CHRISTIANS SLANDERING CHRISTIANS: WHAT PART OF “DO NOT JUDGE” DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND?

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       “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” [Luke 6:37]

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        When the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees He didn’t name names. He didn’t slander individuals. But this has never stopped “Christians” from engaging in the practice. It began almost two thousand years ago and has never ceased. It continues today in a gross violation of the Lord’s Golden Rule.

         “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” [Matthew 7:1-5]

THE SLANDER BRIGADE

        Christian history is filled with Christians attacking and slandering other Christians. In fact, some Christians have created “ministries” that do nothing more than malign other Christians and Christian groups. They have decided that they are worthy of doing this. For some bizarre reason, they consider themselves all-knowing experts and thus perfectly able to bring railing accusations against any Christian or Christian group that does not see or practice Christianity they way they do. This is the height of religious arrogance in that the practitioners thereof must assume they have all light and knowledge, and are therefore qualified to thumbs up or thumbs down any believer or group of believers of their choosing.

          Even though the Lord Jesus, on at least one recorded occasion, referred to a particular group of unbelieving Jews and Pharisees as “of your father the devil,” he was not engaging in personal condemnation. He LOVED these people and would have been overjoyed if they had repented. He was merely stating fact in defense of His own teachings after they attacked Him, in exactly the same way the Christian maligners attack those they think are heretics. He did this in a manner which exposed the accusing enemy who was intent on slandering His reputation, and who was hidden very well behind religious clothing and enjoyed a level of popular support.

           To sort this out, first consider the verse in question:

         “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” [John 8:43-44]

          Now look at these verses:

         “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” [John 3:17]   

         “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” [John 12:47-48]

SELF-SERVING HERETIC HUNTERS

         It is one thing to search for truth, find it, and attempt to share it. It is quite another thing to condemn Christians who appear deficient of it. Now pay attention to this:

         THE REJECTION OF THE LORD’S TRUTH CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.

         Each of us is walking in the light we have. Some of us are always trying to gain more light. Therefore, if one doesn’t yet have eyes to see everything he is supposed to see, he is never going to see until he gets eyes to see. They must want to see. No one can force them to see. Thus, our focus should be on helping each other “see.” If one does not yet “see” or doesn’t want to see we are commanded to love anyway. The best way the fault-finding heretic hunters can get right with the Lord is to go spend some time with the people they condemn and serve them. Proving one’s love is better than winning an argument.

         I recently saw a website in which a minister who was condemned by a heretic-hunter group actually responded to the article condemning him in a loving way. There was no eye-for-an-eye garbage or the ubiquitous condemnation return fire. This person was not condemning them though they were condemning him. I thought it very refreshing and it obviously let me know who was the better disciple. Regarding who believed what or who was teaching what didn’t matter in that instance. What mattered was obedience to the command of the Lord to love one another.

IT’S “LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR” NOT “CONDEMN YOUR NEIGHBOR”

         In the final analysis consider the fact that if someone actually does have all light and knows the teachings of the Lord by heart and fulfills them every second of every day, then that person would know who is right and who is wrong. But that person would also know there is a higher order of behavior toward one another and would never judge or condemn someone who knew less.

       Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… [1Corinthians 13:4-8] [1]

        By their very behavior the slanderous heretic hunters are condemning themselves by violating the Lord’s Word. Without repentance for their wrongheaded actions His Word will judge them at the last day.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


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

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THE ONGOING AWAKENING: RECENT SIGNS AND PORTENTS

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      Almost three months ago, at the conclusion of my five-part series regarding America’s immediate future, I wrote an article regarding the call to national repentance. This post is an update.

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       On August 23, two days after the transcontinental national solar eclipse this summer, I posted At the Crossroads: Will America Repent? We have already seen substantial changes in the country as a whole but especially in the realm of perception. We are seeing a veil lifted. We now know all the more that what is being presented as reality is not reality. The following is an excerpt from the article:

         “Religious pride and personal repentance don’t get along. In fact, these two hate each other. Only one can win. The other gets destroyed. Most people choose pride. A comparative few find life, though it will cost them. The unrepentant religious pride people always attempt to throw the repentant life people off a cliff. Their pride, conviction of sin, and refusal to repent demands it. Thus, those who find life have a harder row to hoe and constitute the fewer. Not only must they dodge the cliff-throwers, they also take the time to pray for them. That’s rare. Also, staying on the path of life, due to the demands of real discipleship, sometimes causes their numbers to be reduced over time.”

THE 2016 ELECTION PORTENT

         To better understand this phenomenon we can see an excellent example of it in the 2016 presidential election. The entire mass apparatus of the collective mainstream media got the election completely and absolutely wrong, and they got it wrong by historically huge margins. There had never been a presidential election forecast that was so off base and one-sided. The entire media establishment was anti-Trump and pro-Clinton, and the people thereof were so full of themselves (and have been for decades) that they were completely fooled. We see this exact phenomenon on a micro level regarding how individuals and small groups set up their social parameters. For the people who endlessly promote “diversity” most of them have the very opposite. Their level of hatred and rejection of anyone who does not agree with them is truly off the charts and as a result they become blinded to reality. This is what happened to the media in the fall of 2016.

      Did they repent for being so wrong? NO. A few individual reporters and media personalities did but the entire hegemonic media never repented or admitted failure but instead mashed the accelerator through the floor all the more and went into hyper drive attack mode. THIS HAS ALSO FAILED. This is what happens when someone is desperate after putting all their eggs in one basket and betting the entire farm. Because these entities are so huge and worth billions it will take a while to see the full failure effect transpire, but it is happening. At the same time, the alternative media, where truth thrives, is growing by leaps and bounds and has captured the truth narrative.

         What is most important, however, is that the Internet has made it possible that any American can create a website and start exercising their First Amendment right to Freedom of the Press by becoming the press.

         All successful freedom movements throughout history have involved the ability to get the word out. But no group was ever more successful than the early Church. Our Christian forebears, especially in the first century AD but also over the next two centuries (the real Christians, not the later fake constructs), were said, in the King James English, to have turned the world upside down:

         But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. [Acts 17:4-7 KJV]

         No group had ever done this before. The early Christians had more spirit, more power, more strength, more perseverance, more unity, and more love than any group in history. And they managed to succeed in an epic manner in a place and time where their belief system was illegal, there was no freedom of the press, no freedom of religion, and the level of idolatry was such that a human being was forced to be worshipped as god (government works much better that way), which the Christians obviously refused to do. Nothing that the governing authorities did to stop them worked. In fact, the more they tried to stop them the more they grew. Religious authorities tried to stop them and that didn’t work either. The unbelieving Jewish religious authorities were the worst. But again, regardless of ongoing censoring and persecution, none of it worked. They really did turn the world upside down.

          But when Christianity became official everything went south.

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

THE CHRISTIAN DARK AGES PORTENT

         As the heavily-biased mainstream press completely missed the 2016 election, the same thing has happened with mainstream Christianity. Most Christians are so used to the goings-on in their own exclusive clubs they are never aware of the big picture until it lands right on top of their heads from on high. So the answer to the question “Has America Repented?” is yes and no. For those Christians so encased in their own limited paradigms with the resources to stay afloat, they have not repented and will not. They will keep going as usual, like the hypocritical Pharisees, refusing to see the proverbial handwriting on the wall until it is too late. Entities such as this always ride the revenue wave until the money is gone and social support ceases. Remember the Lord’s clear prediction:

         And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, “As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down.” [Luke 21:5-6] [1]

         No matter what the Lord attempted to do to convince the religious leaders of His day that they were playing a fool’s game it ended up doing no good whatsoever. Though a great many Jews became His followers, perhaps hundreds of thousands, what was left of the once great nation of Israel was destroyed forever and the city of Jerusalem became a fiery heap of fallen stones. This did not have to happen. It was a fate they chose. Their pride was too great. Their hubris had no rival.

THE NEW DARK AGES OF CHRISTIANITY

         This is in part why the Lord teaches humility. Human pride is a killer and religious pride is the worst. It promotes sinful flesh, the last thing that should ever be promoted. Thus, when the Lord Jesus does something new it always starts small and always involves societal nobodies. The same thing happens to churches in need of light (not the perfect ones). The Lord brings the Word in whatever way He can but the establishment powers always reject it unless it lines up perfectly with their respective doctrinal statements and bylaws. And, of course, all churches and denominations have different doctrinal statements and bylaws, some of which are contradictory to the others.

         Churches can get away with rejecting truth for a while but unless they repent at some point and began following the Lord as they should they will begin a slow decaying process. This is happening all over America at present, and many think this means that American Christianity is dying out, but the opposite is happening. Christianity is only dying out from the perspective of those who can only see the institutional paradigm, just as those churches out of the will of God can never see what He is really doing in the Spirit because they are not in the Spirit. Once such Christians take their religious blinders off, change their attitudes, and get out of their boxes, a whole world opens up they never saw before. In reality, the Great Awakening is right on schedule.

         Regarding those who don’t see any signs of an Awakening, it is most likely for the exact reason the media completely missed the 2016 election, which was yet another sign of present reform as opposed to the false construct.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

MAKING PROVISION FOR UNKNOWN TRUTH: BEING TEACHABLE

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         “The very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know…”

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         Before we address the content of this post I want to thank my faithful readers. Some of you have been following this blog for a few years now and I do appreciate it. The material here is not mainstream in the least and that causes a decided lack of traffic flow to begin with, but some of you are supporting me anyway. I know many of you do not agree with everything I write and it is refreshing that we continue to share in a level of spiritual fellowship. But the very nature of teaching is the act of revealing information that a student had not known previously. This means we only know what we know, which is not something we usually know that we know. It can also be stated this way:

         “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” [1]                       

         This means we must be humble. We must be teachable. As followers of the Lord Jesus, it is dangerous to believe we know it all. We must be ever-learning. There’s a strange phenomenon that takes place in the soul of some Christian ministers when they insist on doctrines not supported by the Lord’s teachings. In order to enforce said doctrines, such ministers force themselves to adopt guises out of character with the fruit of the Spirit. They prove by their very actions that something is wrong with the teachings they espouse. They become less like Christians and more like hard-edged turf-defenders or stagnant dogma pushers.

         They become quite used to having their way. They demand next to blind obedience. It borders on religious brainwashing. It establishes what can only be termed Christian cults. But when a cult goes mainstream by attracting (or forcing) great numbers of adherents, it morphs out of cult status into perceived orthodox status. When the authority of the Lord Jesus is circumvented in such a way and people are thus deceived (not realizing He is not in charge), it allows for great abuse which demands great reform. This brings us to the reality of the two different camps in overall Christianity:

CONTENDERS AND PRETENDERS

        The usual traditional camp has already made up its mind what Christian truth is and spends all its time preaching what they know and attacking anything that does not agree with their chosen paradigm. I say chosen because that is exactly what it is. We all choose to believe whatever it may be. There is Christian truth that is obviously foundational that most Christians share, but so much of what the Lord Jesus originally taught is not being taught by most Christian bodies and this is obviously by design.

    Such Christians make no provision for possible unknowns.

         Consider the fact that the Lord and His original apostles had no religious superstructure surrounding them and one will begin to get the big idea what the dissemination of truth actually entails. He kept His operation extremely streamlined and materially limited and did that for a reason. He even taught very clearly that giving up one’s possessions is a vital part of discipleship. One can define that anyway one wants to but the best definition comes from simply studying the lifestyle of the early Church. We must also acknowledge that they had massive success with comparatively very few material resources. They did without that which most Christians insist upon as indispensable and still turned the world upside down. “Official” Christianity in the modern world can only be described by comparison as lacking.

         The Lord knows we need stuff. We need food and water and shelter. In modern society we need a whole lot more simply to carve out a life of sustenance within a complex, ultra-developed, increasingly urban grid. But churches and individuals must be on guard against material props that actually hinder spirituality rather than help. Therefore, giving up one’s possessions does not necessarily mean going homeless and penniless by choice. Perhaps it means not allowing the material to outweigh the spiritual. It certainly means joining a spiritual Community in which the Lord Jesus is the sole Leader. Call it a love-based voluntary lifestyle of willing assistance toward others as echoed in the writings of the prophet:

         A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” [Isaiah 40:3-5] [2] 

         It is in looking at the lifestyle and teaching method of our Leader that we gain all the insight we need to figure out how we should live and learn. I will have more on this later. In the next post we will consider America’s recent call to repentance in further preparation for the Awakening.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.    


[1] D. Rumsfeld 

[2] 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. 

FAITHWALKERS OF GENESIS: SETH (2)

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       The birth of Seth, Adam’s third son, took place when Adam was 130 years old. For 130 years, the Messianic generational line was cut off. It was a time of rebellion and apostasy.

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         As stated in the previous post, Adam was in exile for a spiritually significant period of time after his banishment from the Garden of Eden. That time period was a multiple of the number 13. A study of Biblical numbers associates the number 13 with rebellion. Its first occurrence in Scripture is as follows:

         Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled. [Genesis 14:4]

       There is no doubt that the Lord affixes certain meanings to numbers and one can discover many truths using this method. The number 10 is characterized as ordinal perfection, or the perfection of Divine order. We see examples of this in the Ten Commandments and the tithe. Also, Noah was of the tenth generation listed in Scripture since Adam, and the ark builder represented the completed order of the antediluvian age. When the number 10 is combined by multiplication with the number representing rebellion, we arrive at the number 130, which is the number of years Adam spent out of fellowship with the Lord. When he returned, God marked the occasion with a new birth.

THE SECOND GENERATION: TRANSITIONING TO A NEW SPIRITUAL AGE

         When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. [Genesis 5:3]   

        The birth of Seth, listed in Genesis as the third son of Adam and Eve, represented a return to God after a long exile. Though there was no going back to the garden, Adam’s original nature was restored. This state of righteousness with God is indicated in the preceding verse—Adam’s new son Seth was made in his image, according to his own likeness, as Adam was originally created in God’s image. However, in looking closer at the numbers, we discover that Seth, though certainly righteous, bore the marks of spiritual suffering associated with being a transitional figure.

         Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. [Genesis 5:6-8]

        The transitional period from the birth of Seth to the birth of his son Enosh was 105 years. The multiples represented in this number are 3, 5, and 7 (3 x 5 x 7 = 105). These three significant numbers are the second, third and fourth primes. (Prime numbers are those whose only other multiple is 1.) They represent, in order, divine completeness or perfection (3), grace (5), and spiritual perfection (7). Thus, the 105 year period was marked by the spiritual meaning of these three numbers.

         The 105 years were completed with the birth of Enosh. Seth lived an additional 807 years after his son’s birth. The multiples of this number are 3 and 269 (3 x 269 = 807). These are both prime numbers. This may get a little tricky but stay with me. The Lord is showing us something substantial with these two multiples. We already know what the number 3 represents, but what about 269? This number is the 57th prime number. The number 57 also has two multiples and both are also prime numbers: 3 x 19 (what are the odds?).

      According to the Biblical number scholar E.W. Bullinger, the number 19 is closely associated with Seth’s mother Eve and also the suffering patriarch Job.

THE THIRD GENERATION: THE GREAT AWAKENING

         The number 19 gives one a clear indication of the life of Seth after the birth of his son Enosh. Also, when looking at the total number of years that Seth lived—912—we again discover the imprint of the number 19. Note that once more all multiples are primes: (24 x 3 x 19 = 912). This means there was a strong imprint of the same sufferings Job endured upon the entirety of Seth’s life.

         Remember, Seth was the restoration of the Messianic generational line after the death of Abel. There was therefore much spiritual warfare associated with his life. His lifetime was marked as a reformation-oriented, spiritually-challenging transition period between Adam’s spiritual renewal and the arrival of a new Great Awakening:

         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 4:26] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

FAITHWALKERS OF GENESIS: ADAM (1)

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      Regarding what the Lord Jesus requires of Christians, we have the benefit of ancient Hebrew history. We can discover from their example the spiritual definition of obedience. We can know what honors the Lord and what does not.

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       The origin of what Biblical historians call Yahwism, which many centuries later developed into the rudimentary forms of early Judaism, began with a few solitary men wandering in vast open wilderness regions and barren deserts. The population of the planet was a small fraction of what it became in later ages, and a man could wander for great stretches and never see another. Such boundless open scenery and limitless night skies, ablaze with distant starlight and an ever-phasing meandering moon, set loose the imagination of these nomads and awakened cosmic wonder regarding Creation. Some paid more attention than others.

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND   

         Many centuries earlier, after the fall of Adam and Eve and their banishment from the garden, they wandered in the wilds for 130 years on a subsistence diet doing whatever they must to survive. They had been separated from God by sin and severed from communication with Him, and their own relationship with each other was no doubt often strained to the point of breaking. Every day brought another reminder of their calamitous disobedience and rebellion, and how the new god they had chosen had abandoned them soon after and caused disaster. Adding to their torment, Adam and Eve’s good son Abel, the one from whom the Messiah would have descended, had been murdered in his relative youth over a century before.

         Amid this dismal backdrop, we have a better understanding of the depressing condition of Adam’s protracted life in exile. After long decades of worry and introspection, and vainly seeking an unknown undiscoverable land of comfort and rest, if only a brief oasis, Adam at last surrendered. There in the midst of a stark and unforgiving landscape so unlike the wonderful abundant garden of his early memories, he found a place of repentance: He got right with God. As the fruit of obedience, joy returned, and they were immediately blessed:

         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] [1]   

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

HOW TO ENTER THE DOOR OF ABUNDANCE

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      The Lord Jesus, God Himself, the Creator of the Universe, became a human being, just like us, but knew He would have the loneliest calling of all.

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         He also knew, in order to achieve His calling and get the job done, He would have to be last in all things.

OFF THE GRID 

         Since He created everything I think it is safe to say He knows how everything works. He also knows, in the spiritual realm, that the way up is down: 

         But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” [Mark 9:34-35]   

         Now, I can tell you with no hesitation that the Lord wanted to be first. He was already first before He got here and was determined to be first again. It was not a selfish motive, however, but the opposite. No one else could do the job and the Lord knew that. He took it upon Himself to humble Himself to the nth degree and do whatever it took to rescue us even if it meant living a very difficult but perfect life and then sacrificing it all at the end. He had to be first but also had to be last to get there. No one else could have done it. No one else qualified. Here is another example:

         And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.

         “But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Luke 14:7-11]  

         Now, consider the powerful ramifications of what the apostle Paul revealed in the following passage regarding the difficult path the Lord had chosen:

         He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]

CHOOSING TO LIVE VICARIOUSLY THROUGH CHOSEN ONES

          Rather than actually strive for personal spiritual victory, some people who believe they will never be winners like to associate with those characterized as such, if at all possible, as a way to be around winning. Believing they will never be accepted, well-liked, admired, or popular, they strive to associate with the people who are. This is why so many people fawn over the few recognized prominent and distinguished among us. It starts in childhood. It gets ramped up in high school as a manifestation of the popularity contests which thrive in that environment. If one looks better than others, is more talented, or is simply more self-assured, one will rise in the ranks and be seen as better and more worthy of whatever accolades there may be. Many of these got a head start early on and probably always had a strong support group.

         The Lord had none of this, save for Joseph and Mary. He was obscure and most likely not attractive. He had no “charisma.” He was never seen as someone destined for greatness. He had decided all of this in advance. He would arrive as a nobody and people would often treat Him that way. He would never expect any special favors. He would be last:

         Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [Philippians 2:3-8]

         As you can see, the Lord decided He would take a totally opposite road of the so-called popular people and hupokritai. Rather than be a performing, stage-oriented glory hound seeking fame and money, He would instead strive to serve others and help them, and bless them. As a result, no one was more spiritually fruitful than the Lord Jesus. He planted Himself in death as a lonely rejected seed, the last and the only one there was.

         From such a humble beginning so long ago, the fruit of His ministry is still bringing forth a burgeoning, incessant, and abundant yield all over the planet to this day, and continues to increase. He started out last, became the Servant of all, and then gained first place in everything. This means He also became the only Door of salvation and eternal life. No one can get to heaven without Him.

         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.” [John 10:7-11] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

THE HIDDEN ENEMY AMONG US

         The adversary is a master of propaganda. He revels in misinformation. He lives to deceive. If he can’t stop you he will try to send you in the wrong direction. He does everything in his power to conceal the truth.

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         And it should be evident that what is referred to in an overall general sense by an unsuspecting world as “Christianity” is actually a vast collection of unrelated, incongruent, disparate, and often contradictory elements, from merely human but also otherworldly sources, with no connection whatsoever to the original. Unreal Christianity is thus rife with untruths, half-truths, fruitless rituals, syncretic misapplications, and even what Paul referred to as teachings of demons.

         The million or so separate Christian camps each have their own primary ideology and religious slant, and each, for the most part, declines close fellowship with the others for fear that its individual identity and brand will be diluted and weakened, and thus compromised toward funding and support. Many of these factions, some quite large, got started because some DA believed the whispered fabrications of the enemy or the weird ramblings of his own wayward mind and ran with them, taking many clueless hangers-on along for the ride.

         Once such groups effectively progress from single dominator and analogous cultic origins to gain the desired reputable respectability and requisite numbers, a strange but perfectly understandable phenomenon occurs: The recognition, reception, and incorporation of greater truth, light, and correction is absolutely refused so as not to interfere with established success and acceptance. This only facilitates even more splintering off, the creation of new sects, and greater division. Thus, the multitudinous Christian factions of the last two millennia have more in common with the devil’s obfuscations and religious confusion than the Lord’s original teachings.  

         Therefore, if one wants to figure out what is what and which is which, one must be willing to do comprehensive, long-term, in-depth study of the Word of God and particularly the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus. One must investigate actual Christian history (not the fake constructs) in as much detail as possible. One must also do much wide-ranging research (much), with no vested interest or personal religious apologia, and wade through the ubiquitous, muddy, debris-laden waters of deception and misinformation to sort it all out.

         In that process, as a byproduct of the search for truth, one will discover the frauds and the deceived. Their deceptive cloaking devices will fall away. They will no longer be concealed and they become completely exposed. This is exactly what happened with the Lord regarding the fake religionists of His time. He could see right through them. He could also apparently see demons, which, when you think about it, is really cool, since the devious imps were used to being invisible and getting away with all their lying shenanigans but could no longer hide—Anywhere. Whenever they attempted their magic disappearing act around the Lord it no longer worked.

         Here’s just one example:

         In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm. And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.” [Luke 4:33-36]

         Think about this the next time you go to church. 

FRUITLESS FRAUDS

       It was therefore impossible to deceive Him. This is the way it must be for His real disciples. This is why the vast majority of those who claim to be NT Christians are not seeing Christians—they still have their blinders on. They can’t see the enemy. They remain deceived.

         As a starting point in one’s search for truth and dividing truth from error, consider what the Lord told the frauds and deceived people of His time:

          “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.” [Matthew 21:43] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

FAKE CHURCHES AND SACRIFICIAL LAMBS

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         Those of you who actually study the Word of God and desire to be mature disciples instead of merely sit passively in church and get dictated to week after week know there is an order to the Lord’s method of ministry and a standard of spiritual priorities. It looks nothing like what most of us are used to or familiar with. If it was we probably would have the world converted to Christianity by now or had it done a long time ago.

          Here’s a New Covenant example:

        And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. [1Corinthians 12:28]

THE DEPENDENCY MODEL MEETS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE  

         In reality, it is in the nature of Unreal Christianity to resist doing the real work of God for the same reason that the medical and pharmaceutical industry does not promote health or disease prevention. Rather than promote outright cures it promotes incessant treatment. And the treatment has a tendency to cost. If they really wanted everyone healthy and began achieving such a goal they would eventually lose business and may actually go out of business. This is why no other entity comes close to lobbying the government more than the medical and pharmaceutical industry. It is great for their bottom line to have all Americans drugged up and dependent on their high dollar “health care.”

         And incidentally, the so-called Opioid Crisis was started by them in the 1990s, another planned side effect of the vast immorality and anything-goes money-grubbing attitude sent down from on high at that time (with perfect examples of corruption in high places). All this while mainstream Christianity continued looking the other way, denied the exploding sin epidemic, and continued refusing the only corrective.

          If churches were actually working according to “the Father’s business” they would have a better track record and one that looked exactly like the Lord’s. But they don’t. They are not interested in that. They prefer maintenance mode. They would rather fill up a building with paying customers and keep them dependent. We spend a lot of money and work sending a few missionaries overseas but pay little attention to the needs in our own congregations. The early Church spent money where it was most needed. They spent it in the same place the Lord spent it and where He taught them to spend it. The first thing they did was take care of their own.

         Here’s a clue. Your children have extremely important and necessary needs. But needy people elsewhere need it more so it would be better to make your own children suffer and have less in order to take care of those possibly worse off. This results in your own children being worse off but not to worry. The Lord told us to take care of the poor and now we did that. So there. Better to make our own children suffer and do without or do with less than not meet the needs of needy people elsewhere.

         Maybe you haven’t noticed that many churches are designed for the perpetual member who rarely or never grows spiritually past an initial starting point (getting saved). Most churches are thus kindergartens and elementary schools, which is a great thing, except for the fact that it most often stops right there. There are next to no “churches” for spiritual adults and mature disciples. Again, this is by design. If they were in the business of creating disciples they would be much more concerned with their ridiculously lousy graduation rates. As a result of the anti-discipleship pro-perpetual member method, the vast majority who leave are not leaving due to graduation but for other reasons, most of which have to do with the faux ministry method.

THEY DON’T TEACH THIS AT PREACHING SCHOOL

         This is in part why the Lord said the following. It is like so many other things He said that you will likely never hear in church:

         “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.” [Matthew 11:21-24]

         Whoa. If the wicked Sodomites had seen the miracles of Capernaum they apparently would have repented and never had their city blown off the map. The Lord said this because the first-century Hebrew city of Capernaum did see the Lord’s mighty works but never repented. They rejected Him hands down. Also, I’m thinking the people of Capernaum probably resented the comparison inference to the wicked Sodomites somewhat, if you get my drift.  

         You may also surmise that according to the Lord’s original ministry plan everything must be surrendered to His leadership and authority if we are to do real ministry. But what about unreal ministry for alternative and limited selfish motives? Not so much.

A KNEE JERK REACTION

        The National Football League is currently having a problem. Attendance is down. Football fans are starting to see that the emperor has no clothes. They never noticed it before and most of the football higher-ups never did either, but since the 1960s until recently the conditions were perfect for success. They never noticed these conditions. The conditions were just “there.” They just thought they were smart. But when these conditions began changing, fans started seeing through the mirage.

         The prosperity pigskin bladder had begun inflating in the mid-1960s after forty years of initial NFL hard times, leather helmet blues, and gridiron-lock on the rude sidelines far across the tracks from the sunny green fields of the one and only great American pastime—Baseball.

        Then, akin to a flyover advert blimp, the inflating football money balloon just kept expanding throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, oughts, and until recently. The reason it kept getting bigger like a giant alien tick from some 1950s-era B-movie is because the unseen outward conditions never changed. Professional football took advantage and the fans were none the wiser.

         Until now. As a result the NFL is having a serious “Uh Oh” moment like those suits in sunglasses when Neo got the big idea. Now the veneer is peeling off. A level of clever has changed the weather. What’s become of the mighty Wizard? Is that just a little man behind a dope drape working a microphone and a social lever?

EXCOMMUNICADO

        This is also exactly how fake churches do it. They have ulterior motives and selfish agendas. The people they actually care about least are the ones in the pews. This is why they prefer putting them in a corral and feeding them faux food. If they really wanted to make powerful world-transforming Spirit-filled disciples as the Lord and the original Church did they would do things His way. And revival wildfires would explode everywhere. But they don’t. They prefer fans and dependents rather than disciples. It is a much better business model (and so much easier to control).

          So what happens to the few real disciples outside the loop who never get the memo and who mature and come of age in such congregations anyway? What do we do with them? How do we keep them quiet? Can they be made an example of to further convince any wayward members who might have temporarily forgotten who’s in charge? Can the leadership thus benefit from appropriating sacrificial lambs? To better preserve the whole and reinforce unity? And spread fear like fertilizer? Maybe, in their secret clubhouse elder meetings, they facetiously call it forced graduation.

         But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done. Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

         But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. [John 11:46-53] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

SELF-CENSORING AMERICAN CHURCHES: Surrendering In Liberty While Illegal Churches Thrive In China

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        Real Christianity’s ongoing forty-year surge in China is due in part to the incessant attempts by the Communist government to control and eliminate it.

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        This attempt failed in Rome two thousand years ago. The Roman Empire at first made little issue of real Christianity. Yet, while the Lord’s Community was in its early formative stages, the Romans began getting somewhat concerned as the burgeoning Ekklesia began exploding in growth. Its impact began being seen and felt all over the empire and its presence soon threatened the established ideologies and cults, especially the emperor cult.

         In Rome the emperor was god, and all Roman citizens and subjects were forced to honor this credo whether they wanted to or not. The idea of religious freedom and a personal conscience was a joke. Forced faith was the order of the day. Those countries where religious freedom exists at present should know this but many don’t (or do and don’t care). Legal religious freedom is not only seldom appreciated, those who paid the price to gain it are often slandered by later generations. 

         Constitutional religious freedom in America has been under attack for so long that many American Christians have apparently decided to throw in the towel, get dumbed-down to the fact, made numb by their lack of actually obeying the Lord Jesus, and weakly succumb to largely ineffective and vapid forms of “church life.”

         Many if not most church leaders in America continue to fudge it and censor themselves, and refuse to do what the Lord has commanded we do, namely preach the real Word as He preached it so people can actually get delivered from sin, be born again, and gain spiritual power over the enemy. Real Christians are doing this in China on a massive scale and the government there will never be able to control it now. It is too late for them but they certainly keep trying.

CENSORED “LEGAL” CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA

       They only allow two “Christian” entities and both are government controlled: The National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the official umbrella group for Chinese Protestants, and the Chinese Catholic Church. These two account for about a third of the practicing Christians in China, but the overwhelming majority of Christians there, conservatively estimated at perhaps 100 million, reject both of these government-sanctioned legal bodies and are essentially practicing their faith outside the law. And no matter how much the government tries to control them through authoritative, dictatorial practices they continue to flourish. Sound familiar?

         When Christianity was illegal in the Roman Empire it flourished the same way. The real Christians, though, were not anti-government, were not radicals, and were not trying to overthrow anything. They simply honored the Lord Jesus as God and not the emperor, and they obeyed the Lord’s directives and refused to practice the idolatrous religions of Rome. Their impact was staggering. It is presently the same in China.

         The illegal Christians in China now outnumber the members of the Communist Party.

        What do you think will happen next? Will the Communists surrender or clamp down harder? It is now merely a matter of survival and only one of these can win. Here’s a clue which one that will be:

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COMPROMISE THROUGH ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

      The enemy is presently attempting to tempt the real Chinese Christians with the increasing economic prosperity of that nation without understanding that it was the real Chinese Christians who brought it about through spiritual means in the first place. The Lord always brings prosperity to His people but it must be put in perspective and handled with proper discipline. We must understand that blessings can never be allowed to circumvent or detract from our spiritual duty.

         This has mainly failed in America. Christian bodies have given in to being dictated to by money and economic success and eschew any attempts toward reining in that which has caused millions of Christians to become compromised and spiritually lazy. It took place gradually over time but has happened nonetheless and this becomes clear when attempts at proper and corrective reform are made. The reformers sent by God often eventually get shown the door because the nature of such closed-minded congregations and groups borders on the cultish with the usual domineering leader asserting primarily a vaunted rightness and secondly, an imposed inferiority upon those unlike them which must result in the aforesaid rejection. You can see, then, how it makes perfect sense for the Chinese government to make life very hard for those Christians who won’t go along with their program.

CHRISTIAN BARBARIANS

       We know this sinister paradigm quite well if only from the reams of data regarding centuries of church history. Some people have a tendency to go nuts when they gain illegitimate authority and will do anything to keep control. This is the main reason why there has been so much Christian-on-Christian bloodshed and why millions of Christians have been taken advantage of and ripped off.

         One of the clues regarding the real infilling of the Lord’s Spirit is that one will act as the Lord Jesus acted. One will do as He did. One will have His nature. Developing the mind and nature of the Lord and gaining spiritual maturity must obviously take place over time. Some never get there. Most are never filled with His Spirit to begin with and can therefore hardly be expected to act in His stead according to His nature and purpose. As a case in point, why do so many big time preachers insist on special privileges (such as body guards)? The Lord never did this. The apostles never did. We can certainly see by the things that happened to them that they were men of faith who subjected themselves to whatever may happen in spiritual warfare. They simply did not see themselves as special or as members of a higher caste which deserved superior benefits.

         How many real Christians have been murdered for their faith in China? How many have been sent to prison where they often died, languishing away from loved ones? How many have suffered in so many ways and still suffer today simply because they have given their lives to the Lord and faithfully serve Him? And how many have suffered because they were betrayed by other Christians? The numbers are likely in the millions.

         When one considers the fact that the underground “illegal” Christians in China are equivalent to one-fourth or even one-third of the United States population, it should make us all reconsider just exactly what it is that we are attempting for the Lord.

         They are getting so much more done with so much less while American Christian pastors censor themselves to make sure they remain in compliance with whatever will keep the money and prestige flowing in. Many Christian leaders do not see themselves as compromisers and that’s the problem. Though a decided minority, there is always an ongoing dynamic of stronger and more mature Christians wanting us to go deeper in following the Lord, more correctly appropriate what He called us to do, and achieve that which really matters rather than play around in the shallows.

         What a sad occurrence it is to have complete religious liberty in America guaranteed by the Constitution and so much blessing only to squander it all in order to save face and look “respectable” as a means to stave off inevitable persecution. How should the Lord Jesus respond to such an attitude? I have said long ago (and you can find it documented in my book) that a time of great Christian persecution would arise in America. The Lord revealed it during a time of great prosperity in this nation when so many Christians were going the opposite direction and didn’t care. The idea that Christian persecution would arise here was seen then as ridiculous and that remains the case for many. They will get a wake-up call, because when persecution arises there will be no outward distinction regarding who the recipients will be. All Christians will be subjected to it and all will be forced to make a choice. The compromisers will quickly succumb and surrender since that is their adaptive nature.

       The strong and mature Christians, however, will fare best and continue to be productive since they had already been tested and strengthened, having been previously persecuted for years by their own brethren.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.    

YES, THEY REALLY ARE THAT STUPID

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       The Lord gave us a wake-up call in 1906. What happened then illustrated how powerful the Lord can be when we get it right, even in the face of great opposition.

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       It was a powerful event. What was just as striking, however, was the usual resistance by the opposing authoritative Christians. The humble organizers, the good guys, those who were merely self-effacing enough to seek and obey the Lord, were hounded from the very beginning and eventually forced into using the most rudimentary building for services.

      They began in a house, but the movement grew too big too fast and they couldn’t allocate enough houses fast enough, so they were blessed with a bigger building, though old and rundown. It had much in common with the Lord’s actual beginning, something we lose the significance of over time. But there really wasn’t any room anywhere in Bethlehem for the Lord to be born. No residence, no inn, no nothing where people normally live. He ended up with the farm animals, something equivalent to our barns, but a small one. He apparently had no problem with this. He even expected it. He expected this world to treat Him in such a way. He was born anyway, in a place none of us would ever permit our own babies to be born, regardless of circumstances.

        The same thing happens with His work. The apostle Paul said no people of higher bearing are chosen, in general, for the Lord’s work, largely because they deem themselves far too important. They are also ultra-pampered. There is no room for a pampered preacher in the Lord’s real work, but we are besotten with pampered preachers everywhere we look. In fact, this has become the standard.

         Where then, are the real preachers? Where are the real Christians?

         In general, you will rarely find them in the limelight. William Seymour was a one-eyed black man shunned by much of Christian society yet the Lord worked wonders through him. The apostle Paul has been wrongly relegated after the fact as some sort of high churchman or great theologian. Of course, he was certainly brilliant, but much more so in a spiritual sense. Prior to his own personal Pentecost he used his theological brilliance and high religious standing to do the very opposite of what the Lord had intended for him. How did he get so lost? How did he get so caught up with his own pride? How did he ever get so full of himself? One might ask about 90% of today’s so-called pastors and preachers and priests and what have you.

         To show what must be done NOW to correct this is to show what had to happen to Paul—the Lord knocked him down, thoroughly humiliated him, showed him who the boss was, blinded him and made him helpless, and then completely revamped his life. He showed him how he was completely wrong and on the wrong path and had the wrong attitude. He could have just let him go to hell but He knew Paul would respond correctly to the correct stimuli, which in this case involved knocking him on his butt and destroying everything that he had previously held dear.

         Paul responded properly. He quickly ascertained that he had been a giant jerk of the worst kind and was thoroughly embarrassed. After a few days his sight returned. He underwent full repentance, giving himself totally to the Lord for whatever purpose no matter how difficult. He went through further humiliation (from a religious view point, that is) by immersing himself in water in the Name of Jesus, the name of his new Master and Savior, and he was soon filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s all right there in the Book of Acts. It was a complete changeover, beyond even a total remodel. The old Paul was DEAD. A new Paul was BORN.

RESISTING REAL CHRISTIANITY BRINGS GRADUAL DEPRAVITY

         The same thing must happen to Unreal Christianity in America or it will continue the death spiral it brought upon itself and has engaged in ever since it rejected that which all must submit to for new life to come forth. It is not so much that the Lord cares all that much for trying to set right those Christian leaders who will never change or repent, like so many of the Pharisees of old. It is that He wants to rescue all those good-hearted Christians living in a lesser state, as Paul was, who are deceived and blinded by fake Christianity. They will never be set free from within. It must come from without, as the Lord must do so much from without since He has been rejected in most places so much from within.

      Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

       For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind… [Romans 1:22-28] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

DEFINING NEW WINE (AND EMBRACING ADULTHOOD)

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      The Millennial generation has now overtaken the Baby Boomers. This development parallels the fading dominion of “old wine” Christianity.

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         We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation. The bulk of the coming-of-age Millennial generation, those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s to early 2000s, likely will not be engaging in anywhere close to the same degree of hands-on, practical, do-it-yourself utility and blue collar work of past generations. In general, while brilliant and exceptional in many areas of expertise, its skill set is lacking in the use of tools and, though gaining, has less aptitude for practical self-reliance.

       As a result, since Millennials number in the 80-90 million range, the home improvement industry is particularly panicked about the upcoming diminishing demand for its products. To remedy the potentially huge future problem, how-to videos and tutorials on an extremely elementary and basic level have been created, such as “How To Use A Tape Measure.”

         Sound familiar? What are the otherwise veiled common denominators of the largely unchurched Millennial generation and traditional church congregations of past and present? How are these alike? Do both share commonalities through no initial fault of their own, such as being adulthood challenged, sheltered, dependency-bred, and subjected to Groupthink? (Traditional church congregations in general are rarely taught to graduate and go on into individual ministry, for example, as commanded in the Great Commission.) These common characteristics indicate far too much “old wine” influence and a dearth of the new.

NEW WINE

        And He was also telling them a parable: “…And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” [Luke 5:36-39]

OLD WHINE

         Christians have labored for centuries trying to figure out this passage or trying to figure out why the Lord used it in the first place, since the subject matter causes discomfort in some circles. Yet it remains a classic “eyes and ears” parable of which the true understanding is often missed. Rather than seeing the deeper meaning and making the correct application the Lord is calling for, however, the passage often evokes the prohibition response among those Christians who believe wine is not good. Instead of censoring the Lord Jesus or taking Him to task for NT wine references, of which there are many, perhaps they should try to see what He’s getting at.  

         I say this because immature and out-of-touch past generations of Christians with such an attitude have also missed the boat on other spiritual teachings. Missing the one addressed by the New Wine parable, though, is enormously problematic since it directly regards the pure practicality of reaching the lost without forcing them into largely dead impractical religion and non-spiritual constructs. For example, it didn’t help that for much of the time since it was first published in 1611, many Christians only had a King James Bible with no alternative or were not allowed one that may exist, especially, of course, in England and the English-speaking world. Because the KJV was state-sponsored, it forced millions into accepting every word and punctuation mark therein without question. Yet, on the all-important New Wine and New Wineskins passage, a deeply important parable, the KJV translators got it really wrong by referring to the wineskins as bottles.

         Right. They all had glass wine bottles in the first century. But according to some, those people apparently were not allowed to drink the wine therein anyway. What grandiose minds are these who project their convictions on all prior generations? There is a reason we have better translations today. Yet there remain millions of Christians at present who refuse to use any other Bible and even insist other versions are sinful. This is evidence of remaining endemic authoritative bias which disallows the necessary developmental steps toward gaining maturity. It creates a purposed distance from the Lord’s pure teachings by an agenda-based clergy promoting subjugation to them and their old wineskins.

         Ironically, I guess we may say, the incorrect KJV translation of the New Wine passage proves the gist of the Lord’s New Wine parable.

FERMENTATION (SPIRITUAL EYES AND EARS ALERT)

         The process of fermentation changes mere grape juice into a completely different liquid with different properties. New Wine is wine still undergoing the fermentation process.

         In Biblical times, as fermentation commenced and the juice of the grapes foamed up, somewhat dynamically, the process was allowed to take place only in open vats or containers for obvious reasons. After this initial substantial fermentation the wine was poured into small containers made of animal skins, but it was most important that the skins be new and fresh. Why? Because the wine was still undergoing fermentation and the skins must be new, strong, and flexible to allow for further expansion. It was sometimes the case that the new skins filled with New Wine appeared close to bursting.

         This is why everyone with knowledge of wine-making knew to never put New Wine into old dried-up wineskins because such containers would never be able to handle the ongoing fermentation process. If this principle was violated the old skins would crack or tear and be ruined by the New Wine, which would spill out and be lost. Incidentally, and in light of what I have been addressing in several recent posts, the fermentation process lasted about forty days. This means something. You might want to take a look at those recent posts.

PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE

         The parable of the New Wine and New Wineskins appears only in the three synoptic gospels. It is apparent that Matthew and Mark were referencing Luke. Only Luke actually refers to it as a parable. Yet in each occurrence, the parable appears somewhat out of nowhere, especially in Luke, and there is no explanation. No one asked about the spiritual or allegorical meaning when the Lord addressed it. It is just there, and then the narrative moves on. What does it mean?

         We can find a clue simply by looking at the fermentation process. In His teachings regarding new beginnings and the necessity of both a New Covenant and new approaches to spiritual life, the Lord also referred to the absolute necessity of a new birth, meaning a spiritual birth. He is referencing by these illustrations a must-metamorphosis or a transformation from one stage to another, just as we are presently on the threshold of a vast new spiritual transformation. He also claimed that such a personal change, or birth, was both dramatic and all-encompassing.

BECOMING FULLY MATURE

(1) A butterfly lays an egg on a food plant

(2) The egg becomes a larva, or caterpillar, and the caterpillar grows rapidly

(3) When fully developed, the caterpillar enters the pupa stage and surrounds itself in a chrysalis

(4) When metamorphosis is complete, the pupal skin splits and a fully developed butterfly emerges, illustrating the final stage of maturation, and it soon takes flight

         Through the Lord’s mysterious ways, a relatively non-attractive many-legged worm thoroughly grounded and munching leaves and whatnot is inexplicably transformed into a lightweight beautiful butterfly able to escape the weighty hold of gravity. Remember, this is the same creature during all four stages. It merely exists in different forms on the way toward becoming fully mature, or complete.

DEVELOPING INTO SPIRITUAL ADULTS

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” [Matthew 5:48]

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [Matthew 19:21]

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) 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 12:2]

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you… [Philippians 3:14-15]

           [The Greek word translated in the preceding as “perfect” or “complete” is teleios. It is defined as “mature, full grown, adult, or completed.”]

THE PROPER FRAME OF REFERENCE 

         Mere grape juice released through a violent crushing process somehow begins to be instantly transformed into another substance with powerful properties. What does this sound like? What does the Lord mean by New Wine and New Wineskins? Correctly defining these terms means we must first determine the proper frame of reference. The answer would seem to be otherwise obvious, since we have an Old Covenant and a New Covenant. The Old made possible the New, but the New replaced the Old. The New Wine replaces the old wine. It was a fact that due to the wine-making process of those times, the fully fermented wine lasted only so long. Old wine was wine stored for about a year or more, but it sometimes only lasted for about three years before turning into vinegar, though that could happen earlier.

FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN’S CHILDREN

          It follows then, that wine-making must be ongoing. There must always be a new batch of wine on the horizon. (Think Great Awakening.) The Feast of Tabernacles, which we just completed, was an annual time of harvesting the fall grapes. It was a time of great joy. All of these facts are clues.

        The Pharisees and Sadducees represented the old wine that had degenerated into sour vinegar. Those guys could not get any more sour.

         The Lord was bringing forth the New Wine with His new kingdom. The refusing-to-be-transformed religious killjoys hated both. They rejected the new birth as do most “Christians.” Little did they know that they were actually playing right into the Lord’s hands, however, in that by crushing Him they were assisting in the process of bringing forth a brand new vintage, the best New Wine of all time!

DRUNK ON THE HOLY GHOST

          When the 120 were filled with His Spirit in the Upper Room they acted very differently. Their actions were out of the ordinary. What transpired on that morning did not look at all like the standard, dour-faced, traditional, institutional, stuck-in-the-mud, ultra-religious old wine that was “good enough.” Instead, they were all filled with incredible JOY and displayed never-before-seen bright shining faces, dazzling smiles, and much laughter. They were overcome with the Lord’s overwhelming love. Highly concentrated LOVE was all around them and spilling forth everywhere. By their love everybody appearance and manner it looked to outside observers that the Upper Roomers had been swimming around in a giant vat of New Wine:

         And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” 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. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

         “‘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; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT…’” [Acts 2:12-18] [1]

          We are on the threshold of a vast new transformation toward real spiritual adulthood.

          “New Wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Announcing a New Post

         Hello friends. I’ve been working on a new article related to the Lord’s New Wine and New Wineskins Parable and will be posting it shortly.

        If you appreciate the article please make it available to others. I remain in the process of attempting to create a larger platform and presence for what goes on here, especially at this time. Your prayers are always valued to that end. As always, feel free to comment and share. Thank you for your support.

             RJ

THE REAL BIRTHDAY OF JESUS: ENTERING THE SEASON OF OUR JOY

         The forty days of repentance and preparation has passed. The Feast of Tabernacles is now upon us. It is the birthday of the Lord.

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         The seven day Feast of Tabernacles is otherwise known as Sukkot, or the Feast of Booths. After the nation of Israel had entered into and became established in the Promised Land, this feast became associated with the fall harvest and was known as the Festival of Ingathering.

         It was the end of the agricultural year. Since the three major feasts of the Hebrew nation aligned with the agricultural calendar, the year began with spring planting and seven weeks later came the grain harvest. These two events took place during the time of Passover and Pentecost respectively. It was at Passover when the Lord gave His life on the cross, planting Himself in death, and on the third day of Unleavened Bread when He arose again to new life. Fifty days later on the Feast of Pentecost the spiritual grain harvest began when all the souls saved by His death began entering into new life and were filled with His Holy Spirit.

         Whereas Pentecost referred to the grain harvest, the fall Feast of Tabernacles was associated primarily with the fruit harvest:

         “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.” [Deuteronomy 16:13-15 NKJV]  

         This time of year was especially joyful due to the time of repentance which preceded it. In the five-part series of articles I wrote and posted from August 9-23 of this year I referred to this time and what must be done. It has been a relatively difficult time for the nation. Time will soon tell if America has taken this time seriously, as I referred to in advance just after the forty days began in my post of August 23: At the Crossroads: Will America Repent?

         For those who have taken it seriously and fulfilled what the Lord required, this Feast of Tabernacles will without doubt be a time of joy and fruitfulness, and a great ingathering.

THIRTY YEARS OF AGE

         It was at this time that the Lord began His ministry.

         When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph… [Luke 3:23]

         The patriarch Joseph was also thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh and was given authority over all the land of Egypt. He had suffered greatly for thirteen years prior to that time. One must remember that according to early OT interpretations, there were actually two Messiahs prophesied to come forth. The first would be a suffering Messiah as the “Son of Joseph.” The second would be a conquering King Messiah as the “Son of David.” As it turned out, both Messiahs are actually the same Man.

         So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. [2Samuel 5:3-4]   

        Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “Take a census of the descendants of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ households, from thirty years and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tent of meeting.” [Numbers 4:1-3]

          We know that the Lord’s forty days of preparation, fasting, and temptation began at the beginning of the twelfth month of the civil calendar, or the sixth month of the agricultural or festival calendar. This year, that day was August 21, the day of the solar eclipse across America. The forty days ended on September 30, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). This is also said to be the same time period when Moses went back up the mountain for the second time, staying for forty days.

         This means the Lord began His ministry in the fall, after the forty days, and most likely after the Feast of Tabernacles. I believe He was born on the first day of Tabernacles and the following scriptural clue bears it out:

         And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14 YLT]

         The word “tabernacle” in the preceding verse from Young’s Literal Translation is from the Greek word skenoo. This word is translated as “dwelt” in most Bible versions, and refers to a tent or temporary dwelling, or an exact figure of the temporary shelters (booths, tabernacles, sukkah) the Israelites dwelt in during their time in the Sinai and from which the Feast of Sukkot or Tabernacles derives its name.

THE LORD’S BIRTHDAY

         There is also this:

         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.” [Luke 2:6-11]

         Because the inns were already filled it indicates that it was very late in the day when the Lord’s family arrived in Bethlehem. We also have the very clear clue that because the shepherds were watching over their flocks by night that the Lord was born after sunset and most likely at night, which would have been the exact beginning (after sunset) of the very first day of the seven days of Sukkot, the beginning of what is known traditionally as “The Season of Our Joy.” This was expressed specifically by the angel of the Lord in announcing the Lord’s birth!

         Please reflect on all of this as the sun sets tonight and the harvest moon rises. I wish you all a great season of joy.

        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] [1]

         Happy Birthday, Lord.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

VICTORY! FORTY DAYS AND THE RAISING OF LAZARUS

Blog Pic 9.29.17

         

        This is a must-read article. Please tell all your friends. There is an anointing here that can be applied to otherwise impossible situations and bring victory.

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         So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. [John 11:17]  

         The forty days officially began on August 21. The fortieth day begins tonight at sunset. We are about to complete the same forty day period the Lord completed just prior to the start of His ministry in which He fasted for the duration and then went toe-to-toe with the devil.

         This is one of those counterintuitive training methods that makes no sense in the natural and causes nominal Christians to recoil in horror. Rather than train conventionally as one may train for a prize fight in which a boxer imbibes in the best nutrition and a regimented workout lasting for several weeks in the effort to eventually outlast an opponent in the ring, the Lord did the opposite. He went far out into the wilderness all by Himself. It is recorded that He was out there with the wild beasts. Every day and night for forty days He had nothing to eat whatsoever. He prayed always. He prepared to the hilt. But it was all spiritual preparation.

         This kind of training and fight preparation is no longer taught by what we may term “official” Christianity and hasn’t been for many centuries. Most of today’s Christian ministers laugh at the very idea of teaching such a method of gaining spiritual victory. They keep almost everything in a purely natural and non-supernatural mode because the stakes they seek cater instead to material and “worldly” success.

REAL SUCCESS

         Now, please note that I like success. The Lord grants success. He is really into success. But it also must be noted that the spiritual must come first and must come correctly or whatever “success” one may have will soon be lost. When the Lord went to war on our behalf and on behalf of our future success He had in mind a way to buy back our freedom from the ravages of sin and bondage. That was His obvious priority. To that end, and because He loves us so, He was more than willing to subject himself to such austere and extreme training methods and face off with the ugly, gnarly, hell’s angel dipwad responsible for screwing everything up and turning His perfect creation into fallen destruction and His perfect sinless holy humans into spiritually dead, broken, compromised, and hell-bound shells of themselves.

         And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13]   

         Who else would love like that? Who else could love like that? Well, HE did it. And it cost Him everything. Whatever we do for the Lord and others is great and duly noted but based on the practices of Christianity in general most Christians not only fail to do the least in this regard for the Lord, they don’t even see the need for it, as in “What’s the point?” This attitude is borne out by people completely unaware of the concept in that they see no connection between much prayer, fasting, standing in faith, and fighting spiritual battles with eventual great spiritual victories which would otherwise have no chance of happening.

         The Lord Jesus, however, taught the why and how every day of His ministry. He showed us how it is done. His disciples did what He said and had great spiritual success. The entire Roman Empire was evangelized within a century and a half, so much so that the leaders thereof eventually threw in the towel. If those mighty spiritual warriors could do that then why can’t we do it now? It is not that we can’t. It is that the definition has changed. And because the definition has changed there is no longer any need for the great spiritual practices of the originals because Christian success is no longer defined by doing the impossible but by doing exactly as this fallen world is doing.

         If the Lord could defeat the devil without a forty day fast and all night prayer sessions and making Himself poor and putting up constantly with religious idiots trying to kill Him then why did He do all those things? Why did the apostles do all those things? They knew, of course, that it was the only way. There was no other way. It was also why they were all filled with the Holy Spirit according to the real New Covenant method and thus gained supernatural strength to fight such battles and do the impossible.

VICTORY ON THE FORTIETH DAY

         I just got through fighting such a battle. It was very difficult. I knew from the beginning that the Lord had a plan and a solution but that did not make it any easier. I had to stand in faith consistently over a full forty days. My faith grew. That was part of the reason why it lasted that long. It was an opportunity to increase my faith. The process was fraught, however, with ups and downs and dead-end failure and inspiration and bright spots and hope and temporary depressing defeats and rallying and an incredible amount of prayer and much fasting. There were some I counted on that let me down, others that helped in increments, and at the end a great blessing that the Lord saved for the very end that made it all possible and made the victory complete. I know this will probably sound far-fetched but the victory truly did come on the very last day.

         My forty day time period began three days before the solar eclipse. I had a very unfortunate event take place on August 18. It was a very big deal. I was quickly in an impossible situation. I immediately stated that it was no surprise to the Lord and that He had a plan though I had no idea what it was. In my previous post, Forty Days Toward Victory, I was writing on Day 24 and stated that I was in the middle of trying to make something happen that had to happen in order to continue and that it demanded strong faith and a relentless approach.

         As mentioned before, the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 was also the day of the new moon which began the Lord’s forty days and which would end with the Day of Atonement on September 30. Those who understood the stakes and decided to participate knew that America itself was hanging in the balance and that the nation had better repent. That was not possible unless Americans repented and properly prepared for what was coming. I knew something was up and that the Lord had great plans for this autumn, but there would be a price to pay to bring it forth. I wrote about this in At the Crossroads: Will America Repent?

         My fortieth day, that is, the fortieth day after the unfortunate recent event in my life, was on Wednesday, September 27. I stayed in faith until then. It was not easy. Yet that day was the exact day the Lord brought forth an otherwise impossible victory.

LAZARUS

         There are many very interesting aspects to the story of the raising of Lazarus. This was a man who along with his sisters, Martha and Mary, was a very dear friend of the Lord. Lazarus had gotten very sick. A messenger was sent to find the Lord so He could come and help. The Lord was found at a distance. But instead of immediately rushing to the side of His good friend He did something curious. He waited two days. He essentially waited for Lazarus to die. And He gave His friends no warning whatsoever that He would do this.

         So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. [John 11:6]

         By the time He went to the home of Lazarus, His good friend had already been dead for four days. The Lord was hammered with, “If only you had been here…”

         When I began this article I planned to go into greater detail about the Lazarus story, but I am running long and need to start closing. One thing I will say is that the Lord showed me several parallels to my situation. He could have warned me but He didn’t. He just let it happen. He could have arranged things to where it would not have been so bad but He didn’t. In the case of Lazarus, He could have rushed back and healed Him and that would have certainly been a miracle. But He wanted something better, something much greater. He wanted to raise Lazarus from the dead.

         Consider this perspective. The Lord could fix your current problem, but if you allow Him to He can bring a much greater miracle. I know this happened in my case. I was looking for the path of least resistance and the lesser way out. But the Lord had already determined, “No, I am going to do something much, much better.” It meant the problem had to be much worse. It meant the problem had to be impossible. It would require resources I didn’t have. It would require Him to come through in the nick of time.

         A friend gave me a book over four years ago. I never read it. I didn’t care for the author so much. I kept the book, of course. I put it right up there on my bookshelves. But I never had any desire or inclination to read it. Then, last week, when my situation was most dire and it looked like all hope was lost, the Lord led me to that book. I began reading. I started feeling better. I got inspired. Then I realized that the Lord wanted the very best for me and I should go for the whole enchilada, to go for the best possible outcome, to not settle for a mere partial victory, like the healing of Lazarus, for example, but for an actual resurrection from death. In other words, for an impossibility.

         That’s what I decided. I saw in that moment that it was what the Lord wanted. I had perfect faith in the BEST outcome because I knew it was the will of God. It was still impossible but because I knew the Lord wanted to go that route I was all in. He would make a way. I started praying and believing to that end all the more. I was at my absolute lowest on the thirty-third day. Then hope began to arise. The last week was still very difficult but as the Lord had planned all along, and I am so glad He gave me the strength to do His will, the victory came on the fortieth day. YES!

THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

          Now, regarding the Lord’s forty days, the fortieth day begins at sunset today. It begins the Day of Atonement, which is representative of having all of our sins washed away. It was the one day during the entire year that the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the nation. Only the high priest could go in there. And he could only do it once a year. The Lord Jesus is our High Priest. Only He can make atonement.

         When the sun goes down Saturday evening, September 30th, the forty days will be complete. What started with an incredible nationwide celestial event, a full transcontinental solar eclipse, will end in a way that only the Lord knows. After that we will see what the Lord has had in store all along. After that we will begin to see all the various “Lazaruses” being raised from the dead.

         When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” [John 11:43-44] [1]   

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

FORTY DAYS TOWARD VICTORY

      I don’t know about the rest of you, but the current forty days of preparation is proving to be a giant challenge. Spiritual warfare is strong but a great victory is coming…

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         And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. [Mark 1:13] [1]

         The Lord Jesus began His ministry with forty days of prayer and fasting. In His case, he fasted the entire time, both day and night.

         There are only three men listed in all of Scripture who have ever gone on a full forty day fast. This does not mean others did not do it. Undoubtedly, many did. But only Moses, Elijah, and the Lord Jesus have been listed as having done it. Moses did it twice.

         You may note that these three were also on the Mount of Transfiguration together. Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets. The Lord Jesus represents everything good, but primarily in this case He represents Salvation and Grace. In fact, the Name above every name means “YHWH-Salvation” or “YHWH sets free.”  

          Regarding the actual timing of the Lord’s forty day fast, it began with the new moon of the twelfth month on the Hebrew civil calendar, toward the end of summer. It extended into Rosh Hashanah, the “head” of the year or the Hebrew New Year, and continued for another ten days to Yom Kippur.

          Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement.

         As of today, we have now entered into Day 24 of the forty-day period of repentance, fasting, prayer, and preparation. The forty days began this year on the afternoon of August 21 and will end on September 30. Of course, in one of the most incredible celestial and spiritual signs most of us will ever experience, the forty days began this year with a full solar eclipse that crossed the full length of the continental United States and no other country. This had not happened in almost eight centuries. Please see my post Solar Eclipse Across America Signals Onset of Repentance.

FASTING

         I always try to fast one day per week. It is an excellent spiritual practice and is clearly Scriptural. Give your body a break one day per week and it will repay you greatly. God had instructed His people to let their agricultural land lay fallow (no plowing or planting) every seventh year. By doing this it would allow the land to regain its health and vitality, and restore its nutrients. It naturally follows that if one will fast every seventh day it will give one’s digestive system and related systems an opportunity to do some very necessary housecleaning and repair. It is a greatly restorative practice but requires a strong will.

       Longer fasts are tougher. Two days isn’t so bad. I’ve gone longer, and achieved incredible spiritual results, but I’ve never come anywhere close to forty days. Many people have, however. Yet, one should never attempt it unless clearly directed by the Lord.

         During this forty day period I have been fasting a lot more than normal. I have also been praying a lot more. There has also been a great increase in spiritual warfare. I have had to walk in very strong faith as a result of something very challenging that happened just prior to August 21. On the day it happened I felt great. Then boom! Uh Oh. I wasn’t expecting that! This is going to be very hard to deal with, I thought.

         Afterwards I reached a level of spiritual well-being that I had not experienced in quite a while. I should not have been feeling so good! It made no sense in the natural. I quickly professed, almost immediately, that this not so good event in my life never surprised the Lord and that He had a plan to deal with it. I have been dealing with it ever since. It is one of those things that you have to walk out. There is no ready solution in the natural and no solution is possible without the Lord’s direct help.

         I prayed and fasted all the more. There were times when things got really bad and I had to tough it out. There have also been some very bright spots. I started seeing the possible means to a solution. As I write this, I am in the midst of another very important part of this whole thing that must be fixed soon so other parts can proceed. I am certainly walking by faith. I KNOW the Lord has the answer. It is my job to stay in faith and keep walking it out. At the end I will come into a great blessing that would have been impossible otherwise.

         For those of you who are relating to this I want you to be encouraged. Many of us have been through severe crises in our lives. There are wonderful people who have recently lost everything as a result of the recent hurricanes. There are times when we know if the Lord doesn’t come through we are pretty much done. I remember many times being backed against a wall with no solution whatsoever in sight and all I could do was do my best to stay in faith and trust the Lord. I have also seen the most incredible, tremendous spiritual victories and was amazed at what the Lord could do.

         But remember, it is not only that the Lord can do it, it is because He is motivated by His great love for us that makes Him want to do it. He wants to bless us! But it must be done the right way. We must have the correct spiritual mindset. We must walk in faith. The Lord always responds to faith. We must be humble.

        Thus, we are in this special time of preparation, fasting, prayer, and repentance for the same reason the Lord was. Something profound will happen afterwards. That’s what the victory of the Day of Atonement is all about. I believe there is something especially profound this year. We must humble ourselves in order to be exalted. We must do the humbling. He will do the exalting.

         BE STRONG.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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REGARDING THE CURRENT FORTY DAY PERIOD, SEE THE FOLLOWING RECENT SERIES POSTED AUGUST 9-23, 2017:

PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN

PART 2: THE THIRD SIGN: IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN 

PART 3: REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN

PART 4: SOLAR ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA SIGNALS ONSET OF REPENTANCE

PART 5: AT THE CROSSROADS: WILL AMERICA REPENT?

THE EFFECTUAL WORKING OF MIRACLES

           I once had a pastor who didn’t care for doing any counseling. He stated this from the pulpit. He didn’t like sitting down with people from his church and going over the usual problems. He once stated that the devil “can only get you in so many ways,” meaning, of course, that the devil had a limited repertoire of mayhem-causing temptations. In this regard, we often hear preachers list the same relatively few things we, as Christians, must deal with, and they, as pastors, must attend to with counsel, and they say this because it’s pretty much all they ever hear. The short tabulation usually involves the following:

(1) Money problems

(2) Relationship problems

(3) Health problems

         I don’t fault that former pastor. I am pretty sure one of the reasons he cared little for counseling is because many people do not respond to it in a positive way. There are often solutions to the above three legitimate and often overwhelming difficulties put forth in Scripture that are rarely applied and this can frustrate a counselor, in that they give good advice designed to assist but the advice is not taken. It is not respected. Counselors know that much of the time people only want to talk. They need someone to talk to. That’s what they really want. They don’t necessarily want to do the work to eliminate the problem.

         The Lord is the greatest of counselors. Isaiah called Him a Wonderful Counselor. But even the Lord probably gets somewhat tired of hearing prayers when He knows we will not apply the solutions. So, in that light, I am going to dedicate the rest of this post to those of you who want to do whatever it takes to fix whatever the problem is.

A MIRACLE WAITING TO HAPPEN

         I stated at the end of my last post the very words of the Lord Jesus when He said that with God, all things are possible. This is obviously a true statement. The truth of the matter, however, is that there is a whole lot of stuff between the problem and His relatively straightforward solution. It should not be this way. I think we often make it far too complicated, which messes up the process.

         For example, in the case of Scriptural miracles, our eyes may glaze over as soon as someone brings them up, because we have heard them countless times and they do not appear applicable whatsoever to what we may be dealing with at the moment. But at that time the solution was clear-cut:

        There was Peter and John seeing a lame man who had been there for decades. Thousands and thousands had seen this man there over his lifetime. He always asked for money. Some would give him money. Most probably ignored him. He had a great problem and had it since birth and people were tired of seeing him. What could they do about it anyway?

          Well, in the case of Peter and John, they had just been gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit. They were charged up with the power and authority of the Lord. With their new status came a ton of spiritual boldness. So the next time they saw that man Peter had a completely different attitude. He suddenly had a solution to the lame man’s problem. He didn’t simply look at the man as usual and think, “Sorry. I feel bad for you but have no answer. Later.” Instead, this is the way it went down:

         Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.

         But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.

         But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!”

         And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. [Acts 3:1-8]

HOW IT WAS DONE

First of all, Peter would be the first to say he was nobody special and that the Lord did the work. In fact, he did say that. But let us not forget that Peter experienced Pentecost. He was one of the 120 gloriously filled with the Spirit of the Lord. So that is the main condition here. But the infilling was not limited to the apostles or the 120. It was limited to no one. It is still not limited to anyone, provided one fulfills the conditions of Acts 2.

Second, Peter demanded the man look at him. He demanded the man’s full attention. 

Third, Peter used the powerful Name of Jesus, the Name above every name, and the Name with full authority over all things, including an otherwise impossible-to-cure medical condition. 

Fourth, Peter reached down, physically grabbed the man’s hand, and pulled the man up! Peter was fully confident in everything he did because he had plenty of faith and confidence in the Lord, His Name, and His spiritual power.

         But what about the lame man? He also had conditions to fulfill. He had to respond to counseling correctly. He had to obey Peter’s counseling or the miracle would never have happened.

First, when Peter demanded his full attention the lame man looked directly at him and shut everything else out.

Second, the lame man did not object to the use of the Lord’s Name.

Third, when Peter took hold of his hand and began pulling him up, the lame man never fought against him, but allowed Peter to do all he did with no opposition of any kind.

         From this we know that miracles are always the result of a collaborative effort.

         The Lord does His part, which He is always faithful to do, and the recipient does his or her part. This is why a person acting properly on faith and correctly obeying the Lord’s counseling completes the circuit.

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

         The Lord put the healing of the lame man miracle right there in the very beginning so anyone and everyone all through the centuries could look back at it and see that all things truly ARE possible with the Lord. It was also a great miracle at the time for the members of the early Church to look back on to build their faith and act on their faith. They saw that the Lord’s miracles could be worked through them and not only by the Lord exclusively, as in the gospels, or through a chosen few, such as the apostles. This is extremely important. As a result, greater numbers of people had their prayers answered and more life-changing miracles were performed by the Lord working through countless Spirit-filled believers the world over. This expanding dynamic continued as well by involving onlookers as witnesses, which further spread the news of the miracles and produced faith in the Lord, salvation, and more disciples.

         And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. [Acts 3:9-10] [1] 

          © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS!

       There is absolute power and authority in His Name. And He has given real Christians the use of His Name to activate His authority!

 

      “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.” [Acts 3:16]

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         If you are looking for a miracle the first thing you need to do is believe in the Lord Jesus. You must know that He loves you. You must also know that He is the one who brought the whole thing up to begin with, in that miracles are His idea. We learned this from Him. We didn’t make it up.

         Why then do we sometimes think He would rather not be involved in the very process He created? We never need to convince Him. It has always been His idea. He performed miracles. He taught His disciples how to perform miracles. They taught others how to perform miracles. Miracles have never ceased and continue today.

         Well, actually, let me rephrase that. Miracles always cease or become impossible when there is no faith involved. There must be faith. Faith is very powerful. A person must possess it. It may exist within a person in latent form. If so it must be activated.

         If a person believes miracles are no longer possible or that they ceased to exist at some point then for that person there can be no miracles, simply because that person believes in the opposite of what the Lord told us to believe.

         This is a very interesting point of doctrine because one cannot be saved without faith. Salvation requires faith. Why would one believe the Lord for the greatest miracle—salvation and eternal life—but not for anything else? The Lord taught no distinction in faith, in that one may have one kind of faith for salvation but not for anything else. Faith is faith. It is all-embracing. It can be used for anything the Lord used it for.

         But remember, what we are talking about here is faith in Him. Is He shooting straight with us? Is He telling us the truth? Can we really trust Him? Is He for real? Can I really trust my life with Him? When He says He has paid for my sins and can wash them all away, and that He can deliver me from sin and its effects, is He really telling me the truth? Can I really trust Him? If He can take my sin away and actually bless me with eternal life and save my soul, and keep me from eternal destruction, is He telling the truth? Can He really do all that?

         It appears that most Christians believe He can. The only way they can believe that is if they have a measure of faith in Him. It is impossible otherwise. Since we have faith for salvation, all we must do from that point is simply believe in other miraculous works beyond salvation.

A MEASURE OF FAITH AND FIRST THINGS FIRST

         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. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. [Romans 12:1-3] [1]

           Regarding the use of our faith, there are conditions. Before one can use their faith for anything else, they must first use it for salvation. They must first believe that the Lord can save them from sin. Whether or not one possesses a latent measure of faith or not, faith must arise at some point or salvation is impossible. I don’t know about you, but I thought I was a good guy before my salvation experience, until I heard the Word of God from an anointed minister of the Gospel. I got convicted. I found out I was a sinner.

         Of course, I knew that. But because there had never been any solution to it, I, like most people, simply learned to live with it. It may be our conscience telling us we did wrong. Whatever. All honest people of a sound mind know they do wrong. The Word of God calls it sin. The worst sin is sin against the Lord. But when people go about their daily lives sinning on occasion they just continue on. They don’t know what else to do. They try to do right but do not always succeed. Some just give up. Their sin can become a heavy burden. They try to deal with it.

         But again, when we are told by the Lord through one His ministers we have sinned, and when our conscience bears witness to that fact, the first reaction is to fix it, and for the first time it looks like there may actually be a solution that really works. That’s why a real minister will not only tell people about their sin, he will also tell them how to be rid of it.

ACTIVATING YOUR FAITH

          Somewhere in that process a person believes what the Word of God says and believes he can be set free. That is faith. Whether the faith was always there or not does not matter, because it is there at that moment. A person believes at that moment. He activates his faith.

         He is then told he must repent, which means to turn away from sin and quit sinning. Once a person does this properly, according to the Biblical model, the Lord Jesus is then able to forgive and wash away all prior sins committed by that person. The Lord also gives a person power over sin so he can stop sinning. More on that later.

         Water baptism is part of this process and that is why it is always closely connected in Scripture with initial faith and repentance. Water baptism is also conducted unto the Lord Jesus and His Name must be invoked as it was all throughout Scripture. Again, there is great absolute power in the Name of Jesus. Many people get delivered at baptism. All former connections to bad spirits and whatever else are severed. A person becomes totally delivered and set free and actually feels a release! Something very profound happens! It can be a very emotional experience and should be.

         Salvation is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone. Imagine being taken from certain death on the road to hell to new life on the road to heaven! This is what the Lord made possible through everything He did for us, including giving His very life on the cross. It is why His Name is above every name and carries absolute authority.

          Therefore, one’s faith in the Lord Jesus manifested powerfully for salvation can also be used for other things. Keep that in mind as you seek the Lord’s help for your present need, no matter how great it may be. Be blessed!

         “All things are possible to him who believes.” [Mark 9:23]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

AT THE CROSSROADS: WILL AMERICA REPENT? (5)

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         Repentance is the action of individuals. People are saved one person at a time. It is a highly personal decision. It has always been this way.

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         Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’” [Matthew 3:1-3]

DOWN TO THE CROSSROADS

         When a person hears the real Gospel and becomes convicted in heart, standing guilty as charged before the Lord and knowing without any doubt that he is guilty, he must act. He has no choice. At this early stage, personal faith arises from within that had never arisen before. He sees himself as God sees him, as a sinner in need of salvation. But also, though shattered by the knowledge of his personal sin, he senses a concern and a brief glimpse or feeling of mercy directed toward him from some unidentifiable spiritual place beyond himself, and from that place a small hope arises. From this initial entry point one stands at a spiritual junction.

 

I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees

Down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees

Asked the Lord above for mercy, “Save me if you please”

 

I went down to the crossroads, tried to flag a ride

Down to the crossroads, tried to flag a ride

Nobody seemed to know me, everybody passed me by

 

          Many years ago I had a friend who gave his heart to the Lord a couple of months before I met him. I had never known him before his salvation experience, one which had been quite dramatic. I remember him telling me that the night he decided on the Lord, it almost never happened in that he felt too weak to make the decision the way it must be made. He told me people had been earnestly praying for him, though seemingly unsuccessfully. He had received a very powerful witness. He wanted to get right. Spiritual war was going on for his soul but he knew little of that at the time. He did know, though, that he was in a new place he had never been in before and seemed to lack control to do anything about it. He had been prayed out of darkness temporarily and found himself down at the crossroads.

        Essentially, he was in the process of being yanked out of his hell-bound status, with which there was otherwise no remedy, even by his own efforts. He had certainly made an effort, but had been so far away from God and so deep in sin it was all he could do to gain his present circumstance, powerfully aided by the prayers of others. Yet at that new and unidentifiable place, in which he could very easily fall right back in the pit from which he arose, he would have to be the final arbiter and make a choice. He told others afterward that he pictured the proverbial angel on one side and the devil on the other. He referred to the devil as a hell’s angel. They were both fighting for him. He felt himself slipping away. He saw the good angel fading out and growing farther into the blurry distance, far up above as he was sinking fast. Then, all of a sudden, the good angel reached way down and somehow grabbed him, all in an instant, and pulled him into life…

THE UNACKNOWLEDGED EFFECT OF REAL CHRISTIANITY

         In reality, nations do not repent. Great Awakenings are not a “nation” awakening but a comparatively large group of individuals within and across that nation that is awakening. In this sense such occurrences are defined as national. They happen when a much larger percentage of the populace than usual turns to the Lord together in a relatively short period of time. They are not repenting and getting right with God to save their nation, however, but for God to save them, one another, and whosoever will.

         All countries, nations, states, empires, etc, are temporary, as this world itself is temporary. It is only the Community of the Lord Jesus, or His kingdom, that lasts forever, and His kingdom is not and never has been an earthly kingdom.

         When it happens that the majority of a country is composed of real Christians or if a minority of real Christians is very effective spiritually, that particular country becomes a comparatively better place because it means the Lord has more authority and control. It means a greater number of people show real love and obey the Golden Rule. It means there are fewer sinners. It means sin has less overall effect. It means there is greater conviction of sin. It means there is less demonic activity. When such countries begin backsliding away, it is because the real Christians are backsliding away.

          But real Christians as large groups usually never devolve into blatant sin but merely get co-opted. They give in to watered-down gospels, false narratives, and throw their weight behind teachings the Lord never taught. It usually happens on the sly, over a gradual period of time. There is a sinister author but such Christians lose sight of the author. They make peace with the world. They compromise. Their lights grow dim and unless they make corrections their lights eventually go out.           

         Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—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.” From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [Matthew 4:12-17]

         Of course, John had been preaching way out in the wilderness, unconnected to the ultra-legalistic religious entities that controlled the synagogues and temple complex. He preached until the Lord was baptized and began His forty day fast. According to the Gospel accounts, it was during those forty days or shortly thereafter when John was arrested and thrown in prison. When the Lord returned from the wilderness, He also was unconnected to the religious establishment, though He began preaching in the synagogues of Galilee “and was praised by all.”

THE GREAT DIVIDE

         Then He went to His hometown. The people of Nazareth initially accepted Him warmly. He spoke in the local synagogue.

       What happened next is what always happens when two distinct and very different kingdoms with different agendas abruptly share the same territory, as warm moist air from the south runs into cold dry air from the north. They will clash. Thunderstorms happen. Lightning flashes. Thunder rolls. One would think the people of Nazareth would embrace Him. They did at first, until He began preaching a message contrary to their message. This created a message tornado, a spiritual cognitive dissonance whirlwind which at first confused the synagogue members and stunned them into silence. They sat there with open mouths and unblinking eyes. Then they got it. Then they went absolutely nuts.

         The following passage is an eye-opening illustration of what happens when the anointed Word of God goes to war against false teaching masquerading as truth:

        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]

        For real Christians, this is all quite familiar. It is what happens when light shines on darkness. It’s what is supposed to happen. If it is not happening, it means truth is not being revealed. It means the real Gospel is not being preached. The devil continues to hide successfully, operate behind the scenes, and dumb-down the people he controls into dead, ineffectual religious compliance. In that darkness all manner of false doctrines germinate. The next thing you know, “Christians” act the same way those people did in that Nazareth synagogue.   

         This is why Great Awakenings are most often completely unconnected to compromised, establishment Christianity—that which has accepted spiritual chains in the guise of any number of replacements and the false doctrine foundations upon which they rest, most of which involve cultural conformity, coerced donations, and religious pride.

CONTENDERS AND PRETENDERS

         Religious pride and personal repentance don’t get along. In fact, these two hate each other. Only one can win. The other gets destroyed. Most people choose pride. A comparative few find life, though it will cost them. The unrepentant religious pride people always attempt to throw the repentant life people off a cliff. Their pride, conviction of sin, and refusal to repent demands it. Thus, those who find life have a harder row to hoe and constitute the fewer. Not only must they dodge the cliff-throwers, they also take the time to pray for them. That’s rare. Also, staying on the path of life, due to the demands of real discipleship, sometimes causes their numbers to be reduced over time.

         The Lord preached to tens of thousands during His ministry. Several thousand were following Him from place to place. He often had a hard time escaping the crowds. This even happened when He went to Jerusalem the week of His death. Many were praising Him and shouting Hosannas. Then, once the crowds found out what supporting Him would cost, they all abandoned Him. Many turned on Him. The signal was given, “Release the hounds!” You know the rest of the story. Except for one man and several women close by the place of execution, all of His friends vanished by the time they killed Him, including His own disciples.

         Even after His resurrection the same dynamic played out. There were as many as five hundred who saw Him at one time. Yet, the majority of these drifted off. By the time it came to the full end which also signified a brand new beginning, only a hundred and twenty people made it to Pentecost. The tens of thousands had vanished. They all left Him except for a few. The majority could never bring itself to go all the way and put everything on the line. Heaven will thus be sparsely populated.

DOWNTOWN DOGFIGHT

         We are at yet another crossroads and things are taking a giant turn toward societal civil war. Those paying attention knew this would happen, could see it emerging quite a while ago, and are somewhat surprised that it took this long. I say that because the evil agenda has been in place for so long. The Great Awakening will subdue it somewhat. This emerging civil war is indeed a spiritual reaction to what the Lord is bringing forth. A great many will join up with the Lord. But until the people who have control, authority, and wealth start becoming real Christians, nothing substantial can possibly change long term because those guys have a completely different agenda and will never relinquish it.

         They are helped in their pursuit by Christians who have aligned themselves with the aforesaid false gospels and cultural Christianity in which they mix two competing entities to make one powerless, low wattage entity. Christians such as this want nothing to do with the only thing that will ultimately save them and reject it because they have no frame of reference yet to how bad things may get. They therefore see real Christianity as something completely unnecessary and exaggerated, not worth the discipleship, not worth the upsetting of their lifestyles, and even overbearing within a construct of relatively good times. Their karma chickens will eventually come home to roost. They will then get a better frame of reference. Some will attempt to apply what they know that seemed to work in the past. It will have little effect. It will be too late.

         Yet, for all the real Christians out there, the strong and the faithful, they know the Lord Jesus ALWAYS takes care of His own. But they also know there is a job to be done. The real Gospel must be heard. His light must shine. Darkness must be exposed. People must be set free.

         But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

         See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. [Hebrews 12:22-25] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]  


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

PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN

PART 2: THE THIRD SIGN: IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN 

PART 3: REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN

PART 4: SOLAR ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA SIGNALS ONSET OF REPENTANCE

SOLAR ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA SIGNALS ONSET OF REPENTANCE (4)

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   Today’s rare celestial event is strangely coinciding with emerging economic and social turbulence that will likely grow worse in the coming weeks.

 

On August 7, I wrote and finished editing Part 1 of this series.

On August 8, the Dow Jones reached its highest peak in history after climbing all year.

On August 9, before dawn, I posted Part 1, Economic Crash and Burn. On that very day the market immediately began dropping, losing 335 points over the next two days.

On August 11, before dawn, I posted Part 2, The Third Sign: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again.

On August 12, Charlottesville happened.

Over the next few days, in a series of fits and starts, the Dow made up what it lost.

On August 17, before dawn, I posted Part 3 of this series, Revealing the Hidden Economic Judgment Pattern. On that very day the Dow plummeted precipitously, losing 335 points once again from its high the day before.

On August 18, it lost another 76 points. Those two days saw the biggest drop in three months. From its all time high on August 8 until Friday August 18 the Dow Jones has lost a total 504 points. This is an obvious signal of economic turmoil at the top.

THE SUN BLOCKED OUT COAST TO COAST

      Coinciding exactly with this economic phenomenon is an extremely rare celestial phenomenon: Today we have the big solar eclipse.

          As most of you know by now, an eclipse of this kind has never happened before on the American mainland at any time, going back as far as the early colonial period which began in 1607. In fact, the last time a coast to coast solar eclipse occurred across what is now America that touched no other landmass was in 1257. The solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 will only occur on the Pacific Ocean, the continental United States, and the Atlantic Ocean. It will touch no other country. It will make landfall in Oregon, move across the country, and exit at South Carolina. It is absolutely exclusive to the United States.

       As far as celestial signs go, this eclipse could not be more clear. The new moon, beginning a new month, takes place at the same time as the eclipse, as solar eclipses can only take place during new moons. But this particular new moon begins not just any month. It begins the last month of the Hebrew civil calendar. It signals the beginning of a forty day period of spiritual reflection, repentance, fasting, and prayer, and culminates on September 30, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This was in all likelihood the exact time period when the Lord went on His forty day fast before beginning His ministry. Just after those forty days He became thirty years old, coinciding perfectly with the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, five days after Yom Kippur. All of these anniversaries are in our immediate future.

THE NEW MOON

         The total eclipse begins on the Oregon coast at 10:16am Pacific time. The total eclipse ends in South Carolina at 2:50pm Eastern time. The new moon occurs officially at 11:30am Pacific time in Oregon and at 2:30pm Eastern time in South Carolina. Incidentally, the new moon and the eclipse occur simultaneously at 1:30pm Central time on the east side of Nashville, Tennessee, the largest city in the path of totality. Not sure what that means…

THE JOB ECLIPSE

         This celestial event can be characterized in part as “The Job Eclipse,” named after the Biblical Character and OT book of the same name. All real Christians know what that means. Christian scholar E.W. Bullinger (1837-1913) wrote an extremely detailed book on Biblical numbers and their meanings and said the Biblical number 19 refers to a combination of 10 (Ordinal Perfection) and 9 (Judgment):

         “Nineteen is a number not without significance. It is a combination of 10 and 9, and would denote the perfection of Divine order connected with judgment. It is the gematria of Eve and Job.” [1]

         I know this may sound like a real stretch, but hear me out. From 1257 until 2017 is 760 years. This is 19 times 40. Both of these are very significant Biblical numbers. 40 refers to periods of probation, trial, and chastisement, specifically in connection with a covenant people (whereas 9 indicates the punishment of enemies). This upcoming 40 day period thus refers to both, because I am seeing indications that the next scheduled economic recession will be primarily an economic judgment on the financial elite. I will have more on that in a future post.

         For more 9’s (judgment), the last American transcontinental total solar eclipse took place in 1918. That was 99 years ago. That one was unlike today’s eclipse because other lands were involved. The last solar eclipse that crossed any part of America before now was in Hawaii in 1991. The one before that was in the Pacific Northwest in 1979. After one in 1970 there was yet another long string of 9’s: 1963, 1959, 1954, and 1945.

         Another indication of 19 is associated with the number 335 which has popped up twice in a period of ten days referring to specific point losses on the Dow Jones. The first drop (335.17) occurred from August 8 to August 10. The second (335.39) was from August 16 to August 17. Maybe it’s just coincidence. Maybe this is way too much minutia on my part. However, when looking closer at the number 335 which twice occurred with regard to big losses in a very short period of time, it breaks down as thus: 335 = 5 x 67. Five is a prime number and the Biblical number of grace. 67 is the 19th prime.

         So here again we have God’s grace and Job, which denotes a time of probation, trial, and chastisement for the Lord’s people in concert with His divine favor, while at the same time, a period of judgment on those who refuse the Lord.

         Keep all of this in mind when following the eclipse today. It is time to prepare our hearts for the immediate future. If you’re right with God all is well. Time periods such as these are designed to get everyone on track, especially concerning the Great Awakening. 

THE JOEL ECLIPSE

         The following is just one proof that the Lord uses signs in the sky:

         “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.

        ‘I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’” [Acts 2:16-21 NKJV] [2]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]  


[1] Number In Scripture ©1921 E.W. Bullinger

[2] 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.

PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN

PART 2: THE THIRD SIGN: IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN 

PART 3: REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN

PART 5: AT THE CROSSROADS: WILL AMERICA REPENT?

REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN (3)

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         On January 22, 1973, in by far the worst legal verdict in the history of the United States, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, legalized in-womb baby killing.

 

       Since then, sixty million American babies have been terminated in an ongoing wholesale slaughter. Unless one purposely pays very close attention and puts a lot of work into searching for the facts, this vile practice goes completely unreported in all the major news outlets or is characterized as a human right with no regard whatsoever for the babies’ rights. Are they not Americans also? Does not the Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to them as well? Without the gross intervention of ghoulish womb-invaders, 99% of these babies would all continue to develop to full term. Therefore, the destructive intervention of in-womb baby killing is the antithesis of a benign act and constitutes the termination of life.  

         Even so, most Americans question whether or not the natural, God-given rights of these babies were violated. Go figure. This has resulted in another obvious consequence of the vile practice, that of wholesale brainwashing among the larger populace: The majority has been convinced that there is nothing wrong with abortion, that it is not a sin, that it is not murder, that it is not the termination of life. Yet, the process involves a baby safely in the womb on the way to becoming what all of us presently are, and then he or she is ripped apart, thrown in the trash, and becomes “medical waste.” Because this practice is conducted in secret it is deemed a non-event. It never happened. Even if it happened sixty million times.

      In January of 1973 the United States population was 211 million. At present it is approximately 325 million. In those 44.5 years the population has officially grown by 114 million. But 60 million have been aborted. This means, since the abortion decision, over one third of the American population has been eliminated. One out of every three people is missing. Why are there so few advocates on major platforms fighting for the unborn babies? Why don’t we ever hear about this incredible destruction of human life in the mainstream media, on public service announcements, in great speeches by U.S. Congressmen and Senators? Or Supreme Court Justices? Cannot one advocate be found among these people?

        WORST OF ALL, WHY IS ABORTION ALMOST NEVER MENTIONED IN CHURCHES? WHY DON’T THE BIG BOYS IN THE PULPITS WITH ALL THE MONEY, RESOURCES, STANDING, PRESTIGE, AND MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR AIR TIME EVER TALK ABOUT IT IN SUCH A WAY TO MAKE MOVES TOWARD ENDING IT? CANNOT ONE ADVOCATE BE FOUND AMONG THESE PEOPLE?

EVERY NINE YEARS

         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.

         As I stated in Part 2, The Third Sign: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again:

         The number nine is the Biblical number of finality or judgment.

REVEALING THE CLEAR EVIDENCE OF ECONOMIC JUDGMENT

        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                ?   –   ?                                                     ? 

        

         As you can see, the current nine years is almost up. I have spelled out very clearly what happened last time around during the 2007-2009 recession in Part 1 of this series, Economic Crash and Burn. Whatever the immediate future holds, we are way beyond the point of mere coincidence regarding the nine year pattern detailed very clearly in the above chart. The “third sign” is for real and for you it is no longer hidden. 

        “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” [Luke 8:17] [1]   

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


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

PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN

PART 2: THE THIRD SIGN: IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN 

PART 4: SOLAR ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA SIGNALS ONSET OF REPENTANCE

PART 5: AT THE CROSSROADS: WILL AMERICA REPENT?

THE THIRD SIGN: IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN (2)

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       Since I began the research and writing of this series on Monday, some additional, possibly confirming news came forth the very next day, as did subsequent current events throughout the week. The overall theme of this series is, of course, the present American economy, the stock market crash of 2008, the rapid rise in the stock market this calendar year as the long Bull market continues, and what’s in store for us in the near future. It also involves a hidden economic pattern I discovered eight and a half years ago, something I referred to in Part 1 as “The Third Sign.”

        I had the opening post, Economic Crash and Burn, ready to go on the evening of August 7, in which the number seven is featured prominently (did not plan that), but decided to wait until Wednesday, August 9 to post it. This was due in small part to the number nine, which plays a large role in this series. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, I suggest you read it now before going further because it serves as an introduction and lays a groundwork of understanding for this and future posts.

[INTERMISSION…]

      Regarding the economic news of this week, you will remember from Part 1 that the previous Bull market reached a high peak in October of 2007 and then began a Bear market freefall which resulted in the crash of 2008 on September 29. But it didn’t stop there. It kept falling all the way into March of 2009 when it finally bottomed out. In a period of seventeen months, the Dow Jones plummeted like a rock from 14,164 to a market close of 6,547 on March 9, 2009, though it reportedly reached a trading low that day of approximately 6,440. This represented a drop of over 54% and a loss of trillions in value.

         Since that time an eight-year Bull market has brought us to the highest peak ever which happened on Tuesday of this week when the Dow reached a stratospheric high of 22,179.11! (Those last three numbers don’t look so good.) But considering possible harbingers, guess what happened since? The Dow has lost 335 points as of closing on Thursday. This might not mean anything. For example, from March 1 to April 19 of this year the Dow lost almost 800 points but recovered. We’ll see what happens today, but there are increasing indications that the current Bull market may be ending.  

FUTURE AGENDAS AND EXTINCTION EVENTS

         There exists a cultural conviction that economic systems are inherently cyclical and can therefore serve as prognostications of future agendas or be taken advantage of toward personal gain. Though this may be true in some general abstract sense within limited parameters, it cannot be true specifically with regard to large complex systemic structures unless they are manipulated by insiders.

         You may have noticed that the middle class is going extinct like an otherwise healthy and populous large dinosaur species previously ruling the prehistoric landscape. While the middle class shrinks into a new massive monetary facsimile of the La Brea Tar Pits, the guys at the very upper echelon in this country grow ever more rich and enriched, and are using their new ill-gotten wealth to gain ever more wealth by thoroughly manipulating the system to their advantage. This was never supposed to happen in America nor could it have, if Constitutional principles stayed in effect and the law stayed on the side of the people.                

         But We the People are no more. It is now We the Elite.

         The only person now remaining who can do anything about this is the Lord Jesus (with a little help from His friends). There was a time in America when a relatively large section of the citizenry could do very well economically without the direct assistance of the Lord, proving that millions might have claimed some form of Christianity but in reality did whatever they wanted. Spiritual reality dictates that becoming a real Christian instantly makes one an enemy of the world, unregenerate mankind, and that guy with the horns and forked tail.

         This being the case, one will soon be shut out, shut down, and beat down to varying degrees without the help of the Lord. Being that He overcame these evil forces and defeated them, it obviously stands to reason that He not only knows how to fight spiritual enemies and win spiritual wars but that He also wants to show His people how to as well. There is no victory for the real Christian otherwise.

         But faux Christians existing outside the kingdom represent no real threat to the bad guys and find life curiously devoid of the kinds of spiritual attacks as represented in the New Covenant Scriptures. It always amazed me somewhat as a rookie Christian that the Lord couldn’t turn around without some religious nut attacking Him and accusing Him of some ludicrous charge or another. We see the same thing with the apostle Paul. He simply went about his business but was forever having crazy attacks from the nutjob faction perpetrated against him replete with false charges and rabid bloodlust. It was so obvious what was going on, in that such weird but ferocious assaults were happening out of thin air for no other sane reason. But unless one was in the kingdom and possessed spiritual eyes and ears in good working order one would be oblivious to the evil sources and would always think Paul and his fellow workers were somehow at fault and therefore must have been evil or compromised by sin, since their trouble-magnet status suggested they were bringing it on themselves.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

        Real Christians in America have been coming to the ever-increasingly clear conclusion that the only means of victory is a closer and Closer and CLOSER walk with the Lord Jesus, especially since a handful of super rich are taking everything over and putting their own, shall we say, non-Christian mark on all they advocate for and attempt to achieve. A few of them may actually think they are doing good work but are hopelessly deceived without the Lord and always end up gravitating further toward the devil’s desires until caught fast in his deceptive web. This means the enemy is growing ever-stronger since he has gained powerful new seemingly unending financial sources, and the things nominal Christians used to do to get by will no longer work the same way. Life for the real Christian is thus getting more challenging.

       This is why we see an exact replica of this paradigm emerging within status quo Christianity in which the Christian elite at the top of the pyramid have given up the real fight and sold out to the faux construct in which they look like they’re making a giant impact with all their incredible resources but are actually fulfilling in a brand new method and manner the principle of “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2Timothy 3:5). In other words, with the culture being destroyed all around us and sin riding a shooting star exponential curve into outer space while official Christianity maintains great authority and immense resources, the latter is apparently having no real effect on the former.

         “Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Luke 14:34-35] [1] 

THE THIRD SIGN

         The number nine is the Biblical number of finality or judgment.

         As I mentioned in the previous post, there was a third major sign associated with the stock market crash of September 29, 2008. I discovered it only a few months later. There is a very clear Bear market pattern regarding the overall economy of the United States that had never occurred before it began several decades ago. Regarding other possible cyclical indicators as mentioned previously in this article, if they exist they are not so clear cut. The pattern I am revealing to you now is otherwise obvious and presents both a stark contrast to whatever happened before its onset and also reveals one of only two possibilities: It is either:

         (1) The result of high-level human-orchestrated manipulation according to a long-term master plan, or

         (2) A recurring pattern of economic judgment due to the increasingly great sins of the nation and one extremely vile sin in particular. This vile practice is now so culturally accepted only a small percentage of the population cares enough to even mention it, much less expose it and demand its outright elimination.

         I will give you the details of this hidden pattern and what could be causing it in my next post. [To Be Continued.]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

PART 1: ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN

PART 3: REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN

PART 4: SOLAR ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA SIGNALS ONSET OF REPENTANCE

PART 5: AT THE CROSSROADS: WILL AMERICA REPENT?

ECONOMIC CRASH AND BURN (1)

Blog Pic 882017 - Copy        

         Eight years ago, I wrote an article with the above title and posted it on my previous website. It was early May of 2009. The United States remained mired in the midst of a widespread economic shock brought on in part by the stock market crash of September 2008. For those of you who remember, you will recall the obvious spiritual nature of the crash, both for the numbers involved and the day of its occurrence. These left no doubt to the people tuned in that a specific economic judgment on the nation had just ensued.

FROM BULL TO BEAR

         I used to follow the economic conditions of the country very closely, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average, otherwise known generically as the stock market. I still remember the peak that occurred in the year previous to the 2008 crash. In fact, someone asked me about the number not too long ago and I quickly recalled the figure of 14,164. I had been following the market for years and saw the steady rise as portrayed on various websites and wondered when it would top out. As it turned out, it achieved its zenith at 14,164.43 on October 9, 2007.

         Many people, including economic gurus and forecasters, thought the stock market was greatly inflated. Yet, during such times, the insatiable desire for profits is such that the majority would rather ride the wave and hope for future insight at the onset of descent with enough time to escape with profits intact. In 2007 the Dow had steadily risen from the low it reached exactly five years earlier on October 9, 2002 when it dipped below 7200 but closed at 7286. Five years later, to the very day, when it reached its peak, it had almost doubled but that was as far as it would climb.

         I had yet to fully understand at that time the economic judgment that was pending. Of course, I had been through all the ups and downs of the stock market over the previous few decades and was well aware of the seemingly capricious nature of the market. During that time, however, over the long run, there existed a steady climb to previously unforeseen peaks and plateaus. The great peak of 14,164 in October of 2007 was the latest but greatest. Most did not know it at the time, but the bull run was over. The next day the market began a prodigious, yearlong descent toward a day filled with extra-natural signals and portents.

         That day was Monday, September 29, 2008. Officially, it was the last day of the civil year on the Hebrew calendar. Sunset on that Monday would mark the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the new civil year. Actually, though, the official Hebrew calendar was effectively off by a day. Months always begin with a new moon. On that day, the new moon would also mark the new year. The new moon, however, actually took place early Monday morning at 4:12AM. This means the stock market crash of 2008 did not happen on the last day of the old civil year but on the first day of the new one, on the real Rosh Hashanah.

THREE SIGNS

       Why is this significant? To begin, one must understand that a lunar-solar celestial calendar remains in place based in part on the Law of Moses which the Lord Jesus did not remove but fulfilled. Much in His mission and ministry occurred on specific days for significant reasons. It is thus apparent, since His ministry continues, that He still uses His calendar for signs and prophetic content. As a case in point, there are strong Scriptural indications that His return will be in the autumn of the year one day and will fulfill the Fall Feasts just as He fulfilled the Spring Feasts long ago.

         That which occurred on September 29, 2008 was therefore a sign, and a very clear one. It indicated that sinister forces had been jacking with the American economy, that the economy was in dire straits as a result, and that this in turn negatively affected the lives of millions of real believers, something the Lord is always concerned about. Thus, His concern indicated a directive to stay in faith, in that the Lord would take care of His people during the downturn.

         The second significant sign was as follows:

         (A) The crash totaled the most points ever lost during a single day of trading.

         (B) The total number of lost points invoked an otherworldly unambiguous indicator.

       The day began at 11,143.14. It ended at 10,365.45. This meant the Dow fell by the Biblically noteworthy figure of 777 points. Officially, it was 777.68, which is pretty close to 777.77. This represented a drop of 6.98%, which is pretty close to 7%. In fact, these numbers are so close that I believe the official figures may be off just slightly.

         Why did the number seven loom so large on that fateful day? Seven is generally the Biblical number of spiritual perfection. It obviously has many Scriptural portents. The Book of Revelation is filled with sevens, for example. However, it is also significant that the Hebrew civil new year begins with the seventh month of the festival calendar. Tishrei (September-October) is the seventh month. The day of the stock market crash in 2008 was thus a signal to all who were paying attention (who had maybe not been paying much attention yet), that challenging economic times were definitely upon us and to get prepared. The stock market had suffered a deadly hit in a single day, had lost almost 27% of its value over the previous year, and the signs clearly indicated a continuing downward spiral.

         In our next segment I will tell you about a third significant sign from that day—a hidden pattern—and one that I did not identify for another few months. This third economic crash and burn sign was the most important. We are about to see its consequences again relatively soon. [To Be Continued.]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


PART 2: THE THIRD SIGN: IT’S DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN 

PART 3: REVEALING THE HIDDEN ECONOMIC JUDGMENT PATTERN

PART 4: SOLAR ECLIPSE ACROSS AMERICA SIGNALS ONSET OF REPENTANCE

PART 5: AT THE CROSSROADS: WILL AMERICA REPENT?

Announcing a New Post (August)

         Hello everyone. Hope you are all doing well and continuing onward as the Great Awakening advances. We each have our own individual challenges and the Lord sees it all. Remember always that we walk by faith and not by sight, and that the Lord is forever faithful. In that light we must stay busy with what we have each been called to do. The Lord needs us and we need each other. We are blessed to have the Lord and the spiritual power to meet every need and get everything done that must be done. There is victory in Him. There is always hope. Stay strong. He can do the impossible.

         I will be posting a new article tomorrow as the first part of a new overall theme I am working on. It is important that you read each post because they are connected and the subject matter affects us all. As always, feel free to comment. Good discussions bring forth a sharing of necessary truth and knowledge, especially in these days. Thank you all for your spiritual support. Be blessed!

RJ

FIGHTING AGAINST THE LORD: Churches That Oppose New Covenant Truth

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         The anointed prophetic Word is designed by God to get His people on track and correct them when they get off track. This is why many Christians reject it.

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THEY REMAIN HATED TODAY

         OT Prophets paid a great personal price to be the spokesmen for God. Without their work the forces of evil had no opposition and ran roughshod over the Lord’s people. One wonders why it even mattered in part because the great majority of “the Lord’s people” had no real care or concern for the Lord’s purposes anyway and always segued into their desired natural condition regardless of the effort to help them. They loved living in the flesh, so to speak. This in turn caused them to embrace demonic entities.

         Along came the prophet, sent by God, to correct their behavior, in the attempt to save them from sin and eventual eternal death, because despite their gross sin the Lord still loved them and did His best to help.

         In a fine how-do-you-do, the majority of these people thanked Him by attempting to stick their collective finger in God’s eye and essentially told Him to go to hell. Of course, that’s exactly where they ended up, somewhat ironically (Hey! This isn’t heaven!), but such spiritually obtuse nitwits had no conception of reality anymore due to the blindness that befell them as a result of their rejection of truth. Once they reached that sordid state of soul the odds of returning to God were slim and none.

I JUST DROPPED IN TO SEE WHAT CONDITION YOUR CONDITION WAS IN

         The apostle Paul wrote about this very strange Israelite condition centuries later. He should know, of course, because prior to his miraculous new birth experience while still wrapped in gaudy religious robery and exulting in all his glorious Tribe of Benjamin and Pharisee status, he had the aforesaid condition, né disease, in one of its worst forms. Though an expert carrier, He had no understanding of the cause of the disease until the Lord opened his eyes. He explained it thus:

         For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. [2Thessalonians 2:11-12]

         Refusing to accept and believe New Covenant truth is thus defined as a form of wickedness.

         Paul claimed the Lord graciously forgave him for his previous wicked religious behavior and hatred of real Christians because he had acted out of ignorance and in unbelief:

         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]   

         In other words, he had been a complete doofus with regard to the truth and because of his high intensity personality he had acted out with extreme aggression on his great doofusness with great passion. Before salvation Paul had no love for the truth and was blind due to his rejection of it. He even ended up embracing bad spirits. By his own account he was formerly a:

1: Blasphemer

2: Persecutor

3: Violent Aggressor

          His passion for his religion was such that no man on earth would ever be able to get through to him. Like so many blind Christians today who insist on their own skewed version of truth, they refuse any and every corrective voice, and it is no wonder since they have great support groups of like-minded doofuses to back them up. This is especially true of the blind pulpiteers with no accountability to God since they are surrounded with great clouds of doofuss witnesses congregating before them and sycophant elder boards who often count success in terms of the offerings they siphon every Sunday.

         “Who can argue against our great standing and success and massive numbers, especially with all this money coming in? Come on man, gimme a break! Is it not obvious that God has blessed us?” 

         THEN WHY DIDN’T GOD LIKEWISE BLESS THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS?

         Some of these places have a level of salt and light but it’s not so tasty and not so bright.

         Cranking it up to a higher spiritual degree demands a level of discipleship usually rejected so success must be measured in alternative ways. The reality in our modern times is that church and ministry organizations in general subsist not on the Spirit of the Lord and His anointed Word for sustenance but on monetary donations, and their skillful knack at gaining donations is actually what makes them successful. Few other organizations have the boldness to repeatedly collect donations all the time regardless of next to zero spiritual effectiveness.

         And yet Paul, the former small-statured colossal doofus who became a powerful Spirit-filled apostle, preacher, teacher, and great witness giant of a man for the Lord had every opportunity granted by the Lord to accept donations for the spiritually abundant work he did, which quite possibly no real Christian has ever matched, but almost always refused to do. He even said it was his right. Why did he do this? Could it be the same reason the Lord never took anything at all for Himself except what was necessary to keep Him alive and strong for the pure purposes of ministry? He chose to hoe an extremely hard row on purpose and submitted Himself to a very difficult life due to the very difficult mission He had to complete.

THE ABSOLUTE GREATEST OF ALL TIME

         No one ever lived a more difficult life with more bountiful spiritual success. The Lord Jesus is our one and only perfect example, and most donation-obsessed so-called giants (antigiants) of the faith look absolutely nothing like Him. This is not to question those who rightfully accept donations but there certainly seems to be a correlation between the most powerfully effective ministries and their very low donation acceptance level.

         “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” [Luke 14:27]  

BUT I DIGRESS

         I remember a preacher from my early days who insisted that whenever he preached he had to wear the three-piece dark suit he always wore that he called his “monkey suit.” I guess that is a form of carrying one’s cross. I also remember a good-natured friend at church who sometimes ministered in a pulpit. Remember, this was a few years back and among the usual conservative elements of that time. Smiling, he wondered about the possibility of “preaching in a flannel shirt.” Back then you never saw anyone preaching or even at Sunday church without wearing some form of higher conservative clothing, unless you were associated with the far out laid back churches on the west coast and a few others like them. I most often wore suits and ties, even in violent summer heat. I could certainly relate to the “monkey suit” idea. Nevertheless, though the Lord was always properly attired I don’t think He ever wore a necktie.

         But He also never put on airs or dressed for the purposes of being legitimate in the eyes of those with the cash in order to appear worthy to receive donations like so many so-called ministers do. However, Joel Osteen made a good point once, when someone suggested he go casual and maybe preach in some bib overalls. He answered with laughter something to the effect, “Can you imagine someone who looks like me preaching in overalls?”

         While I fully understand Joel’s sentiment and appreciate his humility, I think the apostle Paul probably looked more like the latter than the former, in that he probably dressed more like a farmer than a “latter day saint,” who apparently got their uniform ideas from a 1950s IBM dress code manual.

CLIMBING OUT OF THE PHARISEE PIT

         I hope you can see where this is going. In its effort to look the part, much of Christianity has fallen into the same Pharisee pit that Paul was rescued from. When “official” Christianity does this regarding New Covenant truth, it bars the door to any truth they do not deem truth, which is exactly what the ancient Israelites did, which is exactly why the Lord was always raising up and sending out prophets to them, which is what He is always forced to do with successful though very wayward “churches,” and is why such establishments continue to fight the corrective voices of nondescript prophets sent their way.

         At the judgment the Lord may tell such Chorazin and Capernaum churches that He kept sending people to correct them, and they may say “Who?” and He may point out the sendees and say “Them,” and the faux church leaders may say “Them!” But we…” And the Lord may say something like, “But you silenced them or sent them packing or rejected them because you had no respect for them because they didn’t look the part (sound familiar?) and because you had so much pride in yourselves and you didn’t understand that in rejecting them you were rejecting the One who sent them.” At that point the Faux Bros may still be mumbling to themselves, “Them? But they, but we, but…”

OH LORDY, WE SCREWED UP

         Some formerly screwed up church people and preachers have actually expressed this sentiment and corrected their behavior. Like the apostle Paul they finally saw the error of their ways after getting knocked flat on their backs doing their usual Damascus road routine which involved judging everyone on the planet that didn’t look like them and act like them and believe like them. Humble pie has served them well. They have since decided to try to get their priorities straight but it remains a struggle for some. Many continue having a hard time being corrected and are trying to get it right but are besieged under the onslaught of rigid Religious Correctness. (Yes, due to my own past knowledge of and experience in this regard I was ahead of the curve on that one also.) From my book:

A VISIT TO GALATIA

         In these verses, Paul gives us a succinct yet powerfully revealing picture of that which continues to keep much of Christianity in the dark ages. He makes it plain that spiritual goals cannot be reached by human effort. He gives us a concise rendering of the fact that the power of God is not contingent upon works but upon pure faith. Why then are we Christians stubbornly intent on doing all that is possible to organize God out of His own fellowship and out of the very teachings which we profess to uphold? It’s no wonder much of the world thinks Christians are goofy. It’s no wonder we’re always playing catch-up ball—original thought is not allowed. True freedom in the Lord is not allowed either, and we’re paying a huge price for it. It’s impossible for one to be free when he or she is dragging around a Religiously Correct ball and chain. [1]

         We all know there are fake preachers thoroughly succumbed to religious deadness for the sake of wallets and respectability. Just turn on Christian television as a reminder. While there are some in that far away land of lights, cameras, and action who are for real, there are many who are as fake as a sold-out politician and are either seriously deceived (stupid) or thoroughly compromised. Bills must be paid, if you get my drift, and anti-Christian agendas must be attended to, because the people giving the money believe in and insist upon the false agendas. Does one really think one will get donations from (insert name of denomination here) unless one preaches the doctrines of (insert same name of denomination here)?

THE ATTACK OF THE CLONES

         “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.” [Revelation 2:4-5]

         This is why so many churches are Goth dark even though the lights are on. Their lampstand has been removed because they left their first love. Many other churches are likewise dark though they never left their first love simply because they had no first love to begin with. What’s a Christian’s first love anyway? Is it not the following?

         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.’” [Matthew 22:37-39]

         Of course, Christians can’t obey the second without first obeying the first, which proves why many do not obey the first since it is obvious they refuse to obey the second, and we know they don’t obey the second in part because they reject the corrective voice of the Lord who is trying TO SAVE THEM FROM THEMSELVES. Again, it is why we have four billion Christian denominations at odds with each other that insist on majoring on man-made differences and distinctions instead of coming together in unity founded on the ONE and only ONE full curriculum of the Lord Jesus.

         And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” [John 9:39-41]

         From this clear statement it is obvious that the blind Christians who insist they see remain in their sins though they play the church game very well and are excellent at looking the part. Again, these people are mere actors. There is no THERE there. They have rejected the Lord’s New Covenant truth as did Paul in his previous incarnation and defend their faux constructs to their own detriment. Therefore they do not know they are blind and in sin and must fight against such assertions even if they attack the One they claim to serve. If He can’t get through to them (and it certainly isn’t for a lack of trying!), who can? How long will they persist in fighting against the Lord?

         “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” [Matthew 19:30] [2]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Excerpt from Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[2] 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.

Announcing a New Post (July)

         Hello everyone! Hope all is well. The Great Awakening continues. Some of you may have noticed I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been attending to practical matters and just completed a construction project. The Lord gave me a new post last Sunday but I haven’t had time to finish it until this morning. I thought since I have not posted in several weeks it would be best to send out this announcement to let everyone know it’s on the way and will post tomorrow. Thanks. Blessings to you all.

PROPER PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST: A PERFECT SACRIFICE

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         Pentecost required the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. It was the only way He could share His Holy Spirit with us.

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         God not only had to become a human being, He also had to live a perfect life, die without sin, rise from the dead, and be glorified. God had to become a Man in order to then give His Spirit to mankind. There was no other way this could ever happen, and is the actual purpose and meaning of Pentecost.

         He explained it this way:

         Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” [John 7:37-39]

A PERFECT LIFE 

         No one had ever lived a perfect life before. No one had ever obeyed God to the fullest and fully walked out the given plan. The Lord Jesus never missed a step. He became last in all things through complete humility and unselfishness in order to become first in all things. He became last on our behalf as a suffering Servant and became first on our behalf to be our conquering King. Through this process He defeated all evil and the powers thereof. The world, the flesh, and the devil no longer had the upper hand over humanity. He thus gained greater power than any other existing entity as a human being.

        He had always been God but not as a Man. Humanity had been rid of God’s full dominion since the fall of Adam. Humanity had been defeated by evil and had fallen from innocent glory. God would have to restore it. The only way to do that was to become one of us. No one else could possibly qualify. There must be another Adam, a Last Adam:

         So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. [1Corinthians 15:42-47]

A PERFECT SACRIFICE

         The New Covenant definition of perfect is complete. God demands a perfect, or complete, sacrifice. Nothing else will work. You can’t give the Lord a mere portion of your heart even if you give most of it. It works the same way in marriage. It is the main reason so many marriages fail. One member is being deceptive. Sometimes both are. A less than full-hearted effort with God will never work either.

         When the perfect sacrifice was made, sin was paid for in total and a closed door was opened unto spiritual life. The open door later manifested in the miracle of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord. The first sacrifice was made by the Last Adam, the Lord Jesus, when He offered Himself. After that the 120 disciples in the Upper Room had to make a full and complete sacrifice of themselves. They had to become clean vessels, first through total faith in the Lord, and second through total repentance for their sins.

         During the ten days after the Lord ascended to heaven until Pentecost they all prayed, fasted, repented, and prepared. They were also immersed in water in the Name of Jesus. By the time the ten days were up all those remaining in the Upper Room for the duration had made the proper sacrifice. While waiting according to the Lord’s command “for what the Father had promised,” they emptied themselves completely so they could be brand new vessels filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.

THE PROMISE IS FOR YOU

         Thursday, June 1st is the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost means “fiftieth” day. It always takes place on the fiftieth day from the Feast of First Fruits. The Lord Jesus rose from the dead on First Fruits. In that year, it was also the first day of the week, the equivalent of our Sunday. Pentecost was on the first day of the week then as well.

         On the Hebrew calendar, the day of First Fruits is the 17th day of the month of Nisan. The Day of Pentecost is the 7th day of Sivan. The equivalents this year on our calendar are as follows:

         Nisan 17, First Fruits: Thursday, April 13, 2017 (Began Wednesday at sunset)

         Sivan 7, Pentecost:      Thursday, June 1, 2017 (Begins today at sunset)

         How do we know these dates are correct? Because the Hebrew calendar is lunar-solar. The months begin with the actual new moon. The new moon prior to Nisan 17 began on Nisan 1, which was March 28th on our calendar. The new moon took place the day before on March 27 at 9:57PM CDT. This marked the exact beginning of the month of Nisan and from that we can calculate the Day of Pentecost, which begins at sunset tonight.

THE PROPER PREPARATION

         There are stirrings in the Spirit. The Lord is bringing something forth. Well-known Christian figures are now confirming what I have been saying for almost seven years. They are reporting the stirrings of revival in various locations. Let us all continue to be properly prepared. The Great Awakening and Pentecost go together.

         And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

        Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. [Hebrews 12:26-29] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

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         Every real Christian must make a difficult but rewarding decision. He or she must leave home and all that is familiar in order to enter the kingdom of the Lord.

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         This world is not my home I’m just a passing through

         My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue       

         The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

         And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore [1]

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         And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. [Exodus 2:22 KJV]

         Gershom was the firstborn son of Moses. Moses named his son after his current experience. He had arrived in a new land about a year before and was still trying to find his way. This was a man used to the high life and lofty standing of being the adopted grandson of the Egyptian Pharaoh. He went from prince to pauper in a fortnight and had to flee Egypt with his life on the line.

RUNNING ON EMPTY

         Never having time to catch his breath, he headed east across the blistering sands of Sinai and kept traveling onward toward the rising sun in his own early version of the Texan’s runaway scrape. “What happened to me?” he thought. A fleeing fugitive, sottish with fear and disillusionment, on the run from Egyptian justice, he had killed a man in a fierce fury after seeing a Hebrew kinsman being beaten up without mercy.

         One may wonder what God saw in an avenging man slayer but what He did see was a man who had great pride in his heritage. God saw him as a man who would go to bat for his people. But at that time, with sweat pouring and fright raging, Moses looked like anything but a hero.

THEN CAME MOSES

         He came into the land of Midian. These were distant relatives of his ancestor Abraham. Abraham was the first stranger in a strange land:

         “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you… [Genesis 23:4]  

         Girls were trying to water their flocks but the other shepherds kept running them off. In reading the historical text we find that this was an everyday occurrence. It always took these sisters much time to gain access to the well because of the others who were intent on hindering them. Sound familiar?

         And suddenly Moses was fighting for justice again. This was a powerful man, a man who demanded respect. He saw to it that the girl’s flock got their water and one can picture the other shepherds looking on from a distance knowing that there was something about the new stranger, that one better not mess with him, that one could see by that look in his eye that he meant business.

         The sisters went home and told their dad. Their dad jumped their case. “What is wrong with you! Go find him and bring him to dinner!” This began an entirely new chapter in the life of Moses. He married one of those sisters and when his son was born he still felt like a stranger in a strange land after a very strange turn of events. But regardless of the desert remoteness, his home a million miles away, and thoughts of palace living gone forever, the blessings kept flowing. The Lord had a plan.

         Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God… [Exodus 2:23] [2]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] This World Is Not My Home © 1952 by Albert E. Brumley, Acclaim Music

[2] 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.

SALVATION OF JEWS WITHOUT JESUS? NOT ACCORDING TO MOSES AND PETER

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         “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]

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         Both of these men had sterling Hebrew credentials. The first, Moshe, was chosen by God as a prophet, deliverer of his people, and  lawgiver. Without Moses there would be no Hebrew nation.

         The second man, Peter, was chosen by the Lord Jesus as the man to whom He gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Peter’s name in Hebrew is Kefa, and his given Jewish name before the Lord changed it was Shim’on Bar-Yochanan. Peter used the kingdom keys on the first Day of Pentecost showing the way to salvation and as the central leader and spokesman of the early Jerusalem Church.

       Regarding Hebrew credentials, no one has more sterling credentials than the Lord Jesus Himself: A member of the Tribe of Judah, He is a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David.

THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME

         The New Covenant writers made it very clear that there is no salvation without Messiah Jesus (YeHoshua HaMashiach), as His very name means “YHWH-Salvation.” The apostle Paul (Sha’ul), a “Hebrew of Hebrews” in his own words, cites absolutely no distinction between Jews and Gentiles in his teachings regarding those in need of salvation:

       For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” [Romans 10:11-13]

         The entire Community of the Lord for the first seven to ten years of its existence after Pentecost was composed entirely of Jews. There were no Gentiles until the inclusion of an Italian named Cornelius, whose salvation came through the ministry of Peter, the historical account of which is listed in Acts Chapter 10.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JEWISH NATIONAL TITLES

         The first man called a Hebrew in Scripture was Abram (Genesis 14:13). In general terms, the descendants of the Patriarchs were known as Hebrews until the Conquest of Canaan under Joshua, after which they were known as Israelites. The nation was divided into two kingdoms after Solomon’s death, and the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were dispersed into permanent exile in 721BC and were slowly assimilated by other nations.

         The only remaining tribes of the original Israelite nation were Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, and these constituted the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The people of this Kingdom went into exile in Babylon during the Babylonian Captivity at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 586BC. They were allowed to return to the land of Judah a half century later. Since the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah and because the three tribes composing it had somewhat maintained their distinct Israelite identity, the relatively small remainder of the original Hebrews/Israelites became known as Jews from that time forward.

MOSES PROPHESIES OF THE COMING KING

         “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him. This is according to all that you asked of the LORD your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ The LORD said to me, ‘They have spoken well. I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.’” [Deuteronomy 18:15-19]   

         This prophecy and commandment delivered by Moses was referenced by Peter during the first days of the early Church when he spoke to a gathered crowd of Jews in Jerusalem right after the miraculous healing of the lame man:

         “Moses said, ‘THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’” [Acts 3:22-23]

          If someone polled Christians on whether or not they believed that the content of this Scriptural passage was true, many would say no. Of course, many would have never heard of it to begin with so it would appear foreign on two counts: On the first because a probable majority of Christians have never read the Book of Acts, and the second because they have been conditioned to believe that Jews can be saved without Jesus.

         But the Lord Jesus made it a point to anoint Peter to preach this word early on in the Church’s history and make a clear authoritative reference to Moses so all the Jews there would hear the truth.

THE BOLDNESS OF PETER AND THE SALVATION OF JEWS IN ACTION:

        “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.’ For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.” [Acts 3:24-26]

         Many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. [Acts 4:4] [1]

         After the awesome display of the Lord’s miraculous healing of the lame man, the bold preaching of Peter, the massive salvation of thousands of Abraham’s descendants, and the powerful display of God’s love, the Jewish religious leaders showed up and threw Peter and John in jail.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THE REAL CIVIL WAR IN THE CHURCH

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         Civil War in the Church is not a new thing. It has been raging since the first century.

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         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. For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles. [2Corinthians 11:3-5]

         I read about a recent tent revival. Giant tent. Things were going great. Then the leaders thereof lost the use of the tent. The revival came to a sudden end.

         Then the leaders thereof pleaded for financial supporters to buy them their own tent. Great amounts of money were quickly raised. The last I read the leaders of the revival were making big plans to buy their own tent and all the other stuff needed to build out the interior with all the modern conveniences, the tractor trailers needed to transport the tent, and one presumes all the salaries necessary to keep the leaders thereof and their helpers taken care of, in order to resume the revival and get it back on track.

         They are calling it a miracle provision from God.

UNLESS THE LORD BUILDS THE TENT

         Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. [Psalm 127:1]

         I decided not to read about this revival any further, having only read a brief synopsis on a Christian news site. I’m sure many good things are associated with this tent revival but it cannot be more obvious that the leaders thereof are absolutely dependent on a tent. Why not just build a church building like everyone else? Everyone knows Christianity is impossible without church buildings.

         As a friend told me once, incredulous than I could not understand this principle, “We have to have a place to MEET.”

         This friend happened to own a very large house with a very large meeting room with leather couches and chairs that would have been absolutely perfect as a place to meet. They were friendly people with many associates who made great hosts. They really loved people and were dedicated to the Lord. When I brought up the possibility that their house would make an excellent meeting place and that they could easily invite all their many friends I was told, “Well, if the Lord ever tells us to do that…”

         In other words, the “church” they were meeting at was the “official” place. Period. Guess what their “church” was? It was a large room in a single story office and recreational building. It had a low, drop-tile commercial ceiling and a mass of folding chairs all in rows. There were next to no welcoming warm adornments or furniture except maybe a couple of church banners and the walls were a bland neutral color. But this was “church.” They set up a rudimentary sound system and, believe it or not, had a pulpit and a one-step platform. My friend’s house would have been MUCH better. But it never happened.

REAL REVIVALS AND MOVING MOUNTAINS

         As we speak there are Christians all over the world in probably a million locations meeting somewhere other than an official church building. For many there are no buildings at all. They meet outside. Some meet in crude huts. Some meet in crude structures that barely keep the rain out when it is raining and out in the open otherwise. Multiple millions are meeting in underground illegal locations all over China. Most of these places are packed full because they are small. Those people worship the Lord and minister all day long. They are always subject to arrest and being ratted on by spies. These are very powerful Spirit-filled spiritual people who know how to move giant things in the spirit and defeat powerful spiritual enemies.

         The same thing happens in several second and third world countries. It is mandatory, however, that most of these meetings be held in secret. We therefore do not know the full extent of their existence. But we know this: When real Christians obey the Lord Jesus, allow Him to be in charge, and take their discipleship seriously, MOUNTAINS MOVE. Mountains are moving right now the world over.

         It is even happening in America to a degree but one cannot see it very good if their frame of reference is “church.” It’s because mostly nothing all that world-shaking or special is happening in “church.” People are satisfied with what they have and aren’t going to change. In the great tradition of the Pharisees most of Christianity has become a stage play. Most Christians have become mere actors or spectators. Most have no idea whatsoever that they’ve become co-opted.

         Real Christianity is the only hope America has left and most American Christians don’t want real Christianity.

         Evil people who trash the teachings of the Lord are still in control of this country, the nation’s morals have long since descended into a pit, and “official” Christianity is being led around by the world and is in a race to be more like the world. It continues to spend an inordinate time seeking money, prestige, and political power. It must have the material world. It cannot exist without the material world. Take away the huge outlays in the material world and it would collapse in a day.

A SPIRITUAL KINGDOM

         Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” [John 18:36]

         I could go on. The Lord God commanded Moses to build a dynamic MOBILE tabernacle—a relatively small tent. It was not meant to house everybody. It was not built to cram everyone into it. There are obvious spiritual implications to this. Five centuries later the tent was no more because Solomon built a static located stone temple, just like the heathen nations. Remember, Israel had demanded that God give them a “king” so it could it be like all the heathen nations even though it already had the ONLY KING. They rejected God. This was the beginning of the slippery slope going into hyper space. WHOOSH. The next thing you know they had a big old stone temple, just like the heathen. They had decided to become heathen.

         “But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE? WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’ You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” [Acts 7:47-51]

         There is a disconnect in Christianity that must be dealt with. Most Christians keep insisting on somehow cramming an open-ended powerful spiritual kingdom into small three-dimensional “official” material spaces. At best, all this does is render the kingdom less powerful and less able. This is in part why the majority of American “churches” are spiritually dead. There is no spiritual life because there is no spiritual kingdom because there is no Spirit of the Lord!

         But there are vast material resources, huge amounts of real estate, and billions of dollars serving no spiritual purpose. And the Lord Jesus is rejected. Sound familiar? And counterfeit shiny substitutes are put in His place.

         We should all know this. Many do but do nothing about it. And the ones that do know and do something about it are shown the door that is not even supposed to exist.

WE DON’T WANT YOU HERE, STEPHEN!

         If we were all like Stephen we would be tearing up the devil on every front and the entire world would be filled with Upper Rooms and Pentecosts. Instead, far too many Christians, in defending their turf, look more like this:

         “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:52-54] [1]   

         This is why legitimate attempts at proper reform always expose the devil in Christian leadership. The leaders thereof don’t want reform. They like things exactly the way they are, wrong or dead though it may be, and will always rise up in defense and teach their people the same. It is why they killed Stephen. It is why they killed the Lord.

         It is also why Civil War in the Church will only get more intense, because real revival is coming and it will never fit in conventional old wineskins.

            © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

NO ONE KNOWS WHAT GOES ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

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        There are a great many tacit taboos in traditional Christianity. One of them concerns knowing what happens behind the outer stage presentation and the unknown agenda of the few in charge.

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         “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.” [Luke 8:17-18] [1]   

         I heard a sermon many years ago relaying a story that took place many years before then. The elder preacher, very well respected with an excellent reputation, was well aware of the incident, having lived at that time.

BANG THE DRUM QUICKLY

        It seems one of those small-church revivals had started up. They were going every night and much spiritual excitement was in the air. Those kinds of things would traditionally carry on for about two weeks, maybe three, and served as a method to get stuck-in-a-ditch church people back on track with God.

         The preacher said someone there had a big bass drum. When things got to swinging every night that feller would bang on that drum incessantly. This somehow greatly helped inspire the people to get all excited and keep things happening. They were doing all the many things church people did in those kinds of revivals, which were different things from those in regular services. And the big drum would keep banging away in the background.

         As I listened to the older man’s sermon I wondered where he was heading with the story. This was a veteran preacher who knew very well what he was doing and I was a young man quite intrigued with a story from way back, picturing a small church congregation intent on following the pastor’s lead and honoring the apparent fact that the man of God heard from God and the revival was heaven-sent.

         He said night after night the revival kept going, the people kept coming, the Spirit kept blessing, and the big bass drum kept booming. Then one night the drum broke…

         I learned a giant lesson. The preacher was not bashing the church or Christianity or any such thing. He was only giving people a small peak into what actually goes on behind the scenes. At that time I was still thoroughly wet behind the ears in that I trusted all leadership and never suspected anyone of doing anything untoward. I was so blessed to have had the incredible born again experience I had and everything in life was brand new and fresh. There was no way I would question anything about the process the Lord used to bless me so abundantly.

         But that sermon brought me back to earth in a sense. It let me know there was more going on that I didn’t know about. It let me know all was not what it seemed… [To Be Continued]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

 

Competing Worldviews Influence Today’s Christians

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         The following eye-opening polling research from Barna.com reveals exactly why American Christianity is in such great need of a Great Awakening:

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         “It is striking how pervasive some of these beliefs are among people who are actively engaged in the Christian faith,” Brooke Hempell, senior vice president of research for Barna, says.

         “What stood out most to us was how stark the shift was between the Boomer and Gen-Xer generations,” Hempell remarks. “We expected Millennials to be most influenced by other worldviews, but the most dramatic increase in support for these ideals occurs with the generation before them. It’s no surprise, then, that the impact we see today in our social fabric is so pervasive, given that these ideas have been taking root for two generations.”

         ARTICLE LINK: Competing Worldviews Influence Today’s Christians

HAPPY SIXTH BIRTHDAY, REAL CHRISTIANITY

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       As of today, Real Christianity has completed a full six years and begins year number seven. My thanks and sincere appreciation goes out to all of you for your gracious and faithful support.

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         It means a lot. I remember well when I was a rookie Christian brimming over with the Spirit of the Lord and wanting to give everything I had. I was in the process of devouring the Word of God. I could not get enough. I was breezing through the Bible and was forever continually amazed. I distinctly recall the day when I read 1Corinthians 14:1 for the first time:

         “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”

         The apostle Paul made it very clear in this passage that there was something very special about the prophetic gift. I knew next to nothing at the time but was learning fast. I really did not understand the full impact of the request I was about to make, but my brother Paul appeared to be talking directly to me. I took his advice personally. I figured that if the prophetic gift had the word “especially” attached to it then I had better seek it. It seemed that Paul was saying it was needed the most. I had some understanding of the gifts at that time since I read 1Corinthians 12 before I got to 14, and I had also seen the gifts in action.

         But again, when I saw 14:1 I went directly to the Lord in prayer and told Him that if the prophetic gift was what He wanted me to have and it was needed the most then I wanted it. I was seeing the bigger picture. I wanted to be of greater service.

         “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries. But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.” [1Corinthians 14:2-3]

         After about a year I was preaching in a pulpit. I did most of my preaching outside the church building, however. Yet, in my estimation at the time, I wasn’t really preaching out there, and it was not preaching in the conventional sense. Instead, it was what I may term anointed witnessing. And Boy Howdy, I was witnessing to everyone. It was not at all unlikely for me to go 45 minutes at a time. I had so much to give and the Lord just kept on anointing me to keep going. Those poor people! I know many appreciated it but I also found out early on that many did not. I started getting called “Reverend” and “Little Jesus” and other names I forget but you get the gist. I caught some flack but not all that much. Most of the flak came from a few.

         What I discovered was that the majority of the people were very open and respectful. The ones who caused me the greatest grief were those in closer proximity, if you get my drift. It seems the people who are connected relationally understand without really knowing why that the relational connection put an ongoing pressure on them to consider the truth, whereas people I didn’t know could simply walk away and would likely never see me again. It is easier to be polite that way. The Lord summed it up as thus:

         “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” [Mark 6:4]  

         Most Christians never make the connection that one’s “own household” is often one’s own church. This is in part why church as we know it doesn’t work past a certain point. Whoever wants to get in deep with the Lord and go all out like every real disciple should finds out that after about two years or so he or she will come to a previously unseen spiritual fork in the road. One will either continue to move on with the Lord and stay strong and continue developing or one will succumb to church life.

         Since you just read something considered by some to be quite pejorative, a caveat is called for: Some Christians outside of the preaching profession are meant to serve long term in local churches. Therefore, I am not saying that one cannot find their ministry and exercise their calling within a local, traditional body. The problem is that most can’t. And the problem there is that there are only a few places where one can. So even if one wants to serve there is most often no place in which to serve except on a very limited basis.

         But the Lord did not call us to limited service. He demands our entire heart, our entire life, and our entire everything. If a Christian holds back he or she is limiting God and can never become a fully developed and mature disciple.

         “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]

         This is why He used a different method from what most Christians are used to. He had to create a venue in which every single one of His children could minister in exactly the way He called them to minister. This is also why He created diverse spiritual giftings. Again, in reading 1Corinthians 12 and 14 we see many of these giftings and also several different places of service. However, there is no room whatsoever for the vast majority of these giftings and places of service in traditional local assemblies.

         “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” [Luke 5:37-38]   

        And there it is. That’s the key. The key word is FRESH. An old wineskin might be good for something but it is never good for new wine.

         In my six years here on WordPress I have met a great many people doing exactly what we were all called to do—that being whatever the Lord has placed on our hearts. It is limited to putting digital words on a screen but is unlimited regarding what those words are. The Lord sees it all and will judge it accordingly. We should all be seeking His approval but that can only come through faithful obedience. The great thing about venues such as this is one can preach or teach or write or witness to their heart’s content without any limitations save for those coming from the Lord.

         The greater impact is that internet communities are formed. Friends are made. Brothers and sisters come together. Truth is disseminated. There is no one telling you that you must comply with some traditional outlook or force you to believe a certain way if it conflicts with what God says. If we make mistakes the Lord is forgiving. Children make mistakes. Do we hold it against a child for not knowing any better? Neither does the Lord. He loves us no matter what we do. But if we are fully dedicated we will learn. We will grow in wisdom. We will come upon truths we never saw before. The Lord can open our eyes.

         My hope for each one of you is to continue growing ever-closer to the Lord Jesus and being even more effective for Him and one another. We know what happens when we achieve it: We help each other to change for the better—we all minister to one another. This is the essence of true koinonia. The Great Awakening is being driven by all those who are fully committed, insist on appropriating the full spiritual liberty the Lord died to give us, strive to fulfill their callings, and never look back.

         “What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets…” [1Corinthians 14:26-32] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

CHRISTIANITY HELD HOSTAGE

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      Unreal Christianity is a deceptive reflection of the authoritative, controlling, mammon-serving world of sinful man in opposition to the Lord Jesus.

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THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST

         The facts are what they are. The real teachings of the Lord Jesus as recorded in the New Covenant writings expose a wicked system of human management by sinful leaders located in every society, country, and empire outside the Kingdom of God and that the devil rules over all. This wicked system had even invaded and taken control among the Lord’s own people.

         Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” [Matthew 4:8-9]   

         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 12:2]   

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

         Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. [1Timothy 6:17]   

         By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. [1John 4:2-3]   

         It is still somewhat amazing that many Christians can read the gospels and not see this. Why can they not see the clear fact that God Himself showed up as one of us in part to reveal and expose the devil and his evil machinations in ruling over and abusing humanity and that the devil still rules over and abuses unregenerate humanity to this day?

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UNSALTY UNSEEING MAMMON-BASED CHRISTIANITY

         “Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Luke 14:34-35]

         And He also spoke a parable to them: A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” [Luke 6:39-40]

         “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” [Matthew 6:24] [1]

         There was a time when the evil one was exposed and preached against in Christian circles but I challenge anyone to find this today. It is rare. Especially on TV. The vast majority of Christian enterprises refuse to mention him or speak of all the things the Lord did regarding him. It is readily apparent therefore, that what the Lord said regarding money and the pursuit of wealth must be in large part the reason why.

         Money-first ministries in general never mention the truth in this regard. Could it be because just as the devil controls the world outside the Lord’s Kingdom he also controls most financial resources?

         It is clear, then, that money-first Christian ministries do not dare bite the hand that feeds or do anything which might disrupt or jeopardize their money supply. They have also been conditioned over many years to arrange for and base success on the ability to gain and maintain monetary resources.

         The bigger the ministry the more dependent it is on money. The more it is dependent on money the more likely it will be compromised. The more it is compromised the less likely it will ever preach and teach the truth as the Lord did. Such ministries are not Kingdom-oriented because they are not in the Kingdom. They have created their own kingdoms in which the Lord Jesus is not in charge—they are. And as such they deceive their people and hold them hostage against the truth.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THE LORD WILL RESCUE YOU

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         There comes a time when you know the Lord will come to your rescue. He always does. If you humble yourself, repent, and pray, He will meet you there.

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         We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. [1John 5:19]   

         God has allowed the existence of evil, evil people, and the evil things they do. Evil is never greater than when it is wielded by the most powerful people in the world and when these powerful people have been made to appear legitimate.

THE EVIL ELITE

          They are leaders of governments, corporations, international banks, and the like. They have been in power for centuries. Their hearts are not circumcised unto the Lord Jesus. They have never repented. They live for this world only. They pass their time living in splendor doing whatever they want since they are worth billions or are put in high positions as puppets in which they are given the relative worth of billions.

         These people have sold their souls for power and wealth but the vast majority never sees it that way. They do not understand what they are doing because they are deceived by sin and by the deception of their comfortable lifestyle. When they have so much at their disposal and can do whatever they want they have a tendency to believe in their false freedom. It appears to them that it will last forever. Most of them are so caught up in all the fun of their great power and wealth that they just don’t think about it. They do not think about eternity, unless they have been deceived by some false religious belief.

         The time will come when they will die. They will then find out that their entire existence was a self-created sham and that they lost to the devil.

         The devil controlled them and owned them but they didn’t know that. They were deceived. They will find out at the judgment. It will be pointed out to them that they had great wealth and power and could have used it for the good but instead wasted it all on selfish temporary purposes and tried their best to mold the world in accordance with their own sordid vision.

         But don’t try to tell them now. They will not believe you. They are far too entranced by the mere illusion of wealth and power. Most will never change. They are bringing great corruption to the world. There will be an end to their deception and chicanery, and indeed, it has already begun. Truth is breaking out everywhere.

THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S

         The Lord can never be pleased when people misuse His assets and destroy His world. These people will pay. It is only a matter of time. Even on this planet in this era there will be a time just as there was when the great empires of old crumbled into the dustbin of history. They were once very great and powerful and the leaders thereof were arrogant and unmerciful. Egyptian pharaohs, Roman emperors, and relatively recent world rulers have destroyed millions of people through the building of their mini-kingdoms and great empires and subjected good people to slavery and poverty all in the name of their own ill-gotten wealth and stolen power. They paid for it all through the loss of their souls. Their kingdoms were eventually destroyed and they all went to hell.

         That’s exactly where the current crop of human elites is heading. The vast majority will never repent of their great sins and will all go to hell. They will be destroyed forever. Justice will be served.

HELP IS ON THE WAY

         But for His own people, those who take it on the chin and subject themselves to suffering and rejection for the cause of truth and the Gospel, He will certainly rescue them. He will come to their aid. He will come to your aid soon. KEEP THE FAITH.  

         Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching. At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. [2Timothy 4:14-18] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

RACE TO THE EGG

        

         Every one of you reading this is the result of a single WINNING race contestant who let nothing stop him from achieving his one and only goal: Being first to reach the egg!

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         Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1Corinthians 9:24]

         In traditional churches this is represented as winning the contest to become the one who controls everything at the very top—becoming the one who commands the bridge and inhabits the one and only pulpit, while everyone else sits back in silence giving full credit and obedience to the worthy one who won the summit.

         This, of course, is a complete reversal of that which the Lord Jesus created. Rather than all the spoils going to a single man at the top of the mountain, whether it is a small mountain with a dozen or a massive Everest with tens of thousands over which the single winning contestant rules, the Lord has instead created a process in which every single one of His children can succeed and reach their full potential as a fully developed disciple instead of a mere silent spectator.

         We can call these spectator churches. Only one person is allowed to speak. However, I would like to bring your attention to a much different paradigm straight out the Gospels:

         Have you ever noticed just how many regular everyday people actually spoke to the Lord? It can easily be argued that the Lord allowed such freedom of speech and the right to question only for the reason of creating a spiritual opportunity for growth and teaching. Really. Go read the gospels and see if this is not true. There was always someone somewhere coming up to Him and asking for His help or asking a question, even His enemies. He never denied them. He always allowed them to approach Him and speak up.

         NEWS FLASH: THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IN MOST CHURCHES.

         You are a non-entity. Your presence rarely matters. The service would be the same whether you were there or not. You will be the same whether being there or not. You spend your time tucked away on a bench and are refused any participation except for group-oriented pre-planned participation. Your heart remains the same. It has no outlet.

         During the Lord’s ministry, though, you could actually go talk to Him. Your freedom of speech would be restored. He would treat you with respect and honor your input. And from that YOU WOULD GROW AND DEVELOP.

         This is His intention. There is no possible way you would ever make it to the egg otherwise and the egg would remain unfertilized and all the greatness the Lord put within you would be wasted and come to nothing simply because you were never allowed to speak up and be who the Lord created you to be.

         This is why so many churches are so boring. Ninety-nine percent of all God’s resources (YOU!) are not being utilized. God has created a great world of incredible diversity and action but the faux lords of Christianity are determined to tamp everything down, organize creativity out of existence, and form a strictly controlled unit of virtual automatons who merely parrot what they are told and exist zombie-like in a vast sea of silence occupying mere pews or folding chairs. This is NOT the picture of lively anointed believers dedicated to excellence. This misuse and non-use of God’s greatest resources must stop.

         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. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

            For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. [Romans 12:1-8] [1]

         We must each continue to strive to achieve our ministry callings. There is an egg somewhere depending on you to get there.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

PRESSING ON. TOWARD RESURRECTION.

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        The following posts are dedicated to all real Christians on this Resurrection Day of 2017. They contain the answers some of you are seeking. Be encouraged!

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Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (1)

 

Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (2)

 

Pressing On. Toward Resurrection. (3)

THE VITAL PREREQUISITES OF CHRISTIANITY 101

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         When I was in college many moons ago I learned about prerequisite courses. I could not take a specific class, for example, if I did not take another class first.

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IN THE BEGINNING

         The prerequisite courses were generally introductory 101s and oftentimes a repetition of basic high school courses. Much of the first two years of college contains classes like this. On the surface it appears to be a good idea in order to fill in any education gaps using a college level standardized form and facilitate a greater understanding of the foundational stuff required for the higher learning of junior and senior years.

         On the other hand it is an opportunity to force students to extend their university years and bring more income into the institution. One might reject that notion, but colleges and universities exist to make money. Even public colleges supported by government subsidies are in it for a buck. Someone is making money somewhere, and a lot of it, or such institutions would largely not exist. If anyone thinks otherwise, one needs to check their naiveté filter.

         Idealism runs high in the college level age group and can easily be taken advantage of. Parents face tremendous societal pressure to enroll their children in so-called institutions of higher learning even though many know such places are highly compromised with alternative education agendas and often deliver much less than advertised and much more that is never advertised.

         This brings me to two points:

(1) Christians are generally uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings.

(2) Christians face tremendous societal pressure to become members of “churches.”

         These two are symbiotically connected. It brings me to two further points which explain the preceding points:

(1) Many “churches” generally keep people uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings through alternative education agendas.

(2) Most “churches” strongly pressure people to attend all services and buy into everything being taught in order to be a member in good standing.

CIRCULAR REASONING

         This process creates a low-denominational heavy traffic roundabout difficult to disengage from and pretty much explains perfectly why so many Christians continue to: (1) Work very hard doing what they’re told by religious authorities, because they want to do the right thing, and (2) No matter how hard they work at attending “church” and go through all the prescribed motions, they get out on the other side one day in the distant future still generally uninformed and unaware of the real teachings of the Lord Jesus and the actual New Covenant writings. What did they actually achieve?

         It is the same reason why so many hundreds of thousands of college graduates are educated in specific areas but generally brain dead regarding subjects they should be extremely proficient at, and why their overall knowledge base is severely lacking on even the most rudimentary levels. When such young, bright idealistic though naïve students finish an extensive college academic program only to be dumb and dumber in much of the knowledge that matters most but highly skilled in subjective social indoctrination that is most often anti-Christian, anti-freedom and liberty, and pro-status quo in nature, it portends that a deceptive alternative agenda is in the works.

THE “BUSY CYCLE” ENFORCED BY SOCIETAL PRESSURE

         Why do millions of people continue to support such an academic system?

         Why do millions of Christians continue to support such systematic “churches?”

         The answer to both questions are the same: Societal Pressure.

         The only way to gain the necessary knowledge to exit the busy cycle is to leave the traffic circle. Why? Because the busy cycle keeps people from gaining the necessary information to escape it. Therefore, people have been conned to support the very thing that is keeping them from gaining the answer to get off the merry-go-round.

THE LORD’S PREFERRED DISCIPLES

         This is why the Lord Jesus did not choose religious academics to begin His movement. He chose no clergymen or priests or reverends or rabbis or scribes or tenured professors or administrators or sold-out money-loving status quo addicts or the socially ascendant. Really. He never chose any of those kinds of people. He obviously knew such people were agenda-driven, that their agendas would clash with His purpose, that they possessed highly inflated self worth, that they would insist on attempting to build their own kingdoms within His, based on their limited and subjective knowledge, and that they would fight Him at some point or every point along the way. What He prefers are raw recruits willing to leave all and start over with total trust in Him as their only Shepherd and Teacher.

         His discipleship course requires that everyone start at the beginning. He demands that His prerequisites be honored. He commands a born again experience.

         The apostle Paul said this:

         For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.” [1Corinthians 1:26-31]

         Thus, the Lord—a hard working manly Carpenter with a powerful though gracious bearing—preferred choosing regular down-to-earth people like Himself. He chose fishermen and blue collar workers. He chose those with searching, honest hearts who never fully engaged in what they deemed compromised programs. He also chose those often despised by society such as tax collectors. He even associated with great sinners. Any of these would have been the kiss of death for any “acceptable” ministry, and it proves that His ministry was the opposite of those who always respond to societal pressure and keep the wheel to nowhere turning.

         He usually went outside the usual and found His disciples down by the seaside and along the roads in the small out-of-the-way places and among the societal rejects and so-called misfits. He never judged by the outer appearance but looked on a person’s heart.

DEFINING A NEW COVENANT CONGREGATION

         As far as “church” is concerned, real disciples could congregate anywhere, with a building or not with a building, under a tree or in a boat, or even by the thousands on a gently sloping hillside. Finding a place to meet was never a problem.

         Also, regarding how many people must be gathered to constitute an actual “church,” the Lord made this most profound statement:

         “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” [Matthew 18:20]   

         This means that an authentic, genuine Christian meeting can be held virtually anywhere on the planet with as few as two people, and if the two are gathered together in His name He will support it. Not only that, He will attend it!

         I know this may be a very hard concept to grasp due to so much anti-New Covenant Christian indoctrination, but real Christianity is actually quite simple and open in its approach and allows for a tremendous amount of learning and knowledge in both the natural and spiritual fields.

DISCIPLESHIP PREREQUISITES

        There are certainly vital prerequisites, however, though these prerequisites commanded by the Lord Jesus have been rejected for one illegitimate reason or another, usually pride, by many Christians. They are designed to assist us in defeating the oppressive power of sin, break the spell of societal pressure, provide an exit from a fruitless, circular religious lifestyle, gain the powerful anointing and strength needed for our work, and open a giant secret spiritual entrance door into His kingdom:

         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] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

AMID CHRISTIAN DIVISION AND LEFT-RIGHT HATE FEUDS, REAL COMMUNICATION HONORS THE GOLDEN RULE

         Much of what passes for open dialogue remains agenda-based, market-driven, and brand-centered. It majors on division and ignorance rather than love and an honest search for truth.

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THE NEED FOR NEW WINESKINS

         Concerned Christian people continue to discuss the fact that with each succeeding generation here in America, more members of the younger generation are opting out of church membership and decline attendance at churches. The claim is made that as many as two-thirds of young people are “walking away from the church” by the time they reach college age. I hear what should otherwise be quite learned and mature ministers speak about the American culture diverging from the traditional church to the point that a great divide has transpired and something within the American culture must change quickly in order to stop this process or all will be lost.

         I say ministers such as these have got it all backwards. They are making excuses for their own irrelevance and inability or unwillingness to reach out effectively. They continue to insist on old wineskins and the rejection of new wine. Of course, many ministers and churches have long since watered down their programs to virtual nothingness in their efforts to be seeker friendly. They offer almost zero conviction for sinners looking to be saved. Their programs are essentially spiritually worthless though they may appear to be successful outwardly. Some of these have even managed to grow into mega churches using this approach. Instead of being salt and light, they have lowered themselves to the culture, which has absolutely no salt and no light.

THE REAL AND CORRECT APPROACH

         This is the opposite approach that should be taken. The Lord Jesus never took this approach. He told the truth regardless of what it cost Him. Though He would go anywhere and talk to anyone regardless of their condition or station in life, He never lowered Himself to become like the culture but commanded that we must become like Him. That’s bold.

         It’s the picture of an otherwise impossible, incredible personal strength bringing forth reactions in others of utter shock and soul-shattering conviction while wrapped in pure humility and grace.

         This was the great love of God within a Man doing all to reach us, but with a heavenly respect we do not deserve and completely devoid of compromise. In other words, God is expressing His greatness and devotion by never changing or reducing His greatness but also relaying that He will pay any price for us even unto dying for us. Quick question: How many great and powerful people do you have in your life willing to die for you?

         The reaction to the powerful presence of the Lord Jesus by the unrepentant evil forces was, as in accordance with natural law, opposite and equal. No one continually attacks a righteous man, for example, and eventually kills him in a rage if that man represents no threat to an evil kingdom and is the epitome of Mr. Nice Guy. Though warm and accommodating, the Lord is also the epitome of salt and light—spiritual salt with its powers of preservation and accentuation, and a shining light that both reveals the path ahead and exposes all the evil minions and their disguised and disgusting operations and enterprises.

         When the Lord Jesus walked among them His commanding presence was greatly felt and duly noted. Sinners were scared. Demons were petrified. Strong men were taken aback. He was the opposite of the wimpy pastors of then and now.

         They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. [Mark 1:22]

         “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” [John 7:46]  

CULTURE SWING?

         Is the American culture growing farther away from God in a general sense? That argument can certainly be made although one must recognize the fact that there are millions of righteous people here existing in relative obscurity off the social media radar. They get little or no press. Their presence must be factored in instead of us going only by the great sins of the headlines and major media. Therefore, rather than the entire country about to fall off a cliff with no hope of a turnaround, what is actually happening is that there is a large contingent of unacknowledged Americans living their lives in such a way that better defines them as mountain climbers rather than cliff fallers.

         This means the entire construct of a divided America being the difference between good wholesome conservative church-goers on the right who have been correct all along and should not even think about changing, and another group of largely young leftist liberal activists intent on replacing whatever remains of American traditional righteousness and morality is not only pure nonsense and completely wrong, it is not conducive whatsoever to bringing real spiritual solutions and honest communication. In addition, if one were to total up the membership lists of these two groups one would discover that they don’t come close to comprising all of America. One would actually discover that about half the country is missing and largely unaccounted for. Where are they?

         Many are not attending church or marching in the streets. They simply don’t buy into the Divide and Conquer strategy put forth a few decades ago designed to drive major media ratings and earn corporate profits. This unrecognized population group also sees that untold billions of dollars are being wasted not only by bloated government programs but also by what may be termed ineffective traditional Christianity doing what it has always done, and it does not want to be a part of that scenario either. It may be that the bulk of these Americans are not avowed Christians but they have a level of righteousness that often exceeds that of the other two groups.

         Many social justice warriors on the left thoroughly believe they have joined a righteous cause and some of their arguments are solid. Many conservative traditional Christians on the right have also proven to have solid arguments as well. The big unknown and largely undefined group of Americans that do not fit either category also have solid reasons for living the lives they live and believing as they do. The odds are that these three groups will remain separate and continue to believe their respective ways are the best, although I must note that the third is not actually a group by definition, but simply a collection of all those who are not in the other two. The first two groups, in a general sense, wrap their entire identities within their group’s practices and mores and are most likely to be more strident and less likely to change. They are forever stridently defending their positions against one another as if doomsday will quickly descend without their contribution and that the earth will blow up or Christianity will be destroyed. Thus, both reject any attempt at dialogue toward finding common ground.

COMMUNICATING WITH LOVE AND RESPECT

         The third group? Not so much, which makes it unique in that it is often more open minded and willing to listen. It has not bought into the left-right paradigm and consequently remains free. And this is the key. Once one has jettisoned communication and refuses to promote dialogue and discussion with sincerity and humility, then one has eliminated the only means of bridging the gap. Remember, the reason someone came up with the concept of the political right and left is because the people on these sides have usually gone beyond the point of no return regarding the middle, which is supposedly inhabited by everyone else. (But I don’t mean the muddled middle, the dwelling place of apathy and a disregard for staying somewhat informed.) I am instead referring to the location which has no left, right, or middle compass bearings. This is the place where people can communicate with both sides and promote such communication. Though many reject the idea, it is actually possible to communicate with people in which one has no discernible agreement.

         For Christians, isn’t this exactly what we are supposed to do? Did not the Lord command us to go out and witness and share the Gospel? And are not the odds fairly high that we will find disagreement in the process?

         Real Christians understand that it is often the case that a person must be compelled to leave a burning, sinking ship only because he or she does not perceive that the ship is burning and sinking.

         Real Christians are sent out on rescue missions knowing full well they may be blasted by the very people they are trying to help. It is that way in sharing the Gospel with non-Christians. Sadly, it is also that way in attempting to share truth with Christians. Both have their fallout. Elements of both will reject you. But opening lines of communication with both can also be richly rewarding.

         I am glad someone was persistent with me when it came time to share the Gospel. I may never have met the Lord otherwise. And I am also glad that once I became a Christian other believers were willing to share more truth with me. Much of the latter, however, eventually did not come through personal discussion but by literature. This is why written works and books are so greatly beneficial. The authors thereof do much research, capture facts and truths of the ages, and preserve them on the written page which lives on after their passing. Books have an extremely long shelf life, pardon the pun, and exist as an excellent form of learning and communication though it is obviously not direct. Also, we live in a time when almost all preserved books and publications of the past, even the ancient past, can be accessed. This is proving excellent in the discovery of greater truth, especially when it comes to Biblical truth and the Lord’s teachings.

         Up until the last few years we were all subjected for the most part to direct censorship and a complete lack of access to other points of view and the truths inherent within such truths. Now the only thing stopping a searcher of truth is laziness, a lack of spiritual hunger, or a stubborn attitude in insisting one already knows it all and has it right. The latter attitude is what has always caused evil people to gain control and authority over others and imprison them within the confines of fake knowledge, false interpretations and narratives, and downright propaganda. Indeed, using this particular means is how the devil is often most successful. Rather than communicate such people greatly prefer to repress truth and indoctrinate.

         “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” [Matthew 7:1-2]

         There is a right way and a wrong way to communicate. It must never be for purely selfish reasons. It must be because of a desire to help others. It must be because one is compelled to share truth and answers with those who are searching for it and need it. Communication must model the Lord’s method. He obviously knew His teachings would last two thousand years and taught in such a way to reflect that, and in a manner that translates into all times and cultures. We should all know that there is no law against godly love and most people will see no need to defend against it. This is why our communication will be incredibly more effective if we show forth the love of God and make the person we are talking to the object of respect and honor rather than simply wanting to win an argument.

         The Golden Rule of Real Communication is that is must be based on the Golden Rule.

         “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] [1]   

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

PRESSURED TO CONFORM: Choosing “Official” Christianity Over the Kingdom

         One of the worst things that ever happened to Christianity was that it became official, as in, “This is the way you do it—this way and no other way.” And, of course, everyone has their own version of that.

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         It is still such a difficult truth to grasp, to compare what the Lord’s movement was way back then in comparison to official renditions of the present. To outside observers they were just a group of haggard men with dusty feet and sandals, and flowing threads from homemade looms, traveling around with yet another perspective on the national belief. Unlike every other message being perpetrated then or now, however, their message—the Word—was a word new in every way but which existed from the foundation of the world. Regardless of what those who couldn’t see saw, those men and their Leader preached not just one of many variations of truth, though such a thing is not possible and exists only as a mental construct, but the fullness of the only Truth. It was pure, it was powerful, and it was fully liberating.

CHOOSING THE KINGDOM AND THE KINGDOM MEN

         Their world had become gloomy and predictable and saturated with a longing for what once was but could never ever be again, and in that cold void a lower echelon creep class of really first class dark-souled sinister quasi-humans took over and rose to the top of control like scum on a pond. They were dream dashers and fermented vermin, and the Lord knew from the start what would be needed to destroy them.

         He chose men of the earth with tough skin and weeping hearts. They had done all their spiritual seeking in secret until He came and then the emotions flowed like streams in arid lands. They could not put words to the feelings they felt when He got around them but it was like someone turned on an internal faucet and allowed them to be what they were created to be. From the aforementioned gloom, great joy broke out among them. They became happy and secure, and had crossed over a spiritual threshold that previously had been hidden and denied, and they began to be fulfilled, soaking up the Lord’s presence like a dry and thirsty sponge.

         He chose them because He knew they would let it all flow—that Spirit river He released—and would then know how to help others exit the phony front and enter the King’s realm. He chose them because they had not become overcome by the powerful gloomy and mysterious forces that raid men’s brains like disease and cause them to walk about enchanted and lost though repeatedly told they are found, when they know in their hearts it’s not true. In reality, the only “found” ones among them, those whose lives actually amounted to something who acquired honor and respect, though misguided and coerced, were the ones who found their authority over everyone else to be the big prize. And they played it to the hilt in expertly covering their deception so none would know or see the resulting unfortunate enchantment or its cause that had descended upon the hearts of a captured people.

BEYOND THE FACADE OF SURFACE PERSPECTIVE

         The Lord could not afford to be fake in any way. His ragtag group was organic and real and made no apologies for being human nor did they even try to cover it up or dress it up or slick it down or make it presentable so as not to be human but a mere shallow façade of faded-out glory. Instead, the Lord taught them how to find their glory and walk in their glory and eventually be filled to overflowing with His glory, and that demanded an adherence to truth, and this is why the great vaunted fakers hated them so. They knew they had killed their own glory long, long before and could never get it back without Him because they had sold out to a false vision and identity of what they insisted was “the right way to do it—our way and no other way.” They, like so many fake Christians of now, were invested up to their eyeballs in a false anti-God paradigm masquerading as official spirituality.

         But their way then, just like the way of so many now, is nothing but a shiny version of death. And if the sacred zombies of now could talk to the sacred zombies of then the former guys would tell them they’ve died a thousand deaths since putting off their mortal coil and know it’s all over for them with no escape, and that their future is nothing but a deserving judgment into the eternal doom awaiting, and they would tell those who have taken their path to please get off of it and don’t be fools like they were.

         They can’t, however, speak from the grave and they cannot warn but they would if they could, not that it would do any good because the faux bros of now know they’ve sold out to the dead brand they’ve inflicted on so many others and they know they would never get along with fully submitting to the Lord Jesus anyway.

         So they go on in their splendor with so many deluded ones fawning over their every word, not even aware that the giant spotlight they walk in is supposed to be His and His alone, and instead of being fearful of what they’ve done and the price they will pay they just keep on running it out there day after day.

DRAMA QUEENS

         They believe they have reached a summit and deserve it and prove it since they actually have attained it in that they are actually up there, on a stage, raised up to be noticed and heard, but it is so strange that the higher they go the less sense with regard to truth they make, the less spiritual effect they have, and the more they fulfill the Lord’s perfect phraseology that transcends all time and every culture:

          “For you have taken away the key of knowledge;

         “You yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.” [Luke 11:52] [1]

         What happens to all the many millions of those who sit out there in the faceless crowds on the other side of official legitimacy trying to enter? And why must they always be denied and somehow instead be satisfied with mere crumbs under a table? Why are those few who have mustered the high places continually denying everyone else the right to ascend as well? Could it be because they have actually achieved nothing at all? The Lord said that though they have gained full control and rule over everyone else and have deemed their respective versions of Christianity “official,” they have actually never even entered the place the Lord said we must and they refuse to let anyone else in their charge enter it.

         Does this not prove and reveal the existence of a deceiving sleight of hand process in the works?

         Christianity was never meant to be show time. It was the Pharisees, those great fancy-robed and headdressed thespians of yesteryear, who demanded a stage and a platform on which they could perform and pontificate, while pressuring all others to conform and desiccate, and who demanded the same vaunted high places of antiquity condemned by God on which demons danced undaunted and from which the unseen principalities and powers of this world ruled.

         Perhaps this is why the Maker of the universe went virtually unrecognized when He entered the very world that He created: He is the antithesis of the showboating religious stage player. Official Christianity has thus rendered Him unseen and effectively unknown.

         This is why the great many “official” Christians who have yet to enter His kingdom but desperately want to are told they are already in it by those who never entered it themselves.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

HOW YOUR PROVISION HAPPENS

         All real Christians have God-given talents and gifts, and are called into some form of ministry. Our purpose is to fulfill our callings. Here is how the Lord provides for us in that process:

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A VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION:

         The spiritual harvest brought forth by our work for the Lord is not the same as our personal compensation.

         Real Christians are noteworthy for putting the work of God first regardless of any recompense they may or may not receive at the time. They know the Lord will always provide but they don’t necessarily wait around for the provision when there is work to be done.

         Now, this must be explained a tad. The Lord Jesus never calls anyone into His work without taking caring of him or her. He always provides for His disciples. As I have written about on this site several times, when the Lord called His original twelve to leave all and join His ministry it also involved leaving their present means of making a living. He told those who were fishermen, for example, to drop their nets and follow Him. There is no way He would do this unless He had the wherewithal to provide for them through an alternative means, and this is key.

YOKED TOGETHER WITH THE LORD OUR PROVIDER

         For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. [1Corinthians 9:9-10]

         The Lord will always do His part. He will always provide His portion. Consider it this way: A real Christian is in covenant with the Lord. The two share the same yoke. The yoke will fit only two people [See my post: The Yoke’s On You].

         When two oxen are yoked together there must be time for these two massive and powerful animals to learn to work together. They are each independent with strong wills. The person who is plowing never wants to diminish the power of his oxen or emasculate them in any way for the sake of making them work together, as this only defeats the purpose. He does not want their strength reduced but if anything, he wants to maximize it. That is the entire point of attempting to yoke them together.

         The Lord Jesus does the same with each of us. Rather than regiment us and remove our personal power, strength, individual gifts, talents, personality, and independence (all of which He gave us when He made us) for the sake of conforming us to a very low common denominator, which causes us to become essentially spiritually worthless within a mass homogenized group (sound familiar?), He attempts instead to redirect us and put us in a place where all that we are may be utilized fully and where we can be fully developed and fulfilled.

         But in the beginning, before salvation, He knows each of us is otherwise hopelessly lost in sin and thoroughly compromised, so He first seeks to bring us to repentance, bless us with a new birth, wash away our sins, fill us with His Spirit and strength, and welcome us to His kingdom. This must start with our own personal hunger. We must seek Him. We must begin manifesting faith in Him. Of course, He is already seeking us and in fact sacrificed His very life for us, but unless we do our part anything He wants to do for us is rendered impossible.

         This is why each of us must also sacrifice our life for Him. This dynamic connects two lives sacrificed for the other, yoked together as a team, which makes possible the coming forth of great spiritual production and fruitfulness.

         Here is a simple way to see it: The Lord will always do His 50%. He is ever faithful. We must also be faithful and do our 50%. When a disciple does his or her 50%, which is something vitally necessary but often overlooked, then great and powerful things happen. We see then, that the reason such great and powerful things do not happen is because we are simply not doing our 50%. Consider the establishment of the 100% as that which brings forth the fruit of covenant.    

SOWING SPIRITUAL THINGS FIRST

         If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. [1Corinthians 9:11-15]

         I’m going to stop here and reveal the aforementioned distinction further. There are many ministers of the Gospel who consider themselves professionals. In other words, they see ministry as a career. They see it as a job. They will not perform their jobs without a paycheck. They also do their level best to cover themselves within society as legitimate members of society. They do not want to be seen as persons without standing. This is part of why they demand a salary and position. These people, which make up the majority of ministers, would never last a day working with Paul (he’d run ‘em off), which probably means they would last less than a day working with the Lord. Real ministers of the Gospel know they came into the world with nothing (that they had anything to do with), that they came into the kingdom the same way, and that they are incredibly fortunate to have any blessing beyond that.

         Real ministry is rigorous. It is not for those who make selfish demands. We are called as babes but must become spiritual adults ASAP or we will get wiped out in battle. Therefore, we must be fully trained by the Lord. The New Covenant writings explain very well what this training looks like. We are bought with a price. The Lord Jesus has purchased us with His own blood.

         Once we sign up we not only gain the benefits of living for God but we primarily gain the opportunity to work for Him and with Him according to His will and not our own. In other words, real ministry is not like going off to college and choosing a major or deciding on our own what job we want. The Lord has already decided those things. Our job is to say “YES SIR” and do what He says in accordance with the way He made us, and with respect for our individual giftings and callings. This is in part why Paul relays the following very hard but incredibly fruitful truth:

         For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.

         For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

         For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

         To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

         Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1Corinthians 9:16-24] [1]  

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

RESISTING THE AWAKENING: Finding Fault Leads to Closed Minds and Hard Hearts

         Christians say they want a Great Awakening but most don’t want to change. That’s why the Lord almost always has to go outside to find the right people to drive it.

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         The status quo likes things the way things are in general and their status quo status is proved by their willingness to go only so far toward necessary change, and it is not very far.

         This is why we rarely get anywhere and why those on the edge of truth who are trying to bring it forth always get slammed by those holding back. But the Lord Jesus will not be denied. He is bringing this, and will bring it, and if He has to He will leave all nominal and unwilling Christians behind.

HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF

         He has done this countless times before. He will never allow the intransigence of His own supposed people to hold Him back. There are many, many more people who want Him and love Him with ALL their hearts and are willing to do anything He says, even though most of these do not qualify as “Christians” by those who set themselves up as judges. These relative outcasts have paid a great price to be in that place of closeness to the Lord and have suffered greatly for it. For many, their lives have been destroyed in the process of staying on the path but they don’t care about the price that must be paid.

         They want God. They want reality. They are tired of playing games and believing promises that never come true. They are tired of people never keeping their promises or coming through for the Lord. They see clearly that all of these so-called spiritual heavyweights in control and all their sycophant often clueless congregants have actually sold out and really don’t want any change unless it brings further personal benefit to themselves.

         Beware any religious leader who looks good and sounds good but never has any real desire to get out of Egypt or makes peace with living in the Sinai.        

PRESS ON!        

         WE WERE MADE TO BE IN THE PROMISED LAND, just as it was way back then, except now it is obviously not geographical but spiritual, and if God needs to leave an entire generation behind, believe me, HE WILL DO IT.

         But for all real Christians it is time to go forward. It is time to let go of all the idols and false doctrines and compromise and things that keep Christians from embracing the full will of God. The Lord is trying to do something absolutely great and spiritually unprecedented in America, and the majority of Christians continue to reject it. This is a terrible turn of events but it is the foreseen reaction to this great move of God by those who study Awakenings and revivals. There is always a very strong and evil reaction to such great moves in the early going by those who claim to be holding the fort but are actually only clutching onto their own personal benefits and standing. They have given in to both personal pride and spiritual pride and would rather sit on their tuffets in comfort back home than engage the enemy on the field of battle.

         I will close with this very profound food for thought:

         “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] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

JUDGMENTAL CHRISTIANS: Breaking Fellowship Over Non-Salvation Issues

         About a decade and a half ago there was a Christian conference relatively close by and would take place in just a few days. It featured a man I’d seen on television countless times. I made it a point to be there.

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         His name is Hugh Ross. In 1986 he started a ministry called Reasons To Believe, “Where Science and Faith Converge.” I encourage you to visit this website and look around.

         As a young man he began looking for spiritual truth and, like so many of us with a hunger for God, began searching world religions. When he began his research into Christianity he was immediately struck by what he found in the first chapter of Genesis—it made perfect sense from a scientific point of view. He was amazed by the accuracy. He soon became a Christian. He also eventually became an astrophysicist.

THE CONFERENCE   

         I planned on getting there early with hopes of meeting Mr. Ross. I walked into a relatively mid-sized conference facility about the size of a very large classroom. There were many people milling about as new arrivals wandered in. I took a seat on the front row. At some point Hugh Ross walked in and went up to the front. He gave an informal talk and said we would wait a little longer until everybody arrived, and then sat down a couple of seats from me.

         People who know me very well know I pray about everything, and I pray about everything in the context of God’s will, knowing for a fact that God’s will is always the best. A person can never do better than the will of God. Well, on the way over I had asked the Lord if it would be okay if I could talk to this man. Then when I got there the man sits down two seats over. No one approached him. I didn’t waste any time introducing myself and we began a brief discussion.

         Hugh Ross is not a young earth creationist. For this reason alone many Christians don’t like him. Some see him as a heretic. It does not matter how well he explains everything from both a purely Biblical perspective and from pure science, many Christians judge him right off the bat as soon as they find out he doesn’t believe the Universe was created about 4000BC.

         We had a great talk. I was trying to shed light on the nature of God and how the Bible clearly states that the Lord Jesus is the Creator though so many Christians recoil at that fact. He agreed. We spent most of the conversation, however, discussing young earth versus old earth creationism.

         Hugh Ross is a solid Christian. He believes the Bible is the absolute Word of God. He makes an excellent case both Biblically and scientifically why young earth creationism is lacking. He is a very gracious man but has certainly seen his share of Christian persecution (that is, persecution from Christians). Then he said something very profound. Remember, this is a very brilliant man who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart. He lives to serve Him. He is low key, humble, relaxed, and the very opposite of professorial.

         We were discussing why so many Christians can’t see eye to eye on the creation issue. I have also faced many fights in this area even though most of the time I really don’t have a dog in that fight. Why can’t the young-earthers, who have traditionally composed the much greater percentage of creationists, find it in their heart to fellowship with those with a different perspective? Why can’t they honor the beliefs of others? Hugh answered my question perfectly:

         “Because they see it as a salvation issue.”

         I was somewhat taken aback and went silent for a few seconds. I was thinking. “Of course. I knew this, or I should have, and I have certainly applied this to other Christian doctrines and beliefs.” But still, in that moment, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It is why so many Christians favor separation over unity. It is why there are approximately four billion Christian denominations. The separatist Christians believe EVERYTHING is a salvation issue.

         Though I always spend much more time in study and research than the average Christian, I am almost always forced to prove everything. This is impossible, of course. When Christians believe they have all the light and truth on an issue, they become not only dogmatic but very judgmental. They close their eyes and ears. Those who do the larger work and pay the greater price know the truth, however. They work very hard to see an issue from as many perspectives as possible. Those who rarely or never do the work usually only believe something because that is what they have been told. They can only see it one way.

         What if a Christian is walking in all the light he has? What if he loves the Lord? Must he also be absolutely perfectly right in every doctrine taught by a particular denomination or pastor or single believer in order to be saved? Are Catholics saved? Are Protestants? Are Pentecostals? In all actuality we have millions of distinct beliefs within Christianity in general and there is no possible way anyone can believe it all. Much of it is contradictory. Much of it comes forth from people who insist they are right and never budge. What is being preached on one side of town is often the very opposite of that which is preached on the other. There is no way both can be right. But both can be wrong.

REAL CHRISTIANITY

         This is why I always make my final and only appeal to authority to the Lord Jesus. It is only His curriculum that is perfect and it must be His entire curriculum that we learn and live by. Not everything in His teachings, however, is a salvation issue. We should never, ever be divided as a result of such. If two Christians believe the Lord Jesus CREATED the universe but differ on how He did it or how long it took, that’s okay. Both of these Christians can still be saved. Besides, we were not there. We don’t know exactly how He did it.

         The Lord came across this problem often and just as often He had to do some rebuking. His greatest rebukes were always for the hard core religionists who refused to see anything other than the way they saw it and would disfellowship a person in a heartbeat for not seeing it their way. What we should be doing is working harder and studying more and praying more and fasting more instead of thinking we’ve cornered the market on truth.

         I found out later that evening that Hugh Ross and I did not believe everything the same way. But it didn’t matter. Wherever we differed on beliefs, they were not salvation issues. I’ll never forget that brief though deep discussion we had. He was humble enough and approachable enough to give me a few minutes of his time right before he was to give a major talk to so many of his ministry’s supporters.

         Please readers, keep up all the great work. Keep doing your study and research. Keep reading the Word. But most of all, knowing we are all at different spiritual places based on our discipleship and knowledge level, let us not make everything a salvation issue and thus a disfellowship issue. The Lord only has ONE community. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters with regard to who is in it and who isn’t is His. Let us all try to keep the salvation issues among the salvation issues, such as the simple teaching that decides salvation as quoted here:

         For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

         For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands—remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

         But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

         AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:8-22] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

RECOMMENDED READING FROM MY FRIEND LISA:

You are saved by grace? or works? or faith? or fruit? Can Grace save you?

IDENTIFYING THE SHEEP AND GOATS: Differentiating Real Disciples from the Bogus Boys

         There are two Christianities. One is real. One is fake. The following will help you tell them apart:

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       The reason Unreal Christianity is a big bulky non-innovative high-dollar extremely low bang-for-your-buck non-New Testament intractable overly bureaucratic religious sluggish slow-moving massive blob dictated to by institutional seminary-trained boshheads, cold-minded clerics, and charged-up dense denominators endlessly parroting the centuries-dead Ichabod gloryless company line is because, principally, the Lord Jesus is not in charge.

         That is a problem.

        When one reads the New Covenant writings with a clear head and pure heart without all the mind-numbed artery-clogging casuistic falsely-interpretive nonsense nomenclature and grossly obese religiosity and churchianity content, one discovers an incredible streamlined living and loving Community of Called-Out Ones exhibiting cleanliness, quickness, Spirit of God-fueled power needing next to zero overhead and fitting into any and all cultures with a life-giving new-life Gospel message for anyone anywhere on the planet.

         It is fast. It is mobile. It is loving. It is caring. It is merciful. It is self-effacing. It is filled with joy. It is creative, fruitful, and productive. It is easily financed. It never requires large money outlays to be powerfully effective. The members love each other, always support each other, and always develop quickly into strong mature and secure disciples. Rather than pour everything into a building with one guy preaching there is often no building and a hundred guys preaching. They go anywhere demanded, do anything commanded, suffer any hardship, overcome evil with good, and battle raging hate with pure love.

         And it can’t be stopped. Kill one member and ten more pop up. Try to eliminate it and it only grows larger. Try to destroy it and Great Awakenings break forth. Persecution only makes it more powerful. When the devil jabs he gets knocked over the ropes with a ferocious left hook. When he fights dirty he gets pounded into the ground. When he uses lies and gossip he and his entire operation is revealed for all the world to see. When he tries to hide he gets outed. When he brings darkness he is exposed with a million mega watt game spotter.

         There is thus no comparison between real Christians and the fake pretentious pretenders. One is led by the Lord Jesus and the other is not. One is filled with His Spirit and the other is not. One can move mountains and the other cannot. One can raise the dead and the other is the dead. One believes and the other disbelieves. One obeys and the other rebels. One is faithful and the other is a cynical denier of spiritual reality. One will inherit the Kingdom and gain eternal life and the other will …not.

SHEEP AND GOATS

         “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

         “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

         “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

         “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’

         “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” [Matthew 25:31-46] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

REJECTING THE TRUTH (When It Hits Too Close To Home)

        At first the prophets were respected. Then their pronouncements caused discomfort. Then the people got angry. Then the prophets were rejected.

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         This is the way it always goes. The message of the prophets never changed. The only thing that changed was the reaction to the message. The reaction was worse in relation to the prophet’s closeness to home. Rejecting truth caused unrepentant people to turn inward, ingrown, and interbred. They eliminated the possibility of receiving the seed of God which always came from without. They became anti-fruitful, grew spiritually lazy and sluggish, and wanted an easy time of things. God would have nothing of it.

         The Lord Jesus spoke nothing but Truth. The Truth inevitably caused a bad reaction. The bad reaction denoted the place the reaction came from in that the hearts of such people had grown far away from God though they all considered themselves just fine with God.

THANK YOU LORD THAT WE ARE NOT LIKE OTHER RELIGIONS

          Christianity in general likes itself and sees no problem. This is the problem. The Lord is fixing the problem. That’s why we are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening. But the Awakening is still being opposed by the very people who should be supporting it. They oppose it because they like things the way they are. They are resistant to change. This is not new. They take the correcting and reforming words of the Lord as an offense.

          I wrote the following 16 months ago: Americans Deciding with Their Feet: The Ongoing Exodus from Traditional Christianity. It speaks of the fast-approaching future, ready or not, some of which has already arrived, which demands TC get its act together or face complete irrelevance.

         I have written hundreds of well-researched articles like this reflecting the exact scenario regarding the closed hearts and minds of so many so-called Christians who oppose the Lord while claiming to support Him. The evidence for this should be obvious to any nominal believer by the very lack of evidence among the unreal believers of actually obeying the Lord and carrying out His plan.

         “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” [Acts 7:51] 

         Their hearts are not right. They resist. They oppose. None of it surprises the Lord. He has a bit of experience in this area. The same spiritual dynamic always happens and it always happens the same way. For a refresher course, it goes like this:

(1) An obscure nobody suddenly speaks forth something so profound and so different that the first reaction from the entrenched religious traditionalist status-quo is silent shock (“What did He just say?”).

(2) They try to throw Him off a cliff.

IDOL O’ PROTOCOL

         This is exactly what they attempted. Only it was not, as one may suppose, the actions of some strange evil street protesters who advocate for killing everyone who doesn’t believe exactly everything they believe. But wait. It kind of was. But before they assumed that form they were nice church-law-abiding pew-sitting go-along-with-the-program types who somehow found great spiritual nourishment in silently watching the pros perform while making sure such pros performed in exactly the way they were accustomed. They had no hankering for anyone even thinking of doing anything even the slightest bit different or break in any way from the correct time-honored protocol.

         Then the Lord Jesus broke protocol. Actually, on His very first visit to His home town church after beginning His ministry when asked to read He proceeded to the front, turned and faced the crowd, and read a very familiar passage. Then he said some other things from right out of the very Scriptures those people supposedly honored but never, ever mentioned. About this time and in that process He let everybody know that things would be different from now on and demonstrated it by very calmly picking up the dead carcass of religious protocol in His strong and mighty construction-worked hands and slamming it against the nearest wall splintering it into a thousand pieces. It was pretty cool. The church people were not happy. Here is the narrative:

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

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

         And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all were speaking well of Him, and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips; and they were saying, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

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

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

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

         And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. [Luke 4:16-29] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

SPIRITUAL FREEDOM and the Losing Legacy of Traditional Christianity

         Having squandered its influence within society, traditional Christianity no longer has much effect on the culture.

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         This is what happens when the great strength and power of Real Christianity is removed and virtually relegated to the sidelines. The Truth has been systematically retracted and replaced with false notions borne by dead religionists without a clue. The process then continues to replicate itself, having made the reality of that which the Lord Jesus brought forth in the beginning the object of ridicule and thus rejection.

         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.” [Mark 7:6-9]

THIS IS WHY GREAT AWAKENINGS MUST HAPPEN

         The traditional religionists gain full control. They remove everything that has to do with real life. They set up systems in place which corral and control the people, turning them into mere automatons doing their bidding. Why does one rarely notice that the advantages of such a setup always rise to the top for the benefit of those in control?

         The Lord Jesus, as part of His real curriculum, demanded that His disciples be servants. This does not mean that we are only supposed to serve Him which we obviously must, but that we have a general sense of being a servant to all. Being a servant, then, must demand that we think of others and their condition of life. This must mostly be the case among the members of the Community. It does not mean that those outside the Community must not also be loved, but that those within the Community have already complied with the commands of the Lord and submitted to Him. These real members have given themselves to the Lord to be used as He decides. The benefits thereof must obviously then go to them, as this is what the Lord taught. How can He bless a person with salvation, for example, unless that person complies with the necessary commands toward salvation? In other words, there is no salvation without repentance.

         Whoever then has complied with everything the Lord has commanded to be a member of His Community is thus in a place and position in which the Lord can bless with the full benefits of His Kingdom.

HOW IS THE FOLLOWING SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN?

         Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” [Mark 10:29-30] [1]

         Christians have been conditioned by pretenders to expect next to nothing from the Lord. They read their Bibles. They study the Gospel. They do in-depth research into the New Covenant epistles of Paul and the others. And they discover there are great benefits that go along with being a member of the Lord’s real Community. And they wonder where their benefits are and why such are often so hard to come by. These people, however, have never been in it for the benefits. That’s not why they signed up. They joined because they met the Lord and accepted His great love and returned that great love. They want to be with Him. They want to serve Him. They also want to be within a Community in which we all love one another and watch out for one another.

         This cannot happen in fake communities. Such groups simply do not have the goods. They do not possess the ability to gain the benefits. Why? Because they are not real. That’s why I call it Unreal Christianity. They are not connected to the Lord. They are not connected to the Lord’s great life and power. There is no spiritually regenerative power as that which was released in the very beginning.

         In short, the fake places have no Pentecost events. This is because they reject Pentecost events. The people there are not Spirit-filled and don’t want to be. They have created and set up faux communities in which the Lord is not present and thus has no power or control to significantly change things for the better. The controllers of these institutions prefer their man-made set-ups because the benefits go to them. They know they have little power to significantly help the members thereof as the Lord Jesus did in the beginning, but they refuse to change to allow the Lord control.

THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG

         This is also why the culture has greater influence on these places than vice versa. The original Church from its very creation had greater power than any other entity on the planet. EVERY SINGLE MEMBER WAS GIVEN THIS GREAT POWER. It was never meant only for some ridiculous higher class. The Lord meant it for everybody. When one reads the historical record within the Book of Acts he sees the powerful coming forth of a people released from all shackles, from the shackles of sin and also from those of cultural arrangements that had always previously kept them down and out. Just as the Lord said, these people were now FREE:

         So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32]

         The word translated as free means to be released from the dominion of sin, to be set at liberty, and even to be released from liability. This is real freedom! Once a person gains this freedom it means all things are possible. When people gain this freedom they get really happy really fast! That’s what happened at Pentecost. An incredible release took place. People were set free from virtual prisons. Joy broke out all over. They gave themselves to their new Lord and Master and were no longer under the sway of masquerading imposters who promise everything and deliver nothing.

         Dead religious tradition had made a deal with the devil and kept them bound. The Lord Jesus set them free.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

NEED A MIRACLE?

         The Lord Jesus is available. He has never stopped being available. All things are possible with God.

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THE FAUX BROS

         The faux brethren are preaching a different Gospel. It brings no honor to the Lord. But it does bring them a living, and that is what they desire the most.

         “Christianity” is very different behind the scenes. Once a Christian performer leaves the stage he or she can be seen for what they really are. I remember very well the early days when idealism gave way to reality. While the reality of the Lord was always the same the Lord showed me how the faux brethren change when away from the spotlight. I wondered then, just how a Christian performer is supposed to represent himself in public. There is obviously no way he can maintain the same persona and attitude as the one presented onstage.

        Again, these were the very early days of my new Christian experience. Everything was brand new, holy, and pure. I had no reason to doubt anything presented as spiritual reality. The preaching I became associated with was powerful and convicting. It was obviously inspired and anointed.

         But I began to realize that I never saw that kind of preaching outside a church venue, unless it was a larger church venue transported to a rented auditorium or something similar. Why did I never see that kind of incredible preaching out on the street in a non-official setting?

THOSE BRUTAL ROMANS

         This is how the early believers did it. They had no church buildings. There were in fact no church buildings for almost three centuries and yet those powerful early believers turned the Roman Empire on its ear. One must keep in mind that the Romans were brutal. That is probably the best one word description of their entire culture. They perfected crucifixion, for example. Gladiators fought to the death as entertainment. Massive crowds came to the many entertainment venues to see human beings suffer and die. Once the early believers became more numerous and were seen as a threat, they too were sentenced to die in entertainment venues, often ripped apart by wild beasts. Imagine being one of those early stalwarts of the faith.

         Despite all the persecution and barbaric brutality, the early believers actually brought the Roman Empire to its knees. They did it with love. They did it by making themselves vulnerable. They were never two-faced. What you saw was what you got whether they were behind closed doors, in small settings, or out in the public on the street. They learned all of this from the Lord Jesus. It is exactly the way He was and the way He did things. He was always the same and He is still the same.

STAGE PERFORMERS

         Official Christianity, however, has been transformed into a stage production. Preaching has become an art form. Yet, such is not close to being new. The Lord called the Pharisees and those like them hypocrites. Though the word has a different connotation now, hypocrites were stage performers. They were actors. The Lord called the Pharisees actors. They were merely acting out a part. Their outward performance was never how they really were. Off the stage and out of their religious costumes, they were the opposite. They were as fake as the day is long.

         It should be obvious that without church buildings and professional preachers most Christians would have no clue what to do. Yet again, the early Church never “went to church.” They had no “church” to go to. Today, most Christians go to church in order to have church. Back then, real Christians were the Church. They couldn’t hide once they were out of the spotlight because they didn’t want to hide and the “spotlight” was a 24 hour a day proposition.

REAL CHRISTIANS

         There are still Christians that are like this. They are always the same. They can do the will of God wherever they are. However, they are not professionals. They can’t be fake. It is simply not in them. Because of this they usually don’t have an easy time collecting donations. People are so used to having only one out a thousand presenting themselves as worthy “official” ministers that they are conditioned to support them, even though the great bulk of Christian work—99%—is being done by non-supported nobodies who must work closely with the Lord to gain a necessary living doing whatever they must. These are the real Christians. There are a few real Christians on stage and before cameras but are very, very few. You will know they are real because they do not perform. What they are in public is the same as what they would be in your living room or on the street.

         It is largely why most of the early Great Awakening is not visible—it is not happening in official venues in churches, on stage, or on television. The controllers of those venues do not want a Great Awakening. They oppose it. It is too threatening to their cushy status quo. Almost all of it is happening out there among the nobodies, the forgotten Christians, the rejected Christians—the ones who never have and never will make the grade to be prime-time players. They are all lousy actors. They can’t make a living that way. But they are real— just like the Lord.

OUR LOVING FATHER

         And the Lord Jesus is with them. He is always available. He takes care of them all because they have each presented themselves to Him as a living sacrifice to be used in whatever way He wants. These are true disciples. The one thing they have in common is their pure love and desire to help. Part of that involves believing the Lord for a miracle when a miracle is called for. They KNOW the Lord will always take care of them and one another and they have experienced the Lord’s miracles to that end. The Lord does miracles for them out of love and concern, however. He never does it as part of some twisted religious stage show. He blesses us in this way because He loves us and cares about us and because He can. He wants to meet our needs and if we let Him and obey Him and trust Him He can and He always will.

         And sometimes He blesses us with a miracle not because there is a dire need but simply because He just wants to bless our socks off. He’s in love with us. He sometimes just can’t help Himself.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Christianity Is Not Popular

         The closer one gets to the truth the more the world will hate you. This includes the religious world. And sadly, it includes Unreal Christianity.

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         During Paul’s travels he continually learned firsthand the terror arising from those opposed to the Lord Jesus. The worst offenders were those who claimed to know God. They were the ones far away from the reality of Truth who insisted they had it right. Paul did his best to convince them they were not right. He had the same fight the Lord had.

         If a Christian takes the time to think about all the opposition the Lord faced and why, he or she might begin to understand what this world is really all about. But again I must reiterate that the world itself, though fallen from God and unaware of the truth, and in opposition to Him as a result of its blindness, does not necessarily have an inborn hatred of Him.

A DIFFERENT GOSPEL

         This is only exhibited by those who are also fallen far from Him but insist they are not. How did these religious people gain control? We have major Christian denominations that continue to sink farther away from the Lord’s Truth though many were founded in great spiritual strength. How is it that such great numbers of “Christians” insist that the New Covenant is wrong and they are right? Why do they react adversely to New Covenant Truth while insisting their version is the correct one?

         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. [2 Corinthians 11:3-4] [1] 

         They can’t back it up. They are in opposition to the New Covenant. If Paul came traveling their way they would reject him as soon as he started teaching. His teachings, which he learned directly from the Lord, are not their teachings. We continue to have major figures rise in the Christian world in America and gain great followings while preaching a Christianity opposed to the Lord. Their teachings, their manner, their chosen man-made doctrines, and their non-New Covenant formats are all different from that which the Lord brought forth in the beginning. Indeed, the history of Christianity in general is a continual falling away from the Lord’s original. Though there has always been a Remnant in the world illustrating the full Light of the Lord, His Light for most grows less and less. For many it has gone out completely.

TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT

         One can test this. All one need do is check on how much of the New Covenant Scriptures are preached and taught in these fake assemblies. There is much of the Lord’s teachings they never touch. According to their standard much of the New Covenant writings including the teachings of the Lord in the Gospels is never heard. Such teachings are not conducive to their false agenda. They have another purpose in mind and it does not involve the full Truth. The great bulk is never mentioned. We never hear the Lord’s insightful teachings with regard to repentance and reform, for example, and the great battle we must each engage in to bring forth His Kingdom in all its fullness.

         The only thing this false preaching does is coddle sinful flesh. It tells people they are right when they are wrong. The agenda for most is thus not to reveal error and promote Truth, but to allow people to remain far away from God in a continually unborn again condition. This may work in the here and now but I really don’t know how these people can live with themselves.

         Here is the truth: Every Christian will have to stand before the Lord one day all alone and give an account of his or her life. Wouldn’t it be better to do it now and every day instead of waiting until that day?

         I want to thank all of you for your support. Many of you have been loyal for years. You are all a blessing. I have had many former loyal readers, however, who reached a point in which they felt they must reject this site. They never or rarely give any explanation. The truths I am offering here are rarely challenged and when they are we have good discussions. This must be our course. This is what the early believers did. There were so many things the Lord called on them to do that did not look right or feel right but in the end they rejected their own reservations and embraced the Lord. They obeyed Him. It was very difficult and it often cost them greatly but there was no higher reward.

         For those of you who like to pray or who may be intercessors I would appreciate your prayers at this time. Thank you.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

DEAD PEOPLE WALKING

         The angel returned with his report and presented it to the Lord: The churches are dead. They act like they have it all together but are spiritually dead. They are congregations of pretenders…

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         The Lord Jesus did all He could do in the first century to bring the false religious leaders to repentance. He failed. It was, of course, not His failure. It was theirs. They refused. It did not matter how well He revealed their many errors. They were dead set on maintaining their dead religious ways.

         There is a clear record in the Gospels of all their many failures and wrong actions. He tells them plainly that though they believed themselves to be right with God they did not know God.

I SEE DEAD PEOPLE

         It is no different today. Pick out any church on any street in America and the odds are huge that the leadership there will be out of fellowship with the Lord Jesus and are actually in opposition to Him. They look great. They have a great level of control and almost everyone there does what they are told. They are dead churches because the people are dead, the leadership is dead. There is a completely different standard of spirituality. Their standard is something otherworldly. It does not line up with Scripture. It is infused with false doctrines and teachings and this is borne out by its complete lack of spiritual effectiveness.

         The Lord tries to get their attention but they refuse. They are smug. They are arrogant. They go about in their quiet manner looking and acting exactly like the world because that’s what they are—they are a picture of the unregenerate sinful world wrapped up in dead religious grave clothes. They are all prepared for a funeral.

         “For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:27-28] [1]

REFUSING THE PROPER COMPARISON   

         The Lord failed to convince the Pharisees and Sadducees to repent. He has so far failed to get this particular church to repent. A church like this is representative of many churches in America. Each one proves everyday that the Lord Jesus is not in charge. Their ministry looks nothing like His. They are dead. And they force everyone who becomes part of the congregation to be dead like them.

         As long as no one makes the proper comparison to the clear New Testament record of what a group of believers is supposed to look like no one is ever the wiser. All of these people want a church in which they can continue to be sinners and remain distant from the Lord and never be made to get right with Him.

         They absolutely hate being convicted. They refuse to surrender to the Lord and thus force themselves to surrender to the church status quo.

         They are filled with sin and corruption but no one there knows it because they refuse the Lord’s light and correction that would expose them for what they are. They want compromised Christianity, a place where they can be as worldly as the day is long so they can maintain their love of this world and their focus on worldly success.

         At best they want a halfway house. They want to be in that strangely mythical place, somewhere between heaven and hell. They loathe the full expression of the Kingdom of Heaven.

         The Lord’s truth does not interest them. They reject Him. They are not for real.  

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THAT’S HYSTERICAL

         HYSTERIA: 1. A psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions. 2. Behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess. [1]

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THE RESPONSIBLE PARTY

         …The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?”

         They all said, “CRUCIFY HIM!”

         And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?”

         But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “CRUCIFY HIM!”

         When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.”

         And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” [Matthew 27:20-25]

THE DEMON WHISPERERS

         The hysterical people intent on killing an innocent Man refused to listen to reason. They were egged on by demonic religious leaders who had such powerful control of their minds they could make them do anything. The religionists knew exactly what words to use, exactly what stories to spin, and exactly how to gain the greatest reaction. They were unchallenged masters of the medium.

         The hysterical people had been programmed over several decades to do the bidding of their masters. One can always tell a CULT by the way the cult leaders are treated:

         The mind-numbed crowd will never turn on its masters regardless of their purely evil nature and powerfully sinister actions.

         Instead, they will always place full blame on their innocent victims.

         Cult leaders can turn their pit bull masses on anyone or anything at any time whenever they apply the proper triggers. In this case they triggered the final inner mechanism in their wicked arsenal by arousing, at the perfect time, the maximum level of cultural inner hatred, and once it was fully armed, they released it full bore upon their greatest enemy for maximum impact.

THE POWER OF RELIGION

         There is a reason religion has the power it does. There is a reason religious shysters use religion to gain control of people and coerce their money. It is lucrative. It answers the two basic and fundamental needs of narcissistic authoritarians, many of whom are cleverly concealed charlatans: (1) Authority, and (2) Money. These religionists take power and money as their right.

         Here is one way to differentiate some of the real from the unreal when it comes to Christian ministers: The real ones will do the job the Lord called them to do whether they get paid or not (unreal ministers never work without getting paid); whether they are appreciated or not (unreal ministers will never work without ongoing full respect); and whether they are overly protected or not (unreal ministers will never subject themselves to real persecution).

         The real ministers of the Gospel will never quit no matter how everyone else may quit on them. They will always continue on though their good names and characters are falsely and wrongly trashed.

         The following ALWAYS applies to the real guys:

         “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.” [Luke 6:22] [2]

REVIVING THE DEATH CULT?

         The Lord Jesus—GOD HIMSELF—GOD WITH US—THE LONG-AWAITED MESSIAH—had arrived just as prophesied at the perfect time and He threatened the Death Cult and everything it stood for. He made war against it and would soon end it. He not only prophesied against its complete destruction but led the charge against its destruction.

         The Death Cult would be completely incompatible with everything He planned to do in the future. It was a purely opposing force, rebellious to the core. It must therefore be eliminated.

         Due to its refusal to admit fault and surrender, outright war to destroy it forever was the only alternative. This was the core construct of the spiritual war of the first century. It is why 70AD Jerusalem had to happen. It is also why God would never support its resurrection.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] © Merriam-Webster

[2] 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.

WITNESSING FOR THE LORD: Meet Charlie, the Strongest Man I Ever Met (2)

         I can never forget the testimony of a man who was a very good friend. Long ago, someone took the time to witness to Him, casting personal risk aside.

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         He was probably in his mid-to-late thirties and about a decade and a half older than me. He had a loving wife and a bunch of kids. I had never known him before he was born again but he had been a rough character, a man no one would mess with. He was a solid family man and he worked hard. He was a construction worker, a foreman, and lived in the country some distance away. He had a hard row to hoe to pack up a large family with several little kids and head off to church four times a week, but he was always there. His smile lit up the whole place. He was a great example of how the Lord could melt even the most powerful heart.

         When Charlie met the Lord Jesus, he finally met his match, and then some. Charlie found out that the Lord was a lot stronger than he was, that He was a bigger and better Man, and that He was the greatest man’s Man who ever lived. Charlie surrendered to his Maker.

         I don’t know who witnessed to him but that family’s salvation was one of the great boons to our group. I have worked in construction for many years. I worked in the oil industry a long time as well. I have met hundreds of strong men. There is a culture in these blue collar fields that one had better respect. I am ever thankful to my Dad for teaching me early on how to thrive in the world of real men who do their job, who won’t be denied, and who know there is a job to be done, that must be done, and will get done.

         But among all these guys I have still never met a man who was as physically strong as Charlie. My Dad always taught me when I was a kid to give a strong handshake, and I did. But this man had the strongest handshake I ever felt, and that was decades ago. I know he had to torque it down when he shook hands with other men because, if he wanted to, he could mash your hand to a pulp. I am serious. He could break your hand. The best defense is to squeeze the other guy’s hand harder than he is squeezing yours, or just as hard. But it wouldn’t work with him. He was strong as an ox. Two oxes. There were times when I had him in a good grip and looked him in the eye and told him to go a little more and he would smile and clamped down just about an extra ounce and I knew my hand would be withered in a heartbeat and quickly told him to back off. This has never happened with anyone else. Ever.

         So now I think I know what happened to that guy with the withered hand in the Bible. He met Charlie before Charlie got saved.

         It’s hard to explain to people who have never been filled with the Holy Spirit about the transformation that takes place. Charlie was undoubtedly a very rough character but after he was filled with the Lord’s Spirit his face glowed like an angel. He was God’s middle linebacker, still tough as nails and solid as a rock but with a loving, tender heart. He was always smiling and trying to hold back from laughing in that shy way he had. He could not contain all the joy the Lord filled him with though he tried. Every service he was back there in the back row. He did that because he had so many young kids, about half a dozen, and did not want to disrupt the service. He and his lovely wife, also filled gloriously with the Holy Ghost, were all lined up back there. The kids always stayed in line but were still kids and were also smiling all the time. They made it work. It is not natural to make little kids do that but they managed it very well. They were such happy people. I think Charlie knew even more than I did that he had been hell bound and got rescued. He would be forever grateful and showed it always.

         He told me that before the Lord rescued him he drank a half bottle of hard liquor every day. He smoked two or three packs of cigarettes every day. And he worked very hard every day. This man was tough as nails. Then somebody witnessed to him. Some real Christian answered the call and witnessed to Charlie. Charlie could have done some serious damage.

         We all know how some will go off half-cocked when they get witnessed to. There is sometimes a lot of hate and one must have enough love to overcome it. Only the Lord has that kind of love but He must work through people to show it. This is a hard, tough world, and many people are filled with a lot of pain. They’ve been treated bad and they’re angry. And they don’t like it when told it is somehow their fault. They need our help and understanding.

         When the Lord reached out from heaven through a brave witness, instead of getting angry, Charlie listened. Maybe he knew he was a mess and really wanted to change but wasn’t going to be forced into becoming some fake girly man and succumb to religion. The Lord knew that. So he sent Charlie a real witness to witness about the real thing. The Lord was not going to force Charlie to surrender his manhood but just the opposite. He wanted him to be the real man he wanted to be but with a godly heart.

         The Lord filled Him with His Spirit. He delivered him from his cigarette habit. He took away his desire for alcohol. Charlie stopped cussing and fighting and began smiling and loving. He could still break you in two, though, and you had to be careful—you had to watch out for exuberant hugs. He became a solid witness for His Lord and Savior and though he didn’t talk much he was the very picture of Christian strength.

         I want to close with a funny incident that will give you a tad more insight into the joy we all felt in Charlie’s presence. Before I go on, there was one thing I touched on previously about Charlie but didn’t tell the whole story.

         Charlie was so full of spiritual joy he continued smiling and doing these little laughs even after we all settled into our seats and church got going. It was just part of his good nature that the Lord accentuated with His own. This was an active Spirit-filled congregation of lively people so it was not always possible to contain one’s self. Charlie would often continue expressing his happiness and gratitude throughout the service. He was way in the back but everyone always knew it was just Charlie being Charlie. Some of us may say “Amen!” but he would do a chuckle. It added greatly to a joyful atmosphere.

         One night, a traveling minister came to the church. He was a big guy in a black suit with a commanding presence. He was also blind. He’s up there preaching and we’re down there in the pews, being properly respectful if not more so, and not quite sure what was transpiring before us. It was pretty hushed.

         Well, the preacher must have said something Charlie really liked. Showing his unbound appreciation, Charlie did one of his customary good-natured manly chuckles that just happened to project quite well. The preaching stopped. The combination of church quiet and back bench acoustics made the preacher think he was being laughed at! It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen in church and I could write a book on the subject. The blind preacher rebuked Charlie from the pulpit! He hollered, “You may think this is funny! But I’m preaching up here!”

         We all started stifling laughter at the initial shock and some of us turned around and looked back at poor Charlie who obviously meant no harm and was real embarrassed. He was red as a beet and had a weird grin on his face coming down from a joy high and was not quite sure what to do. But just like his Lord, Charlie took it like a man. And he understood. 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.