When two are together in any venture in complete reliance upon the other, both are in an otherwise precarious position. Each one is absolutely vulnerable to the possible failure of their associate.
The longer the relationship exists the more vulnerable each becomes. The dependency grows due to the progress accomplished. In other words, at the beginning of the contract or covenant, the only element gained is the relationship itself. The relationship is such that it is seen by both partners as having much higher value than the absence of it. Both parties had chosen to begin the relationship. Both had sowed the vital nutrients into it as it grew. Both parties benefited and continued to gain greater benefits until a point was reached when each party decided to make an absolute commitment to the relationship rather than maintain any portion of themselves apart from it.
Such a decision places one party at the mercy of the other. Though it is not perceived in that manner at the time due to the beneficial nature of the initial relationship which each party greatly appreciates, it must certainly be a consideration in the beginning. One must move slowly in learning who one can trust. We are instructed by God to guard our hearts. One must also seek the requisite compatibility. If the opposite party displays trustworthiness at the outset, the only way it can be tested is by a furtherance of the relationship. If each step reveals honesty and apparent fidelity, a sense of reliability emerges and increases. One has less reason to be self-protective. One has greater freedom to be open. One has more willingness to share.
At least, this is how relationships should proceed. It is obvious that many relationships do not develop in such a way, based simply on their finality, brought about primarily from endemic disharmony stemming from selfish and/or immature behavior. If the proper steps are not taken and applied, or if a relationship is fast tracked due to the immediate benefits of one particular aspect without paying any attention to all the other aspects, either because they are considered but rejected or simply not perceived, it allows for a poorly constructed and weak foundation which will certainly present itself in time when the growing pressures of derivative relationship accretion are placed upon it.
In the event, however, when all proper steps are taken and any evident inappropriate or harmful future possibilities are rightfully considered and all appears good to go, it still does not mean that the partnership or relationship will not be tested or suffer to some degree, only because such is the nature of life in this world and also the nature of humanity itself in that we are complicated beings subjected to many influences.
From a Christian perspective, there is always the possibility of the specter of temptation. Of course, both parties must be well aware of this and do their due diligence to avoid it knowing that so much rides upon it. Each party must have already been right with God in the beginning and must maintain their relationship with God throughout. Each party must also maintain their commitment to one another.
Any person who does not consider these aspects or embrace them are effectively attempting to create something which is bound to fail unless corrective measures are taken in the early stages to rectify any incorrect applications, improper attitudes, or selfish conduct which can only restrict or do damage to the relationship but more importantly, to the other party. The vulnerability of each partner which is always present as a necessary component of the relationship must always be considered by the other party when deliberating upon possible actions and choices, because wrong actions and choices will harm one’s partner and stand in opposition to the love one has committed to and should indeed demonstrate.
Normally, one would never do any wrong thing in this regard because their love or respect for the other would prohibit it. But human beings are not automatons. There is always the possibility of straying from one’s covenant promises and responsibilities, or failing in them entirely. Judas proved this.
On a positive note, there is also the possibility of applying forgiveness and walking in proper humility. This is relatively easy if not extremely so when one acknowledges the high price paid for saving grace. For best results, we must always prioritize the Lord’s perfect example.
YOKED WITH GOD: A NO RISK VENTURE
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30]
© 2020 by R.J. 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.
At the root of today’s culture of hate and blasphemous reactionary rhetoric is a denunciation of America’s Christian heritage and an attack on the teachings of the Lord Jesus. It is a rejection of all things Christian.
When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” [Matthew 27:24-25]
American Christian values have been under attack for a very long time now. Many believers continue to stand in the gap for the Lord Jesus, however, and will not be swayed from their loyalty toward Him. He is the foundation of their lives. He saved them from a life of sin and waywardness and gives them strength each day to stay on the straight and narrow path.
His enemies apparently suppose that such a path and belief system is highly restrictive. In the name of personal freedom they embrace sin, knowingly or not, and establish their moral code according to their own desires. Their open road and broad way must include the liberty to engage in practices condemned by the Lord’s moral code. His code, of course, is not designed to restrict freedom but to protect His followers from choices which incur bad results, often with long-term effects, and to release great blessing, joy, and fulfillment. But He never forces His teachings on anyone. Real followers of the Lord obey Him voluntarily as individuals without any coercion on His part because it is a relationship based on love and trust. This is contrary to the leadership method of faux religions and cults that must compel programmed group compliance for “the greater good,” which is merely a euphemism for the benefits they incur by being in charge and the only way their organizations can exist.
Ironically, despite their incessant virtue signaling and false moralizing, and instead of using their freedom for the good of others, which involves self-sacrifice and spiritual love, their freedom is often used for entirely selfish purposes and collective societal agendas and strike hard at the heart of individual liberty by denying the right to live according to conscience. It is thus not too difficult to surmise which agendas are based on love and which are not.
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:12-14]
Crucifying an innocent man simply because you disagree with His teachings and because He exposed institutional societal and religious corruption is a clear sign of a hateful heart. All sane people agree with this. But continuing to harbor great ill will toward Him after two thousand years must be the same. When outright rejection of the Lord Jesus is a central component of one’s religion and secular belief system, it reveals an otherwise obvious problem. Some address it, overcome it, reject it, and gain spiritual health and healing. Others buckle down all the more and continue the fight. Whether this fight is a struggle for personal freedom against the centuries-long onslaught of false Christian denominations and evil anti-Jewish traditions or direct abhorrence of the Lord Jesus is a question left to the individual. In that regard it is certainly the case that unbelieving Jews have been persecuted by fake Christians in direct violation of the Lord’s teachings.
But these same fake Christians have also persecuted real Christians who refused to be forced into their cults.
I could name names but most people reading this know exactly which entities I am referring to. Concerning one of these major denominations, if you ask who the worldwide leader is most members will refer to a man known as the holy father who is not the Lord Jesus. In this there is the echo of the following:
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.” [John 8:39-40]
Suffice it to say that burning people at the stake or engaging in any of the other well-known torture tactics against those who stand up for personal freedom and liberty of conscience, and who pay with their lives rather than submit to a false cult opposed to the Lord Jesus, is strictly within the realm of the devil.
Yet, it was not the Romans who crucified the Lord but the leaders of an evil Jewish cult. Roman soldiers carried it out but only because Pontius Pilate was deathly frightened by the threats of this religious cult against him. They were going to appeal directly to Caesar and blame him for the social unrest incurred by them and use his record against him. Pilate knew he was on thin ice because of his former evil treatment of certain Jewish people whom he saw as worthless renegades deserving his wrath and cold Roman “justice.” He therefore completely surrendered to their blackmail. They played their card extremely well. To save himself Pilate allowed the Lord to be crucified. To save themselves, the leaders of the evil Jewish cult did the same. They wanted Him out of the way. He exposed them for what they were.
In the long run it didn’t matter. Forty years later what was left of the nation of Israel was destroyed forever. It was certainly the case that a great many Jews were on the side of right and did not harbor the ill will and destructive practices of the evil cult and its supporters. A great many Jews recognized the Lord Jesus as their Messiah and gave their lives to Him. The Lord Jesus is a descendant of Isaac and Abraham, as were all of His original followers. The 120 in the Upper Room at Pentecost also had this pure bloodline. The entire Community of the Lord for about the first seven years or so of its existence were comprised entirely of these same descendants. There were no Gentiles. Thus, that which we call Christianity today had what we would call today a Jewish or Hebrew heritage.
It is therefore absolutely wrong to state that Jews were not Christians or Christians were not Jews. By our current terminology, in the beginning ALL the Christians were Jews.
So where did Christian anti-Judaism come from? Where did Jewish anti-Christianity come from? Both of these obviously did not come from the Lord or from real Christians. Real Christians never persecuted anybody. How can people who are instructed to crucify their flesh and love everyone on the planet persecute people? No, the ones engaging in the hate are those who reject the Lord. Such people are on both sides. Anyone who studies Christian history gains an understanding of who the perpetrators were simply by looking at what they did to those who disagreed with them.
Which brings us to our current theme. Hatred in America is greatly increasing. Rather than simply disagree but stay friendly, we now have people who engage in outright hate to the point of threatening bodily harm and murder if you don’t believe as they do. These people are not interested in friendly dialogue and discussions. They want to get you. If they can’t do physical harm they will engage in every manner of character assassination. They will trash you all day long and lie incessantly. Many, many people have suffered in America and had their lives destroyed by these people. They are relentless. They have no moral code other than forcing everyone to believe as they do and their beliefs are often fluid. They do the very opposite of what the Lord Jesus taught. For students of the Great Reformation this should sound familiar.
THE LION FROM THE TRIBE OF JUDAH
I have been to Messianic synagogue services several times. I have known several Jewish people who converted to the Lord Jesus. I keep in touch with Messianic ministries in Israel. I have done much study on the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith. I was one of the earliest to do this when it first came forth over thirty-five years ago. I was fascinated by first century Hebrew history and culture and the times of the Lord. I still have all the books I acquired back then and continue my research. For many Christians it is difficult to go beyond the walls of their denomination or church, but there is a rich heritage to study for both Jew and Christian. The Lord’s primary message to all was to love God and love our neighbor. Would that we would all surrender to the Lord Jesus and obey His teachings on this love as illustrated perfectly by His example.
Spiritual love is the only antidote to cultural hate.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 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.
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:9-20] 
© 2019 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.
On January 29, 2018, the US Senate rejected the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The recent stock market nosedive began the very next day.
Yes, I know there are several possible “legitimate reasons” for what happened: Will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates? Are we due for a correction? Did the very first day of the new Federal Reserve chairman send a signal? Is the dollar too weak? There are several of these. But we must never discount possible spiritual reasons.
This is what I wrote yesterday in my post HAS ECONOMIC JUDGMENT RETURNED? THE FUTURE OF AMERICA DEPENDS ON BANNING ABORTION:
“Considering bad signs, however, there was a vote in the Senate a week ago that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks like almost every other country in the world has done. This would have been great progress and no one in their right mind should have opposed it. However, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act failed to make it out of debate in a 51–46 vote to a final floor vote after Democrats filibustered the bill. 48 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted for the bill. 44 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted against the bill. President Trump would have signed it into law had it passed. But almost every Democrat senator voted against it.”
This vote took place late on January 29, 2018. The stock market nosedive began the very next day. This appears to be more proof of the economic judgment pattern I revealed again in yesterday’s post. Did the pro-abortion vote trigger judgment?
The 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade was January 22, 2018. The Dow Jones reached an all time high on Friday, January 26, 2018 of 26,616.
The following Monday, January 29, 2018, the Dow dipped slightly and closed at 26,439. The Senate vote took place late that day.
The very next day the Dow Jones lost 540 points from its high and closed at 26,076. 540 is a multiple of six (man) and nine (judgment). What are the odds of such a strange coincidence happening?
There had not been a drop of that magnitude since June 24, 2016, but that loss was quickly made up. The current big loss of the last week continued, eventually reaching a floor of 23,778 yesterday. That added up to a giant drop of 2,838 points since the January 26th high in only seven business days. The market has currently rallied back and made up part of the losses, but it has been a roller coaster. Is it recovering? Or are we in for more fluctuations and losses in this key year in part due to the failed Senate vote? *
Please read the text of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and consider the vast research and science enclosed within it which proves that babies in the womb definitely feel pain even before 20 weeks of gestation.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
* FEB 8 UPDATE: The Dow Jones suffered another drastic drop today of 1,032 points, at one point coming within 71 points of Tuesday’s low, to close at 23,860. The “correction” continues.
* FEB 9 UPDATE: The Dow Jones dropped to a new low since reaching its all time high on January 26, falling to 23,360, a drop of 3,256 points (over 12%) before recovering to close at 24,190.
The birth of Seth, Adam’s third son, took place when Adam was 130 years old. For 130 years, the Messianic generational line was cut off. It was a time of rebellion and apostasy.
As stated in the previous post, Adam was in exile for a spiritually significant period of time after his banishment from the Garden of Eden. That time period was a multiple of the number 13. A study of Biblical numbers associates the number 13 with rebellion. Its first occurrence in Scripture is as follows:
Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but the thirteenth year they rebelled. [Genesis 14:4]
There is no doubt that the Lord affixes certain meanings to numbers and one can discover many truths using this method. The number 10 is characterized as ordinal perfection, or the perfection of Divine order. We see examples of this in the Ten Commandments and the tithe. Also, Noah was of the tenth generation listed in Scripture since Adam, and the ark builder represented the completed order of the antediluvian age. When the number 10 is combined by multiplication with the number representing rebellion, we arrive at the number 130, which is the number of years Adam spent out of fellowship with the Lord. When he returned, God marked the occasion with a new birth.
THE SECOND GENERATION: TRANSITIONING TO A NEW SPIRITUAL AGE
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. [Genesis 5:3]
The birth of Seth, listed in Genesis as the third son of Adam and Eve, represented a return to God after a long exile. Though there was no going back to the garden, Adam’s original nature was restored. This state of righteousness with God is indicated in the preceding verse—Adam’s new son Seth was made in his image, according to his own likeness, as Adam was originally created in God’s image. However, in looking closer at the numbers, we discover that Seth, though certainly righteous, bore the marks of spiritual suffering associated with being a transitional figure.
Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. [Genesis 5:6-8]
The transitional period from the birth of Seth to the birth of his son Enosh was 105 years. The multiples represented in this number are 3, 5, and 7 (3 x 5 x 7 = 105). These three significant numbers are the second, third and fourth primes. (Prime numbers are those whose only other multiple is 1.) They represent, in order, divine completeness or perfection (3), grace (5), and spiritual perfection (7). Thus, the 105 year period was marked by the spiritual meaning of these three numbers.
The 105 years were completed with the birth of Enosh. Seth lived an additional 807 years after his son’s birth. The multiples of this number are 3 and 269 (3 x 269 = 807). These are both prime numbers. This may get a little tricky but stay with me. The Lord is showing us something substantial with these two multiples. We already know what the number 3 represents, but what about 269? This number is the 57th prime number. The number 57 also has two multiples and both are also prime numbers: 3 x 19 (what are the odds?).
According to the Biblical number scholar E.W. Bullinger, the number 19 is closely associated with Seth’s mother Eve and also the suffering patriarch Job.
THE THIRD GENERATION: THE GREAT AWAKENING
The number 19 gives one a clear indication of the life of Seth after the birth of his son Enosh. Also, when looking at the total number of years that Seth lived—912—we again discover the imprint of the number 19. Note that once more all multiples are primes: (24 x 3 x 19 = 912). This means there was a strong imprint of the same sufferings Job endured upon the entirety of Seth’s life.
Remember, Seth was the restoration of the Messianic generational line after the death of Abel. There was therefore much spiritual warfare associated with his life. His lifetime was marked as a reformation-oriented, spiritually-challenging transition period between Adam’s spiritual renewal and the arrival of a new Great Awakening:
To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD. [Genesis 4:26] 
© 2017 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.
The President-Elect, on his first official trip in that capacity to Washington DC, has taken a decidedly humble approach. He has been cordial, gracious, sincere, and low-key.
There was talk in October, at the lowest point of his political campaign, when something really bad from his past erupted forth and was set to derail it all, that he was strongly advised to own up to his great wrong and apologize. He had a decision to make. Prophetic voices claiming to hear from God were told that if he took the humble approach he would get through it. He would otherwise be finished.
He ended up owning up to what he did, faced it like a man, and apologized to the nation at the next debate.
It was supposed to be his coup de grace, the death blow, that which would finally finish him off. It failed. It failed because he knew that if he was to continue the race he had only one chance to be successful. He had averted the trap so many, many times before. Any of those things would have destroyed another candidate or campaign but the things that destroyed others never came close to destroying him.
The intelligent people knew why. This man had been much more thoroughly tested throughout his life and career than any of the other candidates. They all had to play the PC game for the sake of their careers and they knew it. They were largely all bought and paid for. But this man had no master. And even though he had made a move toward the Lord long before this, that move would have to be tested. Therefore, though what was sprung upon him in October certainly came through his enemies who no doubt had held it for the right time to administer a crushing blow, it was also the case that the Lord allowed it. It was a door he would have to walk through. The road to the Presidency had to go through that erupting scandal. And though he survived all the others he would never survive that one.
Unless he took a humble approach and showed a contrite heart.
He survived. The road continued.
As a result, he emerged the winner.
There have been reports of divine intervention during the election. Whatever the case, the vast majority of Americans know something entirely unprecedented and unexpected has occurred. Almost no one on the losing side saw it coming. Ninety-nine percent believed wholeheartedly that their victory was assured. Perhaps the same amount of people on the eventual winning side, on the other hand, were cautiously optimistic or hoping for the best, though there was an undercurrent of foreboding. Many millions had been praying. It was all going in one direction.
On Tuesday night, among other sites, I was following in real time the New York Times election graphics on the internet as the national vote was coming in. According to that website, the President-Elect began the evening with only a 15-20% chance of victory. For reference, before you read further, you must see this link: False Forecast
After the initial votes came in supporting the projected scenario of a huge loss for the eventual President-Elect, the totals began changing dramatically. The graphic was flipping. The candidate who started out at 80% began drifting down. The one who started at 20% began trending up. These two lines that started from the left side of the graphic very far apart continued coming toward each other, then actually met in the middle. The graphic was then projecting that each candidate had an equal chance.
Then the lines crossed over each other and continued. The projected winner kept falling. The projected loser kept rising. He rose all the way to 95%. Long before he had actually garnered the needed electoral votes he was already projected as the winner. The graphic never changed. The one who expected to lose big by all the experts, the polls, and the losing side had actually won.
This is all new territory. No one has ever done this before.
Is it possible that it happened without the Lord’s involvement?
“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” [Matthew 23:12]
“So the last shall be first, and the first last.” [Matthew 20:16] 
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
For the few people on the planet who go through life as living a fanciful dream with no worries or pain, having all their desires indulged and living in a state of bliss, ignorant or otherwise, good for you.
For everyone else, there’s a reason people sing the blues.
I subscribe to a few blogs that deal with the issue of abuse. The people who author the blog posts therein have been through some bad stuff. Those who read their blogs have a place to go to read of the plight of others and know they are not alone. I consider these people heroes for not being defeated, for rising up as best they can, and for trying to help others find healing and a new life.
The people on this planet who have suffered terrible abuse by others—people who have no concern whatsoever of the great pain they instigate or the tremendous suffering they cause—know that this place we call Earth is not some idyllic wonderland. Their ongoing suffering and the memory of horrific events perpetrated against them tells them every day that we are all surrounded by enemies, acknowledged or not and perceived or not, and such enemies must be dealt with.
This is why all of mankind’s cultures throughout history have created societal laws or a system of laws. Such laws were created as a form of protection, to keep people from engaging in crime against those who do not, and to bring justice against evil people who act out on evil inclinations and desires. Of course, since sin was and remains endemic to all, all had evil inclinations and desires, though not everyone acted upon them. People were still blessed with a conscience to know right from wrong, though many individuals destroyed their conscience through ongoing willful sin with no remorse.
Ever since sin entered the actual idyllic paradise God did originally create, mankind became the enemy of mankind. People could no longer trust one another. Everyone was watching his backside all the time. Thus, families did their best to gather together and remain together, and even grow with the addition of new generations. They did this to create some form of community where the goodness of humanity might exist and prevail. If their law contained the law of love, they were often able to remain bonded and life became better.
For the individual, though, it was pretty rough. And for those singled out for abuse not because they necessarily sinned in some minor way as did everyone else, but because they were seen as deserving of abuse because they were different, they had no recourse toward love and protection.
To relate this to the present day, imagine someone giving their life to the Lord Jesus and thereby violating the family code or leaving the family religion. Though most people living in a pluralistic Western society might not understand the violent reaction often received against such new believers, there are real Christians all over the planet who understand it directly, as they are treated with such vile contempt they are deemed worthy of complete rejection and extermination. Their treatment is based on the laws of the society or religious culture. In other words, had the new believers not violated the laws put in place to protect the members of the society against other beliefs, they would not be treated so harshly.
We see the same reaction in the West, of course, but because we have freedom of religion in places like America, one doesn’t generally get killed for choosing to become a disciple of the Lord. One still receives their share of outright hatred and rejection, however. If they come from a family that professes no certain faith, one that is largely secular in attitude and belief, then the new believer will be seen as an idiot for “getting religion” or “joining a cult.” If the new believer comes from a religious family, it is worse. And if the new disciple comes from a Christian family or group of one sort or another, they will often be treated the worst.
Why? Because religion contains the worst laws. Religious laws are not based on love. They are not based on fairness or justice. They are not based on the best outcomes for individuals. They do not consider the individual. They have little to do with honoring a person’s heart, good intentions, or dreams. And most of all, they have next to nothing to do with assisting an individual in finding his or her place in the Lord.
Perhaps this is why religions love large congregations of submitted “like-minded” people where individuals are perceived as mere faces in the crowd who toe the mark and never question squat.
Unreal Christianity hates the Lord Jesus though it openly avows love and honor toward Him. Because it is counterfeit, the love of the members is counterfeit. Their concern for others is counterfeit. Like other religions in the world that do not take kindly to someone casting aspersions upon it or rejecting it, the members of one of the various forms of Unreal Christianity will only accept you into their group as long as you abide by the laws, precepts, and cultural understandings of their religion. Barring that, one must at least remain one of them in name (which qualifies as a form of honor), though one rarely practices or honors the unique rituals or specific observances and bylaws.
But the worst thing one can ever do is leave and become a real disciple of the Lord. This immediately puts one’s former religion in a bad light. It puts one’s former culture in a bad light. It puts the members thereof in a bad light. And unless a new believer formerly hung out with a bunch of cool people who try real hard to love everybody and never judge anybody, and usually never make a big deal of someone moving on toward whatever they may seek, the new believer cannot help but suffer some form of rejection. It simply goes with the territory. Real Christianity demands a full commitment. By accepting the Lord, one must say adios to any group not subjected to the Lord to which he or she formerly belonged.
If you’re wondering about the title of this article, the Allman Brothers wrote a song called Whipping Post forty-five years ago. The way I felt today reminded me of it.
I saw them perform live in a former life. They were an exceptional band and their music calls to mind a better time when the country was a tad more idealistic. The members did not necessarily live according to Christian morals, and in fact were hell-raisers. But they sure made great music. I quit listening to their stuff a long time ago, but I listened to that song today for the first time in decades.
I can’t be sure, but I think Gregg Allman must have been thinking of the Lord when he wrote it. Either that or he was influenced by someone else. Back then almost everyone still had Biblical knowledge to various degrees from childhood, unlike today. There was a respect for the Lord then, even among sinners. Whipping Post is about a strong man getting his heart destroyed, something many people can relate to.
Returning to the narrative, the whipping post was a further place of the Lord’s suffering toward the ultimate place, before they at last offed Him and got rid of the Man who kept making them feel bad about themselves and their sinister little arrangements, both religious and monetary.
The Lord Jesus had also in effect left His family religion, so to speak, and prophesied of His nation’s destruction rather than come to its defense as a mighty warrior throwing off the Roman oppressors. The ruling religious leaders hated Him for that and deemed Him an anti-Messiah.
Toward that same characterization, He engaged in way too many diatribes against the clergyites of His day and nation who foisted upon the people a fake belief system, but one in which the religious leaders deemed perfect. He exposed them for their complete lack of love and mercy, and their insistence upon religious legalities. He railed against them for putting the people of His nation in religious bondage and forcing them to remain there upon fear of excommunication.
Thus, when they finally got their chance at administering the deadly 39 stripes they exulted in it. Tying the Lord to the whipping post and watching Him get ripped was a turn-on for these idiots. No doubt they exclaimed, “You reap what you so!” and “Serves you right!” and “That’s what you get!” and “We tried to tell you what would happen but you didn’t listen!”
Such hateful rhetoric just adds to the affliction of the abused, as if their innocence and righteousness was the sanction of their suffering. How many abused people are told their maltreatment is their own fault?
The same ill-treatment generally happens to real Christians in one form or another at one time or another. Yet, if a real Christian somehow manages to live life without suffering such things, I am not questioning their standing in the Lord and never will, but there is the question of effect. The New Testament clearly reveals the suffering of saints at the hands of non-disciples of the Lord. Each had their own form of being tied to the whipping post.
Paul had a contract on his life pretty much his whole life after giving His heart to the Lord Jesus. He continually suffered abuse way off the scale. It was as if his enemies believed him to be the worst enemy possible and they must eliminate him at any cost or be eliminated. Maybe they had a point.
We know real Christianity always wins the war though it may suffer loss in various battles, and though it often looks just the opposite at any point in time. Since the lives of individual human beings are infinitesimal in relation to the planet’s history, it is no wonder few can behold the long-term trend of real Christianity’s success. Yet the Lord is a winner, always was and always will be, and will not be judged according to a flawed standard.
It is not about numbers and never has been. If the Lord ends up with three people in heaven He will be happy. He blessed us all with a choice and the choice is ours, not His. He did everything for us that He can possibly do, and honors our free will and individual choices always. This is something mankind’s religions never do. Their protocol always involves force and fear, and trying to cram as many scared and ill-informed people into their paradigm as possible. The leaders thereof then use them and their resources for their own purposes which is all part of creating a religious elite and maintaining its power.
Step out of line and see what happens. You could be directed to the nearest whipping post.
Always remember, though, that the Lord survived the post. They killed Him but He didn’t stay dead. And because of the love and power He grants to His children in this world, neither do they stay dead, even if they’re still drawing breath. We know it is not easy, and for some it is very difficult. But there is always the strength made available to get back up, get healed, and live again. It involves using the authority on our part to love our enemies anyway, and forgive them, and pray for them. It requires being filled with the Lord’s strength and love, and an ongoing refreshing of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord forgave His enemies from the cross. He had the same attitude at the post. We must do no less.
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” [Luke 6:35] 
Hang in there. Be strong. Love everybody. The Lord will see you through.
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.