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THE REAL BIRTHDAY OF JESUS: ENTERING THE SEASON OF OUR JOY

         The forty days of repentance and preparation has passed. The Feast of Tabernacles is now upon us. It is the birthday of the Lord.

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         The seven day Feast of Tabernacles is otherwise known as Sukkot, or the Feast of Booths. After the nation of Israel had entered into and became established in the Promised Land, this feast became associated with the fall harvest and was known as the Festival of Ingathering.

         It was the end of the agricultural year. Since the three major feasts of the Hebrew nation aligned with the agricultural calendar, the year began with spring planting and seven weeks later came the grain harvest. These two events took place during the time of Passover and Pentecost respectively. It was at Passover when the Lord gave His life on the cross, planting Himself in death, and on the third day of Unleavened Bread when He arose again to new life. Fifty days later on the Feast of Pentecost the spiritual grain harvest began when all the souls saved by His death began entering into new life and were filled with His Holy Spirit.

         Whereas Pentecost referred to the grain harvest, the fall Feast of Tabernacles was associated primarily with the fruit harvest:

         “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.” [Deuteronomy 16:13-15 NKJV]  

         This time of year was especially joyful due to the time of repentance which preceded it. In the five-part series of articles I wrote and posted from August 9-23 of this year I referred to this time and what must be done. It has been a relatively difficult time for the nation. Time will soon tell if America has taken this time seriously, as I referred to in advance just after the forty days began in my post of August 23: At the Crossroads: Will America Repent?

         For those who have taken it seriously and fulfilled what the Lord required, this Feast of Tabernacles will without doubt be a time of joy and fruitfulness, and a great ingathering.

THIRTY YEARS OF AGE

         It was at this time that the Lord began His ministry.

         When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph… [Luke 3:23]

         The patriarch Joseph was also thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh and was given authority over all the land of Egypt. He had suffered greatly for thirteen years prior to that time. One must remember that according to early OT interpretations, there were actually two Messiahs prophesied to come forth. The first would be a suffering Messiah as the “Son of Joseph.” The second would be a conquering King Messiah as the “Son of David.” As it turned out, both Messiahs are actually the same Man.

         So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. [2Samuel 5:3-4]   

        Then the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “Take a census of the descendants of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ households, from thirty years and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tent of meeting.” [Numbers 4:1-3]

          We know that the Lord’s forty days of preparation, fasting, and temptation began at the beginning of the twelfth month of the civil calendar, or the sixth month of the agricultural or festival calendar. This year, that day was August 21, the day of the solar eclipse across America. The forty days ended on September 30, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). This is also said to be the same time period when Moses went back up the mountain for the second time, staying for forty days.

         This means the Lord began His ministry in the fall, after the forty days, and most likely after the Feast of Tabernacles. I believe He was born on the first day of Tabernacles and the following scriptural clue bears it out:

         And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14 YLT]

         The word “tabernacle” in the preceding verse from Young’s Literal Translation is from the Greek word skenoo. This word is translated as “dwelt” in most Bible versions, and refers to a tent or temporary dwelling, or an exact figure of the temporary shelters (booths, tabernacles, sukkah) the Israelites dwelt in during their time in the Sinai and from which the Feast of Sukkot or Tabernacles derives its name.

THE LORD’S BIRTHDAY

         There is also this:

         While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

         In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” [Luke 2:6-11]

         Because the inns were already filled it indicates that it was very late in the day when the Lord’s family arrived in Bethlehem. We also have the very clear clue that because the shepherds were watching over their flocks by night that the Lord was born after sunset and most likely at night, which would have been the exact beginning (after sunset) of the very first day of the seven days of Sukkot, the beginning of what is known traditionally as “The Season of Our Joy.” This was expressed specifically by the angel of the Lord in announcing the Lord’s birth!

         Please reflect on all of this as the sun sets tonight and the harvest moon rises. I wish you all a great season of joy.

        And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. [John 1:14] [1]

         Happy Birthday, Lord.

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.  


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

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Strange Days Have Found Us

         The 1960s ushered in the full-flowering of a new age, a weird age, with strange days, and pills that make you larger, and pills that make you small. And today’s pills are consumed in mass quantities by young and old alike, but regarding truth and finding the path of God, don’t do anything at all.

         So turning on, tuning in, and dropping out apparently didn’t achieve the desired result. Instead, it was a generation’s call to self-deception and the beginning of a mass exodus to the devil’s strange little wonderland.

         Since then the weirdness quotient has been gaining steady ground, through a process of fits and starts, as America decides it will do the wrong thing, then the right thing, then the wrong thing…

         The “sane” generation of the sixties supported without question a government that slipped off track, while the up-and-coming insaners kept warning of gross evil and injustice to the nth degree. The sane rejected said argument and continued to blindly follow the lemmings trail. In time both groups merged by believing the big lie and the big liar.

         It was only those who got close to the Lord Jesus, stayed close, and obeyed His Word who had a real handle on things, but these were rejected and are still, as the deceived majority always castigates the seeing minority.

         And nowadays it has reached such crisis proportions that the majority seems to sit back and be led around by anyone and anything other than the Lord. Like one of those giant schools of fish in the nature vids all packed together like a single organism, moving in mass, darting here and there, told what to think, how to live, and what to believe. Media manipulation has since sailed way off the charts, as good old Americans do the strangest things. It’s become an upside down world where evil has suddenly been vaulted to the top and worshipped as good. And anyone trying to right the course is seen as a complete idiot and moral degenerate while the real moral degenerates parade around in all their filthy glory with a zero shame index and a conscience long since destroyed:

         But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron… [1Timothy 4:1-2]

Some will fall away from the faith. This reveals the exodus of turncoats and destroys one of the greatest and most deceiving false doctrines, meaning many will quit on God and doom their souls for love of themselves and this fallen world.

Paying attention to deceitful spirits. HELLO? Sinners have always accessed the devil’s media, read his books, attended his lectures, and followed his lying advice, but unreal Christians? Uh, YEAH. When the devil speaks, people listen, as to a stockbroker with a hot tip. Better stay in the Word. Otherwise, newspaper taxis will appear on the shore, waiting to take you away.

Doctrines of demons—the teachings of invisible fallen angels—powerful entities that warp men’s minds with convoluted logic and outright deceptions, bringing mass confusion and a complete lack of understanding of the real spiritual world the Lord taught us about. Or tries to. It’s bad enough that people religiously believe the most idiotic things, but “Christians?” Unreal Christianity has possibly done more harm than all other false religions put together.

The hypocrisy of liars. The Lord Jesus warned us about the leaven of the Pharisees, mixing pure grade A extra virgin first cold press hypocrisy into all their teachings, and baking a bulbous loaf of dead bread guaranteed to confuse, obliterate critical thinking, make the partakers thereof spiritually deaf and blind, and leave their sanity on the docks as they sail away into a faux spiritual la la land.

Seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.Yep. Rejected the Lord. Burnt to the core of their little cerebellums. Up is down and black is white and good is evil, and magnetic polarity reverses course, and they spend their days opening up one giant Pandora’s box after another, beckoning the contents to flee like released rats into the world of the unsuspecting neutered and brainless to passively accept the Last Days Big Fake-Out.

         Strange days have found us indeed. The weird quotient is rising exponentially. Hold on to your walk with God, folks, because it’s starting to get really wacky out there. In fact, staying as close as possible to the Lord will be the only thing that will save us from the great deception coming our way.

         And this is just the start! Wait ‘til you see what’s coming next. If you think it’s weird now, and it is, you will be shocked and awed as the future unfolds. The cat is out of the bag. And more cats and bigger cats will follow. It’s going to look like Alice in Wonderland in plain sight. A nationwide epidemic of slappy face will break out as people keep trying to wake themselves up from the real time nightmare emerging.

         These are the strange days of deep deception, the times of night descending into day. The deceiving power of the enemy is so strong we have largely not understood that a vast bizarro world has been surreptitiously built up all around us. 1984 is no longer knocking on your door—it’s in your living room.

LIFE HAS BECOME AN ILLUSION.

         “…For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” [Mark 13:22-23]

         Fake Christians could get a clue if they obeyed God and honored His Word, but the great deception never stopped at the church doors. In fact, such places can easily hold their own against any New Age freak on the planet, both in weirdness quotient and outright rebellion. Instead of openly welcoming those dark wispy spectres traipsing down the aisles humming the theme from Star Trek and blowing their otherworldly breaths into passive minds, perhaps checking their credentials first would have been a good idea:

         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]

         Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. [1John 4:1-3] [1]

Go Ask Alice         And it is still in the world. And it took the pill that makes it larger.

         Go ask Alice.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. 


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

The Real Chosen People (Part 1)

         Many Christians have been conditioned to believe that “The Chosen People” are the Jews, regardless of whether they honor the Lord Jesus as Messiah or not. Christians have been taught that Jews are the only people on Earth who belong to God and will forever belong to God even if they deny that Jesus is their Messiah, if they deny He died to save them from their sins, if they disparage His Name and character, if they actively fight against and oppose real Christianity, especially in Israel, and if they as individuals refuse to repent of their sins and submit to His Lordship.

         For some odd reason, Christians have been taught that the New Testament teachings do not apply to the Jewish people. Why? Simply because they are Jews? We are living in a day when Messianic Judaism is very popular and growing. The followers of Messianic Judaism honor Jesus as Messiah. They are still Jews, of course, but believe in and follow the Lord Jesus as did the Messianic Jews of the first century.

         Well then, what is a Jew? What is Judaism? Historically, after the complete destruction of what was left of the Jewish homeland in 70AD when Jerusalem was invaded and destroyed by the Romans, and when the Jewish Temple was completely razed to the ground and burned, there was only one segment of traditional Judaism that remained.

         The Sadducees ceased to exist, since there was no longer any Jewish state. The Essenes, those likely responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls, also faded away. Some Jewish nationals held out after Jerusalem was destroyed, comprising segments of the Zealot Party, but committed mass murder against one another and suicide on the heights of Masada in 73AD. There were two other large uprisings against the Romans, the largest and last of which was the Bar Kochba Revolt from 132-135AD. After their defeat, there was no longer any effective and organized Jewish resistance against the Romans. It was the end of the Zealots. The Jewish homeland was lost.

         The Pharisees, however, were the one party that lived on. They did not die out as all the other major religious parties had. They continued to exist as the sole religious representatives of the Jewish people. The Pharisees became Judaism, later known as Talmudic or Rabbinic Judaism. The same people who gave the Lord Jesus so much trouble during His ministry and fought the apostles at every turn, especially the apostle Paul, never ceased to exist. They continued teaching as they always had. They continued to deny Jesus as Messiah.

         Again, Jesus was 100% a Jew (Hebrew: Yehudi; Greek: Ioudaios), from the Tribe of Judah, and a direct descendant in the kingly line of David. Every original apostle had Hebrew ancestral roots, and so had every single member of the Community of the Lord we read about in the earliest history of His Movement as recorded in the Book of Acts. For seven to ten years after the Resurrection of the Lord, the entire Qahal of the Lord Jesus was composed entirely of Hebrew descendants, members of the nation of Israel, and of the twelve tribes. It was not until the salvation of Cornelius and his group, as recorded in Acts 10, that the apostles understood that non-Hebrew Gentiles were also to be included among the Lord’s people. Prior to that time, the Hebrew followers of Jesus had somehow assumed that only Hebrews and full proselytes to Judaism would qualify for membership.

         So here we see the first great division, especially after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD, of the Israeli people. One Hebrew camp saw that Jesus was indeed their long-awaited and hoped-for Messiah. The other Hebrew camp rejected Jesus as Messiah. The camp of rejecters coalesced around the Party of the Pharisees, the lone remaining representatives of overall first century Judaism. The Pharisees have existed throughout history ever since, and continued as the sole Hebrew organized religious force against Jesus the Messiah.

         What happened to the first century Jewish believers in Jesus? After Cornelius, more and more Gentiles entered the fold of real Christianity. Indeed, the apostle Paul was called by God to be the first and foremost apostle to the non-Jewish Gentiles. Later, at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15), it was decided by the Jerusalem Hebrew believers that Gentiles did not have to undergo all things Torah in order to attain official membership in the Body of Christ. As more Gentiles flooded in, ethnic differences between Hebrew and non-Hebrew believers were downplayed over time. This did not mean that Jewish followers of Jesus did not retain their Jewish identity. Such would have been tragic. These first century Jewish believers in Jesus were descended from the great Patriarchs of the distant past and represented the then-current true remnant of Israel.

         Paul, a Hebrew in very high standing, both ethnically (of the Tribe of Benjamin) and religiously (a Pharisee)[1], as well as a solid Roman citizen says this:

         “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]

         This is a very powerful statement. From this we know that strict Jewish distinctiveness no longer matters with respect to membership in the kingdom of God. Whether one can trace his or her physical lineage to Abraham is no longer an issue. One can be a descendant of Abraham whether he or she is connected by genealogy, Judaism, or Israeli national identity.

         It is not an ancestral link that makes one a seed of Abraham but a spiritual link by faith according to promise.

         The Jewish non-believers discount and reject this entire notion. To them, it destroys Jewish identity. As a result, they hated Paul with the same passion they hated the Lord Jesus (How dare these heretics dispose of our status as God’s chosen people!).

         Which brings us back to the original point: God’s chosen people are only those who honor the Lord Jesus as Messiah. Yet, even as you read this you probably cringe and think such cannot possibly be true. But it’s right there in your Bible. As is this:

         “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]

         Throughout the Gospels and New Testament writings we see, then, that the “Chosen People” are those who are in Christ, who embrace the Lord Jesus as the only Messiah and Savior, whose hearts have been circumcised, who are in spiritual relationship with Him, and who submit to His full Lordship.

         Though the Hebrew people were originally chosen by God as descendants of Abraham, the majority of the Hebrew people rejected God. All one must do is pick up the Old Testament and read a few pages to find that this is true.

         There has always been a believing Hebrew remnant, however, and there were always enough who honored God to keep the ancient nation of Israel intact though diminishing. Israel split in two after Solomon’s death, the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom went into captivity and never returned, effectively ceasing to exist, and only the Southern Kingdom of Judah remained until the time of our Lord as a national entity, which was originally also comprised of the tribes of Levi and Benjamin. After its destruction by the Romans it was the end of the Jewish nation. The unbelieving and disobedient had so outnumbered the believing remnant who dutifully followed YHWH that the geographic and religio-political nation ceased to exist.

         The Community of the Lord, however, began at the same time once the Messiah was revealed. Therefore, there is no hope for those who reject Jesus and look for another. There is no other Messiah and never will be. And without Messiah Jesus, there is no salvation, because He is salvation—it is the very meaning of His Name.

         Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:8-12] [2] 

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 1]


[1] Philippians 3:5-6

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