Yearly Archives: 2011

2011: The Year in Review

         It is always difficult to come to an accurate conclusion regarding an entire year. The biggest problem is a lack of overall knowledge. Most of our news comes from the mainstream media, or what many have begun referring to as the lamestream media, or what is in other words the censored news.

         America is supposed to be the one country on earth where real uncensored news can be found and appreciated, but the big boys have done an end run around that many, many decades ago. It still amazes me how so many millions of Americans believe the deceit, opinion, and innuendo put forth as news in this country. If the mainstream is your main stream, you are deceived, plain and simple, regarding what is actually happening in the world.

         It is not that the events themselves are not true, if they be natural disasters or clearly defined incidents with proper witnesses and even video proof; it is the way things are presented. Anyone who has experience within major news outlets knows the news itself is simply the means. The ends, however, involve profits, market share, building and maintaining brands, and doing whatever it takes to be noticed. Picture a bunch of Arnold Horshacks all raising and waving their hands and screaming for attention.

         But in a “dignified” way that allows technology (and make-up) to do the real work. Television news is therefore extremely biased and contrived regardless of what is purported on the surface. Even the so-called “No Spin Zone” is the epitome of spin. It’s all spin. And spin is an art: The art of deception.

         Therefore, 2011 must be judged correctly, not through recent remembrances of vain talking heads and slick video. Otherwise, one will have no idea what just happened.

         Consider what God is doing now. Consider what He accomplished through His people. And consider that next to none of it was broadcast. Consider what He has done for you this year. Was it on the news? In the newspaper? On the radio? Probably not. But it happened nonetheless.

         Then consider general themes. What has the Lord been doing regarding particular goals? We know what the real goals of His movement are—making disciples, spreading the good news of His payment for sin, His resurrection, and His grace. But what has been happening specific to those things?

         One thing in particular is a worldwide spiritual awakening. Some of this has been ongoing for many years, of course. Certain regions of the world are experiencing this more than others. China, for example, will (shockingly) become a Christian nation within a couple of decades! People are giving their lives to God there in off-the-scale numbers. You will rarely ever see this in the mainstream media. In fact, you will rarely see anything the Lord is doing in the mainstream media.

         Hence, the MSM is completely and totally spiritually irrelevant.

         So why do so many Christians rely on it? Don’t they know they are being deceived? The pride, arrogance, and patronizing aspects of these people are relatively unmatched. They will look you squarely in the eye through a camera lens and lie their heads off. Only they call it something else. And many of them actually believe their own spin.

         The big news of 2011 is not so much about all the bad that is happening, such as the down spiraling economy, but the millions of little stories regarding what local people are doing about it.

         People are helping people like never before. We are assisting one another. We are lifting each other up. Some are making sacrifices to help others that have never been done before on this scale. So many Americans have lost jobs and homes and marriages and friends it is taking a lot of assistance and love to help them out. Virtually everyone has been affected. The biggest concentration of help, however, is being done by those who are living out real Christianity. They are doing for others. They are their brothers’ keeper. They have left the confines of religion and are directly touching lives and bringing tremendous blessings. Though the government keeps expanding, it is helping less and less. It will soon be unable to help much at all because it is broke and getting broker.

         But behind the scenes a stirring is taking place. It is the beginning of the Great Awakening of the Twenty-First Century. Of all things by which to define this past year, that is the biggie. It will be even more pronounced in 2012 — dawning tomorrow amid much hoopla

         If you want to see it and see more of what is really happening, you must tune in to the Lord and put on your eyes and ears. It’s there.

         But the greatest way to see it is to do it: Help your neighbor. Be a friend. Sacrifice. Give. Help. Love everybody. Pray about anything you might be able to do to assist others. The needs are growing exponentially, but this only portends greater opportunity to help. Anything you may do matters. There is nothing too small. Even smiling at someone can lift their spirits. Be positive. Be strong. Know that every day is an opportunity to help someone. See it as an adventure: “Who will the Lord lead me to help today?”

         And don’t be surprised that others will respond in kind. People will also bless you. And in all of this you will see the evidence of our Lord Jesus at work.

         And because He is the One who teaches us to love, save your very best for Him. Give Him your heart. It is your very best asset and the greatest gift you can give.

         He deserves it. He deserves you.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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Spiritual Surveillance (Part 2)

Perry Mason (TV series)
Image via Wikipedia

         Where is Perry Mason when you need him?

         Well, the real Perry Mason who always wins His cases through justice and honor, who defends the innocent and proves their innocence, and who reveals as well the guilty parties, serves not in our courtrooms but in His own. He is not watching everything we do by using spy satellites and a million other means, but He did create a way to keep a perfect record — an eternal dossier on everything we will ever do in this life. He will use it to discover one’s innocence or guilt at the final judgment. Of course, if one does not believe in such stuff and reject it all outright, his guilt will condemn him with no cure, since he will have rejected the only advocate to plead his case.

         Imagine that. You have been brought up on serious sin charges and Perry Mason himself is willing to take your case to help you out. Anyone with a measurable IQ would jump at such a chance because Perry never loses. Yet Mr. Brainiac rejects Mr. Mason and consequently goes to hell. Nice. Real good.

         Here we have the Lord God Himself taking it on the chin for us and most reject Him? It is either because they are flat stupid or God’s people have done a sorry job of representing Him (or some combination thereof).

         Nevertheless, everyone is guilty. Everyone requires the sacrifice the Lord made. Even those who have never heard the Gospel and have no clue who the Lord Jesus is know what sin is. A three year-old sins in secret, or thinks he does, and then lies when getting caught. The human conscience does a terrific job of sin conviction until said conscience is repeatedly overruled. But even eighty year-old career criminals on their death bed know their life of crime is wrong. They do not deny that. They simply love sin. They would hate heaven. They will not be so fond of hell either, but will fit better there.

         God’s surveillance is therefore a very good thing. He will play back our lives at the judgment and, barring our personal repentance before we died, will explain why sinful behavior stems from a sinful heart unworthy of His kingdom. He will have the goods on us. It is only fair. His court will only render perfect judgments.

         But what about the few who actually make it to heaven? If they have sinned as well as the unrepentant bad guys, why should they be allowed to have eternal life? It is as simple as this:

         Their King died in their place.

         They submitted to His Lordship. They chose to do their best to do right instead of wrong, but when they failed, they desired and allowed the blood of their Savior to cleanse them. They know they are not and will never be worthy of the presence of God in and of themselves or by their own efforts. All of this will show up on their surveillance video. Their personal movie will reveal their heart as well, but will find a contrite heart changed by God’s grace through their own repentance and love for the Lord.

         So the next time you think about being surveilled almost everywhere you go by little or large video cameras and electronic eavesdropping, consider the eternal surveillance tape being recorded on your behalf. It will assist in giving you a perfectly fair verdict when standing before the King.

         Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. [Revelation 20:11-15] [1]  

         The first and most important goal in this short and temporary life is to make sure one’s name is written in that book. Nothing else will otherwise matter. Also, if we allow the Lord Jesus to be the Author and Perfecter of our faith, it will bring Him unimaginable joy. Why?

         Because every story He writes has a happy ending.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 2]


[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 Surveillance (Part 1)

         Big Brother is watching you, but someone is also watching Big Brother.

  All the stealthy behind-the-scenes guys eavesdropping on  every move you make through ubiquitous electronic surveillance are being observed themselves by a much higher power. Every deed they do is being recorded. For honorable people in such positions, they are merely doing their job. For sinners who refuse to honor the Lord Jesus as Savior, such spiritual observation is lost upon them. They simply do not perceive they are being watched while in the act of watching others.

         Spiritually speaking, there is a record of everything we do. Before God can send one to heaven or hell, there must be legal evidence of innocence or guilt. Hence, every move you make is being recorded. Most people have no problem with showing up on any number of video screens through innumerable mounted cameras, some in plain view and some well hidden. They figure they are doing nothing wrong, so why should they care? This is a healthy way to go about things, of course. If one never breaks man’s law one will never be brought up on charges, right?

         Uh, no.

         There are innocent victims in this world, you see. Some are accused of crimes they never committed. We continue to hear of story after story of exonerated prisoners freed on DNA evidence after being wrongly convicted of crimes perpetrated by someone else who got away. But this only happens to career criminals and bad guys, right?

         Uh, no.

         There are actually solid citizens incarcerated on trumped-up charges by prosecutors who care much more about winning and padding their resumes with convictions than they do about justice. They have a career ladder to climb, my man! There is money to be made! It does not happen often but it is happening more and more.

         Some cases are brought forth to set precedents and have laws changed to benefit those who would take advantage of others. In this sense, ultra surveillance could actually be a good thing because it proves facts. Every good lawyer should be able to do such anyway with enough effort and intelligence. But our courts are no longer necessarily bastions of truth and justice but sometimes cathedrals of elite shenanigans, power, and control. Sometimes the evidence is so blatant one wonders why there is even an extended trial. It is obvious to everyone but those in the courtroom, it seems, because of the games being played there.

         Real justice is only possible with a Real Judge.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 2]

Let Every Day Be Christmas 2011

         This really is a great time of year, of course. Regardless of whether one is a practicing Christian or not, people in general have a greater tendency to appropriate the spirit of Christmas during the holiday season. Most are nicer to one another and more accommodating. Many live out the Golden Rule by visiting friends and relatives, engaging in quality fellowship and family time, smiling a little brighter, giving gifts, helping others, and loving one another.

         In other words, we all generally do as the Lord Jesus taught us to do. Though it is not really His birthday, we celebrate it at this time and it makes all the difference.

         After the holidays, however, most people go back to their regular lives of disobedience and indifference toward God. There is a quick return to doing things our way, living our way, sinning our way, demanding our way, hating our way, and forgetting all about the wonder of Christmas.

         This means Christmas is merely a time to briefly touch upon the reality of human existence and the answers and gifts each of us has for each other. It is a faux construct revealing the truth of how most of us wish it could be but will never be. It is a time to celebrate the mere idea of the Christmas message. It is a time when people doing good things is culturally legal, where one’s good heart blends with everyone’s and brings no personal disdain as a do-gooder or clueless nice guy. People set aside their prejudices and hatred because the pressure’s off. We get a lift from giving. Joy is allowed a place in our hearts. Those who rarely smile grin a little.

         But it is all only temporary. The New Year will bring a return to the rat race and justifiable lying, cheating, and slander. Bad attitudes are only placed on hold during the Christmas season. People do not actually repent. People do not actually embrace the Lord and obey His teachings. As wonderful as it all is, Christmastime is an aberration.

         Why can’t we live out the spirit of Christmas all year long? Some of the reasons are as follows:

(1) It would no longer be a special once-a-year season.

(2) Too much work! (Decorating, shopping, entertaining, family—Yikes!)

(3) People cannot fake love for that long.

         The real reason?

         Most people refuse to make the giant leap toward real repentance and living a spiritually-disciplined lifestyle. Most people cannot conceive of possessing an inner joy all year long. Most people do not know the Lord Jesus and do not want to know Him. And this includes most “Christians.”

         It is far easier to obey one’s will than His will.

         It is far easier to be deceived than know the truth.

         I recently stated in the comments section of this blog that most churches would never allow the Lord Jesus to be in charge of their operations. This also holds true for most of us who say we are Christians. But for those fellowship groups who would agree to let the Lord be the boss, let 2012 be the year we accomplish this at a higher and faster rate, and to a greater degree. Let real Christians do the same. Let us truly love one another, help each other, and see about one another. And let it last all year long.

         My hope this Christmas is that it will continue being Christmas. Keep buying gifts and giving gifts. Keep entertaining and blessing others. Keep the wonder and the happiness and the love. Make your heavenly Father proud. Indeed, make Him cry tears of joy. Move His heart with your attention to His curriculum and course of personal conduct. Make Him pleased with your discipleship. Honor Him as your Lord and Savior who stopped at nothing to bring you abundant life. Love Him with all your heart and love one another as you love yourself.

         Be blessed this Christmas. Be very, very blessed. Remember the One who made it possible. Thanks to all of you who have read my articles, commented on them, and passed them on to others. I especially want to thank those of you who have subscribed and allowed me to send out my “bothersome email updates.” You have all been a great blessing!

         It is my belief that 2012 will be a pivotal year in many respects, but mostly as a year when an even greater number of real believers will be born into the kingdom, when many Christians will rededicate their lives, when many more solid groups, spiritual communities, and fellowships will be formed, and when the Lord’s people become even greater salt and light for such a time as this.

         It is impossible to lose when on the Lord’s side. Allow the wonder of Christmas to stay in your heart all year long. May we all be real and may we all keep loving.

         And may we all have a Merry Christmas.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

WE’RE WINNING (Quit Listening to Liars)

December 16, 1773

         The Lord warned us. He repeatedly warned us. As the Old Testament Hebrew prophets repeatedly warned their nation, the Lord Jesus warns His people yet today. But most Americans remain asleep, deceived, and preoccupied about temporal things and non-spiritual matters. There is a lot of fear rising up in the nation but instead of addressing the causes of the fear head-on and properly, Americans continue to prefer lies and drugs to calm them down and zone them out.

         These times are unprecedented and are far, far worse than most people imagine. But the many who know the truth and are speaking the truth continue to be treated with supreme indifference and mockery. Because most Christians NEVER hear much of what Jesus taught from their lamestream American pulpits, even they have become generally duped about reality.

         For those who do the prudent thing and make some sort of an appeal to authority to seek out answers, they continually choose for the most part those who will never tell them the truth but tell them what they want to hear:

         “Everything is okay. It’s not that bad. Relax. There’s a few weird, zany people out there with different ideas. They are far out of the mainstream. Don’t let them upset you. Here, take this narcotic, it will make you feel better. Here, listen to the normal voices on television. They will make you feel safer. Go to church and feel the peace that comes from being in a normal (dead) environment. Watch out for the wackos.”

         From the standpoint of societal opinion two-thousand years ago, Jesus was a wacko.

         The “voices of reason” are telling you to disregard the real teachings of Jesus! They did the same thing to Him in His time. Great crowds followed Him until He began to get in more and more trouble with the political and religious authorities. Many then began drifting off. They left Him in droves. They betrayed Him. Why?

         Because they believed the lies. The believed the devil who continually disparaged His character. They had much more respect for their pastors and rulers. They could not and did not and would not see into the future. They didn’t believe His prophecies and warnings.

         Forty years later their nation was destroyed. FORTY YEARS. Their beloved Jerusalem was torn to pieces. The great and mighty Temple they could not live without and honored above God was torn down without a single stone left upon another. They were so used to going through the motions and believing lies they could not hear the voice of the Prophet. They chose this world rather than the next. They chose their present time rather than eternity. They chose the voices of lying jerks instead of the pure and honest voice of God. They had become programmed, just as many if not most Americans have become programmed. Most of the world has become programmed.

         There still remains only one cure. When this cure is applied, great change for the better results. Otherwise we get the same old same old same old same old—and the rich get richer. And the poor grow more numerous. And the American Middle Class is vanishing before our eyes. We have entered into the next step in which the government-corporate hybrid rules that much more in such a way that a return to the American dream is that much smaller in the rearview mirror. Very few have the gumption to do anything about it.

         We waste our time believing lying politicians and television pundits who already have the money and lifestyle they want. Most of them sold their soul to get where they are and will certainly never give up their money and position. Some of them dance all around the truth but know a big pink slip is waiting when they get out of line. Truth-tellers are smeared. Prophets are kicked out of churches. And no one is dissed more than the Lord Jesus, THE ONLY CURE.

         Want business as usual? Keep listening to the fakers and pretenders. Keep doing what they tell you. Step on your heart. Disobey your conscience. Raid the medicine cabinet. Curl up in a fetal ball, suck on your binky, and wait for the end. With a big dumb smile. Our authority figures have always been correct in the past, right? The Pharisees were right, right? And the Romans, boy, those Romans! They were always right. A bunch of good old boys. Big deal that they all conspired together and crucified the Lord of glory. Big deal that they unleashed wicked and evil persecution campaigns against the saints of God.

         The last tiny crumb remaining of Solomon’s mighty empire expired in 70 AD. The huge and powerful Roman Empire officially came to a dribbling end in 476 AD. And if Americans don’t wake up this country will soon join their ranks. Ask yourself how many godly men and women there are in places of power in Washington DC. How many of them are sold out to Jesus? How many American churches are sold out to Jesus? The reality is that He is being rejected more and more and in many more places than before. The fix might be in regarding the usual places of power, but NO ONE has a right to the inner place of your heart without your strict permission.

         The great news is that the Lord already knew what would happen here long ago and has been working on a plan behind the scenes. Even His own people did not know what He was up to, but remained obedient though their lives made little sense. They have already gone through horrendous times. Most importantly, they have allowed only the Lord Jesus to have the rule and honor and deepest place in their hearts. These real believers constitute millions all across and throughout the country. Their influence is everywhere, but it is a quiet though very strong and powerful servant influence. They comprise the influence of salt, light, and a strong back.

         They have a light in their eyes and a knowing smile that tells others they know a secret.

         On this day, the 238th anniversary of the original Boston Tea Party, they know that against all odds, when so much is against them, when time is running out, when defeat seems inevitable, when there is no possible way of victory according to the natural eye and human reason, something really cool will happen:

         WE WILL WIN THE BALLGAME. AND YOU CAN PUT IT IN THREE-INCH HEADLINES. WE WILL WIN THE BALLGAME. [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Coach Jimmy Johnson of the Dallas Cowboys uttered these bold words on a live call-in radio show prior to that weekend’s NFC championship game with San Francisco in January of 1994. Despite losing their starting quarterback to injury in the third quarter, the Cowboys won 38-21 and went on to win the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.

Fighting For the Promised Land

         Sometime today, find the time to take a break. Turn off the TV. Step away from the computer. Find a quiet place to think and pray. See if you can hear the Lord. He is speaking. He is trying to tell us something very significant.

         When they returned from spying out the land, at the end of forty days, they proceeded to come to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation of the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; and they brought back word to them and to all the congregation and showed them the fruit of the land. Thus they told him, and said, “We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan.”

         Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.”

         But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.” So they gave out to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone, in spying it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great size. There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” [Numbers 13:25-33]

         Twelve men were sent into the land. Ten returned displaying a wicked heart of unbelief. Only two of the ten, Caleb and Joshua, believed. 

         Pessimists, religious traditionalists, and Christian wimps are everywhere. They man our pulpits, saturate the airwaves, and insist that all is lost.

         Only they are not saying it in quite those terms. They say it in the sense the ten weasel spies of Hebrew infamy said it. They say it the way every fearful, non-believing betrayer of the Lord in a Christian costume always says it:

         “All is lost but we must carry on, taking our shots, knowing we have lost and will continue to lose, the country is too far gone, all have bowed the knee to Baal, the enemy is too powerful, the fix is in, there is no way to change the status quo, they’re gonna get us. O woe to us, the persecuted! On we go with sad faces and depressed demeanors, we are left with merely going through the motions and waiting for our blessed rapture, can’t wait to get out of here, this world is not my home, I’m only passing through, let America die, let the devil have our country. The sons of Anak are giants! We are mere grasshoppers! Alas, God is too weak…”

         And we wonder why the Lord will have to toss most of mankind headlong into hell.

         Christian unbelievers are the worst unbelievers on the planet. They say all of kinds of great stuff but at their hearts are weak, wimpy, and very unclear-on-the-concept Judas Iscariots. Keep in mind, the Lord is not asking us to do His job. He is only asking us to agree with Him and obey Him so He can do His job. He considers this whole human mess as His problem in a certain sense, and has created the requisite perfect solution. He personally paid the price for our sins. He blesses us with undeserved favor called grace. He enlists in His movement toward spiritual liberty whoever might be willing.

         “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30] [1]  

         Everyone on the planet has sinned, yet the Lord desires to release us from the pain and bondage of our sin so we can be free. Many have been set free. His desire is to bless all and love and care for us. He tries to take the pressure off our minds and burdens from our backs if we will only let Him. Imagine someone who deserves the death penalty or a life sentence in some hellhole prison suddenly being released. Would that not solicit off-the-scale joy?

         But our joy is curtailed as His is often curtailed through Christian unbelief and disobedience. No group of people betrays the Lord more often and more consistently than those who call themselves “Christians.” There are real Christians, of course. There is a real remnant of true believers and obedient followers, but these comprise a distinct minority.

         To this I say, “So what?” God’s followers have always been in the minority. The majority has always been wrong. God has never needed them. He has always made do with whatever small group or community He can muster together. Consider the fight facing the first Jewish believers of the first century who had to go up against the powerful and bigoted religious parties of Judea. By 70 AD, the vaunted Jewish Temple was destroyed but real believers were growing by leaps and bounds. How did these believers stand fast against the brutal Roman Empire? They were getting killed and persecuted right and left but continued winning the spiritual war.

         Fast forward to America of the present: Real Christians in this country are not facing the Roman Empire. We are not facing hateful Pharisees and Sadducees willing to kill and butcher us on a whim. AMERICA IS OUR COUNTRY AND WAS PAID FOR WITH THE BLOOD OF PATRIOTS. Christians have constitutional rights here that Christians in other countries do not possess. Great victories have already been won but most American Christians continually fail to take advantage of them. The Lord is asking us to take what is ours just as He commanded the twelve spies to take hold of their promised land.

         No, we are not supposed to “take over the country.” Christians are simply supposed to obey God and let everyone feel our weight. Christians in this country are weak for two principle reasons: (1) A general refusal to obey the Lord Jesus fully and (2) A further refusal to unite as one people under His dominion. “Christians” insist on denominations and separate camps and hate and resistance toward our fellow believers. “Christians” demand to indulge their flesh and pride. “Christians” hate love and “Christians” hate unity. Instead of doing things God’s way, “Christians” attempt to have “interfaith” dialogues and major on things held in common.

         IT WILL NEVER WORK. This is what will work: Each Christian must get right with God and obey Him. It starts with the individual. At the end, we will all be judged as individuals, so why do most Christians continue to hide behind their denominational beliefs, church communities, religious leaders, and dead traditional practices?

         We have an incredible opportunity at present to show this country what Christian love and unity are all about. The country is coming unglued and the fracturing will only continue. Very hard times are ahead. American citizens are turning against one another like never before in history. No one really knows what will happen or how bad it will get but experts know these times are unprecedented. It is the perfect setting for the greatest Great Awakening America has ever seen.

         There are two choices for American Christians: The majority will continue to wimp out like the ten spineless spies who had no faith in God. The minority will be like Joshua and Caleb who will fight any fight and take down any giant in their way. Only this time, the country will not be saddled with the unbelieving majority. This time, Caleb and Joshua will not have to pay a forty-year sentence for something they never did. This time, the Lord will not condemn America to further wandering in the Sinai deserts.

         This time, Real Christians will win. And by that win, the nation itself will be renewed and restored. Think about that when the Lord hands out the spoils of war. Those who fought and followed the Lord into freedom will be blessed as Joshua and Caleb were blessed. All other “Christians” will look under their Christmas trees and find a one-way ticket to diddlysquat.

         © 2011 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.

Your Jesus Ain’t My Jesus

         Real Christianity is based on the real Jesus. It is based on the teachings of the real Jesus. The real Jesus can be found in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but He can also be found throughout the New Testament. He is also featured prominently in the Old Testament.

         “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Mark 4:9]

         The move toward a different Jesus began from the start. “Who do the people say that I am?” [1] was already in vogue as soon as He began his ministry. In other words, “Who is this guy?” was fresh on the lips of everyone from the very beginning and the devil began sowing the seeds of deception regarding the Lord’s identity from the get-go.

         He knew he must. When people discovered who the Lord really was they would become Satan’s avowed enemy. His game is deception and lies, and more people took the bait and believed his lies than believed the truth. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [2] Only few will be saved. That is, the majority of those who ever lived will be deceived about the Lord and blow their chance at redemption.

         Nowhere is the deception stronger than within official, institutional Christianity. Many different images of the Lord have been presented over the last twenty centuries. Most are the result of misunderstandings and misapplication of Scripture and a limited desire on the part of the faux bro’s to seek and know the real truth. Every society attempts to bend and fashion the Lord Jesus to their own liking. Each Christian culture must have its own Jesus. He is different in every denomination. The Torah includes a very strict command of God that His people should never ever make any graven images, yet “Christians” down through the years have repeatedly violated that command.

         They have made a God to suit themselves. They have created a false Jesus, and another, and another, and another, to suit their own tastes and comfort level. Some have created a peace-love-dove hippie Jesus who lets them get away with anything. This Jesus never preaches sin and would never send anyone whatsoever to hell (except maybe Hitler, etc.).

         Others have created an eternal obedient Son Jesus who is basically emasculated, has no power, and defers everything to His Father, even though He clearly stated:

         “ALL AUTHORITY HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH.” [Matthew 28:18]

         Some make a Jesus that fits their quirky man-made religious principles. There are so many ridiculous man-made traditional doctrines within Unreal Christianity it has become a mockery of the Lord’s original teachings and commands. The proof is in the application and results. Dead Christianity produces nothing but death. There is no life or joy or miracles or anything that characterized the Lord’s ministry. Christians go about like a bunch of zombies and ghosts pretending they live when they are in fact as dead as the day they were born. Though the Lord said everyone MUST be born again, the majority of Christains have never experienced a new birth though they insist otherwise. This is strong demonic deception. For many, the blinders will not come off until after their physical death when standing before the Lord—when all will be lost regarding their soul’s destination.

         How does this false Jesus application work? How does the process happen? It is really not all that hard to see: Strong religious personalities apply their own limited understanding in such a way that they convince others. They gain a following. Some followings bud up and become fruitful but fade out. Some followings become very large and in time hang around in a fossilized state. They do not actually represent the Jesus of the Bible but think they do. They are not aware of their deception.

         That’s what deception is.

         Their followers countinue to soldier on, insisting that their way is the right way. They will not give up. They will fight to the death protecting their false form of Christianity. They will not listen to reason. They will not consider a multitude of Scripture verses disproving their made-up Christian religion. Because of their gross sin and idolatry (the worst sin), they have no ears to hear and no eyes to see. How can they possibly correct their steps without real repentance?

         But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1 Timothy 4:1-2]  

         The Real Jesus is the Jesus of Scripture—every Scripture—every verse and every word which He came to fulfill:

         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-20]   

         He is the one entire Jesus comprising everything contained within His holy Word, even the parts that make us all very uncomfortable and even fearful. He is not a God to be messed with, though His love and mercy fill the universe.

         Due to long centuries of hate and persecution handed out by false Christians, Real Christians and Real Christianity have become a sideshow, the same way the Lord Himself became a sideshow in His time. He was rejected by all. They called Him every name in the book. He suffered betrayal and rejection and was lied about and gossiped about routinely.

         This is the legacy of His real followers.

         Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!” [Matthew 10:21-25]   

         Thus, fake Christianity, in its many and varied forms, seeks to do an end run around persecution. It seeks to find a way of compromise with this world. It seeks to gain authority against the authority of Jesus and create its own kingdoms ruled by religious potentates and their toadies.

         For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance.” [Matthew 24:24-25] [2]   

         There is only one Real Jesus.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Luke 9:18

[2] Matthew 7:14

[3] 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.

Ron Paul, Follower of Our Lord Jesus—For Such A Time As This

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas

       The media has always painted Ron Paul as a candidate with no chance of winning and Americans in general have believed the false reports. The prejudice is obvious. When one seriously considers all the presidential candidates with respect to godly values and respect for the Constitution of the United States, he is the only candidate that will right the course of the country.

         Regardless of who is elected a year from now, America is set to continue going through very tough times as a nation. Our current course is simply unsustainable. The money men and politicians for the most part no longer care whatsoever about the country but only themselves. The power elite exist in a vacuum untouched by the reality most Americans face. They continue to feather their nests, bankrupt the country, and rob our children’s future.

         If any candidate other than Ron Paul is elected, I guarantee you it will be the same old same old. We must look past the outer media image of every candidate to see what they really are. Ron Paul has been consistent in his beliefs and statements for many decades.

         In case you are wondering, Scripture is very clear that the Lord definitely takes sides and chooses whom He will for his purposes. He always fights on the side of freedom. He suffered the worst punishment any man has ever suffered, became sin on our behalf, and defeated death for the purpose of granting us abundant life and freedom from sin and bondage. He continues to fight a worldwide spiritual war for the sake of our liberty.

         Our founding fathers were very clear on what they were fighting for during the Revolutionary War. Our forebears won our freedom. Since then, many very evil people have decimated the glory that was once America. At this point in history, we can choose to quit, to give up, to surrender all in thinking it is too late, or we can fight, against the odds, and restore the liberty, unity, and abundance this country once possessed. Voting for yet another elite politician who says one thing and does another will not get the job done. Has the last several years taught us anything at all?

         The following is Ron Paul’s personal statement regarding his faith and loyalty toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Please read it and consider the truth.

RON PAUL’S STATEMENT OF FAITH:

“I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate.”

My faith is a deeply private issue to me, and I don’t speak on it in great detail during my speeches because I want to avoid any appearance of exploiting it for political gain. Let me be very clear here: I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate.

It is God Who gave us life. As He is free, so are those He created in His image. Our rights to life and liberty are inalienable.

I’m running for President of the United States because I believe that our traditions and way of life are under attack from an out-of-control federal government and reckless politicians who show no regard for what our Founders entrusted to our protection.

America became the greatest nation in human history because a dedicated band of Patriots believed their God-given rights were worth fighting for, even if it meant challenging the world’s most powerful nation in what many deemed a “hopeless” cause.

Being free meant so much to our forefathers that they put everything on the line – and thousands sacrificed their lives – to give the promise of liberty to not only their children and grandchildren, but to generations they knew they would never even meet.

Their courage and determination guaranteed they would defy the odds and achieve victory.

In this critical election, you and I must decide if the principles of limited government and personal freedom are worth fighting for once again.

Since I’m asking for your vote and your trust to lead this nation, let me tell you a little bit about my background and beliefs.

My parents raised my four brothers and me on a dairy near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they set clear examples for each of us about faith, honest living, and individual responsibility. Their Christian values helped inspire two of my brothers to eventually enter the ministry, and provided me with the foundation I needed to practice medicine and one day become a U.S. Representative.

In addition to my time in Congress, I am proud to have delivered over 4,000 babies as a country doctor in Texas. As I trained to practice medicine, I became convinced without a doubt that life begins at the moment of conception. I never performed an abortion, and I never once found an abortion necessary to save the life of the mother. In fact, I successfully helped women struggling with their pregnancies to seek other options, including adoption.

I am running to Restore America Now, and by that I mean that it’s time to protect and promote the basic God-given rights inherent in the promise of America.

We must pass on our heritage of liberty to the next generation – not tens of trillions of dollars in debt and liabilities.

We must stand for life – not allow millions of innocent children to continue to be slaughtered with the government’s approval.

We must follow the Biblical mandate of using honest weights and measures – not printing money out of thin air in almost complete secrecy and then handing it over to oppressive dictators.

We must only send our men and women to fight for our country when the mission is clear, every necessary tool needed to win is provided, and we respect the Constitution by declaring war.

Once war is declared, it must be waged according to Just War principles. We should only fight when it’s in our national security interest, and we should no longer do the corrupt United Nation’s bidding by policing the world.

In Congress, I never vote for any piece of legislation that violates the Constitution’s strict limits on government power. I also do not participate in the congressional pension system.

As President, I give you my word that I will only exercise my authority within the confines of the Constitution, and I will work every day to rein in a runaway federal government by binding it with the chains of that document.

For my stands and beliefs, I am told that my efforts are “hopeless.” Like those who were proud to stand up for what they knew was right to create our nation, however, I firmly believe that now is a better time than ever before to reclaim our liberties. No situation is hopeless for those who receive their strength from their faith, family, and freedom.

And like those Patriots, I have no doubt that liberty will prevail.

I invite you to join me and millions of other Americans in taking our stand to honor our forefathers’ sacrifices and Restore America Now.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul

© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved

“I and My Father Are One and The Same!”

         My favorite film about the Lord is Jesus of Nazareth. It was aired on national television as a mini-series in 1977. In this post I reference the film by including a video clip in which the actor playing the Lord, at the climax of a very compelling scene, speaks the memorable line above to incredulous and spiteful religious leaders.

         The line is taken from John 10:30, in which the Lord makes the claim, “I and My Father are one.”

         In the Gospel account, unbelieving Jews immediately began picking up rocks to stone Him after He said this, and explained their reaction on what they perceived as the Lord’s apparent blasphemy:

           The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” [John 10:33] [1]

         The following film segment overflows with Scriptural truth regarding the actual identity of our Lord Jesus and His impact on the world, especially with regard to the false religious concepts of the first-century Pharisees. The Pharisees were in many ways nearly identical with many Christian sects over the last two-thousand years, and this still remains very true today.

         Unreal Christianity is the first to get all hot and bothered against real Christianity, and the first to fight it, slander it, and reject it as the Pharisees in large part rejected the Lord. Most Christians in America reside in the comfort of their dead religion and a byproduct of this is relegating the Lord Jesus to something and someone much less than God.

         In this clip, for those who can see it, Jesus claims without question to be God Himself and nothing less. Whoever rejects this truth remains spiritually blind.    

         © 2011 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.

“But I Have This Against You, American Churches”

Sinking Slowly… Listing to the Left

        He had done everything right. He did everything he was told. He was dutiful, and thoughtful, and slow to react. He always considered the implications of his actions.

        But yet, the closeness he desired never arrived. Rather than trying to get personal with God he stayed at a distance. His preference was going through the quotidian exercises of his religion.

         He was a nice guy, always helping others, and quiet—carrying on in a relaxed and measured way, looking people in the eye with the hint of a smile, as if his job was to serve whoever may come before him. He enjoyed such actions, things someone else might call ministry, but it was just part of his life.

         He wondered about God often—who He was, what He was like. He had been given answers as a child that God was essentially unknowable and far away. As a result his wonder never blossomed into an outright search, because he had far too much respect for his family and local church, especially the well-respected ministers he had been associated with.

         Of course, that is a very loose term. Most churchgoers are not associated with their ministers. They are people seen once a week for an hour or two while attending to their profession. There may be a mini-chat every so often after services or a low-key counseling session. It is the same with most church members. Though rubbing shoulders with many, they deal mainly with simple surface relationships and remain distant from each other’s heart.

         One may wonder why there is so much passivity within traditional Christianity. Very few ever buck any trends. There are certainly never any instances of someone like the Lord cleaning out the temple. Is this because everyone thinks their own church needs no cleaning out? Are the majority of churches in America clean and orderly and right with God? Do they teach Biblical truth and demand loyalty to the Lord Jesus and New Testament teachings?

         Or are churches actually corrupt in that quiet passive way? Is the fact that most church-goers sit down in orderly pews and chairs without ever raising an eyebrow a sign that all is perfect and well? Does the man in the pulpit have it so together that there is never a discouraging word regarding that which he preaches? Are American churches doing their job?

         This must be the case, right? It must be that such perfect order proves all is right and that God is pleased.

         But how do they know this? If God remains unknown, how do the people know He is pleased? Does church order reflect godliness in this sense?

         Whoever thinks this is true does not read the Bible and certainly not the New Testament.

         “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” [Matthew 10:32-39]

         Have you ever heard this passage of Scripture as part of a Sunday morning sermon?

         How about this one:

         Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” [Matthew 15:1-3]

         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]

         What would happen if the Lord Jesus came to your church? Would he see it as everyone there sees it? Would He simply go along to get along? Would He never say a word or mention the things going on there that don’t line up with His teachings? Would He simply love everybody and tell one and all to keep on keeping on?

         He went to seven churches as recorded in the Book of Revelation and was none too pleased with the vast majority. Remember, these were His people gathered in His name supposedly doing what He taught them. At least, that is what they claimed. He had some good things to say but He also railed against them and demanded they get their act together. I submit that most American churches are worse off, and the reason there is so little change for the better is because the Lord Jesus is not welcome. The sinful culture of this country has taken over most traditional churches, regardless of denomination.

         Believe me, if He ever did show up in the greatness of His power, all would know it.

         “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]

         “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” [Revelation 2:10]

         “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.” [Revelation 2:14-16]

         “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” [Revelation 2:20-23]

         “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.” [Revelation 3:1-3]

         “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” [Revelation 3:10-11]

         “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” [Revelation 3:14-19] [1]

         © 2011 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 Demonic Jezebel Spirit and Its Rabid Hatred of God’s Prophets

        

         John the Baptist was killed by an adulterous woman.

         Her name was Herodias. She was the granddaughter of Herod the Great. She was the daughter of Herod’s niece Berenice. Her first husband was Herod II by Herod’s third wife (Herod II is known in Scripture as Herod Philip). Her second husband was Herod II’s brother Herod Antipas. Herod Antipas divorced his first wife Phasaelis to marry Herodias. Herodias divorced Herod II to marry Herod Antipas. This made her twice the daughter-in-law of Herod the Great.

         John the Baptist preached against her sin, in part because she was also related by marriage to the Jewish High Priest Simon Boethus, who was the father of Herod’s third wife Mariamne II, the mother of Herod II. It was against Jewish law to marry another man while one’s husband was still alive, as explained later by the apostle Paul:  

         Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. [Romans 7:1-3]

         The only exception to this law as taught by the Lord Jesus is in the case of adultery, when the marriage covenant is violated. [See Matthew 5:32 and 19:9] The innocent spousal victim is consequently released from the broken marriage.

         Despite John’s preaching against their adulterous marriage, Herod Antipas was afraid to execute him because John was beheld by a great many people as a prophet. But it was a much different story with Herodias. She loathed the Baptist. She loathed God’s law. She had determined to be a law unto herself. It was selfishness to the highest degree. In fact, she had become so self-centered in her sin she allowed herself to be overcome and possessed by a powerful demonic spirit. Herodias had decided to get John, and formulated a very well thought-out plan. Jezebel spirits always take the necessary time to set traps by enlisting the help of toadies. In this case, the principle toadies were her unsuspecting husband and complicitous daughter:

         For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.

         But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Having been prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. [Matthew 14:3-11]

         It was diabolical. It was a powerful affront to God. The demonic spirit working through a heavily scorned and angry woman brought the severed head of God’s prophet right out into the public and laughed. The party continued. Herodias was ecstatic.

         This foul spirit gets its name from the demonic Baal-worshipping wife of the Hebrew King Ahab. She hated the Hebrew prophets with a passion, and killed them right and left. She especially hated Elijah, who had returned the favor and executed 450 prophets of Baal after calling fire down from heaven.

         Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. [1 Kings 19:1-3]

         What happened to Elijah? This was a powerful man of God who previously had no fear of any man. Surely he did not suddenly develop a yellow streak, did he? The answer is easily explained when one understands that he was not afraid of Jezebel, but of the dominant demonic spirit within her. Though he had killed all the demon-possessed prophets of Baal, the most powerful demon remained and was determined to get him.

         Isn’t it interesting that the Lord Jesus aligned John the Baptist with Elijah?

         “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Matthew 11:14-15]

         The angel Gabriel told the father of John,

         “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” [Luke 1:17]

         Jezebel and Herodias were possessed by the same foul spirit. It is a spirit that normally possesses adulterous women insistent upon having their way. Their desire is to be first and to exercise full control however they might. They will stoop to any level and partake of any sin to achieve their ends—which predominately lie in the elimination of God’s prophets. Jezebel incited Ahab to do his evil, and Herodias did the same with Herod Antipas.

         The spirit succeeded in killing John the Baptist, possibly because John became vulnerable when he took offense at the Lord [See Matthew 11:6 and Luke 7:23]. Elijah, however, escaped. In time, Jezebel paid for her harlotries and witchcraft:

         Now in the eleventh year of Joram, the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah. When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?” Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot.

         When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. Therefore they returned and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’” [2 Kings 9:29-37]

         Her death had been prophesied. The agent of vengeance acted quickly with no compromise. And the Lord Jesus commands real believers to act upon the Jezebel spirit just as Jehu acted upon its host:

         “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” [Revelation 2:20-23] [1]

         © 2011 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.

Slow Motion Explosion: Part 3

         Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” [Luke 12:15]

         Consider that.

         Even if a person has an abundance, his real life has nothing to do with his possessions. This also means that any amount of possessions one may possess does not define one’s life.

         The life the Lord Jesus is referring to is something beyond mere possessions. If a real believer has only the clothes on his or her back, he or she has life.

         Consider having the bare minimum to sustain oneself. It is obvious that we need shelter, food, and clothing. But have you ever noticed all these things are only for the physical body? Our soul and spirit have no need of such things. The more we pare down our possessions, the more we realize we did not actually need all that much. And the more we have, the more we have to pay for what we have, and the more we have to earn money to pay for what we have, and the more time we must spend working to earn money to pay for what we have, and the more our possessions and the pursuit of more possessions subtract from our spiritual life.

         Do Christians in general spend the majority of their time doing secular work of some kind or another to earn money to pay for possessions that they don’t actually need and thereby neglect the needs of their spiritual responsibilities?

         And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.’” But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” [Luke 12:16-21]

         Boy Howdy, that’s a bad scene, man…

         And it appears to be the scene of many Christians in first-world countries.

         Just what are true riches? Can we glean from the teachings, lifestyle, and example of the Lord Jesus what it means to be “rich toward God?”

         We know He worked very hard. We also know He didn’t have much stuff. He kept telling people to sell their possessions and give to the poor, which means He must have already done the same, if He ever had much to begin with.

         What did He do with His money?

         Here’s something to consider: For the most part, modern missionaries have to pay their own way. They must plan their trips to foreign countries and raise their own funding, unless they have some cushy ministry job that rarely makes a difference. The best ministers are indigenous. They know the language and customs. They need little funding.

         The Bible states that all real believers are called to some form of ministry, but ninety-nine percent of all real believers support themselves. Only the very, very few derive their living from ministry work, and must consider themselves extremely blessed. Some ministers are very, very wealthy. Others have zip.

         What did Jesus have?

         He had no retirement. Our God required a borrowed tomb at His death, and it was only “borrowed” because He would only need it for about three days. He required support from others in His ministry, as is perfectly illustrated in the following:

         Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. [Luke 8:1-3]

         It is obvious that these women supported the Lord and His ministry because He saved them from gross evil and demonic attack. They would have ended up in hell without Him. They were forgiven much and they loved much as a result. They knew His ministry worked. They knew He had the goods to set people free because they had been set free.

         They were rich toward God.

         Regardless of how much pain and disillusionment it may cost, the facts are very clear that the greater percentage of Christian ministries and ministers do not have the goods to set people free. Therefore, those who support them are not rich toward God. They are a bad investment. The money going to them should go to real ministers of the gospel and real ministries.

         What does a real minister on the cutting edge of real ministry with the power and authority of God look like? What is his lifestyle? What does he possess? What is his passion?

         But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

         For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

         Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:7-18] [1]

         The apostle Paul and all the real believers of the first century were rich toward God.

         They gave it all.

         As a result, the early church grew closer together in true community and love. That which the Lord began building then has continued to be built throughout the twenty centuries since. It is an invisible kingdom growing toward a completion point that only those within it perceive. It is all around us every day.

         The devil’s kingdom is going in the opposite direction because it is inhabited and supported by people who are not rich toward God.

         It’s fixin’ to blow up real good.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 3 of 3]


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

Slow Motion Explosion: Part 2

         It is the devil’s intention to bring everyone into his enterprise. He actually thinks he can do this. Most importantly for him, he knows he must do it. He has always had a majority, but a majority is not good enough. He must have it all. He wants all the land next to his.

         For those who do not believe in the Christian worldview, they see little of any “devil” and much more a worldwide enterprise of mankind. Globalism has long since arrived on the planet, and even the elite must admit this, though they generally have a strong disdain for Biblical prophecy. Most of the residents of this planet never pay much attention to anything beyond their own lives, however, and for the most part such is due to simply trying to survive. In developed countries, we have more time for personal pursuits. Therefore, whether it is due to simply working to stay alive or working to have a better life with more free time and money, the end result is almost always the same:

         Human beings apart from God are selfish and self-focused, and by this they fall into the greatest trap of all.

         But we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 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.

         For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves… [2 Corinthians 4:2-7]

         The worship of HaSatan stems from worship of self. We either think we’re great or think the world must perceive us as great. Anything less means we’re losers, and losers can never partake of all the good this world has to offer.

         By this standard the Lord Jesus was the greatest loser of all time.

         But wasn’t He our example?

         Christians are notorious for claiming this but refusing to practice it. We are all good Christians on Sunday morning for an hour or two but immediately return to the world of non-practicing Christians afterwards. Applying the Lord’s life to our own is seen by most proponents of Christianity as an unspoken impossibility and is therefore never seriously pursued. As a result, the majority of Christian adherents are two-faced posers much more like Cain than Abel.

         This means most Christians are substantially no different whatsoever from non-Christians. They too are primarily concerned with number one. They are as selfish as the day is long. Like Eve and Adam, they have eaten the forbidden fruit of disobedience and rebellion against God. The greatest sin of ancient Israel was a wicked heart of unbelief. This is what selfishness promotes. This is the trap—Unbelief.

         And since such people have little or no faith, and since they consequently cannot please God, they must please themselves. They must take care of themselves. They must forego any idea of partnership or community with God and find a way to make it on their own. The Lord is not their provider. Whenever ancient Israel did this, the results were always disastrous.

         Hence, the devil can easily lead such people into his own orbit and hold them there like a satellite, doing his will instead of the Lord’s will.

         If one does not belong to the Lord Jesus, then one, by forced option, belongs to the bad guy.

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

         Keep in mind that the Lord was speaking in this verse to honorable churchmen, the high and holy, and those who were also intricately tied into the devil’s monetary system. It was the House of Annas that had controlled the Temple for a generation. The resulting financial corruption was what the Lord became so incensed over when he cleaned out the Temple that memorable day a few days prior to His death. It was one thing to attack their religion, but when He attacked their bread and butter and ill-gotten gains they determined all the more to kill Him.

         So even though it appears that this world was built by mankind, the actual fact is that it was built by the devil through mankind. And if it happened with the very descendants of Abraham, why is it a stretch to believe it has happened within the entire Gentile world? The devil has his own counterfeit everything and his most important counterfeit to most people is his economic system. Without money one cannot live and it is why most people will do absolutely anything for money.

         Except give it away, especially to the Lord Jesus.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 3]


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

Slow Motion Explosion: Part 1

         The world is blowing apart. The money boys keep trotting out their smiling dunces commissioned with the task of keeping you asleep and stupid. These pinheads on patrol are so obviously playing roles one wonders how they remain successful.

         Until one is reminded yet again that it is all about money.

         People have bills to pay. Most are overextended. Many are up to their armpits in financial owings. If their debts were immediately called for they would be completely unable to pay and would quickly implode, since they possess only pennies on the dollar.

         Hence, there is worry and fret, and a blind hope that someone, anyone, will bless them with the good news that all is alright and everything will be okay.

         Even if it is always a bold-faced lie.

         Ever wonder why the political thespians never seem to have a care in the world other than pleasing their puppet masters? Why they smile in the face of disaster and laugh as ships are sinking? Their job is not to correct things but give false encouragement to willing dupes who must know that the money flow will continue to keep their little boats afloat.

         But unless one’s boat is a God-constructed ark it is destined to sink like a rock.

         You see, the money boys have been at it for almost an exact century. They have built a worldwide economic Tower of Babel and are constantly shoring up shortcomings and faulty foundations. It is a Mammonian Monster built to eat you alive but must continually convince one and all to voluntarily submit to its clutches.

         And the world has complied. Why?

         Because the world has by and large rejected the God of the Universe—the Lord Jesus Himself.

         He has an economy too, you know. His works infinitely better. He will never use you or abuse your trust. His love is unconditional so He will never betray you the way a debt economy will—the way a debt economy will throw you out headlong into the cold streets over being unable to pay. The Lord’s system is not based on debt, but the opposite.

         It is based on giving:

         “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

         “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

         “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.

         “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

         “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.

         “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” [Luke 6:30-38] [1]

         For blind members of the devil’s economy, such statements are ridiculous. And they continue to believe lying jerks who use them and rob them blind. To the money boys, people are mere producing units and must continually be convinced to keep producing and trusting and paying exorbitant taxes and fees to keep their swindler’s circus ripping you off.

         There is only one thing they must have that they cannot control: They must have your faith. You must continue to believe in their state of the art deception and sleight-of-hand tactics which appear as the direct opposite.

         In order to insure this they periodically scare the hell out of you.

         But something different is now happening in the world. The dupes of the devil’s banking system are starting to see through the cracks. Like poor boys of a century past, many are peering in through slits in a board fence at the real show behind the scenes. Information technology has released a Pandora’s Box of possibles, and some of those possibles are allowing for the escape of truth.

         So, guess what’s on the immediate horizon?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 3]


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

The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 10)

         The Lord Jesus consistently displayed the heart of a Father. As we studied in the last post, He said He would not leave His disciples as orphans. Yet, many believers, whether they admit it or not, effectively feel like orphans. They do not feel connected to God. Could this be because they are not connected to God? As in the idea of the new birth experience which the Lord said all real believers are required to undergo [John 3:5], many Christians cannot point to any such experience. If they were born again, they do not know when it may have occurred.

         Imagine that. Then imagine a woman giving birth and not knowing it occurred. (“Hey Ralph, where’d this baby come from?”)

         Moreover, imagine a baby leaving the comfortable confines of the womb through a VERY narrow way and a ridiculously tiny gate and tell me the baby has no idea something out of the ordinary is taking place. I imagine the vast majority of babies are thinking something along the lines of the worst amusement park ride that ever existed on Halloween in a haunted house with a scary little guy donning coke-bottle glasses and a big IRS badge waiting at the other end. (“I didn’t sign up for this!!”)

         In fact, if a Christian cannot locate the time and place of his or her new birth, the odds are high that there never was a new birth. Not that the experience is bad or scary, but memorable. Why?

         Because it was the day one met the God of the universe and gave his or her life to Him!

         The Lord’s disciples certainly looked forward to being reunited with the Lord after being divided from Him that day atop the Mount of Olives. And by His own acclamation, He was not only their Rabbi and Master, but their spiritual Father, and would be away for a while on a ten day trip:

         Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

         So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

         He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

         And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. [Acts 1:4-12]

         He left in a cloud and would return in a cloud…

         Ever notice how the events of Acts 2 relate to (as is the common parlance of today’s TV weather forecasters), a strong weather event? It opens with “a noise like a violent rushing wind.” The noise/wind fills the whole house where the 120 are gathered. Then, there is lightning:

         And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. [Acts 2:3]

         And the Spirit of God continued to fall in a holy rain…

         “‘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 and they shall prophesy. AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.’” [Acts 2:17-19]

         The old-timers called it a glory cloud—a visible manifestation of the presence of the Lord. Christians who have never experienced such a thing might have the attitude of the mockers and unbelievers, but in some ways cannot be blamed. There is so much counterfeit spiritual nonsense in the Christian world today. Charlatans and lovers of money have faked the blessedness of the Lord’s holy rain and manifested their own seedless fabrications and hokum.

         But the real event is undeniable. As it was on that illustrious Day of Pentecost so long ago, so is it still today, circling the globe. The Lord will go wherever He is welcome and will manifest His presence to the degree desired.

         Want more of the Lord?

         And in that day you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.” Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel. [Isaiah 12:4-6] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 10 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 9)

         “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” [John 14:26]

         According to the above passage, the Father… will send the Holy Spirit… in the Name of the Son. In classic Christian jargon, the “First Person” will send the “Third Person” in the name of the “Second Person.” This reminds me of the Olympics, when the three medal winners stand on small joined platforms of three different levels to receive their medals. The winner stands front and center on the tallest platform to receive the gold. He or she is the champion. The silver medal winner (second place) is on the second-tallest platform, and the third-place bronze medal winner is on the lowest platform.

         Don’t we always say, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?” (One, two, three?) We never arrange these three in any different order. The arrangement signifies rank, as if “The Father” is most important, “The Son” second most important, etc. But the tri-unity doctrine teaches that each Person is co-equal, which means it contradicts both itself AND Scripture:

         If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” [John 14:28b]

         But Jesus is God! What’s up with that? Can God be greater than God?

         Well, at least we know that the Father is greater than the Son, and is therefore most qualified to send the Holy Spirit.

         Uh… no:

         “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” [John 15:26-27]

         What?

         One chapter after finding out that the Father will send the Spirit, we discover that Jesus will send the Spirit. Which is correct? Will the “First Person” send the “Third Person,” or will the “Second Person” send the “Third Person?” At least we know the “Third Person” wins the bronze. No apparent argument there.

         So, the Holy Spirit will be sent in the Name of Jesus by Jesus. Confused?

         Well, hold on, because we’re just getting started.

         Just who, pray tell, is the Holy Spirit? Is it a heavenly dove? A nameless force? Was the Lord sent to the desert by a Spirit with no name because it felt good to be out of the rain? (In the desert, you can’t remember your name…)

         “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:16-18]

         Uh oh.

         We just found out who the Holy Spirit is. Why, despite theologian’s best efforts, do we keep coming back to Jesus? The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete, from the Greek word parakletos. This word is also translated in various Bible versions as Comforter, Helper, and Advocate. The Holy Spirit is assumed to take the place of Jesus in the lives of the disciples, but the truth is more than what it seems:

         “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’” [John 14:28a]

         This is not a reference to the Second Coming. It is a reference to the fact that the Lord Jesus, as a Father, would not irresponsibly leave His children without a teacher, guide, or guardian once He ascended into heaven:

         “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” [John 14:18]

         We gain more insight through the Lord referring to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth. Can the Spirit of Truth be appreciably different from “The Truth?”

         Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]

         Is the Holy Spirit truly the Spirit of Jesus?

         We get a glimpse of this and greater revelation in the following passage referencing Paul’s travels as he and his companions in ministry were directed by the Spirit of Jesus:

         They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. [Acts 16:6-8]

         (There was, of course, a reason why the Lord refused to permit them to go into Bithynia, which will be studied in a later post.)

         We receive further understanding of our subject through Paul’s claim that the Spirit of Jesus actually lives within real Christians and is spoken of as a providential provision:

         …For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. [Philippians 1:19-21] [1]

         He will not leave us as orphans indeed…

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 9 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 8)

         God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.”

         Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

         And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. [Acts 19:11-17]

         Here we have a case where the password to the Kingdom of God became known to non-believers. They attempted to use it the way Paul did but with much different results.

         Imagine an evil spirit so powerful it could work through one man to beat the hell out of seven religious pretenders. These clowns were not merely defeated. They were abused, humiliated, and literally ripped-off.

         What happened?

         Though the Name of Jesus is the password to the kingdom of God, its proper use is restricted to those who have made a wholesale commitment to the owner of the Name. Unless one’s heart is fully circumcised unto the Lord, the password will not work, though it may appear otherwise in some circumstances. If one’s faith is weak, the password will not work. If one’s motive is wrong, the password will not work. If one has unrepentant sin, the password will not work. If there’s any flesh involved, the password will not work.

         The seven sons of Sceva had apparently had some success in exorcising demons. There are certain Christian sects that have historically practiced exorcism and continue practicing it today.

         But the Lord Jesus never practiced exorcism. He quite simply but most powerfully used His authority and commanded evil spirits to obey Him. No need for silly formulas and little wooden crosses. The Lord merely said, “Get out!” and they scrammed. His disciples had been given the use of His powerful Name and also ran off any number of demons through the same authority. Demons were often scared enough to stay away from those filled with the Spirit of God. They knew they’d get their backsides kicked. They certainly knew who the Lord Jesus was, that He was a Warrior on the warpath shining a great Light into their dark little hovels.

         You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. [James 2:19]

         The proponents of Unreal Christianity have not been granted the authority of the Name since they have never fully committed to the Lord Jesus. This is obvious by the way they dishonor and disrespect Him. (“Oh, those things don’t happen anymore!” “We don’t believe in that stuff!” You’re a fruitcake and those things are of the devil!” “It makes me feel so uncomfortable…”) Dead churches are dead because they lack the power of God. They have no access to it. They claim to have authority to use the Name but one never sees much demonstration of the Lord’s Spirit in such places.

         Other people counterfeit it. The devil is using them and they don’t even know it.

         But one thing is sure: There is great power and authority in the Name of Jesus but one must be qualified to use it or nothing good will happen.

         Ask the sons of Sceva. They never, ever made that mistake again. The evil spirit punted their rears halfway across Ephesus.

         Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing. [Acts 19:18-20]

         This is the real gospel in action.

         But why did the Lord direct Paul to go to Ephesus in the first place? Once again, it had to do with the power of His Name. It seems there were certain followers of John the Immerser there who had never heard of Pentecost. Note what happens after Paul discovers the way they were baptized:

         It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

         And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

         And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?”

         And they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

         Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

         When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. There were in all about twelve men. [Acts 19:1-7] [1]

         Why did Paul connect the infilling of the Holy Spirit with water baptism? Was it for the simple reason that the password to the kingdom of God is directly associated with water baptism? Was it because water baptism in the Name of Jesus is a major part of the heart-circumcision process toward total submission to the Messiah and gaining proper authority to use His Name?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 8 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 7)

         Pessimism is a sin. If a person claims to be a real Christian and is not optimistic regarding areas under God’s control, then one is sinning against Him.

         It’s called a lack of faith.

         …And whatever is not from faith is sin. [Romans 14:23]  

         The Lord was often exasperated with faithlessness, especially among His own disciples. Remembering the simple fact that those guys were His students learning His craft excuses them since they were in the process of moving from darkness to light. If they continued in pessimistic faithlessness after the Resurrection, the Ascension, and Pentecost, then they failed His curriculum and were in sin.

         And not a real part of His community.

         Which brings us to the crux of the matter: The majority who claim to be Christians are not real Christians. They are Christian in name only, regardless of their denomination or doctrinal beliefs.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. [John 10:1-6]

         From this definitive statement the Lord is clearly teaching that it is possible for “strangers” to get into His sheepfold. Think about that. We gain greater understanding of this fact when discovering that the Greek word for stranger in this verse means “one belonging to another.” In other words, these strangers are not simply unknown persons crashing the party but those who belong to someone else. And in the clear context of the verse we see that He is referring to people who are shepherds other than the Lord Jesus.

         Who are these shepherds?

         I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. [Galatians 1:6-12]

         There is no doubt that Paul spoke often of false apostles and false gospels. This obviously presupposes false shepherds. False shepherds are “strangers” who enter the Lord’s sheepfold through means other than the door. They assume authority over people not granted from God. It was the Pharisees who Jesus was referring to as such strangers, as clearly indicated in chapter nine of John’s gospel. (There should have been no chapter break, since the narrative from chapter nine continues into chapter ten.)

         The Lord Jesus tells them He is the Door of the sheepfold. He is also the Good Shepherd. Whoever does an end run into His sheepfold without going through the Door (the only means of proper access) is not a real believer.

         “…No one comes to the Father but through Me.” [John 14:6]

         No one can possibly get to the Father without going through the Son. Whoever rejects the Son automatically rejects the Father also. The Father and Son are a package deal. One cannot have one without also having the other.

         If one has a shepherd other than the Son, one does not have the Father.

         Yet, such people think they still have the Father. Some Christians insistently refer to “God” as someone other than the Lord Jesus, but have no real idea who this “God” is. The term often refers to an unknowable, intangible, and conceptual God that people end up making to suit themselves. In their minds, this God is not Jesus.

         They must, therefore, have a shepherd other than Jesus, because if Jesus were their shepherd, He would be their God also.

         Who qualifies then as replacement shepherds of unreal Christians? Who are the Christian leaders who teach their sheep to enter the Lord’s sheepfold through a means other than the Door? Who are these replacement shepherds who take the place of the Door?

         So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.” [John 10:7-13] [1]

         One should see very clearly that any shepherd who advises his sheep to disregard the Door and enter His sheepfold through another means or method is not honest or upright, but a thief and a mere hired hand working for pay. What’s more, you can bet that the sheep of the false shepherds look and act like them, and not at all like the Door.

         The password to the kingdom of God is the Name of Jesus.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 7 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 6)

         Unreal Christianity is infused with sacred cows. After two thousand years of extra-Biblical heretical teachings and “Christian” denominational offshoots, Unreal Christianity contains a veritable zoo of protected cattle wandering down city streets masquerading as truth. As possible reincarnated ancestors, none dare touch such cows without stirring up a hornet’s nest of retribution and murder.

         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 4:24-29]

         Goodness gracious. Talk about your sacred cows. The Lord saw things a tad differently than these rabid detractors. They had built up a very false idea of their own religious culture over time and were willing to do any harm to anyone who dared challenge them and their bogus posing.

         Even if that someone was God Himself.

         What an amazing thing it is to see a Man telling the truth but being perceived by evil idiots as using pejorative language and depreciatory story-telling that obfuscates their fanciful fakery. The next thing you know, Unreal Christianity will be enlisting the courts to classify as hate speech any truth-telling that supports the Word of God and reveals their false doctrines for what they are:

         “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron…” [1 Timothy 4:1-2]

         Without doubt, there is often a bubbling cauldron of red-hot anger just under the surface of pretty, smiling, Christian countenances under the influence of untruth due to years of false teaching and prejudice against the Lord they claim to know. Real Christians, however, are in love with the Lord Jesus first, and though unclear on one Biblical fact or another will go anywhere He leads them, even if it be into unfamiliar Biblical territory. But nowhere, it seems, after the Lord’s ascension, is more religious trouble stirred up than when the Name above every name is boldly spoken or put forth:

         It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” She continued doing this for many days.

         But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!”

         And it came out at that very moment. But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”

         The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods. When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. [Acts 16:16-24]

         Whoa, dude. Seems pretty harsh—until one realizes that Paul was attacking their pocketbook. These jerks were pimping out a demon-possessed slave girl for their own profit through fortune-telling without any hint of a bothered conscious, and had been doing it for quite some time. They had built up a considerable religious business and saw it all going south after Paul lowered the boom. Does this sound familiar? The concept of religious profit-taking? A shining light on a master attraction instead of the Lord? The slander of those who reveal the truth of the matter?

         Whether it be unbelieving Jews or pagan Romans, the Lord Jesus and His powerful Name so shake up the pinhead in pinstripes that he will go to any length to protect his turf. Thank goodness none of this stuff happens within Christian ministries…

         “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’” [Matthew 7:21-23] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 6 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 5)

         But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it will not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no longer to any man in this name.” And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” [Acts 4:15-20]

         Two thousand years ago, it was unbelieving Jews in places of high religious authority who were in opposition to the use of the Lord’s Name by believing Jews, such as Peter, John, and the entire Jerusalem community of faithful ones.

         Today, it is unbelieving Christians in places of high religious authority who restrict the Lord and His believing children from using the Name above every name in ministry. And there is no area of Christian practice in which this is more blatant than water baptism, the first and foremost use of the Lord’s powerful Name in the infant community of saints. In every single instance or inference of water baptism throughout the entire Book of Acts and post-gospel epistles, the Name of Jesus was administered. This continued for three hundred years until Roman laws were put in place to eliminate its use.

         What do Roman laws have to do with Christian practice, you may ask? Everything, since the Roman Empire co-opted Christianity and created their own hybrid for the sake of religious control by A.D. 325. Seventeen centuries later, almost every single Christian denomination and autonomous body continue to obey the Roman law that eliminated the Name of Jesus from baptism.

         Christians now openly joke about it, wondering what the big deal is and why such even matters. They do not care that they routinely disobey the Lord’s commands and the very clear historical record. Some simply do not know any better because they have been deceived. Any halfway decent theologian knows, however. Biblical encyclopedias and dictionaries clearly state the truth for any who may be inclined to search for truth in the matter.

         Therefore, the question is not if such is really true, but why do the majority of Christians continue to thumb their collective nose at God and refuse to use His Name in baptism? Without His Name there is no power, no authority, no witness, no representation of His death and burial, and no washing away of sin.

         Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. [Colossians 3:17]

         Does anyone think the Lord Jesus cares about this issue? He is God, of course, and it is His Name. In the preceding verse, the apostle Paul taught that we were to do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Peter and John understood this directive, originally issued by the Lord, and were certainly aware of the power in His Name when they used it in the healing of the famous lame man at the temple gate:

         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]

         This miracle, likely witnessed by hundreds, would not have been possible without the Lord’s name. Generations had known of this man. Tens of thousands and perhaps more had seen him at the Beautiful Gate over several decades. Word spread rapidly, so rapidly that the authorities were greatly alarmed.

         Later, Peter stated to those assembled in the aftermath,

         “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]

         Once the religious authorities had heard about the great miracle, they showed up post haste:

         As they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, being greatly disturbed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. [Acts 4:1-4]

         Put them in jail? For a miracle? No. The offense was using the Lord’s Name. This one instance is enough to reveal to all real believers that a real profession of faith and determination to use the Lord’s Name will cost. And it will cost everything. It is the sword that sows division as intimated by the Lord.

         “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” [Matthew 10:32-36]   

         There is never any middle ground here. One will either be 100% on the Lord’s side or one will be against Him. A real disciple cannot help but apply the Name of Jesus and would never shrink from using it, regardless of any cost to one’s person or reputation.

         On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”

         Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.

         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 4:5-12] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 5 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 4)

         Christians have been unknowingly conditioned to perceive God and the Lord Jesus as two completely different people. How did this happen? Why is it that despite a veritable plethora of pure scriptural references to the absolute deity of Jesus He remains relegated to second-class status? Why do the majority of Christians refuse to give the Lord Jesus His due and honor Him as God?

         It is not enough to say Jesus is God if one continues to see God as someone other than Jesus. Christians often use the terminology, “God and Jesus.” I once saw a Christian t-shirt with the message, “You and me and God make five.” If there was anything at all that the ancient Hebrews learned from YHWH, despite all their backsliding, sin, and later misinterpretation of Scripture, it was one of the greatest facts of all time: God is ONE.

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

         Yet, from this very clear and strong statement, Christians have redefined what the word “one” means much as someone else in our recent national past attempted to redefine what the word “is” is.

         In Christianese, “one” no longer necessarily means one. One Person now means three persons. “One” now means that the three persons of the “Godhead” [1] are merely united.   

         But that is not at all what YHWH was stating through Moses in the above verse. Moses knew God. He knew Him well, much better than the vast majority of us. There was a relational closeness between the two that was one of the closest anyone prior to New Covenant times had achieved.

         Moses actually SAW God:

         Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!”

         And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.” [Exodus 33:18-23]

         Since God is Spirit, what is meant in this passage by God’s “face,” God’s “hand,” and God’s “back?” Just Who was “walking” in the garden in the cool of the day looking for Adam and Eve? This phraseology can be explained as a Hebrew manner of speaking or idiom, but there is no doubt with reference to God’s oneness. There was no divine committee in the garden, and no trinity on Mount Sinai with Moses.

         Theologians have utilized a word, “theophany,” which denotes a visible manifestation of God, often in the form of a human being. Of course, God only became a human being once, so any reference to God as a human being prior to the incarnation of Jesus must be studied. Angels often took the form of humanity. God can certainly do anything He wants anytime He wants. In perhaps the clearest and most forthright Old Testament manifestation of God into humanity, we have this:

         Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth… [Genesis 18:1-2] [2]

         As one reads the rest of the narrative, he discovers that these three men were YHWH and two angels. The two angels later went to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family before YHWH destroyed the entire region due to the gross wickedness of its inhabitants.

         Therefore, YHWH appeared as a human being to Abraham. Though theologians might refer to this as a mere theophanic manifestation, the facts are clear that this Person stood, walked, sat down, ate, drank, and spoke openly to Abraham and the two angels. He prophesied that Isaac would be conceived and birthed through miraculous means. Also, this divine visit took place right after Abraham partook in the covenant of circumcision, in which he, Ishmael, and every single male of his household were circumcised.

         Isn’t it interesting that whenever real repentance and commitment take place, and when the covenant of full heart circumcision in the Lord’s blood and His Name is ratified, one receives a full revelation of Jesus?

         And isn’t it also quite interesting that prior to such, “God” remains a mystery?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 4 of 10]


[1] Bad translation as derived from the KJV from the Greek words theios, theiotes, and theotes. See Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20, and Colossians 2:9 respectively. A good translation uses the terms Divine Nature and Deity.

[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.

The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 3)

         Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart, but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 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. [2 Corinthians 4:1-4]

         It appears that the god of this world has also somehow managed to blind the minds of the believing regarding the true identity of Jesus. How many different ways can the Word state that our Lord Jesus is God Himself in an effort to convince whomever that He is God Himself?

         He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [Colossians 1:15]

         Due to rampant sin and rebellion among humanity and especially among the Lord’s own people, knowledge of God was largely lost in ancient times prior to the first century. How was He supposed to get our attention? How could He ever relate to humanity?

         What if God became one of us?

         Joseph the carpenter was a pretty cool guy, but even he was about to mess up big time. It seems that his new wife-to-be was already pregnant.

         What?!

         Also, the Torah clearly stated that a woman in such a predicament must be stoned.

         What?!

         Not only that, but Mary kept insisting she was a virgin.

         What?!

         (“You’re pregnant AND a virgin? What?!”)

         What was he to do? Obey his denominational teachings? Run for his life? His religion had no satisfactory answer whatsoever, except to dictate that he simply could not do the will of God, that he could not do the one thing he must do. It was an impossible circumstance that required a miraculous out of the box response:

         And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

         “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

         Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” [Matthew 1:19-23]

         So, in other words, an angel of YHWH informed Joseph that his betrothed was pregnant with a Child who was God, the long awaited Messiah prophesied by Isaiah, and that the Father of this Son was the Holy Spirit.

         Right.

         These facts do not seem to fit standardized Christian theology…

         Have a great many Christians become misinformed and unknowing Samaritans?

         “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

         Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.

         “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

         “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

         The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”

         Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” [John 4:20-26]

         Uh Oh.

         Like He did with other people on numerous other occasions, the Lord just told the Samaritan woman at the well that He is I AM.

         Did He also tell her He was the Father?

         “I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” [John 10:30-33] [1]

         Uh Oh.

         We must remember that we are dealing with the world’s only pure monotheists at that time in the early first century. The Jews were the only people on the planet who believed in one God, and were condemned and ridiculed for such “nonsense” ad nauseam by a pantheistic heretical world of idol worshippers. Yet, Isaiah and others had made ancient claims that the Messiah would come, and that He would be God Himself. Therefore, those guys in the passage above did not necessarily disbelieve the accurate scriptural prophecies; they simply refused to believe that Jesus could be the guy. Why?

         Maybe it was because the Lord wasn’t attituded and duded up like General George S. Patton, four stars, ivory handled sidearms, polished helmet and all, though He greatly outranked Patton or anyone else who ever walked the earth in pure manhood and warrior ability (something Patton would instantly agree with).

         Maybe it was because it was also prophesied that the Messiah would first arrive as a humble suffering servant. Or maybe it was because religious people are generally blind as bats.

         But even His own disciples didn’t get it most of the time:

         “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’” [John 14:7-9]

         Uh Oh. 

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 3 of 10]


[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 Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 2)

         Who is the Father? Who is the Holy Spirit? Why don’t they have names? Prior to its translation into English, the Greek New Testament renders the words Theos (God), Kurios (Lord), Pater (Father), Huios (Son), and Hagios Pneuma (Holy Spirit) as descriptive terms and titles of God. Though the argument has been explained exhaustively, it must be stated yet again for purposes of this study that the same individual may be a grandfather, a father, a son, a brother, a husband, an uncle, a cousin, and a nephew. These are not names. They are relational titles. Why do we not see the same applied to God? Why cannot God possess a multiplicity of titles but remain a single individual? Why has religion and theological reasoning transformed Him into three people?

         Consider the following: The title “Holy Spirit” (Ruach haQodesh) only appears three times in the entire Old Testament. It appears first in Psalm 51, when David says:

         Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. [Psalm 51:11]

         David used the term as indicative of the Spirit of God, but he also addressed God in the same Psalm using the terms “God” (Elohim) and “Lord” (Adonai). Of course, the Hebrew word Adonai was used by the scribes as a substitute written word for YHWH, so David actually used two different titles (Elohim and Ruach haQodesh) and also one of God’s primary Old Testament names (YHWH). One should be able to clearly see that David was not denoting a plurality of persons, but one God.

         The only other occurrences in the Old Testament of the term “Holy Spirit” take place in consecutive verses in the Book of Isaiah. What follows is the entire sixty-third chapter sandwiched around those two verses, to give proper perspective that Isaiah the prophet was speaking of one God by using several titles and many personal pronouns invoking a single Person:

         Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, this One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength?

         “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”

         Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?

         “I have trodden the wine trough alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger and trampled them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, and I stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come. I looked, and there was no one to help, and I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; so My own arm brought salvation to Me, and My wrath upheld Me. I trod down the peoples in My anger and made them drunk in My wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

         I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has granted them according to His compassion and according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses. For He said, “Surely, they are My people, Sons who will not deal falsely.” So He became their Savior. In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

         But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them. Then His people remembered the days of old, of Moses. Where is He who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them,

         Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, who led them through the depths? Like the horse in the wilderness, they did not stumble; as the cattle which go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So You led Your people, to make for Yourself a glorious name. Look down from heaven and see from Your holy and glorious habitation; where are Your zeal and Your mighty deeds? The stirrings of Your heart and Your compassion are restrained toward me. For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not recognize us. You, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Your name. Why, O LORD, do You cause us to stray from Your ways and harden our heart from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage. Your holy people possessed Your sanctuary for a little while, our adversaries have trodden it down. We have become like those over whom You have never ruled, like those who were not called by Your name. [Isaiah 63:1-19] [1]

         In this passage, Isaiah uses the following descriptive terms and titles of God:

(1) “My own arm”

(2) “Savior”

(3) “The angel of His presence”

(4) “His Holy Spirit”

(5) “His glorious arm”

(6) “The Spirit of the LORD (YHWH)”

(7) “Our Father”

(8) “Our Redeemer”

(9) “LORD (YHWH)”

         The prophet also makes four references to God’s Name:

(1) An everlasting name (Verse 12)

(2) A glorious name (Verse 14)

(3) You, O LORD (YHWH), are our Father, Our Redeemer from of old is Your name (Verse 16)

(4) Your name (verse 19)

         Though he used many descriptive terms and titles, the only name that Isaiah used exclusively was YHWH, the Old Testament covenant name of God.

         The Name above every name [2], however, is “YHWH is Salvation” (“YHWH Saves”), or Yehoshua in Hebrew (shortened to Yeshua).

         This highest of all names was then translated into the original Greek New Testament writings as Iesous, and then into the Late Latin (transliterated into English) as the great name of Jesus.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 10]


[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.

[2] Philippians 2:9

The Name of God: The Name Above Every Name (Part 1)

         I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. [Ephesians 1:18-23]

         There are truths embedded in the New Testament that defy easy theological answers. Theology wants to make everything black and white and linear in order to satisfy human reasoning. When it fails in this endeavor it resorts to a cold heavy-handedness and falls into the pit of indoctrination at the expense of revelation.

         The Lord Jesus was never concerned about indoctrinating people, in the sense of force-feeding facts and figures, and pushing the accepted standards and religious traditions of men. In addition to this seemingly counterintuitive method, he often taught in parables, as if He intended to hide truth from the unworthy. In other words, if one did not possess “ears to hear” and “eyes to see,” the Lord did not go out of His way to get the message to him, but allowed such a one to remain unenlightened.

         If one didn’t get it, well, one just didn’t get it. It was his or her problem, not the Lord’s.

         Therefore, the Lord put things out there and waited for a response from those who were able to dial the proper frequency. In perhaps the most well-known and celebrated example of this teaching method, we have the following:

         Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 16:13-17] [1]

         This is what the Lord is after. He wants us to receive truth by revelation from God. Why is it that only Peter received the truth of the Lord’s identity and immediately spoke up? The answer is evident. He heard it. He saw it. And it was so very clear to him that he spoke it. He understood perfectly that his Rabbi was the long-awaited Anointed One—the Messiah. He did not learn it in Bible school or church. It was not revealed to him by flesh and blood.

         Peter received it directly from the Father.

         But what about all those who thought the Lord was (1) John the Baptist? (2) Elijah? (3) Jeremiah? or (4) One of the prophets? What were they thinking? John the Baptist was already dead. Jeremiah and the prophets were long dead. Elijah was long gone. Why could they not see what Peter so clearly did see?

         Again, it was a revelation. Most Christians probably think they know who Jesus really is. However, the vast majority have obviously been indoctrinated concerning His accepted identity because most Christians think far less of Him than they should. Thus, this reveals clear evidence that human thinking is involved. Instead of the Lord being some kind of weird reincarnation of John or other famous prophets, Unreal Christianity has assigned Him the identity of second-class citizen and a lower-tiered individual far below “God” and “the Father.” On top of this, most have no real idea of just who “God” or “the Father” happens to be. There are no personal New Testament names involved with these terms. Thus, they are mere titles, and they therefore represent that which cannot be related to on a personal basis.

         It is impossible to be close to someone and not know His name.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 10]


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

Happy Rosh Hashanah 2011

A shofar made from a ram's horn is traditional...

Image via Wikipedia

 .     

         This is a great time of year. The Jewish New Year starts tonight at sunset. This is known as Rosh Hashanah, the “Head of the Year.” It is a traditional time for a new beginning, and those who take it seriously know that God still uses His calendar.

        For example, biblical scholars know that the spring feasts have already been fulfilled. The Lord Jesus was the spotless Passover Lamb and then rose again from death on First fruits. He was the first perfect offering ever made, in that He had no sin, but became sin on our behalf:

         He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [2 Corinthians 5:21]

         The Feast of Pentecost was also fulfilled fifty days later. It originally marked the day the Torah was given through Moses on Mount Sinai, But instead of Law, Pentecost established a day of Love and reconciliation for the simple fact that a long list of do’s and don’t’s without faith merely reveal the perfect standard by which we must live. The infilling of the Spirit of God grants us the power and the ability to live:

         You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? [2 Corinthians 3:2-8]

         Many Jewish rabbis teach that the Old Testament actually speaks of two Messiahs. One Messiah was known as the “Son of Joseph” and would come to earth in the person of a suffering servant. The second Messiah was known as the “Son of David” and would burst onto the scene as a powerful conquering king. Some did not perceive that these two were actually the same Messiah, and many Jews in the first century misidentified the Lord as an imposter because He was not the conquering king they were looking for. Yet, the Scriptures are filled with the idea of going downward to go upward. Humility must precede exaltation. If one cannot handle the former, there will be no latter. The Lord Jesus fulfilled this perfectly. He arrived as the Sacrifice Lamb to pay for sin 2,000 years ago as a suffering servant and will soon return again as the great King of Kings.

         And it will be in the autumn of the year.

        Pay attention to Rosh Hashanah, which runs from sunset on Wednesday night, September 28, to sunset on Thursday night. Ten days later is the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). It begins at sunset on October 7. These are the ten “Days of Awe” when real believers should take a serious and renewed look at our walk with God, engage in spiritual introspection, repent of sin, and do our best to present a pure sacrifice on Yom Kippur. What follows is the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths), or Sukkot. It is a seven-day feast commemorating the time the Hebrews lived in temporary shelters in the Sinai desert.

         This time in autumn was in all likelihood the actual time of our Lord’s birth and will also mark the season of His return! Sukkot has not yet been fulfilled. We get a tantalizing clue regarding the Lord’s physical birth in the following:

         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]

         The usage of the word “dwelt” in the above passage indicates the fact that the Lord tabernacled among us, in a temporary shelter, spreading His tent, so to speak. He also spent forty days here after His resurrection in His glorified state, and ascended to heaven bodily ten days before Pentecost.

         The Scriptures indicate that He will most likely return during a future Feast of Tabernacles, and will then set up a permanent dwelling for all:

        “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” [John 14:2-3] [1]

         The Lord Jesus will return very soon. May we all prepare our hearts this Rosh Hashanah.

         © 2011 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 Cleansing Blood of God (Part 2)

         It was through the sacrificial death of the spotless Lamb that God’s cleansing blood was shed to atone for all the sins of humanity. The author of Hebrews goes to great lengths to establish the fact that the blood of sacrificial animals could never atone for sin, but that these things were mere types of the only real blood sacrifice offered once by Messiah.

         But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

         For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. [Hebrews 9:11-16]

         For the Jews who did not believe that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah, their “salvation” could only come through the perfect keeping of the Mosaic Code, an actual impossibility. The Torah is perfect, of course, but impossible to keep properly without faith and the introduction of God’s Spirit. Besides, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. and the requisite animal sacrifices have not been administered since, going on 2,000 years. How then can one be cleansed without the Lamb of God? Within forty years of the Blood Covenant, those who rejected the Sacrifice Lamb lost everything as a result. Everything. Those who believed and signed on gained everything (See Mark 10:29-30). 

         Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. [Hebrews 10:19-22]

         The apostle Peter had been instructed of all this by the Lord Jesus, and it is why he delivered a message on the Day of Pentecost featuring these very ideas:

1. Faith in God

2. Repentance (Death)

3. Water Baptism (Burial)

4. The infilling of the Holy Spirit (Resurrection)

         “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 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 2:36-39]

         The Jews hearing this message knew exactly what Peter was saying. God had been manifest in flesh. He had dwelt among them. YHWH showed up on the scene as per all the many prophecies of their ancient scrolls, and in their ignorance they killed Him. Why do so many Christians continue to do the same by not recognizing who the Lord Jesus really is? He is not merely a “second” Person of a Roman Triad, but our great God and Savior who willingly shed His blood for our salvation. He has fulfilled perfectly His half of the New Covenant, and awaits all those who would fulfill their half by accepting and honoring Him for who He really is, by submitting to heart circumcision, and by obeying Him unto life.

         “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” [Revelation 22:12-16] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 2]


[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.

RELATED POSTS:

Real Circumcision: Hearts Sewn Up With Blue (Part 1)

Real Circumcision: Hearts Sewn Up With Blue (Part 2)

The Cleansing Blood of God (Part 1)

Jesus

The NAME Above Every Name

         Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. [Acts 20:28]   

         In his message at Miletus, while on his fateful way to Jerusalem, the apostle Paul clearly states that the Lord Jesus is YHWH, the God of the Old Testament. It is a hard concept to grasp. The apostle John also explained this very well in his Gospel. Being monotheistic Jews, as were (1) All the apostles, (2) All the 120 gathered on Pentecost, and (3) The entire community of saints for about the first seven to ten years of its existence, both Paul and John clearly revealed the fact that God became a Man.

         There was absolutely no thought or concept among Jews that God was a multiplicity of divine persons, and the very idea was heresy. This was one of the main reasons why so many Jews had such a hard time believing in the Lord Jesus as their Messiah. As the world’s only monotheists, they knew there was only one God. Therefore, they knew the apostles were claiming their one God YHWH had become one of them—a very hard concept to grasp, though the Old Testament Scriptures were filled with such prophetic fact, most notably perhaps, in the scroll of Isaiah:

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

         A great, great number of Jews did believe that Jesus was the One mentioned above, however, because their hearts were right, and because they were not looking upon their God through the philosophical prism of Greco-Roman mindbenders.

         Acts 20:28 clearly states that it is God’s very blood that He used to purchase His community. God takes possession of each and every real believer through His blood. This is why the New Covenant is the ultimate blood covenant. Not only does God’s pure and perfect blood cleanse us from all sin, it is essentially the currency He uses to rightfully and legally obtain us.

         Paul referred to the Lord Jesus as YHWH many times, as seen in the following verses. Though he states a clear distinction between Father and Son, he distinguishes neither from the God of the Old Testament Himself. This is not simply a matter of semantics, and our Lord Jesus is not merely a mythical, theological “eternal Son.”

         He is God:

         For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. [Romans 9:3-5]

         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. For it was the Father’s [1] good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. [Colossians 1:15-20]

         Regarding theological concepts of the Person of God, Paul knew well that intellectuals and purveyors of cold rationality would attempt to form a god of their own understanding rendered through pure mental reasoning and head knowledge, and bypassing the heart:     

         See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. [Colossians 2:8-12]

         Speaking of water baptism, there was no such thing as “title” baptism (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in the original community of saints throughout the entire Book of Acts and New Testament epistles. All baptism was by full immersion in the Name above all names—the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul reflected this fact in the passage above after claiming that YHWH came to earth and dwelt among us in human form, that our Lord Jesus is the supreme head over all authority and rule, that all real believers undergo the circumcision of Christ, and that all Scriptural water baptism is done in His Name. He also said God resurrected His own dead human body, which is exactly what the Lord Jesus said He would do:

         “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19] [2]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 2]


[1] Italicized words in the NASV95 New Testament are not in the original Greek text. Hence the word “Father” does not appear at this place in this passage.

[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.

The Singing Nun

         She became internationally famous in 1963 with her smash hit Dominique, and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in early January of the next year. I happened to be attending a Catholic grade school at the time and still remember “The Singing Nun.”

         She was known in her native Belgium as Soeur Sourire, “Sister Smile.” Wearing her full flowing nun’s habit strumming her acoustic guitar, she represented well the innocent early sixties. Little did any of us know when the song came out that those days would soon end forever. Until then, we were idealistic and sheltered, and the Singing Nun added to that mystique in the short time she was famous. She was certainly a hit with Catholics, and at my school in particular.

         It was a good song, I guess, though we had no idea what she was singing about. The foreign flavor of her accent was not necessarily a new thing to us Catholic kids, since we were taught by heavily-accented Irish nuns who still used words like “Ye.” (I remember one kid asking, “Who’s Ye?”) I had forgotten about the song until something reminded me a few weeks ago, and the catchy tune came back to me very clearly, almost fifty years later. Today, on a whim, I decided to see if there was a video of the song retrievable on the net and was surprised at what I found. I listened once again and did a little research into her life.

         Her real name was Jeanine Deckers. I discovered that the profits of the song she wrote were divvied up between her convent and the record producer, who retained the rights. She was an international star but received nothing since her life was dedicated to her order. A movie was made starring Debbie Reynolds, which Jeanine claimed was pure fiction. She eventually left her order and the Catholic Church entirely. Her worldview changed. She tried hard to make it as a singer but was forever a one-hit wonder. Though she had a very promising start and continued in charitable causes, life later dealt her a very bad hand.

         There is no doubt that she had grown very disillusioned early on. The song was rightfully hers and maintaining at least some of the control and profits could have substantially changed her life. In 1982, in an effort to pay off substantial debts, the former Singing Nun created a video using a heavily synthesized version of the song. I laughed out loud when I heard it, but that was before I knew the circumstances. I then realized the setting was eerily fitting.

         Three years later, at 51 years of age, she committed suicide.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Ten Years After: Remembering 9/11

Manhattan smoke plume on September 11, 2001 from the International Space Station

        

         We talk about the brave firemen who climbed the stairs up to their deaths. They did not know they would die. There was no thought that the towers would come down. They were courageously doing their jobs to rescue people.

         We talk about how our government protected us, but nobody did anything about three of the four planes. It was as if we had no defense against them. Jet fighters were scrambled too late. Despite a massive defensive infrastructure against such a possible attack, there was effectively no air defense at all. Most never thought Washington D.C. could ever be attacked by air, especially not the Pentagon. Surely, whoever or whatever came close would be intercepted or blown out of the sky.

         But nothing happened. A plane flew directly into the north face of the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 AM. There was nothing to stop it. Nothing. There was a complete breakdown and failure to protect thousands of innocent people. Depending on the source, the initial two F-15 interceptors took off at the time the first strike occurred or minutes later. Then, incredulously, unbelievably, a second commercial airliner flew directly into the south face of the South Tower on live TV at 9:03 AM. Not only was the first plane not stopped, but the second plane also completed its mission completely unhindered seventeen minutes later.

         One may think the first plane somehow got through in a surprise attack, because such had never happened before and no one expected it. But the second plane? On television? With everybody watching? By that time much of the country was aware of the incident and was monitoring the situation closely, watching a multitude of channels, listening to probably many more by radio, and communicating by telephone.

         That’s how I found out. A friend called me on the phone. The first thing I thought was… How is this possible? It seemed otherworldly. The television commentators were somewhat subdued, speaking in low, even tones for the most part. I watched the towers burning, not sure how it was possible that this happened. Was there no effort to stop it?

         Then I remembered a 60 minutes story I had seen sometime prior to 9/11 about the lax security at our airports. A man had repeatedly tested the system and discovered he could get almost anything through the checkpoints. It was simple for him. To bring any kind of contraband or worse on board a plane was relatively easy. It was so easy he was alarmed. He repeatedly told authorities what he had done on several occasions in a failed attempt to beef up security.

         And nobody cared. No one listened. He was on 60 minutes talking about a major security breach at our national airports and couldn’t get to first base in his attempt to get anyone to do anything about it. Part of the reason was that it was the 1990’s. Our national mindset was on making money. The economy was cooking. We wanted nothing in the way to slow our efforts or stop the party. Lax security at our airports was one of the major symptoms that led to 9/11, but few ever talk about it…

         Our air defense on that morning obviously failed, yet there are many conflicting reports that remain unanswered that have consequently spawned alternative theories. Did they get the call too late? Were hands tied because of innocents onboard? Did authorities hesitate? Look at the evidence. Even after the twin towers were attacked, one would think someone somewhere would have gotten the big idea.

         Then, at 9:37 AM, the Pentagon was hit. Hello! Anyone there? Weren’t we supposed to have people whose job it was to protect us from such events? Or do we insist on saying there was absolutely no defense against it? (I’m sorry. There is nothing we can do. We have no defense against this. Terrorists managed to somehow find the one tiny little miniscule place through which they could get through our defenses and attack us. There is nothing we can do but hide under our desks and run to bunkers. They got the jump on us. There is nothing we can do…)

         Really? Maybe one plane. But two? Three? Over a period of 51 minutes? Then the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:03 AM (according to the 9/11 Commission), and the official story is that the terrorists on board were attacked by courageous passengers. This means there was still no effective response against even that plane an hour and seventeen minutes after the North Tower was struck.

         Ask yourself a question: If I was on one of the doomed planes being held hostage by little men with box cutters, would I simply remain in my seat as I flew toward my certain death with no resistance whatsoever?

         The terrorists were greatly outnumbered on each plane. Officially, all they had were box cutters for weapons. In reality, according to passenger reports and radio transmissions, they had knives and bombs. Did the passengers think they were merely being hijacked, would eventually land somewhere, and didn’t think their lives were in danger? Is that the explanation for their trusting and placid behavior? Just do what we say and nobody gets hurt?

         Of course, the pilots must have resisted. There is no way they would give up their ships against little men with tiny knives. Did the passengers sit quietly because the pilots were already dead and no one else knew how to fly the plane? What if the pilots had been properly armed? If so, there was a great chance the attacks could have been prevented and thousands of lives could have been saved. But armed pilots were banned two months before 9/11.

         Why was there no defense from any front inside or outside against the attack? Why were airline passengers left to fend for themselves? And why are there no voices against the extreme negligence of those who should have protected the country from irreparable harm on that day? Firemen ventured far up into doomed buildings to rescue people. Many others put their lives on the line. There are tales of great heroes who saved lives that morning. Did these not live out the great love spoken of by the Lord?

         “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15:13] [1]  

         Someone should have been fired. Many should have been fired. Whole departments should have been fired. Our government was completely unprepared. It offered no resistance whatsoever to a determined enemy. America was caught sleeping. Within days, there was mention of the dreaded word conspiracy. Since then, millions of people have questioned the official story, including very influential and highly credible people

         Despite remaining questions, today is a day to honor heroes. It marks a time of somber reflection on the unprecedented events of September 11, 2001. It is a day of remembering the many courageous and innocent people that were lost. But it is also a day of continuing to wonder how and why 9/11 ever happened in the first place, and why a far worse attack began shortly thereafter—the war against our American liberties and especially the dissolution of Fourth Amendment rights through ultra-surveillance and, ironically, such things as intrusive airport body scans and enhanced pat downs. What would George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson think of such developments?

         Was the aftermath of 9/11 a gross overreaction against sinister outside forces and governmental incompetence, or is there another explanation? One thing is certain. Ten years after, for some who’d love to change the world, certain people knew exactly what to do.

         © 2011 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.

Cruel To Be Kind: Destroy Your Life to Save It

         God is not so interested in how a sinful world perceives His children. It seems as though He is not so interested in our credibility. He will probably not bless our attempt to become a successful and respectable member of society. If one is already a solid secular citizen within one’s chosen social and business circle, as opposed to being a member in good standing within His kingdom, it was most likely achieved without His help.

         And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” [Mark 8:34-38]

         The word “lose” in the above passage is from a Greek word that means to utterly destroy. In other words, to save one’s life one must destroy one’s life. One must destroy the old before the new can come forth. Demolition precedes construction. Winter precedes spring. Night precedes the dawn. One must die before one can be born again. Real repentance is as death. The second birth is a resurrection. Without a new birth, one will die in their sins and both body and soul will be destroyed in hell. [1]  

         The glorification of sinful flesh is not one of the Lord’s priorities. There are people who become very successful in this life without any of God’s help. They strive and achieve only to leave it all behind at death. Imagine the people who lost their homes and livelihoods recently in the northeastern floods and Texas fires. These are terrible tragedies. But death is often like that, in that everything a person has ever built, accumulated, and worked for remains behind within the tiny closed parameters of this physical world.

         You cannot take it with you. Wealthy people don’t have a Brink’s truck following their hearse to their gravesite. And while we are in this material realm, anything we may possess is subject to loss.

         The best way to protect your stuff is to give it to God. Let Him have control. Subject it to His authority. He may tell you to get rid of some stuff. He may tell you to keep this and that. He may instruct you to give stuff away. But one thing is certain: Whatever He may want you to keep, you will keep; at least until it is time to let it go.

         Isn’t this a better way to live? Isn’t this exactly how the Lord Jesus taught us we must live? If we can’t take it with us, why do we insist on clutching onto all our stuff and our own authority in the present?

         It is the same with our reputations. We often spend years building up reputations that later come apart in an instant, sometimes through no fault of our own. If our reputation is based on being an honest person, not much of it will be lost. But honest people tell the truth, and that means they even tell the truth about themselves. They don’t hide their faults and shortcomings. They are humble. They know they often come up short against standing societal mores and spiritual directives, but are more interested in being honest and trying to get better than securing a fake resume inflated like a hot air balloon.

         It is such false biographies and fake reputations that eventually blow up and come crashing down. All things phony bite the dust. Only the real survives. And only the real, based on God’s definition of the term, makes a successful trip into eternity. As our foundational example, consider the life of the greatest Man who ever lived:

         Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 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 2:1-8] [2]

         For the real Christian, he or she belongs to God. And that includes all our stuff. It also includes our credibility. It includes anything we may be and anything He wants us to be. In this light, it makes little spiritual sense to hoard up a bunch of stuff, whether material or not, that might in all probability be weighing us down and grounding us to this world.

         The Bible clearly states that real Christians are not of this world. The Lord Jesus is not of this world. We are supposed to be born again OUT of this world and INTO His kingdom. So who cares what anybody else may think? The Lord certainly didn’t care what others thought about Him. He was on a mission, He would not be stopped, and the world was only doing what came naturally when trying to destroy Him in any way it could. He caught it from everyone, including His own nation, friends, and family. Rather than recognizing Him as God, this is how almost everyone actually perceived Him:

         Because He drank wine, He was thought to be a common drunk. [Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34]

         Because He ate the same food as everyone else, He was thought to be a glutton. [Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34]

         Because He reached out to the lost, He was thought to be an associate of sinners. [Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34]

         Because there were serious questions about His birth, He was thought to be illegitimate. [John 8:41]

          Because everyone else was stupid and dense, He was thought to be insane. [Mark 3:21]

         Because He had spiritual abilities no one else had, He was thought to be demon-possessed. [Mark 3:22, 30]

         Because He humbly downplayed who He really was, He was thought to be a nobody. [Matthew 13:54-56]

         Clearly, the Lord Jesus did not care about a worldly reputation. His focus was on doing the will of the Father and accomplishing His purpose. This should be our focus as well. When we drift from this, should we wonder why the Lord does not seem to care about the things we hold most dear? If one decides to live for God, one will be persecuted. People will think you’ve gone off the deep end. They will hate you, think you’re crazy, call you every name in the book, and run your name into the ground.

         If you consider yourself to be a real Christian and these things are not happening in your life, you better check your oil. The more a believer attacks the gates of hell to rescue the lost and reveal truth, the more the enemy will fight. If one is not in the fight, one is not with the Lord and the Lord is not with him. If one is more concerned with one’s worldly reputation or comfort level than serving the Lord, one has little spiritual reputation and is no threat to the devil.

         And though the unbelieving world hates real Christians, the adversary is well aware of his enemies. They are known in hell: The evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” [3]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Matthew 10:28

[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.

[3] Acts 19:15 NKJV

September 3, America’s Other Birthday

         As I mentioned a week and a half ago in my post, Twin Earthquakes in Virginia: An Interesting Coincidence, today is the anniversary of the 1783 Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the American Colonies and the establishment of the United States of America. It also marked the formal end of the American Revolutionary War, though official fighting ended two years before at Yorktown with the surrender of British forces.   

         The American patriots had won.

         And they showed the world a thing or two about rising up against elitist oppressors. The thought of challenging the vastly superior British Empire was considered folly by most and sheer suicide by many. But those with a dream of freedom had decided to risk it all, thinking it better to die fighting for liberty than to live without it.

         Real Americans are faced with a similar circumstance today, but the enemy has risen from within. “King George III” has long since reacquired the nation through deceit and sits enthroned as an evil spectre of the past in our nation’s capital. Whoever likes the way things have been going for the last several years want no change, which proves they are either seriously out of the loop or benefitting from the decline of the country.

         This day should be celebrated.

         We can start by praising God for His mercy. We can continue by repenting of our many sins. Those who count themselves as real disciples of the Lord must continue seeking His assistance and discover whatever role they may have in the immediate future. Far too many Americans have gone to sleep and do not care, like those during the Revolution who had no spine to fight for liberty. Of course, if one does not fight the devil, then one has effectively joined his side.

         In my opinion, it is too late. Too much has transpired. Too many Americans have aligned themselves with the enemy in one way or the other and are compromised.

         It is too late for the enemy to win.

         While mulling this over, think of the five loyal American patriots in the painting above. Think about what a momentous occasion it was when the Treaty of Paris was signed on this day 228 years ago. You know why the painting went unfinished? It was because the British delegation refused to pose. Ironically, the posers currently in power love to pose. They refuse to reveal themselves as they really are, choosing instead to hide behind a false image and lying rhetoric.

         Stupid is as stupid does. The Brits lost the American Colonies because they arrogantly treated their far superior citizens on this continent as mere chattel. Their actions awakened a sleeping giant. The American giant is once again stirring and is seriously hacked off.

         America must not be deceived any longer. There is a very strong and deceptive power at work. To be uninformed in these times is to be a victim of deception. How much worse should it get before we actually act on the familiar words of Edmund Burke?

         “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

         “No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

         “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites.”

         “No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

         No one can live in accordance with the preceding quotes without the help of the Lord Jesus. There is no such thing as a free moral agent. Only God is good. People are sinful. People can only become “good” and receive the power to control their sinful appetites through repentance and commitment to the Lord. Mere human virtue is worthless in this regard, and portends a mere image of virtuousness. Millions of people are counting on real believers to act in accordance with the Lord’s teachings, whether they know it or not. The devil knows that the death of real Christianity means the death of America. As both salt and light, the Lord’s community is coming forth at the present time through far too many venues to be stopped. Consider the following as an analogy:

         And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.” And He answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”

         And Jesus said to him, “‘IF You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”

         Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.” After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!”

         But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up. [Mark 9:17-27] [1]

         Unbelief is the roommate of pessimism, just as optimism goes hand in hand with faith in the Lord. In fact, it is impossible to have real faith in God and be a pessimist. We must be optimistic, believe, and give the Lord something to work with! We are in the early stages of a national Great Awakening.

         © 2011 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.

A Lesser Hurricane Irene: The Evidence of Prayer?

        Though many people were killed, almost five million lost power, huge regions were flooded and flooding is ongoing, and billions of dollars in damage took place, some curiously bitter people continue to insist that Hurricane Irene was a hyped event. Some are very thankful that the huge storm was not as bad as originally predicted. Some are arrogantly putting forth their opinion that the storm was nothing that couldn’t be handled, and that they handled it quite well.

        Did something intervene?

        Maybe there was collusion between all the weather boys and girls up and down the coast and the scientific computer geniuses that postulated a storm of nearly Biblical proportions. Maybe they all made a deal with the news media to play it up and make Irene appear as the almost second coming of Rita or Andrew or Isabel grafted onto the upper east coast, New York City, and New England.

         Or maybe there are many more powerful Christians in this nation than otherwise thought praying powerful prayers that a very powerful God answered.

         Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon like any other natural process such as rain or lightning. They happened eons before any human set foot on the land. They will not stop just because we are here. I will personally, however, believe that the Lord God of all creation can do whatever He wants whenever He wants, and that if He uses natural means to judge humanity it’s His prerogative.

         I will also believe that real believers have power over the elements.

         And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” [Matthew 8:24-27]

         The Greek word for “storm” in the above verse is seismos. It means, “A commotion, a shaking, AN EARTHQUAKE.”[1] In fact, this Greek word appears 14 times in the New Testament and every other time it is translated as “earthquake.” Along with the earthquake was a great wind. Mark and Luke called it “a fierce gale of wind,” which Strong labeled “a hurricane.” In other words, the storm on the Sea of Galilee was not a rain event or a thunderstorm. It was the result of an earthquake and wind. Great roiling waves had resulted which were swamping the boat. The apostles rightly feared for their lives. This was no mere storm but something much more out of the ordinary.

         What did the Lord do? He did two things:

         First, He jumped their case for being cowards, and for having so little faith.

         Second, He rebuked the winds and the sea.

         Now, the Sea of Galilee was notorious for having freak wind events. The rushing winds would often form great waves. But on this particular occasion an earthquake was apparently also involved. Did the Lord allow this as a test? Was it a surprise to Him? It was certainly a great surprise to them and if He had not acted to rebuke the wind and waves the apostles would have all ended up at the bottom of that crazy, violent sea. It was a life and death situation and they had no means whatsoever to save themselves because they—

         (1) Were a bunch of chickens, and

         (2) Had far too little faith to affect any change.

         From watching the Lord perform the miracle, the apostles learned that even the winds and the sea obey Him! Who is this guy?!

         And they eventually received the power to do the same thing.

         “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” [John 14:12]

         Thus, real Christians have power with God through prayer to rebuke the wind and sea. Thus, it is quite possible that all the experts were right but that some other force acted upon Hurricane Irene, which just happened to follow on the heels of a very rare 5.8 Virginia earthquake.

         And this means this country is not populated with a single Elijah holding the fort but millions of dedicated followers of the Lord Jesus that are increasingly making their presence felt.

         Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED YOUR PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN YOUR ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.” But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.” [Romans 11:2-4]

         Besides, the Lord’s people are salt and light—the preservers of humanity and those who show the way. Many will say that Irene was a bust without ever thinking that they possibly dodged a howitzer through the prayers of God’s people.

         The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. [James 5:16-18] [2]

         Lieutenant Dan eventually made his peace with God. For all those who did not during the opportunity that was Hurricane Irene, there will be another showdown in the not too distant future, except for those who die and go to hell in the meantime. Mock God all you want, unbelievers. Mock His people. But it is highly likely the ones you mock just saved your keisters.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible © 1890

[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.

August 29: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/August/Virginia-Residents-God-Intervened-in-Irene-/

YOU CALL THIS A STORM?!

         A decade ago during 9/11 in New York, the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center was a symbolic attack on the U.S. economy. In fact, the economy did falter shortly thereafter. The terrorists involved were hoping to make a statement and achieved their goal. In Washington D.C., the attack upon the Pentagon was a symbolic attack against the U.S. military. The military wasted little time in retaliating.

        The other plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and a possible fifth plane that never took off were said to have the White House and the Capitol Building in their sights. I am still not sure where that information originated. It might have been mere speculation, or obvious speculation. If true, the mission of those planes was to attack the political symbols of our government.

         Throughout the history of mankind, there have only been four principle methods of rule, which are listed in order of use:

(1) Military Rule

(2) Religious Rule

(3) Political Rule

(4) Economic Rule

         It was somewhat curious during 9/11 that there were apparently no plans to attack some outer symbol of our religious life, the only one remaining from the preceding list. Then I thought, just what would that be? Is there any such thing as an American national symbol of religion?

         Enter the Washington National Cathedral.

         It was a long time in the making. The foundation stone was laid on September 29, 1907. The final finial was set in place on September 29, 1990. The exact 83-year period of construction can be no coincidence. What was started during the Theodore Roosevelt administration ended with that of George H. W. Bush. That’s a total of 16 presidents. The central tower of the cathedral is the tallest structure by sea level in the District of Columbia at 676 feet.

         On Tuesday, the country’s apparent national structural symbol of religion took a hit through purely natural means. Damage estimates are ongoing. [1]

         Coincidentally, another major symbol was also a casualty of the Virginia earthquake. The Washington Monument, 555 feet tall, suffered several structural cracks, especially to its upper pyramidion. The site has been closed indefinitely while damage estimates are assessed.

         In light of the fact that pretty much every American paying attention knows we have major problems in both our national government and religious life, the minor damage done in the quake to these two structures must at least be considered as beyond mere coincidence, and a possible wake-up call.

         In the meantime, the latest track estimates have Hurricane Irene heading directly for New York City, though the storm is expected to veer a tad to the east. America in general may continue disregarding and rejecting God, but God’s people are pleading for His involvement and mercy. A few fissures in our national monument and several fallen doodads off the national cathedral might seem minor at first glance. Do they represent national schism and crumbling traditional Christianity?

         Whatever the case, such coincidences sure seem to be piling up. And now Irene is here. Time for a showdown, Lieutenant Dan?

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] At least one whimsical gargoyle that directs water from heavy rains away from the building was damaged; the head of a bat-like creature on the building’s south side cracked and separated from the rest of the gargoyle, exposing its drainage pipe.

Twin Earthquakes in Virginia: An Interesting Coincidence

         On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, in which Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the American Colonies and the establishment of the United States of America.

         Almost exactly 114 years later on May 31, 1897, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in Virginia, classified 5.9 in magnitude and VIII in intensity, shook the east coast. Centered about 20 miles east of Blacksburg in Giles County, the massive quake felled chimneys and changed the flow of springs. According to the limited reports of the time, the temblor was felt from the Atlantic coast westward to Kentucky and Indiana, as far south as Georgia and north to Pennsylvania, rocking Washington D.C.

         Today, almost exactly 114 years later on August 23, 2011 at 1:51pm EDT, a 5.8 earthquake struck the same area, only about 150 miles away to the ENE, centered near the railroad town of Mineral, Virginia in Louisa County, about 40 miles northwest of Richmond. The quake, less than four miles deep, also rocked the nation’s capital 80 miles away, and was felt as far north as Massachusetts, reaching to the very course where the President was playing golf. Buildings swayed in New York City, and some thought another 9/11 was in the works, still jumpy from a decade earlier. The Pentagon shook violently from what started as a low rumbling felt by occupants, who quickly evacuated. The quake also shook cities as far west as Chicago and Cincinnati, reached south to Georgia, and registered seismically in an incredible 22 states. At least one violent aftershock took place and several more are expected. The damage was generally moderate throughout the Central Virginia Seismic Zone, but served as a rare wake-up call to a region most unfamiliar with earthquakes.

         Was the timing of these twin earthquakes just a coincidence? 114 equals the Biblical number of “man” (6), times 19. According to E.W. Bullinger, “19 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]

         Putting the two 114’s together, the exact 228 year period from the formal beginning of this nation until September 3, 2011 is 12 times 19. 12 is the Biblical number of governmental perfection. What follows the number 12 is the very American number of 13. It brings to mind the original 13 colonies upon which this nation was founded, as well as the thirteen red and white stripes of our flag and the original thirteen stars. The number 13 also happens to be the Biblical number of rebellion. Is this just another coincidence? Are we as a nation entering into a new time of reform beginning on September 3 when we honor the 228th anniversary of our formal founding? Many signs have been pointing in that direction.

         Another possible coincidence is in the works. The first major Atlantic hurricane is presently rebuilding strength in the Caribbean. It is projected to grow to a Category 4 storm and lessen to a 3 as it strikes the Carolinas, then move directly over Washington D.C. late Saturday night, August 27. On Sunday night it is currently projected to strike New York City as a Category 1. The last time that happened was in 1821. The Norfolk and Long Island hurricane was only the second hurricane to have ever passed directly over New York City. The 1821 storm happened exactly 38 years since the Treaty of Paris, slamming into Long Island on September 3 of that year. 38 is a multiple of 19. The hurricane just happened to have a 13 foot storm surge. Coincidence?   

         Though the premise of this article can be easily shot down and ridiculed, a simple reminder is in order as we ponder today’s events: “A coincidence is when God wants to remain anonymous.”

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Number in Scripture, E.W. Bullinger. © 1967 by Kregel Publications. All Rights Reserved.

TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY (9/18/2010)

THE PRODIGIOUS BOSTON TEA PARTY OF DECEMBER 16, 1773

WHEN WILL THE INSANITY END?

The insanity is progressive.

The progression will not stop unless acted upon by a stronger force.

The American people used to run the country.

We the People.

This is no longer the case.

The enemy has taken control.

The American People:

  • Let it happen.
  • Helped it happen.
  • Elected the people who made it happen.

100 hundred years ago:

  • The American government was taken over by a small band of revolutionary traitors.
  • They were very powerful, wealthy, and influential traitors.
  • It was a classic coup d’état.

We know who they were.

We know what they did.

We know how they did it.

We know how they continue to do it.

They heavily influence most of the 545 people who make all the decisions in the Federal Government, comprising:

  • 1 President.
  • 9 Supreme Court Justices.
  • 100 Senators.
  • 435 in Congress.

America is thus no longer run by the American people.

We the People have been co-opted.

  • Our power has been confiscated and used against us.
  • Our wealth has been confiscated and used against us.
  • Our influence has been confiscated and used against us.

The original Boston Tea Party fought the Brits over almost nothing by comparison.

Its members were STRONG.

We have been comparatively weak.

The original modern “Tea Party” movement began in the 1950’s.

Many saw what was happening.

They fought very hard.

Yet, Eisenhower-Nixon and Kennedy-Johnson were ruled at the top by the same people.

The Democratic Party and the Republican Party were ruled at the top by the same people.

There is clear documented evidence that Eisenhower said one thing and did the opposite behind the scenes.

There is clear documented evidence that Kennedy said one thing and did the opposite behind the scenes.

The American people were not in control where it mattered.

However, by 1964 the original modern “Tea Party” movement actually achieved the Republican nomination of Barry Goldwater for President.

He was the real deal at that time (unless one preferred explosive government growth and the Vietnam War).

He was fully supported and endorsed by Ronald Reagan.

The enemy machine went into high gear and destroyed him:

The “Tea Party” movement was co-opted.

Those in power stayed in power.

By 1980 the “Reagan Revolution” took place.

Reagan swore he would never have the same people in his administration as those who destroyed Barry Goldwater. He failed. Reagan said one thing, but his administration largely did something else.

He was co-opted. The real promise of his administration never came to pass. Good things happened, but it was not a real revolution.

Those in power stayed in power.

In 1994, the next manifestation of the “Tea Party” movement arose. It managed to take over both houses of Congress. It was a powerful manifestation of We the People.

But guess what?

The movement was co-opted. It was taken over by those who say one thing but do another. “The Contract with America” became a farce. Nothing substantial changed.

Those in power stayed in power.

George W. Bush did nothing to stop the terrorist forces on 9/11.

He used the attack to facilitate a war in Iraq.

Iraq did not attack us on 9/11.

Iraq had no Weapons of Mass Destruction. [1]

The current Tea Party Movement arose yet again as supporters of Congressman Ron Paul in 2007.

It was a massive grassroots and internet movement that later manifested all across the country beginning in early 2009 against the latest and greatest manifestation of government power and TAXES run amuck.

It has largely been co-opted.

Surprise, surprise.

Many of those within the movement became engaged in the inevitable personality cult instead of adhering to the issues at hand.

Like the Dwight Eisenhower personality cult (with a giant base who loved him no matter what he did).

Like the John F. Kennedy personality cult (with a giant base who loved him no matter what he did).

Like the Bill Clinton personality cult (with a giant base who loved him no matter what he did).

Like the George W. Bush personality cult (with a giant base who loved him no matter what he did).

Like the Barrack Obama personality cult (with a giant base who love him no matter what he does).

Who has co-opted the Tea Party?

The following is an example and case in point:

Debra Medina ran for the 2010 Republican nomination for governor of Texas.

She was an excellent alternative choice against the usual establishment candidates. She consistently gave intelligent answers in interviews and debates as opposed to the bland tripe of professional politicians.

She was on the rise seemingly out of nowhere.

She ended up being betrayed by someone who for all intents and purposes was on her side.

A popular radio and television personality destroyed her.

Later, his friend Sarah Palin endorsed Rick Perry.

Rick Perry is much more an establishment Republican insider than a Tea Party proponent and, regardless of press to the contrary, a friend of Bush.

Will the current overall Tea Party movement continue being co-opted?

Under the usual circumstances it would be.

But these times are not usual.

There are two major essentials involved now that were never involved before to the degree that they needed to be involved.

These two essentials have the traitors who took over the country 100 years ago very concerned.

In fact, they are actually AFRAID.

They are seeing their master plan being compromised.

They misjudged the SPIRIT of the American people.

They made the decision to accelerate their “gradualism” program at the same time the current Tea Party movement began to rise again.

They saw how easy it was to deceive the American people concerning 9/11.

They quickly joined forces under false pretenses and put most of the 545 to work.

From that we got The Patriot Act, which is more accurately The Traitor Act.

We got the Iraq war.

We got the Afghanistan War.

We have constant surveillance in everything we do and everywhere we go, legal or not.

We got the great bailouts of Wall Street firms and “Too Big to Fail Corporations.”

The Federal Government grew more powerful than ever before in a very short time.

Wall Street got off scot-free.

Those in control took care of themselves and one another.

Bush did it.

Obama did it.

The Supreme Court did it.

The Senate did it.

Congress did it.

WE DID IT.

We elected them.

They have used their power, wealth, and influence to take away our power, wealth, and influence.

We the People have been betrayed yet again.

What are the two major essentials the American people now have that they did not have before?

Why are those in power afraid?

I will start with the second essential:

INFORMATION.

America knows what is going on behind the scenes as they never have prior to this time. Knowledge has increased exponentially and millions of new news outlets have come forth through average patriotic Americans. Truth and falsehood are now duking it out on a major scale and truth is winning.

Many have seen behind the curtain.

The great Oz is actually a tiny little guy with levers and a mike. The Lilliputians blather on incessantly as if they are somebody but are mere holders of massive wealth through which they gain and maintain their power. They serve mammon. Always have. Money is their god.

“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.” [2]

Which brings us to the first essential:

Our LORD JESUS.

He is involved because many more millions have committed wholeheartedly to His leadership.

He has millions of Americans with Him who are willing to do whatever is necessary to defeat evil.

He has heard the billions of prayers of His people over many decades.

His people warn against falling for the same old garbage.

His people warn against the cults of personality.

His people warn against being compromised by sin.

If His people do things His way, and if His people use the information at their disposal, the following will transpire:

The current co-opting of the “Tea Party” movement will not succeed.

  • There will be some success this November, 2010.
  • There will be continued success in 2011.
  • There will be continued success in 2012.

The establishment powers will continue to lose bit by bit and will have no means of stopping the tide.

The gradualism toward a pure socialistic tyrannical 1984 police state will cease.

A return to liberty will take hold and continue.

It will grow slowly and surely, and then exponentially.

The old order of traitors will be removed.

We the People will take our country back due to humbling ourselves, repentance, submitting to the Lord, and allowing Him to unite us in love and unity.

This is what all loyal Americans want if they want to save their country.

This is what God wants.

He always fights on the side of liberty.

In fact, He gave His life for it.

Yet, it is not about “America the country.”

It is about each American individual through which the country is comprised.

It is about We the People living in the freedom we have fought for and God has granted.

Yet, the traitors will not go down easy.

They will continue to try to stop the movement toward freedom.

They are against individual liberty.

They hate God.

They will have to make drastic moves.

In fact, the drastic moves have already begun.

The war is on.

There is no turning back.

It is feast or famine.

It will either be a glorious win or the final defeat.

There is no going back to any “business as usual,” because such would merely be the continuation of a downward spiral.

During the American Revolution of the 1770’s:

One third of the American colonists sided with the Brits and remained loyal to the throne of King George III. They were known as Tories. They were also known by other names unrepeatable here. They were solidly against the Revolution. They were duplicitous traitors.

One third of the American colonists did not care one way or the other. They were too afraid or apathetic to take up arms against the Brits, nor would they fight for them. They were full of excuses, had no backbone, conviction, or heart for liberty, and were entirely selfish and tepid. Regarding the Revolution, they were irrelevant wimps.

However, One third of the American colonists saw the Revolution as their one impossible chance at freedom and liberty, and they put everything on the line. They risked it all. They were freedom fighters. They were loyal Americans. AND THEY WON.

That which is presently transpiring in America is not necessarily a revolution. We already have the Constitution of the United States. We will not write a better document. We will not form a more perfect government structure than the prototype.

The only thing America needs to do is remove the traitors from power by taking over their positions of power through the very legal and proper means set forth in our Constitution.

The enemy, however, will continue to Cheat, Steal, Lie, Slander, Libel, Smear, Betray, and Murder. That’s how they gained power. That’s how they maintain power.

Those who fight for liberty must not do those things or the effort will fail.

It is not a fair fight.

It is nothing close to a fair fight.

Battles of this kind never are.

Yet, about 230 years ago our forefathers fought an impossible war against the greatest power on earth. They did it right. AND THEY WON.

They did it with God.

There would have been no success otherwise.

The Great Awakening of the 1730’s and 40’s set the tone for the Revolution of the 1770’s.

Spiritual battle always precedes eventual victory.

Yet, every fight for freedom over the last 100 years has failed.

Each was co-opted.

Due to the formidable nature of present circumstances, this is likely our last chance.

There are still only three kinds of citizens in this country.

Are you:

(1) A Traitor?

(2) Irrelevant?

(3) A Loyal American?

It’s your choice. Amen.

© 2010 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[1] Despite later Bush administration pronouncements that no WMD’s actually existed, including claims by high-ranking officials David Kay, Bush’s top weapons expert in Iraq, chief U.S. investigator Charles Duelfer, and former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, this view is contested by former Iraqi Air Force General and fighter pilot Georges Sada in his book, Saddam’s Secrets, © 2006 Integrity Publishers.

[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.

The Lord At the Helm

.

In those times when adrift on the ocean

And all horizons are water and sky

And there is little breeze to fill our sail

And nil forward movement as waves float by

 

—Direction be unknown

—Through sunrise and set

—And heat of day exhausts

—And weariness stems rest

 

The cool soon arriving as night comes forth

And bright blinding light yields to twinkling stars

Which render the word that all is not lost

Their journeys beheld but though from afar

 

—To’ard proving perspective

—Allowing to behold

—That traveling proceeds

—Though languishing be sold

 

In perceiving the celestial we see

The Lord is steering! The heavens insist!

For no other message can e’er be told

The sky is ablaze with starry inscripts!

 

Wonder abounds though alone w’ hardship

The raft floating still? is moving on path

His guidance is clear with spiritual eyes

Our faith the force that saves us from wrath

 

As mighty attacks from enemies strike

No perfect storm or terrible tempest

Succeeds in defeating the sailing mate

Or stalls our motion aligned with His best

 

—And though we seem floundered

—And held fast and anchored

—Our journey goes onward

—Our Savior at Starboard

 

© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Isaiah, Chapter Nine

Rainbow Cave arch in the Galilee, Israel.

Image via Wikipedia

But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.

You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

The Lord sends a message against Jacob, and it falls on Israel.

And all the people know it, that is, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart:

“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”

Therefore the LORD raises against them adversaries from Rezin and spurs their enemies on,

The Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west; and they devour Israel with gaping jaws. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.

Yet the people do not turn back to Him who struck them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.

So the LORD cuts off head and tail from Israel, both palm branch and bulrush in a single day.

The head is the elder and honorable man, and the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail.

For those who guide this people are leading them astray; and those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.

Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; for every one of them is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.

For wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briars and thorns; it even sets the thickets of the forest aflame and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

By the fury of the LORD of hosts the land is burned up, and the people are like fuel for the fire; no man spares his brother.

They slice off what is on the right hand but still are hungry, and they eat what is on the left hand but they are not satisfied; each of them eats the flesh of his own arm.

Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, and together they are against Judah. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out. [1]

© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 2)

         Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert… I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people. [Isaiah 43:18-20] [1]

         There is a recent article on the Barna Group website about the new book by George Barna, Futurecast. One of the bullet points regarding future American Christianity follows:

         Various measures indicate that Americans remain deeply interested in connecting with God, but fewer and fewer retain enthusiasm about doing so in a conventional church setting or through long-standing religious institutions. Millions of Americans are currently marking time until new, more appealing avenues of faith expression and experience are developed and accessible. [2]

         What this means is that stodgy traditional Christianity is getting in the way, and far too many believers are living in the past. The people have already decided they are done with the usual church formats and methods and have generally shoved off for new frontiers, but those new frontiers do not yet exist as they should. God has been working overtime to prepare the way but traditionalists continue with methods they are familiar with. There is hope in that many new forms are making inroads within churches and leadership is generally bending. Many of those who refuse to bend or recognize the new move of God are losing their buildings and locking their doors. Certain mainline churches continue largely because the people never expect much anyway and consider church to be what it is and want no changes. Many have left such churches, however.

         In America, most people remain unchurched. There is no possible way they will ever be reached by traditional means since such means are slowly fading out. Vibrant new formats are taking their place. Some of these are simple, and some artificial. Most mega churches usually attract those who are looking to be a part of the most popular movements and desire celebrity preachers, but such churches often have high turnover rates.

         What would Christians do without a building? One might ask the Lord Jesus, the original apostles, and the believers of the first three centuries of the modern era. They had no buildings and turned the Roman Empire on its left ear. They also had no New Testament, though various gospels and letters made the rounds. What they did have was reality. They had the personal presence of the Lord Jesus and the power of His Holy Spirit. They maintained the love and unity He taught them, and the world listened. They paid a huge price, though. Their discipleship cost them everything.

         Real disciples of the present are discovering the same fact. When one gives up everything and surrenders all, the power and love of the Lord is much more able to reach a hurting world through them. Most Christians in America are mere cultural Christians and have certainly not had the born again experience the Lord speaks of. Thus, they are comfortable with “church as usual” and content to let the Lord pass them by. This is why so many Americans want God but don’t want the rigamarole associated with many church groups.

         The home church movement began gaining initial steam approximately twenty years ago, and has served as an excellent format for both bringing in new converts and allowing believers a much better chance at spiritual development. Such free formats are what many crave, and home churches are serving as the bulwark of the coming Great Awakening.

         People go to church for years on end and never develop as real disciples of the Lord. Those that do are often forced to grow at the speed of wood. Imagine a classroom with one teacher and twelve students and how well such students learn. Then imagine a classroom with one teacher and five hundred students. Or a thousand. Or ten thousand. It doesn’t take Albert Einstein to figure out why the Lord’s model worked, and that our models since constructed largely do not.

         Hence, there is big change in the works. Within two decades there will be more real Christians in this country outside of traditional church formats than within. Church buildings will continue closing their doors. The institutional clergy will find fewer and fewer jobs. Though some traditional formats will remain, they will be the exception rather than the rule. Believers must continue praying, listening to the Lord, and changing their lifestyles to keep up. We must be willing to change and obey God. If not, Christianity in America will continue going south.

         The Barna Group has this to say about the “leaders” of the future, though such is merely a term denoting those Christians who are more spiritually mature and not in the mold of the traditional clergy:

         George Barna encourages leaders to remain aware of the trends so that they and the people they lead do not become victims of those patterns. “Leaders define reality for people. You cannot effectively define your slice of the world if you’re always a step behind, trying to undo what has already been done. True leaders are compelled by a vision of a superior tomorrow to create that world. You have to grasp the current state of things and the direction things are moving in order to effectively direct the flow of energy and resources. Leadership never happens in an information vacuum; it always builds on trend awareness and cultural potential.” [3]

         The heart of true leadership is optimism. One must possess a sincere optimistic attitude toward the work they are called to do. Sadly, the majority will not listen and have never listened. The Lord is currently creating a brand new Wineskin and whoever will follow Him must get on board and pay attention. So much that has been done in His Name has been done without Him, and this continues.

         Ralph Neighbor, author and founder of Touch Outreach Ministries, wrote a book about those who decline to change for the better. He based it on years of personal experience, the New Testament record, and the failure of many traditional methods. The title of the book, The Seven Last Words of the Church, is based on the last words of people in churches (before they crater) who refuse a new move of God.

         And what are those last seven words? “We’ve never done it that way before!”

         © 2011 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.

[2] “Americans Are Creating the New American Dream.” © 6.28.2011 by The Barna Group www.barna.org. Used by permission.

[3] “Americans Are Creating the New American Dream.” © 6.28.2011 by The Barna Group www.barna.org. Used by permission.

New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 1)

         And He was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 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]  

         We remain at a fork in the road. The Lord is trying to direct us down the correct path. Many Christians have already taken the wrong path. Many others wait at the fork, and are having a hard time deciding which way to go.

         The default position for much of American Christianity is to take the conservative route, obey the old standards (the old is good enough), and listen to leaders unwilling to budge—who by and large feel much more comfortable with what they consider the old tried and true. Well, it is definitely tried, and some of it is true, but most of it belongs in the past.

         The Lord is doing a new thing! It is something He has planned all along, of course, and the window for those who continue sitting on the fence is closing. There is little time left to decide.

         Now, before you jump to any conclusions, I must make one thing very clear: There is a large movement in American Christianity that has abandoned the core truths of the Lord’s teachings and has decided to go their own way without Him, just as some denominational bodies have done already. Many in this movement are deceived. Rather than expose the false doctrines of yet another fake Christian offshoot in this article, let’s look instead at core New Testament values that will never change for the Real Christian:

         (1) The Lord Jesus is God. There is only one God. God became a Man. This has only happened once and will never happen again. The Lord Jesus is forever both Man and God.

         (2) He came to this planet about 2,000 years ago and revealed God through His humanity. He is God manifest in flesh. He never committed a single sin. Everything He ever did was perfectly within the will of the Father. Therefore, His revelation of God, and of who God is, was and remains total and perfect. As He said, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’” [John 14:9] [1]

         (3) The Lord Jesus taught, ministered, revealed the kingdom of heaven, performed miracles, set people free, and loved unconditionally. Then, He offered Himself up as a perfect sacrifice to pay for the sins of all those who choose to give Him their life. His payment for sin was complete. Only the Blood of Jesus can cleanse us of sin. Nothing anyone can do can ever add to what He has already done regarding salvation. His grace (undeserved divine favor) is free for all those who repent and commit their lives to Him completely and continually follow Him.

         (4) He arose from the dead to live forevermore. There is no salvation found through any other. He is the only way to the Father. He is only Door. He is the only Way. For the comparative few who will enter the narrow door, walk the narrow path, and endure unto the end, they will live with Him for eternity. Such a road demands obedience, commitment, dedication, and love for God, regardless of cost. It is very obvious that the Lord means business. It is all or nothing.

         These brief points should clear up any misunderstanding about new movements presently transpiring in this country and the world that water down the one Gospel, create false gospels, or attempt to create or form syncretistic religions merging one with another. Such movements deny the core truths of the New Testament for the sake of numbers, ecumenical unions, denominational groups, organizations, and churches built by false or deceived ministers and those under their influence.

         Again, many if not most of the people involved in such are deceived. Of course, they do not know they are deceived, which is the very nature of deception. They have all accepted “another” gospel, something the Lord and His apostles very clearly warned against.

         Therefore, though there are many false movements emerging, there are also the real people of God in America who are just beginning to come forth in unity. Most people do not see them. They are part of a very large movement of faceless nobodies with no credentials or Christian pedigrees. They serve their Lord Jesus in humility, suffer, fight the spiritual enemies of God, reach out, reveal truth, and help their fellow man. They are nonetheless becoming more organized on a spiritual level. The Lord is connecting groups and individuals together without the usual human efforts of ultra organization, rank, and hierarchies. It is a spiritual family spread all across the nation that has decided to commit to the Lord and real New Testament truth. They want reality. They want The Book of Acts in action. They will settle for nothing less than the full truth and expression of the Lord Jesus. They believe in unity and love. They believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Name above all names. They will not be stopped under any circumstances.

         As a result, persecution will be ramped up. We will see persecution of real Christians in this country like we have never seen. But we will also see the most powerful spiritual movement we have ever seen. Huge numbers will be saved from sin. Miracles and healings will become almost commonplace. Thousands will be filled with the Spirit in ongoing fashion. This Great Awakening will touch every part of the country.

         People are ready. Sinners are sick of their sin. Christians are weary of their Christian business as usual. People want more! And the Lord will grant them more. [Part 1 of 2]

         © 2011 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 Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost (1916)

Progression Regression: The World is Going to Hell (Part 2)

         The world cannot be captured and ruled without religion. The elites at the top of the pyramid have always known this. In ancient Sumer, the early architectural form of pyramid was known by the later Akkadian term as ziqqurratu. The original ziggurats indigenous to the lower Mesopotamian region were multi-tiered rising step structures consisting of successive increasingly smaller stages. The overall pyramidal form reached its zenith with a small temple enclosure at the very top. It was in this temple where the priests communed with the gods and received instructions for the people. No one was allowed at the top except the very highest of the priesthood.

         Such a structure was perfect for controlling a society. Each major city had its own temple complex. There was great pomp and religious pageantry associated with these ancient temples. The priesthood was either faking everyone out, knowing they were mere men engaging in a deceptive religious stage play, or was actually being dictated to by demonic forces. In reality, it was a combination of the two in that demons merged with humans. In their human nature, the pagan priests knew they were deceiving the public by presenting something inwardly contrary to the outward display.

         They had a secret, hidden agenda.

         Those lower in the religious hierarchy generally believed in the myth and were transfixed and ruled by it. They dedicated their lives to religious service thinking it was the highest of callings. As they climbed in stature and esoteric knowledge, however, some began to perceive that what they had been taught did not match up with reality. Their indoctrination was merely a façade. They had been deceived as had everyone else but suddenly found themselves as part of a small but powerful elite group. They had completed the majority of the required initiatory degrees and discovered their religion was actually about something else entirely. And as it is in all such secretive clandestine groups, one knows too much to leave. Oaths had been taken along the way. They had gained much power and prestige. They were connected—part of a small cabal of high-end movers and shakers.

         The hidden agenda was about control over the masses for the benefit of the elite.

         Most people never make the connection or get the big idea, and are deceived by the pomp and ceremony. They are fooled by titles and degrees. They honor such people because they perceive them as far above themselves and very close to God.

         Their heads are in the heavens. They do their work on elevated stages. They wear special clothing that sets them apart. They have soaring resumes and rule over churches and ministry organizations. They possess a holier-than-thou arrogant and high-minded attitude. The higher they climb, the more their supporters increase and hang on every word spoken. They rarely climb down off their high horse and mix with the common people. They wear fake smiles and attitudes, talk a lot but say little, and refrain from teaching anything that may compromise their comfortable lifestyles. As classic Pharisees, they talk very good but do next to nothing. Once they build their ziggurat, nothing ever changes. They bask in the glory and support of the people, and become completely enamored of their own self. If they discover they have been compromised by demonic forces, it is too late to change. They cannot go back. They cannot stand the thought of losing their power and prestige.  

         Woe to her who is rebellious and defiled, the tyrannical city! She heeded no voice, she accepted no instruction. She did not trust in the LORD, she did not draw near to her God. Her princes within her are roaring lions, her judges are wolves at evening; they leave nothing for the morning. Her prophets are reckless, treacherous men; her priests have profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law. The LORD is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame. [Zephaniah 3:1-5]

         There are two principle spiritual movements going on in America at the moment. One regards the early beginnings of a national Great Awakening consisting of faceless nobody real believers with sincere hearts and absolute dedication to the Lord Jesus at all costs. The other is a fake movement made up of largely deceived masses unaware that they are being manipulated by elitists for alternative purposes.

         In ancient Sumer, the elites used any and all methods of control that existed. Such methods were mere tools in the hands of artisans. Through military conquest, political intrigue, and monetary power they gained absolute control. But religion was their greatest tool. It was mixed in with all the others and the people were none the wiser.

         Beware the mixing of Christianity with political economic interests.

         The Lord Jesus and His men were not Zealots, Scribes, Sadducees, or Pharisees. They did not attempt to rule politically or through military might. They were not in bed economically with the Romans. And they certainly did not try to rule through the medium of religion. Instead of a ziggurat, the Lord had no place to lay His head, preached in the streets, from boats, in the wild, and at the base of a great hillside, though it is now mistakenly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. Later, His men were hounded everywhere they went. The only honor they received was from God. The world hated them. And as that world continued to preach progression toward the top of a mythical pyramid, it actually consistently regressed toward eventual destruction and hell.

         Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” [Genesis 11:1-6] [1]

         American Christians are at a fork in the road. We are either living stones being built up as a spiritual house and all-inclusive holy priesthood under the sole authority of the Lord Jesus,[2] or we are burned man-made bricks comprising a fake Christian ziggurat held together by the tar of hypocrisy and religious control. There is no other alternative.

         © 2011 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.

[2] 1 Peter 2:5

Progression Regression: The World is Going to Hell (Part 1)

         The leaders of this world have an agenda. It was the same agenda Nimrod had roughly 5,000 years ago. His agenda was tyrannical world rule and slavery of the human race. For Nimrod, whose name means rebellion, his plan was one of progression. Current politics of progressivism state the same. Its proponents envision a world of peace and prosperity for all, and most people buy into it. The more “progress” they gain toward their idyllic one world wonder, however, the more humanity regresses toward the opposite of what God intended. Their progress is actually rebellious regress, and will have a very rude end.  

         Ancient Sumer (the Biblical Shinar) was the world’s first civilization. It invented agriculture on a mass scale. The Sumerians did this by creating a hierarchical system with a giant slave class at the bottom and a very small class of elites at the top. Prior to that time, humanity existed in a rough equality, an egalitarian collection of many small communities and groups. The powerful elites of Sumer stepped across the line and decided their vision of great things must be accomplished at any cost, hence the use of human slavery.

         From this arrangement, the Sumerians invented a mass economic system, which required the invention of writing. The wheel had long since been invented by their precursors, the ancient Ubadians, and they put it to highly efficient use. Sumer became quite proficient in the sciences and several fields of endeavor, but ruling over all in this new “civilization” was the innovative concept of religion, also on a mass scale. Religious terms were codified, a hierarchy of gods was created and presented in organized form, and the people were indoctrinated en masse. To top off their supreme hubris, they built what came to be known as the world famous Tower of Babel, an edifice whose pinnacle was intended to reach into heaven. The Lord did not like their shenanigans so much, however, and it came to a rude end.

         When thinking of present world elites, one usually does not think about religion. Yet, the creation of a single world hybrid religion is taking place at this very moment and gaining considerable steam. At first, one will think this idea to be beyond ridiculous, but it depends on one’s perspective. American Christianity of the present, in general terms, has long-since backslid from its foundation and is a mere shell of its prior self or something entirely different. Part of this is due to mere sensuality and materialism, and the rebellious raising up of selfish and sinful flesh against the call of the Lord Jesus and the command toward true discipleship.

         The carrying of one’s cross and the ongoing crucifixion of one’s flesh is no longer the top priority among most Christians, and the promotion of self has risen far above it. Therefore, the bulk of what we call Christianity is false and something else altogether. Its merging with other religions should not be all that surprising, as this is built into the prototype invented long ago. Real Christianity of the present, on the other hand, like that of the first century, refuses to be congealed into the merging religious melting pot and will always remain loyal to the Lord Jesus. This strong witness will gain ever-greater trouble for real believers over time.

         By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. [Hebrews 11:23-27]   

         Anyone studying ancient history knows that religion is the best way to capture the minds of people. Military, economic, and political control would fail without religion. Sumer discovered this. All subsequent world empires adopted it—Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Religious control was arguably brought to its height during the Roman Empire, yet even mighty, indestructible Rome had a very rude end. After the fall of Rome, religious control clandestinely moved seamlessly into yet another highly deceptive form. Even after the Protestant Reformation and the great strides toward religious freedom, rule by religion remains with us to this day among Christian adherents.

         The major religions presently on the planet were created the same way ancient Sumer created the first. It was done by decree, by force, and by fear. Those people who refused to get in line with the majority opinion and the hierarchical henchmen were simply eliminated. This is what goes on presently right under our noses. Christian syncretism, a blending of real Christianity with pagan religions, is not new. The blending of all pagan religions is not new either, since each previously mentioned world culture engaged in it. But the blending of all religions of the entire planet, including false forms of Christianity into a single unit is indeed new. Imagine the pride of those engaged in this process, not only in that they actually think they can pull it off and make it happen, but also that they have so little concern for the billions over which they rule.

         Real Christians must always be on their guard, not against the obvious, but against the sly and highly deceptive practices among their own. Adam was deceived by his own wife, for example. David was always being attacked from within. The Lord Jesus was betrayed by one of His own hand-picked disciples. Christians will be deceived and betrayed by Christians. The wheat and tares appear identical. The goats look like sheep. The devil even disguises himself as a wooly wolf:

         “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” [Matthew 7:15] [1]

         These wolves are hungry for you. [Part 1 of 2]

         © 2011 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.

When You Gonna Wake Up?

         The people you may think are total morons might only appear that way because they have an unknown agenda. Influential elites often act in strange ways. We spend time speculating, “What were they thinking?”—“No one can be that dense.”—“These eastern establishment types have no clue how the real world works.” America keeps going down the drain and these high hats keep applying the same unworkable non-solutions and continue wasting vast stores of the American taxpayer’s hard-earned money.

         At some point, we must cross over the phantasm chasm and gain some serious understanding that these people are not at all stupid, but brilliant manipulators. They lie through their teeth. They are involved in some incredibly intricate sleight-of-hand tactics that fool the majority of citizens as a matter of course.

         And still, America sleeps…

         And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” [Luke 22:23-27]

         There are many myths in Washington. One is the myth of “government service.” Government Royalty is a much more accurate description. The ruling elite do indeed lord it over us. Most voters continue to believe that our elected officials serve the people of this great country as humble benefactors with honest hearts. Right. And the Pope just became a Protestant. These people generally don’t serve the Lord and they certainly don’t serve you. They primarily serve themselves and money. The Lord Jesus broke the choices down to either God or mammon. Or one could say God or the false idol of riches and avarice. Or one could say the Lord Jesus or the devil. They keep voting themselves ever-increasing benefits. So, though they are called benefactors, they chiefly benefit themselves and the money interests they serve.

         If they served the Lord they would look different. They would look like servants instead of mini-kings in charge of their own fiefdoms. Servants and those who are served look decidedly different. This is also where much of the institutional clergy gets it wrong. Many are usually being served and do very little actual serving. The proof is in the fruit. Their brand of Christianity is failing the country. The country is trillions in debt and politicians continue bickering over the equivalent of chump change.

         They each have another agenda.

         And so do “We the People:”

         The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.” [1 Samuel 8:7-9]

         America was warned. Though very few listened, America was most definitely warned. And we continue to be warned. We are being warned right now. God never allows such terrible events to occur without a clear word of warning. (1) We either hear the warning and reject it, as did the ancient Hebrews, or (2) We don’t hear because our ears have been rendered powerless by our sin and lack of reverence for the Lord, or (3) We hear and obey. In the case of a country of millions with a vote, however, the majority essentially rules, and the majority has essentially either been deceived by repeatedly honoring liars or has rejected the Lord.

         So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you:

  1. “He will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots.
  2. “He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
  3. “He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers.
  4. “He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants.
  5. “He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants.
  6. “He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work.
  7. “He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.

         “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

         Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the LORD’S hearing. The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.” [1 Samuel 8:10-22] [1]

         Z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z-z…

         America has been taken over by a ruthless “king.” He’s been here a long time, for many decades. His entire system depends on our continued loyalty and servitude to him. Though often rejected, the only real hope is the Lord Jesus—the Man of Scripture—the God of the Universe—the real King. He makes a way where there is no way. Regardless of what goes on all around us, His kingdom is here, He is here, and He has answers and solutions. 

         The Awake are Aware.

         © 2011 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 Classic Church Building: A Non-Biblical Wineskin (Part 2)

         “No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” [Mark 2:22]   

         Throughout all of man’s history, the one constant form of physical structure which has accounted for 99% of all buildings on the planet is the simple family dwelling. Be it a hut, a tent, or something more extravagant, it is home. Houses, therefore, have forever been ubiquitous. Even in modern society houses greatly outnumber all other buildings. The farther one goes back in history, the more the percentage rises. Hence, the private home was then and remains now the best ministry tool of all time, and the early believers proved it.

         All throughout the Book of Acts is the record of private homes being used in ministry. They began by going “house to house.” The house of the upper room was most likely the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark. After his Damascus road experience, Paul was taken to the house of Judas where he met Ananias. Peter was staying at Simon the tanner’s house by the sea. Paul stayed at and ministered from Lydia’s house in Philippi. The home of Jason in Thessalonica was obviously used for ministry. Paul also lived at and ministered from the house of Titius Justus in Corinth.

         Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; also greet the church that is in their house. [Romans 16:3-5]   

         Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house. [Colossians 4:15]

         Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker, and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [Philemon 1:1-3] [1]

         Church buildings are not New Testament archetypical. They can be good. They can be useful. They are possibly great on a temporary basis. But they are very costly and high maintenance. They sometimes cause more problems than they solve. And the number one reason is because they are slow.

         I played softball with a guy once who had to be one of the slowest guys in the whole world. He was not overweight. He was physically healthy. But I could make it to second base before he ever got to first. Once, a dim coach actually put this gentleman in front of me in the batting order. In that game, he had somehow made it safely to first base. Then I came up. I got a hit that would normally easily get me to second base and maybe third. But when I rounded first base my buddy was only halfway to second. Doh! He barely made it there. I’m standing on first when I might have made it to third. And I was not the fastest guy on the team.

         American Christianity has slowed considerably. Despite all the latest technology it has grown sluggish, materialistic, and weighted down. It is no wonder it is failing so badly. The Community of the Lord Jesus was built to be fleet of foot, in shape, slim and trim, on the move, and filled with energy, but also strong in its own right. American Christianity has grown in size as has the population and as a result has long since given up sprints. The problem is doubly bad in that we don’t have the strength for weight-lifting competitions either. In general spiritual terms, though traditional American Christianity has church buildings everywhere, we’re simply not getting the job done, are routinely outclassed, and often overrun. People “go to church” forever and never get to know most of the people in the congregation.  

         On the other hand, there is a relatively new wineskin in this country on the rise. It has remained true to the gospel but has sloughed off old forms that slow and restrict. It is having a tremendous impact.

          House churches and small groups have exploded in the country over the last two decades. Its proponents are quick and mobile, and do whatever possible to reach the lost and disciple the up and coming. There is no way to stop their progress. They need little or no funding. They reach places traditional Christianity rarely reaches. They touch hearts. The organic nature of a small group allows the Lord to be in charge. One cannot hide in a small group. Everybody is somebody. Through much learning and many spiritual trials, home church practitioners have developed the same ministry forms of the early centuries of Christianity. They are motivated by love. They stand on unity. They live to serve.

         The Lord’s original model is presently being applied in more places in the world than ever before, and is impacting the lives of millions that would otherwise never be reached. Mobility is the key. Instead of one large physical building, there are scads of many smaller buildings. Some have no buildings. By this they much more easily follow the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, and cover a lot of ground. And they are having miraculous Lord Jesus-caliber results.

        Also, they understand that each real believer is a house—the real building—a mobile tent wherein lives the Spirit of the Lord. Collectively these comprise the worldwide Community of Called-Out Ones independent of the traditions of men. On those occasions when church buildings supplement the work of God and exist according to His will, it is good. Otherwise, we must follow the Lord’s example, trim down, get quick, and make the necessary transistion to the future. His work demands it. [Part 2 of 2] 

         © 2011 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 Classic Church Building: A Non-Biblical Wineskin (Part 1)

         The Community of the Lord was built for speed. It began in the upper room of a house. The early Church had no time to even consider the things we in the present deem wholly indispensible. They were out to save the world. The Community was expanding by leaps and bounds. Growth was rapid from the very beginning and never slowed for three centuries. It began on its very first day in Jerusalem with a harvest of three thousand souls.

         Imagine that. Many churches of today work for long decades to accumulate a few hundred loyal members. Many are presently trying to keep what they have and are failing miserably.

         It was twenty years ago when I began receiving from the Lord the notes and revelations that would eventually become my first book. But I knew by the 1970’s, within a very short time of studying the New Testament by Holy Spirit inspiration that modern Christianity did not match up at all with the prototype. And I wondered why.

         I quickly got the big idea. I eventually spent thirty years in institutional churches, including my youth, gaining much experience of all that is good about church buildings and that which is not so good. There is no question that the latter outweighs the former.

         First of all, church buildings are simply not Biblical. The Lord never built a building nor did He ever instruct His men to do so. He was never on board with the rich, connected Sadducees who controlled the Jerusalem Temple. Though He often preached in synagogues when welcome, He spent the majority of His ministry time out in the open, in the woods, along the Sea, and on the beaten paths. He was always moving. Always. The Lord Jesus was mobile. The tabernacle in the wilderness was mobile. It was a tent. It was set up, used, taken down, loaded up, transported to a new site, and set up again.

         The Lord taught His men to be mobile. He taught them to give up all their possessions, in part so that they would have nothing tying them down when it came time to move on. The apostle Paul was also constantly on the move. There were occasions when he stayed local to teach and establish a work and then he was off yet again. The traveling man was so mobile that the Lord blessed him with a perfect location to end his life on earth—on the side of a road outside Rome.

         The Lord had no place to lay His head. He occasionally stayed with others but He mostly slept under the stars. He was on a mission. He had work to do. He could not afford to be slowed down.

         It is as obvious as it can be that the early believers followed His example. They were as mobile as He was, and a perfect representation in spiritual terms of the tabernacle of Moses, which was a type of mobile ministry centered on human beings.

         Conversely, our ministries are most often centered on church buildings. We are often bound by church buildings. We can’t get them out of our heads. We cannot imagine life without them (“How can I go to church if there’s not a church?”). For the most part, Christians feel absolutely naked without the comfort, security, and anchor of a building.

         Yet, the majority of Christians throughout history never had buildings. The majority of real Christians on the planet today do not have buildings. But they have the Lord. They are dedicated. They are productive. And they are fast. They can break camp quickly and move to new locations, so to speak. Some of the travel real Christians do is in the Spirit. It is not always geographic. We live, we learn, we gain revelation and greater knowledge, we mature, and then we have to leave old forms, understandings, and perspectives and create new ones based on such. Core Biblical truths are thus granted greater freedom and opportunity to produce much fruit. Isn’t this our goal?

         Static forms always slow. They restrict. We end up trying to force our ministries within such structures. But are we really having an impact on society? How can we when we force others to come to us instead of us going to them?

         Here’s the real beauty of the Lord Jesus and his manner of ministry: He needs nothing material on a permanent basis. Because He is God, He can create anything He needs whenever He needs it, so why must He accumulate a bunch of stuff to schlep around? All it does it slow Him down and restrict ministry efforts. The bulk of His work is in the spiritual realm. If He wants or needs stuff He acquires it. But when it is has served its purpose He gives it away or sells it, and usually gives the money to the needy. Then He starts again. He will not be bound by anything. He is as free as free can be. He builds nothing that grows sluggish as long as He is in charge. [Part 1 of 2]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.      

Woe to You, Christian Pharisees!

         Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.”

1.  “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”

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

3.  “They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men.”

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”

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

5.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.”

6.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

7.  “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold?”

8.  “And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering?”

         “Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.”

9.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”

10.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.”

11.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! 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.”

12.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.”

         “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell? Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” [Matthew 23:1-39] [1]

         © 2011 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 Declaration of Independence 2011

        On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia House of Burgesses introduced a resolution that essentially became the actual Declaration of Independence. The short document stated thus:

Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.         

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.

        The resolution was debated the next day and then tabled until July 1. In the meantime, a committee was formed to consider the question of independence. It was composed of five members: John Adams, Ben Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was enlisted to write the document. After editing, the Declaration was voted upon for acceptance by Congress on July 2, and formally accepted on July 4, 1776. It is interesting to note, however, that it was not actually a declaration of independence. That honor belonged to the resolution of Richard Henry Lee. The original title of the formal document written by Thomas Jefferson was the following:

A Declaration by the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in General Congress assembled

The final draft adopted on July 4, 1776 contained the more familiar title of:

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

         When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Circumcision: Hearts Sewn Up With Blue (Part 2)

         For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. [Romans 2:25-29]   

         In writing such things, it is no wonder that Paul was a hunted man. The unbelieving Jews hated him for seemingly making of little consequence the distinguishing mark of ancient Jewish belief. Yet the truth of a circumcised heart was obviously revealed by God, and it relates just as directly to all unbelieving Christians who make their religious service or quasi-Christian beliefs their saving grace. Paul was, of course, a Jew in very good standing. He saw the issue from both sides, first as an unbeliever and later as a disciple of the Lord. The believing Jews, who comprised the great bulk of early disciples, understood what he was saying, as did believing Gentiles, and applied the truth accordingly. They saw that one’s heart must change for the better, and a person must become a new creation.

         See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. [Colossians 2:8-12]   

         In spiritual New Covenant terms, physical circumcision is a non-issue:

         Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God. [1 Corinthians 7:19]

         For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. [Galatians 5:6]

         For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. [Galatians 6:15]

         It is the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit of God that really matters. It brings forth:

  • The keeping of the commandments of God
  • Faith working through love
  • A new creation

         From the Jewish perspective, that which Paul was stating was akin to blasphemy. To say that circumcision meant nothing violated the very covenant that God made with Abraham and the entire nation of Israel! Something had changed. For the unbelieving Jews, it was that the original covenant had been violated anyway, since it had become a mere ritual. For the believing Jews, they understood it was about the heart.

         We are warned, therefore, to watch out for the counterfeit. There are many people preaching and believing false gospels. Paul was not the least bit shy, through speaking and writing by the anointing of God, in attacking the enemies of the Lord and those who persisted in bringing forth false teachings. Many in his day claimed to be the real thing. Many others stood up for truth and for the correct teachings of the Lord, regardless of the cost. False believers of today are no different from those of yesteryear.  

         Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh… [Philippians 3:2-3]

         The Lord has made a way to not only perform very necessary surgery on unregenerate hearts, but also established a method of remembrance upon them in keeping with an Old Testament type as put forth in the following passage: 

         The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God. I am the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the LORD your God.” [Numbers 15:37-41] [1]

         Regardless of suffering and persecution, real Christians serve the Lord Jesus because they love Him. They give their lives as a burnt offering, are washed in His Name, are raised to new life, submit completely to a holy God, and their new circumcised hearts are sewn up with a thread of blue. [Part 2 of 2] 

         © 2011 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.

Real Circumcision: Hearts Sewn Up With Blue (Part 1)

Brit Milah

Image via Wikipedia

         It is said that the greatest pain known to humanity is childbirth. Or breaking a femur. Yet, I must say for all the males among us that circumcision must rank right up there, though the majority of us partook of the round cut as tiny tots, and blessedly have no memory of the event. Based on this, a spiritual circumcision of the heart can’t be a walk in the park either, or the apostle Paul would not have used such a descriptive illustration.  

         Though there are many good things associated with physical circumcision, especially in the realm of health, God used it to distinguish the ancient Hebrews from heathen nations. It was a mark in flesh denoting the particular people of God. It signified the later New Covenant circumcision of the heart, in that all seed proceeding from a cleansed heart is pure and holy, and takes place by the Spirit of God. It was a viable part of the Mosaic code, and no man who would keep the Law was exempt. Becoming a real covenant man of God thus required serious commitment.

         God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants. A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” [Genesis 17:9-14]

         Is there any doubt that Abraham wondered if he heard right? “Uh, you want me to do WHAT?” Here was a serious test. Though there were several reasons for God’s command in this area, the greatest was obedience. The next was the understanding that covenant with God would cost, would separate, would distinguish, and would weed out all pretenders. There is no way His people could adopt this practice without a full heart commitment.

         As opposed to most of our current sappy and wrongheaded Christianity, this was serious business. Yet, even circumcision became a mere rite over time. Like so many Christian things we presently do, many have become mere rituals with no heart involvement. It got so bad that the Lord had to make the following statements in the days of Moses:

         “So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.” [Deuteronomy 10:16]

         “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.” [Deuteronomy 30:6]

         Though the Lord established an outward sign in the flesh, He kept trying to make the point that it was meant to also be a sign of an inward change of one’s heart. In a passage that echoes of the future Parable of the Sower, Jeremiah touched on this very topic in his time, speaking to a very wayward Israel:

         “For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or else My wrath will go forth like fire and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds.’” [Jeremiah 4:3-4] [1]

         The keeping of external regulations is worthless if the heart remains unregenerate. Unreal Christians with uncircumcised hearts have mastered the process of acting out their chosen religious forms while turning a deaf ear to God. They violate and rip to shreds the commandment against idolatry. They create a God to suit themselves. With very stiff necks, they obey a false depiction of God and refuse to bend their knee, honor the Name, and give their hearts to the real Lord Jesus. [Part 1 of 2]

         © 2011 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.

Sacrificial Love: A Shining Witness

abortion crosses

Image by reallyboring via Flickr

         In light of the article I posted last Saturday concerning abortion, let’s look at the other side of the equation. Real Christians do not kill their children. But for those who do, isn’t that their right? It is perfectly legal in this country to kill unborn babies, so those who choose to do so have every right to do so. It is the politically correct thing to do, whether to kill said babies or support their killing.

         There is yet another politically correct move underway at present in trying to banish the use of all tobacco products by Major League baseball players. When I first saw this, I thought, “What? Someone is trying to ban the use of legal products because it sets a bad example?” I don’t use tobacco products of any kind, so I don’t really have a dog in this fight. But as an American, I do not appreciate someone telling another American he or she cannot do something there is no law against. If it’s a moral issue, so be it. But until tobacco use is made illegal through legislation, where to some people get off in attempting to restrict its use?

         Now, it has already been proven that secondary tobacco smoke can kill and cause disease just as it can with the primary user. I don’t want anyone blowing smoke in my face. Therefore, I personally think it’s a good idea to ban tobacco smoke in public places. But snuff and chaw is a different issue. Besides, baseball players are way out there on the field. It is not possible that their disease is catching.

         But kids look up to them! They’re role models! I say that’s a lot of garbage. I’ve been following Major League baseball since the sixties and I have never once dipped snuff or chewed tobacco. I did try my Dad’s unfiltered Pall Mall’s on for size way back then and was cured of smoking very quickly. Baseball never made me a tobacco user. If someone becomes a tobacco user, it is their own personal decision, and the vast majority of kids learn it from their parents. And again, it is legal.

         So what happens if parents want to kill their children? Isn’t that their choice as Americans? The reason the Pro-Life Movement can never gain real steam is because it keeps running into the sad little fact that abortion is legal. No matter what one does, it seems, the powers that be cannot be convinced that they must end the practice. The reason is because Americans in general don’t want to end the practice. Abortion could be made illegal again very quickly if the majority of Americans got on the bandwagon and got after it. But they don’t. The nation in general just doesn’t care.

         Why then, should Christians care? Americans (and many professed Christians) love abortion, fornication, adultery, drugs, pornography, greed, excessive alcohol use, foul language, lying, materialism, disrespect of their fellow man, blatant idolatry, and murder. And the great vast majority of all people murdered in this country are tiny, innocent babies. These are just facts. They can’t be denied. It may make some people very uncomfortable, but that’s just the way it is. It is what America has become. This is how Americans use their free will, and almost all of it is perfectly legal. You wanna sleep around? No one’s gonna stop you. Kill your unborn kid? Legal. Use tobacco and alcohol excessively? Legal. Just don’t drive under the influence. Tell lies to your heart’s content? Deceive like there’s no tomorrow? Legal. Treat others like garbage as long as you don’t break any laws? No problem.

         But what about:

         “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:36-40] [1]

         Well, these only apply to those real disciples who have committed their lives to the Lord Jesus. They don’t apply to anyone else. We still have about a billion laws in this country that are there for various reasons, but God’s laws only apply to those who have submitted to God. You can’t force people to obey God. The great thing about this country is that it is still a place of great personal freedom, though it is not anywhere close to being as free as it used to be. If people want to thumb their nose at God, He’s not going to drop everything and get ‘em. At the end of the day we each have the right to sin up a storm, do whatever the heck we want, and let the chips fall where they may.

         We also have the right to serve God. In this light, things would probably go better for us Christians if we would get our own lives together and quit trying to force non-disciples or faux Christians to toe the mark. One’s Christian witness, whether okay, kind of good, pretty good, or real good, is what others will see first. Though it is definitely a process, and there is always room for improvement, the love of the Lord is the answer as demonstrated through our lives. The Lord loved sacrificially. We must do the same.

         Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. [Ephesians 5:1-5]

         © 2011 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.