Monthly Archives: October 2017

FAKE CHURCHES AND SACRIFICIAL LAMBS

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

          Here’s a New Covenant example:

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

THE DEPENDENCY MODEL MEETS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE  

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

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

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

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

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

THEY DON’T TEACH THIS AT PREACHING SCHOOL

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

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

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

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

A KNEE JERK REACTION

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

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

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

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

EXCOMMUNICADO

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

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

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

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

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CENSORED “LEGAL” CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA

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

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

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

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

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COMPROMISE THROUGH ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

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

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

CHRISTIAN BARBARIANS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.    

YES, THEY REALLY ARE THAT STUPID

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RESISTING REAL CHRISTIANITY BRINGS GRADUAL DEPRAVITY

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

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

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

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

DEFINING NEW WINE (AND EMBRACING ADULTHOOD)

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

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

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

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

NEW WINE

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

OLD WHINE

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

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

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

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

FERMENTATION (SPIRITUAL EYES AND EARS ALERT)

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

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

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

PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE

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

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

BECOMING FULLY MATURE

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

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

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

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

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

DEVELOPING INTO SPIRITUAL ADULTS

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

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

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. [Romans 12:2]

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

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

THE PROPER FRAME OF REFERENCE 

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

FOR YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN’S CHILDREN

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

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

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

DRUNK ON THE HOLY GHOST

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

         And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them:

         “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

         “‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT…’” [Acts 2:12-18] [1]

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

          “New Wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

Announcing a New Post (October)

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

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

             RJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIRTY YEARS OF AGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE LORD’S BIRTHDAY

         There is also this:

         While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

         In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” [Luke 2:6-11]

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

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

        And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14] [1]

         Happy Birthday, Lord.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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