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.
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.
 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.
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.
 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.
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.
 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.
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]
There is one overall demand made upon every person who would be a real follower of the Lord Jesus. It is the one thing that divides real Christians from all others.
In these days of utter depravity and supreme idiocracy in which masses of apparently sane people are believing in and acting on the most insane notions, assumptions, opinions, and theories that cause so much hatred and destruction and not see anything wrong or aberrant about any of it, how can a sufficient remedy ever be applied? They have an irresponsible non-answer for all of their abnormal behaviors and beliefs which they use to constantly fight for and enforce their position, meaning that they refuse to tolerate any discussion or reasoned argument. All they care about is forcing their opinions. Do they do this because they know it is their only chance at success? Because they know inherently that they do not have the benefit of truth and facts on their side? Who trained them in such a way? Where did they receive their instruction? How did they receive it? Do they even know? What is their level of self-awareness? They exhibit the classic signs of pure indoctrination. How did it happen?
Well, it is not difficult at all to surmise that it happened the same way it happens with any religious or cultish indoctrination. People believe stupid things and act on them. People believe things that look somewhat good and seem to have good underlying causes but fail to do their proper research which would reveal hidden agendas. Christians believe things for the same reason that violate the Word of God but they never get that far in their understanding and agree to thoughtlessly accept the word of their betters who know everything and are officially ordained. Seriously, just taking the time to read the Gospels in their entirety would clear up much but they don’t do it. They just don’t. Some Christian denominations even caution against reading the Word. Some Christians are actually afraid of reading the Word. These are otherwise obvious signs of indoctrination.
Over the last several decades the question has often been asked about a particular nation of the fairly recent past. It consisted of a generally bright and industrious people. And yet the entire nation was overcome and made to believe and do things they otherwise would have likely disagreed with in normal circumstances. Were these people under some kind of spell? What drove them and allowed for this behavior?
It is actually not all that unusual. Denominated Mass Formation Groupthink is the end result of a multifaceted agenda taking place largely under the radar and beyond the ability of most to perceive it as it is happening. It is a quite common theme presenting itself pretty much ubiquitously in world history, but has developed over the last century into a science. Imagine Judas to a much greater degree. Then imagine a highly intelligent Judas. Then imagine such a Judas incapable of remorse. All one need do to gain understanding on this issue is acknowledge the full depth of the betrayal inflicted upon the Creator Himself by His own people whom He created, the ones He had saved from sure destruction in the very beginning and then roughly a million times afterwards on countless occasions. As strange as it may seem, it is often the case that deception and indoctrination causes a person or even a nation to allow their natural love and affection to be overcome by something sinister.
LOVE ON THE ROCKS
Have you ever given your heart in love to someone only to have them stomp it into the ground? It is a painful thing, and though the pain is quite real and can be intense, it pales in comparison to what has happened to our Lord and Savior. He still reaches out in love to all every day and otherwise sane people still reject and make fun of Him every day. It is even the case with Christians.
Non-Christians are a different subject altogether and many of them can be excused for their bad behavior due to pure and powerful ignorance which keeps them bound in a prison of unknowing. They may be bright and successful and appear as lights in the world but are ignorant and in prison just the same. There is a Way out of their predicament. There is a Door. They must find the Door.
But Christians of any kind or type have essentially no excuse due to their knowledge of the Lord Jesus and access to His Word. You see, some of the non-Christians among us who despise the Living Word and His written Word would never knowingly allow His presence or His written Word in their whereabouts unless possibly as a dust collector. There is something about a Bible that makes some people very angry. To have it around much less actually read it is anathema. They recoil in horror at the very idea. One may wonder then why some of these might possess a Bible only to never read it and it is likely because they honor themselves by showing whoever that they are actually open-minded and respectful in that they do consider His Word. (Hey look at me! I have respect for all world beliefs and religions! I even have a Bible!) These people are so great don’t you know. And the Lord sees through their dubiousness and double standards in a nanosecond.
But again, most of these people likely have a very good excuse. The apostle Paul, no stranger to being a former rabid anti-Christian of the highest magnitude, summed it up in the following:
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief… [1Timothy 1:12-13]
Therefore, when one lives in darkness on the other side of Light in the permanent Night, how is he or she supposed to know any better? With Paul, of course, he not only had a heart for his religion, he gave himself to it full bore and never looked back. He became so thoroughly and completely given over to his religion and religious traditions that he refused to consider for a second any alternative in the slightest degree. He needed to be stopped, knocked down, and delivered. He needed to be redirected. Because if he wasn’t his religion would end up taking him straight to hell. Thank the Lord that he was redirected. It took the Lord knocking him on his backside to achieve the desired result, something all real Christians have experienced in their blessed “redirecting.” The Lord knew Paul’s heart and was willing to do whatever He must to save him. It is, again, the same with every real Christian, each one a former sinner, some to very high degrees. The Lord must put much effort into saving us, even by suffering the worst torture and death ever suffered.
These are the ends the Lord Jesus will go to in order to save those whom He knows will love Him fully after their deliverance. He knows who they are. There are others in the world who don’t have quite the same attitude. The Lord knew Paul was already all in before salvation and would be all in afterwards. What to do with those people who are simply too apathetic or uncaring? Can their lack of full focus be redirected? Is there enough there?
As in the case of the rich young ruler (see Luke 18:18-27) who ardently sought out the Lord and felt extremely blessed to actually talk to Him and get a personal word, he proved to not have what it took though it looked like he may have and may have even thought he did. He had apparently done everything right since his youth. He had kept the Law, at least externally. He seemed to have a good heart. But the Lord proved that the young man was bound by money and loved the security of money above his love of God and security in God.
And keep in mind, the Lord never told the young man to come join His movement and thereby donate his family wealth to His group. He told the man to first give his money to the poor.
This obviously proves the Lord didn’t want him because of his money or cultural prestige or what this man’s social standing could bring to His movement. Sound familiar? He wanted the young man to be set free, delivered from sin, and be blessed with salvation. He also knew the man would have to be broken from his love of and trust in wealth. But it was not to be. The Lord did His best but to no avail. One wonders if it was also this young man’s dependence on his family religion that kept him bound.
EVERYBODY MUST GET STONED
There is another passage of Scripture that speaks to this definite 100% all-in requirement of the Lord. He puts it within the context of religious belief and for our purposes here that means Christianity. The Lord paints a picture of formerly bad news sinners of the worst kind in juxtaposition with holier-than-thous missing the Kingdom. I can tell you based on past experience and reams of historical knowledge that if there is one thing outwardly religious people hate more than anything, especially the big boy higher ups, is anyone anywhere ever questioning them or not properly respecting them or their religious standing. (Don’t look at the man behind the curtain!) Imagine the apostle Paul if he never got saved and continued on for a few more decades in that dark condition and you’ll get the idea. Such people will stone you in a heartbeat. Whether the Lord said the following words to gig ‘em or just point out the plain truth, He sure did tick them off to the nth degree:
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32]
How is it that rank sinners are often located, loved, and directed by the Lord into salvation and His Kingdom before it may happen for the religiously or culturally indoctrinated? Or the upstanding outwardly and/or apparently righteous clergyites? What do the former rank sinners such as tax collectors and prostitutes have that these other people lack? What keeps many Christians from full dedication and commitment to the Lord Jesus?
So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” [John 10:7-9] 
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Prior to and during the American Revolution, there were three separate and distinct types of American Colonists. Each one comprised about one-third of the population.
UNITED WE STAND?
America has never been the united country portrayed in standard narratives. It has always been a place of great division. Even in the very early days of the 1600s when American colonists were predominantly if not exclusively composed of the Anglo-Saxon British citizens of the same general culture of their compatriots back home, there remained political and religious differences, some quite diverse.
Remember, though false narratives still abound in America regarding our founding, including within the realm of early colonial history, and that such false narratives have exploded in content as of late, the original colonial settlers perfectly reflected the sharp divisions in England of that time. Nowhere were these divisions more profound than within religious belief and expression.
One can see this division by merely looking at the first two colonies established in America—the first in Virginia in 1607 and the second in Plymouth in 1620. The Virginia colony was founded by Anglicans, those who fully supported the English state church, an entity freshly created in the prior century. It was a mercantile colony. Plymouth, in what later became part of the Massachusetts colony, was founded by their direct opposite, English Separatists, who were fully opposed to the Anglicans and had gone through many years of persecution by government and ecclesiastical overlords. Plymouth Colony was founded principally for the cause of freedom and religious freedom in particular. In these two original colonies we can hear the echo of the Lord’s statement:
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Luke 16:13]
THE GREAT DIVIDE
At the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, one of the greatest and most necessary events in world history, the English monarchy also made a dramatic change by fully separating from the Roman Catholic Church. The level of gross corruption and arrogant authoritarianism within Catholicism had reached a point in which even European monarchies, no slouches when it came to tyranny, had gagged at the bit.
This always happens when tyrants push too far, as the Catholic religious tyrants of that time had done. It had obviously been building over a thousand years since the beginning of the Constantinian Church in the early 300s AD. This Roman emperor, Constantine I, his national traditional realm having lost to real Christianity, knew the only choice he had left was to make a bold move toward co-opting Christianity by creating his own empire-wide hybrid religious body. He knew he could never get rid of the Christians dispersed throughout the Roman Empire or ever force them to oppose the New Covenant and support Roman pagan beliefs which included emperor worship. Many emperors had certainly tried.
The latest and last gasp of bloody persecution directed against Christians was orchestrated by Diocletian and his gang of four in the early fourth century (303-313). Christians were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered here and there throughout the Empire. Afterwards, having failed miserably to make an impact in furtherance of their tyrannical cause, those in power knew the gig was up. They discovered what previous Christian enemies had learned, that persecution not only didn’t work, it strengthened Christian character and unity and made them even more fruitful than before. Persecution also created a level of sympathy among some in the general population. Hence, Christians had essentially taken root. They were everywhere, spread all over the empire, and to wipe them out would be wiping out the Empire itself. These people proved by their great witness that they were dedicated to the Lord Jesus first and always and would never conform to anti-Christian governmental and cultural norms.
In fact, Christians had actually preserved the Roman Empire as it increasing grew more disgustingly corrupt and morally bankrupt. If not for the great numbers of loving Spirit-filled Christians obeying and putting into practice the bountiful and beneficial teachings of their Savior and the vast successful evangelistic efforts made for almost three centuries in blessing millions with the Light of the Gospel, the Roman Empire would have ceased to exist long before it actually did. These people were truly salt and light. However, rather than recognize the wrongheadedness and governmental futility involved in a corrupt military dictatorship and instead attempting to institute a government composed of principles of freedom in which people may live according to their conscience without being forced into various forms of slavery, including religious slavery, those in control refused to stand down and continued beating a dead horse as it were. It was all about control and insuring that those in power maintained it and kept the wealth flowing in their direction.
In this political maelstrom Constantine saw a golden opportunity to create a government model which appeared new but was actually only a hybridized form of the same former tyranny. Again, knowing he could not defeat Christianity, he decided to co-opt it. He would create a new “Church” and then make it the only legal church. He would make all other “churches” and Christian expressions illegal or “illicit.” And of course, he would rule as a religious dictator. It was indeed a brilliant move though diabolical to the core. He was likely never a real Christian and never cared for the actual application of the Lord’s full teachings. In fact, he wanted a low common denominator Christianity in order to bring all Christians on board and congeal them into a forced controlled mass union.
In essence, as King Henry VIII had done after his nation’s divorce from Catholicism so he could gain a personal divorce and become the Six Wives Legend and create a new state English Church (the Anglican Church), Constantine also created a state Church. He would require all citizens of the Empire to join it whether against their will or not. Thus, the new Constantinian Church would force conversion to his new hybrid miscreation. All citizens of the Empire were forced to become “Christians.” They would be forced to engage and participate in the new “Christian” mandatory practices and dogma designed to create a common governmental and religious belief system which had the implausible goal of creating national Roman unity. Rather than a military dictatorship to force compliance in which emperors must be worshipped as gods, Constantine would rule by force from the top of a religious ziggurat, as the ancient Sumerians, and maintain the thinly disguised emperor worship aspect thereof invoking new gods characterized after Roman deities and a central triad. He would rule through his chosen religious prelates which comprised the first “Christian” hierarchy. These surrogate ecclesiastics and policy dictators in the guise of Christian leaders were basically channeling the old Jewish Pharisees of the first century.
Consequently, official religious freedom in the Roman Empire was essentially dead. No one was allowed to practice their religion legally according to conscience. This was especially true of real Christians. And just as any number of pagan religions would eventually be outlawed, including those which were held in high esteem by the Romans such as Mithraism, real Christianity would also be outlawed. This was the devil’s masterstroke. By creating a replacement Christian religion and forcing everyone by government decree under penalty of law to join it and practice it, he knew the real Christians would never submit. In this way, the enemy could then single them out and direct the greatest persecution effort against them with the full weight of the Roman Empire to back him. In time, the “new” Christians, the backstabbing traditores, would cold shoulder the dissenting real Christians. In a massive turn of events showcasing the devil’s dirty tricks and methods, the “new” Christians, those who fully sold out and conformed to Constantine’s “Church,” would become the chief persecutors of the Lord’s people just as the unbelieving Israelites were the chief persecutors of the believing Israelites in the first century AD.
ORIGINS OF ROMAN TYRANNY
Almost four centuries before this time, in 44BC, it was a big gamble that a government faction of Senators et al murdered Julius Caesar in cold blood in the Senate chamber for fear that his power had grown too great. The perpetrators wanted to make a statement, doing the dirty deed in the light of day in an open forum. That they did. The Roman Republic had formerly granted Julius Caesar his excessive power and he was not necessarily taking advantage of it but merely ruling from the platform he was allowed. Some were fearful he had gone too far or would. Their fears were not disingenuous. The actions of the assassins, however, were a corrective that need not have been made if the government had not previously made Julius Caesar possible. Perhaps the tyrant faction that supported him was answered by a faux freedom faction opposing him, the reported gang of sixty that assassinated him. Perhaps the greatness of the existing Roman Republic and freedom thereof was seen as ending too soon for the comfort of some who saw the writing on the wall sooner than others. Ironically, of course, the death of Julius Caesar had the opposite effect intended by his killers, in that rather than greater freedom it precipitated the end of the Republic and the beginning of a tornadic period of civil war that would later result in the Roman Empire ruled by dictatorial emperors with much greater power than Julius ever had.
And so it was with Constantine centuries later. Seeing the inevitable crumbling of empire soon coming, even after great reforms had recently been made to shore it up (knowing these would not last) and the inability of Roman emperors to effectively rule as before and contain the freedom brought about by the Lord’s Kingdom, he moved on replacing the Lord’s Kingdom with his own kingdom. He created an earthbound religious empire. And sadly, he also moved on replacing the Lord Jesus, making himself the effective first Vicar of Christ (substitute).
What is much sadder, tragic actually, is that so many Christians of one kind or another, evoking Judas, supported his illicit endeavor and disguised tyranny. They were obviously overcome by fear as were all dwellers in the Empire suddenly saddled with compulsory conversion. These low or no oil Christians accepted the unprecedented overarching government mandate without a fight, never questioning the process. Rather than stand up against an otherwise obvious power play by the new potentate and his hierarchical henchmen, they weakly surrendered to a new king, a dictatorial government tyrant, a faux King Saul who quickly morphed into an apostate Solomon.
They betrayed their Savior.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
You don’t know they exist. Most don’t know you exist. They go about their lives quietly and unselfishly, determined to do their best and be kind to others. It has its own reward.
THE GOLDEN RULE
“You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” [Leviticus 19:17-18]
One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:35-40]
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 7:12]
Whether they actually know it or not, or try to, the good people in America instinctively obey the Golden Rule. They just do it. They generally don’t let something else come into their life and interfere with their natural behavior. They reject false narratives and pejoratives that may cause them to become something they are not, or act inappropriately, or disparage people they don’t know personally, or give in to hate. They know the best they can do is simply be what they are in the sense of doing well for their fellow human beings. It is not a religious thing whatsoever. They do not think, “Oh, I must obey the Golden Rule today.” They might pray and ask for help in doing this to a better or to the best degree but when out among the community, they just act naturally.
And that’s the key. It is what I think the Lord Jesus appreciates most about these people. And please understand, I am not saying these people are perfect. Nobody is. We all prove our humanity from time to time even when we try our best not to. What I am saying here is that some people don’t need to be prompted to act right or do right but just do it at the time when life presents itself before them.
A COOL STORY (AND ANOTHER)
Several years ago I had to assist in taking care of my mother’s house after she passed away. We had to get it prepared for sale. Her belongings were either donated to charity or divided up among her children with each on board working together and behaving perfectly through the process, a rare thing among families. She had still lived in the city we grew up in. I had moved out of town in my twenties. I discovered that good people were still everywhere there at that time, simply going about their business, most not causing any trouble, like in many places. The city had changed quite a bit outwardly, becoming even larger. The demographics had also changed.
Early one morning I was going to a grocery store to get a few things. I knew no one in the neighborhood. I parked my car and was heading toward the main entry at the front of the store. As an aside, I have been drinking only purified water for over thirty years after discovering the poisons that lurk in tap water. This store had one of those water purifying vending machines just outside the main doors along with other vending machines. Along with an empty water jug, I was carrying with me a little component from my car, a small cup with a spring lid that fits in a round car tray behind a small door in the dash. I would keep my change in it.
So I’m walking. Right when I entered the main traffic area in front of the store which separates the parking lot from the store entrance, it happened. It was one of those things that makes a person feel a tad embarrassed but later proved to be a veritable godsend. Right there where all the cars drive by and many people cross, right in the middle of that high traffic area, I dropped my coin container. It hit the pavement, the lid opened up, and loose change went flying everywhere. There, all over the asphalt in a widening circle were my quarters and nickels and dimes making their acquaintance with the dirty street and coming to rest as either heads or tails though I briefly, for a split second, could not make heads or tails of the situation.
Then I immediately got down and went to work quickly gathering them up, not so concerned about my money but about getting it done as fast as I could so as not to further inconvenience anyone, especially the people in cars who would have to wait until the perpetrator of this miscue gathered up his coinage and made haste to clear the way. Then, while I was down there engaged in tunnel vision carrying on in my hurried solitary pursuit with the eyes of the world upon me from all sides on a stage not at all of my choosing, the most amazing thing happened. Other people who were also walking to and fro started helping me. They started picking up coins and putting them in the little coin cup or handing them to me, all without saying a word. One young mother with two or three kids in tow had stopped and was doing this. I distinctly remember one little girl, her daughter, of maybe four years of age. She immediately took a few steps to the side, picked up a stray coin a few feet away, and returned it to me. She looked at me with not so much of a smile but with a pleased look on her young face, as though she knew she was doing something good to help the poor man. As I think about it, and knowing how powerful memory-making can be when we’re young and impressionable, she may still remember this event.
Then a guy came walking in from the parking lot talking on his cell phone. He was in the midst of a kinda sorta animated phone conversation as he was walking and when he came into the area he simply bent over and started picking up a few coins and giving them to me while still carrying on his conversation. He never even looked at me or missed a beat. He just did this all in stride like he did it all the time. I’m sure the people waiting in their cars to drive through were also quite patient with the proceedings. Maybe they enjoyed what they saw. Maybe, as spectators, they were blessed by the proceedings. I was still scrambling to get it all done and was somewhat surprised that so many were helping and that they thought nothing of it. Not one single person tried to take anything. They all helped me until it was quickly done and I had all my coins back ready to feed a few into a machine for some water. Is there a parable here? I thanked them but I don’t remember anyone saying a word. There could have been a language barrier with some. They just acted. They had this goodness in them. Nobody told them what to do. They just did it. Without even acknowledging what they were doing or thinking about it each of these people had perfectly obeyed the Golden Rule.
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts… [Romans 2:14-15]
There was another time after this, several days later, when I was at that same location to buy a few groceries and also get some more water, when a similar event happened but had much more important ramifications. I was in the exact place walking through the parking lot close to the entry and stopped to get a shopping cart. There was a rack of them in the lot on the left before one crossed the main traffic area in front of the store, right where the former coin spillage had occurred. As I reached to get the first cart and separate it from the rest, right there on the tray-like depression at the top of the cart by the handle was a ladies beige leather wallet. I immediately thought of the unfortunate person who mistakenly left it there and how worried she must be. I took the wallet and went directly to the entry and found a store employee that happened to be there and told him about it. I asked him about a lost and found. He said yes, they had one. I told him the story. I gave the wallet to him and he went directly into the store right away and turned it in.
Then, while filling up my jug with water just outside the store by the entry, a young woman came walking up from the parking lot. I must have been the only one there at the time. She came right over to me, a very concerned look on her face, and asked if I happened to know about a beige wallet she just lost. Can you imagine this? Can you imagine how the Lord does His best to put the right people in the right place every day everywhere all over the world so we can help each other out? I immediately told her that yes, I found it. I found your wallet. I told her I had just given it to a store employee who turned it in to the store lost and found. She thanked me and hurriedly went into the store, still bearing a very concerned look on her face. A few minutes later she came back out with her beige leather wallet in hand, much relieved, and thanked me heartily. She began reaching into her wallet, wanting to give me a reward. I politely refused and told her I was glad to help. Then she dropped a MOAB. She told me she had just cashed her paycheck before she lost her wallet and that her newly recovered beige leather wallet was filled with cash which she needed to pay bills that day.
Now, please understand, I am not relaying this story in an attempt to bring glory to myself. This is something you would have done exactly the same as I did. It is something any of the millions of good people in America would have done and do on a daily basis. I am certainly thankful for her that I was one of the ones who found it that would have turned it in. I am glad I was there for her. There are other people out there that would have ripped her off in a heartbeat and not thought twice about it or have any remorse afterwards.
Granted, this second story has much more impact than the first story about the goof who scatters his spare change all over the pavement in the most absolutely conspicuous of places. But on second thought, maybe God planned it that way. Maybe it wasn’t purely an accident. Maybe I wasn’t a goof at all but one who obeyed God. Maybe that container full of coins was supposed to fall down and empty its contents all over Creation like that. It sure did make for a great memory and also blessed others with an opportunity to display their natural goodness and unthinking adherence to the Golden Rule. It obviously blessed my socks right off. I will never forget those wonderful people.
Maybe the apparent miscue was actually an answer to prayer. I don’t know about you, but I do pray every morning, the very first thing, on my face, that the Lord would order my steps for the day, along with other short prayers. I’ve been doing this for a very long time. This is the prayer:
“Father, I ask that you would order my steps today and line everything up the way you want it to go. I ask for your great powerful anointing and strength and your great physical anointing and stamina that I can do your will. Thank you Father. Amen.”
On some days it appears as though I never prayed this prayer, based on the not so great events of those particular days. Sometimes I wonder if the prayer does any good at all. We must remind ourselves, however, that the vast majority of days are not about conquering the world but about engaging in the greatness of what many good days strung together consistently will bring into one’s life over the long haul and the beneficial impact it will have on others.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:1-2]
Imagine a society in which everyone obeys the Golden Rule on a daily basis. Though we are all human and subject to being humans and doing human things, as we get better at obeying the Lord and becoming a better reflection of Him we will also get better for one another. When one is having a hard time another will pick him up. When one is blessed she will be able to bless another not as fortunate. Some people are so hurting it will take a while to get them well again. The better we get as people the more we will be able to help each other.
This is what the real Community of the Lord Jesus is like. It is about regular people who joined His Kingdom and pledged themselves to do His will and become better people with an eye for helping others so everyone can be blessed instead of just a few.
Remember, the more people there are doing the work of God the less the burden there is on each one.
And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight.
‘Every ravine will be filled,
And every mountain and hill will be brought low;
The crooked will become straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
And all flesh will see the salvation of God.’” [Luke 3:3-6] 
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
It has been a privilege and blessing to do this work here over the last eleven years. I am thankful to the Lord. With your help I look forward to year twelve…
So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. [Acts 5:41-42]
As Christians, suffering is often a difficult concept to grasp. It is hard to make sense of in light of the fact that the Lord said He came that we may “have life abundantly.” Abundant life and suffering don’t seem to go together. These two appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. How can such opposites have fellowship? The Scriptures are clear, however, that real Christians are also called to share in His sufferings.
I’ve written about 750 posts in my time here at WordPress. Most of these are teaching posts of two to four pages. I have also written many longer articles, however, which means my total count here is probably approaching three thousand pages. That’s approximately ten to fifteen books.
Please excuse me for personal reference but I think we need times of such accounting. These annual birthday posts are one of two times during the year when I allow a tad more personal reference in order to give you, my dear readers, a better understanding of who I am and what the Lord has called me to do. In that light, we should all be glad that His standards of judgment are not those of the world.
The world, and yes, even the Christian world, judges ministers on their success, how big their church or ministry is, whether or not they’re on television, and whether or not they have millions of people, millions of dollars, and many church higher-ups backing them. I am not saying that all of such people have drifted off and do believe that some of them are where they are supposed to be, but I am saying that the standard of what a real minister of the Gospel is was established in the very beginning and that it is FAR different from modern standards.
Of course, though most Christians and most ministers thoroughly reject it, the greatest and only standard is that of our Lord Jesus. Prior to official ministry He worked tirelessly and obscurely preparing for it. He also worked for most of His life to that point as a builder. Though the Scriptures refer to Him as a carpenter, the meaning of the term extended beyond what one may think a carpenter was in those days. He was actually involved in larger construction projects though to what degree we do not know. Suffice it to say that He learned His craft from His stepfather Joseph and served him honorably while growing up. There is no doubt the Lord had great success as a builder though such success is relative. At some point Joseph passed away and the Lord had to take responsibility for His mother and siblings. He also had to prepare for future ministry which included earning enough money to finance it. He would have to earn enough not only for Himself, which amounted to next to nothing, but mainly to take care of His twelve and their families. This measure of a minister of the Gospel is therefore, truly, pretty much the opposite of Christian ministers in general, who are more concerned with their own bottom line rather than that of their congregants.
During His ministry, the Lord Jesus, a Man accustomed to having much more, one whom the apostle Paul said was rich and became poor, pared Himself down to the use of only the barest of the bare essentials. He had no house. He had pretty much no possessions whatsoever other than the clothes on His back. This was the model He set. He taught this model to His men. He taught them to travel light. Therefore, the idea that He would involve Himself with something so spurious and foreign as building “church buildings” and doing His best to look like a Pharisee is ludicrous.
It was the Pharisees and those like them who were obsessed with religious externals. They had to have their synagogues and their high places therein, their own equivalent of platform thrones, from which they could rule and make sure everyone knew who was in charge. They also loved their extravagant clerical costumes and their highbrow religious attitudes that would gag a maggot. The Pharisees were also lovers of money (as were the Sadducees, Scribes, etc.). Their religion was entirely external. The Lord, on the other hand, had no need of such ridiculous externals. His was a spiritual ministry. He was a spiritual King of a spiritual Kingdom. From without, He had nothing by which to command respect according to sinful religious standards. This is obviously why the religious leaders had no respect for Him and why they treated Him with such contempt.
It was the same for the twelve apostles. It was the same for all the Lord’s disciples. It was the same for all of His true followers. And it is the same for all real Christians ever since.
SPEAKING OF EXTERNALS…
Over the last several years church buildings in America have been closing at an alarming rate. Until a person takes a look at this phenomenon he is completely unaware of it and doesn’t understand either side of the issue. A great church-building campaign was implemented throughout the last century. Protestant churches of all major denominations engaged in the practice once they had the money to spend, and they obviously had gained a lot. The Roman Catholic Church had always been flush with cash and power, so building church buildings everywhere was relatively easy for them also. However, what goes up must come down. That many of these church buildings no longer exist or have been sold and transferred into something else is yet another sign of the times. Sadly, for the most part, much of the money that these religious leaders possessed and had access to was used improperly. THE MONEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SPENT ON PEOPLE.
This is what the Lord did. Unlike the grifting Christian religious leaders who refuse the Lord’s example and appropriate that of the Pharisees who have no problem asking for and demanding money all day long because they are worth it though “their people” are obviously not, the Lord worked very hard in His early life earning the money He would need for ministry and for supporting His ministers. He never called them forth from their life’s work at earning money for their families, whatever their trade may be, such as fisherman, without also providing for them. Imagine all those guys just dropping their nets and following a poor preacher all of the sudden and leaving their families in the lurch. This is apparently what most Christians must believe.
In reality then, one can see that the object of highest value in the Lord’s eyes was never external religious stuff but PEOPLE. The Lord Jesus loves PEOPLE. The Lord Jesus died for PEOPLE. He lives for PEOPLE. He rose again from the dead so that PEOPLE dead in sin can be saved and also rise again. His entire focus was always on PEOPLE. And He loves every single PERSON exactly the same because one cannot exceed the fullness of one’s heart and the Lord always gives His full heart to “whosoever will.”
Thus, practical externals are okay if necessary but are always far down the priority list. Regarding places to meet, why build external “church houses” when so many homes are available for use? How many times do we see the Lord using someone’s home, such as Peter’s, as not only a place to stay but a place to meet? The Book of Acts, early on, reports that they went “house to house.” And how many times do we see this standard throughout the epistles? There was always someone’s home here and there used as a meeting place. The houses of the early Christians thus served a dual purpose. They were following the Lord’s example.
As we continue on we will see more and more church buildings shuttered forever, especially after so much of American Christianity bought into the scam of the last two years and began worshiping “remotely.” One wonders what happened to these people. The bigger question, however, is how American Christians in general also bought into the hate toward those Christians who refused to engage in the false narrative. This is obviously a terrible development but what is done is now done. There is no going back. It was a big test and many if not most American Christians failed it.
ON THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION
Over the last eleven years I have done my best to warn you and keep you informed. I have always worked very hard at gaining information and truth because it is what I do. It is my calling. The Lord anointed me for this. I mostly get rejection, however, which is roughly par for the course. And I often prefer a parabolic approach. I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence. (The Lord used parables for a reason. They force people to think and become engaged.) However, Americans, and people in general, who refuse to consider the Lord’s gracious offer to become real Christians, usually do not make this decision based on what but on will. In other words, most people know the Lord Jesus is someone very special and have little or nothing against Him. With just a little introductory witnessing people quickly understand what is what. Their problem is thus not one of facts and truth but one of will, in that if they acknowledge the truth about the Lord they know they will have to submit to Him and quit their free-to-sin lifestyle. They don’t want to do this. Carrying a cross is no fun. They would rather keep their independence from God so they can maintain their authority to live in whatever way they choose. They are therefore forced to reject truth which forces them to cast aspersions upon the Lord’s Truth in order to be comfortable in the unworkable place they have chosen.
It is interesting that many Christians have the same attitude. In their case, New Testament facts do not matter. If New Testament facts clash with the doctrines of their denomination most will always choose the false or incomplete doctrines of their denomination. It is a religious thing. It is a cultural thing. It is a social thing. It is a lowest possible common denominator thing. Rather than choose the Lord’s full Truth and likely lose fellowship and social standing (and money and power and prestige and honor and self-congratulatory plaques on the wall and trophies in one’s case) they would rather keep on keeping on and keep the Lord and His hardcore Christianity at a distance. They would rather not be confused by facts. Again, especially in these days when so much truth and information is available, it is not because disobedient Christians do not know it but because they don’t want it. So they gather among other Christians like themselves and support one another in their disobedience. It gives them a warm glow or something and makes the conviction go away.
Tradition is a hard taskmaster to break free from.
Speaking of houses, did you know vast swaths of housing in America are being bought up at this very moment? Did you know that entities worth trillions of dollars are buying entire neighborhoods and plan to continue until they own as much housing as possible? And that they are buying houses above market rates to insure that owners will sell? And that they plan to turn all of these into rental properties and raise the rents astronomically? Money is not a problem for them. All they have to do is keep raising the sale price until the sellers sell.
Did you also know that the American homeless problem is growing by leaps and bounds? Did you know that renters are being priced out by being presented with massive rent increases they simply cannot afford? And that these responsible hard-working Americans can now not afford to live anywhere in their areas because the cost of housing has risen so dramatically? It is one thing to be homeless because one may be lazy or has given up or is mentally unstable or is addicted to drugs or alcohol. There has always been a percentage of the populace that fits this category. But many homeless people as of late are homeless because their salaries no longer allow them an affordable place to stay. Many of these continue working their jobs while living in their car or on the street. This is an entirely new phenomenon. And it is beginning to explode.
Did you also know there is war against your food? That bad actors are buying up all the farm land? That a great many food processing plants are mysteriously being destroyed all across the country? That multiple millions of chickens, etc. are being willfully destroyed because of possible bird flu? In other words, in order to protect the people we must starve them. Famine is thus coming to America as is increasing poverty. Destruction is upon us and most people are not even aware of it. I humbly suggest you do your own research to confirm this. You will then see.
We must also work harder at researching Scripture. The Lord rebuked the Pharisees in part because they knew the Scriptures but refused any understanding of Him as the Messiah. To do so would put too much pressure on them to change and get right with God. For them there was simply too much to lose. Our attitude toward Scripture thus reveals the condition of our heart.
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” [John 5:39-44]
The Lord said the Scriptures tell all about Him. But how many “Christians” are willing to do the simple work of reading and studying the Scriptures, especially the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, to get to know Him better and pattern their lives according to His will? If we want to know Him and know about Him, this is how to do it. Of course, the Lord was talking about the Old Testament in the preceding. We have so much more! A great way to get to know the Living Word is by reading the written Word. Those who do are much better prepared for any eventuality including that of the present.
At the end of the day we were all properly warned. Many Christians have been warning for a long time. It is mostly a failing cause which reminds one of Jeremiah’s work. Next to no one heeded his warnings or considered his teachings. Most of the Lord’s own people even rejected all of His warnings when only a very short time was left to repent. Most refused. Israel, Jerusalem, and the Temple were destroyed forever. Is this America’s fate? Unless something dramatic happens very soon it certainly is to whatever degree. As of now it appears that no one is doing anything to rebuke the devourer. The Devourer is running roughshod over the country and Christians are still doing and believing what they always have which is exactly how we arrived at the present. Unless one is doing what the Lord requires, the same old same old will no longer work. It is not working and hasn’t been for a while now. Also, the spiritual void created by the fake Christians is now being filled up by the fakest of fake ministers and most are none the wiser. It is all happening right before us. For many it is hidden in plain sight. American Christianity has largely been taken over by imposters.
SOMETHING MUST CHANGE. CHRISTIANS MUST DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA MUST INCREASE THEIR SPIRITUAL PRESENCE AND ABILITIES HIGH ENOUGH AND STRONG ENOUGH AND POWERFUL ENOUGH TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. CHRISTIANS MUST START STANDING UP AGAINST ALL THE DECEPTIVE COUNTERFEIT GARBAGE.
The tide of this greatest spiritual war in this country must be turned. I believe it will be. But it also looks like it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Maybe this is the only way to make Christians wake up. Maybe they cannot be properly motivated while relatively free and financially comfortable and must be enslaved and suffer great lack before they get the big idea. (Experience is the best teacher.) When they do the Lord Jesus will be there to meet them.
I have written more new material and longer articles this year than in any previous year. I remain very thankful for those of you who read and follow. Words cannot express how much I appreciate it. But it’s not about me, of course, but the material. If you want to further support my work, say a prayer. There are many things I need to accomplish. Your prayers may help move some mountains. I continue to do what I can to direct people to the Lord’s pure teachings. When we apply them correctly we no longer support lesser teachings and false interpretations of His Word, maintain false ideas and formats, or focus on religious externals. Real Christianity is about the heart. The Lord knows your heart. He knows everything about you. This would normally cause a person to simply give up and surrender to Him knowing he or she cannot hide. But again, it is not about what but will. One must engage one’s will in the process. One must surrender one’s will to Him. Whoever does gains the greatest benefit which is a close relationship with the Lord and secondly, is blessed with specific fulfilling spiritual work to further His Kingdom.
Remember, the last member of the human body to surrender to the Lord Jesus is the tongue. When this most rebellious member fully submits the Holy Spirit enters and heavenly speech pours forth. This is the clear record in Acts. It is the same when we surrender our will. His will then becomes dominant in our lives and everything begins to change for the better. We must know He loves us with all His heart and will bless us with abundant life if only we allow Him to do so. He is a benevolent God of mercy and compassion. It is very important in this regard that we embrace His full curriculum. This process will drive out any false or incomplete teachings resident in our minds which means such things will no longer be a burden or a drag on our spiritual lives. His Truth also puts an end to confusion and cognitive dissonance.
WHAT ABOUT AMERICA?
I have been telling you for eleven years now through this medium that a national Great Awakening is upon us. I got the word from the Lord in late August of 2010, going on twelve years ago, that we were in the early stages at that time. The term Great Awakening was not at all in use then. Roughly five to seven years went by as I continued to labor in obscurity before the term then burst upon the scene in America. Now, probably half the country is well aware of the term Great Awakening. Millions know what it means. Millions are seeing the light and gaining more truth daily at an exponential rate. The Lord is seeing to this. HE IS EXPOSING EVIL LIKE NEVER BEFORE. But the perpetrators are still getting off scot free. Facts no longer matter. It reveals who is in control at that level. But the Lord’s Light will keep shining. Sin will continue being revealed. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this juggernaut let loose by the Lord. The devil wanted to amp it up and the Lord essentially said, “Fine. Now watch what I can do.” Whenever the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will have the last word if we submit to Him and allow Him and will bring an answering flood of goodness and abundant life for His people. The Lord always takes care of His people but this works best when we fully cooperate.
Therefore, regarding the country, all nations and empires eventually come to an end. The only entity existing in the world at present that will never come to an end is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. This Kingdom has existed on this planet since the first century AD. It was designed to continue growing and expanding until it fills the earth. It is constantly clashing with the temporary kingdoms of this world controlled by you know you. The Lord, however, said the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Currently, spiritual warfare in America is off the charts. It will be up to the relative few to continue fighting this battle. Most Christians are not engaging and will not engage. It is because most are not really Christians anyway. They have false conversions. They are Christians in name only. These are the people who comprise Unreal Christianity. They cannot fight their way out of a spiritual paper bag. It’s just the way it is.
Though things look pretty bad and times are growing darker, and it appears as though all sin ever known to man is being freely exhibited all around us with no apparent remedy, and that those who are supposed to honor the rule of law and enforce the law are doing the opposite, always remember that the Lord Jesus is in charge. And even though He is not in effective charge in that He gave us free will and honors it and will never force anyone to do anything, He is in charge in that He can answer effectively at any time. It greatly helps Him when we pray properly and sincerely. I have the faith that He can do anything whenever He wants to. I have seen great miracles in my time and in my own life. We should all know what the Lord can do.
So be strong! Believe Him! Believe in Him! He keeps winning! The enemy has been throwing everything he has at us but keeps failing and thus continues resorting to different tactics. If the Lord’s relatively few people stay with Him the Lord will continue defeating anything the enemy might try. But again, we must put all of this in the context of the Lord’s invisible spiritual Kingdom. He puts all of His efforts into saving PEOPLE not things.
Outside of His Kingdom, everything in this world is temporary with an expiration date. We must occupy and be responsible but know our spiritual responsibility must be paramount.
Consider His perfect example. Consider the example of our Christian forebears in the first century. Study them. Read their accounts. Do what they did.
This is the answer.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
In my last post I said repentance means to change one’s mind. That is the actual definition of the Greek root word metanoia. In our culture this means something far less…
IT COST THE LORD JESUS EVERYTHING
It is the same for every real Christian. The Lord Jesus, the Man who is God manifest in the flesh and Immanuel—God with us—gave everything He had to purchase our salvation. He did everything He possibly could. He left nothing undone. At the end, right before He died on the cross, He said, “It is finished!” He absolutely completed His course and thereby made everything readily available regarding abundant life:
So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” [John 10:7-15]
Yet, why is it and how is it that so many Christians, a likely majority, fail to recognize this? How did it come to pass that so many Christians seem to take the Lord’s suffering and death in stride? It appears as if most take His death for granted. It doesn’t register as it should. There is a disconnect from the reality of Calvary and the understanding of many believers: These people were apparently never told they must also give all, or were told to do so in some rudimentary sense that has no spiritual impact, or maybe they simply chose to never do their part in full so as to apply it. For these, it means the Blood Covenant has never actually gone into effect in their lives. For a replacement, something to assuage their conscience, they may have given mental assent to the covenant or merely acknowledged it without giving their heart.
In my last post I said repentance means to change one’s mind. That is the actual definition of the Greek root word metanoia. In our culture this means something far less, as merely changing how we may think about something in particular. If we take the word literally, however, which is how it was presented in Scripture, it means to change one’s mind in total—to transform it. This process must have a starting point, of course, and is something in general generated from without. This is because one most often cannot convict himself of sin. One’s conscience can convict which may result in changing certain behaviors, but after years of such conviction the work of one’s conscience is usually only acknowledged without the person doing anything substantial to change overall behavior.
When the Word of God is properly applied, however, there is a much different scenario. The Word of God, especially when delivered by an anointed minister of the Gospel, flashes like a bright laser light show within one’s mind and exposes everything in it and puts it on full display so the person can actually see what is resident there the way God does. It’s like living for years in a very dark house with heavy dark drapes and next to no interior light while wearing dark sunglasses and never doing any cleaning and simply losing track of actual conditions and everything resident there and not being aware of just how bad it has become and then suddenly have the brightest LIGHTS on the planet shining full bore in every room at the same instant. Yikes. This can be quite unnerving (understatement alert) and quite motivating. After the initial shock. Any sane person would want to immediately start a floor to ceiling whole house deep clean and not stop until everything was spic and span.
Such cleaning is accomplished through the application of the Blood of Jesus.
This is what the Word of God means by repentance. It involves commitment. It demands a real changing of one’s mind and a complete change of heart as well.
THE BLOOD COVENANT
For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. [Hebrews 9:17-22]
Therefore, if one is to answer one’s half in the Blood Covenant he or she must also shed blood as the Lord did. This is not literal, of course, but real repentance does invoke the Old Testament Tabernacle Bronze Altar where the animals were sacrificed. Repentance essentially also means throwing oneself upon the altar of sacrifice and destroying the old life in order to save the new life. It is the end of the old mind, the mind containing the stain of sin, rebellion, and disobedience to God. It is the beginning of the new mind, the changed mind. John the Immerser said:
“Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance…” [Luke 3:8]
Real repentance is the initial act causing spiritual fruit to grow where it never grew before. The changed mind born of repentance and given to God, devoid of sin, is fertile ground for good fruit. The good fruit proves real repentance. It is the first step of the Blood Covenant. It proves one has laid down his life as the Lord did His. This good fruit is spiritual fruit and not mere works of the flesh disguised thereof. For illustration, Adam and Eve’s son Abel had properly repented and continued on to become mature in the Lord. He offered the correct sacrifices that God required. Cain, on the other hand, never repented and merely offered fruit from the ground which was indicative of the works of the flesh. Many Christians perform such “good deeds” as Cain did but do not please God. Abel understood what God required.
I wrote the following in my book Real Christianity:
To start with, there was a guy named Abel. He refused to do anything which didn’t show absolute respect for God. Because of his pure stand on this central issue of life, his brother killed him in a jealous rage. Abel was not like his mom and dad, and he was certainly not like his brother. He was thus the minority. His brother killed him because he couldn’t stomach the fact that Abel was blessed by God due to his righteousness which came as a direct result of obedience. Many Christians “kill” their brothers today for the same reason. Their sacrifice to God is not acceptable by God because their Christian service is not done in obedience to God but in obedience to man. Modern day Abels, therefore, are hated by the religious Cains who are envious of their brothers’ walks with God.
Abel was going to do the will of God even if it cost him his physical life. Contrary to prevailing popular opinion expressed through the worldly attitude of Cain, Abel understood that God required a pure sacrifice—a sacrifice represented by the ultimate in giving, with no strings attached. Cain, on the other hand, merely offered the fruit of a cursed earth.
In spiritual terms, Abel gave of his spirit, while Cain gave of his flesh. In order to relate this to the present, we must see Abel as the very first type of Christ. We must also see the true followers of Christ as those who are set on doing His will regardless of the costs involved. Abel’s sacrifice, therefore, relates in the present sense to recognizing the sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, followed by the giving of ourselves—a sacrifice which must come before any other we might make and which must be complete. This is what real repentance is. If we understand this and apply it to ourselves, there is no need to make Abel prove his case. Instead, the burden of proof should fall squarely on Cain, an Old Testament type of the religious Christian whose alternative sacrifice has not been accepted by God. 
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
To repent means to change one’s mind. It means one must allow for new Truth to update one’s mindset. Unfortunately, this demands a commitment many cannot make.
Gonna change my way of thinking
Make myself a different set of rules
Gonna change my way of thinking
Make myself a different set of rules
Gonna put my good foot forward
And stop being influenced by fools
Bob Dylan 
LAST DAYS ARCHETYPE
The Lord Jesus taught that real salvation demands radical change. He expressed a true turn or burn message. He actually stated this literally. He said His own nation would eventually burn due to its refusal to repent. He did everything He could to get this message across.
And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’” [Luke 23:27-30]
This prophecy points directly to the Sixth Seal of Revelation:
Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” [Revelation 6:15-17]
One might say the Lord failed in His warning. In reality, though He knew the nation was at an end and would cease to exist forever in forty years, and that it would actually involve destruction by fire, He never came to His people to save the nation itself. Why would He try to save a nation that was already destined for destruction? He certainly wanted His nation to be saved and preserved. Again, He did everything He possibly could to gain that outcome.
It must be remembered, however, that He had been fighting that battle of preservation for multiple centuries. He was the one who created the nation in the first place. It was His nation. It began with Abraham. He called out Abraham for this very purpose. He created the miracle child Isaac to exist as the first generation of His nation. Thus, the future nation of Israel was founded on a miracle. And there were untold miracles performed by God to preserve the nation throughout its long history. No one was more involved in creating, preserving, and blessing the nation of Israel than God. He loved Israel with all His heart.
Therefore, no one was more saddened by what ended up happening to His nation than the Lord. His heart was broken. You can see this in the words He spoke to those women lamenting Him. They were words drenched in pathos. He had done everything He could over the many centuries of its existence to keep what ended up happening from happening, but to no avail. He lost the battle. Ironically, those who won the battle against Him destroyed their nation. They destroyed His nation.
And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.” [Luke 20:9-16]
And it was all because they refused to change their minds. They refused to allow for new Truth to update their mindset. They had already committed to a different mindset which they adhered to totally which left no room whatsoever for the introduction of anything else. Though absolutely nothing the Lord Jesus taught was ever refuted by His enemies according to the Law of Moses and objective truth, they rejected Him anyway. Why? Because their minds were made up. They were stubborn as mules. Not even the Lord could get through to them. They were obstinate, hard-headed, religious rednecks. At one point their off-the-scale close-mindedness caused the Lord to exclaim the following:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?” [Matthew 23:29-33]
Even then the Lord was thinking of their souls and their eternal destination. Again, He knew they were lost and many were filled with the devil. He knew they were the religious leaders of the most wicked generation of Israel to date. And that is saying a lot in light of so many evil generations of the past. Their world class obstinacy was one thing, but something even greater was the abject weakness of all those who submitted to them. Almost everybody in Israel was scared to death of those guys. There was such rampant fear in the nation drummed up by its leaders, next to no one was willing to challenge them. They knew they would be destroyed if they did. They knew their evil leaders controlled pretty much everything and could make their lives a living hell. How did such an outcome ever transpire in a nation created by God? How could a nation founded on spiritual freedom devolve into such a hellhole? To save their nation, all the people had to do was turn to God and repent. All they had to do was change their sorry way of thinking and get right with God, and then God would have taken care of the rest.
BUT NO! This proved there was something more than simple fear of religious leaders going on. It proved the majority of people actually preferred being led around like a bunch of stupid morons by idiots in charge. Otherwise they would have to do what God required. And what God required was crucifixion of the flesh. He required an elimination of sin from their lives. He required that they quit engaging in sinful practices. He required a total clean up on Aisle One. He required a circumcision of the heart. And though the sins of the average Israelite was less than that of those who led them, they still preferred a life of sin (though often sins of omission) to making the necessary changes that God required.
Keep in mind most of these people went to church every week (synagogue). They did what they were told by the leaders thereof. They bought into the program. For many, however, they never actually gave their hearts to God. They only obeyed because they were required to do so. To do otherwise would put them on the outs in society. Doors would close. They would be looked down upon. They would no longer be welcome at the cool kids table. Their popularity would plummet. They would be cancelled. They would get stuck with a low social credit score. Yet as long as they continued to surrender to the religious leaders in charge and obey the main prerequisites they could otherwise sin to their hearts content. The main prerequisites were based on:
(1) We are in control here and you must surrender to our control. (2) What we teach is what you must believe. You are to have no other teachers or doctrines before you. You must have no independent religious or spiritual thought. What we say is what goes. If you don’t understand it you must believe it anyway. (3) In order to be in good standing you must make a full commitment and dedicate yourself fully to our program. If so, all will go well with you. (In other words, you will avert our wrath and the possible disfellowship which could break your back socially.)
The people of the nation thus discovered that as long as they paid the proper obeisance to the religious leaders they could be free to do what they wanted within the set parameters. Some freedom was better than no freedom. As long as they deferred to them, genuflected before them, and essentially kissed their ring then all would go well. Whether they saw themselves as religious sellouts is another issue. There were certainly some who were completely brainwashed and actually believed all the tripe presented to them. Maybe this was the majority. It probably was because over time the constant pontificating from those who dwelt on high would have had an effect. The total lack of any alternate viewpoints would also serve to cause most to become indoctrinated. The fact that no one could ever stand up to the idiots in charge would eventually remove the backbone of the nation and cause it to become docile and subservient toward them. Once the big boys were successful at eliminating any testosterone directed in their direction, the men of the nation were made impotent toward them. They thus couldn’t change their nation for the better if they wanted to.
All the ultimate testosterone and manliness was thus reserved only for the religious elite in charge. Only they were allowed to throw their weight around. Only they could do whatever they wanted and get away with it. The law didn’t apply to them. Only they had no accountability except to themselves which was a circle to nowhere. Sound familiar? And because they controlled the rage factor they could draw up a rage response among those they controlled at any time. Because the men were held in estrogen prison they were ever-burning to get out and allowed the opportunity to vent. Then, whenever they got the word from on high they could be easily directed to enter into instant rage response mode and attack whoever they were directed toward, which were always those with the audacity to question “the elders” and “our tradition” or (aghast!) whoever may preach or teach a different message.
The Lord Jesus had managed to subvert this demonic process much of the time because the people in general were overcome by His great love and compassion, and His willingness to do miracles in their midst to help them. He would heal blind eyes, eliminate their illnesses in a flash, bless them with everything their souls were longing for, forgive and remove their personal sin, assist the poor on a grand scale, and even raise their dead on occasion. He was a force! He was winning hearts and minds!
In the end, however, everyone realized they would also have to change their ways, repent, change their way of thinking, love their enemies, change their hearts, submit fully to God, change their minds, and stop engaging in dead religion.
It was simply too much. There would be way too much to change. Their entire lives would be affected. They would have to start over. It was just too much. It would require way too much faith and too much effort. It would be much easier to simply continue on as before. And that’s the choice they made. They declined the great spiritual power the Lord offered them to make changes for the better.
This was not the case for the Remnant. There were some, many untold tens of thousands of Israelites, who actually did obey the Lord Jesus. They recognized Him as their Messiah. They saw that He was the great I AM. They became aware of just who this Man was and the great privilege they were allowed to know Him, be with Him, and honor Him. This brought forth the very first Great Awakening! For forty years the Lord’s new born again Spirit-filled people continued to work toward the salvation of as many of the people of their nation as possible. Many were saved, taught, and made secure. Many developed and came to full spiritual maturation. It was the greatest thing that had ever happened to Israel in all its history, even though the good guys, those who believed in love and loving, were outnumbered and always had to face the incessant hateful wrath of the bad guys.
But the wrath, rage, and hate of the rebellious religious tyrants along with those under their control—the unrepentant majority of insincere, spiritually lazy, surrendered silent sellouts who chose to continue being influenced by fools—caused them all to be without the one thing they needed to save the country: None of them were saved. How could they therefore save the nation or anything else? Their lack of salvation and lack of saving ability left only one other outcome: Their national rebellion and sin content insured they be destined for destruction.
And it was all because they refused to repent.
They refused to change their way of thinking.
They refused to allow for new Truth to update their mindset.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Copyright © 1979 by Special Rider Music
 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.
After His resurrection He told Mary Magdalene He must travel “to the Father.” If He could do that He could travel anywhere. He could even travel back in time…
He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind. [Psalms 104:3]
Many years ago I was doing my usual research. I had been delving into the Word of God for years up to that time. Directly after my born again experience when I was filled with the Spirit of God I had an insatiable hunger for the written Word. Though I knew well it is our duty as Christians to read and study the written Word it should not be forced labor. It should not have to be a chore. It was certainly not that way with me. I simply couldn’t get enough. My employment at the time entailed hard physical labor but I would often spend my entire lunch hour reading the Word. On days I didn’t fast I was still out in my car reading. It didn’t take me all that long, relatively speaking, to read through the entire Bible. There was also much study on various topics and paying more attention to certain passages.
In this process I was always coming across things that reminded me of interesting topics I had studied and books I read prior to salvation. In those years pretty much nothing in literature was off the table. One cannot restrict oneself in the search for truth. One must be open and even consider subjects the world at large may think are different or weird. I didn’t care. That never bothered me. Time travel was likely one of those subjects I looked into. What could be cooler than that?
There is so much associated with the doings of this world that most people know nothing about. The majority of people seems to spend their short lives running on treadmills to nowhere and extremely limiting their intake of knowledge and are perfectly satisfied with being told what to believe. Most are apparently not at all inquisitive nor do they consider learning on their own. This demands they must always be taught by others. Their level of knowledge is thus often limited to what they learn in school and directed additionally by whatever they learn passively from television or read in a newspaper. If they ever worked in television or for a newspaper they likely wouldn’t do that. They would see how “news” is received, packaged, and delivered. They would know there is always an ulterior agenda attached. The media people have to make money, you see, and they must use their product in such a way. They also “teach” through subtle manipulative practices. Today, much such news is pure for-profit propaganda. It’s not that it wasn’t that way in the not too distant past, but was not as bad as it is now.
I discovered when young that the more one read, from different sources and forms of literature and media, the more one would eventually know because everything one reads has bits of knowledge in it that lead elsewhere. One’s curiosity in piqued by something read in Book 1, which leads to checking out Book 2, which opens one up to seeking knowledge from Books 3-1000. It never ends. After a while one learns to disseminate knowledge properly, retain the real and reject the hokum.
When I first began reading the Bible as a young adult I likely had that same attitude. Yet, I found things that didn’t appear to add up. I would keep reading and then discover confirmation of something I read before which made it more plausible. I wasn’t doubting the Word but only trying to make it make sense to me. I was building consensus and forming the big picture. It is a process that takes much work and many years but becomes extremely satisfying over time. The Lord does not fear our little doubts or tests. It is all part of learning. We must have an attitude that we are in it for the long haul, however, or may succumb to deception and deem His Word unreliable or not worth our efforts.
One of the unique things I noticed in His Word that initially appeared otherworldly (and approaching science fiction) were the various Old Testament appearances made by God in the form of a human being. I thought that was a tad odd, but again, from my prior experience before salvation of letting my mind loose to wander in consideration of discovering whatever, knowing there is so much out there we don’t know (and knowing there is much we are not supposed to know), I figured, okay, God visits us (a few anyway). He has to appear to a few chosen ones on occasion in order to relate and communicate something important and specific. He is (I thought) great and powerful and way out in the Universe somewhere and also invisible, but is nice enough to take the time to come see us, though we are unworthy little human mud balls without a clue. He somehow becomes a human being (we are talking Old Testament here, long before the Lord Jesus came) and walks among us. He travels through space and time and then somehow changes from being invisible to visible and manifests as a human being.
He did this with Adam and Eve. And with Abraham and Sarah. And with Joshua. And with Moses. And others. There I was, a rookie Christian, reading the Word of God for essentially the first time with Spirit-filled eyes-to-see and ears-to-hear and it was as if I was back in my prior element under the influence of a hazy helper getting into all kinds of cool stuff, all based on historical literature and suppressed news of the time. But I was as clear-headed as possible and the Lord was showing me stuff. In my thinking at the time I considered it very cool stuff that I had no idea ever existed in the Bible. It was as if all the cool stuff I had studied before proved I was not necessarily that far off track and that God was now showing me stuff in His Holy Word that backed up my previous desires to know beyond what I was allowed to know. In other words, by what I was seeing in His Word, His Word would be considered “weird” according to the straight-laced close-minded attitudes of the overall culture at that time which strove at all costs to be perceived as so far down-to-earth that it may as well put brick ballast in its shoes.
I discovered later that these Old Testament appearances of God in human form had a name. They were called theophanies. And I thought, “Okay, this is really getting good.” Here I am an open-minded guy in search of truth and I am finding that the Bible contains the kind of weird stuff the world rejects as untouchable that I was used to researching before. Think about it. How many people actually believe in a Creator God? And how many of the relatively few who believe this also believe He could travel down here from heaven, whatever that may be, and manifest Himself as a human? And then actually meet with people and talk to them? If it wasn’t in the Bible Christians in general would think it was stupid. There’s probably a lot of Christians who would think it was stupid anyway if they were aware of it.
PUTTING TWO AND TWO TOGETHER
Maybe just a few years later I started thinking about these discoveries again and then applied them to the Lord Jesus. I thought along these lines:
After the resurrection, and after the Lord ascended to the Father and then returned during that forty day period He spent on earth before He ascended to heaven for good, He still had work to do. He still had more teaching and ministry to do among His chosen disciples. He had to make final preparations. But He also had an apparent habit of discarding the use of doors and walking through walls. Okay, now that’s weird. That’s bona fide weird. And the Lord didn’t seem to think too much of it. I guess, since He just raised Himself from the dead, that walking through walls was simply not that big a deal. From there, it didn’t take me long to start thinking of other possibilities of things He could do. He said before He left that He had all authority in both heaven and earth so I am fairly certain that means He could pretty much do anything he wanted.
It then came to me. He could time travel. Those theophanies of God back in the Old Testament were not necessarily God traveling from heaven to earth, they were the Lord Jesus traveling back in time from the first century AD. Think about it. God had always planned to become one of us. Before He ever began the Creation process He arranged for His eventual arrival. He was not human at that time, of course. Humans had yet to be created. The only way He could become a human, since He would limit Himself to enter this world the way everyone does, was to be the product of other humans. He would therefore have to create Adam, then Eve, and then be born as one of their progeny at a future date. That being the case, He would have to wait a long time to become a human. And then, in order to appear as a theophany in the past, He had to travel from the future…
Here is something else to consider: On the Mount of Transfiguration He met with Moses and Elijah. Now, I understand in the orthodox that these three men represented the Law, the Prophets, and the Living Word, or Grace. Moses was apparently long dead, of course, but he had his own private funeral which leaves room for speculation. Elijah, of course, according to the Old Testament account, apparently never died. And here they both were with the Lord up on the mountain. I’m thinking, well, if those two guys could travel from wherever they were and meet with the Lord in His time, then why couldn’t the Lord travel to meet with them in their time? While they were still living on earth? We know He did meet with Moses on Mount Sinai after the Exodus, though it is not generally characterized as Him but as “God.” But whoever it was, He had to have human form to some degree. (He certainly did have human form when He met with Abraham.)
So rather than God assuming human form many centuries before He actually became a human being, why didn’t He just wait to become a human and then travel back in time to meet with those people? Too farfetched? You think I’m being too weird? If so I will remind you that we Christians actually believe a Man came back from the dead. And not just any Man but God. This is easy to believe if we simply keep it in our minds as a concept and read it on paper. But consider the possibility of it happening right now with someone you may have known. Do you still think it is something that is easy to believe? Though we have many Biblical examples of people being raised from the dead, have you ever heard of this happening to anyone you know? What if the Lord sent you to pray for someone to be raised? What then? Therefore, I ask that you consider the strong possibility that what I am postulating here as merit.
Do you think the Man in the following account is the Lord Jesus?—
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. [Joshua 5:13-15]
How about the account in Genesis when the Lord apparently appeared with Adam and Eve?
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. [Genesis 3:8]
Keep in mind that the phrase “in the cool of the day” actually means “in the wind (or breeze) of the day.” It sounds like the aforementioned quote from Psalms 104: He walks upon the wings of the wind…
In the account with Abraham, God is seen doing very human things much like the human things the Lord Jesus did in His time such as walking, talking, and eating a meal (See Genesis 18).
THEY SAY TIME IS A DIMENSION
Whatever time is, the Lord is not restricted by it, because He is not restricted by anything. Past, Present, and Future is a concept based on our perspective, not His. The ancient philosophers had their studied ideas on the nature of time as did Einstein and many modern scientists. Some say all time is one. Whatever the case, it should be obvious that we humans live in an extremely limited dimension in that our life experiences are based on mere sensory input for the most part. We can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Yet there are physical forms of life on this planet with senses that far exceed our own. There is much more out there than we are aware of simply because we do not possess the means to sense it or experience it. Our abilities are thus greatly limited. There is a vast amount we do not know or can perceive. The Lord Jesus, however, showed us what is possible by doing the impossible things He did. He had already done the impossible countless times during His ministry, even though He had limited Himself to human spiritual abilities, and even gave these spiritual abilities to His disciples. But after His resurrection He went beyond these. Walking through walls is not something most humans can generally do, for example. Such things are said to be theoretically possible, however, at least on a drawing board.
Keep in mind that scientific discoveries have increased exponentially almost from nothing over the last two centuries or so, especially during the last one. And if one trips back to the times of the ancients one would see that they had next to nothing compared to what we have today. They were still capable of great feats however, but were simply not in our class. What if such knowledge and discovery continues on its current track? What else is there to know? What else will we discover?
We can say the same about our understanding of real Christianity. There is far more there than most Christians are aware of. In fact, Christianity in general is often the virtual opposite when we trip back and consider the way they operated. Our forebears in the first century AD did things that we for the most part only dream about. The vast majority of Christians don’t even try to emulate them, apparently of a mind that what they accomplished was effectively impossible for us guys in the present. Their spiritual record is undoubtedly one that puts us to shame by comparison. Rather than be like them most Christians are either not aware of them or shun them. And sadly, Christians of the present often substitute worldly and material counterfeits as replacements for signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
We must learn to follow their example, however, because what they did was in direct obedience to the Lord Jesus and they had massive success in the world.
We must learn to start walking through the walls of our limitations.
We must travel back in time.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Just as in the case of the Lord Jesus who was marked for assassination by His enemies (who succeeded but failed), so is every dedicated real Christian likely marked.
Some of these spiritual assassination attempts will succeed (we have Scriptural examples). The vast majority will not. But no matter. Physical death is not the end of the story. Every real Christian so marked is also marked for resurrection just as our Founder was marked. He was destined to die for a great purpose but was also destined to rise again not long after. In His case it happened on the third day after His death. (This also happened to be the third day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.) For the vast majority of real Christians, however, their resurrections will come much later. There will be a day in the future when all will rise again together. Old-timers referred to it as “that great gettin’ up mornin.’
I say “the vast majority” because there were some who actually received their resurrections from death in the first century AD. In this, I am not referring to Lazarus or others whom the Lord or the apostles raised up because those people had to die physically a second time. I am instead referring to those mysterious resurrections which took place soon after the Lord’s resurrection referred to in Matthew’s Gospel:
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. [Matthew 27:50-53]
One wonders if there were others elsewhere in various locations who were also raised at that time. The city of Jerusalem was not the only place saints of old were buried though it is possible more might have been buried in its environs than elsewhere. One wonders further just who these saints might have been. What qualified them to be resurrected at that time? Were they Old Testament saints from centuries past? Or were they first-century believers who died at some point during the Lord’s ministry? What if some of the well-known national figures were included in this group, such as David, who was buried in Jerusalem?
THE PRIVILEGE OF RESURRECTION
Because there is so much misunderstanding or lack of information about the future resurrection of those who have passed, the subject must be put into context. We know the Scriptures are clear that all will be resurrected, both the saved and unsaved:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” [John 5:25-29]
In addition to this, the Lord makes it clear that the future resurrection unto Life is a privilege not given to everyone or just anyone but only to those who are worthy:
Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” [Luke 20:34-36]
It is likely the case at most funerals that the person who died is assumed to have gone to heaven. Imagine all the funerals (term used very loosely) worldwide for all time. The dearly departed was likely loved by someone or maybe a great many. To question his or her eternal destination at such a time is probably the height of protocol-breaking or certainly awkward. According to the teachings of the Lord and the entry requirements He mandates, most of these people went to the opposite place they were assumed to have gone.
The point, of course, is that “going to heaven” and participating in a future resurrection unto Life is not automatic or a right but a great privilege and blessing reserved only for a relative few. It is something, in the words of the Lord Jesus, to attain. The Greek word means “to hit upon, meet, happen, obtain.” It is something to strive for, to work toward, and to make oneself worthy to receive. This does not mean we can earn our salvation, which is impossible, but that we must work within the context set forth by the Lord Jesus to be “considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection of the dead.”
WHY THE LORD JESUS WAS A MARKED MAN
We are in a war. It is a spiritual war. The devil is a mighty foe. He is very powerful. He attacks his enemies. His aim is to eliminate anyone attacking him or his kingdom. Those who do the most damage are at the top of his list. But the Lord Jesus, on the other hand, is so much more powerful He could squash the devil like a bug any time He felt like it. And He will protect His children in this world who work for Him the same way He protected Himself from the many assassination attempts upon His life before He surrendered to His destiny as the Sacrifice Lamb.
A close friend told me the other day something a pastor had recently preached. The pastor said to the effect, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the Lord was killed or murdered. He laid down His life willingly…” I said “Well, the pastor is wrong. It is in fact, both. The Lord certainly laid down His life and made Himself vulnerable, but He was also murdered. The apostle Peter said this very thing in the first anointed message of the Church on the Day of Pentecost.” Here is the passage:
“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—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. 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.” [Acts 2:22-24]
It is often said that Stephen was the first martyr of the Church but this is not true. It was the Lord Jesus who was the first martyr. He had to be first. He was indeed greatly persecuted by evil unbelievers and eventually suffered physical death at their hands. He was the first to die and also the first to rise. It had to be this way. Nothing else could have possibly worked otherwise. The Lord Jesus is both the Door and the one who opened the door to Life. He is the only spiritual Warrior who could defeat death, hell, and the grave. He had to go first to do this because He was the only one worthy. It would have been impossible with anyone else because everyone else has sin but He never did. He was thus worthy to attain His resurrection and eternal life.
And because He did attain it He makes it possible for His followers to attain it as well. They must be cleansed of all sin, however, or forget it. But He has the power to do that. He has the power, with His own Blood, to cleanse a person of all of his or her personal sin. He also has the power to raise one up to new life in this world, fill one with His Holy Spirit which enables one to be properly equipped for service and the spiritual battlefield, live an overcoming life over sin, and also to work for Him within His kingdom doing works that He did. THESE are the people, in general, who are the worthy ones.
Thus, heaven is not nor has it ever been automatic, the only condition met being death. It is reserved only for those who submit to the salvation method of the Lord Jesus. Now, granted, there will be those who are also judged by Him to be worthy who do not fit the apparent conditions within the context of His teachings. Paul alluded to this possibility in the following:
For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. [Romans 2:11-16]
It is thus possible that one may never hear the Gospel and still go to heaven. (Consider all those who died prior to the Lord’s ministry or who lived at great distances away on other continents long before the Gospel ever reached their lands.) But this can only be possible if the preceding qualifications are met. How many millions, and indeed, billions of people who have ever lived on this planet lived in such a way that they did their best to honor their conscience, strove to do good and shun evil, and reached out to a Creator they knew must exist. These are things beyond the realm of human judgement or knowledge. No one can see such things but the Lord. Only the Lord Jesus knows all hearts. He is the best possible Judge of one’s soul. He will make the right decisions. He will always render perfect judgments.
THERE IS LIKELY A CONTRACT ON YOUR LIFE
If you are a big enough threat, expect to be attacked. But know also that the Lord has means to grant you victory. I knew someone several years ago who was attacked severely and his entire life was essentially destroyed. The devil’s aim was to do even more. His original goal was to destroy everything including the person’s life. But it didn’t work out quite that way. Because this man had walked with God the Lord allowed his former life to be destroyed but preserved the man’s spiritual life. He preserved the man’s ministry and life purpose. He worked with the man over several years to sort out all the ramifications which resulted from both a diabolical Jezebel attack and also a Judas betrayal. The enemy meant total destruction and it should have been such in that he threw everything he had at him. It was a pure assassination attempt in the first degree.
But it failed. Rather than be overcome by the severe repercussions of the spiritual attack, this man worked with the Lord over several years to work everything out. He patiently crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s. Everything was settled above board and properly. And it was done with no evil intent toward his human attackers who assisted in the plot. This man had what might be termed an ongoing resurrection. Though the enemy tried with all his might and though he succeeded at destroying much, he failed at destroying all. This is always a dangerous outcome. It made the man who was marked for death an even greater threat than he was before.
It also meant he survived the worst. This man will never have to go through such again. You may know people like this. Their experience is noted for something many have gone through over the last quarter century or so. There are people who represented a threat to the enemy who for all practical purposes should not have survived the attempt against them who then later became a greater threat than before.
Those who are forced to go toe to toe with some gnarly Goliath, who face otherwise certain death and destruction, and live to tell the story of a great victory are the kind of people you want on your team. They have already experienced a type of resurrection, reminiscent of their future one, and rejoined the Lord on the battlefield. The assassination they were marked for is what they mark the enemy with and have greater power and ability given by God to achieve that objective.
All praise and glory to the Lord Jesus.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The following posts are dedicated to all real Christians on this Resurrection Day of 2022. They contain the answers some of you are seeking. Be encouraged!
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
He died a horrific death after undergoing many hours of grueling torture. His own people and arrogant religious leaders did this to Him in a demonic spasm of evil hatred.
I had to catch up on some chores around the house yesterday. I got the lawnmower tuned up for another mowing season. I also had to tend to a very minor roof leak. While on the roof, on a relatively cool and breezy early evening, I noticed a few branches from an old ash tree on one side of the house that had grown over the roof a tad that I might as well trim while up there. This tree was one of a few hit hard by a massive out-of-the ordinary hard freeze the previous winter. It almost died but survived. It bloomed out last year but only partially. Several of its large branches died. It bloomed again this year with a flurry of new bright green leaves on about half its branches, most of them closer to the central core and trunk. It is a tree showing signs of life and death at the same time.
A couple of dead bushy branches were within range of trimming from the roof. At first I was cutting them but because they had died over a year ago it was easier to just break them off. While doing this, standing right at the edge of the roof, a had to put a little extra effort in breaking off a larger one and when I did my forearm came down on a closer branch that had a few broken protrusions on it. It caused a good little surface skin gash. After a few seconds I had three or four rivulets of dark blood tricking forth a few inches down my fore arm. A couple of drops fell upon the roof and left noticeable small round splatters. I continued with my work and other chores another hour or so.
I must confess to you, my readers, that I lost track of the time this week. Like you, I’ve been pretty busy. I knew Resurrection Sunday was coming, of course. I knew Monday April 11 was the “Day of Crossing Over.” This was the day, Nisan 10 on the Hebrew calendar, when the young nation of Israel first crossed over the Jordan River after their forty years wandering the desert wilderness. I always mark that day every year as the start of a new season in the Spirit. But I lost track of the most important day coming up.
That day is today. It is Nisan 14. As I write this it marks the time when the Lord’s false judgment at the hands of evil people had reached its final conclusion which they had been lusting for during the Lord’s entire ministry. They would finally get to do to Him what they had always wanted. For them, it was a great day. The Lord’s torture and crucifixion process began early that morning. He shed great amounts of blood at His scourging of thirty-nine stripes before He ever got to the crucifixion site. He shed much more blood there…
He did this for all of us. He had to pay for our sin. Every person who first comes to the Lord is very aware of sins they have committed in life of which they can do nothing about. There is a record of sin on their account that they are well aware of. They wish they could do something about it. They wish the record didn’t exist. But there is nothing they can do. Many try to stop sinning. Some try very hard. But their understanding of what sin is trips them up. And the people they hang with, friends and family, (even so-called Christians and church-goers), don’t seem to have any concern about sin. They do their best to get along but want new life and cannot find it. They may have some success against their sin and eliminate a few things but no matter what they do they cannot stop entirely. They remain convicted of past sins and a growing record but must simply put up with the unfortunate results and a long rap sheet that won’t go away.
Then they hear about the Lord Jesus. They suddenly discover that there actually is a way to get their sorry record expunged. They come to the Lord as a dead man walking with no previous chance whatsoever and discover someone who actually cares about their sin record as much as they do. And they realize that He paid for it all long, long ago. He paid for their sins. He paid the penalty. He qualified to do this because He had no sin. He was the spotless Lamb of God, the Sacrifice Lamb. He gave Himself over to evil people in complete surrender so the price could be paid in full.
And it was. I remember when I first came to the Lord as a young adult. It was so hard to believe that my record could be cleared, that my sins could be washed away, and that I could have an entirely new life living for the Lord. But I did believe. I submitted to Him completely. He washed my sins away. I remember when I was water baptized. It had only been a few days. I wasn’t waiting around. I wanted the whole catalogue. I had been searching for Truth for several years and the Lord directed me to exactly what I had been looking for. My new local shepherd came down in the baptismal tank with me as they did back then. He said, “Upon the confession of your faith I now baptize you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ…” I went under water and came up a new man. Everyone was gathered around, smiling and shouting. There was much joy and laughter. I could not stop beaming.
It was the opposite of what the Lord had endured that day so long ago, the same day on the calendar as today, Nisan 14. And though many Christians will honor the Lord today on this Good Friday for His sacrificial death, the original Nisan 14 was on a Thursday. But no matter for our purposes at the moment. What we must be concerned about is what He did for us. We are all going straight to hell without Him. Prior to real salvation, our record of sin is clear and a mile long, including those who refuse to acknowledge their sin or don’t think they have any. All who attempt to enter heaven without having done anything about it will be turned away. Heaven is not for sin criminals. Heaven is not for unrepentant sinners. Heaven is not for those who refuse to honor the Lord Jesus properly and what He did for us.
He died that we may live.
One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.
Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” [Luke 23:39-47] 
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There are two kinds of Christians in the world—those who are deceived, have always been deceived, and don’t know they’re deceived—and those who are no longer deceived.
As I’ve stated here before, according to the teachings of the Lord Jesus, the default position of every single person born into this world is to die and go to hell. As distasteful as this subject may be, and as most may find it cringe worthy and fit for immediate denunciation, the Lord actually taught on it quite often. The reason He did is because there is no more important subject to teach.
“For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:14]
“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:7]
Regardless of so many wanting to rewrite the Gospels to arrive at something more acceptable, or recharacterize the Lord Jesus as someone more like their perception of Him may be, or make Him what they may want Him to be to make them feel more comfortable, it never changes the eternity facts He spoke about except on a temporary basis, that is, while one lives in this life under deception.
WORSE THAN JUDAS
The worst perpetrators of editing the Lord and His curriculum have been Christians. These people, regardless of their socially acceptable, outwardly benign, or religiously duded-up exteriors, have ulterior motives and are His greatest enemies. They are worse than Judas.
I say that not because Judas Iscariot was not a bad guy (he most certainly was), but that Judas was primarily a very confused guy and one who could never overcome his intrinsic understanding of things or his prior religious indoctrination. He was likely a Pharisee or Pharisee sympathizer of somewhat high standing though such was probably due to family and religious connections. He had a good report with those who controlled the temple and was apparently there relatively often. Yet despite all of Judas’ failings which ultimately led him to be possessed of the devil himself, he still had enough of a working conscience to know that after he had betrayed the Lord he understood that he had betrayed the Lord. Though he did not know it while he was doing it and likely thought in his warped thinking that he was doing something good, when it all came down and he understood that he had been thoroughly deceived by the devil and the devil’s religious authorities, the only thing that made sense was to go kill himself. At the moment his eyes were opened (when he finally woke up), he suddenly saw that he had done something absolutely horrendously terrible and that it might have been the greatest sin ever perpetrated since the original sin of Adam and Eve.
Thus, it may be said that Judas acted based on living in deception. And again, deceived people do not know they are deceived. Judas was likely deceived his entire life but I will leave some room for him here in case he had moments of true understanding regarding the Lord. Effectively, of course, he never overcame his lifelong deception and made a perfect candidate for use by the devil. Judas may have been sent on a mission from the very beginning by the devil and joined up with the Lord as the devil’s tool within the Lord’s inner circle. The Lord would have always known this, though, and alluded to it on occasion:
Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” [John 6:70]
Therefore, those Christians who deliberately edit the teachings of the Lord Jesus do far worse than Judas ever did because they apparently don’t have a working conscience as Judas certainly did. Everyone remembers, for example, their first big sin as a little kid or when they first became aware of right and wrong, when they instantly came to understand that they had done a very bad thing. The understanding came because their conscience did what it was designed to do. It pointed out their error. Whatever the age of accountability may be for each person, and though there may be a time as very small children when we do wrong and do not yet know it, we all reach an age, maybe five or six years old, when we become responsible for knowing our conscience works and can no longer escape its convicting power.
For some people in this world, however, this is not true. They never seem to have a working conscience. They do not appear to feel guilt. They do bad things and like it. They enjoy doing wrong and are not convicted. They do not appear to have the remorse gene. They make light of things of very high importance and lack the respect they should have for the true things of God. They may know it is wrong behavior and even engage in greater sin as they get older but usually never have any tendency to stop. Repentance is simply not in their vocabulary. When they grow up they are capable of doing wrong without regret. While Judas was so stricken by the grossly evil thing he had done once his veil of deception was lifted, the religious psychopath has no such reaction.
ARE THEY BORN THAT WAY OR MADE THAT WAY?
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! [Galatians 1:6-9]
There is only one original full curriculum of the Lord Jesus. Anything which purports to be His full curriculum but deviates from the original is false. This deviation from the original can be done by adding teachings and understandings that are not His or simply omitting teachings and understandings that are. Such newly created Christian curricula, regardless of how good they appear and how well they escape scrutinizing from Christians who should know better, are false and not of God. If they are not of God they must be of another source. That source must be evil.
Because we now have any number of false gospels masquerading as the real one and great numbers of Christians supporting such false gospels, we know there must have been a point A for each, a starting point, and that the starting point of each had to have been implemented in this world through human agency in tandem with a higher invisible agency. This worked the same way it worked with Judas in that the devil deceived Judas to believe his betrayal of the Lord was not a betrayal and was instead something good and right, though it was actually pure evil (Sound familiar?). For each false gospel on the planet there had to be an original hidden and sinister “Judas” or “Judas group” used of the devil to create it. Their supporters likely believe their false gospel is not false at all but the best gospel or the real gospel.
What kind of people are these? Maybe some are like Judas in that they eventually see their error. Most however, likely never care about any error to begin with and know very well they are engaging in editing the Lord’s teachings and enjoy doing it. Perhaps they have become so overwhelmed by religious indoctrination and staunchly supporting their false denominational beliefs that they justify their work as good. Perhaps they are mere religious underlings forced to carry on the work by their Christian cult leadership.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. [2Corinthians 11:3-4]
Maybe they do it for power and prestige and as the willing price to pay for joining a higher social caste. Maybe they are overcome by the physical eye which overpowers the spiritual eye. Maybe they do it for access to fulfilling the lust of their flesh and having all that money can buy. These are the three roots of temptation, remember, that the enemy uses on everyone. But how evil must one be who would actually corrupt the teachings of the Lord for gain? And not feel bad about it? And never have the reaction Judas had? What is wrong with such people? It could be they are true psychopaths. Or it could be they know they are doing wrong but have such a great desire for the preceding three outcomes or any one of the three that they are willing to make a deal.
Here is a good test:
Let’s say the Lord calls a person to salvation but that it will greatly complicate his life and even place him in grave danger. But he does it anyway. Most of those around him who also receive the Gospel seed turn it down, maybe largely out of fear of social or religious rejection and castigation, but that one guy does not and is willing to go through any pain to gain salvation. He then works diligently to prepare himself as a good disciple by studying the pure Word of God and learning how to present it correctly. And let’s say that one guy is then given a specific ministry but no salary. And he somehow makes it work anyway. And there are confirming “signs and wonders” in his ministry to further prove his legitimacy.
The vast majority of Christian ministers, on the other hand, never agree to become ministers unless an acceptable salary is involved (failed test). Many of these must also desire social acceptance and prestige to some degree (failed test). And some even demand that their lust be satisfied even though it may only be in the “material” realm though such is done in a deceptive manner in that their lust satisfaction is deemed “success” and therefore not only acceptable but something also desirable by their followers (failed test).
But that other guy has none of those things, maybe for many years and maybe his entire life, and somehow fulfills his ministry anyway. Regardless of what may be an extreme example, this is actually not so uncommon. The others, however, are as fake as the day is long (though such fakery is rarely or never understood by the deceived). They are mere sellouts. The vast majority of Christian “ministers” in the world fail the test. What is worse, though, is that they preach false gospels and assist the devil in deception. Whoever listens to and believes these charlatans, though such supportive believers outwardly appear as “good Christians,” end up just as deceived as Judas was. They go through life believing all is well with their chosen walk and don’t know they are deceived and have believed a false gospel. Judas got the big idea while he was still alive. Many if not most of these others will never get the big idea until afterwards when it will be too late.
THE REAL AND THE UNREAL
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. [2Timothy 4:1-4]
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. [2Peter 2:1-3] 
Any deviation from the Lord’s presentation is an invitation to deception.
Once one crosses the line into the realm of deception his perception is changed. He will think he is doing good when he is not. He will even be happy and satisfied and completely unaware that his spiritual reality has become compromised. He begins operating according to a non-Kingdom understanding since he does not dwell in the Kingdom though believes he does. And even if the Lord sends messengers to rescue him and bring him into the light he will likely see no need because he believes he is already dwelling in the light. And because many more are living across the line with him, a decided majority, he has plenty of support from everyone there that all is well in their vast happy land of bliss and ignorance.
Praise God for Christian persecution.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Christians of today believe they are living in the “Last Days.” Christians in the first century believed they were living in the “Last Days.” Both cannot be correct.
In Part 2 I listed every passage of Scripture in the New Testament that referred to “This Generation.” Each passage referred to the same generation. That generation was obviously the generation that existed in the first century AD. That generation began with the birth of the Lord Jesus. It ended in 70AD with the complete destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple, and what was left of the nation of Israel. Israel was thus no more, exactly as the Lord Jesus had prophesied forty years before.
The Lord Jesus said that last generation of Israel would see the fulfillment of all the prophecies made about that time, which was referred to by New Testament writers as the “Last Days.” Why were they the “Last Days?” –Because they were the last days of Israel. “This Generation” was the final generation.
THE NATION OF ISRAEL
The nation of Israel had begun with the call of Abraham. This took place in approximately 1876 BC when Abraham was 70 years old. It was birthed with the miraculous birth of Abraham’s son Isaac in 1846 BC, which represented the first generation. The nation was birthed in great joy, as Isaac’s name means at root, “to laugh,” or “laughter,” or “he laughs.” Isaac was a very happy child! One pictures little Isaac as a happy, smiling, joyous, laughing baby and little boy.
Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” [Genesis 21:6]
Isaac grew up and was blessed with a loving wife. Rebekah gave birth to the first-born twins Esau and Jacob in 1786 BC. Though Esau was born first he had no heart for God. God thus chose Jacob as the new heir. Later, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.
Jacob/Israel had twelve sons. His sons married and began having children. Some of these children grew up and had children. Ten years after the great Patriarch Isaac died, when the young four-generational family group of Jacob consisted of seventy-plus persons, they left the land of Canaan in approximately 1656 BC and went to live in the Goshen area of Egypt. This was made possible by Jacob’s son Joseph who was sold into slavery by his own brothers when he was seventeen years old and ended up in Egypt, preparing the way for his family’s future salvation. Joseph rose to become the second-most powerful man in Egypt by the time he was thirty. This family group of seventy-plus persons consisting of generations two, three, four, and five was the original nation of Israel.
All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all, and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy. Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. [Genesis 46:26-28]
Untold multiple generations later we arrive at the time of the last generation of the nation, initially characterized by great joy and laughter once again with the miraculous birth of the long hoped-for promised Redeemer and Messiah. A Great Light had come into a land of darkness. When the Lord Jesus was thirty years old His forerunner, John the Immerser, prophesied about Him and the nation of Israel in the following:
Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Luke 3:15-17]
This verse has been misinterpreted often yet is actually quite clear. John is speaking in terms anyone there could understand: The wheat will undergo a harvest. The Messiah, winnowing fork in hand on His threshing floor, will do the work of separating the edible grains from the useless chaff. He will gather the wheat (the saved and redeemed of Israel, the sheep, the righteous) into His barn. But He will burn up the chaff (the unsaved and unredeemed of the nation, the goats, the unrighteous) with unquenchable fire.
He will thus baptize (immerse) the redeemed of Israel with His Holy Spirit, but will baptize the unredeemed with fire.
We see these two fates of the nation again in the following illustration of John:
“Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” [Luke 3:9]
In both of these prophetic pronouncements of John we see that the final generation (“this generation”) of the nation of Israel is under pressure to get right with God and produce good fruit. We see that the axe of judgment is already poised against the nation. The axe is about to drop. But before the end comes, as the nation will be divided by those who will either become wheat or chaff, so will the nation be divided by those who will be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit of God to produce good fruit and those who will do the opposite. Again, the nation of Israel will be divided into two distinct parts during the final generation.
On that great Day of Pentecost at the beginning of the final thirty-eight years of the nation and continuing until the end, the Holy Spirit will be given to all those who properly repent and are cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb. This large group of the redeemed within the overall nation of several million, most likely the smaller of the two groups by percentage, will honor their Messiah and prove themselves with consistent discipleship and as trees bearing good fruit. At the conclusion of the final thirty-eight years the end will come when the besieged city of Jerusalem and the great Temple will be burned by unrelenting fire in a great conflagration just as both John the Immerser and the Lord Jesus had prophesied roughly forty years before. The end of Israel arrived in 70 AD.
THE “LAST DAYS”
Thus we see that what was referred to as the “Last Days” were actually the last days of Israel which took place almost two thousand years ago in the first century AD. Though referred to with other terminology, the following are the five Scriptural occurrences when the exact term “Last Days” is referred to in the New Testament by at least three if not four different writers, which greatly adds to its credibility (dates approximate):
ONE / 32 AD
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.’” [Acts 2:15-18]
TWO / 64 AD
1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. [2Timothy 3:1-5]
THREE / 63 AD
1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. [Hebrews 1:1-2]
FOUR / 50-60 AD
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! [James 5:1-3]
FIVE / 65 AD
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. [2Peter 3:3-7] 
We can see that four of the above five works were written just as the nation of Israel was coming to a close, in the twilight hour so to speak. They served collectively as a latter bookend to the former bookend at Pentecost. Each is filled with dire language describing very well the final times. Since Pauline authorship of the Book of Hebrews has never reached a consensus it could very well be that these were four different men using the exact “Last Days” terminology at a time when the end was extremely close and they could feel it in their spirit. The great Jewish Revolt against Rome began in mid-summer of 66 AD. Vespasian’s siege barricades began being constructed around Jerusalem in the spring of 67 AD. This was one of the signs of warning the Lord gave to His people dwelling there concerning when they should depart.
Only those who honored Him, who had treasure in heaven, would heed His words.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
The Lord Jesus is recorded using the exact term “This Generation” a total of 17 times. To what generation was He referring? How does it relate to the “Last Days?”
“THIS GENERATION” IN THE GOSPELS
I stated the following in Part 1 of this Series:
The Lord Jesus frequently and consistently referred to a single generation throughout His ministry. Throughout the Gospel accounts He refers to it specifically as “this generation.” There are a total of seventeen such references, five in Matthew, three in Mark, and nine in Luke. He also described it. He referred to “this generation” as “evil, adulterous, unbelieving, perverted, sinful, and wicked.” In Acts 2:40, Peter also refers to it as “perverse.” In Philippians 2:15, Paul agrees with Peter and adds another fitting adjective—“crooked.” So here we have seven quite descriptive adjectives describing the generation the Lord referred to as “this generation.”
To make sure we are all on the same page and become familiar with the seventeen occurrences of the exact term “this generation” in the Gospels, here is the list (NASB95):
GOSPEL OF MATTHEW (5):
16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17 and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’” [Matthew 11:16-17]
41 “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” [Matthew 12:41]
42 “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” [Matthew 12:42]
34 “Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” [Matthew 23:34-36]
32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” [Matthew 24:32-34]
GOSPEL OF MARK (3):
11 The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. 12 Sighing deeply in His spirit, He *said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” [Mark 8:11-12]
28 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” [Mark 13:28-30]
GOSPEL OF LUKE (9):
31 “To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’” [Luke 7:31-32]
29 As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah.” [Luke 11:29]
30 “For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.” [Luke 11:30]
31 “The Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.” [Luke 11:31]
32 “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.” [Luke 11:32]
49 “For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, 50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’” [Luke 11:49-51]
24 “For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” [Luke 17:24-25]
29 Then He told them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place.” [Luke 21:29-32]
The following are nine additional occurrences that do not contain the exact term “this generation” but relate directly to it and contain the word “generation.” Notice the descriptive adjectives:
GOSPEL OF MATTHEW (4):
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;” [Matthew 12:39]
43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” [Matthew 12:43-45]
4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. [Matthew 16:4]
17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” [Matthew 17:17]
GOSPEL OF MARK (2):
38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:38]
19 And He *answered them and *said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” [Mark 9:19]
GOSPEL OF LUKE (1):
41 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” [Luke 9:41]
40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” [Acts 2:40]
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. [Philippians 2:14-16] 
Remember, every one of these 26 occurrences refer to the same generation. They each refer to “this generation.”
Is it the generation of the “Last Days?”
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
They have created an Ishmael—an illegitimate counterfeit. Most Americans are none the wiser (sleeping). This illicit replacement imitation is wreaking havoc on what’s left of the country.
His name was Ishmael. He was the product of an unholy and faithless union. Ishmael was conceived because the great patriarch abandoned his faith in God and did the unthinkable. He had illicit relations with a foreign woman not his wife. Yet this great sin was not characterized as the adultery it surely was because Abraham performed this unholy deed at the behest of his wife Sarah. She convinced him to do it. It was a strange love triangle born of spiritual infidelity and outright rebellion against the Lord God. The good man was overcome by the incessant pleadings of his faithless barren wife. Sound familiar?
What Eve did to Adam is what Sarah did to Abraham. However, what these two women did obviously reverberated far, far beyond their respective significant others though they never saw that at the time. Both men knew better but both failed in their faithfulness to God. Had these two men stayed faithful to their overriding spiritual covenant as God had highly advised and counseled them, the great evil that resulted which continues even until this day would never have happened.
Both men made a spiritual recovery later on but the great damage had already been done. There was nothing that could stop the ongoing burgeoning of sin and evil in this world which has grown exponentially ever since. We are currently seeing evil shooting upward as never before like a proverbial rocket, as so many explosive and fiery launches over the last sixty plus years has enthralled a rapt but clueless audience beholding the wonder though never understanding the means and motive.
We see that the serpent was responsible in Eve’s case. Was the serpent also not responsible in Sarah’s case? God had promised Abraham a son, a very special son. He had made the promise to Abraham and Sarah roughly fifteen years before. This childless couple had kept the faith throughout those years. Sarah had always been barren. For all they knew it could have been Abraham’s problem also. The point is that this couple called by God could never have children yet God promised them a very special child who would have an immense and immeasurable beneficial effect on the world.
But they wavered. They grew tired of waiting. This was especially pronounced in Sarah. Her hopes were raised to the heavens when she first heard the promise many years before but then nothing ever came of it and her hopes were dashed. Abraham held on but only in a weakened state. He did his best. There was less and less to sustain his faith. Once Sarah quit and returned to her faithless condition, which barrenness portends, it would only be a matter of time before Abraham’s little remaining supply of faith in God regarding the promise would drain away. And it did.
A surrogate wife was found. The surrogate would be the mother of the promised child. Sarah decreed this. Sarah was just as wrong as Eve, of course, but because the correcting voice that had authority over her was effectively silenced—the voice of Abraham—as Adam’s voice was also silenced by his wife, Abraham proceeded to engage in the unholy, faithless, adulterous union. Again, Sarah did not merely suggest he do this or tell him to, she insisted upon it. Abraham was waylaid. Perhaps he was also tempted in his own right with forbidden fruit that was pleasing to the eyes and flesh. Perhaps he thought of his future great patriarchy and enjoyed the prospect of having another mate for such a purpose. Whatever the case, these two chosen ones messed up really, really bad. Being born into this world wasn’t Ishmael’s fault but the replacement boy later proved to be what he was—the fruit of an illicit union of which God had never approved.
Thirteen years went by. Abraham and Sarah apparently kept up the ruse the entire time, at least in part, and treated young Ishmael as the promised one. Hagar, the boy’s real mother, had something to say about this however. She likely never bought into the narrative and didn’t care. She only knew Ishmael was her boy and she couldn’t help but fight in the tug of war instigated by Sarah. Abraham thus had two wives and they were at odds always and he had to play the referee always, and as his faith had waned which brought forth Ishmael so had his good nature waned, being caught between two warring women, and he must have grown seriously weary as a result.
He also knew in his heart that Ishmael was not really the promised child. He was forced to engage in the deception initially to please his wife and was also forced to continue the charade to stay in her graces. As far as Sarah was concerned Ishmael was her son and anything contrary to this was forbidden. There is thus no possible way she could have had a relationship with God during the entire time for if she had she would have been convicted of her sin and changed her way of thinking.
It is quite interesting how the Word of God gives us clues that bypass most Christians, likely because most Christians are also stuck in false narratives as Sarah was and cannot see them. We know in Adam’s case he lived another 130 years after his initial sin and banishment. At that point he finally repented and did what was required to get right with God. Eve also repented and got right. Their third son listed in the Genesis account—Seth—was the result. He was the fruit of their return to God and effectively replaced Abel who the devil had eliminated by the murderous hand of the abominable Cain.
The point here is the 130 years. It is ten times thirteen. Ten is the Biblical number of ordinal perfection and thirteen is the number of rebellion. Once the rebellion ended, the Messianic generational bloodline was reestablished. For 130 long years there was no hope of a future Savior. If Adam had never gotten right with God there would have been no Lord Jesus. We would all end up in hell with no remedy. The devil would have won the universe. It is therefore no surprise that the number thirteen entered the picture once again in the case of Ishmael:
Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. [Genesis 17:24-26]
It was imperative that Abraham be circumcised prior to the birth of the promised child. Should he not have known that Isaac was impossible until he had done this? That Isaac would not only be the product of pure faith but also, by implication, the circumcision of the heart? How often do we as Christians make claims upon God’s promises but remain unwilling to fulfill the terms thereof? Circumcision portends spiritual cleanliness. It portends pure seed. It was the cutting off of the flesh. Though Ishmael was conceived while Abraham was uncircumcised (flesh), Isaac, the promised son, must be conceived in circumcised purity (spirit).
Also, the outward end of Ishmael’s development as a son of flesh must be officially stopped and was stopped at thirteen years. The big picture, of course, illustrates the nature of Abraham and Sarah’s sin in that, like Adam and Eve, it was a sin of disobedient faithless rebellion. Abraham’s faithlessness and rebellion against God ended, fully, with his circumcision. In fact, everyone in his entire household was also circumcised. God does not merely suggest spiritual purity if an Isaac is to come forth—He demands it.
Perhaps this is why much of Christianity never brings forth an Isaac but can only ever manage an Ishmael.
Immediately after this wholesale repentance/circumcision event when Abraham returned to rightness with God, he was paid a visit by God and God confirmed the initial promise He had made many years before. Keep in mind that God never would have shown up if Abraham did not fulfill what he must. God always has more time than us and will wait forever if need be. Also, the wholesale repentance/circumcision event of Abraham’s household broke the power that Sarah had gained over Abraham and to which he had fallen victim to when he obeyed her in forcing him to bring forth an Ishmael. As long as her power over the situation remained, Isaac could not possibly be born because he must be born of Sarah and not a surrogate. His birth would never happen as long as Sarah was in charge. Sarah would never have an ounce of faith as long as she was in charge. She would never be fertile. She would be unworthy of receiving spiritual seed. Of course, in her case, she was also unable of bear children in the flesh. She was barren both physically and spiritually. She was also faithless. The only way this could change is if she submitted to God. Fully. Why was Sarah so hardheaded and stubborn in this regard? Why did she demand to have her own way? Was this not the vestige of fallen Eve in her nature? (Abraham had also partaken of the vestige of fallen Adam by weakly complying with the demands and/or manipulation of his wife.)
The process toward spiritual life and away from fleshly rebellion, as it was in the exact case of Adam and Eve, started when Abraham took back control from Sarah and then submitted total control to God. (As long as Sarah was in authority she would never submit to God and there would never be an Isaac.) This is why there was such an immediate dramatic change for the better once Abraham repented and was circumcised. The change was so dramatic that even Sarah herself would be blessed with pure faith and her newfound faithfulness to God would result at last in spiritual fruitfulness. God had initially told them Isaac was coming 29 years before. The time had now arrived for Him to tell them again, this time face to face:
Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will bring a piece of bread, that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” [Genesis 18:1-5]
Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” [Genesis 18:9-14]
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS
Though an Ishmael has taken over and gained great power at the behest of evil forces he will not and they will not have the last word. Regardless of their success to date in establishing a counterfeit which appears to be legitimate, there remains much more to this story. We see many forms of attack against this Ishmael but none have worked so far nor will any other work. Except one.
As I have faithfully reported over the last eleven and a half years, primarily through this medium, a Great Awakening had always been in the plan of God for America. Just as He has done on countless other occasions, if we as His followers fulfill the terms of the promise, the present illegitimate Ishmael in control will not only be stopped but circumcised. Its evil fleshly power and connection to the devil will be cut off. This will happen when the rebellion is complete, when the perpetrators thereof have spent themselves in an ultimately losing cause. And every real Christian in America has a vital part to be engaged in toward that end. The Lord Jesus will do this, as He always has, through His people, His spiritual kingdom-minded Community of Called-Out Ones who bow the knee to Him, confess His holy Name, and circumcise their hearts.
In the interim, get faithful and stay faithful.
Isaac is coming.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Hello my friends. Hope all is well! The following is a brief note regarding how we operate as bloggers and the interaction thereof which you may find helpful and interesting.
Like some of you I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve “met” some really great people here over the years. Like you, I have also had readers come and go. It is always great to get new readers who like your stuff and believe it to be edifying. On the other hand, we sometimes lose readers. Some stop reading your stuff. Some stop blogging altogether. Some delete their sites. New bloggers come on board. It is all very fluid. When I look at some of my posts from just a few years ago I wonder what happened to those readers. If you do this blogging thing long enough you will have a turnover of supporters several times. This is all completely normal.
A NOTE ABOUT THIS MEDIUM
Attention spans have generally become very short. When I started out here going on twelve years ago my posts were usually in the range of one to two pages and occasionally three. Anything exceeding that was broken into two to three parts and very rarely did I write a series longer than three parts. From time to time after that I occasionally wrote a four page post. Due to the nature of the medium I realized that relatively short posts work best and if I wrote a series, three parts at the most would work best. If one uses the same title in a series, readers have a tendency to drift off and lose interest. This is perfectly understandable.
This has happened in my current series, but the title of a series cannot change unless one scraps the entire series. The writer usually never knows if a reader doesn’t read or stops reading due to the unchanging title in a series, the content of articles, or the length of articles. It could be all three or a combination. (My posts have become longer as of late.) We are therefore continually looking for what may work best to (1) Honor the Lord who has called us to this work to do what He wants, and (2) Strive to make our posts as readable, informative, interesting, and edifying as possible.
Here are a few other things of note: I learned early on that there are bloggers out there who desire to be helpful and point out things about this medium that may have escaped our notice. We always appreciate helpful hints and ideas. I had one particular blogging friend whose site I followed who liked doing this and I did learn a few things. Also, if we have a good well-rounded blog roll we cannot help but learn a great many things that will assist us in our walk, which is in essence the entire purpose of being here and doing this. My thanks to all of you for the content you post and your distinctive style.
To go along with the good, however, there’s a tad bit of bad. I want you all to know that I will never Like a post unless I read your post in its entirety. There are some who do not do this. They may not read a post at all or only read a portion but will still leave their calling card. I remember the first time many years ago when I got blasted with Like spam. I suddenly received a ton of Likes on many of my posts and, of course, knew the other blogger had never read any of them. I also learned you cannot do anything about this. It just happened again a few days ago. I suddenly received many Likes from one individual who never read the many posts he or she referenced and apparently only wanted to post his or her icon. This is not good.
Again, most of us never do this. I never do it. It is therefore difficult to know for sure how many people actually read your posts and Like them for what they contain. Regardless of such not so great behavior, we learn who our solid readers are by their great behavior and attitude, and their ongoing consistent support. At the end of the day we are all family, those of us who have given our lives to the Lord Jesus. We are each fallible, however, and need one another. We also obviously need the Lord. Always.
I remember one occasion when I was a rookie Christian. I was attending one of those churches in which we had a time of testimony. We could stand up and share with everyone there some wonderful thing the Lord did. We had a great song leader guy who also did the testimony service, as we called it back then. I’m sure some of you are familiar with the format. He would ask whoever had a testimony (a short account of something great the Lord recently did in our lives) to stand up. Then he would call on us in turn. At that time I had been engaging in some spiritual warfare and was learning, as a rookie, that sometimes God has some serious enemies. I decided to let fly with something on my heart regarding this which may or may not have fit a testimony service. I stood there in the small congregation and said something to this effect, that sometimes living out our Christianity can have serious repercussions in that the enemy can hit pretty hard. And we want to hit back but know that isn’t right and we must simply take the hit and then figure out how to fight in the Spirit. So the punchline to my brief “testimony,” delivered with a not so bright and cheery attitude, was, “And if the Lord was not watching over us and protecting us, we’d all be sitting ducks!” It got pretty quiet…
So again, we need the Lord. Without Him the enemy would treat us like little duck targets at a circus sideshow knocking down one after the other. And we need each other. Each of us has our part to engage in to help one another. Keep up the great work!
PS: I remember a brother from that time years ago telling a story about another rookie Christian. It seems somebody actually had a successful witness with some big dude who happened to be a longshoreman. The guy was your typical hard-working brawler. He ended up giving his life to God and was gloriously saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, he was still a brand new Christian and had much to learn. He was excitedly witnessing to one of his buddies at work one day and his buddy wanted no part of it. The guy being witnessed to began getting upset and angry, and belligerent toward his former friend. He even began disparaging the Lord. The brand new Christian doing the witnessing had no way to process this and thus reverted to known behavior. As he told a friend later, “Then all of the sudden the Holy Ghost came on me and I whipped the socks off him!”
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
They’ve been violated. It has already happened. There is no use, therefore, in being fearful of what’s coming because it’s already here. It’s been here in stages a long time…
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS
The deceived don’t know this. They have been unaware of this hidden reality in general ever since it was first brought forth. They have no idea they are being played. Some may have a clue or two momentarily but usually reject the idea of sinister planning behind closed doors by hidden higher-ups as the fruit of the nut brigade. By this they prove their membership in the latter by discarding the very possibility of gaining the required insight toward being released from deception.
Anyone with adequate Biblical knowledge knows the enemy is a deceiver. He deceived Eve in the very beginning. What thus took place in The Garden of Eden was certainly a conspiracy. It was a planned assault formulated in secret and expertly managed to deceive our first parents toward surrendering their high spiritual status and gaining authority over their lives. It worked like a charm, as they say.
The enemy has done the same masterful job to date by bringing along a long term plan very slowly but surely. As in the beginning, he has a lot riding on its success. Part of the reason for the long gradualism approach was waiting on the technology to catch up with the plans. The plans, of course, have always been there. The specific plans for our generation were made long before our generation existed. One must go back four or five generations to discover the original source of the river now upon us.
Because people are created by God to be Strong and Freedom-Loving, one of the first things that had to be done was pare down the inherent strength of human beings and remove their freedom in as many areas as possible to the greatest degree possible to make them more pliable, conforming, and weak. An insecure weakened foe with less freedom and confidence is more easily defeated. An ignorant unaware foe disconnected from the reality of his or her inherent potent nature is much less likely to make a stand and fight. For the most part, through surreptitious and deceptive means undetected by the victim, the battle is often over before it ever starts.
SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY AND DISCIPLESHIP
Big rocks are not pliable. There are big rocks in big rivers that can withstand indefinitely the ongoing powerful effect of raging waters. It will take a very long time to wear them down. Most of the time the only thing that happens to them is ongoing smoothing and polishing. They become more rounded and less sharp-edged. This is the exact process that takes place when the Lord’s people subject themselves to real discipleship. The rough edges are slowly removed. But the great Strength of the Freedom-Loving rock not only remains but grows even Stronger and more Freedom-Loving. Their smoothed out and polished nature allows opposing forces to flow past with little feeling or discomfort.
Christians who have been brainwashed by religion and religious idiots into thinking that God is against freedom obviously do not know God. That a likely majority of Christians believe this and surrender their lives accordingly proves that a likely majority of Christians are not clear on the concept. They’ve got their minds stuck on submission to authority, submission to authority, submission to authority. The idea isn’t necessarily wrong but they submit inappropriately to the wrong people. They become slaves to those they submit to whether they understand it or not. Slaves have little or no freedom.
And as I have said forever, the teachings of the Lord Jesus never advocate for such beyond one’s complete submission to Him. If the Lord wants us to obey others under His authority we only do so because we obey Him first. Real Christians place themselves first and foremost under His umbrella of authority. In this way whatever we may do is under His authority which means He has complete control over anyone else He may want us to submit to and if such people exceed their authority we can immediately cease to obey them just as the apostles Peter and John explained in the following:
And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” [Acts 4:18-20]
In other words, those who command Christians to do something against the will of God that grossly violates their entire reason for living can be effectively told to go stick it in their left ear and jam it in all the way until everyone knows they’re as much a moron as they appear. Christians with such an attitude will always have the full 100% support of the Lord Jesus in doing such. ¿Comprende?
Therefore, all real Christians know they must submit to the Lord Jesus entirely or there cannot possibly be a real relationship with Him and His authority will never work in their lives. The unreal Christians do not understand this or have lost sight of the fact that all real Christians have been bought with a price. Our spiritual freedom was paid for by His horrific torture and death as the only possible Sacrifice Lamb who paid for our sins and set us free from its power.
Now, after the Lord Jesus has willingly paid the greatest price that could ever possibly be paid to buy us back from the forces of evil and the evil power of sin, why would He then violate our new freedom by making us slaves all over again?
It is true that real Christians are effectively His bond slaves. In fact, the English word “servant” in the Gospels referring to the Lord’s people is best translated as slaves and is translated that way in some versions. But this fact must be put into the proper context. The Lord Jesus is also obviously a loving Father. Again, did He not die for us? And is not that the greatest love? This being the case, He is obviously wholly trustworthy, loving, kind, merciful, and compassionate. Why then, must real Christians go through such a tough process which seems to violate this affection to become Strong Freedom-Loving disciples?
There are several reasons. We live in a broken, dysfunctional, sinful, fallen world filled with evil ruled over by powerful evil forces. If one is to have any effect against such evil then one must be very strong and powerful otherwise one will have no chance. To become spiritually strong and powerful one must work very hard at it and allow the Lord to assist in the process. This is in part why there must be growing pains and spiritual trials.
And in case you’re wondering, it impossible to possess this kind of powerful spiritual strength unless one is filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus Himself was filled with the Holy Spirit without measure. The Early Church of the first century was filled with His Holy Spirit and this is what made it so powerful. They had greater power than the devil. It wasn’t their power. It was His power. The evidence of His power within them is illustrated throughout the New Covenant writings.
Remember the Roman centurion who believed in the Lord? He stated the authority paradigm very well. By considering the military we better understand the need for growing pains, spiritual trials, and necessary discipleship. The military takes young raw recruits and transforms them into strong, disciplined soldiers who obey orders. One could never have an effective military otherwise. We can also see this in the realm of sports in which the very best players work extremely hard over many years to become the best they can be. Both of these examples illustrate the necessity of submitting to strong training and discipline. It is how the largely worthless and weak become powerful and great. Some may have great natural talent but such still must be properly subjected to the process. For real Christians, it is absolutely mandatory that they get their flesh under control and never allow their lower human nature to subvert their higher nature and violate their true character. The addition of the Lord’s Spirit to our spirit makes this possible.
But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. [1Corinthians 6:17]
Real Christians understand real discipleship. They know they are greatly loved and supported by the Lord Jesus but also know they are in a spiritual war against powerful evil enemies. They know that pacified, compliant, soft, wimpy, conformed-to-the-sinful-culture non-Spirit-filled Christians won’t have much impact whatsoever against such evil forces. They know that those who insist on such an attitude are actually working for the enemy. Keep this in mind when religious rulers insist that one must submit to them rather than the Lord Jesus. It is exactly the same when such Christians weakly submit to the secular variety of such rulers. Those who submit to either of these without ever submitting fully to the Lord are doing the same thing Adam and Eve did when they rebelled against God. They are effectively submitting to the devil.
This is why it is vitally necessary to submit to the Lord fully and properly. His teachings tell us how this is done. The history of the first-century Christians reveal to us how they did it. However, much of what the Lord taught and what the original Christians did in obedience to His teachings has been thoroughly rejected by the majority of Christians ever since. Now, why would they do that? Hmmm… This should tell one all one needs to know about Unreal Christianity. It is just another of the devil’s evil and deceptive hell holes. Rather than being Strong Freedom-Loving rocks as created by God, such Christians are mere spiritual wimps led around by the nose, broken and violated. And they don’t even know it. They are deceived.
THE LAST TWO YEARS
The Lord told me eleven and a half years ago in late August of 2010 that we were in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. He revealed this to me long before the term “Great Awakening” became popular. Starting maybe five years ago at the most this term began being appropriated by a few and then grew to massive acceptance. Curiously, however, it has rarely been used in Christian circles, Christian media, or churches. It is as if Christians are completely unaware of what is actually going on in these times. In reality, this is exactly the case. The majority of Christians are clueless because their chosen official leaders are clueless, because such official Christian leaders for the most part are not serving the Lord Jesus and have different agendas. They serve someone else. They desire something else.
Yet, how is it then that many non-Christians in America know a great deal of what’s going on behind the scenes, do an incredible amount of research, work very hard to stay informed and aware, filter out all the mis and disinformation, and do their best to inform others (for free!) while most Christians don’t know squat? Could it be because such Freedom-Loving people are doing a much better job obeying their Creator and being what He wants them to be even though they likely don’t know Him or know Him very well? And could it be that they have refused to submit to brainwashing of either the secular or religious variety?
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. [Romans 2:14-16]
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They *said, “The first.” Jesus *said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32]
Even though the last two years have likely been the worst ever experienced in America though many Americans don’t know this or believe it because they are, well, you know, and though the devil has made great strides toward his master plan, the Lord Jesus has also had a plan. His plans always predate the devil’s plans. The Lord knows what the devil will do before he does it and has a plan to counteract it. But the Lord can only implement His plans through fully submitted disciples—loving sons and daughters pledged to Him and His work—those who not only say they will do the work but actually go out and do it. Thus, we now perceive much more clearly the real Christians and the fake ones based on what each has done over the last two years. Some Christians merely did everything they were told to do without ever seeking the Lord and therefore were exactly like the wayward son who told his father he would obey but never did. And because these Christians obeyed someone other than the one they claim to follow it proves they don’t really follow Him. The last two years have revealed the unreal Christians for what they are.
The last two years have also revealed the real. The real are those who acted as big rocks in a raging river who refused to move but got that much more smoothed out and rounded and polished during a greatly difficult time. By staying with the Lord Jesus and one another and doing their best, they preserved who they are and got even stronger and more aware of the devil’s tricks.
…so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes. [2Corinthians 2:11] 
Because the enemy was arrogant he became vulnerable. The Lord Jesus drew him out. The Lord depended on His people to withstand the process and remain faithful though it looked as though all was done and over with and the enemy had achieved a great victory. Thank the Lord that so many of His children did remain faithful. The enemy will never quit, of course, and has already brought the next phase of his plan out, but, as always, the Lord Jesus has His own plan to counteract this one as well. His people must be faithful to the current plan of the Lord as well. It is why real Christians must be forever faithful and obedient. It is how they remain Strong and Freedom-Loving.
Anything less proves spiritual adultery.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
As objects in your side-view mirror are closer than they appear, so is the encroaching evil rapidly bearing down upon us. It is likely much worse than you may think.
A DEEP SLEEP PANDEMIC
I do not write the following to frighten but to awaken. If a person is determined to remain asleep and oblivious regardless of ongoing attempts to rouse him from listless slumber he will eventually tune out the lifesaving alarm bells to the point of no longer hearing them at all. He will effectively mute the warning. He will destroy his spiritual ears. He will become spiritually tone-deaf.
Once seared, the damage is pretty much irreparable. If a person is hopelessly indoctrinated, completely programmed by false narratives, filled to the saturation level with propaganda—brainwashed, he will almost always react in one of two primary ways against the truth that attempts to rescue him:
(1) There will be anger. But it will be a strange incoherent anger. It is similar to the anger of one who got severely burned by enemies disguised as friends. Such fooled ones who were played as fools, upon realizing they were greatly deceived and ridiculed by evil forces, have a tendency to grow very angry very fast. It is an explosive anger. So it is with the brainwashed, except in their case, instead of realizing or accepting that they are brainwashed, they will angrily stand their ground as if they are not.
And in case you’re wondering, facts will not matter. Facts actually become the enemy. Truth is the enemy. Why? Because truth acts as an aggravating, incessant alarm that never stops. The brainwashed are angry in the face of truth in part because they have invested heavily in falsehood without necessarily knowing it was falsehood when they invested so heavily in it (believing it was truth) and do not appreciate being confronted with the difficult fork in the road now before them. Repentance leads to a doable tear down and rebuild:
“Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” [Luke 17:33]
The lack of repentance thereof leads to their lives eventually crashing down as the proverbial house built on shifting sands:
“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” [Matthew 7:26-27] 
So in order to keep their mock lives intact, if that is the foolish choice they make, they must flee from truth. They must reject the facts that prove their lives are mere artificial constructs. They must preserve their faux lives and fabrications. They must protect their simulated realities in order to protect themselves. Though what they’ve spent years embracing and nurturing may make them feel very comfortable, may look very pleasing to the eye, may greatly satisfy one’s sinful flesh, and may make one socially acceptable and maybe a social standout (because seemingly everybody embraces the same), it is still a lie.
(2) The other reaction is on the opposite end of the spectrum. When confronted with truth, the brainwashed often react with ongoing ceaseless yawning. They fight falling asleep. Of course, what is actually happening is that they are already asleep and doing their best to stay that way and safeguard their sleep status. It could be they have already rejected such truth and such truth does not only not interest them but bores them.
This is what the rejecting of facts that don’t fit one’s overall desires, personal narrative, or belief system does. Such people exhibit the extreme opposite of love and hunger for truth. They do not so much possess a hatred of truth but a complete indifference toward it. We see this in common reactions to such warnings as: “Engaging in that immoral activity, ingesting that excuse for food, and partaking of such chemical poisons is causing you great harm,” and “Whether you believe it or not or accept it or not, sin is real and the wages of sin is death.” These essentially have no effect whatsoever because the person has long since decided they WANT to engage in such sinful activities regardless of the harm and pain they will cause.
And while they must acknowledge such undeniable truth on a head level, they remain hopeful against such facts on a heart level, convincing themselves to be unconvinced in hopes of dodging the otherwise inevitable. They are thus bored by truth alarms and fight hard to stay asleep. In fact, their immoral activities and bad habits often increase in order to maintain their chosen rebellious state and condition.
Perhaps this is why America—a drug state with a pronounced drug culture of both the legal and illegal variety (two wings of the same bird if you will that has existed for multiple decades now)—is currently engaged in a drug epidemic of such immense proportions. And what is more, the legal drugs and pharmaceuticals now arguably outrank and outnumber those of the illegal variety. The wicked little seedy drug pusher of decades past has now graduated to elite status and wears his white lab coat proudly. Perhaps as many as 200 million Americans now run to him unswervingly without equivocation for their ongoing fix. And it could be that these required fixes exist in the first place because their wholesale embrace of fear and lack of courage to face the truth demands their use and abuse.
The enemy of our souls has everything to do with this. A drug and alcohol-addled population of pseudo-Christians is of course no threat to him. He is the great drug pusher par excellence after all, sitting at the top of the pharmakeia pyramid, sending out directives through his henchmen and their billionaire human agents. There is great profit in this trade on many levels. The greatest is the ongoing propagation of evil that has now captured the very soul of the nation in that a great bulk of the warriors that should be and should be fighting for God have been brainwashed by the serpent and have defected to the enemy camp. Rather than stand against the flood of evil and engage in the spiritual fight they have weakly surrendered and willingly entered soul prison, closing the cold steel doors behind them.
Where they’re safe.
And you’re wondering when this evil will end…
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
For those of you who have stayed with me so far and have read all four parts of this series to date, your time and attention is about to pay off.
I wrote a segment within Part 3 about Adam and Eve. My longtime reader Amber and I had a good discussion in the comments section afterwards which answered several questions. What follows are more clues from Genesis.
GOOD AND EVIL
Of course, our first parents first lived in Paradise. They existed in a state of innocence. They had absolutely no knowledge of sin. They were pure and holy. God allowed them to eat from any tree in the Garden except one. This meant that every single tree other than that one had good fruit. Only one tree had bad fruit. And there were only two trees mentioned by name in the Garden:
Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. [Genesis 2:9]
By inference, we know that the Tree of Life was located somewhere in the center of the Garden. It was likely more prominent than the other trees. It held this strategic place not only to showcase its importance but to be equally accessible from any place thereof. Wherever one traveled in the Garden one would often pass by the Tree of Life and always be reminded of its significance. The Tree of Life is mentioned three times in the Book of Genesis. The bad Tree is mentioned twice. Three is the Biblical number of Divine Perfection. Two is the number of Division.
By further inference, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil must have been far off in a relatively remote location close to the boundary of the Garden. It was in a relatively hard to reach area which for the most part demanded a determined effort to visit it, possibly also because it was at a higher elevation. The odds upon happening upon it by chance were very low.
Regarding which direction this tree might have been located from the center, we can gain clues by simply reading the text. One notices that Adam and Eve were apparently driven out of the Garden on the east side:
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. [Genesis 3:22-24]
By inference again, it would seem that the bad tree would be located close by. It would seem that the bad tree was close to the eastern boundary. It would appear that visiting the bad tree was associated with a consideration of leaving the Garden, or in other words, rebelling against God and going off into sin. Was this Eve’s intention?
A FIG TREE
Also, Hebrew tradition states that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a fig tree, precisely because it is mentioned thus in Genesis. It was the Tree from which Adam and Eve gained the large leathery leaves to sew together and wear as loin coverings to hide their newly discovered nakedness.
This is not the fig tree of which most people are familiar. It is not a relatively low and bushy shrub but rather a very large tree that can grow to great heights.
Here is Ficus Sycomorus, the Sycamore Fig Tree of ancient Israel:
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
God is forced to put up with never-ending willful sin and outright rebellion against His authority every second of every day in this fallen world. HE HAS HIS LIMITS.
THE REAL VS. THE UNREAL
In this magnificent day in which we live, when long time sleepers are being stirred awake to varying degrees and unaware “normies,” as they are called, are finally starting to see through so many false narratives that had previously captured their minds, we must take note that the Lord will hold everyone responsible, regardless of their sleeping or awake condition, because of the massive effort over many years that was put forth to get us here.
Anyone who has spent years doing manual labor of some sort knows the cost of which I speak. Hard work gets things done. It can be tiring and draining, as we all know, but greatly rewarding. It gives us a great sense of accomplishment. Such effort demands the required rest afterwards to regain one’s health and ability to function properly. This normally comes with a good night’s sleep, of course, but many people who do such labor don’t often get the sleep they need and the labor takes a cumulative toll. Spiritual work involves the same dynamic.
For a brief synopsis on spiritual work and how things operate and get done in the spiritual world, it kinda goes like this: Some nobody real Christian somewhere of no reputation or notoriety labors intensely in total obscurity for pretty much forever in a determined ongoing effort to turn things from darkness to light. It may be someone engaging in heart-rending intercessory prayer, often not even aware of what or who they are praying for. They pray incessantly until the Lord says stop. Prayer of this kind costs. It costs a great amount. But what is gained from such prayer makes a massive difference for something or someone. Our prayer warrior may thus move mountains in answer to God’s call who uses such a method to accomplish His will in the earth.
Most people, including Christians, are never aware of such things. Great things happen and they appear to have just happened on their own. Imagine someone who engages in some kind of secret blessing ministry in which they give to others in such a way that no one knows who the giver is. Some of the recipients know exactly what happened and are extremely grateful. Others simply accept their gift, whatever it may be, as if they were somehow entitled to it with little or no thought of thanking the giver or even knowing there was a giver. They accept the gift without understanding or caring about the great effort that went into appropriating the gift to give. Sound familiar?
THE WAY THE KINGDOM WORKS
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
“So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
“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 6:1-6]
It can never ever be overstated what the Lord Jesus has done for us. He did it all with the most humble self-effacing attitude. His greatest work was done in secret in that no one knew by observation that He was the Author. During His ministry, He spent hours in prayer pretty much every night and there must have been times when He pulled all night prayer meetings all alone. The results of His prayers showed up in His ministry work the next day. Keep that in mind when you see so much “Christian ministry” going on all across the country while New Covenant miracles are pretty much non-existent among such people. If the results are not there it should be obvious that the spiritual work was never there either.
The Lord has His reasons for keeping a very humble and obscure low profile and for commanding that His followers have the same. One cannot help but notice that the Lord Jesus always gave the credit and glory to the Father. He would not allow the glorification of flesh or mere humanity in the spotlight, even if it meant His own humanity, perfect and pure as it is. This should give all the glory hound in-the-spotlight Christian ministers great pause. Those who stand in such a place had better deliver or there will be consequences. Most such ministers, of course, never deliver. Their efforts remain squarely in the natural flesh realm. Not only do their ministries never see miracles many don’t even believe in miracles. And Christian ministry without miracles is NOT Christian.
Again, a great amount of behind the scenes spiritual effort by hard-working obscure nobody Christians has gone into the current Great Awakening. It is certainly the Lord Jesus who is bringing it but He must work through His people and He can only work through those who fully surrender to His will and are willing to be used in whatever way He desires. So, just as the Lord Jesus, as our example in this regard, gave all the glory to the Father (even though He later explained that He is the Father), so must all real Christians give the glory for the accomplished work to the Lord Jesus. He is the One with all the authority in both heaven and earth. There is nothing He cannot do. Once Christians actually see and understand this and apply His methods for achieving the work He has commanded must be done, they gain effective understanding that truly, all things actually are possible with God. They shift over into believing in miracles. They see that the help the Lord wants to give MUST include the supernatural.
OUR GREATEST OPPONENTS ARE NOT HUMAN
The devil is a powerful spiritual entity. This is simply fact. The majority of Christians don’t know this, don’t acknowledge it, lose sight of it, refuse to address it, or are much too fearful toward addressing it. Yet, the New Testament states this very plainly. The devil is in fact so powerful that he has gained control over the entire world. The only place he doesn’t have control is in the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus. There is a huge disconnect here among Christians, however. The Lord Jesus acknowledged this fact. The Early Church in the first century was well aware of it. To refresh our memories there is this:
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.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’” [Luke 4:5-8]
How did the devil gain control of all the kingdoms of the world? Why do we think this passage of Scripture does not apply to the present? Do Christians really believe that the devil controls all the kingdoms of the world at present? How many Christians actually acknowledge this?
It must be few. The few who do are most likely the real Christians of the world. They know this to be true because they are Kingdom-minded. They know when they were born again of the Spirit that they left the sinful world and entered the Kingdom of God. They know they were previously bound by sin and living in the devil’s prison. They know the Lord Jesus busted them out of jail. They thus know how this world really works. They are not unaware of the devil’s power and authority in his own realm. They also know, however, that the Lord Jesus has much greater power than the devil. They know that the Lord’s spiritual power is vitally necessary because the devil is a spiritual being and uses spiritual warfare against us. We MUST in turn use spiritual warfare against him. The Lord Jesus taught all about this and demonstrated clearly how such spiritual warfare must be done.
Therefore, though the great bulk of “Christians” in the world have no spiritual power by choice because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit and don’t want to be, though many convince themselves they are when they are not, and though these Christians represent little or no threat to the enemy, the relatively few real Christians in the world are the ones who work with God and are actually getting the work done and accomplishing the works of their Father. It is the few real Christians who have the courage to actually attack the enemy. The devil has created a prison planet with most of his subjects in jail, unknowingly, and God is intent on busting as many people out of the devil’s jails as possible. That takes effort. It takes great spiritual power. It takes the Lord having actual strong disciples intent on doing His will and being used of Him so He can work through them. Every time someone is actually busted out of the devil’s jail and brought into the Kingdom of God IT IS A GREAT MIRACLE.
THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL
Therefore, if you’re wondering when this evil will end, it is ending in part as you read this in that great spiritual work is being accomplished behind the scenes as it were and we see the evidence in part every time someone gets saved, set free from sin, and busted out of the devil’s prison.
Someone paid a great price for such to happen. Someone paid it forward with His very life. Moreover, we know great miracles are happening worldwide and the Lord’s Kingdom is growing larger because the devil is being exposed. The Lord’s LIGHT is shining on the great darkness in this world. His TRUTH is exposing all the lies and false narratives. This combination of spiritual Light and Truth means the enemy must be on the run from both.
He and his minions, including those of the human variety, can run for a while and hide for a while but will never be able to outrun the Lord Jesus or hide forever.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
We live in a finite and temporary world. These two facts portend that evil will achieve a point of allowed maximum growth and will then be terminated.
The Word of God states that sin had a clear starting point in this world. There was a time here when there was no sin. The first two human beings on the planet initially existed in a state of pure innocence. They had no experiential concept of sin. Adam was certainly warned of it and Adam warned Eve of it. He taught her what God had taught him. But they only knew sin as a concept. The only thing that continued to protect them from it was their faith in God and obedience toward Him. More than these, though, it was Adam and Eve’s great love for God that compelled them to obey. Their love generated trust. They believed God and believed in Him.
This love was more pronounced in Adam, however. There was a period of time in Adam’s early life when he was blessed with much alone time and fellowship with God. Their Father-son relationship was undoubtedly very close. Eve never experienced this. It appears as though Eve spent little or no time as God’s daughter apart from Adam. She was created to be Adam’s wife. This created a dynamic that demanded even greater attention to their relationship with God. Just as we do not know how long Adam spent alone with God before Eve was created, we also don’t know how long Adam and Eve existed in innocence before they sinned. It would appear, though, that it was a relatively short rather than long period of time regarding the latter.
ADAM’S EZER KANEGDO
God stated: “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18). The Hebrew word for good in this verse is defined as “pleasant, agreeable, good.”  It was not good that something not good existed in the Garden. It is my belief that this “not good” only lasted a short time. I explain it this way: God created Adam and breathed His own life-giving Spirit into him. Adam became a living being. His first relationship was that of a son to his Father (See Luke 3:38). We do not know at what age Adam was created but it was likely young enough for God to be a good Father to him and teach him all he must know. When the time came for Adam to seek a wife he entered into the “not good” phase. Adam arrived at a time when he needed close human companionship beyond his perfect companionship with God. His need denoted lack. The lack was “not good.” It was initially not good because there was no such helper suitable for him. She had yet to exist in all of Creation. God would have to create her. God knew He must create Adam’s ezer kanegdo. And it appears as though God saved His best for last.
It was up to Adam to teach her. He had to show her the ropes. Adam had the best Father and Teacher possible but now he would have to step into this role for Eve. It appears as though he did a very good job because we later see that Eve was well-versed in spiritual knowledge when she had her fateful conversation with the trickster serpent. She held up very well for a while. The serpent knew her every weakness, however, and took full advantage. There is no doubt that Eve wanted more than she had. She apparently did not understand fully that she already had it all. Her desire for more, wherever it came from, is what caused her to listen attentively to the serpent’s counter attack.
Remember, God had commanded Adam that he must never eat the fruit from one particular tree in the Garden. That was it. Just one thing he must never do. Only one negative command. Adam always obeyed. He taught Eve exactly as he had been taught. She undoubtedly knew the command. But whereas Adam had no longing for the forbidden fruit Eve apparently did. Adam did not think he was missing out but Eve apparently did. There can be no doubt that Adam had been tempted this way, maybe several times, all without giving in to temptation. What happened to Eve?
For starters Adam had somehow allowed her to be alone with the serpent. Even though Scripture seems to report that Adam was with her during the temptation this could not have been true. The words “with her” in Genesis 3:6 do not appear in the Hebrew. The conversation only involved Eve and the serpent. Though she had always obeyed up to that point, she did so because she feared death. She knew death was the penalty for violating the one negative command.
The first thing the serpent did to throw her off was ask her directly if God had ever actually made such a command. Eve said He did. She also told the serpent that whoever ate the forbidden fruit or even touched it would die. Adam had taught her this. But again, it appears as though God taught Adam better than Adam taught Eve. It looks as though Adam respected God more than Eve respected Adam. Adam had full confidence in God but Eve apparently did not have the same confidence in Adam. She must have questioned this command in her heart. This could be because she essentially got the message second hand. Because Adam was the go-between and because Eve never heard this directly from God she possessed a weakness the serpent could take advantage of.
(1) The serpent asked her if God had actually ever made that particular command. This put doubt in her mind. This pretty much proves that she never heard the command from God.
(2) When Eve told the serpent the command and the penalty for breaking it the serpent simply lied to her. She had never heard a lie before. The serpent told her, “You surely will not die!” Then he lied to her again and told her if she ate it she would be like God.
(3) Eve was now disarmed. She was no longer sure that God had ever made the command and then began believing that if God did make it He only did it because He wanted to keep her down. She must have thought God was holding out on her, that He did not want her to be fully blessed and fulfilled. She also probably thought that Adam had gone along with the ruse. How could someone so blessed living in Paradise actually think that the two most important ones in her life who both loved her were actually lying to her and holding out on her?
(4) Then the devil went in for the kill. He had managed to get her completely confused and off-balance. She could no longer properly discern the veracity of God’s command or the penalty thereof. Was it actually true? Is there something much better for me that I didn’t know about before?
She eventually succumbed to temptation.
THE THREE SOURCES OF SIN
In the first epistle of John the apostle, he warns his readers to “not love the world nor the things in the world.” The Greek word is kosmos and there are several definitions. In this context John is referring to the world of sinful man existing apart from God in opposition to Him containing “the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments, riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ.”  John then tells us that all sin originates from only three main sources:
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. [1John 2:15-17]
These three sources of sin are aligned with the three main temptations to sin. We may call them Door #1, Door #2, and Door #3. The three sources are three portals. The portals are presented by the enemy as Portals to Paradise. Whoever may enter through these doors is guaranteed to experience a paradise on earth. One is also promised a place of ruling authority. One can have whatever one’s heart desires. This should sound familiar:
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. [Genesis 3:6]
Here we have the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and lastly, the boastful pride of life in which “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).
The Lord Jesus Himself had to be tempted with these three and pass the test before He could start His ministry. He succeeded where Adam failed. But it must be remembered that Adam and Eve repented of their great sin and got their act together with God 130 years later. They produced a righteous son named Seth, a replacement for righteous Abel who was murdered. Abel was the original beginning of the Messiah’s generational line. Adam started the line anew through Seth (See Genesis 4:25).
This tells us that any and all sin, no matter how heinous or egregious (except the unpardonable sin), even that as far-reaching as the sin of Adam and Eve, can be forgiven and washed away by the Blood of the Lamb. But this only happens if one exits “the world.” Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden and cast into the wild world. Everyone since was physically born into “the world.” In a reversal of fates, the last Adam makes it possible “for whosoever will” to exit the world of sin and enter the Kingdom of God on earth.
Nevertheless, the world of sin, since it was created many millennia ago, has grown worse and worse over time. It is because Sin is Progressive. It will continue progressing until it maxes out. We will look into this process further in Part 4…
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 © 2022 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
 Strong’s Concordance
 Strong’s Concordance
 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.
For the most part humanity goes through life with blinders on. Life being what it is, the vast majority are always in the process of oblivious survival and reality denial.
Indeed, survival has been the main preoccupation of the great mass of humanity throughout history. Life in this world is difficult in general but the gradients thereof can rank from just this side of impossible on a daily basis to being stalwart enough to keep two or three plates spinning at once for long enough stretches. The relentless attention to staying alive, however, must at some point be supplemented (to do it justice) by achieving relatively good health with minimal food and shelter for greater advancement to be possible. Yet, striving further, the struggle is then not only about the attempt at gaining the hard-won fruit of difficult toil, but also overcoming the incessant forces forever trying to keep one from getting to better places, and once getting there staying there.
As great feats of architecture must be engineered to overcome all manner of often unacknowledged natural stresses and forces arriving through moving winds, rushing water, and quaking earth, so must human beings learn to cope with forces and stresses which seem intent on fighting every step one makes toward a better life. Survival portends overcoming these relentless attacks and establishing small beachheads from which one can expand outward and upward. One’s first camp in life, with the rudimentary basics, in most often the hardest. From there it gets more doable but only because one has established a rough home of sorts to resort to when the going gets so tough it demands a break to rest and recharge. Without such an established starting point protected from the elements one can never sustain a drive toward breaking out of mere survival and remains forever at the mercy of those opposing forces intent on keeping one from rising up over them.
For the relative few who do manage to escape ceaseless survival mode, their new found freedom, diminutive as it may be, is immediately used for hopeful progress and they become preoccupied with improving their basic station in life. If actually succeeding against most odds at their lofty goal of bettering living beyond staying alive, the next pursuit is even loftier in that the attempt to excel enters the realm of possibility. There are some who do excel though the definition of such is fluid and depends on perception. At each hardy, difficult step of going-against-the-grain accomplishment and overcoming, one establishes a solid foundation from which to build the next advance. As long as said foundation remains strong and secure and one proceeds with correctly engineered plans and construction, one can keep building with confidence.
“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.” [Luke 6:47-48]
The foundation part of one’s overall edifice is the decidedly tricky part. If not careful in building and securing one’s spiritual foundation the right way to the proper level of bearing strength, one finds out the hard way that one’s architectural life was actually a big game of Jenga just waiting to return to a disassembled natural state.
This unfortunate and all too common outcome experienced by a probable majority was inevitable once one’s faux foundation and the edifice upon it failed to hold at bay the straining-at-the-leash evil howling dogs of omnipresent stresses and forces determined to discover overlooked architectural error and slipshod work exceeding the parameters of allowable sound building practices which fatally compromised construction integrity.
“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 6:49]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
From one of the first anointed preaching messages I ever heard when I was a rookie Christian years ago I remember the clear and haunting words, “Sin is progressive…”
I’ve visited this theme several times over the course of this blog. It is not an easy thing to face. Sin begins at a single point. It then grows. It rides along a rising wave gaining strength. In time it proliferates. In further time it rises higher and then suddenly starts shooting upward exponentially as on the right side of an intangible graph. If nothing stops its advance, and nothing often does, it goes forth and it conquers. Sin is truly progressive…
For the overly fearful among us, the notion of sin and evil running so out of control that next to nothing can be done about it can be petrifying. It is why most don’t want to touch the subject. Such an approach is not necessarily a rejection of such facts but akin to hiding them away in a far corner of a dank and dusty immaterial attic or burying them out somewhere in a nondescript field without a marker. The idea that an evil so great and powerful lurks in our midst taking precedence over our lives regardless of benign exteriors to the contrary is simply too much to deal with for most.
When one actually does look into it, even for a brief few seconds of consideration, seeing the distinct possibility, and maybe even venturing to the edge of the shocking reality though still at a presumably secure distance, it often causes a gut reaction and an instant recoil back to safety, as one may force a waking state from a nightmare to escape the spine-chilling terror thereof.
This is why most people have succumbed to ignoring the great hidden evil or claiming its non-existence. It is due both to being either unable or unwilling to face it for the great fear factor involved because of the shock such fear does to one’s system, or because they know inherently they have no means of battling it, fighting successfully against it, overcoming it, and thus eliminating it. They know the evil is simply too great and they are not strong enough to duke it out as one may win fights against far-lesser foes, or that they do not have the necessary tools of warfare, as one is well aware of the futility of bringing a dull butter knife to a gun fight.
Humans know this. Or, they used to. Maybe the vast majority has run so far away as yellow-striped cowards over the last several decades and more that such a weak-response attitude has become embedded in the DNA of present generations. Maybe the blindness that has thus ensued has reached a point of mass all-encompassing willful sightlessness that most could never see it no matter what obvious facts are presented or even if the Sacred and Holy written Word of God is used as potent searchlight.
I remember once, at a deer hunting lease, our small group of men, all family, had to go out one late afternoon right before the season started to check on some feeders or something. Among our group was one young man who had never been out in the deep woods that far. It was his first hunting venture. As we dealt with the last tasks in the growing evening it quickly grew almost dark. Being heavily overcast in mid-autumn with little or no moon, the recognizable was fading fast. The sunlight through the deep clouds had drifted off surreptitiously rather quickly and it was soon night.
Anyone who has experienced this scenario knows of what I speak. Normally in such conditions one would already have a fire going in camp and the dark/light ratio is not noticed so much, especially amid the usual supper activities and whatnot of that time. Out in the brush, however, there was no fire and no light other than our small handheld flashlights which work good at seeing the immediate surroundings but not so much that the enveloping shroud of deep darkness all around doesn’t have the clear upper hand.
Then someone thought it would be cool to douse them for a while. We turned off our lights. The great darkness of the deep woods out in the middle of nowhere instantly invaded our immediate presence and let us know who the boss was, at least in that moment. It was total blackness. Then, as our eyes adjusted somewhat, the distant starlight muted by the dark overcast unseen clouds above filtered in, at least toward a point of seeing enough to know we were at a supreme disadvantage. The eyes of the wild were on sudden alert and we must have surely appeared as easy targets. We beheld the wonder momentarily.
The two older men, though with necessary respect and a positive appreciation, thought nothing of it having experienced it many times. Deer hunting is such that you enter your blind or climb a tree in the pitch black darkness of cold mornings and leave them the same way after the evening hunt. The two younger men probably thought it was an interesting experience but was, of course, nothing new. But the young lad had never been in such a situation. We stood there briefly in the great darkness of the wild world and allowed ourselves a chance at natural reality and spiritual perception. All was quiet.
The young one, however, was a tad shaken. Knowing full well he was fully protected and had the security of strong company and family ties did little to stop the deep impression on his young heart of just what this world is apart from our technological advances and artificial surroundings.
He felt relieved when we turned our flashlights on and headed back…
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Sometimes I wonder why the whole world isn’t lined up to receive the one thing that cures their eternal ills and reconciles them with God.
Though living a real Christian life is not easy, living in a cold, hard world is significantly more difficult and often impossible. We were designed to live for God and with God. We were created to be with Him, not apart from Him, and not lost on some weird avenue leading nowhere but down. Everything about the Lord is upward, and positive. He lifts spirits, He blesses with joy and peace, and He makes a place for the lonely and alone:
A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. [Psalm 68:5-6]
Grace is not about deserving anything. It is by perfect definition a pure gift—a gift inspired and motivated by pure love. The Lord is out to get us. He wants us for Himself. His desire is to smother us with love and affection, make our backs strong and straight, light up our faces with the joy of His Spirit, and bless us abundantly. But He also knows we can only handle so much blessing. Too much at any given time and He might spoil us, something He will never do. In the meantime, though our trials and times of testing and growth may be severe, such in no way must ever question or diminish the full measure of His love and grace. As He Himself, these things are eternal. They are gifts to be accepted that He will only give and never, ever take back. Falling away from God and going into a world of sin, however major or minor, is purely our decision. It is never His. Though He often grieves for lost souls who refuse His grace, He also respects their choices.
And though He is a mighty Warrior and powerful in all respects, the Lord Jesus has a tender heart of love. He extends a hand of grace toward you this day.
…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. [Romans 3:23-26]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Hello Friends. Hope all is well. I’ll be posting a new article on Monday morning, January 24. Please watch for it.
The Great Awakening continues. Much progress has been made. Keep up the good work. All glory and praise to the Lord Jesus.
Thanks and Be Blessed.
The following are links to my January 2022 posts:
They have crossed over into full-fledged iniquity. They break the law routinely and no longer care. They are determined to have their way. They will not be restrained by anything including the Constitution.
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.
The more you try to wake them the more they prefer sleeping. The ongoing dream they are having is much more desirable and comforting than the waking present.
Sin generated a maelstrom of evil upon God’s perfect Creation. Every time someone sins evil is released. Sin is the real deadly virus. Sin is the real pandemic.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Sin generated a maelstrom of evil upon God’s perfect Creation. Every time someone sins evil is released. Sin is the real deadly virus. Sin is the real pandemic.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ALTAR CALLS?
Much of Christianity, that which refuses the Lord’s full authority, and that which I have long termed Unreal Christianity, has, in recent years, especially the last two, become that much more obvious regarding its true nature. There is no greater proof of this than its outright refusal to preach and teach the truth about sin.
If you don’t preach sin there is no conviction of sin experienced by the hearer. It is conviction of sin which tells a sinner he is one, is in possession of sin, and must do something to eliminate it from his account and be cleansed. The sinner is then drawn to the Lord Jesus, who paid for his sins, to have his sins eliminated, gain power over sin, and receive salvation. This is clearly a vital component of the Gospel message.
However, instead of telling sinners they are sinners and attempting, per the Lord’s New Covenant teachings, to bring them to real salvation and transform them into disciples, the proponents of Unreal Christianity do the very opposite. They don’t want to bring it up. They are afraid of the negative reaction from unrepentant sinners. They are afraid people will leave their church. They are afraid of losing their social standing in the local community. They are afraid it will negatively affect their market share. They know it’s bad for the bottom line. They might even go out of business. They would thus rather coddle sinners and bless them on their way to hell. They are fearful and faithless. The New Testament reveals them as deceptive imposters.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
One may note the strong and unwavering Biblical directive on correctly measuring up to God’s righteousness standard in this statement:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. [James 2:10]
In this declaration, the brother of our Lord states clearly that anyone who does not keep the Law of Moses in full is guilty of violating the entire Law. It does no good to keep as many as nine of the Ten Commandments, for example. One must keep all ten or one stands in violation. God doesn’t grade on the curve. He demands 100%. We must score an “A.” Of course, there are actually a total of 613 commandments in the entire Torah. Imagine acing that test. Seeing as how it appears to be an impossible task, how can one actually attain God’s standard of righteousness?
In addition to the Law of Moses which lists and defines sins, and which primarily concerns “the mere performance of externals,” the Lord Jesus goes even further in His teachings to incorporate “the inner stirrings of motives.” He obliterates the idea of a religious checklist in which one can outwardly appear to keep the Law (or church protocol) while possessing an uncircumcised heart filled with sin and corruption. His teachings expose the false standing of the likely majority of Christians in America who only pretend to be Christians, hide their true nature, carry hidden sin, and compromise with the enemy. In mining the depths of the following example of the Lord’s teaching in this regard, in which He insists on getting to the very root of the problem and leaving no stone in a stony heart unturned, one can see just how far one must go to live a truly righteous life:
“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” [Matthew 5:21-22]
From this, it is apparent that violating the sixth commandment involves much more than Thou Shalt Not Kill. In the Lord’s Community, we are supposed to love our brothers and sisters as true family members. If one becomes angry with his brother to the point of a break in relationship and refuses any attempt to make peace, he is guilty of a relationship trespass violation and becomes “liable to the court” the same as one who commits murder. Now, keeping in mind that murder was a stoning offense (the death penalty), being angry with one’s brother is a much worse offense than we may realize. Anger itself is not the problem because anger in itself is not a sin. The apostle Paul, quoting Psalms 4:4, taught this:
“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” [Ephesians 4:26]
We know the Lord was angry on occasion as was Paul, but what both are getting at is continuous anger with no forgiveness. This not only results in a break in relationship, which the Community of the Lord must never have, but causes the object of the anger to be falsely characterized as unworthy of relationship, essentially meaning he is evil and beyond redemption. To make sure anger does not lead to such a separation, one must deal with it before the sun goes down so it won’t gain power and eventually become set in concrete.
The Lord then goes further and speaks of the highest court, the Sanhedrin, which had the greatest earthly authority among the Israelites to pronounce sentence. Here, the Lord says whoever says to his brother “You good-for-nothing,” (Raqa) will also be guilty of violating the murder commandment. This is probably an Aramaic word. It means “empty” or “good for nothing,” One authority (Bruce) says, “Raca expresses contempt for a man’s head=you stupid!” The Lord says this is a great offense against one’s brother, even greater than being angry with him. Even so, the Lord does not stop at this point because there is yet a greater offense than these two that also deserves the same sentence as murder. However, it appears that the first two contain the possibility of redemption. The third does not. What could be so bad that is not actual murder but would cause one to be in grave danger of hell? –“You fool!” Yes, calling your brother a “fool” will do it. The Greek word is Moros, defined as “dull, stupid, or foolish.” Bruce says it “expresses contempt for his heart and character=you scoundrel!”
Thus we see that, though a man be not guilty of actual murder, he can still violate the sixth commandment by having murder in his heart. This evil condition starts with unresolved anger and a refusal to forgive. It grows into accusing one’s brother of being empty headed, good for nothing, and stupid. Beyond that one expresses utter contempt for his brother’s heart and character and accuses him of being a fool and a scoundrel. Note that the accused brother in question, probably originally guilty of a minor infraction that caused his brother’s anger, is most likely none of these things but has been subjected to character assassination and had his good name slandered, all because someone was offended at some slight and then built up the offense into a bonfire. The sixth commandment does not spell out these details but the Lord Jesus sure does. If the willfully sinning unrepentant angry man is able to convince enough people of these lies, the innocent man could actually lose his place in the Community by being effectively convicted by false charges and innuendo, have his reputation destroyed, and suffer greatly in life as a result.
Consider this while you consider the existence of so many Christian “denominations” and how the extreme disunity they caused ever happened in the first place. Each denomination exists because it diverted from the original or diverted from another denomination but stopped before it advanced to honoring the original.
The Lord Jesus started only one Church (Ekklesia)—the Community of the Called-Out Ones. He has only ever had one Church. He still has only one Church. It is composed only of real Christians. A real Christian is defined as one who is 100% under the Lordship of the Lord Jesus. Regarding sin, real Christians fully obey the Lord’s teachings regarding being completely freed from sin. They do this through initial repentance as a type of sacrifice on the altar of burnt offering in which the cleansing Blood of Jesus is applied coupled with full immersion in water invoking the Name of Jesus for the remission of sins per the command in Acts Chapter 2, and ongoing repentance of sin as required:
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. 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.” [Acts 2:38-39]
The entire purpose of real Christianity is to free people from their manifold sins, from the destruction their sins cause to themselves and others, and from the deadly disease of sin which wracks their souls, and then bring them into the New and Living Way:
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. [Hebrews 10:19-22]
Our great Founder, the One who created His Creation—all that exists around you sans sinful man’s additions to it—decided on His own before He ever created anything that He would have to one day pay a visit here, walk among us, teach us the truth and the proper way of living, and then, in the greatest act of love anyone could ever possibly make, and in His case, the greatest act of love of all time, actually surrender His perfect life as a perfect sacrifice to make payment for our sins and to save and deliver humanity.
His sacrifice works because He never committed any sin, not a single one, in His entire life as one of us. He obeyed the Law of Moses to perfection, never violating a single proviso. Obviously, no one had ever done this before or since. His perfection was in part unequivocally proven upon His resurrection from the dead. He actually defeated death. Death could not hold Him. “It was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24). He was and remains the only perfect antidote or cure for all sin for all time.
WHY UNREAL CHRISTIANITY FAILS THE LEGITIMACY TEST
It doesn’t properly address the sin problem.
Again, the whole point of Christianity is to address what we must do about sin, which is defined as “missing the mark” or violating the laws and teachings of God which exist to lead one to righteousness. Christianity is supposed to have the means to allow people to be cured of and released from their deadly disease that will cause them to struggle through life, lose their souls, and go to hell. The teachings of the Lord Jesus perfectly address this. He tells us what sin is, how it got here, and how to get rid of it. His teachings instruct us on how to stop sinning, overcome the hold that sin has on one’s life, and cease being slaves of sin. If this central teaching of the Lord Jesus is not being properly and correctly addressed by a minister, church, or denomination (and many ministers, if not most, no longer preach about sin), then it should be obvious that those ministers, churches, and denominations are frauds. They may be clueless brainwashed frauds in that they are too deceived to know it or more likely, they know they are frauds but don’t care. They don’t care because they are not in it for the right reasons. They are merely using the platform for their own purposes.
Note: It is impossible for those hungry in heart searching for truth to hear the real Gospel and not be convicted of sin. This conviction is designed to activate faith, which leads one to repentance, which then leads to salvation. Unless one’s temple is thoroughly cleansed through proper repentance by washing away all sin with the Blood of the Lamb, the Holy Spirit of the Lord will not take up residence within it. The same is true for churches. This is why it is imperative to preach and teach about the disease of sin. Refusing to address sin and expose it allows for its destructive hidden presence to remain and allows the enemy a place of residence and a foothold from which to operate.
THE PRESENCE OF THE DEVIL
The Lord Jesus saw fit to give us a perfect allegory in His time of false shepherds in action which can be applied to any time or geographic location. The first century Hebrew/Israelite major religious parties, the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, had control of almost all religious thought. Almost every Israelite of the first century AD identified with one of these three parties, mainly, of course, the first two.
One of the reasons the Essenes are not addressed in the New Testament Scriptures is because they were not involved as movers and shakers in the overall society at that time. The original group of them had long since left town in the middle of the second century BC. Happiness for them was Jerusalem in their rear view mirror as it was the only way to appease their conscience regarding the sinister machinations transpiring in the City of David. They took up residence out in the wilderness to the east, close by the northern edge of what the later Romans called the Mare Asphaltum. Scholarship consensus maintains these Essenes were the monastic group inhabiting the ruins of Qumran associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient writings discovered initially in 1947. As former members of the viable Zadok priesthood, this group of men left the temple and Jerusalem because they grew disgusted with what became the official priesthood of that time—a shady group placed in power through political means.
Over the next two centuries this illicit priesthood in Jerusalem became staffed through political appointments which had nothing or little to do with God’s original intent. The political had merged with the religious. Sound familiar? Rather than the priesthood addressing sin as the Torah commanded, the appointees thereof merely went through religious motions appearing as real while saturated with sin and fraud, not the least of which was masquerading as being legitimate. This corruption started a fight for control which eventually congealed into two main religious parties that controlled Jerusalem, Judea, and Galilee, and also the temple and the synagogues: The Sadducees, who worked hand in glove with Rome and had authority over Jerusalem and the temple, and the Pharisees who controlled the local synagogues.
These two parties made a mockery of God, the prophets, and Moses the lawgiver, by appropriating their own versions and wrongheaded interpretations of God’s Word, which even included mass exclusions of Holy Writ (the Sadducees) and a wholesale rewriting of Scripture through ultra-interpretive, casuistic, and specious renderings, the so-called Oral Law, which, in the words of the Lord Jesus, invalidated the Word of God! (the Pharisees). Think about that. These religious leaders were so wicked they both trashed Scripture and rewrote it while pretending to teach it! This is exactly what Unreal Christianity has done and is doing.
Also, keep in mind that the prophetic word had ceased 250 years before that time, in the late 400s BC, so there were no Hebrew prophets correcting these ultra-erroneous shysters. At present, of course, in American Christianity, we have a parallel condition. It explains why most ministers and churches get away with their multitudinous errors. They are all non-Prophet organizations.
KNOWING THE TREE BY ITS FRUIT
The majority of that which is referred to as Christianity in America is incomparable to the original. It refuses the truth of Scripture regarding sin, refuses to teach it, and thus refuses the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus. It has rejected God. It merely uses the Lord and Scripture for its own purposes without actually submitting to Him. Again, maybe the majority of those engaged in this are completely duped, but if so it is the greatest duping ever known to mankind. Why? Because they have the Word of God. They read it. They teach from it. They claim to honor the Lord Jesus. And all in all, they disregard and refute anything in His curriculum they do not feel comfortable with or agree with. Remember, one both strives to follow the Lord fully and obey His teachings fully or one is in violation of not following Him at all. This halfway walk of the false ministers who pick and choose what they believe and teach, and make a god to suit themselves, is the height of ministerial evil but it is an evil couched in faux righteousness. It is an evil that leads people toward the pure and holy stream but never gets them there. They would never allow anyone under their jurisdiction to partake of it. They only want to get close enough to appear real without actually being real. This means they are exactly the same as the ancient Israelite Pharisees and Sadducees though with simulated Christian clothing.
In other words they are mere actors. On a stage. Loving the limelight and place of honor. The Lord called them false stage players or hypocrites. And all unreal Christians deceived and captured by Unreal Christianity are living in a controlled simulation. It appears to be real but is nothing more than a choreographed program in which people go through spiritually meaningless motions which have no effect on their eternal soul and their personal sin. They enter church services as sinners and they leave church services as sinners. They substitute false religious rituals heavy on surface connotations with little or no spiritual effect. The vast majority have never repented of sin properly or had a real born again experience, both of which the Lord Jesus said was mandatory for all. This is deception of a very high order.
There is no new thing under the sun. The world has never been devoid of religious charlatans. No matter what the righteous may do expose their trickery and eliminate their influence they always somehow manage to creep back in and establish a foothold. In closing, the following passage is a great refresher on this recurrent “goats as sheep” problem that presently exists as a nationwide mainstream false representation of Christianity. It gives a great explanatory illustration of these pretenders in action. It exposes those of today just as it did those of yesterday. Read, watch, and pray:
Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘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.’”
After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”
But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” [Matthew 15:1-14]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 See A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament
 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 more you try to wake them the more they prefer sleeping. The ongoing dream they are having is much more desirable and comforting than the waking present.
When will you arise from your sleep? “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest”— [Proverbs 6:9-10]
LOST IN A DREAM
The following may appear at first glance as a strange idea, far from Biblical orthodoxy, something concocted by a writer doing a story featuring a full-tilt New-Ager with stars in her head. She can see the future in a crystal ball mounted on a small round wooden table of early vintage in her dark backroom parlor decorated with heavy felt drapes, multicolored hanging bead curtains, and the usual accouterments used by fake-out confidence artists who know vulnerable marks can more easily be had in the midst of over-the-top and off-the-wall surroundings and imagery. Her clear ability to see what we cannot and her flawless emotive verbal declarations attests to her authenticity. What need can there be for greater verification than this? She fulfills the need in one’s soul. She allows one a glance within the dream…
And that’s where they would rather be. In the dream. They spent a lifetime creating the dream, fashioning everything that must fit within it in order to honor tradition, their family religion, and their own deep set desire for what “works best for them” regardless of what the Word of God might say. The Word reveals a common truth for all, of course, devoid of partiality or designer beliefs, and invokes requisite commands which must be addressed by each and every disciple-to-be. Rejecting such pure truth is infinitely preferable by these due simply to the maintenance of a faux comfort zone which includes, by forced option, rebuffing the Lord Jesus Himself and His problematic “hard sayings”—the One they claim to follow, though they assert otherwise, since He apparently would never actually claim such discomforting notions, which means there must be a problem with those Christians who spout such clearly penned New Testament verses or even a problem with written Scripture itself.
I mean, who can really trust what the Bible says after eons of translations and endless word-of-mouth renderings? Better to not get too dependent on the off-putting black and white in-your-face dictums of ancient epistles and primitive apostles whose authentic words are likely lost in the gray mist of ages past. One must leave a reserve from which to insert calming rationalizations and soothing validations in order to walk with head held high in smiling peaceful rectitude honoring one’s own grand and gallant noble views which the better people of this world surely appreciate and recognize…
THE WISE STILL SEEK HIM
Though many strive for a salvation process featuring peace at all costs in an effort to bend spiritual reality toward an impossible concord, neglecting to acknowledge the presence of evil in this fallen world, there is actually no such thing as a peaceful coming to Jesus moment. This phrase has been made fun of by the devil, of course, and those who rest assured in their own standing often use it to both disavow those idiot real Christians who make it a thing, as it were, as well as forswearing the entire idea of the need for soul salvation in the first place. They are simply not aware of their sin or they are and don’t care. One wonders how the rude and sacrilegious enunciations of a culture gone bad can mute the unrelenting loud speakers of one’s conscience incessantly warning of an unaddressed terminal threat on the very threshold of one’s future. But an ongoing dream state could fit the bill. Being lost in a dream of one’s making could certainly be the cause.
No, the reality of coming to the Lord as an otherwise hopeless sinner, the so-called Come to Jesus Moment, is anything but peaceful. If one actually makes it that far it will have involved the greatest decision of one’s life and the wrenching of oneself free from the binding chains of willful living, personal sin, immoral cultural mores, and traditional belief systems holding one in check. It is a wholly solitary place as will be the final Judgment when one must face God alone. There is no greater gut-check occasion in life. It is the height of courage to recognize the depravity of one’s condition and attempt to remedy it. No, there is no peace until afterward, until after one has repented profusely, throwing oneself upon an altar of sacrifice and having the old man and all his sin burned away, until after one has faced spiritual reality and caught a glimpse of hell. It should be characterized as a RUN To Jesus Moment because those who finally awake from their enchantment waste no time in getting right with their Savior.
OF THE FOOLISH AND THE FEARFUL
Would that this wise attitude could be had by all professed Christians but as it is, far too many remain ensconced within disguised sleeping stations—traditional Christian versions of the old hippie sleep-ins where everyone is crashed out in the pews in a haze of otherworldly religious languor and far out abstraction while a weirded-out droning guru sets the laid back tone for religious repose and holy hibernation.
On the flip side of this LP, as proven in these most recent times, fear acts as a wide door to such a dream, an entry portal into transchristianism, as one can be driven by fear into a psychological corral with no egress, since one rejected the door to life which obliged one to embrace the only other door—the entrance beyond the great gaping chasm separating Paradise from Gehenna—the ultra-tropical other side of Abraham’s bosom—the hot place where rich man Dives begs for a drop of H2O not to be had.
In other words more simply stated: Unrepentant sin causes massive deception. Personal pride, as with Mr. Dumpty, leads to a great fall. Refusing to be cleansed of sin causes the attached sin within one to act as a powerful attractant to the great death magnet sucking souls into the black hole of eternal damnation. The temporary corral on this side of life acts as a deceptive soothing waiting room inhabited by those of like minds who reassure one another and confirm each other’s wayward eternal choice since for many there is great comfort in numbers. Rather than solitarily entering the diminutive unpopular gate and taking the difficult road narrowed by pressure on both sides as an ongoing lifespan birth canal toward eternal life to validate their choice per the Scriptural directive, many people choose choice validation by the numbers following great groups of the like-minded who prefer well-lit free-wheeling Broadway, and the larger the group the better. This latter view places great faith in people in great need of a Savior rather than in the Savior Himself who is often on the outside looking in and thus stuck fast in the shunned group.
From a Christian perspective, the members of one’s local church or denomination and the doctrines thereof serve as the large validation sample group of one’s chosen beliefs rather than the Lord Jesus and His difficult though pure teachings. This means that rather than seeking validation for one’s beliefs from the Word of God one will instead trust the collective word of one’s chosen group and its chosen leaders.
WHEN THE DREAM BECOMES A NIGHTMARE
Even though an apparent majority of Christians still grapple with what should otherwise be a flawless Biblical fact, that the Creator Himself became a Man and visited His Creation, we can still learn an otherwise obvious truth by simply observing how this world treated Him when He was here as one of us: The greatest Light was vociferously and repeatedly opposed and attacked by the greatest darkness. If nothing else, this proves the great darkness existing in this world, its residence also within certain humans, and their connection to the devil. Whoever sided with such people could not possibly be on God’s side, and owing to the devil’s bewitching ability, those hesitant to go all in with the Lord would inevitably gravitate in the other direction, being gently pulled along by the malevolent magnet, the enemy making sure not to rattle them so as to bring them closer to his trap (corral). It’s why antichrist spiders spin their webs on the beaten path, on the major cultural highways inhabited by the teeming masses who most always look with disdain upon those who stray from established societal methods and mores though such straying often avoids the web.
If one looks closely one can see that this is what they did in the Lord’s time. They first took control of the crossroads and the few major thoroughfares. In time they controlled religious thought. They decided what one should believe and practice to be in good standing within the culture. In essence, they captured the media. The same thing has occurred in our time. This would otherwise be blatantly obvious if so many were not enchanted and sleeping. Those lost in the dream do not know they are heading for a bad one.
“If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.” [Luke 19:42]
One MUST understand that the deception was so thick among these people in that little land in the first century that the Creator himself could not get through to most of them. No matter what He did the majority could not be broken free from the devil’s trick. They were greatly afraid of being in the synagogue and also greatly afraid of being out of it. While in the synagogue as bona fide members they were subjected to the vindictive religious control of the leaders thereof and without the synagogue they could hardly function in society because the vindictive leaders saw to it that they would be outsiders within their own culture. SOUND FAMILIAR?
Therefore everyone must choose from where they will gain their comfort, either from going along to get along, adhering to the dictates of the sinful culture, and obeying without question the pronouncements of the beguiling gurus in charge OR following the Lord Jesus with one’s whole heart. And whereas one might trust in and accept any number of false belief systems, faux Christian or not, and gain the comforting sleep and enchanting dreams thereof, there will come a day when one will be forced to wake up, though they would not awake for the Lord.
At that time, with their ears ringing from the blasts of angelic shofars, the simulated reality of their chosen comforting dream state will suddenly fade away like fog in the morning light, and they will find themselves in an eternal nightmare from which they can never awake.
This is the real fate that must be avoided at all costs.
When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:41-44]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
They have crossed over into full-fledged iniquity. They break the law routinely and no longer care. They are determined to have their way. They will not be restrained by anything including the Constitution.
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:19-21]
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’” [Matthew 7:23]
In reading the preceding verses, remember who the Lord’s ministry was directed to. At that time He was obviously not referring to the world at large but only the land associated with His direct ministry. Much of the context of the Gospel message is lost without this proper frame of reference.
HIDDEN EVIL (IN OTHERWISE PLAIN SIGHT)
Going back to ancient times, there have always been people in the world who gained enough power and money to do absolutely anything they desired. They reached a point of no restrictions. Though the possibility existed that some of these people possessed enough self discipline to restrict their behavior, and though outward observers, including those researching history, may have thought the best of such powerful people, the reality is that the vast majority, in essence, all of them save a possible one or two here and there, crossed over into absolute hedonism.
Consider this hypothetical question: If a person has gained so much power and money he can do anything he wants and no one can stop him, do you think he will limit himself? The Word of God is clear on the depravity of unregenerate humanity bound by sin and out of relationship with the Lord. Those who sow to the flesh will reap the sinful fruit of the flesh. Those who do so with powerful means and no restrictions will reap the greatest of sinful fruit. The Lord Jesus expounded upon this issue in the following:
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:34-38]
Reflect on the Biblical illustration of Solomon, a person many Christians highly honor, as one who fits the preceding passage perfectly. He reached a point in which he gained zero accountability and did whatever he wanted (because he quit on God and eliminated God’s prophets). Rather than one wife, for example, he appropriated several and many more “concubines.” As time proceeded there were never enough women to satisfy his lust. He eventually possessed over a thousand:
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. [1Kings 11:1-3] 
Can you then see the distinct likelihood that other powerful people like Solomon with zero accountability might have grown tired of attempting to satisfy their lust with grown women and branched out? The Old Testament spells this out exactly. The Law of Moses describes specifically the sins which one should never engage in. It involves the most disgusting practices you can imagine. It’s all right there in black and white. Great tyrants who could do whatever they wanted were doing such things. No one could stop them. Then their disgusting sins permeated the entire nations over which they ruled and those nations became as corrupt as the disgusting leaders. Then the nation of Israel engaged in the exact behavior. Repeatedly. Over and over. The rumors that abound in our day of powerful people engaging in such lawless behavior are rampant. Remember, they can do anything they want and no one can do anything about it. They have embraced absolute lawlessness. They possess the means, the motive, and the opportunity.
It is strange that people don’t see this. The evil of the powerful mostly remains behind a curtain. The likely reason is centuries-old psychological conditioning in that the subjects of such people are forced to fear their leaders and what will happen to them if they attempt to call them out. There have always been stiff penalties. Offending those in power has traditionally resulted in societal rejection and prison. Revolting against them has resulted in death. This is how the world has always been run. The ones who gain power and their sycophants step on everybody else to get there and keep a boot on their face after they do. Whoever objects to the sin and lawlessness of those who gain power are made to pay and some are made to pay exceedingly as examples to check whoever else may have such tendencies. This is likely why most people refuse to consider the subject. The Lord Jesus, however, has forever remained undaunted regarding such. He strives to root out and expose the evil. He knows the great harm it causes. In the nation of Israel’s case the Lord sent prophets. Even so, what happened to the prophets?
We could get into a long list of such powerful unaccountable people from ancient times to the present in both the secular and religious fields, including “Christianity” of course, even if we restrict it to the world’s most powerful at the top of various hierarchies and pyramids. But for the purposes of this short paper I will limit the scope to just one guy to illustrate what is possible and to honor the Lord for using this person as an early example in His Word:
The first great empire on the planet was created by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, the “land between two rivers,” in about 3000BC, roughly occupied at present by the country of Iraq. The Bible refers to this land as Shinar. A man by the name of Nimrod created and ruled over this first of all empires and did so with an iron fist. It was not an easy task to run roughshod over the entire population of the vast region and cobble together a union of city states. To streamline the process Nimrod gave very little or no heed to “human rights” or what any of his potential subjects may have thought of the process. He was determined to rule the world and he achieved his goal. In the process everyone under his rule became slaves to various degrees. Those who bucked the process were simply eliminated.
How do we know some revolted? The bigger question, in my estimation, is why did not everyone revolt? Why was there not a wholesale revolution? Why did they not stop him from coming to power? What Nimrod engaged in was a total mockery of humanity and rejection of the inherent liberty of each person. He had no respect for the mass of people. He would only use them for his own ends. Once he gained enough toadies bound to his will, those who had the same evil outlook in life who wanted only to satisfy their flesh with the usual sinful practices, and paid them off with such, he had enough of an army to fight the few who were bold enough to oppose him. Though the great majority were likely greatly offended at what was happening, likely only a relative few, as always, had the boldness to put their lives on the line to prevent it. In the case of ancient Sumer it obviously did no good. It was the end of an egalitarian social structure and the beginning of a collectivist one-man-rule dictatorship model later emulated by others, notably ancient Egypt and eventually Rome. Ironically, those early Sumerian tyrants are credited with creating “civilization.”
NIMROD IS HERE
To better explain the following verses of Scripture regarding Nimrod, I wrote the following passage about twenty five years ago. It is an excerpt from my book Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church. What I wrote then has turned out to be prophetic. What I wrote then has now essentially come to pass. The warning I gave then was largely rejected by the very people (Christians, especially those in “leadership”) who should have taken it to heart. See if any of the following sounds familiar. Remember, I wrote the following in approximately 1995:
Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. [Genesis 10:8-12]
Nimrod was the great-grandson of Noah, the grandson of Ham and the nephew of Canaan. In this verse he is called a “. . . mighty hunter before the Lord,” but this phrase is not very clear. Its surface meaning is a tad ambiguous, and its deeper meaning is hard to judge on the basis of its simple translation. Therefore, an in-depth explanation is called for. This will get somewhat confusing, but the end result in greater understanding is worth the effort.
- To begin with, the English word “mighty” in the above verse is translated from the Hebrew word gibbor which means “powerful,” but by implication, a “warrior,” or “tyrant.”
- Tsayid is the Hebrew word which was translated as “hunter,” yet tsayad is the proper word for hunter or “huntsman.” Tsayid actually means “the chase” or “hunting.”
- “Before” is taken from the word paneh which means “the face (as the part that turns),” or as the preposition “before” in the sense of being “against.”
- “The Lord” in this case is, of course, YHWH, the “Self-Existent or Eternal.”
When translated closer to the original intent, the following sense emerges: “Nimrod was a powerful warrior-tyrant hunting the face of YHWH.” Now, what exactly does it mean to hunt the face of YHWH?
First of all, it helps to be aware of the terminology of early Genesis. In the first fifteen chapters, the word paneh (face) is mentioned eighteen times. On seventeen of these occasions, “face” is a reference to the face of the deep, the waters, the earth, and the ground. On one occasion, there is a reference to the face of YHWH. 
Of course, even though God appeared in theophanic form on occasion, Nimrod wasn’t hunting God’s human face but the façade which marked the boundary, or surface (presence) of the Lord, or in other words—the Lord’s dominion. He was against the Lord in this sense. Nimrod’s name means “rebellion.”
In essence, Nimrod’s objective was to hunt, or chase after, the kingdom of God. He either did this in direct competition against God, as one who would build his own kingdom, or he labored under great deception, thinking he was seeking the kingdom according to God’s will and by God’s plan. In either case he was wrong, and the effect was the same.
Throughout the ages and continuing into the present, countless Nimrods have established control over the unsuspecting by wresting away their freedom. They create governments which place themselves in supreme authority over the masses. They swell up like Thanksgiving Day parade balloons with the life they steal from their subjects—those who innocently trust them—those defenseless ones who eventually become nothing but inert husks, mere shells of destitute humanity. As fish out of water, a people lose their energizing spark and eventually breathe their last breath, while those who destroyed them build monuments to themselves.
It is for this very reason that the founding fathers of the United States of America sought to place ruling authority in the hands of “We the People.” This would prevent another Nimrod from taking over. History clearly shows us that this experiment in government known as the USA has been the most successful of all that have ever existed, hands down. Why? It is due simply to the fact that when people have authority, they have freedom, and when they have freedom, they have the chance at life. That is why the Declaration of Independence refers to the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No other government in the history of the world had ever stood on such a principle, with one exception.
Many centuries earlier, an extremely limited form of government was created which depended on one thing to make it work—obedience to God. The nation was ancient Israel. This form of government failed because its people did not “love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might,”  nor did they “love your neighbor as yourself.”  The government that God gave to Israel was also formed to keep a Nimrod from taking over, but that objective failed and we have documented proof to verify it.
In ancient Israel, the spirit of Nimrod rose from within. The Old Testament gives us a Hebrew king list which is largely composed of one despot after another who ruled the descendants of Jacob with complete disregard for God’s first intention—His children’s life and liberty. When the people of Israel turned their back on God, they turned their back on everything, and thus received the leadership they deserved.
The USA will also fail to stop the current Nimrod insurgency if we don’t get our priorities straight. Each citizen of this country is guaranteed by the Constitution the right to life. This right has been greatly curtailed, paradoxically by the government itself, that is, the government of “We the People.” We have surrendered much of the substance of our original right to life. We have created a hierarchical, bureaucratic machine which has no feeling or regard for our true welfare. We now largely look to the government instead of to God for answers to our problems. Even though our government was built in such a way to keep Nimrod from taking over, Nimrod is about to come to power anyway—we created him, and the exact creation has transpired within American Christianity.
In the early church, God spread out power and authority evenly among His people, but in the majority of today’s churches, the religious upper class rules with a velvet-gloved iron hand. If one doesn’t think this is true, then one has never challenged the ruling class as Jesus did. Those who do find out post haste that it has a dark side, that it often regards its dependents with contempt, and that its holy exterior remains that way only as long as one remains its fool:
And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff.[Luke 4:28–29] 
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Genesis 4:14
 Deuteronomy 6:5
 Leviticus 19:18
 © 2001 Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
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
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]
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]
© 2019 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 characters.
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 2021 this day fell on September 21. 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 Caucasian, 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 in 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 is 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
Two years ago at this time I wrote the following six part series with the above title. I will repost each part daily 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 for the next few posts.
Thanks for reading. In the meantime, blessings to you and Merry Christmas!
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
For all the senseless sins of humanity
For all the hate
For all the children
Whose lives are snuffed out
By their parents.
And other beautiful children
Born deaf or blind
Who love their lives
And give their might to prove their worth
While privileged ones
Throw theirs away
For so many so rebellious
No one can reach them
Intent on evil
Who deceived them?
And on it goes
Century after eon
Nothing ever changes
Man’s inhumanity to man
Brings untold misery
And hard, hard work for nothing
Destroyed in a day
She said it wasn’t worth it
And darkness descended
But what of another choice?
What of beauty?
What of kindness and love
What of joy?
Why the hate and discontent?
When air can be so pure
And nature so rich?
How can creatures so bright
Descend into such a pit?
Day after day after day
Misery upon misery
And evil people in power
Will no one ever stand to save?
Will we let it all slip away?
Day after day, tears fall
Year after year, tears fall
The dry void receives the wet
Salty, salty tears
The levels rise
And continuing upward
So much sin
So much pain
So much flat out rejection
Of the cure
Of the means to stop it
To live right
To get it right
To stop the bleeding
But they would not
And the levels rise
More tears, flowing daily
Won’t you stop?
Won’t you try to live right?
Won’t you take care of one another?
I’ve given all I can give
I can give no more
And the levels rise
Filling the earth
Overcoming all bounds
An unending stream
Of the Creator’s anguish
Oceans of tears
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
I wrote the following post one year ago. Today is the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving in 1621. What I wrote last Thanksgiving holds true. We are making progress. Many have fought hard over the last year and continue fighting. There is no longer any doubt that the devil’s dirty work over the last two years was to stop the Great Awakening which continues to advance. It is sad that so many American Christians have joined the enemy, are still sleeping, or refuse to fight as they should. A great many non-Christians certainly understand, however. Sometimes those who do not profess the Lord Jesus do His will while those who do do not. The apostle Paul wrote about this. I encourage you, dear readers, to continue doing your best to do His will for your life, attend to your callings, continue showing His love, and most of all, continue to praise, honor, and obey the Lord Jesus, our loving Creator and Savior. He gave His all so we could have Life. We are most thankful for Him on this wonderful day.
We have much to be thankful for. Though American liberty and freedom is under severe attack at present, it remains strong, which is quite a feat after 400 years.
Earlier this year I decided to take a research dive into the founding of Roanoke Colony, the first English colony in America. This was the so-called “lost colony” founded on the Carolina coast in the 1580s, which then somehow disappeared. I discovered it never actually disappeared but simply moved down the coast several miles away. The colonists had joined up with a native tribe but this was largely unknown to the outside world for over a century. There is much about this story that nobody knew for the longest time but an archaeology project began a few years back that is filling in some blanks. It’s a fascinating tale.
In 1607 Virginia Colony was founded and it suffered some serious setbacks and almost came to ruin. It was for the most part a mercantile colony founded for profit, and fully supported the Anglican state church. And though it certainly has its place it never captured the hearts of later colonists and modern day Americans the way Plymouth Colony did. The latter was founded for a distinctly different and very rare purpose. Its English Separatists founders, known as the Pilgrims, were seeking not monetary profit or greater territory, but religious and political freedom.
I wrote an article about these stalwart, wonderful people several years ago and reposted it this past Saturday on the 400-year anniversary of their landing. It’s a good article with much history, focusing primarily on the backstory and the incessant trials and persecutions these people suffered beginning long before they ever left England. Real Christians of the present can certainly relate to their story in these times, when it appears that religious and political freedom is just about done. Indigenous evil forces that hate America have been on the prowl for decades and they stand, as I write, on the very threshold of taking over. If we let them there will o