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WAKE UP!

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.

FIGHT BACK!

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] [1]

© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.   


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

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

 

CHRISTIANS AND RACE: KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON THE LORD!

Blog Pic 102317

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.

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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.

STAY FOCUSED

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][1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


[1] © The Complete Jewish Bible. Used by permission.

REJECTING PENTECOST DESTROYED THEIR COUNTRY

Election Day 2014

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.


LINK: THE CURRENT SHUTDOWN: AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER AND PRACTICE ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 16)

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!

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8  LESSON 9  LESSON 10  LESSON 11  LESSON 12  LESSON 13  LESSON 14 

Ch 2: LESSON 15

LESSON 16:

Acts 2:16-21

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.” [1]

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.’” [2]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Please note that the use of all caps in the NASB denotes Old Testament passages occurring in the New Testament.

[2] 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.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 15)

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.

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8  LESSON 9  LESSON 10  LESSON 11  LESSON 12  LESSON 13  LESSON 14

LESSON 15

Acts 2:12-15

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… [1]

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.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 14)

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.

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8  LESSON 9  LESSON 10  LESSON 11  LESSON 12  LESSON 13

LESSON 14

Acts 2:5-11

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] [1]

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.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 13)

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…

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10   LESSON 11   LESSON 12

LESSON 13

Acts 2:1-4

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). [1]

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] [2]

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.


[1] The Amplified Bible © 1965 by Zondervan Publishing House. All Rights Reserved.

[2] 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.

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 12)

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.

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10   LESSON 11

LESSON 12

Acts 2:3

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][1]

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.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 11)

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.

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9   LESSON 10

LESSON 11

Acts 2:3

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). [1] 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.


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

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 10)

“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] 

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8   LESSON 9

LESSON 10

Acts 2:2

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][1]

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.


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

THE MORE FALSE AUTHORITY THERE IS, THE LESS SPIRITUAL LIBERTY THERE IS

       

        All Christian authority is possessed only by the Lord Jesus. He permits the use of His authority only by those who completely submit to Him. His authority within others is never disconnected from Him.

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           And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” [Matthew 28:18]    

          Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” [Luke 24:44-49]

        It is not possible to be real witnesses of the Lord in the way He intended without receiving His power. This is why, forty days after the Resurrection and right before His ascension to heaven, He told the relatively few disciples He still had that they must receive His power first and be His witnesses second. To receive His power they were instructed to go back to the Upper Room, the same place where they had the Last Supper on the night of His arrest. They were to prepare themselves and wait in expectation for the promised outpouring of His Spirit.

HIGHER POWER

         So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free?’”

         Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

         “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” [John 8:31-36] [1]

          (Notice how the Lord said there were slaves of sin in “the house.”)

        Many Christians have no understanding of the spiritual liberty made possible by the death and resurrection of the Lord. If He had not undergone that process He would not have had the means to release us from the power of sin and make us “free indeed” (instead of pretend free). In spiritual terms, repentance is representative of death. Without the death of the old there can be no birth of the new. We must hate sin and turn away from it. We must do our part to kill it. We must “lose” our life in order to find it.

        His resurrection had to precede our resurrections. But before we experience bodily resurrection we must experience a spiritual resurrection. We must be born again in order to gain spiritual liberty. But one does not become free from the power of sin by osmosis. One’s spiritual resurrection is an event! One knows when it happens! Thus, those Christians indifferent to spiritual liberty and the Lord’s spiritual power have yet to experience these events and are likely unaware of their existence. He knows we all need His authority and power to overcome the power of the evil one. Without it we are defenseless and unaware. He would never send His witnesses into the world (from then until now) without properly training and equipping them. Most important in this regard, of course, is receiving His Holy Spirit.

BYPASSING THE SPIRIT

      Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [2Corinthians 3:17]    

         Various substitutions for the Lord’s correct spiritual model have been made by Christian religious authorities throughout the Church Age. It began in the early centuries with a drift toward philosophical thought and authoritarianism. This was a wrongheaded attempt by religious dullards to establish the Lord’s authority within unregenerate wannabe potentates.

         The result was nothing more than political authority dressed up in a ridiculous religious costume.

          Rather than having authority spread out and shared among several equal elders within Christian gatherings the way the Lord taught and the early Community demonstrated, the faux Christians developed a pyramid scheme with one guy at the top, whether it was local bodies with a single overseer in which all authority was vested, or hierarchical structures with a false “bishop” over large geographical areas.

       The alternate models perhaps reached their fullness during the 16th through 18th centuries at the time of the Protestant Reformation and the Enlightenment. What transpired was a high degree of ecclesiastical intellectualism and the strict authority thereof which continued to serve as a replacement for the Lord’s spiritual Kingdom. The clergy class had been well formed by this time, as Protestants learned well by the longtime example within Catholicism. Individual spiritual liberty, for the most part, did not exist within these structures. Due to their high level of spiritual pride and worldliness, the clergyites deemed the process of repentance and spiritual birth distasteful. 

          Even the laity, the voiceless and largely Biblically ignorant masses (by design) refused to forsake the false models constructed by those who transformed Christianity into a deceptive Nicolaitan power grab and money siphon over unsuspecting followers.

          The followers are just as guilty as the false authority that rules over them and obstructs their freedom.

            © 2019 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

NEW COVENANT REALITY VS. RELIGIOUS IDEOLOGY

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       Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]   

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         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] [1]

         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.


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

PROPER PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST: A PERFECT SACRIFICE

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         Pentecost required the perfect sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. It was the only way He could share His Holy Spirit with us.

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         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] [1]

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

CUTTING OFF GOLIATH’S HEAD

         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] [1]

         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.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


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

Acts of the Apostles [2:36-39]

         “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.” [1]


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

Acts of the Apostles [2:1-4]

         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. [1]


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

The Reality of God’s Relational Love: Thus Speaks the Heart (2)

         Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” [Acts 2:38] [1]

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         (1) Real repentance is a type of sacrifice. It is also an apology to God. It is the means for gaining the remission of ones sins. The blood of Jesus is applied at repentance.

         It is doing a 180 degree turn-around and walking away from sin and rebellion, and toward the Lord Jesus. Through the expressing of genuine sorrow for one’s sins and especially for one’s sinning against God and one’s distance from God through one’s own willful actions, it allows the Lord to completely cleanse the heart. It allows the Lord Jesus to circumcise the heart and wash away all sin from the heart with His redeeming blood. This is the beginning of the new birth. It is wholly transformational and a complete change in soul status. Repentance is death to the old.

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         (2) New Covenant water immersion is indicative of an outer form of giving one’s self completely to the Lord Jesus and puts Him in charge of the heart. It furthers the remission of sins in the sense that it acknowledges the work achieved by the Lord on the cross, without which the forgiveness of sins would be impossible. The apostle Peter put it this way: …Baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,)… [1Peter 3:21 KJV]

         In the original community of the Lord Jesus this was demonstrated outwardly in public for all to see through water immersion in His Name—the Name of Jesusthe Name above every name. Water baptism is both a burial of the old and then an outward demonstration of resurrection and new life rising and coming forth. By invoking the Lord’s Name, the candidate is demonstrating one’s allegiance to the Lord Jesus and no other. A person states one’s desire to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus and follow Him just as the original disciples did, and become a member of His community the same way they did. If one refuses this immersion and the invoking of the Name of Jesus, how can his or her heart be right toward Him?

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         (3) Once the candidate for inclusion in the Lord’s community has properly repented and has undergone full water immersion to illustrate an outward representation of an inward spiritual change and identify the Lord Jesus as one’s Master and Teacher—once the heart is cleansed and redeemed by His blood and is circumcised—the Lord is enabled to fill the cleansed heart with His Holy Spirit.

         This gift of the Holy Spirit was promised by Peter at Pentecost and is available to all who obey the Lord accordingly. He said it was for every succeeding generation until the Lord’s eventual return for His community. The infilling of the Holy Spirit enables miraculous works and signs. The New Covenant writings are clear that without the evidential miraculous works and signs, there is no actual infilling of God’s Spirit.

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         (4) By cleansing and circumcising the heart through the candidate’s surrender to His authority and power, the Lord Jesus tames the person’s tongue and one’s speech becomes cleansed (see James 3:8).

         This means that all speech flowing from the cleansed heart is as seed from a holy spiritual place rather than the prior sinful place. It is the difference demonstrated by Abel and Cain, in that since Abel was righteous he always made the proper sacrifice. All that came forth from him was spiritually good since he had a good heart toward God.

         And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.

         Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” [Genesis 4:2-7]

         Cain could do nothing right spiritually and everything he tried was wrong because his heart was wrong toward God. He had no power with God. God had no regard for his offering. Cain was essentially spiritually worthless. He could never bring forth a proper sacrifice until his heart was right and he never made that choice. Because of this, he substituted dead religion and a mere form of godliness due to his refusal to obey God. This is the highest form of rebellion. Abel is a type of the real Christian. Cain is a type of the unreal Christian.

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         (5) The outward sign of receiving the Holy Spirit into a cleansed, circumcised heart is a yielded tongue—the last member of the body to surrender to the Lord Jesus and the first to demonstrate His indwelling presence.

         As a result, a person’s speech becomes a vehicle for God’s glory and ministry. One’s speech is a person’s most powerful asset and ability in the three-dimensional world. The Lord said we would be judged by every word we say. Unclean speech proves an unclean heart and also proves that the Lord Jesus is not in control. Cleansed speech proves a clean heart, but it must be emphasized that speech without bad words does not necessarily prove a clean heart or indicate the infilling of the Holy Spirit, but speech that is both clean and contains the power of God.

         The early believers were speaking forth miraculous things, such as speaking languages they had never learned, prophesying through the power of God, being used in healing by speaking the Name of Jesus, and praising Him supernaturally. Their words had a powerful effect and affected great change.

         Because they were filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of the Lord Jesus, they had God’s authority over all things spiritual. This is why they were able to take authority over the devil and demonic influence through the power of the Name of Jesus and work miracles. This power was granted to every member of the Lord’s community, not just the apostles. It remains available for anyone today who properly follows and obeys the Lord’s order and method of discipleship.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


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

The Greatest Secret

           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] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


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

RELATED POSTS:

Blessed Are The Eyes That See

The Partial Bliss of Ignorance

New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 1)

New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 2)

I and My Father Are One and The Same!

Happy Birthday Lord Jesus

         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] [1]

         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.]


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