When John the Immerser blasted onto the scene he warned his hearers of losing eternal life and loosing national destruction. The means of avoiding both was encapsulated in one word: REPENT.
REPENTANCE DRIVES GREAT AWAKENINGS
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
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.” [Matthew 3:7-10]
John did something then that next to no American Christian does today: He blasted the religious leaders. These were men who had total control of the religious establishment in first-century Judea. They controlled the entire Temple complex. They controlled every single synagogue. Their control was such that John was preaching way out in the wilderness.
In today’s terms these would be the religious leaders who control denominations, churches, seminaries, and major Christian media, including publishing and television. The Pharisees and Sadducees had a lock on all things religious back then just as Christian controllers have a lock on most things Christian at present. Both have a single denominator: MONEY.
ONLY TWO GODS FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE
Getting to the root of Christian intention begins with the simple question: Is it serving the Lord Jesus or is it serving the money-god?
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. [Luke 16:13-14]
One will either submit to the Lord Jesus and make money a servant, or one will submit to the money-god and make oneself its servant.
If one serves the Lord, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the Lord and His teachings. If one serves the money-god, one’s life will look increasingly as being under the primary influence of the money-god and its teachings.
Here’s is a quick contrast and illustration: John the Immerser served the Lord. His life looked like the Lord. The Pharisees and Sadducees served the money-god. Their lives looked like the money-god. Compare both to the present.
John warned everybody, but especially the brood of vipers otherwise known as the Pharisees and Sadducees, that the entire nation was about to suffer complete destruction for one principle reason: IT CHOSE THE MONEY GOD.
Money can make you and it can break you. If there was a way to exist without it we would never have to deal with its powerful influence and temptation. We would never have to submit to its effects. But the international money system has been with us a while and unless we somehow manage to go completely off the grid we have little choice but to enter the game and play according to the rules.
It is for this reason that most people believe there is no escape and the only solution is to try to gain as much money as possible in order to gain the upper hand. In other words, the way people think they can beat the powerful effect of money on their lives is to defeat it by gaining enough of it that it no longer rules them but becomes their servant.
This works for some people. For a while. It never works for the vast majority. The system has limited resources. Some are able to gain the upper hand and remain relatively personally free or at least maintain the appearance of freedom, and do not seem on the surface to be anxious regarding money matters. If one does win the money battle by doing whatever they feel they must to gain authority over it by having much of it, it rarely lasts. One must keep doing whatever it takes to gain access to the money well. Most do it legally. Some do not. But even if one does find a way to beat the system, so to speak, and gain great piles of gold, one cannot leave this world with it. It must all stay right here where one found it.
MONEY IS NO GOOD OVER YONDER
It has been said that rich people don’t have armored trucks full of money following their hearse to the graveyard. Money does not translate into eternity. To the degree that one depends on money is to the same degree that one does not depend on the Lord. This equation portends one’s final location in the afterworld and often whether one even believes in an afterworld.
One of the best things that can ever happen to a person is to discover early on in life that the pursuit of money for the purposes of mastering life is a heartbreaker. The money-god is a deceiving, bewitching taskmaster. It is a hard lesson to learn. It can be quite cruel. On the other hand, if money always comes relatively easy then the odds of having a spiritual life with the Lord are next to zero. Most people will always choose much money over a disciplined spiritual life. Here’s why:
Making the decision to give oneself totally to the Lord involves:
(1) Faith in the Lord Jesus instead of faith in the money-god and all it portends.
(2) The need to repent, which means one must accept the fact that one is a sinner and a violator of God’s laws and commandments. Who wants to do that? Especially in these days? To admit that one is messed up like this, that one is not the great person he or she thinks he or she is can have a devastating effect on one’s psyche. And yet the Lord is persistent. He says that prior to our born again experience we are sinners. He says we violate His laws. He says we have uncircumcised flesh that must be dealt with. This fleshly nature is not always on display but certainly reveals itself on occasion, with some people much more than others, especially when under stress.
TEST AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS RIGHT
A simple test to prove God is right and humans are compromised in this way is to simply see how often we violate the Golden Rule. Do we always treat others the way we want to be treated? Do we do this especially when we are stressed out or under a lot of pressure? Do we always contain the pressure that builds up, find a way to keep it from building up, manage to channel it off in some safe way in which nobody is hurt, or even stop it completely in the very beginning? Do we always master our impulses? Do we have impulse control or do we simply vent all the time everyday at everybody?
If so, it is the opposite of real discipleship and thoroughly proves the need for heart circumcision surgery and real repentance. It proves the Lord knows exactly what He is talking about though many people may successfully hide their true nature. Occasional mess-ups are understandable. A lifestyle of trashing others and violating the Lord’s teachings is not.
The Lord looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. He is not fooled by outward appearances. He knows what a dirty, fleshy, sinful, uncircumcised heart looks like. It doesn’t matter how much one may try to cover it up and deceive people about one’s true nature. God knows. And He demands that we fix it! The Pharisees and Sadducees fooled almost everyone because they dressed to look the part. They were mere religious actors. That’s what hypocrites are—stage players. Is it any wonder then that the majority of Christian leadership at present does all its work on a stage? What would they be without the stage? It was money that made the Pharisees and Sadducees successful. They served the money-god while pretending to serve God. IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME TODAY. God is not fooled.
A FOOL’S PARADISE
If there appears to be a way around the repentance and discipleship the Lord demands, most people, including most Christians, will do the end run. They will run from God. They will find substitutes in which they can keep themselves in charge. They will choose counterfeit belief systems, of whatever variety, in which they do not have to submit to the Lord. They will try to convince themselves and everyone else that they are good people.
Of course, they are playing a fool’s game. There is no other way than the way the Lord Jesus prescribed. Better to find this out early in life than to build one’s house on sand, but most people always end up building their house on sand and it works great as long as everything remains constant. But we all should know this is ridiculous. Next to nothing in this life remains constant. Change is ever-burgeoning, is always messing up the best laid plans, and the tide always comes in and wipes out sand castles no matter how well or elaborately they are constructed. Wise people know this. Yet, there are apparently not many wise people when it comes to applying known knowledge if it clashes with one’s authority.
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” [Luke 9:24]
Real repentance is the end of one’s personal authority. What unrepentant religious leaders do not know, however, is that they do not have any personal authority anyway because they are bound by sin. And they are deceived about it. Sin is in charge but they are not aware. They reject the notion. They are not accountable. Most are spiritual adulterers. It is why they refuse to preach the real Gospel. It is why the Lord stated what He did in the preceding verse. The word “lose” in that verse is translated from the Greek word apollumi. This word means “to destroy.” It is only by losing one’s life (or destroying it) through real repentance and submitting fully to the Lord Jesus that one breaks the power of sin and the powerful grip of the money-god. The Lord gave His very life to set us free from this monster.
OPPOSING THE GREAT AWAKENING
Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
As did John the Immerser, the Lord warned the people of His nation that total destruction was soon coming and that it was coming because they rejected His love and leadership for the love of money. The more He attempted to bring forth a Great Awakening the more the religious leaders who were sold out to the money-god opposed Him. Their continued rejection of the Lord and His real teachings, their intransigent rebellion against truth, their refusal to repent, and their worship of mamônâi brought forth a witch’s brew of arrogance, ignorance, and religious pride. It increasingly enflamed their wicked uncircumcised hearts and removed all semblance of impulse control. They sowed the seed of murder and reaped over a million deaths. Literally.
THROWN INTO THE FIRE
As time marched on toward 70AD, they became ever more strident in their opposition to the Lord. They were incorrectly fulfilling Newton’s Third Law of Motion. They were resisting that which they should have surrendered to and surrendering to that which they should have resisted. They had a completely different agenda. Their persecution of the Lord’s people—those who chose the Lord as Messiah—increased dramatically. They were doing to them, on an ever-advancing scale, exactly what they did to the Lord.
The same dynamic is at work today. Christian Pharisees and Sadducees look great on the outside and preach what sounds like the real Gospel. They don’t look compromised. They look successful. They’ve been in control seemingly forever. Their status quo rendition of official Christianity appears as the only accepted rendition, but it has little or no resemblance to the Lord’s original and has almost zero impact within the spiritual world. They can’t handle anything they can’t control. They can’t handle anything that exposes them as pretenders. They can’t handle anything from which they cannot extract a living. It would be good if they could learn from the past.
Judea had been in the midst of a Great Awakening during that final generation in the first century and the religious leaders continually put much effort toward their opposition to it. The more they tried to stop it the more it grew and yet they could never stop opposing it. Their unrighteous stand for the old dead religious order—the only one they could control, the one that gave them power and wealth—was thoroughly compromised by a love of money and service to the money-god. Their unrighteous rebellion must eventually end. Their opposing reaction to God’s action must finally stop. Justice was demanded. Only God could administer it. He did. Judea was no more. Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, by fire, exactly as John prophesied.
“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.” [Matthew 10:10]
© 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
YOU NEVER HEAR THIS STUFF ON CHRISTIAN TELEVISION:
Did you know that the Biblical New Testament—that which contains the entire teaching curriculum of the Lord Jesus, His record of miraculous works, the history of His salvation-producing death, and the truth of His glorious resurrection—has been vociferously attacked by very powerful Americans who want to destroy it and have plans to do that very thing?
Did you know that millions of Christians support these very people and are so clueless they don’t even know their own enemies?
Did you know a very high ranking individual of another faith wrote a book twelve years ago essentially demanding a total ban on the New Testament and that he did this because he claimed the New Covenant writings are anti-Semitic?
Did you know there are many large organizations of Christians partnering with anti-Christians in which the Christians refuse to witness to the unbelievers as if the Gospel did not apply to them?
If you didn’t know any of this you had better start waking up because the time will come in America when the New Testament will not only be slammed as hate speech, laws will be passed against it, and a total ban will be proposed. Mark my words. The time is approaching faster than you may think. And the worst part? Many so-called Christians and influential Christian leaders will actually support it.
Sin is growing out of fashion as a concept. It is trending out of acceptance as a principle. It is no longer perceived among mainstream Christians in America as a tenet of acceptable belief.
None of this is new in world history. Most of the world has traditionally resided in spiritual darkness from time immemorial. There is no question about that. Spiritual darkness even invaded the so-called Holy Land well over two thousand years ago and remains there still. When the Lord Jesus appeared on the scene His arrival was characterized as LIGHT shining on the darkness. What darkness? The majority of the Hebrew people dwelling there at that time did not think their nation was in darkness. And yet the honored and incredibly accurate Old Testament Hebrew prophet Isaiah wrote this:
“THE LAND OF ZEBULUN AND THE LAND OF NAPHTALI, BY THE WAY OF THE SEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, GALILEE OF THE GENTILES—THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” [Matthew 4:15-16] 
Many of you know these verses well. But how well have you noticed the clear reference to darkness? This wasn’t just any darkness. Remember, this was Galilee, the former land of the northern tribes of Israel. But even at the time of the prophecy he called it the land of Gentiles. I would argue, though, and argue very correctly that even before the time of the Assyrian Captivity when the northern tribes were marched off and removed from the land, the land was in darkness. In fact, the land was so dark during the time of the Israelite kings it actually grew less dark after the Hebrews left. If this seems like a strange notion, I suggest you study the idolatrous history of the Northern Kingdom and its wicked kings.
STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND
The Assyrian Captivity began right around the time Isaiah began his ministry in about 740 B.C. The final deportations took place after the fall of Samaria and final defeat of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Imagine then that Isaiah was prophesying about the coming Messiah 700 years before the Light appeared. And he prophesied of a time when the land would not only be dark but would be referred to as “the land of the shadow of death.” That’s pretty serious. That was a very dark land.
Could America be characterized this way? Well, one must consider that in the 43 and a half years since a reprobate Supreme Court legalized wholesale in-womb baby killing in what used to be the land of the free, upwards of 60 MILLION babies have been murdered. And this great infanticide has never been stopped no matter what solution has been proposed and attempted. Billions of dollars and millions of man hours have gone into the fight to stop it and nothing has worked yet. The Supreme Court could have overturned the outrageous decision at any time. It could overturn it now. But it won’t. Could it be dwelling in a place of darkness? Is not America of the last 43 plus years the land of the shadow of death? And do we therefore need a bright new LIGHT to shine forth and expose this terrible darkness and end all this wanton murder and destruction?
I vote in the affirmative. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the mega dollar preachers with mega church followers and giant worldwide television and social media presences to do anything about it. Don’t wait for the billion-plus member Roman Catholic Church to do anything about it. There is a majority of Catholics on the Supreme Court and they refuse to do anything about it! And don’t wait for your mainline gigantic Protestant/Evangelical church bodies to do anything either because they won’t. They have billions of dollars to work with but they waste most of it every day on not only doing nothing to alleviate the darkness and death, but actually promote it and spread it around. How?—At the voting booth. Why do Christians keep voting these people into office?
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]
 Old Testament Scriptures are listed in All Caps in the NASV95. 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.
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:
THE FIG TREE
On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. [Mark 11:12-14]
Why did the Lord curse the fig tree? The narrative said it was not the season for figs.
Actually, a fig tree produced fruit three times a year. In about April, which was the time the Lord saw the tree in question, every healthy fig tree would bear what are known as “early figs,” also known as “unripe” or “untimely” figs. These immature figs were very small, were edible, though certainly not comparable to the full fruit which would come later, and most fell to the ground with the wind. They appeared as the first leaves appeared on the tree.
In about June, the first mature figs appeared, the first actual crop, and were said to grow out of the “old wood,” or the shoots from the prior year.
In August or so, the final crop of figs came forth, from the “new wood,” or new shoots of the present year.
From this we know that if a tree will be fruitful and not barren, it will send forth fruit roughly at the same time, or very shortly thereafter, as it sends forth its first leaves, though the first fruit is a far cry from what will come later. The Lord Jesus knew, therefore, that because the tree He came upon already had leaves but no “early figs,” it would never produce any figs.
Keep in mind also that He was hungry, that He saw the tree “at a distance,” that He had to put time and effort into reaching it, and that He expected to find food. This is obviously indicative of His long journey to visit and rescue His beloved people.
As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.”
And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.” [Mark 11:20-23] 
Mountains are associated with spiritual high places, places of great power. The little that was left of the Jewish nation in the first century had long since been subverted by a political association between the religious leaders and Rome. This was especially true of the Sadducees who had no belief in spiritual things whatsoever, not even the resurrection. It was also true of Annas and Caiphas, the High Priest. They were living only for this world, had achieved great wealth and power, and had joined “the mountain,” represented by the great earthly power of the Roman Empire.
The fig tree was representative of the Israel of that time, which made an outward show of national legitimacy and religiosity, but was actually fruitless and spiritually barren. It is the same today.
When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” [Luke 19:41-44]
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Tonight at sunset marks the beginning of Iyyar 5 on the Hebrew calendar. It was on this date in 1948 that the modern state of Israel was created. Iyyar 5 corresponded then to May 14 on the Gregorian calendar.
The modern state of Israel was created by non-believers—among the movers and shakers was not a single believer in the Lord Jesus. In fact, many were atheists, including the first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who was also a lifelong Communist/Marxist/Socialist and admirer of Lenin.
Among unbelieving Jews, no actual descendent of Abraham is historically more rejected, hated, or despised than the Lord Jesus, who continues to be viewed as a false Messiah and evil interloper.
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. [John 1:10-11]
Abraham was the first to be called a Hebrew. The Hebrews descended from Abraham. Abraham had descended from Shem, one of the three sons of Noah. Noah had descended from Adam.
The Lord Jesus—YeHoshua HaMashiach—descended from Adam, through Noah, through Noah’s son Shem, through Abraham, through Abraham’s son Isaac, through Isaac’s son Jacob, and through Jacob’s son Judah. He also descended through King David. Hence, the “Son of David” is the rightful and final heir to the throne—the King of kings and Lord of lords:
These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” [Revelation 17:14]
Here we see that the CHOSEN PEOPLE are those who are with the Lord Jesus.
In fact, the New Testament refers to REAL CHRISTIANS as the CHOSEN PEOPLE at least 16 times.
Therefore, in order to qualify as one of the chosen people, one must be CALLED BY, CHOSEN OF, and FAITHFUL TO the Lord Jesus.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” [Matthew 22:14]
Those who are called and chosen by the Lord Jesus MUST ALSO BE FAITHFUL to the Lord Jesus or there is no covenant with Him.
The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is His Kingdom. There is no other. He is the only King. It is His community. His community is comprised of all those who are chosen by Him. He is the only one who chooses the members. Anyone can apply for membership, but applying for membership in no way proves chosen status. One must not only apply, one must be chosen. And the Lord Jesus is the only one who does the calling and choosing.
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.” [John 15:16-17]
This is what the members of His real community look like:
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1Corinthians 1:26-29] 
Regarding these real chosen people of the Lord’s community, one cannot be faithful to the Lord Jesus or one another without loving one another. The faithfulness to and love of the Lord Jesus is that which creates an ongoing covenant with Him. Loving one another in the Lord’s community is that which creates an ongoing covenant with one another.
Therefore, it is impossible to be a member of the CHOSEN PEOPLE if one rejects and refuses to honor the Lord Jesus as Messiah, Lord, King, and “God with us.”
Without acknowledging the Lord Jesus as God, there is no possible covenant with Him:
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. [1John 2:22-23]
© 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the current and a former Prime Minister of Israel, will address a joint session of Congress today. He has an agenda.
The agenda is somewhat lost to many since it is couched in the usual deflecting political stage play, complete with a good guy-bad guy theme and the perception of the sheriff in a white hat riding into town to restore sanity and justice. The thespians in question should be credited with a good show so far.
The underlying agenda, though denied, has everything to do with making sure Mr. Netanyahu is reelected in a couple weeks so ongoing intricate Middle East and world plans work out better than they have to date. There are many very powerful geopolitical undercurrents in play, and the hopes of American Christian Zionists are especially sought.
According to American Christian Zionists, the nation of Israel, a loyal American ally, is often seen as much more. In fact, some believe there has been much mystery, strange happenings, and even claimed miracles swirling around this nation, and has been ever since the modern state of Israel was created by United Nations decree in November 1947.
I remember reading about one such claim which supposedly happened during the Six Day War when a mass enemy retreat ensued because they saw a giant Moses many stories tall out in the desert.
I don’t think there were any Moses sightings at the UN, though. Speaking of which, American Christians in general do not much care for the UN but without it there would be no Israel. But much more than the United Nations, there would certainly never be a modern state of Israel without the direct involvement of the United States of America.
In addition to the magical mystery tour, American Christian Zionists have also formulated systematic apparent proofs that God is 100% on the side of modern Israel, is always on the side of Israel, and will always be on the side of Israel regardless of anything not so good the nation of Israel ever does.
(Don’t tell them, but God has secretly been saving Muslims by the tens of thousands for many years now, so it looks as though the Lord Jesus must somehow, inexplicably, love them too.)
Palestinians are seen by some among American Christian Zionists as mere human chattel always in the way of greater plans, who are hopelessly, to every man, woman, and child, tied in to Middle East terrorism and are obviously so evil it is only pure and right that they should all be wiped out or moved in mass out to the desert or some Muslim country or driven into the ocean and drowned. This thinking supposes that if the poor Palestinians and evil Arabs were not there then Israel, the Middle East, and the world itself would be a much better place. This could not be more racist but has become culturally acceptable.
Granted, the proponents of Islam are often anti-Christian and sometimes violently anti-Christian, but so is the American left. So are communists and some Hindus. If one chooses to look through a lens of Holy War, as during the Crusades, then sure, “Christians” must go to war. Yet we just got through with Black History Month and the emphasis on Martin Luther King and the non-violent approach he adopted, which worked pretty good. But didn’t the Lord Jesus have the same approach? I know. Too naïve. Like when Ron Paul got booed during the 2012 presidential debates for invoking the Golden Rule.
To gain the proper perspective without not acknowledging the evil deeds of all, do we need to be reminded that Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, who were responsible for about 100 million deaths last century, were not Muslim? But because all Muslims are seen as the boogyman and the only ones who ever do any evil in the world and are incapable of doing anything good, the ACZs seem to wish that Muslims would all just go away forever.
Thanks goodness the Lord Jesus has other plans. What these American Christian Zionists apparently don’t know is that underground revivals and much new Christian activity is happening right now in places like Iran, so to destroy Iran is to destroy fellow believers. What if God has plans for Iran like He does with China, which is on track to become a Christian nation? (As it appears at present that America is going in the opposite direction?)
Because so many in the American Christian Zionist movement equate the modern state of Israel with the ancient nation of Israel that was destroyed in 70AD, they also apparently see these Palestinians and Arabs and Middle Easterners that have been there for a few thousand years as the hated Canaanites and Philistines of ancient times and deserve nothing short of annihilation.
All nations have the right to defend themselves and in that sense the nation of Israel had every right to fight back against the people of the Gaza Strip last year. The only problem is that the very few people who were doing the attacking from Gaza caused all the thousands of innocents there to suffer disproportionately. For those of us who followed that story and saw the pictures and destruction in Gaza, and the mangled bodies of women and little children who were obviously of no threat, we know there is much more to the story.
In fact, the majority of those who live in Gaza are scared to death of the organizations controlling it and them, and they know they must remain silent or they will suffer from their own before any Israeli bombs may find them.
Israel is a sovereign nation. But so is Iran. Israel gained nuclear weapons at least a half century ago but never officially acknowledges them. Many people are convinced that if Iran ever builds its own nuclear weapons they will use them immediately against Israel. I can guarantee you, though, that Israel will never let that happen. They’ve already bombed Iran a number of times and killed some of their nuclear scientists. The Israeli threat to bomb Iran has been going on for many years.
But even if Iran builds the bomb the odds that Iran would ever use it are almost zero because they have much more to gain by simply having it. It is about 99% more likely that Israel will bomb Iran before Iran ever attacks Israel, so such fears are completely unfounded. Therefore, the current agenda is about something else entirely.
Middle East history is an extremely complicated story and has been, in its present format, for over a hundred years. Whoever forms strong opinions about what goes on there had better do the necessary study and research in order to get the full truth as best as it can be attained, rather than simply depending on seconds-long sound bites from the major media, or television and church propaganda. If one does not know by now that the major media is bought and paid for and the content coming forth controlled and that most is agenda-driven, then one will certainly never arrive at the full truth and will be deceived.
It always makes me wonder about the true motivations of such “Christians.” The Lord told us to go out into the world and make disciples. He told us to love everybody. He invoked the Golden Rule. But such is seen by many as hopelessly naïve and ignorant. Governments have their job to do and the Lord’s people have theirs. But the fact at present is that the two have strangely merged, which means it is now culturally acceptable to be a Christian and hate Muslims, or be a Christian and choose war and more war, or be a Christian and feel compelled to support unequivocally a nation that is not Christian rather than their own.
I am an American. I love my country. I also appreciate Israel as our nation’s ally. However, it concerns me that some American Christian Zionists care more for the nation of Israel than they care for America, their own country. Why do they believe everything in their lives hinges upon how they perceive the modern state of Israel, and that if they don’t honor Israel 100% then God is going to get them? A particular verse of Scripture and others with the same idea has risen to the very top in this regard and is often quoted as one may quote John 3:16 or any of the many New Covenant salvation verses:
“And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” [Genesis 12:3]
“Cursed be those who curse you, and blessed be those who bless you.” [Genesis 27:29]
“Blessed is everyone who blesses you, and cursed is everyone who curses you.” [Numbers 24:9] 
Yet, the Lord Jesus states that a person MUST be born again. “Yeah, but that does not apply to Jews,” some say. Yet, the man the Lord was speaking to was a member of the Sanhedrin, and the Lord’s entire ministry was to His own nation! Did they think that the Lord Jesus was not blessing them and was thus cursed? Did it not appear by His death that He was cursed? Did He fail to properly “bless” and respect Israel? Did God get Him?
There is a decided disconnect here, and such disconnects are usually the results of subversive actions. Let us not forget what the devil told Eve.
Why do American Christian Zionists believe that God is judging America severely and has judged America severely simply because this nation has apparently done things that did not honor and bless Israel appropriately and properly? American is still giving Israel many billions in aid. Does all that aid for the last sixty-plus years not count?
I’m not going to go back and review all this stuff, but why have so many of the recent natural disasters in America, such as Hurricane Katrina, mass tornado events, the Gulf oil spill, Hurricane Sandy, the bad economy, and others been blamed entirely on some slight against Israel?
I’m thinking, wait, hold the phone, America has plenty to be judged by God for without having anything to do with Israel. Evil Middle East terrorists have been stepping up their propaganda campaign by first beheading a few foreigners, then setting a man on fire, then decapitating several Egyptian Christians. These are obviously horrendous crimes and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
But Americans have been killing innocent babies by the millions for 42 years and very few people care in the least and this is almost never reported, not even by the supposed Christian Conservative voice of America, Fox News. These victims are innocent children who also have the indignity of being referred to as mere globs of tissue but are often sucked out whole and show forth as perfectly formed though tiny little babies. Are the advocates of these mass murders in any way similar to any other types of murderers?
It would seem to me that if God needed reasons to severely judge America He wouldn’t care so much about whether or not we show a foreign nation proper respect, but target only what this nation does to innocent children.
Over 50 million. Over 50 million. Over 50 million. Over 50 MILLION. Over 50 MILLION. Over fifty MILLION. OVER 50 MILLION. OVER 50 MILLION. OVER 50 MILLION.
And of course there are a few other things that God might find cause to judge America for, such as mass pornography, filthy movies and television shows growing more so, an ongoing and increasing glut of adultery and more than half the country sleeping with whoever they want to, whenever they want to, and however they want to in complete and utter violation of every law God ever made concerning such behavior. It was mentioned recently that STDs are way beyond epidemic conditions and cures are running out, as certain bacteria and viruses are increasingly mutating to cheat death, but the bad behavior does not stop.
Would either of these be enough for God to judge America severely? Well then, how about the fact that Americans continue to vote into office lying cheats and sellouts who only care about themselves and their money masters and basically tell America and Americans to go straight to hell? They are obviously serving mammon and not the citizens whose tax money makes the country work and whose votes put them in office, and they are certainly not serving God. Hate to burst one’s bubble, but these are both Republicans and Democrats and they have been running the country into the ground for a very long time. Otherwise, for example, how does one explain 18 TRILLION DOLLARS OF DEBT?
You think maybe God is just a little ticked off because lazy voters keep electing evil people?
Apparently not. All the judgment must be because we do not show Israel the proper deference and respect. One must wonder then, just who the people of God actually are, and why the Lord ever had to die on our behalf. Doesn’t the New Testament make the clear claim that real Christians are the Lord’s people? Is the New Testament wrong? Was the apostle Paul wrong? He wrote about this subject often. I suggest we take a look at some of his work regarding the blessing/cursing of Israel dogma:
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. [Romans 2:28-29]
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29]
According to Paul’s writings, people should actually be blessing real Christians…
Notwithstanding such New Covenant facts, the Prime Minister of Israel has arrived on these shores and has been played up as a great knight in shining armor, and because American Christian Zionists seem to hate the president of the United States at least as much as they hate Palestinians and Muslims in general, this visit is somehow seen as a momentous event as if God Himself sent Mr. Netanyahu.
It might be necessary to point out, though, that Benjamin Netanyahu is not a Christian. He does not honor the Lord Jesus as his Savior. So why do American Christian Zionists honor him as some kind of Savior? I’m sure he’ll have many good things to say. He should be respected as the leader of one of our allied nations. There is the concern, though, that he will end up further influencing this country with his nation’s agenda, and causing American policy to become his own nation’s policy to an even greater degree.
Israel is an ally in the Middle East, though we have other allies there, most notably Saudi Arabia. But the last time I looked, Israel doesn’t go around beheading people, has a democratic form of government, and allows for a relatively incredible amount of religious freedom in that part of the world. And though there are still spiritual fights going on, Messianic Judaism has also been accepted.
Nevertheless, Americans better start caring about America. Americans better start caring more about who they put in power. And above all, America better start repenting and obeying the Lord’s commands to love one another, because judgment is definitely here and growing.
But judgment has not come because America has dissed Israel and Israel can certainly take care of itself. Some remain undeterred, however, and would just as soon make Mr. Netanyahu Mr. President.
Regarding that which Christians should actually want (like a Great Awakening), wouldn’t it be great if someday an American Bible-believing Spirit-filled real Christian were allowed to address a joint session of Congress? Wouldn’t it be great if the Lord Jesus could?
That would put things in proper perspective. If only.
© 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
FOR FURTHER READING ON THIS SUBJECT SEE THE FOLLOWING SERIES FROM THREE YEARS AGO (FEBRUARY 2012). IT PROVIDES EXCELLENT IN-DEPTH BACKGROUND INFORMATION LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR WAR WITH IRAN. IT ALSO PROVIDES INFORMATION ON IRANIAN CHRISTIANS, THE AWAKENING IN IRAN, AND THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE THEY FIGHT DAILY. PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM:
But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. [Matthew 12:14-15a]
There were many attempts on the Lord’s life during His ministry but all attempts failed. One of the reasons such attempts failed is illustrated in the verse above: He withdrew from there.
The hateful and despicable Pharisees, those who could never do anything straightforward and honest out in the open but were ever of a mind to conspire behind the scenes, were constantly huddling together in small secret groups. In this particular case it was probably with the Herodians, discussing among themselves how to stop the God of all Creation from attending to the very ministry designed to save them as well. In their perspective, of course, the Lord Jesus was certainly not God—He was the farthest thing from YHWH they could imagine—and was not even a prophet.
In fact, in their grossly contorted religious view, He was nothing good whatsoever, but a mere phony and a pretender. To them such a conclusion was obvious because He and His teachings were so very different from them and theirs—their perfect traditional theologies and liturgies—and the fact that religious and social appearances seemed so unimportant to Him while they reveled in their masquerades and political connections, and were wholly dependent upon them.
They also hated Him because He could do things they could not, and the people recognized this and pursued the Lord Jesus for the good He did and great love they felt from Him, which meant the people the Pharisees had so successfully corralled and brainwashed for so many long decades quit honoring them and their dead heartless religion that did nothing of any consequence for the soul.
These religious elites thus felt greatly threatened by a single Man who proposed no threat toward good but certainly toward evil, lies, and deception, and cared not in their hearts if such a Man cast a Light on them since they were foresworn to never repent and join Him (because they saw themselves as the epitome of rightness and righteousness already—the supreme leaders of the chosen people), and to never accept under any conditions whatsoever such a false Messiah who made them feel so uncomfortable about themselves to the point that His murder became top priority at all costs.
Many followed Him, and He healed them all, and warned them not to tell who He was. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
“BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES. HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT; NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS. A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF, AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY. AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE.”
Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. [Matthew 12:15b-22]
Here we have a fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy in one verse taking place in the life of a single man, who was just as real as you or I, and just as much in need. When Christianity starts going south, Christians no longer see themselves as sinners in need but as cultural Christians living according to other belief systems and dogmas than the Lord’s pure curriculum, and fallen into taking political sides and becoming issues-oriented rather than God-dependent.
When people at last see and admit they have been made blind and mute by deceptive and extremely evil, secretive demonic influence, they RUN to altars of repentance in the attempt to get free, just as the blind and deaf man did in the above passage. He needed help, of course. A demon had taken control of him and rendered his natural ability to see and speak unworkable. It was not that his eyes and mouth could not function due to any biological defect, but that the demon put clamps on their operation.
As a result, the man was rendered powerless. He could not see, illustrating a lack of spiritual insight, and he could not speak, meaning someone or something had silenced his voice. This man was in obvious fear. He most likely had no idea that a demon had taken control of him, only that he could not see nor speak, and that he was not the person God had created, but much less. When this happens to thousands of people at a time and even more, nations are changed. A populace becomes in great need of Light though they cannot see the need fully, and are often made to believe they must reject the cure. They become afraid to speak. They dare not challenge those who rule them for fear of being subjected to worse.
How many such people in need during the Lord’s time entered into bondage due to the religious influence of the Pharisees, who certainly had no answer for the man’s predicament, but might certainly have been the cause? The Lord Jesus rescued him, though, and did it quickly. The man’s speech and eyesight were restored, and his great fear vanished.
All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”
And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.” [Matthew 12:23-29]
The man’s house had certainly been plundered. The question concerns how the man was bound. How did a demon get into this man’s body, steal his property, make him blind and mute, and plunder his house? This speaks in general terms of nations. Isaiah referred to the Gentiles in his passage, something the Pharisees no doubt had a great problem with, since they hated the Gentiles with a passion. To them, the world consisted of them and human animals—those to whom the Torah did not apply and who could be used and abused in any way they saw fit.
And these Gentiles mentioned in the prophetic writings of a Hebrew prophet would have justice proclaimed to them. Justice! At last! And from a Hebrew Messiah! In whose great Name they will hope!
The obvious connotation here is that the Gentile nations would be in darkness awaiting the great Light. The further question is who put them in this darkness? How did demonic influence so take hold in their respective nations that whole countries were rendered blind and mute? These things don’t just happen. Someone or something causes it. Someone makes decisions toward it. Yet, many Christians are made to believe that victims are in their predicament by their own choosing and through their own fault, and are therefore unworthy of help.
THANK THE LORD JESUS HE DOES NOT HAVE THAT MINDSET OR ATTITUDE.
It is a simple fact that “sinners” in great need of help and deliverance go to “houses of worship” all the time and never get the help they need. Though a great production takes place on Sunday mornings, such people almost always leave the way they arrived. The love and power of God simply does not exist in such places, meaning such congregations in their own right have become blind and mute, and unable to help as the Lord did. How did they get this way?
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” [Matthew 12:30-32]
Uh oh. It appears as though the Pharisees are still here. If they would attack the Lord so strongly and even gnash their teeth at Stephen, they would certainly have a great problem with any of that Pentecostal, Charismatic, weirdo stuff some people engage in. They were never able to kill the Lord through all their secret plots until He reached the point in time in which He would lay Himself down as the Sacrifice Lamb. And no matter what they ever said about Him or did do Him, it could all be potentially forgiven.
But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a different story. The fact is that Unreal Christians have blasphemed the Spirit of God repeatedly throughout history and are still engaged in the process today. And they wonder why they cannot do the things the Lord Jesus did. They will never admit to being blind and mute, only that what they have remains religiously proper and in no need of correction.
Just like the Pharisees.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.
You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.” [Matthew 12:33-35] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
Today is Rosh Hashanah.
Happy New Year!
And what a new year it is. Much spiritual progress has been made over the preceding years, and the time has now arrived when fruit is forming on the trees and gardens are bringing forth produce. A ton of work was done to get us to this point, and in the early going it was hit and miss.
There was much suffering. It is always this way for those who attempt the impossible, for those stalwart pioneers who envision a much better future than their less than ideal present, and are willing to go to any lengths to achieve the desired result.
Our Lord Jesus was such a pioneer. He entered into this world during a very trying time for His own people as a Savior and Mentor, and as One who would get the nation back on track. But for the nation of Israel proper, or actually what was left of Israel, He failed to remedy the situation.
Perhaps it was because He was dealing with the worst generation in the nation’s history:
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” [Matthew 11:16-19]
Or in their case, stupid is as stupid does.
The nation rejected God. And forty years later it ceased to exist.
But within this nation at that time was a faithful remnant. There was always a remnant. And it was the remnant that kept the nation alive. It was the faith of the remnant that kept God involved because He had signed an everlasting covenant, and as long as there were some, though few, who abided in the covenant as He did, the covenant would stay in effect.
Nevertheless, for the nation proper, it was doomed. It was doomed for the same reasons it suffered judgment on far too many occasions in its history to recount. The people actually doomed themselves due to their love of sin and rebellion, disobedience and stubbornness, pride and trust in themselves, and an overwhelming desire to be like all the rebellious nations around them instead of being the nation of God.
Mostly, though, it was because of their unbelief.
But again, there was always a faithful remnant, and at times the faithful remnant had gained such a foothold it brought the entire nation back on course and in right standing with God.
Yet in the first century A.D. the opposite happened—the bad guys had wrested control. And their control was so great and far-reaching they would never lose control, and thus, they doomed themselves since they rejected God’s authority. They failed to discern the times. They did not understand that no matter how hard they clutched control their grip would be broken.
And unseen by many, in the midst of all this spiritual warfare and transition, regardless of all the political machinations and skullduggery, something else very significant was taking place at that time that had never happened before—a new nation was forming.
The birth of the new coincided with the death of the old.
There is solid research that makes what most have been taught to believe to be a specious claim—that by the end of the first century, more descendants of Abraham accepted their Messiah than rejected Him.
How can this be?
It is the same dynamic taking place in America at present. Polls consistently show that the American people in general generally disagree with the actions and beliefs of their government, regardless of the party in power, yet they keep returning the same people and kinds of people to leadership within their government.
How can this be?
Do we not recall Scriptures such as the following?
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. [John 9:22]
Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. [John 12:42-43] 
This exact dynamic happens within many American churches. The majority is such that it never makes waves, never rocks the boat, never questions authority, and thus is more or less a blob of nothingness that looks great but is less filling, because they are not filled with the Spirit of God, and because they love the approval of men rather than God. And everyone knows it is far better to be a good little boy or girl and always go along to get along.
That’s how America was founded.
And it’s not how the community of the Lord was founded!
The Lord’s new nation was formed by those who stood up for God and His Truth regardless of what it cost them personally. Thus, one can see that there were many, many people flying under the radar at that time within the nation of Israel proper for fear of those in control. That’s why the Lord Jesus was subjected to a kangaroo court and their idiotic decision, and why no one came to His defense. Most were scared to death and had been conditioned by those in power, though only a relative few, to never buck illicit authority.
But after the nation was dissolved many descendants of Abraham saw the light that much more. The Lord predicted exactly what would happen, and He warned those to escape the judgment when it arrived, and these were even told where to go to be safe.
But for those in control who refused to listen, the ones who ran their nation into the ground, there was no escape. There was nothing but judgment.
Keep this in mind at this time. A new year has dawned and with it a new time for the people of God. It would be good for every single person who claims to be a real Christian to stand up for the Lord Jesus and be counted, though also understanding well that it will cost.
So, what? It has always cost. Pioneers must take it on the chin for those coming after. They must fight and persevere so the squeamish will have someone to look upon to cure them of their squeamishness. Our Lord paid the greatest price of all and gave the greatest gift of all. The original apostles followed in His footsteps. Their walk with God and work for God cost them everything.
But as a result, look what we have two thousand years later. And look at what is coming forth just now. The Lord’s people are gaining in strength and unity, and are maturing en masse. What is the devil to do?
How about the same thing he’s always done? Convince people to fear him rather than God. Convince people to go along with a dead set-up instead of mustering the courage to journey into life. Tell people to always seek the approval of men, even if they be a member of the religious ruling class. The devil destroyed Israel in this way. And he is trying very hard to destroy the community of the Lord the same way.
This is how he does it (Pay attention):
He puts in power those who are in it for themselves. And those he puts in power kick out all the stalwarts who stand for God. This is exactly how Israel became a non-prophet nation and is how most churches and ministry organizations become non-prophet organizations.
Prophets and those like them stand up for the Lord whatever it may cost. They die with their boots on. They die with their integrity intact. They stand up to the purveyors of false doctrine. They rail against religious and/or political idiots who stand in the place of authority but against the God of all authority. How many of the Lord’s rebukathons must we read before we see this?
They got Him because He revealed them, and He wasn’t afraid of what they would do to Him.
Yet many people are presently afraid. They are very afraid. They are consumed by fear. Hence, sluggish, dead churches and a country on the brink.
But also, a new nation forming.
And a Great Awakening in the making…
But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.
You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.
Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? [Romans 11:17-24]
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church:
THE UPPER ROOM
Why did Jesus create His community of called-out ones in the humble upper room? For starters, He had to have a place off the beaten path, so to speak. It would have to be owned by a disciple or a disciple’s family who was sympathetic to the cause. It could not be a public place, such as the temple complex, but private, to allow for complete unity of spirit and purpose. It had to be a place big enough for 120 people to pray and seek God for about ten days without interruption. In short, it had to be a house. In reality, it was a house.
Though we cannot yet be positively certain, particular statements in Scripture lead one to the strong conclusion that it was located on Mount Zion, Jerusalem’s highest southwestern hill, and that it was probably the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark. If placed on Mount Zion, this house would be located roughly a half mile due southwest of the Temple Mount, approximately five hundred feet south of the present Zion gate. At the time of the Qahal’s creation, however, this house was within Jerusalem proper since the southern wall of the city was located further to the south. Therefore, though Jesus was betrayed, died, was entombed, and rose again outside the city walls, He created the Church inside the city. Not only that, He created the Church in a house.
Why did He create the Church in the city that condemned Him to death? If it had to be within Jerusalem, why didn’t He create the Qahal in a place of high honor, such as the temple? Was it because He was rejected by the ruling hierarchy? Was it because there was no place of high honor for the Lord of all Creation? Or was it because Jesus simply created His community in the most appropriate of all dwelling places, a place which had been foretold in Scripture?
You will bring them and plant them
in the mountain of Your inheritance,
The place, O LORD,
which You have made for Your dwelling,
The sanctuary, O LORD,
which Your hands have established.
The LORD shall reign
forever and ever. 
THE HOUSE OF GOD
From the untold millions which had descended from Abraham by the first century A.D., only the upper-roomers were present when this scripture was fulfilled. Each and every one of these original 120 were Jews. On the birthday of the Lord’s Qahal, Jesus established a sanctuary, a dwelling place on His own mountain—Mount Zion. On this mountain, the 120 were planted, both in the Lord and by the Lord, and functioned as the ovum fertilized by the Holy Spirit which would eventually develop into a body—the body of Christ. Before the sun went down that first day, the original 120 grew by twenty-five times to three thousand—all Jews, all descendants of Abraham, all devout and God-fearing, from every country under heaven to which they had been dispersed. Even though Luke, the author of the book of Acts, doesn’t say so specifically, can there be any doubt that each tribe of Israel was represented in the initial outpouring?
This was the mysterious destiny of the house of Israel—to one day become the actual dwelling place of YHWH!
When Abraham was first called forth and told he would be the progenitor of many people, God had His own future residence in mind. Later, He revealed this truth to Moses, who led God’s people to the land of promise. The house of God would only be a home for the obedient, however, since they would be sharing quarters with God Himself. The structure of the tabernacle of Moses reveals to us The Nature of the Church. The tabernacle was a tent, mobile, following after the Lord as He moved onward into the future. It was filled with His presence. It was where the ark of the covenant was kept. The priests would minister in its midst. Sacrifice was called for. Repentance, baptism, and the infilling of His Spirit were all typed into its construction. It was pliable and moveable, built for eternal purposes.
The tabernacle and all the rites associated with it continued to the time of David. It was then that God revealed to yet another generation the purpose of the tent, and the great revelation of its underlying meaning. After building his own house, David desired to build a house for God. But the Lord would not. God’s plans had not changed, nor would they ever. His eternal purpose was wrapped up in the illustration of the mobile tent. In the future, His dwelling place would be similar—it would be within humanity. 
 Acts 12:12
 Exodus 15:17–18
 Pages 281-284 Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
There are upwards of 100,000 Christian believers in the nation of Iran by conservative estimates. The number could be considerably higher. There is a solid Christian underground that meets primarily in private homes. Evangelistic activity is strong but very risky. Witnessing for Christ is illegal.
The state religion of Iran is Shia Islam. All other faiths are essentially against the law, though Christians are singled out for extreme prejudice and hostility. They undergo discrimination in all areas, including housing, employment, and education. The government engages in the arrest, imprisonment, and torture of Muslim converts to Christianity who sometimes pay the ultimate price for their faith and obedience to the Lord Jesus. Under the strict Islamist regime, forsaking Islam is a crime punishable by death.
As in many other hostile nations, Christians cannot meet openly and are forever subjected to suspicion and betrayal, even by family members. Since Iran is over 98% Muslim, almost all new Christian believers are former Muslims and are routinely hounded by those of their former religion. Secrecy is often a must for survival’s sake, yet house churches are often raided. Due to the strong faith of Iranian Christians in light of such strong persecution, the suffering and scattering of believers spreads the embers of Christian light to more Muslims hungry for truth. Iran is ripe for revival and there is in fact a strong awakening taking place in the country. Many of the people have access to Western media and it is only a matter of time until a strong Christian presence is established.
This dynamic must be considered in light of the probable attack from Israel and Western forces that is currently in the making. Iran is a great restrictor of personal freedom, has a government-sponsored radical Muslim ideology, and makes no bones about its intentions. Iran is a powerful nation and has powerful allies who are pledged to varying degrees to supporting it against economic and military attack. These allies also share a general hatred of real Christianity though it be burgeoning in Communist China and India, as well as beginning to make an impact in other Muslim nations.
Muslims are coming to Christ in very large numbers, though this fact is rarely revealed in the major media. It is an unprecedented movement throughout Islamic countries and among Muslim immigrant populations and the pioneers are paying the price. Yet the Lord teaches us to outlast the enemy through constant victorious faith regardless of harsh conditions, suffering, and an apparent lack of progress. We also know that persecution always results in greater numbers and deeper faith of believers. Islam is doing itself no favors by attempting to stomp out Christianity, as it is only making it grow.
I remember being involved in the very early house church movement in America. I recall that the chief persecutors of the growing movement were not government authorities but established Christian churches, even those in the more “understanding” nondenominational sphere. Many churches co-opted the process by breaking their congregations down into home groups, but this is the opposite of true cell division. Some Christians went flat crazy against the movement much as radical Muslims do now. And it is for the same purpose — maintaining strict religious control to protect the organization, even if the battle is against the Spirit of the Lord.
Due to obvious circumstances in hostile environments, there is no other reasonable method for meeting to share the Gospel. The vastly expanding house church movement in America is indicative of God’s hand regarding our future. The community of the Lord was born in a house in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. The movement was illegal then also, both in Judea and throughout the Roman Empire. But the Gospel spread rapidly through small groups of dedicated believers and this very process is currently taking place in Iran.
Christians should therefore be careful of getting sucked into anti-Iran and anti-Muslim war rhetoric and propaganda since Iranian Muslims are the seed bed of Christianity in that country.
Though persecuted, our Iranian brothers and sisters are without doubt praying for their government leaders and those associated with fomenting the coming war, and are showing the love of God. They know war well in that the spiritual war has been raging in the region for decades. Iranian believers want to save fellow Iranians and their country for the Lord.
Let us remember that “Iran in the Crosshairs” also means Iranian Christians in the crosshairs. Would God use His “chosen people” in Israel against His sons and daughters in Iran? Such things are always more complicated than they appear on the surface. The Word of God has the correct answer on how to approach the conflict and the various people groups involved. The Lord has Iran in His own crosshairs for His own purposes.
Those who revoke and shoot down “Love Thy Neighbor” do so at their own expense.
“All those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” [Matthew 26:52]
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 5 of 5]
THANKS TO ALL FOR READING AND SPREADING THE WORD
When the small financial-political elite known as neoconservatives had taken over American foreign policy and made their guiding principle the mainstream policy of the land, it did not matter that it grossly violated both the spirit and letter of the United States Constitution. The American people supported it, whether they knew what they were supporting or not. Most had no idea. Most Americans believed it was the patriotic thing to do.
It is always a master stroke by the big boys to play the patriot card. They deceive Americans into thinking that not supporting the government and the military 100% means not being loyal to the nation. This group has thus attempted to make traitors of millions of solid US citizens. The rush to war and fake patriotic fervor that removed many Constitutional rights a decade ago caused most Americans to remain with the unseeing pack to avoid being thought of as disloyal, wrong, or nuts.
But who are the real nuts? Who is taking away American freedom? Who caused the economy to implode? Who got off scot-free when almost everyone else has suffered as a result? A handful of people have taken control of the country and are running it into the ground while they rob Americans of their wealth to support their illicit efforts to rule the world. Even though the president railed against Bush foreign policy during the 2008 campaign, and many of his supporters believed him and hated Bush, he seamlessly embraced Bush’s foreign policy when he became president. Democrats kept quiet because they got their guy. Most are still quiet.
Thus, the NeoCon imperial foreign policy has been brought to full force by the two administrations of George W. Bush and the current administration and has become synonymous in the minds of the majority of Americans as the only correct foreign policy to have. As a result, American citizens have become deceived regarding the true aims of this policy. It is not to benefit the country and never has been. It is to benefit the members of the small elite cabal in power. It is to support multinational corporate interests. It is to support greater government authority and less individual freedom. The reason why should be obvious—since it has been imposed, the elite has gained in riches and power while the United States has suffered terribly.
The American news media has largely become the propaganda arm of this cabal. Left and Right duke it out on the surface but are buddies behind the scenes. It is a classic “good cop-bad cop” scenario. Regarding foreign policy and government philosophy, George W. Bush and the president are buddies. They are on the same team. They are brothers in arms. The president’s foreign policy is no different from Bush’s foreign policy. Differences are deceptively installed on the surface to make these guys look like mortal enemies, the mainstream media fans the flames, and the American people are fooled into thinking they are dealing with two competing camps. One side spends its time defending Bush and another side defends the president.
But it’s all for show. It’s there to hide what’s really going on.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
There is actually only one club at the very top which owns both political parties and almost every office holder in the Federal government. It is the money club. It is composed of the very rich elite and their bought and paid for spokesmen, whether they be corporate leaders, politicians, television personalities, or media members. It is all about the Golden Rule—whoever has the gold rules. The love of money has developed into a religion and those who subscribe to it are bound by it. Those who love their paychecks know what will happen if they tell the truth. They would rather serve themselves and their bosses and let the country go to hell.
Why is this so difficult to grasp and keep in front of us? Why do the American people remain so apathetic in light of such truth?
Americans want a strong and powerful national defense. But there is a giant difference between defense spending and overall military spending. Much military spending is absolutely unnecessary, much is wasted, and a great percentage is unaccounted for. This has nothing to do with national defense. But Americans have been deceived into thinking all military spending is vitally necessary and that our enemies will get the jump on us without it. It’s a ruse. We are a nuclear powerhouse that can destroy the planet if we wanted to, and can certainly vaporize any nation stupid enough to attack us, unless we are talking about a death match between nuclear heavyweights.
Yet Americans have been made to feel that little tiny non-nuclear Iran is gonna get us? The nuclear reason is a mere cover and surface excuse to go to war. There is no actual military threat against this country from Iran. If Iran did have nuclear weapons, would they really be so stupid to give up their nuclear threat by using it?
Because nuclear weapons are so devastating, those countries who possess them know they must never use them. If they do they will destroy themselves through the response of another nuclear nation. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) means nations use the nuclear weapons not as actual weapons but as an equalizing threat.
If Iran ever builds a nuclear weapon, the odds are they will never use it in a first strike, but use the threat to balance power. And because such a balance will curtail Israel’s current position of nuclear strength against Iran, Israel must act to prevent not the proposed Iran nuclear bomb necessarily being used, but the future bomb being used as a threat to tie their hands, just as the US and Russia neutralized each other during the Cold War. Iran would then have greater ability to attack Israel through conventional means because Israel’s nuclear response would be neutralized.
In addition to the supposed nuclear weapons threat, it is the threat of Iranian state-sponsored terrorism that is put forth as the other main reason for attacking them, just as it was with Afghanistan and Iraq. To support the threat of the terrorism threat, hearings were recently conducted in Washington that upped the ante and put the idea on the public mind. It was also revealed that the head of Israel intelligence was recently in Washington and was involved in secret meetings. A news story was floated that Iran would be willing to attack America on its own turf. All of these elements are beginning to cook together in preparation for war.
Of course, most Americans are not aware of the facts behind the “facts” because they trust the news media. All too often, we simply go along with what we’re fed from television and major news sources, a media that is for-profit and corporate in nature and is in league with the international power players in Washington and Wall Street. In other words, the major media is not a free press in search of truth. It is corporate in nature with an economic bottom line and is controlled by wealthy top-of-the-pyramid guys. The inherent bias is directed toward their desired outcomes. They have mastered the art of duping the majority.
A strike on Iran is only a matter of time, but the time grows ever closer.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 4 of 5]
February 4, 2012: Nuclear heavyweights Russia and China have vetoed a Western and Arab-backed United Nations resolution demanding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad surrender his office, thereby blocking UN efforts to stop what is becoming a Syrian civil war. The veto will only embolden al-Assad as his government continues a bloody crackdown that killed hundreds the previous night and injured many hundreds more. It was the most violent police action yet in the last eleven months of the internal uprising against his government by domestic opposition.
On the much larger front—the impending strike against Iran—the veto gives a clear indication of where the two superpowers stand in the latest Western buildup to war in the Middle East. Russia and China have refused to honor economic sanctions against Iran, their valued trading partner, and continue to defy the West and the other three permanent members of the UN Security Council. While the United States, on the surface, puts hope in a diplomatic breakthrough, it and other Western powers are slowly building up a strong military presence in the region. Israel is leading the initiative in a relentless drive to put an end to Iran’s nuclear program before it results in a nuclear weapon. That the entire world is being dragged into the conflict does not concern the Israelis.
There are currently nine countries in the world with nuclear firepower. Five nuclear powers are against a likely military strike by Israel in the conflict—Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. The nuclear powers of the West demanding that Iran cease work toward a possible nuclear bomb are the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Israel.
Shades of Gog and Magog?
“Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; Persia (Iran), Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops—many peoples with you.’” [Ezekiel 38:2-6]
At present, there is a covert war going on inside Iranian borders, as nuclear scientists and others are being assassinated in an effort to not only stop the Iranian civilian (non-military) nuclear program but strike fear in the heart of the government. Haaretz has reported that the latest murder of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Iran was the work of Israeli Mossad agents.
The Iranians know, however, that despite their trampling of human rights and the liberty of their own citizens, they own the moral high ground as a sovereign nation. They are merely pursuing what any nation may pursue regarding their civilian power needs. They do not have a nuclear weapon and are at least two years away. Leon Panetta, the US Secretary of Defense, clearly admitted this in December and recently stated they might possibly get there by the end of 2012, but the West has been crying wolf for several years now, continually repeating the same mantra.
Israel supports Panetta’s timetable. On February 2, at the Herzliya Conference, Israeli Military Intelligence leader Aviv Kochavi said,
“If Khamenei issues a command to achieve a first nuclear explosive device, we estimate it would take another year before that’s achieved,” and, “if he asks to translate that ability to obtain a nuclear warhead, that would take another year or two.”
Israel, on the other hand, has hundreds of nuclear weapons ready to go, some no doubt trained directly on Iran. The nation of Israel can take care of itself and usually does unless a broad conventional war breaks out. When Israel decides to bomb nuclear facilities under construction in the region, as they did in Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007, they just do it.
There is satellite surveillance evidence that site destruction in Iran occurred last November. An Iran Revolutionary Guard missile base close to Tehran was destroyed, and Israel has acknowledged this, essentially taking credit. Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon claims missiles being built at the base had a 6,000 mile range, “thus threatening the United States.” The US has remained mute regarding the bombers of the site, but has denied that Iran had missiles with such an intercontinental range. This is another case of Israel highly exaggerating the threat in a clear effort to scare Americans and keep them on point.
Iranian long range missiles currently have a maximum range of about 1200 miles by latest estimates, which is long enough to reach all US military installations in the Middle East as well as Israel and beyond, but they represent no threat to American soil. This obviously does not lessen the threat in the region, but rather than war, and certainly rather than nuclear war, the West would rather contain the Iranian threat and exhaust every other possibility toward a solution. But the writing is on the wall. Israel wants to go to war immediately. Iran continues stalling in hopes of a fairer fight. Neither side will give in. War is inevitable.
The ancient land of Persia (Iran—Aryan), is a great prize to control. It possesses the third largest known reserves of oil behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Getting Iran back would be a huge gain and would put the West on top to stay in the region, but an independent Iran would do the opposite, throwing the balance of power the other way in an alignment with Russia, China, India, et al, who receive the bulk of Iranian oil. Therefore, the Iran situation is a tug-of-war over the last domino to fall, and if it refuses to comply it will likely be bombed toward submission. Detailed plans for the attack have been in the works for several years, and military-corporate interests covet the considerable financial rewards of the war and ongoing influence in the region.
The coming war has a higher stakes dynamic than the preliminary Iraq and Afghanistan wars, because it directly involves at least five extra-regional nuclear powers. Pakistan, also a nuclear nation and closely allied with China, has been developing closer ties with Iran as of late and is moving away from the US, citing the need for closer economic links with their Muslim neighbor. The ongoing revolutions in Muslim countries are part of this newly opened Pandora’s box, in that the greater region is in a state of political flux. All signs are pointing to a conflagration in the making.
In the biggest picture, the war on Iran is the final push to force the country under the complete control of the international banking interests currently fighting a strong sanctions war. Like the former Libya under Muammar Gaddafi, it is one of the few remaining holdout nations on the world scene, and certainly the most prized and powerful, that is battling against surrendering to the dictates of the globalist economic union.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 3 of 5]
 Since Iran has put satellites into orbit, it technically has the ability to fire its rockets on a horizontal trajectory, meaning such can possess intercontinental range.
You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” [Matthew 24:6-8]
Remember the UN-US Iraq no-fly zones and economic sanctions of the 1990’s? These had no effect against Saddam Hussein or his rule, but only punished the Iraqi people. The problem with setting up such dictators through our flawed foreign policy is that they become entrenched. They surround themselves with wealth and layers of internal protection.
We saw by what recently happened to former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi that the only remaining option to remove such a guy from power is open warfare, in this case with the assistance of a national rebellion, and his eventual execution. Dictators and kings never go down easy. Saddam didn’t go down easy but he did go down.
The 9/11 attacks of 2001 formed the perfect raison d’être to go to war in the wider region centered on Iraq, not simply to fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Rumors were floated that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons or would soon be in possession of them, and that he had weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration insisted that Saddam possessed deadly WMD’s and they represented a dire threat to America. The same fear being sold to America about Iran’s nuclear weapons program at present was sold to us then as well, and was bought completely by a deceived public.
Afterwards, of course, the central reasons for going to war proved to be false, regardless of our highly capable and resourced intelligence service. Despite all the lies, excuses, and hyper-spin since, the fact remains that America was conned. We went to war on false pretenses fighting an enemy that never attacked us. Iraq was busted for other reasons, the same way repeat criminals are often convicted on their priors.
The Bush administration claimed no such WMD’s were ever found, though independent sources suggest otherwise. Could it be because some of them were manufactured in the West? Saddam certainly did not have nuclear weapons. He never attacked us on 9/11 or had anything to do with it, though it was claimed he was somehow in cahoots with Al Qaeda. What he did do was defy the powerful people in the West that made him what he was.
He was originally set up by us as our ally but later established his own independent authority, as leaders of sovereign nations are wont to do. He strayed from the leash and appropriated his own way in the world according to the perspective of US interests, which essentially amounted to an open betrayal. By moving from the dollar to the euro, and thereby incensing the money boys and their international plans, he effectively declared war on them and had to be removed. It’s usually suicide when a puppet cuts his strings.
Much of what has taken place in the region to date is part of an overall plan toward eventual war with Iran. Economic sanctions against Iran are currently not working so well, though they be severe, and certainly not as intended. As a result the pressure is building and the hot war is coming forth. On February 2, to increase economic pressure, the European Union added to the current sanctions by banning all purchases of Iranian oil by its 27 member states. Those with current contracts may honor them for six months. This coincides with the six month grace period the US has imposed on all other countries in the world who buy Iranian oil.
Iran is being portrayed as isolated in the world but in truth is allied economically with Venezuela, Turkey, and the major nuclear powers of Russia, China, and India, the latter of which has recently considered purchasing their Iranian oil imports with either gold or rupees, further lessening the clout of the dollar in the area. These three powers refuse to participate in economic sanctions against Iran, and consider the country a good and necessary trading partner, especially since they import such great amounts of Iranian oil.
Russia and China just happen to be two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council with a veto vote, along with the US, the UK, and France. What will happen when economic sanctions are placed upon them and the other trading partners of Iran by the West this summer? The world is being cut in half by the Israel-Iran dogfight and nations are taking sides. Does anyone really expect Russia and China to back down?
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2 of 5]
 Despite later Bush administration pronouncements that no WMD’s actually existed, including claims by high-ranking officials David Kay, Bush’s top weapons expert in Iraq, chief U.S. investigator Charles Duelfer, and former US Secretary of State Colin Powell, this view is contested by former Iraqi Air Force General and fighter pilot Georges Sada in his book, Saddam’s Secrets, © 2006 Integrity Publishers.
February 2, 2012: Israel says the West has the ability to make a successful military strike on all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, though the Pentagon claims we do not have conventional weapons strong enough to do the job.
“The West has the ability to strike, but as long as Iran isn’t convinced that there’s a determination to follow through with it, they’ll continue with their manipulations,” said Vice Prime Minister, Strategic Affairs Minister, and former IDF chief Moshe Ya’alon. “The Iranians believe that a determination isn’t still there, both in regards to military action and in regards to sanctions,” and that “any facility protected by humans can be infiltrated by humans. It’s possible to strike all Iran’s facilities, and I say that out of my experience as IDF chief of staff.”
This contradicts a Wall Street Journal report last week in which Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was quoted as saying the United States does not have a bunker buster bomb big enough to penetrate and destroy the underground Iranian facilities where suspected nuclear programs are in the works. “We’re still trying to develop them,” said Panetta.
Later today Leon Panetta said he feared Israel would strike Iran this spring.
Who is actually driving US foreign policy in the Middle East?
The following series is an attempt to set the record straight, reveal less-known information, and expose the truth regarding the current crisis regarding the United States and the nation of Iran. There is an ongoing globalist agenda covered up by a false agenda. America has been hoodwinked regarding its foreign policy in the Middle East.
Critics of presidential candidate Ron Paul, for example, who might like him otherwise, usually cite his foreign policy views as the reason they choose not to support him. His views, however mischaracterized and in the minority they may seem to be, are generally the correct ones. They are based on the vision and wisdom of our founding fathers and Constitution of the United States. It must be noted that members of our active duty military support Ron Paul more than any other announced 2012 presidential candidate. What do they know that most Americans don’t know?
It should be shocking that our national creed is treated with such indifference and lack of respect, especially by our duly elected representatives, but Americans have become too apathetic to be rightfully concerned. We are motivated more by fear of perceived enemies than honor of the law of the land. Military strength means we must always be strongly prepared, but never against our rights as American citizens or disrespect of the law. Spreading ourselves too thin has actually weakened us, and has taken us down the road of all empires: Continual expansion means eventual inability to maintain control. Contraction has always been the inevitable outcome of all historical empires.
The dominant foreign policy of America that most people continue to support is one of aggression, war, incredible spending, nation-building, and most of all, the unbridled and ongoing expansion of the American Global Military Empire. It is geographic in that we have military personnel stationed in over 150 countries of the world, which accounts for almost 80% of the nations on the planet. Total US military bases on foreign soil total approximately 750. According to anyone’s definition, this is a massive presence which clearly denotes empire, and it is the maintenance of this empire that is actually subverting our military strength.
And the United States can no longer afford it. Our national debt is currently 15.3 TRILLION dollars. It is rising exponentially. Our foreign wars have assisted in bankrupting the country. We don’t have the money. The money we do have is mere paper with no backing, and is becoming worth less by the minute through rising inflation since we keep the printing presses humming. The currency itself is also becoming devalued but retains relative strength due mainly to our wildly out of balance trade deficit. We are buying many more foreign goods than others are buying from us and this is keeping the dollar in decent shape, though the world cannot do as much with the dollars they possess. The Federal Reserve has set interest rates at the bottom for the foreseeable future, below the rate of inflation of course, in part to make the dollar attractive to foreign investors. But this is done at the expense of our own recovery and is only putting off the inevitable collapse of the US economy. The Dollar Index has lost 3.5% in the last two weeks since its highs in mid-January and war pressure is ratcheting up to stop the slide.
There is currently a war on between the dollar and the euro. Many countries are making a move to alternative currencies. The prospective war in Iran is actually about (1) the petrodollar-euro war, (2) the Russia-China-Iran economic oil alliance, which also includes India and Pakistan, and (3) the move by the US to gain the strategic and geographical high ground by securing Iran once again as a national ally and bring the nation under the full control of the West.
There is no doubt that the Iranian government has been hostile to the US ever since the 1979 Iranian revolution that ousted the Shah, when an independent Islamic Republic was formed. But their hostility began when we overthrew their government in a 1953 coup and set up the Shah as our own guy in charge. Iran has always been coveted not only due to its location and vast resources, but currently because it represents the last puzzle piece toward dominance in the region.
This is what the long-term Iraq and Afghanistan wars are actually about, in that they served as opening salvos and precursors to eventual regional hegemony. Iraq became our ally after we lost Iran. These two countries fought an eight year proxy war to a stalemate in the 1980’s. The breaking point with Iraq came when Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait. The 1991 war against him was a lesson he failed to learn. Some thought he should have been removed at that time.
A decade later Saddam defied the United States by switching from American petrodollars to the euro in November of 2000. This was the largely unknown watershed moment when the decision was made to take him out.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1 of 5]
I received the following question from a good friend and brother in the Lord recently:
Morning brother…I was reading (the following passage) this morning and wondered what your thoughts are….though it is addressing Israel, do you think there is a New Covenant application to this as well? I have heard people call for help from the four directions and there is something about gathering from the four winds. “Gatherings” would make a great word study. God’s richest blessings on you today and into eternity. Let’s gather soon.
But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, and whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, even whom I have made.” [Isaiah 43:1-7]
This is my response:
Thanks for the question. First of all, everything in the OT Scriptures has a New Covenant application. God does not have two separate peoples. The nation of Israel, descended from Abraham, is ethnically the people of God by DNA in that Abraham’s descendants are part of the covenant God made with Abraham. But throughout Old Testament history, the majority of the people descended from Abraham turned their back on God and violated this covenant. Just like a marriage, for example, both parties of the covenant must be true to the covenant terms. Otherwise, the covenant, or contract, is violated. If you hire someone to do work on your house, there is a contract explaining the role each party must adhere to. If the contract is honored properly, you get your work done and the worker gets paid by you to do the work. Simple. If the person you hired does not fulfill that which is spelled out in the contract, you do not have to pay him since he violated the contract.
Israel’s covenant with God was violated by the majority repeatedly. However, there was always a remnant of the descendants of Abraham who stayed true to God and did not violate the covenant, but this was always a small percentage. Hence, a remnant. It was in the nation of Israel’s original DNA for the majority to go south, and the majority repeated their sinful behavior all throughout their history. When God Himself became a Man and walked among them, the majority of His people agreed with the decision to kill Him. A remnant of Abraham’s descendants, however, believed and obeyed, as it always had.
The Lord’s twelve disciples were of the believing remnant, except for Judas, who decided on his own to betray the Lord. The 120 on the Day of Pentecost were of the believing remnant, but were a very small minority. When Jerusalem and the outward nation of Israel were destroyed in 70 AD, the unbelieving covenant-breaking Jews were scattered. The believing Jews already knew about the Lord’s prophecy of that destruction (they believed) and the Lord guided them to safety.
New Covenant believers are not divided between descendants of Abraham and non-descendants of Abraham. There is no distinction.
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. [Galatians 3:26-29]
Therefore, there are only two different kinds of people in the world: Real Christians and everyone else. Real Christians obey, honor, believe in, and trust the Lord Jesus. Everyone else does not.
There are, however, promises made to the descendants of Abraham that are exclusive to them, but they must honor the Lord nonetheless. How can one NOT believe in Jesus and be right with God? How can one have “The Father” but NOT have “The Son?” It is impossible:
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. [1 John 2:22-24]
The distinction between the Father and Son is parabolic. If one does not have eyes to see, a veil is covering his or her eyes. This is why the Lord spoke in parables—only those who had eyes to see and ears to hear got it and understood. If one SEES the Son, one SEES the Father also. The unbelieving Jews of the Lord’s time could not see that Jesus—God in human form, “The Son”—was also YHWH, the God of the Old Testament, or “The Father.” They rejected Jesus because they did not believe He was the one God of the Jews. Of course, they thought they had a relationship with God and were right with God, but they were not. They had not “The Father,” and the Lord Jesus said they actually had a different father altogether:
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” [John 8:42-45]
The Lord is definitely gathering His children. He is doing this overall but also in regard to small communities. But there is a problem. Just as Ananias could hardly believe the Lord when He told him that “Saul” who became the apostle Paul, had become a real believer, so do many Christians refuse to accept many of those whom God has called. In other words, many Christians reject other Christians because they do not think they are real Christians, or because they think they are messed up in some way. This prejudice is the only real problem the Lord has in creating his communities.
Christian denominations are not real communities created by the Lord. They are almost exclusively man-made organizations. Most “churches” are man-made as well. They are organized and united together not in the Spirit by the Spirit of God, but are instead based on a particular doctrine or way of doing things. I love it when the Lord takes those of His people who are otherwise separated in such a way and puts them together. (“I didn’t think you were for real because…” “And I didn’t think YOU were for real because…”) There are some believers whom almost no one thinks are for real! But here is what Paul said about real believers:
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. [Romans 2:28-29]
And this is what the Lord said about those leaders who claim to be believers but are not:
“You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” [Matthew 23:24-28] 
This sentiment, though directed to unbelieving Jews, can also be applied, and much more so, to unreal Christians, since there are so many millions of false Christians the world over who claim to believe and obey the Lord but do not.
In the end, the Lord will have accomplished creating ONE worldwide unified body of believers. Until then, we must keep working with Him to gather and be gathered as He says to gather and be gathered. But we must not compromise on who the Lord wants us to be for the sake of gathering. We have millions of “churches” composed of people who gather together physically but are not unified in heart (see above quote from Matthew).
The only real gatherings are those composed of real believers, like the gathering on Pentecost, for example. Each one of the 120 was right with God. They were diverse, of course, because diversity is the strength of unity. But each was right, and strong, and obedient. 99% of churches are not like this. So what is God doing? He continues to work to gather His people together, to eliminate prejudice, to end fearfulness, and to mature His people. And sometimes, He has to get downright angry because of the people who only want to mess things up and keep His people in bondage (see above quote from Matthew).
The Lord is faithful, but all too often Christian prejudice against other Christians stymies His plans to gather His people together. One can be assured that the 120 on that original Day of Pentecost were composed of representatives of many different and very diverse groups. Their unity, therefore, had to be based on something much greater than that which unites most Christian groups and organizations.
It was a gathering united by the Holy Spirit of Jesus.
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Acts 9:10-20
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
The Lord sends a message against Jacob, and it falls on Israel.
And all the people know it, that is, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, asserting in pride and in arrogance of heart:
“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”
Therefore the LORD raises against them adversaries from Rezin and spurs their enemies on,
The Arameans on the east and the Philistines on the west; and they devour Israel with gaping jaws. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.
Yet the people do not turn back to Him who struck them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.
So the LORD cuts off head and tail from Israel, both palm branch and bulrush in a single day.
The head is the elder and honorable man, and the prophet who teaches falsehood is the tail.
For those who guide this people are leading them astray; and those who are guided by them are brought to confusion.
Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; for every one of them is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out.
For wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briars and thorns; it even sets the thickets of the forest aflame and they roll upward in a column of smoke.
By the fury of the LORD of hosts the land is burned up, and the people are like fuel for the fire; no man spares his brother.
They slice off what is on the right hand but still are hungry, and they eat what is on the left hand but they are not satisfied; each of them eats the flesh of his own arm.
Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, and together they are against Judah. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away and His hand is still stretched out. 
© 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.