Sin is not only a destroyer, those under its power are also prone to colossal deception. It is why so many refuse to trust the Lord Jesus.
“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]
THE LORD’S MISSION
No one is more loving or kind. No one is more willing to sacrifice on your behalf. No one gives His heart as He does. He will do anything to save you. He has proven this by His perfect life and sacrificial death. His goal was to defeat sin and thereby set people free from its power. There was only one way to do this. He risked everything in the process. How so?
What most Christians fail to consider are the immense implications of His mission. In order to defeat sin He would have to live His life entirely free from sin. He could never sin, not even once. If He did He would suffer the penalty of sin which is spiritual death.
Once the Lord God decided to become a Man, to pass into the realm of humanity as one of us and enter into the greatest and riskiest mission of all time, He knew it meant putting the entire Universe including the celestial environs of heaven up for grabs. If He failed the devil would gain everything. If the Lord sinned, if He violated the Torah, even only once, and even only in a minor way, He would no longer qualify as the perfect unblemished Sacrifice Lamb. That would mean there would be no Savior. It would mean there would never be a Savior. That would mean He would go to hell. It would also mean we all would go to hell. There would be no way to get around it. The apostle Paul would never write, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Death would win. It would forever sting the heart of all. Human beings would be but a memory. God would be a memory. The devil and his evil henchmen would rule forever.
Thus, we must always be cognizant of what was at stake. The Lord’s life/mission was obviously the most fundamental and crucial aspect of our potential salvation. No one can even imagine the immense pressure the Lord was under. These were monumental implications. The prodigious power of sin and the temptation thereof is such that no human being has the ability to ever come close to defeating it. It is by far the greatest disease known to man. Sin is simply far too powerful and human beings are far too weak and prone to temptation to ever have a chance against it on their own. Once Adam sinned he released this sad inability and weakness, this incessant persistent flaw, upon all succeeding generations. Once sin entered the realm of humanity it put everyone at risk of eternal damnation.
Prior to the Incarnation, with Himself as the only possible candidate, the Lord God knew He must be the first human to defeat sin. He knew He must be the first to never give into temptation, to never be deceived by the devil, and to never be betrayed by His own flesh. Setting a perfect example, He would never choose this fallen hell-bound world and its absurdly temporary pleasures over the spiritual purity of heaven. He must be successful in opening a spiritual door to eternal life for all. He would be that Door.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. [Genesis 2:15]
Humans were not bound by sin in the very beginning, of course. Adam had authority over sin. He had authority over death. Hell had no hold on him. He was absolutely free and lived in paradise. The Lord created Him above all Creation which included the devil. Adam had greater power than the devil. Adam ruled over the devil and all his fallen angelic cohorts. He was the king of the Garden, second only to God. The objective was for the Lord God, through Adam His human agent, to spread His righteous dominion throughout the world defeating the devil one step at a time and eventually eliminating his dominion here. God’s pure, holy, righteous, and loving dominion as it existed in the Garden would replace the devil’s evil dominion across the planet. The way Adam would accomplish this would be to continually cultivate and keep the Garden.
I wrote the following passage in my book Real Christianity in reference to Naboth’s Vineyard. You can find his story in the Book of 1Kings, Chapter 21. His Vineyard is a perfect spiritual type of each real Christian’s individual ministry and purpose. The spiritual significance is the same as Adam’s Garden:
One would do well to understand the creative power of one’s own vineyard. Every believer has a destiny to fulfill, a purpose for being here. Each person has a vineyard and is commissioned by God “to cultivate it and keep it.” The believer’s cultivating and keeping of his vineyard is his reason for existence. To cultivate is to prepare, to work at, and to foster growth. To keep one’s vineyard is to guard it, to preside over and protect it, to secure and maintain dominion, and to be individually responsible for its yield. It is that which gives purpose, it is his or her place in the body—the place where God dwells. [Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.]
Well now, without looking too far into this, one should be able to immediately ascertain the devil’s strategy. Adam was the sole link between God and His dominion on the earth. Adam was outstandingly faithful to his mission but was only successful at continually achieving it day by day by fully focusing on God first and on his cultivating and keeping.
He was also fully aware that he must never engage in any activity that would subvert it and by which he would lose the strength and wherewithal to achieve it. Such spiritually unfruitful activity, the one and only “Thou Shalt Not” he received from God, is fruitful nonetheless though in the evil realm and is actually represented as forbidden fruit existing within Adam’s own Garden, a reminder that even in his earthly paradise there existed temptation and at a given point in time, a tempter. But not to worry. Adam was fully aware of this. The Lord taught him well. He trusted God. He obeyed God. Under these circumstances he would never eat the fruit of the Death Tree.
Remember, the devil did not need to defeat the Lord God, which he could not do anyway; all he had to do was defeat Adam. Yet he knew, of course, that this was a virtual impossibility. He knew he could never convince Adam otherwise. Perhaps he had tempted Adam on occasion, maybe many times. It did no good. Adam’s bond with God with far too strong and unyielding. And no, Adam wasn’t duded up with body armor or armed with automatic weapons that could perforate the devil in seconds and cut him into a thousand pieces. Such weapons have no power over angelic beings (hell’s angels) of the spiritual realm. The only method for defeating and taking authority over the enemies of God, demonic entities, and sin is by gaining and using the Lord God’s spiritual power and by living in a state of no sin. As long as Adam never sinned he would maintain his complete dominion over the devil. He would continue honoring God, serving God, living for God, and increasing God’s dominion. He would continue RULING OVER the devil forever. Though certainly a potential weak link compared to God, Adam was effectively no weak link at all. The devil was flummoxed by this. (Keep this in mind as you consider your own discipleship.)
For however long it was, when Adam remained alone with God he remained successful. He continued faithfully in his work. But eventually, he became aware of something missing, an awareness he could not initially explain or understand—he became lonely. He realized that he had developed a desire for human companionship. He sought God over this issue. The Lord, not feeling slighted in the least, responded by blessing Adam with his next greatest gift. You see, Adam’s future mission must include others. Not only must the Garden be fruitful—Adam must be fruitful. Not only must the Garden continue producing beneficial fruit of every kind in great amounts and continue to expand, others must come forth to assist in Adam’s “cultivating and keeping.” He must have faithful human offspring to assist him in defeating the evil forces pressuring the Garden borders from without while he expanded them outward from within. Adam was meant to be a spiritual patriarch of a great righteous clan. He was destined to grow from miniscule beginnings in a tiny obscure Garden amongst the wilds of nature and the evil dominion of the devil to a worldwide Garden covering the earth with no room for evil and no place for the devil.
To achieve this he would need help, a lot of it. The overall mission was far too grand to achieve alone. He would especially need someone very close. One cannot be a patriarch without a strong loving matriarch. Of course, rather than the future, Adam primarily had the present on his mind at that particular time. And rather than thoughts of a future matriarch and kids and family, as wonderful as such thoughts were, he was thinking more along the lines of an extended honeymoon. God did not disappoint.
The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” [Genesis 2:22:23]
Eve was God’s crown of Creation. As far as Adam was concerned, God saved His best for last. For both, it was love at first sight. A holy covenant between these two was formed. God officiated as both a covenant official and a wedding preacher. He explained what love was, what it meant to be husband and wife, and what was expected of each for both one another and the future. He also taught them about working together, about ministry, and about cultivating and keeping. Because Eve was essentially born into an existing situation God explained what her role would be.
You see, Eve was created to be Adam’s one and only fully supportive side-by-side loving companion in holy covenant with him. She was Adam’s ezer kenegdo, a “helper suitable for him.” She was not equipped to rule except as part of Adam’s rule and must yield to the one she was created to serve just as Adam yielded to the One he was created to serve. Also, she was not equipped in the natural to as great a degree as Adam to perceive spiritual dominion and what must be done to gain it and maintain it. She was not created primarily to be a warrior but a nurturer. She was there to stand with Adam, to support him, to assist in easing the pressure of responsibility upon him, to be forever by his side and work alongside him under his authority. Her gifting and nature would be a tremendous benefit for Adam, aiding him to assist in maintaining his strength and continuing onward. He would become a much better and spiritually fruitful man due to her love and support. He would, of course, also love her and shelter her and protect her. He would cherish her. It was to each other’s benefit to provide what the other lacked and needed the most within the realm of their humanity. These two were destined to be on the forefront of spiritual battle and would need every bit of each other’s support, care, and encouragement. They were dependent on one another. They must be true. They were the only people in the Garden.
As long as their covenant union remained intact the devil would continue losing and continue losing ground. The wicked devil, a being of great darkness and evil, therefore must find a way to subvert this covenant marriage and especially this new person, this innocent beautiful woman.
The creation of Eve presented the devil with a new opportunity. Once Eve inhabited the Garden the devil planned on applying the exact initial strategy against her as he had with Adam. He would operate on the sly. He would find a way to bypass Adam. He would do an end around and hope Adam would never suspect anything. He determined to catch her off guard and meet with her alone away from Adam’s protection. It wasn’t simply because she was a new opportunity for him but because he had noticed a weakness in Eve he could exploit, a weakness Adam did not have.
Though the devil ruled the planet and had the run of it in the spiritual realm ever since God cast him out of heaven, he only had dominion here and nowhere else. And he didn’t appreciate the new invaders invading his turf. The devil hated the Garden. He hates everything pure and holy and righteous. He obviously opposed Adam’s mission from day one knowing exactly what it represented. He knew it was spiritual war directed against him but his counter offensive against Adam had been completely ineffective.
What the devil attempted with Eve is what he attempts with everyone. His goal is to corrupt, to change whatever is good, wholesome, and honorable into something immoral and sinful. Adam’s only chance was staying close to God. With him, however, it was not mere chance; Adam was very close to God and would never, ever betray Him.
The devil knows all too well what happens when a person becomes dedicated to God the way Adam was initially. Such people—real Christians—are a never ending headache for him. They’re a pain in the neck, a thorn in the flesh, and an endless succession of punishing left jabs and jaw-breaking right crosses pounding cranium and midsection, leaving ribs broken and face a bloody pulp, and all this before the sweeping left hooks slam upside his head, contorting it grotesquely, and knocking him clean out of the ring. These real Christians unrelentingly stand up for the Lord Jesus and His righteousness and thereby inflict ongoing damage to the devil’s workings. They do exactly what Adam did when he was right with God.
Though the devil fights them, they have the wherewithal through the Lord’s Holy Spirit to successfully fight back and thus engage their enemy every step of the way. They pray. They fast. They stay “read up” on the Word of God. They stay filled with the Holy Spirit. They remain revved up on full oil lamps. They invade the enemy’s dominion. They rescue lost souls. They witness. They tell others about the Lord. They preach and teach the Gospel. They uncover lies, false doctrines, and false narratives, revealing them for what they are. THEY EXPOSE THE DEVIL AND THE LORD’S HUMAN ENEMIES. They do exactly what the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to do:
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” [Luke 10:17-19]
EVE’S WAVERING TRUST
Though she did very well for a while, maybe a relatively long time, the day came when the devil’s temptations and tricky wordplay began to at last find their mark. On a particular day, not unlike any other, she happened to have a weak moment. This happens on occasion to all believers, of course, and demands an immediate adjustment. One must quickly pivot back in God’s direction. I would think Eve had done this many times. She was not unaware. And she certainly was not unaware of temptation. Well, she suddenly pivoted alright, but in the wrong direction.
She started perceiving the Lord God as someone holding out on her. She felt she was being dishonored. She tired of her apparent secondary place. Mostly however, the devil had finally convinced her that Adam was no longer worth honoring or serving. Why should she be this so-called ezer kenegdo? Why should her life be a mere side by side support to Adam’s life? Shouldn’t they be identical? Shouldn’t they share top billing? And for that matter, why should she actually serve God? Is He really what He claims to be? Why are we stuck in this Garden? Why can’t we venture forth outside these Garden walls and check out the scene beyond? What else is out there? Maybe this serpent isn’t so bad after all. Maybe this tree, this big beautiful tree, filled with beautiful fruit that looks quite delicious and nurturing and is likely even better than all the rest of the fruit in this Garden is actually a very good thing, a wonderful thing, and something that Adam and God are keeping me from enjoying. Maybe if I do eat this fruit that for some strange reason they don’t want me to eat I can not only attain the authority of my husband but actually have him serve me! And maybe I can even be like God! Give me the papers. I’m signing…
TRUST MISAPPLIED: THE FALL
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]
Adam didn’t have to eat the forbidden fruit. He knew better. God had always warned him. God warned him for a very good reason. He could never explain the full implications and outcome of such a vile deed because Adam, in his purity and innocence, would never understand anyway. Rather than know, then, Adam would have to TRUST. This is what faith is. It is not just faith, it is pure faith in the Lord God. It is faith in believing His words, directives, teachings, and commandments. It is trusting in Him that He knows best and we therefore must obey and comply. It is for our own benefit but also His and our relationship. And this faith, this trust, is not just faith in a generic “God,” it is faith in the Lord Jesus who is the express image of God.
Those who trust in “God” but refuse to trust in the Lord Jesus are not actually trusting in God at all. They don’t even know God.
Yet, Adam knew God. And he trusted Him completely. But he was suddenly presented with a different dynamic. It came out of left field and he had a big problem processing it. As the one who had to keep everything intact, he was challenged with fitting this new puzzle piece in—it was large and unwieldy and appeared unsuitable to the Garden environs. In the effort to contain it all Adam lost sight of his main objective, part of which was to not try to fit things in that simply didn’t belong, that were not at all good for the overall setting.
His main problem along these lines (understatement alert) was what to do about Eve. She had already eaten the fruit. She never prayed about it. She never asked his advice. She just did it. And now she was a different person. Her internal beauty had faded. He still wanted her, of course, but he also wanted God. How could he have both? Somewhere around here is where Adam began losing his trust. He was no longer completely sure about the Lord. He had strayed into onset unbelief. The new dynamic threw him. It was something he never thought he would have to deal with. In his final analysis, he decided that the only way to make it all work, to please God, to please himself, to please his wife, and keep everything intact and all included, was to join up with Eve in her new endeavor instead of showing her the door. This way he could keep her. God would understand…
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” [Genesis 3:8-13]
SIN CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
Adam failed. He failed at his mission. He was defeated by a far lesser foe. The original dominion plan was lost.
This required another Adam. A future Adam. A final and only remaining chance Adam who must be successful, though also under the commandment to never sin and thus maintain power over the devil, and the world, and the flesh, and temptation, and the grave, and hell, and death itself. He would be the last Adam:
So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. [1Corinthians 15:45]
He would also be the firstborn of a new paradise, an everlasting spiritual Kingdom:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [Colossians 1:15-18]
The God Adam knew was the only God there is, the One who dwelt in heaven in the far reaches of a glorious celestial realm. But this God also walked in the Garden. This is not a mere euphemism. Adam and Eve heard the sound of His walking. They also talked to Him. Directly. This was not a theophany. It was not a disembodied Spirit. They heard His voice. They saw His face.
Yet now, somehow, something terrible had happened. Adam was now on the other side of a former spiritual relationship. Fear had replaced faith. His purpose had drifted away. His mission had ceased.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [2Corinthians 4:3-4]
How is it that the devil has the power to blind the minds of the unbelieving? Could it be because unbelief is a sin? Could it be because those who willfully dwell in sin are under his authority? Is it because they cannot bring themselves to trust someone they cannot perceive? Do they not perceive Him because they are under a trance? An enchantment? And is this not due to the great power of sin? The fact of the matter is that sin causes spiritual blindness and a break in relationship with God. The only way to be reconciled to Him and have the spiritual blindness removed is to first have the sin removed. And the only way to do that is to turn from sin and seek the Lord Jesus since He is only one that has the cure.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8]
One must desire an actual relationship with God. One must no longer justify sin or dwell willingly with sin but repent of sin and cease from its practice. One must become pure in heart. When a person is cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, which pays for all sin, it washes it away. It scours out all the sin from an individual’s life all the way down to the infinitesimal DNA level. Then an amazing thing happens—spiritual seeing happens—spiritual sight is created. The thick colossal deception one has been subjected to is overcome and removed. Though one may never see the Lord God with the physical eye one can nonetheless see Him with spiritual eyes. One becomes aware of His holy presence. One discovers that the Lord Jesus actually exists and is the source of all Life and blessing.
One receives the revelation that Jesus is the Lord God. He is the One we all have been searching for. He is the One who longs to rescue and save all who desire Him.
And one knows He can be trusted to the nth degree.
Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” [John 2:28-29]
BLESSING BORN OF TRUST
How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. [Proverbs 16:16-20] 
© 2023 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 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.
They have created an Ishmael—an illegitimate counterfeit. Most Americans are none the wiser (sleeping). This illicit replacement imitation is wreaking havoc on what’s left of the country.
His name was Ishmael. He was the product of an unholy and faithless union. Ishmael was conceived because the great patriarch abandoned his faith in God and did the unthinkable. He had illicit relations with a foreign woman not his wife. Yet this great sin was not characterized as the adultery it surely was because Abraham performed this unholy deed at the behest of his wife Sarah. She convinced him to do it. It was a strange love triangle born of spiritual infidelity and outright rebellion against the Lord God. The good man was overcome by the incessant pleadings of his faithless barren wife. Sound familiar?
What Eve did to Adam is what Sarah did to Abraham. However, what these two women did obviously reverberated far, far beyond their respective significant others though they never saw that at the time. Both men knew better but both failed in their faithfulness to God. Had these two men stayed faithful to their overriding spiritual covenant as God had highly advised and counseled them, the great evil that resulted which continues even until this day would never have happened.
Both men made a spiritual recovery later on but the great damage had already been done. There was nothing that could stop the ongoing burgeoning of sin and evil in this world which has grown exponentially ever since. We are currently seeing evil shooting upward as never before like a proverbial rocket, as so many explosive and fiery launches over the last sixty plus years has enthralled a rapt but clueless audience beholding the wonder though never understanding the means and motive.
We see that the serpent was responsible in Eve’s case. Was the serpent also not responsible in Sarah’s case? God had promised Abraham a son, a very special son. He had made the promise to Abraham and Sarah roughly fifteen years before. This childless couple had kept the faith throughout those years. Sarah had always been barren. For all they knew it could have been Abraham’s problem also. The point is that this couple called by God could never have children yet God promised them a very special child who would have an immense and immeasurable beneficial effect on the world.
But they wavered. They grew tired of waiting. This was especially pronounced in Sarah. Her hopes were raised to the heavens when she first heard the promise many years before but then nothing ever came of it and her hopes were dashed. Abraham held on but only in a weakened state. He did his best. There was less and less to sustain his faith. Once Sarah quit and returned to her faithless condition, which barrenness portends, it would only be a matter of time before Abraham’s little remaining supply of faith in God regarding the promise would drain away. And it did.
A surrogate wife was found. The surrogate would be the mother of the promised child. Sarah decreed this. Sarah was just as wrong as Eve, of course, but because the correcting voice that had authority over her was effectively silenced—the voice of Abraham—as Adam’s voice was also silenced by his wife, Abraham proceeded to engage in the unholy, faithless, adulterous union. Again, Sarah did not merely suggest he do this or tell him to, she insisted upon it. Abraham was waylaid. Perhaps he was also tempted in his own right with forbidden fruit that was pleasing to the eyes and flesh. Perhaps he thought of his future great patriarchy and enjoyed the prospect of having another mate for such a purpose. Whatever the case, these two chosen ones messed up really, really bad. Being born into this world wasn’t Ishmael’s fault but the replacement boy later proved to be what he was—the fruit of an illicit union of which God had never approved.
Thirteen years went by. Abraham and Sarah apparently kept up the ruse the entire time, at least in part, and treated young Ishmael as the promised one. Hagar, the boy’s real mother, had something to say about this however. She likely never bought into the narrative and didn’t care. She only knew Ishmael was her boy and she couldn’t help but fight in the tug of war instigated by Sarah. Abraham thus had two wives and they were at odds always and he had to play the referee always, and as his faith had waned which brought forth Ishmael so had his good nature waned, being caught between two warring women, and he must have grown seriously weary as a result.
He also knew in his heart that Ishmael was not really the promised child. He was forced to engage in the deception initially to please his wife and was also forced to continue the charade to stay in her graces. As far as Sarah was concerned Ishmael was her son and anything contrary to this was forbidden. There is thus no possible way she could have had a relationship with God during the entire time for if she had she would have been convicted of her sin and changed her way of thinking.
It is quite interesting how the Word of God gives us clues that bypass most Christians, likely because most Christians are also stuck in false narratives as Sarah was and cannot see them. We know in Adam’s case he lived another 130 years after his initial sin and banishment. At that point he finally repented and did what was required to get right with God. Eve also repented and got right. Their third son listed in the Genesis account—Seth—was the result. He was the fruit of their return to God and effectively replaced Abel who the devil had eliminated by the murderous hand of the abominable Cain.
The point here is the 130 years. It is ten times thirteen. Ten is the Biblical number of ordinal perfection and thirteen is the number of rebellion. Once the rebellion ended, the Messianic generational bloodline was reestablished. For 130 long years there was no hope of a future Savior. If Adam had never gotten right with God there would have been no Lord Jesus. We would all end up in hell with no remedy. The devil would have won the universe. It is therefore no surprise that the number thirteen entered the picture once again in the case of Ishmael:
Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. [Genesis 17:24-26]
It was imperative that Abraham be circumcised prior to the birth of the promised child. Should he not have known that Isaac was impossible until he had done this? That Isaac would not only be the product of pure faith but also, by implication, the circumcision of the heart? How often do we as Christians make claims upon God’s promises but remain unwilling to fulfill the terms thereof? Circumcision portends spiritual cleanliness. It portends pure seed. It was the cutting off of the flesh. Though Ishmael was conceived while Abraham was uncircumcised (flesh), Isaac, the promised son, must be conceived in circumcised purity (spirit).
Also, the outward end of Ishmael’s development as a son of flesh must be officially stopped and was stopped at thirteen years. The big picture, of course, illustrates the nature of Abraham and Sarah’s sin in that, like Adam and Eve, it was a sin of disobedient faithless rebellion. Abraham’s faithlessness and rebellion against God ended, fully, with his circumcision. In fact, everyone in his entire household was also circumcised. God does not merely suggest spiritual purity if an Isaac is to come forth—He demands it.
Perhaps this is why much of Christianity never brings forth an Isaac but can only ever manage an Ishmael.
Immediately after this wholesale repentance/circumcision event when Abraham returned to rightness with God, he was paid a visit by God and God confirmed the initial promise He had made many years before. Keep in mind that God never would have shown up if Abraham did not fulfill what he must. God always has more time than us and will wait forever if need be. Also, the wholesale repentance/circumcision event of Abraham’s household broke the power that Sarah had gained over Abraham and to which he had fallen victim to when he obeyed her in forcing him to bring forth an Ishmael. As long as her power over the situation remained, Isaac could not possibly be born because he must be born of Sarah and not a surrogate. His birth would never happen as long as Sarah was in charge. Sarah would never have an ounce of faith as long as she was in charge. She would never be fertile. She would be unworthy of receiving spiritual seed. Of course, in her case, she was also unable of bear children in the flesh. She was barren both physically and spiritually. She was also faithless. The only way this could change is if she submitted to God. Fully. Why was Sarah so hardheaded and stubborn in this regard? Why did she demand to have her own way? Was this not the vestige of fallen Eve in her nature? (Abraham had also partaken of the vestige of fallen Adam by weakly complying with the demands and/or manipulation of his wife.)
The process toward spiritual life and away from fleshly rebellion, as it was in the exact case of Adam and Eve, started when Abraham took back control from Sarah and then submitted total control to God. (As long as Sarah was in authority she would never submit to God and there would never be an Isaac.) This is why there was such an immediate dramatic change for the better once Abraham repented and was circumcised. The change was so dramatic that even Sarah herself would be blessed with pure faith and her newfound faithfulness to God would result at last in spiritual fruitfulness. God had initially told them Isaac was coming 29 years before. The time had now arrived for Him to tell them again, this time face to face:
Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by. Please let a little water be brought and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree; and I will bring a piece of bread, that you may refresh yourselves; after that you may go on, since you have visited your servant.” And they said, “So do, as you have said.” [Genesis 18:1-5]
Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” He said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” [Genesis 18:9-14]
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS
Though an Ishmael has taken over and gained great power at the behest of evil forces he will not and they will not have the last word. Regardless of their success to date in establishing a counterfeit which appears to be legitimate, there remains much more to this story. We see many forms of attack against this Ishmael but none have worked so far nor will any other work. Except one.
As I have faithfully reported over the last eleven and a half years, primarily through this medium, a Great Awakening had always been in the plan of God for America. Just as He has done on countless other occasions, if we as His followers fulfill the terms of the promise, the present illegitimate Ishmael in control will not only be stopped but circumcised. Its evil fleshly power and connection to the devil will be cut off. This will happen when the rebellion is complete, when the perpetrators thereof have spent themselves in an ultimately losing cause. And every real Christian in America has a vital part to be engaged in toward that end. The Lord Jesus will do this, as He always has, through His people, His spiritual kingdom-minded Community of Called-Out Ones who bow the knee to Him, confess His holy Name, and circumcise their hearts.
In the interim, get faithful and stay faithful.
Isaac is coming.
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 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.
GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 6: Christian Qualifying Tests]
God ran two qualifying tests upon 32,000 prospective warriors. The vast majority failed. What are God’s qualifying tests regarding the New Covenant?
There are Christians in the world who believe being a Christian is no big deal. The vast majority of Christians have never done much to differentiate themselves from the world. They are Christians only in the cultural sense. Their parents were likely Christians of a particular denomination and they merely became adherents of the same only because it was the group their parents and family belonged to. They were simply raised that way. It is often the case that these denominational connections go back several generations.
Some denominations are more authoritarian than others and thus engage in greater enforcement through the application of greater religious control, indoctrination, intimidation, and even fear. These methods have always worked extremely well and are in part why the most populous Christian denominations have such great numbers. And it also helps, of course, to have been around a very long time.
The major Christian denominations have been around for centuries. One would like to think their great numbers must be due to their acceptance of the Gospel and its propagation. Their success, however, is not necessarily because they have historically stood for the original teachings of the Lord Jesus but because they have stressed certain teachings to the exclusion of others, watered down His teachings, and even appropriated different “gospels” to suit their cause. One should think, regarding this, that their cause should have been serving the Lord Jesus and honoring His Gospel:
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! [Galatians 1:6-9]
When one particular denomination gained the upper hand many centuries ago it did so largely through executive fiat and forced conversions. It became illegal to belong to any other Christian denomination than the one they set forth as the “legitimate” one. In other words, only one denomination was ruled the official one and all others were forced to disband or they would be persecuted until they did. This meant that not only the then existing few Christian offshoots that gained a following but also contained gross error were declared illegal, it also meant real Christianity was declared illegal. Why? Because the real Christianity of the early to middle first century created by the Lord Jesus and embraced by the first Christians had come to look so different from what became the mainline syncretic denomination of three centuries later that both could not possibly exist together in harmony. There were far too many differences. It was also impossible to achieve their goals using the Lord’s methods.
Hence, the real was rejected and a form of the unreal was embraced. Whereas the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to take the real Gospel into the entire world and allow each person the freedom to arrive at a personal decision one way or the other, the predominant Christian denomination went into the world as a conquering religious juggernaut with a decided imperialist character often in direct competition against the Lord.
The great Protestant Reformation, peopled by those who protested against the gross illegalities, false doctrines, rampant authoritarianism, and rejection of the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus and the early church by “official” Christianity, made great strides toward reform and correction. A great part of their success was due to the relatively new Gutenberg Printing Press, invented circa 1450, that made it possible to get the written Word of God into the hands of individual believers. The Word of God had been completely unavailable to Christians for a great many centuries and these believers had no choice but to trust the extremely few ecclesiastics in power that had access to it. Rather than make the Word available they had done the opposite. They closed it off to all and used the lack of the Word of God as a control mechanism. They made sure it was never translated into the native tongues of all those “conquered” by forced conversions. The written Word of God was retained only in the official language of the denomination. In order to have access to it, one would have to be a member in perfect standing, have the proper education, and participate in every initiatory and maintenance rite demanded. This, of course, eliminated 99% of the population. An ignorant, illiterate, and fearful population was absolutely perfect for controlling and dictating to and the masters of such were able to maintain “Christian” religious control for a very long time.
Sadly, the new Protestant denominations eventually also engaged in some of the same corrupt practices of the former to varying degrees. They also discovered it was impossible to control people according to the Lord’s teachings and if they would have any success in the world they must make allowances for authoritarian control also. Those Christian denominations which have existed for so long have thus done an excellent job of growing and maintaining their organizations. This, of course, does not mean they are right according to the Lord’s standard. It only means they have excelled in gaining religious market share, kind of like the successful ministers on Christian TV.
CORRUPTION IS PROGRESSIVE
The Lord’s standard is perfect. His standard perfectly agrees with His teachings and the early historical record. The application of His standard allows for Truth and spiritual purity, and keeps incorrectness and corruption at bay. But as in everything else, if not subjected to ongoing correcting and cleansing, corruption only grows and metastasizes over time. The reason why is otherwise easy to understand but cannot be grasped when one is deceived or under the heavy thumb of religious potentates. If corruption is never properly addressed or allowed to be opposed, and if righteous opposition forces are continually overcome, then corruption will not only remain but flourish. It will increase. It will eventually reach a point of full corruption and darkness. And because the hubris and arrogance of the leaders within it grows as well, corrupt organizations become, in their own estimation, bulletproof and beyond censure. They feel they are so superior and powerful they can never be defeated.
They then begin to lower their guard. They fail to understand that initially buying into corruption for whatever reason allows for corruption to spread unchecked throughout the entire organization. The corruption extends to a corruption in decision making. The organizational unifying adhesive begins to fail. Then communications start to break down. Fissures appear. Light shines into the fissures. Light exposes the corruption. And just as sunshine is the best disinfectant, Light begins its cleansing action. A few insiders previously under the entrancement of the outwardly legitimate organization start seeing the oozing gunk leaching out in fissures everywhere and reach a point of great awakening. The blinders come off. They see the masquerade for what it is. They wake up to the ruse and become animated toward correction. They cease being part of the problem and become part of the solution. This is why most of the great Christian reformers were previously members of corrupt Christian denominations.
This is the world we live in. Despite its fallen nature it is still a world of both darkness and light and not darkness alone. Though darkness may thrive for a time, the light will eventually expose it. Great people, those who act as did the Lord, understand that the Truth of the real Gospel must go forth and are willing to take on the spiritual fight and do the will of God. These people are always grossly outnumbered in the beginning. Many of them pay dearly. They will lose their good reputations. They may lose their earthly goods. They may even pay the ultimate price. This is what happens when the corrupt majority turns against them. Sound familiar? But the only other choice is to let darkness prevail.
That the majority of the world is wimpy in this regard and refuses to fight the enemy does not mean the enemy cannot be successfully fought. The Lord Jesus proved this. The Early Church proved it. Untold millions were saved from sin and the dominance of evil. They kicked demonic backsides and took their names. This was and remains the Lord’s approach. But for those Christian organizations that refuse the Lord’s full program and have no desire or ability to fight the enemy, but instead have a lust for control, power, worldly wealth, and prestige, they simply join up with the enemy. And the enemy accommodates them.
Remember, it is the Gideon Paradigm. The Lord always proved the majority is wrong. The majority is always fearful. The majority will always oppose Him. The majority chooses the broad way that leads to destruction. Thus, if one is not willing to face off against the majority then one simply cannot be His disciple. And if one looks the other way and refuses to bring the necessary reforms and corrections to oneself and one’s own Christian denomination and would rather exist as a nameless nobody within a fearful, compliant, corrupt majority, then one can call himself a Christian all he wants to. As long as he stays within his member denomination as part of the non-reform corrupt majority and maintains the support of the majority as his proof of right standing with God, he may prolong the charade but will never fool the Lord.
Reasonable people would agree that it would be far better to actually get right with God in the here and now according to God’s requirements than face Him at the Judgment unprepared, even though one may have been falsely granted full commendation and approval by his member denomination. It should be obvious that trusting the Lord and His teachings regarding one’s soul is better that trusting one’s Christian guru. Christian denominations cannot dictate right standing with God and cannot confer righteousness by one’s mere good standing within them. Nevertheless, the majority of Christians would rather have right standing within their Christian social circles and overall culture than have right standing with God. And in case there is any confusion on this matter, actual spiritual righteousness is a gift. It cannot be falsely appropriated or earned. It was bought with a price. It was obtained by a great Sacrifice. The only way one will ever receive actual righteousness is by submitting 100% to the Lord Jesus. Substitutes will never qualify.
CHRISTIAN QUALIFYING TESTS
Rather than spell this out I will direct your attention to Acts Chapters 2. I stated in Part 5 of this series that of the many thousands who heard His teachings and followed Him during His ministry, He only chose 120 for the Upper Room. These 120 individuals had to be qualified for the honor. That only 120 did qualify suggests costly requirements. It further suggests that many desired to be disciples and tried to be disciples but were unwilling to be the disciples the Lord needed them to be. When one considers the absolute miracle of Pentecost one must also consider the absolute miracle that the 120 not only obeyed the Lord Jesus in full but got along with one another perfectly. They demonstrated the love of God. They were each willing to become brand new solid and strong empty vessels to be filled with the Lord’s Holy Spirit.
Based on Luke’s historical record, the 120 Upper Roomers passed the following universal tests:
1. 100% faithfulness and obedience toward the Lord Jesus, their recognition of His atoning death as the complete and only payment for all sin, their acceptance of His full teaching and discipleship curriculum, and their absolute belief in His resurrection from the dead.
2. 100% repentance of personal sin and a full turning away from sin and their former life to their new life in the Lord.
3. 100% immersion in water invoking the Name of Jesus the Messiah, their only Master and Savior.
We know these were the initial tests in part because it is exactly what Peter preached by the anointing of the Holy Spirit right after he and the 120 were filled with the Holy Spirit. Whoever would thus become a member of the Body of Christ must do as they did and meet the standard the Lord put forth. This standard was consistent throughout the early historical record in the Book of Acts and New Covenant Scriptures and all the early believers held it in common and were also filled with the Holy Spirit in the same manner.
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:38] 
© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 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.
GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]
Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. [Judges 6:11]
The teachings of the Lord Jesus often appear counterintuitive. Rather than choosing a big gnarly giant with massive weapons and a killer reputation like the warrior Goliath, a man that pretty much every other man on the planet is deathly afraid of and respects absolutely, God instead chooses a young teenage shepherd of likely less than average height with no reputation armed with a mere slingshot.
He did the same thing in the very beginning when He chose Abel over Cain:
Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. [Genesis 4:2]
Abel was the second born. He was a gentle shepherd with a heart for God. Cain, the firstborn, was a hard-nosed redneck farmer with an apparent mean streak and no concern whatsoever for spiritual matters. This is no knock on farmers or those who produce necessary food from the ground but does tell us that shepherding in general is apparently more conducive to and indicative of spiritual work and has a higher priority than farming.
One may recall that the Lord Jesus referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd but not as the Good Farmer. He also said that food from the ground is produced pretty much automatically by the ground though the process otherwise calls for a level of work depending on conditions. Excellent soil produces great fruit with less work. Lesser soils and conditions demand more work and produce less.
And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.” [Mark 4:26-28]
Concerning the one whom God chooses, the same dynamic took place with regard to the first two sons of Isaac, the twins Esau and Jacob:
Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them. When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. [Genesis 25:27]
Esau (“hairy”) had no heart for God or for spiritual matters. He also had no control over his appetites. Any man who would sell his birthright for a pot of stew is not worthy of God or His kingdom. While Jacob was a conniver who participated in fraud, he remained the better choice as history proves. Though it took time and much discipline, he learned to overcome his lower nature and serve the Lord.
I could go on. There are many examples of this kind. In fact, the Word of God is consistent regarding such choices. God often chooses the very opposite of those chosen by unregenerate mankind and this world:
And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” [Luke 16:15]
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1Corinthians 1:26-29]
The preceding is the calling of the real Christian. He or she will be seen as an idiot in the eyes of the world, a person they simply cannot relate to or understand. The life of the real Christian involves spiritual righteousness and Godly concerns. It involves a great desire for spiritual matters, a love of the truth, and a refusal to compromise regarding sin. Above all a real Christian honors the Lord Jesus and strives to serve Him and do His will. The world makes light of such things and cannot understand such things. Goliaths and Cains and Esaus simply don’t get it. They are more likely to make fun of, insult, defy, and reject those serving the Lord. They cannot conceive of the spiritual much less understand spiritual priorities. They put all their eggs in a very temporary worldly basket and have no future in eternity.
As it is for the real Christian, the same was true of Gideon. This man had no great heritage or birthright. He was of the tribe of Manasseh, a people whose tribal allotment spanned both east and west of the Jordan. Though Manasseh’s father was Joseph, his mother was an Egyptian. Gideon says his family was the very least in the entire tribe. He says further that he is the youngest in his family. He is a man who, in his own eyes and those of everyone else, is seen as the most unlikely candidate to be chosen by God for anything. Above all this, with no experience whatsoever or reputation to prove it, the Lord calls him a valiant warrior. Gideon was entirely perplexed by this. The perceived projection of his life changed completely when the angel of the Lord met him under the terebinth tree (it was not actually an oak):
Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.
The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior.” Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
The LORD looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” But the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. “Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.”
Then Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour; he put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them. The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. Then the angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight.
When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the LORD, he said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” The LORD said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and named it The LORD is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. [Judges 6:11-24] 
© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
Today is my site’s ten year anniversary. I appreciate all of you who have read my posts over the years and have contributed. Thank you.
It’s been a long haul. Like many of you, I have had roughly a million other things to attend to over the last decade but have always been faithful to this site. I have written posts from several locations. There have been interruptions, major changes, a few seriously tough times, and all the usual getting-on-with-life adjustments. I have written and posted roughly 700 blog posts so far, most in the two to four page range which amounts to thousands of pages.
There have been times when circumstances forced me to leave off writing but I always returned and hit it hard again. I have built up the site with many faithful readers only to lose most due to inactivity and then started over again. This has happened quite a few times, the most recent being the spring and summer of 2019. That is, until this year.
It is impossible to not be seriously affected by all that has happened in America over the last fourteen months. After the events of last autumn and especially at the beginning of this year I started sensing that we as Americans had been taken for a ride, yet again, and that the very worst was on tap. Rather than continuing to have hope I saw that no one was actually coming to the rescue. All those who appear to have tried got nowhere. Many who appeared to be for real have been proven to be frauds. A great many Christian “prophets” were dead wrong about what would happen. Many people trusted them. As usual, I would guess that most of these people explain it all away and keep on trucking.
There is no use getting into specifics at this point but everything has changed. I said fourteen months ago that nothing would be the same again. I spent a difficult summer writing many long posts revealing much truth. At the end of the day, did it matter? Have enough people really paid attention? I told you in my last post of 2020 on the last day of December last year what would happen in 2021: 2020 IN REVIEW AND A LOOK INTO WHAT’S COMING NEXT…
For all those Christians in America and their “churches” and denominations which have once again thrown in the towel and did what they were told, dumbing themselves down to an even lower level and surrendering whatever semblance of spiritual reality they had left, I can only say at this stage of the game that I have been warning of this very outcome over the life of this blog. But I started my warnings much, much earlier than that. I’ve been advertising a book here that I wrote in the 1990s. It hasn’t done any good. I had hoped to be a successful author so I could keep writing but the former never happened. I have kept writing however, though under more difficult circumstances, and plan to continue at some point.
At the moment I am inundated with practical matters that must be attended to and am making progress in that regard. My writing and teaching will have to wait. It might wait long enough that I will lose most of you. I don’t know. It is likely that few will even see this post or read it. For those of you who do I am thankful.
Regarding the Great Awakening, I will remind everyone that the Lord Jesus is God and He is still very much in control. He still lives to save. He still needs our help. For all the Christians in America who got sidetracked over the last year, they must simply be added to all the others who have done the same throughout history. At the moment it appears the goats and tares have the upper hand. Remember, I am only talking about “Christians” now. Forget about everything else. The devil has taken control over what the Lord has allowed him to. What’s done is done. Don’t engage in false hope.
When the Lord referred to sheep and goats, and wheat and tares, He was not talking about the world at large. He was referring to real believers and false believers. What happened in the first century obviously proved that. As we continue on, the unreal believers will become that much more closely aligned with the bad guys. You will have to use your own spiritual eyes to see this. This world is not what it appears to be. “Christianity” is not what it appears to be. But again, the Lord Jesus is very real and in control. He has all power and authority in both heaven and earth. If you want your life to really count you must join Him all the more. His kingdom is the only reality. The rest is mere illusion.
Going forward, those segments of Christianity which refuse His full will and direction will fall by the wayside, as always. I said many years ago that if every leadership team in every church in America were presented with a form pledging themselves 100% to full obedience to the Lord Jesus most would refuse to sign. It has always been this way. The goats have always outnumbered the sheep. There is likely a Judas for every twelve Christians.
Be careful. Get close to the Lord and stay there. If you are close get closer. Ask Him for all the spiritual power and strength you need. He has an unlimited amount available. Believe in the Lord! Trust Him! Great days are ahead. Many victories await. All things are possible.
Every story He writes has a happy ending.
© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Why did the Lord choose physically strong, tough-minded men, most of whom were hard-working blue collar workers, as His first apostles? For starters, because that’s exactly what He is.
WILDERNESS WILD MAN
When the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet…” [Luke 7:24-26]
Many years ago I was talking to a guy at church. It was a great place with a mix of many different people and professions. We somehow got on the subject of being impressed by our dads when we were kids and he recounted a short story about his father. He said his dad, who was much older then, had been a plumber. As an illustration of his dad’s imposing stature and physical strength, he remembered as a young man that his dad once picked up a standard bathroom scale, the kind you stand on, and holding it with both hands, fingers at the back and thumbs on top, squeezed it until the needle went all the way to the end. I thought that was really impressive.
On bathroom scales, back then at least, “all the way to the end” was 250 pounds. That was pretty heavy and any man who had the strength in his hands to duplicate that weight was exceptionally strong. Also, men were generally tougher and leaner then, and more active, and topping the chart at 250 was relatively rare. Today, most men who exceed that figure are generally carrying excess weight. If they got down to their proper weight and body mass index most of them would be like men of fifty years ago.
Naturally, after hearing that story about my friend’s dad, I had to try it out when I got home. Being only of average stature but making my living in construction, I thought I could make a pretty good dent in my bathroom scale. So I went for it. Using all my manly might, I squeezed the life out of it. If I remember correctly, I didn’t come anywhere close to 250. I didn’t even break 200. It was pretty demoralizing. Of course, converting that figure to future considerations, using the principle of “the older I get the better I was,” it actually was 200. But still not close to 250. I obviously did well by becoming a carpenter and not a plumber.
PHYSICAL STRENGTH DOES NOT DEFINE TOUGHNESS
When I was twelve years old I discovered professional sports. I loved baseball and football and began reading the sports pages every day in our local newspaper. Papers back then in smaller markets were really bad compared to what came later. The type was tiny and all the columns were squashed together. Box scores had the smallest type they made, I would think. The writing was mostly pedestrian. Everything was black and white with no color. It was all I had until I started subscribing to sports magazines not long after. I also began collecting baseball and football cards. Those cards had the height and weight of players. Regarding football players, the biggest guys, usually the defensive lineman, topped out at 270 pounds. Of course, most of them were also pretty tall, averaging maybe 6 foot five or six. When you look at old NFL films from the 1960s, you won’t see many fat guys. Most of them were lean, wiry, tough, and cat quick. There were also a lot of average-sized players under six feet tall. A few were actually pretty small.
The game of football was also much different back then. It was war. They didn’t mess around. It was an extremely tough sport in the professional ranks and they often played on dirt fields and wore poor protective equipment in comparison to later standards. It was also a job and players needed the money. They would often stay silent on whatever injuries they might have incurred so as not to jeopardize their place on the field or team. Someone always waited in the wings to replace you, so you had to be tough. The game was hard enough but playing injured, which almost all of them did to varying extents, made it that much tougher. And no one could afford any sympathy, for many reasons.
In this cauldron, however, arose an even tougher kind of man, one who made most of the other players look like less than the men they were. This wasn’t true; they were all tough as nails. But some exceeded that standard and a few obliterated it. They were tough as, what? Steel girders? What a sight it was to see some otherwise tough guy, much tougher than the average man, look like a comparative pansy being showed up and manhandled by the baddest of the bad.
“GOD HAS ALWAYS LOVED FISHERMEN AND JAILBIRDS”
The preceding was a quote by a preacher I once knew. He had a rough upbringing, coming of age in the 1950s. He got tougher as he got older and soon became engaged in all the bad stuff that guys like him got into. He was a really tough guy and a good fighter, was a biker and drug addict, and generally had no concern for anyone. Beneath all of that, implausible as it sounds, he still had a tender side. He told a story of the JFK assassination, when so many Americans were cheering his death. He said when he found out he began crying like a baby.
Somehow or another, against all odds and probability, this man later received a witness from a brave Christian and actually gave his heart to the Lord. I know. It makes no sense. It makes you wonder about all the evil people in the world at present. How many of them are this guy waiting to get saved? How many are the apostle Paul who was notorious for being a powerful persecutor of Christians before His Damascus Road experience? How many are Simon son of Jonah, otherwise known as Peter—the rock? Speaking of which, I’m convinced that prior to his conversion nobody messed with Peter.
Regarding my preacher acquaintance, he soon started his own storefront. He gathered a small group of faithful congregants and conducted services. While preaching one day, a big giant dude burst into the room. It seems this man was really ticked off because his wife had become a member of the congregation. The guy marched to the front and told the preacher he was gonna whip him, right then and there. What did the preacher do? Drawing on his past and knowing this man did not scare him in the least, but also knowing he had a duty to the Lord and must act properly, he looked right into the big dude’s eyes and said: “Look. I think I have enough Holy Ghost to let you whip me, but if I don’t, you’re in trouble buddy. I’ve gone through bigger men than you just to get into where the fight was at!” The big guy backed down. And that was that.
REAL MEN OF GOD
So what does the average Christian think of when he or she thinks of the original apostles? This depends on one’s denomination, of course, but sadly, because so many have been told nothing but mischaracterizations by moron church leaders, most probably think the apostles were “saintly” pushovers. And how is this derived? Most likely because many Christians have been taught that the Lord Jesus was a “saintly” pushover, a pallid sissified non-man representing no threat to anybody. It is anyone’s guess how this false depiction arose, the very opposite of His actual character. We can blame it on old artist’s renderings or maybe a severely unbalanced portrayal using various verses of Scripture showcasing the Lord’s mercy and love but neglecting His unquestioned manliness in the face of vile enemies. But it is most likely due to the affected nature of later ecclesiastics who actually fit that profile quite well, because that is pretty much exactly how they were. And many still are. And this false portrayal of the Lord has invaded many denominations and caused many pastors to invoke it in their “imitation of Christ.”
My preacher friend could have cleaned that guy’s clock. It didn’t matter how big he was. But he didn’t. He could have but he didn’t. He was more concerned about the man’s salvation. That’s the point. It was the same with a guy like Peter. There was a reason the Lord chose him and it was the same reason the other apostles recognized Peter’s authority and standing. Most of them knew Peter and his past. And the apostle Paul, who was not even five feet tall, might have been even tougher. Could those guys have played in the NFL? If they were any good at football, I would answer in the affirmative. They had the heart and toughness for it. And it’s a good thing because they had to fight the devil and his minions every day. Their real strength, however, the one that made the difference, was their ability to take a punch and not return favor. They knew full well that people were not the enemy.
Sadly, many of today’s ministers couldn’t have done what my old preacher friend did even if they wanted to because they don’t have a blue collar bone in their body. They aren’t tough enough. Real Christians do their best to maintain their witness and hold back. But when a man has nothing to hold back it’s a different story.
WILL THE LOCKDOWN PASTORS EVER OPEN THEIR CHURCHES?
Probably not until they’re allowed to. Maybe a few courageous ones will in the interim. I read yesterday that one well-known church leader in California, where a statewide total church lockdown is in effect including home bible studies and everything else, has taken a stand. Good for him. What took you so long? But on the other hand, I take that back. Pastors must be given a pass the first time around. This nonsense had never been tried before. It came out of left field. Who could have ever thought they would use a flu virus in an attempt to eliminate Christianity? Most were unprepared for such an attack and never saw it coming. Maybe the devil knew many were no threat, would wimp out, and could be had for the taking. But once is it. If a church leader has yet to figure out what’s really going on, then maybe it’s best to just stay closed and quit. Forget about taking a stand. Concentrate instead on getting saved.
If such pastors/reverends/priests et al were actually living for God they would certainly take a stand and basically say: To hell with this. Come one come all. WE’RE OPEN. If every pastor did it all the churches would be opened immediately. No one could stop them. That’s not going to happen, of course. The sad fact is that one could never gather enough churches together in a united front on a large enough scale, which shows one more broken aspect of current American Christianity. Why can’t the high hats in a single denomination, for example, especially the very large “united” kind, just send down a directive to open up?
But even if a mere Gideon’s 300 took a stand things would change for the better. Those were the best warriors in all of Israel. Another thing that would change, however, would be the enemy. The principle enemy would switch from the Midianite lockdown state governors to the Midianite lockdown pansy pastors who would suddenly begin attacking the stalwart 2020 Black Robe Regiment like the original tory traitors did in colonial America. As it is they’ve already revealed themselves as unworthy of the call of God, though many are not actually called of God to begin with and are simply filling a position.
Most of them also don’t have the Holy Ghost. This is being proven every day.
Which makes one wonder, is this entire virus nonsense being used by God as a test to show which Christians are for real? Is it an opportunity to showcase spiritual toughness? Does it reveal those few with the backbone and fortitude to press 250 on a spiritual scale?
BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE…
If this is all it takes—unconstitutional orders by government leaders of both parties who essentially hate Christianity and despise the Lord Jesus—then what are all these so-called Christian leaders going to do when real persecution breaks out? And the answer to that should be obvious. And that’s also why persecution is a good thing.
It separates the men from the boys.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Thank you all for following. Thanks especially to my longtime faithful readers over the years. Thanks first and foremost to the Lord Jesus, of course, the One who paid for our salvation and grants His life and blessings, and makes all things new.
Real Christianity the website was created on May 10, 2011. I named it after my first book. I have since posted roughly 600 in-depth teaching articles. These articles have come forth regardless of circumstances, though some were much more challenging than others. Wherever I was and whatever I was engaged in at the time, I continued to write.
The Lord provides. Always. Sometimes there is a fruitful field and other times a desert. I would like to relay to you one particular story from many years ago:
THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN
A big financial need, all very positive, would be required a mere six weeks in the future. I was working very hard and things were generally on track. Then suddenly, with no warning, the contractor I was doing business with and lining up jobs informed me he ran out of work. This put an entirely new perspective on the situation. I realized I would not only come up financially short for the upcoming expense, but that I also had to quickly start finding work to replace what I just lost. I had been doing carpentry work for a few years but never strictly on my own. That was about to change. I made some calls. Met some people. I started doing what I could. But before any of that, and after engaging in some serious prayer, the first thing I did was follow through on what some might call a really dumb decision. In the midst of a financial crisis I decided to give the Lord what little money I had saved up.
I did this because: (1) My back was against the wall and I would never reach my goal without His direct intervention. (2) I was now on my own and had to find a way to make it work, starting from scratch. (3) My savings would not amount to much in the big picture but was perfect for seed money. (4) I knew if my heart was right and I fulfilled His conditions He would bless me and turn the little I had into much more.
Though I had always tithed I had never done anything this bold. Making sure I followed the Lord’s directives and doing my best to give in secret, I took my savings from the bank and went to my church one afternoon. There was a secretary in the office. No one else was around. The only ones who knew what I did were the Lord, myself, and her. With a great attitude and big smile I gave my savings, in the only way I knew how, directly to the Lord Jesus. I then went about my life.
It was touch and go for the next month and a half. I began placing inexpensive ads in a city circular. The Lord blessed me with some work. Weeks passed. A few days before the big financial need, I was on a construction jobsite one summer afternoon working on an old historic house. I got a phone call. The foreman happened to have had a phone line installed, which was a rare thing. This was long before cell phones. I think I was upstairs at the time but I’ll never forget that black rotary. The call I received was in reference to work. I jotted down the number and called a man I had never met. He said he had some work and that I came highly recommended. But it was more than that. It would be steady work and at a good rate.
This was great news. I started a day or two later. A week’s amount of work turned into two. They kept coming up with new projects. The work kept multiplying. It was like bread and fish déjà vu all over again. Long story short, it turned into six years of work at that single high tech industrial location and accounted for half of my total income in that time. The money I had cheerfully given to the Lord was essentially all I had. It was truly seed compared to what I ended up receiving. I also became a fulltime contractor and was always busy. The glory goes to the Lord.
MY LATEST POSTS REGARDING THE PLANDEMIC
Over two months ago, On March 7, 2020, I began a 4-Part series entitled Pharisee Control Tactics: the Spirit of Fear (1) (2) (3) (4). This was a lead-in series regarding the plandemic, revealing the massive fear tactics involved by illustrating such tactics used in the past, especially within Christianity. After that I immediately began writing additional posts regarding the unprecedented times at hand. This site was on the cutting edge of revealing the truth of this massive diversion and subversive attack on America. It began with the following aptly named post and six more afterwards which not only exposed spiritual reality but gave positive practical advice to real Christians. You may want to check these out:
March 16, 2020: PANICKED OVER A TRICK PANDEMIC
Whatever this actually is—a real pandemic, yet another disease scare, a hoax, a biowarfare attack, or a government response test, the REAL pandemic remains unacknowledged.
March 18, 2020: THIS IS YOUR TIME: GREENER PASTURES ARE CALLING
The Lord needs you to step up. It is time to make a move into greater spiritual maturity and quit being overly dependent on the Christian means and methods of yesterday.
They had no church buildings. They had no New Testament. They had no professional clergy. And still, they turned the world upside down.
March 25, 2020: CHRISTIANS IN LEAGUE WITH THE ENEMY: THE TRAITOR WITHIN
There is no effective difference between those in powerful positions on the world stage engaging in mass subterfuge who actively oppose the Lord Jesus, and deceived Christians who support them unequivocally without knowing it.
March 31, 2020: THE CONTROL TEST: PROVING THE MAJORITY COMPLIANT
None of this would be happening without a predetermined confirmation that the controlled have reached a majority and will readily comply with every directive from upper management.
April 19, 2020: APRIL 19, 1775: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION BEGINS
The Americans of that greatest generation stood for liberty at all costs and created a country. These times illustrate how far America has fallen.
May 4, 2020: SUBMITTING TO HELLBOUND AUTHORITARIANS
Christians taking life-changing advice from people on their way to hell is not a good business model.
EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101
In addition to these and other posts I also began a commentary on The Book of Acts in lesson format entitled Early Church History 101. It began with an INTRODUCTION on March 29 and has continued regularly since with 18 lessons. LESSON 18 was posted on Thursday, May 7. We are currently close to completing Acts Chapter 2.
For those of you who would like to review the series, maybe read some Lessons you missed, or even start from the beginning, the posts are relatively short, only one page or so, except for a few. I have made it easy by putting embedded links for all Lessons at the top of each post. There are also many excellent comments to browse. My desire is to reveal the actual history of the early first-century Community of the Lord, which stands as a perfect foundational prototype for the Church Age and draws clear distinctions between their witness and so many half-lit and fake churches since and especially of the present. If you want to know why official American Christianity is in dire straits and failing against the culture, it is because we have strayed far from our moorings.
THE GREAT AWAKENING CONTINUES
I want to encourage all of you that the Lord Jesus remains very much in charge. He possesses ALL authority in heaven and earth. He can work through you to better promote His Kingdom depending on your discipleship level and willingness to be a faithful servant. As we strengthen our individual walk with Him, He is strengthened overall. Regardless of the incessant fear tactics employed at present, do not fear. Obey His directives regarding your needs. Put your full confidence and trust in Him. He will always make a way. Make the commitment to being a better and more mature disciple to supply His needs.
And now, Year Ten begins. I hope to continue seeing you along the way.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Hello friends. I want to drop a short note to let you know I’m still here but have been involved in a lot of practical matters and have not had any time to write. Much has transpired since my last post.
I created this site on May 10, 2011 and have been faithful to it regardless of circumstances. One never knows what most people go through, or what other Christians in particular go through in their daily lives, but at the end of the day it is all about being faithful. I discovered long ago that faithfulness leads to greater accomplishment, meaning that one must continue regardless of circumstances to maintain victory. Evil never stops which means righteousness must outlast it. Light must overcome darkness. But in order to do this light must be consistent.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16]
Real Christians promote the Lord Jesus—always—in whatever way He calls us to do this. He is the Light. He is the only Light. Everything else is spiritually dark without Him. This is why the dark places of this world perpetrated by the dark hearts of this world are filled with lying, cheating, stealing, murder, mayhem, and destruction. We attempt to do our best for Him to overcome the darkness so He can set those people free who want to be free. He gave everything He had for us. He is the pearl of great price, the hidden treasure found in a field, and the reason for living. He said this:
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.” [Matthew 10:32-33] 
Be blessed this day. Thank you for your support and friendship.
(I began a new article yesterday and will be posting it soon. See you then.)
© 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
*PLEASE SEE THE FOLLOWING POST FROM BILL AND MARY SWEENEY! IT WILL BLESS YOU! TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY: HANG IN THERE!
All real Christians have God-given talents and gifts, and are called into some form of ministry. Our purpose is to fulfill our callings. Here is how the Lord provides for us in that process:
A VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION:
The spiritual harvest brought forth by our work for the Lord is not the same as our personal compensation.
Real Christians are noteworthy for putting the work of God first regardless of any recompense they may or may not receive at the time. They know the Lord will always provide but they don’t necessarily wait around for the provision when there is work to be done.
Now, this must be explained a tad. The Lord Jesus never calls anyone into His work without taking caring of him or her. He always provides for His disciples. As I have written about on this site several times, when the Lord called His original twelve to leave all and join His ministry it also involved leaving their present means of making a living. He told those who were fishermen, for example, to drop their nets and follow Him. There is no way He would do this unless He had the wherewithal to provide for them through an alternative means, and this is key.
YOKED TOGETHER WITH THE LORD OUR PROVIDER
For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. [1Corinthians 9:9-10]
The Lord will always do His part. He will always provide His portion. Consider it this way: A real Christian is in covenant with the Lord. The two share the same yoke. The yoke will fit only two people [See my post: The Yoke’s On You].
When two oxen are yoked together there must be time for these two massive and powerful animals to learn to work together. They are each independent with strong wills. The person who is plowing never wants to diminish the power of his oxen or emasculate them in any way for the sake of making them work together, as this only defeats the purpose. He does not want their strength reduced but if anything, he wants to maximize it. That is the entire point of attempting to yoke them together.
The Lord Jesus does the same with each of us. Rather than regiment us and remove our personal power, strength, individual gifts, talents, personality, and independence (all of which He gave us when He made us) for the sake of conforming us to a very low common denominator, which causes us to become essentially spiritually worthless within a mass homogenized group (sound familiar?), He attempts instead to redirect us and put us in a place where all that we are may be utilized fully and where we can be fully developed and fulfilled.
But in the beginning, before salvation, He knows each of us is otherwise hopelessly lost in sin and thoroughly compromised, so He first seeks to bring us to repentance, bless us with a new birth, wash away our sins, fill us with His Spirit and strength, and welcome us to His kingdom. This must start with our own personal hunger. We must seek Him. We must begin manifesting faith in Him. Of course, He is already seeking us and in fact sacrificed His very life for us, but unless we do our part anything He wants to do for us is rendered impossible.
This is why each of us must also sacrifice our life for Him. This dynamic connects two lives sacrificed for the other, yoked together as a team, which makes possible the coming forth of great spiritual production and fruitfulness.
Here is a simple way to see it: The Lord will always do His 50%. He is ever faithful. We must also be faithful and do our 50%. When a disciple does his or her 50%, which is something vitally necessary but often overlooked, then great and powerful things happen. We see then, that the reason such great and powerful things do not happen is because we are simply not doing our 50%. Consider the establishment of the 100% as that which brings forth the fruit of covenant.
SOWING SPIRITUAL THINGS FIRST
If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one. [1Corinthians 9:11-15]
I’m going to stop here and reveal the aforementioned distinction further. There are many ministers of the Gospel who consider themselves professionals. In other words, they see ministry as a career. They see it as a job. They will not perform their jobs without a paycheck. They also do their level best to cover themselves within society as legitimate members of society. They do not want to be seen as persons without standing. This is part of why they demand a salary and position. These people, which make up the majority of ministers, would never last a day working with Paul (he’d run ‘em off), which probably means they would last less than a day working with the Lord. Real ministers of the Gospel know they came into the world with nothing (that they had anything to do with), that they came into the kingdom the same way, and that they are incredibly fortunate to have any blessing beyond that.
Real ministry is rigorous. It is not for those who make selfish demands. We are called as babes but must become spiritual adults ASAP or we will get wiped out in battle. Therefore, we must be fully trained by the Lord. The New Covenant writings explain very well what this training looks like. We are bought with a price. The Lord Jesus has purchased us with His own blood.
Once we sign up we not only gain the benefits of living for God but we primarily gain the opportunity to work for Him and with Him according to His will and not our own. In other words, real ministry is not like going off to college and choosing a major or deciding on our own what job we want. The Lord has already decided those things. Our job is to say “YES SIR” and do what He says in accordance with the way He made us, and with respect for our individual giftings and callings. This is in part why Paul relays the following very hard but incredibly fruitful truth:
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. [1Corinthians 9:16-24] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” [John 15:16]
Most of the people who refer to themselves as some form of “Christian” choose God on their terms. But God chooses real Christians on His terms. Thus, unreal Christians create their own unholy covenant with God according to their own stipulations and provisos. It is not a real covenant, though, because God is not involved in it. He signed none of the papers. He did not agree to the terms. Such minor details do not concern the pretenders, however. They continue onward by themselves insisting God is with them. And these people preach about the Jews being stiff-necked?
Many “Christians” have been duped into thinking they have the power to choose Messiah Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But Christians don’t do the choosing. What they do, before they become real Christians, is have a hungry heart for truth and light. They know there must be something much more than this temporal world of sin. As a result they begin searching for that “something more.” In the process they find belief systems, gurus, false forms of Christianity, and eastern religions that look real and are quite promising. But after looking within these and practicing their tenets for a while, they continue to move on because there is no heart connection. They do not feel fulfilled. They are not satisfied. Something is missing. Knowing this, they realize they have identified yet another fake. Most people in the world are content with fakes, but real searchers of truth never allow this for themselves. They continue seeking, not knowing God is attracting them magnetically by His Spirit until they are chosen.
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]
Among every pagan nation in the ancient world, each dwelling in deep darkness and rebellion, God chose one nation to represent Himself:
For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face. [Deuteronomy 7:6-10]
Fifteen hundred years later, the very nation He called forth to be His own rejected Him. It became the opposite of faithful. It no longer loved Him or kept His commandments. It chose to hate its own Messiah.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” [Matthew 23:37-39]
There was always a believing Remnant, however. In the first century, the Lord Jesus managed to gather together the hungry in heart and those searching for truth among His people. He chose them because of their condition of heart. With 120 people, including the remaining original eleven apostles and His own mother, He created His own community. These were people who loved and honored Him, who recognized Him for who He is, and who pledged their lives to serve, obey, and trust Him forever. They are the chosen of the Chosen.
“Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” [Luke 9:35]
He chose many more after Peter delivered the first message of the Qahal:
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. [Acts 2:41]
Can you hear the echo in the writings of Isaiah?
Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. The beasts of the field will glorify Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I have given waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My chosen people. The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise.
Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; but you have become weary of Me, O Israel. You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, nor wearied you with incense. You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; rather you have burdened Me with your sins, You have wearied Me with your iniquities. I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; state your cause, that you may be proved right. Your first forefather sinned, and your spokesmen have transgressed against Me. So I will pollute the princes of the sanctuary, and I will consign Jacob to the ban and Israel to revilement. [Isaiah 43:19-28]
Was it just a coincidence that what was left of the geographic kingdom of David was utterly ruined forty years after the nation rejected their Savior? Was it coincidence that Jerusalem was razed and the Temple destroyed in 70AD?
Prior to this, He had made a Way for His real people, whether Jew or Gentile. He established a New Covenant. For forty years He continued adding thousands of believing Israelites, creating a new spiritual nation, as He said He would do through the prophets of old:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” [Jeremiah 31:31-33]
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” [Ezekiel 36:26-27]
As most “Christians” reject the Lord, so did most Jews initially reject the Lord. But of those who accepted the invitation to the kingdom, Peter says:
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe;
But for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE;” for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. [1 Peter 2:4-10]
There are only two kinds of people in the world—those who are chosen by the Lord Jesus as members of the New Covenant and those who are not. Real Christians are not only called by the Lord and chosen for His community, they are also faithful and true warriors. Non-members of the New Covenant oppose it.
These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the Called and Chosen and Faithful.” [Revelation 17:6-14] 
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 3]