walk.” They have not entered into the full covenant of the Lord Jesus. It should not be difficult to understand, therefore, that the ruling Israelite religious authority of the first century AD that opposed the Lord and His Kingdom was also one of the kingdoms belonging to you know who, who gave those religious authorities their rule and position. It is why they clashed so vociferously with the Lord and His people. These were two kingdoms at war. They are still at war.
CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTY VS. WOKE SOCIALISM
These are kingdoms also at war. The ideology of Wokeism opposes everything about America’s original founding. It opposes the original colonists, particularly the Pilgrim Separatists who established Plymouth Colony in 1620. It opposes the American Revolution and the original Republic. It has no problem denigrating and defaming the Founders of this country. It opposes the very essence of what America is and what it stands for. Though aligned with classic Marxism, Wokeism is an entirely different and unique belief system which has presently risen upon this country. It stands in stark opposition against traditional America and is designed to become established and take over. It has spent years forming and gaining recruits by taking over former cultural institutions and transforming them into indoctrination centers. It has already made huge strides toward its ultimate goals. But the majority of all who invoke this anti-freedom destructive ideology do not understand that it is not organic but part of an agenda sent forth from on high which has deceptively captured their minds into believing they are engaging in something good and necessary. They do not understand they are actually assisting in destroying their country as part of an ongoing destruction protocol.
It is same with false forms of Christianity. In order to exist and gain power they must throw off the old. This means they must oppose the original Christianity of the Lord Jesus in order to establish their own. They deceive their people into making a covenant with the new “denomination,” whatever it may be, which means such people are not in covenant with the Lord Jesus. Constantine, in the 4th century AD, was the first to do this on a massive scale and it proved hugely successful. He created a syncretic religious kingdom in the guise of Christianity. All later Christian denominations do essentially the same to varying degrees. They prove by their very existence that they are different entities than original Christianity as created by the Lord Jesus.
Rather than create new religious kingdoms they simply could have joined the Lord’s existing Kingdom. See how that works?
So this again begs the question: How many of these Christian entities which comprise overall Unreal Christianity fall under the aegis of “the kingdoms of this world?” Are their leaders actually in full covenant with the Lord Jesus? How can we know who is actually in full covenant with Him? The following passages present clear clues, yet apparently hidden to many:
“But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.” [Matthew 5:36]
The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me…” [John 10:24-27]
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’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” [John 14:8-10]
“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.” [John 14:12-15]
The Lord Jesus proved He was for real in part by the miraculous works done by Him. These works proved the Father dwelt in the Son which illustrated full covenant. Later, at Pentecost, the believers were also filled with the Spirit of God which signified their full covenant with the Lord as well. It is therefore not difficult, from a New Covenant Scriptural perspective and foundation, to name some key points which identify those in full covenant with the Lord Jesus, those who are actual members of His spiritual kingdom:
(1) They honor the Lord Jesus 100%. They strive to learn and follow His full curriculum. They obey “You shall have no other gods before Me.” They fulfill the instructions of the Apostle Peter in Acts Chapter 2. They are not in covenant with anything or anyone in which the Lord is not in covenant. They desire the Lord’s will.
(2) They are willing to deny themselves, carry their cross, and even go to the cross. They subject themselves to persecution.
(3) They are spiritual warriors. They oppose the devil and the devil opposes them.
(4) The Lord Jesus operates through them doing the works He did during His ministry, works that can never be empowered or facilitated by anyone else: And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. [Mark 16:20]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
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Useful Unbelievers—Gullible Sheep
Those Who Ne’er Try to Waken From Sleep
Dreaming Through Existence
Their Obscure For Instance
Lives, Never Touching Eternal Deep
What Could Have Been Was Scripted Forward
A Plan Discarded As Untoward
Their Heart’s Fire Frozen
Full Steam Ahead, a Course Set Backward
They Bought Into the Deceiving Lie
Too Lazy or Uncaring to Vie
For Truth, They Fail to See
To Be or Not To Be
They Flunk the Question and Then They Die
The Lord Said the Saved are Only Few
Who’ll find the Gate That’s Narrow and True
All the Rest Give Their Best
To the Broad Way, a Fest
And Reject the Way That Leads One Through
Give Praise to the Lord Who Paid the Price
Who Gave His Life to Cleanse Us From Vice
And Bless With a Welcome
To His Present Kingdom
A New Living Way For Those Born Twice
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Our success as Christians must be defined in purely spiritual terms. Such success can never be gained without pure spiritual means.
When I first came to the Lord many years ago and was filled with the Holy Spirit I immediately received an intense spiritual hunger for the Word of God. I was doing hard manual labor at the time, working in a massive warehouse distribution center. It was often the case that I would spend my lunch hour fasting and reading the Word.
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Fasting was something entirely new to my life but before my born-again experience I had already understood the need for organic food, proper vitamins, and etc. I even went so far as to become a vegetarian. That lasted about five weeks… Much new information had come forth by the 1970s regarding the chemical-laden junk food in the standard American diet, whether store bought or not, and that it was causing a multitude of health problems for a great many people, most of them unaware of the cause. I had read a lot on the subject of natural foods and still have one particular book from that time entitled Eating For Life. Such literature mentioned the benefits of periodic fasting so I was aware of the practice though had never applied it.
That changed with my new church. They believed in fasting though primarily for spiritual reasons. We were taught to fast at least one day per week, every week—a full 24 hours. I began practicing it, usually on a work day, and it became routine. We were also expected to go on a two-day fast every quarter which I also began doing. This was a bigger challenge. I noticed, however, that despite the difficulties presented the spiritual benefits were quite evident. One had better spiritual vision, clarity, and strength. The Holy Ghost within you was more pronounced since the Lord had less flesh to deal with. One’s witnessing was more empowered. Prayer was more powerful and effective. It was easier to hear from God.
Of course, the Lord fasted often and taught fasting. The original apostles and disciples fasted. It was a practice of the Early Church in the first century AD. And though there are only three men listed in Scripture who ever managed a forty day fast—Moses (twice), Elijah, and the Lord—there is no doubt the apostles and others must have done this as well.
It is not difficult to understand that fasting one day a week is a type of resting every seventh day as the Lord rested on the seventh day of Creation. Giving your system a break every seventh day is highly beneficial and allows for restoration and cleansing. We see this same practice in the Lord’s command to let the agricultural land lay fallow every seventh year. It allows the land to recharge and regenerate. It allows for a rebuilding of the nutrients in the soil. Whenever this form of land management is practiced consistently, in a natural environment, the soil never loses its ability to provide an excellent crop. It is the same for one’s physical body. Fasting is especially necessary in these days of ubiquitous toxicity in which environmental poisons have increased exponentially. But again, for the Christian, fasting is primarily for spiritual purposes.
Even though I was working hard on fast days I got used to it. When one has a regular fast day (same day each week) the body adjusts and though it can be a challenge it is simply not as difficult as one who doesn’t fast may suppose. Also, by reading the Word at the same time, one gains spiritual strength to make up the difference for a loss of physical strength. Incidentally, I was never very good at longer fasts but I have done them on several occasions. Yet, back then in the early days I worked with a guy once who was a master at it. I had become a professional carpenter by that time. A carpenter I worked and went to church with had, on one occasion, gone two weeks without food and never missed a day of work. That was impressive.
Though all new believers have a hunger for the Word of God I noticed early on that I had it to a much greater degree. It did not take me long to read through the entire Bible. I then began doing word studies. Back then, before computers, the general practice for those who wanted the fullness of study was to get a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance which had every listing of every word in the entire King James Version of the Bible. One could look up any word from any verse and find its meaning. Of course, it contained only the root words and their definitions but it was plenty for general study. A Strong’s Concordance was likely the first study book I ever purchased. It had a light green hardback cover. I still have it. I spent untold hours going through that concordance for many years getting up to speed on Biblical words and meanings.
I soon branched out to other study material but could only afford so much. I didn’t have much to spare on a working man’s salary. However, no matter how much I studied and read it was never enough. I was always pressing on. Again, this was not normal. My fellow congregants all read the Bible, of course. We attended church services four times a week. We did much outside witnessing. We were very proactive in attempting to fulfill the New Testament commands of the Lord. But when it came to reading, study, and research, I outdid everybody else, even some ministers, as I had eventually discovered. I didn’t realize I had a gift.
I didn’t find that out until I took my first spiritual gifts test about six or seven years after becoming a Christian. I had never been aware of such tests before. I was absolutely blown away at the results. Romans Chapter 12 lists seven spiritual giftings of which every real Christian has one which is dominant:
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. [Romans 12:6-8]
When I took the test I came up very high on Teaching. A close second was Prophesying. Whenever I took a test after this over the following years it always scored out the same. This explained everything. It explained why I had such a powerful desire to read and study the Word. You see, one cannot be a teacher unless he knows how and what to teach. I also discovered something else, however. Having the teaching gifting does not necessarily mean one will be a standup teacher with a class. What it actually means is that one is gifted to be as a spiritual detective to work hard at going where no one without this gift will go. The Lord gives a person this anointing and strength. The one with this gift will thus spend hour after hour studying the Word, searching out clues, and doing research not only to gain general knowledge but the hidden knowledge most Christians never gain.
Now, I am not talking about some esoteric nonsense but the “hidden” knowledge of the Word. It is not actually hidden but is effectively hidden since most Christians either don’t read the Bible enough or study it in-depth. Many Christians have a rudimentary knowledge of the Word of God but it is usually not very deep. Many ministers obviously have greater Biblical knowledge than most of their congregants but much of it usually has a denominational bias. It is therefore not so easy to be an independent Biblical researcher, which I developed into, because one eventually discovers false doctrines and bad interpretations of Scripture and has to deal with the societal implications thereof if you get my drift. One must always guard against extra-Biblical stuff masquerading as truth and such non-truth must be exposed for what it is. Otherwise the Christians taken in by the false will likely never be set free from it. They become deceived and stay that way. (When one is deceived he or she is not aware of it.) Such deception effectively cuts one off from a closer walk with God. Accordingly, false teachings are not good for one’s spiritual health for two reasons: They replace the truth the Lord taught and restrict one from gaining further truth.
As our greatest example in this area, look at what happened to God Himself when He walked this earth trying to reveal truth and expose error. The religiously brainwashed didn’t take long to resort to outright hatred against Him because He revealed them as posers. Simply by shining His light He revealed their ignorance and sinful motives. It was a severe blow to their spiritual pride. They didn’t appreciate that. They didn’t think they were posers. They believed they were highly accomplished. They thought He was a poser. See how that works? This is where Christian-on-Christian persecution comes from.
All real Christians will be persecuted, of course, but some will be especially persecuted. Again, the reason why should be obvious. Christians who are never persecuted probably need to check their oil because something isn’t adding up. Also, one must remember the Lord Jesus had all seven giftings operating at 100%. He was filled with the Holy Spirit without measure. He is God. He is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when He taught He was doing so with the highest and most pure form of spiritual light. His light would shine upon all darkness. Those fake religionists thus had no chance to hide. They managed to fool most of the people with their obtrusive costuming, smug manner, and societal standing, but the Lord performed what amounted to a spiritual X-Ray upon them which went right through their false façade and revealed to those paying attention exactly what they were.
The majority of Christian ministers do not do this. Why? Because rather than operating as an extension of the Lord Jesus they are actually doing the opposite. They cannot, therefore, shine a light on darkness because they are darkness or lack the light, though duded up to look otherwise. Many are mere Christian Pharisees. It is why they banish anyone who happens to reveal them for what they are. They are threatened by spiritual light. The only way they stay unexposed and in power, therefore, is to get rid of or silence those who would reveal them. It is the way all authoritarians stay in power.
The Christians who actually get what the New Covenant writings teach know that there is only one who must be in power and control. He is the one who has all authority in both heaven and earth. Sadly, of course, all of heaven and earth does not include many churches who are manned by counterfeits. The real Church has only one King. Everybody else in His Kingdom is not a king and are all on the same plane. When we structure our gatherings in such a way that the Lord Jesus is the only authority it eliminates the notion of a single “pastor” ruling a congregation. It supports the truth of the NT format in which a group of mature Spirit-filled elders oversee the operation from a secondary position to the Lord and in which the Lord is able to do anything He wants anytime He wants.
WE KNOW WHEN THE LORD JESUS IS IN CHARGE BECAUSE HIS GOSPEL DOINGS AND THE BOOK OF ACTS BREAKS FORTH.
Well, what self-respecting Christian minister wants that? The whole church would be in an uproar. The surrounding town or neighborhood would think he lost his mind. He would certainly lose his dignified status and pretty soon his job. He would quickly be knocked back to the Stone Age and have to start all over again (you know, like when one first comes to the Lord in real repentance). What Christian Pharisee would ever allow such a terrible outcome?
Remember, the fakers can last forever with their true identities hidden to the masses until the Light shows up. It is then when their cover is blown. Until Christians start waking up to the fact that many Christian ministers are simply not endowed by God, equipped, or gifted, and are not bringing the goods but are getting by on shallow non-spiritual blatherings that sound great but do nothing or little spiritually substantial, they will keep getting what they’ve always got: The needle won’t move and the creeping enemy will continue to take over until the local church looks exactly like the fallen world. The Lord Jesus did not give His life for that.
And such shallow Christians will also discover the biggest thing, something they REALLY don’t want: They will have to take upon themselves their own spiritual responsibilities, embrace discipleship, and do their spiritual work as the Lord commanded. It is no wonder then that most would rather maintain the status quo. The majority of the Israelites in the first century AD had the same attitude.
We must thank the Lord then, and show great gratitude and appreciation for those Israelites who saw it differently. They decided to give everything they had for the one who died to save them. Though in the minority, and though facing spiritual and cultural persecution, they didn’t hold back. They were great spiritual warriors who received the spoils of victory on a daily basis. Because of their foundational work way back then we have the opportunity today for every ability and gifting we need to do the work that must be done so that we can have the same outcome they had.
In future records, may it be written of our generation as it was for theirs:
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” [Acts 17:6 NKJ]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Every real Christian is subject to everything experienced by the Lord Jesus, one of which is cold betrayal. This is always done by someone close, usually a trusted one.
THE JUDAS KISS
The reason it works so well is because one’s defenses are down. One has no reason to put up a shield against friends, family members, or Christian associates. In this sense the victim is essentially defenseless. His or her sense of loyalty, good faith, and thinking and believing well of others, without which one cannot have good relationships, is the very thing taken advantage of by the Judas spirit and the person aligned with it. However, this does not mean the victim was not necessarily wise or watching. It does not mean the victim of betrayal was not being exactly what the Lord wanted him or her to be or was not walking with the Lord. One may wonder, then, is this is true, why the Lord did not warn them before the attack.
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In reality, there are often clues along the way that are certainly acknowledged but usually not taken as seriously as they should be, but again, to take them too seriously can damage the relationship, a relationship the victim appreciates and protects. There is thus a fine line. Potential Judases, as deceiving and conniving as they are, sometimes reveal themselves for what they are in relatively minor ways. Sometimes their outer packaging slips a tad. Sometimes their mask fails to hide completely. They may say or do something that arouses suspicion but because they are such excellent liars, something the victim can’t quite conceive of since it is so diabolical, they manage to stay above any suspicion that may otherwise reveal them for what they actually are.
Now, some people, a relative few, have their suspicion motors running at high speed much of the time. Others are never suspicious. Most people, however, with regard to close personal relationships, have a healthy mindset which allows for suspicion but are not focused on it. It kicks in when it is called for, when something appears off and when things don’t quite add up. But even then it is likely that these are mere general warnings that don’t have actual merit. Such warnings let a person know the system is running properly.
Those who are always suspicious have likely been burned to a high degree at some point, maybe several times, and feel they are forced to always be on high alert. Those who are never suspicious are those most vulnerable to attack and are often the kind of people who are easily taken advantage of. These may be placed in that general group that contains the naïve, the gullible, and those more easily prone to indoctrination. Interestingly, along with these are people of status so sure of their beliefs they believe it ridiculous to second guess their station in life. Why they are so trusting without testing is too broad a subject to discuss here but could be due to never seeing any reason to be guarded. It could even be because they perceive guarded people, even those only slightly such, as paranoid. Still, allowing for suspicion is a vital part of one’s defenses. Most people learn at a young age that some people can be trusted and others can never be. Defending oneself is a vital component of life and part of the way God made us.
Regarding the Lord’s betrayal, it may not be the best of examples in that it never surprised Him but He did allow for it. He did this in part to show what is possible and what one should watch for. He was obviously wise and knowledgeable enough to know all about the man Judas Iscariot, his makeup, and his motivations; he was never fooled by Judas. But the other disciples were, at least in part. One or some of them may have known Judas before the Lord chose him. Some of them didn’t take long to figure out that Judas was certainly a man to be suspicious of. They knew he was a thief, for example, though this knowledge may not have come until later in the Lord’s ministry. They knew he was a lover of money. They also must have known that he was highly religious in the Pharisaical sense. In fact, Judas was actually a type of the unbelieving Israelites who rejected the Lord Jesus as Messiah. Hence, the Judas spirit and the antichrist spirit are closely aligned.
I think he probably was a Pharisee though a stealthy one. Considering how he so easily met with temple insiders to betray the Lord suggests he apparently had close relationships with some who worked in the temple. These might have been long term or may have only arisen after he became a disciple by spies who desired to cultivate an inside spy. And Judas, due to his own concerns about the Lord and his lack of full commitment to Him likely granted him access to the intrigue of the evil inner circle where others had none. For example, no other apostle had any such relationship. All the others had given their hearts and lives wholly to the Lord and this cut them off from any worldly relationships on the outside.
So this is a clue. If one has a potential Judas in one’s life then one likely has an unhealthy friendship with the world to some degree manifested through friends or family. This may be hard to understand for many Christians but the student of the New Covenant Scriptures is very aware of such passages as the following:
“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you.” [2Corinthians 6:17]
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. [James 4:4]
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. [1Peter 2:9-10]
According to the latter passage, whether or not we receive mercy is contingent upon leaving the world of darkness, joining up with the people of God, becoming God’s own possession, and serving as a spiritual priest of the Lord. (This must include real repentance.) According to the former passages we must be separate from the world, never be a friend of the world, and not touch what is unclean. Whoever fulfills these requirements will be welcomed into His kingdom by the King Himself, will be a friend of God, a member of His holy nation, and again, will receive mercy. One will never have to be concerned about being betrayed by such people.
One will not have to worry about being betrayed by non-Christians either because real Christians have no spiritual relationships with non-Christians. Therefore, the Judas people will appear somewhere in the middle. They are those who have one foot in the world and give the appearance of having the other foot in the kingdom. This may appear impossible but on the other hand some people are flakes. Some people are commitment-challenged. Some people are a mile wide and an inch deep. Unreal Christianity is rife with such people.
It kind of reminds one of the present condition of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi has not been this low in a very long time. There are vast stretches that are only about five feet deep. Stuff that has been forever under water is now being revealed. An old ferry barge over a century old has been exposed. Human remains have been found. There have been other discoveries. One can now walk across large swaths of exposed river bottom. Upstream barges cannot get their crops to market. What is more, there is little hope for the necessary rain beyond the immediate future. This sounds like those virgins who neglected to keep their oil lamps filled. It reminds one of the corruption of hidden sins never repented of or dealt with that hide beneath the surface waiting to be revealed when the masquerade comes off.
And this is reminiscent of the Judas spirit living within or around a potential traitor who keeps his or her treachery well-hidden by high enough water until the time of their strike. And though the river is muddy, it is up to his or her potential victim to see the signs, to look overboard once in a while, do some catfish noodling, and maybe partake of a scuba dive or two. Even then it is sometimes not possible to avoid attack because the devil is sly and Judases are good liars and very deceptive.
SOMETIMES CHRISTIANS GO SOUTH
Generally, people don’t lose their religion all at once. It is most often a gradual thing. It usually has something to do with not repenting of a certain sin and allowing it to fester and turn into a problem. When sins are small they can much more easily be dealt with. If not they have a tendency to propagate. It seems that sins have little seeds attached that grow into new sins. If not dealt with, such sins become a bumper crop and overcome the ability of the person to deal with them. Because the person likes the sin at least to some degree he or she thus coddles the sin instead of KILLING IT. Then the next phase kicks in when evil spirits are attracted to the darkness. Evil spirits love sin. They love darkness. They love corruption. This is why, when someone possesses such a ponderance of unrepented sin, they also open themselves up to demon oppression or possession. And according to the account of that tomb-dwelling demon-possessed guy in the country of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake (see Luke 8:26-39), it is possible for a person to be possessed by thousands of demons at the same time, kind of like a mass of flies of a particular kind. (The term Beelzebul is actually a derogatory takeoff on the ancient deity of the Ekronites, the lord of the flies.)
Because Judas Iscariot never dealt with his minor sins they compounded and became major sins. Then, evil spirits were attracted to him. The temple insiders were also attracted to him and saw an opening to use him to murder the Lord. But guess what? Things got so bad and so out of hand within Judas due to his embrace of sin, his bitterness, his anger, and his frustration with his inability to change the Lord or manipulate Him that he not only attracted those guys but also attracted the devil himself:
And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. They were glad and agreed to give him money. So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd. [Luke 22:3-6]
Here is another clue: Betrayal of this kind usually involves money. It involves a payoff for causing either great suffering to the victim, eliminating the victim altogether, or both. Some people have no problem destroying a person’s life for a reward of some kind. Also, keep in mind that there is a natural form of manipulation that is purely of the flesh but is used in the same way. Some people are manipulators. They are devious tricksters who do their evil under the radar in order to change a person to his or her way of seeing things in order to use them for their own purposes. Those who are best at this are never or rarely perceived for what they are. It is often the case if not always that such schemers are too personally weak or outnumbered to get their way otherwise and must therefore resort to double-dealing and perniciousness. Or it could be that there are laws against such behavior, whether legal or moral, and the person must find a way to get around such laws without appearing to break them overtly in order to keep up appearances and not arouse suspicion.
However, when it comes to evil spirits, it is a different ball game altogether. When a person is betrayed with the assistance of such demonic entities he or she is dealing with a much higher level of strength which most often overpowers the person’s natural strength and ability to perceive what is happening. Accordingly, this also involves a much higher level of deception and manipulation. The person and the demon work together. Judas Iscariot, remember, would never have been able to betray the Lord without human help and demonic help. Of course, the Lord was aware of the entire scheme the entire time whereas all others are not though they may be suspicious to varying degrees. The early Christians were well aware of demonic entities and their machinations and knew they could only defeat them using the power of God. They were spiritual warriors. It is in part why they knew they must be Spirit-filled.
BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TRUST
As a final warning, one based purely on Scripture, one must be careful who he or she is in relationship with. In the Early Community of the Lord in the first century, believers were strictly instructed by the Lord and then one another to make only a 100% commitment to the Lord and nothing less once they decided to follow Him. One’s relationship with the Lord Jesus must be such or there is no real relationship. He will not accept anything less. Spiritual Covenant is impossible without a full commitment.
Then, when two believers have done this—when they have each done their part to create a vertical covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus—they can each create a horizontal spiritual relationship with each other based on the same covenant teaching. They then need not worry about betrayal from one another because both have fulfilled the entry level requirement (“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.”) and both have fulfilled the second requirement as well (“And your neighbor as yourself.”). Again, both would also be filled with the Holy Spirit which greatly aids in being aware of or identifying potential Judases.
The same is true for a group of twelve or 120 as on the Day of Pentecost. It is also true for thousands. In fact, when one considers the many hundreds of thousands or millions of people which comprise the entire Body of Christ on the planet—the actual Body of Christ comprised of real Christians—one can see that one will always be safe with the Lord and mature real believers dedicated to the Word. One will never be betrayed by these, especially of course, by the Lord Jesus who has already proven His love and faithfulness a million times over. He will never leave you or forsake you. He gave everything for us He possibly could give. He did everything for us He possibly could do.
For other relationships, however, there is no guarantee. It is why each disciple must be their own watchman on the wall.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The ancient prophecy of Malachi said the next prophet to come would be a forerunner to prepare hearts and would announce the Messiah through the prophetic Word.
The Messiah is always announced through the prophetic Word. That is why there is no Messiah wherever there is no prophetic Word.
John the Baptist—I prefer to call him John the Immerser because this title is both accurate and illustrative in the original Hebrew—was a mere man. Yet he was a man with a powerful spiritual anointing. His anointing was so powerful that it was aligned with the anointing of the ancient prophet Elijah. This is what the prophecy in Malachi actually entailed. It did not refer to a mere man or to a return of Elijah but to a particular powerful prophetic anointing which would show up in the Last Days.
He was the last prophet of Israel before the prophetic Word ceased. For roughly four and a half centuries until John there was no prophet in Israel. Imagine that. For perspective, if we traveled back through time from now for 450 years we would arrive at the year 1572. This was way before anything America. It predates Plymouth (1620) and Jamestown (1607). It even predates the Lost Colony of Roanoke (1585-87). Hence, Israel was prophetless for an incredibly long time.
Malachi’s ministry occurred in the late fifth century BC and ended at some point prior to 400BC when he spoke his last and passed from the scene. His voice was stilled. Having no successor, the prophetic Word went silent. One may wonder how or why this happened but it likely had something to do with an age-old fight between two elements meant to work together but were often effectively at each other’s throats. This ancient battle between priest and prophet continues to play out in our day but’s that’s another story for another time. Suffice it to say that the priests won their battle against the prophets when Malachi breathed his last.
We get an indication of the timing by taking a closer look at Daniel’s prophecy of weeks. He speaks of a distinct division in time that occurred after forty-nine years (seven weeks) which coincided with the completion of the rebuilding of Jerusalem in approximately 407BC. One can easily read into this as a time when the priests had taken full control of the city of Jerusalem and the second temple. They had everything going their way though they achieved it in part (likely a major part) through guile, mammon, and self-serving determination. Now they no longer had to worry about that confounding variable of God speaking to His people and stirring them up against their dead religious order. They had finally eliminated their great nemesis the prophet who was ever exposing their corruption. Does this sound familiar?
The anti-prophet effort had been brewing especially during the time when what was left of the nation of Israel was in Babylonian Captivity almost two centuries before. The nation had been banished there due to its great sin and faithlessness. A defiant faction of the priestly element never did repent but grew further from God and more rebellious. They also picked up some bad demonic stuff while in Babylon and incorporated it into their teachings. When they finally returned to the land after their 70 year penalty phase it was only a matter of time before their evil hearts would overtake the dutiful priests honorably adhering to the Law of Moses and the pure honesty of the prophets and rid the land of not only the prophetic Word but the edifying and preserving influence of God Himself.
Thus, the words of Malachi have special import. Imagine a friend or relative at the end of life speaking his or her final words. This person would never be heard from again. One would therefore want to spend time with the passing one whose speech would soon cease forever. Whether Malachi knew this or not we may not ever know but I think he did. He was a prophet after all. Unlike the priests who performed routine quotidian tasks and ceremonial duties, prophets had to stay close to God at all times or would not be able to fulfill their callings. They could never fake it. Their lives were not composed of man’s order but the comparative wildness of spiritual warfare as reflected in nature when one may not know what may come next—crashing oceans, great thunderstorms, raging blizzards and the like—but had better be equipped and able to deal with it. They were given a most difficult task to achieve that demanded the crucifixion of flesh. They were often greatly humbled. It sometimes appeared that God had little concern for their welfare or physical comfort. They were driven to be the best and to achieve their calling against great odds. These were tough men. Very strong. God demanded of them a high level of spiritual discipline and the outworking thereof because the people needed to hear from Him for their direction and salvation and this could only happen through the prophetic Word delivered through humanity.
Obviously very few men qualified to be prophets, not necessarily because God was partial or particularly choosy but because He had a hard time finding those who would willingly submit to the rigors of the calling. I cannot imagine how hard this process must have been for the Lord but I get a pretty good clue whenever I think about the working out of my own walk and its hopeful effectiveness and how the Lord must be forever patient but also demand commandment-keeping, curriculum-learning, calling-achievement, and having something great to show in our lives for what He did for us on the cross. He built a great foundation which gave each real Christian a tremendous head start. I would think He expects us to strive to be the best we can be. This is how it was for the OT prophets, though to the nth degree.
The book of Malachi has been described as “a beautiful expression of God’s love for a nation that continues to disobey Him,” and in one sentence: “The Great King will come not only to judge his people, but also to bless and restore them.” It is composed of four chapters. The verses we are concerned with in this paper come from Chapter 4 and describe that distant time four and a half centuries from Malachi’s era into the future when the great closing prophetic events occur in the final generation of Israel in the first century AD. Here is Chapter 4, the last verses of the Old Testament, in full:
1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.
3 “You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.
4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.
6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” [Malachi 4:1-6]
Those who are aware of the final conflagration of the nation of Israel will see in this passage the absolute accuracy of the prophetic Word of the Lord spoken through the prophet Malachi. This man was given a pure vision of the future by God and he captured it in written form. As I wrote earlier, the vision within this short passage directly refers to the final generation of Israel and the “Last Days” spoken of in the New Testament writings. They were the days of the next prophet after Malachi, a man named John, who the Lord Jesus referred to as the greatest man born of a woman. And of course, right after John arose the greatest Prophet, a Man excepted from the former description since He is truly the greatest, who was the long waited Messiah as referred to by Malachi in verse 5, “the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.” This day was great primarily because He would arrive and save all believers from their sin and grant them eternal life. But the day was terrible in that:
V1: It would burn like a furnace and all the arrogant and every evildoer would be chaff; the day that is coming will set them ablaze and leave them neither root nor branch.
V3: The wicked would be tread down and be ashes under the feet of the righteous on the day “which I am preparing.”
In the last verse the Lord speaks of one final chance for the nation. If not heeded He would “come and smite the land with a curse.” Of course we know it was not heeded. The prophet John was rejected. The Messiah was rejected. The prophetic Word was rejected. Every warning ever spoken was rejected.
The nation crashed and burned, as did the great city of Jerusalem, the city of David. And the brand new sparkling gold-laden and gold-filled third temple was also burned to the ground and every last trace of it vanished.
For the righteous believers who welcomed John and welcomed the Messiah and respected the prophetic Word we have:
V2: “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.”
We see this prophetic truth mentioned once again as reflected in the next passage from the Gospel of Luke when John’s father Zechariah spoke the following prophecy at baby John’s circumcision ceremony:
“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and redeemed His people. He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of His servant David, just as He promised through His holy prophets long ago. Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has been merciful to our ancestors by remembering His sacred covenant—the covenant He swore with an oath to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live.
“And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell His people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” [Luke 1:68-79 NLT]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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 dumb ass speaking with man’s voice… [2Peter 2:16 KJV]
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. [1John 2:22]
OUR PRESENT CHALLENGE
By now the lines have been drawn. Most have chosen their side. America is divided. It is breaking apart. There is no going back. Unless, that is, Christians in America, the only possible potential unifying and positive force remaining to restore the country, get their act together. But of course, that will never happen because such Christians, in a general sense, have denied the fullness of the Gospel and consequently have no chance against the level of evil coming forth. Therefore, it will take the “church within the church” to stem the tide toward destruction. This group comprises that small steadfast percentage of American Christians overall, those who take the Lord absolutely seriously, who truly understand what happened at Calvary and how it applies to them personally. Only these possess the 100% dedication to the Lord Jesus, displayed by their pure discipleship and absolute honor of His full curriculum. Only these can be the required positive force to counteract and overcome the negative forces of hatred, rebellion, and destruction. Their pure moral loving nature, anointed by the Lord’s powerful Spirit, stands as a bulwark against the flowing immoral degeneracy of the current evil agenda.
And for any who think I am being far too concerned about saving the country rather than living for the Kingdom I will remind you that without a country with a Constitution of laws to protect and defend the innocent and law-abiding and their God-given rights for the good of all one will be forever on the defensive against marauding evil authoritarians ever on the prowl for taking a spoil and destroying the good. There will be nothing to stop them. Once Constitutional Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press is cut away to nothing it will be total war on Christians and Christianity with no possible corrective.
Therefore, there is a Great Awakening. Seeing what was coming, I have been calling for the need of one for decades. I have been speaking, teaching, writing about, and hoping for its arrival openly for the last quarter century. I have mentioned it in my book Real Christianity. And since I received the spoken revelation of its arrival over twelve years ago and have been proclaiming its presence since the beginning of this public blog in May of 2011 long before the vast majority of Christians in America had a clue I can tell you it’s been a lonely fight. The only question at this point is whether enough REAL Christians get involved and work with the Lord Jesus to bring about the desired outcome.
What we have then is a variation of the Lord’s statement, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” In our case, will enough Americans and American Christians become REAL Christians? That’s the real question. It is not that we do not have a Great Awakening. We do. People are certainly waking up. It is happening right now. It’s been gaining steam from initial beginnings at some point just prior to August of 2010. The question remains, will enough American Christians join it to make a difference?
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS
The two sides in this spiritual war are based pretty much exclusively on Pro-Christ or antichrist.
There are intelligent and knowledgeable people in this country who are predicting much more than just Civil War (as some call it, somewhat inanely, a cold impassive term with no guts or feeling that does no justice to the actual terror of that historical bloody betrayal). They are predicting actual geographical division. They are saying the country will be broken up into groups of states. One man in particular foresees another North-South divide with the South including most of the western states but not including the three west coastal states which will compose a third region. Where the North-South border will be is not clear but one can probably figure it out. One thing is certain, however: America as we knew it is projected as gone forever (or with the wind) and those who hide from this reality are only making things worse.
In reality, of course, for the few remaining who can still see reality and actually handle reality, the war began long ago. It was a war waged on everything good, strong, and wholesome about America. It was a secret attack by secret forces who had secretly invaded with most American Christians none the wiser because they were ill-prepared spiritually and never prepared for an attack by the devil himself using his chosen duplicitous instruments who act like him and deceive, lie, hate, kill, steal, and destroy like him.
Now, if this was 2000 years ago the Lord Jesus would certainly have prepared and equipped them. He would have told His people all about the wicked wiles of the evil one and the backstabbing antichristers and the great evil such creatures do. But unlike real ministers of the Gospel, the wimpy DA’s we call pastors and priests who took control of American Christianity long ago never had the spiritual backbone to teach the real truth of the Gospel, part of which is teaching about the great enemy among us who only wants to destroy us. No, most did not do that. They were much more concerned about the cultural aspects of Christianity and the religious aspects of Christianity and were too clueless to understand that there were never any such things in the beginning because God is the antithesis of an idiot and His Kingdom is something far different from their desired kingdoms. Yet, even with the Biblical knowledge they did have they didn’t honor it and created out of thin air such counterfeits anyway. Why? Well, maybe because it worked out well for them.
But it worked out very bad for the poor dumb Christians who followed them. They never learned about how great our enemy is. They were taught that all is always well and God is in control regardless of human effort and participation and everything will be alright and there is a reason for everything and I know I don’t have any control but I trust the Lord as I watch my life get frittered away by the evil ones who rip me off that we just can’t stop because, you know, well, because. If this does not describe a Christian DA then nothing does. And these poor misguided people were not that way by nature but were taught to be that way and affect that attitude by guess who? By the very ones in control who pontificate their nonsense all the day long whether we are talking in the last century or the one before that or even right now when one must put up with the never-ending nonsense of the same defeatist and stupid attitude in which they master dancing all around the actual truth that would set people free but never go there for fear of upsetting the very one behind the gates of hell they are supposed to be attacking. And they side with the Lord’s enemies.
It is why America has descended into this present pit without the spiritual wherewithal to muster any gumption at all toward a slimy wicked enemy who would go down hard if only enough Christians would attack him the way the Lord Jesus and His men did. Those were the great ones. They were tough. They proved their toughness by the rigors of discipleship they subjected themselves to unlike the Christian wimps of the present who have about as much spiritual testosterone as a eunuch. Rather than attack the enemy they ignore him and hope he’ll go away. They refuse the great powerful spiritual strength they should have and would have to overcome him and defeat him and mop up the parking lot with him because they refuse the infilling of the Lord’s Holy Spirit and the powerful anointing thereof because they refuse real repentance and refuse to not be in control. It is why they created their fake versions of Christianity and also why their people suffer all the live long day unable to overcome and never become the mighty warriors they were meant to be. One can never be spiritually victorious with such an unaware and powerless collection of unreal Christians.
We are no longer accepting things we cannot change. It’s now time to change the things we cannot accept.
YOU MUST FIGHT BACK
I remember reading a book by John Eldredge and an account he put forth regarding his young son’s big problem in first grade which robbed him of a great joyous attitude and replaced it with downcast cloudiness. What happened? Well, as it happens to most Christians who get blindsided by the devil but lack the ability and strength to fight back because no “minister” ever told them about spiritual war so they simply take it on the chin and lose the victory and go through life as spiritual losers knowing they can’t possibly ever win a fight against the big bad devil—What happened to the kid was that he was accosted one day at school by a bully. His innocence, trust, and good nature was shattered.
Now, most Christians these days would likely tell their young son there is nothing you can do in such a situation because the bully is bigger than you and you must be nice and not add to trouble so we probably need to tell the authorities… Hogwash. As I continued reading the book to see what Eldridge would do about the unfortunate event I was both surprised and somewhat euphoric when he sat his young son down, looked him in the eye, and said:
“Look at me.” He raised his tearful eyes slowly, reluctantly. There was shame written all over his face. “I want you to listen very closely to what I am about to say. The next time that bully pushes you down, here is what I want you to do—are you listening?” He nodded, his big wet eyes fixed on mine. “I want you to get up . . . and I want you to hit him . . . as hard as you possibly can.” A look of embarrassed delight came over his face. Then he smiled.
The kid was absolutely overjoyed. He had thought fighting back was somehow wrong even though he wanted to; he didn’t want to get in trouble. But all of the sudden he was beaming and his wonderful nature came back and the gloominess was gone. He looked forward to the next day when he would reclaim his place and position and restore his reputation and standing. And the moral of the story was that he never had a problem with that so called bully again and gained a great victory and felt great about himself.
For Christians in this day and age there is no way to gain the victory in this current battle without a committed, for the duration, spiritual fight. We must face the enemy eyeball to eyeball without backing down and without compromising. However, we must not engage until we’re properly equipped. It’s a spiritual war. The forces of evil are spiritually powerful. One must be spiritually powerful as well. The Lord never sends His children into open spiritual warfare without giving them the weapons and armaments they need. And what is His great weapon of choice you may ask? What makes one love everybody? What anoints our prayers with great power and might? What empowers our gifts, ministries, and witnessing?
IT’S HIS OWN HOLY SPIRIT. HIS OWN POWERFUL PRESENCE PRESENT IN YOU. THE ENEMY CANNOT STAND AGAINST IT. THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD WIPES HIM OUT. THE DEVIL IS DEATHLY AFRAID OF THE LORD JESUS. THE ANTICHRISTERS HAVE NO CHANCE AGAINST HIM REGARDLESS OF THEIR DEMONIC CONNECTIONS.
So, returning to the narrative, all those fake Christian ministers who were never Spirit-filled who taught their mostly willing congregants a false wimpy powerless gospel forced their congregants to be overcome by the greatest bully of them all. Rather than rear back and punch him squarely in the face they gave him the upper hand. They made a mockery of the powerful Gospel of the Lord Jesus. The majority of Christians in America have thus never been equipped for spiritual warfare, have never engaged the enemy, and apparently never want to and never will. This is especially true today. It is in part why the enemy has run roughshod over American Christianity and most American Christians. Their fear factor is far superior to their faith factor. In light of what the Lord can do and wants to do, their attitude is both defeating and disgusting.
It is why America has fallen.
DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority.
Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.
These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved. For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” [2Peter 2:1-22]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Copyright © 2001 Wild At Heart by John Eldredge
 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.
Those who create their own versions of Christianity which differ from the original are MOCKING GOD. They have no respect or honor for the Lord Jesus, WHO IS GOD.
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him and beating Him, and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?” And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming. [Luke 22:63-65]
All the major denominations of first-century Judaism were not just wrong; they were operated by blasphemous pretenders who mocked God by creating their own distinct religious belief systems, fleshly interpretations of Scripture, and mental constructs based on wrong thinking due to their great sin and distance from the Lord. Everything they created differed significantly from the original. Their desire was not to be in good relationship with God and not to preach Truth but to gain earthly power and prestige, unbridled authority over people through the medium of religion, and enrich themselves monetarily.
Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:14-15]
“The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this: ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” [Revelation 2:8-9]
THE REAL AND THE UNREAL
He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:9]
What possesses a person to make departures from Holy Writ? What causes Christians to reject the original teachings of the Lord and create their own? Why do they believe they have the authority to do this? Why do they think they can get away with it? What is so wrong with original real Christianity that they feel justified in rejecting it, or tweaking it, and changing it to better suit themselves? Don’t they know it is the responsibility of a follower of the Lord Jesus to conform to Him and His teachings rather than create offshoots merely based on His teachings?
There should be no Christian denominations. Every single one has departed from the original by their very creation. If all believers in the Lord would adhere to His curriculum there would be no need of another. Catholics fight with Protestants and Protestants fight among themselves and they both fight against the Pentecostals and Charismatics who also fight among themselves. There are even divisions within denominations. Churches split but so do denominations. Some of this is playing out right now. It is part of the reason they increase, at times exponentially. If they all abandoned their respective alternative Christian belief systems, slaughtered their sacred cow religious slants, and embraced the Lord’s curriculum only, Christian denominations would no longer exist.
OUT OF DARKNESS
On the other hand, Protestantism was progress. Some Protestant denominations progressed more than others. They were seeking greater Light. Most found some Light and were on a progressive spiritual track to gain more early on. Some continued. Some stopped at certain points. Wherever they stopped and set up permanent camp is when a denomination was formed. They deemed themselves in their own minds far enough down the road from Catholicism to justify discontinuing their spiritual progress. Instead of continuing onward through the fog toward the bright shining light of a new day they apparently still remained out on the vast plain of Shinar and proceeded to build their own Towers.
Here a Ziggurat, there a Ziggurat, everywhere a Ziggurat.
In essence, however, this was only an illusion. Roman Catholicism has long termed Protestants as “departed brethren.” If they truly departed, however, they would have departed completely and conformed to the Lord’s original. Most never did this. Maybe the Lord was leading them out. If so they should have kept going all the way—all the way back to the first century. But none of the major Christian denominations ever did any such thing. Therefore, did they really depart at all?
We know the Protestants retained some Roman Catholic doctrines. We know they maintained Catholic formats. They looked and believed different in part but they also continued to look very similar. The new Protestants felt more comfortable being “Catholic light” than embracing Acts Chapter 2. Sound familiar?
Keep in mind that the real Christians in the world, those who had forever remained faithful and true to the Lord Jesus, obviously still existed at that time five hundred years ago as they always had since the very beginning. But because they were obscure like their Master and preached the Truth like their Master and were never in it for power, prestige, authority, or money like their Master, they were also persecuted like their Master. They were looked down upon by this world like their Master. They were written out of perceived history like their Master. And they were rejected by denominational Christianity the same way their Master was rejected by denominational Judaism.
For those who may not know, I will say this again. The Lord Jesus will have nothing to do with halfway followers. He only accepts those who give their entire hearts to Him. What is the proof of this? How can anyone know who actually does this? What is the test? Here you go: They will believe and act exactly like the original first-century believers.
THE LOVE TEST
“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]
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” [John 14:15]
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me;” [John 14:21]
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” [John 15:10]
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” [John 15:13-15]
“…Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” [Matthew 28:20]
By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; [1John 2:3-4]
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32]
THE HATE TEST
One can discover the unreal by the way they treat the real. Unreal Christians are Christian persecutors. Real Christians never persecute anybody. Unreal Christians use fear, force, guilt, shame, anger, deceit, trickery, and insistence upon their various non-Scriptural traditional means, methods, and beliefs to get their adherents to conform to a common denominator. This creates their false unions (Towers). We know that great masses of people can be psychologically brainwashed, indoctrinated, conditioned, and programmed, even to their own detriment, in order to remain socially viable and accepted members within their group.
The Lord Jesus, however, never engaged in any of this and never taught such. He was forced by who He is to often remain a largely solitary Man even among His own. He also taught that His disciples would be treated as He was and they were. They had to learn to stand alone much of the time against the onslaught of those who bought into false paradigms and fruitless works who often resorted to force and hatred as means to compel conformity. The fearful always fell for such; they had no faith to counteract their fear. They found solace in joining such groups because they knew the leaders thereof would then leave them be and their social standing, low denominator as it was, would remain in place. Being part of such groups helped relieve anxiety and fear. It made them feel as though they belonged. They could thus relax within their faux social constructs, gain the support thereof, and not have to deal with their sin or the higher requirements of God.
The Lord Jesus, however, rejects such unrepentant cowards. He has nothing to do with these mulish misled mockers. He will not have in His Community anyone who refuses their entire heart.
He will never give His love to an unfaithful masquerading bride.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
As noted in Part 5, there are two Christianities. Both are united. Real Christianity is united spiritually with the Lord Jesus. Unreal Christianity is unified in opposition against Him.
CLUES TO A MASQUERADE
1Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. 2It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.
5The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth. [Genesis 11:1-9]
TYPES AND SHADOWS
The preceding ancient passage is loaded with spiritual clues. Before we get into likely allegorical meanings within it we must first reiterate once again the existence of two Christianities: The real and the unreal. Regarding real Christianity we must remember that the Lord’s Kingdom is spiritual. Oppositional Unreal Christianity is not spiritual. Based on the following verse from Part 4 in this series there is only one other choice remaining:
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. [Romans 8:5]
To this I will add to what we studied in Part 5 regarding the Lord Jesus being the one Foundation and Cornerstone of a “spiritual house” composed of “living stones” as the apostle Peter termed it in his first epistle. The apostle Paul calls it “the temple of the living God” (2Corinthians 6:16). He gives a better description of this spiritual temple in the following passage:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:19-22]
Based on these passages it is clear that the Lord is spiritual and His real followers are spiritual. We have an entire history book of the Early Church located between the Gospels and Epistles that tells us how this occurred. The Book of Acts contains one passage after another of individual believers getting filled with the Holy Spirit and all the signs that accompanied their transformation into Spirit-filled believers. We also have proofs located in the teachings of the Lord in the Gospels regarding the historical events in Acts. He instructed them about what would happen, how it would happen, and what to prepare for before it happened. Everything written in the epistles supports what happened in Acts. Paul even goes into greater teachings on the subject regarding spiritual gifts and manifestations.
Now that we have the preceding background information established we can go back to the Genesis Chapter 11 passage about the Tower of Babel and identify its allegorical significance:
When the great flood was over Noah and his family remained in the general region where the Ark came to rest. We identified this region in Part 3. We know Noah lived another 350 years after the flood so his descendants had ample time to reproduce exponentially. Yet, instead of moving out into the world they remained all together in the same area. Now, there must be some reading between the lines here because it must have been the case that a small percentage of Noah’s descendants did obey the Lord and ventured out as pioneers and adventurers. Yet the vast majority did not. In this they were essentially just like those who were killed in the flood in that they were disobedient and rebellious toward God and likely very fearful instead of faithful. They were not the kind of people you could create a new spiritual civilization with.
LET US MAKE BRICKS
Here we have a direct opposite type of the spiritual temple of the Lord:
They decided to find a new location in which to live. It was relatively close. They moved in mass as a uni-culture. They all believed the same, thought the same, and spoke the same language. We discussed this in Part 1. They left the hilly and mountainous region and came upon the plain of Shinar. This is loaded with clues. The flat plain with no variation describes these people to a tee. There was no rock anywhere. It was most likely an alluvial plain, one built up over millennia by multiple layers of silt deposited by flowing waters. There were likely very few trees as well and only relatively low vegetation. Thus, the place they chose had no building materials. But not to worry. We’ll just make bricks from mud.
Okay, there’s another clue. Remember when we discussed Adam’s creation from the elements of the ground in Part 4? The ground does not represent spirit. It represents flesh. Over 99% of Adam’s flesh was made of only eleven elements. But Adam was also filled with the Spirit of God. Because the New Covenant describes the Lord Jesus as a Rock—a Living Stone—and His people comprising the spiritual temple as living stones, we can gather that stones represent spirit and mud bricks represent flesh.
So here we have these disobedient non-spiritual fleshly people leaving a place filled with building materials and settling in a place with none. They then proceed to use alluvial soils as their main building material. In order to insure the strength and durability of their bricks they burn them. They created fake rocks. Then, instead of using actual mortar which contained sand (ground up rocks/quartz) and limestone as a bonding agent, they used tar! This was likely some form of natural asphalt or bitumen but likely not as thick or concentrated as that around the Dead Sea. There must have been great pits nearby where this substance was available. There are indications that it could have been reddish in color, based on the Hebrew root word. Did you know Adam’s name comes from a root word that means red or ruddy?
To burn in this sense calls to mind what Paul wrote about those hypocritical apostates who fell away from the faith. In the KJV it is written: “…having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1Timothy 4:2). These burned bricks represent the fully indoctrinated. Their minds are made up. You can’t build a tall religious edifice without making sure your members will never stray. This denotes the cultish nature of so much Christian indoctrination when such people never receive from the Spirit of God but must have their beliefs drummed into them.
LET US BUILD A CITY
Notice that they want to build a city first. The city represents their economic interests. It is an indication that they are putting money before God. The Lord Jesus said one cannot serve both. Flesh always puts money first. Spirit always puts God first.
LET US BUILD A TOWER
Rather than a desire for spiritual things these wayward people set their minds completely on the things of the flesh. Flesh doesn’t want God but it craves religion. Flesh also craves material representations of religion. Flesh never thinks in terms of the invisible spirit, or invisible faith, or invisible spiritual gifts, or the invisible Spirit of God. It must have only that which can be experienced through the five senses. Therefore, these people had to build a material representation of their religion which would thoroughly overwhelm and satisfy their flesh. And not only that, they would build it so high that it’s “top will reach into heaven” and overthrow the power and authority of God. Christian religionists have done this very thing on countless occasions over these many centuries of the Christian era. Regardless of the fact that the Lord Jesus, His original twelve, and His early Community never constructed any buildings “dedicated to God” but maintained everything on a spiritual level and met in private homes, it never stopped later Christians from engaging in the same practices as the Tower builders. This manifested powerfully for the first time in the fourth century by the Roman emperor Constantine when he began converting large Roman public buildings into “churches.”
LET US MAKE FOR OURSELVES A NAME
Have you ever heard of a church that doesn’t have a name? How about a denomination? Have you ever heard of a church that doesn’t have a single “pastor” in charge? Should not only the Lord Jesus be in Charge? Shouldn’t His Name be on the church sign out front? Quick question: When the apostle Paul was out establishing spiritual communities did he ever name them? We know Christian communities were identified by the city where they were located but this is merely referring to all the real believers in that particular city. There were no church buildings.
It is obvious that Christians who are obsessed with names and identifying their stuff never properly consider the greatest Name of all, the Name above all names. The majority of Christians rarely or never put the Name of Jesus first.
They are obsessed with building their own Stairways to Heaven.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
There are two Christianities in the world: The first is the real one created by the Lord Jesus and preached in the first century. The second is the amalgamation of all others.
It might appear virtually impossible for all the various forms of Christianity on the planet to actually come together in general agreement. Imagine each Christian denomination and independent church great and small and here and there casting off and discarding their particular individual identities, distinctive doctrines, and exclusive characters, and then glomming themselves together in a worldwide kumbaya moment as one might throw various colored waxes into a gooey melting pot. Specific identifiable shades all fade out into an indistinct brownish gray-like beigey non-hue. Former Protestants sit with former Catholics around a welcoming campfire singing folksongs accompanied by an acoustic guitar or two while heart-struck with philia love and their new unity-mix faith which encompasses all God’s children in warm fellowship all aglow.
However, if you hold this painting before you using both hands and turn it just a tad and then tilt it up a bit to catch some light you’ll gain an entirely different perspective and suddenly see that our hypothesized mass union has in fact already occurred. The otherwise impossible unity has already been achieved. How? Well, you see, this particular Christian unity is not based on a consensus of doctrines and practices but on opposition against the original. Thus, it matters not that the bright white light of the first-century original real Christianity happened to fall upon a flawed oppositional prism and scattered out into a million different off colors each dissimilar in its own right. Why? Because each is tainted with the commonality of rebellion.
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” [Luke 6:46-49]
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [1Corinthians 3:11]
Though the first of the preceding passages refers to individuals, the same holds true for individual Christian organizations (churches, ministries, denominations, etc.): They are either built on the only correct Foundation or they are not. The Lord Jesus is not only the Chief Cornerstone but the very Foundation of His Community (Church, Ekklesia, Qahal, etc.) and, of course, He should be. It belongs to Him. He started it. Original Christianity is His movement. When one becomes a real Christian he or she accepts the totality of the Lord’s teachings, not merely what one feels like accepting, and does what He says. He or she comes to the Lord, hears the words of the Lord, and acts on the words of the Lord. All of them. Whoever does this joins His spiritual Community. There is only one. And there is only one Leader.
It is therefore relatively easy to understand the process which resulted in so many different Christian organizations, each one different from the original to varying degrees. Whether those who started such were well-intentioned or not doesn’t change the fact that they failed to build on the correct and only Foundation. They also took liberties with their doctrines and practices. They each have different beliefs and traditions. And it may appear as though many churches and denominations are still standing though built on the ground sans the Lord’s Foundation but this is either because the flooding torrent has yet to arrive or they have long since died internally and only their outer shells remain. It could also be that outer shells is all they ever were.
The following is a third Scriptural passage regarding the one Foundation, the implications thereof, and additional truth regarding how the Lord’s actual spiritual house must be built and what happens if one strays from the blueprints:
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,
“The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,”
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense;”
For they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. [1Peter 2:4-8]
CHURCHES AS FRANCHISES
Most people understand the importance of uniformity when it comes to corporate franchises. Each franchise must adhere to the regulations and guidelines which allow for every franchise to appear and function as every other franchise regardless of location. It is why individual franchises within a particular corporation all look the same, function the same, and have the same product as every other one though they may be located throughout a large geographical area or even all over the world.
Interestingly enough, several Christian denominations mirror this exact model in that all their individual churches look essentially the same, function the same, and have the same product as every other one though they may be located throughout a large geographical area or even all over the world. They also have the equivalent of a corporate headquarters and a management hierarchy (a pyramidal tower). Their individual churches must also show a profit as do business franchises. That is, each must prove it is able to collect enough local donations to keep the doors open, provide for the pastor and leadership team, fund local sub-ministries, and support the denomination. Also, just as it is in business, correct advertising, financial, and sales methods must be utilized. And though independent churches without denominational support often must sink or swim on their own, member churches of a denomination have the comforting privilege of accepting assistance from the overall organization when needed.
One wonders then, seeing such uniformity within business franchises and denominational churches, why the majority of Christians including Christian leaders fail to see the same need for uniformity when it regards the Lord’s original. Why don’t they put the necessary effort into conforming to His standard rather than their own? Why do they allow for church and ministry leaders to gain such big spotlights there is no room for the Lord? And most troubling, why do they often remove the Founder from His own movement?
Could it be because it’s the only way to continue building their Tower?
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
The majority of what is referred to as “Christianity” in this world is counterfeit. It is not of the spiritual realm. It doesn’t work in the spiritual realm. It is a mere illusion.
THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. [Romans 8:5]
The preceding verse gives a perfect illustration of mankind’s dual-natured composition: We are both spirit and flesh. We have also been blessed by God with a free will. That means at any point in one’s life one can (1) choose one or the other, (2) make a decision based on one or the other, and (3) can even devote one’s life to one or the other. Our eternal destination will also be based on one or the other.
However, our dual nature did not exist originally nor was it ever the intention of God for such a dual nature within humanity to exist. He did not create humanity this way. It is something that developed later.
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]
The “breath of life” is synonymous in this instance with the Spirit of God. This phrase is derived from two Hebrew words: נְשָׁמָה (nesh-aw-maw’) “breath, spirit,” and חַי (khah’-ee) “alive, living.” The breath of life here is the living Spirit of God. The connotation is clear and denotes how all other living beings on the planet are fundamentally different from humanity: Adam had the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God was breathed into Him. This fact supports the following previous fact in the Genesis account:
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]
Prior to Adam’s momentous and life-changing event when he received the Spirit of God—though he was a much greater physical specimen than any other created being on earth—he was closer in essence to the animals which he later named. Thus, after his initial creation but before the introduction of the breath of God, Adam was by all accounts merely flesh, whether animate or inanimate, but still a magnificent physical specimen “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
He was created from the elements of this earth, or in Biblical terminology, the “dust from the ground.” His physical body was composed of flesh (as opposed to spirit), and based on an estimate of the average human body at present, approximately 98.5% of his flesh was composed of only six elements: Oxygen (65%), Carbon (18%), Hydrogen (10%), Nitrogen (3%), Calcium (1.4%), and Phosphorus (1.1%). Most of the rest was made of Potassium, Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, and Magnesium. There’s also another 49 trace elements involved as well.
Therefore, flesh creation as he was, it was the Spirit of God that made him what he was to be. The breath of God finalized his creation. The Spirit of God within made him like God. It allowed for a closeness and fellowship with God. No other creature can claim this even though many if not most animals are sentient, and there are certainly those that relate very close to man such as dogs and horses.
BODY, SOUL, AND SPIRIT
Because all living creatures have the spark of life that animates them but do not have the Spirit of God as did Adam, a distinction must be made to differentiate the two. Did you know that all life is created from that which is not seen? For example, we must breathe to live. We can go without food for many weeks. We can go without water for several days. But we can only go without air for mere minutes. In breathing, we inhale invisible oxygen and exhale invisible carbon dioxide. Trees do the opposite. They draw in or “inhale” carbon dioxide and water, use the invisible energy of the sun to convert these into specific chemical compounds that provide sustenance (such as sugars), and produce or “exhale” oxygen. Trees actually clean the air and produce much of the air that humans and animals breathe. In other words, though all life is composed of elements it is also produced by the invisible energy all around us.
Thus, there is a wholly natural animating spark derived from the intricate system of Creation in which energy is combined with elements to produce natural life, whether it be mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, or trees. The life is in the seed and the seed responds to the correct combination of energy and elements to create what it was created from. In simple terms then, God created a natural world that works without His direct involvement not unlike an appliance or tool that is activated and runs when a power source is applied, such as electricity or a battery. His creation is one giant brilliant system that works perfectly indefinitely with no need of anyone to man the controls so to speak though God can and will intervene for His own purposes.
This appears to make God impersonal. For atheists, it makes it easier to see God as a non-entity. The old Deists perceived God as a possible personality who created but does not involve Himself with His Creation. Most people in the world never or rarely think of God or a Creator but merely spend their lives seeking to survive and thrive while here and thus put little stock in an afterlife. Are such people any different from animals?
In fact, due to the fall of mankind and the introduction of disobedience, sin, and rebellion into God’s perfect Creation, the resulting sinful nature of man caused a complete break in relationship with God and destroyed the close communication and relational love between Father and son. Also, of course, not only was Adam banished from the perfect garden in Eden, he also lost the animating breath of spiritual life: The Spirit of God left Adam.
God had told him if he ever sinned he would die. He did sin. And he did die. But he stayed alive on a lower level. It was his spirit that died. He went from being body, soul, and spirit to body and soul. Rather than become like God according to his destiny, the first Adam actually became more like an animal. He retained the spark of life shared among all life forms on earth but lost his spiritual life and his spiritual connection to God. Rather than be like his son Abel he became like his son Cain. Because he was no longer a spiritual man he was forced out of the perfect spiritual garden and sent to the natural world. He became a mere soul man, a man of flesh, because he had set his mind on the things of the flesh.
Whoever would reverse this destructive process released by Adam must set his or her mind on the things of the Spirit which were released by the last Adam.
CROSSING THE SPIRITUAL DIVIDE
God also created spiritual beings. These are the most advanced form of life. Man was made “a little lower than the angels” (Psalms 8:5 KJV). This translation, though done with likely proper intent, is misleading, however. The Hebrew word translated as angels in the KJV is Elohim which is the exact word used for God in all of Genesis Chapter 1. The NASB translates Psalm 8:5 not as angels but God. The point is that Adam was obviously created lower than God but was also a lower form of created being than God’s advanced spiritual angels, though only slightly lower.
Yet, He had the potential to be a being of a higher order than the angels.
In fact, it can be argued that Adam, being a recipient of the actual Holy Spirit of God, was given a golden opportunity to become that very thing. That was the initial plan anyway.
His seed, however, would not, and was destined to graduate to the very throne of God.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Psalm 139:14
 sciencenotes.org/elements-in-the-human-body-and-what-they-do/ (updated 5/2/21)
The Book of Genesis states clearly that the land of Eden was located in the area of the Tigris-Euphrates headwaters in what is now a region predominated by eastern Turkey.
It is where YHWH Elohim planted the garden in which He later placed Adam and Eve. The garden is initially characterized as a garden of trees—an orchard—“every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food.” The Greek Septuagint calls this abundant fruitful garden Paradise. The home of Adam and Eve was a place of divine perfection and both natural and spiritual order.
Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. [Genesis 2:10-14]
Eden was located in what is now the Armenian Highlands, an area rich in water resources, the location of several rivers, their tributaries, large natural lakes, and springs. The source of the Tigris River is primarily Lake Hazar and is also fed by many small tributaries in the area. The Euphrates begins not far from the headwaters of the Tigris at the confluence of two smaller rivers, the Karasu and Murat, which flow west from the eastern ranges. This area of confluence is now Lake Keban. (There are many relatively new hydroelectric dams on these rivers.)
The greater region has most probably changed appreciably since very ancient times. It was likely a relatively peaceful place with a different climate before the advent of much volcanic activity and the associated uplift which created mountains, etc. For example, Mount Ararat is presently an inactive volcano which last erupted in 1840.
WHEN WAS ADAM?
Christians have postulated various dates for the creation of Adam based on different criteria, one of which follows an exact rendering of the listed patriarch’s ages in Genesis which gives a date of about 4000BC (Young Earth). Others say such a late date is unreasonable because it fails to consider and/or ignores scientific facts. These place Adam as far back as 50,000 years ago, or at various dates since, including just after the Ice Age, known scientifically as the Last Glacial Maximum of 11,000-8,000BC when the Pleistocene ended and the Holocene began.
As the great glacial ice sheets began melting and retreating to the north, the resulting meltwater caused sea levels to begin rising precipitously. From approximately 20,000-13,000BC, the ocean level rose about 45 feet. Then from about 13,000BC to roughly 4,000BC sea levels rose another 375 feet for an overall total of approximately 420 feet. Since 4000BC the ocean level has remained constant.
It was not until after the Ice Age that evidence of human habitation appears on the historical record. Evolutionary theory claims that homo sapiens sapiens first appeared from out of nowhere 200,000 years ago (the big leap forward) but offers no actual evidence of transition or habitation at such an early date. According to Young Earth theory, the flood of Noah took place around 2300BC. Yet, interestingly enough, we have clear evidence of three roughly distinct cultures emerging circa 6000BC or even earlier in the same Armenian Highlands location where Eden once existed. We also know that Noah’s Ark came to rest after the flood in that same region.
So here we have (1) Eden, (2) the garden of Eden, (3) the place where Noah landed the Ark (the mountains of Ararat) and likely began his sailing journey, and (4) the evidence of human habitation and the rise of three distinct cultures all in the same geographic area. It is a great thing that over the last few decades among a few erstwhile researchers, proponents of both science/ancient history/archaeology/etc. and the Biblical record have utilized both to come to a meeting of the minds rather than stay incommunicado over perceived insurmountable differences.
THINGS TO PONDER
There are central differences of opinion among Christians regarding our origins and the Genesis record. Most of what we believe is what we have been taught. It is most often the case that Christians do not challenge their beliefs to any significant degree if at all and therefore rarely change their minds. If we continue to frequent institutions which support our beliefs and ban any and all challenges to them we develop a mindset of enforcement rather than enquiry and thus do not see the need of any research regarding them. When a person in another institution in another part of town has an opposing view which he also refuses to test properly we should see why we do not communicate and why fellowship is not possible.
There are some who believe Creation commenced in 4000BC. There are some who believe it was earlier and likely much earlier. There are some who believe that Noah’s flood was worldwide. There are others who believe it was a local flood. Some believe that the Genesis 1 Creation story is the same as Genesis 2 but that Genesis 2 is more specific. Others believe these two are separate accounts, which means God created human beings in general in Genesis 1 but created two specific human beings (among the others elsewhere) with a distinct purpose in Genesis 2.
I have found that the best way to go about finding the truth is allowing what we think is true to be challenged. Our own individual research can do that. Over many decades of open-minded truth-seeking Biblical study and research, I am absolutely convinced that the Biblical record is true. I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. But I can guarantee you that I have tested many Christian doctrines against the Word of God and found many to be unsupportable. We can do the same concerning our ancient origins if we have an inquisitive mind to do so. I believe the benefits gained are well worth the effort.
Truth never fears a challenge.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
In Part 1 we discussed the basis for the great sin of those who decided to settle on “a plain in the land of Shinar” to eventually build the Tower. What was their motivation?
I posted Part 1 last Thursday. I had hoped to post Part 2 the next day. Then my research took me to places I had not planned to go. The trail kept going deeper into uncharted territory. I had to keep following it. And as is often the case, new research has a tendency to take precedence over schedules…
For example, I found one interesting quasi-scholarly article from several years ago which put forth a thesis that the Biblical land of Shinar was not necessarily in the southern region of Mesopotamia, the place scholarly consensus locates ancient Sumer, but actually quite a ways further to the northwest in what is now eastern Syria. The author made many good points. He made enough good points that I had to question what I had come to believe in the past on this subject. And if you may be wondering, I have done some deep dives into far ancient history and the origins of mankind over many years. It is always interesting what one discovers.
I always start with Scripture. I believe Scripture is inspired by God. I use the Book of Genesis as an ancient factual foundation and framework from which to build out the historical record. Of course, Genesis is relatively brief and often starkly brief but God always gives the pertinent information necessary to get His point across. Due to its concise nature, however, it allows for many different scholarly opinions and perspectives regarding the actual ancient historical and chronological record. There are a few basic reasons for such differences:
(1) Some scholars are less interested in being open minded and going where the truth takes them and more interested in maintaining whatever status quo belief they have accepted as the truth. Such people have a vested interest in their interpretation of ancient history in that their churches, ministries, and Bible schools have adopted a particular viewpoint which disallows any further light or updates based on new information. In other words, it would be significantly inconvenient to modify their mindsets since such would cause systemic change which the majority within their institutions et al simply would not understand. They make the decision, therefore, to protect the institution and the majority opinion thereof at the expense of truth.
(2) Some scholars simply are not very good at their profession. It is why some have put forth the wackiest of ideas from somewhere out in left field. They either do not have the proper background information which usually easily disproves their notions, simply do not know any better, and don’t seem to care about becoming better informed, or maybe they are taking a sensationalist tack with their theories to gain attention and notoriety.
(3) And then there are those compromised by money. Most people are apparently unaware that money talks and in this case paychecks and prestige talk. If one knew the percentage of people in society who were willingly compromised in this way they would be shocked. It is not a small number. In fact, it is most likely a decided majority. That includes academic professors who generally teach what they are taught to teach and told to teach. There is no room for modifying their curriculum to include newly discovered information if it somehow puts a damper on what they have been teaching for years. But this is due primarily to economic reasons in that the entity—colleges, universities, etc.—are built on specific knowledge models which may or may not be true because such models work best for making monetary profits. Many churches work the same way.
I could go on but those are the basics. One may notice that it was all three of these, at least in part, that essentially got the Lord Jesus killed. He came in as a shining Light proclaiming pure Truth and those who didn’t put Truth first hated Him for it. They didn’t appreciate their hidden darkness being exposed. And keep in mind that some of the most wonderful, nice, and polite people, including ministers, can suddenly be transformed from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde when they are exposed for what they really are.
RETURNING TO THE GENESIS NARRATIVE
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. [Genesis 11:1-2]
We must therefore understand that simply because a general consensus of opinion exists does not mean that opinion is necessarily correct. Most people are not of a mind to question authority or check their betters but simply believe what they are told in that they allow themselves to be indoctrinated. They have been taught that having everybody on the same page is healthy and good for society when the opposite is true.
I’m going to be running some things by you, my readers, in this series, that may appear to be somewhat foreign or unusual and it will require you to think deeper on the subject and consider doing some additional research. It’s all for the sake of truth. Also, please keep in mind that I don’t have any ulterior agendas. The preceding three points do not apply to me. This is a free site. You can take it or leave it. Of course, your contributions are most welcome. I certainly believe in community involvement, dialogue, and discussion. Comment threads on this subject will likely be quite revealing and informative.
Remember, the issue at hand is the sad truth that Unreal Christianity has built a modern Tower of Babel that puts to shame the original that existed millennia ago out on the distant windblown plain of Shinar built by religious rebels too fearful of Truth to honor it and too disobedient to God to honor Him.
Both stories have the same outcome.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Throughout our Christian Age, countless Christians have taken liberties to create and adopt beliefs and practices which were never granted or supported by the Lord Jesus.
There is only one New Testament. It contains the only original record of the teachings of the Lord Jesus. It is upon His teachings that Christianity bases its entire existence. He is the chief Cornerstone. His teachings are the foundation of our instruction. They contain the code by which real Christians live—the standard—the only means by which to bring forth spiritual fruitfulness and please God. There should therefore never be any deviation in any direction to any degree from His original perfect curriculum.
In reality, there is likely no other major belief system or “religion” of any kind that contains more deviations, more divergences, more departures, more differences, and more digressions from the original. It is truly the saddest state of affairs among all such sad states, from a New Covenant perspective, which illustrates a complete disregard for the Author and Finisher of our Faith and the high price He paid to bring us the only perfect belief system in existence—so perfect that it’s full and correct application results in the only means to actually rescue people from eternal damnation.
LET’S PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE
There was a time in the very early days on this lovely earth of ours many millennia ago when all the people of the earth (a relative few compared to later billions), instead of venturing forth over the planet as the individual adventurers they should have been in obedience to the Lord’s commandment and positive desire for them, decided to instead all hang out together as an ancient collective, so to speak. They had an entire planet to explore but opted instead to be a congealed mass of low common denominator conformists believing only what everyone else believed. Sound familiar? It helped that there was only one language:
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. [Genesis 11:1-2] 
The Biblical Shinar is the same as ancient Sumer. Though much research has transpired regarding this geographical area, one cannot be definite regarding all aspects. For example it is said that there was another people that existed in the area prior to the Sumerians. These are termed the Ubadians. They are said to have arrived as early as 4500BC. Some sources claim they spoke an earlier language than the later Sumerians who arrived roughly 1000-1200 years later.
Incidentally, I have researched ancient Sumerian, the language of ancient Sumer circa 3500-2000BC, and discovered that it was a language isolate in that it belongs to no known language family. This has been contested by a few but remains the consensus view. It is also the oldest known written language in the world. Archaic Sumerian, its oldest form, has been proven to exist as early as 3100BC. Sumerian gradually began disappearing as a spoken language in circa 1750BC but continued to be used in cuneiform writing until that medium ceased to exist at around the time of our Lord. 
Is Sumerian also the oldest spoken language in history? The debate at present usually names Sumerian and Sanskrit, the latter language indigenous primarily to India, as the earliest of the world’s spoken languages (Sumerian no longer exists), although there is ongoing debate about the actual origin of Sanskrit. Some claim it also originated circa 3000BC but this is a reach. However, Sanskrit is an Indo-European language (Indo-Aryan branch) which must share origins with whatever was the first Indo-European language spoken. That language was obviously distinct from Sumerian and must have come into existence later.
From the Biblical perspective, it certainly appears that Sumerian was the very language spoken at the time of the Tower of Babel incident, which would make it the one language spoken then and the original common language of world history. In this regard, one must keep in mind that the Old Testament historical texts contained the only general written world history for many centuries, going back to well over 2500 years ago. Moses had collected the world’s history through Egyptian sources during his time (1526-1406 BC). His history was passed down orally among the Hebrews until committed to writing centuries later. Yet, it was not until roughly two to three centuries ago that much ancient history as we now understand it was developed, aided in large part through the new science of archaeology.
During this entire time, then—three and a half millennia—the world had already possessed the record of Genesis. Of course, with the advance of science, primarily in the 1800s, the Biblical record of Genesis suffered ongoing attacks as being merely a collection of ancient myths unworthy of modern scientific knowledge. Yet, archaeology continued to prove the Biblical record as correct and the early “scientific” naysayers as wrong.
I have studied the beginnings of archaeology which took place in the early 1800s. I have studied the work of those men as they continued their pursuits in the Middle East and primarily the “Holy Land.” It was modern archaeology in its infancy. Palestine was one of their first targets. They wanted to dig up the tells (buried stratified city mounds) of ancient Israel to prove or disprove the Biblical record. From there they branched out to other lands mentioned in Holy Writ. Their discoveries were astounding. Hidden beneath the sands and strata of the Middle East were the actual long lost cities of the ancients and the Biblical record, proving to all but the most incredulous skeptics that the Bible was historically accurate.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Moses, the writer of Genesis, was right. The God who spoke to him was obviously right. The only legitimate time-tested record for the ancient origins of mankind, therefore, continues to name that ancient land between two rivers—Mesopotamia—as the place where it all began.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 The Graeco-Babyloniaca Once Again © 2007: “The latest datable cuneiform tablet that we have today concerns astronomical events of 75 AD and comes from Babylon. It provides a terminus post quem, at least for Babylon.”
It is said that the greatest pain is heart pain. Sometimes it never goes away. Life is such that reminders of what caused it never cease.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. [Hebrews 4:15-16 KJV]
When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him. When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.” [Matthew 8:14-17]
Jesus wept. [John 11:35] 
I’ve written recently about the great pain the Lord Jesus suffered beyond His great suffering on the cross. There was ongoing pain that plagued Him throughout time. Maybe we do not think of God in that way, that He, as great and powerful as He is, suffers from something apparently only endemic to mere humans. Yet, the Scriptures are very clear on this subject: God suffers.
Perhaps that is why He is so into mercy. He goes out of His way to have compassion for others. And perhaps that is why so many people have a heart for mercy and compassion, even though they may have never submitted to the Lord. It is because we are made in God’s image. This is why even unrepentant sinners often find it in their heart to be loving and kind and help people along the way.
The last two plus years have been very difficult for a lot of people. Though never reported in the major media, a great many people have lost their businesses, their means to make a living, their relationships, and their health, many in spite of the so-called cure. Millions were forced to comply with authoritarian strictures that did much more harm than good. Millions will never recover. I am at a loss regarding what will become of so many of these people. And instead of this being a time of much greater soul searching, of much research toward answers, and of genuine caring on the part of those who made it through for those who didn’t and so many who are suffering still, we have seen an even greater manifestation of hardheartitis. Rather than move into an even greater state of compassion for the hurting, broken, and terribly betrayed, many have taken a hard heart against them, as if they all got what they deserved.
There is no way the Lord can be pleased with this. We know what touches His heart and we know He will do absolutely anything for anyone as demonstrated by His supreme sacrifice in payment for our sins, many of which are directed against Him. He has long since taken an attitude of forgiveness and hopeful reconciliation, of course, though he bears no fault. He will do anything in His power through righteous means to become reconciled to any person anywhere. And remember, though the Lord often gets blamed for the way things are or for what humans have done to Him and each other, He has never been guilty of sin. He is pure and holy. Sadly, some people gag at that truth.
ANOTHER CAR ADVENTURE
Though I believe in proper maintenance and keep my vehicle as well maintained as possible, over the last several months I have had a problem with said vehicle. It has a tendency to not start. Earlier it was due to a balky starter. There were times I would try to start the car with no success. I would wait a short while, turn the key again, and the engine would roar to life. I dealt with this for a year or two. It got worse. I took it in for repairs. I am blessed to have a great place to take my vehicle when the need arises. The people running it are honest and forthright. It is one of those rare places in that field in which you know they are shooting you straight. I have a great relationship with them.
I came across it, probably in the yellow pages, over a decade ago, when new to the area. I was about to take a long cross country trip. The day before, I was running a lot of last minute errands. It rained heavily. The next morning, when I started up the car, there was a problem. It was running like garbage. Since I had very little time, having appointments on the road that must be kept, I quickly looked through the phone book, chose a place that looked good to me, and gave them a call. The owner answered. I explained my situation. He said bring it in. When I got there, though he didn’t know me from Adam, and though he had other work in process, he attended to my car right away. I had chosen the right place. There is no doubt it was God-directed.
It turned out to be an ignition coil and a plug. He explained that there was a slight design flaw on my vehicle that allowed water to splash up and settle in the wells where the plugs and coils are located. He fixed the problem. I was there about two hours. I think it only cost me about $200. I thanked him profusely for going out his way to help me. He replied that he needed to help me get on the road.
When I took my car in maybe four years ago for the start problem I had then and they confirmed it was the starter, they put a new starter on it and all was well. What I didn’t know at that time was that the preferred starter they wanted was unavailable and so they got the next best thing, a starter from another manufacturer than the ones they usually installed. Last year, when the starter problem rose again, I took it back in. They replaced the starter.
Then they did something I have never seen done before or ever even heard of, and I talked to people about this that would know.
After installing the new starter, a good one from their main parts supplier which was then available, they brought out the old starter in a box and put it on the counter when I was paying. They said the old starter, the inferior one, was actually still under warranty. They explained why they had installed it previously. They told me to take it down to the parts house where they got it and ask for the warranty money. I was blown away that they would do that.
So I went to the local parts house. They said yes, the starter was still under warranty, but they would need to talk to the owners of the shop and give the warranty money through them. I returned to the garage. They called the parts house. The parts house released the money to the garage. As soon as they got the credit they came out and handed me about $130 or so for the old starter. I told them you can’t do that. They insisted. I said okay, then let’s split it. They refused. I essentially got a starter for free for three or four years. This was an unprecedented situation.
Now regarding my latest start problem, the one that has been off and on for the last half year or so, it turned out to be a bad battery terminal, the part that connects the wire directly to the battery. I’ve been dealing with cars forever and this kind of knowledge makes one feel like an idiot, but I logically thought it was the battery. When I took my car in on a previous occurrence, maybe two or three months ago, under similar conditions, they saw me right away, found that the battery tested good, and replaced one of the battery terminals with a much better one. For free. The owner did this. With a smile.
So the other day, I had a bunch of stuff to do that had to be done that day, and was about to leave early in the morning. And surprise, surprise, the car wouldn’t start. I could hardly believe it. It was fine just two days before. I live in an out of the way place. I prayed. I checked the old terminal. I took it loose, took it apart, cleaned what maybe needed cleaning, put it back together, tightened it down, and nothing. Dead battery. I would need a jump.
In this process a yard service contractor showed up not too far away and began mowing. With time wasting away and needing to get on the road, I prayed some more. I decided to go ask the yard guy for help. We had never met. I got his attention while he was mowing and explained my problem. He was very friendly. He first said he would come by in maybe thirty minutes. Then he suddenly stopped his mower, turned it off, and came from out of the yard. We had a friendly discussion. This was a positive guy. He agreed to come over right away. He pulled up next to my car, we hooked up my cables, and my car started right up. He noticed the bad terminal. We said our goodbyes. I thanked him profusely. He refused to take any money. I knew he wouldn’t but thought it was the right thing to do to at least offer.
I called my garage. They had no time. Were very busy. They were two weeks out. I explained the situation. He said he might have time just after lunch. Everywhere I went until then I had to keep my car running. Had many places to go. I had to leave my car running in parking lots. It never overheated. Also, when I had taken apart the bad terminal and cleaned it, the nut in one side never seated again properly. The connection was not very good. My car kept running. That afternoon I made it over to the garage. I had to wait. No big deal. But then the owner made time, came out to my car, and tested the battery. It was good. Incidentally, I bought the battery from them. It’s a five year battery. It’s been over four years. Batteries have since almost doubled in price.
He went back in the shop and got one of those excellent terminals they use and installed it. For free. And a smile. The car started right up. I thanked him profusely. I have prayed for these people many times. One can never know for the most part whether one’s prayers have had an impact but no matter. It is not the one who prays but the One who answers the prayers that makes the difference. These people are so busy they are actually two and a half weeks out and their customers keep making appointments. Half the garages in my area have gone out of business. They have almost more business than they can handle. And they continue being friendly and forthright with their customers.
I will leave it to you, dear readers, to make any spiritual applications regarding my stated adventure in this post. Is there a bad connection? Do the battery terminals need cleaning or replacement? Need a new starter or know someone who does? Maybe there’s a bad ignition coil or sparkplug. Regardless, the best way to deal with such problems is to first seek the Lord in prayer. Then be ready for the answer. And know that the answer will most often include mercy and compassion, either on our part or that of another. Sometimes we have to initiate the process.
Suffering is very real and we often have to deal with pain, but heartfelt mercy for those who hurt and are in need acts as a salve and anointing to meet such needs and absolve such hurts. The Lord demonstrated how this is done. Much compassion is called for in these times. We must give it and also receive it, depending on the circumstances. Dealing with pain, whether our own or that of others, is helped tremendously through simple acts of caring and love.
In my experience, I have discovered that beyond an apparent unseen barrier keeping people disconnected, a smile, an act of help though relatively minor, or something bigger such as miracles, all act as works of compassion that dissolve the barrier and allow for necessary human contact toward the alleviation of suffering. Most of us have been on both the giving and receiving ends of such interactions. Both have their purpose. Both are edifying. And you can’t have one without the other.
So, what began as a very hopeful day for me which turned into a short term mini-misadventure ended up being a great day thanks FIRST AND FOREMOST TO THE MERCY AND COMPASSION OF THE LORD JESUS, and secondly to some very good and friendly people who also demonstrated such care, one of which I had never met, who were willing to help out. For free.
And I’m not so sure they’re even professed Christians.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
He was born to die. He always knew it. He planned it. But even at the very darkest hour He knew there was a call for unbounded optimism: He would soon open the Way to Life.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. [Hebrews 12:1-2]
COUNT IT ALL JOY
Mature Christians of the real variety are very well acquainted with giving a message most will reject. As the Lord Jesus engaged in the greatest ministry of all time with a perfect message expertly delivered and a perfect teaching curriculum second to none, no one was more aware of the inherent difficulty of the task at hand than Him, in that His perfect message would be wasted on the majority.
It would seem, during His time, that all impartial hearers and personal witnesses of His love, compassion, mercy, mighty works, and incessant miracles would immediately join up with Him in a veritable heartbeat if for no other reason than that nothing they experienced could be denied. Denial of His extraordinary presence and perfection was impossible. His ministry was that clear. It was absolutely astounding.
And yet, as a stark testimony to the sheer impossibility of errant and immoral human beings besought with a sinful human nature—obstinate and unyielding at its core to any and all reform—recalcitrant and unruly—not only did the majority of His own people reject His message, they also rejected Him and drove His Name into the dirt.
His “own people” constituted not only His fellow Israelites in general but also the political leaders of His nation, the religious leaders of His nation, the foreign leaders in positions of authority in His nation, an untold number of His relatives, and even members of His own immediate family. One can only wonder at the great mental, moral, and emotional disconnect existing in the heart of the willfully lost and the message that could set them free. The Lord had effectively given everything He had, even acting as a supernatural electrician running miles of spiritual romex connected to the power plant of Heaven directly to their hearts and all they had to do was flip a switch. BUT NO.
And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” [Mark 3:2-22]
Rather than acknowledge the great Light that had arrived for their salvation and honoring Him and praising Him and being thankful for Him they instead said He had an illegitimate birth, that He was a drunk and a glutton, that He was crazy, and that He was demon possessed. If this does not reveal to an impartial observer the wickedness of humanity nothing ever will. These hell bound moral laggards, at that time the greatest DAs in the history of the world though perceived by the world as upstanding and trustworthy, were the epitome of deceived demon-influenced dunderheads which a sinful unseeing nation prostrated themselves before and trusted exclusively with no thought of thinking for themselves or even giving God a glance. The blind were truly leading the blind but only because the wimpy blind yielded to the authoritative blind because they were far too fearful to risk thinking for themselves.
And yet none of it took the Lord by surprise. No one was more aware of the utter depravity of humanity. He created humanity. He watched humanity fall. He saw humanity from the very beginning from the Garden up to His present and knew very well what He was dealing with. And He came to this earth anyway. He subjected Himself to the vast stupidity and hate anyway.
He knew most would reject Him. He knew most would find fault with Him. He knew most would count themselves better than Him. He knew most would trust their own inclinations or those of their betters. He knew most would not budge an inch from whatever their chosen belief system was. He knew the majority of the indoctrinated and brainwashed would willingly remain that way.
He knew, for most of the people He preached to, that facts would never matter. Nor would the truth matter. Most would not and could not appreciate the truth. For most there was simply no love for facts and truth if these in any way violated their chosen beliefs.
BLINDED BY SIN
And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains. [John 9:39-41]
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]
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.” [Revelation 3:17-18]
How spiritually blind must one be to indignantly and continuously reject the very Light that would heal their blindness and allow them to see spiritual reality? How dark are the hearts that refuse the Light which would otherwise brighten their being and deliver them from the eternal night?
THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM
Yet there were others, a decided and relative few, who took a completely different tack. They were personally bold enough to go against the grain of the fallen world and deceitful sinful culture. These were spiritual pioneers who would rather seek Light and salvation even it meant inviting the wrath of the wayward and cause ongoing personal suffering. They possessed a gravitas that strengthened them against all onslaughts from evil, both human and demonic, and allowed the Lord to greatly supplement their strength with a spiritual power none could resist.
These composed the Remnant. He would rescue these. He knew they would comply. He knew they would surrender to Him and obey. Why? Because they had already been communicating with Him through prayer and supplication for years, long before He ever arrived as one of us. They had been asking for His help. They knew He could help. They wanted Him. They longed for Him. They would do anything for Him. They knew He was and had always been the answer.
Of course, due to their excellent attitude and desire for actual spiritual reality they did not fare too well with other members of society who were impossible to communicate with on a spiritual level. These had a different mindset. They had very little in common with the unrepentant. The Remnant, with reference to this world, knew something was off. They refused to make peace with sin or accept the sinful ways of the world, though they also knew it would make life more difficult.
They knew the way of the Lord Jesus was the highest way, the most pure and righteous way, and they would do their best to follow it. Thus, they rejected the social relativism of the sinful culture which always sought an extremely low common denominator. Such relativism is, of course, the administered agenda of the controllers since dumbed-down masses all on the same drivel-inspired page of monotony are much easier to control and use to do their bidding. And the exact dynamic is present in Unreal Christianity.
OUR GLORIOUS PRESENT
People are waking up. People are gaining their sight. By allowing evil the upper hand and freedom to show itself in all its wickedness, that which had previously been hidden behind dark shadows has emerged into the open. They think the coast is clear. They think they are free to sin to their heart’s content with no ramifications or accountability. They have revealed themselves for what they are. And people are noticing. Those who desire righteousness are raising up a standard, first, in their own lives and then against the wicked. Many are coming to an understanding of repentance, what it is and why it is necessary.
Real Christians have always known from the time of their born again experience that a spiritual Rubicon must be crossed and that one can never go back. They know that when a person makes a commitment to the Lord Jesus it is an irrevocable commitment. There is no looking back or turning back or desire to do so. They know they have crossed a line of separation. The terms of the New Covenant demand it. Those who have recently been awakened know they can never unsee what they have already seen. They know too much.
They know the only remaining direction is forward.
The world of fakery, much of it media-inspired, whether cultural or religious, must be left behind.
BAPTISM OF OPTIMISM
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. [Psalm 23:1-3]
But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, and I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones. [Psalm 52:8-9]
The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. [Psalm 92:12-15]
He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf. [Psalms 11:28]
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” [Jeremiah 17:7-8]
Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad, for the Lord has done great things. Do not fear, beasts of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, for the tree has borne its fruit, the fig tree and the vine have yielded in full. So rejoice, O sons of Zion, and be glad in the Lord your God; for He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before. The threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. [Joel 2:21-24]
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10b]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I wrote this article in two parts eleven years ago. It remains as relevant as ever and likely more so. The issue of heart circumcision is not a mere suggestion. It is a commandment.
It is said that the greatest pain known to humanity is childbirth. Or breaking a femur. Yet, I must say for all the males among us that circumcision must rank right up there, though the majority of us partook of the round cut as tiny tots and blessedly have no memory of the event. Based on this, a spiritual circumcision of the heart can’t be a walk in the park either or the apostle Paul would not have used such a descriptive illustration.
Though there are many good things associated with physical circumcision, especially in the realm of health, God used it to distinguish the ancient Hebrews from heathen nations. It was a mark in flesh denoting the particular people of God. It signified the later New Covenant circumcision of the heart, in that all seed proceeding from a cleansed heart is pure and holy, and takes place by the Spirit of God. It was a viable part of the Mosaic code and no man who would keep the Law was exempt. Becoming a real covenant man of God thus required serious commitment.
God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” [Genesis 17:9-14]
Is there any doubt that Abraham wondered if he heard right? “Uh, you want me to do WHAT?” Here was a serious test. Though there were several reasons for God’s command in this area, the greatest was obedience. The next was the understanding that covenant with God would cost, would separate, would distinguish, and would weed out all pretenders. There is no way His people could adopt this practice without a full heart commitment.
As opposed to most of our current sappy and wrongheaded Christianity, this was serious business. Yet, even circumcision became a mere rite over time. Like so many Christian things we presently do, many have become mere rituals with no heart involvement. It got so bad that the Lord had to make the following statements in the days of Moses:
“So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” [Deuteronomy 10:16]
“Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.” [Deuteronomy 30:6]
Though the Lord established an outward sign in the flesh, He kept trying to make the point that it was meant to also be a sign of an inward change of one’s heart. In a passage that echoes of the future Parable of the Sower, Jeremiah touched on this very topic in his time, speaking to a very wayward Israel:
“For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else My wrath will go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.’” [Jeremiah 4:3-4]
The keeping of external regulations is worthless if the heart remains unregenerate. Unreal Christians with uncircumcised hearts have mastered the process of acting out their chosen religious forms while turning a deaf ear to God. They violate and rip to shreds the commandment against idolatry. They create a God to suit themselves. With very stiff necks, they obey a false depiction of God and refuse to bend their knee, honor the Name, and give their hearts to the real Lord Jesus.
For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? 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 2:25-29]
In writing such things, it is no wonder that Paul was a hunted man. The unbelieving Jews hated him for seemingly making of little consequence the distinguishing mark of ancient Jewish belief. Yet the truth of a circumcised heart was obviously revealed by God and it relates just as directly to all unbelieving Christians who make their religious service or quasi-Christian beliefs their saving grace. Paul was, of course, a Jew in very good standing. He saw the issue from both sides, first as an unbeliever and later as a disciple of the Lord. The believing Jews, who comprised the great bulk of early disciples, understood what he was saying, as did believing Gentiles, and applied the truth accordingly. They saw that one’s heart must change for the better and a person must become a new creation.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. [Colossians 2:8-12]
In spiritual New Covenant terms, physical circumcision is a non-issue:
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. [1 Corinthians 7:19]
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. [Galatians 5:6]
For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. [Galatians 6:15]
It is the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit of God that really matters. It brings forth:
(1) The Keeping of the Commandments of God
(2) Faith Working Through Love
(3) A New Creation
From the Jewish perspective, that which Paul was stating was akin to blasphemy. To say that circumcision meant nothing violated the very covenant that God made with Abraham and the entire nation of Israel! Something had changed. For the unbelieving Jews, it was that the original covenant had been violated anyway, since it had become a mere ritual. For the believing Jews, they understood it was about the heart.
We are warned, therefore, to watch out for the counterfeit. There are many people preaching and believing false gospels. Paul was not the least bit shy, through speaking and writing by the anointing of God, in attacking the enemies of the Lord and those who persisted in bringing forth false teachings. Many in his day claimed to be the real thing. Many others stood up for truth and for the correct teachings of the Lord, regardless of the cost. False believers of today are no different from those of yesteryear.
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh… [Philippians 3:2-3]
The Lord has made a way to not only perform very necessary surgery on unregenerate hearts, but also established a method of remembrance upon them in keeping with an Old Testament type as put forth in the following passage:
The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. I am the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the LORD your God.” [Numbers 15:37-41]
In Hebrew, these corner tassels sewn into the garments of the sons of Israel are termed tzitzit. God instructed His people to wear these as ongoing means of remembrance of their Great and Mighty Lord and all His commandments. On these tassels, God commanded there be a cord, or thread, of blue. However, the exact knowledge of this color was eventually lost after the destruction of Israel in 70 A.D. It might have been more of a bluish-purple color. The point is that real Christians have the Word of God within their newly circumcised (or born again) hearts.
(For New Testament reference, it was one of these tassels, or “the hem of his garment,” that was touched by the woman with the issue of blood at the exact moment she was instantly healed.)
Regardless of suffering and persecution, real Christians serve the Lord Jesus because they love Him. They give their lives as a burnt offering, are washed in His Name in water baptism, are raised to new life, and submit completely to a holy God.
And their new circumcised hearts are sewn up with a thread of blue.
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Today we celebrate the 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. What follows is a brief account of its creation and the great document itself. Happy July 4th everyone.
On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia House of Burgesses introduced a resolution that essentially became the actual Declaration of Independence. The short document stated thus:
Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.
That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.
That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.
The resolution was debated the next day and then tabled until July 1. In the meantime, a committee was formed to consider the question of independence. It was composed of five members: John Adams, Ben Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was enlisted to write the document. After editing, the Declaration was voted upon for acceptance by Congress on July 2 and formally accepted on July 4, 1776. It is interesting to note, however, that it was not actually a declaration of independence. That honor belonged to the resolution of Richard Henry Lee. The original title of the formal document written by Thomas Jefferson was the following:
A Declaration by the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in General Congress assembled
The final draft adopted on July 4, 1776 contained the more familiar title of:
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Tomorrow we celebrate the 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Tomorrow’s post will contain the entirety of that great document and the hope thereof.
America has been under attack for several years now. The ongoing planned destruction had previously been slow and steady. And though there are great sinister forces from without, the primary attack has come from within. The enemy hates individual freedom. The enemy hates strong well-informed individuals. The enemy hates Spirit-filled believers who have sided with the Lord Jesus 100% and are determined to do His will.
I have told you several times in recent posts of the three types of American Colonists that existed in 1776. Each type comprised roughly one third of the colonial population. One type was fully on the side of the English king and Parliament. One type was fully disengaged, ignorant, apathetic, selfish, and completely unaware of the battle at hand and its future ramifications. And one type comprised the greatest generation, the great American Patriots who put everything on the line to fight for freedom.
These three types also comprise the Americans of the present. Whether or not America survives will depend on which type eventually wins. I encourage you to do your own research, make your own evaluations, and come to your own studied conclusions regarding these three types of Americans.
As of now, it appears that the forces of evil have gained the upper hand. But I must remind everyone that the same dynamic was in play 246 years ago. The American Patriots appeared to have no chance but that never stopped them from taking that chance. They knew they would have no chance at all unless they went all in. Their great victory proved again that good is greater than evil and that Light always overcomes darkness.
To date, American Christians have generally become spiritually weak, dumbed-down, compromised, and overcome by the culture. Many rarely or never read and study the Word of God and thus fail to apply it to their lives. Most American Christians are not dedicated disciples of the Lord Jesus. One may wonder how this could have happened but it’s actually quite simple: The majority of American Christians have rejected the total Lordship of the Lord Jesus, have refused to honor and follow His Word, have rejected the Book of Acts in particular, and have instead dedicated themselves to fruitless socially acceptable counterfeits including the leaders thereof.
However, there is a group on the rise that has been on the rise for several years now. I saw this at least thirty years ago when I began my initial research for my book Real Christianity. I saw that if real Christianity was to survive in America it must overcome the massive forces of Unreal Christianity. I certainly expressed the hope that this group of real Christians would continue to rise, and for that to happen there must be an Awakening. I mentioned this in the book.
However, it was not until late August of 2010 that I received the definitive proof. The Lord told me America was in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. That was almost twelve years ago. It has proven to be true.
Since then the enemy stopped his slow gradualism approach and went full bore into the open, no longer all that concerned with attempting to hide his sinister plans or keep his subterfuge secret. Of course, it pretty much stayed secret anyway because the great bulk of Americans and American Christians remained absolutely clueless and ignorant with no desire to change for the better. It has made things very easy for the enemy. He now does his dirty work in plain sight and most Christians still do nothing about it.
Real Christians, however, back in the 1990s, did see. They had the Spirit of God. They had eyes to see and ears to hear. Sadly, they were by and large castigated and rejected by their own, those who could only manage to live in the present and chose the way of compromise and friendship with the world. If the real Christians could survive and manage to coalesce, real Christianity in America could be saved. Thus, SOMETHING profound must have happened in this country in the roughly fifteen year period of 1995-2010. This was a time when enough real believers, largely as mere disconnected individuals, remained dedicated to the Lord Jesus and doubled down on their dedication in the face of persecution from their own. The Lord was apparently greatly pleased. He needed this group and fought for this group. This was a Remnant group of His making that would be necessary for His future plans. It was these who would be used to bring forth the current Great Awakening.
After 246 years this country is at a terrible crossroads. Most never saw what was coming during the good times but the few did. Presently, more can see it, if not by spiritual eyes then by experience. Empirical evidence always promotes clarity. Americans will experience more in the immediate future—dire circumstances from seemingly every direction—that will cause them to start waking up. They will see that all the warnings they previously rejected had great merit. They will see that those who had it right all along but had their names and lives destroyed should have been listened to and honored.
Perhaps the best verse of Scripture which perfectly illustrates what has happened over the last three decades is the following:
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” [Mark 6:4]
The Lord always has witnesses. One might recall what happened to His great and powerful personal witness. One might recall what the Lord’s own did to Him. What might recall what the unbelievers of His nation—the forces of antichrist—did to the members of the Lord’s Community. This same dynamic plays out every day in every nation. It has certainly played out in America.
Thanks to the Lord Jesus, however, we have great hope. Thanks to Him and His real followers, everyone will have the opportunity to gain the spoils that go to the victor.
246 years ago a group of American Revolutionaries openly declared themselves independent and free of corrupt government. They would go on to fight another five years to win the prize. When they won, and it was a GREAT victory, the spoils of war were shared by all Americans, even the traitors and cowards.
American Christians must therefore thank those who have been in the spiritual battle all along, those who were most usually never or rarely supported and who were forced into long term survival mode. It was the real Christians, the only ones the Lord was allowed to work through and with, who brought us to this time of opportunity and hopeful victory.
The Great Awakening is here. Whether it will be enough or not remains to be seen.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
HAS ECONOMIC JUDGMENT RETURNED? THE FUTURE OF AMERICA DEPENDS ON BANNING ABORTION (FIRST POSTED ON FEBRUARY 6, 2018)
I posted the following article with the above title over four years ago. In it one can see the portents of what was coming. There is much information here that applies to today.
With abortion very much in the news, I continue with posting my past articles on the subject. On Tuesday I posted the first: THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’: NATIONAL ABORTION AND THE GREAT AWAKENING (2022). I wrote that article seven years ago on July 3, 2015. Many thanks to those of you who read and commented. I appreciate the good reviews.
Two years and seven months later I posted today’s article in which I bring up the great possibility of economic judgment on the nation. Some will insist there is no connection between possible economic judgment and abortion but I have been doing much research into the phenomenon of economic cycles over many years and discovered a very clear cycle which I relate here. I first posted on this economic cycle on my former website in 2009.
As you read the following article from four years ago in February, consider the implications of what I stated then and what has happened since:
There is a gnarly ten-foot tall giant that must be defeated and killed. His ugly head must be chopped off—using his own sword. Guess who David is?
When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. [1Samuel 17:42]
I began writing this article almost three weeks ago on January 18. At that time the US economy remained in an apparent boom and the Dow Jones continued rising to new all-time highs. On that day it was hovering around 26,150 and closed just above 26,000, having shot up 8,000 points from the day before the 2016 presidential election. It continued shooting up and reached an all-time high of 26,616 on January 26, 2018. Incidentally, I know some of you probably don’t think much of the meaning of numbers in Scripture, but the Biblical number of man is 6. There were a lot of sixes going on that day. It can easily be said such a thing is mere coincidence or hooey and I understand that. But sometimes it makes sense to at least consider such possibilities as part of a much larger overall picture.
The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. [1Samuel 17:43]
THE NUMBER SIX
The all-time Dow Jones high of 26,616 contains three sixes. It happened on Friday (the sixth day of the week), January 26. But a giant drop was soon in store that many people didn’t see coming. The next week the market began falling. By Friday of last week it had fallen all the way down to 25,490, a loss of over 1100 points. One week after the market high of January 26, from closing on Thursday February 1 to closing on Friday February 2, the market fell 665.75 points, or 666. More sixes. And again, three of them. All in a row this time. Was that just another coincidence? Or was it a strange portent?
All of these sixes refer to “man,” which can mean several things. It can mean the economy is rigged by people behind the scenes. Of course, we already knew that. Since 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve System, the levers of the American economy were gained by a handful of private bankers hiding behind a curtain like you know who. Therefore, rigging the economy behind the scenes is nothing new. In fact, it’s precisely what they do.
The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” [1Samuel 17:44]
REVEALING THE JUDGMENT PATTERN
The number nine is the Biblical number of finality or judgment.
Last August (2017), I revealed the existence of a repeating economic judgment pattern upon the American economy. I had been researching the phenomenon several years ago. I posted my initial findings on my previous website nine years ago in 2009, right after the rock bottom of the last crash. We have now approached the time when economic judgment is due to strike once again. But will it?
I wrote the preceding paragraph on Thursday, January 18, 2018. There was an important date coming up. I wanted to complete this article then and post it before the next week. The following Monday was the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on January 22, 1973. That decision kicked off an ongoing series of economic recessions, some severe, in America.
The following passage is from my post of August 17, 2017, REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN:
“I discovered the following economic judgment pattern and wrote about it in an article I posted in early March of 2009. I cannot prove that abortion is causing these ongoing economic downturns, but the pattern started in 1973. Approximately every nine years it strikes again, right on schedule. The severity of each judgment may be somewhat lessened based on Christian prayer, repentance, actively seeking the Lord Jesus, and proactively speaking out in public. There have certainly been times when much more of this was going on. There are some who continue to do this presently and they should be greatly commended.
It could very well be that America is being hit with nationwide economic judgment every nine years as an ongoing wake-up call to face the evil of abortion and end it, in part because it is causing a slow destruction of the country, and it could be that each judgment, according to Biblical models, is more severe than the former based on the nation’s closeness or distance from God.”
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” [1Samuel 17:45]
We serve a God who is always open to prayer and repentance. He is a loving and forgiving God. We know from His written Word that He has often staved off sure judgment, bad karma, and His people getting exactly the evil return they deserve for their sins and rebellion, which they brought on themselves. If His people expressed sorrow, repentance, and a contrite heart, and proclaimed a new effort to get right and do right, He would often stop what was otherwise coming. I hope this is the case this time around regarding economic judgment.
REVEALING THE CLEAR EVIDENCE
What follows are the dates which set everything off and the chart I created in 2009, with the brief descriptions of each recession I wrote at the time. I have included embedded links for further study and verification. Please judge for yourself and draw your own conclusions:
1. Roe v. Wade Argued Before the Supreme Court: December 13, 1971
2. Roe v. Wade Reargued Before the Supreme Court: October 11, 1972
3. Roe v. Wade Decided by the Supreme Court: January 22, 1973
JUDGMENT RANGE U.S. RECESSION CHARACTERISTICS
1973 1973-1975 1973 Oil Crisis, 1973-1974 Stock Market Crash, Recession
1982 1980-1982 Continued Fallout from 1973 and 1979 Oil Crises, Recession
1991 1990-1991 Savings & Loan Collapse, Energy/RE Slump, Recession
2000 2000-2001 Collapse of Dot Com Bubble, Sept 11 Attacks, Recession
2009 2007-2009 Housing Market Collapse, Stock Market Crash, Recession
2018 ? – ? ?
America has already suffered five major economic downturns since 1973. The next one will be the sixth. Yesterday, February 5, the market “crashed.” It was not a crash in the historical sense of 1929 or 1987, but it lost a whopping 1597 points in a single day, the greatest point loss in history, all the way down to 23,923. Some of that was made up before the market closed. There was another big drop this morning even farther to 23,778 before it began rising again. It was a crazy up and down morning filled with wild swings, an eventual evening out process, and then a big gain. Today’s market closed with an increase of 567 points at 24,912.
Most forecasters are disregarding the reality of what is actually transpiring in the current American economy. Until this massive stock market drop most bought into the notion that it would never stop. I want to make a point here that I am never in favor of economic judgment. I don’t want it to happen. I am not saying it will this time around but the pattern is there. I personally want everyone to be blessed. But a great evil has been taking place in America for 45 years and it remains ongoing. Abortions in America peaked about a quarter century ago and have been declining. This is good. But abortion is still legal in America. Since 1973, a baby has been aborted every 23 seconds. The current total is over 60 million.
Over the last three years abortions in the United States have averaged about 900,000 per year. The good news is that there is a slight decline in the numbers, as 2016 was approximately 893,000. But that is still almost 2,450 per day or over 100 abortions per hour. Should we feel good that abortions are declining? Of course. It’s a good sign. But they are still happening at very high rates. If America continues to suffer economic judgment every nine years due to the ongoing wicked sin of abortion, judgment will likely not stop until legal abortion is outlawed completely.
Another good sign is that, for the first time ever, President Trump became the first president to take a public stand and speak at a Pro-Life rally. He should be greatly commended for this as well as for appointing a Pro-Life justice to the Supreme Court.
Considering bad signs, however, there was a vote in the Senate a week ago that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks like almost every other country in the world has done. This would have been great progress and no one in their right mind should have opposed it. However, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed to make it out of debate in a 51–46 vote to a final floor vote after Democrats filibustered the bill. 48 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for the bill. 44 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted against the bill. President Trump would have signed it into law had it passed. But almost every Democrat senator voted against it.
“This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.” [1Samuel 17:46-47]
Overall, abortions are trending down and many more Americans are seeing abortion for what it really is. It is the murder of a baby in the womb. Despite indications to the contrary, the American economy is not nearly as strong as many purport. The latest ten-percent stock market “correction” has proven that. I remain concerned that the bubble of optimism may burst as the economy may do likewise, since several economy watchers continue to insist that we are in an economic bubble. Maybe all will be well. Maybe there will be a rebound. Maybe economic judgment will be staved off. Maybe enough people will pray and repent and the Lord will have mercy.
And maybe the economic judgment will come only to those who deserve it.
Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. [1Samuel 17:48-49]
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Hello Friends. I posted the following highly relevant article as titled on July 3, 2015. In it I delve into the basics of “the worst decision ever rendered by the Supreme Court.”
I wrote it about a week after the Alternative Marriage Supreme Court ruling. Many Americans believed that particular ruling to be incorrect, but it paled greatly in significance to the Roe v. Wade decision of January 22, 1973. It is estimated that 65 million babies have been legally aborted since Roe was made law. This constitutes roughly one third of the American population over the last 49 years.
The math is simple. The US population in January of 1973 was roughly 211 million. It is currently estimated to be 333 million. That’s an increase of 122 million Americans. This means the number of aborted babies over that time span constitutes the population growth of roughly a quarter century, which is astonishing. Essentially, one out of three people is not here. Of course, this does not take into account the children and grandchildren of these aborted babies who never were, which means the population would be effectively even higher and likely much higher. These are sobering statistics.
Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned as of last Friday, I thought it would be good to revisit some of my past articles on the subject of abortion. In this article from 2015 I name the justices on the Supreme Court who participated in that ruling and how they became members of the Court. Independent Constitutional scholars have long held that Roe is bad law. The current Supreme Court agrees. One thus wonders how in the world such bad law has been allowed to exist for half a century. I will discuss this in future articles. As you read the following post, try to remember that time seven years ago in order to gain perspective:
Happy July 4th.
On the eve of America’s 239th birthday from which we declared our independence from a tyrannical king, a new tyranny has come forth.
And it is no one’s fault but We the People.
Christians are upset about last week’s Alternative Marriage Supreme Court ruling but I would like to strongly remind everyone that the recent ruling, though a definite sign of decline, is merely a sign of further decline, a great decline that began many decades ago.
On January 22, 1973 the Supreme Court ruled with an iron hand in one sweeping decision that baby killing in the womb had become perfectly legal and the law of the land, overturning every state law against abortion. The vast majority of Americans were against this ruling but the will of the people did not matter. And innocent babies otherwise safely in the womb would now be targeted by heinous practitioners of depraved butchery.
These innocent babes had no voice. They lost all their rights. Barring later repentance that I can find no record of, the seven deceased justices that formed the majority opinion are now suffering a far worse punishment than the one they perpetrated upon the roughly fifty-five million innocent babies to date.
These men were heartless and cold. We have now learned, several years ago in fact, that these babies feel excruciating pain when being ripped apart and sucked out, unlike the mere glob of tissue they are purported to be, which means they suffer the double whammy of physical pain and a complete disregard, dismissal, and indifference toward their status as both human beings and free Americans.
The Roe v. Wade decision was the worst decision ever rendered by the Supreme Court, without question, and makes the one rendered last week look like nothing. The recognition and acceptance in America over the last 42 years of legalized baby killing should put the recent ruling in proper perspective. We should understand that the Supreme Court had already rebelled against God many decades ago and that such current decisions should not surprise us.
Regarding the weird White House color show of last week [President Obama bathed the White House in multi-color], perhaps the White House of early 1973 should have been bathed in blood red.
But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. [2Timothy 3:13] 
Regarding America, just who are these evil men and imposters prophesied about by the apostle Paul so long ago?
Well, considering Supreme Court justices, they are in office by the will of the people. They are nominated by Presidents and must be confirmed by the Senate, which means both branches must work together to make the appointments final.
Presidents are elected by the people of the nation. Senators are elected by the people of their respective states. Therefore, such Presidents and Senators are elected by We the People, which means the ultimate responsibility is with the American voters who elected such people into office.
THE ALTERNATIVE MARRIAGE DECISION
If American Christians want to blame the Supreme Court justices for last week’s Alternative Marriage decision, they are blaming the wrong people. Those justices were placed in power by the America electorate. Here is how they got there:
Justice Antonin Scalia (Catholic):
Assumed Office on September 26, 1986. Nominated by Ronald Reagan (Republican).
Justice Clarence Thomas (Catholic):
Assumed Office on October 23, 1991. Nominated by George H. W. Bush (Republican).
Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Catholic):
Assumed Office on September 29, 2005. Nominated by George W. Bush (Republican).
Justice Samuel A. Alito (Catholic):
Assumed Office on January 31, 2006. Nominated by George W. Bush (Republican).
Justice Anthony Kennedy (Catholic):
Assumed Office on February 18, 1988. Nominated by Ronald Reagan (Republican).
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Judaism):
Assumed Office on August 10, 1993. Nominated by Bill Clinton (Democrat).
Justice Stephen G. Breyer (Judaism):
Assumed Office on August 3, 1994. Nominated by Bill Clinton (Democrat).
Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Catholic):
Assumed Office on August 8, 2009. Nominated by Barack Obama (Democrat).
Justice Elena Kagan (Judaism):
Assumed Office on August 7, 2010. Nominated by Barack Obama (Democrat).
The Alternative Marriage Decision was a 5-4 vote. Voting For were Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Each one of these justices was nominated by Presidents who were elected not only once, but twice. The American people cannot be clearer about their choice for President when they elect that President twice. Each one of these justices was also confirmed by elected members of the United States Senate.
Therefore, regarding last week’s decision, it can be argued that those who voted for Ronald Reagan (Kennedy), and especially those who voted for Bill Clinton (Ginsburg, Breyer) and Barack Obama (Sotomayor, Kagan) are the responsible parties. It must be noted though, that justices often go left after attaining office, which is certainly the case with Kennedy.
THE ROE V. WADE DECISION
Regarding the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, if American Christians want to blame the Supreme Court justices of that time for that decision, they are, again, blaming the wrong people. Those justices were also placed in power by the America electorate—We the People. Here is how they got there:
Justice Byron White (Episcopalian):
Served 4/16/1962 – 6/28/1993. Nominated by John Kennedy (Democrat).
Justice William Rehnquist (Lutheran):
Served 1/7/1972 – 9/3/2005. Nominated by Richard Nixon (Republican).
Justice William O. Douglas (Presbyterian):
Served 4/15/1939 – 11/12/1975. Nominated by Franklin Roosevelt (Democrat).
Justice William J. Brennan, Jr (Catholic):
Served 10/15/1956 – 7/20/1990. Nominated by Dwight Eisenhower (Republican).
Justice Potter Stewart (Episcopalian):
Served 10/14/1958 – 7/3/1981. Nominated by Dwight Eisenhower (Republican).
Justice Thurgood Marshall (Episcopalian):
Served 10/2/1967 – 10/1/1991. Nominated by Lyndon Johnson (Democrat).
Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (Presbyterian):
Served 6/23/1969 – 9/26/1986. Nominated by Richard Nixon (Republican).
Justice Harry Blackmun (Methodist):
Served 6/9/1970 – 8/3/1994. Nominated by Richard Nixon (Republican).
Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr (Presbyterian):
Served 1/7/1972 – 6/26/1987. Nominated by Richard Nixon (Republican).
Roe v. Wade was a 7-2 vote. Voting For were Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, Marshall, Burger, and Powell. Each one of these justices was nominated by Presidents who were elected not only once, but twice, with the exception of Johnson who did, however, serve more than one term, and Roosevelt, who was elected four times. The American people cannot be clearer about their choice for President when they elect that President twice or more. Each one of these justices was also confirmed by elected members of the United States Senate.
And for those who think voting Republican will work to eventually end legal abortion, FIVE of the Supreme Court justices who voted for Roe v. Wade were nominated by two Republican Presidents.
Therefore, regarding the Roe v. Wade decision, it can be argued that those who voted for Franklin Roosevelt (Douglas), Lyndon Johnson (Marshall), and especially Dwight Eisenhower (Brennan, Stewart) and Richard Nixon (Burger, Blackmun, and Powell), are the responsible parties.
The slow suicide of America will never be stopped without the intervention of the Lord Jesus. Every nation and empire in history has gone the way America is going now. No nation lasts forever. Not even ancient Israel. If God could not stop the slow suicide of His own people, how can He stop the destruction of any nation that does not want His help?
Enough Americans know better, however, and millions seek Him. But we should not be seeking Him to save America. We should be seeking Him to save souls, including our own.
Believers are coming together and getting wise, and are beginning to understand the problem. American churchianity as usual has brought us to this place of powerlessness and increasing persecution. We created and bought into the wrong “Christian” paradigm many decades ago, believed the false prophets in charge, and supported people who proved to be our enemies.
The Great Awakening is changing all that.
Regardless of American culture falling all around us and the advent of a new evil in the form of false freedom, those who know and love the Lord Jesus are truly free and will always be.
The lovers of this present darkness will not be so fortunate.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The “Elephant in the Room” paradigm fits perfectly here, as almost everyone knows about the problem but next to no one admits it’s there or has the courage to do much about it.
There still remain many successful churches in America, though an increasingly larger number over the last several decades are of the mega variety. You may be a member of a successful church and are thus blessed. Many are getting it right, seek the Lord every day, and are willing to do anything He says. There are also a great many unchurched real Christians, some of which are part of small organic groups or maybe even on their own. Many seek fellowship on the internet which has proven to be a great medium for sharing information and encouragement. Formerly silenced ones have found their voice. It can be a tough spiritual landscape but the Lord is always faithful. All things remain possible. Awesome things are getting done. However, there also exists a flip side…
PROVING MY THESIS
We live in a time when authoritarian, dishonest, sell-out politicians have skyrocketed into a high arc over the land, effectively spouting “catch me if you can,” as if trying to best all the crooked ones before them on what they can get away with, something one may think impossible, yet they achieve it day after day. These boys and girls are getting their marching orders from above, of course, and are only obeying their puppet masters who remain ensconced behind the curtain, out of view and out of mind of most. The puppets you see are not only controlled but likely forcibly controlled if you get my drift. And Americans in general, over and over and over again, do absolutely nothing about it.
Except talk. And vent. And gripe/complain/mumble—worthless ventures all. Except when some trustworthy Americans (including a few elected reps), do actual truth-telling with facts and research that cannot be denied or discounted, expose dishonesty, and give well thought-out solutions for every single problem. These Americans are, of course, most often denied and castigated, as any reformer knows, including those attempting to reform off-kilter Christianity, because the solutions therein put an end to in-house corruption, fraud, and graft and make it difficult for grifters and abusers to carry on their devil’s work. Sadly, such solutions are also rejected by those who would benefit most because the great many refuse to do their own research or question authority, stay glued to the TV, and keep trusting the word of the appearance-based shallow people instead of listening to the warnings of the good guys because the major media makes the bad guys look like good guys and the good guys like bad guys. Sound familiar?
Thus, the great stringed people know the majority won’t do anything to stop them. They used to have at least a modicum of fear and expectation of reprisal from voters but of course many don’t anymore because voting is often fixed at the national level. And if you think this coming November will result in appreciable change when a great red wave will supposedly replace all those evil blues, you will be gravely disappointed once again. Even if elections were not corrupted, these people (actors) are all on the same team. It is the Uniparty. Until the voting system is reformed your votes count generally for effectively nothing. It’s become far too easy to game the system. If people still cannot see this after what happened in 2020 then its lights out.
I wrote a post about the great election steal of 2020 exactly one month after it occurred on December 3, 2020. You can find it here: THE REPUBLICANS ARE COLLUDING WITH THE DEMOCRATS: THE SACRIFICING OF AMERICA. Well, guess what? After almost twenty months this collusion has only expanded exponentially in that Republicans are supporting virtually everything the Democrats are putting forth and not stopping most of it. This sacrificing of the country has continued unabated since that time, has accelerated, and is now accelerating greatly. I told you in recent posts about the ongoing destruction of the economy, the ongoing destruction of the supply chain (diesel anyone?), and the ongoing destruction of the food supply. None of this is happening by accident. It has all been planned. It is impossible for such things to occur unless some great outside force CAUSES it. Along with everything else, therefore, Americans must wake up. They must stop supporting the enemy. The enemy is no longer merely at the gates. He is inside. He is at the controls.
Regarding what could have been done and should have been done to stop this, even at such a late date, there was a duly elected gentleman in power not long ago that decided to stand down instead of stand up. As it turned out he was nothing but rhetoric at a time when action was demanded. You know what kind of leaders you have at the moment of crisis and at that moment, as the opportunity was still viable, he let it all drain out. He frittered it away. There were people with the goods on the enemy who tried to get him to act but to no avail. He now continues to speak in rallies in hopes of a return but that ship has sailed. His time has passed. Whoever is putting their hope in him is missing the mark. The time for action is NOW.
“I, only I, am the Lord, and there is no Savior besides Me.” [Isaiah 43:11]
All real Christians must now understand that the only remaining chance that exists is one far beyond any possible usual and tried and true. None of that exists anymore. It’s gone. No one is coming to save you in that area. I wrote about this a year ago in my post of May 10, 2021 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of this site: HAPPY TENTH BIRTHDAY REAL CHRISTIANITY. That post received a relatively great response with many Likes and Comments. It was very well received. However, most of those readers are now gone. I have had several people say great things about my work and then they suddenly disappear. I have tried to engage them and discover the problem to no avail. What do you call it when one greatly appreciates you and your work, follows you for years, makes positive comments, reblogs your work on their sites, and then suddenly disappears?
This is sad. Really sad. I’m sure I’m not the only one this is happening to, of course. It is a time when we should be putting relatively minor differences aside and uniting against the enemy, but appreciable differences, apparently, still remain strong. The Divide and Conquer approach against American Christianity has had great success. Love is still the answer but appears to always be in short supply when needed most. Nevertheless, I am greatly appreciative of those of you still reading my work. Thank you. Christians may not agree or even not agree on much at all but can still love one another anyway.
A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE
A few days ago I read a post by a friend. Part of it involved the story of a non-believer visiting a church at some point in the recent past. This person had dressed inappropriately on purpose. She was going to test the people there. If anyone said anything negative she would leave and likely turn her back on God. Everybody there ended up treating her well and she eventually gave her life to the Lord. They loved her into the Kingdom. I left the following comment:
That’s a great testimony of how it should be done. I have a massive amount of church experience so I’ve seen this kind of thing many times. Once, in the late 1980s, a young couple visited the church I was attending. I had never seen them before. They had a great attitude, were smiling and happy to be there. They sat right behind us. The young man had a dangling metal earring in one year. No big deal, right? Well, to my chagrin and great embarrassment, during the service the pastor called him out, rebuking him for the earring from the pulpit. I could hardly believe it. Needless to say, I never saw them again. I saw a lot of this.
Though there have always been rednecks in churches, I think most of this stuff began happening on a large scale in the 1960s to 1970s when so many young adults were coming to the Lord. The traditionalists often treated them like lepers. Granted, many simply didn’t know any better but the overreaction to their appearance was a gross violation of the Lord’s teachings and still is. One wonders how many quit on their pursuit of God based on the way they were treated.
When I first visited a church (traditional, conservative, but with a new group of young adults) in the mid 1970s at the invitation of a good friend I trusted who was recently saved, my hair was really long. Thank goodness I was among some cool understanding people, at a prayer meeting, some of whom were also recently saved or just knew how to treat people. Nobody cared about my appearance or said anything. They were happy I was there. A week or so later, my decision for the Lord made with no looking back, I got a haircut. A real one. No one ever told me to or even suggested it.
We MUST allow the Spirit of the Lord to do His work in bringing whatever conviction is necessary. We MUST trust Him and allow for His timing. In the meantime we MUST love people and not judge them.
Since then (June 17), my comment has received seven Likes, most from readers I do not know, proving that the subject matter is something most identify with. It has historically always been a bad problem but has essentially never gone away. Christians in general remain committed to their sects and divisions. Too many still possess not so great attitudes. If we try to engage in any type of cross-communication we often get stuck with the ecumenical label. If a Christian questions the beliefs of another Christian offense takes place. If Christians judge other Christians or non-Christians, however, their judgments often stand and are supported. The people in charge should know when violations of the Lord’s teachings take place but apparently most do not or simply do not care. Protecting the “pastor,” church, denomination, or institution is much more important than addressing any wrongs. This prerogative trumps obeying the Lord Jesus. It trumps obeying the Golden Rule. In reality, anything that violates the Lord’s teachings should be thrown in the river but if some churches do this there won’t be much left, which likely explains the protocol.
I am saying all this to say that I have been involved in this fight for decades. I have pretty much always known what the problem was and discovered the solution long ago. (It is simply a matter of returning to our roots.) The bigger problem is that most Christians refuse to address the problem and would rather let the problem stand in order to protect themselves from having to change and get right with God. They see necessary positive and reformative changes as too all-encompassing.
We see the same approach to reforming the voting system. Those at high levels know this could reveal systemic corruption on a wide scale. It would reveal that a great many were never properly elected and that a great many more were denied legitimate victories.
Churches in general do not appreciate the idea that they might be engaging in something that is incorrect or teaching incorrect or incomplete doctrines. In general, much of Christianity hates the very idea of reform. Rather than repent and change for the better they effectively stone those the Lord sends to correct them. Yet, was not the Lord often forced to use this very method?
So, forget about trying to change existing churches, denominations, and institutions for the better. It will likely never happen. Their protection filters are so fine they also block out any possible corrections. The Christians thereof are far too invested. They do not know the Word of God as they should. They simply cannot see the forest for the trees. They will change, however, and do change. They change for the worse. They degrade over time. THIS IS OTHERWISE OBVIOUS. If one looks at history it is a no-brainer. Those who refuse to continue following the Lord Jesus into the fresh new green fields always end up dying out in the resultant spiritual famine which they brought on themselves. And because of this chosen spiritual famine there is currently a plan for actual famine in America gaining steam.
Most traditional Christians are thus pre-primed to reject the current Great Awakening. It doesn’t fit their paradigm.
I recall reading the works of Ralph Neighbor and communicating with him in the past. He is a great source if you’re interested. He often spoke of “The Seven Last Words of a Dying Church” which are “We’ve never done it that way before!”
Christians in America must understand that business as usual no longer works. Anything that deviates from the Lord’s teachings is a sign of disobedience and rebellion and is destined to fail. Christian leaders in general almost never get the memo that God begins warning of bad times coming when good times are happening. Christian leaders in general reject anything that seems to put a damper on their good times.
Imagine a farmer in the past who listens to the Lord, who is close to the Lord. He has been experiencing bumper crops and knows he is blessed of God. Then one day the Lord tells him to prepare for drought. The farmer doesn’t question the Lord. He doesn’t ask to bless him by arranging things to stop the drought. He knows that is an immature approach, something he had tried long before that doesn’t work. Instead, because he hears the Lord and knows His voice, he simply starts preparing for a drought. He knows that somehow or another the Lord will sustain him and his family and help him get through it. So he prepares. He prepares during the great times. He gathers in his bumper crop as usual but prepares for what’s coming. People think he’s an idiot. “Lighten up, man!” When the drought hits, those who never heard from God, either because they are not real Christians, because they grew cold spiritually, or because they continually rejected the warnings, were not prepared. When the drought hits, only those who began preparing during good times and continued following and obeying the Lord Jesus made it through. And though the farmer did try to help others there was simply not enough to go around. HE WAS BLESSED AND PROTECTED. They were not.
Over the last few decades many churches have failed and no longer exist. There are empty and repurposed church buildings in many locations all across the country. It is a trend that is not stopping. Those who got the memo long ago have long since made the proper adjustments. They saw what was coming. When they heard the Word in good times, and their warnings were rejected, it sealed the fate of those greatly “successful” ones who would meet a very challenging future unprepared. And those who obeyed God, who were rejected, made fun of, cast out, and cold-shouldered, who went through tough times due to their bad treatment by other “Christians” and were forced into survival mode, learned how to prepare.
“But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.” [Mark 10:31]
So, none of the current garbage taking place right now is a surprise to God. For those who insist on continuing to do things the way they always have and trust in the things they always have, they will find that what used to work no longer works. It has certainly never worked as good as the original. Most of it hasn’t worked for years but they either don’t notice or don’t care. They can’t see the big picture, don’t care about the big picture, and only care about what goes on in their respective closed-off bubbles. Because the majority of American Christians refused to prepare during good times and continually insisted on depending on their usual traditional way of doings things and not honoring the Lord Jesus or obeying His warnings, they have entered into a future, which is now upon us, unprepared.
One would think, with all the Biblical directives and Old Testament stories at our disposal on this subject, and the many teachings and warnings of the Lord Jesus (the Parable of the Ten Virgins, for example), that Christians in general would be the last to be unprepared for anything.
The opposite is often true.
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
And He began telling this parable: “A man had a fig tree which had been planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and did not find any. And he said to the vineyard-keeper, ‘Behold, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree without finding any. Cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?’ And he answered and said to him, ‘Let it alone, sir, for this year too, until I dig around it and put in fertilizer; and if it bears fruit next year, fine; but if not, cut it down.’” [Luke 13:1-9]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
When the American colonies were first formed a few centuries ago, each was a sovereign entity. After the Revolutionary War (1775-1781), each colony became a separate sovereign state.
Each state was responsible for its own laws and welfare under the general umbrella of coexistence with the other United States. The Federal government had no jurisdiction in the internal affairs of the thirteen states, each of which was akin to a separate nation.
CREATING AN ENTIRELY NEW AMERICA
The War of Northern Aggression (1861-1865), otherwise known as the Civil War, changed all that. The Federal government made the decision to grossly violate the Constitution by invading and destroying the Southern states. It also stole the authority of not only those states but all the states in the union. After the Civil War the states were no longer sovereign entities and were only separate states in the administrative sense. All states from that time forward were forced to bow to the newly garnered power of the Federal government.
It is obvious, thus, that central control and power in Washington DC has only grown more immense and unaccountable over time until the present. And though there have been attempts at intervals in American history since the Civil War to correct this wrong and stem the tide, each has failed to curtail the overriding power of the Feds. Those who know history know such federal power was not the vision of the Founding Fathers. Indeed, after the Revolutionary War they had attempted to write a new Constitution (1787) that would continue to respect the sovereignty of states but also grant a greater unifying force at the federal level. Their effort diverged from the first constitution, the Articles of Confederation (1777), which was written and ratified during the war. Article II of the Articles of Confederation states the following:
Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
Thus, in the effort to grant a greater unifying force in the new Constitution of 1787, they took a great risk by granting the possibility of too much federal control. As opposed to the former Articles of Confederation, the Founding Fathers granted what eventually became far too large a loophole within the new Constitution that would eventually allow for unscrupulous and immoral scoundrels to usurp the authority of the states and thereby destroy the authority of the citizens of those states. Since that time, by deviating from the clear intent of the law, authority was unlawfully granted to those who gravitated to yet another man-made government ziggurat in which the few ruled over the many and from which great spoils could be extracted from the citizenry.
The natural course of this action after 154 years is that much of the vast wealth and authority of America is owned by less than one percent, which is quickly growing to an even smaller fraction. The more they gain the more we lose. Foreign entities and dual citizens are buying up and controlling much of the country. Americans are being squeezed like never before. We are long since past the time of another Revolution, something Thomas Jefferson said we must have at not so long intervals, to maintain the freedom and liberty of the people. It was We the People who originally had the power and wealth. It was what the Constitution called for and to which the original sovereign states agreed to.
THE REAL CHURCH AND THE EVIL FAKERS
But again, that sovereignty is long gone, as is the original freedom and liberty of Americans. This exact occurrence has also taken place within institutional, traditional Christianity: One must enter a “church” on their terms. One must sit down among a sea of people and remain silent. One is a mere spectator. On must go through choreographed routines and submit to dry “liturgies.” By this practice, if one never matures spiritually, one grossly violates the teachings of the Lord Jesus. He created a Community in which each of His followers has an independent mind and spirit. Each must walk in the freedom and liberty of the Lord. Each believer understands he or she has a duty to the Lord to participate significantly. Indeed, His is a participatory Community that demands the involvement, input, and contribution of every member.
According to His teachings, each real Christian is a sovereign entity accountable only to the higher power of the Lord. Any other authority is only lateral. It is why He refers to His people as a family and a Community. Everyone is the same. Each is equal. The only difference is that some believers are more mature than others but all begin at the same place and each can develop to full maturity. Followers of the Lord were never to rule over other believers. These simple facts easily tell us whose methods are wrong and who has robbed individual Christians of their God-given authority and freedom in the Lord. The vast majority of Christians and Christian leaders have gotten it wrong over these last twenty centuries. An extremely small class, the Clergy, has taken over and believes itself to be far superior. The vast 99% of everyone else, the Laity, has surrendered to a false authority as a wimpy dog to a pack leader. The people who comprise these classes will not fare well at the Judgment. The Lord will reprimand one for taking authority He never granted and He will reprimand the other for never taking the authority He did grant.
Until then, however, millions of real Christians worldwide have thrown off their shackles and insist on doing Christianity the way the Lord Jesus intended. They are having a far greater impact than most people, especially unreal Christians, are aware of. It is the false Christians who are the chief persecutors of the real Christians. But it has always been this way. It is up to real believers to take on and maintain their sovereign authority, walk in spiritual maturity, take the battle to the enemy, and assist the Lord Jesus in doing the work and living the lives He has called them to. This is the only road to spiritual success. It is the only way to fully honor Him. It is the only way to get the job done.
THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE
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]
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The Lord Jesus taught in part by using parables. The greatest parable in His teachings is largely unrecognized. It regards His actual identity. Many Christians have yet to receive the full revelation.
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. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. [Isaiah 9:6-7]
“These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father.” [John 16:25]
WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?
Real Christians believe that Jesus is God. Most Christians do not believe that Jesus is God the Father. Think about that.
We obviously have reams of New Covenant Scripture expressly proclaiming in no uncertain terms that Jesus is not only the Son of Man and the Son of God but God Himself. We also have reams of Old Testament prophetic Scripture expressly proclaiming the same thing. As a method to prove this, focusing only on one aspect of the Lord’s identity—that of Savior—are the following verses:
I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; incline Your ear to me, hear my speech. Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand from those who rise up against them. [Psalm 17:6-7]
“You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no Savior besides Me.” [Isaiah 43:10-11]
“Declare and set forth your case; indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me.” [Isaiah 45:21]
“Yet I have been the LORD your God Since the land of Egypt; and you were not to know any god except Me, for there is no Savior besides Me.” [Hosea 13:4]
Regarding who is referred to as Savior in the New Testament, we have additional Names and Titles:
And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” [Luke 1:46-47]
“From the descendants of this man (David), according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.” [Acts 13:23-24]
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; [Philippians 3:20]
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. [1Timothy 2:3-4]
For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. [1Timothy 4:10]
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. [Titus 1:4]
…Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus… [Titus 2:13]
From these verses it is obvious that Scripture claims there is only one Savior, not two or several, and that this one Savior is God. Yet the preceding verses of Scripture also refer to this one Savior by several different Names and Titles:
- God (El)
- God (Elohim)
- God (Theos)
- LORD (Adonai—YHWH)
- Lord (Kurios)
- Jesus (Iesous)
- Lord Jesus Christ (Kurios Iesous Christos)
- Christ Jesus (Christos Iesous)
This obviously does not mean that these are different persons but the same Person with different Names and Titles.
KING OF KINGS
The OT prophets said an Israelite Messiah (Anointed One) was coming. Most Christians understand that. But the OT prophets also said the coming Messiah would not be as the culturally understood anointed ones of that time, primarily the Hebrew kings, but would be the greatest Anointed One: The final King, the everlasting King, and the King of kings. In ancient times, many centuries before the Messiah’s arrival, they proclaimed there would be a time far into the future when the Messiah would once again take His rightful place that He formerly possessed among His people prior to their rejection of Him.
This term King of kings was used three times in the Old Testament as a reference to the greatest earthly king on the planet. It referred twice to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the Babylonian Empire and once to Artaxerxes, the king of the Persian Empire. King of kings also occurs three times in the New Testament, each time, of course, referring to the Lord Jesus. So again, the Messiah is referred to in Scripture as the greatest King of all with all authority in both heaven and earth (far greater authority than any earthly king or emperor).
With reference to the nation of Israel, historians refer to King Saul as Israel’s first king. He became king of Israel in 1050BC. In reality, Saul was Israel’s first earthly king. From the beginning, however, it was always God who was Israel’s King. The Creator became known to Israel primarily as YHWH, the “Self-Existent or Eternal.” Though the actual pronunciation of this Name is largely unknown, we have come to accept its pronunciation as Yahweh (´Yah way). A later constructed form is Jehovah, but there is no letter J in the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew scribes, due to their great respect and honor for God, rather than writing His Name and possibly profaning it, substituted another word in Scripture. The word they used to replace His Name is the Hebrew word Adonai which is translated in the English Old Testament as LORD (all caps). So whenever you see the word LORD in the OT, it would have otherwise been directly translated as YHWH.
The nation of Israel, however, due to its great rebellion and sin, often had a big problem with YHWH. This came to a head during the time of Samuel the prophet, the last of the Hebrew Judges. Israel had reached a point of such great sin it rejected its distinct calling as a light to the Gentiles and select of God, and insisted upon being as other nations. They demanded an earthly king. This was a total rejection of their God who had always been their rightful King:
The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.” [1Samuel 8:7]
In reading the Old Testament regarding the identity of the future Messiah and coming King of kings, many Christians don’t really make the connection that this Man, the Messiah, would also be God. Or they do, but they don’t. They get it maybe in part but not completely. They fail to see that the Messiah would be YHWH reclaiming His sovereignty. It is often simply too difficult a concept to grasp that a mere Man could be God, that the God of the Old Testament is the Son of God of the New Testament. I mean, if Jesus was God, why was He always praying to God? And yet, Jesus revealed Himself as God on multiple occasions. Many people state that He never said any such thing, but I will remind everyone that God speaks in different languages, such as by spiritual revelation, in parables or figurative language, and also “plainly” through words and grammar.
Others have turned the identity of the Lord Jesus into an unexplainable mystery. They have created mental constructs and counterfeit personas with apparent surface meaning that inevitably fail the test of wholly agreeing with Scripture. Some cop out of the discussion completely by weakly asserting that we’ll figure out the Lord’s identity when we get to heaven in that there is no way to know it otherwise. For such people there is no use in trying to go deep into Scriptural truth since they limit themselves to their shallow understandings. There is nothing in Scripture, however, that gives forth the idea that we cannot know God or that God is hopelessly mysterious, but the very opposite. It is a major part of why God became a Man. He arrived on these shores to reveal who He is and show what He is like. How else was He to do this toward human beings severed from communication with Him, dulled by sin, and spiritually distant unless He became one of us?
FATHER AND SON
The following passage is rich in meaning, so rich that many pass right over it without understanding its full import. It is parabolic in nature and again, involves direct revelation:
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” [Luke 10:22]
In this verse, the Lord Jesus states:
- The Father has handed over all things to the Son
- Only the Father knows who the Son is
- Only the Son knows who the Father is
- Others can know who the Father is but only if the Son wills to reveal Him to them
From this we know that no one will ever know who the Father is except by direct revelation. If the Lord Jesus wills to reveal the identity of the Father to a person, then that person will know. Otherwise a person will never know. This means the Lord chooses to whom He will reveal the identity of the Father. This also means that there must be some common denominator among those who receive the revelation of the identity of the Father. In other words, the Lord is not capricious or arbitrary in His choosing. He never plays favorites. It is therefore up to the individual on whether or not to be qualified to receive the revelation.
Take a look at these clues from Luke 10:22:
- The Father possessed “all things” but gave “all things” to the Son. This must mean the Father no longer possesses “all things.” It means the Son then possessed “all things.” The Father had “all things” and then no longer had them. The Son did not have “all things” and then took possession of them.
- Only the Father knows who the Son is? How can this be? Did not more than a few during the Lord’s time know who the Son of God was? Affirmative. But those who did only knew by divine revelation. That’s how Peter found out: “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17). The point here is that the Son had always been hidden by the Father. Only the Father would know who He was. The Son was incognito in this sense. He would never look the part. He was likely the very opposite of a guy like King Saul who was tall, handsome, popular and specifically chosen by all the people.
- The Son is the only One who knows who the Father is and also the only One who can reveal Him. The Father revealed the Son to Peter. On the other hand, the Son revealed the Father to Philip. Both revelations pointed to the same Person.
One might recall (as I mentioned previously) that the Lord Jesus said, right before He ascended to heaven, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). This is a very bold statement. Only God has that kind of authority. If one insists that God is someone other than the Lord Jesus then how can the Lord Jesus have all of God’s authority in both heaven and earth?
THE LANGUAGE OF SPIRITUAL REVELATION
The Old Testament patriarchs were noted for being relative loners and wanderers. They were seen as somewhat eccentric by the world at large because they were seemingly forever drifting around in a nomadic spiritual sense marching to the beat of a very different Drummer. They traversed the great quiet of deserts and wilderness areas raising their head to the winds and hearing voices.
It reminds one of Ray Kinsella in the movie Field of Dreams hearing a voice out in his corn field. On a trip into town one day after hearing “the voice” Ray tries to gain some understanding of what has happened to him. Seeking clues, he has the following conversation with a veteran farmer at the farm supply store:
Ray: “In all those years, did you ever… I’ve heard that sometimes farmers out in the field… hear things. Voices.”
Old Timer: “You’re hearing voices?”
Ray: “No. It’s just that I heard some farmers do, and… I, of course, don’t, so I was wondering if I was doing something wrong, or something. Did you ever hear voices out there?”
Cashier: “Who’s hearing voices?”
Old Timer: “Ray is! Out in the fields.”
Ray: “No! No, I’m not. Really. Noises! That darn tractor, it’s… Well, I’ll just get some 3-in-1 oil, that should… Nice talking to you.” 
One wonders if Abraham had a similar conversation with Sarah. Or anyone. The point, of course, is that if one is hearing voices out in the wilderness (or in a corn field near you), and in the case of the Biblical patriarchs, one particular voice, then one might be careful with whom one might share the information. This should not be a problem for Christians, however, since the entire Bible has the same theme running through it. Christians should not be embarrassed by this. All those who were close to God were hearing His voice, both in the Old Testament and New, and some were even seeing Him. Aghast.
These people were in the decided minority (understatement alert). There were only a few. Which means the vast majority probably thought those guys were nuts because they themselves never heard or saw anything. And they never hung out in the wilderness alone either. Prior to the coming of the Kingdom of God (of which He is the King) the Lord Jesus said the greatest man born of women who ever lived was a prophet who hung out in the wilderness alone, just like those eccentric patriarchs of many centuries past. But this guy John the Immerser was greater than all of them, which was quite astounding when you think about it. And he looked like a caveman. And the Lord spent much time in the wilderness alone also. And so did Noah. And Abraham. And Moses. And the apostle Paul:
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:15-17]
Paul was out in the desert a long time. Some say three years. I have no doubt he went on a forty day fast at least once. It was where, hearing the Voice, that the Lord taught him one on one. It was where Paul received the revelation of the Father’s identity and where the Gospel was revealed to him:
For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. [Galatians 1:11-12]
So here we have yet again that spiritual marvel known as direct revelation. The only One who ever revealed to Paul the Gospel was the Lord Jesus Himself, out in the wilderness, alone. Imagine that. This is not how 99% of Christian ministers receive the Gospel. Perhaps this is why their various versions of the Gospel are different than the one Paul preached.
The direct revelation thread runs all through the Bible. It is God reaching out to man. It is God actually attempting to communicate with man. Why then, if God is talking, do so few hear Him? Apparently, Noah, Abraham, Moses, John the Immerser, and Paul were all listening. They were paying attention. They sought God. They had a hunger for Truth. So those who revert back to the tired argument that these men were simply special and chosen in some unknown arbitrary manner, which explains their communication with God, and that their spiritual status had nothing to do with a greater personal faith in God and an unceasing desire to seek Him, are being their usual shallow selves as part of a status quo faithless Christian majority. We even have otherwise brilliant Christians who have latched onto Cessationism and believe that Book of Acts happenings ended in the first century. What? Are the hundreds of millions of Pentecostals and Charismatics in the world all deluded or faking it?
Again, the greatest parable in the Bible is the true identity of the Lord Jesus. Without the actual revelation one reverts to any unspiritual and unscriptural natural understanding and interpretation, either by indoctrination or personal opinion. The tried and true among Christians in this regard is that Jesus must be a lesser entity than God even though some are forced to admit that Jesus is God simply because there are far too many verses of Scripture stating such. But how can Jesus be both God and less than God?
“If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” [John 14:28]
“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” [John 10:30-33]
Some Christians think they must seek out God the Father because their relationship with the Lord Jesus is somehow lacking or limited. Of course, whoever does this has no actual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Some Christians pray to the Holy Spirit the same way one would pray to the Lord Jesus. Some teach that we must pray only to the Father “in the name of Jesus” but never directly to Jesus. Whatever the case, any effort to do an end around or bypass the Lord Jesus to get to God is a violation of His teachings:
“No one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]
The word Messiah is from the Hebrew word Mashiach which means “Anointed” or “Anointed One.” It is Christos in the Greek and transliterated into English as the word Christ. In terms of relative spiritual anointing, the Messiah is seen as He with by far the greatest anointing of God. One may recall that the Lord Jesus possessed the Spirit of God without measure (John 3:34). Prior to Pentecost, He would thus be the One who gave the Holy Spirit.
Speaking of which, there is an interesting word construct in two separate verses exactly a chapter apart in the Gospel of John regarding both the identity of the Father and Son and just who it would be that would send the Holy Spirit. One might think it to be a contradiction. Another will understand it as a clue to a revelation:
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” [John 14:26]
“When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me” [John 15:26]
To be anointed is to be anointed with the Spirit of God. The Messiah was the Anointed One anointed with the Spirit. Yet the Messiah, the One who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, says He will also send the Holy Spirit. He says this after first being reported to say the Father would send the Spirit. Of course, before the Son could send the Spirit He would have to “go to the Father.” Therefore, the One who sends the Spirit is identified as both Father and Son.
On one occasion the Lord was off in a remote location away from the crowds. His close disciples were with Him. He chose this occasion as a teaching moment and to gauge their understanding of His identity:
And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone… [Luke 9:18-21]
The Lord’s time was one of Messianic expectation. It is said that the Israelites were the only nation that lived in the future, in that no matter what happened in the present there were prophecies telling of great times to come. Part of that was, of course, the arrival of the Messiah. He would be the One to lead them to victory at last, to assist them in overcoming their low stature and becoming who they were always meant to be. He would help them reach their destiny.
As times grew closer to His advent, starting about two centuries before in the early second century BC, several unprecedented events took place, one of which was the first successful Israelite uprising against the major powers. The Maccabees, a national Israelite political entity which began as a group of rebel fighters revolting against the Greek Seleucid kings, came forth throwing off the yoke for a time and created a new independent kingdom, the Hasmonean Dynasty. The spirit of the first century Zealots can be traced to the Maccabees. Presently, the Zealots have manifested as the Zionists of our time.
Also, the major religious parties got their start: The Essenes were created from a priesthood group breaking off from the temple priesthood and setting up shop in the desert out by the Dead Sea in a settlement known as Qumran. These were thus somewhat akin to the ancients but existed primarily as a fraternal communal brotherhood. They later expanded and segments were found in the populated areas.
The Pharisees, or separated ones, also began in this era, rooted in a group known as the Hasidim. Two central divisions of this major sect eventually arose about a century later based on its two greatest rabbis, Hillel and Shammai, who each began Pharisaic schools in the generation prior to that of the Lord Jesus. The apostle Paul (Saul) was a student of Gamaliel of the Hillel school. In New Testament times this Gamaliel, a respected member of the Sanhedrin, was the voice of reason against the murderous crazies of the court and essentially saved the lives of Peter and the apostles (See Acts 5:34).
The Sadducees emerged as a distinct party at this time as well. This group was the latest organized form containing the wealthy and those with large landed estates who had essentially ruled Judea in place of a king since the return from the Babylonian Captivity in the sixth century BC. The Sadducees were thus tied in closely with Seleucid, Ptolemaic, and eventually Roman wealth and politics. Choosing to live for this world, they had no concern or belief in the resurrection or a spiritual realm.
We can see this same general breakdown in parties and beliefs in Unreal Christianity. Much was coming together in those two centuries BC for the final conflict of the Last Days of the nation and they each had their own version of who the Messiah was and what He would do for them.
When at last, the Messiah arrived, in perfect accordance with Daniel’s prophecy of weeks (right on time), He was largely unrecognized. Indeed, according to the major parties and pretty much everyone in power with a stake in what He could and would do for them, He was unrecognizable. Incognito, as it were. This was their King, the One the nation had rejected over a thousand years before when they selected King Saul. And to show just how stiffnecked the proponents of these major religious and political parties still were after all those centuries and even more so, they did a lot more than just reject Him this time around.
They had invested everything in a false interpretation. When their version of the Messiah never showed up in the life of the Lord Jesus, even though He perfectly met all the applicable prophetic requirements, they continued looking elsewhere. How dense must people be to either not see and/or reject all the clues? How could they be so wrong?
As it turns out Christians have been just as wrong. God Himself is looking right at them and they still don’t see Him. They fail to see Him for the very same reasons the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and bloodthirsty Zealots never saw Him. This is especially surprising regarding the Essenes. They saw the times better than any of their major counterparts. Indeed, because they were out in the desert and away from the corrupt religious, monetary, and political activity of Jerusalem, one would think they couldn’t miss. They came somewhat close. Their Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947 in caves next to their ruined compound, contained many references to their “Teacher of Righteousness.” They wrote of The War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. They knew what was afoot regarding the coming Messiah but from what we know, as a group, they never recognized the Lord Jesus as such.
The problem each of these groups shared was that their focus remained on this world instead of the spiritual world. They each wanted a Messiah within that context. Again, erring facets of Christianity, including major mainline bodies, make the same mistake. They refuse to accept the reality of the Lord’s spiritual Kingdom and create one of their own with their own respective version of King Saul.
With the exception of the Pharisees, the other three major Jewish parties each came to an end after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70AD. The Sadducees faded out and dissolved shortly thereafter. The Zealots, the party eventually granted authority by the others who brought on the conflagration against Rome, ceased to exist at the tragedy of Masada in 74AD. The Essenes might have gotten an extinction head start on the others around 68AD when the Romans destroyed their settlement at Qumran. It is thought that this disaster is what precipitated the hiding of their cherished library in nearby caves before their final retreat and disappearance. They obviously never returned to reclaim them.
The nation of Israel also came to an end and was forever gone with the wind. The Pharisees reconstituted themselves from the smoking detritus and burned rubble in even greater stubbornness and rebellion to keep their party alive though barely breathing. Through many transformations and geographical movements over the centuries their party eventually became what we know today as Orthodox Judaism. And they still hate the Lord Jesus with a passion.
The only ones who did recognize the Lord were apparently part of an obscure unconnected group of nobodies known originally by the Scriptural term as the “Remnant.” We first hear of this idea of a surviving remnant in Genesis 45:7 when Joseph explains to his family that he was sent ahead as a slave to Egypt as a method to preserve them. Spiritually speaking, of course, he was assisting God in not only preserving his family and the future nation of Israel but also preserving the Messianic genealogical line. This line had suffered severe attack from the very beginning when Abel was killed by his own brother. Since the Lord Jesus was to descend from Abel his murder made that impossible. It was a victory for the devil. However, the line was reestablished over a century later with the birth of Seth, the third listed son of Adam and Eve:
Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:25-26]
A few millennia later, this concept of the remnant is illustrated as follows in the times of Hezekiah, circa 700BC:
“The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD will perform this.” [2 Kings 19:30-31]
Two and a half centuries later, long after the Babylonian Captivity during the time of Ezra’s arrival in the land of Judah, approximately 458BC, we hear again of this surviving remnant of God’s people. In the ninth chapter narrative, the book of Ezra uses much descriptive and dramatic imagery filled with pathos and hope describing those few who remain of the once great nation of Israel, including clear prophetic undertones. Ezra is quoted wailing against the current great sin of his remaining people:
“O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens. Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day. But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage. [Ezra 9:6-8]
“After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us an escaped remnant as this, shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape? O LORD God of Israel, You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this.” [Ezra 9:13-15]
In the interim since the first return of the Hebrews from Babylon to the time of Ezra, a period of roughly eighty years, factions of this returned remnant in the land, including priests, had intermarried with local non-Hebrew women of various heathen peoples including Canaanites, Moabites, and Egyptians and produced offspring. This was no way to reestablish the Yehudi as a distinct people. As a result their racial mix was even further diluted. This same lack of discretion had occurred many times in the past going all the way back to the time after Joshua a millennia before. Ezra appears to have made a successful effort to correct the problem as much as one could but this departure led to the dedicated remnant becoming ever smaller over the next five centuries until the Lord’s arrival.
In its long history, the devil was constantly scheming and attacking the Messianic generational line because he knew he must keep the Messiah from arriving. And unlike so many Israelites and Christians, the devil and his minions knew very well who the Messiah was long before He came and who He would be when He arrived, and had great respect for Him. The following historical account is a great study in microcosmic terms of the ongoing spiritual battle from ancient times on this planet and a revealing depiction of what goes on daily all around us in the unseen spiritual world:
Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert. And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They were imploring Him not to command them to go away into the abyss. Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons implored Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission. And the demons came out of the man and entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. [Luke 8:26-33]
Why didn’t the demons attack the Lord? If the name of this hoard of demons within a single man was a correct indication of their numbers, the demons amounted to over five thousand. Empowered by internal demonic forces the man was able to break chains and shackles. But instead of going after the Lord, the man and his many demons voluntarily fell before Him! They begged Him not to send them to the abyss. There was never any Man of such great and powerful magnitude in all of Israel. Even demons were terrified of Him:
You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. [James 2:19] 
Down through the centuries, despite ongoing demonic attacks, and at last an attempt through King Herod to kill the baby Jesus, the Messiah arrived anyway. And the Lord always had a believing remnant who knew exactly who He was. They were there in the first century. Though initially very small in number, they served as a solid, tested, and unrelenting nucleus to build around. Their presence allowed for the eventual blossoming of the Lord’s Community into multiple millions worldwide.
SHOW US THE FATHER
It seems as though the Lord Jesus was often not openly admitting to His true identity. I think it is because He knew it was necessary for people to receive the spiritual revelation rather than hear mere words which could easily bring on refutation and anger. This happened anyway among the hard core religious unbelievers who often flew into a rage at the mere semblance of His actual identity. It can thus be difficult and otherwise impossible to overcome such flagrant religious indoctrination and programming and this includes, of course, the Christian kind which is often the absolute worst. Direct revelation is the only thing that works best. As Peter discovered, what works better than God revealing to one’s heart the Word of Truth?
Perhaps the best verses which address the revelation of the Lord’s true identity are found in the fourteenth chapter of John’s gospel. By this time the disciples had heard much of the Lord’s figurative language, especially regarding His discourses on the Father. He was attempting to lead them to the revelation portal that they may gain answers and understanding from a spiritual source. In the following passage, Thomas had sincere questions about the Lord’s statement, especially as it regarded the unseen and unknown Father. So did Philip. Both had matured enough to ask direct queries of the Lord. They were ready to graduate from the figurative to the clear revelation:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
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 14:1-9]
© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © 1988 Field of Dreams Screenplay by Phil Alden Robinson
 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.
I’ve been telling you about the current Great Awakening for over eleven years. In this article I will explain why it is so extremely important for both your present and future.
FIRST, A NOTE ABOUT MY CURRENT SERIES
I appreciate those of you who are keeping up and have read each of the 6 Parts of Three Types of Christians in America. I encourage the rest of you to take the time to get caught up. I would rather not barge ahead and proceed with the next installment until the right time, part of which is based on waiting for my valued regular readers to read the current post. You must understand that I approach my work as a teacher. Teaching is my Romans 12 gifting. It is my desire to reveal Biblical information, primarily of the New Testament variety, which you may not have. Within the scope of this is additional material for context and illustration purposes. You can access the post links from the left hand column as well as that of my recent article I posted last Sunday that seems to have gotten lost: The Day of Pentecost 2022 (June 6).
Thanks. Your prayers are always appreciated.
THE REAL GREAT AWAKENING OF THE 21ST CENTURY
The preceding is what I originally chose as the title for my second book which I completed in 2011. This book began as a short paper I wrote in August of 2010. It was while writing this, at the end of August, that I suddenly received the revelation that a national Great Awakening was coming to America. In fact, the Lord told me it had already begun. He said we were in the early stages. I proceeded to continue with the paper which I thought would be like all the other ones I wrote that year, somewhere around eight to twelve pages. But it kept going. I kept writing. The Lord kept downloading. He continued with increased anointing. It demanded a great amount of research.
I continued through the fall and winter and completed the work in April 2011. What I thought would be a short paper of 8-12 pages became a book of about 340 pages saturated with footnotes and including three appendixes. The existence of the book proved the Lord was telling me something significant, that something very great and powerful was in the works.
WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW
Regarding the Great Awakening at present, it is necessary to utilize current events and general news to assist in gauging where we are on the Lord’s timeline. It is necessary to do this so we will know what is currently happening that effects our lives and the future plans of those controlling world events who are not aligned with the Lord and often oppose Him directly. They have their own agendas.
The Lord spoke often of “the signs of the times” during His ministry. He arrived as a baby in Bethlehem at the exact time for His purposes. He revealed to His disciples the implications of the times in which they were living. He spoke of Old Testament prophecy coming to pass at that very time. He prophesied about the immediate future and the not too distant future. His disciples did not understand some of it at the time, or maybe much of it, but it came to them later. Part of this was due to the great change that occurred in their lives once they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Their minds were enlightened. They received new spiritual eyes and ears. They had access to the mind of Christ.
Therefore, the Lord is constantly attempting to reveal to us what we must know. Remember, I am only referring to real Christians—fully dedicated disciples who have decided to follow the Lord Jesus 100%. There is actually no other way to follow Him. It is not possible to be a part time disciple. In that light, it is most appropriate to do our best in obeying the Scriptural directive to strive to be the best disciples we can be. A big part of that is our spiritual education. It is why we are blessed to have so much material easily available to us. However, we need not look only to official Christian authority figures and major works of Christian literature but also to one another. It is a great thing to have so many Christian blog sites authored by dedicated Christians like yourself doing your part. There is much to choose from. We end up teaching one another and adding to our spiritual education in the effort to excel for the Lord.
In order to counteract what is coming and to be properly prepared, it is always a part of the Lord’s instruction to reveal to His children the plans of the enemy. For example, I remember something years ago that I learned in my early research that assisted in dispelling the notion that whatever happens in the world other than obvious accidents is usually the result of random chance, a notion we are often ingrained with from our youth. It is known as the accidental theory of history as if nothing is prearranged. This is likely based on how we get our news and the nature of news, which is most often elementary and disconnected. The truth about world events is the virtual opposite. It was a simple quote I found made by Franklin Roosevelt that revealed how things actually work: “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” This can obviously be expanded upon to include nearly all historical world events that happen through political leaders large or small, heads of state, and their financial backers behind the curtain. Almost everything you know in this regard was thus a result of planning.
This especially includes everything that has happened over the last 27 months that has transformed society. It was all planned far in advance.
THE LORD PROVIDES FOR HIS OWN
It is therefore very important to do our best to know what’s coming. I’ve told you previously, something you have likely only heard from me, that the Lord Jesus financed His own ministry. This included taking care of His twelve originals and their families. He would not otherwise have called them from their existing lives and left their families alone without an income. The twelve are most often referred to in Scripture without a title but were originally known as disciples, which comes from the Hebrew word talmidim. Here is a good definition of this word:
תלמידם talmidim (tal mee DEEM): A plural Hebrew noun meaning “disciples” in its truest sense: Those who leave family to study and follow the ways of their teacher [rabbi]. They study not only to learn what their teacher knows but to become the type of man their teacher is. From the Hebrew root word “limmud” meaning “instructed.” Strong’s #8527. Singular: talmid. 
This means He will always take care of His children and provide according to His will and timing, but this must include our own cooperation and we must walk by faith and trust in Him. If He called us to salvation, if He called us to follow Him, if He called us to learn from Him and be His disciples, and if He called us into ministry, then He will provide for us, always, at every step of the way.
THE PLAN OF THE LORD
His plan always comes first. His plans were already planned out before the foundation of the world. He already decided on and knew what He would do before He ever began His act of Creation. This includes us. He never did anything, from what we know, without planning for it. He drew up plans. He figured it all out. He had incredibly intricate blueprints loaded with details large and small. His plans were absolutely perfect. Then He created. His original Creation was absolutely perfect. We know the story.
Then other plans were made counter to His. These other plans opposed the Lord’s plans. They were negative, opposing, rebellious, vile, and sinful. They were as imperfect as could be. Again, we know the story. For our purposes in the here and now we must know He has plans to counteract the plans of the enemy. This means no matter how powerful the enemy may appear and how many human beings actually buy into the evil plans of the enemy, such evil plans can be overcome. People can also buy into the Lord’s plans if they so choose. Those who do continue to receive the blessings and benefits of their Father who loves them. Remember, the original talmidim had no observable chance at the time in going up against the world. And remember further, it all began with only one Man which no one thought would have ever had the chance to achieve what He did. Almost two thousand years of the history of the Lord’s Kingdom proves the love, grace, and ability of the Lord to bring forth great change for the better.
And this is partly why He has brought forth the current Great Awakening—to counteract the evil plans of the enemy whose plans He knew very well. He knew them long before they were implemented. He began leading His children in such a way that they would not be overcome or hurt by them. Isn’t it always this way in Scripture? Shouldn’t we know we serve a loving Father? Don’t we know He will protect us and defend us?
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
With respect to the current evil plans of the enemy, the Lord would certainly want us to know all about them to prepare us for having to deal with their implementation, not be affected by them, and overcome them. He would never want us to be surprised by the outgrowth of evil plans used against His children. This is why formerly secret plans and sinister agendas that were never supposed to see the light of day have been exposed.
It is easy to dupe the ignorant, but the enemy can’t deceive someone who sees everything he’s doing.
“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] 
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
God does not own the major media. Those who do keep pumping out their garbage and a probable majority always gets duped into believing whatever they present. It’s a sad state of affairs getting worse by the day. The Word of God is the ONLY original written material on the planet that exposes the enemy. God says the devil is a liar. Most people don’t know this because they never read the Word. Most Christians don’t read the Word. It is why most Christians are just as deceived by the major media as non-Christians and anti-Christians. The only way to overcome this deception is to stop consuming the output of the major media and start consuming God’s media. Once one starts to do this the blinders start coming off, one starts noticing Truth they never noticed before, and the Truth starts setting them free. If one continues on this course they cannot help but eventually become aware that they’ve been supporting the enemy to their own detriment rather than serving the Lord Jesus to their benefit. Once the spiritual benefits start to flow into one’s life the enemy loses a supporter and gains an enemy which is the way it should have been all along. Then the Lord has a greater opportunity to help others. This is the spiritual battle we face. It is not an unfamiliar kind of war.
And though we all face difficult times in our lives to varying degrees, some more difficult and trying than others, America, overall, for many reasons, has never faced a more difficult time than the present, not only because of the immediate current events but also because of what is surely on the way. There’s a big ugly monster in our rear view mirror and it is closer than it appears. For precedent, and to illustrate where we stand regarding difficult times, including what some are projecting as the future, the one possible exception of a worse period and event in our history more challenging and ultimately detrimental was that of the Civil War (1861-65).
GONE WITH THE WIND
That war, which is grossly misnamed, destroyed not just the South but effectively destroyed the original America created by our greatest generation, that which lived in the middle to late 1700s. From 1787 when the new Constitution for the United States of America was written—1788 when it was ratified (June 21) and the late winter of 1789 (March 4) when the new government of the United States began its operations—until the outbreak of the Civil War in the spring of 1861, America was a better reflection of what the united States stood for and agreed to when they formed the union compared to what came later. The central government was supposed to remain small and respectful of the rights of the States rather than enlarge itself and rule over them. This period of time when the country expressed greater fidelity to its founding principles lasted a mere 72 years. During that initial era, the Constitution was still fully in effect. It was still honored as the Law of the Land. It was still supported as the agreed upon and legally ratified foundation of how Americans would live. The freedoms and liberties expressed therein had survived every challenge and test up to that point. Each State retained its sovereignty.
But again, this all changed with the Civil War. A better term for this conflict would be The War of Northern Aggression. Whoever has done in-depth research into the actual causes of that war understands that it was in many ways a carbon copy of the Revolutionary War (1775-1781). It was the Southern economy that was paying the most into US government coffers. The South’s contribution to the US Treasury was approximately upwards of 70% but the Southern States—free and independent States—were not receiving the appropriate recognition for this nor were they treated fairly by the central government which had greater influence from Northern interests. It was the Northern banking and industrial interests with foreign connections that had essentially taken control through strong lobbying efforts and influence peddling just as the equivalent interests which held sway over the King of England and Parliament had dictated the war against the American Colonists roughly two generations before.
This article is much too brief to get into the particulars but the facts are there for anyone who may wish to do the research. And whereas the American Colonists actually defeated the world’s preeminent super power of the time in the Revolutionary War, the Southern Confederacy was not as fortunate. It was a war that obviously never should have been fought and any number of means should have and could have been advanced to gain the desirable solutions. The country has suffered ever-greater degradations since by the precedents set at that time and we are now at a place in which whatever America once was that still remains is going fast. A massive amount of freedom and the great benefits thereof has been lost but most Americans don’t know this because they have nothing to compare it to. It is not only the case that ignorance is bliss in the sense that people don’t know any better, it is also because dumbed-down lazy people don’t want to do the work that would otherwise set them free and make them strong for the task at hand. And again, many of these are Christians who prefer their “leaders” doing the work for them.
That’s why doing research into actual history is so important. And we know from history that though nations and empires degrade over relatively protracted periods of time, they collapse very fast. Sadly, no matter how many warnings are given that a people must remain morally strong and spiritually sound in order to exist in continuous freedom and liberty from generation to generation, far too many people never make the connection. They do not understand that individual freedom is tied directly to their moral nature. Once one’s morals are compromised it is only a matter of time before their liberty will be diminished. Perhaps this is why the devil keeps trotting out the deviants, which far too many Americans embrace rather than stand against, and continues coming up with more forms of deviancy every day. He and his minions have been doing their best to destroy the moral fabric of the nation for over a century. We are now in the latter stages.
At present, the level of sin and depravity in America is probably at an all-time high. This is not so difficult to discern. Along with the depravity has come the predicted loss of freedom. The Constitution and the expressed citizen’s rights therein have been under attack for many years but especially so in recent years. There is an unseen exponential curve in effect here which, if Americans could see it, would cause them to express much greater alarm and do something to overcome it. Instead, half the country saved their greatest fears and alarm for another recent unseen enemy that was projected to kill multiple tens of millions. And while so many were so fearful they failed to notice or care about their greatly diminishing independence and curtailed liberty brought about by that effort.
We know by the manner in which much of the country responded to the event which began in March 2020 that the nation had been primed for takeover. Otherwise the response of that time would have been as it had always been before on such occasions when fear was ramped up as part of a desired hidden agenda: A small percentage of people would have reacted in great fear, willing to give up its freedom, while the vast majority would have responded in the direct opposite manner, kept their head, and stood their ground. Two years ago, however, we discovered that the previous small percentage had grown to about half the country. This should not have been surprising given that Americans had continually voted into office those who would be tyrants over the previous couple of decades or so.
Those people who should never have had the reins of government then laid the foundation and built the infrastructure of further depredations set to be continually loosed upon the country into the future.
THE CREATOR’S CHALLENGE
From the Lord’s point of view, He always has the means to keep people morally strong and free, and transform the unrighteous, if willing, to righteousness, but can do little against human will when people are disposed to choosing against Him. He never uses force or coercion to get us to be right and live right. He will use love, gentle persuasion, encouragement, and urging, however, because He cares for and respects the people of His Creation. This is why one must be allowed to choose. The Lord Jesus is a choice. He must be chosen. His means must be chosen. The unregenerate clay must look to the Potter to gain redemption.
But when people become so deceived and arrogant they think they know better than the Lord there is not much to be done. People can reach a point of no return. When people of this kind become the majority rather than the former salt of the earth majority, the end comes relatively soon. The entity which arrives at its end, whatever it may be, in this case America, then ceases to exist. If one cannot see American crumbling at this very moment then one is simply unaware of reality.
Those with power who are doing the damage and destruction are determined, depraved, or deranged to varying degrees, and some are simply deceived. It doesn’t take a genius to see this.
The deceived people can still be awakened but the other three are most often too far gone and simply love sin and are captured by their alternative agendas and will usually never change. If there are not enough righteous people—the salt and light—to overcome the unrighteous people, then simple math tells us the bad guys will win.
As real Christians, we identify sin and evil by the Word of God. Real Christians believe in the Lord Jesus. They believe in His teachings. They do their best to follow His entire curriculum. They do not pick and choose from it. They decide they will follow the Lord Jesus regardless. They give Him their entire heart. It is therefore not difficult to understand that though a probable majority of Americans identify as Christians, only a decided minority are actually real Christians.
During the Civil War—The War of Northern Aggression—the South was greatly outnumbered. The North had greater material resources, greater industry, and much greater amounts of ready money. The North could have kept their supplies in force indefinitely. The South never had much of a chance but it almost won anyway. They knew if they were going to win it would have to be relatively fast. Except for a few blunders here and there, the South actually would have won. They almost did. There was a time when the North was on the run. The aggressor was being beaten back. The South could have been victorious just as the earlier American Colonists had been seventy plus years before and original America could have been preserved.
But it was not to be. They didn’t fully understand that the Constitution for the United States of America was no longer being honored by their Northern enemy. It had been violated by a powerful few who would never allow themselves to be restrained from their evil pursuits by “a mere piece of paper.” They wanted to take a spoil. They saw the South as easy pickin’s. Their great power and influence over the government caused it to act the same. After the war broke out, honored Constitutional principles were routinely trashed. Lincoln became a veritable tyrant. The real history is there for those who wish to seek it out. Many fairly recent books have been written on the subject.
As the war progressed the North continued to reveal its true nature. At the end its evil nature came clearly to the fore through the gross atrocities of Sherman’s March to the Sea. Northern Americans did despicable evil to Southern Americans. How people can be so revoltingly evil to an already beaten foe—their fellow Americans!—is beyond the understanding of most. And when they were through with the South those very same people later went after the American Indians and did the same thing to them, wiping them out or subjugating them all the way to the Pacific Ocean. And after that they never stopped. They went beyond borders. It is how the empire was built.
But all empires have their stages—they rise, they fall. Where is ancient Sumer? Egypt? Babylon? Medo-Persia? Macedonia/Greece? Rome? The Mongols? They all rose up very high and subjugated any and all they possibly could within their range of conquest. And then time passed, their immorality and evil caused them to reap what they sowed, and they ceased to exist. The story never changes. One gains the upper hand, uses their gain for selfishness and sin, grows fat, lazy, and unable to maintain dominion, and then another stronger and more strident force puts him down and takes over. One tyrant loses to another tyrant who loses to yet another tyrant, ad infinitum. It’s the ongoing pumping heart of the universal subjugation process.
Just as the Constitution for the United States of America is the Law of the Land for American citizens, so is the total curriculum of the Lord Jesus the foundational belief system of real Christians. And regarding the Lord’s teachings, keep in mind that He never opposed the Law of Moses but fulfilled it. He began His ministry in the autumn of 28AD going on two thousand years ago. All must agree His teachings and the fruit thereof has stood the test of time. His spiritual curriculum is hands down the greatest of all time. Nothing else comes remotely close.
The Constitution will be 235 years old on September 17 of this year with respect to the date it was completed and signed. It was formulated and written over the long hot summer of 1787 starting on May 25 when the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia was initially convened. That which our Founding Fathers formulated is by far the best founding document regarding a system of government that has ever been written.
However, the people who can only see as far as the present and have little or no concern for higher eternal principles will always dishonor such to “get theirs” in the here and now, legally or not. They essentially sell their birthright, as Jacob’s twin brother Esau did, for an effective bowl of stew. They are willing to sin to whatever degree they must to gain whatever it is they covet. They just don’t care. They want it now. ASAP. They don’t think long term or consider the reality of eternal life. They may appear as upstanding citizens who merely engage in some antiquated “sin” unrecognized as such by an increasingly deviant culture, though Moses said the worst of these unrecognized sins were actually stoning offenses which demanded capital punishment.
As the deviancy progresses and more people buy into it, the concept of sin melts away as does the need for justice. Steadfast believers in the Lord are gradually targeted because they appear as old school holdouts toward the new downgraded cultural norm. Then, when the morally deviant people become the majority, the minority of righteous people will begin undergoing greater forms of persecution. The latter understand that it is spiritual war and are doing their best to stand firm for righteousness.
But the deviants from the righteous norm don’t care. They only care about the present. They are intent on using their freedom in whatever manner they want regardless of any sin and moral degradation. They may or may not characterize their actions as such, however. In order to stave off conviction, they redefine sin in such a way that they can practice it without regret or shame: Immoral behavior is redefined as moral. They call evil good. They call good evil. They do this because they have no knowledge of or respect for the Word of God which defines righteousness and sin. It may also be because they have damaged their conscience which would otherwise inform them. They thus fight against that which they term evil which in reality is good. They may be deceived but are likely willingly self-deceived in that they have given themselves over to evil for personal gain. Such an attitude, of course, is not new. The following passage of Isaiah the prophet dates from about 700BC:
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!
Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine
And valiant men in mixing strong drink,
Who justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!
Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble
And dry grass collapses into the flame,
So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust;
For they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. [Isaiah 5:20-24]
The Word of God contains many historical occurrences explaining and revealing the preceding. Great evil, like that being revealed and displayed at present, has been on earth for a very long time. When it gains hold destruction is not far. Salt and light always preserves but such must be resident in people. The Lord made this possible through the infilling of His Holy Spirit. When the salt and light people become greatly outnumbered by the sin and evil people who think they are righteous but are not it becomes less likely that the good will continue to overcome the evil. When one considers the greater implications with reference to the last five thousand years it is a wonder humanity ever made it this far.
The reason it has is because spiritual salt and light, like matter itself, never ceases to exist. The enemy can never fully eliminate goodness and love. And whereas the enemy can certainly create wars, destroy nations, subjugate populations, murder millions, steal everyone’s wealth, and create tyrannical empires, he can never defeat the Lord Jesus, who is Love and Truth incarnate. The Lord’s Kingdom of righteousness and His righteous people will exist forever. His Kingdom is eternal.
In the meantime, the present is in play. Temporary evil has advanced. It may win or it may not. It all depends on the Great Awakening. It depends on how many righteous people will engage. It depends on living according to higher eternal principles. It depends on more and more people getting right with God. It depends on fake Christians quitting the masquerade and getting real. It depends on real Christians banding together and demonstrating the Love of God. It depends on applying the teachings of the Lord Jesus wherever they must apply.
And while the Lord’s righteous Kingdom is advancing as it always has and always will, and is now composed of multiple millions worldwide, it is sadly evident that the collective seeds of evil sowed over many a year in this country have presently escalated into a rapidly expanding bumper crop of sin with no end in sight.
America’s karma chickens have now come home to roost.
Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. [Isaiah 55:6-7] 
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Tomorrow, June 6, according to both the Hebrew and celestial calendar, is the actual Day of Pentecost. It is Sivan 7 on the Hebrew calendar. May we all honor the day.
[I ask sincerely to please not Like this post unless you read it in its entirety. It is likely that some of us have not read Acts Chapter 2 in a while and reading it is a great way to prepare for and honor the day. I would appreciate your comments. You are welcome to share your experiences. Thanks. Blessings to you.]
It is the anniversary of one the greatest events in Early Church history. We date its occurrence starting with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. On the Hebrew calendar, the Lord died on Thursday, Nisan 14 which was Passover—He became the Sacrifice Lamb dying for the sins of the world.
Whoever has repented of their personal sins and given one’s life to Him in total will be blessed with the application of the Lord’s Blood. The Blood of Jesus will be applied to the doorposts and lintel of one’s heart, cleansing the person of all sin. This begins the salvation process and the beginning of a new life made possible by the Lord’s perfect sacrificial offering on our behalf. Following repentance, the originals were each filled with the Holy Spirit of the Lord and were immersed in water invoking the Name above every name, the Name of their Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Many millions have experienced Pentecost since that time almost two thousand years ago.
The day after the Lord’s death was Friday, Nisan 15, the first day of Unleavened Bread. His body remained in the tomb this day and on the next day, the Sabbath. Three days after His death, on the third day, He rose again. The date of the Resurrection was Sunday, Nisan 17, the first day of the week. This was the traditional date of First Fruits, the third day of the week long Feast of Pesach, or Passover/Unleavened Bread. It is from this date that the Feast of Pentecost is dated.
The word Pentecost means “fiftieth day.” It is the fiftieth day from the Day of First Fruits on Nisan 17. On our 2022 Gregorian calendar, Nisan 17, the date of the Resurrection, occurred on Monday, April 18. Seven weeks later on the fiftieth day is Sivan 7, the Day of Pentecost, which occurs this year on Monday June 6.
I’ve included the entire historical account of Acts Chapter 2 as follows. The apostles, the Lord’s mother Mary, and a total of 120 people, all Israelites, had waited and prepared themselves for a period of ten days since the Lord’s Ascension into heaven. They prayed and fasted. They did everything possible to make sure they were ready for the big event. On the beginning of the fiftieth day, exactly seven full weeks from the Lord’s Resurrection, at approximately 9am, the following powerful event that dramatically changed the course of history and ushered in the New and Living Way took place:
1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”
14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
18 Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
19 ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
20 ‘The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 For David says of Him,
‘I saw the Lord always in my presence;
For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.
26 ‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted;
Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;
27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades,
Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
28 ‘You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’
29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
38 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.
39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. [Acts 2:1-47]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There are Christians who, for various reasons, will never be the first type of Christian I identified in Part 4. Nor will they ever give their hearts to the Lord.
Prior to the Declaration of Independence, when America was hanging in the balance and subjected to the ongoing whims of a great nefarious power holding the nation in contempt for not groveling before it, the American Colonists were divided into three distinct groups. One remained loyal to the mother country, one decided to put everything on the line and fight for freedom and liberty, and one group didn’t much care one way or the other.
These three groups mirror the three types of Christians currently existing in America. We discussed the first group in Part 4 and identified it as the Christian Pharisees. These are those Christians who look good on the outside but whose hearts are far from the Lord. They have bought into traditional religious externals without bothering to seek the Truth of the Gospel and the full curriculum of the Lord Jesus.
Today I will discuss the second group, the middle group, the group which cannot commit. This is their primary characteristic. Keep in mind that these groups are not so finely constituted that there is no overlap. These three groups are thus somewhat general in scope but defined by their primary attributes. Where is their true loyalty? Where is their heart? What do they deem most important? Do they simply follow the crowd? Do they go along to get along? Do they stand fast, first, and foremost with the Lord Jesus regardless of circumstances? For what will they give their lives?
We see then, that the heat of battle will reveal priorities. I mentioned in Part 4 that many Christian ministers of the Gospel during the Revolution, some very well-known at the time, decided to take up arms and fight for liberty. They made the decision to stand up for their lives and their future generations. They would not allow the thought of their children not having the same freedom and opportunities with which they had been blessed. They saw what was happening as a powerful attack against everything they held dear. They were passionate for the cause and fully committed. Other Christian ministers were aghast at such a development. They could not fathom such a thing. It just didn’t seem “Christ like.”
Before the battle lines of the Revolutionary War were drawn, there were already unseen battle lines in existence which had to be dealt with and sorted out. It seemed the pro-British American Tories had decided where their loyalties were and, of course, the American Patriots had surely decided what course they would take, but the other group of Americans that fit neither of these categories remained gooped up in apathy and unconcern, too small to see or care about the Big Picture.
Christians like this have a severe motivation problem. (“What is my motivation?”) Maybe some were clueless and simply unaware of what was going on all around them. Maybe some were so far out in the boonies they were not affected either way. Whatever the case, it reminds one of that guy with the one talent who went out and buried it. God was not pleased. At all. These are the people that, no matter the provocation or prompting, will simply not engage. And how is it that they could be so unaware, so callous, and so apathetic? Especially during one of the greatest times on earth with the greatest to be gained? Sound familiar?
This kind of Christian goes through life sleepwalking. And whereas all Christians need to wake up from time to time the Christians of this second group simply cannot. They must sleep. They are sleeping. They exist in a netherworld without ever realizing what’s at stake. The word risk is not in their vocabulary. Based on the teachings of the Lord Jesus such an attitude is beyond problematic because the holders thereof cannot possibly be saved from sin without a major change of heart because they cannot understand they are gambling with eternal life. It is one thing to lose one’s soul by being overcome with temptation and committing to a wrong path. Though it is obviously wrong there is clear decision making in such a choice. For the Christians of this second group, however, they simply cannot grab hold of making a life-changing decision. They remain muddled in the middle.
We can gain more clues about this type of Christian in the Gospels. We clearly see those who commit fully to the Lord. We also see those who oppose Him violently. The third group, however, is mostly invisible. We know it’s there but it’s pretty much beyond obscure. They don’t have the rebellion or fight to oppose the Lord. They also don’t have the passion to join His movement and risk everything. During the American Revolutionary War, the two opposing sides were all in. We discussed this in Part 4 regarding the Levitical priests and the Prophets. The Law-first people and the Prophetic Word people often did not see eye to eye. The Lord never intended this. He wanted everyone to understand that everyone was viable and necessary. There was a great reason for The Law of Moses, for the Temple and all the ministrations thereof, and also for lone Prophets out in the desert giving their all to hear from God and be His voice.
These two groups are roughly represented within Christianity in general to varying degrees and it’s sad that some have gone so far to the opposite edge of the other that there is simply no possibility of communication. This serves no good purpose. The answer to bridge this great divide is right there in the Gospels and the New Covenant writings but some are so invested they simply will not go there. Of course, it is a fact that the early first-century Israelite believers post resurrection still attended the Temple precincts as well as going house-to-house but the time came when the Temple was no more. And there were no church buildings for three hundred years. This meant they kept going house-to-house. But they also had a definite spiritual order and great purpose in their meetings, organic as they were.
Whatever the case, and whether one had this gifting or that, each real Christian was and remained committed. And the faux Christians were committed. But that other group couldn’t bring itself to go one way or the other. It craved a middle ground that didn’t exist. In the first century AD it is likely, as thoroughly unlikely as it may sound, that many Israelites had never even heard of the Lord Jesus or were aware of what happened during the final week of His life. They didn’t read the Scriptures. They didn’t read the newspapers. Their level of gossip never contained anything of any substance. They simply went about their lives in an unconscious uninformed indifferent state.
These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever. [Jude 1:12-13]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
In this post I will identify the first of the three types. For those of you who have been faithfully following this series you have likely deduced the three types by now…
On the surface, the original Pharisees didn’t look so bad. They were dedicated (one may say ultra-dedicated) to their belief system. Outwardly, it looked as though they were faithfully following the Word of God. They overtly held the Word of God in high honor. But this must be qualified. Their emphasis was not actually on the entire Word. As many Christians today, they had their prejudices and were quite selective regarding Scripture, though they convinced themselves otherwise. Regarding this practice, and how they made their supposed application thereof, the Hebrew Scriptures of that time (the OT) had a different format than that which we have today in our “Christian” Bibles. Their Scriptures consisted of three main divisions:
(1) The Law (Torah, or “Teaching”), which comprised the Pentateuch, the first five books of the OT
(2) The Prophets, which included not only the individual accounts of the Major and Minor Prophets but also the earlier historical books of Joshua, Judges, Kings, and Samuel
(3) The Writings (the remainder of the OT, primarily the Psalms, which the Lord referred to often)
The Pharisees were specifically very high on The Law. They emphasized the teachings of Moses. And though Moses was certainly a prophet, they didn’t necessarily see him that way nor do most Christians. They saw Moses as the great lawgiver and ostensible head of the nation in that he revealed all the particulars of how they should live.
Moses (1526-1406BC) predated the kings of Israel and the many prophets, both the well-known and the not so much, which arose several centuries later. The Pharisees certainly had respect for Abraham (1946-1771BC), but focused primarily on the Law and neglected (often spurned) The Prophets.
The latter is due in part because the Pharisees (Separated Ones) originated at a time which was already far into the “Silent Years” in which the prophetic voice was entirely absent from the nation. Regarding a specific date of their founding, some say it coincided with the beginning of the Maccabean Revolt in 167BC. However, there had likely already been a loose organization by that time which may have existed for a few decades which rapidly coalesced in response to the attack and desecrations of Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
The last Hebrew prophet was Malachi in approximately 450-420BC. Therefore, since there were no longer any prophets or prophetic voice speaking to the nation in what remained of Israel (primarily Judea) after that date, the entire focus shifted to The Law, since this was the area of expertise of the Tribe of Levi, along with the temple and its ceremonies, rites, etc. The Levites were the only ones remaining in authority in charge of anything “spiritual,” so to speak. Lacking the very necessary prophetic Word and the highly anointed Prophets to balance them out, correct them, and keep them in line (theses two camps often clashed), it is not difficult to see how the nation drifted away from the heart of God and proceeded to emphasized dogma, laws, rites, externals, liturgies, and unbridled religious authority from an ecclesiastical caste which superseded the heart of the Lord as characterized through the prophetic writings.
Which made it all the more strange that the Pharisees and their precursors effectively dishonored the Law. How did they do this? First of all, one may recall the apostle Paul’s admonitions about the letter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law:
But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. [Romans 7:6]
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. [2Corinthians 3:4-6]
Those who look at The Law from a strictly legal perspective have a problem with it covertly though they may honor it overtly. The problem? It is not specific enough. Though it contains a great many laws (613), including the ceremonial directives, it correspondingly contains behavioral commands about what to do and what not to do and lists many “for instance” particulars which are very specific. It also defines sin. Yet it cannot possibly list all the sins known to man and could not possibly list all the possible “for instances” that might occur. So even though it appears to be a comprehensive collection of all conceivable thou shalts and shalt nots that would satisfy the strictest Torah teachers and certainly everyone else, who would otherwise think it to be much too extensive and far-reaching (and extremely difficult to follow and obey), there were some who thought it to be quite limited.
Why? Because they could conjure up other specific particulars that Moses never addressed. In their defense, they likely experienced such particulars or heard of such and knew as lawyers they must address every possible occurrence. So while God was giving specific laws through Moses these laws were seen as somewhat general laws and needed to be further parsed out. This is why the Torah teachers, over several centuries, began adding greater specificity to the original Torah so as to have an answer for pretty much any eventuality. All these additional “laws” were collected over time and became quite extensive. And because they could never write all these additional laws down and thereby give them the same legitimacy as the Torah, their vast collection became known as the Oral Law. It was passed down orally over the centuries and collected greater weight and honor along the way.
But this large collection of specific oral additions to the written Law of Moses caused a problem. By attempting to be too fine, the Oral Law had a tendency to lessen the impact of the original. After a while, those guys went even further in their attempt to add to the Law by adding much additional fine tuning to their initial fine tuning. For example, if the Law stated plainly “Don’t Do This,” they would break down all the possibles of what that single command entailed so as to have every possibility covered. One may see this as a good thing in that it merely added greater clarity to the issue, especially since there were penalties involved in breaking such a law, sometimes severe.
But as I alluded to previously, a very strange thing happened. Within the list of further particulars and possibles contained in the Oral Law was the possibility of some particulars which seemed to get one off the hook. In delving into all such possibilities an even stranger occurrence took place. The Torah teachers actually started making laws designed to do that very thing. They eventually created a massive system of statutes that only they were privy to and they learned exactly how to implement them to gain a particular outcome.
Therefore, is it surprising that the Oral Law tended to favor its most loyal supporters, those who actually created it? Is it not a phenomenon in this world that laws are often written to favor those in charge and do damage to perceived political enemies? This was the inherent danger in adding to the Word of God, whether one was sincere or not. Mixing religious prejudicial renderings from the hand of man causes the Word of God to lose its impartial and holy nature.
Remember, this was the “Oral Law.” It was never written down before 70AD when the nation ceased to be. The only way to learn it and know it was by being taught by the few who did, and the only way that could happen was by being an ultra-dedicated student who would honor their Torah teachers (lawyers) exclusively and never question them or their teachings.
Though it may seem obvious to people from without (or should), those people who created, passed on, and taught the Oral Law had actually created an elite Secret Society with its own precise rules and regulations in which only the top members knew what their Oral Law actually stated in total. Most Israelites were apparently completely unaware of these sinister goings-on. Maybe they never noticed because the internal goings-on were always done essentially in secret though in appearance in the open. (There existed a superficial front of legitimacy hiding the actual unspoken agenda.) In other words, the few candidates to become members of the next generation of Oral Law teachers learned their craft in schools which only they attended. The people at large had no idea what went on in such places but were conditioned over time to believe that the Torah schools (in which the Oral Law predominated) were a great and holy enterprise created and supported by God. They learned to never question anything that went on there.
Now, while this was true for the majority of Israelites, whether some actually believed in the institution fully or not but went along with it anyway, there were a few who disagreed. And some of those who disagreed and saw through the false façade of the Oral Law institution and its teachers were strongly opposed. Yet, not having a voice and being appropriately wary of crossing powerful people who had tricked the general public into supporting them and gaining their trust, few ever spoke out. But the time came when the centuries of silence finally ceased. The blessed day arrived when God’s voice returned.
THE AGE-OLD CLASH SUDDENLY REIGNITED
It was the coming of John the Immerser that blew the lid off and exposed them. A Great Awakening had begun. God was intent on exposing this secret society and all others like it which had gained illicit control over the nation and its people to their detriment. We have seen the same thing happen throughout our current Age of Grace which has existed from that time. There have been many occurrences when great corruption was exposed within Christianity in general. We are now living in one of those times.
Never forget that corruption always thrives in secret. John had to be completely and absolutely disconnected from society at large in order to be incorruptible and effective. He did an excellent job. May real Christians in the present be as effective.
It is always the case that a lack of proper accountability results in eventual corruption. When the ability to correct is removed, especially from those who lead and have great power, their corruption will spread throughout whatever it is that they control. When the corrupt controllers have the ability to threaten, coerce, and make demands upon the people they rule over and have the law and the means on their side to carry out their threats, there is no remedy or ability to counteract them outside the Kingdom of God. It is why countries, societies, and yes, religious organizations, should never allow the establishment of a tyrannical government, secret society, ruling class, or religious clergy group to take control because once they do, freedom will be the first casualty. And they will twist everything around for their own benefit.
It is why America, in its original form post Revolution, was the greatest country and form of government ever created. And while America now has an ever increasing amount of domestic enemies, some in very high places, who hate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and never have any problem ripping apart the Founders and their hope of a place in this world where individual freedom may reign, they never address any better alternative in the world. Even in its present degraded condition, America arguably remains the best country on the planet in the eyes of a likely majority, though freedom is under severe attack and will not last much longer without a powerful corrective.
However, one must know that the necessary corrective will never come from this first type of Christian in America which I identify here. Their political equivalent in the 1770s were the American Tories who continually betrayed the cause of freedom and independence by staunchly siding with the English Crown and Parliament. These people comprised about one third of the American Colonists. Many if not most of them were directly connected economically to the higher money interests in England and Europe which essentially controlled the government of England since the Bank of England was created in 1694. For the Tories, then, it was a power and money issue. Why should they fight against the very hand that feeds them? Why should they sacrifice their comfortable position in American society or allow it to be threatened for a mere political cause?
There are Christian denominations that still exist which were identified as Tory at the time of the American Revolution. They opposed the relatively smaller Protestant denominations who stood for freedom, those who actually had ministers of the Gospel who took up arms and fought for the cause. One particular well known large denomination which still exists today, though a mere shell of what it once was and almost thoroughly taken over by the sinful culture, was so against the American Revolution that many members left the country or went into hiding. They supported the English money-controlled tyrants absolutely. Those that remained refused to fight. And then when the War was over and their side lost, the many members of this denomination suddenly came back out of the woodwork and began evangelizing in America again, taking full advantage of the new religious freedom won in the War. Talk about your blazing hypocrites!
In essence, those who believe in high church, who cannot exist without customary church structures and a ruling clergy, who must be told what to believe and do, who have no desire to do their own research into the written Word, who refuse to put the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus first and always, and who revert to the beliefs of their denomination or church or pastor though such beliefs often clash and disagree with the New Testament, are identified as this first type of Christian. They will stand by as real Christians who honor the Lord Jesus are persecuted. They are the equivalent of the religious acolytes who refuse to get their hands dirty by helping the unfortunate victims of assaulting robbers left dying on the side of the road. They are as the rich man Dives who neglected a destitute Lazarus asking for mere scraps to stay alive and viable. They will rarely do anything which may threaten or sacrifice their standing in church society or as members of a higher group. Their money, salaries, prestige, and success are always more important. They place a high premium on their social status and are mortified if people see them as something other than legitimately mainline.
They are opposed to the total authority of the Lord Jesus, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and the free exercise of spiritual gifts. They are against the spiritual love and close fellowship as characterized by the originals and their unity in the Spirit. They insist that Christian unity can only exist through an authoritative establishment which must include institutional church structures just as the unbelieving Israelites insisted on the physical temple and its priesthood instead of the Lord’s new spiritual Temple comprised of every single believer as a priest thereof.
They gag at independent Christian home groups or Bible studies. They will only support whatever their church or leaders sanction and nothing else. They cannot see that church as we know it is much different than it was in the beginning. They don’t care about the beginning. They don’t care about Biblical Truth. They much prefer their own respective “Christian” interpretation which is more comfortable, socially acceptable, and not threatening to the devil. They love playing church. No matter how much someone may point out that so much of what they hold dear has no precedent or support in Scripture, they will continually insist they are perfectly satisfied with their interpretations, doctrines, and church formats to the point of actually holding Scripture in contempt. They hate it when Scripture proves them wrong. Even five hundred years after the Protestant Reformation we still have a great many Christians who insist on putting clergyites and church governments on the throne and allow their oppositional pronouncements and beliefs to counteract and overcome the Word of God.
These people are best defined as Christian Pharisees. They are perfectly described by the Lord Jesus in the following passage as He reveals the fallacy of the Pharisees’ vaunted Oral Law (the tradition of the elders), which Unreal Christianity has their own many examples of (extra-Biblical church doctrines, traditions, bylaws, statements of faith, confessions, catechisms, specific denominational beliefs, etc.) which render the Word of God of none effect:
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ 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. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” [Mark 7:5-13]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]