Blog Archives

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

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

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

         My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue       

         The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

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

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

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

RUNNING ON EMPTY

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

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

THEN CAME MOSES

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME

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

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

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

A BRIEF HISTORY OF JEWISH NATIONAL TITLES

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

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

MOSES PROPHESIES OF THE COMING KING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 4)

         Tonight at sunset marks the beginning of Iyyar 5 on the Hebrew calendar. It was on this date in 1948 that the modern state of Israel was created. Iyyar 5 corresponded then to May 14 on the Gregorian calendar.

         The modern state of Israel was created by non-believers—among the movers and shakers was not a single believer in the Lord Jesus. In fact, many were atheists, including the first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who was also a lifelong Communist/Marxist/Socialist and admirer of Lenin.

         Among unbelieving Jews, no actual descendent of Abraham is historically more rejected, hated, or despised than the Lord Jesus, who continues to be viewed as a false Messiah and evil interloper.

         He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. [John 1:10-11]

         Abraham was the first to be called a Hebrew. The Hebrews descended from Abraham. Abraham had descended from Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. Noah had descended from Adam.

         The Lord Jesus—YeHoshua HaMashiach—descended from Adam, through Noah, through Noah’s son Shem, through Abraham, through Abraham’s son Isaac, through Isaac’s son Jacob, and through Jacob’s son Judah. He also descended through King David. Hence, the “Son of David” is the rightful and final heir to the throne—the King of kings and Lord of lords:

         These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” [Revelation 17:14]

         Here we see that the CHOSEN PEOPLE are those who are with the Lord Jesus.

         In fact, the New Testament refers to REAL CHRISTIANS as the CHOSEN PEOPLE at least 16 times.

         Therefore, in order to qualify as one of the chosen people, one must be CALLED BY, CHOSEN OF, and FAITHFUL TO the Lord Jesus.

         “For many are called, but few are chosen.” [Matthew 22:14]

         Those who are called and chosen by the Lord Jesus MUST ALSO BE FAITHFUL to the Lord Jesus or there is no covenant with Him.

         The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is His Kingdom. There is no other. He is the only King. It is His community. His community is comprised of all those who are chosen by Him. He is the only one who chooses the members. Anyone can apply for membership, but applying for membership in no way proves chosen status. One must not only apply, one must be chosen. And the Lord Jesus is the only one who does the calling and choosing.

         “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.” [John 15:16-17]

         This is what the members of His real community look like:

         For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1Corinthians 1:26-29] [1]

         Regarding these real chosen people of the Lord’s community, one cannot be faithful to the Lord Jesus or one another without loving one another. The faithfulness to and love of the Lord Jesus is that which creates an ongoing covenant with Him. Loving one another in the Lord’s community is that which creates an ongoing covenant with one another.

         Therefore, it is impossible to be a member of the CHOSEN PEOPLE if one rejects and refuses to honor the Lord Jesus as Messiah, Lord, King, and “God with us.”

         Without acknowledging the Lord Jesus as God, there is no possible covenant with Him:

         Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.

         Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. [1John 2:22-23]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[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.

FURTHER PROOF:

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 1)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 2)

THE REAL CHOSEN PEOPLE (Part 3)

WISE UP: Revealing the Signs of the Antichrist Spirit

         For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.

      Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. [2John 1:7-9]

         There is only one “Teaching of Christ.” There is only one real Gospel. The teaching of Christ is His entire curriculum. Those who refuse to teach, believe in, and obey the entire curriculum of the Lord Jesus do not have God. Period. They are not for real and should never be trusted.

         They have rejected both the Father and the Son.

IDENTIFYING THE FATHER AND SON

         The Father and Son are a package deal. The Father and Son cannot be divided. The Father and Son are not two separate entities and never have been:

         In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1:1]

         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]

         “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” [Matthew 11:27]

         Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’” [John 14:8-9]

         The Bible clearly identifies the Word of God. But it also reveals that The Word of God is not separate from God. In fact, it clearly states that the Word of God IS God. The Word of God and God are not two separate entities, but the same entity. If the Word of God IS God, and there is only ONE God, then how can the Word of God be something or someone other than God?

         The Word of God became flesh. In other words, God, the one and only God—the YHWH of the Old Testament—became a human being. We know this human being as the Lord Jesus. Therefore, the Lord Jesus is God. God came forth among us no longer as merely the spoken Word, but as THE LIVING WORD.

         Therefore, if one denies that the Lord Jesus is God, then one has denied the Father. The Lord Jesus said exactly the same thing on many occasions.

         “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” [John 5:23]

         Also, if one accepts the Son, then one must accept Him entirely. One must acknowledge Him as the one and only Messiah and Savior of the world, and one must acknowledge that He died for our sins and rose again. One must teach, believe in, and obey His entire curriculum.

         Failing this, one rejects the Son, since the Son demands total obedience:

         “He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” [Matthew 10:38]

         If one rejects the Son, it is impossible to ever know the Father. Why? Because it is only the Son who reveals the Father. It is not the Father who reveals the Son, but the Son who reveals the Father.

         Regarding major monotheistic religions on the planet, Judaism denies that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah. By denying the Lord Jesus, Judaism has denied the Father. Therefore, “the Father” referred to by the Lord Jesus must be someone different than the one adherents of Judaism worship.

         Islam denies that the Lord Jesus died for our sins and rose again. By denying the Lord Jesus for who He is and what He has done, Islam has denied the Father. Therefore, “the Father” referred to by the Lord Jesus must be someone different than the one adherents of Islam worship.

         Returning then, to the narrative from John’s second letter, it is impossible to divide Father from Son. However, as indicated, there are those who teach that it is possible to have the Father without acknowledging the Son. This is a lie. It is absolutely refuted by the New Covenant writings.

         Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. [1John 2:2-23]

         If “Christians” believe the lie that one can have the Father without the Son and incorporate it into their thinking, they will become convinced that other belief systems are just as viable as the Lord’s pure and original teachings. They will especially become convinced, and thus deceived, that monotheistic religions which honor a single “god” are actually honoring the one God of the Bible.

         But again, if one refuses to acknowledge the Son, then one does not have the Father.

         Thus, the Incarnation of God into human form—the Lord Jesus Christ coming in the flesh—must be recognized and believed OR ONE WILL BE OVERCOME AND DECEIVED BY THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT.

THE DEVIL IS A DICTATOR  

         The devil wants to be in charge. Always.

         He does not believe in community or group counsel.

         He will not tolerate any dissent. He will brook no interference whatsoever in any of his plans.

         He must be front and center, in complete control, surrounded by yes men.

         His sub-tyrants, fallen angels and human sellouts, are mere sycophants.

         He has an agenda, and he achieves it through lies, manipulation, intimidation, coercion, and giving people money, power, titles, authority over others, and whatever else their hearts desire in exchange for becoming his servant and obeying him in all things.

         By refusing to serve the Lord Jesus, one serves the devil by default.

         There is no actual spiritual middle ground, but only the appearance of such. Those who refuse the Lord Jesus and think they are also refusing the devil from the safety of a mythical, objective middle ground are deceived.

THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT IN GOVERNMENT           

         The antichrist spirit has always revealed itself in human governmental forms throughout man’s history, including, of course, the ancient world when its presence was far less subtle. Uninformed and unintelligent people are always much more easily manipulated and the majority of people in the ancient world fit that category.

         Barring keeping people uninformed and unintelligent, one must keep them indoctrinated. In fact, it is much easier to control and manipulate people through mass indoctrination, since they can be used to further one’s agenda. Otherwise, those in power must use pure force and fear.

         The power of force and fear certainly works, and governmental forms can certainly use such “assets,” but only on a very low scale. Better to indoctrinate them with a “one size fits all” education process that denies truth and promotes what can only be termed misinformation and half truths. In other words, there must be enough truth in the faulty equation to deceive people but not so much that the enemy and his illicit plans are exposed.

ADAM AND EVE

         The devil thrives on deception. He must fool people. It is the only way he can be in control. He won his authority over the human race in the very beginning by using this exact simple method on gullible Eve, who then convinced her husband to do likewise.

         Adam, of course, was never deceived by the devil or by Eve, because he was already in possession of the full truth. He had a pure walk with God his entire life. He knew right from wrong, he knew truth from error, and he knew all about the devil’s methods. He had obviously already been tested by temptation and passed.

         Eve, however, presented a challenge to everything he knew. He remembered life without her when the days of his longing came upon him, when the Lord said it is not good for the man to be alone. Adam did not want to return to those days. But he also did not want to sin and fall away from God.

         He was, at least in his mind, which was quite weakened and compromised in that moment, on the horns of a very serious dilemma. Eve had already decided. She already took the bait. She had already sinned. She already fell for the lies of the devil. She ate the fruit.

         She was overcome by the antichrist spirit.

         But Adam remained on the other side. He had not yet done any of those things. He suddenly saw, like a bright flash of lightning in his troubled brain, that he would have to choose one or the other. He could no longer have both.

         Would it be God? Or would it be Eve? If he chose God he would have to banish Eve from the Garden and lose her forever. If he chose Eve, well, we all know how that turned out.

UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT

         It was at this point that males began worshipping females. The entirety of ancient goddess worship can be traced back to this incident. Adam went from loving God with all of his heart and loving his wife with all of his heart to betraying God and essentially obeying and worshipping his wife. It was through this that he opened himself up to serving the devil. Obedience can be equated with worship.

         This bewitching spiritual gene mutation (flaw) was later manifested in many otherwise great men who felt compelled to obey their wives against the will of God, which always caused major problems. It even showed up in Abraham, whom God referred to as His friend.

         Of course, problems can also ensue if one does the right thing, especially in these days, and one may see obeying one’s wife instead of God as the lesser of two problem-producing scenarios. If a Christian questions the preceding truth or what worship is and where it should go, there is this:

         Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” [Matthew 4:10] [1]

         That is exactly what Adam should have said. It is what Abraham should have said.

THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT IN RELIGION

         Though real Christianity is referred to as a “religion,” this is absolutely untrue.

         And though the origin of Christianity should be known by all Christians as something learned in a simple introductory course—Christianity 101—the vast majority of those who refer to themselves as Christian have apparently (and obviously) never taken such a course.

         This makes them vulnerable and open for indoctrination, which, again, is the ancient ploy of the devil. Whereas the Lord Jesus does all He can to bless all people with truth and freedom, the people who are sold out to religion want the opposite. Deceived themselves, they take their cue from the devil and strive to indoctrinate with their own corrupted form of Christianity as a means to gain converts, gain control over them, and thus control and gain access to their money, time, and resources. Having no legitimate power or ability in themselves, they must act the parasite and suck it out of others, but first must deceive said others into doing their bidding. It is how they become religious kings and potentates, large or small.

         Again, this time-honored and hugely productive tactic is right out of the devil’s playbook.

         Religion has corrupted and controlled the minds of billions, regardless of its various forms. Whether they are non-Christian religions or corrupted forms of Christianity, they all serve one purpose: to manipulate, indoctrinate, re-educate, and then propagate for the purpose of gaining control and wealth.

         It’s all a mind game. The best religionists are those who convince others, often with a gentle manner and smiling face, to do exactly as they say and thus transform otherwise free human beings with vibrant minds into mind-numbed religious robots engaging in endless ritual who exist in a state of abject fear at the prospect of stopping.

         © 2015 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.

I’M FREE (Messiah’s Pointed to the Door!)

BE FREE

         As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

         They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

         Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

PHARISEES ARE IDIOTS

         “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.

         They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

         Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.

MURDEROUS, LYING, RELIGIOUS CHILDREN OF THE DEVIL

         You are doing the deeds of your father.”

         They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.”

         Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.

         You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

THRUST AND PARRY

         The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

         Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.”

         The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’ Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?”

JUST WHO ARE YOU EXACTLY?

      Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

      So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

      Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.”

      Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. [John 8:30-59] [1]

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LYRICS FOLLOW BELOW (TURN UP YOUR SPEAKERS):

 

I’m free

I’m free

And freedom tastes of reality

 

I’m free

I’m free

And I’m waiting for you to follow me

 

If I told you what it takes

To reach the highest high

You’d laugh and say, “Nothing’s that simple”

 

But you’ve been told many times before

Messiah’s pointed to the door

No one had the guts to leave the temple

 

I’m free

I’m free

And freedom tastes of reality

 

I’m free

I’m free

And I’m waiting for you to follow me

 

How can we follow?

How can we follow? [2]

 

          © 2015 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] © 1969 Pete Townshend THE WHO

“If Isaiah Said That He’s A Liar!”

         If you had to pick one single Old Covenant verse of Scripture that proves the utter fallacy of a later all-encompassing man-made doctrine ascribed to by most Christians, it would be the following:

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

         Here we have a direct prophecy from one of the strongest and most prolific prophets revered by all, whose pronouncements are loaded with prophetic content that later came to pass exactly as proclaimed.

         This man was quoted by both John the Immerser as the Lord’s forerunner, and also by the Lord Jesus Himself during His ministry among us. The Lord quoted Isaiah extensively. In fact, the Lord quoted Isaiah’s words in stating that He was the long-awaited Messiah.

         This prophet’s words are used by Philip and Paul in the Book of Acts, and Paul quotes him many times in the Book of Romans, considered by many to be his best and most profound teaching epistle.

         There is no doubt among honest Bible scholars that the truth within the truth that Isaiah continued to preach regarding the future Messiah was that the coming One would not be a mere man—He would be God:

         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.”

         And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. [Matthew 1:20-25]

         In this passage, Matthew quotes Isaiah 7:14. This word Immanuel only appears twice in the Old Covenant writings, and both are in the Book of Isaiah. The word refers to the coming Messiah. And Isaiah said the Messiah would be God.

         Though this may appear clear on the surface and though the Lord’s Name means YHWH-Savior, the above passage from Matthew presents a challenge. For from it we learn that the Father of the Son is the Holy Spirit. Huh?

         Now, if you want to get into a heated argument with any Bible-believing descendant of Abraham at any time in history but especially since the time of Isaiah, tell him or her that the following foundational passage in one of their revered books is actually not true:

         “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” [Deuteronomy 6:4] [1]

         This very passage contains the great truth that divided the Hebrews from every other nation on the planet. No other nation believed in one God, but a multiplicity of gods. This is the heritage of all ancient religions, the greatest of which stemmed from the greatest empires that ever existed on the planet.

         Does anyone think the ancient Sumerians or Egyptians were ignorant? If so, how did they manage to build such powerful empires? How did they manage the brilliance that brought forth so much knowledge into this world? The Sumerians are credited with creating civilization! These laid the foundations for later greater empires, namely the Greeks and Romans, who were possessed of some of the most brilliant people to ever walk the planet. So much of our knowledge is gained from them.

         And they all believed in a multiplicity of gods.

         But not the Hebrews. Never the Hebrews, not until they lapsed into their backslidden condition. Regardless of their many falls into sin and idolatry, their ancient Scriptures continued to consistently and overwhelmingly refer to their God as a single individual. They had to fight constantly to put forth such a view, since all other nations believed they could not be more wrong (“You one god morons!”).

         Thanks to the Hebrew remnant, the truth of One God was preserved. We now can refer back to these historical documents and we even know when they were given. Suffice it to say that Isaiah the prophet was one of the strongest of voices who gave no quarter regarding this truth, and brought it farther along than perhaps any other prophet since the prophet Moses. And it was Moses who gave us Deuteronomy 6:4 as quoted above.

         Also, we must keep in mind that the purveyors of God’s great truths—the Old Covenant Hebrew prophets—were most often rejected and castigated by their own people. The ancient Hebrews put Moses through hell. Many of the Hebrew prophets were murdered by other Hebrews. They were often treated like garbage. Yet they held fast and proclaimed the truth of God come hell or high water, or a posse with a hanging rope.

         Now, it is one thing to attribute to God the fact that He is one, but it is quite another to refer to that same God as the coming Messiah, which is exactly what Isaiah did. Isaiah made the claim that a Messiah would come—A Human Being—A Man—and that this Man would be God Himself, otherwise known as YHWH or the Great “I AM.”

         That’s pretty bold.

         And it pretty much destroys a later man-made doctrine, a doctrine formulated through bypassing the heart and spirit and by banking on mere substandard mental processes with zero revelation from God in an attempt to make everything jibe with regard to philosophical reasoning, existing tradition, and man’s very limited intelligence.

         Isn’t this exactly what the brilliant Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman priests and philosophers did in their completely failed but accepted attempt to proclaim deity?

         It was these brilliant religious men, beginning with the ancient Sumerians 5,000 years ago who invented what were later referred to by the Romans as “triads,” in which the three most powerful and popular gods were lumped together into a single entity. Every ancient pagan religion had their triads, and the membership of each often changed with the blowing wind.

         But the ancient Hebrews knew for a fact that all those brilliant pagan theologians of the ancient world had no idea who God really was. The Hebrews knew who their God was, and they knew He was THE God and the ONLY God. He proved this many times by all the miraculous things He did for the tiny nation and by the love He expressed for it.

         The ancient Hebrews also knew who the pagans did know. They knew those guys didn’t just make up all that stuff regarding their religions and all the gods they worshipped. They knew those pagan priests were intimately knowledgeable with the demons who gave them their power and knowledge. And they knew it originated with the rebellion in the Garden.

         The revelation of one God was the most radical belief in all the ancient world and we must give credit where credit is due, to our Lord first in that He founded a people who would initially honor Him, and to the ancient nation of Israel itself for proclaiming Him.

         As a result of YHWH revealing Himself to the Hebrews and by the Hebrews revealing YHWH to the world, the light of God outed the devil for the poser he is. The adversary was exposed. The devil could no longer exclusively deceive everyone that he was the ruler of the Universe. It made possible the removal of the dark cloud in the minds of men that had enshrouded them ever since the eating of the forbidden fruit. This explains all the spiritual warfare since those times, and why much of Christianity has lost that war.

         By the way, if you’re wondering about the title of this article, it was uttered many years ago by a Bible-believing Christian who was first confronted with the fact that Isaiah claimed the Lord Jesus was not only the Son of God and the Messiah, but YHWH. This man had never in his life heard of that verse or any such thing. He got very upset when presented with the clear truth of Scripture as stated in Isaiah 9:6. It was obvious he had more man-made doctrinal teaching than actual Biblical revelatory knowledge, and it seriously messed up his thought process.

         Confronted with God’s truth, and being completely unable to make it fit with what he was convinced was true, the only retort he could come up with was that Isaiah must have been incredibly wrong. Hence, “If Isaiah said that he’s a liar!”

         You don’t suppose Isaiah’s truth also played a role in the Lord’s crucifixion, do you?

         © 2015 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.

Entering The Miracle Realm (Part 3)

         Abraham chose to believe God’s promise and Isaac was the result, though it happened 25 years later.

         Mary, the Lord’s mother, told everyone in the beginning that her Son was the result of a miracle pregnancy and birth, but no one believed her. Some did believe, however, when the Lord performed His first miracle, 30 years later.

         This means that faith in God’s promises also requires time. The one to whom the impossible promise was made must remain faithful until the impossible promise happens—in God’s timing.

         Joseph remained faithful and pure throughout his 13 years in captivity after a great betrayal. His father thought he was dead. No one knew where he was. No one came looking for him. He was completely cut off from his family.

         But prior to all the abject misery he was subjected to, God gave him a couple of dreams revealing his future and his future standing. He knew these dreams were God’s Word to him and he never lost sight of their implications and future occurrence.

         Therefore, before anything happened or even began to, God gave Abraham a promise—God’s promise to Abraham came first. The angel Gabriel told Mary all about her Son before she conceived. God gave Joseph dreams before the challenging, lonely sojourn he was sent on that resulted in the salvation of his family.

         We thus cannot simply believe in something happening unless it first involves God’s promise of its occurrence. We may have specific promises made to us specifically by God, or we may have the promises He makes in His Word, such as abundant life. Though Abraham lost faith halfway toward the promise, he regained it and returned to The Miracle Realm:

         Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. [Romans 4:19-22]

         The Lord Jesus is THE DOOR to abundant life and the coming true of every promise He makes. But one cannot say he believes in God without also believing in His promises and in His miracle power. Isaac was a miracle. The Lord’s birth was a miracle. Joseph rising from the lowest pit to become the effective ruler of Egypt was obviously miraculous. 

         If one DOES believe in God, according to the Lord’s definition, the evidence of that faith will be there—miracles will happen. This is why miracles followed the ministries and lives of real believers in the first century. It is also why NO MIRACLES follow the ministries and lives of non-believers, whether they claim to be Christians or not.

         Unreal Christianity engages in much fakery and pretension. It insists on its authenticity though the fruit is not there. If the spiritual fruit is not there then the grapevine is either not producing or it likely does not exist in that place.  

         IF THERE IS REAL BELIEF, THERE WILL ALSO BE REAL MIRACLES. THESE TWO ALWAYS GO TOGETHER. THIS IS THE UNDENIABLE PROOF OF GOD’S PRESENCE.

         “…For no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” [John 3:2]

         The miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit of God are the evidence of real believers who refuse to believe in circumstances that disagree with God.

         “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

         “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

         “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

         “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” [John 15:5-8]

         When the presence of the Lord has been rejected, there must be a substitute to give the illusion of authenticity. The Pharisees were absolute masters at doing this. They were incredibly brilliant in putting on fake spiritual performances and this was exactly why the Lord called them stage players. Their speaking ability, intelligence, knowledge, and pageantry was unmatched. They constructed a large, highly detailed living deception, a veritable temple, due to not having the presence of God. They knew most people are greatly impressed by such surface manipulations and the appearance of religious authority. As a result they reveled in the adoration and respect it gained them, including the social standing and wealth.

         The apostle Paul had been one of these but did a complete 180 when he gave his life to the Lord. Because of his real faith the Lord Jesus took away all the fake props and resulting religious pride, and blessed him with Himself and the actual evidence of His presence.

         And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.

         For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

         I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. [1Corinthians 2:1-5]

         If one is a Christian that does not believe in miracles, power, and demonstration of the Spirit, then one is a Christian that does not believe in God, even if he claims to. The claim itself is worthless. It must be confirmed by evidence.

         The life of Abraham contained this evidence. The Lord’s ministry contained this evidence. The ministry of the early believers contained this evidence.

         As a further test of his faith, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice Isaac. Remember, if there’s no Isaac, there is no future Savior of the world and we all go to hell.

         WHEN GOD MAKES A PROMISE HE THEN SPEAKS DEATH TO IT. HE DOES THIS SO THE PROMISE WILL NEVER COME TRUE UNLESS IT IS ACTIVATED AND RESURRECTED BY FAITH, AND IN HIS TIME.

         Abraham obeyed the Lord’s instruction and set out to sacrifice his son.

         By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. [Hebrews 11:17-19]

         Abraham believed in the power of faith and practiced it. He believed in sacrifice and practiced it. He believed in giving and practiced it. He believed in the concept of circumcision and practiced it. He even believed in resurrection from the dead. ABRAHAM OBEYED GOD AND THE MIRACULOUS EVIDENCE OF HIS FAITH WAS DEMONSTRATED IN HIS LIFE.

         He lived in The Miracle Realm. His eyes were opened. He saw what no one else could see. Out in the desert he peered almost 2000 years into the distant future and understood the blood covenant. He understood the gift of righteousness. He understood the reason why. Because he believed God He SAW Salvation:

         “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

         So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

         Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” [John 8:56-58] [1]

         © 2014 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.        

RELATED POST: The Edge of Faith

Entering The Miracle Realm (Part 2)

         The Gospel of John mentions that the children of God, like Isaac, are each miracle children:

         But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]

         Again, the Lord must be first and there must be a covenant with Him before anything else can possibly happen. The old must die so the new can be born.

         “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:7]

         WHENEVER GOD BRINGS FORTH A NEW BIRTH IT IS ALWAYS A MIRACLE.

         Christians who have never had a new birth experience but claim to be believers are only believers in a religious sense. They are believers according to the will of man, or according to religious man or religion. Without a new birth there is no heart change. There is no circumcision of the heart. If they oppose the new birth they are Ishmaels who mock Isaac and fight against the people of God.

         But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. [Galatians 4:29]

         The Pharisees who fought the Lord were Ishmaels. Ishmael fought Isaac. He made fun of Isaac. There was no possible way these two could ever be in fellowship. It was impossible—UNLESS ISHMAEL REPENTED AND BECAME A MAN OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE LIKE HIS FATHER ABRAHAM. Some Pharisees repented, for example, and became real believers.

         What God impressed upon me regarding the inspiration of this article is that in order to enter The Miracle Realm one must choose to believe God and not believe circumstances that do not agree with God’s promise.

         For example, the Lord said he came to give us abundant life:

         “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” [John 10:10]

         Therefore, any circumstances that disagree with that life must not be accepted or believed in. He kept telling the people He healed that their FAITH made them well. Their faith, though, had to be combined with God’s POWER (dunamis) and one cannot be the recipient of God’s power without first being the recipient of God:

         ONE MUST FIRST BELIEVE AND OBEY GOD BEFORE THE MIRACLE CAN HAPPEN, WHICH MEANS ONE MUST ALSO STOP BELIEVING IN ANYTHING THAT DISAGREES WITH GOD.

         When people came to the Lord seeking healing, those who were healed were those who first believed the Lord and believed IN the Lord. The Lord was already there, and His miracle power was already there. His great love and compassion were already there. What they needed was faith in God. If they added their faith in the Lord, believed what He said, believed in what He could do and wanted to do for them, and gave themselves to Him, A MIRACLE HAPPENED. ABUNDANT LIFE HAPPENED.

         “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 6:38]

         ONE CANNOT GET LIFE FROM GOD UNLESS ONE FIRST GIVES LIFE TO GOD.

         If one wonders why the miracle never happens, it is most likely because one has faith in the circumstances or beliefs that oppose God and thus cancel out the power of God. And there is an element of selfishness somewhere. In other words, one practices subtraction instead of addition (giving).

         Such UNBELIEF (apistia) is an actual power. It is a kind of anti-faith—a miracle killer—a force that fights against faith. It will support circumstances and beliefs that oppose the Word of God. It is based on what the natural eye can see and not on what the spiritual eye can see. It is based on the comprehension of the natural mind and not on that of the spiritual mind which is aligned and in agreement with the mind of Christ. It stems from an uncircumcised heart.

         And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief. [Mark 6:5-6] [1]

         Since righteousness is a gift and not something that a person can earn or work up or buy, one can only receive righteousness by receiving the Lord and by first submitting to Him 100%.

         Again, one must enter The Miracle Realm to receive righteousness just like receiving any other miracle. AND BECOMING RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD IS A MIRACLE! This is what being born again entails: New birth—the death of the old (unbelief) and birth of the new (faith).

         IF THIS IS TO HAPPEN, ONE MUST NO LONGER BELIEVE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE THAT DISAGREE WITH THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD JESUS AND DENY LIFE TO ISAAC.

         He came in part to heal physically blind eyes, for example. Unbelievers claim such healing is impossible. The circumstances of life say such healing cannot happen, and that no one has the power to make it happen. The Lord Jesus disagrees and says He can make it happen.

         He can make anything happen. One must choose, therefore, who to believe. One cannot believe both.

         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.” [Mark 9:20-23]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


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

Entering The Miracle Realm (Part 1)

         Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. [Genesis 15:6]

.

         We all know the verse. We have read it and quoted it many times. We have heard it preached and taught in church, on television, and probably on the radio. We all think we probably know what it means.

         For me, it has been an ongoing revelation. The idea that Abraham believed and as a result was made righteous never fully satisfied me. I knew there had to be more.

         The apostle Paul gives us a very good explanation in Romans 4:

         What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

         For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

         Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness… [Romans 4:1-5]

         So Abraham understood that the righteousness he must receive would not be the result of his own efforts. He learned that righteousness is purely a gift, as Paul states in the next chapter:

         For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. [Romans 5:17]

         REIGN IN LIFE?

         Another pretty big clue is that Abraham received a promise:

         Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” [Genesis 15:4-5]

         Now, before this, at the beginning of his journey, the Lord told Abraham in Genesis 12:2: “And I will make you a great nation…” But He did not specify how this would happen.

         Once they arrived in Canaan, the Lord stated: “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7). Abraham must have assumed it meant he would somehow have a family. All he had, however, was a certain Eliezar of Damascus whom he referred to as one born in his house, though not his offspring. He took his concern to God regarding this and we know the rest of the story:

         Abraham and Sarah would have a child though they could not have children.

         This is what Abraham believed. He believed the Lord was telling him the truth in promising him he would have a son, though such an event would be physically impossible. This faith in God and belief in His impossible promise coming to fruition is what made Abraham a righteous man.

         Later, I understood that Abraham didn’t simply believe something he already saw in the present, he believed in something he could not see in the future, and he pledged himself to God that he would be obedient in whatever God told him to do.

         Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. That made perfect sense and added to the spiritual fact. Most people would never sign off on such a contract. And it was a contract. It was a covenant ratified between God and Abraham and was based on an impossible promise. If Abraham was to believe God, he would have to believe the impossible.

         Here is the key: ABRAHAM DID NOT BELIEVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES NO MATTER HOW REAL THEY APPEARED IF THEY DISAGREED WITH GOD’S PROMISE.

         Abraham and Sarah could not have children but God promised Abraham he would have a son. This makes no sense to the rational mind. It is scientifically impossible, at least on the surface according to known facts.

         The only way for such an event to take place then, is by entering The Miracle Realm. This is what happened. Abraham believed God especially because what God said made no sense. This is where his faith came in.

         He made the decision to believe God’s promise. He chose to believe God. He heard God. He knew he heard God. And he knew what God said. But he also knew they could not have kids. So he believed God had the power to overcome that fact and would overcome that fact—SOMEHOW, SOME WAY.

         However, in order for Abraham to enter The Miracle Realm he must first give his life to God. And giving one’s life to God means a person must commit to doing anything and everything God says to do, both in the present and in the future. Abraham did this. He signed off on the covenant. Making the covenant with God always comes first.

         Later though, after being faithful for several years, Abraham stepped out of faith. He violated the covenant. He lost faith in God and disobeyed God by choosing to obey his wife who had no faith (barren). He decided to leave The Miracle Realm and go back to the world of man where faith was not required.

         As a result they created Ishmael, who was birthed according to purely natural means by someone who was NOT Sarah. This was NOT faith. If there would be a miracle, God said Sarah must be the mother.

         Though Ishmael was loved by God, and though Ishmael’s descendants were and are loved by God, Ishmael is not Isaac, Hagar is not Sarah, and the fallen world of man is not The Miracle Realm:

         For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.

         This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

         But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.

         For it is written, “REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”

         And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. [Galatians 4:22-28] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


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

A Heavenly Homeland on Planet Earth

        

         Many of us are aware of a world beyond the senses.

         In the moments we allow ourselves the time to reflect on life instead of merely living it out day by day, we often perceive something beyond mere nature—an unanswered depth—a fleeting reality that is both difficult to grasp and easy as a dream. There is something there, beyond us, and certainly beyond a cheap existence characterized by routine and the mindless pursuit of material needs.

         Yes, we must possess the material if we are to live—we must have a living—but for what purpose? I learned very early in life that working to earn a living meant survival for most people. It meant something to do to pay the bills. It rarely was something enjoyed or chosen for its own benefit. For the few who enjoy their work at earning money, as if it is not about earning money, there is a happiness and lack of anxiety that does not exist in the lives of seemingly everyone else.

         For those who make peace with their profession—not because they enjoy it as a first choice or would choose it if earning money was not the primary option—they have accepted the sacrifice of themselves for the greater good and being comfortable as a solid member of society. They have eliminated any possible criticism of failing to carry their own weight, have their financial bases more or less covered, and the resultant peace is worth the price.

         But there is another peace that cannot be found in living for this world. This is the peace many search for but often never find or have a very difficult time finding. It is a peace that arrives from without, again, in those rare moments of reflection we allow ourselves. It is the same peace a child knows in his time of innocence when he doesn’t know any better. He never considers that he will not be taken care of or protected or fed. The child simply considers it a given.

         Most people want that kind of peace. It is never really about whether or not we will work and achieve and stay busy and accomplish things and be productive. It is instead about doing something and achieving something that goes beyond this mere mortal world in which people live for a short time and then go away forever.

         When we allow ourselves such a time of thinking about bigger concepts and deeper perceptions, we are actually attempting to look into eternity.

         We are attempting to secure our place there.

         We are trying to find our way home.

         Jesus came to us and met us on our level. There is no possible way for God to meet us otherwise. We can certainly never get where He is through our own means, even though we may try through various pursuits. Real Christianity is thus characterized by God reaching out for us, whereas religion breaks down into a fruitless search for God.

         The irony of searching for truth is that one will never find it.

         But the hungry in heart are those who God sees and appreciates, and at some point He begins guiding the searcher to Himself. The one who refuses to cease from the search is the one who can be led and eventually lands at his or her destination.

         Contrary to this, most people, including most “Christians,” accept substitutes for truth or watered-down versions of the Lord’s message. It is sad when people allow their strong wills and discipline to chain them to a religious life they see as a better life than the mere mundane—a spiritual life of sorts—but one falling far short of the spiritual reality the Lord wants for us. It is sad because these people cut themselves off from the very thing they are ostensibly searching for.

         It is as if one desires a college education and a Masters Degree, but becomes so enthralled with graduating from third grade he desires to travel no further. As a seasoned nine-year-old, he compares his new life of enlightenment to his old life when he was an ignorant child of five and could not read, could not understand arithmetic, and had next to no knowledge beyond his tiny existence. He ponders the facts: A third-grader can read. A third-grader can add and subtract and multiply and divide. A third-grader is a quantum leap above the child he was a mere three or four years before.

         This is how most Christians are. They become satisfied with eating manna because it’s better than starving. They have no desire for moving on and fighting for an elusive future. They have next to no faith to allow God to take them into a Promised Land of milk and honey. They exist in a quotidian circular pattern of routine and redundancy that takes them nowhere but where they were yesterday and last year and last decade.

         They are not following God. Maybe they did. But they stopped at some point and became comfortable with a Sinai wilderness light years from the birthright and the place God tries to take them.

         You see, God is a romantic at heart. He is a traveler. He is an explorer. He loves doing new things. But when you know everything it’s no fun unless you can take others on the journey with you. It is the same as when you read a book that has a giant impact on your life. You want others to read it and enjoy it as well. You may not want to see your favorite movie again at a particular time, but would love to watch it with someone else who shows an interest. It becomes a new experience due to the possibility of someone else enjoying it as you do.

         God is like that. He loves to turn us on to stuff and take us to places we’ve never been. He loves it when we have eyes filled with wonder, when we trust Him as an innocent child, and when we expect something really cool to come our way because He loves us.

         But there is a problem. There is a guy named Snidely Whiplash whose entire goal in life is to tie us and our dreams of eternal things to railroad tracks. He strives to destroy us by first destroying our dreams and innocence. He attempts to tempt us into the bondage of sin and bad habits and hate and fear. He tries to develop within us a cynical and bitter attitude. More than anything else, he tries with all his might to distance us from God and keep us from God and stymie every effort we make toward God.

         In the end, he will make many, many more converts than the Lord Jesus ever will. He will be more successful than God in this sense. Of course, he is not so much making converts as he is enforcing the default destination of the unrepentant soul without God.

         But God doesn’t keep score by numbers. He never has. And He has made a Way toward Life for all to discover. That the majority of humanity will miss the boat is not His problem. Eternity is not for timid souls with third-grade educations. It is for those with an explorer’s heart who love adventure and risk. It is for those who are forever getting up after being cast down. It is for those who never say die.

         It God’s book, this is the definition of winning. With Him, despite pain and suffering and setbacks and reviling persecution, the one deserving of eternity is the one who never quits. Spiritual success is the mere process of rising again, and again and again and again. It is the defeat of the devil by outlasting him. It is the defeat of this world by getting the hell out of it and into the kingdom of God. It is about disciplining oneself not to stay a third-grader forever but continuing on to greater spiritual heights and adventures. It is about seeing the mountain top and vowing to get there regardless of any obstacles no matter how hellish. It is not about giving up and constructing a proxy golden calf, which is what most churches and Christian expressions have become, but continuing on, even though we may leave, like Abraham, almost everything we know on the other side of the needle.

         The search for truth is the search for eternity. Nothing can replace it. Nothing else will be accepted by the real Christian.

         “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” [Matthew 6:33] 

         The secret is following the Lord. The next time you pause to reflect, don’t just gaze at eternity for a few seconds the way you often do, but get up and walk toward it. Take the Lord by the hand and let Him take you ever closer to the Promised Land. The kingdom of God is here, now. It is the city Abraham searched for his entire life. It is the place where faith activates all things possible according to the will of God. It is the place where dreams come true.

         And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

         By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

         By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.

         By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

         By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants AS THE STARS OF HEAVEN IN NUMBER, AND INNUMERABLE AS THE SAND WHICH IS BY THE SEASHORE.

         All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. [Hebrews 11:6-16]

         Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” [Luke 17:20-21] [1]   

         © 2012 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 Gathering

         I received the following question from a good friend and brother in the Lord recently:

         Morning brother…I was reading (the following passage) this morning and wondered what your thoughts are….though it is addressing Israel, do you think there is a New Covenant application to this as well? I have heard people call for help from the four directions and there is something about gathering from the four winds. “Gatherings” would make a great word study. God’s richest blessings on you today and into eternity. Let’s gather soon.

         But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” [Isaiah 43:1-7]

         This is my response:

         Thanks for the question. First of all, everything in the OT Scriptures has a New Covenant application. God does not have two separate peoples. The nation of Israel, descended from Abraham, is ethnically the people of God by DNA in that Abraham’s descendants are part of the covenant God made with Abraham. But throughout Old Testament history, the majority of the people descended from Abraham turned their back on God and violated this covenant. Just like a marriage, for example, both parties of the covenant must be true to the covenant terms. Otherwise, the covenant, or contract, is violated. If you hire someone to do work on your house, there is a contract explaining the role each party must adhere to. If the contract is honored properly, you get your work done and the worker gets paid by you to do the work. Simple. If the person you hired does not fulfill that which is spelled out in the contract, you do not have to pay him since he violated the contract.

         Israel’s covenant with God was violated by the majority repeatedly. However, there was always a remnant of the descendants of Abraham who stayed true to God and did not violate the covenant, but this was always a small percentage. Hence, a remnant. It was in the nation of Israel’s original DNA for the majority to go south, and the majority repeated their sinful behavior all throughout their history. When God Himself became a Man and walked among them, the majority of His people agreed with the decision to kill Him. A remnant of Abraham’s descendants, however, believed and obeyed, as it always had.

         The Lord’s twelve disciples were of the believing remnant, except for Judas, who decided on his own to betray the Lord. The 120 on the Day of Pentecost were of the believing remnant, but were a very small minority. When Jerusalem and the outward nation of Israel were destroyed in 70 AD, the unbelieving covenant-breaking Jews were scattered. The believing Jews already knew about the Lord’s prophecy of that destruction (they believed) and the Lord guided them to safety.

         New Covenant believers are not divided between descendants of Abraham and non-descendants of Abraham. There is no distinction. 

        For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29]

         Therefore, there are only two different kinds of people in the world: Real Christians and everyone else. Real Christians obey, honor, believe in, and trust the Lord Jesus. Everyone else does not.

         There are, however, promises made to the descendants of Abraham that are exclusive to them, but they must honor the Lord nonetheless. How can one NOT believe in Jesus and be right with God? How can one have “The Father” but NOT have “The Son?” It is impossible:

         Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. [1 John 2:22-24]

         The distinction between the Father and Son is parabolic. If one does not have eyes to see, a veil is covering his or her eyes. This is why the Lord spoke in parables—only those who had eyes to see and ears to hear got it and understood. If one SEES the Son, one SEES the Father also. The unbelieving Jews of the Lord’s time could not see that Jesus—God in human form, “The Son”—was also YHWH, the God of the Old Testament, or “The Father.” They rejected Jesus because they did not believe He was the one God of the Jews. Of course, they thought they had a relationship with God and were right with God, but they were not. They had not “The Father,” and the Lord Jesus said they actually had a different father altogether:

         Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” [John 8:42-45]

         The Lord is definitely gathering His children. He is doing this overall but also in regard to small communities. But there is a problem. Just as Ananias could hardly believe the Lord when He told him that “Saul” who became the apostle Paul, had become a real believer,[1] so do many Christians refuse to accept many of those whom God has called. In other words, many Christians reject other Christians because they do not think they are real Christians, or because they think they are messed up in some way. This prejudice is the only real problem the Lord has in creating his communities.

         Christian denominations are not real communities created by the Lord. They are almost exclusively man-made organizations. Most “churches” are man-made as well. They are organized and united together not in the Spirit by the Spirit of God, but are instead based on a particular doctrine or way of doing things. I love it when the Lord takes those of His people who are otherwise separated in such a way and puts them together. (“I didn’t think you were for real because…” “And I didn’t think YOU were for real because…”) There are some believers whom almost no one thinks are for real! But here is what Paul said about real believers:

         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 2:28-29]

         And this is what the Lord said about those leaders who claim to be believers but are not:

         “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! 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. 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.” [Matthew 23:24-28] [1]

         This sentiment, though directed to unbelieving Jews, can also be applied, and much more so, to unreal Christians, since there are so many millions of false Christians the world over who claim to believe and obey the Lord but do not.

         In the end, the Lord will have accomplished creating ONE worldwide unified body of believers. Until then, we must keep working with Him to gather and be gathered as He says to gather and be gathered. But we must not compromise on who the Lord wants us to be for the sake of gathering. We have millions of “churches” composed of people who gather together physically but are not unified in heart (see above quote from Matthew).

         The only real gatherings are those composed of real believers, like the gathering on Pentecost, for example. Each one of the 120 was right with God. They were diverse, of course, because diversity is the strength of unity. But each was right, and strong, and obedient. 99% of churches are not like this. So what is God doing? He continues to work to gather His people together, to eliminate prejudice, to end fearfulness, and to mature His people. And sometimes, He has to get downright angry because of the people who only want to mess things up and keep His people in bondage (see above quote from Matthew).

         The Lord is faithful, but all too often Christian prejudice against other Christians stymies His plans to gather His people together. One can be assured that the 120 on that original Day of Pentecost were composed of representatives of many different and very diverse groups. Their unity, therefore, had to be based on something much greater than that which unites most Christian groups and organizations.

         It was a gathering united by the Holy Spirit of Jesus.

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[1] Acts 9:10-20

[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 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.

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

Brit Milah

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         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.