I’m reading a book about a Christian minister in the early to mid-20th century conducting evangelistic meetings and starting churches. In tents.
ATTENTION TO TENT MINISTRY INTENTIONS
This is nothing profound or out of the ordinary, of course, since big canvas tents had become the norm of sorts for large evangelistic meetings by mid-century. They were also used by those sent to start new ministry works in various small towns and locations throughout the country. If one had a tent he could carry it around on a trailer with the other stuff necessary for holding services. Once the minister secured a location on which to set up the tent it didn’t take long to begin holding services. The tent itself would often act as free advertising. When the people of the town saw the new curiosity, like a traveling road show or entertainment spectacle, they were often drawn to it since the interloping tent attraction added a new level of excitement in a hum drum existence. The minister to which I am referring did much of his early work in the late 1920s and into 1930s during the Great Depression. He was not only offering the Gospel of salvation to the locals but also giving them hope and inspiration.
He later revealed his method for starting new churches. He would visit a new town, usually of the smaller variety and sometimes in out of the way places. He would set up his tent, which often included a platform to preach from, maybe do a little additional advertising around town, and then commence with holding services. After a few months of steady work holding consistent meetings and growing a regular congregation he would set up a pastor to take care of the folks while the folks compensated the new pastor with a living. Then he would move on. It would take a certain quantity of people giving a necessary amount of money to support the pastor depending on the situation and his needs. To replace the tent, a local building would be appropriated for either rent or purchase depending on the circumstances. If all continued to go well regarding growth and expansion the new church start would be able to eventually build a new church building to call their own.
This was a difficult effort overall if the church start minister was not connected to an established deep pockets denomination from which to draw support and financing. Anything the Lord created through him must have been greatly satisfying, since he was starting from scratch, especially since his preaching method, doctrine, and ministry emphasis was on the salvation of souls, which was usually not the emphasis of the mainline churches. Such tent ministry methods were sometimes or frequently seen as deviating from the Christian norm and were somewhat disdained by both local anti-Christian forces who often got stirred up and provoked rather easily, as well as by the local denominational church pastors who may have seen such efforts personally intimidating, a threat to their authority, and an invasion of their turf.
It is why this particular minister and those like him saw Christian ministry not as business as usual but one much more in line with the New Covenant practices of the Lord Jesus. They got their ideas from the New Testament. Thus, they saw themselves as certainly different from the norm but were not so untraditional that they would not later adopt the same formats of those churchmen and traditional Christians opposing their early efforts.
BEHOLD, I WILL DO A NEW THING
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]
These new ministers of the Gospel were part of a new wave breaking upon America as part of a Great Awakening movement that had its roots primarily in the 1906 Los Angeles Azusa Street Revival. The people of that time associated with the movement were more than willing to step from traditional methods and go out on large limbs of pure faith to honor the Lord. And He blessed them for it.
The majority of Christians today cannot identify with that movement or what those people went through to assist the Lord in bringing forth new Light. Their emphasis on Pentecost and Book of Acts happenings took a tremendous amount of courage and demanded a willingness to have one’s Christian reputation destroyed. As John the Baptist facing off against the Pharisees, they had to put up with unending attacks not necessarily from local yokels in general, though that was surely the case, but primarily from status quo Christians in high places and their unthinking drone army of pew-worn sycophantic lemmings. Whatever Christian norm had been established at that time by the current generation was seen as the norm from which no one should deviate. Of course, necessary deviations from such established traditional sleepy time norms must happen anyway if the real Gospel is to be preached, otherwise there would never be the proper spiritual corrections and ongoing restoration toward the pure New Testament prototype.
DID THE APOSTLES USE TENTS?
And this is where it gets interesting. The minister tent user of which I speak and whose book I’m reading who held a great many tent crusades et al in his time over several years was not actually engaging in a pure New Testament effort after all because the big top model was relatively recent. I’m not sure what minister first used a tent for ministry purposes and I don’t feel like doing the research but one wonders if the idea came from the ever present traveling circuses of bygone years. I’m sure big canvas tents were used for more than just circuses but I think said circuses indeed captured the market on the imagination since pretty much everybody back in the day associated circuses with giant tents filled with lions and tigers and bears and acrobats coming to town. It was only a hop and a skip sans the jump to put the proverbial two and two together and manifest a flashing yellow light bulb over one’s head toward the big ministry-minded voilà: We can use tents in ministry!
It was certainly a good idea and maybe a great one. Except for one little problem. It was at heart a mere variation on the standard model of the local church building. As I said, if the tent ministers/ministries were successful, the people they gathered would eventually be housed in something more permanent than the transitory tent which makes the tent a kind of halfway house toward the standard church house. So the question regarding the Early Church and its non-use of permanent meeting buildings would also apply to the big tents of past crusade fame. You see, not only did the early believers never have any permanent church buildings as we know the term, they would also not use big tents if indeed big tents were available. Now, stay with me here because there is a point to this, hard to figure though it may first appear.
HOUSE TO HOUSE
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart… [Acts 2:46]
The private home was their preferred meeting place. It was essentially their only allowable meeting place. The New Covenant Scriptures are filled with references to houses being utilized for meeting places. The apostle Paul mentions them often and that he taught “from house to house” (Acts 20:20). This means the term “church house” has an entirely different connotation from their perspective. Rather than it being a public Christian meeting house which Christians attend from without as it has been throughout much of western history, the original church houses were actual church houses—they were private houses that Christians lived in that Christians also used for ministry meetings. This was the case in the very beginning in Jerusalem and it remained the case for roughly three centuries. The exact model was used throughout the Gentile world within the Roman Empire.
Regarding overt persecution from the state, in the early going until the emperor Claudius was ousted in 54AD and Nero came to power, the Gentile Christians got a pass because the Romans considered them a Jewish sect and the Jews had already been granted an exclusion of sorts from practicing the Roman religion and participating in the emperor cult. One reason for this was their many centuries-old religious practice that far predated Roman times which gave them an effective grandfather clause. That and the fact that Jews made big gigantic huge earth-shattering trouble at any appearance of attack against their religion or when obedience to Roman religion was put forth or even suggested.
The time came however, when the Gentile Christians could no longer fly under the radar though they sincerely attempted to always “follow peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:4). Part of the reason for that was those same unbelieving Jews who professed holy hell when their religion was slighted had no problem doing the slighting themselves against followers of the Lord Jesus, most especially if they were fellow Israelites. It was also quite problematic that the more vocal and hard core branch didn’t stop at mere slights but proceeded to destruction and murder. In other words, the unbelieving Jews were blessed with effective freedom of religion and respect by a Roman government which could otherwise be quite brutal but they refused such freedom of religion to their brothers following the Lord Jesus and the many Gentiles following Him as well.
Thus the Romans were not the persecutors in the beginning. They were sometimes influenced by unbelieving Jews undercover to go after Christians as was the case recorded in Acts Chapter 12 when Herod Agrippa had the apostle James unlawfully executed, and “when he saw that it pleased the Jews,” he planned on murdering Peter also. Both of these men were obviously solid Israelites but no matter.
It was nutbag Nero who later jettisoned the peaceful policy of Claudius (41-54AD) toward the Christians, a period when real Christianity had flourished in the empire. It was on Nero’s sordid watch that the first major Roman state persecution broke out against Christian believers. At that point the home fellowships in Rome and other areas had to take extra precautions not only because of Nero’s madness and the antichrist influence upon him but also because Christianity was now seen as something entirely different from first century Judaism. Its growing numbers and influence appeared threatening. Christians soon became Roman public enemy number one and convenient scapegoats.
Therefore, even though real Christianity had gained great early success and had much freedom to meet relatively unmolested in their homes over a wide stretch of territory throughout the Roman Empire, there had certainly been insufficient wherewithal to create actual Christian meeting houses (though they saw no need for such and even likely perceived what we termed church buildings as counterproductive), such buildings became impossible after the start of Nero’s persecution.
Yet, as it was, after the early glory days in the 30s AD when persecution and famine broke out in Jerusalem scattering the seed of the Gospel to the four corners, the same in essence had happened in Nero’s time (54-68AD), as Christians were forced to grow ever more vigilant, spiritually strong, and able to travel. And they had to travel light. This still required meeting in small groups in homes as the best way to stay undetected in part and be seen as peaceable law abiding citizens of no threat to the state or their neighbors. To construct an overt large building to meet in would be seen as an affront and would be out of character anyway. The plan they were taught by the Lord had always worked very well as it had for Him. Remember, though the Lord sometimes ministered in synagogues there came a time when He was no longer welcome. The same thing happened to the apostle Paul in his early ministry who often started in the local synagogues teaching the Good News to his brothers. He was often warmly accepted early on and gained converts but eventually the unbelievers there created such a terror he had to move on.
For the early believers, ministry was not bound by convention but simply a matter of shining their light, witnessing, assisting the Lord in saving souls, helping and loving others, teaching the Gospel when open doors and hungry hearts presented themselves, keeping a relatively low profile when necessary, and most importantly, being vessels filled with the Spirit of God and praying others through to the same experience.
THE REAL TENTS
For the Early Church, Pentecost was essentially an everyday affair. Real Christianity started in a private home in Jerusalem in an appropriately named Upper Room and continued with that format everywhere it traveled. The first many generations of Christian believers had no church buildings or large canvas tents. They had next to nothing of what later Christians, including today’s, deemed indispensable. What they had, however, worked wonders. It did so because their ministry model was organic and close to the people.
The closer we get to their model at present, the more we will be like them and the more spiritual success we will have. Rather than insisting on traditional largely non-productive, unworkable, unbiblical ministry models and watching the culture and country fall down all around us as a result, not to mention millions of souls being lost due to such models never caring to reach them, it is high time we get this right and do things the Lord’s way. Humble servitude always works. People need the Lord.
“Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8b]
At the end of the day, the only real church buildings, the only real tents, are our own bodies—spiritual temples—each of which should be dedicated to the Lord Jesus as a welcome home for His Holy Spirit. This is the actual New Covenant model—individual spiritual temples built up into one large spiritual temple composed of all real Christians, exactly as our spiritual forebears believed, taught, and practiced. They placed a very high priority on believers being filled with the Holy Spirit of the Lord. We see this referenced repeatedly in the early history of Christianity at Pentecost, immediately after Pentecost, and throughout the Book of Acts record over the next forty years. Receiving the Spirit of God was AN EVENT. It never happened by osmosis and never happened “by faith” without powerful empirical evidence witnessed by others.
The one common denominator evidence of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, through the process toward total submission, was the surrender of the last rebellious holdout of the human body—the tongue.
Thus, the early Community of the Lord Jesus was composed of brand new, spiritually clean, holy, set apart for service, mobile temples filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord alluded to this future standard repeatedly during His ministry in the gospels. The New Covenant epistles, especially those of Paul, also mention this truth. He taught on it. He refers to believers who have experienced it. In the middle of these two we have the Book of Acts which illustrates the experience in real time. The major problem with much of Christianity is that it skips over Acts and goes straight from the gospels to the epistles. This causes non-Spirit-filled Christians to identify with the content of Paul’s letters as though it applied to them and causes them to think they are Spirit-filled when they are not.
In the following passage, the apostle Paul identified the real Christians of his time not according to Christian religious tradition, but according to OT Scripture and as those who had fully experienced Pentecost. A separation and dedication was called for then as it must be now:
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. [2Corinthins 6:14-18]
© 2022 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.
Every river has a source. And every river flows downhill. Though many people are aware of rivers few are aware of the point at which a river begins.
This holds true even for those familiar rivers flowing by one’s locale where a man might fish or kids swim or families gather, or those city rivers spanned by bridges and shadowed by tall downtowns. People may know all about a section of the river closest to them or that part which they may frequent for whatever reason. They may also know about a portion of the river flowing away from them to various degrees because anyone who’s ever been on a river has drifted downstream either on purpose or not, maybe in a boat or a tube or a canoe or two. But fewer are familiar with any great distance in the other direction, that upstream direction that requires more effort as you go, both to overcome the current and the faster currents in the main current and also because you be going uphill toward them thar hills where the gold is and the higher you go the more effort it takes, which kind of removes the whole point of being on a river in the first place. One will also figure out that the day goes faster on the upstream track and it gets darker sooner and unless you got a plan for Z-catching time you’ll be up a river without a plan. Or a paddle. Plans and paddles always seem to work better going downstream.
Which only proves my point all the more. Going with the flow is cake and even dogs can do that. Speaking of which, in a former life I was once the very proud master of the greatest dog that ever lived. We would go to the lake together. I had a big inner tube. I would lay across it out there on an inlet of the lake and my good doggo, a fifty plus pound mostly black lab would stand on the tube crossways with her fore feet on one side and hinder feet on the other. We’d ride like that, a captain and his mate, me relaxing and her on her high perch on the lookout alert to all of nature with senses in overdrive locked in on distant pirate ships off on the horizon only dog eyes can see and maybe sensing or smelling a school of fish in the unseen underworld swimming under us and catching wind from distant points and occasionally making a clean jump overboard and a dog splash with nary a degree course shift to said tube undoubtedly to protect me from Leviathan (or probably just to get wet and do some doggo paddling).
And speaking further of which, those big inner tubes from tractor tires that people used to float around on back in the day curiously only work in one direction even though they came from a large rolling farm machine that goes in several. Go figure. Going downstream requires a couple of oars. Going upstream requires gasoline, or maybe a lot more oars, probably manned by guys that look like Vikings. It’s fun to be following a river to its mouth where it exits into a nice day at the beach. Going the other way on the other hand is work.
A river’s source is much less familiar than its terminus. Fewer people are aware of where a river begins. Many more people sit on a bank of sand and watch the river flow than those who think about where it flows from. And many fewer than that ever do something tangible with such thoughts. Maybe it’s because the source, or headwaters of a river, are often difficult to trace and sometimes very difficult, like tracing anything else to its source, especially those things that have sources which seem to try awfully hard to hide the way there if you get my drift. There may be an area far upstream toward headwater country when the main channel branches off into several small streams which most often don’t have traffic signs and one must choose one or another and this may involve some or a lot of backtracking and getting familiar with tricky cricks that may only end in mud and much bugs.
Going downstream from a not so well defined source may have smaller streams converging into larger ones which become at a certain point a single channel. This is somewhat equivalent to capillaries. There may be a slightly larger small stream among the many when going upstream that can be traced to a single origin point and that’s what you’re looking for. The sources of some rivers are more defined than others.
Rivers obviously begin at higher ground and flow downward. It is often the case that major rivers fall fast in the beginning due to their headwaters being inconveniently located in what may effectively and certainly by comparison be the great white north in cold snowy icy mountain regions where rivers for some odd reason aren’t quite as much fun. You likely won’t find too many people up there having laid back family reunions with barbecue and little kids running around with arm floaties.
After rivers go through their contrary stage in the early going, falling fast and dangerous as if having no time to lose and needing to get somewhere yesterday, they start catching their breath a tad as the lay of the land becomes increasingly less pronounced and angled. The slope lessens and eventually flattens out in comparison to the upriver rocky waterfall stage. Some rivers reach areas where they spread out with very wide banks. What was once a clear and cold quickly running rivulet becomes a wide slow moving body of water appearing almost as a lake, kind of like a butterfly turning into a worm. The gradient continues to lessen over large stretches as the river at last approaches the place it was so fired up about reaching back in the beginning—the flat land of its ultimate destination in which it finally exhausts itself and goes to river heaven, pouring itself out with one last primal scream and a few deathbed prayers into a vast sea or the big bad ocean becoming one with all as it were. It may even decide on splitsville prior to exiting at its technical terminus, becoming a many branching delta as it might have been in the beginning and completing the river circle of life in that the many became one and then the many again. This is really philosophical but rivers, as you know, can be deep.
Thus, since water always seeks its own level, which explains why it was in such a gol-dern hurry at the start, the waters which begin in the high mountains always end their long winding descending journey at level (unless obstructed, usually artificially). This is why they call it sea level because water always has to level out. Once water escapes anything that may be holding it, from Lake Superior to a drinking glass, it will do its best to get flat as quickly as possible and the more of it there is the more this force is compounded. This is why sea level is the zero point and benchmark for all land elevations. It’s because the ocean is the place most rivers go to die where they simply can’t get any more level. I guess this makes them happy.
THE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION
Information works the same way water works. It has a source. The source is often limited or even singular. The information chosen for authorized channels must be approved before being released and thus becomes official. Approved official knowledge or information then flows relatively quickly from the top down through hierarchical levels until reaching the initial lower levels of distribution. It is then disseminated throughout the flat land of the masses in which the information flow shifts from vertical to horizontal.
At this point information which once descended from a mysterious and largely unknown elevated source is shared laterally across a virtual plane. The receivers become the final distributors. Though the indoctrinated are blissfully unaware of the source or legitimacy of the information or the process of mental manipulation which they are undergoing, they accept the information presented to them as truth. They believe it and compel others to believe it. News spreads from person to person within the proverbial ocean of people. Cultural belief systems are created. Narratives are formed. And the majority are none the wiser that it was all planned that way.
Imagine therefore all the rivers of the land flowing into a single ocean at sea level. The waters of multiple rivers converge and mix together in the ocean waters. Again, it works the same way with information. The information is rarely vetted. It is assumed to be true. Next to no one ever goes on a perilous journey upriver seeking the source. Such can be extremely difficult. Many different terrains will be encountered along with whatever other dangers may lurk upon them such as hostile inhabitants or wild animals. Imagine getting into the high mountain regions presented with bottomless crevasses and vertical icy cliffs. Whoever the long ago down-streamers were, those non-indigenous to the unexplored high country, that discovered a major river’s headwaters were indeed the hardiest of souls. They were seeking the source.
As opposed to the ancient source seekers, the vast majority of the people downstream in gently sloping relatively flat regions and on the coast usually had no desire to discover where their water came from. They simply accepted the water for what it was, the life-giving element essential for all. In prior times when the earth was clean the water was also usually safe. People were not aware of the microscopic dangers inherent in some waters. Over the last two plus centuries when areas of the earth were subjected to industrialization and the pollution thereof, some waters became slightly polluted, but again, nobody understood the lurking danger. In areas of very high populations settled in a section of river in which the flow was not sufficient to overcome the pollution, many people came down with unexplained illnesses due to the higher concentration of pollutants in the water and many died. It became a serious problem.
Those were the days of unsanitary practices engaged in by relatively everyone. Very few ever made a connection between such practices and ill health. For example, it was the same during the Black Death in Europe in which great numbers died. No one had understood that unsanitary practices in the highly concentrated population centers attracted rats which had fleas which transferred disease to humans. Therefore, those who imbibed in dirty water had no clue that dirty water caused illness and death. The people who lived far upstream in small villages in which the river water was clear and cold had few such problems.
Though there were large systems of water distribution in ancient times among high population centers, some were upgraded significantly and became relatively modern engineering feats. A great example was ancient Rome. As the city grew larger in the first few centuries BC they began building long aqueducts from distant high ground many miles away which carried fresh water into the city. Many of these were built around the turn of the millennium under the rule of Augustus who had thoroughly modernized Rome. These aqueducts were built primarily for water distribution, however, and not necessarily for access to cleaner water though it was certainly of better quality than what they had previously. Most other large population centers in the ancient world never possessed the thought process or means of the ancient Romans, much less the engineering ability, to build such sanitary systems, and always struggled with disease and death by dirty water. And again, the problem was compounded by never understanding the connection. Lesser cultures suffered more than relatively enlightened ones.
Whatever knowledge in this field might have been gained by the first century AD was apparently lost once again as concentrated population centers continued suffering the effects of water pollution throughout the Middle Ages. It was not until modern times when water distribution became so advanced that much waterborne sickness and disease was eliminated. We have all seen the signs stating that a city’s water supply is “approved.” Municipalities and water districts make water quality literature available for the few who may be interested. One can peruse tables and charts containing the levels of remaining contaminants after filtration. One may also see something else. They may discover the levels of various chemicals added to the water to kill the contaminants. We are told that such industrial chemicals are at such a low level of concentration that they are harmless.
This has long since been proven to be false. That which is flowing through the distribution systems of our cities and towns is roughly equivalent to swimming pool water. Most people do not understand that such municipal water systems are self-contained in that whatever flows down the drain eventually returns through the tap. Drain water and its ingredients must go through multiple levels of high filtration to remove the many contaminants as best as possible and then the water is chemically treated before eventually returning for multiple uses including drinking. In other words, from the time such systems were first constructed the water has never been pure. Dirty water will get you relatively fast. Chemically treated water will likely get you later. In the past, people never made the connection between dirty water and disease. Today, most people do not understand the connection between chemical water and disease.
However, such a problem is comparatively benign compared to information pollution. Few people ever vet the sources of information they receive. Just as we are conditioned to believe that whatever comes out of a tap is perfectly safe, so are we conditioned to believe that everything presented on television, radio, and newspapers is true. You could say the same for history books. For Christians, you can say the same for pulpits. Few ever vet what comes from a pulpit. Even fewer vet the pulpit sources. The original sources and hierarchies that send the information through Christian distribution centers, including pulpits, are often completely unknown. Christians in general have historically been the equivalent of some guy reading a newspaper or watching TV news. The content is not only rarely or never questioned, the creators of the content remain unidentified and anonymous.
Of course, much Christian information comes through the distribution channels from denominational headquarters. And much comes from approved Christian literature through various Christian colleges and seminaries. But most Christians don’t know that or apparently care about the upstream vetting of these information sources. That which is chosen to distribute has agendas attached. There is much that is not chosen. Who is the arbiter? Who makes such decisions? The main final delivery connection point for most Christians, like a household faucet, is the local pulpit, but if the pulpit is ever vetted it is usually because the congregation insists on a particular denominational viewpoint. Sadly, Christian information sources are rarely properly vetted against the only Source that matters.
THE WATER OF LIFE
It is not possible for a Christian to be a well-informed disciple without attending the school of the Lord Jesus. The Lord has seen fit to preserve His written Word. Thus, by praying for Light and direction, and reading and studying the Lord’s actual teachings, one is effectively attending His school. This is the purest of all waters. Reading His Word can obviously be supplemented by accurate Bible preaching and teaching, and vetted Christian literature. There are several means of distribution of the Lord’s teachings but the emphasis must always be on His pure Word. Direct reading and study eliminates the middle man. It is the same as drinking from a perfectly pure mountain stream or cold water spring.
Consider those who were able to sit at the feet of the Lord Jesus. They were getting the pure Word directly from the Source. I highly recommend that those of you who have yet to have your initial Upper Room experience to seek it. It is where the originals first received the infilling of the Lord’s Holy Spirit. This is a gift to all but it must be sought. Rather than get your information from a downstream unfiltered and likely polluted source in which vital nutrients are missing and contaminants are present, I suggest all take a trip to the Mountain of the Lord to the very Source of the Water of Life. His Spirit will filter and vet everything and keep one from being misinformed and/or deceived.
The evidence is in one’s spiritual health. The Water of Life creates strong, healthy, and joyous disciples.
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:37-39]
“‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy.’” [Acts 2:17-18]
“Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” [Acts 2:33]
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb… [Revelation 22:1] 
© 2021 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.
Those who refuse to be led by the Lord, who always has our best interests at heart, will instead be led by people who only have their best interests at heart.
The current Judas in the headlights is a collection of spineless establishment Republican leaders, otherwise thought of as good guys by many Americans, in high positions of controlling political power. They refuse to stand up for what’s right because they will likely be exposed for participating in a clandestine money and power grab associated with the stolen election, or they are deathly afraid of political attacks from the minions of the opposing party. Rather than stand and fight for what’s right they would rather hide out and wish the whole thing would go away. These shirkers were at first amused that a few patriots would actually attempt bringing light to darkness, then became somewhat incensed that these few patriots had no intention of halting their course. As the light began shining brighter and more people came on board, they then began growing fearful.
Funny how that happened. There were a great many ordinary Americans who were eyewitnesses to the fraud but were too fearful to come forward. They were well aware of the nefarious character of the people they were dealing with. A few brave souls came forward anyway and have paid a great price. As is always the case, once the few courageous ones step forward, despite the threats, and tell their story, it emboldens others to come forward as well. These few bold ones have now transformed what would have otherwise been a story never told, fully suppressed by mainstream media outlets and major social media platforms, into a nationwide news event exposing the fraud and shining a light on the fraudsters (including the media). If this evil effort is not defeated by being fully subjected to the Constitutional law of the land and proper justice there will never be another honest election in America. This means the will of We the People will be gone forever and with it individual freedom and liberty. It means the end of America as we know it.
KNOWING THE WORD OF GOD IS VITAL TO AVOIDING PERSONAL DECEPTION
The great thing about such current happenings, and what makes our day much different from so many previous occurrences of great evil, is that there are enough individual truth-tellers with the means to “shout it from the housetops” that they cannot all be suppressed, even by an extremely powerful MSM sold out to lies and misinformation constantly repeating false narratives. If one does not think this is true, that the media is a vast colluding propaganda outlet, here is a simple test to prove it: Turn off your TV. Quit watching any and all news channels whether broadcast or cable. They pretty much all repeat ad nauseam the same talking points now anyway so you won’t be missing anything. In this way they won’t be able to keep you misinformed and deceived. It might be a hard bridge to cross and it might be difficult to believe at first that what I’m saying here is true, but you’ll figure it out eventually.
Then replace the time spent there with time in the Word. The same dynamic takes place when you make Bible reading your main reading activity. It may be hard to accept but most people who call themselves Christians have never read the Bible. Those Christians in this category are at an extreme disadvantage. Not only are they unaware of God’s Word, they have filled the place in their hearts that should be occupied by it with knowledge that largely originates from non-spiritual sources, and much of it is not even based on fact. Of course, this remains unknown to the holder and believer in the knowledge because they have no higher reference point to confirm it.
This is what the Word of God does. One must understand that the Word of God as contained in the Bible is actually the WORD of GOD. Because it is the Word of God it takes precedence over all other knowledge. This is especially true in the New Covenant Scriptures. The New Testament contains the actual teachings of the Lord Jesus, His full curriculum. How can one be a Christian and not have a great hunger for His Word? All real Christians read and study His Word when they first become real Christians. They want to know all the teachings of their Lord and Master. Their desire is to study His Word and know it, and this goes for all believers not simply the few who desire some form of called-out ministry. Of course, all real Christians are ministers of the Gospel called into His service. Most never attain to any position of prominence or respect and remain obscure, but this means nothing whatsoever to the reality of their walk. It only means that some are put in the spotlight by God for His purposes, such as the original apostles, for example, or that many others put themselves in the spotlight for their own purposes.
We have seen how this works in the natural world throughout history. Strong men insist on their way, desire great wealth and power, and don’t care what they must do to attain it. They will commit any sin to get there. They simply don’t care. The majority always has to put up with such narcissistic morons. Most people would rather just live their lives in peace and walk in freedom, but for the majority this has never happened. They are always subjected in some way to an evil ruling class, even within many forms of organized Christianity. Again, many people are not aware of this but if the few evil people controlling things against the will of God at any time in history, who gained power because the majority allowed it, would have somehow vanished, the rest of humanity could have suddenly walked in much greater freedom and possessed a veritable abundance compared to their usual meager rations allowed by the ruling class. Such an event would have shined a light on all the great wealth that had been stolen from the people of the world and how much more there would be for everyone otherwise. Is not the same dynamic applicable in our times?
AMERICA FADED FROM FREEDOM TO FEAR
I posted an article on November 21 about the arrival of the Pilgrims on the 400th anniversary of the great event. I mentioned them in another article I posted on Thanksgiving. They had taken a long hard road to gain religious and political freedom. They escaped the evil hand of wicked political and religious authority. Once they arrived here they were far enough away that the evil hand couldn’t reach them. They created a great foundation of future freedom. A century and a half later the greatest generation of Americans paid an even greater price for future freedom in the Revolutionary War. Of course, since then, the same evil controllers who were at one time too far away and too unable to take over have since taken over. This has happened in a step-by-step process. They run the country now. America has long since been captured. It never had to happen and would not have happened if Americans had stayed true to God as they once did. Our great forebears were not perfect but were certainly much better than us. They would not have put up with a fraction of what Americans now routinely weakly accept.
The majority has succumbed to fear. This also apparently includes the majority of Christians. Once one falls into fear one can be coerced into doing things previously unthinkable. They become easily controllable. If the majority knew the Word of God and walked with God it would never have surrendered. God is very clear on this subject. Throughout His Word He is forever telling us to steer clear of fear. God tells us that fear is a killer and a thief. He also tells us that faith in Him is a life-giver, that being filled with His Spirit fills one with courage, and that evil is always forced to surrender and flee in His presence. The Word of God states that God dwells in the presence of His praises and that He is only a prayer away. Whatever the problem may be He has an answer for it. But one thing is certainly clear: He will never allow great evil to have the upper hand if His followers support Him. He will protect and bless His children. But we know from the example of ancient Israel that when the majority succumbs to evil the nation eventually falls.
So now we know why all of this has happened. We know how very powerful evil people have essentially taken over the country. Some of the lower minions in positions of power are being exposed for engaging in evil deeds as so many others have of late but nothing is ever done about it. They are all getting away with it. Man’s justice does not apply to them. It is because they are connected to the powerful evil people running things who protect them. Such are the benefits of belonging to the right clubs. Nevertheless, these people have sold out. They have sold their souls. They made the decision to live for this world. Evil has risen to the top in America and now controls pretty much everything. And it all happened because lazy Christians allowed it. It happened because Christians allowed themselves to be led by spiritual morons who are actually not spiritual at all. It happened because most Christians surrendered to the enemy rather than fully submit to the Lord Jesus.
“BRETHREN, WHAT SHALL WE DO?”
American Christians in general must first take off their dark glasses of deception. They must cease insisting on their weak traditional ways which no longer work. They must understand that they can no longer avoid the fight, that the fight is upon them, that this should be obvious, and would be obvious if they were right with God. The level of evil is off the scale. We are on the verge of losing everything. The people wielding this well-planned evil laugh at Christians every day and have absolutely no respect for us. And it is little wonder. The battle before us is such that we must be stronger spiritually than ever before. There is a growing Remnant standing with God who give it their all but more MUST join in. More MUST wake up. What are they waiting for? Are they simply afraid?
With John the Immerser the corrective began with a powerful call to national repentance. It was the same with the Lord when He began His ministry. It was the same on the Day of Pentecost when the first thing Peter said was “Repent!” Christians on the fence must turn from their sins and unfruitful ways and turn to the Lord. They must rededicate their lives to the Lord Jesus. Removing sin from one’s life alone is a huge benefit but is only a starting point. The cleansed residence must then be filled with the Holy Spirit. If one is not sure what this means study the Book of Acts intently. Ask the Lord for the fullness of the same experience they had. Next, one must begin reading the New Testament and not stop until completing it. The Lord’s teachings shed great light upon our souls, strengthen us, make our path clear and clean, and expose the enemy. Rather than giving in to worry and fear, nominal Christians will instead gain strength and purpose and join the spiritual fight. Going 100% for God makes all the difference.
Doors will open. Favor will happen. Blessings will ensue to a greater degree. One will gain spiritual maturity. One will be equipped for spiritual battle. Whenever enough Christians do this the enemy flees in terror. The entire dynamic is turned completely around. Rather than the enemy taking authority over the Lord’s people, the Lord’s people, through His great power and presence, take authority over the enemy. The Lord showed us how this is done. We MUST follow His example.
It is the only way to victory.
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The term adult is overrated. It is often ill-defined and based on a confined perspective. In reality, when compared to God, eternity, and an ancient earth, we are all mere newbies, children trying to find our way.
YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME
We see ourselves as sovereign. It is this way from childhood. Some children are more vocal than others on the subject and the little highnesses don’t hold back when perceiving a challenge to their noble standing. Once they understand they’re behind the generational eight ball, however, at least for the present, and the big people have the drop on them, they begin making plans for the future—“When I get big…”
Wiser children are a tad more circumspect. They somehow understand intrinsically that their little lives are good or at least not so bad. They have shelter and food and… toys!
“But they’re just using toys to keep you in line and under their authority.”
“What? You don’t like toys?”
“Toys are just tools of the capitalist bourgeoisie to train you as future oppressors of the proletariat.”
“I gather by your lack of proper retort that your brainwashing has already progressed to a probable point of no return and I must therefore and forthwith identify you as my enemy and insufferably target you with my considerable wrath, the first thrust of which is leaving you bereft and alone in the midst of this sordid establishment to suffer the misery of a wasted existence built on false hopes and dreams rather than join the glorious people’s revolution and overthrowing the man!”
“Johnny, are you spouting Communist propaganda again? Okay, to the playpen…”
“You may imprison me but my heart will stay free!”
“Want some apple juice?”
(The little Commie might have been more successful if he had conformed his propaganda to the interactive fine art of playing with toys. He overplayed his hand.)
THE SIN PANDEMIC
Here is an interesting fact. Many years ago, three months before I gave my heart to the Lord, I was witnessed to for the first time. Then, three months later, I was witnessed to once more, by the same person (It bore fruit). And guess what? I don’t remember ever being witnessed to again. That little factoid doesn’t speak well of American Christianity in general which surrendered its previous hard-charging evangelistic DNA maybe a century or so ago. And I was raised in a denominational church but I don’t recall ever hearing the term “witnessing.”
But there we were. And there they were, telling me about a big new change in their lives. I had already heard something about it. They were close friends, a young married couple. This was the first time they came over to see me since it all went down and tell me the weird news in person. Only it wasn’t so much them telling me about them but them telling me I had to also be like them. I was roughly their age, and was doing a good job of being friendly and open.
My associates and I had always prided ourselves on being open-minded and often partook of great conversations on any number of subjects and were never concerned about getting too deep. In fact, getting deep was cool. We were young adults. Everything was new and open. Being dogmatic was better left to canines. It was much more fun to hear many different points of view and gain information. No one owned the information and if you didn’t care for it, it was no big deal.
We opposed any form of censoring for the simple fact that we could end up missing good ideas and positive information, and things we might apply in our lives to make them better. Conforming to a dead orthodoxy was the last thing we wanted.
But these people, who I used to know and hang out with, had changed in what I soon perceived to be in a not so good way. I started feeling pressure. Are they trying to sell me on something? Really? And the answer was yes, they were. Rather than a conversation it switched over to a sales pitch. I started getting irked. The smiles were gone from their faces. I know now what was going on. They themselves were under pressure. They felt they had to do this, to witness to me, to tell me I must change…”
I got quiet briefly, my mood transformed from being welcoming, open, and very friendly to a tad somber. I’m sure I must have lowered my eyebrows and effected a somewhat borderline dismayed expression. At last I told them that if they didn’t stop they may as well leave. (What they were doing was not cool. Not in the least.) He looked more upset than she did and said “Let’s go.” She showed more concern and didn’t want the visit to end on a bad note but they’re the ones that brought it on. They overplayed their hand.
WITNESSING IS A FORCED OPTION
So you see, sinners don’t like being referred to as sinners. No one likes to be thought of as inferior in need of a major remodel and paint job. Pride always kicks in. We stand up for ourselves and should. It is in the heart of every person to defend their honor regardless of morality level. There might only be a half tank or so left but good things still reside within and besides, aren’t these people a tad arrogant to think they’re better? This is why witnessing is tricky and witnessers must have some level of proper training. The Lord did this. He prepared His men before sending them out.
I think a much better witness would have been for my friends to come over still exulting in the joy of the Lord as I know they did in church and at home. They were too young then spiritually, as we all are early on, to understand that witnessing is a forced option in that it happens no matter what we do or how we do it. What I saw was a religious sales pitch. What they saw was the need to make me convert just as they had. Although they didn’t really convert. They were actually gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit and had a powerful and positive life-changing experience. If they had come over with absolutely no pressure tactics and allowed me to see the big change for the better in their lives simply by their love, joy, and outward actions, I would have been more impressed. It would have planted a seed within that would have grown into greater curiosity on my part and later on I might be more willing to open up, likely when I was down or struggling.
And this is exactly what ended up happening. They changed tactics and began praying. The whole church prayed for me. Over a three month period I felt my swagger and manly security slowly slipping away. I began being more aware of my shortcomings. In a tender and loving way the Lord was showing me my sin. The Lord Himself was witnessing to me! He was preparing me for what He knew I really wanted, and part of the preparation was “breaking up the fallow ground of my heart.” He was plowing deep furrows in my heart is what He was doing. He was getting the soil ready to receive the Gospel seed. When the time came for the final witness I was ready.
That second time around it was exactly like what I had suggested before. It was a time of smiles, laughter and joy. Whatever it was they had, I wanted it.
But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” [Luke 18:16-17]
© 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.
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.
The devil is going full bore in this latest effort to destroy Christianity in America. Churches have been forced to close and after restrictions were lifted for a brief time, authorities are demanding closure all over again. If you are not aware of this or think I am exaggerating do a simple search of what has just transpired in California. Will the majority of Christians in California simply lay down once again and let the anti-Christian civil authorities have their way once again? I know many there are fighting, praying, fasting and doing all they can but the majority is sleeping and woefully compromised.
AS GOES CALIFORNIA SO GOES THE NATION?
Why is it that so many American Christians cannot see what is actually going on here? Why can’t they see the underlying demonic agenda? Why do so many Christians perpetually weakly comply with whatever they are told to do by nonbelievers in charge when such demands are obviously designed to destroy them? Why can’t they see the little man behind the curtain? The enemy has gone into a full court press to maintain the great ground it gained this past spring and is wisely refusing to let up. Here’s a clue for anyone unclear on the concept: The enemy will never let up. Christians are going to have to find their backbone again, at least for the relative few who had one before. If Christians refuse to engage the enemy on the spiritual field of battle then it’s over. Just shutter your church and forget it.
I suffered a major loss over a month ago but have done my best to keep going. Many of you have suffered likewise. You have no choice but to go on. But even with the Lord on our side these times have developed into a major fight and victories have become harder to come by. That’s just the nature of spiritual battle. The Christian who gives up in the face of great battle will obviously never win. When it appears the Lord has left you and no longer cares is when you must fight that much harder. We know the Lord NEVER leaves us. We know He suffered and died to save us. No one loves us more. But this world can be an evil hell hole and such has proven true once again, but perhaps never so much regarding a pure and blatant in-your-face attack on the Lord Jesus and His people. If you consider yourselves one of His then you must do what He did while in His earthly ministry and what He is doing at present. I can assure you He is leading the fight against the enemy of your souls.
GET FILLED WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT!
He gave us His Holy Spirit to help us. Christians may be able to do okay without His Spirit in “good times” but you can forget it in times like these. If there was ever a time for all the bench-sitting Christians to get off their duffs, repent for their prejudice against Pentecost, get on their face, and BEG the Lord for His Holy Spirit and a fresh anointing it is now. For those who continue to refuse, as they have done traditionally, your time is pretty much over. The state will take over your churches fully. The state has already gained much control to this point and most Christian leaders go along with it weakly. But these times are different.
As I wrote in my prior post, for all the Christian ministers and churches, the majority, who have traditionally refused the full authority of the Lord Jesus, your weakness, rebellion, and intransigence have allowed the enemy to knock down your walls and invade, and you will now be forced to fight back against great odds. Most will not. Many will simply quit completely and join the enemy. Many will surrender to a diabolical Judas spirit. Many, likely most, will continue to insist on conforming to the sinful culture rather than do the will of God. Many will continue to choose the spirit of the world rather than the Spirit of God. Many will choose to maintain their places of worldly religious authority, prestige, and honor, praised by those who hate the Lord, and keep their jobs and paychecks, rather than stand for the Lord’s righteousness. How can these traitorous people deny the very One who gave His life for them and stand in the place reserved only for Him? Who is supporting them? Why are they supporting them?
WE THE PEOPLE?
And regarding our elected leaders, the crazies on one side and sissies on the other, WHO ELECTED THEM? Who is responsible? How did they gain the power to fight the Lord Jesus and His people in this way? Why are they being allowed to destroy Christianity right before our very eyes without a fight? What will it take to finally go on the offensive?
And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven. But He knew their thoughts and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? So they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters. [Luke 11:14-23] 
© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
A MUST READ FROM 9 YEARS AGO! (July 13, 2011): WHEN YOU GONNA WAKE UP?
A MUST READ FROM 4 YEARS AGO! (June 7, 2016): SHOUT TO THE LORD
Current events have opened a national discussion on race. Later in this article I will relay my early Christian experiences in this regard. We were way ahead of the curve.
When the plandemic news narrative came blasting forth back in March, I noticed that many Christian blogs, ministers, etc. immediately began referring to it in their writings and pronouncements. Over the past week the same phenomenon has ensued only this time it’s about the riots and race. In both cases Christians are responding to the news of the day, taking the bait as it were, as if it is our duty to do so. It exposes what is actually on the minds of Christians in general most of the time, apparently, in that we are no different than anyone else in being highly influenced by news and culture, and consequently sometimes taken off in directions chosen by someone other than the Lord Jesus.
This obviously does not mean we should not be aware of current events. We should. We should be aware of as much as possible. But current events driven by the agenda-based, monetary-based, faux-narrative-based news corporations should never be a priority as opposed to the spiritual-based teachings of the Lord. It is certainly fine to comment on news of the day as some of it is appropriate toward greater truth. I also began writing about the plandemic at that time but my focus was what it had to do with Christianity in these times and what Christians should know and how to properly respond. I saw in the very beginning that there were obvious signs of a major false operation in transit and this has proven to be true.
By now informed people know the entire thing was largely an agenda-based deception and this has proved accurate by the lightning fast segue into the riots and race narrative in which it is suddenly okay to break all the social distancing rules of the plandemic. Previously, those who wanted to keep their churches or businesses opened or attempted to open them later without official sanction were severely sanctioned, both socially and by government authorities. Some were thrown in jail. Those who are now looting and burning, by contrast, are largely getting away with it and even being encouraged.
The first phase destroyed lives and livelihoods to the tune of multiple millions, many of which will never recover. We are talking the greatest magnitude of such in history. Reports say there were a hundred thousand businesses in New York alone that were destroyed. All for what? Fifty to a hundred thousand dying from the flu each year is a common statistic. The vast majority of the people who died from the virus did not actually die primarily from the virus but from any number of other conditions.
As this real news began coming in, that is, actual truth and science fact put forth from many intelligent and well-informed honest people telling the truth and destroying the false narrative that had captured and indoctrinated the majority of Americans, something had to be done really fast to recapture the focus. Hence, the happenings of the past week or so. The focus has indeed been recaptured. The majority has now segued cleanly into the second phase which involves the same destruction as the first but in the literal sense. This segued majority again includes the majority of Christians.
Yet, truth began coming forth right away to counter the new false narrative. This has happened much faster than the first time around and is great news. It reveals that many more have become aware of the real agenda of the narrative makers who are trying their best to stay ahead of the Great Awakening.
Again, it is fine to stay informed. The problem, however, is that Christians in general are more inclined to get highjacked by such current events based on the media shriekometer, especially those as charged as these, rather than stay focused on the Lord and His work. They get sidetracked most likely because they were not focused on the Lord and His work to begin with. Imagine if the disciples following the Lord were suddenly slammed with some powerful narrative/rumor event and just left Him standing there in the midst of a session and ran off to engage in the new proceedings. Their actions would prove their focus. Whatever they allowed their minds to be occupied with would prove their discipleship level.
Even with this article you are now reading, my intention is to comment on what’s happening now but only in the context of how it relates to Christians. And this current context certainly does relate to Christians. It tells us very clearly what is actually going on (for those with eyes to see) and what is coming next. We saw how the majority of ministers and churches quickly succumbed to government dictates and shut down their ministries and churches. These were all non-essential, you see. Most Christians let it happen without a fight. Next, these same people are suddenly adhering to the current narrative and obeying once again, apologizing for something of which they are not guilty.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
A little background: America obviously used to be largely segregated. There was progress in the 1940s associated with the war. There was great progress in the 1960s. By the 1970s great strides had already been accomplished and more were ongoing. I began attending Pentecostal churches at that time. There were white Pentecostal churches, black Pentecostal churches, and mixed Pentecostal churches. I attended them all.
The Pentecostal movement in America which began 120 years ago was from the start racially mixed. The great Azusa Street Revival was largely led by a young black minister from Texas by the name of William Seymour, whose parents were emancipated slaves. He was a former student of Charles Parham, a white man. There were people of several ethnic backgrounds involved at Azusa. Of course, Pentecostals were greatly scorned by mainline Christians then, the bulk of which were absolutely segregated. This disparagement continued at least until the 1960s. It was not only because these Christians had a powerful aversion to Pentecost but also toward those they saw as inferior regardless of race.
As a young man I was born again among a small group of peers who belonged to a church that contained all local backgrounds. We never had a problem with race. It was no issue to us. This might sound completely unbelievable. I can understand that based on the current narrative. In that church of roughly 100-150 people, there was an older black couple who always sat in the same place on the central aisle about four of five pews from the front. The man always sat quietly with his Bible open. She, on the other hand, was quite vocal. She would often be used of God for vocal spiritual gifts. When she spoke you paid attention. Right behind her sat a white woman powerfully used in the same gifts.
We also had female pulpit ministers. There was a black woman, a friend of the church, who visited on occasion to preach and was always smiling and cheerful but could without doubt bring a message from God. I can never forget what she did for me once. I had a problem with my car one Wednesday late afternoon and ending up having to walk to church. It was a long way. While walking down the highway a car stopped up ahead to give me a ride. It was her. She actually recognized me.
Although the majority of the pulpit time was taken by the senior pastor who was an excellent preacher, and something we all agreed with and wanted, it was a not a closed pulpit. It was open to any number of traveling evangelists and ministers. It was also open on occasion to church members, local believers, singers, and musicians regardless of background. They even allowed yours truly up there later on.
On the very back pew sat a man and his large family. He had about six children, mostly young. He and his wife sat back there because they didn’t want to be a distraction. His children however, were always full of joy and well behaved. Before this man was born again and gloriously filled with the Holy Spirit, he was a classic Texas redneck. I have no idea what his thoughts on race were before he joined up with the Lord but he had absolutely no problem afterwards. He worked in commercial construction. He was the strongest man I ever met. I was taught by my Dad to have a strong handshake, but this man could break your hand if he wanted to. I’m serious. He could have played middle linebacker in the NFL. Before salvation he could outdrink anyone and smoked two or three packs of cigarettes a day. But the Lord delivered him of all of it. He was always bubbling over with the joy of the Lord. The old song says “Give me that Old Time Religion—Makes me love everybody.” What a joy to see all these people loving and hugging one another and working for the Lord together.
We also had a lot of young twenty-somethings who previously lived, before giving their lives to God, among the conditions of that culture at that time. All of us were aware of everything social. I was among this group. We were way ahead of the previous generation. Therefore, joining this church and being around so many different people of all races was no big thing but normal and never an issue. We also had a married couple in which the man was white and the woman was black. Again, whatever. They were great people. I had two close friends in that church. One was white and one was black. I was great friends with a married couple instrumental in my salvation. He was white and she was Hispanic.
Thus, because we were far too diverse, our common denominator was not race or background or income level or social standing. It was Jesus. We were all sold out to Jesus. He was everything. We each gave our lives to Him. We were all filled with His Spirit. That was the real dividing line. It is exactly as He said, in that there would be those who were dedicated to Him 100% and then there would be everybody else. When we came together in our services we were one large diverse and loving family from all walks of life and former traditions. We were black, brown, and white.
I was blessed to win someone to the Lord who happened to be Hispanic. She wanted me to witness to her mother. I was still relatively young in the Lord but was astounded that God was actually giving me these opportunities. I went over there and told her mother about the Lord and she ended up giving her life to God and became a church member. I remember taking my pastor aside while this was going on and telling him, “The Lord is using me, pastor!” How incredible it was to be used of God so He could save and bless them.
My friend told me she had another friend she wanted me to witness to. He was also Hispanic. We went over to his house, which was actually his mother’s house, in a far part of the city. This young man was the farthest thing from what I thought in my natural mind to ever change or be born again. But he actually trusted his friend and we took him to church. Over the next few weeks everybody saw the most amazing transformation take place in his life. This young man became a great follower of the Lord, absolutely dedicated. He also knew a lot of people. Over the next few years it is estimated that he won over five hundred people to the Lord!
THE HUMAN RACE
The moral of this story is that whatever one happens to be, Jesus said we must be born again. When we are born again and filled with the Spirit of God, we have Him in common. We become members of the Lord’s one family which is composed of “whosoever will” and is open to anyone. He loves everybody. He treats everyone the same. God does not discriminate. All are welcome in His kingdom. This is what He meant when He said the following:
31 “Treat other people as you would like them to treat you.
32 “What credit is it to you if you love only those who love you? Why, even sinners love those who love them.
33 “What credit is it to you if you do good only to those who do good to you? Even sinners do that.
34 “What credit is it to you if you lend only to those who you expect will pay you back? Even sinners lend to each other, expecting to be repaid in full.
35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing back! Your reward will be great, and you will be children of Ha`Elyon; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
36 “Show compassion, just as your Father shows compassion.
37 “Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged.
“Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned.
“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” [Luke 6: 31-37]
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 © The Complete Jewish Bible. Used by permission.
Sound familiar? Pentecost has passed with very little notice. At the exact moment last week when America should have been honoring the Lord Jesus and the Pentecost Miracle the entire country exploded.
If the devil is able to take this kind of control while sleepy Christians slouch back from a real walk with God, everyone should know where this is heading. Pentecost was paid lip service by the usual people in the same way as always yesterday. Some wanted to use the day to make a statement. Some are claiming that their rights were violated by the lockdown by being deemed non-essential a couple of months ago. But at that time many weakly complied and did exactly as told and continued doing exactly as told, which tells everyone who is actually in authority. These Christian leaders willing to shutter their churches cannot be compared in any way to the Early Church. Their congregants so willing to follow them must be seen as even less so. After all the damage was done, however, a few decided to “defy” the restrictions. Right.
There is talk of what the Founding Fathers would think of what has happened to a once great country. What about what the Founder of Christianity would think about so many clueless Christians? What about what the 120 on the original day of Pentecost? There were obviously a great many more followers of the Lord but most had chickened out and obeyed religious authority. The 120 risked everything at a time when all the religious mobsters were out to get them and stop the movement in its tracks. The 120 did exactly as the Lord said to do. They watched Him ascend into heaven. They went back to the Upper Room. They worshiped the Lord Jesus, prayed intently, fasted, maybe most for the duration, and prepared themselves spiritually. How many Christians in America did that over the weekend? How many have been doing that over the last two months? The last year? The last ten years?
Because the majority rejected their Messiah and Pentecost, and accepted corrupt religionists and the Zealot party, the corrupt religionists were unable to stop the Zealot party from eventually destroying the country. Real salvation came but they rejected Him. He had all the answers but they didn’t want Him. They chose Barabbas as a substitute. This “son of your fathers” was an undisciplined, murderous, robbing Zealot. He was the very seed of the Great Revolt which overpowered all restraints and led to total ruin. Because they rejected the real Temple, their own temple was burned to the ground with no stone left upon another. Jerusalem was not only destroyed but eventually sowed with salt.
There is always a direct correlation between that which happens in the three-dimensional world and that which happens in the spiritual world. If we can’t see by now that the devil is having a field day, doing so much of whatever he wants, with nothing stopping him, and that corrupt people in high places are doing exactly the same, and all their minions likewise, while most Christians continue in the same spiritually dead ways, what will it take?
Make no mistake, there IS a Great Awakening. But traditional Christianity is for the most part not part of it. If one can only strive to make proper comparisons one will see this. The Lord Jesus, though absolutely innocent, was rejected by the ruling establishment and the ruling religious establishment. And all the followers of the ruling religious establishment weakly succumbed and agreed. Many of these people were once His supporters but they all became Judases. In the face of this despicable onslaught it is a wonder the Lord was even able to gather a mere 120 and that Pentecost ever happened. The majority was wrong then and the majority is wrong now.
What happened at Pentecost is the answer. The infilling of the Spirit of God is a cure-all. The Lord obviously knew exactly what He was doing. But if Christians are conditioned to reject Pentecost in its full reality, they will eventually get the same thing that happened back then. One must understand that the time comes when the only course of saving yourself means giving yourself to the Lord 100%. There is no longer any more time. So many Christians in the past knew they had come to the end of the road in their lives and if they didn’t fully submit to the Lord they would lose their souls. They would end up in hell. They embraced Pentecost.
American Christians must also embrace Pentecost instead of continually rejecting it. The majority of dead Christians in all their dead churches have already proven they have no spiritual power whatsoever and are completely compromised and rendered spiritually ineffective. This always depends on where they place their trust. A Christian can either submit to the rightful authority of the Man who died to give them salvation, or they can submit to pretenders and shysters. Many of these people must not know how compromised and deceived they have become.
Back in March, how many churches defied the shutdown? How many Christians did their research to understand what was really going on? How many Christians rededicated their lives to God and began praying more, fasting more, seeking Him more, and trying their best not to become entangled in a false narrative? And how many decided to do all in their power to recreate Pentecost wherever they were?
Now, there were some great reports back in March when all this started. I wrote an article on March 22 that has become my most popular post during this time, and this is encouraging. I will put the link at the end. I suggest you check it out. That post revealed one extremely important and positive occurrence: Individual Christians understood how important they were as individuals and were determined to do anything they could to assist the Lord and one another. They suddenly realized they had no church. They lost many freedoms. They could not go here or there. But they still had the Lord Jesus. And this made all the difference. They wanted more and wanted to be more.
It is the Lord Jesus who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. He shares His Spirit with us. This is a powerful individual experience. It does not happen by osmosis or in a corner. It does not come easy. It will cost you. It’s supposed to cost you. It cost Him everything.
Such is the price for creating powerful disciples capable of changing the course of history.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Peter had begun the first anointed message of the Early Church. After assuring the assembly of clueless Jews outside that the 120 were high on the Holy Spirit, not wine, he declared prophetic fulfillment!
Ch 2: LESSON 15
16 “But this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; 18 EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy.” 
This was not to be a one time occasion for a few but an all time occasion for everyone. The Upper Room experience would be universal from that time forward throughout the Church Age until the present, dependent only on following the prototypical example of the originals as they followed to the letter the teachings of the Lord Jesus.
THE PROPHET JOEL
There is no consensus regarding the time Joel lived. Various dates have been given. It was most likely before the Babylonian exile. A good case can be made for the early 600s BC. Whatever the case, the Lord anointed Peter to use the writings of this relatively obscure Hebrew prophet as the first Scriptural reference in the very first message ever delivered. One might notice that he chose the prophetic and not the priestly. Until John the Immerser there had been no prophet in Israel since the death of Malachi over four centuries earlier. In that non-prophet gap the priests had finally achieved their dream and had taken over. They substituted their own word and natural reasoning over the anointed message of the prophet. It caused a downward slide they never recovered from, even to the point of killing the greatest Prophet of all.
Joel said something far out would happen in the Last Days, meaning the final days of what was left of the Israelite nation. He spoke of not just a few prophets but many, and they would also include women. Is this not awesome? He also spoke of great celestial signs in the sky, fully observable, epochal, and dripping with spiritual portent:
19 ‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE. 20 ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.’
Peter finished this portion with a flourish, telling the vast assembly before him that the Lord’s hand is not too short to save! His ear is not too dull to hear! He extends the promise of Joel to everyone both then and now:
21 ‘AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’” 
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Please note that the use of all caps in the NASB denotes Old Testament passages occurring in the New Testament.
 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.
Beyond the spiritual manifestations of the infilling of the Spirit, there were also the emotional and physical ones. To outside observers, it appeared as though the Upper-Roomers were drunk or high on something.
12 And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13 But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” 14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day… 
In the ancient city of Babel, God transformed the one language of all people into many languages. The people could no longer understand one another and were consequently dispersed into separate regions. Conversely, on the day of Pentecost, the languages of the dispersed peoples of the world were spoken by the power of one Person who resided within many. This was a reversal of the confusion of Babel. This act would unite instead of divide. The builders of the city and tower of Babel were united against God. The constructors of the Church are united for Him. This was the clarion call sent out to all nations to join the kingdom without walls, the spiritual kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the new Jerusalem.
But as now and throughout the church age, some were not impressed. Some people openly mocked the work of the Spirit, claiming the boisterous activity and loud voices were merely the actions of the inebriated and ignorant. Though there have always been excesses, were the Upper-Roomers excessive? Was the Lord Jesus excessive? When He walked the earth, His detractors called Him a wino. Is it merely coincidence that the same accusation emerged once again?
Something about the disciples’ behavior reminded the naysayers of common drunks. Sweet wine, or “new wine,” was that which was produced the same year of its harvest. It was very intoxicating. In a relatively joyless world of difficult toil and little natural merriment, wine provided a relaxing and welcome respite from the rigors of the work week. Maybe few Jews drank to excess but those who did were obvious to all. It was indeed a cheap shot to label the Lord’s people Sunday morning Mardi Gras revelers under the influence of strong drink, but what else were the mockers to think? Such a thing had never happened before. It was relatively early in the day and a house load of fellow Israelites had taken on the apparent appearance of festival-goers too impatient or undisciplined to at least wait until evening before engaging the vino.
But the majority of those below sensed something else. Instead of simply making a quick judgment based on minimal evidence, they were drawn to the spectacle in wonder. The Spirit of God was everywhere around them. They began to feel what the Upper-Roomers were feeling. Joy was spilling out of the windows. Great smiles and laughter abounded. A release was taking place. Over and over the same thought kept running through their awestruck and somewhat confused minds, What does this mean?
Peter, sensing that the time had arrived to explain the current happening, moved to the forefront and prepared for his address. He was no longer the impetuous fisherman, but the articulate and well-versed spokesman of the “fishers of men.”
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
While the unprecedented and astonishing miracle was taking place in the Upper Room with those inside oblivious to the outside world, a great stirring was occurring in the streets below: They had an audience.
5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”
The Lord said they would be witnesses. I remember many years ago I heard a New Testament studies teacher expounding on the subject. He was a brilliant man and a friend, who has since made the big trip. By this time in my walk I had witnessed to countless people but I had never before heard one particular thing that man spoke forth. It stood out within his teaching and has remained strong in my memory ever since. He said, “Witnessing is a forced option.” What he meant was that Christians are witnesses twenty-four hours a day whether they want to be or not, or whether they think they are or not. We are not witnesses only when we are witnessing.
While that particular thought settles in, let’s think about the mindset of the believers in the midst of the greatest event of their lives. Many had their eyes closed, lost in the Spirit, emotions spilling forth. There were loud voices of praise at various levels, male and female, bass, alto, soprano, all speaking forth in languages they had never spoken before. Most were unaware of their surroundings, being completely focused on the Lord. Tears were streaming. Smiles were beaming. Pure joy was breaking out all over. They had been clothed with power from on high.
And in the midst of it all, those on the streets below, Jews from all over the empire in town for the great Feast of Weeks, were beyond perplexed. It was unprecedented for them as well.
The Upper-Roomers were already fulfilling their call to be witnesses and did not even know it.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] 
Every one of those temporary residents of Jerusalem and the city dwellers themselves were receiving a forced witness. They had no choice in the matter. They heard unlearned and ignorant Galileans, given away by their accents, “speaking of the mighty deeds of God,” in their own respective languages. It was the first instance of this “sign for unbelievers,” as Paul mentioned, which would be given again and again—the evidence of a surrendered heart and the fruit of holy speech. It was also an awakening moment for those on the outside looking in.
Pentecost was a reversal of Babel.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
It happened fast: A loud sound of wind filling the house—A visible Light filling the Upper Room—Division into smaller Lights upon each believer—Speaking new languages by the power of God…
1 And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, 2 when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and that settled on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled—diffused throughout their souls—with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages, as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression (in each tongue in appropriate words). 
THE TONGUE IS A FIRE
The last member of the human body to yield to the Spirit of God is the tongue. The Lord’s brother James held nothing back when writing the following revelatory verses—strong, intense, and filled with spiritual import—explaining this phenomenon:
Now if we put the bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. [James 3:3-8] 
Speech is a powerful force. It is a great gift from our Creator. Humans are hardwired with the ability to speak. Small children gain the use of extremely complicated language skills, grammars, and word dictionaries with no scientific explanation. We take it all for granted but the evolutionists among us are stymied by this otherwise impossible ability possessed by mere babes.
As all things human can be corrupted and have been corrupted, so it is with speech. In the beginning, God spoke creation into existence. Sinful man destroys by the same power. This is yet further proof that every human is estranged from God until delivered from sin and born anew from above. Those who would gain the Lord’s spiritual life must humble themselves and surrender all. It is not an easy process. As illustrated perfectly by James, the tongue is the deadliest and most sinful member of our body. It dies the hardest.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
It is no wonder then that the Lord chose speech as an outward sign. It is the last to yield to the Spirit of God and the first to break forth in praises to Him. And this is exactly what the 120 did that morning. Like newborn babes who cry at birth, the first significant thing we ever do under our own power and will, so were these new born babes in the Lord crying forth. They had no idea what they were saying. Remember, these believers were disparaged as mere unlearned and ignorant Galileans, most of whom had no higher education or training. They were certainly not linguists. Yet, from the depths of their hearts, enabled by the newly indwelling Holy Spirit, they were all speaking perfectly and fluently in languages they had never learned.
Again, the same inexplicable phenomenon takes place with babies, whose first word is spoken as early as six months. By eighteen months there are multiple word sentences. They are soon communicating with eye-contact and inflection. Though they pick up this ability in part empirically, most arrives miraculously. Language is far too complex for such unaware babes to develop it at such a young age without some unknown, unexplainable ability.
So it was with the Upper-Roomers. Their speech was miraculous. The sign was unmistakable. The hand of God was evident.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 The Amplified Bible © 1965 by Zondervan Publishing House. 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.
Pentecost was an either-or option. Though most were not aware of this and many refused to acknowledge the possibility, the nation would either get right with God or suffer complete destruction.
3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
This was the event prophesied by John the Immerser four years before. He also made a second prophecy that worked in tandem with the first. This was not unlike what the prophet Moses had proclaimed in the early days of the nation. In essence, Moses said that obedience to God equaled blessing and disobedience the opposite. He told the people exactly what would happen to them if they honored the Lord or dishonored Him. The latter was not good.
It may sound as if God was making unfair ultimatums or unreasonable demands, or that He somehow must force people to respect Him. The reality is that God is holy and perfect. He is the Creator. And He knew their hearts. He knows everybody’s heart. He knows those who strive for His morality and righteousness and those who couldn’t care less. The following, as spoken by Moses, is an example of the either-or option:
“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country…” [Deuteronomy 28:2-3]
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country…” [Deuteronomy 28:15-16]
The apostle Paul said the Law acted as a disciplinarian or schoolmaster before faith came (Gal. 3:24-25). Those who strove to keep the Law in the times of Moses and Joshua were not necessarily gaining salvation through such, since that could only come through faith, but their personal life and society was certainly superior compared to those who did not.
John the Immerser echoed Moses in this regard in that he presented the nation of Israel an either-or choice. Though the Jews had always seen fire as a symbol of the Divine Presence of God, and though it in a sense acts as a purifying agent, fire is primarily presented in the New Testament Scriptures as an agent of destruction. John said this fire was coming soon and would consume entire forests and remaining grain stalks:
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” [Matthew 3:10-12]
The Day of Pentecost began this process. Over the next forty years an Israelite Remnant would submit to the Lord Jesus and be saved. The rest would reject Him and choose the same fate as the city of Jerusalem itself—the fiery destruction of their souls.
The Upper Room was a wheat barn.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
While the Spirit of the Lord continued to move among the believers as an unseen wind “filling the whole house,” a visible manifestation also took place, centered among them in the Upper Room.
3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
Wind is the movement of air from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. Wind fills a relative void. The lower the air pressure in a given location, the greater the onrushing air there is from a high pressure zone to fill it.
The Upper-Roomers had spent ten days emptying themselves. This was done through much repentance, much fasting, much prayer, much worship, and many tears. They were preparing themselves as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:2).  It was a human low pressure zone. No pride. No sin. No spot, wrinkle, or blemish (Eph. 5:27).
UPPER ROOM DIMENSIONS
Although there is no way of knowing exactly, implications in Scripture would indicate that the Upper Room was probably the same size as the Tabernacle (tent) of Moses, which was 10 x 30 cubits. Based on the Hebrew long cubit of 20.4 inches, the Upper Room would have been 17 x 51 (867 square feet).
An interesting thing happens, however, if it was 840. This number is divisible by every number from 1 to 12 except 9 and 11, which are not especially good numbers for an event like Pentecost (9 is the Biblical number of finality or judgment and 11 signifies disorder and imperfection). In order to arrive at this “perfect” number of 840, the cubit would have to be 20.08 inches, completely within the realm of probability. Based on such, the Upper Room would be 16.73 x 50.2 feet. It would contain 134 feet of perimeter wall space allowing the majority to sit on benches along the walls, and overall floor space would allow each person an average of 7 square feet.
THE BIG EVENT
Pentecost was an explosion of spiritual power and truth—the dunamis of God torqued down to a manageable level for reception within humanity but fully concentrated for the work at hand. They were filled with joy! It was both a release and a reception for those fortunate ones in the Upper Room. In a matter of minutes their pain was gone—the pain of the past, of unrealized dreams, of bitter life in a cold world dominated by the devil’s minions. This was the upper hand! The right hand of God reaching down to infuse them with His strength and might! Though they continued to dwell in houses of clay, they became dynamic and demonstrative.
At nine o’clock in the morning they appeared drunk or high on mushrooms. Joy to the nth degree was ensconced on their shining faces and they were each filled with that very agape love of the Lord that He tried to teach them about previously. They were now as He was, filled to overflowing with a power to work miracles and love others without measure, even enemies who may maim and slander.
As the rushing wind of the Spirit continued to swirl around among the disciples, a visible manifestation accompanied the audible. In the middle of the large Upper Room a great energized Light suddenly appeared, seeming to manifest from thin air. The Spirit of God filled the entire space! The Jews had long considered fire to be a sign of God’s presence and purifying energy and here was God Himself as such fire. He did not come to consume, though, but to infill all these who had properly prepared for His arrival. The warm and engaging Light instantly began dividing into many smaller portions and each of these tiny fire-like Lights began moving about in every direction, this way and that, locating every disciple, and hovering over their heads.
120 small flickering manifestations of God’s presence appeared upon everyone there, and then, as all beheld the great miracle, the Spirit of the Lord entered into each disciple and took up residence in their hearts.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” [John 20:21-22]
2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
Our author Luke characterized the loud sound from heaven that morning as a strong and driving wind, a bearing breeze “bringing forth.” But rather than the prevalent word for wind he used another—pnoe—which primarily means “breath” or “breath of life.” It had a purpose and destination: It was the holy breath of God.
The first thing we must recall is this:
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. [Genesis 2:7]
Adam had been formed—created from the element-rich dry soil of the earth—though was in an inanimate condition. He was the highest life form of Creation and made in God’s own image. This is beyond profound. For such a being there could only be one animating force possible. It must be the breath of God.
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:8]
Though this verse is well known, it is also otherwise well known for containing a subpar translation. In the New Testament, there are a total of thirty-one occurrences of the Greek word for wind—anemos. As in Acts 2:2, this is not one of them. The word “wind” in this verse is from the Greek word pneuma which is translated as “Spirit” in every other instance of its use in the passage. Thus, the Lord never said, “The wind blows where it wishes,” but more like “The Spirit goes where it will.”
Now, let’s try this verse again and see how closely it matches up with Acts 2:2:
“The Spirit goes where it will and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” [John 3:8]
And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. [Acts 2:2]
The 120 people in the Upper Room were about to be born again, or born of the Spirit, just as Adam was once literally born of the Spirit, or the breath of God. The Lord specifically told Nicodemus that no one could see (perceive, discern, discover) or enter into the kingdom of God unless he was born again.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:6-7]
No one of us remembers our physical birth. Not so with our mothers. It goes without saying, of course, but human birth is a powerful process and unforgettable experience. So is the new birth. It denotes a completely new life and a total transformation. After all, it is the Spirit of God we are referring to here. He is like a rushing mighty wind. There was a sound, a noise. He filled the Upper Room and the entire house with His presence. He would soon fill each person with His Holy Spirit.
He would breathe new life into them just as He did with Adam.
© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]
For the early believers, salvation included an experience. It constituted a complete change—an actual spiritual circumcision of the heart. Their lives were entirely transformed and the transformation was undeniable. Each individual had become a new creation. It happened through a prescribed course of action. It did not happen by osmosis. They had to make a conscious decision to leave the old and become the new:
…That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. [Ephesians 4:22-24]
As the centuries passed, however, Christianity became ideological. It became philosophical. It became led by men who never had such an experience. Converts who had never fulfilled the New Covenant requirements of the new birth were accepted into the Christian fold. Indeed, many if not most of these conversions were coerced.
They created a counterfeit construct. Their agenda was diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Lord in this context, in that they rejected the call for spiritual transformation and instead created mass groupings of cultural Christians, or what may be termed Christians in Name Only. They manipulated their constituents, those unaware of the spurious nature of the dogmatic belief system thrust upon them, to follow it without question and instituted penalties for those who did not, and greater penalties for those who failed to honor their leaders properly.
Consequently, those subjected to the fable generators obeyed them without hesitation, even against their own conscience and ethical beliefs, thinking their superiors were wise above measure and in possession of a higher truth they could personally never master or fully understand. Their surrender was such that they feared the repercussions of not honoring their respective religious ideologies more than they feared not standing up for the Lord Jesus, as if His judgment of their eternal status was inferior to their present societal status within their chosen religious cultures.
As time passed, future generations of these people took cultural pride in their faux Christian constructs and the leaders thereof, not wishing to even consider the possibility of other alternatives, including the only correct one.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. [2Timothy 4:3-4]
MOCKING THE NEW BIRTH
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:12-13]
The majority of those who call themselves Christians have never had a true born again experience. Though the experience is fully documented in the New Covenant writings, excuses ad infinitum have come forth over the years toward rejecting it and even mocking it. It is clear the people who do this are either unaware of Scripture or have been taught one of these excuses as a point of doctrine. It must be acknowledged that unregenerate flesh hates the idea of being spiritually crucified and it is therefore no wonder it will always fight for self preservation, even if said preservation destroys any chance of spiritual preservation.
Most Christians understand the concept of sin but have also accepted varying definitions of it. There is, of course, from a New Covenant perspective, only one definition. From the Greek word hamartia, it is defined as “missing the mark,” “to err,” and even “to be without a share.” That is, whoever is in sin or is in possession of unconfessed sin misses God’s requirements for inclusion within His Community. If someone wants to create another community, however, and call it Christian, and does not acknowledge this definition or fails to require the only cure for sin, then its members are off the hook and will receive no conviction from peers or even from their own conscience, though the latter will take some time.
Thus, justifying sin is in league with justifying the rejection of the new birth. Both of these protect resident sin and unregenerate flesh, and the acceptors of such a non-New Covenant belief system will receive no power over sin and one will thus be subjected to its ravages.
The Lord Jesus went through great personal expense to buy our freedom and we, by comparison, even through a full born again experience, pay nowhere near the same price, but any price we pay is a bargain. To be rid of sin is the goal. To be filled with His Spirit is the further goal. Yet both are also Christianity 101 and prerequisite to anything further. The apostles began this way. Mary, the Lord’s mother, began this way. The 120 began this way. Prior to Acts 2 they were essentially no different than they had ever been on a spiritual level. The new birth awaited. The circumcision of their hearts had yet to take place. Such could never happen without the Spirit of the Lord.
Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” [Acts 1:4-5] 
So they waited. They went to the Upper Room and prepared themselves. They paid the price. Some likely dropped out and never made it to the day of the great event. By giving it their all the 120 made themselves worthy. They never substituted mere religious ideology for spiritual reality. They wanted the real thing and nothing would stop them from their goal.
© 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Pentecost required the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. It was the only way He could share His Holy Spirit with us.
God not only had to become a human being, He also had to live a perfect life, die without sin, rise from the dead, and be glorified. God had to become a Man in order to then give His Spirit to mankind. There was no other way this could ever happen, and is the actual purpose and meaning of Pentecost.
He explained it this way:
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” [John 7:37-39]
A PERFECT LIFE
No one had ever lived a perfect life before. No one had ever obeyed God to the fullest and fully walked out the given plan. The Lord Jesus never missed a step. He became last in all things through complete humility and unselfishness in order to become first in all things. He became last on our behalf as a suffering Servant and became first on our behalf to be our conquering King. Through this process He defeated all evil and the powers thereof. The world, the flesh, and the devil no longer had the upper hand over humanity. He thus gained greater power than any other existing entity as a human being.
He had always been God but not as a Man. Humanity had been rid of God’s full dominion since the fall of Adam. Humanity had been defeated by evil and had fallen from innocent glory. God would have to restore it. The only way to do that was to become one of us. No one else could possibly qualify. There must be another Adam, a Last Adam:
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. [1Corinthians 15:42-47]
A PERFECT SACRIFICE
The New Covenant definition of perfect is complete. God demands a perfect, or complete, sacrifice. Nothing else will work. You can’t give the Lord a mere portion of your heart even if you give most of it. It works the same way in marriage. It is the main reason so many marriages fail. One member is being deceptive. Sometimes both are. A less than full-hearted effort with God will never work either.
When the perfect sacrifice was made, sin was paid for in total and a closed door was opened unto spiritual life. The open door later manifested in the miracle of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of the Lord. The first sacrifice was made by the Last Adam, the Lord Jesus, when He offered Himself. After that the 120 disciples in the Upper Room had to make a full and complete sacrifice of themselves. They had to become clean vessels, first through total faith in the Lord, and second through total repentance for their sins.
During the ten days after the Lord ascended to heaven until Pentecost they all prayed, fasted, repented, and prepared. They were also immersed in water in the Name of Jesus. By the time the ten days were up all those remaining in the Upper Room for the duration had made the proper sacrifice. While waiting according to the Lord’s command “for what the Father had promised,” they emptied themselves completely so they could be brand new vessels filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit.
THE PROMISE IS FOR YOU
Thursday, June 1st is the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost means “fiftieth” day. It always takes place on the fiftieth day from the Feast of First Fruits. The Lord Jesus rose from the dead on First Fruits. In that year, it was also the first day of the week, the equivalent of our Sunday. Pentecost was on the first day of the week then as well.
On the Hebrew calendar, the day of First Fruits is the 17th day of the month of Nisan. The Day of Pentecost is the 7th day of Sivan. The equivalents this year on our calendar are as follows:
Nisan 17, First Fruits: Thursday, April 13, 2017 (Began Wednesday at sunset)
Sivan 7, Pentecost: Thursday, June 1, 2017 (Begins today at sunset)
How do we know these dates are correct? Because the Hebrew calendar is lunar-solar. The months begin with the actual new moon. The new moon prior to Nisan 17 began on Nisan 1, which was March 28th on our calendar. The new moon took place the day before on March 27 at 9:57PM CDT. This marked the exact beginning of the month of Nisan and from that we can calculate the Day of Pentecost, which begins at sunset tonight.
THE PROPER PREPARATION
There are stirrings in the Spirit. The Lord is bringing something forth. Well-known Christian figures are now confirming what I have been saying for almost seven years. They are reporting the stirrings of revival in various locations. Let us all continue to be properly prepared. The Great Awakening and Pentecost go together.
And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. [Hebrews 12:26-29] 
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
When soldiers go to war they should not be surprised when the enemy attacks them. If they are surprised it is due to bad training and clueless instructors who have no idea what real war is all about.
When an individual joins up with the Lord, he should know that he’s not joining a peace love dove happiness commune with a bunch of shallow spiritual hippies and a goofy guru completely oblivious to the powerful forces of evil.
To deny evil in this world is to deny reality. Those who attempt to create evil-free societies without going to war against evil will always fail. It is only a matter of time until they fail. They might continue on as communal groups but only as ineffective fossils with regard to original idealistic intentions.
THEN COMETH THE WARRIOR
When the Lord Jesus was born into this fallen world no one saw that His birth was an attack from heaven by a powerful Warrior against an entrenched extremely evil enemy. They only saw a baby. He did this on purpose, of course. He came in like a Lamb. And He kept His life very humble and low key.
But then the day came to go to war:
Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph… [Luke 3:21-23]
God became one of us at His conception and birth. The Lord Jesus had always been God even while in training. The day came, however, when His training was complete. He signaled to the world that He must be baptized in water like everyone else, even though He required no repentance. He also signaled to the world an echo of the future Pentecost when He must also be anointed for service through a visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Mark used the term “Spirit.” Matthew used the term “Spirit of God.”
Though Jesus was God He still needed to be anointed for service. Prior to beginning His ministry, He had to have the power and anointing that would be required to not only engage in miraculous works and teaching, but to also successfully fight the enemy. Being born into this world was the beginning of heaven’s attack. Being anointed for service by the power of the Spirit of God signaled the conclusion of His training and the beginning of open warfare.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. [Matthew 4:1]
When the Lord was baptized in water it was His own personal Red Sea Crossing. He then went into “the Sinai” for forty days. One must recall that the nation of Israel was originally intended to spend only forty days in the Sinai before taking the Promised Land, but they proved to be completely unfit and faithless at that time. God made it their penalty to wander for forty years instead.
The Sinai wandering was indicative of killing the flesh. One already kills “the world” by leaving it and joining the Lord’s Kingdom. But after successfully defeating the world and the flesh one must then face off against the devil.
Without the infilling of the Spirit of God as at Pentecost, one will have no chance whatsoever. The devil will either render a Christian completely ineffective or destroy him. Satan is a powerful spiritual enemy. If the Lord Himself needed to be anointed for service and for spiritual warfare then so does every one of His disciples. This is exactly what Pentecost is for.
The temptation of the enemy is impossible to overcome without completely surrendering to God and receiving His power. Defeating the enemy is, of course, impossible as well. If one goes to war trained improperly without the proper weaponry and strength one will have no chance. Spiritual warfare demands the best. Why do Christians wonder about the attacks that come their way as if it is something that is not supposed to happen? Did not the Lord warn us?
“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.” [Matthew 5:11-12]
The Lord Jesus came in like a Lamb. He submitted Himself as the Sacrifice Lamb at the end. But during His ministry, under the great power of His Holy Spirit, He was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He came to fix things, to set things aright, to reform a system that had grown hopelessly corrupt, and to usher in the Kingdom of God. The evil people hated Him with a passion. They didn’t like anything about Him. They attacked Him relentlessly. He stood up to all of it.
Here’s the key: He knew what was in store. He was not surprised by all the hate. He knew the entire world was against Him. He knew they hated Him. He went behind enemy lines when He arrived here. He fought the enemy long and hard. He was subjected to the most vile insults, innuendo, and lack of respect that no one had ever been subjected to before or since.
But He was ready. He was anointed.
TORRENT OF HATRED
We are entering into days when the level of outright hatred in America has achieved Biblical proportions. Whoever will attempt to engage in any level of reform will be attacked vociferously. But this has always been the case for real Christians. They are not surprised. Real Christians remember a level of surprise as rookies, in not understanding why so much unwarranted hatred was coming their way. Then they understood what every well-trained soldier knows: The enemy is not your friend. The enemy hates you. The enemy will attempt to destroy your life. The enemy will try to kill you. If the enemy is not trying to get you, you’re not doing your job. Those Christians unaware of this are as ducks on a pond.
The Lord Jesus was subjected to all of these things, as were His men. The more authority and power they had, the more they were attacked. Why? BECAUSE THEY WERE BEING POWERFULLY EFFECTIVE AT DESTROYING THEIR ENEMY. They were exposing him and applying solutions to eliminate his corruption. What else is the devil supposed to do, just sit back and let you win? He will throw everything he has at you. You better be able to throw everything back at Him.
When the enemy is on the run you must keep him on the run. This is how you do it:
Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.
Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron. The sons of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines and plundered their camps.
Then David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem… [1Samuel 17:48-54] 
David was powerfully anointed for service. He attacked the enemy in the Name of the Lord. He did not just knock Goliath down with a small rock sunk in the giant’s head from a mere sling, HE ALSO CUT OFF THE GIANT’S HEAD WITH THE GIANT’S OWN SWORD.
He then took the bloody symbol of the devil’s former authority to the place of God’s authority in the capital city and put it up in a place where everyone could see it.
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”
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.
“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.
And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” [Matthew 10-13]
In my previous article, I made an attempt to reveal a little light regarding Secret Societies, those mysterious behind-the-scenes organizations often composed of very powerful people.
The United States of America was in part founded by members of such groups. Our first president was a member in good standing of one such Secret Society and never absolved himself of his lifelong membership.
Though not all of those who played principle roles in the formation of this country belonged to secret groups, those who did seemed to play a larger role than those who did not. Such was their power at that time.
Two questions: (1) Because of such facts does it somehow lessen both the necessity and pertinence of the founding this nation, or diminish the individual freedom gained as a result? And (2) What does this have to do with real Christianity?
Glad you asked (or possibly thought of asking).
First of all, in order for a group to be established, stay in existence, and remain viable, it often has to use some form of tact or secrecy. For Christians, such secrecy stems from the very parables the Lord Jesus taught. Rather than a cut-and-dried formulaic approach, He used a parabolic form of revealing truth that demanded the direct participation of His followers.
Instead of the passive forms of indoctrination used by the majority of teachers, religious hucksters, gurus, mystics, and even many philosophers from ancient times to the present, the founder of real Christianity preferred not the usual indoctrination process of forced dogma and non-interactive “sermons,” but alive and lively mutual and reciprocal communication. He wanted discussions. He wanted His listeners to engage, to use their minds, to consider His sayings and respond.
When this form of teaching is not being used, one can rest assured that a method of instruction designed to bypass critical thinking is being applied in an effort to have maximum impact on impressing relatively unused hard drives and create anything from a shallow-minded cult to a universal sect.
This method may be fine when properly teaching first-graders how to read or use basic arithmetic. The young ones have no established data bank to accept or refute such instruction and such instruction in its purest form utilizes hard facts and fixed fundamental absolutes. One can thus afford being dictated to somewhat, but later interaction with parents and loved ones regarding such instruction is a must.
Now, the Lord certainly taught facts and He certainly used and supported the Mosaic code. He never spoke against the Law of Moses but did allude to its misapplication and misinterpretation by certain religious leaders who taught according to rote and demanded unconditional acceptance with no dissent.
Thus, the casuistic method of the Pharisees appears much like the methods traditional, institutional unreal Christianity has used throughout its long heyday. It is a teaching method that has an answer for everything, down to the atomic level, and engages in dogma-domineering of both large block fundamentals, the smallest minutia, and everything in between.
Such teaching not only does not need an interactive, responsive discussion, it condemns it.
The reason most Christians do not see this is because they have been conditioned to accept a false modus and consider the Lord’s actual method as inappropriate at best and outright disrespectful at worst.
And there’s your problem: “If you do not listen to me properly, give me the floor, and never question my core beliefs then you are disrespecting me as a teacher/minister/reverend/priest/pastor.”
Such a response usually reveals a person so insecure in his religious beliefs and practices that he must have large artificial constructs all around him to support his standing, rank, status, and stature, and to enforce his absolutist all-encompassing theology and doctrine.
These people are playing hardball with no ball on a fake field and when they get on a real field with real players they are exposed for the jacked-up pretenders they are. Without such great Hollywoodish props to fake people out they would be standing alone in the midst of people with lively brains who would undoubtedly take issue with their false religious clothdom and hardwired casuistry.
By the demanding of total allegiance and professing an answer for everything, a prospective disciple (student, congregant) is cut off from hearing God.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]
The counter intuitive nature of such religious indoctrination, which seemingly exists openly and without guile, must actually depend on secrecy to remain outwardly legitimate. Otherwise, it would not be issued forth as something never to be questioned, and it would not treat dissenters with the vile disgust and anger it is historically known by.
So, what am I driving at? I’m driving at the actual need for secrecy in many pursuits, such as that used by the Lord (and including the need for it in the founding of a free republic), whether or not some use it incorrectly or for sinister reasons.
If not for the tight-lipped secrecy and strong organization employed by Secret Societies and others in the founding of this country, there might possibly not be an America. The American Revolution happened with their direct involvement for better or worse as a matter of historical record.
What this portends is simply the fact that some had one agenda and others had another, but all such agendas agreed on the need for FREEDOM. This is how Great Awakenings work. The real ones begin in the spiritual sphere and ripple out from there.
During the American Revolution, one man wanted religious freedom because real Christians were denied such freedom for many centuries by evil demon-possessed religious autocrats and pinheaded inbred monarchs in Europe. Others wanted political freedom. Most wanted economic freedom and the liberty from being taxed and regulated to death by those mentioned above.
In the early centuries real Christianity had no choice but to use secrecy simply to stay alive, since the community of the Lord was made illegal, both by the Jewish ruling authorities and later by the dreaded iron-fisted Roman Empire. Our forebears were wanted men and women, and they had to use tact and genius to do their work of evangelizing the world, often behind the scenes. Many were caught though, and many were killed, but the movement was never stopped.
As we fast forward to modern America in the last one hundred years or so, we see that much of that which refers to itself as Christianity has indeed been stopped, and has become relatively dead and useless. Nevertheless, the witness of real Christianity has thrived though greatly persecuted. At the height of America’s material wealth and prestige, many Christians succumbed, and wanted no mention of the Lord’s real teachings.
But now, as America is descending into a moral and economic abyss, a curious and wonderful event is taking place: Real Christians are coming forth. A Great Awakening is happening. What has been done in secret for the last half century or so is now beginning to produce fruit outwardly. The ones formerly involved in the hardest foundational work will be the greatest recipients of the outpouring and the ones most used of God within it.
I’ll have more on this theme in the immediate future. But for now know this: The Lord Jesus is in charge. He never uses force. He has granted and respects free will. He expects us to use our free wills and our brains. He expects us to utilize every gift and blessing we’ve been granted. And His greatest blessings come to those who do things His way, because His way is the best way. This has been proven historically.
But those who refuse a closer walk with Him, many “Christians” included, will end up joining the bad guys against the Lord’s people. And most will think they’re doing God a favor:
“They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” [John 16:2]
(Many Christians in western countries historically blow off such pronouncements because they do not seem to apply. But we better start paying attention.)
There is nothing to be done about those who refuse to see. They are engaging in willful blindness. They have either been indoctrinated to the hilt, something to which they freely submitted, or they are simply apathetic toward truth. Not even the Lord was all that concerned about healing their blind eyes. By His behavior and teaching method, it was up to them to hear Him. And until they did they were given a steady diet of parables that they neither understood nor applied to themselves.
But those with eyes to see will know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Revealed truth will fill them, and they will be the recipients, on this earth, of the oracles of God, especially the greatest secret of all:
…The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. [Colossians 1:26-27]
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. [Acts 4:31]
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Last year at this time I mentioned to a friend that “tonight’s the night the Lord was born.” My friend, a long time believer in good standing, had never heard this before.
In fact, many people have not heard this. In further fact, a probable majority of Christians do not know this and most will probably never consider it.
Now, it’s okay if one does not know but has an open heart to God. I’ve often mentioned that I’m glad there’s an eternity after this life because I have a lot of studying and research to do. The more I know the more I know I don’t know.
I remember in October of 1992 I was amazed that NOTHING whatsoever was mentioned in the major media about the fact that it was 500 years to the day that Columbus arrived in America. There were no national celebrations. There was nothing. Draw your own conclusions as to why. But when such things happen it only further solidifies the fact that the MSM is biased to the core, has an agenda, and is a tool of government, banking, corporate interests, and political correctness.
Many more people know this NOW. And that’s good.
But most people still do not know basic Biblical facts. And that’s because most Christians don’t know basic Biblical facts. And that’s because most Christians do not want to know.
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”
However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “THEIR VOICE HAS GONE OUT INTO ALL THE EARTH, AND THEIR WORDS TO THE ENDS OF THE WORLD.” [Romans 10:14-18]
God wants us all to know the truth. And He is constantly doing His part to get the truth to us. But the truth does not arrive by simple osmosis. Decisions must be made. Searching must be done. The Lord only gives His truth and knowledge to those who put forth effort and are willing to do whatever it takes to gain it.
In His time, choosing Him meant a complete break from the former. It meant leaving Egypt (the world), passing through the Red Sea (being baptized), going through the Sinai (crucifying one’s flesh), and being equipped to go to war against the devil in the Land of Promise.
Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” [Acts 1:4-5]
…Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. [Ephesians 6:10-12]
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. [2 Corinthians 10:3-6]
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” [John 16:13-14]
Receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit as the early believers did is essential for doing the work of God, taking ground, and defeating the devil.
Imagine never working out in your entire life and then suiting up to play in the NFL. As soon as you stepped on the field you would get absolutely creamed, obliterated, and destroyed. They would be picking you up in pieces. Even real pros who are bulked up, work out all the time, practice forever, wear heavy duty protection and padding, and know exactly what they’re getting themselves into often end up like little girls crying their eyes out.
It’s a rough game.
And so is going to war against the devil.
And all believers are called to go to war.
And all believers must be equipped for war.
And all believers must know the truth.
And all believers are required to cease believing in fables, get out of the world, have their mind renewed, become an entirely new creation, and stop going along with traditional garbage when it causes a rift with God and keeps us in a sandbox with a pail and shovel instead of on the field of battle duking it out with demons and exposing their slimy lies.
And what does any of this have to do with the Lord’s birthday?
Like so many other things Christians are notorious for sweeping under a rug, or disregarding, or dismissing, or considering for a second or two and then rejecting after realizing the cost, knowledge of the Lord’s real birthday means one has been paying attention and working hard to arrive at further truth.
Even if it means leaving comfortable surroundings and the support of fellow non-seekers.
Ever hear of Abraham?
Walking in the Spirit means getting the heck out of Dodge and out into the desert. It means countless hours, days, weeks, and years alone with the Lord. All the greats, both Old and New Testaments, demonstrated this. Most of all, the Lord Himself demonstrated this. Each and every real believer, if he or she is to be and remain a real believer, must also demonstrate this.
The victory comes by defeating the enemy! There is no other way. And for THAT we must do what the Lord taught and what the early believers carried out perfectly. How do we know? They got results! Results most Christians never see from a hundred miles away.
The Feast of Tabernacles starts tonight at sunset. It is also known as the Feast of Booths or Sukkot. It lasts seven days. I wrote the following passage in a post two years ago and repeated last year: (Happy Rosh Hashanah 2011. Happy Rosh Hashanah 2012.)
This time in autumn was in all likelihood the actual time of our Lord’s birth and will also mark the season of His return! Sukkot has not yet been fulfilled. We get a tantalizing clue regarding the Lord’s physical birth in the following:
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14]
The usage of the word “dwelt” in the above passage indicates the fact that the Lord tabernacled among us, in a temporary shelter, spreading His tent, so to speak. He spent forty days here after His resurrection in His glorified state, and ascended to heaven bodily ten days before Pentecost.
He will return during a future Feast of Tabernacles, and will then set up a permanent dwelling for all:
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” [John 14:2-3] 
Great progress is being made in these last days in both defeating the devil and allowing the Lord to reveal more light. But we must make moves to incorporate the new light regardless of what it may mean in leaving prior spiritual camp sites.
Why not start with making a clean break from the time we traditionally honor the Lord’s birth? According to many experts who have made diligent studies of Scripture, His birthday occurred on the first day of Sukkot, which again, begins tonight at sunset. Many are already doing this and have been for a long time. And it doesn’t necessarily mean we ditch Christmas.
It means we honor the Lord on His real birthday. This should obviously be a time of great celebration! The time has come. Gather your families and friends. Let’s do this.
Happy Birthday Lord!
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
[My thanks to Bithiah over at Kedoshim Ministries for helping to inspire this post. I suggest a visit. You will be blessed.]