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THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION (4)

Every person who ever lives and dies will be resurrected one day. Soul will be reconnected with body. The majority, however, will then undergo the second death…

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RESURRECTION CONNECTION

We were never meant to die. God did not create us for death to overtake us. Nevertheless, due to His foreknowledge, He knew Adam would inevitably choose incorrectly and open Pandora’s Box. He knew Adam would sin.

And He made provision for it. Still, it was not inevitable that Adam would choose incorrectly. This man had the best Teacher. He was prepared for any and all events. He was warned. Adam, the first man, a type of Him who was to come, knew everything he needed to know and had an exemplary record of obedience and wisdom until that one fateful day in the garden. Though certainly tempted on that day, as he likely was any number of times before, he was never deceived. He knew full well what was going on. And when he decided to sin and break fellowship with his Father it was only because of one reason: He chose Eve, the first sinner, over God.

At that point perfection ended. Then the ultimate plan of God kicked in. The last Adam would have to come and fix what the first Adam did. Paradoxically, somewhat, the last Adam would also die. But unlike the first Adam he would not stay dead. And He arranged things in such a way that whoever applies His perfect sacrifice for sin to their own life will not stay dead either.

“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” [John 5:28-29]   

Thus we see that souls will be reunited with bodies. And just as sin caused a disconnection between Adam/Eve and their perfect garden, so does it also cause an inevitable disconnection between body and soul. In essence, because of personal sin, every human soul is eventually separated from its body. The animate is disconnected from the inanimate. One part goes to the grave and the other part goes to a nebulous netherworld of which we don’t know much about.

But there is more to this resurrection story.

THE DEATH CYCLE

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” [Genesis 2:16-17]

They surely did die. But they were still walking around. From without, at a certain distance, one could not have ascertained a change. But from within, Adam suddenly felt a coldness, a spiritual draft as it were, a cold wind blowing upon his innards. He was suddenly empty. He was lost. He didn’t know which way to turn. What had happened? He couldn’t think. His brain no longer worked as it did before. He was a mere fraction of his former self. Eve, feeling the same, clung ever closer to her mate, but neither felt the slightest bit of relief. Something had gone terribly wrong.

Scripture reveals that the human being is actually composed of three principle parts and not only two. Adam and Eve had died but remained animate, meaning that there remained an animate life force within them that was still alive. What, then, had died? And this is where the entire human question gets really tricky really fast. From Adam’s original perspective, before he sinned, he possessed some form of higher strength, ability, and intelligence. He was also a spiritual being because he communed with God. He was actually born of God:

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]   

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]

Hence, Adam was originally, by this world’s standards, not a normal human. Of course, this world’s standards are based on a worldwide sinful consensus created by people with a sinful perspective whether they know it or not or know they are sinners or not. I would think that the vast majority in this world would agree, however, that the very idea of actual communion and communication with God is perceived as the haunt of the weird and the wacky. It gets laughable when one considers the fact that most Christians in the world also hold this view. They never talk to God and nobody they know in their awesome circle of friends and associates talks to God. Therefore, the notion of talking to God is strange. But God talking back is even stranger.

Anyway, getting back to the narrative, Adam was created of the Spirit of God. He had the same spirit within that God has, or that God is. God is a Spirit. When He breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life He wasn’t just exhaling air into Adam’s lungs but was filling Adam with His very Spirit. Sound familiar? Also, when Adam was formed, before receiving the breath of life, was he simply an inanimate slab of beef lying on the ground? Or was he already animate the way all other creatures are animate? How is it possible to create a human being without animation? Babies are conceived in the womb, in the very beginning, by the connection of an animate seed with an animate egg. Both of these pulse with life and animation. Each must be alive. Therefore, Adam must have been alive once the Lord formed him but the life he possessed was a lesser form. At that point he was the crown of Creation but was essentially the same as all other earthly creatures. When he received the Spirit of God, however, he became both a person of this lower world and also a person of the higher world. He became a spiritual man. Again, Scripture clearly states this:

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. [Romans 5:14]

Adam was a type of the Lord Jesus. He was not simply a soul man but a spirit man. Some animals are what we might term soulish and some are more soulish than others, such as dogs and horses. These animals have a higher propensity toward communicating with human beings. These kinds of animals can relate so closely to humans they can actually love people and people can love them. We can see then, that just as animals can communicate with people and vice versa, that humans can communicate with God and vice versa. But why is it the case that most people do not communicate with God? Is it not for the same reason that Adam and Eve could no longer communicate spiritually with God after their fall into sin? Once they sinned, the only remaining communication with God was on a merely soulish level. This descent from the spiritual realm to the soulish realm is what happened right after they ate the fruit.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” [Genesis 3:7-14]

And that, my friends, is the entire human story in eight verses. It plays over and over again every day in this world as the only song on a 24 hour radio station. Translated, it becomes:

“I’ve messed up!” “I keep trying to fix it but I can’t!” “Now I’m afraid of God!” “I must hide from Him!” “It’s that woman’s fault!” “The devil made me do it!”

The preceding is not spiritual communication (Duh). These people go from having a close loving relationship with God involving who knows how many in-depth conversations and wonderful fellowship to actually being afraid of God and wanting nothing to do with Him. They were far too fearful to have any relationship with Him. Their entire concept of God changed. This is what they passed on to everybody else until now. Their spirit within them died and Adam and Eve became mere soulish individuals likely finding it far easier to communicate with animals than with the Lord. Every human is initially infected with the same attitude.

When humans die physically in this condition further separation takes place. Where there was once in Adam’s case a perfectly intact person composed of spirit, soul, and body, there eventuates after the first death only a mere fearful soul floating around in an undefined nebulous netherworld likely in the heart of the planet (See Matthew 12:40). The soul’s separated body is decaying somewhere up on the surface. The soul’s spirit had never been alive to begin with. And if that soul’s body died while the soul was in sin then the time will come when the soul will die also, completing the celestial strikeout.

But before being called out by the celestial Umpire some final business will have to be attended to. God will resurrect that person’s body and rejoin the soul within it. Then that person will stand before God in judgment. Then that person will suffer the second death by taking a one way trip to the hot place. So much death! Sin is a killer! The spirit dies, then the body dies, then the soul and resurrected body die together.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” [Matthew 10:28]  

SPIRITUAL RESURRECTION

There had to be a way to fix the mess Adam and Eve created. Logically, it would simply be a matter of creating a way for the human spirit to be regenerated. But how does one go about doing that unless the candidate involved agrees with the process and submits to it? Every human on the planet is composed of body and soul but also possesses a “dead” spirit somehow existing in seed form. There must be a way to reactivate this spirit. There must be a way to bring it back to life. In the beginning God breathed His own Spirit into Adam. Eve was then created from a part of Adam and also possessed a living spirit. How must God go about trying to implement this plan for anyone else, as a kind of Garden of Eden do over? Wouldn’t it be logical to simply breathe the breath of life into anyone willing as He did with Adam in the beginning?

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” [Luke 11:13]

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

So you see, God wanted to give His Spirit and reanimate our spirits but the only way to do that was to first become one of us so He could have a pure Spirit originating from His humanity to give. The Spirit of God must first become resident in a human being before it can be transferred to other human beings. The Holy Spirit is therefore the form of God’s Spirit that can safely become resident within people. The Holy Spirit is obviously still very powerful but also able to reside within relatively fragile human bodies. (Think of the way electricity must be transformed down to a safe level before entering our dwellings and electrical devices so it will not cause harm.)

Regarding the chosen candidate who must be the last Adam, there was obviously no human being in existence who qualified for such a Spirit-through-humanity mission so God would have to do it Himself. The process of God becoming a human being and living a life without sin would thus allow Him to share His Holy Spirit. Remember, the Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Unlike everybody else, His human spirit was always alive, animate, and active. Also, the Lord Jesus had the Spirit of God without measure (John 3:34).

To sum up, the Lord said whoever believes properly and correctly would be eligible to receive His Spirit. His Holy Spirit is a gift. How hard can it be to simply receive it? Ah, but there is spiritual battle involved. Evil entities exist to censor this Good News and keep people ignorant of it. The devil fights the process. The world makes fun of it. Fake Christianity denies and opposes it. And human flesh, perhaps the worst enemy, is all too often so caught up in pride (including the religious variety) and the promotion of oneself, though the Lord called such people “evil” (which denotes an otherwise obvious incongruity) that people are themselves often their own worst enemy. Then when one considers that the new birth could end relationships and one must make the relational choice that corrects Adam’s huge relational miscue, one can see that receiving the Lord’s Spirit can be quite challenging with reference to one’s residence in this fallen world and the resistance thereof.

You see, Adam chose Eve over God. Before he joined her in sin Adam could have simply refused. She would have been banished but he would remain sin free in the garden with God. So in order to reverse what Adam did, a person must be willing to embrace relationship with the Lord at the possible loss of every person in one’s life. One must be willing to want the Lord’s Spirit and the resultant animation of one’s human spirit more than any other relational connection. Adam made the wrong choice. We must make the right one. The Lord Jesus must always be first.

If one chooses to live for Him and believe in Him the way He said one should, his or her spirit will be resurrected from death. Again, such a spiritual resurrection is and should be a powerful experience demonstrating a great transformation. One will for the first time in his or her life become whole, composed of body, soul, and spirit with sin removed and be filled with His Holy Spirit. And it will not be some innocuous by osmosis not sure when it happened occurrence but a powerfully memorable event just as the Day of Pentecost was an event:

“It is this Jesus whom God raised up, a fact to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” [Acts 2:32-33]

“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” [Acts 2:39]   

FIRST DEATH / SECOND DEATH / ETERNAL LIFE

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [John 11:25-26] [1]

By His sacrificial atoning death for our sin the Lord Jesus makes it possible for us to be rescued from the second death and be given spiritual life. It cost Him everything to do this. It will cost us everything to receive it. This is the definition of the New Covenant. It is a covenant between two members giving their all to bring forth new life and it includes the promise of the Holy Spirit, an advance security toward our eternal inheritance.

Thus, the Ministry of Reconciliation demands the greatest love.

© 2021 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

IMPORTANT NOTE: The actual anniversary date for the Lord’s resurrection this year is Tuesday, March 30. This date is Nisan 17 on the Hebrew calendar. Nisan 17 is the day of First Fruits and the THIRD day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: RESTORING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD (1)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: WORD STUDY AND APPLICABLE VERSES (2)

THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION: THE REMOVAL OF SIN (3)

PANICKED OVER A TRICK PANDEMIC

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Whatever this actually is—a pandemic, yet another disease scare, a hoax, a biowarfare attack, or a government response testthe REAL pandemic remains unacknowledged.

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It’s getting worse. The infection rate continues to rage and rise, in some places exponentially. The worst perpetrators thereof are either too preoccupied to notice or care, or owe their lives to practices which make them vulnerable. If they stop they lose everything and their kingdoms crumble. They built their lives on dirt foundations with no escape hatch and could lose their existence of error when the big one hits. Many are so tied-in to a lesser-based life they will never get free without major disruptions from which they may never recover.

Yet there has always been a way out. Most humans see it, though, as too way out. Their social credibility suffers at the prospect of embracing it. Thus, those with the most invested in the fake world have the most to lose in leaving it, and choose a temp existence over long-term reality. This is why the Master opined on this quizzical matter by saying the worst are often first, in that they are less invested and more free to enter. Their baggage is the kind happily left behind. And besides, they’ve usually been treated like outskirts scum by the success party and denied membership since their résumés don’t add up. But the Master’s door is always open.

The rich man faithless deniers do anything they want with access to anything money can buy but will end up in the hot place with Mr. Dives craving a mere rain drop on their desert palates to no avail, while all the poor little faithful formerly sore-ridden Lazarus’ hang out safely in Abraham’s comfy air-conditioned crash pad. This reversal of fortunes is really cool when you think about it and does justice proud. It proves once again that playing by the rules of a dog-eat-dog world will get you a dead dog death in the long run regardless of manifold plaques on your wall and trophies in your case. None of those sorts of things are transferable to the great beyond.

Therefore, this latest scare we must beware means more effort wasted on things that don’t matter and playing right into the hands of the unseen gear grinders always coming up with more dastardly plans to insure their control and lessen yours. If you can’t see through it you must clean your windshield, change your perspective, and try harder to focus. Maybe take off those dark shades that look so cool. And don’t trust the ones the Master instructed us not to trust but trust Him.

Only He has the cure for the real pandemic.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

FAITHWALKERS OF GENESIS: SETH (2)

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

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

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

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

THE SECOND GENERATION: TRANSITIONING TO A NEW SPIRITUAL AGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE THIRD GENERATION: THE GREAT AWAKENING

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

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

         To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:26] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

FAITHWALKERS OF GENESIS: ADAM (1)

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

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

STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND   

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

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

         Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:25-26] [1]   

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

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.

Portals of Progress (Part 5)

         For those who have read the full series thus far, you may have noticed the roundabout nature of the subject matter, in that what started out in Part 1 as an urging to step forth through a portal of spiritual growth has gone full circle regarding what happened to our first parents.

         The devil fooled ‘em. No doubt about that. And for those who desire a real walk with God, the enemy will attempt to fool them too.

         As a result, for many, a wholesome healthy fear of getting it wrong has resulted in an unwholesome unhealthy paralysis brought on by fear that one will get it wrong. And rather than possibly mess up one’s life by seeking to climb a spiritual mountain by the Lord’s direction and fail, one will almost always obey the tendency to leave well enough alone and be satisfied with much less or dead religion.

         In that light, we must always remember that the Lord is trying to get us back to the Garden.

         This process, dubbed by the Lord as the narrow road with a small narrow entry, is mandatory for the real Christian, of course, but substitutes are much more comfortable. The majority of that which is called Christianity, which I call Unreal Christianity, has institutionalized the comfortable way, as a third way, of which none actually exists.

         The Lord called this comfortable way the broad way. It is the way of the world, the way so easy anyone can walk it, and the way leading in the direct opposite direction of the Garden. Due to such overpowering religious indoctrination and conditioning, most “Christians” fear the real road and thus see the real gate as the wrong gate.

         Here is the Lord’s instruction:

         “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:13-14]

         Sadly, Christians who drive down Broadway end up at the same place as unrepentant sinners. Imagine all the wasted effort that went into a Christian life that never included full obedience to the Lord, as if some could invent their own more suitable path, and one will understand better what Adam and Eve wasted. They had it all and then they blew it. Believe it or not, they got religious. The forbidden fruit was said to make them wise and be like God and the angels, but it did just the opposite.

         Faux Christians have a very hard time seeing this, but it was the exact problem embraced by the Pharisees. They ate the forbidden fruit. They continued to eat it. They turned eating it into religious practice. As a result they became children of the devil.

         This is why the Lord made the following curious statement to the religious hierarchy—the chief priests and elders:

         “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went.

         “The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go.

         “Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”

         Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.

         “For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.” [Matthew 21:28-32] [1]

         These religious people were so bound up in religion they repeatedly rejected the kingdom, exactly the same way so many “Christians” reject the kingdom and the real portal to it.

         And remember, the Lord Jesus called Himself the Door, so He is the Real Portal.

         This rejection of the real road for the sake of honoring one’s religious tradition is the height of spiritual blindness, something the Lord talked about often.

         Adam and Eve saw everything from the opposite perspective of us and still got it wrong. They already had Paradise and went through a portal they thought would lead to greater paradise, which of course did not exist. Most Christians see the kingdom of heaven the Lord Jesus brought to this world as whatever they might currently possess even though the kingdom they claim to be within has none of the evidence the real kingdom possesses.

         Unreal Christianity is a faux spiritual kingdom and its leaders warn their subjects to never venture outside it, just as the Lord teaches we must do the opposite. Hence, such unreal Christians are afraid to enter the Real Portal and travel the straight and narrow road as commanded by the Lord. They routinely violate His commands, and have been taught to refuse the full instruction of the Lord and the original apostles, just as the Pharisees did.

         But the disparaged tax collectors and prostitutes were not burdened with any religious yokes and were thus able to enter the kingdom relatively quickly compared to the religionists, who for all practical purposes in this day and age are predominantly “Christian,” since such people claim to already have the full Gospel when they don’t, and religious pride keeps them bound up in grave clothes even though the Lord continually tries to call them forth from their respective tombs.

         © 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.

Portals of Progress? (Part 4)

         Adam obeyed his wife.

         In this there was a role reversal.

         Eve had taken the lead that day by the evil tree, having submitted to the devil’s deception.

         One thing Christians must always be aware of to a much greater degree than usual is that the devil is a great deceiver. He is an awesome deceiver. He is the greatest liar of all time. He can lie, deceive, and manipulate like no one else.

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

         In fact, the devil invented the entire lying and deception process, turned it into a masterful manipulation program, and has been spreading his thick propaganda upon the minds of humans ever since like a hundred foot layer of dinosaur dung.

         “What the heck is this?!” cried the geologist upon analyzing samples of a viscous smelly mass found thousands of feet deep in the earth.

         “Yeah, weird,” said the driller. “We hit that dude and the bit went to nothin.’ Thought we lost our lower drill pipe ‘cause it felt like the floor gave out.”

         “I’ve heard about this formation layer in other parts of the world, strangely though, about this depth. What the devil…”

         “Yeah. It felt like we suddenly drilled straight into an open sewer.”

         And so it goes in attempting to make sense of deliberate and artful lie-making done stealthily and with much guile in the effort to hoodwink and thereby gain control of unsuspecting marks.

         The devil, quite simply, is full of BS. He is the greatest BSer of all time.

         Does anyone still preach about temptation? Do we really know what real temptation is? Do we get the big idea that temptation was deliberately designed by a slimy propagandist to get us all to believe lies and fake stories in order to for him to gain control of our souls?

         This is no game, people. The devil does not need nuclear weapons or even a shotgun. All he needs is his ability to lie, cheat, rob, steal, manipulate, murder, make up a bunch of ridiculous garbage and pass it off as truth, and do it all with a straight innocent-appearing face in order to take control of minds and hearts. Sadly, many play right into his hands not knowing they are being conned. Submitting to his lies is submitting to death.

         For a select few of those who have submitted, they have been granted what the devil attempted to grant the Lord Jesus. There are powerful people running this world of fallen mankind due to being granted power, influence, and authority by the devil. The devil is the king of this fallen world and such people are his underlings who appear as overlings.

         Our culture and so many others continue to tell this story in so many ways though most people cannot make the connection between the sagas and reality. We know all about evil forces and yet relegate them to the fictional realm not seeing they are a reflection of an actual realm.

         And without recognizing such as being very real, one will inevitably be hoodwinked by the master deceiver and submit to his kingdom without even knowing he or she submitted. This is the very nature of deception—being deceived but not knowing one is deceived and thinking one is not deceived.

         This is what happened to Eve. She rejected the truth and the warning. She believed the devil. He deceived her. It mattered not that later on she realized she had been lied to and sold a false bill of goods, and that she looked inside her Halloween bag and found nothing but a rock and a week-old dirty popcorn ball. She had already agreed to the contract that cut her off from God and everything good. Her spirit died at that moment just as the Lord said would happen. Though she lived in absolute perfection and had the very best of everything the devil convinced her there was something better.

         Not so with Adam, however. The devil never touched him. He saw through the devil and had successfully resisted temptation from day one. Though the Genesis narrative seems to imply that Adam was standing right there next to Eve when all the temptation business was happening, there is no way that can be true. And though some Bible versions translate the ancient Hebrew as Adam being with Eve when she initially ate the fruit, this is certainly not the case with all versions, and no such word is found in the Hebrew stating such a fact.

         Eve was alone with the devil. How or why that happened is anyone’s guesstimate, but the devil was certainly talking only to Eve:

         Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?”

         The woman replied to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said: ‘You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.’”

         And the serpent said to the woman, “You are not going to die, but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings who know good and bad.”

         When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating and a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate… [Genesis 3:1-6 JPS Tanakh 1985]

         Eve had somehow gravitated over to the evil tree by herself where she met up with the devil. The entire narrative illustrates a conversation between the devil and Eve. If Adam was there, he would have been included in the conversation.

         It is impossible to perceive Adam standing idly by twiddling his thumbs and remaining silent as all this was going on, unless he had already given in to his wife and tagged along. That possibility certainly exists and even makes sense though the Genesis account never mentions such and it can only be considered speculation.

         It was only later therefore, after Eve ate the forbidden fruit that she went to Adam and offered it to him.

         And this is how it happens for men. This is how a strong backbone becomes a wet noodle. Since Eve had already fallen, she partook of the lying manipulative nature of the devil and used said power upon Adam, whose defenses were lowered both because he had never had to defend himself spiritually from anything coming forth from his wife, but also because he did not see Eve as his enemy. He trusted her. He believed her and believed in her. He loved Eve unconditionally. His love for her made him defenseless against what she had become.

         To refuse the fruit she offered and had already partaken of meant Adam must refuse Eve. To refuse Eve meant losing Eve. He could not fathom that. He could never imagine such a horrific scenario. Eve was, in all aspects and intents of the word, his soul mate. She was a great strength to him, the love of his life, the perfect and desired companion, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. They were meant to live together forever. The fruit she excitedly offered to him must somehow be good.

         In Adam’s thinking, this must be a new portal of progress through which he must enter, even though he remained quizzical since not everything was adding up correctly.

         It was at this juncture that an even more critical decision was made than the one made by Eve earlier. Adam decided he could not live without Eve and would rather have her, regardless of her new condition, no matter what that might portend.

         God must have been wrong. Adam was confused. He chose Eve over God, though he probably did not realize the full implications of such at the time. He ate the fruit. He disobeyed the clear commandment of the Lord, meant to protect him, meant to keep him within the Life realm.

         He also, like his wife, took on the nature of sin. He obeyed the devil. Yet, rather than outright strident rebellion against the Lord, it was instead a wimpy act of capitulation by a compromised man and a surrendering of everything he was and possessed. He essentially went from being completely free and having charge of the planet to being the devil’s servant. 

         And reading between the lines, prior to his great fall when Eve had chosen to be alone with the devil, Adam had chosen to not be alone with God, but simply alone.        

         © 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.

Portals of Progress (Part 3)

         Adam had become extremely productive. His garden was flourishing. There are two reasons for this.

         First, he loved, honored, and trusted God.

         Second, he worked very hard.

         Is real success this simple? Actually, though the proceeding reasons may appear simple, they are more along the lines of being straightforward and concise. They are in a sense the zip file version of deeper truths, in that there is lot more there than initially meets the eye.

         Take the first statement, for example. Have you noticed there is absolutely no hint of rebellion, disobedience, stubbornness, bad attitude, sin, or anger? The three verbs used are each positive affirmations toward God and characterize God as being good, and thus completely worthy of love, honor, and trust.

         This is how Adam saw God. This is how he knew Him.

         God had never violated Adam’s trust. God never lied to him. Adam knew not only that the Lord God was his Creator, but also that God was his Father. It was not a distant relationship. Adam learned to respect God chiefly because God respected Adam.

         He blessed him with a great life, awesome work, and a wonderful place. Adam had no reason to second-guess anything.

         Was he ever tempted? Well, we know that the devil was in the garden at a later time. There is no reason to think he was not there earlier. Maybe Adam was given time before the tempter showed up. Maybe the Lord allowed Adam to mature. But it is pretty much certain that Adam was indeed tempted, though he refused to turn his back on his Father.

         In this, he proved himself.

         He was faithful in the little things.

         He was faithful in the greater things.

         The time came for Adam’s greatest gift. This gift would again prove that God is good. The Word states that all good things come from God. As far as Adam was concerned, God saved His best for last.

         Eve!

         For the evolutionist, Eve was a hairy monkey type, stoop-shouldered and ignorant—unbright, unattractive, uninspiring, and unevolved. In reality, though, since creation has greatly devolved over time as a result of humanity’s incredible fall from grace and perfection, Eve was the opposite: Beautiful. Lovely. Awesome. Needless to say, Adam was immensely impressed.

         The two became inseparable. Lost in each other, they drifted from God.

         A portal presented itself. Adam had previously rejected it, but it looked pretty good to Eve. Why had he not warned her? But wait. He did:

         The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” [Genesis 3:2-3]

         Someone had already told Eve about the bad tree. Perhaps many assume it was God. In reality, though, it must have been Adam. God made Eve for Adam and would not step between them.

         The apostle Paul, whom one must assume remains respected by most Christians, said this:

         For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. [1Corinthians 11:8-9]

         It was therefore Adam’s responsibility to teach Eve everything that God had taught him.

         But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. [1Corinthians 11:3] [1]

         Christ is in no way diminished by God being His head. Our Lord Jesus is obviously God, as is the Father. But the Son subjected Himself to the authority of the Father. Without such submission, He could not have been who He was, done what He did, or achieved His mission.

         God in flesh is a tough field of study, but suffice it to say that proper submission is very powerful. It affects great change. It makes incredible things possible. It destroys the devastating disease of pride.

         And this is how Eve was taken in. The devil told her that God was a liar and that she could be just like God by eating the forbidden fruit.

         Eve questioned Adam’s instruction. She lost faith in her husband. She stepped out of her position of strength. She assumed the role of another. She rebelled.

         From all of this it is obvious that Adam did not do as good a job instructing Eve as God had done instructing him. For whatever reason (not hard to grasp), he also stepped out of his position of strength. He also assumed the role of another.

         This often happens when one arrives at what appears to be a spiritual portal of potential progress, but is sometimes no such thing.

         One must assume the role of another to get through.

         © 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.

Portals of Progress (Part 2)

         Hesiod’s story of Pandora’s Box was an obvious take on the Genesis account.

         Pandora had been granted authority.

         She possessed the freedom to choose.

         Freedom allows for the making of evil choices.

         Eve discovered evil in exactly this manner.

         Evil gives clear perspective to goodness.

         Before people know evil, however, they are only vaguely aware of evil in an abstract sense.

         This is how God presented evil to Adam—in the abstract. He never taught Adam about evil directly, because Adam could not possibly have known what He was talking about.

         There he was—fresh from creation—Adam! Bright and pure and strong, perfectly innocent, with large open eyes and a big smile. He was astounded by the beauty around him and most especially by the majesty of the Lord before him, his Creator.

         The Lord and Adam were very close, a very loving Father and son. Though Adam was made of earthly elements in the physical realm, he was filled with the Spirit of God. The very life and presence of God lived within Adam. He was a true son of his Father, and as his Father, the Lord did all possible to teach Adam properly and protect him.

         Regarding evil though, the only option God had was a commandment:

         The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” [Genesis 2:16-17]

         Commandments are just that—they are commands. The reason commands regarding evil must be presented as commands is because the recipient of the command has no understanding of the far-reaching consequences of its violation.

         In this, Adam had to learn obedience, and in that He had to trust God.

         And this is what faith is.

         Of course, Adam had no reason whatsoever to doubt God. He did not blindly obey, either. He knew He was loved. God created him and gave him a great place to live and work.

         Adam chose to obey God. He loved his Father.

         He must have also understood that his Father should and must be respected, and that his Father knew a whole lot more than he did. He knew the command he received against evil was for his own benefit and protection, though he had no understanding of what those things—evil and death—were. As in the hearts of innocent children, evil and death were only abstractions to him.

         In Genesis 2, God reveals Adam’s initial purpose:

         Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15] [1]

         Adam obeyed the Lord regarding his purpose also. He took good care of the garden in which he lived. As a result of his work, the garden was very fruitful. It grew. It produced.

         As Adam continued on he saw the good consequences of his choices, that good things happened as a result, and he saw good fruit come forth that he had never previously seen. It was all new—astoundingly and wonderfully new—and abundant.

         But Adam also had to grow. He had to progress. And he did. He became more knowledgeable though remaining in a state of perfect innocence.

         There were often times he had to do things, however, that he had never done before. He had to choose. It was always a new portal for him, one in which there was the usual trepidation. Like any of us, he had to figure things out. He put two and two together. He no doubt sometimes learned by trial and error, error being not an evil thing but simply an unfruitful thing. In academic terms, it is referred to as gaining knowledge empirically.

         Without making correct decisions, there is no possibility of progress.

         He discovered that as long as he kept choosing correctly, good stuff kept happening. In time, he became somewhat less concerned about walking through such new portals, and even began to approach apparent risk with much fervor. He was, after all, obeying God.

         Through obedience, faithfulness, personal experience, hard work, dedication, and seeing the fruitful results of planting good seed, he learned that life kept producing good fruit as long as he stayed true to the Lord in his heart and in his work. He saw how fruitful the garden was, and was thankful that every tree was acceptable and good, except one.

         And because he trusted his Father, he refused to go down that path.

         © 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.

Portals of Progress (Part 1)

         The Lord sometimes sets a door before us through which we must pass. It often arrives as a result of much prayer and searching. Upon arrival, we sometimes do not recognize the door as the answer we seek because it doesn’t necessarily appear as an opportunity, but something to avoid.

         Walking through such a portal begins a journey into the unknown.

         It portends a Door of Discipleship—an Avenue of Advancement—a Portal of Progress.

         Going through such a door will cause one to surrender one’s supposed security. It will demand the leaving of one’s safe and guarded sanctuary composed of the known, where all is seemingly predictable and routine, and head into uncharted territory.

         This moment will demand great faith. Though one must receive clear confirmation that such a move is God’s will and though one may feel a great tug in the spirit and the Lord’s leading, the much greater tug must actually be a push, in that even though we feel something drawing us forward, it is never enough to force us or carry us along.

         We must act. We must choose. We must compel ourselves. We must obey. We must step through.

         I wrote a post two years ago entitled He Steadfastly Set His Face To Go To Jerusalem. The Lord knew all along the cross was His fate. It was a portal through which He had to pass. None of His loved ones agreed with His choice, though the choice was made eons before.

         We know that God had already integrated the cross into His master plan before He began creating anything.

         Regarding the fate of humanity, long before He created Adam, God planned His own crucifixion.

         …Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. [1Peter 1:18-21]   

         The Lord knew in advance of His creation that a sacrifice would be called for. He knew as soon as He began planning to create free-willed beings like Himself that such beings must be allowed to choose, even to the point of choosing against Him, or they would have no such thing as a free will. In this—choosing against God—choice allows for the opposite of what God intends.

         We know what Adam and Eve eventually did. We know that at some point they both violated the command against choosing evil. But we also know that prior to their spiritual fall, Adam and Eve spent an undetermined age in perfect purity and union with the Lord, a time in which they continually chose correctly. It was their time of obedience, and thus, innocence.

         The Word of God says that Adam and Eve were made in His image. God had created two people who were like He was, with the ability to choose as He did, and thus with a completely free will. He had granted them the ability to make their own choices.

         They were thus not robots. Robots, no matter the level of sophistication, are programmed. They are built and programmed by a higher intelligence. Human beings, as the creators of robots, continue to make them as “intelligent” as possible. But regardless of appearances, robots will forever be the result of programming—robots cannot possess free will.

         Even so, people who think deeply about such things have long speculated about the possibility of robots eventually gaining the upper hand and becoming so intelligent and pervasive they will somehow take over. After a century or so of such speculation, of predicting the future, and of science-fiction writers coming up with all manner of end results regarding the subject, we can now fully appreciate just how far-thinking many of them were. Most people back then never believed our present was possible and had very little to do with its arrival.

         And this is the problem with humanity. People in general have a strong tendency to remain with the tried and true and traditional, to remain in their zones of comfort, to lasso life to their liking and drive it into a small and crude corral. In this they can control their lives, as rudimentary and small as they are.

         Now, in their defense, there are certainly good traditional things to establish and limits one knows will cause great problems if transgressed. There is a reason the ancient Greek writer Hesiod penned the tale of Pandora’s Box (actually a jar), in which all the evils of the world were contained. As long as the large jar remained unopened all would be okay. For those who have not heard of the story, it’s not hard to figure out the ending.

         This is why some people insist on a low level of progress or none at all. They fear the bad consequences of wrong choices. They see the terrible results of sin in the world and some human beings becoming total idiots as a result of stupid choices. They know well that stupid is as stupid does and would rather do nothing regarding progress for fear of doing something wrong.

         They’ve also seen much “progress” that was not progress at all, but the opposite. Thus, they’re content with less instead of risking an advance toward better things and possibly upsetting their small gains. Fear of failure has shanghaied their necessary discipleship, progress, and advancement.

         In their effort to stay a million miles away from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they also stay a million miles away from the Tree of Life.

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