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THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: HIDDEN PROPHECY AND THE SIGN OF JONAH

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      There are Christians in America old enough to remember all the prophecy teacher hype from decades past, and the incredible influence of a single book: The Late, Great Planet Earth.

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         As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. [Daniel 7:24]

         The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. [Revelation 17:12]   

         The European Common Market, now known as the European Union, started in 1957. It was created by the Treaty of Rome and was known officially as the European Economic Community (EEC), and initially included six founding members: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany.

       The Union continued to add members. Denmark, Ireland, and the UK were officially added in 1973 which brought the total to nine members. By this time the prophecy teachers began getting all excited because it was their contention that the “ten kings” mentioned in the books of Daniel and Revelation were these exact countries minus one, and that the next country admitted to the Common Market would be the tenth, which would mean we were just about to the very end of days and the beginning of the Great Tribulation.

         This also meant the Rapture was about to happen! Any day now! You better get right with God! You could be left behind! Run for your lives! (And while you’re at it please invite us all to speak at your churches and community centers and buy our books!)

         Well, now that Armageddon was almost upon us way back in the early to mid 1970s, it became a very scary proposition for many uninformed and misinformed Christians. When would the next country be admitted to the Common Market in Europe and what country would that be? Prophecy was coming to pass right before our eyes! Reading the Bible was like reading the daily newspaper!

        As it turned out, the magical tenth member country that tipped us over the edge applied for membership on June 12, 1975. It was Greece! How cool! Greece would be the one! The very country where so much early church activity took place! The cash registers in Christian book stores all over America were suddenly going into hyper drive and books were flying off the shelves. Non-authors became authors. Preachers had long since begun getting in on the act. They were scaring the hell out of the members with ongoing scythe-swinging sermonettes about the Last Days and the Tribulation and the Rapture. If you missed the Rapture you were going to suffer here and then go to hell! Don’t miss the Rapture! The ten kings! The ten kings! The ten kings!

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         I got saved in the midst of all this cacophony. Three years before that, however, in 1973, I bought a copy of Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth. The book was incredibly popular, not only among Christians, but among many young people in general. It was a semi-hit on college campuses and had very wide national distribution, selling millions of copies. I was duly impressed and actually prayed the prayer of salvation listed at the end of the book but nothing substantial happened to me at that time, although the book did play a role in my salvation later on.

         Young people of today probably don’t know this, but many post high school college-aged people back then were really bright and comparatively very well informed. You had to work very hard for your information and this made for serious study and a more adult-oriented intellectual attitude, though well-rounded and practical. This contrasts with today’s incessant biased sound bites and 1984-type “news” and disinformation. There was a lot of book-reading and study going on back then unrelated to school courses and required reading.

         The times were continuing to be a-Changin’, as Bob Dylan sang several years before, and the times were really changing in American Christianity.

         The prophecy guys took full advantage of all this and did their part to keep things buzzing with constant updates and scare tactics and ongoing rock solid “proof” that everything they taught was true.

         In 1977 I had a conversation with a guy in my church. He was a nice guy but had a strange stubborn streak (while smiling) in that it seemed like he wanted to fight when someone questioned anything, especially about his beliefs. It was kind of funny because the guy was otherwise quite wimpy. I had been doing a lot of study by that time and had come to the conclusion that the prophecy guys were completely wrong about the European Common Market. Remember, Greece had only applied for membership in 1975. Until their application was accepted everyone was getting Rapture-ready because as soon as their membership was granted and Greece became the tenth member we would have the “ten kings” and all hell would break loose. Oh my! Run for your lives! Get right with God! Don’t miss the Rapture! And don’t forget to pay your tithes!

         So I was having a conversation with this guy. He was anti-cool and a real nerd, and he knew it, and was insecure about it, and he didn’t like me too much. He was there before me so he had tenure. So I was careful to try to obey all the silly protocol. He was insistent that the Common Market countries represented the “ten kings.” In other words, he bought the full teaching of the prophecy boys, who pretty much all ran in lockstep. I was, apparently, the only one there who decided on trying to lift the veil and actually do the math instead of accepting everything as if fallen directly upon us from heaven. By the way, much of the stuff taught and believed in churches has not fallen directly from heaven. I learned that early on, though I remained very respectful, and continued to learn it as time went on.

         So, in that light, I told the nerdy church guy that I didn’t believe the Common Market represented the “ten kings” of Daniel and Revelation. I said that Scripture clearly revealed (to the non-brainwashed) that there would be a move to a worldwide one-world government phenomena taking place and that the Common Market only involved Western Europe. Thus (I didn’t say this), the prophecy boys were wrong. He was not happy. He was doing everything he could to continue with his fake happy exterior though I knew there was a mini-volcano simmering underneath. The conversation did not last long. He rejected the very little I said right off the bat and had no interest in seeing a different point of view.

        Of course, I was right. Maybe it was because I was still relatively new in church and had not become brainwashed yet (I never did, and it caused problems). Maybe it was because I was always reading the Word and doing research. Maybe it was because I had no monetary agenda. Greece continued to dangle above everybody’s heads awaiting membership when all hell would then break loose. The prophecy boys continued to make great hay about it in the meantime and their influence and money grew to astounding proportions. Everyone just seemed to accept that everything they said was right. They found a gold mine.

         Greece finally did join the European Economic Community (the Common Market), but not until January 1, 1981. The Rapture didn’t happen. The Tribulation didn’t start. The ten member nations were not the “ten kings” though the prophecy teachers continued on with their silly spiel. The whole thing started blowing up in their faces when other countries began joining the Common Market. Spain and Portugal joined in 1986. That made twelve. Uh Oh.

         In 1993 the current European Union absorbed the former EEC. Many other countries began to join up. Today, the EU membership list stands at 28 countries. The last time I checked there was nothing in the Bible about 28 kings.

         The prophecy boys adjusted. As always, in order to stay with their timeline agenda and false predictions (and maintain their influence and keep the money coming in), they explained that they were not really wrong but that blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Christians who actually think have said all along that the same deception that happened in the first century was happening in our time as well, in that all the official organized Jewish religionists of that time, including the major denominations, WERE DEAD WRONG ABOUT THE MESSIAH.

         They were also dead wrong about the times. They had completely missed the mark on prophetic events and had totally misinterpreted OT prophecy. Some, like the Qumran Covenanters (of Dead Sea Scroll fame, probably Essenes) got the timing kind of right but probably missed the Messiah. Almost every other group—Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots—rejected their Messiah and the majority of Jews still reject Him to this day.

         The only ones who got it right at all back then in the beginning were the disconnected nobodies in what was left of the nation of Israel—the Remnant—those with a yearning in their hearts for truth and spiritual reality. They would know love when they saw it and when they saw the Lord they saw love. When the Lord Jesus arrived these people knew almost immediately who He was. But all the money-grubbing, power-grabbing big boys missed Him completely. The Lord put it this way:

         The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. [Matthew 16:1-4] [1]

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

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This Present Darkness: The Coming Judgment of Babylon

         “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” [Revelation 18:2-3]

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         Biblical prophecy tells of a time in the Last Days when a great and powerful ruling nation that expanded into a vast international empire will suddenly, from enormously great heights, come crashing down.

         We have these images in our minds of the World Trade Towers in New York City free falling into their respective footprints after burning and exploding over a thousand feet in the sky—each taking their turn to crash to earth.

         We have seen other nations fall in fairly recent history. Germany and Japan were great nations that quickly expanded and routed the nations of their geographic spheres with relative ease. Germany had taken over Europe and expanded into Russia. Japan was greater than China. Both, however, were thoroughly brought to ruin in World War II.

A CLOUD ON THE HORIZON

         Notwithstanding the incredible bombing of German cities, especially Dresden, which included the destruction of great civilian populations, there is yet another image in our minds from that time, 70 years ago, that illustrates pure destruction on an unprecedented scale with an unavoidable hint into the future—the mushroom cloud.

         Nuclear weapons have only been used twice in war. Both were dropped on unsuspecting Japanese cities in 1945. Most of the people killed were civilians, including women, children, and seniors. Some were instantly vaporized—their entire bodies, skulls, bones, and all—disappeared without a trace in the great, flashing heat.

         I knew a man who was there soon after. He was part of the American forces who went into the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shortly after the bombs fell. He witnessed the vast and utter destruction personally. No one, obviously, had ever seen anything like it. The second bomb ended the war against Japan. A once great nation, the greatest nation in the Far East, was destroyed.

         Fallen, fallen was Japan the great.

         The same thing happened to Germany. In the first years of the war in Europe, most thought it inconceivable that such an occurrence could ever take place. Germany, allied with Italy, had run roughshod over Europe, both east and west. Its war machine was incredibly vast, well built, well-supplied, and manned by inspired fighters bent on righting the wrongs of World War I. But their incredible success ended relatively suddenly.

         Fallen, fallen was Germany the great.

SECRETLY DEGENERATE LEADERSHIP

         Regarding both of these nations, however—what people didn’t know, especially the citizens of Germany and Japan—was that the small leadership cabals on top who had wrested control were beyond corrupt—they were infinitely morally bankrupt.

         I could get into detail, but suffice it to say that the most heinous, filthy, rotten, disgusting sins—pretty much EVERYTHING the Lord Jesus taught against and that which the Mosaic code strictly forbade—were not only routine but performed as part of their corrupt and immoral leadership cultures.

         The people didn’t know. But they certainly obeyed.

         Most people still don’t know. But still, they obey. Truth, however, has a way of always being revealed in time. And this should teach us all to learn from history, but most never do.

         The very sins engaged in by those formerly great nations are in full swing across the globe at this very moment, and even greater sins due to present technology. Such things are no longer secret though the vast majority remains unaware. There are two reasons for this:

(1) Simple ignorance of the facts, and

(2) The belief in false narratives (fairy tales) which replace the facts.

         We have seen the street videos of very stupid people in America that literally know next to nothing. We keep hearing about the stupid index in America and wonder how such a thing happened—that so many people are so ignorant of simple facts.

         But the other phenomenon is far worse: Otherwise fairly intelligent people have been thoroughly deceived into believing lies, false narratives, and what amounts to pure fairy tales.

         This allows one to clearly see and understand why the majority of German and Japanese citizens unfailingly supported their governments and thought everything their nations were engaged in was good and right. They saw the rest of the world as evil and incompetent and enjoyed immensely the great success their nations were achieving in the early years of the war.

CHEERING FOR THE CHEATING HOME TEAM

         Remember the videos of people in the Middle East celebrating on the day the towers came down? It is this kind of mindset that takes over when one is cheering for the home team.

         But what if your home team is composed of thugs and wife-beaters and liars and the grossly immoral and arrogant jerks and idiot know-it-alls and snobby elitists and spoiled rotten children in large adult bodies who insist on having their way and see anyone who stands in the way of their moral depravity, evil pride, and rise to power as being the real bad guys? What then?

         What if a nation is involved in the worst sins imaginable to mankind? What if such a nation not only condones such sins and has made legal such sins but actually pushes such sins in evangelistic fashion? What if the religion of satan is put forth as the right and best religion? What if half the nation has fallen squarely into the trap of believing such tripe and have been brainwashed and conditioned to see evil as good and good as evil? What if all these millions and millions of people have adopted a policy of hate and abject negativity while believing themselves to be loving and upright?

         And what if all these millions have been thoroughly deceived and unknowingly indoctrinated into believing that the lies, fairy tales, false narratives, and counterfeit truths are actual reality, while all those who don’t believe the lies are the real numbskulls? What if they see all those who uphold actual truth as ignorant enemies of enlightenment?

         You can bet there were a few people in Germany and Japan who did not agree with the evil actions of their nations’ leadership prior to and during World War II, though the vast majority of citizens, like scared puppies, gave their hearts and lives to their dominating rulers. Some refused to go along. They were there in part to be witnesses against the atrocities and especially against the evil leadership in power. They will be used at the Judgment to help convict those people complicit with evil  and send them to hell. Thank the Lord there have always been righteous dissenters who expose corrupt leadership.

         It was certainly this way with the ancient nation of Israel. God’s own people—the very descendants of Abraham—had stooped to the exact abject immoral condition. They had rejected YHWH and His righteous leadership and insisted on wicked human kings and all the cronies thereof. It is in part why the Lord sent truth-telling prophets in an attempt to correct the nation and bring it back on course. They were usually thanked for their righteous efforts with death.

THIS PRESENT DARKNESS: THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID

         Though it may be very difficult for most people to see and understand present evil reality, it is what it is and is all around us right now. It is far, far worse than most can even imagine. What a strange twist it is that mere illusion has replaced this evil reality in the minds of most to the point that few know it exists and most don’t want to know. Every now and then, however, it leaks out. Scandals happen. But the real scandal is that the leaks are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Most of it always manages to stay hidden and covered up.

         Thus, this sinful evil is largely unrecognized and unacknowledged.

         It has grown steadily worse over the last several decades exactly as Paul the apostle had prophesied. It has graduated to the top of most leadership pyramids. It has sent forth its directives to the entire populace with most none the wiser. It has learned that most people are ignorant, are willing to believe its lies, and would rather live within the matrix and in accordance with a false reality—a mere illusion—than face the Truth.

         “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

         “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 7:11-14]

         Only a few will be saved.

         Heaven will be sparsely populated.

         Only a relative fraction of humanity will ever find the narrow gate and walk the way of life in its entirety.

         THIS IS FACT. THE VAST MAJORITY WILL FAIL SPIRITUALLY AND BE ETERNALLY LOST.

         This truth, drawn straight from the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, is so alarming to most people that they reject it out of hand, including Christians.

         Now, the question remains: Why will most people lose their souls? Why does the majority insist on counterfeits?

THE JUDGMENT OF BABYLON

         In these Last Days, the complete and utter destruction of Babylon will soon take place. It will be the same thing that happened to Germany and Japan in World War II, only far, far worse and much, much more destructive.

         Babylon will be destroyed. It is inevitable. This great and as yet officially unidentified entity of the end times will meet its doom. It will be destroyed by a higher power in judgment for its many sins and atrocities, and also because it’s righteous were continually outvoted by a sinful, complicit majority.

         I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities…” [Revelation 18:4-5] [1]

         © 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.

“But I Have This Against You, American Churches”

Sinking Slowly… Listing to the Left

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         How about this one:

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

         And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” [Mark 7:6-9]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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